Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Early Childhood Education Online Programs : Comparison Checklist

The popularity of internet-based early childhood education programs is undeniable. It has led to a consideration of several options. Delivery is only one of the things you think about when weighing these options. Pace and flexibility are two other factors of evaluation.

The final choice of the best online program must be based on purposeful and thoughtful gathering of vital specifics. A few key factors are suggested below for you to compare different online programs.

Key factors of selection
 

The following eight factors may serve as the basis for a decision on the final choice of an online program.

1. Flexible pacing
2. Convenience
3. Work schedule
4. Requirements of the program
5. Reputation of the institution
6. Cost
7. Financial help
8. Job opportunities

A consideration of these eight factors will help you choose a program that can match your convenience and affordability with career and education goals. The comparison checklist given below will help you take a closer look at the online programs.
 
Comparison checklist

1. Marketability

a. Reputation: How good and popular is the program and how do people perceive the value of the program? Choose a school with a better reputation.
 
b. Word-of-mouth: Talk to the people around you. Have any of your co-workers, friends, family or neighbors taken similar online courses? Which one do they recommend?
 
c. Placement: How good are the placement chances? Choose a school with a better placement record.

2. Affordability

a. Costs: What is the total cost of the program? It is important to include all potential and incidental costs, fees, internet access and equipment charges etc.
 
b. Financial help: Find out about grants, scholarships, waivers and loans.

3. Academics

a. Relevance of program: Are the main subject area and the courses of the program relevant to your career goals and education?
 
b. Faculty: Are instructors well qualified and skilled? Do they have good 
experience? Choose the program with better instructors.
 
c. Accreditation: Accreditation matters a lot, and reassures core academic merit.

4. Student Support Services

a. Library: Will you have access to ebrary and other electronic research materials during the course of the program?
 
b. Career services: Do they provide services related to job search and placement process and decisions related to career development? Do they have a career counselor you can work with?
 
c. Academic guidance: Do they have academic advisors to guide you on the choice of courses every term, or develop a study plan or resolve problems?
 
d. Psychological counseling: It is a stressful endeavor to pursue higher education online. Are there available added services relating to stress or time management?

5. Program requirements

a. Program duration: How long will it take to complete the online program? Are there provisions of remission of a term if you can work faster? This is a key factor if you have personal issues relating to time.
 
b. Pace: Is the online program self-paced or accompanied in academic terms? Is there a limit to the number of courses you can take?
 
c. Format: Are the courses fully online? Are they offered in a mixed format requiring a few face-to-face meetings?

As you research, you will discover several programs that will match your requirements. Choose the best that you consider is the most rewarding.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Online vs Traditional Courses

Traditional and online colleges have the same goal: to offer students an opportunity to earn relevant educational degrees that will put them on fast career tracks. Even though they have a common goal, they do have substantial differences. Given below are a few salient differences between traditional and online courses.

The curriculum

All the course materials, lectures, discussions, assignments, projects, evaluation procedures, and readings of online courses, as the name suggests, are web based. Traditional courses, on the other hand, are paper and print based; they are face-to-face courses, involving physical humans in a specific geographical location.

Just like in traditional settings, online programs do have many students, and several qualified teachers design and teach the programs. However, your interaction with the teachers and fellow students will mostly be online via computer live chats, telephone or email. Unless such a program or course requires regular on-campus visits, you will never actually meet classmates or instructors face-to-face.

An online class is an educational process wherein the instructor and students are not at the same place. In traditional college programs, it is mandatory for every student to be physically present and they listen and take notes during lectures. Traditional colleges make attendance mandatory, and your grade suffers if you miss your class.

Teacher-learner interaction and feedback

Teacher-learner interaction and feedback in online classes is very different from the way it’s done in traditional classrooms. To ensure that all the course materials are delivered clearly in a virtual environment, teachers have to provide not only lucid presentations but also detailed feedback, anticipating and responding to learner queries.

Other key features

Apart from those described above, a few other key features are important to online classes. Voice-supported chats among fellow students and between students and teachers come in the place of traditional face-to-face interaction. You can make use of audio clips provided for virtual practice with your classmates.

It’s easy for you to access a wealth of online links to references and other useful sources. You can play review games for consolidation, and benefit from regular interactive discussion and assignments, focusing on individual modules. Insightful videos provoke your creative and critical thinking skills, leading to independent original work.

