Education

9 Surprising Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a good way to enhance the brainpower of a child. The use of mathematical puzzles is quite efficient in building a child’s interest in this challenging subject. Students have shown great improvement in their math results by doing jigsaw puzzles. It has proven to improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The exercise of putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together requires concentration that improves the short-term memory and problem-solving skills of kids. Here are five surprising benefits of doing Jigsaw Puzzles:

1. Improves Memory:

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Playing jigsaw puzzles is an especially effective way of improving short-term memory. It can improve short-term memory and increase a child’s performance in studies. Doing a jigsaw puzzle reinforces connections between brain cells, improves mental speed, and elevates memory power. When a child picks up a piece of puzzles to join, they have to search among the other pieces for color or shape. For that, they need to visualize the whole image, which they saw when pieces were together. This exercises the part of their brain in charge of storing this information to help maintain and improve short-term memory.

2. Increases IQ:

Doing a logical jigsaw puzzle has the potential of increasing your IQ. As most of the logical puzzles are derived from the field of mathematics, and math is a subject that improves the capability to think critically and solve problems. These logical puzzles are surely an effective activity that can improve kids’ intelligence quotient (IQ).

3. Collaboration and Team-work:

Doing a jigsaw puzzle in a group or as a collaborative activity with other kids promotes team spirit and collaboration in kids. It enables kids to attain a sense of teamwork to contribute to a team’s success positively. Encouraging such skills in kids can benefit them in the long run. These qualities are beneficial for kids in their careers as teamwork and collaboration are essential and valued organizational skills.

4. Mental Exercise:

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Doing jigsaw puzzle exercises the whole brain. When a child solves a puzzle, both of their left and right brains collectively work together, increasing cognitive abilities. The two hemispheres of the brain control different functions. The right brain is in charge of creativity and emotions; whereas the left brain deals with logical and methodical things. By engaging your child with puzzles, you can develop both sides of their brain, giving a real mental workout. Exercising the mind also helps prevent cognitive decline.

5. Increases Productivity:

When a child learns math through puzzles and games, they feel happier and less stressed. Playing with puzzles makes it easier for them to focus; with this improved concentration, their productivity skyrockets. These puzzles also promote long term engagement, implying increased productivity and consistency.

Using a jigsaw puzzle gives an exercise to a child’s mind that can help spark imagination and creativity in them. It is useful in increasing both creativity and productivity in children. By encouraging children to do mathematical puzzles, you can deliver complex concepts and fundamental knowledge easily. To find some more interesting activities for your child to learn math, visit www.cuemath.com.

6. People can pay attention to details:

At the time of solving the puzzles, it is very much important for the people to pay proper attention to the details especially in case the pieces are very similar. Hence, this way the people will be able to train their eyes very easily and ensure that they will be able to find out differences between shapes and colours that will allow them to complete the image very easily. Hence, this is considered to be the best possible way of developing different kinds of skills which are very much helpful in every aspect of life, especially at work. Hence, in this way, people will become very detailed, precise because the quality of the work will very easily improve.

7. Improves the problem-solving abilities of the people:

Another very important benefit provided by solving jigsaw puzzles is that people will be having different kinds of abilities to improve their problem-solving skills. People will learn the value of formulating different kinds of theories, testing the hypothesis and changing the perspectives whenever things do not move as per the plan. Hence, these kinds of skills can be easily transferred to work which can make the people highly innovative because they will be based upon critical thinking, better adaptive skills and several other kinds of associated things.

8. People will always have a good mood:

Solving puzzles is considered to be a great way of ensuring that people will be able to have a good mood because it is directly linked with increasing dopamine production. This particular hormone is very much responsible for regulating the mood and optimism among people and it will also affect the learning and memory of the people. This particular hormone will be released whenever people will solve a puzzle which will further make sure that it will encourage people to deal with challenges in life very well and ensure that they are always successful.

9. It will help in decreasing the stress levels:

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Another very important point associated with the solving of puzzles is that people will be having a lot of relaxation and in this way, they will be reducing their stress levels because this is directly linked with increasing self-confidence, relieving the stress, lowering down the BP and they will also have the best possible ability to make deeper connections with themselves. The whole process of solving the puzzles comes with different kinds of cognitive and physical benefits for the children.

Conclusion:

If you’re finding it challenging to keep your child focused in his studies, then jigsaw is a sure-shot way to keep them meaningfully engaged and focused. Doing jigsaw puzzles help to keep kids away from screens and to stay focused on their studies. Giving short breaks for doing a puzzle can reset their brain to perform better in studies. Many online math classes use puzzles and similar games in their curriculum to develop kids’ math skills. It is also a great way to make studies enjoyable. By playing with puzzles, kids feel refreshed to start with studies.

