Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thank You ISTE - It Ain't So!

When all the hulabaloo erupted about not being able to audio,video,stream, etc without the "expressed written consent of both the presenter and ISTE" the bloggosphere erupted with calls to arms and keyboards and send the words to ISTE and the Administration. We are ISTE and as such the "Administration" listened to its members and did a good thing. Below is the response I received from Leslie Conery and I post it with her permission.

"Hi Paul,

I mentioned in an earlier email that we were working on a way to respond to the concerns that would meet the needs of all the groups of stakeholders who need to have a say in this discussion. We received substantial feedback about this issue and have had great internal conversations in the last 24 hours about how best to respond. We needed to listen to and address the valid concerns of ISTE members while also protecting the rights of the people who have agreed to present at NECC.The statement below addresses how we'd like to handle this for NECC2008. Post NECC2008, we are planning to convene a discussion around the issue of broadcasting presentations and to work together collaboratively with podcasters, bloggers, presenters, and other stakeholders to develop guidelines for NECC2009 that meet the needs of the education community.

ISTE recently disseminated a code of conduct regarding video and audio recordings at NECC 2008 which has generated some thoughtful and energetic discussion. We welcome your interest and comments and would like to clarify and amend the code of conduct for NECC 2008. For NECC 2008, ISTE's permission is not required for non-commercial video and audio recording of sessions and workshops. However, for NECC 2008, written permission from the session or workshop presenter is required prior to capturing a video or audio recording. Any permitted recording should respect the presenter's rights and not be disruptive. Under no circumstances may any length or quality of video/audio capture be used for marketing, advertising, or commercial purposes without express written permission from both the session presenter(s) and ISTE. Thank you. We look forward to an ongoing dialog about fair use.


Leslie and the rest of the Administrative team, my apologies for the delay in getting this posted. I thank you for opening the door to discussion even though it was probably beaten down. I look forward to the dialogue after NECC 2008 to come to a common ground for protecting the rights of the presenters and also making available to those unable to attend as many resources as possible.

To the edu-bloggosphere, I hope that we can continue to pursue the right thing in the right way and maybe we can start by setting up our own Creative Commons Licensing so that people know ahead of time that what is posted or saved or discussed or shown on the web is available for the right use and purposes.

Thank you ISTE and I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio. I especially look forward to the conversations afterward.

Learning coming up, get ready to share.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Say it ain't so!

Today my wife & I drove from Dallas to Houston as I will be participating in Stephanie Sandifer and Steve Hargadon's Web 2.0 Live Tools session all day tomorrow. After stopping for dinner, my wife drove and I quickly checked on email and the Twitterverse to see if I had missed anything. Much to my surprise there was some rapid discussion going on about NECC 2008 and what I feel amounts to censoring of recording/podcasting/ustreaming/ etc. of sessions without the "1.Permission of the presenter and 2. the permission of ISTE." I was shocked. This after there was a huge call to people in Texas to blog about the conference.

I had participated in the conference call with several of the higher ups at ISTE and was greatly pleased to hear them take suggestions and work toward implementing them for the good of the conference, for the good of educators throughout the world and for the future of all of our students. This announcement that was brought to light by Wes Fryer was a stunning blow to me personally. After reading Wes' blog I then scooted over to Miguel's blog and found more of the same along with a request to send your thoughts to ISTE.

No longer was the world flat, instead it was a cold, dark cave like place waiting for Og to create fire. No longer was there a collaborative air about the conference, instead it became the us vs them aspect that so many schools already struggle with when speaking about faculty and administration. Some people speculated that it was merely ISTE's way of protecting themselves for copyright purposes, some felt that maybe technology was finally catching up to the realities of the world.

I personally feel that it stinks but I am waiting for clarification from Leslie after writing the email. What about those who can't get here because of frozen budgets? While a lot of my expenses are paid for by my school, I have a lot of out of pocket expenses that I do not pass on to my school as we are a private inner city school. I have posted my letter to Leslie Conery below and hope you will take the time to weigh in on this whole situation. I started the letter off personally with some of my thoughts and then used some of the sample letter portions that Miguel had posted on his site.


