Stange Days Indeed-


Background Information: While natural disasters, like the recent Cyclone that hit Burma, are not totally predictable, or preventable, one thing we can certainly all be doing more of is urging people to take environmental concerns, such as global warming, seriously and to make sure that we, ourselves, are responsible stewards of our environment. After all, the Earth is not ours to do with as we please.

“The only one who has the right to destroy this land, is the one who created it.”

-“Chief Joseph” Nez Perce

I’m working on a digital storytelling project with my students right now that we’re calling “The Footprint Project”. Its aim is to increase awareness about our individual Carbon Footprints. When we’re finished, I’ll share my reflections with you all!

A few mornings ago, I discovered that one of my favorite new tools,Diigo, was down for a bit when I tried to enter a group discussion and received the above message. Were they buckling under the pressure of global educators? Was this the beginning of all my die-hard colleagues saying “told you so!” No…the reality is more unfortunate.

Diigo is a global company with headquarters in Reno, NV and a R&D center in China. About 3 weeks ago, the Reno area experienced a 4.7 earthquake, and someone joked that it was probably because of how well received the latest Diigo release has been- all the cheering had the earth shaking.

Then, on Monday, May 12, at 2:28pm Beijing time (6:28 GMT), a major earthquake (7.9 on the Richter scale) jolted southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. That’s like 600 megatons of TNT explosive, or the energy released by the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption (Wikipedia)!

Diigo’s R&D center is based in Chengdu, which is only 90 km from the quake’s epicenter. Maggie Tsai, one of Diigo’s head team members, said:

“When the quake hit, our whole team was still in a heated discussion on features in our regular international conference meeting (yes, we work very long and odd hours, and skype / gtalk are wonderful must-have tools …) All of a sudden, very loud rattling sound came through. Our team in Chengdu said calmly over skype, “There is an earthquake, we have to get out of here.” So I thought, well, it must be another one of those small tremors, so I kept skype connected, hoping to hear from them again soon. Fortunately, we were able to connect with our Chengdu team a few hours later, and learned they are all safe and sound.”

Fortunately, all of the Diigo team members are fine, but they are now temporarily housed in the ground floor of a hotel, with a very unstable internet connection, so Diigo development will be slowed down for a while. The good news is that their regular operation is all based in here in the US, so service will not be interrupted. That’s music to my ears, since I’ve become seriously addicted to my Diigo toolbar very quickly!

As of this morning, reports say over 19,000 people have died as a result of the quake, and many are still buried under collapsed buildings or are missing. Especially sad is that many children were in school at the time and were buried under the rubble of their collapsed school buildings. I know I speak for the entire DEN community when I say that we pray for the rescue of as many of these precious souls as possible.

The reason I was able to quote Maggie Tsai is because of the strong personal learning network I have been able to proliferate in the Diigo Community. That’s how I found out that they were affected by this disaster- yet another example of how our global connections are shrinking the physical miles that exist between us all.

It’s times like this that we need to take a step back & be thankful for the people in our lives. So, to all of my Twitter, Diigo and most especially my DEN friends, I’d like to say


Diigo is appealing and urging people to consider donating & helping those affected by the Earthquake tragedy in China. For more information, please visit the American Red Cross.

“As a child, I knew how to give. I’ve forgotten this grace as I’ve become civilized.”

– Luther, Staning Bear, Oglala

I’m going to make sure I hug my Husband & Son as soon as I get home tonight & tell them I love them. Life is short, Make it Count!

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