Category: Education

6 Tips to Prevent Digital Distractions During Homework Time

How to Prevent Digital Distractions During Homework Time

Digital distractions have influenced homework productivity even before the COVID-19 pandemic. This caused more schooling to be digitized and only increased awareness about the effects of technology and study habits. Parents and educators can create nourishing environments and enforce positive practices for engaged learning.

Digital Accessibility Interrupts Workflows

There are pros and cons to every technology. Access to phones, social media, or the internet offers instant gratification, making them enticing alternatives compared to a literature essay.

The digital world also encourages multitasking, making students feel capable of juggling activities instead of focusing. Instantly connecting to social media can disrupt lessons in other ways, such as inciting stress due to FOMO (“fear of missing out”).

Studies also highlight how the ability to concentrate has diminished due to readily available technologies. When observing students studying for 15 minutes, researchers noted that their subjects lost interest after the three-minute mark. Only around 65% of the dedicated study time was used for learning.

So, how can we mitigate digital distractions without students feeling punished or cut off from the world?

1.  Put Away Phones, With Notifications and Sound Off

This is one of the most classic distraction-free studying methods. The visual reminder to check Facebook or play a game disappears if the phone is hidden. This can be as simple as putting it in a drawer or a parent hiding it somewhere the student can’t find it.

Notifications and sounds must be turned off for this method to be effective. Even the slightest reminder of the phone’s existence could create a desire to scroll. Putting the phone away could also mean putting away other distracting tech like tablets, or selectively allowing some access so the student doesn’t feel overly disciplined.

2.  Ask If There’s an App for That

It sounds counterintuitive, but some apps help curb digital usage. Sometimes relying on pure willpower is not enough.

There are plenty of productivity apps that tackle different facets of the mind. Any of these could immediately benefit focus at study time, including:

  • Apps like Forest. These gamify studying sessions by setting Pomodoro-style timers and giving rewards. Avoiding distractions helps your trees grow. This app’s specific bonus is that they contribute to planting more trees in real life, adding an incentive.
  • Plugins like Stay Focused. Suppose your student spends a lot of time on distracting websites. In that case, they can be added to a directory that temporarily blocks them.
  • Tools like Evernote. Introducing students to note-taking apps could help them organize while scratching a phone-usage itch. This requires self-restraint, but acknowledging the usefulness of apps creates a more accepting tone around digital tools. Suggest making to-do lists and action plans in these apps.
  • Programs like Focus Writer. Developers create these programs to create minimalist interfaces, only showing what’s needed to accomplish your task.

Be open to learning as technology develops. Just because social media is a hindrance now doesn’t mean it will be in 10 years. Curriculums may even integrate these “distractions” with how they learn, due to the benefits of providing interactive educational resources. Ultimately, if you notice online distractions affecting students, be curious about digital solutions.

3.  Test Different Study Area Setups

Students need to determine the best environment to flourish. A parent may set more formal restrictions like social media agreements. If this is too restrictive, less-severe measures may be more persuasive. Periodic check-ins simulating a teacher walking around the classroom may instill a productive working environment, especially if they are intermittent and casual.

There are other ways to manipulate the environment to see how it helps minimize the desire for digital distractions:

  • Play music depending on how much it distracts from work. Instrumental or upbeat music may foster a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Create a clean, organized, and well-decorated desk so students don’t feel too overwhelmed to work.
  • Make study spaces as separated or as integrated into other rooms as you deem necessary.4.  Satisfy Other Needs First

Sometimes wishing to rely on phones or social media is actually a different need manifesting itself. The student may be hungry, tired, or feeling down. If these needs are fulfilled, then the student may focus more easily. Play with adjusting the environment or creating new habits to allocate time for everything.

Implementing routines with breaks will give opportunities to cover all your bases. Habits will remind students when to snack or nap. Breaks will make students happy by engaging in play or going online. That way, no need is depleted during a studying session, preoccupying them.

You may choose to remind students to vary their homework schedule. Many teachers use online elements now, and encouraging the use of different study mediums can fulfill the need to be online. Encourage reading and hand-written note-taking for a time. Then, have them go online to watch videos, ask questions via classroom chats, or create team collaboration opportunities through discussion boards. These digital features can feel like breaks, providing technological engagement for learners.

5.  Keep Students Inspired by Creating a “Why”

It’s useful for adults to promote an inspirational mindset so students develop an innate drive to focus. Leaning on digital distractions is a habit humans have built as reliance on tech grows. Breaking this habit will be difficult to achieve, so exercising patience is crucial when trying to motivate students.

