Video of the Week: "Wins and Losses"

Student stress and pressure has been something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. We're even doing a parent night tonight at San Jose Christian about it. It was really interesting, then, for me to come across this ad campaign from Kaiser Permanente this morning: 

Things I'm thinking about this morning: 

  • Do you agree with Curry's claim that the mind is where every challenge is either won or lost? Why or why not? 
  • Do you agree with the campaign's claim that if you train the mind the body will follow? Why or why not?
  • Why would Kaiser Permanente create this as an ad? 
  • Do you think brain training is a solution to student stress? 

Video of the Week: "Are You a Visual Thinker?"

It's standardized testing week here. It never ceases to amazing me how some kids love it. Although I appreciate measuring student growth, I know my students don't fit neatly in bubbles. We all think and communicate differently. Are you a visual thinker? 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

  • Would you consider yourself a visual thinker? 
  • How do we help these visual thinkers thrive even in traditional classrooms? 
  • Are the people closest to you visual thinkers? How does this impact your communication? 
  • Does your school offer great ways for visual thinkers to show what they know? 

Video of the Week: "OK GO Sandbox: One Moment of Math"

This week OK GO announced a project that they've been working on to help the many teachers already using their videos within the classroom. The OK GO Sandbox provides behind the scenes information about their videos and classroom activities for teachers. I'm loving the math behind their "One Moment" video. Take a look: 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

  • What's the effect of making something outside our level of perception? 
  • Make a list of all of the factors that were needed to make the timing a success in this scene. Which one do you think would be the most challenging? 
  • What math equations did they use in this video? How did they solve them? 
  • What spreadsheet formulas would you use to make this happen? 

Video of the Week: "It's not you. Phones are designed to be addicting."

I've been thinking a lot about phone addiction lately. When this came up in my YouTube feed this week, I was intrigued. 

Here's what I'm thinking about: 

  • Do you believe that phone designers are manipulating you to be addicted? 
  • Would you be willing to try one or more strategies this week? 
  • Which notifications on your phone have a real person behind them? Which don't? 
  • What do you think about the pull-down feature as a mimic of the slot machine and a feeling of control? 
  • Explore the Center of Humane Technology. What ideas to you agree with? With which do you disagree? 

Just because it can, doesn't mean it should.

Dinner and quality conversation: one of my favorite duos. And yet lately, I have found the conversation stopping suddenly, mid-sentence even. We're interrupted. Not by the server, not by another patron, but by someone not even in the room. In might be through a phone or a watch, but regardless, it brings conversation to a halt.

That's why when my Fitbit died this fall and I was considering switching over the Apple Watch my husband was wary. Wary of the notifications jumping in and entering in moments and spaces where they don't belong. We came to a compromise: I bought a watch, but the turned the notifications off. 

This, combined with my work with students has had me thinking this year a lot about notifications, and I've come to a conclusion: just because it can, doesn't mean it should.

 Are you distracted?

Are you distracted?

You can set your device to ring/beep/vibrate whenever someone calls or texts.

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. Most of the time, people don't need that instant access to us. We can put our devices on silent (notice silent, not vibrate) and engage with the people who are face-to-face in the room with us. If you're a parent of teenage kids and you're worried that you'll miss an emergency, utilize the "Do Not Disturb" function, which will silence all calls/texts except for calls coming from your favorites list or if someone calls twice in a row. This boundary doesn't need to be there all the time, but we should have sacred spaces and moments that can't be interrupted, like the dinner table for example.


 What's your response to a notificaton?

What's your response to a notificaton?

You can receive a pop-up every time your receive a new email. 

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. One of the biggest classroom management issues we had with a 1:1 environment is students "passing notes" via email during class. Since many of our students have notifications set up for their email, they receive pops up that distract them. And who am I kidding, I've been derailed at least three times already in the course of writing this blog post. There's been a big push against these notifications in the entrepreneur world in favor of "batching" tasks, like writing 3 blog posts in a row so that your brain stays in that mode. Again, it's rare that our emails are urgent, and most of the time we don't respond to them right away any way. I think I'm preaching to myself here to turn off my email notifications when I'm trying to get some serious work done. 


 How do you choose what to post? 

How do you choose what to post? 

You can receive alerts every time someone likes your post.

But just because it can, doesn't mean it should. We post pictures, videos, or words on our social media to share with others. But there's often an underlining motive. Have you ever found yourself going back constantly and checking notifications? I know I have. What's the point of these alerts? If it was truly important, wouldn't the writer call us? 


I'm spending time re-evaluating the notifications I receive on a moment by moment basis and trying to be intentional. Intentional in my work. Intentional in my face-to-face relationships. Intentional with being fully present. I'm not perfect at it by any means, but I hope to keep learning and growing in it. And I hope my students will too. 

How do you choose what notifications to use in your life and work?