International Lens.. Russia , USA.. Bonnie… Masha.. we “SEE” our respective countries

1598538_10152316003011327_9146879094624508530_oYou have to know, Russia is a huge country , twice the size of the United States.

I met her and other fellows in Washington , DC.563689_297167427070212_770290619_n


The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange is a diverse network of Russian and US civil society experts and social entrepreneurs engaged in a meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices to produce positive change in the lives of citizens in both countries. SEE is driven by five interconnected components:

Working Groups are the core of SEE. Program participants gather in working groups to determine joint priorities for collaboration, and to design and implement innovative projects that bring benefit to the people of Russia and the US. These groups are organized around twelve distinct thematic areas: business ethics and compliance, child protection, community development, education and youth, protection of flora and fauna, gender equity, higher education, rule of law and the community, collaborative media, migration, public health and social entrepreneurship.
An annual conference brings together SEE members to evaluate joint priorities for action and to identify specific means for achieving them.
Every year SEE conducts an open competition for linkage projects that involve collaborative solutions to issues affecting both countries that tie in with at least one of SEE’s Working Group priority areas.
Fellowships are awarded to advanced and emerging experts in civil society, offering the opportunity for a more intensive engagement with civil society in the US and Russia through a professional exchange at various host organizations. During their service of up to eight weeks, fellows further advance the collaborative activities of SEE’s working groups.

Masha was going to be in San Diego for her full term of fellowship. I was an advanced practitioner going to Saint Petersburg , Ru and to Samara, Ru, and I had no knowledge of Russia or the two cities.

TWO FELLOWS , TWO POSTINGS.. oh say how do you see.. Russia, the USA? First you should see the size of both countries.

My journey was to Saint Petersburg, and Samara though we visited in the regions. The fellows in my team had a longer visit and some of their travel was by train. They went from Samara-Tambov, Tambov-Moskva, Moskva-Petrozavodsk. Then back home, Sarah to Minnesota, and Alex to New York. Then we went to San Diego for our symposium, and to assess what we had learned and how we could continue to work together.

I did take Russian, but perhaps not enough , or not colloquial enough. Masha was fluent in English. Really fluent.
I could see what she was doing and she could follow me, because we both posted often.

Sometimes I feel like I am reading my first huge Russian novel with my hand in the back to remember the various names and versions of names and Facebook does not remember lots of people until you put the names in frequently.
I was with a team of two fellows who had lived in Russia and who had taken the language in school, in fact they were linguists.
I was an educator. I was armed with my educational experience and technology tools. I had the ” Internet of Everything” and Masha had access to the people who were working with the Internet of Everything and classes.

My initial days in Russia led me to understand why where I live is called the South. I was c o l d. I had prepared for the cold but the kind of cold that I knew. I had never lived in say, Minnesota, or upstate New York, or Alaska. So I had adjustments to make. In Saint Petersburg, we also used mass transit. That was new for me. My two linguists, were used to the weather. I followed them meekly and learned to negotiate snowy streets and icy stretches.I adjusted my clothing and learned the subway.The subway was beautiful. Incredibly beautiful.


Masha lived in an apartment and since there is no subway that can help one negotiate San Diego, she was allowed to drive.

We my team and I were in a nice hotel, the hotel Moskva. ( Moscow to you) in Saint Petersburg, steps away from the Metro.San Diego is a kind of tropical paradise and so I don’t think that Masha had trouble with the climate, but I know she missed the snow.

She stayed in one community and did exploration and learning with Yvonne Andres in San Diego.1941431_449074785237744_2091764037687139396_o
She stayed in one community and did exploration and learning with Yvonne Andres in San Diego. My group was a team and I did Saint Petersburg and Samara. I laughed.. she was interested in the Disney Princesses and I was curious about the Russian Ballet and theatre and did go to both the ballet theater in Samara and to the Opera in Saint Petersburg.

My group was a team and I did Saint Petersburg and Samara. I laughed.. she was interested in the Disney Princesses and I was curious about the Russian Ballet and theatre and did go to both the ballet theater in Samara and to the Opera in Saint Petersburg.

She and I both interacted with youth and educational groups.. she with movies and Hollywood and I with The Hermitage and Peterhof.. how amazing the contrasts but also the similarities.SEE3


Water, Water Everywhere, One Ocean- One Planet ( US Russian Best Practices)Vodakanal

href=””>GulfFinlandTravel and Networking with Educators Stem and IT in Russia

Part One-Museum of Water-Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Project was the SEE U.S. Russia Expertise Exchange, Eurasia Foundation. It was a life-changing experience.
There is an international projection on water, All One Ocean,
and there are courses that teachers from all over the world take on observing the oceans.Citizen science or youth and education projects are common in the US and in Russia.

