Suraya Dewing's blog

Mental Toughness

Bruce is preparing a team of apprentices to compete at the World Skills competitions in Sao Paulo next year. There will be 75 countries competing and New Zealand (NZ) usually does well for its size. However, one thing consistently lets the NZ competitors down and that is their lack of preparedness for toughing it out when things get rough as they invariably do in such competitive situations.

The Magic Moment

I love that moment when something clicks and students start helping each other, giving them prompts as to possible answers to writing problems.

Last week I experienced exactly that moment when I had a group of three students gathered around the computer and they started working on one of the student’s assignments using the style Guide™.

Learning styles, writing styles and reading preferences

Do learning styles define our writing styles?  This is a very interesting question to consider especially if we want to write in a way that appeals to as wide an audience as possible.

The seven learning styles are:

Technology supporting learning

 Recently, I attended an EdTech meeting. For those who don’t live in NZ that is short for Education Technology. Earlier this year I attended a seminar as part of a series that aimed to bring together the disparate groups of professionals for whom part of their business was supplying educational products such as text books, games and information. EdTech NZ aimed to set up a Roadmap for developing educational product and services for the changing environment.

Storytelling as therapy

Many people use writing journals as a way to deal with crisis. Often they are advised to by counsellors. Those journals often remain private but the writer finds they feel a lot clearer about the direction they want to go in or gain greater clarity about how to deal with a problem with which they are grappling.

Writing style is like body language

Writing style is very much like body language. The way words sit on the page sends the reader a subliminal message about how the writer expects us to respond just as body language tells us what emotion underlies what he or she is saying. Invariably we respond to the unspoken message rather than to the words which is why email can cause so much trouble. Often they are easily written without giving heed to the tone and because they are so devoid of emotion the reader easily projects his or her interpretation on to the communication.

Collaboration can Solve Business Problems.

Success is all about partnerships and relationships. When we acknowledge the achievements of one person we are in fact acknowledging the work of many.

Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood

Writers want to know what readers think of their writing.  They need to know in order to develop their craft.

There are a number of websites that post reviews: The obvious are Amazon and Goodreads.

But there is a whole plethora of other reviewers from which to choose.

The Story Mint’s first Google Hang Out

We gave Google Hangout a test run recently and are putting an edited version on You Tube within the next few days.

Raymond discusses the intricacies of self-publishing. He has put out three books now and has some useful advice for people who are new to it.  The first book he published took nine attempts to master the process which included formatting. He also points out the importance of marketing, a skill that goes against the grain for a large number of writers. Writers are usually more comfortable when they can focus on story lines and character development.

One billion illiterate people

Imagine creating the technology that makes illiteracy history. Check this out.   $15M Global Learning XPRIZE

There are one billion illiterate people on Earth. Two thirds of them are women and 250 million of them are children.

This figure comes from a company called xprize which has, as its strap line, Making the Impossible possible.


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