Posts tagged with "learning"

Jurrasic Quest Dino Trainers via Jurrasic Quest for use by 360 Magazine

Jurassic Quest Celebrates National Fossil Day

Jurassic Quest®, the nation’s largest and most realistic dinosaur experience, invites fans of the prehistoric era to join Jurassic Quest’s dinosaur trainers and loveable baby dinosaurs for a day of virtual family fun on National Fossil Day, October 13, 2021.  

Families can save 25% off tickets to Jurassic Quest’s upcoming showings (full schedule below) on October 13th with promo code FOSSIL DAY. Use promo code FOSSIL DAY to purchase tickets at their website. This is a one day promotional offer and restrictions may apply. And, special merchandise discounts will be offered on October 13th during our zoom playdates- stay tuned for additional details!

National Fossil Day Fun with Jurassic Quest!

Join Jurassic Quest baby dinosaurs and trainers for live virtual play sessions throughout the dino holiday, on October 13. To join, fans will need to register for each session they’d like to attend HERE.

Each daytime session will include about 30 minutes of live family-friendly fun, such as dino storytime, show and tell, adorable dino baby appearances and more, led by the Jurassic Quest dinosaur trainer team: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick and Park Ranger Marty. In the evening, kids can snuggle in for virtual baby dino bedtime stories at 8 p.m. ET. 

Other Activities

Jurassic Quest has free activities for families to celebrate at home including coloring and activity sheet, participants will get opportunities for discounts and exclusive merchandise commemorating the occasion in the Jurassic Quest Shop. And watch out for more fun via promotional partner Macaroni Kids.

Fossil fans can “rock” out to the Jurassic Quest song all year long and see highlights from the national event tour HERE. And that’s not all… catch the Jurassic Quest herd of 100+ dinosaurs in person!

Fall and Winter Tour

Loved by millions, Jurassic Quest is kicking off its fall tour by launching a THIRD touring show for the first time ever–meaning more families than ever before can visit the age of the dinosaurs! Watch for upcoming cities and show dates HERE.

Jurassic Quest is touring with its most beloved and unique experiences for the whole family including more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur themed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratops” soft play area for our littlest explorers, bounce houses and inflatable attractions, photo opportunities, and more. 

Visitors walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed–a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon! Meet the babies, hatched only at Jurassic Quest: Cammie the Camarasaurus, Tyson the T-Rex and Trixie the Triceratops–and, you may even catch one of our star dino trainers: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick or Park Ranger Marty! 

The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos–from the largest predators to playful baby dinos–are displayed in realistic scenes with movement and sound, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved. 

About Jurassic Quest

Since 2013, Jurassic Quest has been touring epic dinosaur experiences treating millions of people across North America to an as-close-as-you-can-get look at the giants that ruled the Earth and sea millions of years ago. Jurassic Quest is the largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibition in North America. Developed with leading paleontologists, each dinosaur has been painstakingly replicated in every detail including the most realistic likenesses, movement and sound. Whether their prehistoric counterpart had skin that was scaly, feathers or fur, Jurassic Quest has spared no expense in bringing the dinosaurs to life. Jurassic Quest produced 96 multi-day events in 34 states and Canada and sold over one million tickets in 2019, and has hosted over 2.5 million fans at its Jurassic Quest Drive Thru® touring throughout the country since June 2020. For more information and tickets, click HERE.

Jurassic Quest via Jurassic Quest for use by 360 Magazine

Jursassic Quest Returns to LACC

The largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibit in North America is BACK, BIGGER and BETTER than EVER! More than 100 photorealistic dinosaurs are ready to delight families and ring in the New Year when Jurassic Quest® heads indoors at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the holiday weekend December 29 – January 2.

Jurassic Quest is one of the first indoor family edutainment shows to re-launch since March 2020 due to the pandemic, its drive thru iteration sold out two Rose Bowl runs earlier this year, and will return to the SoCal with its most beloved and unique indoor experiences for the whole family including more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur themed rides and attractions, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratots” soft play area for our littlest explorers, photo opportunities, and more. 

Walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed–a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon! Meet the babies, hatched only at Jurassic Quest: Cammie the Camarasaurus, Tyson the T-Rex and Trixie the Triceratops–and, you may even catch one of our star dino trainers: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick or Park Ranger Marty!  

Loved by millions, only Jurassic Quest can bring families memories this BIG! The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos–from the largest predators to playful baby dinos–are displayed in realistic scenes with some that move and roar, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved. 

