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Reason # 5,462 Why We Need More Women in STEM

July 24th, 2015

I was chatting with a design/arty friend of mine yesterday (she’s awesome), and somehow, we landed on the subject of wellness wearables.

“Do you wear or did you wear a wellness wearable?” she asked me.  Of course, I replied that I have a Fitbit flex, but it’s sitting in my jewelry box because it’s hard to charge without me sitting on top of it the entire time.

She replied, “Yeah, I used to wear a Nike FUEL band, but it really p*ssed me off, it was so ugly – so I stopped wearing it!”

She brings up a very good point.  And a point that I think deserves to go under the bucket of needing more women in STEM.  Although I don’t know it officially for a fact, but my guess is that all the original fitness wearables were NOT designed by women, because they are all pretty ugly.

There have been some add ons that make some of them prettier – Tory Burch, for example has a fitbit flex band that looks more like jewelry.  However, I digress.

My point?  We need more women in STEM.

Period.

5 Cool Items for Your Consideration

July 22nd, 2015

Yes, yes yes.  I know I should be working on #STEMPrincess2 right now…but I granted myself a work hiatus today, since I spoke about the #STEMPrincess project at #NACW15 instead.

I wanted to throw down a few cool things I or my friends are putting out there for you, my fab 13 fans, in hopes that you’ll take the ball and run with it.

Here goes…

1. What I learned at altMBA – 8.8.15 – Indy – Studio B.  Come and hear what I learned cover-to-cover at this event from Seth Godin’s course at #altMBAIndy.  If you REALLY want to go big, you can apply for altMBA2, which is starting at the end of August.

2. The STEM Princess Teaching Contest - So, one of my friends on instagram posted her first grade classroom stripped down today as she prepares for another year of teaching.  That inspired me to think of some way to share cool STEM education ideas and give back.  So, you can hurry over to Periscope and watch my really terribly shot post on the contest for ideas, or better yet, go like the STEM Princess Facebook page, like it, and then plant your awesome STEM teaching idea on the page.  The best teaching in STEM idea will get the book prize pack on the page.  Contest ends next week.  And I really don’t care if you’re a kindergarten teacher, or a professor teaching PhD candidates–I just want everyone to share their best teaching stuff in and around STEM.

3. And while we’re on the subject – Periscope.  Live streaming video is something for the LIFE of me I’m trying to figure out.  And yet, I’m reminded of my grandmother’s terrible picture taking habits when I jiggle the camera around.  Sloppy video aside, I think live streaming video is the NEXT thing in social media.  So, if you’re trying to figure it out too, meet up with me over at that channel on your smart phone.  You should be able to just type in “erinalbert” and find me…and my jiggly camera.

4. SMDames15 – Speaking of social media (see how this post is just one big loop?) Shout out to Amy Stark and Digital Dames for putting together the next and upcoming #SMDames15!  I’m lobbying hard for experts in Periscope, Meerkat, Slack, Plag, and Zoom to share how they use these amazing new tools.  Registration I’ve been told will be up soon.  So if you’re trying to figure out all this new fancy social media whiz bang gadgetry, or don’t have the time to research it yourself but need a fast download, you should mark your calendars now for November 20th at Oak Hill Mansion.  It’s always a good time and a great crew of women in the house.

5. Travel – The Erin Albert roadshow is heading to DC, Boston, Miami and Ireland this fall!  For what? Stay tuned…!

The Girls are Waiting…

July 16th, 2015

TabithatheTheoreticalPhysicistSTEMPrincessNow that I’m re-entering the real world post altMBA, I took one of those things called a “vacation” day yesterday to road trip to Louisville.  I try to make it down there at least one time each year.  And, summer is flying by – scarily.  I don’t regret being part of inaugural class of altMBA at all; however, it did throw a bit of a crimp in my summer schedule.

So, that means I’ve not been working on #STEMPrincess2.  In order to commit to shipping, because the girls are waiting, I’m going to stay off of this channel and stop posting at the blog until this book is done.  I WILL get it done before school comes back on line for the fall semester, which is August 24th.  That’s how serious I am about this being priority #1 right now.

