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Monday, October 27, 2008

FREE Online English Learning Course For KIds


There are millions of people around the world who learn English as a second language. Being a second language the first steps are always difficult when their children learn English at school or at home. I collected some interactive softwares for my son who was going to school, to make English learning easier and fun for him. I use the same technique for my students and use different software programs which are fun to watch and encourage them to listen, and speak the English langugage. I was really happy to find the site "Mingoville" which offers English learning course absolutely FREE.

Mingoville.com offers the world's most comprehansive English course online for kids of ages 5-12.

Features of the course:

- It is 100% web based and contains hundreds of game like activities to stimulate kids language learning abilities.

Mission (In their own words)
"Our Mission is to educate kids English language by providing high-quality, result-oriented English learning on the Internet. We believe in the power of knowledge and our valuable goal is to deliver the best practices of education, entertainment and information technologies.

Our Vision is to maintain the position of high-quality, result-oriented eLearning solutions and online content provider through continuous value creation."


It includes:

An interactive dictionary with words and images, 10 missions to solve, several different exercises in spelling, lestening and reading.

Get MingovilleRegarding innovation in education, Mingoville’s creators understand that children learn English best when learning is fun. This "edutainment" (education + entertainment) model allows children to learn English by clicking, doing, exploring, and interacting – comprehensive virtual language immersion based on advanced technologies and the newest pedagogical knowledge. Through a variety of methods such as direct interaction with the exercises and games, visual learning, and recording and audio elements to perfect English pronunciation, kids are encouraged to explore and learn English in a fun way.
Parents of kids using Mingoville recognized a sharp learning curve after three to four months of commencement of the online courses in English for children.

- Sign up here

There are more Free courses which creator of 'Mingoville'company 'E-learning for kids' offers in subjects like Maths, language art, science, computer skill, health and life skill,

Link: E-learning for kids

"Teacher Magazine" - An online FREE publication for teachers

Online education blogs are a good way to get in touch with the fresh content relating to the education field. Online communities, forums or message board provide a platform where we can directly ask any question and get advice or tips from other members. Same way online magazines offer good stuff and "Teacher Magazine" is one of those online publications.

Teacher Magazine is from Editorial Projects in Education Inc. a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Bethesda, Md.

Primary mission:
To help raise the level of awareness and understanding among professionals and the public of important issues in American education.

You can register FREE for complete access to TEACHER Magazine online.

Your FREE registration to TEACHER Magazine also gives you:

Full access to 'Teacher Magazine' online including feature stories, web watch, teacher blogs and more like,

- Community - blogs, chats and Web Watch to keep you connected to your profession.
- Insight - free e-newsletters, including "Teacher Update" and "Curriculum Matters" with the freshest approaches sent straight to your inbox.
- News - from Education Week online (limited to 2 articles per week)
- Research - Education Counts database with customizable reports right from your desktop.

Other publications from the EPE are:

- Education Week,

- Research center

- Digital Directions

After registering, you have access to even more edweek.org resources. In addition to what is listed above, you gain access to:

Daily editor-selected Education Week & Associated Press stories.
Up to nine free e-newsletters on relevant topics in K-12 education.
Ability to comment on articles and start discussion with peers.
All current and archived articles from Teacher.
Search for top school jobs and career resources at TopSchoolJobs.org.
Current Annual Reports - Quality Counts, Technology Counts, and Diplomas Count.
State data and tools from the Research Center.

See Free Content page for more detail.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"The Kid;s Garden"- Helping Kids Enjoy Creative Gardening

"The Kid's Garden" is an interesting site for parents and teachers who want to teach their kids "Gardening". The articles about gardening are written well but for small children it is better to read them the information or get idea how to talk or provide relevant information about the topic. Site provides interesting features and practical advice on this subject.

'The Kid's Garden' was formed to offer a unique reference point on creative gardening for children.

This site introduces your child to the wonders of nature through gardening. With a range of scents and colours, your kids can create a place of discovery.

