Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

Cool Augmented Reality Apps

Came across this video blog by Matt Gonzalez in which he talks about augmented reality apps. I tried three of these apps and found two of them quite cool.

Word Lens Translator app is a translation app that is really useful while traveling. You can just point to the words and viola, you get the translated version. Here's a sample of what I tried.


Augment is a little harder to master but once you do, it seems quite cool. You can select objects and place them on real time camera pictures to see how they might look at the place. Quite useful say when selecting some furniture or appliance and seeing how it will look at your home. How do you think this table lamp would look on my bedside table?


Layar is the third app I tried. Point the camera to a Layar-enabled magazine and it bring alive the magazine. You could potentially point to products in the magazine and buy them instantly online. I didn't find this very useful since I couldn't really find any Layar enabled magazine around me. The newspapers these days are beginning to come print QR Codes that you could point to and go directly to a website that might show you the video. Boring, in my view. If I wanted to watch a video, I wouldn't be reading the newspaper or the magazine. I think the really cool futuristic gadget would be the newspapers shown in Harry Potter movies, the ones where the video is viewed on the newspaper itself. Now that would be really cool gadget to have.

Watch the full video here:

Seven Survival Skills in Today’s World

I recently came across International Finance Corporation’s (IFC). It’s “6th International Private Education Conference, Rethinking Education, Shaping the Future, brought together thought leaders and investors in education from around the globe. On April 1-2, 2014 in San Francisco, USA, the delegates discussed how innovation and technology in education delivery and results measurement are giving us new tools for broadening access to quality education for millions of students around the world.”

Their YouTube channel provides you with access to videos of their conference.

The keynote address to the conference was by Tony Wagner. Tony Wagner “currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.”



In this video, Tony makes some very pertinent points. Knowledge today has become commodity, available on every Internet connected device. It is no longer a scarce commodity available only with teachers. Because it was a scarce commodity in the past, it was considered that the more knowledge one had, the more value one had in the market place. Today one doesn’t need a teacher to acquire knowledge. And so how can one add value to the market place?

Knowledge is one leg of the stool, which is easy to acquire. The other two legs are Skill and Will. Skill is about asking the questions, how to acquire new knowledge, how to solve new problems. Will is the motivation to use the knowledge and skill.

In his research with companies on what are they looking for in new hires, Tony discovered that the set of core competencies required are very similar, not just to get a job, but to be a continuous learner and be an active and informed citizen. The seven survival skills in today’s world are:

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Critical Thinking is all about knowing how to ask really good questions, how to ask the right questions, not necessarily get the right answers.
  2. Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence: Teams are no longer led by supervisors. They are led by peers through influence.
  3. Agility and Adaptability: Schools are in complete contrast with this requirement of the world today with their unchanging environment and syllabus.
  4. Initiative and Entrepreneurial-ship: Companies are not looking for employees who set 4-5 goals and meet all of them. They are looking at employees who set 10 stretch goals and succeeds 7-8 out of them.
  5. Effective Oral and Written Communication: The kids can’t write today because they don’t know how to think. They are also not writing with voice, which is putting their passion and perspective in the conversation to be more persuasive.
  6. Accessing and Analyzing Information: We need to teach the students to be able to search the Internet for information.
  7. Curiosity and Imagination

5 Types of People You Should NEVER Negotiate With

I am starting to follow a lot of sales blogs lately. One interesting blog I am now following is The Sales Hunter by Mark Hunter. In one of his posts he talks about 5 types of people you should never negotiate with. Useful categorization if you are in sales.

According to Mark, the 5 types of people you shouldn't negotiate with are:

1. The person who will take your offer to the decision maker.
2. The overly emotional person.
3. The committee.
4. The low-price champion.
5. The “we can’t give a decision as to when we will buy” person.

I have come across four of the five types of people listed above. I wasn't sure who an overly emotional person is. I haven't come across this type of person.

Read his full post here: 5 Types of People You Should NEVER Negotiate With

Dump the Bullets

Seth Godin shares some useful insights on why bullets don't work in presentation in his post Most presentations aren't bullet proof. He says bullets don't save time and don't make easier to remember things. 

Don't miss navigating to the link to his bulletless solution in his earlier post.

I find it so hard to resist using bullets in my presentations, though I must admit the most remembered presentation I made didn't have bullets. There must be some truth to what he says. Interestingly when I blogged about that presentation, I was inspired by Seth at that time too.


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.

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