Archive for the 'Special Students' Category

Is your education worth half a million dollars?

First of all, let me share my biases with you right upfront:

  • I am not a parent
  • I have 5 university degrees
  • I have invested over $150,000 in my formal and informal education
  • I have read over 1,000 business books and over 5,000 academic and journal articles

With all that, I also can tell you that parents like to over-spend on their children’s education, just like people prefer to spend thousands on diamonds when artificial diamonds cost a fraction of the price and THE NAKED EYE CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE!

A recent blog post on the costs of Australian Education brings this point home…

I see it all the time – with a $29 product to help students get the best grades with the least amount of effort – people won’t make the investment even if it’s only $29… But they spend TENS OF THOUSANDS for tuition, accommodation, etc.

Go figure…

I know what this does to parents. I have them as business clients. They have to earn $2 for every $1 they spend on their kids’ education. That means for each child, that’s +/- a million bucks/child. Frankly put, that’s mostly money flushed down the toilet. But of course you can’t tell a parent “junior’” is not the next Einstein…

So there you have it – the raw, unedited reality. Education is like any other investment – it deserves a proper Return On Investment (ROI) calculation.

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.

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.

The education system and kids

The educational system today has less and less influence on students than ever before. The infiltration of technology (Google) and communication modalities (Smartphones and Facebook) are destroying the traditional boundaries of school (discipline) and the ‘outside world’. When I was in school I studied and ‘focused’.

I am not advocating that all technological progress is bad, just that students are incapable of dealing with it (as are their parents) and until an optimal ‘balance’ is re-established, students will continue to sub-optimise their outcomes.

This is one of the most troubled generations and will unfortunately suffer the consequences for the remainder of their lifetimes – I know it’s a sad prognosis, but just as the war and great depression generations before them, they will take this to their graves.

Of course it’s not all bad – it’s just not as good as recent previous generations.

The good thing is that once this ‘passes’ and it will – things will get better, a lot better. Just not soon enough for ‘this generation’.

A more ‘visual’ analogy is the increase in obesity – those effects are (permanent) lifelong for this generational cohort – even though a small few within the group can become healthy and fit – most won’t.

Governments have the group/cohort/generation to deal with – not single individuals. That’s why their problems are so complicated and in the case of obesity, expensive (healthcare).

The great news is that there is ALWAYS HOPE for that special child who has the nurturing environment to ‘buck the trend’ and learns the skills to achieve – in spite of the odds.

I help try to help counteract these forces as much as I can with my student accelerated learning and speed reading programs – teaching a holistic approach that is founded on traditional foundational “how to study” principles that work for students of all ages.

Kids and brain science

LAST month, two kindergarten classes at the Blue School were hard at work doing what many kindergartners do: drawing. One group pursued a variation on the self-portrait. “That’s me thinking about my brain,” one 5-year-old-girl said of her picture. Down the hall, children with oil pastels in hand were illustrating their emotions, mapping where they started and where they ended. For one girl, sadness ended at home with a yummy drink and her teddy bear.

Grappling so directly with thoughts and emotions may seem odd for such young brains, but it is part of the DNA of the Blue School, a downtown Manhattan private school that began six years ago as a play group. From the beginning, the founders wanted to incorporate scientific research about childhood development into the classroom. Having rapidly grown to more than 200 students in preschool through third grade, the school has become a kind of national laboratory for integrating cognitive neuroscience and cutting-edge educational theory into curriculum, professional development and school design.

“Schools were not applying this new neurological science out there to how we teach children,” said Lindsey Russo, whose unusual title, director of curriculum documentation and research, hints at how seriously the Blue School takes this mission. “Our aim is to take those research tools and adapt them to what we do in the school.”

So young children at the Blue School learn about what has been called “the amygdala hijack” — what happens to their brains when they flip out. Teachers try to get children into a “toward state,” in which they are open to new ideas. Periods of reflection are built into the day for students and teachers alike, because reflection helps executive functionthe ability to process information in an orderly way, focus on tasks and exhibit self-control. Last year, the curriculum guide was amended to include the term “meta-cognition”: the ability to think about thinking.

