Archive for the ‘What can Dr. Doug do for you?’ Category

Sensory Play For Toddlers Using Regular Household Items by Herman Samano

Monday, July 5th, 2021

Sensory Play For Toddlers Using Regular Household Items by Herman Samano is a must-read for any parent with young children. This article offers excellent advice for how to help a toddler better adapt to the world around them. Be sure to share with toddler parents you know. Thanks, Herman.

Introduction

  • Growing children rely on their senses from birth onward to explore and make sense of their surrounding world. Through sight, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, and even moving, young children process the information obtained through their senses, which informs their development. By enriching infant’s and young children’s experiences with sensory play activities, families can support their little one’s brain development.
  • Sensory play can take many forms. Parents can use household items or DIY toys to encourage toddlers to understand better and navigate their world. The different forms of sensory play can enhance brain development in many ways, which we’ll explore here. Learn how to engage your child with fun sensory development activities so that you can spur their development and nurture their well-being.

SP 1

What Is Sensory Play?

  • Sensory play refers to virtually any activity that can stimulate a child’s senses. It might involve splashing their hands during bathtime or touching the different textures featured in a “touch and feel” book. Children typically find these types of activities fun without knowing that the sensory information they obtain from these activities helps forge stronger connections in their brains to process and respond to sensory stimulation.
  • Sensory play helps children create a context for their sounds or the textures they come into contact with. They learn what the different sounds are and how to respond or not respond to them. For instance, when a car horn blares outside the home, a toddler might cry the first time they are disturbed by it. But after processing it and realizing this sound does not impede or impact them personally, they may learn to ignore it.
  • Linked to healthy childhood development, sensory play helps introduce children to their world in a safe, fun-filled environment. As kids develop an awareness of different sensations, they may become more excited to build on their developing knowledge base and better explore their surroundings through more playtime fun.

Benefits of Sensory Play for Brain Development

  • By engaging in sensory play with your young children, you can better prepare them for the world. During their initial years of life, children’s brains grow quite rapidly. Parents can support this healthy development by helping children safely explore their world through each of their senses. Some of the key benefits your child is likely to experience through sensory play include the development of Fine and Gross Motor Skills.
  • As we know, children aren’t born with command over their motor skills. It takes time and practice to develop them. Learning how to manipulate their fingers and hands, use their arms for throwing, and their fingers for properly holding a pencil requires practice. The better developed your child’s fine and gross motor skills, the better they’ll be prepared for school or even enjoy playing at the park or with their toys more fully.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Life is filled with problems and challenges for humans of all ages. Solving them is integral to the human experience. Through play, toddlers can practice interpreting the world using their senses to solve small challenges such as building a block tower that doesn’t fall or sorting items with different shapes or colors. As they develop a knack for solving minor problems, they enhance their ability to solve problems of great difficulty.

Social Interaction

  • Sensory activities can help children develop essential social interaction skills such as making eye contact, reading emotions in faces, or listening to others. By developing strong social skills, children may interact more comfortably and successfully with other children.

Language Development

  • Language development happens gradually, but the more caregivers can promote this development, the better their child’s language skills. Good language skills will allow kids to communicate more effectively as they age. Sensory exploration has a significant impact on language and speaking domains of child development. Receptive and expressive language are some of the areas of language development that can be worked upon when a child engages in Sensory play. You can help your toddler using fun descriptive words while playing to introduce new vocabulary and promote sentence formation. Pretend play can really improve your child’s expressive language skills and verbal expression.

What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?

  • Sensory processing disorder (SPD) refers to a condition that affects stimuli processing. Children affected by SPD are often susceptible to stimuli, but SPD can have the opposite effect, too; children may require a more significant amount of a particular stimulus before responding to it. SPD can affect many or even just one sense. While adults can have this disorder, they don’t usually exhibit symptoms as they’ve learned how to cope with them.
  • Most often, SPD is a condition seen in children. Some specialists view SPD as a singular condition that can occur independently, while other researchers believe it is more often than not a condition associated with other conditions such as autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    Symptoms of SPD may include:
    Exhibiting poor balance, coordination, or clumsiness
    Finding sounds to be too loud
    Finding lighting to be too bright
    Bothered to the point of gagging by certain food textures
    Feeling that clothing items are too scratchy
    Becoming upset by sudden movements, touches, or loud noises
  • Although there is no known way to prevent SPD, it is manageable. However, it typically takes time and considerable therapy to help children develop coping strategies to live with this condition. Doctors may recommend sensory integration therapy, occupational therapy, or a sensory diet, which consists of tailored activities that are chosen for a child based on their sensory needs. DISCLAIMER: These tips are based on the personal experience of the writer and are not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare professional. For questions or concerns, please talk to your licensed healthcare provider.

