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This article was written by Lindsay Patton, a member of the Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble content team. Entrepreneur NEXT is our Expert solutions division leading the future of work and skills-based economy. If you’re struggling to find, vet, and hire the right Experts for your business, Entrepreneur NEXT is a platform to help you hire the experts you need, exactly when you need them. From business to marketing, sales, design, finance, and technology, we have the top 3 percent of Experts ready to work for you.

When young talent starts entering the workforce through internships, their success partly depends on the leadership they receive. For those new in their careers, internships are a vital launching pad, and the guidance from a mentor can improve their chances of landing a job. 

Taking on one or more internships increases hireability after the experience is over. In 2019, 56 percent of interns became full-time hires at their company, which is why access to internships is crucial for future job candidates. 

The interns you work with will most likely be eager to dive in. As a leader, it’s your job to embrace their eagerness and help them harness their excitement to reach their full potential. When someone leaves a good internship experience, they should not only have more experience, but more skills added onto their resume. 

Whether your intern stays on full time or finds another opportunity, you are still helping them to realize their next step isn’t as scary as they originally thought. Whether you manage interns directly, or someone else on your team does, here’s how you can be a leader that connects them to the next phase of their career.

Help them discover career likes and dislikes.

Your interns are just starting out in their industries, so this is a crucial time for them to discover the parts of their career they like and the parts they don’t like. Half of people who participate in internships take on more than one, as they typically do not last longer than a year. By doing this, people new to the industry get a career buffet of sorts before diving in full time. A person could have multiple internship experiences, with each one completely different from the next. 

To help your intern explore more of their industry, be in tune with what they like to do, what they don’t like to do, where they’re skilled and where you see potential. The best way to do this is to get to know your intern. The more you are familiar with someone’s personality, the easier it is to connect them with people and projects that set them up for success. It’s also important to be a leader they feel comfortable communicating with, as employees are more successful when they see their leader as trustworthy.

In a successful experience, the intern walks away clearly knowing what they want or don’t want in a future job. Even if an internship wasn’t a fit, the experience is still a good one because the intern walks away knowing what they don’t want. The more experiences a person has, the easier it is for them to evaluate them and decide which aspects they are looking for in a job. 

Let your intern try as many projects and develop as many skills as they can so they are well prepared for job hunting and eventually making strides in their own careers. 

Allow them to observe whenever possible. 

Being in a hands-on environment is a great way for a new employee to gain experience and absorb information. Granted, not every meeting or situation will be intern friendly, so before you go wild with sending out meeting invites, come up with a list of meetings where interns are encouraged to attend and ones that are no-gos. 

For the meetings they are in on, help them develop their note-taking skills. Even if there is already a designated note taker in the meeting, these skills will help them retain information better and prepare them for a career-lenth’s worth of meetings. 

The number one problem shared among entrepreneurs today is finding, vetting, hiring, and retaining expertise.

Provide as much feedback as you can. 

Constructive feedback is how we all grow and Gen Z is pushing for more feedback. The workforce’s youngest generation values continually improving their work performance. What that means to them is weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with their supervisors on projects, performance and anything related to the workplace in general. 

When giving feedback, look at all aspects of the work and always include the positives. If an employee doesn’t know what they’re doing right, they can’t use that as a model for other areas of work. Some things to consider when offering your feedback.

Be specific. Your intern will learn best when they know exactly what they did right or wrong.

Be present. This time is dedicated to your intern.

Be encouraging. Help your intern believe they can get past obstacles. 

Overall, keep the feedback balanced with areas of improvement and areas of success, and be encouraging. An employee will leave the meeting motivated to improve when they feel supported by their supervisor. 

Show your appreciation. 

Simply put: interns do the jobs nobody else at the company wants to do. And they aren’t appreciated enough for it. For as much experience you are giving your intern, they are saving you time and keeping processes moving. Interns help reduce employee workload, so your team can focus on what they’re best at and not feel overwhelmed by projects and tasks. 

This is a huge help! However, attitudes toward interns don’t always reflect gratitude, which is why it’s important to be mindful of how valuable interns are to your company. Take time to get to know your interns and make them feel welcomed whenever possible. Is there a specific trait you like about their working style? Tell them. A positive work environment in general leads to innovation, higher satisfaction, more trust and employee retention. When you spread gratitude, everyone benefits.

Keep in touch after the internship.  

An intern’s last day doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. By investing in your intern’s success, you’re also building an important work relationship. Even if you don’t have a position open for them immediately, you could work together years down the road. 

Providing your intern a valuable work experience positions you as a leader and mentor who is worthwhile to stay connected with. At times, this can benefit you and your company, as they are likely to keep you in mind as they grow their career and make new connections. 

It’s common for our networks to share resources and your former intern could share some in the form of an employee or client referral. These referrals are gold because they are coming from a person already familiar with your company and understands what a good fit looks like. But don’t do it all for the referrals, because the joy you get when your intern connects out of the blue to check in on you is infectious.

