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With schools closed for weeks—and in some states and districts, until the end of the school year—to slow the spread of the coronavirus, principals are leading their school communities into the uncharted territory of K–12 distance learning, writes Denisa R. Superville for Education Week.

Many schools are working fast to attempt to offer students high-quality, equitable distance learning within a very short time. School leaders must not only support teachers figuring out how to translate classroom curricula into engaging virtual lessons, but also ensure that all students—including those who are tough to reach even on a regular school day and those who don’t have access to a reliable internet connection—continue learning and connecting with their teachers and peers. At the same time, they must see to it that students who depend on schools for food and other critical supports continue to receive these services.

Here are four ways principals say they plan to lead their school communities and support teachers.

Be a ‘Calm and Motivating Presence’

Kelly Corbett, principal of Otsego Elementary School in Otsego, Minnesota, told Superville that principals and instructional leaders must remain level-headed: “We need to be prepared. We don’t need to panic. We have the resources in front of us. We have great educators. We just need to plan…. There will be bumps in the road; there will be glitches. Things happen.”

Day-to-day, Corbett is busy “working on making sure that teachers are developing high-quality lessons, answering questions about content and teaching, and helping troubleshoot along the way when teachers start using a digital platform they’ve really only used for short periods—mainly snow days.” But beyond these everyday responsibilities, she said, “being that calming and motivating presence is essential.”

Be a Source of Information

In addition to handling questions from teachers related to taking lessons online and troubleshooting tech issues, it’s important that school leaders also take on the role of chief information officer for the school community.

Kerensa Wing, principal at Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County, Georgia, tries to keep in touch daily with students and their families so that she’s regularly communicating—in a calm and measured way—her expectations for students’ learning. “We want to continue the learning. We want to keep it positive, be patient with folks,” Wing told Superville. “We want them to be patient with the students’ learning curve. This is the first time they will be online for more than two days in a row.”

Encourage Teachers to Create a Sense of Normalcy for Students

Corbett, the principal at Otsego Elementary, is guiding her teachers to recreate practices for their students that are similar to their previous ones, by doing things like greeting students each morning with a video message and building in mindfulness breaks. The goal is not to replicate the whole school day at home but to provide students with a sense that they are still connected to the school community.

To help students continue to benefit from some of the school’s support structures, Corbett has asked teachers to brainstorm how to bring those structures into students’ homes—giving kids access to a virtual “calming corner” like they have in classrooms, a cozy spot where kids can retreat for a few minutes to manage their emotions.

Corbett has asked her school counselors and social workers to come up with self-regulating exercises kids can do at home. “It could be everything from counting your breaths, different ways to regulate your breathing, physical activities. We’ll have to figure out the best way to keep those experiences going when the students aren’t here,” says Corbett.

Make Sure Teachers Feel Supported

When Paul Kelly, principal at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, hosted an online staff meeting, his teachers peppered him with questions about how they could possibly meet all the different needs of their students. Kelly’s message to them, after expressing his confidence that they would do their best for students, was that teachers needed to first take care of their own emotional health. “You are only going to be able to help the kids if you are in the right emotional space. Take care of the stresses in your home, with your family, and we will work together to make the e-learning work for kids,” he told his staff.

As a principal, he told Superville, his responsibilities are evolving given the realities of life during a pandemic. “I think my role shifts completely into this symbolic keeper of hope,” Kelly said. “My role in this family is to make sure that we know that we are trying to get them whatever they need, having staff members feeling like we care about them as humans and as families, and all of the details of their professional lives will get resolved.”

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Distance Learning Through It And Mass Media

With the pandemic, people were secluded to the four walls of their homes, and education, like other domains, largely turned online. IT and mass media provided a unique getaway, enabling students to learn and gain relevant knowledge and experiences easily. Many people have expressed that distance learning can be sub-optimal compared to in-person courses. Nevertheless, it offers its benefits.

