Video of the Week: "Holiday - Share Your Gifts - Apple"

Although this week’s video is a holiday ad, it’s message has year-round importance:

Here’s what we’ll be discussing in my classroom this week. Take a look at the lyrics too.

  • What intentional choices has Apple made to make the setting and “props” relevant?

  • Is your cup half full or half empty?

  • Do you have specific projects/gifts you like to hide inside? What are they? Why do you keep them inside?

  • Who could you share your gifts with this Christmas?

  • How does it change the song to add this animation?

  • Why would Apple use this as a holiday ad?

Video of the Week: "Bouygues Christmas 2018"

I love Christmas. I love family. I love technology. So this week’s video gives all the feelings:

  • What about this video convinces you to use Bouygues’s service?

  • “This Christmas, offer much more than technology.” How does this ad both prove and disprove this message?

  • What do you parents do to embarrass you?

  • Do you FaceTime your grandparents? How do you think seeing each other impacts the conversation?

Cycle: Lessons in Andragogy

One of my greatest joys every week is a Cycle class I take at 24-Hour Fitness with Marty. Marty is an amazing instructor who works you hard and makes you feel like a million bucks in the process. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking through what exactly Marty does to make him such an effective (and well-liked) instructor.

This pondering has led me back to Malcom Knowles’s Principles of Andragogy. Whether he knows it or not, Marty uses these principles to lead us through our cycling workout.

01 | INVOLVEMENT

Adults need to be involved in their own learning process, from the planning to the evaluation.

At the end of every 24-Hour Fitness class, instructors end by asking for comments or concerns about this class. This helps participants feel they have a voice and are involved in the learning process. At the end of each class, Marty also invites us to recommend songs for future classes. This gives us the opportunity to help plan the session itself. Throughout the class, we are continually given ownership over our learning by being given the power to change the resistance on the bike.

02 | EXPERIENCE

The experiences learners have (including past mistakes) impact their learning process.

Each Friday brings us to the class with a different set of experiences that impact how we even get on the bike. Our diet, our exercise routine, our sleep, our work: each have an impact on the energy we bring to the bike. Marty acknowledge this as we begin the ride, and we set a baseline for the class. From there, we’re pushed to ride harder and faster than each previous interval. A song may have three sprints and on each one, we work to go faster or with more resistance than the previous. Our successes (and our failures) in this process, impact the mindset with which we approach the next interval.

03 | RELEVANCE

Adults want to immediately see how their work is relevant to their job and/or personal life.

Walking into Marty’s cycle class is like walking into Cheers: everyone knows your name. Marty makes an intentional effort to not just know each person’s name, but he also works to know a specific interest each person has. This allows him to connect the ride to each participant as he coaches. For example, for those he knows love climbing hills, he calls them out by name on the hill tracks. For road riders, he’ll call out specific names of hills in our area to compare to the resistance we should be feeling on the bike. For mountain riders, he helps imagine the dirt sliding under tires. Marty makes each ride relevant.

04 | PROBLEM-CENTERED

Adults want to learn by working to solve a problem rather than memorize content.

Each song during the class is a problem to be solved. Some tracks are about climbing a hill, and the goal is simple: get to the top. Others are an all-out sprint, racing to the finish line. Sometimes we imagine riding with a group, riding study and drafting in the back before sprinting ahead to break the wind for the rear of the group. Marty matches each song track to a scenario that we can imagine and work to solve together.


I’m really thankful for Marty and his commitment to consistently running quality classes that make riders feel known, encouraged, and challenged. His modeling of these principles of Andragogy serve as a great reminder as we plan trainings for adult learners.

Video of the Week: "Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake"

After a great week of gratitude last week, we’re in full Christmas-mode in my house. I’m looking forward to crawling up in front of my tree with a cup of tea tonight. Do you have a tree? Is it real or fake?

Here’s what I’m wondering:

  • Did the stats in this video persuade your thinking?

  • What infographic could you make using the stats? What would your claim be?

  • Is the video title an accurate representation of the content?

  • Do you have a real or a fake tree? Tree lot? Wild? Tree farm? Why has your family made that choice?

  • Do you think buying a Christmas tree is a wise use of money? Why or why not?

  • Are Christmas trees good for the environment? Support your opinion.

What was your most life-giving moment today?

In October, I started a new practice in my life: recording the most life-giving moment of every day.

Every day when I come home from work, I head to my home office and take a moment to ponder the day. What filled me with joy? What made me feel alive? What am I grateful within the day?

Holding a blue screen for my students as they make a movie. Creating a standards cheat sheet. Making videos for our fundraising campaign. Teaching Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Building a eLearning course for medical device professionals. Creating logos & graphics. Planning PD. Listening to grandparents share oral histories. More Than A Selfie, our program for mentoring middle school girls on our campus.

Each day gives life. Each day brings joy. Each day leaves me grateful.

Sure, some days I have to work a little harder to find a thing. Some days are much more life-giving than others. However, each day has something for which to be grateful. Each day has something recorded on a monthly calendar I have on my desk.

This practice has also infiltrated our dinner table as my husband and I share our most life-giving moment of that day. This has been such a better question for me than “How was your day?”. This requires something concrete. Something real. Something that says something about who I am.

As I look to Thanksgiving tomorrow, I can’t help but be grateful. On a large level, I’m thankful for a home and a table to eat around. The smoke we’ve had in the Bay Area over the last week has been a poignant reminder of this. However, this Thanksgiving, it’s the little things, the day-to-day things, the life-giving things that are making me stop in my tracks and be grateful.

What was your most life-giving moment today?