Special Education and the Importance of Collaboration

Collaboration means working with an individual or a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Its importance is most visible in education. Every day, teachers work together with their peers, school counselors, and other staff for the success of each student. And when it comes to special education, collaboration becomes the single most important thing for a teacher.

A teacher for special education has to collaborate with school administrators, general education teachers, school therapists, psychologists, and parents and guardians. Students with mild disability have now been included in regular classroom teaching, according to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act. This has led to general and special education teachers working together, often with the help of the best fun educational apps. The role of the educator in a general classroom, involves teaching the curriculum and assessing and evaluating special children. It’s important that a the educator brings in a set of personal skills to enhance student learning. Skills of both the general teacher and the special educator should come together to help a student.

A special educator has to work closely with the school management. It’s a vital part of the job. Working with the management will help the special teacher follow the necessary laws and procedure, work with individualized education plan (IEP), and make sure that special children are accommodated in the appropriate classroom. It’s always important to forge a strong relationship with these people for ensuring the success of a special student.

Working with parents is a major challenge for all special education teachers. It’s important to make strong and regular contact. It’s a nice idea to allow parents come and volunteer in the classroom, so that both the educator and the parent can help the children. A special child can obviously relate more to a parent. If parents explain the use of the best fun educational apps for kids, it’s likely to be more believable to the children.

Working with school therapists and psychologists is another key collaboration of a special educator. A therapist can inform the educator about the limitations of a special child. He/she may even recommend the best fun educational apps for kids so that special children pick up social skills faster. The educator, on his/her part, can update the therapist on how a child is progressing. The therapist is also responsible for diagnosis of a special child.

The work of the school psychologist is also largely similar. They too test children for disabilities and ensure that the IEP is being properly followed.

Collaboration is an important part of a special educator’s job, regardless of which part of school education he/she is involved with. Whether it’s working with the school administration, other teachers, parents, guardians, counselors, or therapists, a special educator has to work as part of a team for the betterment of special children. The needs of a special child are much different from that of a neuro-typical. Besides, each child is different. The best fun educational apps can keep the child engaged besides imparting important social skills.

The History of Modern Furniture

It was in the 19th century after the industrial revolution had given birth to a new class of people that modernistic ideas evolved. The traditional dark, gilded or carved wood, covered with heavy richly patterned fabrics cave way to light and simple looking furniture. Between the nobility and the down trodden poor the middle class had emerged.

They cast aside anything that was related to the rich who had trampled the poor ruthlessly. Also influences from Africa, Asia and especially Japan had a lasting effect on designing of modern furniture. Functionality, practicality and economic feasibility were the new order in furniture. Technology and industrial advancement were already playing their role in making of simplistic yet practical furniture.

Michael Thonet an Austrian German cabinet maker was the first to experiment in making bent wood furniture and using glue for joining wood pieces. His coffee shop chair also known as 'Konsumstuhl Nr 14' became world famous and till 1930 over 50 million of these chairs were produced. Another famous chair of that era was the 'Tripolina chair'. It was made of wood, metal and canvas and was patented by Joseph Fendy in 1877. This chair was widely used by the British troops during the colonial period. The director's chair is a simple folding chair that uses a scissor action to fold and is made of wood and canvas, or any other strong material that can bear the weight of the occupant. The design of this chair dates back to the 15th century and the design has been taken from ancient Roman folding stools.

Some of the iconic examples of modern furniture are the Marcel Breur's Wassily chair. This chair uses lightweight tubular steel and leather straps. The exquisite and simplistic design of these geometric shaped planes almost makes the leather straps appear to be suspended in space. The Ellen Gray side table, the Barcelona chair and Noguchi table are some of the other icons of modern furniture.

Modern furniture is functional, practical and tastefully designed to give a feeling of comfort and lightness. It differs completely from the dark and heavily embroidered medieval furniture. Metals, plastics, glass are now used along with wood in making modern furniture and a whole new generation of fabrics and colors are used. The fabrics used are of bold and bright colors which make modern furniture look inviting and artistic. Contemporary furniture has taken many forms and shapes and furniture designers use geometric patterns to create modern furniture.

Most contemporary furniture is lightweight, easy to assemble and disassemble and importantly easy to maintain. Modern furniture also has an individualistic theme, designed to suit the type of d├ęcor people want for their homes and workplaces. Colors are popularly used to make a room or office appear pleasant and relaxing. Drab, dreary and heavy colors are no longer used. If a heavy color like black is used, it will be contrasted with white or shining steel. It is modern furniture that has changed the look of the home from a formal and staid place to a casual and relaxing environment.

