Are Warnings Against RF Radiation Valid?

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Dr. Joseph Mercola recently addressed the issue of the dangers of Wireless Technology:

Is Wireless Technology Dooming a Generation to Ill Heath?

Included in his article is a 2016 video of ABC’s Wi-Fried?

While there are studies indicating an association between RF Radiation and Cancer, including Brain and Heart problems, many are not concerned because the studies in their minds have not be replicated.  One problem is that it takes more time for problems to arise. Surviving population in Japan after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not show ill effects of the radiation until 40 years later.

My phone states the following in the Legal/Health and Safety section of settings:

“This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.”

In another part of this section, it says of the studies that do show an association that “these studies fail to be replicated.”  They go on to say that the following precautions should be taken:

1. Reduce exposure by reducing time.

2. Use speaker mode or a headset putting more distance between the body and the device.

While we cannot avoid all exposure here are some actions that we can take to protect ourselves and our children:

  1. Do not introduce this technology to infants and young children.
  2. Use the airplane mode as much as possible.
  3. Use wired technology when at all possible.
  4. Turn off router at night, locate it as far from the bedroom as possible.
  5. Use cell phones as far from the body as possible (speaker mode and hands-free devices).
  6. Eliminate the use of microwaves (toaster/convection ovens are a good alternative).
  7. Store devices in a Faraday bag.  http://www.faradaybag.com as much as possible.

 

Throughout the ABC presentation, they made many comparisons to how long it took for the ill effects of tobacco to be well-accepted.  Are we going down that same road with wireless technology?

 

 

 

 

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How Research Leads to Solutions for Struggling Learners

Have you or a loved one received a diagnosis of “developmental dyslexia” or “dyslexia”? Have you or a loved one struggled with learning to read – no matter what methods and curricula have been used? Research leads us to more answers to our questions and more solutions for those who struggle.

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How would you feel knowing your student would have more tools to succeed in life? What would it be like for him to learn fascinating information on his own? What would it be like to be carried off to a faraway time and place by reading a great story?

While many have considered dyslexia to be a combination of two deficits, the more current view, based on new research, providers believe that multiple deficits contribute to a diagnosis of “developmental dyslexia” will prove more helpful in helping those who struggle with reading.  Belief that “weaknesses in either the visual (rapid automatized naming -RAN) or the auditory (phonological awareness-PA) can cause dyslexia has led teachers to address these two areas.  Those with both deficits experienced severe difficulties in reading. (Wolf in Journal of Educational Psychology, 1999)

Now, more and more look to these areas and some additional areas: genetics, environmental, and perceptive/cognitive differences.  With the use of fMRIs we can see what is going on inside the human brain.  In a recent webinar, neuroscientist, Dr. Martha Burns, reported new research that confirms how these factors interact to present different kinds and degrees of learning challenges.

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Not surprisingly the research shows that reading and language share specific parts of the brain that includes both the visual and auditory areas. While searching for the cause and effect relationship within genetic factors, researchers learned that the brain of an infant show signs of genetic causes of learning challenges discovered later. In 2017, Gaab published findings that 50% of children with a sibling or parent with dyslexia were likely to also receive a diagnosis. This number rose to 68% in identical twins.

Finding the underlying cause leads us to specific strategies for the individual since all of these factors combine in different ways.  At Unlocking Learning Potential / Family Academy Online we address reading challenges using the neurodevelopmental approach ( www.unlockinglearningpotential.net) as well as with Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant. Dr. Martha Burns, of Scientific Learning, says that Scientific Learning programs paired with an effective curriculum provide the best outcome for our children.

My name is Z.C. I began working with the learning specialist at Unlocking Learning Potential in 2009. By 2011 I could see how I had grown tremendously with my education and learning.  With the neurodevelopmental evaluation, I found out that I was far below my grade level academically. At first, I thought the activities were silly, futile and would not work, but as I kept doing them I started noticing the big differences in every area of my learning. I could read faster, comprehend more, my vocabulary increased, and my memory improved.” Z.C. graduated from high school in 2011.

Watch this video to learn more about these scientifically based solutions to learning challenges. Plus, learn how you can unlock your child’s learning and reading abilities.

https://youtu.be/5BmNPJ9KdSo

3 Ways to Help Students Achieve Success in Reading and Language

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Do you wonder why your student struggles with reading? I have spent much of my forty years of teach searching for ways to help student learn. Teaching reading has consumed most of those efforts. As you probably realize, many of our students today are missing developmental pieces and cognitive skills.

