June 17

Student Loan Crises

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We have a student loan crisis here in the United States. Student loan debt in aggregate, an unsustainable bubble of government inspired debt mania, has sky rocketed over the last 10 years nearly 400 percent. The total student loan debt is now nearing 1 trillion dollars with over 10% of that in default or delinquency and much of the rest teetering on collapse.

The government makes these loans available to all manner of students attending a wide variety of schools. Many of these loans are extended to students paying exorbitant tuition rates to traditional non-profit schools rewired and then transformed into “paper mills” or to a whole new category of for profit schools many with even more exorbitant tuition rates and seemingly in indirect proportion to the value received.

Students pay excessively high tuition rates for watered down curricula at a plethora of institutions offering degrees that don’t meet the smell test when compared to the value associated historically with the attainment of a 4-year degree. Many students even after graduation struggle to properly read, write, or do arithmetic as would be expected of a fully educated graduate of a traditional university.

Many profit and non-profit educational institutions are drinking at the government loan spout while at the same time “dummying down” the path to a degree. Government money is fueling the demand and the corresponding tuition inflation is creating a student loan bubble of catastrophic proportions. Many employers no longer value these degrees unless they are from certain very high-level schools; the kind of schools that even student loans from the government can’t cover.

Indentured servitude is a good metaphor for what is happening with the student loan fiasco; this is a truly abusive system that takes advantage of those with high hopes and trying to improve their lives. At least an indentured servant, historically, could learn a craft or a trade that was with them for life; what are these folks getting but membership in a new class of debtor?

With the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 student loan debt public or private is no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy court. Many of our younger citizens now carry their student loan debt around with them like the proverbial, “ball and chain” looking for a job from employers many of whom no longer value the degree. What is next? Will they bring back a “debtors prison”?

Our once very fine university system has been severely damaged by this phenomenon. Not all loans are bad and not all schools are “paper mills” but the trend is clear and this will end badly unless this system is rehabilitated.

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June 15

How To Design Science Activities For Middle School Students

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Science activities can be very effective learning tools if they are properly designed. A properly design science activity will engage students, it will entertain them and it will introduce a science concept in an interesting way. Science activities that are not properly designed will be boring and basically a waste of class time. Below are four tips that will help you to design an effective and fun science activity for your middle school students.

Tip #1 Make the Activity Active

The best way to make a science activity more interesting and fun for students is to make it active. Active science activities are going to get students moving and interacting with science tools and concepts. A good example of an active science activity is having the students go outside and to collect data on plant and animal species on the school ground. On the flipside, an inactive science activity is having the student complete a worksheet. As you can see the first activity is going to be more fun for the student because it gives them something novel to do.

Tip #2 Make the Activity Interesting

One problem that science teachers have is making science interesting to their middle school students. This age group has all ready developed a set of interests and anything outside that set of interests is basically ignored or thought to be boring or uninteresting. In order for teachers to develop an interesting science activity they will need to find a way to connect the science concept with something that the students are interested in. For example, if the activity is about electronics concepts then the teacher can incorporate remote control vehicles or robots in their activity.

Tip #3 Make the Activity Relevant

Another way to get kids engaged in a science activity is to design is so that it is relevant to them. This is a good idea as it helps to show kids that what they are learning about does impact them and their lives. Teachers can link science concepts to what is happening in the world today by using news stories and products in their introduction of the science activity.

Tip #4 Make the Activity Quick

Middle school students still have a relatively short attention span, particularly when they are faced with a science activity. Teachers need to make sure that the science activities that they plan do not exhaust students or last longer than the activity can keep their attention. The timing of a science activity generally will be 50 to 75 percent of a single class period for middle school students. Longer activities will need to be a lot of fun or very interesting.

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June 14

Reasons Why Students Avail of Custom Essay Writing Services

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Although the obligation to accomplish academic writing tasks with success belongs to the students, there are circumstances that do not allow them to write essays. In some cases, students are able to write their academic papers, but with lesser focus. This eventually leads to lower quality papers that could be incoherent, hard to understand and full of grammar and spelling errors. Pressured to submit essays as part of the requirements, a student may opt to avail of a Custom Essay Writing Service

The decision whether to avail of an essay writing service solely lies with the student. For some students, they do not have the time, energy and resources to cover and accomplish all the assigned academic tasks and activities. A student may be loaded with academic assignments more than he could handle. If he insists on doing all of them, he might be too pressured and might end up writing low quality compositions. He might not be able to accomplish all of the tasks, which could result to missed submissions. Instead of writing low quality essays or missing submissions, a student would opt to avail of a Custom Essay Writing Service.

