Friends of GT Scholars – Can you be a speaker at our information session?

Friends of GT Scholars – Can you be a speaker at our information session?

Friends of GT Scholars

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had an awesome start to the day so far? Over here we’ve been really excited about the large number of parents who’ve been registering their interest to join the programme this term and I’m looking forward to matching everyone with their tutor or mentor and get things rolling. But for now, I’d like to remind you of some volunteer opportunities and share our really cool Thank You Wall with you!

Would you like to share your experience as a tutor or mentor?
We’ll be hosting two parent information sessions on Saturday 28th September. The first session will take place at Kensington Library, W8 7RXR from 10:30am – 12:30pm and the second session will be at Canada Water Theatre, SE16 7AR from 2:30pm – 4:30pm. We still need a few volunteers to join our panel and speak about their volunteer experience. Please let me know if you’d like to join the panel.

We’re looking for volunteers to join our network of ambassadors!
As an ambassador, you’ll help us with planning our volunteer socials and fundraising events. You’ll also be helping us to expand our network and represent GT Scholars at internal and external events. Volunteer ambassadors meet online 4-6 times a year. You can click here for more information about this exciting volunteer opportunity and reply to this mail if you’re interested in becoming an ambassador.

Have you seen our Thank You Wall?
Knowing that the work you’ve done has really made a positive impact in some way is probably one of the best feelings one can have! Our volunteers are amazing and the time and dedication they put in whether it is for tutoring, mentoring or at our enrichment events really has a great impact on the young people they work with. We were so impressed with all the great feedback we’ve received that we just had to find a way to share it with you. We thought that a Thank You Wall would be a great way to do that!

Have a great weekend!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

 

Friends of GT Scholars – Are you a volunteer with coding skills?

Friends of GT Scholars – Are you a volunteer with coding skills?

Friends of GT Scholars

How are you? I hope you’ve had a great week so far? It’s been quite a busy week for me, getting back into the swing of things and preparing for our first scholar intake on Monday.  I’ve also been enjoying the feedback from the skills survey we’ve been getting! You guys are great! This week I’d like to tell you more about a few of our upcoming events and how you can get involved.

Can you be a speaker at our parent information session!
We need volunteers to sit on our panel at our information sessions for parents who are interested in enrolling their child in one of our programmes. There will be two sessions – the first one will be on Saturday 21st September and the second one will be on Saturday 28th September. Both sessions will take place in central London. If you’d like to join our panel and speak about your volunteer experience, please let me know and I’ll fill you in on the details.

Can you help design a coding workshop?
The next skill-building workshops will take place in mid October and are all about introducing young people to the world of coding. We need volunteers who have some time to spare in September to help us design these workshops. It’s a great volunteer opportunity for someone with coding experience wanting to share their skills. You can help design and deliver the content at our workshops or work behind the scenes (like me), by only being involved with the design part.  Please get in touch if you’re interested or know of anyone who’d like to get involved.

Volunteer Skills Survey
I guess by now you might have seen our email series about our new skills survey. Thanks to everyone who completed it so far! If you don’t know about the survey yet, this survey is for volunteers who want to leverage their skills while improving social mobility for young people in London. Our Skills-based volunteering opportunity can empower you to become a change-maker, build on your resume and also give you the opportunity to expand your network. If you’d like to become a skills-based volunteer please complete this volunteer skills survey to tell us more about what you’d like to do.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

What's new?

We live in the information age. Every answer you need is a click away and most children know this by age five. In fact, most children have handled a smartphone by the age of two. It is often thought of as cute, as an indication of how smart they are that they can navigate technology so young; but is this leading to a generation of technology addicts?

Oxford University reported in 2017 that the perception that kids are becoming addicted to technology is untrue. Their study found that despite increased screen time, children are spending their other time doing a variety of other activities. Whether this is true for all children though is unknown.

Education Technology reported on a national pupil survey conducted by education technology association, Naace and Catshills Learning Partnerships, which revealed that 60% of four to five-year-olds are using tablets to get online. They may be using it to access their favourite shows online, but, that is a large percentage of young kids with access to unfiltered content. However, with the current trend of using technology in schools every day in the form of interactive boards, learning videos and online teaching; how do we gauge the effects technology has on our children?

Listed below are the potentially harmful effects of children being addicted to technology and some practical points to help parents avoid possible addiction.

