Year3-Week7: Course Adjustments

2018-09-24 STEAMLab_wk07 teacher-training

I’ve gone on record saying that you make (teaching) plans so that you can pivot and change them based on the circumstances. This was that kind of week. Continue Reading

Video Tuesdays: Broken Mirrors

We are forever flooded with images and stories about bad moms. That constant stream plus many of us having an unfortunate tendency towards being forever focused on our failings can lead us to see ourselves harshly. In the following video several moms assessed their parenting skills and then were given feedback from their kids. Enjoy. Love you, mom.

Video Wednesdays: Caine’s Arcade

I can’t tell you how much I love this story. I was this kid and to this day get ribbed to death by family members for trying to make things with cardboard and tape all through my childhood. Rockets, cities, clubhouses, you name I tried to build a version of it using cardboard boxes and tape. It does my heart good to see a nine-year-old boy get such a great response for building his dream arcade. Even if it’s only constructed with cardboard and tape, it’ll endure forever in his life (check out his scholarship fund to make it last even longer). Enjoy.

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

A 9 year old boy – who built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad's used auto part store – is about to have the best day of his life.

Help Caine's Scholarship Fund:

Caine's Arcade Online:

Directed by Nirvan


9-year-old’s DIY cardboard arcade gets flashmobbed By Mark Frauenfelder at 8:19 pm Monday, Apr 9, 2012

Art of Possibility Reflection: Unexpected Directions & Unanticipated Destinations

I just finished updating the reading part of my course and I somehow ended up telling my own story of Possibility. At this point in the course my students have read the first nine chapters of the Art of Possibility and are finishing up their final week in my course. They are just about to begin their last month in Full Sail’s emdtms program. Thus, the following is a glimpse of what my students suffer through. Don’t feel sorry for them. I’m the one who has to read (and grade) their blogs. Ack. Actually that is one of the best parts of this job, it’s reading the great things they share in their blogs… oh yeah, I usually share such things right here in this blog. Duh. Enjoy

:: Description
You will read the Art of Possibility chapters 10 -12 and post one entry (or more) into your blog.

:: Rationale

pacbell by joe bustillos

pacbell by joe bustillos

Sometimes the road we take in the Universe of Possibility leads us in unexpected directions and to unimagined destinations. I took a summer job with Pacific Bell in California. That the company was called Pacific Bell might tell you how long ago that was. I met an energetic manager who shared with me that the secret to avoiding job boredom was to never stay in one job position for too long. He estimated that 18-months was usually more than enough time to get to know all one needs to know and then move on. He was an unusual entrepreneurial sprirt in a company that was much more well known for it’s “lifers” not making any waves and just putting in the time needed to get to retirement. I wasn’t as entrepreneurial as the manager but I knew, much to my family’s frustration, that there was something more for me to do. After finishing a second bachelor’s degree and nearing the end of my teacher credential program, Pacific Bell decided that it was time to let some people go. Normally that would have been a horrible thing, but for me the timing was perfect and I started my career as a public school teacher a few months after letting go of my 15-year “summer job” with the phone company.

jbb w/ Ben Zander getting book signed

jbb w/ Ben Zander getting book signed

Ah, but the story continues from there. Truth be told, being a teacher was somewhat akin to being a phone company drone in that the highest form of praise tended to be that one always showed up for work on time and never did anything that made work for others. Yeah, I somehow ended up in another world of “lifers.” Of course, I didn’t know any better so I kept doing things like teaching my students video journalism to help with their literacy and brought computers from home into my classroom. I guess I became a bit more entrepreneurial because I’d get involved in creating some new tech/ed/media program on campus, we’d have great success and then after a couple of years the funding would go away and I’d find myself working for another school/district, bringing tech/media to the natives. While getting a master’s degree and time spent working on a doctorate I continued the “create a tech program/find success/lose funding/change jobs” cycle three times. Alas, the doctorate program ran aground (twice), but I was lucky enough to work with Dr. Ludgate and somehow found a home on the opposite end of the country working for Full Sail. I am not the poster child for the Art of Possibility. But I am kind of stubborn as far as expecting a lot from myself because I’ve already been given so much. And if I can influence someone to not settle for the status quo, to push the technology, to enable their students, well then, that’s a damn good day.

The following video features someone who found amazing success, in many ways, through equally amazing failures. Having witnessed three of his incredible keynote speeches, this is not one of his better speeches. But the message is all the more real given the speech’s lack of polish. Enjoy.

