Category Archives: educational apps

Why Having The Right People Around You Matters To An Entrepreneur

Starting and running a business can be very lonely and exposes you to bouts of isolation. When this happens the need to be loved, needed, and pampered is very strong and there is nothing wrong with that.

Ones self esteem can suffer and this can be compounded by historical experiences (childhood, family etc) and frustration and exhaustion when trying to lift your business of the ground and working a 12 hours day.

Being an ideas person, being creative and wanting recognition for that is achieved when the evidence is people buying your services or products.

The people you have surrounding you is very important, they have to be of a similar stock because they get it, they move into activities that support your dream and help you benefit from your hard work.

Many women are brilliant because most of them run several things at once if they are mums, wife, daughters, designer, marketeer, sales person, social media expert, bookeeper, packer and distributors and the list goes on.

The main point is to have total confidence in who you are, listen to tapes and watch video that continually empowers you. Mix with the pack that stimulates and motivates you and you them. When you live like this all who is to be in your life will gravitate towards you and give you joy and support.

You will easily be able to then identify anyone around you that does not naturally fit into your gang because they don’t naturally make you feel better, they add weight to your life and focus on distracting you.

But we are born with free will and you can use it to experience your life in what ever way YOU want.

The ultimate responsibility is your.

Tips For Women Entrepreneurs on How To Avoid Feeling Isolated As A Small Business

Female entrepreneurs share how to avoid feeling isolated

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‘Meeting up with mothers who were running small firms or freelancing made me feel connected to the real world again,’ says The Early Hour’s Anne Ridout

Annie Ridout had a one-year-old daughter when she launched her digital magazine for mothers, The Early Hour, in 2015.
“The only time that I could commit to writing and doing admin was during the baby’s nap times and evenings,” she says.

It meant that she had no free time to socialise and spent most days at home, alone.

She was left feeling incredibly lonely and unmotivated, but all that changed when she started to attend some networking events, including Mothers Meeting and The Step Up Club.

“Meeting up with other mothers who were running small firms or freelancing made me feel connected to the real world again,” she says. “I had women to talk to, moan with and get ideas from.”

At first, Ms Ridout found it intimidating, but soon realised that the key to networking is arriving prepared. “Do some research beforehand about the theme or subject – and think about what can you offer around it,” she says.

Don’t forget to ask for contact details, she adds, explaining that it’s not enough to just hand your card out:

“Send an email after the event saying that it was so lovely to meet them and ask to stay in touch – and don’t worry about coming across too keen; people will almost always be pleased to hear from you.”

Find a mentor

For Victoria Usher, founder of GingerMay PR, leaving the buzz of
an office and the comradeship of colleagues was unsettling when she started her own communications firm:

“It was a shock to realise that time-consuming tasks, such as admin and finances, needed to be factored into my schedule.”

Not having people around to discuss problems with was hard, she admits: “I felt lonely at points; I missed having a team.”

To help her through, she found a mentor, Jo Butcher, whom she met while working for Dentsu Aegis.

“We had a weekly Skype call and she would help me with
everything from brainstorming ideas to sense-checking my work,” explains Ms Usher. “It was comforting to know that there was someone at the end of the phone who had gone through the same and had a successful business to show for it.”

When looking for a mentor, try to find someone who has run a business in a similar field, but has grown it much bigger, she advises. It also helps if they have worked in the same role as you, so they truly understand the pressures that you’re facing.

'There were few people whom I could talk to about work,' says Lenka Lutonska
‘There were few people whom I could talk to about work,’ says Lenka Lutonska

Co-work with colleagues

Female business coach, Lenka Lutonska, thinks women in particular feel lonely when starting-up because they crave emotional connections with others – and that can be hard when working alone.

“When I started out, friends did not understand why I would leave a well-paid job, sell my house and sacrifice my lifestyle, only to work on a business with very little income,” she says. “There were few people whom I could talk to about work; my computer was my only companion.”

She decided to “buddy-up” with an old friend who had started their own business in a similar industry.

