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Category Archives: Education

Minimize Cheating With eLearning Software

Teachers and examiners today have to deal with more ingenious and more diverse cheating tactics than ever before. Some students still rely on traditional, time-proven methods like writing crib notes and concealing them on their person, sometimes even in intimate places in order to prevent the examiners from checking. Others have embraced the marvels of the Information Age and found new, wonderfully devious ways of cheating. A thread on social media Quora revealed some of the ingenious ways that students, in pursuit of the highest marks, use to cheat on exams. Invisible ink, hollowed out pens, writing answers on the inside of water bottle labels are some of the more crude ideas. Among the more sophisticated are printing the design of a water bottle label and replacing the original text with cribs, flesh colored earpieces which are practically invisible unless you’re very close and calculators with memory function. Besides all that, smart phones and watches with wireless internet access provide students with all the information they need to ace an exam.

One of the more extreme examples has been reported by The Telegraph, in May of 2016. Arthit Ourairat, rector of Rangsit university, Thailand announced that some 3000 students would have to retake the entrance exam since sophisticated cheating devices were discovered. Namely, three students had glasses with build-in wireless cameras which they used to take pictures of the test and send them to a group of coconspirators, who then sent answers to their smartwatches.

Students face serious consequences if they are caught cheating, at best they instantly fail the test; at worst they might be expelled. Yet research indicates that an astounding 60-70% of college students admit to cheating. One has to wonder why would anyone go to such great lengths and risk serious sanctions when all that time and effort could be invested in learning. The answer is simple; there’s an inherent fault in our education system which evolved to emphasize the importance of high grades instead of actual learning. Students and teachers alike feel that one’s entire future depends on one’s GPA while the learning process has taken a back seat. Students no longer study to acquire knowledge on the subject matter; they learn how to pass tests. The goal of testing is no longer to evaluate one’s progress, rather passing a test has become a goal in and of itself. When students adopt this mindset, it is easy to see why they are ready to do whatever it takes to beat the test, especially if they feel desperate or left behind.

Changing the way we see grades and testing is the only way to eliminate cheating entirely. Changing everybody’s perspective on testing is crucial, but it would be a long and arduous process, so let’s look at what can be done right now.

Cheating and student dishonesty is a problem that plagued teachers since the beginning of formal education, and it seems that it will continue to do so for ages to come. This particular problem proved to be amazingly persistent and difficult to overcome. Luckily the advent of new technologies provides us with a number of useful features and mechanisms which can help teachers and instructors combat this issue as long as they are willing to implement them.

In order to answer the question how eLearning software can help us eliminate, or at least lessen the number of occurrences of cheating in any particular exam situation, first we need to understand its causes and circumstances which facilitate it. To put it simply, we need to look at how and why it happens.

Play to Classrooms

The time when we embrace the need for children to be active not only in the playground but also in the educational setting has never been higher. There is a significant amount of research that supports the idea of experiential learning. So it begs the question: why not utilize playgrounds and preschool playground equipment to help teach the curriculum in active ways? Playgrounds can help make possible an interactive introduction of these classic children’s stories to young children. Play can be coupled with regular curriculum to aid learning and multiple literacy activities can be setup by teachers for students.

The literacy activities involve finding words, letters and images from the stories on the play equipment. Children must actively partake and look around the play area during these activities or perform events from different stories. This would in turn help to support literacy skills such as reading, speaking, listening, and comprehension in active, creative and fun ways on the school playground and in the classroom.

The simple matter of fact is that children are energetic and love movement, and since we’ve established that they learn better during play, it only helps further the cause for bringing play to classrooms. When you have children them actively participating in learning, they feel in control and remember better. Every child can benefit from teaching of this sort. It is the duty of every teacher and parent in our opinion, to be more creative when finding more ways for children to learn. And it is even more so important to have them learn through physical activities. Children are built to learn while moving and having hands-on experiences and there’s simply no better way to do that than the classroom.

Learned While Preparing for Exams

Time Management –

My schedule during exams started at 6 am, ran through the day till 10 pm. In between, I scheduled lots and lots of breaks and naps to ease my mind; so I could refresh myself and then concentrate better on the study material. This skill had been imparted in me only because of the fact that I had to study for exams.

Depending on our course-work, my entire schedule was planned a couple of days earlier because I feared the lack of enough time. Funnily enough, I had ample time for each course in the time period between each exam, which was the result of the schedule I’d planned.

Creativity –

I’m sure most of you have had that “holy shit!” idea while studying for an exam which is only two days away. You can’t get your mind off it, but you can’t afford to lose study time thinking about the idea.

