Winner Winner- Chicken Dinner!

Recently, I had a scheduling conflict which forced me to turn down an offer to conduct an In-Service Workshop on effective communications for a school that I really wanted to visit.  The job came to me via a contact (networking) who was trying to recommend a speaker to someone in her network who asked for a referral.  Follow me?!  Let me bottom line it- seven-degrees of separation at work. Read more

“To be or not to be?” This is the question…

One thing I thoroughly enjoy about LinkedIn is the ability to observe what works with respect to networking and what doesn’t.  LinkedIn is very similar to life; people with original ideas, thoughts and comments get noticed, people seek them out and they are highly interesting.

More often than not I observe people sitting back being “Observers” or “re-posters”  and for those folks I wonder if there is as much true value in social media as we are led to believe; or worse- for the “re-posters” of the world – is social media doing more harm than good? Read more

Are “Experts” killing your business?

Here’s the thing about expertise, when we believe we are Experts- we stop learning, seeking new information, and above all else we stop listening to others.

We’ve all worked with a person who believes they are an expert in many, if not most areas related to their profession.  (Perhaps you’ve been this person at one time) Read more

Back to School

We educators are like the cobbler’s children — you know the story — even though their father made all the shoes in town, they had the most worn soles and knotted shoelaces in the village.

As educators, we often focus so intently on educating our students, that we fail to implement strong programs to educate our staff and faculty — and likely, we are individually also guilty of failing to make learning a priority.

As I was stuffing school supplies in to my son’s backpack today, I was overcome with the realization that I wished it was me that was going to start 3rd grade next week — the teacher shared that their first unit of inquiry was on “Maps” — how cool would that be to focus on studying maps?

Let’s make ourselves a “back-to-school resolution” (instead of those rapidly-forgotten New Years Resolutions!) — this year, let’s make sure we are putting energy into our own lifelong learning.  What would you like to learn next?  Comment on this post below and share how you are driving lifelong learning in your own world — and throughout your organization.


Moving So Fast… but are we Going Forward?

I heard a presentation about the future of higher education – the crux of the speaker’s assertion was that college would cease to exist the way it did in my day — you know, the dormitories, classrooms, chalk-and-talk lectures, and hushed libraries.

I don’t doubt this, although I am sad.  Not sad to see the chalk-and-talk lectures disappear, or even classrooms, for that matter, as there are so many more effective ways to create oustanding learning outcomes.  But I am sad to see the potential future that has our youth learning from their bedrooms, or kitchen tables (likely in their parents’ homes), and missing out on the incredible social education that comes along with dormitories, finals week, and football games.

Where will they learn time management?  Teamwork?  How to find their car keys? (OK, I guess I didn’t learn that in college either… but you get the idea.) Read more

WOW! Exciting Things in Education

I recently attended Pearson’s on-line learning conference, CITE, in Orlando, and was fortunate to have been included in their keynote panel on student services.  It was very exciting to hear what colleges around the US are doing to serve students and improve student outcomes in the online learning space.

What really knocked my socks off was the presentations I saw about how traditional “on ground” campuses are creating true blended learning environments that leverage technology and classroom learning formats to meet students where they learn the best.

Among the innovations was a story that Dr. Klaus Woelk, from Missouri University of Science and Technology, who shared a story about a large lecture class that was delivered through live (synchronous) online modes, as well as in the classroom.  Students in any location (classroom, or watching online), can send questions through text message systems leveraging Google, classroom clickers were used to facilitate discussion and peer-to-peer learning, and then video and internet were used as well. Read more

What’s Cookin’ at The Sparrow Group

We are very excited to have put the final touches on our innovative “Ready 4 Work” program.  This program leverages what we’ve learned through our highly successful “Portfolio Project” and the “WOW” incentive program — and creates one comprehensive, two-part program that covers every component of Career Services effectiveness.

From Admissions to Alumni Relations, the Ready 4 Work program ensures that student expectations are set properly, that they become prepared to gain employment when they graduate, and that they communicate with you after graduation. Read more

Change our Minds

We get to choose — today, more than ever — where we are going to get our news, and whom we will trust to tell us how we should feel about what’s going on around us.

Unfortunately, we’re all choosing to go only to those places that “agree with us” and our views are getting more and more extreme, and seemingly, we are getting less and less tolerant of differing opinions.

This week, choose to get your news from someone new.  Listen with an open mind, and do some research to understand how they arrived at their opinions, and then spend some time figuring out what you CAN agree with.  If we all went through this exercise every week, I suspect we’d find new views, and ultimately, new solutions to the questions that are challenging us currently.

Dare to change your mind this week.  On one thing, or maybe several.  Then, dare to respectfully help someone change theirs, too.