Showing posts from March, 2014

When Twilight Looms

"Do you remember why we stopped hanging out with that couple?" I asked my wife this past week. "I honestly don't remember." We'd seen the picture of one them on Facebook.
"You didn't agree with his New Age beliefs," replied my wife.
At that response, I have a vague recollection of what New Age is, how it is out of alignment with my beliefs, but then, I realize, "Who the heck was I to get all holy-roller on them and write off all possible relationships?"

It's a lesson I've learned as I advance in age, although not quite elderly as the venerable prophet on the mountain at the Blue Skunk Blog. Don't write people off because they have ideas you think are worthless. People shouldn't end up on the discard pile ever. If I had a message to my younger 21 year old self, it would be to be more tolerant than I was at the time. As we slide down the corridors of time, the people we know and build relationships grow less and less. I…

MyNotes - Private school Chromebook program #googleapps #gafe

Source: Private school’s Chromebook program explains why Google’s laptops have captured nearly 20% of the educational market By Conner Forrest January 28, 2014, 10:46 AM PST The article cited above has some great takeaways regarding the use of Chromebooks, and GoogleApps for Education that are worth reflecting on. You'll want to read the entire article, but here are my notes.


 According to an estimate by Futuresource Consulting, Chromebooks accounted for almost 20 percent of the mobile computing market for K-12 schools in 2013. Kentucky Country Day (KCD), an independent private school, has had a 1:1 laptop program for their high school students since 2005, but they recently began requiring the purchase of Chromebooks for their middle school students to use in the classroom.Simultaneous to the Chromebook experiment was the school’s rollout of Google Apps, which the students use to create and share content and access their assignments. Students were using their devices to crea…

Having Fun with Crunchbang Linux #!

Since I get bored from time to time, I decided to reimage my machine at home with a copy of Crunchbang Linux, a light-weight Debian distro that comes preloaded with lots of scripts to make installs easy:

While remains my favorite distro, I have to confess a certain fondness for #! (Crunchbang's way of referring to itself) since OpenBox menu system is so unobtrusive. Playing around with a "new" distro always is fun because it lets me do the same old things in new ways.
CrunchBang is a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution offering a great blend of speed, style and substance. Using the nimble Openbox window manager, it is highly customisable and provides a modern, full-featured GNU/Linux system without sacrificing performance.
The primary aim of the CrunchBang project is to produce a stable distribution offering the best possible out-of-the-box Openbox experience. To achieve this goal, CrunchBang pulls many base packages directly from Debian's repositorie…

High-Freedom Environment?

In high-freedom environments, people use social tools for fun. In low-freedom environments they use them for political action. Source: Clay Shirky Interview. We need to cultivate more high-freedom environments in America, land of the free, and home of the brave...stop cowering in fear about what we say and do. And nowhere is this more true that in schools.
Eric Scheninger (@NMHS_Principal) makes the point about seizing social media for learning and leadership in a series of tweets this past weekend:
Digital leadership is about becoming the storyteller-in-chief - if you don’t do it someone else willPower of social media is to engage stakeholders in 2-way communication; cannot fear this Tell your story as it happens, take pictures of kids doing great work when observing, blog about successes
A school convocation speaker once shared this advice: Find your story, love your story, tell your story to everyone. Then, take advantage of the power of social media to help amplify our voices as educat…

Hope of Redemption

"What's the path for this person to find their way back into the good graces of the organization?" You know, when people have behaved in ways that are out of alignment with organizational culture, is there ever hope of redemption?
In a previous entry, I share the following as one of the reasons why people are passed over:
Too much baggage.Each of us, when in an organization, accrues baggage that taints people's perceptions of us. While I'd like to imagine that I'm still that bright, shiny penny the organization thought I was when I hired on, over time, I've gotten tarnished, scratched, flung, and ignored as valueless (penny analogies (smile)). Each one of those experiences leaves an indelible mark in the minds of my employer, teammates, interview committee. Consider all the possible scenarios:
Someone is too pushy and is always advocating their vision over that of others. The problem isn't the vision but the fact that the person pushes others aside.Some…

Ask the Question - Mine for Problems

"Mine for conflict," goes the old saying, but more deadly are unknown problems lingering in people's minds.
In my team meetings, my paranoia as a leader forces me to ask the question that I never get a satisfactory answer to. I always feel that there is a problem "out there" that I'm missing, that needs to be addressed. Yet, most folks seldom see a problem as a problem when they first lay eyes on it. That's the fun part...helping others see potential troublespots before they explode in your face.

