Showing posts from May, 2009

Let's Talk About You, Not Me

Isn't it amazing that the changes journalism is undergoing, well, they could easily be perceived as the changes education needs to go through? Consider this quote:
You will not only have to reinvent journalism, you will also have to reinvent the conversation about journalism, making it less internal to the profession, and more interactive with the rest of society.
Source:Nicholas Lemann via Clay ShirkyOr, as Dr. Scott McLeod highlights in his inclusion of a quote from Seth Godin, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not about you. It’s about them. If they don’t see the meaningfulness and relevance of what you’re offering, it’s your fault, not theirs.” These two quotes highlight not only the need for a fresh conversation that reflects the diversity of those you connect with, but also the necessity of making those connections.

In my recently submitted article, I share what I perceive is my frustration with school districts who fail to embrace social media tools to share what's going on in thei…

Stages of PLN

Source: Jeff Utecht

Thanks to Once a Teacher blog post, I stumbled upon this video of Networked Student (youtube video) and this image of the Stages of a PLN. Wow!

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What Color Is Your Aura?

For fun, I decided to take a quiz via Facebook...not sure I agree with the results completely, but hey, it was for fun. My results appear above.

Update: For fun, and validity checking, I decided to take another What Color is Your Aura quiz...different results!
What Color Is Your Aura?Your Result: Blue You are quiet, cool, and calm. You love your solitude and have no trouble standing alone. Blues are sensitive, truthful, spiritual, and intuitive--they often show signs of clairvoyance and ESP. They are the professors, detectives, and spiritual mediums of the world. Yellow Green Brown Pink Violet Red Orange What Color Is Your Aura?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Reaching for the Heart: 5 Tips for School District Communications

...the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing...It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.
--Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense (1776)

"Jesus Figueroa tells trustees: 'My hair is not hurting anybody. My hair causes no students to be held back in their eduation.'" So reads the almost 140 character tweet sent by SA Express News writer, Michelle de la Rosa (, who often covers local San Antonio school issues using, a social media tool. The challenge to Figueroa's long hair reaches a school district's school board (in San Antonio, Tx), only to see an eventual capitulation by that Board, "Unanimous board vote to grant Figueroa special dispensation from grooming policy. He gets to keep long hair and stay in regular classroom." (Read the rest of the story online at Even if you cannot attend the Board Meeting, you are t…

TxDLA Alamo Area Regional Meeting - Area 20

Join the Texas Distance Learning Association's regional meeting (Area 20 in and around San Antonio, Tx, USA):
Time: June 23, 2009 from 11:30am to 1pm
Location: Adrian Spears Federal Judicial Training Center
Organized By: Helen Torres
Street: 643 East Durango Blvd
City/Town: San Antonio, TX
Contact Info: 486-0390

Event Description:
AARG June 232009 Meeting.pdf

See more details and RSVP on MyTxDLA:, I will be at the Texas CTO meeting in Austin sponsored by COSN. Sigh.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Moodle on Oracle Database

When someone suggested installing Moodle on Microsoft SQL, I squirmed in my seat. The audience around me grew quiet. Microsoft SQL? Was the person crazy? Who would want to use MS-SQL when MySQL was the much better, free open source solution?

So, I was again surprised when I read Ben Wilkoff's post on running Moodle on Oracle. While I have to ask WHY? there must be someone out there who needs to be able to do it. Better to ensure that Ben's video and instructions--in a GoogleDoc--reach as wide an audience as possible!

The specific system in question is using an Oracle database to work with Moodle. While it has been done before, some of the instructions didn’t ring true for me. I also wanted to be able to provide a step-by-step account of how I have done it and how it can be done. So, without further ado, here is the Google Doc that gives the step by step account of just how to do it.And, just to prove that it can be done in 25 minutes or less, I have included a screencast of the …

Supporting CSHB 4294

Here is a copy of the email I sent to my representative today...I adapted the text from the urging email sent out earlier today via the Technology Education Coordinators' Special Interest Group (TEC-SIG).
As a K-12 educator serving in public school districts as an instructional technology director, I see evidence of neglect and lack of funding in my urban San Antonio school district.

Please give final approval to CSHB 4294 when the bill is called up for concurrence. It is my fervent hope, along with the other educators I represent, that this bill will allow school districts, like mine, to use their textbook fund allotment to purchase innovative, up-to-date instructional materials…and the tools to get those materials into the classroom.

On behalf of our children, please support CSHB 4294 so as to enable greater financial flexibility and local control to access the learning materials, and tools, we know our kids need.

With deep appreciation,

Miguel GuhlinWant to follow suit?

Contact your …

Obama Slashes Ed-Tech Funding AGAIN!

