Monday, July 28, 2008

Local government 2.0?

Here is an excerpt from an interesting article from Food for thought for the democracy and civic engagement action team:

Could the idea of an electronic commons, a new civic switchboard, materially improve city governments across the U.S.? Could it also draw younger idealists into government as the baby boom professionals start to retire in droves?

That’s the hope. And there’s an even wider possibility. Governments everywhere are facing local versions of the toughest challenges of the times — energy, global warming, immigration and others. Narrowly conceived solutions born inside government hierarchies won’t do. So how about engaging citizens as co-producers of answers and ideas in the virtual world’s public square? Could we advance government itself from 1.0 to 2.0? Why not?

Brooke Bennett case

Still on the library angle, take a look at Jessamyn West's blog,, if you haven't already. She is always a great source of information on topics related to libraries and technology.

Worth reading is Jessamyn's take on the Brooke Bennett tragedy as related to social networking sites:

Libraries in a digital age

Here's the link to a recent Burlington Free Press article on libraries:

And a quote I pulled out:

Free Internet access is particularly important for low-income people, said Ken Flamm, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has studied the role of the Internet in public libraries.

Only about a third of households with incomes below $25,000 have Internet access, according to federal data.

“In a world in which Internet access is increasingly important for all sorts of things, from getting a driver’s license to preparing a homework project or looking for a job, this is becoming a vital lifeline for the least advantaged segment of the population,” Flamm said.

Will Vermont libraries close the digital divide?

According to a recent article in the BFP, Vermont libraries "boast the highest number of Internet-ready computers per capita in the country: 11.1 per 10,000 people." It sounds like our libraries are doing a great job embracing the digital age, but if you think about the potential for Vermont to conduct more and more public business online, will library computers adequately address the digital divide? Here is a link to the BFP article:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Education Action Team to Meet

A meeting date, time and place has been set for the first Education Action Team meeting.

Where: Essex Town Superintendent's Office, 58 Founders Road
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM

All are welcome. If you can not attend but would like to give your input - send me (Ellen) your top 3 ideas to

Monday, July 21, 2008

Growing Up Digital

Hello everyone,

I'm sure this will be a very worthwhile event. Please consider attending and pass it on to friends and colleagues.


Friday, September 26, 2008

sponsored by ACME Vermont

Growing Up Digital: Kids, Commercialism and New Media Culture

Bishop Booth Conference Center at Rock Point 20 Rock Point Circle Burlington, VT

Friday, Sep. 26, 2008 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Keynote Speakers:

  • Josh Golin, Campaign for Commerial Free Childhood
  • Lauren-Glenn Davitian,CCTV Center for media & Democracy
  • Workshops include:

  • Social Networks and New Media-Sheryl Rivera and Adam Kenner.
  • Packaging Girlhood-Sharon Lamb
  • Media Literacy Through Media Production-James Valastro
  • Disney and the marketing/ morphing of Child Stars-Sheryl Rivera and Adam Kenner
  • Why People Under 40 Don’t Follow the News-David Mindich, SMC Journalism Dept.
  • Blogging, Screening, and Print In-Betweening: Reinventing Journalism for the 21st Century
  • Internet Safety-Sgt. Carlson, Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • Teacher 2.0: Literacy and Learning in a Digital World-Tre Redmond and John Henson
  • Friday, July 18, 2008

    Public Square Program on e-state initiative

    The air date of the Public Square program on VPT that highlighted the May 29th conference has been moved to Thursday, August 21st at 8:00 p.m.

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Education Action Team - Interested?

    Fulfilling Our e-State Potential: Building Community in a Connected Age
    What does this statement mean to you?
    On May 29th several hundred Vermonters converged on the campus of Champlain College to discuss just what a community would look like and feel like within an actively "wired" state. From this meeting came many BIG ideas and several action groups. I volunteered to bring people together around the charge of EDUCATION. The time to begin is now.
    This group can approach this work in so many different ways. There is the actual work of educating a public as to the power and potential of using digital literacies to support, enhance and improve ongoing work across all venues. Add to this the importance of adding more uses of collaborative web 2.0 tools in our schools, businesses, and community centers. Sprinkle in the ability to capture the life work and ambitions of our community elders. Mix it up by finding ways to increase our global awareness through the use of technology.
    The problem for our group will be: Where to start?
    Are you interested? Intrigued? Confused?
    I would like to set up a preliminary planning meeting to better define our charge. Here are a couple of dates to consider...
    August 5 OR 6
    Morning 9:00-11:00
    Afternoon: 1:00-3:00 OR 3:00-5:00 OR 5:00-7:00
    We can meet here at the Superintendent's Office in Essex Town.
    Drop me an email at if either of these days would work and if there is a best time for you. I will choose a day and time when several can attend just to get the ball rolling.
    Do you have someone you think should be involved? Send me their email address and I will send an invite - or better yet bring them to the meeting with you.
    Thank you,
    Ellen A. Thompson, Ed.D.
    Director of Instruction and Information Services
    Essex Town School District

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Online Tools Training

    At this very moment, E-State Action Team leaders are logged into a webinar to learn how to use the E-State wiki and blog to support our teams.

    Monday, July 7, 2008

    Team Needs Members

    I sent out a note to the individuals who signed up for this action team at the Symposium, but we need more people to get involved. I'm going to propose at our organizational meeting later this summer/early fall that we go out on the road and talk to folks in some of the regions around the state. Having representation from different regions in the state would not only be good for the team, it could help facilitate the process for establishing the meetings. Let Karyn or I know if you want to sign on, or if you know some people I should reach out to and invite.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    Access to low cost computers focus of new business

    Equity and Access to technology is one of the key concerns that came up during the e-state symposium. Here is an article about a new business in Essex Junction that aims to help the environment and provide low cost computers to people who need them.