January 10, 2016

Octogenarian Tutor Brings Warm Encouragement And Grammar Basics To English Lab

by Lorena Umana, The Reporter, originally published January 15, 2016

Tutor Time: Jerry Mitchell, 86, tutors students struggling to learn English at the Kendall Campus. He has served as a tutor at the campus for seven years. Photo by Eli Abasi

Tutor Time: Jerry Mitchell, 86, tutors students struggling to learn English at the Kendall Campus. He has served as a tutor at the campus for seven years. Photo by Eli Abasi

At a time when most people his age are retired, Jerry Mitchell, an 86-year-old English for Academic Purposes Laboratory (EAP) tutor at Kendall Campus, chooses to help students who are struggling to learn English.

“I love tutoring because I get to meet students from all over the world,” Mitchell said. “They keep me thinking young.”

The lab provides English as a Second Language (ESL) students with computers and printers to assist with what they are learning in class. Students may also ask for tutors to assist them with ESL related work and to practice English.  Students come from around the globe including Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Besides covering the foundations of grammar and vocabulary, Mitchell uses the song Cold Water by Burl Ives to teach his ESL students pronunciation and life philosophy. The song is about a cowboy in the desert with his horse. He sees all kinds of mirages created by the devil. But the horse encourages the cowboy to keep moving.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College

November 8, 2015

Tutoring changes the brain in kids with math learning disabilities

By Erin Digitale, Scope/Stanford Medicine, originally published on 10/1/15

One-on-one-tutoring-199x300A new Stanford study, publishing today in Nature Communications, sheds light on how to help children with math learning disabilities. One-on-one cognitive tutoring improves math performance in these children and also normalizes brain activity in several regions important for numerical problem solving, the research found.

The findings are important because math learning disabilities often fall off educators’ and parents’ radar. (Everyone has heard of dyslexia, but its numerical equivalent, dyscalculia? Not so much.) Yet math learning disabilities can hamper a child’s ability to gain basic life skills such as managing time and money, and can prevent children from growing up to pursue math- and science-related careers.

The new study is similar to another recent experiment that demonstrated alleviation of math anxiety with tutoring. Both studies are the work of the Stanford MathBrain Project, directed by Vinod Menon, PhD. Teresa Iuculano, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar working with Menon, is the new study’s lead author.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: K-8,Research

October 8, 2015

Academic coaching sessions lead to increase in grades

By Maggie Heath-Bourne, Chief Reporter, the News Record, originally published 9/19/15.

Students who meet with University of Cincinnati’s Learning Assistance Center’s (LAC) academic coaches seven times throughout a semester typically see their grades improve by two-thirds of a letter grade.

Academic coaches, who are student workers selected based on faculty recommendations, interviews and applications, provide advice on time management, motivate good study habits and more. “A good analogy is that coaches are like personal trainers for academics,” said Lauren Clark, LAC’s program director. “They motivate you, teach you useful strategies, introduce you to other resources, develop their feedback and approach based on each student’s unique needs.”

Academic coaches must have a 3.5 GPA. LAC’s average GPA during the 2014-15 academic year was 3.8, Clark said.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Coaching

September 26, 2015

School district offers tutoring program for parents

By Marisa Breese, News Associate Producer, Click2Houston, originally published 9/24/15

tutors-for-parentsMany parents would like to help their children with math homework, but sometimes the material is difficult, even for some adults. A school district in Wisconsin is hoping to teach parents how to help their kids tackle those challenging problems.

The Antigo School District is offering a new program called MAPPS, which stands for Math and Parent Partners. MAPPS is meant to help parents understand what their children are learning in the classroom. School officials hope that the program will increase parents’ confidence when it comes to discussing mathematics.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Community

August 31, 2015

This Robot Tutor Will Make Personalizing Education Easy

By Issie Lapowsky, originally published in Wired.com on 8/25/15

Knewton mobile application.

Knewton mobile application.

Personalizing education can change a kid’s life. It can keep the advanced ones from getting bored and the struggling ones from falling behind, because every kid, no matter their level of proficiency, is encouraged to move at his or her own pace.

But for the teachers tasked with implementing this increasingly popular pedagogy, it pretty much sucks. Personalizing a lesson means creating even more work than already time-strapped, under-resourced teachers can handle. It means drafting more lesson plans, digging up more reading materials, and creating more assessments than they would have to if they stuck to the old-fashioned, if imperfect, method of teaching to the middle. The sheer amount of work that personalized education requires of the educator is one reason why so few large and needy public schools haven’t adopted personalized models at the same rate as their better-funded private school counterparts.

It’s also one reason why Jose Ferreira and his company, Knewton, have spent the last seven years working on a way to fix that problem with technology. Today, they’re launching the results of that work: a new, free tool that aims to automate personalized instruction for teachers.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Technology

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