Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Big Data on Campus

Big Data on Campus.

This article is part of a collaboration between The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education, a daily source of news and opinion for professors, administrators and others interested in academe. Marc Parry is a technology reporter for The Chronicle.

CAMPUSES are places of intuition and serendipity: a professor senses confusion on a student’s face and repeats his point; a student majors in psychology after a roommate takes a course; two freshmen meet on the quad and eventually become husband and wife. Now imagine hard data substituting for happenstance.

As Katye Allisone, a freshman at Arizona State University, hunkers down in a computer lab for an 8:35 a.m. math class, the Web-based course watches her back. Answers, scores, pace, click paths — it hoovers up information, like Google. But rather than personalizing search results, data shape Ms. Allisone’s class according to her understanding of the material.

With 72,000 students, A.S.U. is both the country’s largest public university and a hotbed of data-driven experiments. One core effort is a degree-monitoring system that keeps tabs on how students are doing in their majors. Stray off-course and a student may have to switch fields.

And while not exactly matchmaking, Arizona State takes an interest in students’ social lives, too. Its Facebook app mines profiles to suggest friends. One classmate shares eight things in common with Ms. Allisone, who “likes” education, photography and tattoos. Researchers are even trying to figure out social ties based on anonymized data culled from swipes of ID cards around the Tempe campus.

This is college life, quantified.

Data mining hinges on one reality about life on the Web: what you do there leaves behind a trail of digital breadcrumbs. Companies scoop those up to tailor services, like the matchmaking of eHarmony or the book recommendations of Amazon. Now colleges, eager to get students out the door more efficiently, are awakening to the opportunities of so-called Big Data.

The new breed of software can predict how well students will do before they even set foot in the classroom. It recommends courses, Netflix-style, based on students’ academic records.

Data diggers hope to improve an education system in which professors often fly blind. That’s a particular problem in introductory-level courses, says Carol A. Twigg, president of the National Center for Academic Transformation. “The typical class, the professor rattles on in front of the class,” she says. “They give a midterm exam. Half the kids fail. Half the kids drop out. And they have no idea what’s going on with their students.”

As more of this technology comes online, it raises new tensions. What role does a professor play when an algorithm recommends the next lesson? If colleges can predict failure, should they steer students away from challenges? When paths are so tailored, do campuses cease to be places of exploration?

“We don’t want to turn into just eHarmony,” says Michael Zimmer, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he studies ethical dimensions of new technology. “I’m worried that we’re taking both the richness and the serendipitous aspect of courses and professors and majors — and all the things that are supposed to be university life — and instead translating it into 18 variables that spit out, ‘This is your best fit. So go over here.’ ”


EVER since childhood, Rikki Eriven has felt certain of the career that would fit her best: working with animals. Specifically, large animals. The soft-spoken freshman smiles as she recalls the episode of “Animal Planet” that kindled this interest, the one about zoo specialists who treat rhinos, hippos and giraffes. So when Ms. Eriven arrived at Arizona State last fall, she put her plan in motion by picking biological sciences as her major.

But things didn’t go according to plan. She felt overwhelmed. She dropped a class. She did poorly in biology (after experiencing problems, she says, with the clicker device used to answer multiple-choice questions in class). Ms. Eriven began seeing ominous alerts in her e-mail in-box and online student portal. “Off-track,” they warned. “It told me that I had to seek eAdvising,” she says. “And I was, like, eAdvising?”


Monday, July 30, 2012

Learning in Classrooms Versus Online

Learning in Classrooms Versus Online.  

In “The Trouble With Online Education” (Op-Ed, July 20), Mark Edmundson captures the inadequacy of online courses from the teacher’s perspective, and I can corroborate from the student’s.

I was a math-obsessive in high school. To supplement my school’s curriculum, I turned to a Stanford program offering online courses to gifted youth. I started the program with enthusiasm, but I soon felt alone and unsupported. I had no one to impress or disappoint. I struggled to stay motivated. It was impersonal and transactional, and it nearly destroyed my obsession.

A face-to-face meeting in a classroom imposes accountability, inspires effort and promotes academic responsibility in subtle ways that we don’t fully appreciate. On a campus, students attend class and stay alert because they worry what the teacher will think if they don’t.

Once they’re in the classroom, the battle is mostly won. As in life, 80 percent of education is showing up, in person.

Burlington, N.C., July 20, 2012

The writer is a Rhodes Scholar and 2011 graduate of Yale Law School.

To the Editor:

Learning online is, of course, not the same as learning face to face, and that is likely good news for anyone who can recall an hour lost listening to an interminable lecture in an overheated classroom.

Good courses, whether on campus or online, are engaging and foster active learning communities. In the best online courses, learners connect, collaborate, inspire, discover and create through myriad technologies.

Coursera, just one example of online learning opportunities, touts active learning as one of its pedagogical foundations. It’s too early to know if Coursera will be successful, but I’ve enrolled in two upcoming courses because amid this grand experiment, I might just find the pure intellectual joy that can be found in a vital learning community.

Baltimore, July 20, 2012

The writer is an instructional designer for Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is offering courses through Coursera.

To the Editor:

I couldn’t agree more with “The Trouble With Online Education.” When I went to college, my parents agreed that I should stay in the dormitories, far away from home. The reasoning was that the college environment would be inspiring and focused and would enable me to get help from my peers (and instructors) whenever I needed it.

Many years later, as a professor, I have found that there is no better way to inspire and motivate my students than in the classroom. The multidimensional world of questions, extemporaneous answers, spur-of-the-moment thinking, blackboard problem-solving and shared excitement in learning about how the world works will never be replaced by the one-dimensional world of online learning.

Las Vegas, July 20, 2012

The writer is an associate professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

To the Editor:

I have been teaching online since 1998, and my online courses look nothing like those Mark Edmundson describes. The online classes at my college involve an average of 25 students. The vast majority of my students contribute to discussions online, not just the few brave enough to speak up in a traditional class. The lack of spatial proximity gives more students the “courage” to engage me directly. As a result, I carry on numerous conversations with individual students via e-mail over the course of a semester.

Online courses offer students the ability to add courses when those at desired times are closed or to accommodate work schedules. They allow colleges to offer more needed sections of courses despite space limitations.

So please, let’s not evaluate all online education based on the example of those at a handful of large universities.

Richmond, Va., July 23, 2012

The writer teaches English and religion at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

To the Editor:

Mark Edmundson is right to point out the pedagogical limitations of online education, particularly in the case of undergraduate students. Equally troubling, however, is the threat that elite, resource-rich consortiums pose to the hundreds of small, private colleges across the land.

Facing a host of challenges, ranging from tiny endowments to shrinking enrollments, such colleges and universities are the pride of their communities.

It would be a sad day if they are driven out of business by corporate titans in distant towers of privilege. Much as in the world of retail, students may have access to cheaper courses online, but neither the students nor our nation would ultimately be the richer for it.