“Having language for these mental experiences gives children more chances to regulate their emotions,” said David Rock, who is a member of the Blue School’s board and a founder of NeuroLeadership Institute, a global research group dedicated to understanding the brain science of leadership.

That language is then filtered through a 6-year-old’s brain. Continue reading ‘Kids and brain science’

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!

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


Why my study tips work

I think you should watch this video, it’s only 3 minutes long and explains…

How and why my study techniques work

New Testimonials Just Published!

Have a look at our testimonials page – I guarantee you it’ll motivate you to improve your study habits. So many of the students are not native English speakers – so if English is your primary or ONLY language – imagine how hard it is for someone to learn in a foreign language… And yet they do!

Simply amazing – click here -> to read a few inspirational student stories.

Teachers As Mentors

There is a dialogue in the comments to a recent blog post I wanted to draw your attention to… Click on the hyperlink to read the thread. You can add to the discussion!

http://www.get-better-grades.com/blog/being-smart-can-make-you-stupid/

Why business people are buying my student study book

If you’re a high school or college student who hasn’t yet bought my bestselling study book, you’ll be interested to know that business entrepreneurs and executives are buying it to enhance and accelerate their careers. The study habits, tips and skills I teach are universal and make a difference regardless where you are in the academic system or in your career. We are all life-long learners and those who learn faster, get ahead and stay ahead. It’s survival of the swiftest – the fastest learners!

Australian Student Resource: StudyFinder

This blog is all about helping you get better grades with the least amount of effort. One of our sponsors is http://www.StudyFinder.com.au. I thought I would introduce you to them, just in case you’d like to access up-to-date information for Australian students, in one convenient location.

What is Studyfinder?

Some of the biggest key issues facing our community and institutes are concerning skills gaps, dropout rates, employment opportunities and even affordability of going to school and studying. For example:

  • Why are there large gaps between employment and education?
  • Why are our dropout rates at Institutes across the country so high?
  • Are our students getting the right education?
  • Are students given the right information to choose the right course, program or career?

With a national focus on closing the gap on education and skills, we want to be the web-based ‘[portal’ that revolutionises the education debate so we don’t forget the basics and continue to help students to pick the right course, program or career?

StudyFinder wants to answer basic questions such as:

  • Is it all too hard?
  • Where do I begin?
  • Where can I find more information?

It is quite hard to get started if you don’t know where to begin. The pressure about exams and looking for better grades prove to be too much for some. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Education has evolved and moved into ‘the NOW’.

Courses out there are not all text based, classroom environments, some and in fact most courses are now developing practical skills with little written activity involved. The focus to have “real world” teachers and experience with strong links to industry is becoming the trend.

Today, you can start your quest and get employed by only doing a short course or a certificate rather than having to complete a full-length degree. That means you can start to work, earn money and keep studying as you work.

StudyFinder.com.au wants to help you by providing you proper guidance with a new Australian website designed to remove the frustration and time wasted searching through multiple websites to get to the information you need as a student. It helps students of all levels to search, compare and find study options across a number of areas of study all across Australia.

The tools are available online at www.studyfinder.com.au the best thing is… it’s FREE to use when you register.

ADHD Students

I am not into labels – I think they are a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know too many people who claim to be the World’s Worst (Best?) Procrastinator and buy ‘owning’ that label, they are reinforcing the very behaviour they actually want to avoid.

With ADHD it’s often the same thing, but that is a discussion for another day.

If you think you have ADD or ADHD, let me show you how you can USE your so-called affliction and HELP you get BETTER GRADES.

Watch the video below and you’ll see if you can keep up. If you can’t you certainly don’t have ADD or ADHD.

If you can keep up – FANTASTIC. It doesn’t mean you have or don’t have ADD or ADHD, it just means you can read really, really fast.

Chances are if you think you’re ADHD or ADD, you simply lack the discipline to FOCUS, when Speed Reading – YOU HAVE TO FOCUS, you have NO CHOICE.

