Two Nice Moments

Johnhruska2 This was a nice moment.  I was scheduled to give the opening address at the great MICCA conference (Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association).  The Internet connection wasn’t working so three guys were fiddling, cell-phoning, etc.  One of them was John Hruska, from the Office of Instructional Technology at Anne Arundel county.  Before I spoke, they were giving out an important award, one that national tech VIPs have received. This year the surprise recipient was–John Hruska.  As we squatted on the floor fiddling with IP addresses on my laptop, I listened as John’s bio was read from the microphone, waiting for a detail to trigger his attention. None did.  He was in the tech zone. Finally, his name was read, and he was led, stunned, to the podium.  How nice that a solid behind the scenes guy was pulled up front!  Later, I took his picture.  Notice the radio is right there for any tech 911. Also great to see Lance Rougeux and Rachel Amstutz in the front row.  And, yes, the Internet came through with 2 minutes to spare, letting me show Gcast, OnePlace, etc. Another nice moment: Flying to Colorado, I met Temple Grandin, Templeone of my favorite authors, whose latest book I was reading after finding it at Scott Kinney’s house. Temple is autistic, with a high IQ, who has become successful is several fields.  We talked about science education and the importance of keeping autistic kids in paths that will lead them to success–the sciences holding great potential there. We commiserated about standardized testing.  When I returned home, she sent me an autographed copy of her third book, Thinking in Pictures – Book and Other Reports from My Life with Autism. Very cool. Quote:  "I think in pictures,  Words are like a second language to me.  I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head."   In education, we usually associate second-language learners as non-native English speakers.  But how important to remember the significance of the visual as a native language. For a media guy like me, naturally, this is what it is all about.  The visual pipe into the brain has the biggest bandwidth and we, in the 21st century, are moving to maximize this.  Thanks, Temple, for such a singular example. Not coincidentally, at MICCA, Frank Guttler from theFrankafi  AFI did a workshop on "Lights, Camera, Education!", bringing technology’s visual tools to teachers.  The core material is nicely online on unitedstreaming. Next post, we’ll get more visual takes from author William Gibson’s fictional book, "Pattern Recognition".

Comments

  1. Jen

    Hall–

    Great to have you at the MICCA conference…. two quick notes:

    MICCA is an acronym! MICCA = (Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association)

    Also, John is from Anne Arundel County, MD (not Prince George’s)

  2. Hall Davidson

    Jen,
    Thanks for the corrections! I’ll fix that ASAP! I had to deduce the info on John from the web, and his names pops up on the Prince George County page. And I was told by more than one person that the acronym had given way to a single term–which I believed since there is no key anywhere on the MICCA website I could find spelling it out. And usually associations love to spell out their names, MICCA is self described as “An Association for Educators Using Technology”. But THANKS! The fixes have been made above, and no one will know anything else—unless they read these comments! :)

  3. John Hruska

    Thanks for the correction and kind words, Hall. In fact, I worked for Prince George’s County Public Schools for thirty-one years then retired and moved to Anne Arundel County Public Schools for the past two where I have the privilege of working with one of the top instructional technology teams in the world (in my opinion).

    We came really close to not having an Internet connection for Hall’s presentation. Hall’s address to the crowd was simply wonderful! I loved it when he used his cell phone to update a podcast. This has great possibilities. I plan to use this technique as well as others that he mentioned. Thanks, Hall!!!

  4. Joe Brennan

    I love the thinking in pictures! My son dated a deaf girl for a year and I tried in vain to get him to ask her how she thought things over in her mind. Did she mentally sign, visualize one option over another…? “Enough with the linguistics stuff, dad. We’ll be late for the dance!”

  5. Janet English

    How very cool to spend time with someone who has such a unique and profound way of viewing the world. Temple reminds us that finding those unique qualities that make each person unique – those qualities that include textures, colors and flavors of imagination – takes time and meaningful conversation. It also includes an intent to listen. I wish I had had the chance to listen to Temple. Thanks, Hall, for sharing this story with us.

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