Tickets & Logistics 

Tickets start at $19 HERE, and include a 100% ticket guarantee that in the event of a show cancellation or postponement for any reason, ticket purchases will be automatically refunded for the full purchase amount. Tickets are for a timed arrival window, and advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged. Guests can walk through the dinosaur experience at their own pace, and strollers are permitted. Some venues may have wheelchairs for use, but please contact the venue in advance to make arrangements.

General admission tickets include access to the dinosaur and marine exhibits, arts and crafts activities, and dinosaur shows. There are rides and activities that require activity tickets available on site for $5 each, or guests can upgrade to the Kids Unlimited Rides ticket (the best value for children ages 2-12). Green screen photography and animal art tattoos are available at a separate cost. Entry is free for children under age 2.

Lebron Illustration created by Rumnik Ghuma from 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Lebron James × Youtube Originals – I PROMISE

Youtube Originals Announces new documentary “I Promise” from Ledbron James’ The Springhill Company chronicling year one at his groundbreaking, public I Promise school, both a film and an educational resource, “I Promise” provides an inside look at a new model for urban, public education, the film debuts September 28 onlu on Youtube, and watch the official trailer HERE  

YouTube Originals today announced “I Promise,” a feature documentary film from award-winning director, Marc Levin, that tells the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio through the eyes of the inspiring students who are resetting expectations of their futures. The film premieres Thursday, September 28 at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT on the YouTube Originals channel. 

The documentary, which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Festival, features an in-depth look at the first academic year inside the groundbreaking I Promise School, which opened in 2018. Viewers will get to explore the day-to-day trials, triumphs, and life-changing impact of the school staff, students, and families working together in a unique, family-first educational environment that embraces the trauma and challenges many faces in Akron. The film offers an intimate look at the school’s blueprint for a new model for urban, public education – a holistic, STEM-focused approach led by love and Social-Emotional Learning infused with the LeBron James Family Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy. In opening the doors to the I PROMISE School’s early challenges and learnings, the film exists to provide insights and tools that students and educators in every community across the country can implement in their classrooms and beyond.  

“I Promise” is directed by Marc Levin with executive producers LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Philip Byron, Nicholas Lopez, Marc Levin, Dan Levin, Catherine Cyr, and Josh Gold. LeBron James and Maverick Carter will serve as executive producers on the documentary with their empowerment-led media conglomerate The SpringHill Company. “I Promise” director Marc Levin will also executive produce alongside Jamal Henderson, Philip Byron, Nicholas Lopez, Daniel B. Levin, Catherine Cyr, and Josh Gold. The film is a Blowback Pictures Production in association with RYOT Lab and LeBron James Family Foundation. Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Nadine Zylstra serves as Head of Family, Learning, and Impact for YouTube Originals, with Zoe Di Stefano also overseeing “I Promise” for YouTube Originals. 360 Magazine is amazed to see such good work being done for the community. Many people are giving back to the community especially because of the time period we are in. 

“I Promise” joins a growing slate of learning and impact projects including the upcoming new slate of sustainability-focused programming: “Seat at the Table,” with David Attenborough and creator Jack Harries, “Stay Wild” (working title) from Brave Wilderness in partnership with Appian Way and Madica Productions, “Shut It Off ASAP” (working title) from AsapSCIENCE and B17 Entertainment; in addition to launched projects from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund aimed to invest with intention with programming like “Bear Witness, Take Action 2,” which continued the movement on racial justice to evoke change and protect Black lives; “Resist,” a documentary series from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; and “Barbershop Medicine” aiming to put the “public” back in Public Health and explore the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity. Additional learning YouTube Originals include Emmy Award-winning mini-series “Create Together,” a Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted series featuring the creations of everyday people collaborating to make art; Daytime Emmy Award-winning special “Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama” where YouTube creators, such as Liza Koshy, sit down with Former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation to discuss the state of girls’ education around the world; Emmy-nominated “Glad You Asked” that explores topics driven by our curiosity about the world around us; and “Retro Tech” the Emmy-nominated series that explores the technological promises of the past.

Image of Telescope via Gabrielle Archulleta for Use by 360 Magazine

WonderWorks Panama City × The Force Of Air

Air is something we all need to survive, but most of us don’t know much about it. WonderWorks Panama City Beach is opening a new exhibit that sheds light on this essential gas to give guests a better understanding of what it is and how it moves. The attraction’s new exhibit will open on August 13, 2021, and it will be included in the regular admission price. This is just one of many exhibits WonderWorks features that helps guests learn about science in a fun and hands-on way.