Here’s what I did to deal with the creative surge AND to keep up with your study schedule – Allocate around 30 minutes to think about your idea. It could be anything. I’ve had ideas for novels, for startups, and music. Brainstorm with yourself about this idea for 30 minutes to figure out whether it is feasible or not. After that, you’ll be less excited about it, or your fear for the exam will take over and make you study 30 minutes extra.

In fact, I had the idea to write this article during an exam, and I’m writing this on the day before an exam! ( just for half an hour )

When you try to distract yourself from the idea, you end up thinking about it more and more. For the ones that don’t have any ideas, you’re both lucky and unlucky!

Optimal Planning –

If you’re an academic person and you love studying ahead in time, then you’ve nothing to worry about. There is no optimal planning required. For the ones that procrastinate, optimal planning strategies are a life saver.

Imagine you have 2 days to study for an exam, and the maximum marks is 100. You have all the study material with you; you also have the questions which were frequently asked in the previous exams. Now you know which topics are to be prioritized. Even if you can’t prepare for 100 marks, you will create strategies to study as much as you can, and as fast as possible.

If you replaced studying with some industrial work in the previous paragraph, it effectively becomes a business model for that industry!

Handling Pressure –

An exam may last for 2 weeks, or maybe 3. Some students might be relaxed about it, but some face a lot of pressure and start to panic.

Handling pressure isn’t an innate skill; it comes with practice. You don’t learn to handle the pressure; you just get used to it. You might learn ways to reduce that pressure, such as taking naps, or going out for a jog; but you can’t get rid of it.

Being anxious about serious events is normal for everyone out there; but to deal with it effectively requires repeated exposure to such ordeals.

The Value of Time –

Most of the days, I used to disregard time and treat it as an abundant resource. This “abundant” resource was severely cut short and I noticed it slip out of my hands during exams. I had to make use of every minute preparing for exams, and there was simply no time to even think about time as abundant in any sense.

If your study plan is rigorous, then you will appreciate time as an important resource. This must be the case in general, rather than realizing it multiple times foolishly.

Creating Innovative Strategies –

There were a couple of topics in a couple of courses that required mugging stuff up. This isn’t something I’m good at; so I devised a method to learn the topics as an entire Game of Thrones story, using keywords as mnemonics. As long as I remembered the story I made up, I remembered the topics. It goes against the whole point of having exams in the first place, but I’d have failed that course if I didn’t do that!

Similarly, there are multiple strategies that you can come up with if you’re desperate to get through a course, and that is a benefit to you when you apply that mentality to solve real world problems.

Good Study Habits

Good study habits include many different skills. Some of the skills are; self-discipline, time management, memorization, concentration, organization, and effort. The effect of having a great desire and passion to succeed cannot be under estimated.

Attitude matters. Having the right attitude for study is about the best study habit a student can have. Researchers have found that how one approaches something or a task matter almost as much as what the task or thing itself.

Having the right mindset is important in order to study well. There are times you just not in the right frame of mind to study. The best thing to do is just to avoid studying and have some relaxation. If your mind is occupied by other things, just clear your mind before returning to studying.

Here are some lists of good study habits:

Organizing your Time.
It is important to plan your study time. It is advisable to leave enough time for each of your subjects and more time for the more difficult subjects. It is advisable to comply with the study time requirement for the particular subject as stipulated by your school, college, or university.

Prioritizing your time
Prioritize your time and put off other activities to allow you to focus and for adequate study time. If you are a slow reader, it is advisable you plan your time well and give yourself more time.

Keep a weekly and monthly schedule planner
Keep record of due dates of assignments, tests, papers, field trips, etc. Transfer important dates from your syllabus to your weekly/monthly planner. Prioritize your work in order to meet your deadlines.

Study in a place you feel comfortable.
Study in a place that is conducive. Where there is a lot of distractions become a poor study area. Study in a place you feel comfortable to study. Different people like different study environment. Study in an area that is set up for serious study. Have your learning tools and materials ready for study i.e your textbooks, notebooks, highlighter, pens, pencils, computer, dictionary, thesaurus, etc. Be sure the area is well-lit and conducive. It is advisable you choose a place free from noise and distractions, and not too comfortable. Keep interruptions like phones ringing, doors opening and closing, and people coming and going to the minimum. Also try to study in the same place every day.

Practice by yourself or with friends
Practice makes perfect. Continually learn and memorize what you have learnt. Go over what you are learning over and over again and good assimilation. Practice with yourself or friends by testing yourself with practice past exams questions, quizzes, or flash cards. Set likely exams questions for yourself and see how you perform. Go over what you have gotten wrong and find out why you get them wrong. Learn from your mistakes. When learning, take notes and write down key important points.

