If our children are our future, then we have a problem. According to public school statistics, fewer and fewer children graduate high schools each year, and those who do read at 3 to 4 grade levels lower than necessary. The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, and a below-average 25th for mathematics.
Another ranking agency ranked America’s high school education quality 117th of 153 developed countries based on standardized test scores, and average reading levels across a country. (Average American reads at 2nd grade level). Such poor literacy spells disaster for young Americans and for our ability to compete in the Global market.
Skeptics would argue that young children and high immigrant population are skewing the data, but even they agree that something needs to change. But what kind of change?
Before any solution can be implemented, the cause of the problem has to be isolated. The country is going through economic crisis and lacks the funding to adequately staff schools? Teachers’ salaries are based on years of service instead of performance? The same solutions have been attempted for 40 years instead of trying something new? All true and valid points, but some people who are tackling the literacy issue believe the problem is more fundamental, and the answer lies with the kids themselves. One such person is Aleksey Vayner.
Graduate of Yale University, London School of Economics, and founder of Empower a Child Inc., a non-profit that focuses on helping children learn critical skills like reading, Aleksey done research and conducted numerous primary studies to analyze how people read, and what changes are required to read better.
Aleksey Vayner looks beyond economic and institutional reasons in search for the answer to America’s reading problem. First generation immigrant, he experienced first-hand the difficulty of learning English in an over-crowded public school ESL classroom, surrounded by children who were…difficult to teach. “Looking beyond all the obvious macro problems, there was one constant. Students were not engaged; simply put, they were bored. Their attention span is minimal, and teachers do not have adequate tools to engage students,” says Aleksey.
So analyzing what does engage America’s youth today, and the answer appeared
obvious – videogames. Ironically, many expects concur videogames are among the primary reasons for kids’ shortened attention span. Though Aleksey Vayner confesses to never been interested in videogames as a kid, he now became fascinated with potential of videogames to become a viable learning tool.
Fast-forward to 2010, and software team led by Aleksey Vayner developed IvyReader, an educational suite with reading and speed reading module at its core, but with a twist – it is designed to simulate a primitive computer game. Kids watch the screen, follow a basic set of game rules, and progress in levels if they pass escalating difficulty levels. Although the program was originally thought-up by Aleksey when he was still at Yale University, and it has been tested primarily by Ivy League students to increase reading speed, a beta test with a group of NYC-based high school students has been very promising.
Students were simply given IvyReader to play with, without instructions, requirements, expectations, and most importantly without incentives. There was 100% participation rate, will all of the students completing 17 exercises scientifically-proven to improve their reading ability, which required 23 continuous minutes of uninterrupted engagement by the student to complete, to then be able to move to level 2 of the game. 99% of subjects also showed significant reading improvement after just one level…and there are 12 levels to complete the game!
While the sample size might be small and the results are preliminary, it is clear that Aleksey Vayner is on to something, potentially solving the most common problems teachers are facing when educating our youth, which are children’s engagement and attention span. Throughout 2009 and 2010 Aleksey Vayner and his team worked on ways to expand IvyReader and make it a more comprehensive learning tool, “that would teach kids about the importance and the process of goal-setting and time management, the core habits of successful and highly effective people,” Aleksey said. Today IvyReader comes fully equipped with these modules, as well as a typing tutor program, and a large electronic books library, which will only continue to grow.
The next step for Aleksey Vayner will be to take IvyReader, which has proven to engage kids and teaching them essential skills, not the least of which is reading, into the public schools across the country. That is Aleksey’s next non-profit project, and is a huge undertaking.
“Of course we would like to see public schools in as many states as possible give it a try, since it has been so successful on a smaller scale in the Northeast. I am covering the cost of development, production and distribution to the schools that accept an invitation to beta test IvyReader, so they really have nothing to lose,” said Aleksey.
To date, Empower a Child Inc. has not solicited nor accepted any outside funding. All
development has been paid for by Aleksey Vayner and outreach projects have been carried out by volunteers. Understanding that such approach will not be sustainable when IvyReader goes national, Aleksey said,
“I want to make sure that we make a big positive impact, do something very substantial before we ask people to donate [to Empower a Child Inc.]. I hate the approach of many grassroots non-profits that ask for money because of their ‘vision,’ or based on their ‘plans,’ but who have not done anything. Visions and plans are a dime a dozen…So I don’t want Empower a Child Inc. to be one of those non-profits. Much like in venture capital business, people don’t give money for concepts and for a good reason – most of them fail! When I’ll have to raise some money I want to be able to say – this is what we have done; it’s more than a vision, it’s not even proof of concept, it’s a successful project that is working now, these are our measurable results, and now we could use some money to scale the impact.”
With IvyReader showing real results, and potential to improve national reading levels if the program is introduced to schools nationwide, raising money should not be a problem for Aleksey Vayner. Much bigger challenge currently lies in the layers of bureaucracy of our public education system. He has been knocking on doors to get this pilot project approved by the Department of Education, and “it literally takes months to get a response, and it’s usually ‘Ohhh, I don’t deal with that, try person X,’ and that goes on forever. Nothing gets done,” comments Aleksey.
Aleksey Vayner is determined to see this important project succeed on a national scale. He sees IvyReader as an evolving platform, and a new functional approach to educating and empowering our children.
