Showing posts from June, 2009

Stager's Words

Image Source:
Although I slept through the NECC 09 "debate" this morning, and barely stayed awake through it tonight when I listened to it, I have to admit that Gary Stager's words had me cheering. Ok, ok, I was using my "inside voice."

This part was particularly engaging:

If the level of resistance to change remains constant, no matter what we ask of teachers, then shouldn’t we raise our expectations substantially? Our network policies treat teachers and children as either imbeciles or felons. How many of you are unable to use your classroom computers in educationally sound ways because of a network policy created without your input?We install iPod labs so that children can be marched down the hall once a week for iPod lessons. We chain laptop computers to desks and don’t allow children to take them home. That’s the point of a laptop. You cannot blame such stupidity on four walls of brick and mortar. Th…

Rules to Tweet By

A few days ago, in this blog entry, I asked, Will news journalists jumping on the twitter bandwagon cross the line and convict someone in the court of online public opinion BEFORE they get their trial?As I caught up on my blog reading this evening, as I listened to GaryStager at NECC 09 (straight-talk was great!) after a day of lounging and swimming, I searched again for guidelines for journalists...while it's easy to imagine how Twitter is being used to make things right, it's also important to realize that before things can be made right, if somehow, an assertion is made that goes unchallenged and then accepted as truth and spread quickly via our PLNs, that can easily become a problem that's almost impossible to deal with.At MediaShift, 20 rules for tweeting journalists are are the ones that strike me as the most important:Think carefully about what you're re-tweeting and acknowledge if it's unsubstantiated.Don't lock your account if you want to…

5 Simple Social Media Rules

The new NETS for Administrators are out, but I'm having trouble getting excited about them. While I could spend a whole blog entry writing about the espoused values in the NETS-A, I'm more concerned about different rules that school districts need to internalize immediately. I've seen how the NETS-T and NETS-S have not been embraced by administrators. Their conception of technology goes something like this:(Click on image to view full-size...image source: anonymous)
You know what I mean, right? The NETS-A will be reviewed, considered, and work on adopting those might begin sometime in the next few years. The desired changes will happen slowly, if at all, because they face an entrenched culture of constraint and capitulation. As Quinn calls it, it's how school district members deal with "slow death."According to the author of Deep Change, "old maps drive us into a state of great pain and frustration." Educators are finding themselves in a quest…

Michael Nielsen » Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?

Michael Nielsen » Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?tags: no_tagThere are two common explanations for the disruption of industries like minicomputers, music, and newspapers. The first explanation is essentially that the people in charge of the failing industries are stupid. The second common explanation for the failure of an entire industry is that the people in charge are malevolent. even smart and good organizations can fail in the face of disruptive change, and that there are common underlying structural reasons why that’s the case. That’s a much scarier story. If you think the newspapers and record companies are stupid or malevolent, then you can reassure yourself that provided you’re smart and good, you don’t have anything to worry about. But if disruption can destroy even the smart and the good, then it can destroy anybody. Some people explain the slow death of newspapers by saying that blogs and other online sources [1] are news parasites, feeding off the original …

iNACOL Preso Rejected-Sigh

I was a bit disappointed to receive this email from iNACOL organizers regarding my presentation/workshop submission, which I discuss in this April, 2009 blog entry:
On behalf of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), I’d like to personally thank you for your VSS 2009 proposal. We received 210 submissions for the November conference. Members of the Program Committee worked very hard in reviewing the proposals and making decisions that will best fit the symposium theme Creating New Solutions through Online Learning and meet the dynamic participant needs.

We appreciate your submission of Moodle Habitudes - Constructing Online Learning Environments. However, this proposal was not selected as a presentation for this year’s symposium.

Every effort was made to balance the program in the areas of content, topic, grade level, focus, and audience. Due to space limitations, many excellent proposals could not be acce…

Movie - Heresies of an Ostrich Leader: On Meetings

Playing around with, I took a piece of dialogue from The Heresies of an Ostrich Leader and put it are the results:

Subscribe to Around the

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 Collaboration Possibilities

Click to view at larger size or use the graphic organizer below....

