My Best Work This Year

IMG_1016This was another incredibly satisfying year professionally. My work with Discovery Education continues to evolve and my role as Community Engagement Manager is one where I get to work with so many wonderful people. I spoke to thousands of people in keynotes and workshops. I collaborated with colleagues on many projects and contributed to lots of content online. However this year my best work came in the form of a passion around storytelling.

A few years ago I saw a great series of videos produced for Prudential Insurance called Day One Stories. These were short videos featuring people on their first day of retirement. While that may or may not sound very interesting, they were shot beautifully and told simple but compelling stories.

I immediately considered both how a similar concept could be used within the Discovery Education Community. Having dabbled with video over the years, I relished the opportunity to create something based on these stories. The DEN (Discovery Education Network) began in 2005 so this was our tenth year. We celebrated in various ways and I was given the opportunity to celebrate by creating my own version of the Day One Stories.

Ben Grey, who … Read the rest

What About Snapchat?

Snapchat has been around for years. Educators were quick to file it under “bad social media” as people focused on the ephemeral nature of the tool and essentially thought of as a way for teenagers to share inappropriate images and videos.

I had a conversation a while back with my then 15-year-old about her use of snapchat. She was drawn to it because it enabled private conversations with her friends. I find it ironic that we’ve been telling kids to guard their digital identity and be aware of their privacy and when a tool comes along that supports this, we tell them not to use it. Weird. I get it, images can be screen grabbed and shared without permission, but even snapchat alerts you when this happened. But yes, like all tools, they can be used nefariously. My daughter continued by telling me that in the same way she and her friends talk in her room without adults they want spaces like this online. That doesn’t mean they are doing inappropriate things, but they need ways to share things without adults hovering over them.

A few years ago I found a story format called 5×5. 5 videos, 5 … Read the rest

2014: My Year in Numbers

Pretty basic stuff here. I simply copied the keynote template I used for last year, changed the data, replaced the images, tweaked a few builds, exported it to imovie, added some music, published to youtube and voila. Having all this data and doing nothing with it seems a bit pointless. Not that anything gets over analyzed but it’s another means of reflection. In addition, creating ways to visualize and add a little life to numbers is something I think we all could do a bit more with. It’s still not as polished as the original inspiration but it serves a purpose I think. (PS, Dan, I’d love you to make more of these)

As stated in the video, for the first time I created more video this year than I wrote blog posts. This continues to show the shift in the way we communicate and tell stories. As much of a fan I am of data, I still use it with caution and intent.

What data to you collect? Why? I wonder if we might want to consider using tools like infographics and videos to make our own data more appealing, interesting and potentially useful? George thinksRead the rest

2014 Year in Photos/Videos

It’s just another story caught up
In another photograph I found.
And it seems like another person lived that life A great many years ago from now,

When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life,
I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time.

Welcome to year 7 of my annual year in photos montage. In case you missed it, here are the previous renditions:

2010 (aka, the year I tried something crazy)

And while there are probably too many jumping,dog, golf and family/friend dinner photos, it’s my life and story. In some ways, very ordinary as the lyrics above state and yet I fully understand how fortunate and blessed I am to be able to travel and live the life I do. I continue to capture moments everyday as an act of mindfulness and gratitude. I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

2014 year in photos from shareski on Vimeo.

From a technical perspective, I used imovie to put it together. It’s pretty easy to put all my photos/videos as I tag them with 36514 and next year with 36515. By default, they come in with the Ken … Read the rest

An Oscar Type Moment

During any talk or presentation I give I make sure that people can reach out to me to share a story, ask a question and even challenge me. I value the ways in which we don’t need to let a one time presentation but a one time presentation.

Recently, someone shared a great story and I thought I’d pass it along here. It’s a story about gratitude, joy and storytelling, three of my favourite things

I was a PETE&C this year where you were the keynote speaker.  I just wanted to let you know that Joy still exists, at least in my school.

This is one way I used technology in my classroom.  Not a lot of teachers would voluntarily video tape their lesson and post them on YouTube. However the good news is that when Google needed an example of someone teaching a technique for a commercial they were going to air during the Oscars, they scoured the internet and found my classroom.

The following is the email I sent to my friends, and attached is the press release the school sent out.

 As I was watching the Academy Awards last night and was sitting through the long acceptance Read the rest