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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Looking For Online Distance Education Loan?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Is your dream of having education through the internet about to be aborted? You don't have to forego your education for lack of fund. There are many people like you that have completed their online education. Thanks to online education loan.

With an online education loan, you don't have to worry financing your online educational pursuit. Financially, there are some out there that cannot afford the cost of online education. Never mind the people out there telling you that online education is cheap. The term "cheap" is subjective. What may be cheap to you may not be same with me. Everyone is on different income bracket. Contrary to the wide speculation that online education is not as expensive as traditional education, statistics reveal that lots of people are still not able to afford it. For instance, if you want to get a master degree online, you must be ready to part with more than $2,000. To some people, this is on the high side.

This is why many people are turning to online education loans. This is a loan that can help you pay for all for the required fees by your online school. In other words, you don't have to break into a bank before paying for your online education.

But how do you get online distance education loan?

It's very simple to get online distance education loan if you know how. I know of the best way to secure a loan for your online education. Many people are not exploring this and are therefore at the mercy of many lenders out there. The lenders give you the loan at cut throat rate that make you their slave. There is a better way of securing a loan to finance your online education.

It is assumed that you are working presently. Have a discussion with your employer on how he or she can give you online education loan. Contrary to popular opinion, many employers love employee who are striving to develop themselves. These employers will be more willing to lend you the money to get online education. He or she knows that you and the company will be the better for it after you're through. However, some, I say some may ask you to sign an agreement that requires you staying with the company for some years. If this is okay with you, then take the loan and get your online education certificate without any problem.

What if you're not working? The governments of some states or countries do give out loan to qualified students. If you search well, you may find some schools that give out loan to intending and qualified students. However, I urge you to go through the conditions attached with the help of an attorney before putting pen to paper.

Online education loan will make your dream possible. Just use the tips given in this article and you'll surely be happy.

The Whole New Thumbnail Media Planner Experience

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How does a media planner or media buyer or advertising account exec or advertising manager come up with credible advertising campaigns and media plans when clients demand increased ROI?

That is why the Thumbnail Media Planner was created. Finally, a media planning and buying guide has arrived. The assistance it can provide for media planners and media buyers is very valuable and essential. The Thumbnail Media Planner is a marketing media reference that provides key advertising statistics and media research into the media industry. The media plan guide provides information which allows media planners, media buyers, advertising account executives and advertisers develop the best media exposure strategies.

The Thumbnail Media Planner provides information regarding advertising costs-- media rates-- and other key data in a convenient 104 page media research pocket reference. In client meetings, the media planner does not have to grapple with papers to immediately answer questions raised during meetings. The Thumbnail Media Planner is indispensable in new business presentations. As a consequence, the Thumbnail Media Planner increases the media planner or media buyer's professional image and productivity. This media planning guide gives the ad agencies, advertisers and media sales representatives the upper hand on understanding today's media landscape and media costs trends. The media information, solutions and answers are amalgamated into an expedient media planning marketing media reference.

In an effort to attract prospective clients and maintain customers, ad agencies, advertisers and other media practitioners are searching for ways to secure favorable public opinion for their clients. To do so at fast pace and less errors, the media planning guide for marketing media reference has been launched to make their work more creative to result in increased client's profitability.

The job in advertising and public relations is a killing pace albeit exciting. Being creative on a tight schedule can be emotionally stressful. Meeting deadlines and eventually working long hours can sometimes result in being burnt out. The media plan guide, the Thumbnail Media Planner, was created for the purpose of assisting the media planners, media buyers, advertising account executives, advertisers, and media sales reps. Using this marketing media reference improves media planning, saves time and improves productivity.

Working under strict time constraints are alleviated. Hectic lifestyle can be put in check to maintain good health. The media planner provides an advantage for media practitioners by way of readiness and solutions to media planning questions. Media rates and data can be given in due time. It can provide the chance to delve into options before time and effort will go to naught.

The superior communication skills and abilities required by the job can be honed to an advantage. The media plan guide and the marketing guide reference the talent can be easily put to good use. The media planner complements and supports what ever abilities the media practitioner possesses. It also boosts training without attending formal classroom education. In just one set, whatever the ad agencies, advertisers and the rest of the media world require as support for their already big job.

It also affords a character change and attitude on the part of the media practitioners. Makes them look and sounds professional in their dealings with clients and prospective customers.

Boundless - free, open source, digital textbooks

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boundless is a service that provides free, open source, digital textbooks. There are 18 open textbooks with Creative Commons licensed content, for college subjects including accounting, biology, economics and more. 

Boundless provides a free alternative to expensive textbooks and they can also be used as supplemental materials for students. The content is changed and additions made, in direct contrast to printed textbooks that are usually outdated before they are printed.

Boundless has an interesting process. They find the best free online content, have experts curate and vet it, and then deliver it in a way that is easy to read and navigate. 

They also have some great features like SmartNotes which condense the full book into the main points, terms and examples, and Interactive Notebook to highlight items and add your own notes, Flash Cards, Quizzes, Study Guides and search. 

Boundless is a great resource for college students, as well as advanced high school students and teachers. I'm a huge proponent of free resources vs. expensive textbooks and really like the fact that these free digital resources are constantly updated and improved. 

Here are all of their textbooks:


What I use with Physics classes instead of textbook

Resources to Replace Textbooks

CK-12 - free e-textbooks and more - updates and news

Google Slides now available offline!

Google Docs/Drive is a great, free resource that allows you to create, edit, share, collaborate on, and comment on Documents (Docs), Spreadsheets (Sheets), and Presentations (Slides), all online. Think Microsoft Office in the cloud with some other great features.

I use Google Slides (Presentations), the equivalent of PowerPoint, for all of my presentations. I like the features it has and like that I can easily share it online and people will always be able to see the newest version. One downside was that you needed an internet connection and some conferences I have presented at can have WiFi issues due to all of the devices being used. I would always save a copy of my presentation as a PDF file to my laptop in case I didn't have a good internet connection. That is no longer necessary.

Google has announced that Google Slides will now be available with offline support. You can now create, edit, comment, and present your Slides presentation without an internet connection. When you get an internet connection, your new presentations or changes will be automatically updated online. Docs has had this for a while already.

This is a great feature that makes Slides even more useful, along with Chromebooks, for people who need to work on, or present, their presentations where they may not have WiFi. It's also great for schools who issue Chromebooks to students that may not have internet at home. Our district is going with Chromebooks and student internet access at home is a concern. That is less of a concern now.

To enable offline Docs/Sheets/Slides, follow these instructions. If you already have offline enabled for Docs, you are all set. In order to use the offline feature, you will have to use Chrome browser or Chrome OS.

Google is currently working on offline support for Sheets as well.

Offline support has been the one reason I see many people stating as why they won't or can't go with Google Drive/Docs and Chromebooks. That reason is disappearing.


Google for Educators Resources

Accurately Describing Your Social Media Target Audience

It is impossible to create a successful social media plan for your business if you have no defined ideas about who you want to strike up conversations with online. It is very easy to simply decide that your target audience is simply "whoever will buy my product/use my service" but that is a very inaccurate, and certainly lazy, way to begin to determine who your company's social media message should be seeking out.

There are a great many ways to describe your target audience and many businesses may find that they can appeal to two or three different audiences by adjusting the message they send out to each. However, long before you get that far it is essential you determine some concrete ways to describe your target audience. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:

1. Gender - yes, very basic, but still very important

2. Age bracket - Does your product and service appeal to a younger demographic? Retirees? You need to find out.

3. Income level

4. Ethnic background - This demographic may be helpful in tailoring the same messages in different ways

5. Education level

6. Geographical location - People in different geographic areas of the same country still tend to hold very different opinions and lead different lifestyles.

7. Benefits various people are seeking - for instance to lose weight, to expand their knowledge, to save money

8. Their fears - getting too fat, missing out on a big promotion because they lacked education, spending too much money on something they may not need.

This list is of course not exhaustive and your target audiences may be described in an entirely different way. This list is just here to help stimulate ideas for you to build upon.

Another way to break down your target audience is by simply asking the following kinds of questions:

Who: What big problems or desires does this person have? How long have they had them?

What: What problem does your product or service solve or what benefit do you bring to the user?

What: What kind of action do you want these people to ultimately take?

Why: Would this person believe you can solve their problem (the need for proof).

Where: Does this person hangout online (Google, niche blogs, Facebook, Twitter, specialist forums?)

With all of this in mind do you know yet who your target social media audience is yet? It really will pay to find out.

Childrens Educational Software

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Children's educational software is widely available in schools, and to parents who want to make their home a healthy, learning environment for their kids. Even public libraries and museums, nongovernmental organizations and children's hospitals have this software available.

Benefits of children's educational software

By integrating technology into the learning environment, children's educational software can make learning highly personalized. The child can manipulate the software to fully understand the concepts being taught. They do not feel judged, even if they are slow-learners. The software can repeat information an infinite number of times without a problem.

Children's educational software also extends curriculum choice and helps develop multiple intelligences. For a very small investment, schools and parents can exponentially extend their current information libraries for kids. There is no need to build additional infrastructure or spend money on additional books. Everything is in one software package.

Children's educational software can o help build learning 'communities' that are connected either physically or virtually. Such software is typically linkable to other computers (and therefore other users). Some functionalities allow students to interact, form teams, or simple help each other out.

Buying children's educational software

You can acquire children's educational software either off-the-rack from software specialty stores, or through special authorized educational resellers. For use in schools and other learning institutions, the manufacturer or developer of the software usually gives licensing discounts and extra after-sales support. You can buy campus and school agreements, either open or select licences, and student and teacher licences, among many others. More often than not, manufacturers and developers of children's educational software give low-cost, comprehensive licensing agreements for the unique needs of primary and secondary educational organizations on an annual basis. They also offer volume-licensing arrangements exclusively to educational institutions, so that these schools can take advantage of significantly lower volume-based pricing.

Doodle 4 Google contest open - create a doodle, win a scholarship

Doodle 4 Google

Google is once again hosting a Doodle 4 Google contest for K-12 students in the US. Students create a doodle of the Google logo based on this years theme: "My Best Day Ever.." would be what? Think outside the box and use some imagination.

The winner will see their Doodle on the Google homepage for a day, get a $30,000 college scholarship and get a $50,000 technology grant for their school.

Along with Google employee judges, there are celebrity judges, including Katie Couric, Chris Sanders (writer of Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon) and more.

Voting opens May 1st and there will be one finalist from each state. The state finalists will be flown to New York City for the awards ceremony on May 22nd. All the State Winners will have their artwork on display at theAmerican Museum of Natural History from May 22 to July 14.

Entry forms are available on the Doodle 4 Google site. All entries are due by March 22nd and must have a parent or guardian's signature.

Complete rules, prizes, and registration information is available at the Doodle 4 Google site.

This is a great way to get students thinking creatively and coming up with some great ideas, as well as having a chance to win a scholarship.

Web 2.0 and the New Opportunities Open For Businesses in Social Media

Friday, January 18, 2013

Web 2.0 is growing rapidly. Everyday there are new applications and tools being introduced. For those of us that create our income and live in this Web 2.0 world, this is very exciting. The question is how can we create even more new opportunities for ourselves in the world of New Media and Social Networking that make up Web 2.0?

The new opportunities may just be found in the world of "brick and mortar" businesses and corporations. These businesses still conduct their routines with the old style media and advertising models. These businesses are ripe to be led to the tools available in the social space of Web 2.0.

Online, we have all seen the people looking for their 15 minutes of fame through YouTube and other such sites. Some of these people leave dignity and smarts at the door and put some pretty outrageous things online for all to see. Yes, we have all seen this, but what do not always see is that even these folks that seem to lack any common sense are very web savvy. Also, these people are becoming immune to the old-style ways of media and advertising models.

Online in the new media and social networking world, everything is a conversation. People online, whether young or old, silly or smart, all of us actually, are part of the continuing online conversation. Old-style media and advertising is about controlling trends and speaking, or in some cases preaching, at the consumer. New Media style is all about talking "with" the consumer, and thus making them part of the marketing.

So how can we in the Web 2.0 community bring these companies into the world of social and new media? We have to step out of our comfort zone and be willing to approach and educate these companies about the power of the new online tools available.

Many businesses already have a presence online, but they have simply taken their old-style ways and moved them onto the web . The first business in every niche that embraces the processes of Web 2.0 will gain an almost insurmountable lead over their competitors. That is not to say that there is not room for all businesses, I just mean that the business that takes the risk of changing the old-style ways to embrace Web 2.0 themes will reap the greatest rewards.

We, whether you are a New Media producer and blogger like myself, a social networking expert, or an application creator, are in a unique position to create opportunities for ourselves by bringing these tools to the companies. By teaching them the power of new media and social networking, we not only help these businesses to grow in the new direction of Web 2.0, but create new income streams for ourselves at the same time.

The business that embraces things like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Podcasting, and all the other great tools of Web 2.0, and then creates their own interactive social space on the web will add a whole new dynamic to their operations.

We have to get to work now, getting pitches ready, getting our tools in order, getting ready to bring all this information to the brick and mortar companies. This is our opportunity to shine.

Education is great, perseverance is also a key ingredient, but creativity is the way to true achievement. So let's get creative and usher in this new world of Web 2.0 "Social Business".

Becoming An Educator - Choosing The Right Degree Program For You

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

W.B. Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." If you want to be the one to light the fire for learning in the hearts of students, becoming an educator is right for you. But what degree program should you pursue? Because the field of Education is so incredibly diverse, you have many options to choose from. Here is a brief listing of just some of the career opportunities available to those that decide to seek a degree in Education.

o Teacher Certification & Certification Programs. Looking to earn your Teacher Certification or credential? If you already have a Bachelor's degree and have decided to teach, earning your Teaching Certificate is the next step to take to launch your career as an educator.

o K-12. Completing your K-12 education degree will put you on the path toward a rewarding career teaching children of all ages.

o Adult Education. Graduates of adult education degree programs are given special instruction in adult learning to accommodate the unique needs of adult learners. With more and more people choosing to continue their education well into old age, opportunities for adult educators continue to grow.

o Art Education. Become an art teacher! Get your degree in Art Education and combine your passion for painting with a talent for teaching. Teaching art to others can be an extremely fulfilling and rewarding career.

o Business Education. Become a business teacher and learn the rewards of teaching business to others. From accounting and finance to marketing and operations, business teachers not only teach people how to succeed in business, but how to succeed in life.

o Distance & Online Education Programs for Teachers. Earn your degree in distance learning education and be on the cutting edge of learning technology. Learn about the newest advances in online education technology and discover how to create innovative online experiences for your students.

o Early Childhood Education Programs for Teachers. Thinking of becoming a preschool teacher? Start by getting your degree in Early Childhood Education. Early childhood teachers are the first to shape the minds of young children and mold the leaders of tomorrow.

o English Teacher Programs. Teach English and help students discover the language arts. Earning a bachelor's or master's degree in English education is the first step toward a rewarding career as an English teacher. English teachers are needed to fill positions in public, private and English language schools.

o Elementary Teacher Programs. Elementary school teachers work with children in grades K-8, giving them an introduction to a variety of subjects.

o Higher Education Programs for Teachers. Interested in teaching higher education? Get your doctorate or master's degree in higher education and take the first step toward teaching at the college level.

o History Teacher Degree Programs. Get your degree in history education and get on track to a rewarding career teaching history to others.

o Instructional Technology Degree Programs. Get an instructional technology degree and be on the leading edge of learning technology. Instructional designers create new ways for people to learn by incorporating current technologies such as video and the Internet into a curriculum. Instructional technology is a burgeoning field with many positions expected to open up in the next few years.

o Math Education Degrees. Want reap the rewards of teaching math to others! Then become a math teacher! Teachers are needed to give mathematics instruction at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

o Middle School Education Degrees. Get your middle school education degree today and teach children from sixth to eight grades.

o Reading & Literacy Education Degrees for Teachers. Teach someone how to read! Become a reading teacher by completing your degree in Reading and Literacy Education.

o Secondary Education Degrees for Teachers. Focusing on Secondary Education means teaching children in high school. Help shape the next generation by providing a solid education to young students before college.

o Science Teacher Degree Programs. Science education teachers are high in demand to teach science in Elementary and Secondary schools.

o Social Studies Education Degree Programs. Social studies teachers are needed to teach in both Elementary and Secondary schools. Get on the path to this rewarding career by earning your degree in social studies education.

o Special Education Teaching Degrees. Special Education Teachers are some of the most in-demand teachers in education. Special Education teachers held a total of about 441,000 teaching jobs in 2004. The U.S. Dept. of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for qualified special education teachers to grow faster than average through 2014. This makes it a great time to get your special education degree.

o TESOL (ESL) Education Programs for Teachers. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) can be an exciting and rewarding career with job opportunities in both the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. Dept. of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of non-English-speaking students will continue to grow, creating demand for bilingual teachers and for those who teach English as a second language.

o Curriculum & Instruction Programs for Teachers. Get your curriculum and instruction degree and improve your teaching skills while learning to create fascinating new curriculums that bring learning to life.

o Education Administration Degree Programs for Teachers. Earn your Education Administration degree today and jump-start your career. This advanced degree, either a Master's or a PhD, will give you the leadership skills you need to manage large educational programs, both in public schools and the private sector.

o Educational Counseling Degree Programs. Begin a rewarding career in school counseling by earning your education counseling degree. This degree is the perfect way to combine a love of education with a love of psychology.

o Educational Leadership Degree Programs. Earn your Educational Leadership degree and prepare yourself for a new and exciting career as a school administrator or principal.

o Library Science / Media / Technology Degree Programs. Get your degree in library science, educational media or technology and begin a rewarding new career helping children access information. Graduates of a library science programs are eligible to become a School Librarian. Graduates of educational media and technology programs have learned ways to incorporate new technologies, such as video and the Internet, into their classrooms.