Give it a go buy the Speed Reading Video Program <- by clicking here and see how you go!

Why most students struggle in school

Simply stated, most students struggle in school because they don’t know how they learn, In Chapter 1 of my worldwide bestselling study book, I explain step-by-step how you can determine what learning style you have so you can stop wasting countless hours staring at your books, frustrated because nothing’s making sense and you can’t remember anything you tried to memorise the previous day.

If you don’t know HOW you learn, you’ll keep struggling in school. Knowing your learning style can be a life-changing revelation.

Let me put it this way – if you’re one of these styles and you don’t know it, chances are, if you’ve just started high school, you probably won’t make it to college.

If you do get to college, you’ll get kicked out within the first year.

Not because you’re dumb, but because you weren’t smart enough to learn HOW you learn.

I know how harsh this sounds, but it’s better that I tell you the truth NOW when you have a chance to fix the problem once and for all.

Parents – Help Your Kids Get Better Grades

This blog is all about helping students get better grades. As you will notice, more pages are being added to the blog portion of this study skills site to give you the information and advice you need.

I recently added a new section aimed at parents. It covers what parents can do to help their kids get better grades from primary school to university. Also included are pages on the costs of university degrees and the value of a degree with a special page just for Australian degrees.

It’s important that parents remind their kids that an education is an investment that pays off for a lifetime. All the statistics reflect the need to learn skills that are marketable and valuable to employers or lead to self-employment.

I see it everyday – business people and entrepreneurs who struggle with basic writing skills or are challenged with high school level math problems. It’s painful to see because even though it’s never too late to learn, it’s been shown it’s a lot harder to learn as you get older.

Learn as much as you can, as soon as you can – you’ll not only get the benefit for a longer period of time, it will be easier and faster than any other alternative. No one can go back in time, but we can all think ahead and act accordingly.

Keep an eye on these pages – they will be updated and expanded on an on-going basis.

Parents Help Your Kids Get Better Grades

As you know from my study book, I am a big supporter of identifying a student’s learning style so you learn HOW to learn. If you don’t know what learning styles are, just answer these questions:

  • Are you frustrated with your child’s low grades or lack of motivation?
  • Is your home life stressful due to homework hassles and poor report cards?
  • Have you tried absolutely everything to help your child get higher grades?
  • Do you have a bright child who seems to know information, then forgets it during the test?
  • Are you truly serious about doing something different to help your child succeed?

If You Answered “YES!” then keep reading to find out how you can help raise your child’s grades just in time for the very next report card…

I promise your situation is not unique. What you also need to know is that your child’s situation is NOT hopeless.

The problem is that children who suffer from learning challenges have been mis-lead with the 4 biggest myths by well-meaning teachers, other parents and even some learning authorities.

Here are the 4 biggest myths about learning that will never get you the results you want:

  1. The first is that you must teach TO your child’s preferred learning style, because schools who teach TO every child’s learning style produce better results. (This statement is so misleading that a recent article in the Washington Post said the theory of teaching to multiple intelligences was just that – a theory, and not working in the real world at all). More about this later…
  2. The second is that kids with low grades are lazy and unmotivated and simply do not take tests well.
  3. The third is kids who cannot sit still and pay attention are most likely to have attention deficit disorders of some kind.  ADD or ADHD can very often be something else in disguise.
  4. The fourth is that some kids who struggle in school simply don’t like to read, or spell, or do math, etc. (This is one of the worst.  It’s only when children constantly experience failure that they don’t want to read or do their schoolwork).

The plain truth is, kids love to learn when they are successful.

But sometimes, they just don’t know how to “win the school game” because no one has taken the time to show them “HOW TO LEARN”.

Think about it. Every day, your child is given assignments and told what to learn. This is like a baseball coach giving a player a written test to see if he or she can make the team. No one is showing your child “how to learn”. You can’t just tell a child, “learn this for the test” and then if they don’t do well, blame them.

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s crazy to think you’ll get different results if you keep doing the same thing over and over again?

That’s why you need to do something different… That’s where this learning toolkit comes in.

