I'm knee deep in family (literally) but I wanted to let you know that my "old non-standard" holiday tune, "Moose Nuggets for Christmas" has been featured on this month's MentalNomad Show podcast. Head on over and give it some love. There are a number of other great indie tunes in that 'cast, and Jason Tippitt, the show's host, throws down a challenge to donate to charity and in return offers some fun prizes up for grabs!
Checking out my Diigo weekly shareouts this morning I stumbled on this, and no, it's not the newest thing on the block, issuing from John Moravec from the University of Minnesota and EducationFutures, back in September, but (wow!) it was such a superior and interesting standalone presentation for me that I thunk I'd better share it out further. I can't imagine being there for the real thing, and I hope my path crosses that of Dr. Moravec soon.
I'll be heading to Washington DC the last week in June of next year to do some challenging work!
I received emails from the NECC2009 programs committee yesterday announcing that two of my proposals have been accepted, both for 3 hour hands-on workshops relating to Second Life. Presentation proposers--Don't panic if you haven't heard about your own proposals yet: These came early since they required a change in venue from PC to Mac labs due to NECC logistics.
Here are the titles and session descriptions:
Introduction to Education in Second Life: n00bs UNITE!Session Description Highly experienced ISTE Second Lifers will help interested but "skills-challenged" educators explore this rich virtual platform for its value in teaching and learning.and
Educators' Toolbox and Skill Set: Instruction and Presentation in Second LifeSession Description Become a skillful user of the most exciting immersive environment available. Acquire skills and tools that will serve you we…
My other blog, the one about Virtual Environments in the service of education, has just garnered a nomination for Best Use of Virtual Worlds in the Edubloggers Awards 2008 race. I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd click on over to the site and vote for "Oh! Virtual Learning" so I might take home the "Eddie" in that category this year. Voting goes through December but I'm all for pulling out ahead early and staying there. Not that I'm competitive, heheheee. Here's the link:
I'm going to cross-post this to "Oh! Virtual Learning" just because it's so cool. Seldom do I find extremely detailed treatments of education in Virtual Environments, and this one is nothing short of extraordinary.
Steve Collis is "a French/English teacher, and 'Head of Innovation' at Northern Beaches Christian School and its innovation arm, the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning" in Sydney, Australia. He recently visited my good friend and colleague Peggy Sheehy at her school in Ramapo, New York, to examine how she has become the nation's premier "virtual pioneer" in using VE to facilitate teaching and learning for her young students. He reported out a week ago at his blog, "HappySteve" (a great name for a blog!, subtitled "Teachers, Technology, Learning"), and I want to urgently suggest (is that subtle enough) that you go visit the particular blogpost (permalink) to view his video documentation. Bookmark it, …
Hey, all. I read last nightin a Google News alert that my Second Life blog, "Oh! Virtual Learning," has been nominated for an "Eddie," an annual award for excellence in sharing out over the educational blogosphere. Kevin Jarrett, friend and colleague from Northhampton, New Jersey, tossed the nomination into the fray, and I hope that readers of this blog will take a few minutes to click on through to The 2008 Edublog Awards! and vote for my work, once the nominees are announced. You can bet that I'll be re-posting about it with a link to the voting site. Meanwhile, here are the categories and my own nominations for excellence within them.
Just took a few minutes to upload pics from my camera to Picasaweb from the wonderful Sunday afternoon drive Steve treated us to, just Geoff, my son Colin, me and Steve driving down the beautiful road and talking foolishness. It was a great slow-down after a long and eventful weekend. Thanks, Steve, me boy. A couple nice desktop wallpapers in there!
"...what teachers really need. Not a rule book, but a code of best practices to guide them [educators] and their students to making their own wise decisions." (Peter Jaszi, American University Law Professor)
Web Watch writer Tim Ferguson has penned an analysis of the current and future states of virtual enterprise in an insightful article at silicon.com. In it, he forwards the notion that the initial failure of enterprise to capitalize on the technological advantages VE can offer was due to a hasty misread of the tools' capabilities and potentials, the very same sentiment I heard at SLEDcc08 from our pal Sarah Robbins. At that Tampa, Florida conference, she said that "corporations should stop whining that there's no potential just because they didn't do it right." That's the quote to the best of my memory, and that's pretty much what Ferguson has to say today. His is a fascinating summary and well worth a read. From the article:
Organisations are discovering myriad ways to benefit from virtual worlds.
