Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a special day, a time when anyone and everyone should pause and simply acknowledge appreciation for blessings that might otherwise be neglected. I’m extremely grateful for all of the kind people who continually enrich my life with generosity and wisdom. This year has been especially bountiful in terms of the incredible number of gracious individuals who have blessed me with a veritable cornucopia of creativity, collaboration, company, and kindness. For all of this I am truly thankful and I want the world to know.

First and foremost among those who consistently serve up camaraderie and good cheer are my steadfast friends Joe and Michael. Ever present, ever patient, ever practical, my friends provide guidance and solutions that continually bring my ideas to fruition. My friends are powerhouses of can-do attitude. Both are equally imbued with mind-boggling reserves of energy, the wit of Mark Twain, and the patience of Job. No matter what the circumstances, Joe and Michael help me get the work done and usually make me laugh in the bargain. Whether the two of them help me plan and deliver professional development workshops throughout the nation via ISTE’s NECC (2007 and 2008), FETC, or serve the classroom teachers and students I meet on a daily basis, their wise council always augments my efforts. Thanks, Joe and Michael!

Also key to my success are the efforts and assistance provided by my friends from Georgia Public Broadcasting like Patrice Weaver and Katherine Aiken who organizes the GPB TIE Network. I appreciate the rich resources and collaboration that my friends from GPB and TIE give me. Their efforts magnify my own and, though a growing network of other, committed indivuals, help to my ideas about change and 21st Century learning resonate through and beyond the state of Georgia. I’m thankful for meeting and having the opportunity to learn from the likes of such intelligent and giving people as Jeanne Auensen, Mike Horn, Pattie Morton, Shaun Owen, Cynthia Rutledge, Dana Ward, and many, many others who are involved with GPB TIE.

I appreciate the willingness of friends and other thoughtful people outside of Georgia who show me kindness and provide me a means of disseminating my ideas. I’m blessed with the advocacy of people who are helping me grow professionally. I thank my lucky star for people like Debren Ferris, a Project Manager at ISTE and the exceptionally talented folks who comprise the Google Teacher’s Academy. Debren connects me with schools, administartors, and teachers who are interested in my ideas. She’s helped me make new friends all across the country. My friends in the Google Teacher’s Academy have helped me help others use Google’s powerful resources to enrich learning experiences for countless young people–and all for FREE!

With so many blessings to smile about there’s no way I could ever forget to be grateful for the men and women I work with on a daily basis as part of Georgia’s network of Educational Technology Centers. This blog is a project I do on my own time outside of my capcity as an employee of the state of Georgia. That said, much of what I put into this blog happens as a result of what I see, do, and learn when I’m collbaorating with my friends and counterparts at other ETCs in Georgia. In the same vein, I am grateful for having the chance to be part of a great team within my own center and to have an angel of a boss who gives me room to explore new ideas.

For all of these and other beautiful blessings–my family, friends, and kind, Preclectic subscribers–I am most thankful!

Stating Stats

I just stumble onto StateStats. I find it very interesting because it ranks the popularity (in each U.S. state) of a given Google search query. StateStats is intriguing because it seems to rank search queries in terms of their importance to geographical regions. For example, according to the site, the term mittens tends to be searched by residents in northerly states and other locations where frost is more likely to form. This has the potential to be a very informative tool.

Just imagine what one might discover when exploring the following terms:

  • authentic learning
  • instructional technology
  • understanding by design
  • meaningful learning


Alarming News

Although many swear that gobbling turkey is a perfect recipe for post-Thanksgiving nap, the tryptophan in turkey doesn’t induce drowsiness. Despite the assurances of Science, doubters remain. Those who fear an overdose of Meleagris gallopavo will cause them to snooze the day away need only check out Karen’s Alarm Clock. According to Karen, anyone can…

Turn your $2,000 computer into a $20 alarm clock! Set up to five different alarm times. Wake up to a beep, any wave or MIDI file, even a track from your favorite audio CD.

Now, if we can only find out to what to do with all those leftovers…

Sounds lIke Fun: Auditorium

Many schools are closed this week for Thanksgiving. Teachers and students are enjoying time with family and friends. It’s a good time to play. That said, why not head on over to Auditorium? Once there, quit worrying about right or wrong answers and indulge in the process of exploring something new, something that challenges and delights.

Hajimemashite? It’s Japanese for “Pleased to meet you.”

Analyze This: Typealyzer

I just stumbled across something pretty intriguing, a site called Typealyzer.

What’s interesting is that, when given a url to explore, Typealyzer probes and assesses the text at the web address and subsequently supplies an analysis/description of the author who created the text. For example, according to Typealyzer I’m this kind of person:

Note: Although I’d like to believe the analysis of my character is spot on, I rarely, if ever, don a sword and shield.

See You in the Funnies

Today, I visited a class of gifted students in the Onion City. I was delighted to hear that the pupils were exploring comic strips. As an aficionado of sequential art, I was more than happy to share what little I know of the topic. Before I left, I suggested that the students take time to visit a nifty site called Make Beliefs Comix. It’s a site where kids–heck, anyone–can easily generate a comic strip.

Related links: