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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Promise of Online Learning

Friday, April 24th, 2015

We ran across an article yesterday that forced us to realize what we have known but not admitted for several years now….the potential that online learning offers has not been realized.  While there are some interesting and valuable programs being used in a piece meal fashion….none has changed the dynamic in the classroom  Why?  There are no doubt many reasons.  But consider that the classroom today looks much like it did in the industrial era…a group of students with one adult directing instruction.  Traditional classroom learning is just not sustainable in a world of rapidly changing information and technology.

Unfortunately, to date, online educational programs are emulating the traditional teaching learning process.  There is no one best way….but the technology today offers an opportunity to provide students and those who work with them a world class education no matter the situation.  We can communicate with friends and experts around the world; we can use gaming to motivate and engage students; we can capture teachable moments with live video; we can monitor student engagement; we can provide interesting lessons that capture all curricular subjects; we can taylor instruction based on student achievement; we can give students and educators choices for learning and instruction;  we can continue to allow educators to create and change online programs for their own classes;  we can incorporate audio and video with all learning; we can give students and parents opportunities to create their own learning programs; we can use digital groups and one to one sessions to create community;  we can align everything to standards for learning;  we can provide instantaneous report results of student learning  for parents and educators; we can maintain a level of excellence that demonstrates the potential of technology; and we can overlap and connect activities when needed.

I envision a program that uses all that technology offers to transform the way students learn today.  A tapestry of online learning techniques that students can select from and participate in to develop their own instructional program.  There is every reason for schools and educators to use the same program.   There is nothing new here….all exists….but it is not filtering into education and if it is, the pieces are not connected.  Good programs make up the bits and pieces we see in education but they are not changing things for students in the classroom.  Teachers still walk around the classroom checking student work, asking for student responses, doling out information….we can do better for our students.  We need to supplant not supplement education as we know it.

If we continue to supplement what we have done in the classroom for well over one hundred years, we will continue to lose those students who do not have access to the very best in teaching.  If we wish to save education for all students, then major changes must be considered.  Technology was to have changed the paradigm.  It hasn’t.  Now, we must.  Traditional classroom learning is just not sustainable in a world of rapidly changing information and technology.  We owe it to our students to shirk the trappings of the past and move toward industry standards of technology for teaching and learning.

Game-Based Learning

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The effectiveness of hands-on learning isn’t new—for example, the apprenticeship system traces a rich history from ancient times to the present day. But well-designed game-based learning has several advantages over traditional experiential learning methods. It is cost-effective and low-risk (unlike, for example, safety training using live machinery). Perhaps even more important, there are significant learning advantages. Learners can re-enact a precise set of circumstances multiple times, exploring the consequences of different actions. In addition, well-designed games permit learning experiences that aren’t possible in real life—for example, “designing” a dolphin to find out how body size and fin position affect how far it can swim , or deliberately causing the biggest possible virtual explosion to understand why gas line disasters happen.

Rules for Being Human

Sunday, November 24th, 2013


  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is the process of trial-and-error and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. There is nothing better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
  7. Others are simply mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you make of them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust.
  10. You will forget all this.

Author Unknown

Active Thinking

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Thinking and being aware of our own thoughts are skills that make us human. Thinking is an active process. It encompasses events that range from daydreaming to problem solving. It is a kind of ongoing, internal dialogue that accompanies actions such as performing a task, observing a scene or expressing an opinion.

As a parent, you can…

  • Encourage your children to ask questions about the world around them.
  • When reading to or with young children, ask them to imagine what will happen next in the story.
  • Actively listen to your children’s conversation, responding seriously and nonjudgmentally to the questions they raise.
  • When your children express feelings, ask why they feel that way.
  • Suggest that your children find facts to support their opinions, and then encourage them to locate information relevant to their opinions.
  • Use entertainment, a TV program or a movie, as a starting point for family discussions.
  • Use daily activities as occasions for learning. Forregister1.gif (1842 bytes)example, instead of sending a child to the store with a simple list of items to purchase, talk with the child first about how much each item might cost, how much all the items might add up to and estimate how much change s/he should receive.
  • Reward your children for inquisitive and/or creative activity that is productive.
  • Ask your children what questions their teachers are raising in class. For example, a history class might be “asking” how American westward expansion began.

