Excerpts from a blogging mom: Sanity Straight from the Oven

Written by: Zoe Vedova, Humour editor

Hello, world! My name is Sheela McGummery
and I blog about my baking!
I am a proud woman of the suburbs and I
bake to fill my life with the sort of sweetness
I used to find in my marriage. LOL
For any baking inquiries, please email

VEGAN LEMON BAR RECIPE

Now here is a neat twist on a fun, summery treat that will really boost your neighborhood cred when you show up to your stepchild’s little league BBQ with a tray of these healthy snacks!

I can assure you this recipe is a foolproof way to get into the inner circle of moms who secretly do MDMA behind the concession stand at youth baseball tournaments.

God, I wanted in on it so bad, hahahahaaaahahah . . . we’ve all been there, it’s time to be out in the open about loving . . . Lemon bars!

Just licking the icing sugar off the top . . .

I came up with this recipe last month.

It was one Saturday morning, after returning from my biweekly meeting as the treasurer on the board of Moms for Cross-Fit for Toddlers, and I had sooooo many lemons left in my fridge. (Way too many for just gin and tonics, am I right, ladies?! Find my Alcoh-lishous Adult Gin Juice Box recipe here.) I had to whip up something simply fantastic for my step-sons baseball BBQ!

That snake in the grass Rebecca was going to be there parading around a pie, as if that pastry harlot could craft a perfectly formed pie crust herself and didn’t purchase a Tenderflake® Pie Shell for $3.99 from Thrifty’s like the kitchen coward she is.

We have such a fun relationship.

My therapist (find her at www.facebook.com/Cul-de-sac_Saviour_Moms/) says baking is a constructive way to release my anger towards my late father, who abandoned my mother and I to become a vaudeville actor in Winnipeg in 1971. Though my obsession with light, lemony, summer nibbles is only to protect the health and safety of my Family!!!1! Just like that time I had to knock that insurance salesman out cold with a Yellow Pages phonebook (they’re still good for something) and I pulled his unconscious body out to the street to make it appear as if my neighbors had run him over with their car.

I was acting on karma’s will. Those people are always parking on the street when the community bylaw makes it perfectly clear you cannot park where the sidewalk line is painted WHITE. They do not get to evade the municipality’s cold hard judicial judgment when I’m around.

Back on to the lemon bars. I firmly believe that baking has the power to bring families together. My eldest (biological) son has just returned from his first-year at university, and I was SO worried he’d turned into a liberal while away in the big city. But if there’s anything that can bring family values back into our lives in this modern age, it’s MY vegan lemon bars.

This recipe simply needs organic lemons. If you can’t afford them, maybe you should try this lemon bar recipe: Low-Income Lemon Bars I made for the annual Frugal Friday! Organic lemons show you really respect the lemons for everything the faithful fruit has done for our country. Especially in the Second World War.

[“source=the-peak.”]

Opinion | New education policy misses a critical chance to address inequalities in system

Not specifying a common minimum standard below which schools cannot fall, creates conditions where quality of facilities in some schools will only sink lower. (Mint)

The draft National Education Policy (NEP), 2019, is full of provisions that many in the education sector have been desperate to see for decades. The conferring of the Right to Education to children under six and above 14, doubling of the overall financial allocation to education and strengthening the teaching profession bring cheer. However, many of the policy’s omissions and contradictions, combined with the previous track record of central and state governments in implementing existing education policies, diminish this hope.

The omissions: While the policy talks about the need to bring “unrepresented groups” into school and focus on educationally lagging “special education zones”, it misses a critical opportunity of addressing inequalities within the education system. It misses to provide solutions to close the gap of access to quality education between India’s rich and poor children. It proposes to remove the expectations that all schools meet common minimum infrastructure and facility standards, and that primary schools be within a stipulated distance from children’s homes.

India’s schools already vary across the scale—from single room structures without water and sanitation, to technology-enabled international schools. Not specifying a common minimum standard below which schools cannot fall, creates conditions where quality of facilities in some schools will only sink lower, widening this gap.

This is even more of an issue since it proposes a roll back of existing mechanisms of enforcement of private schools making parents “de-facto regulators” of private schools. Parents, and particularly poor and neo-literate parents, cannot hold the onus of ensuring that much more powerful and resourced schools comply with quality, safety and equity norms.

India should have moved towards a national system of education that shapes India’s next generation and enforce standards of quality across the country.

