How to Set Goals and Actually Make Them Happen | The Better Mindset Podcast | Episode One

So many of us are thinking about the school year ahead and what we’d like to achieve across the school and in our classrooms. Mike Reading, our founding director and the goal-setting maestro has some great ideas and process tips for getting what you want to achieve to start out on the right footing. We also chat about the best way to start the year with some life-changing habits and James shares a statistics tool that we know you’ll want to be having play with these holidays and weekends.

If you’re after the links or resources that we’ve mentioned today, have a look here:

1. Tiny Habits – B.J. Fogg
2. Atomic Habits – James Clear
3. The 12 Week Year 

We post every week and would love to have you keep up with us. If you know someone who would get value from these episodes, hit the share button and let them know. Lastly, if you have questions or anything to share with us, email us at or follow us on Instagram at @usingtechnologybetter or on

We’d love to hear from you! See you next week.

Podcast Transcript Podcast Below

Bex Rose: 0:00
Well, I thought it was a really good time people are at the beginning of the year, you’re going, Oh, I’m gonna make some new year’s resolutions and I’m going to set some goals. You know what it’s like, I’m going to lose like 40 kilos, or I’m going to do this. I’m going to go to the gym every day, things like that. And what always happens to those big goals mark? The better mindset podcast.

Mark Herring: 0:23
Welcome to The Better Mindset Podcast, episode one. I’m Mark Herring and I’m Bex Rose. Conversations about Leadership, Learning, Educational Technologies and more. On today’s episode we explore a topic fits on everybody’s mind, especially teachers at the start of every year, we have Mike, our director, give us some of his top tips for goal setting and schools and the year and your team the right way, kind of the dark art of goal setting with your teams. And James shares a digital tool that could change the way you and your students look at statistics forever. All right, because they’re very first making wave segments. This is all about big ideas or trends. And we’re gonna have a little chat about that. What are people thinking about it this time of the year?

Bex Rose: 1:09
Well, I thought it was a really good time people are at the beginning of the year, you’re going on going to make some new year’s resolutions, and I’m going to set some goals, you know what it’s like, I’m going to lose like 40 kilos, or I’m going to do this. I’m going to go to the gym every day, things like that. And what always happens to those big goals mark?

Mark Herring: 1:28
Or firstly, 40 kilos is a lot to lose. That’s like, man, you’ve had a very good Christmas, if that’s. But yeah, I think the first thing is you kind of think you’re, you know, you’ve got high aspirations, and you’re thinking you might achieve the world, but I don’t know, tell me.

Bex Rose: 1:45
All right. So, they generally fall flat because you start really well. And then what, what leads you down is potentially the systems that you put in place to keep your goals going. So I love this book. It’s called atomic habits by James clear, and he is all about forming really good habits. So goals are the big things that you want to sit for, you know, maybe for the year, maybe for, you know, a month, things like that. But the systems are how you get those goals or how you are trying to achieve those goals. Okay, so most of the time, if your goals are not being met, it’s because your systems are letting you down. Okay? And that’s what happens what? Yeah, and that’s what a habit is, right? So he says that the quality of our lives depend on the quality of our habits. And if you ever think about that, the quality of your lives depend on the quality of your habits. Think of those, they could be your good habits, but they could also be your bad habits, right? Yep. Yeah. No, that’s right. So what I’m going to talk about today is building tiny habits, which will be your systems so that your goals can get met. Okay? So tiny habits are little tiny things that you can do every day that you might not notice as doing anything on that day. But the compound interest of those tiny habits will get you to your goal. Okay, so that 1% improving, you’re improving your life by 1% Every day, is that compound interest. So if you think about doing one thing every single day, like think this is how I think about it. So you go go out for lunch, and instead of choosing the hamburger, you choose the salad, and you look in the mirror and you’re like, well, that did nothing, right? One, one proceed, right. So you’ve just chosen one meal to change. But if you do that, or if you make better choices with that kind of with your food or whatever, over a certain amount of time, that’s when you start seeing the results. So think of it like that. Right? So a really good way of, of working on developing good habits is a concept called habit stacking and what what do you call it? You call it something else? Mac?

Mark Herring: 4:08
I’ve heard it described as anchoring. We were talking about this before. It’s yeah, anchoring is just another way of explaining it, I think, or maybe it’s just a different way of looking at it.

