Tag Archives: Education

Do teachers deserve a free pass during budget cuts? #education

Posted on October 3, 2012 by


(Financial Post image)

I know this will get me into hot water with my teacher friends, but… While this story was written a bit whiny from the “why do they get special treatment” perspective of the writer, it does contain valid discussion points.

Excessive teachers’ wages a boondoggle we can’t ignore.

I enjoyed my time as a Community College Instructor, and I particularly enjoyed my time off in the summer. Teaching is a calling I am drawn to, and I know from experience Teachers often have a tough career, but… when the rest of the public service is getting hit with cuts, that doesn’t give them the right to a free pass. Many other professions are just as tough or tougher, and they come with fewer benefits and higher qualification/experience requirements.

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Tired of watching social media pass you by? #learnsocial

Posted on January 16, 2012 by

Tired of watching social media pass you by as you sit on the sidelines? Interested in avoiding Social Media Stage Fright by learning what social media is and how you can use it to your advantage?

I am mentoring another offering of our “Understand Social Business” course with Sociallogical starting this weekend, and I can help you to become involved instead of being a spectator!

Our three week online course is limited to ten (10) participants, and is designed to walk you through the history of social media, how to use the tools, and will provide ideas on how you can grow a social business. There will be a minimum of three live online chats with all of us together, as well as continuous contact and feedback on progress.

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

Participants in the course will also be able to participate in our upcoming Uptown #Learnsocial Time Crunch on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10 am – 2 pm. This special event is meant to make good use of your time to look closely at how you represent yourself online, how you plan to use social to grow your business in 2012, and connect you with others who can help mentor you throughout the year. The best part? This event is free for graduates and current students of the “Understand Social Business” course and will concentrate on the following areas:

• boost and enhance your online profiles,
• get honest critique and help improving your online social profiles,
• get answers to questions focused on personal and business use of social media, and
• refresh your headshot in a session with a photographer so you can refresh your online avatar (for a fee)

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

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Here are details about the course:

Course requirements

A decent comfort and ability to navigate and use the internet for daily needs.

Who teaches it?

Community Manager Mentors with demonstrated success and experience in building a network online and facilitating discussion and learning for others.

How hard is it?

If you can find what you’re looking for in an online newspaper or play a YouTube video, you’ll be able to work your way through this course.

How long will it take?

3 chapters planned for 3 weeks in total (15-25 hours).

Who is it useful for?

Entrepreneurs and business people, ideally those who can implement what they learn immediately in their businesses and functions.

There’s a basic understanding of what opportunities and risks social business creates that most people don’t yet understand. This course is meant to:

  1. provide anyone in business with a good understanding of social business.
  2. guide students through the creation of an online portfolio they can share to demonstrate proficiency.

To accomplish these goals, there are three main sections of the course, with live online class discussions, facilitated by the course mentor, after each section before proceeding to the next. This is a 3-week course that can be completed on your own flexible time (except for the 3 live discussions) in a total of 15 hours or 25 hours – depending on how far down the rabbit hole you wish to go with the recommended readings that support each section. The section titles are:

Chapter 1: How Did We Get Here? How Do I Start?

The impact and opportunities of social media, the importance of strong profiles and how to create them.

Chapter 2: How To Use the Social Media Tool Box

Overviews of the strengths and weaknesses of the main platforms for business: Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and Facebook, as well as exposure to other useful tools. The lingo and behaviours found on each and how to get setup with these channels.

Chapter 3: How to Grow a Social Business

A look at all of the different operations inside a business and how social can have a powerful, positive impact on each. How to introduce these practices and tools to each function and exposure to analytics and driving business decisions based on powerful, live social data.

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

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Does bilingualism help keep Alzheimer’s away?

Posted on November 9, 2010 by

If true, this study is yet another great reason for learning other languages.

Low intelligence or inability to excel in other subjects at school is not indicative of ability to learn a second (or third or fourth) language. Statistically speaking, almost anyone has the capability to learn multiple languages.