Portland, Me., July 20, 2012

The writer is associate provost for global initiatives at the University of New England in Maine.

To the Editor:

The trouble with a regular college education is that it costs too much. Students are saddled with debts they will spend half their lives repaying.

I agree, there is no substitute for the interactive classroom. However, until the issue of runaway costs for higher education is addressed, students from poor and middle-class families, intent on getting a college education, will increasingly gravitate to these free, accredited Internet courses.

Manchester, N.H., July 20, 2012

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/opinion/learning-in-classrooms-versus-online.html?ref=educationandschools


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is China The World's Cleverest Country?

Is China The world's cleverest country?

China's results in international education tests - which have never been published - are "remarkable", says Andreas Schleicher, responsible for the highly-influential Pisa tests.

These tests, held every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, measure pupils' skills in reading, numeracy and science.

Pisa tests - the Programme for International Student Assessment - have become the leading international benchmark.

The findings indicate that China has an education system that is overtaking many Western countries.

While there has been intense interest in China's economic and political development, this provides the most significant insight into how it is teaching the next generation.

'Incredible resilience'

The Pisa 2009 tests showed that Shanghai was top of the international education rankings.

But it was unclear whether Shanghai and another chart-topper, Hong Kong, were unrepresentative regional showcases.

Mr Schleicher says the unpublished results reveal that pupils in other parts of China are also performing strongly.

"Even in rural areas and in disadvantaged environments, you see a remarkable performance."

In particular, he said the test results showed the "resilience" of pupils to succeed despite tough backgrounds - and the "high levels of equity" between rich and poor pupils.

"Shanghai is an exceptional case - and the results there are close to what I expected. But what surprised me more were the results from poor provinces that came out really well. The levels of resilience are just incredible.

"In China, the idea is so deeply rooted that education is the key to mobility and success."

Investing in the future

The results for disadvantaged pupils would be the envy of any Western country, he says.

Mr Schleicher is confident of the robustness of this outline view of China's education standards.

In an attempt to get a representative picture, tests were taken in nine provinces, including poor, middle-income and wealthier regions.

The Chinese government has so far not allowed the OECD to publish the actual data.

But Mr Schleicher says the results reveal a picture of a society investing individually and collectively in education.

On a recent trip to a poor province in China, he says he saw that schools were often the most impressive buildings.

He says in the West, it is more likely to be a shopping centre.

"You get an image of a society that is investing in its future, rather than in current consumption."

There were also major cultural differences when teenagers were asked about why people succeeded at school.

"North Americans tell you typically it's all luck. 'I'm born talented in mathematics, or I'm born less talented so I'll study something else.'

"In Europe, it's all about social heritage: 'My father was a plumber so I'm going to be a plumber'.

"In China, more than nine out of 10 children tell you: 'It depends on the effort I invest and I can succeed if I study hard.'

"They take on responsibility. They can overcome obstacles and say 'I'm the owner of my own success', rather than blaming it on the system."

Education's World Cup

This year will see another round of Pisa tests - it's like World Cup year for international education. And Mr Schleicher's tips for the next fast-improving countries are Brazil, Turkey and Poland.

Mr Schleicher, a German based in the OECD's Paris headquarters, has become the godfather of such global education comparisons.

Armed with a spreadsheet and an impeccably polite manner, his opinions receive close attention in the world's education departments.

The White House responded to the last Pisa results with President Barack Obama's observation that the nation which "out-educates us today will out-compete us tomorrow".

The next round of global league tables will test 500,000 pupils in more than 70 countries - with the results to be published late next year.

Education ministers will be looking nervously at the outcome.

"In the past, politicians could always say we're doing better than last year - everyone could be a success," he says, describing the tendency for national results to rise each year.

The arrival of Pisa tests sent an icy draught through these insulated corridors.

No excuses

Perhaps the biggest discomfort of all was for Germany - where "Pisa shock" described the discovery that their much vaunted education system was distinctly average.

And the biggest change in attitude, he says, has been the United States - once with no interest in looking abroad, now enthusiastically borrowing ideas from other countries.

"Education is a field dominated by beliefs and traditions, it's inward looking. As a system you can find all kinds of excuses and explanations for not succeeding.

"The idea of Pisa was to take away all the excuses.

"People say you can only improve an education system over 25 years - but look at Poland and Singapore, which have improved in a very short time, we've seen dramatic changes."

The biggest lesson of the Pisa tests, he says, is showing there is nothing inevitable about how schools perform.

"Poverty is no longer destiny. You can see this at the level of economies, such as South Korea, Singapore."

Fair comparison?

A criticism of such rankings has been that it is unfair. How can an impoverished developing country be compared with the stockpiled multiple advantages of a wealthy Scandinavian nation?

Here Mr Schleicher makes a significant distinction. It might not be fair, but such comparisons are extremely relevant. "Relevance and fairness are not the same thing," he says.

Youngsters in the poorest countries are still competing in a global economy. "It's a terrible thing to take away the global perspective."

He also attacks the idea of accepting lower expectations for poorer children - saying this was the "big trap in the 1970s".

"It was giving the disadvantaged child an excuse - you come from a poor background, so we'll lower the horizon for you, we'll make it easier.

"But that child has still got to compete in a national labour market.

"This concept of 'fairness' is deeply unfair - because by making life easier for children from difficult circumstances, we lower their life chances."

'Sorting mechanism'

So why are the rising stars in Asia proving so successful?

Mr Schleicher says it's a philosophical difference - expecting all pupils to make the grade, rather than a "sorting mechanism" to find a chosen few.

He says anyone can create an education system where a few at the top succeed, the real challenge is to push through the entire cohort.

In China, he says this means using the best teachers in the toughest schools.

The shifting in the balance of power will be measured again with Pisa 2012, with pupils sitting tests from Stockholm to Seoul, London to Los Angeles, Ankara to Adelaide.

"I don't think of Pisa as being about ranking, it tells you what's possible. How well could we be doing?"

Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17585201


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Near Cambodia's Temple Ruins, a Devotion to Learning

Near Cambodia's Temple Ruins, a Devotion to Learning.

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA — Millions of tourists come here every year to visit the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, an influx that has helped transform what once resembled a small, laid-back village into a thriving and cosmopolitan town with thumping nightlife and more than 10,000 hotel rooms.

But the explosion of the tourism industry here has also done something less predictable. Siem Reap, which had no universities a decade ago, is now Cambodia’s second-largest hub for higher education, after the capital, Phnom Penh.

The sons and daughters of impoverished rice farmers flock here to work as tour guides, receptionists, bartenders and waitresses. When their shifts are over, they study finance, English and accounting.

“I never imagined that I could go to university,” said Hem Sophoan, a 31-year-old tour guide who is now studying for his second master’s degree. “There’s been so much change and opportunities for young people.”

The establishment of five private universities here is helping to transform the work force in this part of Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest countries and a society still living in the shadow of the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge. Employers say that English proficiency is rising and that workers who attend universities stand out for their ability to express themselves and make decisions. A generation of students who would otherwise have had little hope to study beyond high school are enduring grueling schedules to get a degree and pursue their dreams.

Khim Borin, a 26-year-old tour guide by day and law student by night, says he wants to become a lawyer. But he sometimes has trouble staying awake in class during the high tourist season, when he spends hours scaling vertiginous temple steps and baking in the tropical sun.

“I tell my friends, ‘Hit me if you see me falling asleep,”’ he said.

The son of a broken and impoverished household, Mr. Khim Borin worked as a bartender and a masseur and installed air-conditioners at hotels before becoming a tour guide. He summarizes his life as “hard but happy.”

The five universities in Siem Reap currently enroll more than 10,000 students. Most of the campuses, which are scattered around the town, are quiet during the day but come to life with the buzz of students’ motorcycles as soon as the sun sets.

The United Nations and foreign aid organizations have had an oversize role in helping steer the country since the Khmer Rouge were driven from power more than three decades ago. But the symbiosis of work and study here came together without any master plan.

It was driven largely by supply and demand: universities opened to cater to the dreams of Cambodia’s youth — and offered flexible hours in sync with the rhythms of the tourist industry. University administrators say 80 to 90 percent of the students hold full-time jobs.

“They come here, find a job first, and then they start their bachelor degree,” said Rous Bunthy, vice president for administrative affairs at the University of South-East Asia, which opened here in 2006 and has an enrollment of 2,300.

Most students pay the annual tuition of $400 themselves, Mr. Rous Bunthy said. “Some of their parents can help a little — maybe $10 a month,” he said.

Although the fees are a small fraction of what private universities in more developed countries charge, students often struggle to pay, administrators say.

“The main problem is financial support,” said That Bunsay, vice president of administrative affairs at the Siem Reap branch of Build Bright University, the largest in Siem Reap with about 5,000 enrolled.

“They need to find money first and then go to school — money is the first priority,” Mr. That Bunsay said.

Luckier students get sponsorship from foreigners. On a recent evening, an Argentine insurance saleswoman on vacation here, Maria Theresa Landoni, waited outside Mr. That Bunsay’s office. She had come to the university to pay the tuition of a young woman who wanted to study tourism.

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/world/asia/cambodias-angkor-wat-temple-ruins-brings-tourists-and-higher-education-opportunites-for-tour-guides.html?_r=1&ref=cambodia


Friday, July 27, 2012

Vietnam Scholars Win USA Scientific Research Awards

Vietnam scholars win USA scientific research awards.

Vietnam has recently earned two awards in the first round of a USA government program to fund scientific research in developing countries, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday in a press release.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have accordingly decided to provide grants to two research projects on climate change headed by Vietnamese scholars from local institutes and universities, with support from their Indonesian and American partners.

The two winning research projects include Assessment of Impacts of the Emission Reduction Measures of Short-lived Climate Forcers on Air Quality and Climate in Southeast Asia, and Research and Capacity Building on Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation (REDD+) Livelihoods, and Vulnerability in Vietnam, both of which will be conducted from now until May 2015.

The funding is given under the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) awards, meant to award research collaboration grants to support and build scientific and technical capacity in the developing world.

PEER is a USAID-funded competitive grants program that is administered by the National Academy of Sciences in coordination with NSF.

Read more at http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/education/education-news/vietnam-scholars-win-u-s-scientific-research-awards-1.77734


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thai Schools Urged to Boost Speaking

Thai Schools Urged to Boost Speaking.

The Thai government has embarked on an ambitious nationwide programme to teach English at least once a week in all state schools as part of the new 2012 English Speaking Year project.

The initiative is intended to ease Thailand's entry into the Asean community in 2015, when southeast Asia becomes one economic zone and a universal language is required for communication and business.

The project will focus on speaking English rather than studying its grammar, with teachers provided training through media modules and partnerships with foreign institutions, including English-language schools, according to Thailand's education ministry.

The initiative, which started in late December and is still being ironed out, is a formidable task, aiming to reach some 14 million students in 34,000 state schools across Thailand from pre-primary to university age, said Ministry of Education permanent secretary Sasithara Pichaichanarong.

"Our goal is to reach students all across Thailand – from the remote, far-reaching villages to the capital – by teaching them English through educational tools on TV, the radio and internet, and conversations with native speakers," said Sasithara. "Obviously the students are not going to be fluent immediately, but the idea is to get them speaking English better today than they did yesterday."

While the ministry aims to incentivise teachers to create an "English corner" in classrooms containing English-language newspapers, books and CDs, the programme is in no way mandatory and will rely instead on a system of rewards. Those who embrace the project may receive a scholarship to travel abroad or be given extra credit at the end of term, Sasithara said.

The programme saw a recent publicity boost when former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who visited the education ministry as part of a three-day trip to Bangkok, taught some 100 Thai students basic English and called the Speaking English Year project a "brave … and sensible decision for Thailand". Now the ministry is discussing a partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation for assistance with the project in upcoming months, Sasithara said.

To date, government-run language programmes have focussed on rote learning that makes for poor improvisation when it comes to having conversations in the real world, critics argue. Recent university admission exams show that Thai students scored an average 28.43 out of 100 in English, according to the National Institute of Educational Testing Service.

Native speakers will have a role to play in the project, said Sasithara, who expects to start recruiting teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and US, as well as from countries where a high level of English is spoken, such as Singapore, the Philippines and India.

School director Panya Sukawanich said his Bangkok school would go ahead with Speaking English Year modules but that they may not reap the benefits the government was expecting.

"Many of our students have poor English – some Mathayom 1 [first-year secondary school] students still can't write A-Z," he recently told the Bangkok Post. "We have to teach them the fundamentals again and again."

Final-year student Rossukhon Seangma, who has been learning English for the past 10 years, explained, in Thai, why that was the case. "Thai students don't speak English in their daily life, so we are not familiar with using it," she told reporters. "When the class finishes, we switch to Thai."

If English fails, perhaps Mandarin will succeed – as the Ministry of Education has also been in discussions with China about creating a similar "Speaking Chinese Year Project", Sasithara said.

"Chinese officials were very interested in the English programme and offered to create a Chinese version – where they would send over 1,000 Chinese teachers to Thailand and provide scholarships to 1,000 Thai students to study in China," said Sasithara. "I told them, 'Yes, why not?' If we can learn both, it would be a great success."

Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/14/thailand-speak-english-campaign


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jobs in Cambodia

Jobs in Cambodia.

Cambodia is becoming a popular destination with Western travellers because it has a stunning and diverse natural landscape, it has friendly people, it has enjoyed a rich and varied history and offers up a whole host of exciting and fantastic experiences to enjoy.

Many of those who visit Cambodia for an extended period of time fall in love with the country and its people and are determined to work to help the nation and either settle down or later return to work in Cambodia.

