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May 6, 2017

Dinosaurs and the Autism Spectrum

Autism is a life-long, debilitating condition that affects a surprising number of people. Research from the National Autistic Society suggests that as many as half a million people in the UK have some form of Autism or have a related condition such as Asperger Syndrome. Autism is a condition that affects the way in which people relate to themselves and the world around them. Sufferers can be over-sensitive to sensory stimuli, they can find it difficult to make sense of their environment. Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism. People with Asperger Syndrome find it difficult to communicate and interact with others. Neither Autism or Asperger Syndrome are related to low intelligence, indeed, from our experience with children that have Asperger Syndrome the child concerned is often shown to have a higher than average IQ. For example, one of the attractions of dinosaurs to children on the Autism Spectrum are the long names and all the complicated facts associated with these prehistoric monsters. Some children on the spectrum, seem able to retain vast amounts of information related to their favourite dinosaurs and can recite an astonishing amount of factual information about them.

Detecting Children on the Autism Spectrum

These conditions cannot be detected just by looking at a person, there are no visual symptoms but they do manifest themselves in certain behaviours. If these behaviours can be identified in young children at an early age than steps and processes can be put in place to help them and their families manage their condition in an effective way. As these are termed “hidden disabilities” it can be very difficult to diagnose the condition. Fortunately, thanks to the campaigning of a number of charities and other organisations the awareness of both Autism, Asperger Syndrome and other related conditions has risen substantially over the last twenty years or so and many teachers and teaching assistants are now trained in being able to identify Autism in the school children in their class.

Children with Asperger Syndrome may have fewer difficulties with their speech and they usually do not have the accompanying learning difficulties associated Autism, but they may have specific learning issues. These can include dyspraxia and dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fortunately, society’s understanding of these conditions has greatly improved since my own time at school. Recently a friend was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum and having related dyslexia but as a school child her condition was not noticed and she did not (and nor did her parents), receive the help and support needed.

With the right help and encouragement, people on the Autism Spectrum and with Asperger Syndrome can lead completely fulfilled and independent lives. The important thing from our perspectives as teachers is to understand the condition and to put in place support at an early stage to help children and their parents/guardians/family members manage.

Autism is a Spectrum

When teaching a class it can be difficult to identify the behaviours in a young child that could indicate that this child has Autism or a related condition. The problem is there are “degrees” of Autism. I always prefer the term Autism Spectrum condition rather than the alternative title Autism Spectrum syndrome, but in my experience both are used. I imagine the condition of Autism like a long bar with a person with this condition fitting somewhere along this bar as each individual can be affected differently. It is true to say that whilst all people with Autism will share certain behaviours and difficulties making sense of their world and their environment, some people will be able to live independent lives whilst others, who may have related learning difficulties and disabilities will require specialist support throughout their lives.

Where do Dinosaurs Fit In?

There are certain types of behaviour associated with children on the Autism Spectrum. Not all people will display the same behaviours, Autism affects individuals in different ways. One of the mantras I use when teaching in a class where there is a child or children on the Autism Spectrum is to remember to “celebrate their uniqueness and to rejoice in the way that they are able to see the world differently from myself”. However, there are common behaviours and the subject of dinosaurs seems to lend itself to them.

For example, some children may be natural scholars and become extremely knowledgeable about a subject they enjoy. Studying dinosaurs seems to tick many of the boxes for them and they become almost totally immersed in their subject. Children on the Autism Spectrum may be able to recall information better than their peers, with so many facts and figures surrounding the study of dinosaurs they seem to be naturally drawn to this topic. For instance, being able to quote facts and statistics about dinosaurs – which was the biggest, fiercest, heaviest, fastest, longest? Vertebrate palaeontology and the Dinosauria in particular seem to be a rich source of information that is often recited repeatedly with parents/guardians being bombarded with questions and demands for more data.

In addition, young people on the Autism Spectrum may often not want to join in games with other children, preferring to play alone, immersing themselves in their favourite subject area and playing with dinosaur models and other replicas. Often they can repeat the game over and over again or insist on doing the same activity over and over again at the same time each day. The availability of videos and DVDs on dinosaurs can help with this. Children on the Autism Spectrum can enjoy watching repeated plays of the same DVD.

Dinosaur Days Out

Fortunately, there are a number of museums that have displays of dinosaur fossils and other items that can be visited. However, for a family taking a child on the Autism Spectrum out for the day can be a daunting prospect and one difficult episode can result in the parents/guardians losing all confidence.

There are some hopefully helpful tips and advice we can pass on to help parents/guardians manage the day out ensuring that it is a rewarding activity for all concerned.

1). Remember the Sensitivity

Some children on the Autism Spectrum can be over sensitive to loud noises and bright lights. If intending to visit a dinosaur attraction we recommend contacting the providers before you go to gain an understanding of any elements that may be distressing to your child.

2). Contact the Provider before you Visit

Getting in touch with the museum before the day gives you the chance to learn about any special arrangements that may be in place to help you get the most out of your day. You can also receive specialist advice and organise support on the day should it be needed.

3). Get the Guidebook before you Go

By getting a guidebook or leaflet before you visit you and your child can plan their day. This can help the child preparing them for the experience to a degree and enable you and your family to be able to get the most out of the visit

Obsessing on Dinosaurs

Not all children on the Autism Spectrum will have obsessions. Those that do may not obsess on dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. For instance, we have encountered a number of young children who become totally immersed in subjects as diverse as cars and “Thomas the Tank Engine”, but a number of children do develop a fascination for the Dinosauria. This in itself is no bad thing, as with the establishment of the creative curriculum in most parts of the United Kingdom schools are often covering this subject area within their teaching schemes of work. Learning about dinosaurs can help develop confidence, after all, many children will share this common interest and love of all things to do with dinosaurs. There are a large number of supplies of resources that can assist, everything from the local library, the regional museum and of course the internet. For parents/guardians too, learning about dinosaurs can be a rewarding experience especially if it is an area the enables them to celebrate the way in which their particular child views the world.

Source by Mike Walley

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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When a small business needs funding, where does it turn? There are plenty of ways for a small business to gain funding, each with their own unique advantages. While one may be good for a particular business, another may be more suitable to the next business. It all depends on the preferences of the small business and whether or not it will get approved. For small business owners looking to move up in the world, check out this list of sources to gain capital fast.

  1. Banks

This is probably the first thing anyone thinks of when it comes to loans. After all, lending money to clients and collecting the interest is one of the ways banks make their profits. It’s usually pretty easy to get approved with a good credit score. However, as it was just stated, banks make money off interest. Therefore, the interest rates on traditional bank loans tend to be a little higher than from other sources, although it varies with the market rate and the credit rating of the applicant.

