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Archive for January, 2013

Why teachers need to implement Online learning for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

We all know that in a traditional classroom, it is the teachers who control the students and provide them with study materials when required. Gone are those days, today online teaching and learning plays a vital role where students and teachers both participate equally to obtain an enhanced learning experience.

There are many learning institutes coming up, offering different styles and methods of teaching, but we have to be very alert before choosing the best one for our child. PracTutor is one of the education programs, which provides K12 students with an adaptive platform of learning and mastering subjects like Math and English. Some important key features stated below should to be implemented in order modify the methodology of teaching to a more technological and customized online learning.

1) Student Presentation

It has been observed lately that, K-12 classrooms which have executed web-based learning, have observed drastic changes in the performance of students. Together with this, tests are conducted, in order to analyze their understanding abilities. On the basis of these collective results, the teaching style or course can be emphasized to enable the students grasp well. Online learning can play a major role in the overall development of a child.

2) Student Engagement and Achievements

Online learning inspires student’s engagement to a greater extent than ever before. The reason is because students really get a chance to come up with their difficulties to their faculty in real time without long waiting for hours. Also another benefit of online learning is most of the teachers and lecturers have organized online forums and communities to permit their students to join in. Under this forum, every student gets a chance to discuss, resolve their query and also share their learning materials and coursework with other students. In addition to this, teachers are available 24×7 to revert to their queries and clarify their doubts pertaining to a lesson or assessment work.

3) Features for Teachers

With the introduction of customized learning technology in the educational sector, we find changes in the role of teachers as compared to a traditional classroom where, teachers use to play a typical role speaking on a topic, then asking questions to students about the concept, and eventually assigning homework to them for the next day. However, implementing this online customized methodology of learning has brought in a paradigm shift from conventional teacher-based knowledge to meet the educational demands of the learners. Nowadays we find that teachers pressurize students and give more stress on the customization of content to meet the needs of individual students.

Practutor advices you think about Your Needs. Then, Consider Our customized learning Programs.

With PracTutor, we strongly believe student will reach “xPotential”, in other words their innate, personal possibility; therefore it is essential with the growing necessity to change the methodology of learning and teaching in order to guide schools and districts to face the challenges of student success, shortage of resources, and the expectations of 21st century learners.

Take a tour of the product at –http://www.practutor.com/tour
Pre-register using this link – http://www.practutor.com/

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Learning to code: do I need to be good at Math?

Do you regularly use the cool software or play games like ‘Angry birds’ or watch animated movies like ‘Ice age’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Cars’? Do you use Xbox, or Wii or Playstation? Chances are you have done one or more of these things at least once or more times in your life.

All these animated movies, games, consoles have one common thing, Software Code. They all have some kind of programming that runs them. All those cool characters and cars run as they have some geeky code behind them.

Most people fear coding and feel that it is kind of a monster, which needs super intelligent people and excellent Math skills. . Is it really true?

Let’s start with some games. I believe kids learn faster in an entertaining environment.

http://www.ecogiochi.it/giochi-gratis-online/puzzle/magic-pen/

http://www.ebog.com/racing-games/10759/mad-monkey-mike.html

At times, it is actually difficult to explain kids about computer programs or how challenging it is to just make a simple button press work. Expecting huge breakthroughs prior to a particular age is unrealistic. Language like JavaScript is not recommended at a very early stage. Instead, go for Logo. It is simple and powerful educational programming language. It is basically a turtle on a canvas and a command console. You just command the turtle and it follows. It is absolutely attractive to the kids. This would definitely help them get into the language world. Leading to interest in learning other difficult ones.

Scratch is another common programming language downloaded more than a million times. However, I would recommend that for a little older group. As parents, we should understand that every child is different and so is their understand level. Real analytical skills often appear after the age of 11.

Now let us see how important is mathematics in computer programming

Machines do not understand words. Programmers communicate with PCs using numbers. Developing a mathematical understanding of data organization, number sequencing and logic is essential in order to acquire good programming skills.

