Cold, Cuddle And Coffee (Math) Calculation?

With the temperature waning to as low as minus 23 degrees or shrink beyond 25 degrees below the average temperatures, it is time to cuddle your children and spend some good quality time with them. In Oklahoma, the schools were closed and even some of the businesses closed their offices considering the safety of their employees. While you survive one of the coldest winters, something that has not been experienced over past 10 years, would it be advisable to drive your children to the activity centers or the nearby learning centers?

If you feel that your child’s future is your top most concern, well, here is a God sent opportunity that you can actually convert into a once in a lifetime experience. Wondering how would you do that?

Why go out and risk your lives when PracTutor brings a real awesome adaptive learning platform to you.

All you need to do is just enroll and prepare your children to get ahead.

Here are a few key facts about learning math and how learning math online is more practical than the traditional classroom math education:

  • The present day global standardized test scores prove that American students are not ready to compete on the global platform and one of the main reasons for the same is the lack of math skills.
  • There is a fundamental lack of math teachers all across the nation.
  • The adults competing for their careers find lack of math skills as a top most hindrance factor.
  • Math education is facing absolute crisis on multiple levels in teaching as well as learning segments.
  • Basic math fundamentals cannot and will not change, however, the traditional methods to teach math must change if we have to provide better understanding and skills to our students.
  • The universities that implement math learning online attract more students who are adults and struggling for brighter career opportunities.
  • Almost all technology critics agree that online learning is shaping the future of teaching and learning for good.
  • With experiments conducted using traditional learning and online learning, conclusions are that online learning imparts better perspective and gives deeper and clear understanding of the concepts.
  • As online math involves real time dynamic examples, (change of shapes, figures, variables, angles, etc) students find it to be fun while they actually learn. The little challenges that adaptive learning platforms bring in between the tutorials, challenge the students’ minds for deeper contemplation.
  • Another experiment was conducted to observe if learning math online did improve the skill set of the students. It was concluded that the students from traditional learning class and online learners both groups did equally well with easy math problems. However, when the students were given more complex and tough problems, the group of online math learners performed extensively better than the students who were taught in a traditional classroom.
  • The visual evidence that provides more scope to find how concepts work is practically impossible in a traditional classroom.
  • A few more advantages that interactive learning has over traditional learning are:
    • It is based on student’s individual capability
    • It gives student the authority to pace his learning
    • It does not get frustrated while explaining the same concept over and over till the student feels perfectly conversant with it (is virtually unlimited)
    • It keeps students attentive, curious and interested in math
    • It gives instant and personalized feedbacks and encouragements

Apart from the advantages mentioned above, we are certain that though the traditional methods has been developed after years of hard work and research, they do not match up the present day challenges.

The world has become a global village that has abundance of resources available right at your fingertips.

Can you possibly do justice to your children by depriving them the whole bunch of goodness that adaptive learning provides?

Can you afford to keep your children acquainted to the only traditional coaching when the rest of the world marches ahead towards a glorious tomorrow by embracing the blessings of the modern day technology?

Of course, you must spend some quality time with your children having fun while they learn. Will it not be kind of awesome to cuddle him, hold his hand, and lead him to learn (while you can still smell his hair)?

Yes, with such fabulous advantages of learning Math online, who knows you might just encourage your child to fall in love with Math and be a mathematician, Amen!

About PracTutor

PracTutor is a customized learning and practice environment to help students in Grades 1 to 8 master Math and English. We provide 1-to-1 mentoring for each student. We make the learning fun by introducing gamification and help parents and teachers track progress and get alerts whenever they need help.

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The iPad Toolkit for Learning?

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THE STARTING POINT?


It is interesting to reflect how this simplification of iPad key tools has changed in a relatively short space of time. iWork suite aside, you could purchase the above apps for less than the cost of a textbook and have a model that could enhance learning with the right application.


For those educators who are using iPads in the classroom, the suggestions above will be nothing new. The hope is that other educators will not feel overwhelmed by the diagram and actually view a number of core apps as manageable for their own learning curve.


It must be said that there are a number of applications that I could happily add to the diagram that would be useful for the toolkit. For example, Showbie (a way of collecting, assessing and handing back student work) would certainly meet the requirements of many iPad learning environments. The point is that less than 15 apps can be a starting point for learning, with the substitution of applications based on the learner’s needs and educator’s requirements. I have had many conversations with educators who feel that the pedagogical shift and adaptation to the new technology can be intimidating. The diagram above serves to reduce that feeling and start a conversation moving forward with increased technology use in the classroom.


