Federal Student Loans vs Private Loans: Things to Keep in Mind

May 17th, 2019

BY KIRSTIAN KRISYK

With the costs of education being higher than ever and continuing to grow, few students have an opportunity to fully pay their way through college or even have their parents do it for them. If you don’t want your parents to go broke for your sake or to take a reverse mortgage on their house to pay for your degree, you have to think about ways of finding extra resources. And one of the most obvious ways to do it is a student loan. However, there is a question: what is better, a private or a federal loan? The answer, as usual, is: it depends on your situation. So let’s take a closer look.

The main difference

Federal loans are funded by the government and have strictly fixed terms and conditions: what you can use the money for, what your interest rates are when you have to start making payments. Usually, they come with a grace period, postponing your first payments until after you graduate.

Private loans are funded by private organizations (banks, credit unions, even schools themselves) and can have a wide variety of conditions. Most of them are more expensive than federal ones, and many have you start paying them off while you are still in school.

Why not just choose a federal loan, then?

At a glance, it may seem that federal loans are better by any measure – and normally you should look for them before applying for a private loan. However, it is not as clear-cut as this. Firstly, federal loans come with a cap and are often just not enough to cover the tuition costs, forcing you to look for other sources. You can take only a limited number of them. Finally, they strictly limit what you can spend the money on – normally it is just tuition and education-related expenses, and your definition of this term may differ from that of the lender. This is where private loans can help you scrape up the necessary cash to cover the expenses not included in your federal loan – e.g., relocation to your first place of work or living costs.

What to keep in mind

Be careful when determining the terms of repayment

Federal loans allow you to choose very extended repayment periods, up to 30 years. This way you will have to pay only a small amount every year, compared to a shorter repayment, but you should remember that you will pay much more over the lifetime of your loan. Thus, if you believe you can afford it, you should try to choose a shorter term.

Take your starting salary into account

Don’t take on debt that is more than your expected first year’s salary. Calculate how long it will take you to repay it and try to make it 10 years or less.

Start with federal loans

Federal loans usually offer better and more lenient terms than private ones but are limited. Start looking for available options among them, and only move on to private loans after you maximize your federal loans.

Shop around

In order to find out the exact rate you are going to get from each lender, you will have to apply for a loan. The advertised price may come hand in hand with additional conditions that make it unacceptable in your case. Get in touch with a number of lenders before settling for any of them.

A student loan can give you the means of getting an education of your dreams – but if you do it wrong, you can end up with more debt than you can handle.

BY LINE–Kristian Krisyk had been working in the field of web design for 7 years before becoming an entrepreneur in 2014 in design and marketing. His professional interests and hobbies defined major topics of his articles. These days Kristian runs his business and looks for new development opportunities. Follow him @KristianKrisyk or contact at kristian.krisyk@gmail.com

 

5 Ways to Study Outside of College

May 16th, 2019

BY SEBASTIAN MILLER

In youthful stages, the university was not only a pleasant place to be but also a great way to convert the surpass free time at hand into resourceful skill gaining time. Once you land a job, however, time becomes a limited commodity, and as such the ability to get back to college and expand your skills is limited.

Although this is the case, forfeiting to learn additional skills is not a path you may opt to venture. Similarly, you cannot limit the growth of your skills to campus or college degrees. Given the vitality of skills in landing better-paying positions and increasing know-how in your field of operation, study outside of college remains the ideal solution.

Without organizing your method of approach to self-study, the entire process could end in jeopardy and cost you time and your hard-earned money. To ensure that you rip the most benefit from studying out of college, here are some tips to steer you in the right trajectory.

  1. Keep tabs on current news and trends in your field of expertise

Among the most significant ways to learn and build your skills, updating yourself with current news ranks top on the list. By browsing the news often, you acquaint yourself with new developments in your field and top grossing skills at any point in time.

After gaining the information, pursue outlets that offer tutoring and material thus keeping yourself at per with technology and increasing your marketability. With the ample supply of content both on online forums and libraries, gaining relevant skills and honing them to a pro level proves an easy endeavor.

To even better your journey, platforms of the likes of usessaywriters.com offer assistance on multiple niches and ensure that you cover all the nitty-gritty items entailed in specific fields.

