language learning

5 Ways to Learn A Lanuage in Your Spare Time

Knowing a second language is a great asset. It can lead to better career opportunities and improve your brain function. However, learning to speak a new language can seem overwhelming. Most people do not have days or even hours to spend learning their target language.


The good news is that you can learn a new language without quitting your day job. By integrating some easy strategies into your spare time, you will become bilingual in no time. Do you have 20 minutes a day, or even just five? If the answer is yes, you have exactly what you need to reach you language learning goals.




There’s an app for everything today. Language learning is no different. While many promise results, few are as comprehensive and accessible as Duolingo.


Duolingo covers all the bases of language learning–reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This gamified platform keeps you motivated and engaged. Set a daily goal and track your progress.


This is microlearning at its finest and it really works!



Watch videos in target language

Watching your favorite television show may be the way you unwind at the end of a long day. Television and movies is an excellent way to learn a language because you will learn by immersion, the same way babies learn language.


Video streaming services such as Amazon offer a variety of movies and television series in many languages. (Listening to radio or a podcast is also a great way to learn, however having the visuals of a show really helps in the learning process) Find one you enjoy and start to learn without trying.



Join a Facebook group

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a resource for connecting people around the world. Aside from learning the latest news and marketing your business, Facebook can be a way to learn new skills, like a new language. Many groups exist for language learners to interact with each other and practice.


This method takes only minutes a day, but give you real world experience for free, without leaving your home. Simply search for a conversation group in your target language, for instance “French learners conversation group.”



Play a game

Learning should be fun! Playing a game, whether virtual or a good old fashioned board game is a perfect way to practice language skills and pick up new vocabulary. Try playing a classic, like Uno, but use your new color and number vocabulary. Or, find a game produced in the target language and play your way to your learning goal.



Read in the target language

It may seem that reading is something that comes late in language learning, however reading in the target language is the best way to learn vocabulary in context and also develop an understanding of grammar.


Start small, as in kids books, and work your way up from there. Reading for just a short time each day will really boost your learning efforts and give you greater confidence in conducting conversation. It will also teach you everyday language and cultural norms.


Do you have a goal of learning a new language in 2018? Have any tips to share?



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Technology and the global connection

How Technology Can Unite and Divide Us

We are living in a time of rapid change. The technology that is revolutionary today is being replaced tomorrow. Technology is changing how we live our lives, plan our futures, and build relationships. In this digital age, we may wonder where it is heading.

As Amazon unveils its cashless store where shoppers just grab and go, former executives to some of the largest technology and social media companies continue to speak out about the problems these new innovations can cause.

What is the answer? Is technology ripping apart the world, or are the advances the way to finally unite us all?

Technology can unit or divid eus by Global Learn Day

How Is Technology Uniting Us?

Over 7.4 billion people live on Earth speaking 7,106 languages. For centuries, connecting with others in distant parts of the globe was arduous and even dangerous. Letters could be written but would take months to reach their destination. Even finding a contact in a far off land was a monumental task.

As the technology of travel improved, interconnectedness was established. Crossing the ocean or flying to the other side of the world took hours, not month or years. Postal routes became well organized and mail could seamlessly be transported from a home mailbox to virtually anywhere on the planet.

The advent of computers and the Internet changed anything. Messages could circumnavigate the globe in minutes, even seconds. A new era of global relationships began. Now finding someone in the far reaches of the world became as easy as a click of a button.

Events, such as Global Learn Day, became possible. We are very thankful for the technology that can unite us in ways that were just science fiction a generation ago. (Still no flying cars, but we can virtually meet face to face!)

How Has Technology Divided Us?

With all these advances the possibilities have grown and our ability to experience people, places, and events has reached further and further distances. However, at the same time the connects at home has broken down.

The fabric of socialization and community has moved from block parties to virtual communities and Facebook groups. The art of conversation is being lost, and despite our growing interdependence and resources, more people feel isolated than before.

Is Social Media Tearing Us Apart?

The dangers and disadvantages of social media have been in the spotlight recently. Cyber-bullying has created a suicide crisis among children, some as young as 8. Social media and smart phone addiction are on the rise. Face to face interaction, even with video conferencing technology, is becoming rare.

