Regrets, I Have A Few

Regrets, I Have A Few

What regrets do you have? I have quite a few. I know regretting things you have done or more importantly not done in your past is completely counterproductive but I can’t help thinking about them sometimes.

I love those movies where the protagonist says that they don’t have any regrets because everything they’ve done has brought them to that particular moment (or to the love of their life) or made them the person they are today.

That’s not me. I am happy with where I am in my life and feel very lucky to be here but I certainly have regrets; big ones, little ones, short ones, very long ones, trivial ones and life changing ones…basically many many regrets.

Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
8 Simple Rules For Engaging with Students For Better Results

8 Simple Rules For Engaging with Students For Better Results

I have recently worked with students who are getting ready for their high school equivalency exam, so we were practicing tests and many students were struggling. I was afraid that they would get demotivated and give up the course like they dropped out of high school.

So I wanted to engage them and it worked. I need to say that I found one small website that helps me get them engaged in learning again. They use a lot of new technology and this keeps students on the site. I don’t say it is the best, but a website with online prep like this one can work for you too.

So here are my tips for you on how to engage students for better results:

1) Ask Questions
Opinions are like noses, everybody’s got one.
Give people a reason to share their opinions by asking them questions during the course. Don’t just broadcast your announcements. Make it a two-way conversation.

2) Pick A Side
Most rational people are capable of seeing both sides of an argument. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people stop being rational. The trick is to have a strong opinion and be able to stick to your guns, debating your subject without degenerating into the tit for tat name calling and flame wars that so many trolls live for. There are some hugely Outspoken People out there who have turned their talent for this into a veritable art form and you can learn a lot from observing how they handle themselves.
Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit and Alternative Medicine

Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit and Alternative Medicine

…we need to focus on the quality of scientific studies. And where scientific studies don’t exist, we should insist they be performed. Dr. Paul Offit M.D., Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.

I start this book review by saying I have used some sort of supplement through most phases of my adult life. Not a doctor prescribed medication, but instead things I assumed were inherently good.

In high school, I ate diet pills. It was pretty common amongst my peers, and I got them from my mother who was also a compulsive dieter, so I figured they were ok.

I’ve supplemented with caffeine pills, multivitamins, protein powder, any sort of B vitamin I could get my hands on, airborne, green tea, jack3d, amino acids, redmond clay, fish oil. I’ve had acupuncture and acupressure and massages to help in areas that home solutions simply didn’t help.

I’ve turned to holistic remedies to fix minor ailments – cooking myself in a bathtub full of Epsom salts, gargling salt water, dosing with excessive Vitamin C, Vick’s Vapor rubbing my whole body.

Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
Two Writers on Writing: J.K. Rowling vs Elizebeth Gilbert

Two Writers on Writing: J.K. Rowling vs Elizebeth Gilbert

I love reading blogs written by writers who are writing about writing. I said it like that because not all writers write about their own writing. They write about other people’s stuff. I don’t care what they’re writing about, if the title interests me and I spot it, I’ll generally pop over to read it. I don’t always leave comments; I’m a little shy about leaving comments…not much mind you, but just a little.

A couple of the blogs I’ve read this week led me to videos.

One was a commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter Books. I’ve never read them so I have no opinion of them other than to say that lots of people of all ages seem to like them…hence the movies; which I also haven’t seen except in trailers and bits. She gave a lovely speech and I didn’t save the address because at the end I got booted out and had a virus to deal with. But I got to see and hear most of the speech and this is a part that I remember:

“By every usual standard I was the biggest failure that I knew…Failure meant the stripping away of the unessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else I might never have found the determination to succeed in the arena where I believed I truly belonged.

I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized. I was still alive. And I still had a daughter whom I adored. And I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life…It is impossible to live without failure unless you live a life so cautiously that you may as well never have lived at all.” Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
Pillars of Marketing

Pillars of Marketing

All Marketing and Promotion on the web is built on one of three pillars: Special Interests, Insider Interests and Trading Goods. These pillars are the foundation of any great marketing campaign on the web. In this article, we’ll cover the meaning of each pillar and how to use each to get more traffic.

Special Interests

Connections, Click, Strings, Family, School. These are all words that come to mind when thinking of special interests. Special Interests are (for the most part) free and easys way to push large amounts of traffic to your blog, regardless of how good that content is.

The key is to realize and leverage all the resources you have into new content for your established reader base.
You can read more on this subject in Grab Your Opportunity.

Become An Insider

Unless your blogging in an open range with no competitors (in which case there could be non-blog competitors), there is usually a pecking order of some kind.

You start in on the bottom floor, hoping to work your way up the ladder of prestige. You can’t expect to get great press and links from the top blogs right away. You need to work yourself up the ladder using each friend you build along the way to boost traffic and reputation.

Your job is to find friends, build trust, and help each other to achieve each others goals. Once you’re establish a good friendship, you’ll be reading each others blog, linking to each articles.

Trade Goods

In a perfect society, this pillar would be the only pillar of marketing, but it is simply not the case. We are constantly bombarded with special interests instead of trade goods and that is a result of media control. What does trade goods mean?

You provide a service whether that be a great article or funny video or even money, and based on informational value, funniness or even dollar worth is what you receive in return.

