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Posts Tagged ‘distance education’

Single File – One Moment at a Time

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

We never shall have any more time.  We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.

- Arnold Bennett

Most of us think of ourselves as standing, wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyances, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us.  At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure.  We see ourselves as over-driven, overburdened, overtired.

This is a common mental picture…and it is totally false.  No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence,  even of a super-busy day.  The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time.  That is the only way they can come.  The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file.

Virtual Learning Takes A Boat Ride

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

It was early summer when Mrs. Blakely called to talk with me about her son, Jared.  They had subscribed to eTutor Virtual Learning Program over the winter months.  Jared was the computer expert in the family and enjoyed studying over the Internet.

Mrs. Blakely and her family lived on a small island in Washington State.  On this day she was looking at the geese and goats in her yard as Jared got in his rowboat for the short distance to the mainland.  With warmer weather he chose to go to the library to access eTutor from the computers there.  The access was faster and he was showing others at the library about the program.

Jared is not unlike other students from around the world who are using eTutor as part of their learning experience.  The virtual learning program has over 3200 lessons in the four major curricular areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Jared logs on whenever he wants to, in order to study, while other students have a set time to log on each day.  Each lesson has nine parts and takes between 45 minutes to an hour to complete.  The extended learning section can increase the time to complete a lesson.

Mrs. Blakely checks Jared’s student portfolio each day to see what lessons he has completed and how he has don on the quizzes and exams.  “It has been hard to get Jared to focus on studying, but he loves logging on to eTutor.  He finally is enjoying learning!”

Twelve Tips to Encourage Reading at Home

Monday, February 13th, 2012


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.

Three Features Identify Outstanding Online Learning

Friday, August 5th, 2011

All online courses of study should be accredited and designed according to national and state standards.  Content will include:

  • Technology-based curriculum activities to enliven and enrich learning
  • Online communication, collaboration and reference tools
  • Community-based activities

The outstanding online instructional program will deliver broad, engaging curriculum content in major curricular areas that include many different subjects.  Subscribers will have access to all curricular areas at their level. Each time a student enters the program he will choose the curricular area he wishes to study:  Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or Social Science.   Within the curricular area the student will select subjects based on a recommended course of study.

No plug-ins, software or additional components will be needed.  Teachers from across the United States will be able to create the interactive instructional modules.  The amount of instructional material will be increased regularly.  Instructional modules will be aligned to state and national goals and standards in the four core curriculum areas.  The program will be fully accessible through the Internet,  with no peripherals or ancillary material, allowing registered users to access the program from any location.

Six Steps Online Students Need to Follow

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Online learning is gaining acceptance in school districts around the country.  However,  school districts want to know students are actually spending their time learning.  When asked about your online learning program,  if your student has taken the following steps, you will have evidence of a very strong program.

  1. Plan to spend approximately five hours learning each day.
  2. Keep track of when you start to study and when you stop each day.  Keep record of sport and art activity on your list, as well.
  3. Have a notebook, pencil, paper and any other necessary materials available before starting online learning each day.
  4. Establish a schedule for learning and start, as much as possible, the same time each day.
  5. Share with your parents or another adult the goals and time management plan you have established for yourself.
  6. Keep a record of activities, assignments, and testing completed. Include examples when possible.

Ten Steps for Parents Using Online Learning Programs

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Ten Steps Parents Can Take For Student Success with Online Learning

You and your student have decided that online learning is an alternative to regular public and private schooling that must be tried.  What can you do to insure your student is successful?  Here are steps you will want to know before starting online learning.

  1. Understand that you are your child’s instructional and academic leader/coach.
  2. Create an atmosphere for learning at home.
  3. Establish learning goals with your student focusing on the subjects appropriate for his/her grade level.
  4. Get to know your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Review, daily, completed learning projects and activities.
  6. Expect your student to spend a minimum of approximately four and a half to five hours learning each day.
  7. Provide your student with adequate equipment and materials to be a successful learner.
  8. Monitor and review assessment scores with your student.
  9. Work with your child in designating specific blocks of time for studying.
  10. Enjoy the learning experience with your student!

Online Learning Offers Solutions for Children of Military

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Nearly one million military children are in educational programs each year.  Many attend public school in districts operated by local educational agencies. Others attend schools established and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.  There are many transitions military children must make when they have to move from one school to another because a military parent changes duty stations.  The children often find it hard to assimilate into new school situations.  It’s a struggle providing continuity in learning when going from one base to another and moving from one state or country to another.  It is a challenge for military parents, moving children and then trying to decide which educational program is best.

Online learning is a logical choice for military families who are looking for continuity in the teaching-learning process for their children.  DoDEA policy provides for allowable home-based educational programming expenses that include fees for curriculum-related on-line Internet services, such as study programs and distance learning.  They will pay tuition charges of on-line Internet instruction associated with a formal recognized home-study course or other authorized program.

Online military homeschooling offers real-time learning in a vast number of subjects and topics for individual instruction. The best online learning program provides students and parents the flexibility necessary for true knowledge to take place. Most online instructional programs provide a core curriculum that will prepare students to enter schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.

Informed parents in all the armed services, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard choose online military homeschooling for their children for many reasons. An accessible online instructional program may be the one stable thing the children may have.  Their learning program will always be there.  Students do not need to be time bound by their learning program.  The quality and range of instructional content determines the excellence of online instruction. Web-based, online learning gives students a unique opportunity to explore learning and gain knowledge at their own level.  Online learning offers a way to stay ahead of the information flow of an expanding knowledge base.

When students are in public or private schools, they must use whatever curriculum the school and teacher is using.  Online learning levels the playing field for children of all levels.  Military homeschooling parents have many ways to approach the teaching-learning process for their child when using an online educational program.  Learning doesn’t have to be with a textbook.  Parents enjoy the ‘aha’ moments when they actually see their child learning.

Military living has a way of testing the idea of schooling because everything is so unpredictable.  In this regard online learning is reinventing the idea of school.  The integration of knowledge is a personal process, rather than a social process.  By viewing schooling not so much as a place, but the act of learning, those who embrace online learning have forced us to look at a new paradigm for schooling.  Military parents, who homeschool, recognize that acquiring knowledge does not need to be a group activity, but is often more effective as an individual activity.  They know that how they, themselves,  learned as children, is not the best method of learning for their children.

Military families using an online instructional program have an incredible advantage. No matter what service the parent is in….Army, Navy, Marines,  Air Force or Coast Guard… moving is hard enough, adding traditional schooling to it is infinitely more difficult. A child who is free to learn in his own environment, doing what he loves, excelling where he can and seeing the world is a fortunate child.  Instead of feeling the insecurity of moving, they have that strong unmoving foundation of their online instructional homeschool program. They can thrive and be free to learn and achieve no matter where they are in the world.

Electronic Learning

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Online learning is often referred to as e-learning, e-tutoring, e-school or some other ‘e’ word referring to the teaching-learning process. When we began working with internet-based educational programming, over ten years ago, we considered ‘e’ to stand for electronic. However, the ‘e’ in such titles signifies much more when describing online learning. Consider the following:

  • Exploration – Online learners use the Internet as a tool to access an abundance of information and resources.
  • Experience – Online learning offers the student a total learning experience, from synchronous learning to threaded discussion to self-paced study.
  • Engagement – Online learning captivates learners by providing for creative approaches to the teaching/learning process that foster collaboration and a sense of community.
  • Ease of Use – The Internet provides content easily accessible for students, parents and educational providers across all technical platforms.
  • Empowerment – Online learning puts the student in the driver’s seat with a set of tools that enables personalization of content and allows the learner to choose the way in which he learns the best.