Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blog Bouncing Boon - Choiring to my preaching

It started in TWITTER with this entry

@timoreilly Retweeting @SarahM: Nice perspective from @jeggers on why the financial crisis may provide entrepreneurial opportunity: 2
minutes ago from twhirl

I'm not very interested in entrepreneurial opportunities from the economic lemons but curious about the lemonade. The entry was not as interesting to me as a previous post on the side-bar:POVERTY: POOR, DESTITUTION, SCARCITY, DEFICIENCY. and "Blog Action Day" in Life on a shirt. The purpose of Blog Action Day is to bring focus to an issue that matters to all of us by putting the power of blogging behind one topic. This year’s topic is Poverty.
I read through the blog, not totally interested (I'm not an easy sell on how entrepreneural juices connect to economic justice although micro-lending and other very exciting current efforts are catching my attention) but stopped on this response gem:

Nick Siewert October 21st, 2008 at 7:15 am
Great post. I think educational equity and smarter education is a key. As a teacher, I see kids who don’t have any idea what their talents are or how to leverage them or who are thwarted because the talents they have don’t fit or are ground down by cookie cutter school settings. If you like Buckingham’s approach, you have to check out Jenifer Fox’s book Your Child’s Strengths (Viking 2008). She points out that focusing on kids strengths in school is an equity and justice issue. And she shows how to do it.

I went to Amazon and found this Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful: Starting them on a Me Inc. journey , August 22, 2008 By Dennis DeWilde "The Performance Connection"
The older we get, the more we realize that life is a journey of discover into who we are; and those who help guide us along that path are called our most honored teachers. In this easy to read tutorial, educator Jenifer Fox relies on stories from her life and her life's work with children to demonstrate the importance of integrating that process into your child's education and then provides the how-to-do manual.
Arguing persuasively against systems that place all comers into a common box and then looks to identify failure (weakness) as the path to growth, Fox reminds us that we are all unique, individual beings with both weaknesses and strengths. Recognizing that our weaknesses are most often the underside of a powerful strength, educator Fox shows us how to use this strength base as a foundation for growth and learning - starting not when we are adults, but starting from an early age by incorporating this concept into our educational institutions. Recognizing that this strength positioning applies not just to students, but also to the teachers, Fox created an Affinities
Program as an alternative to standardized teaching and testing methodologies.

Then returned to the Nick Siewart connection to find out who Nick is, but the name was hyperlinked to this site: which is selling the book and then to Jennifer Fox’s blog

How About a $700 Billion Bail Out For Our Schools?! She wrote my truth so I added my comments. I also found a site for Marcus Buckinham

"Our company's greatest asset is our people!"
It's a nice motto, but it's meaningless without introspection and application. And the truth is, people aren't your greatest asset, unless they're in position to leverage their
greatest strengths - those things they do well consistently and energetically.

Although he's speaking to the private sector, it's the same asset-based message of McKnight et al, and the 'valuing students' message of my organization's Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program.

Though I didn’t find out more about Nick Siewart but got to several blogs that are 'choiring' to my preaching. This 2.0 world is marvelous. Where was the internet when I was doing my graduate school work!

Posters by WORDLE

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brave Nu Web: From Atomized to Atomic & Rude to Civil

Web 2.0 is the latest way we communicate and interact on the web by facilitating collaboration, networking, and sharing among communities
on TWITTER from @WomenWhoTech womenwhotech

  • nu: a measure of the dispersiveness (or constringence, as it is called) of a lens or prism.
Chris Brogan's recent Communications in a Post Media World at a midpoint read:
We hold the tools. We have the goals. We have permission. It’s us.
What comes next in a post media world, where everything is atomized, is that we work on building molecules. We cast off the old models, and we assemble new forms.
Put up your first signal. Get your voice out there. What happens next? Do people respond? Because what comes next, I believe, is that you gather together the people who share your views. You reach out and connect with those who understand your goals, who share them, who breathe them in the same pulse. And as you learn how to reach out to people? As you tune your signal, you’ll find that you can accomplish more with more people in collaboration.

These thoughts, combined with some rules and etiquette just read in Jenna's Blog
in Blogs by Jenna:
Community Code of Conduct: Rules & Boundaries

The culture of any social venue—whether on- or off-line—reflects its underlying
assumptions, perceptions, and customs, providing the emotional glue or tissue
that defines individual experience. Participants depend the community provider to keep things in order—reflective of the culture and appropriate to the topics they expect. Over the years, our community/moderation managers haves noted some best practices for rules and boundaries in a community:
It’s crucial to define the type of content and behavior that’s allowed (and not allowed) prior to launch. When they sign up, members should get the option to agree to the standards you’ve set, and membership denied to anyone who doesn’t agree to follow the guidelines. Ideally, the standards are available for review at any time. When people are fully aware of the expected protocol, peer pressure and self management strategies work best.

As I experience an online network that is broader and more complex than the regular, 20th century one I have connected with over 40 years, I'm getting the good & the bad; the indifferent & the useless. Somewhere underneath all the manure there's got to be a pony. It sure is helpful to have these young-but-old-in-geek-years guides!!!


