Friday, November 25, 2016

Nations Homes Video

...and, by way of overcompensation for my recent radio silence from scottmerrickdotnet, here's a little video composed of photos take from New Years Day 2016 up to June1. Enjoy:

The Beer@Noon Diet!

Good day, good human,

I have lately been doing some writing for a new publication, a West Nashville-focused periodical entitled 372WN. I'd highly encourage you to pick one up at one of the many distribution racks you'll soon begin to see around our fair city.

That has kept me busy writing, but not so much blogging. My challenging work at my East Nashville elementary school has also limited time and energy for blogging, and I've been maintaining my new school blog regularly as well. All that said, I'm apologizing for letting my scottmerrickdotnet voice go pretty well dormant.

I recently rediscovered an item on my desktop that I want to share here, and I'm thinking that it's well-timed, this being the first day after Thanksgiving, when I went back for thirds of the Lemon, Rosemary, and Black Tea Brined Grilled Turkey I spent those well-allotted hours overseeing yesterday. Enjoy (and you're welcome):

Welcome. If you are reading this you have an open mind. Good on ya. And you’re a guy, most likely. There are not a lot of diets for us, serious or otherwise. This, my brother, is a secret. Share it not. Keep this to yourself.

The briefest backstory on the planet:  I weighed in at a Higi station in mid-July at my local Kroger pharmacy, only to discover that I was exceeding my “normal” weight by around 14 pounds. The report showed me at 219 pounds and “At Risk.” Not good. We’ll talk about my blood pressure levels later. Look:
Shortly after that inauspicious beginning with Higi, I flew to Denver, Colorado for two weeks, the first week for a professional conference, the second a week with my dear, dear wife and her Denver family, just relaxing. I knew there would be beer involved. A plot began to brew in my wee little mind. Listen, I’m 6 feet tall and at that time I worked what can be described as a desk job (I’m now back in the classroom). I stay pretty active, but not aerobically, not on any regular basis. I walk my dogs every day. I’m sure that helps, but it’s certainly not the 30 minutes of cardio exercise recommended by the pundits. What to do? What to do?

Have you seriously looked into one or another of the “usual suspects” diets? Whatever miracle drug, diet plan, club or cult you look at, the bottom line is clear. Every single motherlovin’’ diet you look—assuming it doesn’t rely on some kind of (usually dangerous) miracle drug--at ends up saying that the best long term results come from cutting calories and increasing exercise. Every single one. Hello? Hello? Hellfricking-o? Let’s do that!

One way to accomplish that necessary combination that is by “Time-restricted feeding” (TRF). Yeah, “TRF.” It’s an actual thing.  Reducing the window in which you eat, and doing so consistently, helps your body burn fats more efficiently and, at least according to http://greatist.com/eat/breakfast-weight-loss, will result in weight loss and furthermore, the maintenance of that weight loss.

My daily caloric intake over the past year or so has been pretty stable. Let’s look at a bulleted list of daily dietary habits:
● zero or low calory yogurt or a guy kibbie (think pan toasted bread with a hole in the middle, add a fried egg and basil) in the morning, sometimes a ~180 calorie breakfast bar if it’s the kind of morning I am off late to work and need pocket-portable food (“Let’s go somewhere we can eat in the car!”)
● a sandwich or plate of something yummy for lunch, taken at or packed to work from my lovely wife’s storefront, Tinwings, by pilfering the employee food bin
● a handful of nuts or a stick of cheese from the fridge when I get home to tide me over to
● a beer, or two, or three
● dinner: a balanced, delicious meal prepared by me or by my lovely wife, who happens to be an accomplished catering and fresh retail foods chef
● a cocktail or two

What can we do to create a time-limited experience that will moderate caloric intake, keep the body healthy, and have fun doing it? I took the lightning bolt to the brain:

The Beer!@Noon!Diet!