“We would create co-working days where she would come to my office for a day, or vice versa. We exchanged ideas, honest feedback, kept each other accountable and even partnered on projects,” says Ms Lutonska.

“Working not only became more enjoyable, but we also helped each other to become aware of our blind spots.”

She also started a Facebook group, which was initially made to attract clients but ended up becoming a great networking tool as word spread quickly and more women joined. Community members often ask for help with specific business issues.

“It can feel lonely to build a business on your own, and tough;
there’s always something that you don’t know.

“That’s why support groups are a fantastic source for tips and for socialising – they’re great for creating meaningful relationships with other entrepreneurs.”

Take a breather

A final tip comes from Sarah Cooke, owner of silicone jewellery company, Halia Rose, who suggests yoga classes.

“I do a regular class to get some time out to myself and stave off burnout, and I can chat to people about things totally unrelated to my business and get away from it for a while.”

Visit The Telegraph on Facebook for more fantastic tips

Starting A Private Tutoring Business – The Skills Needed By A Private Tutor

Current Demand For Private Tuition In The UK

We can reassure you that the demand for private tuition across the board is increasing, and is required throughout the year.

Whilst the market is flooded with tutors supporting students in English, Maths and some STEM subjects, it is increasingly obvious that a lot of children are suffering because they do not have the much needed Social Skills to help them  with communication, problem-solving, decision making, self-management, and peer relations abilities that allow one to initiate and maintain positive social relationships with others.

Deficits or excesses in social behavior interfere with learning, teaching, and the classroom’s orchestration and climate. Social competence is linked to peer acceptance, teacher acceptance, inclusion success, and post school success.

As we see the rise in school exclusions, there are many reasons suited for the rise in the UK. So now a more structured approach needs tho be taken to assist a wide crosses section of children experiencing problems outside of the curricula which in turn impacts there relationship with each other, their teachers, parents and the wider community.

Whilst the demand throughout the academic year for private tuition varies per subject and level, factors to consider are do you want to provide tutoring throughout the year, number of subjects and levels you tutor, if you are wishing to travel and how far you are prepared to travel if at all.

Starting A Private Tutoring Business – The Skills Needed By A Private Tutor

If you are interested in becoming a private tutor, you may wish to consider the following skills before setting up a private tuition service :-

Ability To Communicate & Help The Students Understanding
The key approach of private tuition is to improve the understanding of the student. An essential skill for a home tutor is that they are able to help the student grasp and fully understand any area of subject weakness by good communication. Whilst at the same time engaging the student’s interest and making the tutoring session fun will enhance their learning.

Ability To Listen
One of the major factors of one to one private tutoring is to tailor and deliver your lessons so that the student can understand areas of subject difficulty. For the student to improve, they must understand. Flexibility is the key. Just because you use a successful set protocol of how you tailor your tuition lessons for several of your students, does not mean this will work every time. Therefore if the student has difficulty in grasping certain areas of their syllabus, listen to their feedback and from this devise alternative ways of how you will tailor your tutoring for that particular student.

Good Grasp Of Your Subject Area
We would recommend that you only offer home lessons for the subjects that you are familiar with and enjoy and are passionate about. As a rule, the subjects that you enjoy, understand and feel most enthusiastic about are the ones which you will excel in at tutoring. Therefore you will have most success in improving the student’s grades and confidence.

Communication With All Age Groups – Especially Children and Teenagers
Most academic personal tutors provide private tuition for children or young adults. However if you specialise in tutoring students for GCSE upwards, you will be tutoring teenagers, young adults and possibly mature students. Therefore you will need to feel confident at communicating with all age groups. Even if you are only providing private tuition for primary or secondary level children, remember that you will often come into contact with and give feedback to their guardians or parents.

Good Command of The English Language and Literacy
That saying, a child whos first language is not English might benefit from a similar language tutor who might be able to get the point across much clearer until the students English improves.

Good Time Management & Self Motivation
As a freelance tutor, like any self employed profession, you will not have a clocking in machine! When you work for yourself you need to be self motivated and it is essential that you use your time effectively. Most students require tuition in the early evening on weekdays or at weekends. Keep these times free for tuition and carry out your admin such as filing, accounting etc at other times of the day or week. If you do not plan your time wisely, this may result in less time that you have available for one to one tuition and your private tuition business will generate less income.

Excellent Organisation Is Paramount
Excellent organisational skills go hand in hand with good time management. As you build up clientele, you will find that you are providing private tuition to several students for different syllabi and possibly several subjects. This can become rather confusing, especially near exam times when you are using similar examination papers for several students. We advise that you keep a record for every student you tutor. This record should include the work that you have covered, any marks received for questions or past examination papers. The reasons for this is it is of benefit when you need to update parents regarding their child’s progress. Another reason for keeping private tuition records per student is that it enables you to plan ahead, so that you can cover all topics that the student struggles with and leave time towards examinations to cover exam papers and examination questions.

How to  Get Started

Request our free Tutors Prospectus Directory to see a list of all the course resources. Each package also includes a tutor manual, this covers the subject in detail and will assist you in delivering a quality and comprehensive course to your students.

How My Teacher Almost Dashed My Dreams Of Writing

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When I was 8 years old I remember my teacher Mr Lester ripping up my homework and accusing me of copying the story I wrote for my homework that week. I remember it was a story about being lost in the woods at night, I use to be afraid of the dark back then.

I cried and said I hadn’t copied it, he gave me detention on top of that and called me a liar.

I was so embarrassed and ashamed I never did well in English Literature again just to spite him I thought but really he had squashed my confidence.

16 books later all published on Amazon with my most recent which took 3 years to write and a healthy vibrant blog with over 35k followers which I have been nurturing since 2010

Do you think adults in position of influence realise what they can do to a child?

Never let negative people define who you are or what you want to become.

Coaching is also important and if you want to propel your vision coaching can help you stay laser focused with a strategic plan

Download your copy on #amazon today https://goo.gl/gm9t2U

Diane Shawe’s eBooks are available on Amazon right now at: https://www.amazon.com/Diane-Shawe/e/B0052WG8V6

Here’s the Main Reasons Adult Education is Broken and I’ll Prove It To You

Is Adult Education Broken?

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Adult education has become undervalued in an overpriced educational infrastructure.

The people who need the most help are already systematically ripped off by greedy loan companies, NHS parking, having to pay charges for drawing out their own money from private ATM machines in poorer boroughs, pre-paid electric meter’s to name but a few.

The more you seem to need help the more you seem to have to pay.

Off course, the arguments are always about risk, but to compound on top of their needs, a premium, just to make sure the risk is compensated for is questionable indeed. But another kind of ripping off is taking place. ‘Free online education’ you may ask ‘why is this a rip-off people”?
I will answer this from my perspective initially and then make further arguments as to why we should be very concerned about this un-policed, unchallenged butchery of the values originally infused into our adult educational system.

Is Adult Education Broken by Diane Shawe Author (2)So if you all but think Adult Education is Broken and all but given up, this book spills the beans on what has gone wrong, what questions need to be addressed and if certain issues are tackled by Government, then there’s Hope,

As Isaac Asimov—a master of science fiction literature—once said:

“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into
          account not only the world as it is but the world as it will be.”

So the big Question is – What has happened?

  • Why have these large institutions priced education out of some fundamental principles?
  • Why on the other spectrum are all these free courses flooded the market?
  • How can we make the new economic age enhance, rather than diminish, our quality of learning?
  • How can we make this amazing innovation advance the prospects of all people especially those with or without experience and not just for the youth?

It is clear that at this moment most educational systems are not keeping pace with changing technology and the ever-evolving world of work.

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“If unemployment formed a country it would be the 5th largest in the world”

                                                  Isaac Asimov

 
Not enough people are thinking strategically enough in this area.  Fundamentally, we need to change what people learn, how people learn, when people learn, and even why people learn.