Ken Task approached me the other day at the SOSCON09 and shared something about Moodle Collaborations. I'm still not sure I understand this fascinating concept, but here it is in his own words:What is it?
Where users of Moodle Server A can access/enroll in selected courses (from a selected category) in Moodle Server B.

Moodler Servers setup for networking can be on the same server, another server within an internet domain (ex:, or the servers can be on different domains (ex: and Both servers can use their own authentication services (Moodle A could be using MS LDAP while Moodle B could be using FirstClass) yet all users of both A and B have access to courses offered on the other server.

Users of A and B would have single sign on ... ie, user X logging onto Sever B doesn't
have to login again to access the categories/courses to which they have access.

One can also networ…

Revising AUPs

Someone in Texas wrote...Did you ever receive any input from the forum on updating your AUP? I have been given the job of updating ours to reflect the "newer issues" and am having problems finding any examples. Please share if you have anything. Thanks.To which I responded...You can find something here:

Love to hear suggestions and improvement ideas!and then...
Thanks so much for the info. Looks like this covers what I was looking for. The only other issue we had addressed was the use of technology for cheating. Some students were caught this year with answers stored on their cell phones. Any thoughts on this? To which I wrote back....
Yes, actually. On that page, you'll find a link to Liz Kolb (author of a new book on the subject of mobile devices) to collection of AUP info...I've also added some here, as have other visitors: would YOU have responded?

Subscribe to Around the

Everything p…

Guilty on the Web

Alleged Attempted Murderer and Assailant
Seen this man? Not sure? Did you know "Police believe he threatened to kill ex-fiancee?" While you can read this article on what he is alleged to have done, seeing this picture and information tweeted raised a question for me:Will news journalists jumping on the twitter bandwagon cross the line and convict someone in the court of online public opinion BEFORE they get their trial?Is this any different from what we have now? After all, people post pictures in the newspaper...but tweeting a picture to thousands of followers, that is something else. How do we protect the rights of the accused and keep them from becoming victims of a society embracing social media?
I don't have the answers to your responses, esp if you're a journalist working with social media!Responses:
Subscribe to Around the

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent t…

Dembo Delivers

Thanks to Steve Dembo's NECC presentation for sharing his presentation...

I am laughing my head off at the videos available at It's hilarious and I can imagine creating something here, especially if it just involves typing dialogue (satire) in for characters provided by XtraNormal.

Subscribe to Around the

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

Live at NECC09 - Listening to Scott Floyd

How neat it was to listen to Scott Floyd (White Oak ISD) online via ISTE Connects! His talk focused on Wordpress, including the mention of email subscription as THE add-on to include for WP. He also mentioned a few others, such as Twitterbadge and Flickr....Let's hope Scott follows up with a blog post listing his favorite WP plug-ins.
Also catching Scott and Mike Gras chatting regarding WordPress.

Subscribe to Around the

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

Texas Backfilling Budget Holes with Stimulus Funding

A colleague told me, "School districts don't know what to do exactly...Texas will, like Pennsylvania, run afoul of federal expectations for use of stimulus funding. Districts are having to prepare 2 budgets in anticipation of what will happen."This perspective is supported by a new article in the Austin American-Statesman which more information has trickled out of the U.S. Department of Education in recent weeks, it appears that Texas might also have some notable strikes against it:U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned that states could harm their chances in the grant competition by using stimulus money to "backfill budget holes" while protecting state dollars.Texas left untouched $9.1 billion in its rainy day fund while using $3.2 billion in stimulus money to pay for textbooks and increase school funding. State officials argue that the use of money was in compliance with the law and say there was a lack of federal guidance on spending the…

