Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How to Save Money on Text books

The rising cost of books is one expense that stands out in all college budgets. Technical science and math books are among the highest costing text books and English textbooks are not far behind. For years students and parents have complained as their book budgets are stressed. The science books can start at $150 and higher and other books are costing more than $100. Across the country students at four and two year colleges are feeling the pressure of paying for the cost of living on campus and books.

The cost of books has resulted in innovations in the way that students are paying for books. This year the Chegg.com is breaking into the book market with very favorable ratings from students. They are ushering in the age of book rentals and buying books online. The book rental service allows a student to walk up to an IPAD and search for their book and then make a purchase. Some of the rental books are less than half of the cost of the traditional books. Finding a bargain like this is what the students have been looking for. It seems that professors are not aware of the cost of books when they are identifying them for their classes. There is some new legislation that is designed to get professors to look more closely at their book decisions.

Some professors are creative in how they are allocating books and resources for their classes. They are putting special information on their courses in a web based system that is owned by their university. Students can access old lectures and important documents and review them online. Sharing the information online can make some books less important. Students can read the professors notes wherever they may be.

Another website to consider is book.ly. This website compares the prices of the various textbooks on all of the online book websites. Some of the websites include half.com, ecampus.com, biblio.com and Chegg.com. This website is a great change since students are going from website to website to find the cheapest books. This is important since some professors assign more than one book for their classes. I can foresee a time where some books are only available in an electronic format.

Many of the book stores like Barnes and Noble now run campus book stores. Colleges were looking for ways to cut their expenses and book companies were willing to manage the stores. The book companies have immediate access to the books that they keep in their inventory. The book stores are changing with the times as K12 schools are looking at ways to reduce their expenses. Some states like California are cutting their book expenses. Hey are estimating that they will save millions of dollars by encouraging schools to purchase electronic books that the large book stores are offering.

There is a lot that you can do to save on the cost of books. Take the time to search the internet or better yet rent a book. I recommend that students try to go the first class before purchasing every book. At most book stores you cannot return books that you’ve purchased. You do not want to be stuck with a book that you cannot return. Talk to other students who’ve completed the course last year. There may be a few books that you can borrow. I wish you a successful book savings experience.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Title I Essential for School Survival

For more than a generation Title I provided support for our nation’s economically challenged schools. This funding has enabled schools to expand resources and instruction for students who live in poverty. It also has as a target the transformation of the level of parent engagement across America. An additional goal is to close the achievement gap by active financial commitments to school districts. There contribution is important because in the current economy it is difficult for schools to keep pace with the cost of educating students. Many of the large school districts are severely underfunded and they are laying off teachers and closing buildings.

Title I and similar programs need increased funding. Students need innovative teachers and teaching strategies in order to succeed. Too many students go from grade to grade without learning the fundamental skills that will help them to perform at high academic levels. Teachers can be a great asset to students when they connect with their students and parents each time that they start a new school year. Parents can also contribute in a significant way by creating a great learning environment at home. Title one is committed to helping schools to make better connections with parents and students who are in the community.

It is essential that schools become a learning environment where students become independent researchers of new knowledge. The use of technology is causing tremendous changes in the way that teachers and students share knowledge. We need to ensure that low income students are not left behind. Students need to have the secrets to success early during their academic experience. So schools must incorporate parents if they are ever to feel like partners. Some schools are already implementing innovative strategies to keep active parent involvement. These programs have included hiring parent leaders to work in the schools, after school workshops and other activities throughout the year. These changes are essential since many parents do not feel connected with their local school.

School districts need to shed the perception that they do not want parents involved. Teachers and parents have discovered that a lot of student support can be developed when there is a similar education mission. Title I was written to reinforce the need for strategic activities that will change the way that low income students view education. The United States cannot afford to let millions of citizens live without sufficient education. The number of schools where students are not performing at high levels needs to be diminished. This change is difficult when states are not able to invest in their own education system.

During these challenging times the message needs to be loud and clear that students are still suffering due to their economic circumstance. Parents of low income students are often the first to be fired during a recession. This makes the education crisis in the low income community even greater. Some youth may give up hope that they can ever obtain an education that will take them out of their community. They need to know that they can have a career where they can use their education to pursue post secondary education. The funding that Title I provides helps to make change in our education system a greater priority for our nation’s future.

Improving and strengthening schools will require a concentrated effort on the part of school districts, teachers, parents and students. The school systems will continue to fall apart of the amount of resources and money stays stagnant. The best education must be accessible to all students. Our future depends on it. To access Title I student and parent resources visit http://www.titleibooks.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BP Oil Spill a Back to School Nightmare

As the new school year approaches a new nightmare is unfolding due to the BP oil spill. The students who are going back to school in the region will be adversely affected. There are parents and children who have been displaced due to the loose of their income. Parents have been forced to move out of their homes and school districts due to a loose of income. The impact on children is devastating when parents must continually move to survive. Students are withdrawing from school with little notice. A child who is already far behind will lose hope that they can ever catch up.

School District superintendents and principals need to be vigilant about this issue. Too many lives are at risk and the number of students in this situation is growing. During the fall each time a new student comes into a school another student will be leaving due to issues related to the BP Oil spill. BP needs to invest its time and energy in stabilizing families to alleviate the potential harm to children. An unstable family increases the likelihood that a child is not sufficiently educated.

Students who are in their senior year of high school will suffer too. If they do not know where they will be living it will make finishing high school difficult. It could also make them leave a high school that was their home for three or four years. If a student moves far away their plans to attend college may also be affected. The senior year for the typical high school student can be stressful but the BP oils spill adds a new element.

