Category Archives for Mindset

Teaching changes the world. Are you ready for what that means?

Hands together equalty concept. Hand drawn Illustration


In my book, Course Design Formula: How to Teach Anything to Anyone Online, I talk about the difference between really teaching someone something, and simply exposing them to information.

Real teaching changes the world because it produces transformation.

goldfish jumping off to new fishtank


When you set out to create an online course, the first thing to determine is the IMPACT your course will have.

How will your course participants be different (and better!) as a direct result of taking your course?

What's the TRANSFORMATION your course will deliver?


In order to help someone learn something new,

 we have to first (gently) encourage them to leave their comfort zone.

Cat lying on grass under umbrella

You can't learn anything new if you stay in your comfort zone.

The reason it's  your comfort zone is that you already know everything in it!

The pandemic has forced the entire planet to leave its comfort zone.

Whatever specific pain point is leading people to take an online course,

stands against the general backdrop of the generalized pain we all are in

due to the pandemic.


The need for transformation, in all areas of life, is tremendous.

As the promoters and producers of  transformation, we need to be tuned into and aware of the tremendous level of pain our target audience is feeling.

It's not the same as before the pandemic.

Everything has changed.

The environmental backdrop against which you are creating and delivering an online course (or a whole online academy), is very different today than it was a year ago.


Globe Covered in Bandages

       
If you're thinking about creating an online course, or are already creating one, think about the area of life your course will address.

 How will your course make life better for your course participants? What level of pain will it alleviate and address:

Maslow's pyramid of needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  • Physical well-being and basic survival needs
  • Emotional comfort and social connections
  • Intellectual understanding and skills
  • The search for meaning and fulfillment

In order to address our learners' pain points,  we have to temporarily make their pain worse.  

And given the current conditions, that is especially challenging right now.

For example, if you're teaching a mindset course about adopting healthier eating habits, your course participants will have to let go of familiar foods that they find comforting, in order to learn to love new foods that they don't yet know about or like.

Normally, the level of pain involved in learning something new, is manageable.

But right now, when so many are already in so much pain, we as facilitators of transformation need to be aware that we are, temporarily, asking our learners to face even MORE pain than they already have been facing for an extended period of time.

stick figure in balance with pros and cons

The pain involved in learning something new is GOOD pain.
It leads to positive change and productive results.
It's like the (mild) pain of a good workout, that helps our muscles grow.

Young male athlete running on race track.


It's just that everyone on the planet has been doing an intensive "workout" for the past year, just to stay alive.

 So we need to factor that background pain into the equation

as we think about how to create a safe, supportive learning space in which our course participants can grow.


What's the solution?
 
Be extra kind and understanding, both to yourself as the facilitator of transformation, and to those who depend on, connect with, and learn from you.
 
What does this mean in practical terms?

heart painted on frozen glass
  • Be extra patient, especially when its hard.
  • Be extra kind to yourself, as well as to others
Adhesive Tapes Moving Forward on Solid Blue Colored Background. Standing Out from the Crowd Concept.


You are doing important work.

You are changing the world.

It's a marathon, not a sprint,

so pace yourself and take the long view.


If you need to learn new skills (such as how to use a particular type of media, or new tech skills), give yourself the time and space to do it...but do it.

Keep going and don't give up.

The world needs your teaching, and the transformation it provides, now more than ever.

Black Board with "Never Give Up!" written on it by white chalk.

Are you, too, tapping into the extraordinary levels of pain that are out there in the world right now?

How are you managing it for yourself and your community of learners?

What pain point(s) will your course address, and how will your course ultimately help to make that pain better?

How will you support your learners through the times when they have to step out of their comfort zones?

Let's continue the conversation in the Facebook group... and I hope you will join us on Saturday for the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting, so we can support each other in supporting those we are here to serve.


Come to the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting... Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern on Zoom

We're focusing on how to  use our online teaching practices and online businesses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive during these challenging times. 

Click here to register for the meeting

many people online in a conference call

Creating deeper connections with yourself and others

people inside social distancing circles reaching out to one another virtually


This week in the Course Design Formula® Master Course, we’re focusing on learner research.

We're exploring the questions we need to ask of ourselves and others, to find out:

  • Who our ideal course participants are
  • What they want and need to learn from us
  • How much they already know about the subject we want to teach

Often, we start out planning to teach skills (a "how-to" course) in our area of expertise... only to discover that our target audience first needs to adopt a mind-set change (via an attitude course) in order to first be READY to learn those skills. 

Why is having the right MINDSET such an important foundation

for learning new skills?