Meeting the Challenge

Meeting the Challenge

Here is an interactive game at the Children’s ecological center in St. Petersburg, Russia. This game table has different water-related educational and interactive games. This one teaches geography of the Baltic Sea countries. (Documentation for Youth and Education Working Group, US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange Fellowship 2014)image001

Welcome to Russia

I found fascinating projects on science, technology, engineering and math. I was assisted in language by two outstanding Eurasian Fellows whose specialty was the Russian Language. Sarah Choi and Alexandra Kohut. They were taught Russian in College and the languages were their specialty, both had lived in various places in Russia and had a network of friends and language specialists with intense knowledge of Russia.That was very helpful.

Water is important to the earth. In photographs taken from space, we can see that our planet has more water than land. It is unexpected and somewhat inconceivable that less than three percent of Earth’s water is fresh water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, most of that three percent is inaccessible. Over 68 percent of the fresh water on Earth is found in icecaps and glaciers, and just over 30 percent is found in ground water. Only about 0.3 percent of our fresh water is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers, and swamps. Of all the water on Earth, more than 99 percent of Earth’s water is unusable by humans and many other living things! It seems extraordinary that the water that supports all terrestrial, as well as aquatic, life on our planet is actually so scarce. With this stunning realization comes a recognition that we have to utilize this resource very wisely. An important first step is to educate ourselves and future generations of citizens. 563689_297167427070212_770290619_n

Russia and the US cooperate in space to share the mapping of the earth and its waters.
Children in the schools of Saint Petersburg, and in particular Epi School are involved in the Vodakanal Water studies. One project is a Crayfish. Yes, a crayfish. In the Chesapeake Bay, we study the crab. So it was wonderful to see the interactive resources and lab testing that the students participated in , in the Interactive program.

A lead character of this excursion is a Crayfish,” Where Do Crayfish Winter? ‘ will be a very unusual employee of Vodokanal – the Neva Crayfish. Participants of the program together with the Neva Crayfish will make a trip around ‘The Underground World of St. Petersburg’, learn how water is treated in a big city and find out how living creatures – crayfish, snails, little fish – help people in their work.
Museum complex specialists have also developed more than ten interactive programs, intended for children of different ages – from preschool children to teenagers.Here are some pictures of the testing, and other projects.

In the United States, my studies are on the Chesapeake Bay , and the Atlantic Ocean. It was great to find best practices in Russia and new ideas while studying the The Baltic Sea, and the Gulf of Finland. Here are the descriptions of the Interactive programs of the museum.

I learned from the Baltic competitions, which the Russians won, ways in which students learn about the environment that were interactive.I loved the interactive programs.

The Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is the least salty sea in the world. It is one of the youngest seas in the world and it is approximately 4000 years of age.In XIX century the Gulf of Finland was named ” Markizovz Luzha”The Marquis’ Puddle) due to its shallow depth ( the average depth-38M).Saint Petersburg is the biggest city at the Baltic Sea Coast. Both marine and freshwater species live in the Gulf of Finland

The Baltic Sea Project (BSP) is an international network among young people and teachers for a better environment in the Baltic Sea catchment area.
The Baltic Sea Project (BSP) is an international network among young people and teachers for a better environment in the Baltic Sea catchment area.

Orienteering, STEM Skills that link to GPS, and GIS… Esri Here I Come

There are all kinds of games, simulations and events that kids get to experience on devices. We looked at a simulation of the oil spill on the Ipad.

There are all kinds of games, simulations and events that kids get to experience on devices. We looked at a simulation of the oil spill on the Ipad.

Hands on a globe

Sometimes you think you know all of the answers. I have often worked with kids outside in big spaces. Purposing work in an outdoor lab I never got the connection about electronic orientation. Those girls and boys who worked with me can remember the fun we had at the Outdoor Lab. 


Today in Russian I got the feeling that I could have, with some equipment, prepared kids for a future in STEM or STEAM by adding Esri , What is GIS after teaching orienteering.


First let’s look at orienteering.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Orienteering is a family of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points.[1] Originally a training exercise in land navigation for military officers, orienteering has developed many variations. Among these, the oldest and the most popular is foot orienteering. For the purposes of this article, foot orienteering serves as a point of departure for discussion of all other variations, but basically any sport that involves racing against a clock and requires navigation using a map is a type of orienteering.”

