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School Buses and GPS

Let’s face it – the world we live in can be a very unsafe place, especially for young children. Threats like kidnappers, rapists, pedophiles and murderers abound in the 21st century nightmare that we live in. There is hardly a day when you can open the newspaper or switch on the television and not find horrific stories of crime against young kids. And then there are calamities, accidents and mishaps that threaten to end young lives in a matter of moments.

It’s no surprise that fear for the safety and security of their offspring is the one thing that worries parents around the modern world. Sitting at home and biting fingernails is of little use to anyone. Some parents are doing more than that. They are getting up and taking action to protect their children.

How exactly does one protect children in this modern world? Why, by leveraging technology in the right manner, of course.

Parents around the world are lobbying at schools, both public and private, to implement the installation of GPS enabled systems on school buses. After a spate of recent incidents where students have become targets of terrorists and other disturbed individuals, schools have added radios, cameras and seat belts to improve safety on buses. GPS systems are the next logical addition to this safety net.

The GPS system in buses gives parents a way to monitor their children’s whereabouts and ensure their safety but at the same time do so in such a manner that the children do not lose their space and freedom. In real time, the system informs parents when and where their ward enters and exits school bus, without giving undue hassle to the child. It also tracks the location, speed of the school bus and can be used by school transportation supervisors to ensure that the bus driver stops at all red lights and follows traffic rules so that the life of the students is not in jeopardy.

In case of an unfortunate incident such as a hijacking, an accident or any kind of natural calamity – the GPS system aides the search and rescue operations by providing pin-point locations of the bus in real time. By knowing where the vehicle is, authorities can act much quicker and in a smarter way in order to save lives.

In addition to this, from the point of view of the school management, the GPS system can be used to track and manage bus operations, helping in reducing costs such as fuel expenses. In a world of rising fuel prices this is a great boon for schools around the world.

When the question of implementing GPS system to their bus fleet, many schools are apprehensive due to the costs and the effort involved. Contrary to the popular perception this system is very easy and extremely cost effective. (And also, how can one put a price on the life of a child?)

Many schools have already started using GPS. Schools in New York and Chicago have been using GPS systems in buses for some time now with unanimously positive responses from parents of the students. Even schools in Hyderabad, India are applying the system to insure the students against high accident rates in the city.

Don’t Be An Anti-Social Project Manager

Whenever I speak with someone about project management and social media I tend to get one of two reactions. They either see the value right away or they don’t get it at all-dismissing the socialization of project management out of hand. After a few minutes of conversation, their negative attitude seems to boil down to the following two arguments:

1. They are put off by what they consider the trivial nature of current social media like Facebook and Twitter.
2. Democratizing the project management process conflicts with their top-down, command-and-control management style.

Most of the angst about using social networking within the project management process comes from a lack of understanding. I agree with those who suggest that simply incorporating a Twitter-like activity stream or mimicking Facebook isn’t a legitimate strategy for socializing the project management process. If that’s the sum total of your social project management strategy, I don’t believe it will help you accomplish much.

That being said, the workforce today utilizes social media in their daily lives for a number of personal activities, making it an easily recognizable metaphor for making work management processes more accessible. The way the workforce interacts with media today is significantly different than what we were doing 30 years ago. If we can successfully capture the essence of what makes social media work generally, within the work management context, I see the increase in collaboration, communication and visibility a potential productivity boon.

What’s more, Generation X and Y are accustomed to having more control over what they do and when they do it than any generation of workers before them. Furthermore, they have been trained to do their work in collaborative environments and are accustomed to receiving immediate feedback and recognition.

Old-school management concepts like top-down command-and-control are still at the heart of traditional project management methodologies and make it difficult to effectively lead and manage today’s workforce. I believe this paradigm must change if we want to enable the workforce to achieve maximum productivity and perceive what they do as more than “just a job.” I think we need to realize that project managers should no longer “own” project status data, their team members should. Project managers should be expected to look ahead and plan how to overcome obstacles through better communication not increased micromanagement. The more project managers become leaders, and they less they act like drill sergeants, the more successful project teams will become.

