uptown-cyber-bully

3 Crucial Tips on Handeling Cyber-Bullying!

Cyber-bullying is a common and very stressful problem in the lives of teens and tweens. Most of us have been involved in situations where mean text messages or emails have been sent to us or to our friends. Spreading rumors on social networks, posting embarrassing pictures or videos and setting up fake profiles are just some of the examples of ways the cyber-bully intimidates and harasses others.

Any kind of bullying has devastating effects on the lives and psyche of the victims. However, being the victim of cyber-bullying is especially stressful because of the anonymity and lack of a physical boundary and time frame within which the bullying occurs.

The anonymity and ease of information dissemination via the internet, gives bullies a chance to exploit the weaknesses of others. However, if ever faced with a situation in which you are the victim of online bullying, there are certain things you should  do in an attempt to limit the negativity forced upon you.

3 Tips for Handling Online Harassment.

  • Never try to keep it to yourself!

This is Rule #1! No matter how embarrassing or offensive the content, never try to keep it to yourself and internalize your victimization. Admittedly, ignoring the bully is sometimes a good way to deal with such an incident. However, even if you decide to not give the bully the satisfaction of a reaction, it is always important that your parents or close friends are aware of the situation. If nothing else, they will give you their perspective and input on handling the offending individual. Every situation seems less stressful if you have someone to fall back on for support.

  • Keep Records

This may come in handy if the situation worsens and you need to take the case to the authorities or the website administration, teachers etc. Cases of online harassment are now being taken to court and many verdicts have been passed recently in favor of the victims. The first such verdict was passed in 2014.

  1. Take some time off the computer

When you are being targeted, it is easy to get caught up in the situation and perceive it to be more significant than it has to be. You need to realize that your entire life is not dictated by an image or a post on a website. Be sure to block or delete the offender if you are aware of their identity. Just turning off the computer, and leaving the website is a step in the right direction. Take a break and focus on sports or other hobbies and activities. Spend time with people who make you feel comfortable and happy to be who you are!

So whether you decide to tackle the bully head-on or refrain from reacting, remember to try to solve the problem in a positive matter instead of letting it bring you down emotionally.  Staying cool may be the best tactic of all!

stem

Getting To The Root of STEM. What is STEM and Why is it Important?

The acronym STEM is increasingly becoming part of our nation’s academic parlance as the necessity of its inclusion in our academic planning becomes apparent. STEM education is characterized by its focus on an interdisciplinary curriculum related to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Excellence in these disciplines is considered to be the impetus behind technological advancement in any modern society.

Educators and administrators agree that in order to develop technological innovation and stay globally competitive, American students need to embrace STEM learning at every phase in their academic life. The current administration has set up many programs aimed at increasing participation of students in STEM fields. In 2009, the “Educate to Innovate” campaign was launched, with the goal of motivating and inspiring students to excel in STEM subjects. As recently as March 2015, at the White House Science Fair, President Obama announced over $240 million in new private-sector commitments to inspire and prepare more girls and boys – especially those from underrepresented groups – to pursue STEM careers.

Sixty percent of students who arrive at college intending to major in STEM subjects switch to other subjects. To reverse this trend, the University Innovation Fellows program has recently launched “#uifresh” (University Innovation Freshmen), a campaign to introduce college freshmen to opportunities in design, entrepreneurship, and innovation related to STEM disciplines. The University of Virginia, University of Minnesota, and University of Florida are among the universities already participating in this effort.

There is a dire need to encourage young people to explore their interests in these fields so that the gap between demand and supply for tech innovators is bridged. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce E.S.A. (Economics and Statistics Administration), over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. This growth in demand for tech workers will continue in the foreseeable future.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections from 2012-2020, technical occupations are projected to grow around 21.5 % from 2012 to 2020. STEM jobs are the jobs of the future. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.

The largest group of STEM jobs is within the computer and math fields, which account for close to half of all STEM employment. Second are engineering and surveying occupations with one-third of all STEM employment, while 13 percent are in the physical and life sciences, and 9 percent in STEM management jobs.

In lieu of these statistics, it is not difficult to conclude that exposing students to the possibilities and value provided by STEM education is not only a wise decision but also possibly a crucial component of their personal as well as societal development.

Sources:

http://www.livescience.com/43296-what-is-stem-education.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/23/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-over-240-million-new-stem-commitment

http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/stemfinalyjuly14_1.pdf

http://www.bls.gov/emp/

success-ei

Emotional Intelligence in Students

Most of us realize, as we go through life that success is not about being the smartest person around. Intellectual capability alone guarantees nothing. Success is also dependent upon how you approach problems and deal with undesirable, sometimes unforeseen circumstances.

There is no denying the strong correlation between achievement and the ability to handle pressure on the way towards our goals. The ability to handle our emotions in a productive manner is termed Emotional Intelligence. Sociologists find that the IQ,(Intelligence Quotient) of an individual is an inaccurate predictor of ‘success’ in life. The importance of the EQ(Emotional Quotient) cannot be overlooked when we study performance and achievement.

