How Studying Abroad Changes Your Life in More Ways Than You’d Think

studying abroad

Ask any middle-aged or elderly adult about one thing they wish they’d made more time for, and they’ll undoubtedly wish they had traveled more. High-school and college-aged students are at the perfect time in their lives to travel because they usually don’t have any moral or financial obligations that require them to stay in one place, like children, spouses, and mortgage and student loan payments. While becoming a foreign exchange student at a young age may seem scary, it’ll give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a brand-new culture, which will benefit you for years to come. Read on to find out how you can get scholarships to study abroad, learn new languages, and how your only regret will be that you didn’t go sooner.

Studying abroad offers the ideal environment for learning a new language.

study abroad_language

Even if you’ve taken a foreign language class in school, it’s not very likely that you’ll practice outside of class because you don’t need to successfully navigate your environment. When studying abroad, especially in European countries that don’t have one official language, you’ll have to constantly practice your language skills, which will ensure maximum fluency and retention. You may feel overwhelmed when you first arrive, but luckily there are apps like DuoLingo that can help you make your way around your new city.

Becoming bilingual can better your brainpower.

It’s long been known that young children can benefit from learning a new language as early as possible, but people of any age will notice a difference in their memory and focus from extensive language practice. Studies have proven that becoming bilingual helps to increase concentration and ignore distractions when focusing on a task. These are skills that you can apply to your life both in and out of the classroom.

Your memories will last a lifetime – literally!study abroad_memoryIn addition to helping you perfect your concentration skills while taking a test or completing a project, research has also indicated that people who learn a new language are less likely to be diagnosed with debilitating memory diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. You’ll not only bring home incredible stories and photographs from your time abroad, but remember them for years to come, too.

To learn more about how you can study abroad, talk to your school’s guidance counselor, study abroad office, or visit StudyAbroad.com.

Best Brain Food: How to Eat Your Way to Better Focus and Memory

best brain food

One of the most highly publicized trademarks of new college students is the dread “freshman15” phenomenon; in the course of their newfound freedom and lack of funds, freshmen end up subsisting off of as many $1 slices of pizza, Cups ‘O” Noodles, and vending machine snacks that they can get their hands on. Although delicious, and easy to find,  greasy and processed foods can damage your metabolism in the long-term and hinder your ability to focus in class and in the library. According to a study done by the University of California, Davis, the following best brain food can boost your memory and energy without filling out your waistline.

Best Brain Food #1: Blueberries

best brain food_blueberryBlueberries have long been known to harbor key antioxidants and vitamins, but new research has found that a cup of the little guys a day can protect your brain from short-term memory loss, and assist your brain in the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the long-term. Fresh blueberries can be found in almost any grocery store or supermarket, and you can put them in your morning cereal or smoothie, salads, or just by the handful.

Best Brain Food #2: Nuts like Almonds and Walnuts

best brain food_nutsWhile high in calories, certain nuts are also high in good fats and vitamin E, which has long been known to help keep your brain in tiptop working condition. Like blueberries, they can also prevent dementia and other long-term memory loss diseases. Pack a bag of walnuts or almonds for a studying snack or in your breakfast before a big test, and avoid unwanted fats and sugars by choosing nuts that are unsalted or flavor-free.

Best Brain Food #3: Whole Grain Bread, Rice, and Pasta

best brain food_whole grainMaking the switch from white to whole grain products will boost your energy so you can stay full and focused on a marathon study session or back-to-back final exams. Whole grain products have been the favorites of athletes for the same reasons: they provide constant energy needed to keep your eyes on your goals. Make sure you read the labels when buying your bread, rice, and pasta; just because it says “wheat”, or even “whole wheat” does not guarantee it’s been made with whole grains.

Fit, Not Famous: Why Harvard may not be the Best Choice for College

college rankings_how to pick a college

Every child faces the same crushing dilemma: what college should I go to? Harvard is usually listed as among the top colleges of the USA, and anyone who loves a “best ever” list will spend time drooling over the college rankings splattered all over the internet.

But, really, before you send off the non-refundable application fees, ask yourself what college is right for me.

How to pick a college isn’t easy. After all, not only does it cost a lot (an average of $33,420 for a private college for the 2016-2017) and horror stories of students saddled with debt abound, but the costs have only been climbing for the past twenty years. College is an investment in your future. Your networking. Your career. Your retirement. Some websites offer a college match quiz as if you were looking for a four-year date.

But the best judge of a college isn’t a quiz algorithm, it’s you. Finding a college that fits your personality doesn’t mean packing your bags and heading off to meet the Pilgrim. It doesn’t mean juggling “best values schools” versus “A-Plus Schools for B Students” or the “Top Public Schools.” What it does mean is taking an honest look at yourself, your values, and your goals. Polish your strengths, patch up your weaknesses and put your best foot forward in an honest direction.

college rankings_havard

If your hobby is surfing, and you managed to hang ten while scoring a high SAT, Harvard probably isn’t the place for you.

If your dream is to have a vineyard and mix fine wines, Harvard probably isn’t for you.

If you want to turn your comic book collection into a serious field of study, Harvard probably isn’t the place for you.

If you have a fondness for gunsmithing and have a tommy gun and brown bess stashed under your bed, Harvard probably isn’t the place for you.

college rankings_fit not famous

College isn’t just a giant study hall—although it can be if that’s your thing—it’s also a place to hang, to make life-long connections, and to explore the world around you. A “good fit” means finding the right vibe; Harvard’s most popular course, Computer Science 50, has over 800 students enrolled in it, while an intro to Economics has 711. These courses are super awesome, no doubt, but if you’re the type who can’t stand being a face in a crowd, then these intro classes might not be your cup of veritas. If you want a hip school with a modern vibe and find old brick buildings reeking of tradition a bit stuffy, Harvard probably won’t set your groove on fire.

But wait! All this makes a perfect amount of sense, you say, but what about the money? I want a six-figure salary when I graduate. Sure, who doesn’t? But what you get out of college depends on what you put into it. Just like high school—but more. Harvard (and any school, really) produced its share of bums, criminals, and jail birds. When weighting fit vs. fame, isn’t it better to find a school that you can call home?

So, if not the Top Ten, then where? How to decide? There are 7,236 post-secondary schools in the U.S. Don’t go through them one at a time, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

college rankings_college in america

Man can’t fly, but the sky’s the limit if you prepare. Knowing where your passions lie is great, but addressing your weaknesses will also open more doors—just in case that Mortuary Studies major requires a bit more in writing or math skills than you thought. Take a remedial task or seek out a tutor. Taking some time out to turn those weaknesses into strengths might take you away from what you really want to do in life. But when it comes to building up you and your future, that’s an investment worth making.

Best Time Management Tips for College Students|StudyGate

time management for college students

One of the most exciting prospects for upcoming college freshmen is the freedom to plan their own schedules. The days of sitting in high school classes for 8 hours and being forced to do your homework the second you get home from school are long over, but too many college students still find themselves cramming for exams three hours beforehand, or falling asleep over their study guides in the library. The secret is having killer study time management for college students; a true master will have time to study, go to the gym, binge-watch Netflix with friends, and still get their recommended 8 hours a night. Check out these tips to get the most out of your day without wasting a second.

Time Management Tip 1: Prioritize

time management for college students_prioritizeAs a college student, your number one priority should always be your academics. College is not free like high school, nor is anyone forcing you to attend; if you chose to pay for and pursue higher education, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t put your full effort into your classes. Take time to complete your homework fully as soon as you get it, and write out notes gradually as the semester goes on; cramming is long known to be more stressful than effective, and it will definitely take time out of your required sleep schedule.

Time Management Tip 2: Remember That You’re not a Robot

Academics should be your first priority, but they shouldn’t be your entire life. College is also meant to grow students socially and emotionally, so after you’ve finished your homework, incorporate activities into your routine that you enjoy, or introduce you to people you’ve never met before. You’re not a machine wired to churn out study guides for hours a day without rest; you have to give yourself room to develop every side of you. You’ll often find that you’ll learn as much as you do from the library from getting outside of your comfort zone and growing as a person.

Time Management Tip 3: Forgive Yourself

time management for college students_forgive yourselfNo one knows your body and mind like you do, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to deviate from your usual schedule to practice some self-love. If you’ve studied for hours every night this week, get some extra Z’s and sleep on Saturday morning. If soccer practice has worn your body out this season, take a day or two off to be lazy and eat some junk food. There’s an exception to every rule, so don’t beat yourself up for straying from the path once in a blue moon.

College is often so different from anything you’ve ever experienced that it’s difficult to not get caught up in all its facets all at once. Not every day will go exactly as you plan, but if you create good habits for yourself that allow you to dedicate a few hours to academics and socializing a day, you’ll be well-prepared and well-rested enough for anything that comes your way.

For more study tips and tricks, keep browsing the study helper Studygate online learning resource.

Effective Study Tips: Teddy Roosevelt’s Guide to Academic Productivity

study tips_academic productivity

“I never won anything without hard labor and the exercise of my best judgment and careful planning and working long in advance. I had to train myself painfully and laboriously not merely as regards my body but as regards my soul and spirit.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1913.

Often it is not how much you study but how you study that matters. The best way to study is not the most time consuming but the most effective. Strategic learning, or deep work, can boost productivity so that much more can be accomplished in a shorter time frame. Theodore Roosevelt was, of course, America’s 26th President. Yet he was also an author of forty books, a sportsman, naturalist, soldier, and even a New York City police commissioner. Learning how to be productive was the key to his success. As Edmond Morris wrote in Time, “T.R.’s mental processor moved so fast as to fuse thought and action.” Despite all of his achievements, he was still able to have ample free time while simultaneously developing and producing as an intellectual and leader. A great amount of work can be actualized with the right kind of focused determination. A brief overview of Teddy Roosevelt’s study tips and techniques may help you on your own academic journey.

Study on a fixed-time schedule.

Roosevelt was a man of action, with a wide range of personal interests and activities. In college, he spent a great amount of time sporting and socializing. He also read voraciously on other topics of personal interest. As he became a political leader, he delivered speeches, attended meetings, and met many other obligations. Yet his personal diaries and letters show that he would block out time during each day for certain intellectual tasks.