The contradictions: While the policy places considerable emphasis on the strengthening of “school complexes” (clusters of schools sharing joint resources) and decentralized mechanisms for supporting teachers, their everyday management appears to have been tasked to the head teacher of the secondary school in the cluster.

Furthermore, no separate funding appears to have been earmarked for this. This is false economy, since this is a full time activity and needs to be staffed and resourced accordingly.

Lessons from non-implementation of past policies: The policy’s implementation is predicated on the assumption that the education budget would be almost doubled in the next 10 years through consistent decade-long action by both the centre and states. However, the revenue is decentralized to the states and it is unclear what would be done to ensure that resources needed will be allotted. The sheer scale of changes expected, the rapid timeline, the absence of a strong mechanism for handholding states on this journey and the probable inadequate budget raises questions on the full implementation of this policy. India’s history is littered with ambitious education policies that have not been fully implemented. The National Education Policy risks following this tradition, unless the government addresses the reasons behind the past policy-practice implementation gap and makes conscious efforts to carry all of India on the same road towards improvement in education.

[“source=livemint”]

How Digital Marketing Is Becoming A Game Changer In Lead Generation

How Digital Marketing Is Becoming A Game Changer In Lead Generation

An underlying fact every businessman is aware of is continuous lead generation translate into higher sales. A fresh lead calls for action in terms of pitching the services or products to someone who is in need of the same and is all set to pay if their requirement is met.

In most industries, 10% of new leads make a purchase. Clearly, greater the lead generation, the greater will its revenue be. In the current times, businesses are looking to surge the lead counter by using digital marketing.

Digital marketing proves to be an effective way of lead generation for a variety of reasons some of which are described below.

Digital Marketing Is Affordable

A traditional marketing campaign executed on print, TV, and radio is frightfully expensive. The expense of such campaigns exceeds lakhs and in some cases over 1 crore may need to be spent. Despite such high costs, a traditional marketing campaign doesn’t guarantee to deliver the expected results.

This is because such campaigns reach a wide audience, an overwhelming majority of who have little reason to purchase the product or service advertised. Therefore the large expense of traditional marketing campaigns is unjustified because they are grossly inefficient at lead generation from the quality aspect.

Digital marketing can easily be crafted to reach segments of consumers likely to buy what’s marketed. The first step to reach a niche audience is identifying the traits of those likely to buy a product or service. Young single men who’re shown adverts of stuffed toys and premium chocolates before Valentine’s Day are likely to buy them for their girlfriends.

Because digital marketing reaches a narrow audience it is affordable and produces results superior to those of traditional marketing campaigns. Before digital marketing, it was difficult for new brands to attract loyal customers.


The only way to reach a nationwide audience was through TV, newspaper, magazine, and radio. Hence the number of brands in the consciousness of consumers was small. Since the introduction of digital marketing, many new brandshave found tremendous success and there has been an increase in the number of brands stored in the psyche of consumers.

Everyone Is Always Online

It’s no secret that smartphone addiction is commonplace. An average person checks his or her smartphone approximately 70 times a day. Among younger people, spending time online has usurped time spent with friends and family. Many free apps have been downloaded by millions and earn revenue only through digital advertisements. Across urban and rural India people of all ages spend at least an hour using their smartphone. This makes online platforms an ideal way to reach consumers.

Nearly 30 crore Indians own a smartphone and data is abundant and cheap. Smartphones are always connected to the internet and always within the reach of their owners. This makes digital marketing very effective in lead generation because consumers likely to be interested in a brand can be reached daily.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Digital Campaigns is Simple

Money spent on traditional marketing can seem akin to dumping money into a black hole. A company may spend many lakhs of rupees on a traditional marketing campaign, yet the campaign may not only be unsuccessful but also present inaccurate or vague data that doesn’t reveal consumer sentiment about the product or service advertised.

Over the years many companies spent astronomical sums on traditional marketing yet they failed. What’s worse they never understood what they did wrong.

The beauty of digital campaigns lies in their precise metrics that reveal their effectiveness. Real-time tracking of the campaign is a stellar feature of digital marketing. This allows companies to tweak unsuccessful campaigns so they have a better chance of success or repeat successful campaigns.

The ROI of such campaigns can be measured to the last rupee and because digital campaigns are so affordable, multiple campaigns can be run at a fraction of the cost of traditional campaigns.