SP 2

How Sensory Play Can Prevent Picky Eating in Children

  • Many children have food aversions based on the textures of foods. This is common among children with SPD, but any child may develop a picky eating habit. Sensory play can reduce the tendency for picky eating, helping kids enjoy healthy eating habits. Often the sense of taste is indeed the deciding factor for whether or not a child will want to eat certain foods, but have you ever witnessed a child refuse to eat something because of the way it looked before they’ve ever tasted it?
    Through sensory play activities, parents can prevent kids from deciding whether or not they will eat a food merely based on its texture or appearance. Food texture aversion can be highly frustrating for both parents and kids. To help your children enjoy exploring new food textures and tastes, you may want to let them enjoy activities like helping you to cook. Their little hands can help form meatballs. You might even let them ‘paint’ with some spices, so they get used to seeing and smelling them. By spending time with ‘food’ in a positive context, they can become more comfortable with different textures and appearances.

SP 3

Creating a Designated Sensory Play Space at Home

  • Parents can create a space indoors and outdoors for sensory play. Consider outfitting your indoor play space with items such as:
    Busy boards (toys with knobs, dials, buttons, etc.)
    Touch and feel books
    Simple puzzles
    Play-Doh
    Building blocks
    Bristle blocks
    Fidget cubes
    Sensory table
    Sensory bins
  • When designing your outdoor sensory play area, you might include a:
    Swing
    Slide
    Sandbox
    Toddler gardening ‘tools’
    Baby pool
    Colorful sidewalk chalk
    T-ball set
    Of course, parents can supervise children in all kinds of ways to explore their world safely. They use many different household items to engage in sensory play. However, always be careful when using small objects with your little ones as they can be choking hazards. And, always, supervise your child around water.

SP 4

5 Sensory Play Activities Using Things You Already Have at Home

  • You may not realize it, but your home is full of a wealth of sensory items that you can feature during sensory playtime with your toddler. Here are just a few to inspire you to get started with sensory play:
    Pasta Pictures
    Pasta comes in all kinds of fun shapes and sizes. All you need are some different pasta shapes such as macaroni, cavatappi, rotini, and some construction paper and non-toxic paste. Encourage your child to paste the pasta to create pictures like a circle, a square, or even more complicated items that you trace for them like a star or a heart.
    Salt Dough Ornaments
    Don’t have Play-Doh? No problem. Using a combination of flour, water, and salt, you can whip up a batch of salt dough to create fun seasonal ornaments. Children will enjoy squishing the dough, rolling it, and forming it into shapes using their hands or cookie cutters. After you bake the ornaments so they’ll harden, you and your children can paint and decorate them with small pom poms, ribbon, or other odds and ends.
    Sensory Bin
    Create a sensory bin with different items and leave it out for daily stimulation. Provide plastic measuring cups and other tools for children to touch and explore on their own. You can swap in new items to keep them interesting. Here are some examples:
    Dry beans
    Edible sand
    Little toys
    Rice
    Cotton balls
    Shredded pieces of paper
    Tea Party
    Unless you’re having high tea with the queen, you don’t need a formal tea service to have a tea party. Plastic cups, some water, and a plate filled with cookies or apple slices will do just fine. The key is to let your child do the hosting. That means it’s their job to fill and refill your glass with ‘tea.’ It’s their job to serve your cookie.
    Pots and Pans Band
    Pots and pans, of course, make great drums. But there are many items around your house that children can use to make sounds. You can hand them a couple of spoons and allow them to make ‘music’ on the kitchen floor using items like pots, plastic colanders, boxes, and more.
  • Keep these ideas in mind as you prepare to engage your child in sensory play. One of the highlights of sensory play that we haven’t yet mentioned, of course, is all the fun you can have as you bond over these different activities. You’re sure to create some fabulous memories, so keep your camera handy.

Hermann Samano

  • Hermann enjoys writing content that helps parents and kids with ideas to explore and learn together. He is passionate about gaming, music, roller skating, and outdoor activities. Seattle WA. You can email him at HermannSamano-t@porch.com.
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Serious Challenges for School Leaders in 2017 by Sam Jones

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

FatJoe
Serious Challenges for School Leaders in 2017 by Sam Jones offers warnings and advice along with some additional valuable resources for anyone involved in education.

Introduction

  • If you are at the head of a school going into 2017, you’re going to facing some serious challenges. These issues need to be overcome if your school is going to survive. But it’s not just schools that could be in trouble. Any educational platform could be affected by these problems and leaders need to be prepared. What type of issues am I talking about?

Tech, Students And Teachers

  • Tech can be useful in the school environment for a variety of reasons. For instance, you can use an online school directory to keep everyone up to date and connected. It can be useful for making sure that different areas of school body aren’t segregated such as teachers, students and parents. But, there is an issue that we need to come to terms with when thinking about tech in schools. Your understanding of tech and the students understanding of tech is going to be different. Research shows that by middle age, most of us are already losing our grasp on technology. Essentially, this means the students are going to know more than us. The simple solution to this problem is to use that fact to our advantage. Let’s harness their minds and make sure we control but accept the ways they want to use tech to learn. It will benefit them and the teaching standards that we have in schools.

