Spreeder is a free service provided by 7-Speed-ReadingTM. If you like this site, please have a look at our powerful 7 Speed Reading Software.

How Reading Books Can Make You A Better Person

December 15th, 2014

Next time you’re bored out of your mind, don’t reach for your smartphone, reach for a book instead. Reading books provides a range of benefits you may not be aware of. In fact, the more books you
read, the more awesome you will be.

Reading makes you (more) empathetic

Reading fiction gives you an inside peek into scenarios and realities you couldn’t otherwise live yourself. This opens up your critical thinking capabilities and activates your empathy sensors. You become more aware and sensitive to people’s plights, cultures, and customs, and feel more forgiving and nurturing where you might have once been condescending or inflexible.

Reading is an immersive experience

A good novel will have you questioning reality. A good novel will drag you so deeply into its plot that your identification with the protagonist will be mind-blowing and reality-blurring. Enough said.

Reading is knowledge

You can watch a documentary or tutorial to learn a new skill but nothing beats the original experience of reading, processing, and understanding new knowledge or how-tos all by yourself.

Reading is a bottomless chest from which you will always be able to get a few jewels — with each book and each tale.

Reading is traveling for your soul

Reading helps you leave all your workaday troubles behind, even if for a short moment. It empties your mind until you’re powerful enough to confront your daily demons.

Reading is entertainment

For the bibliophiles out there, reading is a matchless experience. Reading gives you immense joy. It engages your senses and enthralls your mind with scenery, plots, and mind-blowing images.

Reading makes you interesting

From learning smart, little-known facts, to initiating great discussions with friends, reading makes you a knowledgeable, interesting person people will love to hang out with.

Reading is inspiration

Reading stimulates your creativity. You start thinking critically and more boldly, all because you’ve already been exposed to various scenarios and have garnered the tools and knowledge to be less ordinary and more unique.

Reading is growth

Even if you don’t read a self-improvement book per se, virtually any well-written book will help you become a better person. From building your self-esteem to becoming better at decision-making, books give you the tools to cope with life’s conundrums — and the ever-important Zombie apocalypse.

Reading is power

It’s a cliché but it’s nonetheless true: reading empowers you. The knowledge and worlds you experience when reading give you confidence and wisdom on how to deal with real life situations more gracefully and wisely.

Reading is your key to becoming a better person in all aspects of your life

Reading is how you improve your marketability, your communication skills, your empathy and emotional intelligence, your appeal — and even your sexiness. Reading is one of the few habits known to man that you can never have too much of. So go on, read on!

Bonus benefit

If you speed read you get to reap all these benefits in a shorter time. Awesome, right?


Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Important American And British Spelling Differences You Should Know

December 8th, 2014

You may already know that the word “pants” means something else entirely in British English (hint: it doesn’t mean “trousers”), but do you know about the words that both British and American English speakers use, yet spell differently?

A basic rule of the thumb that covers these words is that American English spelling tends to be simplified and pronunciation-based. While British English favors the spelling of words as they originally appeared in the language they’ve been borrowed from – for instance, the word “cheque” – American English spellers generally write the word as they sound it out: “check.”

Writers, exchange students, and businessmen and businesswomen need to be aware of these spelling differences when dealing with people in Britain and the US, because using the proper spelling for each country helps avoid confusion, and also lends that touch of professionalism that marks a true global citizen.

Here are the main spelling differences between American and British spelling of English words.

-er/re

Words that end in –re in Britain often have those two letters reversed when spelled in American English. Here are some examples:

British English

centre, fibre, litre, theatre

American English

center, fiber, liter, theater

-nse/nce

While the British use the –nce ending, Americans generally prefer –nse.

American English

defense, license, offense, pretense

British English

defence, licence, offence, pretence

-ize/ise

American English uses the –ize spelling at the end of words, and while some people in Britain accept that as a valid spelling, you’ll usually see those same words spelled with the  –ise ending instead.

British English

apologise, organise, recognise

American English

apologize, organize, recognize

-or/-our

In British English, the preferred spelling of words ending in –our is not maintained in American English; in the United States, the “u” is dropped from the word.

