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Online schooling wave of the future or failed experiment?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

“You have probably heard the claim, “If you choose to educate your child online, he/she will be a social misfit.” To analyze this assertion, it is important to understand online education.

There are two basic types of online education: real-time and self-paced. In real-time online courses, students attend class on a computer. Classes are held at specified times and students participate in discussions during class periods. Each real-time online class is slightly different, because students participate in the instruction.

Self-paced courses are prepared in advance. Students progress through the material at their own pace. There is no real-time class interaction. Proficiency is sometimes tested with quizzes or tests that are integrated into the learning material. In this case, students must pass a quiz/test before they move on to future lessons. In other cases, students are required to go to proctored test centers to take exams.

In general, self-paced courses work well for material that requires little discussion. Real-time classes are more effective when most of the student learning occurs during classroom dialog.

Online education is appealing, because there is less wasted time. There is no need to drive to a physical location, worry about disruptions that occur in physical classrooms, or waste time dressing for school. In addition, students and parents have the ability to work school around other things in their lives.

Self-paced instruction is more cost effective than traditional classroom teaching, because lectures are prepared in advance and are used many times. In addition, this type of course delivery can be of higher quality than traditional classroom instruction, because the best teachers can present the content and there are no interruptions.

Some students find self-paced online instruction challenging, because they can procrastinate to the point that it is nearly impossible to learn the material. As a result, there is a reasonable argument that self-paced instruction is only appropriate for highly motivated and disciplined university and high school students.

Also, it is possible for students to succeed in an online environment without learning how to interact with others. As a result, it is imperative that online students have other avenues for developing social, leadership, and team skills.

Online education is not for everyone, but is an attractive alternative for motivated, self-disciplined students who have a strong social network and opportunities to build leadership skills and learn how to work on a team outside of school.

 

Building Strong Children Today for a Strong Nation Tomorrow

The Huffington Post – Marian Wright Edelman

“Pediatricians aren’t usually day-to-day policy makers but policy decisions affect the work they do every day as frontline caregivers for our nation’s children. That’s why I was extremely pleased the official journal of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) recently devoted an entire supplement to a pressing policy crisis affecting pediatricians, public health workers, teachers and all of us and the nation’s future: child poverty in America. As Academic Pediatrics put it: “Childhood poverty creates long-lasting, often permanent, physiologic changes through constant exposure to threats such as malnutrition, acute and chronic disease, toxic stress, social deprivation, and lack of opportunity.” The editors add: “Children remain the poorest members of our society even in good times, with rates that are unacceptably high for a developed nation. This situation is not an inevitable fact of life. The United States is a nation that knows how to use policies and programs to raise its citizens out of poverty.” I agree! The Children’s Defense Fund 2015 report, Ending Child Poverty Now, shows policy solutions to ending child poverty in our nation already exist and can be implemented without delay if politics and greed can be overcome by a commitment to help children. By expanding investments in nine existing policies and programs that work we could shrink overall child poverty 60 percent, Black child poverty 72 percent, and improve the economic circumstances for 97 percent of poor children.”(more)

11 Traits Parents of Successful Kids Have in Common

Time – Drake Baer and Rachel Gillett

“Good parents want their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school and go on to do awesome things as adults. And while there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success. Unsurprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents. Here’s what parents of successful kids have in common:.”(more)

Why It’s Great to Have a Stubborn Child

Time – Donna Gorman

“Years ago, in preschool, a teacher sent my youngest child, Ainsley, to sit by herself until she was ready to talk about something she’d done wrong. She sat through circle time. She sat through snack time. She sat through recess and story time and music. It wasn’t until lunchtime that she finally decided to talk. The teacher was surprised by her determination. Me? Not so much. Her grandmother, a former school principal, sought to reassure me: “You want a strong-willed child. Those are the ones who don’t follow their friends into trouble in high school.” That didn’t make me feel better when I faced off against this fiery little creature, who had strong opinions on everything from clothing to bedtime to whether carrot sticks should ever be on the same plate as apple slices. New research, though, shows that grandma was right. A recently completed study, which tracked students from their late primary years until well into adulthood, found that kids who frequently break the rules or otherwise defy their parents often go on to become educational over-achievers and high-earning adults.”(more)

5 ways you could be destroying your child’s teeth

The Panama City News Herald – Jennifer Elliott

“As far as health information, dental knowledge is often a very grey area. Most adult patients have a hard time understanding the importance and causes of good vs. bad hygiene. Throw kids teeth into the mix and you have yourself an even more vague understanding. I often hear- “They’re just baby teeth,” but nothing can be further from the truth. Children’s teeth are extremely important as they act as space savers for the adult teeth. Here are five common mistakes we as parents make that can cause our kids teeth additional harm. 1. Using soft spouts with food/drink cups.”(more)

Just 20 More Minutes Of Sleep Could Boost Your Kids’ Grades

The Huffington Post – Sarah DiGiulio

“Here’s one more reason kids’ bedtimes matter so much. A new study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that teaching kids about the importance of sleep allowed them to get nearly 20 minutes more of it per night. What’s more, to the researchers’ surprise, that extra 20 minutes in bed yielded higher grades in both math and English on students’ report cards. According to its author, this study sends a clear message to parents to prioritize their kids’ sleep. “Sleep should not be negotiated every night, and there should be a consistent bedtime every night. Teach kids that sleep is a priority,” advised psychologist Reut Gruber, director of the Attention Behavior and Sleep Lab at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and associate professor in faculty of medicine at McGill University in Montreal. “Make sure kids go to bed at a time that allows them sufficient sleep duration, even in the presence of competing activities and priorities,” she added.”(more)