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Amazon hasn’t made any announcements, but according to CNET, Prime Day 2020 begins on Oct. 13. If you’re wondering how you can save, read on for our complete Prime Day guide.

4 min read

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Five years ago, Amazon created its own shopping holiday with Prime Day, a savings extravaganza intended to nab new Prime members and amp up summer purchases.

After a bumpy rollout in 2015, Prime Day exploded into an annual event rivaling Black Friday and Cyber Monday; shoppers purchased more than 175 million items during Prime Day 2019, according to Amazon. But then COVID-19 happened, prompting Amazon to delay Prime Day until the fall.

Details are scant at the moment, but read on for what we know so far about Prime Day 2020. We’ll update this post as Amazon releases more information.

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Prime Day 2019 kicked off on Monday, July 15 and ran through the next day, so Prime Day of late has really become Prime Days.

Amazon has not made any announcements about Prime Day 2020, but according to CNET, it begins on Oct. 13. Citing four people familiar with the company’s plans, the site says “Amazon has already blacked out vacation for its full-time warehouse workers from Oct. 13-20.”

Thus far, Amazon has said only that it will “be holding Prime Day later than usual [in 2020], while ensuring the safety of our employees and supporting our customers and selling partners.”

Over the summer, an email was apparently sent out to Amazon’s third-party sellers informing them Prime Day won’t happen until Oct. 5 at the earliest, but that’s just a placeholder date. Stay tuned to Amazon’s Prime day page for more details.

Related: Report: Amazon Pushes Prime Day Back to October

When Does Prime Day Start?

Prime Day 2019 started at 12 a.m. PT on Monday, July 15 and concluded at 11:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday, July 16. Amazon will presumably once again make Prime “Day” a two-day event. If the aforementioned Oct. 5 date is correct, we could see deals going live at 12 a.m. PT that morning.

How Do I Shop on Prime Day?

This being Prime Day, you’ll need to be a Prime member to get the best bargains. If you’re not, it’s free to join for 30 days, after which it’s $119 per year. Naturally, you can log on to via your laptop, but here are some options to consider, too.

  • Amazon Smile: When you shop via (versus, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of the purchase price of eligible products to a charitable organization of your choice. The interface is the same, so it’s an easy way to give back as you load up your shopping cart.

  • Amazon app: If you’ll be out and about on Prime Day, download Amazon’s mobile apps, log in, and you’ll be ready to shop wherever you are.

  • Ask Alexa: Why move at all? The main idea behind Amazon’s Echo devices is to sell you stuff, so Alexa is more than willing to help you add things to your cart. There might even be some voice-exclusive Prime Day deals, so make sure to ask Alexa what she has for you.

  • Whole Foods: Since Amazon owns Whole Foods, Prime members get discounts on select products at Whole Foods Market plus an additional 10 percent off certain sale items. Last year, “Prime members in the US received tens of millions in Prime Day savings when they shopped at Whole Foods,” Amazon said, without elaborating, so you can probably expect some grocery deals this year.

Hit up for more details.

Related: If Amazon Crashes Again This Prime Day, eBay Has You Covered

What Will Be on Sale?

Deals run the gamut, but discounts on Amazon-made products are a pretty sure bet. If you’re in the market for an Echo smart speaker, Ring video doorbell, Fire TV device, or Kindle e-reader, Prime Day is sure to have a deal for you. Amazon often discounts them ahead of Prime Day too, so stay tuned to pick up an early deal.

But a variety of gadgets from top vendors will likely be on offer. If you want to plan ahead, here’s our rundown of the best products in some of the top Prime day shopping categories:

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5 min read

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If you’re like 15% of B2B marketers, your eyes are squarely focused on account-based marketing—but you haven’t fully invested in the strategic approach just yet. Account-based marketing, or as it’s commonly known, flips classic marketing on its head, targeting a select number of high-value accounts while utilizing personalized content to generate qualified leads. ABM appeals to B2B companies across a range of industries because, quite frankly, it makes sense. With ABM, your ROI is higher, and both marketing and teams are in constant communication about what’s working, what’s not working, and the necessary next steps to achieve your KPIs.  

If you’re reading this, though, you’ve probably already done your ABM research. You know how it works, you know why it works, and you know the types of accounts you want to target. There’s no use waiting around anymore; you’re only wasting precious time and resources focusing your efforts elsewhere.

Once you’ve made the decision to execute an account-based —and received the monetary approval from the CFO— your next task is building out an ABM team. Whether it’s a new team fully dedicated to account-based marketing or just a new direction for your current marketers and sales executives, there are several types of people you’ll need on your team in order to execute a dynamic, locked-and-loaded ABM campaign. 

From creatives to developers, here are the six your account-based marketing team needs to succeed. 

