What’s your favorite social media platform? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+? How about a blog? Blogs bring in more traffic and generate more search engine hit. Consider these stats:
- 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read
- 60% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading its blog
- 70% of consumers learn about a company through its blog versus ads
If those stats don’t convince you to start a corporate blog, maybe the above infographic from Quicksprout will!
Reposted from the Hechinger Report:
The sobering data on men of color in colleges is a reflection of college and university performance – so take the scrutiny off of student achievement. Outcomes for male collegians of color are lagging because postsecondary leaders aren’t held accountable for changing them.
If scholars want to rid themselves of deficit approaches (looking at weaknesses) moving forward, then we must stop using the deficit language in our speech and research. Acceptance of constructs like the achievement gap, drop out, student success and data driven may legitimize you in the academy, but they are complicit in promoting the verbal and statistical rhetoric that avoids the problem of institutional accountability.
The inferred white male referent in the achievement gap construct contributes to the centuries old logic that others should be compared to whites. On its face the idea of student success lets institutional factors of the hook, which have been shown to be at least half of the reason why men of color are pushed out of college. Educators shouldn’t be data driven. We should be community driven and use data to support students. These distinctions aren’t some semantic ruse. If scholars want a revolution in how students are treated in the academy, then we must be willing to question how statistics have been used to facilitate poor outcomes among black and Latino male students.
This quick animated video provides a friendly frame of reference for how to develop growth mindset self-awareness and how to develop habits that will develop and sustain a growth mindset approach to learning. Most importantly, the link is made from how we perceive ourselves and how we foster our own success in life. A great video for a teachers and students becoming acclimated to this new approach to developing a generative self-concept.
Many entrepreneurs don’t even think about launching their own business until they are in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, after years of work experience. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, sold paper cups and milkshake mixers until he was 52, according to an infographic from San Francisco-based startup organization Funders and Founders. Meanwhile, the founder of cosmetic behemoth Mary Kay, Mary Kay Ash, sold books and home decor objects until she was 45. Fret not if you are over 40 and have yet to start your own business. There’s still time. And chances are, if you’ve worked a while, you’ve learned a thing or two about life and business that will be helpful, too.
View the original posting here.
Presented by the Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) at Stanford University, this quick video makes the case for research-based student resources and teacher professional development that help to mold and sustain successful academic growth mindsets. Learn more about this important work, which is free to educators, at the PERTS website.
Reposted from the New York Times:
Five years ago, Cassandra Phillipps founded FailCon, a one-day conference in San Francisco celebrating failure. Discouraged by a growing chorus of start-up founders promoting their triumphs throughout Silicon Valley, and nervous about her own prospects as an entrepreneur, she craved the stories of people who had flopped. The conference was a success. And every October for the next four years, up to 500 tech start-up newbies have gathered with industry veterans who dish on their “biggest fail” and lead round-table discussions with titles like “How to Conduct Yourself When It All Goes Off the Rails.” But this year, the FailCon event in San Francisco was canceled, and Ms. Phillipps says part of the reason is that failure chatter is now so pervasive in Silicon Valley that a conference almost seems superfluous. “It’s in the lexicon that you’re going to fail,” she says.
In her five years running FailCon as a side project while holding down other full-time jobs, Ms. Phillipps gathered a fair amount of entrepreneurial wisdom. In her current job as a game designer for the mobile gaming company Pocket Gems, she says she always assumes that new products her group creates will hit the skids in several ways. They will discover a problematic employee in the mix, for example, or the products will garner some negative user reviews. “There has never been a product launched that didn’t have those failures,” she says. Ms. Phillipps and her team pre-emptively draft plans for how to handle these and other problems. They brainstorm specific solutions and set up warning systems to clue them in to the fact that a fiasco has occurred in the first place.
In some ways, FailCon’s success created a quandary for Ms. Phillipps. The last three conferences sold out, each drawing 400 to 500 people who paid $100 to $350 each. And FailCon attracted big-name sponsors, including Amazon Web Services, Comcast and Microsoft. She says the conference was financially profitable. Now, she says that Silicon Valley’s embrace of failure has outgrown the FailCon format — and that a one-day conference no longer seems to be the best fit. So she is aiming to reboot FailCon. She may turn to smaller, more interactive workshops and an invitation-only application process. FailCon 2.0 is to make its debut in October 2015.
How far have we come? How much does your classroom reflect the ideals shared by students in this video? Why haven’t we made more progress?
In a recent presentation I gave at the Systems Change Conference, I presented this reality, and suggested “It’s OK. Institutional change takes time.” A good friend and colleague of mine, Sherry Hughley Crofut, spoke up and challenged me. “But Walter, why? WHY is it OK?” She is right. I may want to use historical context to soften the OUCH of this video, but ultimately it’s not OK. Our children are the ones losing out. It’s time to push through to the promise of new learning, new creating, and new success.
In the last 300 years western society has evolved from an agricultural base to an industrial base to a now evolving digital base. Education is still trying to catch up as we continue to aim for that most laudable of aspirations, the conviction that all children can learn and be successful. If we agree on that core value and strip away all of the clamor that is being created by special interests, the single question we need to answer is this: how do we transform our public education system to reach that place where all children learn and grow to become thriving, productive citizens?
Strip away the societal issues, labor relations, and economic concerns; they will always exist. The single focus that can answer this question is our own humanity; meeting the needs of our children regardless of who is their teacher or where their school is located. If children’s needs are met, they can thrive and learn and grow. Children need to be rested, nourished, healthy, safe, secure, loved, supported, challenged and engaged to be successful. We know this from our own experience. When children have these needs met, they flourish. The amount of money spent, the amount of data collected, the amount of technology used are all distractions if these basic requirements are not met for achieving human potential.
Given this single powerful truth for taking education to the next level, what are our concrete next steps? Renegotiating teacher contracts? Changing funding formulas? Year-round schooling? National standards? Business models?
Listen closely to who is speaking and what they are saying; there is a distinct difference between being a stakeholder and being a special interest. The one thing special interests have succeeded in doing is cranking up the noise level.
There’s a smug Steven Wright observation: ” Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?” The humor lies in the fact that it hits close to home….there is some truth in the question. You turn down the radio to rid yourself of distractions while focusing where you need to be. It’s time to turn down the noise so we can focus on our destination: all children successfully learning and growing and thriving.
Reposted from the Leadership Freak blog:
Life without focus is thin.
Unfocused leaders drive everyone crazy including themselves.
Chasing shiny objects frees at first, but loses it’s luster with the passage of time. Exhaustion and frustration set in.
Success requires focus.
Focus is dangerous. What if’s and what about’s dilute focus, drain energy, and destroy confidence.
Distraction is easy, just do whatever you want whenever you want.
Focus demands the courage to exclude.
Finding focus begins as a journey toward authenticity that ends in service to others.
Reposted from the New York Times:
“Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist at the Claremont Graduate University, has been studying this phenomenon for decades. He calls it flow: the experience we have when we’re “in the zone.” During a flow state, people are fully absorbed and highly focused; they lose themselves in the activity.
But while we know intuitively that tasks we find interesting can feel effortless, what does it actually do to our mental gas tank? Can interest help us perform our best without feeling fatigued? My research with the psychologist Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia of Michigan State University, which we published recently in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests that it can.
Research also shows that social engagement in activities can foster interest. In a study I co-wrote in the Journal of Educational Psychology, we had middle school students play a math-focused video game either alone, in competition with another student or in collaboration with another student. Compared with those who played alone, those playing with a partner reported greater interest in the game and a stronger desire to master it.”