Monthly Archives: July 2018

Education, Change and Progress: How can Innovation be Secure and Constructive at the Same Time?

As people grow and learn to pay more attention to life and its realities, they develop a certain taste for learning important things and educating themselves. Such a reality has produced entire unique systems of education in virtually every part of the world and with the introduction of modernity a couple of centuries ago, it became a legal requirement for all citizens of modern day states and societies to send their children to public or private schools to receive education in languages, science, mathematics and other academic subjects. When education became a necessity for young people, their responsibilities grew larger at an earlier age than before as well. Whether it be attending every class and taking notes, studying privately to score higher on exams or writing a stellar resume, youngsters of today are almost always battling with school work which creates de-motivation among some of such individuals. Therefore, the rewards associated with such a time-consuming and rigorous struggle should also be in line with the students’ expectations from life and the future, which means that modern day education should regarded as a professional field of its own. Proper measures and techniques should be applied to education to maximize efficiency in learning, while the ambitions and enthusiasm of the students and educators alike should also be preserved and enhanced.

Josef Blumenfeld for the Huffington Post reports on the status of education in the Greater Boston area by comparing and contrasting Beaver Country Day School and Bunker Hill Community College, which are almost directly opposite educational projects. The first school educates students whose families earn less than $35,000 while the second school costs $45,000 to study, which means that the two institutions operate on totally different methodologies and structures but regardless, both are leaders in education in their specific region. By relying on their leaders to rewrite rules and explore educational opportunities, the schools have been noticed by even the mainstream media as both schools house students take pride in the success stories of their distinguished students. The schools also constantly invest into new infrastructure, such as Beaver’s new Research and Design Center to keep up with the growing demands of the 21st Century education. Bunker Hill on the other hand is also a quite well-resourced institution, mainly utilizing public funds, political support, and important corporate relationships to educate its students who come from the other four-fifths and are usually the first member of their families to receive higher education. The institution offers an on-campus food pantry, off-hours and weekend classes and the “Learn and Earn” program which assigns students to real-life jobs in real companies in Boston. Therefore, Blumenfeld concludes that it is vision and innovation which bring these two supposedly opposing schools together. This observation also leads the author to conclude that in the new age of global education, any institution regardless of its associations or affiliations, can succeed in becoming an educational powerhouse if it places its students as the first priority and allocates the proper resources for proper reasons.    

Sieva Kozinsky for Wired magazine considers innovation as a problematic issue within the context of education and believes that the capitalist mentality which drives innovation in today’s world does not correlate with the most fundamental and basic principles of true education. The problem with “innovative education” according to Kozinsky is that most of the innovative methods and approaches are easily brushed off as non-utile and inferior by the status quo which not only discourages those who invented them but also label them as failure and inferior as well. Plus, the fact that students are taught in very similar ways all around the world, little innovation actually exists with respect to methodology and therefore most of the supposed “innovative methodologies” are just farce. As alternative approaches to teaching and learning are  considered to be “eccentric and uncommon” by the majority of the general public, there always exists room and reason for innovation but the timing of such innovation is very crucial. Kozinsky refers to “Blended Learning”, or as it is also known “Flipped Classroom” as saviors for struggling students in convential systems to give the example of Clintondale High where the system was adapted only a short while ago and the school’s college acceptance rate already rose by seventeen points. Kozinsky points out that the reason why this specific method succeeded is that it integrates sophisticated information technologies to reach out to students and to recieve feedback to be utilized to further perfect the system. Kozinsky concludes that by 2019, 50% of all high school classes wil be taught online and systems like “Blended Learning” will succeed in completely revolutionizing education in the United States. However, there will also be failures and disappointments along the way as a normal part of a scientific trial with reality and it is important to pay attention to the crucial elements of technological innovation to make sense of the whole ordeal, both as students and educators.

Chester E. Finn, Jr. And Brandon Wright for Newsweek magazine report on the issue of lagging and falling behind for American students which so far has made it impossible fo them to achieve their truest and fullest potentials. Statistically speaking, in 2012, the US ranked 17th in reading, 20th in science and 27th in mathematics in a research conducted on the scores of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams in all the 34 countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Additionally, most of the American high achievers come from the more wealthy and privileged sects of the society which constitutes a grave problem as well: America leaves its unprivileged children and youngsters unattended and without proper educational support. With superficial programs such as “No Child Left Behind” the US government has managed to boost failing students to a minimum level of intelligence and capability while ignoring the talented and intelligent students at the expense of their careers and future lives. As a result, the educational system in America manages to provide some opportunity and possibility for the under-achieving majority who manage to finish schools, get diplomas and find jobs but discriminate against the talented and intelligent minority who can bring about serious improvements and innovations to the under-achieving system easily when guided and trained properly. Disregarding the “elitism” accusation thrown at people who defend such an idea, the authors Finn and Wright state that in the majority of the fast growing and developing societies of the world, such as Taiwan, Japan and China, the talents and inclinations of the intelligent minority are taken into consideration when constructing educational strategies and policies. This way, such societies benefit from constructive and utile discoveries and contributions by such individuals which improve on the most fundamental and important aspects of life, ranging from science to politics, from arts to business.      

