Monday, February 23, 2015

ArtistSignal -- a Plea for a Couple Clicks Before March 1

Hey, y'all,

I have recently been appealing via social media for folks to give a few clicks to Tim Buell's (my future son-in-law's) band, Remedy Drive, on ArtistSignal.com. I want to apologize if that vote-mongering is in any way offensive to any of my friends, followers, or flock. That said, and said sincerely, I hope you understand that I have been doing so because:

1) Remedy Drive have for several months been running a very close second to each month's $10,000 award winner,
2) This band, whether you are of the Christian persuasion or not, has created one of the richest, most eloquent, most enjoyable listens of the year in the album, Commodity,
3) Their powerful spotlight on human trafficking deserves a spotlight of its own,
and
4) Supporting this small band of brilliant young musicians seems the right thing to do.

If you don't know the backstory of the recording, you can learn more about its leader's clandestine journey to an unspecified Far East country to work with Exodus Road in order to help rescue young human beings caught in the web if international sex and slave trafficking at their Wikipedia page or at their website. Heady stuff, and again, worthy of recognition.

Give Commodity a listen and vote (I vote hourly!) at ArtistSignal.com . This month's competition is almost over, and the lead they have held all month is threatened by a New Zealand band who, I'm sure, is almost as worthy. But not this month, please.

I thank you in advance!

Scott in Nashville

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Busy busy busy!

Okay, I believe this weather has come up in order to give me a bit of a break to get my house(s) in order.
Ice on the foliage suggests road conditions

If you read my previous post about NYSCATE Digital Wave and more, it was already pretty clear I'm fairly stretched this season. Yesterday MNPS closed its Main Office, telling not only 10 and 11 month employees (who are off with pay on school closure days) but 12 monthers, of whom I am one, to stay home and off the treacherous, icy roads--an almost unprecedented move. Today, they are calling office and 12 month staff workers in late, at 10, with the option to remain home by using a vacation or personal day. I'm going to exercise that option and cash in one of my stockpiled vacation days. Cool. [Even cooler--while I'm writing this they tell us all to stay home again, saving me a vacation day! To quote the email announcement: 

 
12 month employees:
 
We are shutting down the entire system again today (Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  Road conditions are as bad or worse than I’ve seen since 1993.
Please stay home and stay safe.]

One of the things I am working on is the online training for yet another upcoming travel experience, the trip to Maynard, Massachusetts on March 21 to serve on a 3 day external review team for AdvanceEd, the accrediting body for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and for other international organizations, including our own Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

I was invited to do so a couple of months ago, on the basis of our own stellar results in the online school accreditation review, where our numbers were so high in relation to the average results of the ~32,000 schools regularly reviewed that we were called "a statistical anomoly" in the Executive Review presentation. See the review document, and read this "Children First" announcement from Feb. 2, which I will cherish always.

I'm working on two keynote addresses today as well. One for my March 13 NYSCATE appearance, and one for my part in our Leadership Team keynote for v-TEACH15, a week from Friday and the next day at Martin Center here in Nashville. There's still time to register and make plans to attend, and Music City should be de-iced by then! My pups sure hope so:
Graphic representation of the concept "Forlorn"

And I will be playing some ukelele today. And maybe some WoW. And looking at mounting Sim-on-a-stick for our MNPS Virtual World I. And napping. Thank you, oh Weather, for the day to pursue a broad range of interests at will. Y'all: Stay safe and warm.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Drax Files: World Makers [Episode 26: Absinthe]

Who's that in the frame around 4:50 in? Why, it's Scottmerrick Oh, y'all. Draxtor has created a really lovely video that might help some of us explain the lure and the beauty of Second Life. I for one enjoy popping into Music Row Nashville every once in a while to take in some live music. And of course meeting with my distance challenged global community regularly at ISTE Virtual Environments Network.



Watch!



Monday, January 05, 2015

NYSCATE Digital Wave in March--KEYNOTE! and omg

I'm pretty buzzed. Thanks to my friend Andy Wheelock, primarily, I'm sharing my first (and maybe only--I don't aspire to be a road warrior) conference keynote address at the NYSCATE Digital Wave conference this March 13. They folks there shared info in a flyer today (see above). You can read it in the copy I saved in my Dropbox.

