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Oct 2013

Malala Yousafzai and the Value of Education

A teenage Pakistani girl made global headlines a year ago when she was shot in the head by the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls’ education.  Malala Yousafzai survived the attack and now lives in Britain, where she continues her campaign despite continued threats on her life. Her story shines a light on Pakistan, where more than one-third of elementary-school-aged children do not attend school. Enrollment figures are even lower for girls, especially in rural areas.

When our children complain about having to go to school and just don’t seem to understand the value of education, maybe they should think about Malala Yousafzai. Malala was a young girl in Taliban controlled Pakistan who was shot in the head because she dare to advocate education for girls. Fortunately Malala survived the attack and after emergency surgery in Pakistan and further medial treatment in the UK, she now lives safely in the United Kingdom. (more…)

Oct 2013

Young People in the UK are Not What They Were

Do you remember when you first started work, that very first day? I guess that you made sure you arrived on time and you were careful about how you were dressed. I imagine that you made a real effort to show willingness and you asked lots of questions. That’s just how it was back then. However, a recent report in the UK says that Young People in the UK these days have no idea what to expect when they enter the wold of work.

A report published by OECD stated that there is a shrinking pool of talent entering the UK workforce and UK young people lag behind their international competitors in terms of literacy and numeracy.  I have seen this at first hand. Here in the UK there is very little homework or home study expected whereas in both China and the Philippines I have seen students spending hours studying at home. (more…)

Oct 2013

Using the Zane website?

I had a long bus journey yesterday and you know how the mind wanders when sitting for ages on a journey. Anyway, between watching the rain pouring down outside the thought occurred to me that there must be many different ways of using the Zane website.  I suspect that some people just dip in and out using it rather like a video reference book but is that the best way? Sure it answers an immediate question but i believe that it is possibly more sensible to work through the videos as if an online course. (more…)

Oct 2013

Mother completing the school projects

How do you feel about parents completing school projects that their kids are supposed to do?

Hi, its Ray again. I seem to be wallowing in nostalgia this week and after the last post where I brought up the subject of sharing the Zane videos with your children, I thought some more and remembered when I was living in the Philippines. They had so many projects to carry out at the school the child of the house attended. Every couple of weeks he would bring home a printed sheet explaining what he had to do. (more…)

Oct 2013

Do YOU remember your favorite teachers?

New Blogger Ray Brocklesby thinks back about his own school days and his favourite teachers

Hi, there has been a slight gap since the last post on this blog but I have just joined the company and hope to bring you some more thought provoking subjects to discuss. To start off I am going to talk about my favorite teachers. I am not so young now and it is many years since I went to school in the UK, but I can still remember certain teachers that influenced me. I can still remember their names yet the names of some of my close friends of the same period have receded into the deepest corners of my memory. Why is it that these people had such an influence on me that I remember them clearly after all these years? (more…)

Feb 2013

New LinkedIn Policy Infuriates Loyal Followers: How to Overcome Having all your Posts Reviewed

How To Overcome & Fix the Having All Your Posts Reviewed in Discussion Groups on LinkedIn

Once again there’s proof that sometimes the largest companies make the most foolish errors of judgement …and their innocent customers pay the price!

As many LinkedIn users have recently found to their detriment and extreme annoyance, LinkedIn’s new policy that attempts to overcome Spam requires that anyone banished from one Group, has to have all their posts reviewed before they go live in all other Groups they belong to.

Well there is a way to fix this problem, but it is a complete pain – and extremely time consuming – depending on how many Groups you belong to …. and it is certainly no way to thank the many people that loyally followed LinkedIn over the last 4 years.

In fact it leaves me wondering if Social Media sites like this can afford to make such stupid mistakes, and how many mistakes like this it takes before those followers walk away, especially when it is a supposed to be a social media site for professionals and businesses. (more…)

Nov 2012

Online Educational Video and The Hidden Benefits of Subtitles

Using Subtitles on Video offers Teachers in the Classroom a potential Treasure Trove of Opportunity.

Sadly many believe that when Subtitles (otherwise known as Captions) are provided on educational video for use in the classroom, that they only benefit the deaf, and those with hearing impairments. Yet this could not be further from the truth.

In an educational environment, particularly the school classroom, the use of subtitles provides a range of benefits for children and students of all ages and ability, and certainly not just those with special education needs.

And the faster teachers and schools are made aware of those benefits, the sooner those benefits can be made available and passed on to their students. (more…)

Nov 2012

Educating Children With Dyslexia

Are we over-complicating the teaching and education of Dyslexic Children?

We like to think of ourselves as a reasonably advanced and progressive society, but I can’t help thinking that when it comes to educating children with dyslexia maybe we are overcomplicating the problem, and making a rod for our own backs. And maybe even letting down many of those children we claim to care about.

With official reports indicating that as many as 1 in 8 children are suffering from some form of dyslexia, it’s time that we realized that there are some simple solutions available that would make the lives of teachers easier, and at the same time, help an awful lot of children.

I found myself at a dinner last night talking to a cousin – who after being in education for many years, is now responsible for purchasing many of the materials required for children and students attending a large number of schools in the area.

During the conversation I took the opportunity to ask what materials were being purchased for the students in those schools with Dyslexia. She looked at me with a mortified expression and replied “we don’t”.

When I asked why not, her first response was to explain that most teachers had not been trained to deal with dyslexia. She then proceeded to explain that it was a complex problem. It was at that stage I decided it was better not to pursue the subject for fear of causing an argument.

But this article presents the opportunity to consider a few simple home truths – and ask some difficult questions. (more…)

Oct 2012

Up to 80% of Teachers Using Video in the Classoom, But …

… Less Than 10% of Those Teachers Are Receiving The Full Benefits.

Research conducted over the last 18 months indicates that more than 80% of teachers in the US are using video in the classroom as a valued teaching resource, however a combination of lack of subtitles (closed captions), and a lack of understanding how to use those subtitles effectively, mean that the vast majority of those teachers are not getting the full benefits from that video for themselves or their students.

Subtitles have widely been regarded in the past as being essential only for those smaller numbers of children with hearing impairments. But sadly this misapprehension is robbing students of many opportunities.

A substantial amount of research over the last 30 years has demonstrated that subtitles on video, movies and television, has the potential to significantly improve students reading and literacy skills. In fact a pilot program operated by the late Dr. Alice Killackey of the Availll Institute demonstrated the ability to improve children’s Reading and Literacy skills by as much as one year, in as little as 6 weeks.

Evidence substantiating this potential comes from countries like Finland that have for many years provided TV programming with subtitles as a matter of course, and as a result they repetitively top the list of OECD countries with the highest Reading and Literacy skills amongst children.

However the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that would enable children to improve their Reading and Literacy skills at the same time as studying a range of curriculum-based topics, has remained elusive while the majority of companies providing educational video for teachers have chosen to ignore and provide the use of subtitles – either because of the added cost of providing that captioning, or lack of awareness about the full potential it provides in the educational environment.

Sep 2012

Children’s Activity 104: Lemonade Stand

A Creative Activity

Here’s a summertime classic that’s sure to bring a smile to your neighbors’ faces.

Materials Required:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Butcher paper
  • Markers
  • Cash box and change
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Sugar