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Oak Knoll School Blog

5 Steps Towards Safe Social Media Behavior and Improved Online Mental Health

Posted by Chris Starr on Jan 24, 2023 1:54:20 PM

Is social media bad for teen health? It doesn’t have to be. That was the key takeaway following a talk with Upper School students by social media expert Bailey Parnell. Parnell is the founder of #SafeSocial and CEO of Skills Camp – a company that offers soft skills training to businesses and educational institutions. She presented students with some very compelling risks of social media addiction and its effects on mental health – especially with young women – but also offered advice on bringing balance to your online self by maintaining balance with your offline self.

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Topics: health, wellness, social and emotional learning, success skills, building confidence, growth mindset, family, online, safety, executive functioning, life lessons

2022 Tech Gift Guide for Kids

Posted by Chris Starr on Nov 21, 2022 3:00:00 PM

It’s time to give our loyal blog readers the edge on locating the best education technology gifts for their budding Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, Artists, and Mathematicians.

Every year, Santa’s Chief Technology Elf Bernard creates a list of recommendations for Santa. Miraculously, that list has somehow fallen into our hands every year for the past seven years. 

This year, Santa’s North Pole Server (the one Santa uses to store and manage all the millions of Christmas lists he’s sent) was attacked. About two weeks ago, an unidentified elf opened a malicious email causing all the data on this precious server to be encrypted. 

This ransomware attack put the whole Christmas operation in peril with The Clause Family and all the elves rendered incapable of checking any lists, checking them twice, and finding out who's been naughty or nice. CTE Bernard reached out to the expert tech team at Oak Knoll who were able to track down the malicious code and decrypt the data without the need for a single bitcoin in payment. As a thank you, Bernard voluntarily shared his tech recommendations (which are normally for Santa’s eyes only) with the Oak Knoll community with the caveat that we use it responsibly.

When asked if Bernard would also share the list of who’s been naughty or nice, he flatly refused. We’ll just have to assume everyone in the Oak Knoll community has been nice this year (which we think is a pretty safe bet.)

Here’s Bernard the Elf’s suggestions for best tech-related education gifts this Christmas Season across a variety of price ranges.

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Topics: technology, robots, christmas, STEM, activities with kids, steam, executive functioning, Community

Best Ways to Prevent the 'Summer Learning Slide'

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Jul 12, 2022 4:27:39 PM

Summertime is well underway and children have been busy trading in their class time for pool time as schools around the country are on hiatus until late August/early September. 

Families are enjoying day trips, lighter schedules, vacations, quality time together, and plenty of outdoor fresh air. However, although children would probably much prefer to shelve their books and ignore practicing those basic math facts – they shouldn’t. 

Each fall, teachers wrestle with the inevitable “summer slide” – or summer learning loss where studies show there is significant knowledge loss in reading and math over summer break if children don’t practice these skills each day. 

Kelly Ross, Oak Knoll's Academic Support Counselor, said throughout the past year, schools and teachers have noticed a greater need for support of executive functioning skillsor self-regulation skills that are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.

Ross offers the following advice for parents and families to help children avoid the summer slide and manageably prepare for the 2022-23 school year ahead.

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Topics: summer, executive functioning

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