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Jobs: Social Intelligence Enrich Your Child's Learning High School Students Prepare Stay in School Graduate Secret on Social Media Essential Apps for Parents Wedding Planning Online Transfer Digital Files

Job Requirements: Social Intelligence and Transdisciplinarity

(NAPSI)—Social intelligence, transdisciplinarity, cognitive load management, new-media literacy—if you don’t understand these terms, you may have a tough time in the job market. If you do have these skills, you may also need novel and adaptive thinking and cross-cultural competency.

These are just some of the skills recently identified as essential to the workforce in the next decade.

The University of Phoenix Research Institute brought together thought leaders from IBM, Manpower, Stanford University and the Institute for the Future for a webinar to shed light on technical and societal shifts that will require new job skills.

Panelist Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, outlined six key drivers of societal change and 10 skill areas that will reshape the workforce in the next 10 years.

Global connectivity, smart machines and social media are just some of the drivers reshaping how business leaders think about work and the skills their employees will need.

The research has implications for individuals, educational institutions, industry leaders and policymakers.

Workers in the future will need to be adaptable, lifelong learners and demonstrate foresight in navigating a rapidly shifting work landscape. Educational institutions must also demonstrate foresight and recognize that work skills are changing.

For example, if not already doing so, they should consider integrating new-media literacy into education programs.

The results also have implications for business. Human resource professionals, for example, should reconsider traditional methods for identifying critical skills, as well as selecting and developing talent.

For policymakers, the research demonstrates the need to prioritize educational policies that promote lifelong learning and constant skill renewal.

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, vice president and managing director of the University of Phoenix Research Institute, says to prepare America’s workforce for the jobs of the future, “Individuals, educators, business leaders and policymakers must anticipate emerging trends and work together to promote skill development across industry sectors and geographic regions.”

To access the recorded webinar, visit www.chronicle.com/webinars/universityofphoenix4.

To download the Future Work Skills: 2020 research report or executive summary, visit www.phoenix.edu/institute.

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Using Vacation Time To Help Master Skills

(NAPSI)—A recent report shows that when it comes to improving education skills, America’s students have some catching up to do. The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the U.S. 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

Vacations can be a great time to reverse the trend and enrich your child’s learning experience. Here are a few ways to help:

1. Lead by example. Take your favorite paperback (or two) and stuff it in your beach bag. Your child needs to see you reading for enjoyment.

2. Build vocabulary with a weekly “Word Workout.” Select a new word each week for your family to learn. Use it in conversations, play games with it and have contests using the new word.

3. Visit a library or bookstore together. Browse the shelves together and note what topics interest your child. Make sure you each have your own library card. Consider joining a book club.

4. Read aloud daily. Reading aloud is a great way to model your love of reading. Encourage your child to read along with you. Point out new vocabulary and ideas. Ask questions about the story and about the characters and their motivations.

5. Tell stories together. Storytelling is an art and a way to help develop language and listening skills. Tell your favorite childhood stories and stories about your families. Encourage your child to tell stories and even make up stories together. Then, write them down.

6. Help kids see the connections between their personal lives and the stories or articles they read and hear. Ask questions and make comparisons as they read, watch TV and go to the movies.

7. Sign kids up for an enrichment program. Many students benefit from one-on-one support, an often-difficult thing to provide in the classroom.

Fortunately, individualized online programs can help bridge the gap by supporting students in areas where they need help. Because such programs can be tailored to a student’s strengths and weaknesses, they can be an effective aid for literacy, especially during vacation time.

For example, Achieve3000, which offers Web-based learning solutions, uses the concept of differentiated instruction for improving literacy and student performance. Differentiated instruction provides content at a student’s level, then brings students to the level they need to be at.

By meeting students where students are, it’s easier to improve their reading level and help them achieve success across the curriculum. One-click reporting and management allow teachers to use performance data to inform instruction.

For more information, visit www.achieve3000.com/parenttips.

