What Really Happened To Boys?

Four years ago, psychologist Leonard Sax (MD, PhD) wrote a well-received book titled “Boys Adrift.” The doctor tried to answer the question, why have so many young males fallen into passivity and indifference?

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Dr. Sax had heard more and more parents complain that their boys stayed indoors most of the time, spent hours on video games, and in general seemed to lack the confidence and esprit de corps that had characterized boys throughout history.

“Something scary is happening to boys today,” Sax concluded. “From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically.”

The book’s full title is, “Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men.” Sax lists the five factors right on the cover: “video games, teaching methods, prescription drugs, environmental toxins, devaluation of masculinity.”

It’s worrisome that he seems to like them all. That might be a clue that he has not solved this mystery. Indeed, let’s consider the possibility that none of these theories is the deep answer we want. Let’s start from scratch and consider the things we know for sure.

First of all, critics have often noted that schools seem organized more for girls than for boys. Most boys do not want to be confined to a desk; they would rather be outside playing and competing. Second, not only are boys kept passively inside, they are forced to deal almost the entire day with reading, writing, and arithmetic, probably not their own first choices.

But these factors are historically common. Boys have always been restless at their desks. They have often stared out the window and daydreamed. Furthermore, in many other cultures and ages, discipline was greater; serious academic work was demanded. So it’s not as if there were some golden age when boys had it better. No, they have it worse today, and for reasons that are new.

We are now arriving at the heart of darkness.

Consider that all school activity revolves around two basic skills, reading and arithmetic. Students spend a lot of each day on these and must learn them in order to advance to any other subjects. Failure in these two subjects virtually guarantees failure in all subjects, and in all of life.

Perversely, our public schools, for more than 50 years, have used dysfunctional methods that virtually guarantee failure for the ordinary boy (that is, a boy who will struggle to a degree but finally says, screw this.

To learn to read, he is told he must memorize English words as graphic designs. He fails for all the reasons that Rudolf Flesch explained in his 1955 bestseller, “Why Johnny Can’t Read.” Almost as devastating, the boy must learn arithmetic using one of the dozen curricula collectively called Reform Math. These are exceptionally cumbersome and frustrating for children, as has been amply documented.

Now imagine a boy, restless and impatient, locked in a situation he doesn’t really like, engaged in activities he might prefer to avoid. He senses that instruction is gratuitously difficult and tedious. Increasingly, he rebels. Already he glimpses a future hopeless and horrible, where he will never be allowed to succeed.

He comes to school every day depressed and is told to memorize sight-words, which is very difficult to do. If he actually does master 100, the next 100 will overwhelm his brain. Simultaneously, he is made to learn arithmetic in ways that he can’t understand. Even his parents can’t explain to him the techniques he is supposed to learn.

So every day, every week, every month, the ordinary boy stares at a sign flashing in the air: ACCESS: DENIED.

Whatever it is he is supposed to do, he can’t do it. He wants to, he really, really wants to. What else does a boy have but cockiness and confidence? Boys rule! Or they once did. But their sense of being master of any situation is no match for the dark genius of our Education Establishment.

He becomes sullen, then angry. He hears his parents whispering about him. He goes to conferences where his teacher talks about remediation and dyslexia. He’s told he has ADHD. He might need Ritalin.

Imagine when he is seven and failing. Imagine when he is eight and still failing. Imagine when he is nine and more blatantly failing. Imagine how many discussions he has had with his teacher and parents about his inability to do the simplest things. Imagine the interior collapse of confidence. If his parents and all adults in his world think, to put it bluntly, that he is retarded, then he must be.

The signs flash everywhere: SUCCESS: IMPOSSIBLE. DREAMS: CRUSHED.

Dr. Sax put a lot of emphasis on video games but perhaps he has it backwards. Consider that the school world makes boys feel helpless. But the virtual world lets many boys be the smart, extremely capable people they actually are. Which world would you choose to remain in all day?

Dr. Sax puts a lot of emphasis on early literacy instruction, as if this is a strain. Why would it be a strain if boys actually did learn to read? Reading is fun. It’s the con that is the strain. It’s adults pretending to teach children to read but not letting them learn to read that is the killer.

Dr. Sax speaks of masculinity being undervalued. Maybe it’s more directly a case of masculinity hemmed in and, as the school years pass, neutralized.