“Families are going to really find this exhibit fun and interesting at the same time,” said Michael Walsingham, general manager of WonderWorks Panama City Beach. “It’s a great exhibit that will help people see how air moves around, and the kids are going to enjoy the interaction.”

The new exhibit brings to life the concept of how air moves – something many guests have never thought about. It features a maze of tubes hanging from the walls and ceiling that guests can send colorful pieces of material — dubbed “poofs” — through to observe how the force of air moves through the maze.

In addition to giving guests a visual demonstration of how air moves, the exhibit’s room is filled with fun facts about the air so everyone comes away learning something new. Guests will learn about what air is, how it moves, how it holds water, what sort of living organisms it contains,  why there is no air in outer space, what gusts and bioaerosols are, and much more.

This new exhibit is one of the many STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) focused exhibits at WonderWorks Panama City Beach. STEAM-related exhibits are a focus at WonderWorks, as its mascot Professor Wonders hopes to provide guests with a fun and interactive way to learn more about science.

“We invite people to check out this new exhibit and learn something new about the very thing that keeps them alive,” added Walsingham. “We love to help people learn, and we aim to also keep it interesting!”

WonderWorks Panama City Beach offers many STEM-focused exhibits and activities all year long. There are also demonstrations, activities, virtual learning labs, science fair partnerships, homeschool days, and more. To get more information about the WonderWorks STEM programs, visit the website HERE.

The interactive indoor amusement park offers STEM-focused activities for all ages. There are over 100 hands-on activities, including the bubble lab, an interactive sandbox, the illusion art gallery, and Xtreme 360 bikes. For more information on WonderWorks, visit the site HERE.

Hotel at Night via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Soneva Fushi Resort Announces Summer 2021 Programming

Soneva has announced its Summer 2021 programming at the award-winning Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, featuring one-of-a-kind experiences, exceptional cuisine with Michelin-starred chefs, and acclaimed visiting experts through the ongoing Soneva Stars calendar. Americans visiting the Maldives need to show negative results of a Covid test taken within 96 hours of departure. Soneva has developed an unprecedented program of testing visitors on arrival, and every five days during their stay, to ensure a Covid-free vacation. Soneva has also developed a unique and eco-friendly process to eliminate 90% of mosquitos at Soneva Fushi.

This summer, diners can enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine from a line-up of acclaimed guest chefs at Soneva Fushi over the summer months, including Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec from the 2-Michelin-starred La Scene in Paris, Chef Heiko Nieder from the Dolder Grand’s 2-Michelin-starred The Restaurant, and Chef Paco Morales, the 2-Michelin-starred chef at the forefront of Andalusian cuisine.

Other experts in residence include glass artists Cheyenne Malcolm and Ben Sharp, who will be in residence at Soneva Art & Glass, the Maldives’ only hot glass studio, until August 26. In the realm of wellness, Tathata Kobayashi, a renowned Tai Chi Chuan teacher, will be sharing his extensive knowledge from August 20-September 10.

Those who want to reconnect with nature can join one of Soneva‘s new “Conscious Experiences.” Experiences include a journey around the resort’s organic gardens and waste-to-wealth recycling center, as well as learning about sustainable hook-and-line fishing with a family of local fishermen. Guests can also swim with majestic Manta Rays in the nearby Hanifaru Bay, home to one of the world’s largest manta populations.

Younger guests will be entertained with enriching summer camps for children and teens, and mentoring activities from Oppidan Education. Children can take part in treasure hunts, get active in a mini-Olympics, learn how to identify turtles, sail to the sandbank and much more. Teens are invited to learn about conservation and the environment, take a trip to a local island, discover how to cook tasty Maldivian snacks, and end their stay with a disco at The Den.

The new Soneva Academy enables older children to learn during their summer stay. The modular courses take children and teens aged 12+ from ‘junior’ to ‘expert’, and cover a range of fascinating topics, including the “Night Skies,” “Zero Waste and Plastic Pollution,” “Marine Life of the Maldives,” “Mosquitoes and Disease,” and “The Adventure of the Corbin,” a quest across the seas in the wake of an ancient galleon.

About Soneva

Soneva is a pioneering family of hospitality properties, offering holistic encounters in luxurious and inspiring environments – from world class resorts to outstanding natural locations.  Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand rebuke the traditional concept of luxury and instead promise the luxury of time, purity and solitude. Every day, guests are encouraged to discover sandy feet, inspired minds and full hearts. Combining luxury with a conscientious approach to sustainability and the environment, and proactively changing the nature of hospitality, it delivers intuitive service and meaningful experiences to the guests.