People shut down and stop learning if they feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened.

Under conditions of threat, the body goes into fight or flight mode,

 and the mental and emotional resources required for learning become luxuries we can’t afford.



So as educators,  our first job is to help the people who want to learn from us

 feel supported and safe enough to take the risks required for real learning to take place.

  KINDNESS is one of the most important qualities needed to promote learning.

As Maya Angelou famously said:

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

How do you create a positive climate for learning online?

It's helpful to be clear on your own values as an educator and community leader.

Working at home having a video conference with colleagues

                    Here are some of mine:

  • I see my role as one of inspiring people
  • The only  dumb question is the one that you don’t ask
  • It's important to understand the power of a teachers' words

What do I mean by "the power of a teacher's words?"

As a teacher, your words have the power to inspire and encourage your learners to achieve more...

 far beyond the time they spend with you.

POSITIVE EXAMPLE

NEGATIVE EXAMPLE

A teacher of mine in a foreign language class once used my name in an example sentence, to make a grammar point. 

The sentence he came up with was, "Rebecca has beautiful clothes".

 It wasn't even a real statement.

 It was a made-up sentence used to teach a point... but ever since then, I have thought of myself as a person who has beautiful clothes (in stark contrast to how I thought of myself before).

The converse is also true: I once worked with an adult learner who thought of herself as unable to read. 

It turns out she could actually read quite well, but had been telling herself she couldn't (and depriving herself of the joys of reading) due to the unkind and harmful words an elementary teacher of hers had used many years ago.

 I didn't teach her to read by teaching her phonics and decoding skills, because she already had those. Instead, I helped her adjust her mindset to a positive one where she was able to think of herself as a person who CAN read... and who  deserved to enjoy doing so.

How do you create a positive classroom climate? How do you turn negatives into positives?

Here are some methods that I find effective:

  • Encourage feedback
  • Encourage asking questions
  • Provide prompt and responsive tech support
  • Be patient
  • Encourage learners to connect with each other as well as with you
  • Promote a spirit of inquiry
  • Focus on learning as a PROCESS, rather than on the creation of a PRODUCT
me in my coaching studio

Sometimes, clients and students may need and want to focus on the creation of a product, over and above the process of learning.

That's where coaching comes in.

In my coaching practice, I do the "heavy lifting" of operating the gears and levers of the Course Design Formula®.

My clients focus on their subject matter expertise, and together we create a product (their elegant online course, or whole academy).


Teaching requires a deeper level of effort and involvement, on the learner's part, than coaching does...

because in teaching, what is being changed and transformed is not a product that the learner creates, but rather, the learner themself.

How are you reaching out to your potential (or actual)  learners, to find out how you can serve them better?

How are you promoting an atmosphere of kindness, caring, support and inspiration in your online community and courses?

And perhaps most important: how are you being kind to, and nurturing, yourself and your creativity,

so you have the energy and focus you need to inspire and support and guide the community you serve?

Let's talk about it in the Facebook Group during the week, and at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday. 

I hope you can join us and share your perspectives, insights, questions, and ideas!


Come to the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting... Saturdays at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern on Zoom

We're focusing on how to  use our online teaching practices and online businesses to help ourselves and others survive and thrive during these challenging times. 

Click here to register for the meeting

many people online in a conference call

Gratitude, Fulfillment, and Ease

Thank You written in different languages on speech bubbles.

As you reflect on the past year, with its unprecedented challenges, and think ahead to 2021, it can be helpful to adopt a practice created many years ago by Chris Brogan, which he calls "#My3Words".

I adopted this practice last year for the first time, and it worked! My three words for 2020 were:

  • Prosperity
  • Service
  • Joy

Despite the surrounding conditions that 2020 presented to us all, these three words helped keep my focus on an even keel... allowing me to serve clients, students, and customers in ways that brought joy and allowed me to make a sustainable living in challenging times. I am profoundly thankful.

#My3Words for 2021 are:

  • Gratitude
  • Fulfillment
  • Ease

I wish for these not only for myself but also for all my readers, clients, customers, students, family, friends and members of the Learn and Get Smarter community...and for everyone in the world.


To start the new year off on a note of gratitude:

screenshot of the art materials for Alli Berman's Color Your Gratitude course

Color Your Gratitude

with artist Alli Berman

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

5 PM Eastern/ 2 PM Pacific

on Zoom

Are you ready to uplevel your online teaching practice in the new year?

The time is NOW if you would like to reserve a spot in the January 12th cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course.

(Write to me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com if you'd like to talk about it).

To learn more, watch my new, free, Master Class and learn three secrets of online course design.

