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Archive for the ‘Online Learning’ Category

Six Transition Tips For Students Moving to Online Learning

Thursday, October 4th, 2012


Online learning represents a new kind of challenge for students.  Expectations vary widely and the online program response may not always meet expectations.  There are some things all students should expect, however.  Students should be expected to be challenged academically.  They should expect not to understand everything they experience in their online educational program.  They can expect to not always see the relevance of what they are asked to do.  But, they should expect that resources will be available to help them.  lIn order to help your child embrace the online learning program they have chosen:

  • Empower your student to take the initiative and solve his or her own learning problems within reason.
  • Familiarize yourself with the online instructional program and resources in the event you will need to assist your student in them.
  • Advise the instructional program if you or your student experiences difficulty
  • Remember that students often change their minds and this is okay
  • Avoid too much advice, too much supervision, solving their problems, and second-guessing your student
  • Stay positive

Eight Standards Guide Internet-Based Learning

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Online Instructional Model

An effective online instructional program integrates innovative, research-based components.  eTutor began conducting research in the fall of 1997 and determined that online instructional programs should be guided by the following standards:

  1. Instructional lesson format needs to be consistent
  2. Immediate feedback is necessary for both student and parent
  3. Instruction should be customized to student progress
  4. Parents need to be part of the teaching-learning program
  5. Instruction should be linked to National and State Learning Goals
  6. Appropriate Internet links need to be an integral part of each instructional lesson
  7. Instructional lessons should be available to students from grades K – 12
  8. Students should learn the value and appropriate use of the Internet while completing instructional lessons

Beginning in 1998, eTutor established a new, higher standard for delivering fully integrated, superior learning over the Internet for grades K through 12.  eTutor accomplishes this by incorporating the best of current instructional practice with the power of the latest internet technology.

Is Your Child Ready for Schooling?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Learning was on the minds of everyone this month as the children in the neighborhood started school again. Backpacks bulged with new books and supplies, girls wore the latest fashions and boys found the baggiest jeans. Happy faces and anticipation as the little ones trooped off to catch the bus.

A neighbor stopped over and asked about her child who is three. With a birthday in September, she has been told that it might be better if she holds him back from attending school a year. Her concern is that he will be the youngest child in the class and may be immature and not do well in the school. This is a difficult question for me…..my own children have October birthdays and I did not hold either back. I know they struggled not only through elementary and high school, but college as well. Nevertheless, they both were bright enough and I didn’t see the problem as theirs, but that of the schools. In hindsight would I have done things differently….probably not. It is painful, though, as a parent, to see your child struggle.

So, my response to my neighbor was “wait and see, he is still young.” My children are adults now and there weren’t as many options then. However, it saddens me to think that a parent has to even consider this question today. Many parents choose to keep their children home for schooling, but others are unable to do this. So, do they have to worry that their child may not be ready? “Who is not ready, the child or the school?”

The difference between regular school and online learning…….

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Online education represents a new kind of challenge for students. Each student’s and parent’s expectations differ widely, and the e-Tutor response may not always meet expectations. There are some things all students can expect. Students can expect to be challenged academically. They can expect to not understand everything they experience in an online educational program. They can expect to not always see the relevance of what they are asked to do. But, they also can expect that resources will be available to help them.

It may seem obvious, but it sometimes comes as a shock to students that online learning will require increased academic skill. Consider the following:

Traditional School

e-Tutor Online Education

  • Attendance is required
  • Attendance is not enforced
  • Teachers often test over clearly reviewed materials
  • Three forms of testing take place in each e-Tutor Lesson Module: Self Check (Problem Statement), Parent Review (Activities and Extended Learning), Quizzes and Exams are automatically scored by e-Tutor.  e-Tutor emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Students study an average of one hour per week per class
  • Students are expected to complete no more than four lesson modules each day and to spend one to one and a half hours on each lesson module.
  • Weeks are full of structured activities
  • Possibilities for family, individual and outside involvement are endless and sometimes overwhelming
  • Teachers often remind students of deadlines, overdue work, and their current grades
  • e-Tutor expects students, with parents assisting, to schedule their own learning program and to keep track of the number of lesson modules completed, as well as scores for quizzes and exams.
  • Class structure is discussed in detail at the beginning of the year
  • Recommended learning programs are spelled out in the original email that goes to parents.
  • Teachers can usually be found in their classrooms throughout the day
  • e-Tutor can be contacted anytime 24/7 via email.  Response is within twenty-four hours.

Becoming an Online Tutor

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Make sure that the program you are considering offers the best in educational content, as well as services for educators and parents.  Another component that will provide the most innovative program is one that can be used anywhere there is Internet access without reliance on texts, workbooks or other ancillary materials or equipment.

Before you continue, can you answer the following questions?

  • Are you comfortable using the computer and internet applications?
  • Have you used internet-based templates in the past?
  • Are you creative and able to develop instructional content without aid?

To be considered for a tutoring position with most accredited and reliable online learning programs, applicants must provide the following:

Education

The best accredited programs require tutors to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Teacher certification is preferred, but not required.

Experience

Adequate experience in working with students of all ages in various capacities.

Writing Skills

Most online learning programs use templates to create assignments and or lessons for their students.  Therefore, applicants may be judged on their writing skills. You can practice using a template for writing lessons at Lesson Pro.  You may be asked to submit writing samples for different levels of students.

