(NAPSI)—One of the best investments parents can make when it comes
to equipping their kids for school is to give them tools that encourage
success in math and science.
Multiple studies predict that careers in science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) will be among the fastest-growing, highest-quality jobs
available when today's students enter the workforce. According to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of careers in STEM is projected to
grow 17 percent by 2018, compared to just 9.8 percent for non-STEM jobs.
Integrating technology into science and math learning is a great way to
engage today's tech-savvy students and make learning fun and
interactive, while improving student achievement in these subjects. Here are
helpful tips for parents to consider when choosing math and science gear for
their middle school and high school students:
• Pick the right tool for the
job. Graphing calculators are developed with teachers specifically for
math and science learning, and research from SRI International shows that the
devices increase student success in math when used effectively. Graphing
calculators are also allowed on many high-stakes exams, including the ACT, SAT,
AP, IB and many state tests, where tablets, mobile devices and laptops are
• Don't forget about
durability. Is the product made to withstand being thrown into a locker
or into the bottom of a backpack full of heavy textbooks? Buying a durable
product is less expensive in the long run than purchasing a replacement or
buying insurance to protect against damage.
• Look for technology that students can use both in class and at home. Get to know the school's
policies about which technologies are allowed and supported in classrooms.
Students should also be able to easily transfer their work from classroom to
home. To help with that, there are TI-Nspire CX graphing handhelds. These
include free student software that lets kids learn with the handheld in class
and continue their studies with the software on a desktop or laptop computer
at home. The user experience is virtually identical.
• Consider the longevity of
your purchase. Will the product last for years or quickly become obsolete
as newer versions are introduced? The TI-Nspire CX can be used in math and
science classes from middle school into college, and includes free software
and operating system upgrades.
(NAPSI)—Whether you're a first-time college student or well
into a degree program, chances are you have considered taking an online
class. You're not alone. According to
Center, more than
three-quarters of college presidents say that their institutions offer
classes online and an estimated half of all those who graduated college in
the last 10 years say that they have taken an online class.
Online classes offer flexibility and access to rigorous academic programs
for students whose schedules make it difficult to be in the physical
classroom. So how can you make the most of your online learning experience?
It comes down to personal commitment, said Nicole Cabrere, Ed.D., senior vice provost for
which offers online undergraduate and graduate courses to students worldwide.
"It's amazing what can be taught online; courses from business
to writing, even biology and how to dissect frogs," said Dr. Cabrere. "As a society, we're adapting to
rapid advancements in technology, and our education reflects that.
"The key is to apply personal commitment and recognize that online
programs require the same focus and discipline as campus-based classes."
Dr. Cabrere offers three tips for making your
online learning experience a success:
1. Manage your time. In
addition to the time you spend reviewing course materials and preparing
assignments, you may have to build in time for live online discussions,
viewing taped lectures and interacting virtually with classmates. It's
important to understand the various requirements of your class and work them
into your schedule.
2. Participate. "The fact
that you are not in a classroom setting shouldn't take away from your
active participation," she added. "To 'raise your hand'
virtually, e-mail thoughtful questions to your professor regularly,
participate in online chats and distribute helpful articles or other
3. Network. Get to know your
classmates and professors. Hold study sessions virtually through video chat
services or in person with classmates in the area.
University lets students connect with
each other further by hosting Facebook pages for
various communities such as writers or geographic areas. Your fellow students
can share insights into occupations you're interested in. Be sure to
add them to your professional network.
Before enrolling, Dr. Cabrere suggests, students
should become familiar with the computer and space that they will use to take
their online class. "Unless you are in a highly technical program, you
will need basic computer skills to navigate an online class. If you run into
trouble, don't be afraid to ask for help and raise that 'virtual
hand' at any point."
For information about
online and on-campus academic programs, visit www.strayer.edu.
(NAPSI)—Did you know that the average American worker holds between
seven and 10 jobs in their lifetime? Because of our rebounding economy, the
is seeing a skills gap—a mismatch of open jobs with skilled workers.
This growing trend has led to certificate degrees as the fastest-growing
form of postsecondary credentials in the nation. They are popular because
they are affordable, less time-consuming and often lead to higher earnings.
Many online schools offer certificate programs that align with open jobs
in the workforce. Approximately 450,000 workers in relevant industries
receive training delivered online. Today, online schools provide vast
resources to students—hands-on training needed to develop new
skill-sets for jobs like small engine mechanics, veterinary technicians and
Online schools also offer single classes that allow students to brush up
on skills. Many schools offer classes like Business Writing or Statistics,
which provide a grammar or math skills refresher.
Penn Foster is an online school that offers a variety of certificate
programs that meet the needs of today's workforce; specifically, 40
jobs are in industries that are related to Penn Foster's workforce
development courses. The school works with students to help them achieve
success and learn on their terms, offering open enrollment and a self-paced
Encouraging Children To Explore Careers In Science, Technology, Engineering And Math
(NAPSI)—For many parents, the road to a great future for their kids may be
easier to find than they realize. That's because eight of the top 10 best
paid majors are in engineering, according to the National Association of
Colleges and Employers. Children who learn the fundamentals of STEM (science,
technology, engineering and math) subjects in early grades are better
equipped to pursue an engineering career.