How Smartphones Have Transformed Our Lives

We live in an era where it is nearly impossible to imagine our lives with our smartphones. They store everything that is relevant to us, give us access to information at all times, and help us connect with anyone with just a tap on the screen.

While most of the changes that have been brought upon us because of a smartphone are quite evident, the major emergence is of the multitasking culture. Could you have imagined a few decades ago that you can have an important business meeting from the comfort of your home through a video-conferencing application in your phone?

When we start examining the impact of a smartphone on our daily lives, it obviously sheds light on the drawbacks related to smartphone addiction and the mental pressure for constant connectivity. But considering how this invention has made our lives so convenient it would be wrong to discredit it and call it a negative impact on an average user’s life.

We have listed below the positive impacts of smartphones and how they have transformed our lives.

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Enhanced tracking:

Imagine losing your phone in the 90’s. There was absolutely no way to retrieve a lost CDMA phone back in the day. With smartphones, it became easy to track a stolen or lost phone with the help of enhanced tracking through IMEI number.

The IMEI number of a smartphone is a 15-digit unique code that shows its current location. It is also very beneficial for those buying pre-owned and refurbished phones. Through an IMEI checker, you can verify if the phone you are buying was stolen or blacklisted in the past.

Visit the website to check the IMEI for free.

Better communication:

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The biggest advantage of a smartphone has been the ability to connect more deeply with others. With the shift to video calling, it’s become easier to have seamless conversations with a person without feeling the distance.

Considering how handy smartphones are, connecting with anyone has never been easier. Add to that the ease that comes with the instant messaging options and we have a way to convey things without the need to make a call.

Easier Socialisation:

Most smartphones today have ready access to every social media platform out there. These platforms, that emerged as a popular way to connect with existing friends and make new ones, have made socialisation incredibly easier now that they are available on smartphones.

Not to forget, the access to social media platforms on smartphones, combined with other smartphone features like the camera, have enabled many of us to boost our influence on social media.

This particular feature has completely transformed the way social media marketing is done. Marketing with the help of micro-influencers is a popular and effective marketing strategy that is currently being employed by some of the most well known brands in the world.

The socialisation aspect is not limited to these social media platforms. These days, one can even find romantic interests online through one of the many dating apps that are now available.

Education:

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With the introduction of eLearning, learning new things has become a cakewalk. With the ability to pick up the phone and log into an online course at literally any hour of the day, it is now possible to learn the most complex as well as the most basic things at your own pace.

The eLearning courses can be accessed from any device from anywhere in the world which enhances the entire learning experience. A working student can quickly study in between office hours during breaks by just opening an elearning module in their phone.

Information:

Modern smartphones are being increasingly used to settle debates. Whenever there is a debate between friends, it can be settled by looking up authentic and verifiable information on the web.

With access to the web on our smartphones, we are practically carrying the entirety of human knowledge in our pockets. This information is easily accessible and readily available. The best part is, most of the information available on the web is absolutely free to access.

Entertainment:

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Smartphones are currently the biggest source of entertainment. You can read books on your smartphone, watch live sports and get access to news from anywhere across the globe. You can even spend time watching an episode of your favourite TV series while traveling to work.

With the introduction of interactive multiplayer games on smartphones, it has become a favourite way to unwind after a stressful day at work.

Smooth planning:

Smartphones have allowed us to save valuable time by providing options to organize important information. With the option to store and access important documents, it has become possible to stay on top of things without feeling stressed.

There is no mental energy or time wasted in maintaining a mental checklist of everything that you need to do in a day as you can just make a to-do list on your smartphone and carry it along with you. This has ultimately made it possible to be productive throughout the day.

Navigation:

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Most modern smartphones are GPS enabled with a map application pre-installed in them. Thanks to this, anyone that has a smartphone never has to get lost. Moreover, the need of asking for directions from complete strangers has diminished.

Thanks to modern smartphones, one can find their way even if they are in a place or city that they have never been to in the past. This is especially advantageous for those who routinely travel to different cities and countries for work and for vacations.

Conclusion:

Smartphones are undoubtedly a major asset as they bring us closer to our loved ones and store everything we can think of — from the contact numbers, to the images & videos, as well as reminders about important events. Not only do they make our lives more organized but also are big time-savers.

Life without smartphones is almost impossible to imagine for most of us. Which areas of your lives have smartphones made easier? How do you use them to your advantage? Tell us in the comment section below.

