Hovercraft and Education

Hovercraft and Education

I was recently on Twitter and came across videos of science classes that were racing hovercrafts as part of their lessons. It reminded me of my daughter’s third grade class. Students were divided into small groups and taught how to design a robot. They then got to build the robot and the student groups raced them the last week of school. This was genius! Not only did the children learn about robotics but they had to work as a team and build something.


After seeing the Twitter post, I went and looked up more information about students building hovercrafts. I came across a short article in Popular Mechanics.  It is great that a well-known magazine would talk about something (like teaching technology students how to build hovercraft) and a few years later schools from all over are replicating it. Sometimes, we learn better by doing.


In some parts of world action is still how students learn the majority of their knowledge. In industrial countries that call to action in the classroom is a key to innovation. Rather than learn about coding software through a book or someone yelling to a student, students get on a computer and code. The difference between these two methods is the first is teacher-centered learning and the second is student-centered. This visual by Paul Curtis offers a better explanation.


Who knows if by participating in this learning activity, a future designer for Toyota, Ford or Mercedes is created? Who knows if participating in designing or building a hovercraft or robot is going to spark excitement that lasts a student’s lifetime? Who knows if by participating in this learning activity, a future designer for Toyota, Ford or Mercedes? Previous Global Learn Day presenter, Dr. Terrence R. Redding, shared his thoughts about this when talking about “The First Moment of Lasting Excitement”. You can learn more about that here!


This is more of what Global Learn Day celebrates! Education opens doors, it excites us and helps us learn who we are and where we belong. Education builds a bridge to a better future. Across the globe, we are a learning people. We share our previous experiences and hopefully, we learn from them. Education, and our thirst for knowledge, is what helps us to unite and become “One People, One Planet”.

What excites you about learning? What incites you to learn more?

We are all Life Long Educators

Think back to your education experience. Was there a teacher who inspired you? What were the qualities about this individual that caused inspiration? Likely, this educator’s love of learning and knowledge engaged you in ways that you had previously not been engaged and you were excited to learn more. You became a sponge for what this person was teaching. This is because our excitement sparks excitement in others. Our excitement about learning is a bridge to others’ excitement.


Why do our children often enjoy similar hobbies, music, books and other interests as we do? It is often because we are excited to share them. For instance, my daughter loves to watch documentaries. A large reason behind this is that when she was younger we would watch them together rather than other shows. How many 6 year-olds can identify the species of snake and inform you that it is not real because those are not “native to North America” when a prank was played? Her excitement about documentaries has continued and my son was thus engaged. Unless you want to be around for a while, please do not talk about Titanaboa. His interest, sparked by a documentary, has continued by reading everything available about this extinct apex predator.


In going about my daily life, I educate others and so do you. We are all Life Long Educators, because that is part of our shared human experience. We educate, we share our passions and from this we spark excitement in people around us. Who knows if the spark you ignite will be that individual’s “First Moment of Lasting Excitement”, a phrase coined by Dr. Terrence R. Redding, GLD Crew Member and President/CEO of OnLine Training Institute. I would suggest that we become purposeful about this part of ourselves.


Healther Wolpert-Gawron says in an Edutopia article that, “a good teacher continues to be a student.” As we teach those around us, knowingly or unknowingly, we should continue to be learning ourselves. We should encourage each other to soak up additional knowledge because it is only through each of our shared experiences that we can Build a Bridge to the Future via education.


Follow up… What are you most inspired to learn about today? Do you share your knowledge in an intentional way, or by happenstance? Who has inspired your educational journey?


Please consider inviting your inspirations to join us on Facebook and here for our Global Learn Day voyage!


We love to be shared!

Questions to Ask College Students – helping them BUILD the FUTURE

“Some college, Undergraduate degree required/preferred”

If you have looked for a job within the past few years or so many will have something about a college education. But what does it mean? Why do companies place such emphasis on college education? As life long learners, we know that education, knowledge, and understanding are the foundation of our way of life. They are the foundation on which we build ourselves.


So what? We as a society have placed more value on the opportunity to go to college than we have spent teaching each other the benefits of education. It seems we take a check list approach to education… middle school- check high school-check college- check, masters-in progress. Are we instilling in ourselves and those around us that education matters? That college sets us up to be able to start (or continue) our life long learning process? As I see it the way American Society currently views college education, it doesn’t matter, but if we change the conversation it can matter. The next time you speak with a college student try asking these questions instead of “what’s your major?”


What Classes inspire you?

When you ask ‘What classes inspire you?’ you are asking a college student to think outside the textbook so to speak. This allows college students, and really all people, to open their minds and their imaginations. When people are inspired they not only learn BETTER but that inspiration can turn to passion. With passion comes the ability to move mountains with knowledge.


How has college changed you?