As technology advances and infiltrates every aspect of or lives, the connectivity that provides for a healthy and stable lifestyle has waned. As we stare into our screens and build up our networks, more and more people feel isolated and alone. A 2016 Harris Poll showed that 72% of American regularly feel lonely, one third of those suffer from loneliness at least once a week.

Is social media to blame? The answer isn’t an easy yes or no. The phenomenon of social media certainly has its downfalls. Coupled with smartphone addiction, the future may look grim.

The fact is that social media has the power to rip us apart but it also is an amazing vehicle for collaboration. In building up global connects, we must also invest our time and energy locally, being a force for good in our homes, communities, and countries.

The upcoming generation is the first to have grown up on social media. Their birth was announced via Facebook, their birthdays and school projects planned via Pinterest, and they “meet” their friends not on the sidewalk but in Snapchat. Setting up healthy boundaries and teaching good digital citizenship to these young people is vital. It isn’t enough for them to know how to use the technology, they must learn how to use it well and for good.

How Do We Go Forward with Technology?

Technology is here to stay and is so very ingrained in daily life, it would be catastrophic for it to be swept away.  As the shortcomings and dangers of this brave new world continue to be learned and fill the headlines, we must work to take what is good from our new found freedoms and continue to build a world of connections.

Education can unite the world, education not just taught by technology but education of how to effectively use it. As we build a global community, we must also encourage the development and preservation of our local communities. Teaching children how to reach out across the world wide web, but still interact and build friendships in real life. This is an arduous task and one that we are still very much learning how to do.

With great power comes great responsibility. We are at a crossroads for the increasing power of modern technology and social media. How will we use this power? It is the responsibility of each of us to wield it for good!

The human connection will always be the true tie that binds us close at home and across continents and oceans. Want to join our discussion on the future of education and global connections? Become a member of our Friends of Global Learn Day Facebook group.


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E-learning in India leading to a better future

How Is E-learning in India Creating a Better Economic Future?

India is an emerging economy that is rapidly growing. Unfortunately, unemployment rates are outpacing the soaring expansion of its GDP. In a nation with a large rural population and many calling for educational reform, India stands poised at a crossroad.

The number of well educated graduates is steadily increasing, however many are unable to find suitable jobs. If India wants to get ahead and solve its job crisis, a change must be made.

E-learning may be the way out. A new platform of education with ever expanding capabilities mean limitless opportunities. The digital age of exploration is launching India onto the world stage.

Elearning in India

How Is E-learning Growing in India

India is currently one of the leading countries in the e-learning movement, second only to the United States. The e-learning market is projected to reach $1.26 million in 2018. As the “Digital India” initiatives drives sweeping change across India, increasing the GDP and ushering India onto the global technology market, there is an ever growing gap in jobs that will be needed to maintain this momentum and skills that are lacking in recent graduates.

Even though 65% of India’s population is under 35 years old, and mobile technology is now being used by 26% of the population to access the Internet, education in technology skills is far behind.

E-learning is hoped to bridge this gap, establish new educational opportunities for the younger generation, and provide micro-learning for recent graduates and business professionals.

How Is E-learning Changing Education In India?

The traditional, one size fits all model of education is not capable of readying students for the ever changing world of a digital, global economy. E-learning and edtech platforms are providing individualized educations, creating easily managed assessments, and increasing engagement in the classroom.

With a large rural population, India has also benefited from satellite delivered Internet for even the remotest regions. E-learning is bringing top notch, high-tech educational opportunities to students who would otherwise not have access to a modern education.

In recent years, satellite service has dropped drastically in cost. This has made Internet access affordable for an ever growing working class population. The Internet has proven to be a pathway to greater education access and intercultural relationships. For remote, rural populations, e-learning has many advantages.

One of the biggest advantages is the one on one instruction and opportunity for personalized study schedules. MOOC classes based on traditional university schedules were the first wave of e-learning opportunities worldwide, however these had a high drop out rate (80-90%). By providing microlearning that is individualized, India is on the cusp of an educational revolution for all sectors of society.

