Showing posts from June, 2012

Is Technology Revolutionizing Education Yet?

Last Saturday my clock rang at about 2:45 in the morning. I got up, got ready, and headed off to pick up a colleague for our trip to ISTE 2012 held in San Diego California. What a blessing to be able to enjoy real sunshine and warm weather. The Vancouver area in British Columbia has experienced consistently cool and wet weather unfortunately. We went to a Padre's game that evening and then crashed reasonably early so that our brains were ready for the ISTE experience. Approximately 15,000 educators attend this premiere educational technology event each year. On Sunday I attended a workshop in the morning where we learned to program in Scratch and Alice . Scratch, a fabulous visual object oriented programming environment is used by many middle school students in our schools, was created by MIT and gifted to the world. We created a simple program with several sprites that interacted with the user on simple math problems. Alice is a 3D programming language. Things got more compli

So You Want to be a Leader

Back in 1991 I began my journey as a leader of not only a function within an organization, but also of people.  For a computer science grad, that was a bit of a shift.  But you know, it has been the best embedded pro-D I could imagine.  I must admit, I seem to embody the “learn from my mistakes” model because when I reflect, I’ve made many and learned many lessons along the way.  What I’ve learned is that leadership for me is envisioning a better future, and carefully working through others to get there together. I attended the annual CIO Executive Summit in Vancouver last week where I had the pleasure of hearing several accomplished leaders speak.  These leaders, CIOs (chief information officers) of large sophisticated organizations such as WestJet, UBC , lululemon (also heard from Chip Wilson, the founder), and Best Buy, shared their success, challenges, and advice.  A reoccurring message for success included investing in people, process, and technology with the priority being peop

What Kids Say About Blogging

One of my professional goals is to regularly visit classrooms and capture learning stories.  I love talking to students and teachers who are engaging with technology in meaningful ways.  One such story I captured a few months ago involved blogging in a grade 3 classroom.  Jens, the teacher for this class, contacted me via email to describe the journey he’s been on with his kids: “I’m a grade 3 teacher and I have been blogging with my students since September. Each of my students has their own blog and even though we only get two 45 minute periods of Computers each week, over the last seven months I’ve experienced a number of ‘teachable moments’”, Jens Preshaw You can follow his class blog, The Griffin , here .  He describes some of the value or benefits of students blogging: “For the parents in our learning community it has created greater transparency in the classroom. They regularly visit their child’s blog and often leave very positive comments. The students feel so pro

My European Vacation

Well, we’re back!  What an amazing experience to visit countries with such a rich history, abundance of art and sculpture, phenomenal architecture, and cool culture.  I wrote in advance about our trip in Travel in the Future if you’re interested in what the plan was.  I disconnected myself from blogging and participating in social media, other than Facebook, for a month.  Previously I had blogged every week for 2 1/2 years without skipping a beat and was an avid user of Twitter so it was a bit weird to disconnect but worth it.  So, I thought I’d kick off my return to blogging by sharing a few interesting stories from the trip (picture to the right is in Rothenburg ob der Tauber ). Come along with me for the ride… My wife Shelley and I flew from Vancouver to Heathrow then onto Rome arriving mid-afternoon.  We took a cab to B & B Baghirova in Rome which was located ( Via di Campo Marzio 69 ) about a 5-10 minute walk from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, 15 minutes from the Trevi F