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Feb 2015

Improving Education for Dyslexia

Being an actively involved in providing educational solutions for Special Education Needs, I am often amazed at just how many people in education seem so focused on the causes and diagnosis of Dyslexia, rather than providing a meaningful solution for those 1 in every 8 children and students, that suffer from some form of Dyslexia today. Education for Dyslexia should take a precedence over that.

Often in life we can make problems significantly worse by overthinking the problem rather than seeking a simple solution, and I can’t help wondering if the education of children with Dyslexia is not a perfect example of this.

In my humble experience, over 90% of those children with Dyslexia are incredibly bright and intelligent. They simply need to be provided with the information they are being expected to learn and study with, in a format they can easily use and understand. (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…)

Apr 2012

Why Is Autism On The Increase?

Is Autism Really on The Increase – or Are We Just Diagnosing it Now?

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 1 in 88 children in America has Autism – which appears to indicate a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009.

And another report I read recently indicated that over the last 15 years that the incidence of Autism had grown by more than 1000% – but interestingly that report also noted that Autism or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), is a relatively new disorder, and was not actually being diagnosed and monitored 20 years ago in the way that it is today. Hence one explanation for this dramatic increase. But are there other potential explanations that we should be taking a much closer look at?

Apr 2012

The Power of Music in Education

Using Music to Improve & Motivate our Children’s Education

My memories of the only time that music ever made an appearance in my education involve a class of ten year old boys standing around a piano and being asked to learn a song that I had never ever heard of before. Worse still I had never ever been informed what singing in tune involved, and as a result I recall standing there wondering why the sound of my own voice did not seem to quite fit in with those of my classmates. This was neither a pleasant introduction to learning music, nor an experience that allowed music to become a meaningful part of my education.

Looking back forty years later I feel utterly robbed of what music could have become in my life, and the paths it could have led me down. And bearing that I now play two or three different instruments with varying degrees of success, simply for the sheer enjoyment and relaxation it brings me, it is one of the few areas of any regret that I have in my life.

However as I have come to understand and appreciate in recent years, music has far more to offer us then simply joy and relaxation – and that is particularly the case when it comes to our children and their education. To our children it can make the difference between not only enjoying and motivating their education, but also the pleasure and effectiveness of the learning process itself. (more…)

Mar 2012

Education for Dyslexia


Educating the Dyslexic Child – Do We Expect Too Much?

Here we are in the 21st Century using a system of Education, a system that was originally designed in the time of the Renaissance, and we are confronted with the challenge of Dyslexia.

That being the case, what do we attempt to do? Yes, we attempt to recreate the wheel.

While I do not want to over-simplify the situation, and I must certainly bow to the knowledge of the experts, to me it appears that we are demanding that those 1 in 8 children with Dyslexia learn another language before we provide them with The Gift of Education – and that is the Language of Text.

If a family decides to move to live in another country where another language is spoken, they expect and plan to be confronted by their children having to learn another language before they can effectively attend school – but surely not in our own country!

In many ways it is ridiculous as expecting a person to learn how to catch and prepare fish before they have a right to eat it.

Visual Learning opens the doors for a child with Dyslexia, and yet we want those with the severest cases of Dyslexia to be removed from school, and placed in special schools for Dyslexic students when the reality is that many, many of these students are extremely intelligent, and simply need to be given an alternative to the textbook.

And the story gets much worse because many of the parents, when they attempt to get those children into those special schools, either find there is no spare places available, or that the costs are prohibitive.

Delivering the curriculum content that the child is required, and often wants to learn and study, by means of audio visual delivery is such a straight forward solution for many of those kids. And the technology is now available to do just that – and it’s available online.

The use of subtitled online educational video developed specifically for the K to 12 curriculum, enables those students to absorb and process the same information being studied by their peers, by watching and listening to video. And the icing on the cake for those with milder forms of dyslexia can use the video subtitles – otherwise known as closed captions – to improve their reading and literacy skills.

For the vast majority of dyslexic students this is a very real and meaningful alternative solution to the use of textbooks, but the significant benefits of using this method, lies in the fact that they can see the words, hear how they are pronounced and from there start to learn more about correct sentence structures, the appropriate context in which to use word and much more.

While many companies are now introducing the use of online educational video, this is not enough, and only one company has taken this to the level where they have added the all-important subtitles in the appropriate manner, to content specifically developed to teach a wide range of topics as required by the K-12 curriculum.

Zane Education is a company that many teachers, schools, parents and dyslexic students themselves are now turning to because they provide a service that delivers this effective Visual Learning service online.

Mar 2012

Motivating Children to Learn


What Can We Do To Motivate Our Children’s Interest in their Education?