Check the 'site map' page to go to the different sections of the site. Topics include, Around the Garden, Ask the expert, Garden activities, learning, safety, at school, planting. For every topic there are many useful articles.

'At school' page offers few interesting articles for the teachers. Article topics are:

- Garden Recycling, Get Your School Growing, How Does the Weather Effect the Garden?, Introducing Kids To Organic Gardening, Stimulating Kids Imagination Through Gardening, Strange and Funny Plants.

Related posts:

* Gardening for kids

* Benefits of Gardening

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tips to set limits for disciplined kids

There should be an effective strategy to apply discipline rules at home or school either you are a teacher or parent. Frustration, anger, and occasional acting-out are few behaviors, we can notice among every child. But do we set limits towards applying discipline regulations or rules for our kids?

Our approach towards facing these kind of bahaviors is normally unhealthy, so better to keep these tips in mind while teaching discipline to our kids.

Tips

1) Always consider your child's developmental level when setting limits. It is unfair to expect more than a child can do. For example, a 2 or 3 year old cannot control the impulse to touch things. Instead of instructing them not to touch, remove fragile objects from reach.

2) Set the punishment to your child's developmental level. If you send your toddler to the bedroom for more than 5 minutes, the child may totally forget the reason, due to a short attention span. See time out.

3) Be consistent. Do not change rules or punishments at random. Punishments will obviously change as the child gets older, so make sure you explain why the rules change.

4) Make sure all caregivers are consistent with the discipline strategy. If one caregiver accepts certain behaviors while another will punish for the same behavior, the child is likely to become confused. Eventually, the toddler may learn to play one adult against the other.

5) Remember that you are a key role model for your child. The more even-handed and controlled your behavior is, the more likely your children will pattern their

Tips suggested by: Health at New York Times

Useful studies:

* Training Young Brains to Behave

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why we fail to teach our children discipline?

As a parent or teacher we are eager to find the best ways to descipline our children but many of us fail. A recent study found that 1 in 3 say the method they use doesn't work. Let's read some research based studies which may help us learn the effective ways to teach our kids descipline.

Childhood health experts say many parents think discipline means meting out punishment. But often the punishments parents use end up reinforcing the bad behavior instead of correcting it. Surprisingly, the most effective discipline typically doesn’t involve any punishment at all, but instead focuses on positive reinforcement when children are being good.

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, adolescent medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that when parents come to him complaining of discipline problems, he often explains the etymology of the word. The Latin root is “discipulus,” which means student or pupil.

“Defining discipline is really important,” said Dr. Ginsburg, author of “A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens,” published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. “When I tell parents this, you see their faces and they say: ‘It’s not about punishment? It’s about teaching?’ That changes things.”

But effective discipline is more difficult for busy parents because strategies that involve teaching and positive feedback take a lot more time than simple punishment, noted Dr. Shari Barkin, chief of the division of general pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.

It was Dr. Barkin’s study of more than 2,100 parents that reported that 1 in 3 said they could not effectively discipline their kids. The findings, published last year in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, showed that parents often used the same punishments that their own parents had used on them. Forty-five percent reported using time-outs, 41.5 percent said they removed privileges, 13 percent reported yelling at their children and 8.5 percent said they used spanking “often or always.”

Parents who resorted to yelling or spanking were far more likely to say their disciplinary approach was ineffective. Given that parents often don’t admit to yelling and spanking, the study probably underestimates how widespread the problem of ineffective discipline really is, Dr. Barkin said.

Many parents’ discipline methods don’t work because children quickly learn that it’s much easier to capture a parent’s attention with bad behavior than with good. Parents unwittingly reinforce this by getting on the phone, sending e-mail messages or reading the paper as soon as a child starts playing quietly, and by stopping the activity and scolding a child when he starts to misbehave.

“How many times have you heard someone say, ‘I need to get off the phone because my child is acting up’?” asked Dr. Nathan J. Blum, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “You’re doing exactly what the child wants.”

Trying to reason with a child who is misbehaving doesn’t work. “Talking and lecturing and even yelling is essentially giving kids your attention,” Dr. Blum said.

