education

How To Develop the Skill of Life-Long Learning

Life-long learning, a term commonly used in academia based settings. However, according to a recent article by Harvard University, this is a skill employers are looking for in applicants.

Q: What exactly is life-long learning? How can we become life-long learners? What is its purpose? Why does this topic need attention?

A: The lifelong learning mindset is more than just about the need to learn; it’s about a desire to learn that lasts a lifetime.

Educators want their learners to succeed both in and out of the classroom. The idea is to make sure that once our children or students leave school, they no longer need us. In essence, our learners must become teachers and leaders. The point is that they never stop being learners. To be a successful lifelong learner, make a commitment early to expand your horizons by making room for new topics of inspiration in your life.

Lifelong learning is now recognized by educators, governing bodies, accreditation organizations, certification boards, employers, third-party payers, and the general public as one of the most important competencies a person can possess. Lifelong learning requires embracing opportunities to learn, accepting failure, and growing from it. To cultivate the habit of life-long learning, here are 10 points to remember:

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1. Accept Responsibility for Your Own Learning

Everyone encounters obstacles along their journey. Life-long learners understand that obstacles can be used as opportunities to connect to their next destination. These make excellent, real world learning experiences, as obstacles are often personal to the individual experiencing them.

2. Create Your Own Learning Toolbox

What exactly do you need to learn? For some, this is a favorite playlist, podcast, or inspirational video. For others, their toolbox might include moments of meditation and a cup of coffee. For young children with attention disorders, a simple toy or fidget helps them focus in the moment. Whatever is needed, build your toolbox based on your learning needs.

3. Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

This can be hard to do. We all want to succeed and fast! Often times, this causes anxiety and a slew of events that could be avoided if we just focus on the journey, rather than bulldozing to the next destination. There is strength in knowing when to shut tunnel vision off and look around at where you are currently. Our students are on a journey of learning in school that continues well beyond the physical and virtual classroom walls. A healthy positive lifelong learning mindset is the greatest gift we can give them to continue that journey with.

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4. Turn Mistakes into Opportunities

We will all make mistakes. It is human nature to experiment. Along the journey, it is important to embrace failure and view it as another learning opportunity. “You either grow or you learn.”

5. Embrace Holistic Health and Education for Learning

Mind/body health leads to a willingness and desire to learn. When the whole student is healthy they feel good; this promotes positive action in learning and discovery. Holistic education is a comprehensive approach to teaching where educators seek to address the emotional, social, ethical, and academic needs of students in an integrated learning format. Students are taught to reflect on their actions and how they impact the global and local community, as well as how to learn from the community around them. Teachers often engage students in projects that apply critical-thinking skills toward solving real-world problems.

6. Create Time to Rest

The average college student only gets around six hours of sleep per night. Recent research on college students and sleep shows that insufficient sleep impacts our health, our moods, our GPA, and our safety. Sleep is critical at every stage of life, but it’s especially important for college students or those who are actively learning. Sleep is key to learning because it is during our sleep that our brain has time to consolidate new memories. So when people say if you want to learn something you should “sleep on it” they mean it literally.

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7. Develop a Habit of Reading

First, set a specific reading goal for the year. Once you’re done setting your reading goal for the year, you’ll need a list to back it up. Write out a list of the amazing books you want to read. Set aside specific times everyday to read your assigned book for the week/month and any other articles you may have bookmarked. If you’re looking to create a consistent reading pattern, then setting out a particular number of pages per day would work perfectly.

8. Life-Long Learning Mindset

Lifelong learning is the ongoing education of the self. Because it’s on a continuum, this type of learning is self-motivated and often self-taught. It’s about turning the act of learning in a classroom into a daily mindset and habit for personal development. It’s about having a fierce desire to gain knowledge and skills whenever, wherever, and however.

9. Celebrate Your Successes

“These feelings—gratitude, compassion, and pride—are easier to generate than the willpower and self-denial that underpin traditional approaches to self-control and grit. And while willpower is quickly depleted, prosocial emotions actually become stronger the more we use them.”-David Desteno, Ph.D.

