Chances of Finding Good Work

Warning: This is a paid advertisement! For a company promoting an idea. 


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.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Make your Life Easier with Google Chrome Extensions

Chrome Extensions are extra features that you can add to Google Chrome. Extensions can make your life easier and help you browse the internet. Some Benefits of Extensions: get bonus information about a page, get timely notifications, and get more accomplished with fewer clicks.  My favorite extension is Evernote Web Clipper, which allows me to save anything I find on the web or on twitter. It is so useful when you want to save an article or website for later. I no  longer use bookmarks and if you correctly tag and save your search in a notebook you can easily access your files.

Here are my Chrome Extensions.

Here are my Chrome Extensions.

  • Autocopy – Automatically copies text or links when they are selected. Imagine how many times a day you click Control or Command + C. Now, you don’t have to!
  • Awesome Screen Shot – Capture a whole page or just a portion. It also ncludes annotating tools.
  • – Removes YouTube add-ons and related videos from the screen, showing only the video and the search bar. Great for removing questionable ads and related videos that pop up.
  • Docs Quickly – Allows you to quickly create a new Google Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet or Drawing.
  • Dropbox – Provides easy access to your Dropbox account and files as well.
  • Evernote Web Clipper – Lets you send any link or site to Evernote.
  • URL Shortener – Shortens a URL and also provides the option to create a QR code and additional details.
  • Google Voice – Allows you to keep up with Google Voice from your computer. You can even send text messages back and forth.
  • Pinterest – Pin from any website to your Pinterest boards.
  • Printliminator – (not an extension) Use this bookmarklet to remove unnecessary or unwanted aspects of a web page before printing.
  • Send to Google Docs – You can take any webpage and turn it into PDF that you can send straight to Google Docs.
  • Sound Gecko – Creates an mp3 of the text of a web page and allows you to save it to Google Drive or listen on the mobile app. You can also read along with the text.
  • Yellow Highlighter – You can highlight webpages and share them through Twitter and Facebook for others to read. It also creates a unique URL to share your highlighted annotations with anyone.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Google Lesson Plans

Yesterday I learned about Google Lesson Plans from @KaelynBullock from the #engsschat discussion. Students’ need to be taught research skills and how to deal with the world’s content using the “Google a Day” challenge. Google A Day challenges help your students’ put their search skills to the test, and to get your classroom engaged using technology, to discover the world around them, and to become critical thinkers and learners.

Students’ need to be taught how to effectively use web-search tools and critically evaluate sources. Google has created lesson plans to help teachers educate their students about critical source evaluation.The literacy lessons help teachers meet the new Common Core State Standards and are broken down based on level of expertise in search: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 8.54.01 PM


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Daily Infographics in the Classroom

I am a huge fan of using infographics in the classroom to share an important key concept. I have used infographics in class such as who votes, path to the white house, pay gap in history, and income tax. I recently subbled upon a wonderful website called Daily Infographic. The website features daily infographics that are visually appealing and discuss a variety of topics.  It’s a really neat site with visual data that can be applied to any couse or subject. Hope you enjoy it!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

40 Pinterest Pins for Proud Grammar Nerds

Note: Guest post written by Shanna Houston from Online Education Database.

The digital world is rife with grammatical errors (not to mention spelling, historical, and factual errors), making the Internet a pretty horrifying place for grammar nerds. Yet the Web can also be a great place for those with a passion for grammar to commune, share knowledge, and even to silently, or not so silently, judge the poor grammar of others. Even better, resources for grammarians can even show up in unexpected places.

While Pinterest may more often be used to collect inspiration for DIY projects and drool over insanely expensive couture, it is also an excellent resource for getting nerdy about grammar. Visitors to the site will find copious amounts of grammar-related humor, grammar guides, and plenty of commiseration over the poor state of grammar in the world today. To get you started on your grammar-focused Pinterest journey, we’ve selected some amazing pins that are sure to leave you prouder than ever of your grammar nerd status.

Grammar Rule Reminders

These instructional pins are great refreshers on correct grammar, both for you and others who may not have such impeccable grammar skills.

