Top Tips for Choosing the Best University for You!

So you’ve almost completed your A’ Level or equivalent studies and you’re now looking to go to university. You need to get your UCAS form submitted as soon as possible but you’re just not sure which universities to put down on your form as being ‘preferable’ to you and your needs, desires and aspirations. Choosing a university is a hugely important task. It is where you will spend the next three years or so of your academic life, and for many it is the place where, for the next few years, you will live, socialise and work. When it comes to choosing a university the world is your oyster, but such a great level of choice can make the task of identifying a university all more difficult to complete.

Below are a number of helpful tips to support you in your decision-making process!

– Rule out those universities that you are unlikely to be able to attend. There are many reasons why some universities just won’t be an option to you; perhaps the entrance grades required are too challenging or the location of the university is too far away for you to consider.

– Draw up a criteria list which outlines all of the elements of university life that are important to you. This might include; distance from your family home, likely university choice of friends, the modules taught within your preferred course, the extra-curricular activities on offer, the social life, the style of accommodation on campus, the campus layout etc.

– Order your criteria appropriately, placing the elements that are most important to you at the top. If this is say, ‘distance from your family home’, work out exactly what distance is acceptable to you. You can then automatically rule out or rule in universities based on how well they meet your most important criteria.

– You’ve now got a short list of universities. Next, rate each university against the other elements on your criteria list. Use a simple scoring system such as 5 for absolutely meeting the criteria to 0 for absolutely not meeting the criteria! Once this process is completed, you can total up the scores and identify which universities score the highest.

– It’s important to actually go and see those universities that you’re strongly considering attending, as this will help you determine if you’d be happy studying at such a location. So remember to attend open days or arrange site visits with at least the top 3 universities that rated highest against your criteria list.

Benefits Of Using Mobile Apps In Early Education For Children

The real advantage of using mobile apps is that they help in connecting people without much hassle. You might wonder about how something so advanced as a mobile app can help in early education for children. It’s true that kids of this generation are nowhere like us when we were of that age. However, a Smartphone itself is just too much for someone of such a tender age – leave aside using an advanced mobile app. So how can these two completely bipolar things come together to create something effective and fruitful?

Before we go ahead with the discussion, let me ask you: what do you think mobile apps do?Are they beneficial only for reserving a seat in a restaurant and catching the trending celebrity gossips, or do they actually have something seriously constructive to offer? Not all apps get designed for providing entertainment; there are also some which (if used effectively) can do a great deal of good. Let’s take a weather forecast app, for instance. Once you use the app to check the weather forecast in the morning, you can plan and schedule your work for the later hours. Similarly, there are many educational apps which are getting regularly used in schools and colleges.

Let’s come to the apps that get specially designed for kids who haven’t yet started going to schools. The use of these apps in sync with the traditional mediums of early education might turn out as an important paving stones for pre-schoolers. This is the time of mental growth for kids aged between 3 to 6, and these apps can come in handy to a great extent. Let’s have a look at how apps are beneficial in early education:

#1. Learning Is Fun

These apps successfully testify the concept: “learning is fun“. These are specially designed for kids, and therefore, put extra emphasis on maximizing engagement. In this way, kids will keep on learning without even realizing it. These apps are full of entertainment, and they also strengthen the knowledge base.

#2. Portability

Apps are portable because mobile devices are portable. And this is one of the major reasons why there is a huge surge in its popularity. Are you waiting in the airport lounge for a flight with your kid? Hand him over your Smartphone and let him enjoy. He can sit down and practice a little math or science. In short, an educational app is no less than a portable classroom.

#3. Apps Are Interactive

We all love to learn new things once there is a proper interaction. Have you ever wondered why online games are so popular? It is because of the achievements that get unlocked with each level passed. This makes gamers want to know what’s more they can get in the next level, and thus, they get addicted. Similarly, most of the educational apps offer virtual rewards once a level gets completed. And kids love to get rewards, don’t they?

#4. Tracking The Progress

There are some educational apps which allow the user get updates and feedbacks about the progress of his kid. These are like assessment reports we used to get in school. And with the report, you can easily check how the app is helping your kid to improve his skills

Why Attend University?

Why attend University?

With all of the recent negative press around rising tuition fees and poor job prospects for graduates, it is little wonder that many students are shying away from attending University, choosing instead to seek employment opportunities straight after college, or simply falling into a downward and depressive spiral of unemployment at the tender age of 18. Seeing less and less individuals attending University is depressing for those of us who know how much can be gained from a University education; a solid academic grounding, an opportunity to build social networks, a chance to manage money and to learn the importance of self motivation. It is also I am sure incredibly depressing for individuals who had always dreamed of studying at University and who now feel that their chances of fulfilling this goal have been lost due to forecast financial constraints and poor career prospects. Importantly though, it is equally worrying for our country and our economy at large. With a growing population, we need the youth of today to be able to bring a whole range of skills to the economy in the future. Some of these skills can be built up through on-the-job training yes, and not all of them need to be grounded in academic education at University level. However a wide pool of skills and knowledge do need to come from academic education. As less and less students attend University, so the resource available to deliver these needed skills dwindles.

So, University is important, both to the wider economy and to students, or should I say potential students, themselves. Let’s have a look at some key, positive reasons for attending University:

– University provides you with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about one or two specific subjects. This level of knowledge is difficult to gain through your own self study.