For other students, they have distinctive fears that prevent them from writing quality essays. Some of them fear that they do not have ample writing skills. There are students who fear that they may not be able to organize their thoughts. Others also fear that if they write something, they could be wrong. Because of these fears, a student would opt to avail of a Custom Essay Writing Service.

It is undisputable that there are students who cannot write quality essays because of lack of time, energy and resources and because of inexplicable fears. But they could always avail of outside help from credible custom essay writing services.

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June 5

Looking For A Violin Teacher Here Are Some Pointers

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If you are reading this article, congratulations on your decision to pick up the skill of playing the violin. Alternatively, you may be in the process of looking for a suitable violin teacher for your child. In either case, you will need to be aware of the following points:

1.A good violin teacher doubles up as a good mentor

Yes it is true. A good violin teacher is not only a skilled violin player, he or she must be passionate about educating his or her student. If you find a responsible violin teacher, this will all the more accelerate your learning progress. You will find that the process of picking up the skill of playing the violin is smoother.

2.Look for a qualified violin teacher

A qualified violin teacher imparts the right technique to a new student. He or she will teach the student the correct posture when playing the violin, how to hold the violin bow and correct bowing techniques. Learning the violin is very much like picking up any other skills such as swimming. If during the learning stage, you pick up the wrong techniques, it will be difficult to correct the techniques later.

3.Location of the violin lesson

You will also need to consider if you require the violin teacher to travel to your home to teach you or your child, or if you prefer to have the lessons in a studio. A studio would be a better choice as it is sound proof and will not disturb neighbours.

Some teachers prefer to be based in a school or studio, so they save travelling time and can handle more students. There is also the option of taking up group classes in a school or studio.

4.Budget

Finally, you will need to decide on a budget for engaging your violin teacher. Very experienced and qualified violin teachers may command a rate of $100 per hour while those who are just starting out may start at a rate of $50 per hour.

5.Track record of the teacher

If possible, find out the track record of the teacher. Does he or she have a high percentage rate of students who pass the ABRSM exams with merit or distinction? These results tell a lot on the capability of the teacher.

Also, check if the teachers existing pool of students have been with him or her for many years. If the answer is yes, then you have very likely found the perfect violin teacher for you or your child.

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June 5

How To Motivate Students By Jesus Zeus Salas

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Recently, Jesus Zeus Salas presented as a motivational speaker at the Miami Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Centers Extravaganza Day. Below, Jesus Salas shares some of his tips for how teachers, parents, and mentors can better inspire and motivate their students to use education to achieve greatness.

Make Lessons Meaningful

One of the most common questions that teachers hear is why do I have to learn this? Making education relevant to students lives and individual sense of curiosity is crucial to ensuring that they will be engaged in the classroom. Tie lessons into students personal goals, focus on local manifestations of broader concepts, and find out what students are interested in learning about.

Stay Positive

Students are under enough pressure to fit in socially, understand their position in their family, and figure out how to navigate the world at large. Taking some of the pressure off of students at school can turn the classroom from a source of stress into a refuge, and one of the best ways to do that is to be a source of praise rather than criticism. Focus on what students are doing well and encourage them to do more of it.

Give Students Responsibility

When students feel like valued members of a learning environment, they tend to be more invested. By doling out responsibilities to students, such as keeping bookshelves tidy, running a message to another teacher, or helping younger students, you can help them feel like part of a community.

Empower Students

Empower students to succeed by giving them plenty of opportunities to succeed at the things in which they excel. Empower them to make their own decisions by handing over some classroom control to them (survey them about when they want to take breaks, what topics interest them, what types of learning activities they prefer). Empower them to grow personally by acting as a role model and by fostering a sense of respect in the classroom.

Learn What Students Care About

A laid-back student who is passionate about music is unlikely to respond to messages about using education as a way to succeed in business. Get to know each individual student, and tailor messages towards their individual values. Not only will this show that you are invested in students lives, it will also allow you to inspire them in ways that will stick.

For more information on what motivates students to succeed, take a look at the following online resources:

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May 30

Assisting Language Students to Learn Foreign Languages

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Some language students learn a foreign language easily, while others have to struggle to understand even just the gist, let alone the nuances of the foreign language. Although learning a foreign language is not supposed to be easy, learning a language should be challenging and yet encouraging at the same time.

