Monday, March 25, 2013

3 Things I'll Do Because of TEDx Hickory

On Saturday, I attended the second annual TEDx Hickory event. The emcee for the day, Mike Hall, encouraged all TEDx Hickory attendees to do three things with the information we learned on Saturday: one that's easy to do, one that's a little more difficult or we've been putting off, and one that requires a lot of guts. I've been thinking about what those three things might be for me, and here's what I've come up with. I'm grateful to Mike for giving us this challenge, because I'm a believer in learning followed by action. At the end of each #edchat, Steven Anderson reminds participants that it's not enough just to participate in the chat. We need to go out and do something different based on what we've learned. I couldn't agree more, which is why I'm committing to these three tasks and sharing my commitment with the world.

You might not have attended TEDx Hickory, but chances are you've participated in a learning opportunity recently that's got you thinking. Don't just sit on those thoughts. Do something with them. Mike's three-task framework might work for you.

One Thing That's Easy to Do

Make people feel like they matter every day.

Tell people I'm proud of them. Thank others for the work they do that often goes unnoticed. Thanks, Mike Hall, for reminding us that heroes are folks who make other people feel like they matter.

One Thing I've Been Putting Off

Apply for a grant to get some new technology on campus.

The most difficult part of my transition from public K-12 schools to a private university setting was the change in access to technology. I've been steadily making changes by providing professional development to help faculty utilize the technology we have access to and by requesting technology purchases. (I found out over the weekend that the iPad cart and Apple TV I requested have been ordered!!) However, I know there's more I could be doing to get technology into the hands of faculty and students. Between now and summer break, I'm going to seek out grant opportunities to help me do just that.

One Thing That Requires Guts

Make something with my hands and keep it for myself.

Emily Miller's talk on Saturday reminded me how much pleasure I get from creating something original. Learning to do things with our hands can be extremely valuable and give us a sense of self-worth. Emily's talk struck a chord with me as she mentioned how gifting things we've created gives away the pleasure we could have on a daily basis by being around the thing we created. I am not a naturally crafty person, but I do a bit of scrapbooking and always give my scrapbooks away as gifts. I've also made stationery and scarves (two) to give away. Emily described how much pleasure she gets by living in a space that contains so many things she designed and created. My house contains almost nothing that I created, because I hardly make things and when I do I gift them. So one thing I want to do that requires guts (and a little selfishness) is take time to make something with my hands and keep it. This spring, my husband and I are going to start a garden. And while I'm sure we'll give away some of the fruits of our labor, we'll also keep a lot of it to feed our family. It's a very rewarding experience to eat food you've grown, so I'm looking forward to a summer full of that feeling. I'm still thinking through what other things I might create. My 5-year-old daughter is into sewing right now and knows more about it than I do, so I'd like to learn more about that myself.

I'm counting on my PLN to hold me accountable for these commitments (that's YOU). I'd love for you to leave a comment if you choose to put some things into action. If you missed TEDx Hickory, you can read the Twitter archive here and you can find tons of pictures of the event here.

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