Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ehsynchronous has moved

I have made some changes in my blog location and software. I am now using Dreamhost for my web service rather than .mac and blogger. Now you will find my entries at

Hope to see you there.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wind on Minister's Pond

Snug in a cabin a gale swirls 'round.
Unseen yet fierce,
apparitions in the daylight.

Invisible forces
chase through the trees
break a limb, topple man's toys.
The breath of the planet,
in and out in random intervals.

Without contrast - they have no form
Defined only by the alter-elements
water, wind, light and shadow
across the pond.
The dance of the wind,
push and recede, push recede.
Waves appear, flatten, then reappear
Water revealed by wind and light

Friday, October 2, 2009


Standing in the dark
Alone... just me
I wait and look again
Dark but spacious with a breath.

The full Moon rises tonight
I place my attention there
why not write it down.

These ordinary moments are exceptional
full of life
with eyes looking and relaxed.
I could desire something more - naah!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Does you wiki?

I have been thinking about wiki and it's application for our classrooms at RFSD. I expect some teacher has done something like this. I imagine:

sharing technology with students in the flow of their instruction. The class is organized to work together and help document their own instruction within a wiki. Doing a unit on a subject, they add details to the reading, lecture and discussions they are having in class. Studying US Government, they take and post notes from class lectures and discussions. They contribute their own ideas and answer quetions in the content the wiki. Their contributions could include written, audio, still and video content. The wiki becomes a reference for the teacher as they expand on the lesson, make assignments, and assessments, and when they repeat the lesson next year. As an added benefit the wiki becomes a class portfolio, a measure of what they know.

I'm not sure if you can do all this on a wiki but I expect you can do most of it. Perhaps the assessment piece isn't in there. You could do some of your assessments using Google forms, like you would a poll.

In this way the class plays an important role in their own learning. They work with the teacher to build a learning community, learn the content, and produce evidence of their learning. The cool thing about the wiki is that it tracks who contributes, making work easy to find and evaluate.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Technology for Instruction or Learning

As we create a vision for student learning, we should delve into our philosophy of technology. Does it follow from our philosophy of learning and teaching? How do we want students to engage with technology? Do we want to put them in pull out classes for typing and other basic proficiencies? Or do we want them to learn by doing, applying technology to their learning, picking up a computer when they need to do a task. As important as this target is, it is equally important to know when to hand students a pencil, or a blackboard, or face to face with each other; using all sorts of tools and arrangements to read, write and engage in projects. The plan to use technology should begin with a question of purpose:

  1. What learning outcome are we aiming at?
  2. What does the student need to know, perform.
  3. What vocabulary do they need, what processes do they need to understand?
After all, we have been using tools in learning and teaching forever. Technology is a revolutionary tool for sure but it should serve our learning objectives. As we create learning experiences for students we need to explore ways to put technology into student's hands to create, communicate and collaborate.

On another note...
If we're going to put more tech in the hands of students, we need to orient them (and ourselves) to the social norms of that environment. What are our expectations for them? What are the rules for engaging each other (and anonymous people) online? Some useful topics:
Students will benefit from 21st Century tools for learning as we balance our concerns with the advantages that the tools afford. As we understand the tools we will do a better job of integrating them into the flow of instruction. Students could begin to tell us when they need a particular tool.
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Dream and Prayer

We're all living the same, different, existence,
reaching for a connection and fearing it's loss.
My jealousy is a reminder, a signpost to a new state of being
Where I pause, release and reframe my boundaries,

I accept that I have longing and pain,
and see it melt, see others equal and greater to mine.

Breath with this moment - let us be.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shallow or Deep - Where are we headed?

Recently I commented on a story on "The Future of Education" site, titled "Is Google Keeping us Single". I just happened to have heard the story on NPR that was referenced in the story, describing the popularity of "hooking up".

This story made me think about examples of quick fixes and obsessions in our culture and it's opposite; the search for meaning that I also experience and observe. It is true that there are a growing number of examples of our tendency toward instant gratification. We are a fast moving culture and this "fast culture" is spreading over the face of the earth. But what is interesting is that alongside this is a growth in connections, in finding out who we are, settling down and settling in.

There is great potential for shallow "one night stands" in our culture. Maybe fast food is the culprit. No, seriously we have been moving horizontally for quite some time in our culture. This fast movement has it's costs and benefits. It does take practice and effort to stay on a thought, develop one's philosophy, raise a family or what have you. It is interesting that while people are moving fast and skimming the top of life, others are taking time to develop a sense of wonder and contemplation. The popularity of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh are examples. While for some these personalities are just another quick brush with an idea, for others they represent a desire for connection and contemplation of the here and now. Interesting that the West discovered Eastern religion en masse during the 60s at the same time they discovered "free love".

Do we have the will and the stamina to rest in the peace of this moment, enjoy a novel, learn to play a musical instrument. I don't know what the research says, but my observations in my corner of the planet says that people are still doing these things. There is a desire to slow down - at times, and to escape our escapes.

I recently joined Facebook, much to the horror of my youngest daughter who does NOT want to be my "friend". Is Facebook a distraction, a way to skim the surface of my life and others? or is it a way to connect, to feel a deeper bond to the mass of humanity. I have found old friends and new. I have begun to get connected, albeit with quick waves and text, with people I have known for 20 and 30 years.

Granted Facebook could be another distraction. But it can be a place for people to begin to write their life story, to develop a deeper, not a shallow sense of themselves. Who know what all this will bring. But it seems to me that the phenomena of "social networking" is a natural outgrowth of our desire to be connected deeply not a desire to remain anonymous or have a quick "intercourse".

But twitter, that's a different story :-)