Monday, April 06, 2015

A Little Listening

A little listening is a good thing, especially if one really, truly listens.

My feelings were hurt last night when my completely loved wife said (and by no means is this the first time she's said this) "It just feels like you never listen to me." That this was stated in response to my wandering around the house looking for my Surface RT device, which she had told me earlier was in the living room on the sofa with the dots on it, and that this statement wounded me in any measure, are but indicators of the emotional range this week has in store.

Those who know me already know that my dear Miranda Lee is marrying this week. And you already know that I am elated. We all are. These two humans were made for each other if ever any two humans were. Don't worry about the wounded brat, dear reader. It's all better now. Nothing a little snuggling and a few hours sleep can't completely fix. Any other husbands ever hear a similar claim from your loving spouse?

I arose an hour ago, at 5am, when Ruby the Cat launched into a particularly frenzied version of the Song of her People, reminding me that I had not listened to her last night as she tried to convey to me that I had not served her dinner.

After feeding the menagerie I logged into my laptop in the family room with a fresh cup of java, and   I gifted myself the 7:04 minutes required to listen yet again to my future (very near future--hell he already is) son-in-law wail expertly on a jazz track without a drum track. He posted this last week as part of his burgeoning work in rhythm education, and I at the time noted it on The Book of The Face and had failed to get back to it (I hadn't listened) until just yesterday, when I revisited it and started sharing it. I want to share again, and then I want to share one of the results returned from Google searching, in quotes, my incredibly beautiful daughter's full name. This may help you understand, in some measure, at least from one perspective (of the many), why I will be happy to walk my daughter down that aisle on Thursday.

For now, maybe I want to prove I can listen. Maybe I want you to. Maybe I just want to add a gigantic glow to the rest of your day. Here are my two Monday morning gifts to you:


and


Have a lovely week (we will) and when you see the Nashville Buells after they return from their honeymoon in Mexico next week, tell them you listened.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Home from Massachusetts School Accreditation Trip

Hey, y'all,

Last Tuesday night I returned home from 3 days spent in Maynard, Massachusetts. I was honored and pleased to have been invited to serve on an External Review Team for AdvancED, the accreditation body who this past Fall had reviewed my own online school and awarded us a 5 year accreditation based on final review numbers the lead evaluator called "statistical anomoly" due to their across-the-board superlative high ranges when compared to like schools internationally.

AdvancED is dedicated to helping schools improve, and on a vast scale. From their website's About page:
AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.
Combining the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change, we serve as a trusted partner to 32,000 schools and school systems—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations. AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2011.
 It was truly a learning experience for me, and I feel privileged to have worked so closely with the team chosen to review and recommend accreditation for The Virtual High School in Maynard, an organization providing learning opportunities to students worldwide utilizing a unique model to do so for nearly 20,000 students in 47 states and 34 countries. Thanks to Wendy Amato; Marcel Monnar; and Donna Richardson, team Lead Evaluator, for their collegial collaboration and to everyone at VHS for their gracious hospitality and openness through the process!

Here's hoping for some relief up there from the incredible winter they have experienced. It was 15 degrees Fahrenheit our last morning, and though streets are clear there's still plenty of snow on the ground, up to 4 or 5 feet in places.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tweet Feed for Friday's Keynote and Session at NYSCATE Digital Wave in West Seneca, NY!

Here it is!

Working Outside the Space Outside the Space Outside of the Box--

I just returned home from what I'm calling a "drive-by keynote." I flew out of Nashville early yesterday morning with a short connection in Philadelphia, had dinner with my dear buddy Andy Wheelock in Fredonia, NY, slept two doors down from his lovely home in a beautiful bed and breakfast (Edwards Waterhouse Inn), had breakfast with his two wonderful daughters, rode the 45 minutes with him to West Seneca, delivered my 45 minute keynote, attended Andy's GREAT session "60 Google Apps in 60 minutes," served up a technology-challenged but well attended/received session on 3D Virtual Learning Environments, and flew home, taking a break to enjoy dinner at Wolfgang Puck's in the Chicago airport. I sit here pretty durned pleased that the twitrecord will show (search #outtheboxdw15) the keynote was fun and informative and inspiring and not just for me. Andy streamed it over Google Hangouts, so...

Thanks, NYSCATE and all those dedicated teachers bringing good change to Western NY. It starts with you!

And here's a link to the .pdf version of my presentation.
All the videos included in it can be viewed in the "video" folder at the same link.
Finally, here's my brief share during my noon workshop session with Andrew Wheelock the same day: Enjoy, and Try Something new!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Working in the Space Outside of the Space Outside of the Box

Looking so forward to having dinner with the multi-talented edtech thought leader Andy Wheelock Thursday night and kicking off the Digital Wave conference in West Seneca, NY next Friday morning. If you can be there, be there, and if you can't, watch here for my presentation and keep an eye on #outtheboxdw15 in the Twitdom Friday. Join in if you will and come if you can!

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.