Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sail on John!

One of the major reasons I began this blog, was to share innovative ideas and discoveries supporting education. My intent was to use this space in place of my "Tuesday Six Pack" of Technology Tips, which became a bit too time consuming to maintain as a webpage.

However, today, I have no grand discovery or innovation to share. Instead, I want to use this space to honor a colleague -- John Mundt.

There are certain people that come into our lives and leave a "mark." You know who they are... special people who, in part, define us ... because we are different after having known them. Sometimes they are relatives, friends, teachers, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

John was one of these.

John was the network guru at Stevenson High School until he "retired" in 2003 and went to work as the network administrator at Hawthorn District 73 in Vernon Hills.

One of John's recent email signatures read: "Be not simply good, be good for something." -- Henry David Thoreau. John was more than good for something.

John taught me many things. We once co-taught a workshop on how to set up an email server. I was somewhat knowledgeable about email clients, but didn't have a clue about servers. John provided the learning I needed to appear credible as we shared the podium.

I loved working with John! He had a brilliant mind and was a stellar master of the vernacular. I was continually popping open the dictionary to look up words he used (such as frabjous and aegis). John was certainly not pretentious... he gave credit where credit was due. And, with John, you always knew where you stood.

John was honored for his many contributions to education at the 2005 Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. He was an active presence on a variety of listservs, always sharing his experiences and expertise.

Born in Wisconsin, John was a true "cheesehead" and Packer fan. He was a paddler, and shared great adventure stories.

Yes, John was indeed special.
John passed away yesterday at the age of 60.

Sail on John!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Setting the standards for the future? Refreshing the NETS.

As reported in eSchool news, ISTE ( has released a draft of revised technology standards for students.

ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) first issued its NETS (National Education Technology Standards) for students in 1998, which, according to Don Knezek, ISTE's chief executive, identified skills and knowledge for using the tools of technology. According to ISTE, "More than 90 percent of U.S. states have adopted, adapted, or referenced ISTE's NETS in state department of education documents."

The proposed "revised" standards shift the focus to the skills and knowledge that students need to "learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly digital society … to produce and innovate” using technology. ISTE also notes that renewal activities are essential "within an evolving learning landscape, a connected global community, and a context of emerging technologies."

ISTE has put out a call to the educational technology community -- add your voice to the NETS*S Refresh Initiative! Click here to access an online survey

View a pdf of the draft here.