We know where we are with technology, our phones, our computers and hand held devices. I Think to gain skills that
we should involve more hands on. This training here in Samara is a year long project with two main events for the students, and sometimes an event for disabled people which is done differently. The students go to the Cacausus Mountains and camp out to do the event. It is done by boys and girls and the coaches and volunteers are men and women and is where you learn.

The game?
Catching Features is an orienteering game you can play at home. Use it for rainy-day training or rest-day enjoyment. Several different modes of play are available. Individual courses are run with interval starts against computer opponents, or with a mass start against lots of them. Relay events allow you to run one leg of a forked relay course.

Each course you run will earn you a number of ranking points based on the other runners that day. By earning more points you can unlock additional events to run.

Internet play allows for races against human opponents all over the world in real time. Race against your friends in a virtual competition! And you thought you didn’t have anything to do at work…

Can’t coordinate a multiplayer game against anyone else, but still want to compare times? Competitions mode allows you to download and run a race whenever you can, then your splits and route choice are automatically uploaded to the CF server for everyone to see and compare!

A random map generator lets you create an endless supply of maps and courses to run on. You can run on a different map every day for the next 89 years…

A map editor is included with the full version of the game. Used for editing maps and planning courses, it allows full control over terrain, vegetation (down to individual trees and rocks), objects (tables, fences, boats…) and all other aspects of the map. An OCAD file converter lets you start building CF maps from your favorite local terrain.

You can also use the included Ocad Converter to convert your library of Ocad maps into playable CF maps! Train on your home forests!

That is the simulation!!
Hear are pictures of the real thing using tools.orient

From Russia with orienteering tools.

What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.

Map Your Passion. Transform Our World.

We’re passionate just like you. Geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future and allows a deeper understanding of how we can positively impact the future. Together we can transform our world.


Tell Your Story

Inspire action, connect with the public, and reach donors by telling your story with maps. Quickly combine location data, text, and multimedia to build interactive apps that highlight your work and advance your mission.

Monitor and Evaluate

Manage your operations, examine their efficiency, and provide transparency to donors. GIS provides operational awareness throughout your organization and analytics that support your decisions.

Collaborate with Others

Share your maps and data on your web pages, blogs, social media, and custom apps. ArcGIS Online gives you an easy-to-use and intuitive workspace for collaborating with others inside and outside your organization.

From Edutopia

Student Work: Street-Tree Inventory
Luis and his peers in the 4-H Tech Wizards program used personal digital assistants (PDAs) and geographic information system (GIS) technology to collect tree data and generate computerized maps for the City of Hillsboro Planning Department.

Education in America, It’s Complicated..

child Head

Today , I start to think about back home. I am in touch with family and friends, but I have made friends here and I feel that networking ideas have been started.

But there is one grief that I will have . It will be the end of my time with Sara Chao and Alexandra Kohut.

They are very unusually gifted and talented Fellows from the Amerasian Foundation. We have been linked in travel,study and work.

Fortunately they are not teachers who live inside the box , as most teachers in America do because it is the way of education . Read this and you will understand. They have lived in Russia, they are articulate in Russian , their words come trippingly off the tongue without hesitation or comparison in the brain. This time I let them do the talking and relied on them for language. Who ever thought that

I would meet such talented linguists who don’t even know that they are also cultural geographers. They are not teachers , can’t speak the jargon and don’t have a store of things that have passed over then like water in the way of educational initiatives.

This is the answer to it is complicated.

Time Magazine

Education as it should be – passion-based.

SAMR as a Framework for Moving Towards Education 3.0

Evolution, in its broadest sense, serves as a force to help humans move towards a better way of living given the current times or Zeitgeist. It follows, then, that the education field should evolve as new opportunities and forces emerge and present themselves. But in general, this is not the case.

From the Time Magazine article, How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century

There’s a dark little joke exchanged by educators with a dissident streak: Rip Van Winkle awakens in the 21st century after a hundred-year snooze and is, of course, utterly bewildered by what he sees. Men and women dash about, talking to small metal devices pinned to their ears. Young people sit at home on sofas, moving miniature athletes around on electronic screens. Older folk defy death and disability with metronomes in their chests and with hips made of metal and plastic. Airports, hospitals, shopping malls–every place Rip goes just baffles him. But when he finally walks into a schoolroom, the old man knows exactly where he is. “This is a school,” he declares. “We used to have these back in 1906. Only now the blackboards are white.”

