July #1

OK, let’s dive straight into today’s newsletter. We learn something new every day, right? It’s an old maxim, true. But in a world where innovation is pervasive such a concept becomes more appropriate than ever. This is one of the reasons that drove me to write these biweekly newsletters: to share with you those new things that have crossed my path. And it is also the theme of this newsletter in particular: novelty. Let’s dig in.

Video of the week
I came across Matt Cutts’ TED Talk a few months ago. (If you are wondering what a TED Talk is, I strongly encourage you to check them out. I’ll be writing about them in the next newsletter, but if you can’t wait until then, browse away!) Back to Cutts. I liked his character, his sense of humor, but most of all his challenge: to try something new for 30 days. Repeating what we know how to do is easy, practical. We’ve learned it, mastered it, and so now we feel comfortable with it. It has worked in the past so why try something new? I could name a dozen reasons why but at the end of the day, I guess I’d say stepping into the unknown is what keeps us alive, moving forward.

I’ve used Cutt’s video in class with my teenage students. His language is fairly simple and his pace is EFL-student friendly. My students came up with amazing ideas. One had always been interested in photography, so she took on the challenge of snapping a photo of something that made her happy for 30 days. Another one had a hard time writing her essays, so she decided to learn a new word for 30 days (You can get them straight to your email from sites like this one) Mind you, I didn’t come up with these ideas so I can’t take credit for them. I was, in fact, surprised by such an enthusiastic reception. But this is what happens when we open up and share something with others. People take it, own it and come up with ideas we would have never even dreamed of. So in Cutt’s words, what are you waiting for?

Site of the week
So by now you might have seen Cutt’s video and thought of giving it a try. But where to start? Let me give you a hand with that. Remember the TED talks I told you about a couple of lines above? Following the spirit of TED and with education in mind, TED-Ed was created. It’s a fascinating site that you’ll find incredibly useful for your classes. I’ll tell you all about it in the next newsletter, but let me share with you TED-Ed’s July Challenge. How does it work? You basically sign up and get a video lesson by email, teaching you something new for 31 days straight.

I’ve already signed up. Join me?

App of the week
Now, the Internet is full of fun new interesting things. But the amount of information can be overwhelming at times. And it takes time to browse through it. Lots of it. This is where Pocket comes in handy. Pocket is basically a save-for-later app, an I-don’t-have-time-now-but-I’d-love-to-read-all-about-it-later kind of app.

We’ve all been there. After clicking on a couple of links, we find an interesting article, site, lesson idea that we would love to read more about. But dinner has to be cooked, children need to be bathed, tests must be corrected and we have a life to live. So what do you do? It’s impossible to remember every single site we visit. When you find that article you like so much, you just click on the Pocket add-on and it’s automatically saved for you. If you’ve never heard of this app before and want to know how to use it, you can read a step by step guide here.

Wow! You’ve made it till the end of the newsletter in an age where attention span has significantly decreased (less than a goldfish’s, I might add) You deserve an inspiring quote 🙂
See you in 2 weeks!

PS: Have you checked out my latest flyer? No? You’re missing out! You can find it here.

PS 2: If you know of a friend who would like to get this newsletter, you can forward them this email and they can sign up here.

"If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day." Martha Stewart

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