Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

Being Bilingual – It May Not Be What You Think: Common Misconceptions About Bilingualism by Jonty Yamisha

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Bilingual 1


  • There are many misconceptions about bilingualism. Around the world, people have very different expectations. And most of those expectations are largely inaccurate. As you learn a second language and begin to travel with your newly acquired language, you’ll probably encounter people who have a completely different understanding of your linguistic skills.

Being Bilingual Is Actually Pretty Common

  • The idea that bilinguals are rare is prevalent in many places in the world. Around the world, there are many people who speak at least two languages. The current estimate is that more than half of all humans know at least two languages. With globalization, it is very likely that there will be a much greater percentage of the population in the next decade or two who speak at least two languages.
  • There is no way to try to classify bilinguals either. They span all of the countries in the world, in all different classes and races, and regardless of age. Bilinguals tend to need both languages over the normal course of their day, so they are likely to continue to be bilingual.

You Can Be Bilingual and Still Have an Accent

  • Being bilingual means that you can communicate in two languages – it doesn’t mean that it isn’t easy to tell which one was your first language. Most bilingual people have an accent (often a very thick one) that lets speakers know what their first language was. It is natural for someone who knows multiple languages to have a dominant language. It does not detract from the fact that they are knowledgeable enough to be able to claim bilingualism.
  • Nor does it mean that the person has two cultures. The children of immigrants almost always know two languages, but they only adapt to one culture. People who learn their second language much later certainly only have one culture.
Bilingual 2

Bilingual Kids Have a Distinct Advantage

  • For a long time, people believed that it took kids who learned two languages longer to learn either of the two languages. Not only does this theory lack evidence, but kids who learn two languages also have a number of advantages over their monolingual counterparts.
  • They are better able to adapt to different situations. They are able to better understand others and can act to help others understand each other. Cognitive development is also better for children who learn two or more languages at the same time.

Location Specific Ideas of Bilingual Speakers

  • While the word bilingual itself may mean a person who has the ability to speak more than one language, different parts of the world interpret this differently. Europe is probably the strictest when it comes to the expectations of someone who is bilingual. 
    They believe that a truly bilingual person does not have an accent. And their knowledge of the second language should be equal to that of a native speaker. This is why Europeans do not think there are many bilinguals in the world. Their standards are nearly unachievable for someone who did not learn two languages as a child.

The Paradox of the United States and Bilingualism

  • Of all the countries in the world, it seems like the US should be the one with the most bilinguals. With a population that is almost entirely based on ancestry that came from multiple outside countries, the country is surprisingly lacking in bilingual speakers. It is estimated that over 75% of Americans are monolingual.
  • Surprisingly, immigrant families are much quicker to drop their second language a generation or two after the first immigrant. Unlike areas where people fiercely cling to their native tongue, Americans have a tendency to assimilate so that English is the primary (and often only) language the family speaks.

Missed Opportunities with Language Learning

  • This is, at least in part, because immigrants are encouraged to assimilate. This is compared to the adversity that many of them fled. The previous adversity caused them to cling to their language. The relative freedoms they find in the US makes them feel comfortable giving up their language and adopting English.
  • The number of languages that have been spoken in the US over the course of the nation’s more than 200-year history is unrivaled. Having seen immigrants from everywhere in the world, there was the potential for the country to be incredibly diverse and rich in different languages. Instead, people have lost their original languages.
  • It is truly a missed opportunity. Employers are more likely to hire people who know more than a single language. It gives you not only a better sense of communication, but it offers you a greater perspective of the world. You can help those who do not understand each other as you are more likely to understand where both sides are coming from, and you can express these views better.

