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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Free Powerpoint presentation tutorials for educational puropose

Microsoft office users know that 'PowerPoint' can be very effectively used for any kind of presentation including pictures, text, charts, graphs, sound effects and videos.
Teachers can use this software for educational purposes like as delivering classroom lessons, parent group meetings, trainings, teachers seminars, or sharing any kind of information.

PowerPoint in the classroom offers eight-unit tutorial for K-12 teachers 'how to use PowerPoint to present many different forms of information'.

Teachers can learn the basics on using PowerPoint's toolbars, laying out information, saving, moving your information to the place you'll be presenting it - and much more.

This tutorial is provided free of charge by ACT360 Media Ltd.

* You can get a print out of this tutorial for free from 'this link'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Activities and crafts for preschool kids

Art and crafts is always a favourite time pass for me and for my nursery class kids. I usually search for crafts ideas at the net and participate at many parents, teachers or craft, drawing related online communities. I just pick up some ideas or project instructions, just follow it or create similar or different activities for my students. There are many sites around which offer crafts or art activities for toddlers or preschool kids and most of those sites provide free access for that stuff.

"Pre school learning and crafts" is created by former teacher who describes the purpose of creating this site:

'Using toddler and preschool learning activities, crafts, games, and songs in your everyday busy life can help your child (and you) in so many ways. As a former teacher and current stay-at-home mom, I have noticed that many of the activities for preschoolers I find online don't actually work with my kids. I have to modify them to avoid having to do most of the project myself!'

She has explained it in details at 'about me' page.

She is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids ages 1, 3, and 6.

The easy and fun learning activities and crafts on this site have all been tested by her children and friends. These activities on Preschool-Learning-and-Crafts.com are age appropriate (moms won't have to do them for their kids), have easy to follow directions.

Each month you can receive the "Craft Your Kids Smart newsletter" directly to your email. Each issue will be full of learning ideas, games, crafts, and songs around a preschool theme (Valentine's Day, Animals, Dinosaurs, Weather, etc.)
All of the preschool activities will have easy to follow directions and supply lists.

Subscribe for the newsletter at 'this link'

The site owner has account at 'facebook' and if you are interested to get updated news about her crafts then go directly to her account 'here'

Monday, November 30, 2009

Community place for teachers

Online forums and communities are a good place to get tips, ideas, and news about specific topics. Like bloggers have many forums from which they can get useful information while getting a chance to discuss or share their own experiences. There is a lot of learn at these social community places.

'The apple' is for teachers, which is itself created by a teacher. It brings members of the education community together to support and advance the profession.

You get news, search for lesson plans and read articles written by experts, as well as getting career based posts.
Membership is free for all.

Few post links are given to show the content you can read at the site:

- Classroom Discipline Tips: Dealing with Difficult Students & Parents

- Top 10 Technology Tips for New Teachers

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How teachers can learn the use of internet effectively?

It seems very easy to say that we are good in surfing the net or know a lot about 'internet' world. But being an internet surfer and user for more than 6 years, I feel that I am still an infant at the world wide web. There is a lot to learn at it and most important thing is that you need to learn the effective use of it. Now internet has opened doors for students and parents as well. Teachers can easily learn the effective use of internet for their schools or classrooms.

'Internet for classrooms' is created to offer free internet resouces to use in classroom. It is used by teachers, parents and students of all ages. internet4classrooms.com has a huge collection of educational links: free worksheet sites, free software, interactive activities and much more. They answer requests for help, concerns, or anything you want to write about.

They also offer online tutorials for teachers to help them integrate technology in classrooms.

Site link: internet4classrooms.com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Create online stories and art with 'scratch'

There are many graphics softwares which can help you create a lot of art or other interactive stuff. But if you want to teach children with those softwares, you need to simplify it. 'Scratch' makes it easier for young children to learn art and other stuff for free online. You need to download the software programme from the site which your child can use offline as well.


What is 'Scratch'?

It is a programming language for children. You can create interactive stories, games, music and art - and share them online.

According to 'Wikipedia':

'Scratch is a computer application aimed primarily at children that allows them to explore and experiment with the concepts of computer programming by using the simple graphical interface. It was proposed and developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab by a team led by Mitchel Resnick and first appeared in the summer of 2007.

Scratch,which is available free, can be installed on any Windows or Mac OS X computer with various installation options for computers running Linux .'


Site link: 'Scratch'

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to help our kids use digital technology wisely

Internet provides a lot of learning opportunities while surfing at the net but still we need to learn about downloading music, movies and copying computer software and games as there are some ethics which we should follow, learn and teach to our younger generation. We can help our kids use digital technology wisely by providing useful information to our kids.

'Peers2Peers' is a program of 'Wired Kids', devoted to making sure that all young people have a safe, valuable and private surfing experience and that all children have access.

Peer 2 peers.org teaches kids and teens how to help each other surf responsibly. It develops new educational and awareness programs for kids and teens about important issues affecting kids and teens.

They say: 'We think that when it comes to setting the rules for what you should and shouldn't be doing online, you should be involved.'

The public service announcements and animations have been designed by real teens and preteens to help others realize the consequences of movie and copyright piracy online.

Safe and family friendly media usage

As a parent and teacher I am always concerned about the media exposure for kids. It is our duty to think and take steps towards safe and family friendly media usage.
I believe that we need trustworthy information to guide the new generation. Media has become an important part of our lives and the best way to get most and healthy outcome from it to train our kids. We cannot cover their eyes but we can teach them to see.

