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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in 21st century learning

Posted by on in Leadership

NEWSFLASH: There are people on the Internet that don't like each other. There are people that don't like each other in person too, but today's pitfall of technology has enabled a myriad of people to partake in voicing their opinions in a whole new* way (*new, being about 20 years at this point). Recently, a childhood friend of mine was sharing his thoughts on a recent experience he had while in the store and came across someone who talked a lot of trash online. He referred to them as "Keyboard Warriors" and "flexing their Facebook muscles". I literally laughed out loud. What a phrase. It's not new -- where was I not to hear this? Especially me... someone who is loved and loathed as a leader.

If you have followed my career or me online, you are well aware that people who don't care for me express their dismay, often frequently. 9 out of 10 instances, it's done so by a phony name. That's OK -- that's your First Amendment right to do so (as long as you're in the parameters of not threatening or causing any type of harm). What's different from the past 20? It went from the Letter to the Editor in the paper, to message boards, to social media. With a mere click, you can like, retweet, heart, share, snap, and comment on anything and everything. Fake names is nothing new; from Mrs. Silence Dogood to Deep Throat, false names have been used out of fear or breaking the law. History has depicted that these individuals were timing, calculated, and put great thought into their hiding. Today, it can be done in a matter of clicks.

Some keyboard warriors are entertaining, others are gadflies. Some have good intentions, other just try to stir the pot or throw gas onto a fire that they think exists. Other keyboard warriors are just obsessed, addicted, and will do anything to try to make someone else's life miserable. The epitome of cyber bullying and cyber harassment, the folks you find today doing such petty acts are often also classified as trolls.

Back to my keyboard warriors, while I think no act of harassment and bullying is acceptable to anyone of any age, mine are former or current educators. Licensed professionals from the state who are charged with protecting your children. Retirees who currently collecting a pension and receiving health benefits. How disgusting and pathetic is it that people who are / were responsible for 'educating' your children (and you're paying for them with your tax dollars) have such a sadistic side? Thankfully, such behaviors in New Jersey can be stopped under the auspices of the law. Under the criminal code in NJ, proving a displayed pattern of harassment can result in a loss of pension, benefits, and even could come with jail time.

There are some positives about keyboard warriors and those who flex their social media muscles. Takeaways include: no credibility due to no real name; a showing of obsession by cyber-stalking an individual, showing lack of credibility (and showing mental illness), and that you're effective at what you do. If you have people following your every click online, chances are you're doing something effective and meaningful. I am somewhat old-fashioned; I do prefer people say something to my face, and not their keyboard. These people won't - they are too scared to do so.

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Posted by on in Education Resources
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Success is less about what you know now and more about how quickly and effectively you can learn and use new information.
This is the most important thing I learned in my 15 years or teaching and mentoring teens.
Success depends on skills. Build up a skill set and help others do the same and you will succeed.
There are over 20,000 high schools in the US and most of them focus on test scores and teaching specific subjects not success skills.
Schools were designed in the Industrial Era to pacify kids and produce citizens who follow society's rules and conventions, work guidelines, and their manager's directions.
This is perfect for working retail or on an assembly line.
The problem is that many present jobs call for creative problem solving - the type that does not follow specific formulas or directions but requires original ideas.
This requires learning and applying information on the go. To be useful, such real time learning must be efficient and effective - the information must be understood quickly and applied almost immediately.
The life success test does not involve filling out bubbles and answering multiple choice questions. It calls for providing the most affordable and advantageous solution to a problem a person or a group of people faces.
Again, this requires application of skills not being capable of winning on Jeopardy. ("Learning How to Learn for $200 Alex.")
The most important success skill anyone can use is being able to learn and apply new information quickly.
This is of course extremely useful in school because it can help a teen earn better grades. But it goes beyond that...
Being able to quickly absorb, understand, retain, and use new information in the age in which information grows exponentially is anyone's key to success.
I lay out the path to achieving this in a series of short lessons in my new book Crush School Student Guide: Learn Faster, Study Smarter, Remember More, and Make School Easier.
The critics say:
"If you are a kid, get this book. Use it. Learn it. Apply it. Grow because of it. Invest in yourself. You deserve it."
"Oskar writes in a conversational and easy to understand tone."
"Through activities the students will discover how their brain learns, how it impacts their learning style, and finally, how she or he can apply that knowledge to learn 'smarter not harder'."
The book is now on sale for $19.95 (33% OFF the regular price of $29.95) until Thursday, August 30th. You can grab it at http://bit.ly/crushschoolguide
 
You have the power to change lives. Use it often so they can change the world.

 

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Posted by on in Teens and Tweens

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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.

 

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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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