  1. Rules for placing quotation marksShare this pin to help you and your less grammar-savvy friends remember the rules for placing quotation marks.
  2. List of prepositionsYou can help yourself remember what words should never end up at the end of a sentence with this useful pin.
  3. 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly: Use this pin to help friends and family avoid making some of the most common grammar gaffes.
  4. How to use a semicolonThis pin offers those who aren’t semicolon literate the chance to learn, but is also a great refresher for grammar nerds.
  5. 12 Most Misunderstood Words in EnglishHere you’ll find a list of words that are commonly misused, from the infamous “nauseous” to the continually misunderstood “less.”
  6. 10 Hyphenation TipsHyphens are often misused and abused, but this pin will help you learn (or teach others) when they should and shouldn’t be used.
  7. The Write WayDon’t you hate it when people misuse words that sound similar but have different meanings? This pin tackles eight of the worst offenders.
  8. Purposeful pausesThis graphic illustrates the difference between commas, colons, and semicolons.
  9. Editor’s MarksIf you’re going to correct someone else’s grammar, make sure you have the tools to do it the right way. This reference tool will help you use classic editing marks like a pro.

Grammar Peeves

It’s not hard to think of a pet peeve (or several) when it comes to failure to use proper grammar. These pins highlight just a few of the worst examples.

  1. Different from vs. different thanDoes it irritate you every time you see someone say “different than” when they really should be using “different from” and vice versa? This pin feels your pain and offers a funny take on the grammar rule.
  2. Why you should use the Oxford commaIf you’re a fan of the Oxford comma, then you’ll appreciate this hilarious example, involving strippers, JFK, and Stalin, of why commas are so important.
  3. Your vs. You’reOne of the most common mistakes in writing is confusing “your” with “you’re.” This pin shows a somewhat disturbing example of how to use the words correctly.
  4. Literally!: This comic lays out the correct way to use literally by showcasing some of the common ways it’s often misused in everyday speech.
  5. Supposably is a wordAs you’ll learn here, “supposably” is a real word. The problem with it is that it’s commonly confused with “supposedly,” a mistake that has grated on many a grammar nerd’s nerves.
  6. Top Ten Grammar PeevesYou’re bound to find at least a couple of your biggest grammar peeves on this list.
  7. Suspicious quotation marksMisuse of quotation marks is a big peeve for many grammar nerds, and the way they’re used here implies that something pretty gross is going on.


These comics poke fun at poor grammar.

  1. Ancient grammar policeBeing a stickler for grammar is nothing new, as this comic amusingly illustrates.
  2. Open minded, but not when it comes to grammarWhen it comes to religion and politics, open-mindedness is fine, but grammar requires a much more discriminating approach.
  3. Pin the apostrophe on the contractionThis comic depicts a pretty wild and crazy English teacher party.
  4. Grammatical error allergyGrammar nerds will find humor in this comic, riddled with common grammatical errors.
  5. Comma sutraThis cute illustration is sure to get a giggle out of you, as it depicts commas engaging with each other in a variety of suggestive positions.
  6. The Internet is a grammar desertThe poor grammar and spelling that is so rampant on the Web can make a grammar nerd cringe, a fact that is clearly illustrated in this quip.
  7. “Alot” isn’t a wordThis pin drives home why “alot” isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a real word.
  8. Poor grammar in advertisingIf you loathe the poor grammar in the “Got Milk” ads, then you’ll find this comic on the issue especially funny.
  9. Grammar policing until the endThis comic imagines why English teachers were rarely hung in the Old West. When you’re done, click through to read a series of funny grammar-focused cartoons.
  10. Lay versus lieEven dogs know the difference between lay and lie!

Grammar Humor

Enjoy a few laughs courtesy of these grammar jokes and gaffes.