American English

behavior, color, humor, labor, neighbor, flavor

British English

behaviour, colour, humour, labour, neighbour, flavour

Double vowels “ae” and “oe”

While the British retain the more complex spelling of words with Greek or Latin roots, using the orthodox spelling that was established when those words were brought into the English language as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries, the Americans, as usual, like their terminology simplified.

American English

leukemia

maneuver

estrogen

pediatric

British English

leukaemia

manoeuvre

oestrogen

paediatric

Words ending in a vowel plus –l

While Americans have dropped the double “l” when adding suffixes to verbs that end in the letter “l” the British still generally use the two-”l” approach to their spelling.

American English

traveling

traveled

traveler

fueled

fueling

British English

travelling

travelled

traveller

fuelled

fuelling

The rules can be confusing, especially for people who are learning English as a second language. Which system you choose often depends on where you’re learning English. Obviously, if you’re learning English in the United States, you will be taught that orthography, but if you are learning English in India, you will generally be taught the British spelling. Wherever you are, keep in mind that more often than not, the American spelling of words is a simplified version that is closer to how a word sounds rather how it was spelled in the language it has been borrowed from.

Knowing the spelling rules and differences will help you learn the spelling exceptions, too. For instance, archaeology is a spelling that’s used by English teachers and scientists in both American and British universities. Keep digging around, and you’ll find more exceptions – and that’s a hard and fast rule.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Spelling blog.


Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Read Anytime, Anywhere … Thanks to Technology!

December 1st, 2014

What would we do without technology? There are so many advantages for the modern reader, now that we are no longer limited to printed books. Yes, your ereader might not be the best thing to take to the bathtub or the beach, but you wouldn’t want to drop a printed book in the water either! The ability to carry an entire library around with you more than makes up for any extra care you might have to take with an electronic reading device – and soon you might not even have to do that.

Technology keeps advancing with gigantic strides and this only means one thing for us: our day to day activities become easier, our hobbies grow more pleasant, and most importantly, our education and careers advance further.

Waterproof ereaders

Technology  has been exuberantly generous in giving us what we want, and most people have ultra smart mini computers that fit into our pockets. And now, there are waterproof ereaders we can take with us whenever and wherever we please — beach and bath included!

Kobo Aura H20 is a waterproof ereader with the main capacities and features of any ereader. But this device has something more: it’s the only one that has the added, much-coveted benefit of not being scared of water. Kobo Aura H20 can be immersed under 1 meter of water for up to half an hour without any damage done to its internal mechanism and screen.

As a result, high-risk, must-avoid places like the beach, the swimming pool, or the bath no longer apply to users of the Kobo Aura H20 ereader. While the Kobo Aura H2o is one of a kind for now, more ereader developers are focusing their attention towards this market demand for waterproof ereaders.

In fact, such technological advancements will become the norm in the years to follow as more companies will seek to offer their clients a seamless reading experience that’s not defined and limited by the environment (dust, sunlight, water).

Educational Technology For Struggling Learners

The impact technology has had and will be having on education can never be truly measured. Apps, software, and several other technological innovations like Fast ForWard and Read 180 are now serving many struggling students across the globe helping them acquire the fundamental literacy skills of the 21st century: reading, writing, speaking skills, and touch typing.

From programs that are integrated in classes and help children process information more effectively and quickly, to software like 7 Speed Reading™ that help students improve their word per minute rate and read more in less time (and therefore reap all the benefits of reading), Ed Tech is at this very moment serving millions of people with their educational growth.

From offering students reading motivation, to being able to use authentic speech patterns in ESL classrooms, to fully immersing students into the idiosyncrasies of English pronunciation through video and online media, the world of educational technology has come a long way.

Educational Technology And Motivated Learners

One of the most definitive benefits of technology is that it motivates and intrigues learners. It lures them into the world of knowledge and exploration simply by being an appealing medium.

A study (Harvey, 2002) looked into the typical learner’s motivation and found that an increased control over learning choices makes students more eager to engage with reading, as opposed to students who are told to what and how they should be learning.

Young students are well versed in technology and new media, and giving them the control and trust they deserve can increase their self-esteem and give them the confidence to explore and satisfy their curiosity and drive to learn.

