Category Archives: Guest Contributors

Book Creator – the simple way to create beautiful ebooks

We appreciate this guest post from Book Creator. We think it is a great app and deserves consideration in any technology toolbox. We are beginning to explore templates for Book Creator and invite you to check out the product listed at the end of the post.


You may already be convinced about the potential for using educational ebooks in your classroom. But have you thought about actually creating the textbooks yourself?

Book Creator is a super-simple app for combining text, images, audio and video into an ebook that can be shared across the classroom and beyond.

Create meaningful ebooks that your class can relate to

For teachers, this means you can tailor your ebooks to the level of the class, or even to each student. This is what Math teacher Cathy Yenca did with her 7th grade students.

Example of math books from Cathy Yenca

Teachers could create templates for their students covering any topic – vocabulary notebooks, informational research, music books – you name it. Book Creator books are easy to create, and simple to share – you can export the books as ePub, PDF or video. Use a cloud app like Google Drive or Dropbox and you have the power to create a classroom resource library that everyone can access with ease.

Turn your students into published authors

Students often have a greater level of motivation when they know they are producing work for an audience beyond their classroom. Book Creator is so simple to use that the app gets out of the way and allows for creativity to take precedence!

Here’s some ideas to try with your students:

And when you’re done, why not publish the book to Apple’s iBooks Store and turn your students into published authors?

Example of ebooks published with Book Creator

Half price for schools

Book Creator for iPad a best-selling app on the App Store, with over 25 million ebooks made with the app worldwide. What’s more if you don’t have an iPad, there will soon be a cross-platform web version of Book Creator available.

Find out more about Book Creator at bookcreator.com/education


Please click here to see our first Book Creator template.

Seesaw – A Student Driven Portfolio Tool

From time to time we like to highlight interesting opportunities outside the ebook world. We are going to do that today by looking at Seesaw.

Seesaw is a student driven digital portfolio and parent communication tool.

For Students: Seesaw empowers students to independently document their learning and provides an authentic audience for their work—their peers, parents, or the world. With built-in content creation tools, like photos, videos, drawings, voice recordings, text notes, PDFs, links and integrations with 1000s of other apps, students can demonstrate their learning in the way that works best for them.

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For Families: Seesaw gives parents an immediate and personalized window into their child’s school day, helping to answer: “What did you do at school today?”. Through the Seesaw parent app and website, parents can view their child’s work, leave comments, and really understand how their child is progressing. Seesaw also provides automatic notifications for parents about new work for their child – so they can stay in the loop wherever they are!

seesaw-parent

For Teachers: Seesaw saves teachers time on organization and parent communication, makes formative assessment easy, and provides a safe place to teach 21st Century skills. In a 2015 survey of teachers who used Seesaw actively in their classroom, 92% report an increase in parent involvement and engagement since using Seesaw.

seesaw-teacher

Click here to get more information about Seesaw!

Engaging Students and Technology

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This guest post is from April Requard, a technology integration specialist in Albuquerque, NM. She has great ideas on including students in the process of implementing technology in schools. We appreciate her allowing us to include this post in our blog.

The Student Has Become the Teacher: Technology in the Hands of the Powerful. This was the title for my TEDxABQ Education talk on empowering teachers to champion the idea of creating student-led technology teams at their schools. Our students are our greatest resource.  Their help, ideas, and vision can help create lasting change within the walls of our schools…all we have to do is empower them with the tools to help lead the change alongside the educators in our schools. The theme of the TEDxABQ Event was all about Equity in Education…I can’t think of a better way to provide equity than by giving students a front row seat at the table!

Click here to watch my TED Talk! I was so blessed to bring along 7 of my fabulous students to speak about how being on our SWAT Team has impacted them! These students inspire me and are a sweet reminder of all things that are good in education! This experience was one that I know these kiddos will never forget and I am so lucky to be one of their teachers.

My tech team is called the SWAT Team (Students Working to Advance Technology). This group truly became my teammates as we worked together to create published work, inspire teachers, lead others towards learning how to integrate technology into their classrooms, reach out to the community, and create change within our school and district.

I’ve previously written about how I choose the members of my SWAT Team, the application process, and the general goals of the group. Click here to view this post.

Hopefully, the TED Talk and the ideas presented by my students inspire you to begin thinking about how you can involve your students in changing the technology integration climate at your school!