Fun With Funding

  • It’s currently unclear what state the government will be in next year. However, you can bet that as always funding in education is going to be under severe constraint. This happens every year, and we need to start preparing for it now. School leaders need to know how to effectively cut costs without losing the higher standards of education. There are both large and small ways to do this. Almost every business is now looking at ways to use greener practices to save money. Like it or not, a school is a business, and it needs to be run like one. It might be worth in investing in ways to cut energy usage if it means costs will be lower. For instance, you may want to look into purchasing new solar panels for the roof of your school. I know what you’re thinking. How can we possibly afford that? Well, you can encourage parents to invest by explaining how it will benefit their children. You should also be price checking any supplies that you buy for your school.

Bigger Student Populations

  • Gone are the days when you have a class of ten or fifteen students. Now, classes are typically three times that size, and this is a problem. Research shows that teachers can not successfully provide teaching to a class of more than thirty children. Some of the students will be missing out, and this will show through their quality of work. You must make sure that you are keeping class numbers low by hiring more teachers. Although this means excess costs for the school, it will drive performance levels higher. We have to remember that educating children must be the main goal, rather than saving money.
  • These aren’t easy problems to solve. But we need to think about how to tackle them now. Otherwise, our children’s standard of schooling will be rapidly sliding downhill.
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Seven Things That Can Spoil Your Relationship with the Students by Kate Khom

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Learning
Seven Things That Can Spoil Your Relationship with the Students by Kate Khom offers excellent advice to all teachers regardless of their experience. It also provides guidelines for administrators who have to observe and guide teachers.

Introduction

  • Your most important job as a teacher is to create appropriate and pleasant conditions in which learning can take place while maintaining a good, stable relationship with your students. Your relationship with the students largely depends on your personality, attitude, and intentions. No teacher is ever identical to another teacher, just like every student is an individual. Teaching is certainly not an easy job, and it takes effort, time and experience to get better at it. However, there are certain things that you should always avoid doing in order not to spoil your relationship with the students.

1. Being Cold and Distant

  • While it’s certainly important that you maintain your authority over the class, you should never allow yourself to become one of those cold and distant teachers that the students are scared of or uncomfortable around. If you act this way you will never be able to establish a good rapport with the students and you will surely hinder their learning because they simply will not feel comfortable enough in the classroom.

2. Unwillingness to Elicit and Accept Honest Feedback

  • Sometimes, while teaching, we can unknowingly do certain things that can bother our students. Maybe you’re talking too quickly or using complicated language. Natalie Schwartz, a renowned author of multiple books on teaching, explains how to deal with this in her her article. “Eliciting feedback can entail asking a simple question such as, So how was the homework last night?” All in all, you have to elicit and accept feedback without getting angry or offended when you get it.

3. Being Too Friendly

  • You absolutely should have a positive attitude towards your students and you should strive to create a pleasant learning environment in the classroom, but there is a difference between being a good teacher and being their friend. Make sure that they still remember that you are the teacher and that they have to listen to you.

4. Being Hypocritical

  • There is always that teacher that strictly forbids students from using their phone in class, but when their phone rings, they pick up the call and chatter away, simply because they are the teacher and that ‘’gives them the right’’ to do something they don’t allow students to do. If teachers establish certain rules in class, then they need to remember that the rules have to apply to them too.

5. Humiliating students

  • This one should go without saying, but you should absolutely never humiliate your students in any way. Melissa Kelly, a writer at ThoughtCo. says in her article that, if humiliated: ‘’The students will either feel so cowed that they will never feel confident in your classroom, so hurt that they will not trust you ever again, or so upset that they can turn to disruptive methods of retaliation.’’

6. Flying With the Fastest

  • If you only pay attention to the students that speak first, you will definitely get a wrong impression about how easy or difficult the lesson is. Not everyone can learn at the same speed and by only paying attention to the best students, you will lose track of the rest of the class, which will make them feel inadequate and they won’t really understand the lesson. John Marks, an expert in classroom management from says that you should ‘’Try directing questions at individuals and sometimes actively ‘shh’ the loud ones, or simply not hear them.’’

7. Unwillingness to Repeat or Explain

  • As Derrick Meador, a writer at ThoughtCo.claims in his article on teaching, ‘’You should never say things like: ’’I’ve already gone over that. You should have been listening.”Make sure that the students know that it’s safe to ask you about anything they find difficult or confusing. It is like R. J. Odora points out in his research study on using explanation as a teaching method “In the context of education, good explanation in teaching is essential for unlocking the students’ understanding of the subject.’’

Conclusion

  • To conclude, as teachers grow in experience, their teaching improves, but until then, it is crucial that they learn to maintain a good relationship with the students. Hopefully, this article will help teachers understand what to pay attention to in their behavior and attitude towards the students so that everyone is happy and all the conditions for learning are met.