Knowledge is mostly acquired through reading, and being able to advance your reading skills could help you remain ahead of the crowd. Expert reading skills will let you reap all the benefits of being a knowledgeable, passionate, powerful individual who’s expert in their field of choice.

Spend your Free Time On These 5 Activities and Learn Interesting Things

November 24th, 2014

It’s sometimes just too tempting to spend your free time playing games on your smartphone, or hanging out with your friends. That’s fun, for sure, but spending your time more constructively will provide you with more benefits in the long term.

There’s really no excuse for saying, “I’m bored out of my mind,” given the many fun activities you can try. Choose any of the following activities and make the most out of your free time!

Read a good novel, or a self-development book

Reading should be your go-to habit when you have free time on your hands. Reading expands your knowledge and keeps you up to date with new developments in your career. Not to mention that the news and knowledge you gain will make you an interesting person at parties and social gatherings!

Utilize your free time for learning. It will help you professionally and personally. Create a free-time reading list and go back to it each time you’ve a few hours to kill.

Keep your mind, knowledge, and memory sharp with a self-development book or biography, if fiction is not your cup of tea, and you’ll get two benefits in one.

Write/Blog/Live Tweet

If you think you’re as a good a writer as Shakespeare, why not make your own attempts at it?

Even if you don’t, writing is an excellent way to spend some time. It doesn’t have to be anything formal you will submit to a publishing house. Do it for fun, do it to sharpen your writing skills, and nurture your creativity!

Try guest blogging on anything you’re passionate and knowledgeable about — from Star Trek to the Kawaii Japanese culture. Live tweet a special TV or sport event or blog to get those thoughts and feelings out of your system and into the wider world.

Learn a new language

You’ve probably heard this tip a thousand times, but being bilingual offers many cognitive, social, and professional benefits. It’s a shame not to even try it at least!

Just think of all the French movies you will get to enjoy without having to read the subtitles.

Take a course

You know how you always thought you were destined to be a philosopher? Even if your degree says MBA, you can always go nurture your passion for philosophy by enrolling in a free academic class. Look for one of the courses offered by many high-profile universities including Harvard, MIT, Yale, and more.

Sharpen your brain and memory

Brain games are notorious for being addictive, just like other games, but these have a point. Get hooked on a brain game by choosing any game from a great online resource such as Lumosity.com and Fitbrains.com by Rosetta Stone. There are also various app-based ones like 92 Logic Games and Left Vs Right.

Cooking

Many people find cooking a creative, stress-releasing activity. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice who is just starting to experiment with new foods, cooking can be an exhilarating experience.

Try to see cooking as a stress-relieving activity instead of something you have to do every day. Take the opportunity to recreate some childhood classics – it might not be exactly like your mum’s lasagna, but just picture the satisfaction you’ll feel when you put that first mouthwatering cheese-dripping bite in your mouth.

Star-gazing and astronomy

Feed your existential preoccupations and romantic side with star-gazing. Name a star via an online service for that special someone in your life or subscribe to NASA’s newsletter and prestigious magazines like the Sky and Telescope and All About Space magazines to become an astronomy buff.

Volunteer

Share your time, skills. and knowledge with people who need it. Check volunteering opportunities at your campus, school, or community and you will find one you will be able to contribute through.

The possibilities for projects and learning are limitless. Make an annual list of things, skills, and  activities you want to accomplish and make sure you check one after the other each time you have free time to spare.

How Are You Coping With Technology In A Constantly Evolving World?

November 17th, 2014

Technology advances at a pace we can hardly keep up with.  The old sci-fi movie scenario where you could control everything around by pressing a button, typing a few keystrokes, or swiping a touchpad is no longer the realm of fiction – it’s a reality.

For many people, the demands required to cope with new technological advances is a cause of stress. The complexity of learning to use and make the most out of new technologies often makes people anxious and reluctant to integrate them in their professional and personal lives.

The inevitable question is this: how do we keep up with a constantly evolving world that’s becoming more and more tech-driven?

The answer is simple: we keep evolving, too.

As technology makes giant strides to improve our lives, we should be following its lead. If we want our lives to improve, we need to build the skills necessary for to take advantages of technology.

