Chances of Finding Good Work

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Chances of Finding Good Work

College students should realize early on that a BA degree is not a ticket to being able to get a good job with a high paying salary. This is backed by statistics. According to figures that appeared on the NCES, Digest of Education, the rate of unemployment for BA holders is at 7.5%. In fact this is not the best time for employment of college graduates when compared with past periods. Here is the unemployment rate for BA holders in the past:

  • 1990- 3.14% Unemployment rate
  • 2000  4.96% Unemployment rate
  • 2008  4.51% Unemployment rate

Even for the college graduates who were able to find work, not everyone did as well as expected. Many of those BA holders had to make do with jobs that are totally unrelated to what they have taken up in college. Here is a breakdown of where the college graduates of 2010 found jobs:

  • Retail Sales 24.6%
  • Amusement and Recreation Attendants 23.5%
  • Telemarketers 18%
  • Bartenders16.5%
  • Waitress and Waitresses 14.3%
  • Personal Care Aides 10.5%

As you can see, Retail Sales is the most common type of work that they were able to land. Almost one in every four of all college graduates took a job along that line. Jobs as Amusement and Recreation Attendants come as a close second. This infographic was created by

These figures are not really encouraging to students, but this does not mean that getting a higher education is totally wasted as a means of getting a high paying job. It is just a matter of taking up the right discipline. Certain college majors can be very high paying. Here are some examples of college majors that are sure to be worth it:

  • Biochemistry
  • Geology
  • Management Information Systems
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Petroleum Engineering


Petroleum Engineering is by far the best paying college major today. A newly graduate petroleum engineer can land an average starting pay of nearly $98K. After a few years that could rise to $155K. No other college major can offer such a high paying opportunity like that. But it isn’t just the college major which should be used in picking a career that pays well. The industry that one is going to join can also be used as a determining factor. A student who would like to enter a high paying industry for example should aim for the Mining, Quarrying& Oil & Gas Extraction, which is the best paying industry right now. The industry offers an average starting salary of $84,182 to its new entrants.



Students Wanted: Participate in a Collaborative 9/11 Memorial Interview/Blog Project

This is a wonderful collaborative project currently involving students in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and St.Croix.  If Interested in participating with your class: please contact me @mseideman or through my contact me page. Here is a direct link to the assigment.

9/11 Memories across the Country

Oral History Blog Post Assignment

Visit the Blog:

Learning Target: Students will demonstrate an understanding of social science methods of investigation through interviewing a family member on their memories of 9-11.  Students will analyze and discuss the interview through writing a blog post.

Step 1: The first part of your assignment is to interview someone who was old enough to really understand the impact September 11th had on America.  Please ask them the following questions and record their answers, either by writing or recording (video or audio).   It is your choice to document the interview through video or voice recording (your smart phone or computer can easily do that) if that is easier for you.

REMINDER:  Discussing the events of September 11, 2001 can be a very sensitive subject for most people.  Please handle the topic with the utmost care and compassion towards your interviewee.  If you face any difficulty completing this assignment to the fullest, please talk to your teacher.  If discussing the events of September 11, is difficult for you, please do not hesitate to talk to your teacher.

Interview Questions:

  1.  Who are you interviewing?
  2. What details do they remember about the day?  Where were they when they found out?  What were they doing?  What was the first thing they did when they found out?  Etc…
  3. What emotions did they experience that day?  What about the days immediately following?  Have them explain these as best they can.
  4. How do they think America has changed since September 11th?

Step 2: The second part of your assignment is to blog about your interview! Your blog post should include the following:

In your first paragraph create a summary of your family member or friend’s recollection of the events of 9/11. Your purpose here is to share their remembrances as truly as possible to reality- you should use both quotations and summaries in your own words. Make sure that you put quotes in “  “ marks and that you identify your source using only first name.

 In your second paragraph, explain why you think 9/11 has changed the world we live in today and how America has changed as a result of the events of this day. You may use the first person (I, You, we, my) in this section.

Step 3: Proof-read your blog post and make sure everything is correctly spelled. Read your paragraphs out loud to yourself to make sure the grammar and flow are well edited.  Students from around the country will read your posts, so you want to make sure it is appropriate for the public.

