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Showing posts from July, 2008

Thanks Jeff Utecht and Shaun McElroy

Today friend Jeff Utecht twittered an announcement of a new blogpost at his U Tech Tips blog, actually posted by Shaun McElroy. Here's a bit of Shaun's post:

Dr. Randy Pausch, of the computer science world died this week of pancreatic cancer. He knew we was going to die and he was asked to give on last lecture. This was captured on YouTube. And later Randy expanded his ideas in a book, called The Last Lecture.

and here's a link to the U Tech Tips post with the 1 hour plus video. I'm watching it as I type this. Whatever you are doing, you should go watch and listen. Really...

Adding this later: Aaron E. Walsh, from, sent out a brief notice to that international "Immersive Education" group which in part said,

Randy spearheaded the development of Alice, an educational 3D/VR programming environment that will soon become a key tool in the growing Immersive Education toolkit, which many of us recall from the Boston Digital Media Summit this past January (…

Snacks4theBrain! an iTunes Featured Science Podcast!!

Well it only took 72 episodes of Snacks4theBrain! to land it on the front page at iTunes U in the "Featured" category when one searches the term "Science." Yayyyyyyy! though! That will hopefully drive more traffic to the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach to gain more attention for their untiring work to further science and math teaching and learning in our world.

Wow, Chatting with Steve Hargadon Today Was Stellar!

In my workshop today, the one-week thingie I have created and promoted to give teachers time to explore and learn about the Read/Write Web, we chatted with Classroom 2.0 creator Steve Hargadon via Skype for over 20 minutes. Early in the day I noticed Steve on Skype and asked him if he could pop in to help us understand his huuuuuuuuge ning, which any moment now will achieve its 10,000th member.

I just checked. Having converted the nearly 1 Gb .mov file my Kodak cam recorded to a smaller (42 or so Mb) .mov file for the internet, it's housed at Classroom 2.0. View it now!

Check out our wiki for lots of fun!

Having a blast with Web2.0forUS! workshop

I just want to say how freakin' fun it is to spend time with 6 heretofore complete strangers, dedicated public school teachers all, who are now colleagues-in-teaching and to have the wonderful Caroline Blackwell, our school's Director of Multicultural Affairs, join us today. We spent some serious time expanding our awareness of Web 2.0 tools and had further time to explore on our own as I multi-tasked up front and shared video from David Warlick and Clay Shirky. Life(s) is good.

All of it is chronicled at the workshop's wiki, so keep up, pilgrim, if you're interested. If you want to know more about how to bring this experience (or at least one like it :) to your school or district, see the Web2.0forUS! wiki.


Gerry Calhoun Clarifies "Big Oil Tax Giveaways"

My father-in-law, Gerry Calhoun, soon to become a prolific voice in the energy debate through a blog I'm setting up for him, sometimes serves in a role for me that Will Richardson categorizes as "pushback." I don't always find myself convinced by his sometimes ultra-conservative opinions (he's a Reagan devotee and not at all in the Energy Crisis camp), but I cannot but be impressed by his long career in the oil business, from his days as an early wildcatter to his current status as a retired prospector who cannot seem to get out of the business because his innovative methods of searching for oil keep drumming up business for him.

He published, on July 9, in the Nashville, Tennessean, a brief explanation that is worth a read. I don't faithfully read the (freely delivered--"complimentary-subscribed" to bolster the lagging print newspaper's circulation stats) news stats; but people keep coming up to me and saying things like "Wow, your father-i…

KZOwebcasting NECC 2008!!!

Thanks again to Twitter, and to kpruitt in particular, for leading me this morning to the website. Like many others at NECC2008 in San Antonio, Texas, I missed a lot of sessions I really wanted to make. This site makes it possible for me to be there, albeit asynchronously. I'll be pointing my folks at my week-long Web2.0 for Us! workshop next week to this site, and may even use some of our precious time together to view these together using the kzowebcasting interface. Yay!