Bex Rose: 4:17
Yeah, right. So habit stacking is is a really incredible tool. And I know because I have given it a go and I have I’ve talked a lot about it too, when I was in a leadership team to my staff. So habit stacking is when you say something that you do every single day, without fail, your body is on that autopilot, and you attach something that you want to achieve to that habit that you already do. Okay, so So one thing so what I’m thinking about is something that I do and how I got to do it was so hopefully, most of us brush our teeth every day, right? So you brush your teeth and that’s something you do every day without fail. It’s it’s you’re on autopilot, it’s something you do every day. So while I brush my teeth, I take a couple of deep breaths straight afterwards, I take three deep breaths, because I really wanted to incorporate mindfulness and being present. And just having that anchor, I guess, in my own well being automatic. So when after I take three really deep breaths, and I do the square brace, so it’s like n, for hold for debt and an out for hold for. And I do that three times. And what I’ve noticed is that I can do that now, when it’s not attached to that habit of brushing my teeth. So I might get in a situation where I’m starting to feel quite overwhelmed, something’s going on in my life that I need to really actually come down and start using my thinking brain. So I just go straight into those breaths, because it’s a habit that I have created from habit stacking. Can you relate to any of this? But

Mark Herring: 6:03
Yeah, absolutely. What you, I think that’s, that’s what that anchoring thing is, you’ve actually, you’ve got a habit that you’re in the habit of doing, you know, it’s like a regular routine, you don’t even have to think about it. And so what you’re doing is, apparently, you’re creating the muscle memory that connects to that original habit with the new one that you want to do. Yeah, it’s a really good way of sort of trying to put all of those little things that, you know, make a difference into an order. And I think, you know, from a teaching perspective, when you’re working in schools, and the holidays in January is a really good time to have a look at all of those habits, because you’ve got the time and the space and the mental energy to start creating some new pathways. And that’s often been the time of the year that people kind of think I want to, I want to do things differently. You know, it’s like, after New Year’s, you’ve got those new resolutions, I think, you know, that whole concept of habits is gonna put legs on the on the actual desire to change. This is actually how you do it, which I think there’s also

Bex Rose: 7:00
something else James Clear, talked it talks about is when you are developing those goals and systems, that instead of thinking the goal itself, so thinking of the goal itself, so for example, I want to you want it, we want to think about what who the person you want to be right. So, for example, a habit could be making your bed every morning, because I want to be someone who’s tidy and organized. So it’s instead of being so who do you want to be, I want to be someone that I want to be fit and healthy for my kids. So the habit that I’m going to create is getting up and going and doing a walk every day or every three days, right? So it’s you really want to have that image of who you want to be, and and create the habits to fulfill that. Yeah, and so that, and then you might break that down even more. So I want to be someone that’s fit and healthy with my kids and strong enough to be able to lift the kids up to put the star on the Christmas tree, something like that, right. So in order to do that breaking down into habit. So it might be that I will do one pushup every morning after I brush my teeth. Can you see how that all fits up? Together? Oh,

Mark Herring: 8:16
100%. It’s incredible. And that’s what you’re doing and holiday mode, right? You’re you’re sitting back and you’re looking at your life and you’re kind of reassessing my bad choices, you know, but you’re trying to imagine and do things differently. I always, that’s one of the things about teaching is that you know, you at the end of the year, or you know, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, your summer break, that’s the time of the year that you get to close the book, and you get to start a new one at the start of the year, you get that little little sort of sense of the term breaks. But you know, I think that’s a really good opportunity to take a look at how you want to evolve and how you want to grow and change. One thing that when I’m thinking about habits, one thing, this is almost a little mental heck for me, and I don’t know if this is helpful for anybody, but what I tend to do is, is I think about where I’d like to be and what I’d like to do in the future. And you know, what kind of reality do I want to build towards, you know, they talk about doing something for your future self. But the thing that actually helps me be a lot more successful today is thinking about the return the immediate return that I get from that habit, you know, so, like drinking water, we know that we should all be drinking, you know, three liters a day or whatever it is that we do, I try to focus on how I feel afterwards. So when you drink a bottle of water, just a liter of water, or ice water, or whatever it is, I know that makes me feel really good. And so what I tried to do is just try and fixate a little bit on that and use that as a mental hack. How do I feel when I eat a good healthy meal? As opposed to when I go out and get a pizza? Like I know that in the moment when you’re eating a pizza it feels great but then straight afterwards for the rest of that day. I just feel disgusting, you know, I just I don’t know. Yeah, absolutely doesn’t doesn’t feel good words. If I have a nice healthy salad or, you know, like don’t care Only self worth, just leave us. But whatever it is, that makes the difference. I feel good after that. So I think that’s a good thing for habits as well focusing on how it makes you feel today, making your bed the status sense of satisfaction and just focusing on that. And just taking the time to enjoy it, I think makes a real difference as well, not always thinking about the future and what it’s going to look like in a year’s time, because sometimes that can be too far out for me to get a reward from that. So it’s just a absolute, and

