Saturday, March 26, 2011


Blog Post by Tamika:

Have you ever noticed the fiery burn that illuminates before a match reaches its full potential?  That is where we as future EMDT graduates exist right now.  We are on the brink of a beautiful existence but like a match, it can end in a moment if we do not allow others to see our spark.  This is what the final section of the Art of Possibility speaks on.  We have the tools but just as Dr. King had his dream, we must also create a vision to create a ‘framework of possibility’ for the students and colleagues we encounter.  By moving from I to We, we begin to focus on being inclusive and something very unlike the only child in me, consider what is best for all that we encounter. 

As we end the near of our journey, cohort, remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi and “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I wish you the best of luck.

My response to Tamika:

You have picked the perfect visual for these last few chapters and your post is so inspiring to me. First off, it's incredible to think about us being near the end of this incredible journey and even more remarkable is the possibility of change about to take place in our lives. You bring up a wonderful point when you discuss that we need to let others see our spark in order to "be the change...". I think that is exactly what Zander would want for those of us reading his book and the purpose of his writing. It makes me wish I could have been a student in his classes or had someone like Roz to collaborate with.

It has been such a pleasure to work with you and learn from you along this journey, through projects, readings and your "Tech Talk". I am hoping we will be able to stay in touch after this program and collaborate on professional issues. I am also hoping that we can meet at graduation. I wish you the best in your future and know that you will be a bright spot in whatever you chose to do.


Comment from Marc Coppin:

Ah! The final four chapters. If any of you have read my previous posts about this book , you realize that this book has been quite an inspiration to me. It was as if this book was written while examining my life. Almost every chapter struck a personal chord with me. Each chapter and each story really had a resonance within in me. It is kind of funny to me because as I write this, I find myself using musical descriptors such as chord and resonance. This is fitting based on the over-arching theme of the book. This will be one of the books that I will revisit often as the message is a good one and one that we should aspire to.
As with the rest of the chapters, the final four or the finale really drove home the importance of looking toward the possibilities in situations and our lives. While we cannot always attain this level of engagement or attitude, it is something we can aspire to. I love Chapter 9 and lighting the spark, because that is truly what we can do. Nothing sums up the chapter and how I feel about what I do as the quote at the end of Chapter 9.
“The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect, express, and communicate. Enrollment is that life force at work, lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions.”
Chapter 10 was probably the chapter that had the least impact on me, but it was a good read. I know that life happens and how we react and approach it really dictates how we live our lives. 
The final two chapters were the grand finale for me as they should be. I have to keep reminding myself that “"I am here today to cross the swamp, not to fight all the alligators." Once I remember that, the journey becomes easier.
I will end my blog on the “Art of Possibilities” with a final quote that was found at the end of chapter 11.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
  1. -Marianne Williamson

Zander, Rosamund Stone, and Zander, Benjamin. 2000. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. New York: Penguin Books.

My comment to Marc:

I got goosebumps as I read your blog entry. Your passion for what you do is contagious and I hope to be able to stay in touch with you after this masters program is completed. You stated your thoughts so clearly, it was as though we were having a one to one conversation. I really enjoyed your comments on the book and the quotes you pulled from the reading were incredibly powerful for me as well. What I loved about this book was the way in which I could relate each of the concepts to my own life. Similarly to you, I felt that this book was given to me to read at a very crucial time in my life as a teacher, student, faculty trainer, wife and mother. What I will take from your blog is the line about crossing the swamp, not trying to fight the alligators. Oh my gosh, that is a brilliant line and boy does it put things into perspective. So I want to thank you for that. I also wanted to mention what a beautiful image you have attached to your blog! Thanks Marc and I hope we get to meet at graduation. Take care!


This week, since it was Spring Break, I attended a conference in upstate New York focusing on the subject of Technology and Transliteracy. Though the targeted audience was school librarians, there were many attendees who were simply in search of new ways to reinvigorate their classrooms and students through the use of technology. I came out of the conference thinking several key points but the most evident was how well prepared I feel from my masters program through Full Sail. There were very few technologies, web 2.0 tools, classroom concepts, etc that I hadn’t seen or tried, thanks to this past year of my life. And honestly, I felt I could have been a presenter at this conference (I’ve never left a conference feeling that way), which further reinforced the Presentation/Leadership project that we are preparing. It was a wonderful feeling to feel prepared and trained to be doing what I’m doing. Prior to going back to school as a graduate student I felt that something was missing in my teaching. I knew I needed more education to really give my students the proper experience they should have in my classroom. I never imagined that I would change so much and actually be doing some of the things I’m doing now.

The other surprising part was my conversation with the keynote speaker, the Dean of Empire State College, who had been discussing his digital storytelling class.   I was so impressed that there was such a class (digital storytelling is my action research) so I approached him after he spoke to ask him a few questions about it. What was incredible for me was that after telling him about my research he asked if I’d ever be interested in teaching it online! He gave me his card and asked me to contact him about it.  I thought of Full Sail, I thought of Zander and I thought about the universe of possibility and felt like I had experienced a transformational moment. A conversation that took only a few minutes can have a powerful effect on someone’s life! That’s what we can also do for our students.

