Monday, May 16, 2016

Symbaloo Virtual Environments

Hey, y'll,
I spent a bit o' time over the weekend creating a Symbaloo mix for Virtual Environments. I think you might find it useful if you want to share some seminal resources on the topic. Embedding here:

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Horizons for this Olde Educator--"Eliminated"

Well, well, well. Just when I thought I was on track to spend the final few years of my education career making sure that MNPS Virtual School (which I helped create from nothing) has a future worthy of all the planning, design and implementation we have put into it since August, 2010,  it appears that my job position is to be "eliminated" on June 30, 2016.

I'm looking forward to exploring new opportunities in the coming school year, most likely in an elementary classroom for the first time in nearly six years. I have applied for several 10 month teaching positions and I'm hoping to hear soon from the right principal in the right school who has an identified need for an experienced, innovative, and student-centered classroom teacher in grade 3 or 4. Perhaps this is just the world's way of telling me I need to be working more closely, and daily, with young learners--giving them direct and daily support and encouragement, challenging them, and helping them understand how to be both safe and productive in today's and tomorrow's accelerating landslide of information. One thing is  sure--we'll have fun together. That's been my teacher tagline since my first 3rd grade classroom in 1996:

I'm looking forward.

But wait, one slight detour...

"Eliminated?" I didn't know that was even a thing. Wow. Let's see what Google has to say about that word:
Let me say it straight: I find myself feeling baffled, confused, devalued and even disrespected by what has been presented as a necessity "due to budget cuts for the school year 2016-17." But I will not let all that make me bitter. I am too positive for that. I care too much. I have too much to offer to let it bring me down. Forward we go.

After June 30, dear reader, I'm a free agent.

If you know of any interesting opportunities that might be pursued, let me know. I don't want to move from my new home in The Nations Nashville, but I can and will commute for the right work.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Heist: A Who-Done-It

Dear reader,

If you are on the fence of the Sanders/Clinton voting decision, I ask you to challenge yourself to watch (or play in the background while you work and listen) to this less than 30 minute "extended trailer" to help you decide where you stand and where you believe you should stand. To my mind, the most moving piece of it is (the author of America Beyond Capitalism) Gar Alperovitz's brief for for it...

Vote, America. Corporations have deregulated the economy into near-complete submission and are systematically denying huge numbers of primary voters their right to vote. Double-check your voter registration status and be prepared to come out the remaining primaries, and in November, in numbers previously unimagined. Can we believe that these efforts will not quadruple in the coming general election?

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

New monthly meetup for Writers Workshop!

Guest post by Barbara Seaton, aka Helena Kiama--Thanks, Barbara!

 Please join us for this maiden voyage of a new feature at ISTE Virtual Environments Network.

  Tuesday, April 5th, at 5:00 p.m. SLT:

Mementos Cathedral in Chouchou

Have you ever been immersed in music or visited a place that transported you to another reality or evoked feelings that made you see things in another light? In those moments you transcend the day-to-day busy thoughts, focusing on some small aspect of life in which you gain new insight.
Join us in the new ISTE SL VEN Writer’s group as we find and experience thought-provoking regions in Second Life that use visual and audio components to take us into another reality in our thoughts. From there will we write about our experiences, whether it be a poem, short story, essay, a short video, or just thoughts, to share with the group the following month.
For our first meeting, we will travel together to such a region, and spend some time there, exploring, taking pics, listening to the music, and letting ourselves become immersed in the moment. Some may wish to free write (write whatever comes to mind) during this time.

We will initially meet at the VEN headquarters at and travel together to our first region.


Mementos is a cathedral floating in the sky. It is a very old build in Second Life, but absolutely beautiful in detail.
You can pick up their cinematic HUD at the entrance which moves your camera slowly. I highly recommend you walk into the cathedral and find a good spot for your avatar before putting it on. Otherwise, it can be a little difficult to walk. Once the HUD is on, use your arrow keys to set your camera “flying.” (What is happening is that your avatar is turning, but the camera is delayed, then floats smoothly to catch up and swings past you.) Combine this with scrolling in and out and just enjoy. Hitting ESC returns your camera to you.
Be sure to have your audio stream working to listen to the music. For photographers in the group, you may wish to set your graphics to advanced lighting.
Once we arrive and go in, we ask that you keep IMs and chat to a minimum to allow yourself and others to become immersed in the experience.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Join in April 9 for the SL MOOC Webinar

This should be fun. We'll have an expanding table and a skeleton of an agenda of topics. Come join us and we'll discuss, yes,  "Everything about ISTE Virtual Environments Network." Established in 2009 as the ISTE "Special Interest Group for Virtual Environments," this community dates back further than that; we just made it official then. It's complicated. It's funny. It's important in important ways. I will be periscoping the session, just for fun. Be there.

If you can't be there, maybe you can contribute if you have pics from 'way back or any comment to add to the conversation. If either, tweet those babies out to #istevenslmooc anytime between now and April 9 and we'll see what we can do to work them in.

I suggest you join the MOOC. As I said, this'll be fun. See who else is presenting"
Second Life MOOC 2016 Presentations   
Life(s) is good,