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Posts Tagged ‘online school’

A Word About Old Education – Dewey

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I ran across this in my email this morning and wanted to share it with you:

Dewey (1899) (yes, that would be the 19th Century) wrote
<http://bit.ly/JvR3cG>:  ’I may have exaggerated somewhat in order to
make plain the typical points of the old education: its passivity of
attitude, its mechanical massing of children, its uniformity of
curriculum and method. It may be summed up by stating that the centre
of gravity is outside the child. It is in the teacher, the textbook,
anywhere and everywhere you please except in the immediate instincts
and activities of the child himself.’

We recently went through evaluation for accreditation.  One of the points the evaluators focused on was the compilation of student achievement in order to improve the educational program.   eTutor focuses on the individual student and makes improvements to the instructional program based on individual results.

Many students and parents, as well, view instruction and assessment as competition.  Learning is not a race and should not be viewed as such.  Each child is special and his/her instructional program should be special.  Comparisons between student learning result in a host of problems and issues that extend well beyond the school years.  It seems we have not changed much since the 19th Century.

The Online Curriculum

Monday, April 9th, 2012
The eTutor curriculum meets National Goals for Learning in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, including twenty-three subjects. It is designed for students from kindergarten through grade twelve and can be adapted for the adult learner.

eTutor provides age appropriate lesson modules which teach 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. Often students have difficulty linking previous learning to newer concepts.

The eTutor curriculum is a continuum that begins in the early years and progresses through a life time. While there is much overlap in subjects, we find it 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 our students may find the words physics, economics and politics hard to know and understand, we as educators must be aware that these are subjects to be included in any well rounded curriculum. We want students 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 int Economics, as does going to the store.

Politics – The idea of choice is not new to our 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 Our young children vote every day on things in their every day life.

As the student progresses through the eTutor 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 the eTutor curriculum, algebraic concepts are taught throughout the subjects, Computation, Estimation, Data Analysis, Measurement, Ratio and Percentage, and Geometry. eTutor recommends Algebra at the eleventh grade, as the course covers the basics to calculus.

Curriculum Development

Knowledge Headquarters has developed a unique and innovative model for creating the e-Tutor educational content. The company launched LessonPro in 1999 as a new and promising application for writing online K-12 educational coursework. The purpose of the web site is to promote the highest standards for Internet-based instructional content to the educational community. Teachers from across the nation write lesson modules using the LessonPro template. Only those lesson modules that meet the standards of excellence for eTutor are used in the Program. The result of this innovative approach to curriculum development is a curriculum that is rich and varied, where each lesson module has its own voice.

Curriculuar Areas
Language Arts

English reading, writing, listening, and literature

Math

Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus

Science

Physical Sciences

Social Studies

Broad range of “humanities” subjects

Accreditation

What accreditation is and how it benefits you.

Two Programs:

Access all eTutor lesson modules, quizzes, and more.

The independent program plus a personal tutor. Expanded access to lesson modules.

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.

The Power of Expectations

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The effect of one person’s expectations on the behavior of another is another instance of the power of attitudes. People are always communicating their thoughts in a variety of subtle ways.  And others are responding…positively, negatively or passively.  Strong, positive attitudes about one’s self and others bring out the best in others; cause positive responses that accelerate growth and learning.

See all others as the potential vessels of your own treasured knowledge and ability, be willing to share yourself in a tolerant, loving manner, and your effort will be richly rewarded by the growth of those around you.

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.

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.

Online Learning – Changing Our View of Schooling

Friday, May 6th, 2011

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.

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 concepts and information that took us years to learn.  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 that is not available today.  Therefore, the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are inadequate for today’s student.

This need to absorb so many concepts and so much information makes the teaching- learning process even more challenging.  The Internet offers the opportunity for students to work at their own level, at their own pace, on topics that are of personal interest.  Our work at Knowledge Headquarters and eTutor is a continuing effort to assist those we serve to understand and adapt their instructional programs by offering choices for personal learning.

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 tide of an expanding knowledge base.  Students do not need to be time bound by their learning program.   Online education can offer real-time learning for a vast number of subjects and topics focusing on individual instruction.  The best online learning programs provide students and their educators flexibility, breadth of content, and multiple ways to engage in the learning process that are necessary for true knowledge to take place.   We know that what we learned in school is not enough for the future of our children.  We have a responsibility to provide innovative and creative programs based on current technologies that provide students the skills and tools that will ensure them a successful future.

In this regard home schooling is reinventing the idea of school.  The integration of knowledge is a personal process, rather than a social process.  By viewing school not so much as a place, but the act of learning, those who home school have forced us to look at a new paradigm for schooling.  These parents 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 learned is not the best method of learning for their children.  Home schooling parents use many different approaches in teaching their children.  Among these are online curricular programs, similar to eTutor,  that provide a new way of learning for their children.

How we learned and what we learned are not adequate measures of education for our children today.  When I hear about educators who continue to teach the way they have for many years, it concerns me.  The tried and true teaching methods of the past, that served us well over the years,  are not adequate today.  We must try harder to challenge our own ideas of education, the teaching-learning process and for evaluating schooling.