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Posts Tagged ‘online school’

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.

Wisdom from Helen Keller

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes, with a will, the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks.

Helen Keller

So Much to Do….So Little Time

Monday, July 29th, 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.

What Is Your SSQ (Study Skills Quotient)?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Smart is not something you are…smart is something you can become if you work at it.

Lots of techniques can help you study better, but nothing can take the place of a good attitude.  Read the following statements.  how many of these good study habits do you practice regularly, sometimes or never?  Your answers will reveal a lot about your attitude toward studying.

Yes or no….
I have a regular time for homework.  Even when I’m busy, I always manage to find some time to study.

If I get a bad grade on a test, I work harder.  I also seek help from a teacher, parent, a tutor or another student who is doing well with learning.

I have goals for what I want to do after graduation.  I know that studying will help me get closer to may goals.

I’m usually prepared for studying.

I know how to break a large project down into smaller, easier steps.

If I have a subject that I don’t really like, I work harder to make it interesting.

Navigation! Graphics!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Navigation! Graphics! Those two things are the name of the game in Internet websites. eTutor is proud of its graphics, which appeal to a diversity of students. We use cartoons, current baseball stars, accurate diagrams of the circulatory system, and photographs of Tasmanian Devils, to name just a few. Photos of the starry night sky show the position of Orion and the Pleiades. In a lesson on comets, there are actual photos of comets. For younger children, we use appealing graphic representation of tomatoes, bunnies, and clowns.

The graphics are important because they must catch — and HOLD — a student’s interest and imagination. We choose graphics that illustrate our lessons — sometimes precisely (as in the graphics of the brain in our science lessons), sometimes whimsically (an octopus to illustrate the eight parts of speech.) Consistently, users tell us that our graphics are one of their favorite features.

Sample pictures from E-Tutor lessons. Clikck here to take a quick tour of E-Tutor.

The second important part of a Website is the navigation. How easy is it? eTutor requires you to know two things to be able to navigate it. First, the “BACK” button does not work. When parents and teachers want their students using eTutor, a prime concern is that students stay within that website. We guarantee our sites are 100% secure. By NOT using the “BACK” button (and instead closing windows by clicking in the top right or left hand corner), students are kept “within”  eTutor. It is easy for teachers and students to learn this and adjust to this in our website. Second, we use the “scroll” feature frequently. We want eTutor to load quickly and accurately. By loading the lesson all at once, and using the scroll feature (or clicking on the Index), students have very little to learn in terms of navigation. Students can click on the area they want to go to —”Study Guide”, for example — or scroll through the whole lesson. Either way,  eTutor provides an illustrative trip through education!

Knowledge is Power

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you have the information, you can distinguish truth from lies, good from bad, safety from danger plus much, much more.  If you have the knowledge, then the world is at your fingertips.  Computers and the Internet, plus a rich and varied curriculum enable students to gain this power.   Knowledge comes in the form of information. If you can access the appropriate information for learning and solving problems, then you can be freed from dependence on others to give you information.

  • Read books downloaded from The Internet.
  • Seek employment.
  • Research school projects.
  • Take online courses for college credit.
  • Research legal matters..
  • Network with other people.
  • Correspond with family and friends all over the world.
  • Enjoy Internet Radio.
  • Increase your learning efficiency and understanding of skills on concepts needed for success.

The Continuum of Learning Starts Early

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The instructional curriculum is a continuum that begins in the early years and progresses through a life time.  While there is much overlap in subjects, it is helpful to know that the simple task for the young learner of pushing a truck up a ramp (inclined plane) is a basic concept of physics that he will revisit many times in his educational experience.  Although students may find the words physics, economics and politics hard to know and understand, these are subjects to be included in any well rounded curriculum.  Students need to have a solid foundation in all subjects in order to meet success in their later learning experiences.

In Physics for example – simple machines teach about principals of physics.

In Economics - most young children play store and, the boys especially, like to play with trucks.  Transportation fits into Economics, as does going to the store.