If you want to be a well informed parent or teacher then MPPA Motion Picture Association of America is the first place to check for useful issues, classification or ratings about the films.
* Check the 'Parental Resources' section.

More useful sites and links:

1- Common sense media

Mission: (In their own words)

'Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families.

We exist because media and entertainment profoundly impact the social, emotional, and physical development of our nation's children. As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.'


By signing up for the site you get the stuff in your inbox:
- Age-appropriate best bets for your kids
- Weekly email alert with the latest picks, reviews & advice
You can Post your own reviews and share them with friends.

They believe that "Parents need to know about media content and need to manage media use."

2- www.kids-in-mind.com enables adults to determine whether a movie is appropriate for them or their children, according to their own criteria.

3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE & PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10. We also explain in detail why a film rates high or low in a specific category, and we include instances of SUBSTANCE USE, a list of DISCUSSION TOPICS that may elicit questions from kids and MESSAGES the film conveys.

They do not "condemn," "critique" or "criticize" movies. And they don't "praise" or "recommend" movies either, so you are free to make your choice.


3- Rotten Tomatoes offers a fun and informative way to discover the critical reaction on movies neatly summarized via the Tomatometer.

Over 7 million readers each month use RT as a dependable, objective resource for coverage of movies and DVD. It offers more than 250,000 titles and 850,000 review links

Friday, June 26, 2009

Help your child in developing problem solving skills

Problem solving skill can lead to success in practical life where we need problem solving and creativity in each and every step. As parents and teachers we can help in developing problem solving skills among our kids/children. Normally every child is born with this skill but with proper encouragement and taking few practical but simple steps can help develop this skill very easily.

All parents and teachers have seen the unique ability of toddlers to use toys and materials in unexpected ways. One child may turn a cup into a hammer or a basket into a hat. Another toddler may stand on a riding truck to try to reach a toy or pull over a chair to climb onto a bookshelf. Observant adults recognize these innovations as signs that children are learning to use their thinking skills to solve problems.

Experiences in problem solving help children develop curiosity and patience, along with thinking skills such as flexibility, and understanding of cause and effect. They learn to work toward achieving a goal, and gain confidence in their ability to reach a solution. Even very young children make discoveries on their own. An
infant who accidentally creates a noise with a rattle may then make the sound again and again on purpose. An older infant discovers that by looking under a blanket, he can find a hidden toy. A toddler who cannot pull a wagon up a hill by herself learns that she and a friend can push it up from behind.

By not rushing in and rescuing young children who are facing minor everyday problems, adults can help infants and toddlers develop confidence and increase their thinking abilities.

It's also helpful for parents and teachers to provide materials that encourage children to explore. Some toys, such as jack-in-the-boxes and busy boxes, provide opportunities to explore simple cause-and-effect relationships. Other common materials like empty cardboard boxes, plastic bowls, or scarves can provide open-ended experiences through which toddlers can make choices and decisions, and
find different ways to manipulate the materials.

Other activities can involve materials such as clear plastic tubing (such as the tubing used for aquariums) which children can fill with bright materials, and watch the materials move as they shake the tubes. If you provide inclines or ramps of wooden blocks, a toddler can watch what happens as objects roll down inside the tubes. She may discover that some objects roll faster than others. He may learn about
actions and reactions when he sets plastic bottles at the bottom of the ramp to create a unique bowling game.
(Whatever materials you provide to help children experiment with problem solving, remember to be very careful about choking hazards.)

These everyday materials are fun, and can hold children interest for long periods. They also help children experiment with cause and effect and with gravity and physics. In addition to supporting cognitive development, problem-solving activities help in the social arena as well. Groups of children engaged in these activities negotiate with their friends and learn how to solve interpersonal problems.\

By providing interesting materials and enthusiastically reinforcing children attempts to explore and solve problems, parents and teachers can stimulate children development, promote advanced critical thinking, and help children take pride in their own abilities to find out more about how their world works.

Excerpted from "Using Everyday Materials to Promote Problem
Solving in Toddlers" by Laura Segatti, Judy Brown-DuPaul, and Tracy L.
Keyes - an article in the NAEYC journal.
Link: Helping toddlers become problem solvers

Monday, June 22, 2009

TV watching may cause psychological distress among children

Watching tv for long hours regularly may cause behaviour problems among children and according to a new research study, it may increase psychological distress in young children.

'Higher levels of television and screen entertainment time and low physical activity levels interact to increase psychological distress in young children.'

Most of you probably saw a wave of news media reports about a recent study showing that television exposure in infancy and early childhood may lead to a delay in language development. In a recent study also published in Pediatrics, a group of researchers from the University college London in the UK examined the effects of television viewing and physical activity on psychological distress among children of various ages. This study is very interesting, not only because of the provocative findings, but because it opens the door for a discussion of the concept of “Prodrome.”

The authors examined data from the Scottish Health Survey, a nationally representative study of multiple psychosocial factors. The data for this analysis included 1,486 Children age 4 to 12 with a mean age of 8.5, who were assessed in 2003. The Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire was used to assess for psychological distress. Specifically, the total difficulties score incorporates responses to sub scales that examine hyperactivity, emotional distress, conduct problems, and peer problems. The authors also obtained the parents’ reports of the kids’ total weekly hours of television viewing, and the frequency of sports or active play during the week. The authors were primarily interested in exploring whether TV viewing and/or activity level were associated with psychological distress.

