eNews                                       March 2016 Vol. 19-03

President's Message

Happy Spring!  Although it doesn't feel like it today in my part of the world. After nearly twenty inches of snow, it is still falling.  It is beautiful, but it does create some problems for us...sporadic electricity and internet connection. It is hard to believe how we rely on the internet for so much of what we do each day, including our own learning program.

It has been another busy month for us.  As we have mentioned in past newsletters, we are spending a lot of time exploring the international market.  Although we have had  international students in our program for years, we are looking at organizations and governments that are moving into the e-learning space. In that regard we have been working with the state of Colorado and have received a small grant to further explore the possibilities for business abroad.

Another area of study for us is the use of applied analytics and machine learning in the teaching/learning situation. In order to address the needs of students throughout the world we need to look at alternative strategies in educating globally.  The prevalence of smart phone use in even the most economically disadvantaged countries and locations, provides opportunities for instruction that were not available several years ago.  Our development of new programs is specifically planned for hand-held devices.

In addition, an area of research we are closely following is the application of augmented reality for learning.  AR development is growing rapidly and we think it holds promise for education.  Several years ago we wrote a grant for NSF on AR for learning.  And, although we were not funded, we have watched with interest this area of growth.

If you are interested in learning more about the research and development we are pursuing, please let us know.  Your input and guidance is important to us.  

Wishing you a beautiful Spring!



The Community

 We hope you will join our global community this month.  There is so much to learn from our friends around the world.     



   eTutor Blog  


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Remember that sometimes the more you find out, 
the less you know.


Your eTutor

Nearly twenty years ago, educational consultants working with us saw a need for a method to teach K-12 students through the use of the Internet.  We sought to determine how students could harness the information found on the Internet to increase learning.  In workshops, seminars, focus groups and through experience, we determined that instructional programs on the Internet should be guided by the following standards:

1.       Instructional lesson format needs to be consistent

2.       Immediate feedback is necessary for both student and parent

3.       Instruction should be customized to student progress

4.       Parents need to be part of the teaching-learning program

5.       Instruction should be linked to National and State Learning Goals

6.       Appropriate Internet links need to be an integral part of each instructional lesson

7.       Instructional lessons should be available to students from grades K Ė 12.

8.       Students should learn the value and appropriate use of the Internet while completing instructional lessons. 

These guiding principles have been presented at many conferences and conventions, delivered in white papers and used by the US House of Representatives, Education Committee, in their planning. 

If you are not an e-Tutor subscriber, we are waiting to hear from you.  Parents and students, alike are excited about this great way of learning!

Over 3500 Lesson Modules
are included in the 
eTutor Lesson Library!

 Join the eTutor world of learning today to view 
the lesson modules.

Free Lessons @ eTutor

Curious? Or, are you looking for some online lessons you would like to try with your child? 52297_title

Try Lewis and Clark Expedition a History lesson at the Intermediate level. 

We offer a broad selection of topics, subjects and grade levels for you to experience.  Try eTutor Unplugged today!


Writers' Circle

The easy to use template makes creating online instruction for your students a snap. Remember that there is no cost for using the template.  Your lesson modules are available to you and your students to use in and out of an instructional program.   Interesting topics from LessonPro this month: 

Arithmetic Progression
China - The Fastest Growing Country
Identity Paper Prompt
I Can Statements
Building on Achievements 

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.  We hope you will join The Writers' Circle today!


   The Book Case            

All Alone  
Claire Huchet Bishop

    Ages:  9 -12 

Ten year old, Marcel, sets off to his family's pastureland in the French Alps, to care for his family's cows for the summer. His father admonishes him to "Keep to yourself, mind your own business and nothing else"; the philosophy of the whole village. His friend Pierre is doing the same job on a nearby peak, and when Pierre's cows get loose, Marcel decides to help his friend rather than heed his father's admonition. The boys are stranded together after a landslide and the whole village must work together to save them. The event transforms the village, and thereafter people pool their resources and work together.

1954 Newberry Honor Winner 

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Try to use only what you need.



Man is a creature of the his leisure habits, in his clothing, his shelter, his occupations. The farmerís year is governed by the season, because the products of nature are governed by the seasons. Even in an age where we build domed, heated, air conditioned structures to defy normal seasonal climate, there is a seasonal cycle. We follow it with the school year, or the crop cycle. But if nature has created the climate and the natural conditions that identify each season, man has provided artificial characteristics. Christmas in the Northern hemisphere is a winter holiday, Easter a spring one. Thanksgiving is an autumn highlight in the United States. January is the time of department store white sales, September or thereabouts the time for the new model cars.....and so forth. For every single thing, there is a season. HAPPY SPRING!!

(Spinrad and Spinrad, 1987)


Parents.... You Can Make a Difference!

