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Showing posts from 2014

Professional Development: Lomilomi

On Nov. 11, I took a Lomilomi workshop with Kamaka Jingao, who is a practitioner from Hui Mauli Ola, an organization of native Hawaiian healing practitioners.

In this hands-on (literally!) workshop, Kamaka shared with us his personal journey, some thoughts about the Hawaiian cosmology and world view, and how to give a seated massage.

Two things that stuck with me particularly are the idea of connection between mind, body, and spirit--and that true health is balance between the three. Also, that lomilomi is one of the most fundamental ways to show aloha and build pilina with others.

Hui Mauli Ola offers talks with health practitioners, as well as workshops. More information can be found at

The Power of Images

At the Schools of the Future Conference I attended a session titled, “The Power of Images”. Having a background in photography, I have always been trained to notice the significance of imagery in everyday life. From billboards to magazines to posters and websites, pictures play an important role in developing a sense of emotion and delivering messages. 

During the session, Alison Beste brought up the concept of visual literacy, “the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text.”
So how to we feel when we look at imagery? Here are some prompts to consider:
-Describe what is in the photograph. -What do you like about the image? Dislike? -How does the image make you feel? -What is happening in the image? -What questions do you have? -What do you think the image is about? -What is the artist (or you) trying to say?
Now that we kn…

Schools of the Future 2014

This was the fourth year attending Schools of the Future, and I have to admit I didn't find it as fulfilling as in past years. Instead of complaining of the parts I didn't like, I will list the relevant and inspirational bits I was able to glean from the conference:
-Jane McGonigal, head advocate for gamification, shared an interesting project she did with the NYC Library System, wherein students found artifacts strewn around the library, learned more about them via QR code, and then wrote their own pieces. These pieces were then printed out and hand bound into a huge book:

I liked these ideas for our program: a f2f element, a curated scavenger hunt, students' work that creates an actual product.
-Changing your Practice with Game Dynamics: featured an interesting and inspirational real-world, problem-solving video: Yellow Boat of Hope
-In The Neuroscience of Inquiry, I learned how pathways of the brain can be retrained and remapped.
-The next day, Milton Chen has several li…

Professional Development Opportunity: Hawaiian Media Makers Conference

On Oct. 29, I attended the first annual Hawaiian Media Makers Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel, put on by Pacific Islanders in Communication. Some highlights:
-The first session I attended was about indigenous property and intellectual rights. This panel talked about the rights and responsibilities we have to original works and their creators. Music created prior to 1974 doesn't have the same rights protection as later works, and can be used widespread, without compensation (think of all the wonderful music by Aunty Genoa Keawe, or older hapa haole music). To indigenize the law, creators can work into their contracts terms that protect their rights and reflect their culture (such as requesting the ho'oponopono process, instead of arbitration and litigation). My take away, for KSDL: as intermediaries between an artist, SME, or other content creator, KSDL can indigenize their process by making sure the rights of the artists are both clear and fair, and that we receive permissio…

Hawai'i Education Leadership Summit

2014 Hawaiʻi Education Leadership Summit Top 3 Highlights

Attending my first Hawaiʻi Education Leadership Summit was an engaging and meaningful experience for me. Having time with my leadership team to discuss tactical next steps to move distance learning forward at Kamehameha Schools (KS) was productive. Here are my top 3 highlights:

Agreeing on desired outcomes and next steps for distance learning at KS. Commitment to...publicly showcasing KS distance learners' work (hō`ike + pilina + `ike) [showcasing authentic learning + building relationships + share & continually seek knowledge].  Reflecting on where we are in distance learning, but also KS as an organization based upon Steven Edwards' suggested educational models. These models affirmed that we're headed in the right direction.

Quotes that struck a chord for me."Move at the pace of the fastest." Steven Edwards"To do disruptive innovation, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a very long time." Jeff Bezos, Innovation, Turning ON inno…

Online Courses Look for a Business Model

As we think about how we can make our own Distance Learning courses sustainable and revenue generating in the future, I'd like to share this Wall Street Journal article titled "Online Courses Look for a Business Model."  Just as we find challenges with a sustainable, revenue generating and profitable online course model, so does the business sector.  The article focuses on unlocking the potential profitability of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)  by finding a successful business model(s). MOOC providers such as Udacity, Coursera and edX are still figuring out how to keep basic course access free while generating revenue. 