Beginnings: Back to School

From the Vault:  Beginnings: Back to School, a student’s point of view

monika_postDear Readers,

Introductions are complex proceedings, and I tend to bumble them – so allow me to merely introduce myself with three pertinent facts:
1) My name is: “Student in training”
2) I have this dream of finally wearing a pair of glasses (my eye doctor tells me I still have 20/20 vision, much to my everlasting sadness), and teaching students the intricacies of creative writing.
3) I am soon to be a university student with a major in creative writing – and I start school in about a 3 weeks. (Cue the physical and emotional panic!)

The best and worst of times
Ever since I was old enough to independently make my way to a school door, laden with a sturdy green backpack, my emotions toward the advent of a new school year have been turbulent, to say the least. Young and old incarnations of myself have always experienced severe mood swings in regards to the first day of school, and inevitably, on that illustrious day, I run the entire gamut of human emotion.

“I am terrified. I am hopeful, ecstatic! I feel mired in quicksand. I am a positive individual!”

Slightly older, dubiously wiser
This year marks my entry into a brand-new educational program. I like to think that I may have reached that mature stage of life where I will be able to forgo any anxieties I may have – but if I’m to capsulate my emotions right now, frankly, I would have to say I’m a jitterbug of nerves.

To put it quite simplistically, the first day of school represents a fresh beginning. As any new beginning can attest to, there is always a great deal of uncertainty when we’re on the cusp of new territory, and human nature dictates that uncertainty is followed by an understandable amount of worry.

At the risk of veering into philosophical sentimentality, it is worthwhile to point out (to my petrified inner child) that new beginnings are fundamental to our existence, to ensure our lives do not merely devolve into regression. And isn’t it an intriguing quirk of life that we are given this chance to start anew every fall for almost the entire first fifth of our life? For educators of course, this is a life reality – one they handle with a confidence and grace I can only hope to vaguely emulate one day.

Here’s to you, Educators.
With this new school year, a whole host of students, including myself, look forward to meeting teachers who will undoubtedly encourage our dreams, nurture our burgeoning interests, and help us reach goals that once seemed unattainable. To the educators who will meet a brand-new set of faces this coming school year – I raise my cup of coffee to you in complete admiration and gratitude. Thank you!

So as I sharpen my pencils (old habit!) and contemplate the visage of an abominably clean backpack (an optical illusion?), I want to wish you, whether you be a student or an educator, a fantastic beginning to your school year. May your first days be filled to the brim with cheerful introductions and hopeful grins.

Visit a Literary Landscape

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I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have travelled a fair amount since my mid-teens, and this has led me to a number of “literary landscapes” – destinations that either inspired an author in his or her creation of a setting or, in some cases, destinations created by tourist agencies to reflect the author’s vision (which, while money-grubbing, can be equally magical).

Here are a few of my favorite “literary landscapes” and a couple of resources to help you introduce these settings to your students. (A smidge of travel advice slipped in as well.) Continue reading Visit a Literary Landscape

Recommended Summer Read: The View from Saturday

viewfromsaturdayI have a well-honed love for children’s literature. Due to a rather hectic work schedule, my reading time has a tendency to be compressed into a tiny skillet of 37 minutes before bedtime. Reading a book marketed for kids, generally a compact piece of writing, always makes for a satisfying end to my day. Children’s novels have a way of reminding you of the absolute joy of youth and how those years greatly shaped your perspective on life. And, inevitably, they have me reaching for tissues and rampant nostalgia.

I’ve had a copy of The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg for many years now, but have never given myself a chance to read it. Having received it for a long-ago birthday, I regrettably shelved it a week later and promptly forgot about its existence.

But after returning home for Christmas, I was rifling through my bookshelves in a sad attempt to clean my room (still on the to-do list), and came across my pristine copy of E.L. Konigsburg’s masterpiece – the cover still a freshly pressed robin-egg-blue, four cups of lemon tea still pictured on the front, a shiny Newbery Medal medallion still prominently featured.

I flipped to the back cover and read the following:

“Their victory was so profound that the sixth-grade math teacher, Mrs. Sharkey, confided to the music teacher, Ms. Masolino, that for the first time in the history of Epiphany Middle School there was a chance-just a possibility, mind you-that a sixth-grade team might beat the seventh grade.”

The charm was immediate. The book screamed, I’m a piece of art. Choose me. Read me. Love me.

