Changing How We Learn to Realize the Future of Education

We’re honored at LEGO Education to be featured by the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Business Coalition for Education as an example of a business that’s made a smart investment in education. Our work will be featured at the World Economic Forum in Korea in a session titled “Mobilizing Business to realize the 2030 Education Agenda.

Perhaps the most important – and troubling – realization the education community has come to over the past few decades is that many of the ways we’ve traditionally approached teaching have in fact been stifling critical thinking. The high-stakes testing and rote learning that defined previous generations of classroom education have now been out as inhibitors to creativity rather than enabling new kinds of thinking.

What’s at stake in education today is not just the well-being of our young learners:

Research in the United States has shown that by 2020, 96% of jobs will require strong critical thinking skills and 70% will require mathematics and computational knowledge – both areas of need that many companies are now scrambling to address more fully.

Waning interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) will have consequences for the future development of society, as these are the skills that will drive both the job market and economic growth worldwide.

Empowering children with critical thinking and creativity skills will further global literacy and other curricula that can quell poverty issues and socio-economic divides.

Setting up the world’s children to be agile thinkers will equip them with the understanding and knowledge necessary to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

As we’ve come to understand the limitations of top-down learning, we’ve found that learning through play can flip the education issue on its head. Making learning through play a reality for us has been about LEGO Education putting something in the hands of a child that can act as both a toy and an educational tool.

The majority of households and classrooms with children worldwide already have LEGO bricks, so improving the classroom experience has become about using toys in a way that can influence the classroom experience for the better.

Today, it’s understood that hands-on, open-ended learning puts children in a better position to feel motivated about thinking for themselves and developing new ways of approaching problems. Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and teaching flexibility with experimentation leads to new skill sets that will span any and all jobs, disciplines, or ventures a child may encounter down the road.

With an understanding of what today’s classroom needs to offer the young learners inside of it, it’s important to also realize how this can be scaled globally, as we’ll eventually require a universal design for learning to unite us and make learning products usable by and accessible to everyone.

The progress that’s been made toward equity and equality in learning has already and will continue to break down the barriers to global literacy, the hard skills necessary to drive STEM fields forward, and the critical thinking and creativity mindset that will enrich us globally.


You Can Buy Old House is Now the New House in Real Estate

The “Baby Boomers” are starting to hit a new era. With the population of Pennsylvania getting older, it’s thought by the year 2020 a quarter of the state’s population will be over 60. The Boomers have always been loud in their demands, so how will this affect real estate sales and the marketing approach of this fast coming of age segment? The developers are using the “old is now the new” reasoning to try to keep up with them.

One of the newer ideas is the concept of the “walkable community”. These communities are different from the typical communities that are around now. Developments now have everyone isolated in his or her own space and very little interaction with your neighbors.

The new theory is to make it easier to get around for the rapidly becoming senior citizens. By mixing retail stores, office buildings, and housing together it will make a closer-knit community. Senior citizens, who are usually on fixed incomes, will find it easier to walk to the places they need to be instead of having to drive.

This will save on vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, money that can be used elsewhere in this time of economic uncertainly. A more compact area could include doctor offices, full-service grocery stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, retail stores, and even parks. There could be banks, schools, restaurants, and even community centers.

The idea is to make it accessible and more like the days when sidewalks were a common occurrence and not something unusual. Safe walking areas and bike paths would be a must, as well as the benches spaced here and there. Well lit areas and crosswalks, visibly marked, would be another “have to have“.

McCandless Crossing, a 130-acre development off McKnight Road in Pittsburgh is in the making of just this type of community. It will include townhouses, office buildings, and retail stores. The tenants will be within walking distance of everything they need.

The city of Muncy in Lycoming County is also another place where this type of mixed zone development is in the works. Their goal is to achieve active, healthy living and integrating walking and bike riding in everyday life.

So it seems that the era of the “no sidewalk” might be coming to an end. Getting out and meeting your neighbors, being able to walk to where you want to go, and having safe access while doing it is now in the making. If this is something that you might be interested in, check out where there’s a walkable community near you. It might be the best thing you ever did!


You Should Know All About Home Improvement

I do not know about you but my party that I like a garden is definitely the garden. The gardens have a variety of shapes, colors, smells, and textures, from Japanese gardens, is to miniature gardens. But today I wanted to show other types of gardens that are becoming trendy, vertical gardens.

I will show this time only one of the most impressive I’ve seen vertical gardens; San Vicente Del Raspier (Spain) is installed in one of the exterior walls of the children’s library.

The six-story garden, designed by architect Jose Maria Chofre is located between the dividing of existing residential buildings and the library. The constructive solution consists of a metal structure founded on a concrete tank used for irrigation.

The composition is formed by a pixel of different types of floral and herbaceous species of small size in the high, ivy and ferns at the bottom in the courtyard formed between the garden and library.

In another post, I will show other examples of famous vertical gardens and how to create your own.

Just as often we touch the subject of kitchens as kitchens monochromatic blue, today we will raise the issue of the bathrooms in one color, specifically black-colored bathrooms.

At present, this color is used in bathrooms because it gives a unique touch of elegance to a place that is not used just for fancy things. Manqué according to Feng Shun, the color black is the absence of color and should be treated carefully.

A detail if they choose this color is that they need good lighting to give the bathroom to avoid accidents, especially if they choose to make a completely black room to the last detail and then at night you cannot see much of anything.

A good option can be a bathroom with ceramic white but black is really spectacular and the colors are only achieved the full effect of elegance and originality is expected.

This type of decoration especially in monochrome so dark colors only seen in luxury hotels are seldom seen in private homes. But if you decide you simply must plan well-placed furniture and even the ornaments that will. A bath should be minimalist black, should not be loose things because what is achieved is an effect of disorder and dirt do not want.

With the design of this small bathroom that I will show you mean to say, “if you can, just be creative.” It is a very small bathroom, 4 meters square and windowless.

The distribution very creative and provides comfort that has been achieved without losing functionality. When you close the shower front, raising it, we can create a “new wall” on which to place against the shelves and to support the toilet (to be as thick wall to hide pipes and tanks). As for the sink, the cabinet rests on a horizontal, visually lengthen the stay.

The colors have not been chosen at random. Neutral colors for walls and floors, in contrast to the vigorous furniture black lines and green, tightly structured space.

They will not believe that’s all you can do to improve a small bathroom right? Use your imagination, combined furniture, colors, and lights. Soil Euchar family and friends who put the excuse of not having a large bathroom and therefore do not have fixed and relegated it as ‘the ugly side of the house’. Well, see that it is not so.


The Fun Ways to Improve Your Fashion Style

Fashion changes from season to season which for many makes it a little difficult to keep up with the latest styles. If you really want to upgrade your fashion style, it may be a better idea to simply determine how you want to look and what your own inner style is. Fashion trends are fine but knowing your own style is important in ensuring that you always look and feel confident in what you are wearing.

If you do not want to simply keep up with what you see on the runway, consider creating your own style. Make a fashion statement wearing something that you enjoy wearing. Buy a few pieces from a flea market or discount fashion shop and then buy something from a higher-end shop that has the latest fashion trends. Mix and match those pieces to get your very own style. You may be a hit and inspire others to mimic your new style.

Any time that you are buying clothing it is important to get pieces that are versatile. You want to know that you are going to get your money’s worth out of your fashion pieces and versatility is key in being able to wear those pieces in different ways.

Before you buy something, think about all of the ways that you can wear it. Before you buy that shirt, for instance, think about how many pairs of pants or skirts you have that it will go with and make sure that you are buying something that works with various different ensembles.

If you have yet to choose your very own fashion style, try different styles to see which one or ones best match your unique personality. If you are wearing the same style that you wore a few years ago, make a change. It is always fun to experiment with new styles to see which ones work well for you.

