Guest Post: Famous Writers’ Insults

Guest Post by: AussieWriter

Famous writers are humans with their own weaknesses and peculiarities. And sometimes they can’t resist the temptation to insult their colleagues. It’s difficult to say was it mostly because of personal reasons or professional ones. But all in all, great writers remain creative even in sharing these insulting characteristics. This infographic from AussieWriter depicts some of the most figurative among them.

famous-writers-insults

Guest Post: Technology in the Classroom; Where Should the Line be Drawn

Guest Post by: Will Clevett

Having laptops and tablets in classrooms has been a muchNo Laptops debated subject, with many studies done on both sides of the fence, showing both the benefits and drawbacks from students having computers in class. The potential benefits are already being used to great effect in forms such as distance learning. For future uses of technology, we could find adaptive teaching techniques allowing children to effectively have their own digital tutor which can adapt and change the level and techniques being used to help that child learn, based on their responses to previous work, and apply pressure to continue stretching the boundaries of their learning.

Many naysayers say that technology provides too many distractions and makes people less knowledgeable, as they rely on their technology to store data rather than their memory. However, this is an age-old argument which was first recorded in approximately 370 BC by Plato in his conversation with Socrates, quoting an Egyptian king:

“For this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality” ~ Plato

Naturally this isn’t about computers or the internet; this was about the downsides to writing and the change that the written word presented to the world, though it’s also disconcertingly easy to apply to modern trends in technology, with the rise of the internet and mobile devices allowing people to connect constantly. While the above statement appears to have been wrong, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will remain so for the internet age.

The key distinction is the difference between using technology to support learning efforts and using that reason as an excuse to keep up to date on Facebook, and it may be true that having such easy access to social media platforms and other sources of information may just be too distracting. Google have reported that the average Android user checks their phone around 150 times a day and, despite being a middleweight phone user, I can’t deny that my usage fits into this ballpark.

This has led to many teachers banning technology in their classrooms, most commonly the mobile phone for the distractions they can cause everybody else, but following a study done by Professor Cliff Nass in 2009, it actually looks like people who try to multitask with technology are actually worse at concentrating on any of the tasks than people who don’t try to multitask. This study even led to a lecturer in social media (of all things) at New York University banning laptops and tablets in their classes unless actually required for the work.

The fact is that, for most people, computers are an everyday part of life and, as such, this should be reflected in teaching as it has been. The growth of technology has been especially helpful to many further education institutions, such as universities, allowing many students to remote control equipment from half a world away. This gives students opportunities they otherwise simply wouldn’t have had. For example, astronomers often require facilities a long way from light pollution and they may often need to take measurements from the other hemisphere, which is all now possible with the internet. Such skills are very transferable as well, with most jobs requiring proficiency with computers, at the very least, and many jobs in industrial computing requiring the remote access of equipment.

So at the end of the day, it looks like technology is going to be a massively important tool going forward in teaching at all levels. It is, however, also something which will need to be used responsibly and innovatively to structure learning rather than as a quick solution to problems.

Guest Post: Timeless Original Writing Techniques of Famous Writers

 

 

Guest Post by: Cindy Bates

Writing is a skill that one cannot learn or acquire overnight. The best way to further enhance your writing skill is to make use of certain techniques and to form habits that will make you become an excellent writer. Almost all of the best and famous writers in the world share the same habits and techniques. Not all of them were able to write their masterpiece in their first try. The very first thing that you have to do is to never be afraid to write down your thoughts. Whether it is about your life your perception things or something you have observed; the key to effective writing is to let your thoughts be heard and to bring out your creativity. Many top-notch writers have their own personal journals where they write down just about anything that happens to their lives. Everyday, they set a certain minimum number of words and from there, they continue the habit and practice their skills.