Work only on high-priority tasks.

Identify what tasks are more important than others. Clarify what needs to be done first and focus your energy on those. Do not obsess about next week’s term paper when the algebra test is tomorrow morning. Recognize that some priorities must be realized first. Others can wait.

Focus on one task at hand. 

Because you are working within the parameters of a fragmented time schedule, it is imperative that you focus all of your effort and energy on your work. Do not take a break or check your Facebook status. Do not fidget with your phone or stop to take a snack break. Do not multi-task. Give it all of your mental energy now, and remain in the moment through the duration of this time period.

Set a specific goal, or solve a problem.study tips_set a goalDetermine a goal, whether this is solving a problem, writing a certain number of words, or reading a number of chapters. Do not go into a study session without having something clear to accomplish. Setting a specific short-term goal will motivate you and allow for a sense of accomplishment.

Create a deadline for “Roosevelt Dashes”

Cal Newport notes that “Roosevelt dashes” were short periods in which artificial deadlines helped Roosevelt to systematically increase achievement. Newport calls such dashes “interval training for the attention centers of your brain.” The idea is to exert your mental faculties to the max in short intervals. Set a timer where you can see it and push yourself to finish your established task within that time frame. This will take some practice. Stick with a set time period to accomplish your goal and meter yourself to the minute.

Read with a purposestudy tips_read with a purposeRoosevelt read a prodigious amount of books. It has been said that he read five books a week during his term in the White House. Yet he also trained his mind to identify the important aspects of the literature instead of getting bogged down in words and details. Some details are important. While some literature needs to be carefully read, strategic reading of certain texts improves efficiency.

Take time for personal growth

Realize that you are not a robot. We all live full and busy lives. We need time for friends and loved ones. Countless obligations will compete for your attention. Yet it is important to set aside time to nourish your soul. Take time for personal enrichment and pursue interests beyond school. Often just claiming some time every day to meditate and reflect can relax the mind and rejuvenate you. Downtime energizes and leads to insight.

Diversify your interestsstudy tips_interestsRoosevelt entered Harvard wanting to become an “outdoor naturalist and observer of nature.” His career turned to the business of politics. Yet he also took up boxing and bodybuilding, dancing and poetry, horseback riding and hunting, swimming and polo, and remained a lifelong nature enthusiast. He had a curious mind and treated everything he did with utmost enthusiasm and passion.

Make learning a life habit

Cultivate a passion for learning and work to constantly expand your mind. The big picture is more than a collection of short-term tasks. Maintain a love for intellectual growth and personal development. This will serve to carry you through the inevitable minor frustrations that arise along the way.

Good study habits need to be developed so that they become a habit. Roosevelt always claimed that he was not the smartest nor was he the most capable of men. What he achieved was done through sheer determination, planning, and strategic thinking—a combination of diligence and prudence. He may have said it best when he explains how he developed his skill as a marksman. He writes, “There are men whose eye and hand are so quick and so sure that they achieve a perfection of marksmanship to which no practice will enable ordinary men to attain. There are other men who cannot learn to shoot with any accuracy at all. In between come the mass of men of ordinary abilities who, if they choose resolutely to practice, can by sheer industry and judgment make themselves fair rifle shots.”

References

McKay, B., & McKay, K. (2009).How to Speed Read like Theodore Roosevelt.The Art of Manliness. Retrieved 15 August 2017, from http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/10/18/how-to-speed-read-like-theodore-roosevelt/

Morris, E. (1998). Theodore Roosevelt. TIME.com. Retrieved 15 August 2017, from http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,988150-1,00.html

Newport, C. (2016). Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. New York: Grand Central Publishing.

Roosevelt, T. (2009).The autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt.Seven Treasures Publications.

Online Learning: What Khan Academy Means for 21st Century Learning

khan academy_online learning

Want a platform that allows students of all ages to play games, learn exam preparation strategies for tests like the GRE, and much more for free? Enter Khan Academy.org. Education has always evolved with society, and this website is now an amazing digital tool that stands out as an accompaniment for learning in and outside of the classroom.

online learning_khan academyOriginally founded in 2006, Khan Academy is a non-profit website that offers step-by-step instructional videos for subjects ranging from linear algebra to art history and everything in between. Students as young as kindergarten aged can watch these instructional videos, take interactive quizzes based on what they’ve learned, and look at a map of their progress in whatever subjects they choose to interact with.

Khan Academy.org contains over 5,000 instructional videos, and in February 2014 alone, the website had more than 10 million registered users from all over the world. Khan Academy additionally offers test prep for the SATs and AP tests, and there’s even a section dedicated to navigating the college admission process and balancing one’s personal finances.

The truly great thing about Khan Academy is that it can be used as an additional tool to supplement school lessons at home, and as a resource for teachers to include during class time. Teachers across the country use the website’s practice problem sets and quizzes to monitor their students’ progress and incorporate step-by-step instructional methods to ensure students know the exact path to success.khan academy_future of learningKhan Academy has also been a major tool in a revolutionary new method of education called the flipped classroom, in which students watch instructional videos at home, and come to class with their questions and concerns the next day.