Why More and More States Are Starting to Pay Greater Attention to Early Childhood Education Programs

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just a few years back, very few state education departments in the USA showed any willingness to devote their attention and resources to early childhood education programs. In those days, most of the attention would be focused on elementary, secondary and college education programs, leaving the early childhood system largely uncared for. The reasoning behind this was quite simple: that early childhood education didn't matter, and that resources would be better spent if devoted to the higher education systems (where output is usually more tangible and hence more quantifiable).

Fast forward to today, and we see more and states devoting considerable resources and attention to the early childhood education system. There are a number of ways through which this is manifesting. We are, for instance, seeing more and more childhood education centers being built in low income areas, to encourage parents who wouldn't otherwise put their children through ECD to do so. Many state governments are also employing more and more early child educators. And supervision for early child educators, even those not in the government payroll, is being tightened, to ensure that it is a quality education they are giving kids. In many states, we are increasingly seeing people aspiring to become early child educators being put through licensing processes. And more often than not, one of the conditions for licensure is that the person must have a good understanding of early education techniques - with quite a good number requiring aspiring ECD teachers to have degrees in the discipline.
So, the question that comes up is as to why more and more governments are paying closer attention to early childhood education.

And while several factors can be seen as being the trend where more and more state governments are paying closer attention to early education, it turns out that their efforts in that regard are mostly being informed by findings from education research. Those are findings to the effect that the quality of childhood education a person gets is one of the key determinants of that person's educational achievement over a lifetime. This is where it emerges that people who receive good quality early education tend to go on to become educational achievers, with people who receive poor quality early childhood education (or no ECD at all) going on to become non-achievers education-wise, regardless of their natural abilities. The mechanism via which this trend manifests, it seems, is via the fact that it is in the ECD system that 'attitudes to learning' are developed. It follows, then, that good ECD would develop good attitudes to learning in learners, whereas poor ECD makes them averse to learning.

Governments are increasingly becoming awake to the fact that although the results of early education may not be directly quantifiable, childhood education still has a very huge impact on the rest of the education system over the years. Thus, they become aware to the fact that devotion of resources and attention into the early childhood is, in fact, an investment into future success for the (whole) education system. Conversely, it is now widely understood that neglecting childhood education would do the whole education system a lot of harm in the longer run. That would be happening as students with poor attitudes to learning (thanks to poor early childhood education) go through the system, and probably come out of it without attaining their fullest potential.

Six Steps to Creating a Social Media Calendar

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Social media seems to be a necessary evil when it comes to business, especially if you rely heavily on the Internet to generate warm leads. With all of the various social media applications available, it can be a challenge to manage them. That's where a social media calendar becomes a handy tool to plan and schedule what to share and when.

So here are six steps to creating a social media calendar.

1. Select which social media applications you plan to use. This is a fairly easy decision to make. If you are just getting started, go with the ones you are currently using. Top choices include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

2. Determine how often you want to post. Look at the frequency of posts from colleagues and competitors.

3. Create your posts. Review what others are posting on social media, especially those in your line of work. Some common themes include:

  • Promote some aspect about your services with a link back to your website
  • Educate by pulling a line from a blog or article and linking it back to your website

TIP: You can pull multiple snippets from a blog post or one of your articles and turn it into several posts. Make one post the title, and the other ones can be a short statement from the article.

  • Inspire with notable quotes, a line from a book, article, movie or song, giving credit to the source
  • Inform followers of what you are working on or what you recommend reading or seeing; better yet, pull a short statement from a client testimonial and link it back to your website
  • Engage your audience by asking a question or soliciting an opinion

4. Populate your calendar. Use a calendar template in Word or use a week-at-a-glance format. Vary the types and topics of posts. If you are posting, say three times a day, do one post to:

  • Promote or educate
  • Inspire
  • Inform or engage

5. Load your posts onto the World Wide Web. Or delegate to your virtual assistant to take care of loading them up for timed release. If you do choose the DIY approach, social media management tools, like Hootsuite or Buffer, allow you to pre-load posts for timed releases.

6. Track your activity. Once your calendar is live, keep an eye on how things are going. Gauge website traffic, forwards/retweets, blog responses, opt in sign ups, inquiries made via your contact page, etc. to determine how your messages are being received.

The Media As Big Mother

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Since Orwell's 1984, politics and it's talking heads (and I don't mean the defunct 80's one-hit wonder) have long been labeled "big brother". Especially in today's atmosphere of vastly opposing political opinions where so much attention is fixed on big brother's every tic and twitch, very little attention is paid to his momma. The media has become such an all-encompassing force in our daily retinue, indeed into the very fiber of our lives that it's treated like just another mundane phenomenon, very much like the weather or the outcome of a rumor about your neighbors; in other words information is received, and barely digested before being tossed aside. The media is not criticized with the refined and fabrication-sensitive tools required when dealing with such a powerful and influential entity. Not that thinking men and women aren't constantly in search of outside perspectives; when their schedules allow that is. Let's be honest, most of the time individuals are far too rapped-up in their pursuit of financial superiority and emotional fulfillment, as well they should, to see the media for the social, political and financial vacuum that it is. Whatever happened to personal opinion and social perspective? (Without being labeled the often smirk-and-pity-inducing catchphrase of "liberal". To considering information for yourself and filtering it through your own personal beliefs and morals allowing for a critical digestion and magnified inspection of the barrage of opinions bombarding our already over-burdened consciousness?

