Last week we had so much fun hosting Haiku Deck Guru Susan Spellman Cann at HDHQ. She arrived with fresh flowers from the Pike Place Market and a huge box of goodies from Bishop Carroll High School, where she works as a school counsellor. Susan has been an incredibly special part of our community pretty much since we launched, but it was awesome to meet face to face!
“If I commit to something, I really commit to it.”
Susan takes her role as a Guru incredibly seriously. “If I commit to something, I really commit to it,” she says. In the previous 24 hours, she had evangelized Haiku Deck to the businessman sitting next to her on the plane from Calgary, her taxi driver, and a photographer selling his artwork in the market. (We joked that the best way to spread the word about Haiku Deck might be to just send Susan on a world tour.)
We have long admired Susan’s beautiful Haiku Decks filled with positive messages of caring and compassion, but as we talked it became clear how much Haiku Deck is part of her personal mission to make an impact on young people’s lives, in her community and well beyond. “I believe Haiku Deck can change the world,” she said. “Powerpoint isn’t going to change the world. But Haiku Deck can.”
“I believe Haiku Deck can change the world.”
Here is one of Susan’s decks that has been viewed more than 40,000 times, clear evidence that her inspiring thoughts and words have resonated and spread far beyond her school and city:
Over lunch, she told us the story of a troubled student who decided not to harm herself because Susan happened to smile at her in the hallway (we can attest that she is authentically full of smiles). This powerful moment inspired “One Kind Word”:
Susan is one of our most prolific deck creators, and her work has been featured frequently in the Featured and Popular Galleries.”It is no secret that I love this app,” Susan says. “I love it because it’s easy to use and creates professional-looking, beautiful presentations that I can use in my counselling office or as a professional development tool. Stunning visuals have the ability to evoke emotion, a powerful tool for school counsellors.”
“Stunning visuals have the ability to evoke emotion, a powerful tool for school counsellors.”
Susan is an avid learner herself, always eager to experiment with new technology and new learning experiences such as ETMOOC. In “How I Learn Best,” a video collaboration with a former student, she describes her approach: “I just get in there like a little child, without fears, and play. That’s the way I learn technology. I get on the computer, I get over my fears, and just play — Learn, make mistakes. It’s ok if you do. Just keep doing it until you learn it.”
“Learn, make mistakes. It’s ok if you do. Just keep doing it until you learn it.”
This year, Susan is focused on coaching and inspiring school counsellors who are starting out in their careers, and she plans to recommend Haiku Deck as a go-to tool. “By being an active champion of both learning and technology, school counsellors can use Haiku Deck to not only assist students in learning, but to actually help students,” she said.
We love how Susan’s use of Haiku Deck to encourage compassion and connection extends to other areas of her life. Earlier this year, after Calgary was ravaged by floods, she created this powerful Haiku Deck to rally support for her community. (See more decks like this on our Causes Pinterest board.)
We also appreciate how creative Susan is with Haiku Deck topics! Here’s a fun deck she made to capture the highlights of her weekend in Seattle (with a few fun pics from her visit with Team Haiku Deck).
Come back and see us soon, Susan! And thank you for spreading your beautiful, positive messages of compassion and connection with the world. Here’s one more beautiful reminder of the power of compassion from our treasured friend and collaborator: