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Showing posts from October, 2008

ACDC Video Finished

Okay, lots of personal posts lately, thought in the great scheme of things, it's all "education." Isn't it?

Colin and I worked all month on a vid for a contest and here it is. Me? I'm nursing a bad back and hoping for healing. Send good vibes.

Guitar Recital :)

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 :)

Find more videos like this on Hillwood40th

Engaging Podcasting Workshop

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 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!

Thanks to all the attendees, and comment here if you have anything to ask or add!

Windows Podcasting1008View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: podcastingwindows)

"Real Life Experiences in Virtual Worlds" Video Archive!

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!

Watch the whole "Real Life Experiences in Virtual Worlds" presentation video archive at the Internet2 Fall Meeting website.

Americana Folk Festival, See You There!

et in the bucolic hills of Middle Tennessee, AFF is all about interaction...anyone who loves acoustic music will be certain to come away happy." (Performing Songwriter Magazine)Over 30 bands on 3 stages and tickets priced at under a buck a band? The premier of a new Yazoo Brewery organic beer? Weeeheeee! I'll be there and so will my boy! I've watched the press releases for this the past few years thinking, hmmmmmm, I really should get out there. Well, now that my boy is such an accomplished player (at 12, sheesh) and we just took that fabulous tour of the Gibson factory (see yesterday's post), we'll pack up my A-5 and my Guild RNT-50 and his Epiphone Dove and drive the 30 minutes out to Montgomery Bell State Park (my childhood swimming hole of choice, btw) and do the day. I swear it!

See you there!

Gibson Guitar Tour!

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…

Live Blog! Internet2 in New Orleans!

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…

From Internet2 in New Orleans

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.

Merrilea Mayo, Director…

New Orleans Bound!

Stay tuned for liveblogs, pics, and everything else I can manage from New Orleans over the next couple days.

From the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach's website:

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…

Foreigner Concert Rocks the Wildhorse!

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 "…

Gearing Up for Internet2, New Orleans!

Hey, all,

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 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…

STEM Report Calls for Refocus in Education

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.

The report, STEM Education: Achievement and Innovation, noted that while the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. job market require science and m…