How to Start Changing Culture Today

This post was last updated on July 26th, 2017 at 11:13 am

I realize how simplistic this sounds and also that many will read this and nod their head and feel like either they already do this or it’s perhaps a nice, but not a necessary component, but I can tell you that in general schools and districts generally suck at this: Gratitude.

I’ve been working for Discovery Education for 2 years and am still taken a back at the frequency and sincerity at which people say thank you. I don’t know where it’s written anywhere but it’s a company that demonstrates and values gratitude. Almost every meeting, phone call or email includes some type of thanks for someone who simply did their job. It’s never done simply as a courtesy but it’s very specific and intended to be shared with others to help us see how various team members contribute to our success. Working with people all over the continent, we often have no idea what great work people are doing and we work hard to make sure that good work gets noticed and gratitude is given. I cannot say enough about the value of this trait in the … Read the rest

Whatever Happened to Joy? or A Culture of Joy: Part 2

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:37 am

In May I was fortunate to be able to speak at TEDxWestVanEd. Some outstanding talks that I’d encourage you to peruse for yourself. If you’ve never been to a TEDx event, I highly recommend. Knowing how long it takes to craft a 15 minute talk, you know folks are giving you the good stuff.

It’s probably pretty apparent if you follow my work at all you’ll see that a theme of joy is emerging. It was the unplugged event in 2011 that clarified this for me. It’s a message that definitely resonates with many educators who devote so much of their lives to helping children, only to be told in subtle and not so subtle ways that joy is only important if tied to achievement. Baloney.

That’s essentially the the message here. As always I borrow heavily from my network. Kudos to :

Also thanks to the great support of folks that came out that day. I always feel a lot of love from the great crew from … Read the rest

I have the best job

This post was last updated on July 16th, 2016 at 09:12 am

Cross posted on The DEN blogs

The other day I was in the middle one of my regular google hangouts with my teammates and my wife happened to be home over hearing the conversation. “I hate you”, she said in jest. “All your calls include lots of laughing, lots of encouragement and a bunch of new cool things you’re doing.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Fast forward to today where I’m in Surrey, BC, a suburb of Vancouver where I’ve spent the day working in various capacities with staff and students. This morning I was able to spend an hour at Fraser Heights Secondary School where I’ve been before. Sheila Morrisette, the principal, invited me to share an hour during lunch so I had the chance to work with 25+ staff exploring the notion of creativity and how we can begin to work our creative muscle using tools like the Daily Create and PechaFlickr. Nothing earth shattering but hopefully some useful ideas for folks to add some opportunities for students to think about and do more creative things. It’s always fun to spend a … Read the rest

2012: My Year in Numbers

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:37 am

It's not like I have nothing else to do but when people ask "Where do you find the time?" it's usually not because they think what I've done is so amazing but rather so dumb or insignificant. 

Thanks for the compliment. 

I take solace in Clay Shirky's statement that "even the stupidest creative act, is still a creative act". If I've not created something in a while I feel a little stale. These web and media tools are my paintbrushes and my canvases. I love that folks like Alan Levine and others are constantly making and fiddling with stuff. They inspire me and remind me to just do it. 

So after thinking about Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report and sharing it often as a example of using data to tell storie, I decided to give it a shot. While Dan used a wack sack of tools and does a much more professional job that took him weeks to produce, I wanted to see if I could use Keynote to tell the story of my year in numbers. So after an evening of planning, data mining, Read the rest

Thanks Dan

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:36 am

While Dan Meyer is almost young enough to be my kid, he's been around these parts for a while and has provided a boat load of people with quality ideas and content. I rarely go through a presentation where I don't mention him at some point. This snippet from a conversation I had with Dan a couple years back always gets people thinking about the economics of sharing:


Searching through my blog here are the posts the mention Dan.

Today I was preparing for a short talk I'll be giving at the ISTE Leadership Symposium and had to include another nugget from Dan:

I don't have much more to add but just to say thanks Dan, if we ever cross paths in a physical space, I owe you a drink. 

P.S. I wouldn't hurt me to say thanks to more people more often.  Read the rest