Oskar Cymerman | @focus2achieve Featured Blogger
Oskar is a Science, Engineering, and Learning How to Learn teacher and an author of the Crush School Book Series.
His professional interests are brain-based teaching and learning, flexible seating (#StarbucksMyRoom founder), social-emotional learning, social justice, and using technology to enhance learning.
He is also a fan of the Jedi order (and uses DA FORCE frequently), ninjas, and the superhero in all of us. He is on a Quest to Change the World because he can. We all can.
Follow Oskar's blog Focus 2 Achieve for newest education related articles, infographics, and swag.
I read a lot in my elementary years. Growing up in the 1980's communist Poland I spent a lot of time in the cowboys-and-Indians world of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. I'd relive the main characters' stories with an older friend who introduced me to this world and lent me books I'd devour in spare time. I read other books too. I read like a maniac expanding my world and consciousness. They tickled my imagination.
I guess I was curious.
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....
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....
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....