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Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Change

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The only constant in life is CHANGE. Change permeates everything we are and do. People change, plans change. Organizations change. Change is natural, it is normal. Yet, the resistance to change is also just as normal and natural a part of human nature as the acceptance of change. The secret of growth and advancement is learning how to deal with the pressures of change…..turning positive actions to our advantage, while blunting negative ones.

The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes are necessary. In a culture in which interpersonal relationships are considered to provide the answer to every form of distress, it is sometimes difficult to persuade well-meaning helpers that solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support. (A. Storr, 1988)

Personal change is the most powerful route to system change. Individuals today can leverage change far more effectively than most institutions. (Naisbitt and Aberdene, 1990)  We at Knowledge Headquarters have been fortunate to see change come in a variety of ways to the those we work with. Our greatest challenge has been convincing individuals that they do have power and can initiate change, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

Remember When

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

A computer was something on TV

from a science fiction show of note

a window was something you hated to clean…

And ram was the cousin of a goat….

Meg was the name of my girlfriend

and gig was a job for the nights

now they all mean different things

and that really mega bytes

An application was for employment

a program was a TV show

a cursor used profanity

a keyboard was a piano

Memory was something that you lost with age

a cd was a bank account

and if you had a 3 1/2″ floppy

you hoped nobody found out

Compress was something you did to the garbage

not something you did to a file

and if you unzipped anything in public

you’d be in jail for a while

Log on was adding wood to the fire

hard drive was a long trip on the road

a mouse pad was where a mouse lived

and a backup happened to your commode

Cut you did with a pocket knife

paste you did with glue

a web was a spider’s home

and a virus was the flu

I guess I’ll stick to my pad and paper

and the memory in my head

I hear nobody’s been killed in a computer crash

but when it happens they wish they were dead

Sent by Jamie Stauder

Eight Rules for Teenagers and Parties

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Teenagers often run into serious discipline problems in connection with parties they attend or host.  Parents can help avoid these problems by taking a few precautions each time a party is planned.  Experts suggest when you host a party……
Agree to certain rules ahead of time.  You may want to consider some of the following:

  • No coming and going from the party.
  • Make certain rooms off-limits.
  • Keep lights on
  • No uninvited guests
  • No smoking, drugs or alcohol
  • Set a time limit when the party begins and ends
  • Invite another parent to help deal with unexpected problems
  • Know your responsibilities:  Remember that as an adult you are legally responsible for anything that may happen to a minor who has been served drugs or alcohol in your home.

Adapted from Illinois School Board Association

Holidays and the “Missing Parent”

Sunday, December 30th, 2012
Holidays can be difficult times for children when their parents are divorced or separated.  According to psychologists Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts”  “The child may be hurt or angry when the parent does not contact him on a holiday.  The parent who lives with the child may then be left to deal with the emotional reactions.  The child may have fantasies that the holiday would be much better with the missing parents.  or he may blame the parent he is with for the fact the other isn’t there.”

Ignoring the emotional stress may be tempting….especially if you yourself are still dealing with the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation.  But that only causes your child to feel worse, the authors say.

They suggest:  Sit down with the child and look at pictures of the missing parent and talk about what it would be like to have contact with him or her.  Set aside your own anger and simply listen to your child’s feeling, say the authors.  help make contact with relatives of the missing parent if they want to see the child.  if there is no chance of the child reconnecting with a missing parent at holidays, have an honest discussion about the subject.

“Family Change: Don’t Cancel Holidays,” Psychology Today

Christmas Everywhere

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Phillips Brooks
(Born December 13, 1835; died January 23, 1893)

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in
land of the palm-tree and vine,

Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
Broods o’er br
ave men in the thick of the fight;

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!

For the Christ-child who comes is the master of all;

No palace too great, no cottage too small.

From Christmas Songs and Easter Carols
by Phillips Brooks, 1903.

My Gift To You….

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Sometimes I find myself regarding you as a miniature adult; not tall enough to be awarded respect, not subtle enough to be offered consideration.

I give you love as I might offer you a piece of cake, enough, perhaps, to entice your taste and encourage your appetite, but not sufficient to nourish your needs.

The miracle is not that you grow with my love.   The miracle is that you seem to survive my mistakes….

I teach you words, that you might express new and adventurous thoughts of your own.

I teach you to read to enlighten your mind, knowing that knowledge will lead you to unexplored corridors over which I have no control….

I must also prepare you for realities.  I must offer you both…the way the world should be and the way it is…

Take my hand, my child, and we will explore the land.   I will tell you all that I know, and you will show me the secrets of your heart.  It may not be a fair exchange, but it is all I have to give.

I shall lead you only for this short while…how can I find appropriate words that can say only the right things?  How can I find proper answers to answer the question you ask?  How can I teach you when I, myself, am in need of guidance?  How can I be a teacher when much of me is still a child?

Excerpts from “I’ll Show You the Morning Sun”  by David Melton

Communicating

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Individuals often assume that others know how they feel or that their feelings are reflected by their behavior.  As a result, people become lax about communication.  In all relationships one must not only express love and appreciation through behavior, but must openly verbalize these feelings.  Words alone can be empty and meaningless if an individual’s behavior is not consistent with them.

Although beginning to change, socialization practices in American culture have led men to be generally less expressive and affectionate than women.  This attitude can be problematic because both males and females are equal in their need for emotional warmth.  Family members should try to be sensitive to these gender differences and develop ways of expressing supportive-affectionate feelings that meet the needs of males and females while allowing all family member to feel comfortable.

