A Guide To Helping Modern-Day Students Succeed

If you work in the world of higher education then you know that your job role extends beyond simply teaching a syllabus. You have a duty to help young people (or older people, in the case of mature students) to gain the necessary skills to succeed in life. Essentially, you’re helping young people to enter the “real” world and make something of themselves. That’s no easy task, despite what some people say about teaching being straightforward. And if you want to make sure that you do your best as an educator in the modern world then this guide should give you some pointers.


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Teach them to think outside the box.

These days, going to university isn’t quite as extraordinary as it used to be. Increasing numbers of young people make the decision to pursue university education after sixth form. People are no longer going to stand out in the job market simply by having a degree. The best way to make sure your students separate themselves from the crowd is for them to… well, separate themselves from the crowd. University is an opportunity to think outside the box. It’s an opportunity to try new things and gain new skills that’ll prove useful in the stages that come after graduation. You need to teach them to expect more of themselves.




Obviously, you can’t do everything for every single student. The whole point of university is that it’s a learning curve. Your students have to learn to do things independently, but you have to guide them to that realisation. Give the minimum reading requirements, but suggest that they read beyond your requirements. Encourage them to come up with their own talking points in essays (if at all possible in the type of subject you teach). And you could start thinking outside the box too. Maybe you could look into trips for college students. Travelling is an opportunity to teach your classes in a more vibrant and engaging manner than is possible in a classroom. You need to help your students to expand their minds. Get them to do more than the bare minimum. They need to learn to think independently if they want to be successful in the world that comes after university.



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Be a better teacher.

There’s always more you could be doing to learn and grow in your profession. If you want to help students succeed in the modern day then you have to be a modern teacher. In other words, you need to keep learning to make sure that your knowledge is up to date. The world moves forward, so your lessons need to move at the same pace. Otherwise, you’ll be giving your students knowledge that isn’t going to help them in the real world. After all, if you’re teaching them things that are already old then they’ll be even further behind when they graduate in a few years. If you want to be a better teacher then keep learning. Make sure you’re giving every single student the tools they need to succeed. Beyond that, it’s up to them.

Everyday Skills and Activities That Can Boost Your Gaming

Gaming can give you a lot of awesome skills to use in your "real" life. But can you do things in the rest of your life that might help you to improve your gaming? If you're a gamer and you want to get better, it's not only playing games all day that could help you to improve your skills. There are lots of ways to develop the necessary skills in real life, which you could then apply to your gaming, whether it's for money or just for fun. So even when you're not playing games, you could be working on some vital skills using the right methods.



Watch Other Gamers

Before you consider anything outside of gaming, you could find that watching other gamers helps you to improve your skills. You can see the techniques that they use and watch how they figure things out to see if you can make changes to your own techniques. Many top gamers stream their play on Twitch, Youtube or other sites, where you can watch and learn from them. You might also be interested in gaming tournaments and meetups, where you can watch other gamers play and maybe even get someone to teach you some new things.

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Image source: Pxhere


Play Other Types of Games

Even though you might like to spend your time playing Call of Duty, Fortnite or GTA, there are plenty of other non-video games that can help you develop your gaming skills. Both online and computer games, as well as more traditional board games and card games, might help you build some essential gaming skills. Playing casino games is one example of how playing different games can grow your skills. If you want to play online, take a look at online casino reviews to find the best ones. You want a reputable option that you can trust. Of course, you don't have to play for money.




Play Sports

Gamers are often seen as nerdy people who don't ever go outside, but in reality, all sorts of people play video games. Believe it or not, being sporty could help you develop your skills with a controller. Playing sports and being active helps you with your motor skills, your coordination, speed and reaction times. It can also help you to improve your teamwork if you're playing with other people, which is useful for playing any video games where you might need to work as a team.

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Practice Problem-solving

Problem-solving is an essential skill for many games. You need to work out how to complete tasks, beat villains and finish puzzles to get to the end of a game. You can learn good problem-solving skills from games that you can use in the rest of your life, but you can also pick up skills from elsewhere that you can apply to your gaming. You might find yourself having to solve problems at work, around the house or in other areas of your life. Being able to solve problems in real life should help you out when you're gaming too, helping you think more creatively.