We must get beyond the traditional model of students sitting passively in classrooms, following instructions and memorising material that they are tested and scored on which sometimes turn out to be of little use in an every changing economy.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those
                                     who can best manage change.”                       Darwin

Throughout the ages, every human society has experienced challenges adjusting to population growth, maintaining structural order and creating channels for future generations. How well a society prepares the next generation for survival is imperative for the society as a whole but we have stalled in this process.

There seems to be a range of systemic failures such as

: failure to find a formula to develop teachers convergent and divergent Is Adult Education Broken by Diane Shawe Author (3)facilitating skills
: failure to consider cultural relevance
: failure to develop enterprising and entrepreneurial skills
: failure to prepare about taking personal responsibility
: failure to provide adequate technology and supporting curriculum
: failure to encourage international engagement
: failure to manage growth of academic misconduct

Diane Shawe Author states that “the traditional belief that we must prepare ourselves to be ‘employable’ is under threat. The counter argument encourages us to ‘gear up’ for earning our own money, rather than seeing income as someone else’s responsibility”

With the population dramatically aging and low-level jobs increasingly swallowed up by machinery, entrepreneurship will be a necessity for many, rather than a lifestyle choice for some.

SMEs are of course already leading this charge but in order to gear up for the future we need to start off by asking a serious question, defining criteria’s and examining trends, impact these trends will have and plan a way to jointly prepare current and future generations to be both employable and entrepreneurial.

We are living in a new economy—powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge. And we are entering the new century with an opportunity on our side but huge problems that require new thinking.

claim free course now

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How to create a digital on demand course library

 

 

Special Offer 1 day Hair Extensions Training Course

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Would you like to learn how to apply a non evasive, won’t damage clients hair, flat looking undetectable hair extensions technique in one day using no glues, threads or cornrows on your clients head in under 3 hours?  Then this is the course for you.

Learn how to apply this new technique in on our day course which is packed with lots of advice, theory and practical training.

You will simply be amazed at how you can help lots of clients around your location get lovely hair without damaging it and making impressive income at the same time.

This course is discounted from £450 which includes a starter kit down to £170.

The first 15 people to register will get a further 20% discount of this discounted price.

All you have to do is register your interest, there are lots of dates to choose from and pay your £25.00 admin enrolment fee to reserve and ensure your place.

See what others have said about the course. https://www.facebook.com/events/194358901295017/?ti=cl

https://form.jotformeu.com/expresstraining/short-course-enrolment-form

 

 

 

Four Top Tips to Improve Your Hair and Beauty SEO

Have you been wondering how to Increase your website or facebook page link Popularity?

Article by Diane Shawe

Search engines are the gateway to the Internet; they are the first tool that potential customers use to find the products and services they need especially as everyone has instant access via their mobile phones. This is why it is imperative to spend some time on improving your website link popularity.  

Just recall how you felt when you last tried to Google something and it didn’t come up instantly! If the customers do not find your website, you have no possibilities of making any additional sales or getting new customers. 

Most hair and beauty businesses think it is not important to spend some time doing this,  some even think it’s complicated or that they have to spend lots of money to pay someone else to do it.

The truth is they are either scared to investigate or just plain lazy.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Just ask Google you will be surprised at the amount of free  online step by step help that’s out there. You’re probably wondering what the blazes is popular about a link! Well, in a word – plenty! Link popularity refers to the ranking assigned to your website by the search engines and it determines the ranking your page gets when keywords are entered into a search engine. So, you’re probably wondering, how do I make my link popular?

Search engines are discretionary, giving status and ranking to sites that have links to their pages from related, quality sites. It’s a simple formula, but a very important one. Google created the system, and now virtually all the most popular search engines employ it to rank your web pages in their indexes.

The more commonly used your keyword is, the harder it will be to achieve link popularity, but without achieving this step, it is almost certain your site will never rank highly on any search engine. But don’t be discouraged; there are tried and true ways of achieving link popularity using the most competitive keywords.

