How To Connect With Parents In Your Early Education Company

Relationships are at the core of any successful childcare center, preschool, Montessori, special needs or private elementary school. This includes the interaction you have with parents, teachers, children and your vendors. Engaging the members of each of these four groups will help to ensure that your center or school is more successful.

Today, we’ll focus on engaging parents. From the first time a parent encounters one of your advertisements from print to a recommendation from someone else who knows your school to an exit interview when they leave your school, you are engaging that parent with your point of contact. As we work in a competitive environment, it’s important to make every contact as beneficial and possible.

  1. Internet Presence-For many early education companies, this one is limited to a website, and many times these websites are created, launched and forgotten. Your website gives you the opportunity to provide parents with the best and most up-to-date information about your center or school and its activities. It gives you the chance to show parents that you are better and more knowledgeable that your competition. Review and improve your website at least every 90 days. It may only be small changes in the beginning, but getting in the habit will lead you to learn more and make bigger improvements as you move forward.
  2. Social Media Platforms-Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram are all useful platforms.
  3. Staff-Every staff member from your director and teachers to your cook and maintenance person can be a walking ambassador for your company. Who knows more than these people about the way “their” center or school performs. Everyone spends money on advertising. If you choose to incentivize your staff for bringing more parents in the door, you have the opportunity to increase your enrollment and reward your staff… creating greater staff loyalty as a byproduct. While it may not be typical for you, advertising expense paid to staff can certainly be more beneficial for you than the money you spend with vendors.
  4. Vendors-Most people don’t think of most of their vendors as sources of new business, but your vendors very likely interact with many parents in your local area. These people are highly rated and often overlooked resources. These relationships can set up as barter relationships (they send parents to you and you send clients to them) or you can choose to pay them for each new referral that stays enrolled for X period of time.
  5. Print Media-While print media is used less in the age of the internet and social media connectivity, it is still an important factor for getting the initial attention of parents and for keeping parents informed once they have become clients. There is still a place for print media, but it can be very helpful to you if you remember that most anything you’ve ever done in print, can be done digitally faster and cheaper.
  6. The Exit Interview-If you conduct exit interviews with your staff or parents, you have the opportunity to learn how you can better connect with parents. Many people will share information in an exit interview that they won’t share in the middle of a relationship. This is a great way to discover new options.
  7. Local Elementary Schools-There are few things better than teachers from local schools that will recommend your center or school to a parent. These contact points can send elementary age children to you as well as their younger siblings.
  8. Open House-An open house for local parents to view your center or school and meet your teachers is always fun and not terribly expensive for the opportunity to be face to face with potential clients.

These proven tools can greatly improve your early education company. Their effective use can also provide you with a cumulative effect as more parents who become clients means more parents to refer additional parents.

(Legal Disclaimer: Always consult the proper professionals before taking action. By and before the use of the information provided herein, reader agrees that BFS┬« is not responsible for viewer’s actions related to said information.)



Source by Brad R Barnett

Apps Are Playing a Major Role in Autism Education

Children who have developmental disorders, like autism, usually find it troublesome to recognize emotions and social cues. Autism apps like “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” can be of a major help to such children. These apps are programmed with voice and interactive response software and help autistic children to construct sentences and differentiate one object from another. Experts and researchers believe that these apps could be of immense help to autistic kids because they help focus on a single aspect of communication at a time, and then react according to the situation. The “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism education apps never overwhelm the child with multiple forms of communication. Introducing autism education apps at the right age will help the child become independent at the right time.

Both the “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps can be personalized. The can be changed according to the individual needs of the child. The educational apps help autistic children follow directions and bolster communication by instilling confidence.

The inclusion of technology in special education methods is already underway. Progress, however, is being carried out in steps and not in leaps. There’s still a lot of advancement need to be made. Technology in autism education, like the apps, can help students build confidence and attain academic and extra-curricular success. For students with special needs, it’s critical to usher in an emotional and social learning function into the mix. For instance, while using a technological learning device connected to an app, a teacher will be in a much better position to customize the learning plan which includes social, intellectual, and emotional learning. A child may face trouble to complete the daily tasks all by himself/herself. The autism apps will provide options for the answer to a question. The child can then match the nearest option and finish the task.

The “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps rely on teaching a child through games. The learning sessions are completely interactive. They are loaded with colorful icons and voice commands. A voice warns when a child selects a wrong option. Similarly, when a right option is chosen, the child is awarded with badges that help him/her go to the next level. The main aim of these apps is to make education fun. These simple gaming activities help autistic children further their education.

