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Posts Tagged ‘internet-based learning’

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!

Summer School Activities – Ninth Grade

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Good VRead new words.ocabulary Skills are Essential

Learning and using new vocabulary is an area of the curriculum that is often neglected by high school students using online learning programs such as eTutor.    Sometimes students and parents are not sure of how to use new vocabulary words or words they are not familiar with.  Practicing vocabulary and word usage skills  will  help students go far beyond the particular subject or topic they are working on.

Vocabulary is essential to comprehension.  Students need to apply strategies before, during and after reading to understand the written word.  New words should be reviewed and used in a variety of ways.   Students might use the following ideas to build and extend their vocabulary skills:

  • Use definitions of words to create word riddles.

    New words are important to learning.

  • Group words based on similarities and/or differences.
  • Draw pictures that illustrate the vocabulary word.
  • Play a variation of the card game, Go Fish.  Prepare a deck of word cards with five or more sets of four related words in each set.  Duplicate the cards so that at least each student has a deck for the game.   Try to build sets of like words, ie, antonyms, synonyms,  nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
  • Go beyond definitions in the dictionary.  Explore ways to describe the associations that cluster around the word.
  • Choose a vocabulary word and then answer the following questions:  How would a scientist describe this word?  How would a judge describe this word?  How would a poet describe this word?  How would you describe this word?
  • Make new words.

    Organize a collection of words:

    • Reference Book:   Create vocabulary pages for a three-ring binder.
    • Word Wall: Display collected words and definitions on a bulletin board.
    • Word File: Record words, definitions, and context-rich sentences on index cards.  Place them in a recipe box that organizes the words alphabetically.

Students should not skip this important skill work.   Learning new vocabulary is essential to learning.

Homeschooling

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

We have many friends and associates who are homeschooling their children. Although we value public schooling, we also place value in the need to have alternatives. Parents can then choose the most appropriate learning approach for their child or children.

The number of homeschoolers is bigger than the nation’s largest public school system in New York City and may be as high as approximately 2.2 million. The number of homeschoolers is difficult to quantify, because there is no clear definition of what is ‘homeschooling.’ We believe that homeschooling embraces any student who participates in consistent learning activities in the home. So, that could mean a student who completes a full curriculum at home or one who does supplemental instructional work at home. In other words, any student who participates in a course of study on a regular and consistent basis at home is a homeschooled students. Before we can count these children, we all need to agree on what homeschooling means.

Although critics of homeschool argue that it can’t replace the social and educational tools offered in traditional schools, Patricia Lines, a senior research analyst for the U.S. Department of Education argues homeschooling is instead “reinventing the idea of school.” Homeschoolers use tools such as the Internet and educational software to provide new avenues of learning. Homeschooling can provide a wealth of opportunities for all students including those with special needs such as gifted or learning disabled students.

Why Online Learning?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Online education has proven to be an effective alternative to traditional teaching/learning methods. Technology is changing the very purpose of learning. Internet-connected computers are prevalent in homes and schools today.

Regardless of background, students rely on technology as an essential and preferred tool in every aspect of their lives. These technology-wise students want to expand their active online lives to learning activities. Online learning has the potential to:

  • Provide accredited instructional programs to large groups of students at a fraction of the cost of traditional learning programs.
  • Empower learners to take more control over their own learning.
  • Provide learning opportunities for a broad range of students who have varied learning styles and require more flexible schedules.

Technology opens the world’s resources to all students. The Internet breaks down time and place as organizing principles for education, giving programs, like e-Tutor, a foothold. Students report that online education has characteristics their teachers do not offer. Online learning is always available. The programs have a “patient” character and are nonjudgmental. They allow students to be anonymous and allow student to do many things at the same time.

Changing Our View of Schooling

Wednesday, June 30th, 1999

The other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.

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I had to agree with my friend, that we most often use our own schooling as a standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children would, and should, be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, children today begin school having access to more information than their parents had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. This provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student. (more…)