Day: June 25, 2020

Taking Home Learning To The Next Level

Distance learning can be difficult for students all around the world. The abundance of distractions, atypical environment, and impersonal approach to education is hard to follow – a mere shock to students. It’s easy to let normal schedules slip when everyone is home, and technology frequently diverts our attention. However, this makes teachers and parents concerned their students will fall behind. Making learning fun could offer a solution.

It’s likely your student needs access to technology to engage in their online classes. However, most technology comes armed with a fleet of push-notifications – causing distractions amidst coursework. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 found that phone notifications was a major interference when it came to attention and productivity. It remained the case even when participants had no interaction with their device. Simply having technology around that is unnecessary to course content can be distracting.

make online learning fun

Reducing distractions

Luckily, you can limit these distractions. On Apple devices, you can use “screen time” to set time limits on specific apps and features. The similar options for Android devices is “focus mode,” which lets you block access to specific apps on a set schedule. On top of this, you can stop notifications altogether. Encourage your learner to turn on “do not disturb” mode during class. Additionally, suggest silencing notifications rather than simply putting them on vibrate. Vibrations can be as distracting as sounds.

Another way to minimize distractions for students is to build a class schedule around a type of activity rather than specific plans. For example, model out a day with alternating activities: some shared, some independent. Switching between quiet and active play can help avoid behavior problems and improve focus.

Smooth transitions

With that being said, you’ll also want to master the science of smooth transitions. Try giving warnings before a transition in coursework – and stick to them. More specifically, you have to make sure you have your kid’s attention, then provide instructions and say “go”.  This keeps your student engaged while switching tasks. Consider using a visual timer to set during these transitions. The Time Timer app can help your child understand how much time is left before switching gears.

Sleep well, learn well

You’ll also want to encourage sleep to reduce the amount of stress on your student. Having consistent sleep and wake times each day can help reduce cortisol – which is known as the stress hormone. Remember: you don’t have to keep your old schedule to have a consistent routine.

Getting more interactive

Furthermore, it’s also important for students to feel they’re in an educational environment. Allowing them to share and collaborate can help keep the same dynamic, improving their productivity and focus. Although in quarantine, students can schedule virtual sessions to help each other with schoolwork, or virtual playdates to catch up with friends. Video conferencing platforms can also help parents and teachers stay in touch to swap ideas on what works.

online learning

Technology in online education

Incorporating technology into education makes learning slightly more fun – music to every student’s ears. EdTech also makes learning more hands-on. Several libraries will allow you to get a card online if you don’t already have one.

This opens up the catalogue of selections by miles for students. Students can find free texts that are no longer copyrighted on Google Books and LibriVox, and loan their books on Amazon Kindle and Nook. Even more, many libraries will grant membership cards without local residency, or let you purchase a card for a small annual fee. If you add more library cards to your account, you can check out more items.

Apps for fun and learning

However, EdTech can make learning fun outside of English classes. Apps like Bedtime Math, Monopoly, and Yahtzee make learning easy – even if you’re not comfortable with math. Bedtime offers a daily math problem for children aged 3-9, including a short engaging story, and a problem based on your child’s age. The aforementioned family games help practice basic math skills. For an added challenge, use extra cards or dice to practice arithmetic as you play. Gaming can be very helpful in education. A 2018 study showed that when parents with high math-anxiety used Bedtime Math, children showed long-term improvement.

On the other hand, apps like iNaturalist and Google Sky can increase your child’s interest in science. iNaturalist provides recommendations and shares photos of plants and animals for the students to identify. Google Sky, meanwhile, lets you explore the solar system without a telescope. Similarly, Globe Observer tracks observations of clouds, land cover, and tree measurements. More interestingly, these apps are citizen science projects – which help scientists study nature on a larger scale.

The Takeaway

Based on a survey of California schools, nearly 9 in 10 parents are concerned their child could fall behind academically. Teachers are concerned 90% of their students will fall behind in Math, and 88% will fall behind in English. However, making learning fun can smoothen the transition to home learning. Check out the infographic below for visual tips on enhancing home learning for students.

Enhancing Home Learning
Source: Online Schools Report

The post Taking Home Learning To The Next Level appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Masayoshi Son resigns from board of Alibaba; defends SoftBank Group’s investment strategy

SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son said on Thursday he is leaving the board of Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group today, a month after Ma left the board of Son’s technology group.

Son said he sees the move as “graduating” from Alibaba Group’s board, his most successful investment to date, as he swiftly moved to defend the Japanese group’s investment strategy, which has been the subject of scrutiny and public mockery in recent quarters.

Son said his conglomerate’s holding has recovered to the pre-coronavirus outbreak levels. The firm has benefited from the rising value of Alibaba Group and its stake in Sprint, following the telecom operator’s merger with T-Mobile. Son said his firm has seen an internet rate of return (or IRR, a popular metric used by VC funds to demonstrate their performance) of 25%.

In a shareholder meeting today, he said he was worried that many people think that SoftBank is “finished” and are calling it “SoftPunku,” a colloquial used in Japan which means a broken thing. All combined, SoftBank’s shareholder value now stands at $218 billion, he said.

Son insisted that he was leaving the board of Alibaba Group, a position he has held since 2005, on good terms and that there hadn’t been any disagreements between him and Ma.

Son’s move follows Jack Ma, who co-founded Alibaba Group, leaving the board of SoftBank last month after assuming the position for 13 years. Son famously invested $20 million in Alibaba 20 years ago. Early this year, SoftBank still owned shares worth $100 billion in Alibaba.

A range of SoftBank’s recent investments has spooked the investment world. The firm, known for writing big checks, has publicly stated that its investment in ride-hailing giant Uber, office space manager WeWork, and a range of other startups has not provided the return it had hoped.

Several of these firms, including Oyo, a budget-lodging Indian startup, has moreover been hit hard by the pandemic.

Son, who has raised $20 billion by selling T-Mobile stake, said after factoring in other of his recent deals SoftBank had accumulated $35 billion or 80% of the total planned unloading of investments.

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If we’re to believe every plot point from the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg allegedly stole the idea for Facebook from the Winklevoss twins and went on to become one of the youngest billionaires ever. 

Things ended up working out for the Winklevoss brothers, though. They received a $65 million settlement and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but they still weren’t a member of the prestigious billionaire club. That changed when they finally became billionaires thanks to Bitcoin.  Read more…

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