This blog is my personal online presence, and all ideas are my own. Opinions expressed here do not reflect those of my primary employer(s). My writing on this blog should not be mistaken for formal writing, not even refined thoughts. This is where I think through trends and possibilities. Expect to find my candid and rough draft thoughts, typos and all.
I think and write.
Writing about life, education, learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership in a connected world is one of my greatest passions. That is why I write: 150+ articles a year on this blog; books; articles for popular publications; and white papers to inform planning, policy, and practice.
I love to create, inspire and empower high-impact communities of purpose and possibility. Vice Provost of Curriculum & Academic Innovation, Chief Innovation Officer, and Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University Wisconsin. My scholarship is centered on emerging models of P-20 education, futures in education, educational entrepreneurship, missional innovation, nurturing agency and curiosity, and emerging practices in feedback & assessment.
I’m also founder and CEO of Birdhouse Learning Labs, a company that is on a quest to amplify rich, inspiring, and empowering education through products, experimentation, prototyping, and competitions.
I experiment and create.
I thrive on learning through formal and informal experimentation. If I want to learn about game-based learning, I might try to design rudmentary games and learning from them. In fact, I’m quite comfortable sharing and testing early draft experiments as rough, rudmentary, and flawed as they might be. I’ve done that with game-based learning, podcasts, social startup ideas, filmmaking, songwriting, poetry, and more. Over time, I use these to refine my skills, deepen my knowledge, and to come up with future experiments.
I agree with Buckminster Fuller when he claimed that design has a greater impact on the world than politics. Much of my design work and thinking focuses on learning experience design; educational policy design; new program development; and devising plans for new educational models, methods, frameworks or products. I value simple, elegant, and meaning-rich design.
I connect and collaborate.
I love working with people and organizations who/that embrace a spirit of social entrepreneurship.
I speak and consult.
I accept a limited number of invitations each year. I’ve worked with P-20 learning organizations, various non-profits, education startups, and other organizations with a focus on educational innovation and entrepreneurship.
I have a B.A. in history and education, a M.A. in curriculum and instruction, a Master of Liberal Studies, and a doctorate in instructional technology.
Here is the less standard response. Education is so much larger than credentials and formal study. I’m grateful for the mentoring that I received amid my formal study, but that is only a fraction of my education (or anyone else’s). I read and think. I’m constantly reviewing the emerging popular and peer-reviewed literature on a dozen topics. I have a wonderfully inspiring and informative personal learning network that extends around the globe. I have a largely ethnographic approach to learning through visiting, observation, participant observation, interviews and correspondence with those who are engaged in educational innovation and entrepreneurship. Action research, informal and formal experimentation, rapid prototyping, and short-term “life experiments” are also favorite ways to learn.
Are you available for consulting, writing and/or speaking?
I welcome inquiries. If you think that I am uniquely positioned to help with one of your goals or needs, please use the form on the contact page to reach out to me.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
- “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
- “You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.” – G.K. Chesterton
- “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James
- “I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in.” – Nicholas Meyer
- “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” – Martin Luther
- “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.” – Tim O’Brien
- “Whoever marries the spirit of the age today will find himself a widower in the next.” – Inge
- “Do you want to sell sugar-water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” – Steve Jobs
- ‘I wish it would not happen when I was alive’ said Frodo. ‘So do I’ Said Gandalf, ‘and so do all those who live in hard times. But they can’t choose what time they are born in. All we can choose is what to do with that time.“ – Lord of the Rings film script
- “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
- “In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.” - Abraham Lincoln
- ”I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.” – St. Augustine
- “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” – Bill Drayton
- “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?“ – Mordecai to Esther
- “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.” – Kurt Lewin