I find it worrisome that after working with you and several other ISTE admin people through the use of a conference call and being asked to blog about NECC, we are told that only with permission from both the presenter and ISTE are we able to record sessions at NECC 2008? As I sat in on that conference call, I was impressed with the things that were discussed and brought up and felt that I was finally dealing with an organization that was truly forward thinking. MY DUES WERE BEING USED FOR SOMETHING GOOD. This is true collaboration, true education reaching out to all. The flat world truly coming together for the good of the future - our students.

NECC 2007 proved to be an exciting learning experience because educators embraced disruptive technologies and were open to sharing their ideas as blogs and podcasts. ISTE and NECC Organizers have missed the boat in capitalizing on the use of communication and collaborative technologies. In essence, NECC 2008's policy is to ISOLATE rather than enable educators to COMMUNICATE and COLLABORATE. When I consider the words of Dr. Don Knezek at in 2007 about education no longer being an isolated act of teaching, learning and leading, and juxtapose that intent with NECC 2008's approach, I am aware that ISTE and NECC are no different than K-16 schools today...struggling to escape the past. Even as schools and organizations reach towards the future, old fears and habits keep us from moving forward, keep us from being who we desire to be and have said we want to be as reflected in the ISTE NETS- S. It's difficult to find a new way, and I had hoped that ISTE and NECC would provide the leadership for all state organizations (e.g. TCEA) but I see now that my hope may have been misplaced.

As an educator--teacher, administrator, edublogger and learner who has internalized the ISTE Standards--I challenge you to set aside your fears and reconsider your policy. I intend to encourage all educators to reconsider their participation in future NECC Conferences. I encourage you to respond to post a response on your own ISTE Blog. If I have misunderstood the policy, I hope you'll set me straight. Thank you for taking the time to review the contents of this email during such a busy time.

Wishing you well,

Paul R. Wood
Director of Technology

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My Viral Vacation

The first week of June is gone already. School just ended on the 4th for the students and the 5th for the faculty. I always joke that now I can get things done, the faculty is gone. I already miss the students. So what to do this summer? I have several professional development situations lined up and I am truly looking forward to them, however, my online learning network continues each and every day, 24/7. Here are some opportunities for you to go viral with the rest of us.

On June 20th, I will be in Houston for @ssandifer's and Steve Hargadon's Classroom 2.0 Live Workshop which is a one day session with lots of presentations by some very knowledgeable folks. If the info link above looks goods to you here is the link to register. This one is free and if you are near Houston check out the site and see if you can make it.

NECC is coming hard and fast. ISTE & TCEA and lots of other folks are getting ready to strut their stuff for all those who are coming to town. The venue is San Antonio, TX. My very favorite get out of town to relax place. Northerners beware! San Antonio can be a hot one at the end of June. Check out @technolibrary's wiki on places to go and things to do while in San Antonio. If you are coming in early check out the things on tap with Edubloggercon. There will be free sessions all day Saturday at the Convention Center at Edubloggercon so look it up and learn more so you can share more. There will be additional meet ups and sessions during NECC so check it out.Don't forget to make sure and stop by to see Scott McLeod and pick up your "I'm here for the Revolution" button which he and Wes Fryer worked together on to pick the winner, Bill Mosely.

After NECC it will be a couple of days relaxing and then the next trip is late July to Manchester, N.H. for the Gary Stager-thon. Actually it is called Constructing Modern Knowledge. Beginning on Sunday the 27th of July and going until Thursday July 31. You can find more information here. I have heard there are some spots still available and the faculty for this one looks great.

In between I will be trying to prep machines, ipods, orders, bandwidth and sanity as well as trying to soak in as much as possible and so that I will be able to later share even more. The tools are there and we need to leverage as many of them as possible, otherwise the natives (the digital one that is) will be very restless.

