Author Archives: Daily Genius Staff

Education

Less testing, more play – Why Finland's education is better than the US

Finland keeps coming top, or close to the top, of the education charts. Even the Finns are rather bemused by it. So the education world is full of theorising about it.

This is another take on it, this time from the World Economic Forum, but this time with direct comparisons to the US education system. And, it seems, it’s a case of less is more: less testing, less homework – but more state subsidies for education and more status and higher pay (and better work/life balance) for teachers.
 
See also:
http://dailygenius.com/theres-homework-finland-schools-special/
http://dailygenius.com/whats-the-formula-for-success-for-finlands-schools/

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Education Health

Why the ‘time-out’ doesn’t make for better behaviour from children

Most parents who use time-outs to discipline their kids don’t do it in ways that can encourage better behavior, a recent U.S. study suggests.

More than three in four parents reported using time-out in response to misbehavior, the study found. But 85 percent of the parents using the technique made common mistakes that can render time-outs ineffective, including giving kids too many warnings, talking to kids or letting them play with toys during their punishment or even get them new toys from the top 9 rated toys of this year.

“The biggest mistake in my clinical experience is that parents do too much talking, and that was true in the study, too,” said lead study author Andrew Riley of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

“If parents are talking to their kids during time-out, it’s not boring enough and might not work very well,” Riley added. “Explanations are fine, but should wait until the time-out is over.”

Spanking and hitting children to discipline them has become much less common in recent decades as more parents choose non-physical approaches like time-outs instead. A recent U.S. study suggests that only around 21 percent of mothers think physical discipline is appropriate, and 81 percent endorse time-outs as an alternative.

Effective time-outs start right after the bad behavior occurs, lack elaborate warnings or explanations and involve withholding stimuli like attention from other people or access to books and toys, researchers note in Academic Pediatrics.

To see how well parents are putting their theories about non-physical discipline to work in day-to-day life, researchers analyzed survey data collected during well-child visits from 401 parents of kids aged 15 months to 10 years.

Overall, 74 percent of parents believed in disciplining kids by taking away a privilege, 64 percent supported scolding or reprimanding children and just 7 percent endorsed spanking, the study found.

One in four parents, however, believed in giving in to the child and 5 percent supported doing nothing at all in response to bad behavior.

To support good behavior, 83 percent of parents believed in praising and giving extra attention to children and 69 percent endorsed rewarding kids.

When parents used time-outs, most often it was in response to aggression or destructive behaviors.

About 70 percent of parents who used time-outs said it was effective.

Parents who found this method effective were more likely to give children just one warning before the punishment, provide a clear reason before time-out, set a clear duration for time-out and require the child to be calm to end the time-out.

Limitations of the study include its reliance on parents in one urban community to provide insight on time-outs, which may mean their responses aren’t representative of how discipline works in families nationwide, the authors note.

Still, the findings highlight a lack of certainty many parents feel about the best way to discipline their children, said Heidi Feldman, a researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine in California who wasn’t involved in the study.

“If parents are uncertain about whether to discipline, rather than delivering a clear statement, ‘one more time and you will need to go to time out,’ they bargain or warn repeatedly or offer justifications during the time out,” Feldman said by email.

Another problem is parents often use time-out when they’re angry, Feldman said.

“If they administer the time out in anger, they may yell and frighten the child,” Feldman added. “If the child becomes upset, then the procedure loses its effectiveness.”

Ideally, parents should model good behavior that shows kids the rules and values they should follow.

“Consistency of the message also helps,” Feldman said.

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Education Health

Why the 'time-out' doesn't make for better behaviour from children

Most parents who use time-outs to discipline their kids don’t do it in ways that can encourage better behavior, a recent U.S. study suggests.
More than three in four parents reported using time-out in response to misbehavior, the study found. But 85 percent of the parents using the technique made common mistakes that can render time-outs ineffective, including giving kids too many warnings, talking to kids or letting them play with toys during their punishment or even get them new toys from the top 9 rated toys of this year.
“The biggest mistake in my clinical experience is that parents do too much talking, and that was true in the study, too,” said lead study author Andrew Riley of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
“If parents are talking to their kids during time-out, it’s not boring enough and might not work very well,” Riley added. “Explanations are fine, but should wait until the time-out is over.”
Spanking and hitting children to discipline them has become much less common in recent decades as more parents choose non-physical approaches like time-outs instead. A recent U.S. study suggests that only around 21 percent of mothers think physical discipline is appropriate, and 81 percent endorse time-outs as an alternative.
Effective time-outs start right after the bad behavior occurs, lack elaborate warnings or explanations and involve withholding stimuli like attention from other people or access to books and toys, researchers note in Academic Pediatrics.
To see how well parents are putting their theories about non-physical discipline to work in day-to-day life, researchers analyzed survey data collected during well-child visits from 401 parents of kids aged 15 months to 10 years.
Overall, 74 percent of parents believed in disciplining kids by taking away a privilege, 64 percent supported scolding or reprimanding children and just 7 percent endorsed spanking, the study found.
One in four parents, however, believed in giving in to the child and 5 percent supported doing nothing at all in response to bad behavior.
To support good behavior, 83 percent of parents believed in praising and giving extra attention to children and 69 percent endorsed rewarding kids.
When parents used time-outs, most often it was in response to aggression or destructive behaviors.
About 70 percent of parents who used time-outs said it was effective.
Parents who found this method effective were more likely to give children just one warning before the punishment, provide a clear reason before time-out, set a clear duration for time-out and require the child to be calm to end the time-out.
Limitations of the study include its reliance on parents in one urban community to provide insight on time-outs, which may mean their responses aren’t representative of how discipline works in families nationwide, the authors note.
Still, the findings highlight a lack of certainty many parents feel about the best way to discipline their children, said Heidi Feldman, a researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine in California who wasn’t involved in the study.
“If parents are uncertain about whether to discipline, rather than delivering a clear statement, ‘one more time and you will need to go to time out,’ they bargain or warn repeatedly or offer justifications during the time out,” Feldman said by email.
Another problem is parents often use time-out when they’re angry, Feldman said.
“If they administer the time out in anger, they may yell and frighten the child,” Feldman added. “If the child becomes upset, then the procedure loses its effectiveness.”
Ideally, parents should model good behavior that shows kids the rules and values they should follow.
“Consistency of the message also helps,” Feldman said.

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Education

Fewer parents spank their children for discipline

Spanking and hitting children to discipline them has become much less common in recent decades as more parents choose non-physical approaches like “time-outs” instead, a U.S. study suggests.
Since 1988, the proportion of middle-income mothers who think physical punishment is appropriate has dropped from 46 percent to 21 percent, the study found.
Over that same time, the share of mothers endorsing time-outs surged from 41 percent to 81 percent.
“Support for corporal punishment has been falling at least since the 1990s, in part due to social science research that suggests spanking is linked to negative outcomes for children like delinquency, antisocial behavior, psychological problems, and alcohol and drug abuse,” said lead study author Rebecca Ryan, a psychology researcher at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“There is also little evidence that spanking or other forms of physical discipline are effective in the long term at reducing unwanted child behaviors or encouraging children to internalize – to really believe in – parents’ rules,” Ryan added.
To examine trends in child discipline over time, researchers examined data from four surveys of caregivers of kindergarten-aged children conducted between 1988 and 2011.
Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment declined across all income and education levels during the study period, researchers report in Pediatrics.
Across all income levels, the percentage of mothers saying they would hit or spank their child in response to misbehavior dropped by 20 to 26 percent.
The percentages of mothers reporting that they had spanked or hit their child within the past week also decreased for all income levels by 26 to 40 percent.
During the later years of the study, at least since 1998, the differences between higher and lower income parents in their use of time-outs have shrunk.
However, almost one-third of the lowest-income mothers in the study said they endorse physical discipline and roughly one in four of them report doing this at least once in the past week.
One limitation of the study is that it included a large proportion of lower-income participants, which may have led researchers to underestimate differences in discipline approaches by income level, the authors note.
The study also relied on mothers to accurately describe their approach to discipline, excluding fathers, who may be more likely to favor a physical approach to punishment, the authors note.
Even so, the findings mirror other research documenting a decline in maltreatment and physical abuse of children since 1990, which suggests the changes in behavior reported over time most likely reflect an actual reduction.
When it comes to discipline, non-physical discipline is far better than the alternative because it helps children learn what they should and should not do all of the time instead of just forcing them to stop what they are doing in one particular moment, said Dr. Heidi Feldman, a researcher in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California who wrote an accompanying editorial.
It’s also safer to refrain from spanking and other types of corporal punishment because this is linked to lower odds of physical abuse, Feldman added.
“Physical discipline teaches that violence is acceptable,” Feldman said.
“Non-physical discipline is compassionate: children are inexperienced in the world,” she continued. “Many times their misbehavior arises from poor control of their behavior or emotions. They need our understanding and education. Discipline is education.”

