Another Side of Bruce Elgort

I have written about Elguji IdeaJam a few times on my blog – an idea management and brainstorming tool – as well as in both editions of User Adoption Strategies. Bruce Elgort – the ELG in Elguji – is the co-owner of the business, and the lead developer. While I have spoken to Bruce many times, it was only in January 2012 that I finally met him.

Anyway, 2013 has been a year of change for Bruce, and he’s been experimenting with contributing to the world in new ways. Like teaching at a college. Check this out for how it’s going:

Elgort joined Clark College as an adjunct instructor this year after his friend and colleague Chris Martin, also a Clark instructor, told him the college had an opening for a general-purpose scripting language instructor. Armed with a master’s in engineering management from Polytechnic Institute of New York University and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, Elgort grabbed at the chance to “get out of his comfort zone.”

Thanks to the support from Clark faculty, staff and a few conferences he’s attended while at Clark, Elgort has learned that “teaching is about demonstrating problem solving; it’s not about presenting.” Students find PowerPoint presentations dull; hands-on experiments or discussing fledgling projects are where it’s at these days, he said.

Elgort is getting support and mentoring from seasoned colleagues to help him develop his instructional techniques, while accessing professional development opportunities through Clark’s Teaching and Learning Center. The college is currently raising funds to support the center as part of its $20 million Ensuring a Bright Future: Campaign for Clark College.

Legally blind, Elgort once used a telescope to see the blackboard when he was in high school. Today, with the help of mobile devices and his knack for memorizing his surroundings, he has succeeded at teaching—after only six months on the job, Elgort received Clark’s Exceptional Faculty Award in June.

Is it okay to be proud of what your friends are up to? If so, count me in.

Read more: How Does That Work?

Categories: Miscellaneous