Jonty Yamisha

  • Entrepreneur and Linguist, Jonty Yamisha created OptiLingo after his efforts to protect his native language, Circassian, from extinction. Using scientifically proven strategies such as Spaced Repetition and Guided Immersion, OptilLingo has helped thousands finally achieve fluency. It is based in Chicago but serves language learners on a global scale.
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Best Jobs for Homeschooled Teens by Craig Middleton

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Best Jobs
Best Jobs for Homeschooled Teens by Craig Middleton offers ideas for homeschool and non homeschooled students regarding possible first jobs. The jobs he mentions can teach responsibility and reliability that are vital when it’s time to pursue a professional career. These tips are also good for students who are not homeschooled.


  • Homeschooling has a lot of advantages, but one of the best parts is the flexibility. This is particularly beneficial to young athletes who require hours of training each day. For those who do have extra time though, it can be a great way to be introduced to the workforce. Your student will get work experience, earn extra money, and develop a stronger sense of responsibility. It also looks good on college applications. Here are a few good jobs for your homeschooled teen to consider.

Food Service

  • The foodservice industry is a great place for teens who have never had a job before. Most fast-food restaurants are very willing to hire teenagers with little to no experience. This involves taking orders and getting the meal gathered on a tray before giving it to the customer. Some restaurants are willing to hire young adults to help clear tables or wash dishes. Eventually, your child can work his or her way up to becoming a server, where he or she can make tips. Some places also allow teenagers with a driver’s license to deliver food. They may learn about delivery routing software before taking the food to the customer and may be able to make tips from deliveries as well.


  • Tutoring is a great way to help other students who are struggling, and it tends to pay well. Parents are always looking for help with their kids, so there should be plenty of options available. Your child will just need to decide if he or she wants to help students around his or her age or if working with younger children would be more desirable. To get started, you can try reaching out to your friends and see if any of them need a tutor for their children. Your teenager can also check with tutoring centers in your area to see if any of them are hiring.

Babysitting/Child Care

  • If your child is good with young kids, babysitting may be the perfect job. Many children start babysitting as early as age 13. It really just depends on what the parents are comfortable with. Have your child check with friends and neighbors to see if any of them have younger children who need babysitting. You can also find parent groups in your area online and post that your child is available. Your teenager may want to see about getting CPR certified as many parents prefer this when looking for a sitter.

Grocery Store

  • Most grocery stores are willing to hire teenagers who have no experience. They usually start them off by having them help bag groceries and stock shelves as needed. However, some places may even allow your child to work the register. Grocery stores are usually really nice when it comes to being flexible with young adults’ schedules.


  • Working as a lifeguard is a great summer job, but what many people don’t know is that there are actually lifeguard positions that are open year-round. They do require CPR and lifeguard certification, but they usually pay pretty well. Check with indoor swim facilities in your area to see if they have any openings. Swim schools are also great to look into. They often have lifeguard positions, but some of them may even have openings for your teenager to help teach young children how to swim.

In Conclusion

  • You don’t always get the first job you apply for, so encourage your teen to continue to fill out applications. It takes time and effort to get a job, but it’s worth it in the end. Just keep encouraging your teen until he or she finds the perfect fit. Once that happens, be sure your child understands how important it is that he or she shows up on time and takes the job seriously. Learning these skills early can really help when it comes to starting off a professional career, and don’t limit your kids to the suggestions here. Perhaps they have some entrepreneurial spirit and can end up working for themselves. You should also expect them to save most of what they make to help pay for their own education.

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
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Careers Your Kids Can Strive for Directly Out of High School by Craig Middleton

Saturday, March 19th, 2022


If you have children, you undoubtedly want them to succeed in life and use their talents to change the world. Perhaps you have dreams for your kids, such as wanting them to be doctors or lawyers. However, these professions require many years of college and create a hefty bill.

It’s also possible that your children will want to pursue other avenues. When they get older, maybe they’ll want to skip college altogether and go directly into the workforce. Don’t let this decision alarm you, as many excellent career choices don’t require a degree. Here are some possible jobs you might want to educate your children about.

Maintenance Worker

Some kids love to tear things apart to see if they can put them back together or attempt to fix broken items. If your kids enjoy this hobby, a career in maintenance work might be right up their alley.

An average handyman has many skills, ranging from repairing restaurant equipment to fixing leaks. New workers often learn these skills from working under a qualified professional for a while until they’re able to complete tasks alone.

Some types of maintenance work may be covered in technical courses offered to high school students. Make sure you check into programs your children’s school provides. Getting educated in technology such as heating and air conditioning can do wonders for landing a job later in life. 

Computer Programmer

If your children have computer capabilities that go above and beyond their peers’ skills, and they love learning about the latest technology, you may want to encourage them to learn about computer programming. People in this field create software and test it to ensure it works properly. Their potential employers may range from government agencies to gaming companies.

Instead of obtaining a college degree, your children should try to learn everything they can about programming languages by taking free classes, researching online, or watching webinars. As your children get older, encourage them to get technological jobs or shadow someone who can teach them more about programming. This experience plus an investment in a technical training course can give them the tools they need to succeed. 

Pharmacy Technician

Do your children love to help people but aren’t into the needles and bloodwork that doctors and nurses have to deal with? If so, a career as a pharmacy technician is worth exploring. A person in this profession helps a pharmacist dispense medications. Some of these medicines are used to save lives, while others give people relief from illnesses. All are essential.

Although some technicians attend a university, a degree isn’t required. Most people learn by participating in on-the-job training.

Sales Representative

While a sales job isn’t for everyone, some people have that natural optimistic personality needed when describing a product to potential customers. If your child enjoys conversing with people, is good at small talk, and is convincing, they may excel in the sales department.

Most skills are acquired through job training. However, great salespeople have an innate desire to help others. The most significant part of sales is explaining a product’s perks and illustrating to clients how these advantages can make life easier.

Flight Attendant

If your children yearn to see different places worldwide, they may be interested in becoming flight attendants. Flight attendants get to go all over the planet, getting paid to do what they love. As a bonus, they get to meet people from different cultures, possibly leading to lifelong friendships.

Talk to your kids about the perks of this job. However, make sure they also understand the downsides, such as being away from home for long periods of time. For people who love flying, the pros generally outweigh the cons.

Let your kids know that going to college is a great choice, but it’s not their only option. If they’re interested in hobbies that could potentially turn into job prospects when they grow up, encourage them to learn more about these opportunities. Motivating your kids to think about the future will help them make choices that are right for them.

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

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Chiropractic Adjustments: Real Treatment or Real Quackery? by Reyshimar Arguelles

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic Adjustments: Real Treatment or Real Quackery? by Reyshimar Arguelles takes on a controversial topic. Since my own experiences with chiropractors have been positive I decided to do this guest post. Be sure to ask your chiropractor if he or she will refer you to another type of physician if your problem isn’t one they can fix. Mine did once even though it meant less business for him.


  • As a species, humans are constantly looking for ways to improve our way of life and the way that we do things on a daily basis. We are constantly looking for solutions to problems and better ways to execute processes. Down to the very core, human history has always been a recurring trial and error scenario.
  • Sometimes, we’re able to come up with breakthroughs, and sometimes, we fail and then it’s back to the drawing board. One realm of living where we’re very particular is the realm of health. Isn’t it strange? That we’ve lived for millennia and yet, we’re still trying to learn new things about our bodies and how to better treat them.

Watch Out for Fads

  • This seemingly-constant pursuit for new knowledge often gives rise to a multitude of fads. Things like ketogenic diets, alternative medicine, yoga, and quite recently, chiropractic adjustments sprouted like mushrooms in a forest. Those who propose these new methods always claim that there’s a scientific basis for these things. Sometimes, they’re legitimate. They truly improve the way we live and the effectiveness at which we’re able to address the plethora of problems that plague our lives.
  • But sometimes, these fads turn out to be hoaxes, quackeries, and falsehoods that were constructed with the purpose of using hype and mere anecdotal evidence in order to get people to jump on the trend. So, what category do chiropractic treatments fall under? First, we need to define some things.

What exactly is a chiropractic adjustment?

