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When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading
habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?
If youre one of countless people who dont make a habit of reading regularly, you might be
missing out: reading has a significant number of benefits, and just a few benefits of reading are
listed below.

1. Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progressof (or possibly even
prevent) Alzheimers and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it
from losing power. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it
strong and healthy, so the phrase use it or lose it is particularly apt when it comes to your
mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with
cognitive stimulation.

2. Stress Reduction
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other
issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-

written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and
keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.

3. Knowledge
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it
might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any
challenge youll ever face.
Additionally, heres a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire
circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything elseyour job, your
possessions, your money, even your healthknowledge can never be taken from you.

4. Vocabulary Expansion
This goes with the above topic: the more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and
theyll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Being articulate and wellspoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with
self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. It could even aid in your career, as
those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get
promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of
awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to
words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.

5. Memory Improvement
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds,
ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way
through every story. Thats a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvellous things and can
remember these things with relative ease. Amazingly enough, every new memory you create
forges new synapses (brain pathways)and strengthens existing ones, which assists in shortterm memory recall as well as stabilizing moods. How cool is that?

6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills

Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing
the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all
the details provided and sorting them out to determine whodunnit.
That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot;
determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the characters were properly developed, if the
storyline ran smoothly, etc. Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others,
youll be able to state your opinions clearly, as youve taken the time to really consider all the
aspects involved.

7. Improved Focus and Concentration

In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we
multi-task through every day. In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time

between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via gchat, skype,
etc.), keeping an eye on twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers.
This type of ADD-like behaviour causes stress levels to rise, andlowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the storythe rest of the world just
falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail youre absorbing. Try reading for
15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and youll
be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.

8. Better Writing Skills

This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of your vocabulary: exposure to published, wellwritten work has a noted effect on ones own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and
writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work. In the same way that
musicians influence one another, and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so
do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.

9. Tranquility
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, its possible that the subject
you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility. Reading spiritual texts can
lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help
books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental

10. Free Entertainment

Though many of us like to buy books so we can annotate them and dog-ear pages for future
reference, they can be quite pricey. For low-budget entertainment, you can visit your local
library and bask in the glory of the countless tomes available there for free. Libraries have books
on every subject imaginable, and since they rotate their stock and constantly get new books,
youll never run out of reading materials.
If you happen to live in an area that doesnt have a local library, or if youre mobility-impaired
and cant get to one easily, most libraries have their books available in PDF or ePub format so
you can read them on your e-reader, iPad, or your computer screen. There are also many sources
onlinewhere you can download free e-books, so go hunting for something new to read!
Theres a reading genre for every literate person on the planet, and whether your tastes lie in
classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, young adult books,
self-help guides, street lit, or romance novels, theres something out there to capture your
curiosity and imagination. Step away from your computer for a little while, crack open a book,
and replenish your soul for a little while.

Improve Your Concentration(5pages)
Achieving Focus Amid Distractions

How many times have you sat at your desk and tried to focus on a task, only to find that your
mind is wandering? Despite your best intentions, you just can't concentrate. We've all been in this
familiar, frustrating situation, and it's something that can really undermine your performance.
In this article, we'll review strategies to improve your concentration and reduce your daily
Your personal work environment plays a large role in your ability to concentrate. The more
comfortable and welcoming your environment is, the easier it will likely be for you to stay there
and focus.
Here are some ideas for improving your physical environment:

Make sure you're comfortable Start by ensuring that your chair and desk are at the
right height for you to work comfortably. If your chair is too high or your desk is too low,
you'll be uncomfortable, and you'll be tempted to use this as an excuse to get up and walk

Put up pictures Viewing a natural scene or watching wildlife can help improve
concentration. If you're able to put up pictures in your office or work area, then choose

landscapes or natural images that you enjoy. This can help your focus, especially if you
can see the pictures from your desk.

Shut out distractions as much as possible Listening to music can help, especially
if it's instrumental music. Some people even use "white noise" apps these produce a
steady, non-distracting sound like ocean waves or falling rain. This steady background
noise can drown out other noise, helping you focus better and ignore distractions.

