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Showing posts from September, 2011

Good Digital Ink! MNPS Virtual School!

Yesterday Newschannel5's Scott Arnold came by our digs at the MNPS Virtual School, up in Suite 300 of the Cohn ALC on Nashville's Park Avenue, and he and his extremely artistic cameraman spent 45 minutes or so in a breakneck interview of our Coordinator/ActingPrincipal Barbra Thoeming. They asked excellent questions, took stellar video, and then left for a drive up to Two Rivers to interview two twin sister Full-Time students in our program. Everyone concerned did their part, but as we know that's no guarantee a good news story will air. Well, a good news story did air, and I thank Scott and his own team for so aptly portraying at least a portion of what me and my team does. If you don't blink, you'll see me heading up to my office to get back to work after facilitating a Skype interview with Alton Knight, a pioneer online teacher, on my iPad for the camera! Enjoy (if video takes too long to load try this link):


Why I Still Second Life, Well, One Reason!

I don't talk about it much here; I mainly confine virtual world discussions to my Second Life blog, "Oh! Virtual Learning!" But lately I have been becoming interested in reviving my membership in learning communities there. I know, people think I'm nuts, and there are 10 (binary) kinds of people when it comes to understanding the value of 3D virtual "sense of place at a distance," those who are inworld(s) and those who aren't. I logged into SL this early Sunday morning to visit my new little shoppe (you have to pronounce the final "e") at Guthries Folk Club, which I blogged about recently here.

I was greeted by an instant message from one of my literally hundreds of "friends" in Second Life. Although many of those friends ("friends" in the social media sense) have become real-life actual friends over the years I've spent as an educator in SL, this one is really just a virtual acquaintance--think Facebook "friends.…

Standardized Testing Versus Jobs, an Oblique Perspective

Though all of Alfie Kohn's writings to date are well worth examining, and though he has contributed more logical and thoughtful arguments against homework, standardized testing, and the generally wrong-headed habits our schools have stacked one upon the other for generations--to the point that it seems overwhelmingly improbable they will ever be upended--his post yesterday in HuffPost Education, "Whoever Said There's No Such Thing As a Stupid Question Never Looked Carefully at a Standardized Test," is maybe the most concise and inarguable "elevator speech" on the topic to date, at least in the battle against the bane of progressive educational change, Standardized Testing.

As I read it, some concepts formed in my mind, chief among them the role that employment plays in all of this. Since I haven't really noticed much discussion of this element, I thought it right and good to toss it out there. It goes something like this:

Education is a thriving industr…