Students then come to class knowing exactly what they need help with, and teachers are not rushed trying to incorporate both instructional and interactive time. In essence, the website allows students the opportunity to learn flexibly and at their own paces.

Additional practice problems are always available for those who need them, as well as more challenging ones for those who are ready to tackle the next challenge. No matter the student’s age, grade, or interest, Khan Academy is sure to offer students endless opportunities for success.

Works Cited

“Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools.” Ed Week. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 July 2017. <http://www.edweek.org/media/2014-03-07_implementation_briefing.pdf>.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Pros & Cons of Popular Online Tutoring Platforms

Online Tutoring Jobs

Tutors have long been sought after by parents to help their child work through a subject or problem when they themselves may not have the tools necessary to help their child. With internet access, students today have a wealth of knowledge and opportunities at their fingertips, but they still need a guide. The wonderful news is that as a tutor, you have the same wealth of information when you are looking for online tutoring jobs.

If you Google “Tutoring Online,” you immediately find yourself overwhelmed with possibilities. With all of the choices, how do you decide which tutoring company best fits your needs? In this article, we’ve reviewed the top tutoring companies to better help you compare what is available to you and what will best suit your needs.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Chegg Tutors 

online tutoring jobs_cheggSome may remember Chegg as being a good source for used college textbooks. This was how the company got started in marketing online education resources to students. As advances in internet speed and accessibility have progressed, so has Chegg. ConsumerAffairs.com lists it as one of the top online tutoring programs for students.

Pros:

–    Flexible schedules: For tutors who need flexibility, Chegg is entirely online, and tutors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows tutors to create their schedule, taking on as little or as much as time will permit.

–    Chegg offers a free trial period that allows students to test the website and tutoring service, meaning you get the opportunity to cultivate repeat business from the very beginning.

–    Reputation- What’s more promising is that the company has a long-standing reputation in higher education. This offers tutors the chance to work with a company whose name is recognizable and can provide the advantage over businesses that are not well-known.

Cons:

–    Lack of client continuity: While Chegg offers a lot of flexibility to tutors, the trade-off is that you have a lack of customer continuity. You may not get repeat clients, and a tutor has to work hard to cultivate repeat customers who will log on when they are available.

–    Sticky Subscriptions and Subsequent Payout Policy:  To get the most benefit from the service, users have to subscribe. The lowest package will cost $15 a week for 30 minutes of tutoring, with a charge of $.50 every minute after that. That means if the subscriber is paying by the minute, you will also be paid by the minute, not the hour. While the pay for tutors is $20 an hour, you are paid by the minute after the first 5, meaning if you set your schedule to be available for tutoring 10 hours a week, but only log 2 hours and 30 minutes of tutoring, you will make $50, not $2000.

–    Limited Client Audience:  This website is for college students who may need a little bit of assistance with a class or subject that they need guidance in. If you are not comfortable tutoring higher learning individuals or have not had experience or education at this level, it will be evident to students. This tutoring site is best for those accustomed to assisting peers, have quality writing, math and communication skills.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Sylvanonline tutoring jobs_sylvanSylvan Learning Centers have been around for decades and has services available to students through its many national franchises in the United States. The company has had to evolve to the digital generation and has developed a hybrid model for students who are short on time, and who are more adept at navigating digital and online education forums. As a tutor, this will mean you will be able to work with a student in person while also guiding them through applications when they are not in front of you.

Pros:

-Flexible hours and small group teaching allow you as the tutor to focus on building the skill you are teaching your students.

The Sylvan Model is wonderful for students who need interactive and in-person tutoring services. This offers students a personal connection with their tutors, which could enhance their learning experience. As a tutor, you will have the capability of working evenings, weekends and summers.

-With Sylvan’s companion technology, SylvanSync, you will learn tools to help you work with students through technology.

– Pay is reasonable, according to glassdoor.com, the average pay for tutors is a little bit more than $13 per hour. Many teachers may find it beneficial for supplementary income to work at these centers after school.

Cons:

– Sylvan still holds mostly to the model of face to face learning inside a center.

-According to job postings on indeed.com, most of these centers want certified teachers with a Bachelor’s degree or better. Those who do not possess a teaching degree, certification, or Bachelor’s degree need not apply.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Kumon online tutoring jobs_kumonKumon is a program geared toward building math and reading schools for children in preschool and grade school. It is nationally franchised and is a brick and mortar tutoring service aimed at the increasing the students’ math and science skills.

Pros:

-Jobs are listed as staff employed opportunities, which is a great option for those who like steady hours and a reliable schedule.

-Kumon takes care of their employees and offers a very nice benefits package that includes medical, dental, 401K retirement and tuition discounts.

-Since it is a brick and mortar business, Kumon is ideal for tutors who enjoy working with students in person.

Cons:

-Kumon is specifically designed for Math or Reading and many instruction options are offered after school unless you are willing to work with pre-school ages. This often means you will work evenings and weekends.

-The pay is below average, glassdoor.com lists the average hourly pay at less than $9 per hour, depending on location.

