Monday, March 31, 2008

Arrived in London and caught the train in. Caught up with my new appointmnets for the week, as the Innovation Seminar series, which was to be run at Greenwich from Monday to Thursday was cancelled. Am now going to Oxford, Cambridge and a seminar Wednesday at London University, as well as meeting up with Martyn, Stewart and a few other people.

The 11th Annual Technology Counts is here, but only available to 7th April. It shows how each USA state lines up in terms of leading the teaching of technology. The report examines the K-12 community's response to the United States’ perceived failings in preparing young people to thrive in a high-tech global economy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chicago, Chicago

That is a misleading title that is, but I wanted to capture your attention :-0

A great session on retention of online learners, and I will summarise in this posting after I get an adaptor for the laptop. Also attended a session on Trends in Continuing Education, and again was struck by the similarities with TAFE NSW. The key issue was about needing to be innovative, provision of electronic learning, and funding.

Flew from New Orleans to Chicago, and then on to Londonon. It had taken an hour to check in, because American Airlines only had one person on, and there were about 100 people to check in, 2 hours before the flight. The man behind me rang American to complain, and I laughed. He and I were both searched in New Orleans Airport (coincidence :-).

The plane, quite separately, was 40 minutes late. The flight attendant was a scream, saying that if our flight turned into a cruise, we could locate our swimming aids under the seats :-) When the seatbelt sign went off after landing, he said "All rise".I compunded this by (yes I take full responsibility!) waiting for my bags, which of course were going straight to London - duh! One of the baggage assist people ran with me to the lift, explaining how I had to get a train, etc.

Chicago people were just wonderful - half the carriage on the train to the Terminal were saying, "you'll be fine, you've got 45 minutes before it leaves". Of course, the security/immigration lines were astronomical, so I let a TSA employee know that my boarding time was 5 minutes ago, and she was amazing. The man checking my passport was joking that we could all have a therepeutic cry :-) It was a very funny time, and things like this really make the travel part come alive. It was the fastest check in I have ever had, and everybody will know how good that was!

I had also said to my seat mate on the flight to Chicago that I have had a fabulously smooth trip so far, with every landing and public transport no effort (thank you to my travel agent! who I won't name as I don't think she can keep up with demand), touch wood.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday 28th March

A great day at the UCEA conference. The gems for today were:

Talking with Sally and Kate, who invited me out for lunch yesterday

  • Meeting Judy, from Spokane, who gave me an autographed book that she had written. Her daughter had won a very special student award

  • All the people at dinner, and here's a photo

  • The band after dinner was truly amazing, and could rival the Endeavour Harmony Chorus (no, only joking)

  • At the Inclusive Leadership workshop, a truly interactive and value added affair, with a great workshop leader/s. The gems from this were about going back to basics, and repeat some of the themes that have emerged about innovation and great leadership:

  • Perceptlon is reality

  • Take risks

  • Needs to be an intentional effort: get to know people

  • Need to take personal responsibility

This session engaged people and went back to basics. Basics is something we probably
all should review regularly. The other session which really stood out was the Technology Petting Zoo - this was one of those ideas where we have had the idea but this was the twist we might be looking for. Chas Freeman was the keynote speaker, and excellent too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More reflections

Gary Brown (from the US, not SWSI) asked the question: How effective is our higher education? This is one of the strengths of TAFE NSW : teaching learners to learn and focus on the activity they need to be able to undertake.

Have a look at the Critical Thinking Rubric. There is a blog for the UCEA conference, but it is only open to members. You can have a look at their website, at

Some great sessions on Thursday - Donna Brazile stated with humor: you can go to the Zoo and not only see every species, but get the recipes for them as well. Spoke very well about the lack of government support for re-building New Orleans.

Need to jazz or spice up things to create a new vibe: exactly the Same as for innovation!! You need to stir the pot rather than put things off. Must be willing to engage and inform. Only in this way will things go forward.

The two people above looked at their successful continuing education programs that take generational differences into account and have been implemented at Tuskegee University and California Polytechnic State University.

Some other reflections:

TAFE needs to get to High school students much earlier than Y ear 10 .

One size does not fit all. Take into account the individual organisational factors. If there's a problem, move forward. It doesn't matter whose fault it is!