Parents play a vital role in shaping their children's education and career
aspirations. Science and engineering fair projects are often students' first—and,
in many cases, only—opportunity to gain hands-on experience with STEM
subjects in ways that directly relate to their own lives, personal interests
or aspirations. A science fair project can give your child the chance to
create his or her own education experience, one that allows him or her to
experiment, just as scientists and engineers do in the real world.
What Parents Can Do
To help your child stay excited about STEM subjects through a science fair:
2. Choose a science fair topic that
means something special to your child. Don't start with a generic listing
of science fair topics. Instead, start with your child's personal interests
and go from there. For example, if your child likes video games, consider
studying graphics processors. A website like www.sciencebuddies.org can help
your child find a project geared to his or her interests.
3. Consider a mentor who can
share his or her life experience with your child. Mentors can connect a child
with real-world applications of their STEM studies. Microsoft found that 57
percent of STEM college students were inspired by a teacher or class.
4. Remember: There are no "wrong"
results in a science fair project. Your child's original hypothesis may not
be correct but it's learning about the scientific method and engineering
process that really matters.
5. Parents don't need to be
scientific experts to help their kids with their project. Offering
support and encouragement and attending the science fair are just a few ways
What Others Are Doing
One in five STEM college students said they decided to pursue a STEM
career in middle school or earlier.
To give today's students a hand, the Broadcom Foundation sponsors the
nation's leading science and engineering competition for sixth to eighth
graders-The Broadcom MASTERS®. The winner is awarded the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, but the thousands of young
people who participate in the program through their regional and state
science fairs are better prepared to meet the challenges of the future and
lead the way with innovative scientific breakthroughs, engineering feats and
(NAPSI)—Small business owners have to juggle multiple
responsibilities and watch the bottom line. Although many turn to the web for
marketing help and for services to run more smoothly, knowing some tips and
tricks on how to better use these tools can make a big difference in terms of
time, money and headaches saved.
David Friend, who was recognized by Ernst & Young as one of
New England's Entrepreneurs of the Year, shares
five tips to help owners be smart with their online efforts and their
1. Use social media platforms to
connect with your customers. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest,
these channels are quick ways to remind your customers of your offerings.
Post regularly to stay top of mind; sharing an update once a week will keep
your followers engaged.
2. Listen with your eyes. Online review sites, from Angie's List to Yelp, give people a number of
ways to voice their opinions. Monitor these sites regularly to see what
customers are saying about your business. And know the dynamic isn't
just one way. You can use this as an opportunity to gracefully accept
compliments or tactfully respond to criticism; however be careful not to
engage in an argument.
3. You've got mail. In
today's fast-paced times, consumers may find it easier to send an email
instead of calling with a question or inquiry. Try to respond quickly, which
will show customers that you care about them and that you are able to help
them with any issues. A quick answer can improve overall customer
4. Beware of data thieves. With
more business conducted online than ever before, cyber security should be top
of mind. To protect your data, do not open suspicious emails, use strong
passwords, and make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware signature database
is up to date.
5. Make sure you're
protected. Results from a recent study by Carbonite revealed that small businesses have big gaps in their data backup plans,
which puts them at risk for losing valuable information in the instance of
power outage, hard drive failure or even a virus. In fact, the study showed
that small businesses continue to choose risky and unreliable technologies:
• 50 percent use external
hard drives, yet 40 percent didn't start backing up until they
experienced a hard drive failure.
• 42 percent use USB/flash drives primarily because it is perceived
as easy, yet only 6 percent believe USB/flash
drives are actually reliable.
• More than one-third use CDs/DVD
drives to back up data, even though 62 percent feel they are inconvenient
Just like seat belts and insurance, you may only appreciate online backup
after it's too late. However, its implementation is very easy and cost
effective. It gives business owners peace of mind and more time to focus on
the matters at hand. Online backup services such as Carbonite offer an affordable and reliable way for small businesses to back up their
data, plus there's a 30-day free trial on its website www.carbonite.com.
(NAPSI)—Remember when "work" meant you had to be in the
office no matter what? Even if you needed to leave for a doctor's
appointment or take a delivery at home, you'd still need to commute
into the office, only to turn around and return midday, taking valuable
business time. Chances were if you had the ability to work anywhere—or
take advantage of what we think of today as a "mobile workstyle"—you
would have had a more productive workday while balancing personal
Workers no longer need to be tethered to an office. The latest technology
available on smartphones, tablets and laptops makes it easier to get your job
done from a home office or a coffee shop. Plus, cloud computing—which
allows workers to safely and quickly access work applications as long as they're
online—ensures that you don't need to be in a cubicle to do your
Citrix, a company that designs cloud and virtualization technology, makes
it easier to be mobile. A mobile workstyle enables employees to work from an
optimal location, can boost productivity and increase job satisfaction, which
in turn helps recruiting and retention.
