Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Get Motivated in Your Revision

What do we really know about the supply teachers in our schools?

There are obvious benefits to having supply teachers available for when teachers in schools are unable to come into school and teach the class. But what do we actually know about the supply teachers that schools provide in these situations? And how are these stand in teachers impacting on the education and learning of the students in both the short and the long term.
Without a doubt it's important that there is a qualified and experienced teacher to stand in for teachers when they are unable to come into work so there's minimum disruption for the students and their education. But how often is this the case? Stand in teachers must be qualified for schools to hire them but in many cases these stand in teachers have had little or no experience in teaching the class they are needed for.
There is also obvious disruption in a class when a supply teacher takes over. This is only made worse when it becomes obvious that their supply teacher actually has no idea of what they need to be teaching. Often stand in teachers merely teach off notes that have been left by the class's normal teacher - something that the students themselves would have been able to do without the supervision of the supply teacher. They often have very little knowledge of what the students are like and what they are capable of as individuals, so it can be a hard job for them to actually communicate and help the students with their studies effectively, which their everyday teacher would have had weeks to view the class and see how each student learns and understands best.
Another important point to consider is how temporary teachers can be kept on for long periods when a teacher goes on long term sick. In these cases students can be negatively impacted by not having an experienced teacher in that subject for a large apart of the year and can greatly hinder them in their exams. This is often overlooked by parents who listen to the promise from schools that stand in teachers are merely a short-term solution but months of having different teachers, the priority of the schools being that every class is at least supervised means that the students ultimately suffer.
They are undoubtedly needed in order for schools to function, but there is certainly room for improvement in how schools hire their temporary teachers. They are a quick fix to a problem, so there is never going to be a perfect supply teacher suited to a class, but schools need to put more effort into looking at finding supply teachers that at least have had some experience in teaching either the subject of the class or the age group. This will lead to less disruption in the classroom, and give students the biggest chance to continue with their studies as though their teacher was present and their studies are not hindered by the absence of their teacher.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ensure Successful Cross Border Dealings With Business Translation Service

Business communication plays an indispensable role in the success of an enterprise. It should be accurate, precise and intelligible to the other party. This is the reason, why majority of businesses today are very much keen on availing the services of proficient translators. The good part is that, you can easily come across a number of companies, which offer services for translating different kinds of texts. Most of these agencies have in-house translators, having excellent knowledge about diverse business industries. They work with a wide network of qualified linguists to meet client needs by delivering customized services.
Reputed companies also implement quality assurance and quality control practices to make sure that the results are of highest quality. Moreover, the language professionals employed by them are totally dedicated to deliver hundred percent accurate and precise linguistic works. When you hire a translation agency for expert assistance, they assign your project to a translator having in-depth understanding of both, source as well as the target language, along with good knowledge about your business industry. You can expect these professionals to deliver timely results, as they usually have a fast turnaround time. In fact, on many occasions the work is delivered before the specified date. This provides businesses with an opportunity to thoroughly review the work and see if it has been done in line with their requirements.
Besides, translation agencies also maintain the confidentially of your business documents. They usually sign a non-disclosure contract or agreement, wherein they promise that no business or personal details would be divulged to anyone under any circumstance. In today's wide business marketplace, when businesses have to often deal with many foreign clients to expand their reach to wider audiences, services for translation cannot not be overlooked, for sure. If you are also operating your business in the international market, then you would agree that, at many occasions, you have to sign various contractual documents written in a foreign language. Missing out on the essential pointers can adversely affect your business and thus, for successful cross border dealings, hiring a professional translator is a must.
With the expertise held by professional translators, you can be assured of getting your work done effectively. If you carefully choose a translation service, then you can reach out to the worldwide audience, through effective and hassle-free communication. There would be no room for inaccuracy; no matter how complicated is the native language of your potential customers or business associates. So, do capitalize on professional business translation services to ensure successful cross border business dealings.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How A School Drama Studio Can Make You Money