  • According to this article, a chiropractic adjustment is the manipulation of vertebrae that are unable to function properly. The ultimate goal of giving a chiropractic adjustment is to increase the range of motion, improve bodily functions, and to reduce the likelihood of nerve inflammation.

When is it administered?

  • Chiropractic adjustments are usually administered in order to address neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, recurring strains, sports injuries, and injuries that are sustained from car accidents. It’s also important to note that spinal adjustments are extremely dangerous when done improperly. It is because of this that it’s of paramount importance that you only get your adjustments done by fully trained professionals like the New York Chiropractors.

The Verdict

  • Chiropractic adjustment should not be the end-all-be-all solution for back pains. It is not the miraculous treatment that many would have you believe it to be. However, its benefits cannot be denied. Is it a real treatment? Yes, it is, but not to the extent that many of those who try to stoke the hype would tell you. Studies have not yet confirmed its effectiveness for pain relief or even as a treatment for chronic back pain for that matter.
  • It has, however, proven to be beneficial in many ways. For the purpose of maintaining bodily functions, range of motion, and flexibility, chiropractic adjustments will definitely be beneficial to you. This should be taken in the context of a component of a solution, not a singular, one pill cures all solution to your problems. It’s important that you do not undergo a chiropractic adjustment if you have osteoporosis, chronic back pain, or even simple back pains as these may worsen with improper treatment.

Reyshimar Arguelles

  • After graduating from university, Rey worked as a journalist. He covered various beats, including politics and crime. Later, he would work as a freelance writer on the side. He usually writes academic papers as well as blog content. You can reach him at
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College Majors You Can Complete Online by Craig Middleton

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

Online College
College Majors You Can Complete Online by Craig Middleton offers suggestions regarding degrees you can get entirely or mostly online. With colleges closed this approach may be the best option for high school graduates and people looking to change careers.


  • Deciding to get a college degree can be a major decision. It’s an especially tough choice if you are considering changing careers later in life, or are going back to school after some time off. If you currently have a job, a family, or other obligations that would make attending a physical college difficult, consider taking classes online. Many quality degrees that will lead to a lucrative career can be completed from the comfort of your own home.

Backup Power

  • Since the Internet will feature heavily in your ability to complete your classes on time and do the necessary work, you must make sure that you have access to a stable Internet connection. There can occasionally be power outages or glitches that would lead to disconnection, so you will want to have a backup power source. This will give you a few moments to save your work if your signal is lost suddenly. Electrical circuits have a disconnect switch that can sometimes be tripped by accident. They are a safety measure to eliminate the danger of electrocution during maintenance. Having a backup will prevent any loss of work from sudden outages and save you a lot of frustration while completing your coursework.


  • A business degree is always a good choice and has many variations that you can choose from. You can get into business in almost any major industry, so this is a flexible and lucrative choice. There are many different aspects of business that you can look into. Accounting involves keeping the books for a business. Administration oversees all aspects of how to run a business. Marketing will teach you how to draw customers in and promote products and services. Or, you could focus on human resources where you manage the personnel that are needed to keep the business functioning.

Computer Science

  • Another popular area of online study is computer science. You may choose to do IT work, software development, programming, or even repair. These are all good options and can lead to steady careers since computers are such an important part of daily life and used in almost all businesses. This is a stable career option that is sure to continue growing and provide many opportunities.

Health Industry

  • The health industry is a highly sought after career. Within this industry, you can seek an online degree in administration and learn how to run anything from a doctor’s office to a large hospital. You can also work to become a home health aide or even a nurse. The base classes can all be taken online but most programs will require a hands-on training period with a knowledgeable professional in a medical setting to complete your degree.


  • Education is another solid option to do at home. Education degrees allow you to specialize in almost any subject area of interest, or you can work to become a principal or even to get your master’s degree. Many education degrees will require a final semester of student teaching where you work in a school setting, but the majority of the work can be done online.