  1. Feminist grammarPunctuation plays a key role in determining the meaning of a sentence, and that’s especially true in cases like this.
  2. Grammar (on Google) mattersYou get drastically different suggested results on Google depending on the spelling and grammar you use, as this example tellingly illustrates.
  3. Funny grammar puns These clever puns would be perfect on a t-shirt, but if even you don’t emblazon them on clothing, they’re still great for a laugh.
  4. Grammar police graffitiEven graffiti isn’t safe from the wrath of the grammar police.
  5. 30 Rock grammar lessonTracy Jordan may not be the brightest character on TV, but even he knows when to use good and well.
  6. Grammar doctorThis pin takes a punny approach to the double meaning of colon.
  7. I’m silently correcting your grammarAdmit it: you do this constantly.
  8. Leftover punctuationTired of getting emails and papers that lack proper punctuation? Let everyone know how you feel with this pin.
  9. Check your grammarEven grammar sticklers who aren’t teachers can appreciate this amazing stamp.
  10. Grammar in the workplaceThis pin makes the importance of apostrophes and correct grammar strikingly clear.
  11. Hilarious misuse of “then”: This Facebook commenter really could have used a lesson in when to use “then” and “than” before posting this unintentionally funny status.
  12. Preposition humorGrammar nerds will love the humor in this preposition-focused pin.
  13. Correcting grammar in an argumentHave you ever resorted to correcting someone’s grammar in order to win an argument? You’re not alone.
  14. Grammar nerd coffee table book. Every grammar lover needs this book: I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. It’s a collection of grammar bloopers and slip-ups that’s sure to make you feel smart.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Visuwords for vocabulary

Visuwords is an interesting free program that allows users to search for word meanings, word associations, and so much more in a graphic way. All you have to do is enter words into the search box and then you can move them around to help your students make connects to the content. It’s like a dictionary, but so much better! A network of words spring from the word you entered. Besides being educational, it’s also fun to play with. Check it out today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Use Pinterest to Spice up your Teaching

Hello blogosphere!  My friend Melissa invited me to compose a few guest posts on her blog, and I am delighted to share a few thoughts with you!

You may recall from earlier posts that Twitter is a wonderful tool for teachers to connect with and share ideas and experiences with each other.  From reading feeds such as #sschat, teachers can share strategies and tips to improve their abilities in the classroom.  Gone are the days of staring at your plan book, searching for ideas on general search engines, and struggling to come up with a way to make the content engaging.  Now, help is just a few keystrokes away.  Let me share with you another great resource that I promise you will be fun, and more than a little addicting.


You may have heard of it.  If you have not used it and are not familiar with it, Pinterest is like a giant bulletin board.  Basically, when you log into the main page, you will see pictures (called “pins”) that other people have posted to their own boards (organized by theme or topic).  What people do is when they are browsing websites, if they see a picture of something that they really like, they click on the button to “pin” it, and then are redirected to Pinterest, where they pin the picture to the board of their choice.  Then, when they visit their pinboards later, and click on the “pinned” picture, they are redirected to the site where the picture originated.  I have pinned pictures of scarfs from knitting websites for future reference, then, months later, gone back and clicked on the pin to go to the website to get the pattern.  It’s like bookmarking pages using pictures.

Let’s just say that when I discovered that there were educational themed pin boards out there that I went a little crazy.  Over the course of a few days, I pinned over 75 different educational ideas to my “school ideas” board.  I got these pins both from educational blogs that I visited, websites, and of course, other peoples boards.  I learned several interesting things from Pinterest that I hope to use in my future classroom.


Interesting Ideas to Apply to Your Classroom

1.  Did you know that plastic plates (the throw-away kind) can double as little dry erase boards?  Glue one to a big popsicle stick and you have an instant response paddle.  (not a people paddle…make sure you set guidelines with your class for proper use, especially if you teach the lower grades 🙂 )   

2.  Home Depot sells dry erase paint.  And chalkboard paint.  You can now paint any surface and create chalk/dry erase boards.

3.  Using salt-dough clay and a little paint,  you can have students study geography by creating a land mass with various landforms.  Make a connection with world history by having students design the ideal land area to sustain a civilization.  What do people need to survive?  How do civilizations grow and prosper?  What area would be best suited to help people thrive?


4.  Remember playing “Guess Who” as a kid?  Well, if you can find one of the old game boards (and if you have the time and patience) you can cut out and glue pictures of historical people onto the flip cards, and you have a fun and interactive review game!

All told, I have over 100 pins on my “school ideas” board, and the 4 above ideas don’t even scratch the surface of the wonderful sources that I have found.  From classroom management strategies, to hands-on learning, to links for teaching to the Common Core, to classroom organization, to writing prompts and technology, the ideas (and pins!) are endless.  Simply browse pins in the Education category and be prepared to spend at least an hour glued to your computer, reading up on a ton of wonderful resources.