In these harsh economic times, there is an impetus on public bodies to make as many cost savings as possible and reduce their budget deficits. This includes schools, many of whom have been forced to make serious cutbacks in order to make themselves financially viable. These moves have included cutting back on staff, certain subjects and certain facilities.
One area of education that has suffered particularly badly as a result of austerity is the arts; such as music, art and drama. Drama, in particular, has had a hard time as theatre trips are cancelled and large-scale performances are scaled back in order to provide funds elsewhere.
Oddly, however, drama possibly holds the key to reducing budget deficit for many educational institutions. How so? Through a school drama studio.
It may seem like a lavish investment and slightly contradictory to the overall goal of saving money but in the long term, making an initial investment in a drama studio kitted out with stage lighting, a sound system and drapes can lead to profits in the future - both monetary and in terms of your students' dramatic education.
So how exactly can one make money from a school facility?
Hire Out The Space
Believe it or not, there are a lot of groups looking for theatre-esque performance spaces in which to rehearse but are unable to find one. These amateur and semi-professional dramatists would kill to have a good rehearsal space, which is where your studio comes in.
It's not just amateur theatre groups who'll want to use the space either; there is also demand from businesses holding team-building exercises and bandr looking to hold a gig. By offering your space out for an hourly fee in the evening and at weekend, you have the potential to make a lot of money - potentially even enough that the studio ends up paying for itself.
Hold Events
Aside from hiring out the space out-of-school hours, you can also hold your own money-making space when the studio isn't in use by students. School plays, talent shows or even just a good old bake sale; a studio space is versatile and has many potential applications. Charge an entrance fee for each of these events and the coffers will soon be swelling.
These kind of events also has value in terms of education, providing your students with the opportunity to organise and run their own events, as well as giving them a taste of what it's like to be involved in the staging of an event.
Community Events
Of course, it's not just the parents and students of the school you can serve with your shiny new drama studio. You can hold community events open to everyone, including quizzes, movie nights and even the occasional karaoke night!
Making a large investment in new facilities may seem counter-productive at a time when austerity is at the forefront of everyone's thinking, but by thinking long-term rather than short-term you can not only secure your school's immediate financial future but it's long term prosperity too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Printed Word Is the eBook

In an earlier article I wrote about the technology myth. This is the assumption that if people are saturated with technology from birth then they will become experts in its use. This idea is akin to the scientific explanation of osmosis whereby an object absorbs elements from its environment due to high concentrations in its surroundings. Whilst this might work for objects being studied in Petri dishes it is illogical to assign the same principle to how human beings learn, practice and use technology.
As we may have learnt from history, common sense and misguided thinking drives decision making in education. Technology osmosis is the current driver of the idea that all young people are experts in technology.
This misguided and inaccurate view of how children and adolescents experience technology - a generation referred to as digital natives (a loathsome term because of its overuse and inaccuracy) - dismisses the key ingredients of a proficient technology user: interest, aptitude and practice.
Another misguided and inaccurate assumption is that youth are so enamoured of computer screens, smart phones and eBook readers that they are abandoning printed books and magazines for electronic versions on Kindle, Nook, iPads, Android or similar devices.
I teach a range of students between the ages of 14 and 18 who repeatedly stress their distaste for reading texts online. Some of them worry that the printed text will become obsolete and begrudge the assumption that they enjoy technology in all its forms. They do not want to sit at computers all day in classrooms nor do they want to read everything on a screen.
In contrast, older generations, for whom printed texts have involved carrying, losing, borrowing, loaning and inevitably abandoning them to dusty bookshelves, the eBook is a preferable alternative. Printed books - particularly trashy, cheap novels in bargain bins - are considered a waste of paper.
I want eReaders to hasten the death of print. This wish is motivated by saving trees from becoming paper pulp. I also prefer the ease of using a Kindle and its lightweight accessibility.
Books, particularly hardbacks, are expensive, take up room and are easily lost when moving house. An eBook, however, can be stored amongst thousands of other eBooks without taking up any room other than a few bytes in cyberspace.
Nonetheless, younger adults and teens do not always share my enthusiasm for back-lit screens. Whilst the over 35s might prefer an eBook, the printed book is a novelty for younger adults.
All that radiates is not necessarily gold.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ghana Life: God and Money

