Working the Magic …

“Learn to Handle Data Like Hans Rosling” 

Hans Rosling PDHe doesn’t look like a rock star, does he?

If you have ever seen Hans Rosling present information, you already know why this would be a helpful article.

If you have not had this particular pleasure, prepare to dump your perception of academics as dull and plodding presenters.

Click the title above for a neat article and a link to a video that will show you what all the fuss is about.

This guy knows how to make the sweep of history and scientific processes appear to shift and morph right before our eyes.   His skill in making information visual and accessible is very impressive, to say the least.

If more teachers taught like Rosling, educators would be considered like rock stars and paid accordinglySmile.

Admiring the man’s style in the Heartland ….



It’s a Real Crime …

“Death by PowerPoint”

“PowerPoint presentations may not have actually killed anyone, but they’ve sure killed many an idea.”  says Tom Fishburne

Recently Tom Fishburne, Marketoonist posted a thoughtful and light-hearted observation about how we misuse our favorite presentation application. He likened it to a crime scene.  Click on his name to read the whole article and see the many responses.

Here’s an edited version of my thoughts about this:

Thanks for the great image. I love the idea of a crime scene, since so many presentations involve the use of deadly force through PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is only the weapon of choice, not the perpetrator of the crime. That requires a human touch.

We misuse PowerPoint just like we have misused other media in the past and will undoubtedly continue in the future.


Those of us who have a message to deliver will forget to meet the needs of their audience in their haste to share what seems so important and clear to them.

We think we are communicating because we hear what we want to hear, and not what we are actually saying.


Those of us who fear communicating in public from the “hot seat” will allow that fear to overwhelm our ability to communicate.

Reading slides is absolutely mind-numbing, but it is also safe.


Those of us who are just doing our job will take the path of least resistance, which may be the biggest sin committed by someone using PowerPoint.

Easy to use the template, download all your content to the screen, bullet-point everything, and read the slides (just in case we miss anything). After all, the pay is the same, right?

So how do YOU violate the “Law” when using PowerPoint?

Wondering how I can stay away from a life of crime with my daily use of PowerPoint in the Heartland ….


Scenes From a Company Cafeteria . . .

The Company’s Strategic Planning Process Revealed

The company president strides into the mandatory Town Hall meeting in the corporate cafeteria with a look of Determination and Positivism.

The employees in the room, acutely conscious that other employees were deemed too essential to have time for this mid-afternoon Town Hall meeting, are politely attentive and curious about what is to be announced.

 . . .  Aaannnddd “Action”!

We have a problem.  We need to Do Something.” (dramatic pause while looking around the room.  Audience has no clue how to respond.)

Therefore, I have directed that we will form a Committee.”   (Pause for applause – scattered response) Continue reading

Road Trip Redux . . .

Today is a travel day . . .

I usually enjoy long drives from one place to another.

No, not the traffic, the stiff knee, the cost of gas, or the inching along past unexpected construction in the “middle of nowhere.”   I don’t particularly care for the billboards and other signs of our commercialized society.  The food is often bland, overpriced, and pretty much what I can get at home.

. . .  However, I do so enjoy the feeling of movement and the opportunity to reflect.  When I am driving, I have only two jobs:  keep everyone safe and get to our destination reasonably close to when we are expected.

As long as I do that, my time is my own.  This is a luxury to be treasured and used.

I will have the luxury of being able to reflex on a great, if furiously paced week.  Here are some of the themes I have lined up for my drive: Continue reading