When using a template, make sure that all sections are complete.  You might find it helpful to write your sample in a text file or another document and then cut and past sections into the template.  Your writing sample may not guarantee a tutoring position.  Other qualifications are taken into consideration.  You can list your qualifications in a cover letter and most important in your resume.

TEN Ways to Make the Most of STUDY TIME!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Relax a bit after school before doing homework. Then….

1. Find the best time to study

After school, after dinner…..homework should have a definite start and finish time. If the homework is finished early, the remaining time should be used to double-check and review.

2. The best place to study

Homework headquarters should be away from television,  phone, and other distractions. A writing surface and good light are necessities. A small table may be the best place for a young student, while a desk or table, even the floor or a bed, may work for an older student.

3. Be prepared

Have all the materials needed to complete assignments. Pencils, sharpener, eraser and paper for younger students, a pen, ruler, dictionary, thesaurus, and more may be necessary for older students.

4. Make a homework list

Make an easy two-part homework checklist:

______ List homework assignments in each class each day as they are made.

______ Check over the list at the end of the school day to make sure you have all the materials necessary to take home.

Show the assignment sheet to educators. They can help to see that you have everything to complete assignments at home.

5. Keep a homework calendar

Record due dates for major long-range assignments on a special calendar brings the task into focus. Work backwards, identifying all the steps along the way to completion of the assignment.

If a short paper is due on Friday, the last step is to write the final draft on Thursday.  The first step is to begin reading and note taking on Monday.

6. Study rhythms

Tackle the most difficult assignments when you are most alert and save easier tasks for off-peak times. Schedule several smaller segments of time for memorization. It is easier to learn in short stretches than at one long session. Try using an easier assignment as a break from something more difficult.

7. When you get stuck – Ask these questions…..

  • Have you read and followed directions carefully?
  • Are you taking short cuts that are confusing you?
  • Are you using your book properly?
  • Read the directions aloud….now do they make sense?
  • Have you tried making a picture, table, graph, or diagram to represent the known facts and relationships?
  • Have you tried to sold a similar, but less difficult problem?
  • Have you checked the glossaries, the table of contents or the indexes for help?
  • Did you copy the words or numbers correctly?
  • Are you trying to do too much of the work in your head?
  • Have you checked for careless mistakes?

Still stuck? Do other homework assignments for awhile. Go to learning program early and check with the educator. Remember…..educators want success from their students.

8. Ask for help

It is okay to ask for help. Ask parents, older brothers and sisters, just ask.

9. Take a break

Schedule one or more short breaks during the study time. Stretching the mind for an hour, calls for stretching the body for a few minutes. Do jumping jacks, play ping pong or the drums…..get up and move.

10. Book bag at bedtime

Create a fail-proof method for getting completed homework assignments to school on time. A good slogan is “homework goes in the book bag at bedtime.”

The Showcase of Learning, A Portfolio Primer

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Portfolios are powerful because they help students learn about their learning.  They provide an opportunity for students to share the responsibility for collecting proof or evidence of learning.  Portfolios are worth doing well because they are a rich resource for reporting…they help student and parents see the results of student learning for themselves.

All portfolios are a collection of evidence of student learning.  They become powerful when they have a purpose.  There are three major purposes for portfolios:  to display student work around a theme or subject, to show the process of learning and to show growth or progress.

e-Tutor provides a portfolio for each student that the parent can access.  The portfolio gives a report of the lessons completed and the results of quizzes and exams.   We also encourage our students to keep their own  progress portfolio.  We suggest that the student create a folder for each one of the major curricular areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  As the Activity and Extended Learning sections are completed for each lesson,  these are placed in the folders.  Parents know where to find their child’s work, they can review what their child has done,  the child can refer back to what has been achieved and they provide a basis for discussion.

As time goes by other things can be added to the portfolio, such as a time sheet to record the time the child began and ended a learning session.  Parents can add copies of the e-Tutor portfolio, so that comparisons can be made between accomplishments in  the two types of assessment.

Such a portfolio showcases the learner and his or her own learning, rather than who they could be by making comparisons with others.

Home as the Learning Place

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
  • Provide a quiet appropriate place to study.
  • Encourage children to complete homework assignments by providing help and by answering questions.
  • Monitor television and computer time and contents.
  • Set consistent bedtime and wake-up schedules.
  • Engage your children in discussions on a variety of subjects…..current events, hobbies, nature, sports.

Don’t Pop Our Balloon!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Over the years we have met with many skeptics. We find the following helpful when someone has tried to “pop our balloon.” It is far better to give an idea a chance….or at least to not immediately shoot it down….than to be one of those who always says “Won’t work,” “Bad idea,” or “Too risky;” and so, never doing anything great!

  • This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920’s.
  • “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” A Yale management professor in response to Fred Smith’s proposal for an overnight delivery service. Smith is the founder of Federal Express Corporation.
  • “A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” Response to Debbi Field’s idea about starting Little Debbi Cookies.
  • “We didn’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” Decca Recording Company rejection of the Beatles, 1962.
  • “If had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” Spencer Silver on his invention of the Post-It Notes
  • “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or, we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary; we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So, then we went to Hewlett-Packard and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t gotten through college yet.’ ” Apple Computer Inc. Founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
  • “Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” 1921 New York Times on Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.
  • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Office of patents, 1899.

From Phi Delta Kappa

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.