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Jonathan Matta
Barrington, Illinois
A curious human, designer, autodidact, and polymath
Recent Activity
When I was 7 I built things, endlessly. Model cars. Legos. Wrestling rings (literally, full sized wrestling rings, which house, logically, wrestling matches, which of course required tickets, which of course mandated they be sold). These are just a few, and in my 7 year old mind, everything that I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
In 2010 we began to explore alternative forms of intervention to help my Mother. She was dying of cancer, and we had tried everything that the advanced western medical world knew how to do. We knew that the odds were against us; 5% survival rate over 5 years, following the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
She sat on her bed, with small beads of tears running down her face. Last night, after school, at theatre, she had a panic attack. Anxiety, overtaking her small frame. She got through that with the help of her peers, and her school teachers, and neighbors. A fellowship that believes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
Intersections... As I sit here, authoring this impromptu post, I am an observer to a popular intersection in my home town. It's 4 corners, with stop signs at all 4 points. Yet, nobody stops. A rolled stop, maybe. Often a 10 mph "stop." Just now, a 3 mph stop transitioned... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
I called my doctor yesterday. Everything was fine, just an artifact in the form of a scar from an old surgery that didn’t appear to like the amount of rain we were getting in Chicago. The phone rang. P, the doctor’s right hand lady, answered. “What can the doctor do... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
It happened again today. Three times, before noon. Social media connections; folllows, friends, favorites, likes, snaps, and retweets. As I author this, I’m playing spectator to a young couple, dining together, with their heads down, phones in respective hands, with no actual human to human correspondence, connection, or eye contact,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Jonathan Matta
5:45 a.m. - bedside, my daughter, Ellison, was tapping me on the shoulder. With a loud whisper, I, for a moment, didn't know if this was Christmas Morning, or the first day of 3rd grade. "DAD, IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!" 6:16 a.m. - Ellison is fully dressed, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
What if we lived in a world where the end of the school year, culturally, represented something more? Not just the hope of a promise, but rather, a conditioned response to what was about to happen “next.” What if that last school day was filled with the enthusiasm, anticipation, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
The story of NoElle and what this experiment is, and what it represents, is something that I set out to capture within a recent IDEO-U course that I completed. For me, the last few years have been big in gaining clarity and actualization, both personal and professional, and an element... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
About a month ago I wrote about the topic of being a "wandering generality v. a meaningful specific." That post addressed the use of technology within learning and instruction, and I find it relevant once more, today, as I seek to touch on a popular practice that I really want... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
Dr. Indiana Jones What makes Indiana Jones so great? In my household, we are in an absolutely incredible space right now, with each day granting us access to content that includes both Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Star Wars and Indiana Jones. We can't lose! Imaginative role play is something... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
On most days of the week, by design, I am ever grateful to start my day by rolling my sleeves up and getting my hands messy in the world of parenting, in that I work in partnership with my wife to prepare the kiddos for the school day. Getting dressed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
New perspectives, new minds, new thoughts, new approaches. They matter. Deeply. When we turn our attention to solving some problem, when we've identified that something needs to improve, we have an opportunity to give it our intention. How we assign, or approach, that problem, with intention, particularly within the world... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
Grateful, today, for the Shadow A Student Challenge that ReTool School, the, and IDEO have organized and shared with the education world. Design expeditions like Shadow A Student have a natural bias towards action, and empower the front line, those who can immediately impact students, with the tools to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
This blog, on a macro level, is about my journey in re-shaping education, and without fear of exposing my ideologies, I share this micro narrative from an extended experience I had this past weekend. I seek to provoke with this post, and don't have answers for much of what I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
"The extremes in education" - A bell curve. Design for K-12 and MBA, and maybe, just maybe, higher education can begin to properly re-imagine itself. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
When I was growing up, I developed the belief that it was going to be pretty easy. Go to school, get good grades (especially in my junior year of high school), go to college, get a great job. The "get good grades in high school" part, plus the college part,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
My workstation today is a human hack. I put a chair on a desk, and used the seat as the worksurface for my notebook. I like to stand when I work. It's a preference. I also like to sit down on a couch when I read, in a very relaxed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
A nod to Seth Godin for the simple tag I've used in this post. General v Specific. Enhanced, ten fold, with the addition of wandering and meaningful. Think about this statement and explore how often the content that students interact with is meaningfully specific, or, wanderingly general. After you've spent... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
I shot hoops today, in my own driveway, with both of my kiddos. On a Monday. The sport of basketball is new to them. N started this past Saturday, and E today after school. The excitement and passion associated with "new" content is one of those things that excites and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
This came home yesterday. The annual Donuts With Dad, marking my 5th between the two kiddos combined. N: "Dad, guess what?!" Me: "Donuts for Dad, dude!" N: "When is it?!" Me: "March 9th, 10th, or 11th. Which one should we do?" N: "The one CLOSEST to today!" "The one CLOSEST... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
NoElle is an experiment in creative confidence and guided inspiration. It's founding stems from that which inspires me, above all else, in this world; my children. Ellison and Nolan. Combined, they are NoElle. This expedition is about inspiring and influencing change that leads towards real transformation within the world of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2016 at Jonathan Matta
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Feb 18, 2016