Poor Life Skills in UK Adults

Last year the UK Government commissioned a pretty big survey called Skills for Life. The survey covered the two important skills that adults need – language and numeracy. The findings were pretty surprising and quite worrying for a modern nation.   After all we’re increasingly hearing about how humans will be not needed in the low skills employment areas being replaced by robotics.  The worry is that do we have the educational skills to ensure we are able to complete the skilled job requirements instead.

Here’s a clip from the infographic provided by the report –

As you can see the figures are quite surprising, in London for example 17% of respondents had a literacy level of a 9-11 year old. The same result was recorded for the North East, but throughout the country around 10% of Adults has a literacy level worse than a primary school child. The sample for this study was adults aged 16-65. In Maths the survey found even more worrying results in many areas, 25% of adults who took part in the survey had the mathematics skills of a 9-11 year old.

If these figures were transposed onto a national level that would mean 8 million UK citizens are lacking even basic numeracy skills. This of course will cause many problems for those involved. They will be seriously disadvantaged in careers, in health and of course as parents.  This latter role is likely to see these disadvantages in many cases passed down the generations through their children.  There’s plenty of evidence that children from these families are also likely to have educational problems too, even if their parents try to support them in these areas. For those who may find themselves with adult literacy or numeracy problems – it’s worth checking out the BBC education site.

There’s loads of online resources which can help people brush up on their skills in the basics of Maths and English. Most items are accessible internationally but some areas are restricted to UK only but you can use resources like this page to show you how to spoof your IP address and access through a UK server very easily.    One of the advantages of using these sites is that you can make a decent start learning without any sort of embarrassment or social stigma. It’s perfectly possible to brush up and improve basic literacy online using free resources from a variety of locations.

You should ensure that you use respected sources however as there is little need to pay for information and courses for lower level learning.   There is no shortage of sites which can provide information like this, however you’ll find it much easier to follow courses from qualified educators.

Further Information:

Access BBC iPlayer via a VPN program – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/bbc-live-vpn/

Yes, Literacy Can Be Fun

Now I don’t know about your kids but mine learn a lot better with a little fun included. This is one of the real problems I’ve found with teaching my children to read, until they get to a certain stage the available books are just too dull for words. However fortunately we live in a world of interactive media, the internet and some genuinely quality educational resources and TV programmes. There are of course loads of resources available online, but I’d like to point you at one site that has just about everything you’ll need to help your kids at the earlier stages of their reading development.

The site is none other than The BBC and it contains a huge section of pages designed specifically to improve literacy. The site is called Bitesize and is split into three sections – science, maths and literacy. Here’s a screenshot from one of the literacy games designed to improve a child’s vocabulary.

All the lessons are interactive and can be replayed over and over again. This game helps with simple words and sounds that rhyme, most children really enjoy the cartoon type graphics and interactive elements. But these are more than just a selection of fun flash games to sit your children down in front of. If you look in the site you’ll find much more there is even a teachers/parents section with suggested lesson plans.

These incorporate the games and then expand on them with class based activities and tasks which the children can play without access to a computer. Of course the BBC are primarily known for their world class TV programmes online and the children’s channels are focused in two specific channels – CBBC and CBeebies for younger children.

All these programmes are available online using their custom video player called BBC Iplayer. Unfortunately access to BBC IPlayer is blocked outside the UK however there is a workaround. It involves using a proxy server to access the BBC and if you visit this page –  you’ll see the solution. It’s not very difficult, you just basically have to surf via a UK based server to make it look like you’re based in Britain, it’s quick and easy to do.    It does require a subscription however it’s not very much and opens up hundreds of media web sites across the world including all the UK media sites online/

You Can Learn to Speed Read

We are surrounded by information on paper and screen, the volumes dwarf anything that the human race have ever had to deal with. How many of us spend hours sifting through emails trying to find out if there’s something that relates to us, the modern concept of cc’ing everyone and his dog has not helped this situation.

Regardless if you are an entrepreneur who needs to learn more about finances and get through a few tomes or a college student with a giant stack of books and homework to read through over the weekend, you will make it a lot farther if you can comprehend more and read more speedily. Luckily, it will only take you a few weeks to at least double your reading speed so the sooner you get started, the less time it will take you to get through those dreaded text books.