  1. Enrolling for online classes

Thanks to technological advancements, it is now easier to access essay services from various parts on the globe, and the classroom no longer is the only place to gain skills. With online tutoring sites like Udemy and Coursera, you can increase your prowess in any niche at a lower cost and without breaking your schedule.

Unlike traditional class systems, the online study allows you to study at a time convenient to you and also gets updated frequently to tackle the most recent developments in a field. To supplement your selected method of approach, you may consider using YouTube videos and other online resources thus extensively tackling every topic you come across.

Since there is a plethora of free and paid for courses, you can create an ideal combo of resources and still without having to break the bank.

  1. Signing for programs your employer/ HR department offers employees

Among the trends in management, certification and skill training are playing a crucial role in shaping the development of companies. To get higher ranks and attract a more substantial pay, enroll for company offered courses often and regularly update your skills on your portfolio.

Unlike self-education, HR developed courses save you tons of cash as the company covers a more substantial part of the fees thus incurring lesser cost on your pocket.

  1. Using a lab/site to test acquired skills

A major miss for many people studying out of campus is lack of practice. By tackling a course without exercise, you retain fewer skills thus undermining your delivery at the workplace.

When going about self-education, ensure that you access an online lab/site to test and perfect your skills. For the case of IT skills, ensure that you practice regularly and come up with solutions for issues you come across as you exercise recently acquired skills.

  1. Reading books

Books are perhaps the only resource that surpasses online resources in terms of information. With a plentiful supply of authored content available in libraries and online shops, gaining knowledge for self-education proves an easy endeavor.

Unlike online resources, books are handled by many authors and publishers before launching thus offer more accurate information. To save money and access information provided in books, you may opt to invest in e-books as they are cheaper, more comfortable to access and easily portable.

Bio: Sebastian Miller is a former Calling Lake School science teacher. After four years of teaching, he decided to become a freelance writer. In Sebastian’s opinion, math is the core of all science, and his goal is to enlight as many schoolers as possible through writing.

 

6 Activities That Give College Students a Positive Attitude

May 15th, 2019

BY LORRAINE McKINNEY

Sometimes you hit a point in the semester where you are feeling down or depressed. It seems like you have neverending papers to write and endless books to read. Sometimes it is a good idea to put your books and homework aside for a little while and focus on you. You will feel better and be able to get through your reading and writing. Here are six activities that will help you maintain a positive attitude while you are at college.

1. Goals – Take some time to write down your goals both long term and short term. If you write down when you next paper or assignment is due it will help you figure out a good time management plan to accomplish your goals. Sometimes seeing things laid out in calendar form can help you wrap your head around what needs to be done and when. Your assignments will seem less imposing and you will be able to relax knowing that you have your goals set.
2. Organize your workspace – You will be more productive and less stressed in an organized workspace. Get some file folders and some organizers and put the mess in its place. The more organized you are the less chance you will forget to do an assignment and the less anxious you will feel. Take half and hour and re-organize your workspace to feel less anxious and more productive.
3. Try something new – Go out and take some dance lessons. You can learn the hustle or many other dances. Go to a park and take part in an ultimate frisbee game. Trying something new and exciting will up your happiness levels and help you make new friends. Getting away from your desk and moving around is beneficial to both your mental and physical health. The healthier you are the less anxious you will be.
4. Think positive – Instead of worrying about how much reading you have to do, think about all the new things you are learning while you read. Take your negative thoughts and turn them around to positive thoughts and actions. Just taking a few minutes a day and thinking positive thoughts can help your whole outlook become happier and healthier. A positive attitude starts with you. See life in a whole new way by just changing this aspect of it.
5. Help someone out – Sometimes the simple act of helping someone in need is all it takes to feel better and more positive. Take some time and volunteer at a local animal shelter or food bank. Helping those who cannot help themselves is a great way to feel better and do good. You will be helping the world while feeling better. Animals will love just having you around and people will appreciate that you took time off from your busy day to help them. You can find local places to volunteer through your college or online.
6. Give yourself a treat – Whether it is a piece of chocolate for each paper you write or a long walk outside after reading your chapters for the day, a treat will brighten you up and show you what you have accomplished. Treating yourself for accomplishing things will help you have a more positive attitude and will encourage you to finish your reading and writing.

There are many ways to develop a more positive attitude. If you follow the steps above you will be on the right road. Take some time away from your studies and do something that feels good to you. This will help you hone a more positive attitude towards your studies and your life. Having a positive attitude will change your world for the best.

