Best books on skill learning to read now

The first 20 hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast by Josh Kaufman

Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better and Getting Better by Doug Lemov

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug 

13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian 

The Structure of Magic II by John Grinder

Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions by Stephen L. Macknik 

PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY: Advanced Techniques To Improve Your Memory, Remember More, Learn Quickly And Increase Productivity As Students, Lawyer, Accountant Etc by Alan O'Brien 

Human Performance by Paul Morris Fitts 

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow 

Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People by Ken Watanabe

Nonverbal Communication by Albert Mehrabian 

Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham

Hacking Human Nature for Good: A Practical Guide to Changing Human Behavior by Dan Ariely

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson 

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely 

Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness by Susan L. Smalley 

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely 

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson 

Five Star Mind by Tom Wujec

Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative by Ken Robinson 

Return on Imagination by Tom Wujec 

The Complete Mental Fitness Book by Tom Wujec 

The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin 

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger

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The top In-demand soft and hard skills to learn in 2020

According to LinkedIn, and their review of data from over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs, here are the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020. 

The top 5 most in-demand soft skills are:
Soft skills are the essential interpersonal skills that make or break our ability to get things done in our current jobs and take on new opportunities ahead.Companies are gravitating toward talent with interpersonal and people-oriented skills. While task-oriented skills remain critical to our success at work, the data shows that employers value our ability to work well with colleagues. 


1. Creativity

2. Persuasion 

3. Collaboration

4. Adaptability 

5. Emotional Intelligence

Top 10 most in-demand hard skills:
While the most in-demand soft skills are all about how we work together, the most in-demand hard skills are the ones changing what we’re working on. Trending data also reveals that data-driven decision-making skills like business analysis are essential in today’s workforce. As companies continue to collect and analyze more data than ever before, they need people who can help interpret and take action on that data to drive growth for their business. 

1.Blockchain

2. Cloud Computing 

3. Analytical Reasoning

4. Artificial Intelligence

5. UX Design

6. Business Analysis 

7. Affiliate Marketing 

8. Sales 

9.Scientific Computing 

10. Video Production 

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5 differences between online and in-person skill learning

1: Online courses are predominantly asynchronous where face to face course are not Online  is where the learners determine when they will engage and participate in their online courses and in person demands you to pay attention.. Successful online learners must be motivated, disciplined, self-directed, and good at time management. Successful students in face-to-face courses must actively listen and participate in class, take good notes, study, and complete coursework. 

2: Diverse communication skills are much needed in online learning, where in person, you just need to engage and keep their attention
In online courses, many learning exercises and course materials involve diverse communication skills such as reading written content, consume video and audio content, and interact with others in a variety of communication styles. ...to new learn content. ...to see how new concepts are applied. ...to understand assignment descriptions. ...to get feedback on your performance. face-to-face learning involves more lecture- and dialogue-based learning exercises. In a face-to-face course, learners can plan on getting information and feedback about their learning and performance whenever they attend class. In asynchronous online courses without the live in-person class component, learners depend even more on the facilitation, assignment clarification, and feedback provided by their Maker. 

3: Digital literacy is a make or break moment for a maker
You do not need to be proficient at computer programming languages and writing code to teach an online course. But, you do need to be comfortable working within basic computing programs such as email, Google apps and publisher software (such as Word), as well as comfortable with helping learners troubleshoot basic technical difficulties. You need to ensure that you are able to communicate and build relationships with others in a productive manner without face-to-face interaction. For both online and in person you should have a positive attitude and an open mind about learning new things and interacting with others in and out of the digital world.

4: Bring together diverse people, cultures, communities and cities
Comprised of students logging in from all over the world, online courses may tap into endless possibilities imaginable from bringing together diverse people, cultures, communities, and cities that expand our learning opportunities based on unique experiences and perspectives outside of our physical location.

it is also very easy to infuse lots of multi-dimensional content and learning exercises throughout the course, including technology-based learning opportunities when teaching online. Traditional face-to-face classes, may rely more heavily on traditional lecture-style delivery of content and classroom-based learning exercises.

5: Instructors role is focused on facilitating student efforts to think critically, apply and make sense of new knowledge
In both settings, the role of the Maker is to teach. Though, teaching in the online environment looks different than teaching in a face-to-face class. All of the information in the world is at the student's fingertips. They can literally open up a new tab and Google the answer. Teaching online becomes less about teaching information and more about facilitating student efforts to think critically, apply and make sense of new knowledge.

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The difference between teaching your skill online or in person

As online education becomes more mainstream, we explore how effective is online learning in comparison to in-class learning.

Each of the instructional methods offers a unique combination of benefits to students. Online courses offer more flexibility and are ideal for people with a busy schedule, while  in-class education traditionally has a more structured class schedule. In a physical classroom, students have a chance to express their ideas vocally in class through in-person interactions. 