Always being one to listen to the pleas of inanimate objects, I dropped the book into my backpack for my flight back.

Am I ever glad I did.


The View from Saturday centers around five characters – a sixth-grade teacher and her four students (dubbed “The Souls”), who eventually go on to compete in the Academic Bowl, a state championship typically won by eighth-grade students. Konigsburg’s novel is doled out in flashbacks from the four students, their separate narratives interspersed with the team’s journey to the final championship round of the Academic Bowl.

Here’s a sketching of our characters:

  • Mrs. Olinski: A sixth-grade teacher at Epiphany Middle School, still recovering emotionally from an automobile accident that left her widowed and in a wheelchair. She is responsible for selecting the four students for her team in the Academic Bowl.
  • “The Souls” (who each narrate their own chapter)
    • Noah Gershom (Noah Writes a B & B Letter): Intelligent, confident, and incredibly fond of calligraphy. A natural leader who ends up playing an important role at a wedding.
    • Nadia Diamondstein (Nadia Tells of Turtle Love): Still reeling from her parent’s divorce and feeling a keen sense of abandonment. Also the red-headed owner of Ginger, a clever mixed-breed canine. (Bonus: Baby sea turtles figure into Nadia’s storyline in the best way possible.)
    • Ethan Potter (Ethan Explains the B and B Inn): A lonely boy who dreams of working in a New York theatre and has a sense for a good joke. Often suffers relentless comparisons to his older brother.
    • Julian Singh (Julian Narrates When Ginger Played Annie’s Sandy): A brand-new student at Epiphany whose parents have recently opened a bed and breakfast inn. Has a refined British accent and is often teased, but is always composed and tender-hearted. Also has the “chops” for magic.

Writing one character with a distinct voice is difficult enough. Writing five nuanced characters, and giving each ample time to develop a strong narrative, is more than a challenge – it’s Mount Everest without oxygen.

Konigsburg knocks it out of the park.

Each character is forced to undergo their own transformative process, to face the demons of their past and emerge stronger. The View from Saturday is extraordinary because it is not simply the tale of one character’s self-discovery – it is the intricate and seamlessly woven story of five individuals learning about the strengthening power of friendship.

It’s not the easiest story to read. While being marketed for children ages 8 and up, the complexity and layered texture of the story would probably be best grasped by students grades 6 and up. But for a keen young reader, this novel is more than worth the time and effort. A balanced puzzle of stories, Konigsburg has crafted a novel that begs to be read again and again and again.

And that’s no small feat.

It took me over seven years to finally get my act together, and read The View from Saturday. If you have yet to read Konigsburg’s novel, please do not make my youthful mistake. Learn from my tale of woe. Pick up a copy today – tomorrow! This week. And enjoy.

I promise – it’ll be worth your time.


Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 5.55.13 PMDedicatedTeacher.com sells literature guides for The View from Saturday, click here to see what’s available


Monika_avatarThis Recommended Read is brought to you by Monika Davies.  Monika is a university graduate who studied the art of creative writing and heralds from a family of educators. She writes many of our Recommended Reads and hopes to one day teach creative writing. Despite having traveled to 16 different countries, she remains geographically challenged and still lacks the ability to make heads or tails of a map (much to her mother’s dismay).

 

 

Long Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

TheVault

maxresdefaultYou would have to live on another planet, in another galaxy to not have noticed all the hype regarding the latest release in the Star Wars franchise, ‘The Force Awakens’. The long awaited continuation of the long beloved series of movies brought to us by Disney.  I, and many of my children are avid fans of the series and were very excited to see the story continued. Now that much of the hype is finally calming down a bit, I thought it would be fun do dig into the vault for an article that was first shared by our founder, Kevin Davies.  This article was first published in November 2012.

In this article, Kevin speaks about the opportunity he had to visit the “Star Wars Identities” exhibit when it came to his local area.

*some information has been updated to fit with current times and numbers.


 

Long Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

by Kevin Davies | November 2012
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When we think of Star Wars, many things come to mind:

a) a collection of seven films released over a 39 year period; b) a franchise that included much more than movies (books, action figures, games, fan clubs, etc.); or
c) the movie that launched George Lucas and Lucasfilm – purchased by Disney for over $4 billion.

