Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TED Talk Tuesday: Salman Khan Uses Video to Reinvent Education

First off, this dude knows everything. :) And is so funny!

Watching this TED talk brought some interesting things to mind. I love how this amazing huge learning community started as a few videos so Khan could tutor his cousins.

Khan talks about the importance of reducing the embarrassment of learning. Even now, even after years and years of people critiquing my work, I still feel that tug of shame when someone points out a weakness in my manuscript, especially when I think I should have mastered that particular skill by now. So, I get that. I get the exquisiteness of being able to learn privately, to go over something again and again until I own it.

And I love the parallels between this talk and John Green's, which also discusses the value of community video learning. (When super smart people start saying the same thing, it makes me take notice!)

What would writing novels (or Picture Books) look like if we could watch videos on all the components, at our own pace, with examples and practice? I would love a Khan academy on writing!

I think the applications he talks about for self-paced learning in the classroom is amazing, especially since in the new model (dare I say-- Common Core) kids do not move forward until they master a skill. Which is a great idea, but so hard in practice, unless a model like this is adopted.

This idea of humanizing the classroom has lots of implications. It may change how I think of what we do at the Writers' Loft.

Do you use Khan Academy? Have you taken any online writing classes with video as the means of giving information? Did you find it as useful as the Khan Academy model?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

TED Talk Thursday: Kelly McGonigal and How to Make Stress Your Friend

So, I first saw this post at The Styling Librarian's blog, so please, pop over there and give her some love!

It's an excellent TED talk, and one that I am using on a daily basis right now, as I manage my longer to-do list this year. If you see me around and I am mumbling "stress is good...this is good stress...stress is good..." please don't think I've gone off the deep end (yet).

So thank you to Josh Funk for pointing me in the right direction and thanks to the Syling Librarian for putting it out in the writing/reading blogosphere.

Love it when she asks us to trust ourselves to handle life's challenges. So powerful.

Interestingly enough, Kelly is the twin sister of my other favorite TED talker: Jane McGonigal. Would love to hang out at family dinner with those two!!

How do you deal with stress? Before this talk, did you view stress as a damaging force?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TED Talk Tuesday: Alison Ledgerwood with Getting Stuck in the Negatives (and How to Get Unstuck)

I feel like I have to withstand a lot of rejection on a daily basis, and no, it's not what most of you are thinking. :) It's not from agents. It's much worse.

My kids are growing older and each day they find ways to reject me. :) Some of it is that good, growing up, we-don't-need-your-constant-guidance rejection and some is the hormonal, I'm-mad-at-the-world-so-I'll-start-with-mom rejection.

And, yes, as writers, rejection is a pretty common theme. And one that doesn't go away as you climb the success ladder.

Today's TED talk is about how our brains are wired to hold onto the negative and how it takes work to see the positive.

Take a look and see if you can identify:

I'm going to try to catch myself in the negative, and be more thankful for the positives. Because it's the only way I'm going to survive my kids' puberty. :)

And survive all the rejections.

How are you doing? Do you find yourself getting stuck? What does it take to you get unstuck?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TED talk Thursday: John Green's The Paper Town Academy

Oops, the blog post title led you to believe that this blog post would be all about John Green's awesome TED talk about how community learning is alive and better than ever because of online communities like youtube? (You didn't think youtube was a learning community? Better skip down right to the TED talk.)

And this post is. It is about how John Green is so wonderfully meta and smart and *gets* how to inspire people and understands that what we put into the world changes the world.

But it's also about THIS ARTICLE on writerly envy, subject: John Green. (See how it all ties in?)

And I don't want to judge or shame anyone. Everyone is allowed their Feelings. And writing is such a tough industry--rejections all around, all the time. So, by all means, have the envious Feelings. But also know that there are ways to not wade into and get swallowed up by those Feelings.

With this perspective, our mental state would be so much healthier:

Courtesy of Aish.com

I think that video stands for itself. Without further distraction, here is John Green's fantastic and eclectic TED talk on paper towns:


I love how Aslo became something, just because people believed it already *was* something. :) Just makes you want to write, right?

Have you struggled with looking into someone else's bowl? Have you ever joined in the online learning classroom? I know it helps my research as a writer--what did writers do before the internet?!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

TED Talk Thursday: Jia Jiang and 100 Days of Rejections

As a writer, rejection is an every day occurrence. It's literally what you do with the rejection that makes the difference. And Jia Jiang found something fascinating to do--he decided to seek out rejections.

This TED talk is about what happened when he started trying to desensitize himself to rejection so he could succeed as an entrepreneur.

Does it sound familiar when he says that when he got the rejection that started it all, they told him no, but didn't say why they were saying no? I have to argue that the unknown quality of the rejection makes the rejection that much harder to deal with.

I like to think he started having some fun with rejection. :)

I love when he says he learned that when he opens up to the world, the world opens up to him.

And, how cool is Jackie?

Between Tuesday's TED talk on sharing secrets and this TED talk on rejection, do you have any rejections you are brave enough to share with us?

How many rejections do you think you have to endure before you get desensitized?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TED Talk Tuesday: Frank Warren and Half Million Secrets

Writing at its best is the revelation of secrets. The deepest connections I've had with books were moments when I recognized something that I didn't realize about myself, and there it was, in words, in a book, written by someone I don't know.

Here is Frank Warren, with whom strangers trust their deepest secrets.

I think they are in good hands, don't you?

Some of these secrets gave me chills. Some made me laugh. But, in each secret I think about the people, the stories, the raw truth behind them.

I dare you to go to postsecret.com and not be enthralled. :)

Would you send him a postcard?

Do you save voicemails? I have one of my grandfather, who died this year.