1. Art of the Written Word

B2B copywriters are easy to come by, but ABM copywriters, specifically, require a knack for nailing copy that appeals to a very specific person or audience. They have to know which words, phrases, and general ideas will appeal to a CMO—and they have to be able to alter that message to resonate with a Director of Operations. For example, if you’re trying to engage with a healthcare company in order to sell them your software, your ABM wordsmith should create content focusing on growth and revenue generation for a senior marketer, whereas a high-ranking member of the operations team will be more interested in the implementation of the service. And with ABM, the messaging has to be continuous. The ultimate ABM copywriter has the stamina and creativity to sustain a campaign from the awareness stage all the way through evaluation—and then continue to generate engaging copy as necessary.

2. Graphic Design Expertise

When it comes to designing an ABM campaign, experienced graphic and UX designers are critical. They should feel confident designing e-books, programmatic ads, and even podcast logos; ABM campaign creative assets truly run the gamut. While target accounts consume B2B content on multiple channels—including email marketing, , and even direct mail—the visual messaging should be aligned. Branding guidelines and general awareness of when and where the targets interact with the content are instrumental for the design process.  

3. Project Management Proficiency

Organization, organization, organization. While the right ABM software will automate a large portion of the process, a real, live human will keep all parties within the marketing and sales teams on track. Is the creative for the lead nurture email campaign ready and approved to launch? The sales team identified a new lead; what do they now need from the marketing experts? This type of employee is can fall on either side of the marketing/sales spectrum, but they’re always well aware of the happenings taking place throughout the entire ABM campaign.

4. Analytical Ingenuity

No questions asked, your ABM team needs someone adept at taking a bird’s eye view of a campaign and aligning it with the granular details. They can spot everything from an account engaging at a higher rate than others to a missed opportunity when it comes to site conversion. The ideal team member with this skill is always pushing ahead and looking to reinvent the B2B marketing wheel. They may have seen another B2B software company’s ABM techniques and feel inspired to go one step further, asking the rest of the team, “How can we do this, but make it our own AND make sure it’s successful?” 

5. An Eye for Budgeting

A trait that tends to fall under the “analytical” umbrella, budgeting in ABM focuses on the ever-important ROI. With a more focused strategy, 71% of marketers report they saw a higher ROI compared to previous non-ABM initiatives. But that high ROI isn’t just guaranteed. Your team needs someone, or multiple someones, to pay close attention to where and how the marketing budget is being spent. This type of marketer knows to hold back on PPC spend when an account is in the consideration stage of the sales funnel; the cost of keywords targeted at this stage is ultimately cost-prohibitive. And they’re not afraid to give a nod to a major spend on content marketing if they’re confident in the return. 

6. Mastery of Operations

Finally, your team needs an individual with a keen familiarity of Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and whichever ABM reporting platform you’re utilizing. They work behind the scenes to keep your ABM campaign up and running. Question about channel performance? They’ve got your answer—in just a couple of quick backend clicks. Wondering why a particular account is lagging? This person can identify a low-performing campaign and communicate numerical data to help inform the next strategic step.

At the end of the day, account-based marketing is a complete team effort. A successful ABM campaign combines creativity with hard-and-fast numbers, and it seamlessly marries marketing and sales efforts in order to keep your growing quarter and quarter and year after year.


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Companies worldwide have made work from home () arrangements for employees while still trying to focus on acquiring customers. While most have been able to keep running, there’s a lurking crisis waiting to happen. Cybersecurity threats are becoming more dangerous as criminals take advantage of the crisis by monetizing stolen identities, installing viruses and malware and hijacking passwords and digital funds.

According to ’s 2020 Cybersecurity Report, organizations that lead in implementing best practices are four times more effective in stopping attacks, three times better at fixing breaches and two times better at reducing a breach’s impact. The authors say the most prepared companies do three things — invest for operational speed, drive value from investments and sustain what they have.

I spoke with Dr. Oren Eytan, former head of the IDF cybersecurity unit and CEO of Odix, to get his thoughts on how to improve online business security. And he cautioned that, “Hackers are constantly developing new and more complex malware variants to circumvent conventional security solutions.”

Here are common threats you’ll see, along with suggestions for protecting your business.

Longer passwords prevent ID theft

Nearly 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since March. Unfortunately, scammers in the U.S. and abroad are taking advantage of overwhelmed state unemployment systems. This year, hackers will use stolen identities to collect at least $26 billion in fraudulent payments, according to Congress’s estimate. The Labor Department thinks that in a best-case scenario, 10 percent of unemployment payments will constitute waste and abuse. 

“In the age of social and mobile, your digital identity is your life,” Dr. Eytan says, adding that as a result of the expansion of these outlets, “A long, easy-to-remember password is essential to securing one’s online profile, financial accounts and preventing ID theft.”

Consider combining keywords, phrases, names, dates and events that only you would know. For example, “briansdogbunny20” or “love20starbucks” or “proud77armyvet” are all easy to remember and extremely difficult for an unauthorized individual to guess. Other examples of longtail passwords are “feedmycat730pm” or “fianceweddingMay2021.” You should also change passwords once or twice a year for extra security.