Distance Learning

A type of education known as distance learning enables students to study at a distance, usually with the aid of technology like computers, the internet, and online learning environments. Students who cannot attend conventional in-person classes owing to geographical, budgetary, or other restrictions may find it a valuable alternative. IT (information technology) and mass media, including television, radio, and the internet, are commonly used to deliver distance learning. These tools help teachers communicate with students and collaborate by enabling them to get lectures, readings, and other educational resources from educators remotely.

Contribution of IT

Information technology (IT) uses computers and other digital devices to store, process, and transmit information. IT is critical in many aspects of modern life, including education, business, healthcare, and communication. It can facilitate various activities, such as creating and sharing documents, conducting research, communicating with others, and analyzing data.

Information technology (IT) can be an essential component of distance learning, as it enables remote delivery and access to educational materials and resources. Some of the ways that IT can aid distance learning include −

Online Platforms − IT can be used to develop and deliver distance learning programs through online platforms, such as learning management systems (LMS) or virtual classrooms. These platforms can provide students access to lectures, readings, quizzes, and other course materials and facilitate communication and collaboration between students and teachers.

Digital Resources − IT can provide students with access to a wide range of digital resources, such as e-books, articles, and videos, which can be used to supplement traditional course materials.

Mobile Access − IT can enable students to access course materials and participate in discussions from various devices, such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones, which can be particularly useful for those who are on the go or do not have access to a desktop computer.

Virtual Labs and Simulations − IT can be used to create virtual labs and simulations, providing students with hands-on learning experiences in fields that might require specialized equipment or facilities.

Contribution of Mass Media

Mass media refers to the various means of communication that reach a large audience through mass communication channels, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet. Mass media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and influencing cultural norms and values, and it can deliver information, entertainment, and education to a wide audience. Mass media, such as television, radio, and the internet, can be useful tools for delivering distance learning programs. Some of the ways that mass media can aid distance learning include−

Transmitting Lectures and Course Materials − Mass media can transmit lectures, readings, and other course materials to students at a distance, allowing them to access the same information as their in-person counterparts.

Facilitating Communication and Collaboration − Mass media can facilitate communication between students and teachers, allowing for the exchange of ideas and feedback even when students are not physically present in the same location.

Providing Access to a Wider Range of Resources − Mass media can provide students with access to a wider range of resources and experts, such as guest lectures or panel discussions, that might not be available in a traditional classroom setting.

Allowing for Flexibility and Convenience − Mass media can allow students to access course materials and participate in discussions at their convenience rather than being tied to a set schedule.

Pros of Distance Learning

There are several potential benefits to distance learning, including −

Flexibility − Distance learning allows students to study at their own pace and schedule, which can be particularly useful for those with busy or irregular schedules.

Convenience − Distance learning can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it a convenient option for those who live far from a college or university or cannot attend in-person classes for other reasons.

Cost − Distance learning programs may be less expensive than traditional in-person programs, as they often do not require students to pay for transportation, housing, or other costs associated with attending a physical campus.

Access to a wider range of resources − Distance learning programs offer access to a wider range of instructors, course materials, and resources than might be available at a local college or university.

Improved Retention − Some studies have found that students who participate in distance learning programs may have higher retention rates than those who attend traditional in-person classes, possibly due to the ability to review and revisit course material at their own pace.

Cons of Distance Learning

While distance learning can be a convenient and flexible way to access education, there are also potential drawbacks to consider, including −

Dependence on technology − Distance learning programs often rely heavily on technology, which can be a barrier for some students who need access to reliable internet connectivity or appropriate devices.

Self-motivation − Distance learning requires students to be self-motivated and disciplined to complete assignments and meet deadlines. This can be a challenge for some students who may benefit from the structure and accountability of in-person classes.

Limited opportunities for hands-on learning − Some subjects, such as the arts or certain technical fields, may require more work to learn effectively through distance learning, as they may require hands-on training or experience.

Limited access to resources − While distance learning programs may offer access to a wider range of resources, students may still need more access to certain resources and facilities, such as libraries, laboratories, or specialized equipment.

Conclusion

IT and mass media can facilitate the delivery of course materials, facilitate communication and collaboration between students and teachers, and provide access to a wide range of resources and experts. However, it is important for both students and educators to carefully consider the potential pros and cons of distance learning and ensure that students have access to reliable technology and internet connectivity to participate in and benefit from these programs fully. Overall, distance learning through IT and mass media can be a valuable and effective way to access education. However, it is important to consider how to best use these technologies to support student learning and engagement.

