Overused Describing Words?


LinkedIn

LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn, has scanned about 187 million of their members and came up with a list of overused, useless describing words.

Such words can be an instant  turnoff to a recruiter who sees them constantly because they show you, as an individual, isn’t “dynamic”  nor “creative”.

“You wouldn’t mention how disorganized or irresponsible you are, and their antonyms (organized, trustworthy, etc) are wasted words too,” explains LinkedIn’s Nicole Williams. If you are using any of these describing words, head on over to your LinkedIn profile immediately and erase them right away! Here they are, in order of how overused they are:

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive Experience
  • Track Record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Problem Solving

A few other describing words made the list for countries outside the United States. No matter where you live, consider ditching these from your profile, too.

  • Experimental (a describing in Brazil)
  • Multinational (a describing in Egypt and Indonesia)
  • Specialized (a describing in Spain)

With the addition to all the words listed above, you may want to ditch these ones as well:

  • Communication skills
  • Dynamic

Read more here.

Halton Hills Childcare Centre


Halton Hill Childcare Centre

Halton Hill Child Care Centre

For the purpose of this posting, I’ll be critiquing a Child Care centre’s website.

Halton Hills Child Care centre is a non-profit organization which offers full and part time childcare services to children who are 6 months to 12 years old and they are currently located in Georgetown. Halton Hills Child Care Centre’s philosophy states,

“Here are Halton Hills Child Care Centre, our goal is to provide a safe, clean, nurturing environment where all the children can learn, have fun, and grow to their fullest potential” (HH Childcare, 2012).

Halton Hills Child Care Centre

Halton Hills Child Care Centre

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Navigation

When you first enter their website, you get bombarded with clashing colours, limited image depictions, poorly placed flash banner, and a white border around the navigational menu which either means it’s meant to be like that or it’s poorly sliced using Photoshop.

Although there are some negatives, it’s very good that the website is cross-browser compatible. Heidi and Sylvie are both support staff for the centre but also can be contacted through their website by heading over to: Staff –> Support Staff.

The site is very straightforward and simple that is good for a lot of visitors who like simplicity. The site has over 5 navigational menus which may be an issue to certain people because there is psychology background information regarding having over 5 navigational menus,

“One thing to remember:  the human brain sees five or less items as a single group, but when it encounters  more than five items, it breaks them down into “subgroups”  to process them” (Tuck M., 2003).

With this in mind, visitors who come to this site must find their way around the site easily,

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Drop-Down navigation

“Everyone needs to be able to find their way around your site with ease. The choices you make in providing navigational  assistance on your site will often make the difference between a site that users frequent, and frequently  use, and a site that gets visited once and promptly forgotten” (Tuck M., 2003).

Since the organization is non-profit, their website isn’t really appealing and attractive compared to if you were to go to some for-profit organization websites, however, just because the site doesn’t look good doesn’t mean their programs and curriculum is awful. There are a lot of for-profit centres where their websites may look very appealing but when it came to their programs and curriculum, it lacked. So, don’t let the websites fool you.

References

HH Childcare (2012). Halton Hills Child Care Centre: Home. Retrieved from http://www.hhchildcare.ca

Tuck, M. (2003). Practical Web Design – Fundamentals of Web Design. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pCB8wo2_gyOd0zPToEiaXmtitazSm5Auz973s2MsRAs/edit

Motion Math: Hungry Fish


Hungry-Fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish is a software that is developed for iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, the New iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. It focuses on getting children excited to learn math in a whole new different way; by playing!

mmg-logo

Motion Math

“Your fish is hungry – hungry for numbers! This fun addition and subtraction game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has instant addition: touch two numbers together to instantly add. Most addition games teach in the form 3 + 4 = __; Hungry Fish challenges players to find different ways to make a 7 (1+6, 2+5, 3+2+2, etc.). There’s 18 levels of challenge (for 4-year-olds to adults) and bonuses to customize your fish with new colors and fins. Play this wonderful game with your students, family, and friends” (Motion Math, 2012).

