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Can Technology Make Us Better Listeners?

I am trying to improve my listening skills.  Earlier this year I noticed that during school leadership team meetings (and other meetings), I could hardly wait to get my point across to someone that I would speak over them.  Sometimes it would seem that they had completed their sentence and I would begin, but they hadn’t truly finished what they needed to say.  Anyways, I’ve been working on this and have discovered that it is related to respect.

People listen to the people they respect.  Listening is an indicator of the respect one holds for another person.  Ask students who they ask for advice to find out who they respect.  Show me someone who is well respected and they will likely be someone who is listened to often.

As I was considering this yesterday, I thought of some questions:

– As teachers, do we really listen to our students?  Students are people, too.  Is their mutual respect in the student/teacher relationship?
– Many people believe that technology (computers specifically) causes us to disengage and not interact with others… however, how can/does technology help us become better listeners?

Six Negative Listening Habits:

1. Rebuttal Maker – Listening long enough to formulate a rebuttal
2. Advice Giver – Jumping too quickly to give unsolicited advice
3. Interrupter – More anxious to speak his words than to listen
4. Logical Listener – Rarely asking about feelings/emotions
5. Happy Hooker – Using speaker’s words to shift to own message
6. Faker – Pretends to listen

(Adele B. Lynn / Emotional Intelligence Workbook via Bruna Martinuzzi / Ghandi’s Neurons: Practice of Empathy)


Apple ADE

It has been a personal and professional goal for some time to become an Apple Distinguished Educator.  This opportunity became available this year as our school has transitioned from a Microsoft 1:1 environment to a Mac 1:1 environment.  The transition is logical.  “Going Apple” matches our educational philosophy, especially in light of 21st century learning.

This morning I received an acceptance email to the 2010 ADE Asia Institute.  In March I’ll be traveling to Singapore to meet with approximately 70 educators in the region to attend this exciting event.  I am thrilled to receive this opportunity and hope to make every effort to learn, create, and collaborate.

Here is the self-introduction video that I made to accompany my application: