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How to Learn Better

Writing is the Original Hands-on Learning

Before we had ipads, smartboards, apps, and AI, there were blackboards, slates, paper, and pen.  The bland nature of this black and white system seems like it has little to offer in our modern world.  Flashy programs and the latest tech promise brain development, lessons mastered, and ingenuity instilled.  Want to learn deeply, thoughtfully, and more concretely, though,  pick up a pen!

Writing uses parts of  your brain that require  more insight and analysis than high tech recording methods do.  Turns out all that old fashioned copywork is actually cutting edge.

How Does Writing Help?

Have you ever found yourself in a lecture or at a conference and there was just so much good information being presented you wished you could just take down every word so you could remember?  Turns out recording every word leads to less learning, not more.  Writing is a slow process.  Our modern sensibilities that prize speed prefer digital recording of notes for just this reason.  Faster is better…or is it?

Slowing down to write engages more parts of your brain.  It requires you to analyze, evaluate, and question what you are hearing.  Typing records every word, but does not engage the higher level thinking portions of your mind. While you are writing your brain is learning not simply remembering.

Writing to Read and Speak

The teaching of handwriting has fallen by the wayside in recent years, the reasoning being that with more efficient means of taking notes and completing assignments, more time can be devoted to getting children ready for the 21st century of innovation.  However, not learning handwriting is depriving children of vital, critical thinking skills that are even more important in our modern, complex world.

French psycologist, Stanilas Dehaene, observes,

“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” he said. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain, it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize.”

The result?

“Learning is made easier,” he concluded. (source)

Building Bridges Built on Writing

In our global economy. with the planet shrinking at our fingertips, speaking a second or even fourth language is a major advantage.  There has been a great deal of emphasis placed on speaking a language first and foremost. Conversational ability has pushed the academic view of language study aside.

However, one of the greatest ways to develop and understand a language is by writing. Writing increases retention of new vocabulary and fluency of use.  When writing an essay or longer assignment in the target language, the student is learning to converse by pulling together the necessary elements, creating a dialogue, writing it down, and then reading back what is writing.  This process builds the skills necessary for regular conversation and takes a studied language from textbook level to conversational in a way no other study method can.

By understanding and being able to effectively use a second language, bridges to future development and education will be built.  These bridges lead to a future of greater peace and inconnectedness of One Planet, One People.

Global Learn Day is coming tomorrow!! Be sure to have your pen and pad ready.

Are Teachers Obsolete?

Artificial Intelligence and Modern Education

Science fiction books and movies have predicted the takeover of the world by human like robots for decades.  In some sectors of society, this fantasy has become a reality as computer technology replaces cashiers, bank tellers, and even waiters. However, could the same happen in our brave new schools of tomorrow?

 

How AI Has Already Changed Education

Education has been significantly changed by technology in recent years.  The use of smart boards, tablets, and e-books are hallmarks of modern classrooms. Instead of drawing a picture of a giraffe on the chalkboard, teachers can now pull up live feed of zoo webcams.  Hundreds of books can be carried in a backpack without even noticing it.

 

AI tutoring, online practice, and computer generated review are all common uses of technology that are allowing students to access more help without costing taxpayers more money or stretching a teacher’s already limited time even thinner.  The use of innovation for drill and review in subject matters like math is a smart use of resources in schools where teachers are continually expected to do more with less.

 

The other ways that education has changed is more subtle.  Computer apps have replaced taking attendance. Parents can view grades hourly instead of just on report cards.  Technology has also made assessments that grade themselves, with AI they also provide feedback to instruct students in how they can improve next time. The automation of many tedious tasks, has helped to relieve time constraints on teachers.

 

Online School and Autopilot Teaching

The Internet has revolutionized how we learn, access information, and conduct our daily lives.  With the speed of light, information is distributed all over the globe.  This has led to a boon in the learning industry. Instead of classes conducted at set times in a brick and mortar school, they can be accessed any time of day by anyone the world over with a click of a mouse.

 

While most of these classes are still taught by people and then distributed electronically, automated learning does exist.  Apps that are coded to instruct and then assess are a growing trend.  AI teaching is a real phenomenon.