Follow some simple nutritional tips:

Drink water Many of us don't think about drinking water while we're at work, yet
dehydration can make us feel tired, irritable, slow, or even sick. When our brains don't
have enough fluid, they can't operate at peak performance. Staying hydrated is an easy
way to help improve your concentration during the day.

Eat breakfast Start your day with a healthy breakfast. It's much harder to
concentrate when you're hungry, so eat a well-rounded meal before you go to work. You
can also help your concentration throughout the day by keeping healthy snacks at your
desk. Almonds, whole-grain crackers, fresh fruit, and vegetables are good choices.

Get up and move around Do you walk around during the day? If you're like many
people, you probably don't move around enough. Research has shown that regular walking
can help increase your focus during the day.


Constant distractions, and the low productivity that's associated with these distractions, have
become so commonplace in today's offices that doctors have even given it a name: Attention
Deficit Trait, or ADT. And, they say that entire organizations can suffer from it.
Follow some of these guidelines to help focus your mind:

Set aside time to deal with worries Many of us have trouble concentrating during
the day because we're constantly worrying about other things. It could be an approaching
deadline for a project you haven't started, a new colleague who's causing problems, or just
the amount of work on your desk. If you find yourself distracted by worries, then note
these down so that you don't need to hold them in your mind. Then schedule time to deal
with these issues.

Focus on one task at a time It can be much harder to focus if you take minibreaks
(1530 seconds) to answer emails, send text messages, or take quick phone calls. Some
researchers believe that it can take up to 15 minutes for us to regain complete focus after a

Close your email box and chat program Let your voice mail do its job. If your
office allows it, close your office door or put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign to let colleagues
know you need to focus. (If you're a manager and you want to operate an open door policy,
then consider working from home or from elsewhere for times when you need to focus.)

Switch between high- and low-attention tasks This can give your brain a rest after
heavy concentration. For instance, if you spend two hours working on your department's
budget, you'll probably feel tired afterward. You can recharge your energy by working on a
low-attention task, like filing, for 15 minutes before going back to your budget.

Prioritize Having too much to do can be distracting, and this sometime causes
procrastination. Or, you may quickly jump from task to task, creating the illusion of work
but in reality, you're not accomplishing very much. If you're not sure which tasks to start
or which are most important, take 10 or 15 minutes to prioritize your To-Do List . Our
article Overcoming Procrastination can also help.

Limiting distractions allows you to get into the flow of your work so you get more done. If
you'd like to learn about improving your focus, read the articles In Flow and Managing
Interruptions .
More Tips for Improving Your Concentration

Take short breaks We can be masters at focusing, but eventually we're going to
need a break. Our minds can struggle to focus intensely on tasks for eight hours a day. This
is where it can be better to divide your work into one-hour segments, with a 510 minute
break between tasks. This short break will allow your mind to rest before focusing again.

Do your hardest tasks when you're most alert This will help you maximize your
concentration. Do you want to learn how to schedule your tasks around your energy
levels? Read our article Is This a Morning Task?

Use a phone headset If you have a headset for your phone, consider using it for a
few hours each day. If your colleagues think you're on the phone, they're less likely to
interrupt you.

Promise yourself a reward For instance, make a rule that if you focus intensively
for 45 minutes on one task, you can take a break to get a cup of coffee when you're done.
Little "self-rewards" can often be great motivators.

Schedule email downloads It can be tremendously distracting to have emails

pinging into your inbox every few minutes you're tempted to stop what you're doing, and
answer them right away. If you can, schedule your email to download only a few times
each day, and deal with all of your emails in one go.

Key Points
Sitting down to focus on one task can be difficult, especially when you're constantly interrupted.
To help increase your focus, start with a good breakfast, and drink plenty of water throughout the
day. Don't multitask, close your door, and listen to music if it helps you concentrate.
Although it may sound somewhat counter-intuitive, taking short, regular breaks throughout the
day can also help you focus.




Goals and Techniques for Teaching Reading

Instructors want to produce students who, even if they do not have complete control of the
grammar or an extensive lexicon, can fend for themselves in communication situations. In the
case of reading, this means producing students who can use reading strategies to maximize their
comprehension of text, identify relevant and non-relevant information, and tolerate less than
word-by-word comprehension.
Focus: The Reading Process
To accomplish this goal, instructors focus on the process of reading rather than on its product.