7 Study Tips and Tricks to Pass Exams without Studying

The best way to pass an exam is to sit down and study hard. However, sometimes life gets in the way. Students feel completely overwhelmed by stress and anxiety during the exam week, so they choose to procrastinate until the last minute. If that sounds all too familiar to you, then this article is for you!

We’re going to provide you with our top 7 study tips and tricks to pass your exams with minimal effort!

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Do not panic

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Okay, this one can be hard to pull off, especially before an important exam. Still, going panic-mode will only make things worse, so it’s important to find a way to calm yourself down. Drink a warm cup of tea, and stretch your muscles with some light exercise to keep anxiety at bay. You can also try giving yourself a pep talk, or go take a short walk outside. Whatever you do, remember that even if you end up failing, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll have a chance to fix your mistakes, and you’re probably not even going to remember the exam in a couple of years.

Overall, remember to keep your cool since it’s what’s crucial to passing your exams. Everyone has their own way of staying calm in a stressful situation, so make sure to find what works for you.

2. Time yourself

Determine how long you’ll spend on every question. Don’t take too much time thinking about it, but rather do a quick estimate. Try skipping those difficult questions and focus on things you recognize. Don’t try to copy other people’s answers, since you’ll just end up wasting time. While we’re on the topic of cheating, we advise you to stay away from it completely. Of course, if you’ve already decided you want to cheat, make sure to do it smartly. You can get your “cheating gear” on websites such as micro-casti.ro. Be careful not to get caught though, and leave it as your last resort.

All in all, do everything you can not to waste time while you’re taking your exam, and try to stay away from cheating if you can.

3. Read your notes

Let’s be realistic: learning the entire syllabus the night before an exam is next to impossible. Instead, take that little time you have left to read your notes. Focus on the most important topics, and try to find keywords that can help you remember what you’re reading. Don’t stress over learning every word you’ve written, just keep on reading until you feel like it’s time to go to sleep.

Make sure to reread those keywords before you head out to where your exam takes place. Again, remember not to stress over it too much, as your goal is to pass the exam, not to get an A.

4. Read the questions carefully

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Once you’re there make sure to read the questions carefully. You might recognize some of those keywords you’ve written! Skip through the difficult questions and try to answer the easier ones first. Listen to what the instructor is saying, and, above all, don’t panic! You’ll certainly be able to remember something from your lessons if you concentrate hard enough!

Look if there are any multiple-choice questions and try to answer them to the best of your ability. If you’re unsure of the right answer, choose C or B. They’re the most common answers on multiple-choice exams. Focus on the Cs and only choose B if you’re sure C isn’t the correct answer.

5. Take care of yourself before the exam

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While eating a healthy meal won’t magically make you pass an exam, it can certainly help! Your brain needs quality food and a lot of water to function! So, have a light, nutritious meal before you go to take the exam, and don’t forget to bring a water bottle with you!

Also, you’ll need at least 8 hours of sleep to be at your best. Even though you might feel like cramming is your only option, it’s everything but effective. Your brain needs time to digest the information, and it also needs to rest. So, staying up all night to study is a giant no-no!

6. Remember to review your answers when you’re done

Once you’re done with the exam, check whether there’s enough time to review your work. You might suddenly remember to add something, you never know! So even if you probably want to get it over with at that point, don’t forget to reread your work.

If there are some questions you skipped, use the extra time to reread them. If there are no penalty points for those questions, answer your first best guess. You don’t have anything to lose by trying your luck!

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself

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Hopefully, you’ll be able to pass the exam by using the tricks and tips provided in this article. However, if the worst happens, try not to dwell on it for too long. As we already mentioned, failing an exam is not the end of the world. You’ll be able to retry it, so start preparing right away! You’ll know what kinds of questions to expect, so it will be easier the next time you take it!

Of course, with a bit of luck, you might as well pass it. If you do, take it as a lesson to never leave everything for the last minute again. Just because you’ve had some luck the first time, it doesn’t mean it will work again. Besides, education is about gaining knowledge, not just passing exams, so studying is in your best interest.

The bottom line

Passing an exam without proper preparation might be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Read through the summaries in your textbooks, and don’t forget to take a look at your notes. Keep your calm and give your brain some time to rest. Pay attention to the clock, and don’t forget to review your work before you hand it in. You’ll need some luck and some deep concentrating, but you can succeed if you try hard enough.slee

At the end of the day, even if you fail the exam, don’t beat yourself up over it. Almost everyone experiences it at one point in their education, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure to prepare harder for the next exam, and everything will be all right.