 

With this trend, online schools have popped up to serve every need and style of learning.  These include public schools for children in grades K-12.  These schools allow less teachers to reach more students in less time for less money.  This new version of public school meets homeschooling has left many wondering if school building will one day be laid to waste.

 

The Human Connection

There is much to learn thanks to technological advances and access to information. The automation of instruction has opened doors to learning and changed the face of educational play.  However, none of these can actually replace the human connection that we all desire and need.

 

Algorithms, coding, apps, they all have their place in our information age.  In the ways that they have made our lives easier, there are also drawbacks–viruses, hackers, internet predators, etc. We need to be sure to keep technology in its rightful place, a useful tool but not real life.

 

The arts of compassion, intuitive conversation, and companionship through life, cannot be replaced by even the best AI.  We are One Planet, One People united not by codes and programs but by our intellect, interaction, and understanding.  The one element of this life that can never be replicated is the human touch.

 

Remember that Robot from Third Grade, It Changed My Life!

Education is so much more than checklists, assessments, and lessons learned. It is the development of connections, understanding, and perspective.  When thinking back to our own education, we will not remember pedagogy, curriculum, and educational trends, what impacts us most is the people who taught us.

AI is changing the role of teachers from instructors to facilitators and guides, but it will never replace the value of a good and dedicated teacher.  Passing on knowledge and know how from one generation to the next is the hallmark of the human existence.  In our quest for more knowledge, the who will always be as important as the how.

 

Seasons of Learning

For everything there is a season, a time.

Many hear this and think of rites of passage or periods of life. Being a child, growing into adulthood, establishing one’s own family, watching your children leave home, retiring. Each of these are periods, seasons of life. They are unique with their own trials and more importantly, joys. I would suggest that education has the same cadence, though. With my little ones, I am constantly fluctuating between several seasons all at once.

Infancy

It is incredible how much a child can absorb in this season of her life! The brain develops more in this period than it will at any other “season of life”. Watch a baby or young child light up as they are exposed to some new event or activity. The wonder that is clearly visible is amazing to many.

As a mother and my infant’s primary educator, I work to share experiences with her. Providing stimulating toys (we enjoy many from FatBrain and Hape Products – which can be purchases from our partner – Baby Cotton Bottoms) is a fun way for us to play and her to learn. Letting her sit outside to feel and experience all of the wonder of nature is also important. Lastly, we read constantly. We like to use ASL as we read and incorporate our signs into the book. If she eats the book, it’s okay – we just call it “early literacy”.

Elementary Years

During these years a child learns so many facts. Facts about history, math facts, science information and the list goes on. Watching a child discover what he or she is interested in and will become passionate about, leaves me in awe. Dr. Terrence R. Redding’s research on “The First Moment of Lasting Excitement” suggests that a child in these years often experiecnes a spark. Some topic ignites a passion about learning that lasts a lifetime. These children are destined to become life long learners. For me, it was history – genealogy in particular.

My grandmother was ana mateur genealogist, studying our family tree. I would sit with her as she told me about the research she had done and the people she had found who we were related it. The caused me to crave information about many periods of time and many parts of the world. I sitll have a love of history and think about most world events from a historical context.

For my son, his spark was dinosaurs. He will spend hours pouring over encyclopedias, watching documentaries and moving through the Natural History Museum. It is nothing for him to recall the name of any number of dinosaurs and provides him with pride when he recognizes them! This excitement can last him through these years and onto the more difficult adolescent season of life.

Adolescent Years

At this point, a child has already established a love of learning hopefully. He or she may enjoy learning about any number of topics. As a parent, I already see where the excitement is as it directs my adolescent’s personal objectives.

Learning, experiencing and understanding knowledge is so important as an adolescent develops because it assists in learning about who she is as an individual. As One Planet, One People, we each have an idea of who we are as individuals and we come together on Earth, our One Planet. Education becomes a choice as an adolescent. Something that schools, at least in the US, begin to recognize as they put more responsibility on the individual and less on the parent. As a mother, my responsibility lies in helping my child learn how to handle this responsibility. Without guidance, many would flounder as managers of their work.

