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It's quiet at the blog. Too quiet.

Up early on an icy winter Sunday morning I realize I've neglected my blogging, perhaps unforgivably. While blogging may now be considered passé by some these days I do still believe in it.

This belief may not be apparent for anyone who took note of the closure of the Bloggers Hut at ISTE SIGVE in Second Life this past July, after five years of monthly updates at Oh!VirtualLearning! and inside the little hobo shack that had been its home since moving to ISTE SIGVE from ISTE Island after its own demise. As explained at the blog post just noted, I am just so busy these days with my virtual school, an online public school in the creation of which I'm so immensely proud to have had a part, that I've yielded much of my advocacy for virtual worlds to other more capable hands.

I do continue to support their efforts when I can, by attending inworld events like the Virtual Education Round Table, by microblogging via Twitter and Facebook, and by attending weekly SIGVE Office Hours a…

Coming up soon: Wainhouse Research Virtual Summit

I'll be coming in for Q and A toward the end of the presentation of a recorded discussion between me and friends Jan Zanetis and Lance Ford, hosted by Wainhouse Research's Alan Greenberg. We had a lively chat about disruptive technologies in education and I hope the attendees enjoy it!

Join in as you can, from 1-5pm today!

Join us online for the next Wainhouse Research Virtual Summit focusing on the education market and how colleges, K-12 institutions and corporate trainers are changing the face of instruction through the implementation of new technologies. To be held 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET on November 12, the Wainhouse Research EDU Virtual Summit offers users the chance to watch informational webcasts and collaborate with others seeking to broaden their understanding of technology’s evolving role in education.
To learn more about the event and to register for free to attend, click here:
http://engage.vevent.com/rt/uccsummit~edu

The Perfect Media Trifecta for Spring Registration

Metro Schools touts success, flexibility of virtual school ran live on Channel 4 News last week and is available to watch online now. We are so proud of our MNPS Virtual School students at Nashville School of the Arts, who are profiled in the piece; and that pride extends to all of the over 350 students taking a class or classes with us while enrolled in their MNPS school of choice or zone.

We're also very proud of our nearly 100 full-time students, and you can hear more on that right here, on Nicole Cowan's wonderful Nashville by Nicole show at Lightning100 Radio.

These two share-outs come at a great time for us. We opened the enrollment request window just this week, for Spring 2014, and it will remain open through December 6. Read about that at the third share, MNPS ChildrenFirst blog's announcement of the sign-up process!

Thanks to WSMV Channel 4, Lighting100, and ChildrenFirst for noticing, caring, and sharing!

Wainhouse Research Virtual EDU Summit: Innovations & Interactivity in the Collaborative Classroom

Hello? Do you have your online calendar handy? Quick! Add a notation to attend this free online Professional Development opportunity November 12!

From the organizers:

The Wainhouse Research Virtual EDU Summit will be an engaging online event for educators, trainers and technologists who seek to implement collaborative tools and interactive services to enhance education environments. Our goal with the Virtual EDU Summit is to foster greater understanding of the technologies and solutions that are transforming today’s classroom and help educators and students to work, team, meet and learn in real-time, on demand, and over distance.

Make plans to attend the Virtual EDU Summit, where we will focus on the rapidly evolving set of technologies – from Learning Management Systems and web collaboration to video conferencing and lecture capture – and how the implementation of these capabilities can enhance the learning experience. From flipped classrooms to Massive Open Online Courses, from user-…

Two Wonderful Professional Development Opportunities!

When it rains it pours. In a good way this time.

I'll be sharing about virtual worlds next Monday morning at a uniquely blended online and in-person conference in Iowa, all from the convenience of my garage home office. I did so last Saturday as well, and the forum platform was the same, Google Hangouts. Last Saturday's one hour session was a panel on the impact of technology on learning and teaching, organized and moderated by dear friend Jane Wilde at Marlboro College in Vermont; and it was thoroughly enjoyable, archived at YouTube (a feature of Hangouts). You can watch the session right here if you wish, or watch part of it and come back later to finish. It's digital, y'all.

Scroll on down to see the schedule for the Iowa conference, which is designed in such a way that I don't really have to present at all, just attend, share the viewing of a K12OnlineConference video presentation I created last year, and then be present via hangouts for q and a. I do plan to d…

Look out: He's back in Kitely fooling around!

Hey, all,

I am happy to announce that I have a teacher interested in exploring the use of Kitely for synchronous sessions with her online students, so I've been noodling around in there over the past few days updating spaces.

I've ditched the wooden-looking circular floors underneath the "unclassrooms" and textured their floors as translucent blue-sky clouds. I'm working on arranging all the sets of four long 4 student tables in each wall-less, ceiling-less, roof-less "room" to face one another with a teacher stool in one corner. I still have the display objects, a link to the LMS and four teleporters to four different distant discussion islands for breakout sessions.

