Category Archives for Proposal

NDPA in NOLA in 2019

Proposal to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance in 2019

Get highlights of Pittsburgh’s aquatic outreach with camps, teams, schools and facilities; plus learn our framework of events and online utilities; and finally, the NDPA audience obtains $0 cost, how-to ebooks packed with insights, outcomes and planning justifications that can be replicated and deployed in your community.

Go under-the-hood of our inter-city multi-day SKWIM events, NCAA & Masters water polo at public pools, country club visits, online quizzes with clever digital badges, lifeguard training at Saturday Swim School, and our mission with day-camps with schools and faith-based groups. We teach hundreds about water-safety and how to swim every year.

Please provide a clear statement of learning objectives. Learning objectives describe what an individual should know or be able to do at the end of a course or session that they did not know before. Please limit learning objectives to one sentence per outcome.

Upon completion of this session, participants will:

  • Participants will understand:
  • Awareness: Highlights of creative aquatic outreach programming deployed in Pittsburgh;
  • Continuing Education: Scope and depth of newly provided ebook materials;
  • A new utility widget: How the digital badges work for Levels 1 through 5 of SKWIM Certification and how to plug them into your program too;
  • Philosophical foundation: Successful engagement strategies and principles of Gamification, Sportsmanship and Teamwork at the pool.

Briefly describe the presenter’s experience teaching adults, including previous conferences and training events where he or she has presented. If this particular session has been offered before, please be sure to include when and where (e.g. US Swim School Association, NDPA Adaptive Aquatics, or other industry conferences).

Podium presentation in 2018 include Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic, Washington’s Parks & Rec Assn Meeting. A regional arts educators seminar (scheduled for October 18). This is new content for NDPA. FWIW, SKWIM play and disks have had brief and occasional appearances, such as at a special event in 2017 and in the exhibition hall.

Speaker Biography – Please provide a brief bio, in paragraph form, for website posting (50 words or less).

Coaching since 1976 with 9 years at the college level, 10,000+ swimmers have called him “Coach Mark.” He has worked for 52 ADs and 34 principals. His swimmers set state records in four states. Mark published 100+ titles for cutting-edge sports participants including the first ebook in sports in 1989. See and

WordCamp comes to Pittsburgh in September 2018, and presentation ideas have been submitted

Bio of Mark Rauterkus:

Long-time publisher of more than 100 titles since the earliest days of desk-top publishing, a community blogger with more than 15,000 posts and now with more than a dozen web sites that support a passion for sports, Pittsburgh, and literacy — Mark Rauterkus is often cheering on city kids and citizens for playing well with others.


Topic Title: Free ebooks, get them while their hot.

Topic Description:

Check out the suite of 31 free ebooks about basic WordPress topic from Flywheel. Bang!

I read them all, well, I promise I’ll read them all by the time I give this presentation. And, I’ve harvested another list of interesting ebooks to share as well from other sources, all free. Plus,there is the matter of my ebook past. I claim to have published the world’s first sports ebook, Tide Teamwork. Now I’ve got some others floating out there too. In the discussion time, we’ll huddle and talk about the blending of blogs, ebooks, WordPress and even HTML5 delivery of content.

Intended Audience: beginners

Past Speaking Experience (not necessary to apply):

Speaker at many community events and have done more than a dozen podium talks to various sized audiences. Most are about technical sports and educational topics, not on WordPress.


Topic Title: Quizzes and Digital Badges with Learn-Dash and SKWIM

Topic Description: “Blended learning” and “flipping the classroom” are hot educational topics. Coach Mark’s blending includes WordPress with swimming, water safety, water polo. Get a peek at the gamification with digital badges that support SKWIM — a game that helps to prevent the second-leading-cause of accidental death among youngsters, drowning.

Quizzes have a role in developing more confident, literate and healthy youngsters even at our inter-city swimming pools.

Experience a quiz on water safety and then get an under-the-hood tutorial on how quizzes are constructed with the WordPress plug in called Learn-Dash. Witness the range of options and outcomes. Together, we’ll cook up a Pittsburgh WordPress quiz and bestow badges to the smart participants who can master the on-line Q&A.