Determining if you need a language tutor

English is an amazing language and every parent should work hard and ensure their children get the best training. Children can easily master the art of speaking if taught at an early stage. But this is only possible when done by the best tutors. Many parents may find it challenging to choose the best English tutor due to the rising number of self-proclaimed tutors. So, there are important choices to be made before hiring one.

Why Choose a Language Tutor

An English tutor will not only help children grasp the English dialect but also give them extra guidance in mastering the language. Below are a few reasons why one should hire an English trainer:

  • Children will receive individualized attention

Classrooms are good for children as it gives them the physical contact they need from other learners. But kids need extra help to learn the English language and this help comes from an instructor. During tutoring sessions, an instructor will give the learner extra attention and figure out his or her strengths and weaknesses.

  • Gain confidence

A kid may not be comfortable speaking or writing in English but with the help of a tutor, he or she will be able to practice with the tutor and gain confidence with time. An experienced tutor will help the learner improve in areas that he or she finds challenging and gain more confidence when using the English language.

  • Have a customized plan

With a private tutor, it will be easy to come up with a plan on how to handle the problem at hand. A tutor will determine areas to concentrate on and incorporate them in the daily English practicing routine. The plan should be able to give the learner plenty of time to do other things. The tutor will also plan on when to attend to other students who also need help.

Choosing the Best English Instructor

As a parent, it is not easy to choose the best English instructor in the competitive market. There are many things that a parent may have in mind but he or she has to make the right choice. Because a parent wants the best for their kid, it is wise to find and choose the best tutor in the market. The internet has made it easy to choose tutors online. Below are helpful tips for choosing the best tutor:

  • Experience and qualification

The tutor of choice should have incomparable experience in the field and have taught many children. They should have at least one or two years of experience in teaching English, preferably at a reputable school or English tutoring center. They should also be trained by a reputable institution and understand every concept of the English language.

  • Native English speaker

The English instructor of choice should be a native speaker of the dialect. Practicing English with a native speaking tutor will teach a learner the authentic and practical use of vocabularies. The tutor will expose the learner to more idioms, jargons and general English words that best suit the situation.

  • Approachable and easy-going

Choose a tutor who is a natural teacher and one who can create a positive learning class setting. He or she should be someone who can help English language learners realize their mistakes and make the necessary corrections.

The English dialect is not hard to grasp with the right guidance. All a parent needs to do is to hire the best English tutors for his kids and help them learn every bit of the language. Make the right choice today, and help your children grow their English language skills.

Graduating into the architecture industry

Architects are licensed professionals that design and construct buildings. They are responsible for the overall aesthetic that influences the atmosphere and feeling of the structure. Perhaps more importantly, architects ensure that buildings are safe, functional, and have a specific purpose. If you’re interested in becoming one yourself, this is what to expect in your line of work.

Software used by architects

During the early processes of design and prototyping, architects will use software to help sketch structures. If you are learning how to become an architect through schooling or courses, you’ll most likely be taught how to use tools like AutoCAD. It is an industry standard program for building floor plans, models, and sections. Software like this is categorized as BIM, or building information management software.

Revit is similar to AutoCAD, except it’s primary use is for 3d designs of buildings. These can be printed out or converted to PDFs for easy sharing. While not necessarily for planning, Adobe Photoshop is also commonly used by architects to present a visual of the finished building.

Firms that architects may work at

Architects can work for a variety of firms and companies, which all have their own unique duties. Working at a large firm places architects within teams that work on the design of a project together. Metropolitan areas like Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles would be good examples of where to find architect firm work. A design architect will be responsible for the sketching, initial design, and creating presentations for clients. Production architects though, modify and edit blueprints of the project to make it more efficient.

A principal architect is one of the most prestigious positions that you can be in. They are paid very well and have a large say in the design and production of a building. As a architect in general, you can also be contracted into existing projects to help with specific pain points.

The architect design phases

The American Institute of Architects defines a five step process that every architect goes through when completing a project.

Schematic design is the first step. This entails consulting with the client to determine goals, requirements, and then developing drawings. Experience with software will help this step as architects can quickly create visuals.

Secondly, design development comes next, laying out the structural, architectural, and mechanical aspects. Electrical and plumbing are common aspects to plan out here.