What Are the First Steps?

Fortunately, getting started doesn’t necessarily involve any kind of social media tools (although there are many). The most important place to start is with the right frame of mind:

1. Give team members the opportunity to contribute to the creation of time-lines and deliverables. This fosters increased ownership and improves the likelihood that milestones will be met. As mentioned earlier, it should be individual team members who own status information. That’s the only way to make it accurate and reliable, and I like to call it democratizing the process.

2. Provide a means for capturing qualitative information in addition to quantitative information. I look at it like the color commentary on a sports broadcast. There’s a lot more to accurate status information that simply the statistics. Qualitative information gives context to simple red, green, or yellow status indicators. Make it easy for team members to contribute this information and project leaders will have the “real story” when looking at project status. (This is something that social media tools do very well, by the way.)

3. Realize that most people take pride in their work and some occasional recognition is a good thing. Most of the time, it seem like we only hear from the boss is if we’ve done something wrong. One of the reasons that team members don’t update their project status in the PPM software, yet will sometimes spend hours updating status on Twitter or Facebook, is because they get positive feedback from their friends.

Whether or not you determine to use a project management solution that incorporates tools that facilitate these types of behaviors, or you choose to use stand-alone social media tools, is largely up to you. The questions you need to ask include:

1. What will help my team communicate and collaborate?
2. How familiar are they with social media generally?
3. Does it need to collect information into a centralized location for analysis and distribution?

Socializing (and democratizing) the process just makes sense to me. Those closest to the work really do understand it best. And, they should be “enabled” to provide input into time-lines, milestones, and deliverables if project leaders really want accurate information. Does that mean that the project leaders role diminishes? Not in the least. In my opinion, their role is elevated as it evolves into more of a sophisticated leadership role. Project leaders who are able to grasp the vision of relinquishing the arcane notions of managing people with a top-down philosophy are seeing their project teams increase productivity. I hear from people all the time who tell me that this mindset was not only liberating in terms of the decrease in time they spent glued to the computer screen; involving their teams in more of the project planning process increases team member engagement, increased team camaraderie, and improved productivity.

In today’s world, socializing the work management process makes sense. What are you doing to democratize project management and engage your project teams?

What To Look For In Anger Management Curriculum

Anger management curriculum is like the one that your teacher teaches in schools. The curriculum is so framed to focus on the problem itself rather than the causes for the problem. Through a series of lessons, anger management curriculum focuses on the specific problems of the individuals and gives you a way out of it. It is divided into series of modules and one should undergo the program as long as they need help. The length of the time depends upon the seriousness of the issue.

You generally get angry when somebody criticize you or tease you. This lesson plan is framed with such subjects that cover how to react with bullying, teasing and unfair criticism. Most of the problems caused in one’s household or at home is because of the uncontrolled anger. When one learns to manage his anger, he will not be left into trouble. To assist him to control his anger, anger management curriculum is framed with a set of plans that would include various activities and discussions.

Today, this management lesson plan is included in value education classes in schools. Managing one’s anger ought to be taught while a person is still at school. This will bring many benefits in his later life. Anger is a feeling that is there irrespective of one’s age. Even the new born baby gets angry when it is deprived of its food or some other reasons. So only if the anger management curriculum is incorporated in the general school curriculum, one can know how to redirect his impulse in the correct path. If you did not get such an education at the school level, you could attend courses that are based on this management curriculum conducted both offline and online.

This kind of curriculum will have a scheduled time period that is conducted in step by step pattern. You must select best anger management curriculum. You may go online and search for it. You will then find information from people who have already used anger management curriculum. Their testimonials will help you to choose the best one. You must also see the background, level of education, and experience in anger management, the creator of the curriculum has, before selecting a particular curriculum.

If you are searching for a best kind of this lesson, try to get the feedback from others who have already used it and this will help you to decide whether that particular anger management curriculum will work for you because not all of them work for all types of people.