The networked student

Linda Lyle, an instructional services specialist where I work, sent me a link to the following video by Wendy Drexler. It is a wonderful multimedia presentation illustrating the definition of a networked student. What I really like about it is the fact that it uses very simple “technology” to accomplish the sophisticated lesson. I believe that making effective use of technology is less about understanding how to use complicated features of presentation software, but rather communicating your idea clearly using the tools you have. Nice job Wendy.

An Obama Story

As a self professed citizen journalist, my ear is always open for news that happens around me during the course of every day life. Isn’t that what citizen journalism is all about? It’s not necessary about hunting down a story. It’s about paying attention and letting my fellow citizens know something that I discovered during the course of my day. Every day life frequently presents  opportunities to report from a unique point of view; i.e. from an ordinary citizen. Here is a small little story that this ordinary citizen can share.

My wife and I had an appointment with our AAA travel agent today to work out the details of a cruise we want to take this summer. The conversation shifted to the economy (which inevitably leads to politics).

Our travel agent told the story of her father-in-law who works for a bus line in Nashville, TN where we live. The charter bus was the one used for the Obama campaign. Her father-in-law had the pleasure of being assigned as the bus driver for Obama’s bus. He had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Obama on multiple occasions.

We were not surprised to hear that her father-in-law spoke of President Elect Obama as being  exactly as the media portrays him; as thoughtful, intelligent, and having a profound love for his family and our country. Her father-in-law said, “He (Obama) is a GOOD man.”

My wife and I campaigned for Obama in our own little way and while we did not have the pleasure of meeting him, we were delighted that such a personal unsolicited endorsement  confirmed what we believed all along. We made a good choice for our candidate.

A datapoint’s reflection on democracy

I am a data point. What do I mean by that? I am one point of view in a democracy; one voice. I am a citizen. As one point, of a million points, it may not seem like that gives me much power. Quite the contrary. My solitary effort combined with the efforts of my fellow citizens (other data points)  produce some amazing results.

Tonight, I watched the first African-American (my candidate) be elected to the office of President of the United States. As the video above illustrates, my part in this process was  humble. A few phone calls, some discussions, early voting, lots of thinking motivated by unrest, and civic participation in community action like Video the Vote. It’s pretty amazing what a data point can do.