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How High School Students Can Prepare

(NAPSI)—College graduates are twice as likely to be employed as those with no college degree and can expect to earn about 66 percent more throughout their careers, The College Board reports. That’s one reason many parents and students should heed a few hints about getting into—and paying for—college.

• Develop a timetable and list of tasks to be completed that can assist you in your planning efforts.

• Work with your children to develop and update their résumés, including their school, community and service activities, sports, awards and recognitions, work experience, hobbies and interests. Encourage your children to join and get involved in extracurricular activities and volunteer work.

• Be sure they take courses necessary for college admission. Investigate opportunities for high school Advanced Placement courses.

• Develop, discuss and review with your children their individual list of college attributes that are important to them; that is, size, location, academics, facilities and activities.

• Work with your children to develop a list of at least 10 colleges. Research these through websites, college fairs, college guides and by talking with admission representatives.

• Set up a filing system to maintain information about each school that interests them.

• Learn about resources available through the school. Consult with the professionals, such as your children’s high school guidance counselor, the financial aid office at any prospective school and your student loan lender.

• Become familiar with college entrance requirements and preparation exams.

• Visit campuses.

• Learn the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) financial aid process by using FAFSA4caster, which will provide you with an early estimate of how much money you will be expected to contribute toward your children’s education and eligibility for federal student aid.

• Identify the individual application instructions, deadlines, policies and procedures for each school.

• Register for a PIN with the Department of Education and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of senior year.

• If you have any special family circumstances that may affect your children’s financial aid eligibility, contact the financial aid office at the school being considered.

• You can get more good advice from the CollegeSTEPS program, which offers a magazine and planning calendar, useful college planning information and a chance to win one of 20 individual $1,000 prizes.

More Information

Learn more at www.wellsfargo.com/collegesteps2011 or go to a Wells Fargo or Wachovia bank.

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 Combating The High School Dropout Rate

(NAPSI)—There is promising news for teens at risk of dropping out of high school. There are new programs designed to help them stay in school and succeed.

It’s estimated that one in three U.S. teens fails to graduate high school, according to a 2010 Alliance for Excellent Education study. That’s one teen dropping out nearly every 26 seconds.

Fortunately, there are several ways parents, teachers and mentors can help students realize their potential and graduate. Here are some tips:

• Parental Involvement: According to a November 2010 report published by Johns Hopkins University, students with involved parents are more likely to graduate from high school.

Check in with your teen about his final projects, tests or exams, and create a study calendar together. Reference graduation and discuss college plans, and your teen will recognize these milestones are expected and achievable.

• Reading Materials: Provide teens with summer educational experiences that will continue to stimulate them while school is out. A 2007 study by Alexander, Entwisle & Olson found that two-thirds of the 9th grade reading achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during elementary school years.

If your school does not offer a program, look to your local library to see if it hosts students during these times and sign your teen up to receive a library card.

• Experiential Programs: Experiential programs can often help teens understand how their diploma will be helpful down the road.

A 2006 study by Bridgeland, Dilulio & Morison found that 80 percent of high school dropouts said their chances of staying in school would have increased if classes were more interesting and provided opportunities for real-world learning.

Whether a summer internship, a college visit or a volunteer program, real-world experiences can help teens set and work toward their goals.

The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens’ Graduate to Go initiative sponsors a host of such programs, including college camps where teens spend a weekend on a campus while learning about the college application process and the benefits of a college education.

For more action steps you can take and information about the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens’ Graduate to Go program, visit www.graduatetogo.com. On Facebook, you can go to www.facebook.com/GraduateToGo.

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Nothing’s Secret On Social Media

(NAPSI)—Whatever your child puts on his or her Facebook account, Twitter or any other social media profile is public and searchable. Anything on your child’s social media accounts is open to possible public scrutiny—and it’s important that you know what your child is posting out there.

If kids are posting embarrassing pictures from the weekend or making crude comments about a friend, those pictures and comments are neither secret nor sacred.

