Gap Year Infographic

Gap year trips are very popular – this great infographic reveals some interesting stats… Enjoy!

An infographic by World First

Scrabble test

Research says 70% will select the SAME one word… Place your comments below and let’s see…
Scrabble - TEST

Estella’s Brilliant Bus

It always amazes me when someone applies the principles of antimimeticisomorphism to change the world, one person at a time. Estella Pyfrom is one such person. Have a look at the video to see how a simple school bus can change lives and ultimately destinies.

Working as a guidance counselor five years ago in Palm Beach County, Estella Pyfrom noticed that fewer students had access to a computer after school. The sluggish economy forced many families to prioritize their money and use it for more pressing needs.

“They needed food. They needed to pay their mortgage or their rent,” said Pyfrom, a former teacher. “Some of them lost their cars. So I knew it was a serious problem.”

Without a computer at home, or reliable transportation to get to a computer, Pyfrom feared that many of these students would get left behind. So she bought a bus, filled it with computers and brought technology to the kids.

Her mobile computer lab, Estella’s Brilliant Bus, has provided free, computer-based tutoring for thousands of students since 2011.

“If people don’t have some knowledge of technology, they’re going to be limited,” said Pyfrom, who retired in 2009 and used money from her savings to buy the bus. “It’s absolutely essential that they get involved technologically.”

“The digital divide is absolutely real,” said Pyfrom, 76. “And it didn’t just become a reality. It’s been there for years, and it’s getting bigger and more important.”

Pyfrom’s custom-designed bus is outfitted with 17 computer stations that are connected to high-speed Internet via satellite.

Emblazoned on its side are the words “Have Knowledge, Will Travel” and “We bring learning to you.” The bus travels to schools, shelters and community centers throughout the county.

“We serve children starting with age 3 all the way through senior citizens, based on what the needs are,” Pyfrom said. “We are bringing the learning and the technology to the neighborhoods. They all can benefit from that.”

Pyfrom and her army of volunteers hold regular classes and tutoring sessions about four days a week. They offer lessons in computer and Internet basics as well as reading, math or science classes that supplement what children are learning in school.

Sometimes, the bus simply serves as an open computer lab.

The rules on the bus are few and simple. Among them, gum and Facebook are not allowed. Pyfrom takes a no-nonsense approach to her mobile classroom. The custom-designed bus is outfitted with 17 computer stations that are connected to high-speed Internet via satellite.

The computers are loaded with educational software, providing interactive exercises that reinforce state-mandated curricula. Children receive their own account login and password, allowing them to continue their work from anywhere they can access the Internet. Users can only advance to the next level in a subject once they reach 90% proficiency in the current one, and the software allows Pyfrom to track their progress.

For older students, the bus brings GED and college preparatory assistance, anti-bullying and peer mediation classes, and student leadership training.

Pyfrom and her team provide about 8,000 hours of instruction to at least 500 children a year. She hopes the extra time will help bring students up to their grade level in reading, vocabulary, math, science and life skills.

Freddy and Brianna Rodriguez are two students benefiting from Pyfrom’s bus. Adopted from foster care, the siblings struggled with their grades when they entered junior high school.

“If I didn’t have the bus to come to, it’d be hard to get to a computer,” said Brianna, 13. “My grades have gotten better. The one-on-one time, it helped me.”

In working with the students, Pyfrom found that many parents didn’t know how to use a computer. Now her bus helps them, too.

“They’re learning right along with the kids,” Pyfrom said. “They don’t feel threatened, because what I say to them is, ‘If your 4-year-old can use a computer and click a mouse, so can you.’ ”

On the bus, adults can receive online banking tutorials, resume assistance and help searching for jobs and affordable housing.

Pyfrom’s efforts to help low-income families haven’t stopped with her bus. She also partnered with a community nonprofit to help provide meals to 3,000 residents each month. Through that work, she’s identified other ways her bus can help struggling neighbors build up technological proficiency necessary in the marketplace.