Group Students Using Creative Movement

After looking back at some of my past lessons, I discovered that I had created a multitude of strategies to group students using creative movement. Here are three strategies you may want to try. Each activity is most appropriate for elementary and middle school students and is based on having 20 students in the room.

1. Body Part Treasure Hunt: Prepare 20 cards that instruct students to perform an action with a specific body part; however, a group 5 cards should reflect a different body part (i.e. a group of 5 cards for actions with arms, a group of 5 cards for actions with legs, etc.) Place the cards in a hat or bag and have students to pick a card. Then, ask students to move according to the instructions on the card they selected (i.e. swing your right arm, stomp your left leg, etc.). Finally, direct students to find others who are moving the same body part and to stand close by them. Four groups of 5 students will form as soon as each student finds someone moving the same body part!

2. Number Placement Grouping: Give students a card with a 4 place number on it (i.e. 1,269). Out of 20 cards, there should be 5 cards having identically circled numbers. Tell students that the circled numbers represent the place of the number. For example, if a student has a card with the 6 circled, that student would be in the 10’s place. Set parameters of where students should stand once they know their places. Tell students that when you put on the music, they are to do a free style dance to the place where they should stand. Instruct them to stand still once you turn the music off. If you have 20 students, you will have 4 groups of 5 students!

3. Sixties Dance Grouping: Teach students 4 dances from the 1960’s (e.I. The Twist, The Monkey, The Mashed Potatoes, The Jerk). Out of 20 dance cards, 5 cards should have identical dances written on them. Place all the cards in a hat and allow students to choose a card. Instruct students that when you play the music for the dance on their cards, they should get up and do that dance. Once you stop playing the music, students who were doing the designated dance will form a cooperative learning group of 5 students!

Problematic Kids

Teachers are mostly trapped in this kind of situation wherein one or a number of their learners have difficulty showing the proper behaviors expected of them. Might be they had not been properly tutored by their parents or adults around them, and now showing disrespect to their teachers, or simply taking their stubbornness to the next level.

Well, here are things to consider before having a fight with problematic kid/s in class:

1. Show you care. Yes, a kid’s trust will be yours once you have shown that you can be trusted. Never initiate any action that could make the situation worse. Try to understand. Listen. Know where they are coming from.Then, do necessary actions upon knowing where you could start your mission.

2. Make them feel loved. When kids feel insecurity because of their parents’ failure in nurturing them, teachers can–and should–do the needed attention. By not overdoing it, they could guide them towards self-confidence and all.

3. Let them understand the situation. Some kids have the ability to get the whole picture of their bad behaviors, only they are having a hard time admitting to themselves and to adults around them that they are making their own existence difficult. Always ask them to put themselves in other people’s perspective so as to get the feeling of being disrespected, hurt or what. By doing so, they would slowly absorb the wisdom of being nice, good and obedient.

4. Help them. Once they have your trust and all, they will do the necessary change in their behaviors. And, of course, they could be one supporters when you are also down and weary and lonely and what.

Effective Study Skills

Mindset

Your mind is a powerful tool that can not only intake and record information, but it can also be used to positively affect your study habits. Because the mind is malleable, you have the ability to influence outcomes. Therefore, when studying, it is important to do so with a positive mindset rather than that of drudgery, dislike, and even anger. This is one of the study skills that will help you succeed. In 2007, Stanford’s Psychology Professor Carol Dweck conducted a study on how mindset affects learning. According to her study, students that had a positive approach towards learning and exhibited the motivation to do so were more successful at understanding and learning the material than their negative-minded counterparts. So, when you study for exams, it is vital that you approach the task positively, expand your mind to enjoy the material, and even find the motivation within yourself. When you do what you love, you only do it better. With that, it is easy to understand why mindset is one of the most effective study skills.

The Right Place

It’s understandable, with all of the technology and media around, it is oftentimes quite difficult to disconnect. This results in you studying in front of your television, near your cell phone, or in a loud and rowdy environment. With that, you have also probably noticed that despite “studying” in such an area, your exam results were not as high as you expected. Well, there is a good reason for that, which is that your mind is terrible at focusing at more than one thing at once. According to the University of Minnesota, the best place to study is in a quiet space, such as your home desk or library. You also should use the same space for your study sessions, as the mind begins to adapt and understand that it is study time. This leads to an effective study skills so you can study for exams the right way. In addition, it is recommended that you turn your cellphone off and avoid television, as they just pose distractions.