The first and perhaps most obvious is collaboration. This includes holding real-time meetings in the worlds with each member participating via an avatar. It can b…
I'll reference this one for a good long time, and I hope you find it valuable. I discovered it, btw, in a posting at my Diigo, which I really don't access as often as I should. It's all about the balance and the time, isn't it? But as Truss exemplifies, if you don't
Through conversations with my Director at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach last week, I became aware of the August publication of a very interesting little video about a colleague of hers, Nobel Prize winning Dr. Leon Lederman, a physicist who contributed his time to a novel program. From the ScienCentral, Inc., a company formed to "increase the number and quality of science stories broadcast to the public," comes this announcement:
ScienCentral is taking science to the people in its first installment of “Street Corner Science,” a radical-yet-simple concept in which a film crew and a renowned scientist are plunked down on a busy city street corner, and an impromptu Q&A session with the public ensues. This video is the first of two “Street Corner Science” segments featuring Dr. Lederman; be sure to check out Part 2 here!Here's the video Part 1!
As you may know by now, Al Gore did not "invent the internet."
And as disappointing as that may be, you may find some comfort in the fact that Tim Berners-Lee took care of that for Al. Now that the internet is so integrated into our lives, Berners-Lee is thinking, "Well, it may just be time to figure out just what it is." [author's note: this is a fictional quote and may or may not accurately represent Dr. Berners-Lee's motiviations].
He's actually been at this for quite a while, and it may only be news to me because my father-in-law passed along a recent copy of Science Magazine. That said, the article that triggered Gerry's sharing the magazine is absolutely fascinating and makes sense in so many ways that I want to pass it along.
The article, entitled COMPUTER SCIENCE: Enhanced: Creating a Science of the Web argues that:
If we want to model the Web; if we want to understand the architectural principles that have provided for its growth; and if we wan…
Have to share this. I shared it out on my high school reunion ning this morning and I'm just so proud of the boy I want to embed it here for those of you who might like to witness budding talent. Colin has performed this original song in public several times with his sister Miranda, the co-author, and I think it holds up quite well as a solo. I can't wait for the band version :)
Just finished a very nice session with some Vanderbilt community folks all about podcasting and to make the .ppt accessible as pie I'm going to embed its slideshare.com version right here. Audio from that class will be up at the next episode of Snacks4theBrain! by next week!
For a larger version and to download the .ppt, click on the embedded version to visit slideshare.com!
Thanks to all the attendees, and comment here if you have anything to ask or add!
I mentioned that I was tapped (at the last minute, hence my extempore performance!) to sit up front and say a few words at the Internet2 New Orleans panel on Thursday and I am pleased that there's a very nicely mounted video archive now available. I'm 'way down about 52:20 into the thing, but you can learn from my distinguished co-panelists (and watch me madly live-blogging and trying to follow along in Second Life all at the same time), if you have a few moments. It was an honor to be asked to formally participate and I'll likely grab audio from the archive for my next podcast! I only wish the first panel, on Tuesday, had been so archived!
I put this up at TeacherTube and if it performs okay I'll leave it there at least during the week before artclectic2008! There's another, very much longer, video available at the USN website, but delivery mileage will vary greatly with the speed of your internet connection.
Flying back from the Internet2 meeting in New Orleans (see earlier posts) I drove straight to the Gibson Guitar Factory out off Elm Hill Pike in Nashville. Friend Brenda Stein, a fabulously talented woodworker artist, had organized a special tour of the facility, led by her friend Herb Jenkins, Director of Purchasing at Gibson. There were 10 or 12 of us gathered around a table in a small conference room, which we reached only after signing waivers at the guard desk and passing through a very intimidating and obviously secure metal turnstile arrangement. Colin was wearing the required safety glasses, but I got a pass on that due to my four-eyes status.
