Quick Links – gift registry for college tuition; School of One; focus on short term for your career

by Grace

»»»  Have you heard about GiveCollege or Instagrad?  They’re like wedding registries for college tuition.

The Instagrad fees look high, about 8-9% of contribution amounts, while GiveCollege fees range from about 4-6% depending on the gift amount.

GiveCollege lists occasions where you can invite “friends and family to contribute to your 529 college savings plan instead of buying a traditional gift”.

  • Baby showers
  • Christenings
  • Communions
  • Bar or bat mitzvahs
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays
  • Graduations

School of One offers personalized math instruction that could increase classroom productivity

In elementary school, John Perez was left in the dust if he hadn’t mastered a concept by the teacher’s second or third explanation. The whole class would move onto something else.

Now in sixth grade at Middle School 88 in Brooklyn, John doesn’t feel that way any longer. A computer algorithm tracks his progress through daily quizzes and adjusts his schedule based on which skills he’s mastered. Each day, he is grouped with students learning at his skill level.

“You’re always learning at your own pace,” said John, 11 years old. “You’re never behind.”

John’s school is one of four in the city to adopt this year a highly touted program known as School of One, which offers the type of personalization that officials see as the future of the nation’s largest school system. Five city public schools now use the program, which has been launched under a different name in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

So far the mixed results from the School of One pilot program in New York City could be attributed to any number of factors, including significant staff turnover at one school.

A more efficient way to handle formative assessment
Having been told some teachers have no time to perform formative assessments that would help diagnose and address individual learning issues among their students, I see School of One as a possible solution to that problem.  This would seem to help dispel the argument that schools cannot significantly increase productivity.  One problem is that innovations to increase productivity are often politically controversial.

»»»  Indian entrepreneur advises young people to ‘pick a career that excites you at the moment’

Unlike the typical middle-aged manager in the US, “Indians long ago accepted jumping from one role to another in shorter time frames”.  Entrepeneur Rajendra Singh Pawar’s advice to young Indians that they should focus on the short term makes sense, given the nature of today’s ever-changing workplace.

The good news is that youngsters these days are very footloose. They can move from event management to software development to marketing. You get in but you don’t stay there. This is a marked difference not just in India from before but from the whole world.

Today I am more inclined to tell you to pick the career which excites you at the moment. An underlying change is happening in India. While BPO [business process outsourcing, such as call centers and medical transcription] will continue to grow, there are areas that are small now but with high growth percentages.

Pawar points out that a willingness to be flexible and mobile makes it easier for India to “build a transient work force”.  That appears to be our future – a “transient workforce”.

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