Saturday, November 30, 2013

How smart are Smart Boards?

A Smart Board combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer. It’s an electronic whiteboard that interacts with users in a number of different ways: it can project the contents of a computer to the entire class (for example, the teacher’s laptop, or the iPad of the student doing a presentation, or from the Internet), and it can also be a gigantic touch screen that registers input from fingers and special Smart Board pens.

This technology encourages active collaboration by students, because it allows them to access large volumes of data, share their findings with others (even those who are not in the same geographic location) and save their work. Even quiet and withdrawn students respond well to Smart Boards and increase their classroom participation through interaction with this gadget.

Visual students love the colourful pens, the images and the video clips. Auditory students appreciate the sounds that accompany their interactions with the Smart Board, such as different beeps to right and wrong answers. Tactile students enhance their learning experience by manipulating data on the touch-sensitive Smart Board.

On the other hand, Smart Boards don’t offer kids an adaptive or individualised learning environment. They don’t provide social feedback. The teacher still controls the content and the lesson plan. At the end of the day, it's still just a blackboard that’s white, more appealing to techno-junkies and more media-enabled.   

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Work Smarter, Work Less, Work in Style

Working long hours is not a badge of honour. Being busy does not equate being successful. How would you like to work half the hours you’re working right now and still achieve the same results? You can, with Working Style Analysis.

Understanding whether you work best in low or bright light may prevent you from feeling lethargic or burned out. Discovering your most productive time of day – early morning, late morning, afternoon, evening - could drastically increase your productivity. Learning whether background noise helps or hinders your work could further help you concentrate on tasks at hand and cut the hours you spend at the office.

Working in a team or alone, sipping water, adjusting the thermostat in the room – they all may have an influence on how much work you get through every day. Check what makes you more productive and shorten your hours – today.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How To Lose Business Fast

There are many tried and tested ways in which your business can lose customers: unreliable products, unhelpful staff, insufficient market penetration, convoluted purchasing process. Today, though, I’d like to name another potential pitfall: not catering to your customer’s Working Style.

Although you might think a working style has nothing to do with how a person spends money, research disagrees. People whose social preference is for groups will more likely spend more money on socialising than those people whose working style is working alone. People who function best in bright light will be drawn to generously lit window displays. And people whose working style lends itself to computer work (non-preference for mobility, preference for working alone, visual, tactile) will want to shop online. They will want to shop online so much that they will be tempted to buy from a competing vendor as long as they don’t have to visit a physical store.

Let me give you a real-life example. A friend of mine wanted the latest iPhone. She was up early the morning they were released and ordered it online at 5AM. A confirmation email told her she’d receive it within three to five working days. She was prepared to wait that long. However, when the phone didn’t arrive after a week, she started making enquiries. Two fruitless days of phone calls later, she discovered the online store didn’t have any iPhones in stock, because the physical stores were given preference when it came to stock availability, and that her best course of action would be to drive to a store herself. No word of apology about breaking the service agreement. No offer to phone up the stores to find out which one had the physical stock. How tempted do you think my friend was to buy the phone from another supplier, one who could deliver it to her door?

We are all governed by our working styles, whether we’re aware of it or not. The decision to switch on music when you walk into the lounge: working style. The inability to deviate from a recipe when cooking: working style. Choosing what products to buy and from whom… you guessed it.
What is your working style? Find out here.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Homework and Your Child’s Learning Style

If your child is auditory - they like to listen and talk - try one of the following homework hints:

  • Make a learning tape together with your child. Let her explain the new topic into the tape recorder.
  • Discuss the lesson together.
  • Encourage your child to compose and record a song, a poem or a radio play about the topic (e.g., World War II, global warming, flower pollination, Mexico).

If your child is visual - they like to read and look at images - try one of the following homework hints:

  • Create a mind-map, illustration, cartoon, poster, slide show, costume, historical time line, illustrated report.  
  • Watch a DVD about the topic (“The King and I” about Thailand, “Little Einsteins”).
 If your child is tactile - they like to handle objects in order to learn - try one of the following homework hints:
  • Make use of question-answer jig-saw puzzles), electro- boards (a bulb lights up for every correct answer), flip chutes, etc.  
  • Encourage your child to make their own memory aids: sculptures of molecules or board games depicting new topics.

If your child is kinesthetic - they learn best through physical experiences - try one of the following homework hints:

  • Bake a cake together to teach conversion from grams to kilograms.
  • Pantomime or act out a history lesson.
  • Play a board game to discover new facts.
  • Take a field trip to the zoo, a court house, a factory.
  • Put on a puppet show together.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Excelling at Maths with Learning Styles

There are two kinds of people, we're told: those who excel at maths, and those who don't. But if you read this excellent article (, you'll notice that research suggests something quite different.

It turns out you can exercise your "maths muscles" until you improve so much, you can pass high school with flying colours! And guess what the most important learning style element you need? I'll give you a hint: it's not analytic thinking. It's persistence.

Do your children have what it takes to exercise your maths muscles? Check it out here: