I’m taking the Equity and Culturally Responsive Teaching @ONE course, and we’ve got an assignment to watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on the Golden Circle, and then to create our own. I really enjoyed this assignment, and probably spent more time thinking about this than I had planned. For me, really reflecting on my why was something that I decided to sit with for awhile.

Katie’s Golden Circle

My Why: Open, humanized, equitable learning can transform lives.

It took me awhile to decide whether or not to include online in there as well. Ultimately I decided to exclude it because I felt like that more closely aligns with the how. At my core, I am interested in that process of transformation- for our students through the classes that we offer on-campus, online, and hybrid, but also for employees through blended professional learning opportunities.

My How: Creatively use technology to design learning experiences that engage and support all learners

This took me the longest to figure out. How to develop those transformational learning experiences will vary greatly, but it always depends on engaging and supporting the learner. And that’s where online comes in. Online learning is about meeting students where they are and engaging them along the way.

My What: I offer instructional design & support

This is the outer most layer, what is most evident to people as that “thing” that I do. As Sinek puts it, “what you do serves as the proof of what you believe.” And so what I do – instructional design, giving workshops, supporting faculty, creating badges, learning new tools, engaging our audience, making videos – all of those are different kinds of learning experiences that engage and support learners. Why do I do it? Because open, humanized, equitable learning can transform lives.  

I like how Sinek puts it, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” I’m not getting people to buy anything, but I do hope that my work can inspire others who share my same passion. Everyday I hope my work is evidence of my passion.



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