All posts by Probytes Pune

Coding for Kids: Making Them Future Ready

With technology becoming a part of our daily lives, no better time to learn how to code than during the curious and observant state of childhood.

When kids are introduced to the concepts of programming early on, a host of advantages can be derived by them in addition to staying abreast with new technologies that emerge from time to time.

This comprehensive blog sheds light on all the aspects concerning coding for kids in an attempt to prepare them for the road ahead.

Enlisting a number of free websites that help teach kids the various concepts of coding, this all-inclusive piece of information concludes with the future prospects of coding for students and kids.

 

What is coding and what is it used for?

Coding, according to how a layman understands is a set of instructions through which you will guide the computer to do what you want it to do. That means, coders will key in step-by-step commands for the computer to understand and follow.

Any computer will exactly execute all the actions that you want it to perform. But the caveat here is to give correct instructions to the computer.

What is the difference between coding and programming?

Coding in simple terms is an activity of writing codes. That means a coder is a well-informed person who codes instructions from one language to another. Coding is an initial step to computer programming.

Programmingis an activity that enables an application to run on a computer without any errors. Through programming, you will instruct your computer to perform a set of operations by developing logic so as to come up with solutions to a problem.

Why every child should learn to code?

Coding is a skill that helps you interact with computers so as to obtain the desired results. it is the the need of the hour for every kid to learn how to code. Children who are taught to code will thrive for the simple reason.

They will keep pace with dynamic technological trends. Along with math and science that are taught in schools, coding, as an academic subject delivers a host of benefits to young students.

What are the benefits of coding for students?

As mentioned earlier, a plethora of benefits can be derived by kids who are introduced to learning code at a very tender age. If you as a parent are curious to know about the different ways in which coding helps your kids, here is a rundown of all the positives of learning to code early on.

1. Feeds The Creative Instincts of Kids

Coding enhances their imagination. When kids start coding, they will be exposed to a number of innovative scenarios which need to be implemented. Such instances will improve the creative instincts of young minds and sharpen them.

2. Kids Can Take Advantage of Their Age

coding is just as learning a foreign language. The faster you introduce them to this practice, the easier they will absorb  the concepts. Young kids are blessed with a photographic memory.

Coding helps to unlock and make the most of this memory which can be used to recall the fundamental topics of coding like loops, sequencing and conditional statements.

3. Paves Way for Innovation

The present generation kids are a witness to a number of revolutionary technological advancements in the form of artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. They are in awe of self-driven cars or about robots responding to human instructions.

Since all such innovations are already seeing the light of the day, it is important for kids to stay ahead of their times. And a smart idea to achieve this objective is to introduce kids to coding while they are getting ready to read and write.

4. A Multi-Disciplinary Learning Process

While parents and educators might feel that they are only helping kids to learn how to code software programs, they are actually prompting them to hone their learning abilities concerning other subjects like reading, science and math..

5. A Confidence Booster

Another evident benefit of helping kids to learn how to code manifests in the form of increased self-confidence. When kids are encouraged to learn coding, they will toy with different ideas and scenarios while creating impressive projects.

What is Computer Coding for Kids?

It is no longer a herculean task to teach your kids how to write computer programs. If you are a parent looking for simplified means to teach kids a real programming language, you can rely on a number of games, apps and programming kits like Lego Mindstorms.

Tagged as a Lego Robotics Kit, Lego Mindstorms can help kids as young as 6 years of age to churn out meaningful computer programs. This self-learning kit employs a graphical language that is very easy for the kids to understand coding.

Apart from this kit, there are certain programing languages that can help kids to code. They include Python, Java, ruby,scratch, C++.

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What are some Coding Exercises for Kids?

Most of the programming languages come with a syntax (the grammar of a computer program) This might be difficult for kids to follow and implement. Do not force them to learn the syntax. They will, either get bored or disinterested in coding.

So, all efforts have to be directed towards stripping off the syntax requirements. This can be done through fun-filled learning activities that are compelling but also informative.

Below are 5 exercises that encourage kids to code and make coding an interesting activity they will always look forward to.

1. Secret Superhero Codes

This is a secret code activity for kids that will help them learn math alongside practice handwriting. This exercise comes with a secret code generator that attaches a number to every letter in the English alphabet.

You can also teach your kids how to decode data as part of a slightly difficult learning exercise.

2. String Children’s Names

True to its name, String Children’s Names is a fun-filled coding exercise for kids. This exercise allows kids to write their names in the Binary Code (using 0s and 1s).

They can use 3 different colored beads to spell their names. Using these multi-colored beads, kids can make strings of their names using the ASCII code.

3. If-Then Backyard Coding Game for Kids

Programmers frequently use the “if-then” conditional statement which instructs the computer to perform a certain action if the given condition is fulfilled.

This backyard game calls for one kid to become a programmer (the instructor) and the rest of the playmates to become computers (the followers of instructions).

Imagine the programmer says, “If I hop, then you all will also hop”, “if I move to my left, then you all will also move to your left”. This can be an interesting game for kids of all ages as every kid will be excited to instruct his/her playmates while making others to listen to his/her orders.

4. Learn to Program

Tynker offers a number of fun-filled coding games for kids in different grades. Amongst them, Counter Hack and Toxic Jungle can introduce your kids to the world of programming; the fun way.

Counter Hack is an exciting exercise to learn JavaScript while you overpower the viruses. Saving the toxic jungle can teach kids the fundamentals of Python programming language.

5. Cargo-Bot

This is an iPad compatible exercise that will excite kids to take up the challenge of programming a robot and make it to move boxes.

What are some of the free websites that teach kids coding and programming?

Below is the rundown of 5 free websites that can excite your kids and make coding a fun-filled learning activity.

1. CodeAcademy

First in the list of free, kid-friendly and interactive websites. that teaches young kids the basics of coding is CodeAcademy. This is an online repository of simple and fun-filled exercises that resemble computer games. Kids can play these games while learning the fundamentals of coding.

2. Code Combat

Tagged as the most engaging game meant to teach adult kids how to code, Code Combat is a stimulating and interactive website.

Parents of older kids need to sign up for their kids to come online and make the most of the free knowledge imparted by this website.

3. Khan Academy

Recognized as an online directory of challenging math games for kids, Khan Academy does it bit to help kids learn programing.

Offering a number of programming tutorials, this free website deserves a special mention as it comes loaded with interactive illustrations, animations and graphics.

4. Code Monster

If you are looking for a perfect platform to teach your kids to code for free, you can checkout Code Monster. The home page featuring two boxes placed next to each other has one box that displays the code.

The other box shows kids the result of the code. Kids can toy with the code while learning how a particular command works.

5. Code.org

With “anybody can learn” as its tagline, Code.org can handhold kids to enjoy coding. Loaded with a plethora of free online resources including engaging apps, you can also check out the inspirational video that is uploaded on the home page.

What are the future prospects of coding?

Identified as a must-have skill for the future, coding can help the younger generation to become job-ready by the time they graduate from colleges..

If coding is made a part of the academic curriculum in schools, kids will be able to stretch their imagination towards building better websites promising enhanced user experience and user interface.

With coding as an acquired skill, the younger generation can diversify into related careers like consumer analytics, social media platforms and the management of activity logs.

These are the various avenues that will open the doors for the young talent to pick and choose the career they love and expand their skill set.

And if you are a coder, there can be a strong inclination in you to become an entrepreneur, heading a startup. So it is through foresight that you as parents should introduce your kids to the world of coding.

And once this mission is accomplished, you can help them settle in satisfactory jobs that are linked to technology and its advancements.

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Key Takeaways

Having spoken about coding at length, the one important revelation that you need to take back home is its universal presence.

Given the fact that you are enveloped in a blanket of websites and apps that are meant to simplify your life, it is time to teach the younger generation the fundamentals of coding.

This is a skill that is bound to take your kids places, permitting them to venture into many compelling and satisfying career opportunities.

Using Educational Technology to Foster Growth Mindset in Students

It is the role of teachers to bring up some wise strategies when it comes to handling a group of students with different thinking and aptitude.

Out of the many tested and proven educational practices, cultivating a growth mindset among students can really play the trick to help them have a better study life.

Fixed Minset vs growth mindset

The students with a fixed mindset will have a limited space for exploring the various subjects with true spirit.

A growth mindset opens them a world of opportunities in the learning phase and they can lay the foundation for a better future.

However, fostering a growth mindset among students is not an easy process and it takes a lot of patience and determination and continuous effort from the side of both teachers and parents.

The modern educational technology is now playing a key role in helping them to accomplish the task in a pretty much easier way.

Here let us have a look at the use of educational technology in fostering growth mindset in students.

  1. Tools to support learning risks and change learning path

There is a tendency for students to focus on their success always and turns away from taking risks.

However, the modern technology tools give them options to choose their own set of activities and monitor the progress with their preferred pace.