In spite of a COSN News Flash via Twitter sharing that "Breaking News...EETT funds under Economic Recovery Act will flow by July (not Oct ), 2009" I still found this announcement below a bit disappointing!
Earlier this month, the Obama Administration proposed to cut funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program by 63% for FY10. This would slash funding for EETT from $269.9 million to only $100 million.

We need your help to convince Congress to reject this funding cut. ACT NOW!

As you will recall, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) invested $650 million in new education technology funding, to be spent between now and September 30, 2010, because this program is so vital to our children's future.

If Congress agrees to this cut, much of the progress made with the new ARRA dollars - modernizing classrooms, training teachers to use technology and ensuring the technological literacy of our students - will be lost!

ACT NOW! Contact your U.S. …

Multiple Technology Intelligences

Adapted from

Playing with ideas is part of the fun with blogging and I love what Tim Holt has done with the old "multiple intelligences" concept. Although it's worthy of more elaboration and explanation--not to mention a graphic design by someone with a higher "animation intelligence" than I (smile)--here is Tim's basic premise:
Types of Multiple Technology Intelligences....
Let me start the list. I suppose that there are others, but let the discussion begin with this list:
Animation Intelligence: Student learn by creating drawings and animations.
Gaming Intelligence: Students learn through simulation, whether creating or playing.
Video Intelligence: Students learn through the creation of multimedia video content such as digital storytelling.
Music Intelligence: Student learn through the creation of music, ringtones, jingles, etc.
Podcasting Intelligence: Student learn through the creation of aud…

Ideas Made Manifest

Manifest Destiny,

At a workshop I attended recently, the facilitator asked participants to respond to these 2 questions:
When did you first know you wanted to be a leader?When did you realize you are a leader?
Since this was a low-tech workshop, I wrote out my responses longhand, enjoying the "old-fashioned" approach to writing, rather than the instant revisions possible with a laptop (which I also happened to have). As a result, I think the writing feels different, less glib, more grandiose. When I shared my ideas with those in my team of two administrators, I decided to read my responses verbatim rather than speak from them like notes, as others did. Of course, I received a completely different response...and that was fun.

As I hate to lose any piece of writing I craft, even imperfect as the writing below, here are my responses to the two questions. What would your responses have been?

When did you fi…

Journal of Research on Tech in Education: Who's Teaching Online

My copy of the Summer, 2009 issue of the Journal of Research on Technology in Education arrived this week, and I'm thrilled to get it! Some of the articles appearing this issue include the following:
K-12 Distance Educators at Work: Who's Teaching Online Across the United StatesTeachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration ReframedTeachers' Beliefs and Technology Practices: A Mixed-methods ApproachComparing Self-paced and Cohort-based Online Courses for TeachersOf the ones listed here, #s 1 and 4 caught my immediate interest as practically relevant. Having read so many articles about items 2 and 3, I must confess to being jaded as to how we could reframe tech integration in any way that would work, or that teacher beliefs and tech practices would actually gel to brush away old, ineffective approaches. However, I'll be reading them anyways...I noticed a highly esteemed colleague, Dr. Judy Ha…

Installing Apache on Ubuntu for Moodle

Recently, someone shared this question in the Moodle forum...
Hi. I've been using XAMP to run Moodle, but now I need to migrate to Linux.

I've downloaded the apache at and followed the instructions at, but I can't find the httpd.conf file. Also when I go to http://localhost/ I get a 'It works!' message instead of the supposed Apache Server page. It seems another server is already running on my computer. Any ideas? I'd appreciate some input to get out of this mess. Thanks in advance.It reminded me of this post I wrote about installing Apache using XAMPP on UbuntuLinux.

I was running XAMPP for Linux without problems but then when I turned on the laptop today, I couldn't get Apache web server portion of XAMPP to start. Why not?

Apparently, UbuntuLinux' Apache2 server was already running. I tried getting it to stop by nuking the directory but no…

VMWare Fusion for Mac - $39 !!

As a veteran user of VMWare Fusion--a program that allows you to run Windows on Mac computers--I was thrilled to read the following announcement that arrived in my email. I'm currently using VMWare Fusion on my personal Macbook and my district-provided Macbook Pro. Fusion works well on my Macbook, but on the Macbook Pro, it is truly awesome.

Definitely consider buying VMWare Fusion. Please note that I do not receive anything for this endorsement...I already own VMWare Fusion and want to share the info.

