New Opportunities

On July 28, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

I am very excited to share that I have accepted a new position at MSU as Director of Innovation Advocacy with MSU Global.  This is a tremendous opportunity and I’m very excited to continue to serve MSU and to continue to grow professionally.  (See the awesome job description below!) This excitement is certainly bittersweet as it means I will be leaving my role as co-director of the MAET program effective August 28th.

I started working with MAET ten years ago in the summer of 2005 as a graduate assistant, co-teaching with Punya in our East Lansing summer cohort. (In 2007, I moved into the role I have now of MAET co-director.) It has been a tremendous decade watching the field grow and watching the thousands of students I have taught & advised define the field in their own contexts.  MAET has given me the opportunity to see the world – our community has welcomed me into their countries, classrooms, and homes.  I would not be the teacher, scholar or person I am without MAET.  I have been privileged to help grow the program into what it is today – and to work with exceptional educators and colleagues who inspire me and those around them every single day.

This opportunity came about quickly and I’ll be working to be sure that a smooth transition plan is in place as I move into my new role. (MAET students, instructors and colleagues I will keep everyone posted on that plan once it is formalized!)  There will still be ways that I will be connected to MAET, so this is certainly not a final goodbye, but certainly a transition to a new relationship.

Thanks again to all of you who have supported and inspired me over the past 10 years – I’m looking forward to this new opportunity to continue to serve MSU – Spartans Will!


Job Description:

The Office of MSU Global seeks a Director of Innovation Advocacy to work with faculty innovation fellows and related projects to inform the conception and design process and expedite the adoption of innovative models and frameworks across academic units.

The Director provides administrative support to the Asst. Provost and Executive Director of MSU Global. The Director exercises independent judgment, and handles a highly diversified mixture of responsibilities in several specialized areas.

The most important responsibility of the Director will be to create an environment that supports idea generation and allows for the disruption and expansion of those ideas. The Director must have a passion for hatching, developing and executing ideas as well as an ability to effectively “stretch” the thinking of our faculty partners and clients.

His or her responsibilities would include, but not be limited to proactively seeking out and meeting with potential faculty partners; creating, co-developing and effectively disrupting and expanding ideas and concepts; project plan development and execution; working on collaborative faculty program development teams; securing internal and external funding; overall support for innovative activities of faculty and students.

The Director will also have responsibility for building and expanding networks across the university with faculty and organizations that have innovative interests or agendas. This responsibility would also transfer to external organizations where and when appropriate.  


The Twitterverse continues to inspire! A few months ago my friend Catherine received a message from Bonnie.  Bonnie had put out a call to action asking for interest in an asynchronous twitter chat connecting higher-ed classrooms & teacher educators (pre-service and in-service) via a common theme/article this coming summer.  A few direct messages and weeks later Bonnie’s vision has become reality.  This Wednesday – Friday (July 15-July 17, 2015) #MAETY2 students in the Michigan State University MAET Summer Cohort in Galway will be participating in the #ED1to1 chat to discuss Audrey Watters’ recent post: (25 years ago) The First School One-to-One Laptop Program.

While this is an explicit task for #MAETY2, I highly encourage anyone in the #MAET community at large to participate!

The other courses & professors participating formally are:

There will be a few guiding/prompted questions posted by Bonnie, however, the discussion will be organic and everyone will bring their own lenses, thoughts and questions to the Twitter table. A good place to start is with the question Audrey poses at the end of her blog post: So, how are schools doing with computing (and constructionism) 25 years later?

Make sure to use the #ED101 hashtag (and #MAET if you wish!)

See you Wednesday!


Thank you @091Labs

On July 9, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

I want to take a minute to publicly send a sincere thank you to our friends at 091Labs here in Galway.  For the past 3 years you have welcomed our MAET students with open arms, hearts and laptops. You are so generous with your time, expertise and hospitality.  You are an integral part to our connection to the Maker Movement and our time here would not be the same without you. Thanks a million.
Annual 091Labs Visit



On June 8, 2015, in Personal, by Leigh Graves Wolf

In Heaven

My heart has been broken since I received word that my friend Bianca Ní Ghrógáin passed away.  It was was just one short year ago we met for the first time.  Catherine, Pam, Mary, Helen and I had had planned a lunch when I arrived in Galway for the summer. Pam emailed and said Bianca would be in town too, would anyone mind if she joined? Of course we didn’t – and there was the beginning of a fast friendship. Our band of #ITWomen continuing to grow stronger. We all left that lunch with a tremendous sense of energy and hope in our hearts.