I have never been a huge Star Wars fan but have enjoyed the movies over the years. (And yes – I am old enough to have seen the first movie when it was first released in 1977…) So when it was announced that the “Star Wars Identities” exhibit was coming to our city, I didn’t pay it much attention. But our youngest daughter did…

Kristen has been a HUGE Star Wars fan for many years – literally wearing out our VHS versions of Episodes 4-6 (which were then replaced by DVD versions). Needless to say, Kristen was keen to attend the “Star Wars Identities” and so we blocked out a day when we could go. I thought that I would simply go along, and “endure” the time at the exhibit with the bonus being a day of uninterrupted quality time with Kristen. A treat for me as a dad.

We ended up spending three hours in the exhibit and likely could have spent longer – it was that good; equal parts educational and entertaining.

The marketing lines for the exhibit are “What forces shape you? Get to know the characters of Star Wars on a whole new level.” As you enter the exhibit, you are given an interactive armband. As you move through the exhibit, the armband tracks your choices/answers to ten questions. From these answers your “character” is determined – as it relates to the Star Wars characters, of course.

While the character building activity was rather unique and fun, what really interested me were the various insights into George Lucas and his development of the movies and the main characters. Who would have known that Luke was originally to be female; as plans evolved for the first movie this changed into twins.

The exhibit provided us with amazing detail from Lucas in regards to character development. One example that was very telling was the character of Yoda. While the concept of the “wise master” didn’t waver, the sketches from Lucas of the form of the character evolved magnificently. The end result – the wizened little green creature with big ears – was nothing like the first “version” which had a striking resemblance to Santa Claus or one of the seven dwarfs from Snow White!

The artifacts in the exhibit themselves were also amazing. Three that really stood out: a “life size” pod racer; costumes worn by various actors in the moves; and a huge collection of the “models” for various spacecraft that were used in the first three movies. Again, we were very impressed by the attention to detail that went into all of these items – but especially the spacecraft. The intricate nature of their construction made it obvious as to why they looked so lifelike onscreen.

There was also much shared (both in written and audio tracks throughout the exhibit) into the similarities between various characters and life altering events that shaped their character development. Two examples were intriguing:

1. The different reactions – and life altering decisions – that were faced by: a) Anakin (a.k.a. Darth Vader) after the death of his mother; and b) Luke after the death of his aunt and uncle – his adopted parents. While Anakin developed an inherent fear of losing someone close to him (which eventually led to his move to “the dark side”), Luke chose instead to channel his grief into the pursuit of justice and “good”.

2. Parenting styles between Anakin’s mother and Luke’s adoptive parents were also explored. Luke’s parents were very strict and regimented; the exhibit maintained that this led to Luke following orders and instructions carefully in his later life. Conversely, Anakin’s mother left many large decisions to him – of note when he is asked (at a very young age) if he wants to leave her to become a Jedi. It was suggested that making his own decisions from a young age contributed to Anakin’s rebellious nature to authority figures later in life.

I came away from the exhibit with a heightened respect for George Lucas and his creative genius. His attention to detail, character growth, and plot development is truly remarkable. And admittedly, most of this had escaped me when I first enjoyed the films; I was too mesmerized by the special effects and the gratuitous violence!

My only complaint was the fact that according to my answers to the 10 character questions, I was closest to Chewbacca; I always fancied myself as more the Han Solo type.

I will now spend the weekend re-watching all of the Star Wars movies – this time through a “different lens.” May the force be with you…


 

kevin_blogKevin, the founder of DedicatedTeacher.com.  Kevin was a teacher for 12 years and an administrator for 11 of those 12 years. He then spent 11 years working for Apple in staff development, before delving into the world of eBooks. One of the first to grapple with the idea and possibilities of eBooks (and their educational value), he was the main man behind  Dedicated Teacher from 2000-2013.  –Kevin cooks a mean pork chop and has a particular affinity for the Criminal Minds television series.

100th day, ways to celebrate!

Hundreds of Ways to Celebrate the 100 Days of School: Ideas for K & 1st Grade

Article reposted with permission by Evan Moor Educational Publishing, written by Theresa Wooler posted on their blog The Joy of Teaching


blog-100-days-image-1Reaching the 100th day of school is a reason to celebrate and provides a springboard for learning! This blog post features more than 100 ideas through printable lessons, blog links, and favorite Pinterest boards.