The question I ask every time I meet with my team takes various forms; here are two:

What don't I know about that you do but haven't spoken up about and we need to address? What problem or issue is there that you know about but I don't or we haven't discussed as a team?
The wording may vary but the goal is the same--to get at, like a man scratching in a corner for a lost artifact, gasping to extend his reach into the unknown that may hold a probl…

MyNotes on Macbook, Chromebook, iPads: Why Schools Should Think Beyond Platforms

Tidy concepts are ideas that are expressed so well you can't imagine adding to them, modifying them. You are left wondering, "Wow, that was so on target, i can't say anything except, 'Preach on, sister!'"

Of course, nothing is that perfect. I like this kind of writing, especially when in the hands of revolutionaries because it makes it harder for others to oppose them. When ideas and words come together to be so irrefutable, you have to pause and ask, "Where are the seams to this construction of words and concepts?" How can I deconstruct these ideas and what does it mean for me?

This kind of deconstruction makes it possible to have an opinion on ideas that are backed up by the marketing geniuses who are pushing worldviews that find their way into our classrooms. That's why I liked Shawn McCusker's blog entry, Macbook, Chromebook, iPads: Why Schools Should Think Beyond Platforms.


The choice of a platform should be focused on learning ob…

Ok Alone

It's not every day that I read a blog entry that just hits me between the eyes, and yet, that's exactly what happened when I read this blog entry, 15 Things That Introverts Would Never Tell You. As an introvert, I found every one of these points spot on.

Some of my favorite ones include the following with some quick reflections afterwards:
We like to write things out.We love email because it helps us get what we need without interruptions. Interruptions throw us off course, and we need to expend more energy to get back on track. So, please don’t call unless it is a close-ended question. One of the bad reputations I get in any organization is my penchant for writing long emails. For me, the written word rules! Forget video, pictures, etc. All of that is nothing compared to the written word. When I write email, I start with a simple draft, then quickly escalate into sections with their own headers. For me, writing an email is a way of breaking up ideas into discrete, easy to dige…

The Uh Uh Approach to Risk

"Why aren't we integrating technology into teaching, learning and leadership more? Nothing we do seems to get through to teachers. It's like they just don't care and no one is willing to make them do it."
I occasionally find myself in these conversations and confess to being baffled myself. Why aren't we, why aren't I, able to get more traction on these? I suspect the answer lies in the lack of relationships. I've noticed you have to build a deep relationship to see changes, and that only comes about after sufficient time, delivering on promises in spite of oppositional thinking. But again, building relationships can't just be the only obstacle, right?

Of course, it might be that people are just too afraid to change or do something new. It may be that they are too tired, their lives too full of old stuff. In the case of the latter, I find myself wanting everyone to come up with a Stop Doing list and add to that list every approach that doesn't…

5 Tips for Quick Blog Reflections

ICT Evangelist shares his top 5 tips on blogging for reflective practice, pointing out the following:

Do it to help you improve.Do it for yourself.Use a simple to use blogging tool.Link your blog up to Twitter so that when you post, it will automatically tweet your blog post.Beware the troll.
And while I generally agree with those 5 tips, here are mine:

Juxtapose new ideas with your thinking. If you are wondering what the secret to creativity is, then here's a tip that is worth exploring--juxtapose what you're reading on other blogs, magazines, seeing on television or YouTube or Vimeo, and then respond to that, blending in your reflections about some experience that either prove or disprove the point.Invite collaboration with other bloggers. Whether it's a meme or an invite for a guest post (oh no, I hope this doesn't kick off or something similar sending me guest articles), you can actually get quite of excitement generated by inviting others to write blog e…

Safeguarding Your Data - Keep It Simple

Update 05/28/2014 - TrueCrypt is now defunct

Yet another blog entry on safeguarding your data. By now, if you're not doing it, you must not care.

Use to create an encrypted box of data. If using android, you can open truecrypt volumes on the go with EDS Lite.SSE File Encryptor works great on Linux,Mac, Windows and Android.An alternative to SSE is, which also works on Linux, Mac, Windows and Android.
Getting started is pretty easy. Why haven't you? What are you waiting for?

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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

4 Reasons Why Internal Candidates Get Passed Over

"Why aren't they going to hire me for the job? I'm perfect and I'm here." It's a question any qualified applicant in-house should ask. Having been the person who comes into a job when there are qualified candidates in-house several times in my long career, I feel I have a unique insight into WHY this happens.

Too much baggage. Each of us, when in an organization, accrues baggage that taints people's perceptions of us. While I'd like to imagine that I'm still that bright, shiny penny the organization thought I was when I hired on, over time, I've gotten tarnished, scratched, flung, and ignored as valueless (penny analogies (smile)). Each one of those experiences leaves an indelible mark in the minds of my employer, teammates, interview committee.Too darn impressive. If you're a coordinator hoping to get into a director spot, a specialist hoping for a coordinator position, there's always the idea that you're too darn good. I encounter…