The results:

1. On average, kids watched a total of 2.4 hours of television per day
2. Television viewing was associated with sports activity in that those who watched most television were also those with the lowest level of sports activity.
3. Those with the highest levels of television viewing also had the lowest level of fruit intake, and the highest levels of sweets and sugar drink intake.
4. High levels of Television viewing and low levels of physical were both independently associated with psychological distress.
5. An additive effect was found in that the combination of high television viewing and low physical activity was associated with the highest levels of psychological distress.

We can write entire books and a year worth of blog posts discussing the many possible explanations for these findings. The most salient, but not necessarily correct, is that television viewing likely limits other behaviors that are associated with psychological well-being, and that physical activity also promotes psychological well-being directly (physiologically) and indirectly (through the effects on the kid’s social development). Yet, it is possible that these two findings do not cause distress, but are a reflection of distress. For example, relatively recently, researchers have began to extend the concept of prodrome from general medicine to psychiatric disorders. Prodrome refers to a conglomeration of symptoms that reflect the disease process at an early stage, usually before it displays the symptoms that we usually associate with the disease. A prodrome is not a symptom that leads to the disease. The prodrome is the disease itself already evolving.

I’m currently working with Dr. Maria Kovacs on a upcoming invited theoretical paper on prodromes in child depression, and during the writing process I’ve been considering the implications of prodromes to past longitudinal and cross-sectional “predictive” research. That is, how many of the factors that have been found to predict a condition are actually not predictors (causes) of the condition but the condition itself?

Back to the TV viewing/physical activity study; the authors found significantly elevated levels of psychological distress in 4% of the sample. Yet these were not clinical cases with specific diagnoses. It is possible then that the authors were tapping at a subgroup of kids with specific psychiatric problems at the prodrome level (depression for example) which would result in increased levels of anhedonia and reduced motor mobility. This would in turn lead to more ‘just laying on the couch staring at the TV’ and reduced interest in outside sporting events.

Related posts:

ESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Television reduces verbal interaction between parents and infants, which could delay children's language development, says a U.S. study that challenges claims that certain infant-targeted DVDs actually benefit youngsters.
Latest Healthy Kids News

* Girls and Math: Blame the Culture, Not Ability
* Special Ed Services Lack for Kids Who Repeat Grade
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* Too Many Bouncers Make Trampolines More Dangerous
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* Want More News? Sign Up for MedicineNet Newsletters!

The researchers studied 329 children, aged 2 months to 48 months, and found that for each additional hour of television exposure, there was a decrease of 770 words (7 percent) heard from an adult by the children. The study also found that the more hours spent watching television, the fewer vocalizations infants made when adults talked to them.

"Some of these reductions are likely due to children being left alone in front of the television screen, but others likely reflect situations in which adults, though present, are distracted by the screen and not interacting with their infant in a discernible manner," wrote Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, of Seattle Children Hospital, and colleagues.

"At first blush, these findings may seem entirely intuitive. However, these findings must be interpreted in light of the fact that purveyors of infant DVDs claim that their products are designed to give parents and children a chance to interact with one another, an assertion that lacks empirical evidence," they noted.

The researchers added that their results may help explain previous findings of a link between television viewing and delayed language development.

"Given the critical role that adult caregivers play in children's linguistic development, whether they talk to their child while the screen is on may be critical and explain the effects that are attributed to content or even amount of television watched," the team wrote. "That is, whether parents talk less (or not at all) during some types of programs or at some times of the day may be as important in this age group as what is being watched."

The study appears in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

link: TV Interferes With Infants' Language Development

Link: Television viewing, psychological distress and thoughts on Prodromes

More links:

* Source link: TV viewing associated with psychological distress

* How addiction of Watching TV is affecting our lives?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Safe internet use for your child

Internet is a world of interactive and informative sites but it is our responsibility to teach our child 'safe use of internet'. These tips would help the parents and teachers for the safe and wise use of internet.

1. Be aware and involved. It's up to us to teach kids how to use the Internet — and all media — safely and responsibly. Just as we teach them how to eat properly and drive safely, we must teach them how to be safe, responsible and respectful on the Internet.

2. Do your homework. Check out sites, investigate ratings, explore safety and privacy tools, and parental control features. Don't be intimidated by the Internet.

3. Talk to your kids. Ask them questions about where they're going online and who their buddies are.

4. Teach safety. Make sure your kids know how to avoid dangers. No party postings, no personal information, no meeting strangers — ever.

5. Set rules. Time limits, place limits, codes of conduct. Try to keep computers with Internet access in a central room in your house if younger kids are online.

6. Report suspicious activity to your Internet service provider or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

7. Help kids view online information with a critical eye. Not everything that appears on the Web is true. Teach them to be savvy consumers of Internet information.

8. View your own online habits with a critical eye. Our kids watch everything we do.
If you don't want your kid doing what you're doing online you might want to think twice about your own habits.

9. Embrace their world. Download music, IM your kids, play an online game, visit MySpace. Not only will your kids appreciate it, you'll know what you're dealing with!
Remember, the Internet is here to stay. It's our job to help our kids be Internet safe and Internet smart.

By: Common Sense Media

How to choose age appropriate toys for children?

Last year a parent asked me to suggest the toys for her 5 year old daughter with some learning disability symptoms. I personally prefer to provide blocks, and other educational toys for that specif age because my son enjoyed playing with blocks for hours and it definitely helped him in skill development. This article would help you choose age appropriate toys for your children and this guide is also useful to select and buy gifts for children.

Selecting toys for young children is an important task that involves decisions about the kinds of interests, motivation, and skills we want children to develop. Any toy given to a child should match his or her developmental age and individual needs.