Let's first understand the meaning of the word itself, as the successful solution to any riddle lies in its basic definition and fundamental rules. The dictionary occupying my frazzled desk describes the media as "the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely". Media is a word that stems from the root word "medium", intended to describe the go-between, or method of relating information from one point to another by using a "medium" such as newspaper, radio or television etc. Tuning into CNN or FOX NEWS is enough proof that this is no longer the case, as these largest of news media entities do not simply act as a venue for information but go one step further by producing the product they are selling, rather than just relating it which is what most people still believe their "news" is doing. Were always hearing the famous tagline of "absolute power, corrupts absolutely" when speaking of big brother, but not unlike the power of representative rule the power of representative influence is just as easily corrupting and corruptible. News media behemoths such as these are divisions of much more significant corporate entities like AOL/Time Warner, and News CORP. to names a few. Corporations do business and if we consider what Etiquette of The Banker (circa. 1778) tells us, "First rule of business, protect your investment" the primary objective of these organizations is to make money, not cater to an information hungry public with straight and truthful news.

As a few weeks of living in the world can reveal, money and the truth have a way of conflicting. Consider this hypothetical situation involving the fictional station of ABN (The Always Broadcasting Network): ABN's mammoth bureaucratic infrastructure of divisions, and district offices not to mention financial entities and economic vacuums, all the things that keep a growing corporation healthy and happy, is having a difficult year in meeting it's inflated operating budget and needs the account of fictional corporate sponsor All-Mart. All-Mart is looking to branch-out its foreign operations in third-world countries as part of its globalization strategy, but one of the countries on its (for lack of a better word) hit-list, is currently at war with the home country of ABN. Now, if an All-Mart rep. kindly asks an ABN official to tone-down the severity of its war broadcast in an effort to prevent jittery All-Mart globalization-strategy investors from fleeing in panic at the thought of entering a blood-bath, will that ABN rep. pound the desk in an incredulous display of moral taken-abackness, and tell the All-Mart official to get his sticky fingers out of his office or simply look into what could be done about the difficulty his business partner is experiencing? Who's to say really? But it's a sure bet that individuals as well as corporations can often feel a debt of gratitude, if not loyalty, to their source(s) of income and when any entity that owes large degrees of responsibility to the public is faced between continuing to fulfill that responsibility or continuing the pursuit of its own existence, longevity must play more of a key role in corporate mandates and over-all strategy. It is a brutal reality and fundamental law of any living organism to feel the need to protect its own existence above all things.

Let's shift our attention away from ABN's moral dilemma (morality and finance do often make for much confusion and consideration, a tough one really) and look to other forms of media. The modern phenomenon of "convenience" through electronic gadgetry such as mp3's, they're players, PDAs, Blackberrys, portable DVDs, laptops, cellphones etc. and the message-driven media they transmit, receive, download, upload, and file-share such as music, films, T.V. shows and radio broadcasts. "Techmology", as ALI G so aptly coined it, opens opportunities for obviously un-precedent amounts of communication and as Big Mother's various mediums tell us how to dress, what to drive, where to work, how to think, what to eat, where to vacation and who to befriend and date (yes, who you go out with can easily be broken down into a series of magazine adds and far-fetched sociological "studies") one cant help but feel a little Punk'd. Big mother is a demanding and controlling parent with many un-realistic expectations and few rewards. Big mother doesn't mean to abuse you, but continues to do so mentally by ignoring your personal needs, despite how much she cares. In the global village of the age of information the chief hut belongs to Big Momma and no one is safe from her influence, let alone her disregarding demands. Truesay.

No matter the situation it's clear that the media as a whole will not be going anywhere soon, as even Medea, Euripides' child-slaying mother, said, "I am the mother of your children. Whither can I fly, since all Greece hates the barbarian?". Before you tune-out, as years of servile acquiescence have worn your attention span to a small un-gripping nub, consider this. Medea slew her own children in a fit of rage; does not the media slay our individuality and personal beliefs, not to mention our thought-processes a little everyday? She is constantly and eternally present: scolding our failures, guilting us into submission, reminding us of our weaknesses, displaying her power and glamour, and very rarely rewarding the chosen amongst us by including them as part of the family (the lucky ones who land the much sought-after jobs in radio, music, advertising, marketing, film and television). Surely its easy to see the media as a demanding, judgmental, often insincere, tyrannical, insensitive, controlling, and self-righteous mother that often claims and purports to have our best interests at heart but looses sight of just that.

Rest assured that there is hope, as any orphaned and abused child can support, when one comes from a house-hold of poor parentage a solution is attainable. Be your own mother by planting the seeds of self-parenting, watering them than watching them grow into bountiful plants of self-satisfaction. Sounds like a daily affirmation, but is a plausible solution for combating the onslaught of conventionalism and anti-conventionalism (which has become a common mind-set).You can do this by objectively observing the demands of your life and personally meeting those demands. For example, instead of letting Big Mother tell you who to date, look at your situation and genuinely deduce the qualities you wish your life companion to have. Release yourself from the stigma of, and reliance on, self-description and self-definition from outside sources by controlling your own mind-set. Has it not been said that you can either command yourself or be commanded by others? Educate yourself by reading books, magazines, and newspapers, listening to music, watching films and taking from them what benefits you. Not what should benefit you. If life is a quick roller-coaster ride, do we wish to hang on to the safety bar, hunched-over in fear while watching the person next to us raise their hands in the air, screaming in exhilaration and excitement when your deepest instincts tell you to do just the same?