It has been an honour to know Bianca.  Like many of my #edchatie family, we instantly connected as if we had known each other for well beyond 351 days – not even a full calendar year.  Bianca came back to Galway a few weeks after this picture to attend the #GREAT14 conference put on by our students, continuing to make connections, share her expertise for Making and education in general. Our connections continued on twitter over the past year – and we were looking forward to seeing each other again this summer.

There is a large void in all of our hearts – do a quick google search or search on twitter, to start to scratch the surface of Bianca’s impact on this world. Read her blog:  Listen to her being interviewed by a student to see how much she loved teaching.  Listen to her recently being interviewed on Dublin City FM.

This sadness and loss is quite surreal right now.  I am forever grateful for the time we had together and my heart truly aches for a life and a friend lost incredibly too soon.


Office of Educational Technology Tech Tuesday

On Tuesday I was honored to participate as a panelist on the weekly Office of Educational Technology Tech Tuesday Google Hangout.  The topic of discussion this week was EdTech in Teacher Prep.

There were many issues discussed in the short 30 minutes we had together. I hope the OET continues the opportunity for open conversations (would be a wonderful opportunity for a Future Ready event? Extend the conversation into Higher Ed?)

I have a few brief follow up points:

I think that faculty unnecessarily received a bad rap in parts of the discussion.  Teacher preparation programs (and the faculty within the programs) are under tremendous pressure. How to successfully integrate technology into teacher preparation programs is indeed a wicked problem.  I tried to touch on this in my closing statement – this is not a one sided discussion.

We didn’t have the opportunity to discuss how (and where) teaching online factors into teacher preparation. This adds to the “wickedness” of the problem – and is a perfect topic for further discussion!

Thank you to Zac Chase for the invitation to participate!



I’m excited to share that CEP 811: Adapting Innovative Technology into Education has been awarded Best Fully Online Course in the annual MSU AT&T Award Competition in Instructional Technology! I’m so proud of this course and so honored to work with the amazing individuals below and our amazing students who bring CEP 811 to life!

CEP 811 Team



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This afternoon about 500 participants at the #iPDX15 conference collectively authored a book, in about 20 minutes.

Here’s a quick behind the scenes peek into what we did, and, how you can do it too!

Almost a year ago Darren Hudgins emailed me and challenged me to create an interactive keynote for about 500 people at the IPDX15 conference.  A year or so of thinking culminated in a fun activity that took place this afternoon.  I have been running Quickfire Challenges for a while now, but, I’ve never done anything to this scale.  At the core of a Quickfire challenge is a deep (hopefully) transformational learning experience in a short time period.

Here’s how this challenge played out.

My goal:

I wanted participants active at their tables curating the information that had been shared over the 3 days of the conference. I wanted the activity to have a meaningful & tangible outcome.  I decided that the outcome of this activity would be a collaboratively authored book and I worked backwards from there.

Pre-activity preparation:

I created 50 open google documents (with custom links) with about 45 different writing prompts.

To start the session:

Each table was given an envelope with the custom URL.

I told everyone the smartest person in the room was the room and that we were going to collaborate.  (It’s very important to note that they knew nothing of the final outcome!) 

When the timer (20 minutes) started the participants accessed their google documents and began on their prompt/challenge.  The prompts ranged from writing poetry, to creating images to sharing a “just one thing” take away for specific disciplines.

The timer stopped.

Then, it was at this point that I gave them a little background. I had been listening to how overwhelmed they were by all of the information, how could they cull through everything? And the surprise was revealed…they had all collectively authored a book called: TL;DR The Quick, Creative, Crowdsourced Guide to #iPDX15

Then, I talked a bit about bricolage, Sherry Turkle’s Evocative Objects and then added one more twist … I let everyone know that there is an Espresso Book Machine at Powell’s Bookstore and they could take these raw materials and print a book! I gave them an extra 10 minutes to go back to their document to edit/clean up the text for printing.

It’s about an hour or so after things have wrapped up and I have posted the raw first draft of the book.  As you can see - it needs another level of copy editing.  The beauty of this being an open, collaborative and living document is that it can continue to be improved! I have downloaded all of the files and will work on a second draft to add more context and clean up some of the copy. (This is just a brief reflection, but, if I had to do this again I will think more about the scaffolding I provide participants in terms of formatting.)

