These days, it seems that everywhere we look, children are more likely to have an electronic device in their hands than to have a book. Many parents and educators lament the intrusion of technology and digital devices as a distraction. But technology, when used effectively, can act as a great learning tool by students, teachers and tutors. Technology advances beyond the traditional schoolhouse model by advancing integrative learning. The medium also enhances online learning and even offers a broad base of college test prep and tutoring opportunities. Standard teaching methods and test prep for college entrance exams are established as a one size fits all institution, which seems to be failing both students and teachers. Fortunately, online learning and digital technology can increase flexibility in education and offer the opportunity to reform the traditional education model to fit the needs of today’s student.
Parents all know that education is one of the cornerstones of success and one of the most effective opportunities to improving a quality of life by offering upward mobility. But children are individuals, with different temperaments, backgrounds and learning styles. The one-size-fits-all model that is reflected in the United States educational model leaves many students feeling left behind or lost in the shuffle. This article reviews the tools and learning models that are being integrated into the classroom to strengthen the learning capability of every child.
It’s no secret that students are more engaged with technology and more plugged in than any preceding generation. Interactive learning marries technology with education to allow students to be actively engaged with the lessons they are trying to learn. Educational websites and applications allow students to use interactive learning programs to gain strength in critical skills in Math, Science and Reading. Technology can also offer more opportunities for learning and understanding in the everyday classroom. Interactive learning programs can also make learning and homework fun. These are important factors for students who are often overburdened with homework and long school days in the classroom. Interactive Learning is a model that holds the future of education and should be a key factor when school districts and legislators are seeking ideas for reform that works.
Online Learning: The Future is Collaborative
Collaborative learning has become an important module of learning in classrooms. Parents may be surprised at how often their children are engaged in class team projects. But is an important skill to master because many businesses require project collaboration. When students use technology like iPads, interactive SMART Boards, and teleconferencing, to complete their collaborative projects, they are able to work independently on parts of a project, while also learning to collaborate more effectively. As a matter of fact, a study conducted in Canada by SMART Technologies found that educators believed strongly that collaborative learning paired with technological tools like SMART boards in classrooms helped social and emotional development among their students. So if your child struggles with working in groups, it is important to know that with effective teaching practices, engaging software, and collaborative learning opportunities, students can work through solutions while learning from each other. Mastering such skills early on will prove to be a great benefit to children when they reach college age or when entering the workforce.
Online Learning: Technology, Tutoring, Test Prep
Not only do tools like iPads and educational applications open a world of knowledge at the speed of a double click, they also offer flexibility in learning and teaching techniques. However, funding, bureaucracy, and class sizes often limit the capability for schools to fully integrate these tools, or quickly implement changes in the classroom model. In such cases, parents sometimes seek a tutor for their students. Whether your child is a student that is struggling to catch up or you want them to learn effective test prep, tutoring stands as one of the best resources for parents and students. In a nation that has long cried for education reform, tutoring may be one of the most effective solutions in schools. This is backed by a study released in 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which highlighted the benefits of tutoring for struggling students. In this study, a group of high school students learned three years of traditionally taught math skills in eight months with intensive tutoring and counseling. This offers hope to many parents who have students who are struggling in the traditional school model. For parents who are seeking local tutors, tutoring centers offer test prep classes for their child. When geography is a problem, online tutoring websites allow parents to seek help online from qualified professionals, regardless of where they are in the world.
With the challenges presented by the traditional school model, educators are reconsidering the future of learning through the use of technology and even integration of tutors in public schools. Some states, like Texas and Pennsylvania, offer Charter School funding to online schools for students who need alternative education. These programs are often strictly online, but still utilize integrative and collaborative learning models for students. Some education reform advocates have argued that education reform should include tutoring in public schools. There are currently no federal tax deductibles for tutoring unless you have a student who receives special education. Such reform would benefit students and ease the financial burden of those parents who currently pay for tutoring out of pocket. States may not have the capability of placing tutors for individuals in public schools, but they do allow parents to apply state tax deduction to offset the cost of tutoring. For example, the Indiana Department of Revenue allows a $1000 deduction per dependent toward private and homeschooling expenses, which includes tutoring. In the future, other states could adopt similar deductions to include online tutoring programs.
The truth is that traditional educational model shave long been in need of reform. But more than any other time in history, parents and students have choices that are not limited to geography thanks to technology. Additionally, classroom teachers are finding that digital tools like tablets and SMART boards are increasing their capability to reach students better than rote learning and lecturing alone. Interactive learning and collaborative learning are becoming mainstream staples in primary schools as well as higher learning, and it is in the best interest of the student and the public school systems to have such tools available for the upward mobility and the individual’s future success.
ActivTable Changes The Way Curriculum is Delivered [Online] / auth. Promethean World. – https://www.prometheanworld.com/perspectives/activtable-changes-the-way-the-curriculum-is-delivered.
Back To School: Deducting Tutors & Special Education [Online] / auth. Erb Kelly Phillips // Forbes . – Forbes.com, 09 09, 2013. – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/09/09/back-to-school-deducting-tutors-special-education/#7b58d12b1d35.
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Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students By MOTOKO RICHJAN. 26, 2014 Continue reading the main storyShare This Page Share Tweet Email More [Online] / auth. Rich Mokoto // New Tork TImes Online / prod. Times New York. – 01 27, 2014. – https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/education/intensive-tutoring-and-counseling-found-to-help-struggling-teenagers.html.
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