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Monday, January 23, 2017

Personalized learning: should you go for it?

Personalized learning: Should you go for it?

Guest post by Justin Goh (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Personalization is always a good thing because you are customizing something in your favor which can benefit you immensely. The same thing is applicable in the field of education.

Personalized learning is a form of education where efforts are made to tailor education for students to meet their needs accordingly.

The biggest benefit of personalized learning is that it can get itself connected to the learner by adjusting its approach, goals and pace accordingly. It does that effectively by taking several criteria of the learner into account such as his/her interests, experience etc. Personalized learning is usually facilitated through means of technology thereby, making it more convenient and cost effective at the same time.

So why should you go for personalized learning? We’ll come to that in this article.
personalized learning word tags

Why personalized learning?

Personalized learning has 3 significant benefits:
  • It’s “learner focused.” Meaning it will take into account the comprehensibility, strengths as well as interests of each and every learner individually. This benefit itself makes personalized learning a standout among the crowd.
  • The learner will be able to progress at his/her own pace on basis of his/her competency.
  • Personalized learning can adjust itself dynamically to the goals, curiosity and skills of the learner. It allows the learner to take complete ownership of the lessons; thereby, increasing his/her sense of responsibility.

What are the factors considered by a personalized learning system before its practical implementation?

Like it’s said above, personalized learning’s primarily implemented to ease or facilitate the academic success of each and every student individually.

Certain things are taken into consideration such as:
  • The learning needs of the student,
  • The aspirations of the student,
  • The interests of the student.
After considering all these things mentioned above, the learning platform is customized to meet the individual learning needs of the student.

What has made personalized learning so popular?

The implementation of advanced technology in these platforms has made it pretty popular among students.

E-learning has also played a major role in making it so popular among the masses. A host of educational apps and games also make the task of personalization convenient and fun among the students, if they are used in the right way under appropriate guidance.

How can you implement personalized learning in classrooms?

Schools can implement a number of tactics to inculcate the use of personalized learning in classes. Even tutors can follow this tactic in their respective teaching areas. Some of these tactics might be difficult to implement, but the results of implementation will definitely be positive in the best possible manner.

Let’s go through the ways without further ado.
  • Reconfiguring the structure of education in classes such that the entire class of students is grouped into small groups with a teacher who knows the handful number of students in the group fairly well; meaning that the teacher should know their academic strengths, weaknesses and interests. It is basically a type of “school-within-school” approach. Activities based on theme become the key learning techniques in this case.
  • Differentiated learning should be introduced.
  • Students should be given the freedom to maintain their personal learning plans on basis of needs and interests. Such learning plans might not relate to the curriculum but from the point of view of personalized learning, it’s definitely going to benefit them in the long run.
  • Various alternative learning approaches can be introduced such as:
    1. Project-based learning,
    2. Blended learning,
    3. Authentic learning,
    4. Community-based learning.
  • Always remember this fact that students play the main role in “personalized learning.” They have the right to express their individual opinions. They should be given the freedom of choice in this respect.

What are the positive results of personalized learning in classes?

According to the Gates Foundation, it’s found out that implementation of personalized learning has a host of positive impacts on students such as:
  • Improved performance in reading and mathematics.
  • Greater success possibilities.
  • Greater comprehensibility.

What are the major tools utilized in personalized learning to make it a success among the students?

It was already mentioned before that the key role is played by technology in making personalized learning a grand success among the masses. The major tools used are:
  1. Multimedia: Certain technical tools are capable of making learning more engaging and more fun. They provide students with hands-on lessons that are more effective and gratifying at the same time. These are considered to be miles better than those traditional abstract forms of education where students failed to connect themselves to the subject matter. There tools range from games, animations, video clippings to virtual interactive whiteboards and other similar things.
  2. Educational apps: Several educational apps on the app stores are available these days that bring a unique personalized touch to lessons. These apps can be downloaded free of any charge wherever, whenever you want.
  3. Palpable puzzles and games: A simple pen and paper game can also serve this purpose effectively. These games can range from board games (e.g. Monopoly) to pen and paper games (e.g. Aggression, Sink that Ship) and to card games (e.g. Set). The Rubik’s Cube is another brilliant example.
So what do you think? Should you go for it? If you get the option, you should go for it with your eyes closed. That’s all for now folks. Hope you had a good read.

Justin Goh
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.


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Monday, January 16, 2017

How to sell textbooks online

How to sell used textbooks online

by Sanjay (Share your useful tips with 50,000+ students in Malaysia!)

We end up storing our text books in big heaps and forget about them after it. Most of us have purchased tons of text books in the past years of school and college. This article will tell you how to sell textbooks online and make money out of it.

If we do the maths right, we buy at least 200 books before getting through with our education. Some of these books:
  • Get transferred to our peers. 
  • Are stored in the garage. 
  • Are sold off for very cheap prices based on their weight.
  • Get lost.
People love to read biographies, short stories in the form of Novels, Magazines and Comics. It’s very common to find Dan Brown, Charles Dickens or other classic Novels with almost everybody today. These books are often stored in cup boards and occupy unnecessary space.
Ultimade Guide on How to Sell Your Used Textbooks Online

Benefits of selling used books online

I’ve sold over 30-40 text books and 7 Novels online. It didn’t really make me thousands of Dollars, but it did fill my pocket with some cash. Apart from the money part, selling them off online did help me in a lot of ways:
  • It helped me clear my cupboard and store room. 
  • It helped me pay off for the next set of books that I wanted to purchase. 
  • I didn’t have to open a retail store to sell them off.
  • It didn’t incur any cost to me. 
Moreover, it did help the buyers to get books for half the original prices. The notes that I made within the chapters would have been of great help to the readers too.

How to sell books online

First of all, I’d like you to know that selling textbooks online is very simple and takes no time. In order to sell a textbook online, you’d require the following:
  1. A textbook
  2. A good quality camera
  3. An Internet Connection
There are tons of websites wherein you can sell of your textbooks by posting on them for free. I’ve included the best ones in here after testing and using them myself:

Amazon.com

Amazon is the most visited e-commerce website in the world. There’s no doubt in the fact that a product gets the most visibility and marketing on Amazon if it is posted in the right way. Amazon is running a well flourished online business in almost every big country which makes it very easy for local customers to buy products from them.

When it comes to selling Textbooks, Amazon is one of the best platforms to do it. In order to sell a textbook on Amazon, you need to search for the book you want to sell. After clicking on ‘Trade In’, you are required to enter the shipping address and things are taken forward after that.

The only drawback of using Amazon is that they don’t offer cash in-hand. You can only earn Gift Cards that can be redeemed further to do some online shopping. But, don’t you think that’s a good deal?

ebay.com

eBay is the great platform to sell textbooks online. EBay gets a huge amount of visitors everyday as well. Once you register yourself on eBay, you are required to specify the mode of payment. Once you’d click on the ‘selling’ option, you’d be asked if you want to continue selling the book yourself or make someone from their team do it for you.

In order to verify the name of the book and other details, you’d be asked to provide the ISBN number of the book. The International Standard Book Number is a unique 10 or 13 Digit number that helps you identify a book. You can either set a fixed price for the book or put it on auction.

Once your book gets listed, you’d be all set to sell it off and make money.

BetterWorldBooks.com

Better World Books is one of the best platforms in the world that are dedicated to make people accessible to books at low prices. Apart from having an option to sell and buy books online, you can even donate books for the needy.

Better World Books makes use of the platform Book Byte to sell books online. Once you demand a quote for your book after specifying its name or ISBN Number. You can sell your books off once the total quote crosses $10 in total.

Barnesandnoble.com

Barnes and Noble is the biggest online book seller with a collection of over 1 Million books listed onsite. After entering the ISBN Number of the book, you’d be directed to the steps wherein you’d enter your payment and shipping details.

Your used books should have a minimum worth of $10 to upload the listing on the website. The shipments are taken care by B&N itself.

cash4books.net

Cash4Books follows a easy 3 step process as well:
  • Get a quote for the books that you want to sell.
  • Get them shipped.
  • Get paid after successful shipping and payment receive. 
They offer android and IOS applications for mobile phones. So you can simply post offers through your cell phones as well.

bookscouter.com

I personally find this website very unique and effective. Once you enter the ISBN numbers of the books you want to sell, book scouter searches over 40 websites and finds the websites that offer the highest prices online for those set of books.

The best feature of this website is the one that lets the seller compare the prices of the books online and sell it off at the best possible rates.

You can make use of the websites mentioned above to sell off your textbooks for free. I haven’t included the ones that charge a fee to upload a listing on them.