This would help them to focus more on challenging tasks and they get better over time and explore new areas.

Such tools also help:

  • Teachers to evaluate and identify the students that need additional support on handling new challenges
  • Students to track their completed works toward goals and oversee the pending or upcoming tasks
  1. Technology programs to provide continuous feedback:

Teachers and parents are not supposed to reward them only for their final grades or achievement.

But it is really necessary to give continuous feedback for their ongoing effort which helps them to excel better and get strengthened with a growth mindset.

The use of educational technology helps to do that in a more systematic way with progress monitoring indices as well as animations.

  • Options such as screens are used to show up task completion acknowledgement
  • Counters can point out the number of activities that need to be completed

With such options, the students get a real time feedback on their effort and can see the time they contribute for specific activities.

As they get some immediate reinforcement following some really challenging tasks, it can really trigger a growth mindset.

  1. Tools to visualize denotation of progress

In the earlier days, teachers used to provide grades and ranks to rate their learning and results.

However, the advanced educational technology is now offering options to visualize their progress as they could easily track the accumulated knowledge.

  • A visual representation of one’s progress can make a good impact to the growth mindset and they can build up on their competence level.
  • Such kind of tracking also lets them to identify the significance of deep learning and continuous efforts towards achieving the target.
  • Teachers can also use these data to trigger a discussion with students to assist in progress monitoring and goal setting.
  1. Technology induced personalized materials that challenge them:

The learning materials can be personalized with the help of technology to challenge students at every level of learning.

In the early days, teachers follow a responsibility model to introduce a new subject and they work out together at first and then give chance for students to explore it.

With the influence of educational technology, students can experience variations of this model.

The students who have already mastered one level can challenge them with more complicated tasks and those who are weak with the concept can seek additional support and practice.

This kind of working on self pace at their optimal challenge level in fact triggers a growth mindset and enhances their love for learning.

Moreover, students would start thinking about learning as a fun activity and not something that stresses them.

  1. Individualized practice that enables teacher support:

Similar to other body parts, brain can be considered as a muscle that can grow only if proper exercise is performed and an idle brain remains fixed.

So it is important to challenge your brain very much frequently to keep up the pace.

The educational technologies are offering them a world of opportunities to challenge the brain with out of the box strategies and approaches.

They can also consider personalized and timely feedback from tracking tools to work out on their weak areas. Moreover, teachers can also get alerted of a continuously struggling student and work out more with them on a direct mode with targeted fashion.

  1. Tools to provide supportive classrooms and trigger home-school connections:

A supportive classroom with collaborative learning options can also do the trick to stimulate a growth mindset among students.

They can challenge each other to perform better every time and take the role of peer mentors for one another. Also the modern technology is helping to establish an after school connection with parents that enables them to know their child’s progress.

The progress charts also gives them an idea about what support they should provide with a growth perspective.

  1. Educational apps exclusive to foster growth mindset:

The ultimate foundation of developing a growth mindset is helping students to embrace their mistakes.

The right mix of blended learning and gamification along with advanced educational apps help to achieve the goal with a pretty decent pace.

There are a number of apps designed to cultivate growth mindset by triggering or challenging their learning from different perspectives.

Let us have a look at some of the most commonly used apps:

  • Mind Games: It is a fun app that encourages mistakes without a down feeling. They can play in different difficulty levels by challenging their limitations.
  • Whooo’s Reading: In this app, personalized feedback is provided to help students to improve their writing. The open-ended questions make the whole stuff interesting and the feedback is sent to help them improve their scores
  • GoSoapBox: It is a set of multiple assessment tools which can be easily accessed via their devices. This helps teachers to increase engagement and address the areas that need further understanding.
  • Kaizena: This app helps students to get an immediate and real-time feedback on the works they do. Interesting part of the app is that they are given a chance to correct their mistakes to get a better grade.
  • Instructables: This app is a repository of tutorials that help students to create something on their own. They can challenge themselves with different tasks.
  • Daily Goals: The app helps them to set and track goals. The built-in analytics helps them to learn their progress and track the areas that needed improvement.
  • Be The Change: Students are challenged with achievable goals every day. They can even discuss each goal a week with their peers to learn the different ways through which others achieved it.
  • It is not just the weak performing students that need attention but also those who excel in the studies. Let them taste the bitterness of failures at times which help them to face any odd situation of downfalls in future.

    Every student should be handled in such a way that they can understand the equal importance of the final success as well as the continuous effort throughout the learning process.

    Educational technology has been the ubiquitous element of the classroom as a part of transformation and advancement towards a smart environment. It could play a major part in planting the seed of growth mindset in the minds of students.

    Let them learn in a classroom setting where they don’t fear about mistakes and easily share their views which help them to grow up with confidence.

    11 Best Learning Websites to Nurture Student Curiosity

    The internet boom is facilitating students and elders alike to browse websites that contain volumes of information.

    Tagged as a leisure-time friend of students, it is through the World Wide Web that they can satiate their inquisitiveness.

    You name a topic and you have a website that provides tons of information.

    If you are looking to nurture the curiosity of students, here are some websites that will ensure that your ward makes the most of his/her internet time.

    Below are the repositories of online information that will enable students to lay hands on educational and productive facts that will make learning interesting and safe.

    1. How Stuff Works

    The student fraternity is always seen interested in interrogative pronouns, namely: “how”, “what” and “why”. In an attempt to fulfill the curiosity of students, you can check out the HowStuffWorks.com which is loaded with interesting articles about games, current events and quizzes.

    You also have videos which provide the much-needed audio visual experience to learning via the internet. Providing answers to the most common or unusual queries that students can come up with, HowStuffWork tops the list of informative websites..

    1. Teen Reads

    Students who wish to hone their reading skills can check out this website which offers book reviews and recommendations.

    Alongside encouraging students to make reading a favorite and productive pastime, students can also pen their thoughts in the form of blogs while trying to answer FAQs that are posed on the site. All those students who are looking for the next best book to read can bank on this book reading interface.

    1. Spatulatta

    All those budding kid chefs can gain an ocean of information that is presented in a website called Spatulatta. You can browse from a wide range of interesting and delicious recipes that will tickle your taste buds, as you start to sharpen your culinary skills.

    If you are curious to know about dishes that can brighten up your mid-afternoon meals or the entrees that are rich in nutrition, Spatulatta is the noted destination.

    1. Google Earth

    “Gain a new perspective” is indeed an apt tag line that sums up the offerings of Google Earth; an educational website that encourages the curiosity in students about outer space..

    You can go on a voyage to the space from the comfort of your living room. Google Earth can become the best friend of a budding astronaut through Oceanic Tours and 3D images of celestial objects.

    Through this website, you will definitely experience the feel of having the entire world in your hands.

    1. Scratch

    Students do need a helping hand to find answers to questions that keep cropping up in their minds. One such assistance comes in the form of Scratch; an online interface loaded with interactive games, stories and interesting animations.

    This website is the noble initiative of MIT Media Lab aimed at nurturing the creative and logical thinking skills of students.

    Prompting kids to work in collaboration with each other, students can also showcase their creativity to the online community by sharing their works.

    1. National Gallery of Art for Kids – (NGAKids)

    Another interesting way to nurture the learning abilities of students interested in art history is to introduce them to NGAKids.

    This art-centric website blends information with entertainment when students share their works on their personalized online gallery.

    1. Curiosity Machine

    Living by every single word of the tag line “Imagine a better world and build it together”, Curiosity Machine is yet another online learning platform that deserves a special mention.

    This website is specially meant for kids and young students who will be encouraged to design engineering objects using common, household items.

    A host of informative videos, design contests and a user-guide engage and support curious students.

    1. Kahn Academy

    If you are looking for an all-in-one learning platform that meets the leaning needs of every student, you can bank on Kahn Academy.

    Allowing students to learn anything from science and engineering to economics and finance, this is an umbrella of information designed for students aiming to crack competitive exams like SAT, GMAT and LSAT.

    1. Brain Space

    An innovative platform loaded with more than 1 million educational subjects is now available.

    This website tagged as “Brain Space” was curated by a group of expert software engineers, education industry leaders and user-experience designers.

    This educational interface makes use of an array of flashcard models which assist students in mastering foreign languages alongside offering assistance to educate drivers.

    1. Play Kids Games

    When learning is teamed with a fun element, it leads to a promising form of edutainment.

    The fun element is, when it comes in the form of games makes learning even more interesting for students to try their hand at winning games alongside mastering their subjects.

    You can check out “Play Kids Games” as an awesome website that allows kids to master subjects like arts and music, geography, math, and vocabulary, exclusively designed for various grades starting from the 1st all the way to 8th grade.

    A number of puzzle and skill building games are sure to spark the inquisitiveness in students.

    1. Energy Kids

    All those kids who are curious to learn about science can bank upon the informative website titled “Energy Kids”.

