Well this is Embarrassing

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:15 pm

Cross posted at TechLearning

Global education, diversity and multi-cultural appreciation are ideas that I believe are essential for our student's success. I also believe as educators we need to model this for them.  So when I used this tool to see where the folks that I follow reside, it was a little embarrassing.

Twitter friends

A little North American centric ya think? While this tool only allows a sampling of 100 of your followers, (I currently follow about 700) it's likely a pretty reasonable indicator of who's got my attention.  Ewan's concerned about this as well. He blames time zones and short attention spans and he's got a point. Christian Long argues:



And perhaps — no matter how much Friedman and well-intentioned educators may want — the world defaults to hyper-local (scaled accordingly) rather than global when it comes to conversation over time.

While that offers some explanation I can't quite take myself off the hook. Add to the fact that a number of those outside North American are ex-pats I have to hang my head in shame. Clarence Fisher is doing wonderful things to help … Read the rest

The World Gets Bigger and Smaller Everyday

This video has been around for a while and I've used it in various presentations as a powerful illustration of using the web to change lives. 

It represents for me a few very valuable lessons.

1. The Web Can Change Lives. The way in which ideas are exchanged and built on top of each other happens every day. Mostly in trivial ways, sometimes in destructive ways but potentially in life changing ways. We as educators must continue to elevate our game to harness this.

2. The number of easy entry points increase. If you're not familiar with Kiva, please go there now. Kiva and sites like it allow you to not simply give money but to participate and educator yourself about helping others. This would be a wonderful project for a school or classroom. They'll even help you out with that.

3. The visual representation and personal connection matters. We've all watched countless commercials and programs urging support for third world countries. The images and videos they use are designed to draw you in emotionally and it obviously works to some degree. However, if you're like me, you might be getting acclimatized  to this and may
Read the rest

This might work…proactive group action

I’m not much of an environmentalist although I recycle a bit and am trying to be more aware but this video raises many interesting questions and ideas.

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Carrotmob takes Tuangou (group buying for discounts) to a more altruistic level.

Very Shirykesque wouldn’t you say? I recall Shirky stating (sorry I can’t find the page number) that although group organization is now ridiculously easy, that most organizations were reactive rather than proactive. This is the type of thing that illustrates the ability to be proactive. The democratization of economics is one idea that I hadn’t really considered. The monopolization of companies in reality or practice doesn’t need to exist.

I’m looking forward to seeing passionate, connected teachers leading students in group formation that changes our world.… Read the rest

Enabling a radical

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:17 pm

Clay Burell is a man of action. I’d call him a radical. More than just about any teacher I’ve connected with recently, he thinks out loud, shares everything and then does stuff.

Clay’s been exploring “unschooliness” for a while and has taken me along for the ride. When he posted his quick chat with Chris Craft, it immediately resonated with me. “Quick in, Quick out” (this is one of many catch phrases Clay is responsible for). While I totally admire the work of projects like the flatclassroom, liferoundhere, 1000tales and such, I know the work involved and I also know that my personal network does not revolve around a project; it just revolves around learning…and socializing. Clay isn’t someone willing to think about this, he attempts to make this a reality in his classroom. I’m all ears and eyes.

So although Clay resides in Korea, he keeps some odd hours as do I so we are able to quite easily connect and on this occasion he did tell me he was recording but I soon forgot that and hopefully didn’t say anything too silly but … Read the rest


Stupid title but that’s what is for me…pure fun.

By chance I happened to be Winnipeg at another conference and was able to invade the MB BloggerCon. The event was casually put together and turned out to be a blast. About 60 people showed up and Andy Mckneil the president of their provincial technology group, organized and paid for the event. (The gave us full use of the bar, free wireless, snacks) Andy also did a great job filming and recording the entire event.  There were 5 unpresentations. I had to stick my big nose into the mix and show off my network. Alec, Jeff and Brian were able to skype in and talk very quickly but clearly, how the network works for them.

I would have liked to connect more with the others but as a guest, I felt the need to lay low. Very cool to meet for the first time Clarence, John and Chris. Nice to see Darren again. It felt like meeting old friends…oh yeah they are.

At any rate, it was great experience and pure fun. Paul Hamilton has remarked a few times about the fun I have with my … Read the rest