Archive for the 'Positive Mindset' Category

9 TED Talks Recommended For Students By Students

Ever heard of  TED Talks ?  TED Talks is devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (maximum of 18 minutes) on various topics.  There are near 1500 videos on their website.  Whenever you need inspiration, motivation or just to look at something interesting or different, select one amongst the various subjects and spend some quality time expanding your perspective.

TED stands for:  Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Try watching 1-2 TED Talks a week whenever you have 15 minutes to spare.   The more you learn, the better!

Here are 9 very interesting TED Talks selected by students for students.

Enjoy!

Goal Setting For 2015

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you’ll want to have a quick look at my goal setting program I call “My Best Year Ever” – it will help turn your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions into reality, to create your best year ever.

 

 

The App Generation

Today’s youth seems to be struggling with the secondary effects of technology in and out of school.

A recent Harvard Study that led to an intriguing book (The App Generation) explains the perils and pitfalls of apps that can do just about everything.*

Their argument, and I happen to totally agree with it, is that convenience comes with a loss of critical thinking skills. Others have focused on the superficiality of thinking in comparison to deep thinking about complex questions and problems. All these issues are intertwined with the ubiquity, ease of use and extensive functionality these apps provide.

The researchers and I are not advocating you abandon your apps and smartphone, but realise that there is a price being paid, like a tax every time you choose the easier way to get something done.

One easy example for people of my generation is — “back in the good ‘ole days, I could remember hundreds of phone numbers… Now I can barely remember my own number.”

Kids today struggle to do simple arithmetic and readily confuse orders of magnitude.

The point being that technology is great, but as the world continues to shift to a “knowledge-based” economy and paradigm, those with the most advanced critical thinking skills will rise to the top and dominate their industries and will be handsomely rewarded.

Suggestion: Force yourself to THINK THROUGH THINGS a little more deeply, seek the distinctions that make a difference and ASK better questions.

Here is a list to get you started, submitted by Andrew Powell of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

6 Critical Thinking Questions

* I am going to download the book on my Kindle App and speed read it on my iPhone…

This was submitted as a response to this blog post – very funny….!

Cartoon App For TVRemote

 

 

Don’t get a degree!

Last week I blogged about the value of getting a degree, this week, have a look at the counter-argument… Don’t bother to get a degree!

Make sure you scroll all the way down to the end of the page for the “WARNING” if you choose not to get a degree!

Read more, achieve more

Dr Seuss - Read More

“The more that you read,The more things you will know.The more that you learn,The more places you’ll go.”

Meditate to get better grades

child-meditatingI have blogged about using a floatation tank to improve your grades

A recent study further supports the view that meditation can improve your grades. If this is all too zen for you, that’s OK, enjoy the stress and strain of doing it ‘your way’ and let me know how that works out for you!

Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours sent me this link – knowing that getting good grades leads to a much better career.

Listen to music to get better grades

Brain Activity - MusicChelsea Wilson, the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s Online LLM program, informed me that @WashULaw recently created a new study aid in the form of a Spotify Playlist composed of late baroque era classical music. The playlist was created based on a Stanford study that discovered music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory. Due to the phenomena, it is believed students and professionals alike would be well served to find ways to incorporate music into their lives, careers, and studies.

The playlist includes works by Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and Handel, among others (the style of music used in many studies). You click on the hyperlink to determine how you can listen to music to improve your grades. Click on this hyperlink for the Spotify playlist to improve your grades.

 

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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

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.

What makes a great teacher?

“The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires”

– William A. Ward

Share with us an inspiring teacher story by placing a comment below.

Homeless to Harvard

If you think you’ve got problems – think again. Watch this video and see how perseverance and commitment pay off – for someone who really wants it. It’s not enough to “want it” – you need to be willing to do whatever it takes – sometimes literally!

Mark Wahlberg goes back to high school

Marky Mark, Mark Wahlberg Back To SchoolI stumbled across an article that said Mark Wahlberg is going to get his high school diploma.  What does it tell you when a multi-millionaire actor wants a high school diploma?

It means there is value in getting one. This is a man who’s seen more of the world than most and experienced things to fill 3 or 4 lifetimes yet he still feels a little intimidated by the process.

What does that tell you?

Education is worth something. It’s not just self-esteem issue. The stats are staggering, but let’s face it, most high school dropouts don’t care about the stats, but they might care about a RICH, SUCCESSFUL ACTOR going back to school.

So there you have it – ONE MORE REASON TO STAY IN SCHOOL!

How To Learn – Help For Kinesthetics

If you are struggling to learn a new subject, it might be because of your learning style. I cover this in detail in my study guide in detail, but one of our readers offers this great inspirational story that might help you.

Hi Marc,


I was helping Fred with his upcoming “electricity” exam last evening.

Fred is kinesthetic.. He loves stories- people’s experiences and all things sports.

He excels at and enjoys history, social studies as he lives the experiences of people from hundreds of years ago.

As you can guess… Fred was less than enthusiastic about electricity et al…

I helped him by making up a story about how RESISTANCE is just a bunch of tough guys in an electrical circuit, conductance is like a conductor of a bus bringing the volts to their “potential” and making a difference… and because it can be a long bus ride.. it’s important to keep the “INTENSITY” of the current high… etc…

He had already memorized the formulas and done the leg work.

He just needed to add meaning- a story – to what electricity is about.

It was pretty cool to see his physiology change right before my eyes. Ironically, with every new idea. I could see eyes LIGHT-UP – sorry couldn’t resist :)

He was excited, passionate and spent the next half hour telling me all about his plans for finishing this school year and what he will do differently next year !

Anyway, all this reminded me of an episode of WKRP, which I showed Fred, and thought you could use on your blog…

Have a Great Day !
Andrew


Marina Keegan Yale Student Essay

Yale grad’s final essay gets new life after her unexpected death

Marina Keegan, Yale Student, Yale Essay

Marina Keegan Yale Student/Writer

This undated photo released by the Keegan family shows Marina, a 22-year-old Yale graduate, who penned her life’s lessons in a final column for the Yale Daily News. She died just days after commencement.

But the words of her work, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” have lived on.

The Massachusetts resident died in a car crash on her way to a vacation house on Cape Cod when the driver, Michael Gocksch, lost control of the car. Gocksch survived, but Keegan was pronounced dead on the scene.

The young writer was already making a name for herself in the literary world. She had published stories in the New York Times and had a job with the New Yorker she was about to start.

Her legacy is priceless and timeless and I share it with you here because all students have bouts of self-doubt, loneliness and apprehension about what student life is all about.

Take solace is Marina’s words of wisdom, they are her legacy and gift to you.