Finally. one can never escape the impression that there is premeditation in all of this. Does the Education Establishment use these methods to induce a loss of confidence? Then they are evil people. If they don’t know any better, then they are incompetent people.

The 10 Best Schools To Get An Education Technology Masters Degree Online

May you never have to tickle Google for a list of America’s top online colleges. If you do, you’ll get a steaming pile of doo-doo created by fake online school ranking sites. You’ll get list after list of America’s top online colleges — the top online colleges that paid to be listed on these fake school ranking sites, that is.

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Mindful of the useless pile Google serves up in the “top online school” sector we, here at Get Educated, decided to tackle the task of creating a series of editorial opinion lists on some real top online degrees. Here’s our first rating list, compiled from a review of 350+ online masters in education that we have stockpiled in our amazing online college guide.

These online masters degree options are not listed in any meaningful order (#1 is not better necessarily than #10). We note why each degree has managed to impress us, and why we believe it may also interest you, or your K-12 teaching colleagues. Our emphasis here is largely K-12 education technology online, but stay tuned as we’ll soon have more top lists, aimed at higher education experts as well as corporate training types.

This is a list of the top 10 online masters in education with an education technology emphasis that, after 23 years of reviewing online colleges, we’d pick ourselves if we were in search of the best online masters. Each degree is from a graduate education school we’d be mighty proud to list on our teaching resumes. As always, let us know if we missed anyone. Tweet us at @GetEducated!

1. Columbia University Teachers College – Online Masters Computing in Education

Columbia began recruiting teachers for their hybrid (online + on-campus) summer intensive masters in 1983.  Today, teachers can tackle this degree 100% online or opt to combine online courses with a culture-soaked (July) campus intensive in NYC. Let’s be honest.  A Teacher’s College pedigree is nothing to sneeze at.  Your alumni network will be second to none; this alone may be worth the high cost ($40,000-$50,000 plus campus residency costs) to list this top online masters in education on your resume.

2.  Indiana University – Online Master in Instructional Systems Technology

If you crave a top grad education school that won’t bust your piggy bank you’ll fall in love with IU.  This public “Ivy” is a pot of career gold for pauper teachers.  Indiana offers the double whammy; a reasonable public university price tag – about $16,000 – PLUS high prestige among educators. Their online masters in edtech has been so successful the school plans to offer their very first online doctorate in education (Ed.D) in 2012-2013. Go Hoosiers!

3. Pennsylvania State University, World Campus – Online Master of Education in Instructional Systems, Educational Technology

Penn State is oft touted as the queen bee of quality in erudite distance learning circles.  No one has been doing distance learning longer – and some would argue better – than the elearning egg heads at the World Campus. This public university first offered distance learning courses in 1892.  Yes, I said 1892.  In the early days of distance learning PSU used postmen on horseback to deliver agricultural lessons to rural farmers. Today, the highly-decorated World Campus delivers wireless courses to jungle-bound students on high tech topics like GIS mapping. I like that they don’t outsource their online graduate programs to a team of Johnny-come lately adjuncts. Their online masters in education are staffed by the same pedigreed pundits who teach at their residential graduate school of education.

4. Boise State University – Online Masters of Science in Educational Technology

Teachers, choose your academic poison.  The master of science (MS) in edtech requires the GRE and a thesis and is meant to prep teachers for a scholarly doctorate degree (which Boise also happens to offer 100% online). The master of edtech, on the other hand, is a practitioner’s hands-on program intended for educators who want to make a difference with their students right NOW.  No GRE or thesis is required.

One big bonus: this degree is low in cost, and if you want a more scholarly emphasis this is one of the few programs that will let you knuckle down and do a more traditional masters degree research curriculum in prep for that online doctorate degree. (The BSU distance Doctor of Education in Educational Technology (Ed.D.) program will officially begin accepting students in fall 2012.) At $12,500 this is an amazingly solid distance degree for academic researchers. And trust me, the only thing cheap about this school is the price tag. These guys know their stuff.  No fluff or flash.  Just hard-core, brain-busting teacher education online.