While time-outs can be highly effective for helping young children calm down and regain control of their emotions, many parents misuse the technique, doctors say. Parents often lecture or scold children during time-outs or battle with kids to return to a time-out chair. But giving a child any attention during a time-out will render the technique ineffective.

Another problem is that parents miscalculate how long a time-out should last. A child in an extended time-out will become bored and start to misbehave again to win attention. Doctors advise no more than a minute of time-out for each year of a child’s life.

A better disciplinary method for younger children doesn’t focus on bad behavior but on good behavior, Dr. Blum said. If children are behaving well, get off the phone or stop what you are doing and make a point to tell them that you wanted to spend time with them because they are so well behaved.

DISCIPLINE is more difficult in the teenage years as children struggle to gain independence. Studies show that punishments like grounding have little effect on teenagers’ behavior. In several studies of youth drinking, drug use and early sex, the best predictor for good behavior wasn’t punishment, but parental monitoring and involvement. The best methods of keeping teenagers out of trouble are knowing where they are, knowing who is with them, and spending time with them regularly.

That doesn’t mean teenagers shouldn’t be punished. But parents should set clear rules that allow children to earn or lose privileges, which gives them a sense that they control their destiny.

“You don’t want kids to feel victimized or punished,” said Dr. Ginsburg of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “You want them to understand that the freedoms they get are directly related to how they demonstrate responsibility.”

Dr. Barkin said she believed the problem of ineffective discipline was getting worse, in part because reinforcing good behavior is far more time-consuming than punishment. Dr. Barkin noted that busy parents juggling work and family demands often are distracted by cellphones, e-mail and other media.

“We have these new forms of technology which urge us to be working all the time,” Dr. Barkin said. “We are a distracted society. It’s harder to turn off the media and turn on that personal engagement.”

Source: New York Times

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Invent Now" -Inspiring Kids To Invent

When fun and education meet at one place it is called 'edutainment'and it is the most effective way to learning so far. Now internet offers lots of sites which deal with edutainment stuff.

Invent Now.org offers fun and exciting activities to inspire kids to invent and develop their own creative competencies.

You can see the hundreds of inventions that have been submitted by some very imaginative kids!

Teachers, inspire your students through problem-solving exercises, exploration, creativity and the inventive process. At the same time engage them in learning about the intellectual property protections of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Step into the Showroom and play with some exciting inventions.

Register as an InventNow.org Inventor and get access to all the great stuff at this site.

You'll be able to share your inventions, get patents, comment on other inventions and much more!

Inventnow.org requires users 13 years and older to enter either their or their parent or guardian's valid email address in order to activate their account.
Site link: Invent Now.org

'Education World' - Making Internet Easier For Educators

Many teachers around us understand that they should be tech savoy and learn to integrate technology for teaching, but they are afraid of taking first steps. I feel that we don't have much knowledge and information to start making our teaching tech based. I am planning to write and provide as many links and resources which could make our journey easier. Today's site "Education World" is the site which helps the teachers in this connection. It is a FREE resoruce.

Education World makes internet easier for educators. Education World's goal is to make it easy for educators to integrate the Internet into the classroom. With 98 percent of the nation's public schools connected to the Internet, the need for a complete online educational guide is evident.

How?

It offers:

* a search engine for educational Web sites only, a place where educators can find information without searching the entire Internet;
* original content, including lesson plans, practical information for educators, information on how to integrate technology in the classroom, and articles written by education experts;
* site reviews;
* daily features and columns;
* teacher and principal profiles;
* Wire Side Chats with the important names in education;
* employment listings.

The site is divided into many sections and you can directly go to 'site guide' link to further search for these sections:

LESSON PLANNING
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ADMINISTRATOR'S DESK
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
SCHOOL ISSUES
EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATION WORLD @ HOME
LIFESTYLE
SUBJECT RESOURCES
SPECIALTIES
MORE RESOURCES

You can subscribe to many FREE newsletters such as:
- Education World Newsletter
- Education Site Reviews
- Teacher Lesson Plans
- Administrator's Desk Newsletter
- Education News Headlines
- Education Humor
- Early Childhood Education Newsletter
- Professional Development Newsletter
- SchoolNotes Home Newsletter

To subscribe click at 'this link'.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reading And Homework Help Resource

I am in search of the sites which provide parents and teachers with positive and helpful information regarding academic related issues for our children. I personally learn and use this knowledge to enhance my teaching and hope that parents and teachers would get help and guidance from the resoruce and links I provide at this blog.