Navigation! Graphics!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Navigation! Graphics! Those two things are the name of the game in Internet websites. eTutor is proud of its graphics, which appeal to a diversity of students. We use cartoons, current baseball stars, accurate diagrams of the circulatory system, and photographs of Tasmanian Devils, to name just a few. Photos of the starry night sky show the position of Orion and the Pleiades. In a lesson on comets, there are actual photos of comets. For younger children, we use appealing graphic representation of tomatoes, bunnies, and clowns.

The graphics are important because they must catch — and HOLD — a student’s interest and imagination. We choose graphics that illustrate our lessons — sometimes precisely (as in the graphics of the brain in our science lessons), sometimes whimsically (an octopus to illustrate the eight parts of speech.) Consistently, users tell us that our graphics are one of their favorite features.

Sample pictures from E-Tutor lessons. Clikck here to take a quick tour of E-Tutor.

The second important part of a Website is the navigation. How easy is it? eTutor requires you to know two things to be able to navigate it. First, the “BACK” button does not work. When parents and teachers want their students using eTutor, a prime concern is that students stay within that website. We guarantee our sites are 100% secure. By NOT using the “BACK” button (and instead closing windows by clicking in the top right or left hand corner), students are kept “within”  eTutor. It is easy for teachers and students to learn this and adjust to this in our website. Second, we use the “scroll” feature frequently. We want eTutor to load quickly and accurately. By loading the lesson all at once, and using the scroll feature (or clicking on the Index), students have very little to learn in terms of navigation. Students can click on the area they want to go to —”Study Guide”, for example — or scroll through the whole lesson. Either way,  eTutor provides an illustrative trip through education!



Importance of Accrediting Online Learning Programs

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Accreditation comes from the Latin word credito–meaning to trust since the late 1800’s. American schools and colleges have had their trustworthiness and quality validated through accreditation.  Recently some online educational programs have sought accreditation.  The value of being accredited is that the quality of the online instructional program  is validated through Self-Study and on-site evaluation by educational professionals.

˜Benefits to Students

  • Increased performance. Accreditation focuses the program on improving learning for all students. A six-year study of schools actively engaged in the accreditation process revealed that 79% made verifiable gains in student achievement.
  • Transfer of credits. In addition to raising student achievement, accreditation eases the transition of students as they move from an online program to another accredited school. The regional nature of accreditation allows a receiving school in the same or another state to assess the quality of the online learning program and accept the incoming student’s credits and academic record. This ease of transfer applies across the nation through reciprocal agreements between the regional accrediting agencies.
  • Access to programs and scholarships. Accreditation can also benefit web-based students as they participate in specific sports programs, apply for federal grants or scholarships, or pursue admission to colleges, technical schools, or military programs that require students to come from accredited schools.

˜Benefits to Parents and the General Public

Accreditation assures parents and the public that the program is focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation. Accreditation extends across state lines, assuring parents and the public that the online learning adheres to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practice.

˜Benefits to Educators

Accreditation provides the online instructional staff with a proven process for raising student achievement.  Educators benefit from multiple resources (publications, manuals, software, professional development, and conferences), all of which assist in educational improvement. In addition, educators gain access to a network of schools to share best practices and professional knowledge.  Educators gain valuable information about effective practices in other programs through participation on peer review teams. Through the accreditation process and resources, the online program improves its ability to analyze data and make sound educational decisions based on that data. Finally, accreditation provides program administrators with deserved recognition for going above and beyond the minimum to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to quality and to success for all

Online Instructional Framework

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Online instruction should  focus on relevant and interesting topics emphasizing basic skills with content that applies to real-life situations which students can relate to, such as creating a budget or reviewing a movie.
The e-Tutor lesson modules, consist of nine parts followed by an assessment section, which contains quizzes and an exam.
  1. Introduction – a brief statement explaining the topic of the lesson.
  2. Grade Level – e-Tutor lessons are cross-aged at Primary, Intermediate, Middle/Jr. High, and High School.
  3. Lesson Goals – goals and objectives are modeled after national and state learning standards in the major subject areas.
  4. Resources – links to quality education web sites where students can find information to reinforce or expand upon the information given in the Study Guide.
  5. Lesson Problem – setting the stage for learning by posing a question(s) to be answered in completing the lesson.
  6. Vocabulary – enriched vocabulary words new to students are hyper-linked to dictionaries on the Internet.
  7. Study Guide – the main body of each lesson contains information on basic skills and concepts that students need to be successful learners.
  8. Activities – worksheets, experiments, projects that give the student practice in what s/he has learned.
  9. Extended Learning – additional thought provoking activities that stimulate logical thinking, creative reasoning and critical thinking.

Each section of the learning modules (Resources, Vocabulary, Study Guide, Activities, and Extended Learning) contributes to the learning process in a unique way.  These modules, interesting topics and colorful graphics, make the online instructional program effective and inviting to the student.  With the use of many valuable online educational resources, no place in the world is more than a few mouse clicks away.

For example, in a lesson module that investigates the giant pandas, the student learns about the pressing problem of saving the endangered animal by connecting to the World Wildlife Funds where the giant panda is one of the top ten most endangered species.  The student is later linked to a map of China to study the native terrain of the pandas and to the San Diego Zoo for information about panda research.  In this engaged learning environment, the students routinely take virtual field trips to every corner of the earth from the computer.

Online students are not time-stressed.   A well-developed online instructional program can help students focus on learning, instead of time, by assisting the learner to manage information, by providing resources, and by being “open” 24 hours a day.   This method of learning encourages students to learn by doing, simulating the real world situation.