6 Vivaldi Browser Tips For Power Users To Customize Their Experience

We have previously reviewed Vivaldi, so in this article we will explore some useful Vivaldi browser tips for you to get the most out of the web browser.

1. Use Quick Commands

2. Stack Your Tabs

For users who tend to open several tabs in the browser, Vivaldi provides a way to group those tabs so that they can be managed more effectively. All you need to do is drag one tab over another one until the opacity of the other one is dimmed a little, then let go, and you’ll have a nice tab stack.

3. Use Web Panels

Web Panels allow you to add webpages to the sidebar so that you can always access them no matter the tab you’re currently viewing. This is very useful for adding frequently visited pages such as social media feeds, YouTube and the like.

4. Tile Your Tabs

Tab tiling is another fantastic feature that is useful for viewing two or more webpages at once. To do this you need to select a few tabs by holding down the “Ctrl” key and tapping the tabs in question. Then select a suitable tile from the status bar at the bottom of your web browser.

5. Save Open Tabs as a Session

6. Customise the user interface

Vivaldi provides a plethora of options to customise the appearance of your web browser. For example, you can change the colour of the interface to match the colour scheme of the website you are currently viewing by ticking “Use Page Theme Color in User Interface” in the appearance settings. You can also decide to hide the bottom status bar or switch between light and dark themes.

Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

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Frustrated Babydoge And Floki (Floki) Holders Are Shifting Their Portfolios To Pikamoon (Pika)

As a crypto investor, making profits requires awareness and staying abreast of the latest trends. That’s the only way you can survive the volatility of the crypto market, knowing when to hold and when to jump ship. Little wonder BabyDoge and Floki holders are now shifting their portfolios to Pikamoon.

The massive decline in their prices since early 2023 has stirred reactions from token holders, most of whom have found recourse in a new revolutionary token with huge potential: Pikamoon.

Let’s give these reactions a closer look. 

BabyDoge (BABYDOGE) Holders are jumping ship.

BabyDoge is a hyper-deflationary token, with the number of tokens in circulation decreasing over time. This decrease in supply has led to an increase in the token’s demand and price. Also, BabyDoge has enjoyed widespread acceptance, serving as a means of payment in various major online retail stores.

$BABYDOGE took cues from the flaws of its parent, Dogecoin (DOGE), hoping to exceed the successes of the latter. By leveraging the Binance Smart Chain, this crypto project delivers better functionality and enhanced transaction times, which has seen it soar since its launch on June 1, 2023. But it hasn’t been able to keep up, especially from the end of 2023 until now.

In 2023, BabyDoge unfortunately experienced a significant drop in value, causing distress for many of its holders. However, there is a silver lining thanks to Pikamoon: they now have the chance to turn their frowns upside down and potentially recoup their losses!

As a new project with disruptive plans for the Play2Earn industry and the entire crypto market, Pikamoon is on course for a 10x rise in price and explosive returns for $PIKA holders. 

Floki (FLOKI) Holders Have Joined the Upward Trend

Commonly referred to as the people’s cryptocurrency, $FLOKI is the utility token of the Floki Ecosystem. This cryptocurrency was inspired by fans and Shiba Inu (SHIB) community members. Specifically, the token is named after Elon Musk’s Shiba Inu. The Floki Inu parades “four flagship utility projects:”

Valhalla: The ecosystem’s NFT gaming metaverse

FlokiFi: A Suite of DeFi Products

FlokiPlaces: An NFT and merchandise marketplace

University of Floki: A Content and Education Platform

However, after recording massive price rises between July 30, 2023, and the early days of December 2023, $FLOKI has struggled to maintain this momentum. This instability in price has led various $FLOKI token holders to consider their options, with many shifting their portfolios to Pikamoon. 

Why Shift Your Portfolio to Pikamoon?