How to get paid higher

In order to get a higher quote for your books, you should do the following:
  • Seal the edges of your textbook with painter’s tape. It saves the edges of your books from getting curved or distorted. Textbooks with neat and clean edges look better and newer. I personally make use of Painter’s tape from Scoth
  • Avoid writing on the pages of the books. It might reduce the selling price of it. You can make use of sticky notes for the same. I personally use post-its that I got from Amazon a few weeks bank
  • Keep them away from food and drinks
  • Keep them away from heat and moisture.
  • Keep them in cupboards or shelves.
  • If possible, store them in boxes. 
  • Clean your library of books regularly

My personal take

If you’re somebody who wants to make some cash money while studying, then selling books online can be of great help to you. The only problem with this method is that once our book stock gets over, we would not be able to make any more sales.

Making money online is one of the best things that have ever happened to me. Selling books online is one good way to do that. I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a comment below and share this post on Social Media so that other people get benefited from it too. After all, what is the point leaving our books for worms and termites?


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Things You Want Know About Work And Travel (WAT) USA

Wendy Chan Profile Picture
Very spontaneous, suddenly feel like writing about it. So yeah! 3 summers of Work and Travel USA experience, and here I am to share with you guys things that you wanna know about it :)

Work & Travel USA Program Experience Sharing

Guest post by Wendy Chan (Share your experience with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

I wanted to write this 4 years ago and finally I'm writing it. Throughout these years, I have been giving advice and repeating the same thing to different people, until a point where my friends ask me, "hey, maybe you should write a blog about work and travel."

I totally understand the questions that most of you guys have about work and travel, because I always encounter the same questions from different people. I participated work and travel for 3 years. Here, I would like to share with you guys things that you wanna know about work and travel.

Some photos of me before I begin, LOL.
first year WAT cold summer Alaska
2013 - My first year of WAT. So cold even it is summer, this is Alaska.

WAT second year
2015 - My second year of WAT. Wefie with students from other countries on the last day of work. (just in case you wonder why I skipped 2014. I was having internship during my summer holiday in 2014, that's why)

third year WAT Matanuska Glacier
2016 - My third year of WAT. Was an unplanned one, but decided to go for the one last time before I start working. Wefie with da homies at Matanuska Glacier.


WHAT IS WORK AND TRAVEL USA?


Work and Travel (WAT) is a program which allows students to work and then travel under J-1 visa sponsor. This visa allows students to work legally in USA for 3 months. And after 3 months, students will have an additional month of grace period in USA, which allows them to travel and explore around USA, but NOT working. Working is not allowed during this grace period.

'WORK AND TRAVEL' AND 'WORKING HOLIDAY', ARE THEY THE SAME?


Nope, they are different. Work and Travel (WAT) is only eligible for full-time tertiary students or students that are graduating from full-time course. For WAT, the probability of getting the visa is 99.99% because tens of thousands visas are given out every year for students. The only country that you can go for WAT is USA. For working holiday, as what I know, there are 3 countries that you (Malaysian) can go, which are Canada, New Zealand and Australia (Correct me if I'm wrong). This program opens to anyone between 18 to 30 years of age (non student status is qualified too). The visas given out every year for working holiday has a quota, it is very limited. Another thing I would like to mention is for WAT, you secure a job before your departure, whereas for working holiday, you do not. You will only be able to start looking for job after your arrival.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN THIS PROGRAM?


You have to be a full-time tertiary student or student graduating from a full-time course. Simple, right? Also, you need to have at least 3 months holiday from your university (either summer/winter period). Hmmm, certain level of English proficiency may be needed, depends on the job nature. And last but not least, you need to have some MONEY.

HOW DO I JOIN THIS PROGRAM?


In Malaysia, there are 3 agents that offer Work and Travel USA. Namely, Speedwing, Out of the Box and Infinity Abroad. I was under Speedwing for the past 3 years. You may contact them via email/facebook and tell them you are interested in which program, they are very professional and will definitely guide you throughout your journey.

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PROGRAM?


You have to pay around $1200 for this program, which includes agent fee, visa fee, insurance, etc. Basically everything is included in this $1200, except flight ticket. Flight ticket depends on where you are flying to. My job was in Alaska, and it cost me around RM4000-RM5000. So in general, you have to spend approximately RM10,000 before your departure. Besides, you have to make sure that you bring sufficient pocket money to cover your expenses during your first few weeks there because you will only be able to get your first paycheck 2 weeks after your first day of working.

WHAT KIND OF JOBS ARE AVAILABLE?


Once you signed up with an agent, you will receive a job list. There are different types of job at different locations. On the job list, you will be able to know the type of job, the employer, the hourly wage, the minimum number of hours given per week and the location. I will name a few examples of job here - housekeeper, bellboy, lifeguard, cashier, theme park ride operator, etc. So you may pick the job according to your own preferences. I picked my job by looking at its hourly wages ($$$$$$, money matters bruhhhh) and also, I looked at the location. I picked Alaska because I wanted to see northern light badly (bucket list checked! Haha).

