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:


Identifying and Achieving Individual Goals

February 23, 2015

How do you identify and achieve your goals?

20130222_Me_@_MYLC_with_Dick Elder

With Theta Chi National President Dick Elder (far left) and another alumnus on Friday, February 22, the evening before my session.

In the video below I am presenting an individual goal setting session at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference of Theta Chi Fraternity at UCLA on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Having helped found the (dearly departed) UC Santa Barbara chapter of Theta Chi it was an honor to participate in this event as an alumnus instructor.

Since my birthday was the day before, it was a great gift to share my knowledge with undergraduate members of an organization I admire.

As an undergraduate I attended several events like this so I was well aware how events like this can positively impact personal growth and professional development.

I met with a multitude of motivated undergraduates; their earnest desire to improve themselves and their fraternity was inspiring. Events like this made me proud to be a Theta Chi and grateful to be a teacher.

Of course you don’t have to be a member of Theta Chi — or any other fraternal organization — to appreciate what I shared during my session. It is my hope you find value in my presentation beyond the audience for whom I first prepared it.

I welcome your insights and ideas as well; I am a teacher because I am a lifelong learner. It would be my pleasure to learn from and with you as I did on this day with my undergraduate brothers in Theta Chi!

To recap the content in the video:

  • Why setting your goals is important.
  • Goal setting brainstorming and audience interaction.
  • A personal story about how we undermine our goals.
  • How to focus yourself with help from your colleagues.
  • Why setting your goals (not someone else) is important.
  • A personal story about setting my goals after undergrad.
  • Dealing with parents who try to set your goals for you.
  • What happens when you don’t set goals for yourself.
  • How to set and achieve your goals with your I.D.E.A.

You can also view via Slideshare the presentation I used in the above video:


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