For people with a dream of helping the country and its citizens to progress there are various vacancies available annually for aid and charity workers as well as extensive job openings for teachers. An alternative to these industries for employment for expats is the tourism industry which is growing rapidly and bolstering the economy - this fact means that tourism is now helping to stabilise Cambodia and therefore jobs in Cambodia for Westerners can be found mainly in tourism, education or charity fields.

Anyone thinking about moving to live for a while in this fascinating and stunning country and who would like to know more specifics about the types of jobs available in Cambodia that expatriates usually take should find useful tips and insider advice in this article.

As stated tourism, charity work and education are the main employment sectors for expatriates but in recent months a significant amount of exploration has revealed extensive oil and natural gas reserves in the territorial waters of Cambodia meaning that this is an alternative field of employment that will likely open up to external Western contractors in the future.

In the meantime anyone determined to find employment in Cambodia will find it difficult to source anything remotely unless the individual in questions approaches a recruitment company specialist in either the field in which they wish to work or in the country of Cambodia itself - an alternative is to directly make contact with the aid agencies who work in Cambodia for example or international agencies which employ teaching staff for the country's schools.

In terms of teaching jobs there's one big complaint that you will hear from all those working in the education industry and that is that the level of pay is very low and consequently the standard of living that teachers can aspire to in Cambodia is correspondingly low...however you have to stop and ask yourself why you would want to teach in Cambodia in the first place - surely those who commit to teaching in schools in Phnom Penh or even in smaller towns such as Battambang aren't in it for the money!

The whole thing about working in a country like Cambodia is gaining invaluable life experience at the same time as enjoying the travel and adventure that goes hand in hand with working abroad temporarily in a country where Western expats all band together!

Teachers often find employment in one of the international schools located in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh or in one of the language schools dotted across the country, other's work alongside Khmer teachers in provincial schools mainly teaching English or teaching other key subjects through the medium of English.

For jobs in all other employment sectors there is a Khmer Website Directory which lists jobs in many diverse fields. When it comes to the better paying end of the scale of jobs available in Cambodia the charities and aid agency employees are relatively well remunerated which means that the standard of living they can enjoy is also correspondingly good. Having said that no job in Cambodia is going to make an employee particularly wealthy, in fact the main criteria that anyone who is committed to working in Cambodia should have is a desire to assist rather than to take and to facilitate development and improvement.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?Jobs-in-Cambodia&id=234731


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Kids Needed Academic Help

Getting Kids Needed Academic Help.

Investing on private tutors makes sense because the quest for a better future becomes tougher each year. These professionals help teens cope, manage, and prepare for vital tests like the SAT to prepare them for college and other difficult pursuits. Listed below are pointers moms and dads should think over.

Paid or Peer

The popularity of peer tutoring in many high schools and colleges has many disregarding the need for a private tutor, as they think the setup is already perfect. Kids can get other smarter kids to teach them at no-cost making it a budget savvy move for parents. Children with special needs, like attention deficit disorder (ADD), may especially gain advantage from this tutoring setup since other kids can help them stay focused.

Those who tutor also gain something as they get to enrich their knowledge and experience. Many who engage in tutorial activities can gain better understanding as they teach topics to others. This also builds self-confidence and inspires better time management.

While all these may be true, the case is only one phase of the issue. Other phases such as scheduling and teaching ability will still come to play. Peer tutors are still students and often, they also need to meet deadlines for homework, reports, and so on. Some also engage in other extra-curricular activities making teaching far more difficult.

Many schools also question their staff's availability to monitor, supervise, and train volunteers to become better at the task. There's also the issue of matching student personalities to facilitate better learning. Students matched with peer tutors who are their exact opposites may not work well together. Once it happens, frustrations occur and both students may abandon the idea.

Tutor Misconceptions

Although many think SAT tutors, for example, will only matter if the child is failing, this case may be a prime example of getting help a little too late. Finding help during such periods may be useful, but may have been a better idea if done earlier. Early involvement is best so the student will not question his or her abilities. You have to remember that some children may underperform after getting low grades thinking they could not do any better. The frustration can also result to reduced self-esteem, which may later cause more harm on their mental and emotional state. Hiring a tutor even when the kids are doing well may help avoid these cases and encourage them to further improve their study habits.

Many tutors can also steer your child towards advance topics. This may especially be useful to anticipate any difficulties later. Capable ones additionally give useful advice on essay topics to prepare teens in entering college. They can share perspectives on subjects worth studying to help students qualify for highly rated degrees.


Whether you're hiring an SAT tutor or others for your child, make sure to find one from reliable service providers. Search online for companies offering tutoring services in your area. Compare packages, schedules, and price offers to see which ones fit your budget and needs. Doing these steps may help your child as they study for a good future ahead.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?Getting-Kids-Needed-Academic-Help&id=7175446


Monday, July 23, 2012

On Campus Education and Online Education

Difference Between On-Campus Education and Online Education.

On-campus education vs. online education! Is one better than the other? Can one completely replace the other? Indeed it seems that online education is the way of the future. Educational institutions, corporations and government organizations alike already offer various forms of electronic teaching. However, can a computer truly replace a teacher and a blackboard?

How people learn

Each individual has a form of learning that suits them best. Some individuals achieve fantastic results in courses taught online, however most people drop out of 100% computer-led courses. Educational institutions, as well as companies in carrying out staff training, must recognize that there is no ideal way to carry out the teaching of a large group of individuals, and so must design programs that best suits the needs of the group as a whole.

People learn using multiple senses. This involves learning through both theoretical components of a course, as well as social interaction with both instructors and other students. Students learn from each other's mistakes and successes, not just from what they are told by instructors.

Each individual student has an ideal learning pace. Instructors are therefore faced with the challenge of designing courses that move forward such that those students with a slower learning pace do not get left behind, while not moving so slowly that students with faster learning paces get bored.

Online education

In the age of high-speed information transfer, online education is becoming a popular and cheap means for delivering teaching to individuals outside the classroom, and in some cases all over the world. Teaching can be via CD, websites, or through real-time online facilities such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms. However, different methods of online education each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Online education is still a relatively new concept, and in many respects still in the teething stages. As such, various problems arrive across different online education environments. For example:

1. Lack of immediate feedback in asynchronous learning environments: While some online education environments such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms operate live with the addition of an instructor, most do not. Teaching that is delivered through a CD or website, although having the advantage of being self-paced, provides no immediate feedback from a live instructor.

2. More preparation required on the part of the instructor: In an online education environment, an instructor can not simply stand in front of a whiteboard and deliver a class. Lessons in online education environments must be prepared ahead of time, along with any notes and instructions that may accompany the teaching.

In many cases it would also be necessary that the instructor not only understands the concepts being taught, but the technology used to deliver that teaching. This therefore increases the skill-levels needed of online education instructors, placing greater demand on educational institutions.

Staffing levels may also be higher for courses run in an online education environment, requiring for example:

The Instructor - able to teach both course content and be skilled in the use of technologies involved

The Facilitator - to assist the instructor in delivering content, but may do so remotely

Help Desk - to offer assistance to instructors, facilitators and students in the use of both software and hardware used to deliver the course.

