Latest Posts

  • 7 Ed-tech Startups You Should Know About

    The internet has come to make things easier. In the past the internet and online sites were considered to be tools that distracted children from the pursuit of education. Recent research has however shown that use of the internet and even social media sites can improve the performance and education level of students. It seems that teachers have their job made easy by the online sites and the internet.

     

    Getting content through education start ups

     

    Listen edition

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    One of the most popular education tools that teachers make use of. It makes use of public stories on the media, specifically in radio to generate classroom material for various subjects and topics. Teachers can get access to not just the classroom material but also homework and activities they can use to improve the internalization of the subject matter. Because the class information is current, students are able to internalize much easier as well as conduct extensive research on their own.

     

    Curiosityville

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    A site that lives up to its name. It is designed for children in school below the age of 8. These groups of children often are experimenting and curious about the surrounding. The startup brings together various people working with children and parents, who can post information, tips and even tools that can help deal with children of this age.

     

     

    Social media and education

     

    Twitter

     

    The most helpful with teenagers and older children. Whereas it’s mainly a social media platform, teachers can use it to see what is current and interests their students. Furthermore, twitter is also a base through which teachers can get help in accessing the right material and content for their classes.

     

    Netflix

    Gained the most in terms of use in classrooms. Teachers are able to access films and documentaries which they can incorporate into their classroom lectures, making the lesson more relatable.

     

    Education startups for data entry and management

     

    Clever

    One of the problems that teachers face in their day to day work is data entry. Maintaining record of students’ performance, their work and their progress can be quite difficult. Clever has made things much easier for teachers, it allows comparison in different classes, and also monitors a students’ progress for the duration expected. This makes preparing reports easier and more to the point.

     

    Learnsprout

    Has been used widely by district educators to monitor progress of schools. It is now being revamped to help keep data and monitor students in the schools. It is one of the exciting programs that have gained so much popularity because of the ease of use. Parents, teachers and school administrators can access the data easily and therefore help improve the quality of education to students.

     

    Education for parents

     

    Stem

    The most unique start up for education so far. Stem does not focus on teachers or students but rather helps parents to bring out the science, math and technology skills in their students. Stem allows parents who may not necessarily understand this tech subjects to help and become involved in creating projects for the same with their children. The best part is that stem is designed for the young children and is therefore easy to make use of.

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    On June 21, 2014 / By
  • 5 Effective Ways Teachers Can Use Twitter for Their Professional Growth

    Twitter is becoming one of the most potential online learning platform. Teachers have realized the importance of it in their day to day instruction and professional development. Here you will come across 5 ways teachers can use twitter effectively.



    Creating A Professional Learning Network

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    It gives you especially if you are a teacher a great opportunity to crowd source help via your personal or professional learning networks.These networks act as sources and channels of firsthand information and endless support. For instance, you can seek assistance in writing your thesis and content for classroom instruction. Your twitter network can help you with references and various journal articles.



    Source of Relevant Information

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    Twitter is not only a social networking site, but also a potential real-time search engine. More often, you will discover that this platform aids in tracing your reading materials more than Google. It has an additional filtration layer when compared to Google. Before tweeting, various users could have filtered links to several articles and web pages. You will come across relevant materials via twitter as many people usually read and approve information tweeted.



    Sharing With Other Educators

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    It promotes a revolutionized community of practice. Make use of hashtags to establish a great community around a given subject matter. Hashtags are normally open and you can access and utilize them. They can as well help you searching for a specific content relevant to your teaching requirements on twitter. In addition, you can make use of the hashtags besides searching to get involved in meaningful educational conversations with fellow teachers from allover the world. For instance, Edchat is one of the best example of a hashtag that you and your colleagues can use to hold conversations on a weekly basis.



    Get In-Touch With Parents and Students

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    You can communicate with your students and their parents via twitter. It is quite effective. It helps to get firsthand feedback and concerns of your learners. You can instruct, direct, and remind them on their assignments and performance. Through twitter, you are in the best position to even give your students homework and other forms of instructions. They can in turn tweet back to request to any further assistance and clarification on various topics.

