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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blizzard in Denver 2006!

Oksie Doksie, ya'll, here's the photo album, to be added to as we snap pics in the snow, around town (after the roads clear!) and at the tree. This album is gonna be HUGE, hence I took out the displaying version from this page! Here's an ABC News story!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Toonz

As a proud dad I must share with you a quick PDA-recording of my lovely daughter Miranda singing the National Anthem at USN's Homecoming 2006 basketball games. Our girls' and our boys' teams both won, of course, largely inspired by the pre-game singing! Here's the music file.

Later in the week, my lovely daughter donned choir vestments and a sparkly golden halo and joined the musicians in the organ balcony to sing "O Holy Night" to an assembled group of parents and children about to participate in the annual Christmas Pageant at Christ Church Cathedral here in Nashville. There will certainly be a photo album of the event and when it's up I'll edit here to add a link to it. Listen to the opening offering, straight from my heart's heart, then, hear the single verse closer, both beautifully filtering through myriad children's noises and crowd static.

Oh, and (on an immeasurably less beautiful note) here's my annual gift to anyone who can find it here :), my "Elf Who's King of Country," originally recorded at Sun/Plantation records back in the mid-eighties, released as a 45 rpm single, and now here for your holiday chuckle.

I'm hoping to release a 2 song CD next holiday season, featuring "Elf" and "Moose Nuggets for Christmas." Here's a beta version mock-up for the cover, Ho Ho HO...

Picture snapped by my 4th grade student Gracie!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ahhh, Including Students in the Plan

This place is so random. Sometimes personal posts, sometimes professional, sometimes just something I so darned know needs to be shared that I share it.

This post's just to note a neat one from Lucie deLaBruere at the InfiniteThinkingMachine blog, all about including your students in your planning for technology as it develops. Check that out!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving Treats!

We have so much to be thankful for. Our day out at Blue Moon Farm B&B was wonderful, culminating in a bonfire replete with roasted marshmallows. Here's a slideshow:

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And, and, and!!! My friend Scott Slone, host of the Alaska Podshow podcast, did a special show on Thanksgiving evening because he was inspired to do so by one of my own songs. Listen to it here!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Atlanta NAEYC!

After driving down from school after my last class Thursday (don't know I'll ever make that decision again--it was hard, even with a good book listen, Stephen King's Cell ) I'm finally getting into the swing at the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Atlanta, participating in a session by George Forman, Community Nursery School, Lexington, MA. It's an interesting session in the Tech Resource Room where I'll be doing my presentation a little later today. George is advocating a text-based presentation for video clips (over the creation of linear video) using a combination of Microsoft Word and Quicktime Pro to create text documents with hyperlinks that open brief clips of video. This has prompted me to pop over to the Apple site to upgrade my Quicktime Basic to Quicktime Pro, something I've been putting off ever since an iTunes upgrade last year rendered my already-paid-for previous upgrade useless. If that happens again, Steve Jobs, I'm gonna be less than happy...

Extensis Portfolio is a file organization software that he highly recommends, though I just checked that online (blogging this during the session) and it's a $199.99 piece of software. Perhaps some good file management habits with folders and filenames would do the trick, too. There's always Picassa!

More later!

Here's more from the second session. Diane Gross from blank slate Board Books just served up an interesting session on ways to create classroom books from templates available at her company's website. I'm walking from the session with a CD that I'll share with our teachers, and I'll include the website in the teacher resources on our webliographer.

Then the presentation was Lynn Hartle, University of Central Florida Distance Learning guru, who shared some rich resources for anyone interested in doing that themselves. That would be me, and that would be me hoping to enrich the professional development and earning income potential of all my colleagues. A very shareshare experience.


I'm sitting in Gail Lovely's session with all kinds of littlekid websites. Look for some new sites at K1-GoHere! soon! This woman is the real deal when it comes to seeking out and sharing great websites for teachers and students.

My own session went great. Though I started out like a Nervous Nelly, I settled down and got the job done, finishing with an entertaining and informative Skype video interchange with's creator and producer, Jason Barnard. Seems he's finalized the European contract for the Boowa and Kwala Show (working title?) and is now off into the development process for that. The best part was the instantaneous verification of Premium@School accounts for all 20 or so teachers present. Woo. Woo! I'm off to find a burger and early to bed for a full day of sessions an a venture out to the exhibitor floor tomorrrow!


