Friday, January 13, 2017

Today's Reads, Views, and Links

Imgflip is a great resource for helping you create memes and gifs.  I've become addicted to it as it's a great way to personalize content to students AND a great way to record classroom antics.

Here are a few of my favorites I've created so far -


It's been a long time since I've done one of these. So here we go . . .

EntreLeadership Episode #168: Kelly Leonard - Reversing "No But" Thinking.

This podcast is a gold mine.  One of the big take aways is that "No But" get you no where.

How many times do we get chances to help or be part of something or to do something but we turn it down because we are too busy, lazy, afraid, tired . . . fill in your excuse.

"Kurt, would you mind helping with . . . "

"No, but thanks for asking me.  I'm just too busy right now."

That is how it usually goes for us all.

What I've tried to do differently - ever since I read Guy Kawasaki's amazing Enchantment - is to "Default to 'Yes.'"

Kawasaki says instead of automatically saying no, force yourself to say yes instead.

Talk about a game changer!

How do you think I ended up teaching a class at UND?

Thanks to Kawasaki.

When Dr. Holen initially approached me about the opportunity, it scared the hell out of me.  There were a dozen reasons why I shouldn't do it . . . I'll miss five hours out of my Tuesday night, I'll have to give up coaching, that's two hours extra on the road, that's getting a babysitter, that's extra work on my part, that's less time I can focus on getting essays graded . . .  All reasons to tell Dr. Holen, "No but thanks for thinking of me."

Instead, I defaulted to "Yes," and the experience has been life changing.

Last year, when a former student of mine nominated me for a WEM award, I knew it contained a lot of work - a series of letters of recommendations and a series of essays on my part - and it would have been much easier to say, "No thanks, but I'm glad you thought so highly of me."

Instead, I got the letters and wrote the essays and finished as a runner up.  As such, I am automatically eligible to re-apply again this year.  And that is exactly what I'm going to do.

So don't be afraid to say "Yes" to some of the opportunities that come your way.

Kelly Leonard, though, suggests taking Kawasaki's idea of "defaulting to yes" one step further.  Leonard suggest saying, "Yes, and . . ."

His thinking is that "No, but . . ." gets you nowhere.  He says that "Yes . . ." is fine, but that responding with "Yes, and . . ." is even more effective.

"Yes, I'd love to help out AND when can we get started?"

"Yes, I'd love to serve on that committee AND what do you want me to do before our first meeting?"

So the next time an opportunity arrises, don't just say "yes," instead say "yes" and offer something extra with an "and."


The world is a right and just place.  Regardless of our president-elect.


Streamlining writing.  This appeared in Edweek a few days ago and caught my eye on Twitter.  It seems like an age old argument in writing: form vs. content.  What is the balance?

Personally, I'm a voice guy.  I'll take writing that oozes personality and also has grammatical issues over perfect prose that is stiff and stale.  There's not even a question.

But there are those people in education who argue a very valid point: is voice needed in the workplace?  You can't send an inter-office email littered with errors and hope to make a good impression or even communicate effectively.

How to find a balance?  This column has some good points.


These two kids and what their poor father finds has happened downstairs is worth four minutes of your time.  I promise.  How can't you find a way to use this in class?


I'm a huge Keynote fan.  Here is a great blog post offering tips on how to create the most effective presentations using Keynote.


And I'll end this with one of my favorite scenes from the office and one of the videos that has been turned into a gif thousands of times.

This illustrates how I feel when I realize I just gave a final test and have a lit analysis due the last week and research papers due on the last day of the semester.

No comments: