Category: Learning

hand imprints in paint
LearningNudge Blog

Dear Family – Education has changed. Are you getting your children ready?

Are you preparing your children for the future at hand?

Learning Emergencies

Typically I don’t share private letters to my family. But, this one was about education and I am not sure that parents are aware of the trends impacting their children’s education. We are seeing the trends in the adult learning world, but have they trickled to the ears of parents herding their K-12 kids through the system?

I have a couple dozen nieces and nephews that I care about and so ….a letter went out!

Remember, this was just an informal communication. Tons more info on this out there!

___________

Dear Family,

My friend’s son watched his sister accumulate over $150,000 in undergraduate debt at Emory-Riddle and …she still end up working at Panera. He was preparing for college as he watched this unfold in her life. So, he’s decided to complete his first two years of college at a local community college – virtually free – while he accumulates…

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woman searching the Internet on a laptop computer
LearningMarketingNudge BlogTechnologyTools

Chirp, Chirp, Tweet, Tweet – why YOU must start using tools like Twitter

woman searching the Internet on a laptop computer

Anytime, anywhere, anyway – most of us can’t get enough of the web

In 2012 the web headlines self-proclaimed that “the web is dead.” (Yes, even the web couldn’t help but share this with itself) It isn’t that the web is really dead, it’s just that we are using it in different ways. Mobile has played a big part in changing this dynamic as we demand just the right information and support without extraneous “stuff.”

How are you searching the web?

In 2000 I was a recruiter at XO Communications. One day another recruiter saw me conducting a web search and informed me that I was using the wrong search engine. She told me to type in http://www.google.com and in an instant my virtual life changed forever. The simplistic design of the page was a relief to my ADD mind and it seemed to bring up pretty good results.

However, in the past few years that has started to change…if only in subtle ways. Often we don’t trust the first page Google results anymore. After all, most have used some kind of SEO method vs. gaining front page based upon real value as determined by users.

So, what do we trust?

More often than not we trust people, groups and organizations that we know or that we have identified as sharing common interests.

It is time to recognize the importance of tools like Twitter.

I’m an avid Twitter user. I will admit to having 4-5 accounts. My accounts differ depending upon my purpose – one for my work persona, one for my entrepreneurial endeavors, one for just me being me and another for a hopefully hobby someday soon.

Twitter for Searching, Learning and Connecting

Twitter isn’t just for telling us what you like to eat, what you are doing right now or for promoting your product. It is a searching, learning and connecting tool!

I see a lot of friends and entrepreneurs using it just to push information out. They are missing out on easy, quick, and valuable ways to connect to more people, keep up with the pulse of the market and finding out the best way to meet their needs as well as their friends, customers, families, etc.

Communication, after all, occurs when there is an exchange .

Benefits

Friends sharing info with each other

You share and learn with people on and offline. Take the same techniques to Twitter and other social tools!

So, here are some of the benefits I’ve gained from making Twitter a part of my personal learning strategy:

  • News – you can search by any topic and find out the latest and greatest from any possible perspective you can hope for …and more.
  • Emerging Trends  – connect to thought leaders, magazines, colleges, think tanks, etc. You’ll be the first to know about what the new trends are and bring that knowledge and insight to your job, your entrepreneurial pursuits, your circles of influence and even parenting! I’ve saved money at work just by knowing a few facts that I found on Twitter. In other words, Twitter can help you know WHAT you should be learning in your field.
  • Inspiration – yes, a lot of people share daily quotes from every possible past president, prophet, author, etc. But, like Pinterest, you can get ideas and inspiration from what others are creating and designing as well.
  • Thought Leaders – yearning to learn from great thought leaders? They are all on Twitter. Ok, they are at least paying someone to tweet their stuff. It’s a great way to keep up with what they are saying and get connected to products and resources they think are important. Just this week I bought a book from Daniel Pink (author of A Whole New Mind and Drive – books I love and highly recommend) that I hadn’t known he was writing. I found out this information on Twitter.  Note – the book  just arrived at my door tonight and so I’m rushing to finish up this post!
  • Crowdsourcing – lately we’ve heard some great examples of how products, companies, and individuals have come together with other like-minded people to accomplish awesome things and help each other achieve their goals. Don’t think that Kickstarter.com benefits from Twitter? Crowdsourcing tools rely on tools like Twitter to spread their ideas and gain contributors for projects.
  • Like-Minded – are you into obscure sci-fi classics out of print? What about rare stamps? Perhaps even a nitch of a nitch? You can find them on Twitter. You can connect, share and grow with others that are interested in the same nitch!
  • Community Building – want to get more out of it than just searching and following? Start joining in conversations, make lists of different sub-group areas you’d like to hone in on, and be there to congratulate others are their accomplishments, successful product launches or their great tweets!

    Don’t be fake. Seriously, create conversations!

I’m not oblivious to the fact that Twitter is just one tool. Facebook, Pinterest, Squidoo, LinkedIn, Scoop.it, Paperli …the list goes on.

They aren’t technology tools. They are communication tools that happen to leverage technology. They are only as useful as the person operating the computer keys.  (-:

Tweet with us at @nudgevillage !

Graphic of the Aflac duck
InspirationLearning

Aaaaafllllllaaaaaccccccc!

So, since I claim that I am the “Chief Nudger,” I figure I should be an example of trying out new things. Graphic of the Aflac duck

In the spirit of personal growth, a friend and I decided to try out for the spokesduck opening at Aflac in March. If you hadn’t heard, the prior spokesduck made some rude comments and was fired.

So, though we have no voice talent, and have never tried this type of thing before, we knew our chances were slim, but hey…you can’t win if you don’t try, right?

Here’s a link to the contest – http://www.quackaflac.com/.

Long story turned short – we both got our rejection emails this week. They have 10 finalists out of the 12,000 applicants. Wow! I was surprised that the number of applicants wasn’t higher and so I had a little hope that sometime in the future might bear more promising results. (-:

Do you want to hear what I sent in to the contest?

We’ll upload it once we find the best place to upload the file – since this site doesn’t allow it and it had a “failure” message when I tried to upload it to YouTube.

They gave us tips on different sounds to make (excited, sad, frightened, etc.) – just in case you thought it was a bit strange. We had 30 seconds to provide different voices.

Just wanted to share how important it is to try. Now I know:

  • It isn’t as hard as it looks.
  • I need to find a good site to upload audio only – besides iTunes.
  • I can laugh at myself and share the story with others – spread the joy of making and learning from mistakes.

Can’t wait to hear the new Aflac voice! It better be good!

Free - the Future of a Radical Price
LearningMarketing

FREE – The Future of a Radical Price

Yes, this is a post about something FREE.

And, thank goodness it is free because the name of the book/podcast: Free - the Future of a Radical Price

Free – The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson

You must download this into your iTunes account or listen to it here.

Part of this is based upon a concept we are familiar with on our Saturday trips to the grocery store or Costco. Free samples, supposedly free add ons to an item we’ve purchased, and rebates that make us feel like we got a deal.

But, Chris is talking about really giving something of value free to the marketplace.

He even uses an example of an airline in Europe that can afford to give free airplane flights because their business model allows them to earn money through other avenues.

As an entrepreneur, you most likely need cash and you need it fast.

However, this book/podcast gives a long term perspective on building relationships, adding value to the marketplace and …in the long term maybe even making more money through providing a lot of your expertise for free.

Don’t want to share too much here, but it is worth downloading (or listening to on the laptop) while you go on a walk or clean the kitchen or garage. It came out a couple of years ago, but is still applicable to where the marketplace is going.

P.S. I just went in and looked at the times for each chapter. Looks like this will take three hours to listen to which means it was interesting enough for me to think I only had it on for an hour. (-: