How can teachers make a difference in the lives of kids

1. You’ll increase your earning potential.

While many teaching jobs require master’s degrees, others may call for just a bachelor’s degree. In this case, getting the bare minimum can hurt you in several different ways. Not only does it lower your chances of getting hired when you’re up again more qualified applicants, but it also means you’ll likely end up collecting a higher starting salary.

According to The Houston Chronicle, most school districts offer teachers with master’s degrees across the elementary, middle, and high school levels supplemental pay in the form of a “bonus” or “bump.” According to analysis by the Center for American Progress this averages between an extra $3,000 and $10,000 a year! And while the cost of getting a master’s degree can seem prohibitive, the degree can pay for itself in just a few years. Not only that, but most school districts require continuing education credits — doesn’t it make sense to put those credits toward a degree?

2. You’ll enjoy greater career mobility.

While a bachelor’s degree may qualify you to be a classroom teacher, many other school jobs  require advanced credentials. If career advancement is important to you, a master’s degree is a must-have. Whether you’re looking to work as a school administrator, curriculum director, content/subject area specialist, or school counselor, you’ll likely need a master’s degree or more.

Additionally, a master’s degree can also open up new possibilities outside of the school system entirely. From textbook authors and community college teachers to educational consultants and educational researchers, these sought-after, well-paid professionals almost always have upper-level qualifications.

In addition to helping you move up the latter, a bachelor’s degree can lead to broader career prospects, which can be an effective defense against teacher burnout — a pervasive phenomenon among today’s hard-working teaching professionals.

3. You’ll be a better teacher.

A master’s degree isn’t merely a means to an end. Rather, it’s an opportunity for true growth and development. Your time in graduate school will benefit you in numerous ways, from understanding of your options as a teacher by exploring what truly interest you to acquiring tools which will enrich what you offer your students.

While your undergraduate degree might have bestowed knowledge in a certain field of study, a master’s in education places the focus on transitioning that and new knowledge to the classroom. Says Teach.com, “These degrees focus on teaching somebody how to be a teacher, with heavy emphasis on pedagogy, teaching methods, philosophy of education, and educational technology.”

According to one Reddit commenter, “It was a TON of work, and took a while, but it definitely made me a better teacher, both in increasing my knowledge and also making me more sympathetic to my students. Its interesting watching another person teach after you have been teaching all day, and seeing what you can do and what you shouldn’t do.”

One caveat worth keeping in mind? As with all advanced studies, you get out of a master’s degree what you put into it. On the flip side, however, if you’re pursuing your graduate coursework part-time while maintaining a teaching job, you’ll have immediate opportunities to start making change. Another Reddit poster shared, “I love teaching while going to school because I can implement strategies I learn in class the next day.”

Powerful Women and What They Studied

As America’s first female Presidential nominee from a major political party, Hillary Clinton has helped pave the way for women in the United States and around the globe. With so much political clout, it’s not surprising that Hillary studied political science during her undergraduate years.  Women around the world wield more power now than ever before, but female leadership starts long before the election ballot.  Let’s take a look at eight of the world’s most powerful women—and what they studied.  And don’t be surprised. Political science degrees abound, but you don’t need to study government to become a world leader.  Let’s see what they all have in common?

1. Angela Merkel

The German Chancellor has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Leipzig. She worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences from 1978-1990.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, she entered politics.  In 2005, she became Germany’s first female Chancellor. In the light of seismic political shifts around the globe, Merkel recently announced that she will run for a fourth term as Chancellor.

2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

In office since 2006, the Liberian President is the first female leader of Liberia.  She is Africa’s first female head of state.  In 1971, Sirleaf earned her Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, after which she became Liberia’s Minister of Finance. In 2011, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.  Their work?  The non-violent struggle for women’s safety, and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building.

3. Erna Solberg

Norway’s Prime Minister since 2013, Erna Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative party studied sociology, political science, statistics, and economy at the University of Bergen. Solberg triumphed over dyslexia, a diagnosis she received at the age of 16, and went on to a successful career in Norwegian politics and government.

 

Top Fields to Study in the UK

For many aspiring international students, Brexit is a giant and unknowable elephant in the room: What will the UK’s vote to leave the EU mean for the country’s higher education system and opportunities for foreign students there? While it’s true that some things are bound to change, it’s also true that it would take a lot more than Brexit to wipe away the UK’s esteemed history and ongoing reputation as a world leader in higher education. The overall takeaway? Whether or not Brexit went the way you hoped it would go, there are still many reasons to choose the UK as your international study destination — especially in one of these nine top areas.

