Monthly Archives: January 2013

Children – Full of Life

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler, American futurist

Think about just how true these words are, especially when we consider that teachers of today need to unlearn their traditional ways of teaching in order to move with what is needed for students in today’s world.

In today’s post I am sharing a particular video that moved me personally, provoking me to think and reconsider.

The video is called: Children-Full of Life (there are five parts)

Having been involved in education for my entire career, as well as watching my own two children grow up has certainly made me conscientious about the role of schools in today’s changing world and what I can do, as an educator myself, to make it that little bit better. My curiosity keeps me always looking for articles, innovative and insightful websites, interesting videos and people who have something valuable to share. Which is what I like to do, share the information that inspires or moves me with others.

I plan to share a selection of my favorite videos, and 21st century teaching resources. I include why they make my list, how I have used them in my consulting work with schools or my work with individuals and, if appropriate, I include suggestions for how you can use them.

When it comes to making a difference in the lives of children, helping children be in touch with what makes us all human, vulnerable and empathic is essential. We can be the most intellectually advanced human being but sorely lacking in how to communicate, listen, and connect with others.

Connecting with our students models what we most strive for in our students: to become caring individuals, curious and motivated to learn and discover the world around them and within themselves. 

How I Have Used Children – Full of Life Video

I have shared this particular video with teachers in some professional development workshops or coaching sessions and students I teach at both college and university. I share the video to open a discussion on what they can be doing with the students and clients they interact with. Watching the videos to share their impressions, reactions and suggestions, sometimes in a class or coaching session or on a blog or class forum.  I post questions to spark conversations and provoke further insight into what is meaningful to teach our students and how we go about achieving this can make a difference in their daily lives.

Making Presentations Matter — Be Simple, Be Clear

Garr Reynolds is a presenter, blogger, and writer who has written a series of books that highlight what anyone who presents needs to know. This includes teachers, students, and presenters. The information is relevant, timely, and easy to read. create a word cloud . The suggestions included are practical and I have used them in my own teaching and coaching practice.

Teachers have their students present – a lot!  What I have learnt is that teachers often make the wrong assumption that their students know how to present. In fact, experience has taught me that even students in university are often sorely lacking in presentation skills.

I am not talking about students standing at the front of the class and ‘reading’ slide by slide their presentation. Students do this all the time. med4home We are not preparing our students for working in the real world when we do not inspire or teach them the skills needed to engage the listener, to provoke thinking, to connect with the audience.

Garr Reynold’s books on design and presentation are clear, visual and easy to learn from. I have students refer to the following and share top presenters with the teachers or students I work with.

Take a look at his suggestions:

Presenting is more than teaching about a concept, idea, or convincing others. It is really about sharing and connecting with others. Inspiring our students with presentations that matter is an essential first step.

I watch Ted Talks ( and seek talks that can demonstrate a presentation skill, in one video it might be the visual representations, in another it might be the manner in which the speaker can touch our hearts and move us, or the speaker is able to present data that no table is able to.

Take a look at:

Hans Rosling and how he masters data:

Benjamin Zander and his ability to inspire us with his passion and charisma:

In my next blog I will highlight how William Kamkwamba from Malawi, not able to attend school because his parents could no longer afford it, went to his local rural library, took out a book on windmills and from scrap materials – built his own.

Making something out of what we would normally consider – nothing listen to William tell his story.