“We want to do what we can do in (each) neighborhood to make things better for all,” Pyfrom said. “We run into people who really want to better their lifestyles and are without help. We can help them make a big difference in their neighborhoods.”

To keep up the momentum of her efforts, Pyfrom has continued to pour her savings into maintaining and modifying her bus, so far spending about $1 million, she says.

An easy retirement is not something she aspires to.

“I’m not tired yet. And I don’t think I’m going to get tired,” she said. “I’m constantly charged up. I look at the faces of the children and I get energized.”

Pyfrom is determined to see her services expand throughout the state, even the country. She estimates she has enough savings to keep her bus running for another two years, but she hopes to find financial support before she runs out of money.

“I don’t think about what I’m not able to do or not going to be able to do,” she said. “I plan for the things that I think I’m going to do, need to do and want to do. And I think most of them are going to happen.

“We’ve got to keep rolling. We’re going to keep taking the service to the neighborhoods, and we are going to keep making a difference.”

Want to get involved? Check out the Estella’s Brilliant Bus website at www.estellasbrilliantbus.org and see how to help.

Tweets – they might prevent you from getting into college

If you read my other blogs, you know I am not a fan of social media, including Twitter and Facebook. It isn’t just because I think they are an incredible waste of time, but primarily because of the privacy violation aspects. You can about that on my Internet Marketing Blog and search for Privacy Pirates to learn more

Since this blog is focused on students, you should read this New York Times article on the cost of students tweeting indiscriminately. It could prevent you from getting into the college you want.

I always tell people – if you don’t want your tweet on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper – don’t do it!

 

 

 

School Prank

I am NOT advocating you pull off a prank like this, but I have to admit, this took a lot of dedication and time and is worth sharing – it’s harmless and funny. IF you do pull off a prank like this, share it with me, but PLEASE – consider the environment and safety. There is NO fun in regretting something after-the-fact.
School Prank

Why you are “in school” is not the reason you might think…

Recently, George, an engineering student in Egypt, was sharing with me his challenges with school. He is making the mistake many students make, thinking they are in school to learn calculus, chemistry or any other “subject” matter.

The reality is that you are a student in high school and/or university for one reason only – to learn HOW to learn…

Depending on what you are studying, you will acquire and develop different learning (cognitive skills).

Engineers learn problem solving skills.
Lawyers learn interpretive skills.
Doctors learn diagnostic skills.

Once you realise this, your life as a student changes.

If you are in high school or university, you may INTEND to practice engineering, medicine or law, but the reality is that most students do something ELSE with the education following graduation. Once they launch their careers, they leverage their acquired skills to the extent they developed them WHILE they were students. The paradox is that unless you study like an engineer, doctor or lawyer, you simply cannot (as easily) acquire THOSE particular skills. You need to develop those skills WHILE you are a student…

When you study across disciplines as I have, social science, engineering, business and law, you realise that each skill set has its place in society.

The BIG question for you to ask yourself as a student is – “what skill(s) do you want to have once you graduate?”

MOTIVATION: Two types of students

There are two types of students:

Moving towards students – who want to get the top grades, look good, win a medal, make more money.

Moving away from students – who don’t want to fail, look fat, don’t want to lose a game and don’t want to lose the money they have.

Which one are you?

The reason I ask is because what works to MOTIVATE a MOVING TOWARDS student won’t work for a MOVING AWAY FROM student.

I don’t know you, but ask yourself: Are you focused more on NOT flunking an exam than acing it?

This is important to know because the ONLY thing that motivates a MOVING AWAY FROM student is FEAR OF LOSS, FAILING a course or exam.

They only pick up their books when they know they have to otherwise they will fail. They don’t exercise until their pants are too tight… They NEVER invest their money – they let it sit there in a bank account SAFE, not earning much interest.

Unfortunately, these students are rarely successful in the general sense of the word.

They can have a very “good” life, but the ultimate rewards escape them because they are not willing to do what it takes, they lack the HUNGER and DRIVE.

Fear overtakes them – all the time.

Reduction of RISK is different than achieving an ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Without the FEAR OF LOSS, there is no hunger, motivation.