Remember, if your children are active participants in a home where there is talk about the why and the how of things, they are more likely to be active thinkers both in and out of school.

Courtesy of the National Education Association

Reading At Home

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Learning to read is much like learning any other skill. It requires a combination of instruction, experimentation, and practice. But the first step must be motivation. The child must want to learn to read. Parents can encourage their children to read  by demonstrating that they think reading  is important. Parents can help their children discover the benefits of reading:  new ideas…relaxation…adventure…fun.

Buy as many children’s books as you can afford.
• Give books as gifts.
• Visit the library regularly.
• Allow your children to choose their own books.   Don’t rush them.
• Show your children that you enjoy reading. Make sure they see you reading newspapers, magazines, and books.
• Set up a special place for reading.
• Encourage older children to read to younger children.
• Surround your child with words; point out street signs; label objects in the house such as table, desk, and stove.
• Play word games like Scrabble, Anagrams, and Ad Lib.
• Watch educational TV programs together. Some stress reading development.
• Read to your child, especially at bedtime. Reread favorite stories.
• Ask you child to read to you.
• Stress the things your children do well in reading rather than any mistakes they make. Remember:  Success breeds success.

Questions, Questions, Questions….

Friday, December 7th, 2012

A father and his small daughter were out walking one afternoon when the youngster asked how the electricity went through the wires stretched between the telephone poles.

“Don’t know,”  said the father.  “Never knew much about electricity.”

A few blocks farther on the girl asked what caused lightning and thunder.

“To tell the truth,”  said the father,  ” I never exactly understood that myself.”

The girl continued to ask questions throughout the walk, none of which the father could explain.  Finally, as they were nearing home, the girl asked, “Pop, I hope you don’t mind my asking so many questions….”

“Of course not,”  replied the father.  “How else are you going to learn?”

Sooner or later, of course, the girl will stop asking her father questions, and that will be unfortunate.  Curiosity and the desire to learn should be encouraged and nurtured.

Parents who want their children to do well in their studies but who don’t respect learning are deluding themselves.  Not many children will be motivated to do it on their own.  Those who have stopped learning and growing,  will find it difficult to inspire their children to do so, no matter how much they may pretend to encourage it.


Summary of the World

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This came to me many years ago from a fifth grade teacher in Illinois.  I think it bears repeating.  Interestingly, I wonder if the demographics are still the same after several years. 

If we could, at this time, shrink the Earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like this:

There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere (North and South) and 8 Africans.

1.         70 would be nonwhite; 30 white

2.         70 would be non-Christian; 30 Christian

3.         50% of the entire world wealth would be in the hands of only 6 people

4.         All 6 would be citizens of the United States

5.         70 would be unable to read

6.         50 would suffer from malnutrition

7.         80 would live in substandard housing

8.         Only 1 would have a college education

When one considers our world from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:

Dr. Martha Angulo, 877-687-7200

eTUTOR VIRTUAL LEARNING EARNS CONTINUING NCA-CASI ACCREDITATION

Boulder, CO – July 30, 2012– Dr. Martha Angulo, President of Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. parent organization, announced today that eTutor Virtual Learning earned continuing accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.  eTutor Virtual Learning has been accredited since 2002.

NCA CASI provides nationally-recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance.  To earn accreditation, schools must meet NCA CASI’s high standards, be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school, and implement a continuous process of school improvement.  Accreditation is granted on a five-year term,

“Accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents, and online community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation staffed by highly qualified educators,” stated Dr. Angulo.

NCA CASI accreditation is recognized across state lines, which not only eases the transfer process as students move from accredited school to accredited school but also assures parents that the school is meeting nationally accepted standards for quality and successful professional practice.