  1. Merchant Cash Advance

Although similar to a bank loan, a merchant cash advance is usually safer and generates less interest. First of all, getting approved with a company like Water Street Capital is a much easier process than via a bank. As long as business grosses an average of $10,000 a month it can start applying confidently for up to $500,000! The application can be submitted online and usually takes about 3 business days to receive the money, however, the business can use the money for an array of different needs such and advertising, payroll, expansions, upgrades and more!

The way the client pays back the loan is also fundamentally different and makes this option one of the best for small businesses. The business agrees with the lender to repay the loan with a small percentage of their sales every month (like taxes). The amount is automatically taken out every month and varies with the success of the business. If it has a slow month, it pays less and if it finds itself enjoy more profits, it will pay off the debt faster!

  1. Crowdfunding

While it can’t really be labeled a “reliable” source, crowdfunding has skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years with sites such as Indiegogo and GoFundMe. It can be a great way to gain investors for a small business looking to expand. If the product is popular enough or unique enough, it will surely gain backers. However, it can’t always be counted on to come through. If the business doesn’t receive enough investments to reach its minimum goal, it receives nothing. It’s not the source to turn to for large financial requests, but it has proven to be effective in the past, sometimes with businesses even generating millions of dollars!

Source by Amarion Smith

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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EDetailing improves relationships with doctors, healthcare providers and veterinarians, as well. And is defined as utilizing technology digital sales detailing process for healthcare pharmaceutical and medical organizations. These companies use it to communicate their product information and service messages to other healthcare professionals. Since doctors are busy seeing as many patients as possible, they do not have time to meet with sales representatives; so e-detailers provide physicians with the accessibility of getting info that they need at a time more suitable to their schedule and through online or mobile capacities.

EDetailers also enable physicians to use a pc, (personal computer) to initiate a mentored learning app about a promoted product. This would include clinical practice, research evidence, patient advice, and prescribing information.

EDetailers are entrusted to amplifying communication between healthcare providers and manufacturers with factual timely and relevant information to help healthcare providers make informed decisions and more improved patient care.

EDetailers generally replace visits from a sales representative, but is a very valuable channel to receive information in regards to pharmaceutical products.

As a healthcare professional the convenience of having this vehicle is getting the opportunity to view products at your convenience when you have access to a pc, and the ability to view resources such as treatment guidelines, latest news, and clinical papers at a greater depth. Simply put, it is using engaging and interactive technology programs in the sales and product presentation process.

Medical and pharmaceutical organizations trust this product to provide the message of their products to healthcare professionals. You can get all the resources needed just by clicking on a tab.

The physician and pharmaceutical association can be reinforced through this vehicle by giving physicians the opportunity to improve their working conditions, and by cutting cost and increasing revenues for pharmaceutical organizations.

It also helps both physicians and sales reps with a better way of getting the info they need at a time that’s suitable to them. The flexibility and information you can get through eDetailing gets you all the references and resources needed with just a click of a tab.

Since there have been lots layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry in these past years, the need once produced by qualified representatives is now being met by technology. And again, physicians can obtain information by just clicking on a tab on their personal computer.

Physicians and pharmaceutical organizations should consider their options by carefully selecting a model that will fit their particular needs.

Source by Jerry O Smith

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Each innovation in technology has a life-cycle and whether you adopt in the beginning, middle, or end; you are a part of this cycle. If you are the type of person that had an HDTV in 2001 or a Nokia N95 in 2007, then you understand the concept of being an early adopter. This term refers to the second position in the technology life-cycle behind “innovators” and is made up of people who are usually very tech-savvy and willing to spend money to be among the first with a new gadget. There are a few benefits and even drawbacks of being an early adopter, but without these folks, there would not be the level of innovation that we enjoy today.

Early adopters, more often than not, are the first consumer “votes” that a company will have on a new piece of technology. What is meant by votes in this context is that in a supply and demand market, a company needs to have demand for the product or technology. While most times the early adopters will be faced with much higher prices and sub-par products than compared to the later stages of the adoption life-cycle, there are many reasons to become an early adopter.

Companies will usually have a higher level of contact with their early adopters because they tend to be more knowledgeable and provide candid answers. This can lead to a satisfying feeling of having your voice heard about something you are passionate. Most times this feedback can lead to much more gratifying iterations of the technology in the future. For example, people who bought an iPhone in 2007 are a big part of the evolution the iPhone has seen since its inception.

There is something to be said about bragging rights and being an early adopter can definitely get you something to brag about (if you have nerdy friends). Having the newest and coolest gadget on the market is always a great conversation piece in a geeky crowd. Even as the technology get more popular and moves through the life-cycle, you can always find a way to weave a story into conversation about how you had the toy before everyone else did.

Early adopters tend to be thought-leaders in their circles when it comes to technology. This may not be a benefit, as much as a fact of the matter statement. Most times there will be a person in a circle that tends to always have the new gadget on the market and talk about the benefits and disadvantages to the tech. There is a gratifying feeling of having the engaged attention of people by talking to them about something they are not familiar with.

There are many benefits to adopting technology early. The main one is that if you would like to see something continue, evolve, and improve then someone has to buy it first. While most times early adopters will spend much more money on gadgets, the majority would not have these great products had it not been for the people passionate enough to fork over the money first.

Source by Philip Hannigen

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Ataxia is the term given to any number of abnormal movements that take place while doing some voluntary movement. It sounds simple enough.

I guess that whenever medical terms or definitions are involved things can get a little (if not a lot) complicated for most of us so, I’ll try to put it in layman’s terms.

Folks suffering from ataxia have problems coordinating muscle movements. Often, these problems manifest themselves in the legs but also in the arms, eyes and in muscles used in speech. Some of these involuntary movements result in you experiencing incoordination or interruption in your movements. Lots of MSers have experience this type of Ataxia when we under – or over – shoot something we intended or target with our hand, arm, leg or eye.

This missing of target is a type of Ataxia known as Dysmetria. Since my diagnosis, I started to experience Dysmetria of the hand. This can make your writing and picking things up difficult or even impossible.

Your cerebellum is the part of your brain in charge of synchronizing all voluntary muscle movement throughout your body, cerebellar ataxia is the result of lesions on the cerebellum or in the nerves that connect into it. Cerebellar ataxia can result in:

Uncoordinated walking – gait ataxia.

Inability to maintain a steady posture – hypotonia.