● Nothing but black coffee and water before noon
● A “good beer” at noon
              * Don’t drink crappy beer
● Anything you want after that, but…
                *always leave something on the plate
                *eat less than ¼ of the bun, when applicable
                *moderate any other alcohol intake
                *drink water all day
■ A 12 oz. glass of water between any other of any kind of beverage, and
                *keep your eyes open for terrorists
● No snacks no problem—oddly, but true to research, that extra water you are drinking will let you feel generally less hungry
● Walk the dog (or yourself) every day
● Do three instances of 20 minutes increased pulse rate per week, minimum
● Smile
● Do it over and over again, for as long as 2 weeks at a time
                *Go off of it when you want, come back when you want

Colorado is certainly the craft brew state of the nation. Just take a look at the Colorado Breweries List, and yes, that’s a thing, too. I’m too lazy to count them. Well, maybe I should. Okay, I tried but lost track. I’m sorry. Count them for yourself. Hundreds, I say, hundreds. Probably my favorite discovery of the trip was Great Divide’s Hercules Double IPA. Man oh man is that a great 12 ounces of glory. It’s a no nonsense hopfest, with a citrusy start and a serious hoppy finish, all the while malty rich and full of flavor. 

Here’s the thing. After practicing the Beer@NoonDiet from June 23 to July 8, I returned to my home in Nashville. On July 9, I visited the same Higi.com station at Kroger on Charlotte Avenue. I weighed in at 217, just a two pound weight loss. But my body fat ratio, as measured by higi, was now in the “Acceptable” range! Huh? See:

I continued to keep to the B@N Diet on weekends and follow the other practices during the week. Two weeks later I was down to 206 pounds and every other indicator told me I was in the normal range. My body fat percentage crept lower and never peaked out of the Acceptable range again. We’ll talk about my blood pressure levels later.

I’m a schoolteacher during the school year, and I obviously cannot break out this fantastic diet then, except…Maybe. On. Weekends. What to do? What to do? Make it the “Juice@NoonDiet” during the work week. Follow all the other tenets, only make a (no larger than 16 oz.) nutritional juice with your NutriBullet and pack it for lunch. Keep that water bottle handy. Keep that body-fat ratio in the “Acceptable” range this way.

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. Fish a lot.

Fun Reference:
The Only Beer Diet, lol:
http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/the-beer-diet

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Periscoping a Fall Walk across Nashville's Pedestrian Bridge

On my final day of Fall Break, which I spent mostly knocking out home-focused honey-do items (though I did get to Marrowbone Lake for one morning of fishing), I decided to take a walk over the John L. Seigenthaler Memorial Bridge. I had never done it before! My goal was to take a 360 panorama for my little side project, Nashville360VR, which has been suffering lately from my dedication to my new job at Warner Enhanced Elementary School. I did that, and on a whim I Periscoped it. Here's the video of that which I saved locally. Folks popped in and out--I don't think I had more than 20 or so concurrent viewers, but all in all I received 251 peeks over the 13 or so minutes or so of the 'cast. You won't see chat or comments (or hearts :), but you can view the video. Here:
video

Thanks to 'scopers for dropping in. And thanks to the powers-that-be for such a gorgeous Friday afternoon!

Here are a couple normal "pano" shots I took on my iPhone:



That is all. Oh...

If you want to see that 360, check out Nashville360VR. Bring your 3d goggles, y'all.






Sunday, September 04, 2016

Happy Labor Day Weekend

A couple quick updates:

Loving the work at Warner Enhanced Option Elementary School. It's very challenging, outside my box, and I'm making the box mine. If we can make a difference in these young people's lives we will be doing good and doing it well.

I had a lovely morning fishing and I'm now sitting at my dear in-law's new computer typing this whilst Microsoft Office installs.

I caught one nice catfish and 6 bluegill, all of which I released. I actually usually go for the fishing, not necessarily the catching, but it's good to have caught something while floating on my favorite lake, Lake Marrowbone, only 20 minutes north of my home. Thank you, Howard Harrod, wherever you find your soul these days, for gifting me your trolling motor. It works like a champ!