Step 4: Type and email your work to

● In the “To” field put:

● In the “subject”: Enter Blog Title and then Teacher’s  Last Name.ClassPeriod.Firstname&LastInitial (Teacher’s Last Name.1.JoeS)

● In the Text box: Copy & paste step 1 and 2 directly into email and push Send

General Tips:

  • If you want to see a sample blog post, please visit –
  • Make sure you put the title you want for your blog post as the email subject line
  •  Take out any signatures you have in your email
  •  Make sure you put your “First Name, Last Initial, Teachers Name” at the end of your post/email
  • If you have any pictures to share, please post them in the email.

Step 5: Please Comment on AT LEAST THREE other students’ blog posts. Make sure they are substantial, relevant, and sincere comments.  Don’t forget to sign your blog post with “First Name, Last Initial, Teachers Name”

6 Technologies Propelling Online Education and How Students Are Affected

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Education is undergoing a technological revolution that’s occurring worldwide at different speeds and extremes. Thanks to the following key technologies, we’re seeing the development of learning platforms and environments that are unlike anything ever seen before in human history. Their impact on students, teachers and entire education related industries will be increasingly profound in the years to come.


1. High Speed Internet

High speed internet connectivity hasn’t yet reached every corner of the world but the latest statistics for 2013 show that subscription penetration worldwide sits at about 10% for fixed line connections and 29% for mobile connections. Furthermore, these numbers only reflect actual subscriptions, not necessarily total numbers of users, which can easily be much larger as students use school and work based connection subscriptions.

What these numbers signify is an absolutely wonderful trend whose impact on education and learning in general is already showing immense results. Since broadband internet technology is the foundation of all online learning capabilities that we are developing as a society, spreading the enormous data transmission power of broadband (be it mobile or fixed line) is giving millions of students around the world, and especially in developing countries, access to high quality online video courses, interactive programs and powerful information download options.


2. Tablets & Smart Phones

With the inexorable spread of broadband technology, there’s also a natural need developing for electronic devices which can access all the connected resources of the data charged high speed internet. This is where tablets and smart phones come into the picture. Though they aren’t quite as powerful as their more software and hardware heavy desktop and laptop counterparts, they’re quickly catching up and at a far cheaper price per unit –especially in the case of tablet computers.

Thanks to these varied little devices, millions of students are given access to powerful video platforms, reading applications and interactive learning software in the form of thousands of extremely diverse education related mobile software applications.

A student with a tablet that they bring to class regularly can use it to download the most up to date information on any in-class subject, find instruction videos and tutorials for their coursework and access massive archives of free online tutorial videos in every available academic subject from websites like with its 3000+ teaching videos on everything from math to history to physics.

Tablets and smart phones are already organically permeating online student learning worldwide, the real trick will be seeing clever educators and school administrators learn to incorporate these devices into their general curriculum in practical ways.


3. Mobile Apps

Along with the nearly exponential proliferation of portable connected tablets and smart phones, there is also a massive market developing for mobile apps that can be downloaded and used for so many different digital tasks that it’s hard to even comprehend the sheer scope of what a student can run on their device.

The apps marketplaces of both Android and Apple, the two largest tablet OS developers, hold nearly two million apps between themselves. Of course, of these hundreds of thousands of apps, only a tiny fraction are useful for online education and information hungry students. But even amongst this tiny fraction, we’re still talking about thousands of incredibly powerful, highly interactive software tools for collecting information, sorting it, collating it into interesting projects and building whole new ways of learning class materials. Apps like these are just a small sample of what’s available.

Thanks to mobile applications like those listed above and others, students learning from anywhere through the web can reach out and grab onto more tools than any student of any prestigious university could have dreamed of just 15 years ago.


4. Video Conferencing

Since the developments of high speed connectivity and visually interactive portable computers both took off during the last decade, it’s only natural that the long since anticipated technology of video conferencing also creeps into online learning.

Probably one of the single most powerful tools for online interactivity between teachers and their students, the ability to talk and share information via high quality video meeting software is becoming cheaper and more accessible than ever.