Intended Audience: beginners, intermediate, educators

Proposal for a Hands On Workshop for Symposium in Nashville

Submission screen

Submission made on March, 2018.


Deploy fun aquatic engagement opportunities with our open-source suite of digital badges, concept maps and game-play methods via pool + web.

Presentation Track:

Blended Learning

Type of Presentation:

Hands-On Workshop, 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The Hands-On Workshop is a 2 hour and 15 minute block intended as an interactive enrichment session for participants and allows for a longer in-depth investigation of a particular topic, tool, or practice, and provides hands-on training. Preview materials are encouraged and should be made available prior to the Symposium via the mobile application.

Session Abstract:

Please provide a description of your proposed session. This description will be posted in the program book and mobile application if your proposal is selected. The length of the abstract is limited to 500 characters. Please note that contents copied from other applications (e.g. Microsoft Word) may lose their formatting when pasting into this field. Please be sure to carefully review your abstract before submitting this proposal.

Swim & Water Polo Camp at Pittsburgh Public Schools successfully guides hundreds of inter-city, non-swimmers through a rapid progression to competent, deep-water swimming. Water-safe, competitive, game-play stresses sportsmanship, teamwork, stroke proficiency and fitness. Learn how to build a program around and beyond the pool with digital experiences that motivate hands-on tech usage, connected writing, literacy, body-awareness and Olympic behaviors.

Outcomes, need 3: 170 characters max:

Define Your Session Learning Outcomes. In keeping with the competency-based, personalized learning focus of the Symposium, please clearly list three learning outcomes that participants will be able to master and apply as a result of participating in your session. (This includes the knowledge and skills that attendees will acquire). These outcomes will be listed along with the session abstract in the program book. Session Learning Outcome 1 (170-character limit): Session Learning Outcome 2 (170-character limit): Session Learning Outcome 3 (170-character limit):

  1. Participants will be able to describe techniques that move all students to safe, aware, deep-water swimming.
  2. Participants will be able to identify and lead new, innovative games that engage a wide-range of participants, keep swimming fun and promote sportsmanship and teamwork.
  3. Participants will be able to describe effective ways to blend digital experiences with athletic / aquatic experiences to produce academic success.

Describe Presentation Interactivity:

Describe how you will deliver the session content and engage attendees throughout your session. Describe how this session will model elements of personalized learning, including quickly getting to know participants, dynamic grouping of participants, multi-modal delivery, and/or learner-driven pace or mastery (500 characters): If you would like to share a video that showcases your school or district’s personalized and/or competency based model as part of your presentation proposal, please provide the URL below. The video should show examples of personalized, competency-based models in action; focus on students, teachers, and/or education leaders; and be less than 5 minutes in length.

If logistics allow, workshop happens at a pool. Otherwise, we pretend with similar results.

(1) Huddle, circle, body flex, goal setting (1-6), equipment insights (underwater cameras, tablets, BYOD, fins, disks, headbands, boundaries).
(2) 60-min in pool: fitness, show-off-swims, capping-up, game play in 2 teams.

(3) Digital badge deployment (teamwork, sportsmanship), online course (Get Your Feet Wet), quiz peeks (SKWIM Levels 1-4), wiki lesson plans, photo/video web, connected writing (eval).

Target Audience:

Intermediate / Advanced

Grade levels:

PreK-5, 6-8, 9-12.


Mark Rauterkus of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, has coached swimming since 1976 when he started a team as a lifeguard. With 9 years at the college level, 10,000 swimmers have called him “Coach Mark.” He has worked for 52 athletic directors and 34 principals and his swimmers have set state records in four states. Mark published 100+ titles for cutting-edge sports participants including the first ebook in sports in 1989. His advocate site,, aims to Create Literate Olympians Here.


Rauterkus, an advocate for college student inclusion in city government elections

This battle was won!

We got the powers that be to change the date of the city's special election to a time when Pitt was not going to be out on spring break.

There are plenty of other concerns in terms of special elections too. It would be best to not hold them until the next slated elections -- either a primary or general election. The special elections costs are expensive in time, energy of workers at the polls, and money too.