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During a recent trip to Boston, I was lucky enough to catch up with a friend of mine from high school. Our lives have taken wildly divergent paths, and while I've ended up in the collaboration field, he's found himself as an instructor at the United States Military Academy, AKA West Point. Over omlettes in Southie, as the wind whipped through the narrow streets outside, we started to find a place where our viewpoints began to converge: the subject of active learning.
The last two weeks have really been a bit of a whirlwind for me, but they've also been pretty educational. I got the chance to go to Boston for Inbound, the annual marketing conference held by HubSpot, and when I returned, our international marketing team (Nikki from South Africa, Marjorie from Rotterdam) had come to Dallas in order to collectively chart our course in 2017. When it was all said and done, I had a fairly life-shattering revelation: we should really all just agree that email is a pretty bad way to communicate inside our own organizations.
As a company, we mostly cater to two markets: business and education. That's been our main focus since we started, and it will likely be our larger focus going forward. As we learn more about these markets, though, it becomes obvious that sometimes you miss some things about the bigger picture. For instance, looking at the big picture, the education market itself is really all about catering to the business market. Schools, especially higher-ed institutions, are all about getting students graduated and placed, after all. So it makes sense that the big drivers in the way schools are moderninzing (like flipped classrooms, project based learning, or using huddle spaces) are all directly relatable to kinds of things businesses are looking at in regards to new hires. But what do these modern learning techniques provide that "normal" classrooms don't? Let's work it out...
If you're a reader of this blog, you're no doubt aware that I'm something of a sucker for gamified learning. In the past, we covered some fairly specific topics, such using my favorite game, Kerbal Space Program, in your classroom, or how to conduct an "Hour of Code" event. Today, we'll get a bit broader and talk about gamifying your entire classroom.
We've instituted the option to lock down your wePresent with a 4-digit code, in order to connect. With security concerns running so high these days, we thought it prudent to provide a way to ensure that the people connecting to the wePresent in your room were actually, you know, in your room. There's a few different options regarding the 4-digit code, however, and enabling it requires making some changes in the wePresent's web admin panel. Don't worry though, read on, and you'll see how easy it is...
There's no getting around it: meetings, outside of email, are where most communication happens inside of the workplace. While a lot of information gets conveyed via emails, text messages, and phone calls, a lot is lost in terms of communication, and meetings give us that physical space to share with each other while zinging information back and forth. There are those people who are annoyed by ineffective meetings, those that sometimes discount what they could be doing to make them better: they could just come prepared for those meetings.
What are the best ways to prepare for an effective meeting? Well, let's get into that, shall we?
Meetings are a reality of the business world. From the largest company-wide seminar, on down to 15-minute scrums with the people who work on a project you're leading, there's a wide range of ways to exchange ideas with your team. But there are a few things you should know about business mettings that may change the way you conduct them.
The professor draws the equation out on the whiteboard, the room filling with the tang of dry-erasemarker as he fervently sets the problem up for the class to solve. He steps aside, sets the marker down, and surveys his own work for mistakes before turning around.