    It is loaded with plenty of educational games, articles and activities revolving around the history, the various types of conventional and non-conventional energy options and their sources.

    Grant your kids the excitement of going on a virtual science trip through this informative website that can ignite and satiate their curiosity about various types of energy and their sources.

    Key Takeaways

    Curiosity is an attribute of humans allowing them to learn continuously through observation.

    Kids are believed to demonstrate a great deal of curiosity when they demonstrate an eagerness to discover and explore new things.

    How to create a personalized learning experience in the classroom?

    Gone are the days when students would sit glued to their benches, listening to the same lectures given out by their faculty which do not match their educational needs and capabilities.

    But with education evolving with the completion of every academic semester, students now have enormous opportunities to enjoy superior and enriching learning experiences that are bestowed by technology-driven personalized learning.

    The concept of personalized learning is a medium of instruction that curates curriculum based on the pace of learning of every student so as to meet their respective learning needs.

    If you are aiming to provide your classrooms with personalized learning experiences to students, here are all the ways in which you can live your dream.

    1. The Feeling of Being Recognized

    Personalized learning revolves around the concept of engaging students better to their curriculum and classroom studies.

    Hence, it is your ordained duty as a faculty to make your students feel important and wanted. Only when students feel that their opinions are valued will they start to open up with the faculty about their misgivings.

    Students will start to voice their feelings while becoming a part of a student community that is striving towards academic and holistic development.

    Classroom activity is enhanced when the human element makes its strong presence felt.

    1. The Technological Intervention

    It is not an overstatement to quote that the omnipotent and omnipresent technology has a say in education as well.

    Teachers across the globe can now bank on technology as a medium to exchange notes about what works in a classroom and what does not.

    Faculty can chat with their peers and see if they are on the same page as their counterparts with regard to teaching students of various IQ levels.

    A number of apps are now available for teachers to partake in discussions via online groups about classroom activities and teaching techniques.

    You can check out from a host of classroom management apps.

    Teachers, through these apps can assign homework; keep a close watch on assignment deadlines while assigning grades to students.

    These technological tools help students to track their own progress with a self-driven motive to excel in their academics.

    You can also employ these apps to engage in conversations with introvert students who are comfortable to post their opinions online rather than express them in public.

    1. Encourage Students to Narrate Their Personal Experiences

    Another wise means to get the students talking is to encourage them to tell stories about their personal experiences. Teachers can collate their inferences from the details given out by you. Teachers will hence be in a stronger position to introspect. They will get plenty of insights about how well they are teaching and the pace at which students are learning. Such information can come handy in fine-tuning teaching techniques.

    1. Facilitate Students To Exercise The Power of Choice

    Teachers should work in the direction of bringing in a sense of choice to students, allowing them to come up with suggestions about what to do next. While you can start the class with an introductory session, you can encourage your wards to list out their specifications about the next thing that should be done. When students are permitted to choose their learning pathways, they will engage themselves better with all that is being taught in class.

    Take for instance that an essay needs to be submitted by students.

    You as a teacher can infuse some excitement into the assignment by permitting your students to choose between writing a conventional essay, using their learnings to pen the script for a video that can be recorded and played to the entire class or to create an informative website about the topic. All these are innovative ways to allow students take their decisions about how they wish to assimilate knowledge. After all, you are looking to educate your students about a topic by entrusting the decision-making power in the hands of your students. Isn’t this a situation of “best of both the worlds”? They are learning while making a choice that is so close to their heart.

    1. Try Out Novel Classroom Options

    Gaps in learning mar the very purpose of education.

    While there are a specified number of classroom hours for every student to spend during his entire semester, this number is not a measure of how well students have mastered a subject.

    It is this gap in children’s education that has damaging effects as they go ahead in their lives.

    Times are changing and rather at a fast pace. If students are being taught employing the same “old school” practices, there is no room for modernism to set into education.

    It is for this reason that technology should step in as a promising educational tool.

    The concept of blended learning can be implemented as part of an in-person classroom curriculum that is delivered through e-learning software.

    Such an environment is sure to maximize the educational impact for students.

    Flipped classrooms are another option that can be implemented so that students step out of the four walls of a classroom, explore their surroundings and learn through observation.

    1. Tap The Umpteen Online Learning Options

    The traditional academic menu is now redundant. It is now the generation of assimilating information about any topic under the sun through the World Wide Web. The internet provides umpteen online learning opportunities for students to lay hands on superior-quality courses from any corner of the globe. And to encourage students to sign up for such online courses, it pays to provide incentives to online course providers. Once such provisions are brought into practice, it will prompt the concept of personalization when students through a host of online courses can attain vocational and technical trainings..

    1. Addressing the Individual Struggles of Students

    The faculty should be mindful of the fact that every child learns at his or her own pace.

    Every kid comes with a certain rate of learning that cannot become a benchmark of progress for other students.

    Having said this, it is the need of the hour for schools and educational institutions to pay attention to the learning struggles of every student.

    Take for instance that a student in his 4th grade might find it difficult to solve tricky problems that are a part of the 3rd grade curriculum.

    This might be because of the fact that the student failed to completely master the fundamentals of the earlier class.

    Such a situation raises a red flag on the “one-size-fits-all” doctrine.

    Identifying and handholding such students who have issues with learning will pave the way for personalized learning in the classroom.

    It is only when consistent and deliberate attempts are made by the school administration to support the current level of students that you will favor the concept of personalized learning.

    1. Reflect on Past Data and Inferences

    If teachers go the extra mile in carving a learning path for students based on what sort of learning activities worked in the past, it will be a big leap in the direction of engaging students.

    For some students, you can play an informative video as an introduction to a topic. For others, you can present a new concept through a face-to-face lecture.

    An online quiz can kindle the interest to learn in others. All these are different ways in which you can provide educational content to students.

    Key Takeaways

    Education is all about inspiring students to learn new concepts in a simplified manner so that they feel the urge to put in their heart and soul into what is being taught.

    It is all about meeting their individual needs with an eye towards engaging them to the topic.

    All the above tips can help educators lay the foundation for personalized learning experiences for students to choose and complete their assignments by honing their research and collaboration skills.

    Only then will they become a part of an educational system that guarantees employment in their chosen field.

    15 Apps to Help Students with Reading Ailments

    Both parents and teachers would be equally worried to give unparalleled education for students with reading and writing ailments. With advancement in modern technology, the challenge can be tackled up to a certain level.

    There are several apps that are designed by enthusiasts with the objective of helping such students and give them a better study life.

    Here let us have a look at the features and options of some of the most commonly used and top rated apps that can be used to help students with reading ailments.

    1. Voice Dream Writer:

    Even when this app is useful for everyone, it was designed to improve the life of individuals with reading ailments.

    The text to speech feature is its highlight in addition to proofreading all possible errors. The phonetic and meaning search feature also helps students with the usage of right words at the right place.

    1. Speak It!:

    This is an unparalleled text-to-speech solution that can aid a student with reading disability to catch up the content faster and better. This app is available for both the iOS and Android users.. Students can easily analyze how exactly they should pronounce phrases and the easy slide indicator helps to control pitch and speed..

    1. Dyslexic Like Me:

    Explaining dyslexia condition to a student can be a tough job but this app has made it a lot easier than you think. This app comes in the form of an interactive children’s book using which students can understand their condition in a simpler way. This app serves as a foundation to overcome the shameful stigma surrounding the illness and become proficient in all levels of reading and writing.

    1. Talk to Me:

    This text to speech application simply speaks out the word while the students type them. The app comes with support for multiple languages and voices and features Speak Speed control and Voice Pitch control. As the read out feature works in parallel with typing, students find it easy to correlate the letters and words.

    1. Easy Spelling Aid + Translator & Dyslexia Support:

    This amazing app spells the words for the students as they tap the microphone feature. The child can see the words in both upper and lower cases on their screen and also in a variety of special fonts to help with dyslexia/ dysgraphia.

    1. Soundnote:

    Whether it is drawings, audio or notes, it can be recorded all right away with this app while balancing reading-based skills. The app can effortlessly track the drawing or writing at the same time when it is recorded. One can easily type a word to reach the recorded location where that particular word is saved.

    1. First Words Sampler:

    This is a game like application which is ideal for pre-schoolers and Grade 1s which teaches them the pronunciation and spelling through fun. This amazing app is made available for free and its features are designed to offer much comfort to the child’s tiny fingers. As this app can use languages such as Spanish, Japanese, German and French, learning a new language for your child are pretty easy..

    1. Alphabet Zoo:

    Kids can be easily taught about recognizing letter-sounds through this amazing educational game. The reading skills can be improved through text and pictures of animals while having real fun. The letter-sound association with the game helps kids to grow up as successful readers and phonics instruction helps them to read better. This user friendly app is made available for free and is offered for the iOS platforms.

