It’s good to hone the presentation of your message–that is, what you want to say to the world. There are many books about how to write and communicate well (in person and on social media). Twitter is full of people ready to aid fellow tweeters get the word out.

What may be needed from time to time, however, is reflection upon whether the message being honed is itself good. There are many benefits to writing/blogging/presenting everyday. Some posts or talks are going to be better than others, there’s no getting around that. It’s beneficial to take inventory and focus on whether or not what’s being said is a worthy contribution to the overall body of work.

Take TED. Some are asserting it’s becoming too self-helpy and less thought-provoking. I’m not certain this is the case, but TED should take this feedback into consideration to take proactive measures against becoming the internet’s Chicken Soup for the Techie’s Soul.

Keep honing the presentation of the message, but don’t forget to hone the message as well.

The Child Driven Education

This was shown at the AVID Summer Institute in San Diego earlier this month during my Tutorology Strand. Sugata Mitra took computers and put them in places teachers are needed the most.

Unfortunately, good teachers usually don’t want to go where they’re needed the most, namely, New Delhi.

Bottom line, as said by Mitra, teachers who can be replaced by a machine, should be. 


Teaching yourself (and doodling!)

The best way to learn something is by teaching yourself.

Studies have shown that being a receptor of information is almost pointless. What needs to happen is the learner must take information and make it his or her own. A schema must be created, and within this conceptual framework, the data can be reorganized in one’s own way for more effective processing and retention. This requires time to think deeply and truly process the concepts being received. We need memory patterns and mnemonic devices, but these techniques are most effective when created by the learner, not the teacher.

I also am a defender of doodling. In school, I was always afraid to doodle because I knew I’d get in trouble if caught by the teacher. Doodling helps me learn, however. If I can take what a speaker is saying, stare at a piece of binder paper, and draw visual representations of what’s being said, I always am able to focus more clearly and retain what I hear. As a society we’re too reliant on verbal communication. Drawing pictures helps connect visual and kinesthetic learning to an emotional experience–the emotional experience being found in the creative moment when a doodle is sketched. (Doodling can also be argued to encompass auditory and reading/writing modalities as well.)

Here’s a TED video by Sunni Brown on the power of doodling. It’s worth your time if you have five minutes.