Now the province of New Brunswick needs to learn that research by linguists, neural scientists, and educators all show that the earlier the better for learning new languages. Your body actually begins to re-direct those parts of your brain used for language development to other tasks once you hit the teen years. To be successful, immersion needs to start in kindergarten for all NB students in both official languages. Grade 5 is too late!

Link to article

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Happy Darwin Day everyone!

Posted on February 12, 2010 by

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February 12th is the birthday of Charles Darwin, the British naturalist and writer who revolutionized (maybe I should say ‘evolutionized’… 😉 the way we understand where life came from on this big ball of rock we call Earth.

Using logic and reason, not to mention a lot of hard work and research, Darwin realized that all species are descended from common ancestors and that natural selection determines what species will survive and which will perish. These findings were published in his book “On the Origin of Species“.

Join me in raising a toast to the man credited with first coming up with the theory of evolution!

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POLL RESULTS – Should cursive writing still be taught in schools?

Posted on September 8, 2009 by

On September 4, 2009, a friend of mine, Dan (@culbertwit) on twitter, tweeted the following message:

Shocked to learn kids still learn cursive writing in elementary school.

Taking up the challenge, I responded with my Twitter account chris_london:

Curious why this shocked you?

To which he responded:

Who on earth wants to write or read cursive writing anymore? It’s like teaching kids how to burn a witch

This last one started making me feel very dirty, since I personally use cursive writing every day of my life, and often with a fountain pen, which must be REALLY evil! 😉

Another friend, Lisa (@kawfolks), chimed in and added:

Probably because practically nobody uses it anymore…

Lisa had a valid point. I had to think about this, and so my responses were open and honest. I hardly use lots of things I learned in school, yet they are still possibly valuable. I agreed that just because I use cursive writing every day, that does not provide a legitimate excuse for perpetuating it in schools.

@culbertwit added the following to the debate:

It’s not just that it isn’t useful. It’s that it’s actually a thing of evil. Cursive writing is from the devil!

And that’s when I decided to create the poll, entitled “Should cursive writing still be taught in schools?

I used a basic convenience sample that included anyone who was a Twitter follower (and potentially their followers if the post was re-Tweeted) and anyone who bothers to be my Facebook friend and hasn’t hidden my posts yet. In honour of Dan’s message about witch burning, I added the third scapegoat question about only teaching cursive writing to witches… 😉

@culbertwit responded with a complaint:

Your poll question is loaded. It never should have been taught at all. Moral people print.

Of course, I had to respond to that challenge…

I can’t argue morals/religions/mythos it may be good or evil in, I suspect cursive writing the least of my reasons for going to hell! 😉

This poll was created purely out of curiosity, but I added minimal security in the form of IP address limitations – each IP address could only vote once. Those who voted from home and work – Shame on you! ;-).

In any case, the results of the poll are quite clear, the majority still believe cursive writing should be taught in schools. The following depicts the final results:

Question: Should cursive writing still be taught in schools?

51 votes cast

80% (41/51) YES

10% (5/51) NO

10 % (5/51) Only to Witches

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I must now openly admit I voted for the witches, and I believe @culbertwit and a friend named John did as well, so that means most of the votes really did boil down to either a YES or NO response.

As a nice little add-on to the poll and a bonus for those who bothered to read this far into the blog post, my friend Sue (@nbccsue) tweeted this interesting BBC article entitled “The Slow Death of Handwriting” that seemed very timely and relevant to this discussion as well, so I added the link.

In the end, the poll was far from scientific but fun! I suspect even without the push from the militant Fountain Pen movement (orchestrated by my friend Sam (@Pendemonium) and her ‘VOTE YES’ campaign ;-), I suspect the results are indicative of general public opinion on the matter, at least at this point in time.

The discussion really needs to be around whether or not public opinion should be the yardstick that we use for determining school curriculum.

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