Thursday, January 28, 2010

Watch Video and Read Declaration

Today I spoke with some very good third grade students in Council Rock, Pennsylvania about U.S. Government. Watch the video.

We also worked together to write our own Declaration of Independence:
1. Because of our lack of rights, we are dependent on adults and thus vulnerable to being bossed around.

2. Without the right to vote, we lack a medium to share our opinions.

3. We’re part of the population too, and we’ll be affected by the laws and decisions that elected candidates make.

4. Adults have the right to choose to go to bed whenever they want to—we want freedom in time of sleep too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Disaster in Haiti

Hi everybody,

I was really struck by the immensity of devastation the Haitian earthquake caused, and I set up two webpages with UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) and Mercy Corps to donate money to help those affected by the disaster. I hope that you will donate and support the people of Haiti.

If you would like to make a donation to Mercy Corps, please visit

If you would like to make a donation to UNICEF, please visit

Thank you,


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today I was connecting with an East Coast school over the internet for a presentation, and it was a nightmare. My audio was choppy; theirs was worse. They couldn’t stream video from their webcam. My projector made a humming noise in the background. It was a litany of problems all in a row. My mom and I were joking about the reliability of systems, and she says, “It shows you that even great systems aren’t always reliable.” (Duh.) I said,

“Mom, no system is reliable—not even life. The only reliable system is Death. It at least never fails you.”

Thought I would just add my Morose Quote for the day. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ohio eTech

Just wanted to let everybody know what's up next on the travel list! I will be doing the Opening Keynote at the Ohio eTech conference in Columbus, Ohio on February 1st. If you are in that neck of the woods, be sure to come and see me present both the opening keynote and a featured speech. Take a look at some of the keynote speakers:

Adora Svitak
A twelve-year-old author and teacher, Adora has been teaching writing workshops since she published her first book at age seven. Adora is an American child prodigy known for her essays, stories, poems, blogs, and full-length books. She has been featured on Oprah, CNN's Young People Who Rock, NBC Nightly News, and countless other programs. In January 2009 she appeared in a UK public service television documentary, The World's Cleverest Child and Me. Adora's presentations feature live writing demonstrations, interactive activities, and storytelling. Adora provides kids with a tangible and exciting example of where writing can take them. She teaches every day through school visits and distance learning mediums such as webcasting and video conferencing.

David Warlick
David Warlick, a 30-year educator, has been a classroom teacher, district administrator, and staff consultant with the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. For the past ten years, Mr. Warlick has operated The Landmark Project, a consulting, and innovations firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His web site, Landmarks for Schools, serves more than a half-million visits a day with some of the most popular teacher tools available on the Net. David is also the author of three books on instructional technology and 21st century literacy, and has spoken to audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and South America.

John Merrow
John Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio in 1974 with the weekly series, "Options in Education," for which he received the George Polk Award in 1982. Earlier he taught in high school, college and federal prison. He began working in television in 1985 as Education Correspondent for the NewsHour and as host of his own documentaries. His work has been recognized with two Peabody Awards, three Emmy nominations, four CINE Golden Eagles and dozens of other reporting awards. Merrow is president of Learning Matters, a non-profit production company in New York City, and a Scholar in Residence at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford.

Gail Matthews-DeNatale
Gail Matthews-DeNatale works with faculty and administrators on strategic plans for teaching and learning with technology across the curriculum. She has a Ph.D. from Indiana University and over ten years of experience developing, implementing, and assessing online educational projects. Previously, she was a faculty member with George Mason University's Institute for Educational Transformation, Projects Manager for Northeastern University's EdTech Center, and Learning and Technology Specialist for an NSF-funded online Masters in Science Education degree program developed in collaboration by TERC and Lesley University. In addition to her role as Interim Director of Academic Technology at Simmons College Boston, Gail directs the Simmons Blended Learning Initiative, a two year project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Dennis Harper
Dr. Harper has been instrumental in bringing computers and the Internet into thousands of schools in more than thirty nations. Dr. Harper is the founder of the student-centered technology support model where youth aged from 10 to 18 provide substantial support for (1) their teachers’ technology integration, (2) their peers technology literacy, and (3) maintaining the school’s technology infrastructure. Dr. Harper has developed the Generation YES model of technology infusion. Generation YES programs are based on constructivist pedagogy, authentic assessment, and strong participation of students in reforming schools. Dr. Harper is also the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Kijana Voices. Kijana Voices recently built and opened a school in the war-torn West African nation of Liberia. Working with President Ellen Sirleaf, Liberian youth now have a 21st century school to move their nation forward.

