Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm not sure this can be called a blog post but I'm so excited about this I feel the best thing I can do is to send you to the source. Pop a bag of popcorn, pull up your easy chair, and watch as the future of online communication changes ineluctably.

It's the jiz.

Google Wave.

Watch this:



Swordswallowing

As reflected in my previous post, I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Meyer the other day. Dan's got a lot of things going on in his unconventional life. He's president of the Sword Swallower's Association International, he's been on a plethora of talk shows, and he's been the recipient of the coveted IgNobel awards, which I featured on an early Snacks4theBrain! podcast. Dan's agreed to permit me to podcast his presentation at HealhCamp Nashville yesterday, and I'll take him up on it, assuming I can get clear audio out of the hi-8 videotape of it that he so graciously loaned to me.

Watch for Snacks4theBrain! episode 84 to feature some pretty neat swordswallowing! Meanwhile, here's a teaser, video I snagged in his presentation:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

HealthCamp Nashville #hcn09



This will e ongoing all day today. Check back in for more as I view events and present a little SL thingie at 2:00 pm CDT.

Attending keynote for HealthCamp Nashville with Paul Meyer, Chariman of Voxiva, "THE POWER OF THE INTERNET, THE REACH OF THE PHONE"--got in a bit late but it's an interesting talk. His company works with with Mexico, Rwanda, Peru, and obviously quite a few oter places.

vid@net is an interactive support system for HIV/AIDS and their families

text4baby will be rolled out soon, hoping it's "the American Idol of health services." (Text BABY to 311411)

paual@voxiva.com

The US is behind in mobile health because it's the only country in the world where you actually pay to receive text messages

Telecompanies have moved toward a "toll-free" model for providers who want to provide texting to their clients/subscribers

Cites the Pew Internet and American Life Project Survey, Dec. 2007

"For minority populations the cell phone _is_ their internet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Laughin' Here--PBS Digital Nation

This is so random it's beautiful. I attended an event in Second Life tonight, a presentation on PBS Frontline's Digital Nation project, and I recalled contributing to the project when my friend Malinda McCormick first told me about it. I had the thought that my odd exercise setup came in under the heading of the project's focus. KJ (you rogue) mentioned that I was on the site, and I've gotten twitters from folks who pursued it. I hope it spurs others to contribute. Yes? It's all about interconnection, in odd but sometimes gratifying ways...  Here's the DN website, and here's my little contribution:

10 Ways Your Job Will Change

This is an example of why Twitter might be a good tool to add to your professional arsenal: This morning, while I worked out on my step machine and listened to Steve Earle's new Townes Van Zandt album  on my computer (thank you, Jim and Amy!), one of my network, a Dell executive who goes by the name "ShiftParadigm," tweeted, simply:

Mark E. Weston Ph.D.ShiftParadigmReading the Way We Will Work: Ten Ways Your Job Will Change (from Time magazine). Think mine has already changed. http://bit.ly/7hGjn

I spent the next 45 minutes reading the article, and, yes, that's a long read, but it is truly interesting. Here's a quote:

Rob Carter, chief information officer at FedEx, thinks the best training for anyone who wants to succeed in 10 years is the online game World of Warcraft. Carter says WoW, as its 10 million devotees worldwide call it, offers a peek into the workplace of the future. Each team faces a fast-paced, complicated series of obstacles called quests, and each player, via his online avatar, must contribute to resolving them or else lose his place on the team. The player who contributes most gets to lead the team — until someone else contributes more.

Ah, technology. Just do it.
-- 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nursing Education In 3D Leveraging Virtual World

Happy Friday! My partners in educollaboration presented a fine piece of work at the 4th Annual Distinguished Lectureship on Diversity in Nursing: Diversity in a Virtual World, the Transformation of Nursing Education, Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ, May 15, 2009. 

John Miller and Cathy Walker shared out their presentation slides, though most of their presentation was interactive and inworld in Second Life. Here's the slides, though, packed with info and resources:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ETAN Letter, If You Please?

Despite Federal funding being raised to all-time highs in the current flurry of economic stimulus, the 650 million dollar level its at is still just a wee fraction when we're talking about trillions of dollars budgeted for education. This thwarts congressional will, as indicated in the letter below:We can make a difference. Please visit the EdTech Action Network and take a few minutes to customize the beginning of the lobby-created letter the Network will deliver to our congresspeople. It's important...

Here's the letter you'll be sending. A personalized introduction at its top might catch the eye of at least staff members! I'm including mine in bold as an example...