Users and Uses of Financial Information

In every financial accounting textbook, the authors explain in detail about "Users and Uses of Financial Accounting." Information such as cash flow statements, income statements, and balance sheets are important documents that are kept to ensure that the company is recording everything correctly. The users of this accounting information are divided into two categories, internal and external users.

The internal users of accounting information are the managers who organize, operate and plan daily business routine. They are directly affiliated with the company and use administrative accounting, which includes in-depth reports used to determine financial strengths and weaknesses. For example, internal users would include management, finance, marketing, and human resources. An example of a human resource manager would be that he or she has to ensure the rights of their employees by using wage information along with other data. Important questions arise with internal users. A question for a marketing manager would include, "What price for an Apple I Pad will maximize the company's net income?"

External users are groups of individuals that are outside organizations, and they use accounting to make financial decisions. An example of an external user would include a creditor, who uses accounting to evaluate the risks of granting credit. Taxing authorities, investors, and customers are also external users. External users would receive limited financial information from a company such as financial statements. These statements are the backbone of financial accounting and they give the external users enough information to inform them of the company's economic position. Assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses are of great importance to users of accounting information. For business purposes, it is customary to arrange this information in the format of four different financial statements; Balance sheet, income statement, retained earnings statement, and statement of cash flows.

The purpose of the income statement is to report the success or failure of the company's operations for a period of time. The income statement lists the company's revenues followed by it expenses. A key point to recall when preparing an income statement is that amounts received from issuing stock are not revenues, and amounts paid out as dividends are not expenses. Therefore they are not reported on the income statement. Retained earnings statement shows the amounts and causes of changes in retained earnings during the period. The time period is equivalent to the time covered on the income statement. Financial statement users can evaluate dividend payment practices by monitoring the retained earnings statement. Some investors seek companies that have a history of paying high dividends, while others seek companies that reinvest earnings to increase the company's growth.

The balance sheet is based on this equation: Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders Equity. This equation is referred to as the basis accounting equation. The balance sheet reports the company's assets, liabilities and owners equity. It is a financial window to the company at a specific point in time. Claims are divided into two categories: claims of creditors, which are called liabilities and claims of owners, which are called stockholders equity. On the balance sheet it lists the company's financial position as of a specific date in this order: assets first, then liabilities and stockholder's equity. A note to self about stockholders equity is that it is composed of common stock and retained earnings. Finally there is the statement on cash flows. The purpose of the statement of cash flows is to provide financial information about the cash receipts and cash payments of a business for a specific period of time. Users are interested in the statement of cash flows because they want to get a better understanding of what is happening to a company's most important resource. The statements of cash flows answer these following questions: 1) Where did cash come from during the period? 2) How was the cash used during the period? 3) What was the change in the cash balance during the period? The statement of cash flows also organizes and reports the cash generated used in the following activities: financing, investing, and operating. All businesses are involved with these three types of activities.

Financing activities is described as taking money to make money. The two sources of outside funds for corporations are borrowing money and selling shares of stock in exchange for cash. Investing activities involve the purchase of the resources company's need in order to operate such as sale of long-term investments, property, plant, and equipment. Finally there is operating activities. Once a business has the assets it needs to get started it can begin its operations. Operating activities convert the items reported on the income statement to cash.

In conclusion, the users of financial statements are people who use financial documents for a large variety of business purposes and their ability to make decisions using these statements helps them to succeed in the business world. Students have a chance to succeed in business if they have the knowledge of professionals who use financial statement analysis techniques and tools used on a day-to-day basis.

Pros and Cons of a Smart Car

When people are thinking about making an expensive buying decision, especially with something as new and unusual as the smart car, they often want to know the pros and cons of the various options they are considering. This article will examine the pros and cons of a smart car.

There is no doubt that the smart fortwo car has its passionate supporters. Before it arrived in the United States in 2007, it had already enjoyed wild success in Europe over several years. But with its small size, there are also a number of concerns.

Pros of a Smart Car

There are many benefits to be considered; don’t let its small size fool you!