Every experience in life leaves us changed. You can’t unlearn something that you have learned. For example, when I was a young child there was a “traumatizing” episode of Sesame Street where when one of the characters left the water running, his fish friend started running out of water. At that point I learned that water is a limited resource, and I have to only use my “share”, so while brushing my teeth I HAD to make sure to turn the water off. That experience left me changed and that experience as I have gotten older has made me educate myself more on waste. College changes us too, and it is that constant change and education that allows for us to grow.


How do your studies affect us on a global level?

Okay, so maybe if you ask this question you might need to do some explaining, but it is actually quite interesting and loaded. We talked about how college changes us, but how do we take that and live it. This is the part that many people miss when they come out of college or even when they are still in college. How is it that you are going to use what you have learned to further the developing or even the developed world? How are you building a better future? A computer can take over any job that looks at data, or analyzes information. What a computer can’t do is allow that data to change its behavior. We need to not only be the life long learners of the world but we need to be the educators of the world too. We need to innovate and be the resources that you wish we could find. Inspire change in others, give all the knowledge that we can to those around us.


How do you change the world? How do you impact those around you? How do you inspire? Take your education and live it, expand on it.

Comment below with how you view a college education. And how you feel a college education fits in with today’s beliefs.

The Summer Slide

Recently, I attended a meeting that spoke about “The Summer Slide”. This is a situation where students lose skills as a result of having the summer off.  After eight or nine months in school, students take a few months off and typically go to summer camps, on vacations or just spend time in their community. It’s a well-deserved break, right? After all, we would not want to push kids too much, would we? What if kids could enjoy their summer and not lose skills? In the US, programs are being created to help.

It was while learning morning about the Summer Slide that I found this article. In it, we can read about year round learning (an interesting idea) AND “National Summer Learning Day”. This is a great program that brings awareness to the Summer Slide and encourages communities, families and elected officials to engage students during the summer months. This year it is July 13th and you can learn about it here.

In addition to checking out the National Summer Learning Association, there are additional options for families to encourage their kids during the summer and avoid the Summer Slide. Parents can enroll their children in the Kahn Academy a nonprofit that has a wealth of information available to students. Parents are able to monitor student’s progress through subjects by grade level. Videos and exercises are both available and at no cost. This is definitely a program that is building a better future!

At home, with my children, we set reading goals at the beginning of the summer. We also work to brush up and get stronger on subjects that the kids had a tough time with the previous school year. This year, it is Math. We will buy books, definitely use the Kahn Academy and drill. Usborne Books have amazing keys that kids can use on the go (a low tech solution that is fun)! As a parent, it is my responsibility to help my kids fight the Summer Slide.




What happens when we finish our school days? What is the equivalent to the Summer Slide for adults? And… if there is one, how do we fight it? The answer should be that we never stop learning, we never stop picking up new skills.

Global Learn Day celebrates mankind’s learning. We appreciate and respect those who innovate education and help spread it to all corners of our planet. In order to truly be, One Planet, One People, we must educate. We must spread our knowledge to all corners of the planet. As a people, as mankind, we can all fall into the Summer Slide when we stop learning and growing our knowledge base.

So now, we can choose to fight that slide. Let’s join together in Building a Better Future by spreading our knowledge around the globe. Celebrate Global Learn Day with us!

What is Global Learn Day?

WHAT IS Global Learn Day?


To put it simply, Global Learn Day is a celebration of mankind’s learning. For 24 hours, Global Learn Day (also known as GLD) brings participants together to celebrate our ability to manage our environment and improve our condition. Our goal is to help this event grow until it is embraced by every organization on every corner of the earth. Until it is, in fact, a Global Learn Day. Every individual, family, community, and group on Earth can be rightly proud of the unlimited potential that is our ability to learn. Our desire is to embrace and foster the development of all things that are good.


Global Learn Day (GLD) allows us to come together and as “One planet, One people” to help all achieve their full potential. We do it one individual at a time, one place, one effort through impromptu and organized learning activities.  We all benefit as mankind comes together and celebrates our achievements in learning and calls attention to good learning, wherever it is found. Through the celebration of Global Learn Day, we hope to bring the planet and its’ people together and to inspire them to work together to maximize our learning and by so doing improve the human condition.

This year, our theme of “Innovating Education – Building a Bridge to a Better Future” embraces all education innovations. From Google providing tablets in classrooms, to distance learning being embraced in rural areas, to researchers learning more about how imagination sparks educational achievements, innovations are literally building a bridge to a better future for our planet.

Everyone who is interested in improving the human condition through learning and an increase in knowledge and ability should participate in Global Learn Day and share it with those around them. Some ideas for celebrations in your community include:

  • Hosting a “Global” Learn Day in your classroom by recreating educational styles around the world.
  • Bringing in a local Amateur Radio Operator to help a school talk to people around the world. Exposing students to technology and how it connects us to people globally.
  • Having an assembly during which students learn about great global educators around the world.
  • Participating in Global Learn Day by being a presenter. Watch out for our call for presenters coming next month!
  • Participating in Global Learn Day by liking our Facebook page!