Software Overview

Motion-Math-Hungry-Fish

Fish eating bubbles

I’ve chosen to evaluate this software because I love finding new ways on how to learn simply just by playing! When I looked at this software on the iTunes page, I figured it could be a fun and exciting game to get children to learn math at such a young age.  This software offered opportunities for practice and review. For instance, the child can practice as many times as he/she wants to by adding the numbers to match the one shown on this fish and then, by ‘feeding’ the fish in order to progress. It will allow the child to learn what number he/she will get when they combine two different numbers.

The child can review his/her own endeavour and review their points or levels that they achieve at the end of the game. I also enjoyed the graphics the software had to offer children. The 2D components consist of the words, title, the actual fish, and the various images given throughout the software. The 3D components consist of the corals, tube corals spitting out the bubbles, and the background images in the different levels. There are a lot of animations throughout the software such as the fins of the fish moving, the tube corals,

mzl.kwjhdehz.320x480-75glowing bubbles, corals moving as they spit the bubbles out, the eye of the fish and fish move, fish growing as it gets fed, fish shrinks when it doesn’t, and the sunlight shining through the water (glowing and dimming). In addition to these components, the software also has practice for children including the tutorial phase, but also in the standard levels. Within the standard levels, as soon as you lose, you get a message that pops up, “Uh-oh. Your fish needed more food. You earned 0 points!” and under the sentences, there is a circle that is an arrow and once you hit it, you restart the level. No matter the amount of times you lose in a level, there is always this hypermedia that will allow the child to begin the level again.

Software Recommendations & Limitations

motionmathhungryfish4

Hungry Fish

While playing the game, I’ve observed, experimented, and explored the game, and began writing down different recommendations to help improve the software; these recommendations are based from what I’ve seen and our personal experience with the software. Firstly, the graphics in the software are nice and vibrant, however, it could use more “real” colours or sea creatures. Such colours can be actual colour seen in the ocean to give the software a more “realistic” approach or life like sea urchins because the game doesn’t only focus on math, but your game also makes children learn about the environment in which fish live in. When it comes to the corals, you can provide some actual texture and pattern on

Customizing your Fish

Customizing your Fish

them rather than just having a flat solid colour. Secondly, the gameplay gets more exciting when children are able to gain a “reward” after they complete the level that is then used to customize their fish. Although they reach the reward when they complete the level, it’s limited to that one reward whereas maybe you could add a variety of different other rewards so that children can stay interested in the game because children will lose interest when seeing the same reward. Finally, the free version is very limited to what children can actually do with the game. Even though you’re a company and need to make money, you can provide the addition and subtraction levels in the free version or you could provide different “themes” or “levels” in the addition stage where we can choose which ocean “theme” we want to play in; by doing so you are enabling children to have multiple choices which then

Coloured Hungry Fish

Coloured Hungry Fish

gets them more interested in the game. There is also no voice audio for children to establish a relationship between the number and the way it is said. This would be great for those who are four and are newly exposed to numbers. For example if the child selects the bubble five the software could use audio and state “Five” so they can hear it. Lastly, another recommendation to improve this software would be to place the equation on the fish instead of the answer, for example 2 + 2=  and the number four would float around in the bubble amongst other numbers. This could be a setting that children could set if they find it easier for them to find the correct answer which would encourage more children to take part in the game.

My classmates and I did this software evaluation together and we managed to do a ScreenCast about it as well.

With the evaluation on the software, my group and I contacted the developers from the software and we were excited to have gotten a reply back from them. Such a reply meant so much to us just knowing that they read our evaluation and responded back to us.

Notice: parts have been blurred out due to confidentiality purposes.

Email from CEO

References

Motion Math (2012). Motion Math: Hungry Fish. Retrieved from http://motionmathgames.com/motion-math-hungry-fish/

iPads within Education


We as Early Childhood Educators and teachers are all looking at different possibilities on how we can expand a child or children’s learning through several different ways and implementations; why not start with something such as a tablet? iPads are amazing new tablets that was introduced in 2009 by Apple Inc. iPads are 241.2 mm in height and by 185.7 mm in width and weighing under less than two pounds. With such an outstanding breakthrough in technology, such a simple, light device, we can change the way education is taught to children.