Bex Rose: 10:27
that’s when goal Yeah, when they’re too big. And my account director talks about the 12 week working year. And this is and I think that to support that as as building these habits and these systems so that those even those tiny goals can can be fulfilled. So I’m just going to kind of just finish off with this is that was, especially in teaching in, it has been a heck of a couple of years. And so I would suggest that teachers especially prioritize wellbeing is one of their big, big goals like, so think about how do you want to feel at the end of next year? Right? You don’t want to be feeling like you’re just like a zombie walking through the last couple of days of school. So what are you going to do? What habits are you going to form throughout the year, so that you can preserve some of that energy throughout the year and get to the end of the year, not feeling I mean, it’s it’s always tiring at the end of the year, but you know, present how you going to what habits you’re going to put in place to preserve that energy throughout the year. So I my challenge to you is to think about that. Think about what tiny habits you’re going to form on a daily those 1% was 1% Every day, so that the end of the year, next year, you feel more you don’t you’re not completely worn out that you have got some energy for your family over Christmas. And yeah, that’s my challenge to you.

Mark Herring: 12:01
Fantastic, good stuff to think about. Super excited to have Mike, our director of the company on the call. Good to see you, Mike.

Mike Reading: 12:12
Hey everybody, great to see you.

Mark Herring: 12:14
you can introduce yourself in a second. But one of the reasons that I thought would be good to have a conversation in our very first episode is to have a chat about some of the things that leaders are doing in schools at the start of the year. So we all know that whether you’re a team leader, or a principal or a dp of a school, there are things that you’re trying to impact and change, you know, particularly across the school year, you’ve had the holidays, to kind of reflect on things. And you might have done some planning at the end of the last year, we’ve worked with hundreds of schools over the last sort of five or six years in professional learning. And I know that there are lots of things that we see as being really successful in that goal setting approach. But there are some things that don’t work so well. So I’d love to have a talk with you about that. And just unpack some of the things that you see as being really effective. What would you see would be the first, the first major thing that you think is really important, starting the term, starting the school year as a leader? What kind of things do you think are most important?

Mike Reading: 13:09
Yeah, I think where we see the biggest runs, or the biggest wins is when you can have your goals really, really clearly articulated. But then back to real clear vision. So one of the biggest issues that we’ve bumped into in schools and businesses all over the world is that they haven’t clearly articulated what their vision is. So when they’re setting goals, they’ve kind of setting goals into some of it’s a little bit vague and other nebulous. It’s not like super, super dialed in. So I think if you have to do anything, it’d be like really getting clear on what the vision is. And then starting with that, and maybe not even setting some goals, just hanging back until you’ve got the vision set. And once that’s clear and communicated, then going. Okay, so if that’s the vision, what do we need to do to achieve that?

Mark Herring: 13:57
Yeah, talk about the vision, being the guardrails, don’t wait to whatever decisions that you’re making. So if you don’t understand what your Northstar is, don’t understand where you’re going, then it’s very difficult to kind of track that goal setting. Like, there’s so probably so many schools out there that are setting goals based on kind of the vision that they’ve got in their head, but they haven’t actually got that clearly defined and articulated across the team. Yeah, that’s super important. What would be some, once you’ve got that vision established, what would be the next step?

Mike Reading: 14:25
Yeah. So then, one of the things we work a lot on is just making our goals aligned to the SMART goal framework. But when I talk about it, I don’t really care about the art part. So the AR t. So SMART stands for specific, measurable, and then attainable and realistic and time limited. But what we really want to focus in on is the S and the M part. So if it’s not specific, you can’t measure it. So again, if the vision is not clear, then there’s no measurement around it. So the way we can determine very quickly if our vision or our goals Ah, clearly set is saying, okay, so how do we measure that? And so, again, so focusing really in, if we’re going to set a goal, how can we make it measurable? And just keep refining it, refining it, refining it, until it’s incredibly specific? And then we can chase it down

Bex Rose: 15:18
with regards to developing that vision? Who should be involved in that process?

Mike Reading: 15:22
Yeah, I think then well, there’s lots of key stakeholders that need to come into that, I think, obviously, you need to have your senior leadership team and your middle leadership team involved in that. But then there should also be a level of stakeholders around that. So for instance, looking at parent and communities or looking at potential businesses, like who’s going to support you, and partner with you. And getting some of that information out there. But at the end of the day, the buck stops with the leader. So the principal, the senior leader, in the they ultimately needs to stop with them. They need to carry the vision, that’s their primary purpose. So if they if they’re not on board with it, if it’s not clear in their head, it’s definitely not going to be clear across the rest of the team.

Bex Rose: 16:11
Yeah. So that’s the most important part is what you just said there as being everyone being clear on it. And I think that’s when you get the buy in. That’s when you get the traction when everyone is on the same page with that, right?

