Florida Gov. Pushes for In-Person School Attendance; Educators Say NO

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is pushing for in-person school attendance when classes reopen in August, but educator groups want to carry on with online classes only. This is in light of Florida’s worsening health crisis, especially now after test results of 16, 797 Florida kids aged 18 and below revealed they were infection positive.

The pediatric COVID-19 cases represented 31% of the 54,022 Florida children who underwent testing. Although only 1% of the pediatric cases have been hospitalized, which resulted to four (4) deaths, the main concern is that children can also be transmitters of the disease even if they do not show any signs or symptoms.

Educators are Against Holding of In-Person Classes Upon School Reopening

Alberto Carvalho , Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools considers DeSantis’ call for in-person school reopening as somewhat fair and balanced. Mr. Carvalho was making reference to DeSantis’ tweet, which he said respects local decision-making, which will be based on actual conditions at the time of school reopening.

However, Karen Resciniti, president of the Martin County Education Asso. disagrees. She said making decisions for school reopening based on current conditions could spell catastrophe. Many educators in Florida counties are hesitant to return to in-person teaching in classrooms.

Florida county teachers’ unions are also against the holding of in-person classes as there are still no signs that cases of infections in Florida is on a downward trend. In contrast, Florida now is a leading hotspot as the number of active cases continue to grow at a rapid rate.

Debra Robinson, a county School Board member, who is also a retired physician said that a majority of school board members are likewise not comfortable with the idea of reopening classrooms.

Even if Governor DeSantis is all for school reopening, he acknowledges that the final decisions on how schools will resume, will come from county school boards.

Let’s Talk About Transmitters and Receivers

Inasmuch as a post coronavirus education could be delivered by way of distance learning or via the Internet, let’s discuss transmitters and receivers. Understanding how information is being relayed by wireless systems, will explain why we need advanced systems of communication to make remote learning more effective. .

 

Nonetheless, advancements in communications technology have come a long way. Yet all related developments and innovations originated from the simple workings of a transmitter and its receiver/s. These electrical components exist in most of the gadgets we use today, albeit in more complex designs, and working in highly computerized environments and larger infrastructures.

 

As a form of educational discussion, we will focus on the simple topic about how basic transmitters and receivers work.

What are Transmitters and Receivers? How Do They Work?

A transmitter is actually a set of devices used for generating electromagnetic waves that are sent out to deliver signals or messages. A receiver located in another set of equipment, and usually positioned in another location, will in turn receive and relay the messages. The most common examples of transmitters are those that send out electromagnetic waves to home appliances like radio and television.

Transmitters work by converting electricity into radio waves by passing current to the transmitter antenna. Electrons passing through the antenna vibrate in upward and downward patterns that create the electromagnetic radio waves. The transmitter antenna releases the radio waves in the air, to travel at the speed of light, until it reaches the antenna of a receiver.

The receiving antenna will have been configured to receive the radio waves sent by one or more transmitters. That is why a radio or a TV set can broadcast different programs coming from different stations.

A simple example of how a transmitter and receiver works is an invisible barrier or wireless dog fence that modern day homeowners use in preventing their pets from entering restricted areas.

How Does a Wireless Dog Fence Work?

A wireless dog fence is basically an invisible barrier used in preventing a pet dog from entering a particular outdoor area of a pet owner’s property. Although some owners use it only for training purposes, some others make it a point to turn the invisible barriers on, as a constant precaution ; especially if it means ensuring the safety of their animal.

Many see an invisible barrier as a less expensive alternative to building a fence especially, if required only in a specific and smaller section of an outdoor area, like garden beds. A transmitter attached to a home socket sends electromagnetic signals to that boundary.

Meanwhile, the dog wears a collar outfitted with a receiving device. Every time the dog reaches the space in which electromagnetic waves are sent, the receiver in the dog collar will give the pet a gentle jolt to remind the animal that it is an off-limit area.

While we are merely citing wireless dog fencing as an example of how transmitters and receivers work, we also deem it best to recommend for pet owners to select only the best wireless dog fence there is, in order to truly protect their pet.

Reopening Dilemmas Faced by Schools

Educational institutions face reopening dilemmas that require plans for addressing not only health safety issues, but also their capabilities to earn revenues.

Unless a vaccine is already in place, schools cannot just reopen without instituting plans for addressing prevention and control of coronavirus spread.

Such plans must be built on three basic necessities: safe-distancing, testing and contact-tracing. If schools are to reopen, they have to consider the number of students in each room, which of course must conform to safe-distancing measures of at least 6 feet apart.

The Impact of Safe-Distancing Measures on School Revenues

Instituting safe distancing measures means limiting the total population of students who will be occupying the existing number of classrooms available. As a consequence, bringing down the student population number will likewise yield revenues that might not even be commensurate in meeting overhead costs.

After all, private educational institutions are tuition-fee dependent, and can operate profitably only if the number of students enrolled for each semester, will bring in tuition fees that will exceed total operational costs for the year.