As educators, we plant the seeds of knowledge and water the seeds with our scaffolding in the way we educate and practice our philosophy. 


Not only are iPads a great use for older students, but also beneficial to younger children. New applications for the iPad are being released, which are catered to educating young children. Such simple, yet enjoyable and interactive applications are: Word Magic, Clifford’s BE BIG, Toontastic, and Highlights Hidden Pictures. These applications for the iPad are developmentally appropriate, yet able to provide interactive hypermedia and hypertext.

When children are playing, they’re learning, whether we as adults don’t want to believe it or not. 

Times have changed where education was seen differently 50 years ago and the way education is seen now; especially since theres major differences in generations. For example, today, those who are over the age of 25 probably wear wristwatches while those who are under the age of 25 do not wear any wristwatches, but instead use a phone that is a multi-functional device whereas wristwatches are single function devices. Ken talks about how education is linearity meaning we just go from one point to the next. Today, we all live in a digital world whether we want to believe it or not. With so much new advancements in technology, we might as well use it to benefit ourselves by using it to evolve the way technology can be used inside the classroom. 

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 7.30.37 PM

FlowerPower Lite

Flower Power Lite is a simple game that is web-based. You are easily learning math, but at the same time having a fun,interactive time doing it. Nowadays, children play video games a lot when they get home, regardless. If they’re going to play games, if parents allow them, when they get home, why not allow your children to play educational, purposeful games?

Girl child with iPad

Children who are born now in the 21st century are born into the digital world where we can get information so quickly by mobile devices, especially ones at our finger tips. By providing children with such a tool, iPads allow such information to be accessed easily right at their finger tips.

Why the use of an iPad?
iPads are fitted with such a low screen, high pixel resolution, and don’t weigh a lot, they help a lot within the classroom or even at home. Since iPads aren’t any other normal tablets (that just act as e-readers), iPads are able to be formatted to actually play educational software applications or even become an e-reader. Since iPads are so light weight, it makes them extremely easy to carry around with no hassle at all, yet doubling as a portable textbook that doesn’t weigh over five pounds. A lot of older children use the internet a lot for homework, browsing, or even playing games. With the internet as a useful tool in our educational system, an iPad is a great benefit to enhancing the way children learn by providing new and engaging ways to understand and learn complex concept by gaining access to the internet.

Boy child with iPad

As educators, we can broaden the way we interact with parents throughout our childcare centres and schools. There is a lot of different views on integrating technology into our classrooms and with a lot of new breakthroughs in technology, we can easily incorporate technology in our classroom, however, that’s not always the case for certain educators since they’ve grown up in a century where internet and technology had no use, or has been expanded as to what it is today. According to a father, Avi Savar,

“I have come to enjoy the time my daughter and I spend playing together on my iPad.  We have curated a terrific library of apps that bring smiles, songs, new words, letters, shapes and colors into her world.  I am constantly amazed by how quickly she learns the nuances of a particular app and is able to fly solo within minutes of launching a new one.  She’s only two and half years old but can navigate an iPad more effectively than my mother in law” (Content to Commerce, 2010).

As an educator myself, I believe we can incorporate the way technology has evolved into are classrooms with such simple devices such as an iPad. If children under three years of age has the capability of playing around with an electronic device, what does that mean for children who are a lot older? I am a strong believer in play and how play allows children to learn; allowing an iPad to help children “play” indeed allows them to develop developmentally appropriate. With such a digital culture we are all in now, there is no way we as educators can ignore technology.

References

Davis, B. L (2012 March). Arguments for the iPad in Education. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from http://edtechpower.blogspot.ca/2012/03/arguments-for-ipad-in-education.html

Savar, A. (2010 November). Content to Commerce: 40 Educational iPad Apps for Kids. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from http://c2c.bigfuel.com/fuel/40-educational-ipad-apps-for-kids/