Build Your Tech Vocabulary

New technologies generally mean new words to learn. You need to understand the words and how to use them in order to be relevant and efficient in communicating with others. Building your vocabulary could help you understand more of the tech-based discourse you’ll find in most fields these days, even those that are not directly based in IT support and development.

Build Your Typing Skills

Keyboard-based devices are becoming more widespread. They already reign over the workplace, and are moving into more areas of the home.

You work on your desktop computer, watch movies on your tablet while commuting back home, and engage on social media through your smartphone while having dinner. Even if your typing skills are fairly weak, you will be still able to perform all these activities – you’ll just end up doing it in a counterintuitive, time-consuming manner.

Learning to touch type more efficiently is one skill that will help you cope better with technologies at home and at work. You will be able to work productively on any keyboard-based device, and do so  in less time. This will give you a sense of confidence and sovereignty over your technology. In other words, you’ll rule the device, instead of giving it power over you.

Read More, Read Often

Simply improving your typing skills and related vocabulary won’t suffice, however. There’s still a lot you can do in order to not just cope with technology, but actively leverage it to improve your life.

Start reading a lot of articles, blogs, and books on how new technologies work. Learn what the future could look like if scientists figure out ways to implement affordable technologies in our lives. Be one of the people who are “in the know” when it comes to new developments and new tech trends.

Technology has great potential, and there will always be new ways that it helps businesses grow and flourish. On a personal level, technology can enable people to capitalize on their skills and competencies in order to improve their lives.

Technology makes it possible for us to have responsive organizations: companies that are willing and able to adapt, revisit, and respond to a world that never stops changing and surprising us.

Don’t let technology intimidate you. Embrace its elegant beauty and stunning potential.

Yes, uncertainty and mistakes are part and parcel of using new technologies, but so is exhilaration and efficiency. Instead of running away from technology, try learning to use it. Experience the whole new world it makes available to you and you will soon wonder why on Earth you avoided it before.

Technology will first change how we work, and then the way we live. Just make sure you’re a competent and willing learner of technology, and it will be good to you!

Online Tools To Help Improve Faculty and Student Learning

November 10th, 2014

Ed Tech is officially here. Schools of every type and budget size are integrating multiple technologies in the classroom to facilitate learning and to make it more appealing to students.

Thanks to the proliferation of high-quality online resources, now all schools can access a variety of free and subscription-based services and tools to benefit educators and students alike.

Technologies facilitate communication and collaboration in and out of school hours, between students and their teacher.

Technologies give students new ways to think about and solve problems and allow for consistent interaction that often leads to innovative outcomes and enhanced learning outcomes.

Educational Apps Drive Learning Forward

Whether teaching spelling improvement or helping students learn a new language, the educational apps now available for tablets and smartphones have become part and parcel of many classrooms.

Teachers are dedicating class time to in-app learning. Tech-based learning is both constructive and effective, because it gives students the sense that they are playing, not studying.

As app development becomes more focused and precise, we are expecting to see a surge of well-designed, science-based educational apps that will become an integral part of class teaching in the years ahead.

Social Media Communities Boost Collaboration

Many Ed Tech skeptics suggest that technology alienates people and promotes individual work. This is not the case. Ed Tech has a collaborative power that is almost immeasurable.

Students and teachers can get together any time of the day to chat on a dedicated private network or a popular social media network like Twitter and G+.

Instant access and contribution to these collaborative communities enhances the creative results and nurtures a sense of teamwork in students, showing them how valuable it is for innovation and better learning outcomes.

An example of this is Popplet, a platform that can be used by professionals and students alike. Its basic premise is the noting down of ideas and their organizing into visual maps. There are several other organizing and collaboration apps and web platforms that allow students to make use of their tech skills to learn, collaborate and achieve great things, such as Piktochart, DuoLingo, Explain Everything, Edmodo and Pocket.

PiktoChart

This is an infographic generator that’s browser-based. It’s the perfect tool for students and their teachers to visualize new knowledge and see how information can be presented in appealing ways to make it understandable.