3. Not all people are comfortable with online education: Education is no longer only sought by the world's youth. With an increased trend towards adult and continuing education, there is a need to design courses suitable for students over a larger age-range, as well as students from different and varied backgrounds. It is difficult, however, to design online education environments suitable for everyone.

4. Increased potential for frustration, anxiety and confusion: In an online education environment, there are a greater number of parts making up the system that can fail. Server failures may prevent online courses from operating. Software based teaching applications may require other specific components to operate. Computer viruses may infect software necessary to run online education environments. If these systems are complex, students may choose the ease of On-campus education rather than taking the additional time and effort necessary to master the use of online education systems.

5. The Digital Divide: Many people who live in remote areas and developing countries do not have access to computers, making any form of online education virtually impossible. For this reason, online education is only able to be targeted at the people lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the technology involved. Similarly, offering live teaching across the world means that different time zones and nationalities increase the demand for multi-skilled instructors.

In addition to these, there are also several legal issues associated with maintaining an online education environment. For example, intellectual property laws, particularly those relating to copyright, may or may not fully cover electronically created intellectual property. For example, information on a website is not necessarily considered to be public domain, despite being available to everyone. However, the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2001 to ensure that copyright owners of electronic materials, including online education environments, could continue to provide their works commercially.

On-Campus Education

Still the most common form of instruction is traditional classroom-style learning. These instructor-led environments are more personal than online education environments, and also have the advantage of allowing for immediate feedback both to and from student and teachers alike. However, the classroom allows for less flexibility than courses run in online education environments.

Instructors in modern classroom environments are still able to take advantage of several forms of electronic teaching tools while still maintaining the atmosphere associated with the traditional classroom environment. For example, PowerPoint slides can be utilized instead of a whiteboard or blackboard. Handouts can be distributed via course websites prior to the event. However, on the day, students are still able to actively participate in the lesson.

Like online education environments, On-campus education comes with certain drawbacks, the most common of which is the classroom itself. This requires a group of people which, in a university for example, could reach a few hundred people in size, to gather in the same place at the same time. This requires enormous time and financial commitment on behalf of both the students and the educational institution.

However, it is this sort of environment that is most familiar to students across the world. People of all ages can access a classroom environment feeling comfortable with the way that a classroom-run course is carried out. Older students who may not be comfortable with the use of information technology are not required to navigate their way through possibly complex online education environments, making On-campus education the most accessible form of teaching.

On-campus education has one advantage that 100% electronically delivered courses can not offer - social interaction. Learning comes from observing, not only what is written on a page or presented in a slideshow, but what is observed in others. Most students are naturally curious, and so will want to ask questions of their instructors. The classroom environment allows students to clarify what is being taught not only with their instructors, but with other students.

So, Which is Better?

There is no style of instruction that will best suit every student. Studies have shown (Can online education replace On-campus education) that courses where online education is used to complement On-campus education have proved more effective than courses delivered entirely using only one method. These courses take advantage of both online education materials and a live instructor, and have produced results higher than those of students in either 100% online education or classroom environment courses. Students have the advantage of the immediate feedback and social interaction that comes with the classroom environment, as well as the convenience of self-paced online education modules that can be undertaken when it best suits the student.

It would seem that online education environments will never completely replace On-campus education. There is no "one size fits all" method of teaching. Teaching styles will continue to adapt to find the method that best fits the learning group. Using a mix of online education environments and classroom sessions, educational institutions, corporations and government organizations can ensure that training is delivered that is convenient and effective for both instructors and students alike.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?Difference-Between-On-Campus-Education-and-Online-Education&id=981014


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Education Capitalization

Education Capitalization.

Education carried out by government and also private sector requires a real operating expenses height. Most all sector is relating to education must be bought. Book, chalk, ruler, and teaching aid readily uses for example, must be bought. Therefore, education requires cost.

Presumption like that not then is followed up with closing eyes and ear with interest places forward commercial factor than social. Education is not commodity, but effort carries out system and certain mechanism that man is able to improve; repair their/his self, can make balmy itself, and solvent of interaction as man.

Education paradigm growing in Indonesia in this XXI century step by step has started leaves aspiration of the founders this republic nation-state that is that every citizen entitled to get education that is competent. The republic founders aware to that performing of the education are addressed to makes man is humanitarianly and can make process towards at fullness of spirit hence would very ironic with situation of education these days.

The Role of the Government and Private sector

Education is responsibility of all suborder. By referring this assumption, education organizer is not merely government but also entangles the side of private sector individually and also group. Thereby, governmental hoped all members of publics responsible educate Indonesian.

Despitefully, because of limitation of cost, governmental given opportunity of it's bigger to public to participate and develops business through education. This assumption comprehended by public by building opening school, courses, or skilled education type with facility that is better than school build and owned government. By giving supporting facilities for education that is rather differs in, rather complete, and promises makes education managed the side of private sector must be redeemed with cost that is not is cheap. So expensive education.

Indonesia has ever owned Perguruan Taman Siswa carrying out education for public? People with motivation educate public? People. Indonesia also has education system of pesantren (Islamic models) which is not collects payment which in the form of money from it's the student. Student in pesantren modeled this salaf (classical) not only studies public sciences (like biology, physics, mathematics, language, and art) they also studies Islam science for the sake of individual and public.

Without realized already happened friction of motivation of organizer and the management of the existing education. Education organizer of private sector tends to sells dream with equipment of facility which they perform. They disregard condition of Indonesia public most doesn't have purchasing power and energy? Power to bargain. Pupil old fellow will be given on to reality "expensive school" and "go to school for rich man children".

Of course, must also be confessed that the school requires cost. However, collects expense of height for education is a real wrong deed; more than anything else in Constitution 1945 has expressed that any citizen [is] entitled to get education.

Capitalist: Having Under the Law

Shifts it purpose of education levying from formulated by the Republic of Indonesia founders is really peeping out suborder concern. If education only be carried out just for man who is having money, hence the biggest layer of Indonesia public? People will not have formal education. Poor people and people, who don't have purchasing power, will yield apathetic generation. Thereby, will lose also one civilization links a nation.

Education carried out with only menitikberatkan at present financial advantage will only make man is more individually and once in a while overrules that the man basically is created autonomous. Tendency and dependency to get it's (the capital returns will make education product to enable all ways, machiavelistical.

Other side, education system this time makes detached man from it's (the area and sometimes abstracted from its (the community root. Properly is critical that education system this time makes educative participant not autonomous and sometimes forgets spirit to as social creature or according to opinion Aristotle's that the man Zoon Politicon.

Semestinyalah had if education aimed at accomplishment of copartner ship standard (company) must be refused. Ideally, education must load agenda for "humanizes man" (humanization), non dehumanization. By collecting expense of height because law barium; by itself education has been transferred to accomplishment of industrial requirement. More than anything else in Indonesia, diploma is respectable reference and the only equipment to get work that is competent.