1. Marine Biology

Home to diverse marine life and some of the world’s best marine facilities, the UK is a terrific destination for students aiming to enrich their knowledge of the biology of marine organisms. Boasting five of the top 20 best universities for earth and marine sciences, according to QS World Universities, the UK also lays claims to plenty of other world-class marine biology programs, universities and institutions.

Popular UK marine biology degrees include the Master of Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, the MRES in Marine Biology at Plymouth University, and the MSC in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at Queen Mary University of London.

2. Medicine

The UK has been a leader in the field of medicine for hundreds of years, and many of the world’s major medical discoveries happened here. Whether you’re looking for a breadth and depth of coursework, clinical contact, the development of a global network, or access to the some of the planet’s most brilliant professors and researchers, you’ll find it here.

Degree options in medicine are also diverse, including the MA Science, Medicine, Environment & Technology at the University of Kent, the Master in Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, and the Master in Cancer Medicine at the University of Aberdeen.

3. Computer Science

Throughout history, British mathematicians, engineers and scientists have been at the forefront of computing innovation, devising rules and theories which laid the groundwork for modern-day computing and problem solving. This visionary spirit is alive and well in the UK today, solidifying its status as a premier destination for the next generation of leaders in the field.

Computer science scholars looking to become part of the UK’s legacy and future in computing and computer science have their pick of programs from which to choose.

A Global Journey

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ―Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Hear a voice from the past, from across an ocean, from the future, or maybe even one that you could hear on your own street.  Whether it’s the crack of a new book’s spine, the worn, well-loved pages of a favorite, or the soft glow from your e-reader, the act of reading a book transports you.  To another place.  Another time.  To a group of people whom you don’t know.  And everyone is looking for something.  Join us on our journey around the world—in books.  Find something that speaks to you and tuck in.

Written in 2006, Adichie’s wrenching tale chronicles five people’s lives as they navigate politics, power, academics, journalism, women’s rights, marriage, and the struggle for daily survival during Nigeria’s Civil War in the late 1960s.  How blurred are the lines between life and death?  What does it mean to be in love?  How does war affect humanity—and its soul?

A Chinese classic on feminism, circa 1827.  While the Qing Dynasty period wasn’t known for embracing femininity, the author was. Ruzhen offers us a subversion of gender roles in a fantasy classic—often with a humorous twist.  He believed in equal rights for men and women and wrote Flowers in the Mirror as one fantastical version of what that kind of world could look like.

Travel to Barcelona, on Zafón’s meticulously detailed streets with young Daniel in 1945, just after the Spanish Civil War.  Pick up an obscure, tattered book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and join Daniel on a dangerous mystery that will take you throughout past and then-present Barcelona—and the heartbreak of the human spirit.  Also Try Zafón’s 2009 prequel, The Angel’s Game, written in 2008, seven years after Shadow of the Wind.

Touch From Abroad

Not joining the throngs headed “home for the holidays” on planes, trains, and automobiles?  No fear. We’ve outlined some tips and tricks for those of you have don’t have data plans, those of you who do, and those of you who have none of the above, so that you can easily stay in touch with your family and loved ones—without actually being there.   Step 1?  Don’t worry.

If you don’t have a data plan

Here’s the key: access WiFi when you can.  Use internet cafes, hotels, stores, libraries, and other “hot spots” where you know you’ll be able to access the internet.

A trick and an App…

1. Type your emails whenever you want and save them as drafts.  When you get to WiFi, all you have to do is hit “send.”  Huge timesaver. (That’s the trick).

2.      Have you met Boingo?  Boingo Wi-finder is an app that helps you find thousands of free WiFi and Boingo hotspots around the world.  Easily.  You don’t have to wait until the internet café opens or until you pass advertised WiFi.  Boingo tells you where to go.  It’s reasonably priced, and you don’t have to buy a plan for a year.  You can buy one of their “AsYouGo” plans for an hour, a week, a day, a month if you want, and have access to free WiFi and Boingo hotspots to connect with your family and friends. (That’s the app).

If you do have a data plan

It’s a beautiful thing: you can send emails any time you want.  That’s not a trick.  That’s a reality.