Another great feature is the facility for downloading entire presentations and study materials, and uploading assignments, project works and queries. You find throughout the course the use of meaningful graphics and animations.

Flexibility

Online classes are more flexible when compared to their traditional counterparts, making them more popular and convenient for a large number of students. You have the liberty to attend school while working your job; you can therefore take care of everyday obligations such as bills, loans, and family commitments without jeopardizing your course work.

In online programs, you can learn at your own pace by attending classes when you have the time to give. Most traditional college programs do not give you this freedom as they have rigid schedules.

Both traditional and online courses have their own advantages and disadvantages. After analyzing carefully your own specific needs and commitments and the demands of the courses, you can make an informed decision.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

9 Reasons why you should pursue a Career in Early Childhood Education

Fostering the cognitive development, general health and well-being of kids early in their childhood is the best way not only to prepare them for their own future, but also to lay the foundation of a strong economy of a nation.

You can play a vital role in the society to help achieve these twin goals of early childhood education. Here are nine reasons why you should be interested in pursuing a career as an early childhood educator:

1.Crucial physical development: Physical development of the human brain starts in the first two to three years, when the child forms seven hundred new neural connections every second.

2.Mastery of basic skills: As the child enters kindergarten, there is more than 80 percent chance that the little one will master basic skills by the time he or she reaches age 11, in comparison to 45 percent chance for those kids who are not ready for school.

3.Worrisome dropout rates: Experts believe, children who are not exposed to high quality early childhood education are almost 25 percent more likely to become school dropouts and 60 percent more likely not to attend college.

4.Reduced risk factors: Early interventions that combine nutrition, health, and learning have the power to decrease risk factors connected to chronic diseases, such as high blood sugar, and hypertension.

5.Worthwhile return on investment: Investment in any high-quality early childhood program for children delivers a seven-to-ten percent return annually on investment – through better health, education, economic and social outcomes, enhanced productivity and decreased need for social spending.

6.Group work skills: Children learn how to cooperate, share, persevere and take turns within a learning environment, which is safe and guided by qualified teachers. This is particularly beneficial for the first-born, who is not used to sharing with siblings. Although difficult, it is important for kids to acquire group work skills early in childhood.

7.All-round development: The approach that builds a strong base for the child's social, physical, emotional and cognitive development, prepares them for life. Early childhood teachers are trained in recognizing areas where every child needs support and designing appropriate programs and activities to get over weaknesses.

8.Love of learning: Lessons are all fun way presentations made in order to enthuse children to be better learners. Early childhood educators inspire kids with a thirst for learning with great eagerness and involvement. Love of learning everything – reading, nature, discovery etc. – takes root firmly in preschool.

9.Emulating role models: Early childhood educators help children understand the value of education. They teach by setting an example and acting as role models. Educators offer a new perspective on the significance of education. This perspective remains with the children throughout their life.

Early childhood educators play a vital role in molding successful and socially responsible children. Hence, it is one of the most important and rewarding jobs in the field of education. If you wish to make a difference in the society and in the lives of hundreds of children, this is where you start!

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Deep Significance of Early Childhood Education

Healthy early childhood development and education from birth to age five are of vital significance not only to the parents in particular, but also to society at large. It is universally true that children, who receive excellent childcare and early education, stand out in contrast to those who do not.

They have better health, develop all-round personality, contribute to significant economic and social outcomes in life, and give a better shape to the society in every possible way. Listed below are vital aspects of early childhood developmental education.

Cheaper healthcare and enhanced school performance

Skills that kids develop during the first five years influence their success rate greatly later in life. Several options and ever-expanding knowledge base of quality early childhood education programs are available for parents today. They have proven to be highly beneficial to the society and individuals in decreasing healthcare costs and improving school performance.

Brain development

The human brain develops fast through large exposure to talk, touch, sound and sight in early childhood. This experiential learning is activated long before the child sets foot in the kindergarten; it is reinforced through regular stimuli and interaction at home in proper learning environment.

Kids that grow up early enough in positive learning environment demonstrate greater social-emotional and cognitive growth than those kids who do not.

School readiness

There is overwhelming evidence that children who enter kindergarten, lacking school readiness, are most likely to fall behind in their entire educational career. Such life-long gaps in achievement are too costly to bear, and difficult to close just with school education. The little ones acquire school readiness through quality early childhood programs until age five; they can cultivate through the programs a full range of skills required to compete in school.