-Online reviews are mixed, stating that the company focuses on profit and strict guidelines, rather than individual student success. This can make tutoring more difficult for tutors who are accustomed to building individual success in the student.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Wyzant 

online tutoring jobs_wyzant

Wyzant was started in 2005 and acts as a referral service for students and tutors. The company is flexible in offering tutoring online and in person and is open to all grade levels from elementary school to college level tutoring.

Pros:

-Wyzant matches students to tutors who have strength in the skills they wish to improve. It’s a bit like match.com, but for learning.

-Regarding pay as a tutor, you are able to establish your own pay scale, rather than being limited to what the company offers.

-The beauty of Wyzant is that you can tutor in person or set up online tutoring and lesson plans for your students.

-Wyzant has options for students to select tutors for more than 300 subjects, which will allow for a larger customer base.

Cons:

-If you are unqualified, Wyzant may offer some stiff competition.  Many tutors are experienced teachers, grad students, and professors who are dedicated to the education of the individual student.

-According to glassdoor.com, Wyzant retains 40% of your pay rate from new tutors. You will to the have to log a set number of tutoring hours before you are able to receive a better pay ratio.

-Wyzant is a referral company that matches your skills and strengths with prospective students, so work may be slow if your skills are not in demand.

Online Tutoring Jobs: StudyGateonline tutoring jobs_studygate

StudyGate offers online learning for high school and college students to work with competent tutors who are knowledgeable in their subject area at affordable prices. The site specializes in math, computer science, biology, chemistry, language learning, and test prep options.

Pros:

-Pay is competitive since tutors can set their own hourly rates and commission starts at only 20%. Unless you set your rates super low, this will beat all the other companies on this list.

-There are no brick-and-mortar commitments, so travel time will always be zero. This is tutor freelancing fine-tuned to the effort of running your own business with all the freedom and responsibility, but none of the paperwork.

-Flexibility to provide homework help in a pinch via a bid system OR offer live learning services at your established hourly rate.

-Current tutors benefit from a long-term leveraging opportunity to establish accounts now while the company is still in its early stages.

Cons:

-This is still a young organization, so client flow is not as consistent as more established websites like Wyzant.

-There is some selling involved, so new tutors often have to establish a reputation with clients and ask good questions before engaging.

-New tutors must provide a recent transcript or diploma to validate their credentials so this can be inconvenient for experienced tutors who may not have this information readily at hand.

-Since minimal commission is taken, the site is built to pretty much run itself. If you have questions, it might be hard to talk with someone directly.

BOTTOM LINE:

Tutors looking for work can benefit from researching other tutoring businesses. It helps to decipher some of the tutoring businesses and the benefits you can reap. Tutoring is a career that offers flexibility and opportunities for educators and scholars to supplement their income and it can be both financially and personally rewarding.

Having options allow tutors to find the best fit for their abilities and schedules. But for the best outcomes, one of the most important things to remember about tutoring is to know your students and your abilities and seek the best company that meets your skill level and personal needs.

Tutoring Tips: The Basics of Tutoring Generation Z

tutorin tips_generation z

As a tutor focused on providing virtual education to students, you’re bound to hear plenty about Millennials. However, the demographics for young people seeking interactive education sites are beginning to change. Now, tutors are just as likely to help members of Generation Z as they are Millennials, which means it’s time to understand the nuances of this up-and-coming cadre of learners.

Generation Z was born right around the year 2000, and they collectively make up a larger percentage of the population than Millennials. Yet like every generation, they have specific tendencies that set them apart from prior generations. Your role as an online tutor is to become an effective guide for Generation Z students, and the best way to start on your journey is to understand how to create educational environments and opportunities suitable to their ranks.

Tutoring Tips # 1. Embrace everything and anything tech.tutoring tips_technologyThe members of Generation Z are growing up in a world where tech is not novel; it’s an everyday part of their lifestyles. Many sleep with their smart phones on or beside the bed, and have no problem navigating the latest apps. For them, technology equates to convenience, and they are well-versed in jumping from platform to platform without losing focus.

Still, Generation Z does not like to linger long if they see no benefit. Consequently, you must use technology appropriately and deliberately. For instance, if you find that Skype is not working for a student, you must be willing and able to adapt to another forum, such as Google Hangouts. Have alternative technical options handy as back-ups, and get comfortable with them before your tutoring sessions begin. The last thing you want is to be schooled by an impatient Generation Z pupil who knows far more than you do about the system you are using.

Tutoring Tips #2. Explain your mission upfront.

Generation Z, like their mostly Generation X parents, are highly independent. As such, they appreciate being given all the information they need to know at the beginning of your journey together. Tutors of this emerging group would be wise to create outcome-based syllabi with clear milestones. That way, students will understand the expectations from the get-go, and buy into the process with a deeper understanding of their expectations.

At the same time, be ready to vary your routes at times. Tutoring, like driving from Point A to Point B, sometimes requires detours. As you get to know your Generation Z learners better, you can veer off when needed to help them cement their knowledge.If you do this correctly, you’ll still end up at the same destination.

Tutoring Tips #3. Add critical thinking to the curriculum and your repertoire.

tutoring tips_critical thinking

Regrettably, Generation Z members often go for the “instant” answer rather than diving deeply into a subject. Though not all will have limited critical thinking skills, many will fall into this category. No matter what topic areas you tutor your Generation Z students in, you may find yourself dealing with this issue. The best way to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect your teaching and your students’ learning is to deal with it head on.

As you create a plan for tutoring each online student, consider the many “hacks” he or she might take to shorten the learning curve. Are all the hacks appropriate? What important issues do the hacks bypass? For instance, graphing calculators make getting answers easy, but they do not educate students in why a formula is essential to know and apply. Head off shortcuts by being aware that tutored pupils may want to get a fast fix, and add homework or classwork items that provide more insightful substance to the subject.

Over time, you will begin to amass new and innovative ways to make teaching Generation Z flexible, reliable, and rewarding. Just take it one tutored student at a time, and be sure to write down all the discoveries you make as you become a kickass online tutor. 

Using a Student’s Tech Prowess During Online Tutoring

online tutoring_education technlogy

As an online tutor, your goal is to know your topic area as well as possible. However, you should know your pupil as well, including his or her preferred method of learning. Most tutors today will be working with Millennials and Generation Z member which means a serious advantage for collaborative learning through a relatively recent vehicle: technology.

Millennials were the first generation to grow up with “native technology,” a term encompassing the notion that they have never known a world without some aspect of technology. Individuals who fall into the Generation Z category have even more prowess when it comes to being comfortable in a technology-filled environment.

How can you make the most of this reality? By utilizing the best video chat apps, interactive learning sites, and other web-based and offline – but still techy – platforms.

Seek out great learning apps.

online tutoring_learning appYour students will no doubt have smartphones, which means they’re app-ready. Educational apps abound, but some of the favorites for teachers at all levels are Edmodo, Kahoot!, and Remind. For instance, if you want to send out updates to a class through a secure system, rather than to them directly, Edmodo and Remind enable you to easily make it happen. Kahoot! is more of a fun environment where you can set up competitive games and question-answer sessions to promote excitement around building knowledge.

No matter the apps you choose, lean toward ones that are no cost to the student. Many pupils are unwilling to pay for online tutoring costs in addition to apps with one-time or monthly fees.

Find a trustworthy online chat site or app.

online tutoring_video chatAlthough your students might find Facetime an acceptable place to engage in conversation, it might not be well-suited for online tutoring. Tutors prefer to have the ability to share their screens and showcase illustrative documents. Consequently, all online tutors need to find a better online system that allows them to create an environment with classroom-style amenities.

A top freebie site is Bitpaper, which has plenty of options for tutors to share information with students. In addition, the picture is relatively clear and generally glitch-free since the technology has been around for a significant amount of time. Another place to start your online tutoring sessions is Wikispaces, a locale that promotes instant collaboration.

Be sure to test out any online learning platform before you start your online tutoring service. Otherwise, you could wind up with problems during the give-and-take of tutored learning.

Ask students about the apps and places they use.

New to the world of Millennial learners and Generation Z students? During your tutoring sessions, feel free to ask if your pupils favor one site over another. You might discover new apps and sites that could open a world of opportunity for you as an instructor.

Technology has made it possible for you to tutor anyone, anywhere, but you must take the first step. Become a world-class online tutor with an outstanding portfolio of abilities and satisfied students with a little help from the not-so-simple gadgets we all have in our pockets.

 

Tutoring Tips: 8 Not-So-Obvious Things a Tutor Should Never Do

tutoring_tutoring tips

In an era where technology makes it feasible for people around the world to make money online based on their expertise and educational levels, Internet-based tutoring makes student learning more efficient, effective, and affordable. Yet when many educated individuals set out to become tutors, they think only of the big picture and not the details. Consequently, they often err as tutors in not-so-obvious ways.

If you want to become an online professor, or you are already knee-deep in the online tutoring realm, take the following lessons to heart. Not only will they help you drive more students to your preferred online tutoring platform, but they will help you increase your reputation as an exceptional teacher.

Mistake #1: Make far-reaching promises.

“Learn calculus in seven lessons!”“Improve your SAT score by 300 points!”“Sound like a native English speaker in two months of classes!”

While these taglines make great link-bait, they are guarantees you can’t stand behind. Why?They assume that every learner is at that same starting point. Will some of your mentees see their SAT scores go up? Certainly, if that’s the goal. But not everyone is capable of quickly integrating information and using their newfound skills to boost SAT and other test scores by astronomical amounts.

Mistake #2: Forget you’re a representative of your tutoring platform.

When you become an online tutor and use a tutoring community platform as your launching pad, you are not just representing yourself. You are also representing the platform. Consequently, everything you do reflects on both you and the site you’ve chosen as the vehicle to get tutoring jobs.

This is no different than if you worked at a company as a sales trainer. Every person you met would learn more about you as an individual and as a company employee. If you did something wrong, you would be putting your reputation and your employer’s reputation at risk.

Mistake #3: Ignore the parents of minor students.

tutoring_get parents involvedMost of the time, minor students are not paying for their online tutoring. Their parents are reaching into their pockets to get extra help for their children. This puts tutors in the position of dealing with both mentees and moms, dads, grandparents, and other guardians.

