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  • Geebo 8:10 am on August 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: education, ,   

    Should schools take students’ phones? 

    Should schools take students' phones?

    It seems that kids are getting their own phones at younger and younger ages. While smartphones can be a very useful tool for school-age children, they can also be a large distraction while in class. School faculties have struggled with the debate over whether or not their students should have access to their phones while school is in session. While one may think that students without their phones would be less distracted, there’s no conclusive evidence to show that taking away their phones improves grades. However, one school in California is taking an unusual approach to the students and phones problem.

    San Mateo High School in Northern California has required students to keep their phones in a magnetically sealed bag. The students keep the bags on them during school hours but they do not have access to their phones until school is over. At that point, the school opens the bags for students with a device that looks similar to an anti-shoplifting device you might see at a store checkout. Some students have complained that the school does not unlock their phones during lunch but that sounds more like a logistical issue than one of admonishment. San Mateo High is not the first school to use these devices.

    There appears to be at least one drawback to this program and that is one of student safety. Sadly, our schools have become targets of violence and threats. While the odds of a violent attack happening at any particular school is low, it is, unfortunately, a real possibility these days. If an attack were to happen and students would need to contact law enforcement or family would there be a way to release the bags during an emergency? While this is a worst-case scenario, it seems like this is a concern that needs to be addressed by schools using the device.

  • Geebo 10:10 am on December 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Betsy DeVos, education, for-profit schools   

    For-profit college closes leaving students in debt without degrees 

    While we won’t mention any of the institutions by name, we’ve all seen the advertisements by for-profit colleges on TV. They all seem to make grandiose of promises of a better future with an almost guaranteed promise of employment once you graduate. Some even promise laptops or tablets just for being admitted to the school.  Since many of these schools are only in the business of making money once could assume that they probably don’t reject many applicants. They’re also seen as predatory as they mostly target low-income students and veterans while costing at least four times more than a community college which tends to have better education programs.

    These for-profit schools are largely funded by federal student loans which the majority of students end up defaulting in without ever getting a degree. One such college chain known as the Education Corporation of America just went bankrupt leaving 20,000 students without degrees and college credits that can’t be transferred to most other schools. Another problem with schools like this is that they’re accredited by agencies that are themselves for-profit agencies.

    During the Obama Administration, a number of these accreditation agencies had their credentials revoked but had them reinstated by current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. If that seems oddly familiar to you it’s because it’s exactly what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did with net neutrality, putting the power and profit back in the hands of the telecoms. While we’re not against any company making a profit we are opposed to profits being made at the expense of the less fortunate and the current administration seems to be all about making profits for their pet industries by any means necessary.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , education, financial aid,   

    College students need an education about these scams 

    College students need an education about these scams

    The beginning of the school year for most college students is fast approaching. With that comes a number of concerns not just for returning students, but especially for those heading to college for the first time. As with any life changing moment, there are unfortunately a great number of scammers looking to take students for a financial ride.

    A number of these scams are variations on scams we’ve touched on before. For example, if a student is looking for an off campus place to live and a prospective landlord asks for money in advance without letting them see the property, then it’s obviously a scam. Along the same lines, if a student has placed an online ad looking for a roommate and receives a check for an amount larger than they requested, the check is obviously fake and cashing it could overdraw your own bank account. Other scams are targeted directly at students, like an offer for financial assistance or employment, where money is asked for up front for things like processing fees or background checks. As with most scams, if something doesn’t feel right, or feels too good to be true, it’s better to walk away from it than taking a chance with your finances.

    There are also some things that may not be scams that still look to take advantage of students such as credit card offers. While the offer for a credit card may be legitimate, the card may carry a high interest rate. Another great tip for students is to keep their identification and bank cards secure at all times as dorm rooms can be high traffic areas for identity thieves.

    Hopefully this knowledge will go a long way in helping college students have a less stressful school year.

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