Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays One and All

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful respite from the daily grind as we near Christmas and celebrate all that the winter holiday season has to offer. We here in Nashville have been enjoying the increase in family time this week and are looking forward to my brother and his wife passing through this very evening on their way to Priscilla's family in Oak Ridge.

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!

Scott

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nashville Sign Project in ReactionGrid

Please visit and comment! Here's a little video that explains a little 'speriment I put together to share a small printmaking exhibit from a high school art class led by Lesley Patterson-Marx. Extending the audience is the goal, as well as encouraging comment on a global scale. We'll see how it flies at Scottsperiment Island in Reactiongrid!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advance Announcement: Social Media and Web2.0 for Educators!

This will go out officially around Jan. 1, but I wanted to make the announcement here immediately, especially since it has a cap of 16 on the signup!

My school, University School of Nashville, offers summer camps and workshops for both students and adults all summer long under the auspices of a robust program under the direction of the capable Mr. John Kleiner. Just this morning I received copy to proof for the summer brochure, and I want to share it with you. More information about application process will be available soon. Meanwhile, if you want to go on a wait list for first shot at application, feel free to email me at smerrick@email.usn.org with your contact information (include Summer Social Media and Web2.0 for Educators! in your subject header) and I'll see that that happens. It may be the cheapest (and most fun) date of your summer!

Social Media and Web2.0 for Educators!
  • 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

    ReactionGrid Opens Up New Vistas for Teaching and Learning


    If you follow my blog Oh!VirtualLearning! you may already know that I have been appointed facilitator of the new ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Special Interest Group for Virtual Environments. Certainly you know of my interest in this amazing, complex, fascinating (and enabling on so many levels) development in online communcation. As SIGVE "Poobah," I enjoy the company of a great many educators more capable than myself in our effort to help make some sense out of all the myriad virtual worlds out in the metaverse, to assess their value (or lack of it) for learning and teaching, and to collaborate on innovative efforts that leverage their functionalities toward the betterment of education.

    At last year's National Educational Computing Conference, or NECC, in Washington, D.C., it was announced that future conferences held by ISTE would do away with the NECC name, that the next annual conference would be named "ISTE 2010," establishing the new naming convention for future years, and that it would be held in one of my favorite cities in the world, Denver, Colorado.

    I am excited to be planning already for ISTE 2010, and even more so that I received in my email this morning the notice that my Presenter's login is now available, along with a link to it and to my presentation, the Virtual Environments Birds-of-a-feather session, so that I could provide a description for the program. Another email contained news that friend Jan Zanetis's proposal for a "panel of experts" on Distance Learning has been accepted, and she's somehow managed to add me to that panel. I truly do always tell people interested in virtual environments that there is no such thing as an expert, and if you are talking to someone who claims to be one, the best course of action is to run screaming from the room. Still, I'm flattered, of course, and it'll be fun to join Jan, Kecia Ray, Scott Parks, Howie DiBlasi, and Cathi Swan for an hour of fast talking about the future of distance education, and to do it for a target audience of school and district administrators.

    If you've read this far, you deserve a little "Easter egg," and here it is: I've entered OpenSim's ReactionGrid by purchasing a region of my very own, and I'm calling it "Scottsperiment."
    Here's a SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Scottsperiment/128/128/26 . Note that you must be logged into ReactionGrid to make that link work. Visit ReactionGrid's website to download a viewer that is compatible with OpenSim and come explore. I'll be posting more information as soon as I've finished my initial terraforming and land parceling. It's going to be fun...