Finally, one last pin for the road.  I found a pin that links up to a blog, that lists over 200 pinboards full of education ideas.  If those pinboards are anything like mine, and have about 100 pins on them each, then you are looking at potentially 20,000 different educational pins to browse and repin to your own board for you to reference later.

Enjoy and happy pinning!


This post was written by Guest Blogger- Mandi Morningstar. You can follow Mandi @Mandiamstar Mandi is a New York State certified 7-12 social studies teacher.  She worked for 4 years teaching 9th and 10th grade Global History and Geography before being laid off.  Mandi is currently looking for a classroom to call her own, and working as a substitute teacher in the meantime.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ithaca College in 2007 with her BA in Social Studies Education, and from SUNY New Paltz in 2011 with her MS in Adolescent Education with a history concentration.  Mandi and her fiance live in Beacon, NY with their cat, Yao-Man.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Teach Civics: Use Project Vote Smart

Project Vote Smart is a wonderful website for any civic or government teacher. The website is designed to be practical informative, and useful when teaching about Congress, political parties, campaign finance, the Constitution, elections, state government and much more. There are lessons, interactive activities, and so many other resources. 


The Voter’s Self-Defense System

Every candidate and elected official from President to local government can be easily and instantly accessed through the Voter’s Self-Defense System:

  • Voting Records — Project Vote Smart digests key legislation in Congress and all 50 states into easy-to-understand summaries, making it easy to compare what your representatives said during the campaign with how they actually voted on the record.
  • Biographical & Contact InformationBiographical & Contact Information — From their previous professions, education, family life, and organizational memberships, to their latest e-mail address; we gather it all.
  • Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) — We test thousands of candidates for President, Congress, Governor and State Legislature with our Political Courage Test. The Test accurately measures candidates’ willingness to provide voters with their positions on the issues they will most likely face if elected.
  • Interest Group Ratings— See how over 150 competing special interest groups evaluate your representatives. Despite their bias, special interest group ratings can help indicate where an incumbent has stood on a particular set of issues.
  • Public Statements — Vote Smart is constantly collecting speeches and public comments made by the president, governors, and congressional representatives. Just type in a word, say; ‘immigration’ and all public utterances containing the word ‘immigration’ will appear. Compare what they said while campaigning in California a few years ago to what they are saying now in New Hampshire.
  • Campaign FinancesCampaign Finances — How much money did your representatives raise and from whom?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SoundGecko Converts Any Article Into an MP3

I learned about SoundGecko from Lifehacker blogSoundGecko is an interesting resource for teachers and students of all ages.   SoundGecko is a FREE text-to-audio transcribing service that lets you “read” any article or written content from the web on the go in an audio format.

All you have to do is paste a URL into SoundGecko and it converts the article into speech. You can send the new audio file via email, Dropbox, or Google Drive for immediate syncing. You can also use the iphone app and chrome extension for quicker conversion. Hopefully, they will come out with an ipad app soon! SoundGecko would have been so useful in college and it can help all ages of students in education. SoundGecko works efficiently and simply to use. Pretty amazing website, check it out today!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bring the World into your Classroom with World Wonders Project

I recently discovered the Google World Wonders Project  which is a website that brings historical sites online.  The website is very interesting and educational because it uses Google’s Street View technology, 3D modelling, photos, videos and information to deliver an interesting medium to go on a virtual field trip. You and your students can truly explore the world from your classroom!


There are many interesting historical locations available to explore on the site, including the Palace of Versailles, the Historic Centre of Cordoba, Stonehenge and Hiroshima. I recently explored Independence Hall and was amazed at the collection of resources: videos, google maps, images, and in depth information about the location. I can’t think of a better way to learn about history, other than actually visiting the historic site!
Google also offers free, easy-to-use, and downloadable history resources which are designed in support and engage students in the study of history. The resources are clear, very well organized and FREE. I already found myself bookmarking specific historical sites to use for next school year.  Check it out today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Does your class want a pen pal next year?

People to People International has a FREE service that connects classes and youth groups with pen pals or educational exchanges across the globe. I registered my sociology class and I am hoping it will be a great opportunity to compare cultures. It is a free program for cultural exchanges, interdisciplinary projects, and so much more. Teachers of students ages 4 to 18 are invited to participate. If selected to participate your class will receive guidance, tips for communication, and other project ideas. Classes can communicate email, snail mail, and Skype.