Given that advancements in videoconferencing technology can now support the holding of remote classes, many students, particularly those belonging to the low-income bracket do not have access to reliable Internet connection. Moreover, not a few, face living conditions that cannot provide them with spaces conducive for online or distance learning.

As a result, many students could forego attending classes and  instead, simply wait when everything goes back to normal; or when an anti COVID-19 vaccine is already available.

Changes Could Intensify Problems Faced by Schools

Smaller Class Size but with Increased Class Sessions Per Subject

Educators will also feel the impact of potential changes since subject lectures and discussions will spread thinly across several class sessions. If the number of students attending each session is reduced, the number of sessions presided over by every subject teacher could double, or even triple. In effect, it also increases efforts exerted by teachers. Since revenue generation will become an issue, hiring of additional teachers will be out of the question.

Increased Efforts in Instilling Discipline

School administrators and teachers will have to intensify methods and efforts in instilling discipline among students, in and outside of classrooms, campus, and dorms.

Students coming in and out of the campus must be constantly monitored for signs or symptoms of coronavirus infection. Schools therefore must have a quick-response team trained to handle situations whenever monitoring results reveal potential signs of infection.

Decisions for Reopening School During an Ongoing Health Crisis

Although the decision to reopen even during an ongoing health crisis is up to the school board officials, any decision to do so must be backed by commitments of enrolling students and their parents in abiding with new rules that the school will impose. That way, school administrators will not be detracted from carrying out their core mission of providing education, albeit under modified teaching conditions and environment.

Moreover, resource availability is also a determining factor for reopening decisions. Availability of technology for providing safe and efficient approaches to learning amidst a coronavirus crisis, are factors that college students will consider before deciding to enroll once the school reopens this fall semester.

Even faculty members and administration staff will have to weigh the safety and workable situations in which they are expected to function as educators and support personnel.

In the meantime, school administrators can consider collaborating with a provider of call center outsourcing service to handle incoming and outgoing calls. Putting in place an efficient crew who will be in charge of answering queries with reduced wait-times, and on a round-the- clock basis immediately sends a sign of a school’s preparedness. Besides, there are local call center outsource firms that render their service under a no-contract agreement in order to make a low-cost arrangement flexible.

Covid-19 : Black Swan to Ed Technology?

In 2014, Michael Trucanno a World Bank policy specialist said epidemics can pose as “black swans” that will push education technology into the mainstream.

As a Senior Education and Technology Policy specialist, Mr. Trucanno had underscored the importance of “tipping points” that support arguments promoting the use of desktop or mobile technologies, processes, and resources as a common means of providing education to students. At that time, the World Bank policy specialist was referring to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infectious disease that emerged in China in 2003.

Today, proponents of education technology are calling the Covid-19 epidemic as one of the “black swans” that Mr. Trucanno alluded to in his remarks about education technology. Schools were the firsts to shut down when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came to learn that the first case of non-travel related, person-to-person transmission had already transpired in a U.S. community.

In heeding the CDC’s advice that the novel coronavirus disease will spread like wildfire throughout the country, a number of school districts embarked on distance learning initiatives to carry out their mission for the 2019-2020 school year.

Unfortunately however, aggressive responses like closure of business establishments and shelter-at-home mandates came rather late, allowing the infectious disease to spread at a rapid rate. As schools will be closed for an indefinite period of time, many are not well-equipped to shift to computer and mobile-based distance learning, particularly public schools that receive limited state and federal funding.

Will Covid-19 Push Educational Technologies into the Mainstream?

In big cities like those in New York and Los Angeles, school districts are faced with the challenges of devising distance learning plans for vulnerable youths who constitute the bulk of their student population. This vulnerable group comes from low-income families, and children of migrants who are still learning English and/or living in shelters for the homeless.

In the State of Kentucky, district plans are more inclined toward holding make-up classes as soon as the country overcomes the Covid-19 crisis. Apparently, the state does not have enough resources to provide disadvantaged learners with digital devices and Internet connectivity that will allow them to access online learning resources.

Although Washington state’s Northshore School District was one of the first to come up with a robust distance learning plan, implementation was put on hold. As it is, the state is in dire need of funding for providing equitable services to address the heightening economic crisis. .

 

School officials at Michigan’s Ann Arbor Public Schools said they were able to distribute Internet hotspots and learning to students who have limited access to educational technologies. A spokesperson said district leaders are still devising plans geared toward distance learning that will engage special-needs students.

Although Covid-19 appears to be the black swan event that will prompt school districts to adopt distance learning by way of computer technologies, pushing it into the mainstream of educational services is unlikely. After all, the pandemic has resulted in economic crisis that prevents many school districts from adopting long-term distance learning in educating sturents.

Saugus High School Shooting Tragedy Indicates Need for Further Study

The recent school shooting incident that occurred in Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California last November 14, 2019, has once again sowed terror and fear in the hearts of students, parents, teachers and school administrators alike.

