Like most people, the time of the pandemic was a time for reflection. It was a time to pull back and reevaluate what I wanted to do in the edtech space and what I wanted my brand to be. I have learned a ton over the years about what I think works and what I think doesn’t, but I have never had time to do the work to revamp things. The pandemic gave me that time, and because of it, I am officially relaunching everything associated with Big Guy in a Bow Tie.
My first step was to take everything I have learned about design in my 2+ years at Tynker (being around designers is a bit different than schools) and apply it to my presentations. I also wanted to reevaluate what topics I had to ensure that I could effortlessly travel with sessions and that each one of them had a compelling story. It took over a year, but I love where they are now. I refocused on three different topic areas: educational tools (60 in ’60s aren’t going away), coding, and student creation. All three indeed allow me to get where my passion is, and they will enable me to drive to what I think is truly transformational in a classroom. It also means I don’t have to travel with a massive load of gear. I loved the gear-centric sessions, but the travel and setup were just too much. It’s now all about content.
I also revamped the look of every session. I had already started this process as far back as 2019, but I wanted to make some additional design changes to ensure every deck pushed the envelope in both content and design. Every session has now been converted to a widescreen format to better align with current projects, and I changed the font, image, and graphical style to tell a story better. While I have delivered many presentations, this may be the first time that I can say I don’t feel like there is a weak one in the bunch.
The questions then became, “How do I get these to the right people?” and “How do I provide benefit while maintaining everything at the same time?” The answer to me came in the form of podcast providers. Many of them have started using a platform called Patreon to provide extra benefits for a small fee, and I felt like my backlog of content was a perfect place to start with that.
You can now become a Bow Tie Member. The Bow Tie Presentation level gives you access to all of my active (sessions I am still submitting to conferences) session slide decks and resources. If you go up one level further (Bow Tie Plus), you also get all my retired decks and resource guides. It comes to over 100 decks and resources total, and if this session is retired, you are welcome to tweak them to fit any need and redeliver. If you want to get personal conference submission support and recorded versions of each session, you can always upgrade to Bow Tie Learner.
Not only has there been a complete revamp of bigguyinabowtie.com, but we are also going to use other avenues to their fullest. The Bow Tie YouTube Channel is now full of educational content and anything else that interests my nerd brain. You will see things like Pop Culture Reviews, Funko Pop Hunts, and explorations of my eccentric collections. TikTok will bring the teacher reacts channel, and Instagram will be a place for family and travel. Of course, Twitter will always be there, and I am ready for that K on my follower number (when you reach 10,000.)
I am genuinely excited about where this is going, and the new content will come fast and furious. Now, it’s just time to get that book done.