You all can hold me accountable on this.  I have pre-orders with sad empty envelopes, and the girls are waiting.  We’re still not getting the girls at parity when it comes to STEM ed; in fact, it’s getting worse.  Thus, my work here is not done.

Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.  Until then, you can follow the STEM Princess Facebook page, where we always update with bits of info and resources for girls in STEM.  I’m also speaking at NACW National Conference on Girls and STEM next week.

Until I’m back – let’s keep it educated out there, peeps!

Infobesity, Antifragility, and the Way to Grandma’s House

July 13th, 2015

While it appears that I’ve been lack on my blog posts this past 30+ days, I’ve actually been writing my dupa off with homework and projects over at altMBA.  My project page is here if you want to verify I’ve been shipping…really, I have been.

I also started writing again for Pharmacy Times, and turned in a piece for this fall today.  I’m also working on a 3rd piece for their print edition on pharmacy Game Changers.  More on that later.

Some random thoughts that are floating through my head tonight…

1. Infobesity - one of my new friends, Stacey Howe-Lott, used this term in her homework video over at altMBA this weekend.  I love the term, but unfortunately don’t love the TMI-ness of it.  She argues that our society is actually suffering from TMI or infobesity in the Google/internet era, and argues for change in teaching of curation, ‘less being more,’ and editing. I really like that idea.

2. Antifragility – Now that podcasts are retro chic, and I have a car in which I can actually play them through my stereo via my phone, I was listening to James Altucher’s podcast with Brett McKay, founder of The Art of Manliness.  In their chat, they mentioned the book Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb.  In it, the author argues that some things are actually better when they are tested or stressed.  Example: our bones and muscles.  You have to work them out to make them stronger. I think our minds are like this too.

That’s kind of what altMBA did for my mind–it pushed and stretched it, even stressed it out a bit (and if you don’t view an online class as stressful, just try doing a 3 minute video of yourself staring straight into a camera, talking nonstop about something in which you’re passionate.  That’s stress.)

3. The Way to Grandma’s house – I was at the bookstore the other day, and now I’m in this nasty habit of taking pictures of books I want to read, then ordering them from the library when I get home after checking them out at the bookstore (terrible, I know!)  Anyway, a shiny silver book cover caught my eye, The Power of Being Yourself by Joe Plumeri (yes, that cover really is silver – yet another reason why Kindle books just aren’t as good).  I’m just starting to dig into this shiny covered book, but one section talks about leadership…and describing the way to grandma’s house.  When you’re taking others on a long journey, and when they start to get squirmy and lose site of the vision, you start telling true stories about the benefits of staying on that journey.  When the squirmy kiddos start asking, “Are we there yet?” on the way to grandma’s house, you start talking about all the benefits upon arrival – like fresh cookies, candy, and other treats grandmas are notorious for stuffing the grandkids with…this keeps their eye on the prize.

We all need to do a better job with these 3 items above – myself included.  I need to edit – less can be more.  I need to work out my body and my brain to make them both stronger.  And we all, when we start doubting ourselves, need to remember the cookies at the end of the trip awaiting us upon our arrivals.

Three small steps with three big potential results.

 

More on the Indy 8.8.15 altMBA Workshop

July 7th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.31.10 PMSsshhh…I posted this at a couple of random places today, but that’s it thus far. (Besides, Jared was stealing everyone’s thunder today!  Dogs that can sniff out hard drives?!? Really?!? I digress.) Figured I needed to share my stuff with the fab 13 here…

…the registration link is up for the 8/8/15 altMBA Indy workshop. I’m going to share what I learned from Seth Godin and his coaches while being part of the inaugural class of altMBA this summer.  More from Seth himself at this Slate podcast. It will be at Studio B, right off Mass Ave in from 9am – noon.  There are a few very special, very limited early bird tickets for sale on a first come, first served basis.  Once they are gone, the price goes up.