“There are 98,817 public schools across the country, with high schools alone hosting over fourteen and a half million students. If we can only get a quarter of them using IvyReader and sharing the game with one of their friends, that’s half a billion kids with improved reading skills, clear goals, and some time management habits – all before they even graduate high school. Now that’s an impact!”
Even if fractionally successful, IvyReader will prove to be a successful pilot program. It will fundamentally impact children’s lives by improving their reading skills and time management habits. It can also lay the foundation for the gaming industry to use games to educate America’s youth instead of producing more grotesque and exceedingly expensive video games which, some experts argue, directly contribute to children’s violence and ADD.
Since its conception in 2006, the Empower A Child Inc. set a commitment to improving the quality of education in many public schools across the nation. However, “many” is just isn’t enough for Aleksy Vayner. The goal Aleksey has set for the Empower A Child group is to improve every child’s reading ability in the United States, and to do so while
giving high quality educational material to schools for free.
As an individual who has devoted significant amount of his time and resources to improving the lives of children everywhere, Aleksy Vayner continues to work on his programs and offerings every day. With every passing month, Vayner tries to perfect the IvyReader, the IvyLearner Academy, and to further his cause through the Empower A Child group. We believe the approach Aleksey Vayner has taken with IvyReader and Empower a Child foundation will leave a national footprint in a form of higher literacy levels across America.
Robbin Koirner is a former analyst for Department of Education, who now reports on education trends and feasible solutions to slipping academic performance of American students. For more information go to www.IvyReader.com and www.EmpoweraChild.org
You will find a variety of applications on the market for IT specialists globally. Because the IT trade is expanding quickly, it truly is incredibly required for IT specialists to become as much as date in regards for the newest developments. It is specifically for this operate that courses like MCITP Enterprise administrator, MCSE certifications, and so on., have been introduced.
Because of this of rapidly growing and developing IT business, it is fairly vital for IT experts to preserve by themselves abreast of those most recent developments. It’s with this objective in mind, that Microsoft has launched programs like MCITP and MCSE certifications. These programs are available as online applications, DVD tutorials or as widespread classes. MCITP enterprise administrator certification course is for IT specialists who need to specialize of their abilities as an enterprise administrator. On the other hand, MCSE certifications are for IT professionals who’ve been working as system engineers, technical consultants, network analysts and technique analysts. Allow us to cope with each the applications one by 1.
IT experts who’ve labored for at the very minimum a 12 months inside a medium or perhaps a large agency are qualified for taking more than MCITP enterprise administrator training course. Nevertheless, the person need to have experience in implementation and administration of running strategies and network for users. The number of users as per Microsoft is about to 250 to 5,000 or over. An understanding of changing organization goals into technological framework can be necessary. Other than this, knowledge within the following areas can also be needed:
one. Web, intranet, database, firewall, distant entry, shopper laptop management, messaging, distant accessibility and distinct solutions related to network.
2. Dealing with two or additional separate domain controls.
3. Coping with methods situated in diverse locations.
4. Dealing with connectivity points inside and outside corporate offices.
five. Safety concerns.
6. Resolving desktop associated troubles.
Other than these, for taking over a course on MCITP enterprise administrator, the IT skilled ought to even have an comprehension of Microsoft Workplace 2007 Program Desktops, Vista, installing Windows seven, creating all necessary configurations and changes.
Why MCITP enterprise administrator?
You could be an experienced IT professional. But, owing to the rapidly development with the IT enterprise, it truly is vitally essential to carry your self current of the newest developments. Windows 7 system is now a preferred among house consumers, enterprise individuals too because the tech savvy IT experts. It truly is due to this fact crucial to adapt the skills to adapt for the fresh knowledge and newest developments. MCITP certification will not exclusively boost your capabilities and knowledge, but additionally make you an essential asset for that employers. Like a newbie, MCITP enterprise administrator or another MCITP course will make it easier to progress within your career quicker.
MCITP certification program won’t only consider an appear at your info and capabilities, but additionally boost your data in Residence windows 7 and other new systems.
MCSE certifications are but once more IT specialization courses. These courses are meant for people who following inspecting a company??s desires, resolve on the networking methods needed from the company. They design, create and configure the method. Also they troubleshoot the problems arising within the program.
Microsoft affords two forms of programs on MCSE certifications-
?MSCE on Microsoft property windows 2000
?MCSE on Windows Server 2003
An engineer who does the MCSE certifications training course can earn something from $55,000 to $ninety,000 every year in USA. Owing to their knowledge and information, they are revered and looked upon by the IT neighborhood. They will avail a 50% low expense on Technet or Technet plus subscription. In addition they’ve entry to Microsoft item and technical details. They are able to entry the secure MCP internet site and have totally free access to on-line magazine for Microsoft certified professionals. Aside from this they have savings on diverse services of numerous companies.
Revenue towards the Organization
For firms, employing an engineer who has MCSE certifications has several positive aspects. It purely means cost reducing. They don’t have to devote on sustaining workstations, PCs and IT professionals. It additionally indicates lesser time for putting in Residence windows 2000 which interprets into enhance in productiveness.
Nowadays these exams like MCITP exams certification are now continuously updating and accepting this challenge is itself a task. This training mcitp certification is an important part IT certifications.
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