Big Brother is always watching while Big Mother is always instructing and they will continue to do so 'till the last episode of the Simpsons aka eternity, but we will not be there to see that day. Let us just enjoy the ride while it lasts the way we feel we need to and ignore the naggings of a Mother that does not understand what it is like to be us. As anyone can tell us about parenting, it is the wisest children that take the good of their parents and throw out the bad. Smart kids.

Using Social Media for Class Activities

Saturday, January 5, 2013

YouTube is the second most frequently used search engine, right after Google. It has got more than a billion unique monthly visitors and this number accounts for its importance in social communication today. Teenagers are comfortable with using YouTube to explore the world today and this should be a starting point for teachers who want to additionally engage their students of this age.

The task for a contemporary teacher is to encourage students to explore the educational potential of YouTube videos. Teachers could advise students to explore this network and find an educational video that they liked the most. It is now quite easy to make a video and upload it to social network. Besides this, most average teenagers already have a YouTube account and probably a number of subscribers. You can also encourage them to make their own videos and upload them on their channels. Chances are they'd prefer this than solving a printed test or writing an essay.

Facebook is the largest social media network currently available. Both small businesses and large enterprises have realized the benefits of using Facebook for business promotion. What makes it convenient for businesses may make it convenient for teachers as well.

Teachers can engage students on Facebook by creating a class group or a page where they'd regularly share both casual, interesting materials and class related news. Facebook cannot actually replace their tests but it can make the course more interesting and thus contribute to their general interest in course contents. Consider sharing funny photos related to class, puns and viral videos to make this page more interesting. Let the students see the lighter side of the course and discover how to apply the knowledge in real life.

Twitter may seem as a social network with significantly less options for using in class. However, there are numerous ways to use Twitter in classroom. Teachhub.com has even published a nice list of 50 ways to use Twitter in classroom. The most important, however, is to discover how many of your students actually use Twitter actively. If the number is large, you should consider creating a class hashtag or a group. This would motivate students to engage in class discussions and perhaps even do some projects together.

Twitter can also be used for promoting a class blog and announcing news. The point is just to keep it casual so nobody would feel as if they were supervised through their private channels.

These are just some of the ways in which social media can help engaging students in the classroom. Teachers and parents have been struggling for a long time to prevent teenagers to use the Internet extensively, but using social media doesn't necessarily have to be unproductive. Strategic integration of social media into classroom activities can bring a double gain - students are more enthusiastic for learning and the teachers find their jobs much easier.

Getting Organized Tips and Resources

Friday, January 4, 2013


Here are some tips on getting organized. I am a very organized person (type A personality and was an engineer for ten years) and I used to teach organizational skills to other employees at one of my jobs. There are a ton of different organizational methods out there, but it is actually pretty easy to be organized and stay that way using some free tools.

I use a variety of tools to keep myself organized and share them with colleagues, administrators, teachers and with students. I have some links below to other articles I've written that are similar in nature, so please read those too.

The first thing that is important is to decide what tools you are more comfortable with: paper or electronic. If a student/teacher doesn't have a smartphone or easy access to a computer, it is harder to use some of the electronic versions. However, one solution is to use the electronic versions at home/office and print out things for mobile. I used to do that before I got my first PDA. I would print a task list and calendar in Word and keep it updated and then print it out when I had to use it away from a computer. I used to also use a Franklin Covey planner before my PDA days.

The trick to being organized is to always use your system and not deviate from it. If you are using a smartphone, then always use that, don't use paper too. Take 5 min each morning, lunch, afternoon, and evening to get organized, check your schedule and task list, and make plans for the next time period. Keep your task list and schedule up to date and check it before making plans. Prioritize your task list based on what is most important or needed done 1st. Use a calendar or prompts or reminders to make sure you get things done on time.

Electronic organizing tools can be helpful because they can remind you of due dates, meetings, etc. through text messages, emails, and on-screen alerts. They can also link notes, web sites, and more together so it's easier to find things.

Here is how I stay organized: 
(I use electronic resources and can access them from anywhere)
(Technology I'm using daily as a School District CIO)

1. I have a Android Smartphone running on Verizon so I can access all of the tools I use at any time. That means I'm always able to take notes, create a task or calendar event, and review all of my stuff any time, anyplace. I can access all of my emails, my Google CalendarGoogle Task List, and Evernote from it. I can also access all of my files via Dropbox. (and all of this is accessible from any computer and always in sync through the cloud)

2. I use Microsoft Outlook at work for email and calendar and contacts. I also have this syncing to my smartphone. I can also export emails and contacts to Evernote to keep things even more organized.

3. I use Evernote to take notes, organize notes, organize info and web clippings, and as a project planning tool. I have access to this from any computer and from my smartphone. I organize notes into notebooks and also have tags, making them easier to find when I need them. This is my main tool and includes all of my notes, files, task lists, and more. I even have a note that has all of my web page links on it and I use that as a start page.

4. I even have an app for my phone that will alert me when I am near a place that I have a task for (via GPS) and have been using Google Now more and more to help stay organized and plan my day.

There are some great tools specifically for students, like Trackclass, Shoshiku, and Dweeber that can help them get organized with their classes, schedule, and notes.

For those who still like paper planning and organizing, there are some great paper planning tools. In addition, a Livescribe Pen and pad offers paper note taking and planning, while syncing it to your computer and/or Evernote.

Paper Planning Resources (not free)
Franklin Covey - great paper planning systems, but a little pricey for students.
Day Timer paper planners
DIY Planner - make and print your own planner pages
Planner Pads - paper planners
Day Runner - paper planners
Mead Student Planners
Student Planner USA - some nice ones on here (and not expensive)
SchoolMate Student Planners

You can also create and print out your own calendars and task lists. There are a huge number of sites that have these, and MS Word has templates for it.

