Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Appearing On Talk Radio - Need Your Help

This just gets stranger and stranger. Barring any late breaking important news (maybe Britney getting another tattoo or something?), I will be appearing on Seattle talk radio next week. (For those who are more casual readers of The Fischbowl, this is particularly strange because I live in Colorado.) It seems that a friend of the producer of The Dave Ross Show was sent an email with a link to the video that shall not be named (with apologies to J. K. Rowling). After doing a little research on the web (I imagine with three hours to fill every day, they are pretty good at doing a little research on the web), they gave me a call. After thinking about it for a night – and checking with my district to make sure this was all okay – I decided to say yes (although I may still chicken out). You can’t change the world by whispering and all that . . .

Dave Ross is an apparently popular talk radio host on KIRO in Seattle, and does commentary for CBS Radio. (He also ran for Congress in 2004, but narrowly lost.) He wants to talk to me about the Did You Know? presentation and what the ideas it contains mean for education. According to the producer, she thinks it could be fifteen to twenty minutes, but I should set aside half an hour just in case (my bet is the over/under is more like ten minutes, but we’ll see). Then after we’re done, he’ll open it up to callers (I don’t have to be on for that part, which is a good thing for my sanity).

So, why am I posting this on the blog? First, because it’s another chance to point out how the world has changed. As I’ve said many times before, if a simple little PowerPoint that I almost didn’t even show to my staff . . .yada, yada, yada – you’ve heard this part enough to know what I’m going to say. But it’s still worth repeating, if only in your head.

Second, because I’d like your help. You see, I’m just a tad bit nervous about this. The producer has assured me that this is not “gotcha” talk radio, but still – up to thirty minutes? Live? On talk radio? Yikes. As the folks in my building will tell you, I can certainly talk for thirty minutes. I’m just not sure I can talk intelligently for thirty minutes. I’m generating my own ideas of what I’d like to talk about and what points I’d like to try to make, but the producer has indicated that the host does not work off of a prepared set of questions – he pretty much wings it. This does not help my nervousness any.

So, I’d like to ask two things of the wonderful readers of The Fischbowl. First, leave a comment on this post about the one point (or two, or three, or . . .) you’d most like me to try to make about all this stuff we’ve been talking about on our blogs over the last couple of years. It probably needs to relate at least peripherally to the Did You Know? presentation, but probably just about anything we’ve been talking about will. This is the easy one - anyone can do it – and I hope you will.

The second thing I’d like to ask is a little more “out there,” but it sounds really good in my head. You see, the Dave Ross show is streamed for free on the Internet. You can tap into the stream here. You have to register – for free – with an email address and some other info, but there's not even a confirmation email (you can just login after registering). So, I’m thinking that if you are available at 11:00 am Mountain Time on Tuesday, April 17th, maybe you could listen in. But, of course, I don’t want you just to listen, but perhaps call in (877-710-5476) after I’m done to add your two cents – or possibly fix any horrible gaffes I’ve made.

But, wait, that’s not all. You see, if you’re listening while I’m actually on, maybe you could help me while I’m still talking. Skype, anyone? What better example of how Web 2.0 is changing everything, including education. Think of it - a few of you, after reading this on my blog (probably through your RSS aggregator), listen live on the Internet, then Skype me (text IM) while I’m talking (via VOIP) and give me suggestions. There’d be a few ground rules (no berating the nervous high school guy while he’s talking live on the radio), and I’m not sure how good I’ll be at multitasking like that, but I think it would be interesting to try.

So, if you’re available at that time and at all interested, I’m karlfisch (Centennial, Colorado, United States) on Skype. Please request my contact info via Skype no later than 12:00 pm Mountain Time on Monday, April 16th, to make sure I have time to add you to my contacts. Please include some info about yourself so that I know who you are. Then, if anyone actually takes me up on this crazy idea, initiate a chat session with me at about 10:45 am Mountain Time on Tuesday, April 17th (check the blog first to make sure it hasn't been canceled or postponed - I'll post if there are any changes). That way I’ll have the chat session(s) open well before my time on the air starts. Once I’m on the air, if you have something to add you “chime in” via Skype IM with very brief, helpful messages about points I might want to make. Assuming I can handle the multitasking (which is a big assumption), I’ll occasionally glance at the chat session(s) and see if there’s something I can incorporate (no promises).