5. George Washington University – Online Master of Arts in Education & Human Development in Educational Technology & Leadership

If I had a head for hammering out education policy this is where I’d ring the virtual grad school bell.  GWU opened a teacher’s college in 1909 and has used their location in D.C. to engage in research and yammering on education policy ever since. This program is thick with educational theory.  Perfect for career climbers interested in big wig administrative matters. This top online masters in education is not specific to K-12, but rather provides a broad theory basis for computers in education and training at all levels.  Online students enrolled here come from corporations and government institutes as well as the little red schoolhouse. The GRE or Miller Analogies Test is required, but if tests cause you terror GWU will kindly waive these exams if you already hold an accredited masters degree.

6. Michigan State University, East Lansing College of Graduate Education – Online Master of Arts Education / Technology & Learning

Welcome to Michigan, where the focus is on K-12 teaching from start to finish. The online MA degree in Education is available only online, and not on campus. This is a non-thesis degree that won’t meet state licensing requirements. Online courses address discipline specific tech tasks like Learning Mathematics with Technology and Learning Science with Technology. At over $20,000 this university is pricey compared to their edtech state college competitors, but if you teach science, math or special education the Michigan online course line-up in these disciplines is impressive.

7. University of Illinois Online, Urbana Champlain – Online Master of Education in Educational Policy Studies Emphasis in New Learning and New Literacies

Okay, with 101 distance degrees the University of Illinois is an online education orgy.  (To be honest with you I am sorely tempted to quit my day job and spend the rest of my life working through Illinois’ gargantuan online course smorgasbord just for the hey of it.) The Urbana-Champlain campus, a leader among brick and mortar grad ed schools, offers a mouth-watering basket of online teaching masters and certificates.  The most tempting one may be the newest one, the one dedicated solely to “new learning and new literacies.” This top new online masters degree was created from scratch by America’s best literacy researchers.  Its target audience is the working schoolmarm or mister who wants to nosedive into new media and create learning systems that engage young minds online socially as well as intellectually.

8. University of Maryland University College – Online Masters of Education in Instructional Technology

Maryland offers one of America’s largest online learning campuses. UMUC offers more than 100 bachelor and master degree programs and certificates online. In 2011, UMUC offered 836 distinct courses online and processed 234,000 online course enrollments.

Wowser!

UMUC offers a substantial – albeit not sexy – edtech masters that’s as solid and reliable as my twelve-year-old Toyota. This distance degree offers great foundation courses like Teaching and Learning in K-12 Virtual Schools and Teaching Media Literacies in the Digital World. Unlike many online masters in education programs applicants do NOT need to possess a state teaching license. Maryland residents and military are charged a low rate of about $14,500, but others will have to pay a higher cost of around $22,000.

9. University of Missouri, Columbia – Online Master of Education: EdTech in the Schools

Like many large public universities the Missouri egg heads began offering distance learning decades before the Internet was imagined. 1911 was the launch year for this distance education school. Today, Mizzou offers more online education options than any school in the Big Ten. The university offers 75 online degrees and 550+ online courses. The Mizzou edtech masters program is immersive. Teachers create virtual work portfolios that showcase learning.  Courses are designed around literacy goals including modeling digital-age learning and promoting digital citizenship. Three online major areas are available: Learning Systems Design & Development, the Online Educator or Technology in Schools.

To gain admission you’ll need 1000 or better on that pesky GRE.   (Sorry, no waivers.) One cool thing: teachers everywhere who enroll in this online masters program enjoy the same hyper-low tuition as Missouri residents.  For $10,000-$11,000 this degree will come home to you.

10. Kansas State University – Online Master of Science in Curriculum Instruction Digital Teaching & Learning

The Digital Teaching and Learning option is a 31-credit program for licensed teachers.  To get educated with KSU Online an educator must have a current teaching certificate and classroom teaching experience or the equivalent. Grads are prepped to take on leadership roles in school technology integration and director positions in technology-rich schools.  Emerging technologies are emphasized as newly designed course take a broad view of teaching and learning in the context of “virtual learning” – learning in which the world is the classroom – beyond the traditional training of most edtech programs. At about $14,000 this professional degree is a bargain for teachers nationwide.