 

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.

 

How to Keep Learning When You Have Low Motivation

May 14th, 2019

By Connie Benton

We’ve all been there. You need to study, but the motivation just isn’t there. Most people would say you need to cheer up and find the reasons to study. You have to think about long term goals, and envision them. You have to understand how hard work today converts to your happiness tomorrow.

But if you tried to do this, you know it barely works. You may get the motivation you need for a couple of weeks, but once studying becomes routine again, the motivation is gone.

That’s not the only way you can go about learning, however. Here’s how you can learn with low motivation.

Sleep well

Often, students ignore sleep to study more. If you ever tried to get an A, the odds are you were cramming the whole night before an exam at least once. But that is not the best way to learn.

In fact, sleeping well increases your memory. But that’s not the main thing you should be looking for in sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep decreases your focus. Creativity and ability to form new neurological links suffers as well.

Since you study best when you are able to associate new information with the information you already know, having a good night’s sleep is crucial.

Diet

No, this doesn’t mean you have to try intermitted fasting again. Besides, it doesn’t even work. What this means is there are specific foods you can eat to boost your ability to study.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not the superfood many journalists want them to be. Despite this, they’re really good for you. Take foods rich with omega-3, and you will fight anxiety and improve your eye health. Salmon or sardines are a great choice for such foods.

Another food you want to eat is chocolate. There’s evidence that dark chocolate is good for cognition. Have a piece of chocolate, and you will focus more.

Have a coffee

It’s no secret that drinking coffee makes you more alert. There’s plenty of scientific evidence for it as well.

This beverage is what drives the world forward, so you should join the club if you want to study better. Make sure you don’t indulge in caffeine for too long, or you may be getting the negative side effects instead of positive ones.

Squat

You probably have seen a weirdo who leaves his chair to exercise at least once. Bad news, you have to become that weirdo.

It’s becoming a standard practice for businesses, and even HR software nowadays may include excercise breaks for employees.

The Guardian says, the benefits of exercising include better memory, and better alertness. So, if you’re not feeling like studying, all you need is just a dozen squats.

Focus on the process

The problem with long-term motivation is that you will reap what you saw in four years. You have to do the boring groundwork now. This runs contrary to the way our brains work.

There are two options for how to break this vicious cycle. You can either boost your willpower to deal with the problem or fall in love with the boring groundwork.

Learn to enjoy the process of studying, and you’ll have fewer problems with concentration.

Join a community

The easiest way to love what you study is to talk about it with someone except your teacher. Find a community of people who study the same thing, and you are half way to success.

Talk about what fascinates you about the things you learn and how you can apply them. Once the discussion starts, you’ll be very much interested in continuing the study.

If your motivation is to have fun studying, you don’t need to try and follow your long-term goals.

You don’t need long-term motivation

Long-term motivation is a rational thing. We, humans, don’t always act in a rational way. If you want to get to your long-term goals, find irrational ways to reach rational ends. These 6 are a great start.

BIO: Connie Benton is a passionate freelance writer and regular contributor.

 

Steps to Take When Facing a Medical Emergency on College

May 13th, 2019

BY KIMBERLY EVANS

One of the aspects that many college students, and even their parents for that matter, worry about is a medical emergency. This is a misplaced fear because most medical emergencies are manageable if you’re prepared and know how to handle these emergencies.

This guide will take you through some of the common medical emergencies you’re likely to face in college and the ways and means to handle them.

Know the emergency numbers

Every college will have a volunteer-driven emergency medical service comprising of student volunteers who are well-trained in first-response emergency procedures. Many of these volunteers will also have formal training or certificate as First Responders.

This service will be available 24 X 7, so you can rest assured that help is on hand if you ever face a medical emergency. Make sure you have the contact number of this service and know whom to talk to. Ideally, save this number on your phone and paste it on prominent places in your dorm/room, so others can access it for you.

Do your research

If you’re moving to a new city for college, take time to do some research about the medical facilities available in your neighborhood. Talk to different doctors and identify a primary care physician. If you can get recommendations from a doctor in your home city, that will work too. Reach out to this doctor in case of an emergency, as he/she can guide you on what needs to be done.

