Monday, August 20, 2012

Puppetry Exercises With Musical Choral Speech Are a Tool to Enhance Memory and Learning Proficiency

Today, there are many brain exercise programs online that expect the client to have the motivation and interest to stay focused with an often tedious program. Many are random visual figure exercises to learn a series of images. The various types of visual and listening memory are not often over-viewed, and, what is presented are visual memory exercises that are difficult to complete for both the learner and instructor.
What is obviously missing from this paradigm is the crucial "listening-auditory memory" facet. Researchers have long written that auditory memory must couple with visual memory for the learner to understand or comprehend new information. Auditory/listening memory exercises must accompany the visual ones, and obtain effective results in the process.
This challenge becomes a complex measurement and evaluation process to discover what is effective and works with all learning levels and capabilities. Following years of test-train-testing iterations, puppets have been found to be an engaging, differentiating tool.
To teach rapid auditory-visual memory, and to make the training palatable and exciting, I engaged a family of historical vaudevillian ventriloquist puppets that taught sequential learning to children age 9, up to the adult learner, who appreciated "the Charlie McCarthy - Edgar Bergen retro Hollywood radio days".
Puppet characters must be carefully chosen as actors are for a play. Becoming an effective learning tool, we can learn from speaking puppets, but only when uniquely presented, are programmed effectively, and engage the learner. Students are taught how to interact and respond effectively.
Subsequently, it can not be "any puppet, with any instructional purpose, or with any filmed procedure", but should have a specific rationale and lesson objective in mind.
Puppet characters offer the following beneficial qualities:
1) They offer a non-threatening, stress free, fun-like presence, and can become a "family affair" for the learning process. The learner remains in an abstract "one-up" position. Although they can challenge your capabilities to the next level, they do not intimate. When they back-talk, you are not personally offended, as they have become your friend.
2) Their messages are rapidly understood. For example, they have been used in political cartoons and comic strips for decades.
3) Their vocal intonations penetrate the memory system for learning new material.
Always be selective when reviewing various memory exercise options. There must be a specific, time-and trial-tested inherent methodology, especially when engaging puppetry as a learning tool.
Specifically designed exercises, according to scientific cognitive theory practice, can improve our memory uniquely and easily. We can learn visual and auditory factual names, words, and sequential memories, as in learning technical procedures, having jumped past outdated, rote memory systems.
And, if we find that if we utilize puppet characters, and find that they give us "guff" as we learn new information, we really do not mind!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Can Mobile Earning Help to Enhance Student Motivation?

The mobile learning movement is gradually beginning to grow. Learning in educational institutions (and even studying at home) has the potential to be engaging with the integration of mobile resources. And as a result of this, mobile learning is becoming exceedingly popular. It was documented by Ambiant Insight that the US market for these goods had produced an amazing $958.7 million this season. Not only this, but they predicted the growth rate to be 13.7% for the next five-years, proving that the movement will continue to expand as more and more folks begin to understand its benefits.
A number of reports have suggested that mobile learning can help students to be a lot more motivated and consequently improve their efficiency. It introduces a new type of studying, different from the conventional tasks including producing paperwork, reading from your textbook, etc. This kind of variety within a learning course will increase the level of student motivation.
This prediction was tested by a State University in Ohio. Research was conducted into college student perceptions associated with mobile learning and it was found to have a beneficial effect. Pupils felt that it made the tasks set seem easier and 'more fun' which eventually resulted in an increase in quality of their work. However some folks still have reservations about how efficient it could be as a learning resource.
You will find there's is still a stigma around using phones in the classroom. Educators as well as parents have a bad assumption, reinforced by institution policy, that mobile devices are a distraction to learning as opposed to an aid. Nevertheless, this opinion is not universal. Diana Laurillard, the head of Education and learning believes that motivation is actually a key aspect of mobile learning. She went on to say 'It is clear that individuals working with mobile devices enjoy the process' which she put down to aspects like student control over their own ambitions. Not only this, but it is very easily obtainable. Students have the ability to complete tasks wherever they are. If students are aware that they can completed their work without being fixed to their desk, they would become more likely to do so.
A study by Tsinghua University in Beijing furthermore indicated an improved enthusiasm throughout students using mobile technology, but in this case the causes for the improved motivation were different. Because teachers submitted content on forums and sent e-mail to individual students, there was a more in-depth student-teacher relationship that was seen as the reason behind the increase in motivation. However, many cynics depict it to be a resources which too entertainment- based as opposed to educational: and these ideas will need to be addressed before mobile learning is able to reach each classroom.
Once more people realize the benefits, the trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can move from only being applicable within the work place, to also being highly relevant to classrooms. This is already going on. For example, earlier this month the BBC reported of a school in Newport which lifted a prohibit on mobile phones as a way of 'embracing technology for learning'. The school documented that it had been 'working well' and that the time had come that schools caught up with the technological trend.
It is time for more educational institutions to follow the example set by this school and ensure they are keeping up with the most up-to-date technology to provide educational content thats relevant to our contemporary society. In doing so, student motivation will rapidly improve which would undoubtedly also help students overall learning progress.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Problems With Mobile Learning - And How They Can Be Overcome

