2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 on It’s About Learning

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

QUILT POST: 2014 themes – One body, How are you smart, Rewild [ed], Creating great learners, Slowing to change

Predicted primary themes in my blog posts in 2014:

  • interdependence
  • avoiding labels; supporting all learners to find their Element; fighting the fundamental attribution error; identifying how we are smart over how smart we are
  • rewilding school to more closely align with education and learning
  • curiosity-driven, persistently gritty, learner-centered engagement
  • slowing down to accelerate and amplify change; pedagography – making better maps of where we are and where we intend to be

Patches of a common quilt, for sure…

From a speech given in September 2005, at Thunderbird School of Global Management:

We are more than six billion people and we are suffering from complex global problems, many of them man-made. The world is one-unit, one body, but our minds still think in terms of we and they. In reality, however, there is no such thing as us and them. We are one body. So the destruction of one part is the destruction of the whole. We must make an effort to recognize that the “others” are also part of humanity, that my future depends on your future. We may find some comfort in the notion of independence, the idea that we control our destiny and can take care of ourselves, but that idea only exists in our mind. In reality, we are all interdependent.

– the Dali Lama, as quoted in Being Global: How to Think, Act, and Lead in a Transformed World, by Angel Cabrera and Gregory Unruh

– reminded me, too, of Roman 12:4


Derek Paravicini and Adam Ockelford: In the key of genius (TED talk)


George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world (TED talk)


From “Creating Great Students,” Ben Johnson, Edutopia, Dec. 23, 2013

We know (and have known for a long time) that the best all-around way to get students to learn is student-directed learning (also known as student-centered), but after all this time, we are still trying to get the teachers to quit doing so much direct instruction and engage more students with inquiry, project-based learning, and experiential learning.


From “Teachers: How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change,” Elena Aguilar, Edutopia, Dec. 11, 2013

If we slowed down, we could reflect on what we’ve been doing and what’s been working; we could ask questions, explore root causes, and we could listen to each other. And if we engaged in some of these practices, there’s a greater likelihood that we’d uncover authentic solutions, make some significant changes, feel better about our work, and deliver some sustainable results.

2012 in review – the auto-prepared annual report of It’s About Learning

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 23,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

[Note: I’ve read a few blog self-analysis, “year in review” posts from other bloggers that I follow. However, I have resisted doing the same exercise for this blog. Then, yesterday, I received an email from WordPress explaining that their “stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.” At the conclusion of the annual report was an option to make the stats public and add as a blog post. I’m just trying out this feature.]

[Note #2: Here’s the automated annual report for PLC-Facilitators: Learning is the Focus, a blog that @jgough and I maintained for our work with the PLC facilitators at The Westminster Schools.]

Assigning myself a learning challenge…CHANGEd: What If…60-60-60 #0

Last week, at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference, someone I deeply respect and admire essentially expressed to me that I blog too much. She told me that I, and a few other educational bloggers, overwhelm her with too many posts in a particular period of time. That comment has been bouncing around in my mind since that post-session conversation last week.

Ironically, for quite some time, this colleague and I have been discussing the nature of innovation, especially innovation in schools, and we agree that habits of questioning, experimenting, sharing/networking, and practicing are essential, necessary, iterative components to innovation. Among other purposes, I see my blog as a means to raise questions, experiment with ideas, practice ideation, and share/network with other educational thinkers and doers. During my brief blogging history, I have experienced periods of rapid ideation, and I have experienced periods of slump…frozen-fingers-on-the-keyboard. I imagine a frequency diagram of my blogging would be fairly sinusoidal, with some moments of high frequency and some moments of low frequency. So, maybe I do have some responsibility to monitor more carefully the idea-rich moments and my desire to share. I wonder what his responsibility is to develop a comfortable method for tracking the blogs that she likes to follow.

On another line-of-flight thought, I really like daily blogs like the 3six5 and edu180atl, but these daily collectives restrict their authors to a certain number of words in each post. And I really like the concept and practice of 50-word mini-sagas, too. Hmmm….

As I have continued to ruminate on my colleague’s comment, my love of short dailies, and my appreciation for a well-turned mini-saga, I have made myself more aware of others’ blogging practices, especially one blogger that I hope to emulate – Seth Godin. Particularly since the collegial comment last week, I have paid even more attention to the fact that Seth Godin blogs almost everyday, and he packs a lot of punch into brief, concise packages of posts.

So, in the spirit of learning out loud and learning in public, I have issued myself a learning challenge. I am going to try to synthesize a few of the contemplations summarized above, and I will attempt to do the following – I will post 60 ideas for educational change in the form of “what if” questions, I will do so for 60 days straight, and I will constrain my posts to around 60 words each (and maybe an image, an embedded TED talk, etc.).

I am thinking that I might set 60 drafts to autopost at a certain time each day. As I find a few minutes, I will enliven the template with an idea each day. Each post will start with the title, “CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 #X.” I plan to insert at the beginning of each post the logo that I designed for fun this morning. And I’ll add a new category to house just these 60 posts. More scaffolding may evolve along the way, but that’s my basic framework for now.

I imagine that I will strike out and fail miserably on a few days. I hope that I will hit a few homeruns in 60 days and 60 attempts. What I know for sure – I will learn from the experiment. I dream of helping others to learn and inspiring others to do. After the 60 days, I cannot wait to revisit with my admired and respected colleague – we’ll have so much to talk about.

See you tomorrow for “CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 #1.” It’s already in the hopper!