Friday, March 20, 2009

Announcing 'Windows To The World'

Adapted from: 'BCE Toronto' -

Over the last couple of years, ManACE has organized a variety of forward thinking events. You may have participated in 2007's Manitoba Edubloggercon. Or you may have heard about the innovative approach that we took with presenting 2008's Awakening Possibilities. These events were all about bringing together educators from around the province of Manitoba (and around the world) to showcase some of the many talents that exist in the vast region of Canada where we are situated.

Enter 'Windows To The World'. This event aims to throw the windows open a little wider in an effort to connect with more people in even more meaningful ways. Windows To The World will provide a greater opportunity for face to face networking with educators from around the province. For participants in the room, there will be opportunities to connect and collaborate with the other like-minded educators who are in attendance.

In addition to bringing people together, we'll turn our own walls into windows by sharing what we're doing with other educators from around the world. Using a variety of video conferencing tools and techniques, many distinguished guests will join us throughout the evening. We will have an opportunity to ask questions, highlight successful collaborative projects and connect with our own circle of experts by showcasing the benefits of being a connected learner. We will also broadcast the live video feed from this event out to our global audience, to facilitate increased virtual participation.
If you plan to be in or around Manitoba the evening of April 15th, we hope that you'll consider joining us in person for 'Windows To The World'. If you'll be in another province, country or continent, we hope that you'll join us online for this event to help us demonstrate the power of networked learning.

There is no cost to participate in Windows To The World. Everyone is welcome to attend, and refreshments will be provided for participants in this event. Virtual participants --> BYOB :-)

Register to attend this event in person by emailing:

Please help ManACE spread the word about Windows To The World by posting, printing and sharing this open invitation:

We look forward to having you join us for Windows To The World :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Power of The Pen...

For those of you that know me, you are well aware that technology is just one of my many passions. I am a devoted dad, an dedicated director, an enthusiastic educator and an avid audiophile. I love many genres of music, and I try not to pass up too many opportunities to catch live shows by local and touring musical acts.

What does technology have to do with music, you might ask? Well, I've become increasingly aware of the power of the pen, and the growing ease of sharing our experiences with a wider audience. Many edubloggers have noted the recent rise in both the quantity and quality of citizenship journalism - ordinary people reporting on both ordinary and extraordinary topics. No longer do you require a degree to publish your work and share it with a wide audience. Everyone has the ability to cover any story that is important to them. We are all entitled to share our opinions and ideas with the world.

But technology doesn't just provide us with the ability to share our experiences using the written word. We can now use a wide variety of media to tell our stories and highlight our experiences.

Last night, I was fortunate to catch a great show by one of my personal hometown heroes, Luke Doucet. Luke is an extremely talented songwriter and a guitar virtuoso. His songs span many genres, making it difficult to label his music. He's worked closely with many artists over the last couple of decades, including touring regularly with Sarah McLachlan and Blue Rodeo. His most recent string of tour dates was spent opening for James Blunt (that's right, the 'You're Beautiful' guy). But, for me, watching Luke headline his own tour and showcase his own songs is the best way to see him up on a stage.

Although the show was sold out and many people were denied entrance due to a lack of space, the tool that I brought with me to the show last night has allowed me to share my experience with everyone who couldn't be in the room. I had my digital camera, which I used to snap over 300 pictures (many of them duds...) and capture video of a few songs. All of this with just a camera - something that many of our students carry in their pockets day in and day out.

Here are a few pictures that I took during Luke's sold-out performance last night at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg:

Also, a few of the songs that I captured throughout the evening have been posted to my YouTube channel. Here's Luke performing Broken One:

We can all tell our stories using a variety of media. I love seeing examples of stories that are told through the blogs that I read. I've gained so much knowledge from listening to stories told through podcasts. And I'm always looking for new ways to allow and encourage students of all ages to tell their stories.

Why must we always require our students to keep their tools in their pockets, rather than allowing them the freedom to tell their stories in different ways?

I wanna hear your story.