Ghanaians express their hopes and beliefs in the mottoes and slogans they display on their public transport vehicles, especially taxis, trotros and mammie wagons. There is no doubt that the most frequently recurring themes are God and money. The two concepts seem to be held in roughly equal regard and the slogans 'Nyame ne hene' (God in king) and 'Sika ne hene' (Money is king) vie for popularity. However it should not be construed that the two concepts are in any sense in competition but rather that they are closely bound up in the practice of religion.
Many people the world over follow a religion in the hope that it will better their lives, and the improvement they hope for is usually economic. In Ghana, as well as elsewhere, there are churches promising their worshippers a short cut to riches. In pursuit of this dream the followers contribute to the church as much as they can afford and the one person who is certain to drive a luxury car is the founding pastor. It is generally considered that all priests and pastors are wealthy, and many clergymen trained in large international churches break away to found their own commercial enterprises. The result is a multiplicity of churches with a bewildering variety of names.
The traditional fetish religions of Ghana place great value on blood sacrifice as a means of gaining the desired reward. Human sacrifice was replaced by animal sacrifice, and with the coming of Christianity the blood sacrifice of Jesus was enthusiastically embraced. Today, the Pentecostal and evangelical churches recite 'Yesu mogya nka w'anim,' let the blood of Jesus splash your face, and 'Yesu mogya,' blood of Jesus, is another common trotro message. People with reddened faces expect generous material reward but individuals who gain wealth too rapidly are often accused of having made a pact with the devil.
Those who achieve great wealth or political power quickly are usually suspected of employing occult forces. Many people think that the successful trader, politician or rich person has been helped by black magic, cannibalism or Satan. The popular press in Ghana often reports witchcraft accusations and stories about 'sika duro' (money medicine) rituals in which vampires suck the blood of innocent relatives in order to gain riches. Those people who adopted Christianity called for active opposition to this work of the powers of darkness.
In Ghana, the Pentecostal churches were the first to introduce services of exorcism for the purpose of casting out evil spirits. This increased their popularity and they began to draw adherents from the mainstream churches: Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, etc. One by one the mainstream churches were compelled to follow suit to maintain the strength of their congregations. By the end of the twentieth century, services of exorcism were available to any churchgoer who was unfortunate enough to have been seduced by Satan.
In the post-colonial era, people from Ghana and other former colonies have moved to Britain and other Western countries. They have either taken their churches with them or created new ones in their image. This has greatly broadened the choice available to the ardent seeker and helped to ensure that there are alternatives available for everyone who is dissatisfied with their present supplier. However, one is unlikely to see 'Sika ne hene' and 'Nyame ne hene' painted in large letters on the side of big red double-decker buses, circulating in the City of London; the first would be taken as obvious, and the second relegated to the concern of the immigrants.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Experience Global Reach for Business With Web Translation Services

Today, the internet is used all across the globe. However, not all countries speak the same language. It is therefore a challenge for the businessmen to communicate effectively with their potential customers, living in different parts of the world. By enlisting professional services for website translation, you can however double your business sales in no time. These services are a perfect means to take a business global and communicate with the international audience.
No doubt, English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, but offering only a single version, when showcasing your products and services through your website, may limit your customer base to only English-speaking internet users. There are numerous other languages that are spoken worldwide and a lot of these languages are actually used in nations, with large number of web users. A rational approach, implemented by good translation companies, can help you in successfully reaching out to the non-English speaking web users. By having them translate your website in multiple languages, you can therefore make more contacts and more sales.
While looking for an agency offering website translations, make sure that the one you choose offers high-quality professional services. Internet is getting bigger each day, with many new technologies being developed even faster. Thus, the translation agency that you hire must have the competence to keep pace with the growth of internet. The website translators that you select must have an excellent command on the language, which they would be translating your website content to. It is always better to hire a company based in the nation, where you want to expand your business.
Language changes are very rapid and thus, in order to ensure that your translators are capable of making the best selection of words, see to it that they are completely immersed into the culture of your target nation. Today, there is no shortage in the number of website translation companies that employ translators and interpreters from different corners of the world. So, finding a proficient translator, fitting all these qualities, should not be a problem.
As the internet is also becoming increasingly interactive, in order to keep the visitors interested, as well as to draw more potential customers, you can capitalize on things, like videos or other multimedia marketing platforms as well. By looking for a credible website translation service provider, offering services like voice-over translations, video translations etc, you can perk up your chances of being successful at this venture of targeting foreign web users through your website. So, avail the benefits of website translation services and see your business move up from a little start-up to an international empire.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Homework Help: Harmful or Helpful for Your Child?