It is not important to be ranked on Google’s global number one page, what is important to a small business is to be found on page one locally and in the specific category that the visitor is searching for. Most people SMS including yourself tie the phrase ‘nearest me when using their mobile phone to search.

SATURATION LINKING

There are a few things you should be aware of. The first is that just linking up with a large number of other websites will not achieve link popularity. In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect. This is particularly true when pertaining to websites that are nothing more than “link farms” – pages containing line after line of indiscriminate links. Search engines may aggressively discriminate against your website if you are associated with a link farm, so steer clear of them! 

QUALITY OF OTHER SITES

The next thing to bear in mind is the quality of the site you are linking to. Never link to a page you have reservations about your visitors seeing. The last thing you want your website to appear as is indiscriminate and cheap. Linking to sites of poor quality will only lessen your link popularity, if not completely destroy it.

So let’s get to what you need to do to achieve supreme link popularity and improve your rankings to stellar status on all the popular search engines.

1. WHICH DIRECTORY

The first step, and the fastest way to get your foot in the door, is to get a listing in a popular directory, such as Open Directory Project, Yahoo or Google. If your site is business-related, you will want to be listed on Google Business, and despite the fact that it is free,

it will be time well spent. You will be required f2fgo verify your business. If your site is non-commercial, the listing will be free, but it will take time and follow-up to actually get it listed. Open Directory is gives you a free listing whether you are business-related or non-commercial, but be prepared to make a lot of follow-up inquiries before you see your site listed.

You are aiming to get listed in the highest level of appropriate category, and this just takes some common sense. For example, if your company ships Remy Human hair extensions from an specialist farm located in the middle of Nowhere, Tiny State, do NOT submit your listing to “Retailers from Nowhere, Tiny State.” BIG MISTAKE! All you have to do is look a little deeper – and submit your listing to the “Finest Hair Extension” category. You will not only associate yourself with culture and quality, but you will be listed in a national category. 

2 LOCATING OTHER QUALITY DIRECTORIES

The next step after you have attained directory listings is to locate other quality sites that will increase your link popularity. Try to find sites that are in some way related to yours, so not only will your link popularity increase, but your customer base may also be expanded. 

You want to avoid your competitors and look for sites that are useful to your site’s visitors. Let’s look at the Hair Extensions distribution site example. Linking up to a site that is a hair extension specialist in applying hair extensions would be helpful to your visitors, and the chances of that site wanting to link up to your site are also greater. 

By linking to a related site that will be relevant to your website’s traffic, you are increasing both of your site’s business prospects – and both of your sites’ link popularity.

3 DOING YOUR RESEARCH

Not all sites want to link to other sites, so you will have to do some research when you are looking for possible linking partners. Google is an excellent starting place for your search. Make sure you enter keywords that you think quality customers will also enter to find your own site. Remember, your criteria are quality, highly ranked, non-competing websites that have a links or resources page. Go to these sites and objectively assess them. 

Look at the quality of the product, the graphics, and the ease of use. Then check out the other sites they are linked to, and determine if your own site would fit in with the crowd.

4 WOOING A PROSPECT

When you decide you have found a good prospect, you must set out to woo them. 

1. First thing to do is to add a link on your own links page to their site. This is an essential first step; it shows good faith, and ups your chances significantly of their reciprocity. 

2. After you have added their link, you must contact the webmaster of their site. Since this is almost always done by email, you want to make sure it is immediately clear that your message is not junk mail. This requires that you tell them right off the bat that you have added a link to their page on your site. A hook like this almost always insures the reader will read on.

3. Be sure to be flattering and let them know how much you appreciate their website. Make sure you emphasise that you have actually visited their site, and that their site is not just a random pick. Give them the address of your links page, and ask them to check out the link for themselves. It’s a good idea to mention that they will not only benefit from the increased traffic your website will direct their way, but you will also increase their link popularity. 

