These online learning tips will help parents prepare for a successful school year, even if it is virtual.

Christel Deskins

Many of the nation’s largest school districts plan to begin the fall semester online-only. As schools consider reopening, children face a future in which online courses will probably be part of the curriculum. To make the best of this situation, here are some tips to help your child adapt to learning from home.

Studies show that in online learning, parents often take on the role of a teacher. Making school a priority will help keep kids from treating online learning as a vacation. 

Research suggests that some types of parental participation have a greater impact on children’s academic achievement than others. One analysis showed that schoolchildren benefit from discussions about learning and school-related issues with their parents and from joint readings. 

Reduce distractions

A report in 2016 found that students spent about one-fifth of class time on laptops, smartphones and tablets, knowing that doing so could harm their grades. They

Read More

‘We can’t really continue to depend on those things,’ personal finance expert says

Christel Deskins

Even if you’re planning on getting another stimulus check, you should still be working towards building your savings and staying on top of your spending, according to one personal finance expert.

“Those stimulus checks definitely helped us through a hard time,” Kia Young, communications manager at America Saves, a non-profit campaign, said on Yahoo Finance’s On the Move (video above). “Now it’s time for you to really think about what comes next. We can’t really continue to depend on those things.”

The stimulus checks helped boost personal income amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite millions of Americans losing their jobs and wages. They also helped low-income Americans, in particular, to return close to their pre-pandemic levels of spending.

Personal income grew by 7.3% in the second quarter compared with the first one. Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance
Personal income grew by 7.3% in the second quarter compared with the first one. Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

Read more: Coronavirus stimulus checks: What it means for your taxes

While the pandemic

Read More

I’m a Teacher, and I Truly Believe You Should Keep Your Kids Home This Fall

Christel Deskins

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

I’ve been an educator for 14 years, and in my time in the classroom, I have faced some incredible obstacles and challenges. The end of the last school year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the hardest and strangest things I’ve experienced in my time as an educator. It felt surreal to have no time to say goodbye to my eighth grade students and to go home on a Friday, expecting first to return in two weeks, then a month, and then not at all for the rest of the school year. Like most educators I know, I figured that we would be open by fall. My school district has chosen to start the year with distance learning, but from what I’ve heard from friends, family, and other educators, many school districts are giving families a choice. Even if you have the option to

Read More

Hillsborough Board Votes To Delay School Reopening 4 More Weeks

Christel Deskins

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Following a five-hour special board meeting Thursday in which a panel of seven medical experts were queried, the Hillsborough County School Board voted 5-2 to delay the reopening of schools for four more weeks.

Board member Karen Perez made the motion and board member Lynn Gray seconded it. School board members Melissa Snively and Cindy Stuart voted against the motion.

That mean that on Aug. 24, the first day of school in Hillsborough County, all public school students will begin school online. Brick-and-mortar school openings will be delayed for four weeks although the school board will reassess the situation at its meeting on Sept. 8.

This vote goes against Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s July 6 executive order mandating that all Florida school districts reopen schools five days a week by the end of August in order to receive state funding.

But after listening to medical

Read More

Teens Found Nonprofit To Make Coronavirus Care Packages

Christel Deskins

CALIFORNIA — When Sky Yang founded nonprofit Break the Outbreak in March, he had a website and a vision of outfitting essential workers with protective gear.

“Our operations were small at the time, and we had to finance them on our own,” said Yang, a rising senior at Dublin High School in the Bay Area, in an email interview. “Initially, we faced rejections from many restaurants. But we persevered.”

Months later, Break the Outbreak is in the process of expanding to 28 chapters across 14 states, with more than 200 members in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and elsewhere, organizers said. Members have created and donated more than 2,000 masks to food industry workers stocking shelves and serving up meals.