Throughout the country, many voices have been raised against the over loading of homework. But we can't deny the fact that Homework is an indispensable part of our education system since long time and still it remains. Even there are large percentages of people today who profoundly believe in it and support for its cause.
Research has already proved that children are more likely to succeed in study if their family takes active participation in their homework assignments and helps them to complete it. Even hiring an online tutor makes it easy to complete the assignments for parents and children as well. In fact it's a two way opportunity for the whole family to interact, communicate and create better understanding about each other. Other benefits of assigning homework are:
  1. It helps the student to revise and practice what they've learned in class and prepares them for the next day.
  2. It teaches them to be relf-disciplined and responsible.
  3. It improves children's memory and thinking skills.
  4. It provides a more practical approach to study and to explore the subject more deeply in terms of projects, reports etc.
However it's only the one side of the coin. When we analyze it practically, we get a different picture all together. To quote author Alfie Kohn "Homework is all pain and no gain". In his book "The Homework Myth", Alfie mentioned that "no study has ever found a correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary school, and there is little reason to believe that homework is necessary in high school. In fact, it may even diminish interest in learning". Even in certain families homework can be a burden in itself. Especially where both of the parents work outside which is quite common now days. In this case parents have to literally struggle to make their children complete their homework.
So what's the end line then? Well, it lies in the fact that homework is doubtlessly an imperative part of our student life but teachers should be enough careful not to overload it. For example, the right amount of homework is directly proportional to the age and skills of a child. Research reveals that students up to second grade can gain from 20 to 30 minutes of doing homework while for third to sixth grade 30 to 60 minutes is enough. But from seventh grade onwards students should put an extra hour for doing homework. Parent's involvement in children's education can actually spark their enthusiasm for learning. Parents who are busy at work can take the help of online tutors. Especially for the subjects like Math, Science, English etc. Online tutoring is always a wise choice where children as well as parents can be involved from the comfort of their home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Algebra: An Art of Rational Thinking

Algebra is commonly viewed as a generalized arithmetic which is meant only for middle and high school level students. A more comprehensive definition says that it is a separate branch of mathematics in which letters and other symbols are used to represent numbers and quantities in formula and equations. Therefore today's teachers regard it as the laws of number and imparting it in a wrong way into their students mind, restricting them to have a true understanding of the subject.
Algebra is only for Older Students- A Myth
But our modern day scholars in mathematics believe that Algebraic formulas are not about laws of number, but it deals with the laws of rational human thinking which is discovered in the course of investigating on numbers. It has been proved that Algebra is a gateway to enhance the logical thinking ability of mind and higher mathematical learning. That's why it is more essential for the elementary students to learn the basic algebraic concepts for the development of their brains. In fact young children are far more capable of reasoning thinking than what we adult can do and this is the right age when their brain can be developed to its fullest potential. So it is of vital importance that Algebraic concepts should be included in the elementary curriculum and the teachers should be properly trained for it.
Algebra as a Mathematical Thinking Tool
"Algebra is a language. This language has five major aspects. They are unknowns, formulas, generalized patterns, placeholders and relationships. At any time that these ideas are discussed from kindergarten upward, there is opportunity to introduce the language of algebra." as quoted by Zalman Usiskin, the well known educator and director of the University of the Chicago School of Mathematics.
Algebra basics can be divided into three broad categories as problem solving skills, representation skills, and reasoning skills. It is amusing to know that these thinking tools are used in our daily lives as habits of mind on a regular basis.
Problem solving is all about deciding what and how to do in a particular given situation using tools like guess and check, make a list, work backwards etc. While mathematical representations can be expressed in many forms like visually (diagrams, pictures, graphs), numerically (tables, lists), symbolically, and verbally. The ability to create, interpret, and translate these representations can actually boosts the logical thinking of brain. Lastly, the reasoning ability which involves real life cases helps to identify patterns and relate them to a particular problem.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Are Prep Schools in Your Future Plans?