Positive Learning

You know how it goes. You worry about how late you’ve left it to start revising. You worry about what’s coming up on the exam. You worry about not being able to get to grips with the subject. You worry about letting your family and yourself down. And pretty soon, you will be berating yourself for not doing better. Think you don’t do it? Unless you are one of the lucky few who naturally praise themselves internally, all you have to do is listen to your thoughts for a while when you are studying. They are probably playing in the background without your even noticing.

‘I hate this; it’s so boring’, ‘I’ll never finish on time’,’ I can’t do this’, ‘I’m lost’, ‘Why didn’t I start working sooner’…choose your own phrase, we all do it.

The effects of negative thinking can be very destructive, especially when you need to work on your own, keep going on your own and stay disciplined and on target. Negative thoughts will produce negative emotions, like stress, depression, or anxiety, all of which will interfere with your ability to concentrate and your ability to persevere. They will even affect you physically, making you too tired to maintain the high level of work you need, especially if you are under pressure.

The solution is hard and easy. Hard because you have probably made a habit of negative thinking and habits take practice and time and effort to change. Easy, because what you actually have to do is not difficult.

Think of a friend of yours who is studying, and imagine yourself sitting beside them cheering them on. It wouldn’t be hard to do. The phrases would come easily to you.

‘You are doing great’, ‘Keep it up, look how much you’ve done already’, ‘I have every confidence in you’, ‘You can do it’, ‘Just a bit more’…You get the idea.

And it doesn’t really matter if you doubt them a little, or if you worry about how much they have to do, you would still realise that they need to be encouraged as much as possible while they work. Therefore doing the same for yourself and finding the right words to say is just as easy. So remember:

  • Stay positive, even if you don’t feel it; use positive phrases in your internal self talk. Don’t worry if you don’t feel it at first, just say the words and stop the negative thoughts.
  • Concentrate on any good you can find. On how much you’ve covered already. The fact that you are still at it even though it’s difficult, if the going is slow. The fact that you’ve even got yourself to sit down when the temptation to do something else was so great.
  • When you catch yourself daydreaming about failure or getting the one question you didn’t want, replace it with good dreams. Imagine everything going smoothly, picture it in your mind, play through every detail of yourself working efficiently throughout the exam, calm and collected, answering everything you need to answer, receiving your certificate of honours…enjoy the feelings it arouses, and then get back to work.

Children Understand in Learning

Be patient parents

Patient is a key to success so if you want your children get success in every cases then they must be patient children, then if you want your children be patient and excel then you must be ready to be parents who are patient and good achievement for your children. You must be patient in assisting your children to learn. The good change in children is an achievement of parents. Do not let you show your impatience properties in front of them because indirectly they will imitate your behavior.

Learn one page per day

Learning without understanding will make memories lost quickly. If your children forget with what they have learned then try this method. Learn one page per day. Usually in learning, a child just reads one chapter to the end. It will waste the time because we can be sure their memories will quickly disappear. Studying one page is a lightweight effort but it takes patience. Teach your children to understand what’s contained in one page and do not move to other pages if your children do not understand. Repeat in a few days, sometimes in your leisure time try to ask what you have taught. If the results are good then you can increase the number of pages in two, three, and four and so on.

All about Education Technology

Independent learning of students: Since the students use individual laptops and tablets, they can easily find the information they are interested in from the internet and understand it on their own. The cool thing is that the textbooks, web-based content, and electronic books that the students use are updated in real time.

This allows the students to get the current information. With the knowledge that the students get in the classroom, they can apply it to the outside world so that they can become more knowledgeable even out of the class setting.

It prepares the students for the future: We can all agree that the future of the world is in technology. When the students are suing the computers and tablets in the classroom, they are not only getting the academic knowledge, but also learning how to use the technological gadgets.

This allows the students to communicate better with the gadgets, have no problems fitting in with the others, and also don’t have problems finding jobs once they are out of school.

Makes the lessons fun: Unlike listening to the teacher’s monotonous voice, watching educational videos and other descriptions is more fun. The lessons on the computers are more interactive, and this motivates the students to learn. The teachers can also change the style of the lessons using computers, tablets, and projectors.

Easy to manage students: This is important in schools with many students. The teachers can easily see the students who have completed their courses and quizzes. Since everything is electronically generated at the touch of a button, the teachers can easily monitor the progress of the students by simply checking what they have performed throughout a particular period.

New and better teaching methods: Unlike before when the only way that the teachers could teach was to stand in front of the class with chalk and dust board, now the professors can come up with better and exciting teaching methods. For example, they can use blogs, social media, and even podcasts to teach.