I have just completed a period of research into the education market in India and was extremely impressed about just how motivated such a large percentage of both children, and their parents, are towards their own education and learning.

My research revealed two interesting facts.

A recent research survey in the last 12 months indicated that parents across 16 of the largest cities in India, saw education and learning being such important that the monthly expenditure on their children’s education ranked just second on their list of spending priorities. Only their monthly spend on Groceries and food shopping came ahead of their child’s education. In most Western countries, the monthly spend on education would be considerably less important.

Then I discovered that approximately 20 million students in India have a private tutor even though they attend school on a full-time basis. That number equates to just under half of all the children studying at school in the United States. 

So what is it that motivates children in India to take such and interest in their own education.

In an effort to find out more about this I have spoken to many people in India. They have explained that both children and their parents realise that education is the only way that they can hope to fight their way out of poverty.

Many also explained that because of the sheer number of people in the country the competition to get into the better schools and universities was fierce, and to succeed students really did have to achieve their best.

Others explained to me this motivation towards education was simply part of their cultural beliefs and their approach to life in the same way that the respect children have for their elders is so different to that in many countries in the West.

I suspect that there is another factor too. With the exception of periods like the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and maybe also the years during World Wars I and II, most countries in the West have never really ever experienced times of real hardship, or oppression. As a result we have bred generations of people that have a reasonably “soft” life. It is well known that hardship and adversity bring out the best in a person’s nature, yet for most of us since the 1960’s life has become easier and easier.

We now live in a generation were the range of social security and support facilities provided act as a “safety net” for those that are unemployed, or don’t want to work. Loans and credit is made available to virtually everyone by the banks, whether people can afford to repay it or not. In many ways the recent generations have never had it so good. In fact many would suggest that today’s students and children expect the world to come to them, rather than having to go out and earn whatever they want. Many students expect success to be handed to them on a plate rather than having to earn it.

So with this air of “expectancy” being part of many children’s lives, is it any wonder that few place any importance on learning and their own education.

Jul 2011

Social Media Skills

Your Social Media Skills – You, Education and a Business Opportunity!

I grew up being told repeatedly that if I did not go to College or University and get a Degree, that I would never amount to anything.

Well here is an interesting situation for you to consider. Technology is now moving so fast that many colleges and universities have not had sufficient time to prepare and make available courses that teach about the latest technology.

Let’s look at the growth of Social Media for example.  Few companies, or company owners particularly, have the time in each day to effectively conduct a social media campaign befitting that of the company, or to maintain their own business profile adequately. And no matter what anyone thinks of Social Media, the fact is that the role of the search engine is fast diminishing because of Social Media – making it all the more important as an online marketing tool.

So where are those companies and those company bosses going to go to employ those that have the necessary skills? Well if College or University courses are not up to speed with teaching this, then looking for a person with College or University qualifications in this field is a waste of time. Can they turn to graduates that have marketing skills and marketing qualifications? Well only if those people have taught themselves these Social Media skills and have the relevant experience. So where do those companies go to recruit those with the necessary expertise and experience? (more…)

Sep 2010

Daily Question Competition – How to Take Part!

Zane Education has a Facebook page and we use it as a place to run our Daily Educational Question Competition which is designed to be fun and educational for parents, teachers and children alike. And you can win some great prizes. The aim of the competition is to help you teach your children or students how to use the Internet to research subjects effectively.

Each day we will pick one question from our online subtitled education videos and interactive quizzes and put it on our Facebook page. The first person with the correct answer wins 3 points, the second receives 2 points, and the third 1 point. The first person to 25 points is the winner.

The prize is a 12-month Gold Membership subscription worth $200 for the ZaneEducation.com website .

After we have a winner we will start each competition again. A tally of those of you submitting a correct answer will be kept here.

If a person wins the competition more than once we allow that prize to be donated to a Special Needs family and this is a great way to help our children experience the joy of giving. We will help you find a recipient if you want some assistance.

NOTE: In order to be fair to all players, we are going to select 2 winners each day…. one from within mainland US and one from everywhere else. If you live outside mainland US, you must start your answer with the name of where you are e.g. Hawaii, UK etc.  It is your responsibility to name where you are otherwise we will not know.


Go to the Zane Education Facebook page and click on LIKE. This will ensure that each question appears each day on your wall. It will also enable you to submit your answer as a comment under the question on our Facebook page.


In addition to this our other regular monthly competition continues with one member on our Facebook page being selected to win our monthly competition prize.

So watch out for each new question every day and get the children involved as part of their day. Get them to work with you to find the answer on the Internet. You’ll all have fun and learn plenty.