Wednesday March 26th New Orleans

Started early with the Distance Education Workshop. Gardner Campbell was excellent, and again, a lot of what he said, especially about learning as playing, and making that explicit to learners, resonated. It also reminded me of Marie Jasinski, and how the FAMe Graduate Certificate was a truly great learning experience in every way. How you could learn that much in 9 months was pretty amazing, but to have fun at the same time was even more so :-).

Two other gems from today, again from Gardner: Another word for blog is a publishing platform Blog is as ugly word! Unless we are having compelling experiences with online, you can't design compelling online experiences for your learners. And of course, I can't count, despite having been a bookie's clerk: Podcasting, wikis and blogging keeps a course alive, way beyond the actual course time. Experiences make the "containers" which are courses, much richer (just like travel where people make it all the more memorable).

It was also great to hear Phillip Long again, after he had been to Sydney in 2004 for the sydney Institute Net*Working 2004 e-learning conference. He mentioned Sloodle - a mix of Second Life and Moodle, so have a look for yourself. This will also be featured in the SWSI Wiki (click on 1. E-learning Wiki on the left hand side) Tip of the Week.

Met lots of people at lunch and both the opening reception and the International Reception tonight. Met the most incredibly welcoming and open person, Kate, who made everybody feel like they'd been here twenty times before, as well as have a good laugh, and some beaut Australians from ANU, QUT, USA, UWA and UNZ.

See the essence of New Orleans, and one of the few songs I can play: The Entertainer!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Orleans

New Orleans has not recovered from Hurricane Katrina, and later Rita. You can find these videos mostly on You Tube, but elsewhere also - very moving and a concise and pognant look at the tragedy.

But what amazed me around the city, and on the way from the airport, there are advertisments for every type of higher education institution. I can't say I noticed any in San Antonio, but that might have been the broken windscreen and mud spattered (think outback Australia) windscreen combining so that I couldn't see anything AT ALL!

Monday, March 24, 2008

San Antonio to New Orleans

Have a look at the Riverwalk San Antonio. The photo doesn't do it justice - you can walk for miles around the under road system of canals in San Antonio. A lovely place, with the Alamo, Caves, etc. When I talk about these things, it doesn't mean I've been to them :-)

Flew into New Orleans and arrived at the hotel via the French Quarter, and the Easter Sunday celebrations - fantastic! The Mississipi River is out my window. On this Easter Monday I have done some more research on Leadership in particular. The results on the Wiki are not as prolific as I'd like. I've also investigated the Community Colleges and Universities that I can visit tomorrow, as the conference doesn't actually start till Wednesday - today and Tuesday are being spent in help
This video shows a glimpse of Tulane University.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Blog 22 March

Met Marilyn, Rochelle and George for a continental breakfast.

LaDonna Gaitlin Sang and spoke in this closing session and opened with a song: Everything is Beautiful. This was great, combining a sing along, as well as reminders about doing the most with your time. If you'd like to hear some of my singing, you can see here. Of course it's the Endeavour Harmony Chorus (scroll down the page to NSW and it starts at the 29th minute)!

LaDonna used the scale (somebody remind me what it is called!!!!) as a framework. See for further details

The points that resonated with me were Fa ilures can be turned into fertiliser: ANYTHING CAN BE REDEEMED - something I think is so important to support innovation and excellent leadership of teaching and learning.

One other thing for today: technology enables excellent teaching and learning to meet learner and client needs, so you need to select the most appropriate for the stakeholders and for the outcomes you hope to achieve, no matter what sphere these are in.
•Technologies do not determine business models but enable them.

The other really important point that needs to be emphasised is to La ugh

Friday, March 21, 2008

March 21 in San Antonio

Started this morning with a session on Virtualisation, then experiential learning for international students, ard then technolearning. Go to click NBEA 2008 for two things especially: rubrcs and a student guide to using Wikis. Also had the NBEA Awards luncheon, and this snippet partly explains why the association is so successful:

The day was highlighted by the great people I met: first at morning coffee, and met two of the women who run the Ranch night - just gorgeous, and so friendly. On the way to the ranch tonight, I sat with Rochelle, and her husband George sat with Marilyn. We had a great night, and of course the obligatory pictures (most of which Marilyn kindly took!) are dotted around this posting. Like the ISBE dinner last night it was very friendly and a great day. The photo on the right is of the hay ride, and you can see Verna in the black top. I met her on Tuesday (maybe Wednesday?), and she has been great, even when it was her birthday, she was sick and other stuff about her holiday (vacation).