Writing techniques

 

Guest Poster’s Source: http://www.bestessaytips.com/blog/writing-techniques/

Guest Post: “Read with Me”- A Handy Schoology Tool

Schoology, the world’s best Learning Management System, brings educators and corporations around the world a collection of highly useful features. The amazing cloud platform has tools for schools that encourage and enhance blended learning. Whether you’re a teacher, student, or an administrative, schoology has a lot to offer through its application center.

read with me

Today, I’ll review the use of this handy-dandy application built by a team of creative teachers and developers.  Tired of endless piles of paperwork while assessing reading skills? Read With Me is the perfect application that will reduce loads of work when it comes to that.

You can finally forget about paper and pencil hassles. Read With me is designed to make life easier for everyone whether you are a teacher, student, or a parent. This brilliant application can be used in numerous ways with iOS 5.1 (or later) devices. This includes iPhone, iPads, and Apple computers.

Read With Me (Schoology App) Features:

  • Fast and accurate calculations of words per minute read, number of errors
  • Easy to share reports to parents, students, and staff
  • Benchmarks tied to National Fluency Norms
  • Bundled assessments for quick administration
  • Stopwatch and one minute countdown options
  • Track miscues across groups and over time
  • Optional comprehension questions with every passage

read with me 2

 

Read With me is a highly convenient tool for conducting reading assignments and assessing fluency. You can launch new assessments easily from the device. It allows you to manage your classes and assessments from an easy-to-interpret dashboard. The best part is that you can sync two devices by entering a token into any browser.

Read With Me has a built-in library with a collection of reading passages that are sorted in accordance with grade levels. There are three passages per grade level (Grades 1-8, Lexile range 40L to 1270L). If you’re not interested in their library’s collection, you may add your own passages through different sources.read with me 3

For children or parents, with eyesight issues, Read With Me allows you to increase text size as per your suitability. Scoring and assessment can be customized allowing you to bring your own guidelines and texts. Make it easy or difficult according to your preferences and the child’s fluency level. However, Read With Me also offers suggestions with concerning fluency assessments. Their grade level benchmarks are based on the national fluency level norms. This allows you to determine whether or not your students are reading at the benchmark levels.

Read With Me assess speed (word per minute) as well as accuracy (percentage). You can share the report with parents and other teacher via email. Students can use the touch technology to record their own videos and watch the videos later for referencing, etc. This is also a great form of automatic feedback, a means for self-assessment for students.

The app is also very child-friendly. Although it is intended to be used with adult supervision, the app is designed to be fitting and appropriate for a child’s unsupervised during the time the adult is preoccupied elsewhere. There are no pop-up advertisements, tabs or links to social media, and there is no direct access to the internet. The children can also choose their own reading passages and set up pages from the homescreen. The online system cannot be used unless a token is provided. This can only be done by an adult.

Read With Me is a brilliant app designed to decrease the work load of teachers. It is not only an assistive monitoring and assessing tools, but also a very efficient one. Unlike the many applications previously built for reading assessment purposes, Read With Me is not that time or energy consuming. You can effortlessly assign your students their reading work without even having to interact with the students directly. The audio and video playback can be used to make evaluations later on.

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The app is a must have for all teacher, tutors, and parents who are looking forward to teaching their children or students effective reading. If you factor in the convenience and time saving aspects, this is a very economical and useful tool that can truly make reading fun and easy-to-learn.

Author Bio

Eric Philip is a veteran writer having diversified expertise in education, career, health and technology based writing. He is currently working for a well reputed dissertation writing service which is dedicated to providing better academic consultancy to post grad students.

Guest Post: EdTech Tools in Higher Education

Guest Post By: Trisha Mukerjee

“EdTech is the study and the ethical practice of learning and improving performance by using, creating and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

As the world evolves in the virtual hemisphere. The education system of the world also joins the bandwagon. The concept of EdTech has finally reached the higher education sector. Colleges are making sure that they incorporate more and more technology into their curriculum. From using digital devices and incorporating digital badges as their core marking scene. Universities at a global level are striving towards the digital era.

Check the infographic to know more about the various tools of EdTech and why is EdTech required.

shiksha study abroad edtech infographic

 

 

 

trisha


Author Bio:
Trisha is a professional writer and has been writing on a variety of topics. She is an ardent reader, a traveler and a passionate photographer. She wants to explore the world and write about whatever comes across her way.