  • If you are a more creative person, you can consider a career in art. Popular options that involve a lot of computer work, and would be ideal to take online, are animation or graphic design. /li>
  • There are many high-quality online degree programs that offer personalized instruction and can help you reach your career goals. If you are considering going back to school or changing your career, you may want to look into taking some online classes. They provide a flexible option for working towards a degree that will allow you to keep your current job and look after your family while you do it. You can choose to take a full-time course load or start with just a few classes in your available free time. Online schooling is a great opportunity to advance your career or pursue a new path in life.

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
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Combining Fun and Education: The Importance of Museums by Vee Cecil

Saturday, October 15th, 2016


Combining Fun and Education: The Importance of Museums by Vee Cecil explains why museums are important to society and why they should be a centerpiece of education at home and in school.

Museums Are Important

  • Museums have been a staple of Western society for centuries. They hold the rarest, most invaluable, and important artifacts from both past and present. Though some people may brush history off as boring, there is far more to see when you visit a museum.
  • Some museums contain hands-on exhibits that explain science to the layperson, others hold modern works of art, and you might even find one with an extensive collection of teacups. Regardless of the theme, museums are an important part of society. There are several compelling reasons to visit and support museums in your local area and around the world.

They Preserve Cultures

  • With globalization, cultures are dying at an unprecedented rate, leaving their remains to museums. Without careful preservation of documents and artifacts, many of these cultures would be lost to history. With museums, these cultures can be remembered, preserved, and possibly even revived. With heritage programs, the information held by museums can help a group revive aspects of their culture that would have otherwise been lost. Check out The importance of preserving cultural artifacts: A look at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic Wing by Thomas Campbell.

They Teach Kids to Be Excited About Learning

  • For most kids, there is nothing more exciting during the school year than a class field trip. Trips to museums allow students to abandon the traditional, lecture-based learning, get some hands-on education, and see beautiful visual aids that would be impossible to replicate in a classroom, even as part of a video. Hands-on learning is critical to engaged learning, and even teachers may learn some tips and tricks to keeping their kids interested. Check out useful lesson plans here.

They Showcase New Ideas and Technology

  • In art museums, patrons find themselves exposed to new, innovative ideas from modern artists alongside historic pieces for comparison. Science museums break down technologies, allowing the average person to grasp the complex ingenuity that goes into their everyday staples. Many museums even have apps, displaying their connection to the modern world. Exposure to new things and ideas is critical in order for a person to continue to grow and learn. Though school may end, learning should not. You can also check out six museum apps for virtual field trips.

They Are a Fun and Beneficial Option for Family Outings

  • Family outings are usually kid-centric with parents sacrificing their own interest in order to please their kids. Museums, on the other hand, are interesting and fun for all involved. Children get to see their parents excited about learning, creating a positive example.
  • Museums also expose kids to a number of different subjects, teaching them the importance of things like art, science, and cultural acceptance. Though a trip to a playground is positive for kids’ fitness, museums are one of the best family-friendly activities that work the mind and expand kids’ horizons.
  • Museums are an extremely under-appreciated resource. They play a critical role in preserving important aspects of humanity including our art, our cultures, our past, our present, and our future. Though we have documented much of our time on this planet, the only way this history is accessible to the public is through the hard work of museums. So next time you’re thinking of something to do with your kids this weekend, look up your local museum. You might just be surprised by what you discover. Click her for 17 kid-friendly museums and hands-on attractions.

Vee Cecil

  • Vee keeps busy by being a wellness coach, personal trainer and bootcamp instructor in Kentucky. She also recently launched blog where she shares her passion for health by writing about her favorite tips, activities and recipes. @vee_cecil
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Dealing With Cyberbullying in the Era of Remote Learning by Amanda Winstead

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Dealing With Cyberbullying in the Era of Remote Learning by Amanda Winstead offers sound advice for parents, educators, and students on this timely topic. The key is communication and making time for it. Since cyberbullies leave a digital trail, it’s vital that students feel safe when it comes to sharing this type of abuse with adults they trust.


