Thanks To Stager, Martinez, and Smith

I’m just back from this year’s NYSCATE Conference in Rochester, NY. Now I may be biased, because I am the current President of the organization; but this had to be one of the best conferences I have ever attended. There were plenty of educators providing high quality presentations, David Jakes and Gary Stager were excellent keynote bookends with additional talks by Marc Prensky and Don Knezek. Peter Reynolds of Fablevision was a constant presence and his art was everywhere. It was magnificent.

I am going to forego the ‘blow by blow’ and skip to one of the items that finally became real for me at this conference. Gary Stager, Sylvia Martinez, and Brian Smith did a wonderful presentation on the XO. For some reason, I was ready to feel the message in a different way…more in my heart I guess and less in my head. They offered these videos to help me understand on a deep level what is at stake. Thank you guys!

Please consider the “Buy 1 – Get 1” program this Holiday season. It is a very concrete way to make a difference in the world. Click here to get to participate.

On another note, here is a poem for the Thanksgiving Holidays:

by W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals
back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a country up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


3 thoughts on “Thanks To Stager, Martinez, and Smith

  1. Hi Pete,

    I had the same experience at the XO session as you – I’ve been reading about, and have been interested in, the XO for a while now. There was something about the way Gary, Sylvia and Brian presented it that hit home with me, too.

    It’s not about schools, it’s not about technology, it’s not about anything we like to think it’s about. It’s about millions upon millions of kids around the world on the same playing field, connecting and learning. Wow.

    This is a journey worth taking.


  2. Micheal,
    I think the XO session was a good lesson for those of us who want to make large changes in education. We need to appeal to the hearts and minds of those we seek to lead. All too often, we fixate only on the logic and ignore the poetry.

    BTW- Stopped by your blog. Enjoyed it.


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