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Guest Post: Why Should You Teach 7-Year-Olds To Touch Type?

Guest Post by: Chassie Lee

Your day is already full of things you’re required to teach to your second-grade students. They’re focused on learning how to print letters and spell words correctly, filling page after wide-ruled page with their newly-learned vocabulary. Some of your students are still having trouble with reading simple texts, much less writing them out – and you haven’t even started the lessons on cursive handwriting. So why would you want to take time away from these basic skills to teach your class how to use a computer keyboard to type their words instead? Because it’s a skill they’ll need in the future, and that future is as close as their next school year.

The new Common Core tests for English Language Arts and general writing skills are computer-based. Starting in the third grade, students will need to know how to use a mouse, how to navigate through computer screens, and how to type longer text passages. While the younger grades will still be able to get by with point-and-click selection and easier fill-in-the-blank test questions, third-graders need to be able to type in their own answers to questions. By the fourth grade, each student is expected to be able to type a full page without stopping; in the fifth grade, that’s increased to two pages, and by sixth grade every student must be able to type at least three pages in one session at the computer. The longer it takes for them to type out their texts and test answers, the less time they’ll have to think about the questions they’re trying to answer.

It’s easy to assume that children already know how to use a keyboard to type, because many children own and use tablets and smartphones on a daily basis. A recent study by The NPD Group confirms that the majority of US families own at least one smartphone, and as NPD states in their report titled “Kids and CE: 2014,” a third of those families said that their children use smartphones. However, while devices like tables and smartphones will help children get familiar with using the internet and computer hardware and software in general, it doesn’t help them learn how to type on a keyboard. Even if they see the standard QWERTY layout on a smartphone screen, they’re using their thumbs to select the letters, and the auto-complete feature eliminates the need to type complete words. This isn’t going to help when these children are put in front of a computer to take an online exam using a full keyboard.

Fortunately, there are time-efficient and cost-effective ways to introduce keyboarding in your classroom. When you use professionally-designed typing tutor software that combines kid-friendly games with touch typing instruction, you won’t have to develop your own course outlines or typing tests. Depending on the software, you may even be able to let most of the class work on their own, while you focus on helping the students who are having the most trouble.

Look for touch typing software that is suitable for children of any age, so that your students will want to continue to improve their typing skills over the next few years. Since they’ll have to use the computer for online research and writing assignments all the way through high school, their typing skills need to keep up with their class requirements. If your school is looking for a way to teach keyboarding at all grade levels, pick a software product that can be scaled to the size of the student population each year, and one that allows each teacher to manage their own students by grade, by class grouping, and one on one.

By teaching your students to master touch typing early on, you’ll help them get the skills they need to master the tests and exams they’ll be facing in the future, and you’ll prepare them to enter a job market where nearly everyone is required to use touch typing to communicate and collaborate.

 

About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.

 

Guest Post: 4 Classroom Presentation Tools For The Educators

Guest Post by: Lim Chuwei

Education and technology goes hand in hand. Devices like laptop, iPad, etc. have become an indispensable part of today’s education system. The learners and educators can make best use of technology to simplify the learning process. For the same reason the developers have come out with a number of applications, tools and much more. Check out the best iPad presentation tools, which will be of great help for the teachers.

With so many evolutions, the world of teaching has gone through the sea of change. No more the schools are constrained to ‘blackboards’ and ‘chalks’. Although the methods have changed yet, the motive behind remains the same, i.e. to inspire, educate and better engagement and interaction with the students. Following the same practice, teachers can make use of PowerPoint and Keynote for representing different ideas in the most beautiful way and helps in creating a fun learning environment in the classroom. For the tech savvy teachers, here is an insight to different classroom presentation tools for iPad which they can use for better teaching:

  1. Keynote:

Let’s start with the app Keynote, which is one of the top solutions for presenting all your ideas to students. In addition, this amazing tool brings forth astonishing features. Have a look;