Registration is open July – October each year. For additional information before you register, download this info sheet or submit an info request.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Use Thinglink to Create a Media Rich Environment

ThingLink is an interesting website designed around the idea of sharing and tagging photos. Once you log in to Thinglink you can upload any photo or use a photo’s url to share the photos online. Users can tag photos with details, questions, and relevant links. The tags can be revealed every-time a user scrolls their mouse over the uploaded image. Users can also drive traffic to the site through the image tags as well as gather statistics related to the online traffic the image generates. The image truly becomes an interactive and media rich environment.

Application in the Classroom: As  a teacher, I foresee myself using this for cartoons or interesting photographs. I can pose questions or relevant details through image tagging and have my students respond electronically to their own interpretation of the image or cartoon. Check out my Thinglink of the Migrant Mother image.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Animated Maps and So Much More

I learned about the BBC’s History website from Ken Halla author of the US History Teacher’s Blog. The BBC History website has a wonderful collection of resources on World War I, World War II, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. This would be a wonderful resource for more information when studying WWI, WWII, or the Cold War or it would make a great web-quest for students.

Here is an  interesting resource on interactive World War I Maps as well as a list of resources on World  War I.

Citation: BBC History 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Golden Rules about Using Technology in schools

1. Technology should not be trapped in a room such as a lab. I could not agree more that technology should be brought into the classroom and harnessed where students are learning and interacting. It should be mobile, assessable, and consistently updated. This week I was talking with one of my students. I asked her how often she uses computers in class. She replied, “once we used them in art class.” My mouth dropped. We are doing our students such a disservice  by not integrate technology into our teaching.

2. Technology is worthless without professional development and administration that supports it. Money and time needs to be spent on not only teaching teachers how to use the new technology, but encouraging creatively to implement technology into an educators’ daily teaching practice. Teachers need to be encouraged to use it and given opportunities to collaborate and enhance their instruction through meaningful professional development.

3. Mobile technology is in our classrooms, why aren’t teacher’s harnessing the power of cell phones? My husband and I went out to dinner this weekend. At the Hibachi table we were surrounded by a room full of 12 year old girls. When the cake came out all the girls (including the birthday girl) took out their cell phones. Out of the 12 girls around the table 7 had smart phones and the rest had basic cell phones. I laughed at the whole experience thinking that these kids probably don’t use them in school, but they are attached to them every single moment of the day. Cell phones can replace reference books, flip cameras, calculators, cameras, instant response devices, and so much more. They can save schools money and enhance instruction if done in an appropriate way.

4. Schools Fear Change. Schools across the country fear change… such as being replaced by the virtual classroom or collaborative web tools that are blocked because of their potential. Schools need to adapt and change to the modern era. Classrooms across the county are the same set up, design, and instruction since the mid 1940’s or earlier. Kids need to be taught how to deal with 21st century social media and taught how to use it appropriately. Blocking is NOT the answer, education is!

5.Technology tools are not just a fad- Everyone is a natural lifelong learning. Technology will change, we need to teach our students the skills to adapt to the changing environment.

6. Money is not the problem. Teachers have access to thousands of free web tools, twitter, and other methods of professional development. Don’t be afriaid to try new technology!

6. INVITE EVERY STAKEHOLDER TO THE CONVERSATION. “Who’s at the table?” Bellow asked. “Mostly administrators, some ask teachers. But here’s a novel idea. Let’s have students come to the table, and parents too!” I could not agree more with this rule. Students and parents need to be included in the conversation about technology in the classroom. Let’s get ALL the stakeholders involved.


Citation: Adam S Bellow  7 Golden Rules about Using Technology in Schools.

Image: credit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Citelighter- Save, Highlight, and Cite Your Research

Citelighter is a really interesting research tool to save time, organize information, and properly cite research gathered on the web. It saves, organizes, and cites information while you research on the Internet.  Once you install Citelighter on your toolbar, students can highlight any piece of text on any website by simply pushing “capture.” Citelighter automatically saves the page to a virtual notebook for easy reference. When you want to use the research all the important highlights are saved in one place. You can also reorder the highlighted text as well as post comments near it. The research tool also automatically cites information gathered on the web.  Check it out today!

Citelighter How-to Video from saad alam on Vimeo.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email