But the main building has morphed into a blue and orange wonder, no longer the metallic structure obtained from Open University sim. I changed out all the logos to our new banner and added an office for Sherry, newly re-assigned and promoted to v-Enrollment Support Specialist, and put Sara…

ITEC in October Looks Promising

Here's something to blog about--old friend Leigh Zeitz emailed me the other day and invited me to share in a remote session at the Iowa Technology & Education Conference in October. I'll do so.

This "flipped" conference is built upon educational videos which are watched onsite and then augmented by a Skype or other technology-supported videoconferencing platform visit by the video's creator. For my session they selected my K12 Online Conference piece from last November. This prompted me to go back and revisit it and, what do you know, it's pretty interesting.

I've been pretty much removed from 3-D synchronous learning environments for the past year or more as my "real-life" work has captured my passion and focus, such as it is (that's a little joke for those who know me and my sometimes scattered attention span). I've been too busy with that to even propose a topic for this year's K12 Online Conference, which I see will be Keynot…

Schooled

My recent post about my frustrations in the eBook ordering process is retracted.

I am in the system. Please pardon any systemic missteps I may make as I continue to try to do the best thing by our students.

Undercurrent of Blessings

It's Sunday morning as I prepare to re-enter the workaday world after a fine ISTE conference, a relaxing weekend fishing with my brother Ed, then a week at home catching up with writing, hanging out with family, and prepping a cubic yard of cables and archaic tech gear for next weekend's yard sale. I'm ready for it.

Kind of surprisingly, I miss my team at MNPS Virtual School and I am very much looking forward to the hard work ahead as we address the closure of Summer Success 2013 and the beginning of the 2013-14 academic school year.

As I prep for re-entry, I've been listening to some of my dear brother (from another mother) James Morrison's music on YouTube, as well as his "Son to the Boy" CD, and in doing so I stumbled across a lovely little interview he did a couple years ago for  a YouTube series called "The New Media Artist." It's worth a watch, both because it's Jimmy, and because his musings remind us of some important things. Wat…

THE BEST ISTE EVER: Day 5, Wednesday, Reflections

Another up-early morning and I had to finish packing and stow my luggage at the front desk before hitting the Hyatt Ballroom A yet again for EdTech Leaders' annual Online Learning Institute. My plan, which worked well, I may say, was to take a cab out to the airport and pick up a reserved rental car then return to the hotel for my bags before driving to Lake Conroe, north of Houston, a 3 and a half hour or so drive, in order to spend several days relaxing and fishing with my brother, Ed. Ed does important work with The Augustus Group, his consulting company focused on risk analysis and compliance in heavy industry.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--though this eats up all day (8-3) the final day of ISTE, it's time well allocated if one is in the distance learning field. You can see why if you check out all the available round-table sessions at the online agenda, and I'll just elaborate a bit here and we'll be done.

The program began with welcomes and …

THE BEST ISTE EVER: Day 4 Reflections

I'll get a start on it. Day 4 was the bomb. Here's the "moneyshot" again  to prove it:

Tuesday morning I actually slept in until 7:30, had a good workout, and dressed smartly for my photo shoot at 11:20. I'd been asked by ISTE to be a poser and you know me, I couldn't resist. But that did mean I was in slacks and had to haul my blue blazer around all day. That's okay though, I look forward to recognizing myself in some upcoming issue of Learning and Leading with Technology. If you check out last month's issue you'll see Andy Wheelock's personable self gracing the inside front cover--like that. You should also catch Andy's article from the May L&LT: http://www.learningandleading-digital.com/learning_leading/201205?pg=5#pg28

I actually had a sit  down breakfast at the Hilton's Riverwalk restaurant, and the breakfast wrap was good but I never had a coffee refill and no one actually checked in with me at any time. I had to flag down a …

THE BEST ISTE EVER: Day 3 Reflections

Where are we? Monday? Yes, Monday, June 24, 2013. My Day 3 of ISTE13.

Up early and down to the Westin Riverwalk's fitness room to get fit. Or at least fitter. And maybe a little less fatter.

My schedule this day looked like this:
Monday, June 248:00am-6:00pmPresenter's World Hours
Location: Registration West
8:00am-9:30amMSIGOLSIGOL Forum: Connect, Collaborate, and Create with a MOOC!
Location: SACC 103A
8:30am-9:30amAn Integrated Model for Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning
Location: SACC 001B
11:00am-12:00pmSIGOL (Online Learning) Annual Meeting
Location: SACC 102
11:30am-1:30pmVolunteer Leadership Lunch
Location: San Antonio Conference Center, Lonesome Dove Room
12:30pm-4:00pmInnovation in Teacher Education Playground
Location: SACC Park View Lobby
2:00pm-4:00pmMaintain Academic Integrity in the Cybersphere
Location: SACC Tower View Lobby, Table 28
5:00pm-7:00pmHappy Hour at AWE