"We no longer need to define the workplace as an office, cubicle or
meeting room," said Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing
for Citrix. "Businesses that allow their employees to engage in a
mobile workstyle will find they'll keep the best people, reduce stress
and create a workplace that's conducive to results."
A mobile workstyle isn't just for technology firms. If you work for
a local accounting or legal firm and your company loses electricity, this
technology means you can work from anywhere and not get behind. If foul
weather closes roads, being able to work anywhere can ensure that things stay
The benefits of a mobile workstyle are too numerous to list, but here are
• It keeps talent: Location becomes irrelevant, making it possible to hire employees that live
beyond commuting distance.
• It's green: Fewer
cars on the road means less air pollution.
• It's cost effective: Less office space means reduced real estate costs, and employees spend less
on gas, plus gain precious time back.
So before jumping in your car to sit in traffic and run into your office,
ask yourself (and your manager), "Where will I be most productive?"
Tips On Taming A Computer For More Speed, Less Trouble
(NAPSI)—Most people depend on personal computers for so much in daily life
and when the computer seems sluggish, unresponsive or just generally
underperforming, it can lead to frustration. Fortunately, if your computer is
misbehaving, there are five simple steps you can take to help get it back up
1. Defrag Your Disk. Computer
hard drives get fragmented when programs are installed and uninstalled and
files are added and removed. The files end up scattered around the hard drive
so it's difficult for the drive to find everything you want in a timely
manner. The built-in disk defragment tool can keep your computer running
2. Stay Healthy. Just like
humans, when a computer has a virus or is infected with spyware, it becomes
sluggish and performance suffers. Keep your anti-virus program up to date and
fight off cyber attackers. Run a full system scan every three to six months.
Install an anti-spyware program, too.
3. Don't Be a Digital Hoarder. Whenever you install software updates, download images, save music files,
edit documents or browse the Web, your computer accumulates files and
programs, most of which are unnecessary. Use the built-in uninstaller to
remove those unneeded files.
4. Blow it Out. Over time, the
inside of your computer will accumulate a "blanket" of dust, which may result
in a temperature rise inside your computer case. Open your computer case and
blow out the dust using a canister of compressed air. Be sure to blow air
through all fans in order to thoroughly clean them.
5. Upgrade Your Memory. Many
computer performance issues can be resolved with a do-it-yourself (RAM)
memory upgrade. Anytime you open your e-mail, surf the Web, watch a video,
type a paper, play a game or just plain turn on your computer, the computer is
using its internal memory. When a computer does not have enough internal
memory to properly run its programs, it becomes slow and unresponsive.
Installing computer memory is a fairly simple process that requires no
special tools or skills. However, finding the correct upgrade can sometimes
be confusing as there are hundreds of thousands of options to choose from.
Crucial.com makes finding and installing the correct memory upgrade simple
with free, easy-to-use online tools designed to help you quickly find a
compatible memory upgrade. Using the Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool, you choose
your computer make and model from a drop-down menu to see recommended memory
upgrade options. Or, use the Crucial® System Scanner tool to automatically
scan the computer to determine the current memory and view recommended
Visit www.crucial.com for more tips
and information on getting your computer back up to speed!
(NAPSI)—Staying connected to the world through your smartphone is
becoming an imperative today. That means having the freedom to take your
device to the beach, use it in the kitchen, out in the rain, on your bike or
with the kids. New products are now available that make it possible for you
to use your smartphone in all your daily activities.
Smartphones are rapidly replacing single-function devices such as MP3
players, DVD players, Netbook PCs, GPS units, gaming devices and video
cameras. Meanwhile, software developers have created thousands of
applications that replace even more devices.
What that means, however, is that you will want to be able to use all
these great functions and apps every day without restriction. Whether it is
hiking, working out in the gym or playing with the kids, you want to be able
to listen to music, browse the Internet and communicate with family, friends
and work. However, these devices can be very susceptible to damage from
impacts, abrasions, water, snow, dust, sand, work hazards, mishandling and
general use in everyday life.
In response, a new breed of case has recently emerged that offers full
protection in a sleek design while maintaining access to all device
This LifeProof iPhone 4/4S case provides complete protection against
water, shock, dirt and snow and has a sleek low profile that barely increases
the size of your mobile phone. So you can use the phone as a GPS system on a
bike or a boat or an HD video camera on a snowmobile. Swim laps in the pool,
bike through rugged terrain, drive cross-country on a motorcycle, all while
having full access to every smartphone function. It's especially easy
with such LifeProof in Motion accessories as bike and bar mounts, a belt clip,
an armband/swimband and an adapter for GoPro mounts.
Adventurers, road warriors, fitness enthusiasts or anyone who wants the
freedom to be connected every day and everywhere can find further facts at www.lifeproof.com.