They develop students' awareness of the reading process and reading strategies by asking
students to think and talk about how they read in their native language.

They allow students to practice the full repertoire of reading strategies by using authentic
reading tasks. They encourage students to read to learn (and have an authentic purpose
for reading) by giving students some choice of reading material.

When working with reading tasks in class, they show students the strategies that will
work best for the reading purpose and the type of text. They explain how and why
students should use the strategies.

They have students practice reading strategies in class and ask them to practice outside of
class in their reading assignments. They encourage students to be conscious of what
they're doing while they complete reading assignments.

They encourage students to evaluate their comprehension and self-report their use of
strategies. They build comprehension checks into in-class and out-of-class reading
assignments, and periodically review how and when to use particular strategies.

They encourage the development of reading skills and the use of reading strategies by
using the target language to convey instructions and course-related information in written
form: office hours, homework assignments, test content.

They do not assume that students will transfer strategy use from one task to another. They
explicitly mention how a particular strategy can be used in a different type of reading task
or with another skill.

By raising students' awareness of reading as a skill that requires active engagement, and by
explicitly teaching reading strategies, instructors help their students develop both the ability and
the confidence to handle communication situations they may encounter beyond the classroom.
In this way they give their students the foundation for communicative competence in the new

Integrating Reading Strategies

Instruction in reading strategies is not an add-on, but rather an integral part of the use of reading
activities in the language classroom. Instructors can help their students become effective readers
by teaching them how to use strategies before, during, and after reading.
Before reading: Plan for the reading task

Set a purpose or decide in advance what to read for

Decide if more linguistic or background knowledge is needed

Determine whether to enter the text from the top down (attend to the overall meaning) or
from the bottom up (focus on the words and phrases)

During and after reading: Monitor comprehension

Verify predictions and check for inaccurate guesses

Decide what is and is not important to understand

Reread to check comprehension

Ask for help

After reading: Evaluate comprehension and strategy use

Evaluate comprehension in a particular task or area

Evaluate overall progress in reading and in particular types of reading tasks

Decide if the strategies used were appropriate for the purpose and for the task

Modify strategies if necessary

Using Authentic Materials and Approaches

For students to develop communicative competence in reading, classroom and homework
reading activities must resemble (or be) real-life reading tasks that involve meaningful
communication. They must therefore be authentic in three ways.
1. The reading material must be authentic: It must be the kind of material that students will need
and want to be able to read when traveling, studying abroad, or using the language in other
contexts outside the classroom.
When selecting texts for student assignments, remember that the difficulty of a reading text is
less a function of the language, and more a function of the conceptual difficulty and the task(s)
that students are expected to complete. Simplifying a text by changing the language often
removes natural redundancy and makes the organization somewhat difficult for students to
predict. This actually makes a text more difficult to read than if the original were used.
Rather than simplifying a text by changing its language, make it more approachable by eliciting
students' existing knowledge in pre-reading discussion, reviewing new vocabulary before
reading, and asking students to perform tasks that are within their competence, such as skimming
to get the main idea or scanning for specific information, before they begin intensive reading.

2. The reading purpose must be authentic: Students must be reading for reasons that make sense
and have relevance to them. "Because the teacher assigned it" is not an authentic reason for
reading a text.
To identify relevant reading purposes, ask students how they plan to use the language they are
learning and what topics they are interested in reading and learning about. Give them
opportunities to choose their reading assignments, and encourage them to use the library, the
Internet, and foreign language newsstands and bookstores to find other things they would like to
3. The reading approach must be authentic: Students should read the text in a way that matches
the reading purpose, the type of text, and the way people normally read. This means that reading
aloud will take place only in situations where it would take place outside the classroom, such as
reading for pleasure. The majority of students' reading should be done silently.
Reading Aloud in the Classroom
Students do not learn to read by reading aloud. A person who reads aloud and comprehends the
meaning of the text is coordinating word recognition with comprehension and speaking and
pronunciation ability in highly complex ways. Students whose language skills are limited are not
able to process at this level, and end up having to drop one or more of the elements. Usually the
dropped element is comprehension, and reading aloud becomes word calling: simply
pronouncing a series of words without regard for the meaning they carry individually and
together. Word calling is not productive for the student who is doing it, and it is boring for other
students to listen to.