Economic development

Economic development of a nation begins with early childhood development. The best investment a parent can ever make for the society and for their children is by giving them access to healthy early childhood education. Each dollar invested thus by   taxpayers offers 7-10 per cent of ROI annually in the form of better outcomes in health, education, productivity of workforce, and much more.

Enhanced math skills

Educators and neuroscientists agree that the foundation for success is laid during pregnancy and is strengthened through the age of five, i.e., before any formal schooling. Children who do good early childhood education programs are more likely to earn better wages, avoid incarceration, live healthier lives, raise better families and contribute to the society.

Research Studies reveal that children are likely to do well in the subject of math when entering kindergarten if they had already understood two basic concepts: words linked with numbers, and the amounts they represent.

The role of good early childhood educators

  1. They evaluate a child’s developmental requirements in all developmental domains.
  2. They create a curriculum that addresses the identified needs, and interests of children.
  3. They plan environments and programs for activities and play that help kids achieve developmental progress.
  4. They provide all kids with healthy social and emotional learning contexts.
With the right type of early childhood education providers, your children can grow up to be better achievers, well-rounded adults and responsible citizens.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Myths about Early Childhood Education

There are some common myths about early childhood education that have gained currency over the past few years. However, they cannot stand up to scrutiny, because they are what they actually are: rumors! This blog post presents for your benefit objective perspectives of early childhood education, in dismissal of false opinions.

1. Early childhood educators are babysitters

Early childhood education is a respectable profession – an extremely valuable career. It involves several years of professional training and study – not just a quick fire short-term course to get a certificate. Many early childhood educators dedicate their lives to this profession and put heart and soul into their programs or classes.

2. The tuition fee goes straight to someone’s pocketbook

Tuition fee, in truth, covers a range of different expenses such as, food, supplies, furniture, replacement, curriculum, licensing fees, marketing costs, insurance, learning activities, paper products, dishes, office and safety supplies, and more.

When a parent writes a check every time, it is payment towards the whole program and the concomitant expenses – not payment just for one person.

3. You get exactly what you pay for

One of the biggest myths about early childhood education is that “the more you pay, the better education or services does your child get”. When you buy a pair of shoes, you definitely get what you pay for. You will feel an obviously drastic difference between a-$12 shoe and a-$60 shoe.

However, when it comes to early childhood education, this is not always the case. You may end up paying a lot for an average program, or may be paying too little for a top-notch program. In fact, there are even some remarkable programs available free.

It is best to look past the money part, and evaluate the salient features of a program! In order to make a sound judgment, do some research on the excellence of teachers on the program, of the curricula they follow, and the quality of services they offer.

4. Only centers and schools provide the best childhood education programs

There are very many providers of childhood education programs with years of experience. They offer their own programs by making their own distinctive curricula. Many of them work from their homes and choose families that are the best fit for their programs. These programs provide indeed exciting alternatives for parents!

5. Men are not good for early childhood education programs

This is another common myth and very unfair on men. An early childhood education program or center that employs caring men is a great choice.

In fact, some of the most noteworthy figures in early childhood education are men: Teacher Tom of the Woodland Park Co-operative Community of Schools, Tim of Taught by Finland, to name a couple.

Men can be amazing role models for children to emulate. It is a historical fallacy that only women are best-suited early childhood education teachers.

Therefore, the next time anyone tries to propagate any one of these myths, declare that it is simply untrue.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Early Childhood Education : Three Approaches you should know

Approaches in early childhood education are many, and they collectively formulate the general pedagogy, i.e., the art or profession of teaching, management strategies and principles used for classroom instruction and learning.

Instructors choose a particular approach based on a particular educational philosophy, from which are derived a specific teaching method and related techniques and strategies. These are all fine-tuned to suit specific subject area(s), classroom groups, and the like.

Described below are three major approaches to teaching and learning you should be familiar with: communicative approach, inquiry-based learning approach and cooperative learning approach.

1.Communicative approach

The communicative approach is a theory of language as communication. The goal of teaching and learning is the ability to express numerous meanings; we need education for carrying out several functions in our interaction and communication within a society.

The principles of teaching/learning underlying this approach can be described as follows:
  • Language activities that involve real life communication promote learning;
  • Language activities that carry out meaningful tasks promote learning;
  • Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.
Meaningful drills are constructed to promote the understanding of kids to produce appropriate responses, especially with focus on reading and writing activities.