10. Do What You Love and Discover Your Ikigai (Reason for Being)

Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.” When combined, these terms mean that which gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose.

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Educators! Win a Gift Card to Insomnia Cookies!

Educators! Click the link and take a quick survey to WIN a gift card to Insomnia Cookies!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QDK5SJW

E-Learning, EdTech, education

Canva- A Quick Crash Course Blog

Canva, a more than popular tool most recently used on mobile devices as means of creating stimulating visual marketing and social media related images. However, do you know enough about Canva to become an effective Canva user? I hope you are able to leave this crash course well informed about the many uses of Canva!

There are hundred’s of pre-made templates that you can download and use to DIY your blog’s design. If you are struggling with web design, did you know you can use Canva to design certain elements of your site? Read more about this and other topics below centering around Canva!

10 Types of Visual Designs You Can Create With Canva

  1. Blog Post Image Template
  2. Sidebar Graphics
  3. Blog Email Newsletter Header
  4. Lead Magnet
  5. Content Upgrades
  6. Email Opt-In Mockups
  7. Blog Post Graphics
  8. Blog Post Infographics
  9. Tip-O-Graphics
  10. List-O-Graphics
  11. Blog Media Kit

Many users still don’t know the powerful features of Canva. With Canva, you can create the following:

  • Design product labels
  • Create workbooks / Planners / Ebooks
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Banners
  • Invitation cards
  • Logos
  • Templates
  • Photo collages
  • GIFs
  • Mobile videos
  • Infographic
  • Resume
  • Desktop wallpaper
  • Postcard
  • Worksheet
  • Certificate

3 Ways To Enhance Your Blog Posts with Canva

1. Blog Title Image

Canva’s Blog Title design template is best for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn shares. If you’re looking for a portrait or vertical blog title image for Pinterest and Google+ shares you can use Canva’s Blog Graphic template. It works great!

2. Infographics

The best thing is Canva created an infographic template, which is SO helpful. You can use any of the ready to use template designs and switch out the font, colors, and design elements. Have an outline ready for your infographic, which will make it easier to get done.

3. Photo Collages

Photo collages are a great visual piece with a variety of images in one. You can use the ready-to-use Photo Collage template in Canva to show steps of a recipe or instructions. The Canva photo collage template is square shaped however you can create a photo collage with many of their photo grids.

You can use collages for designs and to display your portfolio. Use the Pinterest template in Canva and the multiple image photo grids as shown below.

Tip: Find the right photo with Canva’s built in photo library

To start, type a keyword or two into the search bar, and choose from any of the photos or illustrations — that means no more Google image searches. The extensive photo library hosts a wide variety of subjects and themes, like abstract images, textures, landscapes, people, and animals. Once you’ve found the perfect image, just drag it over to your design, and drop it where it needs to go.

Canva also allows you to upload your own images and use them on your design, which is perfect for adding your logo and other branded visuals to content.

Tip: Resize your whole design to fit various platforms.

The Magic Resize tool is available for Canva for Work users — a paid plan starting at $12.95 per month. Users of Canva’s free tools can still resize their designs by creating a copy of the original visual. Click “File,” “Change Dimensions,” and select the format to which you’d like to resize the design. That said, Magic Resize is quite a time-saving feature that lets you copy and resize one design into formats for various channels. Just click on “File,” navigate to “Magic Resize,” then choose the different formats you want to use to adapt your visual. Then, click the “resize” button, and you’re done.

Visual content is #Winning!

Social media users are much more likely to engage with posts that have “visuals” tied to them.

EdTech, education

8 Google Sheets Add-Ons For Educators

Below is a collection of Google Sheets add-ons that I believe every teacher and educator should at least be aware of. These are tools that provide you with tons of functionality hacks to enhance your productivity and facilitate your workflow. Some of the things you can do with these add-ons include: creating forms of various types (e.g., quizzes, assignments, surveys, etc), generate PDFs and documents from Sheets’ data, grade and analyze digital assignments, create a class website from spreadsheets, and many more.

FormsCreator

An easy way to generate Google Forms to use for various educational purposes including for surveys, quizzes, assignments, feedback, etc.

