At 8:00 AM EST today I was keynoting the K12 Online Conference while at a beach hotel in Western Puerto Rico.

Well not exactly. At 8:00 AM I already on the road, driving back to San Juan for my flight to Chicago. But I was keynoting. This is because this online conference, the presentations are pre-recorded.

I was asked to do one for the Stories of Connections strand of the conference, so it was a no thought plan to bring back my True Stories of Connection. I’ve been asking, pestering, nagging, begging for new stories since July. And in keeping with my philosophy of looking at the partly full glass, I actually had plenty of material to work with (though more is always the problem I dream of).

These stories are already in video, so there’s not a whole lot of use in my just making a video of videos, so i aimed, as when I presenting these, to introduce the stories, and play short key segments. In doing the editing for this one, which came in at a fat 40 minutes (but includes more than 20 stories) I also pulled some quotes from each as a closing message.

Enough babble here is show:

You can find all of the new stories situated at, but just to express my appreciation, here they all are:

Two were ones not directly submitted, but ones I found. I missed a few more because… well, user error. But they are in the collection.

For what it’s worth, this was my call for stories (and the door is still open) filmed on the Mogollon Rim above my home town in Arizona, and with some nifty music made for me by David Kernohan

And then a followup plea where I stooped to using a stuffed animal as a character

I appreciate the stories so much, but have to single out one in particular by Brian Metcalfe, who so “got” what I hoped for, he played a nice gag, and just writes up his stuff so thoroughly. I am in awe of your CON, Brian.

I am pleased as a pickle to see the K12 Online Conference still motoring along. I think my first presentation for them was back in 2006 blabbing about free web tools!

Okay, the keynote is done, but that does not mean you are off the hook for sharing a story. My apple pie in the sky hope is that people who make connections during the conference, will share back a story. What would it take for that to happen?

I wish I knew, but here is the place to drop one off

Top / Featured image credit. My photo. The last of a pack of wild dogs I saw running on a beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Silly dogs. Why attribute your own photos? Silly humans. flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Alan … I stand in awe at your ability to extract the key ideas and frames from each of the “Ordinary/Amazing Stories of Connection” videos. Knowing my writing style, I envy those who can share their ideas in a succinct manner and you have indeed captured and highlighted the essence of these powerful messages about connecting. I’m sure many K12-Online Conference participants will learn much from your keynote presentation.

    Early in your video you made the following statement … “I collect shiny, little nuggets of serendipity”. This concise statement resonated with me as I thought about all the amazing things that I have discovered and learned on-line, by good fortune, as I clicked on “just one more link”. This accidental learning was reinforced again, when I visited your blog to find that you had singled out my video CONtribution. However, it was while perusing your blog that I chanced upon your previous blog post entitled “+/- memorable (my ***x talk)…”. As an educator, I was enthralled as you identified the teachers in your past who you remembered for motivating and inspiring you. As I followed your educational journey from grade to graduate school, I was curious as to what would make you “cry in a canyon”. Your new link exposed me to Mike Wesch’s powerful video entitled “Learning Worth Crying About”. You reveal that what you “really seek is to teach, and attempt some of that soul making ‘stuff’.”

    I can assure you that from my first encounter with “Cogdog’s blog”, to your mentoring through my amazing DS106 experience, to our face-to-face meeting last year in Gimli, you are indeed motivating and inspiring.

    As an educator, I believe that we influence our students in a wide variety of ways. I identify with the metaphor that we, in education, toss pebbles into a quiet pond not knowing who or how the ever-expanding ripples will influence. As an individual, who has witnessed the poignant pebbles that you have tossed our way and the nuggets that you have shared over the years, I am so thankful that you decided to pursue your passion for teaching. Not only am I blessed for making a CONnection with you, but so are so may other educators world-wide who have benefited from your CONsideration and CONtributions.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

  2. Asking and curating and then putting ideas of connections into context … this is important work. As is using stuffed animals. They rule the world … if only we would not let our childhood slip away.
    Now, off to watch …

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