Despite previous studies that aim to strengthen school security measures and early detection of potential perpetrators, questions on how and why such incidents happen remain unanswered.

Where schools already implement varying methods, as well as impose rules and regulations governing student conduct, it became apparent that anti-bullying programs, student counselling of troubled-students and closer mediation, are not complete solutions that can prevent school shooting incidents.

Whereas before, bullying was pinpointed as the foremost reason on why young victims harbored hostility that drove them to counter with violent reactions. The Saugus High School shooting incident made it apparent that more research is needed to determine not just a single factor but all factors that combine and lead to school violence.

Saugus High School Shooter Baffles Friends, Teachers and Police Authorities

District Supervisors and school administrators are tasked to utilize as many resources as possible, including increasing security guards, using metal detectors, CCTVs and performing student-profiling.

Yet after 16-year old Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a student of Saugus High School took a gun to school to commit one of the most dreaded acts of aggression, including suicide, school administrators are once again in a quandary. The incident is said to be the 30th crime that transpired within a school premise, this year.

Friends and neighbors knew the shooter from childhood as a smart and non-violent kid, albeit of the introvert type. There was hardly any indication that the young man had the potential to turn hostile and violent.

 

Authorities are baffled about young Berhow’s motive since he never figured as a victim of bullying, nor manifested support for violent ideologies. He lived in a modest home with his mother, while his father died two years earlier.

However, investigators found a number of unregistered guns in the Berhow household, in addition to the licensed firearms owned by the young man’s deceased father. The shooter’s father who was described as an avid hunter, was said to have a history of chronic alcoholism and had been jailed before for domestic abuse.

Not even young Berhow’s girlfriend had an inkling that the boy was harboring thoughts of comitting a crime and later suicide right, on the day of his 16th birthday. Up to this date, the young man’s motive was still unclear.

Saugus High School administrators temporarily suspended classes up to December 02, but took to addressing the trauma experienced by their students. They invited school-shooting expert, Dr. David Schonfeld of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, to help students, parents and teachers cope with tragic incident upon resumption of classes.

New Mexico to Use Record-Breaking Oil Revenue in Providing Free College Education to State Residents

New Mexico is seeing tremendous economic growth as the state’s oil and gas productions are bringing in record-breaking revenues. That being the case, the state government intends to seek state legislative approval for a proposed program to offer free college education to recent New Mexico high school graduates or earners of equivalent programs.

Incumbent New Mexico State Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced plans for the free-college education program, which will be known as the “The Opportunity Scholarship.” In a podcast interview with Michel Martin of the NPR, Governor Grisham said they want to play it smart with the revenues being brought in by the oil and gas boom, by investing the funds in places where it will create a real difference. Aside from infrastructure, they also see education as another good foundation since they are aiming to make the program last for a long haul.

New Mexico has a long list of public colleges and institutions, offering 2 and 4-year courses. The Opportunity Scholarship Program” will cover only tuition, and will be available to students after all existing federal grants and state aid programs have been drawn. In order to have continuous eligibility for the Opportunity Scholarship, students are required to maintain at least 2.5 grade point average (GPA).

About New Mexico’s Economic Boom from Oil and Gas Production

New Mexico owes its current economic boom to the state’s historic expansion of oil and gas production, specifically in the counties of Lea and Eddy, which is situated atop a section of the Permian Basin.

The Permian Basin, is also known as the West Texas Basin, being composed of large sedimentary deposits of natural gas, rich petroleum, and potassium located in Southeastern New Mexico and Western Texas. It is one of the most widely-studied geologic regions of the world, for having an accumulation of deepwater materials and organic-rich black sediments that develop into petroleum source rocks during geologic time intervals.

According to the latest report of the state’s Legislative Finance Committee, the general funds amassed for the 2019 Fiscal Year, has exceeded nearly $290 million of what has been forecasted. Most of which are attributed to the flow of strong revenues gained from gross receipts taxes, rents and royalties derived from oil and gas production boom.

Indian Government Orders Schools to Limit School Bag Weight According to Child’s Age

The federal government of India has ordered all schools in the country to limit the weight of school bags. A set of federal guidelines has been issued, prescribing the weight limit for school bags, based on a child’s age. The directive came after India’s Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry conducted a survey, which revealed that 88% of pre-teen school children are carrying school bags weighing more than forty-five percent (45%) of their body weight.

It is estimated that children at ages between 7 and 13, particularly those whose bones are still at the development stage, are likely to experience mild back pain that could lead to chronic back pain. If they continue to do so, they are at risk of having hunched backs once their bones reach the stage of full development.

Carrying of heavy school bags is even more difficult in India’s rural areas, where children walk great distances. In some areas, children even have to carry books on their head while fording rivers just to seek education.

The weights prescribed include the lunch box and water bottle even if carried in a separate bag. Moreover, the federal guidelines include a suggestion for schools not to assign homework during weekends to ensure that children will not be constrained to carry school books home in order to address weekend school work.

Still, some sectors opposed the current federal guidelines, whilst seeking court intervention.

State Governments Order District Collectors to Oversee Implementation of the Federal Guidelines

 

To make certain all schools, including private institutions, will comply with federal government’s new guidelines, state governments of India have tasked District Collectors to oversee implementation.

District Collectors have formed committees that will send out teams across their district to visit all schools during morning and afternoon sessions, and make observations when children enter and leave classrooms. In order to ensure that compliance takes place at the soonest time possible, state governments have set a deadline by which full implementation will be achieved.

According to school students studying at schools in which the federal guidelines have already been implemented, their teachers have already instructed them to bring just one thick notebook, one rough notebook and bring only subject books when deemed necessary.

As an aside, parents who intend to replace the large school bags may find it useful to know that there will an Amazon Great Indian Sale taking place at the Amazon online store from September 04 to 08, 2019.

Career in Carpentry : Taking up a Formal Course to Attain High-End Employability

Most carpenters discovered their interest in carpentry during their woodworking class in high school. If one intends to pursue it as a professional occupation, a future carpenter though, must possess certain qualities that will enable them to make carpentry a truly satisfying career.

First off, it is helpful for an aspiring carpenter to be in good physical condition since most woodworking tasks require stamina, physical strength and good body balance. Inasmuch as carpentry work requires precision and attention to detail, hand-eye coordination as well as manual dexterity is also important.

Although skills can be acquired by taking on an apprentice job as a carpenter’s assistant, aspiring carpenters who acquire broader knowledge by taking up a formal carpentry course in a college or university, are better qualified for higher-paying jobs.

Construction or building contractor trade unions are known to offer apprenticeships that involve not only on-the-job-training but also 3 to 4 years of classroom-style schooling to qualified carpentry-aspirants. Usually, they offer this kind of opportunity to those who learn fast and have fair enough knowledge in advanced math, basic computer skills and understanding of safety practices.

High-End Employability of Carpenters

Based on the 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Salary Information for Carpenters, skilled house builders earn a median salary of $43,600 per year. About 25% of those engaged on the low end of this type of occupation, earn at least $33,770 per year. This denotes that about 75% are in the high-end, because they earn more than the median. Accordingly, high-end earners can reap as much as $58,700 annually.

The 2016 Labor Statistics survey also indicated that around 1,025,600 individuals in the U.S. found employment as carpenters.

Most of those who belong to the high end of the carpentry occupation, possess above average carpentry skills, have proficient understanding of building materials, and adeptness in using different carpentry tools.

Taking Up a Formal Carpentry Course to Enhance One’s Skills and Knowledge

The main advantage of taking up a formal carpentry course in a college or university, or with trade organizations is that it gives a carpenter, greater employability potential. That is because they acquire broader knowledge about building materials and tools, in addition to developing better skills needed in house construction jobs.

General Carpentry Skills

Basic carpentry skills relate to measuring and cutting wood for construction. Building a house though requires more skills, which include the ability to understand and follow blueprints, working knowledge of mathematical computations including calculation of angles, thorough understanding of construction methods, and comprehension of building codes.

Knowledge of Building Materials

It is important for a carpenter to achieve structural integrity in completing a house building project. That is why it is essential for carpenters to have thorough knowledge of the different kinds of construction materials to use. Aside from knowing the right type of lumber to use, he must also be knowledgeable about concrete, pipes, fittings, plastics, and composites, including the kinds of nails, fasteners, iron, roofing and the likes, to use for appropriate purposes.

Carpentry Tools

Working with different kinds of construction materials require knowledge and adeptness in using the appropriate tools. Carpenters basically use hammer, saw, chisel, drivers, wood planes, routers and drills. However, since carpentry work must also be finished within the time specified in a contractual agreement, knowledge of power tools can optimize labor hours. Knowledge about power tools is not only about handling, but also about safety measures and proper tool maintenance.

More than 3 Million American Teens Think JUUL Vaping is Hip, Cool and Harmless

JUUL vaping has become the “in” thing for American teens, as many of the youths of today have been convinced that this e-cigarette brand is not as harmful as the conventional tobacco-based cigarettes. A large number of America’s teen population think that JUUL is hip and cool, because it’s high-tech, odorless, comes in different flavors and can be used discreetly. A JUUL does not only look like a USB flash drive, it can also be charged via USB port.

