Saturday, April 23, 2011


My first choice for presenting my AR is at the Technology Leadership for 21st Century Learning in Storm Lake Iowa at the Siebens Center.  This conference runs 9am-4pm on June 20-22, 2011.  I need to write a 150-word proposal for a 50-minute presentation and submit it at:  I’ve paid the $75 registration fee to participate in the conference activities.  Here is a pdf advertising the Technology Leadership for 21st Century Learning conference:  The deadline for the conference has been extended to May 15th.  “Embed technology into instructional practices,” is one of the teaching goals of the conference that fits well into my AR project.  Another conference goal is to discuss the 1:1 initiative, which I have example stories of my students benefitting from.  Lastly, I’ve received an email response from one of the event organizers that is encouraging.  “We have extended the deadline. Please sign up to present. I enjoyed your rap video!” 

My second choice for presenting my AR is at the Illinois Education & Technology Conference in Springfield, IL. This conference is about accelerating student achievement with the use of educational technologies.  The only downside to this conference is that it is 9 hours away from my current location.  This conference is also seeking 50-minute presentations. 

Publishing/Leadership Thinking Outloud Blog #1

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Week 4: Reading

Reading Reflection of Chapters 9-12 of The Art of Possibility

I learned in chapter nine that I should enroll people for positive missions, and expect to give of myself in return.  Our perception is like a nudge to a kaleidoscope in that it shifts instantly.  All of the self-help information that is being provided in this book is easy to swallow.  I found myself taking the books lessons to heart and applying them to my life.

Chapter ten was about naming yourself as a board and note a chess piece.  Being the board releases the stresses that come with the measurement of who wins or loses the game.  This chapter made me think of a high school student that makes me angry at times because he contributes nothing to class.  I sometimes feel the student doesn’t belong in class.  Now I’m seeing it in a new light.  He belongs and has more to learn then the students that already get it. I should take this student on as a challenge to help him or accept that his behavior is the way things are.  My favorite quote of this chapter is, “there is no great music-making without such risk taking.” 
Chapter eleven reminds us to do things that are on-track and not off-track.  This books definition of off-track means doing things that contribute to downward spiral behavior.  I’ve listed my favorite quotes from this chapter below.
 “I am here today to cross the swamp, not fight all the alligators.”  
“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
“Leaders who become their vision often seem uncommonly brave to the rest of us.”
Chapter twelve is about focusing on WE as a team or group.  Never label a human being as the enemy.  The only enemy is revenge, fear, hate, and righteousne
ss.  I like the idea that truth, no matter how harsh it is, is better then revenge bottled up and consequently released. 


Week 4: Peer Post #2

MAC Week 4-2DB Quickies: Dream Teaching Environment

"IF" I were to pick up my boots again to teach Agriculture, my environment would be one of ebb and flow. The technology to present the information such as (document cameras, roof mounted projectors). The computer resources for students to embrace the information ( mobile lap top lab).  A diverse land lab facility for students to physically engage the information (Greenhouse, garden area and animal facility). The trio union would enhance the other. Students would be able to see a wide spectrum of possibilities and would entice all learning styles.

I love how you described your ideal classroom as having “ebb & flow.”  You’re right, the ideal classroom should be designed in a way that encourages fluid navigation of it spaces.  I use my roof mounted projector and MacBook more then any other technology in my classroom.  An overhead projector is an excellent addition to any classroom.  My ideal classroom has large windows facing a Zen garden outside.  Except for a few indoor plants, I never thought about bringing the outside vegetation to the inside of my classroom until I read your blog post.  I’m sure green houses are a standard need of every agriculture 
education program.  It would be ideal for every school building to have their own green house.


Week 4: Peer Post #1

Mark Popejoy's

When reviewing this week's Publish/Leadership project I decided on going with a presentation instead of a paper. Because my AR project is about Gestalt and it being very visual, I believe producing a visual reference for the project is appropriate.

In researching some of the conferences listed in our Week 4 materials, a couple stood out to me. EduComm, Association for Educational Communications and Technology as well as EDCAUSE. They all have areas in which my project presentation would fit. EduComm has a lot a of background in producing presentations dealing in Adobe products which is where graphic design lives and it has quite a drawing of interested participants. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology is another conference where this would fit because they focus on the learning in the digital age, all of which our projects deal with. Edcause simply because of the scope and magnitude it could bring a project like mine.

