This past week has been rather amazing. I attended UnPlug’d12 – a gathering of 40 folks for whom education means more than anything, in one of the most beautiful settings – Northern Edge Algonquin. Over 3 days, we collaborated on a an e-book that will be released in the very near future. You’ll be able to grab it from iTunes as soon as it’s ready – so stay tuned.

We also canoed, sea-kayaked, stand-up paddled, hiked, biked, sauna’d, ate the most delicious food, and had the most wonderful conversations. I met some amazingly inspiring people who are following their hearts and their dreams. Tears were shed, hugs were hugged, and connections were made – the kind of connections that colour lifetimes. I was able to give thanks to an educator who made all the difference in my life, and that felt like something I needed to do for a really long time. I was honoured to be invited and came away with a renewed faith in the teaching profession. If these leaders in learning are a reflection of what is possible in schools, then it’s well worth fighting for. For connected classrooms. For a commitment to engaging work. And for professional development opportunities that allow hard-working, passionate, and tuned in educators to connect, think, and share.

And then, this morning I received notification that I’ve been selected to be part of the Globe & Mail’s Special Advisory Panel on Education: The Globe School Council. I blinked a few times, and then truly did a happy dance in the living room. I am really looking forward to the discussions that this project will inspire – and looking forward to having my thinking challenged.

The Red Satellite will also launch in the next week (or so) (there go those swooshing deadlines…). It’s the latest SpaceRace Original project – a daily education technology online ‘zine that covers everything in the space from start ups and funding to launches, events, and reviews. It’s been a labour of love these past few months, and I am excited about the design and the opportunity to share the stories of a global industry that is opening, growing, and changing faster than perhaps any other. I am thrilled to be writing! If you’re interested in advertising or contributing, drop me a line.

A year ago, I was stuck in a very bad role with a highly dodgy group of people launching a hopelessly awful product. My experience made me question and second-guess nearly everything I thought I believed about my career, my potential, and my motivations. Not to get all woowoo about it, but sometimes I wonder if we have to go through those shitty experiences in order to come out the other side and know what we really want to do, or how we can contribute. You can’t polish a turd (I’ve always wanted to say that), but you can move forward and chalk things up to what they teach you. I learned a lot of “never do this”-type of lessons, and it’s taken me a long time to heal, but the next steps are feeling pretty solid. People will kick you when you’re down. They will gossip about your circumstances. They will comfort you but secretly hope for your demise. All you can do is crawl back and shimmy into what you know you can be. That’s really it.

My experiences over the last week have brought me full circle. Back into optimism, energy, and moving forward. If you’ve been a part of that, thank you very much! You know who you are, and you’re all pretty fine. šŸ™‚