Published May 07, 2012
Written by Grace Chen
Are our public schools in a state of crisis? Learn about the 10 biggest problems with public schools today, both from the perspective of the administrators and the teachers
Few would argue that the state of our education system has plenty of room for improvement, but developing a plan to take schools in the right direction is easier said than done. The first challenge lies in identifying the underlying problems that are keeping students from learning today. This challenge, in part, is due to the fact that the problems may change considerably depending on who is labeling them, whether it is students, parents, educators or lawmakers. Consider this list of 10 major challenges facing public schools currently, based on the perspective of many involved in the world of education today.
Many areas of the country are facing classrooms that are literally busting out at the seams. A report at NEA Today two years ago discussed how schools in Georgia, in the midst of major funding cuts for schools, had no choice but to lift all class size limits to accommodate students with the faculty the school system could still afford to keep. Most teachers agree that they cannot effectively teach every student in a classroom, if the class size exceeds about 30. Yet, there are many larger classrooms across the country today that boast many more students than 30 every day.
Technorati reported last fall that 22 percent of the children in the U.S. live at or below poverty level. Students living at or below poverty level tend to have the highest dropout rates. Studies show that students who do not get enough food or sleep are less likely to perform at their full academic potential. Schools know these truths firsthand, and despite efforts to provide students with basic essentials, there is not enough to go around, according to teachers, administrators and lawmakers.
Family factors also play a role in a school’s ability to teach students. Principals and teachers agree that what is going on at home will impact a student’s propensity to learn. Divorce, single parents, poverty, violence and many other issues are all challenges a student brings to school every day. While some teachers and administrators try to work with children in less than ideal family environments, they can only do so much – especially when parents are often not willing to partner with the schools to provide for the children.
Kids Health Guide reports that students are more technologically advanced than many teachers today, putting instructors at a decided disadvantage in the classroom. However, a student’s love of technology also tends to distract him from his schoolwork, according to NEA Today. When teachers don’t have the techno-savvy to compete with those devices, by bringing education and technology together, it can be difficult to keep students’ interest and attention to properly teach new concepts.
Bullying is not a new problem, but it is one that has a profound impact on the learning aptitude of many students today. Technology has given bullies even more avenues to torment their victims – through social networking, texting and other virtual interactions. Cyberbullying has become a major issue for schools, as evidenced by the number of suicides that can be directly traced to bullying events. The fact that laws are still fuzzy regarding cyberbullying adds to the challenge – since parents, teachers and administrators are unsure of how to legally handle such issues.
Student Attitudes and Behaviors
Many public school teachers also cite student attitudes, such as apathy and disrespect for teachers, as a major problem facing schools today. A poll from the National Center for Education Statistics cited a number of years ago that problems like apathy, tardiness, disrespect and absenteeism posed significant challenges for teachers. These issues were seen more frequently at the secondary school level, rather than the primary grades.
No Child Left Behind
Many students, parents and teachers see No Child Left Behind as a detriment to the public education environment today. NEA Today quotes Kansas special educator Shelly Dunham as saying, “Testing, testing, testing, what is the point of testing? Do we use the data to remediate those who do not measure up? No!” Many teachers believe they are forced to teach to the annual standardized tests, and activities like recess and lunch have been cut way down to make more time for academics in light of the new testing procedures.
Many teachers believe there is no happy medium when it comes to parental involvement, according to the Kids Health Guide. Some parents won’t be seen for the entire school year, no matter what sort of issues might arise. Others never seem to go away, hovering over the child and teacher and interfering with the education process. There are ways parents can become involved and support their child’s education at the same time, but teachers don’t always get that level from parents.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., and the same poor eating habits that led to the obesity problem may also be contributing to lower student achievement. Obesity also increases a student’s risk for other conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, which could result in higher absenteeism and more academic issues
Budget cuts have created huge problems for most public schools in recent years. Less funding means smaller staffs, fewer resources and a lower number of services for students. While some argue that throwing more money at the education problems won’t make them go away, others assert that lack of funding caused many of the problems in the first place.