I hope that 2021 will be a gracious year for you, filled with gratitude, fulfillment, and ease in all areas of your work and life. 

Screenshot of webinar registration page

Sign up to the Webinar

Secure your place in our free webinar on course design and learn to make your course stand out from the crowd!

Step into your power as a teacher

Senior African woman in classroom

The pandemic has thrown the importance of learning, and especially online learning, into high relief.

Going to school is a privilege that, we are now seeing, we can’t take for granted. The issue of equal access to online education for all, is a profound social issue that lies at the heart of building a society that provides equal opportunities for all.

As we’ve explored in the pages of this blog, barriers created by lack of access to technology, or lack of knowledge as to how technology works, are the biggest obstacles to online learning.

The next biggest obstacle is poor learning design… an obstacle that can be overcome using the Course Design Formula®.

siilhouette of a person's head with a lightbulb inside it

Even with good learning design, we also need to take individual learning styles and preferences into account.

As I shared in last week’s blog post, I’m creating a course to help each learner customize their own learning experience in any online course they ever take… including yours.

So those are the obstacles we need to overcome.

But How?

What’s the biggest facilitator of online learning? 

What’s the one thing that makes the most important difference

in helping people learn online?

The biggest facilitator of online learning is YOU.

You, the teacher.


 Who are you, as a teacher?

What do your interests, training, and life experiences uniquely qualify you to teach to a global audience?

 What’s the key transformation you are on this planet to help people achieve?



That’s a really big question,

and the answer might not be what seems immediately obvious,

on the surface.

Take me. I thought I was here to help people create effective and engaging online courses. And I am. That is what I do.

But if you look behind that, look deeper, what do you see?

You see that:


I am on this planet to help you  step into YOUR power as a teacher, 

and express that power to a global audience.

That’s my unique teaching proposition.

That’s what I’m here to help you do.

Take a minute and think about what YOU are here to do. 

Start at the surface level... what’s the clear and obvious end product of the online course or courses you want to create?

Then go deeper. Look behind that surface level.

  • Why is it important that people achieve that result?
  • How will the world be a better place because of what you help people do?
  • How will your course participants’ lives be different and better because they were lucky enough to cross paths with you, and take your course?
  • And why does that matter… to you, to them, and to the world?



What is your “WHY” for teaching online?

 Finding your why is an important component of mindset change.

But...why do we need an attitude adjustment for online learning?
happy and sad faces

We need it because setting up a successful online teaching business is a marathon, not a sprint.

This is a community of dedicated experts and entrepreneurs, whose motive for teaching online is to make a positive difference in others' lives.

We're neither fooled nor motivated by popular ads that suggest it's possible to make oodles of cash by "teaching online while you sleep", without having to actually do any work or know anything about our subject matter.

In order to fulfill our goals as service-oriented, mission-driven online educators, we've dedicated our lives to learning a LOT about what we are here to teach.

And we know we have to be awake to do it… both literally and figuratively.

NO

teacher sleeping on top of her desk

YES

Female Teacher at Blackboard

The conventional wisdom in the online course marketing space, is that one should sell one’s course before one has built it.  

I find that many people in the Learn and Get Smarter community, myself included, don’t find this way of thinking about course creation workable for the courses we want to create.

It certainly makes sense to pilot one’s course and test one’s ideas to be sure there’s a market for them,  and to find out who our future course participants are and what they want and need to learn from us.

(I've even created an action plan to help you get started on that process, if you haven't already.)

But the kinds of courses the members of this community are committed to building can’t be put together in a week or two once we’ve seen there’s demand. 

If you’re part of this community it’s because you want to share your life’s work with the world in a meaningfully transformative way, and it takes time to build an online course that can truly change peoples' lives.


Selling an online course is hard, there’s no doubt about it.

 But creating an online course that provides real value and real results,

 is even harder.

And if you don’t have an online course that provides real value and real results,

you won’t have anything you'll be truly excited about selling, to begin with.


Understanding who YOU are as a teacher, mentor, and guide is key to this whole process. 

As that teacher, mentor, and guide, you are going to be leading groups of people on a journey from point A to point B.

What’s the journey you want to take people on, and why is it important to you to do that?

People walking in line across painted brain, on asphalt

And since it's the time of year when we explore things that are on the scary side,

let's remember what's REALLY scary in online courses.... long talking heads videos

that put your students to sleep and turn them into ZOMBIES!


You are invited to continue the conversation in the Facebook group,

 and at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting next Saturday.

I hope you can join in and share your thoughts.