    1. Read&Write:

    This app works as an alternative keyboard for school students to improve their reading limitations. A friendly interface allows them to hear it loud by just touching a word or passage. The dyslexia supported word prediction and ‘speak as I type’ feature makes reading more relaxing for those with ailments.

    1. Sound Literacy:

    This app works as an instructional tool to improve phonological processing, phonemic awareness, or morphemic word building. Considering its exclusive features to help students with reading disabilities, the app was named as one among the best apps for the special needs during 2012. The app can be accessed from App Store for iOS devices.

    1. MeeGenius Children’s Books:

    The student’s reading ability can be improved and their confidence can be boosted with this app that features highlighted words and illustrations. The child’s reading skills can be nurtured with an interactive tool that is combined with classic children’s tales. This educational app is made available for both the iOS and Android users.

    1. Blio:

    This app introduces kids to a world of style, colour and presentation of words while helping them to improve their reading skills by overcoming all disabilities. This app that is available free of cost can be accessed by iOS users to perk up their reading skills with options such as flowed view, single page, dual page, or speed reading view..

    1. AppWriter:

    This application is specially designed for students struggling with reading ailments and features the special Dyslexie-font and text-to-speech options. An amazing user experience is assured with quality synthetic voices.. The top features include context based word suggestions and user profile with advanced customization options. The user can decide from the many reading strategies that suits their purpose.

    1. Word Magic:

    This app is designed for young kids to learn new words easily and understand how to spell them in the right accent. To make the stuff overall interesting, it features rewards and fun pictures along with positive reinforcement. It is ideal for kids in the age group of 3 to 6.

    1. Reader Trainer:

    This app was developed with the objective of helping learners to gear up their reading speed. This app is rated really useful for those with learning disabilities or short attention span. It is made available for both Android and iOS platforms. The app features many challenging and fun exercises along with eye-exercises that are designed to improve the retention rate.

    Online Learning: The benefits and challenges

    It is a thing of the past for students to learn by listening to a teacher who used to use the blackboard and chalk as the teaching tools.

    The age of computer-based learning allows aspirants of knowledge to lay hands on comprehensive study material provided by an online interface.

    It is through such platforms that students can complete courses that interest them, from any physical location.

    Such a learning environment in which the instructors and students are separated by space has its own set of advantages and challenges.

    Below is the rundown of the merits and demerits of computer-mediated digital learning, under their respective heads.

    The Benefits of Online Learning

    1. Convenience:

    Topping the list of advantages of online learning is the feature of convenience.

    Students will be able to attend classes, submit projects and sit for certification exams with an ease.

    Notwithstanding the fact that you are a working professional or a student, you can sign up with different online educational platforms that have globally renowned accreditations.

    The convenience factor is also delivered in the form of online classes that are independent of any physical location.

    You can gain knowledge by following the online lectures delivered by subject matter experts, from the comfort of your living room.

    While you can work at a pace that you are comfortable with, you will also have an instant access to study materials, online classes, assignments and timetables.

    Another element of convenience emerges when you are able to schedule your study time without disturbing your personal or official commitments.

    1. Options Aplenty:

    You name a specialization and you have an online course that has already extended a helping hand to thousands of online students in shaping their careers.

    When you register with an online educational platform, you will be in a favorable position to exchange notes with students from across the globe. This interaction with global students will help you gain different perspectives coming from multi-cultural backgrounds.

    1. Student-Centric:

    While you connect your personal computer to the internet, you as an online student can be at the receiving end of plenty of online offerings that are given out by renowned educational platforms.

    It is through such learning platforms that students enjoy a great deal of flexibility.

    These courses are curated in such a way that the learning needs of different types of students are taken into consideration.

    These online tutorials make room for different learning styles, alongside incorporating a number of interesting and stimulating activities for students to learn and grasp.

    This arrangement thus paves the way for students to focus on the topics that need to be mastered.

    1. Ample Career Progression Opportunities:

    Once you successfully complete an online course, you will be able to crack job interviews with an air of confidence that you are thorough with all that was taught.

    You can check out from a host of online certification courses that are open for professionals who are willing to go the extra mile in fulfilling their career dreams.

    Hiring managers across the globe are scouting for certified professionals who possess certifications from renowned online courses.

    And when you quote these certifications on your resume, you will have an edge over another job aspirant who lacks them.

    1. Feedback as a Data Point:

    As on online student, you can hone your skills through written and personalized feedback coming from your online tutors.

    Regular online assessments and their evaluations become benchmarks to your steady progress.

    While you can track your progress easily, online classes through the self-paced learning model help you uncover your strengths and weaknesses.

    1. A Perfect Learning Platform:

    You can look at distance learning as a perfect means to complete your education.

    You can choose from a wide range of specializations that are offered by these online learning platforms and pick the one that is close to your heart.

    Added to the umpteen choices of subjects, these online courses come with affordable price tags.

    The Challenges of Online Learning

    1. The Survival of the Fittest

    There can be many impediments coming in the way of your commitment to learn. There can be technical glitches with regard to internet connectivity or system problems. You need to be prepared for all these hindrances.

    What about the time that needs to be devoted by students or professionals who have signed up for an online course?

    Since there are no time constraints for online courses, it is important for online students to exercise strong time management skills so as to attend all the online classes.

    Only those students who come with a great deal of dedication and good study habits will be able to complete these courses. You also need to be an internet-savvy student so as to follow the online instructions that are given out time and again via online courses.

    Completion of online courses requires an ability to manage computer databases and files.

    1. Confusion Prevails

    In contrast to a conventional classroom setting where everything goes according to a clear cut plan, online classes do not follow routine schedules. This randomness can confuse students.

    An additional worry might emerge in the form of unavailability of an instructor when you are eager to seek an explanation to your query.

    Not all students are tech-savvy. For you to complete an online course, you need to adapt yourself to new technologies and most of the students might not be comfortable with such technological demands and changes.

    1. Lack of Personal Interactions

    Another striking challenge faced by online learning is that it is a learning environment which lacks personal interactions between you, the tutor and your classmates.

    Despite the fact that online chat rooms and discussion boards offer you some degree of the personal interactions, these conversations cannot be placed on par with those that happen in the traditional classroom setup.

    1. Not All Online Degrees Are Acceptable for Employment

    While you have signed up for an online course as part of your career advancement plan, you should be mindful of the fact that not all hiring managers attach the same weightage to all online courses.

    Distance education still comes with certain misgivings that are absent with traditional classroom learning.

    You also need to understand that your online degree or certification might not be the only tool for you to get placed in your dream company.

    Key Takeaways

    It is but a wise move to go with the flow. There is so much happening on the online front that you should not miss out on its wondrous offerings.

    One such offering is the concept of distance education that can offer a plethora of benefits to aspirants looking to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder.

    Along with a number of advantages, certain drawbacks of online learning which come from the round-the-clock format of teaching and learning can dampen the scope of formal education.

    So it is up to you to enroll yourself with an online training platform that hones your skills alongside helps you acquire advanced professional and job-centric skills.

    Game Based Learning is Correlated to Positive Learning Outcomes

    Teachers incorporate different learning strategies to help students to have a better learning experience.

    Game based learning has won much appreciation owing to the flexibility in approach and the many benefits that lead to positive learning outcomes.

    In a learning through gaming environment, students can have a more active and experiential learning as most of the times they learn by doing.

    As they get exposed to challenges in a competitive set up, students would grow up with improved spirits of learning.

    Also group gaming activities help them to better the exposure to teamwork and collaboration.

    Moreover, classroom games are a solution to engage students and gain their attention while relieving them from the boredom of regular classroom sessions.

    However, choosing the right set of games for the appropriate class levels is important and the role of teacher matters.

    Here let us have a look at the most important benefits that come across if game based learning is adopted in classrooms:

    Improved memory capacity

    Most of the games utilize the student’s memory capacity. So including more games that tests or challenges their memory can help to get better their memory power.

    Educational memory games such as bingo are widely used in classrooms that are a good means to teach mathematical expressions.

    Games such as Jeopardy are also a memory booster which can be used as a tool to revise daily lessons at the end of a class or just before exams.

    Motivates and engages students

    This is a platform for entertainment amidst many tiring text book exercises and assignments.

    The interactive experience in a gaming environment gives them a sense of achievement.

    In addition to getting unlimited fun, they get a chance to go by the rules, evaluate measurable goals, understand definitive objectives, and involve in healthy competition.

    They get easily motivated through hands-on gaming activities and this method of learn and play is a better way to engage students in classrooms.

    Enhanced computer & simulation fluency

    In this digital world, students get familiarized with the use of computer technology and internet when playing online games.

    They will learn to use the mouse, keyboard and computer techniques while getting the fun and excitement of play time.

    This gives them a chance to learn the technology without actually having the feel of studying.

    They can easily learn how to navigate between pages, browsing and adding authentication details such as ID and password while enjoying games.

    Better hand-eye coordination

    The games that are played using mouse, keyboard or gamepads are a great way to improve the hand eye coordination of students.