The Office install's almost done. My favorite octogenarians have been running Windows XP on a 7 year old Dell for too long. Last week it locked up with likely hard drive failure and well there ya go. I bought a$400 Lenovo tower from Best Buys and the Office subscription and we're up and running. Bonus: I didn't even need to install the workhorse Epson Workforce 630 all-in-one office printer. It was just recognized, drivers installed, and bingo.

Here are two picks from this morning, one of which will add to the chronicle of my MOHS surgery recovery progress. I went Thursday to get lasered. Some fun that was, but by all accounts when the bruising clears up I'll be clear and beautiful again--er--if I ever was.

Have a great long weekend. We all deserve it!!!

click me for full-size!

Laser-nosed me

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Musings on the week(s)

Starting out this post with no idea what I'm going to write, just knowing that writing helps me organize my world. Hello, dear reader!

First and foremost, I had a fantastic week at Warner Enhanced Option Elementary School! I'm not going to go on and on about it, but the less than satisfying way I was "eliminated" at Virtual School has been relegated to a thing in the past. Remember the Lion King? Rafiki swatting Simba on the head with his staff? Simba exclaiming "Ow! What'd you do that for?" Rafiki's answer, "It does not matter--it is in the past." Period.

Maybe a refresher would help:

Play me: "My future's so bright I gotta wear shades."

As I'm listening to that in the background I'm smiling. I love all my classes.

On another front, the healing from the MOHS surgery is going well. I'm pasting in a few pics to show the progress. It's funny, nearly everyone I describe this to knows someone who has had, or has themselves had, this basal skin cancer procedure.
pre-surgery, fishing

pretty immediately after surgery

rebandaged
down to a band-aid
after a haircut, lol


this very morning














That's it for this post. Time to get a move on my Saturday. I hope that yours is the best ever!

Musings on the week(s)

Starting out this post with no idea what I'm going to write, just knowing that writing helps me organize my world. Hello, dear reader!

First and foremost, I had a fantastic week at Warner Enhanced Option Elementary School! I'm not going to go on and on about it, but the less than satisfying way I was "eliminated" at Virtual School has been relegated to a thing in the past. Remember the Lion King? Rafiki swatting Simba on the head with his staff? Simba exclaiming "Ow! What'd you do that for?" Rafiki's answer, "It does not matter--it is in the past." Period.

Maybe a refresher would help:

Play me: "My future's so bright I gotta wear shades."

As I'm listening to that in the background I'm smiling. I love all my classes.

On another front, the healing from the MOHS surgery is going well. I'm pasting in a few pics to show the progress. It's funny, nearly everyone I describe this to knows someone who has had, or has themselves had, this basal skin cancer procedure.
pre-surgery, fishing

pretty immediately after surgery

rebandaged
down to a band-aid
after a haircut, lol


this very morning














That's it for this post. Time to get a move on my Saturday. I hope that yours is the best ever!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Now. New Work. Let's Stay in Touch!

Just popping in here to note that I turned in my keys to the Cohn Learning Center and the Virtual School today. It felt good. It's a long story and to be kind I don't want to tell it. Suffice it to say that though I poured my heart and soul into my work at MNPS Virtual School for six years of my life, I am done and gone. Best of luck to the school.

For all the kind and supportive words from all of my colleagues and friends on social media and other fronts, I have the most profound gratitude. You all got me through this tough spot in my professional career. I thank you, I thank you, I thank you. And to my family, with which I have been blessed despite my own failings, I love you completely and I hold you in my heart always.

Now, to the future. I am completely excited to be returning Monday to the K-4 computer lab, but this time not to an independent school, where I did similar work for 11 years, but to my new home--Warner Enhanced Option Elementary School.

When told the official ask had been requested, I created a blog for families similar to the one I maintained for a decade at University School of Nashville, and I'll likely be more often blogging there than here in upcoming weeks. I hope to to build a curriculum and a future for my  24 classes a week, K-4. I'm on it already. When my students leave for middle school, they will be armed with confidence that they have the skills to deal with the rapidly escalating flood if information. They will know how to stay safe online. They will be able to tell when information is manipulating them, instead of being there to be manipulated by them. We will scaffold all this around the new ISTE Technology Standards for Students, just released last month and exceedingly comprehensive and spot-on. Let's play. Let's be good and have fun. Let's learn, share, and enjoy our time together.