I have found that children are so very different and learning challenges do not always respond to the same interventions. However, educators across the country help students achieve success in reading and language using two Scientific Learning programs: Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant

These programs provide us with 3 ways to help our students:

  1. Build students’ cognitive skills. Cognitive (learning) skills addressed by Fast ForWord products:  memory, attention, processing rate and sequencing  Reading Skills addressed: phonological & phonemic (sound) awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding (sound out words), working memory (remembering long enough to do something with), syntax and grammar (structure of our language)

2. Prepare students’ brains to hear English. Once we fill in the missing pieces of development in the brain, a child can read and use the English language.

3.      Have students practice reading aloud, with support. Finally, we can provide opportunity for the children to read aloud – to other people and with Reading Assistant to the computer which provides timely correction.

You can read a blogger / inservice provider’s experience:  3 Ways to Help Struggling Readers and English Language Learners http://inservice.ascd.org/3-ways-to-help-struggling-readers-and-english-language-learners/

Over 250 studies show that Fast ForWord and Reading Assistance provides all of this for children across the country. www.scientificlearning.com/results

To learn how more about Fast ForWord  / Reading Assistant and how we use it with our students watch this video:  https://youtu.be/5BmNPJ9KdSo   Be sure and watch to the end for the special offers.

Personal Reflections 2017 – # 19 – How did the online part of Family Academy Online and Unlocking Learning Potential begin?

Online Student

Prior to 2004, the Jiles family lived in Olympia, Washington. They drove to Lakewood, Washington to attend Academy Northwest classes at our learning center. Then the dad’s work took them to Georgia. There they met the Robinson family.  I worked with the Jiles family and Tim Robinson. Later the Jiles moved to Spokane and the Robinson family moved to Texas. I continued to work with them via long distance and these students graduated.  Also around that time, Ariel from New Jersey worked with me and graduated early from ANW.  She has gone on for graduate work. I never met Tim and Ariel in person. Our use of the internet and the phone was problematic, but we were able to get the job done. Further, my learning center students in Lakewood posted assignments and responded in a closed Yahoo group.

Much has happened since that time. For one thing, we access virtually (no pun intended) all of our students online. Thankfully, our access to the internet is exceptional by comparison.  Video conferencing provides a great video and audio experience with minimal problems most of the time.  We can access many of these services for free or at least a minimal charge.  Some do cost more. For that reason, our students can access one or more of the following as appropriate: http://www.SpellingCity.com, Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, www.hearbuilder.com, Structure of Intellect assessments, and G-Suite for Education.  I would rate simultaneous correction of writing assignments on Google Drive as my newest favorite tool.

Is Modern Technology Bad for Learning? Tips for the User of Modern Technology

Recently I went to my beauty salon  to get my hair cut. They were running a special – “Hair Cuts for $7.00 after 7:00 pm on Tuesday evenings.”  There were more people than usual in the waiting area because of the special as many of us are looking for ways to save money. Most of us who were waiting were visually occupying ourselves while we waited.  There were five to six people using hand-held electronic devices – phones, iPads etc. Two people were reading magazines and two of us were reading books. I do not know specifically what the owners of the electronic devices were doing – there are many ways to use these devices including talking, texting, listening to music, playing games, surfing the web and reading.  It appeared that most of the users were visually occupied.
Since we see such great technological advancement in our day, we may think that we have increased in our intelligence. Sadly, our education system seems to be floundering. Some would have us think that our forefathers were widely illiterate.  To discover the literacy of our forefathers we could calculate the “readability” of their documents.  Educators determine the readability or grade level of a text by using a graph counting the number of sentences and syllables in a 100-word passage. Our forefathers used long words and long sentences placing the readability far above the majority of students and adults today.  For example, I looked up The Federalist Papers online and chose a 100-word passage from each of the three authors (Alexander Hamilton # 1, James Madison #38 and John Jay #64). Each were at least college level using Fry’s Readability Graph. Keep in mind that these papers were intended to be read and understood by everyone throughout the Colonies, not just intellectuals.
Due to the relative lack of close visual stimuli, these individuals allowed their eyes to develop normally.  They were outside much of the time, allowing their visual system to mature. Also, they had well-developed auditory systems. This can also be understood by reading the documents. Listening to each other speak in this way helped as well.

Our lives are so much different now.   However, we do not have to return to an agrarian society to restore much of what has been lost.  Here are some tips for the user of modern technology:
1. Take breaks often – at least looking up and outside.
2. When possible take longer breaks, taking walks outside.
3. Get sunshine and breathe deeply.
4. Use appropriate sized reading material for young eyes.
5. Limit screen time (TV, Computer, and hand-held electronic devices) for young children whose auditory and visual systems are still maturing.
6. Use meal times to discuss current events or other issues as a family.
7. Read together as a family.
8. Encourage and model reading for your children.