When choosing a toy, careful attention should be paid to safety and durability--materials should have lasting play value and help provide a foundation for future development.

Following are some ideas for inexpensive, and most important, fun play materials for the early years:

Birth through six months

Toys for young infants should promote their interest in looking, listening, sucking, and grasping. Well-secured, unbreakable crib mirrors, rag dolls, stuffed toys and simple hand puppets moved by an adult are all age appropriate gifts that can either be made or purchased for a minimal amount of money.

6 to 12 months

Infants from 6-12 months are able to enjoy a wider variety of toys which support their social, cognitive, and physical development. Floating objects for bath play, construction materials, simple puzzles, cloth and board books, and balls are durable options for young children at this stage.
1 to 2 years

Toddlers are increasingly mobile and independent. Dressing, lacing, and stringing materials, picture and nursery rhyme books, nontoxic crayons for scribbling, and stacking materials will be enjoyed by one-year-olds, while role-playing toys, pegboards, and large balls to kick, throw, and catch are good choices for older toddlers.

3 to 5 years

Three- to five-year-olds often find enjoyment from materials that promote pretend play and foster their language and social skills. A large variety of books suitable for this age are available, as well as an assortment of blocks, dress-up clothes and simple games, including dominoes, bingo boards, and card games.

6 through 8 years

Primary-school age children show interest in and benefit from a number of specific skill-development toys. They can spend hours with art and crafts materials, particularly washable paints, clay, collage equipment, and small beads for jewelry making. Books and more complex games with rules and turn-taking are also appropriate, and natural objects (stones and shells) can pique an interest in science and the environment.

Keep in mind that the holiday season can also be stressful for children. It isn't necessary to give a child a room full of toys in order for him to have fun. Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the most enjoyable.

Link: Simple Gift Giving For The Early Years

http://www.naeyc.org/

Monday, June 8, 2009

'Child Psychology Research Blog' helping us understand child behavior

It is sometimes very difficult to understand child behavior until we get some experience of dealing with children from some time. As an educator our teaching experience helps us understand the child development and its complications but still we need to learn more about our children. Research based child psychology posts or articles are really helpful for parents and educators in dealing with the children.

Child Psychology Research Blog offers research based commentary on child psychology.

The author of the blog is 'Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.' who is a clinical child psychologist and neuroscience researcher working at a large Midwest University. She currently conduct research on mood disorders in children and adolescents, and she is the editor of Child-Psych, where she discusses the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development.

More about the 'Child Psychology Research Blog:

It is a research-based informational blog about child psychology, parenting, and childhood disorders. It provides reviews of the latest scientific findings on a number of psychiatric and neuro developmental disorders in a style that is accessible to parents, educations, and clinicians.

Their mission is to become the most comprehensive online resource of science-supported information on child psychology. They provide a framework that helps readers understand the studies and provide information on how each study fits within previous research.

Follow them at 'twitter'

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Keep your kids busy with 'free learning games'

Mainly video games are played to have fun 'either they are played at PCs, hand held or play station type gaming devices. As a parent or teacher we discourage our kids to play offline or online video games as these activities kill a large amount of time and when kids are addict to these games, usually their studies are affected. This post is mainly about useful links and resources about educational or learning games. These links offer free leaning games so you only need to check the links, bookmark your favorite ones and let your child have fun while learning.

* Browser-based, Free Learning Games: '36 Learning Games to Change the World'

* Educational Games at 'Nobel Prize organization' site. These games and simulations, based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements, will teach and inspire you while you're having FUN!

Top 10 most visited educational games are:

* 1. The Laser Challenge Game
* 2. The Blood Typing Game
* 3. The Pavlov's Dog Game
* 4. The DNA - the Double Helix Game
* 5. The Lord of the Flies Game
* 6. The Electrocardiogram Game
* 7. The Control of the Cell Cycle Game
* 8. The Peace Doves Game
* 9. The Immune System Game
* 10. The Split Brain Experiments Game

* 'Educational Games Research' is a blog which discusses the research based studies concerning instructional video games.

John Rice is an educator, author and speaker specializing in educational technology and instructional gaming. He serves as technology director for a school district in Texas and is a doctoral student in educational computing at University of North Texas. Among the several published articles and conference papers he has written, many have dealt with the subject of educational video games. The topic remains his primary research interest.

Top posts are:
* The Top 10 Most Influential Educational Video Games from the 1980s
* 10 Great Sites for Finding Free Educational Games
* The Top 10 Free Educational Video Games
* Educational Uses for the Nintendo DS
* Latest Nielsen Findings Show Interesting Video Game Statistics


* '88 Free EduGames to Spice Up Your Course!'

Friday, June 5, 2009

'Zaid Learn' - An educational blog

Zaid Learn is a learning blog which is created by 'Zaid Ali Alsagoff' from Malaysia, who is from education field and an 'e-Learning Researcher'.

More about Zaid in his own words:

'I am an e-learning manager and researcher. I have done research in several key e-learning areas, including educational gaming, role-play simulation, virtual classrooms, learning (content) management systems, e-learning standards, instructional design and courseware development. In addition, I have two (2) years experience in courseware development (as an ID), and an educational background in Psychology and IT management. My strengths include creative and critical thinking, content development, instructional design, system analysis (and visualization), analytical thinking, writing e-learning proposals, conducting workshops, giving presentations, interpersonal communication and pro-activeness.'

