The 21st Century Teacher

Re-imagine the future of learning… starting today!

I’m Back Folks. Visit the “Divergent Learner” blog.

Links, Reflection July 8, 2009

Well, It’s finally done. The 21st Century Teacher Blog has served it’s purpose. But now, changing demands and shrinking free services and features have required me to relocate the blog to a commercial host, give it a much needed face-lift to match my own learning and thinking styles, and to reemerge from the ashes like a Phoenix with a new energy, purpose and name: the Divergent Learner blog.

Divergent Learner Blog

I, like many of us in the edublogosphere using Apple Macbooks, am a Divergent Learner that really shines and feels in his own when brainstorming, expanding, imagining, fantasizing, and seeing the big picture before the details. I work best in groups and collaborating. My personal learning network is one of my most cherish resources, both socially and professionally. I am visual and learn best with imagery and colors and shapes dancing around. So everything about this new blog space will reflect me and celebrate right-brain thinking, shaping and honoring.

Divergent Learner is in harmony with Dan Pink’s prediction that we need a whole new mind and that right-brainers will rule the future. The Conceptual Age calls to us. And, we must answer in creative, inspirational, participatory ways — distributed and democratic collective intelligence. But it’s not that easy: the left-brain remnants of society, business, education, politics, religion, family and beyond are still a powerful and counterproductive force that doesn’t serve us well as people, nations, students, educators, business teams, friends or family members. Shifting to the right requires patience, persistence and strength.

For now, I have only migrated by Edublog archives over to the new digs at Divergent Learner. Please update your RSS feeds and social bookmarks to redirect links from the old to the new. The Divergent Learner is back!

Frank Stonehouse Lupo
Divergent Learner

A “Spark of Inspiration” can go a long way!

Events, Reflection, talent January 20, 2009

This morning while excitedly participating in the live CNN-Facebook coverage of Obama’s Inauguration Day activities, I happened upon my Facebook friend Brandy Agerbeck, who is a talented graphic facilitator. I asked her if she was going to draw the speech to commemorate it. She said that she hadn’t thought of it at all! She grabbed her paper and pens and went to work. Great Job, Brandy! The result: Obama’s Inauguration Speech. Click link to read Brandy’s accounting of the drawing and conceptual process; and visit her online portfolio. Her incredible talent puts me at awe!

Also, if you are reading this post, I would be thrilled if you would participate in my PLN Inauguration Day Voicethread. Thanks!

Obama Inaugural Address Wordle

Reflection January 20, 2009

I made this Wordle graphic of President Obama’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 2009 .. minutes after his speech was completed. Click image to visit Flickr for larger version. Speech was crafted by 27-year-old Jon Favreau in a Starbucks. And, while I was participating in the live CNN-Facebook coverage, I prompted graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck to draw the speech, and she DID.

I have a second Wordle desgin that is more formal looking. Wordles hit magazine covers, too!

Also, if you are reading this post, I would be thrilled if you would participate in my PLN Inauguration Day Voicethread. Thanks!

Obama Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 2009

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

…Read the rest of this entry »

VoiceThread Barack Obama Inauguration – Your Thoughts

Reflection January 19, 2009

Please share your thoughts, hopes and dreams for the new Presidency and Administration before, during and after the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. –Frank

Original Voicethread (large version)

Get Connected

Links, Reflection, Tools January 16, 2009

I was looking at all some really complex charts on personal learning networks (PLNs); and was thinking how intimidating they must be for those just starting to grow a network. Sometimes simple can be more powerful. After all … All PLNs start with a single connection.

Get Connected!

Seven Things About Me (That You May Not Know)…

Other January 3, 2009

First of all, if you missed my Happy New Year 2009 video, well you can peek at it now.

In Starbucks with Wild Kids Loose

I was tagged by Nergiz Kern (aka Daffodil) my Second Life neighbor on Virtlantis Island, home of SLEnglish with Kip Yellowjacket. The task: to reveal 7 things about me that others in my PLN may not know. Most of you already know that I am Salty Saenz in Second Life and that I am creator of the Ning, Mexico English Teachers’ Alliance: META. I also blog about education and experiences in Mexico. But the following 7 things should help you to know me beyond these academic pursuits. My newest blog, Avatar Times, will be debuting soon.