Edmodo

This is a free IPhone app that facilitates collaboration, interaction, and engagement between teacher and students. Some of its features include private classroom discussions, file sharing, and assignment posting.

Explain Everything

This Android and iPhone paid app is a screencasting and design tool that also works as an interactive whiteboard, which make it perfect for the classroom.

Explain Everything lets you create fun and constructive videos and other types of content by annotating, animating, narrating, and enriching your media with notes and other types of rich content.

DuoLingo

This is a free language app that lets you learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English in a fun yet systematic way.

This app was rated Best of the Best in 2013 by the Google Play store, and its high quality content and features perfectly justify this.

There are many online tools out there designed for the classroom. Experiment with some and see how your students respond to their use.

First, however, ensure your students possess at least average touch typing skills so that they can keep up with the use of computers and other keyboard-based devices when learning through tools and apps.

Check out Ultimate Typing™ EDU for a better Ed Tech Experience! For more details on Ultimate Typing™ EDU please visit http://www.ultimatetyping.com/schools.

7 Useful Things Google Can Do To Help In Solving Your Problems

November 3rd, 2014

Google has so many features that make our lives easier. But many of them, although extremely usuful and time-saving, don’t get the due praise and exposure they deserve.

The following 7 Google hacks will make you a better Google user. How many do you use already?

Google As A Dictionary

A simple, time-saving hack is to use the Google search bar to learn the definition of a word with a single click. Simply type the word “define” followed by the word in question. For example, type “define consumerism” and Google instantly gives you the following:

“the protection or promotion of the interests of consumers”

There you go!

This feature is especially useful for language learners as it helps boost vocabulary without the inconvenience of going back and forth between dictionary websites, or the drudgery of having to look up a word in a hard copy dictionary.

Google As A Converter

Just like word definitions, Google lets you instantly convert units from metric to imperial and vice versa. All you need is to type what you want to convert (for example, “100 USD to EUR”) and Google gives you the result you need (it’s roughly 72€, in case you were wondering). Apart from currencies, Google can convert any unit of measurement, weight, length, volume, temperature, and more.

Google As The Local (Or Global) Weather Report

Google gives you the day’s forecast in a single click. Type “weather” in the search bar followed by the name of your city, and you will instantly learn whether you should take that umbrella with you or not when you leave the house!

Google Translate

Although Google Translate can yield some funny results, especially when it comes to colloquialisms and idioms, it can be a very helpful tool for ESL learners and learners of other languages.

Google uses a vast array of online content to yield results and it even offers alternative interpretations, helping users to find accurate translations of a word or phrase.

Google’s Customizable Reading Level

This is a powerful tool, but one that not many people know about. However, it’s invaluable for ESL and other language learners, because it helps them find online related content that they can read and understand.

To use this feature when searching for a term (like “autodidactism”), go to “SEARCH TOOLS” – the last tab on the bar right under the search bar – and click “Reading Level” under “All Results.” Choose between basic, intermediate, and advanced to get the search results with the preferred reading level difficulty.

Google, Now At A Store Near You!

Not really, but it does a great job showing you where a local business is in your area. Simply type in the name of the business and then your city. The top search result will give you the address and other useful information like work hours and phone numbers.

You might even get a map showing the exact location of the business on the right side of the page, which links to Google Maps and lets you get directions from your current location to your destination.

Google Knows Your Needs

Lastly, among the thousands of features it offers you to make your life easier and solve your queries, Google also helps you search for particular file types, from pdfs to bmp images to exe files.

Simply type filetype:pdf into the search box, and the search results will exclusively be pdf files, just like you’ve asked for!

What’s the one Google feature you use daily, apart from Google Search?

6 Ways eReaders Are Affecting Your Reading Habits

October 27th, 2014

We at Spreeder don’t discriminate between hard copy book reading and digital reading when we’re talking about the importance of reading in general. We believe that each method has a unique set of perks. What’s more, we know all of you are different types of readers, each with your own respected preferable reading habits. Some of you are hardcore soft copy readers, who prefer the feel of a printed book. Some of you have abandoned print books entirely and embraced digital publishing entirely. But most of you use both media, depending on your needs, the context, and your mood.