The evolution of education can be explained from moving from Education 1.0 to Education 3.0. I have discussed Education 3.0 in several blog posts:

Schools are doing Education 1.0; talking about doing Education 2.0; when they should be planning Education 3.0

Education 3.0: Altering Round Peg in Round Hole Education

Education 3.0 and the Pedagogy (Andragogy, Heutagogy) of Mobile Learning

Briefly, Education 1.0, 2.0. and 3.0 is explained as:
Education 1.0 can be likened to Web 1.0 where there is a one-way dissemination of knowledge from teacher to student. It is a type of essentialist, behaviorist education based on the three Rs – receiving by listening to the teacher; responding by taking notes, studying text, and doing worksheets; and regurgitating by taking standardized tests which in reality is all students taking the same test. Learners are seen as receptacles of that knowledge and as receptacles, they have no unique characteristics. All are viewed as the same. It is a standardized/one-size-fits-all education.

Similar to Web 2.0, Education 2.0 includes more interaction between the teacher and student; student to student; and student to content/expert. Education 2.0, like Web 2.0, permits interactivity between the content and users, and between users themselves. Education 2.0 has progressive roots where the human element is important to learning. The teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships are considered as part of the learning process. It focuses on the three Cs – communicating, contributing, and collaborating.

Education 3.0 is based on the belief that content is freely and readily available as is characteristic of Web 3.0. It is self-directed, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation and creativity drive education. Education 3.0 is also about the three Cs but a different set – connectors, creators, constructivists. These are qualitatively different than the three Cs of Education 2.0. Now they are nouns which translates into the art of being a self-directed learner rather than doing learning as facilitated by the educator. Education 3.0: Altering

Round Peg in Round Hole Education
Emerging technologies is, can be, should be a driving force of this evolution towards Education 3.0. Information access, communication methods, the ability for creative express is qualitatively different than any other time in history due to technological advances.

The SAMR model was developed by as a framework to integrate technology into the curriculum. I believe it can also serve as a model to establish and assess if and how technology is being used to reinforce an old, often archaic Education 1.0 or being used to promote and facilitate what many are calling 21st century skills, i.e., creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking; those skills characteristic of Education 3.0. Many look at SAMR as the stages of technology integration. I propose that it should be a model for educators to focus on Modification and Redefinition areas of technology integration. Why should educators spend their time recreating Education 1.0 using technology at the substitution and augmentation levels when there are tools, techniques, and opportunities to modify and redefine technology integration for a richer, more engaging Education 2.0 or 3.0?

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Serving Disabled Communities, Local, National, and International

From Russian Programs and American Programs to International
an archaic Russian term for the right arm; often a general term for arms and hands. Used in the expression “the punishing hand (desnitsa) of justice”

The Lucas Foundation piece”
Disabled Bodies, Able Minds: Giving Voice, Movement, and Independence to the Physically Challenged
made me think hard.It is a great video.

New Tools, New Opportunities
All over the country, what is known as assistive technology is opening the way for disabled students to do what their counterparts of years gone by could not even have imagined. “We all know how technology has improved in the last few years,” says Sheryl Burgstahler, director of DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology), an advocacy program for disabled students at the University of Washington. “What most people don’t realize is that assistive technology has been progressing at the same rate.”

Susanna Sweeney-Martini, an outgoing, articulate University of Washington sophomore who wants to be a television news anchor, says she couldn’t function like she does today without assistive technology. “Without a computer, I couldn’t do my homework,” she says. “Without my [wheel]chair, I couldn’t get around. Without my cell phone, I couldn’t call for help.”

Assistive Technology

Lukas, a Spokane, Washington, high school junior can make his own music, thanks to a joystick-equipped euphonium that was custom designed for his special needs. Credit: Edutopia
No Limits
DO-IT, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and other widespread efforts and laws seem to have created a greater determination among students and parents to make sure disabled people are included in all activities. Kristy Bratcher, the mother of Lukas, a high school sophomore in Spokane, Washington, who has extremely limited use of his arms and legs as a result of a birth defect, didn’t hesitate to encourage him when Lukas expressed an interest in playing a musical instrument.

“I always kept trying to find things that Lukas could do with peers other than an athletic event,” says Bratcher. “Everything is sport, sports, sports.” So when he brought home a note seeking permission to play a band instrument, she signed it and said, “Lukas, just go and see what’s going to work.” The Mead High School student chose a euphonium, a tuba-like horn.

Lukas at first just blew into the euphonium without using the finger valves, but his system meant he could play only one note. Although he patiently waited until that note showed up in a musical score and seemed happy to do just that, his patience and upbeat attitude paid off. A school employee sought out a music-store owner named Robin Amend, who is also a musical-instrument inventor and repairman. Amend, whose grandfather had played a musical instrument despite having only one arm, designed a euphonium with a joystick that electronically instructs the valves of the euphonium to move. Later, an engineer worked with Amend to refine the joystick technology.

