Looking At The Benefits Of Google Apps For Educational Institutions

There are many benefits of Google apps’ Education Edition. This is a free extensive IT solution that can be used by schools, and other educational facilities, to bring collaboration and communication tools to the entire campus. The technology is managed by Google so you can focus all your energy and time on teaching students.

Teachers, students, and other employees can get things done quicker, and effectively share their ideas. This is facilitated by powerful sharing and communication tools. The Education Edition provides email, as well as sharable instant messaging tools, online calendars, and a dedicated website which everyone can use for free. There is no need to install any software or hardware because everything comes from a web browser.

Education Edition includes a set of tools that can be customized to enable everyone to work together. You get complete connectivity without all the hassles. The entire school can be connected with powerful search, massive storage, and mobile access. There is no cost involved at all, no advertising required, and no costly maintenance of hardware.

Gmail offers 7 gigs of storage and has protection against viruses and spam. It’s also got video and voice chat, a built-in IM, POP and IMAP message access, and much more. Teachers will find the online calendar a great feature. They can simply access other teachers’ calendars to check that no double-bookings for events are scheduled. This not only saves time, but a lot of unnecessary confusion and re-juggling. You can even access the calendar with your cell phone.

You can easily build shared websites that include documents, gadgets, images, and videos. The video function enables you to share videos which people can rate, tag, and comment on. Every domain gets 10 gigs of video space for free. The talk feature facilitates instant free messaging, file transfers, and voicemail, that makes staying in touch as easy as A, B, C.

Google’s Groups allow students and staff to create their own forums. The Apps for Education component provides other tools that enable you to easily open APIs (application programming interfaces) so that you can integrate with other IT systems. Teachers and admin staff can create and share documents like reports and spreadsheets which can be accessed through their computers or mobile phones.

As can be seen, one of the major benefits of Google apps is the ability to connect an entire educational environment easily and effectively. Join the thousands of schools, colleges, and universities that trust these applications. What’s more, all the information and communications are private, secure, and safe.

How to Select a Book For a Reluctant Reader

Reluctant readers come in two basic varieties: kids who have good reading skills but don’t like to read and kids who are so challenged by reading, they avoid it as much as possible. The following suggestions address the needs of both types of readers.

1) LIGHTEN UP

The number one way to help a child overcome his reluctance to read is to choose stories that are light in narrative and strong in action and dialogue. Best of all are fast-moving tales filled with suspense and humor. Kids lose their resistance to reading when they are swept away by a story that makes them laugh with delight and keeps them glued to the page wondering what’s going to happen next.

2) AGE-APPROPRIATE CONTENT

When weak readers are given books suitable for their reading level, the content level is often too low. This causes a child to quickly lose interest in reading. Until the marketplace offers more hi/lo books which meet a child at their reading level while also sustaining their interest, err on the side of choosing books with age-appropriate content.

3) YOU CAN TELL A BOOK BY ITS COVER

The book cover is critical in attracting the interest of a reluctant reader. The cover art needs to be sophisticated and visually stimulating, hinting at the humor and excitement that lies within. Avoid books with covers that seem to “talk down” to your child. 

4) LEAN AND MEAN

The interior book design can make or break your child’s willingness to tackle a book. Text pages should be lean, with somewhat larger print, plenty of margin and comfortable spacing between letters and lines. There is nothing less appealing to a reluctant reader than full pages of small, tightly set print.

5) SHORT AND SWEET

The presentation of the content is important as well for sustaining the attention of a reluctant reader. Give a child a sense of progress and speed in moving through the book and you engage their interest. Therefore, total page count, as well as individual chapters, paragraphs and sentences, should all be on the shorter side.

6) A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS

Illustrations are desirable because they break up the text while helping to fill gaps in the reader’s comprehension. The entertainment value of illustrations should not be overlooked, as they add enjoyment and interest to the reading experience. 

7) OKAY, SO IT’S NOT A BOOK

While audio books might seem like a cop-out for children struggling with reading, they should be considered for their educational and entertainment value and because they will enable the reluctant reader to keep up with the crowd and perform better in class. Ditto for graphic novels, which tell a story through illustrations and dialogue, making comprehension easy.

If you keep these suggestions in mind when selecting a book for your reluctant reader, you will help optimize your child’s reading enjoyment and sense of accomplishment. Every positive experience your child has with reading encourages him to do more reading, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Using Personalized Books for Children to Educate

From the moment a child becomes aware of things around him, we as parents instinctively want to teach. We surround them with color, point to objects and say their names and generally delight in their growing intelligence.

After color comes numbers and then comes their alphabet. Helping them to learn is such a precious part of our relationship with them and so enjoyable too.

Personalized books come into their own when it comes to teaching in the early years. These are books where the child is the main character. They are the beautiful princess in an exciting fairy tale. They are a fierce-some pirate in a swashbuckling adventure. They are the center of attention.

Because they see their name in print, and depending on the book, perhaps even their siblings and parents names too, children become very engaged with what they are reading. It is the kind of thing that they will be wanting to read again and again.

Most of these children’s books are hard backed so will last a lifetime. Many of these personalized books become heirlooms and are passed on from them to their own children. What an amazing gift to give!

Education-wise these personalized gifts are useful from a young age. Children from very young can be sat on laps and read to. It helps them to learn concentration and to listen (and to sit still!). As they hear a story read and hear their name in it, their attention is immediately taken and questions can be asked after each page on what had happened. Questions can also be asked about what is going on in the pictures. This really helps the child to articulate what they have understood.

Then they can be taught to pick out their name as the story is read. Because the story is about them, they will WANT to find their name. It won’t seem like a chore, or ‘school’ but rather will be a fun exercise.

Another idea for using these personalized books to educate, is to get the child to narrate the story back to you. This really gets the child thinking and organizing their thoughts and teaches them to articulate their thoughts clearly.

The books are mostly simple to read and thus can also be used as early readers. Again, because children can identify with the character in the book, it gives them an incentive to learn to read. These books make wonderful gifts for homeschoolers. All homeschooling mom’s love anything that grabs their child’s attention and encourages them to read. And all homeschooling mom’s love books!

Lastly personalized books can be used for copy writing. All children need to learn how to write and need plenty of practice. Most will try to do as little as possible. Having a book written about them, seeing their names in print and the names of their family too is a great incentive to write. The pictures of the story can also be used as story prompts making another exciting story experience.