How to Choose an Online Training Course for Professional Development

In a highly competitive business world, every person craves professional growth to climb the corporate ladder. Some people want to enjoy working in managerial roles, while others thrive for lucrative opportunities. Unfortunately, a college degree is not enough to achieve professional growth because you have to earn your way up there. Alongside exhibiting your expertise, it is imperative to advance your skill set and knowledge to keep up with the changing world. Are you wondering how?

Amid digital transformation, there are plenty of options to grow professionally. You can attend webinars, participate in industry conferences, enroll yourself in short courses, or join some training programs. It broadens your areas of expertise, expands your skill set, and boosts professional reputation. From educational training to fintech technology and cybersecurity courses – you are able to choose from a plethora of options. However, defining which choice is right for you can be tricky, but let us help you out.

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Here are some tips you have to consider while choosing an online training course for professional development.

1. Choose the Right Format

Technology is transforming the educational environment with e-learning opportunities. It is proving to be quite impactful since it makes education accessible to people of different age groups. Whether you are pursuing an intensive training program or short course – determine the format. Professional development classes follow various platforms to fit varying academic standards, personal schedules, and learning styles.

Some programs are highly regulated with preset class timings. Professors teach these programs through pre-recorded videos, and interactions are limited to only emails. Similarly, you can look out for online short courses as it follows a flexible approach, allowing you to learn at your own pace. You will also be able to attend classes online from the comfort of your home, which will still include proper participation and interaction.

In this format, you will listen to lectures and submit assignments online with feasibility. Hence, before delving into courses and training programs, figure out which design works the best for you.

2. Determine Your Goals

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Next up, you have to straighten out your expectations from a training course. Do you want to broaden your knowledge in a particular topic? Or do you want to specialize in a particular skill set? Some already have an idea about the topic they wish to study, but others prefer exploring their options. Before you start looking into a course, determine your professional career goals to ensure the training course aligns with it. If you see yourself as becoming a chief financial officer, taking courses relating to the latest financial innovations can help.

Or perhaps, you’re looking to pursue a career in nursing, which means you’ll probably want to check out some ACLS and PALS courses that will make you qualified for the position. You can check these out at Advanced Medical Certification and start your journey right away.

3. Select a Reputable Institute

These days, every educational institute is moving towards e-learning, and almost every college offers an online training program. However, it doesn’t mean you should settle for any institute. Once you are well-versed with your future ambitions, look for a school that can take you one step closer towards your goal.

Similarly, if you want to flourish as a finance manager, search for business schools offering courses on cybersecurity, gene-editing, or fintech.

4. Learning Styles & Technology

Fortunately, educational institutes are recognizing the importance of individual differences in learning. Thus, they are focusing on embedding Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. This gives equal opportunity to every student on the concept that every person learns differently. Therefore, when choosing an online course, make sure it is pertinent to your learning style. From audio, visuals and engagement to interactive conversations – the training course must accommodate different learning needs.

In addition to this, determine how technology is influencing the educational experience. If possible, take a demo class to assess video quality, graphics, and design, as this is the key to student retention. Likewise, see if the website and course materials are accessible on your device. Remember, competent programs offer captions and transcription reports for every online lecture to improve the student experience. Hence, keep an eye on these features before you call the shots.

5. Opportunities for Peer Interaction

Are group projects part of the course? Believe it or not, but professional development is incomplete without collaborative group work. Although e-learning has minimal peer interaction, group assignments can foster a sense of community. Alongside the course material, it will teach you how to network and build relationships with people from different backgrounds. A course with peer-interaction allows you to learn from like-minded peers and widens your horizons. Besides, you never know which virtual group activities bring out the leader inside you, opening doors to professional development.

6. Assess Learning Outcomes

Although you know what you want to achieve from training courses, it is time to consider what they have to offer. Start assessing the learning outcomes of the training courses to determine what skill sets you would learn. Go through the course description and see if the subject matter and practical application aligns with your goals. Likewise, it is crucial to assess the grading criterion. If the course material is highly technical, it should be using self-check quizzes such as a formative assessment, as this puts more focus on learning and practical implementation and not just the results.

7. Narrow Down Your Choices & Start Learning!

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Amongst hundreds of courses, now it is time to start shortlisting a few. Since you are familiar with what the courses cover, check your schedule and see how many you can manage at a time. Nevertheless, don’t overburden yourself by taking numerous training courses altogether because you can always add them to your wish list. As per the eLearning industry, for every $1500 an employer spends on training, they achieve a 24% increase in profit margins.

Most importantly, don’t forget to consider the cost of online courses to see if it fits within your budget. If the program seems expensive, consider saving up as this is an investment in your professional development journey.