There are two ways to use reading aloud productively in the language classroom. Read
aloud to your students as they follow along silently. You have the ability to use inflection
and tone to help them hear what the text is saying. Following along as you read will help
students move from word-by-word reading to reading in phrases and thought units, as
they do in their first language.

Use the "read and look up" technique. With this technique, a student reads a phrase or
sentence silently as many times as necessary, then looks up (away from the text) and tells
you what the phrase or sentence says. This encourages students to read for ideas, rather
than for word recognition.

Self-Studying: What's the Benefit and How to Do It (4 pages)
With an increasing number of new technologies and an expanding global population, selfstudying is on the rise. Education is no longer confined to just the classroom, and some would
argue that the classroom model is outdated and does not meet the intellectual needs of
individuals in such an interconnected society.
Being an autodidact, or self-teacher, has become increasingly feasible due toMOOCs (massive
open online courses), Internet encyclopedias, and more colleges and universities offering courses

online. Learning a new language or obtaining a certificate for career advancement can occur
from the comfort of your home, on your own time, and at your own pace. At low costs, these
methods of education are encroaching upon traditional educational institutions.
For high school students, self-studying can help improve transcripts. In the context of Advanced
Placement exams, self-learning gives students whose high schools do not offer certain AP
courses the opportunity to still take AP exams. While it is hard work, independently studying for
and taking AP exams can allow students to receive college credit before freshman year even
begins. Additionally, high school students benefit from self-studying habits to prepare for a more
independent learning environment in college.
Self-studying for AP exams and taking courses online can help a student's chances of college
admission. Admissions officers like to see students take initiative and go beyond their high
school curriculum by exploring academic interests on their own. If a student takes an AP exam
that isn't offered at their high school and scores a 4 or a 5, that will show how the student has
gone above and beyond to learn that subject in depth. For example, if a student is interested in
engineering, but their schools does not offer AP Physics, they can study for and take the AP exam
on their own to showcase this specific interest and dedication to colleges. Online classes, like
those offered through edX and other MOOCs, can be added to resumes, and studying for subjects
independently can be written about in application essays about how academic interests
developed. Self-studying is an excellent way to highlight personal drive and intellectual curiosity
when applying to schools.
In higher education, some argue that it is especially important for students to be assigned projects
and material suitable for self-learning, so that they may exercise and develop intellectual

independence and explore subject matter they personally find interesting. One study
suggests that self-study, in addition to being more affordable and convenient, is surpassing
classroom learning as far as effectiveness. Self-study and traditional classroom learning
complement one another. When used together, they help students learn and retain information
better; however, the world is becoming more accustomed to the benefits of solely self-learning.
The Internet is an optimal resource for aspiring autodidacts, and with more sites being geared
specifically towards learning anytime and anywhere, individuals all over the world have access
to a cost-efficient and customizable education. Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Academic Earth are
just a few of the low-cost or free education providers available through the web. Classes
covering physics, law, business, engineering, politics, history and more are available and many
contain lectures, quizzes, and tests that students complete at their own pace. Because of this
autodidactic approach, students in MOOCs have been found to test better than students taking
the same courses in large in-person lectures.
While it is unlikely that the classroom as an educational forum will ever be entirely replaced, as
the benefits of a physical space for collaboration with intellectual and social growth is
undeniable, self-learning will likely become increasingly integrated into traditional educational
institutions. Students of all ages may find exploring a subject matter of interest or learning a new
skill on their own time, and at a low cost, to be highly rewarding. After all, a sense of freedom
and self-determination can come with being your own teacher, as it is believed that if people
begin with learning what they really want to, then that thirst for knowledge will spread to other