Related: It’s Time to Stop It With the Terrible Passwords

Malware helps criminals stay quiet

Malware is a silent threat to and individuals. Malicious software can be programmed to partially control a computer or device. Last year, there were 9.9 million malware attacks, according to SonicWall’s 2020 cybersecurity report. More than a third (37 percent) of newly detected malware hide in Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF files. Google’s Transparency Report sheds some light on where malware originates. 

Although there are lots of products on the market to help fight against malware, Eytan warns they aren’t all the same. “While antivirus and anti-malware solutions are commonplace among computer users, these solutions often fall short of addressing newer and ever-more complex malware strains,” he says. “Polymorphic malware can automatically change their code in order to evade signature-based detection most antiviruses use.”

Work-from-home employees may access company resources through unsecured devices and networks. Businesses should implement measures to protect their data while enabling workers to collaborate online. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of cybersecurity professionals believe their firm’s cybersecurity team is understaffed, according to a 2020 report by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

In one particular case, hackers exploited the coronavirus crisis by renaming their malware “Coronavirus Finder,” which supposedly detected nearby people infected with Covid-19. In reality, the criminals used the mobile app to gain access to people’s bank card details and intercept text messages and two-factor authorization codes.

Related: 5 Best Practices for Remaining Malware-Free

Cryptojacking is an emerging threat

Cryptojacking has been on the rise ever since cryptocurrencies became more valuable. Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of a computer, laptop, server or smartphone to mine cryptocurrencies and steal from users. Unfortunately, hackers also divert your hardware’s capacity and electricity for their purposes. 

They typically entice victims to visit a fake website, install a virulent app and/or click a false link that secretly installs malicious code on your device. According to a 2018 report by Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), in 2018 there was a “459 percent increase in illicit cryptocurrency mining  malware detections since 2017.” Cryptos are a new asset class that even Wall Street investors find valuable, so cybercriminals are incentivized to steal digital funds.

The pandemic should make companies and individuals vigilant of online scams. The hardest-hit state for fraudulent jobless claims is Washington state. So far this year, the state has lost $650 million in benefits to criminals (although officials said they’ve recouped $350 million). The huge loss comes from 200,000 claimants being red-flagged, although many are innocent people whose lives have been turned upside down thanks to fraudsters triggering slow investigations from state bureaucracies.

Consumers should delete unnecessary apps, browsers and software to prevent malicious code from operating in the background. You should only visit credible websites. As a sidenote, adult sites are notorious carriers of malware and viruses. Scams and cyberattacks are proliferating worldwide. By following safe IT practices, you can protect your personal and business assets from being stolen.


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This $60 course will teach you how to reach customers at every stage.

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More people are online than ever, and they’re there to shop, find in-person places to shop, and learn more about things they want to buy. Okay, people are more than just retail consumers when they’re online, but in a business’s eyes, all web traffic should represent potential revenue. You just need to know how to turn the masses into buyers.

In The Entrepreneur’s 2.0 Digital Marketing Tools Bundle, you’ll learn how to do just that and more.

This 11-course, 14-hour bundle is a quick-hitter covering some of today’s most important digital marketing skills and techniques. It’s led by Sorin Constantin, an online entrepreneur with a decade of experience who has sold more than $500,000 in products and services online in the past couple of years alone. In this bundle, he’ll take you through the customer journey and help you amplify your digital marketing strategy at all stages of the funnel.

You’ll learn how to create buyer personas, understanding who your likely audiences are and who your most likely buyers are. From there, you’ll learn how to attract those audiences using simple traffic sources. You’ll get a couple of crash courses in Canva, learning the graphic design skills you need to attract customers through a variety of mediums, and how to best leverage the traffic you do get online. There are also courses on email marketing, Facebook Messenger marketing, affiliate marketing, and more.

Grow your business online with help from a professional online entrepreneur. The Entrepreneur’s 2.0 Digital Marketing Tools Bundle is just $59.99 now.

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Chennai-based WayCool Foods, an agritech startup on Thursday received a grant of $114,000 from Dutch entrepreneurial bank FMO for procurement and distribution of dual-purpose personal protective equipment (PPE) and enablement of soil testing to farmers. This grant came months after the agritech startup received $5.5 million from IndusInd Bank.

The distribution is being carried out under WayCool’s program – Outgrow Program, where 15,000 smallholding farmers across five states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra) in India will be benefited. The dual-purpose PPE kits chosen for the disbursement will protect each farmers during the pandemic and will also cover them during agricultural operations. On the other hand, the soil testing initiative will help farmers to get their soil’s health measured without travelling.

The startup considers ‘Outgrow’ as its flagship program which helps farmers throughout their cultivation cycle and guaranteeing them of 270 days of steady income by leveraging a host of emerging technologies.

Commenting on the fresh grants, Sendhil Kumar Natarajan, head-agri initiatives, WayCool Foods, said, “Farmers are essential service providers as they feed the nation. They are also very vulnerable during disruptive events such as the ongoing pandemic. Our measures have focussed on enabling the farmers earn their livelihood while reducing the risks they face. The FMO grant will help us in protecting a significantly larger number of farmers and we thank FMO for their timely support.”

