MEGA Meeting

This is a Moblog. Please forgive rough text and misspellings.

I’m sitting in the Friday Institute. More about that later, but we are just beginning a MEGA meetings. More about that later. Dr. Lisa Grable is introducing things, and I just found my way into their wireless network, so I’ll be blogging this in real time. According the Grable, on the day that they opened this center they were the most “wired-up building on the campus.” Only days later, other centers on the campus of North Carolina State University got ideas for enhancing their services, and have since surpassed the Friday Institute.

While people are introducting themselves (never know how to introduce myself), they took a handful of us on a tour of the center, which I podcasted. We’ll see more about in Connect Learning.

Matt Friedrick is going to start the show, entitled “Collaboration in a Flat World”. He is project manager for North Carolina in the World. Kids will be selling to the world and buying from the world. 1,100 companies in NC are doing business internationally.

Matt is talking about their program…the goals of their program. I’m not listing them, because they are all very closely aligned with stuff we’re supposed to be teaching already. No surprises, yet!

We’re watching a video now from the Asia Society. It’s a very good video with lots of quotes from state and national leaders.

The limits of what our children learn about their world are their teachers.

What do you think about this statement?


Here are some recommendations from the end of the video

  • Analyze what’s alreadin in place
  • highlight best practices (spread the word)
  • develop a plan
  • support professional development
  • reach out (many businesses have international ties)
  • engage parents


North Carolina has been labeled the most ambitious state in integrating world studies into the curriculum. One of the ideas of the program is to have classrooms from different countries studying the same thing. This is an interesting concept, with much potential, considering accessible video conferencing technologies.

by 2008 every school district in NC will have at least one school in school partnership.

Kim Quinn, one of the people quoted use to be a pig farmer in eastern North Carolina. He saw a need for a special syringe for inoculating livestock. He started a company that now serves 48 states and 27 other countries.

Tom Rabon, of Red Hat, says that it is less important to us what happens in South Carolina or Virginia than what happens in China.

Caroline McCullen just asked how they solved the language barriers. Matt said that there are several answers to that question, but that for the schools they have considered so far, emphasize English. Good thing!

Somebody just asked, “How do you handle timezones!” He said, “badly!” It’s a big problem, but one that indicates our growing international practices.

Another challenging question was about internationalizing mathematics instruction. Matt admitted that math was probably the hardest subject to include in their program. Some ideas were shared by the audience.

Next is Dr. Len Annetta is a science educator educator. He’s talking about HIFIVES – highly interactive fun internet virtual environments in science. As Len started to approach folks with strategies for using technology in science instruction, he suggested that they use video games. People didn’t like the idea. But then when he suggested HIFIVES, they bought in. They like acronyms more than they like video games.

Len is going through some slides. I’ll ask if they’re on line. But I just saw an interesting term, Stealth Learning. Can wait to learn what that means. It means, “Kids learn something without knowing their learning.

He’s showing a game that his class created, but I wonder where the game is. There were some interesting graphics and 3D environments, but I didn’t see the game. What is a game? What is it about games that draw kids and and keep them? What are the elements of a success video game? Are their consistent elements? I imagine I’d have to take the class.

He just demonstrated their next version will use Second Life II VR engine. He set up a virtual chair, and then with a cross-bow, shot helium balloons at the chair until there were enough to raise the the chair.

Roger Stack is commenting on this blog, as I write it. If he gives me his AOL IM screen name, perhaps we can chat.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.