Recently, I came across a very simple example stating the importance of math in programming. Suppose you go to an ice cream parlor. The owner does not know about the most popular flavors, or if he has in stock your favorite.  He does not understand how many combinations of flavors are possible. You would prefer to try some other outlet. Right!

Now, suppose the owner has a simple computer program that stores all the data. He knows if he has your favorite ice cream in stock. In addition, probably he would order for the same, before the stock finishes. Just to make you happy!! His program can also suggest new combinations for you to try. Doesn’t that sound tempting!! Well, this so very simple thing requires instructions to be given by the programmer. The simplest detail has to be told to the computer, like to count each ice cream order. Permutation and combination are other mathematical concepts that a programmer needs to understand. Calculations are also important in the science of computers. Geometry is used in the development of graphics.

Curious!! We all would like to know how the characters in the movie Cars actually move. Or how do we get to play a video game. Believe me, this is very exciting rather than just sitting and playing such games.

Many such interesting details to follow. Keep an EYE!!!

How to Develop Vocabulary in Students?

When it comes to expressing ourselves, it is the fluency over our language of expression that makes the major difference whether what we are saying is perfectly put across or not. And so as to interact with maximum precision, it’s quintessential that our vocabulary is strong.  Most of us learn the basic words and expressions of our mother tongue simply by listening to the interaction between our elders and – others in our circle. So, from a tender age unknowingly we start collecting the treasure of words in the chest of our memory.

During our student life we are exposed to better set of words and our vocabulary increases further. Even though, a teacher teaches all the students in the same manner, there are very few who really can recall the right word during communication. And when you fail to construct a proper meaningful sentence due to lack of vocabulary, you lose confidence to speak amongst your friends and social circles. If this problem is not tackled at the right time, then it can continue to overshadow your performance all through your career making you take a back step every time its time to confront any issue publicly or in a group.

That is the reason, why, parents and teachers together should find ways of enhancing the vocabulary of students and encourage them to put in more efforts to learn better words through direct or indirect techniques. Reading and writing are the rudimentary steps which can be followed on regular basis to increase the proficiency of a kid in a particular language.

One of the best ways is making the kids read a particular story or a comprehension and make them rewrite the whole thing in their own words. This way you can evaluate how much they have understood through reading and how effectively they can express their knowledge. Organize regular essay or letter writing sessions to inculcate writing habit in the kids right from young age and make them read their written work in front of everyone to build confidence. Regular writing and reading aloud contribute in enhancing the prowess of a kid in that particular language. During these practice sessions a teacher can clearly analyze the drawbacks of the students including their vocabulary strength and accordingly take decisive steps to help them increase their skills.  Stated below are some techniques teachers can follow these are highly effective and remain with the students as a perpetual habit. They also help in contribution to the overall growth of a child. With personal experience, I would surely recommend these steps to be followed by teachers,

  • Ask the students to read a lesson one by one in the class.
  • Tell the students to underline any word which is new to them.
  • Now, ask the students to find the meaning/ synonym of the words and also its antonym as a home-work and advise them to go through the thesaurus for better understanding of its presentation and placement in the sentences and phrases.
  • The next day ask the students to write sentences using the difficult words,  their two synonyms and antonyms.

This way, the students are introduced to new words. If, during each lesson students find at least five difficult words, their vocabulary can be increased by 25, by the time you end teaching the entire lesson.  You can follow the same technique for teaching/ learning all different languages as well.

However, just increasing word knowledge is not enough. Students should also know how the same word can be used differently depending upon sentences. For example, when you say ‘God blessed me’ (here, blessed is used as a verb), while when you say ‘I am the blessed (ble-ssed) one’ (here, blessed is used as a noun).. For proper diction and pronunciation one should take help of audio CDs and teach the kids the basics of phonetics. Only then   he will be able to speak confidently in the public.