Speaking about the initiative, Jaap Reinking, director, private equity, FMO said, “We are proud to offer additional support during this period. India has experienced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. These measures left little recourse for the country’s millions of farmers, particularly those in the poorest provinces, who were unable to get access to essentials and protective equipment. The initiative’s goal is to find affordable and reliable sources of PPE and ensure these are allocated where they are needed most. Additionally, this grant will be used to procure Soil Testing kits for farmers, which will ultimately improve their income and reduce wastage.”

Other Farmer Centric Initiatives

The company over the years have been engaging in various ways to help farmers. The agritech startup has recently ran a crowdfunding campaign for PPE kits through Milaap. The startup has also driven the awareness campaign on the efforts put by farmers and truckers.

Founded in 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool procures, processes, and distributes a range of food products. The startup everyday moves over 250 tonnes of food to 11,000 clients across South India. Food products distributed by the startup includes fresh produce, staples, and dairy products.

The company operates a soil-to-sale model while working with 40,000 farmers in more than 50 regions across India.

The 5-year-old startup has to date raised three rounds of funding from Lightbox, Lightstone, Northern Arc Capital, and others. It raised $32 million funding in Series C round led by Lightbox.

Govt Throws Life Support To Agriculture Sector

The pandemic followed by stringent lockdown have impacted almost every livelihood in the world. However, farmers who rely on their produce and weather suffered the most due to restricted movement and unpredictable weather. In a bid to throw revive the agriculture sector of the country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on earlier this month announced an Agriculture Infrastructure Fund worth INR 1 lakh crore.

This fund is aimed to to give a leg up to post-harvest management and marketing of agricultural produce. During the launch, PM Modi said the scheme will provide better warehousing and cold storage facilities for farmers. He said the scheme will provide new jobs as food processing and post-harvest facilities are set up in rural areas.

The scheme will aid startups to scale up their operations and help India to mark its presence in organic and fortified food. The fund was launched with INR 1,128 crore of new loans being disbursed to more than 2,200 cooperative societies.

Also Read: Agritech Players Look At This Pandemic As An Opportunity To Grow and Collaborate           

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13 min read

This story originally appeared on PC Mag

“It’s funny, I always thought I was doing the right thing, that they’re not device kids,” said Dr. Leigh Duffy about her two children, ages 8 and 10. The family doesn’t have a communal computer or iPads, and her kids get very limited screen time. They’re happy reading books and playing outside. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, however, the kids were suddenly trying to learn at home, and they were unfamiliar with their mom’s laptop. What’s the Chrome browser? How do I upload a file? “I thought it was good parenting in the beginning,” she said, “but it turned out to be a little bit of a stumbling block.”

Her experience goes to show how little many parents were prepared for learning at home when COVID-19 first hit, and how monumental a task families face when it comes to getting ready for going back to school this year. In addition to helping two kids learn at home, Duffy (disclosure: she’s my sister) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Buffalo State. In other words, she has the added perspective of an educator who had to transition her college courses to an online environment, too.

Since March or April, when most schools in the US closed for the remainder of the school year, parents and students have had some opportunity to think ahead about whatever the 2020-2021 school year might bring. Depending on local circumstances, students may be back at school permanently (or until an outbreak sends them back home), at school part-time, or learning at home for the foreseeable future.

I talked with Duffy about her experiences both as an educator and a parent of school-aged kids to get an idea of what went well at home and what she might improve next time. I also spoke with someone who learned at home for most of her education, Caroline Ousley Naseman. Ousley Naseman grew up being homeschooled alongside several siblings, finishing her at-home schooling in 2017. Now as a young adult with a few years of hindsight, she’s in a unique position to reflect on what makes learning at home a successful experience.

Through these conversations, we came up with some tips for parents who are trying to manage schooling at home. These tips are generalized and may not be right for every student or household. You and your at-home students know the most about your situation. Additionally, for students with special needs or different abilities, the challenges may be more difficult. So adapt these tips to your needs, and remember that no one knows how to do it “right.” Everyone’s simply doing their best.

1. Allow for individualized learning

Every student has unique interests, as well as a different attention span, adeptness at using technology without distraction, and so on. Compared to classroom-based learning, home-based learning allows for much greater individualization. 

I asked Caroline Ousley Naseman what differences she noticed between how she learned versus her siblings. “We were all focused on different subjects so the learning style was tailored to each child and the material they were studying,” she said. “My brother excels with a hands-on learning approach while my sister succeeds with a textbook approach, I am somewhere in the middle.”

Being at home also gives students greater flexibility in how they express self-motivation. If they master a new skill or concept quickly, encourage them to apply it in a creative way. Online learning sites, like Khan Academy (which is free), can help shepherd students along when textbooks and worksheets fail. Additionally online, video-based tutoring costs much less than in-person tutoring, from as little as $30 per hour. These resources let student work at their own pace, get additional help as needed, and go deeper with subjects or ideas that spark their interest. Language-learning services are another way you can supplement your kids’ education, too. Some are even free.

