“Real” Teaching… What is a Good Life?

ALTERNATE TITLE: How do we Effectively “Teach” Self-care, Empathy and International Mindedness? [FREE BOOK FOR 5 DAYS]

One of the perennial discussions in education is defining the foundational purpose behind what we do.

Are we preparing children for functioning in our human world or, perhaps more altruistically, helping them live their best lives in their own unique ways?

I’ve answered the question, for myself, on one way to support the latter proposition. I have done so first and foremost as a parent by taking responsibility for documenting a path for my daughter; a sort of illustrated trail of breadcrumbs if you will. It was a labour of love on my part. For readers, dare I say, fellow travelers, it involves taking personal responsibility for:

  • questioning
  • adjusting behavior
  • committing to self-care
  • developing empathy, and
  • applying consistency and resilience in developing character and understanding, first hand, the human world and our place in it

It all starts with a simple question. What do you know about life?

Not so much what opinions do you have but how much time have you spent contemplating the big questions and considering what the greatest minds have had to say on the subject throughout history? What is your “philosophy of life” and on what do you base it?

Have you one?

Whether you are teaching TOK, Values, Elementary or your own child, much of what we “teach” is through example, intentionally or not. With a subject as big as this it permeates who we actually are and how we engage with life. Are we ready to address these questions and help build a better future if we remain bogged down in the day-to-day and nothing else?

Many of us are sleepwalking through life.

It’s not our fault.

It’s all our fault.

No one taught us that living is an action so few of us have ever considered the art of the thing. It’s not really a topic in school. Our friends aren’t doing it. Our families were raised the same way.

Lucky for us, however, throughout history some exceptional humans have left clues. We need to live intentionally before it’s too late. We need a different path. In discovering the threads and insights across cultures over centuries, we not only gain a better sense of human reality but the fact that it is the same whenever, or wherever we are.

We all wish to impart the best to those in our care. This is why I have written this book based on my own decades of investigation and contemplation. It is here to share the first love of my life with my daughter, my search for meaning.

This is your invitation to join us.

You won’t find a more comprehensive overview of the history of thought on this topic laid out so simply and thoughtfully to support you and yours in the development of your very own philosophy of life in easy to grasp lay terms. Just read and enjoy or, better yet, follow the exercises included to take your class, your child or yourself even further!

The idea being that we can go a mile deep with one source or, as a source of discussion and reflection, go both a mile deep and wide by spanning more time and more people with a categorized approach weaving examples throughout history in the layout of a guidebook.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,
and the most patient of teachers.
― Charles W. Eliot

And this is important stuff. It is essential that we tackle these questions in our quest for satisfaction and growth.

Life can be tough.

At some point, we are all touched by loss and disappointment. We have all been let down by people and circumstances. People we expect to act with integrity at some crucial juncture fail us and we need to pick ourselves up and make sense of it all.

This book is crafted to set readers down a path to realizing their very own philosophy so as to live an authentic, more meaningful life and embody the integrity we would all like to see in others. We’re thrown into this world to find our own way but we aren’t alone. This book is testament to this notion. We don’t have to learn everything from scratch. This is a gift of our humanity.

This book is a timeless collection of thought from some of the greatest minds that ever lived. It spans centuries and cultures and, never academic or dry, even touches upon how pop culture often holds clues on how to live better. I include pop-culture because, in this search, everything is sacred. You don’t need to be a sage or philosopher. If any human can do it, any of us can. There are clues to be found. Don’t lose them.

But this is no mere compilation of platitudes and affirmations.

This book is many things – part compilation, part kitschy artwork and 100% something to carry around with ease, flip through at any time for inspiration and enjoy as an entirely non-academic enterprise.

But, again, this is no mere collection. It’s a memoir of sorts as well. A veritable “finger pointing at the moon,” a record of my own search for meaning and an exercise book to help others develop their own philosophies.