MAC_Week4_Reading(Art, 9-12)

Cosmic Kisses by Lance Shields

I enjoyed Zander’s remarks about lighting a fire in others.  I feel like I was born with the ability to do this and see it as a big responsibility to my students as well as my family and friends. The way he described enrollment as the ability to give yourself as a possibility to others and to be ready to catch their spark really hit home with me. He has so many inspiring lines in this book that I want to remember. I felt a strong reaction to his discussion of taking “no” less personally and myself less seriously and in doing that being able to see the opportunity for enrollment.

I also really felt a connection with Zander’s idea of being the board in your life, not reacting to the other players, but taking control in your life and transforming your entire circumstance. Making room for all the moves, as Zander puts it. What a revelation for most of us to stop seeing life as a blame game. When you look back, it’s so interesting to see how measurement in it’s many forms completely rules our existence. We have been trained to think that way.

Reading the steps in chapter 11 about vision and being a leader of possibility inspired me to write them down and carry them with me. Lately I feel as though I am always trying to overcome the downward spiral so it’s going to be a key part of my outlook to get into the practice of focusing on what is possible. Whether it’s because of a certain student or faculty member that I’m having an issue with or if I’m just plain tired that particular day, the goal is to stay focused on realigning myself. If I keep the concept of the framework in my mind, hopefully it will more easily allow me to bounce back when I get pulled down.

As I begin to head back to school this coming week after spring break, I feel that I have a renewed sense of purpose in what I do. Part of it, yes, is simply taking some time off, but the other part is finishing the last few chapters of this book.  For me, the WE story truly communicates why I work at a community college and sets the framework for me as a teacher and as the interim coordinator for the center for teaching and learning. I have learned many valuable lessons and want to plaster some of Zander’s quotes on the walls of the school. It also makes me think about my role as a mom and wife and how I can set the framework for all the relationships in my life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Image by Wesley Fryer

Thank you for visiting my Publishing & Leadership blog post. This has been an exciting journey through Full Sail University as part of my Masters program in Education Media Design and Technology. I will be submitting a presentation for my action research project on the topic of digital storytelling to two conferences: (PETE) Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo, held February 12, 2012 and (FETC) Florida Educational Technology Conference, held on January 23-26, 2012.

I decided to submit to the PETE conference because they offer three or six hour, hands on sessions which is a wonderful fit for digital storytelling. I could not only make my presentation but show instructors how they can easily put together their own digital story to be used as a lecture or assignment example. This conference is also relatively close to where I live, so even if I'm not accepted as a presenter, I would still like to attend.

I decided to submit to the Florida Educational Technology Conference because they stress the idea of emergent technologies as one of their main topics. I realize that digital storytelling is not a new idea necessarily, but in the community college atmosphere, it is. We are struggling to stay current with what is offered to students with a technology focus and I had such a wonderful response (and was the only instructor to implement this kind of project) in my classroom. It is vital to be aware of the latest in educational technology and Florida seems to be a frontrunner on offering their students the most current technologies.

The following is a link to powerpoint presentation that I would like to share if accepted:

Please also see my previous two blog posts about the conferences I would like to submit to below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo

Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC)

I've settled on two conferences that I would like to submit for presentation of my action research assignment on digital storytelling. After looking through the resources from Dr. Bedard and also searching a bit on my own, it is my feeling that the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and the Florida Educational Technology Conference would be two good choices for my particular project. As I was searching for other conferences I was surprised at how many had already taken place this year. It's something to remember for the future that many of the top conferences are held at the beginning of the year.

The deadlines are within a couple weeks for each of the conferences I've chosen so I feel I have adequate time. This is a really interesting project and I never imagined at the end of all of this that it could be possible to submit my work in order to tell other educators about the many successes of digital storytelling on:
-classroom management
-classmate collaboration
-technology integration
-development of 21st century skills
-digital and visual literacy

I wish everyone luck as they embark on this exciting opportunity!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I want to document in some way, shape or form the transformation that has happened through this master's program at Full Sail. When I think back to one year ago today, I was gearing up for my first class and making sure my financial aid was in place. Now I am on the verge of a potential career change and I would never have imagined it. I find it most fitting that I'm listening to a speech by Benjamin Zander as I write this because he has further inspired me to keep doing what I'm doing, to find the potential in any situation and to inspire my students in a way that they never imagined. I am a changed person in every way. I see education differently, I see a student's potential differently, and even more amazing is that I see my daughter, husband and life differently. I have grown professionally and personally and though it was one of the most difficult years of my life, it was one of the most rewarding and I am truly thankful that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go back to school.

"Every conversation is a possibility."
-Benjamin Zander