To Conclude

These days there are infinite distant learning opportunities. Stay at-home parents are getting higher degrees, while professionals are pursuing short courses for career development. It diversifies their skill set, enhances knowledge, and builds expertise. Therefore, it is vital to do your research before you start a program. After all, these are an investment of your time and money.

How Initiating Students Into Academic Discourse Communities Helps Improve Their Academic Performance

Every student’s journey through their academic education is a meaningful act of independence and self-learning. University requires students to have a strong sense of motivation and dedication to their learning and academic growth. That being said, college is also an opportunity to connect with others and benefit from the value of the community.

Among the many types of circles that form among university students, such as clubs and fraternities, are discourse communities. Broadly speaking, they’re groups of impassioned people who form together under a shared interest and use communication as their primary tool of operation. Curious students can read essays and articles that delve into the world of discourse communities over at Gradesfixer.com to improve their knowledge and save time on research on this topic. These groups of motivated individuals get together to hold academic discussions that help students wrap their heads around new topics, write essays, and prepare for exams.

While there are indeed both pros and cons of being involved in a discourse community at school, these circles can certainly offer students a wide variety of benefits that extend across the entirety of their education. From helping students to grapple with difficult concepts to guide them through the essay writing process, these are just some of the skills a student can expect to encounter within an academic discourse group.

Organization

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As discourse groups are built on the desire to use communication in order to apprehend a given topic, their formation requires all their members to engage with a certain degree of organization. Understanding the particular topic of interest and then finding others who wish to discuss the same matter teaches an important kind of collective organization.

Discourse communities choose a communication method to discuss with one another and arrive at a consensus. They must also then choose a method of presentation for displaying their message to the outside world. These acts of a collective organization most often lead students to also improve their organization skills when it comes to a personal academic assignment, such as writing an essay.

Discourse expertise

While tight-knit groups such as those that form in academia can sometimes be derided for their use of jargon, discourse expertise is a valuable skill that students can garner from initiating discourse communities. Getting to grips with the particular terminology and debates that exist within a discourse can offer a real advantage when it comes to doing an academic reading and engaging in discussions with experts in a subject.

Communication

The whole basis of a discourse community is to employ conscious discourse as a way of achieving a set of goals, and so it goes without saying that within them, students stand to gain a lot in the area of communication skills. The kind of communication that exists within discourse communities depends on the set of shared goals that the group possesses and their particular discipline or field of interest.

This means that different academic discourse examples can offer the opportunity to develop entirely different sets of interpersonal skills. A group focused on politics may place a heavy emphasis on debating skills, whereas more scientific discussions may foreground logic and systems creation. Either way, learning how to make a point in a way that is clear to understand will help both in academia, dealing with another student or teacher, as well as everyday life beyond the campus!

Peer circles

Discourse communities are exactly what they’re called: communities. The fact that these circles connect people who share a common passion and goal makes a discourse community such a powerful tool for building social relationships and academic ones. Making these kinds of connections on campus can really help with the workload of education. These circles can be great places to find a possible tutor, peer reviewer, or potential collaborator. Learning from and working with others is crucial to strong academic performance, and discourse communities offer just that!

International Students

Clearly, discourse communities help children and older students improve their communicative skills and make up for their weaknesses by delegating certain tasks to other participants in the group. Engaging in discourse communities is especially important for international students as they often score lower grades on tests and writing assignments because of their language skills and cultural competence.

Discourse communities offer international students a chance to integrate into a totally different cultural environment. For those who are more introverted, this kind of activity won’t allow them to hide in their shell. Consequently, their academic performance will improve for a little bit even without much effort from their side.

As for the downsides

While organizing any kind of activity in schools, proper preparation and constant control are crucial to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the given activities. The participants of any discourse community are subjected to changes and it is vital that the teacher monitors the performance of every student in the group. As it was mentioned before discourse communities help reveal strengths and weaknesses of the students, thus, to ensure their efficiency students should not focus on performing easier tasks only. Once the strength is defined and one of the tasks is successfully completed, the student should move on and increase the difficulty of assignments.

Apart from that, the psychological aspect of a discourse community forming and student bonding is the issue at question. It is necessary to take into consideration peculiarities of each student to ensure proper atmosphere and relationships inside the community. Discourse communities prioritize motivating students to study and facilitating assignments for them through support and communication. Thus, miscommunication or any other issues within such a close-knit group can lead to a serious step back for any successful student.

While any closed, tight-knit group can come with its downsides, these examples are just a handful of the ways in which initiating students into academic discourse communities can offer a whole host of valuable academic skills. Getting involved in one is an opportunity to make your voice heard and boost your academic performance!