After all, what kind of a father would I be if, after decades of reading, experience, travel and searching, the best I could produce for my daughter was a collection of the thoughts of others? Let’s consider this a philosophical trail of breadcrumbs to help navigate the wonderful mess that we call life. I have included a considerable number of quotes. They follow no particular order other than what fit the narrative. Some sections have less than others. Some, near the end, are nearly all quotes as part of the ongoing exercise that is suggested throughout that you take note of which speak most directly to you.

Are you seated comfortably? Then we shall begin.

NOTE: I believe all attributions are correct. The point, however, is the insight behind them.

I do not profess that what you will read in these pages is an academically rigorous or fully comprehensive account. It is, however, the most concise overview I am aware of as it comes to philosophy treatments for lay people.

This book will expose you to a wide array of perspectives and ideas, some of which will have a real impact on you. Others you may already have come across. It will suggest certain ways of assimilating these ideas into your own personal philosophy of one while others will present themselves to you in ways unique to yourself.

It will be entertaining.

It will be educational.

As always, it will be up to you and those you share it with if it means anything at all.

Please comment below. I want this to be the start of the conversation.




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Remote Learning for Younger Learners (EduTech Summer Conference 2020)

EduTECH Virtual Asia

This is the pre-conference video made in support of the EduTech Asia Summer Conference 2020.

After the recorded version of the conference prep you will find all of the supporting materials.

The #1 bestselling book, Creativity is Everything: Rethinking Technology, Schools & Humanity, is available here (free when Amazon allows a few times / year).

I am also giving away this Creativity Challenge Summer 2020 for Teachers and Students (different wording regarding social media only).

And now for the main event. HOW TO do (almost) everything I talked about in my presentation.

You should subscribe to the YouTube channel for more great stuff every couple of weeks!

You should subscribe to the YouTube channel for more great stuff every couple of weeks!

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Creativity, Stress Relief & Wellness Checks for Your Students

Sometimes (like now) the world can feel upside-down. You think it’s hard for you as a teacher but we all know it can be far more challenging for our students.

This blog post offers ways of helping children engage in creative activities to help relieve stress constructively, open up and have frank conversations about how they’re doing.


Other related posts and offerings:


There are two tiers offered in terms of  activities to enable creativity for stress relief and checking in on student well being here:

  1. Interactive Kahoot games for starting conversations as educators
    1. Tied to the possibility of turning it over to student creation
  2. A far more creative approach having students create simple vector graphics with either Apple’s Keynote or Google Drawings
    1. Offering a a fun, creative diversion to help break down resistance to honest discussion and getting past the, “I’m fine,” response by wading in and engaging in a non-threatening project

Kahoot it!

This video explains what the platform is and this link is a pre made Simple Wellness & Health Check Kahoot that is ready to go.


Creativity “Bubbles” Course

This is made to enable conversations while simultaneously offering children the opportunity to channel their energies into a creative outlet that opens up conversations with caregivers.

It is an easy course to follow and absolutely free for all. I have been sharing out tutorials forever on how to leverage keynote for vector graphics creation and digital story telling on my Digital Creativity Club YouTube channel here.


There will be a video placed here as an introduction to this creative project soon. Eventually (sooner than later I hope), there will also be a link to a free course you can use at your school.


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School Closure Tips Whole School and Younger Learners




How do we know if distance learning is working? Could data be the answer?

Creativity, Stress Relief & Wellness Checks for Your Students



GOOGLE MEET: Unofficial Start Guide DOWNLOAD




School closures and distance learning are upon many of us.

There will likely be more in the foreseeable future.

There appears to be no end of resources and advice for older children already “plugged in” to the internet through a learning management system or organizational framework like Google but what about the younger ones?

This post will share ideas for younger learners like:

  1. Managing feedback
  2. Maintaining engagement
  3. Checking in on block programmers with the Tynker platform (now made free for the interim)


Managing Feedback


Maintaining Engagement


yt subscribe

Just click here to subscribe


Fast, Easy Tynker (Block Programming)
Tracking System


A Playlist of Programming for Young
Learners Videos for Your Class


I hope you found this helpful.

