February 9th, 2011
Distance education is not a new concept. In fact, colleges and universities have been offering it for years. It can be a great opportunity for adult students to continue their educations while working and raising families. If it weren’t for the option of online courses, I may not have been able to earn my MBA a few years ago. It may or may not have happened, but certainly would not have happened within the time frame it did.
I have been hearing a lot of radio advertisements and reading a lot of articles recently about virtual education for the K-12 grade levels, too. It may or may not be the right option for your school district, but this is a trend that is definitely on the rise.
If you are looking to add an online education option or courses to your district’s curriculum, take a look at this newsletter from 4imprint with ideas on how to help students make the most of this opportunity.
January 10th, 2011
It’s hard to believe, since it’s about 8 months away, but my husband and I will be making a decision on where to send our oldest to kindergarten within the next couple of weeks. Seems like it’s coming up quickly, and I am certainly not ready for that stage in her life (or mine!), but since registration is early February, it has to be done.
We have 2 options, and have taken tours and received plenty of information. The schools have been very accommodating answering our questions. I also appreciate that they are holding some upcoming events that we can attend – ‘Kindergarten Round-ups’ – where we can meet with teachers, talk with other parents, and ask additional questions that we may not have already asked.
At any school level, whether it is elementary, middle, high school, or college, parents want to be involved and get plenty of information on where their children will be getting their education. What types of recruitment events are you holding, and how do you communicate with the parents of prospective students? What are you doing to get parents involved upfront?
May 12th, 2010
As educators, I’m sure you have dealt with the issue of students and their cell phones. Whether texting, getting calls, or using social media sites on smartphones, they are very distracting in the classroom. Your school may even be one that has banned cell phones during class, or even on school property.
With so much that can be done with technology, however, can cell phones actually aid in learning? School districts in North Carolina are using smartphones to improve math performance, and other districts will be joining in the next year. The phones are school-issued, so some capabilities, such as texting, are not enabled. Students are able to post questions on blogs, and it allows students to ask for help at any time of day.
Although some of the applications that would be available on a student’s personal smartphone are not ideal for a learning environment, using personal phones could make the use of these in the classroom a reality much sooner. Guidelines would need to be set before a program is implemented and the phones are allowed into class, but there may be opportunities to incorporate them in your lesson plans.
The use of phones can also allow students to quickly share ideas through texting or perform internet searches on whatever the topic may be. They can make exchanging and gathering information very efficient and timely, in a way that was not possible a few years ago.
I’m interested to know where you stand on the issue of phones in the classroom – does it bother you? Are you in favor of using them as a learning tool? Or are you against them altogether?
As phones and their capabilities evolve, I’m sure you can see the use of this technology becoming a reality in the classroom much sooner than later.
January 7th, 2010
Are extracurricular activities important in a student’s overall education?
Most studies indicate that yes, it is important for students of all ages to participate in some sort of extracurricular activity.
According to an article by Robert Needleman, MD, children as young as age 6 can benefit from extracurricular activities. The most commonly mentioned benefit is higher self-esteem for participants, which leads to better academic performance and community involvement. The right activities, such as journalism or photography, can also provide experience or guidance in future careers.
At the college/university level, activities outside of class are also important to student development. Activities encourage interaction with other students, developing leadership skills, and positively impacts student academic performance. Most colleges and universities promote extracurricular activities as way to develop well-rounded individuals, to allow for more confidence and in future job successes.
Of course, as important as these activities are, it is difficult to always find enough funding to take that school field trip, participate in sporting events, or purchase new equipment and uniforms. Fundraising has become a necessity for most schools, but there are many options beyond selling pizza and candy, so parents, relatives, and neighbors are willing to buy if it is unique or something they can use. Try one of the many fundraiser websites for ideas, including EasyFundraisingIdeas.com or RRewards.com.
4imprint’s latest Education Newsletter gives practical fundraising ideas for your school, to aid in continued or new extracurricular offerings.
December 15th, 2009
We’ve all seen the statistics of unhealthy eating on children’s physical health, but recently I have come across some research about the impact of student nutrition on academic performance.
The studies I have found show that breakfast is important for students of all ages, from early childhood to college level. According to a study by the Food Research and Action Center, children who skip breakfast before school have slower memory recall, lower cognitive test scores, and attendance issues. Surveys of college students have indicated that as a result of skipping breakfast, they tend to fall asleep during class and become unable to concentrate.
While over 10 million students are participating in a school breakfast program, many more, approximately 30 million, participate in school lunch programs. Whether your school offers breakfast and lunch, or just lunch, it is important to be sure that your nutrition programs offer healthy options.
Changing your school’s nutrition program to offer healthier options can be a high-profile event in which you involve students and parents. Getting their buy-in upfront, as well as that of the school district, will make the transition easier, and minimize any negative reactions. By building awareness about why the changes are necessary and enlisting the support of influential students or organizations, implementing the healthy eating during the school day will be seen as a positive change.
Has your school implemented any special programs to encourage healthy eating?
Read more why and how to promote a healthy meal program in 4imprint’s Education Newsletter.
August 13th, 2009
As a mom and wife who also works full-time outside of the home, reading books is not high on my to do list. Sitting down with a good book has always been a great way for me to relax, but it is difficult to find the time. So within the last few months I have taken to logging on to my local library’s website, and ‘checking out’ audio books that I can play on my PC. It allows me to get my fix of a good mystery while making dinner, cleaning, etc. I find it invaluable, and a great stress reliever.
So it was very interesting last night as I was listening to one of these books and researching some new market trends, that I came across a brief article on teachermagazine.org, titled “10 digital textbooks meet state academic standards.” Basically, the state of California is looking at digital textbooks that meet state educational standards. The rationale is that it will save costs, while engaging students in interactive learning. It certainly does follow trends that many of us use in our personal lives.
I am interested to know what others in the market think of this. I’m sure there is a lot more to understand about what the impacts will be, and how teaching styles may be modified. Is it a good idea? Will students respond positively? Let me know what you think. It is truly a sign of the times…
July 21st, 2009
Parental involvement is a pretty strong influence in the quality of a child’s education. No matter what level of education a child is in, studies have shown that the more involved and aware the parents are, the more successful the child is.
There are many sources available online that provide ideas, such as Education World’s Parent Involvement in Schools article. Providing parents with an opportunity to share ideas for fundraising and school events, or a forum to meet other parents and discuss concerns can make them feel like they are actively participating in their child’s future and education.
4imprint has published a newsletter on this very topic, with some practical ideas on involving parents in school activities.