If you’re passionate about the printed book and you’ve been reluctant to read with an ereader, we’d like to present you with 6 ways ereaders actually change (read: improve) your reading habits. Who knows, by the end of this post perhaps you’ll be convinced to give ereaders a try from time to time!

It’s Easier!

An ereader is super light. If you frequently favor long reads you can testify to how difficult it is to balance a heavy 600-page book in your hand.

The heaviness of a book interferes with the pleasures of reading and your cramped fingers and wrist often keep grounding you back in reality, pulling you from the imaginary world of the book you’re enjoying. Yikes.

An ereader gives you a distraction-free reading space where physical limitations don’t interfere with your sacred reading ritual.

Privacy

You know how you feel when reading on the subway or other public place when you’re indulging in a “trashy” book you like to relax with. Those prying eyes scrutinizing your book cover – the people profiling you, the reader, by your book cover. Yes, people can be really hurtful sometimes. You don’t have to endure this RPI (Reader Profile Investigation), however, if you are reading on an ereader.

Countless Options

When you have an ereader you have instant access to virtually any book you please. You can purchase it and start reading the latest New York Times best-seller in a blink of an eye.

Besides, who doesn’t love the feeling of having a whole list of books ready and waiting? You’ll never have the frustration of getting to the end of your latest page-turner and having nothing new to read, especially when it’s late and both stores and libraries are closed.

Forgiving Formats

When you’re reading a printed book, you’re relying on the quality of the printer and publisher to give you a clear and legible text to read. Sometimes you don’t get the quality you need. For example, you might be familiar with the sensation of opening a printed book, only to realize that it’s printed in such a small font you have to strain your eyes to read. Or perhaps you accidentally picked up a book from the “large print” section in the library, and the font is so large it’s equally hard to read. With an ereader you won’t have this problem. An ereader is much more forgiving. It lets you increase and decrease font size; some even allow for font change as well. By adjusting the display you can make sure that your reading experience becomes more rewarding.

No More Props

Reading in badly-lit spaces means you need a book light clip so that you don’t disturb the person sleeping next to you. An ereader is a self-contained device that lets you read no matter the hour, the conditions and the place of your choice.

Speed Reading

With an ereader you can speed read non-fiction to your heart’s content. The possibility of running out of books to speed read is quite unlikely. An ereader gives you access to ample books to quench your thirst for new knowledge.

Reading hard copy books is a unique experience that engages more senses than ereaders are capable of. Nonetheless, the benefits of reading on ereaders are important and should not be overlooked. The increasing number of people who switch between conventional and digital reading prove that both have their uses. When it comes to reading, you can have your literary cake – and eat it too!

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.

How To Maximize Your Time Playing Indoor Activities

October 20th, 2014

Spring showers ruined your outdoor activities once again? Many parents dread rainy days because there’s not much room for creativity and play. Children easily get bored and distractions get into the way of learning – especially when the initial plan was to play tag in the yard and then go for a swim.

However, indoor activities can help your child learn new things and master essential skills. Indoor time doesn’t necessarily mean online games time. You can use technology in ways that are educational and constructive.

Vocabulary Improvement

Vocabulary is one aspect of language we never truly master. You can learn a new word every day and still have thousands of new words left to learn by the time you’re fifty. Why not invest in a vocabulary improvement software and play vocabulary games to improve the entire family’s vocabulary? People of all ages will benefit from adding new words to their lexicon.

A vocabulary exercise sharpens a child’s language skills and gives them new words and concepts to communicate with.

Spelling Improvement

Your child’s teacher might be doing an excellent job teaching students how to spell, but the true secret to spelling mastery is to learn to love spelling. Half the children in any given class probably hate spelling exercises, and most of the rest are generally indifferent. To get children interested in spelling the activities you engage them in must be fun. Did I say fun? I meant SUPER FUN.

Again, this is where a spelling program or website could come in handy. Create a two-hour spelling session with 3 to 5 brain breaks in between and play spelling games and other fun-based spelling activities like a spelling bee stand-off!

Keyboarding

While most online games don’t really help children learn to type, it’s a good idea to think of touch typing as a fun indoor activity that will entertain and educate at the same time.