Both the “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps are frequently updated so that the special needs children can tackle fresh challenges.



Source by Kevin Carter

What Makes Special Education So Special

Special education is defined as specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. These types of students can range from partially to severely disabled. Until you have a child requiring special education you can not appreciate the tremendous job the educators who work with these kids do.

Most schools provide some level of special education if your child has a learning disability on any particular area. Some have a full time staff who specialize in various areas to help children. Depending on the severity you may be faced with enrolling your child in a special needs school. This is something you will have to discuss with your teachers and school administrators.

There are many excellent online resources for parents to research and learn things they can do to help their child as well. Just Google searching the keyword phrase “special education” will bring up thousands of results to get you started. Most parents want to be involved in helping their kids and the internet is becoming a big help in this area. One thing you can do is sign up for as many free email newsletters on the subject of special education to easily be kept up to date on a weekly and monthly basis.

One of the primary problems parents and kids both face, when it comes to educating their kids who require special needs, is how to let them interact with other kids. Social development is certainly important to the growth of a child, many times as much so as education itself. It is generally in the best interest of your child to interact with other kids as often as possible.

Of course a common problem is how to deal with insensitive comments made to you child by other kids. As a parent it is only natural to try and protect your child, when it fact it may be better to let them learn how to handle things themselves. Most kids will seek out and want to play and be around other kids who accept them for who they are.

This is an important step in the development in the education of your child. Overall it is important to let your child interact with other kids as early and often as possible. Only step in when you feel it is really necessary and in the long run you are doing your child a favor.

This has been a quick overview on special education and what you can do as a parent to be more involved. The development of special needs children in many ways is more rewarding than other children and knowing you played a role in that is a feeling you will never replace.



Source by Lester Lee

Involving Autism Apps in Education

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the US. It has grown alarmingly in the past few years. But at the same time, several companies have come up with autism learning apps like “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” that have made learning easier for children with autism spectrum disorder.

But why are autism learning apps proving to be helpful to special needs children? For one, autism apps like “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” have a simple interface which is easy to navigate. Autistic kids are attracted to iPads and tablets. Besides, these devices are handy and portable, and children can use them under various circumstances. These apps can help them learn outside the classroom as well. Autism learning apps particularly help the children to develop communication, social, language, and articulation skills. People learn through touch and the “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” autism apps maximize the learning experience through engaging content, ease of use, and interaction.

There are several autism learning apps available in the market. But there’s a pertinent need to select the ones that have the key features. The “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” autism apps help users to share results. Most of the apps come in various versions that target diverse age groups. This is important because if the autism learning apps are targeted only at the younger group, the older ones will get bored while using them. Also, all autism apps must forge a “real-time” feel. This means that the kids should be able to witness the cause-and-effect action so as to process the message.

The “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” autism learning apps have more options, are more descriptive, and are fully customizable. They can be tuned to suit the needs of each particular child. You can of course add your own words, images, short animations etc.

Kids are particularly fond of the “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” autism apps. Both these apps comprise letter recognition, reading comprehension, object sorting and matching, and letter-sound correspondence. The features have made these two apps extremely popular.

Enthused by the success of these two apps, several companies have introduced their own learning apps. It’s often a challenge to the teachers, counselors, and parents to find the best one.

The “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” autism learning apps, fortunately, have been developed by experts and professionals were involved at every stage of the development. It has won accolades from parents and instructors.



Source by Kevin Carter

Is the Carrot and Stick Method Useful in Higher Education?

Consider how the process of learning begins for students. As a general perceptual rule, when students begin their degree programs they hope to obtain good grades, useful skills, and relevant knowledge. The tuition paid assures placement in a class and there are implied results that students expect as a product of their involvement in that class. In contrast, instructors expect that students will obey the academic rules, perform to the best of their abilities, and comply with specific class requirements that include deadlines for completion of learning activities.

For students, grades serve as an indicator of their progress in class, a symbol of their accomplishments and failures, and a record of their standing in a degree program. I have heard many students state that their primary goal for the class was to earn what they refer to as “good grades” – even though they may not be fully aware of what constitutes a good grade for them. When students aren’t achieving good grades, or the minimum expected by instructors and/or the school, instructors may try to nudge them on – either through positive motivational methods such as coaching and mentoring, or negative motivational methods that include threats and a demeaning disposition.

