I took the long [long] way home after visiting my brother in California. I went down a road away from home to take me home.


Driving down a highway towards Yuma, Arizona I passed a canal. I was doing 65 mph. Off to my right, going over a bridge, I saw a lone palm tree. In that moment I composed a photograph in my mind’s eye.

An irrigation canal disappears into mountains on a distant horizon

The only problem was I was going 65 mph and my actual eyes had moved on. I guess you might say I had to turn around, do a 180, to go get my imagination back.

I’m in the process of revisiting an elearning authoring tool I used some time ago: Storyline, now in its (I believe) third iteration. This version being named Storyline360. My plan is to return to my roots and design online learning again. I’m thinking of snippets of learning to aid teachers in reimagining their PD (professional development) experience.


What this might look like I can’t say at this point. I need some design thinking help from my PLN (professional learning network) to identify the first snippet. Another 180 and I’m on my way.

ˌdo͞obl änˈtändrə,ˌdəbl änˈtändrə


CDB: Christina Davies Beeson would be proud. A moment ago I used something she taught me in 1972. She taught journalism and sophomore college English at Colton High School in Colton, California. A blog post I finished reading a moment ago, by Aaron Hogan, brought it all back to me. The double entendre.

A Tail of Two Meanings

Aaron describes, in his blog post, risk. But that's not what resonated with me as I read his thoughts.

Uncalculated leapt off the page as I read. Whom did the uncalculation? Shaker-man was just into the music, the experience of listening and doing, of feeling something down deep and wanting to be a part of it. That's being in touch with one's soul. Did he plan on being called up to the stage? I think he simply likes the shake. The singer on stage, his was calculated. He wanted to get what he perceived as a disruption away from those around him. It was luck that the rest happened, that the experience played out as well as it did.


My take is uncalculation is its own reward. Being who we are, naturally, makes an impression. I can't help but wonder: In those moments before being noticed by the singer, was shaker-man really disrupting the listening experience of nearby fans? Maybe he was adding to their experience?


Charred Access


Design thinking involves iterative fails. Just how many depends on one’s persistence or, from another’s perspective, foolhardiness.


When I was a wee lad I had my share of owies and oopsies. Some were worse than others: cuts, scrapes, burns and a broken/smashed bone or two. For the most part these healed and were then forgotten. I learned from them: how to walk, run and ride a bike. The cost of learning back then was relatively cheap.

Later on, mistakes got more expensive. The artifacts, evidence seen by others of one’s fails, became more abstract and less entertaining to talk about. That time I broke my ring finger is an interesting story now. Getting that F- in a math test isn’t something I generally share with people I meet on the street. When as an adult our performance on the job is rated against that of others there are often scars to our psyche that are invisible to our peers.


Looking back on my learning the past 60 years I find that the stuff I remember [and apply] most often was enjoyable. On some level curiosity made me want to learn it. Engagement made me continue doing it, though it may have involved sweaty stinky work and lots of it, til I got it right.


It isn’t access to peers or information that encourages [my] learning. It’s the relative cost of making a mistake. The really cool stuff that has had a lifelong impact on me involved owies that are fun stories to share now. When I approach learning now I try to morph it into something that involves my whole body. I think that’s the ticket to design thinking and innovation. The more we approach it holistically and with others so that what we do is visible the better off we are in the long run. Go out and break something.