E-learning is also helping to solve the qualified teacher shortage that plagues the Indian educational system. By having broader reach, the country’s best and brightest teachers can instruct vast numbers of students, not just their local school.

How Will E-learning Create Jobs in India?

As e-learning grows in India and initiatives such as Digital India and SWAYAM platform progress, there will be a growing demand for teachers. Those who have the necessary skills for 21st century technology and business will be in high demand to disseminate instruction and close the present skills gap.

Also, as Multinational Companies (MNCs) continue to invest in India, a well skilled generation of workers will be needed to keep the economy going. By training the up and coming leaders of tomorrow, India will have a solid workforce prepared to support a digital economy.

Having a work ready population will attract greater investments and continue to raise the economy of India on the world stage. The ability to compete globally is the greatest aim of these revolutionary educational techniques. It is not enough to have the technology at a growing number of citizens fingertips, but to graduate skilled worker that know how to implement new technology to grow businesses, and adapt to a rapidly advancing technological age.

In addition to teachers, and tech savvy workers, a booming e-learning industry run by domestic platforms provides opportunities for management positions and education developers. Those skilled in developing learning platforms, leading organizations, and managing digital companies will be a great assets.

The Next Step

As our world continues to rapidly change in this digital age, the divides of the world continue to close. Building a future of economic stability, educational opportunity, and greater cooperation will help to raise the quality of life for all people.

In 2018, Global Learn Day strives to Unite the World through Education. Education is the great equalizer. It not only provides greater opportunities and higher pay, but provides interconnectedness that unites the world so we can overcome what has historically divided us.

What can you do to support this mission? How has e-learning changed your life?

For further information check out:

Changing Face of Indian Education

E-learning India’s Education Needs to Get Online

E-Learning Market in India–Challenges and Opportunities

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Global Learn Day Edtech

7 Edtechs to Try in 2018

It’s a couple weeks into 2018. Have you made any resolutions yet? Picked your word for the year?

New Year, New Opportunity

January offers a fresh start, even if it is in the middle of the school year for the northern hemisphere.  Technology is advancing and changing at record breaking speed.

While it is hard to keep up with every change, it’s important to be open to learning something new.  Trying out a new platform not only will enhance your learning experience but expand your brain.

Whatever your goals for 2018, add these 7 edtechs to the list.  Learn something new this year!

7 Edtech Applications to try in 2018

WeVideo–Do you like watching a movie? Have you ever wanted to make your own? WeVideo is a simple to use film editing platform that even young children can use. Don’t let it’s ease of use fool you though. WeVideo creates such amazing results that it is used by businesses to create marketing films.

Flipgrid–Flipped education is turning school on its head. Flipgrid is taking it a step further by using collaborative technology and film editing software to reach every student. In the Flipgrid classroom, student discussion runs the course not teacher lectures. The creative tools give every student a voice.

NewseumEd–This is an extension of the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  It’s virtual collection delivers primary sources right to your tablet, laptop, or phone. More than just a database, NewseumEd is packed with tools and classes for educators.  This is a must use for teaching students, and yourself, about history and discerning factual news.  There is even an EDIDEAS section for learning more about current events.

 myOn-myON is not just a program, it’s a “literacy ecosystem.”  The virtual library of interactive books teaches children to read while engaging them to keep learning by reading. myOn’s adventure isn’t only for students, the site offers professional development for teachers as well.

Quizalize–Quizzes are a part of education that will never go away. Move out of the way notebook paper and pen, though, Quizaline offers a new platform for quizzes that helps both teacher and students. Quizaline tracks students’ progress, provides a means for differential instruction, and gives students instant feedback. Make your quizzes engaging, fun, effective, and authentic.

Sway–Is a program with so many applications.  An ultra modern and slick answer to Powerpoint, Sway also generates high quality newsletters. Get students writing, or teach yourself a new skill for business. Sway is enjoyable and useful for all ages.  like other popular edtech, Sway works through collaboration and access anywhere technology.  Imagine the possibilities!