Click on the hyperlink -> to help your child get better grades in school.

Mature Student Goes Back To School

Studying is always stressful and filled with pressure – it’s even more daunting when you’re a mature student, who has been out of school for 10, 20 or even 30 years… Like Sue Wickliffe of Omaha, Nebraska. In today’s post, I have a few recommendations for someone who’s going back to school after a long absence…

Hi, Dr. Dussault.

I found your website by accident.  I belong to IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) and I have been an admin/executive assistant for 35+ years.

Here I am… I’m going to be 60 in April and the IAAP Chapter that I belong to here in Omaha, Nebraska talked me into becoming certified.  I’m currently thinking … “What did I get myself into.”  There are four large books I will be studying:

1)  Office Systems and Technology
2)  Office Administration
3)  Management
4)  Advanced Management

I have an electronic version of these books (which is better than the books themselves).  The actual books are too wordy.  Loses the reader.  On the electronic version there was a link to “Ask Jeeves” and I typed in How to study.  Voila!!!  There was your website.  I purchased your book “Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort” as well as your Speed Reading Video Program.

Right now I’m feeling overwhelmed and haven’t studied since high school.  I’m hoping your materials will help me.  I plan to apply them.  The big 6-hour test will take place this November and the other two hour test (for the last book) will take place in May 2011.

The Good Lord gave me a brain and people like you to bring it to fruition.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

ONWARD AND UPWARD!!!

Sue Wickliffe (I hope to have CPS and CAP initials after my name soon)

Study Tips For A Mature Student Going Back To School.

One of our affiliate referral sites, www.mature-student-tips.com has quite a bit of useful content for a mature student going back to school.

Go there and have a look. I’m sure you’ll find some great ideas. We like to support people who endorse our products and programs!

Get Better Grades And Make $82,000 More

The Economist Magazine recently reported that a male university graduate will make $82,000 more in his working lifetime than his non-university graduate peer. This includes the cost of tuition, lost wages while studying as well as extra taxes paid. What this simply means is that it pays to get better grades.

But getting better grades is not just about winging it – you need to be systematic and discipline about it. My study book and this blog are great way to learn to get better grades with less effort. My study book comes with many bonus materials that will help you – go to the product page now and check it out.

Dyslexic Students Can Get Better Grades Part Two

Todays post is courtesy of the folks at www.HomeDeclutterAndFun.com, with the original source being Cambridge University, so it comes from a very authoritative source. Dyslexic students can get better grades, as I mentioned in a previous post. Dyslexia is not a excuse to get poor grades – people of ALL levels of intelligence have been diagnosed as dyslexics.

In fact I’ll prove it to you…

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty  uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig  to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the  ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat  ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll  raed it wouthit a porbelm.


Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey  lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas  tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on  !!

Psas Ti ON !

This is what you can do when you get an Exponential Mindset – break through barriers that other people trip, stumble and fall over. You can then succeed and Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort!

Psst!

Tina read this blog posta and mentioned that the link above to Wikipedia above is not WC3 accessibility compliant for people with serious dyslexia or cognitive disabilities., She launched a website, Dopa, about reading and writing that is fully accessible. Her new version of the Wikipedia piece has all the needed accessibility html/code and design elements.

The URL is: https://dopasolution.com/what-is-dyslexia

Thanks Tina!

Dyslexic Students Can Get Better Grades

I was recently asked if my Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort can help dyslexic students and the answer is a resounding yes! The reason is that my study techniques help YOU discover and reveal HOW you learn best and gives you a framework to do it over and over again – effortlessly.

Also, you can use Rapid Reader to speed read your WORD and PDF documents at lightning fast speed – ESPECIALLY if your dyslexic. Give the video a go below and see what happens… Imagine how easier it will be for you to read this way!

Some dyslexic students have found that ONCE they’ve used Rapid Reader for a while, their dyslexia ‘subsides’ which makes no sense, but they don’t care!!!

So there you have it – another reason to buy my Get The Best Grades With Least Amount Of Effort Book!