Revisiting Puppy Linux

"Open source," shares Jon Orech via a tweet today, "is free like a puppy." This tweet reminded me of a short blog entry I wrote about PuppyLinux... One of my favorite distributions of GNU/Linux is PuppyLinux. In fact, I carry one around with me wherever I go, and I'm sure to have it whenever I visit some place with computer access but I don't want to use their Windows machine, burdened with who knows what keyloggers, etc. For fun, I even run PuppyLinux on my Macbook, although I also have UbuntuLinux loaded to do the real work. PuppyLinux is just fun to use and fast. A nice article appears introducing folks to PuppyLinux: Fast, small, lightweight—and still a full-featured GNU/Linux: Puppy Linux combines a complete set of applications with great flexibility, yet it requires minimal hardware. This article introduces this increasingly popular GNU/Linux distribution.Puppy …

NPR Interview of Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay

How fun to listen to Julie and Vicki in this interview recorded and shared via YouTube! Watch it below:

Video Source:

Subscribe to Around the

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

TxCTO09 - Anita Givens' Legislative Update (Podcast)

Image Source:
Note: This photo was NOT taken at the TxCTO09 event.
On June 23, 2009, Anita Givens addressed a room full of Texas Chief Technology Officers (CTO), providing what I believe was the first update to Texans from the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) perspective on new changes.In this update, she addresses some important questions that have been asked among district technology leaders, including:The future of virtual schoolingThe State Technology Allotment's funding sourceNew textbooks, including open source process developed onesSchool District Grading Policy (no more 50% if you didn't earn it, kids!)Computer Lending ProjectElectronic Course Pilot
There are various other critical topics addressed, some of which I tried to capture in my notes and was unsuccessful...Anita spoke quickly and often switched slides in her presentation without inflection (which meant, I didn't catch the change from her voice…

TxCTO09 - Web 2.0 and Policy Leadership (Podcast)

Image: Keith Krueger (CEO, COSN) and Miguel Guhlin

Below you can find links to my slideshow and the audio of my presentation at the Texas Chief Technology Officers' (CTO) Clinic held in Austin, Tx on June 22-23, 2009. I had a lot of fun delivering this presentation, but spent a lot of agonizing picking out which slides to cut from my 40 + slideshow. Some folks wrote to say, "Your presentation was inspiring!" and I heard similar remarks from others after the session.

I am always skeptical about the quality of my own presentations, perhaps holding out too high a standard and tend to over-prepare. I've decided that it comes from constantly revising and rewriting I indulge in as a writer, the search for just the right way to say something. That personal preoccupation aside, I was thrilled to present next to Keith Krueger from the Consortium for School Networking (COSN). I had no idea he'd been the founder of COSN and had been with the organization for 18 years or so. …

TxCTO09 - Virtual Schooling in Texas (Podcast)

On June 22-23, 2009, I had the opportunity to attend the Texas Chief Technology Officers’ (CTO) Clinic taking place in Austin, Tx. My reason for being there was simple - I’d been invited to present on Web 2.0 and Leadership. One of the unexpected benefits of attending the TxCTOClinic, though, was a presentation by Bob Daughrity, Alice Owen, and Kari Rhame Murphy on Virtual School in Texas.K12 public education is in the midst of the next "disruptive innovation" that will change the way the world learns. Virtual learning plays a major role in movement from standardized instruction to student centered instruction. Every student is unique and learns differently, therefore learning should be "personalized," dynamic, and engaging. Virtual learning environments do present new challenges for technology leaders to consider. Come participate in this discussion with school leaders who have experienced first-hand the changes needed to prepare our networks, staff, teachers, adm…

True to Stories In Progress

Brand "U.0"View more presentations from David Armano.

Branding seems like such a tough idea to "get" for school districts, as well as businesses. It's tough because to get "be a brand" you have to get past how the organization perceives itself and tries to project that to the world. The Org is still into image management and building a brand means letting your constituents, your customers, your staff, your community step up and tell's the frightening side of an open mic available to the Community. You hope everything will work, but there's always that nagging concern twitching in the corner of your eye when a chair is pushed back that someone will get up and screw it all up.