2. Ask for help — and give it, too

As both an educator and a parent, Duffy says don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. “A lot of us were frustrated [at the start of COVID-19] because we felt like we had to figure this all out,” she said. In her home, for example, she was highly involved in a hands-on way while her children learned how to use her laptop. The kids were only familiar with Chromebooks, which is what they use at school.

“I was kvetching with another parent about how hard it is to use the Mac, and they said, ‘We got a Chromebook from the school.’ I was thinking they were reserved for lower income brackets, and this person said, ‘No, no, no, you just ask the teacher.’ And so we did! And as soon as I asked, they said, ‘Absolutely!'” If she hadn’t asked, the school might never have loaned her family a Chromebook.

Often help is available but the person who needs it doesn’t know it. Duffy sees it with her college students. When they submit an assignment late because they didn’t have a reliable internet connection or didn’t join a live video-based class due to device limitations, she usually could have helped by extending a deadline or providing specific instructions. “I’m happy to help them figure it out if I know what the problem is,” she said.

Keep in mind that many teachers are learning an entirely new skill set in teaching remotely. They’re relying more than ever on parents and students reaching out to ask for help when they’re struggling.

Some teachers are going to be struggling with new tools this year, too. Are your kids going to be working in a remote learning workspace for the first time? You might need to do your own research on, for example, how to use Google Classroom to help your kids get started. You might pass any tips you find onto other parents—and maybe even the teachers.

3. Pay attention to both hard skills and soft skills

“Some of the best things I learned from homeschooling,” said Ousley Naseman, “were life skills that would not necessarily be taught in a traditional school environment: self-discipline, accountability, managing a workload without deadlines set in place by someone else.”

Schooling is about much more than academics. Very young students learn fine motor skills, how to share and take turns, and older ones work on more socialization, time-management skills, and so on. 

Duffy said something she’ll do differently in the coming school year is teach more organization skills. Her younger child had nearly a dozen different websites that she needed for schoolwork, and she had trouble keeping track of them. Duffy said she wants her kids to “see what it is to be organized instead of being flustered every time they have to log in. I might teach them how to use a password manager or show them how to keep a written record of [usernames and passwords] if it’s just two or three.”

4. Make a space for learning

Learning at home is similar to working from home in that it’s much easier to create separation between your personal life and work or school life if you create literal boundaries. Choose a place for schoolwork, whether it’s at a desk or simply a particular seat at the kitchen table. Try to make it different from where your kids have personal time. For example, if your kids work at the kitchen table, have them choose one chair for school time and a different chair for meals.

Furthermore, it’s disruptive to have to keep getting up to find a pencil, laptop charger, or particular book. One strategy is to keep materials nearby in a basket or box. That way, when the learning time ends, the students can put all their materials away quickly and transition out of learning mode. Taking out and putting away materials signals the start and end of the school day. PCMag has an entire roundup of all the tech kids need for going back to school: laptops, noise-cancelling headphones, antivirus software, VPNs, and more.

When it comes to reducing distractions, it’s important to make a virtual space that’s conducive to learning. While Duffy’s young kids didn’t have much screen time, yours might be a different story especially if they’re older. You can make sure their laptop is a learning friendly environment, if you create a separate user account for your kids on Windows. This is especially important if they don’t have their own personal laptops. Setting up an account prevents them from being able to access files of anyone else who shares the computer.

5. Create consistency and predictability

“I say this as an educator and as a parent: A schedule and consistency makes life so much better,” Duffy said. Flexibility certainly can save the day when things go wrong, but having clear expectations for the routine of a day can give kids a sense of normalcy, especially during this time when everything else is abnormal.

As a college professor, Duffy held synchronous video-based classes for students, though she said she had a very flexible attendance policy. “The overwhelming feedback was ‘I’m so glad I had this class because it gave me consistency.'” Many of her students lost their jobs, were living away from family, and didn’t have a particular reason to leave their dorms or apartments day to day. “Some of them said, ‘It gave me a reason to get up and something to look forward to, and it gave me a way to connect to people my own age,'” she said.

6. But also be flexible

Consistency sets expectations. Flexibility, however, gives you freedom. The freedom to troubleshoot. The freedom to move on from a lesson when a student picks it up quickly. The freedom to stick with something longer if it’s not gelling. The freedom to spend more time on art, music, gym, and other subjects that sometimes get cut from public schools.

Flexibility lets you solve problems, too. If a student can’t access their schoolwork in the morning, for example, they may be able to simply swap it with whatever’s on their afternoon schedule. 

In the grander sense, learning at home gives you the flexibility to live life differently. Ousley Naseman told me, “My siblings and I greatly benefited from the flexibility homeschool offers. We were able to travel extensively, tailor our curriculums based on what interested each of us, and work at a time and pace that was convenient.”

Traveling might be off the table these days, but there are other ways to take advantage of flexibility to have a positive learning experience and rich life.