The BP oil spill is an early warning sign concerning the environment and economic issues we must face. Our country is in need of innovative students who can develop solutions for these disasters. In an industry that is so wealthy it’s hard to imagine that that there would not be safety procedures to prevent the type of accident that we have witnessed. Companies need to invest more in colleges that can do research and offer solutions in the time of crisis. They should invest in bright young minds.

The warning signs have been all around us but we have ignored them. Science teachers have been teaching our children that we are too dependent on oil while they are in K12 schools but nothing has dramatically changed. Students go off to college then the graduate and purchase inefficient cars that consume a lot of gasoline. Keeping this at the forefront of discussions with children will keep it on their minds when they become corporate executives. In the next decade we should see a rise in the number of solar panels, wind mills and alternative energy for cars.

It’s important that BP fulfill its obligation to correct all of the problems that they have caused. When you have more than 19,000 gallons of oil for a month you have created a catastrophic problem. It will take some families substantial time to recover their lost income. Workers who are in the fishing industry and oil industry have children who need an education too. Perhaps this is the time to emphasize the value of education and to produce the future generation of engineers and scientists who can prevent another oil accident. Let’s send students back to school with enthusiasm for learning and creating the future.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Study and Succeed on a Final Exam

Getting prepared for examinations and avoiding distractions is the greatest challenge that a student can face. It’s amazing how the best events and the most distracting friends come knocking on your door when you’re trying to study. I always tell students that their first mistake is opening the door to let their friend into their room. To succeed on your final exam you need to set all types of limits on your distractions. Organize a study group. Set limits on the number of students or your study group can become a distraction too. Some students may come to your study group unprepared and it is up to the group to make changes. To have success on your final examination you must maintain your focus.

Time management is an essential when you are preparing for final examinations. Use the beginning of the month to outline how you will use your time. You will need additional time to study and to get organized. If you wait to until the last minute you will be studying all night on certain examinations. When you have more time you will be able to add additional study groups if necessary. It is important to count each day as an opportunity to prove all that you have learned. Too many students feel pressured during final examinations because they decided to manage their time too late. You can change your test anxiety just by effectively managing your time.

So how do you bring together all of the new knowledge that you have obtained over the past few months. You’ve read chapter after chapter and it seems like a massive amount of information. It is important to get organized and develop a study plan that you will follow. For example develop an outline of your chapters and write it down on paper. It’s time to maximize your study skills. Your study skills are an essential part of your success when you review your notes and think about how to apply that information on the test.

It’s important to have the right attitude about your final examinations. It is essential that you expect to have success on every test. You’ve overcome many challenges to get this far in your course. Find time to read a motivational poem, CD or book for a few minutes. Call someone who frequently has given you words of encouragement when you have faced challenged. Success on your final examinations is the result of positive thinking and hard work.

Responding accurately to any final examination requires attention to details. Think about the kind of questions that will occur on a test. Develop some of your own questions and practice with another student who is in your class. You can practice responding and thinking about the right answers to potential test questions. If you have questions that need clarification, don’t be afraid to meet with your instructor. You want to expand the number of questions that you are prepared to answer on any test. You will have the ability to feel successful because you’ve prepared prior to each test.

In conclusion, you can position yourself for success on any final examination. Clearly define all of your distractions and eliminate them early. Make each course a daily part of your discussions. Don’t forget to find a quite place to study where you can concentrate on your subject. It’s time to be confident that you will have success on each final examination. Stay focused on your goal to graduate and it will inspire you to excel on every examination.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a keynote speaker, educator and author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide, and the Ultimate college Guide. He has helped thousands of students to graduate from K12 schools and college. Visit him at http://www.studyskills2u.com.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

When Education Was King

Have you ever lost something? Just when you were about to give up you uncovered it in the first place that you looked. It was there all the time but you overlooked the one place that it should be. It seems that we’ve lost our drive for education. I remember when education was king all across America. The adults all over the country were talking about education and the importance of going to college all of the time. Lately it seems that the thirst for education has been lost to entertainment. Entertainment is viewed as a quick way to fame and fortune. I think America needs to rekindle an enthusiasm for education.

Americans need to revive the thirst for knowledge. It seems like education is on life support and fading fast. We cannot afford to continue to drift back word. Billions of dollars are spent on education every year and we need to renew the level of excitement of students and parents. Too often a good portion of the money that is spent on education fails to make an impact on communities. Education is one way that we can invest in creating a prosperous community

There are some creative ways to reignite the fire that once made education an important aspect of every conversation. How about asking everyone you know to turn over their unused books to students all across America. Their are visit to many homes where there are no books. Why not make them readily available and use social networks to discuss the values of these books. Parents need to spend more time reading too. When children see their parents reading all kinds of conversations can arise.

Why not promote science technology, engineering and math in every school. This is one of the best ways to enable students to be better prepared for the green jobs that are on the rise. These jobs will require future employees to have strong math and science background. We have an obligation to promote education in everyway that we can. How about sending out text messages with scientific facts and make it a fun contest. Let’s use this year as an opportunity to get back on course. There is a lot that we can do to make education a priority.

The local school is not the only place for education to occur. Parents play a key role in promoting education in each student’s home. Also relatives who are working in companies can encourage their nieces and nephews. This strategy really works. I communicate with all of my nieces and nephews while they are in college. It is important to keep them motivated when their education seems challenging. Adults must consistently promote education.

Why not use each day as an opportunity to restore the position that education held when it was king. There a millions of young people who need guidance and motivation to pursue their career dreams. They are asking what’s in it for me. The students want to know that their investment in studying and in learning new subjects will help them to land a job. Today it seems that a college degree is a standard for employment today. It is not clear that everyone realizes how much employment opportunities have shifted. Know is the time to take back the education that was tossed aside and to pursue new dreams of a brighter future.