Get the emergency numbers

Make a list of the closest pharmacy, hospital, emergency room and urgent care clinics around your college. Save all these numbers on your phone and put them on your speed dial.

In addition, paste these numbers on your fridge and or any other prominent place so your dorm roommates and others can see it as well.

Have a first-aid kit

Build a first aid kit for yourself in your dorm room. Keep things that are essential for your medical needs. For example, if you are prone to wheezing often, have a wheezing spray as a part of your medical kit. Besides such specific items, have a few bandages, antiseptic creams, and a few over-the-counter medicines for common conditions such as cold and fever.

There are many websites that give you comprehensive information on what should go into your emergency first-aid box. Read through those listings and pick the ones that you believe you’ll need in an emergency.

But remember, a first-aid kit is never a substitute for medical help in an emergency. It is just something that can save you until you get help.

Build a social circle

One of the first things that help you when you go to college is a good social network. While this doesn’t happen overnight, you need to start taking concrete steps towards building a social circle.

Tell your closest friends and roommates about any specific medical condition you may have and tell them what they should do in case of a medical emergency. They should be able to help you in the event of an emergency.

If you have a local guardian, make sure you inform them as well, so they can be prepared. Share the contact number of this guardian with your friends and roommates and vice-versa, so everyone knows whom to contact in the event of an emergency.

Routine medical checkup

College is a busy time and you’ll always have more work than time. But that is no excuse to neglect your health. Make sure you have routine medical checkups and stay on top of your health, especially if you’re suffering from any specific medical condition.

Know when to contact your lawyer

Sometimes, medical emergencies will require the assistance of a lawyer, especially if you think it is because of the negligence of any company or individual. In such a case, make sure to pick a local lawyer. For example, if your college is in the city of Philadelphia, pick an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, as this will make communication and interactions easy.

Thus, these are some of the steps you can take to handle a possible medical emergency that may come your way in college.

 

Kimberly Evans is a writer, traveler and Internet chatter. She covers stories about businesses and lives that inspire her. Email: KimberlyEvansPen@gmail.com

May 9th, 2019

HOW TO BUY YOUR FIRST PROPERTY WITH A MASSIVE STUDENT DEBT

BY JIMMY POPWORTH

 

Can you buy your dream house with a massive student debt?

The common wisdom is bleak: borrowers all over the country fail to live their American Dream because of student loan debts.

You can do things differently.

There are so many ways you can get around to buying your first property even if you haven’t cleared your student loan debt.

CONSIDER THESE STATISTICS

If you’re struggling to pay off your student debt, you’re not alone. Right now over 44 million borrowers collectively owe a total student debt of $1.5 trillion.

There’s more:

  • There is currently $31 billion student loan debt that is over 90 days overdue.
  • Almost 2.2 million borrowers of student loan carry a balance of approximately $100,000.
  • There are approximately $850 billion outstanding student loan debts among borrowers aged 40 years and below.

Considering the stats above, it’s not surprising that most people consider it an impossible feat to buy their own property before they have paid off their student debt.

You don’t have to wait until you can clear off all your student loan debt. That could take decades.

Take these 8 steps and buy your first property right away:

  1. IMPROVE YOUR OVERALL CREDIT SCORE

FICO credit score is a commonly used credit score and it ranges between 350 and 800. The higher your score, the better your credit. If your credit score is 750 or more, you have an excellent credit, but anything below 600 will deem you a poor credit score.

Your overall credit score will determine, to a great extent, your chances of getting a mortgage and how low your rate gets.

A credit bureau will collect information about your past credit record and come up with a credit score. Your potential lenders will assess your level of risk as a potential borrower based on your credit score. If you spot any errors, immediately inform the credit bureau so they can correct it.

  1. HANDLE YOUR DEBT-TO-INCOME RATIO

Many of the lenders assess the debt-to-income ratio to make credit decisions and determine the interest rate they will offer.

A debt-to-income ratio is the total percentage of your monthly gross income that is used to make your debt payments every month. This number is one way lenders will assess your ability to manage the monthly payments you make to repay your debt.

Consider these three ways to reduce your debt-to-income ratio:

  • Pay off all existing debts.
  • Increase your income.
  • Or both.
  1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR PAYMENTS

The fact that lenders prefer to lend to borrowers who are financially responsible is a no-brainer.