By the time my adolescent graduates high school and enters college, the rewards will be abundant. If I was successful, she will be able to manage her time and activities effectively. At this point, she will have transitioned into adulthood and my role will have become that of a bystander in many respects.

Just like that summer fades into fall, a parent’s role as educator changes too.

What role are you in with your children today? Have you Joined the Voyage? GlobalLearnDay 2017 is this weekend!

Why It Matters

Education is a human right.

 

No Way Out

Imagine being left in a box, a dark, sealed box with no means of escape.  You had just barely enough to keep you alive in way of oxygen and nourishment and that was it.  How long could you stay there?  How long would you want to stay there?

 

Lack of education and crippling poverty most often go hand in hand, they are wicked friends who hold so many captive throughout their lives.  Snatching opportunities to move beyond mere existence, the lack of resources for much of the world has keep generations in boxes of despair.

Education in History

Education is as old as time.  The process of passing skills on to the next generation, mentoring, apprenticing, inspiring discoveries is what makes us human.  Without education and the freedom to apply what is learned, our history would be very bleak.  Discoveries would not be made. Hypothesis would not be tested. Improvements would not be pursued. The edge of mere existence would be the fate of all.

 

The hallmark of a civilization is the accumulation and perpetuation of knowledge.  Civilized societies create languages, and a written system to record them.  Understanding of mathematics leads the way to an economy and commerce.  Our world has moved continually toward a deeper understanding and higher level of thinking, except for those who for socioeconomic reasons have been stripped of their rights to a civilized existence.

 

Education is not merely attending school, but being given the resources to move beyond surviving to thriving.  In the world of ultra-poverty, of complete devastation devoid of any resources, an education is an impossibility.

 

Opening the Trap

An opportunity to learn and grow not only enriches a life, but gives a person the means to live it.  The poorest of the poor do not only need more food, they need the know how to find and earn quality food.  More than their physical needs, their minds need to be fed to allow for thought, wonder, ingenuity, and reason.  Just as a body must be trained to perform athletically, a mind must be shaped and nurtured to perform on a higher academic plane.

 

Providing resources and opportunity for the world’s poor to be educated benefits the entire world as it is an investment in our collective future. That investment will pay off in dividends of cleaner environments, safer childhoods, healthier communities, problems solved, inventions created, conflicts settled, and stable families established.

 

Education of today’s children provides the means for them to provide sustenance, shelter, and stability to the children of tomorrow.  As One Planet, One People, it is paramount that we come together to build up cultures of learning through access to educational resources that build hope.

Pinterest

Piquing Interest and Pinterest

Piquing Interest

Do you relish browsing the aisle of bookshops or libraries, discovering new books to read and picking up tidbits of information? Are you a lifelong learner, always pursuing a new adventure or skill?  Would you love to have the world of endless information at your fingertips? Pinterest may just be for you.

Pinterest, like much of the Internet, is a treasure trove of endless possibilities.  There are how to posts, videos, daily inspiration, self help advice, and more.  However, it is not just another encyclopedia online. Pinterest is also a personal organization system, allowing you to curate your finds and catalog new ideas.

 

Joining the Bandwagon

For these reasons and more, Global Learn Day has created a Pinterest account to share all our finds with our followers and allow you to learn something new today and everyday.  We currently have twenty boards teaming with resources.  These boards include Education Around the World, STEM, Literature, and Early Education.

 

Get Involved!

In addition, many of our boards, such as Lifelong Learning, are collaborative boards.  These group boards allow people of similar interests to connect. It also provides an opportunity for our followers to share their discoveries with the world. This means you can add to our boards!

 

Have you stumbled upon an amazing website for elearning?  Did you just see a post about scientific discovery that blew your mind? Did that last article you read make you think of Global Learn Day?  Now, you can share that with us and all of our fellow GLDers.

 

The following boards are collaborative and more will be added soon!

 

To become a contributor, simply comment on any pin on the respective board.  We will send you an invitation and welcome you into the Global Learn Day family of lovers of education.