– Most University courses require you to produce essays, dissertations and even theses as part of your course assessment. By attending University you are therefore able to improve your academic writing skills and your research skills. This in turn helps you to learn how to construct an argument, use other people’s research to support your own opinions and develop your own research methodologies.

– Some University courses are ‘Sandwich Courses’. This means that you are given the opportunity to complete a work experience placement as part of your studies. Not only does this add a bit of variety to your time at University, but it also equips you with some great hands-on experience in the industry that you are hoping to build a career within. Work experience of this level looks fantastic on your CV or Resume too.

– University provides an occasion to enjoy and build a social life! Forming new friendships, new relationships and networks is all part of growing up, and University provides the perfect place for you to enhance your social development.

The Importance of Art Education for Children

Art education for children had all but disappeared from most American schools. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, some well-intentioned (albeit misguided) and others simply unfortunate. Despite the waning exposure kids have to the arts at school, science continues to demonstrate the many benefits of arts-based learning beginning at a young age. If the future of education continues to deprive children of exposure to the arts, it is up to parents and caregivers to advocate for arts education while finding alternative ways to provide it.

The Changing Face of American Education

Several key developments in American education have nearly stripped art-related education out of schools. The most common reason cited is funding. A focus on standards has also been instrumental in reducing educational focus on the arts due to schools competing for high marks on testing. As the economy slowly recovers from the economic turmoil of the last decade, schools in many states have begun to rebound from a funding perspective. However, rather than restore arts programs, states and school districts are placed an emphasis on beefing up STEM programs, rather than art-related learning initiatives.

Types of Art Education and Their Benefits

Creativity and innovation, both traits highly valued by employers, are developed through arts-related learning. Creativity gives rise to critical thinking, engagement and problem-solving. At every stage of a child’s life, from early childhood through college, art-related exposure and learning has been shown to greatly improve physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. In addition to these proven benefits, arts-related education increases confidence in children as well as focus, perseverance and non-verbal communication. Children learn to better handle constructive feedback and to collaborate with others. Finally, the arts improve a child’s dedication, self-discipline and accountability. Each of these skill sets directly influences a child’s academic success as well. The research reflects a strong correlation between arts education and academic achievement.

The Push to Keep Children Balanced

Educational experts provide clear recommendations for an educational approach that incorporates the arts. The research leaves little doubt that kids need arts education as a part of a comprehensive and well-rounded education, and to guarantee their future success in life. Parents, caregivers and other family members can help by advocating for more art education programs in your school district. Meanwhile, experts advise not waiting for school programs to expose your kids to the arts. Dance, music, theater and the visual arts are all of equal importance and kids should be introduced to all four in early childhood.

Private teachers can provide beneficial learning opportunities however the research is clear that kids derive significantly greater benefit from group classes, lessons and programs. If your community has a children’s arts academy, enroll your kids as early as possible. There is no fear of starting them too early and professional arts educators can tailor classes specifically to a particular age group. Students with that level of involvement were four times more likely to participate in a science or math fair, win an award for writing an essay, or be recognized for academic achievement. Parents are always on the lookout for ways to help their children get ahead. Nothing is more influential and fun than arts-related education.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Child’s Education

The times are changing, and one area where this becomes very obvious is in child education. The competition and level of pressure are increasing, as more students have to work even harder to get into the relatively few slots in good schools. Kids are expected to plow through larger amounts of homework, and also do well on standardized and non-standardized tests. It’s quite a difficult world, and it’s not hard to understand why so many young people feel that they cannot cope with the stress. This is where having supportive parents can play a major role. And it’s heartwarming to see how many parents are trying to set aside the time and brush up on past subjects so that they can assist their kids. The most important thing here is to have a well thought out child education plan. Here are some key attributes of such a plan.

A Child Education Plan Needs to Be Realistic

Planning for your child’s education needs to start as early as possible, ideally at the earliest stages of the process. As an adult, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many variables that need to come together, to help your child manage. For example, part of keeping things realistic is making sure that there are multiple options when it comes to the potential school of your kid. Too many parents persist in having their child apply to get into only one or two schools. Sometimes, these are the same schools where the parents themselves went. This is not a realistic child education plan at all because the parents are artificially limiting the number of possible schools to get into, thereby increasing the risk that the kid might not be able to get into any of these. Don’t be the parent who has unrealistic expectations and assumes that their kid is smart enough to get into all the schools he or she applies to. Aside from not being a very viable strategy, this also puts tremendous pressure on the youngster.

A Child Education Plan needs to be Flexible

There may be situations where your kid has trouble with a subject or two. That’s just normal. Again, it’s important not to have unrealistic expectations of what your child can do. Now, some parents try to help their kids by going over the lessons where the child is struggling. This is a good first thing to try, but at the same time, the parents have to keep in mind that they may not be the best people to tutor their kid. So this is where the flexibility comes in. If things are not going well when the parents are doing the tutoring, consider bringing in a private tutor temporarily, to see if this improves things. Or perhaps an older sibling might do a better job of it. And then, be willing to mix and match strategies with the different subjects. So, one parent might be the best choice for math while the other one does a good job with history while a private tutor may need to be brought in to handle science. Be willing to try different tactics with your child education plan, until you end up with the best possible result.