However, another conference is very interesting me, and one I have attended - WordCamp. I attended WordCamp last year in Fayetteville, Arkansas and while there were two tracks - blogger and programmer - they had speakers that touched on not only content but design. In bringing some kind of design psychology, in other words Gestalt, it would help introduce the Gestalt principles to those with very little education or knowledge, if any, of them.

Or maybe, just maybe, I can present this at several!

As visual art teachers and students of an Education Media Design Technology Masters Program, it makes since that one would choose to make a presentation with images.  Somehow I overlooked EduComm as a possibility for presenting my work.  Thanks for sharing that EduComm often has presenters share creative uses for Adobe products.  The thought also crossed my mind to present to more than one conference.  It seems like a win-win situation.  We go to these conferences to give of ourselves and in return we learn some things back. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Week 4: Topic #2

(2)Topic #2: What stands in between you and your dream job? Why do you deserve to work in a dream job environment? What do you bring to the table? Be specific. 

I say this with a smile; “I stand between myself and my dream job.”  I’m working hard to make my current job my dream job.  I deserve to work in a dream job environment because I work hard for it.  I treat my students the way I would like to be treated.  My dream job consists of improving the quality of life for others.  I understand the value of working hard for others.   It feels good to give your best as often as you can.  At 32, I’m learning and teaching more then I ever have.  Hire me for my dream job and I will continue learning and sharing until the day I turn to dust.

Here are the reasons I specifically deserve my dream job.  I continued fighting for my students even while attending grad school this year.  I made the change from having just 4th grade bus out to the local art museum for a visit, to including all K-4th students.  I’m starting a digital photography class next year at school because our art program needs to evolve for our students’ sake.  I did my first fundraiser this year for the elementary art department while using social media to run it.  My K-4 students won more ribbons at the county art show than any other school for the second year in a row.  I’ve volunteered teaching a preschool class once a week for the last two years.  Within those two years I created a new art project for those kids every week to this day.  A lazy teacher would try to get out of doing extra work.  I can’t stop volunteering because those kids appreciate the work I do for them. I must also admit that I like making new art projects.  It is a rush for me to make art projects that make kids excited about art.  
I’m spending my own money to participate in a teacher trip to Peru this Summer.  Just like my Japan trip, I’ll bring back a gift for all my students.  


Week 4: Topic #1

(1)Topic #1: Briefly share what your dream teaching or presentation environment would be like, be specific about what such a place would include (beyond just the tech toys).

My dream teaching environment would be an art room with a overhead projector and large windows.  The classroom would have the following people come and go through the day: students, teachers, parents, administration, school board members, volunteers, and professional artists.  Anyone of those people could look out the class windows and see the school Zen garden with koi pond.  Students could be seen in after school clubs in and around the Zen garden.  Authors note:  I’ve witnessed entire schools of Japanese students participate in afterschool clubs.  In contrast, many American middle/high school students go home after school and watch TV.


Wk4 Publishing/Leadership project part 2 of 2: Plan A & B

Previosly on my Blog…
Plan A: Technology Leadership for 21st Century Learning
Deadline: March 1st 2011, Where: Storm Lake Iowa, When: June 20 - 22, 2011
This conference is less then an hour away and located at a college that I’m a graduate of.  Since the conference deadline is passed due, I’ve sent the organizer I pleasant request to present if space is available.  I hope to here a reply from her tomorrow, April 21st.   

Plan B: Illinois Education & Technology Conference 
Deadline: May 6th 2011, Where: Springfield, IL, When: November 15-16, 2011.  This conference is about accelerating student achievement with the use of educational technologies.  IETC looks like a winner because it is geographically close to me, provides its attendees a variety of learning activities in addition to a chance for them to win prizes.

New discoveries for Plan B: Illinois Education & Technology Conference
Upon further investigation I’ve discovered that presenter benefits include conference fees waived, continental breakfasts, and luncheons.  Presentations will be reviewed the week of May 8 and notification of acceptance status will be emailed that following week.  May 8th is on a Sunday this year; meaning that I could get a reply sometime during May 15th – 21st at the latest.  The conference audience consists of anyone interested in educational technology in Illinois.  According to the IETC proposal site, my presentation type can only be one of these listed: 50-minute concurrent session, poster session, or 2-hour workshop.  Either a poster or 50-minute concurrent session will be my choice. I’ll need to contact them to find out what a poster session would look like. The format of my presentation can only consist of one of these: discussion, panel, demonstration, Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) interactive format, or Either Demonstration or BYOL.  My top choice for format is “discussion”.