2. Inquiry-based learning approach

Inquiry-based learning approach encourages hands-on learning and learner investigation. The primary role of a teacher is that of a facilitator, offering support and guidance for kids through the process of learning. Kids participate actively in their own learning.

So they are able to develop processes related to discovery and inquiry; they observe, infer, and formulate principles; they can predict and communicate.  Teaching is only to support the processes of discovery and inquiry.

3. Cooperative learning approach

Cooperative learning, also called collaborative learning, pertains to teaching that encourages group work and a sense of community among the kids. This approach nurtures the academic and social growth of kids, and includes reciprocal teaching/learning.

The focus of learning is student-centered, as learners are responsible for their own development and learning. The philosophy of education here is that children learn best when they work with and learn from their peers.

Classroom organization helps students work together in small co-operative teams. The major co-operative learning activities are peer tutoring, jigsaw, co-operative projects, and co-operative interaction.

As you can see, the three main approaches outlined above are all student-centered and teachers play just supportive roles in the process of learning. They facilitate the understanding of kids in order to help produce appropriate and meaningful responses.

If you plan on becoming an early childhood education teacher you must first identify yourself with a particular approach which appeals to your own personal teaching style. It is extremely important to examine your personal values of teaching and learning in education.

Your choice of the principles will go a long way in helping you become a committed teacher. You will soon discover pleasure and fulfillment from your interaction with the kids. It is indeed a great responsibility to shape the future generation of a country.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

What it Means for you to be an Early Childhood Educator

The growing field of early childhood education has exciting potentials of cherishable professional and personal experiences. If you desire to acquire a degree in early childhood education in order to seek a job, it is important that you enjoy working with kids; you should have a strong inclination to help them mature into responsible individuals.

A degree in early childhood education holds promises of a range of career choices. You can work with kids of different age groups, depending on your specialty. The age range is normally from one to eight years. You would consider a job in this field a privilege as you can radically influence and shape the lives of young minds.

Early childhood education: types of degrees

Early childhood education courses vary depending on the kind of degree you plan to pursue; also you can do courses in child development and growth, theory, application and guidance.

Many employers expect today an academic qualification of at least an associate degree or certificate in early childhood education for the jobs of preschool teachers, daycare workers, elementary school teachers, and kindergarten teachers.

Public elementary school teachers must possess a bachelor's or higher degree. Those aspiring school administration jobs should have a PhD or a master’s degree in early childhood education. Thus the higher the qualifications, the more promising would be the career opportunities for you.

Online degrees 

Several people desirous of holding firm positions of administrators and teachers opt for online education degrees in order to maintain their current jobs. This is especially useful to those who cannot afford to bear an employment gap, and to teachers who are expected by their districts to get an advanced degree in the course of a few years after getting hired.

Online degrees in early childhood education at almost every level, from a certificate to a PhD, are provided by recognized online universities and colleges. You can obtain from such an institution a degree of your choice to suit your preferences and convenience. 

Associate degrees and certificates

To qualify for an enrollment in an associate or certificate degree course in early childhood education, you should have either a GED equivalent or high school diploma. The diploma or certificate is a short-term course that teaches basic profession or industry specific skills.

An early childhood education certificate can help prepare you for an entry-level career in childcare. An associate degree, on the other hand, is more extensive; on completion, it can offer a wider array of career advancement options.

Bachelor's degree 

If your goal is to become a public school teacher, you should earn a bachelor's degree. The degree normally takes four years for completion. Apart from covering general education prerequisites, programs in bachelor's degree in early childhood education normally focus on instructional methods for pre-kindergarten to third grade.

Almost all degrees in early childhood education involve working with young children directly. This is the best career choice for you, if you think you have an inclination towards creating a bright future for the country in general and for the young kids in particular.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Teaching Small Children Reading : Phonemic Awareness


Learning how to read with understanding can be pretty overwhelming for small kids.This is a relatively complex cognitive process for them. Before your students begin to read a printed page, they should learn to listen and understand how every spoken word is made up of individual sounds. This is an essential early step, which helps them later to develop effective reading skill. Phonemic awareness becomes relevant in this context.

What is phonemic awareness?

Every spoken word consists of one or more distinct sounds; those individual sounds combine together to form that word. The word ‘man’, for example, consists of three sounds /mmmmm/, /aaaaa/ and /nnnnn/. If the first sound /mmmmm/ is replaced by another sound /vvvvv/, we get another word ’van’. The word ‘sell’ consists of three sounds /sssss/, /eeeee/ and /lllll/.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to listen and understand what sounds go together to make a spoken word. This ability is necessary to read and understand a written word in an alphabetic writing system as a combination of letters that stand for spoken sounds.

