Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance? - Kevin Wu

Right now, you are inhabited by trillions of microorganisms. Many of these bacteria are harmless (or even helpful!), but there are a few strains of ‘super bacteria’ that are pretty nasty -- and they’re growing resistant to our antibiotics. Why is this happening? Kevin Wu details the evolution of this problem that presents a big challenge for the future of medicine.

Lesson by Kevin Wu, animation by Brett Underhill.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How Do Tornadoes Form? - James Spann

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth, with wind velocities that can exceed 200 miles per hour. How do these terrifying cyclones form? Meteorologist James Spann sheds light on the lifespan of tornadoes as they go from supercell thunderstorms to terrible twisters before eventually dissolving back into thin air.

Lesson by James Spann, animation by ProvĂ­ncia Studio.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Academy of 21st Century Learning is Now Hiring!

Have you ever wanted to become a part of something unique that helps change the direction of children and young adults? Are you passionate about educating children in your field of study? Do you dream of children being able to meet their full potential in an environment that teaches them 21st Century skills? If this sounds like you, come and join us at The Academy of 21st Century Learning!

Please send cover letter and resume to

Barbara Dwyer,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

After School Tutoring Benefits Students

If your child is struggling in school, after school tutoring may be an option to improve his understanding of academic concepts and increase his self esteem.

Children that struggle in a school may not have many opportunities to get one on one help with academics. Some children are hesitant to ask for help while others do not get the help they need even if they ask. This can be because of too many children in a classroom or not enough time for the teacher to review and repeat lessons that a child is having difficulty.

For that reason, a parent may want to look into hiring a tutor at least once a week for additional instruction and one on one help. This session can last as little as 30 minutes with children under seven years old and up to one hour for older children. Sessions longer than the child's attention spam are not conducive to learning. Keep your child's attention span in mind when scheduling the time.

Look for an individual session rather than a group session. The opportunity to get one on one help should be the deciding factor in getting a tutor. Almost all children will succeed getting individual attention and individual instruction on the level they are learning. Be cautious of group tutoring sessions and companies that offer homework help. A tutor should re-teach and reinforce skills that the individual child is not succeeding in by finding appropriate activities in that subject area. Homework help will help increase your child's grade, but will not necessarily help them understand. Tutoring should focus on the understanding of the concepts, not only improving a report card grade.

Although group sessions can cost less and are an option is finances are a consideration, try to find a group that has less than four children per tutor. Larger groups will not provide the individual attention that a smaller group offers.

Some parents do not know where to look for a quality tutor. Of course, the best option is to get a referral from the child's teacher, the school board, or other parents. Look in the classifieds at a local college. College students are often looking for tutoring work and can be a great option since they are usually younger and perceived to be "cooler" than a teacher. Churches and religious organizations may also provide tutoring services for free or a reduced charge. Stay at home parents, home schooling parents, and former and current teachers may be a resource for referrals or services. You may also find the occasional high school student that tutors. This would probably be the cheapest option.

An after school tutor is a great option for parents to help their child succeed in struggling curriculum areas. If your child is in need of help, do not hesitate to start researching tutors now. The longer you wait, the more difficulty may arise in that curriculum area.

Rebekah Kogelschatz is a school teacher of gifted students. She has taught all grades from pre-school to 8th grade in all subject areas. She is a co-founder of the site SmartMoms-SmartBusiness [] and the founder of a preschool resource site Preschool Activities Everyday []. You can read more articles on parenting in her Mom Blog [].
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Friday, August 15, 2014

How Optical Illusions Trick Your Brain - Nathan S. Jacobs

Optical illusions are images that seem to trick our minds into seeing something different from what they actually are. But how do they work? Nathan S. Jacobs walks us through a few common optical illusions and explains what these tricks of the eye can tell us about how our brains assemble visual information into the 3D world we see around us.

Lesson by Nathan S. Jacobs, animation by TED-Ed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Reading Programs Can Provide a Good Foundation

The key to success in anything is a good solid foundation upon which to build. The foundation is going to set the stage for everything that comes after it. When it comes to education the needed foundation for learning is reading. The ability to read something, understand it, and retain that information is at the core of the entire learning process. For those students that are having problems and are struggling to lay down this foundation solidly assistance can be found in the form of reading programs. If you or your child are having problems with reading it is vital to get help as soon as possible to avoid compounding the problem and having it affect the ability to study and learn in other disciplines. Reading programs can be a good way to shore up this fundamental skill.