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Education Health

Even just thinking about digital devices can keep children awake

Children and teens with access to tablets and smartphones at night don’t get enough sleep and are sleepier during the day, whether or not they use the devices, according to a new review.

The review of 20 previous studies found kids using portable media devices around bedtime were more than twice as likely as kids who didn’t use them to have short sleep times, but so were kids who had access to such devices at night but didn’t use them.

“A lot of people argue that it’s the device light emission that leads to sleep outcomes, but even if you’re not using it, even having the presence of the device near you affects sleep,” said lead author Ben Carter of King’s College London.

“My personal view is it’s due to continuous stimulation from things like social media engagement,” and that there may be a similar relationship with adults, Carter said.

“Your social group is active and you can be thinking about it,” he said. “If I text a loved one an hour before bed then I’m hoping I might get a reply.”

The reviewers included studies of children aged 6 to 19 years that measured exposures to portable media like tablets and smartphones, but excluded studies that looked at television, personal computers or sources of electromagnetic radiation. In total, the included studies covered more than 125,000 children.

Bedtime media device use was consistently linked to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and poor daytime function due to sleepiness. Bedtime device use was also tied to insufficient sleep times of less than 10 hours per night for children and less than nine hours for teens.

Kids with bedtime access to these devices at least three times a week around bedtime, or with a device in the sleep environment, also had poorer measures of sleep quality and quantity than kids with less or no access, according to the results in JAMA Pediatrics.

“It’s normal to wake up during the night but when the phone is there, many people instead of just turning over will tap on the phone ostensibly to check the time, will see 15 text messages from their buddy or whatever, then 2 hours later they’re going back to bed,” said Dr. Charles Czeisler, director of the Sleep Health Institute and chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“It’s very engaging technology and when it’s present in the bedroom it reduces sleep duration,” said Czeisler, who coauthored an editorial alongside the review.

Two-thirds of teens leave a device on while sleeping in bed at night, and turning the device off or moving it to another room can make a big difference, he said.

“Device use is ubiquitous and they are hugely beneficial in some cases,” Carter said. “However we need to recognize that there are negative consequences of some device use.”

Some devices can be programmed to switch off at a certain hour, which Carter would strongly encourage, he said.

Poor sleep has been tied to many health outcomes, among them dementia, Carter said. “Sleep is an exposure that we take for granted, is free and we don’t take enough notice of it.”

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Education Work

Microsoft's Hololens to improve the museum experience

Microsoft calls its new HoloLens the world’s first fully self-contained, holographic computer. It’s designed to allow users to interact with high-definition holograms via their headsets – and these Delft University of Technology students want to use it to revolutionise museum visits.
The students  teamed up with the Rijksmuseum Van Oudheden to scan the ancient Egyptian Temple of Taffeh, reconstructed on the premises in 1971.

