Gardner Campbell, the Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at Baylor University (also Professor of Literature and Milton scholar), is a thought-leader, blogger, and frequent speaker on the topic of applying new media tools to teaching and learning. Every time I hear him speak, I am reinvigorated by the endless open-education possibilities. I’ve come to see Gardner’s approach as a mission to remove blockades, open our minds, abolish fear and create on-ramps for creativity and new thinking. He is a masterful teacher himself – on fire with the pure zeal that comes from being so intellectually stimulated by the steady diet of ideas and insights in which he delights.
Despite the objections and indifference he encounters with members of the academy, Gardner is an optomist (it’s his nature) and is always ready with a funny insight or humorous anecdote (typically rendered at his own expense) that helps us all keep the faith. In this talk, No Digital Facelifts, from May 2010, Gardner tells a funny story in the first 2 minutes about trying to introduce faculty to the use of new media. “It’s as if day after day, I say, ‘I have a bag of gold, would you like a bag of gold?’ and they say, ‘How do you have time for bags of gold?'” It’s a perfect story that made me laff out loud when I heard it. Because, like all effective humor, it cut right to the bone of the truth. Yup. That’s it.
Thanks, Gardner. For all that you do.