Kate Khom

  • Kate is passionate writer and learner located in Kyiv, Ukraine. She likes to help people and make this world better. Feel free to chat with her on Twitter or check her website .
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Seven Top Tips to Keep Schools and Colleges Secure by Katherine Rundell

Sunday, October 4th, 2020

Security Cameras

Seven Top Tips to Keep Schools and Colleges Secure by Katherine Rundell

offers a checklist that all educational institutions can use to prevent crime. Modern technology makes this easier so be sure your school or campus is doing all that it can.

Our high schools and college campuses are primarily places where our young people go to learn, so we need to keep them safe and secure so that students do not have to worry about their safety. There has been a worrying rise in attacks on our college campuses and schools lately and there are many things that can be done to prevent these from happening. Here are our top seven tips for getting stronger security on campus.

1. Install a CCTV system

We recommend that you install lots of CCTV cameras in all corners of your campus as a vital security feature. You can check these regularly and they can capture any suspicious activity across the school site. They can also act as a deterrent for any potential intruders.

You should distribute fully functioning cameras liberally across your campus, especially in areas like stairwells, courtyards, and parking lots, where crimes are more prone to take place. Be sure to have cameras for each entrance. Ideally, you will also have a team of highly trained security guards to monitor the video and patrol campus.

2. Restrict Access to Campus

Be sure to restrict or limit access to your campus, or to certain parts of the campus, like lecture halls. This means that only people that you have authorized to enter, like certain faculty members, administration teams, and students, will be able to have access.

You can issue ID badges with a key fob or another security measure to ensure that this is adhered to. Your security team can make sure that nobody is allowed onto the premises without the proper ID or clearance. You should consider a sign-in system for the main entry point of your site to give you more control to screen who enters.

Around the perimeter, you should ensure the school is properly fenced with a high-quality secure fence. This will prevent intruders from entering and ensure all individuals entering are funneled through the entrances giving you a closer look at who is coming in. This also prevents young students from leaving the site without a teacher or parent present. All staff and students should have ID cards issued to them when they begin their time at the site. These can include a photograph to ensure that all school members are accounted for and you know exactly who is on-site.

3. Regular Patrols

If you are aware that certain areas of campus have a higher risk for crime, try to send your campus security to patrol these areas on a more frequent basis. Increasing the number of security staff, you have available in the evenings to check these areas is also a good idea.

Ideally, you will have security staff on campus 24/7 and have a security protocol in place, like using ID badges for entry. This will avoid unauthorized people from getting access to campus. It also ensures that any criminal acts that take place on campus can be dealt with and kept under control straight away.

4. Silent Alarms and Panic Buttons

You should place these throughout the site and tell all staff and students about their location. This means that the authorities can be advised quickly if an incident arises and allows the victim to ask for help without having to get out their cell phone during an emergency.

5. Create an Anonymous Tip Line

If any students become concerned about someone’s actions or have learned information that might lead to a crime, they can use an anonymous tip line to inform campus security without worrying about being penalized themselves.

6. Security Checks for All Staff

Most Western countries require all staff members to pass a security check before they can work with children. Make it a regular part of your practice to do full background checks on all new staff members for student safety.

7. Well Lit Campuses

It has been proven with research that criminals are more likely to act in darkness because there are fewer witnesses and reduced visibility. We know that darkness is an important driving factor in the rise in incidents of crime.

You can counteract this by installing, maintaining, and repairing street lights on campus to make sure that the site remains well lit at all times. This will increase visibility for everyone and campus security to be able to keep an eye on everyone.

Katherine Rundell is a strategist marketer for both Studydemic and Simple Grad, where she has already created a number of high-profile marketing campaigns. She writes content and edits submissions at My Writing Way. She can be reached at katherine.t.rundell@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatherineRunde2

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Should We Be Teaching Workplace Etiquette in Schools? by Amanda Winstead

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Workplace Etiquette
Image Source: Pixabay

Should We Be Teaching Workplace Etiquette in Schools? by Amanda Winstead – This post explains why your school should look for a place to add workplace etiquette to the curriculum. It certainly is time to help teens get their first jobs and to help them understand how to behave once they hit the real world of work.

Introduction

  • Young people often start working part-time jobs in high school, and it’s surprising how few of them understand basic workplace etiquette. Everything from dressing appropriately to having a sarcastic attitude can be a problem for young workers. We can’t blame teens — many times they simply aren’t taught the basics of how to communicate or behave at work. Getting a new job can be overwhelming and confusing, and it’s hard to know who to talk to and how to ask questions.
  • We can give teenagers a leg up by teaching workplace etiquette in school. It can be a unit in a life skills class or part of a homeroom curriculum. There are significant advantages to making sure every teen understands how the world of work operates.

Here are just a few reasons to teach these essential skills at school.

  • Teens Gain Better Access to Opportunities: Not every young person has skilled working parents at home to use as role models. Also, because teens work in a variety of jobs, the coaching and mentoring they receive are uneven. When we provide workplace etiquette as part of the school curriculum for every young person, we help level the playing field and give equal access to opportunities.
  • Some young people have parents with the time, money, and skills to give them a great foundation in what constitutes good work. However, for the rest of the teens, it’s only fair that they are given a chance to do well in the working world by learning the basics in school.

