Sunday, November 29, 2009

Being Thankful

Coming up on the end of or Thanksgiving Break, I found several things that I wanted to give thanks for and share with you all.

I am thankful for everyone at the World Wide Workshop that helped to bring such a forward-thinking program as Globaloria to our state and our schools. We have so many wonderful people who offer their guidance and support. Idit has an energy that is contagious to the point of making you feel you can accomplish anything. Shannon and David juggle more things on their plate to keep us going than most of us could handle. Rachel's insight and positive outlook is always a breath of fresh air. And we could not have asked for a better technical support staff than we have had with Maitreyi, Brian, Jeff, and Meredith.

I am thankful for the great mentors I get to work with who help inspire me as well as their own mentees. Patrick and Denise led the way with this program last year and always provide me with great insight and inspiration. Ingrida is as new to this process as I am but has the drive, positive outlook, and approach that I admire and hope to live up to as well.

I am thankful for our mentee groups, who help to keep us on our toes. Our mentees, in seeking help fro us, often help us to continue our own growth in directions that not only benefit us but our own students as well. Thank to all of the mentees. Each new round of educators helps keep the Globaloria approach fresh, strong, and invigorating.

I am thankful for all of the students who are taking what we have to offer and building on it. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully creative our students can be when provided with the proper tools and inspiration. Our students will always be what makes the extra work and effort truly worthwhile. Here are some examples from EGMS, Shepherd University, RTC, and Sandy River Middle School.

So, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday that reinvigorated you for the remainder of this semester. Until next time, the soapbox is yours.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Glimpse of Our Students' Futures

While channel surfing sunday evening, I stumbled on 60 MINUTES doing a story about James Cameron's upcoming movie, Avatar. After having seen many movie trailers and commercials about the film, I decided to settle in an watch the interview with Morley Safer and am very glad I did.

Not only did the story focus on how much time and energy Mr. Cameron put into getting every detail just right on his dream movie, it showed a great example of what we want are students to experience. During one of the interview clips we are shown the director and his staff tweeking a CG animated scene in the film. Not so unusual or futuristic you say? Well, they were modeling what we tell our kids the future of the workplace will be like. People in two different locations were both watching the same video feed of the animation and collaborating virtually.

We are still just on the cusp of this business approach's commonality. Sometimes this makes it hard for us to really drive the point home to kids who are just used to the interface between them and a television or computer screen. Where kids often do not see the usefulness of communtication technology beyond tweeting and status posts, this was a brief glimpse of the future. You know that when a director is willing to bank over $400 million on the success of a film created in this collaborative manner with nearly a competely digital medium, it must be the new ticket to success.

We really are on the brink of an amazing change. The challenge I want to post to us all is to find one example of producton utilizing virtual collaboration to share with your fellow educators and students. This could be a documentary, news show, or interview.

For my example, check out a clip from the interview below. I invite you up on te soapbox now to show examples the rest of you might find.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, November 6, 2009

Entrance Interview: Meet Meredith!

Though we're sad about Jeff's departure, there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. Meet your new Wiki and Webmaster, Meredith!

You can reach Meredith for support as you need it through e-mail, gchat, skype or and all other help offerings found at our Help Desk.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Exit Interview: Jeff Gray Edition

We are very sad to announce that our Wiki and Webmaster, Jeff Gray, is leaving the World Wide Workshop Foundation to pursue his music career (Jeff is a master saxophone player!), and possibly move out to sunny California (can't blame him as the November chill sets in...brr)

Jeff has provided amazing support to all of us in the Globaloria community, helped the Foundation team and Globaloria educators with all aspects of the platform and guided us like a virtual Virgil through the seven circles of Flash. Globaloria wouldn't be what it is today without you Jeff--you will be missed!