What can a hat teach you?

Teachers, much like hats, come in all shapes and sizes. I have had the good fortune of encountering many excellent teachers through out my years of schooling. Each step of my educational journey has been highlighted by a string of distinct characters, beginning in elementary school with a thin, excitable kindergarden teacher, continuing to the present with my loud, towering Business Law professor and a round, jolly, unforgettable Accounting professor. Teachers like these have helped teach me how to function in the world and how to be a more structured thinker.

Despite the gratitude I hold to my group of school teachers, many of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned have actually come from people without graduate degrees, people who do not call themselves teachers. Some of my biggest lessons have come from my mentors and my business partners who I have met on my journey to adulthood. These people are down to earth, knowledgable, and, most peculiarly, they tend to wear awesome hats–It’s true!

The fact that they wear hats may be a coincidence, but in doing so they all convey a common lesson. It’s done as a statement of their individuality. Being a great educator is about delivering a message and being memorable. Those things are accomplished by moving beyond the basics of reciting facts and by taking measures to create an experience that resonates deeply with the learner. It doesn’t have to be high-tech, and it doesn’t have to be hard either. It just has to be enough to make the observer ask questions, and to give them reason to remember it. Ultimately, it is about creating a human connection. And that idea is easily lost in this transition to digital learning. We mustn’t forget the importance of crafting the learner’s experience, because without the ability to establish a human connection there is no education. To commit to the future of eduction we should all explore our own awesome hats, finding new ways to make knowledge interesting, and to resonate in the minds of tomorrow.

As a final, closing inspiration I present you now with a short but sweet list of my hat wearing heros:

Two of my most admirable life mentors. From them I have learned deep lessons on psychology and finance, Pictured above they are setting the mood at a seminar, breaking the ice for all the first-timers.

My friend and business partner. A completely anonymous individual who has taught me much about patience, ambition, and commitment.

A trio of student business owners, presenting at a local entrepreneurship event. This group, which I am a part of, empowers students to take their personal and professional development into their own hands, and promotes the benefits of business ownership. I’m the gentleman featured on the left with the big smile and the inconspicuous blue top-hat, a tribute to all the awesome hat wearers in my life.

Advertisements

To quiz or not to quiz

Have you ever found yourself hours away from an important event which required you to memorize lines or facts? As a college student and business owner, I have very little time to study, and ended up relying on a great service called Quizlet.

“The world learns on Quizlet.” Or so their page says. Quizlet is essentially a service which allows users to create a list of terms and definitions, which when coupled with their online learning tools, makes learning anything a cinch. Did I mention that its free?

Quick Guide

1. First off we start by viewing a sample Flashcard. (you can follow the link here)

1

The flashcard is in the center and has buttons to the left and right to control it.

  • Tools below the flash card allows you to study in different ways such as:
    • take a quiz generated on your flash cards
    • Play games such as matching words to definition as fast as you can
    • Spell out terms based on the definition
  • This page also features a chat on the lower lefthand corner, which allows anyone to openly discuss the content.
  • The Flashcard itself has a certain degree of customization:
    • Full Screen
    • Shuffle Order
    • Audio readout of the Term & Definition
    • Show Term first or Both sides at once
  • If you prefer to print out your flash cards or add the terms you like to your own, Quizlet offers you a few tools for that:
    • Print
    • Export
    • Copy
    • Combine
    • Embed

2. Now lets create our own Flashcard. On the upper left-hand corner, click Create.

2

If you are logged in, the screen will look pretty much the same as below, with the exception that the extra steps to create an account wouldn’t be there.

3

  1. At first it is self explanatory, you fill in the Title, Description and even choose a subject if you so wish.
  2. Now as we proceed to add our terms and definitions, we come across a pretty unique feature within the world of online flashcards. Language. This gives us more formatting feature when typing.
  3. After you read the end of the fifth term & definition, you have two options: Either click ‘Add Row’, or press TAB on the last input box and it will do one for you and focus on the Term so you can keep on typing.
    • One option to note, is the search and add images. Searching through their images and selecting one is free, but uploading your own requires you to upgrade your account to a paid version. (well worth it I might add if you are a visual learner)
  • Here is a screenshot of what mine looks like:

4

Go ahead and Click Create Set. This will guide you through the Account creation and in a matter of seconds you will see your Flashcard. Pretty nifty isn’t it?

5That is it!  You can quiz yourself, share it with others, and even edit the terms. Two of my favorite features in this page is the ability to double click the term below the flash card and do a live edit, and the live audio playback (read your term aloud).

Give it a try, and post any questions to the comments ! Hopefully more people can take advantage of this great simple tool of learning.