You can help your child succeed in school by building his or her self-confidence at home. Use these guidelines:

  • Respect your child by treating him or her with the dignity you would a friend.
  • Have faith in your child. Donít be afraid to give your child increasing responsibility and independence.
  • Concentrate on the positive; avoid using discouraging words or actions.
  • Recognize your childís efforts, not just his or her accomplishments.
  • Build self-esteem and feelings of adequacy by using positive phrases such as...
"I can tell you worked very hard on that."
"You are getting much better at that."
"I appreciate what you did."
"You really handled that situation well."
  • Discourage competition (in all forms) between brothers and sisters.

And, remember, donít feel guilty if you "blow it", but use your energy to try again more effectively.

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ry to have only what you need.


The "Take-Charge Kid"

How can you help your child build a "take-charge" attitude and assume more responsibility for learning? Read and discuss these self-management strategies together:

1. Set Goals - Help your child learn to set goals and work to achieve them. Let your child know that successful people set goals. To succeed goals should be:

  • Short-term - do-able in a brief period of time
  • Specific - "75% on the weekly math test" or "completing a research report on schedule" are clearly defined goals. You will both know when a specific goal has been met.
  • Realistic - set only slightly above current level of achievement so that improvement can be recognized frequently.
  • Planned - to include the when, where, why, how, and how long of meeting the goal successfully.

2. Be an example - Give examples of goals you have set and met. Tell results and benefits of meeting goals. Let your child know that you feel good about what you achieved.

Discuss stories about people in the news who have set and met goals so that your child sees the value of taking responsibility for achievement

3. Introduce checklists - Checklists build responsibility and provide the sense of achievement that comes from checking completed items off a list.

4. Encourage a positive approach- A "canít do" approach weakens a childís will to "take-charge" of learning.

5. Understand instructions - Your child canít gain a sense of responsibility, work independently, and "take-charge" in learning situations without understanding directions and instructions. Help your child know what to do with everyday instruction words by explaining, using, and reviewing the key words and phrases of instruction, such as:

circle P cross out P underline P delete P omit P graph
compare/contrast P explain P outline

6. Ask questions - When students sense that they need to know more about a topic, their motivation increases and they want to take responsibility for more learning.

7. Give praise - Praise used effectively can increase your childís motivation and build a sense of responsibility for learning.

Praise for successful or improved performance, not just working on a task. Wait until you see that enough effort has been put forth, or enough work accomplished, so that praise is truly deserved.

8. Build on success - Once your childís skills are beginning to expand and you see a "take-charge" attitude toward learning, you can help build on this success.

  • Give opportunities to practice skills informally
  • Encourage interests, activities, and hobbies that provide practice in learning
  • Give increased responsibility

Face To Face Communicating

Recently at a large convention I had an opportunity to view first hand the good and bad in communicating. These tips are great for anyone to use:

  • Always remember that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • Every individual is a communicator and has credibility with someone.
  • Be genuine and honest. If you donít know, donít guess.
  • Be enthusiastic. A spark is essential if you want to motivate enthusiasm in others.
  • Identify key communicators.
  • Use every available means to get people to "witness" quality efforts in action.
  • Encourage visibility.
  • Make communications a part of your objectives each year.
  • Above all, listen. Listening is a sign of caring, is basic to building responsiveness, and is the key to confidence.


  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.
  • But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
  • The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
  • They avoid suffering and sorrow, but they can not learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
  • Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom.
  • Only the person who risks is free.


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Try to fix it long before it is broken.


Magnificent March Links:

The Comic Book Periodic Table:  Comics and chemistry together? What could be better? Click on an element in the periodic table and see the comics associated with that element.

Wakulla Spring - A Giant Among Us:  The site is an in-depth interactive presentation about Florida's Wakulla Spring, one of the world's largest freshwater spring systems. The site includes information about natural and cultural history and focuses on threats to the aquifer that feeds the spring. The free Flash player is required.

National Geographic Maps - Tools for Adventure:  This site immerses the user into the dynamic world of maps and introduces kids to the essentials of mapping and geospatial representation through engaging (and fun!) games.

Molecularium - Kid's Site:  What lives in the nano world? You'll find out here through interactive activities, a gallery, and more! By Rensselaer's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures. You'll need the free Flash Player.

The Mind of Leonardo - The Universal Genius At Work:  Web site for the  exhibition "The Mind of Leonardo" at the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy. Explore Leonardo da Vinci's mode of thinking and his unitary conception of knowledge as the effort to assimilate, through bold theoretical syntheses and inventive experiments, the laws that govern all of the wondrous operations of man and nature. You'll need either Window's Media Player or the QuickTime player to access the video elements.


Have a fabulous month!

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