Lack of social interaction
Being constantly exposed to technology can lead to children losing their social skills. They are so used to interacting via gaming platforms or social media that speaking face to face becomes an unusual situation. Younger kids may even seek technology as an escape from physically playing outdoors with other kids. Later on in life, this may lead to them having difficulty with communicating well with others. This will increase the risk of problems at school, in university and ultimately hinder their progress into the working world where interaction is often key.

Decreased emotional intelligence
With a decrease in physical interaction from excessive technology use, children’s ability to navigate emotions is also affected. They do not understand how to gauge emotional changes in others and often lack empathy. This is largely due to the fact that they are often so engrossed in a device that they fail to observe changes in people and their surroundings.

Impatience
Constantly having the power of the internet at your fingertips often results in children not understanding the concept of patience. As they are used to everything being a Google search away, they cannot grasp the concept of research and summarising. Also, parents of toddlers often struggle with their kids not being able to watch their cartoons on television due to advertisement breaks.  A smart TV can stream endless videos on YouTube. This leads to an “I can’t wait, I want it now” mentality.

Online personas and insecurity
According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in young people. Teens in particular, struggle with insecurity due to social media. At this age, they are extremely sensitive to what others think of them. With it being so easy for others to comment on a picture or status, teenagers also suffer greatly when it comes to cyber-bullying. On the flip side to insecurity, social media also sometimes leads to vanity and the upkeep of an online persona. The pressures of this can endanger a sensitive young person’s mental health.

Security risk
Young people are very impressionable and naïve. It is how they are meant to be before life experiences shape their character and opinions. However, with the introduction of technology, they can be easily manipulated by negative peer groups or online predators unknowingly. Privacy of accounts and devices are often ignored. In fact, most children can easily be traced via their social accounts or a mobile device when the location is enabled.

Decreased physical activity and obesity
With more time being spent on technology, there is less time being spent on physical and outdoor activities. Young people would often prefer spending time indoors on their phones or playing video games than going outside or playing sport. This leads to an increased risk of childhood obesity, even more so when paired with the high-sugar diet most young people have these days.

So, what can you as a parent do to avoid technology addiction if you notice any of these behaviours in your child?

“Become one with the matrix”
Make sure that you know how to handle the devices you have and your child is exposed to and that you know how your child is utilising technology. If you keep up with technology, it will be easier to navigate your child’s experience of it. Devices used at school are often restricted with regards to which sites are accessible so you can do the same at home.

“Moderation is key”
Technology cannot be avoided, so instead of fearing technology, introduce your child to it in small quantities. Do not allow them to become dependent on it, but rather encourage its usage to build skills. It can also be used for fun, but only for an allocated time period.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”
As parents, you need to teach your child from an early age to use technology responsibly. From being responsible with how much time is spent using technology to how to be safe online, it is important for you to discuss the best methods for managing technology use with your child. It is also important for you to be the example in your household and to also manage your own time spent on technology so that they can see how technology is used responsibly.

Technology is not to be feared, it just needs to be understood. The sooner that we realise this and are able to identify the pros and cons involved, the sooner we can use it to the best of our ability. We at GT Scholars promote the responsible use of technology in our tutoring sessions. In addition to this, we also teach young people these pros and cons so that they are able to identify and rectify their technology usage if needed. Contact us to find out more.

In the Know – Engage your senses!

In the Know – Engage your senses!

In The Know What's new?

Young people are naturally curious and eager to learn about and understand the world around them. Fun educational activities allow young people to understand and explore their environment. This week’s activities will give your child a chance to engage their senses in an educational way that will make learning fun!

Explore outer space!
This virtual reality mission into space will be a truly out-of-this-world experience as your teenagers get an opportunity to experience the thrill of being an astronaut from the perspective of Britain’s first astronaut, Tim Peake. This experience is suitable for 13+ and is taking place at the Science Museum. Tickets are £7 with family discounts available, find out more here

Have some fun in the sun
This event will bring the science of the sun to life as your child gets the opportunity to explore our closest star, the sun. In this exciting exhibition, your child can discover 3000-year-old artefacts, learn about upcoming space missions, nuclear fusion reactors and watch the sunrise around the world. This visual journey at the Science Museum is free for under 16s, find out more here

A day to design
This weekend, the V&A museum is giving young designers an opportunity to express themselves and learn. Young artists will be able to design garments and get design tips from designer Juliana Sissons. This £20 event will give young people aged between 13 and 15 years an opportunity to learn how the garments on display at the museum were made. To book tickets find out more here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.