Shaking when attempting fine movements – intention tremor.

An inability to coordinate the muscles involved in speech – dysarthia

Jittery eye movements – nystagmus

If the damage is located in the spinal cord – in its posterior columns to be more exact – the type of Ataxia that occurs is known as sensory ataxia.

Whenever you experience not knowing exactly where your limbs (hands and feet) are, you are experiencing Sensory ataxia. Another manifestation of this type of Ataxia happens when you experience an unstable stance. Common problems seen by this type of Ataxia are:

Loss of position sense

Inability to detect vibrations

Unstable stance also known as Romberg’s sign

In multiple sclerosis, the last type of Ataxia is known as vestibular ataxia which is caused by lesions to the brainstem and the vestibular nuclei. Common problems seen by this type of Ataxia are:

Loss of Balance

Dizziness

Nausea and

Vomiting (vertigo)

Jittery eye movements – Nystagmus

I know now that I experienced this type of Ataxia when I had my first MS relapse. It came with a loss of balance, dizziness, vertigo and a little jittery of the eyes (nystagmus) besides the optic neuritis that never really went away.

Contrary to what most people think, Ataxia is not a direct result of muscle weakness (atrophy) but a dysfunction in the sensory nerve inputs or motor nerve outputs.

HOW COMMON IS ATAXIA AMONG MSers?

It is estimated that between 80 and 85% of MSers will experience ataxia or tremors at some point during their disease. Ataxia is quite a common symptom in Multiple Sclerosis but is also seen in other conditions such as:

1. Spinal cord compression

2. Diabetic polyneuropathy

3. Acute transverse myelitis

4. Vacuolar myelopathy

5. Tumor or cord compression and

6. Hereditary forms of ataxia

HOW IS ATAXIA TREATED IN MSers?

In order to help you manage these symptoms, several different treatments currently exist. They can be categorized by:

Physiotherapy

Neurosurgery

Oral medications – Some of them containing marijuana or cannabis extract, isoniazid or baclofen.

The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010 Issue 11, Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. concludes that there is not enough evidence to suggest that any treatment (drugs, physiotherapy or neurosurgery) provides sustained improvement in ataxia or tremors.

The one thing everybody seems to agree on is that more research is required.

Last but not least, along with the multiple problems caused by ataxia, you may experience tremors.

Tremors are rhythmic shaking movements of different amplitudes.

Whenever I stand in the same place for too long, I experience tremors in my right knee. These tremors are nothing serious and once I start moving they just vanish. While researching the subject I found out that tremors in MSers are mostly affecting the head, neck, vocal cords, trunk or limbs.

TIPS & EXERCISES FOR ATAXIA

In ataxia the person presents.

  • Incoordination
  • Tremor
  • Disturbances of posture
  • Balance and
  • Gait

Physiotherapy is directed at promoting postural stability, accuracy of limb movements, and functional balance and gait.

Postural stability can be improved by focusing on static control (holding) in a number of different weight bearing, antigravity postures (e.g. prone on elbow, sitting, quadruped, kneeling, plantigrade and standing). Progression through a series of postures is used to gradually increase postural demand by varying the base of support and raising the centre of mass and increasing the number of body segments (degree of freedom) that must be controlled. Specific exercise techniques designed to promote stability include:

  • Joint approximation applied through proximal joints (through shoulders or hips) or head or spine
  • Alternating isometrics (PNF)
  • Rhythmic stabilization (PNF)

Patient with significant ataxia may not be able to hold steady and may benefit from the technique of slow reversal- hold (PNF), progressing through decrements of range. The desired end point is steady mid range holding. Dynamic postural responses can be challenged by incorporating controlled mobility activities such as:

  1. Weight shifting
  2. Rocking
  3. Moving in and out of postures or movement transitions

The patient should practice important functional movement transitions, such supine to sit, sit to stand and scooting.

Distal extremity movements can be superimposed on proximal stability to further challenge dynamic postural control. For example, resisted PNF Chop or lift patterns combined upper extremity movements with trunk movements (flexion rotation or extension with rotation).

An important goal of therapy is to promote safe and functional balance. Static balance control can be improved by using force platform training. The person with ataxia learns to reduce the postural sway (frequency and amplitude) and control centre of alignment position. The added biofeedback from visual and or auditory feedback display can improve control in some patients. Somatosensory, visual, and vestibular inputs can be varied, as appropriate, to assist in sensory compensation in sensory system less involved, for example:

  • Standing with eyes open to eyes closed
  • Standing on flat surface top a foam surface

Prolonged latencies (onset of responses) should be expected. Dynamic balance control can be initiated using self initiated movements (e.g. reaching, turning, bending). A movable surface can also be used. For example, sitting activities on Swiss ball are an excellent way to promote balance control.

Control of dysmetric limb movements can be promoted by PNF extremity patterns using light resistance to moderate force output and reciprocal actions of muscles for example: slow reversals, slow reversal- hold. Frenkel’s Exercises can be used to remediate the problems of dysmetria. The exercises are performed in supine, sitting and standing. Each activity should be performed slowly with the person using vision to guide correct the movement. The exercises require a high degree of mental concentration and effort.

For those patients with prerequisite abilities they may find helpful in regaining some control of ataxic movements through cognitive processes.

Ataxic movements have sometimes been helped by the application of light weights to provide additional proprioceptive loading and stabilize movements. The use of Velcro weight cuffs (wrist or ankle) or a weight belt or weight jacket can reduce dysmetric movements and tremors of the limbs and trunk.

The extra weights will also increase the energy expenditure, and must, therefore, be used cautiously in order not to bring about increased fatigue. Weighted canes or walkers can be used to reduce ataxic upper limb movements during ambulation.

For patient with significant tremor, this may mean the difference between assisted and independent ambulation. Elastic resistance bands can be used to provide resistance and reduce ataxic movements.

The pool is an important therapeutic medium to practice static and dynamic postural control in sitting and standing. Water provides graded resistance that slow down the person’s ataxic movement, while the buoyancy aids in upright balance.

Swimming and shallow water calisthenics have shown to be effective in improving strength, decreasing muscular fatigability and increasing endurance. Furthermore, the use of moderate or cool water temperature may help moderate spasticity. In general folks with ataxia do better in low stimulus environment that allows them to concentrate more fully on their movements. They benefit from augmented feedback (verbal cuing of knowledge of results, knowledge of performance, biofeedback) and repetition to improve motor learning.