WILL MY JOB COVER MY EXPENSES?


Don't worry, the amount of money you make throughout these months will be able to cover your initial cost and your living cost over there. What I can share with you guys is that I worked 2 full-time jobs and the money I made allows me to cover my initial expenses ($1200+flight+pocket money), my living cost for 3 months (food and accommodation. I prepared my own meals most of the time), some shopping (not some, I shopped a lot?), and my travelling expenses. And after all, I am still able to bring back plenty of money. No guarantee on your earnings, it depends on how much you are willing to work. Most of my friends are able to cover at least their initial cost and living cost by working just 1 job.

CAN I WORK TWO JOBS?


It depends on the employer. I believe 90% of the employers allow you to work second job. I worked two full-time jobs (72-88 hours/week) every year.

DO I HAVE TO INTERVIEW?


Yes, you will definitely have to go through a visa interview at the US embassy. As for job interview, it really depends on the job nature. Job like housekeeper most likely does not require an interview. But job like sales associate/server will definitely require an interview.

I hope I clarify most of your questions, leave a comment if you have some other questions to ask. If you are hesitating whether to go or not. Please.... GO! The experience you gain from this program is invaluable and it is really a lifetime adventure. You will not be able to do this anymore once you leave university and start working. I have learnt so much from WAT, much more grown, much more independent. Also, I learnt to appreciate what I have.

*Story sharing session: Back in 2013, my first year of WAT. There was this day. I worked only 1 job that day and I decided to go for some groceries shopping after that. It was raining, so I thought of taking a bus instead of cycling back home. Well, since I planned to take bus so why not buying more groceries since I always had a hard time carrying groceries on my back and cycled back home. So I bought whole lots of groceries. Carrying 6 big bags of groceries by myself, I walked out from the store and then to the bus stop. APPARENTLY, it was Sunday and there was NO bus. Being a super stingy person (especially when you convert dollar to RM, I convert a lot during my first year), I decided not to take a cab. I hung 2 shopping bags on each handle of my bike and tied another 2 bags on my backpack and I cycled back home with my 'super-fragile' raincoat on. After cycling for not even 5 mins, my raincoat torn into half. At that very moment, I miss Malaysia so much, and I tell myself to appreciate more, appreciate what I have back home. Back in KL, I can go wherever I want with my car, not to mention grocery shopping (easy peasy, just put everything into the trunk after buying, right?)*

Let's stop my grandma story. Just want to tell you guys that WAT is definitely a rewarding milestone!

Bye bye, I hope you find this blogpost helpful.

Maybe another post about my experience in Fairbanks, Alaska? Hmm.....

If you wanna know more about my WAT experience, follow me on instagram @wendy_chanwy :)
Sales Associate at the Home Depot Paint Department
This is me at my favourite workplace - Sales Associate at the Home Depot Paint Department! **i miss you**

APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE :)

This post was first published on Wendy Chan's .live.love.life. blog with the following useful questions & answers (edited):

Q: Did u mean that you are able to earn back the initial expenses $1200 too? So the only expenses is the flight ticket? ;)
A: Yes, the money that i earned is able to cover the $1200. After $1200, you still have to pay for flight ticket. And also, you have to prepare some money as your pocket money for the first few weeks. I brought around $800-$1000 for my pocket money.

Q: How did you find your second job?
A: After your arrival, you have to apply for 'social security number (SSN)', the agent will guide you about it. After you get your SSN, you can just go around and look for second job. You can walk in and ask whether they are hiring, or check about job availability on 'craigslist'. There are some employers that are willing to hire you before you collect your SSN, but make sure you already applied SSN before you start looking for second job. For me, I cycled around and submitted application almost everywhere that is close to my 1st job. I also checked on craigslist, I also applied some jobs online, I also tried walk-in before.

Q: Are you travel alone or with friends? If alone, will it be tough being alone there?
A: I travelled with friends. Even though I was with my friends, it doesn't mean that we are able to work the same shift/same place. So, you still have to take care of yourself :) But I do have a few friends that went alone for WAT. Oh ya, and you will definitely get to make new friends over there, so don't worry. Also, the agent will connect you with other Malaysian students before your departure. I cannot give a definite answer whether it is tough or not, it really depends on you :) Just make sure you be careful and take care of yourself all the time :)


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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

STPM 2017 Dates & MUET 2017 Calendar (Kalendar Tarikh Peperiksaan STPM & MUET)

Get FREE Exam Tips 2017: Do you want to get UPSR, PT3, SPM, STPM and MUET exam tips and notes? On top of that, you will get articles written by your seniors sharing their education experiences, insights and advices for FREE through email.