Your past payment record is a vital component in determining your overall credit score. To make sure you always pay on time, set up an auto-pay in your account so that you will directly debit the funds every month.

Your recent payments will heavily influence your FICO scores and hence your future plays a more important role than your history.

Take care of these things:

  • Pay off all delayed payments
  • Never skip your payments
  • Automate your payments, so you’re never late even when you forget
  1. FIRST GET A MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL

A lot of people make the mistake of finding a home first before getting a mortgage.

Get the mortgage first.

This way you will know what kind of property you can afford. Before you get pre-approved, your potential lenders will assess your assets, income, employment and credit profile among other things.

  1. REDUCE YOUR CREDIT SPENDING

Lenders will also examine your credit spending or credit card utilization every month. A good number should be below 30%. Below 10% is a excellent number if you can manage it.

Let’s take for example you have a credit card limit of $10,000. To keep your credit utilization at 30%, you need to limit your monthly spending to $3,000.

Consider these tips for managing your monthly credit spending:

  • Monitor your credit spending by setting up an automatic balance alert.
  • Request your lender to increase the limit in your credit card.
  • Clear off all your credit balance more than once a month to limit your credit spending.
  1. GET ASSISTANCE FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

Even if you have a student loan debt, there is a variety of assistance for down payment.

Here are some popular ones:

  • FHA loans: FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. You can get an FHA loan at as little as 3.5% down payment if you have a credit score above 580.
  • VA loans: This is a $0 down payment mortgage available for select military spouses, service members, veterans, etc.
  • USDA loans: This is a 100% financing mortgage for home buyers with moderate to low income available to suburban and rural homeowners.

Keep an eye out for local, state and federal assistance programs that you can benefit from.

Although not common, you can also consider a lawsuit loan if you find yourself in the midst of a debt collection lawsuit for defaulting.

  1. MERGE CREDIT CARD DEBTS INTO PERSONAL LOAN

Here are two ways to go about it:

  • Clear off your credit debt before you apply for a mortgage.
  • If you can’t do that, merge all your credit debt by turning it into a personal loan. This will considerably lower the interest rate.

As you can see, a personal loan will reduce your expense on interest over the term of repayment which typically lasts for 3 to 7 years.

Getting a personal loan will also improve your overall credit score as this is an installment loan. Meaning it has a fixed term of repayment. Therefore by turning your credit debt into a personal loan, you will reduce your credit spending and also diversify the type of debt.

  1. REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOAN

When potential lenders assess your overall debt-to-income ratio, they will also examine your payment of student loan every month.

A smart way to reduce your monthly loan payments is by refinancing it. When your interest rate is lower, your lenders will consider this as a positive sign that your student loan repayment will be made faster. You can find refinance lenders for student loans offering low interest rates at 2.5-3% or less which is much lower than the private in-school loan or federal student loan interest rates.

The underwriting criteria and eligibility requirement vary with each lender, but generally it will include your minimum income, monthly cash flow, credit profile, and debt-to-income ratio.

A student loan refinancing will work with private student loans or federal student loans.

Follow these 8 strategies to manage your student loan debt, and you will be well on your way to buying your first property.

Jimmy Popworth is an online journalist, writer and web developer with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. His writing style is both informative and witty, and his tastes are eclectic.

 

 

3 Legal Pitfalls College Students Must Avoid

May 8th, 2019

By: Susan Parker

College is undoubtedly one of the most memorable and exciting years in any person’s life. At the same time, this is also the period when you step out of your house and enter the “adult” world. You are mostly responsible for yourself, your finances, and even your actions. While this may seem exciting at first, it comes with a ton of responsibilities as well.

As you navigate through this real world, you learn what to do and what to avoid for a good life. While this can seem like the foundation for your future, it is equally important to stay away from certain legal pitfalls as they can have a lasting impact on your future.

Instead of going through the hassle of legal implications, hear it from the experts so you can save yourself from these problems. Three legal pitfalls you should avoid at any cost are:

DUI offense

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in all 50 states. Though DUI may seem like a minor offense, especially for college students, the state laws, unfortunately, don’t see it that way. And for good reason too.

Research shows that when you drive under the influence of any substance, your cognitive functioning is impaired and in turn, this greatly increases the chances of a road accident not just for you, but also for other innocent drivers on the road. This is why the state views DUI as a serious offense.