 
Erik Höglund, Delft researchers says: “We’re going to go to the temple and scan it, scan the room, and environment inside the temple, outside, everything – and then we can get these 3D models through different software we can replicate this in the computer and then add on features such as images, movies, illustrations, animations, as well as features where you can press, scale, get closer, interact with, and all that.”
The headset could allow visitors to improve their museum experience, as Annelies Maltha, another Delft researchers says: “Right now 80 percent of the stuff that they have at the museum they cannot show, and that’s a shame because there are so many beautiful artefacts and there are so many hidden secrets, so to speak, of the past that people cannot see. So by using the HoloLens people can virtually visit the exhibit and see so much more.”
The project should be finished early next year. The HoloLens is already available in North America and goes on sale in Europe and Asia in November, costing $3,000.

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Education

9 Great Back-to-School Activities

Though some students have been back to school for as long as a month now, this week and next mark the true end of summer and last wave of back-to-school days for many students across the US. With teachers trying to get their classrooms in order and learn about their students, and students trying to keep their schedules, classes, and first homework of the year straight, there’s a lot of “figuring stuff out” happening.

See Also:  55 Google Tips For Heading Back to School

To help keep things running smoothly, we’re sharing one of our most popular graphics: a few great back-to-school activities to help you get to know your students. Through these fun, easy activities, you’ll get to know your students and they’ll learn about one another, too.What do you do in your classroom to help your students get to know one another (and you!) and to foster a community environment? Share your favorites with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment or by mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter – we’ll retweet it and share your ideas!

Great back-to-school activities to get to know your students

  • The silent line- a silent challenge to promote group dynamics
  • Ready, set, group- a grouping and re-grouping activity to help students find common ground
  • Toss the name ball – an active variation on the name game that helps with memory
  • Cross if you… – a simple activity for any age that helps groups make connections among individuals
  • Snowball fight – a fun game that helps students express their hopes, fears, goals, etc
  • Truth vs. lie -a 3 sentence way to have your group get to know a bit about one another
  • Foodie friends – a fun, easy variation of a basic name game to get everyone’s name out there to remember!
  • A poem about me – a 5-7 line poem with each line’s subject delineated by the teacher. Instructions/subjects can vary by class and age group – unlimited possibilities!

Getting-to-know-you (1)

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Education

How to help every child fulfil their potential

The RSA Animate series from the Royal Society for the Arts in London are always excellent, and this is no exception.
This, on how to make children achieve their potential, offers some challenges to the way we view encouragements and how we should motivate them.
For anyone who has ever wondered why kids say they’re bored at school, or why they stop trying when the work gets harder, educationalist Carol Dweck explains how the wrong kind of praise actually *harms* young people.
An excellent, and educational short for anyone who deals with children in almost any capacity -from teachers and education workers to relatives and friends – and will totally revolutionise the way you interact with children.

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Education

6 Kid-friendly search engines for the classroom and home

Search: that thing you do when you need to know something. Years ago, we may have asked questions or looked in books for answers, but now, we turn to the web. The internet may be a wealth of information, but we all know that not all information available on the web is appropriate for all ages – even when you’re searching for something innocent and legitimate.
For search, Google may still be king, but how can you ensure that your students are only going to find kid-friendly search results? Even if sometimes the site content is “safe”, advertisements may not be. Luckily, there are a number of different search engines available that were designed with kids in mind.
In the handy infographic below, you’ll find six different search engines for kids. Depending on the task at hand, these search engines may not find older students all the information they need, due to some of the filters applied, so you’ll find that these are most appropriate for kids up to middle school aged. You’ll notice most of them are pretty similar, so it’s more about finding the one you like than about features.
Do you have some favorite kid-friendly search engines that you use in your classroom or at home? Share with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, heading over to our  and giving us a shout there, or dropping us a line on Twitter.