Break the Outbreak has a strong Bay Area presence, but has expanded in California and across the country, in cities such as New York City and Salt Lake City. The nonprofit’s

Read More

75 Years After Hiroshima, the World Is Still Reckoning With Nuclear

Christel Deskins

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bettmann – Getty Images

From Popular Mechanics

Seventy-five years ago today, on August 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman issued the order to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

The number of Japanese people who were immediately killed is estimated to be between 70,000 and 140,000, with longer-term estimates of deaths, including radiation illnesses and cancer, extending up to 220,000.

Photo credit: U.S. Army/Library of Congress/Public Domain
Photo credit: U.S. Army/Library of Congress/Public Domain

“How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause,” President Barack Obama said when he visited Hiroshima in 2016. “Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution, as well.”

Get Unlimited Pop Mech.

Obama’s use of the present tense is telling: It’s not at all clear that our grasp of nuclear technology fits a moral framework,

Read More

Unhappy with school options, parents team up to form learning pods to educate their kids

Christel Deskins

South Florida parents, desperate for in-person education for their kids during the COVID-19 pandemic, are teaming up with their neighbors to create 21st-century schoolhouses in their homes and offices, complete with teachers and tutors to supervise.

These parents were disappointed with the virtual offerings from South Florida’s school districts last spring, when COVID-19 abruptly forced school buildings to close, and fear their children will lose important social and academic skills as education remains online. They want to make sure the kids get a more substantive, live learning experience this fall.

The learning pods aren’t cheap; many will cost each family more than $1,000 a month. Educators fear the pods will exacerbate inequalities in the public school system, as parents who can afford them will pay to supplement their children’s online schooling, while those with fewer resources will have to make do with the public school systems’ distance offerings.

The parents

Read More

10% Correction in the Cards? Play ETFs With Inherent Strength

Christel Deskins

Stock markets have been in good shape in recent months despite the rise in COVID-19 cases and lackluster economic scenario. But many investors fear that the rally doesn’t have legs. “Sometimes the market rallies and it makes perfect sense. Then there are days like today, when I can’t take how stupidly bullish this market can be,” said CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, as quoted on MarketWatch.

Michael Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, and his colleagues believe that “the most likely outcome remains a 10% correction in the broader index led by the beneficiaries before the recovery and bull market continues.”

Presidential election uncertainty, massive pandemic stimulus and again embittering U.S.-China relation may worsen the market momentum. The winning index of the pandemic — the Nasdaq and the winning sector technology — may see overvaluation concerns.

“Once the correction is complete we expect the bull market to

Read More

Trump’s threat to ban TikTok might be legal, but it’s super shady

Christel Deskins

The answer to that question is a resounding, “well, it’s complicated.” But before we jump into that legal briar patch, let’s take a quick look at the company that has so effectively managed to raise the president’s ire. If you don’t know what TikTok is, go ask literally anybody under the age of 30. The short-form, video-based website is a social media juggernaut. It pales against Facebook or Twitter in terms of monthly active users but TikTok still commands an estimated 70 million users in the US (and around 800 million worldwide). It’s owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012. 

TikTok was launched internationally in 2017, a year after the Chinese-market version (dubbed Douyin) went live, though the app didn’t make it state-side until after ByteDance merged with Musical.ly in 2018. But when TikTok did hit, it hit hard, quickly becoming one of the most downloaded apps in

Read More

A ‘war room’ that arms Black and Latino voters against disinformation

Christel Deskins

Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa'lante. <span class="copyright">(KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa’lante. (KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

As the internet lit up last month with prominent Latinos vowing to boycott Goya pinto beans, Adobo seasoning and other products after the company’s CEO lavishly praised President Trump, a backlash quickly developed on social media.

Accounts identified as belonging to Latino social media users voiced outrage about politically correct “mob” bullying and exploiting people of color.

In an online virtual war room run by a group called Win Black/Pa’lante, activists immediately grew suspicious.

Close inspection revealed that thousands of the posts were not coming from disaffected Latinos at all, but bots.

The Win Black/Pa’lante activists cooked up a counteroffensive, including a mock Goya foods label that exposed “recipes” for disinformation and distorting facts.

The ads and a corresponding educational campaign aimed at arming Black and Latino voters with tools to detect

Read More