Thursday, March 8, 2018

Trying Something New

So one of my favorite organizations in the world has begun a "Spring Into Blogging" challenge, and I am excited to participate. The topics are shared every 2 weeks and will run for 3 months. I think the goal is to encourage participants to build a lifestyle, rather than just participate in an event.

The first topic is Try Something New. That can feel daunting because in our busy lives who has time for something new? It's easy to fall back on familiar patterns that ask very little of us. But the down side to that is that when just keep repeating what we already know, we don't create new neural pathways, and we feel less alive.

New can be challenging, but it also makes us feel more alive. Our senses engage more fully because we have to process a lot more new information. Think about how you feel when you are in a new relationship, you visit a new place, or you step outside of your comfort zone to try something new. I love that feeling.

I have been trying to stretch myself more over the last couple of years. I think it is because I am going to turn 50 this year, and I am starting to feel the critical eye of my mortality. I've attended a couple of art classes; I've picked up the guitar; I've been learning French. All of these have felt difficult along the way, but I don't regret any of them because they have forced me to be more interested and participatory in the world.

For this challenge, though, I think I want to try new approaches to reaching and sharing with an audience. To that end, I will attempt a few different approaches and see which ones hit home.

Here is my first one:

Last year a colleague and I came up with the idea of quick, one slide idea shares. We called them our small BUTTS because we were a) inspired by Peter Sims' concept of Little Bets, b) we wanted to share things that were Bite-sized, Useful, Timely, Tech-enhanced, and Shareable, and c) we are clearly juvenile.

My wonder is whether a blog post with nothing but the single small BUTTS image will hit home as a way to share ideas via my blog. Obviously, if I embed it here, you will have no way to help me know if such a post is useful to you, so here's how you can help me:

  • Visit this post.
  • Let the small BUTTS wash over you :)
  • Let me know in the comments if it was an effective approach to sharing ideas via a blog.
Thanks for any help you can provide.



  1. Great idea, Tim! I feel small doses of tech won't make teachers feel so overcome with anxiety in needing to try a new thing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Kyle. Sometimes I think big, long posts with tons of resources underestimate the reader who is most likely to look for tech ideas. There is definitely room for both types of resources since we have to reach our learners where they are.