Young People Will Have Better Work Experiences

  • There’s no drag like someone who hates their job and complains about it constantly. One thing that can help our young people avoid becoming that way is to help them learn the ropes about how workplaces operate at an early age.
  • It starts with knowing how to get a job. A surprising number of students have no idea what a resume is or what to include in one. Having a strong resume and excellent interview skills will help them get a great job right away and give them the confidence to go for bigger opportunities in the future.
  • When they know what to expect once they get the job, they won’t feel frustrated by the requests from the boss. They will be less likely to slack off or absorb bad habits from coworkers. Most importantly, they’ll have a foundation in how to communicate with their bosses about concerns. This will give them the confidence to ask for direction, offer additional help, and resolve issues.
  • When young people have good work experiences upfront, it helps them be more willing to work hard and do well in their jobs throughout their lives.

Understanding Workplace Etiquette Can Prevent Abuse

  • Young people are at a significant disadvantage at work, especially if it’s one of their first jobs. If they haven’t been taught anything about workplace etiquette, they might assume that everything that happens to them is normal and okay, even if it’s hurtful.
  • Discrimination, hostility, and bullying happen in workplaces all over the nation. Fortunately, harassment is illegal and a young person has rights. When they’re educated about the workplace, they know those rights and can properly report what’s going on.
  • At the same time, young people are less likely to engage in these behaviors at work if they’re aware of workplace etiquette. They are less likely to become bullies or join a crowd that picks on someone if they realize it’s inappropriate and may lead to legal action.
  • Teens who know their rights are also less likely to be taken advantage of by managers who demand unsafe work, pay lower-than-promised wages, or underpay tips.

Learning the Basics Early Helps in Every Job Throughout Life

  • If young people learn at school how to behave well at work, the little bad habits that become ingrained in their adult lives can be prevented. Adults complain about a variety of obnoxious behaviors from coworkers, from body odor to swearing to bragging.
  • A student who knows how to clean up for work, speak professionally, and mind the unspoken rules of the workplace (like not eating smelly food) is set up for success well beyond the teen years. They will have a better chance to impress bosses, win promotions, and build strong relationships with coworkers.
  • Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders, and they need the skills to face the challenges of an ever-changing workplace and world market. When they have a solid foundation as a youth, they’re positioned for success.

We All Had to Learn Somewhere

  • Today’s young people are largely preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yet. That’s why they need to know the basics today. In our first few jobs, many of us learned how to respect a schedule, call in advance if we were ill, and more. But, unfortunately, not everyone learns these lessons, as complaints in adult workplaces reveal.
  • People of any age who don’t know workplace etiquette will have hard times building relationships, impressing the boss to win promotions, and often even holding a job at all. It’s not fair to young people that, through no fault of their own, they don’t have the examples they need to be successful.
  • When we teach workplace etiquette in schools, everyone gets an equal chance no matter what their life outside of class is like. We all have to learn the basics somewhere. Why not in school, where everyone has an equal shot?

Amanda Winstead

  • Amanda is a freelance writer out of Portland focusing on many topics including educational technology. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.
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Six Basic Tips for Online Safety by Craig Middleton

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Six Tips

Introduction

  • There’s an old saying that “knowledge is power,” and while that might seem cliché, it is true when it comes to internet crime. Hackers and cybercriminals are looking for information about you and your family. If they find the information they want, it gives them the power to steal from your bank accounts, destroy your credit, ruin your reputation, stalk your movements, and possibly even attack you physically. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep information about yourself and your family safe. Here are some basic online safety tips.

Multi Factor

1. Enable Two-factor Authentication

  • Many online services give you the option of using two-factor authentication to access your accounts. In addition to your username and password, you also have to provide another piece of information. This prevents people from accessing your accounts even if they have obtained your password. It offers greater protection for your accounts, especially if the second factor is something entirely unique to you, such as your favorite vacation spot, recognition of your face, or a fingerprint. You don’t necessarily have to stop at two factors, though. Multi-factor authentication providers may be able to help you become even more secure.

2. Protect Your Passwords

  • Protecting your passwords is vital to maintaining online security, especially where two-factor authentication is not available. You should never share your passwords with anyone, not even those you trust the most. You should also avoid “default” passwords, opting instead for those that are easy for you to remember but difficult for other people to guess. Strong passwords have a combination of lowercase and capital letters, numbers, and sometimes special characters. Special characters aren’t always permitted, though, so pay attention to the rules when creating a new password. Another way to protect your passwords is to use a unique one for every login. This way, even if someone obtains the password to one account, the others are still protected. Be sure to keep a list or you may let your computer keep them for you if you don’t share it.

