Tips of parents returning to schools

Article Submitted by Education News Articles

If you are a parent, you are used to teaching your kids and helping them with school work, but are you prepared for the transition from being a parent to becoming a student?

Understand your motivation

– Think about your rationale for returning to school.  Are you developing additional skills for a career change?  Are you pursuing a degree that you always wanted, but never had the opportunity to?  Maybe you’re anticipating that an additional degree will give you a competitive advantage in the labor market.  Depending on what your source of motivation is will determine which type of school you should attend.

Manage your time

– Take ownership of your education, and set aside time everyday to study and review class notes. Piling up all your work until the very last minute will be counterproductive. Many classes require you to work collaboratively with other students on projects outside of the classroom. Create a schedule in way that allows you to focus both on your schoolwork and commitments as a parent.

Delegate responsibilities

– Since you will be pressed for time upon returning to school, you will need as much help as you can get from your children. Prepare them mentally and let them know that you won’t be available as much as you used to.  Let them know that you are counting on them to provide help around the house.  Lay out ground rules and expectations that you have of them.  If you have older children, they might be capable of taking care of a younger sibling.  For younger children, you can delegate simple tasks such as folding laundry or wiping down the table.  Realize that returning to school is a joint effort between both parent and child.

Be smart with your money

– Tuition, books, and other fees will be eating away at your hard earned savings.  Budget efficiently and consider different ways of saving money.  Consider buying used or older editions of textbooks that are needed for class.  The content is usually exactly the same (with the exception of the cover) and discounted at almost half the price of a newer edition.  When you’re packing lunch for your child, you can pack an extra one for yourself to bring to class.

Realize that school will feel completely different from what you remembered it to be.  Times have changed, students have changed, and so have the teaching methodologies.  Do not feel intimidated that people around you are younger.  Keep in mind that you are all there for the very same reason- to learn. You may feel out of place; but like any new environment, it will take time to adjust to.

Horrible Software Glitches

Software was made to be imperfect. All software for all systems is meant to have glitches and bugs. For a software tester, it is his job to eliminate as many of these bugs as possible. However, there are so many issues to consider when designing software, it is impossible to locate all the glitches.

Software companies ask their engineers to conduct tests on their programs to discover any issues. Whether it’s a high-profile company such as Apple, or a small-time software company, each will ask testers and engineers to locate bugs in their software and hardware. For instance, engineers for a software company may perform load testing methods to understand why an operating system is running slow, while a usability engineer may study the users methods for operating a program. All electronic devices and systems that use software are bound to have glitches, and users are bound to discover these issues. Some glitches can be so severe they can have catastrophic consequences.

Zune Player Set to Crash on New Years

Microsoft created the Zune player to compete with the iPod. However, when the clock struck 12:01 on New Years day, Zune players started to malfunction. Zune players crashed, resulting in the lost of all music data, contact information and purchases. Microsoft apologized for the issue and released a firmware update to resolve the issue. However, the reputation of the Zune had taken a hit, and a P.R. nightmare ensued for Microsoft resulting in lost of millions of dollars and the trust of their customers.

The Start of World War III

During the Cold War, tensions between the United States and Russia had reached an all-time high. Americans tried to prevent communism from spreading, while Russia tried to spread it wherever possible. The two sides started an arms race, creating several installations with nuclear missiles ready to launch at a moments notice. During this time, Russia built a missile detection system to target any ballistic missiles fired from the United States. But when the Russian detection software falsely identified the firing of U.S. missiles, it almost launched the world into catastrophe.

Wall Street Crashes

Black Monday, also known as the day Wall Street crashed, ended up causing 500 million dollars in losses for companies. When investors started to trade, computer trading programs sold off thousands of stocks, overloading the system and leading to its eventual crash. In the coming hours, millions of dollars were lost and the after effects of the computer program lead to an SEC investigation that pointed the blame at investors committing insider trading.

While some glitches may seem minor, they can have catastrophic effects that can lead to deaths, loss in money and even a loss in trust from a company’s most trusted clients. Software engineers try to eliminate these issues by utilizing any sort of test, from mobile app testing to stress testing. However it is impossible to find all the glitches in a system before they reach the users hands. Sometimes it takes the user to locate these issues and almost start World War III to eliminate the glitch or issue.

Find out more about Technology Blogs. – Mobile application testing with unprecedented speed. Try a product demo.

Save Money on Your Textbooks by Not Buying Them

You really want to know the best way to save money on textbooks? The answer isn’t buying them used, or buying them on Amazon or eBay, or trading your buddy a package of Ramen noodles for the Chem. text from the course he failed last semester. The best way to save money on textbooks is not buying them at all.

OK, I might be exaggerating a little bit. You can buy *some* of your books. But wait a while. I learned this lesson really fast during my first semester at community college. I spent three hundred bucks on books only to end up using one of them. Those were some expensive paper weights. That was the last time I bought my textbooks before the semester began.

But won’t my professor be mad?