Evan-Moor printable activities for the 100 days of school: (all downloads available directly from Evan-Moor)

emc2415iEveryday Literacy: Listening & Speaking 

Printable: Grade K: The 100th Day of School activities

This unit’s theme is “celebrating 100 days of school” and includes a read-aloud story, vocabulary, listening/speaking skills, comprehension (finish a picture), listen for short vowel sounds, and more.

Additional grades available in this title series

emc3014iBasic Math Skills

Printable: Grades K–1: Count by 5s to 100

Celebrate 100 days of school with counting fun! This math unit presents five activities in which students count by 5s to 100 (by connecting dots, following a path, filling in numbers on a grid, and others).

Additional grades available in this title series

emc3391iCritical and Creative Thinking Activities

Printable: Grade 1: 100 Days of School thinking skills

This unit includes a variety of activities, such as filling in missing numbers, making 100 into a face, answering questions about cost, identifying vowels and consonants, and more.

Additional grades available in this title series

emc0778iHow to Make Books with Children

Printable: Grade 1+: Brown Bag Math Book

This project can be adapted for many grade levels and includes a writing template, picture patterns, and directions for how a class could make a math book by creating sets of 10 or 100.

Additional grades available in this title series

*All printables are excerpts from above titles.

Other resources and ideas:

From Howywood Kindergarten blog

  • “When I’m 100 years old” activities: Here’s an adorable idea using brown paper bags and construction paper from the Howywood Kindergarten blog. Students can create self-portraits of what they would look like at 100 years old or dress up as if they were 100 years old.
  • Counting fun: This blog is chockfull of ideas for incorporating math into 100th-day-of-school celebrations. Be sure to see the links for creative ideas for classrooms and schools to bring math into 100 days celebrations.
  • Arts and crafts: This post provides a collection of 75 clever ideas to celebrate 100 days of school, including a 100 days of school crown, photo ideas, and other crafts.
  • Read-alouds: Here are suggested books for 100 days of school by Apples 4 the Teacher and 10 picture books about 100 to help young children count from one to 100. Suggested books include I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words, From One to One Hundred, and One Watermelon Seed.
  • Get active: As individuals or teams, students can complete 100 jumping jacks or other exercise, bounce a ball 100 times, or run 100 laps (in a relay).
  • Build something: Students count 100 items and build a structure out of Legos, cups, blocks, or popsicle sticks. The possibilities are endless!

Evan-Moor’s Pinterest board includes dice games, crafts, and favorite read-alouds for 100 days of school: 100th Day Activities—Our Favorite Pins.

Please share your favorite ideas in the comments section or connect with Evan Moor on Facebook and Twitter. Look for #100DaysofSchool.


Theresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer and homeschool educator, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.


Dedicated Teacher wishes to thank Theresa Wooler and Evan Moor Publishing for allowing us to share this article with you!

The Case for Keeping Handwriting Practice in Our Schools

provided by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
written by: Theresa Wooler

handwriting-blogIs handwriting here to stay? With our increased use of technology and day-to-day texting, typing, and tweeting, it’s no surprise that handwriting is suffering and may seem like a “lost art.” I see it in my own deteriorating handwriting and my children’s hybrid mix of print and cursive writing.

However, the scientific and psychological research supporting handwriting provides evidence that handwriting should be an integral part of the curriculum from preschool through high school.

Of the many reasons to keep handwriting instruction, here are two that I find most interesting:

1. Learning to write by hand is connected to reading acquisition–while typing and even tracing are not.

Research shows that teaching young children to write letters activates part of the brain that becomes crucial to reading. The act of shaping and forming letters develops successful phonological processing in early emergent readers and writers:

“The emerging consensus is that the motor experience of manually creating letterforms helps children discriminate the essential properties of each letter, which leads to more accurate representations, bolstering both skilled letter recognition and later reading fluency.” For more information see this article: “Neuroimaging correlates of handwriting quality as children learn to read and write.”

Another study, “The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children,” compared the differences between handwriting and typing for children 3 to 5 years old. The results showed that handwriting training contributed to the visual recognition of letters more effectively than typing training, among the older children in the test group.

2. Handwriting helps the brain process information.

Taking notes by hand has proven to help students better absorb and retain information in comparison to typing on a keyboard. In a white paper from the educational summit, Handwriting in the 21st Century?, Dr. Virginia Berninger of the University of Washington reported that “after studying students in Grades 2, 4, and 6, those who used handwriting wrote more words, wrote words faster, and expressed more ideas than those who used keyboarding.”