Here are the rules:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.


So, here I go:

1. Career in Nuclear and Defense Programs
I am retired from the nuclear materials production programs for national defense (USA).
Most people that know me do know about my pre-retirement career. I have worked almost all of my professional life for the United States Department of Energy and the University of California … both are integral parts of the production of nuclear materials (uranium, plutonium and tritium) for the Defense Department. Having worked in these programs, I have been to all the defense production sites from the Naval Reactors sites to weapons production and surveillance to nuclear materials production … from Aiken, South Carolina, to Fernald, Ohio to Richland, Washington to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to Los Alamos, New Mexico to Livermore, California and more. Yes, I had a “Q” security clearance. For my last 10 years in the DOE family, I moved away from defense activities and worked on programs dealing with Earth and environmental sciences. So, perhaps I left a little more “green” and peaceful than I entered. I am now retired from the University of California.

2. Diversity Educator
I was born and grew up in Detroit in the 60s. The area is still somewhat racially segregated today, but not like it was then. Then, of course, there were the horrible race riots at the end of the 60s. I was 8 years old. My father was a taxi driver in Detroit during those days; and he took us through the city so that we could see history in the making. I saw with my own eyes what hatred and oppression can do. All the white people literally fled (called “white flight”) out of Detroit while it was burning and falling. Detroit has never really recovered. It is a city that burns down a little more each year on Devil’s Night. The burning and destruction and misery continue even today. I went to Fitzgerald High School exactly 1 mile from the Detroit city limit and I lived on the now famous 8 Mile (thanks to rapper Eninem), which is the city limit. One little mile from the Detroit city line and there were 0 black students in my school, although Detroit was 90% black. How was that possible? The answer is easy: discrimination and prejudice. Today when I looked up my old high school in Facebook, I was pleased to see that recent graduating classes are now racially mixed. But even so, the last time I was in the area, segregation on societal , economic and educational levels are still heavily ingrained there in 2009. Discrimination just goes a little further under the surface to do its evil. In a strange series of events, I became a diversity guru and educator in the middle- to late- 90s when HR was hot on this topic. With some colleagues, I coauthored a journal paper on diversity findings in the workplace and made recommendations to honor differences and boost productivity. That turned into a job traveling and facilitating workshops around the country for the USDOE/University of California. A lot of really screwed up things go on in workplaces, let me tell you! I was also the only Anglo-Saxon member of the UC’s Hispanic Diversity Working Group, selected by Hispanics.

3. Raised in a Foster Home
I didn’t know who my real parents were until I was 7 years old. My natural brother and I were raised in a foster home for 7 years, since 3-month’s old. During that time, we were never told the truth. Our foster parents posed as natural parents and even had our last names changed (in school records, not legally) to theirs. Life was normal for 7 years. Loving parents, tri-level suburban home, elementary school across the street, and church on the other side of the house next to ours. We were the “Stepford Children” in a way. We played in the backyard with neighbor kids, had fun with our dogs, went to church every Sunday, had dinner guests, just a normal Midwestern life in the suburbs. That soon ended the day that my brother and I were kidnapped by our biological mother (she died in 2004). Apparently, she still had legal custody all those years. She convinced our foster parents to let her take us out for the day just to go to a movie. We never returned home again. In one second, my name changed, my home changed, my family changed, my life changed, and my identity was turned upside down. I wasn’t really “me.” I learned then that EVERYTHING can change in an instant. How would your children feel if the same happened to them? My biological father and his wife, my stepmother, are super people. We have a great relationship still today. My foster mother died many years ago before I could find her and thank her for the values and foundations that she gifted me during my formative early years. I am who I am today in large part because of those 7 years; my personality, my disposition, my way of seeing things, etc. No matter how hard it was to go through that, I still have that gift with me today.