Source by Alex Bermudez

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Nothing brings down an athlete faster both mentally and physically than a debilitating injury. Whether it is the smallest pain or an injury that requires surgery, every competitor young and old will find themselves disheartened, frustrated and agitated. As a very competitive and active athlete, I can attest that nothing is more tormenting than an injury that prevents me from doing what I love to do most. Even as I write this now I am suffering from tendonitis in both knees and a strained shoulder muscle preventing me from training for my next triathlon. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself an “expert” when it comes to injury treatment, but perhaps a “seasoned veteran” is a better suited title for me.

So, what can YOU do to alleviate the nagging pain for yourself or your loved ones? As I am sure many of you have heard the acronym R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate), which many physicians will recommend for those tending to sports related injuries. All of us have the ability to follow such guidelines for healing, but not everyone knows how to comfort themselves during recovery. Therefore, I have some personal recommendations that you can use to soothe the pain and provide some much needed relief and comfort for yourself or a loved one.

While Resting the injured part of the body, one may find themselves on their favorite chair or couch for an extended period of time, especially after a surgery. It always makes a big difference to have the proper pillow to maximize comfort while resting. Not only does this reduce strain on the neck and head while laying down or sitting up, but more importantly, one can use the pillow to rest an injured arm (or leg), keeping it Elevated and stationary. Elevation is important to reduce the swelling to the injured area, which promotes faster healing. A microbead squish pillow is a great choice for this, particularly in a cylindrical shape, which improves support for aches and pains behind the neck or lower back. A pillow with buckwheat or polystyrene is essential so that the pillow is malleable and flexible enough to mold to any body part.

Ice is also extremely important for reducing swelling and pain. I have also found that the process of heating and cooling is extremely soothing and helps me get moving again faster. There are a few items that you may find useful for heating and cooling, including a heating/cooling balm, which is great for sports injuries, or a heating/cooling wrap. Especially after football games when I would be battered and bruised nothing felt better and more relaxing than a heating/cooling balm on my achy muscles and a body wrap on my stiff shoulders and back.

I have also found that while elevating, icing, or resting in bed or on the couch, my feet get really cold and uncomfortable, so I always put on a really comfy pair of socks. Bamboo socks have become my favorite because they are both extremely comfortable and warm, but provide exceptional breathability.

Another necessity that many don’t consider or attribute to faster healing is the inclusion of water into their routine. I always recommend keeping an easy to use water bottle (preferably non-spilling) next to me when I am subjected to the couch, so I can maintain a steady intake of water for general nutrition or to take pain medications. Also, snacks are always a necessity when resting and healing, especially healthy snacks, since one is usually immobile and cannot exercise properly. Therefore, I recommend natural fruit chips, nut snacks, and small crackers, while avoiding processed foods with high amounts of sugar and fat, which don’t aid healing.

Naturally, when one is confined to the couch for long periods of time, boredom is sure to set in. So, it is always nice to have an uplifting book, magazine or game to keep the brain stimulated. I personally prefer puzzles like crosswords, Sudoku puzzles or joke books to keep myself entertained and my spirits high.

Emotional support is just as important as physical support, so offering your time and services to a friend or loved one can be just as useful as a gift. This may include doing small, simple tasks or errands for someone who is injured, like taking out the trash or cooking a meal. Even the most minuscule, everyday tasks can add up to a whole lot and will reduce unnecessary stress for those who are incapacitated by any injury. But, if you aren’t in a close proximity to provide such services then a gift with helpful products that will aid and abet the healing process is a great choice. By following any of my recommendations you will likely make yourself or a loved one far more comfortable and relieved during recovery from a sports injury or surgery. Hopefully you and your loved ones will have better fortune than me! Good Luck!

Source by Quinn Christofferson

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Autoclaves, whether they are large autoclaves or smaller instruments are designed to subject items to steam at a temperature of at least 121 degrees C at high pressure in order to sterilize them. The heat and pressure effectively eliminates bacteria, viruses and other pathogens and these devices are used extensively in laboratories and medical facilities in the preparation of culture media for microbiology and other life sciences applications, to sterilize laboratory glassware, medical instruments and to decontaminate potentially hazardous medical waste before disposal.

These are the sterilization equipment of choice in laboratories and hospitals. Autoclaves are also used in veterinary medicine, dentistry, research and development for pharmaceutical and food production facilities. Large autoclaves and units of smaller sizes may be used anywhere else that sterilization of equipment is critical to ensuring the outcome of the process, the safety of personnel or the public, such as in businesses which provide tattooing and body piercing services.

One of the concerns seen with autoclaving materials to sterilize them for use in life sciences laboratories is that the heat, moisture and pressure involved in the process of sterilization used by autoclaves may cause some degradation. This is especially a concern with media used for culturing microorganisms, since some of these media may be thermolabile and can potentially affect their performance negatively or even render them unusable. With the latest generation of large autoclaves as well as those of smaller capacities, this is less of a concern as manufacturers have engineered these newer models to be able to run at settings which provide thorough sterilization without causing a significant reduction in performance or usability of heat sensitive materials.

The pressurized steam used in autoclaving provides a much more efficient means of sterilization than would be possible with the application of heat alone or hot air, which is an especially inefficient way to sterilize. Since steam at the temperatures typically seen in autoclaves (around 134 degrees C) can sterilize equipment in only a few minutes as opposed to 2 hours being needed when using air at a temperature of 160 degrees C, ensuring that the interior of the device is free of air is essential. In modern large autoclaves, air may be removed through the action of the steam creating downward displacement on the air (which is denser than steam) and forcing it out of the unit through a drain. A vacuum pump is also used in some autoclaves.

Autoclaves are also seen in use in some industrial applications where parts and materials need to be thoroughly sterilized during the production process, this is relatively common in industries working with high performance composite materials, particularly in the aerospace sector. Due to the sheer size of some of these components, especially large autoclaves may be needed to accommodate them. Safety is always a matter of concern with these pressure sterilization devices, especially so with an extremely large unit. These larger devices in particular need to be designed to provide a very secure closure and feature highly reinforced walls which can withstand the rigors of regular, often round the clock use.

Autoclaves of all sizes provide thorough elimination of pathogens, ensuring the safety of medical devices, reducing the biohazard threat posed by medical and veterinary waste and allow for more accurate results in laboratory procedures. The number of accidental infections prevented by the use of large autoclaves and small make them unsung heroes of medical science and public health.

Source by Andrew K Long

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Radiology services refer to those services and facilities that are used during the radiotherapy treatment procedure. These services include a range of medical treatments that are performed during diagnosis. The radiology services can be classified into technical support, expert support and external patient care amenities. For the best possible services, hospitals have to be equipped with dedicated radiology physicians, technical and supportive staff, advanced equipments, and optimal patient care and diagnostic assistance.

