2021 Fall

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

Due to the COVID-19 situation most of my projects are on hold. However, things are beginning to look more promising. Below are some of the projects that are keeping me engaged and challenged during this fall period.

I’m still working with the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) on the Driving K-12 Innovation project. We started our work on this annual report in September. We finished discussing Hurdles to innovation as well as the Accelerators and the Digital Tools that address the Hurdles and Accelerate the process. In January I’ll share the findings at the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) with a team of colleagues from the region.

For the first time since the COVID shutdown, I had a chance to step inside a school. I visited my long-time colleague, Chuck Trautwein – the Coordinator for Staff Development and Curriculum at Garrett County Public Schools – his son, Zach, one of the middle school Tech-Ed teachers, and three high school students who work with Chuck and Zach on educational technology projects for middle and elementary students. Chuck with his son Zach have developed an amazing program using the FIRST Robotics competition as the basis for their K-12 STEM approach.

I also visited the Mark Cuban AI Bootcamp sponsored by the Readiness Institute under the direction of Justin Aglio and his team at the Pittsburgh campus of Penn State. It was get fun to observe high school students from around the region tackling problems and issues related to Machine Learning.

I’ve been working as part of the planning team for the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference that will take place starting on Sunday, January 16 with a pre-conference at the new Moonshot Museum and a full-day session on Martin Luther King Day at the Penn State Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport. If you’re interested in applying to present or conduct a workshop or participate in a student showcase as well as a poster session, use these links:

2022 TRETC Workshop Application

2022 TRETC Digital Notebook, Student Showcase, or Poster Session Submission

Since most of my consulting work has been on hold, I’ve spent more time on some of my volunteer projects. Over the past year I’ve been reviewing films for Film Pittsburgh. This fall I previewed films for the 3 Rivers Film Festival taking place in November at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and three other movie theaters in Pittsburgh. The festival will also include the Pittsburgh Shorts festival.

I’ve also explored new avenues with the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA) for after-school programs. NLA has developed a health careers pathway with local healthcare institutions that includes college-level courses that high school students take at Carlow University and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).

I started teaching my fall course for the CMU Osher Program, “The Teachings of Fred Rogers.” I’m using the new book from Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski, When You Wonder, You’re Learning as the framework for my course. I invited a series of experts to join my six-week course. The class had garnered some strong interest and all 25 slots are filled. I’m excited to teach again and interact with so many fantastic educational leaders – Melissa Butler, Jane Werner, Cara Ciminillo, Bill Isler, Gregg Behr, Ryan Rydzewski, and Larry Berger.

I had a chance to explore a variety of Pittsburgh areas and take a trip to the Central Highlands of West Virginia. I explored places that I had not seen in over 30 years – Dolly Sods, Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, and the towns of Davis and Thomas. To see my photos, follow this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlgconsulting/albums/72157719961967621 . I’ve been producing a series of slide shows showcasing my photographs.