By Amy B. Wang, The Republic, originally published on 5/1/13
The computer screen blinked, and two voices came online, signaling the start of the virtual tutoring session. It would be geometry again today, freshman Pilar Hernandez told her tutor, senior Sindhu Rajan. Hernandez needed help with a question about angles. “All right, I’ll put on the whiteboard and then you can write it down for me,” Rajan said, clicking a button that would allow the two to write on a virtual board.
Painstakingly, Hernandez used her mouse to draw an isosceles triangle divided in half. The question asked for the value of x, half of the length of the triangle’s hypotenuse. “OK, this is how you would start,” Rajan said. Ten minutes later, after step-by-step guidance, Hernandez arrived at the answer. “Oh, OK, thank you!” she told Rajan. “I think I got it down.”
Rajan and Hernandez, students at North Canyon High School, are regular participants in the FROST peer-tutoring program in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Through the program, National Honor Society students at the district’s five high schools host free tutoring sessions for other students in the district — entirely online. (FROST stands for Free Resources for Online Student Tutoring.)
Through the online portal, both Rajan and Hernandez can be at their homes while a teacher checks in periodically from a third computer. It’s a modernized approach to an age-old practice, peer tutoring, that experts say can strengthen student performance on several levels.
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Popularity: 1% [?]
Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School,Peer-Tutoring,Technology
By Steven Ryzewski, Seminole Chronicle, originally published 3/14/13
Jason Ampel, the creator of Learning Liaisons, an online tutoring service in Central Florida.
An A student can benefit from tutoring just as much as a student who is struggling to pass.
That’s the message of Jason Ampel, the man behind Learning Liaisons, an online tutoring service based in Central Florida that utilizes technology and one-on-one instruction to engage students. In an age of standardized testing, exit exams, growing classroom sizes and ever-increasing competition for an edge among students, Ampel, who has 10 years of experience teaching for Orange and Lake counties, said tutoring could be more valuable today than ever.
“As a classroom teacher, what I learned over the years is that sometimes you’re bogged down with standards and accountability,” said Ampel, who received his master’s and doctoral degrees from UCF. “Sometimes you don’t have that time to work one on one with students – all students learn differently and you have kids that get lost and they get frustrated and they’re not motivated.
“[Through tutoring], you’re building confidence in students by giving them the one-on-one support that they might not [be getting].” The idea that that same tutoring can benefit a good student just as much as one who is struggling is something Karen Jones, who has two students working with Learning Liaisons, said she can attest to.
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Popularity: 2% [?]
Filed under: Community,Technology
By Nalini Lasiewicz, BOL, Registrar, Crossroads of Learning
One thing we know about university writing center administrators, they like to write. They write well, thoughtfully and often.
Earlier this year a discussion on protesting the trend towards machine scoring of essays drew significant interest among members of the WPA-L Listserv, an international e-mail discussion group intended primarily for professionals in writing program administration at universities, colleges and community colleges. Their postings quickly moved from the theoretical to a call to action, generating hundreds of posts and perspectives. Within a few weeks, members of the list collaborated on, and launched, an online petition against machine scoring of high-stake tests.
The “Human Readers” petition and website delivers an urgent appeal to all stakeholders to temper the rush in implementing this still controversial technology. They urge policy makers to remain committed to the use of human readers in evaluating and critiquing student essays. They are also asking their own institutions to stop buying or accepting machine scoring of essays until the process is proven to be “valid, equitable, and worth stakeholders’ money.” (http://humanreaders.org)
Evolving since the early 1960s, education and technology companies have developed software and data base management systems to support the collection of student data, including the delivery and grading of high stake products such as the SAT. In recent years, and with both public and commercial funding, an economic engine has exploded in the education field, with technology and service providers playing a major role.
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Popularity: 12% [?]
Filed under: Blog,Pedagogy,Study Tools,Technology,Training/Education
By Meagan Pant, Staff Writer, Dayton Daily News, originally published 10/18/12
Cedarville and Urbana universities are joining Ohio’s online tutoring network that offers students free help in writing, math and science. Forty-two colleges and universities statewide have joined the Ohio eTutoring Collaborative connecting their students with trained tutors. This year, all universities and colleges in the state were invited to join at no cost by the Ohio Board of Regents. The schools do pay for tutors.
The platform allows students to seek help outside of the hours a typical on-campus academic support center would be open. Students can chat live with a tutor, submit questions and receive feedback on paper assignments. Tutors are generally available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. About 2,400 students used the service last year, out of the 134,587 who had access, according to the Board of Regents. Three years ago, the state launched the service as a pilot with five schools. Local participating schools also include: Central State University, Clark State, Edison and Sinclair community colleges, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
“It’s slow, steady growth,” said Karen Boyd, eTutoring coordinator. Boyd met with coordinators from Cedarville, Central State, Edison and Urbana on Wednesday. Other meetings will be held throughout the state, as well. Gary Cates, senior vice chancellor at the Board of Regents, said he hopes the free tutoring allows students to get the academic help they need to stay in college and graduate. Half of the people who enter higher education in Ohio do not earn a degree.
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Popularity: 8% [?]
Filed under: Distance Learning,Technology
By Paul Takahashi, Las Vegas Sun, originally published on 8/23/12
Ashley Garcia scribbles away in her spiral-bound notebook, slowly filling it with numbers, functions and equations. It’s early on a lazy summer morning, but instead of sleeping in like many of her classmates who graduated last month from Coronado High School, Garcia is hard at work studying in a windowless computer lab at UNLV. Garcia is cramming because she doesn’t want to become a statistic.
This fall, a third of the incoming freshmen class — about 1,000 students, including Garcia — will enter UNLV unprepared to take a college-level math course. If past performance is any indication, these students are more likely to take out additional loans to pay for remedial coursework that ultimately won’t count toward their degree requirements. These remedial students also are less likely to graduate college in six years.
The stakes are high, Garcia realizes. So instead of relaxing away the summer before college, Garcia enrolled in UNLV’s Expect Success Summer Bridge Program. It’s a new and free pilot program that aims to help students place out of remedial math courses through tutoring and technology. “I’m not a math person, so I don’t want to do more math than I need to,” said Garcia, who hopes to major in communications. “If I had to take remedial math, I would be wasting two semesters of college. If I pass this, it’ll free me up to study what I want.”
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Popularity: 11% [?]
Filed under: College,Technology