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Posts Tagged ‘online instruction’

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.

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.


Innovation in Learning

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

On-Line Learning

E-Tutor - On-Line Tutoring for K-12

Does your child or someone you know need additional instruction or an alternative way of learning? At eTutor, there are over 3400 Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies lesson modules to stimulate the imagination of any child needing help in learning, or not. The lesson modules are fully integrated with the Internet. Students can use juried sites in order to enhance and reinforce concepts taught in the Study Guide.   Exercises, quizzes and exams accompany each lesson module. The ten part lesson modules are complete with pictures, diagrams, activities, worksheets and thought provoking assignments. Each lesson module has goals and standards that students will attain by fully completing the tasks.  Subscribe for your child today.

Safety on the Internet

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

We published this in our newsletter in 1999.  It is still relevant today.

The Internet is an excellent tool for students to use, but is it really safe? Every experience a child encounters contains some element of risk, but here are some guidelines to follow to insure a safe journey on the Internet without infringing on your child’s privacy.

Take pro-active action.Whenever possible, try to address issues before they become a problem. When your children begins to use the Internet, talk to your child about appropriate use of the Internet or install parental control software. Keep the computer in a well-trafficked area so you can monitor the activity without imposing too much into their privacy.

Parental Control Software

Filtering programs that block out inappropriate sites containing adult language, topics or graphics is one safeguard, but it is not the ultimate solution. Many browsers also contain screening software such as Cyberpatrol. These programs are effective in screening out the majority (but not all) of inappropriate material, however, if children are determined to access the material, they will find it somehow. These programs may also cause a delay in downloading websites that are appropriate since they must be “screened” first.

Discuss Your Concerns with Your Children

Discuss with your children the risks of the Internet. Have your children agree not to reveal any identifying information online including their last name, town, age or school. They should never agree to meet anyone online without your permission.

Use your children’s experiences on the Internet as a way to discuss what your child is interested in. Go online together and visit sites that are informative, fun and/or educational. Stay involved and explore the Web with them to familiarize yourself with the areas they visit regularly.

Stay informed

Change

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The only constant in life is CHANGE. Change permeates everything we are and do. People change, plans change. Organizations change. Change is natural, it is normal. Yet, the resistance to change is also just as normal and natural a part of human nature as the acceptance of change. The secret of growth and advancement is learning how to deal with the pressures of change…..turning positive actions to our advantage, while blunting negative ones.

The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes are necessary. In a culture in which interpersonal relationships are considered to provide the answer to every form of distress, it is sometimes difficult to persuade well-meaning helpers that solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support. (A. Storr, 1988)

Personal change is the most powerful route to system change. Individuals today can leverage change far more effectively than most institutions. (Naisbitt and Aberdene, 1990)  We at Knowledge Headquarters have been fortunate to see change come in a variety of ways to the those we work with. Our greatest challenge has been convincing individuals that they do have power and can initiate change, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

February Highlights

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

We found these quotes interesting and thought you would as well.

February 12: Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S.…..the well assured and most enduring memorial to Lincoln is invisibly there, today, tomorrow and for a long time yet to come in the hearts of lovers of liberty, men and women who understand that wherever there is freedom there have been those who fought, toiled and sacrificed for it.

Carl Sandburg


February 22: George Washington, 1stPresident of the U.S.Washington is the mightiest name on earth….long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation.

Abraham Lincoln


February 14: St. Valentine’s DayAccording to an old legend the day upon which birds choose their mates; widely celebrated by the giving of love tokens. A valentine is a letter or missive sent by one person to another on St. Valentine’s Day.

Webster’s Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1937

Safety Tips for Parents and Children Using the Internet

Friday, November 30th, 2012
  • Keep the computer in a main area of the home, not in your child’s bedroom. The computer should be set up where it is easy for parents to see the screen and monitor behavior.
  • Spend time with your children while they explore the Internet. Let your child know that you care and that you intend to participate.
  • Keep your children out of unmonitored chat rooms. The best Internet filtering software blocks access to all chat to keep children safe from the threat of dangerous persons, masquerading as kids.
  • Become familiar with the quality family-friendly and kid-friendly sites on the Web. Load your computer with bookmarks to sites, such as www.homeschoolingingcorner.com, www.e-tutor.com and www.knowledgehq.com. These sites offer both great educational and entertaining information for children that allows them to explore safely and will discourage wandering.
  • Know your child’s e-mail password and tell your children to inform you immediately about troubling, unsolicited e-mail. Make sure they understand it is not necessarily their fault if such e-mail arrives.
  • Inform your kids of personal information that should never be given out over the Internet without your consent; telephone numbers, address, credit card numbers, name of school, age, financial information, etc.
  • Stay abreast of technology and regulatory changes regarding Internet safety.
  • Take advantage of the Web filtering software available in the marketplace. These block access to inappropriate sites related to sex, drugs/alcohol, hate and violence and gambling.
  • Let your child know that you are there to talk anytime, about anything they come across that may cause discomfort.
  • It is important to review these tips from time to time to ensure these guidelines are being implemented.

