A Maine native, I graduated from Colby College in Waterville, ME with an English degree in 1978. Thanks in part to concrete, hands-on, real-world work experience as a carpenter before becoming an elementary classroom teacher in 1987, Project Based Learning (PBL) has always been my pedagogical foundation.
It also helped to have a marine biologist and a zoologist for parents - adults who made sure I had lots of outdoor, natural science experiences. And those experiences always were enhanced by a wonderful blend of explanations of what I was seeing along with questions that encouraged me to think for myself and make connections across experiences.
I was an early adopter of technology, recognizing it as a tool for making project based learning more relevant for learners in their current world. I left the classroom in 1995 as the graphical Internet was being born to work on local and then state-wide educational technology projects that were, in large part, tasked with answering the question, "So... how can educators make purposeful use of the internet?"
Beginning in 1997 my work as an independent education consultant allowed me the opportunity to introduce thousands of teachers around the world to the possibilities of educational technology and the internet. I was showing folks things they never knew were possible, helping them achieve metacluelessness. The important work, of course, was in helping folks think about how and why those capabilities might be of use in their teaching and in their student's learning, and planning for purposely effective integrations
I was a Faculty Associate of the George Lucas Educational foundation and was a contributor to the Spiral Notebook blog on Edutopia.org. I also served on the National Faculty of the Buck Institute for Education, then BIE.org, now PBLworks.org.
In 2009 I joined Apple's education team, working as a Professional Development Specialist before quickly moving into a decade-long role as an Education Development Executive.
One of the highlights of my professional work has been the opportunity to be deeply involved in the conceptualization, design, and actualization of Maine's groundbreaking 1:1 initiative, the MLTI.
Working alongside Maine's then Governor, now Senator Angus King, Dr. Seymour Papert from MIT's Media Lab, Bette Manchester, Apple, and a host of committed educators in my native Maine, I had the chance to be part of the effort that proved to the world that 1:1 computing could be implemented on a state-wide scale. This project has delivered ubiquitous access to cutting edge technology -- whether a one room schoolhouse on a Maine island or an urban middle school, or anywhere in between.
Of course the delivery of the technology is only the start -- critical, but simply a creator of potential. Of primary importance is how effectively the technology is leveraged in the classroom and across the school community, and that is where my work has always been focused.
As of September 1, 2019, after a decade to the day, I've thoughtfully stepped away from my position at Apple to return to my independent work.
Now both father and grandfather (and always an educator), I am compelled to spend my last 2 or 3 years of full time work with a singular focus on my pedagogical roots. I want to use the things learned through my unique experience set to help all K-12 students be best prepared to become the leaders our communities need going forward.
The challenges our children will face are real. Let's provide real learning experiences to help them be prepared to effectively engage with those challenges.