What do we call non-academic skills

    More and more people in education agree on the importance of learning stuff other than academics. But no one agrees on what to call that “stuff”, says a great article from NPR. What do we call non-academic skills?  You know, the ones we all intuitively know are critical but are hard to nail […]


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Registration is now open- learn how to enrich your teaching & learning using ICTs for free

Interested in exploring ICTs (Information Communication Technologies)? Overwhelmed at the number of tools available & not sure where to start? Think ICTs consist only of people watching cat videos on Facebook? Check out this brand new, free, online course ~Using ICTs to enrich teaching and learning~ offered by the African Virtual University and the Commonwealth […]


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Doing things differently as a trainer gets attention

Learning can’t happen without attention.  Our brains have to be sitting up, ready to absorb, in order to learn.  One way of getting our participant’s attention is by doing things differently.  By doing things creatively. How much have the estimates changed of how much oil is pulsating into the Gulf? A lot.  Loads.  More than […]


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Doing things differently gets attention

I’m all about creating a sumptuous banquet of learning opportunities that participants can’t help themselves but dive into.  One way to do that is to do things differently. Doing things differently gets our brain’s attention.  “Hey you gray matter – pay attention – something unusual is happening.” Synapses fire, eyes sparkle and our participant’s attention […]


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How do you get creative? Why use a mosha cup of course

I was driving to pick up my hubbie from the airport and listening to Stuart McLean’s the Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio.  The tunes were great and I was bopping and singing along, a great big grin plastered wide on my face. Stuart was relaying his tales of growing up in Montreal, and, as only […]


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Putting fun and evaluation in the same sentence

Evaluation terminology is enough to make you want to hide your head in the nearest toilet.  And flush. Program logic models, median, mean, outcomes, indicators, activities, outputs, baseline, denominators, dissemination, focus groups, inductive, deductive and the list goes on (and on and on). Yet, program evaluation can be incredibly valuable and necessary. I’m teaching a […]


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Myles Horton & the Olympic Flame

Myles Horton was a famous adult educator in the Appalachian mountains.  He rode the rails with the hobos and learned valuable lessons from them, lessons that I’m applying during my volunteer work at the 2010 Olympics. Fire was valuable to the vulnerable men who hitched a ride by train.  Fire kept you warm.  It protected […]


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Why do we (need to) travel?

I love to travel.  Really love to travel.  And now I know why. Jonah Lehrer in his post called ‘Why we travel’ says travel puts distance between who we are and what we know. When we’re surrounded by the familiar we’re surrounded by associations and assumptions that are as hard to get rid of as […]


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Job training, elves & bras

“Hey you!  Come here,  come here!” Her voice, intense and commanding, sounded like it was being stretched taught across a gravel pit. It was my first day on the job.  I was 17 and working in a centre that provided jobs for developmentally delayed adults. When I stopped and looked for the owner of the […]


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Powerful training = powerful learning

When was the last time you learned something powerful in a group setting? I’ve asked my workshop participants this very question hundreds of times and I can count on one hand the number of times someone relayed an example that took place in a university setting (see my caveat below). Powerful learning is relevant. Powerful […]


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