There are many problems in public schools today, but identifying those issues is half the battle. With a laundry list of challenges to face, now is the time for educators, parents and lawmakers to come together and begin to find solutions – for the benefit of all students in public schools today.
Maintaining name consistency is important, but isnt enough by itself. Youll also want to make sure that your brand speaks with a common voice across the social networks. This may be easier said than done. Social networks differ in significant ways from one another and present unique challenges for interacting with customers and potential customers on those networks. – http://ow.ly/eGmxJ
Pinterest: Increase Content Engagement - Captivating visuals are often the most important piece of the Pinterest puzzle, so dont hesitate to showcase your best assets. Photos, product packaging, and infographics can provide the visual boost that will grab the attention of your followers and attract new ones. – http://ow.ly/eGmxw
Pinterest: Increase Your Social Reach – Optimize your social reach by publicizing your Pinterest page on all other social platforms, embedding Pinterest widgets or buttons on your companys website, and consistently creating pin boards that are populated with images unique to your brand. – http://ow.ly/eGmxv
Facebook’s free tools
Facebook is a fantastic, free tool for businesses to use to collect information about their customers, to connect with their customers, and to connect with new customers. But, don’t forget that Facebook is a business and it is designed to make money. You can absolutely be successful with Facebook without using any of their paid advertising. However, as I just said, Facebook is a business. If you owned a business, would you give away your most valuable product for free? If you did, you wouldn’t be in business very long.
Facebook offers fantastic opportunities using only their free product – the Facebook page. Facebook also offers paid advertising (their most valuable product). Facebook has been slowly growing their ad platform into one hell of a monster opportunity (seeing as though they have over 1 BILLION users).
Competing with other Facebook Pages
It is ridiculous to think that your business page is the only page that your followers are following. The average Facebook user has 130 friends and likes 80 pages. That means 2 things:
- When a follower interacts with your page, it can potentially reach 130 other Facebook users.
- Your page is competing with 80 other pages for newsfeed space, as well as 130 people who post their own updates. The average user does not have a huge monitor (many users access their page via mobile phone) and there is only so much space that can be displayed at any one time without scrolling down. Even then, you are still competing for space.
This is a screen shot of my personal Facebook page’s news feed This is its entirety without scrolling down. You can see clearly that then newsfeed is easily packed with other content and postings. The blue lines border the news feed. There are 2 postings from my friends (Conrad and Nick), and three postings from pages that I have liked (Riley’s Bar, DSM Solutions, and HubSpot).
On the right-hand side, you can see advertisements inside of the red border. This is one version of Facebook’s paid advertising. Those companies have decided what kind of demographic they are targeting. Apparently, I fit into their requirements, which is why I see the advertisements. The benefits of these ads are:
- As I scroll down, the ads stay stationary and are always on my screen.
- They stand separate from the news feed.
- They are targeted to specific demographics.
How does Facebook allow you to compete with other pages, and space on the newsfeed?
Well, I just explained one method. But, there are many different ways that don’t cost money such as contests, promotions, viral content, etc. The more actions (engagement) a piece of content has, the more likely it will show up on the newsfeed of the friends of those who liked, commented or shared the content. But, the most effective (and most valuable) method to compete for newsfeed space is by utilizing Facebook’s paid advertising. READ MORE in detail about Facebook paid advertising.
By using Facebook’s’ paid advertising, you get real-time results and massive amounts of useful data. This data will allow you to experiment and see what sort of offer or promotions your fans are interested in. Find the most popular outliers and tailor your ads and postings to cater to these high-attention keywords or offers.
