Exploring the Benefits of Massively Open Online Courses

Posted by: Phineas Upham

Technology is changing how educators are able to interact with students. The first major technology breakthrough was the ability for students to take online courses that mimic the “brick and mortar” classroom experience without having to leave home. Now New Republic is reporting on what many think is the next step for online learning: Massively Open Online Courses or MOOCs. These are courses that are broken into small lecture segments and can be taken by a practically limitless amount of people: one MOOC offered through Stanford University’s website had 160,000 worldwide students.

The advantages for MOOCs are obvious. Along with giving students the ability to take classes no matter where they are – as is the case with current online courses – MOOCs present lectures in bite-sized chunks that are perfect for busy students. In addition, they may be a solution to the continually-rising costs of higher education.

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Five tips for setting successful goals with students

As educators, it is important that students are aware of how best to achievable their personal goals. Molding students, who are goal driven, will help them persevere regardless of what life throws at them. Here are five tips for setting successful goals with students.

Use verb-noun structure – Ensure that your to-do list has action items linked to them. For example, “Attend every class” or “Review notes with study partner before major tests,”. This gives the student an action that they can focus on to achieve their goals.

Plan strategically and tactically – Start off by telling your students to create a strategic goal. This could be “Get an A in English,” or “Write an accurate lab report”. You could then ask them to work out their tactical goals, which are the smaller goals that will help their larger goal. For example, this could be “Read 10 pages each night to finish my book on time” or  “Attend extra help sessions.”

Recognize when help is needed. – Some students may need extra help to grasp a subject/sport to accomplish their goal. Give these students options on where they can get extra help.

Stop and reassess – Each month, speak to each student and find out how they are faring and if any circumstances/ variables have changed.

Review action plans regularly – Students should be told that their goals and action plans should be kept in an area that they often see. This will ensure that they are reminded of them frequently.



The Risks of Seeking Help For Rebellious Children

When it comes to rebellion in young teenagers, there may be more problems than you might think.

rebellious-childrenWhen young children reach their adolescent years, they are more prone to turning to their environment and peers for their lifestyle choices. If you believe that your teenager is suffering from emotional distress and anguish, it’s important that you seek an alternative to just leaving it be. There are numerous behavior modification schools that are certified and have helped thousands of children overcome their pain.

Boot Camps

If you are looking for a militarized style of discipline, a bootcamp for boys may be the right route for you. Note that these types of schools utilize a hard form of discipline to point you children in the right direction. It’s definitely not for everyone. There have been some concerns that this style of discipline can leave emotional and mental distress.

The Risks of Neglect

Yong adults need the right type of support to help guide them on the right track. As parents, you can only do so much. Look for signs of emotional distress. Do they seem pessimistic more than usual? Are they victims of any bullying or physical horseplay? Are they rebelling and ignoring everything that you are telling them to do? Remember that your children may be in more pain than you might think. Don’t force it out of them. Let them tell you on their own. However, it is also important that you notice the signs early. They may look to imitate the behaviors of their peers, which may get them jailed, injured or even killed.

Wood Creek Academy is a certified boarding school for boys. Wood Creek Academy offers numerous programs that can help your child get back on the right track in school.


Teens need better advice for A-level choices

A poll conducted in the UK suggested that teenagers in the UK where not adequately informed about the subjects they should choose for their degree courses. The poll surveyed 1,000 plus teenagers, which revealed that 30% of them say they were not informed on how their subject choices in A-level’s would affect their university degree.

To make an informed decision, students have to conduct their own research. Once they receive their GCSE results, they should identify what they want to in university, before selecting their A-level subjects.

It is also a good idea to look into the universities you would like to join. Some universities prefer students who have taken certain subjects for their A-level exam. It is also important to consider vocational qualifications, as they too qualify to enter certain universities.

Students should try their best not to get caught up in the greater demands of A-levels and firstly choose subjects that can help them to further their career. Mr Trobe who is the Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College leaders, said that schools should assist students to make the right choice and reduce the chances of students dropping subjects after a year of study.

He also went on to say that students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds should be provided with clear information as they may not have the funds to take on another subject to get a place in an university or to choose a degree of their choice.

The college major: What is it and how to choose one?

educationalsolutionsA major is a subject area where students will specialize in. In a course at least one third or one half of the subjects will be related to your major. On the other hand some colleges give you the option of majoring in 2 fields.

Colleges that offer courses for 4 years will ask you to pick a major at the end of the sophomore year. Therefore students have ample time to look at subjects they think might interest them. On the other hand, if you are embarking on a 2 year degree, you will have to select your majors at the start of the program.

To choose your major, start by taking a few short courses in the areas that interest you. It is good to look at courses that you are confident in as well as areas you think you may excel.

If you decide that your major is not one that you can see a career in, you can always switch your major during your programme.

To get a better understanding of what majors are best for you, it is best to speak to a student advisor. Student advisors can give you an entire list of majors and the list of subjects under each area of study. Once you have met a student advisor and selected your major, choose the subjects you feel that will help you learn the most in your selected field.

How universities can implement mentorship programs

educationalsolutions june 2016Universities have now incorporated more programs to help students fit into the professional world.

A study conducted by Purdue and Gallup reported that “Graduates who felt ‘supported’ during college (that professors cared, professors made them excited about learning, and had a mentor) are nearly three times as likely to be thriving than those who didn’t feel supported.”

Therefore having a mentor can really help students to be more prepared when entering the workforce.