One of the main difficulties with mobile learning apps is the possibility of pupils getting preoccupied. Mobile phones are generally banned in classrooms as they have the potential to divert students' attention. The number of apps along with games on mobile phones is constantly increasing. This causes concerns both for parents and teachers that if mobiles were allowed, they'd be abused. An article published by the Telegraph newspaper recently discussed Ofsted's plans to prohibit phones in classrooms altogether. Sir Eileen Wilshaw, chief inspector of the education watchdog described the 'low-level disruption' in sessions caused by mobile interruptions (cell phones ringing, college students texting, playing games etc.) as being the 'bigger issue' which stops effective studying. This was met by backlash from people who thought this idea was old-fashioned, considering how mobile learning might be beneficial and also complementary to classroom studying. What App builders need to give full attention to is making sure that content is interesting and engaging and so will sustain students' concentration and prevent use of their mobile phone for other purposes.
A great way to ensure student retention is by using badges and accomplishments for individuals to gain in order to keep these motivated. Moreover, you need to ensure hat the content is shown in an exciting format together with sounds and graphics. This assists to keep students interested, and so less likely to stray away from the content.
It is also seen by a lot of that people that the articles provided on the mobile devices are way too entertainment-based to actually end up being educational. This really is difficult for mobile app companies as they need to somehow get the right stability between the app staying fun and engaging (to prevent distraction) while keeping the target on learning.
The ideal set up would be to use images and sounds (as mentioned above) so the app is exciting but with the main basis being firmly instructional. This can be done by ensure that there are no gadgets, gimmicks or mini-games involved, keep it purely educational!
Another obstacle in the field of m-learning is ensuring that content is relevant. There's many internet test sites and e-learning apps available which people are able to use to learn, however a lot of the content on these sites and programs is irrelevant as well as too generalized. Learning with an app should be succinct and tied to what the student actually should know in accordance with the syllabus or an upcoming examination.
It would therefore be useful to have mobile learning apps where the content can be customized. For example, where the teacher/parent can produce and tailor-make their own learning content making it specific for their students, and thus avoid anything unnecessary as well as off-syllabus.
Generally fresh mobile understanding apps tend to be adapting to overcome the damaging myths around mobile studying. As the field develops, these challenges are becoming less relevant causing more people to view m-learning as a viable and effective learning device.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Effective Study Techniques - My 5 Tips

Here are my 5 top tips for effective study techniques that have helped me a great deal over the past months.
Firstly, some background, I have been studying the processes and skills required to successfully operate my own internet marketing operation, this has involved learning many new computer skills from creating and publishing websites to carrying out key word research for search engine optimization to writing articles. All of this involved many hours at the computer screen viewing videos online, reading books and using the absorbed information for practical exercises. I think the following guidelines can be relevant to any study subject.
Here are my 5 top tips...
  1. Study with a clear head... by this I mean only study when you have taken care of any work, family or household commitments. Trying to absorb information with other things at the back of your mind can be a massive distraction.

