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Transforming Education Through Two Words: You Matter. AMA
THROUGH TWO WORDS:
in Education &
Enterprise for 31
years. Founder of
Q: What role does social media play in the
classroom now? How has it changed education?
A: The role social media currently plays in
classrooms across the globe varies as greatly as the
children and the teachers who occupy these
spaces. I think teachers, like the rest of the world
are trying to not only trying to make sense of how
SM has changed our world, but also how we share
with students that it can change theirs if used in
Q: How did you get into your current role and
how have you built your own personal brand?
A: I have been sharing my personal brand (my
thoughts, ideas, dreams and plans) with the world
for over 25 years. I do that in a multitude of ways:
speaking, writing, blogging, appearances, podcasts,
interviews, live streaming.
This commitment, consistency, and resolute
conviction about what I see the world can be has
let to incredible opportunities to collaborate and
move change forward in ways I would have never
Q: What are you currently working on and
what is your next big project?
A: I am working on something epic everyday I
wake up. I try to dream audaciously and pursue
those dreams even I I know I will never see them
come to fruition in my lifetime. Right now that
involves a special project with Facebook and a few
other companies. I can't share the full details at
this point, but I promise you it will be world
Q: Could you mention which of the many
issues the education system is suffering from
nowadays is the most pressing and the one that
need immediate action?
A: Without questions or hesitation! Insignificance
is the most common ailment of modern times.
The most dangerous thing that cam happen to us
as individuals or orgaizations is the feeling that we
We have the opportunity and obligation everyday
to show people that they opposite is true; that
they are and could be needed, valued and
recognized by the world, everything would
Q: How would you suggest infusing the YOU
Matter concept into the back-offices that
ensure our schools are running efficiently?
A: That is a GREAT question!!! I love giving
Mattergrams--handwritten or digitally It seems
like such a small act, but the impact is profound.
My best ideas and strategies come from students. I
challenge you to bring a group of students and
share this mission/goal with them. They are filled
with ideas and will be your best ambassadors to
hold you accountable for making sure every
member of your community feels and knows they
Q: How important is it to spread the message
of “You Matter” and how can schools'
communication professionals help spread this
A: Mattering is as essential to our life, work and
well being as food, water shelter and air. We don't
simply want to matter; we need to know we do.
First and foremost; especially as educators we
must embrace this message with understanding
and urgency it deserves, and seek to build
mattering into our classerooms, schools and
Q: What new trends do you think will have the
most impact on learning in the years ahead?
A: I think the most disruptive force impacting
learning, life and the world is the impact and
urgency of emotion.
Emotion drives learning, Emotion drives
communication. Emotion drives every decision we
make as consumers, clients, leaders and citizens.
Claiming to take emotion seriously and actually
understanding what drives and impacts human
emotion and behavior are two different things.
Education should be leading that charge.
Q: How do you hope your work through
"You Matter" will change the learning landscape?
A: My greatest hope is that we will take these two words
as seriously as our students do.
We were created for significance, and for us to perceive
that we don’t matter - that we don’t make a difference -
is both dangerous and terrifying.
Extensive research shows that the root cause of
substance abuse, anxiety, bullying, self-harm and other
social ills - perhaps the most pervasive of which is
“disengagement” - is a feeling that we don’t matter. We
spends billions of dollars purchasing, and thousands of
hours implementing, programs designed to counter
these social ills. Yet creating a culture in which everyone
knows they matter takes a few thoughtful, intentional
minutes each day, and costs nothing.
Q: What do you think of the current state of
A: I think that public education is our greatest and
best hope for a new world; that said the people
defining public education unfortunately are not
always the ones on the front line like teachers and
school leaders. It is heartbreaking to see the
amount of politics, testing, and unnecessary
technologies and programs driving the agenda
leaving many teachers behind. When teachers are
allowed to teach not only from their hearts but
with their hearts; learning and lives change!
Q: What are the biggest changes you’re seeing
in classrooms with teachers who are using
A: Memory; specifically our memories of a time
where learning was not epic, where we had limits
and boundries, where the word impossible actually
existed. Each and everyone of us born before this
truth will wrestle everyday with the potential and
profound possibilites that technology affords us;
this is why we are so blessed to have our students.
Let them be the model of awe inspired thinking,
of audacious dreaming, and fierce wonder. With
that imbedded in these new technologies; the
future is limitless!