7. Connect learning experiences

Classroom education usually has limitations regarding how students connect to what they learn. When asked what she might do differently in the fall semester compared to the spring, Duffy said, “I might try taking whatever it is they’re learning out of the house with a hands-on activity so that they’re connected to it and so that they have a break from sitting in front of a screen for six hours.” For kids who love the outdoors, this makes sense. Encourage students to connect to their interests, passions, and curiosities.

Ousely Naseman had more general advice in this area. “Listen to your child and allow them to lead the learning experience,” she said. “Don’t feel the need to rush things or check boxes. As the parent, however, it is also important to step in occasionally and ensure that your child has fundamentals in all subjects.”

8. Accept that every day won’t be ideal

When work or education moves into the home for the first time, people can be less forgiving of themselves when they have bad days. When kids go to school, they don’t have perfect learning days every day, but parents don’t always see it.

Acknowledge a bad day when it happens, and be willing to move on. Take sick days when needed. I wrote It’s Time to Put Self-Care Before Productivity with adults in mind, but all the advice applies to kids, too, who are feeling extra stress because of the pandemic just the same as their parents are.

9. Build in breaks

In the spring, Duffy started each school day with a morning walk. It replicated the outdoor time her kids would normally have had walking to school. Then at 9:00, they started learning. At noon, they took a break. “They would look forward to noon when they could go outside for half an hour,” she said. They also looked forward to 2:30 when they knew they would wrap up their work and once again head outside.

Having predictable breaks can help students manage their time and attention. It also gives them time to refresh and reflect, which is important. Breaks can relieve stress and increase productivity, even for kids. For more on breaks in general (adults need them too!) read our story on how to take better breaks to boost your productivity.

10. 2 to 4 good hours of academics is plenty

In an episode of NPR Life Kit, educational coach Ana Homayoun encourages parents and other home educators to “shoot for two to four good academic hours” per day. Once you factor in breaks, lunch, recess time for young students, and other distractions, you might find that scheduling a six-hour day leads to three and a half or four hours of learning. That’s plenty.

11. Remember, we’re all doing our best

Since Duffy first had her two kids home from school and realized they were struggling with computer skills, she’s changed her thinking about screen time. “They both now have home email,” she said, “and they’ve both been playing Minecraft. Their screen time is still very limited, but it’s enough to get them comfortable on the computer.” 

At a time when expectations continually shift, it’s harder than ever to predict how life will look a month from now or a year from now. And when we can’t predict well, we also can’t plan well. Be ready to adapt and keep in mind that we’re all doing our best.

For more tips on how parents can help their kids live their best online lives, you can read 10 Things Every Parent With a Connected Kid Needs to Know.

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TikTok is about to be banned by the US government, and young people are unhappy about it. Millennials and Gen Z aren’t worried about privacy or China.

2 min read

This story originally appeared on PC Mag

Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would cripple the short-form video app TikTok by prohibiting US app stores, credit card companies, and software providers from working with it. Despite the impending ban, a majority of the app’s users remain loyal, don’t want TikTok to go away, and aren’t interested in any of the alternatives.

TruePublic surveyed 10,562 Gen Z and Millennials ages 16 to 35 on how they feel about the looming TikTok ban, and users are not happy. Of the respondents, 51 percent were upset about the ban, and just 21 percent supported it. Another 28 percent responded that they didn’t care either way.

Most interesting is the fact that 83 percent of users are not concerned enough about the Chinese government potentially collecting their personal data to consider deleting the app. Just 41 percent of respondents say TikTok should be banned because of privacy risks.

People aren’t very interested in the US alternatives to TikTok. When asked whether users would switch to something else, 28 percent named Triller, and 27 percent named Byte. But 45 percent of respondents said they would either use another unspecified app or none of the alternatives. When asked specifically about TikTok versus Triller, respondents overwhelmingly chose TikTok (88 percent).

TikTok’s popularity is powered by youth, but that doesn’t mean it’s their favorite social media platform. According to TruePublic’s survey, an overwhelming 49 percent of Gen Z respondents prefer Instagram, followed by Snapchat (22 percent), TikTok (16 percent), and Facebook (13 percent).

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Get to sleep and stay asleep every night with this app.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Everybody needs their beauty sleep but entrepreneurs even more than most. Americans report a dramatic drop in quality of life when they’re unable to get a full night’s sleep, and entrepreneurs can’t operate at the high level they need to make their businesses succeed when they’re exhausted. If you’re struggling to sleep through the night, it may be time to give Restflix a try.

Restflix is a streaming service designed to help users fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night. It uses a proven technology called binaural beats to harness the brain’s responsiveness to sound and help create a meditative, restful state. You can play more than 20 live channels that feature soothing sounds, bedtime stories, guided meditations, and much more, all of which are designed to gently ease you into a full night’s sleep.

Restflix offers unlimited video and audio with no interruptions, helping you to overcome insomnia, tinnitus, night-time anxiety, and hit each day with greater energy and vigor. It’s available on all major platforms, including Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, iOS, and Android.

Even if you’re not having trouble sleeping, Restflix can be a valuable tool to help you relax and develop a healing meditation practice.