What is YOUR deep purpose for teaching online?

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 31st,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Turning Points

Footpath winding through colorful forest

For the past six months, almost since the pandemic began, a dedicated group of Learn and Get Smarter community members have met every Saturday for two hours or more, to discuss how to survive and thrive during these unprecedented times.

We shared our personal reflections and professional expertise to gain deeper insight into what works when dealing with high levels of uncertainty and risk.

This past Saturday for the first time in six months, only two people in addition to myself attended the meeting. I had received thoughtful emails in advance from several community members, explaining that they wanted to come but needed to be at a conference, a study session, or an event of some kind.

The thought that occurs to me is that as a group, we may have reached a turning point. Maybe people weren't coming to talk about how to survive and thrive during these times, because they were just too busy out there actually thriving.

It's fall and a turning point feels underway. People are settling in to this new reality, whatever form it takes for them, and thinking about how they want to learn and grow in the weeks and months ahead.

Falling Autumn leaves before sunset

This feels like a time of transition.

🍂Some processes that have been in the works for a long time, are coming to completion and winding down.🍂

🌱And at the same time, the seeds of new growth are quietly germinating, as yet unseen, underground. 🌱

mug with autumn squashes

The most recent cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course has completed learning the steps of how to design a highly effective and engaging online course.

Now  that group has moved on to Course Crafters Camp™, our hands-on workshop-oriented community for Course Design Formula® Master Course graduates..

 This past week at Camp (it's a virtual learning space, not an actual physical place), Rhonda Anderson Lauritzen of Evalogue.life workshopped a presentation on storyboarding.

It was so meaningful to experience Rhonda's  masterful teaching informed by instructional design best practices.

Rhonda had us all in the palm of her hand with her mesmerizing presentation. Tapping into the power of story was a profound experience.

Rhonda offers a variety of courses including memoir writing and writing about sensitive subjects. If you have been thinking of writing your life story, I recommend her courses very very highly.

Seeing students successfully put into action the skills and abilities they've learned in  your course,

 is a powerful moment for any teacher.

Productivity expert Chris Bailey points out that  it's important to take time to both rest and celebrate after completing a big project.  Teaching your online course, publishing a book, or any large creative project would fit into this category of life events.

Woman relaxes on mountain lakeshore at sunrise


For me, there is so much joy in the journey, 

that I feel a bit of sadness upon actually reaching the destination.

 I don't want the journey to be over!

And of course, it's not over...it's just turned a corner and entered a new phase.  

Internet communities can have shifting identities, like tide pools... springing up suddenly as the need arises, and then changing again when conditions change. 

It's possible that the sparse attendance at last week's community meeting was just a fluke... and we'll pick up again next week.

 It's also possible that the need for the community has changed, in which case, time will tell.

If that's the case, I'm thinking of making the Saturday  morning time slot into my weekly "office hours" ... when anyone in the community can stop by to ask questions about instructional design or course creation.

Colorful Starfish in Tide Pool

So here are my turning points:

  •  I'm getting ready for the January, 2021 cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course. 
  • I'm working on various aspects of my business: from honing my products and services to delivering private coaching to amazing clients.
  • I'm quietly taking the pulse of the times to get a sense of where people need help creating powerfully transformative courses that really teach, at a deep level.
  • I'm watching with gratitude and awe as colleagues, students, and friends take off on their own journeys, and achieve success after working so hard for so long.

I'm thankful to be part of this moment in history, together with all of you.

 I really can't think of a more exciting time for us all to be working together to shape the online learning space.

What turning points are you experiencing in your business and teaching practice? 

What's new and coming up for you?

 I'd love to hear about it ...in the Facebook group or via email at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com. 

And of course, I hope you will join me next Saturday at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting, so we can continue the conversation as a group, if that's what the group wants to do.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 3rd,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Who are you here to serve?

Group of people on peak mountain climbing helping team work , travel trekking success business concept

In honor of Father's Day, which just passed, I'd like to send a note of appreciation to all members of the Learn and Get Smarter community who are Dads.

Fathers are powerful teachers, not only in their own children's lives but for the community as a whole, and I'd like to share some wisdom that I learned from my own father, that is relevant to the endeavor we are all engaged in: creating effective and engaging online courses that really teach, at a deep level.

My father had a reservoir of stories and anecdotes, many of which were passed down from HIS father in the form of wisdom tales, and I'd like to share one with you now. It goes like this (and please keep in mind that this is intended purely as a humorous teaching story, and not as a theological treatise or commentary of any kind).