After introducing ourselves to one another, we spent probably half hour, forty-five minutes getting the overview of the Gibson guitar-building straight from Herb, who was joined by his colleague Ron Moe. The addition of Ron was just great since the upcoming long tour through the huge facility was often loud, and Ron's presence allowed…
I can't seem to get the title of this right at coveritlive, but the gist is there. I'll correct it all from home later this week. Meanwhile, check out the liveblog from its record below, and keep in mind that I was juggling a Second Life client, chat in SL and in Skype, and trying to liveblog and figure out what I would say (Randy asked me to sit up at the panel table and join in, minutes before we went live). I had planned to ustream the thing, which in retrospect I probably should've done, since inworld folks said the I2 stream wasn't working for them, but there ya go, I didn't. Hopefully the stream will be made available for archive later, then you can see each person's informative contributions and how interested the attendees were, which was considerably.
Thanks to the I2 folks for the invite to participate. I'd never have dreamed of attending this mostly highly technical conference and I'd never have met so many wonderfully engaged and engaging te…
has posted a teaser video for his upcoming presentation at next week's K12 Online Conference (the url at http://k12onlineconference.org seems to be having some issues today, so you can go read pal Kevin Jarret's take on't at his blog), and the little video is hilarious. I have to share it here. Enjoy!
It went great. I was particularly impressed with every single one of my co-presenters. You have to look and see the esteemed company I was with. I'm flattered, challenged, and humbled.
I went first, doing my best to honor the 5 minute (what happened to the 6-7 minutes we'd planned for?) but hearing that Oscar play off music in the final of my 6 minutes in the form of Ben Fineman sneaking up behind me at the podium. My slideshow is here for you (see below) and as you see I'd prepped mostly images to talk over; and though I sounded to myself somewhat deranged racing through what I'd prepped to say (I'm normally yr average drawling Southerner) the audience response was good and my panel colleagues were smiling and nodding their heads as I raged on about Second Life and its value for teaching and learning, MUVErs' nearly-ready-for-prime-time work with learning objects in Second Life, and my own upcoming work with 4th graders in Quest Atlantis.
Scott Merrick, Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach's Teacher-in-residence, has accepted an invitation from conference organizers to speak at this year's Internet2 membership meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference website explains that the "Fall Member Meeting will feature track sessions and demonstrations that highlight innovative uses of advanced networking for research and teaching, as well as the development and evolution of high-performance network infrastructures in support of local to global cyberinfrastructure." Merrick will share the spotlight October 14 on a panel about Virtual Worlds with Margaret Corbit, Cornell University; Ben Fineman, Internet2, Moderator; Merrilea Mayo, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Chris Melissinos, Sun Microsystems; Rob Rothfarb, Explorator…
Got a slideshow, contains some video too, just snippets! I was reluctant to go but did because me boy won tickets (THANK YOU 105.9 THE ROCK!) on the radio. Kip Winger opened with a stellar high octane solo acoustic performance that was blastin' despite just being him and his guitar. We were parked one set of tables from the stage at the front of the table and two wonderfully friendly British Columbians, playing in NashVegas while their families are up on a guided hunting trip in Kaintuck, sat just behind us at the table and sweetened the experience with great conversation.
Once lukewarm about Foreigner, I'm now a dyed-in-the-wool Foreigner fan. Mick Jones just BLAZES on lead guitar, Jeff Pilson does that hair slinging and playing-the-bass-like-a-fiddle thing like a madman, and Kelly Hanson out front gives great stage: Every other band member is energetic, accomplished and wildly entertaining. Wynona Judd came out at the end of the show to join in a couple songs, turning "…
The program is complete for the upcoming meeting of the Internet2 Special Interest Group in New Orleans, Louisiana in two weeks. I'll be there, participating in a panel called Virtual Worlds: The Future is Now. I'd like to thank the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach for sending me, University School of Nashville for supporting me with professional leave, and my family for allowing me to take 3 days away from home the week before artclectic2008!