One of the most essential things you can do to build up your reading speed is to lessen your obsession that you could possibly skip over something important if you don’t read each word on every page. This is an ordinary worry and we all have it, yet the instant we take note that no one will interfere with you reading the book or just some text or a chapter again, is the moment where you should free your mind, making it effortless to learn how to read quicker.

It’s kind of like watching a video and something you can practice on a well presented media channel – may we suggest a BBC live VPN to enjoy a well spoken broadcast to practice on. You can take in the information without your full attention and hence can move through quickly – check out this information on reading elsewhere,. At the start, the level in which you gain knowledge might have a slower pace, although your mind will catch up to your eyes and not only will you grasp the text, you’ll also increase your retention level. And don’t forget when you are reading non-fiction – the details are not as imperative as the key arguments. If you’re like many people, you tend to do a lot of rereading without even thinking about it.

If you’re reading something difficult or confusing, you may want to reread it to make sure you understand it; however, if you constantly reread everything without being aware of it, it’s just slowing you down without providing any real benefit. Many people are not confident in their reading ability, so they reread to make sure we actually understood something. This is counterproductive; even though you’re doing it to increase your understanding, it does the opposite because you never get into a smooth flow as your read. If you want to become a faster and better reader, then, try to reduce the amount of time you spend rereading. What you read can be digested much more quickly by structuring the material in such a way that is easier to process. If you are reading, for example, a nonfiction book, more than likely there are bolded phrases and subheadings.

Once you scan this material briefly, you will have a better idea of what you are going to read which will improve your overall reading speed dramatically. So, take ten minutes to read the table of contents and then skim the entire book, looking at headings, subheadings and anything else that is bolded or underlined. Once you read this, you’ll know what to expect. You will be able to fill in the proverbial blanks and ignore the filler, absorbing only the content within the manual. Speed reading can be learned easily, as it is a skill, not a talent. Like with any skill, though, you need to practice regularly. The suggestions in this article should help you increase your reading speed quite a bit, plus you’ll be buzzing through one book after another in no time, questioning yourself about what took you so long to become a faster reader.

Further information – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/bbc-iplayer-blocked-abroad-an-update/

How to Home School Effectively

There are lots of reasons that people consider teaching their kids from home instead of sending them to school. Most countries will allow this, but obviously it is a big commitment and requires a lot of dedication and effort. Over the last few years homeschooling has exploded in popularity. Not too long ago, it was considered fringe and not many people did this.

It’s important to realise that you just can’t let your kids get on with it, because most will just end up on the internet.  Despite media sites like the BBC now blocking VPNs they’ll likely end up watching UK TV online or playing games if you don’t teach them properly. Now, though, there are a lot of families who choose to educate their kids at home, outside of the traditional school system. The reasons for choosing to do this are completely up to the family that chooses to do this.

It comes down to giving your kids the best opportunity to learn and receive a quality education. Many people have troubles initially when doing homeschooling for their kids. To help you out with homeschooling your kids, we have written this article full of useful strategies.  But before you start remember, the internet is a resource that has transformed the possibilities of home schooling.   If you invest in a little technology and perhaps a VPN to use as a Netflix IP address  then you can access educational resources from all over the world.

Reading is critical. There are several books to be had that will offer you guidance for homeschooling your children. Read as many books as you can. This will let you attain knowledge regarding approaches and suggestions that will help you be a more excellent teacher and cause your children to be better students. All together, you need to be careful about how many books you read. Your brain will turn to mush and you’ll be mystified if you read too many of those helpful manuals. A lot of these books contradict each other and figuring out which advice to follow can be a hassle. Therefore, just choose a few and then stop. Learn how to be disciplined yourself. Your kids are going to learn most of their social norms and values from each other and from you.

Even if your kids get frustrated at some point, don’t let them take breaks haphazardly during the day. It is essential that you make your children do their work in a timely manner. Playing “bad cop” is something you are simply going to have to do. It is very hard work to do this, even if you only have a couple students. You have to set a strong example for your kids. It is important that you do this every step of the way.

