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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…)

Jul 2011

Free Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans Now Provided Free by Zane Education

Online K12 education video provider Zane Education is in the process of adding a range of new educational tools and resources to complement and enhance the value of using their online curriculum-based educational video library. The latest addition is the introduction of free Lesson Plan guides for each of the 260 topics that are taught using their online videos.

The company made a decision to provide these Lesson Plan Guides for downloading at no cost, firstly to help reduce the cost of homeschooling, but also to enable homeschool parents and teachers in the classroom to spend more time doing what they do best – teaching and homeschool parenting. By providing these Lesson Plans to subscribers of their ondemand Visual Learning service, the company wants to enable teachers and homeschool parents to use the Lesson Plans as the framework to teach and explore each particular topic, then use the online K12 video as the means to deliver the facts in the same way that a text book would, thereby leaving them with more time to explore the other activities provided for in the Lesson Plan, and to actually interact with those children that require more help. (more…)

Oct 2010

The Role of Educational Video in Homeschooling

A Thorn in the Side…or a Jewel in the Crown

I received an email a couple of days ago from a friend. She asked me to comment on the following statement “…..you know, in the US, there is quite a bit of controversy over K-12 among homeschoolers …..many see it as taking away the parents teaching of the children and relegating it to videos”.

In this article I want to address the issue and role of using online educational video in homeschooling.

I find it a little hard to believe that if we sit down and think about it for a moment that anyone could reasonably suggest that “using video is taking away the parents teaching of their children” any more using a textbook might.

Using video to teach your child as a homeschooler is certainly no different to using a textbook in that it is simply a format in which to deliver the core information, or the facts!

However video is a format that has distinctive silver lining.

Firstly the textbook only offers the child one solitary option. It must be read. And if you then have a child that does not like reading, and on top of that they do not find the topic particularly interesting, then it can be a recipe for disaster.

Video however provides the child with 2 choices. And if you use subtitled video, as we do, then it provides the child with 3 choices. They can watch, listen or read. Every child absorbs and processes information in the manner that best suits them, and their abilities. So it is important to provide the child with the choices so that when we hope or expect them to absorb and process certain information, we give them the benefit of a flying start.

At the same time though video offers a much more dynamic means to deliver information, and as a result it rapidly captures the child’s attention and maintains their interest for a longer period of time. And guess what? It also introduces an element of fun at the same time. You make learning fun and watch the child’s motivation increase. That’s precisely why the most effective form of learning comes about when the child enjoys and is interested in the topic. I suspect this is exactly why few of us adults retire to bed early in the evening with a dictionary to relax! Hard work or what? (more…)

Sep 2010

Job Satisfaction – The Key to Motivating our Children?

One of the things that most of us come across as parents – or teachers – at some stage or another, is finding a way to motivate our children in one particular area or another.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been spending a lot of time meeting and speaking to homeschool families as we have been promoting the benefits of our online subtitled educational videos, as a fun, unique and very effective online education solution.

I have been finding that as I reach the end of each working day that I am feeling so exhilarated, that I have not wanted to stop work. In fact after finishing working 10 hours, I felt so energised that I wanted to keep going for another 10 hours. And all I can put it down to is purely and simply one thing – that wonderful feeling of job satisfaction.

If I am completely honest I have reached a stage in my life where I have a desire to combine running a business, with at the same time doing good for other people, especially helping children. There have been a number of situations during this last week on which I have been able to give away a number of our 12-month Gold Membership subscriptions completely free to some very deserving children and their families. And it has left me feeling rather like Father Christmas. The gratitude, thanks and appreciation that have been expressed by a number of those children and their parents, has been totally overwhelming. In other words I have been experiencing a very strong feeling of job satisfaction.

I have had a few quiet moments to reflect on the difference it has meant to me to experience that job satisfaction, and it has made me realise that in trying to motivate my own children, that if I can introduce them to that same powerful feeling of elation in their own lives, then the motivation might actually follow automatically. (more…)

Sep 2010

Questioning standards. Don’t ask me why, ask me why not?

Occasionally I have a deep and meaningful thought (my wife often suggests that miracles do indeed happen … every so often) and it really did get me wondering about what and how we teach our children.

I love to play the guitar and on the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix death this question got me thinking.

Why is Jimi generally held in such high regard (not that I am qualified to ask that question)?