So, am I completely nuts? Next question please.


  1. Congratulations! You'll do fine. Just keep a piece of paper in front of you (since you computer screen will be full of "skypesupport" windows from all over). On that paper, put the talking points that you wish he'd ask about...you won't look at it, anyway. Don't worry about having enough to say. Your passion will show through right away, and the time will fly. He's a pro at making that happen, if he's in that position in that media market.

    What should he know? That there are thousands of educators "out here" who throng to your blog, David Warlick's, and many others from these cafeteria tables: people who are concerned about making our students aware of and prepared for the world "out there" beyond their locker and car. That this world is a scary, wonderful place of a scope none of us can truly envision...but that it is the job of schools and parents and communities to help kids learn to explore that scope with skills to sift, sort, prioritize, and make meaning out of it.

    That educators are trying to make that meaning ourselves, and involving our kids in the process WITH us is key.

    That legislating this higher level of understanding through the U.S. political/education system will require continued learning by the key players: from trenches to towers.

    Best of luck. I am putting it on my calendar to "be there" as I work...

  2. Congrats on the invite. I know it will go well for you.

    Consider adding in how Bush supports being a player in the expanding global economy and preparing students for that future yet cuts the ed tech portion of the education budget.

    Mentioning how educators are using free, open source software tools to allow students to expand their experience and stretch their creative minds would also be great.

    Thank you for representing us. You'll do fine.

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  4. Ironically, I just came out of a staff development meeting where we were planning a presentation to all of our district principals about of curriculum district initiatives. One of my colleagues asked how we can begin the process of getting them to think about why these initiatives are needed if not imperative. We will be using your presentation to help with this. Clearly your presentation is impacting curriculum everywhere.

    Good Luck!

  5. I'm from Seattle and I can tell you the Dave Ross show is very far away from gotcha talk radio. It's very quasi-PBS over there. Still, I think you might blow their little minds pretty quickly with Classroom 2.0. Every time I've heard them talk about education it's been pretty small potatoes. It would be good for them to hear what's possible now with the tools we have and what the future holds for us. Maybe even mention some of the Worldwide wiki projects between countries/schools and how skype works.

  6. As above, first of all congratulations. As teachers we often tend to downplay our talents and hide from the spotlights, but that is not how change happens. As for what should be emphasized, I think "Did You Know" says alot. Do people relaize the changes that are coming (or here already)? Are most people even aware of what is happening and the results these changes will cause? A Canadian news magazine called Macleans had an article last year called "A Billion Minds Unleashed" (used to be online, it isnt anymore) that ended with the idea that if we do not make the required changes, it will be our children who will be traveliing to other nations in search of work and opportunity.

  7. Congratulations - this is awesome.

    My advice is to have written talking points, as Candance says. But although it's a cool idea, I would avoid using Skype.

    It is incredibly difficult to listen to your host, think about what to say next, and speak in complete, coherent sentences. You will hear yourself rambling and it takes intense concentration to turn off the voice in your head saying, "you aren't making sense!" --let alone try to read other people's thoughts.

    In the meantime, practice with someone out loud. Prepare for the simple questions - who are you and what do you do? How did you start this blog? When did you realize it was more than local? That's the human interest that will hook the listeners into caring about you and what you might say next.

    Try explaining each of your talking points in less than 3 short sentences. Don't write a script. Have a quick real-life example for each talking point ready. You don't want to be trying to recall some story as you are telling it.

    Don't worry if you don't "cover" everything. It's a conversation, and it may go places you haven't planned. That's when your experience and passion will carry the day.

    Last but really important. Say a few sentences and STOP. Nothing is worse on radio than long paragraphs. Your host is pro and will make you look good if you let him.

    Good luck! You'll be fine!

  8. No you are not nuts, Karl! Congratulations, and rest assured you will do well because you believe so strongly about the changes that must occur in education. I hope in addition to making that point (that change MUST occur) you will emphasize how the world is changing exponentially (It doesn't hurt to use a mathematical term when speaking on the radio).