The most noted advantages for each method have been identified:

Research suggests the performance of online vs in-class students, is dependent not so much on the delivery method, but more so on the course content, structure and instructor. Moreover, with existing educational tools and technological advances, it is easy to communicate with and engage learners in various learning activities, both in-class and online, with the same level of efficiency.

Choosing between online or in-class education has long shifted from “which one is better” to “which one works better for me”. Considerations include the individual’s schedule, internet access, and/or organizational skills.

There are a few key factors that make a big difference in whether the learning experience, online or face-to-face, is successful for the student.

 Tools and Engagement
Great presentation slides, a good signal and video recording tools, collaboration ideas, engaging and energetic presentations, pre-sending materials and “pre-work” or tools needed lists are all ways to make your course successful. 

Active Learning
Nowadays, collaboration and interaction with students is more important, both for online and in-class formats. The danger of one-way communication mean that it is easy for a learner to lose interest and their attention to wander.

Active and frequent participation from everyone
Success in the online environment requires active and frequent participation from everyone. For Makers, planning ahead replaces a more free-flowing interactive way of teaching. Online courses aren't harder and don't require more time, but the way you engage with them is.

Practical applications
A successful course equips learners with the skills and knowledge to make them efficient and effective individuals. Your goal is to teach them practical application, encourage them to apply their knowledge, and give them certain freedom and flexibility in their learning.

However, at Skillit, with our interactive online classrooms we offer both! So you can teach how you want to teach, you pick the medium, the place, the price, the time and the content.

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Skill based volunteering … Is this the new face of corporate philanthropy?

The face of corporate social responsibility is changing. The days of corporations handing out oversized cheques to not-for-profits are being replaced by programs that are much more personal and meaningful to employees. Corporate social programs are moving from being only a tool for social impact to an essential driver of employee engagement and business value.

Over the past decade, businesses have become much more socially active and are taking a broader approach to philanthropy by engaging in different types of corporate citizenship programs. Among the array of corporate citizenship programs, skills-based volunteerism is the most rapidly growing, with more than 50 percent of companies now channeling the talents of their employees to non-profit organizations1.

In skills-based volunteering programs, corporate employees work for a period of time to help a non-profit solve a complex operational problem or donate their skill to a person who need to learn that skill e.g. marketers helping nonprofits develop a marketing strategy for a new fundraising initiative or software developers teaching youth coding skills. 

The benefits to skill-based learning to an organization are many. They have been shown to increase employee engagement and retention, while also measurably enhancing employees’ skills and capabilities which helps to positively impact an organization’s bottom line2.

At Skillit, we help organizations achieve their employee engagement and social responsibility goals by providing a platform that enables their corporate volunteers to donate their skills to those in need. To learn more about how Skillit can help your organization, please visit (insert link to landing page for corporations)

1.       1 Giving in Numbers 2016, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, 2016.

2.       2 William D. Eggers, Nate Wong, and Kate Cooney, The Purpose Driven Professional, Westlake, Texas: Deloitte University Press, 2015.

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Find the best person to teach you a skill

 On Skillit, you have access to endless skills, so people often ask: “Who is the best person to teach me”? The answer is that depends on what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. Below are some tips to help you find the perfect fit.

What’s your goal?

Are you a causal learner, looking to build skills for fun or as a hobby? Or, do you have more serious aspirations? Either way, you can find a Maker that offers one and done skills or those that teach skills that take time to build. It all depends on what you want to get out of it.

Location, location, location

You don’t want to spend an hour commuting to your lesson? No problem. Check out where each maker offers their Skillit and find a convenient location for you. Some Makers will even come to you.

Budget

Every maker on Skillit sets their own price so you can shop around to find the Skillit that fits your budget. Choose from a multitude of Makers for the best fit for you and your wallet.

Read reviews

Don’t take our word for it, read reviews from other people who have taken that Skillit. Everyone who attends a Skillit is asked to write a review about their experience so take the time to read what others thought.

Plus, you can use our filters to help you find the perfect Maker to teach you a Skillit. 

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5 Ways to build and learn skills outside of work

 In the changing job economy, skills are more valuable than ever. No matter where you work or what your title is, you want to make sure you’re constantly learning and progressing, especially in today’s world of changes happening in your workplace, how they will effect you, how your role has evolved over the past five years and what the jobs of the future might be.

Some people are lucky to have employees who offer great training and invest in their staff to learn new skills. Other people must find their own path to develop new skills or pursue passion projects and hobbies. The World Economic Forum reports that you need the ten skills listed below to thrive in 2020:

Complex problem solving.
Critical thinking.
Leadership
Creativity.
People management.
Coordinating with others.
Emotional intelligence.
Judgement and decision making.
Service orientation.
Negotiation.
Cognitive flexibility.

Those are by no means all the soft skills that you need but a good start. If you are looking to learn new skills outside of work, here’s five ways to get started: 

1. Make a Plan

You are the owner of your life and career so make the most of it. Start by first identifying a skill set you want to learn and expand on for yourself that aligns with your broader long-term career plan. Consider what you love to do, want to do, don’t want to do, and where you want to go with your future. Now think about what skills are required to get there. The first step to developing skills is recognizing the skills you want and making a plan for how to achieve them.