About Vicky Phillips

Vicky Phillips, tagged by US News as “for 20 years the leading consumer advocate for online college students,” has been researching online college programs since 1989, when she designed America’s first online counseling center for distance learners on America Online​. In 1998, she authored the first print guide to accredited online master’s degree programs: The Princeton Review’s Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools. Today, she serves as Chief Online Education Analyst, helping develop the Get Educated online college ranking system—a system that helps consumers compare and rank more than 3,000 accredited online degrees on dimensions ranging from college affordability to brand reputation and student satisfaction. Her classic articles on online education’s transformative influence on higher ed have appeared in Salon.com, CNN/The Industry Standard, and Nation’s Business, among other media. Her ideas and writings have helped define online learning as a viable option for a new generation of “older” adult college students—many of whom will only study online. Her expert insights and futuristic trend analysis of distance learning have been chronicled in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Fortune, CBS News, Forbes, and The New York Times​.

Driving lesson Reigate is designed to teach you and help you to pass the driving test

Trainer helps you in understanding the requirements and rules of the licensing procedure, so that you do not have to face any difficulty in getting your license once you complete your course. Therefore, it is very important for you to choose a driving school where you can get qualified driving educator. If you enroll in a driving lesson Reigate. Reigate can assist you make ready mentally to remain focused and relaxed ahead of the driving test itself. The deep relaxation methods utilized in hypnosis can help you to focus and restore your feelings of confidence and self- faith. It gives actual assistance with taking lessons, clearing the practical driving exam and also detracting the awe and anxieties after your test.

This helps in getting quality driving lessons from expert educators. This kind of driving lesson is intended to teach a person how to drive a car of his choice as quickly as possible. It is an intensive driving course which would help you learn the techniques of driving in a week or so. Opting for the driving lesson that will be suitable for you and get ready to hit the streets with your new car. You can go on a comprehensive driving course that will be on long lasting foundation. All of these courses are designed to help you pass the practical driving test taken by driving school. You will be required to take a Practical Test on completion of a driving crash course. Of course, being able to give a test is also subject to the availability of an Examiner from the driving academy. Some academies provide a practical driving exam prior to your real exam, to make ready you mentally and offer some outcome on your performance. If you are taking driving lessons Reigate or you are close, you exam, or have tried the driving exam and your confidence around you and your skills. For safe driving experience, it is vital to choose a genuine driving school, which covers important driving lessons. Also, look that the driving lesson that you opt is a signed up one. It is also designated to as the deep training program. The driving lesson Reigate will be contemplated to take into account the level of expertise, you will be eligible for, i.e. examines your aptitude and then arrange a car driving lesson for you. However, most lessons are redesigned and could take a week or more depending on how quickly you are able to master the skills.

Significance of identifying different types of learners

There are three different types of learners – visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners have a photographic memory. They create a mental picture of everything they learn. Auditory learners are active listeners.  They learn best by listening and can memorize and recall things easily. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They want to be active all the time.

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My experience of assessing the different types of learners in my classroom has indeed been an interesting one. I feel that it is very easy to classify some learners whereas it is extremely difficult to classify the others. The visual learners stare at me all the time while I am teaching. They draw flowcharts and maps in their notebooks. They enjoy watching PowerPoint presentations and short videos.

The auditory learners listen to me very carefully. They are disturbed by sounds in the corridor, the playground etc. They enjoy participating in group discussions. They could memorize things very easily.

The kinesthetic learners are hyper active. They don’t like sitting at one place for more than five minutes. Unless they are allowed to express themselves in some way in the class, they become very restless. Some of them even start day dreaming. They like learning through games and other activities. I feel that It is easiest to find the kinesthetic learners. However, there are many students who display the learning traits of both visual and auditory learners.

The auditory learners can be taught easily by using traditional teaching methodologies.  They are the conventional type (Indian) of learners. The visual learners improvise the teacher’s lessons on their own. They make mind maps, flowcharts, web-charts and drawings in their notebooks to understand whatever the teacher says in class. But kinesthetic learners are different. My knowledge about the various types of learners has helped me in a lot of ways. Earlier I didn’t know what to do with the kinesthetic learners. They seemed to be disinterested. They were easily distracted and disturbed everyone in the classroom.