While you should always focus on the student first, you should never ignore the role that a parent can play. Parents can become your best allies, especially if your tutored student begins to slack off on homework or keeps missing tutoring sessions.

Mistake #4: Become too friendly with a student.

It’s easy to develop a rapport with some students, but remember that no matter how old they are or how much you have in common, you are not their buddy. While it’s fine to start online tutoring sessions with pleasantries about the weather, no session should devolve into friendly banter that’s simply inappropriate.

What happens if a student tries to veer off-topic repeatedly? You may have to firmly, but courteously, explain that this is a teaching experience. Don’t allow yourself to get caught off-guard by students who are great at making pals, but not good at accepting authority. Set boundaries from the first session, and you’ll be in a better position to lead the online tutoring session with ease.

Mistake #5: Take on too many students at once.

Tutoring allows you to make as much money online as you possibly can. This makes it very tempting to accept any students who could use your assistance. But it’s not fair to them if you can only give a smidgeon of your time, rather than your complete attention.

Be sure that you’re not overloading your calendar with your tutoring assignments. Start with one or two, and then move gradually upwards from that point. You’ll soon sense when you’re reaching a point of over-balance and can adjust accordingly.

Mistake #6: Offer tutoring in a subject you’re not comfortable with

tutoring tips_know the subjects

What happens if a student you’ve tutored successfully in two math subjects suddenly requests that you help with grammar? You may not have much background in grammar, but it’s hard to deny a student’s offer to pay you for more help.

At this point, you have two choices. The first is to take the job and hope you do more help than harm. Obviously, this is risky for everyone. The second choice is to help find a better tutor. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it may get you connected to another online tutor who can send students your way when they need tutoring in your areas of expertise.

Mistake #7: Go into tutoring sessions “cold”

No athlete would consider heading into a game without preparing ahead of time. Remember this when you’re diving into tutoring. Your pupil expects a teacher who has planned the session, not one who is “winging it”.

Spend at least two to three hours behind-the-scenes planning for every hour of online tutoring. That way, you’ll always feel in control of the situation and ready for anything.

Mistake #8: Allow students to make excuses

Do you have a tutored student who constantly makes excuses for why he or she cannot finish work, or understand something? If you sense that they are not 100 percent on board with the tutoring process, stop immediately and ask them point-blank for their commitment moving forward. This will encourage them to decide, as well as a personal pledge toward their education.

You do not have to be cold or rude to be candid. Explain that you are concerned they are not fully able to give tutoring their all, which is a waste of their time and yours. They’ll quickly understand that you are serious about their learning, and you may be able to turn them around by being upfront and honest rather than simply taking their money.

Are you ready for an amazing adventure? It’s time for you to share your know-how as an online tutor and do it superbly by getting started with the right mindset.

E-learning in the 21st Century: Khan Academy and Knowledge Economy

E-learning

In a world filled with learning options, and opportunities, it can be challenging to know where the most effective solutions to our educational problems lie. The post-modern student wants it all, and they want it now, so to speak. Yet the essential quandary for students in this day and age has become how to discern, decipher, and distill relevant information from the deep pools of disparate communications available to them. How do students sort out the facts from opinions? How can they orient their minds to the information so that they do not just become passive consumers of data and externalized discussions? How can they reconcile the information to their own understanding? Learning must still be personalized somehow. The marketplace of ideas and information challenges 21st century learners in ways that we do not yet understand.

Information has never been more available and accessible than it is in the 21st century. Knowledge is continually being re-packaged in novel forms and styles. Case in point: one Khan Academy astronomy lesson attempts to explain the scale of the universe in 13 easy Youtube videos. Even concepts within traditional academic disciplines are moving forward at breakneck speed, as older ideas are being challenged. Developments in linguistics, mathematics, science, and business—really all fields—are moving faster than traditional schools and textbooks can keep pace. Often this information competes for legitimacy with how knowledge is presented to students in traditional education systems.

e-learning khan academcy

Furthermore, public schools are being disaggregated and privatized, with charter schools experimenting with new ideological frameworks, for better or for worse. Yet despite all this, Howard Didsbury argues that charter schools have failed to improve student achievement. Despite some perceived progress, many students are not getting the special attention that they deserve or desire.

Our instant-access culture sometimes falls short on deep analysis or strong evaluation. Snippets and flash-points of info on a variety of topics may be creating a new consciousness. However, one might ask whether streaming video, sound bites, and memes will refine their skills of logic, critical analysis, and higher-order thinking. Students are still expected to perform on high stakes tests and exhibit some semblance of critical ability during their higher education experience and beyond. Can watching an astronomy video from Khan Academy truly help them understand the complexity of the universe in any comprehensive sense? It may be true that some cursory insight can be derived from short, stylized presentations. Interdisciplinary approaches have some validity in this era. Yet it is far too easy for students to breeze over complex topics in their eagerness for expediency and ready-made answers.