Mike Reading: 16:22
Correct. Yeah. So to give an example, we had a meeting yesterday with our senior leadership team, and we spent a lot of time talking specifically around the language about how something’s going to get communicated next year. So people were talking about the same concept. But I wasn’t prepared to move on until everybody had the language, right, in terms of this is exactly how I want you to communicate it across your teams. Don’t Don’t say like, let’s because it leaves open level of vagueness that people can interpret. So we’re going to here’s the exact language that I want us to use right across the leadership team.

Mark Herring: 17:01
Yeah, I’ve often heard you talk about the elephant analogy. Do you want to explain that? Because you put it say, Well,

Mike Reading: 17:07
yeah, so we talked about how when we speak, we speak in pictures, not words. So if I say the word elephant, then everybody sees an elephant, they don’t see the letters elephant floating across the screen. So basically, what we’re talking about, whenever we communicate, we will need to paint a picture. The problem is that if I just say the word elephant, you see an elephant based on your past experience, or what you’ve seen on TV, or maybe you went and rode an elephant somewhere. But the elephant that I’m saying is completely different. So we can’t think that we’ve communicated clearly just by saying, here’s the vision, and I’m using the word elephant, and we’re going to be an elephant as a school, then you need to define that. So what size is the trunk? What color are the is? How big is it? What does it have four legs or three legs. So the more clarity that you can give to that that picture, then the clearer everybody else sees it. And the less interpretation there is, for people to bring their own past experience, their own worldview, all of that sort of stuff that comes when people get moved from organization to organization, it’s about leaving that at the door and then redefining as you come in.

Mark Herring: 18:19
Yeah, it’s so critical, because so many of the visions that I’ve heard, you know, schools, articulate them, I have something written on the wall, or they might have even gone through one of the activities that we take your schools through, where you’re developing what that vision looks like, the word creativity for it, as an example, can mean so much, you know, different to somebody who’s teaching in the math department, to someone who’s teaching in the science department, you know, and being able to have that ability to be able to unpack that word is super important. Okay. So once you’ve got once we’ve got the vision articulated, and we’ve been through some conversations, and we’ve, we’ve thought really hard as a leader about how that’s articulated. And even in the classroom, when I’m listening to that I’m thinking about it in my context, what would be some of the next things that you think are really important if we’re a leader to try and help us move in the direction of that vision? What can I achieve in a year kind of thing? And how do I go about it?

Mike Reading: 19:10
Yeah, well, I think your question, there just highlights one of the problems in the way that we think about things. So you just said like, what can I achieve in a year. And so generally, when we’re thinking about the vision, and we’re setting goals, we set goals as the problem so basically, most people will wait until there’s a time limit. That’s where that smart part comes in, where it’s time limited. And you’ll leave it to the last minute to get something done. So if you set a goal, subconsciously, you’re like, I’ve got a whole year to achieve that. So there’s no urgency. There’s no filtering of activity to make that a priority, right. So one of the things we always encourage people to do is obviously have a year goal, but then break that year goal down into 12 week, sprints and so on. Again, yesterday, we just went through this exact process for us. So we’ve got our year goal. In fact, we’ve got seven goals that we’re chasing down for the year. And all of our activity for term one or quarter one has to be somehow specifically linked to those goals. So we look at that goal yet. Okay, how are we going to break down that goal for this quarter and focus in on this? And what will we achieve in those 12 weeks? So it’s really about how do we shorten that timeframe, and put a bit of urgency around what we’re doing?

Mark Herring: 20:33
Yeah, and that timeframe that you’re talking about, like breaking it down into 12 weeks that can be so so powerful, and and a lot of the leaders that I’ve worked with in the schools that I’ve worked with have really got some really good impact out of that, right. So it’s just such a new way of working. I know that there are some resources out there that we can we can share in the show notes as well, and some links to the 12 week year approach, because that’s such an awesome way to get some traction happening. Let’s say we’ve got their 12 week year, how do you kind of hold people accountable? Or how do you track that process? Because it’s one thing to have a goal in place? Then we’re talking about breaking it down into a term what’s what’s the next step? Like? How do you kind of get your team on board? How do you measure things? How do you keep people accountable?