Self-learning does take a lot of discipline and can be difficult at first, but like any endeavor, with
time it becomes easier. Self-study, when done correctly, is a very effective learning tool, so it can
be helpful when used to prepare for a test or learn an entirely new subject matter on your own.
Here are some tips for practicing successful self-studying:
Set realistic goals. Setting work goals for yourself, ones that realistically fit in with your life
and other commitments, is important when creating self-study habits. You can set yourself up for
success by assigning only a certain number of chapters to read each night, adjusting your
workload according to how hectic your schedule is in any given week, and giving yourself a
mental break each week to let your mind rest.
Find what works for you. There are many different ways to learn, and it is important to
adjust studying techniques to find what works for your brain. Some students find reading aloud
helpful, others like taking handwritten notes rather than typing. Discover whatever works best
for you, and stick with it.
Review material the same day you learn it. After taking notes in an online course, or
reading the next chapter in your textbook, make sure you review all the new material, by typing
up your notes, practicing your new skill, or reading over a chapter again, to help it resonate.
While this may seem tedious, it only takes a short amount of time. Reviewing can help with
long-term absorption of material, so it decreases the need of cramming in the future.
Study in short, frequent sessions. Instead of treating your study session like a marathon,
break up your material by topic into a series of short sessions, separated by short breaks. That
way, you won't be staring at your books or computer for too long while wearing on your focus,
and your brain can absorb the material more easily. While cramming may seem like a great way

to cover a lot of material in a condensed amount of time, studying in short, frequent sessions is a
more effective way to learn subject matter and self-study.
Prepare and maintain your study environment. When learning remotely it is important to
create a study space for yourself. By setting aside a desk or table that is a designated
environment for self-studying or completing an online course, you will know to be mentally








Self-studying is a useful tool to enhance any learning experience, and when mastered, students
young and old reap the benefits. Whether applied to studying for an AP exam or exploring new
material independently due to sheer curiosity, self-studying can lead to new opportunities
academically and professionally. Remember to utilize the world around you! Technology has put
knowledge at your fingertips, so take advantage of all the easily accessible and low-cost tools at
your disposal.

iPads in the Classroom(6 pages)

The introduction of the iPad, with its easy to manipulate touch screen technology, has allowed
even very young children to take advantage of a computer. Its portable format and fast load-up
time has made it possible for them to be used easily in the classroom.
The iPad in the classroom brings education to life. Children have endless access to valuable
information such as a dictionary and thesaurus, which previously were only available in printed
format. Interactive technology makes learning more engaging and memorable. Tools such as
audio and video recorders can change the way that learning takes place and homework is
completed. So what if all children in a school were given an iPad to use in class and take home
with them?
Anne Laure Bazin (Assistant Head Teacher at Mounts Bay Academy in Cornwall) works in a
school where every child, teacher and teaching assistant is given a free iPad to use in and out of
lessons. For her, the main advantage of everyone having an iPad has been the improvement in
communication. Documents can be emailed straight over to colleagues during a meeting.
Children submit their homework by email, or through the schools virtual learning environment.
Teachers now take the register using their iPad, which means that there is a centralised record of
which children are in school, and which classroom they are in, that every teacher has access to.
The use of iPads has encouraged greater sharing of resources among teachers. All
communication with parents is now done by email. Working as a group in class is much easier as
children can share documents. Children who previously did not have access to the internet at
home are given the same opportunities as their peers. The whole class can look at one childs
work by attaching the iPad to the interactive whiteboard. If a child has forgotten their textbook,
the teacher can take a photograph of the relevant page and send it to the student in class.

Anne Laure says The pupils learn more efficiently with the iPad as they get instant feedback. In
the past, they would do their homework and then submit it and a few days later I would give it
back and we would go over it. This time delay means that they have often forgotten what they
have written or why they chose to write it like that. With the iPad they can receive immediate
feedback from interactive tools and quizzes which means they find out straight away if they have
got something right. Using online dictionaries means they are able to check their work before
they submit it. It doesnt do the work for them, it helps them to work it out for themselves.
Anne Laure teaches French and access to the cultural resources available on the internet enriches
her lessons and puts the work into context. There are free interactive resources on the internet
talking about holidays and special cultural events. A-level students can access French
newspapers and videos, giving them ready access to material in the target language.
Jen Foster teaches English at Enfield County School in North London. In her school, all the
teachers are provided with a laptop but only a select few have been given iPads. She does not
believe that all the children in the school should be given iPads, All the teachers should be
given one but not the students. I just cant see how it would work with the kids. So much
hardware goes missing in schools as it is. Who would maintain them? Who would update them?
Breakage and loss is a problem at Mounts Bay Academy. In a class of 25, there are always a
handful of the children who dont have their iPads with them, either because they are being
repaired, have been forgotten or they are waiting for a replacement. Mount Bay has a technical
team on site who maintain the iPads and sort out any problems. There are weekly clinics that
students can go to when they have technical problems with their iPad. They are insured against
loss or damage, but the students have to pay 50 excess for any repairs or a replacement.