Here's a pano of my dear boy Colin in my newly spiffed up computer lab. Watch for more soon!



Have a great week.

Now I have to make some mouse pads. God bless Google. :)




Sunday, July 03, 2016

Reflections on ISTE 2016 in Denver, Colorado

It's been my annual habit since 2005 to reflect upon the goings-on at the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education. This year I am continuing the tradition. The following will be a rambling, first person, eyewitness account of events in Denver that'll mix the personal with the professional, opinion with fact, and observation with reflection. I'm making this stuff up, as are we all.

During this year's conference, I...
  1. experienced my final day as Associate Virtualization Engineer at MNPS Virtual School, a story in itself,
  2. led the most successful Virtual Environments Playground ever, and saw the partnership with the Games & Simulations Network function like clockwork to share learning, playing, and teaching in innovative ways,
  3. made several real connections that will help bolster my severely reduced income and lead me to help promote technology in education in meaningful ways,
  4. explored Denver, mostly its world-class food, with my peeps;
First:
This year's "moneyshot" from the annual meeting of ISTE VEN

Above, witness a special group of thought-leader educators who have more fun than most. The Playground on Tuesday, 2-5pm, was arguably the very best ever. See my June 21 post for that schedule. In addition to the ongoing "main stage" presentations, the tables saw consistent conversations and demonstrations that were unfailingly informational, upbeat, and helpful. Mary Howard, center above, bugged me a couple times, "What are you actually doing? You're just wandering around looking important." I guess it looked like that, but wrangling the mainstage to make sure we stayed on schedule, taking pics (with Rosie Vojtek's iPhone mostly), and Periscoping as much of the events as I could kept me busy. The layout of the Playground had two main stages, one at either end of the space, with flatpanels for presentation. This year we chose not to compete with on another with concurrent events, alternating presenters for each PLN. I was able during the keynote talk by Cynthia Colongne to bring her talk up in on the flatpanel down at the distant far end, Periscoping it up at the main stage, connecting my iPad down at the far display with a Periscope viewer on the iPad. Mash-up heaven, y'all.

Okay, here we go, more or less linearly:
Day 1, Thursday: I arrived in Denver's airport around two hours late on Thursday, June 23. It was wicked hot below us from Nashville to Denver, and we had repeatedly hit microbursts of heat along the way, resulting in the poor young mother next to me totally freaking out each time. The worst was yet to come, as our Southwest pilot made not one, not two, but three landing attempts, hitting ugly turbulence and pulling out each time. We never really got close enough to really call them landing attempts. Maybe "descent attempts" would be closer to the right nomenclature. At any rate, after the 3rd failed attempt he announced that we didn't' have enough fuel to circle in the hopes that we would wait out the turbulence, and that we were on the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Landing safely there we sat on the sunny tarmac of this tiny airport with the door open as we refueled, four other planes ahead of us in that queue. Once we had achieved a full load of jet fuel, we taxied, took off, and landed safely in Denver with little turbulence at all.

I took the train to Baggage Claim, got luggage without incident, and caught another train into downtown Denver, where my bro-in-law, Jim, picked me up outside of Union Station. Soon we were at my first Denver gnosh, fish tacos at The Pioneer, near his home. Soon after that we drove the 6 blocks or so home, to Grey Gables:
Grey Gables, est. 1887
Grey Gables, circa 1889
This was Elizabeth Iliff's (founder of Iliff School of Theology, later DU) home and is right off Observatory Park in lovely South Denver. More on that later. We stayed up a while and retired.






Day2, Friday: I woke up early, taking Ginger, the beautiful Golden Retriever,

off on a walk through the neighborhood before heading off into the first 1 mile walk of many to come. I took off west toward the University of Denver and past it, to to the DU light rail station. Walking through that campus was a joy every time. It's beautiful, and also empty of students this week, so I pretty much had it all to myself every time I walked or biked through it. Later I played around with Periscope, 'scoping several "Walking Ginger in Denver" episodes. Kinda fun. I was using those walks to practice for the 'scoping I would do at the ISTE conference. Check out all my Periscopes.