'Math and Reading help for kids' is a comprehensive directory site including hundreds of original articles and resources dealing with children's education. The site is equally helpful for parents and teachers.

The purpose of this site is to provide a centralized information portal that can help parents and children make better decisions about school-related issues. Although most of the articles on this site are written for parents, there is also a 'Just for Kids' section designed specifically for children.

Mission: (In their own words)
Studies show that teens are reading less often and fewer of them are obtaining critical literacy skills. We support the American Library Association (ALA)and Young Adult Library Service Association's (YALSA) mission that our children deserve the best. We also believe in the need to actively promote reading while advocating for the strengthening of young adult library services. Our goal is to continue to find new ways of providing quality educational resources. We are indebted to the hard work from our librarian contributors as well as quality parental feedback that help us make this a more complete academic resource.

Unique Math and Reading Help Content

Homework and Studying Help Section: Provides a comprehensive directory of homework and study help articles for parents to incorporate into their child's educational developement. Topics include creating an environment for good study habits, helping children prepare for tests, as well as math and reading help.

How To's and Tips for Parents Section:

This section helps provide parents with the necessary tools to help children enjoy learning as well as creating a positive environment for academic success. Subjects range from preventing summer learning loss to tips and advice on teaching children specific concepts learned in class such as fractions and decimals.

Reading Help Section:

This area covers several age groups ranging from early childhood to high school. Topics range from building strong literary skills to suggested reading lists for all age groups.

Educational Games:
Our most popular area for children. Fun and simple educational games to help children improve their math and literacy skills. Games cover a variety of subject matter including math, spelling and memory retention.


- Tips for Helping Children Achieve Academic Success

- If your child is struggling with math or falling behind in reading, you may want to consider a tutor. This page contains articles on tutoring - from determining if your child needs a tutor to finding and working with the tutor. There is also information on online tutoring, tutoring centers and becoming a tutor.
Article Directory: Tutoring

- Article Directory: This section provides articles on homework help for a variety of subjects, including math, reading, English and science. The articles discuss different types of homework assignments, working with due dates and how you can help them without doing the project for them. Select a topic below for specific information.
Homework Help

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teacher's Ideas: Dealing With Students Having ADD/ADHD

We can learn a lot from other teachers who have good experience of dealing with students having ADD/ADHD. This article would help you get ideas and tips, which teachers around the world have shared at 'A to z teacher's stuff forum':

Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) and / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) are common disorders among children and adults. According to a research, between 4 and 12 percent of school-age children have ADHD. It has been given a great deal of attention by neurologists and psychologists. ADHD is now widely recognized as a legitimate mental health problem.

Now read the tips and ideas teachers are sharing with us:

1- One of the participant teacher says:
'Here are some things that I do to get me and my ADHD students through a day...

- Allow student to shift in his seat, change seats, or move around every now and then.
- Provide quiet "fidget toys". This is crucial during times when you want him to take in a lot of info at once. The thing about this disorder is that it doubles a person's processing time. It comes across as the kid not paying attention, being disruptive, or rude. (We get very defensive when confused.) It does help, for whatever reason, to have something in the hands to fidget with or even (I know this is an unpopular one...) a piece of gum. By occupying the physical impulses, the brain works better and can concentrate.
- Written plans, goals, and contracts work well. A visual reminder can really make all of the difference in the world.
- Give the child important jobs to do, especially ones in which he has to do something physical. "Joe, could you bring this to the office for me?" It is crucial that a kid with this disorder feels a part of things. Also, when confused, a lot of ADHD kids will get angry or violent. A pre-arranged signal between you and him could remind him that he is "floating out", and if necessary, signal that he needs to take a short walk to the bathroom or water fountain to cool down.'