Some business models that are being tested include:
matching students to employerslicensing content to schoolscharging for proctored exams At this point, it is still unclear if any of these models will be successful in the long term to generate sustainable revenue and profits.  However, investors and increasingly higher education recognize MOOCs po…

DISCover Your Communication Style

Your DISC Personality Profile - Understanding & Improving Your Communication Style October 7, 2014
Cheri Matsuwaka & Alt Kagesa Since all of us at Distance Learning have taken our DiSC profile through Wiley, I was curious to find out more about DISC profile with this workshop. I found that Wiley’s Everything DiSC Workplace to be very accurate on my S style at work. I wanted to further my investigation on my DiSC profile to make the most out of my preferred communication style for both my professional and personal life.

A week before the workshop, I took another DISC profile assessment through DISCert which which was different from the assessment I took from Wiley a few months back. As it turns out, the assessment gave me a very thorough report that also features two different graphs. The first graph is known as my natural DISC graph which represents my communication style 24/7 in both home and work settings. The second graph is known as my adaptive DISC graph which represents …
***BREAKING NEWS***BREAKING NEWS***    Follow up from iNACOL Webinar introducing new Competency Framework

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Read All About It!

The beauty of the profession we are in is that we are seeing blended and online learning being built from the ground up. We are truly pioneers in this industry! As I have been researching what it takes to be a competent blended and online educator, I have come across varied theoretical frameworks, methodologies, pedagogy, and pathways.

iNACOL , international Association for K-12 Online Learning, has compiled all the research mentioned above as well as in the field experience to give us tools that outline national standards for online:
NOW,…..drum roll please…….after observing classrooms and communicating directly with practitioners in the field, they have addressed the need of identifying the skills and requirements  for a quality blended learning platform…..and have released the:

iNACOLs BLENDED Learning Teacher Competency …

A different perspective of the Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders Workshop

At first glance upon observing the room for the Donna Ching’s workshop, I saw the following: Hand written agenda with markers on about 3-4 pieces of flip chart paper from ceiling to floorMore flip chart paper posted along the front of the room with writing and pictures.Markers on the table.A notebook at my seat.
As I began to acclimate myself and settle into my environment I started to wonder: Where is the projector with the PowerPoint for this training?These tools I see around the room appear to be dated. Does she really carry all of this stuff    around with her?I love that I have a tangible notebook to reference instead of just a link to an e-book.
The workshop begins with introductions from every participant, expectations, and legitimizing! As each of us shared and discussed from the beginning of the workshop to the end, effort was made to legitimize to ensure each person felt valued. From the onset, the climate/temperature in the room was welcoming and safe.
Shortly after introduc…

My Personal Experience With Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders Workshop

When you attend Donna Ching’s Facilitative Skills for Collaborative Leaders workshop, be prepared for an intense, practical and fun filled two days session. Since Simon has done an excellent job writing about the workshop and what was covered, I will reflect on my experience going through the workshop, my two takeaways and how I will plan to use the skills I learned at KSDL.
When we arrived at the, Donna purposely covered the walls with flip charts with colorful text. There were six tables for all of us to sit in and naturally most of us in class tend sit with people we were familiar with or work with. At the table, Donna left each of us materials for us to go through during the workshop. The materials included a newly published book that Donna was very excited to share with us. The workshop promptly started at 8:30 and Donna emphasized starting on time. After her introduction, we went around and introduced ourselves with our name, affiliation and our expectations from the workshop. Do…

Artists' reflections on art & life

My very favorite quote by an artist is from Claude Monet. He says:
"I would like to paint the way a bird sings."
Monet's simple, poetic comment accurately and beautifully speaks to my own aspirations as an artist. During our KSDL meeting on Tuesday, September 16th, I will offer a short presentation that shares various artists' reflections on their art and life. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, it's my hope that you will find inspiration in their words that touches you in some meaningful way.