Under the diagnosis procedures, physicians consider some radiological tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), projection radiography, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, etc. These are the essential tests required for this minimally invasive therapy. To perform CT scan, doctor uses X-rays along with computing algorithms to view the image of the body. It is a kind of medical imaging method created by computer processing. In this method a digital geometry procession is used to generate a three dimensional image of the inside of the body. On the other hand, an MRI scanner produces same picture without using X-rays. In radiology it is used to visualize detailed internal structure and limited function of the body.

The MRI technology uses a powerful magnetic field with radio frequencies by which detailed pictures of organs, bones, tissues and other internal body structure can be accessed without using ionizing radiation. MRI scan services are used to produce the highest quality images of the soft tissues. This technology is beneficial for the imaging of the brain, breast cancer, spine, and musculosketal system. Such detailed pictures enable physicians to evaluate parts of the body and certain types of diseases that may not be assessed in other methods. Another important radiological service is ultrasound or ultrasonography. It is an effective treatment modality that can visualize various organs systems with the help of high frequency sound waves. This technology is commonly used in to examine veins, arteries, abdomen, and female reproductive system.

Some other specific radiological services are pediatric radiology, cardiovascular imaging, Central DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry), etc. Overall, there are large services under radiology treatment through which patient can effectively diagnose cancer and other fatal diseases.

Source by Rebecca Brown

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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A typical investor in the taxi business in Uganda is going to encounter two key issues even before they start making their first shilling. I explain these issues below.

When I first bought a used taxi from my grandparents, I took it for repair to a mechanic in the Wandegeya suburb. He “over hauled” it and told me it was in perfect condition. One week later, the differential had developed a few problems. Next the crank shaft had a few issues. I eventually over came these issues but then came the witchcraft story.

A typical Ugandan reader is probably surprised that I haven’t raised the issue of business and witchcraft before. It seems many Ugandans firmly believe that going to the witch doctor and giving your last white goat(and with no spot of black) is going to turn your business into an overnight success even if you cannot differentiate(no pun intended) between cash as profit(which you can use as dividends) and cash from sales(which you should not use until all expenses are settled).

So the witchcraft story is this; I hired my cousin John [not real name for obvious reasons] to work as the taxi’s first conductor. He according to the family rumour mill “bewitched” the taxi because:

*Day 1. The suspension broke.

*Day 3: The crank shaft developed further problems.

*Day 5. The differential was shaking again.

*Day 7: The taxi knocked someone crossing the road at Ndeeba.

In the 1 month that the taxi was in business, I made only Shs 7,000! Oh, I used that to bail out the driver at the police station. I am not one to consider the validity of the witchcraft story but that brings me to the taxi business and factors to consider if you are to invest in it.

First the CONS (of course)

1. Mechanics without ethics

There is a possibility that when I took the taxi for refurbishment, the mechanic to whom I entrusted the repair provided me with a pro-forma invoice for parts he didn’t install, obtained them second hand or third hand or even that he didn’t carry out all the necessary repairs. How could I verify that with no knowledge of the intricacies of a car, let alone a second hand taxi from Bungokho?

You can of course get round this issue by instead taking your Toyota Hiace (the predominant model used for taxi business in Uganda) to Toyota Uganda’s repair workshop. Don’t expect of course to pay Shs. 7,000 for repair. They use computerised diagnostics and their mechanics use a logging system to bill you by the hour. Oh and of course they use new and genuine parts so forget that used crank shaft your mechanic Kakooza will find you from Kisekka market. As per the Toyota Uganda website, you can expect to start paying for servicing for a Toyota Hiace Model from Shs. 183,900.

2. Difficulty of revenue verification

Unless you are driving the taxi yourself or install cameras just like the London Buses or National Express buses in the UK, it is virtually impossible to ascertain passenger numbers on any given route at any given time. I know many a business owner will circumvent the issue by not paying the driver/conductor wages an instead demanding a fixed daily/weekly sum say 6 days a week with Sunday being the “driver’s day”. The driver’s day being the day he doesn’t pay you as all revenue will go to wards earning their keep. This may work to an extent until the driver/conductor tells you:

“Mukama wange, Walk to work etuletedde bizibu” [My Lord, we were unable to make sufficient money today owing to the “Walk to work” demonstrations].

He then proceeds to hand you half the agreed fee. How do you verify that driver’s story?

Oh there will be numerous of those stories. Next time it will be that Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) is fleecing them and they have fought back, then another day; Traffic Police “search and stop” operations have resulted in massive delays followed the next day by a strike by drivers. Of course you as their “Lord” cannot be inhumane and continue to demand the fixed sum can you?

Like I have hinted, if you are seriously considering investing in this sector, perhaps you can find a supplier for on board cameras. However for simplicity and line with the norm in Uganda, I will therefore propose that the potential investor stick to the common practice of agreeing with the driver a fixed “contractor” rate for a given route. I would however recommend that this rate be verified through corroborating with different drivers of the route the taxi will ply.

3. Starting capital and cost of financing

Owing to a vehicle being considered to be a key asset in Uganda,it is pretty common for this investment to be financed by a commercial bank loan or lease financing from companies such as DFCU Leasing Limited. In addition many car dealers are happy to provide loan financing. You can get a decent used taxi (complete with stripes and fixed seats) for about Shs 17m going by my research information from autotrader.ug.

Now the key issue in respect of cost of financing. Following the recent increase(November 2011) by Bank of Uganda of the Bank Rate to 29%, I can expect that the commercial banks will increase their lending rates to an average of 31%. The Bank rate is the rate at which commercial banks can borrow from the Central Bank as a lender of last resort. The significant cost of financing will as we shall see later on will have a significant impact on expected return on capital.

4. Long period over which to realise profitability and to recover your investment

I now set out my analysis of the estimated profitability for this business.

I have estimated that the investor is purchasing a taxi to ply any one of Kampala and its suburb routes. I am using the most common model which is the “contractor model”. The model being that the driver provides the investor with a fixed agreed daily sum for 5- 6 days a week with the 7th day for the driver/conductor to earn their keep.

In this model, the driver/conductor therefore incur all day to day expenses that is; fuel, daily and monthly UTODA fees, loading fees,KCC fees, stage fees et al. The owner will however incur costs of repairs and maintenance as well as insurance costs.