Try Multitasking

Doing things that require some form of multitasking can improve your gaming performance too. Although the human brain isn't really designed for true multitasking, like watching TV and reading a book at the same time, there are lots of things we can do at the same time perfectly well. You might get practice with multitasking doing something like playing a musical instrument, where you might be reading music, playing and even singing at the same time. When you're playing games, you can find you need to do several things at once too, so your practice in other areas will help you.





Learn Good Strategy


Having the right strategy can be important for a lot of video games. If you're not a naturally gifted strategist, you can develop your strategy skills in a few different ways. Some games other than video games can be useful, such as chess or checkers. You can also find opportunities to think more strategically while you're working or studying, developing plans to help you meet goals, work with other people, and take a smart approach to getting things done. If you really want to develop your strategic thinking, you could even take a course or workshop.

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Image by The Blue Diamond Gallery


Boost Your Concentration and Focus

A lot of people seem to think that younger generations lack the ability to concentrate and have short attention spans. But as most gamers will know, focusing on something that you want to do is not something that you struggle with. However, improving your concentration and focus can help you with your gaming, as well as other areas of your life. To improve your concentration, you can work on things that require intense focus, from arts and crafts to studying for exams. You can also make some lifestyle choices that improve your focus, like getting enough sleep and having the right diet.


Improve Your Memory

Good memory is often necessary for gaming too. You might need to remember a series of steps that you took to get a particular action to take place, for example. You can find many ways to improve your memory, and it will be good for your studies, as well as your gaming skills. Making sure to keep your brain active should help you boost your memory, so look for things that will give it a good workout. You can also improve your memory by eating the right foods, such as fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, sleeping well, and engaging in physical exercise too.





Build Social and Teamwork Skills


If you enjoy playing team games, when you might team up with people in the same room or online, you can improve your teamwork skills so you can play better with other people. Things that might improve your teamwork skills include working with others while studying or working, playing sports or even just completing everyday tasks with other people.



Boost your gaming skills by working on important skills in other areas of your life. You might notice a huge difference in your performance.

The Mature Student’s Guide To Financial Security

Wow, going to college, being a parent, and working can be tough, especially when it comes to managing your finances. Luckily, there are some tactics you can use to keep on top of your money situation and ensure financial security, even when your plate is overflowing with other commitments. Read on to find out what they are.

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Do know your income and expenses?

It doesn't matter how good you are with your spending if you don't have a handle on what your expected income and expenses are each month. In fact, if the latter is more than the former, you are definitely going to run into some trouble!

What this means is that you need to have a clear list of all the money you can expect to come in during a month, including any student loans and bursaries, as well as wages. Then you need to compare this to everything that is on the outgoing list. Of course, the latter list will include your mortgage or rent, as well as utilities, food, and clothes. It will also include money for fun, and your college fees as well.


Obviously, if your projected outgoings are exceeding your income, you will know that you have to cut back in that month. Something that can be done by shopping only to a list and with coupons, as well as resisting the urge to spend on unnecessary items such as new clothes and decor for your house.



Don't go overboard buying resources.

Next, when it comes to managing your finances successfully as a mature student, it's essential not to allow yourself to get caught up in 'back to school fever.' Yes, that's right a great deal of the resources and items that people buy in September aren't actually ones you really need or will ever use. In fact, it's becoming just like any other holiday where marketers use people's' excitement to encourage them to part with their cash.

Luckily, you can be wise to this and prevent this happening to you. One way to achieve this is to wait until your classes start to buy your books and resources. Then you will be able to buy just what you will actually use. In fact, it's sometimes possible to get a lead from your tutors to a student that did the same course last semester and has all their textbooks to sell, something that can save you a small fortune!

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Also, if you do have a clear list of items you need already, be sure to keep it as minimal as possible. After all, while all those sparkly folders and pencil cases can seem like a good buy, you need to ask yourself,  whether you really need them, when you are doing most of your note-taking and assignment writing online?

Do repair your credit

Next, when it comes to financial security as a mature student, it can be super helpful to keep an eye on your credit. The reason being that bad credit or a low credit score can seriously interfere with the ease with which you can get loans, and make other significant purchases. Something that you may wish to do during your time at college, or immediately after.

Luckily, there are quite a few strategies to try when it comes to taking care of your credit rating. The first is to absolutely be sure that any credit you do take out is a debt that you can repay on time. Otherwise, you risk lowering your rating.

