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Showing posts from February, 2011

Open Letter to Tennessee (and WORLD) Technology Coordinators

Greetings, All,

Those of you who know me and my professional history—14  years as a technology teacher at University School of Nashville and now Virtual Learning Curriculum Coordinator at Metro Nashville Public Schools—may also know that I am deeply involved at a national level in the field of virtual environments for teaching and learning and in various other projects tied to positive change in the way we teach and learn.

On January 26, 2011 the PC version of one of those other projects launched - JamParty:Remixed. Console versions for xBox, Playstation and Wii will be released in the near future. The console versions will have a live social interaction component.

Arkansas educator and dear friend Cathy Walker was involved and helped with the design of this program and along with her I am now serving as Education and Charitable Communities Liaison for the project. I receive no compensation for this role. It has been our hope and the hope of the “game’s” creator, Dan Sullivan, that the g…

Educational Change Video Marathon

I'm leaving work at the end of the day today to visit my alma mater (Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University) a few blocks away from my office at MNPS Virtual Learning. I'm going there view what I think is the first local screening of the independent film "Race to Nowhere." This is a movie I've been looking forward to seeing ever since I first learned about it on Facebook. Formerly subtitled "The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture," its trailer, which I share at the end of this post, is intriguing, to say the least.

As the father of two beautiful children and something of an advocate for change (I feel personally responsible for the word "radical" appearing in the National Educational Technology Plan: "...the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies should identify key emerging trends and priorities and recruit and bring together the best minds and organizations to collaborate…

If You're in Nashville, Please Consider This Great Line-up for Feb. 28

From Billboard Magazine, this article about a benefit from my neighbor, Todd Cerny:
GOOD WORKS
When songwriter Todd Cerney performed at Puckett’s Downtown in Nashville on Feb. 11, he was overcome with pain and cut the appearance short, telling the crowd it was likely his last live performance ever. Cerney, best-known for writing  Restless Heart’s “I’ll Still Be Loving You” and Steve Holy’s “Good Morning Beautiful,”  suffered a seizure Nov. 7 and was subsequently diagnosed with stage IV melanoma.
Restless Heart and Holy are just two of a long list of performers planning a Feb. 28 benefit for Cerney at Nashville’s Red Rooster Bar & Music Hall. Ty Hern - don, Bo Bice, Jeff Bates and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits are on tap, along with songwriters Wood Newton (“Bobbie Sue”), Rivers Rutherford (“When I Get Where I’m Going”), Thom Shepherd (“Redneck Yacht Club”), Lisa Carver (“Everyday America”), Richard Fagan (“Be My Baby Tonight”) and Casey Kelly (“The Cowboy Rides Away”), among others.
The event…

JamParty4Education is LIVE!

JamParty4Ed

Promote Your Page Too

Okay, ya'll, it's live, yes, but it's not fully populated. What is there is enough to get you started on requesting you own FREE copy of an exciting new WindowsPC-based musical creativity software that offers so much hope for so many students and educators that I'm simply beside myself  [looks to the left, jumps, startled} with the potentials. With JamParty:Remixed students with little or no musical training can begin to patch together their own creations from royalty-free song banks, "Jams," using an interface very much like the Guitar Hero and Rock Band ones many are so familiar with already. Think Legos with pieces of music. Not familiar with those tools? Never mind, you don't need to be. In Wikipedia, at the top of the definition for "Intuitive," is a screengrab from JamParty:Remixed. I'm not kidding!

Okay, I'm kidding, but I'm excited and I tend to kid when I'm excited. But the coolest thing…

Anybody Coming to Music City for SITE?

I've been drafted by my good friend Jan Zanetis onto a remarkable panel session at March's Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference, to be held here in Nashville March 8-11. The panel, on the future of distance learning, includes Jan, Kathy Hayden, Mike Lay, and Kecia Ray. It'll be great, I do believe!

Anyone coming? If so, comment away and let's get something going during the conference, even if it's just a meetup for a few light beers and some dynamite honkytonkin' at Tootsies Orchid Lounge!

As usual, I'll be the Virtual Environments guy, and I'm looking forward to sharing our Virtual Learning experimentations with OpenSim and the great work my global colleagues and I are carrying out in Second Life via ISTE's SIGVE 3rd Tuesday Speaker Sessions. ISTE, like many other educational institutions, are greatly reducing their investments in Second Life, partly due to our national economy and partly in response to Linden Labs…