Academia is not the totality of the school experience. It’s about learning a work ethic. Give yourself time. Both you and your children will have to adjust to the new homeschooling schedule. It is something that each person will have to do on their own. Give yourself the length of a year to figure out whether it is actually working for you and then decide if you want to keep moving forward. Many people that find homeschooling too difficult to do may actually put their children back into the public school system.

This is easy to do as long as they were complying with educational state mandates. Homeschooling, if it is working for you and your kids, is something you should continue to do. It may take a little bit of time to become a successful homeschooling teacher. You need to give yourself a little slack as you learn along the way. In conclusion, homeschooling does not have the stigma that it once had. It is completely normal to home school your children, as it is to educate them through private or public school. Homeschooling, by no means, is easy! It is difficult for most people. It is our hope that the path for homeschooling your children is somewhat eased by the strategies we have revealed.

Do Schools Teach the Right Subjects?

Education in America has been declining steadily for the last 30 years. All studies show that kids in public schools are lagging behind their counterparts in other countries. This is a real concern and just part of the big problem with the economy and the future of the country.

It’s a difficult situation and certainly not an easy one for the students who are looking for colleges and Universities to prepare them for a role in society.  There is more choice too, an almost bewildering selection of opportunities.  Indeed from the comfort of your own home, you can fire up a high speed VPN and even take your degree online in a country on the other side of the world.

When kids graduate from high school they should either be prepared to enter college or be able to go out and find jobs for 18 year olds. Getting a higher education is preferable but not every kid is cut out for that. For those students that don’t go on to college, they need real training to be able to compete in the workforce and today’s schools aren’t helping enough with that.  There are real issues with an under educated workforce but there are similar problems with students being qualified in the wrong subjects.

There is little point for students to spend years studying a specific subject if there is no real demand for their skills when they leave.  You can of course argue that University teaches much more than the specific subject they study, yet it can be disheartening for people to discover their knowledge is not always required.  Then there is the real danger that they spend years relaxing and changing their Netflix IP (to access more films) while ‘expecting’ to walk into a job at the end of their studies.  Of course, it may never happen.

This is especially problematic now that colleges cost so much which means fewer students are able to afford them. It is a real dilemma for many students who wonder whether they should risk going into debt for that college degree or whether they should just try to get a job straight out of high school.

With little being taught in schools today about how to get a job, what will be expected of them, how to deal with a manager, and other things like that, they are ill quipped to prosper in the work force even if they are lucky enough to get hired. Public schools should start teaching what kids need: the solid basics like math, English, science, and history as well as real life job skills and information for those that might not go on to college. We have to start giving our kids better tools to deal with the real world before we turn them loose in it!

Is eLearning for Everyone?

Education is changing, and at a speed that can sometimes seem a little bewildering.   The electronic age has brought many changes to the way we live and the way we learn is changing too.

Some people resist it, but eLearning is without doubt the way of the future. Not everyone has access to the top notch universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, or Harvard and Yale in the United States. No matter how much money fine institutions like this have in their budgets, there is always going to be a limit to how many people can benefit from their expertise in person. Online and distance learning, on the other hand, provides the potential for people around the world to gain access to the very best professors via the internet. Now a boy or a girl in a small town in India or China can potentially watch lectures taught by the finest professors in a field online.

While it is early days yet, support for this kind of content delivery is slowly spreading among colleges and universities worldwide. Even students preparing for college have opportunities to learn from the best online. Not every high school or secondary school student has access to the best teachers where they live.

If they find themselves struggling with a particular subject or concept – let’s say Geometry – they can simply tap the abundance of resources on the subject available for free online. Many school teachers post information about the subject they teach simply out of a passion for teaching. The type of teacher who has this kind of enthusiasm is very likely to be able to engage with their viewers with their passion for the subject in a way an average teacher may not.

Even if we forget about the established sources of educational material, there’s still lots online.   Just imagine the material available on a handful of public broadcasters – the BBC allow you to download whole series and watch them offline.  That’s thousands of hours of multi-million pound educational programmes at the touch of a button.  Although it has to be said there are some restrictions on where you can download from so you may need a VPN in some cases (see notes below).

