The Unproductive Debate of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning

Like millions of people around the globe right now, I am practicing social distancing. One valid point that has been brought up online is that the term should really be physical distancing rather than social distancing; Of course self-isolation and quarantine separate us geographically, but the psychological space between us doesn't have to be so … Continue reading The Unproductive Debate of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning

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When Student Choice Backfires

More choice is good, right? We’d all rather have more items in the Taco Bell menu than fewer.  People prefer to be, or at least feel like they are, in control of their destiny (just ask the anti-maskers of the pandemic!) and it seems likely that our students are no different.   Theoretically, when students perceive … Continue reading When Student Choice Backfires

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Presenting Workshops that are Worth Attending

Time and time again I find myself coming back to an essay called "'How Obvious”: Personal Reflections on the Database of Educational Psychology and Effective Teaching Research" by Gregory Yates (2005). It is a rich piece of work that covers topics ranging from the process-product research of the 70's and 80's to the failure of … Continue reading Presenting Workshops that are Worth Attending

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Why I Memorize

One little-known aspect of international teaching is that very few expat teachers end up learning the local language in the countries where they teach. This may vary by language, of course; I've heard that far more international teachers pick up Spanish than Kazakh, for example; but by and large it seems that most international teachers, … Continue reading Why I Memorize

Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”

There are few concepts in education more mystical than the flow experience, a state in which the learner becomes so deeply immersed in the activity at hand that time becomes distorted, the need for food or sleep disappears, and concentration reaches extraordinary heights (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). You've most likely experienced flow, or extended hyperfocus, before, perhaps … Continue reading Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”

Immersion Learning Fails Students In More Ways Than One

When I was 16, I attended high school in the French city of Rennes. Like many foreign exchange students before me, I was assigned the same classes as local French students - literature, math and science classes - all, of course, entirely taught in French. Despite my (and my parents') hopes that I would quickly … Continue reading Immersion Learning Fails Students In More Ways Than One

Is “Leadership Skills” Training a Waste of Time?

An interesting exchange I had on Twitter recently was about a suggestion that I made that "leadership skills" training might be a waste of time. Some thought went into making such a sweeping statement; I am currently taking the last of a series of courses on leadership as a part of my PhD program. During … Continue reading Is “Leadership Skills” Training a Waste of Time?

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Teaching during COVID: Big Ideas and Eclectic Voices

Sometime at the beginning of January, a leader at my school in China who is in charge of these sorts of things informed us that there was a small outbreak of the Coronavirus in a nearby province called Hubei. Few of the expat teachers at the meeting, me included, knew where that was. With the … Continue reading Teaching during COVID: Big Ideas and Eclectic Voices

5 Steps to Becoming a Reader of Research

A lot of people have told to me at my workshops that they wish to start reading research but they don't know where to start. I usually respond by recommending popular books, such as How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice and How We Learn: Why Brains Learn … Continue reading 5 Steps to Becoming a Reader of Research

A Learning Pyramid Profession

This week I tweeted a thread that started with this learning pyramid: https://twitter.com/MrZachG/status/1262938445158117376?s=20 For anyone who didn't know already, everything about the Learning Pyramid is fake (Letrud & Hernes, 2018). There have been numerous iterations of it passed around at education conferences and, yes, Twitter too, for more than 160 years! Do a Google image … Continue reading A Learning Pyramid Profession

Reducing the Distance in Distance Learning

Educators continue to ask both the right and wrong questions about distance learning during this online learning period. In a recent post, I argued that instead of squabbling over which technology we use, or whether a synchronous format has advantages over an asynchronous format, we should look at distance learning through a different lens. Specifically, we … Continue reading Reducing the Distance in Distance Learning