Personal Branding, or Rebranding

I was recently reading a college oriented document about having a “personal brand,” and while it was aimed at undergraduates who may have little real-world experience to point to and may benefit from a personal message upon which to focus and highlight their lives in a concise and engaging way, I was intrigued.

I did not read this as an elevator speech, but rather as the little phrase (or tagline, subtitle, or caption) that appears at the top of most blogs. It includes interests, perhaps a value proposition, an idea of what I am passionate about, interests, and such.

I did some brainstorming, and found these common words (and threads):

  • reflective practice
  • critical thinking
  • assumptions
  • paradigms
  • teaching
  • learning
  • postmodernism
  • constructivism
  • qualitative
  • online
  • community of practice

I wonder if it is time for me to revise mine?

Currently, I am using:

Reflective practice in organizational learning, educational technology, and postmodern society.

and I have been thinking about changing it to something more along the lines of:

Challenging assumptions to promote learning and teaching

or:

Challenging assumptions to construct postmodern learning

Now, it is time for some feedback and help with this. I am oftentimes surprised by who reads my blog, and invite some feedback and thoughts here. I have been tinkering with this idea for about four weeks, and now want to decide and have something new to live with and try out. Thoughts?

Twitter in the Classroom

twitter It is nice to see some college classes making use of current technologies that are all the rage in the private sector and amongst early-adopters. It is another thing for a professor to formally integrate this by having students sign up for their own accounts.

Such is the story in the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, where a professor uses Twitter to interact with his students. Thankfully I saw this article in my newsreader on the Twitter blog. While I applaud the effort, it will be wonderful when non-technology or media faculty begin integrating these technologies into their syllabi for their educational value alone, even beyond the technical “wow” factors. This is a wonderful start, and reminds me of when I taught high school years ago and began using email with students to review for exams and work on assignments back in 1997. How times have changed.

I wish I would have tried this with my class that just ended. It would have been great to discuss current news stories, share ideas about upcoming assignments, and even debrief what was learned. This debriefing is where I believe much learning is done, yet it is the connection between what happens in the classroom and how that gets realized in life that formally gets overlooked in the race to “do the assignments.”

I would be happy to speak with any of my former students via Twitter.

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Resolutions, or Perhaps Not

Here we are at the beginning of another year. Most of us made it, and for that I am thankful. Being the season when it is common to look forward and back, I find myself thinking about what changes I want to make this year. However, do not think I will make any New Year’s Resolutions.

I know from my work in organizational and human resource development, that goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I know that a resolution to lose weight is not specific enough to be measured. It is thus not attainable (how would I know when it happens?), and thus unrealistic. Timeliness does not even fit with it when thought of in this framework. The same goes with saving money, helping the needy more, being a nicer person, and the like.

The reason why I am not making any resolutions this year? For me, there are two reasons. Firstly, it is easy to be idealistic and unrealistic when so many people are thinking about the same things. Easy to get swept up into something that sounds lofty and admirable, though won’t last when times get tough. Secondly, the goals I may set today may not be the same ones I want tomorrow. Yes, I like consistency and smooth transitions with personal growth on a regular basis. With life as complicated and wonderful and chaotic and integrated, can I really set myself something that will, with my personality, make me driven to accomplish something that may continue to develop as I do?

Yes, I want to read more, be more holistic in my learning and teaching, and take a more balanced approach to decision making. I can transform these desires into SMART goals, load them into Out