1) Which of your current endeavors are you most passionate about?
Without a doubt, my greatest interest lies with developing international partnerships among K-20 Institutions, and I think that the Teaching & Learning Across the Pond program has been my greatest endeavor. When Tim Boundy first broached the idea, it took us just a couple of weeks to create the concept, design a web site and put in place a Google Doc to coordinate the connections. Originally conceived to connect upwards of six to ten schools on each side of the “Pond,” the program has exceeded expectations and now has forty-five pairs of schools. The program is about to go global with an additional 10- 15 countries joining. Now we will need to come up with a new name.
2) Who inspires you these days?
My inspirations come from many places but mostly from faculty and students who think outside the traditional teaching paradigm, and who want to be transactional and transformation in their approach to teaching and learning. I also get inspiration working with IT visionaries. Those people who understand the role of R&E networks versus the commercial Internet in supporting teaching & learning. I also get inspiration from results. Fortunately, in my position I get to see high school and college students challenged and motivated to engage in conversation and debates with students from other countries. I see 2nd and 3rd grade students becoming global citizens through talking with similarly aged students in the United Kingdom. I see middle school students learning about the birth of the universe from NASA scientists or talking to authors about their writings. I see faculty want to learn about R&E based resources and tools such as remote instrumentation involving telescopes, ROVs and electron microscopes. I get to work with faculty who put their students first and encourage them to be successful.
3) Imagine a world unconstrained by bandwidth. How would it change what you do and the people you serve?
Hopefully, we are not too far from providing unconstrained bandwidth. The cost to connect has often been a limiting factor that schools, and especially K-12 schools, are taking a hard look at. For instance, through The Quilt a school can secure 1Gb CIS for an annual cost of $9,000. The same 1Gb connection on an R&E network usually is well into $100,000 and more. That said my preference would be to find a way for R&E networks to become ubiquitous. Bandwidth is important for sure, but teaching & learning is more about providing anytime, anywhere connectivity. If it isn’t already, BYOD shortly will be commonplace on all campuses. Unless R&E networks solve the problem of ubiquity our scope will limited and we might become known as RO networks – Research Only networks.
4) How would you describe what you do?
I am always interested to know how other RONs and NRENs promote the "E" factor of R&E networks to their K-20 communities. Equally important, I would like to know what content, resources and tools are available over R&E networks that support teaching and learning.