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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

As a teacher, I often expect my students to think critically. If you're a teacher I bet you expect the same.

As a parent, you wish for your kids to be able to critically evaluate the choices an important situation offers to make the smart, most beneficial decision. I know I do and while I realize my son and my students will not always make the best decision in every situation, I want them to be equipped with the tools that increase their chances.

Critical thinking is such a tool.

It can, and perhaps should be applied in both personal and professional life.

But in school, critical thinking is expected but not taught explicitly. Just do it works for a shoe brand but rarely for people.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

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The Internet is the single most disruptive and creative force in the history of human kind. It changed our lives. While not the only things, digital products are things we buy now. Product consumption is undergoing a revolution. The nature of work will never be the same. The middle men are constantly being cut out. The innovation in how various services are provided has had an even greater impact on global society and economy.

Google is 19 years old and it's difficult to imagine life without it. 14-year old Facebook analyzes your behavior to provide you with a catered online experience. Amazon was formed 23 years ago and Apple has been around since 1976. There aren't many people in the world unaware of the Big 4.

And how about a few game-changing squirts who have yet to reach the ripe age of 10? 8-year-old Uber is valued at $40-70 billion. I recently rented a cabin in Wisconsin using the 9-year-old $30-billion hotel industry disruptor Airbnb. And even though it was acquired in its 5th year of existence by Unilever in 2016 for a cool billion, I still use the Dollar Shave Club razors to keep my melon clean and shiny.

Those are the heavy hitters many of us know but there are many other innovative companies and start-ups that have been changing the way business is done around the world. Some are being formed right now as I'm typing and as you're reading. At the same time the old guard is being replaced or is shaking in its boots as jobs and trends of yesteryear are disappearing. 

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Listen...

Listening, not just hearing but really listening is a skill many students need help with. Some are naturals at it. Others might be bad at it. Truth is many were never taught how to listen effectively.

The listening skill affects success in school, work, and relationships.

But the question is: How many of us teachers explicitly teach listening?

In his recent Kwik Brain Podcast on listening a renowned learning expert Jim Kwik summarized the key to good listening as the ability to listen with more than your ears.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

During World Creativity & Innovation Week (April 15-21, 2018) I had the pleasure of moderating a week-long conversation on imagination with the Google+ Creative Higher Education (#CreativeHE) community. My imaginative colleague Jailson Lima from Vanier College, Quebec, moderated with me. You can read the whole week of conversation on Google+ in the Creative Academic community space here.

Walking Challenge

We posed an imaginative challenge on Day 3. The challenge? Get Outside. Here's what we said:

Greetings imaginative colleagues! Sometimes we need to change our contexts (eg actual locations, ways of engaging, practicing or thinking) to get our imaginations going; we need to purposefully step outside of our typical practices to more easily envision new possibilities and alternative perspectives. The goal of this challenge is to stimulate the imagination of someone else and the challenge requires you to literally (and figuratively) get outside. We want you to take a walk with wonder and curiosity guiding you. Have something in mind that you teach or you might help someone else learn. Let your wonder and curiosity guide you in noticing what your local community might teach. What lessons or knowledge does the Place afford? How is your imagination ignited? If you are a teacher or educational developer seek the affordances for teaching/learning this topic outside. What imaginative task or activity might your students do while outside (walking or in stillness) that could enhance their imaginative engagement and meaning-making and enable their creativity to flourish?

(You can learn more about the Walking Curriculum from imaginED hereCurrently a PreK-12 resource but expanding!)

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

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When You Teach Something You Get To Learn It Twice - Jim Kwik

Cameron, a former student of mine, who is now in college, commented on my recent post about efficient and effective learning titled Too Much What, Not Enough How. Here's what he wrote on Facebook:

As a student who graduated with a GPA well above 4.0, I completely agree specifically with the point about students teaching subject-matter. Most of what made me successful was not studying - I rarely did that - but teaching other students, and in doing so, closing gaps in and solidifying what I knew. I tutored other students in almost every single class I took throughout my high school career, especially the science courses. That was my secret to success and I didn't even realize it until senior year. The feeling you get when you help someone grasp an idea they struggled with is an awesome feeling, too.

But Why Is Teaching Such An Effective Learning Strategy?

If you closely analyze and dissect Cameron's comment you can identify at least 4 aspects that made his strategy of teaching others to learn it yourself super effective. They are Active Learning, Deeper Learning, Efficient Learning, and Emotional Learning. 

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