The little things DO matter. PROOF!

peace

Have you ever walked by someone and avoided all eye contact because you didn’t want to have any type of personal exchange?  Come on, admit you’ve done this once or twice at least.  Well, if you haven’t, you are probably one of only a few people in that category.  I have done this in my youth because I didn’t want another person (probably a cute guy) to see me without makeup or nice clothes.  As I have grown older, I realize no one cares if I wear makeup or designer clothes.  However, people will remember my smile, a nice compliment, or a kind gesture.

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Who wouldn’t remember my daughter’s sweet smile?

I know… I know… I am sure you have heard that people remember the negative more than the positive.  This does happen.  We all know gossiping people exist who love a sad or tragic story to share. However, in the end, people make mistakes.  People are not perfect.  There will be another poor soul on the gossip stage soon enough.  In the end, we are all going to leave this beautiful earth and what will it matter?  So, don’t get caught up in the gossip and negativity.  I challenge you to this!  If you take the high road, you’ll probably rest better at night.

Oddly enough, I was recently reading the book, “The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age” by Cammy Bean.  Of all the books I have read, I never really thought a book about Instructional Design would include this, but it did.  In fact, Bean (2014) says, “… we seem to remember the bad things about people we meet more than the good” (p. 136). She goes on to say we learn from mistakes and this is why she added this to her book about e-learning.  (Designers can use stories about mistakes to teach lessons.)

Thus, the reason I decided to discuss this today is because I feel strongly that reading about the usefulness of negativity (through mistakes) combined with what I am about to share is no coincidence. Earlier today, I received a kind message from a former Starbucks Barista in Georgia that I barely knew.  She was always pleasant and a great Barista, but I only knew her briefly.  Six years ago, she was pregnant.  I told her wonderful things about being pregnant and positive things I learned while pregnant.  She reached out to me today to let me know how big of an impact this had on her and her son.  She emailed me the following.

… Idk if you remember but when I was pregnant with my son you were so excited about that kid even though we didn’t really know each other! That love you showed, believe it or not, has shown through that kid! I wish you could meet him just to see the love he gives off! Everybody falls in love with that kid! Believe it or not, he’s six now.

So, in the end, people do remember the nice things. Even though it may be beneficial to create a humorous story about a goofy, mistake-prone character to teach a lesson online, in the real world, kindness must prevail.   I may never have heard that story, but I did hear it at the perfect time.  I had to share it with you as proof that small things do matter.  Small things can turn into big things!  (After all, she made me smile 6 years later and 5,000+ miles from the original place where I shared my love and warmth with her.) I CHALLENGE you to avoid the negative and embrace the positive each and every day. It will make a difference.

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Remember: Keep on Smiling!  (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)

Hugs and Kindness,

Mel

Reference:

Bean, C. (2014). The accidental instructional designer: Learning design for the digital age. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Adobe Spark is easy to use and helps teachers create great presentations!

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Once upon a time in a far away land, students and teachers used Poster Boards, Overhead Projectors, and/or eventually Microsoft PowerPoint to create dynamic presentations.  Then, some smarty pants created Prezi and Adobe Spark options and the world exploded with creativity! (Smile) Sorry folks, I am a little giddy today since the sun has been shining for days now.  I even went to pick fresh wildflowers yesterday for my backyard picnic table and had happy 1980s music playing.  So, I just had to make a joke while writing this.  On a serious note…

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Do you see the yellow and purple flowers?

Last semester, I had an opportunity to serve as Subject Matter Expert (SME) for a new Social Problems course.  Of course, my home office was transformed.  The huge dry erase board served as my visual for ensuring I had all the assignments and resources for each week covered.  (In fact, my family asked how long the board was going to be used for planning and I said “as long as it takes.”  Side note: I was actually a little sad when I had to erase it.  I digress…)

Since I didn’t serve as the Instructional Designer on this project (my contract was only for the SME), I didn’t need a storyboard. Although, I most certainly DID need dynamic lectures to go along with the Creative Commons textbook.  When a SME chooses to use a Creative Commons textbook to create a course, the students do not have to pay a high price for the textbook.  Textbooks cost a lot and most students do not have endless supplies of money.  Thus, I chose a Creative Commons textbook that is free for the world and readily available to anyone online.  This also meant that I had to create the supplemental items to go with the textbook.  That was a fun part of the process and when I used Adobe Spark, it was super easy to add additional websites for viewing statistics and facts. The program was easy to use and more streamlined than Prezi.  (I love Prezi but it can make me a little dizzy if it moves too quickly. That is just my two cents.)