FluentU– FluentU offers an immersion experience that comes to your classroom. Image being able to take your students into the heart of everyday life in your target language. This platform offers high quality videos to enhance the learning experience and keep students engaged. Even better, FluentU can be used anywhere (including at home) and it tracks students progress.

What are your goals for 2018? Here at Global Learn Day, ours is always to never stop learning and find better ways to connect the world.  These edtech applications can do both.

What edtech would you recommend?

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Electric Education

As the world heads into the “season of lights” with many faith and cultures celebrating special holidays and festivals, we are awash in the prospect of light amid the darkening days of winter.   Light has always signified hope. Yet, 1.3 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity.

Spread Hope, Peace–and Light!

The greatest provider of hope is education. While education does not require a building, nor a collection of high tech gadgets, access to basic electricity increases access to education and provides greater tools for teachers.

By creating opportunities and pathways to electrify schools in the most desperate areas of the globe, we as One Planet, One People can affect the change we long to see in the world. Greater numbers of educated world citizens means less conflict, greater chances for peace, reduced poverty, increased health, and a more stable economic outlook.  In a word, hope!

What Can Electricity Do?

On the most basic level, electricity can ensure open school doors more days of the year. By providing artificial light, students can continue to study even when it is stormy and dark outside.  Ventilation also helps to keep school running despite the weather or extremes of a climate.

Electricity opens doors for teachers and makes their job easier.  Simple tasks such as photocopying test pages or homework sheets can be completed inexpensively right on site, saving teachers the time and expense of traveling to commercial copying services in areas with sparse electric access.

Step Into the Future

A basic education for all is a fundamental right and should be a top goal for the global community, but what about going beyond the basics?  The digital age is a ever changing landscape of innovation and opportunity. The longer we leave schools of the developing world in the dark, the greater the gap in prospects for first world vs developing nation students becomes.

The lack of access to information, collaboration, and technology that is fueling the global economy is a handicap that plagues over a million people in the world?

How will we build bridges and knock down barriers if we cannot effectively collaborate?  The greatest minds of our time may be living in areas unable to join in global community of innovation. What opportunities will be missed by students cut off from information and technological advancements?

Open the World

Providing electricity to education centers throughout the world not only opens a new world to underserved students and teachers, but opens the door for those already “wired” into the information web to reach out and make new friends. The interrelations are the stepping stones to greater diplomacy and understanding for future generations.  An open world breaks down the walls that separate us and helps to close the gaps wrought but poverty, prejudice, and ignorance.

Later this week, we will continue this “electrifying” discussion and explore incredible and innovative ways that some organizations are bridging the great divide and building hope one light bulb at a time!

Please stop back to learn more and how you can help!

What opportunities has electricity afforded you in your education?

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The Skills Gap and Real Education

There is a debate going on that is not easily settled. Does the skills gap exist? If it does, why? How do we close it?

Opponents blame the recession for high unemployment rates and say there is no skills gap, just no jobs. On the other hand, analysts, journalists, business executives, and employment specialists say the gap is real and it is growing.  Which side is correct?


The Gap or Not The Gap, That’s Not The Question

Regardless of the actual gap, the answer to all of the questions is education.  Real education, not just the years spent in a school.  Education is a bridge to a brighter future for everyone.  It should not be limited to check lists and basic requirements.  Wherever you are on the learning continuum, there is always more to learn.

This is why at Global Learn Day, we emphasize and promote lifelong learning and endless, self education.  How can these principles solve the skills gap? Let’s explore three reasons.

Adult Education and Essential Skills

Basic skills like reading, writing, and computation are foundational to the educational process.  Yet, millions of prospective employees lack these cornerstone, building blocks.  In the United States alone, 36 million adults of working age are not proficient in language usage, fluent reading, and everyday math.

Without these skills, not only will the search for employment be difficult, but acquiring new skills is nearly impossible. A base of knowledge must be laid in order to build a lifetime of learning.  This is a skills gap that plagues every corner of the world.  In countries with mandatory, universal education, it should be a wake up call that our methods must change in order to reach and teach every student.

