“I’m on a mission to ensure that school vision screenings look at the real learning-related visual skills that kids need to succeed in school, and not just the eye chart that shows whether a person can see a letter from 20 feet away.” – Pat Wyman, USA

On October 23rd, Pat Wyman, Bonnie Terry, Susan Kruger and our own Nasha Fitter will co-host a Virtual University: Understanding the Learning Strategies of the 21st Century Learner. The session will cover the five best strategies every 21st century learner needs to succeed in school and in the workplace, how to remove learning roadblocks, the best study skills and technology strategies to enhance learning. Everyone who attends the webcast will receive a free digital copy of Amazing Grades, with a special bonus chapter by Fitter. Be sure to register here, and join us for this informative gathering. 

Many of the educators we talk with here at Daily Edventures have been inspired to become teachers by someone who made a difference in their education. And Pat Wyman is no exception – although her experience was certainly not as positive as most. “I had an algebra teacher in high school who told me I was stupid and would never pass that class,” says Wyman. “He said this in front of the whole class. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher right then, and that I would always encourage all my students and ensure I did concrete things so they would believe in their ability to accomplish anything. I still believe that today.” 

Wyman has gone on to become an extraordinary educator: she is a college professor and founder of HowtoLearn.com. As an expert in neuroscience and how it affects learning, Wyman is known for her unique solutions to learning challenges and has been called, “America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert.” She has written several books, including Instant Learning for Amazing Grades (a complete study skills for grades 1-8); the worldwide goodwill book Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Your Grades Faster (for students in middle school through college);Spelling Made Easy: Learn Your Words in HALF the Time; Math Facts Made Easy: Learn All Your Facts in HALF the Time (which she offers at no cost in her quest to help students learn to love math); and Learning vs. Testing.She has also co-authored two books about autism. 

Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Pat Wyman, and be sure to join us on Oct. 23rd (or whenever you can) for the next Partners in Learning Virtual University!

 What drew you to the field of education? Why is it important to you?

Every child deserves the best we have to offer them in life, and they are all precious and creative in their own way. I’ve always believed that learning is about strategy and not about being smart and what drew me to education is the understanding that our children really are “our future.”

 Please describe how your professional achievements have advanced innovation in education.  What has changed as a result of your work?

Literacy and learning strategies have been my passion in education – as ways to create student success, inspire students’ confidence to believe that anything is possible and to help them become life-long learners. I’ve created a learning styles inventory used worldwide, and it has made a real difference in the way teachers teach, and how kids learn. I believe it is critical that school not be one-size fits all and only cater to one type of learner.

 In addition, literacy via reading — and understanding that not every child sees the page the same way — led me to a life-long passion to make sure that every student becomes an excellent reader. I created an Eye-Q Reading Inventory that shows students how they “feel” when they read, what might really cause them to not like reading (and why it’s not their fault) what visual skills might cause them to re-read words; get tired when they read; not see the punctuation at the end of the sentence, and much more. This inventory is at the source of school vision screening legislation on which I’ve testified twice and I’m on a mission to ensure that school vision screenings look at the real learning-related visual skills that kids need to succeed in school, and not just the eye chart that shows whether a person can see a letter from 20 feet away. Hey, how many kids read their books from 20 feet away while covering one eye?   

Last year, I brought together 101 experts and educators from 13 countries around the world to help students learn faster and more effectively, while providing life skills they need to succeed in life as well. The result of that year-long effort is the book – Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Your Grades Faster. I am deeply grateful to all the folks who contributed inspiring and truly innovative chapters to that book, and it is making a real difference in the world. 

In your opinion, how has the use of apps, cellphones, and mobile devices changed/is changing education? And your work?

I use a learning styles app on my website at HowToLearn.com which allows students to share the results with their teachers, friends and families and explain to them how they prefer to learn. This app helps teachers to be better teachers for kids with various learning modalities.

In your view, what is the most exciting innovation happening in education today?

In all jest, it must be the testing, common core, and NCLB.  In reality though, the technological advancements that allow students to become students of the world, participate with students in other parts of the world. Apps, computers and tablets have truly made some of the most important innovations in education.

 Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?

As an educator, all of these inspire me and I’m certain they must be a part of our schools, work and our world. All these skills must be learned early on in order for us to have a more peaceful and productive world. 

If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?

A computer or tablet to help connect them with all of the best and most inspirational education and new learning on the planet

What is your country doing well currently to support education?

My country is innovating at every possible level in education, although there is long road ahead to do this. We have companies and government agencies providing technology to students, along with training they will need to succeed in the work world and in life. Teacher mentorship programs are particularly effective in creating better teachers, who can teach critical thinking, collaboration and innovative thinking skills.

How must education change in your country to ensure that students are equipped to thrive in the 21st century?

In order for students to thrive in the 21st century, they must have access to new technology along with deep, meaningful partnerships and internships with companies who will later hire them.  It’s essential that students understand what employers need and also be able to provide those same employers with new ideas. Thus the partnerships – paired with technology — allow this to happen, leading to innovation.

 About Pat Wyman

Author, College Professor and founder of HowToLearn.com

Nevada and California, USA

@ howtolearncom

  • Birthplace: California
  • Current residence: Nevada/California
  • Education: BA – Sociology; M.A. Education; Reading Specialist; Secondary/elementary credentials; ESL certificate and Administrative Services Credential
  • Website I check every day: HowToLearn.com; TED
  • Person who inspires me most: Albert Einstein
  • Favorite childhood memory: Getting a new puppy
  • Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Ireland and Italy
  • When was the last time you laughed? Why? I laugh everyday – it’s so life affirming. Today, I laughed looking at a youtube video of twins talking with each other
  • Favorite book: Three Cups of Tea
  • Favorite music: Good ole’ rock n roll
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? Never look or live in the rear view mirror of life – always learn something new every day and Einstein’s quote:  “There are two ways to live your life; one as if nothing is a miracle, and the other as if everything is a miracle.”  Albert Einstein
  • Your favorite quote or motto: In addition to the one above – “Be ashamed to die before you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann


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4 Responses to “I’m on a mission to ensure that school vision screenings look at the real learning-related visual skills that kids need to succeed in school, and not just the eye chart that shows whether a person can see a letter from 20 feet away.” – Pat Wyman, USA

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