Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I want to invite everyone in the states to turn on their televisions tonight to watch "Christmas at Belmont," an annual event this year guest-hosted by Tricia Yearwood and broadcast nationally on NPT, our National Public Television. Check your local listings, and see more about the show at the NPT Media Update site and at the page dedicated to the event at Belmont University's website.
Miranda, our beautiful and talented daughter, performs with her Belmont Chorale, an audition only "select mixed ensemble of 52 voices that performs diverse literature from all genres."
Lee Ann and I were 'way in the back of the audience, but if the camera pans over us at all, you'll recognize us as the parents who are beaming the brightest. We're remarkably proud of our girl.
Whatever your religious affiliation, you'll have to admire and enjoy the intricate arrangements and flawless performances of these talented singers and musicians.
Cheers, and hold tight to your loved ones!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Instructor: Scott Merrick
- Week - July 19 - 23, 2010
- 8:30 - 12
- Adults 18 and up
- Come spend a week of half-days with Scott Merrick, University School of Nashville's Lower School Technology Coordinator for 11 years and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Core Volunteer Leader. Sessions will run 8:30 to 12, M-F and will take place in the Lower School computer lab. We'll get hands-on experience with social media of all kinds every day and explore the life-long learning potentials that these offer the tech-savvy educator. Scott has years of experience with social media and virtual environments and has led workshops for ISTE (see http://iste.org), for the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach, and for USN over the past decade--most notably his "Web 2.0 for US" series (see http://scottweb20.wikispaces.com) and the Second Life Playground at NECC2009 in Washington, D.C. His professional portfolio is online at http://www.interfolio.com/portfolio/scottmerrick/. Scott will bring his extensive learning network into the workshop, including Classroom2.0, Twitter, Facebook, and ISTE's SIGVirtual Environments. He'll guide you through the intricacies of social bookmarking, media sharing, blogging and podcasting. You will leave the workshop with your very own Professional Learning Network jump-started and energized for the future, wondering why you didn't get started with it sooner, but glad that it's underway!
- Requirements: An inquisitive spirit, an open mind, and a sharing disposition.
- Cost: $225.00
- Limit: 16
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Ms. Hunt's 4th graders came into the computer lab last Friday to hang out with their Kindergarten Book Buddies (they go to the Kinderclass each week to read to their buddy) from Ms. Reynolds' class. I grabbed the camera, and the rest is animoto...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Anyway, the CDBaby page looks like
Monday, November 16, 2009
As someone who does a lot of training and professional development for school administrators, I wonder how much I’m facilitating codependence. In many job sectors, employees are expected to keep up with relevant technologies or risk job loss. When do we require that of K-12 and postsecondary educators? At what point do we say to them “No, we’re not training you how to use this. It’s easy enough for you to learn on your own. And if you don’t, we’ll find someone else who can.”
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Enter public radio, in the guise of Susan Knowles from Nashville's own WPLN. Early one morning just prior to our artclectic, Susan came into our school with a recording team and witnessed New York and Memphis artist Pinkney Herbert interacting with our high school artists, both faculty and student, at a distance.
The resulting story has been featured at the WPLN website for days now, and it occupies its own archival space at the website. Visit http://wpln.org/?p=12506 for an uplifting and encouraging audio moment.
Our school has participated off and on for years in Interactive Videoconferencing, and you can see some of the ways we've done so at http://ivcatusn.blogspot.com. This past year and last, I had become so discouraged by the slow adoption of the technology that I all but stopped promoting it. This instance of IVC was completely teacher motivated and intrinsically integrated into the curriculum, not "delivered," but rather inspired. Maybe that's what it really takes. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to high school art teacher and department chair Liz Mask, (pictured above, right, with student David Stein and journalist Susan Knowles) for the wherewithal it took to execute this collaboration, which I hope is the first of many in our art department. I'm still standing back and staying out of the way, though I am here to help.
My dear departed mom always reminded me that "the best love is held in an open palm." That's my current stance on our school and distance learning. Look out, though, for an announcement about our Tandberg Connections professional development offerings in the winter and spring. That's another story.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Been knee-deep, virtually and really, living and learning with artclectic this past week. I've also lost my cell phone, but I have to admit it's been kinda quiet and nice without it. Am I reverting? Likely not, just pausing.
I created a little machinima this week to share what I've been building in Second Life with folks who may not be able to come into the virtual environment to experience it first hand. If you can come inworld, the SLurl is http://slurl.com/secondlife/The%20Port/146/94/501 . If you can't, for whatever reason, maybe this will suffice:
Find more videos like this on Virtual Environment Education Videos!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Visit in Second Life at http://slurl.com/secondlife/The%20Port/146/94/501 !!!
Find more videos like this on Virtual Environment Education Videos!