With school, these students must FEAR that their lives will be DRAMATICALLY different without good grades or the right degree. Unfortunately they usually do the degree for the wrong reason (fear instead of desire) but if it’s the right degree, then it is still a good thing to get.

Getting a generic bachelor’s degree is no longer worth anything these days. It’s a necessity, but no longer a worthwhile investment – just like a high school diploma is worthless – UNLESS you don’t have one. It has become a necessity, but there is a HUGE cost to getting one if it’s not a valuable degree.

Kids today are mostly spoiled. They get driven to and from school, have iPhones, iPads, all the sports equipment they need, etc.. The ONLY problem with all that is they have NO HUNGER, NO DESIRE.

That being said, it’s a hard thing for young students to deal with. The real question is:

Are you happy to FOLLOW or
will you TAKE THE LEAD in your own life?

That is the question.

If you are female, once you read the book Lean In, you’ll have a better appreciation for the forces at play – not that you don’t already know this, it’s just a great way of seeing the situation.

All I know is that anyone, anytime can alter their destiny – IF THEY WANT IT ENOUGH.

Easier said than done, which is why most (80%) of the population don’t do it.

It is VERY COMPLEX and each person has his/her own story / baggage / history to deal with.

It requires:

  • A LOT of drive, determination and discipline.
  • A LOT of heart, desire and passion.
  • A LOT of trials, testing and realignment.
  • A LOT of self-belief, confidence and courage.
  • A LOT of patience, understanding and acceptance.
  • A LOT of many things most people lack.

They only lack them because they haven’t practiced these skills, abilities and “values”.

The more courageous you are, the more courageous you become.

20 Ideas To Help Students Get Organized 3 of 3

Maria Gracia Web Photo

Maria Gracia

Today’s blog post is the third of a series of three, provided by the “Queen Of Organizing”, Maria Gracia.

You can click on the hyperlinks to access the first 7 organization tips for students and for the next 8 decluttering tips for students.

I am a big fan of this concept that I call Voluntary Simplexity, it’s key element of my Personal Productivity Principles I teach students and business people. So let’s get to Maria’s suggestions…
Now is the perfect time for you to start off on the right foot and get organized. Here are the remaining tips to help you manage your time, avoid clutter, set goals and stay on an organized path to success.

15. SCHEDULE CONSISTENT STUDY TIMES.
Set aside time every day for study, and make it consistent. For example, set your study time for each afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Whatever you do, avoid last minute studying and cramming.

16. BREAK IT UP.
Break up big tasks, into smaller, bite-sized jobs. For instance, if you have to study three chapters in your history book, study one chapter at a time each day. If you have to work on a project, break it down into three or four stages.

17. EAT YOUR BROCCOLI FIRST.
Imagine eating your broccoli before your dessert. What would be left for you to look forward to? Just the same, do your homework for your most difficult subjects first. Then, everything else will be a breeze, and therefore, more enjoyable.

18. GET ASSISTANCE.
If you don’t understand a lesson, immediately ask for help. Don’t let it get to the point that you’re totally confused. A sibling, friend, parent or teacher can be a lifesaver.

19. DON’T GIVE UP.
If you find yourself getting off track, simply take a deep breath and get back on track. It is better to get slightly off the path, rather than giving up.

20. REWARD YOURSELF.
Designate enticing rewards for each goal you set, such as a night at the movies, or a quiet, relaxing walk in the park. As you achieve each of your goals, reap your rewards. This will keep you motivated throughout the year.

Want even more tips to help you get organized and on track? Watch expert organizer, Maria Gracia’s, 21-day Organizing Boot Camp today! Its FREE and it’s fun. Just click on the hyperlink.

20 Ideas To Help Students Get Organized 2 of 3

Maria Gracia Web Photo

Maria Gracia

Today’s blog post is the second of a series of three, provided by the “Queen Of Organizing”, Maria Gracia.For the first instalment that has the first seven ideas to help students get organized, click on the hyperlink.