His career and interests are reflected at his blogs posts. Blog is about 3 years old but quality of articles and research proves that it has got google page rank 5. I personally found many links and resources at his blog. There are many articles about other resources as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Helping you learn 'Mission to learn'

Mission to learn is another educational blog. You can read articles on a wide range of learning resources, insights about what it means to be a lifelong learner on the social Web, and news about topics like open education, serious games, brain science, and more.

Blog posts are really informative and valuable

35+ Free Online Business Education Sites
26 Learning Games to Change the World
More Than 100 Free Places to Learn Online - And Counting
More Than 50 Web Widgets for Your Learning Mix

Another post 'Is Your Brain in a Box?' is very unique on 'learning and brain plasticity' topic which might be interesting for the teachers who want to know more about the brain and learning.

* Mission to Learn Blog - Postings 2-3 times per week on new learning resources, news, and insights about learning.

* Radio Free Learning - An occasional (aiming for one to two times per month) podcast in which I interview thinkers and doers in the world of lifelong learning. Subscribe to the Radio Free Learning Podcast via RSS or with iTunes.

You can also explore each of the channels to get a better feel for what they offer. Check our the Free Learning Monitor archives, listen to some of the recent Radio Free Learning podcasts.

Best way to get informed about the updated post is to subscribe to the blog newsletter. You would receive a monthly digest of free and low-cost online courses, tutorials, videos, podcasts, games, and blogs.

Get free subscription of their newsletter: 'free learning monitor'

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Get in touch with your community at - 'twitter for teachers'

'twitter' is the name of new micro blogging way of getting in contact with each other. This social community site has broken the many records of other social networking sites. I have also realized the power and effectiveness of 'twitter' and after joining it I noticed that I can get in touch with other online bloggers or people having same interests and moreover it is the best way to know 'what you are doing?' in few lines. You just scan your profile page and read or go to the tweets or links which you have bookmarked or followed.

Many teachers have their accounts at 'twitter' and if you are interested to get connected to them, simply go to 'twellow' and search of 'teachers' or similar category. 'twellow' is the yellow pages of 'twitter'. You can edit your profile for 'twitter' with the help of 'twellow'.

Link to my page at 'twellow'

Second best place to find the educators or educational stuff is to sign in for 'twitter for teachers'.

Link to the site: http://twitter4teachers.pbwiki.com/

This wiki was created to easily help educators find other educators on Twitter that have the same interests as them (that teach in the same content area).

Check out the list of educators on the pages linked there and add your Twitter name to the appropriate list too. You can browse through the subject or area if you need to look for other educators.

Create your own free web site for educational purpose

You can get free blog around the net very easily but some of us don't like or not comfortable with the blogging platform and need to set up a site for educational purposes.

There is a difference between web site and blog which is that at web sites you can keep the data unchanged but blogs need you to write or update on regular basis.

Recently I read a post at 'freetech 4 teachers' about 8 ways to build web site, which I am going to share with this blog reader because it is a very useful link for educators who want to create a web site for their school, class or for themselves.

* 8 ways to build web sites for free

Related posts:

* Links for teachers to start educational blogs

* Free Micro-Blogging Site For Teachers and Students

Friday, May 15, 2009

Frugal crafts links for kids

At home we can guide our kids to recycle the trash or unused stuff to make crafts. Making crafts or art projects with recycle products or cheap stuff is called 'frugal crafts' and as a parent or teacher I am very happy to recycle the stuff around the storage or cheap available material. This posts would help kids find the sites which offer frugal crafts for them.

In school art teachers can teach kids to make crafts with the stuff which is easily available around us and it costs almost nothing. For example they can make pinwheels out of construction paper, pencils and stick pins. Kids can create flowers using tissue paper and pipe.

Useful links:

* Frugal Crafts and Recipes for Kids

* Frugal Crafts For Kids at 'Frugal mommy living.info.'

* 'thrifty Thursday- frugal crafts for kids'

* 10 Fun and Frugal Gift Ideas

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Get Computer training tutorial for free

Every city or town offers some institutions or schools/colleges where you can enroll to learn about computers but many of us prefer to get online training or sign up for it. There are millions of online universities, institutions or training centers offering online computer training courses or tutorials. More people are now interested in online learning as it saves time and hassle of going places.

This post is about an online tutorial which you can get easily by signing up free. You get the free tutorial tips newsletter at your inbox. This tutorial is easy to follow and best thing is that you are getting it free of cost.

180 Technology Tips offers 15 hours of free computer training in 180 easy to follow 5 minute lessons. This isn't a boring 15 hour lecture. This is the kind of relevant and uncomplicated computer training everyone needs.

The main categories you can expect the tutorials/tips are:

Microsoft Windows Operating System Tips, Microsoft PowerPoint Tips, Internet Tips, Microsoft Excel Tips, Computer Hardware Tips, Microsoft Word Tips, MS Outlook Email Tip, Additional Resources

'Sign up' 80TechTips.com collects the absolute minimum of information to email you the daily tech tips.

List of 100 most innovative blogs for educators

Blogs are a rich source of information and educators are integrating IT knowledge with their teaching resulting in great benefits. It is difficult to find education related blogs as search engines don't provide very specific results in terms of quality. Most of the online resources or sites offer useful stuff but mostly those sites are selling software or other educational stuff, and you are forced to see banners or ads as well. But if you keep a bookmark record of quality search engines, sites and blogs related to education stuff, you can save a lot of time.

I found this list of '100 Most Inspiring and Innovative Blogs for Educators' at 'Online University Reviews' a site which offers online university reviews, rating and rankings of online universities.

