Category Archives: GreenNurture

Derrick Mains on Augmented Reality

Could a pair of cardboard goggles become a critical student engagement tool?

Derrick_1I invited Derrick Mains to my computer lab yesterday to explain Augmented Reality, and what doors it might open for us educators, and of course students. I think I am sold!

Many students have heard of AR and VR, and you would be surprised how curious they are about this. Just as they are more interested in photography today because of disruptive devices such as the GoPro, they are more interested in Apps like these because of what it could do “seeing things differently.”

Cardboard_tnAs Derrick explained, this is another way to use Apps in education. Not just to stare at a screen but to ignore the screen (which disappears, the moment you put these goggles on) and engage and explore new worlds. We are not talking about fictitious virtual worlds, but uncharted territories whether it is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or to observe an eco-system in a rain forest.

Some of you might remember Derrick Mains from his work in social media. He was one of my co-presenters in a workshop on Digital Citizenship. The reason he’s on camera again, is because he will be in one of the several videos I am producing with my Salt River Pima-Maricopa TV team for another upcoming workshop.


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When you can’t broadcast, why not podcast?

A funny thing happened on the way to the radio station this week.

We had a great guest lined up, but were informed a day before that that time slot –7 PM Arizona time — was being preempted because the station, KFNX, had a prior commitment to carry the University of Arizona basketball game.

Rather than take a hiatus, I decided to pull out my trusty Zoom H4N and record a podcast with my co-host Derrick Mains. It happened to be a fitting week to talk of the launch of a baseline study by his company, GreenNurture and Miller Consultants. (More details here at the show web site.) This podcast also includes a report from Heather Clancy, our second on-the-ground correspondent.

The irony of this is, the radio show grew out of a weekly podcast! So, using social media-based format to broadcast a ‘show’  is more than a fall back. It’s an integral part of what I’m doing in radio in the digital era.


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Social media driving you to distraction?

The jury is still out whether social media is making us more distracted or not. I’ve met many people who claim that the best way to ‘work’ (and it’s within quotes for a reason) is to turn off the wi-fi and stop mult-tasking.

Like that’s easy!

But forget external communication for a moment. Could socially interactive apps make us more productive when we collaborate? I could give you five reasons why (and a few good books to read on the subject). But for now, here’s a presentation my colleagues at GreenNurture just posted to SlideShare.

I would use it for any ice-breaker, or at the start of a discussion in an organization!

Is Social Media Distracting Your Employees?


My new weekly radio show!

I almost forgot to break the story here. I started a radio show last week, focused on business. It’s called Your Triple Bottom Line.

Yes, it’s around the ‘Three P’s’ –People, Planet,Profits. I’m more into the first and the last Ps. (I leave the middle P to my wife, a small business owner, whom you would call a ‘deep green’ person.)

But it’s a great experience, being on radio. I trained at the BBC in London many years back as a producer, and have been a closet radio person all my life. Which is odd, being also into digital media. But I still maintain that radio is the true real-time medium, the first channel that brought communities and conversations together. The Internet simply borrowed the language and the model!

Derrick Mains and I co-host the show. There’s a social media angle here! I host and produce a podcast for GreenNurture, and Derrick has been a co-host of that show. Why radio? Have we got it backwards? There’s no short answer for this, but you will understand if you listen to the kind of guests we bring on every week.


‘Print Grows Trees’ debate opens a fresh debate

PrintGrowsTreesPrint has always been dinged hard by those promoting digital communications as the green alternative. And why not? We’ve seen excesses that are so revolting –boxes of glossy annual reports that have to be tossed, multiple-page bank statements etc.

The Print Council has been very sensitive to that in their PR, and has a talking points document called “The fine print” to rebut those arguments.

So this campaign is not surprising. Called Print Grows Trees, it attempts to communicate some aspects of the print industry and its relation to forests. Specifically “to show that print on paper actually helps to grow trees and keep our forests from being sold for development.”

Let’s face it: Many of us who have gone digital are big fans of print; it’s not a simple either/or choice. We buy newspapers and magazines, but avoid picking up brochures and flyers whenever we could download them and read them as a digital file. We encourage people to ‘think before you print’ but we do carry business cards (GreenNurture uses Quick Response tags on business cards to avoid brochures) using recycled paper, printed with vegetable inks.

Print on demand, and Personal URLs (‘those ‘PURLs’) are some of the solutions that almost every printer now offers. PODI, the Print On Demand Initiative, educates members and everyone else about print and social media, QR codes etc. So yes, the print industry has done some good things to erase the dead-tree stigma. This campaign though seems to push the envelope (bad choice of word?) a bit.

It definitely –deliberately–frames the debate as an economic problem-solution and not just an environmental one. Is it a dangerous myth, as Jay Purdue and others suggest, one that “has significant environmental and economic consequences” to say that print kills trees? If you haven’t run into the seemingly oxymoronic term ‘digital deforestation‘ be prepared to hear more about it in the next few months.

Or is Print Grows Trees a symptom of ‘tree guilt’ felt not just the print industry but by all of us when we forget to turn on the double-sided feature before hitting Control-P?


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Podcasts and Slideshare – a cool way to distribute ideas

I’ve been dabbling with Slideshare and love how it lets you create and embed content.

So when my friends at GreenNurture began creating a series of presentations, we experimented with not just regular presos, but wondered what if we package a media kit as a SlideShare? What if we published a Press Release in this rich format? What if…..

We tried a few, and guess what? Our presentations were so popular that SlideShare contacted us to say that they were featuring GreenNurture on the home page.

Today we have moved beyond that, and turned podcasts into a presentation. See below. I think it’s neat not because it pulls the format into a new skin, so to speak, but for anyone who does not want to download it to an MP3 player, but likes to listen to it on a computer, it adds a new experience. The forward buttons help you get back to a part of you missed.

And yes, there’s a word for this hybrid format –it’s called Slidecasting!

How Climate Gate is Leading Us to True Sustainability

View more presentations from GreenNurture.


GreenNurture podcast with Jay Baer

In my podcast series with GreenNurture, I often feature people with disruptive perspectives, from companies that are redefining business as usual in their segments.

So it was an honor to have Jason Baer, fellow Arizonan and someone I have been following (check his blog Convince And Convert) for as long as I’ve been working as a mashup of writer, marketer, communicator.

For those of you who don’t know him Jay has founded five companies, consulted for more than 700 companies and brands worldwide. But he’s best known for three words: Social Media Strategy. Just Google those words and see what I mean!