By Meredith Cicerchia on April 22nd, 2014 | Comment on this post

GlobeTo instruct or not to instruct has been a source of controversy in the field of applied linguistics since Krashen first introduced his comprehensible input theory in the 1980s. The debate over the utility of explicitly learned knowledge in language learning has come full circle again thanks to a new crop of digital immersion platforms, including Duolingo, Lingua.ly and Bliu Bliu. These platforms skip the grammar and go straight for the good stuff: target language content from the Internet.

The world of language education has seen several waves of change over the past two decades, not least the abandonment of the audio-lingual method in favor of communicative language teaching and the advent of language software with interactive exercises and extensive stores of content, but a new generation of digital tools is now coming to the forefront to change the game yet again. Combining the enormous wealth of content on the Internet with the power of super-charged language processing algorithms, applications are going where no language educator has gone before, implementing ideal conditions for language acquisition with amazing accuracy.…

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By on April 22nd, 2014 | Comment on this post

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How aware are you of the negative perceptions others might have of your actions?

  • Very aware — I always know how my actions can be seen negatively: 29.66%
  • Aware — I know the perceptions of major actions but miss seeing others: 56.51%
  • Not very aware — I know about negative perceptions after they’re pointed out: 11.62%
  • Oblivious — I rarely see the negative perceptions others can have of my actions: 2.2%

Look through a new lens. Perceptions are tricky. We think we know how others see us but the lens we look through is often rose colored. If you want to mitigate negative perceptions, you first have to see what they might be. The fastest way to do that is simply ask “what’s the worst way my words or actions could be perceived right now?” Once you know that worst case, you can better see how others might see you and take appropriate steps to ensure you’re seen in the light you want to be seen in.…

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By Drew Neisser on April 22nd, 2014 | Comment on this post

Like it or not, Facebook is no longer the “free” community mecca that marketers with a guerrilla mentality fervently embraced years ago. Just looking at the organic reach over the last 27 months of the many brands Renegade manages, we’ve seen a decline from a peak of nearly 20% in 2012 to a new low of under 5% in 2014. Our data tracks with that of other studies, leaving little room for doubt on this point:

Despite the clarity of the data, many marketers have yet to embrace the reality that as of March 2014, only a meager 1 in 20 of their Facebook fans are seeing their carefully crafted “organic” posts. At the risk of being painfully clear, to reach the other 95% of your fans on Facebook now requires paying Zuckerberg & Co. his due. This of course begs the question, what’s a thrifty and socially savvy tactician to do now?…

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By Jamie Pagliaro on April 21st, 2014 | 1 comment on this post

iStock_000003772536SmallIn April, educators, parents and advocates across the country will help raise awareness about autism, highlight inspiring stories of families and hopefully explain the progress we have made in the classroom. Thanks to advancements in research, we are becoming increasingly aware of what makes our educators more effective in helping children with autism reach their highest potential. Perhaps the most exciting development is the discovery that students with autism can thrive in general-education classrooms.

Research shows that when students with intellectual and development disabilities are educated in mainstream education classrooms with their peers, they do better both academically and socially.

For educators who have worked with students with autism, you know the rewards are great. But for teachers who haven’t worked with students with autism, the challenges and unknown can seem daunting.

So how can educators make their classroom a welcoming and productive environment for all students?

  1. Location, location, location. Seat students in the “action zone” of your classroom, a place that is front and center, near the teacher and away from distractions.
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By on April 21st, 2014 | Comment on this post

Of course you’re already a good boss, or you wouldn’t be reading this article. You may even be a great boss. But how do you stay at the top of your game? You do it by modeling great boss behavior on a daily basis.

Of course, you don’t get up every morning, look at that face in the mirror, and proclaim, “I’m going to be a great boss today.” Instead, you spend a little time on introspection and make some key personal decisions. Once you have created the internal foundation, you will more naturally do what a great boss does and you’ll be able to grow your people by showing them the way. Begin by asking yourself these three questions:

  • Where are you going?
  • Who’s going with you?
  • How are you going to get there?

But wait — how will you find time for this? It’s so easy to get stuck in the day-to-day rut.…

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