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The ISTE Board Needs You

Having already demonstrated that you are a person of great intelligence and impeccable taste (being a Blue Skunk reader, of course), I would strongly encourage you to nominate yourself for the ISTE Board of Directors.

The responsibilities are not onerous, expenses (including NECC registration for the years while you serve) are paid, AND school library representation is needed! (See details below.)

My final board meeting after two terms (4 years) will be in February. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about being a Board Member.

The official announcement from ISTE:

Board  Nominations Open Monday Dec. 17     
Dear  ISTE Member,
The  ISTE Board Nominations Committee is seeking outstanding  educational technology leaders to serve on the ISTE  Board of Directors. This is your opportunity to nominate  a visionary educator <>  committed to improving teaching  and learning by advancing the effective use of technology  in education. You may nominate any ISTE member (including  yourself!). Nominations  for five open Board positions will be accepted beginning  Monday, December 17, 2007, through January 22, 2008,  each with a two-year term starting in June 2008. Please  be prepared to provide the nominee's ISTE membership number,  contact information, résumé/vitae, and answers  to three guiding questions.
More  details about the nomination process, open positions, three  guiding questions, and Board member responsibilities will  be available Monday at  We encourage you to take advantage of this excellent opportunity  to expand your reach and help shape the future of educational  technology with ISTE, the leading organization for Ed  Tech professionals! Special  Interest Group Officer Nominations are also open  from December 17, 2007, through January 22, 2008. For more  information and to view the open positions, please visit  the SIG  Elections page <> . 
Kurt  A. Steinhaus, EdD Past President, ISTE Chair, Nominations  and Appointments Committee

Trina  J. Davis, PhD President, ISTE     


A little FAQ:

1. How do I answer the “guiding questions?”
Here is a link to how I answered these questions.
My sense is that each individual will have unique ways of answering these questions.

2. How much travel is involved?
There are three board meetings each year that require travel – one in September, one in February, and one in June (just before NECC.) The September and February meetings are held all day Saturday and Sunday mornings, meaning for most of us, minimal time lost at work. Again, travel expenses are paid.

3. What are the job responsibilities?
In concrete terms, you must attend all the board meetings, participate in a monthly committee telephone conference or two, and do some NECC related stuff like vendor schmoozing, session introduction, and party/reception attendance.

Good board members go beyond this serving on task forces, advocating during meetings for their constituent groups, and providing a link to the Board and ISTE executives for the membership.

4. Is it only for K-12 educators? 
Not at all. We have a number of college professors, state tech directors and business representatives too. Some categories have restrictions, but there are always “at large” positions.

5. Do you think I know enough? Everybody on the board is so intelligent! (Actual question.)
The MENSA test is definitely optional. (No offense to fellow board members.)

Good luck to all nominated! 



Three very interesting reflections on trends :

It's that time of the year for Top Ten lists. I love'm. Start scouring your blogs now to highlight your own best posts.


The Radical Center of Education

RadicalCenter_800.gifLast Sunday I caught just a bit of the Speaking of Faith program on National Public Radio. Tippett was interviewing the author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, and his wife Kay. As a couple, they lead a large Evangelical church, but also are working on AIDS prevention. One particular comment by Kay stuck me. She sees her church as a moderate organization, neither fundamentalist nor liberal. And she believes this to be the most difficult position for it to take because it has two sets of critics - those from both the extreme left and the extreme right.

While the Radical Center political movement has been around for a while, I suggest that we in education and technology adopt a similar view on hot button topics. (And one thing that blog reading/writing has taught me is that there are PLENTY of emotion-laden topics in education!) While a polarized view of reading methodologies, filtering, DRM, Open Source, copyright/copyleft, constructivism, e-books, fixed schedules, Mac/PC/Linux, OLPC, fear-mongering, etc. makes for entertaining reading and good PR, I wonder if radical stances actually create educational change and so impact kids lives.

As a radical centerist in education, I try to subscribe to the following principles (This is just Saturday morning brainstorming and subject to revision, OK?) Sorry about many of these being clichés.

  1. Adopt an "and" not "or" mindset.
  2. Look for truth and value in all beliefs and practices.
  3. Respect the perspective of the individual. 
  4. One size does not fit all (kids or teachers).
  5. If you think it will work, it probably will.
  6. The elephant can only be eaten one bite at a time. Or is it that you can't leap the chasm in two bounds?
  7. To travel fast, travel alone. To travel far, travel with others. 
  8. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know."
  9. Measurement is good, but not everything can be measured.
  10. Know and keep your core values.

I'll try to flesh these ideas out and revise them over the next week or two. I'd be delighted to hear from others who consider themselves a part of the radical center. And to hear from the fringes as well on just why this is a bad idea. (Will I regret having just written that?)

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