Digital Campaigns Offer Variety Suited to Needs

The subtle and obvious differences between companies and their requirements mean some marketing strategies are likely to be more successful than others. For instance, some businesses may not need to pay for a robust digital marketing campaign.

This is possible when they use organic strategies that highlight their brand but don’t require them to spend. A well-executed organic strategy will allow a brands message to be shared with audiences seamlessly.

Some companies may find paid campaigns more suitable. A paid campaign will highlight brands advert when users request products or services sold by the brand. The ecosystem of paid digital marketing campaigns is vast and companies may choose those that suit them best.

Experts Understand Conceptualising and Executing Campaigns

A digital marketing campaign doesn’t need a large team to implement or execute it. Because of this, the cost of a digital marketing campaign is low. However, despite the fact that a digital marketing campaign can be executed at low cost using a small team, expertise in conceptualising and managing a digital marketing campaign is required for it to be a success.

Such expertise is provided by a number of competent digital marketing experts who know how to create successful campaigns. Using their services a company can be confident its digital campaign reaches as many as possible and generates ample leads.

Both small and large companies benefit from digital marketing campaigns. Most large companies already use digital marketing extensively not only to create awareness about their products but also to gauge consumer sentiment. Swift feedback from digital advertising makes possible the latter.

Small companies using digital marketing are making inroads into new markets and challenging incumbents. It’s not uncommon for small companies to find success simply as a result of thoughtfully planned and executed digital marketing campaigns.

[“source=inc42”]

Blogging provides a community — or a paycheck — to Idaho Falls mothers

Idaho Falls Moms Blog MAIN

Every detail of Valerie Illguth’s life is potential fodder for her blogs.

She started her travel blog, 51 Cent Adventures, six years ago to write about all the unique and under-the-radar places her family visited on vacations. Over the last few months, she has been writing about all the details of Yellowstone National Park that they encountered while living in an RV near the park last summer. In December she joined the newly started Idaho Falls Moms Blog as one of a team of volunteers writing about her life and the area. Her most recent post talked about the effects of her son’s autism.

Why did Illguth enjoy blogging enough to write for two sites?

“I don’t know,” she laughed. “It’s a good hobby. I don’t need to have any other items around than my laptop.”

It’s easier than ever to create a website and share your writings online. WordPress, one of the world’s largest blog-supporting websites, sees more than 70 million new posts every month.

Not all of those blogs will draw in a ton of traffic or earn their creators money — the average WordPress post gets fewer than six views a month— but most bloggers aren’t looking to make it rich as long as they attract some community of readers.

In the last year, a handful of new blogs have started adding their content to the web out of Idaho Falls. One is a collective effort from more than 20 women looking to help local families, while the other is one woman’s attempt to expand her platform to speak about her disease.

The Moms Blog

In August, Idaho Falls became one of the 92 cities represented by the City Moms Blog Network. Idaho Falls Moms Blog, staffed by nearly two dozen volunteers from in and around the city, is the only city in Idaho, Utah or Wyoming to join the network.

Idaho Falls Moms Blog
Buy Now

Heather Jarrell speaks to a Post Register reporter about the Idaho Falls Moms Blog on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

“We’re kind of a dot on our own over here,” Idaho Falls founder Heather Jarrell said.

Jarrell started the blog as a one-stop location for parents like her to see what the opportunities are for families in the city. The blog gets a lot of traffic from its roundup of the weekend events that will be happening and the guides offering advice on where to find splash pads or host a kid’s birthday party.

“I felt like I was hearing about all these great things that were happening in town and wanted to get all that information in one place,” Jarrell said.

The blog is run by a team of volunteers, many of whom only post once a month. It gives them freedom to write about any subject, whether it’s recent things that happened with their children or advice on what to do during the summer. Some posts are sponsored by local businesses — Jarrell said health-related events have proven especially popular.

Some of those contributors also manage blogs of their own outside the Idaho Falls Moms Blog. Valerie Illguth started her travel blog six years ago while her husband was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. She said her friends enjoyed hearing about the unique places she would stumble across with her husband and children, so she began writing about them online to get a wider audience while her husband was serving.

“He was deployed to Korea and I was at home with four kids. I would turn on ‘Toy Stor,’ and I would sit and write so I would feel like I was communicating with the outside world,” Illguth said.