Avast

3. Keep Antivirus Software Up to Date

  • Antivirus is sort of a blanket term to describe software that protects against all types of malicious programming; not only viruses but Trojan horses, worms, etc. Not all antivirus programs include protection against ransomware, however, so this is something to pay attention to during purchase and installation. If your antivirus doesn’t have it, you may require extra protection.
  • Unfortunately, it is not enough merely to have antivirus software installed. Hackers are relentless at developing new programs that take advantage of outdated protections by exploiting their weaknesses. Therefore, you need to update your antivirus frequently to be sure it is equipped to deal with the newest threats. In many cases, you can set up the antivirus software to update automatically. This way, you don’t have to remember to perform a manual update

4. Use a Virtual Private Network

  • Chances are good that you do not only access the internet from your home. Free Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, and portable devices such as tablets and smartphones make it easier than ever to connect to the internet wherever you are. However, this convenience comes at a price. When you connect to an unsecured internet connection, it makes any data and files that you send via the network vulnerable to everyone else connected to it.
  • More commonly known as a VPN, a virtual private network keeps your data secure even when you connect to public Wi-Fi. It does this by encrypting your data and disguising your IP address so no one can use it to identify you. To add a VPN to your browser, you first have to purchase the best option for you, or try a free trial

5. Clear Your Cache

  • Many websites save information about you in the form of cookies. This saves your personalized settings for you on sites that you frequent, but it could also save personal information about you that you don’t want widely known. To protect yourself, you should clear your cache periodically. Most browsers will allow you to choose which sites you want to clear cookies from and which you want to save to keep your settings intact. If you want to clear all cache, you should be able to find the option in your browser settings under more tools → clear browsing data.

Fishy subject

6. Read the Email Addresses and Subjects of Unsolicited Emails Carefully

  • Pay attention to where your emails are coming from. It may be easy to trust an email coming from a source you would generally trust such as your bank, phone support, or work. Scammers can make an email seem legit at first glance, but always look at the email address if you are unsure of the source. If it is an email you don’t recognize, block the sender. Use your judgment, common sense, and intuition to guide your online activities. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t click on it, swipe it, or otherwise engage with it at all. If you think it could be really dangerous to you or someone else, report it to the authorities. The image above shows a subject and an email address that are clearly bogus.

Craig Middleton

  • Craig is a New York City-based retired business consultant, who is an expert in education and cultural trends. He has a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Education from St. Johns and loves sharing his knowledge on the side through his writing. If you have any questions or comments you can direct them to Craig at craigmiddleton18@gmail.com.
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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
The Element

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson, PhD (©2009, Penguin Books: New York, NY) deals with the point where natural talent meets personal passion. Ken explores the conditions that lead us to live lives filled with passion, confidence, and personal achievement. The stories about people from a wide variety of fields entertain and inspire. The book is a classic. If it’s not on your shelf, click the icon below to get your copy. If you read it a while ago, my summary will be a good review. Also check out Sir Ken’s TED Talks.

Sir Ken Robinson

  • Sir Ken is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to governments, non-profits, education, and arts bodies. He was Director of The Arts in Schools Project (1985–89), Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001), and was knighted in 2003 for services to education. Originally from a working-class Liverpool family, Robinson now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Marie-Therese and children James and Kate.

Introduction

  • We are all born with tremendous natural capacities, and we lose touch with many of them as we spend more time in the world. Ironically, one of the main reasons is education itself. Young children are confident in their own imagination and usually see themselves as being creative when they start school. By the time they finish formal education, most don’t feel that way. Ken uses the stories of people who did find their Element and offers them to help us all do the same. Most of the stories were gathered via direct interviews that often feature twists, turns, and surprises.

Who’s Stories?

  • Here are some of the people who’s unlikely stories help make this book so special: Matt Groening – Simpsons creator, Gillian Lynne – dancer and founder of company that did Cats and Phantom of the Opera, Paul Samuelson – economist and author, Paul McCartney – Beatle, John Cleese – Monty Python member, Mick Fleetwood – drummer Fleetwood Mac, Bart Conner – Gold Medal Gymnast, Gordon Parks – Founder of Essence Magazine, Buckminster Fuller – architect, Ewa Laurance – woman’s world billiards champion, Aaron Sorken – award winning writer for stage, movies, and television, Meg Ryan – Actress, Arianna Huffington – creator of The Huffington Post, and Richard Branson – Entrepreneur.
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The Five Best Tools To Wake Up A Creative Kid In You by Veronica Hunt

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

The Five Best Tools To Wake Up A Creative Kid In You starts with suggestions for parents and teachers who want to foster creativity in their students, their children, or themselves. It then offers five excellent tools that can support the creative process. Be sure to have five people each check out one tool and report back. Thanks Veronica

Creativity

Introduction

  • Creativity isn’t a science or a formula. It is one of those things you can’t just buy and use. Developing creativity in yourself is a lifespan job. You need to take frequent small steps to surpass your average results. It takes much patience to overcome obstacles, such as lack of time or strength, someone’s critique, or your own doubts in an. You must realize that creativity is something you are born with, and if you do not use it, you may lose a part of yourself. Fostering creativity, however, in someone else is even more difficult. Thus, if you are an educator or a parent and want your students to use their imagination to provide outstanding solutions, you can’t just assign them a task and expect creativity to flourish. Imagine that creativity is under a heap of gravel and to get it out pulling isn’t enough. Piece by piece you need to uncover it and bring to surface.

