Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is one of the most influential journalists in the world. Her American online news aggregator has been ranked #1 on the 15 Most Popular Political Sites list and the international editions of the Huffington Post have appeared in countries such as France, Canada, the UK, Germany, Brazil and Latin America since 2011. And they are growing.

In her book Thrive, she talks about the necessity of redefining success. The tips she is giving are an eye opener for the reader.  Those who work overtime and  do not let themselves disconnect from their jobs are endangering their health, their happiness and their effectiveness within the work environment.

30 minutes of more sleep, a daily moderate physical activity, meditation, giving back, spending time with family and friends and turning off  electronic devices when needed have healing effects on your success in the workplace. The research is overwhelming, as it has also been stated numerous times in the business magazine Forbes.

So now you know what you can do to be more efficient. Power down, give yourself a break and you'll succeed both in life and in your professional goals.

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5 strategies to make students engage in the classroom

1. Emotional Inteligence

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Lack of empathy in teachers towards students is often regarded as a poor teaching strategy. Sucessful learning experiences stem from the teachers' ability to relate to their counterparts. Whereas considerable research has been devoted to the importance of emphaty in professions such as nursing and doctors, teaching and sensity connection with the students has often been disregarded in academia. Let's put it this way, you can't convey your message without emotional contact with your pupils. It's a genuine human interaction that makes us click when it comes to learning. 


2. Always give positive attitude

Giving positive input, even in the worst case scenarios, can transform the attitute of your students towards your subject. Yes, we know it,  no matter how hard you try  and your message gets stuck on a thick concrete wall . Persevere and give your students the choice of discovering new roads of knowledge. Negativity only  leads to demotivation. Let the doors open for new fresh air.


3. Exaggerate the trainning stimuli

Comics, films, colorful charts with poweful fonts boost the learning experience of your students. Concepts are better understood through images.  First impressions through the use of imagery matter. Do think of good visual stimuli in your lessons. It' s always a good start.


4. Provide instant gratification

With bite-sized activities, students can have a clear view of the objectives of the lesson. Teachers have to encourage their pupils to finish their tasks during the lesson and  instant gratify them to keep them engaged and boost their learning progress. Instant gratification can come with a good grade or even with a nice gesture or a smile from the teacher. Positive feedback always amplifies the actions of the task, making it attainable.


5. Set clear goals

Short-term goals  help students have a clear view of the learning objectives for each lesson. A 30-minute project with an easy task to solve is better than a never ending piece of work with two or three different topics. Set specific goals that can easily be accomplished by students to prioritize creativity. Learning will be then challenging, leading to the next topic, in a guided teaching environment.



Reshaping Rapid Microlearning

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Rapid learning or bite-sized learning has been traditionally referred to a methodolgy focused on creating e-learning lessons quickly through powerpoint presentations and recorded screencasts. The term microlearning has also  been used in the sphere of e-learning referring to short-term digital microcontent activities in small timeframes.

But what about actively using rapid learning in your classroom? And what does it entail? 

1. Goals and Expectations

Set doable goals and objectives in the classroom. The task has to be finished within a timeframe of 30 minutes for a 40-minute period lesson. This allows students with learning disabilities to complete their piece of work in the allotted time.

2. Active blended Learning

Use multimedia in your lessons. From video instruction to pictures, apps or websites, students can  unleash their creativity in an environment that is part of their everyday life. Text, pictures and sounds, all combined in a highly visual environment enhance recall and increase retention of information.

3. Know how to use digital tools

Try them at least once before using them in the classroom. They have to be simple, user-friendly and fast. For language teachers, please visit the free resources available in exuc.org

4. Reduce the amount of teaching

Teach but reduce your talk teaching time with small-learning units. Kids prefer clear concise task directions with independence practise to display mastery of the learning goal. Once you open the door of a new topic, students have to plunge into it by working creatively on a bite-sized learning objective. Allocating more than 10 minutes for academic teaching,  blocks the student engagement in your subject. Learning by doing should be mandatory in every classroom regardless of the subject. Let your students breath. They will thank you for that.

5. Keep your classroom visual

Text, pictures, sounds, all combined in micro-content structures ( knowledge nuggets)  within a highly visual class environment  should be part of the  flow of all the lessons to help students integrate their knowledge, organize and analize information and clarify their thoughts.