For friends and family thinking about getting that new grad a Mac, add VMware Fusion, enabling them to do even more as they venture into the real world. And now—at a price point that will make new grads throw their hats up with excitement—it’s easier than ever to enable Windows and Mac applications to run side-by-side, without the need to reboot.With VMware’s academic discount, students and new grads save 50% off the list price of VMware Fusion. Regular Price: $79.99

Cut Virtual Schools? Sheesh

Source: Global Kids' Digital media Initiative

Over the last half year, I've had the opportunity to work with teachers in online professional learning scenarios...without reservation, the experience has been positive and engaging for these educators, as well as for me. In fact, we've touched MORE people via online professional learning than we have in face to face workshops...and that's incredible, considering we've only had a few virtual class offerings.

I know that our children should be receiving the benefits of virtual learning opportunities, which is one of the reasons I'm thrilled at the work being done by the Texas Virtual School Network ( So, I was surprised at Florida legislators taking money away from virtual schools...

Research at the University of Florida last week concluded what many advocates of online education have long maintained: virtual schools save state governments money.


Boot from USB Flash Drive Using ubuntu Created with Unetbootin

Thanks to Dwight Goodwin for sharing these tips...
Here is a how to video on how to install Puppy Linux using unetbootin. Same steps but point it at the Ubuntu iso file. Also on Ubuntu 9.0 under admin there is a USB install setup. That’s definitely the easiest wayHow to video from the blog entry with my modifications for Ubuntu Jaunty:
Download Ubuntu.iso file - UNetbootin which will install the .iso file on the thumbdrive UNetbootinPoint the install at the Ubuntu .iso fileSelect the USB drive where you want to install.I tried this out on an 8gig USB Flash drive without problem, and a colleague did it on 4gig and 8gig. Whether it will work on 1gig, I'm not sure.

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Policy Adherence Beef with AT&T

Back in February, 2009, I approached my local AT&T store with money burning a hole in my pocket. I'd already tried an older Blackberry (free) and decided that I didn't quite like the interface. Having played around with an iPod Touch (Madmin), I decided that an iPhone would be the way to go.

"Hi, I'd like to buy two iPhones to replace my phone and my daughter's devices."
"I'm sorry, sir," responded the sales clerk, "You won't be able to do that unless you get a new phone line and sign a new contract for two more years."
"Yes," I responded a bit startled, "I just re-upped my contract for 2 years earlier this month and that won't be a problem for my daughter's line."
"Well, sir," responded the sales clerk, "You won't be able to get an iPhone unless you get two new lines."
"That seems a bit crazy, don't you think? I have to pay all that money when I just renewed this month.&q…

Your Local Paper - Needs More Seasoning?

As an online reader of my local newspaper (no, I'd never pay for it) and subscribed to tweets from local news reporters, I'm wondering if local news wouldn't benefit more from the kind of seasoning that the Tucson Citizen is getting ready to enjoy--citizen journalism. The Citizen's idea for a venture is to model the new site after, a political blog....
The site is a collection of blogs and bloggers who post news, information, opinion and more on the site everyday. There are dozens, if not hundreds of Tucson bloggers. They add a tremendous amount of knowledge and perspective to the total universe of Tucson.But each is unique and mostly stand alone. All rely on Google searches, word-of-mouth and a few other modestly effective means to market their work. Our idea is to offer them the economy and power of scale.Other plans for the Citizen include holding a bloggers convention, for the purposes of helping connect bloggers with each other, promote online d…

Transparency and Truth

While I'm not entirely convinced that President Obama is living up to his campaign promises of openness and transparency (and, of course, some point out, what politician does?), two items have come across my screen that give the appearance of O&T.

The first is, which:

And the second is...

That's right, your federal government has come to YouTube. You may have noticed that President Obama has been posting weekly addresses to the White House YouTube channel since inauguration. Now, there are dozens of official federal YouTube channels where you can access footage from NASA, the State Department, the FBI, the CDC, and more. It's all part of making Washington, D.C., more transparent and accessible than ever before -- and helping you easily navigate government information that's relevant to your life.

The U.S. Government channel is located at, a nifty hub that links off to dozens of federal government channels on YouTube, from the Social Se…

My new phone...I wish.

Heck, I wish this was my phone. I'm locked into AT&T for a bit longer (1 year) and need to investigate what it will cost me to take my family and leave them for T-Mobile. AfterDawn blog cites these updates to the firmware update to the Google Android G1 phone:
Coming with 1.5 is the addition of an on-screen keyboard. Users will be able to enter text while the phone is in portrait mode instead of having to rotate to landscape mode and open the keyboard. The new update will also add more Home Screen widgets including a widgets for the user's calendar, a music player, and a picture frame.

The addition of video recording, as well as the addition of video playback support for MPEG-4 and 3GP, is a welcome addition for many whose biggest complaint is the lack of video recording using the built-in camera.What? You think I should get an iPhone? NEVER! I will never get an iPHone and neither will my family. They had their chance to get my money and blew it for "policy" adhere…