The Power of Passionate People, A Visit with Mr. Weidman

Marci McCue / August 26, 2016


Mark Weidman is one of those teachers you wish you had, or maybe the one you most fondly remember. He’s an English teacher at a Los Osos high school in Southern California. His fellow teachers joke that they remember just a short time ago when he still had a flip phone and was being introduced to email. Now he’s inspiring them to explore Flipboard, a mobile app that seems pretty advanced and has so many different uses it can feel overwhelming. But somehow he’s nailed it. He uses Flipboard for just about every classroom activity you can imagine. If you want to know more about his classroom passions, read our interview on the 8 ways he uses Flipboard.

Last week Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and I had the awesome opportunity to visit Los Osos High School. Mr. Weidman (I can’t bring myself to call him Mark) has worked at Los Osos for 13 years and has been teaching English for over 20. But when he met us at the front doors, it was like meeting a kid in a candy shop; he was marveling at the school he works for, in love with the mountains nearby and excited to share new ideas with fellow teachers and students.

Wall of student introductions, "WHO I AM” with a QR code to their Flipboard Magazines. This is how Mr. Weidman's students get to know each other.

A wall of student introductions, “WHO I AM,” each has a QR code to their own Flipboard Magazine. This is how students get to know each other.

Mike and I were there to simply listen to the stories of the teachers and students, to see how Flipboard is being used in people’s lives and to hear what else they may want from the product. When you get to visit with people like Mr. Weidman, you learn much more than any user study can tell you. His students make magazines to share who they are with the class, and we watched them talk about Flipboard as their “personal page”—a place to share more deeply about themselves. We talked about how empowering it is when students see their work “published” and beautifuly presented in a magazine. And we saw a group of teachers talk about how Flipboard can help them be better at what they do everyday.

Visiting Mr. Weidman, his students and the staff of Los Osos High School reminds me how powerful it is when people are passionate about something and how Flipboard can be a part of pursuing your passions. I learned a lot from Mr. Weidman that day and am so grateful he gave us the opportunity to see what he sees every day. There’s even a magazine about our visit!

Thank you, Mr. W!

~MarciM is reading LOSHO Perspectives