The third step is creating blueprints or construction documents. These are drawings with great detail, which could be used by contractors, construction workers and similar roles.

This leads to the next step, which is bidding and negotiating. Potential clients and contractors bid on the documents to determine who will help complete the project. Finally, the architect will aid in administration, overseeing the project to ensure that is goes as planned.

Overall, the firm that an architect works at or with will determine their duties. They will also need to be experienced with industry standard software for every step of a project. Eventually, architects can be become principals on large projects and build a name for themselves in the industry.

An update on Australia’s job market

Australia reached the 1 million job creation milestone in five years as promised by Tony Abbot in 2013.

The number is heartening and commendable. But as usual one has to look beyond the numbers to get the real picture.

The job growth is not a result of concerted political push but rather due to a rise in Australia’s population due to immigration and a progressive economy.

There are more Australians than ever before in employment. So which sectors are seeing a growing demand? The health and education sector, hospitality along with the arts and recreation industry are seeing an upsurge in jobs.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme alone is expected to create 80,000 full-time jobs by 2020, according to the Department of Social Security figures.

The professional service sector like law, architecture, computers, and engineering is also growing. The construction sector is witnessing a boom with 1 in every 10 jobs coming from this industry.

Another thing to note in the jobs market is that part-time work is witnessing great growth with close to one in three workers now being employed part-time. The reasons being the greater flexibility on offer and the nature of the work, which is more service oriented and also more women are a part of the work force.

There is a centralisation of jobs with big cities and states attracting more jobs in industries like finance, telecommunication and entertainment.

Cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Morten Bay South and Brisbane are the fastest growing job markets in Australia. Queensland is witnessing a good job growth rate of average 70 percent in its cities. Graduates passing out from Brisbane can take heart.

Also a centralisation of jobs is seen with bigger states and cities attracting more job in industries like finance, telecommunication and entertainment .

So what jobs will be most in demand in the coming years?

It is predicted that the health care sector will see a demand in aged care, nursing, radiology and dental.

Chris McDonald managing director, Australia and New Zealand for Indeed says, “It’s not surprising when you consider the increasing demand for health services by our ageing Baby Boomers which will require an ever-growing workforce to take care of them.”

Another career finding takers is recruitment consultant.

“At a time when countries are competing for top talent globally to drive innovation and economic growth, highly skilled recruiters who can deliver the right talent at the right time are in high demand,” says McDonald.

“Our data shows that employer demand for recruitment consultants, especially senior ones, outstrips job seeker supply by up to 11 times, the biggest skills gap in the Australian recruitment industry. As a result, 26.5 per cent of these roles remain unfilled after 60 days.”

In Queensland, 72 per cent of the roles are filled within 30 days.

Nailing your job interview

Searching for a job can be easy if you know the right steps that lead to it. If you are still a few years away from searching for jobs, then you should look for internships in your area. Engineers and technology graduates have tons of options when it comes to interning. Science and arts students, including those who have done counseling courses in Australia are not too far behind. Believe it or not there are students out there who have done more than one internships. It is hard but not entirely impossible.

Big accounting firms have extensive internship programs. Hence, it is not difficult to answer the question of impressing your prospects with one’s talents. However, it is the stage after the internship that is often challenging. Applying at various places and acing the interview is what leads you to getting a job of your choice. Here are some tips for your job interview.

The First Few Moments Of Your Interview

It has been found that most interviewers take their decision about a candidate within the first few moments. If you need to impress, them do it within that time frame. Many interviewers start with small talk, asking you about what you have done and your interests, so make the most of small talk and work it to help you make a deep impact. Try to make a personal connection with them before you head to the main round of interview. The more they remember you, better your chances of getting hired.

Pay Attention To The Interviewer’s Tone

Pay close attention to your interviewer’s tone. If she is asking casual questions, or if her body language is relaxed, you match her vibe. On the other hand, if you look stiff and nervous, and answer questions like a robot, the interviewer will never think you are a good fit. Your aim is to show the person sitting on the other side of the table, that you belong to the place – you are the right fit! Of course, do not fake it. It is very easy to spot fake behaviour and that might spell disaster. If you truly like the place and see yourself fitting in, you don’t have to try too hard to show it.

Connect With Your Body Language

Enough has been said about the importance of a firm handshake and there are tons of information on web that will tell you how exactly a great handshake needs to be done. What is more important than a firm handshake is making eye-contact. Looking at your interviewer when you shake his hand is crucial. Do not move your eyes before the hand shake is over. Even if there is no handshake, lock your eyes with the interviewer when you enter the room and say your greetings. If you don’t they will know right away that you are nervous.