7 Tips to Keep Your Wealth and Assets Safe

If you have worked hard to reach your financial goals and you’re finally living the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, it can be scary to consider the prospect that it could all be taken away.

Don’t lose sleep at night wondering if the money you’ve worked so hard to accrue will be yours as long as you need it! There are ways to protect your wealth and assets, so even in unforeseen circumstances or an emergency, you won’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to earn. It would be advisable to consult legal financial services such as Caple Royalty to address your concern.

Know When to Hire the Right Attorney

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It is extremely important to know when to hire the right attorney. Dealing with legal issues can get expensive fast, so making sure you have the right person on your team can go a long way towards protecting your wealth.

For example, If you’re injured in an accident, much of your money could go down the drain on medical costs. Hiring an attorney is important, but you have to make sure you hire the right one. According to Attorney Brian White, “Since most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, you may end up receiving less money if you hire a mediocre or inexperienced attorney.”

Going through a divorce? Even if it’s relatively civil, you should still hire an attorney. Struggling with a business partnership? An attorney can help you find a resolution that doesn’t require you to pay more than you should. When in doubt, schedule a consultation to see how an attorney can work to protect you and your assets.

Plan Your Estate and Keep It up-to-Date

When you think of estate planning, you probably think about what is going to happen to your money and your assets after you pass. This is an extremely important thing to think about. Proper planning can prevent family squabbles and issues, but it’s not the only kind of plan you should have.

If you have multiple assets and multiple streams of income, it is extremely important to plan how they will be used throughout your lifetime. For example, a trust might be used to pay for a child’s education, while earnings from stocks may be used to pay certain bills.

Make sure you revisit your strategy often. This ensures that you’re keeping money in high-yield accounts and you’re covering all of your costs without any shortfalls.

Hire a Financial Advisor You Trust

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For those with wealth and multiple assets, hiring a financial advisor is a no-brainer. They can provide you with services that include:

  • Guidance on developing an investment strategy
  • Asset allocation
  • Minimizing taxes
  • Rebalancing a portfolio
  • How to time retirement account withdrawals

They can also provide you with support when making decisions that make you feel uncomfortable. An advisor can keep your fears and emotions in check, which is extremely important when making decisions that will affect your assets, your income, or your portfolio.

Don’t Put Primary Assets in Your Name

There are many reasons to start a trust. It can allow your family to avoid probate when you pass, it’s a great way to pay for a child’s education, and it can be a great way to support a charity that you feel passionate about.

It can also protect your assets while you’re alive. For example, putting a sizeable investment in a trust with your children as beneficiaries can keep you from losing the money if you’re sued. You can also hold other things, like an expensive car, in a trust in order to keep your name out of public records.

It’s also important to separate personal and professional assets. That way, if you’re ever sued professionally, they can’t come after your personal assets, and vice versa.

Diversify

A lot of people talk about diversification, but it can be more tempting to put all of your eggs in one basket. When the possible returns seem massive, you may want to go all-in, but a more restrained approach is always the best approach.

Diversification means utilizing a variety of investments to get the biggest return on your money, but it also means diversifying other aspects of your wealth. For example, having a financial advisor is important, but you may want to add a stock broker to your team. You may want to have traditional accounts in the United States, but you may also want to consider trying an offshore account. Diversifying in a variety of ways can help you best protect your wealth.

Don’t Rely Upon Homestead Exemptions or Bankruptcy

It’s surprisingly easy to get reckless with your money, even if it doesn’t seem reckless at the time. That’s because declaring bankruptcy often meant that you could clear away your debts while keeping many of your assets. At least, that’s what it used to mean. Those declaring bankruptcy today aren’t so lucky.

Today, homestead exemptions are limited and changes to the bankruptcy code mean you’ll end up losing a lot more of your assets than in the past. Not to mention, it leaves the future of your wealth in the hands of a bankruptcy judge, which means you aren’t going to fare so well.

Don’t Be Overly Flashy

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Protecting your assets and wealth often involves complicated legal documents and in-depth strategizing, but it also includes common sense. You’re just as at risk of theft as you are of suffering a bad day at the stock market.

Don’t be overly flashy with your wealth. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy that boat or the Ferrari that you’ve always wanted, but it does mean that you should keep pictures off of social media. It’s also a good idea not to bring up your purchases or your wealth with the wrong crowd. Even family can get greedy and do something rash to affect your wealth and assets in a negative way.

Just because your money is sitting in a high-yield savings account doesn’t mean it’s safe. From houses to cars to cash, there are many things you should be doing to keep your wealth right where it is so you can enjoy it for a lifetime.