I also got talking with people about the Human Resource Management Toolbox. If you'd like to preview any of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework Toolboxes, have a look at You can also see why e-learning is so important when it is about the best thing for learners:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Keeping in touch

There have been quite a few comments about how fabulous the blog is, that I hadn't been updating the Wiki, the Adobe Connect room is a great idea, but the time lag is not so good! and what have I got with me in terms of tools?

Well, the easy stuff first. I've got an iPod and recorder attachment - this has been great in getting recordings from people. I've got my PDA, so I can take notes during presentations and interviews and download them onto the Wiki, or upload them onto the Wiki. I've got a fabulous camera, which is probably my weakest link - even though I'm a visual person, I can't seem to get it out fast or often enough! I've got a laptop, kindly set up by Jonathon from Bankstown so that Internet connection has been a breeze, and kindly organised by Amelita!

It has taken me some time to make it easier to post to the Wiki and Blog - the photos take a long time for the Blog, much shorter time for the Wiki, and I think it would have been easier to upload all the photos every few days, and to one place only, like Flickr, and then link to them.

The Wiki and Blog have been time consuming, so now I'm trying to streamline, but as I commented to Jac in one of the posts below, it is like assessment. There is an inverse proportion of time in the short term and long term - the longer it takes initially, the shorter time later, as all assessors will know!

Good and big day today

A great day today, with three excellent sessions. Have no photos, so going to get some at the International Society for Business Education dinner which I'm attending tonight.

Have a look at the Wiki (specific page) for updates on the conference proceedings. Most are summaries I've made, except when I got a little tired, and also people were looking at me a bit funny as I had my head down to the PDA :-)

The welcome to the IBSE dinner was astounding. If you're a business education teacher, and even if you're not, see the website here. Join the Australian chapter. The ISBE conference will be in Australia in 2010. The most wonderful people are part of this organisation and their photos are dotted around this posting. The presentation on the conference in Ireland by Marty (the photo does her no justice to either her appearance or her friendly and dynamic nature!)

My next post will be in relation to the blog and Wiki, and what to carry with you in terms of technology. My motto is usually keep it simple, think about what will work, try it out, and learn from it. That was some motto! I also usually pack light, and this time have the biggest bag I've ever carried anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NBEA Conference

Started with a great conversation with too people from Trinity Valley Community College David Loper and Ronald

Business Etiquette was a session presented by Dr Robert Blair, and the key findings:

You only have one chance to make a good first impression

Perceptions are important but (and this is my question!) should they be based on appearances? In which case, I'll be needing to use my skills from the afternoon workshop!

The teaching in the Photoshop workshop was some of the best, most innovative ever experienced.

The keynote speaker was preceded by the oath of allegiance, national anthem and a very good introduction by the Texas representative. John Kasich "Stand for Something'

What people care about is whether you have integrity, honesty and ethics

We need to take personal responsibility

Raise the bar

Teamwork is essential

At the President's reception tonight I met Nancy from Wyoming and a man from Wisconsin. They both thought that innovation can only be taught to people with a natural talent for it, like music, art, etc.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To Austin Texas, I mean San Antonio

A big day of travel today, but I met an executive of a Fortune 500 company on the plane and interviewed her. The recordings will go onto (or be linked) to the Wiki, but tomorrow night now!

The hotel room is fantastic - like a double room, and for a good conference price. There is nothing like value for money. Some photos to show you the room and the view. Actually the alarm clock is the best thing with an iPod dock so you can listen to your songs, and even wake up to them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Columbia again

Columbia is a big place, so went to the business School again to talk with their blogger about why and how the blog was started. Unfortunately she is elsewhere and the spring break has meant the last week was spent on vacation :-)

I spoke with two MBA students about what they were doing there, and asked them how they were taught to be innovative, and how they would apply it in their work. One person said they were working for volunteer organisations, so that they would be considered innovative as a business person automatically in that field. The other was going to work in Finance, and they pointed out that they were innovative already.
This comment bought up the question of how a University, or any tertiary institution can teach innovation, leadership and ethics. The integration of innovation and other business areas is essential. I found an excellent example of a case study approach, for Engineering albeit the same principles apply: at

Can Innovation work remotely/virtually?