 

Join us and come help build bridges as One Planet, One People journeying together in learning.

 

What would you like to see on our boards?  Have an idea? Comment below!

 

MeetOurTeam

Meet the Crew – Kelsey

Hi! My name is Kelsey and I am from Ohio! I am very excited to be a part of Global Learn Day 2017! This is my first year being involved with this great program, and I can’t wait. I have always been a curious learner, meaning if I wondered why something was the way that it was I would go look it up and learn as much as I could about it. I also love to read and I find it fascinating how the authors can really draw you into their story and keep you on your toes until the end just by using words. The way that words can be used in so many different ways to teach something or share something is truly amazing.

At around the age of 14, I joined the golf team at my high school having never picked up a club in my life. This was a giant leap of faith for me but I was confident in my ability to learn a new skill. Turns out, after hours and hours of practice, I was actually pretty good at golf and went on to be the captain of my college golf team! This is just another example of how anyone can learn a new skill with a whole lot of patience and practice.

Here are a few fun facts about me!

What is your favorite thing to learn?

My favorite thing to learn is anything and everything about the human body. I just find it amazing how all the different body systems work together to keep us alive. It seems as if there is always more to learn and I think that is why I find it so intriguing. The study of science is pretty endless which is why I chose to major in Biology.

 

What is your current learning obsession?

My current learning obsession is probably building furniture! I love to take something that would ordinarily be tossed aside and make it into something beautiful to be used in my home and the homes of others. There is so much to learn when it comes to building furniture and there is always something new to be tried. I really enjoy reading up on different staining or painting techniques in order to create something new and unique each time. This is a skill that I have completely taught myself with the use of books and the Internet and I believe that is why it makes this skill so fulfilling.

 

How did you become a life long learner?/When did you realize you were a life long learner?

One interesting thing about my learning style is that I read and study up on EVERYTHING before I actually go and do it. So much so that I can teach someone how to do something without having ever done it myself! I think this is how I became a life long learner. There is something to be said about mastering a new skill and having confidence in your ability to complete a certain task or teach a new subject. I have always been a very creative person and while growing up I was always found reading or painting or building something. I was always looking for something new to learn and master and this is still how I am today.

 

Arts are Important

What is STEM?

There is so much talk about STEM in education circles these days.

It is the buzzword of the decade.  But what is it?  STEM is simply an acronym for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The sudden focus on STEM education derives from the arising need to compete in the global economy and be at the forefront of innovation.

The modern world is a rapidly changing place.

Technology is developing at record breaking speed. This is not only making what was once impossible commonplace, it is changing the way we live and look to the future.  A race to the top of new ideas and capabilities has become the hallmark of the tech industry.  So, the educational system has sought ways to supply capable individuals to this phenomenon. Hence, the creation and focus of STEM education.

 

Building A Modern School–Science over Here, Math Down the Hall

With the intense focus on STEM, schools have been building up their science and math programs in an effort to provide a better education. Science lab rooms are under construction, course catalogs overflow with new courses in Engineering, Chemistry, higher level Math, and technology applications.

 

The desire for more and more has turned the liberal arts approach to education upside down.  The requirements for graduation include more science and math courses than ever before.  A new wing of the education system, technology education, has spread beyond just typing or using software to teaching coding and digital citizenship.  Classes upon classes, room upon room, the push for an innovative education has remade the face of schooling around the world.

 

What About the Arts?

Science, Mathematics, anything technology related, these are all children need to know–right? Wrong, just as a bridge cannot stand without a foundation, innovation cannot happen without creativity.  The bedrock of every good education is the arts and humanities.

 

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing–the four Language Arts–are every bit as critical to engineers as to journalists.  These are the skills that build up a culture and bind us together.  The first two are necessary for collaboration and cohesive team work.  The last two essential to learning and documenting discoveries.

