Please introduce yourself and let us know a little about you!

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I am a retired U.S. Army officer who spent the past 12 years as principal for several schools including a 5-6 building, middle school, and a 6-12 building. I took over as superintendent following the sudden resignation of our previous superintendent this past fall. I'm excited about the future of our small, urban 1,600 student district. My wife of nearly 28 years also works in a school system and my son is a computer network administrator for a local technology company.

James G. Fabiano
Born: July 28, 1950 (it took me a long time to get this old)
Flushing, New York (yes, the town has evolved into what it sounds like)

College of the Holy Cross (the Jesuits are the craziest people I have ever met)
University of New England
University of New Hampshire
Penn State University

Profession: (in real life)
Teacher of Science (chemistry, biology and physics)
Science Department Head: (no one else would take it)
Past President of local union: (proves that I am not all that sane)
2007 recipient of The Theodore William Richards Award for Excellence in teaching secondary school chemistry
From 1972-1982 - I worked for major corporations. (I could have made a lot of money but I would have had to pay the price of hating myself.)
From 1982- 1989 - I owned various businesses with my wife. One of which was a major restaurant and lounge. (This could explain many things.)

I have been married to the most beautiful person I have ever known for the past 35 years. I have known her for almost 40. She gave me a beautiful and compassionate daughter. Of course she is also a bit crazed and also a wonderful writer. She wrote the preface for my second book.

Writing Experience:
Christian Science Monitor
The Boston Globe
USA Today
Laurent Publications (Club Magazine)
I don't read it - they just published some of my short stories
Southern Maine In-Your-Pocket 2001
Multiple web pages both in US, Asia, Europe, and now Africa
Monthly Column in Exeter Newsletter and Hampton News
York Independent weekly columnist
Awarded Maine Press Association ‘Best Local Column’ 2004
Seacoast Newspapers
Free lance in most, probably all, of the local periodicals
First published book, “Laugh It Off”
Second published book, “Humor from York Town”
Only in Peoples Republic of China (PRC)

I love to teach. I believe that it is an important job. It is also one of the most difficult one could choose to do. For the past few years I have seen my profession go from an army of people trying to make a difference to a labyrinth of beaurocracy that is more interested in perpetuating itself then helping our students. I am attempting to set up this ‘blog’ so I can communicate my ideas while getting a sense of others. I write to keep sane. I have written many essays, short stories, multiple books, and over 800 columns. I have been told by many of my readers that they enjoy my work. I love to write about the beauty and the comedy of an area I have lived for the past 36 years.

J. G. Fabiano
York, Maine
Hi I'm Derrall Garrison from Cupertino, California. This year I'm teaching 4th grade English, science, and math with students at a public school learning Mandarin and English. I'm always looking for ways to enhance my learning and participating in discussions on issues such as 21st century skills, information literacy, global perspectives, differentiated instruction and higher level thinking using computers and the internet, and ways to help shape locally the future directions of education. Or, all the fascinating topics which are rarely addressed in the PD or staff meetings at my school or district.
Hi, Derrall. You gave me a smile with this one.
Thanks for the opportunity, Steve,
Here's (mostly) what I introduced myself to the Fireside Learning community as:
I'm a teacher and a learner. Scratch me, and I want to communicate and help people understand something. I want to be able to do it better - so I'm keen to see what other practitioners have to share - and share what I can. My loves are science - especially physics, mathematics, ethics and epistemology, religion, theology and the relations between science and religion. I've been teaching and preaching and studying and reflecting for some 35+ years. I like the idea of collegial sharing, ideas and case studies of successful teaching escapades.
I'm a country boy from northern Victoria, Australia - currently teaching at a secondary Catholic College in Tasmania - in a mixture of subjects; Mathematics, Religion and Computer Studies. One wife, three children. Love British comedy, music of most kinds, reading, quietness. Conversation at times. (I mentally respond to the question "How would you like your hair cut?" with "Silently"). Enneagram type 5 - (a knowledge gatherer who has to be prodded to share what I know up to now - after all, there may be new stuff I'm not aware of and I want to be accurate!)

It's all Will Richardson's fault, actually. A couple of years ago he came to an ICT Conference in VIctoria, and gave a good pitch on his book - so I began to try the platforms he recommended. That led me to Classroom 2, that led me to thinking of ninging my classroom units on ethics and science and religion, which I did. Mixed success. It'll be better in 2009. Along the way I was drawn into Frieside Learning which I've found a most congenial, interesting, stimulating community. And from Fireside I've been invited here. I'm not deperate to be social, so I may not be very participative outside Fireside - particularly if the charts of education are primarily drawn to navigate the US of A.
I am deputy director of FairTest working on testing and assessment in the public schools, including on NCLB, for decades. I also chair the Forum on Educational Accountability, which builds on the Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (now signed by 149 national education, civil rights, religious, disability, parent, labor and civic organizations - see under NCLB or go to I recommend reading the Joint Statement but also two other key reports from FEA - Redefining Accountability and the report of the Expert Panel on Assessment. We also have detailed legislative recommendations posted to edaccountability. We will in near future have another, more detailed joint statement. I would be happy to talk with you about this as in many key ways they respond to Duncan's questions.
I am an educator of over 30 years, teaching high school, serving as an education consultant and currently leading an innovative charter high school that is focused on 21st century teaching and learning.

I look forward to the exchange of thought regarding education issues before us.
Hi. As a "retired" entrepreneur, for the last eight years I have worked under the idea that the best way I could pay back the society that has given me so much was to dedicate myself to improving education. Being a technologist, it seemed that the best way to do this was to work on improving education through supporting the integration of technology as a strategy to address kids' (and teachers', and administrators') engagement and achievement.

So I have done this over the last eight years, in the best ways I know how. And what I have learned in this process is that the highest barriers to technology integration are cultural and systemic, rather than philosophical or pedagogical. In other words, teachers for the most part really do want to use technology in creative ways to teach, but are generally not supported in their efforts. While we have come a long way down this road, and there are many success stories and case studies to showcase, these are the exception rather than the rule. Take California for example, which has consistently received a C+/D- on the annual Education Week Technology Counts scorecard. Here we are in the epicenter of technology, yet our leaders still don't "get it" when it comes to educational technology. We need to change this.

So I have joined this community as a way to discuss with other California educators how we can wake California up to the reality that we are missing the boat with ed tech. I apologize if this seems like a rant, but it is important to me because I believe that intelligent and thoughtful technology integration really is one of the sharpest arrows we have in our quiver when it comes to education reform and the success of our children as they enter an uncharted world.

If you will indulge me a bit more, please read what our new president has said on the campaign trail about what he sees as his vision with regard to ed tech. (I will post this as a follow-up post in order to keep this post to a reasonable length).

Thanks for listening.
Please pick up the thread of this discussion in "How to support the integration of technology into education." Thank you.
Hello! I am a retired (28 years) KY teacher who now works full time as an education consultant for educational television. I love technology, in particular web2.0 tools, and their use in education. Most of my workshops have technology as the focus along with sharing our educational resources.

As a former librarian, I still prefer curling up with a good book over reading such online. I would like to try a Kindle, though! Also, I enjoy golf, cooking, and travel.
My name is Maureen Miks and I am the Media Resource Director at Monroe School in HInsdale Illinois. We are just moving into the 2.0 World and because we are an elementary building I'm not quite sure which direction is the best beginning. I know I have to educate the teachers first, but is there a best starting point? I don't think many are "into" any E-learning and I realize the importance of being connected, but how do I gently bring my faculty into the future? My art teacher is moving ahead full steam, but we are all so busy and I really want them to see the value of being connected and sharing ideas. Any insights?


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