After assessing the types of learners in my classroom, I realized that there must be something in my lesson to facilitate learning for every kind of learner.  I introduce a lesson by using PowerPoint presentations, short videos and photographs for the visual learners.  I recapitulate the content shown through the audio-visual media by explanation and questioning for the auditory learners. I ask children to draw something related to the lesson and make a flow chart about the theme for the kinesthetic learners.  While teaching the lesson, I allow the kinesthetic learners to express their opinions freely. I ask developing questions for the benefit of the auditory learners and I move around in the classroom for the benefit of the visual and kinesthetic learners. I also ensure that there is at least one group activity related to the lesson, so that the children learn through peer interaction.  Recapitulation questions are also asked to capture the attention of the auditory and kinesthetic learners. I make optimum use of the blackboard while teaching for the visual learners.  I also plan the post lesson assignments according to the needs of various types of learners.  The visual learners are encouraged to get pictures related to the lessons, the auditory learners are encouraged to gather information about the central theme of  the lesson and the kinesthetic learners are encouraged to interpret and analyze the lessons.

My knowledge of the different types of learners has also helped me plan the seating arrangement of the class. I ensure that the auditory learners sit at a place where there is minimum noise or disturbance.  The visual learners have been seated in the front rows so that they can see the teacher and the blackboard. The kinesthetic learners have been seated in places where free movement is possible. This has made the classroom environment very comfortable.

I think it is very important for a teacher to assess how every child in her classroom wants to be taught. Traditional teaching methodologies need to be improvised regularly to address the needs of different types of learners. Every child is gifted. It is the job of a teacher to bring out the best in her students.

The goal of driving lesson Huddersfield is to prepare individuals to be an active driver

Selecting the bestdriving lesson Huddersfieldwith prudence, is the first task for any student. Good reputation and track record of the driving school; success rate of the driving school; the quality of vehicles used for training and availability and the experience and education level of the instructors.

By joining well known driving schools, students can feel assured that their skills are honed properly to help them become safe, professional, commercial drivers in the car industry, which is the lifeline of a nation’s economy. Using your driving school’s cars to spread the word about your business delivers good results, especially in getting more inquiries about your services. Just imagine how many people will see your name on the side of your company vehicles and offer you a call, seldom soon.Driving lesson Huddersfield is a way of driving that involves making a conscious effort every single time a person gets behind the wheel of a car to take any and all precautions for a safer ride. It is not just about thinking about how to keep one’s own car safe but also to avoid incidents and injuries to the passengers and fellow drivers on the road. Granted, not everyone adopts the strategy, but it is a good idea at least to consider it.
Advance driving is a training, practice, and mindset for drivers. The overall goal of the entire theory is that it wants to guarantee, as much as possible, safety in travelling by car. This goal can be achieved through proper adherence to all rules of the road (i.e. Using a directional to indicate a lane change or upcoming turn) as well as through the implementation of a number of driving techniques.

Drivers that understand and practice defensive driver are those who possess the skills, knowledge and the proper attitude while driving. These drivers know the traffic rules like the back of their hands, are highly skilled when it comes to driving, but are neither lax nor overconfident, and have the appropriate attitude towards other drivers that are on the road. Driving lesson Huddersfield is defined as being able to operate a motor vehicle with the skills to avoid an accident in a situation where one could possibly occur. Driving lesson Huddersfield is based on the premise that you are actually a very good and safe driver that must be alert and able to react to the dangerous driving that others may engage in.

Driving course teach advanced skills and awareness not initially taught in drivers’ education courses. The goal of driving courses is to train individuals to be a proactive driver in order to avoid dangerous road situations or the poor conduct of other drivers.<-id='21150236' data-app='share_buttons' data-title='The goal of driving lesson Huddersfield is to prepare individuals to be an active driver' data-link='http://libyan.biz/the-goal-of-driving-lesson-huddersfield-is-to-prepare-individuals-to-be-an-active-driver/' data-summary=''>

SAFE but not SORRY- learn safe driving

Drivers’ education is intended to supplement the knowledge obtained from government-printed driving handbooks or manuals and prepares students for tests to obtain a driver’s license or learner’s permit. This is important because every driver must own a license for safe driving according to the rules. But is it the only significant thing?

Well, here is what you need to know about safe driving. Everyday a number of people leave from their house for work, school or vacation only to spend their day out and reach home safely. But this is a hard fact that many of them do not even reach back to their respective homes because of any mishap that might happen on the road. And this may happen to them, to us and to YOU!