I bought my ticket from the vendor machine at the University of Denver light rail stop, hopped aboard, and went to the CCC, the Colorado Convention Center.
Spire and stands at the DU soccer field




I had arrived.

I couldn't get into the CCC yet, so I strolled around downtown for a while, landing in Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company for the first lunch, delicious clam chowder and a Caesar salad. Yum.

Coming out of lunch, I ran into my dear friend Kecia Ray, who was hosting ISTE for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. She was with Dallas Dance, a fellow board member, and after hugs and chat we parted, but not before Kecia had offered access to her penthouse room for breaks and where I could be able to stash gear I didn't want to be hauling around all day during the conference. She's the best. I took advantage of this offer several times, and it helped both my back and my feet, all of which always suffer at these things--miles to walk every day, not even taking into consideration getting to and from the train station!

I think I'll go ahead and post this, continuing later! I'm off to explore the environs with my bro-in-law. More later!

Day 3, Saturday:  I was up early and at the train station and took a minute to take my first pano of the trip, uploading it to Facebook. I was amazed to see that when it was posted it wasn't the short and wide still version, but when I viewed it on my phone it was actually interactively 3D!

In, registered, and with my Presenter ribbon mounted on my nametag, I got my first hug from Louise Maine, who was working the greeting station. I resolved to chronicle those hugs and of course stopped doing so after a dozen or so, but here's the starter list from that botched effort, copied from iPhone Notes:
Louise Maine
Kathy Schrock
Jill Brown
Lee Zeitz
Steve Hargadon
Barbara Bray
Vickie Davis
Coleen Kimball
Gordon Dahlby
Susan Larson
Kecia Ray
Jan Zanetis
Will Richardson
Mary Howard
Andy Wheelock
Sandy Wagner
Jessica Medaille
Cathy Cavanaugh
Barbara Seaton
and, and, and...
  That's the point of this conference, actually--hug collection. There were many, many more. You know who you are!

First stop, Hack Education! This "unconference" has blossomed from "EduBlogger Con" which was initiated in 2010, the brainchild of the stellar edublogger Steve Hargadon. From 8:30 to 4pm the pre-conference Saturday of ISTE, hundreds of thought leaders meet and many of them propose discussion topics. These are posted on the walls and attendees then commit to one of them by initialing the sheet, votes are counted, and however many discussions there are meeting spaces for are announced, and discussions ensue. Lunch break. Another session. and another session. This year there was an additional space for every proposed leader whose session was not chosen, where they could go and have the topic/discussion for whomever showed up. Here's a pano of the room (note the topics on the wall), and I periscoped the opening remarks, which you can view here.


I ran over to Bubba Gump's again, this time with Andy Wheelock, my brother-from-another-mother (I have several of those, don'tcha know). Then we headed back and I dived into a three hour paid session led by the amazing Will Richardson. This session:

Creating a Modern Vision for Teaching and Learning With Technology (WH022)

[Explore and create : Workshop]

Saturday, June 25, 12:30–3:30 pm
Hyatt Regency Hyatt Regency Capitol Ballroom 7

favoritesWill Richardson  
All too often, educators implement technology into their classrooms and schools without a clear, compelling vision for its use. As a result, little or nothing really changes in terms of the learning interaction for students. We'll take a look at how to build a vision that transforms, not just digitizes, learning.

Will pretty much held forth for the entire 3 hours, and I could have done 3 more. The core of the session was that we need to align our beliefs about what powerful learning is with our practices. Here's a graphic that I put together from Will's work that he shared to help hammer the point (with apologies for the unclosed quote):
I have just simply had too much fun in Denver with my in-laws and my honey. I do promise I'll be completing this thang next week, the week of July 11! I have copious notes and my memory box is still working pretty darned well. For now, last night the Denver Rockies demolished the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 on a beautiful, if a bit sweaty, evening at Coors Field. Here are two panos:

I promise!

Day 4 (Day 1), Sunday:

This was the first official day of the conference!