Point out how studying leads to less homework time in the long run if habits improve. It can lead to well-paying jobs if the student stays on top of their work. Rewards for completing tasks also suffice as goalposts. It can be a reminder they can have their phone when they finish work or something tangible, like a dessert.

Remind your students of their goals and why they’re achieving them. Holding this intention close can motivate students without much conscious thinking.

6.  Have an Accountability Coach or Buddy

Involving others will force students to prepare for accountability meetings. Accountability supplies competitive energy that is very motivating for certain types of learners. It can also allow students to connect, reinforcing their skills and ensuring they are on par with peers.

Accountability can take different forms as well. Parents can inspire children by leading by example. They can lock their own phones away while they work, as they complete chores, or just to participate alongside their student. This extra accountability makes the student feel less penalized for having digital distractions removed.

Unplugging for Success

As technology advanced, digital accessibility increased. This helps people stay in touch, access infinite knowledge, and engage with the world. However, this comes at a potential cost to our focus and productivity. Implementing whatever strategies work best for your students will take trial and error, but it’s required for healthy learning habits to develop in the digital age.

About the Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find her in a yoga class, advocating for her children or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen!

Required Key Skills for 911 Dispatcher Practice Test

Career as a 911 Operator

Do you want to work as an emergency dispatcher? Do you think you have what it takes to handle the pressures of the job? There’s only one way to find out – take the 911 dispatcher test! This quiz will measure your knowledge of emergency dispatch procedures and protocols. It will also test your ability to think quickly and effectively under pressure.

So if you think you’re up for the challenge, let’s get started!

The written exam will test your knowledge of dispatch procedures, radio communications, and emergency medical terminology.

You will be given a scenario and asked to respond to it using the proper protocols. The practical exam will test your ability to use the dispatch system and equipment. You will be given a call and asked to route it appropriately.

What is the 911 Dispatcher Test?

If you wish to work as a public safety dispatcher, you will first need to successfully pass a 911 operator exam. The 911 Dispatcher Test is an important part of the 911 dispatcher hiring process. It is designed to assess your knowledge and skills in dispatch communications. The test may be taken by anyone who wishes to become a 911 dispatcher.

This is not an easy exam, but if you study and prepare properly, you can increase your chances of passing. So, here are some tips on how to prepare for the 911 dispatcher test

1. Familiarize yourself with the test format

The 911 dispatcher test is typically multiple choice. Therefore, you will need to know how to answer questions quickly and accurately under pressure. Make sure to take tests from various websites and applications for example – Wondeslic Wonscore Practice Test.

2. Study up on emergency procedures

A big part of being a 911 dispatcher is knowing what to do in various emergencies. Make sure you know the proper procedures inside and out.

3. Practice your communication skills

As a 911 dispatcher, you will need to communicate clearly and concisely. Practice talking to people calmly and professionally.

4. Stay calm under pressure

When taking the 911 dispatcher test, you will be under a lot of stress. Therefore, you must stay calm and focus on the task at hand.

5. Get plenty of rest before the test

You must be at your best when taking the 911 dispatcher test. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the exam to be sharp and focused.
Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to passing the 911 dispatcher test.

911 Dispatcher Exam Pattern

The test consists of two parts: written and practical exams.

The written exam will test your knowledge of dispatch procedures, radio communications, and emergency medical terminology. You will be given a scenario and asked to respond to it using the proper protocols. The practical exam will test your ability to use the dispatch system and equipment. You will be given a call and asked to route it appropriately.

Types of 911 Dispatcher Tests

  1. CritiCall Test
  2. Post Dispatcher Test
  3. NYPD 911 Operator Exam

1. CritiCall Test

The CritiCall test is a computer-based skills test that measures a candidate’s ability to perform the essential functions of a 911 dispatcher.
The test consists of five components: data entry, multitasking, memory, prioritization, and map reading.

Data Entry

The data entry portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s speed and accuracy in entering information into a computer system. Candidates are given a list of items to enter and must do so as quickly and accurately as possible.

Multitasking

The multitasking portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Candidates are presented with a list of tasks to complete, and they must do so while also monitoring a simulated 911 call.

Prioritization

The prioritization portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to prioritize tasks. Candidates are given a list of tasks to complete, and they must prioritize them based on importance.

Map Reading

The map reading portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to read and understand maps. Candidates are given a map and a list of locations and must find the quickest way to get from one place to another.

Memory Recall

The memory recall portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to remember information. Candidates are given a list of items to remember and must recall as much information as possible.

Probability

The probability portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to understand and apply basic concepts of probability. Candidates are given a list of items and must determine the probability of each item occurring.

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to read and understand written material. Candidates are given a passage to read, and they must answer questions about the passage.

