June 30, 2007

To Tutor or Not to Tutor

By Cheryl Feuer Gedzelman
Our tutoring agency receives many types of calls – some for remediation, others for homework support, and still others for enrichment.  The calls I dislike are those that come in March or later from a parent who says, “My child is failing all his subjects.”  I am very polite but am thinking, “Why did you wait so long?  Where have you been?  How can a twice-a-week tutor or even an every-day tutor hope to catch up on 7/9 of a year of material in all subjects?”  Sometimes the tutor can help the student raise the grade from an F to a D or C, but catch up?  I don’t think so.  The student will surely be at a deficit the next year.
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Filed under: Coaching,Home Schooling,Productivity,Study Tools

June 28, 2007

Designing Usable Self Paced eLearning Courses A Practical Guide

By Michael Feldstein, SUNY Learning Network, and Lisa Neal, eLearn Magazine

This guide was primarily designed to help teams of instructional designers and content experts create effective, self-paced e-learning. It teaches best practices for improving usability that can be applied by any instructional designers or content experts and was created so that no prior knowledge of usability is required to use the techniques.
Applying the systems in this guide will reduce the likelihood of learners getting confused or lost, or even failing to complete a course. The guide is intended to be helpful throughout the entire development cycle of e-learning courses. It includes strategies for usability engineering that can be used by the course designers early in the development process and information about usability testing that can be applied to completed courses.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: College,Community,Home Schooling,Pedagogy

June 26, 2007

Creative Online Learning Environments – PT 2

The first part of this article is at  http://crossroadsoflearning.com/journal/?p=61

By Donald G. Perrin


Rudolph W. Giuliani: 5-Points on Leadership

According to Elliot Masie, "Rudy Giuliani . . . used learning, training, and competency as a core tool to improve New York City and cope with the events of 9/11." Mayor Giuliani was effective in reducing crime and improving the quality of life in New York City. After the terrorist bombing, he brought strength and stability at a time of great uncertainty. He calmed, consoled and reassured the public and the nation, urging New Yorkers to return to their normal lives so that terrorists would fail to achieve their goal of fear and disruption. His presentation at the 1992 eLearning Convention in Washington D.C. was inspiring and rich in information about his goals and experiences.
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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College,Community,Leadership,Training/Education,Tutoring Practices

June 24, 2007

Technotes – Word Processing

  • Online Word Processor allowing users to create and edit documents collaboratively online, import Word documents, publicly or privately share documents, publish to a blog, and more.
  • Zoho Writer: Similar to Writely, Zoho Writer is an Online Word Processor where you can create, share, and collaborate on documents. Users can also publish to a blog, import and export documents, and make documents public.
  • Writeboard: Writeboard is a collaborative writing tool where users can write, share, revise, and compare their documents online with others. It is not an advanced system featuring a WYSIWYG editor, Ajax, and flashy effects, but that’s what I like about it. Writeboard is a personal favorite of mine and as a matter of fact I am using it right now for this very post. It includes version control with text comparing and is great for essays and writeups of any kind. More on Writeboard.
  • ThinkFree Write: ThinkFree Write is a free word processor that, at this time, is probably the closest you can get to an online version of Microsoft Office with features and appearance in mind. You can perform formatting options, create tables, add a header/footer, and spell check as you type just like your average desktop word processor. Pretty impressive. You can also open and save Microsoft Word and OpenOffice documents as well as share documents online with others. Note: There are two versions of ThinkFree Write: Quick Edit (Ajax-based) and Power Edit (Java-based).
  • AjaxWrite: Lightweight word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word and other standard document formats, display multiple documents at once in tabs, and feature basic formatting. However, feature wise, it just does not cut it for me. What I do like about it is that it’s very quick and there are no signups – get in and get out.

Journal Reference:Brian Benzinger, Solution Watch, Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 2. 
Retrieved on 3/30/07    http://www.solutionwatch.com/515/back-to-school-with-the-class-of-web-20-part-2/

Filed under: Admin/Management,Home Schooling,Technology,TechNotes

June 22, 2007

Creative Online Learning Environments – PT 1

By Donald G. Perrin

Educational institutions add online options to extend Certificate and Degree programs to unserved and underserved learner populations. Potential advantages to the learner and provider of learning hinge on changes in pedagogy and ability to provide quality support for distance learning. The online experience is not necessarily better or worse than traditional classroom instruction, but it is different. This paper focuses on the transition process for teacher, student, and the provider organization. It discusses best practices, standards, and creative approaches to teaching and learning. It follows the design of an undergraduate business course at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) for online learning. This model is easily generalized or adapted for other online curricula and learning management systems.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: College,Community,Pedagogy,Tutoring Practices

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