There are currently four Marketplace Ad types:
- Standard Ad (drive traffic to your site)
- Like Ad (drive to your Facebook page)
- App Ad (drive to an app)
- Event Ad (promote an event)
Types of Facebook paid advertising
Facebook advertisements allow you to choose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option and Cost Per Impression (CPM). CPC means that you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. This is very useful for testing multiple ads. If some of them are failures, you pay nothing. If they are successful, you pay an amount that depends on the amount of clicks on the ad. This does not guarantee that the person who clicked on the ad doesn’t hit the back button after they arrive at the ads destination. It simply means you don’t pay unless your ad receives some sort of action. CPM means that you pay to be seen. Facebook suggests the number of views your ad will get, and you pay per view. This is how Facebook describes it:
“CPC stands for cost per click. If you are paying for clicks, you’ll be charged each time someone clicks on your ad or sponsored story. You can only pay for clicks if you choose See Advanced Options when you’re setting up your ad, or if you’re advertising an external website. This is because paying for clicks isn’t as valuable if your goal is to get people to take an action on Facebook. When you pay for clicks, your ad will be shown to the people who are most likely to click on your ad, but who may be unlikely to take any other action such as liking your Page, engaging with a Page post, installing your app, using your app or joining your event.”
“CPM stands for cost per 1,000 impressions. This means you’ll pay when people see your ad. When you set up your ad, your impressions will be optimized so your ad shows to people who are most likely to help you reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to get more people to like your Page, your ad will be shown to people in your target audience who are most likely to also like your Page.”
Stay tuned for more information about how to get started using Facebook paid advertisements.
1. Build a Facebook Page
Add a unique cover photo and use your logo as a profile picture
Create a post so when people visit your Page they see recent activity
Make sure to like your Page and share it with your friends
2. Connect to your fans with ads
Create multiple ads to help build an audience for your Page
Use the targeting options to show your ads to only the people you want reach
See which versions of your ads work best
3. Engage your fans with great content on your Page
Add a new post to your Page at least once a week
Pin your most important posts to the top of your Page
Ask questions, share exclusive news and respond to people when they post or comment on your Page
4. Influence the friends of your fans
Encourage check-ins, participation in events or create an offer to encourage more activity on your Page
When people interact with the content on your Page, their friends are eligible to see the activity
When people do things such as like, comment or check-in to your Page, you can promote those activities to their friends
HootSuite is the Social Media Dashboard!
Rather than being a social network, HootSuite allows you to connect to multiple social networks from one website.
HootSuite helps organizations use the social web to launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audience, and distribute targeted messages across multiple channels.
Using HootSuite’s unique social media dashboard, teams can collaboratively schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, WordPress and other social networks via web, desktop or mobile platforms plus track campaign results and industry trends to rapidly adjust tactics.
‘A weblog is a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser.’ Source
‘A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.’Source
‘From “Web log.” A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”‘ Source
‘A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there’s also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.’ Source
‘A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.’ Source
‘A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”, such as Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.’ Source.
So What is a Blog???
Confused yet? Don’t be – its really quite simple. To put it as simply as possible – a blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom.
Ok – now you are a seasoned blog reader – you’ve seen two already at least.
Blogs are usually (but not always) written by one person and are updated pretty regularly. Blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic – there are blogs on virtually any topic you can think of. From photography, to spirituality, to recipes, to personal diaries to hobbies – blogging has as many applications and varieties as you can imagine. Whole blog communities have sprung up around some of these topics putting people into contact with each other in relationships where they can learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people with similar interests from around the world.
Blogs usually have a few features that are useful to know about if you want to get the most out of them as a reader. Lets examine a couple briefly.
Archives – You might look at the front page of a blog and think that there is not much to them. A few recent entries, some links to other sites and not much else. However its worth knowing that there is a lot more going on under the surface that might initially meet the eye. For example in addition to the main page of this blog – at the time of writing this post there are over 520 other pages or posts below the surface that I’ve written over the past few months.
When I write a post like this one it goes to the top of the front page. As it gets older and as I add more current posts it begins its journey down the page until it disappears from it. This is not the end of its life however, because it goes into the ‘Archives’ of my blog. It sounds like a dusty dark place but its really just like a filing cabinet that is easily accessible in a couple of ways. You can read my ‘archives’ simply by looking on the ‘sidebar’ (over on the left of this blog) at the ‘archives’ or ‘categories’ section. There you will see links to all my old posts which you can access either by category. You’ll see a category for ‘Advertising’ – click that link and you’ll see all my old posts on the topic of Advertising with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.
