Category Archives: Reflection

Why I do what I do

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it” – Simon Sinek

I discovered Simon Sinek on TED last year. In his talk on ‘Why good leaders make you feel safe’, he believes that great leaders “provide their people opportunity, education, discipline when necessary, build their self-confidence, give them the opportunity to try and fail, all so that they could achieve more than we could ever imagine.

As a leader, my style aligns very much with his belief. The staff I lead and work with are like my family. If my brother was to continue making mistakes, I would not exclude him from my family. I would keep working with him to so he improves; which in turn would benefit my whole family. Likewise, members of my team are allowed to make mistakes. My role is to facilitate reflection and then assist with strategies to prevent a repeat of previous mistakes.

This post is the sixth in a series as part of the #youredustory challenge. For more information visit their website.


What is Connected Learning and WIIFM?

After developing a nice workflow over the past few weeks in creating and responding to posts for the #youredustory challenge, it all fell apart for me last week. I made the decision to change internet\telecommunication providers which resulted in some issues with our phone line. Given they could only send a technician during business hours (when I happen to be at work!) I had to make arrangements for them to be able to get into my house to make the repairs. Juggling the repairs meant a wait and going without the internet at home for a week.

That was a long week.

Being disconnected made me realise how much of what I do both professional and personal now revolves around being online.

Being without a connection made me also made me more aware of how much ‘work’ I casually do at home. My computer rarely gets turned off. I often will sit down and clean out some emails, check twitter or facebook, read some articles someone has forwarded to me. I liked being able to ‘dip in’ when it suited me or I wanted a distraction from something else.

During that week I found myself staying back at work (where I had internet access) to catch up on these things. I was far more efficient during this time – after all, I wanted to get home.  I didn’t have time to get lost and absorbed in what I was doing.

Even simple things like the running of the household relied on internet connection – I had bills sitting on my desk at home that needed payment. How did people pay bills before internet banking? I don’t think I’ve ever paid a bill any other way. I went to go and watch something on our Apple TV and later remembered that I couldn’t do that either.

Fortunately, I still had internet on my mobile phone and iPad which kept me connected to friends and my PLN via facebook and twitter, but I was conscious of the amount of data I would be using up on my plan. And I’m still one of those people that likes to do “real work” on a computer.

So, my week of disconnection taught me how much I have come to rely on the Internet as a tool; I would now consider it an essential service like electricity or water. It made me more aware of how I like to work. It made me conscious of how much of my life now lives online.

So with my connection now restored, it’s back to work for me.

Learning in 100 words

Define learning in 100 words or less.

Initially I thought this would be easy; just think of this as a dictionary definition. Something along the lines of “the acquisition of new knowledge and skills”. That seemed to easy. A little too easy. How could something that seems so complex be summed up in just a few words?

A quick Google search came up with the following:

“the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.”

It was the end of the definition that interested me more…

  • What is meant by ‘study’? What should this look like? 
  • What makes for a ‘good’ or ‘quality’ learning experience?
  • How do we make the shift from learning something to it being learnt?

All interesting questions worthy of further exploration and discussion but given it’s the first week back at school for the year, there’s mountains of other work to be done at the moment….

I’m looking forward to reading the posts of others on the subject and perhaps revisiting this in the future.

This post is the fifth in a series as part of the #youredustory challenge. For more information visit their website.