Stay Passionate About Your Project

  • Outside the box thinking and imagination without borders are two essential constituents of creativity. I noticed that usually adults try to place children into a certain framework of standard behavior and rules. Of course, it’s a normal phenomenon since society trys to prevent chaos and self-destructive acts resulting from extraordinary behavior and thinking. However, making an obedient citizen of a child can stifle creativity and the desire to produce something unique.
  • When I hear about “suppressed creativity”, I recollect one example of a family I knew once. The mother had an unaccomplished ambition of becoming a singer. She projected this dream on her daughter who didn’t like being in the spotlight at all. She escaped from her family and their cage of restrictions via her creative drawings. Fortunately, the girl had enough willpower to stand her ground and resign from a signing career. Yet not every person endowed with unique creative mindset can resist their family and school that just do not see it in you. That’s why fostering creativity is so important for every person, teacher, and parent.

Guidelines to Help Foster Creativity in Yourself, Your Students or Children

  • For those who are teachers:
    Use music or ambient sound in the background to help students concentrate and improve performance.
    Engage students in brainstorming ideas, which will help them use different approaches to find solutions.
    Separate providing students with new information from creative tasks. Do not mingle both educational processes so as to avoid misunderstanding and confusion.
    Motivate your students with counterfactual tasks that will allow them to view a problem from multiple perspectives and think outside the box.
  • For those who are parents:
    Provide space and resources to encourage creative expression.
    Don’t evaluate your children’s creative ideas, point out mistakes, or underline fails.
    Give your kid more freedom to research something new. Let your child try some extraordinary hobbies or even those activities you consider useless.
    Allow your kid to disagree but ask to explain why.
    Don’t reward your child for expressing his creativity. Your kid should strive doing that for free.
  • For those who want to be more creative:
    Don’t critique yourself every time you make something new. Just keep on doing that and enjoy this amazing process of discovering your new potential.
    Protect this creative kid in you to stay passionate and interested in your own thinking process.
    Be patient. It can be easier to tolerate someone’s mistakes than your own.
    Be brave and curious about yet unexplored areas of your imagination.
    Go for a long walk to relax and unleash your mind.
    Let yourself be messy at least once in a while. It will help you to relax, forget about your surroundings and your duties.

Raise Your Creativity Kid Via Hot-Shot Tools

  • Tips may not be enough. You may need some extra tools to express and encourage yourself to develop something worthy. Here are five of the best tools that can wake up a creative kid in everyone.
  • BrainPlots
    It’s not necessarily to have a group of 6 people to brainstorm new ideas. With the help of Brain Plots you’ll be able to find some unexpected solutions as you work and study. When you tab your ideas in this app, you get suggestions which you can either decline or accept. Then you’ll get a full picture in the form of a TED presentation.
  • Glogster
    This interactive service allows you to work with images, videos, graphics, audio and text in one place. It helps you create a multimedia poster using many creative skills along with critical thinking. Also, this platform develops creative hunger to see the final result of your work. Glogster is a good educational app to complete assignments and projects in a new way.
  • Studentshare
    This service has the largest database (1 000 000+) of essay and research papers uploaded by real students who received at least an A- grade. Using StudentShare you’ll be able to find an effective formula for how to write your next essay with inspiration and no procrastination of your deadline. Plus, you can figure out what resources and references are the most appropriate for your writing task.
  • Storybird
    It is a creative room where writers and readers gather to share their ideas and attitudes on a new story, poetry etc. This educational app certainly promotes thoughtful writing and critical analysis.
  • Mindtools
    This service is targeted at boosting your creativity via special understanding, brainstorming and idea-generating tools. Once you choose the Toolkit category, you’ll see even more features such as Decision Making, Leaderships Skills, Problem Solving etc. Thus, you’ll be able to master the 28 skills and discover new opportunities for your creative world. The main goal of this service is to provide assistance in all stages of the creative process.

Make Your Creativity Progress Long-Term

  • If you are seeking a formula to make your creative ability progress, start by planning and outlining what exactly you expect from a certain process. Write down one reason you need to continue creating something after a break even if it’s only to get rid of boredom. Do not restrict yourself with a fixed timeframe since it can make you feel suffocated with a forced creativity. Creative ideas usually come while you process ideas, so what you need is to start creating something that brings you joy and pleasure. Your progress will turn long-term when finished works incite you to the next creative project.
Veronica

Veronica Hunt

  • Veronica is a true edtech expert and a professional blogger with five years work experience. She tries to provide students with up-to-date info on how to improve their study habits. Veronica lives in Delaware, USA..
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The Highest Paying Freelance Jobs To Focus on For Maximizing Work From Home Earning by Danielle Ward

Monday, April 24th, 2017

SEO
The Highest Paying Freelance Jobs To Focus on For Maximizing Work From Home Earning by Danielle Ward introduces some of the most common and well paid freelance jobs currently available. If you haven’t found a full-time job yet or can only work part-time, some of these jobs might be for you or someone you know.

