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  • Truth and Hope: Dedicated to Education

Truth and Hope: Dedicated to Education

When passion and dedication for others success meet, such things are not only possible, but inevitable. An inspiring speech with rays of truth and hope, please share it with your networks.

Via Forbes: Every now and then a speech comes along that reminds me why public speaking is still essential and why I said back in 2003 that the only reason to give a speech is to change the world.
But the speech does a great deal more than that.  It is beautifully constructed around 2 stories – the first one illustrating what is possible, and the second what is next, as Johnston says.  His real themes are truth and hope.  He says children need both from the adults around them – and then kids can do anything.  Johnston delivers the speech with passion and real feeling, even choking up at one point as he talks about his kids.
I had tears in my eyes by the end of the speech, and you will too.  Johnston’s dedication to education and the real progress he has been able to make deserve to be celebrated.  Watch the speech and reaffirm your faith in teaching and teachers – and most of all students.
Caveats aside, this speech will have you standing up and cheering for education by the end.  It’s 21 minutes that are worth spending on the future of our children.  Watch it, and tell everyone you know about it.  And thanks, Mike, for your service to education.
Watch the video here.

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Photo credit: onigiri-kun / Foter / CC BY-ND
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  • Brands Need Social Like Fish Need Water

Brands Need Social Like Fish Need Water

The gem in this article was "Simply put, social brands have become integrated into the average user’s web browsing experience." It reminds me of the phrase, 'you've got to be in it to win it...' and if you're not in it, your competitors will happily nibble away at your share of the pie. Whether your customers are B2B or B2C, they all subconsciously expect to see their brand represented in Social and in a way the reflects the best of their brand. They want to associate with you so make it easy for them and the rest will follow very naturally.
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  • Motivate children to question everything

Motivate children to question everything

Motivate children to question everything, and then support them to find the answers themselves. Teaching them this will ensure they grasp the concept of life long learning long after they have left your company. That is the duty of everyone who enters the teaching profession.

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  • Purpose of Community

Purpose of Community

How many laughed and nodded when they first saw the evolution image; monkey to man sitting at the computer?

This was the first image that came to mind when I saw the black and white images below. The combination made me stop and think about the current state of education, technology, families, work, and how for many, preparation for adult life is not the main purpose or indeed the reality that exists after education.

Take a good look at the black and white images below and try to imagine how it was for those children working at such young ages. At first it made me realise how important it was that we'd progressed away from using children as cheap labour in factories. Then I thought about it some more.

At the time those children working in the mills, those in the pictures below, didn't think it odd, in fact it was normal, especially as all their friends were there too. I concluded that they indeed had a form of purpose, were rewarded, in one way or another, and from a very young age learnt about contribution. They had learnt three important lessons - nothing in life is free, life is not always fair, and contribution to the family and community was a prerequisite.

Now I'm not condoning this as a model that should be returned to, heaven forbid, and for all those businesses who continue to employee child labour every effort should be made to stop them. But it did make me think about purpose, and in light of what I've witnessed  with my own eyes, especially in my immediate surrounds, ie. Europe and actually in many of our developed & free economies, there does seem to be an increasing lack of purpose on the faces of young people.

I've been in a unique position for near on ten years where I've been able to personally watch this generation evolve. With our photography business I've observed 100,000's of young people, many I've photographed, and I guess as a result I've subconsciously mapped them and created some kind of happiness measuring-stick. I've seen a trend emerging, and the balance on the positive side is under attack; to note, these observations, this primary research, was across all socio-classes ie. the general public, enabling a wide-angle picture of society, and as a portrait photographer I've been able to get close to their inner person, albeit for a short moment in time.