Fun Apps to consider:

1. Skype

Probably the most well-known and it works well.  It’s a free download for phones, tablets, and computers, and you can also call cell phones and land lines (what are those?!) for a small fee.  Biggest plus?  Lots of folks already have accounts and use it.  It boasts free Skype-Skype video and voice calls.  You can instant message, screen share, and operate from a Mac or PC phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Viber

For starters, the app is free.  Everything is free if your family and friends have Viber, too.  For a small fee, you can contact non-Viber users, too.  You can call, text, and photo message, and you can use it from your phone, tablet, or computer.  Mac or PC?  Doesn’t matter.

3. WhatsApp

Avoid SMS fees by messaging friends and family for free.  You can also talk internationally for free, and have free face-face conversations.  You don’t use your cell plan’s voice minutes, but you may have to pay for data.  Double check your plan if you don’t want the “hidden” data charges to show up on your bill.

4. Facetime

Make video or audio calls from an iOS device.  Super easy to use—but the folks you contact also need to have iOS devices.

Survive an Enduring Career

It’s like riding on a subway without holding onto anything for balance: the consistent shifting and evolution of your place and space on the train mirrors the metamorphosis of today’s work landscape.  One consistent trend in workplace evolution?  Time.  Young graduates will have to work longer than their parents.  Sure, you want to survive.  But we know that you want to do more than that.  You want to thrive.   Here’s how.

1. Changing Life Cycles

According to a recent Financial Times article, life used to be measured in three stages: education, work, and retirement, all with fairly equal amounts of time.  That cycle looks different now, with a significantly longer working life.  While an MBA used to be the catalyst for the job that would get you to your final burst of highly successful employment, it’s now somewhere in the middle.  When your working life begins in your 20s, you need to begin to think of this cycle lasting for fifty—or even sixty—years.  How should you prepare?  What do you want it to look like?  Consider what it would take to sustain your spending habits—and extrapolate those costs over the next half-century plus.

2. Transition and Change

Recognize that transitions—even positive ones—are always difficult.  They rattle your sense of self, and often your sense of place. They are always a time for growth, whether you want it or not.  The keys to your success? Flexibility and adaptability.  It’s unlikely that you’ll have the same job for 50 or 60 years. Keep your networks broad and varied—reach out to people of different ages, genders, and occupations.  As you build your portfolio, consider the trends that potential employers will invariably seek—and see.  With perseverance, your career portfolio will tell your story of resilience—and a willingness to try new things.

3. A Few Paces Ahead

Plan your career like you’re a chess master: think strategic steps.  Always.  Sitting still gets you nowhere.  Learn a new skill.  Try a new language.  Add some people to that fantastic network of yours (see #2).  Learn some new technology.  Reach out.  Look out.  Do what you enjoy.  Keep yourself relevant, happy, and think about how you can apply what you know and love to what you want to do—recognize that those things will probably change over time.

Masters Degree that Develops Your Digital Skills

You’ve spent your entire life immersed in the digital world. So you’re pretty much already an expert, right? Not so fast. As it turns out, there’s plenty more to learn in today’s fast-moving digital space — particularly if you’re interested in becoming a change agent in your chosen field. Read on for a roundup of three reasons to pursue a master’s degree with a focus on the digital, along with one program that gets it right when it comes to helping students acquire the skills they need — not just to survive, but to truly thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

1. Digital skills open diverse doors.

Do a quick internet search of the words “digital skills,” and you’ll turn up countless articles on “essential,” “must-have” and “top” digital skills employers are looking for today. At the same time, US staffing and solutions company the Adecco Group reveals that 92 percent of employees aren’t prepared to navigate the contemporary business world. Claiming top four spots on the list of skills executives think workers lack? Technical and software skills.

But that’s not all, insists The Guardian, “It’s not just the scale and pace of the digital revolution that makes it exciting; it’s also the fact that it’s being democratized. No longer reserved for IT departments and tech companies, digital is becoming a critical part of every industry and is opening up opportunities across sectors, whether it’s top surgeons video linking into operating theatres from abroad or targeted mobile advertising based on clothes you’re trying on in real time.”

So whether you want to be a teacher, doctor, businessperson, lawyer, journalist, or one of a million other possible career paths, skills like SEO, coding, video editing, imaging editing, blogging and others are quickly moving from the category of nicety to necessity. The takeaway? Digital skills aren’t just highly sought-after in technology-related sectors; they’re also universally prized.