Mike Reading: 21:14
Yeah, well, I think that accountability piece is really important. So it’s not about how do you keep people accountable? It’s how do you keep a person accountable? So someone needs to own it? Again, yesterday, this is fresh in my mind, because we just went through this process. We had an opportunity where two people were like, oh, you know, I’ll, I’ll take that as an initiative. And we’re like, No, someone Buck needs to stop with someone. Because if it’s Google’s job, it’s nobody’s job. So once you’ve found the people in the team, and then you’ve given each of them a role to play, and I own something, the buck stops with them, then I think what we’ve found, through lots of mistakes and lots of learning is that you need to have daily accountability. So we’ve set up an automated system inside our communication tools that ping everyone at 5am in the morning, and they say, what’s your focus for today, what was achieved yesterday, and what roadblocks are there that needs to get solved. And every morning, that message gets filled out by those that are accountable for the different goals that we’re working towards in that quarter? So yeah, once you’ve got it set up, and it’s specific, and it’s measurable, then you need to set that daily accountability cadence, so that you’re not constantly letting things drag out a week, two weeks, three weeks, because in a 12, week, year, a week is a long time. So you can’t let anything slip, we’ve got to stay right on it.

Mark Herring: 22:42
Especially in the school context, because you know, you’ve got teachers that are just caught up in that whirlwind, it can be a real challenge to keep an eye on the big picture, you know, of what you’re trying to achieve. And whatever kind of development you’re trying to get across in your school, it’s really easy to get lost than that, isn’t it? I do love those 5am pings, the X in the morning, helps you make sure that you’ve got your notifications set properly. Yeah. You mark, something like that? Well, let people think that. So one of one of the other questions I’ve got as a leader when I was because I was a DP in a primary school. And you know, you’re trying to achieve something, you’re trying to develop something in this in the school, sometimes with a lot of the teachers that that you’re working with, they can be so focused on their classroom or their faculty, or you know, what it is that they’re doing that sometimes they don’t see that bigger picture, or they may have heard about it at the start of the year. If you’ve got that regular cadence of accountability, and you’re having those regular meetings, that might be one thing, but what can you do about those people who just refuse to either get on board? Or they just kind of don’t get it? Like? Is there something you can do to kind of capture those people and encourage them into getting, you know, getting a part of the whole process?

Mike Reading: 24:00
You’re talking specifically not about the leadership team? You’re talking about the just the general teaching team themselves?

Mark Herring: 24:07
Well, it could it could be either. Yeah. Because you know, you talked about those Lego cards, or those people who just aren’t on the bus. I that’s a real challenge. If you’re trying to set goals, it’s one thing because I think one of the things that that help people be successful is obviously setting goals and setting a strategic plan and then holding people accountable. But then one of the things that can just fall flat is that people actively put up barriers or are resistors or, you know, don’t get on board and and we’ve had some things that we’ve tried to develop on the team, you know, over the years that that have fallen flat for a variety of reasons. What what is something that I could do as a leader to try and encourage get those people on board? Go around them even? I don’t know. Like, do you have any any thoughts on that?

Mike Reading: 24:49
Yeah, I think what we’ve found is that if you set that system up with accountability and daily accountability, the problem becomes when you let things go too long. So yeah, when things have fallen flat. It’s usually at the end of the quarter, we’ve done a wrap up. And we’re like, why did this not land? And they’re like, oh, you know, people just didn’t understand what was going on. Well, that should have been solved in week one, not week 11. Yeah. And so we just didn’t have our accountability and our communication systems set up to deal with that sort of thing straightaway. So I think once you’re very clear on the language and the vision, it’s quite easy to have those conversations at the very start of the quarter or, and just address it head on, rather than letting things build over time, the same kind of principle that you should use in your classroom, as a teacher, it’s like, if you let the class get too wild, at some point, that you get to this tipping point where it’s just like too much energy to bring the students back into control, right, if you added a little bit earlier, then wouldn’t have been a big deal, that wouldn’t have been any emotion, it would have just been a quick little course correction, and then back on with the job, but then you haven’t addressed it. So it turns into this massive energy sapping conversation, conflict, kind of opportunity. So I think it’s just seen as opportunities. And when you first notice it, just have a conversation about it, address it. Hopefully, we’re all professional, and it’s part of our job. That’s why I was asking, Is this the leadership team or the teaching team, because if it’s in the leadership team, then you’ve probably got a bigger problem that you need to address than if it’s just in the general teaching staff or support staff.

Mark Herring: 26:28
Yeah, I had a had a good conversation with the principal, a friend of mine, who took on quite a challenging school once a number of years ago. And there were a lot of people who, you know, there were all these different factions going on. And he knew that there were some teachers who probably needed to just move on. And I said to him, you know, two or three years later, he got in a situation where the school was just humming. And I said to him, how, you know, what are some of the keys to your success with that? How did you how did you develop your team? How did you, you know, find that right sort of group of people who were going to help you achieve the vision that you had. And he said, the main thing for him was just focusing on the vision. And then you just keep preaching that vision all the time, you just keep talking about it, keep saying this is where we’re going, this is where we’re going. Don’t focus on people. In that sense, just focus on where you’re wanting to head, and just be kind of dogged about it. And then he said, people just either get on board, and they, they help you and move in that direction. Or they just realize that this isn’t the place for them. And this might be, you know, maybe this isn’t the vision that they’re kind of quite bought into. So it was an interesting kind of approach. And I think it kind of talks to the the importance of having that vision at the start, but then all the way through the year, you just got to keep coming back to it that you making sure that that’s part of what you’re doing.