Of course, it not always a good idea to avoid using credit altogether, especially if you already have a poor score as this can also negatively affect your rating. Instead, it may be worth looking into something like this capital one secured card which will allow you to get back into using credit, even when your rating is low and so can help to rebuild your ratings by showing that you are a good prospect.

Alternatively, if you are concerned about a particularly low rating or negative notes on your account, you may wish to approach a credit repair specialist. This is a company that can negotiate with your credit providers and find the best way to close down any outstanding issues or notes on your account. Something that can help you return your credit score to normal, and so make college life and your life after, that bit easier.

Don’t let false economies fool you.

What is a false economy? Well, it's when you buy something because you think you are getting a good deal and it's cheap, but if you really look at it in detail, you realize that it's not such a good deal. False economy issues come in all shapes and sizes as well, and there are two main ways of avoiding them.

The first is to shop around for your groceries and clothes and compare prices to find the best deals. Something that is pretty easy to do now we have the internet at our disposal 24/7, especially if you are happy to buy in bulk or thrifted items.

Secondly, don't get suckered into buying things that you just don't need. I'm talking about all the chips and snacks you get at the grocery, those accessories you just have to have for your office, and worst of all those expensive coffees you treat yourself to on campus in between seminars. Guess what folks? Coffee tastes just as good if you make a flask of it in the morning yourself and take that to school each day, and you can save yourself a fortune by doing this as well!

Take your coffee in a Thermos and save!


Do make time to keep on top of finances.


Lastly, if you are attending college, you will be busy, what with all those assignments, seminars, deadlines, and essays to write. Of course, for mature students tend to be even busier, because they have family and work commitments they have to honor as well.

You will be busy as a mature student, but it will benefit your whole family to stay on top of your finances.

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Despite all of this though, it is still crucial that you make time to monitor your spending and keep on top of your finances. In fact, knowing what you have left and what still needs to be paid for at any point in the month, is probably the most critical step in maintaining your financial security as a mature student.

What Reading Reveals About Our Hidden Psyche

One of the best things about being a kid was getting read stories. Whether it was the teacher at school, or your parents that read to you, we first had out imagination switched into overdrive when we listened to novels. It was exciting as you put yourself into a completely different world and you went through the stories playing as the main characters. Trying to feel what their experiences could be like, interacting with their friends and hopefully wishing to make the right decisions. It's a shame then that as we get older, we stop reading novels in favor for magazines and online news articles. Little do we know what a disservice we’re doing to ourselves by not continuing to read books. Even if it's not fiction, we should be reading to keep our minds sharp and able to absorb and process complex information. However, novels do have the most philosophical impact in our lives, because of what they reveal about ourselves.

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Source Beinecke Library


You’re not an angel

Horror, crime, drama and adventure genres often reveal our ruthless nature. In society, we like to think that we wouldn’t hurt someone almost in any case, least of all if it somehow only benefited us. This is because we have a sense of right and wrong but also a moral obligation to be fair. However, when we’re put into a situation where we have an option to make a harsh decision in our minds when reading a novel, we feel a little more free to be bad.




Treasure Island is one of the most famous books of all time. The Long John Silver character was pretty much made famous and some say born in the mind of the author Robert Louis Stevenson. He is kind on the surface but a ruthless murderer underneath. He has one leg so he garners sympathy from strangers. Yet, as we read through the plot, we begin to be more and more like him. We hope that his treachery is repaid in full, just the way he would act, with pure violence. We suddenly lose our ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, and we want to see him shot by a musket or cut into pieces by the Cutlass of the captain. Just like John, we too reveal our bloodlust.



You’re not that tough

One of the great things about horror novels is that, we are challenged in a primal sense. Our fight or flight mechanism is activated, and we try to imagine what we would do when being attacked, haunted, hunted and being tortured. One of the most powerful books by Stephen King ‘The Shining’ does this is spades. We put ourselves in the shoes of little Danny and Wendy, the son and wife of Jack who goes insane. Secluded and far away from civilization and the rule of law, we are challenged by the notion that we must kill the people we love to survive. Haunted by the slaughter or thousands, the hotel reveals the dark side of humanity. We’re frightened by our own capabilities of savagery and murder of loved ones by our own hands.