Along with Language Arts, the Visual Arts of design and creativity bring the sciences to life.  Engineering innovates the materials and methods, but art supplies the inspiration and beauty to architecture.  Coding synthesizes the blueprint of an app but visual creativity make it appealing and user friendly. The arts and the sciences need each other.  Without the arts, sciences create a gray, garish world of sci-fi horror stories.  Without sciences, artistic pursuits never get off the page and into history.

 

Welcome to the Real World

Just as the arts are integral to scientific advancement, so is the integration of education.  STEM education was never meant to mean a few more lab rooms and a list of mathematics requirements.  Like eliminating arts, this is missing the overarching goal of the STEM approach.  By integrating the subjects together in real world applications, students are given the roots and wings to soar in the current climate of global, rapid, technology advancement.

The opportunity to learn these skill sets and disciplines is vital to a good education, but should not mean simply tacking on more.  In the world of innovation, working together with people of all disciplines, using the knowledge learned from all coursework is what fuels the advancements of tomorrow. One People, One Planet

How do you build a bridge?  With mutual respect, understanding, and firm foundations of education.

How can you bring the world of education together to lead to a brighter future?

Put on a fun play today!

Shakespeare Learning Fun

Making Shakespeare Fun

Who Goes There?

The Old Bard of England is not just something to fill up an English Literature Curriculum, his rich language and complex plots provide ample meat for substantial higher order thinking. However, it is often difficult to hook someone, particularly children, and draw them into the magic. Shakespeare, fun? Surely, you jest! But alas, I do not.

Studies show that the study of literature and poetry exercise the brain, allowing for deeper thought processes. We all know that exercise is important, our brain, like a muscle, must be engaged to develop. Exposure of children to serious literary works leads to adults better able to analyze, sythethize, and interact. All of these skills are necessary for a successful career.

How Doth One Proceed?

Engaging children in Shakespeare is as simple as drawing them into the story and making it their own. One way of doing this is by a staged reading or performance of a Shakespearean play where the children not only play the parts but are charged with the technical production of the play as well.

The idea of a camp style Shakespeare experience, or Shakespeare Days, is the perfect set up for bringing children to the Global theatre in a way that will leave them wanting more. Here is brief guide to having your own Shakespeare Days experience in your classroom, with your homeschool group, or at
your home. This is the perfect activity for afterschool or school breaks.

1. Choose a play: With so many great works to choose from, this is not as easy as it sounds. The good news is that scripts are readily available. Student edition scripts are even available for free online.
2. Assign roles: Find someone for each part. Students can play more than one part if need be. Hand out scripts. Ask students to review and study their lines. There is no need to memorize the lines if you are short on time. The point is the exposure, not the performance.
3. Present the story: Gather together and read aloud an easy to understand version of your chosen play to the participants. There are several sources out there that condense plays and make them read like story books. As you read explain the twists and turns, allow the children to ask questions.
4. Create the props: Choose a selection of props for the students to create and use for their play. You do not need many, just enough to make it feel like they are really there. It is important to find time for arts and crafts so you “dress” your “stage”.
5. Have a few rehearsals: Take two to three classes/days to rehearse your play. Remember to plan out or block the movements of the actors so that the scenes progress smoothly. No need to get fancy, just run through it the best you can so that children get familiar with the language and scenes.
6. Include time for fun: All work and no play makes for boring days. Find something enjoyable for the children to do unrelated to the play, even just for a short time, once their practice ends each day.
7. Pull together costumes: Discuss how people dressed back in Shakespeare’s day. Have students make up costumes from what they have at home or can easily construct. It is more about getting into character than looking professional.
8. Invite your audience: Throngs of crowds are not needed here, perhaps just parents or the class next door. Allow the children to showcase what they have learned and accomplished.

Jubilation and Success, A Path to the Future

In the span of a week, or less depending on how long you have each day, the children who may have balked at having to sit and read a play independently have been transported back in time with the help of a little glue, paint, and extra effort. Learning by doing is learning that sticks.

Let’s all find ways to build bridges for our students not just to the future, but to the past, as well. Falling in love with learning leads to lifelong learners, which makes this world a better place.

How can you open the minds of your students and make them hungry for more?
A special thanks to Theresa Zappe for sharing her Shakespeare Days model with Global Learn Day.