Lukas may have some mechanical help with his instrument, but music teacher Terry Lack says his personality is what has turned his desire to play an instrument and be part of the band into reality. “He always has a smile on his face and has a really positive attitude,” says Lack. “[That’s] the real key.”

Lukas’ mom says her son’s participation in the school band has given him a chance to stretch himself and see what he is capable of accomplishing. “I can’t predecide what’s going to work for him or not,” she says. “So many people say, ‘You can’t. You can’t.’ Why do we have to talk that way? Let’s just see what it is and what he has an interest in, and we’ll figure it out.”

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology enables University of Washington sophomore Susanna Sweeney-Martini to overcome her disabilities and participate fully in her college courses. Credit: DO-IT, University of Washington
No More Excuses
DO-IT’s Burgstahler has little patience for school officials who don’t think they have a responsibility to include those with disabilities in every school activity possible or who believe a full-time aide can substitute for technology that gives the students more independence. “If they have access to their own computers, they can take their own notes, they can take their own tests, they can write their own papers, they can use the Internet and do their own research,” she says.

And as to concerns about the high cost of assistive technology, Burgstahler points to the benefits, and she wonders how schools can justify not investing in tools for disabled students.

“Students can now use their brainpower instead of their physical capabilities to go to college and then on to careers so they can have the life all of us want to have,” she says. “They can have the American dream.”

Building a Dream

We met Natalia Bartkova , and Aleksey Trantserv and their spirit and passion and depth of interest were remarkable.Something to see is Aleksy with kids. They have a program where they teach games to children. Just board and social games so far. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and analyzing the ways in which they worked. Kudos to them!!

As a part of our study for the US Russian SEE exchange we visited Desnitsa. This NGS has a mission to provide the integration of Samara region disabled people into society and to promote the ideas of independent living philosophy and social approach to disability on the bases of partnership and use of new technologies for work. This organization was founded in 1997.It is an umbrella program and we saw their outreach in the business incubator project for Samara.

Its main goals are the protection of rights and interests of disablied people;
Providing disabled people with equal opportunities in all spheres of social life; and integration of disabled people into society.
Here in Russia they have legal adviser’s help and psychologist’s help to disabled people and their families, information and consultation services
And they perform seminars to teach how to understand disability, and how to have people defend their rights, including rights on education and labor.

They give assistance for disabled people to help them get education and learn to choose a profession; they provide expert services for employers to make special workplaces adapted for disables peole ; expert services how to adapt the apartments for people with different disabilities; and produce films and public service advertising about disabilities.

International Program

Georgian team learns to build wheelchairs. Photo by Beso Darchia

Ralf Hotchkiss from Whirlwind Wheelchair International training Georgian team. Photo by Beso Darchia

WID’s International Program builds leadership and capacity in disabled persons organizations (DPOs) in post conflict and developing countries to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities into all aspects of society. WID provides training and technical assistance to DPOs to conduct effective disability advocacy, community barrier removal and public education campaigns; develop national policies; and create networks and national coalitions. During the last decade, WID has worked in Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Georgia, Iraq, Morocco, Russia and Uzbekistan and has provided technical assistance to disability leaders in Bhutan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Nepal and various other countries.

For more information on WID’s international training and technical assistance projects, contact Bruce Curtis, International Program Director.
Current Projects
Georgian Wheelchair Production Network
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and working in partnership with Whirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI), the Coalition for Independent Living in Georgia, along with their regional member organizations, the Association of Disabled Women and Mothers of Disabled Children in Zugdidi and the Association of Gori Disabled Club, and The Treatment and Educational Center of Child Neurology and Neurorehabilitation (CCNNR), WID is in the fourth year of a 5-year project in the Republic of Georgia to set up a sustainable wheelchair production and repair facility and a postural support seating and cushion service in Tbilisi; develop a mobility, self-care, and advocacy skills training system for men and women who use wheelchairs; and conduct advocacy, public education, and community accessibility barrier removal activities in Georgia. Most of the factory workers and advocacy team members are people with disabilities, and almost all are wheelchair users.
To date, the factory has produced and distributed more than 1500 low-cost, high-quality Whirlwind RoughRiderTM indoor-outdoor wheelchairs. Occupational therapists at the Children’s Center for Rehabilitation are being trained to prescribe postural seating and have fitted and provided supported seating for 125 children in wheelchairs so far.
Advocacy teams are conducting a wide range of activities including peer support, mobility and self-help skills workshops and camps for wheelchair users, and disability awareness and community access/barrier-removal trainings and roundtables to educate NGO staff, media professionals, teachers, government officials, lawyers, and architects about the need to improve community access. The 3 teams are also working to make key public buildings accessible by identifying and removing barriers, including building ramps and making bathrooms accessible. Sites include churches, sports facilities and recreation centers, schools, banks, museums, restaurants and shops.
A major goal of the project is to increase public awareness about the importance of an community accessibility and barrier-free environment, and the teams organize disability film exhibitions, media and poster competitions as well as produce public education videos, shown at film exhibitions and on Georgian national television, and public service announcements broadcast on local radio stations. The project has also hosted three national conferences on community accessibility for government officials and lawmakers, professionals, media, and persons with mobility impairments and their families to address issues, share lessons learned and to discuss strategies for implementation of legislation promoting a barrier free environment in Georgia. The most recent conference was attended by the new Prime Minister of Georgia, several other Ministers, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, and the USAID Mission Director.