The good you trade must be great, because you are at the mercy of others who are pushing their own special interests.
I would say the toughest pillar to work from is Trade Goods, but clearly it is tough also to have connections and resources.

By working under the two latter pillars, you can start to create your own resources and you become the best promotion tool in your arsenal.

So how can You use these three pillars for your blog?
Take a hard look at the resources you have, and try to find ways to use to traffic you already have and divert them to other articles, sites and projects. Besides building a more compelling argument as to why your site is a resource people need, you will drive people to more media.

Befriend bloggers and figure out ways to promote each others brands and share visitors. Lastly, try to convince other media providers in your subject area why the content you offer is so good and why they should link and talk about you.

The Blog Beat will have more on these three pillars to come in later articles.

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

5 tips to make students feel comfortable

It used to be called Junior High School. Sometimes, intermediate school. Most likely, your child will begin in sixth grade. Having taught middle school for twelve years, and being in charge of our school’s articulation process with our “feeder” elementary schools, I’ve come up with five tips that may be of some use to prospective middle school parents.

1. Excite your child with the idea he or she will have more than one teacher! He or she may have five or six. This can be “spun” to be a very exciting prospect. “Just think,” you might say, “if you don’t like your teacher, you will only be there for an hour out of the day.” Of course, we hope every teacher is likable, but the idea of switching classes should be presented as fun and mysterious (at first).

Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
How to Survive a Layoff. Top Tips

How to Survive a Layoff. Top Tips

I have been through layoffs and it sucks.  There’s no other way to describe it, but there are things that can be done to make it a little easier.  Please accept my condolences on your loss.  You have now entered a survival situation and must reorganize your priorities.

It happens to everyone, at least once in their adult life.  Something happens, and your finances end up out of control.  This could be something as major as the death of an income earner or divorce, or as minor as just being a day or two late on a credit card or utility payment.  T

he end result is usually a lot of harassing phone calls, mounting debt, and a loss of hope.  The aim of this hub is to help get you on the road to retiring your debt.

This is not a sales pitch, or a recommendation of any company or program. This is an adaptation of my story, made generic for everyone’s benefit.

We had simply been a few days late on a single payment on one of the credit cards, and the next month we discovered that the interest rate had shifted to the default rate on all of our cards.  In some cases this was over 30%.

This is known as ‘universal default’.  This, coupled with the new law doubling of the minimum payment (so you can pay it off faster) sent the monthly minimums through the roof.  We could not afford to pay the cards and feed our kids, so we fed the kids and let the card payments slide.

Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
Nothing wrong with being different!

Nothing wrong with being different!

From birth to death, in so many places — at school, at work, in the street — we’re told that to be different is wrong. It’s no surprise, then, that many of us are afraid to be different when it comes to writing web content. Most fall into one of two approaches when undertaking the difficult task of picking a niche.

1. A-List by numbers. This usually involves picking a member of the web content A-list and trying to provide the same content for the same people.

2. Difference is impossible. When you’re creating web content on topics no-one else is writing on then it’s impossible to be different, because there’s nothing to differentiate yourself from!

In this post I want to outline the pitfalls of both approaches and describe two approaches to picking a niche I see as being most likely to lead to success. Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
How to be proactive to reach your goals

How to be proactive to reach your goals

I doubt there are any dedicated bloggers, webmasters, or web 2.0 users who feel they have enough time to do everything they want to do online.

The recent proliferation of lifehacks and productivity tips reflect this. It’s a reaction to a climate where web users have more tasks and less time than ever before.

These tasks can be divided into two types: proactive and reactive.

Proactive tasks involve action that originates from you. Reactive tasks are actions in response to the actions of another.

In this post, I’m going to discuss why web 2.0 marks the ascendancy of reactive tasks, how this is damaging our productivity, and what we can do about it.

The proliferation of reactive tasks

My School of Thought:  Reactive tasks are actions from others which encourage a response. In the pre-Web 2.0 world reactive online tasks would have revolved around four spheres: email, Instant Messenger, blog comments and forums.

Enter Web 2.0 and the proliferation of reactive tasks begins.

Social networks provide a constant stream of messages, comments, blog posts, bulletins, ‘gifts’, status changes, invitations, and so on.

Networks like Digg and StumbleUpon arrive with ‘friends’ and ‘fans’, messages, reviews, ratings, and more. Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu
Makes them feel better

Makes them feel better

Readers love content which makes them better, and each piece of advice writing aims to contribute to that betterment in some way. What I want to ask is: what would happen if we reversed the process? What if we fast-forwarded to the point of perfection and worked backwards, drawing out each element that helped make a perfect whole?

The superhero is your niche’s ideal of perfection, and it should, as I’m going to argue, be the starting point of all your advice writing endeavors. Let me take a moment to explain what I mean by this.

Building them up

In any profession, in any hobby, in any sphere at all, it’s possible to imagine a person who has achieved perfection in that niche. Such a person — our superhero — would tick all the boxes in seven key areas.

  • Most skilled
  • Most knowledgeable
  • Most productive
  • Most efficient
  • Most innovative
  • Most organized
  • Most successful

Breaking them down

Continue reading →

Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu, 1 comment