From preschool to graduate education, these 100 blogs are a great starting point for educators looking for inspiration and innovation.

Link : '100 Most Inspiring and Innovative Blogs for Educators'

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Amazing facts about brain

Brain is a marvel of God and it is one of the wonders which is still to be discovered. Researchers, scholars, and scientists are trying to know more about wonders of this little miracle machine. I am always curious to know more about the brain, its function and how to make most of it. Either you are a parent, teacher or student this article would help us learn some amazing facts about our brain.

- Brain is only 1% to 3% of your body's mass, yet uses 20% of all the oxygen you breathe.

- Your brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen. A 10 minute loss of oxygen will usually cause significant neural damage. Cold can lengthen this time, which is why cold-water drowning victims have been revived after as much as 40 minutes - without brain damage.

- Your brain uses a fifth of all your blood. It needs it to keep up with the heavy metabolic demands of its neurons. It needs not only the glucose that is delivered, but of course, the oxygen.

- Your brain feels no pain. There are no nerves that register pain within the brain itself. Because of this, neurosurgeons can probe the brain while a patient is conscious (what fun!). By doing this, they can use feedback from the patient to identify important regions, such as those used for speech, or visualization.

- The cerebellum is sometimes called the "little brain," and weighs about 150 grams (a little over five ounces). Found at the lower back side of your brain, you need your cerebellum to maintain posture, to walk, and to perform any coordinated movements. It may also play a role in your sense of smell.

- The human brain weighs an average of a little over three pounds, or 1.4 kilograms. Albert Einstein's brain may have been smaller than yours, because he was smaller than average. There is a general correlation between body size and the size of our brains.

- An elephant's brain is huge - about six times as large as a human brain. However, in relation to body size, humans have the largest brain of all the animals, averaging about 2% of body weight. A cat's brain? It weighs about one ounce, a little over 1% of body weight.

- There are about 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain. If they were stretched out (there's a nice thought!) they would circle the earth more than four times.

- If you have an average sized brain, you have about 100 billion neurons up there. You'll be happy about that after reading the next item.

- Approximately 85,000 neocortical neurons are lost each day in your brain. Fortunately, his goes unnoticed due to the built-in redundancies and the fact that even after three years this loss adds up to less than 1% of the total. Oh, and look at the next item.

- Recent research proves that your brain continues to produce new neurons throughout your life. It also proves that it does so in response to stimulation.

'source link'

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A search engine for kids from librarians - 'Kids click'

'Google' is the most popular and being widely used for online searches and there is no doubt that you can find valuable information about any topic at this popular search engine. Still I suggest that parents, teachers and students should use family friendly or safe to use search engines for any kind of educational or related search. 'kids click' is another safe search engine for kids/students which is made by librarians and you can expect quality content from this search engines.

More about 'Kids click':

Kids click.org is a web search directory specifically made for kids by librarians. It is a search engine where kids can browse for any kind of online material and resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries and all kinds of related educational resources for kids.

How to search at the search engine?

You can find other categories in case you want to browse for content by subject such as facts and reference, science and math, the arts, weird and mysterious, health and family, popular entertainments, religion and mythology, home and household, sports and recreation, society and government, machines and transportation, literature, reading, writing and speaking, computers, the internet, geography, history and biography. You can also search subjects by initial letters as well as do advanced searches for specific stuff

It is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University. as a logical step in addressing concerns about the role of public libraries in guiding their young users to valuable and age appropriate web sites. It is intended to guide users to good sites; not block them from "bad" sites.

Site link: Kidsclick.org
Related posts:

* Famous Search Engines for Kids

* Search safely with 'Family Friendly Sites'

* "All Safe Sites" - A search engine for young children

* Where to search for educational stuff?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

How to use 'twitter' for educational purposes?

If you are a 'twitter' user then you know that you can get in touch with other teachers/educators at this social networking place, but as you have another place which is dedicated to teachers, you need to start participation at 'twitter 4 teachers'

twitter 4 teachers was created to easily help educators find other educators on Twitter that have the same interests as them.

How to start?

- You need to sign up for a 'twitter' account.

If you don't know what is twitter? then read it: 'Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time and it is called micro blogging process.

- Use the twitter account name with registering for 'twitter 4 teachers'

- Check out the list of educators and add your Twitter name to the appropriate list.

PBwiki is Free and Great for Classrooms. You can create a free classroom wiki for your school.
Just check the list which you can search for links to other teachers or submit your link there. The list shows:

Art Teachers, Bible/Religion Teachers, Business Teachers, College and University, Computer Science Teachers, Counselors (Guidance), Drama Teachers, e-Learning Teachers, Educational Organizations or Companies, Elementary Teachers, eMINTS People, English and Communication Arts Teachers, English as a Second Language Teachers, Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers,

Food and Culinary Arts Teachers, Foreign Language Teachers, Geography Teachers, Health and Well being Teachers, Independent Studies Teachers, Interactive Whiteboard People, Journalism, Librarians, and lot of more fields related to education.

You can watch this PowerPoint presentation on topic 'twitter for educational purposes - A tutorial'

My account at 'twitter'

Related posts:

* Stay in touch with net community via 'twitter'

* Get the twitter apps. to tweet more effectively

Friday, April 10, 2009

'Awareness Connection' helping you make parenting more rewarding

The blog 'Awareness connection' helps us 'Making Parenting More Rewarding. Not only parents but teachers can learn a lot from this blog as there are very useful and informative posts about parenting.