Sure, the following is a lobby-created template, but it explains issues in much more cogent terms than I can muster. I hope you will take a minute to read it. As a 13 year elementary education technology teacher at a Nashville independent school who is sending his 8th grader son to an MNPS school next year for the first time, I am writing to share my opinion about the funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program that was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Both the House and Senate passed bills included $1 billion for the EETT program, and yet the final bill reduced this commitment by 35 percent to $650 million.  I am very disappointed that this program suffered such a funding decrease during conference deliberations.

As an educator, I certainly appreciate and applaud the unprecedented investment in education that is included in the economic recovery package. The EETT program provides economic stimulus to our local communities through the creation and retention of high skilled jobs, stimulates the business sector and at the same time provides our students with the skills they need to compete in the global workforce.  
 
President Obama has spoken many times about the need to bring computers and modern technologies and skills to our nation’s classrooms.  I hope that as the FY10 appropriations processes continue you will make the EETT program a top funding priority.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Big "T" for Teachers

Did you know the big "T" in Teachers really stands for "TIME?"

I just popped into my FriendFeed to check out my Professional tab and there was Will Richardson sharing out Rich Lambert's insightful post at his blog, Removing the ‘e’ from ‘e-learning:Integrating important new technologies more seamlessly into our teaching.

That's the way all this works, pilgrim: Because I'm connected to willrich45 in twitter, and because I pull that into FriendFeed, I get to read an inspiring post I may have missed in my overstuffed Google Reader, not to mention my bloated Netvibes! I really must get to some RSS housekeeping over the summer!

Rich's blog is a staple of mine, and this post shows why: I highly recommend you take the few minutes of time (sort of a meta-exercise) it takes to read "How do I make the time?," which has some spot-on points about how to move our students into the 21st century by exchanging blocks of classroom time doing antiquated instructional activities for new ones that are relevant, timely, and forward-thinking. READ MORE...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rain Cessation Allows New Neighbors to Move In!

A lovely couple moved into my neighborhood, actually onto our back patio, yesterday. I'm not sure if they are titmouse, wren, or sparrow. If you know, please comment. They seem very nice, and our big black dog doesn't seem to mind the encroachment. :)



Friday, May 15, 2009

David Jakes asks: how innovative are you?

David Jakes is at it again. His blog post today at Tech&Learning is at once stimulating and challenging. If I were a negative person I'd be a little discouraged. Since I'm not, I'm driving you to his thought-provoking views on the value and acceptance of innovation in education:


David quickly gets to the point: "I’m not interested in being satisfied with pockets of innovation. Yes, they can be recognized, which for many schools, is the end point and the final rest stop of innovation in most schools. There can certainly be more however, with those same pockets analyzed for what works and why, amplified to increase their visibility and importance, and systematized to make a difference for all."              READ MORE...  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Evening Epiphany

I don't know how I've gotten so scattered lately, but my wife has more than once looked at me and said, "You're multi-tasking too hard, you: You're going to make a big mistake soon."

She may be right. The whole thing is a train rattling down a steep mountainside toward...what?

The place where it encounters a steep upturn, a clean end to the track, and the vehicle takes wing and soars adroitly, elegantly, gracefully into the flattering ether?

Some long, level, languishing, loverly lane where the train (remember, that's the metaphor) lolls along indefinitely, its laughing engineer sipping a tasty adult beverage and learning lots of things?

The wall?

Heck, I don't know.

Anyway, I'll continue to update you as I can. This very day, by the way, I spent a nice hour in the midst of wonderful folks, the sophomore class at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt. These are my peeps, ya'll, 25 kids I filmed, recorded, and witnessed as they grew in their freshman year last year. I haven't spent any time at all with them this year, involved as I've been with podcasts and with trying to etch out a Second Life presence for the School's hosting organization, the Vanderbilt Center for Science and Math.

What I saw today indicates the program works--it is possible for kids to be yanked out of their public school routines one day a week for intense, hands-on, research based science learning, and for them to grow in self-confidence and knowledge in incredibly impressive ways. I'll be working next Monday (in my own bizarre one day a week work model for Vanderbilt) to concoct a Snacks4theBrain! podcast to celebrate all that. But here's the question for now:

Everyone's looking for a way to make education work. Is this model something that could be extended to other disciplines? Could we have a "School for Creative Writing at Vanderbilt"? Could dedicated Engineers create and facilitate a "School for Architectural Innovation at Vanderbilt"? What about a "School for Environmental Sociology at [plug in your own university]" or a "School for Health and Wellness Education" at [plug in your own university]"?

Is there truly a role for higher education communities to reach out to our struggling public school systems to offer innovative solutions for the terrible fix our national fascination with "accountability" has gotten us into, Ollie? My favorite quote here is, "You don't fatten the pig by weighing it."

Look no farther than the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt. Really. Now you come up with a way to extend that incredibly effective model into your own discipline.

Talk at ya soon.