2- Another teacher shares his experience and strategies:
'I am a first grade teacher on the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. I average about 4-5 ADD or ADHD students in my class each year. Here are some strategies that I have found helpful...

- Get the counselors, parents, etc. involved right away and document everything.
When you are on the floor, put a piece of tape in an X or a box for him to stay in. Explain that this is his space and nobody can go in except him.
- Keep him close to you. I would keep him at arms distance so you can keep a gentle hand on his shoulder, desk, etc.
- Many "busy" kids need something to touch while you teach to keep their focus. I put a piece of sticky velcro (the soft side) on the underside of their desk. They can rub this velcro while you teach and it helps with their impulse to move about.
- Walking Papers. We give the student a 2 pocket folder and have him hold onto the left and right side while we trace his hands with a black marker. This shows him exactly where his hands should be when he holds the folder. He takes this folder with him any time he walks in the hallway, to reading, to the OT, bathroom, counselors office, lunch, etc. This folder keeps his hands busy so that he is not using them to hurt or bother someone else. It has worked really well with a boy I have in my class right now. We give him a sticker each day when he has used it well and not forgotten.
- I've used a sticky note cut into three, four or five strips on their desks. (We target one behavior you want changed at a time.) Each time I have to remind them to sit still (or whatever the behavior is), I take away a strip. If there are any strips left at the end of the day (or half a day) he gets a sticker, computer time, to read a book (whatever he likes).
- I have let students stand who really have a tough time sitting while they work.'

3- A teacher shares his tips:
'Dealing with AD/HD kids is tough, and I'm speaking both as a special education teacher and a person with ADD. However, there are a bunch of things I have found that work with my students, at least most of the time! ...

- Since many children with AD/HD have other learning disabilites that tend to be masked by their zany behavior, I would recommend having the boy tested. Maybe part of the reason he is out of control is because the work is too difficult for him (or, alternatively, too easy.)
- Give him Playdough or silly putty to play with while you are giving instructions, reading out loud, etc. Or, let him draw or color. This may sound like letting him off the hook, but I have found that many AD/HD people focus better and absorb more of what they hear when they have something to do.
- Get the whole class up and moving now and then. I like to have a two minute stretch in the middle of every period. Or, you can use games such as Around the World to practice math facts and get the kids moving at the same time.
- Expect him to wiggle. He can't sit completely still, and even if he could, he would be concentrating so hard on doing that that all instructions would go out the window. If other students are distracted by him, put him in the back of the room so he can get up, lean against the wall, etc. If he gets out of his seat and wanders around the room, make sure it is really interfering with instruction before you make him sit down. I have a student who moves to a different chair about every fifteen minutes, but the others have gotten used to this and he gets his work done, and that's what really counts.

Source: A to z teachers stuff forum

Related posts:

* Tips to deal with your hyperactive child

* Is drug free treatment of "Attention Deficit Disorder"possible?

* Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): No Heart for the Meds?

* Special Education Information for Teachers

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hobbies, Interests and Activities helping children with ADD

It is a common feeling of parents and teachers who have ADD/ADHD children, that keeping them busy is a good solution for them. But it is also difficult to let them focus on some activities for long time, so it is our duty as a parent or teacher to look for activities or interests, which can help develop their skills.

Nearly all principals (99 percent) and teachers (97 percent) surveyed feel that it is important for ALL students to participate in some extracurricular activities or clubs.

Extracurricular activities including hobbies and interests are beneficial for children with ADD. The sports they play, the hobbies they develop, the camps they attend all help to round out children, to make them more than merely persons who have difficulty paying attention in school.

Although the term extracurricular suggests something that is beyond school, these activities are an integral part of the learning process. Frequently such activities can be employed to enhance attention and to reinforce desired behavior.