Friday, October 09, 2009
If you’re in Nashville, or anywhere within driving distance, or anywhere within flying distance, I’m tellin’ ya, get here for the show. The USN Sperling Gymnasium becomes something in no way resembling a school gym, there are family events running virtually the entire time, and the art this year promises to be more varied and more exciting than ever before in the 13 years this unique event has taken place.
Last night, my son Colin and his friend and classmate Hope joined USN drum teacher extraordinaire Ed Haggard at Whole Foods in Green Hills to provide fun (and skilled) percussion to underscore the first public sneak peek at a few of the pieces that will be available for viewing and/or purchase from October 22-25. The show opens to the public on the 23rd after a private Patrons Party the evening of the 22nd and runs all weekend long. I’ll leave you with a link to the website where the schedule of events can be found, along with much more information, and with a little video from last night. Please check out the large comprehensive video on the website homepage as well, just put up by our media helper, Courtney Drake. It contains music by the USN HS Jazz band!
Here's the video!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I love the tagline on his profile: "Unless otherwise obvious, all music written and performed by Bernhard Drax (thanks Uncle Bernie)."
Monday, October 05, 2009
I recently received a query from the Director of Products and Services Development at the National Association of Independent Schools, Susan Booth, for information on innovative projects at my school, University School of Nashville. It was accompanied by flattering encouragement from our school's Diversity Director (yes, we have one, do you?) Caroline Blackwell, a dear friend and colleague, so I responded to that query in the following manner:
Tandberg International Education Market Manager Jan Zanetis has awarded a $14,000 Tandberg Edge95 System loaner unit to University School of Nashville Lower School Technology Coordinator Scott Merrick in exchange for Professional Development program offerings to Tandberg education market customers over the coming academic school year. Details of the programs are being fleshed out over the month of October. When ready, Interactive Videoconferencing sessions-on-request will likely center around the use of Virtual Environments, including Second Life and Open Sim, for building professional learning networks; Web 2.0 tools for the same purpose; and K12 computer programming instruction with Scratch and Alice. Look for these sessions to be offered and promoted soon through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
UT System campuses join virtual world
University of Texas System sets $250,000 aside for Second Life project.
By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz
Monday, September 28, 2009
Leslie Jarmon, a faculty development specialist at the University of Texas, sensed that David Prior would bring a certain skepticism to her ambitious proposal to create a series of virtual campuses in cyberspace.
Prior, the UT System's executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, was trained as a geologist. And geologists are all about rocks, oil and other stuff that actually exists.
But he was soon quite taken with Jarmon's pitch to bring the system's nine academic and six health campuses into a three-dimensional, online world of learning, research and collaboration called Second Life. The system agreed to put $250,000 into the project from an account it established to underwrite innovative education initiatives.
"I think we'll want to watch this one carefully," Prior told the system's Board of Regents in August. "I think it's going to be rather interesting." ...Read the entire article at statesman.com
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Find more videos like this on seamusupdates
(seamusupdates is a private social comunity of friends and family interested in the recuperation of Seamus Morrison. If you feel you need to join Seamusupdates, please request an invitation by commenting here.)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Find more videos like this on seamusupdates (Note: Seamusupdates is a private ning, so that unless you are a family member or an extended family member, clicking on that link will likely be to no avail.)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
My own school has recently been granted the loan of a marvelous Tandberg Edge95 codec by Tandberg Education Market Director (and another dear friend) Jan Zanetis. We are currently working on configuring it to get through our newly revamped firewall (an issue mentioned by Janine in her interview); and with any luck, we'll be embarking on some more distance learning adventures of our own. You might stay tuned for that, but in the meanwhile do treat yourself to that article!
Videoconferencing To Bring the World to Students, by Denise Harrison.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
A little ink at Learning and Leading with Technology, ISTE's print and online magazine: I responded a while back to an email from L&L calling for responses to the prompt, "Should You 'Friend' Your Students on Social Networking Sites? I came in on the majority side, as you'll see if you click to read the page I've screengrabbed below, but with a caveat: When former students are adults, as in college age or older, and if they still have an interest in their old elementary teacher and what crazy cutting edge technology he's into these days, I happily do "friend" them.
I do not do so with my own elementary students (I teach K-4 computer) nor with my son's Middle School friends or High School kids. Once they're grown, more or less (and I've lived long enough to know the best of my friends are still growing up) they're on, in my book.
See http://www.learningandleading-digital.com/learning_leading/20090910/ and find the Reader's Respond page to see my anecdote. I'm thrilled and pleased that they accepted it for publication. More than anything, I'm glad to have new way to keep up longstanding meaningful relationships.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
So after 3 hours on Saturday morning at Smartcenter Nashville working with the wonderful Dusty, "Baby Huey" is home and here are some pics to prove it. I'm tickled with the exchange of our clunker for cash and thanks to the federal government for it. A friend came over today and saw it in the driveway and said, "When Barack Obama said 'Cash for Clunkers' that's exactly what he meant."
