Category: Education

Nervous Before an Exam? Here’s How to Feel More Confident

alleviating test anxiety

It is normal to feel nervous before you go for an exam. Exams are important and they weigh heavily on your final grades. Success in life is often directly related to how you learn to handle pressure in a healthy way. It can help you stay focused, improve productivity and enable you to do your best at whatever you set your mind to.

Experiencing anxiety or stress before an exam is completely normal.  However, if it is excessive it can interfere with the performance of any student no matter how much they have studied and prepared. It has also been referred to as test anxiety. So what should you do if you feel nervous before taking exams? Here are some tips to feeling more confident before a test.

1. Take a break from the books

There is such a thing as over-studying. If you spend too much time studying without a break, it will exhaust your mind and bring about fatigue. Fatigue can lead to a loss of concentration and it affects your memory as well. If your memory gets affected it will lead to frustration as you begin to think you haven’t learned anything at all. When you begin to notice this, realize that stress and anxiety has settled in, causing you to become even more nervous about failing your exam. It’s a sign that it’s time to walk away from the books for a while.

 2. Breathing

Stress can result in nervousness and anxiety and it will affect your breathing pattern as well. Test nerves can also lead to this. Concentrate on slow breathing to help manage your nerves and calm your body.  It can also prevent panic attacks for those who struggle with them. Wait for a moment and take a deep breath. Shut your eyes and take ten deep breaths. It only takes a minute but can make a world of difference in calming your mind.

 3. Get light exercise

There is a strong link between a sense of well being and regular exercise. Exercise leads to reduced anxiety and also helps with handling stress. Even while studying, going for a walk or a bike ride can work wonders for your brain and body. Exercise is also responsible for releasing those feel-good endorphins. It takes your mind off nervousness you may feel about upcoming exams. Clinical studies have indicated that regular exercise results in several emotional and psychological advantages that can aid you in gaining more confidence overall. Additional ideas for exercise are jogging, swimming and dancing.

4. Add fuel to the brain

Many times students get caught up in preparation for exams and as a result, they forget about taking care of their bodies. All physiques need food for optimum operation. Even your brain needs energy to work at full capacity.  Nervousness and anxiety can often stem from a lack of proper diet.  Drinking sufficient amounts of water is also important to avoid nervousness and anxiety, along with consuming a well-balanced diet of food that is rich in antioxidants. A light snack and drinking a glass of water while studying can help ease tension.

5. Prepare yourself well

To assist you with your regular studying can also search for online practice tests or study guides to help prepare yourself on the day of an exam.  Online resources can also help you organize your course work and study notes.  It doesn’t matter what level you are at or how old you are, even medical students can get nervous about taking their USMLE step 1 and they need to prepare well before entering the test. Although it might sound obvious, if you are confident about your preparation, you will feel better when walking into any test.  This results in less anxiety which in turn can help you maintain focus.

 6. Sleep

When there is a lot of information floating around in your head it becomes tough to make sense out of it.  Sometimes while studying you may just need to take a break and simply close your eyes. A power nap or even a longer sleep refreshes the brain.  This is why it’s always better for you to spread your studying out over more than one day and not cram it all in at the last minute. Developing good sleep habits on a daily basis is important so that you’re not playing catch up, especially before an exam.  Similar to energy from food your body and brain needs recharging.  A sufficient amount of sleep every night is important. Lack of sleep can lead to much negativity such as lower affability, memory issues, depression, and anxiety.

7. Music

Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety and blood pressure and even improve sleep quality, mental alertness and memory.  Other studies have also shown that it is not just one particular type of music, but music that the listener enjoys.  Therefore, it’s the enjoyment of the music that counts to open up your brain and reduce your stress level.  It probably not a good idea to listen to music constantly while studying, but it can be a healthy way to do it in moderation and definitely a good thing to do give your mind a break.  I can also calm your nerves just before taking a test.

Resources for Teachers and Parents

Best Web Design Apps and Websites for Students

Best Web Design Apps and Websites for Students

There are thousands of different career options for students but one of the most popular and fastest-growing in the area of web design. Not only are students encouraged through this field to learn technical coding and design skills but they’re also able to develop their creativity by putting together sites that are aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Students that are interested in web design can check out several different apps and sites along with other web design articles like this one that will allow them to start to hone these important skills even before they hit a major study area in college. Learning to do the basics is as easy as signing up and getting started!

We’ve featured apps that are educational kids.  Here, we explore some of the best web design apps and sites for students so they can start learning and growing in the web design field!