Briefly, explain why link popularity is so essential, but do this in a sentence or two so you don’t sound like a professor! 

4. Finally, tell them you would greatly appreciate if they would reciprocally add a link on their own links page to your website. Go through this process with as many appropriate sites as you can find, bearing in mind the criteria of quality and non-competitiveness. After you have emailed all relevant sites, be sure to check these website frequently to see if they have added a link to your page. 

Give it about a month, and if no link appears, try another charming email. Then give it another month, and if your site is still absent from their links page, it’s time to remove their link from your own links page. 

The only time you want to pursue a link further than this is if you believe a site is crucial to your link popularity and your business needs. Just remember to keep all your communications complimentary and cordial.

CHECKING YOUR RANKING

Set up a schedule to check your ranking in search engines frequently to see if your link popularity has improved. This is not achievable in the blink of an eye. It will take some time and a good deal of work. There is no way around the Labour-intensive quality of improving your link popularity, which is why search engines regard it with such importance especially as nearly all searches are performed by mobile phones today. 

By the way – make sure you have a beautiful, streamlined

Mobile friendly website and if possible a link to a downloadable app or you will never persuade anyone to link up to you.

Be prepared to keep plugging away at this process, as long as it takes, until you achieve link popularity and regional stardom!

9 Steps to The Killer Covering Letter

It has become almost common knowledge that most potential employers do not even bother responding to unsuccessful candidates that apply for vacant jobs.

Sometimes you need to give yourself the winning edge. Think Clint Eastwood with the sun behind him in a gun fight. Sometimes in giving massive importance to the CV, the value of a strong cover letter is often neglected. The key to securing that dream job is a combination of a well-crafted CV and a killer cover letter. While the CV lists your important achievements and skills, the cover letter coerces your prospective employer into hiring you. The cover letter very finely articulates your desire to work for the company. To stand apart from the competition and make yourself an attractive hire, you need to draft a killer cover letter. Here are the 9 Steps to landing that job…

  1. 1.     Knowing what they want, what they really really want

The cover letter offers a window to your personality and qualifications. But apart from that, it is also a way to demonstrate how much you really know about your prospective employer. To do this, you need to research on the company, the financial growth statistics, the industries that your employer serves, etc. Learn about your potential firm and showcase that. Only when you know what they want and who they are looking for, will you be able to portray that in your cover letter.

  1. 2.     Giving it that personal touch

When you are searching for a job and have focused on one, make sure you find out the name of the contact person. Beginning your cover letters with formal salutations such as “Dear Sir or Madam”, gives the impression that you don’t know whom the letter should be addressed to. Personalise your cover letters while retaining a semi-formal tone. Lack of knowledge in these areas can significantly impact your chances of getting the job you want.

  1. 3.     The Art of the Powerful Opening

Avoid the clichéd opening paragraphs and instead strive to make an impact with the introduction. In a powerful opening paragraph, you have to briefly state your objective in applying for the job and how you heard about the opening. While being creative in your openings, don’t forget that cute introductions do not work. Give your cover letter the necessary gravitas without being too sycophantic.

  1. 4.     Start Right

After the introduction, comes the body of the cover letter where you detail your achievements without repetition. In this part of the cover letter, you are expected to expand upon your achievements as mentioned in the CV and provide further examples of how you can help your potential company grow. For example, if you are applying for marketing positions then be sure to explain how you can develop a marketing strategy to bring in additional revenue for the company. Simply said, put your best foot forward.

  1. 5.     Finish Strong

The closing of the letter should definitely express gratitude for the HR manager’s time and patience. End the letter by outlining the next steps on your part. Never expect a potential employer to follow up with you. Demonstrate your proactive nature by stating that you will follow up for the job. This will also indicate your enthusiasm for the job. Remember to include a phone number or email address so that the firm can get in touch with you first if required.

  1. 6.     Money Later

The motivation behind taking up any job is money. To be happy in your job you need to be paid well. Don’t become hasty and quote any figures in the letter. Wait for a formal meeting to discuss salary issues.