More about the blog:
'Awareness Connection' is a blog from Michael Gorsline, M.A. Counseling Psychology who is Child & Family Therapist, and Parent Coach.

Michael says:

'I help parents and other clients discover practical ways to make life more rewarding. And I provide coaching in productivity strategies based on David Allen's Getting Things Done system to help clients reduce stressor spillover into the things they care about most.'


There are many useful links at the side bar which might be interesting and worth for the parents or teachers. I have picked a post from a lot of articles:

Why I Chose to Leave Teaching

Useful links:

* At this blog you would get many valuable posts about parenting and links to more parenting and useful sites: Parent talk today

Friday, April 3, 2009

A guide to web safety for kids

Text based web safety information are not attractive for kids so teachers or parents should guide their little ones in the way which could be interactive. 'A guide to web safety for kids' can be a good source in this connection.

It is a web safety presentation which can be easily used at home or school projector to teach children. It is created by Diana. R. Norton, a library service consultant from "The Mid-York Library System"

As the presentation slides are easy and well written, children would enjoy watching these slides.

A kid's guide to safety

More useful links: 'Kid's Internet Safety Sites'

Useful links:

* Fun and interactive sites for kids

*'Kids friendly search engines'

* 'List of good sites'

Monday, March 30, 2009

Search safely with 'Family Friendly Sites'

Internet is a world of information and if you intend to use it safely for you or your family you should use the search engines which provide family or kid friendly site links. Parents and teachers can help the kids learn how to use internet safely. Picking up family friendly search engines for search purposes is the safe way to browse the net.

Family Friendly Sites is a search engine based site which believes in supporting the online safety of family members using the Internet.

At the left side bar there is "Parent friendly link" where you can search for 'Internet Safety Resources' and 'Parenting Tips'.

There are "kid friendly link" categories like as 'Early Learning, Educational Sites
Games & Entertainment, Online Safety Tips, Search Engines.

Site link: family friendly sites

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Download free 'Home work Toolkit'

There are lots of tips and ideas which can help students do their home work efficiently. These tips can help teachers and parents guide their children in completing the home work successfully.

'Homework Toolkit' is free offer from 'Soar study skills' which is site offering help for students, teachers and parents. This 'Homework Toolkit' includes a variety of resources to help you and/or your child get started on the path to homework success.

This comprehensive guide will help you identify specific homework problems and introduce you to many time-saving techniques.

This kit includes:

* Homework Scorecard
Can you use a homework tune-up? Use this scorecard to see how you measure up and to identify the specific study skills that are best suited for you.

* 25 Ways to Make Homework Easier…Tonight!
This insightful guide is filled with tips and tricks that can help ease homework hassles immediately. Pick two to try tonight, then two more for tomorrow night, etc. A few simple strategies can make life much easier!

* Homework Inventory for Parents
Filled with some of the most common homework frustrations we hear from parents, this inventory helps parents identify their specific needs. Then, it provides some tips about how those problems can be turned around into positive homework experiences.

* Homework eNewsletter
Once a month, you will receive practical newsletter with helpful tips for managing homework. Some articles are written specifically for parents and others specifically for students, but they are always relevant for anyone who has to deal with homework!

- 'Download page link'

Monday, March 16, 2009

Get the simple and basic answers to your questions at 'Brain bashing'

People who search the net for information or seeking answers to their questions, are usually not lucky to find the basic information they need to know. Often the process of getting specific information is very time consuming. Brain Bashing is one of the sites which help you get the basic information and simple explanations of your questions.

Brain Bashing is a centralized resource of questions, Answers and information, provided directly from experts in their relevant fields.

The emphasis is to give clear and simple explanations to your questions so that not only do you get an answer, you get one you can understand!

- You can browse the category, brain cloud from the discussed topics, but if you think that you are not getting the answer to your questions then just write your question at the provided box and submit it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Shambles.net" - A useful resource for teachers, students and parents

There are many online useful resources for teachers, students and parents but you need to search at specific search engines which are typically for education purposes. Searching at regular search engines like google, yahoo may bring millions or results which are not practical to get the required information within short time. This blog is created just to keep all the necessary information and links at one place. And my intention is to share it with students, parents and teachers as well.

Shambles.net is designed to support the international school communities (teachers, support staff, administrators, students and families) in 17 countries in South East Asia. This site offers particular help to families that are moving or living in S.E.Asia and are looking for education opportunities for their children.

It provides links to over 20,000 education websites which will save your time when looking for resources on the internet. You an browse or use the search facility. Many of the more than 25,000+ links to other educational websites have been put on this site by teachers.

Shambles gets between 10,000 and 20,000 'HITS' most days.

The 'Education Project Asia (TEPA)' is a consultancy established in 2002 with the aim of offering support to the international schools in 17 countries in South East Asia.

Link to other pages of the site: 'Educational games'

* The 'Shambles' newsletter is emailed out three times a year in February, May and November.
It contains information and news that will be of specific interest to members of the International Schools Community in seventeen countries in South East Asia.

To subscribe send a blank email to: newsletter-subscribe@shambles.net

You can also read archived newsletter at 'this link'

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An origami frog or a toy?

It looks like an origami or toy frog, but you would be astonish to know that it is a real frog.

According to 'wikipedia':
The Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is a small-sized tree frog, reaching lengths of about 5 to 7 centimeters (3 inches), native to Neotropical rainforests in Central America. They are not poisonous and rely on camouflage to protect them. During the day, they remain motionless with their colorful parts hidden. Thus, they appear almost completely green, and well hidden among the foliage.