:: Resources

The Practices
This books is less of a “study” book, where you try to analyze every sentence and paragraph and more a book that you want to move through and try to focus on the over-arching concepts presented. At the end of each chapter are some questions that form the “practices” part of the book. Use the questions to prompt your book notes that you will post in your blog. Feel free to answer the following study questions, or comment on the practices at the end of each chapter, or write about whatever moves you most (that’s directly related to the reading). Your choice.

Chapter 10. Being the Board: It’s not them. It’s not the circumstances. It’s me. It’s my choices. Now what do I do?

Chapter 11. Creating Frameworks for Possibility: How do I take this flash of insight and make it into daily thing? And how do I share this with others?

Chapter 12. Telling the WE Story: I told you it wasn’t about you. Have you been able to tap into the power of combining your expertise and passions with someone equally gifted? Have you had the pleasure of lifting a teammate, student, stranger up enabling them to realize their dreams and exceed anything that you could have imagined?

Coda: Now what do we do?

Image: Pop!Tech 2008 – Benjamin Zander by Pop!Tech, retrieved on 11/12/2009
image: pacbell01.jpg by Joe Bustillos, retrieved on 11/12/2009
image: jbb & zander by Joe Bustillos, retrieved on 11/12/2009
YouTube: Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 posted by peestandingup,, retrieved on 11/12/2009.

Is the “Texting While Driving” PSA Too Graphic?

CNET’s Technically Incorrect blog, asked the question about whether makers of the following public service announcement (PSA) went too far depicting the dangers of texting while driving. If one views the video on a “surface” level, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been shown on most American televisions. My guess is that the uproar is this video presents its brief horrific narrative with no villain to blame and no happy ending. The video is disturbing. My fear is that it’s intended audience has already been desensitized to the message and those of us past our middle years, who recognize the preciousness of life, are the ones most likely to get rattled.

blog: Is PSA on texting and driving too shocking? Technically Incorrect blog by Chris Matyszczyk. retrieved on 9/9/2009

YouTube video: Graphic Crash, UK, Dangers of texting while driving PSA by Peter Watkins-Hughes and the Gwent, Wales police department, retrieved on 9/9/2009

Roll Over Beethoven and Copy… Right!

Part of my course at Full Sail is about media issues, you know, stuff like Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons. The “M” in our program title (EMDT) is Media and my students, who are in their ninth month of a year long Masters degree program, are expected to stare down this huge subject and come up with a reasonable approach to something that I tell them occupies the life’s work of an army of lawyers, policymakers and troublemakers. As I lay down guiding principles to understanding the moving target that is Copyright/Fair Use/Creative Commons the discussions tend to be quite lively and informative for all participants. One thing that I’ve never fully appreciated is how difficult and expensive it can be for teachers who want to follow copyright law who teach band, or theater or any of the other arts.

One teacher wrote in her class blog:
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My Year with the OLPC – NR4PT

Around this time last year I was very excited to receive my OLPC (One Laptop per Child), called the XO-1. Having drunk the Negroponte gatorade I was endlessly frustrated with Dvorak and other tech journalists who kept their criticism of the XO-1 focused on either Negroponte’s eccentricities or the fact that the creators made it specifically to not be a Windows PC. The concept, begun at MIT’s Media Lab, that technology in education is not about training students to be little MS Office drones but to use computers to teach programming in order to teach thinking and communication seemed to waft past the XO-1’s dissenters. Leo Laporte and David Pogue got that the little green XO-1 wasn’t about attacking an untapped technology market, but was an humanitarian cause to bring the gift of technology to Third World classrooms.

In the ISTE Keynote address that I heard Negroponte introduce the XO-1 he quipped that they must be doing something right to have raised the ire of Intel and Bill Gates. Alas, maybe the joke in the end was on Negroponte when Intel promised to play fair but couldn’t resist the temptation to undercut Negroponte’s “humanitarian cause” and sell their competing kid-size ultra-light laptop, the Classmate, to the same countries Negroponte was trying to reach. So the Gospel according to Negroponte fell on deaf ears because the Win/Tel hegemony couldn’t hear the words for the vastness, opportunities and profits presented in possibility of harvesting the Third World educational/government technology nickel.

This holiday season the OLPC foundation is repeating their give one/get one campaign that I participated in last year to get my own XO-1, only this time they’re working with to get the word out and do the distribution. The commercials are very cute. My own XO-1 sits on a top shelf in my bedroom, part of my shrine to sentimental technology I’ve previously invested in (I really wish I had kept one of my old Kaypros to put in the shrine). I hate to think that Dvorak and the others might have been right after all.

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