Wk4 Publishing/Leadership project part 1 of 2: Paper or Present?

Due to my adequate writing skills I’ve chosen to spear readers the agony of reading my research and instead I’ll present for the publishing/leadership project.  The shorter length of the presentation will help me condense the information down to the essentials of my research.  Also the shorter writing length increases my chances of getting it finished in time for the presentation submission date.  I imagine that my audience would rather watch a brief Keynote presentation instead of reading about my research in a journal.  Furthermore Keynote provides me with the opportunity to incorporate color visuals.  Below I’ve included a list of technology conferences that have due dates that allow me ample time to prepare my keynote for submission.

Illinois Education & Technology Conference 
Deadline: May 6th 2011, Where: Springfield, IL, When: November 15-16, 2011.  This conference is about accelerating student achievement with the use of educational technologies.  This conference looks like a winner because it is geographically close to me, provides its attendees a variety of learning activities in addition to a chance for them to win prizes.

Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference
Deadline: August 13th 2011, Where: Hershey, Pennsylvania, When: February 12-15, 2012. Like Illinois’s Education & Technology conference, Pennsylvania’s will also be statewide.  Pennsylvania’s conference will have student showcases among their hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their technology products and services.

Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education: E-LEARN 2011 - World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education
Deadline: April 22nd 2011, Where: Honolulu, Hawaii, When: October 17-21, 2011
Because of its vacation location, this conference provides attendees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure.  This conference is low on my list because of its high cost and its lack of K-12 education focus.

Deadline: April 29th 2011, Where: Orlando Florida, When: January 23 – 26, 2012
FETC 2012 welcomes attendees to its 32nd annual conference, where leading innovators and experts in technology for K-12 education help district administrators, principals and deans, curriculum designers, teachers, media specialists, technology directors and other education professionals acquire the most up-to-date information on the new tools, technologies and services—and how they are working right now, at real schools throughout the country.    
This conference seems more geared towards selling educational technology products.

Technology Leadership for 21st Century Learning
Deadline: March 1st 2011, Where: Storm Lake Iowa, When: June 20 - 22, 2011
This conference is less then an hour away and located at a college that I’m a graduate of.  Since the conference deadline is passed due, I’ve sent the organizer a pleasant request to be a presenter if space is available.  I hope to here a reply from her tomorrow, April 21st.    


Friday, April 15, 2011

Week 3: Reading

What are you doing in your daily life that expresses your passion or the things you are passionate about?

My passion that I get to express everyday is learning and sharing the best of what I’ve learned.  At school I do research to create new art projects for my students.  It is a rush for me to create my own artwork.  The next exciting thing I get to be a part of is when students enjoy the process or result of art making.  I’ve also been passionate about learning as much as a can about digital photography.  Everyday I watch at the least a short tutorial on photography at  In addition, I’ve gotten subscriptions to photography magazines and after much research I ordered a camera.  I’m motivated to learn about digital photography for my own selfish and selfless reasons.  I plan to share what I learn about it photography to my students.  Lastly, I’m passionate about grad school.  I like the feel of working hard for something I once thought to be out of reach for me. 

The passions that I’ve had to cutback on in life do to grad school times restraints are as follows: time with girlfriend, skateboarding, working out at the Y, time with friends, and time with family.  I’ve noticed that being deprived of the things I love makes me appreciate them more when I do get to indulge a little.  I've noticed lately that I've been sacrificing more time away from grad work to be with family and friends.  I can't say I've regretted it one bit.  In six more weeks I count on having healthier doses of my passions in my life.  For now I must dig deeper to finish strong. 

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Week 3: Video Use in Education

Deconstructed: Digital Cameras
This video shows with incredible clarity the inner workings of image capturing on digital cameras.  The video uses a mash up of photography, film, computer graphics, music, and sound effects to engage its viewers to the content.  It only took 3 minutes for the creators of this video to explain the science of digital image capturing.  I’m revealing this how-stuff-works link to my students when we deconstruct the camera early in the semester.

Learn how to take creative still life images at home
In this video, the young and very UK Michael Topham walks us through a creative photography project.  As the Technical Writer of Digital Photo, Michael provides detailed advice on how to shoot vibrant photos of food coloring dispersing in water.  This video is not just about the project at hand but also about being creative with what you have at your exposal indoors.  The project demonstrated in this video will be one of many digital photography assignments I’ll share with my students.