  • 30 stunning preset themes
  • Easy import and edit of Microsoft PowerPoint files
  • Direct addition of photos or videos from the iPad’s camera
  • Insertion of 3-D charts and graphs to the slides
  • Auto-save option for the presentations to iCloud
  • Enormous animation effects can be added to charts and transitions
  • You can also add advance slides using a secondary iOS device (like an iPhone)

 

  1. Templates for Keynote Pro:

If you are looking for more themes and layouts, the Templates for keynote Pro will prove to be a great add-on for iPad users. It will get you more than 30 new templates, distributed into six different categories. The usage of this app is easy and simple. All you need to do is just search for the right style, take it to the Keynote app and add your content. You are done with an informative and interesting presentation.

Some striking features;

  • Fast import to Keynote with iOS “Open In” feature
  • Easy editing options for chart data and customized charts
  • Option to create a customized template with easy copy elements from other templates

 

  1. SlideShark:

For those, who love to prefer working with Microsoft PowerPoint, SlideShark stands first in the list of top contenders for working with PPT presentations.

It is simple to work with. You just need to create an account (which is totally free) on their website, install the free app to the iPad, upload a presentation or make a new one and download it directly to the device.

Before you proceed, check out its startling features:

  • You can directly upload your presentation to the SlideShark website
  • Simple process; open it from an email attachments to your device or import it from the cloud storage.
  • Just press ‘Play’ and start with the process on your iOS device.
  • There are options to tap or swipe for advance animations and slides
  • Want to go back? Just swipe back!
  • And swipe up for specific slides and access to various other features
  • For presenting it in-person, internet connection is not required when presenting in-person.
  1. Presentation Notes:

Wish to keep things secure and private? For such concerns, where your safety of your files become important or you need to keep a check on who all can access to your files, the Presentation Notes is the best solution. While other apps use cloud-based technology (the third party Cloud services) for faster access and sharing, it highly emphasizes on approach to save and store your files inside the iPad’s memory. Have a sneak peek at some outstanding features:

  • Unlimited number of presentations can be stored on the device
  • And, you can imported presentations with unlimited number of slides
  • It is compatible with .ppt, .pptx or .pdf files
  • Complete freedom to add files; whether directly from the computer, Google Drive™, Microsoft™ SkyDrive, DropBox™, Box™, or from your email account
  • The speakers notes will be accessible every times on the iPad’s screen
  • Presence of interactive laser pointer
  • Exclusive whiteboard, you can use it for additional explanations
  • Different time and slide number counters
  • iPhone can be used as a remote with Presentation Note Remote

 

Lim Chuwei is a Teacher in Singapore at ChampionTutor and highly advocates the use of cloud based application for teaching and learning.

Guest Post: How to Create an Effective and Productive Method of Math Learning

Guest Post By: Jacky Wilson

Is there a possibility to eliminate the bell curve in learning mathematics? Imagine a person at a dinner party just nonchalantly announcing, “I’m uneducated”. It’s a hypothetical situation that will never happen, of course; the embarrassment would be too great. However, it’s not uncommon for an adult to say that, “I am not good in math”. That’s mainly because we have formed a common opinion that math ability is hereditary, as if there’s a “mathematics gene” that you either gain from predecessors or you don’t.

In particular, school math teachers often are not able to make adequate allowances for the restrictions of working memory and the most important fact is that we need a tremendous amount of everyday practice to gain mastery in just every subject. Children who are weak in studying math usually have difficulty in:

  • Doing arithmetic involving mixed equations
  • Handling word related math problems
  • Remembering the essential math facts and basics

Despite the extensive support for “discovery-based” or “problem-based” math learning, research and studies have shown that the current teaching methods or tactics usually underestimate the amount of unambiguous guidance; “framework” and practice children are most required to combine new concepts in learning. Asking children to invent something on their own before they understand the fundamentals of any subject is like asking them to write a song using guitar before they know anything about its various chords.

