Educational Software Considered a Key Tool For Your Child’s Education

Computers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. More people than ever own computers and the numbers continue to rise. Children are learning how to use computers at a much earlier age than their parents did. In my own life, my family did not own a computer till I was six while my daughter will be born in a house with three computers.While their teachers will do everything they can to educate your child, your child is one of twenty or thirty kids in the classroom. Ultimately, the burden of educating your child rests on your shoulders. Your home is a great environment to direct your child’s learning in fun and creative ways. There are many opportunities to learn in your home.Educational software on the computer is a valuable tool that will have an enormous impact on your child’s learning skills. Beginning reading programs covering phonics will build a solid foundation for the further development of your child’s reading skills. Also, its never too early to start with math skills and there are many programs, such as Reader Rabbit’s math, that will encourage a thorough knowledge of addition and subtraction.You child needs any educational advantage you can give them. The best advantage you can give them, according to the prevailing research, is to find a way to engage their interest. Children who are interested in the material learn at a faster rate than a child that is unentertained by the learning process. Kids love video games and cartoons, so computer software that combines the two with a positive learning experience can be a tremendous advantage for your child’s education. Studies have shown that educational software is very effective at enhancing the quality of teaching and helping students comprehend on a higher level.There are some things to remember when choosing software. First, it has to be easy for your child to operate, especially if you have a small child. When I was six, I hated the keyboard and we didn’t have a mouse yet, so I remember how hard it was to use any software that was more complicated than hitting the arrow keys. Luckily, software and computers have evolved but it is still a consideration. Second, make sure it is software that will accommodate the attention span of a five or six year old. They don’t have much of an attention span at that age so make sure the software dishes out the education in small doses. If your child gets bored then it doesn’t serve much purpose, does it.You should also find software that fits with your child’s interests. This shouldn’t be a problem, nobody knows your kid as well as you do. As much as I dislike the media tie in programs, Sponge Bob and Spiderman may be the best teachers for the job at hand. It’s easier to introduce new ideas and pique their interest if there is something familiar about it. It’s sneaky, but it gets the job done.Finally, do some comparison shopping. There are a lot of options and you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Compare the features of the program with what your child is learning in school already. Make sure the program itself is regularly updated and enhanced with new features to make sure it is of the best value. Also, compare competing products to make sure you get the best possible program. While you can’t put a price on the importance of your child’s education, you can make sure you get a great return on your investment.

Is Auditory Processing Disorder Affecting Your Child With Autism in Special Education?

Does your child with autism struggle to understand verbal information? Do you sometimes think that your child must not be listening enough, because they always mix up verbal directions? Have you heard of Auditory Processing Disorder and wonder if your child has it? This article will be discussing APD, diagnosis and possible characteristics of this disorder.It is important to understand that many disabilities have Co Morbid conditions that may occur with them. For example: a child with Autism may also have Sensory Integration Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and also Auditory Processing Disorder. By having knowledge of all disabilities that a child has, you will be able to advocate for appropriate needed special education services.Auditory Processing Disorder is the inability to attend to, discriminate among, or understand auditory information. Language is developed by children by listening. When auditory skills are weak, the child may experience auditory overload; which makes learning much more of a challenge.Also much of school learning is done verbally, which puts the child with this disorder at a terrible disadvantage!Here are a few characteristics and symptoms of APD:1. Has normal hearing but has difficulty in the reception (receiving) and interpretation of auditory information. Trouble making sense of what he or she hears.2. May have difficulty staying on task.3. May look around for visual cues, since they do not understand directions.4. Responds fairly well in quite situations but may have great difficulty listening in noisy environments.5. May have difficulty telling the difference between words that sound familiar.6. May have difficulty remembering information in the order it was said?7. May be visually alert.8. May perform poorly on tests requiring verbal language information.9. May have difficulty working independently.10. Inconsistent performances.If your child is showing some of these signs, you may refer them to your special education personnel in your school district, for an Audiological evaluation. Most school districts do not have Audiologists on staff, so they would have to pay for the evaluation for you to take your child to a private Audiologist (if they agree of course-though some hearing officers have given parents Independent Educational Evaluations at public expense, if the school district refuses to evaluate a child in all areas of suspected disability).A complete Audiological evaluation includes all of the following:1. Referral2. Case History3. Complete Audiological Evaluation4. AP test battery5. Results of whether the child has the disorder; and any recommendations for needed special education services or equipment.Use this information to refer your child for an evaluation if you think that your child may have this disorder. Auditory processing Disorder negatively affects a child’s education, but with appropriate special education services and equipment, your child can continue to learn and have a bright future!