It's a very full set of days, as a reading of the program will certainly verify. If you have anything you'd like me to consider sharing out to this prestigious conference, please comment here or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's the text from the program describing my panel:
Virtual Worlds: The Future is Now October 14, 2008, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM UTC/GMT -5 hours (CDT) Location: Nottoway
Margaret Corbit, Cornell University Ben Fineman, Internet2, Moderator Chris Melissinos, Sun Microsystems Scott Me…
Please take a minute to read a new report in T.H.E. Journal that cites some alarming statistics and calls for change. Pleased, I am, to be working on the formation of a new "Vanderbilt Institute for STEM Education," hosted out of my "other work" at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach. More information on that Institute will be available here as it unveils itself. From Dave Nagel at T.H.E. Journal:
A new report issued this week by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is calling for sweeping changes to bolster STEM education in the United States. Citing an impending shortfall in scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in this country, the report highlights the need to expose children to STEM early and to integrate these subjects throughout the curriculum, beginning as early as kindergarten.
Host Wesley Fryer did a great job of moderating and his tweet out to Twitter alerted me to come into the discussion, which was lively and informative. His blog post minutes after the show was over allowed me to embed the ustream.tv video of it right here for you (and do visit his site to get backchat and links notes!). This is why I love the mashup of Web2.0 tools I've integrated into my personal learning network. I could have missed this, and I've been none the wiser...Enjoy!
Here's an email I sent out to my colleagues at University School of Nashville Just a minute ago. Think it'll work? If you wish, feel free to copy it to send to your own school's teachers (substitute your own example, of course), and delete the reference to helping with the resource room. Oh, heck, edit it any way you want!
If you're not in the "oh, god, how silly" camp in conversations about 3Dinternet virtual environments, and you want to investigate Second Life beginning at a safe and informative entry point, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), an 85,000 member organization with well over 3,000 of them using SL, has created a new way to enter the environment, accessible at the webpage at http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education . I helped a bit with the design of the resources room and I'm very proud of the work ISTE's doing.
Just visit the site, follow the directions, and feel free to Search "Scottmerrick Oh" a…
See how the brave Merrick men sought out adventure on the wooded ridgetop that backs up against our Nashville neighborhood. We saw spiders, a turtle, a deer, and an amazing "slavewall" that runs over a length of the ridge. Tired from swatting gnats and no-see-ums, we vowed to wait 'til after a couple frosts to make the journey again. Have a great week!
and (a couple days later), after we returned home we showered, but not quickly or thoroughly enough to avoid contracting serious poison ivy. Here's that:
I had my first Professional Development session with Bronwyn Stuckey last night, and I'm happy to have begun my work in Quest Atlantis. The impact on my family time is sort of substantial, as balancing work(s) and my personal life is increasingly challenging. Thank goodness my wife is supportive and my son understands that my work is not 8 to 3 only. There's lots going on in our family and I need to be mindful of it always.
That said, I'm extreeeeemely impressed with QA. There is a thick thread of social commitment in my own classroom, underlying all the technology skills and understanding aquisition that it is my charge to inculcate. As I progress through my own initiation into this very nicely composed 3Di world, I can clearly see that the creators of it share my own dedication to kindness, creativity, and sharing, and do so in ways that will support students' initiation into thoughtful, intentional exploration of those themes and more.
I'm going to begin journaling my personal experiences with Quest Atlantis here in order that I might pull out perhaps publishable bits for print later on. So stay tuned here (and I may cross-post at Oh! Virtual Learning) for that. This is an exciting time for me and I hope to share it prodigiously.
It's been interesting this past year, learning about and experiencing the powerful way that immersion into a 3 dimensional internet experience (3Di) can lead to engaged learning. Most notably, I think of Peggy Sheehy's powerful presentation at the Second Life Educational Community Conference in Tampa, a gathering about which I've already blogged, and I'd also send you to Fleep Tuque's marvelous roundup at her blog, Fleep's Deep Thoughts. Funny, I use Second Life names and "rl" (real life) names interchangeably. Fleep is Chris Collins "irl" (in real life) and Peggy is Maggie Marat. I noticed in Tampa that folks tended to lean toward addressing o…
I've been neglecting my "main" blog lately due to the start of school and my amazing journey with MUVErs and the SLEDCC (Second Life Education Community Conference) in Tampa, Florida. If you're interested in that you can catch up by visiting my Second Life blog, "Oh! Virtual Learning" and the Second Life Education blog, to which I'm a contributor. The latter will be merging into the official Linden Lab blogosphere soon, and we'll see where that goes, but the carnival ride has certainly started.