The Illguths live outside Pocatello and she isn’t the only mother from outside the city limits writing for the Idaho Falls Moms Blog. The blog posts generally shy away from controversial topics or politics but the differing ages and experiences of the writers allow for some variety in the writing styles. Contributing writer Kim Lewis thought that style combined with the local focus of the blog has helped to grow its audience.

“It’s validating to hear from others in the community that are dealing with the same things,” Lewis said.

{strong style=”font-size: 1em;”}Hailey and a Spoon{/strong}

{p dir=”ltr”}Hailey Williams has been managing a YouTube channel for five years, since around the time her second daughter was born. Her videos were focused on parenting and her family life until she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2016.

Blogger two
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Hailey Williams enjoys the freedom being a blogger provides. Williams is able to work almost anywhere and that allows her to spend more time with her family. She often blogs in her garage so she can be near her two daughters Khloe, 7, and Kaelyn, 5, while they play outside.

{p dir=”ltr”}She switched the focus of her channel to gluten awareness and advocacy. She cut back her number of videos to just one a week but saw her subscriber count rise from just over 1,000 people to nearly 6,000. Last month, Williams used that momentum to launch her own blog called Hailey and a Spoon. She admitted that, before she had launched a blog of her own, she hadn’t been that interested in reading food blogs.

{p dir=”ltr”}“I know if I was going to do blogging it would have to be my style. If I’m not going to like writing that, why would anyone want to read it?” Williams said.

{p dir=”ltr”}That shift in the focus of the blog is not unique to Williams.

{p dir=”ltr”}Former Post Register commentary page editor Katie Stokes ran her own ‘mommy blog’ in Idaho Falls for several years, around the time that blogging first peaked early in the days of the Great Recession.

“It was an easy way to women who were staying home with their kids to pick up some income,” Stokes said.

{p dir=”ltr”}Since then, Stokes said a lot of parents have dialed back on the details they shared about their children. The blogs would stay online forever, meaning an embarrassing story from when a child was 3 could follow them for the rest of their life. Stokes deleted her blog a few years ago in an attempt to remove some of the more personal details she had shared.

{p dir=”ltr”}Williams’ husband recently earned his technical degree and began working as a mechanic in town, but her YouTube channel and blog has become her main source of income. She runs the occasional sponsored video reviewing a gluten-free product and works with the local gluten-free store Mom’s Place. Last month, she traveled to Utah to create videos and meet representatives from celiac-friendly brands at the Nourish Festival.

{p dir=”ltr”}Traveling to Utah also allowed her to connect with other people who blog about the same subject. Gluten-free recipe blogs are much more common in Utah than in eastern Idaho, which has made it tougher for her to befriend other local bloggers.

{p dir=”ltr”}“There’s not a lot of what I do here. I have a niche, so it’s harder to make an acquaintance or friendship easily,” Williams said.

{p dir=”ltr”}Creating a website over the last month and becoming a blogger has led to changes in Williams’ life. She had to learn about website design and coding without any formal training on the subject. Her schedule moved around to let her post regular weekly content — Monday nights are preparing for her YouTube videos to post the next morning and Friday nights are the final touches for her Saturday blog posts.

{p dir=”ltr”}The trade-off for those nights of work, however, is that Williams can easily spend time with her kids at home or take them wherever they need to go without worrying too much about her schedule.

“I can work from the house, the park, the garage. I like being able to work from anywhere,” she said.

[“source=postregister”]

A decade of blogging: Making sense in the cyber highway

BLOGGING is currently the prevailing practice by individuals who have the passion to write and tell stories about places, people and events using advance technology as the fastest and most effective channel of communication.

Before technology dominates the cyber world, people had a hard time communicating. Even in relationships, one has to physically visit the person who is the love interest. It involves a lot of hard work because one has to court the whole family only to win their hearts and eventually the heart of the love interest.

People used to communicate either by letters or phone calls (landline), through friends and through mutual interactions. Those were the old days.

But now, with the advent of technology, everything is made easy even in courtship, business, and family relations.

Petty quarrels even occupy the interest of the cyber community, which is quite a downside. But people become more conscious about their looks, clothing, behaviors, and language and have all the reasons to celebrate in most if not all occasions.

But here comes blogging, few individuals put together their passion and formed a group named the Negrense Bloggers. Their group rings a bell in the corporate world. They just marked their 10th anniversary on May 25.