Today, the study of another language is often a requirement both in high school and at universities or colleges. However, students dont usually learn a foreign effectively, and sometimes, them learning a language is just taken for granted.

Experts believe that most students who have difficulty in learning a foreign language are those who have experienced difficulty in reading and spelling in their native language during their early life in school.

But, how can language teachers and schools assist language students to learn a foreign language more easily?

Students that have difficulties in language systems, whether in writing, reading, speaking, or listening, may experience problems learning a foreign language in school. Language problems can vary substantially from moderate to severe, and students who experience the most problems in all the language systems may be classified by the school as having language learning disabilities or dyslexia.

So, which instructional methods are helpful in teaching students?

Students with learning disabilities should determine which foreign language would be their best choice or which language they will be comfortable learning and practising. It is important as well that administrators and language teachers should use different tools and techniques in teaching students, to make the class discussion interesting and convincing. Effective language teaching strategies involve using technology, media, or visual and auditory aids; these are beneficial in order to enhance the memory, hearing, seeing, and knowledge of students.

Another challenge for students is to find the appropriate learning environment. This is because some students need extra time to learn a foreign language, at a slower pace and special attention. Hence, it is necessary that students should be given a real chance, and they should be away from distractions in order for them to absorb all the essential concepts of a foreign language.

Learning a foreign language doesnt only need some visual or audio strategies, but it requires a lot of extensive practice to be able to enhance their ability to speak, write, listen and understand the culture of a foreign language. Languages are not always easy to learn, it requires a long process. Thus, whatever reasons a student has for taking up a foreign language course, they should be encouraged to study early in their school years rather than later on in their adulthood.

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May 28

World Class Universities Offer Education To Low Scoring Students

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Getting an under graduate and a post-graduate degree is everyones dream, however, there are some people who are unable to secure top marks and fail to pursue their dream education from a reputed college or a well known university. In cases where people really couldnt afford quality higher education due to low scores, there are many universities which have come up with distance education MBA or other bachelor and post graduate degrees.

Moreover, many top notch universities have also open the door of high quality graduation and post graduation education to the students who fail to score good marks. And, to make all this possible, universities have decreased the minimum percentage of marks required, which is just 60% now to get admission in courses such as electronics engineering, BBA aviation and MBA power management. However, to get admission in world class universities with such low marks, students must have either scored or they need to score minimum at least 60% marks in secondary as well as senior secondary exams.

And usually, there are only a few courses that cannot be opted for by individuals after completing their schooling, viz. Bachelor of Technology, BDS and MBBS. These are the courses which a student from a science background can opt for, but there is one more glitch. In the Indian education system students having physics, chemistry, biology, and math can get in any of the available courses. But, students having physics, chemistry and math with computer science can never opt for BDS or MBBS as their course choice.

However, it is totally different in case of Master of Business Administration, as students from any graduation background can easily opt for this course and acquire and hone their management skills. But, there are some specific management courses, which have been started by some leading universities, and those courses cannot be pursued by each and every student, and some of those courses are post graduate management programs are MBA in Information Systems, Infrastructure Management MBA etc.

Students having an engineering or Bachelor of Science degree are the only ones who can pursue these courses. But to get admission in any of the MBA programs in any of the worlds best universities, students must score or have scored minimum 50% in their 10th, 12th and graduation.

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May 25

College Student Credit Cards Friend or Foe

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There is much debate surrounding college student credit cards. Some swear up and down that they’re a disaster waiting to happen while others vehemently object and insist they are a must-have financial tool for college students. Which side is right?

When deciding whether college student credit cards are good or bad, you need to weigh the facts. These three truths will help you come to your own conclusion.

1. Aggressive Marketing

College student credit cards have gotten a bad rap when it comes to their marketing tactics — and some would say that it’s for good reason. You can’t hit a single college campus without coming across at least one application for college student credit cards.

That being said, while the applications are definitely readily available (to put it lightly), no one is forcing college students to sign the application. It’s the responsibility of a parent to instruct their children on wise financial decisions.

The credit card companies are marketing their product — that’s what they do. Parents need to do their part and make sure that they instruct their children in the ways of the credit world.

2. They’ve Got to Grow Up Sometime

Everyone has to grow up sooner or later and college student credit cards can provide some priceless lessons in the world of adult finance. For the first time, college students can be responsible for their own spending and their own monthly bills.

Yes, college student credit cards can provide the potential for disaster (but so can a number of situations that students encounter in college). Just because student credit cards have the potential to be misused, it doesn’t mean that they will be. Have some faith in today’s college students!