Suffice to say, a steady and reasonably high EQ is required for fruitful completion of tasks in all phases of life, and this includes the demanding and very challenging phase of student-life. School-going young individuals are still in the process of learning from experience and this is the stage at which they need to learn how to handle the dilemmas that they are sure to face at some point.  Parents need to be proactive in fostering their children’s emotional growth and learning.

Traits of emotional intelligence, though innate, can be developed. There are a multitude of steps parents or students themselves can take in order to improve their emotional intelligence, and as a result, increase their odds of having a more fulfilling experience at school and in their work environment.
Let us briefly outline 3 basic ways in which emotional intelligence can be developed.

Stressing Positivity

Positivity is a major plus, when working towards a goal. Many students and their parents feel that if they adopt the stance of zero tolerance towards failure or mediocrity, they will do better. However, there is a need to understand that failing to reach a goal is not synonymous with the failure of the individual. The capacity to handle setbacks is part of emotional maturity. Setbacks are inevitable and are important in giving us clues regarding reassessing our preparation strategies, and for setting modified goals. If we get emotionally crushed each time things don’t go according to plan, we will not be able to bounce back as quickly as we would if we were to look at it as a positive learning experience. Perseverance and continued self-motivation are a necessary component for accomplishment.

Alternate Avenues or Distraction

Another technique that can help develop our emotional resilience is to step back and focus on another passion or activity for a while. A well-rounded individual with various interests is able to benefit from temporarily taking a break from the source of unrest when there is the danger of getting overwhelmed by a certain situation.  Engaging oneself with another interest, skill or pastime can help us approach the initial task in an improved way. This technique can also help ground us in the reality that our existence is multi-faceted and we cannot determine our worth through one particular experience.

Working With Others (Group Projects)

The benefits of working with other students on projects should not be discounted. Effectively and efficiently working with others is a skill that all of us need in life. Positive interactions with others teach the ability to coordinate, be respectful of the opinions of others. They learn to anticipate the feelings of peers and experience appropriate levels of empathy. In the work environment students will go on to constantly draw on these lessons of mindfulness. They must learn, at an early age, to value differences of culture and language etc. This also reduces bullying and disrespect in the short as well as long run.

These are examples of a few skills that parents of students and students themselves may want to start working on in a bid to improve their emotional resilience. Many books and online resources are available on the subject of Emotional Intelligence. It is definitely worth investing some time self-reflecting and seeing how you can improve your EQ and help your future self reach his or her goals more effectively.

The Connection Between Music and Math

Math-Music-300x262

Observing most modern-day parents around us, we can notice them enthusiastically adding music lessons to their child’s roster of activities. There are a myriad of reasons for this. The child may express an interest in a particular instrument. However, more often than not, parents encourage their child to learn an instrument in the hope of adding to their accomplishments or for more practical considerations like increasing the odds of getting admitted to a college of their choice.

An additional, often-cited reason that fascinates yet eludes many, is the Math-Music connection, i.e. the theory that the honing of Music skills is linked to the honing of Math skills.

The idea that there is a definite overlap and connection between music and math is not recent. There has been much debate within the field of cognitive research, regarding the so-called “Mozart Effect”. Theories outlining the positive effects of listening to classical music were popularized in the early 1990’s. It was argued that test subjects performed better on spatial-temporal tasks after listening to a Mozart sonata. These theories gave rise to an increase in the popularity of music based toys and products for young children. Brands like ‘Baby Einstein’ thrived on the conclusions from this research, and incorporated classical music into toys for toddlers and babies. Parents encouraged their pre-schoolers to watch shows like “Little Einstein’, in which animated characters accomplish tasks in tune to and motivated by classical music. Some enthusiastic mothers-to-be took things a step further and it is not uncommon for women to listen to classical symphonies during pregnancy in the hope of positively influencing their baby’s mental development in the womb.

This supposed mental enhancement is attributed to the exposure to rhythms and patterns in music that draw listeners in, and appeals to their natural instincts. Research has shown that certain pieces of music end up being more popular and mainstream due to their ‘mathematical’ structure. We have an intrinsic need for repetition and structure and it is this mathematical structure of a piece of music that makes it appealing to us.

Some researchers, however, argue that mere listening does not do much to affect our reasoning and mathematical performance. Dr. Frances Rauscher of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh asserts that it is the active playing of an instrument that help the musician strengthen his or her mental skills. In her 2006 article published in the Educational Psychologist, she outlines her research on the link between math and music instruction. She explains by exemplifying that the part-whole concept employed by the musician while interpreting rhythm is similar to the mathematical concepts of fractions , percentages and decimals. Hence, besides the obvious use of math in counting beats etc., a more subtle mathematical reasoning is being unconsciously employed while learning and playing an instrument.

Some cognitive scientists contradict these studies and feel that the Math-Music link is mythical, and the connection is as sound as a connection between the handling of any two abstract structures. They argue that focus and determination are required in the mastery of any field, and have spillover beneficial effects, regardless of the field, hence the connection between Mathematics and music is no stronger than the connection between Music and grammar/linguistic ability.