4. Animal Lover
I love animals, all animals. But I have a spiritual fondness and love for dogs (probably from my foster family). I have a sweet Corgi named “Amiga.” Many people here in Mexico find the name “Amiga” odd as they don’t use it for pets. “Amiga” is Spanish for “girl friend.” Just seemed like a natural fit to me. In the US, there are oodles of dogs named “Amigo” but for some cultural oddity you never hear “Amiga.” Well, now you have! You want to see me get upset and angry and violent (well, constructively violent)? Harm an animal in front of me and see what happens. Let me warn you. If you care for your own safety, don’t do it. I WILL respond and HAVE responded in the past. I have had dogs my entire life and even a spell with a Siamese cat that had no home. I don’t really like zoos too much; I don’t like that the animals are not free. But, hypocritically, I do go because I love to be near them. I always say, “dogs are such special people.”

5. 4-Year Music Scholarship
My younger brother played clarinet and he was a virtuoso. He drove himself to perfection. He was 1st-chair clarinet as long as I can remember: in grade school, in junior high, in high school, at Interlochen and later at Eastern Michigan University youth band. I was musical too, but somewhat in his shadow. Interestingly enough though, I went on to university on a 4-year music scholarship for saxophone and violin, both of which I played. I majored in music for 1 year then gave it up. I didn’t want to teach or compose, and I couldn’t see how I would survive in the field. I abandoned my right-brain predominance and took up boring accounting and graduated with a BS in Business Administration. Yuck! Now I had a career path and a respectable job in Management and Administration that I dutifully carried out until retirement. I betrayed my soul. But, I am still here .. and probably is the reason that I love working in education now. Working on honoring that right brain once again. Even though I played the tenor sax and the violin, they weren’t even my favorite instruments. I have always loved the oboe and the cello, and will until I die.

6. On Breathing
Please don’t refer to me as a nonsmoker. I really dislike being defined or labeled for something that I am not. It seems really stupid to me. If I am a nonsmoker, then I am also a nonsardine-eater, a nondiaper-wearer (at least for now) and on and on. I am a lot of nonthings, aren’t you too? Besides that I simply loath cigarettes and smoking of any kind. My mother died of emphysema at age 62 in 2004 and my aunt (her sister) died of lung complications at age 57 the same year. They both did a lot of damage to their bodies and loved ones with cigarettes, I’m afraid. And even though I was a Diversity Educator, I do discriminate. I do not have any close friends that smoke. I do not go to clubs. And, I hang out at Starbucks not for the coffee or music, I do so because smoking is not allowed and they DO enforce it. Incredible for Mexico, where smokers still do as they darn please. Just remember, someone may be a smoker, but I am NOT a nonsmoker.

7. Special Talents
Ok, now the weird stuff. I have some extraordinary talents that I want to come out of the closet with. Soon I will be uploading a video to YouTube of my Corgi and me singing duets. She loves to sing with her Daddy. She lets me take the lead while she does backup vocals. She is quite gifted, I am not. I never could sing, especially not at 8AM when my sight-singing teacher at college would hit a note on the piano and order me to sing number 8 on page 34. I am sorry, I can’t sing at 8PM, certainly not at 8AM when I am still asleep and my vocal cords are cold. Nonetheless, I do enjoy singing for pure pleasure with my doggie void of the pressures of academics. My other talent is that I can make the little toe on only my right foot dance. Yes, I said dance. All the other toes are perfectly still while the little one twists and turns and grooves to a beat. This must be a genetic deformation of sorts, as the only other person that I have ever seen do the same is my mother. When I have dared show anyone, they were stupefied by both the dexterity of my lil’ toe and the absurdity of it all. I have never be asked for an encore performance by anyone.

So, there you have it. Seven things or facts about me that you may not have known before (I have many more, trust me!). And now I will keep with the rules and tag the following 7 people from my Personal Learning Network: Sharon Elin, John Martin, Mindelei Wuori, Daniel Voyager, Maru del Campo, Larry Ferlazzo, & Dan Gross.


Enjoy, Frank (metaweb20 in Twitter)