Sohere comes the most effective and efficient driving school, Drive2pass in Calgary, a car fitted with dual controls, which has pedals or other controls on the passenger side are used by this school in the safe hand of the well equipped instructors working for educating teen and adult drivers for safe and defensive driving.

Some detailed statisticsshow that motorcyclists account for just 1% of total road traffic, but 19% of all road user deaths. Drive2passeducates for the steps both drivers and riders can take to reduce the casualties on our roads. And yes, it is true accidents happen due to one or both persons’ inattentiveness. So all the collisions involve at least one of the drivers having fallen victim to inattention, inattentive driving can cause a major harm to your life and to the life of other drivers and pedestrians. Also it may happen because of improper understanding of rules and regulations, the big black book of rules that is offered by this Drive2pass School with the easiest Driver Education course.
These instructions are intended to warn the drivers about the dangerous conditions in driving such as road conditions, driver impairments, and hazardous weather. Instructional videos may also be shown, demonstrating proper driving strategies and the consequences for not observing the rules properly.

Drive2pass provides road safety information and education to drivers for road safety with the main aim of encouraging safer behaviour to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads every year.

Driving and learning to drive is easy, required and given you learn from an expert and a knowledgeable trainer. The instructor must have all round knowledge in the field of driving and also be well adjustable with almost all kinds of students. Students can be of any age from young notorious teenagers to middle aged nervous learners. The instructor must make sure that he/she has good communication skills and can be good and also strict at times when things tend to get out of hand. Leadership qualities like resourceful, motivational, and empathetic also the best in the field is a must to be a good instructor. At drive2pass one can have training of driving under the best of instructor in Calgary. Make your driving experience worth and count, join at the top driving school in Calgary, and join at drive2pass driving school.

Homeschool Successfully With These Helpful Tips

Homeschooling can end up being a very rewarding experience for your children. It gives you a chance to help them learn new things, and to have one teacher without having to be around a lot of other people. Keep reading to learn more about homeschooling.

One key advantage to homeschooling is the ability to cater your teaching style to your child’s particular learning method. If your kid is more hands-on, you can tailor your curriculum to reflect that with lots of hands-on lessons. You child will have an easier learning experience.

There are definitely financial considerations to take into account before you decide to begin homeschooling your children. Quitting your job may not be viable for you. Stay-at-home parents will lose time previously allocated to household chores and cooking. This change may mean ordering take-out more often at exorbitant prices.

Estimate your potential costs and establish a realistic budget for your homeschooling plans. Planning out resources and field trips in advance allows you to create a budget plan for the year. This can be documented in a separate account for budgeting purposes. Make sure you have a little wiggle room in the budget, in case of unexpected expenses.

Family trips and vacations can serve as terrific learning tools. Coordinate your family vacations to correspond to what you are teaching your child in school. You can set aside part of your day during your vacation and include some learning in it. This is a fun way for the entire family to bond together while exploring new horizons.

Make sure you know all of the state laws that govern homeschooling. You can use the HSLDA online resource to find out your state laws. Consider joining an organization for homeschooling parents. It may be a big help if you are put in the position of being questioned by the Education Board or CPS. Even if you need to pay a fee to join, it may be well worth it for the help you can get from the organization.

Ensure that the place your child studys in is quiet and free of distractions. It has to be away from play areas, too. Ideally, the school area would have built-in storage to keep your child’s supplies. However, a box works fine if built-in storage is not available.

This article should have prepared you to feel confident when homeschooling. You can also utilize the online and offline support of other homeschooling parents, take advantage of prepackaged school sets and the websites that are there to help you learn as you go.

Tips for Using iPads in the Classroom

While for some teachers, iPads in the classroom are already a familiar part of everyday life, as of Pearson’s 2014 Student Mobile Device Survey, only 16% of students attended schools that provide tablets 1:1. For all the news stories and chatter in the educational industry about using iPads in education, many teachers haven’t gotten a good look at just what the technology can do for their students.

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But there’s reason to believe that could well change in coming years. The same Pearson report found that:

  • 51% of students think their school should be providing them with tablets.
  • 89% say tablets make learning more fun.
  • 81% say using a tablet in the classroom allows them to learn in the way that’s best for them.
  • 71% believe tablets help students perform better in class.

