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Thanks for the prompt!

No single thing in my last 15 years professionally has been more important than blogging.  It has changed my life, it has changed my perspective, it has changed my intellectual outlook, it has changed my emotional outlook…”            Tom Peters

After an animated discussion of changing paradigms in education, the simple YouTube clip of Seth Grodin and Tom Peters discussing blogging (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=livzJTIWlmY) got my brain burning – it was the quote from Tom Peters above that did it.  HOW, I wondered, could blogging be so significant to a man who is known world-wide for his business savvy?  What does this guru blog about?  I had to know.

You can only imagine my glee when the first post I read of his was a PERFECT fit for our earlier discussion.  It is entitled “Guru” This! (http://www.tompeters.com/dispatches/blogging/).  In this post, Tom talks about a walk he took in Miami and his observation of ‘workers’ while on the walk.  His observation was this:

“I bet 98% (literally) have pretty standard bosses who, in turn, are embedded in pretty standard hierarchies. And I further bet that the reach of most of their markets is about five blocks, and no more than the Miami border.

And so on.

(Oh dear, and 98%++ don’t even read my blog … or Tweet.)

That is, about 98% of the people I saw are pretty much unaffected by all of the “cool” stuff and “weird” stuff and “world-upside-down” stuff that about 98% of the “gurus” (me included!!) write about 98% of the time.

That is, I sometimes (right now) wonder what we “gurus” are doing to help/be of service to 98% of the working people of the world, from Miami to Chicago to, yes, beloved San Francisco and Amsterdam and Dubai?”

So here we are, twelve people in a class exploring the implications of digital media to learning.  We could become the ‘gurus’ of digital media in the learning process.  Should we ask ourselves the same question that Tom Peters did – what are we ‘gurus’ doing to help/be of service to 98% of the educational world that are unaffected by (and may not even think about the significance of) the ‘world-upside-down stuff’ that could revolutionize teaching and learning as we know it?

Thanks for the prompt, Tom!

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6 Responses to “Thanks for the prompt!”

  1. I’m not so sure I would qualify as a ‘guru’ in any world, including the digial one. 🙂

  2. Hi Joanne, I was struck by the video of Seth Godin and Tom Peters as well. Both of their comments had an impact on me. One thing that Seth Godin said was that he suggests that I blog for my own learning. I have found that blogging has contributed, even significantly, to my learning in our adult learning classes. It has helped me to step back and take perspective – a perspective that I didn’t find from other activities. For me, it’s a chance to deepen my own learning. I have not figured out what and how my own blogging my impact the world at large, just yet. It does seem that Peters found benefit for himself first – intellectually, emotionally, etc.

    There’s a quote from Magaret Mead that I have found helpful when facing some of the challenges involved in any kind of change that seems daunting.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
    — Margaret Mead, from: http://www.leadershipnow.com/changequotes.html

    If Tom Peters actually impacts 1-2% of bloggers, let’s say, which is 144 million or so, then 1, 2, 3, or 4 million isn’t such a small impact. Even if his blog impacts 5-10,000 it seems like that’s something. Well, I’m not impacting such numbers, but perhaps having a conversation with 12 is some kind of start…

  3. Enjoyed this post, thank you!

    I had briefly glanced at Peters’ post on “Gurus” but did not dial in to the key message the way you did…you helped me see that that the “workers” and the “gurus” seem to be equally unaware of each other. Thanks for the prompt…indeed! I have often felt that the big ideas on the web / blogosphere, etc. are happening in an echo chamber populated by a relatively small number of people…which really drives the point home about how all this “cool…upside down” stuff is impacting a pretty thin band of people.

    Your call to question “what are we doing” is spot on…it seems like we should live in this question all the time as we learn in this sandbox…I need to be ore cognizant of that.

  4. The first thing that came to my mind is what am I missing from those 98% of the people who aren’t contributing. I still have a really hard time, like Elizabeth, wearing the title of ‘guru’ for anything. I feel like such a child of the Universe, learning from everyone around me. I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea that I have something to teach others… Funny that I’m a trainer, no?


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