I am including an example of an Adobe Spark presentation which only took about 4 minutes to create.

Click to View My Presentation

Best wishes,

Mel

How do I add a Pinterest “Follow Me” button to WordPress?

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If you have read my bio on this website, you know I like technology. I know I may not have been born in the most technology savvy times. After all, I was a 1970s baby. My exposure to computer technology started in 6th grade when I had to take home a paper copied keyboard to practice typing on the kitchen table (It worked, I am fast typist!) However, I would have to say another effective tool by our preacher/teacher, Mr. Agner, was to hit you on the shoulder with a ruler if he caught you looking down while doing typing tests at school. He fully believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child.” (That would be considered abuse today, I’m sure.) Now, don’t get lost just yet, I have saved the best for last and I KNOW this is going to dazzle you. (Smile.) I was nominated to be a computer helper which means me and my best friend Teresa were lucky enough to leave a boring class and go into the computer lab early to boot up all the computers. Those were such fun, innocent, care-free times.

So, I have definitely moved way beyond paper keyboards and booting up computers. I build classes as a strict subject-matter expert in Sociology now. I teach too. However, I have worked in a ton of LMS (Learning Management Systems) like Angel, Blackboard, D2L, eCollege, Moodle, and Canvas and build courses in an Instructional Designer role too. LMS probably means very little to most people and is what makes online courses/hybrid courses possible. It is the platform you log in to in order to access your class materials and is an important part of today’s higher education community.

Most recently, I am learning more about blogging by producing this website, creating my own graphics, learning a little about HTML, and learning how to make my website better (this is never-ending.) I know I am still learning, but I welcome this learning process. After all, I am an educator.

Now, on to the “meat and potatoes” of this article. I am happy to say I have discovered how to add a Pinterest “Follow Me” button to your WordPress website! I know, I know… Some of you are probably like, “You just figured that out?!” I guess my research avenues for this request weren’t the right ones for a while because I kept getting the wrong information. One thing led to another, to another, and then the process revealed itself. It isn’t as easy as choosing a button, but I promise it isn’t hard either. So, here are my directions for making this happen. If you have any questions, please send me a message. And, please, add me on Pinterest!

Step 1: First, go to your “pins” homepage on Pinterest. Copy the address in the website address bar of your browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, or Chrome, etc.).

Step 2: Click help on right, top, corner of your Pinterest Page and Scroll to the bottom.
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Step 3: Here, you will see Tools. Click on it.

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Step 4: Here, you will see a “Save” Button first and then a “Follow” Button. Click on the “Follow” Button

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Step 5: Then, paste your Pinterest URL in the bar under those buttons

Step 6: For “full name”, you can simply say “Follow Me” or “Follow –Insert Name Here-.” I used “Follow Mel.”

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This is not the screen you’ll see at this step.  This is simply showing how “Follow Mel” looks.

Step 7: You will see a code underneath in two different lines. Copy the first one.

Step 8: Next, go to the WordPress Dashboard and go to the Widget section. (To get here on my chosen WordPress design, I click on “My Site” on the top left. Go down to “Settings.” Click on it. Go to Themes, click “customize.” Click Widgets.) You can choose any area you want to add but I went to the Widget Header to add mine. Use CUSTOM HTML and add your code here. Then, paste the first code you copied. Go back to Pinterest and copy the second code under the first one you already copied. Then, paste in immediately under the first one. Don’t forget to save it! Now, you should see this on your WordPress page.

Step 9: You did it! I knew you could do it. (Birthday horn blows!)

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Happy Day,
Mel