Monday, September 29, 2008

The Last Lecture

After spending the entire weekend in the hospital with my father who is suffering from pancreatic cancer and heart disease, I tried to find an answer or perhaps a possible solution of why is this happening to my Dad at the young age of 70 years old. I yearned for a tangible sense of calming and inner peace to ease my stress as well, so after sneaking away from the hospital for a quick bit to eat with my husband and to reacquaint myself with him after many days of separation, I decided to stop at the local book store before heading back to the hospital. After searching through the book shelves for a few minutes I came across the book titled "The Last Lecture." I saw the You Tube video last April while chairing the WEMTA conference- and this flooded back many memories and tears swelled within my eyes- because this was the weekend my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I knew then I needed to read this to calm my nerves and gain a better understanding of how I could personally make a difference in my father's quality of life for the next 3-6 months. In between attending to my Dad's needs throughout Saturday-Sunday I stole away a few minutes here and there to read "The Last Lecture." I gained a better sense of understanding the cancer my Dad has and could totally relate to the outlined stages of cancer my dad is going through as the same as the author. My dad at times becomes very negative and even appears angry when we try to help him- he is having a hard time accepting assistance from his family members. But other times he tries to reflect a compassionate smile towards us and is sincere in his words- I can not image what he must be going through his head right now- knowing within 3-6 months he will no longer be with us. I find myself crying and becoming very emotional at very unexpected times- it is hard to realize that I will no longer have my Dad around by Christmas or shortly there after- how can one plan for this? The best thing that one can do is to stay positive and reflect on one's life stories. "The Last Lecture" shared many personal stories to make real life connections to get through the difficult times, and the author, Randy Pausch, shared and published his stories to document his experience to leave a living legacy for his young children to remember him as a positive attribute to society, his work, and especially his family. Personal stories are so very powerful- and this was my lesson learned from the book I just read to find the niche to relate to my father this weekend and throughout the next 6 months. Make time for your friends and family- listen to their stories- we never know how little time we have left with them. Naomi

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Stream You Say?

Monday morning greetings on this beautiful day in September. The birds are singing, the fish are jumping in the bay- but for some odd reason there is know sign of sunshine at this point- just a grey cloudy overcast- but that won't ruin our day ! I had the wonderful opportunity again this weekend of teaching a professional learning community of 28 learners earning their master's degree in professional development. Several questions arose around the scope of Web 2.0 tools and building your own "digital ecosystem" to have resources, collaborative networks and tools at your finger tips. One way to address these pondering questions but to get startin on building your own digital ecosystem is to first try and dive into the Web 2.0 tool world, and try out the different functionality of blogs, wikis, and life stream applications. My current web presence as you are reading from is built upon the foundation of a blog, but supported with rich resources of Web 2.0 tools and enriched with critical and passionate reflection. The life stream "verbage" is newer form of web presence to express one's self personally and proffesionally through smaller chunks of information representing as "microblogging" which represents sharing and embedding digital media content information with a global audience. A few life stream applications I am curently working with and showcased this weekend include: Soup.io Soup is a tumblelog, a super-easy blog that can do more than just text: post links, quotes, videos, audio and files. ReadWriteWeb Thirty-five Ways to Stream Your Life by ReadWriteWeb (this rocks!) Twitter Social networking and microblogging using instant messaging to have your voice heard and receive immediate feedback.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Digital Citizenship for the 21st Century

Greeting CESA #7 Educators and Administrators!

This blog post is dedicated to everyone that truly is passionate about 21st learning environments promoting digital citizenship skills, ethics and instilling the same technology values. I am pleased to be a keynote presenter during the Lighthouse Academy to share my expertise on this specific topic, but at the same time value the opportunity to learn from peers on how they are addressing the very same issues and talking points within their school district environments around the world. Please feel free share your view points how we as educators and administrators within our K-12 environment's can address these digital citizenship issues and make a positive impact with our digital native students, parents, community members, and school personnel.

Naomi