Teaching kids phonemic awareness

A child’s capability to listen carefully plays an important role in acquiring phonemic awareness. Teachers in general skip this component of instruction: most of them presume their students are capable of listening. However, the fact of the matter is that many kids are playful and are not good listeners; they do require proper training in listening.

The game of listening

A great phonemic awareness activity that you can do with your children is to make them concentrate on noises. Once lunch is over and you’ve brought your kids back to the class, let them lie down quietly.

This is the best time to relax and to listen for external noises. Ask your kids to remain perfectly quiet, and become ‘sound spotters’ for a while. School environs are full of different kinds of noise. Ask each kid later to describe the noises heard. Each answer will depend entirely on listening ability.

The ‘moo … moo’ game

This is a simple, yet effective game. Ask all the kids to sit in a circle. One child lies down at the center of the circle, covering eyes with hands. Another kid takes position in a corner of the classroom and makes the ‘moo … moo’ sound of a cow.

The child lying down is asked to listen to the sound, and point the direction from where the sound comes. The kid now takes position in another corner of the room and makes a different animal sound. Yet another kid, lying down with eyes covered, points to the direction of the sound. This is a great game as it gives children training in listening intently for sounds.

Use of rhymes

Rhymes are words with similar sounds usually at the end of words. Use of rhymes is another effective tool that promotes phonemic awareness. Using this technique with word play helps children understand that sounds (within a language) have meaningful patterns.

Remember, rhyming is a foundational skill that leads to recognition of sound patterns in print. One of the best ways to familiarize the kids with rhyming is by reading out to them interesting rhyming books, songs and poems.

In my jar

Put into a jar, pictures of common objects, which can be used to form simple rhymes; make sure there are enough pictures for every kid to take turns. Make the kids stand in a circle. Choose a picture from the jar, for example, that of a hat. Say aloud to the class, “In my jar, there’s a hat”. Repeat it a couple of times.

Now, ask a kid strong in rhyming to say another word that rhymes with ‘hat’. Help the child come up with a similar structure “In my jar, there’s a cat”. Once the child has given a correct rhyming word, pass on to her/him the jar. Now the child has to select a second picture and continue the game with yet another child. Every child takes turn in a similar way to play the rhyming game.

Syllables

It is important for kids to observe and understand how words are composed of smaller segments called syllables; these segments of sounds combine together to make meaningful words.

The objective is to familiarize the kids with individual consonants/vowels that make up syllables. But children should first work on the idea of ‘parts of words’. It is best to begin with bigger portions of words, and eventually progress towards the discrete smaller units of sounds.

As an early childhood teacher, you should construct imaginative contexts for the kids to acquire phonemic awareness in fun and exciting ways! There is no need to stick to traditional monotonous lessons. All you have to do is to create games that will ensure fun and active interest in every class.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Shared Reading: Towards Effective Cognitive Development of Preschoolers

Social Context

Children are exposed to a highly social environment from the day they are born. The world in which they have to grow up consists inevitably of not only siblings, parents, teachers, other people and things – living and non-living, but also values, opinions and prejudices.

All of them constitute strong, ever-burgeoning stimuli, in the context of which the cognitive development of children is triggered.

Reading and cognitive development

At the age of 3–5 years, thinking skills of preschoolers undergo tremendous change. Their capacity for using representational symbols to signify people, objects, and events become more complicated. In addition, preschoolers start to apply logic to their thinking process, and ask why and how things work in the world.

A great way for teachers to sharpen the thinking skills of preschoolers is shared reading of quality books; it helps promote aspects of cognition like problem solving, reasoning, symbolic play, memory, metacognitive knowledge, and social cognition. Here are a few ideas for you to help encourage cognitive development of your kids.

Reasoning and problem solving through reading

During preschool years, children try to explain how any stuff works. At times their explanations may seem far-fetched: their series of ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions show a real desire on their part to solve problems, and reason about the bases of events.

To develop the natural curiosity of these toddlers, teachers must pose questions that are thought provoking. They must help children in understanding the natural causes behind certain phenomena, to promote their cognitive development beyond simple recognition of superficial transformations in the looks of things.