WonderWorks illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Good Vibrations × WonderWorks Myrtle Beach

Good Vibrations – WonderWorks Myrtle Beach New Exhibit on Earthquakes Named by Teachers during Teacher Appreciation Month

WonderWorks Myrtle Beach has an array of exhibits that help educate people about science. And its latest exhibit on earthquakes called Good Vibrations, opens May 28th. Good Vibrations will spotlight Tuckaleechee Caverns, and how they document seismic activity around the world. The new exhibit was a topic request from educators, so it seemed appropriate that they also name the exhibit.  Teachers are invited to see this exhibit for free during WonderWorks Teacher Appreciation Month celebration.

“This new Earthquake exhibit offers a great opportunity to learn about plate tectonics and all seismic activity,” explains Robert Stinnett, general manager at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach. “We look forward to helping people shake things up and learn this type of science in a fun atmosphere.”

The Tuckaleechee Caverns are home to the most sensitive seismic station on Earth. It detects any and all tectonic movement anywhere in the world. If a country is testing a nuclear weapon or there is an earthquake, it has that information within seconds. Once it does, within 300ths of a millisecond, it relays that important information directly to the U.S. Military; Vienna, Austria; and Geneva, Switzerland. The information is collected 24/7 and is crucial to national security, as well as being able to provide earthquake information.

The exhibit, Good Vibrations will help share the importance of the Tuckaleechee Caverns and what they are doing in monitoring seismic activity. The information in the exhibit meets the educational standards on earthquake and seismic activity, and is one of WonderWorks’ many STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) related learning exhibits.

During the month of May 2021, teachers and all support staff can receive free admission to WonderWorks Myrtle Beach by showing a valid school ID or a pay stub upon entering. Additionally, up to four of their accompany guests can receive 50% off their admission price.

“Teachers are going to love learning about the caverns, and everyone who visits will have a great time,” added Stinnett. “Being able to learn and have fun all in the same place is a beautiful thing. We make it happen every day here at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach.”

WonderWorks Myrtle Beach STEM programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, ART-OLINA Young Artist’s Gallery of the Carolinas, science fair partnerships, online science worksheets, sensory days, group rates, birthday parties and a homeschool program. To learn more about the programs, visit the  WonderWorks Myrtle Beach website.

To get more information about Teacher Appreciation Month, visit WonderWorks Teacher Appreciation.

WonderWorks Myrtle Beach has COVID-19 safety measures in place. They include reduced hours, enhanced cleaning, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). 

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for guests of all ages. Feel the power of 84-mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is open 365 days a year and hosts birthday parties and special events.

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Education Tips For Children

7 Ways to Ensure Your Child Gets a Good Education

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, offers tips to help your child be successful in school

Over the last year, during the pandemic, there have been many kids who have struggled academically. This is in part due to the millions who have had to do online learning and find the setup difficult. Whether children are learning online, in person, via classroom, or through a combination of the three, there are things that parents can do to help them be more successful. Knowing what to do can help make a world a difference and reduce the struggling.

“Many parents are aware of the way their kids are struggling with school over this school year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “Rather than let them fall behind, it’s a good idea to take action and do what you can to help them keep up and even pull ahead.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93% of households with school-age children report that their kids have engaged in some sort of distance learning during the pandemic. They also report that the vast shift in the way kids are learning has also caused digital inequality because some kids don’t have access to computers and/or the Internet. Whether students are learning online or in class, there are things parents can do to help them get a good education.

Here 7 ways to help ensure your child gets a good education:

  1. Sleep. It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Teach value. It usually starts at home whether or not a child values an education. Parents who want their kids to get a good education should instill a love of learning in their children and teach them to value the education they are getting.
  3. Get them help. If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education. They can help ensure that students will not fall behind and that they will get the foundation they need to move on in a subject.
  4. Show them how. Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively, as well as how to stay organized with their schooling. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.
  5. Ask them questions. Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help, or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.
  6. Get involved. It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.
  7. Praise your kids. Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging the kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow.

“Just about every parent has the ability to help kids succeed with their academics, even if it’s ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed,” added Florence. “We help parents be successful, even those who don’t have the funds to pay for a tutor. Our mission is to help as many students to achieve as we can.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, Ph.D., and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

tech illustration by rita azar for 360 Magazine

JAIN Launches Online Degree Programs

JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has announced the launch of JAIN Online to offer Undergraduate and Postgraduate Online Degree Programs, in Commerce, Management, Information Technology, and Humanities recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC). JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) is a world-class institution promoted by JAIN Group, with over 30 years of excellence in Education, Research, and Entrepreneurship.