    It helps in communicating with parents by focusing on various issues affecting their children. Keeping in touch with parents will aid them in tracking or following the progress of the students in as far as their performance is concerned. You can as well inform them on the various learning materials and other necessities required for a better learning experience.



    A Pool of Resources

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    As a teacher, you can use twitter lists to organize your interests. You can group and regroup various tweets into a number of areas quite relevant to the details you are looking for. For example, you can come up with a list on educational technology and add it to ed tech tweets you usually follow. This acts a powerful pool of resources accumulated in one page that you can easily access at any given time.

    In a nut shell, teachers ought to embrace new technologies in their research and professional advancement. Twitter is one of those digital and effective ways for the teachers’ professional growth.

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    On June 18, 2014 / By
  • IELTS Tests: Famously Deceiving Mistakes

    Finally, its time to discuss the famously deceiving mistakes made during IELTS tests! This is exactly what you’ve been dying to read all day, isn’t it? Anyway, these things are pretty important to understand and will help you with your academic success. Although pretty obvious, these little mistakes can result in very disappointing grades for people who know they can do much better.

     

    Skipping the instructions

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    First and most commonly made mistake is skipping the instructions (we all think we are super smart and don’t need to read that little piece of information, don’t we? I know I was!) Its so easy to just spent the extra few seconds because skipping over the instructions can result in missing the entire question by completely misinterpreting it. Many test makers intentionally put some valuable information in the prompt to test the student, so never skip the additional info. 

     

    Writing too much

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    One error on the listening exam is writing too much. (When is being an overachiever ever bad?) Although this seems harmless and potentially even gives you hope that you will get a great score because you put so much effort into it, in reality though, the test graders read so many of these that they’ll be far more impressed if you summarized the information clearly, completely and accurately because they are tired of reading long and blurry responses.

     

    Not reading the instructions first

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    A big reading mistake is reading the article first. (Seems kind of the right thing to do, isn’t it?) Reading the question(s) first will give you an idea of what you should look for in the writing and definitely will help you save lots of time because you won’t have to look back at the article as much and already have ideas flowing in your head before you even start actually writing the answers.

     

    Not taking into account the timing

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    Not considering the time is also a big problem in reading. When you are so busy focusing on the content of the article and answering the question there is barely any time left to actually complete the answer sheet. However worrying too much about time is also a problem because it won’t let you entirely finish your ideas and make your thinking choppy and unfocused.

     


    Small vocabulary

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    Lastly when writing, its important to use different types of words and sentence structures to impress the reader with your writing skills and a wide vocabulary of unique words will make you sound focused, sophisticated and intelligent. After reading a lot of similar responses with similar words and ideas, even if your response isn’t very unique, you can at least try to stand out with the way you organize the information.

     


    IELTS tests don’t have to be as stressful and complicated as you make them if you learn how to properly balance and plan out how to prepare your IELTS test before hand. Do whatever works for you, drink an extra cup of coffee in the morning if you think it’ll be useful, but skip the candy because sugar definitely won’t help your test scores! Remember to just be confident in your answers, and if you have extra time, you can always go back and proofread your writing or re-read your questions. 


    Try to put all the worries aside and focus on what matters most. Testing is an important part of your education that says a lot about what kind of a person you are. Knowing these common mistakes will help you with every test you take, and will eventually, help you succeed in many other assignments.

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    On June 16, 2014 / By
  • Inspiring TED Talks You Should Know About

     As you may already know, few organizations are making thoughtful contribution to humankind’s improvement such as TED Talks. It is no wonder that the most pressing questions we face today, from global warming, education, crime, cross-cultural communication, business and technology are open ended which means there are no black and white answers. Through time, some talks have rising to the top; I will mention some of these ones next:

     


    Stephen Burt

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    Explaining why in the world, which so many entertainment options at hand, we should prefer poetry among other means of expression.



    Ray Kurzweil

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    The world renowned futurist explains why and how we are evolving. I will give you just one tip: it involves a recent development in our brains and the mixture of technology.



