Bookmarked How To Make A Book Come To Life by Steve Brophy (Hedge School)

Welcome to part two of my self publishing journey. Part one is the hard part. Climbing that mountain requires consistency and plenty of will. Part two, although easier, was completely uncharted territory for me. Writing and editing writing is familiar. Understanding the process required to take that edited piece and bring it to the world was challenging. Hopefully this helps provide a little light for you on your own journey. I will share with full transparency the whole process. It is not the only way to get a book into the world, it is just the path I walked this time. Be sure to check out Part 1 to help set the scene.

Steve Brophy reflects upon the technical aspects associated with producing a book, including purchasing an ISBN, selecting art for the cover and choosing a platform to publish the book. Brophy also shares a link to Ron Vitale’s post on using IngramSpark.
Bookmarked Five step mapping: Clues to the Labyrinth of you by Steve Brophy (Hedge School)

The practice is quite simple. Make a list of the last five explorations in a range of inquiry areas.

1. The last five podcasts that grabbed you

2. The last five books that you read completely

3. The last five websites, articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, newsletters that grabbed your attention

After you have collated the list, have a look at the list. What does it tell you? What questions were looking to be solved? What, as my dear mentor Leon Cossar would say, ‘stretched your attention in the right direction’? Note down themes. Note down feelings. Note down anything else of interest. Revisit the steps and note any quotes of interest.

There is a reason you walked these paths.

4. Sit with the clews and ask yourself how these steps will shape where you are going next.

5. Once you have allowed the clews to marinade in your consciousness, set aside five minutes to write continuously. You may like to pose a question at the top of your page to target the writing. For example, what message does my last five steps have for me?

Steve Brophy discusses an exercise for collecting your dots and joining them together.
Bookmarked How to remember more of what you read by Steve Brophy (Hedge School)

Setting up for Conversational Alchemy

Across a series of posts (1,2,3), Steve Brophy explains his use of Roam Research and the Zettelkasten methodology to develop a deeper dialogue with what he reads. This is broken up into three steps, the initial capturing of ‘fleeting notes‘, rewriting the text in our own words as ‘Literature Notes‘ and the creation of declarative statements in the form of ‘permanent notes. He elaborates this all in the following video:

This has me re-thinking what Mike Caulfield was trying to achieve with Wikity. I am also left thinking about Ryan Holiday’s advice in regards to how to ‘read to lead’, as well as Julie Beck’s point to simply do something. Personally, I think that the biggest challenge is actually capturing the ideas when they arise.

For something a bit longer, find this guide from Thriving Henry, while Dave Winer demonstrates how to achieve the same outcome with Little Outliner.

RSVPed Interested in Attending Mental Models for optimised thinking and sensemaking

An online course to help develop thinking complexity. Harness the power of situational dynamics and decision-making frameworks to help make better decisions and sense of the world we live in.

Steve Brophy has put together an online course on sense-making.
Liked Yearning for freedom by Steve Brophy (Hedge School)

Pausing and taking stock of the big ideas that call out to us is how we honour the poetic. Big Ideas or what Christine McDougall of Syntropic Enterprises calls Source Ideas are clues from the Universe. Reminders that we are called here to play full out. To be stewards of gifts that are ours alone to tend to but not ours to own.

Big Ideas wollup us awake. With the emotion required to get us in motion.

And if we sow the seeds of that great idea in the right ecosystem, magic happens.

Bookmarked Hedge School (

A weekly newsletter about learning to stand up in your own life through growth, meaning, purpose, and spirituality.

Steve Brophy has started a newsletter designed to help people with running their own race in life.

The Hedge School newsletter is designed to be the school on the side of the road. Ramshackle in appearance but situated in the moment. Just what you need. Perfect timing with a deep connection to place. You’ll feel us at the edge of new frontiers when you are in need of counsel, support and a place to be heard.

It contains a mixture of personal reflections and strategies that provide readers to go on their own journey.

RSVPed Attending DLTV Talks Leadership Session 1 Steve Brophy

In this workshop, Steve Brophy asks important questions then provides an avenue of ideas for a way forward due to the increased workload the pandemic has wrought on leaders. How do we as leaders lead when we ourselves are struggling to deal with the bandwidth overload that is our current existence? In this interactive webinar, learn practices and frameworks that will enable you to build a robust toolkit for thriving in tumultuous times.

  1. Putting on your own oxygen mask first: A personal survival toolkit designed to decode your body and enable optimal performance
  2. Counteracting screentime: Using nature to balance the scales
  3. Making sense when nothing makes sense – Frameworks for navigating complexity

One of the points that really stood out to me was:

Human beings need stress, they just can’t live with perpetual stress.

Replied to Networking, PLNs and Design Thinking – Design and Play Podcast by Steve Brophy; Dean Pearman (

Where have we been? Steve begins by sharing the behind the scenes of the new University Campus at Ivanhoe. Year 9 is traditionally recognised as the year where students provide the most challenges in terms of disengagement, behaviour, and lack of direction. But is Year 8 the new Year 9? Dean and Steve talk about how their collective schools approach this challenge.

Design thinking pops up again (it does in every episode!) and Dean reflects on his human-centred approach to learning and schooling after appearing at the Leadership Exchange. Networking is a key factor in this approach and Dean and Steve talk about their respective network development journeys. The lone genius is a myth as the greatest ideas of our time have come from people bouncing off each other. Dean proposes 5 key stages of networking from his own experience.

