Thursday, 30 September 2021

Internet-access spending improves academic outcomes, according to a study of Texas public schools

Increased internet-access spending by Texas public schools improved academic performance and led to more disciplinary problems among students, a study of 9,000 schools conducted by a research team from Rice University, Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame shows.

According to the researchers, whether students benefit from increased internet access in public schools has been an open question. For example, some parents and policy advocates contend it increases children's access to obscene or harmful content and disciplinary problems. Others believe it promotes personalized learning and higher student engagement.

The research team created a multi-year dataset (2000-14) of 1,243 school districts representing more than 9,000 Texas public schools to address these policy questions. The team measured internet-access spending, 11 academic performance indicators and 47 types of school disciplinary problems. It used econometric techniques to develop causal estimates linking internet-access spending to academic performance and disciplinary problems. Using student earning, the researchers calculated the economic impact of increased annual internet spending.

To date, this is the largest and most comprehensive study linking school internet-access spending to academic and disciplinary outcomes, the researchers said.

The team found that increased school district internet spending is associated with improved graduation rates and higher numbers of students meeting SAT/ACT criterion and completing advanced courses. It also led to an improvement in commended performance in math, reading, writing and social studies. Interestingly, the researchers noted that these improvements were stronger for students in countries with greater internet access (as measured by the number of broadband providers).

On the flip side, increased school district internet spending also led to more serious disciplinary problems at schools, they said.

The team also calculated how much economic benefit a school district's internet access would bring students during their lifetimes. It found that a $600,000 increase in annual internet-access spending produces a financial gain of approximately $820,000 to $1.8 million per school district, together with losses from disciplinary problems totalling $25,800 to $53,440.

In other words, investments in internet access are well worth the costs.

"We are proud that Texas public schools can serve as a live learning case for understanding education policy," said study co-author Vikas Mittal, a professor of marketing at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business. "Investments in internet access provide clear and meaningful academic benefits. Yet, schools need to implement policies to address increased disciplinary issues such as cyberbullying.

"K-12 education has transformed into virtual learning due to COVID-19," he continued. "Our research conclusions apply to a setting where physical learning is supplemented by internet access."

However, Mittal cautioned that these benefits could not be expected to hold if physical learning is wholly supplanted by internet-based learning.

Source: Science Daily

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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Know how one can manage emotions and be self-confident


Stress Diaries is an interactive self-help book that tells real-life experiences of people's troubles at work and in their relationships, and how they eventually overcome them with the help of therapy. This is a must-read book for anybody who works or is preparing to work, as it inspires us to hope and fight. 

In today's fast-paced world, we often juggle multiple roles at the same time. No one is immune to stress and mental problems, and this tendency is more visible in the workplace, compromising work-life balance. Professional problems, the fear of resigning, unhappiness at work, and a resulting state of worry are not uncommon. 

It is, therefore, imperative to deal with this new impending epidemic---the stress. In an attempt to address these wide-ranging problems, Stress Diaries is an interactive self-help book comprising real-life stories and anecdotal narratives of people’s struggles in their work environment and how they emerged victorious with the help of therapy. 

This book is based on concrete methodology and comprises assessments, self-help tools, and specialized tips and tricks to deal with our daily problems. A comprehensive volume of this book will help people manage their emotional troubles better and will prove to be a journey of hope. Easy-to-relate and anecdotal narratives of real-life problems of people at the workplace compiled by a renowned therapist, this is a self-help book that can be used as a first-aid kit for any socio-emotional and stress-related issue. It discusses highly effective, standardized, and scientific measures—Self-Administering Psychometric Assessments, paper-pen activities such as mood logs, thought diary and so on—and gives out specialized tips which can be implemented by readers. 

A must-read for all students and working individuals to equip themselves with tools to deal with the daily challenges at the workplace. It allows you to introspect on your immediate surroundings and tells you that you are not alone in this situation. There are plenty out there! It’s one of the best stress-management books to be kept on your shelf. It is now acclaimed as the ‘Mental Health First-aid Kit’. 

It is a great book to prepare college students for a real-life working environment scenario. It gives a bird’ eye view of work-life and how to create a work-life balance. The book discusses the one common problem that everyone, regardless of age, faces--- "stress." Everyone, whether a youngster or a well-established adult, faces some level of stress in their daily lives. This book is a fantastic way for students, teachers, and everyone to learn about stress, why it occurs, what a person can do to overcome the feelings associated with the stressful event and, most importantly, people will be able to learn about anecdotes where people have come forward and shared their own experiences of being under stress.  This book is highly valuable for students as they confront several stressors on their journey, such as getting good grades in an exam or selecting the best college to begin their studies. Life is like a wild ride, and this is the apex of the roller-coaster for the kids. 

There can be no discussion of kids without mentioning teachers. Both of these species must overcome numerous obstacles in order to succeed in school or college. Because different people can read about the various approaches and apply them to themselves, this book works as a source of distress.  To conclude, this book is an excellent resource for self-help; anyone facing stress can apply the tactics described in this book to make a significant difference in their life on their own. It is a book that has the potential to alter our perception of stressors. As a result, for anyone who is ready to fight their own conflicts, this book is an excellent tool.


Mayo College, Scottish high, Cambridge schools, DPS, etc) and colleges (IITs, IIMs, NMIMS, BITS Pilani, Sharda Group, etc) Pan India, and has also made a mark internationally (Royal College of Physicians-London, Tokyo Medical College, University of Exeter-UK, University of Minnesota (USA), etc).

Dr Rachna Khanna Singh is a Mental Health Professional, and a TEDx Talk Speaker, with a medical background, focused on providing Individual, Group & Corporate Counseling with a strong focus on Hospital & Clinical care. 

She is currently the Head of the Department of Holistic Medicine & Mental Wellness at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. Also, she is the Founder and Director of The Mind and Wellness Studio, which provides services like STRESS MANAGEMENT, COUNSELING & LIFESTYLE OPTIMISING to create positive changes in the lives of people to ensure holistic health for a better tomorrow.

She is a Corporate Health Care Consultant and has conducted various workshops, webinars, & one-on-one counselling for over 500 leading Corporate houses and Banks of the country, like Amazon, Accenture, Ford India, CII, Aditya Birla Group, Airtel, SAR group, Ericsson, Genpact, HCL, Hero Honda, Infosys, Nestle, Phillips, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Reserve Bank of India, HDFC, Bank of America, HSBC, etc, focusing on Mental Wellness & Soft Skills Training.

Besides working with adults, she has also worked with students from over 300 schools.

Having achieved proficiency as a Health Care & Wellness Consultant, she is also a Consultant with important NGOs and is an Executive Board Member with Ngo Serve Samman, where she works with underprivileged women and children for various medical and psychological ailments.

Dr Rachna is the weekly Columnist for the Ask The Expert online section of The Times of India.

Her writings are regularly featured in the print media, including columns and articles infamous medical journals, magazines and newspapers, such as – India Today, Men’s Health, The Week, Economic Times, HT Brunch, Times Life, Dainik Jagran, Femina and many more.

She is also the proud author of a highly proclaimed book on Mental Wellness which has been stated as the “Mental Health first-aid kit” with tips & tricks to manage day-to-day stress published by BLOOMSBURY- “STRESS DIARIES: From the Eyes of the Therapist.” (Available on Amazon).

Another feather in her cap is The Mind & Wellness Studio’s DE-STRESS App, which has also been given the “Special Recognition Award” by The Times of India’s Times App Search Contest (available on Android).

You may also be interested in reading PHI’s Book on Emotional Intelligence (Mangal and Mangal) for self-exploration.

Know how one can manage emotions and be self-confident.

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