Adult education does not address the cause of this gap, but effectively treats the symptoms of it.  Investing in adult education creates a ripple effect that allows for better opportunities for the adult learner, as well as greater hope for future generations. Low income children who have at least one parent who has earned a G.E.D, are more likely to finish high school themselves.

Education begets education. Learning inspires more learning. By building up one segment of the population that is underserved and underskilled, the entire society is boosted and inspired to work harder.  So, providing adult education to close the basic skills gap will help ensure that gap continues to lessen in the future generations.

Continuing Education in Corporate Culture

Gone are the days of learning a finite skills set, earning a degree or diploma, and finding a lifelong career in one organization. The information age has ushered in a wave of advancing technology that continues to evolve and develop. What was top last year or even last month has now been replaced by a new software or operating system.

Basic education and higher education are still so vitally important, but in order for workers and employers to compete in this brave new world, continuing education must be a central tenet of how they do business.

Corporate learning retreat, incentives for continuing education classes, and encouragement for passive learning among employees are the hallmarks of what will not only close the skills gap in growing fields but also keep companies afloat in these volatile economic waters.

Continuing education is not just a buzz word, nor a race to a higher salary, for every employee it must be a way of life.

The Ben Franklin Way–Self Education

In locations where education is mandatory and universal, there is a tendency to equate education with school. However, these are two very different concepts.  Schools may be where you get educated, however an education is not exclusive to school.

Like the rest of the world, schools are struggling to keep up with the pace of the digital age.  Even the best schools are not adequate in providing all of the skills a person would need by the time he enters the workforce or looks to advance his career. This is because the skills that will be needed at that time are for platforms that do not exist today.

The push to include subjects like coding in school is part of a movement to prepare students for a future that we cannot even imagine right now. However, even these efforts will not insulate the next generation from a skills gap of their own.

Self education is the answer to the skills crisis. It has always been the answer. No matter what education you are lacking, individual study and pursuit of knowledge is what propels the motivated forward.

Like our patron, Benjamin Franklin, Global Learn Day recognizes and celebrates the on going efforts of self education.  In an age where skills are demanded but not being formally taught, adopting a habit of independent study apart for certificates, degrees, or pay incentives to be earned will provide much greater opportunity than any corporate education structure or formal education.

The skill to self educate is the the greatest skill to acquire. Those able to stay ahead of the curve, learn new technologies, and be flexible in how common procedures are done will be the ones to achieve and succeed.

How will you close your own skills gap today?

For more information on where to continue your own education, check out these posts:
Education: The Gift You Give Yourself
The Fun of Self Education
When Should Education End?
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Education Has Flipped Out!

Has your classroom flipped?  Like desks on the ceiling you might ask.  No, flipped in terms of structure and instruction.  Flipped education is the latest trend but how is it really done?

The History of the Flip

Though the general idea dates back to a thesis paper from University of Miami professors in 2000. Although the true flipped learning movement took really took root in 2007 when Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann, Colorado High School teachers, began using technology to record their lectures for absent students.

Shortly after, they came up with the idea of prerecording all their lectures for students to view at home, so classroom time could be spend on in depth projects and collaborative learning.  Originally called pre-broadcasting, it eventually became known as a flipped classroom.

What It’s Flipping Not!

As the trend has grown, so has the misconceptions of it’s aim and practice.  Flipped education does not simply mean watching videos and answering multiple choice questions.  Neither does the idea of “school work at home, homework at school” capture the true essence of the technique.

The recorded classes are a means to the method’s end but not the whole method.  The technology serves the purpose to make flipping possible but does not define the shift in educational practice.

Reservations and Requirements

One of the top concerns with starting a flipped classroom is the requirement for all students to have the Internet at home.  However, founders Sams and Bergmann say the Internet should never be a sticking point.

Videos can be loaded onto thumb drives, burned onto CDs, or uploaded to Ipods.  In addition, students should have the option of how they will learn the material.  Learning the material from a textbook or series of worksheets is just as valid as from a video.  The importance is how classroom time is spent.

