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Showing posts from February, 2009

Call to Share from Julie Lindsay in Qatar!

A friend of mine said last week that she's underimpressed with folks blogging other people's work. I present this in order to beg to differ. I'm absolutely impressed with sharing out valuable efforts to bring others into the Great Conversation that is Web 2.0. "Find your story and tell it. If you put two individual teachers together, they're always better than two individual teachers." I rest my case.

This is a MUST-SEE from Julie Lindsay.

Educators internationally gathered together at Qatar Academy on February 20 to
discuss 21st Century Learning. As a result they decided to take action and share
their experiences in the hope that others will be inspired to embrace change in
education using new tools, new skills and a new mindset. See for
more information.

Facebook Exchange with a Former 3rd Grader!

I just want to share a gratifying Facebook comment exchange I had with a former third grader, now a student at Princeton. I happened to be on a couple days ago when he posted:

Alexshould be working now, but cant find the will.
I was just about to logout and slam my laptop closed after working all day trying to edit down audio from a recent presentation to a serviceable file for inclusion in a new podcast, and I'd decided to just quit for the day and finish it up ad hoc this week. Seriously, I'd been working on it for 8 hours (post-production is highly underappreciated!). I wrote to him:
Scott Merrick at 6:03pm February 23
Will it to happen, Alex, you can you can you can. I'm stopping. Been working all day and into the night! You get started! Here's the torch!
and almost immediately got this back:
Alex wrote at 8:19pm
thanks for the encouragement! I guess you never cease being my teacher!
If that's not the bee's knees I don't know what is. Here's a public thanks…

Professor Spot Video

Kaplan University is running a commercial that made me weep a bit when first I saw it. I'm pleased as punch that my lovely wife Lee Ann excitedly looked it up on YouTube to share it with me. "This is what you're always talking about!" she said.

She's right.

I know little about Kaplan University but I bow deeply to a commercial that says important things. Watch:


"Why Second Life?" Presentation to the Center for Science Outreach and School for Science and Math

My presentation to colleagues at Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach went pretty darned well!

I'll flesh this out more in a bit, and I have most of it on audio so it'll likely be our Snacks4theBrain! episode 80, but here's the slideshare, ya'll (with the caveat that I talked over the slides like a madman and had a great deal of fun doing it!).

Why Second Life Scott Merrick For VU CSOView more presentations from Scott Merrick. (tags: virtual worldscso) There'll probably be a tidied up version by the time of the podcast. Several links came to mind as I was chatting the dozen or so folks up. Thanks to Ronee Francis, my new friend and colleague at the Vanderbilt Discover Archive for coming in, and thanks so so much to our driving force, Dr. Virginia Shepherd, Director of the CSO, for being there. Her cancellation of a trip to Cleveland likely had nothing to do with my little session, but it sure was good to see her there...

Oh, for grins, here's the versio…

3 Controversial but Intriguing Statements in One Business Journal Article

From Fairfax Business Media's New Zealand CIO comes this article, originally published in May, 2008, and penned by Byron Reeves, Thomas W. Malone, and Tony O’Driscoll. Leadership's online labs

It's a loooong article, but to tease you into reading it I provide but three perspectives culled from its over 2500 words. Imagine an extended analogy between online gaming communities and complex corporations, embedded in a complex analysis of leadership in both environments.

Consider these elements of "games such as Eve Online, EverQuest, and World of Warcraft":

1) Leadership roles are often temporary. Perhaps the most striking aspect of leadership in online games is the way in which leaders naturally switch roles, directing others one minute and taking orders the next. Put another way, leadership in games is a task, not an identity — a state a player enters and exits rather than a personal trait that emerges and thereafter defines the individual.

2) Dashboards, or cockpits, …

The Pros and Cons of Social Networking

My apologies for the long post, but I'm not feelin' the love here and need to share that.

Always on the lookout for dialog on this topic, I followed a link in my email newsletter from Technology and Learning this morning to an article by podcaster and Web 2.0 advocate Terry Freedman. It's an interesting, casually phrased defense of social networks by an author who is clearly even more embedded in the phenomena than I. He admits/claims to be a member of no less than 63 networks (I haven't counted--should I?).

What to me is most interesting about the post, however, is not the article itself, but the first (and as of this writing the only) comment upon it, from renowned social network critic and self-proclaimed expert on children and the internet, Douglas Fodeman. Fodeman is founder and CEO of "Children Online, LLC" and Director of

Fodeman, in his response comment, points Freedman and the rest of us to his recent article at the National Associat…

Major Accounting Firm Donates Half-Million to NC State University's Second Life Efforts--Call for Suggestions!

As reported on the Carolina Newswire yesterday, "The Ernst & Young Foundation recently awarded $400,000 to the NC State College of Management to support development of a Second Life presence for the college’s Department of Accounting." An additional $100,000 was added to the grant to bring it to a cool half-million. Further, according to the article, the "combined gift of $500,000 represents the largest single gift to date to the accounting department at NC State University."

Now, this is news! I'm not alone! Others see the potential!

While that last set of comments is perhaps a bit over the top, considering the robust global community of educators in Second Life, it can feel pretty lonely for an educator who believes. Those of you who know that loneliness (weep with me here!) may also be heartened by the recent announcement of my own one hour presentation on February 20 to the faculty and staff of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach and the Vanderbil…