The Day Gary Vee Called..

I looked down at my phone and didn’t recognize the number. It was coming from New Jersey. I was about to walk into Erin Public School to deliver a presentation and because of the numerous scam robo calls that routinely called my phone, I let it go to voicemail. But the number called right back again. So I picked up;

“Is this Chris?”

“Yes it is.”

“Chris, hey, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. Listen, I’m calling to apologize to you so much, man. I’m really sorry that me or DRock (David Rock) didn’t get back to you when you were in New York City last week. I would have loved to connect with you – but we’ve been super busy. Continue reading “The Day Gary Vee Called..”

Of Gratitude and Grace..

I took my usual seat at the head of the dinner table on Christmas evening. And, as usual, everyone was there who could be there. But there were people missing, as there tends to be when time comes calling.

As I looked around the table I was swept away with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and grace. I was grateful that I was given time to spend with the people I love the most. To laugh with them and talk with them – to listen to the same stories again and again, year after year with the expected embellishments. It was within these stories, however, that we were carried back in time to the memories and the hearts, and the relationships, experiences and lives that are an important part of the past. Mostly, though, the story-teller’s past. Continue reading “Of Gratitude and Grace..”

Scavenger Hunts and Screen-Time

It was the 1996 annual Halton-wide scavenger hunt and one of our stops was at Easterbrook’s Hotdog stand in Aldershot, on the west side of Burlington. The object we had to find was an obscure menu item on the old board on the wall inside the restaurant.

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Fast forward to 2019 and what does a scavenger hunt, an 84 year-old hotdog stand, social media and screen-time have in common? Lots.

A scavenger hunt has a purpose, an end-point – the win. The team that completes all of the required tasks in the fastest time, wins the race. Its structure is an exercise in efficiency. You have to stay on task, complete each step, and find the object that allows you to begin the next step. Rinse and repeat. You don’t take “scenic routes” or get distracted, or you’re out of the competition. Continue reading “Scavenger Hunts and Screen-Time”

Conversations with a Principal

I had the opportunity recently to chat with Chris Moore, principal at Indian Creek Rd. Public School in the Lambton Kent District School Board in Chatham. Chris also moderates the Ontario Principal Council’s Twitter chat, #opcchat. I had spoken at Chris’ school a few weeks prior on the benefits of social media as they apply to student’s lives and was curious as to the openness and comfort level with technology that he and others at the school demonstrated.

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Principal Moore and myself

~ Chris used his iPhone for one week to become completely mobile within the walls and schoolyard of his school ~

What emerged from our conversation, above all else, was not only Chris’ absolute buy-in and adoption of technology but how to take what is available today regarding social apps, platforms and various messaging systems, and introduce, support and model their use to his school community. Suffice to say that students love it. Continue reading “Conversations with a Principal”

The Teacher Becomes the Student

I have the privilege every day to speak with schools, corporations, police, non-profits, church and support groups and other organizations about the tremendous practical benefits of social media in our lives today. image

My typical routine is to arrive at a venue, sign in and meet-and-greet at the school office, chat with the organizers and student tech teams, test my setup, watch as the students roll into the auditorium or gym and then launch into the presentation. Afterward, take some Q&A and answer questions with students wanting more specific tips and online ideas. Continue reading “The Teacher Becomes the Student”

Je Suis Parent

Yes, it’s true. I. Am. A. Parent. I’m also a strong advocate for the use of Social Media with our children.

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With two kids of my own, a mid-teenager son and a 20-something daughter, I’ve been through the social media gamut on all levels looking at selfies, duck-lip faces, food shots, clothing, the glorious and well-staged magazine-like vacations of friends, family and their friends, selfies and more selfies. But when all I see is someone’s persistent sense of self-importance and non-stop narcissistic content, I unfollow. Period. Continue reading “Je Suis Parent”