Are you tolerating a problem in the world around you and not doing something about it? I see so many opportunities to improve learning environments and get quite frustrated when I miss the chance to make a difference. But I also see, read and hear about situations where opportunities to make a difference are missed.

I recall a blog post from a renowned educator who is a considered a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. This educator was driving his 14-year-old son to school when the son remembers a homework assignment he forgot to do for biology class. The following is their exchange:

“Something big?” I ask, fearing the worst.
“Nah,” he says with a shrug. “Just a handout and some questions. It doesn’t matter.”

This educator reflected on the fact that he could not remember any work that his son and daughter had done the past year that actually did matter in the world; work that had a purpose outside the classroom.

For the remainder of the post he reflected on his experience in traveling the world and viewing “work that matters” that has significance beyond the classroom walls. He effectively argued that when learners create authentic solutions to real world problems it not only benefited those who’s problems were being solved the work benefited the learner.

While I was excited and agree that authentic learning or “work that matters” is important I was also concerned that he didn’t provide any suggestions on how he would attempt to address the problem his children were having with hand outs with questions that didn’t matter. Perhaps he has, but the post left me wondering.

We each have our own spheres of influence. If we see a situation that needs improvement the first thing we need to ask is…

So…What am I going to doing about it?


I always look forward to an opportunity to explore what we can do as educators to enhance the learning environment. The following are a list of videos, links to blogs/articles and related resources that were used in a workshop for the Emergency Nursing instructors are BCIT. It is always a privilege to spend time exploring learning and achievement with such a group of dedicated educators.

Not Suited for School But Suited For Learning

Generation Tomorrow – Eddie Obeng, Zeitgeist Europe 2013

Time Travellers in the 21st Century

John Seely Brown On Education

Seely Brown suggest that we focus on the following three key factors to bring our learning into the 21st Century:

Knowledge/information – Pull from the Internet.
Skills – Pickup with mentoring.
Disposition – Foster the idea that learning can be an adventure.

How to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change | The Behavioral Science Guys

The BS Guys recommend that:

When you are trying to influence people who need motivation don’t give them more information….Use questions to help them explore motivations they may already have.

The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been

If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.

See more at:

Fixed Vs Growth Mindset = Print Vs Digital Information Age

If we really want to take advantage of all the opportunities that the digital information age offers, we need to move away from fixed mindset to growth mindset thinking.

See more at:

John Hattie: Visible Learning Pt1. Disasters and below average methods.

Hattie argues:

“short of physical and psychological abuse, almost anything you do in the classroom will positively impact student achievement…key is to figure out what promotes achievement…”

John Hattie, Visible Learning. Pt 2: effective methods.

Teaching effects that really make a difference – above .40

Positive Feedback: The PIPS Model

PIPS Model to providing effective feedback
P – Praise something specific
I – Improve – suggest ways
P – Positive overall praise
S – Supply an uplifting comment





Courtesy of: Mentoring Minds