I'm working on a grant proposal with my dear colleague Jennifer Ufnar at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach, one that will allow for a full 3 or 4 weeks of Web2.0forUS! sessions next summer, so stay tuned for that. The very successful one week session this past summer left all of us feeling like we needed more time, hence the call for a longer session and the quest for support to facilitate it.
I'm also working on an article with Jennifer Ragan…
This came across my inbox today in the Second Life Education Blog, and as a parent with a child just embarking on her first year of college, it strikes me as the type of undertaking educators at ever stage of the game could stand to make tradition. Here's the quote-out from the listserv:
"Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit's Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief. The List is shared with faculty and with thousands who request it each year as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation.
The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are "wired" and …
Whilst waiting for my boy to finish his skateboarding this fine sunday afternoon, I noticed a grasshopper suctioned to the exterior window, moved up close, and snapped a pic. I twittered it with the caption, "Lieutenant Grasven! Convey to the rest of the party that I have finally located the mothership!" There is just something about the AT&T building, affectionately dubbed by locals the "Batman Building," that makes this work. Thought I'd share it with you! Happy long weekend, if you're in the States. If you're not, I hope that your country celebrates hard work in its own way :)
You'll have to click the pic to see the whole work of art (lol).
Yes, I confess: I idolize educators who can manage to contribute in an ongoing way to the understanding of our profession as a positive force in the world.
Kevin Jarrett's blog post today is thought-provoking and reflective, just what I need as I work to rebound from a nasty cold. Not only that, he took the time to send me an email (interrupting my grant-writing work, but happily) to say "Smile! Your on my blog," referring to the great little pic of me with some of my new friends, posed in the midst of the Second Life Lounge at NECC2008. I'm crouching behind, from left to right, Megan Deana, Jeremy Koester, Peggy Sheehy, and Claudia L'Amoreaeux (Coreina Grace, Jeremy Braver, Maggie Marat, and Claudia Linden if you're looking for them in Second Life).
Amidst all life's changes, friends endure. Kev, I'm also looking forward to the summer of 2009. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to my grant-writing!
I called my brother-in-law, Jim, last night to whine about how I'm laid low with a nasty cold, and he told me how his day had gone.
"This'll make you feel better about yours," he said.
He was running in his neighborhood and had just about finished his two-mile or so run, when he inhaled and something flew up his nose. It was a yellowjacket.
The thing started stinging him "on the fleshy part of the inside of the nostril" and he stopped, uttering a few ill-considered curse words, and started digging inside his nostril with his finger. It came out in pieces, and luckily, he got the stinger out. But, he said, "about half hour later I blew my nose and out came the thing's head."
Now, he informed me, he was looking at himself in a mirror, his lip swollen horribly and the side of his face looking like someone had hit him with a baseball bat.
In an an online article from the print version of The Economist, the editors lampoon Google's efforts to create a novel, browser-based 3-dimensional virtual world. It's a good, quick read with a quote by friend Kathy Schrock, and it makes some very good points, especially about there basically being "nothing to do in Lively unless you're talking to someone." The article's lead-line says it all: "Lively, Google’s virtual world, has been a flop..."
Is there hope for Lively? I'm not sure, and my crystal ball is not responding today, but if you want to learn more about it go visit the Lively website and download the application to play with. My own little Lively build is here. But you have to call a friend to ask them to join you there, unless you are happy just dangling your feet off the dock...
I set up a CoverItLive blog post this a.m. in the hopes that I would be able to use it during Daniel Pink's talk to teachers at the Ensworth School inservice kick-off this a.m. I had the best of intentions.
After arriving at the Ensworth High School campus to learn I was mistaken about the location (the inservice keynote for both schools was held at the K-8 school, duh) I trucked on in toward downtown and got into the talk just about 8 minutes into the presentation. There, before me, in the Ensworth School "Frist Hall," were a few hundred teachers in rows of chairs with Pink dwarfed by a good sized projector screen bearing his powerpoint. There was--I promise I'm not making this up--a single seat left at the far right of the backmost row. I sat.
As far as I could see, there was not a laptop open in the room. That discouraged me from pulling mine out, as well as the educated guess that if there were a wireless internet connection connecting to it would be …