In fact U.S. teens no longer call e-cigarette use as vaping but juuling, since 75% of the American e-cigarette market is dominated by the JUUL brand. Even more aggravating is that marketing campaigns and promotion of the e-cigarette is largely carried out in social media sites. Reports have it that the JUUL company is even paying social media influencers who post stories, tweets, and images promoting the so-called claims that JUUL is the best alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Many of today’s youth have been led to believe that they are not consuming nicotine when vaping or juuling. In a survey conducted by the University of Michigan in 2016, majority of the 40,000 youths who were interviewed think they are vaping only flavoring and not nicotine,

The most recent report comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed alarming data about e-cigarette users among high school youths. The CDC report disclosed that the estimated number of high school teens hooked into vaping in 2011 started at 220,000. After the CDC’s review of data pertaining to e-cigarette use between 2011 and 2018, the number of high school teens already habitually using e-cigarettes has risen to 3.05 million.

The Truth About JUUL e-Cigarettes

Young Americans continue to believe that JUUL is nicotine-free, which is entirely not true. The JUUL Labs, the company manufacturing the sleek e-cigarette is now the subject of three legal actions for falsely advertising its product. It has been established that one JUUL cartridge or pod contains nicotine that is roughly equivalent to nicotine puffed from a full pack of 20 cigarettes.

When e-cigarettes were first introduced in 2015, nicotine content was placed at a strength of 1% to 2.4%. When JUUL entered the market, it immediately made a claim that its innovative nicotine salt can deliver nicotine at a rate that is 2.7 times faster than other e-cigarettes. That is because a JUUL pod has 5% nicotine strength.

According to reports, the trend in juuling among U.S. teens can be best described by how the youths of today express their e-cigarette inclinations. That is from, “Juuling is fun” to “I need to juul.”

Voice over Internet Protocol : Its Benefits Extend to Educational Environments

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been around for years now and even available free of charge to users. Facebook Messenger and Google Hangout are fine examples of free VoIP service systems, albeit with differences on how users can utilize them when making audio or video calls via the Internet.

FB Messenger VoIP or audio/video call messaging between FB connected users is possible only by way of mobile phones. Use is free if the audio or video call carries on via Wifi connection. Although still available even without Wifi by using data, VoIP will no longer be free, as charges will be made on the user’s data plan.

The Google Hangout app on the other hand allows VoIP calls between personal computers, landlines and mobile devices. Users though must have a Google Voice number (also free) in order to receive and make VoIP calls. Similar to the Messenger VoIP system, Wifi connection is necessary to keep Google Hangout audio/video calls free. A great thing about Google Hangout/Google Voice is that it permits audio/video conferencing with up to 10 participants.

FB and Google free audio/video call systems make VoIP highly appealing to use as tool in an educational environment.

Uses and Potential Benefits of VoIP in Educational Institutions

Communication in a learning institution is very important as educational collaborators, parents and students need to interact constantly, regardless of economical condition and location.

VoIP use, presents benefits that are realizable over a course of time since it permits fast and instant audio calls that go directly to individuals concerned. This stands in contrast to usual problems associated with Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

PSTN makes communication possible only if the phone at the other end of the line is not in use; or if the person for whom the call is intended is available to answer the call. In fact, VoIP eliminates the need to make individual calls, since it allows making simultaneous calls to different recipients.

School Administrators of various districts can be present in interdistrict meetings by way of video conferencing; eliminating the need to be away from their school base. That being the case, school superintendents enjoy greater flexibility in using time at work to cover a broad range of responsibilities; including collaborating with or in addressing issues raised by community interest groups and/or advocates.

Teachers can make instant calls to their students even after school hours and during weekends; let us say for additional instructions or to convey important updates. Students on the other hand, can engage and actively participate in study groups right in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

In recent events, in which the safety of students in schools have been compromised, either due to natural disasters or unexpected developments, parents were afforded with means to instantly and directly call their children and teachers, to ask about their condition and whereabouts.

Using Riddles as Effective Tools for Teaching Math and English Lessons

Studies show that instructional processes need to adopt new student-centered approaches, in order to keep learners interested in a subject. One such approach suggested is the inclusion of puzzles and riddles as a way of involving student participation. Rather than let students be passive listeners, integrating riddles related to real life circumstances will improve effectiveness of a learning environment.

Imparting lessons on subjects like mathematics and English can produce better results when using riddles as part of the instructions and problem solving process. After all, a riddle can be a statement or a question using descriptive words to indicate numerical values or physical attributes hidden behind meanings.

When used as part of a mathematical lesson, a riddle enables students to easily comprehend because their wordings relate to real life situations. Moreover, such exercises can also enhance the critical thinking abilities of lesrners.

Examples of Math Riddles to Use in Mathematical Instructions and Problem Solving Exercises

Puzzles and riddles may seem silly but challenging. The fun thing is that students realize that when solved as a mathematical problem, the solution is so simple.

Riddle: 25 students make up this class. If all students are present and were to shake hands with each other, how many handshake will each student make?

Answer: 24 handshakes. Each student is excluded from the handshake count, since he or she does not have to shake his or her own hand.

Riddle: If a rooster laid 5 brown eggs and a chicken laid 10 white eggs, how many eggs will there be in all?