KEY CONSIDERATIONS


You will notice that Google Drive and Explain Everything are an integral part of the learning process. A centralised store with the ability to share folders and information is crucial for educators and students alike. Google Drive has been chosen as it allows 30GB of free storage for every user. You must be registered as a Google Apps For Education institution.


Explain Everything serves as a platform to enhance and demonstrate learning. It has been written about many times as the go-to app for education. However, it is only as good as the user. The educator can record screencasts, transform feedback and personalise learning with it. Students can demonstrate learning, collaborate, create and feedback as well as export their work to their required destination.


The rest of the tools have creation and collaboration at their core alongside the assessment for learning with feedback mechanisms. It is my intention to blog about these processes, as their use develops in our own 1:1 iPad environment and I welcome any input. Any of the apps recommended above are well worth looking into and are suggested after much discussion and debate.


(Incidentally, I am a firm believer that Augmented Reality will play a significant role in education. Consequently I am using Aurasma to enhance learning in the classroom. I would have included it in this toolkit but feel I need to explore its potential a little further. Needless to say, it is well worth looking into if you are fortunate enough to have the technology available).


-with thanks to Greg Hughes @deepexperience1


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#ISTE13 – A Keynote Speech Worth Your Valuable Time

Adam Bellow – Keynote at ISTE 2013


(scroll to 23:15)


As I watched Adam’s keynote from the recent ISTE conference, it sparked many ideas for the forthcoming school year. Adam clearly speaks from the heart whilst conveying that education is changing and learning matters. Surely it would be wrong for us as educators not to embrace the tools at our disposal so we can decide what is appropriate for our students?


I urge you to watch Adam’s presentation and share your views. Not all the tools suggested are appropriate for every learner. However, we must continue to explore all avenues.


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Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps


An app on its own is like a thinker without thoughts!


This blog chronicles the trials and tribulations of 1:1 iPad deployment in a large secondary school and, as such, covers many positives and negatives. Whilst it is clear that any decisions about iPad usage were based upon the learning intention, it is (perhaps surprisingly) a source of concern that apps played such a significant part in the blog content. It may be the nature of the beast that apps alone form the basis for conversations about new technology in the classroom. However, the success of tablet provision in the classroom is NOT underpinned solely by apps.


Let me explain. All too often I see reference to ‘look how I can present these words across a picture to engage my students!’ or ‘Check out how this random name app selects my students.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these opportunities have a place as part of the process, but they certainly aren’t a reason to use tablets in the classroom. The power of learning with new technology lies with the teacher and the ability to choose the appropriate tool for the right intention. Moreover, success directly relates to the relationships between learner and educator, and the learner and learning.


foundation


Having just spent two weeks working with the Stephen Perse Foundation, it is clear that if the relationships are right then learning is never about the app when using new technology. In two weeks of training, meetings and informal discussion, less than ten apps were discussed in any detail.  In a 1:1 iPad environment, Foundation places learning at the heart of every discussion and sees technology as a tool to assist the learner and educator. Any discussion about apps in the learning process was merely to assist existing methods that work well or transform the learning as certain opportunities didn’t exist so readily before the iPad was introduced.


Take Explain Everything for example. Hang on, ‘it isn’t about the app’ I hear you cry! Please bear with me. When demonstrating the functionality of Explain Everything, conversation quickly turned to possible use for feedback and assessment. It is well documented that feedback is one of the most important aspects in the learning process and it was clear that this is what the educators wanted to talk about. If I’m honest I’m still not quite sure they know how to use the app! However, they certainly do understand that you can record your thoughts whilst annotating a student’s piece of work or add images or video to the feedback. They also understand you can export a movie file where the student will view their work being annotated with a voiceover explaining areas of concern or possible improvements. Most importantly, therefore they understand the importance of the educator over the app.


This type of feedback has always existed through annotated scripts and meetings between educator and learner. Now the process can be transformed with a more significant part of the feedback available between ‘contact’ times. An educator could receive work submitted ‘online’ and feedback their thoughts in a much more effective way, even before the next scheduled lesson. This is what engendered the enthusiasm amongst Stephen Perse staff, not the app.