A mentorship can be explained as a relationship between a student and a professional, in which the mentee gains knowledge and the mentor has the opportunity to give back to the university and his/her profession. Such programs provide the mentee with the understanding of how his/her career functions in the real world and builds realistic expectations.

How can it be implemented in universities?

Get your Alumni involved – Most Alumni will love the idea of being part of the university and its students.

Assume all student will want mentors – If you assume that all students want mentors the university will have a better chance of making more mentor/mentee connections.

Just matching mentee/mentor is not successful – The mentor program should go beyond matching mentor/mentees of the same careers. Interviews should be conducted to ensure that both parties are a match.

Students should understand that a mentorship is not a job interview – Students should be informed of the benefits of being part of an internship are and that it is not tied to an incentive that is monetary.


How to Carefully Select a Wilderness Therapy Program

Before sending your child to any therapeutic program, carefully analyze whether it will be effective for him or her.

outdoorsFor the young man that has been struggling to cope with the ever-growing nature of society, nothing is more affirming and healing than clinically-sound therapeutic wilderness programs. The real power of wilderness therapy comes from a combination of multiple elements: treatment, relationships, trust, and other important key factors.

Factors to Consider

It’s important that you select a program that promotes a deep and trusting therapeutic relationship with both the students and the families. Without this, you’ll notice that the program that you enrolled your son will have little effect on their behavior. Be sure that you openly communicate with the director to get a solid grasp on their mission statement and what they can provide for your child. Remember, these therapeutic wilderness programs aren’t like a bootcamp for boys. Rather, they are a treatment process that utilizes the natural wonders of nature to help young people that struggle with issues overcome their past behaviors.

Accreditation and Trust

Now, in order to successfully select the right program, you’ll need to first determine whether or not that program is accredited by the state. Basically, you want to send your child to an establishment that’s “off the grid”. Note that you’ll have to entrust the safety and well-being of your child into the hands of a specialist. If you feel as if there can possibly be complications coming out of that, then it would be wise for you to reconsider and look into other establishments that provide similar services.

Wood Creek Academy stands out from all the other Christian boarding schools for troubled boys. They are an accredited therapeutic program that offers wilderness treatment with trained therapists.

Do students pick universities because of movies?

educationalsolutions june 2016There are many movies in hollywood and bollywood that include universities and university life.

A recent survey undertaken with chinese and south korean students in the US, suggested that movies have influenced their choice of American university. Sir Anthony Seldon, The vice chancellor of Buckingham University and former headmaster of Wellington College, says: “Television and film portrayals of schools and universities are far more important in opinion formation I think than generally realised.”

It is known that the US is one of the most popular destinations for overseas students and this brings in an average of $20bn into the country. Many popular movies such as A Beautiful Mind set in Princeton, Legally Blonde and The Social Network in Harvard, and The Graduate in Berkeley, California, have given global audiences an insight to the life these universities offer.

Universities in the UK, like The University of Leicester have also tried to raise the university’s profile by allowing 3 bollywood films to be filmed on site. This has opened the university to Asian students. The spokesman for the university Ather Mirza says, the Bollywood connection provides the uni with an advantage. “Everyone is shouting and it’s not about who shouts loudest, but who has something distinctive to say,” he says.”This has helped to create a narrative for the university and definitely raised awareness of us in India.” The added advantage is that when the film is made or shown on TV, there is a lot of hype about the university on social media.

Schools adapting to transgender pupils

educationalsolutionsIt is important that schools are equipped to handle transgender pupils. The issue was raised by The Association of Teachers and Lecturers in the UK. They have voted to provide teachers with the necessary training to be able to handle this issue more successfully.

Mr Graham Easterlow, who works in a residential school said that one of his pupils came out as being transgender, he said that “The interesting thing is that I don’t think it was difficult for the pupil. The pupil was absolutely aware – she was extremely clear and knew exactly how she wanted to identify,” he said.

“The challenge came when we realised that the school was facing an issue for the first time and there was no precedence. There was no process to support that particular coming out.

“That’s the difficulty. Schools are ill-prepared. And there is a blind spot on that particular issue.”

Easterlow said that it is important to have a “strong, open dialogue” with the pupil concerned. They should be asked questions like, how they would like to be known and what kind of support they need to move forward.

According to Easterlaw, he believes that changes in toilet facilities should be considered as adaptations in the same way changes are made for the disabled.

His school adapted very well to the change and the necessary school facilities were provided to the pupil. He however noted that pupils were more accepting of such students than his staff members, who thought that the school was “pandering to a fad”.


How to find your child’s inner athlete

With so many distractions, like TV, video games and ipads, children are more likely to feed a couch potato lifestyle. However, as a parent, it is your responsibility to encourage your child to be active, for health, fitness and to enjoy the social aspect being part of a team. Here are a few tips to get your child active.

Boost your child’s confidence – To build your child’s skills, take sometime from your busy schedule, to show your child skills like throwing, catching and kicking a ball. Even if your child takes sometime to master these skills, you should always provide a lot of encouragement.

Be supportive – Your child may feel that he/she is not as athletic as his/her peers. Remind your child that they are still growing and that they have not reached their full potential. If they are not doing well at one sport, ask them to try something new.

Choose the right sport – Find a sport your child can succeed in. If standard sports like basketball, swimming and tennis don’t interest your child, try dance, golf or boxing. As your child gets older, they may feel that school sports teams are only for the elite and are very competitive. If this is the case, enrol them in a church or community center team.

Share your skills and experiences – If you have been part of a sports team in school, you should share your experiences with your child. Explain to them what you liked most about the game and what areas you felt required more practice.