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a man who, unlike all of you, did not lead an exemplary life. He wasn't like you at all, because he wasn't kind, he wasn't caring, and he didn't do good things to help others. So, unfortunately, after he passed away he ended up in... well, let's just put it politely by saying, he didn't get to go to a very nice place.

Instead,  he found himself in the nether regions being greeted by a guide who offered to give him a tour of the facilities.  

The man, however, was very surprised by what he saw there! He was expecting to see all kinds of punishments... but instead he saw a lush banquet table piled to the brim with delectable goodies.

How could this be? People were seated on both sides of the table, and in front of them was every kind of delicacy imaginable!

"I'm confused", the man said to his tour guide. "I thought that being down here was supposed to be a punishment?"

"Look closer," his guide admonished, and when he did, the man saw  that the people at the table had been given extra long forks... forks that were longer than their own arms.

Even though all sorts of delicious food was right in front of them, the people were not able get it into their mouths.

"Would you like to see what it's like upstairs?" his kind guide  asked. "You can't stay there, but you can get a quick glimpse of what you're missing."

The man was very curious, so he jumped at the chance to see what the reward of a virtuous life would have been like.  When they got there for the tour, though, he was even more surprised.

At first glance, it looked JUST like what he'd seen downstairs! He saw the same banquet table, piled high with the same delectable treats! And he even saw... the same long forks!

"Now wait just one minute," the man exclaimed in confusion. "How is this any different than what we just saw downstairs?"

"Look closer" his wise guide told him.  

And when the man looked closer, he realized in a flash what the difference was.

Here, the people were not trying (and failing) to feed themselves using those extra long forks.

Instead, they were using the long forks to feed each other across the table."

And that one difference in perspective, the perspective of focusing on serving others, was what made all the difference .


At the Learn and Get Smarter community meetings, and in this blog, we've considered how our own missions and businesses can contribute to overcoming inequities and creating a better world for all.

When I think of the people who make up this learning and teaching community, one thing stands out:

 This is a community focused on using online courses as a way of serving others. 

The courses we are working so hard to create, are our own "long forks". 

At last week's community meeting, we touched on the issue of leadership as an important factor that determines whether individuals, families, communities, nations, and our planet as a whole, can survive and thrive.

The pandemic throws these issues into high relief, creating a learning opportunity--a learning NECESSITY--for our planet as a whole.

When leadership at any level is focused in self-serving ways (trying to feed ITSELF with those long forks), not only is the result unsatisfying, but everyone ends up feeling terrible.

Enlightened leadership, on the other hand, is focused on SERVICE.


Service can include:

  • Promoting physical health and well-being for oneself and others
  • Strengthening positive relationships between individuals and among groups
  • Developing business practices that support the good of all
  • Creating opportunities for others to learn and grow
  • Building communities that enhance the well-being of all their members
  • Working towards local and global economies that sustainably meet everyone's needs

Online learning is at the epicenter of the shakeup that is happening in the pandemic's wake. Creating online learning that truly serves the communities we are called to work with, is not just a job, a profession, or a role.

Transformative online teaching is a calling, and if you're reading this, you have heard, and answered, that call.

In the Course Design Formula® Master Course this week, we will be delving into market research. One can think of market research as a way of learning more about the people we are here to serve, and how we can best serve them. Who are they? What are they dealing with? What help do they need that we are able to provide?

Whether you are in the course, or are able to come to the community meeting next Saturday, or not, let's all take some time this week to reflect on the people sitting across from us at the long banquet table of life. What can we provide them with, to make their lives better? How can we promote perspectives of service in our courses, our businesses, and in the world?

We'll continue to explore these ideas together, at the community meeting next Saturday. I hope you can join us and share your thoughts.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Click on the green button to register for the meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Group of Multiethnic Diverse World People

Online education as an antidote to racism

White letters on black background that read

How does the mission of your business address racism?  

What can each of us do as online educators, to address this systemic problem?

At the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, June 6th, in the midst of one of the most tumultuous weeks in American history, we took a hard look at our businesses and our areas of expertise. And we found some surprising and encouraging connections.

For example, this article from the New York Times points out that the African American community is being affected more adversely than other communities, by the move to online learning, for reasons relating to computer ownership and internet access among many others. But while many people don't have computers, most do have smartphones.

What this means for online educators is that it's critical to make sure our online courses are mobile friendly and responsive, so that people accessing them from smartphones have the same opportunity to learn as those using computers.

One might not have thought of "mobile first" as a tool for fighting systemic racism.​

It may be a small tool, but it's an important one.