Education in Greece – From Childhood to the Third Age

As the tourist tsunami and the last heat of the Greek summer die down, people’s minds are once again turning to the return to routine which characterises September. Perhaps surprisingly for foreigners, it is common for Greeks to bid their summer farewells to extended family, friends and acquaintances in their holiday neighbourhoods by wishing them a ‘good winter’ (Καλο χειμονα = kal-o he-mo-na), even though the biting cold that can occur during Greek winters is still far off.An important part of everybody’s routine, not only Greeks’, of course, is schooling. September sees troupes of children returning reluctantly to the incessant grind that constitutes their education. Greece must surely have the shortest school year in the world – approximately 32 weeks, not including one-day religious, national and regional holidays. Hence students must work frantically throughout the chilly winter months in order to cover the syllabus. To make matters worse for these aspiring professionals, the lack of confidence in state education that has developed over the last half-century means that most teenagers attend coaching colleges or foreign language centres (usually called ‘frontisteria’) on a weekly basis. Or they might have private lessons.This lamentably arduous process first began to evolve many years ago when university entrance examinations tested applicants’ abilities and skills at higher levels than those they were taught during their final year of secondary school. This clever state of affairs assured the wealthy elite of the nation that their progeny would occupy the limited number of tertiary places available, regardless of academic ability, and consequently the controlling positions in the state and the nation generally. In essence, it was a plutocratic system, for those days only the rich could afford to send their offspring to such establishments.Nowadays, the coaching college is so entrenched that it constitutes a huge industry; the parastatal education system – so much for free (and fair) education! And on September 13 the race begins anew – chasing points and credits in an effort to better one’s position in the employment and social stakes, a dogged marathon event with the prizes of status, wealth and a comfortable lifestyle awaiting the successful participants at the end of the long haul.For those who don’t make it into the top one or two per cent the options are more prosaic. The fact that a high percentage of the Greek workforce continues to be engaged in family-based business gives graduates at all levels the opportunity to carry on the family tradition if they fail to secure employment in their chosen field. So, it is not uncommon to come across highly-qualified bakers, carpenters, shopkeepers, kiosk-owners, electricians and hotel receptionists, to name just a few. This may be cold comfort after all those years of relentless toil, but these days work of any description is better than none.Greek educationists have recently introduced significant innovations in the state system, which had hitherto stood accused of being stilted, lacking creativity and too reliant on rote learning. The advent of information technology, interactive teaching equipment and the world wide web has altered the landscape of education globally, with Greece being no exception.So it remains to be seen whether the Greek youth return to their classrooms full of enthusiasm and optimism this year, or whether they’ll continue to be bored with more of the same old drudgery dressed up in ‘technicolor’ clothing. Will their fascination with mobile phones, Wii, PSP, P2P, social networking sites and so on help or hinder their education? The jury might well remain ‘out’ on this issue for quite a long time to come.Interestingly, the Greek word for education is εκπαιδευση (ek-pai-thev-si, with the ‘th’ pronounced as in ‘the’), which literally means ‘coming out of childhood’. But one could be forgiven for thinking that education has taken on a whole new meaning with the arrival of all this communication and information technology. One wonders whether this generation, sometimes called the ‘screenagers’, will ever ’emerge’ from childhood. Now that’s a new slant on life-long education, not to mention the now-blurred distinction between that process and that other holy grail of education – education for life.And that reminds me yet again of that ancient Greek saying, attributed to Solon, the Athenian reformist statesman renowned for his wisdom: Γηρασκω αει διδασκομενος (Yir-a-sko a-ei the-thas-ko-men-os) – ‘Growing old I never stop learning.’ It seems that some things just never change. Have a good winter!Copyright Leslie Neil Evans August 2010