Crowd Sourcing Online Instructional Content

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Even before it was known as crowd-sourcing, a unique and innovative model was created for developing educational content.  LessonPro, a website from Knowledge Headquarters, was launched in 1999 as a new and promising application for writing K-12 educational coursework over the Internet.  The company established the Internet site to promote its standards for Internet-based instructional content to the educational community.  Teachers from across the nation write lessons using the template at www.lessonpro.net.

The curriculum development model was new for education at the time, but a similar model   had been used successfully by other Internet companies such as eBay, AOL, Yahoo, epinions, and geocities.  Teachers from around the world write lessons using the template at www.lessonpro.net providing access for students to their online instruction.

The template is an easy-to-use fill-in-the-blank format that teachers complete using their own original material.  Students of writers may then access the lessons at no cost using the teacher assigned password.

The key to student success is engaging their interests through a wide range of topics, informational web sites and interesting activities, which help create a unique learning experience for each student.  Writers are encouraged to incorporate links within each lesson that reinforce the skills and concepts being emphasized in the lesson.   These online connections open a wide array of possibilities for learning, not limited to the confines of traditional instruction.  Students anticipate new discoveries that lie ahead as they proceed through each instructional lesson.  The visual instruction is designed to include all curricular disciplines, balance the transfer of certain basic skills and strengthen the value of online education.

Online Instructional Framework

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Online instruction should  focus on relevant and interesting topics emphasizing basic skills with content that applies to real-life situations which students can relate to, such as creating a budget or reviewing a movie.
The e-Tutor lesson modules, consist of nine parts followed by an assessment section, which contains quizzes and an exam.
  1. Introduction – a brief statement explaining the topic of the lesson.
  2. Grade Level – e-Tutor lessons are cross-aged at Primary, Intermediate, Middle/Jr. High, and High School.
  3. Lesson Goals – goals and objectives are modeled after national and state learning standards in the major subject areas.
  4. Resources – links to quality education web sites where students can find information to reinforce or expand upon the information given in the Study Guide.
  5. Lesson Problem – setting the stage for learning by posing a question(s) to be answered in completing the lesson.
  6. Vocabulary – enriched vocabulary words new to students are hyper-linked to dictionaries on the Internet.
  7. Study Guide – the main body of each lesson contains information on basic skills and concepts that students need to be successful learners.
  8. Activities – worksheets, experiments, projects that give the student practice in what s/he has learned.
  9. Extended Learning – additional thought provoking activities that stimulate logical thinking, creative reasoning and critical thinking.

Each section of the learning modules (Resources, Vocabulary, Study Guide, Activities, and Extended Learning) contributes to the learning process in a unique way.  These modules, interesting topics and colorful graphics, make the online instructional program effective and inviting to the student.  With the use of many valuable online educational resources, no place in the world is more than a few mouse clicks away.

For example, in a lesson module that investigates the giant pandas, the student learns about the pressing problem of saving the endangered animal by connecting to the World Wildlife Funds where the giant panda is one of the top ten most endangered species.  The student is later linked to a map of China to study the native terrain of the pandas and to the San Diego Zoo for information about panda research.  In this engaged learning environment, the students routinely take virtual field trips to every corner of the earth from the computer.

Online students are not time-stressed.   A well-developed online instructional program can help students focus on learning, instead of time, by assisting the learner to manage information, by providing resources, and by being “open” 24 hours a day.   This method of learning encourages students to learn by doing, simulating the real world situation.

Tech Savvy Students Ready for Online Learning

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

According to research eighty-seven percent of all youth between the ages of 12 and 17 use the Internet.  This is a familiar medium for young learners today, one which has already captured students’ interest. Students enter an online program with a sense of confidence with the medium. Outdated technology programs and tools will turn these techno-savvy students away from online learning, so online programs need to be on the cutting edge.

Online instruction for k-12 students is still in its infancy and educators are just beginning to recognize its value. America’s young people have embraced the computer and the Internet as their own. Half of all students age eight or older use the computer every day and nearly seventy-five percent have a computer at home. Students use the Internet for information gathering, email, and chat. Internet-based learning is a natural extension of their use of the Internet and online learning programs can provide focus and guidance to increase students’ natural need to learn (Angulo, 2001).  Quality programs provide all instructional material, give immediate feedback, facilitate use of email, and monitor programs like Twitter and Facebook to create forums for online communities.

Web-based instruction encourages students to share their work, providing a safe and familiar environment to do so. Students’ familiarity with the medium fosters feelings of competence and self-confidence.  Online learning additionally provides educators the opportunity to guide students to quality information on the Internet. Students learn how to use critical thinking skills to become even more skilled in navigating the wealth of information available on the Internet.