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Re: [WWWEDU] Rant

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  • Taran Rampersad
    Just two small additions. ... 4. Rant. 5. Laugh. Repeat as necessary. Now for the large addition. Step 1. assumes a level of trust in the organizations being
    Message 1 of 21 , May 23 1:18 PM
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      Just two small additions.

      dougj wrote:
      > Hi Jeff,
      >
      > Are you going to do something about these things or just rant?
      >
      > I will offer you the same challenge I offered the folks I read on the
      > blogosphere:
      >
      > http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2006/5/11/doin-something
      > -about-dopa.html
      >
      > "Here is my challenge to each of you serious, influential, and well-meaning
      > people. Please serve as a positive example by:
      >
      > 1. Letting everyone know what professional organization(s) you belong
      > to which will provide organized lobbying against such legislation. I belong
      > to MEMO at the state level and am the legislative chair. I belong to ALA and
      > ISTE at the national level and serve on the board of ISTE.
      >
      > 2. Sharing the sample letter you will be writing to your House
      > representatives explaining why such legislation is wrong. I am guessing most
      > of us faithful readers already are in your camp. I am working on mine
      > tonight and will post it tomorrow.
      >
      > (Mine can now be found at:
      > http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2006/5/12/dopa-oppositio
      > n-letter.html)
      >
      > 3. Passing along any other actions readers might take to actually
      > influence this process.
      >
      4. Rant.
      5. Laugh.

      Repeat as necessary.

      Now for the large addition.

      Step 1. assumes a level of trust in the organizations being written to.
      Step 2. assumes a level of trust in your 'House Representatives'.

      These steps are frequently bypassed by people who instead go to 3, 4,
      and 5. This shows a disconnect between the involved parties in steps 1
      and 2. In my opinion, the whole is greater than a few people at the top,
      and doing 1 and 2 first gets a response or lack of response based on the
      mood of the recipients, as well as what works in their interest (be that
      interest personal or professional).

      However, talking about the situation and coordinating 1. and 2. will
      demonstrate that the recipients interest is indeed your interest -
      that's what lobbyist groups do (and my, what a racket a few people or
      legal entities can make).

      I have found, though, that none of this is effective without step 5.
      When you laugh at people, they ask YOU why you are laughing and are more
      receptive to what you have to say. And if you get a LOT of people
      laughing with a particularly funny rant (humor IS based on reality), you
      get a lot more people laughing as more people spread the joke.

      Further, even if you fail, at least you got to laugh and most doctors
      will recommend that laughter is good medicine.

      Now - in this context, I would offer that the Parents (you know, those
      people who are genetically or legally linked to the children somehow)
      should be involved. Because to the groups you're talking to, generally,
      they don't take educators as seriously as they should. And that's
      perhaps the main problem with 1. and 2. So, get parents and anyone who
      could possibly be a parent (the people with zygotes who haven't met) and
      have them write in. You see, they'll listen to them. They have to.
      Because they have numbers, and the interest of these groups of which you
      write are interested in numbers. Only when they see a large foot of
      numbers about to stomp on them do they truly feel the need to start
      listening.

      Oh. And don't forget to laugh. A large group of laughing people is hard
      to ignore. Everyone wants to be in on the joke. :-)

      --
      Taran Rampersad
      Presently in: San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
      cnd@...

      Looking for contracts/work!
      http://www.knowprose.com/node/9786

      New!: http://www.OpenDepth.com
      http://www.knowprose.com
      http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Taran

      Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knowprose/

      "Criticize by creating." — Michelangelo
    • tednellen
      Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen years. at
      Message 2 of 21 , May 24 2:01 AM
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        Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does
        strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen
        years. at this sad point in time for me, i am finding i use less and less
        tech to the point i am now teaching pre tech in my nyc school called
        Information Technology HS. it was supposed to be the premier tech school
        in nyc, but alas, for all the reasons your highlighted and a few more the
        NYC tech team could come up with, tech is dead in NYC. I use dto rant an
        drave and present and publish this for many years, but alas spitting in
        the wind has gotten the best of me and i have resigned myself to the
        demise of tech and substantial use of it in schools for the future because
        of the reactionary attitude of punishment and prohibition over the more
        intelligent choice of education of the user. as i have said before the
        adults who lead dont get it and never will. i have beat my head against
        this brick wall for too long, screamed and shouted till i'm hoarse,
        demonstrated the success potential for too long. as i near my twilight
        years, i am content to merely fade away on this topic as i see it getting
        worse and worse. we had our heyday and i dont see it happening again.
        camelot is dead and so it intelligent use of the tech in schools, IMHO.

        i loved your rant, it reminded me of the type i'd hear from many wwweduers
        over the years and many of their voices still resonate today or have been
        extinguished and it only gets worse everyday, week, month, year.