    Kitra Cahana

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    A unique TED fellow and she will open up your mind with insights taken from a life that seems like a literary achievement. Living on the road presents a few challenges and answers to the way we live our lives, possibly with actionable life-changing solutions.



    Andrew Solomon

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    Does not talk self-help talk, you might be bored to death hearing how suffering makes us better human beings but he explains elegantly why this is so. In order to be polite, I will call this moments the nasty ones but you should be really aware how life-defining they can be, of course, with a positive beat. This is a talk you can’t afford to miss.



    Elizabeth Gilbert

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    Has created a quite interesting talk where our daily thoughts are involved. You’ll see sometimes, at least in our minds, world peace can wait at least before we go grocery shopping. By taking this into account we also think about success, failure and and an inate drive to create. In case you didn’t know and in order to add truckloads of credibility she is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love.”



    Norman Spack

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    Opens our eyes to a really great area for many people, in this talk he explains the harsh life of a transgender teen. They aren’t comfortable with their bodies as they grow up and into a very emotional way he explains how he, as an endocrinologist is one of the few doctors in the US who treats minors with what is commonly referred as hormone replacement therapy. It will make you evaluate the concept of compassion specially in our modern era.

     

    Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly

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    Not simply motivational speakers since Gabby is a Congresswoman who was shot in the head while she met constituents just right in her hometown; her husband, an astronaut speak about their lives before the accident and how it has been since then. They share some of their views in many important areas but most importantly they will improve your life by instilling the most important value you can have: courage.

     


    As you can see, the aforementioned TED Talks are among the cream of the crop. By covering a wide array of subjects I have curated not only information but potentially life-changing stories. Few things are making waves in our lifetimes as sharing powerful and truthful answers. The important part is to begin asking new questions so we can move forward at the speed of light.

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    On June 13, 2014 / By
  • 7 Advantages of Netflix in a Classroom

    Netflix has become a great way to supplement the classroom study. It is helping students learn a subject in depth. Here are 7 reasons to use Netflix in the classroom. There are many reasons to use Netflix in the classroom.

    Movie Snippets

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    The very first reason to use the Netflix in the classroom is that it gives an instant access to movie snippets. Usually, a classroom teacher has to do the required paperwork and request for the permission of the supervisors to show a movie to the students. This can be time taking and in the process, the interest level in the subject may be lost. Netflix helps the students to get instant access to movie snippets. The teachers can play it to the students. Netflix has plenty of real world examples which a student can learn from.

    Documentary and movies

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    Netflix provides students with documentary and movies. The teachers have more options in terms of, how they can present a lesson to students. Supplementary videos related to the subject can always help to learn the subject well. Some of the students like that. For example, if you are giving a lesson on the works of William Shakespeare, a related movie on the subject can always help a student to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the subject. It also helps the student to develop their own point of view apart from what is being taught in the class. Students can associate the subject with real world examples.

    Language Learning

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    Learning a language and different accent can be quickly done through a movie. For example, if you are learning the Spanish language, a movie in Spanish can be of a great help. The students can learn the language faster, pick up the slangs and the peculiarities of the language fast and at the same time they can also understand the accent. It also helps a student to learn the culture of different societies. It helps with the concentration and improves listening skills of the students as well.

    Niche topics

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    There are television programs that talk of a specific topic. Foe example, there can be a series of videos on Whales shown on the National Geographic. This series talks in details about the subject in depth. While in a classroom teaching environment, a student takes help of his imagination to associate with the subject. Here they do not have to put stretch on their imagination and can earn the subject easily. One other advantage of using a video is that it has a recall value. One can always recall a video better even after a long time after watching the video.

    Saves money

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    Netflix is a very cost effective medium of watching videos. When you buy a specific video of different subjects, it is going to cost you a lot, but when you subscribe to Netflix, you can watch any number of videos on a variety of subjects in that month.

    A big collection on a large number of subjects

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    Netflix has a variety of videos on a large number of subjects, therefore you will find plenty of associated topics apart from the videos on the subject of your learning.

    Commercial Free

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    The content on Netflix is free of any commercials so you can learn the subject without any interruptions.

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    On June 11, 2014 / By