Touch typing is crucial for your child’s academic performance this year, and will be needed until they graduate from college – and beyond. As technology becomes more entwined in every aspect of our lives, skills like keyboarding become the norm. The earlier your child learns to touch type the better off they will be.

Use indoor time to engage with a skill your child will benefit from throughout their entire life by helping them enhance their typing skills. The great thing is that keyboarding is one skill you can have a lot of fun with when practicing. In fact, you don’t even have to structure a keyboarding lesson as a lesson. After your child has learned the fundamentals, the entire learning practice can take place through typing games!

Reading Improvement

Reading has been touted as the key ingredient for personal success. Warren Buffet, the well known success maven, has testified to this, asserting that all he does all day is read in his office.

Unfortunately, cultivating a love for reading and learning in children can be a real challenge for teachers and parents. The secret is to make reading fun and effective.

What makes students dislike reading is often their lack of good reading skills. More often than not, they find reading boring because of bad reading habits, such as subvocalization and regression.

If children were to get rid of these reading-sabotaging habits then their reading speed would improve and they could effortlessly get through lots of reading material in less time.

Speed reading is more than the goal, it’s also a means to an end. When a student is a speed reader this further motivates them to study and learn more things. Essentially, a child enters a self-motivating circle of self-education and progress through the simple act of eradicating bad reading habits and improving their reading speed.

Indoor activity time shouldn’t be limited to sterile, uninspiring entertainment and passive pastimes like video games. Technology has spread out into the realm of education, and it is a parent’s duty to instill in their children a predilection for learning and self-development.

There are many online resources available where parents can find constructive, age-appropriate activities for their children. Here are some suggestions:

DiscoveryEducation.com,

PrimaryResources.co.uk

FamilyEducation.com

topmarks.co.uk.

Smarttutor.com

Raz-kids.com

Scholastic for Parents

These free, quality resources for parents will give you many ideas for learning activities and games for children from kindergarten up to 12th grade. For a more focused and structured learning experience on a particular skill, it’s wise to invest in the appropriate software. For instance, if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary you should consider getting a vocabulary program like Ultimate Vocabulary™.

 

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.

The Three Main Goals of Keyboarding Instruction

October 6th, 2014

What comes to mind when you think of typing skills? Usually, we imagine a person typing with ease and confidence on a sleek, high-tech keyboard in a multi-million-dollar company.

When we teach young students how to touch type, the ultimate goal is none other than preparing children to grow up to become skilled professionals with bright career prospects ahead of them.

Of course, without other skills and education, a person cannot advance in life with typing skills alone. But it is perhaps the single most important tech skill right now.

Better Career Prospect

Every parent and every teacher wishes that the children in their care will be successful in life. Touch typing, although not the only vital life and professional skill out there, is still one that has timeless value in our increasingly tech-driven world.

Any tech skill is important, but those with advanced typing skills gain a head start over their competitors. They are more productive and focused in their work, hence more valuable and indispensable to their company.

Competent, Confident, Healthy Students

It is often the case that teens type faster on their smartphones than they can on their computers. This is because they didn’t have the support they needed to learn the right keyboarding techniques. Students who have received formal typing instruction through a typing software or school class have learned the typing skills they need to be able to type efficiently and without putting too much strain on their wrists, hands, and shoulders.

What’s more, an advanced typist is more likely a confident one, and a confident student will not be easily intimidated by school workloads.

Getting Rid Of Ineffective Typing Techniques

Anyone who didn’t have the chance to receive formal typing lessons has developed their own unique hunt and peck method for typing. In general, these methods use at maximum only four fingers. While this works with informal tasks like chatting or browsing websites, it’s neither efficient nor sustainable in the workplace, especially for anyone who has a computer-based job, such as a translator, a developer, a graphic designer, or a data analyst.

Touch typing lessons give you the essential know-how to type accurately. Through practice, you gradually improve your typing speed as well. With advanced typing skills you ensure you don’t fall behind in your school assignments that are keyboard-based.

Ultimately, touch typing offers immediate benefits for students that helps them better handle school projects and activities. Over the long term it lets them boost their professional image and employability prospects.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Typing blog.