A short story:
The other evening I sat in my local restaurant and listened to two local builders talking about the education their children receive - which in itself was an interesting conversation, ie. learning being delivered! But specifically they talked about the importance of healthy food, even more interesting was the importance of it occurring at home and that it should be an engaging experience. What struck me was their comparison of (their) times gone by and how actually when a generation of parents don't pass on the the knowledge and good habits, how easily it can be lost forever.  They could clearly see how a generation brought up on packet food, microwave dishes and deep fried fast food were very unlikely to discover, or as importantly share it with their children. In essence they were discussing a change in societies culture leading mankind away from balance and health - they saw this as having very serious consequences in the future.
One comment stuck in mind:
The parents don't even encourage their children to wash and peel potatoes or chop vegetables. It all comes out of a packet. It's not healthy, you know. But worse than that they become accustomed to it and so will their children. The importance of helping parents to prepare fresh food and then eating together as a family at a regular time has been lost. It's very sad." (broad translation from Bavarian!)

What I've just written is really a continuation of the my post on the 'Purpose of Education' and 'Educational Change Starts Locally', both of which see community, from an holistic perspective, as the key to nurturing purpose in the lives' of children (and adults).

You may be thinking, so why did I use the amusing image of evolution at the top of this post, and what does this all have to do with technology. I see a clear correlation between purpose (or the lack of it) after prolonged use of non-specific, non-focused, non-guided technology tasks. I also see a correlation between the concept of hard work and the ease of tasks technology enables and the link this may have to the onset of boredom and heightened expectations. One other thing I see is that parents need to spend more time hugging their children, and less time being distracted by technology themselves; do as I do, not as I say, springs to mind!

I would define the purpose of community, in its purest form, as inclusion.

Here's a closing thought and a small dose of inspiration...
Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. ~ Zen proverb
Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. ~ Swami Sivananda

What comes to mind when you look through these images?

A child in 1908 arriving for work in a mill to help her sister.

The children working at Cornell Mill in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the winter of 1912.

By 1911, Stanislaus Beauvais had already worked in this Massachusetts factory for two years.

Two little girls smile sweetly as they take a break from their jobs in a cotton mill in Tifton, Georgia, in 1909.

Street Bretzau, with a bandaged finger, was injured while working in the mule room of this Tennessee factory in 1910.

A hundred years earlier, in 1911, a young child in Yazoo City, Mississippi, works a spinner.

Some of the kids in this Macon, Georgia mill were so small they had to climb up into the machines to repair them.

Black/White images from U.S. National Reserves:
Images courtesy of U.S. National Reserves via Gizmodo

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  • Thousands of pupils to resit English GCSEs

Thousands of pupils to resit English GCSEs

I bet the children are really looking forward to resitting their exams!
Exam boards said they were offering the English resits free of charge to schools as a response to strength of feeling on the issue. 
The regulator insisted it would be inappropriate for either of the sets of exams to be regraded and students would be given an extra chance to resit the GCSE in November.

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  • Tribes need a place to gather

Tribes need a place to gather

"By building a community of employees, prospective employees, contributors, consumers and the general public around their knowledge (read: content), brands will achieve a profound educational influence that goes way beyond a simple “social media strategy.” It’s already happening."

What Can Brands Teach Us? | Sparksheet »
What divides the average worker from the innovative linchpin? A lot of the time it’s the opportunity and passion to keep learning. Product marketer Ramon Pedrillo Bez argues it’s time for brands to be...

Image source: szeke / People Photos / CC BY-SA
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  • Jobs for Life are Becoming a Distant Memory

Jobs for Life are Becoming a Distant Memory

Professor Mason argued that entrepreneurship teaching had to be experiential. Students needed to be able to apply what they were taught in the lecture hall through practice, make mistakes and learn from them.
"It's very important given the current level of graduate unemployment," he said. "We are seeing traditional jobs being replaced by agency jobs, self-employment and freelancing. All of this means entrepreneurial skills are increasingly important.
"It is a new world of work, and universities need to be able to equip people with the skills to survive."
Times Higher Education - Experiential enterprise: can-do students need hands-on teaching
Universities have failed to react to changes in the labour market that render some traditional business teaching methods defunct, according to an expert in entrepreneurship. That is the view of Colin ...

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