May 30, 2007

Developing a Successful Online Class:What Works to Keep the Students Motivated and Interested?

By Barbara Farrell, Ed.D., CPA

Online education is a unique and important alternative for many students wishing to continue (or start) their education. Today, online education is part of a new culture with many distinct characteristics. It fills a necessary niche in the changing role of education. Without online education, many adult students with full-time jobs and families would never have the time (or inclination) to continue their studies.
Online instruction however, from the instructors standpoint, can be significantly more difficult than instruction in a traditional class. In a traditional class, it becomes quickly evident that you are losing your audience if the entire class is looking out the window. In an online class though, how do you figure out that you have lost your audience? Also, in a traditional class, an instructor will know if the class is confused if (s)he sees a collection of blank stares. Again, how does an online instructor get that same sense?

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Filed under: College,Community,High School,Pedagogy,Training/Education

May 28, 2007

Technotes – Learning and Research – Zotero

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather and organize resources (whether bibliography or the full text of articles), and then lets you annotate, organize, and share the results of your research. It includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store full reference information in author, title, and publication fields and to export that as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software such as or iTunes, like the ability to sort, tag, and search in advanced ways. Using its unique ability to sense when you are viewing a book, article, or other resource on the web, Zotero will—on many major research sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for you in the correct fields.

Journal Reference: Brian Benzinger, Solution Watch, Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1. 
Retrieved on 3/30/07

Filed under: Home Schooling,Productivity,Research,TechNotes

May 27, 2007

Technotes – Learning and Research – EasyBib

EasyBib: An “automatic bibliography composer” that lets users enter sources and fill out a simple forms to be given MLA style bibliographies. I’ve used this multiple times in the past for research papers.

Journal Reference: Brian Benzinger, Solution Watch, Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1. 
Retrieved on 3/30/07

Filed under: Productivity,Research,TechNotes

May 26, 2007

Tutoring for the Already Brainy


ALLAN SCHNEIDER, a Westchester tutor, recently sat down with a 16-year-old high school junior from Chappaqua who had been sent to him for extra work in math for the SAT’s. After a few weeks, he found that she solved almost every problem correctly.

”I told her ‘you really don’t need this,’ and she said, ‘No, my Mom loves tutoring and I have to have more,”’ Mr. Schneider said. He called the girl’s mother and told her the girl did not need his help. A few days later, Mr. Schneider got a phone call from a private college counselor who had a client looking for a math tutor for her daughter. The daughter turned out to be the same teenager he had just turned away.

Years ago, with a very few exceptions, tutoring was for students who were floundering or failing. Today it is a booming industry, fueled by parental angst over the college admissions process, that helps not only children who are struggling, but also gilds the lily, moving ”B+” students to ”A” students, giving extra support to students enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement courses and propelling children with high test scores into the very top percentiles.

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Filed under: Admin/Management,Home Schooling,Peer-Tutoring,Tutoring Practices

May 25, 2007

In Search of . . . Brain-Based Education

By John T. Bruer, appeared

The "In Search of . . ." television series is no way to present history, Mr. Bruer points out, and the brain-based education literature is not the way to present the science of learning.

We have almost survived the Decade of the Brain. During the 1990s, government agencies, foundations, and advocacy groups engaged in a highly successful effort to raise public awareness about advances in brain research. Brain science became material for cover stories in our national newsmagazines. Increased public awareness raised educators’ always simmering interest in the brain to the boiling point. Over the past five years, there have been numerous books, conferences, and entire issues of education journals devoted to what has come to be called "brain-based education."

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Filed under: Pedagogy,Small Private Practices,Tutoring Practices

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