Similar conversations surrounded the use of Google Drive to remove time consuming resource collation/distribution and the creativity of iMovie. Again it wasn’t the app that was important, it was the process of learning that was of interest to the educators. The excitement about Edmodo as a replacement for the VLE wasn’t hinged on a new platform. It was based on the students’ interaction with the learning process and the need for peer to peer engagement as part of the overall learning intention.


I’m all for using a multitude of apps, if appropriate, and I certainly think engagement is a part of the learning process that has been helped by new technology (there’s our Wordfoto again). However, when discussing the introduction of tablets to any educational institution, it is always the learning intention that should be top of the agenda. Logistics are an issue. Infrastructure, cost, implementation and management are indeed crucial to the overall decision. Yet if there is no vision for learning then any level of implementation is doomed to failure.


It’s never about the app for learning.It’s always about the relationships between the educator, learner and the learning process.


Although, with the plethora of whizzy, eye-poppingly shiny new apps out there, I must remind myself of that from time to time!


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Everybody ‘googles’ everything. This tool might make you think!


Employers ‘google’ you. Friends ‘google’ you. You ‘google’ you!


We are constantly reminded of the importance of our online presence as day after day someone has their world changed by a careless tweet or inappropriate photograph. The importance of a digital footprint is understood by many, but perhaps most aren’t quite sure just how they are viewed ‘online’. I’m not talking about an image search, or Facebook post from your teens (although these are very important); it is more that how you are viewed ‘online’ should support your chosen path.


Take a student who wants to earn a place as an intern for a law firm. A Google search doesn’t indicate anything untoward and the candidate is called for interview by the firm. Wouldn’t it be an advantage if that ‘search’ highlighted just how committed to a career in law that student was? Not only would they be called for interview on the strength of their application, but their chance of success might be improved by a clear online interest in the field of law.


Enter Rebelmouse.com


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(click image to view site)


It would do this site an injustice to just call it a social media aggregator (you can also write posts on it or ask other people to contribute). It pulls together your online presence and highlights your interests through Twitter, Google+, Facebook, WordPress and many more. It displays your interactions and interests on social media sites and gives a very quick impression of your online presence. Each tile can then be accessed allowing blogposts to be read or articles/videos viewed.


Actions brought together on Rebelmouse include:


Read more here - www.rebelmouse.com/rebelmouse/FAQ/


I should point out that I am a strong advocate of having two separate online profiles, professional and social. Every student I advise is reminded of the need to keep the social part private and the professional side public. This means that sites like Rebelmouse.com only pull together the professional aspects of a student’s online profile. If we go back to our law student, the professional social media accounts should reference law, among other interests, so the Rebelmouse site can bring together an impressive catalogue of interest and interaction.


With the help of sites like Rebelmouse.com the aim would be for our student’s online presence to be supported by:

A blog linked to the area of interestA Twitter account that follows and interacts with a relevant communityA Google+ account that posts regularly, particularly regarding multimedia resources

In addition a student could link any of the popular social media sites as long as it maintains a professional aspect.


I realise that there are many implications linked to creating an online presence like this, but I see it as crucial to our students’ employability. I’m not suggesting they will receive an offer of employment because of it. Rather, that employers will look favourably on an individual who can easily prove their interest and commitment to a profession.


Of course that all depends if they know what they would like to do!


I strongly recommend you check out your own online presence at Rebelmouse.com. You might be surprised at what you see!


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Google Drive for Teachers with ‘How-to’ video links

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Google has tripled free storage space, across Gmail, Google+ and Drive, bringing the total to 15GB. This is a serious move by Google as it places the company at the forefront of cloud based solutions with institutions working to tight financial constraints. Having turned to Google Drive as my main storage facility, I thought I would highlight some advantages of using the platform. (Please click on the links for further explanation.)


Advantages

Access files anytime on any device with an internet connection.Work offline with documents.Share files/documents with others and collaborate in real time.Share folders with students and receive and feedback on assignments.Allow read only access on documents and share with students as resource with no photocopying.Save a document in a variety of formats.Works with other Google Apps to provide platform for forms, surveys, projects.Save to GoogleDrive with two taps of an icon or clicks of a mouse.Search files in Drive for name or keyword.