Also, the legal drinking age in the United States is 21. So, if you’re caught drinking below this legal age, you can attract penalties for that as well.

In most cases, colleges also have a strict code of conduct and have the right to initiate legal proceedings against you that could range from a formal reprimand to expulsion. Even if the college doesn’t give you a severe punishment, this offense will go in your record and this can affect your future educational and professional life.

For some reason, if you’re caught on the wrong side of this law, it is important you reach out to a specialized motor vehicle lawyer who can help out of this conundrum.

Rental Lease

Most students tend to live in off-campus housing for at least one year during their college life. If you’re living in a rental place or planning to move to it soon, make sure you read through the terms and conditions of the rental lease thoroughly before you sign it. Once you sign the lease, the terms are binding on you and any violation can lead to legal implications.

This becomes all the more important when you live with your roommates because you become responsible for the actions of your roommates as well! In legal terms, this is called joint and several liability and all rental agreements lay down the terms of this liability.

Though this may seem unreasonable, it is perfectly understandable from the landlords’ point of view. They expect a few reasonable things from their tenants, regardless of the internal conflicts that happen between the co-habitants. They are definitely not interested in resolving any of the internal problems or politics between co-tenants and this is why they hold everyone responsible, even if one tenant violates the terms and conditions mentioned in the rental lease.

To avoid this legal pitfall, your best bet is to sign a co-habitation lease with the rest of your roommates to lay down in clear terms the responsibility of each individual. This will help you to stay away from the legal problems that arise from the actions of any other co-habitant of your place.

Online problems

Do you know that your social media posts can land you in legal trouble? Yes, what your post online, especially negative or derogatory comments, can not only lead to expulsion from your college but can also land you in a court of law. The seriousness of this legal pitfall is often overlooked by college students who believe they are safe because they have the highest privacy settings. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

While using social media, make sure never to post any violent, bullying, sexually inappropriate, or any other negative comment that can put you in legal trouble.

Thus, these are the three legal pitfalls that college students must avoid.

 

Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her.

 

Identity Theft Protection Tips for Students

May 7th, 2019

By David Gutierrez

 

Anyone can experience identity theft. In fact, more than 16 million Americans across all walks of life were victims of identity theft just in 2017. College students can be particularly at risk for identity theft.

Unfamiliar surroundings and new levels of responsibility can increase the odds that college students will experience identity theft. Fortunately, you can take steps right now to protect yourself from identity theft. Let’s go over some identity theft protection tips for students right now.

1.      Go Over Identity Theft Prevention Best Practices

The challenges represented by identity theft have been around for years now. This has given the experts time to develop best practices for protecting your identity, no matter where you are. Many of these tips are contained in Andy Michael’s Identity Theft Protection Guide.

Go over these strategies to familiarize yourself with the basics of identity theft protection.

2.      Be Careful with Identification Numbers and Passwords

Most people in the U.S. have a number of personal identification numbers and passwords to keep track of. You need to keep the following information private to reduce the odds that you will experience identity theft:

 

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Credit or Debit Card Numbers
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Bank PINs

 

You should only share these numbers or passwords when absolutely necessary and when you are certain that you are sharing them with a legitimate organization.

3.      Avoid Public Wi-Fi Connections

Public wi-fi offers a great deal of convenience, especially when you’re in the middle of class or studying for a big paper. You might not have time to find a secure connection to research Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaigns or the importance of a diamond’s fluorescence. However, public wi-fi connections can allow anyone to see:

 

  • The Sites You Visit
  • Passwords You Enter Online
  • Emails That You Access

If you absolutely must use public wi-fi, you should consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs offer you private connections through public wi-fi, which can protect your personal information.

4.      Keep Private Information Offline

In the early days of the Internet, many people avoided sharing even their names with people they met online. Times have changed, especially with the advent of social media, which encourages connections with people online.

However, it’s still a good idea to limit the personal information you share online. Identity thieves can gather information that is posted openly on your social media profiles, which could help them crack your passwords.

5.      Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Many individuals know they need to be careful about who can access their private information online. Identity thieves can also strike in the real world. You could discover your identity is stolen if you lose track of your:

 

  • Credit Cards
  • Driver’s License
  • Student ID Card

Identity thieves can also try to look over your shoulder while you are on your computer or phone. Keep track of what’s going on around you when you are entering sensitive information into any electronic device to protect yourself from identity theft.