    They get used to managing how their hand works while responding to the actions on the screen which is equally important like other aptitude skills.

    The cartoon network games are the best option for students to enhance their overall coordination.

    In addition to these physical skills, the multi player games are a good platform for students to improve their motivation, perseverance, self control, and patience.

    Opportunities for skill-building

    The adventure and mystery games are a great way for students to improve their different skill set.

    Most of such games ask them to read different types of maps and stimulates practical thinking.

    Group gaming activities and related stuff teaches them to cooperate among a team and improves their general project management.

    Moreover, digital and non digital adventure games are a good option to teach new languages.

    The skill acquisition games help students to better their social, cognitive and physical skills.

    The mindset to explore new things helps them in their real life as well to try new things without any set back.

    Stimulate a creative mindset

    When they fail in a game once, they will come up with a better idea to pass it the next time and more.

    This is a means to stimulate a creative mindset among students as they come up with more interesting options every time.

    While finding out solutions to different game puzzles, they turn out to be more creative and imaginative.

    Creative games such as blind artist are used widely while teachers find it difficult to introduce new subjects.

    Able to give immediate feedback

    In a usual test or assignment, students will have to wait for days or weeks to know the results of their aptitude and decision making.

    However, games are a source to get immediate feedbacks and they can instantly feel good about themselves or gets a next chance to improve themselves.

    Game based learning platforms are nowadays an integral element of constructivist learning theory.

    Better cognitive growth

    Repeating the same game requires students to think about the game rules, recall the actions performed and memorize the sequence of the play levels.

    This helps them to enhance their cognitive growth and they end up having good insights and makes predictions on the game moves and outputs.

    Games give them opportunities to get deeper into understanding interrelationship of strategy and tactics.

    Stimulates faster strategic thinking & problem-solving:

    Including games that demand students to think quickly help them to respond fast to situations.

    When completing different levels of games, they get used to solving problems and think strategically which helps them to face real life situations with ease.

    They will get the ability to think out of the box and come up with interesting solutions as they pass different stages of their lives.

    Evaluate learners through multiple ways:

    Game based learning is also a platform for teachers to evaluate the learners through a number of ways.

    They can easily test their memory capacity, intelligence, problem solving skills, vocabulary and decision making skills with the way they respond to games.

    Vocabulary games like sentence race are winning much appreciation among the teachers who are finding it difficult to improve student vocabulary through regular means.

    In addition to these, they can give feedback and tips to improve their ethics, communication skills, and accountability.

    Students would be really happy if they get a chance to apply the acquired knowledge and get a relevant feedback which is possible in a game based learning environment most of the times.

    In addition to these listed benefits, the decision making skills they gain through gaming help them a lot to go successful in real world contexts.

    Also they can have a better understanding that failure is not a setback but a second chance to improve oneself.

    With such experience, students would be well prepared to easily handle large projects and execute them well through to completion.

    The advanced form of game based learning involves game designing which helps them to express content in a more systematic way which a third person understands well.

    Students who are given exposure to such learning scenarios can grow up as independent thinkers and more confident individuals.

    13 Best Accounting Software for Small Private Schools

    You will agree with the fact that every organization looks to effectively manage its finances. However, financial management with all its components is a tedious task for managers.

    When it comes to a school and its financial management, a host of school account management software are available in the market.

    It is through this software that you can effectively and efficiently keep a close watch over the student billing details, school expenditure and the employee expense details.

    Covering all the financial activities that are innate to small private schools, here is a brief rundown of the most patronized school accounting software.

    1. School Management Software

    School Management Software is one of the most patronized accounting software for schools.

    Assisting more than 3,500 schools, this software developed by RenWeb brings more than 300 core features to the table.

    It allows you to effortlessly automate classroom management and school administration.

    You can also initiate parent communication through this package which connects you to the homes of students.

    1. Skyward School Management

    If you are looking forward to enjoy a superior ERP experience with your school accounting software, it is time you check out the Skyward School Management suite.

    This software platform blends leadership with community and technology so as to extend a helping hand to school districts.

    Allowing them to operate at a higher level, this software comes across as a futuristic Student Information System (SIS) teamed with a comprehensive HR or finance business suite.

    This financial management software for private schools offers features like budget forecasting and accounts payable along with real-time postings into the general ledger.

    1. K – 12 Online

    Crafted to provide financial and accounting assistance to private, public and charter schools, K-12 Online is comprehensive and flexible accounting software.

    Serving as a customized gateway to student application, enrolment and registration, this technology enables you to get better with tuition management.

    Providing an integrated online payments platform, K-12 Online offers a host of custom forms, web-store items and reports.

    It is through the Tuition Management option that school administrators can exercise better financial control, with parents enjoying a high degree of flexibility.

    Tagged as a self-service portal, K-12 Online through its Fee Management section provides the much-needed accounting assistance to keep track of school fee payments.

    1. Tuition Management

    Tuition Management from TADS is a school accounting software aimed at empowering private schools with state-of-the-art products and services in 50 states.

    With this software by your side, you can effectively manage school admissions and enrolments along with tracking financial aid and billing transactions.

    It also offers a comprehensive Tuition and School Management module that comes with a payment processing feature.

    It is through this module that you can effectively manage the finances of your school.

    1. Veracross

    Tagged as a comprehensive school information system, Veracross is a school accounting software that is exclusively curated to meet the specific needs of private K-12 schools.

    This is a rounded campus database system that does not call for the transference of data between various modules.

    If you are looking to improve the operational efficiency of your private school, then it is time you check out this fully-integrated School Information Management System.

    1. HeadMaster

    A yet another noted school accounting software is HeadMaster; an offering of ACS Technologies.

    Alongside lending a helping hand towards efficient administration, HeadMaster, a unified Cloud-based solution simplifies billing, communication, accounting and donor tracking.

    Allowing you to maintain an up-to-date repository of student information, this software can help the concerned check tuition balances online.

    In addition to facilitating the acceptance of online and mobile payments, HeadMaster steps in to generate accurate payroll and billing details from check-ins.

    All in all, this technology provides viable solutions to all the challenges faced by schools through a unified and well-integrated database.

    1. SchoolBanks.com

    All in an attempt to assist all the K-12 bookkeepers, administrators, teachers and treasurers with their school accounts, CPUStudio came up with a school accounting software called SchoolBanks.com.

    It is through this single and integrated technology that you can efficiently track student fees and keep a close watch on the petty cash outflow.

    With SchoolBanks.com as your school accounting tool, you can generate real-time reports about the pending fees of every student.

    An additional financial assistance comes in the form of tracking consumables that are given out to students.

    Leaving no scope for any sort of processing errors, SchoolBanks.com comes across as a reliable and user-friendly school accounting technology that meets the real-time financial and reporting needs of parents, studentsand teachers.

    1. Administrator’s Plus Accounting(AP Accounting)

    Rediker Software came up with a comprehensive fund accounting technology that is specially designed for PK-12 schools called AP Accounting.

    It is through this software that your small private school can enjoy an unmatched integration of financial information and the demographic details of students.

    This technology brings to the table a host of features including accounts receivable, accounts payable, student online payments and billing details and real-time financial reporting.

    Another notable function of this software is the dual-currency provision to support the transactions of international schools.

    1. EASI

    EASI stands for Education Accounting and Student Information System.

    This is a client-server architecture based School Accounting software from Effexoft which consists of 27 well-integrated and interactive modules.

    Some of them are: academic automation, fee automation, transport automation and office automation.

    Serving the financial needs of private schools, this technology simplifies the procedures of billing and invoicing while assisting in fund accounting, general ledger and payroll management functions of schools.

    1. The School Cash Suite

    The School Cash Suite is a product of KEV Group; an enterprise recognized as a leader in providing School Activity Fee Management functions to a number of small private schools.

    This technology essentially meets the specific financial needs of K-12 schools.

    It also allows you to seamlessly automate a number of fund-related functions like collection, management and disbursements.

    The School Cash Suite ensures a high degree of accuracy concerning the management and accounting of cash and check transactions that take place with school activity funds.

    1. eFinancePLUS

    Specially curated for K-12 private and charter schools, eFinancePLUS offers the dual management of finances and human resources.

    Along with the management of accounts payable, billing and invoicing and fund accounting, eFinancePLUS lends a helping hand in the automation of payroll management and general ledgers managed by schools.

    SunGard K-12 Education offers this cost-effective software so that all the private schools can make the most of its fiscal management capabilities.

    1. SAF School Management Software

    SAF School Management Software is a simple-to-use ERP software that is curated to provide effective school accounting management services to private schools in Nigeria.

    Independent of the school type, this software can be integrated to manage the fiscal details of a nursery, primary or secondary school.

    Permitting to bring administrators, parents, students and teachers on to the same page, this is a viable option to compute, compile and manage school finances along with other school management processes.