Comments – Not all blogs use comments – but most do. This blog is not a monologue but a conversation. You can give me feedback on almost everything I write simply by clicking the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of each one of my posts. This will take you to a little form where you leave your name, email and a link to your own blog if you have one as well as your feedback, comment, critique, question, essay on why you love my blog, promise of money…. etc). Try it now. Scroll to the bottom of this page, click ‘comments’ and fill in the blanks with a little introduction to yourself.
A great way to learn about blogs is to read a few. Leave some comments, ask questions and bookmark your favourites. An even better way to learn about blogs is to start your own. Ok – you might be laughing at me now – you think you are not web savy enough to have your own site? You wouldn’t know where to start? You don’t know how?
What Can You Do with Pinterest?
Redecorate your Home!
Joy uses Pinterest to save decorating ideas for her new home in LA. She saves patterns, furniture, and accessories that catch her eye.
Plan a Wedding!
Divya and Ben use Pinterest to plan their wedding. Their Moms can leave comments about the dresses, flowers, and ties they pin up.
Find your Style!
Tim uses Pinterest to share his personal style. He pins clothing, shoes and accessories he finds while browsing stores and fashion blogs.
Save your Inspirations!
Sha uses Pinterest to save design inspirations for his job. He can reference inspiring design work to share with his team at Trulia.
Save Your Recipes!
Jessica uses Pinterest to discover new gluten free recipes. She always has a collection of tasty appetizers and desserts she can cook when she’s hungry and looking for ideas.
Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.
YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.
Create an account
Sign up for a YouTube account, select your account settings, and start getting the most out of your YouTube experience.
Enjoyed a video? Click “Like” beneath the video to let others know.
Respond to the video you just watched by adding a comment beneath the player. You can also rate the quality of other people’s comments by clicking “Vote Up” or “Vote Down” to the right of the comment. The highest voted comments earn the top spot, right beneath the player.
After watching a video on YouTube, click one of the videos in the Suggestions column on the right to view a related video.
Click “Load More Subscriptions” at the bottom of the list for even more choices.
Video Player Sizes
Use the Pop-Out Window to watch the video in a new window.
Expand the video to make the player wider within your current browser.
Use the Full Screen mode to convert your entire computer screen into a video player for a TV-like viewing experience.
Rent a movie
Rent full-length feature films straight from YouTube. Click “Rent” to begin. Make sure your YouTube account is upgraded to include your billing information; once you purchase the movie, you can view it on your computer while connected to the internet.
Watch YouTube on the go. If you have a mobile phone with Internet access, visit m.youtube.com from your phone’s internet browser. Bookmark YouTube Mobile on your phone to return to the mobile site easily.
Leanback makes it easy to enjoy YouTube videos in your living room. All videos play in full screen at the highest quality, perfect for sharing on a Google TV or any big screen. Try it out at youtube.com/leanback.
Captions / Subtitles
Hover your mouse over the red button in the bottom right corner of the video player to set the caption/subtitle options. Select the language for the subtitles under the Translate Captions option. YouTube will automatically translate the audio of the video and display it as subtitles, when available.
Watch in High Definition (HD)
To maximize your viewing experience, click the video format button in the lower right corner and select the 720p, 1080p or Original options to view in HD, when available.
Watch in 3D
To view videos on YouTube that are uploaded in 3D, select the 3D button at the bottom of the player. If you own a pair of 3D glasses, select the colors that work with your glasses. If you don’t own a pair of glasses, choose the cross-eyed option, cross your eyes to align the two images into one, and the video should pop out at you in 3D.
Type a keyword, subject, or video title into the search bar. From the results page, click Search Options to view filters and narrow your results. Use Related Search options to refine your search.
Check out the YouTube Charts page for a list of the top videos on YouTube. You can filter the chart by popularity, date range, and content category.
Tip: Select All Time under the Date Range to view the top YouTube videos of all time.
If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, click Browse to see the most viewed videos in each category. See more videos in a specific category by clicking “Filter”.