I tooled in on the train and went right in, visiting the Expo floor. What a complete zoo! It always is, and this year was no exception. I
PLACEHOLDER--WILL BE CONTINUED AND UPDATED UNTIL COMPLETE!



Reflections on ISTE 2016 in Denver, Colorado

It's been my annual habit since 2005 to reflect upon the goings-on at the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education. This year I am continuing the tradition. The following will be a rambling, first person, eyewitness account of events in Denver that'll mix the personal with the professional, opinion with fact, and observation with reflection. I'm making this stuff up, as are we all.

During this year's conference, I...
  1. experienced my final day as Associate Virtualization Engineer at MNPS Virtual School, a story in itself,
  2. led the most successful Virtual Environments Playground ever, and saw the partnership with the Games & Simulations Network function like clockwork to share learning, playing, and teaching in innovative ways,
  3. made several real connections that will help bolster my severely reduced income and lead me to help promote technology in education in meaningful ways,
  4. explored Denver, mostly its world-class food, with my peeps;
First:
This year's "moneyshot" from the annual meeting of ISTE VEN

Above, witness a special group of thought-leader educators who have more fun than most. The Playground on Tuesday, 2-5pm, was arguably the very best ever. See my June 21 post for that schedule. In addition to the ongoing "main stage" presentations, the tables saw consistent conversations and demonstrations that were unfailingly informational, upbeat, and helpful. Mary Howard, center above, bugged me a couple times, "What are you actually doing? You're just wandering around looking important." I guess it looked like that, but wrangling the mainstage to make sure we stayed on schedule, taking pics (with Rosie Vojtek's iPhone mostly), and Periscoping as much of the events as I could kept me busy. The layout of the Playground had two main stages, one at either end of the space, with flatpanels for presentation. This year we chose not to compete with on another with concurrent events, alternating presenters for each PLN. I was able during the keynote talk by Cynthia Colongne to bring her talk up in on the flatpanel down at the distant far end, Periscoping it up at the main stage, connecting my iPad down at the far display with a Periscope viewer on the iPad. Mash-up heaven, y'all.

Okay, here we go, more or less linearly:
Day 1, Thursday: I arrived in Denver's airport around two hours late on Thursday, June 23. It was wicked hot below us from Nashville to Denver, and we had repeatedly hit microbursts of heat along the way, resulting in the poor young mother next to me totally freaking out each time. The worst was yet to come, as our Southwest pilot made not one, not two, but three landing attempts, hitting ugly turbulence and pulling out each time. We never really got close enough to really call them landing attempts. Maybe "descent attempts" would be closer to the right nomenclature. At any rate, after the 3rd failed attempt he announced that we didn't' have enough fuel to circle in the hopes that we would wait out the turbulence, and that we were on the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Landing safely there we sat on the sunny tarmac of this tiny airport with the door open as we refueled, four other planes ahead of us in that queue. Once we had achieved a full load of jet fuel, we taxied, took off, and landed safely in Denver with little turbulence at all.

I took the train to Baggage Claim, got luggage without incident, and caught another train into downtown Denver, where my bro-in-law, Jim, picked me up outside of Union Station. Soon we were at my first Denver gnosh, fish tacos at The Pioneer, near his home. Soon after that we drove the 6 blocks or so home, to Grey Gables:
Grey Gables, est. 1887
Grey Gables, circa 1889
This was Elizabeth Iliff's (founder of Iliff School of Theology, later DU) home and is right off Observatory Park in lovely South Denver. More on that later. We stayed up a while and retired.






Day2, Friday: I woke up early, taking Ginger, the beautiful Golden Retriever,

off on a walk through the neighborhood before heading off into the first 1 mile walk of many to come. I took off west toward the University of Denver and past it, to to the DU light rail station. Walking through that campus was a joy every time. It's beautiful, and also empty of students this week, so I pretty much had it all to myself every time I walked or biked through it. Later I played around with Periscope, 'scoping several "Walking Ginger in Denver" episodes. Kinda fun. I was using those walks to practice for the 'scoping I would do at the ISTE conference. Check out all my Periscopes.

