Teaching Thinking through Analogous Associations

not fitting Analogous: Comparable in certain respects.

The story goes that James Dyson - the founder of Dyson vacuums - hit upon his innovative vacuum design by observing how a grain processor got rid of the "dust" (answer: through a funnel / vortex).

One of the deficiencies in our society is that even when we bring the smartest people together to solve a problem - they are often the smartest people on the same topic. Thinking capability can be greatly expanded by looking to analogous fields. Possibilities abound when we contemplate "similar but different" perspectives.
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Reading for Fun – and Comprehension

reading on tablet Do you prefer reading from a printed page or a digital screen? Do you comprehend more when reading from paper than from a screen (or vice versa)? Does your age play a role in your preference? What about your attitude? These are all questions which have been studied in the last 20 years or so - in other words - in the "digital age." While definitive results elude us, here are some of the more common findings:
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Great Work Everyone! Here’s an Avocado for your Efforts!

Do you regularly give out candy as a reward during your F2F training sessions? Well, you're not doing your learners any favors. Instead put out piles of beans, eggs, fish, berries and, ok, dark chocolate. In this fascinating article (and quick read) by Jeremy Teitelbaum, he challenges us to think about our "tried and true" methods of delivering training and learning, using what we know from 25 years of brain research. Suggestions include:

Stop forcing people to multitask.

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Reading Teaches Thinking Skills

There is no argument that technology has done 
wondrous things for us over the years. My car 
lasts longer, my food cooks quicker and I can 
call anywhere in the world for pennies if not 
for free.

One argument that some will make is that 
technology (the web) has also made us smarter 
due to our ability to find vast quantities of 
information - far more than one could find in their local library or - horrors - confined 
to one tome.  And isn't more always better?
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Where is your Training GPS Leading?

GPS football playerThere is an individual, here in our workplace, who is 100% reliant on their GPS to get them places - even if they have been to that place numerous times in the past. This "phenomenon" is caused by the fact that when information is readily available to you, you don't have to commit it to memory or learn it. In some instances, this is a wise approach. You don't need to remember what is in your refrigerator - just open the door and remind yourself. You don't need to learn how to complete your taxes when there are step-by-step guides available online (the GPS of taxes, if you will). But, in other cases, being completely reliant on prompts is counter-productive and potentially dangerous.
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