        I have my own opinions on the reasons, have stated them many times, and
        i'm tired of hearing myself on this topic. i am so glad to hear another
        voice.

        good luck in your quixotic efforts, jeff.

        ted



        On Tue, 23 May 2006, Jeff Cooper wrote:

        > The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
        > with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
        > possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
        > we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
        >
        > The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
        > me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
        > exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
        > let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
        > exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
        > to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
        > completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
        > damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
        >
        > If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
        > created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
        > The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
        > and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
        > truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
        > from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
        > good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
        > Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
        > has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
        > show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
        > have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
        > positive about the Internet?
        >
        > We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
        > NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
        > best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
        > lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
        > system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
        > inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
        > as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
        > because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
        >
        > I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
        > of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
        > classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
        > integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
        > you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
        >
        > OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
        > back to bed for a few.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Jeff Cooper
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
        > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --

        Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

        "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
        To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

        Buckminster Fuller
      • Sue Maiers
        I like your perspective! During my 12+ years teaching Special Education we came to one clear conclusion: if the parents, the child, the teachers, and the
        Message 3 of 21 , May 24 8:03 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          I like your perspective!
          During my 12+ years teaching Special Education we came to one clear
          conclusion: if the parents, the child, the teachers, and the administrators
          are all cool with what you're doing, who is there to complain? (I'm not
          advocating breaking laws, just noting that vested stake-holders when all
          kept in the loop don't tend to put up road blocks!)
          Sue Maiers

          -----Original Message-----
          From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          Taran Rampersad
          Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 3:19 PM
          To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant

          Just two small additions.

          dougj wrote:
          > Hi Jeff,
          >
          > Are you going to do something about these things or just rant?
          >
          > I will offer you the same challenge I offered the folks I read on the
          > blogosphere:
          >
          >
          http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2006/5/11/doin-something
          > -about-dopa.html
          >
          > "Here is my challenge to each of you serious, influential, and
          well-meaning
          > people. Please serve as a positive example by:
          >
          > 1. Letting everyone know what professional organization(s) you
          belong
          > to which will provide organized lobbying against such legislation. I
          belong
          > to MEMO at the state level and am the legislative chair. I belong to ALA
          and
          > ISTE at the national level and serve on the board of ISTE.
          >
          > 2. Sharing the sample letter you will be writing to your House
          > representatives explaining why such legislation is wrong. I am guessing
          most
          > of us faithful readers already are in your camp. I am working on mine
          > tonight and will post it tomorrow.
          >
          > (Mine can now be found at:
          >
          http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2006/5/12/dopa-oppositio
          > n-letter.html)
          >
          > 3. Passing along any other actions readers might take to actually
          > influence this process.
          >
          4. Rant.
          5. Laugh.

          Repeat as necessary.

          Now for the large addition.

          Step 1. assumes a level of trust in the organizations being written to.
          Step 2. assumes a level of trust in your 'House Representatives'.

          These steps are frequently bypassed by people who instead go to 3, 4,
          and 5. This shows a disconnect between the involved parties in steps 1
          and 2. In my opinion, the whole is greater than a few people at the top,
          and doing 1 and 2 first gets a response or lack of response based on the
          mood of the recipients, as well as what works in their interest (be that
          interest personal or professional).

          However, talking about the situation and coordinating 1. and 2. will
          demonstrate that the recipients interest is indeed your interest -
          that's what lobbyist groups do (and my, what a racket a few people or
          legal entities can make).

          I have found, though, that none of this is effective without step 5.
          When you laugh at people, they ask YOU why you are laughing and are more
          receptive to what you have to say. And if you get a LOT of people
          laughing with a particularly funny rant (humor IS based on reality), you
          get a lot more people laughing as more people spread the joke.

          Further, even if you fail, at least you got to laugh and most doctors
          will recommend that laughter is good medicine.