Lalitha Vasudevan
Lalitha Vasudevan is an Assistant Professor of Technology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. from the Reading/Writing/Literacy program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She has worked with youth both in and out of school, as a teacher and as a researcher, and is interested in how youth craft stories and produce knowledge using different literacies, technologies, and media. Currently Lalitha is studying media, literacy, and education in the lives of court-involved youth using a multimodal storytelling methodology. Her research has been published in E-Learning, English Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Review of Research in Education, and she is co-editor of the volume titled, Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility (2008, Peter Lang). Lalitha is working on a forthcoming book tentatively titled, "Literacies, embodied multimodality, and new educational geographies."

Cynthia Selfe
A Humanities Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University, Selfe is the first woman and the first English teacher ever to receive the EDUCOM Medal for innovative computer use in higher education. She has authored or edited a number of works on digital technology, both alone and in collaboration with colleagues. Along with Scott DeWitt, she is the Director of OSU's annual Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) summer institute. She also coordinates the English Department's program of Visiting Scholars in Digital Media and Composition. Selfe studies digital technologies to learn more about people.

David Weinberger
David has been a frequent commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He's written for the “Fortune 500” of business and tech journals, including The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe and Wired. Journalists from The New York Times, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, InformationWeek and many more turn to him for insight. He is a columnist for Worthwhile and Knowledge Management World, and writes an influential business technology newsletter and a daily "weblog." He was a philosophy professor for six years, a comedy writer for Woody Allen's comic strip for seven years, a humor columnist for Oregon's major daily newspaper, a dot-com entrepreneur before most people knew what a home page was, and a strategic marketing consultant to household-name multinationals and the most innovative startups. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently a Fellow at Harvard's prestigious Berkman Institute for Internet & Society and is teaching a course on how the Web is different at Harvard Law. David's latest book, Everything Is Miscellaneous , was published in 2007. In the shift from the physical to the digital, everything that once had its one place in the physical world now has multiple places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. He's the co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, the bestseller that cut through the hype and told business what the Web was really about. His second book, Small Pieces Loosely Joined, was published to rave reviews hailing it as the first book to put the Internet in its deepest context

Monday, January 18, 2010


Usually I post a reminder if I’m about to go to a conference, but I got a little absent-minded—sorry about that! Over the past week, I’ve been in Orlando for the Florida Education Technology Conference. I’ve gotten the chance to see speakers like Tammy Worcester, Ed Begley, and Scott Kinney. I gave my own “Eye-Opening Keynote” on Friday morning, bright and early at 7:45 AM. Ken Royal, Tech Editor for Scholastic Administrator Magazine and founder of the Educators’ Royal Treatment blog, was kind enough to introduce me and later conduct an interview—watch below. Thanks!

The Problem with Dinosaurs

I really don’t have anything against dinosaurs (aside from the fact that many of them are large, ugly, and fearsome) but I do think that museums tend to focus too much on them. I was recently in Orlando, FL for the Florida Education Technology Conference, or FETC. Along the way, my mom and I visited the Orlando Science Center. Like many other science museums we’d been to, the Orlando Science Center had a large exhibit on dinosaurs. This would be fine if there were more exhibits on other things, but it seemed as though the dinosaurs took up most of the museum’s space.


We’ve faced similar exhibits at other museums. Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs…it might be just me, but I think that museums are trying to cater too heavily to the under-fourteen-year-old boy demographic, since they seem like the crowd who like dinosaurs. While I understand the museum’s need to attract visitors and revenue, can’t you be a little more innovative than mere dinosaur exhibits? Maybe whales or sharks or other large, scary animals? After all, the dinosaur is extinct—maybe the hype about them should be too.

P.S. I hope not to offend any dinosaur lovers. I understand that it’s a magnificent creature and worth investigation; I’m merely expressing my wishes for a more nuanced selection of exhibits in museums.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I was watching giant shuttle buses (or is it busses?) crawling by and I thought of a little snippet, perhaps, of a new poem:

"If the road is a giant forest,
Then buses are the beasts of the road,"

which now developed into:

"If the road is a giant forest,
Then buses are the beasts of the road,
The Prius is a panda bear,
And the Jeep is the frowning toad,
The sleek towncar is the waiting shark
In the waters off the shore,
The Hummer is a grizzly with its bulky heavy fur,
And I? I am a hiker--a pedestrian, on tour."