Posts tagged with "WFH"

Back to College by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Emily Green Reinvents Post-Pandemic Education

The COVID-19 pandemic forced students, teachers, and parents to change their ways of doing things almost overnight as schools closed and learning went online. The situation left everyone scrambling – and often grumbling about the limited learning taking place under this hasty reinvention of how schools operate.

But, despite all the downsides, could this moment of school upheaval also be an opportunity to transform the nation’s education system into something better?

In her new book, School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World, author Emily Greene makes the case for just such a transformation as she shares her experiences with her three children and explores ways to encourage curiosity and creativity to create to a radical change in how we approach teaching and learning.

Greene writes: “It often takes a seismic disruption to change the way things have always been done. Before the pandemic, I jokingly said that it would take a cataclysmic world event, like an alien invasion, to truly disrupt education. While I could have never predicted this worldwide pandemic, its absolute disruption of school will change education forever and be studied in the history books for generations to come.”

In this book, readers will learn:

  • How to unlearn the current education system, setting the stage for replacing its outdated methods with creative new ideas that can work better.
  • Why it’s important to embrace the forgotten wonder of unscheduled time, when children can do what they like free from the constraints of school or outside planned activities.
  • How to cultivate children’s natural curiosity, which can lead to limitless opportunities for learning.
  • Why hands-on activities, such as drawing a picture or baking a pie, are critical supplements to the learning that takes place through reading a book or staring at words on a screen.
  • How to help your children follow their heart and find purpose and passion in the world.

About Emily Greene

Emily Greene is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

General Information

Title: School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World

Author: Emily Greene

Genre: Education, Parenting

ISBN-10: 1642252433

ISBN-13: 978-1642252439

Pages: 248                                    

Publisher: Advantage Media Group

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

Remote Learning Tips for Parents

While remote learning can negatively impact motivation, engagement, and curiosity, there are ways to help stressed out students.

Emily Greene suggests 5 things that parents can proactively do at home to help their kids better manage the challenges of the disruption to schooling, and for some, the partial return to in-person learning.

As she writes in her book, “School, Disrupted”, parents can help to uplift and inspire their kids by trying these things, which in turn will also help teachers!

1) Make sure your child has free time/down time every day. This is necessary to activate an important brain network called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Scientists know that the DMN is intricately tied to curiosity, creativity, and imagination which can help boost engagement and motivation in these challenging times.

2) Curate their curiosity. Asking questions stimulates curiosity, which is directly tied to engagement and joy in learning.  Parents can help jostle our children out of the “circle the correct choice” mindset and make way for open-ended questions that are vital to learning. As parents, we can be too quick to provide advice, opinions, and answers. To foster curiosity, try to hold back, ask questions, and listen. In an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Susan Engel of Williams College argues for the promotion of curiosity in schools, calling for a “shift in the way we see the traditional role of a teacher from one who answers questions to one who elicits them.”  Let this be your guiding principle–eliciting questions will uncover a treasure trove of curiosity.

3) Encourage kids to get hands-on. Ask them what they want to create, make, or build. Doing activities that are off the computer and are hands-on engage them in learning in new ways. Other ways to get hands-on are to go outside. Or, take a virtual field trip!

4) As parents, we can also help teachers come up with ideas to integrate more fun and engagement into Zoom-based lessons. Teachers have a tough job right now trying to engage both in-person and remote learners. Sharing Zoom Boosters, (found in Emily’s book) shows that you care and are engaged in being part of the solution.

5) Encourage your child to get creative with their assignments–for example, by self-advocating for choice in projects. If the teacher plans to give a multiple-choice unit test, urge your child to ask if they can make a poster, a brochure, or a podcast covering the subject matter instead. If they are uninspired by the list of writing prompts for a class paper, encourage them to ask the teacher about selecting a personalized prompt that they are more excited to write about. When they are given an assignment, encourage them to ask the teacher, “Can I make a short film for my final? Can I write a short story? Can I put on a play? Can I build a contraption that would demonstrate this principle of physics?” The worst that can happen is the teacher says no—but more often than not, teachers appreciate the initiative because they know it shows a passion for learning during a very tough time due to the pandemic.

Emily Greene (www.emilygreene.com) is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

Sparbar boxing illustration for 360 Magazine by Kaelen Felix

Sparbar Home Boxing Workouts

2020 and the coronavirus pandemic brought us a work-from-home boom. The pandemic has undoubtedly spurred the working-out-from-home lifestyle. And just when your boss drives you nuts over the daily Zoom calls and general WFH stress, you can find yourself punching the sh*t out of your Sparbar.

The Sparbar is a human-sized, height-adjustable fitness device that works as your boxing coach. It comes with a horizontal punching bar with target markings that will rotate 360° to punch back. With the Sparbar, people can easily find themselves boxing at home. In recent years, there has been a growing hype around boxing exercises and now Sparbar offers these intense exercises at home.