Codemoji

If you’re looking for something that will engage students of any age, even as young as the second grade, Codemoji is a great place to start. As the teacher, you can guide students through the main coding technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that are prevalent in today’s world.

Students can work collaboratively or independently and experiment to learn the ins and outs of each system. The teacher dashboard can help track lessons and progress so each student is shown to grow and mature as they work through the program.

The design elements that you can tinker with are limited to images, videos, and sounds that are inside the program already. But each lesson is taught sequentially and follows along with the traditional core web technologies that run and design our world.

Weebly

This is a great place to get started coding and designing websites with students in mind! There are both paid and free versions of Weebly available so however, you want to invest is up to you.

Weebly is designed for students aged 6th-12th grade and is a drop-and-click based platform. Students will be able to design and create websites that can be monitored and receive feedback from the teacher or other instructor.

The sites themselves are easy to direct and manage and help teach students the ins and outs of being part of a bigger community. They can safely design and manage their sites through Weebly.

Codecademy

Get any upper-level students coding with Codecademy! The courses and classes offered on Codecademy allow you to start working on technical computer science information, application development, and many other related topics.

Each of the projects offered by Codecademy is a simulated version of a computer engineer’s work environment that will quickly introduce any students to this fast-growing career path with an eyes wide open approach to the work.

Teachers and students can both jump right in and not need to install or download anything with all of the lessons and feedback happening on the interface. There’s both a free to try and a paid version of the site so you can test the waters before investing in the program for your classroom needs.

Adobe Spark

Adobe has consistently turned out programs that have made a mark on society and continue to influence the next generation of designers and collaborators. Adobe Spark is a flexible design tool that allows you to create and design images, videos, and websites starting in 6th grade!

This is an in-depth design site and app that teachers and students alike can use to create eye-catching videos, sites, and images. The interface is easy to use and teachers can follow along as students design and create. One of the biggest drawbacks is access as your school will need to have the Adobe Suite subscription to access the interface and content therein.

CodeHS

Each of the video lessons in CodeHS is easy to follow so your students and anyone who chooses to use the program will get guided information from real tutors. The video tutor lessons can be accessed by a premium subscription and the tutors are completely accessible with the subscription as well.

All of the aspects of CodeHS are great to teach kids the ins and outs of coding and programming but to access all of the features, you’ll need to get a subscription which can cost you some cash in the long run. The individual aspect of the program is such that students can effectively teach themselves without as much oversight from the instructor or teacher.

Treehouse

The programming on Treehouse is more applicable to high school students or those that have a basis of coding and programming already. Each lesson is self-directed and self-paced so students will be able to work through the issues themselves without as much oversight from the instructor.

The overall program is one of clear instruction, directed by a clean interface that offers focused and clear goals for students. It does require them to be self-motivated when it comes to finishing lessons. If your students are self-starters and motivated to do projects on their own, this is a great site that is hands-off for teachers but effective for students.

Takeaway

When you’re on the lookout for web design apps and sites that are great for students, you want to choose a site that offers great benefits without breaking the bank. If you’re planning to have lots of students use the program, you’d be better off finding money in your budget to go with the full subscriptions so you can access all of the features on whatever site you choose.

Entering into the world of web design and coding is a gateway to a passionate career that will benefit society at large as well as engage the minds of the most curious students. They can search job sites with vacancies to see the types of companies they may be working for.  Starting small with web design apps and sites like these can help students learn the basics of coding before launching on to bigger projects.

Choosing a web design app or site is a great way to add quality skills to your student’s repertoire at an early age without recreating your entire lesson plan or overwhelming students. Get started and engage their curious minds with a whole new way of thinking, as well as helping them discover what they may to choose as a career after they graduate.

How to Teach Classes Online | A Guide for Educators

How to Teach Online

From being a choice to becoming the only option for education throughout the world, eLearning has helped millions of students and tutors connect in virtual classrooms.  As schools and colleges return to normalcy again, the use of online teaching and learning remains to be significant.

Students, teachers, and educational establishments, who have learned the importance of online learning alternatives, may want to explore new ways to enhance traditional teaching methods.  In addition, regular home schoolers, teachers or tutors online may want to grow their skill in this area.

Are you one of the progressive minds?

Online teaching is not reserved for schools and colleges alone. Millions of skilled people have already been teaching on the platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy, etc. It’s time for those who feel overwhelmed by online teaching to put themselves at ease and discover new methodologies.