In some cases, these types of video calling tools consist of high end multiparty video meeting platforms like those offered by Oracle and InterCall, which can be used to hold entire classes online. And in other cases, we’re talking about free downloadable mobile video apps for tablets and phones. However, even these light free apps are incredibly capable thanks to the high tech video encoding and display capacities of modern computers and mobile devices.

Thanks to video conferencing and all its offshoots, we’re seeing the spread of classroom settings such as these.


5. Distance Education Programs

Video calling, high speed internet connectivity, thousands of education based mobile software apps and easy to buy mobile internet enabled devices; with so many beautiful technologies coming together at the same time and in the same setting, it’s only natural that the very old practice of distance education gets an enormous capacity boost!

The kinds of remote learning courses and programs that used to depend exclusively on mailing test papers, assignments and reading materials lists back and forth via excruciatingly slow physical mail couriers, are now giving way to instant online access to teachers, course materials, tutorial videos and information loaded cloud storage platforms that schools use to give their students access to materials 24/7 from any web connected machine anywhere on the planet.

Thanks to the fusion of all these technologies, we’re seeing the slow arrival of a situation in which “distance” education becomes almost as personal and interactive as the process of travelling to school and walking to class every day.

This technology driven revolution in remote learning is going to give rise to many more developed and highly regarded programs such as these from Olivet Nazarene University Grad School.


6. Social Media Platforms

The other, more organic and much more student driven side of the online learning coin is the immense and deeply interconnected world of social media that has grown up around students and teachers like an immense digital spider web.

Through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Students can collaborate with each other on all sorts of projects, contact their professors with questions and access human resources in the form all sorts of online learning groups from all over the world.


The overall contribution of social media when it comes to online education basically lies in the fact that it makes the digital connectivity between all these players that much more instant, constant and robust.


About the author: Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to education, education technology, marketing technology and brand promotion. He also loves to read and write about subjects as varied as the idea of a location-free business, portable business management, and strategic marketing and advertising tactics. When he’s not busy writing or consulting, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn

Evernote as a Portfolio: Promotes Lifelong Learning!

Thanks to Justin Stallings, my blog has featured a bunch Evernote blog posts (see the previous posts listed below). Evernote is by  FAR one of the best tools I use on a daily basis in my classroom: from lesson plans, to file sharing, to assignments, to bookmarking…. the ideas are endless. After co-hosting #sschat a follower asked me to explain how I had my students create digital portfolios using Evernote.

Why a portfolio? 

A portfolio is really useful way to store projects, writing samples, and student-centered learning. It can be used by students, parents, and teachers to document progress and learning in the classroom. Portfolios allow students to reflect, share, and document their own learning. This summer I planned a really awesome senior project where my students took a problem with the government, researched it, conducted their own research, and presented a solution. The cumulative project was a portfolio documenting their progress: including a research paper and a documentary film about their topic.  You can view the project here. This summer I transitioned from the idea of doing a paper portfolio to a digital one using Evernote as the primarily system for creating portfolios in my classroom.


Why Evernote?

As I was researching options to create digital portfolios Evernote naturally came to mind due to its ability to sync with any device,  as well as be accessed from any internet browser. The Evernote app allows students to easily capture and document their portfolios from any device including iPods, iPads, or their mobile device.  Evernote is free, has an app for every device, and is easy to use. Check out Evernote.


How do you use Evernote as a digital portfolio?

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Evernote as a Lifelong Learning Tool

One of the best features of using Evernote is that it allows students to take their portfolios and share them with the world! Evernote allows the student to be in control of their own learning in terms of sharing, documentation, and ultimately reflection. Instead of digging out files from a basement, my students will be able to digitally carry their milestones and accomplishments with them. They can watch as they progress into lifelong learners and the ownership placed on the student. It is a very valuable process to observe and as a teacher it is so rewarding to see your students be excited about their learning. 