I bought my ticket from the vendor machine at the University of Denver light rail stop, hopped aboard, and went to the CCC, the Colorado Convention Center.
Spire and stands at the DU soccer field




I had arrived.

I couldn't get into the CCC yet, so I strolled around downtown for a while, landing in Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company for the first lunch, delicious clam chowder and a Caesar salad. Yum.

Coming out of lunch, I ran into my dear friend Kecia Ray, who was hosting ISTE for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. She was with Dallas Dance, a fellow board member, and after hugs and chat we parted, but not before Kecia had offered access to her penthouse room for breaks and where I could be able to stash gear I didn't want to be hauling around all day during the conference. She's the best. I took advantage of this offer several times, and it helped both my back and my feet, all of which always suffer at these things--miles to walk every day, not even taking into consideration getting to and from the train station!

I think I'll go ahead and post this, continuing later! I'm off to explore the environs with my bro-in-law. More later!

Day 3, Saturday:  I was up early and at the train station and took a minute to take my first pano of the trip, uploading it to Facebook. I was amazed to see that when it was posted it wasn't the short and wide still version, but when I viewed it on my phone it was actually interactively 3D!

In, registered, and with my Presenter ribbon mounted on my nametag, I got my first hug from Louise Maine, who was working the greeting station. I resolved to chronicle those hugs and of course stopped doing so after a dozen or so, but here's the starter list from that botched effort, copied from iPhone Notes:
Louise Maine
Kathy Schrock
Jill Brown
Lee Zeitz
Steve Hargadon
Barbara Bray
Vickie Davis
Coleen Kimball
Gordon Dahlby
Susan Larson
Kecia Ray
Jan Zanetis
Will Richardson
Mary Howard
Andy Wheelock
Sandy Wagner
Jessica Medaille
Cathy Cavanaugh
Barbara Seaton
and, and, and...
  That's the point of this conference, actually--hug collection. There were many, many more. You know who you are!

First stop, Hack Education! This "unconference" has blossomed from "EduBlogger Con" which was initiated in 2010, the brainchild of the stellar edublogger Steve Hargadon. From 8:30 to 4pm the pre-conference Saturday of ISTE, hundreds of thought leaders meet and many of them propose discussion topics. These are posted on the walls and attendees then commit to one of them by initialing the sheet, votes are counted, and however many discussions there are meeting spaces for are announced, and discussions ensue. Lunch break. Another session. and another session. This year there was an additional space for every proposed leader whose session was not chosen, where they could go and have the topic/discussion for whomever showed up. Here's a pano of the room (note the topics on the wall), and I periscoped the opening remarks, which you can view here.


I ran over to Bubba Gump's again, this time with Andy Wheelock, my brother-from-another-mother (I have several of those, don'tcha know). Then we headed back and I dived into a three hour paid session led by the amazing Will Richardson. This session:

Creating a Modern Vision for Teaching and Learning With Technology (WH022)

[Explore and create : Workshop]

Saturday, June 25, 12:30–3:30 pm
Hyatt Regency Hyatt Regency Capitol Ballroom 7

favoritesWill Richardson  
All too often, educators implement technology into their classrooms and schools without a clear, compelling vision for its use. As a result, little or nothing really changes in terms of the learning interaction for students. We'll take a look at how to build a vision that transforms, not just digitizes, learning.

Will pretty much held forth for the entire 3 hours, and I could have done 3 more. The core of the session was that we need to align our beliefs about what powerful learning is with our practices. Here's a graphic that I put together from Will's work that he shared to help hammer the point (with apologies for the unclosed quote):
I have just simply had too much fun in Denver with my in-laws and my honey. I do promise I'll be completing this thang next week, the week of July 11! I have copious notes and my memory box is still working pretty darned well. For now, last night the Denver Rockies demolished the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 on a beautiful, if a bit sweaty, evening at Coors Field. Here are two panos:

I promise!


PLACEHOLDER--WILL BE CONTINUED AND UPDATED UNTIL COMPLETE!