By positioning education carried out by government and also law barium private sector must, public trapped at acute dilemma. In one public sides requires education to increase it's the humanity reality, medium on the other side no cost is small monster or endless nightmare.

Tussle between fears and desire of public to send to school it's the children exploited by certain party sides. This condition is a real condition profits if evaluated from the aspect of business. Panic buyers are really condition hardly to the advantage of my pelaku-pela is business.

Opinion: Education is Sacral Factor

Indonesia Public till now still of opinion that formal education is equipment the only to improve; repair life, to get work with good production, good salary, and to fulfill primary requirements, beside can boost up degree. This assumption by generations and always is looked after causing peeps out assumption and places formal education as thing which sacral.

Though all formal education, vocational school is not interesting means. As it's (the impact, vocational schools teaching is skilled becoming not draws. Vocational school is school for member of marginal public. Vocational school teaching how facing and draws up life is assumed not elite and ancient. Despitefully, vocational school is not place of for rich man children, but majored for children from poor family.

Social Lameness as poison impact goad to school which only is enjoyed by rich man children will peep out oppressed feeling and not balmy among poor people. Poor public of which cannot send to school it's (the children will assume it as destiny which must be received and assumes it as penalization of God. Irony, of course. But this is reality when schools becomes is expensive and poor people [shall] no longer have place in school.

Minister of National Education in Indonesia for the existing likely increasingly far from nationality vision. Even with movement of schools autonomy increasingly clearly shows capitalization symptom of education. Now education is managed by using management of business that is then yields cost is sky. Expense of education more and more expensive, even impressed has become business commodity for the owner of capital (capitalist). By using pre-eminent school label, favorite school, peer school etcetera expense of education increasingly strangles poor people. Our education increasingly grinds marginal clan. Where situation of our education justice if certifiable school of that is just for they having money only?

While as man who sure is normal of public will choose best life. However, because of its (the disability and its (the kepicikan in looking at education problem, its (the objectivity is also disappears. Indonesia Public of course requires resuscitation that education is one essential part to improve; repair quality of it's (the humanity. Of course, there is no guarantee that education will make people to become rich, influential, famous, and in command.

Cover? Conclusion

Debate of length still need to be strived before Indonesia public can look into formal education as not the only equipment to improve; repair its(the life. Public must realize formal education is not as of its (the pitch.

Resuscitation need to be trained to pebisnis. School that is till now is viewed as the only equipment which able to be used to reach for and can realize its (the aspiration is not farm to get advantage. Therefore, not righteously school utilized as means to make a living. In school still and ought to slip between idealism, so that there is no reason again to expensive of education that is with quality, complete supporting facilities, and has various facilities.

Other alternative is publicizing intensively that non diploma required but ethos and hard work, motivates to build their/his self, and desires to live in better front must be inculcated early. Public must be awaked that becoming public servant is not the price of death.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Educational Problem Solving

Educational Problem Solving

This article introduces the educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site, describing competitive offerings, the customer profile, problem-oriented solutions, target markets, product offerings, and usability features. It concludes that the module is a major contribution to the information superhighway.


The aim of this article is to introduce to the world the educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site. The article is addressed to those readers who may have an educational problem bogging them and who may therefore be looking for a way out of their predicament. The reader may be a parent, child, or student.

It is a common fact of life that we all have problems and that we are often frustrated or we tend to lash out because of our inability to find accessible and reliable information about our problems. This specialist site fills this need - as our pragmatic friend for solving our educational problems.

To be of the greatest use to people a problem solving site must combine pragmatic discussions of their personal or professional problem with merchant products that provide more detailed information. Typically, the web site will provide free information in the form of news, articles, and advice, which direct the visitor on what to do to solve her problems. Complementing this, the web site will also provide merchant products which discuss in detail how the visitor can go about resolving her problem. This means that the most effective, visitor-oriented problem-solving site will be an information-packed commercial site - and so is the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site and its specialist sites.

The approach that we have adopted below is to describe competitive offerings, the customer profile, problem-oriented solutions, target markets, product offerings, and usability features.

Competitive Offerings

The following are the top educational sites on the Internet, along with their offerings.

US Department of Education. It defines the US education policy and provides information on financial aid, educational research and statistics, grants and contracts, and teaching and learning resources.

Educational Testing Service. It provides a range of test resources.

FunBrain.com. It provides educational games for K-8 kids.

PrimaryGames.com. It provides fun learning tools and games for kids.

GEM. It provides educational resources such as lesson plans and other teaching and learning resources.

Education World. It provides advice on lesson plans, professional development, and technology integration.

NASA Education Enterprise. It provides educational materials and information relating to space exploration.

Spartacus Educational. It is a British online encyclopedia that focuses on historical topics.

Department for Education and Skills. It is a UK government department site that offers information and advice on various educational and skills topics.

Times Educational Supplement. It offers teaching news, teaching & educational resources, and active forums to help UK teachers.
All these sites are useful in the domains that they cover. Their main limitations are as follows:

1. They tend to cover only a very narrow segment of the educational market.
2. They do not take as their starting point the daily educational needs of the typical family.
3. They lack a problem focus; i.e., they do not formulate the typical learning and educational problems that pupils, students, and parents face on a daily basis.
4. As a result of the preceding point, the solutions offered are not as incisive (i.e. as problem-centred) as they could be.
5. They do not offer merchant products that deepen the visitor's understanding of her problem and of the consequent solutions.

The educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site addresses these problems by targeting a multiplicity of market segments, adopting a customer profile that fits the typical education-pursuing family, considering the specific needs or problems that this family may face, offering incisive (problem-centred) solutions to the various problems, and offering a range of merchant products that deepen the visitor's appreciation of her problems and of the solutions that are applicable to them.

Customer Profile

The customer profile or target visitor characteristics of the educational solutions module is the same as for all specialist sites of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site. The site has been designed to meet the needs of visitors who have an educational problem bogging them. It is designed for both males and females, even though it is often convenient to refer to just one sex when writing.

This visitor uses search engines to research information about her personal or professional problem, with the intention of finding solutions to it. The visitor is serious about solving her problem and is therefore willing to buy products that help her to achieve her mission, provided that she can find reliable and honest information about relevant products so that she can make an informed decision about which ones to acquire. This information will help her to apply her finances economically, and hence avoid wasting money.

The visitor will want a money-back guarantee so that if a product does not live up to expectations or if she were misled into buying a product she can get a refund. Such a guarantee absolves her of purchase risks.

The visitor is intelligent (without necessarily being a genius), educated (without necessarily being a PhD), computer literate (without necessarily being a computer guru), and money-minded (without necessarily being a freebie hunter or an unemployed person). This of course does not mean that freebie hunters or unemployed persons cannot gain a thing from the site. To the contrary, there is a great deal of free information on the site. Just that it is hard to see how anyone can gain the full benefits of the site without buying products.