I found that many educators dangle a carrot in front of their students through indirect methods, such as the potential to earn a better grade, as an “A” in an indicator of the ultimate achievement in school. There may be incentives given to prompt better performance, including additional time or a resubmission allowance for a written assignment, as a means of encouraging students to perform better.

My question is whether the focus of teaching in higher education should be on the carrot we dangle in front of students to perform better or should there be more of a focus on what motivates each individual student to perform to the best of their abilities? In other words, do we need to be dangling something in front of students to serve as a source of motivation?

What is the Carrot and Stick Method?

I believe that most people understand the meaning of dangling a carrot in front of students to motivate them. The phrase is actually based upon a tale about a method of motivating a donkey and while the carrot is dangling in front of it, the stick is used to prod the animal along. The carrot serves as a reward and the stick is used as a form of reinforcement and punishment for non-compliance.

This approach is still used in the workplace, even subconsciously by managers, as a method of motivating employees. The carrot or incentives may include a promotion, pay increase, different assignments, and the list continues. The stick that is used, or the punishment for not reaching specific goals or performance levels, may include demotion or a job loss. A threat of that nature can serve as a powerful motivator, even if the essence of this approach is negative and stressful.

The Carrot and Stick Approach in Higher Education

If you are uncertain about the use of this approach in higher education, consider the following example. You are providing feedback for a written assignment and it is now the halfway point in the class. For one particular student, you believe they have not met the criteria for the assignment and more importantly, they have either not put in enough effort, they did not perform to your expectations, or they did not live up to their full potential.

It is worth mentioning that your beliefs about students are shaped by how you view them and their potential. In other words, I try to see my students as individuals who have varying levels of performance and that means some will be further along than others. In contrast, instructors who believe they do not have enough time to get to know their students as individuals may view the class as a whole and set an expectation regarding the overall performance level that all students should be at for this particular point in the class.

Returning to the example provided, my question to you is this: Do you reward the attempt made by the student or do you penalize that student for what you perceive to be a lack of effort? As a faculty trainer, I have interacted with many faculty who believe that all students should be high performers and earning top grades, regardless of their background and prior classes. When students fail to meet that expectation, there is a perception that students either do not care, they are not trying, or they are not reading and applying the feedback provided. The instructor’s response then is to dangle a carrot (incentive) and use the stick to try to change the necessary student behaviors.

Relevance for Adult Learning

There is a perception held by many educators, especially those who teach in traditional college classes, that the instructors are in control and students must comply. This reinforces a belief within students that they do not have control over their outcomes and that is why many believe grades are beyond their control. I have seen many students stop trying by the time they were enrolled in a class I was teaching simply because they could not make a connection between the effort they have made to the outcomes or grades received. In other words, while they believed they were doing everything “right” – they were still getting poor grades.

At the heart of the adult learning process is motivation. There are as many degrees of motivation as there are types of students and it is not realistic to expect that all students will be performing at the same level. I’ve learned through time and practice that adult student behaviors do not or will not permanently change as a result of forced compliance. However, behaviors will change in time when an instructor has built a connection with their students and established a sense of rapport with them. I encourage instructors to think beyond dangling a carrot and try to influence behavior, and not always through the use of rewards.

From a Carrot to a Connection

It is important for instructors to create a climate and classroom conditions that are conducive to engaging students, while becoming aware of (and recognizing) that all students have a capacity to learn and some gradually reach their potential while others develop much more quickly. My instructional approach has shifted early on from a rewards or carrot focus to a student focus. I want to build connections with students and nurture productive relationships with them, even when I am teaching an online class and have the distance factor to consider. I encourage students to make an effort and I welcome creative risks. I teach students to embrace what they call their failures as valuable learning lessons. I encourage their involvement in the learning process, prompt their original thinking during class discussions, and I teach them that their efforts do influence the outcomes received.

I recognize that this type of approach is not always easy to implement when classroom management is time consuming, and this is especially true for adjunct instructors. However, at a very minimum it can become an attitude and part of an engaging instructional practice. I encourage instructors to include it as part of their underlying teaching philosophy so they recognize and work to implement it. Every educator should have a well-thought out teaching philosophy as it guides how they act and react to students and classroom conditions. A student focus, rather than a carrot and stick focus, creates a shift in perspective from looking first at the deficits of students and seeing their strengths – along with their potential. It is an attitude of looking away from lack and looking towards meaning in the learning process, and a shift from seeing an entire class to viewing students individually. My hope is that this inspires you to re-evaluate and re-examine how teach your students and consider new methods of prompting their best performance.



Source by Dr. Bruce A. Johnson