The 10 Things Holding Your HR Department Back

HR departments are responsible for hiring and maintaining the best possible workforce, but if your department isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to chaos. With an inefficient or ineffective HR department, you’ll have trouble hiring the right candidates, your employee retention rates could suffer, and in a worst-case scenario, you might face a higher likelihood of an employee lawsuit.

So what are the factors that typically hold HR departments back? And what steps can you take to improve it?

What’s Holding Your HR Department Back?

Source:hrtechnologist.com

Let’s take a look at some of the most common factors holding HR departments back from performing their best:

  1. Access to HR analytics. According to datapine, workforce analytics are one of the most crucial elements of any successful HR department. With HR-related analytics, you’ll be able to quantitatively analyze your performance. You’ll be able to see if your employee retention rate drops, or if you’re taking too long to hire new candidates. You’ll be able to measure things like employee morale and engagement, and take action proactively whenever you see these metrics start to drop. Unfortunately, if you’re not measuring the right things, or if you’re not using the right HR dashboard, you won’t have access to these data, and you won’t be able to make the best decisions for your company. Correct this by investing in more reliable, easier-to-use HR analytics tools.
  2. Poor leadership. Your department might also be suffering from poor leadership, whether that’s because you don’t have a leader overseeing it, or because your existing leader isn’t doing the best job. Good HR leaders set the tone for the entire department; they’re willing to set goals and work with individuals on their team, and are constantly setting and refining expectations. With a strong leader in place, any HR department will stand a much better chance of accomplishing their group goals.
Source:information-age.com
  1. Lack of manpower or resources. It’s also possible that your HR department is unable to do the best job because of a lack of manpower or resources. If you only have a handful of people working in it, and a workload that’s oppressively large, your team will obviously be unable to work efficiently. You could also suffer from a lack of access to the right tools. Hiring part-time workers or contractors can help you alleviate at least some of this burden.
  2. Lack of documentation. To be effective, HR departments need to have consistent documentation. They need to document practically every interaction they have with employees, including hiring and onboarding as well as individual meetings throughout the duration of their employment as well as exit interviews. This documentation is vital for resolving disputes (especially legal matters), and it also provides evidence that can be used to review previous actions and decisions. If it isn’t actively documenting everything, you have a problem.
  3. Lack of consistency. They should also operate as consistently as possible. They should be applying the same rules and the same forms of discipline to every member of the organization, and should be hiring and onboarding people in repeatable, consistent ways. This level of consistency helps ensure everyone is treated fairly. It’s also a great way to gauge which systems and processes need to be improved.
  4. No employee empowerment. Employees should be able to rely on HR departments for resolving tough conflicts or answering hard questions, but they should also be self-sufficient for easy questions and low-hanging fruit. They are therefore more efficient and more responsible when they encourage this employee empowerment; provide employees with training and education, and give them employee handbooks (or other types of documents) that can answer their questions immediately.
  5. Rushed hires. One of the biggest mistakes made by HR departments is rushing to hire people as quickly as possible. Obviously, open positions should be filled as quickly as possible; each day the position is unfilled is lost efficiency for the business. However, it’s also a bad idea to fill the position just for the sake of filling the position. While your HR department should feel some pressure to work quickly, it should also prioritize hiring the right candidate for every position—even if it means waiting a bit longer to get the position filled.
  6. Minimal onboarding and training. Choosing the right candidate is only part of the process, of course. HR departments can also operate more effectively and build a better workforce by providing new hires with proper onboarding and training. Too many of them completely neglect this phase of the process, bringing new employees into the workforce and simply assuming they’re going to find a way to make it work. It’s much better to guide new hires through their first few days and weeks, empowering them to give their best performance.
  7. Ineffective goals. Does your HR department have goals? If not, or if those goals are somehow ineffective, it could compromise the performance of the entire department. These goals should exist at both the collective and individual level; for example, the entire department should be working together to improve their collaborative efficiency, while each member has individual objectives to try and achieve in their own work.
  8. No feedback loop. HR departments can’t perform their best unless there’s some kind of feedback loop in place. The employees should be willing to speak up about inefficiencies they see or processes that can be improved. Your leaders and supervisors should be talking to employees about ways they can improve their work. Your other employees should have a chance to talk openly about their experience with recruiting, onboarding, and training. Only through feedback can you learn which areas need to be improved.
Source:careerbright.com

Improving an HR Department

Improving an entire department in your organization can be a lot of work, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. Take it one step at a time, making investments and upgrades wherever you can and letting the department evolve gradually. One of the best steps you can take is installing a competent, passionate leader within the department; under their guidance and direction, you can incorporate more changes at a faster rate (and with a higher success rate).

