Three-hour mini-courses, One day workshops
for Educators

Watch my animated talk on Argument!

Click here


Comment from the Louisville, KY workshop:

“Perfect! So glad I didn’t miss this… Great & accurate & usable.”

Improving the Oral Communication of All Students

Many states have standards that increase emphasis on the most important language art: speaking. This presentation centers on the art of effective oral communication. Speaking skills are broken into manageable, teachable parts to show teachers how to enable students to speak well in a variety of settings.  Participants will come away with an understanding of the elements of successful speaking.

Drawing upon twenty years of success with PVLEGS© and Six Trait Speaking©, the ideas presented will change how participants think about speaking. Whether the goal is improved class discussions, improved formal speeches, or improved one on one communication, this presentation will give  teachers a new framework to improve student speaking in the classroom and beyond.

Watch Erik talking about PVLEGS:

Visit the site devoted to speaking and listening ideas:

Presentation Skills for Teachers and Administrators

  • A principal reads PowerPoint slides at the staff.
  • A teacher has poorly designed white board slides.
  • Someone from staff development buries the audience with jargon.

All of us can become better communicators. Learn how to design more effective presentations, and learn how to present more effectively. Become more confident as a speaker in all situations–in front of a class, in the staff meeting, at Back to School night, at the board meeting, at the all-school assembly, and more.

Read Erik’s post “Never Make a Slide Like This:”

Media literacy

Everywhere you look, educators talk about reading and writing, but they generally are thinking about ink on paper reading and writing. To be literate today demands that we expand our definition of literacy. Students need to be able to be “sound and image literate,” because every message has those attached. Students need to be “bias literate,” understanding their own and recognizing bias in others. Students need to be “Internet literate,” understanding how to read and analyze what they find online (including fake news). This talk explains the need for rethinking our limited ideas about literacy and shares practical ways to create students who are truly, broadly literate.

Listen to Erik’s talk about Media Literacy


Redefining Reading: Skills for Reading in the Digital World

View the webinar here

Today, reading is much more than making sense of ink on paper. As students read enhanced texts and read online, they discover that reading involves embedded video, images, audio, and hyperlinks.  To comprehend what they “read,” students need to be media literate, understanding the language of sound and image; they need to be Internet literate, understanding how to evaluate websites and the information contained on their pages, and they need to be digital-text literate, understanding how to stay focused in spite of the distractions online.  This talk explains the skills needed by today’s readers and suggests ways to teach those skills.

Comments from Baltimore:

“Erik was a fantastic speaker.  I am enriched by it!” “He was absolutely excellent–the best one.” “Outstanding!”

Digital Communication

To our students, school means paper and pencil and word-processed assignments.  Outside of school, though, our students write and produce in ways we ignore in the classroom. New tools and sites offer new opportunities to engage our students and develop core skills.

Brilliant options for writing exist. Digital tools that showcase speaking exist (podcasts, webinars, video calling and video conferences, and more) yet we fail to take advantage of these possibilities.

This presentation will change how teachers think about writing and speaking.  The session will introduce teachers to alternative kinds of writing assignments and make teachers comfortable assigning and accepting new modes of writing–writing that is more relevant to 21st century learners. Participants will learn about sites and tools that encourage and develop oral language skills.

Watch Erik speaking about digital communication