No, they won’t. They don’t expect you to have your text the first day. Most don’t even expect you to have it the first week. Hell, some won’t even use the textbook at all. I’ll talk about that in more detail in a minute.

But if I wait until later, all the used books are gone!!

Ah, the glorious “used book.” It’s amazing how colleges can turn a bunch of wrinkled, torn up paper into something so desirable, isn’t it? Let me tell you something about used textbooks. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who attends a school that rents out their textbooks, don’t pay for used books from your college. Buy them online. (Note: You can also do what I did and become one of the “lucky few.” I transferred to Southeast Missouri State this fall :P)

College bookstores are businesses.

A good rule of thumb is this: if you’re buying it from a college bookstore, you’re getting ripped off. It’s sad but true. That’s why a backpack from your university bookstore costs $40, while the exact some one at Wal-Mart costs $20. Most colleges run their bookstores as businesses to make a profit. This means they’re charging you more than they paid for that item. In fact, probably a lot more. Some colleges make literally millions of dollars a year from their bookstores. For many state colleges, and especially junior colleges, the bookstore is an integral source of income for the school. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, except when a college or university tries to hide it.

OMG used books!!!1

Your college encourages you to buy used books because they know the used books run out first. You and I know this too, so that’s why we rush in the first chance we get, usually about 5 minutes after we pick our classes, to get a hold of one of the precious used textbooks (cue heavenly singing.) Here’s my advice if you’ve bought used textbooks from your college bookstore: Don’t get on the computer and see how much you would have saved online, because you might want to throw that precious textbook out the window.

Your college bookstore isn’t evil. It’s just a business like any other. They’re in it for the money, and as a consumer you have to make educated choices for your purchases. One common excuse the bookstores use is that the high prices are the fault of the textbook manufacturers who charge them an arm and a leg for new books, and they’re just passing the buck to us. This is true, which leads me to my next point:

Don’t EVER Ever Ever ever ever ever buy new textbooks!

Ever. Unless it’s a brand new edition that you can’t find used. If this is the case, you should consider buying the previous edition used. You might be surprised how little difference there is between different editions of the same textbook. Usually they’ll just switch the order of the pages and chapters and slap a different cover on it. The content is the same.

And now we’re rounding third and coming home, bringing me back to my first point.

Don’t buy them at all.

Next semester, just show up to each class for a few days before you decide whether you need the text or not. Ask the professor whether you’re *really* going to use it. Most professors will be honest (although your college probably frowns upon their professors telling you anything besides: “yes! most definitely buy the book from the bookstore! In fact, buy two!!”) and honestly tell you whether they think you will need it or not. Find other kids who have taken the same course with the same professor and ask whether they used it.

It’s never too late to buy books off the internet. Even if you’re halfway through the semester and you realize you’re in over your head, get on Amazon and see who has your text. Many, if not most, used bookstores list their inventory on Amazon. You should try to save money, but don’t get a crappy grade in a class because you’re too cheap to buy the book. If you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks, you can have it shipped overnight and get it the next day. Just in time to cram for that final.

Some of it comes down to how hard you’re willing to work. One semester I got an A in my psychology class without ever buying the text, and the teacher even told us we HAD to have it to get an A in her class. But I showed up to class every day, took notes like a mad man, studied the heck out of my notes, and managed to pull off an A- in the class. Having to work a little harder was worth the $60 I saved.

So just take a deep breath and chill out. Bring a folder, notebook, and pen with you on your first day. That’s all you’ll need. You don’t need to be carrying all those books around anyway. It’s bad for your back. 😉

Use Continuous Self-Testing to Remember Information

Quizzing yourself is really a great study tool. But when you’re cramming, there’s not a whole lot of time to write up your own flash cards is there?

I suggest you use what I call “continuous self testing” to memorize stuff the first time around. Immediately after you read a key piece of information; say a definition or description of a theory, immediately quiz yourself on it by making up a question for that piece of information.

For example, you’re trying to remember this piece of information:

“Erikson’s first stage of psychosocial development is called “Trust vs Mistrust.”

Wrong way
You: “K. Gotta remember this! Erikson’s first stage was Trust vs Mistrust. Erikson’s first stage was Trust vs Mistrust. Erikson’s first stage was Trust vs Mistrust. Erikson’s first stage was Trust vs Mistrust.”

When this question pops up on your exam, you’ll have a hard time remembering it because you didn’t create a link to it in your brain. That sentence is still floating around in your mind somewhere, but without anyway to find it, you’re in trouble.

Right way
You: “Ok, now what was Erikson’s first stage called? Hmm…I just read it a second ago…I remember…Trust vs Mistrust!”

That’s it. It might sound silly until you actually do it, and realize how hard it is to really commit something to memory. Even doing this right after you’ve read something will create a much stronger memory that’s way easier to recall.

And this really makes sense when you think about it. You’re practicing for exactly what you’ll be doing a couple hours later for your test. Would you practice for a baseball game by repeating some mantra over and over again? “I will swing the bat and hit the ball. I will swing the bat and hit the ball…” No, you would practice by actually playing baseball.