The foundation of a good learning in math starts by building confidence, which many great teachers believe should be the first objective of a math teacher. Confidence is the main key that creates attention, which creates rich learning abilities. You may come across different teachers but I am sure you would not have met anyone that will tell you that the student can excel without being confident. But I am really puzzled to notice that I have never seen in any school that follows the same in their math program. Math is the best subject that helps to build confidence. Teachers can take steps to modify their teaching practices in math by solving problems in small steps and raise the bar of confidence in them.

Setting a good groundwork for learning math is very important. When your child is able to do the math more quickly, he/she can enjoy more time doing the extracurricular activities that he/she often missed.

 

Guest Post: The Value of New Media in Higher Education

Guest Post by: Livia Rusu

Along with the democratization of the Internet that took place back in 1995, not only the information sharing and processing has become easier, but the latest form of internalizing these new means of communication includes blurring the educational barriers.

During the last month, one of the greatest realizations of the new educational media was MIT giving free online access to all the courses, along with which there was set a new trend in the online education. Turns out that it’s unnecessary to measure competition into results exclusively, as the entire educational processes and their liberalization seems to have more and more power on the reputation of educational institutions.

But new media doesn’t only represent the transfer of the printed and TV press into a new, dynamic platform. It means using entirely other methods to maximize the effect of the information. And the latter as we know it incorporates a lot more than mere journalistic experiences and press materials, it represents any valuable source of knowledge provided by an agent with expertise and, why not, educational and informational responsibility.

The function of online educational platforms is not to prove the experts’ technological acquiring, but to ease access to education for a mass of self-educated, self-motivated individuals who wouldn’t have the means to achieve professional development otherwise.

As about the methods, new media seems to have thought of all the possible issues that made education impossible for millions of people during the 20th century. The first and most important is money. Without enough financial support during the entire educational journey, it would have been impossible 20 years ago for anyone to achieve a level of expertise that qualifies someone as a specialist in a certain domain. Today, the only problem that stands is that not everybody has Internet access, and Google already thought of resolving this final stage of worldwide technologization.

While online education isn’t self-sufficient and still has to be completed by a formal/institutional certification at the present time, there are two major benefits that issue from this online liberalization:

–         the people who have already followed (or are following as we speak) an educational route have the possibility to strengthen and stabilize their specific knowledge and be better professionals than their parents;

–          the category of people who wouldn’t have had the financial possibility to follow a higher education program now have the possibility to achieve (at least) a minimum of knowledge.

The official international certification of exclusive online higher education degrees is only a matter of time, and even though some of the online classes known today as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) provided by online platforms and specialists from different famous universities around the world are most probably going to have a fee in a couple of years, this is not entirely bad. Thinking of a large number of people from developing countries who have the educational interest and the academic spirit that it takes to follow a higher education degree, this measure would only do good on the long run.  More specialists would be ready to integrate on the labor market, thus helping the national economy of the state they belong to.

The second problem that the impact of new media in higher education programs solves is space. Along with the cultural boundaries, the spatial ones have always been a problem for the universities. For a long time now it was impossible for a lot of young, talented, motivated people to follow the classes of a popular university, because of the limited number of students per year. This issue no longer exists – the slides with the information, the e-books along with the tasks and requirements for the online class are posted online, and so is the lecture of the professor. Proximity shouldn’t be treated as a sine qua non condition for the students who want to follow a specific educational program, and though it has raised problems during the past two decades. Hazardous information about the student shouldn’t be able to affect his academic career: his God, skin color, sexual orientation or home city doesn’t have to be an issue anymore.

Of course, being completely unconstrained by spatial boundaries also means that the professors would have to differentiate the students using some educationally relevant criteria, such as their interest on the matter, the information accumulated at the end of the lecture, the seriousness with which the tasks were completed. For once, the major achievement of the online classes is that the interest is no longer determined by economic or hazardous factors. Being active online means the student is driven by self-motivation and genuine interest for the domain, as opposed to going to classes because you like socializing, mocking the professor, or you just happen to be around. Being enrolled to a BA because your parents had saved money half of their lives is not quite the most objective indicator of genuine interest and motivation, while deciding for yourself to be online and constantly participating to online classes offers a rather realistic view of the scale of interest the students show in the academic matters.