  1. 7.     Details Matter

Remember to spell-check your cover letters and get them proof-read from friends or family. Be sure to thoroughly check your cover letters till you are completely satisfied with them.

  1. 8.     How does it Look?

In case you are submitting your cover letter by email, make use of word processing software such as MS Word. Write your cover letters in Word, making use of a standardized format. Align the text correctly and ensure that the letter is cleanly formatted. Punctuation should be in place. While you spend a tremendous amount of time on preparing the CV, you sometimes end up neglecting the cover letter. Formatting is essential otherwise the HR manager reading your cover letter might just have to spend his or her time deciphering it.

  1. 9.     Check That Grammar

Make sure that you adhere to grammar rules and make use of them while writing your cover letter. Incorrect grammar used in the wrong places can not only create a wrong impression, but also change the meaning of what you intended to convey.

These are such simple steps to write a killer covering letter.

ü Draft your letter so that it highlights your skills, achievements, goals, and motivations.

ü Don’t meander from the main topic.

ü Stick to the basics and be direct in your approach.

Do the above and nothing can stop you from getting that job.

 

 

Outsourcing your knowledge

Albert EinsteinWhy knowing less helps you to do more.

Diane Shawe M.Ed. 

When you think about the power of your brain and how we learn, memorise and recall all those facts, it can get very confusing. Having taught for nearly 25 years and trained some of the brightest professionals over last 10 years, I believe that knowledge is divided in two distinct areas. We can either know about a subject ourselves or we know where we can retrieve information on that subject. The massive amount of information available online has opened an infinite library of easily and quickly retrievable information with simple search engines. I like to think of it as an organic external hard drive, an outsourced memory we can plug in at any time. Some have argued that the internet dilutes the most traditional kind of knowledge: knowing a subject ourselves. They argue that in some way it makes our brains less efficient, diminishing our intelligence and destroying our inner hard drives and memory.

You may remember (if you are of a certain age) that when you were young, you knew by heart the phone number of your closest friends. Since the introduction of digital directories on smartphones there is no longer any reason to memorise numbers by heart.   On the other hand, how many hundreds more contacts do you have now compared to then thanks to the digital directories? In reality, how much more connected are you? The real deal of the information age is not that it allows us to know more, but that it allows us to know less in terms of depth of what we know, as mentioned by David Brooks, a New York Times columnist, in his famous 2006 NY Times article[1] The Outsourced Brain.

neuroscience brain“Memory? I’ve externalised it.” He said, “I am one of those baby boomers who are making this the “It’s on the Tip of My Tongue Decade.” But now I no longer need to have a memory, for I have Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia. Now if I need to know some fact about the world, I tap a few keys and enjoy the vast resource of the external mind.”

I think the positive side of this is that we are free to expand our awareness of subjects we did not have space, or availability, to explore before. Our memory now has a different function: it is a digital index that remembers the existence of a subject and what are the best leads to find information on that subject. I too had thought that the magic of the information age was that it allowed us to know more facts. Then I realised that the magic of the information age is that it allows us to know less.

It provides us with external cognitive servants, silicon memory systems if you will, with collaborative online filters, consumer preference algorithms and networked knowledge. We thus can give these servants the massive raw data and liberate ourselves to think, explore and be creative. You can use your brain to learn new skills, the soft skills that are the true measure of success.

Your outsourced memory (the internet, the cloud and more) allows you to be aware of the existence of information you would never have come across before when you were limited to what your inner memory could hold. It allows you to increase the quantity (and thus the quality) of the information that you can process because you do not always have to worry about memorising every single detail of it. It allows you to use more brain power in linking concepts and applying them rather than remembering them. It empowers you to think and process information faster because your brain has the space to hold links to so much different information, and in doing so it expands your subjective time. Back in the analogue era, the difference between a deep brain and a shallow brain was the availability of information and the choice of whether to take in that information or not came second.