Prep schools are intended to prepare you for the next stage of your life. The commitment of these academic institutions is to provide access to qualified students from all different types of socioeconomic backgrounds. For those intending to follow up their secondary education with post-secondary studies, college preparatory institutions have much to offer.
The cost of attending college or university is climbing all of the time. It shows no signs of slowing down whatsoever. Parents everywhere are worried about how they are going to afford higher education for their kids. One of the things they are thinking about is an alternative for their children. Alternatives do exist beyond getting a traditional four-year degree after graduating from high school.
Some students are willing to put in more work than others to push towards their goals. If you are willing to take on a rigorous work schedule and curriculum, you may wish to explore what prep schools are all about. These academic institutions are a combination of high school and college rolled into one. Students can take high school classes as well as college classes and by doing so, they have the opportunity to earn post-secondary credits while completing the requirements for high school that are mandated by the state.
College prep schools are not for the faint at heart. In other words, they are for those who are willing to commit themselves fully to their studies. Goofing off is not recommended if you decide that you want to attend a college preparatory facility.
Being able to start down the road to achieve a college education while still in the process of attending high school is an idea that is bold and worthwhile but it is not for everyone. For those struggling to maintain their high school grades, taking on the extra advanced work is probably not a wise option.
Some prep schools partner with organizations and educational initiatives to target specific groups of students who need more help than others in obtaining an education. They focus on those who struggle to enter college, as well as pupils from low-income families, minority students and those who have dropped out of school.
Many of the academic institutions of this nature have a unique connection to a specific college program. Knowing what career you would like to explore will help you to choose the right program for yourself. For instance, an agricultural college would offer courses in farming and land management.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Overlooked Characteristics of the Best Schools

The type of reception you receive from the office and administrative staff gives you an indication of whether you are dealing with a good educational facility or not. This may not seem to count for a lot but it sets the tone for the school as a whole. You want to attend a school in which the office staff is easy to approach and offers excellent customer service. You just never know how often you may need to drop by the office to inquire about any number of things.
The best schools around are made up of a combination of enthusiastic new instructors and veteran instructors who have years of classroom skill and experience. The former want to make a difference to their pupils and arrive with lots of innovative ideas. However, they have lots to learn about managing their students and how the school system is run. The latter have plenty of knowledge and know how to effectively manage their classrooms, but may be stuck in their ways and not as quick to embrace new ones. To learn and grow, students need both types of educators.
One of the things that sets apart the best schools from the schools that are just okay, are the ones that have a common theme. This common theme must be a student-centered attitude and perspective on education with core values. Whenever a decision regarding the curriculum or any other aspect of the academic facility needs to be addressed the first question the staff should ask is, "What is best for the pupils?" If everyone takes a cohesive view on things, the students will always remain a top priority. This sets a precedent and really makes an institution stand out from the rest.
You want to enroll your child in a school that wants them to succeed. An institution of higher learning that provides its students with what they need for their careers and to carry on in life gets top marks. This is the kind of school that fosters strong ties between the students and the faculty, offers the programs that students want, and is open to a fresh perspective.
A quality school that boosts excellent leadership has good communication between its staff and students. Some schools are rife with gossip and rumors. This can lead to many disgruntled employees and unhappy pupils who are not concentrating on their studies.
The best schools foster an environment that encourages and supports open, honest, and frequent communication. Students need to be kept in the loop about what is taking place at their institutions. Not knowing important information, or finding out pertinent pieces of information that do not come from the top can cause confusion and frustration amongst the student body.