How Much Remote Access?

Photo Credit: Will Lion

This photo and post came through the ole aggregator today from the Remote Access blog authored by Clarence Fisher a classroom teacher up North in remote Canada. 

What’s interesting about this quote by Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is that it identifies with a shift in thinking for learning and teaching today.  Up in Mr. Fisher’s  classroom learning community, every effort seems to be made to gain access (remote) to communication with others for sharing information for the purpose of learning from and with others.

What happens when we consistently open up our classrooms to allow learning to enter as well as leave?  I bet Clarence and his students have a pretty good understanding about what happens.

(Cross posted at

Take a Risk

I’ve been helping to facilitate a Collegial Learning Circle (CLC) of 20+ educators who are dipping their toes into some new learning environments through the K12 Online Conference. This group is small and made up of professionals who have volunteered. We are using a private group in the K12 Online Ning as a space where this group can meet asynchronously between the few face to face meetings.

Joanna Sero a kindergarten teacher, started a blog prior to the formation of this group. Although I’ve had few conversations with her face to face I really think I’m getting a good sense for the kind of teacher she is by reading her blog. Her post for the Passion Quilt Meme had me thinking that what she has to say reaches far beyond Kindergarten and into the CLC itself:

As a teacher and mom who is passionate about lifelong learning, I challenge myself to be brave and dare to try something new…in the classroom, at home, in the world. Maybe it will work, or maybe it won’t…maybe I will love it, and maybe I won’t, but at least I will give it my best shot. Take it from our children: take a risk!

Only a handful of folks in the CLC have gotten started a month and a half in, however, we’ve got the “stuck faucet” to turn a bit with some face to face support and I, among others, have been working to respond in a very timely manner to folks who do post new discussions or comments. Do you have any suggestions as we try to encourage them to take a risk?

Technorati Tags: ,,,,

Local Over Global Network Building

I’ve been thinking more and more about the networks/communities we build using technology. My experience at Educon had me thinking even more about it as several of the attendees discussed building global networks vs. local networks. Reading about the Science Leadership Academy’s culture you’ll see that local communities of learners (educators included) without the focus on making global connections can be extremely powerful for learning.

As I read more I’m finding that there is power in the using all these tools available to us on the web for connecting with those in our areas. A recent article in Wired Magazine states (substitute educational words where appropriate):

One day, perhaps, virtual communication will become so good we’ll no longer feel the need to shake hands with a new collaborator or brainstorm in the same room. But for now, the world seems to be changing in a way that actually demands more meetings. Business is more innovative, and its processes more complex. That demands tacit knowledge, collaboration, and trust — all things that seem to follow best from person-to-person meetings. “Ideas are more important than ever,” Glaeser says, “and the most important ideas are communicated face-to-face.”

I’ve always hailed the power of having global connections and I will continue to do so, but I now believe a lot more time and energy should be put towards building our local connections and sharing the power of these tools to collaborate locally or regionally. Connecting with folks from places around the country or world is powerful for sure, but what of the immediate connections here at home? It’s one thing to show a nay-sayer administrator or colleague how a classroom is connecting with another in a remote location, but another to show how several local classrooms are collaborating to take on an authentic environmental or cultural issue in their local area. Wouldn’t we all benefit from building stronger connections that add value to what we are doing locally?

In terms of professional networks, I like the concept of the regional PLP. This is an opportunity for us to connect with each other, share thoughts and ideas, build blogs to share information/projects to join, ask questions and lend support for each other. It’s our chance to really set an example for the rest of our region and local districts to take a look at what is possible in the new learning environments that we are exploring here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Library Commission

Tags: , , , , , ,

Students 2-Oh (My Gosh)

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Just came across this this morning as I was skimming some “tweets” on my Twitter network this morning. Arthus, posted that he was checking on and talking up Student2.0.

I’m excited about this. I love the line “Watch out Edublogosphere… the silent majority is here” at the end of this video. I wonder, how many more students are out there doing this? While I know students are the majority in education, how many are actually doing the things that the students of Students2.0 are doing? I’m assuming that’s what this project is all about, students2.0 pushing educators and students to think and learn differently.

BTW, Arthus is one of the people who encouraged me to make a donation to OLPC through the G1G1 program.

Blogged with Flock


Getting Others Started in E-Learning

I had the pleasure of being informally interviewed by Sue Waters from Perth, Australia. Sue had reached out to her network of online colleagues (via Twitter, Google Talk, and Gmail) to solicit input on how to get other educators to experience the benefits of e-learning. The interview was a conversation and she did a good job editing out my stumbles to make me sound smarter than I am. This morning Sue sent me a message that others were listening to what I along with Darren Draper had suggested for getting others involved in e-learning.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

This video creation stuff is powerful. I need to get going on creating short informational videos… anyone have an hour or two to lend me?

Blogged with Flock

Tags: , , , , ,

Serving the Masses

(Cross posted on EduBloggerWorld)

During my time online, I run into many educational technology specialists (or some other title) with the role of integrating technology into instruction and learning. From where I sit now, the majority of these people seem to be serving one school or one district. There seems to be a minority here that serves several to many districts. I work for a regional cooperative in New York State called a BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services). There are many of these regional BOCES that serve the districts throughout our decentralized state. I work in the Technology Services department for Monroe #1 BOCES east of Rochester. We have 10 large suburban school districts in our cooperative.

A tweet to iJohnPederson confirmed that he too works for a cooperative agency. I hope to connect with you if you are in the same boat, as I think we have a unique situation in that we are not always in on the day-to-day or week-to-week operations of a district or school.

What I’m wondering…

  1. Who is working or have worked for such an organization?
  2. What are your specific roles?
  3. What Web 2.0 tools are working for you to effectively communicate with your districts?

8 Random Facts

I was tagged by Sue Waters in Australia for this one… not normally a meme kinda guy, but thought it was good to let you in on my world a little bit… enjoy. And please, don’t think less of me. 🙂

First, the Rules:

1. Post these rules before you give your facts
2. List 8 random facts about yourself
3. At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
4. Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

My Random Facts

  1. I’ve been gray since Mr. Buttermore’s 9th grade Spanish class when Karen W. pulled the first one out… down hill ever since.
  2. I used to teach physical education… strange jump to instructional technology… ask me about it sometime.
  3. When I walked into the Bull & Finch (a.k.a. Cheers) in Boston, somebody new my name (a proud moment)
  4. Like Dean, I can insert lines from Tommy Boy, Fletch, and Caddie Shack in just about any situation.
  5. I sleep, according to Google, 678.70 feet (121.56 Smoots) from where I slept growing up.
  6. Unlike a lot of husbands, I admit that my wife is smarter than me.
  7. I’m a Rush fan (Neil Peart rulez!)
  8. All my siblings (1 brother, 2 sisters) have the initials KMS I’m left out with BCS, yet younger sister is the only one in the family to have red hair.

Who I tag
I am tagging Tony, Karen, Chris, oh, I can’t think of anyone else at this point… baseball is on!