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, one 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 – 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 the 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".