Politics – The idea of choice is not new to young learners and although we might not call it politics, the idea that they might choose one pet over another or one friend out of many, is an example of politics.  Young children vote every day on things in their every day life.

As the student progresses through the online curriculum, the courses required may be somewhat different than what they would experience in a regular public or private school.  Subjects are integrated across the curricular area.  For instance, Algebra is often labeled….pre-Algebra, Algebra or Algebra I and II, or Advanced Algebra.  In an online curriculum, algebraic concepts might be taught throughout the subjects, such as, Computation, Estimation, Data Analysis, Measurement, Ratio and Percentage, and Geometry.  Algebra may be recommended at a higher grade,  if the course covers the basics to calculus.

Often students have difficulty linking previous learning to newer concepts.  A strong program provides age appropriate instruction which teaches ways to understand more difficult concepts.  When the student approaches a more difficult problem, perhaps in Physics, Economics or Politics, they may recall earlier learning that can provide a way to solve such a problem.

Importance of Accrediting Online Learning Programs

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Accreditation comes from the Latin word credito–meaning to trust since the late 1800’s. American schools and colleges have had their trustworthiness and quality validated through accreditation.  Recently some online educational programs have sought accreditation.  The value of being accredited is that the quality of the online instructional program  is validated through Self-Study and on-site evaluation by educational professionals.

˜Benefits to Students

  • Increased performance. Accreditation focuses the program on improving learning for all students. A six-year study of schools actively engaged in the accreditation process revealed that 79% made verifiable gains in student achievement.
  • Transfer of credits. In addition to raising student achievement, accreditation eases the transition of students as they move from an online program to another accredited school. The regional nature of accreditation allows a receiving school in the same or another state to assess the quality of the online learning program and accept the incoming student’s credits and academic record. This ease of transfer applies across the nation through reciprocal agreements between the regional accrediting agencies.
  • Access to programs and scholarships. Accreditation can also benefit web-based students as they participate in specific sports programs, apply for federal grants or scholarships, or pursue admission to colleges, technical schools, or military programs that require students to come from accredited schools.

˜Benefits to Parents and the General Public

Accreditation assures parents and the public that the program is focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation. Accreditation extends across state lines, assuring parents and the public that the online learning adheres to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practice.

˜Benefits to Educators

Accreditation provides the online instructional staff with a proven process for raising student achievement.  Educators benefit from multiple resources (publications, manuals, software, professional development, and conferences), all of which assist in educational improvement. In addition, educators gain access to a network of schools to share best practices and professional knowledge.  Educators gain valuable information about effective practices in other programs through participation on peer review teams. Through the accreditation process and resources, the online program improves its ability to analyze data and make sound educational decisions based on that data. Finally, accreditation provides program administrators with deserved recognition for going above and beyond the minimum to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to quality and to success for all

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.

Assuring Quality Online Programs through Accreditation

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Online instructional programs should be accredited by a recognized accrediting agency such as CITA, NCA, or SAS.  Since the late 1800’s, American schools and colleges have had their trustworthiness and quality validated through accreditation.  The value of being accredited is that the quality of online education is validated through independent, self-study and on-site evaluation by educational professionals. As a result of the accreditation, the online program is more focused on improving student achievement.

Accreditation assures parents and the public that the online program is focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching online learning environment, adhering to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practice, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation. Accreditation also extends across state lines, thus facilitating a consistent program for all U. S. students.

Accreditation provides the instructional staff with a proven process for raising student achievement. Online learning programs benefit from multiple resources including publications, current research, manuals, software, professional development, and conferences.  Through the accreditation process and resources, online programs improve their ability to analyze data and make sound educational decisions based on that data.

In addition to raising student achievement, accreditation eases the transition of students as they move from one online program to another accredited online program or into a traditional school program.  The regional nature of accreditation allows a receiving program in the same or another state to assess the quality of the online program and accept the incoming student’s credits and academic record. This ease of transfer applies across the nation through reciprocal agreements among the regional accrediting agencies.