Symbolic play

Another striking trait of preschoolers is their ability to participate in symbolic representation. A box can become a car, while a block may become a phone. They start to display an understanding of the many differences between what is unreal and what is real.

Teachers must encourage make-believe play during the preschool years. Kids associate themselves often with characters in storybooks. Hence it would be rewarding for them to read books that depict little children, animals or other characters that engage in symbolic play; it is a great method that can inspire children to participate in pretend play in their own unique ways.

Memory

Memory of preschoolers is affected by their previous knowledge. Kids of this age tend to remember new ideas and concepts more easily in relation to previous knowledge about the particular subject on hand; it is not so, when they know little about a certain topic.

Also, kids of age 3-5 years remember new concepts more easily, if introduced in meaningful contexts, or through hands-on experience.

Social Cognition

Social cognition basically means thinking of others. As children start to develop new cognitive skills, they tend to have increasingly deeper perception of how the social world works around them.

It is an excellent way for teachers to strengthen social cognition through reading stories that portray feelings and emotions of people in relation to their behaviors and thoughts.

Effective cognitive development during preschool years helps kids to play, communicate, and apply logic in ways that might have been impossible in toddlerhood. With proper knowledge and planning of cognitive growth during these years, teachers can easily promote cognitive development through the everyday activity of story time reading.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

How You can Teach Kindergarten Students Understand Instructions

One of the best things about a new school year is that you are given the opportunity to start afresh. You get to choose a new way to decorate your class room, organize your class schedule, etc.

One of the most important areas you need to focus on is helping your KG students learn right behaviors from the very start. You need to give them instructions, and they need to understand your instructions. How will you go about it? Here are a few guidelines for you to make these kids understand instructions.

Introducing instructions

For most kindergartners, it will be the first time they are introduced to a structured school setting; they may not therefore understand the concept of instructions. You have to pronounce and spell out to them each instruction loudly and clearly.

You can use cards with visual instruction cues. Explain the activity you are about to carry out with the kids; first give them a model of what you want them to do: give them an example of an activity yourself.

Make use of your magnetic instruction cards for visually reinforcing the activity. For instance, if you want to instruct them to write their name on a piece of paper, put up a cue or an icon representing “name” on the board next to number one. Repeat the activity yourself a couple of times for reinforcement.

Second, if you want to instruct them to color an outline, then put up the “coloring” icon on the board next to number two; name the activity orally, point to the icon/cue and do the activity yourself; go through the sequence a couple of times.

The kids, in turn, observe the steps, repeat after you every step, have enough practice to understand the instruction, and carry it out to your satisfaction.

Make sure the icon cards for the activities of the day are on the board in the proper numbered sequence. Go through each instruction together with the kids, now giving oral instruction: you say aloud the number, and the kids listen carefully and respond with the right action.

Reinforcing behaviors

The behaviors kids need to learn are for life, and therefore should be learnt forever. Behaviors positively and sufficiently reinforced remain for life. There are two kinds of reinforcements – group and individual reinforcements.

Group reinforcements

Group reinforcement is an effective way of involving a class to work as a group. If every kid works quietly and as directed, displaying a desired behavior, then the entire class is rewarded.

A great group reinforcement strategy is to use an appropriately sized marble jar as a tool to reward desired behaviors. The methodology consists of offering positive feedback on an instance of a desired behavior; it may be that of an individual in a group or of the group.

A marble is put into a transparent jar kept on the table each time the expected behavior is displayed.  When the jar is full of marbles, the class as a whole is awarded a group reward.

The strategy is almost always successful, because marble jars are visual and publicized proofs of rewards earned.

Individual reinforcement

Give every child a sticker book. The reward is a sticker on the sticker book, each time a kid displays the right behavior. This will help encourage the kids display the same behavior confidently with understanding.

These ideas can help you manage your classroom activities better. Do not despair, if the kids fail to respond to your cues. They will eventually, as they become more and more familiar with classroom activities.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Early Childhood Education Technology: Some Trending Tools You should be Familiar with

Children, these days, are crazy about technology. And it’s extremely important to ensure that students are given enough exposure to learn how to use current technological tools. Early childhood education curriculum should integrate important technical skills too.

Such an education not only reinforces learning and student engagement, but also equips them for life and attractive career opportunities. Here are some trending technical tools that teachers can use to achieve better outcomes.

Websites

There are numerous interactive websites for children that provide tons of self-learning materials: such websites require little teacher help; those materials can charm kids, and keep them actively engaged both at home and school.