While the use of the iPad in schools has revolutionised the way children are taught, it hasnt
completely replaced more traditional methods of teaching. Worksheets are still used in class as
some children prefer the contact with paper. The children all have a textbook and exercise books.
In Anne Laures school, parents were concerned that the iPads would replace exercise books and
children would lose handwriting skills. Anne Laure says, The iPad is an extra, it does not
replace printed materials. The teachers are not ready to let go of the traditional style of teaching.
We have welcomed the iPads in so much as they help communication and widen the resources
available but we are not ready to let go of paper yet. The children themselves still value their
exercise books and rely on them for revision.
In Enfield County School, teachers have embraced technology for education. The children may
not have iPads, but Jen has a set of netbooks available that children can use during class. As an
English teacher, she can bring pages of the books they are studying up on the interactive
whiteboard, highlight text and make notes on the page, to turn the book into a working
document. iBooks allows students to annotate their books, search the whole book for use of a
phrase and find an instant definition of any word. Jen says, I dont see this sort of technology as
a threat to the real book. People will always read printed books, this just allows people greater
flexibility which has definitely changed the way I teach.
Jen uses the camera from her iPad as a visualiser. This allows her to take a picture of the work in
a pupils book and transmit it onto the interactive whiteboard. This sort of technology has been
available in education for some time, but it is expensive and cumbersome.
Uses of the iPad in education

Jen and Anne Laure have shared some of their tips for using iPads and technology in and out of


The iPad is great for surfing the web and researching topics in or out of the classroom.


Video creation and editing is simple on the iPad. This can be a great group activity to encourage
collaboration. Unfortunately Flash is not supported on the iPad, so watching videos (except on
YouTube) is not always possible. Videos [LINK] can be watched on the interactive whiteboard if





The iPad is portable and easy to carry around with books making it the ideal tool to take notes












Setting a discussion topic for homework is ideal for encouraging participation from the more
nervous members of the class. Students can be encouraged to take part in a live debate for their
evening homework using the school virtual learning environment and can be marked on their





There are several excellent mind mapping apps on the iPad which makes revision enjoyable and



The whole class contributing to a blog can be a rewarding experience which allows the students













The iPad has changed art lessons for good there are so many fantastic art apps which allow





Its easy and rewarding to make music on the iPad, using a variety of different instruments.






Particularly useful for language lessons: Skype can be set up so that video conferences can be

arranged with schools in other countries. Video penpals allow students from different countries
to talk, practise their language skills and share their cultural differences.
Technology has allowed the children who are more nervous in class the opportunity to have a
voice: Jen sets up evening discussions on topics that the children have to participate in for
homework and Anne Laure gets her pupils to record themselves speaking French so she can
check pronunciation. This allows teachers to get to know the children who previously were too
embarrassed to speak in class and this in turn allows them to build their confidence gradually.
For Anne Laure, the novelty of the iPad in the classroom will never wear off. Whether all
schools will go down the same route as Mounts Bay Academy remains to be seen, but with
technology changing so quickly it is certain that the opportunities for education are enormous.
Teachers who embrace technology can certainly benefit by being able to offer more engaging
lessons to their technology-savvy students.
BBC Active sells licences to the BBCs vast range of educational television programmesto use in
learning environments. Video allows students to put real life events in context and learn in a
more visual and memorable way.