Shoot an oily watercolour
The UK photography Steve Hermitage shows us how to shoot macro abstract oily watercolor photos in this video.  Steve’s shopping list for this project includes: water, olive oil, one fish tank, digital camera with 105 mm lens, and colorful backgrounds.  Magnificent abstracted digital colored photographs are the result Steve produces with his findings. This is another video I’ll show to my students in order for them to replicate the project.

800 people groupshot
This video is about the process and technique used to make a successful indoor group shot of 800 people. The Belgium photographer, Bert Stephani, demonstrates his professionalism by being prepared for the job.  He reveals to us his pre-shoot checklist, tricks of the trade, and technical knowledge on how to create a 800 person group shot. This video was chosen to show my students a possible career path in photography, as well as expanding their perception of portrait photography.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week 3: Peer Post 2

I thought last week's reading was really good, but this week I couldn't stop reading. I was blown away by the chapter on being a contribution. I love the thought of being a meaningful contributor instead of focusing on competition. Although I do have a competitive spirit, it's generally within myself. I strive to grow and be better than I was the day before. I especially enjoy collaborating and working together for the greater good. This chapter empowered me to value this about myself and strive to incorporate this in my future career path.

i also liked the chapter on accepting things the way they are. I realized that I spend tooo much time focusing on how I think things should be or I would like for them to be. Instead, if I allowed things to be just as they are, I can use my time to be in the moment or find solutions that would work better.
Jennifer Alman

Your post is the second one I’ve read this week that highlights the concept of contribution to be the most important take from the reading assignment. Aren’t we lucky to be able to contribute?  Contribution could very well be another way of saying, “I have a purpose in life.”  I’ve noticed that this week I’ve been taking inventory in the ways I contribute.  Your enthusiasm for collaboration is inspiring.  I’m going to leave my island of self-sacrifice and collaborate more.  Recently I’ve teamed up with another teacher on a project for the kids.  I have to admit that it not only feels good to make a project work for kids, but it also feels good to share that triumph with another person. 

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Week 3: Peer Post 1

You’re not the only one feeling the heat.  I’ve likened my current positive pressure experience as “bottle necking.”  There is a lot to do for school/grad work and only a small amount of time to do it.  The question is “who doesn’t like the Art of Possibility?”  I convinced a dear friend to pick up the book and now she enjoys reading it very much.  The concept of contribution has been running through my mind also.  These days I think of more ways I can be a contribution while convincing others that they have something to contribute. 

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Week 3: Topic #1

Topic #1: Briefly share any experiences you’ve had when you’ve had a part in introducing a new program or a new way to do things at your job site. Please share any triumphs or frustrations you’ve had trying to improve the system or when you’ve pioneered or piloted some outside the norm.

A few years ago I took over the painting course at my high school.  Many students where upset with me because they actually had to do work that challenged them.  In the long run It was good for the students that where there to learn.  The first year I taught that program I had students win three different painting contests.  I was witness to lots of ridiculous behavior from immature students during that year of teaching.  Since that first year of teaching paining I’ve shifted my focus to spending more time helping the preschool through 4th grade art classes out more. 
Next year I will be the first teacher to teach digital photography at the high school.  Everyone from students to the administration is excited about having digital photography available as a course for students. I feel the need to apply Rule #6 this year and next when things aren't going my way.   

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 3: Topic #2

Topic #2: Why do you think educators are so resistant to change, especially when it comes to technology? How do other institutions, such as business, deal with technological change?

Some educators are resistance to change because it requires them to exert extra effort.  This group sees their profession as a paycheck, a three-month summer vacation, and an eight-hour workday.  The de-motivated educator that resists learning new technology has lost their thirst for new knowledge.  Why should an educator that lost their interest to learn anything new be a teacher?  Another type of teacher that is resistant to change is the “save-me-save-me-teacher.”  This type of teacher will put the responsibility of their learning in the hands of their administration.  The “save-me-save-me teacher” is always looking for others outside themselves to do their work for them.  Often you here these teachers say “why learn how to do it when I can find someone smart to do it for me.”  Lastly, some educators refuse to learn new technology because they don’t get extra pay to learn it.

Businesses learn new technology to improve customer service, product quality, and efficiency.  Businesses are highly motivated to stay in business.  If company “A” has a better service than company “B”, then company “B” will become extinct.  The better a business does, the more bonuses are given to their employees.  Public education does not have bonuses tied to achievement or does it have to worry about going out of business because of its competitors.  

