Monday, June 11, 2007

Announcing K12 Online Keynotes and a Second Call for Proposals

With only 7 days left to submit proposals, Darren, Sheryl, Wes and I are honored to announce the keynotes for K12 Online 2007. We eagerly anticipate the kick off of the conference and each strand by the following distinguished and accomplished educators. "New Tools" features 3 co-keynoters.

davidwarlickPreconference Keynote: 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 ten-million visits a month 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., Europe, Asia, and South America. David blogs at


cfisherClassroom 2.0: Clarence Fisher
Clarence has been a classroom teacher for the past 13 years. He blogs professionally at,
with his class at and has spoken at conferences across North America. Clarence has won several awards, including one of Canada’s highest teaching awards, the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching for his integration of technology into daily classroom life. Clarence's innovative classroom practices have been featured online, in books, magazines, and newspaper articles. He is an advocate of classroom 2.0, learning spaces that take complete advantage of the tools that are available to learners in their quest to learn rather than having school be something that is done to them.


AlanLevineNew Tools: The Three Amigos: Alan Levine
Alan Levine Vice President, NMC Community and CTO for the New Media Consortium (NMC), an international consortium of more than 250 world-class universities, colleges, museums, research centers, and technology companies dedicated to using new technologies to inspire, energize, stimulate, and support learning and creative expression. He is widely recognized nationally and internationally for expertise in the application of new technologies to educational environments and was a pioneer on the web going back to 1993. Alan blogs at

BrianLambNew Tools: The Three Amigos: Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is Manager, Emerging Technologies and Digital Content with the Office of Learning Technology at The University of British Columbia. He teaches a course on “Text Technologies” for UBC’s Master of Educational Technology Program. He is also a Research Fellow with Utah State University’s Center for Open and Sustainable Learning. Brian maintains his weblog Abject Learning, where he mutters ll-tempered observations on social learning, open education, disruptive technologies and other such things.

DArcyNormanNew Tools: The Three Amigos: D'Arcy Norman
D'arcy Norman is a software developer at the Teaching & Learning Centre, a service department at The University of Calgary. In his current primary role, as an educational technology developer, he explores new technologies and works with faculty to implement tools for blended learning. He has also been involved in the open source development of the Pachyderm project, an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool. D'Arcy spends a fair amount of time thinking (and rethinking) about the concept of control and copyright, and how they might affect academia. D'Arcy blogs at


Derek_WenmothPersonal Learning Networks: Derek Wenmouth
Derek is currently the Director of eLearning at CORE
Education Ltd
based in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has a broad background in education, with experience at the primary and secondary school level, and as a teacher educator. He was manager of the eSection at The Correspondence School in Wellington and is currently an adviser to the Ministry of Education. Derek is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars, and maintains a regular blog where he shares his ideas and thinking across a range of areas relating to the use of ICT in teaching and learning. Derek blogs at


briancrosbyObstacles to Opportunities: Brian Cosby
Brian Crosby, an elementary teacher for 26 years, teaches fifth grade in Sparks, Nevada, and has infused technology into teaching since the 1980's. While piloting a 1:1 laptop program, students in his class utilizie many Web 2.0 tools including Skype, Fiickr, blogs and wikis. His award winning student produced video about including a classmate that couldn't attend school using video-conferencing software has been downloaded by thousands. Brian teaches several popular tech classes for teachers in his role as a Nevada Writing Project Consultant. You can try keeping up with him on his blog "Learning Is Messy" at


We strongly encourage you to join these educators at the conference by sharing your take on "playing with boundaries" in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice! It's time to submit your proposal. The deadline is June 18, only 7 days away!

For your convenience, you can find the initial call for proposals here and the link to the proposals submission form is here.


My life is far richer for the many mentors who’ve encouraged and assisted me on my life path. Joe was one--

Joe didn’t blog, and if you google his name, you’ll find just one hit, item S15 for his church auction. Nellie and Joe— an indication of the importance of family in his life. But I digress—

Some 19 years ago, I transferred to Jane Addams Business Career Center in the middle of the school year to become the school’s LD resource teacher. In the terms of that era, my students were mainstreamed into the vocational programs and part of my responsibility was to assure their success. Enter Joe. My students were often engaged by and had an affinity for using computers. Many enrolled in the computer applications program which included word processing, spreadsheets, basic, cobol and accounting. Joe was the teacher in that area on whom I could always depend to work closely with me, to spend extra time with my kids. The kids adored Joe and even when he came to the classroom to share inappropriate behavior, he was met with smiles and happy greetings. I’d visit them in his classroom, there he’d be, crouched down beside them at the computer, pointing and coaching as they struggled with basic and cobol. He made arrangements for a terminal to be installed in my classroom so my students could have extra time to work. He advocated for permission for me to use a terminal at home (the days of 1200 baud modems).

Joe spent hours in the early mornings at school, teaching me basic, cobol, and accounting. Oh, how I struggled with basic and cobol but under his tutelage became more logical (my husband says that to this day) and able to assist students in my classroom. And so began my path to learning and infusing technology into learning--

But his mentorship extended far beyond the technology—he was a great model for me. Joe and I worked closely together on a school reform project. (It failed but that’s another story and Joe had retired by then.) In those months, the student team, for whom I was advisor with Joe’s assistance, helped conjure a vision of learning that would be transformational today. The student team reflected Joe’s energy, problem solving, and persona and they wore with pride the T shirts he designed. His rapport with the kids was particularly special-- a unique combination of dry humor, honesty, and sincere caring.

He and I came to mentor a particularly bright young woman who is now married with three children and licensed to teach middle childhood math and English in Ohio. His life perspective and his caring truly impacted her life. Over the years, we three have been in touch, sometimes more closely, others not. Her graduation, her wedding, his hospital room. With his death last week, after a valiant fight with leukemia, she sent a poem she’d written. She’s given me permission to publish an excerpt here:
"At my most fragile state, he gently reached his hand out
and lifted me up.

In my darkest hours, when I couldn’t bare my empty
life and thoughts of death consumed me, I would hear
his voice say, “you don’t have to live this way”, and for
just that moment, my fears were gone.

He touched the last, hollow piece of my soul and made
it grow.

For a brief moment, this man walked beside me,
saving me from an unbearable way."
Joe’s death brings a numbness that is somewhat eased by the words of Kahlil Gibran:
"For what is it to die but to stand naked
in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to
free the breath from its restless tides, that
it may rise and expand and seek God unen-

Only when you drink from the river of
silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the moun-
tain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your
limbs, then shall you truly dance."
Three reasons for this post--
  • to celebrate Joe

  • to remind myself to remember always from where I’ve come and to thank all those who’ve influenced who I’ve come to be

  • to illustrate the power and potential of a caring adult to touch a soul and bring it irrevocably toward the light