There are more featured pictures which you can read and watch at wikipedia site.

Link: Featured pictures

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to empower your child's self esteem?

Healthy promotion of self esteem skill among children is very important as it can help them grow as a positive and confident personality. This article would be helpful for parents and teachers to help learn this very essential life skill for their children. There are many techniques and tips which are useful to empower and boost the self esteem skill.

Webster's dictionary defines self-esteem as "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself" and self-concept as "the mental image one has of oneself "

Self-esteem is considered to be the overall value that one places on oneself as a person (Harter, 1989), whereas self-concept is viewed as the body of self-knowledge that individuals possess about themselves (Rosenberg, 1986).

When parents and teachers of young children talk about the need for good self-esteem, they usually mean that children should have "good feelings" about themselves. With young children, self-esteem refers to the extent to which they expect to be accepted and valued by the adults and peers who are important to them. During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives judge them. The extent to which children believe they have the characteristics valued by the important adults and peers in their lives figures greatly in the development of self-esteem. For example, in families and communities that value athletic ability highly, children who excel in athletics are likely to have a high level of self-esteem, whereas children who are less athletic or who are criticized as being physically inept or clumsy are likely to suffer from low self-esteem.

Children and teenagers with low self esteem will display a variety of traits, including:

- Being easily influenced by advertising or others.
- Avoiding new challenges for fear of failure.
- Becoming frustrated easily by setbacks.
- Blaming others when activities are unsuccessful.
- Disbelieving that (s)he has any talents or special abilities.
- Feeling unloved.

Children and teenagers with a high level of self esteem and strong feelings of self worth will also display stereotypical traits, such as:
- Welcoming new challenges.
- Tolerating frustration.
- Taking responsibility for unsuccessful ventures.
- Recognising and sharing his/her talents and special abilities.
- Feeling loved, and loving others in return.

While many children develop self esteem as they grow, for some children self esteem must be nurtured and tended. Parents and teachers can help the children develop this life skill by adopting few simple tips and techniques. Parents are at the front line of promoting children's self esteem, and while often their opinion is enough to make even the littlest chest swell with pride.

Be loving with your child, giving hugs and kisses regardless of achievements.
Help your child set realistic, attainable goals.
Praise your child for the effort, not for the outcome.
Avoid criticising your child's performance at a given task, and instead praise his/her enthusiasm or imagination.
Encourage your child to engage in activities due to interest, not ability.
Do not tolerate self criticism from your child. Help him/her focus on positive points.
Lead by example. Do not criticise yourself in front of your children.
Foster a caring environment at home by dispelling sibling rivalry.

Sources: Developing Self Esteem

Debbie Mandal at 'Bella Online' who si a stress management editor suggests these tips to boost child's self esteem:

* Exercise: Children need to be active to relieve stress hormones and sharpen learning ability which improves by 20% after exercise. Athletics, teams, dance classes and one-on-one sports training create empowerment by literally strengthening both the body and the mind.

* Healthy eating: If you want children to think highly of themselves, make sure that they eat quality foods, not junk. Food and mood are connected. A rainbow array of fruits and vegetables create sunny dispositions. Lean proteins promote academic success. Whole grains help manage stress.

* Guiding children to pick a creative hobby: Nurture their creativity. Nothing boosts self-esteem like developing a creative gift which might range from cooking and constructing to singing and writing. Through creativity children can tangibly identify and observe their uniqueness. “Look what I did.”

* Carving out private time: Children are overscheduled and over-stimulated. They need quality, private time to explore and find their own way to reset their natural rhythm. You don’t have to constantly amuse them when they say, “I’m bored.”

* Give them responsibilities and chores: Even if you have a nanny or a housekeeper, children need to do chores. Contributing to the household gives them structure and accountability which creates personal pride. Small children can help set the table or pick up their toys.

* Humor: Laughter breaks negativity instantly. Show your children how to reduce and reinterpret those “little disasters” with a comic eye. Children who have a sense of humor are magnets for positive social relationships.


Related articles: How Can We Strengthen Children's Self-Esteem?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tips to stimulate a child's creativity

Creativity is a skill which can be learned and developed through practice. This talent can be encouraged among children with the some tips and tricks. These tips and tricks can dramatically accelerate child's personal growth and help sharpening their thinking skills as well as exercising their natural creative powers.

Bill Gates recently said that “Too few young people are acquiring the knowledge they need to use technology in creative and innovative ways.”

Bill goes on to say that, “We can all help address this issue. As parents, we must help our children appreciate the joys of learning and discovery. Teachers and educators must find ways to teach science and math so it is relevant and exciting.”

These 10 ways to stimulate your child's creativity are taken from 'About.com' and for detailed post you can read the full article at the bottom of the post. May be these all tips cannot be adopted but they can definately help you to train your child's creativity development.

1. Create A Magical Dress-Up Box
2. "When I Grow Up" Drawings
3. Cast The Kids In A Play
4. Create a Never-Ending Bedtime Story Starring Your Child
5. I Feel Like Dancing!
6. Plan A Garden Together
7. Make A Kite First...Then Go Fly It!
8. Let Your Kid Lead The Way
9. What's Cookin' Outside
10. Create A Musical Band

Source: Top 10 Ways To Foster A Child's Creativity

Related posts:

* Learn doodling to make you more creative

* 7 activities to stimulate creativity

* Games that stimulate creativity

* Crafts activities improve students learning skills

* Interested in inventions, innovation and creativity?-Let's explore!
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