In fact, while large sweeping changes are certainly required, it may be small micro-shifts that hold the most power. As one of our brilliant community members, Janice Fingler, pointed out, " Microshifts are very valuable right now... on an individual scale. Making shifts in how we interact with each other becomes a way of slowly nudging the system."

What micro-shifts can you make in your business, to contribute to fighting racism?

What is YOUR business mission and your purpose for teaching online?
How do these promote justice, fairness, equality and opportunity for all?

Ben & Jerry's provides an inspiring (and tasty!) example of powerful business values that really pack a punch (as well as a pint). 

While remaining true to their core business focus on providing delicious ice cream, Ben & Jerry's also focuses on promoting social justice. As they explain on the "Values" page of their website, they begin their focus on values "inside the pint", by supporting local sustainable farming. 

I thought about this example with reference to my own business. What are MY main ingredients and how can I use them to fight racism?

My main supplier is my licensed image subscription. I work hard to ensure that the images of people on my website and in my courses and marketing materials represent and include all races, and not just in token ways.

Over time I've been able to train the search algorithm to show me more diverse groups of people and specifically, more African American people, so that my web page and course materials reflect the values I hold of being a place of welcome for all.

Chocolate ice cream in a cone bowl

Being mobile friendly? Showing diverse images? These are small things. These are micro shifts. But they lead to big things, because  online learning must be both accessible and welcoming if people of all races are to benefit from it.

But the big shift that my business makes is the shift to online learning that really delivers on the promises it makes. 

How does that fight racism?

Education has always been a tool in the fight against racism.

Lack of education, poor education, and education that does not contribute to the empowerment and well-being of all people, are the equivalent of missing, broken, or even dangerous tools. 

The Covid19 pandemic has adversely affected people of color more than others due to the effects of systemic racism. The pandemic has also shifted the focus of education online, much faster than would have happened otherwise.

It's critical that education delivered online be not only accessible and welcoming to people of all races, but also highly effective at actually teaching what is promised.

Parents and community members may need to step into the gap to ensure that students of all ages are able to learn as well online as they used to in physical classrooms. 

Helping my students and clients create effective online learning programs helps THEIR clients and students, who can be of any race. My goal is to provide opportunity for all through highly effective online learning that really WORKS.

My mission is to ensure that as you create your own online courses you have everything you need to provide powerful, effective tools that promote positive change and deliver real transformation for the people you are here to serve.

The Course Design Formula Master Course starts June 16th!

Make this YOUR summer to make a powerful difference for the people you're here to serve.


 If you're willing to devote 2 hours a week to class and 2 hours a week to creating your course, you'll be ready to teach online in a way that really makes a difference, by fall.

Write to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com to reserve your spot!

The Learn and Get Smarter community is diverse demographically and geographically, while being united in shared goals of service, transformation, and making a difference through teaching online.

Online teaching can create jobs and promote entrepreneurship  for everyone. Being one's own boss is a great solution for anyone who faces a glass ceiling (or worse) in the traditional workplace. 

There are many role models of highly successful African American entrepreneurs in the online learning space, such as Xayli Barclay and Danielle Leslie.

There are many vibrant, dynamic and successful experts and entrepreneurs of all races and backgrounds, within the Learn and Get Smarter community.

(Perhaps some of them would like to step forward and showcase their work in this space in future weeks. That's an option we can discuss at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, June 13th). 

I hope to see you there as we continue to explore our work and service in the context of these challenging and historic times!

Register for the meeting

Saturday, June 13th  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 noon Eastern

Many people portrait on a tablet screen

Exploring Solutions and Finding Synergy

Groups of people working together to solve complex problems

At our Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on Saturday, May 2nd, we started filling in the content for the course we're creating about how to survive and thrive under changing conditions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We started by sharing solutions we've each found, that are working for us, to take good care of ourselves. 

Each solution, we realized, creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to move in and help fill new niches, including some that never existed before.

Solutions we found

that create opportunities for:

Setting up a home office

Home ergonomists, office planners, Feng Shui experts, professional organizers, furniture sales

Practicing meditation and mindfulness

Mindfulness coaches

Getting support and building community with others who share a vision of building online courses that make a difference. 


Being in the midst of people who help us make sense of what's going on.



All of us in the Learn and Get Smarter community

Keeping a positive outlook. Acknowledging there's a cloud, and then looking for the silver lining in it!

Laughter coaches, humor writers, YouTube video creators, Meme masters

Finding ways to have fun.

Mind-mapping ways to have fun

Taking care of our physical selves through movement, exercise, and dance.

Physical trainers, dance, yoga, pilates and exercise instructors

Reflecting on how our vision for what we need to accomplish, has changed... and how it needs to change. Creating vision boards. 