As much as the opinions of students should be given heavy weight in these conversations, many of you will reasonably also want to see evidence of results.

From Apple:

  • Kindergarten students using iPads in the Auburn School Department saw a 40% increase in reading proficiency.
  • 4th graders at the economically challenged Coachella Valley Unified School District experienced a 95% increase in proficiency.
  • 85% of Victorian primary teachers reported that iPad use made their students more engaged and motivated.

And that’s just a small sampling of the many examples they provide in the report above. Apple may not be an entirely unbiased resource in this conversation, but they probably have greater access to data and feedback on the subject than any other organization, making their results worth checking out.

While some teachers and school districts are finding that iPads aren’t for them, we’ve seen enough evidence to suggest that teachers will continue to encounter them in their classrooms in the years to come. For that reason, we want to address some of the main concerns about tablet use in the classroom, as well as offer some tips that may serve useful if iPads do come to play a larger role in your classroom.

Common Concerns About iPads in School

iPads in the classroom can help teachers track how students are doing, enable more personalized learning, introduce students to tools that encourage more creativity and collaboration, and make assignments more interactive. But you’ve probably already heard most of the benefits. What about all those nagging concerns?

1.    Disruptive Tech Problems

Any introduction of a new technology in classrooms comes with a certain amount of risk. Software flaws, Internet outages, usability issues – no teacher wants to find herself awkwardly dealing with a tech problem in the middle of an important lesson. With iPads, you have to worry about battery life and the logistics of making sure everyone has access to the same apps and knows how to use them.

What You Can Do About It:

A little preparation can go a long way. You may need some help from your IT department or administration on this, but making sure you have enough available outlets to charge the iPads during class or overnight is important to ensuring your kids can actually use the devices in class. To avoid some of those awkward tech troubles during class, spend time with each new app you consider using before introducing it to the class to ensure that it works well and you know how to address any issues with it.

2.    Physical Storage

The iPads must be stored in a place where they won’t be damaged and they’ll be reasonably safe from theft. Ideally, you also want to be able to leave them charging overnight. All together, that’s a pretty tall order.

What You Can Do About It:

A locked classroom door overnight should help with the security issue. And if your budget includes enough for an iPad charging cart you’re pretty much set. If not, you’ll have to get a little creative.

Luckily, you can find several different approaches to putting together a DIY iPad-charging cart online. Here are some that may be helpful:

  • Kathy Cassidy describes how her husband put together a charging station for the class using four Belkin charging stations and some handmade wooden shelves. (She also shares a few other helpful tips for using iPads in the classroom in the post).
  • Instructables provides step-by-step instructions for building a charging cart for iPad minis for materials costing a little over $400 total.
  • This DIY iPad rolling classroom lab is built out of a filing cabinet and a few USB port chargers for less than $150.
  • And this one was built from a storage tub and magazine storage stand for about $60.

You’ll have to be careful that the solution you go with is one that students can use without harming the iPads, but you may be able to get around the cost of an expensive iPad cart.

3.    The Cost of Broken or Lost Devices

Kids make mistakes and even if you go to great pains to express to them the value of these devices, there’s no guarantee one won’t be dropped or misplaced (adults do plenty of that themselves). A 2012 study in the UK found that, while teachers and parents had mostly been concerned about theft, that turned out not to be a problem. Whereas 5-7% of the tablets issued broke. Schools have to expect that some of these costly devices will break within the first year of use (and more within the second, and so on) and have a plan to address the problem.

What You Can Do About It:

You probably can’t do anything that will ensure 100% of the devices make it to the end of the year. What you can do is:

  • Establish rules to minimize how often devices break, like no one’s allowed to eat or drink near them or leave them unattended.
  • Pay extra to have the devices covered by Apple Care, so having them fixed or replaced is affordable.
  • Have a policy in place for what to do when a device is broken. Does the school provide a new one? Do they ask parents to help cover the cost? Figure it out in advance, so you know how to address it when it comes up.

4.    Distraction

If you’re handing students a device they can use to access Facebook, the web, and any number of games, how can you expect to keep their attention on the topic at hand? Students get distracted and always have, but a tool with endless access to games and social media seems to many teachers like courting disaster.