          Now - in this context, I would offer that the Parents (you know, those
          people who are genetically or legally linked to the children somehow)
          should be involved. Because to the groups you're talking to, generally,
          they don't take educators as seriously as they should. And that's
          perhaps the main problem with 1. and 2. So, get parents and anyone who
          could possibly be a parent (the people with zygotes who haven't met) and
          have them write in. You see, they'll listen to them. They have to.
          Because they have numbers, and the interest of these groups of which you
          write are interested in numbers. Only when they see a large foot of
          numbers about to stomp on them do they truly feel the need to start
          listening.

          Oh. And don't forget to laugh. A large group of laughing people is hard
          to ignore. Everyone wants to be in on the joke. :-)

          --
          Taran Rampersad
          Presently in: San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
          cnd@...

          Looking for contracts/work!
          http://www.knowprose.com/node/9786

          New!: http://www.OpenDepth.com
          http://www.knowprose.com
          http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Taran

          Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knowprose/

          "Criticize by creating." - Michelangelo






          WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
          http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

          Yahoo! Groups Links








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        • Mark Ahlness
          Ted s response to Jeff s rant saddened me more than any email or blog posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and even defeat in
          Message 4 of 21 , May 24 7:01 PM
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            Ted's response to Jeff's rant saddened me more than any email or blog
            posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and
            even defeat in a voice always so full of passion and pushing the envelope -
            well, it breaks my heart. His reaction is not one of weakness, but is
            testimony to the sheer muscle mass of the system that refuses to embrace and
            LEAD with technology.

            I've been working in the classroom, using technology with my kids, pushing,
            pushing, for about as long as Ted, but I have always stood in awe of the
            voice he put to his passion. I could just never do that. Now his passion is
            fading, understandably, and I wonder about myself. How many battles can I
            lose and still keep fighting? We'll see...

            There are two things that give me hope right now.

            1) the new medium of web 2.0. It's not just email lists that spread the word
            anymore. We're looking at blogs, wikis, kids as authors, rss feeds, news
            aggregators, podcasts, etc. There are so many more ways to influence people
            and induce change.

            2) the new voices, the Ted Nellens of web 2.0. I hope I don't offend here...
            Anybody reading Miguel Guhlin, Wesley Fryer, or David Warlick knows what I'm
            talking about. Anybody who cares about technology in education who does not
            follow them regularly, needs to. They are using all the incredible new
            tools at their disposal to get the word out, to spread the word in any way
            they can. Evangelists they are. And they are even here on web 1.0 lists like
            wwwedu. Heck, I even saw a post by Will Richardson on EdTech the other day.

            So I have hope. And I hope to hear more from you, Ted. The fight is not
            over, hang in there, we need you. - Mark

            Mark Ahlness
            mahlness@...
            http://ahlness.com
            http://roomtwelve.com
            http://arborheights.com
            http://earthdaybags.org

            -----Original Message-----
            From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
            tednellen
            Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:01 AM
            To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant


            Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does
            strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen
            years. at this sad point in time for me, i am finding i use less and less
            tech to the point i am now teaching pre tech in my nyc school called
            Information Technology HS. it was supposed to be the premier tech school
            in nyc, but alas, for all the reasons your highlighted and a few more the
            NYC tech team could come up with, tech is dead in NYC. I use dto rant an
            drave and present and publish this for many years, but alas spitting in
            the wind has gotten the best of me and i have resigned myself to the
            demise of tech and substantial use of it in schools for the future because
            of the reactionary attitude of punishment and prohibition over the more
            intelligent choice of education of the user. as i have said before the
            adults who lead dont get it and never will. i have beat my head against
            this brick wall for too long, screamed and shouted till i'm hoarse,
            demonstrated the success potential for too long. as i near my twilight
            years, i am content to merely fade away on this topic as i see it getting
            worse and worse. we had our heyday and i dont see it happening again.
            camelot is dead and so it intelligent use of the tech in schools, IMHO.

            i loved your rant, it reminded me of the type i'd hear from many wwweduers
            over the years and many of their voices still resonate today or have been
            extinguished and it only gets worse everyday, week, month, year.