Fiction novels take us on journeys of not just different worlds and lives, but into our own minds. We show parts of our psyche that we normally keep locked up. Reading such books can show us that we’re not that tough but we’re not that innocent and void of sin either.

Everything You Need To Know About Education Fee Planning

A very wise man once said that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” You’d be a very brave person to disagree with the late, great Nelson Mandela.



In the modern day, the importance of education is paramount. We all want our children to have the best opportunities possible in life. We want them to have the chance to be whatever they want to be. Unfortunately, without proper education, the probability of this is very slim. The only drawback is the fact that education can prove to be extremely expensive at present and this is where education fee planning proves to be pivotal.



It seems that the costs of college and university courses are increasing by the day. In order to be able to afford these, you need to plan in advance and plan effectively. This is exactly what education fee planning entails. It ensures that your child has the freedom of choosing a school of their desire and reaching the dreams they have in their mind.



But, why not just rely on government loans? Why save for something that may not even happen? After all, your child may not want to seek further education. Why set aside money for something so far into the future when you have more pressing matters? These are all fair concerns and so let’s look at why it is so important to start education fee planning today…


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There is no telling what your child may want to be when they grow up. They may have their heart set on something now, however, it’s usually not until they are 17 or 18 years of age that they really make up their mind. Don’t you want to ensure that they have the opportunity to become whatever they desire? By planning successfully you can be certain that your child is not limited in relation to their career aspirations.



The sooner you start planning the better. You will have more time at your disposal to locate ways of accumulating funds. Plus, you may have to pay for more than the course, like educational travel. In addition to this, you will also give your investments the opportunity to grow and develop. Therefore you will reap greater gains in the end.



Investing in education is something that is more than likely going to result in ROI (return on investment). After all, when your child bags an excellent job they are going to be making back much more money than their education cost. Just make sure they pass it in your direction!



It is also worth considering the benefits your child will gain as well. After all, a good education offers much more than mere money. They will gain from increased self-esteem, more extra-curricular opportunities, better teaching and learning resources, enhanced study and career opportunities.



Last but not least, if you embark on a strategy of effective education fee planning you can also ensure that less pressure and financial strain is put on yourself. You will be able to save for your child’s future without impacting your current quality of life or other financial commitments and goals you have ongoing.

Sys Admin Or Software Developer - What's the Better Study Choice?

It is an age-old debate in the IT structure, which is the better career to aim for, that of Systems Administrator or Software Developer? It is not an easy question to answer, it really depends on your personal preferences and on your own set of circumstances. Have a look through our guide as a comparison of both careers and see if it can help you decide where to aim your talents.


Systems Administrator


1. Work 24/7

A Systems Administrator is responsible for ensuring that their employer's IT infrastructure is operating at all times. This often means that they have to perform work outside of the normal 9-5 hours and that they often have to be on call at all times. Some jobs can mean that there has to be an administrator actually in the office at all times, which usually means you will be working on a rota. In some jobs, it is permissible for an employee to be on call on a rota basis. This type of work suits some people because it fits in with their lifestyle. For others who like to know where they are every day, it is not so good. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of working on a rota basis here.


2. Less Salary

There's no getting away from the fact that Software Developers are paid more than Systems Administrators. It could be argued that this is because their role demands more creativity but I have known some System Administrators who have had to be pretty creative to fix issues. You only have to check NetworkProGuide to see how creative those offering IT services have to be.


3. Full Flexibility in Shifts

When you have to cover the office 24/7 it means that there is a degree of flexibility in when you work. If you want a big night out, for instance, you could always organise to work a late shift so you can have a lie-in. There are benefits to shift working.


Software Developer


1. More Salary in Short Time

Software Developers are paid more, simply because they have to be more creative and put a lot of thought into their designs. It is hard work, but you do get paid for it. If you are not sure whether this is your dream job and whether it's worth all the effort you would have to put in to be worth this large salary why not take a look at my blog post on finding your dream career.


2. No need to work 24/7 shifts

Some people just like a routine, they like to know the hours that they are working every day and for these to be consistent. This is one of the reasons why the 9-5 day is so popular, it just works for a lot of people. As a Software Developer, you too will be able to make the most out of the 9-5 day.


3. Enjoy all Government Holidays

As a Software Developer, there is no need for you to work on public holidays. You can enjoy spending time with your friends and family who are also not at work instead of facing the prospect of having to go into the office while everyone else has fun.