If you’re getting ready to clean your kitchen, you’re probably ready to break out the bottle of brightly covered liquid stored in the utility area.

Do you ever wonder exactly what’s in that bottle? If it’s an eco-friendly cleaner, the package, which usually has a bunch of logos on it and friendly looking bunnies and leaves, typically claims: “This cleaner is greener, safer for the environment, or is concentrated to use less packaging.” It’s an example of what is called “environmentally responsible chemistry,” but what does that mean anyway?

In the world of “green cleaners,” there are dozens of confusing environmental labels that may pair sustainability with safety. That’s why it’s important you do your homework and make sure the claims are accurate. With a little information, you can cut through the clutter and find the right cleaning products for your business.

Cleaners, sustainability and safety

Restaurants require a lot of cleaning.…

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How frequently do you spend time writing (blogs, journaling, articles, etc.)?

  • Very — I write regularly every week: 16%
  • Somewhat — I’ll write occasionally as the mood strikes: 21%
  • Not at all — I’ll write only when absolutely necessary: 63%

Writing Makes You Better. Finding the time and a reason to write has many benefits – it makes you sharper, more articulate, helps you clarify your thoughts, and creates opportunities for you. It’s easy to rationalize you don’t have time or a reason to write. Reconsider that position and think through the many benefits of having a regular writing habit. Whether it’s journaling, blogging, white papers, or articles – writing will improve your skills and value to your company.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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Connecting educators to each other has a huge impact on the learning environment. As educators build relationships, they can then share knowledge and learn from each other. And when this happens, learning improves for all students.

How can you get started? The key is to start small. Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a Pinterest account. Search for educational topics. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking system. You see pictures that link to websites containing lesson plans, articles and ideas for your classroom and curriculum.
  2. Set up a Twitter account and follow educational people and organizations. (No need to tweet, just lurk.) Suggestions: @edutopia, @ASCD, @eduleadership, @GustafsonBrad, @ShakeUpLearning, @jmattmiller.
  3. Check out Tweetdeck to organize incoming tweets. Search for and follow hashtags. Suggestions: #edchat, #mnlead, #tlap, #edtech, #edchat.
  4. Participate in a Twitterchat. Go to Education Chats and look for a Twitterchat that pertains to your classroom. Follow the Twitterchat during the specified time. If you see something interesting that looks like a link, click on it.
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The cure for presentation writer’s block

When the pressure is on to deliver a mission-critical presentation, even the most experienced presenters sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to develop valuable content. Have you found yourself falling prey to these habits?

  • Staring a blank screen and wondering how to begin
  • Feeling stuck and frantically searching the Internet for something to help you get back on track
  • Obsessing over just the right wording and making no progress

Are you nodding in agreement as your recognize this familiar pattern? We’ve all been there. The good news is, you can kick that anxiety to the curb when you know how to craft a powerful presentation that achieves results.…

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October is Connected Educator Month. Stay tuned throughout the month for advice from your peers about connected teaching and learning. David Haglund, deputy superintendent of Educational Services for the Santa Ana Unified School District in California, shines a light on how the district makes learning available anytime, anywhere.

If you want to check your bank balance at 11:00 p.m., you can. If you wake up in the middle of the night and remember it’s your anniversary tomorrow, jump online and order flowers. Pondering on a lazy Sunday afternoon who the Prime Minister of England was in 1964? The answer is at your fingertips, thanks to search engines. (The answer is Harold Wilson, by the way.) In today’s on-demand world we can satisfy any curiosity or need whenever we want. So why can’t our students learn whenever and wherever they want?

In the Santa Anna Unified School District in California, we’ve made a commitment to giving students 24/7 access to learning resources.…

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