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My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

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EdTech Update






Persistence is often listed as a 21st century skill. From yesterday's e-mail inbox:

Hello Mr. Johnson,
I am a research chemist in Cincinnati pulling double duty as our company's project leader in knowledge and information management.  I am fascinated by the way 'literacy' is changing as our information environment evolves, for digital immigrants like myself, but also for our children.  I came across your book over a year ago, Machines are the Easy Part, and spent a good hour trying to find my way back to it today...
It turns out my had the link, but my information literacy tag has so many links that I didn't find the link where I thought it should be - a classic case of failed re-finding.
sky.jpgI am reading Jones' Keeping Found Things Found, and just read about the 'Critical Incident Technique' of evaluating failures of PIM.  This was certainly a failure in re-finding. [See Johnson's Law of Finding]  In his other book, Personal Information Management, he points out that search failure during re-finding appears to be particularly frustrating in part because the information sought has been seen before and is known to exist....but....  I think the 'map' to the information has changed, which threw me off my path.  You've updated your site since the last time I was there.
Which is a rambling round about way to ask for the table of contents for 'Machines are the easy part' that I remember being available on the old site.
And I wanted to send an email to make sure that sending a check to the address posted on the site ... will actually lead to a book purchase!
 You may or may not be interested in my needle in a haystack route to find your site:
 Initial Google Search: 

book information literacy presentations computers <;hl=en>
I remembered finding the book (turns out my link post was from November, 2006) while looking around for discussion of children and education and information literacy in schools.  I also seem to recall your book had comments about giving 'presentations.'

Then I tried:
book information literacy presentation computers teacher <;hl=en>

The first hit was education related and I seemed to recall the book's audience was educators and that the author was a teacher, maybe?  So I added 'teacher'
Mankato kept coming up and I seemed to recall noting that the author was from Minnesota - I'm from MN and I was reminded of the coincidence.
So I added Minnesota to the search and a few other  words:
 book outline buy tips computer presentation computer teacher literacy minnesota <;hl=en&amp;start=10&amp;sa=N>
On the *second* page of hits was a link to Linworth Publishing which had your other book in the snippet, "The indispensable Teacher's guide..."  That sounded sort of like what I was looking for....
Visiting the site at <;category=technology>  <;category=technology>
I saw that book and your name as author and it sounded familiar...
 So I search on that book title, looking for an author's site (the one I remembered) and found
 Indispensable Teacher’s Guide to Computer Skills <;hl=en>
 ...and found a page on your site at
 Which had a link to 'books'
AH, there it is, the book I remembered!
I went back to and sure enough I'd posted a link - it just didn't come up where I expected....and then I saw another related post for an article you'd written:
Which is where I found the link to the "Machines..." book in the first place while researching and commenting <>  on Webber's Information Literacy Article "As we May Think..." in which I actually link to your article, alluding to the comment, "One positive aspect of “adding” information literacy activities to the curriculum is that this should be a method of teaching rather than an add-on. "

Wow, memex inded.
So...If it wouldn't be a problem, could you send the TOC for "Machines are the Easy Part," and verify that I can purchase the book via the address given?


Hi Matt,
After all that work, the least I can do is mail you a complimentary copy. Send me a snail mail address!

All the best,

The book is in today's mail. 


ISTE Board Election Opens

Vote early and often. - Mayor Richard J. Daley

I hope most of you got one of the one below in your e-mail yesterday. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Vote for the incumbents. These are dedicated, thoughtful, hardworking people in my (now ended!) experience on the board. I mean that. (Ryan, Camilla, Helen, and Jill.)
  2. Vote for Gordon Dahlby for an at large seat. He's a great guy and would make an excellent board member. He already has a great track record of working for ISTE. (Bonus points: he is from Iowa!)
  3. Be assured that all candidates are pretty high quality people. My guess is you won't make a bad choice.

Vote. Like TODAY. 

Dear Mr. Douglas A. Johnson,

Welcome to the 2008 ISTE Board election! Online voting for open seats on the ISTE Board of Directors begins today and lasts through April 11, 2008.

This election year with so much at stake, we really want to emphasize full participation by all ISTE members. We urge you to review the candidate profiles and VOTE.

Please take the time to participate in the life of your professional organization. Cast your ballot for the ISTE Board of Directors.


Dr. Kurt A. Steinhaus
ISTE Past President
Chair, Nominations and
Appointments Committee

Dr. Trina J. Davis
ISTE President

P.S.: Remember that you'll need to login as a member to view the slate of candidates, read their statements, and vote. Voting is a privilege-and a responsibility! -of membership.



Student voices on cyberbullying

Maureen Tumenas from Berkshire Country Day School shared this message and link with me and gave her permission to repost it:

I did my first attempt at blogging with my 7th graders on Internet Safety and did a page on cyberbullying. I will be adding this pdf link [to my cyberbulling guide] next time- thank you! If you're looking for media- you tube, etc.. you can check the links on the kids' blog. They evaluated the project afterwards and aside from organizational issues (which I, of course, quickly realized as we started to work) the kids were really split 50/50- half of them had heard of this problem before and didn't think it affected them, the other half had never heard of it but, also didn't think it really affected them. Naive? Live in a bubble? I honestly don't know what to think.

Kudos to  Maureen and her  students! Great use of a blog and YouTube videos. What I appreciate most is the intelligence and level of sophistication these 7th graders are showing about this issue in their posts. I sense a lot of discussion and teaching having gone on "behind the blog."

What does it say when 12-years-olds make more sense of a Internet safety issue than many adults?