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 2: Reading

Chapter 1’s biggest lesson is that everything is invented so one shouldn’t stress so much.  The book encourages you to invent a reality that is positive for yourself and the people around you.
Chapter 2 discusses the negative effects of scarcity thinking.  What I gained from the reading is that their is no shortage of resources that should keep me from my goals.  Bruce Lee indirectly told me once to “flow like water”.  When roadblocks are not going to budge like a stone in water, I shall flow around them.
Chapter 3 suggests that everyone gets an “A” in class.  I’ve witnessed first hand what giving “A’s” to everyone in a class does for the moral of the group.  Students seem more willing to hang tough with times are rough when they are given “A’s”.  Part of the motivation to work harder is that it feels good for them to have an “A”, so they work to keep it.  It only works well if the assignments you give them are self-enriching and challenging.  I also give students plenty of time to fix work that is not up to par in order to raise low grades they have earned.  
I’m familiar with the idea that sculptors release the creative form from a block of stone by the subtractive method.  From the perspective of having the artist release herself from the stone is a fascinating idea.  The original take on the idea has the focal point be on the inanimate art object that is trapped in the stone.  The way authors of the book interpret it is that the object that is trapped is oneself.
Chapter four is about contribution, and what better ways to enlist students in that role then to have them write a contribution letter during the first two weeks of class.  The contribution letter can include one’s personal goals as mentioned in chapter three.  I learned that my increasing success, or even my increasing contributions do not decrease stress.  To decrease ones nervous tension level in life one must change their perspective on the roots and relevance of their stress. As a result of taking better care of myself, I should be more apt at being a service to others. 

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Week 2: Podcasts in Education

I intend to use the following podcasts to teach a new digital photography class at my high school next year. Here is a website that lists 25 great podcasts for digital photography:

Podcast #1: Learning Digital Photography by Jason Anderson 41: Getting Into Stock Photography.  Podcast #1 and #2 are very similar in that the podcasts can be listened to by RSS, download, iTunes, and streaming.  All podcast shows have written descriptions of each episode so you can browse its contents before playing.   A sampling of the numerous digital photography topics that are on these two podcasts are: photography and the law, framing your photos, Photoshop tips, etc,.  The podcast are similar to talk radio in that they advertise  and talk candidly at times. 
Podcast #2: Digital Photography: Make Every Shot Count by
Michael GW Stein & Scott Sherman
Episode 10: How to start your own Photography business with Laurel Housden

Podcast #3: Meet the Gimp: Free Tutorials for the Free Graphics Software Gimp
Podcast #3 was chosen because my schools head IT suggests I use Gimp instead of Adobe Photoshop for editing photos.  If I can’t get Adobe Photoshop for my digital photography students than I’m going to learn the plan b software; Gimp. 

Podcast #4: History of Photography Podcasts: Class lectures with Jeff Curto from College of DuPage
This serious of podcasts on the history of photography comes with a slideshow and hands lesson handouts. 

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Week 2: Peer Post 2

Written by Sandra Noak
Benjamin Zander
I was curious about Mr. Zander.  It was after the third video that Professor Bustillo had in the program when I just realized I had met Mr. Zander two years ago when one of my students, who plays the violin, invited me to a concert of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA.

I went to that concert without knowing who he was.  But he was a special conductor; he was very expressive as you can see in the videos.  One thing that happened in that concert was that when he came back to the stage to play again an extra piece for the public.  He lifted up his arms to lead the orchestra and the orchestra started to play the happy birthday song to him!  He was really surprised about that.   But it was until now that I understand the whole picture.  I cannot image how grateful each member of the orchestra was with him.  I also remember at the end they also announced the people that were going away from the group to start their college studies; one of them was my student who had invited me.

I saw different videos about Mr. Zander.  What I could see in each of them is all the energy he transmits in his presentations, and how he defines teaching as the way of opening new possibilities, the possibility of making other people powerful.  I also like the way he defines a leader as the person who opens his/her mouth to create possibilities.   I hope to have perfect days even with my AR website that is not as perfect as I want it to be!

@ Sandra Noak

Thank you so much for sharing your story about Mr. Zander.  I was sold on Zander’s empowering leadership skills after watching his TED video and reading the first four chapters of his book: The Art of Possibility.  What I got from your story is that Mr. Zander has instilled a sense of community amongst his students.  Mutually respect is evident in the students acknowledging Zander’s birthday, while Zander acknowledging his students acceptance to college.  

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