Had an email from Liz and Gregor this morning which got me thinking to some of the thinking of people this week: that innovation works best when people are in close proximity rather than remote or virtual. What do you think?

Can it work remotely or virtually with skilled facilitation, or is the maintenance of remote networks often be at the expense of the person leading it?

How important is F2 F when working in teams???

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NYU: Stern Business School

An enormous university, and very impressive to see all the campuses. The map to the left shows how many schools and buildings make up this State University.

Being Sunday didn't mean that the Stern Business School was closed, but you do need to get through security.

ABN AMRO are the sponsors of the scholarship: have a look at their foray into Second Life, at

See the Wiki for their initiative on having technology integrated for teaching and learning, at

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Columbia University in New York

At 3022 Broadway, the Columbia School of Business is an amazing array of different schools within the school!

An interesting topic, and one that could easily be an initiative we should all take: about managing email. There is no dearth of guidelines around email, but a lot of educational institutions don't have specific guidelines. If I had to distil into five lines or less (like a good powerpoint):

1. Use good subject headings, and change when the subject changes
2. Only use for brief information, and to provide background for meetings - one screen is the maximum. One College Director I knows believes that two sentences are enough, and I agree.
3. If you are CC'd, you do not need to act, including writing a four page screed in reply
4. The only thing urgent to me is something to do with my family. If it is that urgent, call the person.
5. Don't ever write anything you don't want the world to know - that is what conversations are for!

I can't say I've always followed these rules either, so no commenting about my hypocrisy :-)

Michael Feiner, at, has a number of relevant and excellent points about leadership, but two stands out for me: "Demonstrating trust elicits trust." and "Debate, discussion, disagreement and dialogue are the lifeblood of vibrant and adaptive organizations." People are still scared of open and honest discussion - open and honest does not mean derogatory and destructive. Sure you get your trust thrown in your face sometimes, but for the most part, it works - try it!

Did I lose a day?

No, not really, but a bit sick Thursday, so did some reading, analysis and writing, which I will add to the Wiki.

Friday was a great day too, visiting the New York University campus in Noho, and finding out more about what makes a good leader. Also, visited the Empire State Building, an amazing example of innovation, and the impact of competetition.

How much information is there on innovation? Every time I read something, I think the author has hit the nail on the head. What I need to do now is to put together a model, not that there aren’t enough around! Terri Connellan, Flexible Learning Leader 2004 put together this model re innovation in TAFE NSW, and I can’t think of a better place to start.

Fire in New York

Playing even more havoc with my circadian rhythms was an exhaust fan engine blow up at the Helmsley. As the photos show, the rush of fire engines was huge, and I got to do my exercise for Thursday by climbing down 33 flights of stairs.

Met some more people – a woman from northern England, and four women in their PJ’s, from Wales. People’s exasperation was pretty unreal – one guy kept yelling at a fireman about whether the lifts would be working soon.

The lovely woman from Durram? England got her photographer son to take this photo of me – he’s good, isn’t he?

The drama was over at about 1.00, and finally got to sleep at about 6.00. Did some work this morning, and needing to re-organise the Wiki, so it is logical. Have moved hotels, and this one, which shall remain nameless, is pretty second rate, even though it costs more!

About to analyse some more resources for teaching innovation, and will post to the Wiki when I find out how much Internet access is here J.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

City University New York

Made a great discovery today - the Access information Centre for CUNY near Times Square. I had emailed the University to see if I could meet up to talk about their innovative delivery methods, but no luck. More on the Wiki from my Internet Research, and in talking with the advisor at the "drop in" centre today - it was Course Information but much, much more, with a bank of computers for students to apply immediately for whichever course they wanted.

Got some photos of inside Grand Central too, when taking the subway (and have a look at THAT integration with Times Square!!! - see the flashing lights so that it fits right in with the surroundings :-))

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Had a long walk this morning, down to Times Square, and then to Madison Square, via the Herald Square, and past the Empire State Building.

My lack of skill as a photographer is showing now: Rockefeller Centre on the left. The photos have not come out too well, so will have to go back to get some better ones :-)

The Empire State Building is shown from Madison Square park, where dogs have a special playground, and then the view from my room, to the right here.

This is the second noisiest place I've ever been - the Hong Kong youth hostel was by far the worst, sleeping as we were on top of the pumping station!!!