What You Can Do About It:

There are ways to lock the device from the more distracting apps, so students can only access the ones you want them to. You can also aim to provide lessons that require a level of engagement that makes it harder for students to get distracted. If they’re regularly asked questions, given quizzes, or otherwise expected to engage with the class or materials, they won’t have as much room to wander from the assigned content.

5.    Are iPads Even Right For You?

Some teachers don’t find that they add much to the classroom. Maybe they are more of a distraction than a learning aid, or maybe the good old-fashioned methods of teaching just feel more natural and effective. Technology is only a tool; how useful it is in the classroom will always depend on the teacher and how they use it.

What You Can Do About It:

Consider seriously what you want to get out of tablet use before making the investment (or encourage your school district to). Your goals may be better suited to the apps and functionality available on one of the other brands of tablets than the iPad, or you may find that tablets just aren’t what your school needs right now after all.

Conclusion

A lot of teachers have found success using iPads to increase student engagement and enable more opportunities for creative and interactive assignments in the classroom. That doesn’t mean it automatically makes classrooms better. As with any other technology, teachers and students will only get those results if they find an effective way to put the devices to use. As more and more schools experiment with iPad use though, teachers can share their experiences and tips so that future classrooms can better implement the technology to improve student learning results.

Editor’s note: This article is a revision and combination of several older Edudemic articles, updated and re-analyzed to reflect the latest innovations.

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Whether you look at online learning from the aspect of cost, convenience or even feasibility, it scores over traditional schooling on all counts. That is exactly what makes online home schooling such a great option for students and parents as well. They have the flexibility they require and also have access to a perfectly economical alternative that caters to their educational needs as well. More than just being cost effective, online home schooling also offers students many more options in terms of courses and electives they can opt for. Traditional schooling systems, however, have certain limitations concerning these areas and tend to throw up a lot more obstacles rather than offer viable solutions. Given the current circumstances, it only seems logical that alternative solutions that work need to be implemented at the earliest.

Online K-12 courses offer students a number of options to choose from. The greatest thing about being able to access your coursework online is that you can do it from practically anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is get your hands on a computer that has access to the Internet. Completion and submission of coursework too, can be done completely online, which certainly makes things a whole lot easier. This definitely offers a more comprehensive solution to address the urgent need for development of skills across the country. Moreover, getting your high school diploma from an accredited online high school in the country will certainly boost your chances of employment. Here are just a few reasons why you should think about earning your high school diploma from an accredited online school like Forest Trail Academy.

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Easy Tips To Help You With Homeschooling

Our life is a process of learning new things all the time. Schools are designed to teach us most of what we need to know, but sadly they do not always live up to our expectations. Homeschooling can be hard, but this advice can help you through it a positive way.

Know what your state requires of homeschooling programs. Minimum number of homeschooling days, for example, can vary from state to state. A lot of states have curriculums, but you might have to put something together yourself. It’s best to use the local curriculum if possible.

Homeschooling can pose some issues if your other son or daughter is young. You must set aside different times of the day for each of your children. Find activities which are age-appropriate for both children. Any activity that doesn’t interfere with development is a great idea.

Work art projects into topics besides art itself. Have your kids do an art project about each thing you learn about. They can sculpt, act, sing – the limits are only your imagination! The more active your children are while they are learning, the more that total immersion will help the lesson to stick in their minds.

Make sure you do some research before jumping into homeschooling. The Internet is a vast source of unique and interesting insights and resources and offers ideas for practically every aspect of the homeschooling experience. Regardless of how much this idea appeals to you, you have to make sure that you have the energy, time, and money to provide your children with the best education.

Get in touch with the state Homeschool Association to discover laws and guidelines you have to follow. There are some states that allow you to be a ‘private school’ and there are other places that want to test your children through the state. You should be in touch with the local school district about your homeschooling plans, also.

Make a list of the positives and negatives of public school and then do the same for homeschooling. This list can guide you as you develop your lessons so that you can make sure that your children are learning everything that that was missing at public school. It will start to become a list of various things you need to avoid so you’re able to stay focused on their learning. Make sure that you store this list and look back at it when necessary.

When homeschooling, it is just as important for the parent to learn as it is for the child. Reading this article and others like it will ensure that you are the best teacher possible for your children. You will be sure that you will be giving your kids a great homeschooling experience.