Summary of profit position:

Revenue per month: Shs 750,000 (estimated at Shs 30,000 per day for 25 days)

Repairs and maintenance per month: 183, 900 (estimated from Toyota Uganda workshop information)

Financing costs: 439,167. (estimated on interest rate of 31% on a 17m car. The rate is estimated on Nov 2011 Bank of Uganda Bank rate plus a 2% margin)

Insurance(3rd party): 4,167

Monthly net profit: 122,767

Annual profit(A): 1,473,200

Capital cost(1994 Toyota Hiace, used)(B): 17,000,000

Return on capital(B/A): 11.54 years!

As can be seen from the above analysis, forget your money in this sector. You can of course now at this stage if you like go visit the witch doctor who will perhaps use his spells so that customers prefer your taxi to all others and he will also magically my analysis above to give a return in perhaps 1 month. [Please note that the last statement is made in jest and I wouldn’t expect a serious investor to consider witchcraft for business success].

5. Saturation of the market and related moves.

There are too many taxis in Kampala or almost anywhere else in Uganda. It seems every where you turn there is a taxi and so I don’t even need to go into the details of this but it is certainly worth noting the trend for this sector. As there are too many taxis in Uganda, judging by several reports from UTODA, eventually the politics surrounding this industry will be played out and then the several government initiatives to try to de-congest the new and old taxi parks in down town Kampala; and instead move taxis to out of town satellite taxi parks like Ndeeba will become a reality. Alternatively we may finally see a move to commuter buses instead of taxis as promised by former Mayor Nasser “Seya” Sebagala.

And Now the PROS

1. Fair return on capital, assuming no financing.

The main advantage for this sector therefore is for the investor who is going to invest without incurring the cost of borrowing. I set out below the projected return on capital without the cost of financing:

Revenue per month: Shs 750,000 (estimated at Shs 30,000 per day for 25 days)

Monthly Repairs and maintenance: Shs 183, 900 (estimated from Toyota Uganda workshop information)

Insurance(3rd party): 4,167

Monthly net profit: 561,933

Annual profit: 6,743,200

Capital cost(1994 Toyota Hiace, used): 17,000,000

Return on capital: 2.52 years

As can be seen from above, the return on capital without cost of financing reduces to a 2.52 years from the onerous 11 years in the first analysis.

2. Security for further financing

Assuming you have not borrowed to purchase the taxi then a further advantage is that in Uganda, vehicles are preferred assets to use as collateral for borrowing owing to the fluidity of the used car market.

3. Alternative one off uses

The advantage of the taxi of course is that you can use it for one off uses like private charters or for example for private uses of advantage to the investor for example; taking the children to school, for funerals or; like me in Uganda who in 2005 mustered the courage to take the taxi on a test drive in the night by going to visit that “Mzungu” girl I wanted to impress.

I think John’s witchcraft was already at work because when I returned home from visiting the girl, I crashed into the neighbour’s wall as I tried to reverse the taxi so as to make the tight turn into the home gate. I insist it was the witchcraft at work and of course not the fact that I had no experience whatsoever in driving a long vehicle!

SUMMARISING AND THE FINAL WORD

First the numbers.

On the basis of my analysis:

*Capital investment(A): Shs 17,000,000

*Revenue per year: 9,000,000

*Profit per year (revenue excluding all expenses and interest) (B) is Shs 1,473,200

*Return on capital(years to get capital back) (A/B) is 11.54 years.

*If you however don’t incur the cost of financing then this return period is estimated at 2.54 years.

Now the basics you must get right before investing:

*Research on a fair contractor rate. As the preferred model in Uganda is to hire out your taxi to the driver/conductor, it is worth spending time speaking to various drivers and perhaps even UTODA to establish a fair price for your route and ensuring you get the agreed rate without any “mukama wange” stories.

*Consider cheaper financing options. Too often we ignore the advantage of pooling funds say from family members and friends. This can provide equity financing(interest free credit) rather than the crippling commercial bank loans.

*A decent and trustworthy mechanic is a must. Best of luck!

FINAL WORD

By principle I am wary of business models where you are unable to understand or verify the intricacies of the revenue recognition and can hardly verify the costs to establish efficiencies and so on that basis, for me this would be a “no-no” sector.

It however has the key advantage of simplicity of revenue stream and perhaps that is why this has resulted in the over investment in this sector including by [financially] illiterate people.

If you are therefore drawn to the simplicity of this type of investment plus the advantage that the vehicle is security for further borrowing then by all means invest in it and then all you have to ensure is that you do not hear tales from Kakooza of the “differential is shaking.”

Source by D E Wasake

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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If you ever get hold of a history book, flip through and take special note of the body sizes that seemed to be the norm of each time period. Body weight and ideal have changed over the years, just as they continue to do now. What is in fashion can be dictated by the type of clothing that is in vogue — some styles just require a thinner frame to lay right. Some cultures will worship the larger members because it is a sign of prosperity- only the rich can be fat after all. Americans have that one backwards — here only the rich are the super thin.

Why is that? Is it because the wealthy are being fed some “magic” food that allows them to stay ultra-thin? In all reality, the rich are staying that way because they are being fed teeny-tiny, designer meals produced by personal chefs and they have trainers, nutritionists and others working around the clock to keep them that way. There is no magic involved.

Thin and fat have knocked each other off the top of the popularity charts for hundreds of years. Look at the creation of some of the worlds most renowned artists; look at the models that they chose to work with. Ruben would be laughed out of the art community if he were alive to day and still choosing the same models. His plump and juicy lasses were definitely not the waif-thin and underfed gals that pass as models these days, were they?

Now, have a look at another era. Look at the Flappers for instance. Knock-kneed, flat-chested and very thin, the Flappers were the ideal for that time. Of course, there were probably the Rubenesque women who longed to shimmy into a sheath dress as well, but history certainly isn’t showing them. Even then, it was the body type that typifies the standard of the day that gets the notice while the others are ignored, or worse, ridiculed.

When thin was in fashion, dieting became the norm. The most extreme diet then is the most extreme dieting now — fasting. Religious leaders and their devoted followers would fast for days on end and would experience weight loss (of course) as well as the potential for visions. If the fast lasted too long, the weight loss would be followed up with death so the fasters started putting two and two together. Not eating equaled weight loss, but could equal death as well. The aha moment is followed quickly by the adaptation of the fast: A modified fast.

Sometime during the fasting and the modified fasting and the starving and the dying, science discovered the calorie and the dieting industry was born. Now, doctors and snake oil salesman alike had a word to shout at you as well as a number to recommend. Nobody fully understood the diet nor had daily requirements been discovered yet, so no one knew how many calories a person needed or from what foods those calories should even come from.