Hobbies and Special Talents/Interests for Children with ADD

One of the wonderful things about hobbies is that children and adolescents can become "experts." This is particularly beneficial for students with ADD. Often the feedback they receive from parents, teachers, and classmates is negative. Coupled with their difficulty in establishing meaningful social relationships, this negative feedback can lower their self-esteem. By developing a hobby they can acquire knowledge and skills for which they are perceived as competent, as an "expert" in one particular area of interest.

Hobbies don't just emerge, they must be fostered. Parents must expose their children to a wide variety of experiences and reinforce their interests. In addition to trips to the zoo, museums, aquariums, historical sites, and the like, parents can foster hobbies by enrolling children in courses related to their interests or providing them with unusual experiences. Many communities have arts and crafts classes, music classes, gymnastics, and so forth. Museums and philharmonic orchestras frequently have programs specifically geared towards youngsters. Many of these are appropriate for children with ADD because they are relatively short and are only scheduled on a weekly basis, hence the novelty of the activity tends to capture their attention. As with sports and clubs, you need to assess the expectation of the teachers of these classes and the number of students who participate.

Beyond these hobbies there are many more to be discovered if you have the time and inclination to explore. Children have developed interests in such activities as illustrating, Morse code, and miniature furniture. Collections in stamps, coins, baseball cards, and rocks capture the imagination of many children. The list is endless. All that is necessary is enthusiasm and time. It may take a while before you find a hobby that truly interests your child, so don't give up. It is exciting to see a child develop a hobby to a point where others solicit their advice. We recall the look of pride on one youngster's face when an adult asked him about the value of a particular baseball card. He seemed amazed and proud that he knew more about this topic than even his teacher. A hobby can develop a unique competence that is often hard to find in school or extracurricular activities.

If you find it impossible to come up with a hobby that is of interest to your child you may want to ask her teacher. There are many different activities that children engage in during a school day. Perhaps the teacher has noticed your child's particular interest in one of them, one in which she has demonstrated some competence. Also check with the special subject teachers, that is, art, music, physical education, and computers. Their expertise in a particular field may enable them to identify some activity that could lead to further exploration. Although it is not critical that your child have a hobby, it can do wonders for her self-esteem.

Perhaps even more important than encouraging these types of activities is the nurturing of a special talent a child may possess. Because of the behavioral problems associated with ADD, it may be difficult for parents to identify a special talent. You might solicit the input of teachers or, if your child has been enrolled in classes such as art, gymnastics, or the like, you might inquire about exploring higher level or enrichment courses in an area in which your child demonstrates particular talent. For example, we know of a child who has been diagnosed as having ADD and has considerable difficulty staying on task in school. He happened to be enrolled in a weekend class that dealt with the environment, during which the instructor noticed a particular talent in science. The instructor informed the parents and the child has been enrolled in a number of classes outside of the school that reinforce this particular ability. Additionally, his parents make frequent trips to the local science museum, read books related to science to him, and have hired a science teacher to work with him one hour per week to expand upon his interest and talents. Over the years, this special talent has manifested itself in many ways and he has become extremely competent, some would say "gifted," in this important area of the curriculum. It is with a tremendous sense of pride that he answers the questions of adults, knowing that they seek him out for his special talent. There are other examples in the arts, music, technology, and sports that children and adolescents with ADD have demonstrated special talents.

The common thread through these examples is the commitment of the parents. It takes an extraordinary amount of time and energy to travel to special places, to seek special events, to balance the special talent with other activities, but it is necessary if the talents are to emerge. We know a youngster who is an exceptionally good gymnast. She has far exceeded the skills level of her local gymnastic class so her parents drive her (three times per week) to a special gymnastic academy in order for her to further develop this talent. It would be easier to ignore such a talent, especially since her behavioral disorders related to ADD continue to cause concerns at school. However, the parents' willingness and ability to continue having this extra training has enabled this youngster to excel, and others have come to view her as extremely talented in this area and treat her with awe. This attention can go a long way when she is reprimanded for being fidgety in school.