I am certain that most teachers who taught online in the pandemic never wanted it. It can be unsettling not being able to connect with students in person. However, many progressive minds also got a taste of eLearning and it wouldn’t be surprising if they start considering online tutoring as an addition to their skills:

Virtual classrooms, recorded lectures, digital learning materials, and online quizzes, etc. can make great additions to regular teaching routines, while they could also be used in blended-learning methodologies in the regular classroom sessions, too.

If you are a teacher who feels overwhelmed by the pressure to engage students online, or if you are looking to learn how to teach online on your school’s platform or some eLearning marketplace for added income, this post will offer you some useful insights on how to get started.

We will look into tips from professional eLearning experts, different online tutoring software that you can use, and how you can start your journey as an online tutor with limited experience.

What should you know about online tutoring as a beginner?

For those who are used to usual teaching environments, online tutoring could be a strange experience. Even a tech-savvy person could take a significant amount of time to teach themselves the best way to be a virtual instructor. However, with some simple strategies and groundwork, it’s possible to not just survive but also thrive as an online tutor.

Keep in your mind that:

  • You are not alone– there are thousands of educators like you who are trying their best to streamline ways to engage students online. As schools and colleges shifted to the online mediums, thousands of teachers got the taste of online tutoring for the first time.
  • You are still the subject expert: Be it your school classroom or a virtual classroom, you are still the subject matter expert, mentor, and regulator of your class. Summon your confidence knowing that you have the skills and experience to do the job, irrespective of the platform.
  • Don’t rush into applying everything: It can be overwhelming to try everything that other experienced online tutors or teachers are doing. Start with the simple stuff. For example, you don’t have to start doing instructional designing and create automated workflows in the beginning. Start with simple live streaming of recorded lectures, which you can also script and edit in advance.

How to create digital study materials?

The types of digital/online learning resources that you might need depend on whether you want to teach in 1-to-1 or group environments. However, some learning materials are relevant in all types of settings:

  • Live streaming: You can live stream your audio/video lectures.
  • Recorded videos: You can record, edit, and prepare video instructions.
  • Visuals: You can include drawings, maps, gifs, charts, photos, and screenshots.
  • Written materials: You can use written materials like Docs, PDFs, PPTs, Spreadsheets, etc.

How to put your study materials online and share them with students?

You can either use improvised ways or dedicated eLearning solutions to take your study materials online:

1.  Improvised tools:

  • Cloud Tools: Create text documents directly on Google cloud tools (docs, sheets, forms, assignments etc.). You can share these e documents directly with the students using their Gmail ID.
  • Videos: Upload and share recorded lectures on video sharing platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion tec.
  • Real-time: Use free video conferencing and collaboration tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Google Classroom.
  • On-premise tools: Create your documents on Microsoft office, WPS office, or LibreOffice, etc., and upload on a cloud file sharing platform like Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox, etc. You can also convert your documents into PDF by simply saving them with the extension. PDF or using a PDF converter tool. You can share such documents with the students by simply using their email IDs.

2. E-Learning tools

All of the above-given tools are either free to use or offer free trials. An improvised combination of these tools can be used for creating study materials and sharing them with the students. However, if you want to make it professional, you can rely on dedicated online tutoring software solutions that offer consolidated ways to create and share online courses seamlessly.

You can use such tools to:

  • Create courses and instructional designs.
  • Share courses and perform access control.
  • Track and manage learning progress.
  • Sell courses for revenue.

Please note that these tools are paid. So I don’t want to name any specific brand. Your school or college might already be using such a tool or LMS (learning management system).

In case you are looking for such a tool for selling online courses, search for online tutoring software on the internet, and take your pick as per your unique requirements. For example, if you don’t want to take live lectures, you can skip a live tutoring software and go for a self-paced course management tool.

How to stay connected with the students?

If you are using an online tutoring platform/software, you can use on-site communication tools like live chat, discussion boards, direct messages, etc. to connect with the students. However, if you are improvising your way, there are still many ways to stay connected with your students:

  • Email
  • Internet messengers- Skype, WhatsApp, Signal, etc.
  • Third-party collaboration tools: Slack, Trello Board.
  • Third-party Forums and discussion boards: Facebook groups, Sub-Reddit.

How to track the learning progress of students?

Since you might not be able to have face-to-face sessions, you wouldn’t be able to know if your students are tagging along. It’s important to understand your students’ requirements and accommodate your strategies, which you can do by tracking the learning progress of your students via digital mediums. You ask your students for feedback, quizzes, and polls using an LMS software, or standalone tools like Google forms, Survey Monkey.