The early dieters caught on that starving themselves did not work because it led to their deaths. Eating less did work so they would stick to an extremely low calorie count; around 1000 calories. The problem with staying that low is it is impossible to keep the body healthy, whole and well. What they found then is the same thing that a dieter trying to subsist on that calorie count now would find: You cannot survive on it.

As more study was done and science starting revealing the concept of metabolism and the body’s own processes, the smart dieter put a twist on the 1000 calorie diet to stave off the body’s own destruction of itself. They would remain at the magic number but all of those calories would come from protein and the birth of the first extreme protein diet fad was ushered in. The problem here was the same as the next all protein diet, and the one after that, as well as the problem with all other extreme diets in general: Any diet that allows you, forces you or encourages you to eat only one food group or type and forbids, limits or ignores all others is unhealthy and is pre-destined to eventual failure.

Remember a few years ago when the protein diet reared its head again? Suddenly everybody is eating burgers, but no buns. You could have a pan full of bacon, but you could not have toast to sop up the grease with. Eat a pound of beef at every meal, but don’t you dare let a potato touch your lips. The list of vegetables that were on the no-no list for this diet was unreal and even worse- fruit was just as forbidden as a slab of Death by Chocolate cake. Fruit was forbidden on the protein diet and was as vilified as any dessert. All fruits. All the time.

But, extreme protein diets, modified fasts and other weight loss efforts are not easy and even back then, humans were looking for the easier way to lose weight. Before anyone thinks that modern man has the corner on the market for weight loss gadgets and gimmicks, then know this: In the 1900s one of the first weight loss pills was developed, along with tonics, elixirs and other products all meant to tone and trim without the tedium of actually having to watch what you ate or exercise. Among those first pills was one which contained benzocaine, which would not only dull the taste buds but would produce an odd, tingling sensation in the mouth which would make it harder to enjoy food, hopefully leading to the user to eat less. Well, yes, that would work since most people do not eat if they cannot feel their mouth, but the side effect would be chomping through your tongue on a daily basis. Of course, there are still people who do a modified version of this concept to this very day. They brush their teeth after every meal or whenever they feel hungry. The concept is that no one wants to ruin that squeaky clean feeling in their mouth and besides who wants minty fresh potato chips?

Every person wants us to believe something different about weight loss. The doctor wants us to believe that we are in dire need of metabolic help so that he can prescribe us the newest prescription medication. The gym gurus and gadget gods wants us to exercise, but only using their equipment. The infomercials wants us to use their pill, powder, potion, cream or what have you. Authors turned expert or vice versa want us to buy their books. Watch my video, listen to my inspirational tapes; buy, buy buy. In the end, the only thing getting thinner is your wallet and all of the gear and goods in the world is not going to help you if you do not learn the very basics of weight loss. You have to exercise. You need the right amount of calories and you need to understand what a calorie is, where it comes from and how it acts in your body. The next chapter will get you started on that knowledge.

Source by Graham J Sheppard

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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Collaboration

‘More than 97 percent of senior leaders believed collaboration is essential to success. However, only 30 percent of respondents and 47 percent of senior leaders believed leaders in their organization are actually skilled in collaboration. Results indicate leaders must learn to work across boundaries to collaborate effectively in the coming years.’ (Centre for Creative Leadership, 2007)

Collaboration is a process of participation through which people, groups and organizations work together to achieve desired results. Common factors and characteristics have been identified by research as influencing the collaborative process, including the skills of leadership, communication, sustainability, unity, participation, and a history of successful accomplishments (Hogue, et al, 1995; Keith et.al, 1993). Borden (1997) has identified four factors: internal communication, external communication, membership, and goal setting.

Borden & Perkins (1999) identified and defined the following factors in the development of a simple self evaluation tool. This tool can be used by groups to stimulate discussion after self rating the collaborative effort for each key area. It can also provide an overview of the key factors necessary for success in a collaborative project.

• Communication – clear and open with an established process.

• Sustainability – there is a plan for sustaining participation and resources throughout the project including guidelines in regards to the replacement of members.

• Research and Evaluation – a needs assessment has been conducted, goals are clear and there are measurement processes in place to collect data and review those goals.

• Political Climate – there exists positive history and environment surrounding power and decision making. Political climate may be within the group as a whole, systems within the group or networks of people;

• Resources – there is access to the required resources. Resources refer to four types of capital: environmental, in-kind, financial, and human;

• Catalysts – the collaboration was commenced due to the existence of problem(s) or the reason(s) for collaboration to exist required a comprehensive approach;

• Policies/Laws/Regulations – the collaboration can function effectively under the existing policies, laws, and/or regulations or these can be altered or created

• History – the group has a history of working cooperatively and solving problems;

• Connectedness – members are connected and have established informal and formal communication networks at all levels;

• Leadership – there are leaders who promote, facilitates and support team building, and who can capitalise on diversity and individual, group and organizational strengths;

• Group Development – this collaboration was mobilized to address important issues. There is a communication system and formal information channels that permit the exploration of issues, goals and objectives; and,

• Understanding Stakeholders – the collaboration understands the stakeholders, including the people, cultures, values and habits.

Using the factors outlined above as a focus of discussion may reduce fragmentation within the group and move group conversation from generic discussion to focused dialogue leading to sound decision making, and action. Open and honest communication within the group can increase group effectiveness and commitment. It also assists with viewing issues and problems in a holistic manner. Open and honest communication within the collaboration and with stakeholders is critical to success.

Another key area to be addressed is the setting of direction and focus for the collaboration. Ensuring a clear and understood direction and focus between all parties for a collaboration defines the purpose of the collaboration as what its members seek to create. Setting the direction and focus begins with establishing the vision, mission, values, and principles. Defining the outcome(s) further establishes identity and fundamental purpose. Activities also need to be aggregated to provide value to the collaborative group and to stakeholders. Multiple activities with similar focuses can confuse. Task/role clarity can create greater involvement, dialogue and understanding. Applying the range of factors above to the processes and contexts of the collaboration results in a greater shared understanding of what the collaboration stands for, where it’s going, the internal and external environment, and how it intends to make its outcomes a reality.

Collaboration as a Continuum Collaboration often means different things to different people, it is useful to think about collaboration as a continuum. Parties may consider themselves in relationships that vary from lower-intensity exchanges, in which the groups are more independent, to higher-intensity relationships, in which they are more interdependent. In one model (Kaplan, 1991), these differences in intensity are reflected in four common terms: networking, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration.