The Negros Bloggers started in May 30, 2009 with pioneers Ruby Caberte, May Castro and Glady Tomulto, who felt the need to professionalize their craft of blogging.

They held meetings and sponsored blogging seminars to gather and network with other bloggers based in Bacolod City.

Soon, through blog hopping, link exchange and social networking, the group grew by leaps and bounds, attracting many Negrense bloggers based in Bacolod as well from other parts of the country.

This has led to the creation of the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc., a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered, non-profit, non-stock association.

Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. is the juridical personality behind the Negros Bloggers.

Their mission is to promote, preserve, and develop the arts, culture, business, environment, tourism, and history of the Negrenses in the blogosphere.

They are also a community of bloggers who help one another develop and professionalize their craft, foster camaraderie and friendship, while at the same time gather other Negrense bloggers together through link parties, seminars and guest posts. They help each other look for new opportunities that may benefit their readers.

They are governed by the core values of honesty, integrity, excellence and ethics in our blogging. We build mutually beneficial linkages with other bloggers and blogging networks in other cities and provinces in the Philippines and around the world who share our values, passion, and philosophy.”

Ruby Caberte, founding President said, “It’s been ten years since we started Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. It makes me really happy and very proud that they have come a long way and have become one of the premier blogging organization in the country today. To my Negrense Bloggers family, keep on shining and growing! Cheers to the next 10 years and more!”

Glady Reyes said, “After 10 years of blogging, we want to give back to the community by mentoring the youth who want to go into blogging as platform for their advocacy and business.”

Couple bloggers Dennis and Sigrid Lo are grateful of their blogging and their organization.

Sigrid said, “I’m grateful to be part of the Negrense Blogging Society. While we may be called bloggers, we uphold blogging ethics and journalistic values by reporting only facts and sharing opinion based on facts. It has been our group’s goal to be a channel of change and positivism in the city, promoting Bacolod to the world through our websites.”

Dennis said, “We are against fake news and together we stand to share only information about our society and about life that is helpful and true.”

They even had influence on their kids Shawna Din and Dorothy Shane who also have their YouTube vlog channel: sistersactkidscantell.

[“source=sunstar”]

Forget Sats – find a true measure of education

pupils sitting an exam

 ‘The way we evaluate schools, as well as the way we teach and assess pupils, have to be rethought,’ writes Mary Bousted. Photograph: David Jones/PA

Amanda Spielman may be warning the wrong people about exam anxiety, certainly as far as younger kids are concerned (Ofsted chief says teachers can cause ‘subliminal’ exam anxiety, May 14). My 10-year-old is not worried because I have told him Sats are irrelevant to his life. His secondary school will determine how best he will fit in, based on its own testing, when he gets there in September. I did ask him to do his best in sympathy with the people who are sweating it out this week: his excellent teachers, whose lives – and the rating of the school – depend on how he does at rote nonsense.

Meanwhile, the true quality of his education is illustrated by the year 6 leavers’ scrapbook year after year, which always tells the same story: the stellar moments each child remembers are extracurricular experiences such as acting in plays, spending a week together on Exmoor or learning about Mary Anning in Lyme Regis. We parents can also play our part – as a lawyer, I have supervised the trial of three teachers for “murdering” the headteacher, with the local police arriving to oversee the investigation. (They were all acquitted by exemplary 10-year-old jurors, I am glad to say.)

We should deliver a token of our respect and thanks to the anxious teachers when the Sats end on Thursday. Meanwhile, when will the government accept that teachers should be allowed to inspire, rather than having to cram tedious material down the throats of their enthusiastic goslings? Perhaps begin by allowing them a free day a week to seek out the child’s passion.
Clive Stafford Smith
Symondsbury, Dorset

 Fiona Millar warns us of the risks of abolishing Sats and says we should not go back to the pre-testing days of the early 1990s (Education, 14 May). But no one in the debate reignited by Jeremy Corbyn and Layla Moran is advocating a system without assessment. The right kind of assessment matters, because we need to support pupils’ learning more effectively. It matters because we need to identify problems in schools and put them right. There is no dispute about this.

