Tag Archives: education

Fame-Magazine Articles New Media Journalism Technology

Profile: Work Ready Grad is Closing the Gap In Education

According to Katie Pfledderer, in an article entitled 3 Way Social Media Can Help You Land Your Dream Job, “Social media can also boost your job search through networking, researching and marketing yourself.”

Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com
Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com

Brian Srikanchana, Founder of Work Ready Grad, says their purpose is to “provide a platform where companies can engage students as they try to figure out what they want to do in a career.” Schools are focusing more on career development in recent years. As early as middle school, they are trying to get students to begin thinking about what they want to do for a future career. Srikanchana continued by saying, they don’t necessarily want students to know their exact career choice, but more so to “connect the dots regarding what you are doing in school to your long-term career goal–whatever that might be.” WorkReadyGrad is a social networking platform that allows students and professionals the opportunity to interact and plan their path to a successful future. Srikanchana stated that, “a lot of students are graduating from school, but they are not getting jobs because the schools have not been preparing them to actually be ready for the work force.”

Photo Courtesy: google.com
Photo Courtesy: google.com

Srikanchana continues with, “the top two reasons students drop out of school, is because of the difficulty in connecting the relevance to long-term careers, and second, because of the lack of a strong support system.” When schools systems and professionals begin to include the Work Ready Grad Program into their daily lesson plans it will eliminate a students’ need to blame their circumstance or environment for what they do not have. This program allows them to take their future into their own hands, thus, paving the way to a successful career.

Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com
Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com

According to Georgia’s Path to Personalized learning, Schools have already begun adding technology into the curriculum to increase test scores; but a student should be more than just a number on a data sheet. Work Ready Grad allows them to showcase skills, awards, and other job related experience to showcase themselves as a person rather than just another number. The Work Ready Grad Challenges section is another program that are in place to help close this gap in the educational system. The “challenges” can be related to “virtual internships” that allow students to complete problem solving skills and various presentations for different companies worldwide. These virtual internships not only provide students with “real life” work experience for their resume, but also allow for more frequent higher-level conversations between students and employers.

The main point of the platform is creating the professional level interactions and providing students with the motivation and strong support system to foster a brighter-more prepared youth for the future. Work Ready Grad is the answer to what happens in the space between Facebook and LinkedIn. A social platform that promotes friendly competition while motivating students to plan for the future they desire. All roads lead to great jobs for work ready graduates.

photo courtesy: work ready grad.com
photo courtesy: workreadygrad.com






Srikanchana, B. (2014, June 6). Founder of Work Ready Grad. (A. Golden, Interviewer)

Pfledderer, K. (2014). 3 Ways Social Media Can Help You Land Your Dream Job. Diversity Employers, 45(1), 38-39.

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New Media Journalism Technology

One Laptop Per Child- Will You Help?

Only laptops can help the world’s poorest children who have no school to attend.

According to an article from the American Accounting Association, in January 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, launched a research initiative to develop a $100 laptop for “the world’s poorest children.” This research initiative was called “One Laptop Per Child” or OPLC.

OLPC has a mission “to empower the world’s poorest children through education.” They believe when you give the gift of a laptop to a child, you are giving one more child a chance to succeed in life.

Negroponte stated that kids learn a great deal by themselves, and this is what made his team want to know just how much they learn on their own. So they turned their attention to the millions of children who have a scarce chance of attending primary school.


100 million kids worldwide who do not go to first grade. Most of them do not go because there is no school, there are no literate adults in their village, and there is little promise of that changing soon.

-Nicholas Negroponte –“Another Way to Think About Learning”


Today, you have the opportunity to help children who are much less fortunate to gain an education that will allow them to become essential citizens in their communities. Help provide a child with an education that will lead them to a brighter future.

Click here to donate towards a better education for children all over the world.

Help children like Zimi have a chance for a brighter future!

Listen to her story below.

Click here to donate today! 


Roberts, A., & Zamora, V. L. (2012). One Laptop per Child: The $100 Challenge. Issues In Accounting Education27(3), 799-817. doi:10.2038/iace-50163

Negroponte, N. (2012). Another Way to Think about Learning. Technology Review115(6), 37.


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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Your Thoughts on Digital Learning in Early Education

Children utilizing a digital device in the classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Children utilizing a digital device in a 2nd Grade classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

In response to the video and audio sample done in a previously written article, Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future I did not receive too many responses. In fact, the one response I received was from one of the educators that I interviewed.  Going forward, to improve upon the amount of response I receive on video clips I produce, I will ask harder questions. The questions that I ask in the future will evoke a response from readers; whether it be a “hot topic” that parents may have very different views on or by using a broader topic with more in depth answers.

Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden
Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden

As a result of the surveys and polls conducted last week, I received 8 responses total.  As shown in the survey summary, there were several parents whose child attended a school with a Bring Your Own Device Program in place. Of these parents, many of them purchased their child a digital device between the ages of 3 to 5. It also was concluded almost unanimously that many parents see the use of digital technology continuing to grow over the next few years especially in regards to the school system.

During the previous week of the Social Media and Online Community Engagement Class I also published a discussion post to Reddit. This discussion titled “Digital Learning in GA Early Learning Schools: Good or Bad” yielded 25 Reddit “up-votes” and 5 very thought provoking responses.

I will share the response from one Reddit user: /r/jesusapproves below because this users’ comment accurately sums up what a lot of parents (that responded to the post) feel about the good and bad of digital learning.

Screen Capture of a comment from a reddit user in response to my discussion post in the subreddit of Praenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Screen Capture of a comment from a Reddit user in response to my discussion post in the sub-reddit of Parenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

This response, in my opinion, pulls together the other points that parents gave on this discussion after his response.

Some of the major points that I took away from his response are:

* There are many advantages as well as disadvantages as to why one would want digital learning to be (or not be) involved in the educational system.

*   We are still living in a time where not everyone can afford to purchase these devices for their child; so in the event that schools do not provide a class set it would allow more chance for issues to arise.

*   There is still a need for the actual teacher to lecture in a traditional method as well as allow time for the use of devices in learning new concepts.

Overall, I would say that my audience responses were very informative. The responses allowed to me hear viewpoints that I had not considered. Some of the comments from the Reddit post even provided me with articles to use as a resource for further research. I would also like to thank the people who have responded to my articles, surveys and discussion posts for helping me gather data for further research on my Capstone Topic.

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools

This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.


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Fame-Magazine Articles

So You Want To Be A World Leader…

According to Business Insider, “You have the best chance of getting there with a major or advanced degree in economics, law, or politics.”

Really? Tell us something we don’t know. If you want to lead, you have to have some knowledge of how things run  (or at least the money to hire someone that does).You can have a good heart and the drive to get to the top with the right amount of business sense and an abundance of great networking; you too can be a leader.

However, to be a great leader you must start the preparation early. Start out by learning how to be humble and possibly volunteering with several non-profit groups around the area. Next, you must remember to do some research on where you are going-what those who were before you did to get there- and how you can be more efficient. Finally, you must be determined and never give up on the dream you have to be a world leader. If that means finding a mentor, providing ideas at the company you are with currently to make it a better place ,or acknowledging the good works of those who you admire already in the business.


Educational backgrounds of world leaders 2013

Yes, an education is important; but what can an education do for you without first applying the knowledge you have received to show that you have more than just a piece of paper?

Show off your talents in a modest way to enhance the fact that you have the proper education to back it up. That, in my opinion, is the best way to become a leader… anywhere.


Neil Degrasse Tyson Gives Interesting Take On U.S. Leadership


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New Media Journalism

Profile: Rachel Brent of Hatch Early Childhood

Social Media Specialist, Hatch Early Childhood
Rachel Brent-Social Media Specialist, Hatch Early Childhood

“I’ve always had a knack for talking to everyone so being in charge of social media and community management for a company just made sense.”- Rachel Brent

Born to an Elementary School Speech Pathologist, Rachel Brent has always taken interest to the education field. Spending the vast majority of her life around teachers, one would say it is in her blood to be in this field.

When asked what made her want to get into the social media field she stated, “I’ve always had a knack for talking to everyone so being in charge of social media and community management for a company just made sense.”

Rachel has her undergraduate degree in Advertising from the University of Georgia and her master’s in Interactive Media from Elon University. Upon finishing her degrees she found her job at Hatch when it showed up as a suggested job on LinkedIn. This was the first  interview she ever had where she knew all of her hard work in school had paid off. She would be getting a job that she was not only qualified for but that she actually desired to do. This is one of the best feelings in the world when the American Dream, your dream is actually going to come true.