Having trouble reading can create a number of problems when it comes to school work:

1. Students who are having trouble with their reading skills fall behind easily and as they continue to slip further behind their classmates it becomes more and more difficult to catch up. A good reading program will teach your child not only how to read but how to read in such a way that the information can be understood and retained for later use.

2. Students who have reading difficulties also tend to suffer from more self-esteem issues. They are afraid to ask questions in class for fear of looking stupid in front of their friends and other classmates. Asking questions is second in importance to the learning process right behind reading. They tend to have more disciplinary problems in school, using bad behavior to cover up their academic deficiencies. They act like they are getting bad grades because it is the cool thing to do.

3. Students who find reading a struggling experience also tend to get overwhelmed easily and quickly reach the point where they are ready to give up. This can lead to a lifelong fear of failure and criticism leaving them completely unmotivated to attempt anything that might leave them in a vulnerable position in front of other people. Success later in life can be sabotaged quite early by deficiencies in reading abilities.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that reading difficulties may also be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Dyslexia and other learning difficulties are often hard to diagnose until a child gets older. Reading programs have specially trained tutors that may be able to spot any difficulties of this nature much sooner in a one on one setting that a teacher in a classroom just does not have the time to notice when dealing with a large group of students at the same time.

Everything begins with the core fundamentals as the essential starting point. Getting a good head start is important in assuring later success. Reading programs can provide this boost to get students back on track and up to speed with the rest of their classmates.

Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private K-12 in-home tutoring service that offers reading programs in many areas.
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Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Hidden Among the Tallest Trees on Earth? - Wendell Oshiro

When Stephen Sillett was a boy, he took to the forests of Pennsylvania with his brother and grandmother. Looking up into the dense branches and leaves, his curiosity was piqued: What was hidden up there? Wendell Oshiro tells the story of an adult Sillett's bold (if not a little dangerous) exploration of the canopy of an ancient redwood and details some of the fascinating discoveries he made.

Lesson by Wendell Oshiro, animation by Black Powder Design.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why You Need To Find A Tutor

One of the most difficult decisions that a parent must make is whether or not to find a tutor to help their child when he is being challenged by his schoolwork. It is a delicate balance that has to be maintained between getting the child the help that he needs to be successful in school without stripping away what confidence he has left and making him believe that he is a failure. But there are a handful of things that a parent can look for in trying to determine if the time is right to find a tutor for their child. If your child seems like he learns differently, if he seems to read well but fails to understand what he read, if he isn't keeping up with his class, or if you sit down and try to help him with his homework but you have no idea how to do the assignment either then it is probably time for you to find a tutor than can help your child.

If your child seems to learn differently then he may be having difficulty with the way that the material is being presented to him in the classroom. This does not necessarily mean that your child has any type of learning disability. Every person has their own way of learning that works best for them and allows them to best understand what is being taught. Some people learn by reading, some by listening, and some by watching. You need to find a tutor that will figure out which method works best for your child.

You have your child read his homework assignments out loud to you and he seems to be a very good reader. However when you ask him to explain to you the meaning of what he just read he has no idea. There are methods to aid in reading comprehension that can be taught to him by a tutor that will not only help him understand better what he is reading but also help him to retain that knowledge.

Getting left behind while all of his friends move ahead to the next grade is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a student. If you have any feelings that your child is falling behind to the point that he may be held back then it is vital that you find a tutor right away so that you give him every opportunity to catch up to his classmates and move on with them.

You enjoy sitting down with your child each evening and helping him with his homework but you have found yourself getting confused lately and are spending quite a bit of time figuring the assignment out for yourself before you are able to help him. No one can be an expert at everything and many of the subjects being taught in school have changed quite a bit in just a generation's time. There is no reason not to admit to yourself and your child that his studies are just over your head and that it is best if you find him a tutor to help him with his homework. What is best for your child should be your guiding principle.

Are you trying to find a tutor for your child? Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private K-12 in-home tutoring service in the US.
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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Under the Hood: The Chemistry of Cars - Cynthia Chubbuck

There are over one billion cars in the world right now, getting people from point A to point B. But cars aren't just a mode of transportation; they also teach an excellent lesson in chemistry. Cynthia Chubbuck navigates the intricate chemistry performed in our car engines that keep them from getting too hot or too cold.

Lesson by Cynthia Chubbuck, animation by FOX Animation Domination High-Def.