  2. Do not study past your attention span... Every one has different attention spans, I am fortunate as I have found that mine is quite long, I can study for several hours without a break and still concentrate and absorb information. Try to judge your own attention span and work to that, as soon as you find your mind wandering or you begin to feel fatigued, take a break or stop for the day to refresh your mind. As you study more you may find that your attention span increases, it also helps of course, if you have a real interest in and enjoy whatever subject you are studying.

  3. Set yourself realistic targets/deadlines... If you have a project to complete as part of your studies ensure you allow yourself ample time to understand and complete the project thoroughly. Do not be tempted to rush through sections of your studies in your eagerness to progress to the next stage, doing this will inevitably result in you having to go over the section or project that you rushed through at a later stage because you did not fully digest or understand the information being conveyed.

  4. Find at least one active online forum... Related to the subject being studied, this is especially vital if you are, like me, studying alone. Forums provide a means to interact with others who have an interest and knowledge in the your chosen field, forums allow you to ask questions, debate theories, gather opinions and bounce ideas around. They are a great source of information and motivation.

  5. Award your achievements... When you complete an assignment, module or project, celebrate your success in some way. I very rarely drink alcohol but I enjoy a glass of wine so my reward is a celebratory glass of white wine whenever I complete a task, it can be anything that you decide, but reward yourself for every progression you make. WHATEVER YOU ARE LEARNING, ENJOY YOUR STUDIES AND USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN A POSITIVE WAY.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Use Interactive Whiteboards in Online Tutoring Sessions

Now that a large number of people are turning to online tutors, there is a great demand to provide a good tutoring experience and deliver results. Although time flexibility and resource availability are huge advantages of online tutoring, it needs to be something different in order to make a difference from classroom learning and therefore provide solutions to students who need help to fully understand concepts.
In order to provide such a solution, it is important to use technology to our advantage. One such educational technology that has been developed is an interactive whiteboard. Interactive whiteboards are a progression from traditional blackboard and chalk, and even whiteboard and markers. They do not require you to write or draw anything by yourself, and provide some really good features that can be used for a good interactive teaching session.
Interactive whiteboards come loaded with features. You can display presentations, animations, videos, graphs, tables, images, and whatever other material you wish to show your student. You don't have to do any of it by hand; you can use handy tools to make most of these resources, and can often find many useful resources for free online. You can download these resources and easily display them on whiteboards.
Interactive whiteboards are also special because they are interactive. You don't just stand by while some material is projected on a screen; you can write on it, make notes, comments, annotations, show certain maneuvers to your students - all through a touch screen or a stylus. All these can be saved for future reference.
To make your class more interesting, and do away with long hand-written assignments, quizzes and papers that you have to spend time grading, interactive whiteboards can be used again. They often come with devices which can record student responses to multiple choice questions and such like, and also automatically evaluate marks, making the teaching job much easier for you. It takes care of all the menial work so that you can concentrate on putting together some of the best material for the student.
In online tutoring sessions, tutors use a board to write down points on. However, as much is provided in schools. In order to catch the student's attention and provide them the extra input that will help them understand concepts, interactive whiteboards can be used. Videos and animations can go a long way in helping students conceptualize fundamentals of a subject. Since online tutoring as it is does not allow you to receive hard copies of written assignments, interactive whiteboards can help you there as well.
In case you do not conduct live tutoring sessions, interactive whiteboards can again be very helpful. Since you will not be present to clarify doubts to re-explain concepts that have not been understood the first time, it becomes more important to use material that can elucidate subject matter clearly. You can also record videos on interactive boards; you can use this recorded matter for passive tutoring.
Interactive whiteboards can be a very useful resource for online tutors to provide that extra understanding and clarity in concepts that may not be provided in schools. Use of technology in education can help students learn and understand in ways suited to them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Emergency Medical Technicians - Wanted Everywhere

