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Week 2 Course Advisory – The Big Idea

January 16, 2012

What’s due this week/Tuesday January 17 is creating your WordPress blog (sending me the url) and posting image(s) of your workspace. Because the theme of this course is Visualizing Your Professional Identity, sharing images of your workspace provide insights on what you value and how you work, although narrative/text is needed to help us understand what the complex images mean. The images of your work area(s) themselves may be useful down the road as ways to market your professional identity. Lee’s home audio studio, in particular, provides marketing potential.

What’s due next Monday, January 23 is relatively straight forward, so see V2 of the Visual Activities Guidelines and post your image-collection on your blog. See the power of visuals used for different purposes, and also as an instructor, I learn more about you.

Enrolled in this course and their wordpress blogs:

NEW: Jeff Burgazzoli www.jburgazzoli.wordpress.com

Sonya Ashby http://sonyaashby.wordpress.com/

Tracey Beckley  http://tjbeckley.wordpress.com/

Steve Lusher http://stevelusher.com/idt

Atsuko Ishimine http://akomaria.wordpress.com/

Lori Ogden http://logden.wordpress.com

Lee Silverman: http://leecast.wordpress.com/

JoJo Ullom http://jojoullom.wordpress.com/

Jeff Bush http://jtb823.wordpress.com/

* check to see if you allow others to comment on your postings. Check the settings on the left side of your dashboard.

Your Big Idea Last week I asked you these questions: What’s your big idea? What do you want to be known for? If you had 20 minutes what would be your message to the world? The last activity in this course is V11 producing a TED-like talk where you present your Big Idea. The topic of this week’s short video is about the Big Idea. I decided that what I should discuss is your big ideas by sharing some that I have had.

View the video I produced on Your Big Idea: (12.13)

Steven Johnson on where ideas come from (partly from coffee places, of course).

I once held a course at Zen Clay in Morgantown. A small enrollment, but the course was about thinking in the context of where we live/work. I really want to place courses in settings like this – real places with real people who connect and build on ideas. This video is more talking heads than I would like for your TED-like talk. Note how Johnson at the end brings the audience back to his big idea at the beginning. The video works because the ideas are interesting, the delivery is fluid, and it’s 18.00. Keep your’s less than 20.00.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 11:35 am

    Thanks for the example! I actually had a “big idea” in mind already, and it’s nice to see I’m in the ballpark. =)

  2. January 17, 2012 5:36 pm

    I am a believer in the Thursday idea!

  3. January 17, 2012 5:56 pm

    It’s hard for me to judge the veracity of your idea – that’s up to you to convince us.

  4. January 17, 2012 9:32 pm

    So what’s the big idea anyway? How many times did I hear that growing up? I always considered it a rather sarcastic question from the older siblings, but here I am years later answering it for real. I am the type of person who always has several ideas running through my head at any given time (day or night)- unlike my husband who swears he can sit for 5 straight minutes and not have a thought. He calls it “being in his nothing box”. How IS that done? In any case, I agree with the premise that our best ideas come from personal experiences, which is something I lived during my public speaking Dale Carnegie training several years ago. We had to prepare a series of two-minute talks on topics that were very personal (such as discuss a time you disappointed yourself), and these messages brought forth a lot of emotion. In some cases, the emotion was even surprising to the individual speaking. While I don’t have anything in the big category yet, I do have a potential topic I’m bouncing around: Contrary to popular belief, the past is a fluid concept. While previous events are finite, we are continually re-evaluating and re-interpreting them based on future experiences. I think I just thought myself into a headache (or maybe it was the ice cream). More to come…

    • January 18, 2012 8:04 am

      There’s a lot packed into this posting. I will say that emotion can be an important feature of any talk, depending on you purpose.

      I’ll introduce the Treatment discussion down the road, as a written document to help you think through audience – message – treatment.

  5. January 17, 2012 10:01 pm

    Steven Johnson just gave me an aha moment. All this time I worried I was procrastinating, and I was really just cultivating my slow hunch. I’ve had this debate with colleagues, as I often subprocess a good bit before I commit to the end product/decision.

  6. January 17, 2012 10:49 pm

    The “Big Idea” question is a tough one. I’ve always been quite a one for big plans and an evolving set of long-term goals. In the recent past however, I’ve slowed down a bit and started looking at life from a more immediate “Be Here, Now” kind of viewpoint. So the big idea is going to take me a bit. Or maybe…focusing on presence, awareness, and happiness in the moment is in fact my big idea right now. So big in fact that I didn’t even notice it?

    Also, workplace photos are up on my blog. stevelusher.com/idt

    • January 18, 2012 8:09 am

      My sister has wanted me to read Eckhart Tolle’s book: The Power of Now. The first chapter is about the need to periodically “stop thinking,” which is hard for me, as that’s how I make a living. I do that by trying to think in new ways. For example, I write short novels (4 with initial drafts of 50,000 words/120 pp) which really forces my brain to operate in new ways.

      The big idea is a relative term. Something that may appear micro may be a keen insight and receive a willing audience. For example, the Thursday idea I mentioned in the video clip is a simple idea, but HOW that occurs is the key to moving it from idea to action. Still, the need to spend conscious time with our day-to-day issues IS a big idea in itself.

  7. January 18, 2012 11:15 am

    Whew… a lot to take in! As for “my big idea”, up until now, I had no idea. The videos helped me tremendously. I tend to over think things a bit. ( I need to read the book mentioned above and learn how the “stop thinking”.) I have not settled on any one idea yet, but I now have some different “ideas” to stew on.

    I can relate to Steve Lusher’s comment, my New Year’s resolution was to “Slow Down”. I feel as though I am constantly running a race and just trying to get to the finishline. I, too, am trying to slow down and be in the present.

    • January 18, 2012 3:30 pm

      you probably have some unique ideas in teaching math, but that’s based on one coffee conversation. we need another one. i can be bribed.

  8. January 19, 2012 12:01 am

    This video helped. I think I may post a number of potential big ideas as they come to me and see what feedback comes of them. By the way Neal, you Big Idea #4 reminds me of the John Kanzius story we talked about a while back.

    John was the guy who did not have a college degree, or any medical background, and came up with the idea of attaching metallic nano-particles to cancer cells and blasting the body with harmless radio waves that would only heat and destroy the specific targeted cells.

    Radio station engineering background, and the knowledge that watches, rings, glasses, and anything metal one might generally wear needing to be removed when working on transmitter towers gave him the scope to think of it this way.

    MD Anderson, American Cancer Society, and other major groups are still progressing forward to human trials with this. If anyone is interested, check out YouTube and look for John Kanzius. There you can see his major media interviews on this, and also how he got saltwater to become combustible using his radio frequency machine. The guy who had no background in either area just may have found an uninvasive cure for cancer and alternative fuel source that we have LOTS of 🙂

    I learned of him originally due to his being my girlfriend’s uncle. Seeing him on 60 Minutes, 20/20, and other major media brought great attention to this cause.

    • January 19, 2012 3:11 pm

      Yes the Kanzium story provides an ideal case study to support my idea #4. I wish I could get to working on this idea – so much work to do – work that’s so close but so far. For me, the ultimate research question is: How to get to the real work? Not that the teaching is not important, but the deeper thinking work that I need to get to. (and a doctoral program prepares you for).

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