With ever growing budget problems for a growing number of educational systems around the world, I have no hesitation in predicting that we will see more people turning to eLearning resources to enhance – or even replace – traditional classroom based learning techniques. We should not fear this change, but rather embrace it an opportunity to better educate our children – something which is surely need


How to Change IP Address to United Kingdom


Does Alcohol Reduce Dementia Risk

We’ve often seen studies that suggest moderate alcohol intake can actually be good for you. The problem is that these studies are often fairly small and then will be seized on by the media to splash across their front pages.

After all it’s we like headlines like this –  alcohol makes you live longer, donuts cure cancer, lack of exercise promotes a healthy brain and that sort of thing.   Yet underlying much of these studies are lots of caveats that when you read them pretty much destroy the beneficial conclusions.

Yet there has been enough positive signs about one of the scourges of modern living – alcohol, that perhaps there are really some benefits after all.  This latest study which has spanned three decades found that even heavy drinkers are more likely to reach old age without dementia that those who are teetotal.

The study was from the University of California and tracked over 1000 middle class men and women and their alcohol intake.   The participants had their cognitive health checked every four years, during the study using a standard dementia screening test.

The study was the first to consider people’s cognitive health later in age and they found that not only did those who drank moderately live longer, they also had a much higher chance of avoiding mental illnesses like dementia.

Unfortunately if you think that is too good to be true and there must be a catch – well there is.  If you drink too much alcohol, you actually put yourself at risk of developing alcohol related dementia.   So in effect you have to be careful that in avoiding one risk you don’t put yourself in a higher risk of something similar.

It’s becoming evident that alcohol can give lots of benefits to people especially in old age, yet if you stray over the line then those benefits disappear very quickly.  It is why some people are  trying to encourage the new strain of alcohol treatments which don’t stop drinking but merely encourage moderation.

One of these methods is called The Sinclair Method which is a relatively new treatment for those with alcohol problems.  The idea is that using a drug called Nalmefene, you can actually block the pleasurable endorphins released into the brain when we drink.  The idea is that this discourages excessive drinking by creating the buzz that alcoholics end up searching for.

The drug has been approved by various countries including the UK’s National Institute for Health care Excellence which has approved the drug under the brand name Selincro which is now available by prescriptions in the UK.   It has been seen in clinical studies to not only be highly effective in treating heavy drinkers, but also encourage sensible drinking in moderation.   Which if the Californian study is to be believed will have extra benefits to all concerned.

It should be remembered that with any study you should also consider what wasn’t included.  So before you start guzzling from that wine bottle consider that out of all the participants there were virtually no heavy drinkers.  This means that there was no way of assessing what damage might be done to individuals who did drink too much including their cognitive health.

Further Reading/Citations

National Institute for Health care Excellence  – https://www.nice.org.uk/

Articles on social, medical and political issues –  http://cipec.org/

The Development Of Educational Thought

How much does the way we educate our children have an effect on the development of our society?  It’s an interesting question and ones that has been consider down the ages.  There’s no doubt of the overall effect of education down the generations but does it have an impact on our own lives in the shorter term.  Can educational policy really affect the society we live in today?

Education plays a special role from the arrival of humankind in its onward travel. At the history of this emerging worldwide state of 21st century, education has incomparably hard roles to perform. Even the ‘global family’ becomes a close -knit community, decreasing and eliminating geographical, cultural, linguistic, cultural, economical and the rest of the barriers and the use of education must experience a marked shift.  We are all much more aware from communication between our peers to the ability to stream things like the BBC news to electronic devices in our pockets!

At this age of renovation and redefining, the concept of education needs to be rebuilt, redefined and altered assimilating the great portions of their past and shedding the bad ones.