There are also some great student planners that you can customize for your school, adding in school calendar and schedules. They also have some great reference pages in the back, including math, English, science, study tips, college planning and more references. Here's one we've used:  Premier Agendas for College Ed. There are a variety out there, and I don't endorse any specific one.

Great Tips, Resources and Ideas for Going Paperless in the New Year
Electronic Planning Resources (free)
Student Planner Software (all free) (lots of good ones here to share with your students)

Organizing Resources
Online Organizing
Get Organized Now - great site with great tips and resources
Julie Morgenstern - professional organizer with some great tips and resources

The big thing to remember is that you have to use your system consistently and you have to take a time to plan out your day. You have to prioritize things and realize that free time and sleep sometimes have to take a back seat to priorities. However, if you plan things well and do things each day, you can avoid the sudden backlog and all-nighters that many students end up experiencing.

Basic Steps for being organized:
1. Plan Ahead (every day)
2. Make a ToDo (or task) list
3. Put things in your calendar (and check your calendar during your planning)
4. Students: write down your assignments and due dates in organizer
5. Students: study/work on homework a little each day to stay ahead
6. Stick to your schedule and commitments
7. Reward yourself with some free time.

Administrators, Teachers and students can benefit greatly form being organized. You are more efficient, get things done on time, don't forget things, and generally have less stress.

How to Get an Education in Music

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nothing spells success like having a great, quality-driven education from an accredited institution. In today's world, things have change drastically since the beginning of Hip-Hop/Rap music in the early part of the 1980's. There is playing field that has been leveled when it comes to the increased number of opportunities for minorities, therefore these same opportunities should be acted upon wisely. To begin, the U.S. President Barack Obama has pushed to further the education of every American citizen without the exclusion of women and girls.

Destitute women and girls can and should be using the educational platform to enhance their lives and raise the level of awareness to others who might think they cannot do it. In the music business, there is an accredited institution that many men and women are enrolling into and in doing so, the new breed of music professionals are beginning to step to the forefront and run things for themselves. To my knowledge, this University is an Award-Winning School for Entertainment Media that offers an exceptional education in both on-campus and online classroom settings and it has been in operation for at least 30 years.

Currently, the amount of women heading up Fortune 500 companies is outstanding but there is still many more years of improvement to complete. In fact, according to a company named Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that advocates bringing more women into the professional business ring, Canadian women hold 14.5% of board seats and in America, it's only 16.1%. With so many various doors being sprung open, both of these numbers should be higher. The reason that they are not is mainly because of a lack of education.

In Hip-Hop/Rap music and entertainment, women are consistently held at a disadvantage because they have allowed themselves to become limited in their power. There is power in words and numbers but to create the words and multiply the numbers, an education is vital. Men see them as either all talk or all body, with nothing in-between. For years, the world has heard the public outcry for an equal opportunity based civilization but when the doors of opportunity are opened, so few of us run through it that it is easily closed again. Scholarship opportunities are passed on and placed back into the lot as the attention that should be given unto it is diverted by the various distractions such as t.v., the media, and life in general. Until the women teach the girls better, the cycle will repeat itself and not only that, an increase in the amount of women and young girls involved with the penal system is experienced. Sad, but true.

The main objective of this short article was simply to induce (motivate) the thought processes of a woman or a girl to give birth to a happier, healthier, more successful life. I encourage every female rapper who may come across this work to place nothing higher than her education. She deserves it, and so does the Hip-Hop/Rap music and entertainment industry. We can do better and with the proper education, we will!

Great Tips, Resources and Ideas for Going Paperless in the New Year

I am a big fan of going paperless whenever possible and technology just keeps making it easier to do. Google is one of the sponsors of the Paperless pledge and has some tips, resources and ideas for going paperless and I have collected a variety of resources and tips. Here they all are.Check them out and check out Paperless2013 and sign up for more tips.

I use my Android smartphone, Nexus 7 tablet, Chromebook and desktop computers, along with apps like Evernote (essential to going paperless), email, online faxing and signing, Google Docs and Drive, Dropbox and Sugarsync and PDF tools, a Boogie Board electronic notepad, a Livescribe Sky Smartpen, and a scanner (Fujitsu Scansnap) to go as paperless as possible. The two articles below have more information too.

My tips and resources:

Paper, we don't need no paper! Tools and tips for going paperless

Tools to go Paperless (in school and at home)

- use flat screen monitors on walls as electronic bulletin boards.
- install solar panels on roof to offset increased electricity use.
- 2 monitors for each PC - can have reference on one screen and working document on other instead of printing reference out (or use tablet)
- Use email, chat, and meeting software and other collaborative software
- all markups done electronically
- auto backup of network every day
- all files on network with offsite, fireproof backup (Dropbox, Sugarsync, own network)
- autosave files every 5 min
- battery and generator backups
- limit print outs to absolutely necessary items
- all files saved in two formats - original (such as Word or PPT) and PDF. PDF is readable by every device and operating system using free apps.
- Read-only terminals in certain areas for visitors and reference look up
- network accessible from home/road for personnel - no data on laptops
- all paperwork from outside is scanned into system - original is filed
- all partners, organizations and vendors are encouraged to use electronic communications - email, website forms, etc.
- Student Information are all searchable and connected and linked with all relevant files
- scan legacy files using OCR into PDF files or scan into Evernote to make searchable
- don't print emails!
- all files distributed as PDF's when possible - readable on any system
- Train your employees on going paperless

From Google:
7 best ways to go paperless.