An important note: all the proceeds for this event are going straight back into Studio B, so they can continue to support the entrepreneurial and creative class here in Indy.  I’m not making a penny off of this. So, you can come out and get some edutainment, and then support a great cause and our entrepreneurial ecosystem all. In. One. Here!  #WINWINWIN

The early bird really does get the worm…

Got altMBA?

July 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 10.47.11 AMMy Fellow Americans:

Happy Independence Day!

In the spirit of independence, I want to help my local community get more independent on projects and ideas, so here’s how I’m going to do it.

It’s been a blast being part of Seth Godin’s inaugural altMBA class this summer.  I’ve learned a lot, and even more important, spent a lot of face and digital time with amazing classmates doing awesome stuff from around the world!

But, I fully realize as well that not everyone has $3K lying around to pony up for an experience like this…so I thought it was time to pay my knowledge forward and share it with my local community.

On 8.8.15, from 9 am – noon, I’m heading to Studio B creative exchange to share everything I learned from altMBA.  Tickets, registration, and deets are coming soon.

Furthermore, I want the world to know that I’m only charging for registration at this event because my pal NaShara Mitchell was kind enough to share her space, so all proceeds are going to her studio, to help support other creatives in the Indy community create and do more.

Mark your calendars.  It’s going to be epic, and the class will be limited in size.  More to come!

Idea Execution

June 30th, 2015

So, I was thinking about this today.

What’s the best way to get an idea into the world?

Is it:

Idea -> talk -> paper (disqus) -> more talks -> more writing -> book -> more talks -> more ideas -> start over

or

Idea -> ebook -> talks -> book-book -> more talks -> start over

???

Going Rogue – Project 6, altMBA – COU2

June 28th, 2015

One of my favorite gifts from law school: knowing when it is time to bend the rules.

This weekend, I went on a weekend vacation. I dragged no computer along with me. While I had a cell phone, I vowed only to take pictures with it. This was a planned vacation, long before altMBA flashed onto the scene, and thinking back to my last vacation, which happened in 2014…I was long overdue for an unplug. *(See below if you want to know where I went.)

I’m not making excuses. I’m just trying to state why I deviated from Project 6, as we were to work in our teams. In fairness to my team, I did warn them as far back as Monday this previous week that I was going to be off the grid for this weekend and project 6, so if they wanted me to do anything to help before I left, let me know. I did help a bit with possible personas and researching audience sizes, but candidly – I was a terrible teammate on P6.

There.

Now, the dilemma becomes:
1. Do I turn nothing in?
2. Do I turn something in from my team? Or…
3. Do I turn in something of my own?
I can’t choose #1. After all, I’m an educator. Nor can I really choose #2 either, as I didn’t do the work, and that is probably even more heinous that #1–both as a student and as an educator. So, below you’ll see that I’ve chosen option #3 – to go it alone, and share with you my idea for project 6.

And, because I had this entire campaign ready to post on altMBA’s site and it lost over half of it, I’m going to re-type it and post it here instead and link it over to the WP site.

So, the persona that I’m targeting for my campaign is: the lost smashed center between the crunchy thick ends of the generational cookie–millennials and their baby boomer parents.  The lost generation.  Yes, I’m talking about Generation X.

We were born between 1961 – 1981, and there are about 41 million of us in the US.  But, writers never really write about us much, and although we are generally ignored in the media, we’re now taking power from the retiring baby boomers, so we actually are in a position to start creating some positive change when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

I’m also Gen X. And one thing I loved growing up was my music.  I loved and still love all the 80s bands!

Thus, my campaign, COU2:

So, the biggest conspirator in global climate change is CO2, or Carbon Dioxide.  The biggest band ever to land in the 1980s was, arguably, U2.  But this could be bigger than merely just bringing back U2. We could, through this campaign, bring back a LOT of 1980s bands and cover what needs to happen to reduce carbon emissions. Said another way, through bringing back 1980s artists, they help take out the “U” in Carbon Dioxide emissions. Take the U out of CO2: To wit:

Bands we could have on commercials for this campaign:

U2 – <cue “In the Name of Love” – could discuss or even spoof their recent mess up of automatically downloading their album to all of iTunes, by just stating they were trying to reduce carbon emissions from everyone rushing to the store to buy their physical CD.