Answer: 10 eggs. Roosters do not lay eggs, so there is zero possibility for a rooster to increase the number eggs laid by a hen.

Riddles as Means of Improving Reading and Grammatical Skills

In teaching grammatical lessons like homonyms and metaphors, riddles can provide the best examples.

Riddle: What is mostly black and white but better if red all over?

Answer: Newspaper. The red here is an example of a homonym, as it actually refers to the word read , which sounds the same as red if in the past tense,

Riddle: Give me food and I will live, give me water and I will die. What am I?

Answer: Fire. The riddle here makes use of metaphors.

To make riddles more effective in the classroom, teachers may use it for different group activities.

One way is to divide students into groups, to work together in solving a list of riddles. The first group to solve all, gets the highest grade. This means the longer it takes for a group to solve the riddles, the lower the equivalent grade earned. Other group activities may include debating on potential answers to riddles, or asking students to compose their own riddle.

Marcel Proust: French Novelist Who was First to Perceive Smell as Memory Stimulant

Long before scientific studies were conducted on how smells have a powerful ability to trigger the recall of memories, famed 20th century French novelist Marcel Proust had already used the idea in his book ”Remembrance of Things Past.” The literature is a 7-part novel released between 1913 and 1927, in which Proust’s narrative delved on how people can relive important events of the past through smells.

Maria Larsson of the Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Department of Psychology at the Stockholm University, is an expert in the study of memory. She became interested in the study of smell when it dawned on her that novelists like Marcel Proust narrated descriptions about the connection between smells and memories.

Yet, when she looked for scientific literature that can provide scientific evidence, she found that the effect of smells on human memory as told by Proust, has yet to be proven. Larson then set out to embark on a scientific mission to prove if smells can really trigger emotional memories.

The Proust Effect as Proven by Scientific Studies

An expert in the field of perception and psychophysics, Ms. Larson modeled her work after Proust’s literature. She carried on by exposing older people to a variety of smells and later interviewed them about the memory evoked by a particular smell.

Ms. Larson was amazed at the results of their experiment, saying they came to a conclusion that memories brought on by smells were more vivid and emotional, when compared to memories evoked by visual or verbal prompts.

She was amazed to learn that the peak of memories recalled via smells can go as far back as age 5.

It was really, totally clear that when they recollected a specific memory, that memory was localized to the childhood period.”

Scents today find use not only as enhancers of human body odor. Since it has been established that people tend to process smells by associating it to certain memories stored in the back of their minds, modern day product designers now use scintillating and aromatic fragrances as a form of consumer enticement.

Graduating from High School: If Not College, What’s the Next Best Thing to Do After?

Receiving a high school diploma is deemed as one major achievement that must be accomplished in life. First off, it opens up avenues for a college education, which in turn provides individuals with credentials to embark on related careers.

However, for one reason or another, a college education is not always possible for all those graduating from high school.Nonetheless, not being able to pursue a college degree does not mean the end of the road for those seeking to have a successful career in the future.

Post-High School Graduation Alternatives to Attending College

Most students graduating from high school, actually feel unprepared to enter college even if their parents have set aside funds to see them through a college education.

In the Achieve survey report, ”Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work?” released in 2014, it was gathered that an estimated 50% of high school graduates were unprepared for the challenges they were about to face; either in college or in a workplace.

That being the case, most of those students were advised to engage in meaningful occupations that will give them opportunities for overcoming reasons that stopped them from pursuing a college education. The following are only some of the post-high school graduation alternatives to consider.

Take on Apprenticeship Work

Apprenticeships are work-based training programs participated in by many US employers, because they not only help in developing young workers into becoming potential employees who can render skilled and efficient services. Apprenticeship programs also offer productivity incentives that employer-participants can claim on every dollar spent on apprenticeship programs.

Most high school graduates find apprenticeship opportunities in industries involved in construction, health technology, electricals, equipment installations and maintenance, or in fire medics. As apprentices, young workers receive special protection particularly with regard to working time. Under normal circumstances, apprentices are expected to render at least 30 hours of work during the week. They stand to receive compensation based on the national minimum wage rates stipulated in accordance with the age of the apprentice and the industry classification.

Most important of all, completing an apprenticeship program, qualifies an apprentice to receive credentials equivalent to an associate or bachelor’s degree. Entry level job opportunities in fields related to the apprenticeship program, term this qualification as “work experience equivalent to a college degree.”

Apply for Work that Do Not Require a College Degree

This option requires greater interest in performing a specific task, in order to build a promising career even without a college degree. Some examples include work as Postal Service Mail Carriers, Penal Correction Officers (prison guards), or Boilermakers, assemblers, installer or repairers of bollers.

Engage in Volunteer Work

In this aspect, there are no specific employment programs offered governing a young workers’ involvement, since the latter will render voluntary work. Still, those soliciting voluntary work are required to have Voluntary Work Programs in place.