$PIKA is one of the fastest-growing GameFi tokens because it is the utility token for all aspects of this project. It is the reward token for players, qualifies Pikamoon users for the 18,012 NFT giveaway, and serves as the means of payment on the in-game marketplace.

The tokenomics behind this token also inspire its rise with strategic usage to drive its growth, demand, and price. For instance, 5% of the tokens spent on the in-game marketplace will be burned forever. This token burning will reduce the token supply and create more value for the token through scarcity and high demand since the token will always be needed.

Finally, as a new token, $PIKA has been tipped to skyrocket in value and profits by crypto experts who had tipped its ICO to be the best in 2023. These features and prospects make moving your portfolio to Pikamoon a no-brainer and one with a high reward potential.

Find out more about Pikamoon (PIKA):

The Case For Electives In Schools

A vibrant elective program in middle and secondary schools should be considered just as precious as the core classes—after all, electives are the one or two periods a day that students have had a say in selecting. In a nationwide survey I conducted of sixth through 12th graders (for my most recent book), I asked what engaged them the most as learners. Across the nation, student choice ranked high in results. And according to education researcher Robert Marzano, choice “has also been linked to increases in student effort, task performance, and subsequent learning.”

Yet this very quality—student choice—seems to be one of the factors that make electives vulnerable.

For many schools, budget cuts and an ebb and flow of educational funding are par for the course. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “As of the current 2023–18 school year, at least 12 states have cut ‘general’ or ‘formula’ funding—the primary form of state support for elementary and secondary schools—by 7 percent or more per student over the last decade.” In many cases, schools look to the classes they deem extras to be the first to fall.

For many, that means electives. However, I want to push back on this notion that electives are somehow expendable. In fact, some might argue they are just as vital as core content classes.

The Power of Connection

Students also reported in the nationwide survey I conducted that they need to be more connected to the adults on campus. We talk so much about differentiating students, but we need to differentiate teachers and schools too. It helps our students to connect with school if they learn that there are many diverse personalities on hand for them to learn from. Electives, many times, reflect the interests of the teachers that teach them as well as the students that choose them. This permits a student to automatically have a self-selected connection to the adult in the room.

The Journal of Educational Psychology recently reported that in a study of almost 400 students and their 25 teachers, researchers found that when teachers and students were given information about five similarities they shared, the knowledge helped improve student-teacher relationships and academic achievement.

Electives Support Core Classes

Electives can also do double duty as vehicles for core content standards. And teachers can help ensure that electives are not thought of as inferior to core classes by guaranteeing that they help carry the weight of teaching literacy along with core classes. Elective teachers can provide evidence of the learning happening by doing three key things:

Encourage annotation when students read texts related to the elective topic.

Utilize pre- and post-assessments to show growth in related informational reading comprehension.

Fold in writing and oral presentations to help students communicate the elective’s content.

Yearbook, robotics, film society, photography, world languages, theater, speech and debate, music appreciation, and current events—all of these classes can tap into reading, writing, listening, and speaking. And all of them attract a variety of students while adding a self-selected layer of engagement to those students’ learning of core standards.

I’d also like to make the push for electives to be more inclusive. I think it would help eradicate the myth of electives being nonessential if we dropped the grade-point average prerequisite and other requirements that grant students access. Student choice, after all, must be about the student, not the process of selection.

Elective programs can play a large role in our schools’ goals in preparing our students for college and career. Being able to select classes reflects the same process that they will see again in college.

When Teachers Are Engaged

The fact is, while many consider electives the B story in a school, they can, in fact, set the tone for a campus and play a huge role in engagement. And because they are highly engaging, electives play a role in keeping our students on campus—especially those reluctant learners and ones who struggle academically.

The power of engagement, however, is not limited to students alone. Elective classes can serve a purpose to continue teachers’ engagement as well. Feeling like you’re burning out? Pitch a class that you want to teach, that you’d love to teach. Teach one that helps fuel your teaching flame. Teachers are helping to create master schedules that reflect a variety of interests—from gardening to digital storytelling. Create a class that helps lure students to learning in a way that engages you as well.

What Happened To The Local Schools?

Introduction

Girls School in India – 1848

The Missionary Repository for Youth, and Sunday School Missionary Magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What Happened to Local Schools Under British Rule?

