Everybody knows what's wrong with education but what do we do to fix it?
This question has been on my mind since I began teaching over forty years ago. We need to encourage our students to come up with and explore their own questions. I call this 'hyphal thinking'.
We need to follow and support their passions. We need to be more mentor and less teacher. We need to be performers when we teach class. We need to inspire our students, get them involved and active. We need to teach our students the importance of making mistakes.
We need to connect boxes, and be more interdisciplinary. We need to do the best we can when teaching online. We need to reduce (drastically) our use of Powerpoint. We need to encourage our students to be creative, proactive and to teach one another. And us.
Finally we need to be authentic, funny and ridiculous, rather than puffy, stuffed-up and full of self-importance. Teachers and professors fart, take shits and pick their noses just like everyone else, you know.
I believe that education should involve the heart and the hand, as well as the head.. I believe that students should be encouraged to ask questions, think independenty, come up with good questions and not be worried about making mistakes.
I reach out to children through my children's books (most available for free on Ourboox.com), my TED-Ed animations and nonsense science videos.
I get very excited when children love my children's books.
One of kids' all time favorites of mine is "Tim the Porcupine meets Dr. Cluck". Why do they like it so much? I wish I knew. I'd write more just like it!
Currently I have two academic courses at Tel Aviv Univerity: one on the Music of the Sixties,
and another course "Popular Music of the Twentieth Century" on what makes certain popular songs seem to last forever. The first course concentrates on the years 1964-1969, whereas the second course covers the years 1927-1980.
I also have one course at Shenkar College, called "Managing Careers in the Digital Age", but it's actually about developing personal skills on the way to 'becoming more amazing'.
I have given several TED-like presentations at Tel Aviv University (Etnahta) on a variety of subjects:
What I learned in kindergarten (the importance of maintaining you creative spirit).
Is smell the sense of truth?
I founded Ourboox in 2013 together with Ran Shternin and my wife Shulamit Sapir-Nevo in order to allow people from around the world to create flipbooks with text, pictures, videos and more, all for free. Who could have imagined that we would have almost 200,000 books? Who do you think that the most prolific writer is? Me of course. I have written hundreds of books and I love to talk about them too.
You can find links to most of my children's books here (for English), here for Hebrew, here for Arabic, here for French and here for Russian. When my books are translated into Swahili, I'll let you know.
"Videos for children"
I have been in public education for years. Here are some of the things I've been up to. Recently I gave the local Ministry of Education permission to use eight of my illustrated children stories for their online English program. These activities make me a happy camper!
I've given three TEDx lectures and co-organized three TEDx events. My first TEDx lecture was about learning how to live from your dog. The second was on the love molecule that will destroy the world.
The third involved thinking between boxes.
I have written three animations for TED-Ed. They've been viewed by almost nine million people.
Lectures and courses for the public
Lectures and courses for the public
You can see some of my public lectures in English and Hebrew:
Bad Breath, Body Odor and Sex at the DLD in Munich, as well as at Tel Aviv University.
I love to teach personal skills: How to succeed in your career, how to find your dream job, creative thinking, oral presentation skills, how to network successfully, interviewing tips and how tell your story. I've summarized these in free ebooks, as follows.
48 Create is an exercise in creative thinking that I dreamed up together with Dr. Alon Amit. It is a fun game (isn't that what creativity is all about) combining ways to change the world with things that we might change. The ideas that arise are fantastic, and fantastical.
And once in a while they also have some merit in the real world. But isn't creativity about coming up with ideas that are wild and wacky?
I should add that we have modified 48 Create to help writers come up with great ideas for children's stories. Believe it or not, it works!
Here is one of the children stories I wrote based on 48 Create: Why I Love Yogurt