What we’re assuming is not that the classical higher education programs are filled and completed to the point of redundancy, but that on a large scale there is no such thing as measuring the bona fide interest of the students by their presence, when sometimes the educational route says little or nothing about their true intentions for the future, but of their parents expectations and social standards.

Time. Time is money, some say, but by following this type of sophistical thinking we would get back to ground zero. So time is time – the most valuable resource for anyone who has the most minimal idea of what is relevant in life. Having time means continuously, thoroughly managing one’s every action in order to achieve the maximum of performance with the minimum of resources.

And for a student or for someone during their 20s it is a sophisticated philosophy understanding that, as much of a cliché as it may sound, there’s no short way if you’re interested in a career. Which entails that there will always be a constant undergoing thought process analyzing which task/interest/motivation should better be followed. To put it simply, spending more time doing academic relevant work online requires more dedication than spending more time sitting in an amphitheater. And this is due to the dynamic and integrative methods that require active listening, immediate reaction to stimuli and a responsive, collaborative attitude that you can fake in class.

Although many of the scientists studying the educational environment and the changes that are necessary have a polarized perspective on the matter, there is no war between the typical universities as we know them today and their analogue online replacements. They’re more complementary than they are mutually exclusive, and integrating educational methods with the technological tools can only sharpen the academic performance of both students and specialists.

This is a guest post written by Livia Rusu, who spends a lot of time researching and discussing college education on her blog.

 

Guest Post: What Grade Level Is The Best To Start Teaching Keyboarding Skills?

Guest Post by: Chassie Lee

How old were you when you first started to touch type? Today 3-year-olds are fully familiar with touch-based sensory stimuli. They know that their fingers can make a screen change color, start playing music, or launch their favorite app game.

Keyboarding skills are an essential technological skill children must master early in life. Just how early, though? As education becomes decidedly more technology-driven, from accessing educational software on the cloud to delivering MOOCs where thousands of students attend lectures, education is currently undergoing a massive facelift.

Keyboarding skills are essential mainly because they’re now an indispensable part of education. Students are required to take tests on computers or online, and they need to complete assignments and carry out research on the web, all of which needs basic to advanced touch typing skills. The more competent a typist is, the more time they save and the more accurate the result.

Therefore, if we are looking for the response to the question “at what age should formal keyboarding skills be taught?” it’s obvious that the answer is “as soon as possible.” In terms of resources and student cognitive capacity, that would roughly translate to students in 1st or 2nd grade. During Common Core tests in Sioux Falls, it was revealed that third graders lack the keyboarding skills necessary to efficiently complete their tests.

The essay questions the third graders were expected to answer by typing them out caused difficulties for the students, not because of lack of knowledge, but because of their lack of the necessary typing efficiency. If schools are to expect students to touch type exam answers they need to offer them the tools and skills to do so.

1st and 2nd grade students can familiarize themselves with touch typing basics so that they can have an acceptably efficient typing record that will allow them to participate in Common Core tests. Some schools do favor touch typing skills and have already phased out cursive learning in order for children to learn keyboarding.

Damaging presumptions

Even though technological literacy is now part and parcel of primary school curriculum, there are still many teachers who assume that students already know how to touch type, and so devote their IT class time on other modules.

However, keyboarding requires practice and guidance to fully master. When it comes to typing accuracy and technique, without a formal tutor or the help of touch typing software the student cannot achieve their full typing potential.

Touch typing has several different components that must be mastered before a student can call themselves a proficient typist. Children need to be taught the art and science of keyboarding early on, ideally around the 1st or 2nd grade, to ensure they can easily complete assignments and tests on computers

Even if your child’s school overlooks touch typing in favor of other IT skills, you can always make use of online free touch typing resources to help your child become a better typist. From typing games and apps to online videos and ebooks, there are quality resources online to help students master the art of keyboarding.

About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.