  • Education is often in a state of evolution. Standards change, learning theories develop, and certainly, budgets make their difference. One of the ways that teachers, students, and parents have seen developments in the last decade or so, is the inclusion of digital tools as a day-to-day part of school operations. Everything from artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithm-driven assessments to social media continue to be adopted in learning environments.
  • This technological acceptance has also been instrumental in keeping classes open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote learning has kept students and teachers connected. Not to mention that these distant learning tools make education more accessible for both K-12 kids and other young adults. However, it can’t be denied that bullying is still a concern. Though the physical boundaries of the classroom have been removed, cyberbullies have found ways to continue inflicting abuse in various toxic forms.
  • Let’s take a look at how parents and teachers can best deal with cyberbullying, especially when it comes to keeping environments around children safe and secure.

Maintain Awareness

  • When schooling is being offered at home, there aren’t the same ground rules that prevent device use during lessons, and as such, the culture of near-constant connection through smartphones can make bullying seem inescapable. Therefore, teachers and parents alike need to maintain an awareness of the methods used for cyberbullying. Girls are usually the most common recipients of cyberbullying, and there is a tendency for those aged 15-17 to be targeted through mobile email and their social media channels. This often takes the familiar forms of name-calling and rumor-spreading but occurs in a very public space.
  • It’s also worth noting that cyberbullying doesn’t just occur on social media, but is increasingly present in gaming, and even the comment sections of websites. This can make it all the more difficult for teachers and parents to address, as it occurs on platforms that are disconnected from the classroom and in the public domain.
  • The upshot is often one of the best tools against cyberbullying is the ability to recognize signs it may be occurring. Alongside knowledge of the methods that might be utilized, keeping vigilant of how students’ behavior has changed can help to guide intervention. This could include anxiety or reluctance to use online platforms as part of their school work, reticence to discuss their social media platforms or share their accounts, and generally becoming withdrawn. It can even present as less enthusiasm for utilizing technology when it may have been a key interest in the past.

Keep Talking

  • Cyberbullying, like most other forms of abuse, thrives in silence. In remote school settings, it can be easy for students to feel disconnected from friends and teachers or feel that there isn’t a platform to discuss their problems, causing additional stress. Therefore, teachers, parents, and students need to work together to ensure there is always a space for discussion.
  • This begins with making sure that there are accessible communications channels. Certainly, teachers should ensure that both students and parents are provided with contact details to arrange meetings if there are potential issues. However, there should also be regular time set aside for educators to check in with individual learners. School administrators must allow time in the schedule for teachers to have conversations with students about how they are doing, and talk about things they are concerned about. Indeed, providing remote access to the school’s counselor can create a valuable safe space.
  • That said, there also needs to be effort put in place for open discussions. Schools need to educate remote students on how bullying presents and the consequences it can cause. For instance, in teenagers, body image is likely to affect their self-esteem and mental wellness. Society and the media — including social media — have often advertised unattainable standards, and this can be weaponized by cyberbullies. Teachers need to talk with their remote classes about this and help them to recognize when appearance-based bullying is designed to hurt them rather than being an accurate reflection of reality. Keep students part of this discussion, too, encouraging them to share behaviors they find concerning, and how you can all work together to address them.

More Serious Concerns For Teens

  • Many of the methods of cyberbullying are going to be through social media platforms and other means that most teens are already familiar with, such as abusive comments on social media channels, harassing emails, and so on. However, one of the more concerning issues that can affect teenagers is revenge porn. This is largely when a former sexual partner publicly posts private explicit images online as a form of particularly damaging revenge. This causes not just personal trauma, but can also impact the victim’s sense of self-worth and their ability to trust others. While there are laws in 34 states against the non-consensual publishing of explicit images, on top of the added complications if the victim is under 18, this does little to impact the situation.
  • Schools and institutions need to let their learners know that they have access to support. Provide them with documentation on what to do when they encounter cyberbullying, particularly in more serious forms of harassment like revenge porn. Give them guides as to what their immediate actions should be — filing Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests, and contacting the police. Where possible, provide free or subsidized online counseling services. Above all else, make it clear that being a teen doesn’t mean they should be less sensitive to cyberbullying, that your institution takes it seriously, and they will be treated respectfully.