Doctopus

Enhances teachers workflow by providing teachers with the ability to “mass-copy, share, monitor student progress, and manage grading and feedback for student projects in Google Drive”.

Autocrat

“Flexible, easy to use document merge tool that creates PDF or shared Documents from spreadsheet data”.

Wikipedia and Wikidata tools

This add-on is great for mining data for your classes. You can use Wikipedia and Wikidata tools to do a ton of information gathering, instantly. The add-on provides you with a host of custom lookups such as WIKITRANSLATE and WIKIGEOCOORDINATES. These functions pull live data straight from Wikipedia into a spreadsheet, enabling teachers to compile an up-to-date and accurate database of facts.

Flubaroo

A Google Spreadsheets Add-on that helps educators quickly grade and analyze online assignments and assessments, as well as share scores with students!”

Sheet2Site

Allows you to create a website for your class using Google Sheets.

Form Publisher

Allows you to generate documents (e.g., Docs, PDF, Sheets, Slides, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) from data on Google Forms and Google Sheets.

Flippity

Originally, Flippity was designed to help you create online flashcards from Google Sheets, but the range of templates now includes everything from quiz shows and crossword puzzles to spelling and typing tests. The add-on has recently been discontinued but all the same great templates are available directly via the Flippity website.

#Literacy, Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, education, Preschool

10 Rabbits You Should Consider As A Pet

As pets, dwarf rabbits are becoming increasingly popular. Larger and larger pets are becoming more popular as animal companions also, which might lead to health issues later in their lives. Dwarf rabbits, on the other hand, are believed to live longer than larger rabbit types. They are also very adorable, as well as, intelligent and capable of forming strong ties with humans.

1. Mini Lop

Despite its youth, the Mini Lop, also known as the dwarf lop rabbit, is one of the most popular dwarf rabbit breeds. They have a short and wide body shape with a rounded shape. They have a strong musculature for a small rabbit breed, and their head is relatively large in comparison to the rest of their body. The name ‘lop’ refers to their ears which hang down the side of their head. They have a rounded tip, but are not as long as some lop rabbit breeds.

mini lop

They have a high proportion of guard hairs, which make up their outer coat. When showing Mini Lop in rabbit shows, a wide range of colors are acceptable, which is agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band color groups. In adults, their body weight should range between 2.5 and 3.5 kg.

2. Netherland Dwarf

Even among little dwarf rabbit breeds, the Netherland Dwarf rabbit is the smallest. Their body weight ranges from 0.5 kg to 1 kg. Despite their small size, they are robust and muscular, allowing them to move with incredible flexibility. Their head is also large in comparison to the rest of their body, but they have an extremely short neck.

netherland dwarf

The roots of this rabbit breed can be traced back to the Netherlands, as the name implies. The examples we know today may be very different from their ancestors, which were produced at the turn of the twentieth century. Today you can find them in many colors such as self-group, shaded group, agouti group, tan pattern group, fawn, Himalayan, orange, steel, and tortoiseshell.

3. Jersey Wooly

Another unusual and little-known rabbit is the Jersey Wooly rabbit. The breed originated in the United States, notably in the state of New Jersey, from where their name derives. Their appeal as a pet extends far beyond their lovely look with wide variety of colors and also long wooly coat. They are also naturally gentle and affectionate.

jersey wooly rabbit

The Jersey Wooly is regarded as “the rabbit that does not kick” in its native land. They have a fairly balanced temperament and rarely show symptoms of hostility, making them quite friendly in their daily lives. This dwarf rabbit breed was created in the 1970s through crossbreeding between the French Angora rabbit and the Dutch Dwarf rabbit. The Jersey is characterized by their compact and muscular body, small erect ears on a square head. These ears only measure around 2″. Adult individuals can weigh up to 1.5 kg 

4. Holland Lop

During the 1940s, Adrian de Cock developed the Holland Lop rabbit breed by selectively crossing the English Lop, the French Lop, and the Netherland Dwarf rabbit breeds. The Holland Lop weighs between 0.9 and 1.8 kg and has a compact and sturdy body covered in profuse smooth and silky fur.

holland lop

The breed now has the color of agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band color groups. The head is noticeably flattened with their lopped ears being medium length and giving them an adorably cute appearance.

