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Wednesday
Jan162008

Take McLeod's survey anyway

Compare this:

Hear ye! Hear ye!

All education bloggers are hereby invited and encouraged to...

  • complete the short and completely unscientific, but hopefully interesting, education blogosphere survey;
  • forward the URL of said survey to all other known education bloggers to ensure decent representation of the education blogosphere;
  • and publicize said survey URL on their own blogs to foster greater participation in this most noble endeavor.

Survey results received by Sunday, January 14, shall be posted in the town square on Wednesday, January 17.

Those solicited who choose not to participate shalt be labeled both publicly and widely as dastardly scoundrels, notty-pated hedgepigs, or beslubbering, doghearted, maggot-ridden canker-blossoms! (Dangerously Irrelevant, Jan 5, 2007)

To this:

The second annual Education Blogosphere Survey is now open for business! 4 screens. 25 questions. ... Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for questions and a HUGE THANKS in advance to anyone and everyone who helps publicize this! Deadline = January 26, 11:00pm, (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) (Dangerously Irrelevant, Jan 16, 2008)

Dr. McLeod has been away from Minnesota for only a short few months, and we can visibly see a rapid decline in hissurvey08sm.jpg creativity, humor and persuasive abilities. And the young man held such potential!

I'm giving Scott a pass this year. Moving to Iowa can be quite an adjustment. I took his survey again and urge you, my discriminating readers, to do so as well.

But if McLeod doesn't juice up his call for survey participation next year, I'm not sure if I'll be able to participate.

Despite the risk of being labled a maggot-ridden canker-blossom.

 

Wednesday
Jan162008

Speaking as an avatar

slpres1.jpg
 
Giving a presentation in Second Life last night felt like one of those "going to the pole by dog sled" events. It was possible to do, but felt like had one waited a couple years, the dog sled would have been replaced by a snowmobile.
 
The organizers and I decided that I give the talk via text rather than voice. I practiced with a tool called SpeakEasy that I had carefully loaded with my remarks ahead of time which would with a simple click add them to the chat/IM window one at a time.  I practiced with it. It worked earlier in the day. (It even working this morning after the fact.) It just decided not to work at the time of presentation. Mild panic.

Thankfully, I had also recorded all my comments in the notes field of my slides so I launched good old PowerPoint and just copy and pasted the comments through the talk. I was using my 12" laptop so the screen was crowed. It worked, but it wasn't very smooth and I didn't get to use all the cool gestures with which I had hoped to impress people. (You should have seen my hula.)

I also couldn't figure out a really good "camera" angle from which I could see both the audience and the screen (so I could make sure the right slide was showing.) My eye contact was pretty bad, I'm afraid.
 
I also have always had a tough time with chat/IM discussions when about 10 lines of conversation - questions, comments and challenges - all hit one at once. Anybody have tips on dealing with this?
 
I know - excuses, excuses.

But I would do it again and the bumps will be worked out, making this a good medium in which to present.  I really appreciate the patience of those attending! Thanks, as well, for the help and encouragement of the participants, the ISTE staffers, and Lisa Perez and KJ Hax! You were all great.
 
And I now have a new nursing home story... "Yeah, way, way back in 2008 I gave a talk in an early MUVE called Second Life. Look it up in your history book. This was before the days of true virtual reality when we had to use keyboards and mice and text." You get the drift.
 
The other impression that last night's talk on Intellectual Freedom in a Filtered World left me with was that I am a lone voice in the wilderness on this issue. Is anyone else in education speaking out and writing against overfiltering (not just complaining about their own district's filtering use)? Are teacher and administrator (and library for that matter) preservice college programs teaching newbie educators the concepts and principles of Intellectual Freedom and asking them to read things like the Freedom to Read statement? (Links to other IF resources are in the wiki for this presentation.) Why not?
 
Access to good resources is essential for an educational program that stresses information problem-solving, constructivist learning strategies and higher order thinking skills. Why are more progressive educators not speaking out about the need for a renewed commitment to Intellectual Freedom in schools?
 
Those conservative parents all gotcha cowed? 
 
slpres2.jpg 

The photos in this entry come from Kevin Jarrett's Fickr collection found here. Thanks, Kevin. I've never looked so blue! He also wrote a kind entry about the presentation on his Story of My Second Life blog.

Lisa Perez blog entry about the presentation is here. And another one about the discussion on the following Thursday. 

Monday
Jan142008

Whole child

wholechild.jpg

It's a pretty simple really:

Each student enters
school healthy and learns
about and practices a
healthy lifestyle.

Each student learns
in an intellectually
challenging environment
that is physically and
emotionally safe for
students and adults.

Each student is actively
engaged in learning and
is connected to the school
and broader community.

Each student has
access to personalized
learning and to qualified,
caring adults.

Each graduate is prepared
for success in college
or further study and for
employment in a global
environment.

The Learning Compact Redefined: A Call to Action from ASCD's Whole Child project.

This is not a long document. It even feels a little simplistic. So much of what it says about kids and schools seems so obvious.

But as I struggle with technology and standards and student information systems and viruses and upgrading operating systems and next year's budget and other nonsense, it is a reaffirming read.

Share it with others who may also be wondering just why they are doing what they do. Share with those focused only on test scores. Share it with parents.

(Thanks to my Facebook librarian buddy Hilda Weisburg for putting me on to this site.)