Tuesday | June 18, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Multitasking

Kids today are adept at multitasking. According to research put out by the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately one third of kids surveyed report using another form of media “most of the time” while they are doing other things, such as using a computer, listening to music or watching TV.

Experts say young brains are so exposed to an onslaught of media messaging from multiple and simultaneous sources that they have adapted to doing many things at once. Particularly for heavy internet users, their brains get better at processing information more efficiently.

One researcher in the United Kingdom, for instance, found it only takes heavy internet users two seconds on any website before deciding whether they are interested or not. This is because in the digital age, our brains are better at sorting and evaluating information at faster speeds.

You might think this is great news when it comes to your kids, but their ability to multitask has its limits. While it’s easy to go on “auto-pilot” and perform multiple tasks in familiar situations, it’s much more difficult to focus if both tasks require attention. That’s why driving and texting is so dangerous and is said to be just as deadly as drinking and driving; the brain can only do so many things at a time.

This is why it’s so important to learn to focus on one task at a time. Our minds need time to slow down, think creatively and deeply. Until our brains have evolved to meet the demands of the modern world, there are a few things you can do to help your child learn to focus on one thing at a time.

Set limits on when social media can be used. Would you like phones to be put away during family time, dinner, or before bed? Decide on the rules and enforce them.

Keep phones out of the bedroom. It’s easy for kids to stay up too late and become overtired.

When your kids are studying, make sure their study space is free from distractions so they can focus on their work. It’s easy to lose concentration when your phone is ringing or vibrating.

Teach your kids to use the internet as a study tool. The internet provides a wealth of information that can be useful when researching a school project, but funny cat videos on YouTube can be distracting. They can watch these videos, but at appropriate times, such as after their school work is complete.

Understand that it might take time for your kids to get used to focusing on one task at a time, especially when they are young. It’s easy for them to look for distractions and have a hard time concentrating and appreciating the calm, but this will develop in time. Stick with it.

Make sure kids take study breaks every so often. After concentrating for a certain time period, our brains also need time to rest.

Talk to your kids about the risks of driving and texting and set clear rules and consequences for infringements. It is very dangerous, but too many drivers are guilty of doing it. Suggest to your teen that they put their phones in the back seat or trunk while they are driving so they aren’t tempted. The consequences of texting and driving can be deadly.

 

May 16th, 2017

Posted In: Community, Education, Parenting, Uncategorised

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Private Schools in Toronto – The Benefits of a Canadian Education

Are you looking for a place in North America to move your family, or for an ideal private school for your son or daughter’s education? Canada offers international students some of the finest educational opportunities available.

According to the ​ Canadian Bureau for International Education​, (CBIE) our reputation for delivering quality education is a primary reason for enrolling in our

  • Primary and secondary public schools
  • Private schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities

Quality Education and Popular Programs

Canada’s education curriculum quality is a primary influencer to the nearly 336 thousand international students who study here. Over the past eight years, the international student population in Canada has grown by over ​eighty­two percent. About 111­thousand Chinese students are currently enrolled in Canadian schools. Nearly half of those students attend university.

Some of the programs which have generated the most demand include:

  • Business management and administration
  • Engineering
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences

Canada’s reputation as a friendly, welcoming and culturally diverse country remains a key reason why students from Europe, Asia and the Middle East choose to complete their education here. In an ethnically diverse city like Toronto, there are a number of communities which embrace students from the European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African regions.

Students Making Canada their Home After Graduation

New legislation recently passed to make it easier for ​ international students ​to become permanent residents. About half of the international students in “The Great White North” responded to the CBIE survey saying they planned to make Canada their home for life.

For those students who want to complete their Canadian curriculum in their home country, most Canadian post­secondary institutions offer distance learning options. Many students graduate from Canadian private high schools, and then complete their university education from their home country.

Satisfied Students Provide Our Best Marketing

Well over half of the students surveyed by the CBIE in 2015 say they would recommend Canada to their peers as a study destination. Most respondents said they were ​verysatisfied with their Canadian educational experience.