Digital Equity and Social Justice, Digital Divide.. To Grow Our Future in Technology, Look to the Past

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Larry Irving at the Commerce Department helped us get started with his leadership long ago. Today he shared this thought
“Minorities and women, in fact all Americans, who work in or benefit from the technological revolution of the past several decades owe a debt of gratitude to the late Congressman Mickey Leland and the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. As we celebrate Black History Month it is appropriate that we remember their contributions to America’s technological past. They provide us guideposts for our future…”

Here is his article for Black History Month

To Grow Our Future in Technology, Look to the Past
Your Take: The next generation of black innovators needs to continue the work started by two pioneers who worked to ensure digital access for all.

Posted: Feb. 22 2014 1:00 AM

Here is his article for Black History Month

To Grow Our Future in Technology, Look to the Past
Your Take: The next generation of black innovators needs to continue the work started by two pioneers who worked to ensure digital access for all.

Posted: Feb. 22 2014 1:00 AM

History doesn’t just happen. History starts with a vision.

In the early 1980s, Rep. George T. “Mickey” Leland, who was then chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, envisioned a more inclusive telecommunications and media world.

A decade later, the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown recognized that the power of the Internet could unlock a brighter future for our children with better economic and educational opportunities.

Today, our leaders are writing history with critical decisions that will affect the future of the mobile revolution and the transition to all-Internet-based networks.
History doesn’t just happen. History starts with a vision.

In the early 1980s, Rep. George T. “Mickey” Leland, who was then chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, envisioned a more inclusive telecommunications and media world.

A decade later, the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown recognized that the power of the Internet could unlock a brighter future for our children with better economic and educational opportunities.

Today, our leaders are writing history with critical decisions that will affect the future of the mobile revolution and the transition to all-Internet-based networks.

Mickey was weary of seeing stereotypical depictions of blacks and Hispanics in the media and was disappointed at the low rates of minority ownership and employment in the media and telecommunications industries. He understood that media ownership and employment would determine not just how white America saw black people but how black people saw themselves.

Equally important, he knew that electronic media and technology were going to be among the principal drivers of our economy and would present tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities for decades to come. And, being a great politician, he understood one other thing: He knew that times of great disruption bring great opportunity.

The media and telecommunications landscape was undergoing massive disruption in the 1980s. The historic AT&T was broken up into seven “Baby Bells.” New competitors such as MCI and Sprint were entering the telecommunications marketplace. Broadcasting was expanding from the three historic networks, and media-ownership opportunities were proliferating. And, perhaps most importantly, the cable-television industry was maturing and expanding.

Mickey was a strong supporter of innovation and technological advancement. But he made sure that every industry, even the most innovative industries, knew that his support for their efforts came with a condition: their support for increased opportunities for minorities and women.

Mickey fought for changes in the way minorities were portrayed by television broadcasters and movie producers; he drove the FCC to establish linkup and lifeline programs to increase telephone penetration rates in low-income communities; he fought for and won increased opportunities for ownership of radio and television stations by minorities; and, perhaps most importantly, he wrote legislation codifying increased employment and vendor opportunities for minorities in the cable-television industry. Those equal employment opportunity provisions became the model for other media industries, including the broadcasting industry.

Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of minorities and women employees of media companies, in addition to thousands of cable vendors, benefited from Mickey’s hard work and vision. While the media and telecommunications industries are not as diverse as they could be, vast strides have been made as a result of Mickey’s vision and leadership.

Secretary Brown similarly understood the power of disruptive technology. He was a central figure in the Clinton administration’s policy formulations in the early days of the Internet, and he understood that the Internet was the transformative technology of its day. But he also understood that the Internet would only matter—would only be judged a clear success—if it benefited all Americans.