There's so much going on this spring.

Top of the list is my lovely daughter's wedding to much loved Tim Buell in April. I'm proud and happy and already rehearsing my toast, which I'll likely flub despite the rehearsal.

Before we get there, though, there's the first annual v-TEACH Leadership Institute Feb. 27-28, then the aforementioned keynote in Western New York. I will also be presenting a session about 3DVLEs there. Be there or be non-virtually square.

Colin had his first day today at what one knowledgeable singer-songwriter friend categorized as "the best recording studio in the world" this very day. He'll complete 6 months of daily coursework at Blackbird Academy and emerge expert in studio recording. He's recording 8 songs now with Reel Love recording studio here, on his own with Bad Ladies, and I can't wait to hear the final runs. Lee Ann and I are the Executive Producers, investing toward the sure day when the world embraces his immense talent.

Lee Ann will be opening the Tin Wings storefront in the Nashville The Nations Neighborhood any week now. Prepare to be amazed and blessed by enhanced access to artful food of the highest order. I took in a test kitchen batch of "Butternut Squash Crumble Bars" today and the verdict from colleagues was unanimous: Tin Wings Worthy!

We'll put the house on the market shortly after Miranda's wedding. It's too much house for the two of us and we need a moving adventure. We're tired of walking past rooms we don't use!

There's stuff brewing at MNPS Virtual School I can't even talk about, but I can talk about my excitement at taking over our Middle School World History class as v-teacher. I'm diving into that full force, finally able to do what I've helped others do for years now--teach online. The spring semester consists of ancient history topics like the Roman Empire, Indian and Chinese dynasties, and Eastern and Western Africa. I'm of course working my way through the course content now, in order to be familiar with what the students have been working with. It's very neat stuff! It can be better, I know, and I'll work to make it so.
Julius Scottus
Keep on doing the next right thing. That's what's driving me.

#thisisnotaholidayupdate





Thursday, December 18, 2014

v-TEACH in February! Climb Aboard!

...learn more!

Come join practitioners of the fastest developing field of public schooling: Virtual Schooling. You'll learn more than you can imagine. Calls for proposals also at the site! Click that image above to get started!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Webinar Tomorrow, December 9--Dr. Kecia Ray!

Hello, scottmerrickdotnetkins,

Just a quick heads-up to put on your alarm/calendar for tomorrow, my dear friend Dr. Kecia Ray's share session via the International Society for Technology in Education's Online Learning Network. She'll be offering tips, tricks, and truth about Blended Learning.

I've been friends with Kecia since the late 20th century, when we worked together at the Vanderbilt Office of Science Research, before it became a Center at Vanderbilt University. Back then, we were pushing some boundaries by helping to bring interactive videoconferencing to public schools, linking students to experts all around the globe. It's hard to believe that was innovative, in these days of Facetime and Skype.

As Executive Directory for Learning Technology with Metro Nashville Public Schools, Kecia Ray hired me in 2010, to begin crafting online learning options for our large (42nd largest of ~13,600 in the nation) school district. To her credit, she hasn't fired me yet. And she's provided me with the best colleagues in the world, all interested the the same thing--student success.

Kecia, beyond being a superb professional educator and administrator who can out-negotiate any vendor or administrator, is a funny and charmingly charismatic human being. Attend. You will not be disappointed:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time (US & Canada))

Online Instructions:
Url: http://docs.google.com/a/wayne.k12.in.us/forms/d/1UNcqjeJ_l9V-2KYRjFbQngKezLfQD5gsKsyDrVM3WZo/viewform
Login: At 4 PM EST on Tuesday, December 9, please log in as a guest to iste.adobeconnect.com/isteoln.
Michele Eaton
(317) 988-8651

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Have a Scott Christmas

with music from the folk music past of yours truly. I share these tunes annually, and this year I've decided to do so using SoundCloud, a fabulous music sharing platform I often browse to hear new music, especially that of friends I respect and admire.

So, here. Have fun and don't let the sticks and coal get ya down:

https://soundcloud.com/groups/have-a-scott-christmas