The Chancellor of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) Dr. Chenraj Roychand stated,

 “The changing landscape of education [has been] globally shaped by disruptions due to the pandemic and technological advancements has caused challenges as well as opportunities for the education sector. When Universities, as we have known them, are being forced to change, online education brings a paradigm change that not only helps in reaching the unreached, but also helps in differentiated program offerings in line with market demands. With JAIN Online, we are extending our commitment to provide high-quality and globally benchmarked education to the masses. The programs are designed in a way that also fulfills the needs of international students. With an industry-driven curriculum and cutting-edge technology, JAIN Online is set to reshape the careers of millions of students, making them global leaders and change-makers of tomorrow.” 

The efficient and robust Learning Management System (LMS) of the University provides a high degree of convenience and flexibility to the learners who can access videos, self-learning materials, virtual labs, assignments, quizzes, discussion forums, and live classes over the weekends from top-notch faculty members are drawn from across the globe. Personalized support is offered to the students to clarify their queries from a dedicated program manager. The learning hours and credits of the online degree programs are at par with the regular programs of the University.

With technology playing a major role in its teaching-learning methodology, the University is all set to deliver an exceptionally engaging and enriching learning experience for its students through its Learning Management System. The learners will additionally get access to live classes on 25 key skills for success and more than 16,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning, where they can learn as per their interests and get certified by LinkedIn and various industry partners like SHRM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, EC Council, IIBA, etc. The University also extends its Career Advancement Services to its students on JAIN Online to facilitate job placements with over 2000 hiring partners.

With this, JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) has become the first University in India to launch online degrees with prestigious Global Professional Bodies like ACCA – UK, CIMA – UK, CIM – UK, CIIS – UK, IOA – UK, CMA – US, and CPA – USA. The students would also be eligible for exemption of papers or get relevant professional memberships from these professional bodies on successful completion of the Online Degree Programs.

To know more about the programs, please visit this website.

 

Wonderworks image by Cher Murphy PR for 360 Magazine

WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens

After a Year of Pandemic Closure, WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens with a New Exhibit

The moment so many people have patiently waited for is here. WonderWorks Syracuse will officially reopen on March 26, 2021. While Canyon Climb ropes course re-opened in August 2020, WonderWorks has been closed for nearly a year due to the pandemic. With the reopening, WonderWorks will have new rules and covid safety measures to help keep people safe and socially distanced.

“We are thrilled to be able to get our doors back open and welcome people to come on in,” says Nicole Montgomery, general manager of WonderWorks Syracuse. “We know that people are ready to get out and do things, and we offer a great mix of fun and educational activities, with something for everyone in the family.”

Some of the changes that patrons can expect when visiting WonderWorks Syracuse include:

  • Being cashless. Be sure to bring an electronic form of payment or purchase your tickets online ahead of time because WonderWorks will no longer be accepting cash.
  • WonderWorks is reopening on a reservation basis only, which will keep its capacity to 50 people. It will only be allowing 50 people inside every 30 minutes.
  • The hours will be limited to start with, which is currently noon–6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be available for advanced sale soon.
  • There will be COVID measures taken, such as staff health screenings and guest temperature checks before entering. Additionally, guests over the age of two must wear a face covering and everyone must adhere to social distancing of six feet.
  • WonderWorks is providing sanitizer stations throughout.

“Come on out and have some fun,” added Montgomery. “We have a lot to offer, including ropes courses, laser tag, rides, science exhibits and more.”

WonderWorks reopens with its newest exhibit that incorporates student artists. CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery held its first annual contest, the winning masterpieces will be on display for a year.

WonderWorks ropes course, called Canyon Climb, is the world’s largest suspended indoor ropes course. It offers three levels and 81 obstacles. Additional attractions include laser tag, where people can have fun strapping on a laser tag vest and competing in a fast-paced, action-packed battle of laser tag, a 4D XD motion theater, and various fun and educational zones. The zones focus on weather, light and sound, physical challenges, space discovery, imagination and art.

WonderWorks Syracuse recently launched some educational programs, including virtual learning labs and homeschool days. It also offers group rates, scouting programs, sensory days, birthday parties and corporate events.

To see a full list of COVID-19 safety measures being taken, visit the site.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the site.

For information on the exhibit, CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery, visit their website.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines both education and entertainment into one venue. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71 mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment and experience zero gravity in our Astronaut Training Gyro. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit their website and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.