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Linked In...for Education Advocates?

Attending a board meeting of Parents for Public Schools in Chicago I mentioned, during an informal conversation, that I had over 1100 connections in Linked In.

The reaction was on a scale from neutral to wrinkled-nose dis-belief. Many of my colleagues are seasoned techies and effective users of web 2.0, social media and whatever else one calls all the Internet and communication tools we have at our disposal. I guess I have a deep personal prejudice rooted in the condescension and belittling reactions from BayArea cutting-edge, politically correct snobs, who are also quite efficient in selecting and using the social media tools. I have no qualms about my strengths and skills and really get my briefs bunched up when I get a more-progressive-cutting-edge-than-thou response to my admittedly crude but actually quite amazing quick dives into this world dominated by much younger, much more technologically adept geeks. I'm an old, flatulent 60s liberal, but I really see the possibilities in this new world of communication and networking -- clearly a force in electing the new president.

I'm new to most of it and don't yet have an easy grasp of what tool and software are most useful for what uses, and more importantly, how can I use all of these to increase the network of education advocates. I'm going to list a few:

  1. I've got Linked In. Within Linked In I've created two groups: Excellent Public Schools for ALL Children & PIRC & PTA. I invited many to join the first early on, but can't get a real conversation going, and the second I created recently as a place for directors of Parent Information Resource Centers to connect with PTA state presidents and other leaders. I've been told that Linked In isn't the best place to have an interactive group, but that's where I started them, so that' where I'll see what happens, at least for the next six months.

  2. This blog was started about the same time I joined Linked In. I've gotten some responses, and my google analytics tells me that I get visitors every day, from four to a high of 29. I've been told that's not too shabby for a new blog in a what would seem to be a narrow focus and one that doesn't have huge participation from online techies and geeks.

  3. Then there's TWITTER. I'm @aureliom and at it first felt time wasted. Who cares about the coffee you're drinking at the moment or the traffic jam you're stuck in. But amidst the TMI posts, I found some useful information, got some questions answered, and enjoyed the moment to moment reports from NPR et al. TWITTER has brought some readers to my blog, and we are following each other. I do hope to increase connections with education advocates and activists through TWITTER, but it's been better than I expected.

  4. To start the Linked In group I was required, I thought, to have an external group already in place so I started a google group, Excellent Education for ALL Children and with a good group. We started a good dialogue and then it plopped. I don't know why, but it did.

  5. One of my mentors in this huge universe of 2.0 and the Internet, Bryan Person introduced me to Social Voice and I started my Aureliom's Blog. This website seems much more compatible with my social change and educational advocacy goals, but there isn't a large membership and usage, as in Blogspot. But I've gotten some very good contacts and actual conversations going there.

  6. I've joined Classroom 2.0 and think I'm in the right environment, but the educators in that context seem so technologically advanced that it'll be a while before I can get them to converse rather than patronizingly give me 'basic' advice.

  7. I'm using JOTT because it's such an amazing tool to convert my oral notes into emails that then are my working notes for articles, task lists and thoughts captured for future use. This tool is especially useful when I'm driving on a trip that is an hour or longer.

  8. I've organized all my 'favorites' in delicious but I still don't know how to make it available on my laptop because I set it up on my office desktop PC.

  9. I've been recording Classnotes Podcasts at work and on other sites. Lorna Constantini from Parents as Partners invited me to podcast with the EdTech group -- the comments were very positive. A real time chat room was concurrent with the SKYPE conversation.

  10. I've also joined UTTERLI, BOXBE, The PERFECT NETWORKER, StumbleUpon & PLAXO. Many more that others registered me onto or that I signed up but forgot. Most of the connections are for people looking to sell something, get a job or hire someone and other entrepreneurial efforts and so I'm challenged in seeing how to use these for my social networking goals.

So, this list might not be of much general interest, but it's my ongoing catalog of immersion in this wonderful, dizzying new 2.0 world.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Equal air time (but you have to be online)

I'm blogging at a very interesting site Another blogger, much more experienced, is Judith's blog: Through the virtual looking glass - online focus groups She's been following online focus groups and assessing respondent's reaction to the process. One critical finding is that some participants feel that they have more space to be listened to. I'm a teacher/trainer/facilitator and creating spaces that give participants equal air-time is a constant challenge: allowing those who are under-participating to have the opportunity to express their opinions and toning down those who are dominating the conversation. The online focus group context seems to allow for more equitable participation, but only if you are able to get online, and are literate enough in the language of the dialogue, and have the keyboarding skills necessary to type in your opinions.
So, I'm very supportive of the equity in participation for those who have the access, the skills and the literacy necessary.
I'm still going to depend on face-to-face interviews and discussions because there are many, many poor families that don't meet those minimum criteria and those families most definitely need to be encouraged to talk and give their opinions. I'm working on encouraging their children who have much more extensive contact with and use of technology in school to participate in online focus groups because they also need to be heard as a student group.

I will also contiue to figure out how to bring technology to communities that don't have easy access withoutseeing technology as the Good Ship Lollipop.