Head out to your favorite fashion shop and try on new fashions, ensuring that you mix it up a bit and try out those styles that you have never sported before. You may find that the vintage look is great for you or that the funky look really works. Have fun and see what other styles you may be able to pull off instead of sticking with the same one year after year.

You can always add shoes to your wardrobe and improve your style. No one ever has too many shoes. In fact, shoes are a determining factor in whether or not your ensemble is considered fashionable. You have to ensure that you have the right shoes for every outfit and every occasion. This does not mean that you have to own thousands of pairs of shoes.

Sometimes one pair can work for multiple occasions. You should, however, consider adding just a couple of different pairs and in styles that you normally do not wear, just mix it up a bit. The thing to keep in mind is that fashion should be fun so have fun picking out those new styles and find a look that is perfect for you.


The Best Ways to Earn Money Quickly at University

Get a job

Getting a job will likely yield the greatest returns on your time. Jobs at the union are usually well set up to accommodate your schedule and will give you a decent amount of flexibility. Make sure you can afford the time off; you are here to learn.


We already looked at this in an earlier post. Tutoring will encourage you to study and there is nothing like teaching to improve your own understanding of a concept.

Sell your notes

Students (especially first and second years) love to miss lectures. The student population is getting richer each year, at least their parents are. If you are remotely studious, collect up a few copies of the notes at each class you attend and sell them on to these rich, lazy cats. Spread the word by telling people you sit next to or your friends that, for a small fee, you will collect their notes.

Start a blog

Blogging allows you to make yourself known, express yourself, and develop your understanding of a particular topic of interest to you. The learning curve is quite steep, however, and you will have to put some effort in to yield a worthwhile return on your time. There are loads of articles about starting a blog (and how to make money from it!) all over the web, but for a one-stop resource is unrivaled.

Sell on eBay

Take a look around your room; can you really afford to have so much stuff lying around? Focus on the 20% of your belongings that you use 80% of the time or get 80% of your enjoyment from. Get rid of the rest! That old guitar you never play or an unused inbox can get a lot of extra money. Take this one step further by selling your friends’ and housemate’s gear. Agree on a percentage of the sale price beforehand.

Sell your textbooks

Selling your old textbooks is a great way to round up a bit of cash from objects you are unlikely to use again.

Wash other people’s stuff

Offer to wash your friend’s roommates’ and neighbor’s laundry for them Charge them £5 on top of materials and while you are waiting for the washing machine to finish reading a book, write a poem, do your homework or talk to your better half.

Eat cheaply

Firstly, stop buying your lunch! Buy in bulk and prepare a packed lunch every day. If you ‘don’t have time’ get up a little earlier or prepare your lunch the night before. A £3 sandwich might not seem like a lot, but a drink and a snack will push the price closer to £5. If you do this for a whole term you will have spent at least £250.

Drink cheaply

Let’s say you have a few drinks at home, go to a few bars, and then on to a club, your drinks will get progressively more expensive. With that in mind, drink less as the night goes on and consider drinking a little more or for a little longer at home.

Remember that you are a student; embrace cheap booze and get used to the taste. Stop buying huge rounds; people will assume that is what you do and take advantage of it. Make people feel special when you buy them a drink.

Get all the money you are ‘owed’

Firstly, ensure that you are receiving the maximum loan/grant you are entitled to. Contact your local council and find out if you are entitled to any grants as a full-time student. My housemate received £500 from his council to buy a printer and some other gear! Keep an eye on the notice board at your department as well, there are always competitions running with tasty cash prizes!

Bet on stuff

Betting is the quickest and easiest way to make and lose money. If you bet conservatively on things that you are good at, you should net a tidy profit. You can also take advantage of offers run by bookies that give you £25 when you top up your account with £25.

Bookies will have teams of experts to calculate the odds for popular events, but only one for one-offs like the winner of X-Factor or Big Brother. If you follow these shows in great detail, you could well have a better idea of who will win it. If you don’t follow these shows, ask someone who does!