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Browsing Posts in My Thoughts

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

Lets face it technology is not going away. It’s growing exponentially! Our kids are running around with more computing power in their pockets than NASA when they put a man on the moon. So… how important is technology in education? It’s extremely important! It is critical that we understand how we use it and more importantly how our kids are using it.

Part of our job as parents and educators is to prepare our children to function in society. Thinking back at the generation before me, the electric typewriter was the technology tool of the business world. Today, it’s the computer or more importantly the Internet. Card catalogues are quickly being replaced by Google searches. Information is instantly accessible.

The fact is that our society is moving more information online. Project TestDrive was a national research study conducted in 2008 that found 49% of students retained information when using the National Science Digital Library. Further more, the Project Tomorrow’s 2013 Speak Up Survey determined the following…

Sixty percent of students are using mobile devices for anytime research, 43 percent for educational games and 40 percent for collaboration with their peers. Thirty-three percent of students surveyed use mobile devices for reminders and alerts related to their academic lives, 24 percent for taking photos of their assignments, and 18 percent for in-class polling (Riedel, 2014).

These are incredible numbers! We can’t turn our backs on this. We must embrace a new way of learning. In fact, many higher education institutions are using online learning as an alternative to traditional classrooms. Adobe Connect, Blackboard and even WebEx are excellent tools for interactive learning. They allow people to communicate real time from anywhere in the world. Image being part of a class trip to the Amazon while sitting in your own home.

Visual learning is taking on new meaning in the Internet age., iTunes U, YouTube channels and let’s not forget about the Khan Academy (the one that started it all) are all excellent choices for delivery on learning materials.

Doing PowerPoint presentations and producing videos are a great way to learn. It empowers kids to dig a little deeper. They learn the subject matter they are reporting on. They learn about what it takes to grab someone’s attention. They learn how to use the tools to produce this type of media. All of which are extremely useful in adult life.

Riedel, C., (2014, February 3rd), 10 Major Technology Trends in Education, Retrieved on April 24, 2015 from

No matter what job you’re in, there will always be office politics. You have to know who your allies are and who will need more persuading. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact if used correctly one can foster a better relationship by playing to the distractors, understanding why they aren’t with you and compromising where possible. Additionally, knowing whom your allies are and their relationship with others can make all the difference. It’s a small world. You might not be able to reach someone but perhaps your friends can. If you are all working towards the same goal greater things can be accomplished.

This is not necessarily about keeping people in the loop. This is about knowledge transfer. You’re in the position of management. Presumably you had your fair share of bumps in the road. Share what you know. Holding all the cards yourself will often leave you in a position where you are the only one that can do the work. There are not enough hours in the day to do your job and everyone else’s. Delegate where you can. Sharing your knowledge will help share the load. It also has the added benefit of empowering those that work for you. Show your team that you trust them and they will put their trust in you.

Someone once told me… “You’ll never learn anything if you’re the one that’s always talking.” Part of being a good leader means listening to what the subject matter experts (your team) have to say. You’re paying them for what they know so just listen. You may not always have to agree with them and there will be times that you don’t. A balance needs to be made. Individuals that feel their contributions are being taken seriously will stand behind you. Try at the very least to incorporate something of what they offer into the solution. By the way, this also includes engaging in small talk. Get to know the people that are working with you. People will want to be helpful when you spend the time getting to know them.

One needs to effectively keep your team engaged. It is often necessary to properly explain what needs to be done and why. You and the team may not have to like the reasons why but if you can make them feel that what you’re doing really matters in the bigger picture you can get them to do what needs to be done. Don’t keep them in the dark… The need to know basis of management doesn’t work. People will find out. Communication works up and down the command chain. Keep your boss in the loop. Get their buy in early. It is always better than rushing to them at the last minute to saving your bacon. If it gets to that point the whole team will suffer.

It’s your team. Take the hits and share the glory. People for the most part want someone or something to follow. Whether it’s an ideal or an individual whom they believe in. People will respond much more favorably if they know you have their backs. You need to make your team feel like they are part of the bigger picture… that what they do matters. This is not always easy but find ways to engage. Part of taking responsibility is showing confidence in your team and self. Emotional Intelligence is a big part of this! Stay in control and stay calm. Think things through. Lead by example. A confident team will always outperform the less confident.

Crazy how clear that footage is!