    Sylvia made some great suggestions about how to prepare for a radio interview, except I think you should try skyping. If skyping does not seem to work, or multitasking is too difficult, then shut off the monitor!

    I am so excited that I have 4th period Tuesday unscheduled (three cheers for variable scheduling) so I will be listening, skyping, and telephoning! BTW, I agree with Scott's take on our president...

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  10. Congratulations! How exciting! You really should mention how ironic and "Did You Know"-like it is to be on his program in the first place. You and I have discussed this before, but talk about what it means to be an "expert" in Web 2.0, and what that implies for cooperative teaching and learning. We truly are all learners as teachers.
    It's on my calendar - I'm hoping to be there. Best of luck!

  11. Karl -- Yet another echo of the congratulations variety...and very well deserved! You seem surprised, but I'm not.

    Heck, I'm keynoting a conference this weekend about the 'design of school 2.0' and guess who's lil'ol'PPt will be used front and center? Yes, I'll once again be sharing your "2020 Vision" presentation with a room full of passionate decision makers in the fields of education and school design.

    What was originally a series of ideas you were sharing with local district colleagues has quickly become embraced near and far...and for good reason. You're asking great questions...and offering reasoned truths based on seeing patterns forming. What more can you ask for?

    I guess what I'm looking forward to is when students begin to create versions of "Did You Know?" and "2020 Vision" as well as more educators and supporting professionals.

    Have a ball 'out in Seattle!' -- you're going to be great! Hope to listen in if I'm free, but perhaps you can post a podcast as well for anyone who misses it the first time around (if the station doesn't do it already).


  12. Karl, I'm not at all surprised. "Did You Know" was one of the first things that I saw on the blogosphere and I still think it's beyond excellent. It conveys so many points all at the same time. Consider asking the radio show if they'll put the ppt up.

  13. Go get 'em, Karl. I've heard and seen you speak -- I'm pleased that you'll be representing education and educators on the airwaves of Seattle. I love the Skype idea, too.

  14. Congratulations
    One of the teachers I presented your PPt to this summer asked for a copy this morning.
    Maybe your host has a blog or email that we can post questions at.?
    Wouldn't it be cool to have students post questions or make comments about how school has changed for them using the new Web 2.0 technologies.

    Is there a way to save it as a podcast? I know that I am teaching-we'll see if I can use it in class that day.
    Good luck.

  15. Karl,
    Wow! Congrats in advance for what I'm sure will be a great conversation. I live in Seattle, have taught in the public schools here for 24 years. Don't worry about dead air time - ha! Dave Ross is a very quick and eloquent guy, capable of talking (engagingly) about almost anything for extended periods. He also does his homework (hi Dave!).

    One thing I would be ready for is if you get asked something really big like what would you like the world to know about web 2.0 - or what's the biggest hurdle, or what about myspace, or do computers really raise academic achievement...? aaargh

    On a local note, despite being right around the corner from Microsoft, Real Networks, and lots of other giants, this region lags far behind other parts of the world in adopting and pushing web 2.0 technologies in its schools. Don't know why, maybe it's a bit of arrogance that comes with power... I'd skype in from school, but it's prohibited. Your blog was only unblocked after repeated requests....

    Anyway, have a great time, I know you'll do well. - Mark

  16. Karl--

    Congratulations! "Break a leg," and I won't mention the "M" word that actors never say before a performance.

    Most importantly, if you simply share your passion for changes that must occur if 21st-Century learners want to be successful in our ever-changing world, you will be articulate. Passion does that, you know. When we have something to say, we find the words to say it. And if we can't find just the right words, we read Shakespeare. "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will" (Hamlet).

    Good luck!

  17. Hi Karl-
    Just wanted to wish you best of luck and say congratulations! I also wanted to thank you very much, I have learned SOOOOOOO much from your blog! I try to read it daily. I love your Did you know, and I am now addicted to Teacher Tube, which I found because of you. You are an inspiration to the aspiring Visionaries like me!

  18. Karl,

    I am from Seattle and Dave Ross is an excellent interviewer. I think you'll enjoy the experience. I'll be sure to tune in.

    Jeff Allen