5. Lionhead Rabbit

One of the most eye-catching miniature rabbit breeds is the Lionhead rabbit. Its name relates to its most distinguishing feature, a mane of long, fluffy hairs on its head resembling those of a lion. However, many people lose their manes as they grow older. The dwarf rabbits’ ears, which can grow to be more than 7 cm long, are another distinguishing trait. This causes them to be big in comparison to the rest of their body, though their fuzzy mane can sometimes disguise them. There is, however, a Lionhead rabbit variety with shorter and more upright ears. 

lionhead rabbit

Lionhead rabbits are a miniature rabbit breed that can weigh up to 2 kg. They are tough, but the fluff, which can come in a variety of colors, makes them appear larger than they are. The eyes are rounded and nicely spaced from one another. They have a rounded skull and a snout that is slightly extended. This breed can be traced back to its Belgian origins, but it was finished to the standard we see now in England.

6. Dwarf Hotot

dwarf hotot

Mme Eugenie Bernhard raised this rabbit in France, notably Hotot-en-Auge, from where it gets its name. Since their introduction in 1902, these dwarf rabbits have received worldwide acclaim for their stunning look and kind, friendly demeanor. The contrast of totally white fur and brown eyes encased in a dramatic black ring is the dwarf rabbit’s most distinguishing trait.

This color contrast draws attention to the Dwarf Hotot’s gorgeous eyes, making them appear much larger than they truly are. We must not, however, overlook their adorable little ears that perch atop their head and are relatively uncommon.

7. Lagomorphs

These little lagomorphs from England have a broad, compact, and muscular body with an equally broad and slightly curved skull (when in profile). They have wide, brilliant eyes that give them a captivating appearance. Their longest, densest, and most plentiful trait is their long, dense, and plentiful fur.

Mini Satin

This can have a variety of solid and distinguishing color patterns. Its long, drooping ears give it a soft appearance. Their delicate coat is quite pleasant to the touch, but they require meticulous upkeep to avoid knots, filth buildup, and digestive issues caused by hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Britannia Petite Rabbit

The Britannia Petite is another rabbit breed that originated in England from rabbits brought over from Poland. It is one of the oldest dwarf rabbit breeds, with origins dating back to the nineteenth century, owing to the popularity of animal exhibitions at the time. Its most distinguishing trait is its arched body, which has earned it a favorite in rabbit displays.

This arch is almost as curled as a quarter of a circle and spans from the base of its neck to its tail. The belly button is also somewhat elevated, adding to the arching appearance. Its head is shaped like a wedge, and its eyes protrude slightly. Their ears are short and pointed, and they tend to stand upright.

These tiny rabbits are notable for their high level of energy. As a result, they require a significant amount of daily exercise to maintain both physical health and stable behavior. Because of their small size, they do not require a large hutch to keep them in, but they do require a huge run in which to expend their energy. It is recommended that kids have access to open area where they can run, jump, and play with their families whenever feasible.

9. Mini Angora

The English Angora rabbit is a popular rabbit breed due to its sensitive looks and dense coat. Originally, its breeding was devoted to exploitation of its fur for wool, which is why you may have heard of them from the famous angora jumpers created from its wool. They are, nevertheless, becoming increasingly popular as pets. They require a lot of care and grooming due to their thick coat. This is to avoid knots, hairballs, and other hygienic issues.

Not all Angora rabbis are diminutive. The Giant Angora rabbit, contrary to popular belief, is everything but. Despite being smaller than most rabbits, the English Angora is not a dwarf rabbit. Norma Spencer, a breeder in New Zealand, has bred the Mini English Angora rabbit. They gained their small stature by breeding with Netherland rabbits, but they are very rare, even in their homeland.

10. Columbia Basin Pygmy

The Columbia Basic pygmy rabbit is one of the tiniest dwarf rabbit breeds. Adults weigh no more than 500 g.

During the 1990s, the breed was on the verge of extinction. Unfortunately, there are no purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, but the breed is still alive and well. Nonetheless, they remain one of the world’s rarest rabbit breeds.