10 Strategies to enhance students memory(5 pages)
The memory demands for school-age children are much greater than they are for adults. As
adults, we have already acquired much of the knowledge and skills we need to function day to
day. Although the knowledge base for some fields such as technology changes rapidly, the new
information is generally highly specific and builds on existing knowledge. On the other hand,
school children are constantly bombarded with new knowledge in multiple topic areas in which
they may or may not be interested. Additionally, they are expected to both learn and demonstrate
the mastery of this knowledge on a weekly basis. Thus, an effective and efficient memory is
critical for school success.
Many students have memory problems. Students who have deficits in registering information in
short-term memory often have difficulty remembering instructions or directions they have just
been given, what was just said during conversations and class lectures and discussions, and what
they just read. Students who have difficulty with working memory often forget what they are
doing while doing it.
For example, they may understand the three-step direction they were just given, but forget the
second and third steps while carrying out the first step. If they are trying to solve a math problem
that has several steps, they might forget the steps while trying to solve the problem. When they
are reading a paragraph, they may forget what was at the beginning of the paragraph by the time
they get to the end of the paragraph. These students will look like they have difficulty with

reading comprehension. In facts, they do; but the comprehension problem is due to a failure of
the memory system rather than the language system.
Students who have deficits in the storage and retrieval of information from long-term memory
may study for tests, but not be able to recall the information they studied when taking the tests.
They frequently have difficulty recalling specific factual information such as dates or rules of
grammar. They have a poor memory of material they earlier in the school year or last year. They
may also be unable to answer specific questions asked of them in class even when their parents
and/or teachers think they really know the information.
The following ten general strategies are offered to help students develop a more efficient and
effective memory.
1. Give directions in multiple formats
Students benefit from being given directions in both visual and verbal formats. In addition, their
understanding and memorizing of instructions could be checked by encouraging them to repeat
the directions given and explain the meaning of these directions. Examples of what needs to be
done are also often helpful for enhancing memory of directions.
2. Teach students to over-learn material
Students should be taught the necessity of "over-learning" new information. Often they practice
only until they are able to perform one error-free repetition of the material. However, several
error-free repetitions are needed to solidify the information.

3. Teach students to use visual images and other memory strategies

Another memory strategy that makes use of a cue is one called word substitution. The substitute
word system can be used for information that is hard to visualize, for example, for the word
occipital or parietal. These words can be converted into words that sound familiar that can be
visualized. The word occipital can be converted to exhibit hall (because it sounds like exhibit
hall). The student can then make a visual image of walking into an art museum and seeing a big
painting of a brain with big bulging eyes (occipital is the region of the brain that controls vision).
With this system, the vocabulary word the student is trying to remember actually becomes the
cue for the visual image that then cues the definition of the word.
4. Give teacher-prepared handouts prior to class lectures
Class lectures and series of oral directions should be reinforced by teacher-prepared handouts.
The handouts for class lectures could consist of a brief outline or a partially completed graphic
organizer that the student would complete during the lecture. Having this information both
enables students to identify the salient information that is given during the lectures and to
correctly organize the information in their notes. Both of these activities enhance memory of the
information as well. The use of Post-Its to jot information down on is helpful for remembering
5. Teach students to be active readers
To enhance short-term memory registration and/or working memory when reading, students
should underline, highlight, or jot key words down in the margin when reading chapters. They
can then go back and read what is underlined, highlighted, or written in the margins. To

consolidate this information in long-term memory, they can make outlines or use graphic
organizers. Research has shown that the use of graphic organizers increases academic
achievement for all students.
6. Write down steps in math problems
Students who have a weakness in working memory should not rely on mental computations
when solving math problems. For example, if they are performing long division problems, they
should write down every step including carrying numbers. When solving word problems, they
should always have a scratch piece of paper handy and write down the steps in their calculations.
This will help prevent them from losing their place and forgetting what they are doing.
7. Provide retrieval practice for students
Research has shown that long-term memory is enhanced when students engage in retrieval
practice. Taking a test is a retrieval practice, i.e., the act of recalling information that has been
studied from long-term memory. Thus, it can be very helpful for students to take practice tests.
When teachers are reviewing information prior to tests and exams, they could ask the students
questions or have the students make up questions for everyone to answer rather than just retelling
students the to-be-learned information. Also, if students are required or encouraged to make up
their own tests and take them, it will give their parents and/or teachers information about whether
they know the most important information or are instead focused on details that are less