As the Social Media Specialist for Hatch, Rachel wears a lot of hats! She manages the social media, interacts with the online community, creates editorial calendars, writes engaging content, as well as builds relationships with industry leaders. On top of everything else Rachel is tasked with, she also runs the Expert Series webinars, ghost write blog posts, educate the rest of the company on social best practices, write e-books and do a little bit of coding, copywriting, and graphic design on the side. She is a woman of many talents that deserves to be highlighted. It was very interesting to find out this information about all that she does and still is able to find a little time for herself at the end of the day.

Coworker Johnathan Russell (Online Marketer + Developer + Designer) praised the work of Rachel in a recommendation on her LinkedIn page by stating that, “Rachel brings the highest level of creativity and energy to every project she is involved in. She is an asset to the team and pure joy to work with. Her out-of-the-box thinking is taking Hatch Online Marketing to a new level. She possesses a wide range of talents and skills sets that are rare coming right out of college. She has a bright future ahead of her.”

Rachel truly does have a very bright future ahead of her, very efficient, knowledgeable and is always willing to lend a helping hand. It is no surprise that Hatch Early Childhood snatched her up back in May to work for their company!

Hatch is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and targets the younger aged children but is also of a lot of help in its focus on teacher frustration points.  During the interview, Rachel mentioned that these universal points were things like: shrinking budgets, more paperwork, teaching to tests (less curriculum flexibility), more trouble with parents, and increased work for less pay. By having an understanding of all of those on top of what a child needs to grow and develop you have the company by the name of Hatch Early Learning!

Rachel also gave a lot of insight on whether or not technology would one day replace the need for basic skills like going outside to play. Hatch has just launched a product line called Hatch Outdoor, which ironically has nothing to do with technology. This product re-enforces the point of view that learning takes on a deeper meaning when it goes outdoors. Hatch is a strong advocate of technology being used in a structured manner where it is a part of the learning style not the entire way of teaching.

“Technology will NEVER replace the value of face-to-face interaction and the power of play, it can only help it.”- Rachel Brent

This quote was a very powerful statement that all should remember. Technology is introduced as a helpmate to the other learning styles not as a replacement. Rachel feels that when technology is used as part of a curriculum, not as a baby sitter, technology can only enhance the excellent, traditional methods of teaching that educators have been using for years.

Two fun facts about Rachel Brent and Hatch Early Learning

  • One of Rachel’s favorite topics to discuss is Social Emotional Learning, which coincidentally was the topic of her first e-book.
  • Her favorite gadget(s) that the company has developed are the iStartSmart Table and the tablet bumper.

Many happy users have left testimonials on the Hatch Webpage confirming this viewpoint. Jennifer CihakKindergarten Educator stated,  “iStartSmart computers are the best investment you can make! Computers are finally easy to use & with iStartSmart I can easily monitor each child’s overall progress.” This is just one example of a teacher incorporating the technology into her daily lesson plans and monitoring the progress of her students.

Rachel closed the interview by leaving 5 pieces of advice for people who are aspiring to one day be in her position:

  1. Be flexible but be firm about boundaries. I work hard while I’m at work, but when I leave, I put my phone away and don’t check my email. I’m lucky in that aspect, and I’m lucky that my manager respects that. Most community managers have a 25/7/365 job.
  2. Always be willing to listen and learn, you’ll find tips in very unexpected places.
  3. Be patient. This type of job is new, a lot of people don’t understand what a community manager does and thinks it’s just about playing on Facebook all day. It’s some of that, but what makes me different than their child, or nephew, or any other young person that you can pull off the street is that I have the communication theory from my education that informs my decisions on social. Before I started my job Hatch had three interns running their social who were in the business school at Wake Forest. They did a great job getting everything set up, building our audience, and maintaining a consistent presence on social media, but I would argue that the conversation was one sided on our part.
  4. Be as kind as possible and LISTEN. Even if someone frustrates the heck out of you, read their email with a smile, try to find the constructive criticism in the rant, and let it go. I struggle with this the most. Listen first and give every idea consideration, usually people are just trying to help even if it’s the worst idea you’ve ever heard. There still might be a good nugget in that terrible idea. If you have a great attitude and do your best, your team will be much more forgiving on that day when you do make a mistake (and that day will come!) It doesn’t matter if you’re brilliant at your job if no one likes you.
  5. Last bit of advice—if you don’t like coffee, you better learn to love it!

You may contact Rachel via email at rbrent@hatchearlychildhood.com for any further questions or information on the research done by Hatch and she will get it to the right place to answer you if she can’t answer it herself.

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