Simple Minds – <cue “Don’t You Forget About Me” – and make the star of this commercial the Planet Earth.  Show how we are destroying the planet, and what to do about fixing climate change.

Prince – <cue “Purple Rain,” and discuss acid rain instead.

Dead or Alive – <cue “You Spin Me Round,” and feature Earth again, and state that it might stop spinning if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions and save it.

George Michael – <cue “Faith,” and/or

Journey – <cue “Don’t Stop Belevin’,” – and have both George and Journey’s commercial feature REAL Generation Xers doing positive things to reduce carbon emissions in their communities.  Whether that is changing law or policy, to just starting a community recycling program, anything to take the U out of CO2 would be great.

Messages for this campaign:  reduce eating red meat, put energy efficiencies into houses (like solar panels and water gutter capture, if legal), reduce driving, increase walking and bicycling, and reduce/reuse/recycle campaigns.  Although Gen X is and will probably always be skeptical, they do through this campy nostalgic return to their glory days could capture spirit and begin changing their carbon emissions.

Why wouldn’t this work? Well, time and money, as always.  Getting these 80s icons back would be a challenge.  On the other hand, didn’t they already do this once with “We are the World?”

How would we measure how this works?  Well, policy changes for climate and environmental impact by Gen X leaders could be something we view to see if there’s an impact.  Reducing overall state carbon emissions would be great.  There are many other ways we could measure impact here.  However, Geico has used this campy 1980s nostalgic strategy for many of their commercials, and as a Gen X person myself, they do get my attention.

That’s it. No fancy weebly site on this, or slide deck.  Just one animated gif (which, admittedly is my first ever…that should count for something).  And to my team: I am sorry I bailed on you!  But, I thank you for giving me the time away that I needed to unplug.

___

*I went to Charleston, SC.  I do have some photos on my instagram feed.  However, I was struck by how tacky the mass media was being at the actual church where the incident occurred, especially while people were grieving and having funerals there this weekend.  However, I do have to say that the Charlestonians handled themselves with the utmost grace under pressure.  They even seemed positive and hopeful, despite their setbacks this past few weeks.  I think if we all could be as classy as they have been, we’d definitely have a better world right now.

 

 

Another Reason for Authors to NOT Publish with Amazon

June 24th, 2015

So, JB in his wisdom proclaimed this week that those writers who do not hold the attention of their readers will pay for it.  In reduced royalties.

This is brilliant for Amazon. But, not so much for the rest of us writers.

Full disclosure: I’ve never self-published with Amazon, and now, that possibility is next to zero. Why?

Well, think about it–what was the last book you ever read, cover to cover?

For those of you who might read novels or fiction, maybe that was the last book you read.  But for myself, an avid reader of books that one could actually use, non-fiction, I rarely if ever read those books from cover to cover.  I graze. I look at the TOC. I go to the chapter heading that looks interesting. I dip in, then dip out.  I go back to it when I need it. I use them as reference books, in some cases.

So, if you’re a Kindle publisher with Amazon and writing nonfiction, and I pick up your book, I’ve got some really bad news for you…

It appears from the last Pew Study I could find that eBook reading is creeping up.  But just today over at altMBA, in a writers’ group, we discussed how we still love book-books.  Myself included.  And while even I have published some of my titles as ebook only, I still prefer physical books to read, hands down.  (Can someone speed up the espresso book machine availability?)

Thanks, Mr. Bezos. You just narrowed my field of publishers.  Thanks for making it easier for me to choose.

P.S. does anyone else find it creepy that Amazon is tracking what pages we read of ebooks, anyway?!?

First Half of 2015: MIA!

June 21st, 2015

Infographic time (and I totally stole this idea from @garyvee for his 1Q15 infographic).

The year is scarily almost half over – what have you done with it? Here are some of my metrics.

Make your own infographic – and start tracking what you’re not getting paid to track at the day job, but maybe what could be important down the road!

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