The good news is that the reviews back up what it claims to do, too. Restflix has earned perfect 5-star ratings on both the Google Play Store and App Store because it really works. You don’t have to struggle to sleep each night and drag through each day. Get the best sleep of your life with Restflix. Right now, you can save big. Get 40 percent off a one-year subscription at just $29.99, 50 percent off a two-year subscription at $49.99, or 59 percent off a three-year subscription at $59.99.

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6 min read

A decade ago social media introduced us to various professions that one couldn’t have thought of. Such is the charm of these online platforms that people not just started following their passion but even generating income out of it. 

The term social media influencer came into existence and branched into various types. From fashion to food, every beat had influencers all over the space. In fact, within no time we got introduced to ‘travel influencers’, They not just going place but at the same time inspiring many to love, explore and witness the world. In fact ‘how to become a travel blogger’ was also one of the tops searched phrases on Google.

Many want to pursue their passion of travelling and convert it into a full-time profession. Of course, it’s a dream but to make it a success one needs to understand what works and what doesn’t on Instagram. With over one million followers travel influencer Rasmus Peter Kristensen who runs the handle ‘Resort’ says, “People with a passion for travel can turn into a digital nomad and can scale his/her travel Instagram, becoming a successful travel influencer. But capturing the right images plays an important role to gain followers.”

He travels around the globe with his wife and tries to see what kind of images will people like. At times, he simply follows his heart believing that he is showing the world in a beautiful way that will certainly appeal to the audience. Giving us eight tips is the expert who lays the guidebook of how to start travel Instagram.

1.    Discover Your Niche: 

For any travel influencer, posting pictures and videos on Instagram cannot make the account a successful travel handle. A person needs to discover his niche and study the subject believes to influence. Travel niches include luxury, health and wellness, adventure, hiking, gastro tourism, winter destinations, and so many other things. Picking a particular travel niche will help a person have some authority over that subject and adding their style with the content, they can help themselves stand apart from others in the industry, believes Rasmus.

Image Credit: Pixabay

2.    Be Creative With Taking Pictures: 

Since Instagram is a visual platform; it must be utilized to the maximum advantage. Pictures in itself can speak a lot about the experiences. Hence, Rasmus says that a great travel influencer must also hone their skills in photography and help in creating visual imagery that attracts more people to their travel page.

3.    Show Your Prowess In Videos: 

Getting hands easy on taking videos is another art that a travel influencer can learn over time. If images can speak so much without saying a word, how much impact can an expertly shot video have?

“Instagram not only has the option of creating an IGTV but also a new feature called Reels that lets you make short videos as well. Using Instagram features one can easily add some more effects on the content. Also, putting in the right kind of music just adds to the attractiveness of travel content,” he says. 

Image Credit: Instagram/ Resort

4.    Create A Brand On Instagram: 

To become a travel inspiration, digital branding is the way to go. Through the creative, innovative, and travel inspirational content, a lot of attention can be captured of all. Also, it is essential to be consistent in posting newer, visually striking pictures and videos.

“I created ‘Resort’ intending to bring travel enthusiasts together and let each other explore the places of the world through the page. You need to build your page as a brand and let people connect with you,” he says. 

5.    Go For Collaborations: 

Collaborations here doesn’t mean the ones travel influencers make on Instagram, it means that people need to make the network even outside the platform, points out Rasmus. 
It is also about meeting other travel influencers and creating innovative content together. This allows you to grow audiences, followers, and create conversions on the common topic they have learned from each other.

6.    Hashtag All The Way:

Travel influencers aspiring to develop a travel Instagram must know the importance of using hashtags. “Hashtags are used to drive all the people in one place on Instagram and travel influencers must highly utilize this by hashtagging their brand. By using a particular hashtag, many people can get content discovered posted by travel influencers. This gets them attracted to the posts, and start following them,” he explains. 

Image Credit: Instagram/ Resort

7.    Utilize Instagram Stories: 

Instagram’s most popular feature is the Instagram stories. Sadly, not all have yet realized its significance so far. “This feature is great. Utilize this feature on the platform where for a few seconds you can give a preview of a post to people, leading them to see your post and ultimately following them,” he says. 

8.    Start Your Travel Hub Account: 

People who are still starting out and yet have not discovered many places in the world still can start their travel hub account on Instagram to repost the contents of many other travel explorers and influencers. 

“On my page, I share my experiences and help people map out the best hotels, resorts, and other beautiful places on earth. This actually can be very helpful for people who are just beginning as travel influencers and starting their Instagram account to gather great travel stories and content on their platform,” he says. 

Image Credit: Pixabay

As someone who has travelled the one Rasmus says earning from Instagram with the travel handle and being a travel influencer is possible, but only when the person is ready to keep hustling and give in their best, providing consistent and creative content. 

While you are starting a journey, make sure to do your homework. To be an influencer might look fancy, but it requires tremendous dedication and hard work. To make your account ace, read on marketing skills, watch a lot more content, get inspired but do not copy content. Becoming an influencer is a slow journey, be patient and create content that people can relate with. 

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