7 Challenges Faced by Students During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has created a plethora of challenges for people worldwide, but a major victim of the lockdowns are the students and learners at all levels. As of March 28, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is reported to be causing more than 1.6 billion children and youth to be out of school in 161 countries. This is close to 80% of the world’s enrolled students. Here, in this article, we discuss 7 challenges being faced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Time and Workload Management

Source:udemy.com

Everyone has to agree to this. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, schedule management and timing of activities has become the task of students themselves. With the introduction of self-paced programs, the onus is now on the student to plan out his/her study and leisure time. Such a plan may be possible for self-motivated individuals, but for those who need regular nudging from parents, it has created a huge problem of procrastination and ignorance.

2. Access to Information and Communication Equipment

Modern day learning is highly reliant on information and communication technology hardware. Such needs of a personal device have created a huge problem for households having shared devices. Moreover, due to the lockdown, even purchasing new equipment has become an uphill task. This results in the online model of education being non-democratic, thus exacerbating inequality. It makes education the sole right of the ‘haves’ over the ‘have nots’. Online education becomes inaccessible to the masses in developing countries, making education an unlevelled playing field. While the rich countries are able to cope up well, the conditions in undeveloped and underdeveloped nations are of mixed type.

Align with this, high-speed internet is still not available even in the most developed parts of the world, leave alone developing nations. With the advent of classes on Zoom, Skype, Teams, Webex etc. high-speed internet is a must for video conferencing. For the rural or developing world which is dependent mostly on mobile data, lack of connectivity has resulted in access to poor quality of videos.

3. Resource Overload Curse

That exists for real. What might seem as a ‘resource’ could simply lead some for more confusion. Although the internet has lots of content which might seem a boon for an avid learner, but with every resource in excess, comes a resource curse – the wastage. Knowledge never goes waste, time does. A quick glance through a book or a classroom lecture on a topic, say, the American War of Independence for a Class 8th student would give him sufficient details for his exam preparation. However, a Google search for the same will flood him with truckloads of information which he may not be able to digest. Instead, he ends up spending too much time on a topic, researching and reading about it beyond the scope of syllabus, thus, compromising on other topics that are part of his curriculum.

With online learning comes the complex world of social media, advertisements, marketing, e-commerce and all the distractions associated with them. A student can easily get distracted. So, a student reading a Wiki page may suddenly wander onto Facebook or Instagram. Such distractions can be detrimental for learning and can result in wastage of time and energy.

4. Lack of Interest Due to Non-Engaging Content

This is one factor that deeply impacts students. Being virtually present in an online classroom and being physically present in the traditional classroom has its own differences. A teacher can engage a student much more effectively in a traditional classroom. Whereas, in an online classroom, the student might lack interaction and attention from the teacher. Online classrooms become more of a monologue, with the content not meeting the needs of the students requiring more engaging and insightful study. Individual’s problems and their understanding can be catered to in a more holistic way through an offline model.
Testbook, an India based ed-tech startup, recently came up with a new concept of ‘live coaching’ in both web and mobile application formats. This concept ensures that a student gets a personal coach to interact with, gain conceptual clarity, solve doubts and to stay motivated and engaged.

5. Lack of Assessments Leading to Poor Learning Outcomes

No education is complete without tests and assessments. Online learning may lack a transparent, competitive and fair means of testing and assessment. The model more often depends on the integrity of students for their tests and assignments.

6. Online vs Traditional Model Debate

Source:myeducorner.com

Technology has wrapped itself all around our lives. But for online education vs. traditional ways of learning, technology boon is still a topic of debate. For a student taking online classes at home, he’d surely have a hold on abundant study material from all over the Internet. But, at the same time, the student misses on interaction with other students and does not receive direct attention from the teacher. Motivation is a major factor at play in online learning.

7. Dommed Dreams of Abroad Education

Source:globalnexus.com.au

Due to lockdown, many international universities have imposed restrictions on having students at their campus. All the enrolled students are completing their courses online. Many universities are not providing new admissions to international students. This has raised serious concerns amongst abroad-education aspirants in terms of ROI, placements and their future on the whole. Also, there is a big doubt on how effective an online course would be as compared to a fulltime on campus course. Such dilemmas are stressing out students.

The challenges faced by students in the COVID-19 crisis must be taken as an opportunity to upgrade the current education system. Bridging the gap between monotonous non-interactive, e-learning experiences and regular classroom experience, is the need of the hour in order to ensure effective and quality education digitally. Proper training must be provided to the teachers so that they are skilled enough to use the digital teaching tools efficiently and deliver high quality content. Alongside this, the digital infrastructure must be upgraded to accommodate online learning.

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