6.      Use Protective Software on Your Electronic Devices

There are a number of different security options you can use to protect your private data across your computer, mobile phone, tablet, and other electronic devices. Antivirus and antimalware software, for example, can help protect you from:

 

  • Keyloggers
  • Trojans
  • Viruses
  • Spyware

Make sure that you keep your digital security software up to date, as viruses and other threats are constantly being updated. Maintaining regular updates can protect your information and help you avoid identity theft.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Students have many different concerns weighing on their minds. Identity theft must be one of those concerns in today’s world. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from identity theft by:

 

  • Protecting Your Private Information
  • Staying Off Public Wi-Fi
  • Monitoring Your Surroundings
  • Taking Advantage of Security Software

 

 

How Physical Activity and Sports Motivate Students

May 6th, 2019

BY SYLVIA KOHL

 

Many studies conducted in the past showed that physical activity can significantly boost students` cognitive and affective foundation. Truth is that students can gain numerous benefits from regular physical activities. They will not just become better prepared for their sports competitions, but they will become more aware of living a healthy lifestyle. That will translate to successes in other fields as well, and the university students will be able to make better choices and wiser decisions and significantly improve their safety and wellbeing.

How Physical Activity and Sports Motivate Students

We all know that focusing on specific everyday tasks is not easy. Sometimes we have to juggle between different things and that lowers down our focus. Physical activity during sports helps students regain their focus and think about what matters most. Their energy levels get higher so they become more concentrated on doing what they do. There is an entire science behind various sports, so if you want to learn more, click here to get educated on the matter. So, what are the benefits of physical activity for students?

  1. Character Building

The first major benefit that comes from physical activity is that it teaches students about ethical behavior and builds their character. This is necessary for the student to later function in the real-world environment. By engaging themselves in sports and exercising, students learn about work ethics. Sometimes in sports, they get to experience failure, but that will prepare them for the struggles in other fields of life. It motivates them to keep their focus and keep working to become better as an athlete and as a person.

  1. Improved Brain Activity

Another benefit of physical education is that it increases blood flow and improves the activity of the brain. Oxygen levels get higher and blood pressure gets lower, which in turn increases the activity inside the brain over extended period of time. Besides, engaging in sports also increases a person`s confidence and self-belief. By regularly undergoing athletic challenges like playing team or individual sports, they will experience the value that comes from accomplishing different goals. This not only raises their performance, but also boosts their confidence to the highest levels.

  1. Teamwork

The third big benefit of playing sports is that it also teaches young students about the importance of group work and collaborative thinking. These traits are very important for life outside sports, so students can acquire necessary skills that they can use later in their everyday relationships with other people. Finally, any physical activity discourages living a sedentary life. By engaging in sports and other activities, students will get indispensable values for their future when they become adults. They will avoid numerous problems with blood circulation, hypertension, heart problems and much more.

  1. Discipline

 Flashy competitions and events are not all that there is about sports. In fact, they are merely a tip of the iceberg, a result of rigorous training that occupies most of the sportsman’s time. To achieve any degree of success in sports, one has to possess enough self-control and determination to train regularly, forgo other, more pleasant activities in favor of spending more time improving one’s results, denying yourself certain lifestyle choices. In the long run, all this teaches one the discipline necessary to get to the top in life. And the earlier one starts out, the better.

As we can conclude, physical activity indeed boosts the cognitive functions in students and helps them become better people. They get to learn valuable things that they can use in different aspects of their lives. Therefore, motivating students to exercise and take part in sports is of crucial importance for preparing them for the future.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

 

Want to write Better? Read More

May 3rd, 2019

Will Fitzhugh, The Concord Review

The extra-large ubiquitous Literacy Community is under siege from universal dissatisfaction with the Writing skills of both students and graduates, and this is a complaint of very long standing.

The Community response is to request more money and time to spend on sentence structure, paragraphing, voice, tone, and other mechanical Writing paraphernalia.

It never seems to occur to them that if students read more, they would know more, and in that way actually have some knowledge they wanted to write about. But reading and knowledge never seem to find their way into discussions of Literacy in Our Schools.