Stay Healthy!


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“Saving” The Giving Tree

Image result for the giving tree

Apparently Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s book, The Giving Tree, is falling from grace. Recently it was banned in the state of Colorado and, whether you are inclined to agree or not, it’s leading to growing concern and discussion among many concerned parents and educators. 

The Internet’s buzzing with it.

“Kids — and parents — need to understand that there’s a big difference between selflessness and generosity.” LINK

“The lesson is that people will only be your friend if you do what they want, and that anyone who doesn’t give you whatever you ask for is not your friend.” LINK

Do a Google search of your own.

This has become a hot topic with strong opinions on both sides. For my part, I always felt it was an incredibly sad tale.

As part of my Bachelor of Education degree (over twenty years ago now!) we were asked to write a children’s story. I chose to rewrite this classic in a brighter tone. I felt it missed the opportunity to impart a more uplifting perspective. I also realized that this would present an ideal chance to help spread the messages of stewardship and symbiosis central to First Nations and Aboriginal cultures the world over at a time when we grow more desperately in need of them.

This is what I aim to share with new generations of young people in the hope of engendering in them a greater sense of empathy for our living world. As a Canadian of Metis heritage, I feel this has become more crucial now than ever before.

Best of Friends

You can read for free on kindle unlimited


There are other aspects of First Nations culture touched upon as well. I have taken literary license in their incorporation. Tobacco and smudging are sacred rites, and they are meant to show respect, just not necessarily in the way they are portrayed here. Flutes and love songs are also a part of many cultures as are canoes and the use of lodge poles. I hope this book can also act as a springboard for further inquiry. 

I hope you will add it your your own library or maybe that of someone you love. It would be a useful addition as part of an international mindedness curriculum or for incorporating into a literature study unit alongside The Giving Tree.

The name Meekwun was inspired by a little boy who seemed to enjoy hearing this tale lo those many years ago on the Big Trout Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario, Canada. I hope you and your family, or maybe your classes, enjoy it!

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 14.53.46.png

Read for free on kindle unlimited





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What are Learning Analytics & Data Visualization and why should you care?

If you’re in education you have likely heard these terms before.

Or you soon will.

This blog post offers an introduction and overview. Even if you’re at a school that has a complete, effective system for collecting and visualizing useful data based on whole school discussions you will find something of use here. Below you will find:

  1. Some definitions of the terms
  2. A simple hierarchical model of student data collection for feedback, reflection & visualization
  3. A video detailing how each level can be tied to a Google Tool for innovative implementation
    1. This is the start of a free series tied to tutorials for skill development with weekly updates

So let’s get to it, shall we?

You can subscribe for the free training series by subscribing to this YouTube Channel.

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 16.00.57.png

Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_analytics

So what? 

Why does this matter to me?

The use of learning analytics is just about taking what you already do, tracking student progress for improving outcomes, and developing systems for using this data more effectively.

No doubt, you’ve also heard of Data Visualization.

Data visualization is the graphical representation of information and data. By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data. [LINK]

So what? 

Why does this matter to me?

The trend regarding the use of learning analytics for data visualization is clear. It is mandated more and more and we are hearing the term data-driven more and more as well. Of course we are. They are one and the same.

I have developed the following hierarchical model as a tool for teachers and schools to start from the bottom up.

Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 15.40.33.png

Doing this properly as a whole school requires the following:

  1. Commitment
    1. This will take time.
    2. The more faculty buy-in the better.
  2. Conversation
    1. Faculty need to be part of the development of direction and systems. 
      1. What is the data for? 
      2. What do we want to know?
      3. How will we use it?
  3. Understanding
    1. By starting out at the classroom level end users will develop understandings of the process and become more effective agents of change.
  4. Reflection
    1. As we advance to the year and department levels of implementation, times need to be set for discussion of the findings and refining of questions and input mechanisms for data sets.
  5. Dedication
    1. Not just in the sense of, “We are professionals looking to improve,” but a dedicated team needs to be put in place for managing data systems and keeping everyone on the same page.
  6. Time
    1. As with all things, starting out takes time.
      1. The longer we use these systems the more time they save in the long run.
      2. The better we serve the children in our care.