Classroom Time in a Paradigm Shift

Flipped classrooms provide the space and time for teachers to interact on a more interpersonal level with students.  Affording students to indulge in project based learning, hands-on activities, lab experiments, and collaborative experiences.

Instead of the teacher being the center of the classroom time, learning and projects are.  The teacher becomes a facilitator as opposed to a lecturer.

Four Pillars of a FLIP

Authentic flipped education contains these four elements:

  1. Flexible Environment
  2. Learning Culture
  3. Intentional Content
  4. Professional Educator

With these four elements and a drive to provide accessible resources for student led study outside of classroom and student driven learning within the classroom walls, flipped education has the potential to revolutionize schools.

All of this innovation and initiative is aimed at one very dire epidemic–the high school drop our rate.  In the United States alone, 7,200 students drop out of high school each day.  That leads to 1.3 million young adults with incomplete educations every year.

By engaging students in meaningful learning and exciting class sessions, teachers like Sams and Bergmann hope to retain those who just are not being reached by the traditional model of lecture, homework, testing.  In addition, self directed learning leads to lifelong learning, the ultimate goal of any education.

What do you think?  Are you ready to flip?


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The New Classroom Must Have

Make Your List and Check It Twice!

It’s no secret that teachers spend hours planning and accumulating supplies for their classroom–many purchased with their own money.  In the 21st century, the supply wish list continues to grow in order to address the growing needs and interests of our digital age.

  • pens
  • notebooks
  • crayons
  • grade book
  • planner
  • stickers
  • chalk
  • folders
  • posters
  • paper
  • drone

Drone?!? Yes, drones are making their ways into schools and shaking up lessons across the globe.  No longer limited to police or military use, drones are becoming a common, yet still hotly debated, part of everyday life.

An Up and Coming Classroom Staple

Even thought they are common, what does a drone have to do with learning ABC’s and studying Algebra? More than you realize!

Drones not only provide a new and innovative way to express creativity, hone engineering and design skills, and inspire innovation; they also lend themselves to imaginative play and changed perspective.

When Am I Going to Need Math, Anyway?

Equations, proportions, fractions, geometry…students often groan over the “uselessness” of such arduous learning.  Projects like drones bring math to life. No longer are math lessons simply problems on a page, but a mission, an opportunity, an adventure.

Designing, planning, and using drones all require computations that give mathematics a real world, hands-on approach.  Need a little spice for your math class, consider adding a drone!

The Language and Rhetoric of High Tech Tools

Drones are not only for the science or math wings of the school, language arts can get a boost from some high flying antics, as well.  As drones allow for photography from angles never experienced before, these images can be used as writing prompts.  What a way to spice up your writing task arsenal!

In addition, drones are as controversial as they are fascinating.  Even enthusiasts have reservations of how and by whom they should be used.  Hosting a classroom debate or assigning written position papers will integrate the subjects and lead to critical thinking.

*Gasp* Sheer Brilliance! 

Another Masterpiece from Drone’s Blue Period

Art and STEM may seem to have nothing in common but as any supporter of arts education will tell you, the world need art!  Innovation and invention thrive on creativity.  Did you know art could use technology as well?

By attaching various tools, such as paint brushes, students can use a drone to create a new masterpiece.  This process will also require development of hand-eye coordination–a true cross-curricular activity.

STEM + New Technology = Lots of Money Spent

Drones, like all new technology, are expensive. With ever increasing demands on teachers’ generosity and school budgets, it may seem impossible for the average classroom to have its own drone.

Here is where Maker’s Stations shine in the darkness.  Creating your own drone is not only economical but an incredible learning opportunity.  If you have access to a 3D printer, your class could build a drone start to finish by their own design.  However, even low-tech school can add drones to the supply closet with low cost kits that use Legos to build functional but resilient drones for less than $200!

Good or bad, like it or not, drones are a growing part of the everyday landscape. Integrating them into the classroom not only provides new opportunities but provides tools for students to understand this rapidly advancing world of the information age.

How would you use a drone in your classroom?