Shortly after Secretary Brown took office, a group of White House staffers presented him a list of proposed nominees for a Clinton administration private-sector advisory committee on the Internet. Secretary Brown looked at the list and noted that of the 25 suggested nominees, 22 were white males. He told the White House staff to take the list back and return with a more inclusive and diverse slate of nominees. One of the White House staff said, “But this list has been vetted and cleared by the White House,” to which Brown said, “Yes, and now it’s been vetted and rejected by the secretary of commerce who has to chair and manage that advisory committee.” The list was resubmitted with more diversity and a much-improved ratio of women and minorities on the committee.

The inclusion of women and minorities wasn’t just window dressing. Secretary Brown knew that we were at another technological inflection point. When he took office, fewer than 2 million people worldwide were on the Internet. The secretary knew that the Internet would grow and become ever more important. By ensuring diversity on the advisory committee, he made certain that as this high-powered group of individuals made policy suggestions to the president, they were looking at how this important new technology would affect and benefit all Americans and all American communities.

Secretary Brown was a firm supporter of the e-rate proposal that provided low-cost Internet connectivity to schools and libraries across America. He worked to develop policies and establish grant programs designed to connect schools, libraries, hospitals and rural health clinics. It’s a straight line from Secretary Brown’s commitment to connecting schools to the Internet two decades ago to the ConnectEd program the Obama administration supports today. Secretary Brown understood that, particularly in the early days of the Internet, millions of Americans would have their first experience with the Web in public institutions, and he fought to ensure those institutions had the resources they needed to serve their public.

Perhaps most importantly, he understood that there was a “digital divide,” and that it was the role of government to assist industry in bridging that divide. The digital divide would have been deeper and more pervasive but for Secretary Brown.

It is his signature on the front page of the first report defining the digital divide and stating that we, as a nation, have an obligation to ensure that all Americans have access to essential technological tools. He knew that with government and industry working together and with the formulation of smart policies, we could drive Internet connectivity rates higher. In slightly more than two decades, we have gone from 2 million people with access to the Internet to almost 3 billion people having access worldwide. Much of that growth is the result of the vision and the work of Ron Brown.

Today we are at another technological inflection point, another time of great disruption. The mobile revolution and the so-called “IP transition” promise to be even more disruptive than the cable revolution and the Internet revolution. And they promise to provide great opportunity for the smart and the agile. Women and men of vision must step forward to embrace these twin revolutions and work to ensure that these new technological tools are used to improve education, increase access to health care and fitness tools and provide for greater productivity and economic opportunity for our community.

Rep. Leland and Secretary Brown understood the power of technology to transform our image of ourselves, to enhance economic and educational opportunities and to ensure the future of our children. As we enter this next new phase of technological development, it is our obligation to further their twin visions.

The best way to celebrate Black History Month is to create some history of our own. Fast-tracking the move to modern, high-speed broadband networks, while ensuring that core consumer values are protected, will lay the foundation for even greater progress with education, health care, entrepreneurship, energy and the environment. We must understand and embrace new technologies and the opportunities they provide us. That’s what Mickey and Ron would have done.

Larry Irving, founding co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, served for almost seven years as assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). He is widely credited with coining the term “the digital divide” and sparking global interest in the issue.

The original article available at

Pictures from Work in the field, CyberEd , and Teragrid ( my personal photos)Being a Science Teacher with Outside Resources.. Try these NASA resources !!

Digital Citizenship – Putting the pieces all together to understand what to do!!

Man without identity programing in technology enviroment with cyOffering a Course, a Family Initiative,Global Resources, a Teacher Tool Kit
and Peer Gathered Resources.

Choose your tools for Digital Citizenship Understanding!

This all started 20 years ago with a Clinton Initiative, for the NIIAC.
Imagine you had a device that combined a telephone, a TV, a camcorder and a personal computer. No matter where you went or what time it was, your child could see you and talk to you, you could watch a replay of your team’s last game, you could browse the latest additions to the library, or you could find the best prices in town on groceries, furniture, clothes — whatever you needed.”
The above paragraph was the opening paragraph of the Agenda for Action — 20 years ago.
Today we are still trying to tame technology with resources, peer knowledge and collaboration.


Course name: Digital Citizenship MOOC for Educators, Spring 2014
Course site:
Cost: MOOC option is free

Web definitions
A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. …

What is the course about?
This is a course about digital citizenship, a relatively new area of inquiry that has emerged because of our desire to help students manage their digital lifestyles safely and responsibly, without losing their sense of inspiration and opportunity.

How is it offered?