Mathematical Reasoning

The mathematical reasoning portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to understand and apply basic mathematics concepts. Candidates are given a list of problems to solve, and they must do so using basic mathematical principles.

Sentence Clarity

The sentence clarity portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to write clear and concise sentences. Candidates are given a prompt and must write a response.

Cross Referencing

The cross-referencing portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to find information in multiple sources. Candidates are given a list of items to find, and they must do so by looking at various sources.

Research

The research portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to find information. Candidates are given a list of items to find, and they must do so by researching various sources.

Source Evaluation

The source evaluation portion of the CritiCall test measures a candidate’s ability to evaluate sources of information. Candidates are given a list of sources and must evaluate them based on specific criteria.

2. POST Dispatcher Test

This test is a multiple choice test that usually takes between 2.5 – 3 hours to finish. The total score is the sum of your correct answers and the scores from each test component, which are then compared to the statewide average of all test-takers in California to compute your final assessment.

The following are the subtests included in the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher exam:

Checking and Listening Skills

This subtest measures your ability to use basic skills required for a dispatcher’s job. You will be asked questions about the information you hear, read, or see in short conversations, messages, and other materials.

Setting Priorities

This subtest measures your ability to set priorities in a dispatcher’s job. You will be asked questions about the information you hear, read, or see in short conversations, messages, and other materials.

Reading Comprehension

This subtest measures your ability to understand what you read in a dispatcher’s job.

Sentence Clarity

This subtest measures your ability to use clear and concise sentence structure in a dispatcher’s job.

Call Taking

This subtest measures your ability to understand and follow oral and written directions in a dispatcher’s job.

Checking Coded Information

This subtest measures your ability to use basic skills required for a dispatcher’s job.

3. NYPD 911 Operator Exam

The NYPD 911 operator exam tests your knowledge, skills, and abilities. The examination is designed to assess your ability to perform the duties of a police dispatcher. The test consists of two parts: written and oral examinations.

You must pass both parts of the examination to be eligible for an appointment to the position of police dispatcher.

The written examination consists of multiple-choice questions that measure your knowledge of English grammar, spelling, and vocabulary and your ability to read and comprehend written materials.

The oral examination is conducted in English and measures your ability to communicate effectively in speaking and writing.

You must achieve a passing score on both the written and oral examinations to be eligible for an appointment as a police dispatcher.

The GRE is offered at the New York City Computer-based Testing and Application Center. To be considered for the position, you must score at least a 70%. The following areas are covered in this exam:

  • Written Comprehension:  This section includes questions about testing your ability to understand written materials such as police reports, memos, and instructions.
  • Written Expression: This section tests your ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing.
  • Memorization: This section tests your ability to remember information such as names, numbers, and codes.
  • Problem Sensitivity: This section covers the questions related to identifying problems and taking appropriate action.
  • Oral Comprehension: It includes understanding spoken materials, such as instructions, directions, and questions.
  • Deductive Reasoning: It covers questions about testing your ability to draw logical conclusions from given information.
  • Inductive Reasoning: It includes the questions to test your ability to see relationships between given information and to generalize from that information.
  • Information Ordering: This section tests your ability to put information in an order that makes sense.

Required Key Skills for 911 Dispatcher Practice Test

To become a 911 dispatcher, you must have excellent communication skills. You will also need to be able to think quickly and make decisions under pressure. The following are some key skills you will need to practice before taking the 911 dispatcher practice test.

Decision Making

You will need to be able to make decisions quickly and under pressure. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Communication

You will need to have excellent communication skills. You must communicate clearly and effectively with the caller and the other emergency personnel. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Critical Thinking

You will need to be able to think quickly and critically to assess the situation and decide what needs to be done. Again, the 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Caller Management

You will need to be able to manage the callers efficiently and effectively. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Emergency Management

You will need to be able to manage the emergency effectively. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Prioritization

You will need to be able to prioritize the callers and the emergency. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Time Management

You will need to manage the time efficiently to ensure that all the callers are helped on time. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this.

Map Reading

You must read maps to understand the caller’s location and direct the emergency personnel to the scene. The 911 dispatcher practice test will help you learn how to do this. In this question, you’ll need to pick the quickest path while staying within the bounds of the law for the emergency vehicle’s arrival.

You will need to practice these skills before taking the 911 dispatcher practice test. There are many other important skills that you will need to learn to become a successful 911 dispatcher.

At the End

Hope this guide explains everything you need to know about the 911 dispatcher test, from what’s on the test to how best to prepare. Gain a better understanding of what skills are being tested and learn how to hone your abilities so that you can apply for the test confidently.  Good luck!

