Getting “Scobleized” in Dubai

October 22, 2015

Facebook favors the bold.

Okay, technically fortune favors the bold, but I was recently bold on Facebook; that risk paid a handsome reward.

During the morning of Monday, October 19 I saw a Facebook post by Robert Scoble announcing his arrival in Dubai for Gitex Technology Week. Intrigued, I reached out to the noted blogger, technical evangelist, author, and futurist for Rackspace Hosting whom I have followed virtually for many years.

He replied to my comment quickly and then, via direct message, graciously invited me to a dinner that night hosted by Rackspace. As it turns out, this would be one of the most exceptional experiences of my life.

I found myself mingling with more than two dozen technology industry insiders and thought leaders at the Exchange Grill in the Fairmont Hotel (near the Dubai World Trade Centre where Gitex was happening).

Ben Parr, Robert Scoble, and Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA.

Ben Parr, Robert Scoble, and Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA.

I had the pleasure of getting to know people from Afkar.me, Cazar, Middle East Global Advisors, Rackspace HostingRockefeller Innovation, SQREEM Technologies, uBeam, and other impressive organizations.

I also chatted with Ben Parr, former Mashable editor and author of the book Captivology, along with Creative Content Agency founder and DJ Raj Kotecha, plus Dubai-based social media personality Literally Anika.

We talked about a range of topics including:

  • behavioral intelligence
  • being an expat entrepreneur
  • big data
  • burning man
  • fantasy football
  • predictive analytics
  • possible next steps for Twitter
  • self-driving cars
  • the future of robotics
  • the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • the mobile phone industry
  • wireless battery recharging
  • venture capital and innovation
  • why Facebook is “where it’s at” for social media engagement

Having both grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Robert and I shared our memories from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. We also talked about being fathers to sons with an autism diagnosis.

As a lifelong learner it was an opportunity to immerse myself in an ocean of ideas to inspire my research and catalyze my creativity.

As an educator it was a chance to connect with individuals who want to enrich my classroom as speakers and strengthen my students’ learning via internships, involvement with business incubators, and engagement in experiential education.

It was a night unlike any I have experienced before; it was definitely a moment when I was delighted to not be the smartest person in the room (as the popular saying goes).

I look forward to what dreams may come from this transformational evening.

Thank you, Robert Scoble!


12 Months, 12 Memories: My First Year in Dubai

September 10, 2015

On September 8, 2014 I opened for Lady Gaga.

Moved to Dubai @ Facebook 20140908Well, not exactly: I landed in Dubai, UAE a few hours before Lady Gaga also arrived in Dubai for a concert at the Meydan Racecourse (on September 10).

And so began my expat adventure as a full-time business professor.

In the 12 months since I have exponentially grown personally and developed professionally. While I had previously traveled internationally, my experience was limited mostly to short trips to a handful of countries.

Those early overseas trips certainly exposed me to a more global perspective, but living overseas has allowed me to experience a different mindset entirely. Embracing the unknown was challenging, but, ultimately, rewarding.

As a lifelong learner, living and working overseas has been especially refreshing and rewarding. What better way to continuously learn than by putting yourself in a totally foreign situation and challenging yourself to adapt?

To celebrate my first year as an expat, below I have shared one memory from each month — technically there are 13 memories, but consider the inclusion of September 2015 as one extra for good luck!

The past 12 months have been a great adventure; I’m looking forward to the next 12 months… and beyond!


Pedagogy, Socially: 7 Strategies for Curating and Creating Curriculum with Social Media

February 26, 2015

Social media has revolutionized the way we live, but how can we leverage it for learning?

GESS_2015_1In 2013 59.2% of nearly 8,000 higher education participants in a Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson survey agreed “the interactive nature of online and mobile technologies can create better learning environments.”

Additionally, 41% currently use social media in their classrooms. However, 56% of that same population are concerned that online and mobile technologies are “more distracting than helpful to students.”

Given this dynamic, there is both uncertainty and opportunity with regard to using social media to power your pedagogy.

As an educator you have an array of options from which to choose: blogs, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and many others.

Each of these interactive options can enhance engagement and increase interaction in your classes. But having a tool and knowing how to use it are different experiences altogether.

I had an opportunity to explore this during a presentation I delivered on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the 2105 GESS Global Education Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sharing seven strategies for curating and creating curriculum I promoted best practices and case studies you can use to prepare your pedagogy, socially.

A video of my presentation follows:

Content of my presentation includes:

+ Why use social media to curate and create curriculum?
+ How do the seven social media strategies work?
+ Strategy 1: Collect, Curate, and Share Knowledge.
+ Strategy 2: Engage with Virtual Communities of Practice.
+ Strategy 3: Identify, Archive, and Share Information.
+ Strategy 4: Follow Blogs, Microblogs, and Aggregators.
+ Strategy 5: Listen to, Create, and Share Audio.
+ Strategy 6: View, Create, and Share Photos.
+ Strategy 7: Watch, Create, and Share Videos.
+ What are social media best practices?
+ Presentation summary

View the presentation that goes with this video below or via SlideShare:


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