Even if we take into account the criticism of the theories regarding the Math-Music connection, there is no doubting the fact that learning music has definite overall positive effects on young minds and as a consequence, their abilities and interactions. It can be concluded that music training from an early age can produce profound and lasting effects that enhance the general ability to learn as well as improve analytical ability and memory. It helps the brain process sounds better and also boosts multi-tasking, which is critical in the world we live in today.

So go ahead mom and dad, get those ear-plugs or sound-proof your garage, but don’t hold-back on your rock-star’s music instruction/practice-sessions!
Read more(Ref):

http://www.vancouversun.com/Entertainment/interesting+connection+between+math+music/1473881/story.html#ixzz3ZBd48MjC

Scientific American: Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/features/the-enduring-myth-of-music-and-maths-2307387.html

Can Education be Possible on the Road?

Travel-Writing-

Do you think travel and education can work hand-in-hand at helping each other improve the overall well-being and education mid-set of a student? Many parents are opting for either home schooling, education abroad, or online learning now so their children can be exposed to different cultures around in the world.

In 2013  alone there as many as 1.7 million student in the USA being home schooled and the number has been steadily growing as of that year. Homeschooling is one option among parents that allows them to have more freedom with time and location. You can be studying in the middle of the school year from anywhere in the world. Being able to experience other cultures and languages is inspiring to the growing mind of a child and can relieve students of the pressures of being in a school environment.

Allowing your child to study abroad is another way for your child to experience and learn a new culture. They are not only able to study in a completely different location, they may be exposed to a country with a new language, and have to deal with many new living situations such as dorms, host parents, and different foods. This experience is both scary and exciting for many students and gives them a chance to take their education into their own hands and grow as responsible adults since they do not have their parents to help them navigate through the daily challenges of life.

Online learning is one option that has seen exponential growth within the past decade. It’s so easy and convenient to be able to take online courses from any language to math via the internet. You and your child are free to travel, set you own schedule, and perhaps even pick up many new hobbies that you could not have before. Online learning provides a comfortable pressure free atmosphere and all online teachers and tutors are willing to help, and accommodate your busy schedule. Knodemy features great tutors that can help students learn core concepts and succeed while laying a strong foundation in a particular area. With the secure virtual classroom, students can set up a lesson at any time of the day, get the extra help and learn from the comfort of their dorm room or just a cafe.

In this highly competitive age, resources like knodemy give parents the peace of mind and help students overcome any obstacles that they might face due to lack of resources and opportunities.

Can Technology Help Student Learn?

technology1

Most people don’t put “technology” and “learning” in the same sentence without a negative outcome, but is it possible that technology does more good than harm when it comes to education? How are some ways that you, or your kids, can use it to his or her educational advantage?

First of all, times are really changing and technology is in every place you turn, you can’t get away from it! So, why not learn how to live with it instead? Many schools in the US now have young students using ipads to do homework, educational activities, and research. Some high schools even give their students their own PC to help with their learning as much as possible. How do these new technological advances allow students to learn a new way?

One example is the use of the internet via tablet or computer. Hundreds of thick giant encyclopedias are a thing of the past, now that you can just Google and look up any piece of information from any part of the world. The world is literally at the fingertips of every young student.

Another example of how these technologies help students is the use of apps and games. Each student, or group of students, may be able to use games to learn a specific subject such as math, but in a more fun and interactive way. Other students can use reading apps to help improve not only their reading, but their grammar and spelling as well.

These new technologies are also good for the environment. Tablet or computers allow students to do and turn in homework electronically, eliminating the need for paper.

It is definitely a new generation when an eight year old student uses reading apps and math space blaster to learn English or even multiplication. We can always try to keep a positive outlook on new ways to learn.

educateONE : The Successful Results

Millions of school-age students in America live in difficult times. You don’t have to teach in a high-end urban area or a rural region to teach students who are from a undeserved community.

Students that struggle with these issues sometimes have a difficult time with succeeding in school. One of the most unfortunate results of schools not receiving enough funding is that students often drop out of school, or choose a low waged job to afford the luxuries they have been denied instead of an education.

At Knodemy, we believe that education should know no boundaries. We believe in educateONE to transform lives. Thus, we embarked on the educateONE campaign: for a total of 50 shares (of educateONE posts) on Facebook, we promised to deliver a lesson to children in undeserved areas. With the help of all of our fans, we were able to not only meet, but exceed our campaign goals.

Here are the results:

Testimonial 1: “The tutor explained very well, he was very thorough walking us through the problem. I really liked that he drew the geometrical figures for us to see on the whiteboard.” – Lorena

We delivered the lesson in partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Center (HHC) from Livermore, CA. The lessons took place at the local library and all the students were in seventh grade from Junction K-8 School.

We delivered the lesson in partnership with the local heritage center in Livermore, CA. The lessons took place at the local library and all the students were in seventh grade from a local middle school.

Testimonial 2: “I liked it. He didn’t see me, but I could see him, and that made me feel more comfortable to ask him a question or to have it explained again. He explained the concept differently than my teacher but I got it.” – Stephania

educateONE 2

Testimonial 3: “It was cool (esta bien chido!) the way he drew the picture of the problem on the whiteboard. Interesting.” – Jose

educateONE 3