In recent studies by two psychologists, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA, college students who took notes by hand performed better than those who took notes on a laptop:

“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”

How to Keep Handwriting Alive

In her commentary entitled “Educating Students in the Computer Age to Be Multilingual By Hand,” Dr. Virginia Berninger offers this strategy to incorporate handwriting in the busy school day: “One effective, research-supported strategy is to teach handwriting at the beginning of lessons as “warm-up,” just as athletes do warm-up exercises before a game and musicians do warm-up exercises before a concert. The warm-up is then followed by spelling and composing instructional activities. Handwriting instruction does not have to take up valuable time for meeting other Common Core standards.”

dhp-book-cover2If you’re looking to improve your own handwriting (like I am!) or add handwriting instruction to your lesson plan, Evan-Moor’s Daily Handwriting Practice is a solution. Daily exercises in small doses help to practice and improve handwriting skills.

Handwriting, printing, and keyboarding all have their place in school and in preparing students for college and careers in the 21st Century. After all, Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was a talented calligrapher!

Evan-Moor Educational Publishers has over 200 product specifically geared toward helping your students improve their handwriting skills.  Be sure to check out all their resources on this topic.

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Evan-Moor Contributing Writer:
Theresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.

Special thanks to Evan-Moor and Theresa Wooler for giving us permission to share this educational article with DedicatedTeacher.com.  See this article on Evan-Moor’s blog here.

Online Learning – Changing Our View of Schooling

by Guest Contributor, Dr. Martha Angulo, President Knowledge Headquarters, Inc*.

Dr. Martha Angulo (Ph.D. Education Administration) is an educator experienced as a teacher, principal, and superintendent.  She has held positions in inner city schools, rural and suburban districts and has worked with Early Childhood  through post graduate university students.  Dr. Angulo holds degrees in Special Education, Elementary Education and Educational Administration. She has been recognized for her excellence in education by universities and administrative organizations.  Dr. Angulo founded Knowledge Headquarters, Inc. The company is dedicated to enhancing education using the opportunities provided by technology. It develops and markets K-12 internet education content, enabling tools and communication products created to establish a superior learning experience.


Online Learning- DedicatedTeacher.com

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 8.53.51 PMhe other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.

I had to agree with my friend, that we most often use our own schooling as a standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children would, and should, be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, children today begin school having access to more information than their parents had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. This provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student.

This need to assimilate so much information makes the teaching learning process even more challenging. The Internet offers the opportunity for students to work at their own level, at their own pace, on topics that are of personal interest. Our work is a continuing effort to assist those we serve to understand and adapt their instructional programs by offering choices for personal learning.

Web-based, online learning gives students a unique opportunity to explore learning and gain knowledge at their own level. Online learning offers a way to stay ahead of the information tide of an expanding knowledge base. Students do not need to be time bound by their learning program. Online learning can offer real-time learning in a vast number of subjects and topics for individual instruction. The best online learning programs will provide students and parents the flexibility necessary for true knowledge to take place. We know that what we learned in school is not enough for the future of our children. We have a responsibility to provide programs that offer skills and tools the students can use to ensure a successful future.

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In this regard home schooling is reinventing the idea of school. The integration of knowledge is a personal process, rather than a social process. By viewing school not so much as a place, but the act of learning, those who home school have forced us to look at a new paradigm for schooling. These parents recognize that acquiring knowledge does not need to be a group activity but is often more effective as an individual activity. They know that how they learned is not the best method of learning for their children. Home schooling parents use varied approaches in teaching their children. Many have added online curricular programs to provide a new avenue of learning for their children.

How we learned and what we learned are not adequate measures of education for our children today. When I hear about educators who continue to teach the way they have for many years, it concerns me. The tried and true paradigms of the past, that served us well, that prepared our youngsters for a successful future, are not adequate today. We all have to try harder to challenge our own methods of educating and of evaluating schooling.


e-Tutor Virtual Learning www.etutor.com
Boulder, Colorado

*Knowledge HQ created its premier education product, eTutor, in 1997 and continues to innovate in the educational field every day. eTutor is an internet- driven curriculum created by educators nationwide for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies and can be accessed by homeschoolers anywhere in the world..