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Changing the world starts with us


Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

Changing The World Starts With Us

Changing the world starts with us

This video by Jay Shetty from the Huffington Post is really inspirational – take a moment to view it, pausing and noting some of the key messages (there are a lot of them!).

There are so many connections to aspects of the modern world that we need to be mindful of – not just for the betterment of education, but for the betterment of society in general. Some of the key messages I took from it include:

  • slowing down and taking time to ‘smell the roses’
  • taking time to connect with people, without interruptions or rush
  • the importance of focussing on what’s important in life

I think it is interesting to consider the paradox that the same technology that brings us close to those that are far away takes us far away from those who are close.

In it, Shetty mentions this great quote:

“We have wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers.”

~Dalai Lama

I think there are a range of very strong messages in this post which relate to the issue of Digital Citizenship – here are some that stood out for me:

  • 48% of people report they are lonelier in general…
  • Interesting that we can make it to the moon and back, but not start a conversation with a stranger across the road or train…
  • We have split the atom but not our prejudice…
  • Pause – reset – play – repeat…

Here are some questions to facilitate reflection and dialogue:

As a leader…

  1. Do you actively encourage dialogue about issues such as digital overwhelm/interruption, use of social media in the workplace and home, etc.
  2. Do you have expectations for how staff will support learners to manage themselves and their devices, or do you leave this to chance?
  3. Does your policy and procedural documentation guide people to use their devices in discerning ways – or does it just focus on safety, control and ‘proper use’? For example, is the issue of balance mentioned?
  4. Do you celebrate the great uses of social media/technology and human interactions across your organisation?
  5. Do you turn your phone/device(s) off during meetings and expect the same from others? (yes, there are times in meetings when this might not be required, such as conference posting/etc.).
  6. As a leader – do you practise the art of letting go?

As a parent/partner…

  1. Do you model to your children/friends the healthy connections [without devices] that can occur during dinner times and other social interactions?
  2. Do you model and encourage healthy connections with devices?
  3. Do you allow social media/devices to ‘get in the way of the now’… or not? What do you do to achieve this?
  4. Do you help your children use the technology in their lives in a discerning manner? Do you do this?
  5. If you use a computer a lot during your work/home life, do you monitor your physical needs and act on these accordingly? ie. do you stretch, exercise, connect without technology, switch off?

As a teacher…

  1. Do you help guide learners to understand the importance of balance when they are using devices for an increasingly larger portions of their day at school?
  2. Are you teaching learners to become discerning users of technology, or are you just teaching them to use technology?
  3. Do you require learners to be physically active, as well as active in other ways?

What do you think? If you have other questions that could prompt reflection I’d love you to contribute them by leaving a comment below…

Photo credit: Walt Stoneburner

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