Educational video sites

There is no need for teachers anymore to search their school library or DVD collections: lots of educational videos are available with a couple of clicks of the mouse. Media sites such as YouTube, enables teachers to share instructional materials including audio recordings, videos, and photographs.

Enriching apps

Bringing iPads to the classroom is a great way to generate learning interest. There are quite a few popular applications for preschoolers like Alpha Tots, Beck and Bo, Bubble Guppies and Doodle Math. They are programmed to teach kids the alphabet, numerals, shapes and colors by grade level, age, and subject matter.

E-books

Apart from the high-interest texts that schools provide, teachers can also take advantage of websites featuring popular e-books online, such as TumbleBooks, Disney Digital Books, and the like. Storyline Online, a popular website that is run by the Screen Actors’ Guild Foundation contains videos of famous actresses and actors reading aloud for kids popular children’s books.

Collaborative Resources

Another popular source of learning for children is video chatting with children in other local schools, or those in other districts, countries and states. They can share thoughts with other students through the Internet. You can still encourage children to benefit from writing to pen pals. However, these websites offer a different level of cultural contact that is deeper than that of written communication.

Online behavior management systems

Online behavior management software can help in managing classrooms online. Such software can allow teachers to award points to students for display of higher order skills such as helping others, involved participation in activities, showing insight, exercising creativity, working meaningfully hard, and the like. The software can easily be accessed from a smart phone or tablet or even a school computer.

You should help your kids get the best from the latest technology. It’s extremely important for you to have a solid understanding of the features and functions of the newest tools, before you start making use of them.

One of the best ways to get properly trained in this area is to get enrolled in an early childhood education training course. These programs are designed to help you acquire the technology, and use it effectively for shaping young minds. For nurturing life-long learners in your classroom, you must be a life-long learner yourself.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Early Childhood Education as a Profession: The Benefits a Virtual Classroom can Offer You

Online learning and virtual classrooms have opened up enormous opportunities to millions of people, who do not have access to the education they are badly in need. Among the biggest beneficiaries are those who, because of time, distance or logistic constraints, are unable to access the benefits of traditional classroom learning. The main components of the system of virtual classrooms are listed below, in order to help you appreciate its wonderful benefits.

Definition of a virtual classroom

In its most basic form, a virtual classroom is an online gathering and interaction of students and instructors, who are able to communicate with each other. They can view instructional materials like videos and presentations, discuss the concepts presented and continue to develop their learning online, either individually or in work groups.

No geographical limitations

There are no geographical limitations on a virtual classroom. Students and instructors can be located in their own homes, or anywhere else and they will be able to participate in the learning experience. What is needed is a computer with an internet connection.

Flexibility of interaction and the use of study materials

It is often possible to record the proceedings of a virtual class; the contents of a module can thus be reviewed again at your convenience, to clear any doubts or reinforce a learning point. An adjunct of the virtual classroom is the ’24 x 7’ availability of study material; you can work at hours most convenient to you.

This benefit can be extended to the creation of study groups where teams of students can work together on course materials or projects at times and frequency suitable to the members of the group.

One-on-one interaction

Many virtual classroom systems facilitate one-on-one interaction between students and instructors. Since learning hurdles are student-specific, this facility is immensely beneficial, especially to students, who require individual and more focused guidance, to overcome their learning problems.

Proven efficiency

E-learning and virtual classrooms have been around for almost as long as the internet. In these decades, the system has proven itself to be extremely efficient with an excellent methodology. Qualifications obtained online are in no way inferior to those received via traditional classroom learning.

Affordable cost

Without the need to maintain the vast physical infrastructure of classrooms, study halls, etc., the cost of virtual classroom education is much lower than that of the traditional system. This benefit is passed on to students who find this mode of learning very affordable.

In addition, the cost and time spent on physically commuting to a traditional learning center is saved. The only investment required from the students is a computer with internet connection, microphone and speakers, all of which are already available in most homes.

Virtual classrooms and e-learning are effective in almost any field of learning. It is most useful to those who have personal commitments, which just cannot accommodate traditional classroom learning into their schedules; there are others located in places where the learning they want is not available.

Early childhood education is a field where virtual classroom learning has truly proven its worth. Obtaining qualifications via e-learning offers a convenient way for you to enter this rewarding profession. Also, it can benefit you if you are already in it, and want to acquire the tools to move ahead in this field.