(courtesy of Anson Alexander)


Google Drive provides a platform to organise and enhance workflow for teachers. The most obvious example is how quickly resources can be shared, annotated and collaborated upon. A shared folder with a student could contain assignments, screencasts and resources that could serve to form a digital portfolio and a reference point for teacher and parents. In my opinion, the fact that we can now share more storage space for free, places Google Drive firmly ahead of Dropbox. This is supported by the recent announcement that you can also save web resources at the click of a button, bringing Google Drive into line with the functionality of Dropbox.


As with other cloud based solutions, there are a number of disadvantages to using Google Drive. Not least the requirement to sign up students via a Gmail account and the testing question of the whole school solution. However, as we make our way with cloud based storage, I can recommend giving Google Drive a try. With 15GB for free what have you got to lose?


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Does the cloud provide an easier route to HIPAA compliance?

A lot of confusion has been raised regarding the compliance of cloud to the HIPAA. On the contrary, the healthcare community itself is not very sure of it and is looking at it as a double edged sword. The cloud presents you a shimmering picture of cost-effective option. It provides you a solution due to which analyzing massive data and the ability to store will become affordable. But the other side seems be bleaker as there are many who are yet to come to terms with this new rule-set of HIPAA, especially those that are now part of the recently published HIPPA omnibus rule. It is better to dig deeper on this to understand instead of merely speculating on the fringes whether to migrate or not to the cloud?

The omnibus rule that was put forth in the last month has further tightened the grip of HIPAA on those who are entrusted with responsibility of protecting the health information.The rule also has increased penalty on the business associates and covered entities, who fail to comply with the HIPAA. At present, there a lot of misconceptions as well as fear regarding use of the cloud. As a result many healthcare organizations and health service providers are shying away from switching over to the cloud. Not taking rescue under the in the latest cloud technology umbrella might result in loss a good deal in terms of both compliance and finances for organizations that wish to play safe.

Can Cloud Computing Really Rescue Health Care And Make It HIPAA Compliant?

Recent times has revealed to the health care sector the various weird and amazing ways in which data breaches can occur and do occur. Many times it occurs due to infrastructure loss, physical theft, or due to sheer negligence (when someone forgets a laptop or forgets to shutdown their PC).

The above scenario of data exploitation and data theft is easily manageable through use of cloud technology. Cloud computing can be more helpful in such cases because herein you can stop the breaches by using services of physical security policies such as the Amazon wherein all the things that can be carried out with the data can be published. Cloud technology is most certainly is far more efficient than what a single group running its infrastructure can accomplish after a lot of personal investment. Of course, reduction in the amount of health data breach is the first benefit of cloud computing.

Deft monitoring of security and the privacy of the infrastructure through automation is the second benefit of cloud. Basically, when the infrastructure program is being written, the infrastructure is coded and thousands of tests are conducted on various levels. Such through levels of tested programs provide a secure base that everything is done in order to automate the expected results and that the infrastructure automatically works the way in which you want it to. Hence, when things start showing changes in the infrastructure code you immediately smell smoke and try to find out the reason for it. Trying to search for the reason for changes in your infrastructure ultimately makes you provide more security to your data.

HIPAA omnibus rule has placed great emphasis on the factors that can risk the health data and the breach notifications. The cloud services developers provide you with the documentations that carry highly detailed processing systems due to which remaining HIPAA compliant as well as cost-efficient does not seem as uphill task. All the instructions that are part of the cloud computing program are written in plain and simple readable English which can be easily defined by anybody in the health business. This gives the HIPAA operators full knowledge about the compliance and non-compliance and related decision. It also helps even the non-technical staff to gain an insight into overall work pertaining to the HIPAA compliance owing to which the overall efficiency of an organization is certain to elevate.

Only six months are left for the covered entities and the partners to become HIPAA compliant and hence it is important that they take steps to understand these benefits of the new cloud computing.

Data breaches in health sector have been damaging the credibility of many health institutions and many times the culprits were left untracked as they were much smarter than the security system of the institutions. Shifting to the cloud is a major decision, which can be taken by the entities only when they thoroughly understand its contribution in lessening the burden of finance as well as maintaining to the strict rules of the HIPAA compliance.

One wonders, what is keeping these people at the fences when one way or the other they are not left with any other alternative than to migrate to the cloud!

About emPower
emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit
http://www.empowerbpo.com
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Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

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