2. Digitalization is essential to corporate development.

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, ‘Why Digital Skills Matter for Your Company,” “businesses that improve the digital skills of all their employees will become more productive, innovative, profitable and secure.” For bottom-line-minded organizations, these are hard words to ignore. Just how much do businesses stand to gain by embracing all things digital? As reported by The Telegraph based on research by Oxford Economics for Virgin Media Business, the UK economy could see a boost of £92bn and more than one million jobs in the next two years alone.

Said Peter Winebloom, skills director a manufacturers’ organizations EEF, “Britain is on the cusp of a global, technology-driven fourth industrial revolution, but the challenge comes from ensuring that we have access to the right skills in the right numbers.”  In other words, if the UK — and other countries, too — is to reach its potential, it will take workers with the right digital skills make it happen.

The Differance of Work Life Balance and Life

It’s about boundaries.  Most of us have heard the old maxims “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” or “work hard-play hard.”  The new normal, whatever that is, encourages us not to strike a healthy balance between the two—leave work at work—but to integrate them.  Do what you love and love what you do—that sort of thing—but all the time.  Anytime.  Take that conference call on vacation.  Right?  Maybe not.

Why has the boundary between working and living blurred?  Simple: thanks to the 21st century digital age of “instant,” “fast,” and “now,” it’s easy to work just about anywhere, anytime.  You don’t purposely take work home with you; it’s tethered to your phone, your tablet, your computer, maybe even your Fitbit—and you probably use those things at home, on the train, on vacation, and maybe even at dinner (we hope not).

Let’s break down the two ideas and see what they mean—and what will ultimately work best for you.

1. Work-Life Balance

What is it, you wonder?  Achieve something at work.  Enjoy something at work.  Achieve something at home.  Enjoy something at home. For the mathematically inclined:

Aw + Ew + Ah + Eh = Work Life Balance.

What does this mean?  Working and living are never truly balanced—there are no coefficients or constants to guide you through the process.  Sometimes you’ll achieve and enjoy something more at work than you will at home.  What’s important is that all aspects of achievement and enjoyment in work and life happen throughout the day.  Some days—as you know—are harder than others.

Here’s an example: you might have a fantastic interaction with a persnickety coworker (achievement) and then laugh at a joke at a board meeting (enjoyment), followed by not tripping over a pile of laundry in the middle of the floor when you get home (achievement) and meeting a friend for dinner (enjoyment).  These achievements and enjoyments do not have the same weights.  That great conversation with that persnickety coworker might be the biggest achievement because you know he’ll probably invite you to work on that project you’ve been wanting to work on with him.  You probably enjoyed that dinner with your friend the most.

The big idea?  You unplug.  You achieve and enjoy something in both parts of your life—working and not working—and there’s a clear boundary between the two. Over time, achievement and enjoyment will balance each other out.  It’s the day-to-day that can be a bit tricky.

2. Work-Life Integration

This is way trendier.  Thanks to the gig economy that’s sprung up in the past decade, integrating what you do and how you live have become a necessity for some.  Even in bigger businesses, there’s this idea that living and working in the same place are desirable attributes for living.

Let’s look at a few examples.  Consider Silicon Valley—companies like Google have on-campus apartments, child care centers, organic gardens with staff cafeterias, and buses for those who don’t live where they work.  The idea is simple: integrate your work into your life.    For others, technology has allowed people to live their lives—exercise, take their kids to school, go food shopping—and work full-time. No one decided that all work needs to happen between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  If you can meet your deadlines, show up for your meetings (even virtually), and live your daily life, then all is well.

What’s different here?  Discipline.  Strategy.  Knowing when to unplug.  And a stick-to-it attitude.  With work-life balance, the “unplug” is pre-set.  You’re done with work for the day, you leave.  With work-life integration, you plan on when you’re doing your work, meet all your job’s expectations, and still show up for touch football, or your volunteer work at that organization whose mission you love.

How Will it Shape Your Future

The world’s first public schools date all the way back to ancient times. And while trends, philosophies, policies and institutions have come and gone since then, a surprising amount stayed the same through the millennia. However, technological advancements — and digital technology, in particular — have ushered in an entirely new era for educational delivery. For the entrepreneurially-minded, meanwhile, this ongoing shift represents a wide-open field of opportunities. Just how important is education technology (AKA “edtech”) and what does it mean for everyone from investors to students? Here’s a closer look.