I am a big fan of this concept that I call Voluntary Simplexity, it’s key element of my Personal Productivity Principles I teach students and business people. So let’s get to Maria’s suggestions…
Now is the perfect time for you to start off on the right foot and get organized. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time, avoid clutter, set goals and stay on an organized path to success.

8. EAT AN APPLE A DAY.
Eat three healthy meals each day, along with fruit for snacks. Don’t overload on sweets, which cause many people
to feel tired.

9. AVOID OVERLOAD.
While you may sign up for extra school activities, such as basketball or cheerleading, don’t take on too much. First
determine how much study time you need. Then, choose one or two recreational activities that you enjoy.

10. USE A STUDENT PLANNER.
Use a good student planner or organizer. The ones that have pocket folders, dividers and planning calendars are ideal.

11. USE ONE CALENDAR.
Use one calendar to plan all of your school and personal activities, rather than two or more. When you use more than
one, you run the risk of scheduling conflicts and missed appointments. This is very important. Heed the old proverb ‘A man who wears two watches, never knows the correct time.’

12. COLOR-CODE.
You may consider color-coding similar activities on your calendar. For example, highlight all upcoming tests in yellow, study time in green and recreational activities in pink.

13. WRITE IT DOWN.
When you learn of an upcoming test, event, or anything you must prepare for or attend, immediately jot it in your planner. Don’t wait for later, or you may forget about it.

14. BREAK UP YOUR STUDY TIME.
Determine how many study hours you need, and schedule study time in your planner. For example, if you need six hours of time to study for a test, you may break that time up into six sessions, of one hour each. Choose the six days and make a ‘study time’ notation in your calendar.

Want even more tips to help you get organized and on track? Watch expert organizer, Maria Gracia’s, 21-day Organizing Boot Camp today! Its FREE and it’s fun. Just click on the hyperlink.

 

Get Better Grades Now Video

Have a look at this fun video…

20 Ideas To Help Students Get Organized 1 of 3

Maria Gracia Web Photo

Maria Gracia

Today’s blog post is the first of a series of three, provided by the “Queen Of Organizing”, Maria Gracia. I am a big fan of this concept that I call Voluntary Simplexity, it’s key element of my Personal Productivity Principles I teach students and business people. So let’s get to Maria’s suggestions…
Now is the perfect time for you to start off on the right foot and get organized. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time, avoid clutter, set goals and stay on an organized path to success.

  1. SET GOALS.
    Set realistic goals at the beginning of the school year and break those large goals into mini-goals. Write these goals down on index cards and keep them in a highly visible place where you can see them every day. Writing down your goals makes them more concrete, and motivates you to keep working towards them. Psst! You can do this even mid-semester!
  2. DON’T RUSH.
    Wake up early enough for school to arrive well ahead of time. If you need 30 minutes to get up, shower and dress, pad that time by waking up at least 45 minutes prior to your departure. To ensure you don’t turn off your alarm clock and go back to sleep, place your clock at the far end of your room. This way, you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off and you’re most likely to stay up.
  3. PREPARE YOUR WARDROBE.
    Before you go to bed each night, choose, iron and lay out your clothes for the next day. This way, you’ll be all set to dress and go in the morning.
  4. AVOID CLUTTER.
    At the beginning of the school year, you have no clutter. Be careful not to build clutter as the year progresses. Create separate folders for school announcements, tests that have been graded, papers you must give to your parents and so on. As papers become outdated, such as an event that has passed, toss them immediately.
  5. MAKE TO DO LISTS.
    Always spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day, preparing your To Do list for tomorrow. In doing so, you will know exactly what tasks you have to accomplish the next day.
  6. USE AN EFFECTIVE STUDY AREA.
    Designate a quiet, well-lit area for studying. Don’t study in front of the television, or in an area of your home where you’re bound to be distracted. Hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door. If you can’t find a quiet spot at home, go to the library. In addition, you should study while sitting at a table or desk. Avoid studying in a very comfortable chair or a bed, which may cause you to feel drowsy.
  7. GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP.
    Get a good night’s rest. This will ensure you are alert and ready to learn the following day.