Actually, the simple idea of education stays intact in its own assignment however, pedagogy and methodology must be reviewed. That’s what T.S Eliot said,

“It’s in reality region of the use of education to help us escape, not out of our own time — for we are bound with that — but by the intellectual and psychological constraints of our own time. “

The instructional leadership in this century is endowed with all the noble function of handling these modifications in an effective and proper method.The most crucial challenge of education is to keep up with the understanding society. The knowledge and information evolve, grow and are obtained at an alarming rate. The instructional leadership must assist the institution encircle the exploding growth of understanding lest it’d stay obsolete. This highlights the instruction being current and clinically researched. This paradigm change is a result of the giant leaps in communication and information technologies which may be manipulated as an advantage as opposed to a challenge.

Therefore, the actual concern in education now is in the successful management of the intricate phenomenon. Hence, the academicians have to be dynamically ultra paced from the pedagogic procedure.The maximum advantage of rivalry is that the talisman of all 21st century. This pursuit for excellence prioritises the need for validity in most areas. The quiescent knowledge imparted through traditional methods may render the primary and the agent in the instruction much behind the signals of this moment.   It doesn’t matter where you are, or how you were brought up there’s now an equality to education that didn’t exist before.  The small boy in a little Spanish town can learn English directly from UK TV online from Spain if he so wishes – he doesn’t need an English teacher.

The item of an alma mater has to be outfitted with all the very best to confront the world forward of it. Unless the establishment succeeds in this noble mission, it will only be inserted up as one of others in the listing of those so-called countless colleges. Therefore, leading innovation in schooling ensuring amazing quality in the minutest of information and in precisely the exact same time being successful, the instructional leadership creates an institution a pace-setting one.An effective schooling is life schooling. Advancing one’s comprehension and imbibing proficiency become rewarding only as it results in the psychological intelligence and quality of life of the person. John Dewey defines,”

Education isn’t preparation for life; education is life itself”. 21st century gets got the largest chaos in its own priorities and values.

Together with attaining expert development in existence, the total maturation of the person needs a distinctive strain. Education must equip somebody to re-define and re-discover the civilization and worth for oneself. How a person takes conclusions and allots priorities depend on how well the schooling has enlarged his or her horizons. To dedicate oneself to the support of the country and his/her fellowmen, one wants to be bolstered by the caliber of schooling he/she receives. The question is if the contemporary schooling leads a student forwards along a course where he’s improved academically, culturally, emotionally, physically and emotionally or not.

“The most important part of intellectual education isn’t the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

The schooling is a vision, mission and a fire. The discipline of education consequently needs visionaries, missionaries and individuals with zest and zeal. If it comes to Indian instructional situation, a nation with human capital as the best strength finds, in precisely the exact same time, its immensely increasing population among the challenges in its path to higher heights.

Benjamin Distraeli says, ‘from the instruction of the people of the nation, the fate of the nation depends’. Considering that the population becomes armed with quality skills and education, the nation is going to have a strong advantage over the other countries in the emerging world. Especially for India, its potential lies in the way the young generations bring forth positive changes in all of the realms of political, economical, societal, religious so on etc.

As the schooling molds the generations, therefore is going to be the future of this society. In conclusion, G.K Chestertson professionally stated, “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from 1 generation to another”.

Technology Impact on Today’s Classrooms

It only seemed a few year ago since the very first computers entered our classrooms.    In the UK it was likely to be the BBC micro linked up to a portable television set or something hitech connected to a bright green led monitor.  Nowadays every child probably possesses more computing power in their telephones than an entire school IT department did in the 1990s.

Tech, really, proves to be a very helpful medium for facilitating improved understanding, but just until it is not utilized to replace the conventional, teacher-to-student interaction and classroom instruction. It’s simply by mixing it with the traditional one-to-all teaching strategy which technology can drastically alter the schooling system and the society in a number of positive ways.


This digitization has not just assisted students with their research and homework, but has also lent a beneficial hand in creating teaching a simple endeavor for teachers. Various difficulties, which bedeviled the instructors and the education system in years past today appear to have disappeared with technologies used for providing classes.

Among the most noteworthy effects of technologies on the area of instruction has become the capability to educate practically from any remote place on the planet. This necessarily means that the students from impecunious communities or the ones with certain disabilities, having access to computers, can find an opportunity to add education without leaving the confines of their places. Teachers can now post the assignments and study material online and enable students to gain access to easy education, irrespective of their physical location.