Challenge yourself

If you have been surfing the web you might have come across the "Ice Bucket Challenge" for ALS awareness.

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has lit social media on fire, raising both money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. About 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

List of 30 top challenges so far...

image from

So I have been thinking about the idea of a challenge.  So my Owau blog today is about challenging yourself.  Do one thing, whether it is small or large that you would not normally do and challenge yourself to do it for one day.

It can be something really small and simple, for example, you could challenge yourself to …

DIY.ORG and Duolingo

Gamification is a buzzword in education nowadays, and my blog post features two apps that I feel use elements of gamification, especially badges and "levelling up" particularly well:, and Duolingo.

This site and app offers badges for skills that people build. You pick a label--eg, Superfan, Bike Mechanic, Backend Developer--and complete small tasks that build toward the goal of earning the badge for the label. What I find useful about this site is that, unlike many online badge sites, not everything (in fact, most of the tasks) are not web-based, so that it applies to real-life or analog skills. Also, once you master a skill you can get both a virtual and a real badge:

Finally, you can design a path for others to learn skills as well. Site:


This free, iPad app helps you learn a foreign language. You can choose from Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese. Each section is grouped into four or five lessons that take about ten minutes e…

Kukulu Kaiaulu: KS Ed Tech Conference 2014

This year's KS Ed Tech Conference was a bit of a disappointment for me. It seems like the same people present every year, so while the work they are doing may be interesting and relevant, it's not necessarily new or groundbreaking. Some tools I was able to walk away with:
-Make Magazine
-Learning communities of the future: create shared value together, foster relationships and communication, own successes and setbacks, create a safe space for failure, and the role of the teacher is to facilitate student collaboration.
-Creative computing: CCOW
-Site: The Internet in Real Time
-Site: Common Sense Media

And I won a gift card!

ISTE 2014, Atlanta Georgia

ISTE 2014 was held in Atlanta Georgia from June 28-July 1 at  the Georgia World Congress Center and had over 16,000 attendees.  It was a very memorable and insightful  experience and my first time attending a conference with so many  attendees.  The theme this year was:  Connected learning.  Connected world.  After reflecting on my ISTE experience, I  gained the high level perspective that most sessions and keynotes were all  contributing to the importance of personalized learning, authentic learning  experiences and assessments to challenge students to gain the skills, mindset,  attitudes and motivation to be successful no matter what challenges they  face.  An understanding of who we are as  learners and educators and how we can excel in a changing 21st  century was evident throughout the conference.
Opening Keynote The conference started off with an opening Keynote with Ashley Judd an actress and humanitarian. Her keynote though not focused on educational technology told her v…

WiPC:E reflection

Along with other Kamehameha Schools representatives and KSDL presenters, I was privileged to attend the week-long World Indigenous People's Conference on Education in May. The event reflected the common educational goals of native peoples around the globe. It provided a place and community in which to share stories, gain insights, and discover ways in which native cultures and traditions are being integrated into the learning experience. 

I found the workshops and huaka‘i to be very thought-provoking. The challenges over time of native cultures to be recognized, respected, and to perpetuate traditions seems to be universal. The effects of colonialism was a common thread. It was fascinating to hear the different histories and how the challenges are being managed today. For me, the conference was a reaffirmation of the dignity of human life, no matter who you are or where you're from.

Horses painted on a tipi at the conference:

Staff Development: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Master Pro Techniques for Print & Web

Released on April 23, 2012, version CS6 is the 16th generation of Adobe Illustrator. Many new features were added in order to fix bugs and increase performance. When first opening the program, most obvious is the new user interface. The default workspace was redesigned from white to grayscale, with the ability to adjust for comfort for the eyes. Aside from appearance is a "buffet" of upgraded features, such as the distinct improvement to converting raster images into vector art. I frequently use the "image trace" feature to render a perfect vector image of my scanned artwork, and appreciate the ease and accuracy with which this can be accomplished.

Adobe Illustrator CS6 is my daily "workhorse" software of choice for KSDL graphics. This past fiscal year, I enrolled in an online Udemy course to become more proficient at using this powerful software. The course consists of 49 modules, to be taken at one's own pace. So far, I've completed about half of…