In CPR training classes one can get trained in the skills to perform resuscitation for just born kids, young children and grown up people. People practicing these skills will be able to get chances for protecting the precious lives of people, who are close to death thereby acting as a very useful course. Those who are unable to attend the classes due to lack of time can also learn the skills through online courses. The online course programs are of very limited duration only and those who are able to complete the programs successfully can get certificates as well. One can select the courses of his choice by browsing the websites of these institutions. Those who are desirous of becoming professionals in this field must be able to deal with the various complications of the patients in addition to having the required skills. Moreover, they must have the determination to carry out their job in the proper way even when they are facing a highly challenging situation.
These professionals who provide intensive medical treatment to victims of major accidents especially those who are fighting for life are known as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's). They must be prepared to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) whenever necessary. They may have to perform several other methods of treatment as well. CPR training classes are not meant exclusively for those who are in the health care industry. All those who have the enthusiasm to practice these skills and learn more about these treatment methods are welcome to attend these classes. Those who join the online classes get the opportunity to learn the most advanced lessons. The course program consists of both practical and theoretical lessons. Those who have already completed the basic courses in EMT can join for advanced courses in EMT. Those who are interested of a career in EMS education can join for the EMS Instructor courses.
Those who have completed the online courses in EMT training can appear for the national level certification exam. Employment potential is very high for trained EMT's and paramedical professionals since the demand is very high. Those who have attended CPR courses are able to keep severe cardiac patients alive. By doing the courses in EMT the student learns the skills to deal with the worst situations. Attending to emergency calls, providing CPR and pre-hospital medical aid are the duties of EMT's. There are three different types of EMT's - basic, intermediate and paramedical. Job opportunities are in plenty for EMT's at all places.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Things You Should Know About Online Diploma Courses

With the inception of online diploma courses, there is no need to attend a conventional high school. One can take the courses from the comfort of his home. Even if you are a working and shouldering family responsibilities, you can earn these diplomas at your own pace. There are several institutions or schools eager to offer courses online. A student needs a computer and internet connectivity. That's it!
How to Apply
To apply, you simply have to start browsing online for accredited institutions. An education provider that is not recognized should not be opted for even if the course fees are low.
Best Schools to Earn an Online Diploma
Penn Foster High School
A student will get a super career boost if he applies to this school. That's because a candidate would be able to study at his own convenience and pace. Studying here will also not create a dent in your wallet as the tuition fees are quite reasonable compared to the other institutions. You don't need to worry about accreditation as the institute is recognized by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council and Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. One can get the diploma in just 9 month for each year of high schooling. There are experienced instructors who will help you with the study. You simply have to email or call the support staff for applying.
The programs offered are high school diploma, diploma in building technology, information technology, health care and early college courses.
Christa McAuliffe Academy Online
This is a private non-profit online school helping students to earn a high school diploma. Students need to finish one course at a time. Before you move onto the next level, you have to pass each of the courses successfully. The fees are $3000 per student per year. Students need to be online on specified times.
Keystone National High School 
There are two options for students. One is choosing the college track and the other is the career track. College track students can study 17 subjects along with honor courses in subjects such as English, American government and Chemistry. And for the career track, one has to study business writing and computer basics. The fees are affordable as there are payment plans, discounts, and even money-back guarantee.

Orange Lutheran High School Online 
It is ideal for pupils who wish to improve their academic qualification and know about spiritual development. One can study subjects like mathematics, English, science and theology. Students cannot study at their own pace; they have to login on weekdays to take part in the courses offered. The admission process is stringent as one has to take a test, submit one essay and have an interview with a staff. The fees are $300 dollars/course.

Here students can take up 2 courses at a time and complete one lesson each day in each of the course. The diploma offered is accepted by colleges and universities. The course materials are online and additional books need to be bought separately. Teachers co-operate with candidates on one-on-one basis.
Types of Advanced Diploma Courses
Besides high school diploma, there are advanced courses such as diploma in business management, legal studies, English language, environmental studies, health studies, human resources, mathematics, statistics, multimedia, and children's studies.
The advantages are flexibility as one can study at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes. Though some schools have specified times to be online, classes are scheduled keeping in mind a pupil's convenience. They can learn as well as work at the same time. This is not possible with traditional classes where one has to attend classes in person. The tuition fees are also affordable.