When teaching our students to write, not only are standards set very low in most high schools, limiting students to the five-paragraph essay, responses to a document-based question, or the personal (or college) essay about matters which are often no one else’s business, but we often so load up students with formulae and guidelines that the importance of writing when the author has something to say gets lost in the maze of processes.

On the one hand writing is difficult enough to do, and academic writing is especially difficult if the student hasn’t read anything, and on the other hand teachers feel the need to have students “produce” writing, however short or superficial that writing may be. So writing consultants and writing teachers feel they must come up with guidelines, parameters, checklists, and the like, as props to substitute for students’ absent motivation to describe or express in writing something they have learned.

Samuel Johnson once said, “an author will turn over half a library to produce one book,” the point being, as I understand it, that good writing must be based on extensive reading. But reading is just the step that is left out of the “Writing Process” in too many instances. The result is that students in fact do not have much to say, so of course they don’t have much they want to communicate in writing.

Enter the guidelines. Students are told to write a topic sentence, to express one idea per paragraph, to follow the structure of Introduction, Body, Conclusion, to follow the Twelve Steps to Effective Writing, and the like. This the students can be made to do, but the result is too often empty, formulaic writing which students come to despise, and which does not prepare them for the serious academic papers they may be asked to do in college.

I fear that the history book report, at least at the high school level in too many places, has died in the United States. Perhaps people will contact me with welcome evidence to the contrary, but where it is no longer done, students have not only been discouraged from reading nonfiction, but also have been lead to believe that they can and must write to formula without knowing something—for instance about the contents of a good book—before they write.

A nationally famous teacher of teachers of writing once told me: “I teach writing, I don’t get into content that much…” This is a splendid example of the divorce between content [reading and knowledge] and process [techniques] in common writing instruction. 

Reading and writing are inseparable partners, in my view. In letters from authors of essays published in The Concord Review since 1987, they often say that they read so much about something in history that they reached a point where they felt a strong need to tell people what they had found out. The knowledge they had acquired had given them the desire to write well so that others could share and appreciate it as they did.

This is where good academic writing should start. When the motivation is there, born from knowledge gained, then the writing process follows a much more natural and straightforward  path. Then the student can write, read what they have written, and see what they have left out, what they need to learn more about, and what they have failed to express as clearly as they wanted to. Then they read more, re-write, and do all the natural things that have always lead to good academic writing, whether in history or in any other subject.

At that point the guidelines are no longer needed, because the student has become immersed in the real work of expressing the meaning and value of something they know is worth writing about. This writing helps them discover the limits of their own understanding of the subject and allows them to see more clearly what they themselves think about the subject. The process of critiquing their own writing becomes natural and automatic. This is not to deny, of course, the value of reading what they have written to a friend or of giving it to a teacher for criticism and advice. But the writing techniques and processes no longer stop up the natural springs for the motivation to write.

As students are encouraged to learn more before they write, their writing will gradually extend past the five-paragraph size so often constraining the craft of writing in our schools. The Page Per Year Plan© suggests that all public high school Seniors could be expected to write a twelve-page history research paper, if they had written an eleven-page paper their Junior year, a ten-page paper their Sophomore year, and a nine-page paper their Freshman year, and so on all the way back through the five-page paper in Fifth Grade and even to a one-page paper on a topic other than themselves their first year in school. With the Page Per Year Plan©, every Senior in high school will have learned, for that twelve-page paper, more about some topic probably than anyone else in their class knows, perhaps even more than any of their teachers knows about that subject. They will have had in the course of writing longer papers each year, that first taste of being a scholar which will serve them so well in higher education and beyond.

Writing is always much harder when the student has nothing to communicate, and the proliferating paraphernalia of structural aids from writing consultants and teachers often simply encumber students and alienate them from the essential benefits of writing. John Adams urged his fellow citizens to “Dare to read, think, speak and write” so that they could contribute to the civilization we have been given to enjoy and preserve. Let us endeavor to allow students to discover, through their own academic reading and writing, both the discipline and the satisfactions of reading and of writing carefully and well.

In 1625, Francis Bacon wrote, “Reading maketh a Full man, Conference a Ready man, and Writing an Exact man.” These benefits are surely among those we should not withhold from our K-12 students.

The Concord Review, 730 Boston Post Road, Suite 24, Sudbury, Massachusetts 01776

www.tcr.org    978-443-0022     fitzhugh@tcr.org