Add Your Personal Touch

Finally, keep some anecdotes ready, so that you can include them in your answers. You have probably learned the technical part by heart. But if you are asked a behavioural question, try to add some personal story touch to it. It might be hard to recollect exact personal incidents, hence keep a few ready in your head so that you can use them where needed.

Financing advice for students on keeping debts down

Back to school is always an expensive time and it’s never too early to start planning. Big shopping trips can quickly add up and get you into trouble with your credit card company. The median credit card debt of someone who files for bankruptcy is $13,000. That may seem like a lot, but expenses add up quickly, especially when they come as a surprise or there’s nothing you can do to stop them. Any amount of credit card debt can be crippling if you face a sudden loss of income. If you or your partner lost their job or were injured and couldn’t work, how long could you keep up with your mortgage, car payments, bills, and credit card payments?

Back to school shopping is getting more expensive all the time. The average back-to-school expenditure for households with children in grades K-12 was $688. That number could also be as high as $1,000 per child in middle school, sometimes because of schools requiring expensive uniform apparel or electronics. On top of that, a study done by Capital One shows that 21% of parents actually spend more on back to school shopping than they set aside in savings for college.

Credit card debt is one of the leading causes of insolvency in British Columbia. It can be resolved either through bankruptcy or consumer proposals, depending on the situation. If you are dealing with excessive debt, then it can be very helpful to understand the benefits of a consumer proposal. When debt collectors start calling your home or your office, it’s time to seek help from a bankruptcy trustee. David Sklar & Associates is one bankruptcy trustee firm that can advise you on your next course of action if you are already in over your head in debt. Collection calls, wage garnishments, and unpaid bills are all signs that you’re in financial danger. But as bankruptcy trustees David Sklar & Associates advise, the best way out of debt is avoiding it altogether.

That means cutting down expenses. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, there are plenty of ways to save money:

  1. Leave the Kids at Home
    Leave the kids at home with your partner or a family member if you can. It’s easier to save without having them begging you to buy things as you walk down the aisles. Find out what they want by going online beforehand.
  2. Teach Kids About Budgeting
    Financial literacy is an increasingly important part of raising children and something they’re not often taught in school. Back-to-school shopping is a great way to teach older kids about budgeting. Parents have long been taught to hide how much money they have from their kids. Instead, decide exactly how much money you have to spend and tell your kids what that limit is. Then let them make their own decisions about supplies, apparel, and electronics. Just go over their decisions to make sure they have everything. You won’t just save money, you’ll be teaching your kids a valuable lesson in finance.
  3. Set Aside Extra for Surprises
    If there’s extra room in your budget, set it aside instead of splurging on something extra for the kids. Before you know it, they’ll be coming to you for field trip fees or costs for other activities.

Saving on back-to-school shopping is a great way to keep your credit card debt down.

Reporting Sexual Assault

Years ago, we would only hear about sexual harassment and assaults around the water cooler. They would just be gossip that people knew about, however, these incidents would rarely be dealt with in a legal manner. Over the past several years, cases regarding sexual assault and harassment have been receiving international coverage, with offenders standing in front of the judge and being prosecuted. You may be thinking that you have to be famous in order for your case to get any attention but that’s not the case because you’re not the only one. In fact, in one study, 24% of females stated that they were being sexually harassed. If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed or assaulted, there are a couple steps you need to take if you want your harasser to be charged.

  1. Where did the assault happen? Where this incident occurs may slightly change the way you go around things. For example, if the incident happens at a workplace, then you need to inquire with the company and see if you need to file a formal complaint through them first. In addition, you also need to know that there is a statute of limitations which varies depending on where the sexual assault occurs. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against another person. This varies between states that you need to double check on.
  2. Talk to a lawyer. You should do this as soon as possible as the best way to go through this process of filing and charging someone for sexual assault is if you contact a couple sexual assault lawyers. A sexual assault lawyer will help you go through the process and show you the possible options you have. Now, we’re saying “a couple lawyers” because it’ll give you a second opinion. Most lawyers offer a free consultation, so, take advantage of that opportunity to ask questions and see what they offer as a service.
  3. Collect all the evidence possible. If you’re looking to press charges, you’re going to need evidence. If possible, you need to collect as much information to help your case as possible. What does this mean? You need to have copies of anything that builds your case. Whether it’s text messages, emails, photos, witnesses, everything you have. In addition, write down exactly what happened, where it happened, and when. Make sure you be as detailed as possible.
  4. Are you the only one? You can file a lawsuit against someone who’s sexually assaulted you and depending on what your lawyer says, you may have a strong case as it is. However, if you’re able to show evidence that this person was sexually assaulting other women, then you’ll have a even stronger case. Now, there may be other women you were also sexually assaulted by this individual, however, not all of them want to take legal action and that’s their choice. This shouldn’t hinder you from continuing onward with your case.