    Essentially meant to support the various school management processes, you will be able to use this technology as a single-window platform.

    Accounts payable, billing and invoicing, budgeting and forecasting and management of general ledger are some of the essential features of this technology.

    Hence it will not be an overstatement to quote that this software can help you make a huge difference to the administration of your school.

    1. MySchoolAccounting

    If you are looking to subscribe to a simple yet secure tool for private schools to manage their finances, then MySchoolAccounting can be a good choice.

    Many schools (primary and secondary schools) and school districts are already making the most of this technology to effectively manage their school functions including accounts, receipts and online fee collection systems.

    Fund accounting, payroll management and general ledger keeping are some of the modules that are available with MySchoolAccounting.

    Conclusion

    All set to ensure effective management of school funds along with real-time reporting of financial details, a host of school accounting software are already making waves in the sphere of modern education.

    You can check out the above 13 options meant for small private schools and pick the one that meets your budget.

    What Impact Will Artificial Intelligence Have in the Education Field?

    It will not be an overstatement to quote that Artificial Intelligence, colloquially referred to as AI has become the new technology buzzword.

    While AI was considered to be a futuristic development, it is time you recognize it as a phenomenon that is already making waves in many domains linked to human existence.

    AI is now regarded as the omnipresent technology that has transformed our day to day lives in more ways than you can imagine.

    From offering the photographers intelligent sensors to capture the best moments in their lenses, AI has also penetrated into the field of education.

    In an attempt to satisfy your curiosity about the role of AI in the sphere of education, here are the interesting ways in which AI will eventually transform the face of teaching and learning.

    1. Harness A Host of Adaptive Learning Platforms

    Education is steadily registering a number of successes and it owes a great deal to the patronage of AI.

    A host of adaptive learning platforms are now thrown open to students who can increase their pace of learning through the use of Virtual Reality (VR) devices.

    Doing away with the conventional chalk and blackboard classrooms, it is also time that textbooks are replaced with VR learning apps.

    Allowing students to master any language or subject, a host of VR-enabled games are now in the market.

    Given the numerous benefits of VR, modern educators are tending to devices and applications that will hold a stronger promise to provide holistic education to kids.

    1. Automation of Student Grades

    Have a casual talk with a teacher and he/she will tell you how much time it takes to grade students after an assessment.

    Grading demands a significant amount of time which can otherwise be spent on interacting with students or in the preparation of a lesson plan.

    It is here that AI will make its presence felt, allowing teachers to come up with automated grades.

    Given a scenario that you as a teacher should evaluate multiple choice answer scripts or those that contain fill-in-the-blanks, AI can help you grade students.

    1. Reap The Advantages of Individualized Learning

    It takes all sorts of students to make up a class.

    Every student comes with an IQ and learning ability that is so different from the rest.

    In an attempt to meet the individual needs of every student, AI will step in as the most promising educational alternative.

    It is through AI that you as an educator can curate tailor-made digital curriculum to your students so that they can assimilate all that is being taught; at their own pace.

    AI will transport students to a world that is so close to their heart. It will encourage them to explore and feel their surroundings.

    When students connect to their surroundings, learning happens, providing an unmatched experience.

    It is through AI that educators can practically tread the path of personalized learning classrooms.

    1. A Keen Eye on the Needs of Students

    The modern world wakes up to witness and enjoy the daily magic of AI.

    A number of educational games and software are now available in the market that match the specific needs of every student.

    It is through these AI-enabled learning systems that you can lay hands on what every student needs.

    AI provides answers to the following queries like:

    • What are the topics that should be taught at length?

    • What are the sections that were not mastered by students?
    • What are all the tropics that should be dealt at a slow or fast pace?

    With AI providing answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to come up with a tailor-made curriculum that will help all the students of a class.

    1. Gaining Strength from Information

    Over the last couple of years, AI has transformed the way in which school administrators are mining and using educational information.

    It is through a repository of smart data that schools across the globe are coming up with solid reasons for choosing and implementing a particular course matching the needs of individual students.

    Educators can lay hands on real-time responses that come in the form of student feedback. Through smart data mining systems which are powered by AI, opportunities can emerge in the form of AI-guided training courses.

    Signing up for such courses can ease the transition between high school and undergraduate education.

    1. The Learning Experience Provided by AI Tutors

    Notwithstanding the fact that is no perfect replacement for human tutors, it is now the age of AI tutors.

    Through these AI tutors, students can master many subjects including writing skills and basic mathematics.

    AI tutors can handhold students, teaching them the basic fundamentals of any subject which do not require any superior thinking abilities.

    With the passage of time teamed with technological advancements in the sphere of education, it will not take long for AI tutors to become an integral part of advanced tutoring systems.

    1. Areas of Improvement Are Brought To Light

    Most of the times, educators fail to identify the gaps in their teaching patterns.

    They would not be in a position to pinpoint the flaws in the study material or in the lectures.

    AI steps in to address such concerns.

    For instance, if a majority of students who have signed up for an online educational platform submit the wrong answer to a question, AI sends a notification to the teacher to check the validity of the course material.

    Remedial action can also be initiated by AI when the technology allows other students to work around a tip that leads them to the right answer.

    Al attempts to ensure that every student who has registered for online courses assimilates the same type of conceptual information from the study material.

    AI also cuts short the turnaround time, permitting students to rectify their mistakes by offering immediate feedback without having to wait until their faculty identifies and points their errors.

    1. An Imminent Facelift to the Role of Tutors

    With AI by your side, it will not take long for the role of teachers to undergo a complete revamping.

    As discussed earlier, AI steps in to simplify the tasks of teachers by helping them with student grades and aiming to improve the learning abilities of students.

    Going a step further, AI can find its place in programmed systems that will allow students to pose questions while handholding them to locate the answers to their queries.

    Such instances can replace teachers, altering their job description from being a tutor to a facilitator.

    With the support of AI tutorials, teachers can focus on students who find it hard to understand concepts.

    They can also come in as a liaison between technology and students, providing them with timely human interaction.

    1. A Smooth Way to Initiate Trial-And-Error Learning

    It is but natural for students to learn through the trial-and-error method.

    However, not all students can embrace failure and look at it as constructive feedback for improvement.

    AI offers a solution to this natural ‘fear of failing’ that most of the students experience. When you are learning through an intelligent computer system, you will be able to deal with such trials in a better way.

    You will not be intimidated towards the errors you commit with the system.

    That means, AI paves the way for experimental learning in an unbiased and judgment-free environment.

    AI tutors can extend their helping hand and offer remedial solutions to such trial-and-error methods of learning as they themselves learn concepts through repeated trials, correcting the previous mistakes.

    1. Collapse the Boundaries of Education

    You don’t need to be in a particular place to acquire the knowledge about a particular subject. All thanks to AI, you can now enjoy the luxury of learning from any place across the globe at a time that is convenient to you. Students can be at the receiving end of multiple benefits including grasping the basic skills that would help them choose a particular career, without completely depending on human tutors.

    Closing Thoughts

    With so much going in favor of Artificial Intelligence, it is time you look at this advanced technology as an integral and indispensable part of education.

    While assisting teachers to grade students, evaluating their answer scripts, AI can spare teachers their time to engage students through one-on-one interactions.

    Given the fact that no machine can become a perfect replacement for intelligent humans, AI will step in to become the new age technology that will change the face of education.

    Understanding Student Mindset To Foster A Better Learning Experience

    Introduction

    Learning is a great experience when students get to know about new things in life. The process tastes success when a student gains ability to apply what he has learnt in school in real life. The psychology of learning says a student’s behavior is greatly influenced by his learning process. As we all know, knowledge is power and perception is temporary. In fact, knowledge gained through good education can change the way a person perceives things around them. Learning is not just something we experience in classrooms or schooldays, but it is an ongoing process throughout our lifetime. In fact, the learning starts at the very first day of your life; the first teacher is your parent and first school is your home.

    School authorities and teachers are looking for effective ways to provide students a better learning experience. However, understanding the student mindset and working out proper strategies is the key to optimize their learning. Each student in a classroom thinks differently when a new subject is introduced. Differentiated teaching techniques and personalized approaches can make positive changes in the student mindset. Making them understand how the real time feedbacks and constructive criticism can benefit them in the long run of learning is the key. A good classroom with significant teaching values can make an impact on the way a student think and promotes growth mindset in them.

    Learning styles

    Students will have a productive learning time if they are allowed to follow their own preferred learning style.

    There are lots of learning styles that are discovered and used so far, out of which seven special styles are gaining much appreciation. The learning styles in fact have a significant impact on the way students understand the subject, recall the information and apply it in real life. Have a look at the different learning styles.

    1. Visual: Using sight

      In this learning style, images, colours, pictures and maps are used effectively to manage information and execute communication. A student uses his mind’s eye to visualize ideas, objects and outcomes. Visual art, photography and architecture are the key areas of focus when using this learning approach. A student adopts one or more of the approaches when learning through visuals.

