GR8 (PIF2): Learning Adventures

Pay It Forward #2 was requested by a teacher who has given up the confines of the traditional walled classroom in favor of experiential learning. Her new venture has exposed kids from around California to some of the great wonders of the world, not the least of which are the extraordinary cultures of Southeast Asia, via Friendship Tours.

From the Friendship Tours website…

Educational travel and community service programs for students and teachers. Experiential learning and volunteer projects create diplomacy and mutual prosperity for a more peaceful world.

We invite you to…

  • Transcend ordinary tourism.
  • Experience living history.
  • Join meaningful learning adventures.
  • Support global communities healing from war.

Teachers Travel Free!

Lead students on life-changing discoveries.

Friendship World ToursMy job is to review the educational material she has created to ensure that those joining her tours gain as much perspective and historical knowledge as possible. She wants the kids, and teachers, to maximize the intellectual returns on their investment of time and money. I love it!

There are 5 Units, each one broken down into 5 or so sections, plus quizzes, powerpoint presentations, worksheets and best of all, “Simulated Activities” for me to review. I am to go through it all looking for typos, to make sure lessons are clear, formatting is correct and essentially, that the material fulfills its intended purpose.

I’m looking forward to learning from the material and hoping this resolution will call attention to the great work Friendship is doing. To learn more about the tours, click HERE. If you are a teacher, you should definitely look into this. Teachers travel free!

Considering the work she is doing, asking her to pay this forward almost seems redundant, but she has agreed to do so. I’m hoping this PIF will reach across the globe following her travels.

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LR9: Klout

I was out for dinner the other night with one of my hedge fund’s investors and the topic ofBijaPoo on Klout Klout came up. I’d heard the word mentioned earlier in the week while on a business trip to NYC as well. Two unrelated mentions in one week perked my ears and piqued my interest, so I had to find out more.

First, both conversations focused on the fact that Justin Bieber has the most influence of anyone on the Internet and that companies are actually paying him to essentially do product placements on his Twitter, Facebook, et al accounts. How do they know he’s the most influential person in cyberspace? Well, he’s the only person in the world with a Klout score of 100 out of 100.

According to their website,

The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others.

The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure:

    • True Reach: How many people you influence
    • Amplification: How much you influence them
    • Network Impact: The influence of your network

I’m a pretty heavy user of the Internet, so when I first signed up and received a score of just 13, it was pretty shocking. It made me wonder how low my less Internet friendly friends must be and also what it takes to boost it up. Then I saw a friend who isn’t social media savvy with a score of 17! I had to understand the score better.

Again, according to Klout’s website, “influence is relative so it depends on your goal and peers. The average Klout Score is not 50; instead, it is around 20. The Score becomes exponentially harder to increase as you move up the scale. For instance, it is much harder to move from a 70 to a 75 than from a 20 to a 25.” Wow, 20 is average and I’m a 13?! I wondered what it would take to improve my score to a more respectable level. Klout says, “the best way to increase your Score is to consistently create great content that people want to share and respond to. For the most accurate Score, we also recommend connecting all of your social networks.”

Turns out, it takes a couple of days for your networks to update on Klout. The 13 represented just my Twitter account. Once it added my Facebook page my score jumped to 23. It still hasn’t fully registered all of my networks, like YouTube, Instagram, 12for2012.com, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Blogger, but my score is already a very respectable 51. Pinterest, ravelry and many others are not yet incorporated.

Why should my Klout score matter to me? Power and influence is a good thing to have, whether in the real world or cyberspace. If I am going to be successful at launching LPE, it will certainly come in handy. (LPE’s Klout score is 23, but for some reason it’s only registering the LPE’s Twitter account. Since it’s influence is much greater on Facebook, that score should be much higher when it does register.)

Besides, even as it affects this blog, it’s much more fun writing for an audience.

GR6: Celebrate Our Teachers

According to a recent study, just over 98% of the time “teaching” is mentioned in the news or online, it is with a negative connotation. The League of Professional Educators seeks to turn that around and it begins with campaigns like this one. Please share them via FacebookTwitter and the LPE website to help spark that reversal.

Also, we added another image to the IF campaign.

Click here to share “If community…” on Facebook

If community is your concern, so is education

GR6: LPE’s “IF” Campaign

I met with an amplification consultant, which is essentially a business designed to help get a message out via the full array of social media outlets. Amplification, Inc has come on board to help us do just that. This is an iterative process, that will require us trying things, assessing their success and making adjustments. What I learned from our 1st discussion is that in the world of social media, a picture is worth 1,000 words and video is worth exponentially more, especially short videos. Children and animals are a huge plus. Nothing new in any of this, but if we are going to be successful at getting our message out, it’s important for us to be cognizant of what works. Here are the first 5 images from the new “IF” campaign for the League of Professional Educators. I would greatly appreciate it if you would share them via Facebook and/or Twitter. Every “Share” and “Like” helps get us closer to fixing education.

Click here to share “If children…” on Facebook

If children are your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If poverty…” on Facebook

If poverty is your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If crime…” on Facebook

If crime is your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If women’s rights…” on Facebook

Women's Rights

Click here to share “If terrorism…” on Facebook

If terrorism is your concern, then so is education.

GR6: Thank a Teacher

I was a little late to the party on that Mission: Small Business contest, so I won’t be too hard on my ability to mobilize the troops, but clearly I need to learn how to better utilize social media if I am going to have any success in launching the League of Professional Educators.

My contempt for all these quotes camouflaged as images that go around Facebook, begging people to “share” and “like” is well telegraphed. However, I can’t deny how effective they are for rallying people behind a cause. If you get the right message, they get passed around like a hot potato. So, I’m going to try a few for the LPE, beginning with these and see how it goes.

Click here to share this one with your friends on Facebook if you’re so inclined.

Thank a Teacher Mark

Click here to share this one with your friends on Facebook too.

Thank a Teacher LeBron

If you have any suggestions, please share them with me. If you’d like to make one of your own to help the cause, please send it to me at bijapoo@me.com.

GR6: League of Professional Educators

League of Professional EducatorsIn 2007, I decided I wanted to do more than simply run a successful business and enjoy my life in Santa Barbara. I wanted to see if I could apply what I do for a living, to solve a major social problem. After a year researching everything including poverty, crime, health, the environment rights issues, and so much more, I found that when I drilled deeper and deeper down, at the core of all of these issues, is education. Solve the education problem, and we solve so many other social ills.

I spent three years focused on the task of boiling the issue down to its essence and then developing a solution. The result is the League of Professional Educators (LPE).

Initially, the plan was to launch the LPE as a non-profit, but after fighting with the IRS for 501c3 status for a year, with the only beneficiary being our lawyers, we reorganized as a for-profit. No other aspect of the entity changed. It was always intended to be a commercially viable entity, for I believe that’s the only way you can ensure long term sustainability.

Mission: Small BusinessI will provide far more details as this resolution develops, but step one for GR6 is to ask my followers to vote for the LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS to win a $250,000 grant in Chase’s Mission: Small Business program. Click here, log in via Facebook and enter League of Professional Educators in the box marked “business name”. Then spread the word….PLEASE! With this grant, the LPE can build out the operations necessary for triggering real improvement in America’s education system.

In this video, I describe the key issue facing our education system and how the LPE will solve it.

LPE on FacebookLPE on Twitter