2. Volunteer

Serving your community is a great way to hone your own skills, learn new skills, showcase your expertise and build your personal brand. Look for an organization that aligns with your passion and give your time to support an event, project or serve on a committee. Volunteer to lead projects and initiatives that leverage the skills you have and align with the skill sets you want to develop. You can then add this experience to your resume and performance review. A bonus to volunteering is cultural awareness, empathy and sensitivity training. Communication and servant leadership. Spotting patterns and analyzing the problem. Everything single time you use your time to help others, you are helping yourself be better.

3.  Join A Professional Association

Find a professional association that includes skill development in its annual activities. Memberships are relatively inexpensive, and often an employer will help you pick up the cost. You might choose an association based on your industry, your function or possibly even based on your clients’ needs. You’ll learn best practices and pick up new skills to enhance your career along the way.

4. Self-Educate

In the digital age, self-initiated education is easier than ever. Read a book, watch a you-tube video, follow a blog. Online sources are abundant. Just be mindful that you when you don’t learn in person you may have a question or hit a roadblock that your computer can’t answer which is why in-person learning, like on Skillit, can’t be beat.

5.  Learn from someone else

Each of us have many skills so find someone to teach you the skill you want to learn or consider trading skills as a win-win. Skillit helps you find people with the skills you want to learn or offers you the chance to teach your skills to others. Learning from someone can propel you toward success faster than any online course. And a good teacher will help you avoid the mistakes they've made, accelerate your education, motivate you, hold you accountable, and challenge you to be your best.


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The 5 skills you need to succeed at almost anything

A positive attitude can only get you so far in life. What you really need to succeed in life is skills. Some are taught in school, some are learned in life but the one thing that is true of all of them is that it’s never too late to learn.

The following list of skills will serve you well in many different situations.

1. Effective Communication

The ability to communicate concisely, accurately and persuasively, what you want, when you want, will serve you well in-front of an audience of one or one thousand. Great verbal and written skills are essential to sell anything - yourself, an idea, a product or point of view. 

2. Organization

Organizational skills help you plan your time, prioritize and be more efficient in your actions. Being organized takes discipline but it allows you to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most, making you more efficient and effective in everything you do. 

3. Creative thinking or problem solving

In a competitive world driven by innovation, the ability to think outside-of-the-box for solutions to everyday problems is a sought-after skill. Too often people expect different outcomes with the same-old thinking. 

4. Critical Thinking

Every day we have to make thousands of decisions and it’s our critical thinking, our ability to assess situations and weigh the pros and cons, that helps us make informed decisions. Some we can make easily others take more time, research and analysis.  

5. Relaxation

They say stress is the biggest killer of our time. It causes high-blood pressure, disease, immune deficiency, sleeplessness, depression, and the list goes on. This is why it’s essential to find ways to help you relax. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, talking a walk, or a great workout, finding the best way to help you unwind and manage stress is the key to success and happiness. 

Some of these skills will develop naturally over time but for the most part you will need to work at them, seek out help and hone them over time, like you would any other skills. Invest in yourself and you can never lose! 

Find any or all of these skills to ensure you are one of the most interesting people in the room at your next party. 


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Why we need to learn in person

Technology is rapidly changing the workforce, creating entirely new industries and jobs. The latest World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs report claims the most valuable skills are critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity. However, they are not gained solely through academia, but increasingly through experiential forms of learning.

This live, in-person learning is important because people increasingly don’t want to invest the time or money in conventional educational institutions and despite its accessibility and affordability, online learning isn’t effective. The completion rate is typically only about five per cent. 

The new trend for learning is to bring people together. For instance, marketing guru, Seth Godin, has created an altMBA which is cohort based, project-oriented and designed around collaboration. Similarly, co-working spaces like WeWork have exploded in popularity bringing together creative minds in one space. This isn’t a coincidence.  

When we come together in person there is more clarity. Small talk, body language and facial expressions, reinforce meaning. There is the ability to provide coaching and correct mistakes or reinforce positive work, and most importantly, in-person, people can ask questions. How many times do we try to fix a problem using an online video only to get stuck on one unclear step?

Technology provides many benefits but more often than not, it’s the personal touch that makes the biggest difference. 

Teach or learn a soft skill today on Skillit.ca

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The 20 fastest growing skills

This month, Upwork released its latest index of the 20 fastest-growing skills for freelancers. What’s interesting to note, is that many of these skills didn’t even exist a decade ago. 

The top five skills on the list are:

  1. Hadoop
  2. Dropbox API
  3. Genetic algorithms
  4. Microbiology
  5. Computational linguistics

Technology is changing the workforce faster than ever before and the ability to up-skill and adapt makes people much more agile in today’s job market. 

Upwork notes that investments in big data solutions are increasing and new, non-traditional education options are proliferating. 

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