Imagine you teach guitar and a kid walks in that is playing a left-handed guitar upside down. Most guitar players have picked up bad habits that the teacher will want to get rid of and sort out before moving on to bigger and better things. But this was one of the things that Jimi was renown for, and that many will suggest gave him his unique sound. (more…)

Aug 2010

Only One Front Page ……and 12 different education stories.

I have to apologize for a quiet time on the blog for the last 10 days but we have a dilemma to overcome.

Since we launched this website, an increasing number of people have contacted us and explained just how many different types of students can benefit through using our online educational videos.

Zane Education (Zane Publishing Inc. in it’s former life) has had a well-established name in the school and home education markets since the mid 1990’s. And when we decided to convert our 250 educational CD-ROM’s into online video we always expected that it was the teachers, students and homeschooling families that would be our main customers.

However now that we are using the online video format – and most importantly that all of our videos are subtitled – we are seeing that many other types of students are benefiting from what we have produced. Those children include special needs students, gifted students, the disabled, children with dyslexia and reading difficulties, students with visual impairments, ESL students and especially children whose parents and teachers want to help develop their reading skills.

Aug 2010

K12 Video Review: Elementary Science: The Human Body

This Elementary Science yopic is found on www.zaneeducation.com located at Science>Elementary Science>The Human Body and comprises six videos: Blood Vessels and the Heart, The Digestive System, The Respiratory System, The Nervous System, Bones and Muscles, Eyes and Ears.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the components and workings of the circulatory system
  • Learn the major organs and processes of the digestive system
  • Study the means by which oxygen travels to every part of the body
  • Discover the structure, function and importance of the brain


  • 63-minute multimedia presentation
  • 800 images

Suitable for:

Grades K-3/ages 6 to 9 years


Aug 2010

Homeschool Lesson Plans

It was an interesting weekend here at Zane Education. I got involved in an online conversation with one of our Twitter followers that has led to an idea that we might be able to develop to improve the service we provide the Homeschool community that is so close to our hearts.

It had never really occurred to me before just how many homeschooling mums and dads out there might be preparing their own lesson plans out there. And if that is the case, I have to ask, “How many times would that lesson plan be used by that one family and then seldom used again?”

While many of those “lesson plans” might only consist of a few lines scribbled out on a piece of paper, I have to wonder if there might be others that are preparing a lesson plan that could be used by other homeschooling families. (more…)

Jul 2010

Video Review: World History: The Causes of World War I

This Topic is found on the Zane Education website under the Category History>20th Century World History> and comprises two K12 educational video titles: ‘From the Assassination’ and ‘To the Armistice’. Together these videos examine the world events of the early twentieth century that culminated in history’s first truly global conflict.

The two videos cover the following learning objectives:

  • Explain why the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, thus sparking World War I.
  • Survey the political, economic, and social effects of the nineteenth-century industrialization of the Continent, and discuss the reasons for the emergence of nationalist ideology as a dominant political force in Europe during the nineteenth century.
  • Discuss the reasons why colonial rule was so important to Europe’s imperialist powers.
  • Examine how the complex tensions resulting from nationalism and imperialist rivalries incited the formation of alliances and accelerated the arms race among European powers.
  • Explore how the imperialist rivalries and runaway nationalism that gripped Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century culminated in the outbreak of World War I.
  • Compare the political goals of nations that entered World War I with the war’s outcome.

Features: (more…)

Jul 2010

Zane Launches K12 OnDemand Educational Video Subscription Service

Zane Launches K12 OnDemand Educational Video Subscription Service

Zane Publishing PowerCD Software for Homeschool Now Online in Video Format

FLORIDA, June. 22, 2010: Zane Education announced today the launch of their new K12 educational video on-demand subscription service at www.zaneducation.com. The innovative website, which is believed to be the first of its kind, provides homeschoolers, teachers, schools and students with access to a comprehensive library of subtitled online videos developed for the K-12 curriculum. This new service enables students of all ages to learn a particular topic and then test themselves using interactive quizzes designed to continue the learning process. The single most notable feature of this service is the sub-titling of the videos which research is now demonstrating has the ability to greatly improve reading literacy levels in a short period of time.

The launch of Zane Education’s on-demand subtitled K12 video subscription service features:

  • A valuable tool for homeschooling offering significant savings on textbooks
  • The opportunity for students to learn at their own speed
  • A learning solution for students suffering from dyslexia, reading disabilities and sight impairments
  • A learning solution for gifted students and special needs students.
  • A program aimed at improving children’s reading literacy levels.
  • A supplementary tool for ESL and ESOL students learning English as a second language.
  • (more…)