Equipped with better technology, teachers are now able to easily stimulate young minds by making the practice of learning more fun and interesting. Technology acts as just another important and equally practical tool in the toolbox of a teacher. New innovations such as presentations, audio-visual lessons, smart classes, and, most importantly, the world wide web, play a significant role in relieving a great deal of stress from the teachers’ shoulders. With a little bit of creativity and a suitable set of skills, teachers are able to use this pool of innovative technologies and guide students towards a better future.

During the pre-technology era, teachers necessary to submit the students’ data, assessment reports, individual grades, and examination scores manually. An individual can only imagine the level of stress an educator had to undergo for performing such tasks. However, with the installation of computer and the arrival of the world wide web, things have turned in the favor of the teachers.    Indeed there is a whole array of teaching materials readily available, indeed by using online proxies like this – you can access ready made lessons from the great colleges of the world if required.  All teachers will need to do is to upload the information virtually in real time, and produce the necessary reports in a hassle-free fashion and that too, without going through stressful and time consuming work.

The higher scope and use of the world wide web has made it fairly easy for the teachers to remain in contact with the students. The instantaneous exchange of information and ideas presents great benefits for both the teachers in addition to students. The technological marvels like social networking platforms, websites, forums, and discussion boards have assisted the teaching area to remain in contact with the pupils and keep them informed about topics associated with assignments, homework and test dates in addition to PTA meetings and upcoming events.

Licensed, gifted and experienced educators, who maintain an inexpressible passion for their subject of work, may certainly identify the beneficial effect of technology in their livelihood in addition to on the student community. Even though it has generated a massive influence on the modern world of education, technology will always remain an accessory for teachers to motivate and stimulate the students.

Value of Digital Learning Online

There is no doubt that technology has influenced our lives in virtually every manner, however arguably education has been the most transformational.  Among the most essential revolutionary changes technology has created is with schooling. Classrooms finally have smartboards, pupils have digital tablets available as learning tools, and technologies now makes distance learning and also obtaining a higher level of education simpler than ever.

Universities all over the world are providing on-line degree acquisitions and digital learning which are equally as licensed as the conventional, offline websites. Technology continuously enhances the way we understand and also the rate at which we have the ability to get huge amounts of info.  Through fast internet access and online tools like Smart DNS or a live VPN – like this, we can change children’s future for the positive.   Here’s a brief summary of the technology has influenced education and the way it may in the not too distant future.

Among the absolute most essential facets of technology in schooling has been its capability to make a international platform. Instruction with the support of technologies has crossed boundaries globally and using a smooth transition. Online classes can be obtained by pupils around the world and individuals can have video conferences to supply a customized teaching encounter. Assessments are actually all digital and internet based, which makes it simpler for internet students to get results quickly and efficiently.

Do accepting heaps of textbooks from course to course? You can forget that today because textbooks are getting to be digital. Pupils can gain access to every one their learning substances in PDF Documents or on the internet through their educational associations. All these eBooks make analyzing more accessible and affordable to pupils, boosting their capacity to really use the substances. It has been a massive change from the dependence on paper-based novels and certainly will continue to revolutionize how we learn.

You might not consider video games as an learning tool initially, but a number have really been intended to help pupils in several cases. Video games might help stimulate the brain to aid with problem solving abilities by creating them to be educationally aim oriented. Even video games which aren’t informative on the surface might assist us learn and collect information. This also goes together with cellular games. Many pupils have access to your intelligent device and can solve puzzles or find out on the move. Multimedia tools are also being utilized to improve the educational encounter.

Pupils are certainly getting more engaged in technology tools since it’s exactly what they’ve grown with. If you believe about how many pupils in universities are increased surrounded by video games, new gadgets, and also the world wide web and even streaming UK TV.   Perhaps then you are able to learn how important technology is now for instruction. Students may get more info faster from anyplace they are with the assistance of technical tools. What this reveals is the progression will likely be favorable and assist globalize education by producing a frequent language: brand new technologies. It’ll be interesting to find out what the future holds for our instructional processes and the way it will adapt for the encouraging trend.