What if I form a "club" to visit these videocasts on a weekly or monthly basis with a group of my colleagues at my school over a cup of coffee or a local brew so that they can benefit from experiencing them the way that I now get to?

See my earlier post about how I actually spent my time at NECC!

A Fawn at Dusk

I'm sitting by the same window out of which my children and I watched a yearling feeding just last evening, and thinking that a gentle surcease of intensity is just what's needed at the moment. So as a little gift, here's my brief slideshow of the moment last night:

My boy and I are driving home this morning, back to a week of summertime at home, after having breakfast with his sister, who's working at a nearby family community kidsitting for the rest of the week. It's beautiful up here, and it makes me wonder if someday my love and I might have some woodsy place to call haven. It would have to have a pond stocked with lake trout and catfish, though, now wouldn't it...

I wish you all the love and restful reflection you can manage to eek out of the pressures of work and other necessity.

NECC 2008 Resources and Commentary

Cross-posting from Oh! Second Life, my Second Life blog:

Wow, it's been like a week since I posted anything here. Some kinda record.
I'm firing my laptop at my home office stepmachine station and working out to lose some of the belly I've accumulated over the past months spending most of my waking hours at a laptop. I'll still get to be at my laptop, but at least I'll be burning some calories. My old vinyl record turntable is on the shelf above my laptop, so I'm firing up some vintage Shawn Phillips to help motivate my pace :)

Pardon me whilst I do a 5 minute yoga stretch b4 climbing aboard...


So. I spent a wonderful week at NECC 2008, and the best part of the whole experience was meeting and renewing face-to-face friendships and acquaintances with so many folks I have been working with ageographically (I just made that up) for a year or more. I touted the virtues of my real-world employers to everyone I met, I passed out nearly 100 moocards (see earlier post…

Last day of NECC--Rockin' and Reelin' from the Week!

Wow, this has been a fantastic week, and I thank my administrators at both University School of Nashville and the Vanderbilt Center for Science and Math for making it possible for me to go. I also want to thank ISTE and its administrators for giving me stage above and beyond what I expected here, and the fantastic Claudia L'Amoreaux (Claudia Linden) from Linden Lab for being there for all of us every step of the way. Toss in a deep bow to Steve Hargadon and the organizers of the pre-conference Edubloggercon "unconference" for giving me a rich day of networking with and learning from some of the best minds in the forefront of educational advocacy.

One of the limitations of what a dear Second Life friend calls "meatspace" is that one can only be in one place at any given time. We are often able to rise above that limitation with the Internet (when the wireless connection works--no jab at the tech folks here: I'm sure they're doing everything they can to ma…

The "Money Shot"

I think April-Hope, Scott Swanson's assistant for the conference, took this with Lisa Linn's cam, but I consider it the "Money Shot," the one to remember, from our SLedupotential session in San Antonio at NECC 2008.

Just popping in before dinner to share it out. All the presenters, all my peeps, with Claudia Linden down front left. Do we look relieved!?

SLedupotential Rocked!

pictured, Meghan, Jeremy, me, Peggy, and Claudia, WooooT! I think I scarfed this from Kevin Jarret's flickr set!

Wow! A truly fun day yesterday as we gathered 9 educators from 9 states along with the 30 participants who registered from all over the country and beyond (Canada, Russia, and Australia) to dive into Second Life for immersive hands-on work. I declare it successful!

Later in the day, five others of us spent an hour with a packed room of educators to focus on Second Life as a Professional Learning Network in a "Birds of a Feather" session. That went every bit as well if not better!

So here I am, a K-4 teacher with a few other interests and skill sets mostly centered around teaching and learning, having spent extraordinary quality time with hundreds of colleagues whose main goal is to improve their own teaching and learning, and who are not afraid to travel to Texas to do so :). Not only that, they are not afraid to explore the outermost boundaries of educational p…