            I have my own opinions on the reasons, have stated them many times, and
            i'm tired of hearing myself on this topic. i am so glad to hear another
            voice.

            good luck in your quixotic efforts, jeff.

            ted



            On Tue, 23 May 2006, Jeff Cooper wrote:

            > The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
            > with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
            > possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
            > we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
            >
            > The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
            > me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
            > exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
            > let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
            > exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
            > to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
            > completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
            > damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
            >
            > If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
            > created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
            > The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
            > and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
            > truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
            > from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
            > good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
            > Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
            > has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
            > show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
            > have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
            > positive about the Internet?
            >
            > We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
            > NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
            > best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
            > lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
            > system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
            > inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
            > as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
            > because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
            >
            > I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
            > of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
            > classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
            > integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
            > you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
            >
            > OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
            > back to bed for a few.
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Jeff Cooper
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
            > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >

            --

            Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

            "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
            To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model
            obsolete."

            Buckminster Fuller





            WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
            http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html




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          • Jeff Cooper
            Doug Johnson challenged me to do something. Ted Nellen echoes my rant with his own feelings of despair within a system that feeds despair rather than
            Message 5 of 21 , May 25 7:38 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Doug Johnson challenged me to "do something." Ted Nellen echoes my
              rant with his own feelings of despair within a system that feeds
              despair rather than supporting its educators. Quoting from Ted's
              signature:
              "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
              something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
              -- Buckminster Fuller

              The trouble is the status quo model within education resists change so
              severely that educators such as Nellen and myself find ourselves
              reduced to ranting. My credentials are nowhere near as impressive as
              Ted's in my efforts to change the system. I became a teacher because
              'school sucks' over 15 years ago. It sucks worse today and yet I
              still persevere with my efforts to do something.

              I've been trying to work with my own school district (where my three
              children attend schools) to help transform curriculum through tech.
              The district uses tech almost exclusively for high stakes testing and
              for proprietary software such as Plato (which bores the kids to
              death). They've resisted my efforts not so much because I am right,
              but because my correctness means that they can't continue to ignore
              issues they'd rather not face. They put enormous efforts into raising
              test scores because this is what NCLB expects of them. Indeed, the
              local high school has raised scores from 33 to the high 60s in just a
              couple of years and been singled out as an exemplary school by the
              state. How did they do this?

              One way was a very concerted effort by the principal to do just that.
              Almost all efforts go into raising scores in Math and English, with
              extra tutoring etc. given as necessary. This is ok as far as it goes,
              but doesn't go far in improving pedagogy or student motivation to
              learn (and virtually all students I've spoken with complain of being
              bored to death). But still, this is an amazing accomplishment, to
              raise scores so dramatically. This is until you notice the fact that
              at the same time those scores improved, the local feeder middle school
              implemented a program where 8th graders who do not pass an exit exam
              are refused passage into 9th grade, and must remain in 8th until they
              pass the test or (eventually) drop out. Raising test scores by
              eliminating the poorest students seems a rather transparent solution,
              but no one questions or challenges it.

              I continue to plug away, supporting educators and students daily,
              mostly at <a href="http://www.tappedin.org">Tapped In</a> where I
              volunteer on Helpdesk. Sure, I post on a number of listservs, manage
              a few, and also volunteer at my daughter's school at least once a
              week, where I know that my efforts don't fall on deaf ears, since her
              teacher is very responsive to my help. So... using the vernacular so
              popular today, I say to Doug "bite me" and continue to do what I do.
              My decision to rant here is not so much a parting shot that I have
              given up and decided to sell real estate or insurance, although it
              certainly seems that more and more educators take this route. Instead
              it is just what it was... a rant... a scream in the darkness. Right
              now it's one of the few things that keep me going, and the knowledge
              that my words echoed with Ted and others reassures me that yes I have
              made the right career choice. Maybe if I bang my head against the
              wall long enough I'll create a hole in it and then there will be a
              chance for a window... or a door.

              Regards,

              Jeff Cooper
              jbcoops@...
            • Trevor Shaw
              I too am very sad to read Ted s post. I have read his stuff with admiration for many years. I can only hope that the rant caught him on a bad day. Ted, I
              Message 6 of 21 , May 25 9:31 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                I too am very sad to read Ted's post. I have read his stuff with admiration for many years. I can only hope that the "rant" caught him on a bad day.

                Ted, I can remember feeling much the same way to the point where I was giving some presentations at some ed tech conferences and my cynicism and frustration began to bleed into my presentations. I got a lot of negative feedback, and I'm sure there are a couple of conferences that I won't be invited back to.