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Where in the World? Building Map Skills

Globetrotting on a Map

Our planet is so vast. From mile high peaks to low lying islands, arctic tundra to arid rain forests.  The beauty and splendor is amazing.  This breathtaking canvas is occupied by 7.6 billion people and organized by the invisible borderlines of 195 countries. How many could you find on an unlabelled map?

Exploring a map or atlas is an adventure in itself.  The different names, the topography, the climates and animal habitats all weave a tapestry like none other.  As One Planet, One People, we have so much in common but, also so much to share that makes us each unique.  Understanding our world begins with understanding our globe!

Why Learn Map Skills?

With the advent of GPS our reliance on technology has decreased our perceived need to learn how to read a map.  Moreover, not only are we not versed in how to uses maps, but are less likely to even encounter one.

Map skills are still an important ingredient to understanding your surroundings and the world at large.  When listening to the news, our knowledge of geography helps us better understand where items of interest are happening and how they could effect other parts of the world.

How to Build Better Map Skills

The easiest way to learn more about maps of the world is to spend time exploring them.  Hear a geographic name you don’t recognize?  Look it up!  Not sure which countries border an area in conflict? Pull out an atlas and find out.

Here are four other projects to build map skills for young and old:

  1.  Google up some geography. While technology has made us less able to self-orient, it has also opened doors to experiencing geography like never before. Instead of just a static drawing or photograph in a book, interactive maps, such as Google Earth, brings the maps to life.  Spending time exploring and “voyaging” via Google Earth you can become a globetrotter right from your living room. There are numerous projects online to enhance your learning.
  2. Build the world by hand! Making a globe by hand is a great way to gain an understanding of where places are and how they relate to each other.  Globes can be made from pumpkins, paper mache, styrofoam balls, or printable that are assembled.
  3. Map what you read. Find locations mentioned in the books, and news that you read.  Learn more about the area around the point you discovered.  Get a wall map and mark each of these spots to keep track of your reading travel.
  4. Play a game. Playing games, both board games and video games, that include travel is a fun and easy way to learn more geography. Puzzles, as well, turning playing into learning. Try some of these:

Where will you explore today?


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What Is Gamification?

Gamification is the latest trend in education but what exactly is it?

Gamification involves bringing game elements to ordinary or already established practices.  The use of gaming technology to teach attracts many students who are more enticed by video games than textbooks.  Games can be used for teaching, studying, practice, and assessment.

Gamification creates scenarios of challenge and reward that shape behavior and expand skills.  These techniques have become common place in marketing, self-improvement, even politics. With schools attempting to engage a generation born into the digital world, these techniques provide an opportunity to draw in those children that are struggling or otherwise not interested.

Why Gamify School?

As stated above, gamifying appeals to many students.  It creates a level playing field, also, since students are working to their abilities and progress at their own pace.  Working independently helps remove stigma and encourage students to keep going to earn more rewards.

The elements of any game, digital, card, or board, that make you want to keep playing even when you don’t win is the key to how and gamifying works. Reaching those who would otherwise be disengaged is the main goal.

To Game or Not to Game?

How Do I Gamify My Classroom?

You may be sold on the idea but where to start.  The idea of creating levels, rewards, interactive interfaces, and score keeping software can be overwhelming.  Thankfully, there are many resources online.

Gamification does not just involve using games or technology within the classroom.  The overriding principle is to entice students to learn by using gaming concepts such as rewards, points, do-overs, the opportunity to fail and start over, interaction, choice, instant results, and expanding capabilities.

There are services online who can create a gamified class for you. There are also numerous tutorials and youtube videos to help you along the way. The greatest advice to doing this is plan ahead of time and don’t be afraid to just try it!

Gaming in School

Playing educational games is not something new to education.  It has existed for many years, gamification take it to a new level by making the entire class part of a gaming system.

Gamification can be very expensive and requires a large investment of time and effort on the part of the teacher. Both of these may make it impractical for some schools.  However, applying some of the gaming principles outside of the digital design can still help to engage those students in need of additional motivation.

Motivating students to keep learning and want to do better is the first step in becoming a lifelong learner.  Gamification could be the tool to achieve this in your classroom.  For more information about gamifying your class, please visit our Pinterest board Technology in Education.






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