Making decisions about what information can be shared and what should stay secret is a skill that takes time to develop. Unfortunately, many youths have not mastered this skill when it comes to using social networks. As a parent, it’s up to you to help them recognize what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate, and then monitor their messages.

Sit down with your kids and ask them what sort of things they talk about with their friends. Then ask if they would want everyone they know to overhear what they say. Explain to them that when they post something on a social network, they are making it available to anybody anywhere who has an account on that network. Most importantly, teach them that some information is worth keeping private.

When used properly, social networks can be a fun, interesting way of communicating. It can also be a dark, dangerous place where people, including your kids, can get hurt. Take the time to do what it takes to protect and educate your kids.

• Father Boes is president and national executive director of Boys Town, which has been saving children and healing families for more than 90 years.

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Six Essential Apps Parents Can’t Live Without

(NAPSI)—Once you become a parent, life is definitely busier. But the good news is, if you know where to look, a few tools can make the day-to-day a bit easier. Liz Zack, suburban mom of two, is editorial director of Pregnancy & Parenting for iVillage.com, the largest community for women online. The site is the ultimate resource for women, moms and parents-to-be who are seeking to connect, share advice and find the life tools that will help them navigate parenthood. Here, Liz shares the six mobile apps that help her in her daily routine.

Fooducate: A food label may say the ingredients are “all natural” but what does that really mean? This app gives you the lowdown on the foods gracing your grocery list and helps locate alternatives if you need them. Color-coded grades show how your shopping cart stacks up nutritionally.

iTriage: When you’re away from home and someone in your family feels sick, it can be difficult to know how seriously to take the symptoms or who to turn to. Fortunately, the iTriage app provides information about potential causes and treatments as well as directions to the nearest ER, doctor or pharmacy.

iVillage: Need an answer right away? You can rely on this one-stop app for both expert info and real-mom answers to anything from “is this fever too high?” to “what foods shouldn’t I feed my 10-month-old?” Essential for today’s on-the-go moms and dads.

Peapod: From reading nutritional labels to conducting price comparisons, shopping via this app is just like being in the physical store, but without the cranky kids and the cart with the squeaky wheel. Scan the bar code of an empty shampoo bottle or use keywords to find the juice your kids are raving about and instantly add it to your order.

Sit or Squat: If you’ve ever been out with a toddler who needs to pee, you will know the value of this app, which helps you locate the nearest restroom.

2Do: Tasks Done In Style: Moms are known for multitasking, but that mental energy can come at a price. Enter this app, which will take a chunk of the stress out of juggling your responsibilities. It syncs the tasks and to-do’s from existing management systems, plus it prioritizes your tasks. Your basic calendar can’t advise you to go to the dry cleaner’s before the grocery store, but this app will. Plus, it can remind you of that important conference call while you’re on the road.

For more tips, you can visit www.iVillage.com/pregnancy-parenting.

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Brides Save Money And Time
Planning Their Wedding Online

(NAPSI)--This year, 2.1 million brides will create their dream wedding by threading together a collection of wedding images and inspirations. With all these ideas floating around, brides need to be organized. Research shows that being disorganized leads to overspending and miscalculations, ending in wedding waste. With the average U.S. wedding costing $23,000, brides need every dollar to count.

The organized bride needs a single place to coordinate the wedding party, search for the perfect dress, track guest responses, monitor the budget and decide on a venue. In the 21st century, a binder full of papers won’t do! A digital solution is better suited to capture and coordinate details.

Microsoft OneNote 2010 offers a digital solution that brides can count on—complete with a downloadable wedding-planning template. Couples can copy and paste images that inspire them during wedding planning—right into their custom notebook—and the program will automatically include the image’s URL. Plus, if the bride and groom don’t have OneNote 2010 on their computer, they can download a free, fully functional trial copy for 60 days. Here are some tips and tricks for how to use online organizers to help ease the stress of planning:

• Allow the groom to help with planning. Don’t forget the groom! In most weddings, grooms are full planning partners. Keeping the wedding plans in one easy-to-access location makes sharing the task easier. Asking the groom to take an interest in wedding plans is a perfect start to working as a team in the marriage.