If anyone is interested in printing the book, there is one more level of formatting that needs to be done to prepare the text for the Espresso Book Machine.  Formatting directions are here ( or (for a fee) Powells can help with the formatting as well.

To summarize:

One of the key things I wanted people to take away from this was that there was an intentional and tangible purpose to our activity.  It was really important for me in creating this activity for our group to collectively create something that could be useful to others.

I believe this idea could be repurposed in many ways.  Say you’re working on curriculum alignment – you could have a large group of people with carefully constructed tasks, give them a short amount of time, then SURPRISE – you’re half-way to aligning your curriculum to standards.  As a classroom teacher you could do a derivative of this activity in almost any discipline.

I would sincerely like to thank everyone for playing along! This was a tremendous challenge to me and I hope you enjoyed the experience.  If you take this idea and run with it, please keep in touch and let me know how it plays out!!


#edchatie Friends: Save the date for #GREAT15

On February 9, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

If you are an educator in Ireland (or if your summer travel plans include Ireland) be sure to attend the free 8th annual MAET/ICT/Educational Technology Conference (#GREAT15) on the campus of NUI Galway in Galway, Ireland on Thursday July 16, 2015 from 1pm-4pm (IST).

great14 photo by catherinecronin on flickr

Last year’s #GREAT14 conference again exceed our expectations. Several of our #edchatie friends made it to Galway for the conference and the addition of the Youth Media Team was incredible. It truly was an amazing day and we are looking forward to reconnecting and making new friends at #GREAT15.

The conference is organized and presented by the Year 2 Overseas MSU MAET students as a requirement for their CEP 815: Technology and Leadership course (see the assignment here), and is targeted towards anyone who works in the field of education (K12, higher ed, and beyond).



Below you will find archives of the past 7 conferences to give you an idea of the spirit of the conference:

2014 #GREAT14:
2013 #GREAT13:
2012 #GREAT12:
2011 RELATe:
2010 RELATe
2009 PLATE
2008 PLATE (parts of site available on

If you’re interested in coming, fill out this simple form to register your interest. We will send more updates as the schedule emerges:

One more opportunity to connect:

If you’re an educator or maker in, or around, Galway I would love to talk to you about the possibility of visiting your classroom/learning/making space! Our students are eager to not only visit classrooms, but potentially collaborate with you on an activity. We will be in Galway June 28 – July 24, 2015.  I know this is the end of the school year and into holidays (which is a tricky time) but we are very interested in connecting with you! Just tweet me (@gravesle) if you’re interested!


39 forever

On January 28, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

Ten years ago I posted this to my blog:

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Well 29 year old Leigh, the past 10 years have been very eventful. I have:

  • finished a PhD
  • become an aunt to 5 amazing human beings
  • traveled to places I never imagined I would go: UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland, China, India, Malaysia, South Korea, across Canada and the United States.
  • lost a father
  • had major surgery
  • ran 2 half marathons and several 5 & 10K races
  • + more

Turning 39 isn’t bothering me like 29 (apparently) did.  It’s hard to start to gracefully articulate the incredible opportunities that have presented themselves over the past 10 years. 10 years ago, I had never stepped foot outside of the US/Canada. Directing the MAET program has truly been a defining, life changing part of the past decade.   I feel incredibly fortunate that I can say, without hesitation, that I have a friend wherever I go, on earth.  Everyone reading this, each and every one of you that I have had in class, as an advisee, as a friend, acquaintance has transformed my life.  I have a lot more left to learn and experience. It’s quite exciting to anticipate what the next decade will bring to my life – 49 here I come.


I wouldn’t go as far as calling this a New Year’s resolution, but, I have been feeling very lax in keeping up with journal reading and want to get back on the ball. I do a great job of keeping up with blogs, tweets and books, however, academic journal reading has fallen down on the list and I am working on fixing that.  I wholeheartedly blame Google Reader for this – ever since its demise I did not set up an alternate feed reader.  Well, I finally had a minute to pick this back up and turned to my favorite website around IFTTT for a solution.  I know, I know, RSS is dead, but, while it’s still around I’m going to take advantage of the technology to create a quick fix for my journal reading problems – creating RSS > Evernote recipes for new journal issues using IFTTT.
I created a series of feeds for a handful of journals. Because IFTTT is awesome, I can publish and share them with you as well. Enjoy!!
This list is certainly not exhaustive, I follow other journals on twitter (e.g. and will certainly be adding more along the way. Have a suggestion? Would love to hear your favorites in the comments, bonus points if you create an IFTTT recipe to go along with the suggestion.