This course is offered in three ways: as a graduate course, a professional development course, and as a MOOC, in that anyone can use the materials and join in all of the conversations that are part of the class. There are no grades awarded for the MOOC class, and there are no costs associated with it except for materials that MOOC participants elect to purchase. MOOC participants do not have to register for the class. However, doing so allows them to stay in touch more easily with others in the course and to receive mailings about the course and associated activities.

Why digital citizenship?

The web is so pervasive and invisible, and provides access to so many different kinds of experiences, that we have developed a keen and sometimes urgent interest in understanding how best to help our children and ourselves navigate this new world.
In the K12 educational arena, this interest has been given the name “digital citizenship,” a reference to our belief that the Internet offers a kind of community experience. Digital citizenship seeks to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a model citizen in this new kind of community?” Ultimately, it also addresses another essential question: “How can we maintain a sense of humanity as we learn to co-exist with the immensely powerful machines and networks of our own creation?”

What is addressed?

In practical terms, the course looks at policies, curriculum, tools and perspectives that address digital citizenship issues within the K-12 educational arena. It also addresses some of the hot button issues of the day, such as cyberbullying, media literacy, and how to make ethical decisions associated with online activities. It features some of the experts in the field, including Mike Ribble (Digital Citizenship in the Schools), Nancy Willard (CyberSavvy), Frank Gallagher (Cable in the Classroom).

Who is this course for?

The primary audience for this course is K12 education community members, including teachers, students, administrators, school board members. But this course is also for parents, community members, anyone from government or business- in short, anyone interested in the larger issues involved in living, learning, working and having fun in the digital age, particularly as those issues impact our children.

Other Resources:
Bullying and Technology: What does it mean for parents?

For Parents and Community

Family Online Safety Contract
Check out our Resources tab featuring helpful tips for parents and kids during back-to-school season, and download a copy of our the safety contract.
This video might be helpful as well.
FOSI GRID ( International)
FOSI’s Global Resource and Information Directory (GRID) is designed to create a single, factual and up-to-date source for all those dedicated to making the Internet a safer and better place. As a family online safety portal, it aggregates information from a comprehensive range of trusted sources and combined with expert oversight, provides a unique and exciting new collaborative platform.

GRID monitors, tracks and provides commentary on the efforts of countries around the world to make the Internet safer for their citizens. By placing them in their correct cultural context, the educational, legislative and regulatory approach of many countries is seen properly for the first time. GRID is already attracting praise:
“FOSI’s GRID is a remarkable and ground breaking achievement! Nothing can prepare you for the depth, quality and scale of the family online safety content that GRID delivers. It will provide a vital and important new collaborative tool for industry, government and online safety professionals throughout the world.”
Professor Tanya Byron – Leading child psychologist and author of the Children in a Digital World Report, an influential review commissioned by the UK Government.
Using the very latest technology, GRID’s interactive maps, timelines and easy to use features bring clarity and new insights. Comprehensive directories that scope the work of industry and define the challenges, as well as GRID’s expert-moderated updates and quarterly reviews, create a unique ‘one stop shop.’

Who is Parry Aftab.. one of those of us who started out with the Clinton Initiative NIIAC> She is a real Internet lawyer.

Wired Safety Video on Cyber-bullying. It’s the Best!!


Teacher Tool Kit from Wired Safety

Your personalized resource. You can fill out information at the link above to get it.

Stop Cyber Bullying Toolkit is now available!
Authored by Dr. Parry Aftab and created by,Who is Parry Aftab?
She is a real Cyberlawyer.
the toolkit provides all of the information a school or community organization needs; it also provides young people with a mission.
Through the StopCyberbullying Pledge, they can take a stand against cyberbullying. By taking the pledge they promise to be part
of the solution, not part of the problem. The entire StopCyberbullying program is designed to motivate schools, students,
and their parents to do something, not just stand there while others are hurt. It gives them the tools and information
that they need to create their own grassroots campaign and address cyberbullying and hate online wherever they find it.

Peer Gathered Resources from


Vic and Bonnie Sutton

Gamification you ask? Glad you asked. Alex Wonder!!
!Alex Wonder Kid Cyberdetective is a new game introduced by designed to help children safely navigate the Internet. Children follow the adventures of Alex Wonder as he helps children learn to identify the warning signs of cyberbullying and learn how to responsibly use the Internet.

“…The game teaches kids how to spot, avoid and address cyberbullying. So, they have to qualify as kid cyber detectives who help Alex, who works out of the janitor’s closet at the middle school, learn how to help other kids being cyber bullied,” explained Parry Aftab, Executive Director, WiredSafety, to CNN in an interview. Download the new free Alex Wonder Kid Cyberdetective Agency Game to help stop cyberbullying
**Requires Adobe Air to Install
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