New York is a fantastic place - have walked for about 4 hours today, and the city is one of the most alive, dynamic, safe and friendly in the world. Speaking of safe, there is at least one police car on every corner, often more, or maybe I am ignorant of what that really means.

There is enough time to think, and put things together. Spent some time at the New York Public Library, and also a lot of time in Barnes and Noble where I bought a book on Leadership published by Harvard University Press. Surprisingly our book on Human Resource Management in Australia wasn't there :-)

Something big was happening on Park Avenue, hence this photo of one of about 10 news vans - too chicken to ask what it was about.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Making Innovation Work

Lucky I left a couple of hours to get to the other end of New York! Had a mixed good sleep - up at 3.00 am, which is strangely bed time at home, and then back to sleep for a couple of hours till 9.00.

I had good intentions to work, and work out in the gym when I awoke, but luckily decided to leave early. Caught the subway from Grand Central - wow! what a station, see photo on left - doesn't look nearly as impressive from Park Avenue outside! and walked around the Financial Center - see this photo of Wall Street the New York Stock Exchange, above left.

Next went to the World Financial Center - a beautiful new building, and in getting there, past the Twin Towers site over which there is some debate. I took some photos of the memorial wall but then saw signs to say no cameras, so won't be sharing that here.
The Making Innovation Work workshop was great - caught the subway and who should I be sitting with? The Director MTA and the Innovation and Strategy Manager! More on this on the Wiki in the morning.
Have a great view of two icons out my window, and when I get a photo, the first to guess what they are will get a prize from New York (see the next posting for one, but I gave it away!).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Innovation readings

Some great references: buy a copy of Gary Hamel's book, the Art of Management, or see the Reader's Guide here at to see the requirements for Innovation synthesised in one spot. The discussion questions are thought provoking, or maybe it's just stating the obvious? Have a read and let me know what you think.

I'll upload my preliminary analysis onto the Wiki, after the Innovation workshop tomorrow: see for more details. The Grow and Innovation pre-conference workshop sounds very practical: Making Innovation Work, tomorrow afternoon at the Financial Center Marriott.

Free wireless at the Helmsley

Hi again,

Now to settle in for a bit, so some photos from the plane:

The trip was long but met some interesting people: a woman going to the microsoft Conference in Florida, another who works for a consulting firm where all 12 people working for the company were going to Mexico for a week long conference for their global company, another woman from the UK who was meeting her brother for his 40th birthday in New York.

It's cold, but not that bad, especially when you consider how hot it is when you get inside :-).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New York

The city that never sleeps! Everybody has been asking whether I'm excited: yes, but also apprehensive. Travelling alone can open up a lot of opportunities to meet new people, with discussion and new things to do, but it is not like you're 25 still!

Thank you all for your best wishes with this tour, and I'll be updating here each day, as far as possible. New York temperatures are here, and everybody said buy a coat when you get there :-)

The World clock shows that Sydney is 16 hours in front of New York.

Aha, found my notes on the plane trip now: Evan Economy class has movies on deman. Has anybody seen Michael Clayton, the movie> food for thoguht around a number of questions: ethics, work-life balance, the impact of mental illness, loyalty, friendship.

Got to do a bit (almost exagerrated and said a lot!) of reading on the plane. Summaries and initial analysis will be available on the wiki, in the next 12 hours.

Also from the flight, a new acronym: BAG re an aisle guard who wouldn't let me in or out to stretch my legs, etc, etc! Something to remember when you're on a packed to the hilt 14 hour overnight flight: be nice to your fellow travellers.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The night before New York

Right, there's just been an explosion in Times Square in New York. Here's a link to more information so you don't have to worry: It was a very small explosion.

I have to admit to being a bit scared, becasue of all those Law and Order and SVU shows I watch!

Can I thank everybody who sent best wishes by email today and during the last few weeks - if you can comment here that would be great. Some very insightful comments especially about elearning, innovation and leadership too, which would be good to share.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Study tour: Leadership and Innovation

So what's this all about? The Premier's Scholarships for teachers allows money for you to put together a study tour, usually of five weeks, to study a particular topic. There are lots of details on the NSW DET website.

The ABN-AMRO scholarship for Business teaching requires you to study overseas (hardship huh, I hear you say!) in an area that will benefit DET staff generally.

Have a look at the Wiki I have at for the actual itinerary, version 20, but more of that later. This Blog will be used to reflect on the process and people with the study tour, rather than the content.