The payback for voluntary work among young people, include receiving Living Allowance, in addition to provision of skills and training. AmeriCorps for one, also confer educational awards that grant financial rewards to use in paying for college education, vocational training, or if applicable for graduate school or for repaying student loans. In addition, most volunteer workers who does well in their line of work, eventually land well-paying jobs at public, private or non-profit organizations.

Enlist in a Military Sector

High school graduates who are confident they have what it takes to build a military career, enlist right after high school graduation. Still, even if one is not planning on a military career, gaining a job by successfully passing military training, equates to receiving regular paychecks. After at least 2 years of military service, other incentives like annual salary raises, housing and medical benefits, as well as educational assistance programs will become available.

Teach Children How to Know if Water is Safe to Drink

Parents often times make it a point to stress the importance of drinking water in order to stay in good health. However, when on his or her own at school, in camps or in any place away from home, will a child know if the water he or she is about to drink, is safe?

It is important therefore to give children, at least some basic guidelines on what to drink or not to drink.

Safety Pointers that Children Must Know When Drinking Water

Most adults know that for a drinking water to be safe, it must not contain metals, chemicals, bacteria, fluoride, chlorine and other similar contaminants. When on their own, children do not have an inkling how to know about those..

The best way therefore is to orient them about the sources of safe and unsafe drinking water, in addition to explaining what makes a source safe or unsafe.

  • Let your children know that schools in the US are required to provide clean and safe drinking water. Water must be derived from protected sources such as piped water, dug wells, tubewells, or by way of commercially delivered purified water.
  • As part of their knowledge, make them aware that a water source is not protected if it shows signs of leakages. In most cases, contaminants coming from wastes have potential to enter through a pipe breach.
  • Tell children not to drink from the protected water source if there is flooding in the area. As parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with safe drinking water that they can bring to school. Do this until you have ascertained that school administrators have had water coming out from protected sources, checked and tested as free from contaminants.

  • When eating in malls or fast food outlets, advise them not to drink water provided by the establishment. Even if water comes from a protected source, or even if purified water is served, they might drink from tumblers that have not been properly washed, or stored protected from crawling insects. To satisfy thirst, it would be better to buy bottled drinking water to stay safe.
  • Children often spend their vacation outdoors, usually swimming with friends in community lakes, or in a friend’s private swimming pool. Instill in your children the importance of not taking chances in dirty bodies of water or in swimming pools that have not been cleaned and treated. Contaminated water entering through any body openings will allow microorganisms to invade their body. The important microorganism to avoid is e.coli, because having them in one’s bloodstream can result to severe health disorders.

In time, as your children get older, they will have learned how to determine if the water they are about to drink is safe or not.

When Will Students Learn the Consequences of Bringing an Airsoft Gun to School?

Despite stricter laws imposed by state governments regarding replica firearms such as airsoft, air or BB guns, incidents in which a realistic-looking airsoft gun is brought to school, still happen.

 

Apparently unaware of the consequences of such action, some students still cause alarm and apprehension to fellow students by bringing a replica gun to school even if for a harmless reason. As a result, other students will send text messages to their parents or to a school authority, or approach an adult in charge.

In 2 separate school incidents in Michigan, school authorities alerted the local police after receiving text messages that a student brought a firearm to school. One of which took place in Lapeer County’s Almont Community Schools in Feb. 20, 2018. The other incident happened in Mt. Morris City at Montague Elementary School. The Mt. Morris City Police Department school liaison officer was able to immediately get hold of the replica gun.

In both cases, local police authorities handled the confiscation actions and investigations, and if called for, the student’s detention.

The Mt. Morris officer stated that even if the gun was found unloaded and inoperable, the state prohibits the act of bringing any type of gun to school. Severe school disciplinary actions must be carried out, even if necessitating the involvement of law enforcers.

Apparently, not a few children are aware that in Michigan, the penalties for bringing a replica or real firearm in school include up to 93 days imprisonment, 100 hours of community service, a fine of up to $2000, which in all probability will be imposed on a parent if the erring student is a minor.

Why the Presence of Airsoft Guns in School is Not a Trivial Matter

 

The bringing of a replica gun to school is no longer treated as a trivial matter that can be addressed later. First off, it is not easy to instantly tell if a gun in the school premise is only an imitation firearm. Mainly because airsoft guns are intentionally designed and built to resemble a genuine firearm. If a brand or edition of an airsoft rifle is touted as the best airsoft sniper rifle, then it practically looks the same as its real-life counterpart.

Secondly, there were past incidents of school mass shootings that could have been prevented, had school and law enforcement authorities, been notified as soon as the assailant’s firearm was spotted. That being the case, parents and school administrations have raised children’s awareness about the criticality of alerting school authorities, once they see or detect the presence of a firearm; regardless of whether the students think the gun is real or not.

Understanding Learning Styles

Learning styles (LS) generally refer to the set of factors occurring as patterns of  learning behavior and attitudes among students, which can be utilized as effective method of teaching.

