Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pros and Cons of Prayers in School

There is an ongoing debate about whether prayer should be a part of daily school or not. Some believe, there should be no religious dimension to education, while others argue in favor of prayers in school. Obviously, the idea of having prayer in school has pros and cons. While some think prayers can help maintain discipline and allow kids to follow their religion in school, others think they are unnecessary.
Pros

✦ Making prayers a part of daily schooling is beneficial because it fosters the importance of moral values in children. Prayers help instill qualities such as humility and discipline in the students. This helps the school children realize the essence of good values.

✦ Banning prayer in school could mean depriving the children of their freedom of religion. Banning prayers is a non-religious practice. Prayers give the students an opportunity to observe their religion.

✦ Those favoring the idea of having prayer in school think that a school should not only train its students academically but also cultivate their minds. Prayers can help with this.

✦ Proponents of allowing prayer in school believe that the practice has societal benefits. According to them, the increasing rate of violence and abuse in school can be curbed with the use of prayers, as introducing prayer in daily school may help the children remain away from bad practices.

Cons

✦ In a government-funded school, the religion followed by the government is unknowingly forced upon school children. Thus, prayer in school is a violation of the freedom of religion. Opponents of having prayer in school think that the provision for students to pray during their free time is sufficient to let them observe their religion.

✦ School is an educational institution. Why should religion be a part of it? Prayers can give rise to feelings of religious discrimination and inequality in the children’s minds. Students are exposed to religious differences because of prayers.

✦ The time that can be utilized for something educational, is used up in prayers. Children are free to observe their religion at home, and there is no real need to introduce it in school, through prayers.
If one is to focus on the moral aspect of prayers rather than their religious aspect, having them in school seems to be beneficial. However, if one takes the religious point of view, it does not seem right to have prayers as a part of daily schooling. The debate on the pros and cons of prayer in school can go on. It would be wise to introduce prayers at the right time (considering the students’ age) and given only a limited time of the day with the purpose of teaching students important values and not with the intention of giving them religious teachings.

Helpful Teaching Strategies for Reading

Effective Strategies
To start with, one must know the language relatively well. Phonics are very important, as they help you connect with the sounds of every letter or group of letters, hence, clubbing them together to produce the correct pronunciation of the unknown words. The instruction begins with phonics, and kids learn to read simple text even before they complete the phonological knowledge. Composition of sentences, phrases, pronunciation of words, spelling and punctuation follows the phonological study. Prefixes, suffixes, compound words, and other parts of speech come in next. You need not master the language, but at least get the basic crux of the language to make it interesting. The comprehending part is the most tough, because you cannot expect anyone to comprehend certain things in the way you comprehend them. Some people, or kids for that matter, read for the heck of it without proper comprehension. At a very early age, if students are given suitable tips and instructions, it is helpful for them to monitor their comprehension. The last being summarizing, that is remembering what is read and being able to connect to the main ideas and central plan.

Top-Down Method
A top-down approach is essentially very basic and for beginners. In this approach, you are supposed to break down the task into sections and sub-sections. These sections and sub-sections should then be given greater focus and concentration. This aims at reducing the entire process to absolutely specific and basic elements. For example, a chapter is cut down into smaller chapters and then focused upon. One can then monitor his comprehension and is able to review content. It makes it easier to know where lies the difficulty and when does he actually lose interest, hence, making it easy to fix these problems. It also makes them think and search. Reading small portions and identifying with the main idea does not tax them, and kids may find it interesting and would want to involve themselves more in the process.
Visual Representation Strategy
Kids are more fascinated with pictures in a book, therefore, a book with many pictures encourages them. Most of us must have seen the movie ‘Baby’s Day Out’. I know you must be wondering how is it even relevant, but remember the baby identifies every place he visits in the movie because of the book his nanny has read to him. Research shows that we remember things better in the pictorial form than data form. So encourage beginners to read books with pictures to keep them interested and glued to it. We all must have experienced that the ones with Venn-diagrams, storyboards, chain of events or distinction tables, make it further interesting and easy. To begin with, this idea is really good, and eventually, one can resort to heavy database books to improve vocabulary, fluency, and take up reading as a habit and not compulsion.