Life coaches, productivity planners, success coaches, therapists

Creating daily structure and schedules, with focus and purpose and gratitude.

Creating planners and journals. Doing Facebook Lives to teach our methods to others. Creating things to sell that have inspirational messages to give as gifts. Opportunities for home organizers, professional organizers, motivational workers. Opportunity to build social capital and goodwill. 

Focusing on things we had meant to do before the pandemic but  never had time for (cleaning out that closet, learning to bake bread, developing a skill.)

Creating online courses on ANY topic or skill

Developing a feeling of competence and control by creating new structures and systems and schedules that work with the current reality. Creating daily and weekly schedules that work efficiently and are predictable.


(Some of these are better than what we had before.)

Instacart workers, people who want to help others by doing errands. Writing blog posts. Creating online processes for ordering and delivery and other systems for doing business while keeping people safe.

At next week's community meeting we will continue exploring solutions we're finding to take care of ourselves and our families...and brainstorming the business opportunities these solutions create for our community of online course creators.

Explore solutions 

and find opportunities

many people online in a conference call

Come to the community meeting on Saturday, May 9th, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

Speaking of taking care of ourselves and our families: how are you feeling? How are you doing?

What solutions and opportunities are you finding to cope with the pandemic?

I notice that as time goes on, we may become better at handling the basics such as how to get food or cope with being at home, while finding the  emotional aspects of social distancing more difficult to take.

One thing I find challenging is not being able to go out into nature (I realize that for some this is not an issue, while for others it is).

So I'm going to start exploring virtual reality as a way of experiencing environments other than the walls of my own home.

(This is an example of how the pandemic can create an accelerated learning curve... which may end up being a good thing.)

What new methods, modalities, and systems are you using to cope? 

Write to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and let me know... and/or, come to the meeting and share what you've discovered that works!

The current pandemic and learning

Social distancing, keep distance in public society people to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak spreading concept, businessman, woman keep distance away by drawing circle with virus pathogens

At the most fundamental, biological, level, learning is the process of adapting to one's environment in ways that promote survival. 

Which means that all of humanity is currently facing a learning task of tremendous proportions.

One of the things I've heard most often during the past week, is that we can't know how to adapt, because we are dealing with an unprecedented situation that has many unknown factors. As a society, we have no prior knowledge of how to deal with this pandemic.

In our community discussion last Saturday, we came to the realization that while we don't have the answers, we do have an important question:


What is the most helpful MINDSET we can adopt,

 as individuals and as communities,

to cope with the tremendous learning challenge we all now face?

We decided that this coming Saturday,

we will use the format and structure of a mindset change course to guide our discussion of these issues.

Following the format of a mindset-change course, here's what we will discuss:

Orange Colored Pencil Standing Out From The Crowd
  • What  unhelpful or ineffective attitudes and behaviors have contributed to the current crisis?
  • What attitudes and behaviors will be more helpful and effective, going forward?
  • What is our personal and collective motivation for adopting the helpful attitudes we discover?
  • Can we find some role models of successful adaptation to a crisis of these proportions?
  • How can we  provide each other with long term ongoing support to reinforce the helpful attitudes we discover?


Come join the discussion on Saturday. 

I'll limit it to two hours

(if we need more time, we can continue the following week).

Learn how to set up a mindset change course by creating one together as a community.

Let's brainstorm and create synergy as we focus on discovering helpful, effective ways to contribute to positive change in the face of this crisis. 

I can't think of  a deeper, or more relevant, definition of "learning" than that. Hope to see you at the meeting!

 Saturday April 4, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Register here to receive the meeting link and password.

Love and Learning

Illustration of hands raised in the air enthusiastically

Love is the greatest motivator for learning, that there is.  We're biologically hard-wired to make it so. When we are newborn and helpless, our parents...the people who (hopefully!) love us most in the whole wide world, are our first teachers.

Incredible amounts of learning take place in early childhood. A baby dropping the spoon over and over from the edge of the high chair is learning about gravity. Does it work EVERY time? It DOES!!!! 

A crawling toddler who puts everything in their mouth is learning about how the world feels, smells, and tastes.

(Have you ever asked yourself if you somehow "know" how rubber tastes? How metal tastes? How the sidewalk tastes? I think most of us DO know how those things taste, and I shudder to think how we learned that, lol!).

A toddler's healthy interest in exploring the world is supported by the safety and security they feel in their parents' love.

Create learning people LOVE

Make your content DELICIOUS and enticing!

Love and learning go hand in hand at every stage of our lives.