6 Kid-friendly search engines for the classroom and home

Kidzsearch
Kidzsearch is basically a site that runs a ‘custom’ Google search, and only returns “strict” results. While that in and of itself isn’t super special, it saves you and your students from having to set up custom searches in Google and instead is a totally separate website, so the students won’t be tempted to search other channels or use less safe settings.
KidRex
KidRex is also another custom Google search, returning “strict” results. It emphasizes kid-centric content and has a super cute design to boot.
Kidtopia
Kidtopia: Yes, it’s another custom Google search web page (are you seeing the theme here?), but this one additionally offers some subject-based browsing ability. For example, you can head over to “Science and Technology” and then “Human Body” to find some videos on the human body along with the search bar and some related links to resources curated by the folks at Kidtopia.
Teach the Children Well
Teach the Children Well is a collection of links to sites carefully selected by a teacher
for students as well as their parents and teachers. Users can browse by topic or use a custom Google search that returns “strict” results.
GoGooligans
GoGooligans is designed for younger students, and functions as a custom Google search returning “strict” results. The makers of this site also offer a version for slightly older students as well, as well as the ability to view “student” results and “teacher” results (both are filtered).
KidsClick
KidsClick is an annotated searchable directory of websites created for kids by librarians. Searchable by subject, reading level and degree of picture content. We think you’ll find this one particularly useful for the younger students.
6-Kids-Safe-Search-Engines-Infographic
 
Featured image via Flickr

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Education

4 Ways to Reverse Image Search on Your Phone

A couple of years back, Google introduced Reverse Image Search, allowing users to search for information with an image rather than words. This was great news for anyone who has ever wanted to know details of a particular picture or item that they’ve found online (or taken a photo of!), but the feature has been limited to desktop use. The feature to reverse image search was only available on the desktop edition of Google Image Search. While Google’s own search app offers an image search, we’ve found it to be slow and inefficient – simply not the best tool for the job.
Since so many folks use mobile devices to access the internet, desktop-only access was a bummer to many. Luckily, a number of developers thought so too, and now there is a selection of apps and web services available that allow you to reverse image search from your mobile device. Reverse image search is a great way for students to discover more information about the images they have, and you can create a variety of classroom tasks centered around searching for information with images. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tools below. If you have a favorite tool that we haven’t included, let us know! Share with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, dropping us a line on Twitter, or heading over to the Daily Genius Facebook Page and leaving us a note there.

4 Ways to Reverse Image Search on Your Phone

From your mobile browser: Tech guru Amit Agarwal has put his skills to work making a wrapper for Google’s tool that works on mobile browsers. First, ensure that you’ve saved the photo you want to search with to the Galley on Android or to Photos on your iOS device. Simply point your browser here, click the ‘Select Image’ button, and upload the photo you want to search with. Click ‘Search’, and voilà. The developer, Agarwal, says that the tool doesn’t share any information with other apps, so you don’t need to worry about student privacy.
Google Goggles
Goggles is a free Android App from Google that not only allows users to reverse image search, but can also search text in multiple languages and functions as a QR code reader. As a free app, it offers a lot of bang for your (non!) buck in the classroom.
Veracity
Veracity is a free iOS app that allows users to upload photos from the Camera Roll or Dropbox and search to find the original source of the photo online, as well as information about the image. The app offers a simple and easy to use interface, and offers a clipboard where you can save images to search.
Blippar
Blippar is already a popular app for classrooms, and while it may not be the focus of the tool, it offers the ability to search for information based on an image. We’ve talked about this awesome augmented-reality app before, and a simple reverse image search is really an overly simplified version of what it can do. Blippar can trigger videos by scanning the photo, and students can be challenged with associated quizzes, animations, and follow-up reading.
 

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