  • Environmentally-friendly. Not only is this small car fuel-efficient, averaging around 40 mpg, but it has several other environmentally-friendly features as well. The smart fortwo car uses innovative energy-efficient and recyclable materials in its construction. In fact, 95% of the vehicle is recyclable and the dash material is made from recycled synthetics.
  • Easy to park and drive. The smart car has a very small footprint. At less than 9 feet long, it’s nearly 3 feet shorter than the already diminutive Mini Cooper. Of course, a big reason for that is that it’s only a 2-seater. But the short size means this car is super easy to park, especially in tight spots or short spots where other cars wouldn’t fit. It’s also got a great turning radius that makes it very maneuverable.
  • Appearance. No one can argue that the smart fortwo car is not unique in its design and appearance. See one, and you will never forget it, whether you like it or not! Many people’s first impression is that it is just so darn cute. When Mercedes Benz brought the smart fortwo car to the United States, they updated its image to be more cutting edge, with more chrome, a bit longer hood section and updated headlights and dashboard area. You can also change out the plastic body panels to give it a whole new color, or purchase a car wrap with some kind of unique print or design on it.
  • Safety design. Most people’s first reaction when they see this tiny car is something along the lines of, “How could such a small car be safe on the road” However, what make the smart car so unique is Mercedes Benz attention to safety. From the innovative tridion safety cell, a sort of safety cage, to its 4 airbags and advanced braking system, the smart car is built for safety. Crash tests have consistently proved Mercedes’ safety claims. Anecdotal evidence, as published on the safeandsmart.com website, also supports those claims.
  • Surprisingly roomy inside. Another surprising benefit of the smart car is its interior roominess. There is plenty of leg room for both driver and passenger. Head room is great too, with men as tall as 6’6″ fitting in the driver’s seat comfortably. The cargo area is also quite roomy for a small car. We fit a 50-pound black lab and 2 other dogs in our hatch when we go hiking. And we’ve toted home as many as 8 grocery bags and a case of soda when we go food shopping.
  • Perfect commuter car. The smart fortwo car was originally designed as a “city car” for crowded European city-dwellers, and that is its greatest value in the United States, as well. It makes a great commuter car, with its roominess, solid gas mileage and zippy performance on the roads, not to mention ease of parking.

Cons of a Smart Car

Of course, no car is perfect for everyone, and this one is no exception. It does have a few features that could be improved, as well as some aspects that just make it the wrong choice for certain people.

  • Size vs. other cars on the highway. Despite its considerable safety features, there is no question that the smart car is much smaller than just about every other vehicle on the highway. So, there is a good chance that if you are involved in an accident with a big SUV or truck, you might come out the loser. However, there are accounts of smart cars faring better than other larger vehicles in an accident. One advantage of its small footprint is that it might be able to avoid collisions that a larger vehicle could not.
  • No cruise control. As mentioned above, the smart car was designed as a commuter, in-town type of car. Perhaps that’s why, despite a number of other high-end features, it lacks a cruise control option. If you do plan to travel in it or your commute involves highway driving, chances are you are going to miss having cruise control.
  • Unusual transmission. Smart cars have what is termed an “automated manual transmission.” What that means is that you have an option between going completely automatic or using a modified manual transmission. Most people find that keeping it in automatic means slightly sluggish gear shifting. That is easily remedied, however, by switching to the automated manual mode. This is a clutch-less manual transmission, meaning you are in charge of using the stick shift or paddle shifters on the steering wheel to switch gears, but you don’t have to coordinate with a clutch. The manual mode is super easy to use, even if you’ve never driven a stick shift before, and provides for a much zippier gear-shifting experience.
  • Limited passenger seating and cargo space. Smart cars only have 2 seats – the driver’s seat and one passenger seat. So they’re not meant to be family cars. And while the cargo hatch area is surprisingly roomy, it is still less than 8 cubic feet. So you won’t be hauling any lumber or large pieces of furniture in it.
  • Gas mileage could be higher. For such a small car, you might expect the gas mileage to be much higher. However, the smart car was rated the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in the United States by the EPA in 2010. And even at 40 MPG, it is considerably more fuel-efficient than most light trucks and SUVs on the road today.
  • Requires premium fuel. The smart car requires premium fuel, which can be pricey, because of its small engine size. Smaller engines tend to perform better with a higher grade of fuel. You might consider its gas mileage to be the trade-off for the pricier gas.

In weighing the pros of a smart car against the cons, I find the pros win. For what it’s designed to be — a commuter vehicle for 1 or 2 people — the smart car is a great value with many added benefits. Could it be better? Sure, as with most products, there is definitely room for improvement. But, if you want a forward-thinking, unique and fuel-efficient small car, then I would definitely encourage you to consider the smart fortwo car.