Embarking on teaching a nine credit seminar

This is an opening post to a series of daily posts reflecting on my learning as an instructor. This summer, I am teaching an intensive 9 credit hour seminar in 6 weeks on the topics of educational technology, educational leadership, and educational research.

Why do you teach?

I teach to learn. I learn to teach. In some ways, teaching and learning are as natural as breathing. It is essential. It is always happening. Most of the time we aren’t aware that it is happening or appreciative of its importance. I want to study and practice teaching and learning so that I can better understand healthy approaches to it for improving learning experience design.

What’s your next gig?

Next week begins a six week adventure of teaching a nine credit seminar course. This is a mosaic of three courses within the Masters of Arts in Educational Technology program in the College of Education at Michigan State University. It combines courses in educational technology, educational leadership, and educational research. I am excited and nervous.

What are you most excited about?

What I love most about this intensive seminar is it’s convergence within the larger overarching TPACK framework. TPACK has been a cornerstone of the program since it’s inception. It stands for the contextual relationships between three domains of knowledge: technical knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge. As you can see, these three domains match up nicely to the focus of each of the courses in the seminar. In the same way TPACK has a sweet spot in the overlapping circles, this seminar affords a unique advantage of having all three courses interweaved into one common experience.

What makes you nervous?

This high intensity seminar makes me nervous because of all the planning happening in such rapid succession. What helps a great deal is that arrangements have been made for my full-time appointment so that I can focus exclusively on this course for a time. I love where I work and the supportive community that surrounds me each day.

What are you hoping to learn?

This summer, I would like to do a daily recap and reflection on this experience as one of the co-facilitators. It is important that I do this as it is a meaningful learning experience for myself as an educator. Doing so will allow me to have robust notes to remember the things that worked well and the things that can be improved.

What are you hoping educators gain from the seminar?

I would hope that they would remember that good leadership boldly builds on evidence-based practices while simultaneously maintaining humble postures of learning. These practices and mindsets must drive all technical and innovative decisions if there is any chance of them being successful. If the technology alone is expected to lead these conversations, we will inevitably fail. Let the learning commence!

Reflections on “Measuring what makes life worthwhile” TED talk by Chip Conley

Recently, I watched this Measuring what makes life worthwhile TED Talk by Chip Conley for the second time.

Recently, I watched this TED Talk by Chip Conley for the second time. It was just that good.

In the talk, Conley challenges leaders to move beyond measuring for a 19th and 20th century industrial model for success which he suggests is being done with typical business metrics as well as larger GDP measurements.

Instead, he urges world leaders and business leaders alike to focus on a whole new happiness index derived from Buddhist philosophies. He supports this recommendation by providing a personal narrative that demonstrated the value of quantifying more meaningfully insightful data based on Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs for his Joie De Vivre company.

Although Conley is honest about how these measurements are comparatively elusive to gauge, the results are compelling for the loyalty his researched practices generated from both his employees and clients alike.


Conley, C. (2010, June 21). Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile.YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UROCz70tlMY

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-396. doi: 10.1037/h0054346

There is plenty of pie for everyone.


The human capacity to lust for power, growth, and influence is notable.

What is even more notable, though, are those who overcome these natural urges and submit to a power and influence beyond their control.

Ironically, those who do this become far more influential than those who push and shove for only a sliver of this pie.