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Showing posts from 2015

The too too busy blues

It seems like all of my infrequent posts lately start with some apology in the order of "It's been a while..."

Yes, I'm busy. No, I'm not going to whine about it. Here's a list of what is keeping me busy:
My lovely honey's business, no longer really "new business," but evolving in its first year of eloquently pink-awninged storefront into something even bigger and better than we imagined. My school's growth, from 7-12 to 5-12, from 700 part-timers to 1700, holding its own with 150 full-timers and my taking on Middle School online teaching responsibilities coupled with ongoing teacher, student, and tech support ones. The Last Downsize, gearing up to close in two weeks on our home of 10 years and then on a brand new "tall and skinny" home in The Nations. The consequent move in three weeks. Inspections, repairs, research, packing, planning, and, and, and...ISTE volunteer work, including serving as VP for both the Online Learning Networ…

Happy Fall from Nashvegas, TN

It's been a while since I posted. Wanted to share some developments.

Lee Ann's been workingworkingworking at Tinwings, LLC, her "EEE" (entreprenurial epicurian enterprise), full-bore since well before they opened their storefront at 816 51st Avenue South last spring. Like any startup, it's hard, but perhaps unlike every startup, it's magnificently rewarding for her, her partner Ursula, and for the small but mighty group of workers she's employing, mostly very part-time. She and Ursula are the core of the operation, and they are both working overtime and under-compensated, paying back initial investment with hard hard work. I'm proud of all of them, but mostly so of my dear Lee Ann.

Our house is on the market. I cannot BELIEVE the work it took to get it there, but it's there, and we are living on a stage set, prepping it most mornings to be as ready as it can be and working on a 4 hour notice of showings. We had one over the weekend and another yes…

Pleiades wishes

My wishes on falling stars, Pleiades meteor shower, 081315, 0435-0505 hours--‪#‎goodmorning‬

 1. That my daughter and my son be safe and true always to themselves
2. That my wife take care of herself almost as much as she takes care of others
3. That we endure, lovingly, to the end, which is not the end
4. That my brother be safe and healthy
5. That those of my family who have passed over be at peace or in good flux
6. That my godson continue to thrive and to inspire
7. That my brother from another mother be safe and healthy
8. That his family thrive and be safe
9. That our family thrive and be safe
10. That the world embrace my beautiful children for their caring and creative souls
11. That my school forever seek
12. That my colleagues remain friends
13. That our nation find balance
14. That our nation turn its back on hate
15. That the pieces of this most likely final move fall merrily into place
16. That our new home be as much a home as has this one
17. That I create and contribut…

New Academies of Nashville -- explained in 5 minutes!

So proud to be working to make this happen at our virtual school!

Reflections from ISTE2015 in Philadelphia, PA, Part 3 of 3

Let's get this done.

Up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, sitting in my family room with my two pooches and my kitty, it's weird to me that ISTE2015 is a thing of the past. Planning for it and looking forward to it is such a part of my life every year that this period of a month or so after it's over is kind of like post-partum blues. I'll be sharing stories with friends and colleagues in Second Life at this coming Tuesday at 5 p.m. Second Life Time. For the uninitiated, that's SLT, or as most folks know it, Pacific Time (set that way because Linden Lab, the company who created and develops Second Life, is in San Francisco, CA.). Please join us if you can. I hope to take folks to our "My Favorite Sprankle" art show in AvaCon grid afterward, so if you haven't yet entered the contest, this will be your chance to do so with some virtual hands-on help.

Contest information is at this padlet page.

Okay, Where was I?


Reflections from ISTE2015 in Philadelphia, PA, Part 2 of 3

Allllllrighty then.

I have been at this education game a while. Certainly not as long as many, as I came to it late in life. Actually, I spent the first half (or so--exact numbers to be determined at a much later date) of my life educating myself. Returning to college at the age of 40 I got all formal with it. Now, just last week, my work to help build online learning options for my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee has ramped up a bit. I'm still in the same position, but it's been redefined as half-time actually teaching and half-time supporting teachers and working on the system as a whole. New job title? Yup. How's this for a woozy? "Associate Virtualization Engineer."