      • Mind maps: Student replaces bulk of texts with keywords and pictures and uses colours to easily connect between the differences.
      • Systems diagrams: The links between the system parts are visualized in a structured way by replacing words with pictures.
      • Visual story: Students can memorize lengthy step wise procedures through a well connected visual story.
      1. Auditory: Using songs or rhythms

      This is one of the most proven learning styles that are used right from the elementary classes. Rhymes and music will be the key elements used in the learning process. These students would find it easy to understand and recall information that is reinforced in the form of sound. They might have difficulty in understanding a drawing or writing but easily picks up information through listening. They won’t be comfortable with answering timed tests or reading passages. Let us have a look at the way auditory learners prefer to study:

      • Rhythm: They can easily understand information presented with a rhythm. They would prefer lessons in the form of rhymes or songs that easily connects
      • Speeches, lectures and oral sessions are more favourable for them and they can easily write responses to lectures
      • They prefer talking to themselves when completing a task and like music as background while learning.
      1. Verbal: Speaking out loud the information

      This kind of learners finds it easy to express in both written and verbal form. Reading out content loud is a good approach for verbal learners and they always try to make it dramatic that helps them at time of recall.

      Here are a few ways that are favourable for verbal learners:

      • Word based techniques are the best ways through which they pick up learning. Assertions and scripting are among the top approaches.
      • These people can learn lists of information with mnemonics.
      • Recording scripts using digital form and reviewing later sounds very effective for these learners.
      • Verbal exchanges in the form of negotiations, radio calls or sales can be a good strategy to learn things quickly.
      1. Kinesthetic: Using touch and taste to explore the information

      This is one of the scientifically proven learning styles that work well for a majority of student groups. They prefer physical activities rather than sitting idle and listening to lectures or watching demos. This can be combined with visual and auditory methods to benefit from multisensory learning. These are the favourable approaches of kinesthetic learners:

      • They love to learn new things through action, touch, movement and hands-on activities.
      • These learners use more objects such as flashcards while learning and utilize the magic of touch and feel to memorize what they have learnt.
      • Skills can be practiced through activities, either as single or in groups
      • Writing and drawing out subjects using big sheets and colour pens can play the trick for them.
      1. Logical: A more mathematical approach to concepts

      This category of learners would like to use their brain as part of learning, mostly through mathematical reasoning. Recognizing patterns of information is their skill and they can easily group or classify information by establishing connection between them. They can sometimes do calculations in mind without the need of any paper or pen.

      This is how they bring in mathematical approach while learning concepts:

      • They create and make use of lists by extorting key points from the content
      • They analyze parts of the training or learning and establish connections
      • They work out problems by exploring the logical reasoning behind the conclusion
      1. Interpersonal: Learning in groups

      These types of learners prefer learning in groups as they can easily communicate well with others both verbally and non-verbally. They love to interact with others and learn things by discussing, listening and sharing ideas. They will develop the skill to handle variations and reciprocate well while working towards a common target. Here are a few approaches loved by interpersonal learners:

      • Study groups with students of similar interests can invoke their thirst for learning and improve their collaboration skills
      • Role play activities can improve their leadership qualities.
      • Activities such as debates help them to express their views while respecting others’ views
      1. Intrapersonal: Learning alone

      This category of students would love to spend time for introspective, more private, and independent learning. They prefer to focus on their feelings, instincts and thoughts while approaching a subject. They give importance to self analysis and track their own challenges and accomplishments from past experiences. They are confident about their aptitude and skills and work out problems on their own. Students who prefer a solitary style of learning usually do the following things during their learning time:

      • Personal thoughts are recorded through journal or diary
      • Events are saved for future reference through personal logs
      • They work alone and quietly and learns from self reflection

      Optimize Learning process

      It is the role of teachers to utilize the resources optimally to improve student learning.

      Treat each student as separate individuals with a different level of understanding and let them get the most out of the classroom sessions.

      However, the idea of individualized learning may not work every time in a classroom with more than 40 to 50 students.

      In addition to teaching them different subjects, the ultimate goal of teachers is to prepare students for success.

      With the easy availability of information and advanced resources, learning is now a more flexible process.

      Their ability should be developed to a point where they can see things from different perspectives and move forward with a personalized approach to the things they do.

      Here are a few strategies that teachers can adopt to optimize the learning process and help students have a productive classroom experience.

      Develop a growth Mindset:

      Students who have a fixed mindset are more likely to fall back in the process of learning at some point of time.

      So it is highly important for teachers to develop a growth mindset in them and let them explore the world of learning.

      Here are a few tips that might help teachers to foster a growth mindset among students:

      • Inspire them to see challenges as opportunities
      • Train them to embrace imperfections
      • Make them understand that failures are stepping stones to success
      • Teach them that learning process is always important and not just the end result
      • Always have a sense of purpose when set out for learning
      • Help them to accept constructive criticism as a powerful tool for progress

      The Power of practice and regular study:

      The systematic practice of what is learnt is important to keep that in memory and apply it in real life.

      As the proverb suggests, practice makes a man perfect.

      So help students to understand the importance of practice and regular study.

      Some students have the habit of studying everything together just before exams and it results in their poor performance.

      So it is always ideal to study the daily lessons and revise the lessons in a regular interval of time so that it stays in their memory.

      Teachers can also help in the process by conducting weekly tests or assessments and make them study the lessons on a regular basis.

      Give them a chance to get hands on experience in the subjects which provides them a better understanding.

      Creative Learning:

      Students who develop creative thinking and learning are more likely to learn better and excel in their studies.

      So teachers can take initiative to help them have a creative space in classroom and help them to enjoy the learning.

      Here are some other ways teacher can adopt to trigger creative learning:

      • Integrate more hands-on learning
      • Classroom layout can be made flexible
      • Use design thinking
      • Encourage discussion learning
      • Create collaborative learning spaces
      • Give them multiple type of assignments that invoke their thinking
      • Promote team building exercises

      Deep learning:

      A combination of technology and conventional learning can be a good option to promote deep learning.

      This helps students to gain transferable knowledge which is the most important end result of true learning.

      This can be achieved by uncovering knowledge through creative teaching methods and not always sticking to teaching scripted curriculum.

      Teacher should consider shifting their role to a motivator or guide where students follow some independent learning.

      Here are some key strategies to promote deep learning in classroom

      • Lessons can be designed with flexible learning paths
      • Informally assess students
      • Encourage collaboration
      • Promote real world learning
      • Pair struggling learners with experts

      Brainstorming:

      Brain storming promotes thinking skills in students which helps them to grasp the lessons in a much better way.

      In fact, advanced brainstorming sessions aids them to stretch their thinking skills to a great extent that enables them to eliminate the fear of risk taking.

      Teachers can come up with brainstorming questions for single individuals or as a team activity.

      Students can be given the freedom to come up with ideas without the fear of mistakes.

      Motivation:

      A classroom set up that motivates the student every single time they enter the place can really make a difference.

      Give a clear definition of what is expected out of them in classroom and exams to avoid last minute confusion and that result in lowered self esteem.

      Teachers and students can together pin up motivational posters in the walls of the classroom and inspire each other to perform better.

      It is important to create a classroom space where students can freely express their ideas and concerns.

      Here are a few other ways to improve student motivation:

      • Promote positive competition in class
      • Give rewards for a success
      • Give them a partial control of classroom activities
      • Bring in variety of teaching methods

      Goal Setting:

      Visualizing goals with timelines is an amazing way to empower students to learn better.

      A clear vision and a motivating atmosphere can help them to develop a creative way of achieving goals.

      Inspire them to set up goals to better their own performances and not to compare with other students.

      Contemporary Educational practices

      The goal of contemporary educational practices is to promote positive attitudes or academic behaviours in students and invoke their curiosity to become knowledge seekers.

      Following the same kind of teaching styles or educational practices every time creates boredom among students and they will start losing their interest in learning.

      The right mix of teaching methods help students to have a better and productive learning experience.

      The ultimate goal of a good strategy is to bring in some positive attitudes or academic behaviours in students through different policies and individual activities.

      Both teachers and students will have the impact of the practice followed in their school and that includes both pros and cons.

      Here are the main contemporary educational practices followed in schools today.

      1. Blended Learning:

      This type of learning often combines the face to face classroom learning and online learning.

      The right mix of traditional classroom teaching and web learning can help students to grab the concepts quickly and have a productive learning time.

      They can have the best of both learning methods and experience real-world classroom learning.

      In this method, the role of teacher is redefined as just supporters or a guide while student explores the different teaching options.

      This hybrid teaching is a prime method in most of the institutions while it is used only occasionally by some others.

      This teaching mostly covers in-person classroom activities with the guidance of a teacher, pre-recorded lectures, as well as a right portion of independent study time.