These thoughts came to me as I skimmed David Armano's presentation (shown above), thanks to "All About Me" blog entry by John Costilla. John lists a few people in the blogosphere that have a brand, or simply, a story that is recognizable, authentic…

High School Tech Apps in Texas - No longer required

Well, if you still weren't sure that Technology Applications Graduation requirement had been put aside for high school students, this June 25th letter from TEA (which arrived in my email inbox on June 26, 2009) should set you straight; a short excerpt:
With the passage of House Bill (HB) 3, new graduation requirements will take effect on September 1, 2009. These new requirements supersede the graduation requirements in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 74. . .Typically, new graduation requirements take effect with the incoming freshman class. However, the flexibility in the new HB 3 graduation requirements impacts all high school students beginning with the 2009-2010 school year. All students are able to graduate under the HB 3 high school graduation requirements beginning in the 2009-10 school year, unless the district has adopted additional local requirements. Attached is a side-by-side comparison of the current RHSP and the newly required HB 3 graduation plan. The Stat…


Check out this presentation by Steve Young at the Texas CTO Clinic 2009 on virtualization....Tx K12 Cto Clinic Virtualization PresentationView more Microsoft Word documents from mguhlin.

Subscribe to Around the

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

Texas Legislative Update - TxCTO09

Below, please find my notes on the legislative update provided by Anita Givens at the Texas Chief Technology Officers' (CTO) Clinic held June, 2009. A podcast will be available soon.

Anita Givens' KeynoteAssociate Commissioner for Standards and ProgramsCurriculumTextbooksEducational Technology
81st Legislative Session Update140 days of hard work for the legislative sessionNow what, so what? What does this mean for the state level and for districts?This preso was put together last night.
Bill and relates toHB 3 - Public school accountability, curriculum and promotion requirementsRequires for every child that does not pass the TAKS at 3,5, 7, and 8, students will receive additional services so they can catch upProvides high school graduation requirements.The recommended and distinguished plan moved to 4x4.Now those plans still have 4x4One credit in Tech Apps was required - this is no longer true. It's not a requirement for students in order to graduate.HB130 - Full day prekinde…

Wireless Generation and Nokia n810

Update 06/23/2009: Tom Hoffman (TuttleSVC) points out that the Wimax is NOT the same version as the Wifi being considered (read comment). However, IMHO, this does not invalidate the point that school districts have to invest in a completely new handheld device running an OS that is not currently supported. Remove the reference to the Wimax device mentioned in this blog post, and that point remains.

While I personally believe that the Nokia N810 is a great device, asking districts to support yet another device in mass quantities (one per teacher for handheld reading assessments) is obviously met with resistance from districts. Kudos to Wireless Generation (check comments) for announcing a new version of their product for netbooks.

Original Entry:

In previous blog entries (here, here, here, here, here), I've shared the challenges school districts face as they are forced to upgrade from one technology to another to keep up with a vendor who has created a product to work ONLY on a specif…

Virtual Schools (txcto09)

"Vision without a strategy and execution is simply an interesting story."
--Mark Hurd, CEO, Hewlett Packard as cited by Steve Brown, Texas State CTO
The last session of the day at Texas CTO Clinic sponsored by the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) was a panel presentation by Kari Murphy (Deer Park ISD), Dr. Alice Owen-Farsaii (Irving ISD), and Bob Doughterty (Pasadena ISD). It was a great session, probably because there were a lot of good questions asked...and this was a beginner session that addressed nuts and bolts.You can find my notes online, and I hope to have a podcast later this evening.Coincidentally, the Spring 2009 issue of JCT is now available at
JCT is a K-12 oriented online periodical where the emphasis is teaching about computing. JCT is published under the auspices of the Special Interest Group for Computing Teachers (SIGCT) in the International Sociecy for Technology in Education (ISTE). The primary mission of SIGCT is to enhance prec…