The Next Day:

Saturday I slept late (for me, 'til 8) then I was down to the conference center by 10 or so, to spend 2 1/2 hours on the exhibitor floor. I'm so glad I did, discovering a number of products that can help our youngest children in the classroom, from furniture to software to some amazing science resources from Steve Spangler Science. Among the most fun and interesting is "insta-snow." Yeah, I bought some. Stay tuned.

I popped my head into several sessions after lunch, but the pervasive tone was clearly "we're outta here," and they were sparsely attended and not very pertinent to my work or those of our colleagues. Most valuably, I made the closing session, an extraordinarily inspirational (I admit to a tear or two) address and songs by Raffi, and managed to get him to sign a copy of his new CD for the library. His new book, Child Honoring, is a must-purchase for the library. Wow. Here's a pic from the signing part. I'll cherish this picture. This man is a magic one: The forward in his book is by the Dalai Lama, for goodness sakes!

A funny story: I mentioned to him that I saw him perform in Nashville 11 years ago with my little girl, who's now a junior in high school, and told him that I had been tempted to go onstage today for a hug when the 40 women went up to dance with him (click on the pic below for that) and lined up for hugs before leaving the stage. What did he do? He signed our CD "To USN Teachers," posed for the pic-- taken by the wonderful lady in line behind me--and then he turned and hugged me. I've been hugged by Raffi! Yay!!!!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Newness for!

After spending a weekend at a professional conference, I decided to update my lame old website, and the best way I can do that on the fly is to morph it into a blog. I do most of my work here anyway, now don't I?

Content from the old site will gradually appear in the navigation sidebar. Like my life, it'll be a work in progress!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

NECC 2006 -- Scott Merrick in San Diego, or "How I Spent My Summer"

Just returned from the National Educational Computing Conference in San Diego, California where I presented three times and caught some amazing presentations by other folks. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the many blogger-reporters for the eSchoolNews website, and I'm posting here direct links to the four sessions upon which I reported:

Assessment and Beyond: Student-Driven Electronic Portfolios

Choose Your Own Wiki Adventure: Using Wikis with K-12 Students

From Gutenberg to Gates to Google and Beyond

Telling the New Story: Promoting Visions for 21st Century Classrooms

and there is a wonderful blog post about my "Birds-of-a-Feather" session, by (full disclosure alert) my pal Janine Lim at her blog, which is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in videoconferencing in the service of education. Read that post here.

There's a lot more about my sessions at my desktop IVC blog here.

Finally, I had a marvelous, relaxing, rejuvenating vacation visit of two days with my closest friend, James Morrison and his family and I posted a couple of pics at my (low profile, personal sharing blog) personal site to share with loved ones. If you are reading this, you may not be quite in that category but you are "family," so here's the link to that.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

L.A. Visit with Jimmy

Just to post a couple interesting pics gleaned from my visit with my true brother, James Morrison. The first I think is from 1984, the second from last week (taken by the very able photographer, Seamus). I was able to tag a couple days with James and his beautiful and gracious wife Riad onto a very productive trip to San Diego for NECC, the National Educational Computing Conference. The jaunt up to LA, via a lovely train ride, was mostly to spend some time with my godson, Seamus Morrison. Though I'm not all that godly, I do get more so when I am able to be around my twin brother-from-separate-mothers. Case in point: We purchased, unbeknownst to one another, the exact same glasses frames. How weird is that, with him in California and me in Tennessee?

Anyway, here are the pics:

Friday, February 24, 2006

Colin's Talent Day--Colin and Matthew Rock!

I had to do it, proud parent that I am. Colin and his buddy Matthew have been rehearsing off and on for a couple months to perform their original song at their 4th grade talent day. They did it! I took some video with my still cam and did a quick edit with Microsoft Movie Maker. Here 'tis!!!

Colin's definitely learning his guitar the way I did. Listening, noodling, and figuring out things for himself. IMHO it's good training for much that will await him! And that Matt fellow plays drums just like 'a ringin' a bell! Fun stuff! Watch the video and note how Ms. Princehorn carefully clears the audio danger zone in preparation for the boys' performance. I love the ovation when the chorus comes back around for the first time!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Family Collage

So, here's the little pic I'm sending out with our "January cards." No long detailed family holiday letter this year, just this, along with the clever card Lee Ann found in Floriday.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Must-See!

Wow, I say, and wow again. Scott Slone has published a little movie encouraging environmentally friendly behavior in his homestate and he's used my "Alaska Song" as the soundtrack. The show is number 39 at the Alaska Podshow Podcast and the direct link to the file is here.


Gus by Scott Gardner Merrick  I wear these navy slacks I found behind O'Shaugnessy's, in the dumpster there. And they'r...