Stages of networking

  1. Reach out
  2. Twitter – Twitter chats, hashtags, following thought leaders. LinkedIn
  3. Blog – evolve thinking
  4. Giving more – connect with people on a deeper level and work together. Reading
  5. Outside networks – bringing ideas from outside education

The Design and Play podcast began due to a desire to do deep work together. The learning that we do within our networks needs to evolve. We also jump into design inspired archetypes to help break our assumptions about schools and leadership. Do you have a bias towards actions or do you embrace ambiguity? Finally, we discuss 1:1 programs and our questions and worries about the current state of our own programs. The wicked problem – how do we best serve our students’ needs with technology? Is our current approach enough?

Great to have you back on the airwaves Dean and Steve. I thought you both might have gotten stuck down a well.

Really interesting comments about 1:1. For me, if it is not being done right or with intent, then it is worth questioning it. Also, left thinking about PLN and the way in which it changes and morphs over time. I too have gone off Twitter a little bit. Still happy to engage, just with more purpose I guess.

Something that I was left wondering about after listening was the role of the survey. I know that we can ask questions and do quizzes (something that has come up with Gonski 2.0), but I was really intrigued by Donna Lanclos’ argument against all this.

In a recent presentation, she put out the call:

Please, let’s not profile people.

When you are asking your students and staff questions, perhaps it should not be in a survey. When you are trying to figure out how to help people, why not assume that the resources you provide should be seen as available to all, not just the ones with “identifiable need?

As much as it is easy, lean, agile, what is the cost of this efficiency and quick feedback?

Listened Taking the time to be offline by Dean Pearman; Steve Brophy from Design and Play

In our first real episode for 2018, we revisit the importance of offline time and switching off. This is always a challenge when work is something you are incredibly passionate about. How do we develop good work habits when the lines are blurred so much? We explore the third space, a concept developed by Adam Fraser designed to help people transfer better between work and space. We once again circle back on time tracking and managing our time. We explore the value of what to measure when tracking time. Steve explains his tracking of interruptions and the use of reticular activation to intentionally manage his focus and habits. We talk about the books we read and those that just couldn’t bring ourselves to read (#blurredlines). This leads to a rich discussion on real evidence of learning and design thinking as a mental model. Student centred learning features as Dean explores his school’s new Inspire Me curriculum and the removal of the curriculum safety net.

Replied to How to strive and thrive by using fuzzy goals and mental models (transformative learning)

What do you do when the end goal is not as clear? The answer is fuzzy goals

Goal setting is such an interesting topic. Smart goals seems to be a lot of people’s default. I have reflected before on the need to be open when developing pedagogical practices:

More than just SMART, the purpose of goals are to provide focus. A useful guide is the How Might We question, as it incorporate the what, the when and who in a succinct manner. In addition to this, I have found the Modern Learning Canvas useful in regards identifying particular points of innovation.

This is something Vivian Robinson touches on in Student-Centred Leadership:

When goals involve new challenges, how can you possibly know if it is achievable, if it is realistic, and how long it will take you to achieve it? In the absence of such knowledge, it may be better to set a learning goal or a broader performance goal that expresses your shared commitments and helps keep you focused.

The problem in a world driven by data and accountability, we are often uncomfortable with embracing the wicked and fussyness of the unknown.

Replied to Revealing a heavy heart and awakening through fear and dialogue (transformative learning)

I learnt that I’m not afraid of public speaking. I actually enjoy speaking in public. I’m afraid of the feeling of being judged in public. I’m afraid of letting go and not being in control.

This is a great reflection. I could not agree more about the realisation that it is about the critique, more than the actual performance. I refer to it as being comfortable in your own skin. Take for example Gary Stager. He shared his limited preparation associated with a recent TEDTalk:

I wrote the talk an hour before showtime and delivered it with no monitor or timer in front of me. I’m sure that the performance suffers, but that the message may manage to be worthwhile nonetheless. I hope you or some teenagers find it interesting.

This is in contrast to someone like Amy Burvall, who felt that the TED format, something critiqued on method as much as content, required something different:

Usually when I give keynotes, I don’t really make a script per se…I know what I’m talking about and prefer to speak naturally and let my slides, which are very visual, guide me. But TED-style talks are different…they are timed and must be precise, therefore requiring a script. Every word counts – like a poem. The trick is, you want to practice that bad boy till it’s part of you, like a tattoo, but still come off sounding like it’s the first time you’ve ever said it.

She even went to the length of creating an animated version to thoroughly prepare:

Thanks Steve for sharing. It definitely challenges me to push myself beyond my usual comfort zone.

Checked into DLTV14 Conference

Listening to the Voices In and Out of the Classroom

Here is the blurb for the session that Steve Brophy and I presented:

One of the biggest challenges in education today is how to empower everyone and give a voice to every learner, this means moving beyond listening to those who seek to be heard and finding ways to capture every voice in and out of the classroom. From collaborating on a document to using a learning response system to reflect on a unit of work, this session will look at not only how we can use various web 2.0 tools to capture the different voices in and out of the classroom, but also how these tools can be used to provoke and prompt further into ongoing dialogue. Presenting our thoughts and reflections from a wide range of settings and scenarios, both Primary and Secondary, we hope that you leave this session armed with an array of tools and ideas that will help you go and listen to some of those lost and hidden voices today.

Here are the slides from the session:

Further notes and reflections can be found here.