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Showing posts from October, 2010

Utopian Visions? Possibilities? Something...Virtual Pioneers Closing Keynote October 30, 2010

Thanks to the folks who attended my closing keynote for the two-day Virtual Pioneers History Conference in Second Life last evening. Spiff/Andy had asked me to close with some visions for the future of education, and I kind of went wild. Though one attendee rather rudely backchatted his boredom during the opening wrap up and summary, I appear to have stifled his criticism, at least to some degree, with the following presentation. I spiffed it up (pun intended) a bit after subsequent dinner conversation with my lovely wife, who serves up the best pushback from the point of view of a parent and educator. The backchat text file is at .

Here 'tis. I may add some audio, but for now as you view it you should likely put on the Beatles "Revolution" or virtually any Ratatat, either one played very loud...

View more presentations from Scott Merrick.

Gary Stager's "Must Read" List for School "Reform"

The esteemed Gary Stager, educational change advocate and a strong voice in the edublogosphere, last week posted a piece--on the new Huffington Post Education tab--which he, with characteristic aplomb, entitled, "Wanna be an School Reformer? You Better do your Homework!" I heartily encourage you to begin yours with a visit to that post and a thorough reading of Gary's careful and knowledgeable descriptions of the 18 books on his (though "admittedly subjective") list of essential required readings. I took a few minutes at the start of my work day to cull out just the titles with Gary's links to the books themselves, but only because I want a concise assignment sheet for myself in order to search my local public library (that "teacher's salary" issue ;).

[Posted later, a pic of my growing collection from the public library, shared with my colleagues at my cubby]:
Steve Hargadon, through whose Facebook post I became aware of Gary's article, su…

Sir Ken Robinson Helps Me Out (Again)

Okay, just to make sure you watch this. I've Facebooked, tweeted, emailed, and done everything but run screaming through the streets to share this 11 minutes of reasonableness with others. Here's my last effort (today, anyway) to nominate Sir Ken Robinson for a Global Reason Award. Is there such a thing? Maybe not, but there should be. I started off my MNPS SWAP session by sharing this with the 18 K-12 teachers who were really there for a Web 2.0 learning day. I said it was "to let you know where I'm coming from, here." Here:

Web 2.0 for US! Session at Martin Professional Development Center 101910

I had a great time yesterday facilitating an all-day Web 2.0 (and beyond) session for 18 MNPS teachers. The participants were a very nicely balanced mix of elementary, middle, and high school teachers and we got right into it at 8:37 a.m. The class was supposed to get underway at 8:30 but my watch (this has never before happened) inexplicably stopped at 8:16 and I kept glancing at it thinking, "we have a few more minutes" until I thought "It's been 8:16 for quite some time. Has time stopped?"

Off we went. The session was guided by the PowerPoint/GooglePresentation embedded here and underscored by dialog in a live chat room at I have now pasted the chat log into slides at the end of the pressie and added a few replies to questions or comments I didn't see because I was sharing my little heart out up front of the room. The final slide shares a bit of my own reflection on the day's work.

Please take a few minutes (11, which you will …

Virtual Pioneers Online History Conference!

Come and join in the 3D immersive fun and learn while you do it!
Second Life and OpenSimulator, two important artifacts of future history, are continually providing new ways to see, hear, and personally experience the past. Other 3D platforms are doing so as well, and in the course of these presentations over a two day period, as you drop in when your own schedule allows, you will see what all this can mean for learning and teaching over the next generation. Read the press release for the conference.
Andrew Wheelock (Spiff Whitfield) has facilitated into being a group of around 200 educators interested in exploring history in virtual worlds. The Virtual Worlds Pioneers has been going strong for years now, having started out in a Ning and migrating to (as did so many other communities) when Ning dumped their free-for-education policy. The new address is at and I heartily encourage you to join.
Why? Because VWP consistently offers events in virtu…

Marc Prensky on digital_nation: life on the virtual frontier

I'm cruising around looking for resources that will contribute to understanding for attendees of my Web2.0 for US! professional development session next Tuesday for Metro Nashville Public Schools teachers and came across this wonderful just-over-4-minute snippet from the PBS project digital_nation: life on the virtual frontier. I think it says a lot of what I'm moving toward in my own thinking and I thought I'd share it out with you, dear reader. I'd also like to point you to a recently published Education World interview with my colleague-in-change Will Richardson (well, okay, he's really an idol). In it he points out some obvious areas for change and admits frustration with the snail's pace rate of it. Here's a sort of a "re-tweet" from Twitter:

Scott SIGVE Merrick Great Will Richardson interview:

"Lives" is now available on Kindle!

From Amazon today!
Lives relates one soul's journeys through three times: the American Civil War, mid 20th Century middle-class America, and a post-holocaust future in which the protagonist might well be the only man left on the planet. (Contains sexual references and scenes of violence in a dramatic context.) It has been described as a contemporary-historical-sciencefiction-futuristic-fantasy. The author welcomes categorizations from readers...


Congratulations! The book(s) you recently submitted has published to the Kindle Store. Please note that while the title is available for readers to purchase now, the product description and links to the book’s physical counterpart may take up to 48 hours to appear on the book’s detail page.

Here’s a link to your book(s) in the Kindle store:
Lives |

Live Interactive Event Monday--Come Join the Discussion!

From, an invitation: 
Date: Monday, October 4, 2010 Time: 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern / 9pm GMT (international times here) Duration: 2 hours Location: In Elluminate. Log in at The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event at the event page. Event and Recording Page:
Hashtag:  #elev8ed The Future of Education Charting the Course of Teaching and Learning in a Networked World
A message to all members of The Future of EducationBetween the NBC "Education Nation" SummitWaiting for SupermanThe Oprah Winfrey Show, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to Newark city schools, there has been a lot of media attention focused on the topic of education r…

I'm on for ESBOCES Webinars in February


ESBOCES in New York is setting up a cool year of professional development for their administrators and teachers, and I've been asked to belly up for a 4 week series of weekly webinars on the general topic of Leadership in education. Cool!

New! Model Schools Virtual Technology Leadership Series Get inspired from the comfort of your own home! 
All administrators and interested teachers are invited to join us for this exciting and inspiring technology leadership series.  Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from and interface with technology subject matter experts.  This Leadership Series is designed to broaden your perspective on technology and its application to improving teaching and learning.   Each series will run once a week for four weeks and will feature a different technology expert. Weekly webcasts will be followed by additional on-line interaction (blogging, discussions, etc.) and will allow you the chance to interact with technology leaders from other dis…