The visitor wants high quality information products (usually in digital form) and wants to pay the cheapest price for these (without paying so much emphasis on price that she compromises quality). The visitor also wants free bonus offers that are attached to the purchased goods.

The visitor is self-reliant and can cope on her own by reading, digesting, and applying advice about her problem until she solves it or discovers that she needs help from a professional, at which point her acquired knowledge will help her to reduce her consulting fees. As a result of the knowledge gained, the visitor will be able to assess consultants in order to avoid incompetent or fraudulent ones.

Problem-Centred Solutions

Our free solutions are organised in the form of pragmatic articles that are written by top experts. Each article addresses a specific daily problem, but does not go into detail. It explains the problem and tells the visitor what she must do to solve her problem. However, it does not tell the visitor how she must solve it - this is too much for an article. To find out about the how, the visitor must buy a product (usually an e-book or e-book set) that goes into greater depth.

The set of educational articles that we have chosen, to provide initial solution to a visitor's problem are as follows:

Signs of a Gifted Child - Informs parents on how to identify whether or not their children are gifted.

Essential Parenting Lessons for Enriching Your Child's Education - Teaches parents how to enhance their child's education.

Using Positive Affirmations to Be a Better Student - Teaches students how to use positive affirmations to improve their performance.

They Are Just Afraid of Writing - Teaches writing skills to students

How Can Parents Encourage Their Children to Read? - Shows parents how they can improve their children's reading skills.

Test Preparation Tutoring - Discusses the topic of tutoring students to prepare for tests or exams.

Test Taking Strategies - Discusses various strategies for taking and passing tests or exams

Playing and Winning the Scholarship Game - Describes how to win scholarships.

How to Get a Scholarship to a UK University - Describes how to win scholarships to a UK university.

Saving Money for College - Instructs students on how they can save money in preparation for college.

Student Loans: When Your Educational Dreams Can't Compete with the Cost - Explains to students the benefits of a student loan.

Education Loans Can Fund a Higher Degree to Boost Your Career - Also explains to students the benefits of a student loan.

The Secret to US Department of Education Loans - Teaches students how to get a US DoE loan to finance their higher education.

Student Loan Consolidation - Save Money, Pay Less, Spend More - Explains to graduates how to make use of loan consolidation to reduce their student loan repayments.

Higher Education: Finding the Right College for You - Explains to students how to find the right college or university for their higher education studies.

Mobile Learning - An Alternative Worth Considering - Explains the concept of mobile learning and its place in education.

Online Degrees - Is Online Education Right for You? - Analyses the merits of online learning as compared to traditional learning.

An Online College Education Overview - Reviews the whole concept of online learning.

Finding the Right Quotation for Your Paper or Speech Online - Shows writers and speakers how to find the right quotation to use in their writings or speeches.

Collaboration: An Important Leadership Development Skill - Explores the useful concept of collaboration and its role in leadership development.

At the end of each article is a list of merchant products that supplement the article's content. A link is also included for accessing the educational product catalogue.

Target Markets and Product Offerings

Now let us turn to the target markets and their associated product offerings. We have positioned the segments to address the various needs of a visitor over a period of time, and at any given time a customer may belong to one or more of the market segments. There are three general classes of products offered: ClickBank products, Google products, and eBay products. Google and eBay products are presented on each page of the site. ClickBank products are grouped into product categories that match the target markets. These categories and their markets are as follows.

Children and Parenting. This consists of visitors who want parenting solutions for improving their children's upbringing. Their needs are met through the Children and Parenting section of the educational product catalogue.

Difficult Admissions. This consists of visitors who want to learn how to get admission into top universities. Their needs are met through the Difficult Admissions section of the educational product catalogue.

Esoteric Needs. This consists of visitors with unusual needs. Their needs are met through the Esoteric Needs section of the educational product catalogue.

Financial Aid. This consists of visitors looking for scholarships, grants, or loans. Their needs are met through the Financial Aid section of the educational product catalogue.

Leadership Skills. This consists of visitors looking to develop their leadership skills. Their needs are met through the Leadership Skills section of the educational product catalogue.

Learning. This consists of visitors who want to improve their learning ability. Their needs are met through the Learning section of the educational product catalogue.

Mental Speed. This consists of visitors who want to explode their mental speed. Their needs are met through the Mental Speed section of the educational product catalogue.

Positive Affirmations. This consists of visitors who want to transform their negative dispositions into a positive mindset in order to improve their performance. Their needs are met through the Positive Affirmations section of the educational product catalogue.

Speaking. This consists of visitors looking to improve their speaking skills. Their needs are met through the Speaking section of the educational product catalogue.

Tests and Exams. This consists of visitors looking to master exam technique. Their needs are met through the Tests and Exams section of the educational product catalogue.

Writing. This consists of visitors looking to improve their writing skills. Their needs are met through the Writing section of the educational product catalogue.

Usability Considerations

Usability has been enhanced to make it easy for the visitor to find solutions to her problem, by following these steps:

1. The first thing the visitor sees are a set of articles whose titles represent the specific problem area they address. The articles are accessed from the Educational Problem Solving menu of the navigation bar to the left of the screen or from the Educational Problem Solving main page. By scanning these articles the visitor can identify whether or not her problem is covered. If not the visitor can check the educational product catalogue through the Product Catalogues menu of the same navigation bar, to see whether a product exists that answers her query. If she finds nothing she knows that her problem is not addressed. She can proceed to the Related Sites pages, which are accessible from the left navigation bar.

2. If the visitor finds an article that addresses her problem then she can begin to explore that; at the end of the article she will find products that discuss her problem more deeply. She can also access the educational product catalogue through an article page.


This article has introduced the educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site. The article has examined competitive offerings, the target customer profile, problem-oriented solutions, target markets, product offerings, and usability considerations. It concludes that the module is a major contribution to the information superhighway.

A A Agbormbai is the editor and webmaster of Personal and Professional Problem Solving - a web site that fills a vacuum on the Web. He has a PhD from Imperial College London and enjoys an interdisciplinary upbringing having worked or studied in aerospace engineering, information systems development, and management. The educational solutions module is one of many specialist sites of Personal and Professional Problem Solving.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?Educational-Problem-Solving&id=490041


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inside Look at the Special Education Profession

An Inside Look at the Special Education Profession.

Special education professionals work to promote students' overall behavioral, social and academic growth. Special education professionals aide students in developing socially appropriate behavior within their family, school and community. Teachers of special education help students become more confident in their social interactions. Special education professionals administer activities that build students' life skills.

What Does the Job Entail?

Are you interested in helping others? Can you handle and care for people who learn differently and have other behavioral problems? Do you want to make a difference in a young child's life? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you might consider a career in special education. Below is a breakdown of the short and long-term responsibilities of a special education teacher.

First and foremost, special education teachers focus on the development and academic needs of children with disabilities. They encourage learning in disabled students by implementing educational modules and behavioral techniques. Special education teachers work alone or with general education teachers to individualize lessons, develop problem-solving techniques and integrate children into group projects with other students. Furthermore, special education teachers are responsible for ensuring that the needs of disabled children are met during assessment periods.