In India, there were numerous pathshalas prior to British control. There were more than 100,000 pathshalas, and each had 20 students or less. Books, blackboards, benches, timetables, roll-call registers, and exams are all part of the educational system. The lessons were delivered at the guru’s residence, at a shop, a village temple, or even outside under a tree. There were no separate courses, and all instruction was given orally. The parent’s income determined the pathshala’s fees. Since many rural kids were working in the fields during harvest, there were no courses at the pathshala.

The British decided to reform the pathshalas in 1854 and assigned government officials to oversee operations and raise the pathshalas’ teaching standards. The gurus were instructed to keep to a set schedule, teach using textbooks, and produce recurring reports. The pupils had to come to class on a regular basis, pay a set fee, and pass exams. Government grants were provided to pathshalas that agreed to follow British regulations but not to those that dissented. Numerous impoverished children’ lives were negatively impacted by the new system since they were no longer able to attend school due to fixed costs and set schedules. It was challenging for many gurus who wanted to operate independently to compete with the government-supported pathshalas.

The Report of William Adam

William Adam travelled to the areas of Bengal and Bihar in the 1830s at the request of the Company to provide a report on the development of education in local schools. In Bengal and Bihar, nearly 1 lakh pathshalas with little more than 20 pupils each were reported, according to Adam’s research. Rich people or the local community established these institutions. The educational system was open-ended and did not include a set tuition fee, printed textbooks, a separate school building, benches or seats, blackboards, a system of separate classes, roll call registers, annual exams, or a set timetable. The guru’s house, the corner of a village store or temple, or a banyan tree were all common locations for classes.

The amount of tuition was based on the parents’ income, with the wealthy having to pay more than the underprivileged. Based on the demands of the students, the guru selected what to teach them orally. The guru worked independently with groups of kids who had varying levels of learning while the class was all seated together. Local needs were met by this adaptable system. No lessons were held during the harvest season. As soon as the crops were cut and stored, the pathshala began once more.

New Routines, New Rules

Higher education was the focus of the company. The East India Company made the decision to strengthen the vernacular education system after 1854 by bringing order to the system, setting procedures, defining norms, and ensuring regular inspections. new customs and regulations The Company hired several government pandits and assigned them to four to five schools. The pandit’s responsibility was to check on the quality of instruction in the pathshalas. Every guru was required to turn in reports on a regular basis and attend classes on the scheduled days. Teaching was centred on textbooks, and learning was assessed via an annual exam system. Students were required to pay the standard cost, attend regularly scheduled classes, take fixed seats, and abide by the new regulations. Government funds were provided to pathshalas that complied with the new regulations. Due to the flexibility of the schedule, children from low-income peasant households had previously been able to attend pathshalas because of the new norms and procedures. Even during harvest when children from low-income families had to labour in the fields, the new system required frequent attendance.

Conclusion FAQs

Q1. Explain Charter Act of 1813

Ans. The introduction of the Charter Act of 1813, implied the permanence of British Rule in India. Amounts for education under this Act were set at INR 1 lakh annually. The East India Company Act, 1813, is another name for this. This law is significant because it established the status of British Indian territory in the constitution for the first time.

Q2. Who brought India to the British educational system?

Ans. In 1854, Sir Charles Wood was the company’s President of the Board of Control and sent a despatch to Lord Dalhousie, who was then the Governor- General of India. This text is often referred to as the Magna Carta of English instruction in India.

Q3. Who was Lord Macaulay?

Ans. Lord Macaulay was a poet and historian. From 1834 to 1838, he served as the first member of the law department on the governor general council, ensuring that English was widely used in India.

Q4. What is Wood’s Despatch?

Q5. Who and why did Asiatic society begin?

Ans. A British lawyer and Orientalist named Sir William Jones formed the Asiatic Society of Bengal on January 15, 1784, to promote Oriental studies. Orientalism was a Western academic field of study in the 18th and 19th centuries that included the study of the languages, literatures, religions, philosophies, histories, art, and laws of Asian countries, particularly those from ancient times.

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