The strong growth trends of the past eight years speaks to how satisfied international students have been with their educational experience in Canada.

Top Cities for and Cost of Living for International Students

The Greater Toronto Area, including Peel and York Regions have significant populations of immigrants and students from Asia and Europe. It is one of the ​ leading Canadian cities ​for cultural diversity, though as a stand­alone municipality it just trails behind Ottawa and Vancouver.

These cities tend to rank highest in Canada for cost of living, though from a global perspective, ​ costs for international studentsrank very competitively among our peer nations. There are also a number of scholarships available for students from abroad.

Resources for Students Considering Enrolling in Canadian Schools

Canadian government organizations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels are committed to fostering the growth of international students in Canadian schools at all levels. The Canadian federal government has created an  “​Education in Canada​” portal of information for foreign students and their families.

It provides specific guidance on:

  • Applying for Canadian citizenship
  • How to apply for study permits and visas
  • Videos on studying opportunities across Canada
  • Programs like internships and Co­Op programs

If you are a parent outside of Canada, searching for an ideal learning environment for your children or teenagers, we encourage you to explore our website, and discover the opportunities at www.crestwood.on.ca.

We hope you find the resources in this article helpful in your research into private schools in Toronto, and Canadian education from an international perspective.

May 12th, 2017

Posted In: Community, Education, Parenting, Uncategorised

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Cheating and Plagiarism

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]cheating & plagiarism have increased[/pullquote]

Studies indicate that cheating and plagiarism have increased in recent years, including among students who are successful academically.

This phenomenon became a major topic of discussion not too long ago with cheating scandals uncovered at some major high schools and universities, including Harvard. Experts attribute the rise in cheating to a few factors, such as increased access to the internet, a lack of understanding of what plagiarism entails and a greater need for schools and parents to emphasize what academic integrity means.

One survey of Yale undergraduates, for instance, showed that students had never read the university’s policy on academic integrity; most were unsure of the rules about sharing their work.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]three-fifths of high school students admit they cheated[/pullquote]

In another survey the Josephson Institute of Ethics found that about three-fifths of high school students admit they cheated in the last year.

It has been shown that unethical behaviour tends to increase when it’s easier to do. Now that kids can cut, paste and copy from the internet, with little understanding of where information comes from or who owns it, cheating can be simpler than ever.

Cheating is when a student obtains or tries to obtain credit for work in dishonest or deceptive ways. It can include lying, copying from another student, discussing answers during a test, using cheat sheets or using copies of an exam without the teacher’s permission.

Plagiarism is when a student uses the work or ideas of another person without properly giving credit to the source of the information. The original author must be credited through proper footnotes, quotations or commentary.

Every school has a code of conduct that outlines what behaviour is and isn’t permissible. Cheating and plagiarism violate academic standards and can result in disciplinary actions.

If your child is caught cheating, it’s important that you get involved. Speak to your child’s teacher or principal to discuss what behaviour occurred and what consequences will be implemented.

Sit down with your child to discuss their behaviour. It’s important to ensure your child understands why what they did was wrong and what they can do next time to avoid cheating. In some cases it may be a case of misunderstanding. In others, it may have been deliberate. Either way, it needs to be addressed.

Explain that independent thinking, honesty and integrity are important parts of the education process and are required as they grow into adults. Tell them they can approach you for help if they need it or are confused about how to complete an assignment or study for a test.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Peer pressure[/pullquote]

If they are being pressured into helping others cheat, talk to them about what is going on at school. Peer pressure can be difficult to resist, and kids must learn the tools they need to overcome peer pressure and do the right thing.

 [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]                     it’s important to reinforce what is and isn’t acceptable[/pullquote]

Research has shown that reinforcing standards can decrease cheating, but schools may not be doing this enough. This is when it might be time to insist your child’s school review the rules about things like how the internet should be used in an academic setting. Plagiarism policies and internet behaviour can be confusing, and it’s important to reinforce what is and isn’t acceptable. Even if the rules have already been discussed, it might be time for a reminder.

 

May 5th, 2017

Posted In: Community, Education, Parenting

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