What Corbyn and Moran – like the OECD and many national governments – have pointed out is that the system we have neither supports learners nor provides useful information about schools. That’s why it needs to change. Nor is anyone suggesting that changes to assessment alone will be enough to mend the damage done to our primary schools. The way we evaluate schools has to be rethought, as does the way we teach and assess pupils. To this end, we need to think boldly and comprehensively. Millar’s approach, which points to the size of the problems as a reason to doubt the capability of reformers to address them, falls short of what is required.
Dr Mary Bousted
Joint general secretary, National Education Union

 Most present and past teachers, like myself, could confirm the sense of the research finding in your report (Teacher assessment could take place of many tests, study says, 13 May). Most have been arguing for years about the negative effects of excessive testing and league tables.

Teachers work closely with students to help them make progress in their learning, while nurturing their wellbeing. It is their job – in my case, a vocation and what I spent four years training to do. I hope politicians will heed this research.
Ann Moore
Stocksfield, Northumberland

 Not long after I read your report on research suggesting that replacing exams with teacher assessments “would arguably benefit the wellbeing of students … and help to bring joy back to the classroom”, my son told me that after his first GCSE paper on Monday some of his fellow students found it so difficult that they were in tears. It wasn’t so long ago that he said he wasn’t being taught to learn, more to pass exams. Add the drop in students doing foreign languages because the papers are too hard – people should look at maths too – and it’s easy to conclude that our education system is deeply flawed.

[“source=theguardian”]

T-Mobile opens a home internet trial in rural and underserved areas

T-Mobile is rolling out home internet service with an invitation-only trial starting today. It hopes to connect 50,000 homes in rural and underserved areas through the LTE program this year.

The pilot, which is for existing customers, will reach areas where T-Mobile expects to offer connection speeds of around 50 Mbps. The $50/month service has no data caps, annual contracts, equipment costs or hidden fees. Those who sign up will receive a router T-Mobile says is easy to set up, and they’ll have support from a customer service team.

The pilot is a precursor to T-Mobile’s grander home internet plans. If the merger with Sprint is approved, it aims to switch on 5G home internet service in more than half of US zip codes by 2024, offering download speeds of more than 100 Mbps. The planned network will be able to support home internet in 9.5 million households by that time — those goals could sweeten the merger for the FCC, which is seeking to close the broadband gap.

Almost half of US residents have “no competitive choice” for home broadband at speeds of 100 Mbps, T-Mobile says. The rural broadbandproblem has also been well documented, with millions of Americansunable to access high-speed internet. Meanwhile, some T-Mobile rivals are also moving into the home internet market. Verizon (owner of Engadget’s parent company, Verizon Media) is taking a different strategy, having opened up 5G service in select parts of some cities.

[“source=engadget”]

Contribute to a podcast on the future of education

Submit your questions and ideas to our panel of experts who will discuss what can be learnt from different approaches to education

In Britain, schools admissions policies are being looked into amid worries that summer-born children are falling behind in the classroom. Dave Thompson/PA Wire

 In Britain, schools admissions policies are being looked into amid worries that summer-born children are falling behind in the classroom. Dave Thompson/PA Wire Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Join our panel of education experts to examine what can be done to improve education, and make systems more equal. Whether you’re a teacher, student, academic, social worker, policymaker, parent, and wherever you are in the world, we want to hear from you.

Alex Beard, author of Natural Born Learners, and one of our panellists for this podcast, says:

“Most schools today are not teaching kids how to learn. We lack a common understanding of what education is and what purpose it serves. We set national targets and arrange institutions and organise people so that they can deliver on those targets. This managerial thinking has been around for 100 years. But by standardising things in this way across classrooms, you undermine the efforts of educators.”

In an increasingly interdependent world, it’s vital that we strive to understand not just what it is that makes other societies tick, but how others – be they British, Japanese, German or Argentinian – endeavour to solve the same problems that we all share. In this month’s podcast, we will be focusing on the issue of education, and how we as a global community can improve standards of education for children of all nationalities, genders, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.

What are the techniques and methods we can all use to reform education models? How far are they needed, and how far can they stretch? Wendy Kopp explains the extent of the issue in her article ‘It’ll take a village to reform global education’:

“More than 60 percent of primary school children in low- and middle- income countries do not reach a minimum proficiency in reading and math. We’re even further from ensuring the world’s children gain the competencies and dispositions necessary to shape a better future for themselves and all of us.”

One thing is clear: the learning crisis is severe. But the conversation on education still needs to shift towards an understanding that this is a crisis that needs fixing – we know where we want to get to, but we don’t yet know how to get there. Of course, what works in one country might not work entirely in another, but recognising that there are other ways to do things might be a good place to start.