      Here is why blended learning is one of the most effective teaching methods:

      • Information can be accessed and shared in a range of different ways
      • Teachers can easily acknowledge strength and weakness of different student sets
      • Despite the one-size fit all teaching methods, students can flexibly learn anytime and anywhere.
      • Teaching can be more engaging and students can explore the digital technology.
      • Teachers can focus on student understanding rather than the delivery of teaching methods
      1. Cognitive learning:

      This educational practice hints the type of learning by developing cognitive skills and in simple it can be referred to as learning by thinking.

      It mainly covers the way by which students think, remember, and perceive information and how they perform problem solving.

      In addition to basic text book learning, it focuses on the values, attitudes, as well as social interaction.

      Along with covering the syllabus, teachers help students the way they categorize and retain information.

      This mainly focuses on understanding the way brain works which helps educators to teach more wisely and students to learn better.

      Sometimes it can also be referred to as incidental learning and most of the times it happens through experience, thoughts and insights.

      This advanced learning strategy promotes use of mind to complete a task or solve a problem. Let us have a look at how cognitive learning helps:

      • Understanding the reasons behind a concept helps them to retain it for long
      • They can easily build up on past knowledge with improved memory
      • They can easily develop connections between what they have learnt
      • It promotes long term learning and triggers interest of learning more
      1. Embodied Learning:

      This type of learning mostly involves use of body and teachers and students interact with each other inside and outside classroom.

      Both communication as well as representation of information uses body as a tool.

      Embodied learning comprises student collaboration and movement whenever possible throughout the process of learning which in turn leads to cognitive development.

      It is often referred to as robust learning or optimal learning and the advanced form of this learning makes use of motion capture technology.

      The whole body is involved in the process rather than just applying the intellectual means of learning.

      Students learn different concepts of learning while they experience it which helps them to have a comprehensive understanding.

      Seeing the motor functions and chemical reactions makes much difference rather than just going through lectures.

      Here is how embodied learning helps students with different activities:

      • Integration of learning sciences and human computer interaction gives a better learning output
      • Activities such as Lego building stimulates their vision and patience and triggers creativity
      • Kinect-based educational games combines intelligent thinking with physical gestures
      • Hands on projects stimulates their creative side and they enjoy learning
      • Field trips let them to experience the subject which helps to understand and memorize it for long
      1. Flipped classroom:

      In this educational practice, students will go through the lessons at home through online courses or materials and utilize the class time in doing assignments based on it.

      The idea is to flip the common instructional approach to avoid the boredom of following the same teaching method every time.

      A change in the approach would invoke student interest and they can clarify their doubts on the video lectures during the class hours.

      As they get an overall idea about the lesson before hand, it becomes easy for them to understand and follow what the teachers are talking about.

      The ultimate goal of this teaching strategy is to enable them to become self-directed learners and invoke curiosity among them to seek knowledge every time.

      Here let us have a look at the important benefits of flipped classroom:

      • Students will find it easy to handle the homework lessons
      • Instead of spending much time on theory, teachers can focus on the practical application during class hours
      • Teachers will get more time for handling students that need some extra attention
      • Parents will have a better transparency about what their kids are preparing for the next day at school

      The use of technological tools in classrooms has made learning and teaching more flexible and convenient and students can have a customized learning experience.

      Educational tech

      Unlike in the past times, technological tools are now part of today’s learning.

      The digital media as well as machines are being used productively to give a better learning experience.

      The idea of virtual reality makes learning more exciting whereas wearable technologies are making the accessibility to information handy.

      With the wide spread use of mobiles and tablets among students, the educational apps are now becoming popular than ever before.

      Here let us have a look at the main educational technologies being used in today’s schools.

      1. Virtual Reality:

      The advancement in digital technology is making human interaction possible with subjects around them through virtual reality.

      As per the reports, virtual reality applications are showing a remarkable progress and one can expect about two times the rate in 5 years.

      Here are some significant reasons to use virtual reality in classrooms:

      • They get the opportunity to travel and explore different places round the globe with the comfort of their classroom
      • They will get a real hand experience of different career paths during school days which help them to choose a better career
      • Exploring the depth of ocean, inside of human body or vastness of space is within their finger tips
      • Learning using virtual reality possibilities promotes wonder and curiosity among students which triggers a craving to learn more.
      1. Wearable technology:

      The use of wearable technologies is taking the classroom experiences to a new exciting level than ever before.

      The VR possibilities using wearable technology has made the learning of a new subject more engaging and interactive.

      Smart watches are now replacing the role of mobiles and laptops to a great extent to access information.

      With the speech-to-text software of smart watches, note taking is no more a hardship for students. In the case of physical education, sharing the goals and activities keep them motivated throughout.

      One of the advanced forms of wearable technology in classroom is ‘muse’. This brain sensing headband comprises 7 sensors that have the capability of tracking brain signals.

      Teachers can use this device to learn if the student actually understood the lessons and promotes student engagement.

      Here are some other important areas in which wearable technology is being used in classrooms:

      • Google Glass is used to bookmark important passages and taking notes
      • The high definition camera, GoPro helps to research and explore subjects by capturing points at will
      • The GPS facility in these devices help teachers to monitor student activity during field trips
      1. Customized learning experience:

      It would be good to assess the students throughout the learning process instead of testing with a final exam when there is no chance to change the teaching method.

      With continuous assessment and feedback, teachers can come up with the best content delivery method that can suit the strong and weak students.

      Also keep on changing the teaching styles often to avoid the boredom and gain student interest and engagement.

      A blended learning model is always the right decision and the best approach to give personalized learning experiences.

      Give importance to expression of learning, differentiation of instruction and the optimal use of technology to set a platform for student centred learning.

      Here are some key ways to promote customized learning experience:

      • Always experiment with new types of classroom set ups
      • Give space for online learning opportunities
      • Insist on developing personalized study plans and independent study time
      1. Educational apps:

      With the widespread usage and acceptance of smart phones and tablets in classrooms, education apps are taking a more important role among students and teachers.

      While some apps are specifically designed for students to improve their memory, vocabulary skills, creativity and ease of understanding, there are apps for teachers that make their job easy.

      Some educational apps are platform centric while others can work flawlessly despite the platforms used in gadgets.

      Let us have a look at some popular educational apps that are highly recommended for today’s classroom.

      • Hopscotch app helps students to learn computer science fundamentals with ease by developing game designs
      • Explain Everything app is an interactive whiteboard where teachers and students can share ideas in real time.
      • Mindmeister app lets students to map out the relationships or links between concepts or ideas
      • Schoology works as a cloud based platform where students can post videos, assignments, links or completed work.
      • Socrative app is best for receiving and giving student feedback. This learning assessment tool can simplify reports and grading.
      • Plickers app is used by teachers to check for student understanding during classroom hours.
      • Kahoot app lets teachers to make interactive and fun quizzes for students to make learning more engaging.

      A good educator’s role is to manage the classroom well giving equal importance to every student and keep on changing the policies until they see ultimate success.

      The Educator’s Role

      The educator’s role in the learning phenomenon is really significant and it matters a lot to bring the best out of the students’ potentials.

      In addition to covering up the school curriculum, teachers should be able to impressively connect it to day to day life scenarios.

      This helps students to easily grasp the lessons and learn how to apply what they have studied into the real life.

      Unlike the traditional classrooms, the role of teachers has changed a lot from one sided dictators to support givers which promotes students as independent learners.

      In a blended classroom with personalized learning tactics, here are the few important roles of educators:

      • Classroom Planners: This includes long-term planning of instructional strategies and curriculum by analysing the student benchmarks well in advance which frees up their time for data analysis during class hours.
      • Data Analytics: Students’ performance analysis data should be collected and organized for future use to assure real time success and long-term betterment.
      • Classroom Managers: In a classroom with different set of students, all learners should be engaged with differentiated tactics and they have to set appropriate learning-checkpoints and learning norms.

      The most important part of a learning cycle is to give feedbacks to students on their progress whether it is positive or negative.

      Give them the confidence to accept feedback as constructive criticism and use it to bring in positive changes in their approach to learning.

      The mode of assessment is equally important and it should be a continuous process rather than a final assessment at the end of the semester or year.

      It should be regular with daily, weekly or monthly analysis and feedbacks and at the same time student should get an idea about where they actually stand at the end of every year with an overall assessment.

      Conclusion

      Learning is a beautiful process if students enjoy what they do.

      So teachers should play the important role of making this phase comfortable for them and bring out the best in them.

      Now we can easily say that teaching and learning is not a one sided affair but it is a blend of giving and receiving knowledge.

      Simply giving out lectures doesn’t do the trick anymore and it is high time to think from the perspective of students.

      They would enjoy the learning part if a truly adaptive and a personalized approach is offered.

      The role of a student is not just to receive information but to share what they have learnt with their peers and grow up with good human values.

      So it is fair to say that understanding the student mindset is the best trick available to foster better learning experience.