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Education

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A New Frontier for Education

jbjh Thankfully, we seem to have arrived at a critical turning point in the education system in Jamaica. We have finally realized the importance of technology and are beginning to explore practical ways of incorporating it in the classroom. I am truly excited about the prospects . I am also looking forward to seeing improved results in the core subject areas of Math and English for Jamaican students. Recently, one of my closest friends introduced me to a brand new company that is sure to create huge waves in the education industry. This company is called Niritech and it focuses on creating a virtual learning environment in several CSEC and CAPE subjects. For more information about their products and services click here.

My preamble should have left you wondering what makes Niritech so unique. The following is a list of the beauty of the NiriTech experience.

Students Participate in Small Online Classes

Instead of having to sit through a boring lecture in a cramped classroom, students are able to sit in the comfort of their homes and participate in online classes. These classes will have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 students...the perfect size to truly encourage learning. The teacher will be able to use an interactive white board and facilitate discussions. Students will also be able to communicate with their teacher outside of the scheduled classroom sessions.

There Will Be Daily Activities

Throughout the week there will be daily assessments that the students have to complete. This will allow the students to actively engage in the learning process. Students will also be required to take mid-semester exams and teachers have to provide feedback within at least 3 days. The system is structured to ensure the student passes.

There is an Online Tutoring Option

There are some students who need special help. Niritech has taken this into consideration and provided a tutoring option for these students. This individual help could mean the difference between a grade one and a grade two.

 

So, what are you waiting for? It doesn't matter if you are a high school student or an adult trying to advance in life. Take the first step towards guaranteed success and apply today.

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Putting Theory Into Practice

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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards a ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast" ~Leonardo Da Vinci

Most of our youthful days are spent in long classes and boring lectures filling our brains with knowledge that we more than likely will never use again for the rest of our lives. What percentage of the world really uses the principles of circle theorem for instance? Who really cares about Pythogarus' theorem?  As an educator, these are the types of questions I have often asked myself but when I really think about it, learning is all about making sense out of nonsense and being able to apply what we read, watch and hear into practice. Our ability to learn in this way helps us to grow as individuals and hone new skills, two things which are very critical for our survival in this world.

So, how can we ensure that we embrace learning as the intertwining of theory and practice? It is not a simple task (as an educator I can assure you that it is extremely difficult). However, I believe that we all can make the most of the knowledge we obtain by following these tips:

Learn to Relate to the Content

Things make sense when we are able to relate to them. This is one of the challenges that I have as an educator because I really cannot relate to most of the content that I teach the students. However, I have to find a way to make what they learn practical and meaningful. Being able to relate to a concept or theory does not necessarily mean that we have to be able to visualise how we can use it in our own lives. According to the Free Online Dictionary relate means "to establish or demonstrate a connection between". You may not be able to make a connection between a theory and your life but you may be able to make a connection between a theory and something you were previously taught. You would be surprised that by doing this your learning experience can become more meaningful.

Understand that There Is a Balance Between Theory and Practice

You can't have theory without practice and you cannot have practice without theory. There are several definitions for theory based on the context but I think the best definition can be found on the Merriam-Webster dictionary. This definition states that a theory is "a belief, policy or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action". Therefore, the belief that in order to develop self defense skills, one has to go to self defense classes is a theory. However, if you don't practice the skills learnt in these classes the theory becomes meaningless.

Use What You Learn As a Guide

How can I use what I learn to guide me to a brighter future? For instance, Mathematics is composed of several theories which, when put into practice, can help us to develop our reasoning ability and therefore make us better decision makers and analysts in the workplace. When you are able to put this level of value on what you are learning it is more likely that you will put out the effort to ensure that it is learnt.

If I had approached learning in this way, I probably would have been able to make better sense of what I was being taught. Nevertheless, I can help my students understand the tips I previously outlined to make the best use of their learning experience. Also, we must never forget that we are always learning in an informal way. By observing people around us we are able to theorise how we can become better people, but to make the best use of this knowledge we need to put these theories into practice. Embrace the lifelong learning experience you are on and make the most of it.

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