                Changing schools has helped me re-invigorate myself, however. I am now in a place where I have exciting, daily conversations with teachers about innovative uses of technology that push the educational envelope. I suggest that you look into the independent school market. There are literally tons (tens?) of high quality independent schools in the NYC area. You mention the twilight of your career, and many independent schools are eager to hire well seasoned teachers who have just retired from high quality public schools and still have a passion about teaching. I have some experience on both sides of the public / private school fence, and I have found the independent school market to be one that embraces people who are forward thinkers and innovators.

                This, of course, does nothing to address the needs of kids in the NYC school system. For that, I'm afraid I don't have a solution.

                Regards,
                Trevor

                **********************************************
                Trevor Shaw
                Director of Academic Technology
                Dwight-Englewood School
                315 E. Palisade Ave. 07631
                v. (201) 569-9500 ext 3244
                f. (201) 569-1688
                http://www.d-e.org
                ***********************************************

                >>> mahlness@... 5/24/2006 10:01 PM >>>
                Ted's response to Jeff's rant saddened me more than any email or blog
                posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and
                even defeat in a voice always so full of passion and pushing the envelope -
                well, it breaks my heart. His reaction is not one of weakness, but is
                testimony to the sheer muscle mass of the system that refuses to embrace and
                LEAD with technology.

                I've been working in the classroom, using technology with my kids, pushing,
                pushing, for about as long as Ted, but I have always stood in awe of the
                voice he put to his passion. I could just never do that. Now his passion is
                fading, understandably, and I wonder about myself. How many battles can I
                lose and still keep fighting? We'll see...

                There are two things that give me hope right now.

                1) the new medium of web 2.0. It's not just email lists that spread the word
                anymore. We're looking at blogs, wikis, kids as authors, rss feeds, news
                aggregators, podcasts, etc. There are so many more ways to influence people
                and induce change.

                2) the new voices, the Ted Nellens of web 2.0. I hope I don't offend here...
                Anybody reading Miguel Guhlin, Wesley Fryer, or David Warlick knows what I'm
                talking about. Anybody who cares about technology in education who does not
                follow them regularly, needs to. They are using all the incredible new
                tools at their disposal to get the word out, to spread the word in any way
                they can. Evangelists they are. And they are even here on web 1.0 lists like
                wwwedu. Heck, I even saw a post by Will Richardson on EdTech the other day.

                So I have hope. And I hope to hear more from you, Ted. The fight is not
                over, hang in there, we need you. - Mark

                Mark Ahlness
                mahlness@...
                http://ahlness.com
                http://roomtwelve.com
                http://arborheights.com
                http://earthdaybags.org

                -----Original Message-----
                From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
                tednellen
                Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:01 AM
                To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant


                Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does
                strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen
                years. at this sad point in time for me, i am finding i use less and less
                tech to the point i am now teaching pre tech in my nyc school called
                Information Technology HS. it was supposed to be the premier tech school
                in nyc, but alas, for all the reasons your highlighted and a few more the
                NYC tech team could come up with, tech is dead in NYC. I use dto rant an
                drave and present and publish this for many years, but alas spitting in
                the wind has gotten the best of me and i have resigned myself to the
                demise of tech and substantial use of it in schools for the future because
                of the reactionary attitude of punishment and prohibition over the more
                intelligent choice of education of the user. as i have said before the
                adults who lead dont get it and never will. i have beat my head against
                this brick wall for too long, screamed and shouted till i'm hoarse,
                demonstrated the success potential for too long. as i near my twilight
                years, i am content to merely fade away on this topic as i see it getting
                worse and worse. we had our heyday and i dont see it happening again.
                camelot is dead and so it intelligent use of the tech in schools, IMHO.

                i loved your rant, it reminded me of the type i'd hear from many wwweduers
                over the years and many of their voices still resonate today or have been
                extinguished and it only gets worse everyday, week, month, year.