Mike Reading: 27:35
Yeah, well, I think if you think about it, you probably never regret having a conversation early. Like there’s never been a time we’ve addressed something. We should have said that early. But I’ve mentioned this plenty of times that you wish it had spoken up earlier. So it’s uncomfortable, and it’s not necessarily easy to do at the time. If you think about it, I reckon the mindset around it needs to be sooner rather than later. Because if you think about all the missiles that you’ve had, in terms of missed opportunities, it’s always because you haven’t taken the opportunity that’s in front of you not because you’ve acted a little bit too fast on that. So even if you’re a little bit too quick, out of the gate, at least it can open up a discussion where maybe you’ve over maybe you’re a little bit over critical or a bit oversensitive, and at least they can bring some perspective to what they’re seeing. And that could help course correct as well.

Mark Herring: 28:27
Awesome. Mike conversations. It’s such a huge thing at the start of the year, isn’t it BEX? And I know that, you know, hopefully that’s gonna give some value to some people and give us all some food for thought about how we’re going to achieve some things. Not only over the year, but also in the first 12 weeks, right. Oh, so thanks for being on the show.

Mike Reading: 28:47
See you guys.

Mark Herring: 28:52
Alright, in the good to know section today, we’ve got James, one of our trainers. Good to have you on the show. James.

James McMartin: 28:57
Good to be here, Mark. Thanks for inviting me.

Mark Herring: 29:00
My pleasure. And you’ve actually got a tool here that I’ve never come across. I’ve I think I’ve seen some of the results of these types of tools and presentations. But this is going to be great for math teachers and anybody involved in statistics, right? You want to tell us about it?

James McMartin: 29:13
Yeah, yeah. So this is like one of my little gems to be honest. So as a math teacher and not be my my jam. This is like statistics on steroids. But it’s bigger than that. So this is Gapminder which is our independent nonprofit organization, which is actually based in Sweden, itself by the rustling family. So if you’ve got a spare 10 minutes and jump on a TED talks, Hans Rosling TED talks are absolutely mind blowing, just like so entertaining but so informative as well. I found out about this too, a few years ago, but it can be applied on lots of different scenarios. So for me, I was looking at the statistics content but They’ve both out to Lincoln with a lot of the UN goals. And from a social science point of view, if it’s a boat, sort of looking at our wider worldview, just like awesome, such a great place. So I’ll take you through a few features of it. So the website, first of all, is, you’ll hit this landing page. The first thing you see up here is this sort of upgrade your worldview. So this is such a cool place to start. This is the hook for the kids. So I’m just going to click on this teach you through a little kind of questionnaire. Either get get your students to do this individually, or can I talk through it as a group, you’re going to be my guinea pigs, you didn’t know this was gonna happen. So you’re just gonna have to?

Mark Herring: 30:49
And for those who are listening to the podcast, James, you’ll need to kind of describe what’s happening as well, obviously, not to the detail, but not everybody will be able to see it. But yeah,

James McMartin: 30:58
yeah, so So I’ve clicked on the upgrade your worldview option, which takes me through a world view, either, you can sort of drill down by sort of topics and things like that. But I’m just gonna link into here are the UN goals. And I’ll pick one about no poverty. So you’re going to be tested on some no poverty related themes. So here we go. First question here for you. How did the number of deaths per year from natural disasters change over the last 100 years? So your options are a more than doubled, B remained about the same, or C decreased to less than half? So can we have a guess? And that’s exactly why I’m gonna

Bex Rose: 31:43
go more than doubled. Because I’m a negative Nancy,

Mark Herring: 31:48
I would say to decrease to less than half.

James McMartin: 31:52
Alright, okay, so I’ve run through this before, so I’m gonna go decrease the less than half as well. So well done mark. Sorry, backs, but you’re in the present the people that get this wrong. Wow. So this is just an example of, of what this does. So it’s deliberately designed to challenge misconceptions. So and it gives you a reason why. So if you’re watching grant, but if you’re listening, it says here that we actually got this one, right. But 84% of people don’t. And then it kind of tells you a little bit about why. So there’s survey results you’re highlighting from from different countries, what it is, but actually, about the misconceptions, such a really cool thing to this class with your with your class or more societies have gotten richer. So actually, the the impact from natural disasters and things like that is lessened because we can afford technology to predict what’s going to happen and infrastructures better. So actually, the number of deaths has dropped to less than 10%. So from 520,000 to 45,000. So gives you a huge amount of detail. So this was exactly where I start with a kits when I’m I’m talking about the statistics, or I’m talking about some sort of theme that we’re wanting to introduce in the classroom. So this is just so so cool. I won’t go through there’s like a huge blanket questions, but we’re not gonna have time to go through them all. But such an amazing statistic

Bex Rose: 33:23
is a really neat one to start the year with, isn’t it? James? Jimmy James? I’m sorry. This is Jim on the I just want to clarify that Jimmy and James are the same person. But yeah, so six hour is a really good way to start the year, because it’s a really good way to gauge you know, learn more about your kids and stuff, isn’t it?