I'm fond of saying that my brother, Ed, who is a real engineer, is very proud of me. Here at MNPS Virtual School, which I helped conceive and create, hired in 2010 by my dear friend Kecia Ray to do so, we are still making things up. Associate Virtualization Engineer: Really? Really.

So, to la…

Reflections from ISTE2015 in Philadelphia, PA, Part 1 of 3

NOTE: Time-jumping re-edit, partly written on the plane home and re-edited and continued at home. Not for the time-challenged!

I've been attending ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) Annual Conference and Exposition since It was called the National Educational Computing Conference. My first was in 2000, in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm sitting on the dead last aisle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight home from Philadelphia to Nashville right now and there is no wi-fi, so I can't google it, but I will try to do that later (I did. It's a fact. The theme that year was "Connecting at the Crossroads."). For now, I want to get my reflections down after ISTE2015, while they are fresh, if somewhat exhausted!

So I'm working on my iPad mini, finger-typing. The guys next to me are asleep, and the seats are tiny back here, so I have unwillingly yielded personal space and need to twist in my seat to keep from establishing full upper arm to full upper…

ISTE2015 VEN Maker Space WELCOME!

Hello, all,

Heading up to good olde Philly on Saturday morning and I'll hit the ground running with Hack Education at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The ISTE Virtual Environments Network, my primary peeps, have already created a space for us to gather whether we're physically at ISTE 2015 or are home in our pajamas at our laptops, in Sydney or Kyoto, it matters not.

Watch this one minute intro, then meet us in Second Life at for the fun, and, yes, the games!

Visit for my best guesses about whereabouts at any given time.

For my father on Father's Day

For my father, whom I remember with fondness and complete love, and whose passing I celebrated with this constructed artifice written in the early '90's. Reading this poem aloud in a college poetry class brought on performance panic attacks that haunted me for over two decades. Nothing is simple. 


I saw you to auditions, steering a rented wheelchair past
many things we daily take for granted, onto an antiseptic stage where your veins were infused with some hack director's concept
of the substance of the play; to no good end, for in the end there is no stifling this playwright's primal theme. Of necessity, father mine, no doubt, the play will out. You could not choose a role to play

Bad Ladies EP is OUT!

Edgie, original and intense psych-rockers Bad Ladies have hit the streets with their EP and as a purely self/son-serving exercise I share it here. Proud as punch of my son Colin and his buddies Graeme and Zan, who laid down most of this recording in a purely analog studio on Charlotte Avenue and did so with flair, musicianship, and such creativity as burns the braincells in a good way. Pick it up and play it loud and often, and see if you can get some if its hooks and riffs out of your mind after a few listens. Please buy and share:

Rude Bitchez EP by BAD LADIES

Moving toward ISTE 2015

Just a note to note we're getting into some pretty darned interesting stuff for the Virtual Environments Playground at ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia.

New this year, we're giving up half our playground so that the Games and Simulations Network, a group of friends we care about, can have their own playground. So essentially the two presentation areas and six ongoing presentation tables that constitute an ISTE Playground will be reduced to one of the former and 3 of the latter for each network.

We don't mind. We're focused on bringing the best of the best to bear for our ISTE colleagues, all of them. Our Second Life Playground was one of the very first ever at NECC, oh these many years ago, and it's looked rather different every year since morphing into the SIGVE Playground and now the Virtual Environments Playground. The fact that the conference organizers this year did not have space to offer G&S their own full playground attests to the popularity of the format: Ope…

Article published at for educators new to learning and teaching in virtual worlds

Oh, yes oh yes oh yes:

Machinima by Students or Teachers? Submit to the Force!

Machinima Submissions are Now Open!2015 Categories
2015 Submission Form

It's Machinima mania at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference this year! Machinima - it’s a portmanteau of the words machine and cinema. It is the screencapturing and editing of 3D games and virtual environments. Are your students or maybe you making these? They can be made in Minecraft, Roblox, World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online or any other video game or 3D environment.

Here is an example of one of the past winners. Lego Universe- Crumple’s Pet Skunk Tutorial See the learning happening there. We’d love for you and your students to submit your Machinima videos. You need not attend the conference to participate. If you or your students are especially prolific in creating Machinima, you can also submit your Machinima channel.

At the 2015 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, we will be announcing the winners of the 2015 EduMachinima Fest o…