                I have my own opinions on the reasons, have stated them many times, and
                i'm tired of hearing myself on this topic. i am so glad to hear another
                voice.

                good luck in your quixotic efforts, jeff.

                ted



                On Tue, 23 May 2006, Jeff Cooper wrote:

                > The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
                > with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
                > possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
                > we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
                >
                > The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
                > me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
                > exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
                > let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
                > exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
                > to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
                > completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
                > damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
                >
                > If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
                > created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
                > The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
                > and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
                > truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
                > from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
                > good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
                > Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
                > has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
                > show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
                > have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
                > positive about the Internet?
                >
                > We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
                > NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
                > best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
                > lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
                > system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
                > inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
                > as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
                > because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
                >
                > I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
                > of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
                > classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
                > integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
                > you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
                >
                > OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
                > back to bed for a few.
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Jeff Cooper
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >

                --

                Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

                "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
                To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model
                obsolete."

                Buckminster Fuller





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              • Greene, Dr. Patrick
                From Jeff Cooper Maybe if I bang my head against the wall long enough I ll create a hole in it and then there will be a chance for a window... or a door.
                Message 7 of 21 , May 25 10:41 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  From Jeff Cooper
                  Maybe if I bang my head against the wall long enough I'll create a hole in it and then there will be a chance for a window... or a door.

                  Exactly, Jeff. Ted is a bit down right now, because he had high hopes for new education in his part of NYC. Those hopes were dashed, but Ted will very soon pick himself back up and get back into the battle like he has always done.

                  I heard Chris Dede once say, "If you need your fellow teachers and administrators to love you, then you are not going to be innovative enough to create the great technology infused classroom (I paraphrase)", and also "If you are afraid of pissing someone off, then you are not going to be doing the experimental work required." Remember - No Good Dead Ever Goes Unpunished. We all have to develop self-esteem within because it may be that no one else will appreciate what we're doing. So what! There is nothing wrong with putting your heart into something that you know is right but everyone else denegrates. Sooner or later a hole will appear, or maybe that will be for the next generation. Just keep on keeping on (as we used to say in the 60s).

                  Patrick J Greene, PhD
                  FGCU
                  pgreene@...


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Miguel Guhlin
                  I see this rant stuff a bit differently,although I sent all my letters in (including Moveon.org SAVE THE INTERNET) today, too. To me, Jeff sounds like a voice
                  Message 8 of 21 , May 25 6:27 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I see this rant stuff a bit differently,although I sent all my letters
                    in (including Moveon.org SAVE THE INTERNET) today, too. To me, Jeff
                    sounds like a voice in the wilderness. More here:
                    http://www.mguhlin.net/blog/archives/2006/05/entry_1555.htm

                    While I can't necessarily offer an easy solution, I offer comfort that
                    has worked for me. Maybe, changing the world is too big for us. Maybe,
                    the expectation is that I change myself and let the world see what
                    happens when one person is committed to transformation. Time and again,
                    we've seen the power of transformation and divinity in a person's life.
                    Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jesus, and others you may know.

                    Each of us is called to be a leader, to unleash the power that is within
                    us. Now, I don't want to quote what I wrote at the link above in its
                    entirety, but here's a part that I really like from Edward Hays' book,
                    "St. George and the Dragon and the Quest for the Holy Grail."

                    Beginning a modern day quest for the Holy Grail (the Cup, not Mary
                    Magdalene as portrayed in The Da Vinci Code, BTW <smile>), George
                    encounters a dragon named Igor. The dragon and George have a long talk
                    and eventually, George gets a ride back home on Igor's back. George
                    shares his obversations that...

                    From my position high on the dragon's back, I noticed that the
                    dragon's body was covered with old wounds. WHenever the dragon
                    breathed forth fire to light the path in front of us, I noticed that
                    the wounds glowed golden-red in the dark. When I asked about them,
                    the dragon replied, "Oh, my friend, I have been slain a thousand
                    times, but I have always arisen again. THese old woulds are the
                    source of my power and my insight. Our greatest and worst enemies
                    are not the monsters who roam the forest or even wicked witches or
                    evil wizards. No, it is our scars, our wounds, and old injuries that
                    we must fear. As we journey through life we have all been
                    injured--hurt by parents, brothers or sister, schoolmates,
                    strangers, lovers, teachers. Each wound has the power to talk to us,
                    you know. They speak, however, with crooked voices because of the scars.

                    All of us have wounds--old ones and new ones--and whenever the
                    monster appears, when hell breaks loose, we know that our old wounds
                    are talking guiding us. It is these wounds that must be confronted
                    (Hays, 1986).

                    Like the dragon later told George, we must find a way to transform the
                    power of the wounds, and not give weight to the voice of the times when
                    we did our best and were rejected. The power to lead lies in the
                    transformation of the crooked voices and the confrontation of the wounds.