Outdoors

The Outdoor Revolution

Give Them More

There is a push in modern education for more.  More hours. More requirements. More technology. More studying. More subjects to cover. Just more!  How about more time outside?  This may seem counter to a modern, progressive education but it is a growing trend with established roots.

 

Time outdoors in all kinds of weather is not anything new.  Charlotte Mason, a famous educator from the turn of the twentieth century, advocated long hours outside exploring, playing, and experiencing nature. Her methods presented a gentler approach to education that also build a strong foundation.

 

In this high paced, cutting edge world, Ms. Mason’s techniques are gaining popularity and a fresh take.  Nature based education is nothing new but it is gaining momentum as we realize our children are deprived of the simple pleasures of the great outdoors there is actually a new disorder! Nature Deficit Disorder is a widespread problem with an easy cure, give kids more time outdoors.

 

Around the World

In Finland, where education is nearly the opposite of the rest of the world, children are given multiple recesses, play breaks outdoors in any weather–even the cold, Nordic winter.  Up to four outdoor times are planned each day for unstructured play.  This play does not take away from education, it is education for these children.

 

In an effort to return to nature, there is a new movement in Germany called Waldkingergarten or Forest School.  These schools are housed in the great forests of Germany.  Students are dropped off in the morning and picked up sometime in the afternoon.  They spend their entire days outside, even having meals together on the forest floor.

 

You may wonder what do these children learn from days of wandering the forest?  Well, recent studies have shown that “Forest Kindergarten children come well-prepared for school and that they are often ahead of their school mates physically, mentally and in their social behaviour.”

 

In the United States, a similar movement is occurring with Tinkergarten.  Bringing young children outdoors to experience and create, this program is building an education foundation built on curiosity and teamwork.

 

What Does All this Mean for Education?

As we forge ahead into the tech-savvy twenty-first century, we must be mindful of not cutting our children off from their roots in nature.  The importance of learning the latest innovation must never crowd out children’s need to be children.  Children play, wiggle, and wonder – that is their nature.  By creating space, time, and opportunity for young people to unplug, stretch their legs, and breath fresh air, we will not be wasting valuable time but investing in the health and well being of future generations.

As One Planet, One People, understanding, appreciating, and conserving the natural world serves everyone around the planet.  Providing the latest technology will change the face of education and teach something new. However, some things never change, and children were built to learn and explore, especially outdoors.  Play, laughter, and dreams are a language that unite us all.

 

Where are you exploring? What have you learned from these experiences?

Join us for our Global Learn Day 2017 Voyage!

MeetOurTeam

Meet the Crew – Peter

Peter
Meet Peter!

My name is Peter. I currently live in West Palm Beach Florida. Some things I do for fun is go to the gym to lift weights, play football or basketball with the boys or go swimming. I prefer to be outdoors. I like to try new things so I will literally do anything that seems like it will turn out to be fun.

Why Global Learn Day?

The way I got involved in Global Learn Day was one day during one of the weekly office staff meeting at Online Training Institute the topic came up. The question “Who thinks this is something they would be interested in being a part of? ” was asked. It all sounded really interesting to me, so I volunteered to join the GLD team.

This event means the ability to learn about different parts of the world from the people who live there. It means that no matter where or when there is always the opportunity to learn something new!

Learning

My Dad is my learning inspiration. Throughout my life I’ve always watched my dad do his best to better himself. Not only did I learn materials I would need for school he also taught me how to be the man I am today. Since birth he has been raising me by himself. He always told me, “No one can take away your education from you.”  That was one of his ways to keep me focused and going down the right path in life.

I look everywhere to learn something new. Books, people, the Internet or sometimes even Social Media . There is really no limit to where you can look and learn something new.

I don’t really have one specific thing that I like to learn. I am a young person and I love to ask questions. Why? Because there is no such thing as a dumb question and if you never ask you will never know! Asking questions is another way of learning.

My favorite book is “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo.

 

Thanks Peter for sharing a bit about yourself!

What is your reason for Joining our Voyage? Have you joined our event on Facebook yet?