What other tools can be useful?

Besides the tools given above, you can also use the following tools for an assortment of resolves:

  • Canva: For creating documents, slides, and infographics.
  • GIMP: Free image editing software.
  • OpenShot: Free video editing software.
  • Audacity: Free audio manipulation tool.
  • Awesome: Screenshot and screen recorder tool.
  • Team Viewer: Desktop sharing software.

Get going with new ways.

Teaching is a noble profession. Only those in education can understand the efforts a teacher or tutor makes to deliver the best of his or her efforts. Change is always tough, but an entirely new way of teaching can be overwhelming. If you too have been struggling, or see someone struggling, I hope these little tips and tricks help.

Review online teaching opportunities.

How to Help Your Child Learn More Effectively

How to help your child learn more effectively.

Most children can pick up things quickly – but some children aren’t so good at it. Rightly so, children are not born learners. It is essential to inculcate the habit of learning – so they are good in academics.  Individual personality plays a good part in learning – and disposition when it comes to education and schooling.

More importantly – when your child receives the right motivation – your child can adopt good learning habits.

While for most children – the classroom is the source of learning, interaction, and instruction – academic growth should not be limited to the classroom. You need to motivate your child to learn and discover new things.

How to help your child learn more effectively:

1. Help kids with their learning goals

Kids today are fed with too much information via different mediums, which affects their learning capabilities. When they need an answer – they have available resources and easy access.

You need to help your kids understand the basics of learning – where they formulate questions and understand the concepts. Show your children information resources – and books. And tell them to frame questions looking at them.

At the end of the exercise, your child will figure out the concept – and it will help them understand better. Basically, you need to make things easier for them.

2. Play games to encourage learning

If you want to make your child a quick learner – it is essential to encourage them to discover and explore new things. You can introduce them to fun math games, card games and board games – so they become sharp learners.

Yes, board games play a big role in learning – as it intrigues children and they use their imagination power and problem-solving capability. Besides, these games help to strategize challenging situations, which makes things easier for them. With every logical step –  they learn something new that makes them smarter. Mind board games are best for your little ones.

3. Develop reading habits

Reading is the key to learning new things and grasping new concepts. Children who develop a love for interpretation also develop a love for learning. And children who struggle to read – also struggle to learn.

Reading is the first step towards learning – where your child gets comfortable with books. Besides, regular reading helps your child develop better vocabulary and formal communication skills.

It helps your kids explore language art – and gives them an enhanced ability to understand different subjects. As a part of the exercise, you can tell your child to read for twenty minutes daily – and make sure your child reads aloud.

4. Understand your child’s attention span

Kids don’t have the longest attention span – so you will need to understand their attention span. At times, your kid may appear to focus but maybe zoning out. However, forcing them to stay focused when they lack motivation is forcing them to learn. This is not beneficial in promoting student growth.

Take some time out – and help get their focus back. It is a good idea to create a learning schedule – where your kids will learn for fifteen minutes and rest for 10 minutes. They won’t lose their focus – and will be able to concentrate better on their study routine.

5. Focus on your kids’ interests and introduce learning styles

You need to focus on your kids’ interests and likes. Learning becomes fun – when your child enjoys the process. If you wish to help your child become a good learner – you will have to explore topics and dig out interests.

Like, if your kids are fascinated by discoveries in space, get your kid books and resources that cover the topic.

To help your kids learn better, you can introduce new learning styles. If your kids like playing games – make learning interactive and fun. Use video to engage learning and explore learning apps designed to help teachers and parents access the latest tools..

6. Help your kid stay organized

Do you know if your child is disorganized – it will affect his learning process? Your child needs to remain organized – so that he can concentrate better. Though disorganization is common in school children, don’t let it be a habit.

Tell your child to organize books according to subjects. Besides, naughty children spend more time being frustrated instead of focusing on learning. However, you need to be patient to help your child organize and do things rightly. If you lose patience, you will end up shouting, which will mess up the situation.

Celebrate Learning

Apart from all the techniques mentioned above, it’s essential to celebrate your child’s wins. When your child gets a trophy or certificate, encourage your children by giving them something they like.

It will further motivate your child to do better and learn new concepts. It develops positive feedback – and they begin to enjoy the process of learning, which helps them do better in exams.

Make learning fun and interactive for your children, but do not pressurize them with new concepts. Let them enjoy the process.

Safer Search

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

Search public records to find people, connect with long lost friends, family, or conduct background checks to learn about strangers or acquaintances that have contact with your children on the people search engine.