                    I disagree with Mark Ahlness' observation. Miguel Guhlin (that's me)
                    isn't one of the new voices that replaces Ted Nellen or Jeff Cooper.
                    Instead, I am just another middle-aged "George" trying to transform the
                    wounds he's suffered, the wounds that are a part of living. I hope that
                    Ted and Jeff will transform their wounds and rise again.

                    Thanks,

                    --
                    Miguel Guhlin
                    Email: mguhlin@...
                    Blog: http://www.mguhlin.net/blog
                    Advocate for Ed-Tech in K-16 - Join Texas Leads!
                    Find out more at http://texasleads.edublogs.org
                    *************************************************
                    Awaken to the sacred potential within you.
                    *************************************************
                  • TeacherBC@aol.com
                    Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour day of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a public
                    Message 9 of 21 , May 25 7:39 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour day
                      of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a
                      public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                      Recently, we began the process of completing annual reviews. As part of
                      that process, I requested that staff members download, complete, and send back
                      to me as a file a survey in order to assist me in this process.

                      Of a staff of eighty, I had 15-20 who couldn't download an attachment,
                      locate the directory it was in, if they had succeeded at step one, and were unable
                      to attach a file, even with the gosh darned paper clip as a choice on the
                      menu bar. (Where is the file?) Where does a person begin??

                      A grievance ("we have never done this before") and several innane
                      conversations with the very few staff members who think a mouse is a foot pedal later,
                      and I squashed it. I directed a technological goal in all of their
                      professional development plans for next year.

                      As a second-year principal, having taken over for a technophobe, I feel like
                      Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain. To Ted, and anyone else who
                      would despair I would offer the following:

                      A dwarf on the shoulders of a giant sees the farther of the two...I think
                      that fits here.

                      Also, at least ONCE a day, I read the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Using
                      the computer just now, I did locate it in 4.5 seconds, copied and pasted it
                      here in 2.4 seconds, and saved the several hours it would previously have
                      taken me to go to the library, photocopy the poem, bring it home, and bang it out
                      on my IBM Selectric. :-)

                      That being said, we may lose a battle now and then; however, this is a war
                      that we are going, inevitibly to win. After all, our students, within one
                      generation, will be the principals, superintendents, and Board of Education
                      members who will build the "highways." You are all the trailblazers, leaving, as
                      Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to follow.

                      If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below. I read it
                      at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile hold on my
                      sanity...

                      Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken collectively in
                      each of respective professions and locations, will become a roaring crowd
                      when the voices are joined....


                      _Rudyard Kipling_
                      (http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_contents.htm)
                      If

                      If
                      If you can keep your head when all about you
                      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
                      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
                      But make allowance for their doubting too;
                      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
                      Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
                      Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
                      And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
                      If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
                      If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
                      If you can meet with triumph and disaster
                      And treat those two imposters just the same;
                      If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
                      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
                      Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
                      And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
                      If you can make one heap of all your winnings
                      And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
                      And lose, and start again at your beginnings
                      And never breath a word about your loss;
                      If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
                      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
                      And so hold on when there is nothing in you
                      Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
                      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
                      Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
                      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
                      If all men count with you, but none too much;
                      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
                      With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
                      Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
                      And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • John Thompson
                      Nice to see an administrator who is advocating/pushing tech. As a former principal and superintendent who pushed tech and what it can do to help educators,
                      Message 10 of 21 , May 26 6:25 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Nice to see an administrator who is advocating/pushing tech. As a former
                        principal and superintendent who "pushed" tech and what it can do to help
                        educators, here's another quote you might want to consider.

                        To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger. ~ James
                        Baldwin.

                        Stick to guns but keep them loaded and your back covered (and give your
                        staff more training than you can afford because you cannot afford not to).
                        :-)

                        John T. Thompson, Ph.D.
                        Assistant Professor & Coordinator
                        Educational Computing Program
                        Computer Information Systems Dept.
                        Chase 208, Buffalo State College
                        1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
                        (716) 878-3531 thompsjt@...
                        http://www.buffalostate.edu/depts/edcomputing/

                        "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most
                        intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
                        ~ Charles Darwin

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                        TeacherBC@...
                        Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:40 PM
                        To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant

                        Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour
                        day
                        of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a
                        public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                        Recently, we began the process of completing annual reviews. As part of
                        that process, I requested that staff members download, complete, and send
                        back
                        to me as a file a survey in order to assist me in this process.