Dr. Mark Elgart, President/CEO of AdvancED, the parent organization of NCA CASI, stated, “NCA CASI Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school on the primary goal of creating lifelong learners.  eTutor Virtual Learning is to be commended for engaging in this process and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.”

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About KNOWLEDGE HEADQUARTERS, INC. and  ETUTOR VIRTUAL LEARNING

eTutor uses the Internet to deliver and manage student instruction, track assessments, provide opportunities for direct instruction by tutors, communicate, make assignments, and provide required curriculum materials and activities.  Over 10,000 students from around the world have benefited from the eTutor program since its inception. eTutor is the flagship program of Knowledge HQ, a corporate organization committed to enhancing education through Internet technology.  More information can be found at www.etutor.com.

About AdvancED and NCA CASI

Dedicated to advancing excellence in education through accreditation, research, and professional services, AdvancED is the world’s largest education community, serving and engaging over 27,000 public and private schools and districts in 69 countries and serving nearly 16 million students. AdvancED is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).   NCA CASI is a non-governmental, voluntary association of nearly 10,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools throughout the world.

Summer Activities

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

While the following suggestions for family summer activities might seem obvious…..some of us need a gentle reminder once in awhile.

Encourage your children to join a community youth group
Visit the library with your child
Get your child a library card. It is a great gift
Check telephone listings for agencies and community groups that offer free parent and child materials. Don’t forget to check the Internet for these resources.
Take advantage of public recreation
Take nature hikes
Visit museums, zoos, and parks
Take your child to plays and concerts
When traveling with your children in a car or bus, discuss the sights you see along the way.

3 Useful and Fun Online Tools and Resources for Educators

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The internet has so much to offer the world of education. With a countless number of tools and resources accessible online, at all hours of the day, and at no cost, it is no wonder so many people praise the internet for its endless contributions to education and learning. While there are numerous articles dedicated to sharing online tools and resources with students, many of us overlook how useful the internet and online resources can be for educators. Teachers too can benefit greatly from easy and instant access to web tools, teacher networks, and various resources online. These three educational web tools and resources hold endless possibilities for educators and teachers at almost any grade level.

Audible

This web tool offers one of the widest selections of digital audiobook available for download online. While this tool may not be applicable to every classroom, many reading and language arts instructors may find assistance from Audible’s services. Though Audible runs at a fee, the services the site provides are extremely useful to the average user and to educators. With an Audible account gain access to a huge collection of digital audiobooks as well as radio shows, podcasts, stand-up comedy, and speeches from cultural, political, and business icons throughout the world. Many studies argue that reading books aloud provides young language learners with a different and more beneficial kind of language and linguistic experience. Teachers can use these audio books during their lessons to help engage students in their literature. The podcasts and famous speeches can also offer worthwhile material for many different classrooms.

Wordle

Wordle is a fun and creative tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. These clouds can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes. They are sure to offer unique and engaging elements to many different lessons in any subject. You can completely customize the word cloud that you create, using various fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Wordle will give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the text that you provide. This can offer great insight into literary analysis of almost any text, selection, prose, or poem. This fun tool is free to use and applicable to various different creative arenas within the classroom.

ReadWriteThink

This online resource seeks to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to some of the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering free materials and guidance. The ReadWriteThink website is a partner of the International Reading Association and the National Council for Teachers of English. With a troupe of dedicated and intelligent advisors and authors, the ReadWriteThink community has a lot to offer. The site offers classroom resources, including lesson plans, student interactives, calendar activities, and printouts. Providing educators with professional development tools such as strategy guides, a professional library, news about meetings and events, and online e-workshops on professional development and pathways for advancing adolescent literacy, ReadWriteThink is an extremely useful resource for teachers from all backgrounds and at all levels. The site even offers resources for parents and afterschool administrators, concerning each grade kindergarten through 12th grade.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.