When you search for a term, (“funny” for example), you will see other related topics tied to videos that you might want to explore. Click to get to videos on these topics. Or add a topic to your current search by clicking on the + sign that shows when you hover over it. Each new topic you click will give you new results to explore. Check out Topics on TestTube.
The tag cloud at the bottom of a category page shows the popular keywords that people are searching for at the moment. Like other tag clouds, the size of the keywords in the box indicates their popularity. Click on one of these keywords to view relevant search results.
Found a video you really like? Subscribe to the person’s YouTube channel: just click the “Subscribe” button above the video or on their channel. Their latest videos and recent shared activity will be automatically delivered to your homepage, so you can stay up-to-date on everything they’re doing.
Recommended for You
The Recommended for You module on the homepage suggests videos you might like based on your previous viewing history. To see your viewing history, click on the History link at the top right of the page; click “Clear Viewing History” to refresh your recommended videos list.
Share a YouTube video with your friends via email, social networks, or blog directly from the video page. Just click the Share button underneath the video.
YouTube provides you with the code to add videos to any website or blog (as long as the video owner has embeds enabled). Click “Embed” to see all your color and size options; then just copy and paste the code into the HTML on your site or blog.
Automatically share your favorite YouTube videos and YouTube activity with your friends on your social networks. Link your YouTube account with your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, and Google Reader accounts and choose which YouTube activities you’d like to share with your friends.
Your channel is your home for broadcasting on YouTube. It’s the place to house the videos you make (“Uploads”), the videos you love (“Favorites”), and the videos you’ve organized (“Playlists”). Personalize your channel by selecting the background color, formatting and module options.
When you find a video you like, add it your favorites. This will bookmark that video in your account so you can return to it easily for repeat viewing. Note that people subscribed to your channel can also view your Favorite videos.
Manage your subscriptions
Change your notification preferences by clicking “Edit Subscription” above videos on channels to which you are subscribed. Manage and view all your subscriptions under your YouTube Account tab.
Build your Queue
As you find more videos that you like, click “Add to” beneath the player. The video will be added to a queue at the bottom of the screen, so you can keep track of the videos that you want to watch later. Collect several videos in your queue, turn on autoplay, and watch continuously.
Customize your YouTube homepage with your favorite modules.
Create a Playlist
Add individual videos to a playlist or create a new playlist by clicking the arrow next to the “Add to” button beneath the video. You can also easily convert your queue into a playlist and save it in your account so you can return to it later or share it with friends.
Edit your videos right in YouTube – no software downloads required! Combine your video clips, trim the length of your video, add music using AudioSwap, and add transitions between video clips. Once you are happy with your video, upload it to your YouTube channel and share with your friends.
Use AudioSwap in the video editor to add music to your videos, for free.
The video description is a key piece of information used to identify the content of your video. The more accurate the information you provide in the description section, the easier it will be for users to find your video.
Annotations let you add text links to your videos; link to other videos, channels and playlists, or even create interlinked video narratives. You control what the annotations say and when and where they appear on the video.
Visit the insights tab in your account to learn about the demographics of your viewers and other information about your audience. Use this information to better target the people already watching your videos or to understand which audiences to develop.
Uploading in HD
Upload your video in a High Definition format. YouTube currently offers three options: 720p,1080p, and most recently, 4K (“Original”) resolution. To give some perspective on the size of 4K, the ideal screen size for a 4K video is 25 feet!
Uploading in 3D
Use two cameras arranged like a pair of eyes and record on both cameras simultaneously. Then, in your video editing program, place the footage for the left and right eyes together in the frame side by side, with the right eye on the left and the left eye on the right. Once you’re done, upload your video and edit your video tags to include the “yt3d:enable=true” tag. This tag will automatically add a 3D menu to your video.
Private sharing and unlisted videos
When you upload a video, you can choose whether you want to share the video publicly, privately, or mark it as “unlisted”. By sharing privately, you can invite up to 25 of your YouTube friends to watch, so you control exactly who views the video. By marking your video as unlisted, anyone with the link to the video can watch it, whether or not they have a YouTube account.
Use Promoted Videos to attract viewers, subscribers and customers by displaying your video ad next to relevant search results and related videos.