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Posts Tagged ‘high school’

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.

Quick Response to Online Learning

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Have you noticed those squares of strange symbols on buildings, signs, in stores and magazines? We are even seeing them migrating to education. Quick Response (QR) codes are used to provide information, show a website, view a picture and a host of ways yet to be discovered. QR codes are similar to bar codes, but they can hold a lot more information. Instead of requiring a bulky hand-held device to scan them, modern cell phones and mobile devices can scan them.

QR code consists of square, black dots arranged in a grid on a white background. The grid can be read by a camera or another imaging device and then interpreted. Information is extracted from the horizontal and vertical components in the image.

However, have you noticed something about all those codes you’ve been seeing? You are right! They seldom have an explanation of how to use them! So, are you wondering how?

Well, it’s actually pretty easy…but you have to have the right tools. To use QR codes conveniently you must have a smartphone or tablet computer equipped with a camera and a QR code reader/scanner application feature. Luckily, the newer smartphones and tablets available today often have an app pre-installed on them. However, if you don’t already have the reader on your device, it’s nothing a quick push of a button can’t fix. Merely visit your phone’s app store such as Android Market, Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World, etc. and download a QR code reader/scanner app. With a wealth of free QR code generation tools available online, this is a medium that requires little or no background knowledge or searching in order to find useful and helpful resources.
QR codes are used in online instructional material created by Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. for K – grade 12 students. The company’s main product is eTutor, an accredited online private school serving students throughout the world. QR codes are included in eTutor lesson modules, study guides and worksheets.

A student completing a worksheet as part of the eTutor learning program may need additional information or a skill to complete his work. Using his smart phone he scans the QR code from the worksheet and it will take him to appropriate, related information in order to successfully complete the worksheet.

Another student may be working on a history lesson module using her laptop computer. She wants to share with her friends an interesting fact she has just learned. She scans the QR code at the top of the lesson module and transports it to her smart phone.

While the eTutor program is easily accessible on laptop computers, tablets and smart phones, the use of QR codes gives students and parents an alternate way to use and view instruction. QR codes are intended to be used with portable, connected devices. Most students have them, expect to use them, and are excited by the prospect of being able to use them in instruction. Additionally, the use of mobile technology and resources that support it frees students, parents, and learning from the confines of traditional settings. Learning can happen in more authentic contexts, or at times and in places that are convenient to students.

QR codes let students be active in their learning. They provide true interactivity and engagement, which translates to more effective and efficient learning. Knowledge HQ has been at the forefront of online instruction since the late 90s. The company continues to keep abreast of the latest technology and how new innovations can improve and enhance the teaching-learning process.

Making Time Count

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

time.gif (19378 bytes)What is the one thing you give your child that you can never replace? Time. You cannot buy it, sell it, rent it or change it. All you can do is use it!

You cannot change the quantity of time you have, but you can change the quality of your time.

  • Write down the things that are most important in your life. Chances are that your family will be at the top of the list.
  • Try to remember how you have spent your time during the past few days, hour by hour. Does the way you spend your time reflect your priorities? How much time was spent with your children? How important were the things that you cannot remember?
  • Make a plan for how you will use your time in the week ahead. Write it down. Include time with children in your plan. Check to see how you did at the end of the week.

We do what we think is important. Deciding what we think is important can be the first step in making time count.

Teamwork

Friday, November 15th, 2013
This fall when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the lift from one another or teamwork makes the difference.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.When the lead goose gets tired he rotates back in the wind and another goose flies point. On good teams it pays to take turns doing hard jobs. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the goose until it is either able to fly or until it is dead.

Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation, to catch up with their group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that. Good ideas require the strength of teammates looking out for each other.


Seeing With Words

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

At a recent dinner meeting I was seated at a table with a visually impaired woman. She graciously helped all of us at the table understand her needs and quickly learned a lot about us. When communicating with visually impaired people, these suggestions might help:

  • Identify yourself and introduce anyone else who is present.
  • When offering a handshake, say, “Shall we shake hands?”
  • When offering a seat, place the person’s hand on the back or arm of the seat.
  • Tell the person when you need to end the conversation or when you move.