 

A set of LS poses as influences to the approach preferred by a learner when acquiring knowledge. In the academic world, the use of learning styles as basis for teaching methods became popular as educational practice as far back as the 1970s. The approach though is not without criticism, since every individual possesses different cognitive, physiological and affective behaviors.

In a typical learning environment, several learners interact with a single teacher. Ideally, assessment of individual learning styles is undertaken to determine the most preferred modes of instructions that will optimize the educator’s teaching method. Recent studies though expressed skepticism regarding learning styles as determining factors. The common contentions are the unreliable measurement and the absence of systematic studies supporting such measures.

The Seven Basic Learning Styles

There are seven (7) basic learning styles, namely Auditory, Visual, Kinaesthetic, Kinaesthetic-Auditory, Visual-Auditory, Visual-Kinaesthetic, and Auditory-Kinaesthetic-Visual. Auditory refers to learning by listening, Kinaesthetic means learning thru physical activities, while Visual pertains to learning by way of images, examples, charts and the like. The rest therefore are combinations of two or three learning techniques.

Visual-Auditory teaching methods usually combine oral and written instructions and materials. Visual-Kinaesthetic LS enables a student to learn faster by carrying out tasks related to a lecture. Such tasks may include creating posters, powerpoint presentations, conducting surveys, and other similar activities. Auditory-Kinaesthetic uses sound related physical activities. Teaching methods usually task students to convert a certain lesson into a song, create a commercial jingle or music video.

Studies show that it is unlikely that one individual has only one learning style. Yet it has been widely observed that one learning style is dominant over another. The important point driven at by LS critics is that teaching methods must not be confined to learning styles claimed as the most effective. Utilizing instructional methods attuned to one LS at a time, gives students a chance to develop less dominant learning senses. In time, teaching methods may later advance to using multi-sensory learning approaches.

Giving the Best Care and Attention to Rescued Chinchillas

Fur farms in several European countries are undergoing a phase-out period as precursor to the full implementation of the fur farming ban in their respective regions. During which, animals like minks, foxes, rabbits and chinchillas are being transferred to animal welfare organizations that will put them up for adoption. If you are planning to adopt one, it would be best to know beforehand the basic dos and don’ts related to the animal you intend to adopt.

Things to Keep in Mind When Adopting a Rescued Chinchilla

The chinchillas are the likeliest candidates for home adoption. Unlike minks, rabbits and foxes that can survive in the wilds, chinchillas possess certain traits and habits that require addressing in the best ways possible. In regions with perennial cold climate, it is important to know beforehand that draught (draft) poses as danger to chinchillas. On the other hand, warm conditions can trigger heatstroke. That is why it is best to place them in rooms with controlled temperature and away from direct sunlight.

It is also important to know that rescue centers in charge of transferring chinchillas to new owners, carefully screen individuals applying for chinchilla adoption. A rescue worker will ask questions pertaining to personal backgrounds, such as lifestyle, type of dwelling, work schedule and of one’s natural inclination to care for animals. Potential owners will then be asked questions aimed at gauging knowledge on chinchilla fostering. Aside from knowing which cage for small animals suits a chinchilla pet, basic knowledge of chinchilla habits and needs is likewise important.

Some may find the process too rigorous when compared to how dog or cat shelters simply require payment of a minimal fee. Keep in mind that the animals up for adoption were rescued from extremely harsh conditions, from whence they experienced stress, fear, and physical hardship. They were handled by workers who were more concerned in maintaining the quality of their pelt, to ensure their fur will command the most competitive price in the business.

Important Things to Know About Chinchillas

Nature and Habits – Chinchillas are gentle but energetic creatures that sleep during daytime and stay active at night. They are inclined to run around and jump, capable of leaping up to 6 feet high. Their teeth grow continuously, therefore constantly needing safe objects on which to chew. When experiencing stress, the creature manifests such condition by chewing on its furs. Care must be observed in handling or petting chinchillas since they have a very fragile rib cage.

Diet – Chinchillas are herbivores, best fed by way of timothy hay and premium chinchilla pellets made from balanced combination of lucerne/alfalfa, soybean, wheat, soya hulls, locust beans, plantain, parsley, linseed, salt, monocalcium and calcium carbonates. When fed with vegetables and/or fruits, they must be given in limited amounts. Their drinking water must always be fresh and free from chlorine. Feeding them with chocolates, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and treats with high-fat content can become causes of a serious health disorder.

Hygiene – Caring for chinchillas require providing them with dust bath with which they roll in as method of cleaning their fur. Dust bath purchased from stores contain substances similar to the organic dusts found in natural chinchilla habitats. Keep them away from areas where they can get wet, and if ever, dry their fur thoroughly to avoid molds from setting in. Cages or areas in which a chinchilla pet nestles must be cleaned and disinfected regulary at least once a week. Make certain to put the chinchilla back only when the cage or area is completely dry.