                        Of a staff of eighty, I had 15-20 who couldn't download an attachment,
                        locate the directory it was in, if they had succeeded at step one, and were
                        unable
                        to attach a file, even with the gosh darned paper clip as a choice on the
                        menu bar. (Where is the file?) Where does a person begin??

                        A grievance ("we have never done this before") and several innane
                        conversations with the very few staff members who think a mouse is a foot
                        pedal later,
                        and I squashed it. I directed a technological goal in all of their
                        professional development plans for next year.

                        As a second-year principal, having taken over for a technophobe, I feel
                        like
                        Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain. To Ted, and anyone else who
                        would despair I would offer the following:

                        A dwarf on the shoulders of a giant sees the farther of the two...I think
                        that fits here.

                        Also, at least ONCE a day, I read the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Using

                        the computer just now, I did locate it in 4.5 seconds, copied and pasted it

                        here in 2.4 seconds, and saved the several hours it would previously have
                        taken me to go to the library, photocopy the poem, bring it home, and bang
                        it out
                        on my IBM Selectric. :-)

                        That being said, we may lose a battle now and then; however, this is a war
                        that we are going, inevitibly to win. After all, our students, within one
                        generation, will be the principals, superintendents, and Board of Education

                        members who will build the "highways." You are all the trailblazers,
                        leaving, as
                        Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to follow.

                        If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below. I read it

                        at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile hold on my
                        sanity...

                        Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken collectively in

                        each of respective professions and locations, will become a roaring crowd
                        when the voices are joined....


                        _Rudyard Kipling_
                        (http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_contents.ht
                        m)
                        If

                        If
                        If you can keep your head when all about you
                        Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
                        If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
                        But make allowance for their doubting too;
                        If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
                        Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
                        Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
                        And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
                        If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
                        If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
                        If you can meet with triumph and disaster
                        And treat those two imposters just the same;
                        If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
                        Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
                        Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
                        And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
                        If you can make one heap of all your winnings
                        And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
                        And lose, and start again at your beginnings
                        And never breath a word about your loss;
                        If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
                        To serve your turn long after they are gone,
                        And so hold on when there is nothing in you
                        Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
                        If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
                        Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
                        If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
                        If all men count with you, but none too much;
                        If you can fill the unforgiving minute
                        With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
                        Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
                        And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







                        WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                        http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

                        Yahoo! Groups Links







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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Robert D. Sharp
                        ... [snip, great stuff but...] ... Often the other option is to sit down and as one of my fellow teachers once said, Who wants to be known for butt prints in
                        Message 11 of 21 , May 26 6:33 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On May 25, 2006, at 7:39 PM, TeacherBC@... wrote:

                          > Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a
                          > sixteen-hour day
                          > of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal
                          > in a
                          > public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                          [snip, great stuff but...]

                          > Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to
                          > follow.

                          Often the other option is to sit down and as one of my fellow
                          teachers once said, "Who wants to be known for butt prints in the
                          sands of time?"

                          > If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below.
                          > I read it
                          > at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile
                          > hold on my
                          > sanity...

                          I leave the link (without the parens) . Thank you.

                          >
                          > Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken
                          > collectively in
                          > each of respective professions and locations, will become a
                          > roaring crowd
                          > when the voices are joined....
                          >
                          >
                          > _Rudyard Kipling_
                          > http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/
                          > kipling_contents.htm

                          You are in a position to lead but, PLEASE, don't just put the
                          technology component into their evaluation goals for next year.
                          Ensure they have additional leadership, resources and the help they
                          need to succeed. I know all too well what happens when goals are
                          placed in front of people and there is no support for attaining the
                          goal. I don't know what technology support they have nor have had
                          but a goal with out the proper support is a road block which becomes
                          a whip at evaluation time. I doubt if you intend this but your
                          description of the last principal sounds leads me to believe that
                          technology has been a very low item on the support menu.

                          Bob
                          --
                          It has been said before but warrants repeating, "If you think
                          education is expensive, try ignorance."

                          Bob Sharp
                          6th Grade Science Teacher
                          Past Middle School Representative to the NCCE Board
                          Recipient of The First Annual Learning Space Achievement Awards for
                          Members




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