Tired of Political Campaigns? Think About This

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Does using shorter sentences and smaller words make a political candidate more attractive to voters? According to a study by two college researchers, it makes candidates more successful in getting their messages across to voters. Mary-Ann Leon and T. Harrell Allen of California State Polytechnic University studied the speeches of President Bush and Michael Dukakis during their two 1988 debates: They found: Bush’s remarks scored at the 8th grade level….making them clear to more than two-thirds of the audience. Dukakis tested at the 10th and 12thgrade levels….comprehensible to less than 50 percent of Americans. The difference: Dukakis used longer, more complex sentences and words than Bush did.

So Much to Do…So Little Time

Friday, September 27th, 2013
In the fast-paced world in which we live, adults often are hard pressed to find the time to work, manage a household, raise a family and pursue leisure activities….all within the confines of a 24 – hour day. Children are no different. Between going to school, doing homework, working part time, visiting with friends, attending athletic practice, participating in school clubs, taking music or dance lessons, doing household chores and watching a favorite television……a child can find himself without a minute to spare during a typical day.
Children need their parents’ help in learning how to organize their time. By equipping them with some vital time management skills now, they will be better prepared to meet the increasing demands placed on their lives as they grow older.
  • Weekly chart. Map out a schedule each week, with specific times allotted for school, homework, work, chores, extracurricular activities, television, dating and going out with friends.
  • Permanent work space. By mid-elementary age, your child should have his own palace for studying.
  • Organized notebooks.
  • Regular homework time
Learning comes first. If your child starts producing incomplete assignments, neglecting his homework or slacking off in his grades, it is time to make hip drop some activities. If schoolwork improves, he can resume the disrupted activity.
Do not let your child over structure her time after school and on weekends. Children need a few moments to wind down between activities. Encourage them to have a healthy snack, listen to music or read a magazine before rushing off to soccer practice or a music lesson. Remember that part of the joy in being young is the freedom to do nothing at all.

Six Developmental Needs of Young Adolescents

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
What are the specialized needs of young adolescents ages 10-15? Why do we need to develop curricula and instructional programs tailored to those unique needs? Researchers have found that young adolescents have the following developmental needs:
  • Positive social interaction with adults and peers
  • Creative expression
  • Structure and clear limits to physical activity
  • Meaningful participation in families and learning programs
  • Opportunities for self definition
  • Competence and achievement
Programs which meet the developmental needs of young adolescents use a variety of activities and strategies. As young adolescents have an orientation toward peers and a concern about social acceptance, work in small groups and advisory programs promote opportunities for interaction with peers and adults. Interdisciplinary team organization fosters feelings of belonging while advisory groups allow time and a small group for discussion of issues.
Achievement and competence is achieved through authentic assessment based on personal goals, challenging intellectual material focused on relevant problems and issues, and with recognition by peers and adults. The increase in the desire for autonomy can be addressed through learning strategies involving choice, a curriculum based on social and individual interests. Service projects and project based learning capitalize upon young adolescent’s creative expression and need for meaningful participation.

Outsmarting Stress

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

We don’t know where we got this wonderful reminder….but it is something we wish we could remember when pressures get too great.

Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere….the creative, emotional, holistic side.

What to do: Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.

If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.


Competition

Friday, July 26th, 2013

With the beginning of school, comes another season of sports of all kinds for our youngsters. We have come to believe that competition is good for us. But research show that “offensive competition.” which involves aggressive gamesmanship, can be counterproductive. A study conducted at the University of Texas disclosed that people who were more concerned with winning than with performing well had lower levels of achievement. If you are competitive or your child is competitive, consider the following:

Keep in mind that competition is not the opposite of cooperation. Using cooperative strategies will often help one be more “competitive.”

Learn to believe in yourself. Do not strive to prove yourself in others’ eyes.

Accept that other people are needed to get ahead. A combination of healthy competition and cooperation can go a long way.

Keep an open mind to new ideas, information and feedback. Offensively competitive people often resist others’ suggestions.

Help others to achieve their goals.