Want even more tips to help you get organized and on track? Watch expert organizer, Maria Gracia’s, 21-day Organizing Boot Camp today! Its FREE and it’s fun. Just click on the hyperlink.

 

2 Minute Exam Success Technique

Today’s blog post is a TED TALK that can help you study better and reduce your exam anxiety in less than 2 minutes… Check it out!

Speed Reading A Must For Students Of All Ages

I have blogged about Speed Reading countless times on this blog as well as reinforced how my Speed Reading Video Program works.

Today is a little different because I was interviewed about Speed Reading and Accelerated Learning Techniques on a very well respected blog.

Click on the hyperlink to read the interview on how to leverage accelerated learning techniques and speed reading to get better grades.

As you well know by now, I don’t endorse many products, but this one’s different because it’s software that helps you track your progress and adjusts the strategies to suit your particular areas of improvement.

I highly recommend it in addition to my Speed Learning Video Program, in fact there is a special limited time offer on right now that you should seriously consider. Click on the hyperlink to read all about it!

Students: Don’t read this, you can’t handle it!

I say that only jokingly, but also seriously. Someone sent me an outstanding blog post that both parents and students should read – very carefully. I, for one, totally agree. I see it in today’s society at the level of business people. It is a sad consequence of trying to do the right thing and producing the opposite result. Kind of like Japan with it’s intense focus on cleanliness and hygiene that now produces the highest incidence of asthma in the world – without the necessary antibodies, the body cannot create its defenses accordingly.

This is one of the most honest, straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter article I have seen in a long, long time. Please take 5 minutes to read it. Your and/or your child’s future depends on it. Click on the link to learn 3 mistakes we making leading kids.

 

Barak Obama tweets on the value of an education

Barak Obama Tweet on Cost Of Education

Big Number

Student Study Tips, College Study Tips

Study Book gets feature product coverage on ClickBank

You might not know that Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort is a top selling product on ClickBank, where billions of dollars of information and educational products are sold. Clickbank and its millions of affiliates make sure that great products get promoted and distributed worldwide. For example, my study book, speed reading and accelerated learning programs have been sold in more than 30 countries, with translations in 4 languages including English, French, Chinese and Romanian.

Thousands of students like you have used these strategies to get better grades with less effort. Why are you still struggling with exam stress, note taking or basic study habits when proven solutions exist and have been documented for your benefit?

Study Guide, How To Study, Study Tips, College Study Tips

 

Students Save $100 On Apple Products!

Back To School, Apple Products, Student Savings, Mac Sale

Reading Cartoon

Speed Reading, Reading, Fast Reading, Reading Cartoon

Man’s best reading buddy

The public library in Sudbury, Ontario, has teamed up with a therapy dog group to give some kids a chance to read to a furry friend.

Monique Roy, the Greater Sudbury Public Library‘s children’s librarian, is a dog lover herself and has owned a therapy dog. She had been looking for a way to combine that part of her life with her passion for youth literacy. Thus began Reading Tails, a program to help kids aged 6 to 12 improve their reading skills by reading aloud to canine companions from Magical Paws Pet Therapy.

“Kids seem to react to the dogs a little bit better,” Roy told the CBC. “The dogs listen, they don’t comment, they don’t critique, and the kids feel like they’re gaining something. And also, they feel a connection with the dog — that they’re reading to the dog, they’re doing a service to the dog. So they just feel better.”

Margaret Julian has recently started bringing her seven-year-old smooth-haired Daschund named Liesl (named after the character in The Sound of Music) to the program. She believes reading to dogs relaxes children and is an enjoyable way to improve literacy.

“They can concentrate, and they can have fun at the same time. I have as much [fun] as they do, I think. I always have a laugh when I come here.”

David, a young boy who is taking part in Reading Tails, loves petting and cuddling with Liesl during reading sessions. A reporter asked him whether reading to a dog was different than reading to his mother.

“Yes, because mom doesn’t bark,” he said.