Introduction

  • Freelancing is the ‘in’ thing, quite officially. The largest corporations out there are hiring freelance IT developers, website designers, copywriters, and app developers for short term and long term projects. Of course, freelancers also continue to thrive by taking up paid projects from the most recognized global job exchange marketplaces with equal success. The point is, freelancing is no more just an additional little drip of dollars, but a gushing brook of decent income, which is comparable to, and sometimes even exceeds that of people with similar skills employed in corporations. All this notwithstanding, here we focus on telling you more about the highest paid freelance jobs, and the skills that are highly in demand.

Marketing

  • Do you have experience in marketing? Didn’t land a job after that marketing diploma? Have you acquired some experience in digital marketing? This is the time to hop on the freelance bandwagon, because marketing gigs can pay you anything between $40 and $50 per hour. Freelance engagements in marketing range from anything like brand management efforts, product promotion strategies, and real sales, to niche digital marketing efforts such as social media brand management, email marketing, etc. Even reputed employers are engaging freelancers to provide impetus to their marketing efforts. Some reselling options are there as well where you don’t need to invest something and based on your marketing skills you can start making money for each sales/sign ups.

Voice Over

  • Did you realize how the advertising winds have been blowing in the direction of video content from the past couple of years? Yes, most advertisers now prefer creating short but catchy videos. If you have a great voice, and have some experience or idea about voice over and dubbing, you can offer your services, and earn up to $70 per hour. People respond well to videos, which has created a large market space for voice over artists and dubbing artists, which means there’s a lot of money to be made for candidates with the right skills.

Recruiting

  • Freelancers are finding great short term opportunities of being a part of HR operations at growing organizations. They can offer services such as drafting of job descriptions, managing recruitment drives, handling documentation aspects of hiring, and even conducting preliminary interviews to shortlist candidates. Better paying opportunities in HR freelancing can go up to $50 per hour, whereas the ones more restricted to documentation can pay up to $30 per hour. The one downside, however, is that freelancers need to aggressively hunt for newer projects to keep the income stream strong. Another downside is that you probably won’t get access the health care from your freelance employers.

Programming

  • This is the umbrella mini-market for all kinds of web development, software development, and app development assignments. Programmers who work with conventional technologies such as Java can make up to $40 per hour by developing programs for projects. However, people with knowledge and experience of lesser known and more contemporary programming languages can make almost double the amount every hour. The key to success as a freelance programmer is to give quality work, and let the positive feedback bring in more clients.

Graphics Designing & Animation

  • Though this is among the oldest vistas of earning via freelancing, skilled graphics designers are in high demand. Experienced Photoshop artists with impressive portfolios can earn up to $40 per hour. Within graphics designing, there’s a niche called ‘info-graphics’ design, which pays as much as $80 per hour. Info-graphics are content heavy designs, with lots of stats and facts organized in the form of a vertically extended graphic. If you have animation skills (2D or 3D) there are many companies in need ot animated content who aren’t big enough to hire full-time animators.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Because of the frequent updates brought on by Google, search engine optimization continues to be a lucrative field for freelancers, especially those with updated knowledge and skills to get good rankings for client websites. The great part about freelance SEO experts is that they land projects that pay up to $40 per hour, and the number of hours they can bill to the client are on the higher side. That’s because freelance SEO engagements extend over a few weeks. Freelance SEO experts can get repeat business from their clients, and can hence earn significant incomes.

Copywriters

  • The number of blogs and websites on the web has had an exponential surge in the past decade. In parallel, search engines have aligned themselves to treat websites with great content with good SEO ranking. These factors have enabled copywriters to sustain their incomes from freelance assignments. Mid-level copywriters can make up to $30 per hour, whereas experiences writers can make up to $55-60 per hour. Like SEO, freelance copywriting comes with the advantage of repeat business from clients, which makes it a lucrative freelancing option.

Final Words

  • So those are some of the most sustainable, highly paying, and in demand freelance skills. If you’re looking to expand the scope of your freelance work, or looking to join millions of people who are already freelancing, you might want to invest effort towards honing skills relevant to these engagements.

Danielle Ward

  • Danielle is a Blogger by profession and loves sharing my thoughts over wealth and wellness blogs so that people can live a healthy life with a handsome income. She is based out in the UK but planning to move to Malta soon.
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The World Is Open – Curtis Bonk

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education by Curtis Bonk tells the story of the ten openers that allow the Internet to change the face of education. Bonk builds on the work of Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat to explain how anyone can learn anything, anytime, anywhere. He uses abundant stories and examples to make his point. As you read you will want to check out places on the Web he mentions. Any educator, parent, student, or citizen should be familiar with Bonk’s Ten Openers. © 2009, Jossey Bass: San Francisco, CA.

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