James McMartin: 33:42
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it kind of gives you an insight and sort of what their values are, and what their their kind of their motivations are, and gives you that way to kind of find out what makes them tick, which is a teacher is called, because once you’ve started to unpack that for each of the students, you can absolutely tap into that for the rest of the year when you’re working with them. So always such a good place to begin to have those conversations in those discussions. So, so that’s why for me, spending a bit of time looking at Gapminder gives me a window into how my students think, what they value in life, which is just so sort of

Mark Herring: 34:22
cool. So can you give us another example of one of the graphs? And yeah, because I know that there are some really good animations that go on behind so so yeah,

James McMartin: 34:31
so I’m gonna go into the animating data section. So if you’re in the Gapminder, you can scroll down on the first page, and they’ve got a tool called Understanding the changing world. So the data that is linked into Gapminder is all verified by the UN so submitted by each of the countries, but independently verified by the UN and then thrown in the back end here. So all this data is live and real. So this is My favorite graph, this is the bubble graph. And this is a default graph, when you jump in and scroll down, you can see you’ve got income, you’ve got March trends, ranks ages, dollar Street, some isn’t as well. But I’m going to focus on the bubble graph just now I’m just going to press play, actually, and then I’ll chat. When it plays through some, this little toggle here just reduces the speed. So when I hit play here, what you’ll see is we’ve got some dancing bubbles. And each bubble represents a country. And they’re themed by color. So the Americas are green, Europe is yellow Africa is blue, Asia, and Australasia is red. The size of each bubble is linked to the population. So there’s a setting in here in the corner, which has sizes on population. So these big countries are factoring Hall for over that last India. All right. Time is ticking through. So what are you waiting for one, there’s actually not a huge amount has changed and sort of 50 years has been taken by I have life expectancy. On the left on my y axis, I’ve got income, which is if I hover over here is the GDP per person for each country. So the richer countries are going to move along to the right. And then the countries with better health care are going to move up the scale. So you can obviously see here that the UK in the late 1800s was relatively rich and relatively good life expectancy. I’m going to click on this one. So see if I can click on that. So now that I’ve clicked on the UK, there, you can see it starts to track where the UK has actually been. So I can do that. You can zoom in and zoom out and things like that as you can go. I’m gonna

Mark Herring: 36:50
second so if you’re if you’re listening, what we’re watching is a graph and there are these bubbles that are moving up and down and interpreting the data that’s obviously inputted in it sort of moving across the screen. Yeah, yeah,

James McMartin: 37:03
not definitely. So what this does, it just canal allows you to fill context around real life situations. So the the interesting bits, for me is trying to find out what these misconceptions are. So I’ve just stopped that. I’m going to go back to 19 hundred’s and now I’m going to, I’m going to ask you another question or two. So as we kind of tick through here, you can see there’s a massive population drop there. Can you see that? Yeah, that was crazy. Right? So all the countries across the world, just at the end of the sort of name, teen 10s evident, like massive drop there.

Mark Herring: 37:45
So as a teacher, you’d say what do people think this is when you send them away and do some research if they didn’t know? Is that what you’re doing?

James McMartin: 37:51
Absolutely. So that’s what we’re gonna do the end thoughts what that may be.

Mark Herring: 37:57
I think I know Beck’s?

Bex Rose: 37:59
Oh, put me on the spot.

Mark Herring: 38:03
I read lots of books when I was a kid. I’d say World War One.

James McMartin: 38:10
It’s actually slightly before world. So there’s a bit of Atlas World War One. But the fact that it see if I scroll this affects every single country. Yeah. So it’s actually the Spanish flu. Wow. Yeah. So if you think about how relevant that is, given the fact we’ve just come out of the next major world pandemic, yeah. And then you can see what that was the impact of the Spanish flu. And that was because

Mark Herring: 38:37
the soldiers all came back from the war. Right? Yeah. And then in contexts where we are, you know, in New Zealand, and Australia, all of those soldiers came back and brought the flu with them.

