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Call to Volunteer

Hey, ISTE members and other curious humans,

Pardon the long and textual post, but I have an important question to ask: Have you been wondering what the meaning of "reality' is?

At the ISTE Virtual Environments Network, we've been exploring that question since before 2000! Surprisingly, we have found some answers. Our professional learning network orbits around the concept of "together at a distance," a term coined by co-founding member Peggy Sheehy. With the advent of new technologies like 3D goggles and rapidly developing innovations in virtual worlds--some of which are actually experientially accessible within 3D goggles--we might expand that concept to "together, anywhere, at a distance."

We meet at least twice a month, together, from wherever we are. It is not unusual for us to gather around a crackling campfire, seated comfortably, dressed stylishly, and everyone lookin' good, to discuss PLN business. I am on a kitchen counter stool in my home …
Recent posts

Written and produced this morning

I hear this as a sort of Irish folk song, lilting and lyrical, and I may yet make it a song. I had to get it down this morning, inspired by the snapshot of a native neighbor's backyard set. Can you guess which line came to me first?

New Song

Hey, I've got a couple new songs in the works, but this one is nearly done so I'm puttin' it out there. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I love fishing. I often say the fishing is excellent even if the catching is not. Well, not that often, since I do most always catch and release those finned and scaley denizens of the aquaverse.



Here are a couple pics I took just a couple weeks ago:


And here's my song, just invented today and put together with Audacity in 9 tracks:Lake Marrowbone



Moving through 2019 (it's all going to be okay)

Blogslacker that I am, I drop in here on a Saturday morning to share with you that I'm actually really blogging more regularly at my classroom blog. To see a few things, head on over to the Falcons Tech Lab blog and subscribe to that one if you want to keep up. More and more, I'm focusing on my work at my work, trying to establish a solid learning environment for my ~800 students who cycle through it in the course of a school year in 9 week chunks.
It's a continually changing set of challenges, with 8 good-sized classes each 9 weeks, coming in in alternating A-day/B-day rotations. Our kids are largely in Hispanic-rooted families. Recently I polled a 9-weeks set of classes to see exactly how the language piece breaks down. This was in the way of an end of quarter reflections poll, using Google Forms as its vehicle. Look at this:
I do maybe have one little announcement. Those close to me may remember that I have been planning to retire at the end of the school year 2019-2020…

New Year

Today is January 6 of the new year 2019.

I have always reluctantly tolerated the long "holiday letters" some folks have shared with me over time. I don't know, the practice just seems somehow narcissistic, creating a journal entry intended to summarize a year of work, play, and family ups and downs. It smacks of the chain letter. On the other hand, I'm not a very good friend--sluggish to reach out and ask how my few true friends are doing, what's happening and why, how can I help and support them. In that other hand, the other side of the coin is also true: I don't share much, really. Perhaps there should be a study of the stages of social media sharing. It might go something like this:
CuriosityLurkingTentativeness  EmboldenedOversharingEmbarrassmentWithdrawalAbandonment Okay, I haven't worked my way through 6-8 yet, but I suppose I am working on them or scheduled by the higher powers to experience them, and perhaps they are not stages that play out in a …

ISTEVENFocus112018Valibrarian

For our November 2018 third Tuesday ISTE Virtual Environments Network Focus Session, we welcomed Valerie Hill, aka Valibrarian Gregg, to the VEN Headquarters for "Digital Citizenship: Sharing Stories through a Community Drum."  Watch...

Then if you are of a resource-exploration mind, explore...




English Learners and EdTech

In my school, in my computer lab, over 65% of the students are English Language Learners. I struggle with ways to help them. The best results are when I can literally take a knee, point to their computer screens so that they are doing the clicking, and help them one-on-one. That can't always happen, since there are so many more of them in any of my 8 sections every 9 weeks than there are of me. 
But help is on the way: An esteemed colleague at McMurray MS shared this information last week with all our teachers. I highly suggest allotting some planning time to explore this wealth of information about EdTech and ELL. If English Learners are in your classes, and they sure are in mine, it will be a help to you! Copying and pasting his email (from Mr. Jason Smith at McMurray Middle School: FYI: “This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The…