What a viral summer vacation this will be.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The World has Lost a Good One

This is the obituary that appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, June 1, 2008:

"A Sister of Saint Mary of Namur, died Thursday, May 29, 2008, at Our Lady of Victory Centers at the age of 58. Service: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10a.m. Monday at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, bishop of Las Cruces, celebrant. Most Rev. Kevin, Vann, bishop of Fort Worth, and priests of the diocese will con-celebrate. Interment: Mount Olivet Cemetery. Vigil: 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Fort Worth. Memorials: Sisters of Saint Mary, 909 W. Shaw St., Fort Worth, Texas 76110. Donna Ferguson was born Aug. 4, 1949 in Dallas. She attended St. Cecilia and St. Elizabeth grade schools and graduated from Bishop Dunne High School in 1967. Following a year at St. Thomas University in Houston, Donna volunteered in the missions of the Sisters of Saint Mary in Africa. In 1968, she accompanied the sisters to war-torn Belgian Congo (Zaire) where she worked with local women and taught PE to 8th and 9th grade girls. Her experiences there inspired her to enter the Community. Sister Donna made perpetual vows in 1985. She earned a BS in Secondary Education and Social Sciences from the University of North Texas in 1974, and a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in 1985. On the strength of this degree, Sister Donna began a long career as spiritual guide an1 retreat director. After three years teaching 7th and 8th graders at John XXIII in Dallas, Sister Donna became ill. Despite a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, she channeled her energies into vocation work. In 1981, she was assigned to the Vocation Office of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and in- 1984 was made Vocation Director. Bishop Joseph P. Delaney named Sister Donna Director of Seminarians in 1989, and she. served in this office until 2006. The future priests benefited from her honesty as well as her encouragement. Sister Donna served as Member at Large for the National Board 0f Diocesan Vocation Directors from 1982-1985. Within her religious community, she served on the Provincial Council and as Provincial Treasurer arid Treasurer of Our Lady of Victory Center."

I met Donna through my older brother. She was in need of platelets for an experimental program that would attempt to treat her MS. They took my blood and centrifuged it and gave me what they didn't keep back. They cultivated what they kept and gave her injections of it to combat her MS. It worked until funding for the program went away.

Sr. Donna later became my spiritual director when I entered the Deacon Formation Program for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas. A 6 year formation program, we were all told to find a spiritual director, one that we would meet with on a once a month basis and this director would help to keep our spiritual compass pointing the right direction. She was as responsible for helping me to ordination day as those who taught my classes. She could ask questions of me that would make me dig deeper than any one else I knew. That was why I chose her. She walked every step of the way with me through formation. Once ordained I kept her as my director and my hope was to have her be my spiritual director for a very long time.

I last met with her over dinner about 4 weeks ago. This was a little bit of an oddity as we never met over a meal. She thought it was a distraction. Our meeting was not so much spiritual direction but more a quest on her part for information about what I planned to do this summer. We talked and visited and relaxed and also had the joy of being waited on by my son who works at the Japanese restaurant where we ate.

I received the call on Monday evening, Memorial Day, that she had suffered a massive brain hemorrage. They took her to the hospital she was awake, responding but was unable to speak or move her left side. I waited to go to her side as I knew the drill in the hospital, one that didn't need extra people in the way and I wanted to wait until her family was able to get there. When I got there she had already begun the downward spiral of life but the upward spiral to her eternal home. I saw her on Wednesday of that week. She slept with only an oxygen tube and breathed a very simple pattern the entire time. I held her hand, I prayed with her and for her and I talked to her, telling her to go ahead and pass on through as God was waiting for her. Her work here was done. She had been unconcious for almost 24 hours at that point.

Donna, you have been a good and faithful servant. You have helped me in so many ways. You are already missed but I know you will continue to guide me spiritually in the days ahead.

I love you Sr. Donna Ferguson and I thank you for being a wonderful part of my life. My only hope is that I can pass on to others at least half of what you have given me.

Donna don't forget, all of this is God's doing so you need to give Him some leeway!!