More later, and I promise not to obsess. In fact, I plan to add any new pics or musings about Huey to this post, so if you have any interest, this is the place. Here's my first addition:
Have a great week!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Pictured above are the folks in Washington, D.C. who attended a very lightly advertised event at NECC09, a reception for Second Life Volunteers. Every one of these people (and more) participated in some degree, scheduled or not, in making the Second Life Playground at NECC09 a robust and welcoming experience for anyone who happened by. Over the three days from Monday, June 31 through Wednesday, July 2, that place was hoppin', as the video below will demonstrates. There are people in that picture from Australia, New Zealand, and half the states in the Union. My co-facilitator, Lisa Linn, and I brought these folks together by means of social media including Twitter, Facebook, Wikispaces, Google Apps, Plurk, and Second Life. Yes, I'm proud. Folks in the shot and folks who didn't make the event so they could be in the shot: If I didn't thank each and every one of you in person, here's my thank you now. Thank you!
Find more videos like this on SLeducation Videos
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
...Twitter is far less about the social graph than it is about the overall conversation surrounding an item. Retweets are about sharing items and @replies are about allowing the public to be part of a conversation you’re having with someone. If you just follow your friends on Twitter, you will barely be using it. A lot of the value comes from following interesting people and celebrities.I'd say the whole article is worth a read, as it's replete with graphs and insight. READ MORE...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Hey, all, our recent appearance as MUVErs on the celebrated ISTE Eduverse Talks live talk show series is now live an accessible at the ISTE Eduverse Talks website.
I hope you'll take an hour or so to give it a watch. It's also pretty nice as an audio file, so if you have a long commute that may be the way to do it. Host Kevin Jarrett did a fantastic job of delivering probing questions about MUVErs' development of intricate but finely tuned virtual simulations for teaching and learning, and partners Cathy Walker and John Miller were stellar in their own thoughtful responses. Watching the program has convinced me I didn't do a half-bad job of responding, though it's obvious I strayed from my script a bit :)
Monday, August 03, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
There's a lot happening here with technology. First and foremost we're implementing the Lower School's entry into the world of Whipplehill, the platform the other two divisions implemented last year for Student Information System and parent and student communication. It's very powerful (and was very expensive, though the cumulative savings over the next few years in "snailmailings" will recoup much of that initial investment. But the main deal, of course, is that many teachers are no different than most other adults--they resist change, either intentionally or subconsciously, and they also underestimate their own facility with change. This can't be a blanket generalization (I strive to avoid those in any event), but it's likely the norm. We do have some amazingly agile technology adopters in our ranks, and it's those I'll be counting on to drive the adoption of our new platform.
Meanwhile I just spent six hours doing some of the drudgery work of enrolling 370+ students into their proper classrooms, K-4, and then enrolling those groups into enrichment classes. I put on some Raconteurs, some Bob Dylan, some Darla Farmer, and finally some Last Frontier Band while I worked, and that helps, but my bottom is sore from sitting and I'm just about outta here for the day. Tomorrow, I dive feet first into schedule sets, entering little blocks of time for every classroom's multiple slices of each day, which vary day by day, so that the system will display each student's actual schedule during the day. It's gruntwork, but it is valuable, I know. Sigh.
We're also dropping First Class email and migrating over to Google Apps for Education. That'll happen any day now and you can bet my help will be called upon as 25 Ts learn how to navigate that platform. It's great though, and about time, I say. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, I do want to note a successful talk show appearance this past Tuesday night on the wonderful ISTE Eduverse Talks series in Second Life. It's all described at the website at ISTE and its archive should be live in a week or so. The producers told me yesterday that at the high point of the hour we had 66 avatars in the building, almost hitting that magic 71 that closes down the sim. Great for a Tue. night still summer for most teachers! [NEW: Now available for viewing in its entirety at treet.tv!]
I'm off to home to walk my dog and stretch my own old legs. Cheers!!!!!!!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
My dear 10-year old godson Seamus is recuperating from a recent operation to remove a brain tumor, and the whole story is much more than I want to share out here. I do want to share a picture his dad sent, from the hospital lawn, and I know that my brother-from-another-mother James will be okay with my sharing it.
He sent this picture out to his legions of supportive friends. If this doesn't brighten your day or night, check your pulse. And whatever your religious leanings are, if you want to offer a prayer or a meditation for healing and recovery, now's the time.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
I'm still looking for comments, so jump on over to that post and add to the growing base of comments from SL educators who have an opinion about forming a Special Interest Group just for Second Life!