If you think back to the most positive learning experiences you've had, can you see how love was involved?


Maybe you loved the subject matter and it held deep fascination for you.


 We are much more likely to persist in a learning task, even a very difficult one, if we are strongly motivated to do so by a deep love of the topic.


Or perhaps you were inspired by a teacher who clearly loved the subject, or loved teaching itself. 

Or perhaps (admit it...because I think we've all done this...) you were trying to impress that special someone with your amazing knowledge of ... whatever topic would impress them.

As educators, we want our course participants to LOVE our courses! It's an amazing feeling to see people all over the world engaged and motivated to learn what you've created for them based on your knowledge and expertise.

I do not advocate the view of online courses as a source of "passive" income. If you create your course right, in the way that will make people love it, there's nothing passive about it.  

A more accurate term for the income you make from an online course is "asynchronous" income. That  means, you get paid at one time for work you did (creating the course) at another time.

Teaching online in a way that inspires deep love for the subject matter and for the learning experience you create, requires a lot of hard active work. But it's work that is well worth it.

Teaching online is one of the most profound ways you can share what you know with people all over the world.

Learning how to teach online in ways that optimize engagement and promote learner motivation, will enable you to create deep impact and leave a lasting legacy.

Most importantly, taking the time and putting in the effort required to learn how to teach beautifully, online, is a demonstration of the caring and appreciation you have for the people you are here to serve: your course participants.

What do you love to learn, and teach, about? 

What learning experiences stand out to you as being connected to love, whether for parents, teachers, peers, or that special someone?

I'd love to hear about it! 

Write to Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com and let me know!

Happy Valentine's Day -- may it be a time for you to express love and caring to everyone in your life who could benefit from knowing that they are truly loved and appreciated. 

Here are some virtual Valentine's Day chocolates for you to enjoy. These are made from pure pixels of light. All the calories have been removed.(You're welcome! 💖)

Valentine's Day (or any day!) is the perfect time to think about how you can create luscious morsels of learning in your online course!

luscious Valentine's chocolates

What are your three words for 2020?

Hand coloured circular stripes background patter

Master business storyteller Chris Brogan has come up with a fascinating and creative way to set himself and his business up for success for a new year. He calls his technique "My Three Words" and you can learn about it on his blog at https://chrisbrogan.com/3words2020/.

Chris has been using this method since 2006, and in the process he's discovered that it's important to choose exactly three words to define what you want for the year ahead.

Why three words?

Whether you are dealing with physics or metaphysics, it takes three points to establish a circuit through which energy can flow. There's the positive pole, the negative pole, and the magnetic field established between them.

In selecting three words for the year, we are creating a focused three-part lens through which energy can flow into our lives. We are selecting what we will notice and observe, and that in turn helps determine what there IS to observe.

My three words for 2020

Prosperity

Service

Joy​

Why and how did I choose these three words? 

Prosperity: My goal for 2020 is to grow my business, and help you grow yours, by designing and delivering online courses that really teach, at a deep level.

I am envisioning prosperity for myself, my students, and clients. 

My vision of prosperity includes abundance in all areas of life:

  • Good health
  • Good relationships
  • Solid, steady, and abundant financial support
  • Connection with, and guidance from, one's highest and best self

Service: A community that I belong to recently lost a great leader, teacher, and man. His sudden and unexpected passing makes me reflect on what it truly means to teach. When you teach someone something that provides value to them in their life, you are giving them an eternal gift. If they then go on to teach others because of what you taught them, that gift gets passed on through time, in perpetuity. And all of those blessings come back to you, as well as to them, in an eternal virtuous cycle.True teaching, at its highest and best, IS service: service to the growth of humanity and the progress of civilization. (If those words sound lofty and ideal, it's because they truly ARE). I believe that teaching is the noblest profession, and that we are lucky indeed to be engaged in it. If I can help people teach at their highest and best, in a way that enables them to reach a global audience, I will have fulfilled the purpose I was born for.

Joy: And that, in turn, will lead to joy.... for myself, for my students and clients, and for THEIR students and clients as well. My mission is to light up the planet, one mind at a time, by helping people teach beautifully online. There is nothing like the joy of seeing the lights go on when someone "gets it" and learns something in a way that truly works for them. I want that joy for myself in the year ahead.. and more importantly, I want that joy for you.

How about you?

What three words would you pick, to help you make 2020 the year you want it to be for your business and life?

Come on over and let's talk about it in the Facebook group, or write to me at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com.

I wish you and yours a very happy and totally fabulous New Year!

2020 A Happy New Year logo