Not all children with ADD have special talents. In reality, not many of us have such gifts. However, if talents are present they should be encouraged and enhanced. A child should never be pressured or forced to excel. Typically, if you expose your child to a wide variety of activities at an early age she will have many opportunities for hobbies to develop. If in your opinion and that of professionals involved in the activity your child is deemed to have a special talent, then we encourage you to pursue it.

Article is experts from:
"From Keys to Parenting a Child with Attention Deficit Disorders" by Barry E. McNamara, Ed.D. & Francine J. McNamara, M.S.W., C.S.W.

Source link: family education

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Micro-Blogging Site For Teachers and Students

New age requires us to adopt the learning procedure in tech ways, like use of blogging or micro-blogging to make teaching and learning easier. Young generation is now addicted to computers and internet, and if teachers or parents are successful in proper use of these mediums, they would be able to divert the attention of our children towards learning.

Edmodo is a private micro-blogging platform built for use by teachers and students. It’s not only a great way to introduce microblogging to students in a safe environment, but it’s also a great communication tool. At this platform teachers and students can use itto send notes, links, files, alerts, assignments, and events to each other.

Let's learn first what is 'micro-blogging'?

According to Wikipedia: Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually up to 140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by everyone or if chosen by the user, a select group. the ease of use that microblogging platforms provide makes it a better way to communicate with students than the tradition blogging platform. Traditional blogging platforms are designed to communicate long posts to a large group of people.

Microblogging platforms are really designed for interaction and communication in short posts and we feel that is an advantage to a teacher in getting their students to interact in classroom activities.

Use of Edmodo in the classroom

Teachers can use it to post daily assignments, and students can use it to answer questions regarding the assignments.
A lot of teachers have students find articles to bring to class. Now a teacher could have the student submit a link to the articles in Edmodo instead of printing them out.
Teachers can plan on using it to have students submit their assignments through Edmodo.
It can used as a tool for managing communication with other committee members or other school teachers.

You are able to attach files, embed links, or even turn a basic post into an assignment or event complete with date metadata. Very easy to send out an assignment along with attachment out to a specific class of your students.

you could send your contact information and office hours to ALL of your classes. Or send a video to your after school club for them to enjoy. You get the idea. Lots of control here.
Students can save specific messages in their ‘locker’ to refer back to later. Assignments and events hang around and will appear conveniently in the sidebar when their associated dates are coming up.

How does it work?
Teachers sign up for accounts, and then create groups. Each group has a unique code which is distributed by the teacher to the class. Students then sign up (no email address required) and join the group using the code.

More at: faq

Related posts:

* Links for teachers to start educational blogs

* Effective use of Blogging in education

* Practice Of Blogging In Classroom

Thursday, October 2, 2008

'Kids Cant Wait' - Helping Students Graduate With Needed Skills

High school graduation is an important step which prepares students for further higher studies and jobs as well. But how many of all graduates are successful in getting good grades for higher studies or good jobs?

Reality is that most of the students are not sufficiently skilled for the future life. The question is,

Why we need 'skill' development for high school students?

It is commonly observed that most of the students who graduate from high school lack the skills needed to do well in college or in a job.
- Many high school graduate end up in second class jobs because employers screen new employees with 6th grade English and Math tests and most of them can't pass the screen tests.
- Some college students have to appear for remedial courses because they fail freshman placement tests.

So we as a parents or teachers have to provide our support to students that they would have access to effective extra academic programs (especially in English and math) and graduate with the skills they need.

Kidscantwait.org is a campaign to help high school students graduate with skills.

The site will provide extra academic resources.

Moreover it will feature:(In their own words)

•A statewide directory of in-school and extended-time academic programs with descriptions and contact information.

•A Business Honor Roll of businesses who support local extra academic time programs for high school students by providing funding or other resources such as mentors, tutors, and summer jobs scheduled around extra help programs.

•Regional Business Forums: These forums, held across the state this spring with state officials, educators, and business leaders, will highlight local school and business-supported programs, enlist new business partners, and marshal local support.

•Community Media Outreach: At local editorial board meetings with school superintendents, businesspeople, community leaders, and legislators, we will highlight local efforts underway in our schools and advocate for increased focus on students who need help.
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