What are the common issues we all face? What approaches have you seen implemented, or helped to implement, and what beneficial changes have been brought about in the systems you work in?

On a macro level, should we be trying new methods to engage leaders? Are there aspects of schools and teaching that you believe are outdated? Are there any good alternatives to excessive tests and exams? How can we plan long term or indeed collaboratively within education? How can we better prepare our children for life in the modern world? How can we incentivise more people to teach, and have the space to adopt more creative techniques in their teaching? Looking more locally, what can communities do to change how schools are run in their area – to create a level playing field for children and improve access for those from poorer backgrounds?

As Beard eloquently puts it: “In general, I think people don’t fundamentally understand what it means to learn – and to teach. Most policymakers don’t, and I certainly don’t think that people outside of education really do. Our society imagines that teaching means standing at the front of a classroom and talking about ideas. If we want to begin to create a better system, we all need a much deeper understanding of the nature of learning: the science of learning.”

How to take part

To contribute, you can fill in our encrypted form below. Or you can send an email to [email protected], including your question or comment, your name, and a phone number so we can call you to make a recording. We’ll feature some of your responses in our podcast.

[“source=theguardian”]

It was a massive shock: Gambhir recalls Dhoni’s 2012 selection policy for Australia series

Gautam Gambhir played 7 matches in the CB series scoring 308 runs (Reuters Photo)

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir on Saturday came down hard on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy during the 2012 CB series in Australia.

Gambhir, in an explosive interview with India Today, reveaked how he Dhoni told him that he couldn’t play him, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the ODI playing XI as they would leak runs on the field in Australia.

But Gambhir was eventually included in the ODI final XI for the tri-series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka.

Gambhir and Tendulkar eventually got to play 7 matches in the series while Sehwag featured in 5. Gambhir amassed 308 runs at an average of 44 and was the second highest run-scorer for India behind Virat Kohli while Tendulkar and Sehwag managed just 143 and 65 runs respectively.

“In the 2012 Tri-series in Australia, Dhoni declared that he can’t play all three (Gambhir, Sachin and Sehwag) of us together as he was looking ahead at the 2015 World Cup.

“It was a massive shock, I think it would have been a massive shock for any cricketer. I have not heard anyone be told in 2012 that they would never be a part of the 2015 World Cup. I always had the impression that if you keep scoring runs, age is a just a number,” Gambhir told India Today.

“If you have the skills to score the runs and you are not a liability on the field, you can go on to play as long as you want. This was always told to us and even in Australia we got to know that all the three can’t play together, and we eventually got to play together.

“When we were in a desperate need to win a game, I remember in Hobart, Viru and Sachin opened and I batted at three with Virat batted at four. India won that game and we had to chase in 37 over.

“At the start of the series, we didn’t play together, it was a rotation thing. When it was a desperate moment, MS had to play three of us. If you take a decision, back your decision, stick to it. Don’t back on something on which you have already decided.

“First you decided that you won’t play the three of us together, then you decided that you are going to play the three of us together. Either the original decision was wrong, or the second decision was wrong. He took that decision as a captain and it was a shock to all three of us,” Gambhir added.

[“source-indiatoday”]

vivo Y93 arrives with a fingerprint scanner on the back

It is not always easy distinguishing one mid-range vivo smartphone from another. Today, the vivo Y93 arrived in India with a Helio P22 chipset and a fingerprint scanner on the back. This is not the original vivo Y93, launched on November 1 – this is the body of vivo Y95 with the soul of the vivo Y93s.

The Indian version of vivo Y93 has a 6.22” LCD screen with HD+ resolution and 19:9 ratio. There is a waterdrop notch on the top holding an 8 MP shooter with an f/1.8 lens. The main camera setup has a 13 MP f/2.2 module and a secondary 2 MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. The phone has 4 GB RAM and 32 GB storage.

The biggest reason to get the vivo Y93 is the battery – it comes with a 4,030 mAh power cell, dual SIM slot, and VoLTE. Sure there is the older micro USB port, but at least vivo is staying loyal to the 3.5 mm audio jack. OS is Android Oreo with Funtouch 4.5 on top. Although the device is already listed at vivo’s Indian e-store, price and availability is yet to be revealed.

[“source=ndtv”]