Learn more about career options:

Read when to start teaching kids about career building skills.

4 Ways to Create an Inclusive Classroom Environment for Students on the Spectrum

How to Create an Inclusive Classroom Environment for Students on the Spectrum

About one in 100 children has autism, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by difficulty regarding aspects such as communication and social interaction, and the WHO further highlights the fact that those with autism may experience varying needs and abilities that can evolve over time.

For those that are unfamiliar with teaching students on the spectrum, there are a variety of different ways that a positive difference can be made. With that in mind, ensuring that the classroom experience promotes a positive learning environment is vital in ensuring a student is both comfortable and has the foundations for academic success.

Understanding the challenges at hand (and adapting)

When seeking the best ways to provide a productive learning environment for students on the spectrum, first understanding the challenges that an individual with ASD may face in the classroom is essential. Washington.edu notes that various aspects regarding school can present as a challenge, noting that social interactions, noisy environments, sensory issues, and changes in routines can all be difficult, and mentions that “The unstructured parts of the school day, such as lunch, may present the greatest challenges.”

However, because each individual who is on the spectrum has unique difficulties and needs, what works for one student may not work for the next. While it’s recommended to consult with the student and their family regarding accommodations and what may work best for that individual, there are a variety of helpful solutions that can be worth implementing in the classroom to make the environment more inclusive.

Before making alterations to a classroom, making an effort to further understand a student on the spectrum will allow you to gain valuable insight as to what might be the best course of action. Autismspeaks.org, for instance, notes that in addition to connecting with the child’s parents, making a list of the child’s strengths and understanding how they learn can play a major role in making the classroom a positive place to learn for them. The site further mentions the value in asking for help through a classroom aid, while having a behavior plan in place for instances of sensory overload can be additional ways in preparing to effectively teach those on the spectrum.

The value in predictability via structure

Because many individuals on the spectrum thrive on structure in their daily routines and tend to have difficulties with change, ensuring that there is a sense of predictability is just one simple way to make the classroom a more inclusive environment for all. Teach for America notes that “Having predictability in the classroom eases anxiety for students with autism and will help avoid distraction. Students are less worried or curious about what will happen next and can better focus on the work at hand,” going on to recommend giving the student a schedule that can be followed.

Autism Specialty Group further highlights the value that consistency and predictability can have for those with ASD, noting that “With repetitive patterns of behavior, activities, and hobbies, children with ASD can bring stability and comfort into their lives,” further noting the benefits that stability in routine can have — including reducing stress, improving cooperation and motivation, and creating an environment of security and comfort.

Exploring hybrid learning approaches

While putting a predictable schedule into place can be a great way to support students on the spectrum, exploring hybrid learning approaches can be another that can go a long way in ensuring inclusivity. For instance, due to individuality, implementing different forms of technological support can present a solution in working to find the best approach for each student.

The use of video modeling and interactive whiteboards are just two ways to do this, though the integration of other technologies, like voice dictation tools, can be particularly useful for certain difficulties like writing. While writing plays an integral part in the classroom, a summary of one study notes that children with high functioning ASD integrated in regular schools find it difficult to perform writing tasks — something that can impair academic achievements, social availability, and self-confidence, according to experts.

Making small (yet impactful) changes

For educators teaching students with ASD, there are a variety of ways that slightly altering the teaching style can make a major difference in elevating the classroom experience. Positive Action points out several different ways that this can be done — such as by making use of visual aids when teaching, keeping verbal instructions “short and to the point,” and using the child’s interests in a lesson. Keeping the sensory stimuli to a minimum in the classroom can also be a big way to help, and can be done by eliminating loud noises (like music) wherever possible.

Positive action further notes that reducing the effect of lighting can also make a difference, noting that “Some autistic people find fluorescent light distracting because they can see the flicker of the 60-cycle electricity,” and recommends diminishing this effect by either moving the student’s desk near the window, using newer bulbs, or making use of an old-fashioned incandescent lamp.

For students who are on the spectrum, the classroom can be a challenging place to navigate — especially when considering factors such as writing, a noisy atmosphere, or social interaction are notoriously found in schools. Thankfully, there are a myriad of different ways that educators can work to provide a positive and comfortable classroom environment, whether it be through the integration of technology or predictability.

Outside the Classroom

Now, let’s head outdoors and explore ways to make playgrounds inclusive and therapeutic for kids with Autism.  It begins by designing the right playground with autistic kids in mind.

Math Skills Your Child Needs while Learning in 2nd Grade

Math Skills Your Child Needs while Learning in 2nd Grade

Advancing from 1st to 2nd grade requires new skills. In 2nd grade, kids face complex forms of problems on math topics they learned in grade 1, and the assignments are of increased difficulty levels. So, parents must prepare their children for the new session by offering them online classes on math for kids during holidays.

