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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

I'm pleased to participate in Leeswammes's Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, which allows blog readers to visit many excellent blogs (see the list below) for the chance to win awesome books and other prizes. At my Teach with Picture Books blog I'm giving away a Caldecott Honor picture book (of course!) and a Newbery Honor Award chapter book.

For my readers here, I wanted to also hilight the sensational nonfiction title being ofered as a giveaway: Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
My guidelines, as always, are simple:
  1. The giveaway is open to US residents only.
  2. To enter, email me with the title of the book you hope to win in the subject line. Want to win all three? Send three separate emails.
  3. You don't have to follow me to win, but it would be a nice gesture. Pity follows are happily accepted. Following my blog will increase your good karma, but not your chances of winning.
  4. Contest will close at midnight EST on February 24th EST. I'll notify winners shortly thereafter.
For those who wish to glean ideas about teaching from books "out of the field," you'll love the soon-to-be-best-selling Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, written by Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple, and generously provided by the man himself.

Reviews of this book say it all:

"Guy's book captures the importance - and the art - of believing in an idea that delivers something entirely unique to the customer. The power of a really good idea to transform the marketplace and individual customer experiences is huge, and this book offers a wealth of insights to help businesses and entrepreneurs tap into that potential."
-Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group
"Kawasaki provides insights so valuable we all wish we'd had them first."
-Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence: Science and Practice
"Guy has written the small-business manifesto. There is nothing more important for entrepreneurs than to enchant their customers, and Guy explains exactly how to do this."
-Jane Applegate, author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business
So many of the ideas presented for excellence in business via interpersonal relationships can be applied to the teaching profession:
  • creating and marketing yourself as a professional;
  • achieving trustworthiness;
  • designing excellent experiences or services;
  • engaging in productive relationships with colleagues and bosses;
  • overcoming resistance;
  • avoiding pitfalls and complacency.
Years ago when the bestselling Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die was first published (and before it made all the lists), I touted its ideas as totally applicable to teaching. I feel the same way about Enchantment, and I think you will, too. Also be sure to check out Guy Kawasaki's previous best sellers, The Art of the Start and Reality Check.

Good luck with the drawing, and be sure to visit these other awesome blogs for more chances to win:

  1. Leeswammes (Int)
  2. Teadevotee (Int)
  3. The Book Whisperer (Int)
  4. Uniflame Creates (Int)
  5. Bookworm with a View (Int)
  6. Stiletto Storytime (USA, CA)
  7. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Int)
  8. The Bookkeeper (Int)
  9. Chinoiseries (Int)
  10. Ephemeral Digest (Int)
  11. bibliosue (Int)
  12. ThirtyCreativeStudio (Int)
  13. Nishitas Rants and Raves (Int)
  14. Roof Beam Reader (Int)
  15. Actin Up with books (USA)
  16. Sarah Reads Too Much (USA)
  17. Book Journey (US)
  18. The Blue Bookcase (Int)
  19. Read, Write and Live (Int)
  20. Silver’s Reviews (USA)
  21. Graasland (Int) - From Saturday evening onwards
  22. Teach with Picture Books (USA)
  23. Books in the City (Int)
  24. thebookbee (Int)
  25. The Scarlet Letter (USA)
  26. Seaside Book Nook (USA)
  27. Chocolate and Croissants (Int)
  28. write meg! (USA)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Three Simple Yet Awesome Search Tools

I know, I know, you already use Google and to find what you need. But allow me just three minutes of your time to share three sites you're not using yet, but will soon come to love.

Yippy began as a search engine called Clusty (called that because it created clusters of information). While the name hasn't improved much, the site is still as awesome as ever.

What's great about Yippy is that when you enter a term, it attempts to narrow your term in what it calls "clouds" (while still featuring all the resulting sites that match, as seen below).

For example, if you enter "Lord of the Flies," you'll be offered a number of clouds, or clusters, of narrowed down sites including Lord of the Flies Novel, Study Guide, Symbolism, Reviews, Quotes, Lesson Plans, etc.

What's also nice is that Yippy doesn't present inappropriate content, nor will it search for it. I entered "Stone Fox" (meaning the chapter book, not a slang description of a gorgeous woman) into the search window, and Yippy replied: Sorry. Yippy does not allow content of that nature on its cloud. Please try another query. It wasn't until I tried "Stone Fox" and "Novel" that it returned results.

Another way to make Yippy even more functional for students is to have them use it in Wii mode. By replacing the "www" in with "wii," you get a much cleaner, larger interface.

If you always use Google or for word definitions, it's time to break that habit. One Look is a multifunctional dictionary that offers some cool permutations of the normal search task.

As you can see from the screenshot below, it's easy to expand searches to find more than simple definitions. A student writing a poem on the topic "blue" will find the second option helpful, while another student wishing to create a word bank of winter sports words would find the seventh option helpful.

I recently used One Look while creating a teacher's guide for Encyclopedia Mythologica: Dragons and Monsters, to be published by Candlewick Press in April of this year. While the book itself offered tons of ideas for lesson extensions, I still wanted to "prime the pump" of my imagination as I brainstormed ideas. I therefore entered the search term *:monster, which returned the following in the first 100 results:

More than enough ideas to get started! And each of course is hyper-linked to a definition.

Another dictionary tool I've come to love is Wordnik. Wordnik provides quick definitions, but also current examples of the word in use on the Internet. Here are some results for the word dragon:

And as they say on television, But wait; there's more! On that same results page you'll also find simple synonyms and antonyms, etymology, plus stats for the word's appearance in print since 1800.

Armed with these resources, I was able to generate more than enough ideas to complete the teacher's guide for Dragons and Monsters. While many of the ideas existed in some form in my head, searching them out in this way allowed me to fine tune what was otherwise just a collection of random thoughts.

How would you use these sites? Are there others you'd recommend instead? Leave a comment below. And if you're interested in Dragons and Monsters, I'll be featuring teaching ideas and related links on my Teach with Picture Books site in March, along with the chance to win one of two copies of the book. Can't wait until then? You might want to check out teaching extensions for the previous title in the trilogy: Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Give an Ignite Talk

Most of us have heard of the inspirational TED Talks.

Slightly less well-known are the Ignite Talks, which allow speakers only five minutes, and the accompanying slides to each talk advance automatically every five minutes.

One of my favorites is Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, speaking about How to Get 5 Million People to View Your Website:

Another favorite is Scott Berkun's Why and How to Give an Ignite Talk, which not only gives a cool insight into the Ignite format, but also provides a pretty compact lesson of effective storytelling:

For your next staff meeting or student presentation, give this format a shot. Perhaps just three minutes instead of five. Sometimes less is more.