Joint-blogging: Introducing Jason McDonald

Joint-blogging: Introducing Jason McDonald

The world is full of interesting people. In the last week I met a fascinating Zen Buddhist master, known world-wide for helping develop something called “The Big Mind”, and a retired university professor who was on the delegation to Iraq after the war, the only one in that delegation who could speak the Iraqi dialect of Arabic (and was loved for it), and helped set up a fourth of the countries municipal/city governments.

Not the least of cool people to come into my life is Jason McDonald. Jason McDonald
I’ve known and been impressed by Jason for years — seeing him pass his PhD dissertation defense without any revisions (wow), always reading cool publications which were accepted because of the significant value they added, and I’ve just genuinely enjoyed conversations with him and his insights about life, learning, and the world.

We’ve talked about doing something together for a while, so in a recent mastermind group we talked about joint-blogging. I loved the idea of having him share some of his thoughts/questions here on this blog — and he graciously agreed to do it.

So I want to briefly introduce Jason to you, please give him a warm welcome. 🙂

Introducing Jason McDonald:

1) Jason taught the first ever course at a university (that I know of) on “Using Media for Culture Change” — he’ll be teaching it again this fall.

2) He currently works as an executive producer, which is really just a big name for getting to spend all day thinking up cool ideas for how to use powerful elements of “story” to increase the impact of media and media campaigns.

3) Two embarrassing moments of his included:
(a). “There was a time my work passed around a thank you card for someone who had just bought the office a bunch of stuff. I was just supposed to sign it, but I thought the card was for actually me.” 🙂
(b). “Or there was the time I slipped and fell into a construction ditch full of water by the side of the road. I split my pants once at work and stapled them back together until the end of the day. I guess there’s actually lots of embarrassing stories, aren’t there?” 🙂


4) Some of the questions he is most interested in exploring with his research and work are:
– How can people best discover and express the passion, joy, and wonder they feel about the world?
– How can people remain focused on the essential goals and characteristics of the endeavors they undertake?
– What is the role of narrative, conversation, and ritual in human learning?
– How can people develop organizations, practices, or lifestyles that reflect their most important values?

Do you have any questions for Jason?
If, so feel free to post them here.
If not, please make a special effort to interact with him on the posts that he will share here.

Figuiring it out…

My blog has now changed domains and changed names! This new and improved blog is intended to capture my discoveries and experiences in trying to figure out the best approaches to teaching and learning with technology in a very international 21st century.

Benefits of academic blogging

In response to one of my blog posts, Jeremy Brown gave an excellent insight into why people in academics should blog.

You should read about it at http://brownelearning.org/index.php?id=69

“In short, every “soft” science suffers from disjointed research by unconnected researchers developing microuniverses that do not interrelated. You an I have both worked on projects in the past that create new models that offer little to no benefit over existing ones, and do not discount previous models.

The key to this is to communicate. Post your thoughts on this blog, ask for feedback and other collaboration early. Expose your ideas to harsh realities, and accept criticism.”