  • Remote learning can provide the distance and isolation that can help cyberbullying to thrive. Teachers and parents must take time to understand the methods and signs of this form of abuse and maintain an open dialogue to help combat it. Important too is ensuring that all remote learners have a robust system of support to handle the damaging types of bullying they can face.
  • Amanda Winstead is a freelance writer out of Portland, Oregon 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 @AmandaWinsteadd.
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Disappearing Recess Implications – Ben Hirshberg

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The Implications of a Disappearing Recess Period by Ben Hirshberg is a scholarly paper that focuses on how pressure from high-stakes testing has resulted in less recess time in many American schools and its negative impact on the children involved. The paper is very well referenced and can be obtained by sending Ben an email at If you are looking for ammunition to save or expand recess if your school, Ben is your man.

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Does a Computer Programmer Really Need a College Degree by Craig Middleton

Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Does a Computer Programmer Really Need a College Degree by Craig Middleton notes that most programmers have a degree in something, but that thanks to the pandemic, we have a lot of new professional programers who used resources like coding camps to gain the skills necessary to land good programming jobs without a programming degree.


  • You have undoubtedly noticed the expansion of the internet of things (IoT) into every aspect of your life. You can turn on your porch lights, turn up the thermostat, and preheat the oven while you are still in your office—assuming you are working from an office these days. The time is approaching when physicians in one part of the world can robotically perform surgery on another continent. An ever-increasing complexity and the integration of multiple systems seem to be the order of the coming digital age. One of the careers that is exploding in numerical growth as well as specialization is computer programming. This causes a question to arise: do computer programmers need to have heightened advanced training before they leap into developing apps and software? Specifically, should programmers be required to have a college degree in programming?

What Kind of Issues Must a Programmers Deal With?

  • In order to answer that question, you first must have a grasp of what sort of technical challenges as well as real-world concerns programmers face when creating code for a workable, dependable program. While the complexity of programming grows because of the many added options coders must deal with, the basic underlying syntax tree, that is, the shortcut diagram of potential possibilities, still looks the same as it did in the old days before microcomputers and the internet became much larger. This implies that programming, while more complex, is unchanged in its essential nature.

What Education Do Most Programmers Have?

  • What does this mean as far as the educational credentials required for the folks writing the programs? The bottom line, as of almost 80 years since computer programming became a thing, is that most professional programmers (those who get paid to do it) do have college bachelor’s degrees. That does not mean their degrees are necessarily in computer science. Neither does it mean that future programmers want a four-year degree in anything. The reality is that a boom in coding “boot camps” is ongoing. Potential programmers want to learn the various coding languages as quickly as possible. As it currently stands, most professional programmers have a degree in something, while newcomers want to know how to code but tend not to be interested in a degree.

What Does the Future Hold for Programming as a Career?

  • Forbes reported in a recent article that enrollment in coding camps increased by almost 50% over a two-year period and that was before the pandemic demonstrated you can stay at home and have a productive, well-paid career. Thus, there is currently a flood of new potential programmers, who will not have college degrees, and concurrently there is a great need for programmers. According to the article, there will be a winnowing process that follows because programming requires some distinct abilities:
    Extreme attention to perfect detail
    Ability to think abstractly
    Ability to think logically
    The bottom line is that programmers are growing in number at least temporarily and newer ones are less concerned about having a college degree.

What is the Ideal Education for a Programmer?

  • You should start with the recognition that a programmer or coder is not a software engineer. This simply means that you are not creating computer language as you go. Instead, you are using tools others have already developed. Also, begin with the notion that you have carefully considered your own personality and believe you would enjoy a career as a programmer. One school of thought is that you should definitely have some background in computer science, at least an associate’s degree and that you should learn a variety of different computer languages. Different languages are required depending upon whether you are writing smartphone apps, website structures, or software to run on the internet.

Dr Doug’s Advice

  • In my view you are better off learning programming online at your own pace rather than in high school or college classes that are typically one-size-fits-all. People with a knack for programming can learn languages fast on their own. The same is true for learning software products like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. A quick search for “free online programming courses” should get you started. Many start out free and then change for additional instruction. That seems fair to me. You should also investigate which language to learn first. From what I’ve seen, Python looks like a good way to go. After that, learn whichever languages seem to be the best for the kind of programming you or your new book wants you to do. Good luck.

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
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Doing Professional Development Right Starting a Business by Jenna Smith

Monday, March 9th, 2020

Starting a Business
Doing Professional Development Right Starting a Business by Jenna Smith offers key professional development advice for anyone who wants to start a business. In addition to finding time each day to grow your own skills, you will probably need help from people who already have skills that you lack. Legal and financial skills are likely to top this list.


  • One of the most difficult things that anyone can do is start a business. It is so hard that over fifty percent of all businesses fail. Most people don’t have what it takes to start and maintain a successful business and they just don’t have the mental strength to see things through. One of the most important things for starting and running a good business is to focus on professional development. You need to have the right skills to be successful. You might even need to get a good partner who has skills that complement yours. A good partnership agreement template allows you to create the legal framework of how that partnership would be run. That way, no one feels aggrieved if things don’t work out as you want them to. Knowing how to do things in a smart way is critical in business. It is so important that you can save time and money while you work.

Get Help Online

  • The process of starting a business is difficult. It can be made easy by going to online marketplaces and getting the legal help you need. You might also be able to have your partner do it. However, for some businesses, it is as simple as filing the necessary paperwork and then getting your documents. Those businesses don’t need a lot to be successful. However, most businesses are complicated and need good legal help and advice. Professional development factors into all of this because you need certain skills to be good in business. For example, someone who is building houses needs to have either the skills of an architect or a civil engineer. They need to be able to draw from their engineering expertise to finish jobs.

Developing Your Skills

  • Professional development isn’t easy. Life happens very quickly, and there are a lot of things you have to do in life. For example, most people are tired when they get home from work. That means there is often no time left for professional development or other tasks. Making time to help your career is essential. That could be as little as 30 minutes every day that is dedicated to reading a book or learning a new skill. As you learn, you will find that it becomes a lot easier to learn and it creates a huge snowball for you. You soon find that you have mastered many different skills while not changing anything about your life.
  • This type of frictionless growth and development is what most people need to succeed. Most business success is found just beyond your current skills. That means you need to grow and develop to get there. The first step to development is focusing on your goals. You have to know where you’re going before you can chart the course to get there. That means understanding the skills that are necessary to achieve your goals. After that, you want to find someone who can help you learn those necessary skills. That could be a school or a mentor. It could even be the school of hard knocks. That means going out into the world and getting the relevant experience by yourself.

Getting Good Legal Advice

  • Another important part of business is the law. The legal system is essential when it comes to contracts and figuring out what rules you must abide by. Certain things that you think would be okay are not. Focusing on making sure you are within the limits of the law is important. A good lawyer is someone that is essential for you to get great in business. Figuring out the best lawyer can also be a difficult task. There are many things that lawyers do, and they can be very expensive. Having a good lawyer is often something that can help a business owner avoid serious consequences. That along with a professional accountant and financial planner. All of these people have the necessary skills to help you grow and succeed.

Growing a Successful Enterprise

  • Business growth is the goal of every owner. You want to go from owning nothing to being a multimillionaire. This means being smart in the way you spend your money. Having the relevant knowledge of investing can help you go a long way. It is also essential to have great skills to be the best business owner you can possibly be.

Jenna Smith

  • Jenna is a writer and blogger based out of San Diego, Calif. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her playing on the beach with her kids, baking, and hiking.
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