Khan Academy – A Unique Way of Teaching!

Hello my friends,

I came across an article about Sal Khan, Khanacademy.org, in the September 6, 2010 issue of Fortune magazine titled, “Bill Gates Favorite Teacher” by David A. Kaplan. We all have heard of a guy name Bill Gates of Microsoft’ s Fame ,who is one of Khan’s academy’s biggest fan by the way he and his 11 year old son Rory soaks up the learning videos. This academy is a free one man educational platform operated in his revamped bedroom closet that he calls his office and the class lessons are doled out in brief video tutorial mini lecturers all narrated by Khan on youtube and elsewhere that is made simply with audio and an electronic blackboard filled with doodles and diagrams. 

As Mr. Kaplan states it, “Khan Academy holds the promise of a virtual school: an educational transformation that de-emphasizes classrooms, campus and administrative infrastructure, and even brand-name instructors. Sal Khan is a very intelligent man, being valedictorian of his high school graduation class, MBA from Harvard, three degrees from MIT, President of his class at MIT and also did volunteer teaching in Brookline for talented children, as well as developed software to teach children with ADHD. In his professional career life he was a former Hedge Fund manager.

Not only did I get a chance to read and research this online academy, I also got a chance to learn and relearn many subjects (math, science) and new topics about the economy. Will this type of learning replace the standard classroom learning with accredited teachers and professors? Probably not in this early stage of the game however I do feel like this is a great supplemental learning platform that is assisting students all around the world. My daughter, Lauryn, just started Kindergarten and I am making a commitment to have Khan Academy tutorials with her at least once a week starting out. With the way the internet has changed the way we conduct and transact our daily lives, I am glad that Khan had the vision to use his talent in a unique and positive way for not only our kids but our educational development also. Check it out for yourself at www.khanacademy.org and lend me your comments or experiences. 

Make it HAPPEN!!!

Success in business? Focus on success in life

Hello my friends,

I invested my labor day holiday catching up on some needed reading and I came across a very interesting and intriguing article in the business section of the Dallas Morning Newspaper on September 5, 2010, written by Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School professor titled “Success in business? Focus on success in life”. To paraphrase his lesson to his students, on the last day of class he asked them to come up with cogent answers to three questions: “First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not.”  

This last question obviously got me to thinking about how can I be sure that I will stay out of jail. A few months ago, I was a victim of someone using my name on a traffic citation and it took me 2 days along with a couple of letters from my family members to prove my whereabouts in order to not have to endure a court date, a fine or possibly serve some jail time, all because of someone using my name and date of birth and the officer not performing due diligence on his part. Totally innocent and if not for a very timely fax letter from an attorney that wanted to represent me in court before I knew anything about this citation, this situation could have taken a completely different direction. With mistaken identity, identity theft and other fraud type of activity going on, it’s a 24/7 job to make sure that you are on top of your own business. 

Regarding the article, Clayton (the author) goes on to say that two of the 32 people in his Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. According to Clayton, “these guys were good guys, but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.”  He also made note of what he notices of his HBS classmates, that many come to the reunions unhappy, divorced and alienated from their children.  There is a guarantee that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising children who would become estranged to them. What happened? “They didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents and energy.”

According to Clayton, here are the key points to take from this article that will allow you to start and maintain your success. “Number 1, is to create a strategy of having a clear purpose for your life that encompasses familyand career goals. The choice and successful pursuit of a profession is but one tool for achieving purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow. Number 2, is you’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place. When we have the option to choose between right and wrong, many times we often employ the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives; A voice in our head says: Look, I know that as a general  rule, most people shouldn’t do this but in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK. Number 3, is to understand the value of humility. He asked students to describe the most humble person they knew. One characteristic of these humble people stood out: They had a high level of self-esteem. They knew who they were and they felt good about who they were. It was also decided that humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes, but by the esteem with which you regard others. Good behavior flows naturally from that kind of humility. Number 4 is having the right yardstick (Very important). This past year Clayton was diagnosed with cancer and thankfully his life has been spared. He learned a very insightful lesson regarding his life when it comes to career and your being. His ideas has generated enormous revenues for companies that uses his research but with being confronted with the disease, it was interesting to see how unimportant that was to him. He concluded that the metric by which GOD will assess our lives isn’t dollars, but the individuals whose lives you have touched.”

He ends this article with this thought; “think about the metric by which your life will be judged and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.” Please lend me your thoughts and comments regarding this article and your life and success experiences.

Be Richly Blessed!

The word Mentor is defined in one dictionary as a trusted counselor or guide. Do you have a counselor, guide or coach in your life? Many times when I am on the phone working with a strong personality who has exhibited signs of success in life or with their business, the question to me may be, “Why do I need a mentor or coach?  There is a great quote that states, “If you ever see a Turtle on the fencepost, assume it had help getting there.”As great as Tiger Woods is at the game of golf, even he has a coach. Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Muhammad Ali, are just a few names of the greatest sports figures of our times, all had coaches during their playing days.

I love to read stories and watch documentaries of some of the strongest leaders in business share how there was someone in their life that they could receive guidance from and move forward. Think of it this way, we all have 2 eyes in the front of our head for a reason, to see ahead of us right? Who is watching your back and noticing those blindspot areas around you? Who is that person that is willing to tell you the truth and give suggestions on the right way to go or think about a situation? This is what mentors and coaches do. Listen in on this video as Larry “Stonecold Millionaire” Beacham talks about what it means to have a mentor. I would love to read your comments,

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