Do What you Love!

At the 2012 ISTE conference, the concept of “Passion” was prevalent. Kids should work on something they’re passionate about, as it leads to self-directed learning, and those 21st century skills.

I was thrilled to see this article in the StarTribune, “Stop being average and start being extraordinary.” It’s a conversation with Phil Cooke, who wrote, “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do.” Basically, he says to find the things you love to do, and quit spending time doing things because you think you’re supposed to do it.

His example is to think about what you enjoyed doing when you were 10. While you might be able to make a living doing exactly that, you should be able to find something from that.

It makes me think about my kids and their friends. Some of them work so hard on things that they don’t like, but the whole college admissions thing makes them think they have to do so. Do they really need all those AP classes? Don’t get me wrong, that is exactly what some kids love to do, so they should. But not all kids.

My daughter is currently making some decisions about classes: stay in the AP classes, how much math/science to take, etc. While I won’t make a decision based on one article, this article would seem to support not doing that, and instead spending time on what feeds her passion: music, artc, creativity, etc. I’d be ok with that.

Here are his points for doing what you love:

  • Stop focusing on your flaws.
  • Don’t let others tell you what you should do.
  • Embrace change.
  • Don’t burn bridges.

Then there certainly are some adults I know who should also think about this!

Reading

Interesting article in the StarTribune about teens’ reading habits, “Young Adults Reading on the Go.”

We always hear that kids don’t read anymore, so I was intrigued to see this article. I disagree that kids don’t read – they just don’t read the way I read when I was a kid. They read texts, blogs, Tumbler, Facebook, more.

Kids are also writing all the time — the same as above: texting, blogs, Facebook, etc. They even write papers on their phones!

Using the Tool

I’m reading the digital version of a monthly education technology publication. As I’m turning “pages” that are basically the print magazine design, just online, I wonder when, finally, these publications will produce content delivery designs that are built for the technology, rather than just print pieces put online. I’m hoping these tech publications, of all things, will lead the way!

It reminds me of the early days of the web when all people wanted to post was their print brochure. We worked hard to get people to understand that content could -and should – be different online. You write differently, you structure the content differently, you choose different words and visuals. Content should be designed from the very beginning for digital delivery, not transforming content written for and designed to be delivered in print.

I’m reading the magazine in iBooks on an iPad. It’s not a bad reading experience, but is constrained, limited. It’s linear, even more so than a print piece. I have to zoom in on most of the pages because to fit both pages in a spread on the iPad, the text is a little small for my late-40s eyes. I started reading the magazine in a browser. Again, not a horrible experience, but far, far from ideal. I know I wouldn’t read the whole thing is I had to read it in that long, linear fashion.

What would a digital native “magazine” look like? I’m not sure, but can see some possibilities. Flipboard, for example, gives some ideas of what a digital native publication could be. Let me choose the articles I not to read without making me scroll. Don’t present two spread pages. Take advantage of the medium: embed video, use more visuals in slideshows, open links in separate windows. Let me share a single article on Twitter or Facebook.

Seth Godin = Awesome

Take 15 minutes out of your day to watch Seth Godin at a recent TEDx talk. He’s inspirational. He makes sense. He has great points. Watch it:

Here are a couple of quotes:

“Open Book. Open Note. All the time. There is zero value in memorizing anything ever again. Anything worth memorizing is worth looking up. So we shouldn’t spend any time teaching people to memorize stuff.”

“Measure experience instead of test scores.”

“No more multiple choice exams. Those were invented to make them easier to score. Computers are smarter than that now.”

“Cooperation instead of isolation. Why do we do anything when we ask them to do it all by themselves, then we put them in the real work and ask them to cooperate.”