8. Help students develop cues when storing information

According to the memory research, information is easier retrieved when it is stored using a cue
and that cue should be present at the time the information is being retrieved. For example, the
acronym HOMES can be used to represent the names of the Great Lakes Huron, Ontario,
Michigan, Erie and Superior. The acronym is a cue that is used when the information is being
learned, and recalling the cue when taking a test will help the student recall the information.
9. Prime the memory prior to teaching/learning
Cues that prepare students for the task to be presented are helpful. This is often referred to as
priming the memory. For instance, when a reading comprehension task is given, students will get
an idea of what is expected by discussing the vocabulary and the overall topic beforehand. This
will allow them to focus on the salient information and engage in more effective depth of
processing. Advance organizers also serve this purpose. For older students, Clif Notes for pieces
of literature are often helpful aids for priming the memory.
10. Review material before going to sleep
It should be helpful for students to review material right before going to sleep at night. Research
has shown that information studied this way is better remembered. Any other task that is
performed after reviewing and prior to sleeping (such as getting a snack, brushing teeth, listening
to music) interferes with consolidation of information in memory.

Advice for Students: Taking Notes that Work (6pages)


Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Teachers and professors assume either
that taking good notes comes naturally or that someone else must have already taught students
how to take notes. Then we sit around and complain that our students dont know how to take
I figure its about time to do something about that. Whether youre a high school junior or a
college senior or a grad student or a mid-level professional or the Attorney General of the United
States, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes
help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many
of us to remember them better in the first place.
What Do Notes Do?

One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that theyre not really sure what
notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a
complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes to create, in effect, minutes . This
is a recipe for failure. Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for
thinking about what youre writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by
all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if youre on your own, though, your notes have a
different purpose to fulfill.
The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you study better and more quickly. This means
your notes dont have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things. And
if youre focused on capturing everything, you wont have the spare mental cycles to recognize
whats truly important. Which means that later, when youre studying for a big test or preparing a
term paper, youll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of
important information?
What to Write Down
Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, whats new to you?Theres no point in
writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was
written and signed in 1776, theres no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know
you can leave out of your notes.
Second, whats relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in
an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your

reading (which means youll have to have actually done the reading). The kinds of information
to pay special attention to are:

Dates of events: Dates allow you to a) create a chronology, putting things in order
according to when they happened, and b) understand the context of an event. For instance,
knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of
other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the
17th century.

Names of people: Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember
ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas
whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

Theories: Any statement of a theory should be recorded theories are the main points of
most classes.

Definitions: Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you
already know the definition of a term, should be written down. Keep in mind that many
fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

Arguments and debates: Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides
of any debate related in class or your reading should be recorded. This is the stuff that
advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas
have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development within the
particular discipline you are studying.

Images and exercises: Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, or when an inclass exercise is performed, a few words are in order to record the experience. Obviously its
overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement
about what the class did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the

Other stuff: Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written
down, unless its either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies,
TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at
hand; I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (its often useful for
research papers, for example). Pay attention to other students comments, too try to
capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

Your own questions: Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they
occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as
well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

Note-Taking Techniques
You dont have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few
techniques that seem to work best for most people.

Outlining: Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective
way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. In a history class, you
might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was
involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on. Outlining is a great way to

take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly
effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that
structure in your notes.
For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isnt always
hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might
relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either a) flip back and forth
to find where the information goes best (and hope theres still room to write it in) or b) risk
losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

Mind-mapping: For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping

track of the relationships between ideas. Now, Im not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but
it might just fit the bill. Heres the idea: in the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the
lectures main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing youd create a new
heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the subtopic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off
the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from
the center. And so on. The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but youre on
the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point
connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches. If you want to
neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind,
a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in
case youre using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

The Cornell System: The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for
increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes. About a quarter of the way from
the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line
from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet. Youve
divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally you
can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of cues into the
skinny column on the right, questions about the material youve just taken notes on. This will
help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy
study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the
questions. In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of
the material youve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to
use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when youre trying to find something
in your notes later. You can download instructions and templates from American Digest,
though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template on the fly.

Im sure Im only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have
come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque
system of post-it notes. Ive tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your
system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most students havent given much
thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends and their notes reflect
this. What advice do you have for the folks out there trying to get it all together this semester?