My Day on CBC Radio: The Journey

I am a HUGE fan of Spark. For many years, each Sunday during my long run, the latest “Spark” podcast continues to keep my mind off the pain of running.  In fact, I associate some of the things I have learned on Spark with specific geographical locations. One afternoon, I dragged myself out for a […]

First Attempt In Learning – FAIL

One of the major “take-aways” from this year’s ECOO Conference  (#ECOO12) was the idea of needing an environment to “tinker” (John Seely Brown) where mistakes and false starts are just a learning pathway.  “FAIL” is really just “First Attempts in Learning”. We talk a lot about creating a culture of support for children/students, where risk-taking […]

Share the Road

Learning is messy.  Learning is not linear.  Learning happens everywhere. Jackie Gerstein has shared her ideas on deep learning here,  and this quick video captures the flavour of how unpredictable learning can be: Learning is Messy from James Michie on Vimeo. “Learning is about ideas.  Learning is about sharing.  Learning is about connections.” It is […]

Everybody Needs a Rock*

I collect rocks. Not on purpose. I don’t go looking for them.  But when I bend to look more closely, inevitably they end up in my pocket, or in my car. Hunting for a specific rock is a completely different experience. It’s almost stressful. For Unplug’d 2012, I needed a rock that was easy to […]

For Learning or Credit?

While working this week, I had CBC Radio One on in the background and I was thrilled to hear George Siemens being interviewed on Ontario Today (recording here) about MOOCs. As a participant in the #Change11 MOOC  (see the schedule here), I was very interested to hear what George had to say.  It is difficult to […]

Bring Yourself to Your Classroom

Back when I was involved with the Ministry of Natural Resources Critical Incident Stress Peer Support Team, I was fortunate to spend time with Dr. Martin Rappeport.  At the time, he gave me some career changing advice about teaching.  He told me to stop trying to be so many different things in the classroom, and […]

Want More Pleasure? Study More!

How do you get more pleasure in your life? According to cognitive psychologist Paul Bloom, the answer is to study more (I don’t think even Dan Pink came up with this one as a motivator!). Seriously, to appreciate and truly derive pleasure from so many things in life, you need to understand them, says Bloom […]

So Much Learning

As anxious as I am to get on my flight back to the northern shore of Lake Superior, I am happy to have a few minutes in the airport (and some free plug-ins to power up my well-used MacBook) to try to document the amazing learning I have experienced over the last few days. On […]

Take Care

“The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ”  ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture For many years, I was an online secondary school teacher. At one point, I was teaching 130 students 8 different courses – and I was writing some of […]


“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” I can see it as clearly as if it were yesterday – the poster on the bulletin board of my Grade 13 Physics class. It was a joke, of course.  My physics teacher had – still has –  a great sense of humour. But it makes me ask […]