Networking Cooperation Coordination Collaboration Lower-intensity’ Higher-intensity Independence’ Interdependence

1. Networking Organizations have a networking relationship when they exchange information in order to help each organization do a better job.
2. Coordination Organizations have a coordinating relationship when they modify their activities so that together, they provide better services to their constituents.
3. Cooperation When organizations cooperate, they not only share information and make adjustments in their services – they share resources to help each other do a better job.
4. Collaboration In a collaborative relationship, organizations help each other expand or enhance their capacities to do their jobs. (Axner, 2007)

Trust and Collaboration The development of trust in nurturing collaborative relationships is a vital skill for leaders (Tschannen-Moran, 2001). Trust is built on perception and history. How our motives and activities are perceived determines if others will trust us. If we trust, we share. If not, we don’t. How other’s perceive us is their reality -outside of our own motives. If we are perceived as promoting our own agenda or trying to create our own “empire”, others are reluctant to become involved and to share. This applies to organizations and individuals.

Affect- based trust are feelings of emotional involvement and sincere caring for each others welfare. Cognition-based trust is the belief that others are competent and responsible. Both of these forms of trust are the foundations for collaboration in organisations (McAllister, 1995). Interpersonal trust is also viewed as a key to facilitating and enabling coordinated social interactions (Coleman, 1988).

Learning to Lead Collaboration People can tend not to collaborate, this may be caused by issues of understanding, time, our work environments or politics. Collaboration is a relatively new concept and is unfamiliar to many people. We were taught in school to compete and that the world is survival of the fittest. Collaboration can seem to run contrary to what we were taught to do and be. If people are used to seeing knowledge as a scarce resource (and through ownership of knowledge it can create increased power for the individual or group) people may be less inclined to engage in open idea exchange and collaboration.

Innovation needs to occur in an environment of experimentation. However, if innovative ideas are to be effective, they need some structure to allow for consistency. The environment should foster both innovation and standardization.

Politics and bureaucracy also need to be addressed and understood within the organisational context and the context of the collaborative effort. Good ideas aren’t always the ones that are implemented. Ideas that are connected to the right people in the right positions can often gain acceptance quickly and easily. Who has power? Influence on key decisions sometimes rests outside of formal processes. Sometimes, people on the “outside” have a profound impact on key decision makers. Ignoring other stakeholders can sink new ideas and innovations.

Tools for Collaboration The IT industry has recognised that collaboration and social networking is the way of the future and there is a strong move to create products which seek to improve productivity by virtualizing communications and business processes. People and organisations are looking at ways to connect with each other virtually and Web 2.0 products are being designed to fill those needs. However we already have easy access to tools such as video and tele conferencing, chat, bulletin boards and email – simple tools which enable groups to communicate. Many tools are readily available as open source software or at low cost making them accessible to all sectors. There are also more advanced products such as secure instant messaging, screen sharing and other groupware tools. These types of tools enable geographically dispersed teams to come together for virtual meetings allowing for time and cost savings, less travel, and improved communications flow.

Conclusion Trust, collaboration, sharing, freedom of ideas, are expressions of belief systems and culture. When we debate the role of collaboration in an organization, we are debating our views of how the organisation as a whole should be organized, power distributed, diversity allowed, and decisions made. Collaboration reflects a point of view: that by working together partners, formal or informal, can bring different perspectives to bear to solve a problem and bring about change. In order for collaboration to occur successfully within an organisation there needs to be a supportive culture and work environment, encouragement from senior managers and a rewards system which reflects the importance of collaborative practices. For collaboration to be successful between organisations there must be clarity, direction and dialogue.

Resources For more information about collaborative software go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_software

References

Axner, M. 2007, Promoting Coordination, Cooperative Agreements, and Collaborative Agreements Among Agencies. The Community Toolbox accessed 17/12/07 at [http://ctb.ku.edu/tools/en/sub_section_main_1229.htm]

Borden, L. M. 1997, Community collaboration: When the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. (Quoted in Borden & Perkins, 1999)

Borden, L.M & Perkins, D.F. 1999, Assessing Your Collaboration: A Self Evaluation Tool. Journal of Extension, accessed 17/12/07 at http://www.joe.org/joe/1999april/tt1.html

Centre for Creative Leadership, 2007, What’s Next? The 2007 Changing Nature of Leadership Survey, accessed 17/12/07 at http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/WhatsNext.pdf

Coleman, J.S. 1988, Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology 94 (Supplement). 95-120.

Hogue, T. Perkins, D. Clark, R. Bergstrum, A. Slinski, M. & Associates, 1995, Collaboration framework: Addressing community capacity. Columbus, OH: National Network for Collaboration.

Kagan, S. L. 1991, United we stand: Collaboration for childcare and early education services. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1-3.

Keith, J. G., Perkins, D. F., Zhou, Z., Clifford, M. C., Gilmore, B., & Townsend, M. Z. 1993, Building and maintaining community coalitions on behalf of children, youth and families. Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station Research Report (529). East Lansing, MI: Institute for Children, Youth, and Families.

McAllister, D.J. 1995, Affect and cognition – based trust as foundations for interpersonal cooperation in organisations. Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology Journal, 38: 24-59

Tschannen-Moran, M. 2001, Collaboration and the need for trust, Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 39 Iss. 4.

Source by Miriam Scurrah

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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1. The marking and reporting system should be carefully planned and guided by stated objectives, such as school related motivation, student, parent and teacher understanding; and home-school cooperation.

2. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators, usually with the aid of a technical expert should develop the reporting system and forms.

3. Informal teacher-student reporting and direct communication should be an ongoing process. Student-teacher conferences should not be a ‘last resort’ and should be encouraged as a normal part of the reporting system.

4. Parent-teacher conferences can be very effective. Released time for teacher is often necessary for this activity to be practicable. It is very difficult to make parent conferences practical for every student at the secondary school level, but the conferences are especially desirable for students whose academic performance begins to decline. Report forms for parent conferences, with copies for each party, are desirable.

5. The reporting system should include feedback on school behaviour, attitudes, work habits, and attendance as well as describe performance in school subject.

6. Marks and parent conferences are necessary to fully describe the performance at least at the upper elementary and secondary levels. Reporting systems in the primary grades can be less standardized, greater reliance on parent conferences. Some parents need time to adjust to the reality of their child’s ability.

7. Failing marks are rarely justified or needed in the primary or even upper elementary grades. A failing marks should rarely be given in elementary or middle school grades.

These are some suggestions for improving marking and reporting.

Source by Syed Ali Waqas

May 6, 2017 0 comment
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