• Connect the wedding party early. Often, a favorite cousin or sister doesn’t live in the same state as the bride. Online wedding planning can span the miles between members of the wedding party. Brides can now spend less time answering repetitive e-mails and phone calls, because online wedding planning allows them to create a unified place for the wedding party to communicate details, such as tux sizes, dress orders and travel details.

• Track the budget’s every move. With 60 percent of brides and grooms paying for the wedding themselves, it is important to track the budget every step of the way. Brides and grooms can scan images of receipts into their digital organizer as deposits are paid and use the budget tool to do simple math equations, showing where the budget stands.

• Plan the honeymoon separately. Planning the honeymoon can be just as time consuming as planning the wedding. Ensure sanity by creating a separate notebook for the honeymoon. OneNote 2010 has you covered with a downloadable travel template, which is full of prompts for details that could easily be forgotten, such as digital copies of your passports. Start planning now. Download the free OneNote 2010 wedding template at http://www.office.com/onenotewedding.

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Meeting And Exceeding Client Demands In A Digital World

(NAPSI)—Deliverables: Every business has them, especially in small agencies, where several assignments are juggled at once and multiple projects are due to clients daily. Most are managed online or over e-mail. Take a creative professional at a design shop, for example, who is reconstructing a client’s entire website. Prototypes and mock-ups are drafted and numerous versions are exchanged constantly until the final is complete and the website goes live. Take the tax accountant during tax season, who sends many sensitive documents back and forth to clients for signatures, clarification on details and background. Bottom line: Everyone has important information that get sent often.

For example, global communications firm Big Sky Communications often manages multiple projects at one time and relies on rapid content sharing to meet changing client requests. “The content we create is integral to our clients’ marketing and sales programs, so it’s vital that every last detail is perfect and final materials are delivered on time,” says Colleen Padnos of Big Sky Communications. With the massive amount of e-mails and attachments being sent around the Internet these days, however, businesses are vulnerable to the technical difficulties that come with “information overload,” which could prevent their hard work from being delivered on time.

In fact, recent research by Plantronics shows that the use of e-mail by professionals has increased 78 percent over the past five years, nearly 83 percent use e-mail as a primary communication tool for business—and nearly 57 percent say they’re overwhelmed by the volume. It seems pretty clear that the variety and rate at which people share and send information is not slowing down and that the volume and variety of content in businesses continue to explode as organizations create documents, e-mails, Web content, rich media assets and corporate records.

Fortunately, there may be a way for businesses to send digital content easily while collaborating better internally, meet the high demands of clients and not get bogged down by the amount of information. The creator of Acrobat and Reader offers a new way to securely transfer files from one place to another without clogging in-boxes or sending extraneous messages back and forth to check on the status of a sent file. With the latest upgrades to its file transfer service, Adobe SendNow, users can send, view and securely access a variety of file types from anywhere. As Padnos says, “With Adobe SendNow, we have an easy, reliable way to manage, share and collaborate on large files with clients everywhere.”

These days, transferring documents is just the start. This is an age of sharing—no matter what device (mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop computer) or format (photos, video or audio) you’re using, your client, boss, even your mother expects it can get done and get done quickly. SendNow offers these capabilities and more. “We constantly develop a variety of video and multimedia content for our clients—anything from three-minute customer videos to interactive presentations and in-depth customer success stories,” says Padnos. “We use Adobe SendNow to reliably share large files, having confidence that our clients always have easy access to project content when and where they need it. We can quickly and cost effectively deliver up-to-date content to project teams for review and accelerate finalizing content to meet our clients’ tight deadlines.”

Deliverables in the Digital Age should be nothing short of simple. With the right technology in place, small businesses, professionals and everyday users have the ability to transfer information in less time and avoid the challenges that come with sending large files—all with little or no cost.

 

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