The Difference Between Online and Traditional Classes

Progressing and climbing the career ladder demands value addition to your skills in the form of acquiring or upgrading your knowledge. However, as a full-time working adult, taking a course or choosing a college that gives you enough time to juggle both work and education has become increasingly difficult. Here is where the dilemma of choosing between online classes and traditional classes arises. It then boils down to a simple question, are you willing to trade your handsomely paying job for a college degree that could give you an even better pay?. But, coming to an objective answer to this question is easier said than done.

A lot of factors have to be considered before you invest time, effort, and money in gaining education. In the following article, we take a look at some of the very important aspects of online classes and traditional classes, and what each setup has to offer.
Student Using Laptop
Virtual or online classrooms give you the freedom to attend or access them from any place. You can simply login to your classroom from your home, from a coffee shop, or while commuting to work. This arrangement ensures optimum utilization of time as it allows you to work during the demanding office hours, and study at your leisure. The only drawback of this situation is that it is a solitary activity unlike a traditional classroom. This reduces your chances of meeting new people and being exposed to a certain environment that could have been.

Student Using Laptop
The first important point to be noted about traditional classes is that they are bound by geography. They are always conducted within the confines of a classroom, putting a limitation on the number of seats, and thus reducing its reach to aspiring students. This may also demand staying on a campus, as classes conducted by visiting faculty could be scheduled at odd hours. On the plus side, conventional classes allow one-on-one interaction with professors and fellow students, fostering long-term relationships and building networks.
Commute
Woman Working At Home
Online classrooms do not require students to commute, as they can be attended from anywhere. The expense these classes demand is that of good Internet speed. Given this, virtual classrooms can be attended without any disturbance from the comforts of your own home.
Students Going To School
Unless you are staying on campus, pursuing a conventional type of education demands that you compulsorily commute everyday. This means you have to commute at a given hour and for a given time period. This means that one has to incur an additional expense for the necessary commute.

Technology Impact on Education

Technology has revolutionized the field of education. The importance of technology in schools cannot be ignored. In fact, with the onset of computers in education, it has become easier for teachers to impart knowledge and for students to acquire it. The use of technology has made the process of teaching and learning all the more enjoyable.
Technology is a teaching aid
Computers offer an interactive audio-visual medium. PowerPoint presentations and animation software can be used to present information in an interactive way. Owing to the audio-visual effects, this way of teaching invites greater interest from students. The method is equally helpful for teachers. Projectors and screens facilitate simultaneous viewing of information by a large number of students. Addressing systems using microphones and speakers make it possible for teachers to reach a larger number of students simultaneously. These teaching aids have led to improvements in student attendance and their attentiveness in class. Interactive media have proven to be useful in increasing students’ concentration levels.

Technology has made student life easy
Technology aids student expression. Students can use much more than just pen and paper to express themselves or present what they have learned. They can use software to make presentations and projects. This makes them more interested in the subject and leads to better retention of information. With technological aids, they can make easy-to-remember notes and a creative presentation of the information they have acquired. It won’t be wrong to say that application of technology has made a student’s life easy. It’s easier for students to carry a PDA than carrying big fat books to school. An iPad is less bulkier than a pile of notebooks or an ebook reader much lighter than a book.

Owing to technology, student life is easy and learning is much more fun!
It’s easier to store information
Computers enable better and more robust storage of information. If you weigh chalk, board, books, and notebooks against technology, you find that technology can substitute for any and all of these. Computers have replaced chalk and board; they can even do the talking sometimes while the teacher takes a step back and lets the presentations ‘speak’. Digital libraries require no physical space and students and teachers sitting in different parts of the world can access the same library at the same time. Compact memory devices have replaced notebooks and a keyboard and computer mouse are the new writing devices. What would have required hundred pages of a book can be compacted into a tiny memory chip. It can take hours to write, but it takes only seconds to type. Storing data has become much easier, owing to technology.