Users can simultaneously learn defensive skills while having fun at the convenience of your home. More specifically, Sparbar teaches core offensive and defensive skills, hand-eye coordination, footwork, balance, speed, stamina, accuracy, timing and power.Sparbar became the most trending home gym experience during lockdown with sky rocketing sales, even celebrities like Kevin Hart and Anthony Joshua are training with this innovative fitness practice.

“Boxing is one of the best sports in the world, and what we find is that more and more people are moving into boxing to find that mental and physical connection in a workout,“ says London-based founder Jasvinder “Jazz” Gill.

Sparbar is not only revolutionizing combat sports, but makes boxing as a sport accessible to everyone. Learn more about elevating your workouts at https://sparbar.com/.

coffee, mug, plate, cocoa, green, white, brown, 360 Magazine, illustration

How to Build Your Brand from Your Bedroom

Under the current, (very) uncertain financial conditions, the prospect of starting a business might not be the most appealing. With some experts predicting an economic downturn worse than anything we’ve seen since the Great Depression during the 1930s, cutting back on all non-essentials and saving as much money as possible seems the obvious & sensible strategy.

However, for every recession, some businesses thrive and several entrepreneurial possibilities will typically develop. To build a recession-proof business and to start a business during the current financial crisis, minimizing overheads is a great place to start.

Work from Home

Many of us have now experience the ‘forced-experiment’ of working from home and have hopefully, made adjustments so that it is a viable option in the future. Whilst during the pandemic your clients may forgive you for having a barking dog or a crying baby in the background, this will most likely be deemed highly unprofessional again in the near future.

By using a telephone answering service from the likes of Moneypenny and a virtual office address from the likes of Apso you can portray your business in a highly professional light. Combined with a professional website, having a ‘bricks and mortar’ office address and a landline telephone number can make a business run from your bedroom, appear to be a highly reputable establishment.

In addition, having a professional receptionist who knows your business down to the important details and provides a great customer service can make your business seem ‘bigger’ than it is. 

Another big advantage of using a virtual receptionist app or service is that you can often opt for a 24/7 or out of hours service. This can allow you to capture calls around the clock, meaning that you’ll never miss a sales-lead again.

Use Accountancy Apps

Please note that in some countries, you can get a fine for filling in a tax return and other legal forms incorrectly. If this is the case, it may be wise to invest in a local accountant or hire a tax return specialist from a website such as Upwork.

Whether or not you use an accountant, using an accounting or finance app can still save you lots of time and potentially money. By using an app, for example, you can cut down substantially on admin time that may have previously required an additional member of staff to hire.

The fact that you can access your financial data on your mobile phone, regardless of your location, makes it a lot easier to manage your operations & spending. With the right app; you will also be able to archive receipts and create invoices on the go – giving you fewer things to remember to do when you get back home or back to the office!

Quickbooks and Freshbooks are the leading industry apps at present. To quickly run through what you could expect to do with Quickbooks:

– Create & send highly professional invoices

– Scan receipts & attach them to expenses forms

– Instantly access auto-generated reports such as profit & loss, balance and cash flow

– Run a Payroll

– Accept Online Payments

– Simplify Tax returns

Being able to simplify tax returns is a big benefit. This can save you a lot of money, as a freelance accountant will have to spend less time putting together your forms, meaning that they can charge significantly less.

Develop Brand Ambassadors

By brand ambassadors, we don’t mean the ones that you might find on social media with tens of thousands of followers – we mean utilising your customers & clients. By going above and beyond, providing a great value service and/or product and offering referral promotions, you can often turn existing clients and customers into lead-generating assets. Many businesses make the mistake of chasing new clients and not looking after their current clientele. However, by making your current clients feel special and highly valued, you can often gain many clients passively, by word of mouth.

One way to find brand ambassadors is to do a search online and find people who’ve already shown some authentic love or admiration for your brand. Search using your company name, relevant hashtags or just look for posts that you’ve been tagged in. You can also use software for this if necessary – for example, Brand24 or SocialToaster. Finally, if you have a signup process online, you can ask people if they would be willing to share products with their network and friends. This can also work if you have a newsletter or ask for feedback at any point.

Social Media Advertising

Before you commit to spending any money on advertising, make sure you research for several hours first. People waste millions of dollars each year by putting adverts live without delving into the strategies that work and don’t work for each industry and niche. Hiring an agency can also be very expensive and for something that is not highly technical or difficult to learn. Commit to 2 or 3 hours of research – which pretty much involves watching videos on Youtube at x1.5 speed!

If you do choose to do paid advertising on Facebook, focus on getting the right audience, be as specific as possible and create a tailored set of adverts. Remember that people are not actively searching for products or services, they are just scrolling through their timeline – so you’ll usually need to ‘warm them up’ with a free eBook or offer. If budget allows, test several formats of advert too, make video one of them.

The worst thing you can do with Google, Facebook or any other advertising, is jump in and put campaigns live without learning the tips and tricks that a very important when it comes to making a profit. Done correctly, however, social media advertising can be highly cost-effective.

Here is a great tutorial about Facebook advertising to get started with.