EdTech 101

EdTechReview defines edtech as “a study and ethical practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” In more specific term, this means using technology-based products and tools to enhance how students learn and how teachers teach. It’s not about superseding current approaches, but instead out determining how technology can improve and enhance the delivery of education.

Given the meteoric ascent of everything from computer-aided classrooms to online learning over the past two decades you may be thinking to yourself, “But wait — that’s nothing new.” And you’re right, edtech has already transformed the educational sector. But insiders argue that we’ve only seen an inkling of what’s still to come. Reports one Hot Topics article on edtech, “As we witnessed the digitization of the media industry via the profusion of new content, audience fragmentation, data centricity and the convergence between content and platform players, so will they impact the education market, leading to a raft of opportunities for innovators in edtech.”

Indeed, much of the conversation about edtech surrounds its tremendous potential for innovators and investors in this red-hot industry, and with good reason: Between the massive education market — between $4.5 and $5 trillion USD annually and predicted to reach up to $7 trillion within the next couple of years, according to data from Worlds of Education — and the comparatively minuscule amount of funds funneled into the sector in recent years, and the result is a perfect storm of potential. Concludes TechCrunch, “But now the cat is out of the bag. The rise of a new education and learning world has begun with investment in edtech set to reach $252 billion globally by 2020. Just as digitalization has transformed the financial services industry, it too will soon have its progressive grip wrapped around education.”

The Impact of Edtech

Despite the buzz over edtech’s abundant entrepreneurial opportunities, something else remains at the heart of the equation: the students themselves. In what specific ways can we expect to see edtech play out in the lives of its direct beneficiaries? Here’s a closer look:

Education is not exorbitant

It’s hard to argue that the cost of higher education isn’t exorbitant. After all, most families don’t have a spare $40,000 or so laying around every year for tuition and other college-related expenses. And while there are many amazing life advantages that come with getting undergraduate and advanced degrees, it’s also true that there are ways to cut costs without losing out on those benefits.

One lesser-known pathway worth exploring for students looking to save both time and money? An accelerated degree. Here’s a closer look at this alternative to conventional degree programs, along with four reasons why an accelerated degree program — particularly one overseas — might be right for you.

What is an Accelerated Degree Program?

An accelerated degree program is exactly what it sounds like: this non-traditional course of study offers students the same degree in a particular field of study in a shortened period of time — as little as half when compared to conventional degrees. Available at a number of different academic levels, accelerated degree programs usually come with more stringent admissions requirements, including a minimum GPA, course credits, work experience, professional certification, and/or completion of a lower-level degree program.

In addition to bachelor’s degree programs, other popular accelerated degrees include nursing, business, law and medicine. For each, admissions requirements, course format, and completion time vary depending on the school. Additionally, many accelerated degree programs are dual in nature, meaning enrolled students can work simultaneously toward a bachelor’s and advanced degree. (This avenue may also allow accepted students to bypass graduate admissions tests, and the fees that go along with them.)

Four Reasons to Consider an Accelerated Degree

1. You’ll save time while learning as much.

While most conventional degree programs are structured according to semesters, accelerated degree programs typically utilize shorter periods, such as terms or quarters. Additionally, accelerated degree program courses usually run continuously without lengthy breaks in between terms. The result? Students can pack in the same amount of learning in a significantly shorter amount of time. Yes, this means the demands are high. But if your goal is to graduate and enter the workforce sooner, accelerated degree programs deliver in a uniquely exciting way.

2. You’ll enjoy numerous financial benefits.

It makes sense that the less time you spend in school, the less money you’ll spend on tuition. But how much will you pocket in an accelerated degree program? According to Investopedia, an undergraduate who trims six months off of his/her degree stands to save more than $15,000. Similar savings apply to upper-level degrees, as well.

Students enrolled in dual degree programs, meanwhile, may find that their undergraduate scholarship funding also covers their graduate level coursework.

But the financial benefits don’t end there. In entering the workforce with an accelerated degree, you minimize lost income and start earning soon — more likely than not with a lighter debt burden.

If you choose an overseas program, meanwhile, you may also enjoy a lower cost of living, depending on the country in which you choose to study. (An added benefit of doing an international accelerated degree? A global education will make you a more attractive job candidate in today’s borderless business environment.)