1) Use cloud storage: One place to create, share and keep all your files
Google Drive: Get started with 5GB free. Try it free

2) Send an online fax: Fax machines waste paper and ink is expensive
HelloFax: Send faxes online, 50 free pages/month. Try it free

3) Manage your bills online: Access statements and organize accounts
Manilla: Avoid paper bills, pay online for free. Try it free

4) Sign documents using an e-signatures: Just as legal and super easy
HelloSign: eSign contracts for free. Try it free

5) Create an online expense report: Don't print out e-receipts
Expensify: Manage all your receipts in cloud for free. Try it free

6) Send online invoices and receive payment online
Xero: Online business accounting, 6 months free. Try it free

7) Scan your existing documents: Get rid of your file cabinets
Fujitsu SnapScan: The world's best document scannner. Check it out

What are your tips, tricks, advice, and resources for going paperless?

Reinventing Educational Leadership

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

As the 21st century continues to unfold, the task of finding competent leaders to occupy positions of leadership in the educational arena continues to be a challenge not because of a lack of academically qualified leaders, but because of a lack of adaptive -competently qualified candidates. As such, many schools are under the leadership of leaders who lack the qualifications necessary to operate educational institutions in an era marked by rapid and constant change. If the educational scenery is to realize any meaningful change educational leadership should be reinvented. This paper identifies some of the challenges currently faced by the Education system. It looks at how these challenges may be addressed by reinventing educational leadership. The paper culminates with brief recommendations of how institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders in the educational sector may reinvent the manner in which they prepare educational leaders -the end result not only academically-qualified, but also adaptive-competently qualified leaders who are able to perform in environments characterized by constant and rapid changes.

The educational environment in contemporary society is one in which change represents one of the very few constants. Cultural, social, political, technological and economical changes have resulted in a more diverse school populace since the genesis of education. With the advent of these changes, the educational sector is now faced with increased challenges. Challenges such as: low family literacy, increased poverty margins, a rise in dysfunctional families, and increased access to counter-productive information via internet. These challenges have seemingly created an uneven playing ground where students from all walks of life enter the education system being different, but by the time they exit, the barriers of differences should fade significantly, at least academically. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. An article by The National Association of Secondary School Principals "How do you reinvent a principal" highlights a number of effects these challenges have birthed: higher drop out rates, lower academic achievement and teacher attrition. The impact of the effects of these challenges on society is detrimental, as more students exit the educational system without the necessary qualifications to become positively contributing citizens to society.

As these changes and their impact are manifested in the educational environment, stakeholders are forced to raise their expectations from those in leadership positions within schools. Copeland in his article "The myth of a Super Principal" substantiates this point when he states that the expectations of leaders have increased significantly since the 1980's (2001). The mandate of the No Child Left behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 solidified the prior statements as under the act leaders working in schools which were repeatedly classified as not meeting annual yearly progress (AYP) goals were relinquished of their positions. Incidentally, most of the leaders who were "relocated" were academically qualified for leadership positions, but lacked adaptive-competent qualification. Academically qualified leaders have successfully completed their years of training, by mastering the necessary dogma that was required. Adaptive-competent leaders are able to execute the theoretical skills practically and are able to assess new situations and appropriately modify their leadership style to suit the situation. As the educational scenery changes leadership should be reinvented if any measure of success is to be expected in erasing the effects of the challenges facing education.

The expectations of society have shaped and will continue to shape the roles of those in leadership positions. Educational leaders are now expected to be more than managers, creating rules and policies and maintaining the necessary paper work. They have to be more than disciplinarians, enforcing rules and policies and giving consequences in the event that rules and policies are broken. Leaders are expected to, amidst all the challenges they face, contribute to the increase in student achievement, cut drop out rates, and be a motivating force to their teachers. As the period of high stake testing takes root, no educational leader is exempt from these new demands. Institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders within the educational arena must now ponder and quickly, how to prepare leaders to take on an educational system that must survive in these turbulent times, or face a future with yearly increase in the number of counter-productive students.

Educational leadership for this era demands a style of leadership that is fluid sufficiently to deal effectively with the challenges which will continue to bombard the academic world. This style of leadership should be entrenched in values, only then can an educational culture that is conducive to the invention of productive future citizens be realized. These values should encourage integrity in decision-making which will impact not only education, but stakeholders as well. A value-driven culture should produce leaders and followers who are willing to listen, and evaluate data before taking the steps to implement or act on the data. 21st century educational leadership should encourage collaborative team work within their organizations. This will permit staff members to feel a sense of self worth and subsequently self confidence as they work with their leaders to realize the necessary changes needed to counteract the challenges they face. Educational leaders should encourage staff-creativity, as they seek new ways to address new situations facing education. Far too often educators rely on the advice of those outside of the educational arena to provide techniques with which they may master the challenges they face. In order for staff members to maximize their creative potential leaders should create environments that facilitate and encourage employee creativity and innovative efforts. Encourage workshops sessions were brainstorm techniques as well as the random word technique or mind mapping is used to identify on going methods of providing a climate in which students are motivated to learn. The environment in question should prompt employees to enthusiastically participate decisions critical to the education process. This can be achieved if leaders create a culture that is conducive to open communication, where followers are able to participate by expressing their ideas without fear of ridicule.

Contemporary educational leaders should move away from a particular style, but should utilize different leadership styles as the situation warrants in order to effectively deal with the challenges they face. Any leadership style that lacks the flexibility to bend as the time changes will become an impediment to academic progress. Institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders should prepare educational leaders to embrace new strategies of dealing with a new "generation" which will continue to metamorphosise as the time changes. As society grapple with the shortage of qualified educational leaders, institutions of higher learning need to provide adequate and on going professional development opportunities to qualify those seeking leadership positions in order to produce academically and adaptively-competently qualified leaders.

21st century educational leadership should be equipped to deal with the myriad changes bombarding society. As technology, culture, politics, economy, and social factors continue to modify the educational environment, academic-qualification, should no longer be the measuring stick by which leaders are prepared. The need to develop adaptive-competence becomes necessary. Only then can leadership be revolutionized to meet the demand of a changing school populace.



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