James McMartin: 38:47
Yeah, so So this is just like, this is Tokyo. So I always gonna try and get the kids to, to interpret, like, put the context around what you’re seeing. And that’s the gold bits or statistics curriculum in New Zealand is amazing for that, like, context is king. And if you can start introducing real world context, and these graphical displays, and we’re not spending time just drawing bar graphs forever, and pie charts forever, because actually, we’re going to use a computer software to do that, like when they get Yeah, NCAA, that’s what they do. What I’m gonna do is we’re gonna get closer to the the end of the 20th century. I just want you to feel silly is this China here? So this is 1970. I’m gonna click on China. And 1979, China had a life expectancy of 64. And its income was 1360 US dollars, GDP per person. All right, I’m just gonna play now. And just watch what change what happens to China. So for the benefits of people listening through the way the new 20th century and the early 20th century China just nerves that the bubble for China goes from that sort of just To over $1,000, Mark to over $18,000. And then approximately 30 years, which is just the economy or not, at the end and

Mark Herring: 40:12
the size of that bubble to change, yeah, absolutely large compared to all the other continents too. That’s awesome. What’s so so to wrap this up, if you’re thinking if we’re you’re a teacher listening or watching, what would be some of the the immediate applications that you can see in their classrooms, particularly at the start of the year?

James McMartin: 40:29
Oh, totally. So So for me, it’s such an amazing tools or the worldview, upgrader is such a cool place to begin, because you can actually start to build out some of those kind of personal values from from your students. So within, so I definitely recommend as that sort of age break or two really nice way to kind of get to know your students, we always kind of focus, particularly at the start of the year on those core math and literacy skills. So being able to do something that’s probably a bit more engaging, and a bit more relevant to what’s happening in the real world is such a cool way to use Gapminder. So I would totally encourage you to jump in here, have a look at some of the graphs, this is just a bubble graph that we’ve had a look at. But there’s lots of others and, and please feel free to reach out because I’ll be more than happy to talk you through some of this stuff. I could talk about it all day forever.

Bex Rose: 41:25
Can I just ask what you think this is more secondary? Secondary focus?

James McMartin: 41:30
Not necessarily. So yeah, you know, like, my wife is a primary teacher. And she has the added advantage available, who can mi skill set every time she comes home? So we have kind of spent a bit of time looking at how she can use government there. So she’s used Gapminder, with your fours five, years, six, and seven. So depending on what age group she has been teaching, my thought is totally doable.

Bex Rose: 41:57
So something just a bit different out of the box, not just your run of the mill style of the year. Yes. Could it really up the ante in your classroom? Cool.

James McMartin: 42:03
Oh, definitely such a cool place to be?

Mark Herring: 42:05
Well, yeah, and you’re starting stories that are based around your real life statistics and graphs as well. So for a lot of teachers, the end result, what they’re trying to assess, is actually can I create a graph? Can I collect data? Can I create a graph, can I interpret it, but you’re actually starting with the story behind the graph at the very beginning, which is such a neat way to be able to start, it’s kind of like giving medicine but in adding sugar to it. Like you’re starting with the whole context around it, which was fantastic. Thanks for sharing. James is fantastic. So get Awesome. We’ll have the link in the show notes. And if anybody wants to, to find out more, they can contact you. We’ll have that there as well for them.

Bex Rose: 42:46
Thanks, Jimmy.

Mark Herring: 42:50
So that’s the end of episode one not bad to have one on the canvas, and it makes it how did you find that? What was some highlights for

Bex Rose: 42:56
you? I think definitely hearing about Mike’s interpretation of setting up for success at the beginning of the year. So making sure you’ve got that vision, I’ve got a couple of challenges from that. Make sure that you know what that vision is in your school and how are you going to form habits to make those goals successful. And with Jimmy’s create a creative aspects with the new tool. I’ve never seen it before on my 20 years. So my challenge is also let’s let’s jump out of that rinse and repeat start of the year type activity and see what else is out there and and change it up between 23

Mark Herring: 43:34
Yeah, it’s a perfect time to be able to do it. And you know, January, it’s the holidays, and the southern hemisphere or if you’re on your Christmas break in the northern hemisphere, this is the chance to be able to dive out there and explore some new things. So if you’re after some of the links or resources that we’ve mentioned today, have a look on the show notes. And make sure to subscribe, so make sure that you don’t miss any of the episodes that are coming down the down the pike we post every week, or aiming to and we’d love to have you keep up with us. If you know someone who would get value from these episodes, hit the share button and let them know there are ways to be able to connect and grow our community. Lastly, if you have questions or anything share with us, we’d love you to email us now it’s a little bit long, and make sure that I get it right Beck’s team at using technology That’s team using technology We’d love to hear from you. See y’all next week. See you later.



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