As an educationalist and technophile, combined with my outsourced memory I have the capacity to think deeper. Now that (nearly) everything is available, the power is back to you: it is up to you to take responsibility of what content goes into your mind and how you use your outsourced memory.

Now you have begun to outsource your brain and now have room to do something rather special with your neo-cortex. Enjoy.

 

Six tips on how to avoid water retension

What Causes Water Retention and How to Avoid It

Are your feet, ankles, hands, or legs often swollen? This happens because of water retention, a condition known as edema. It is characterized by the accumulation of fluids in the tissues, circulatory system, and cavities.
Water retention, also known as fluid retention refers to an excessive build up of fluid in the circulatory system, body tissues, or cavities in the body. Up to 70% of the human body consists of waterwater exists both inside and outside our body’s cells. Edema is the medical term for swelling.

The main causes of edema are pregnancy, not being physically active, premenstrual syndrome, sedentary lifestyle, and certain medications. But, swelling can also occur during a long flight.

Most cases of edema are not serious. However, sometimes it can indicate heart failure or kidney disease, so it’s important to treat it on time.

Here are the main causes of edema as well as suggested ways of how to reduce the swelling and avoid water retention, as long as there’s no underlying condition.

6 Causes of Edema and suggested solutions

1. Excessive Sodium Intake

If your diet is based on sodium-rich foods and if you don’t drink enough water, your body will use its water reserves. This, in turn, results in water retention. The human cells can expand up to 20 times with the help of water. So, the important thing here is to know which foods contain high amounts of sodium, so you can start avoiding them.

Besides salt, sodium can also be found in canned vegetables, some condiments, processed meat, and other processed foods. On the other hand, Celtic and Himalayan sea salt can reverse the water retention caused by table salt.

2. Magnesium Deficiency

Lack of magnesium can lead to edema. This mineral is vital for most functions in the body, so insufficient amounts of it can hinder the proper function of the body. This will eventually lead to water retention.

One research showed that taking 200 milligrams as a daily dose of magnesium can reduce water retention in women with premenstrual symptoms. Increasing the intake of magnesium-rich foods or taking it as a supplement can relieve this condition.

Here are the foods which contain the highest amount of magnesium: dried fruits, spinach, dark green veggies, dark chocolate, nuts, avocados, peas, and whole grains.

3. Lack of Vitamin B6

Deficiency in vitamin B6 can lead to edema since it’s involved in many aspects of water balance in the body.

A study published in the Journal of Caring Sciences involved women who experienced water retention caused by premenstrual syndrome. They took vitamin B6 on a daily basis, and their condition was soon improved. This vitamin is water-soluble, so it requires many cofactors to function properly. Therefore, it’s best to obtain it from whole foods.

Foods high in this vitamin are potatoes with skin, chicken, lean beef, turkey, tuna, dried fruit, bananas, sunflower seeds, and pistachio nuts.

4. Lack of Potassium

This mineral is vital for the proper function of cells, tissues, and organs in the body. It plays a significant role in the maintenance of normal water balance in the body.

Potassium deficiency can result from not consuming enough potassium-rich foods but high amounts of salt. This will eventually lead to edema. Lack of this mineral can cause weight gain, muscle spasms, and cramps. Potassium can reduce water retention due to its ability to reduce the sodium levels.

You can find this mineral in most fruits, especially in watermelon, honey melon, and rockmelon.

5. Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough water. This condition forces the body to retain water in order to survive, resulting in swellings in your feet, ankles, hands, or legs. Luckily, it’s not hard to improve your condition. Just drink enough water and potassium-rich juices, and avoid soda drinks and coffee.

6. Excessive Consumption of Processed Foods

As we mentioned, processed foods are full of sugar and sodium – one of the leading causes of water retention. But, they also contain artificial food additives whose toxic nature puts a load on the kidneys and the liver.

Foods which contain high amounts of sugar including artificial sweeteners can cause spikes in the levels of insulin and blood sugar.

Therefore, we recommend avoiding processed foods as much as you can.