Did you know that special education teachers work with a team of professionals, qualified staff and family in order to fulfill their job requirements? It is true. In fact, special education teachers work in conjunction with these entities to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student. An IEP is designed in collaboration with a child's parents, school principal, social worker, speech pathologist and general education teacher to ensure effective implementation. An IEP targets a student's needs and growth areas for maximum response. The specialized goals set by the IEP are woven throughout all aspects of a child's daily activities. Teachers of special education must monitor a child's setbacks and progress and report back to parents and administrators. Planned goals and tasks are outlined for family members to refer to while a student is at home as well.

The types of disabilities a special education teacher might encounter are difficult to predict. For one, the qualifications for special education services vary greatly from mild disabilities to extreme cases of mental retardation or autism. Types of disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: speech impairments, hearing disabilities, emotional disturbances, orthopedic impairments, brain trauma cases, blindness, deafness and learning disabilities.

Do You Exhibit These Qualities?

Now that you have an idea of the job's demands, let's see if you have the right qualities to be a special education teacher.

Recognize the symptoms and needs of special needs students


Ability to work with one or more parties to achieve short-term and long-term goals

Strong communication skills

Ability to motivate others

Ability to multi-task

Knowledge of the most recent education modules, medical research and behavioral practices


Knowledge of the latest medical technology relevant to special education

Taking the Next Step toward a New Career

Once you have decided to enter the field of special education, you will need to follow several steps. Due to the specialization of the field, special education teachers in all 50 states must receive licensure before employment. Licensures are approved by each state's board of education, and the requirements for certification differ between states. Nevertheless, the growing shortage of special education teachers has led institutions of higher education to offer more special education degree and certification programs. In fact, special education degrees are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels throughout the nation. Not to mention, the booming field of distance learning has made certification more accessible from any location in the United States.

In many cases, hopeful special education professionals do not meet the requirements of special education licensure due to their prior completion of degree programs outside of the field of education. Therefore, several states have begun to offer alternate forms of certification. The hope of these programs is to attract new special education professionals and fill the growing need for teachers. The chance to positively impact the lives of special needs children is one of the driving motivations and benefits of entering this field.

After several years, some special education teachers look for new opportunities within their field. In the most common situations, special education professionals transfer to administrative or supervisory positions. Others, after receiving a higher degree, become college professors and educate new students in the field of special education. Experienced teachers of special needs students have also moved up to serve as mentors to incoming special education teachers.

As for the future of special education and employment, there are many changes on the horizon. Most significantly, the job market in special education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to "increase faster than the average of all occupations by 2014." Due to the new emphasis on education and training in legislature, special education professionals will become even more valued.

Can I Make a Living as a Special Education Teacher?

As mentioned previously, the special education job market is on the rise. In 2004, the BLS reported 441,000 employed special education teachers in the nation. While only 6 percent worked within private schools, over 90 percent were employed by public schools or districts. In rare cases, special education professionals were involved in home or hospital care.

Several factors determine a special education teacher's financial compensation. Such factors include experience, educational background, area of specialty and geographical location. In May 2004, the BLS reported the following breakdown of median annual earnings of special education teachers:

    Preschool, kindergarten and elementary school level: - $43,570

    Middle school level: - $44,160

    Secondary school level: - $45,700

Special education teachers receive increases in salary through additional involvement in their schools' educational activities and through coaching school athletic teams. In some districts, being a mentor to a new special education teacher carries additional monetary benefits. However, the most common way to increase earnings is through the completion of a higher degree, which can also make a teacher's instruction more credible and valuable.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?An-Inside-Look-at-the-Special-Education-Profession&id=648740


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kingdom Of Cambodia And Its Magic

Get A Real Insight Into The Kingdom Of Cambodia And All Of Its Magic.

Cambodia is a little known place and until recently untouched by tourism. However it is now recovering from its past slowly and increasing number of travelers are rediscovering Cambodia's attractions. The kingdom of Cambodia boasts some of the most magnificent and stunning sights on the planet. The tourist attractions in this country are considerable and diversified in nature. From the massive ancient temples, isolated dense forests, untouched islands, white sandy beaches, vibrant wildlife, impressive world wonders to the beautiful architectural sites Cambodia is really amazing. Yes, Cambodia holidays will give an insight into the beautiful kingdom of Cambodia.

What is Unique about Cambodia?

If you would like to take a trip that is a bit out of the ordinary Cambodia is the perfect choice. In Cambodia you can be immersed in its rich cultural heritage and history, experience the immaculate beauty and most of all be taken up by the compassionate and incredibly friendly Cambodian people. There is something magical about Cambodia that casts a spell on the tourists. From their welcoming charm, delicious Cambodian cuisine to the historical treasures everything is unique making Cambodia holidays a truly unforgettable experience.

Top destination spots in Cambodia

1. Angkor: One of the most distinguished tourist attraction spot in Cambodia and one of the most magnificent sites on the earth is the Angkor. This spot is a huge and massive temple that features the remains of a few capitals of the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat temple which is a fusion of symbolism, symmetry and spirituality is the world's biggest single religious monument. The architectural and artistic works on the pillars that depict the Gods and demons are excellent masterpieces.

2. Sihanoukville: This is yet another popular Cambodian destination also referred to as Kampong Som by the natives. This region is covered by breathtaking sandy white beaches and several unexplored tropical islands. There are innumerable beach resorts which attracts tourists from across the globe. This place is a perfect haven to unwind and relax oneself.

3. Silver pagoda: The Silver pagoda is situated within the Royal palace in Phnom Penh. They have many gold Buddha statues of which a 17th century crystal Buddha statue is very famous as it is studded with diamonds and emeralds. The inner walls of the Silver pagoda are decorated with artistic murals depicting the Ramayana mythology.

4. Bokor National Park: This park is the home for many endangered species of tiger and elephant. Located in a high altitude it allows a picturesque view of the Vietnamese and Cambodian coastal line.

5. Siem Reap: This is a small and lively town located near the famous and impressive Angkor temples. It is a fascinating portal town to the world renowned Angkor temples. It has changed itself into a major tourist hub with its vibrant night life, multi cuisine restaurants and markets.

6. Preah Vihear: This is also yet another temple city in the kingdom of Cambodia. There are many temples devoted to the Hindu God Shiva constructed by the Khmer kings.

7. Tonle Sap: One should not miss this huge dumb bell shaped fresh water lake which is one of Cambodia's distinctive landscapes.

If you are looking for a totally different holiday experience Cambodia will absolutely thrill you. Get ready to experience and explore the magic of this incredibly beautiful country which is full of pleasant surprises for you. Cambodia holidays are a paradise for the people who wish to explore the many wonders of the ancient world.

Read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?Get-A-Real-Insight-Into-The-Kingdom-Of-Cambodia-And-All-Of-Its-Magic&id=7128847