Please drop a line in the comments or if you have any questions or could use a little experienced help setting up your school.

The Introductory Video to this Free YouTube Series


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Are You Interested in Becoming a Published Bestseller?

It is easier than ever before but, as you might expect, there are more pitfalls than ever when you go the self-published/promoted route.


First off though,

“Why should I become a published bestseller?”


  1. You can share your message with a wider audience
  2. You can develop more streams for networking, sharing and even income generation
  3. You can STAND OUT
  4. You gain immediate, lasting credibility for all you do
  5. You will become more competitive as an expert in your field
  6. You will receive an unbelievable boost in opportunities for public speaking engagements (should you want them)
  7. You will get rich off book royalties and enjoy an opulent lifestyle
  8. If you want #7 and that’s all please stop reading right here


The list could be expanded but this will suffice for this blog post.


You can become an Amazon bestseller, guaranteed, if you know what to do. These accolades are not all created equally however. There are SCAMS out there promising you this badge of honour that don’t really count.



Do you want to be a bestseller for 5 minutes in an obscure category completely unrelated to your field that generates no income and is easily exposed as a fraud, actually damaging your good name? (Find out how here.)

There are also “publishing farms” (my phrase) that charge groups of people to get in a room together and review each other’s books for a day in these obscure categories and call it quits. That’s it. No support for helping you promote after the fact.

There are other online businesses that want to charge you thousands of dollars for a few hard copies and even a limited number of digital versions that YOU HAVE TO SELL ON YOUR OWN!

There are more traditional style analog publishers who make you buy hundreds of copies of your own book and then guess what… YOU HAVE TO SELL THEM ON YOUR OWN!

There are other, quite reputable companies, that will guarantee to get you the highly sought-after Amazon bestseller status, support you in editing (even ghost write for you), support you in promotion and developing funnels (pathways to purchase for the book and related courses, public speaking opportunities, etc.) but charge anywhere from $10,000-$25,000!

UPDATE: My most recent round of research uncovered a publishing “School” that wants me to pay $6,997 for their course so that I can then, you guessed it, SELL THEM ON MY OWN! Actually it is quite a bit more if I want to buy the courses on offer helping me to write the book. In the initial phone call I was quoted $9,000 for a publishing and marketing “bundle” of courses. A few hours later it was raised to $11,000 before the hard sell option of immediate purchase for the $6,997 that expects me to go it alone!

Traditional publishers are a nearly impossible option for those with a first manuscript. It will take years of hard work and rejection and most likely you won’t get published anyway. Sorry, sad but true. Or you can go it alone and self-publish on Amazon. Anyone can do it and it’s not all that hard. Sales and exposure, however, that is another thing all together.

Having been through all of this I want to offer you

a brand new solution.

DISCLAIMER: This will involve investment on your part.

In order to reap all of the benefits listed at the top of this post without the years of struggle with no guarantees for success or the exorbitant and impossible costs of these “elite” publishers I invite you to join the:


Educators Publishing Cooperative

We are dedicated to helping educators share personal insights to support improved practice in the field of education and
take their careers to the next level.


We manage this by publishing collections of works by inspiring and innovative educators with new ideas and approaches to share:

  • One chapter each
  • 10-20 pages / submission
  • We need at least 15 confirmed submissions before publishing
  • We can publish with fewer if the submissions are longer and the group involved is agreeable to a higher individual cost


Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to this opt-in page to apply for your chapter’s inclusion.
    1. Each chapter is completely stand alone and needs to be able to stand as such. Authors often use longer blogposts as the inspiration for chapters.
  2. If there are spots available for the next publication and your submission topic is a good match we will hold your spot upon receipt of a deposit. (It would be unfair to turn down other potential authors in the event of cancelation.)
  3. We set target dates for drafts and editing submissions before publication.
  4. Authors have complete freedom and we encourage creativity in all aspects of your writing and submission.
    1. Original artwork is encouraged!
    2. FUNDAMENTAL NOTE: We are not a professional editing service. Please have your WORK PROOFREAD MULTIPLE TIMES BY MULTIPLE PEOPLE. Especially make certain that final submissions have been shared with proofreaders and editors from your network to be published as your polished, professional face to the world.
      1. Naturally we do read and comment on all submissions but you must be capable of producing publishable work with a minimum of editorial guidance from the cooperative.
    3. This service is for authors who feel ready to publish a book of their own but wish to raise their profile with a bestselling author status in a collection before attempting to do so.


This is not a get rich quick scheme.

  • This is a new approach to publishing

  • It is cooperative

  • It is focused on educators


We aim to combine the best of all present options while avoiding the pitfalls.

If you want to publish a chapter in a compilation just to make money then please do not apply. All profits are divided up and evenly shared among all in the cooperative formed for each publication. The point, however, is to spread our messages and increase our exposure as thought leaders and innovative educators.


Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 11.27.40

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Free Animation Course (ongoing beta)

Sorry to my loyal subscribers for the absence of recent posts. My zeal for sharing has found most recent outlet on my seansensei8 YouTube Channel and giveitaway.net website.

But, as usual, I digress…

SUBSRIBE TO seansensei8!

I’ve been having a ball teaching people how to do this for years and am looking to spread the word on how you can release your creativity and have fun making your own original products for consumption online.

I am in the midst of putting together a new course on animation. The idea was to demonstrate the basics of drawing with simple (South Park like) characters to then get to the skills of actually animating. (For copyright reasons I am calling it North Dork! 😂) I have other videos like this one that go deeper into developing the skills for more detailed work.

This video shows an example animation used as an introductory segment for a video:

This tutorial demonstrates how to put together one of your own:

This tutorial sets up the sideways version of the walking character to later be converted to GIF Format:

I will continue to add these beta tutorials until the actual course (made with greater detail, assignments and content) is up and running. I don’t do this for a living but because I love it and just can’t seem to stop!

This Just In!

A video “reimagining” of the iconic kitchen scene from Pulp Fiction for the TECH OFFICE:

Subscribe to this blog (top right hand corner) for automatic updates and please…

Share it around!

Further proof that I love making stuff.
I have a T-shirt site of which I am the sole customer! 🤣

Are You Interested in Becoming a Published Bestseller?

Posted in Digital Citizenship, Digital Learning, Literacy, New Media, Producing, Publishing, Sharing, Professional Development, Publishing, Sharing, Visual Literacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join FREE Animation Course!

I’m still a #Creativity Zealot.

#vector #graphics #digitalstory

I can’t stop making stuff and love to share how with others.

I am starting a free course up on Animating for Everyone! (CLICK ME!)

If you have slideshow software you have the capacity to create:

  • logos
  • images
  • characters
  • gifs
  • animated stories of varying complexity

Please share this around with anyone who might enjoy learning how to make animated movies a-la South Park on their Macs.

Thank you!

Are You Interested in Becoming a Published Bestseller?

Posted in Literacy, Producing, Publishing, Sharing, Publishing, Sharing, Visual Literacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital Literacy: Three-Pronged Project

ALTERNATE TITLE: Weekend with #geekdad

So, my daughter just LOVES the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. They are simply illustrated stories for beginning readers. We were so inspired by the series we (well, mainly I) wrote a story hopefully in the same tenor.

But why not make it somehow more?

We made it in Keynote (see more on this here). We recorded it as a video (below) and then I then took screenshots to import into Photos for producing a proper analog book to read at school (screenshot of book below as well as this link to the pdf online version).

You can see the creativity. You can see how it would inspire students in your own class (or family!). Make one yourself. You’ll be happy you did!

Keynote for Digital Story Telling

Screenshot of book layout in Photos Book dashboard:



Are You Interested in Becoming a Published Bestseller?

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