3. Paving the Way

Once a college student graduates, they’re going to need some things (a place to live and a car to name a few) and they’re going to need credit to get the things they need. If they don’t start building their credit history in college, when are they supposed to do it?

If a college student wants to be completely prepared when they graduate, they’re going to need to work on building a solid credit history while they’re in school. College student credit cards can be the means to that end.

If you know a college student (or are a college student) who has been debating about whether college student credit cards are good or bad, consider the above three facts and remember, it’s not college student credit cards themselves that are good are bad — it is who is using them and how they are being used that make the difference.

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May 20

Discover 7 Core Teaching Strategies To Become A Terrific Teacher

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At times, teachers may feel inundated with theories, methodologies, teaching strategies, etc.etc.etc.

But please know that you can decide on how you want to run your classroom, and how you want to apply your teaching strategies.

One bit of information that I always pass on to my student teachers and teachers with little experience, is that it’s important to learn from more experienced teachers by watching them teach and reading as much as they can about any teaching strategies they have written. After that they will be in a much better position to pick and choose the teaching methods that suit them them the best.

Here are my top “7 Essential Core Teaching Strategies” that have held true for me throughout my 33 years of teaching from K-6.

1. Classroom Management is the teaching strategy that I consider to be most important in creating an effective teaching environment to ensure that your lessons will run smoothly and each teaching day will be a success.

There are many facets to ensuring effective classroom management including assertive classroom discipline, classroom behavior management, verbal and non-verbal communication strategies, classroom rules and classroom time management. Learning the details behind these essential classroom management strategies is the first step to success.

2. Know your students well. You should have different expectations for each one of your students. It is imperative to create a genuine bond with them (by the way that works both ways).

3. Continually Encourage and Motivate. Have your students set their own goals, helping them to attain them and then strive for new ones.

4. Build an effective teacher student relationship by displaying a caring and compassionate attitude towards your students. Show that you’re interested in them as people and they will return the favour (in most cases). Be sure to build up their self worth by maintaining a positive disposition.

5. Maintaining a communication dialogue with parents is very important. You are responsible for and accountable to your students so you must be professional, ready to meet and discuss any situation with parents. In some cases this will require a fair bit of tact and diplomacy on your part. On the other hand parents must respect you and your efforts as well.

6. Teachers need to show accountability primarily towards their students. But they are also accountable to parents, their school and themselves to provide their best effort every day throughout the year.

7. Teaching is “the best profession ever” if you have a real passion for it. Show your love for what you do, have FUN with your students and you will all benefit and learn from your experiences.

Digest these teaching strategies, play around with them, and implement those that fit your style of teaching. I truly hope that following these strategies will help you out and will make your life a little easier.

Try These Strategies and Have Fun!

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May 17

Students Preparing For IIT JEE Need Coaching

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It is always better to trail a path by holding hand of a person, who knows the path well. Then you are aware of the ups and downs of the path. This holds true for IIT JEE preparation also.

When a student opts for coaching classes then he knows the complicacies of the exam. He is guided by imminent Professors. They take the path of success and students can also trail the path along with them.

A good student puts in all the effort but if there is no proper guidance; then he might not succeed in exam. IIT JEE is a well conducted exam and it needs thorough preparations. Any small mistake may lead to a difference in score and hence a difference in achievement.

The student wants a high score in IIT JEE to get the desired branch and have loads of knowledge in the field of interest. This can only be achieved through high score. The high score is attributed to IIT JEE coaching. A team of highly qualified Professionals are available to coach the students in their field and achieve the target easily.

Students preparing for IIT JEE need proper coaching regular or online as the choice may be. This will help in getting the right path to tread. It needs lot of determination for proper self-study. Students can study well but cant study so well without proper aid.

As it is IIT JEE preparation needs strong will-power and determination. And if the student does not get proper back-up, then the stamina is broken leading to inadequate preparation. And none of the students want this kind of attitude towards preparations.

IIT JEE coaching is a motivational factor to keep the student going. Professors conduct tests on regular basis to assess the students performance and prepare them for future tests. Professors teach the students well and conduct regular tests. These tests allure the students to take up their lessons well and achieve their target with ease.

Professors also deliver motivational talks for students if they dont perform well. Sometimes, students get distracted by some external factors. Professors also take care to get them back to their ultimate goal IIT JEE. All these reasons make coaching compulsory for IIT entrance test.

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