This week on SOAK, some thoughts on Education

Hey friends!

I was going to start this edition by saying something about the end of the Summer, but then I realized I have readers from the southern hemisphere too, where they just said goodbye to Winter! How cool is that? A global audience makes us aware of many cultural and geographical differences that we usually don’t think about, and the school doesn’t prepare us for this kind of worldwide success! Haha!

Thank you for being here for the #2 edition, lets get soaked!

🧽 What I’m Soaking In

September is a month deeply connected with education since it’s when schools reopen in most parts of the world.

Here at home, this is especially true because besides my son going back to school for the 2nd grade, I’m also immersed in the Write of Passage course, a lot more than I’ve ever been in any of the 17 years that I’ve frequented the traditional school. This got me thinking about the possible reasons for that.

Sure, I’m not a teenager anymore. Playing football or dating is no longer a 24/7 concern (sorry babe, you know what I mean), and alcohol, drugs, and nights out are now more distant in time than they were on the day I was born, so being more responsible is a big reason for immersing myself on this course, but it doesn’t explain it all, because I had joined other online courses previously without showing this kind of commitment, so what else can it be?

It’s the live interaction that this cohort type of course allows the students to do. But it’s not just for making it more fun and interesting, it’s the fact that by the constant share of experiences and knowledge, we end up learning more.

A great example of this is how much I improved my writing after I started giving feedback to other writers’ work. When looking to be helpful by giving valuable inputs, I then started to apply the same kind of analysis to my writing, making it a lot better.

I got super interested in another topic when Julia Saxena tweeted about the importance of alumni mentors in online courses, which got me thinking about the application of the same principle in traditional education:

This isn’t new, it’s the application of the Latin proverb “Docendo discimus“, meaning “by teaching, we learn“.

This happens due to a psychological phenomenon called the Protégé Effect, where teaching, pretending to teach, or preparing to teach something to others helps a person learn that information.

There are some schools where this method is used, but I wished this was made standard in every school.

🦉 Soaking Up Knowledge

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond to live alone in nature. He spent there 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days living a simple life. That experience would be the basis of his book Walden, which has become a classic of American literature.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

— Henry David Thoreau, "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For", in Walden

Would you like to have a taste of what that felt like? Then you’re gonna love this!

USC Game Innovation Lab is an experimental game design company that developed several educational games, including Walden, a game. It is beautifully designed and it transports you to the 19th century, where you’ll going to experiment with the self-reliant living at Walden Pond, as Thoreau did.

It’s a slow-paced game with wonderful surrounding sounds of nature, making the experience very relaxing.

🏴‍☠️If you want to try the game without buying it, go here, hit “play game” and use this password: waldenedu

This will be our secret! 🤐😜

✍️ Writing

This week I wrote an article about a little pet peeve that I have with how some companies fail in their communication with clients by trying to make them feel special but ending up causing the opposite feeling, and how segmentation is crucial for deepening relationships with clients.

How Can SaaS Companies Fix One Common Mistake in Direct Marketing

Here’s a quote from that:

While everybody’s egos are getting bigger with all the signaling we’re driven to do in social media, trying to take advantage of this through blatant flattery will backfire on the companies.

✔️ Fun Trivia

In Japan, most schools have no janitors, being up to the children to clean the school, and older students help 1st graders cleaning their classrooms.

This shows them how important it is to respect and take care of their surroundings.

🏁 And that’s it for this edition. This week we had an 800% growth in the number of subscribers, which probably won’t happen again, so let me celebrate it properly!

Thank you for doing this with me, I hope I’ll see you next week!