Cognitive Apprenticeship

An oldie, but goodie. I often reread it to remind myself that there are multiple ways to learn and that we are often limited by own our biases.

At the Helm

I am so proud and honored to have been appointed CEO of Mobile Makers Academy. Speechless, humbled, and excited are all words that come to mind. Thankfully, I have a great team to help me articulate my thoughts:

Experts in leadership roles


” ‘In most sectors board of directors include many industry experts, and in higher education that’s not true. There are often one or two, if any, members of the boards who are higher education experts,’ said Merrill Schwartz, vice president of consulting at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. ‘It’s a lot to ask of members to understand the industry, and trustee education really is a leg up.’ “

New Push for Trustee Training by Kellie Woodhouse

We we cannot forget that education is a profession and a field unto itself. Education is no different than medicine: a field in which thousands spend their life in research, practicing, and review with the goal of improving the quality of life for all.

We must start treating it as a profession. 

Get Students to Read their Assigned Readings

Faculty Focus had a quick little blurb on getting students to do their reading assignments, outlining which standard techniques work best. 

However, one technique they’re missing: explaining what the reading will teach them and how the reading will aid them in life and/or work. Students don’t read because the assignments lacks the weight of import. Especially with adult students, something often has to get sacrificed in education or life (there are only 24 hrs in the day) – reading assignments will fall off because students often don’t buy into their importance. Help them understand the import. 

A bonus of this activity, you’ll be forced to evaluate the real importance of the reading. If it’s not full, rich, and thick with weight, pitch it. Find one that is. 

Is iTunes turning into an LMS?

Not quite, but ZOMG – coming July 8th, you’ll be able to submit homework via the iTunes Mobile App. I have loads of questions that I’m hoping to answer when I get my hands on it. More evidence that the idea of learning and education is expanding into our cultural mindset. Remember, there will always be a place for the four year institutes, but I’m thrilled that learning is becoming more of an ordinary expectation of our people. 

In case you’re interested, my questions: 

  • Why mobile? This will naturally hinder submission of some files and be an extra step for others. 
  • Who controls where the submissions go?
  • Is there a feedback loop to the students? 
  • What file types are accepted?
  • What size?
  • How intuitive is the submission process?
  • How is this woven into the iTunes system to naturally flow (aka cognitive flow)?

We all suck at things once in awhile.

A handful of close friends and I message each other whenever a business issue comes up, a pep talk is in order, or we need advice on which shoes to wear for the networking event. Today, a message came through – a mild panic that visits everyone once in awhile: “I suck at my job.” 

In honor of this event, I put forth my 7 steps to being suck-cessful, as we all have days where we feel like we have no idea what we’re doing. You must do these in order, and cannot move on to the next step until you have completed the previous. 

  1. Find something you want to do that scares the hell out of you. 
  2. Do it and suck at it. No, really. Do that thing – small and quiet if you like – and just let it drip with awfulness. The key here is to do it; don’t be paralyzed with fear of failure. Embrace the suck.
  3. Do nothing for a spell. You’ll want to fix everything about it immediately. Don’t. You need the time away from it.
  4. Listen to it. Take a deep breath; calm you inner angst, and listen to it. You will start to hear where it’s potential lives. If you don’t do this exercise, you will only see what’s wrong with it and never hear what’s possible. Without this, you will inevitably be chasing your tail: there will ALWAYS be something wrong with it. Your energy is much better spent growing something than spending your entire existence in fear and fixing a prototype.
  5. Reflect on the suckiness of Step 2. Suck is a teacher – a wise teacher, who is only as cruel as you let him be. What did you learn in step 2? List only 2 things. Keeping it focused will prevent you from falling into the vortex of “everything is awful and the world is burning.” It’s not. Stop it. Don’t let the Fear bug eat your brain. 
  6. Commit to next growth spurt. Once you know the potential and the 2 things you need to look out for, you can figure out how you want to move forward in a controlled, purposeful fashion. 
  7. Repeat, starting at step 2. 

Flowers do not start out with the blossom – don’t lead with petals, build strength with roots. And don’t forget to care for it with patience, sunshine, and wine…er…water.