But parents can’t do that effectively without knowing the areas their kids need to improve. If you are a parent who wants to help your child settle into 2nd grade math education this summer, here are the new skills a child should gain.

Counting within 1000

With math games, 2nd-grade kids can learn how to count to 1000 and within 1000 by heart. In grade 1, kids learn how to count to 10 and then to 100. Now, in grade 2, they have to learn that after 100, a repeated progression will enable them to reach 1000.

Counting is the foundation of math, and learning how to count to 1000 opens up the mind of a child to more complex numbers and their compositions. The skill also builds kids’ confidence in handling other concepts like addition and subtraction.

Understanding place value in three-digit numbers

The concept of place value is learnt in math for 2nd graders because kids are now counting within 1000. As children count, they will come across numerous 3-digit numbers, which means they need to learn the way place value works and the value of each number.

Students will also learn what hundreds, tens, and units mean and how to tell them apart in multi-digit numbers. Kids need time to master the complicated concept, so they will benefit from starting early before the school calendar begins. Therefore, practicing with a child at home or signing them up for an online class is a great idea.

Comparing three-digit numbers

You can also expect 2nd graders to learn how to compare three-digit numbers. Having the understanding of place value, they can compare three-digit numbers using the greater than (>), the lesser than (<), and the equal to (=) symbols. Signing your kids up for a math lesson online will make learning this math skill easier.

Adding and subtracting within 1000

Kids learned how to add and subtract within 100 in first grade; now, they must understand how to do the same within 1000. Depending on the numbers added, 2nd graders will also learn to add three-digit numbers to get either a 3-digit number or a 4-digit one. Online math classes contain practice lessons where kids can use fun games and videos until they get very good at the topic.

Measurement

In 1st grade, students learned vague comparisons to get an idea of measurement, but in the 2nd grade, they will learn terms like length, width, and height. As they progress, the idea of measurement will hit even more complex levels; however, practice makes perfect, especially in math.

Educators designed measurement math games to help kids understand measurement easily. You can use different online math games to ensure your child’s learning process is optimal. The more times a kid repeats these games, the easier they sharpen their measurement skills.

Telling time to the nearest 5 minutes

Time is a fundamental concept, and when kids learn it in 1st grade, they are more enamored by the complexities of an analog clock than time itself. However, in 2nd grade, they begin to learn how time works. The easiest way to learn time is to tell it in the nearest 5 minutes.

Learning what each 5 means regarding timing and implications is a repetitive process. First, they start with what o’clock implies, then they learn the past 5s, past 10s, and past 15s till they get to the half-past concept and back to the o’clock. Besides using games to teach this math skill, introducing math worksheets to the mix will completely change the game for the better.

Solving word problems surrounding money

In 1st grade, a child’s first encounter with money starts with the fundamental “what is money?” question. Then, they learn all denominations of the currency and their value. In 2nd grade, kids have to solve word problems with money, which means applying addition and subtraction skills.

The good thing about money-related math for kids is that money is a very realistic representation of math. Therefore, almost every moment is a teachable one. As a parent, you can help kids understand money word problems by sending them on errands wherever you go shopping together.

An example of a word problem can be incorporated when you visit the vending machine. ‘I have four cents; I wanted a pack of cheerios which cost 2 cents; I put in the 2 cents inside the machine and got my pack of cheerios; how many cents do I have left?’

Reading graphs

Towards the end of 2nd grade, a teacher will introduce your child to an exciting math topic called picture and bar graphs. Kids often enjoy learning this concept because of all the engaging moments involved in the learning process. However, for the same reason, they can get very distracted, missing the essence of the lesson in the first place.

You can ensure that when your child faces this topic in class, they are not lost or distracted by signing up for a class at home. You can also learn the skill of reading the graphs according to the common core principles. It will help you practice with your kids at home using math worksheets for 2nd graders.

Conclusion

It is good to stay in the loop to know what your kid is learning in their new grade. You can follow a few recommendations that are included in this article to help your child learn math skills before a resumption day. If you enjoyed reading the article, you would love to practice with your child even more, especially with games and videos.

Additional Math Resources:

Read about how to recognize and overcome math anxiety at an early age.

Safe Search

What does it take to provide a safe web experience for kids? It takes a combination of tools and resources working together in unison: internet filtering, safe and secure browsing, parental control apps, and education regarding a variety of topics. Safer search is our mission at Safe Search Kids as we work to deliver these four cornerstones of online safety to parents, teachers, and students.

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