STPM 2017 Exam Calendar (Kalendar Peperiksaan STPM 2017)

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2017
Penggal 1 (2016) Tarikh Peperiksaan Bertulis: 15, 16, 17 & 21 November 2016
Penggal 2 (2017) Tarikh Peperiksaan Bertulis: 22, 23, 24 & 25 May 2017
Penggal 3 (2017) Tarikh Ujian Lisan Bahasa Arab: 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 &18 October 2017
Penggal 3 (2017) Tarikh Peperiksaan Bertulis: 6, 7, 8, 9 &13 November 2017

Peperiksaan Ulangan STPM
Tarikh Peperiksaan Bertulis Ulangan Penggal 1 (2017): 14, 15, 16 & 20 November 2017
Tarikh Peperiksaan Bertulis Ulangan Penggal 2 (2017): 21, 22, 23 & 28 November 2017
Kalendar Tarikh Peperiksaan STPM 2017 Exam Date Calendar
Kalendar Tarikh Peperiksaan STPM 2017 Exam Date Calendar

MUET 2017 Exam Dates (Tarikh Peperiksaan MUET 2017)

Malaysian University English Test (MUET) 2017
March Session
MUET Speaking Test Date: 13, 14, 15, 16, 20 & 21 February 2017
MUET Reading, Listening & Writing Tests: 11 March 2017

July Session
MUET Speaking Test Date: 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 & 19 July 2017
MUET Reading, Listening & Writing Tests: 29 July 2017

November Session
MUET Speaking Test Date: 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 & 12 October 2017
MUET Reading, Listening & Writing Tests: 4 November 2017

Recommended Reading: Free MUET Tips & Essential MUET Guide.

Kalendar Tarikh MUET 2017 Exam Date Calendar
Kalendar Tarikh Ujian MUET 2017 Test Date Calendar


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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Tarikh Peperiksaan UPSR, PT3, STAM, SPM 2017 Exam Date (Kalendar Takwim Peperiksaan)

Get FREE Exam Tips 2017: Do you want to get UPSR, PT3, SPM, STPM and MUET exam tips and notes? On top of that, you will get articles written by your seniors sharing their education experiences, insights and advices for FREE through email.

Malaysia Major Public Exam Dates (Tarikh Peperiksaan Awam Malaysia 2017)

Related 2017 Calendars:

Tarikh Peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (Ulangan) SPMU 2017 Date

Ujian Lisan: 6 June - 1 July 2017
Ujian Bertulis: 6 - 8 June 2017
Tarikh Pengumuman Keputusan SPMU 2017 Result Release Date: August 2017

Tarikh Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah UPSR 2017 Date

Bertulis: 11 - 14 & 18 September 2017
Tarikh Pengumuman Keputusan UPSR 2017 Result Release Date: November 2017

Tarikh Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 PT3 2017 Date

Ujian Instrumen Pelbagai (Sejarah): 2 - 26 May 2017
Ujian Instrumen Pelbagai (Geografi): 9 - 31 July 2017
Ujian Bertutur (BM, BI & BA (KBD)): 2 - 30 April 2017
Ujian Mendengar: 22 August 2017 (Bahasa Melayu), 23 August 2017 (Bahasa Inggeris), 24 August 2017 (Bahasa Arab)
Maharat Al - Quran & Hifz Al - Quran (KBT): 10 - 22 September 2017
Ujian Bertulis: 9 - 12 October 2017
Tarikh Pengumuman Keputusan Result Release Date: December 2017

Tarikh Peperiksaan Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia STAM 2017 Date

Kerja Kursus: 1 March - 31 July 2017
Ujian Lisan: 17 - 27 July 2017
Ujian Bertulis: 23 & 25 October 2017, 30 - 31 October 2017, 1 November 2017
Tarikh Pengumuman Keputusan STAM 2016 Result Release Date: January 2017

Tarikh Peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia SPM 2017 Date

Ujian Lisan: 6 June - 1 July 2017 Ujian Bertulis: 6 November - 4 December 2017
Jadual Waktu Peperiksaan SPM 2017 Exam Calendar
Tarikh Pengumuman Keputusan SPM 2016 Result Release Date: March 2017

Source: Takwim Peperiksaan, Lembaga Peperiksaan, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (Examinations Syndicate, Ministry of Education Malaysia)
Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia Logo KPM


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