Previous Evernote Blog Posts

Please see Justin’s posts in the Evernote for the Social Studies Series:

Part 1: Evernote for the Social Studies: What is Evernote

Part 2: Evernote for the Social Studies: Evernote in the History Class

Part 3: Evernote for the Social Studies: Evernote and Skitch

Part 4: Evernote for the Social Studies: Lesson Planning with Evernote

Part 5: Evernote for the Social Studies: Evernote and Study Blue

Evernote for Educators Livebinder

The Top Ten Ways I Structure my AP Government Course

I recently had someone ask me how I setup my AP Government classroom. I figured I would write a post about it since it was just easier to explain. This is going to be my 7th year of teaching (wow how fast time flies) and my 5th year teaching AP Government and Politics. I finally feel comfortable with the content and preparation after my 4th year.


Warning: I make money off of this idea. 


The Top Ten Ways I Structure my AP Government and Politics Course

1. AP Government 1 Page Chapter Summaries: Last year I gave each chapter review page during the structure AP Government review time. This year I am giving these chapter summaries before every test and collecting them and placing them into a student file folder. At the end of April I will be giving the folders back to my students and they will already have the review sheets completed. The 11 chapter summaries are one page handouts that are very simple and graphically appealing, which include the most essencial information in EVERY chapter in AP Government. This would be a great supplement to do for AP review or to include as you learn each unit to make a study guide for the AP exam in May.


2. Free Response Essay Packet:  This is a 12 page document of all the AP Government and Politics Free Response Questions (FRQ’s) from the past 14 years. The document contains all FRQ’s from 1999-2013. FRQ’s are subdivided in unit and historical order. This is a VERY useful tool to have for an AP Government student. I plan on reviewing previous FRQ’s with my students before each unit test and during the structured AP review time.


3. How to Write a Free Response Essay Handout:  This is a handout on how to write a Free Response Essay on the AP Government exam. It has helpful tips and suggestions to write the essay.


4. AP Government Vocabulary List: This is a list of over 300 vocabulary words that are essential when learning AP Government and Politics. The vocabulary words are organized by unit (9 units total). The vocabulary words and definition are organized in alphabetical order. I give this packet out at the beginning of the year to help my students study and learn the material. We also play bingo before every unit test. My students fill in the words for the chapter to the blank bingo card and I read the definitions from the vocabulary list.


5. Socratic Seminar Handout: This is a handout to encourage students to have rules and expectations with socratic seminars. This handout is very useful when introducing the socratic seminar as a form of discussion in any class. I usually assign a controversial article related to AP Government and students must generate three socratic style questions for homework. My students then come to class ready to discuss the article through the socratic method.


6. Government Chapter Reading Questions: This is a list of 3-5 essential critical reading questions for each unit of government. This handout can be modified for any book or government course since the content is the same. I usually give this handout out at the beginning of the year and have my students read the chapter and respond to the questions in an extended response format.


7. Student Self-Evaluation for Classroom Participation: This is a student self-evaluation on their own level of classroom participation. I joke with my student’s that I have the final VETO say in their grade for participate but I do let them self-reflect and evaluate their own behavior.


8. Debate Assignment:  This is a debate assignment for six separate government debates. The debate structure, rubric, audience rubric, audience evaluation guide, and guidelines are included. My class does these debates in two teams of two for each topic. The rest of the class is the audience. These debates were specifically planned for one debate for each unit.

Debate topics:

1. Voting should be compulsory in our democracy
2. The American two-party system is so strong that voting for third party candidates cannot effectively influence public policy.
3. There should be term limits for members of Congress.
4. Direct popular vote should replace the Electoral College.
5. Americans would be safer without a constitutional right to carry a weapon.
6. Affirmative action programs are necessary to safeguard the opportunities of underrepresented minorities.


9. Participation in Government: Ever wish your students were more involved in politics in the community. This assignment requires them to attend one political event out of a list of events in the community. They also need to write a paper response with a series of question prompts. There is a grading rubric provided as well as sample community event options to participate with.


10. Current Event Blog Post:  This is the detailed assignment, rubric, and schedule for the current event blog post assignment. Students are assigned one week each marking period to write one current event blog post and give an in class presentation. Students must include a summary, analysis, visual, and MLA citation, and connection to the course.