Many precocious students who have grown up in the information age have learned how to navigate through the sheer glut of material present at any given moment on the internet. But others remain overwhelmed by the velocity and volume of statistics, perspective, or advice. For example, they may simply want some Spanish help. Google Translate is an imperfect tool. Sure they can access unlimited PDF or PPT files or various articles geared to students or teachers of Spanish. But they may also spend hours online searching for answers to the most basic questions. They might be better served by asking an expert directly. Language acquisition is not necessarily something that comes easy nor will the average student be able to glean the internet on their way to fluency. Learning a language involves ongoing conversational practice. Students still need a human dimension to guide them.e-learning online learningStudents from across the world, no matter where they are located, are expected to compete in this terra incognita of the new knowledge economy. Although e-learning programs and online colleges have sprung up like weeds on the internet, they still lack the kind of credibility that institutions built of walls and desks still maintain in our societies. At some point in the future, perhaps all academic pursuits will be mediated through information technology. We can imagine a time without schools. Perhaps students will be assessed by elaborate computer-generated algorithms. But on a practical level, and in today’s world, students must perform according to more traditional academic channels. Khan academy is not going to replace Harvard or Oxford any time soon. Although Khan Academy-style education may be trending, it may not be so intellectually fulfilling. Shortcuts to higher knowledge almost never are. Students still need human contact, informed guidance, and practical people giving them real-world advice. They need personal help with their academic and intellectual challenges. There is a growing need for knowledgeable experts in the knowledge economy. Tutoring may allow you to engage in the emergent knowledge economy and at the same time influence students from all across the world.

References

Didsbury, Howard F. 21st Century Opportunities And Challenges. Bethesda, Md., World Future Society, 2003,.

Strauss, Valerie. “Separating Fact From Fiction In 21 Claims About Charter Schools.” Washington Post, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/28/separating-fact-from-fiction-in-21-claims-about-charter-schools/?utm_term=.50186923cada.

Amazing Strategies to Market Yourself as an Online Tutor

online tutors_online tutoring service

Personally and professionally we all want to shine in this world. Success is often measured in terms of recognition and exposure. We cannot all be famous, but some acknowledgment for the skills we possess and for what we have achieved go a long way toward filling the need we seem to have to feel accomplished, or even admired. In the digital marketplace, financial rewards also come from greater online attention.

The internet presents many opportunities to get your name out there. Yet without a clear strategy, it is just as easy to become obscured by the veritable flood of information and personalities online all clamoring for attention. Probably no magic formula exists beyond having endless financial resources, great agents, and publishers, or hiring an ingenious search engine optimist who can move your website to the top of Google’s queue.

However, having an agile method to improve your online presence can help you improve business as you gain financial independence as an online tutor. Here are some simply amazing strategies that may give you an edge in the world of online tutoring.

Recognize your value and potential

Confidence matters whether in person or online. Find an area to specialize in and build experience, credentials, and a personal appreciation for your own value. People gravitate toward those with competence, and from a charisma that comes from knowing what you are good at. This reveals itself in how you correspond and communicate online or in real life.

Exploit a niche market

The web can be mesmerizing and bewildering, but it is not complete. Look beyond the volume of information and find angles that differentiate you from the competition. This is where opportunities lie. People find success every day recognizing what is not available there, as opposed to what already exists. Do some research on your competition, and recognize how they market themselves. Seek areas to concentrate on that others have overlooked.

Network through various channels and social media sites

online tutors_social mediaMany social media sites exist beyond Facebook and Twitter, believe it or not. Wikipedia lists 213. Others might include Minds, which is free and secure, and Ning, which a paid platform, for general social networking. But also Upwork and even Craigslist posts can draw new clients in. The Italki platform connects language learners with native speakers. Individual countries and regions use specific sites if you want to venture into foreign markets. Renren, of China, Mixi, of Japan, and Twoo, in the Spanish-speaking world are popular. Using existing connections help, but also leveraging your current students to spread the word can move your name across different networks. Obviously, LinkedIn is a go-to site for business-related networking, but others are available. But beyond this, it may matter more what you post as far as content than directly soliciting clients on social media sites, which can be perceived as a put-off.

Create a website or blog site and promote it

If you have the computer skills to build your own site from WordPress or other sites, this is great. If you don’t, many online custom portfolio sites exist that will build one for you that is user-friendly. Portfolios are becoming valuable because employers ask for them. But also they can be a resource to show clients that you know your business. Publish articles and insights of interest in your field to let them know you are serious and engaged. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing is an art and science that can be acquired. Keep up on the latest development and strategies to improve your chances of staying up at the top of search engine. People normally do not scroll through multiple pages.

Publish in your fieldonline tutors_publish

Publishing opportunities are more available now than ever before. It may take some time to develop relationships with any of the top journals or magazines in your field. But other venues are easier to get your foot in the door. Publishing articles allows you the credibility clients and parents look for. Once you have a few articles under your belt, with by-lines, you can add them to your portfolio or send them along to potential clients to assure them of your expertise.

Create a series of tutorial videos on the subject

Youtube has a shortage of good tutorials in the academic fields. The ones online are often amateur in quality and not terrific, with a few good ones interspersed. Khan Academy YouTube videos have become a model for the potential of this type of work. Personality and quality presentations are a great way to grow your reputation.

Work for an established tutoring agencyonline tutors_online tutoring website

Registering for an online tutoring agency or academic services company will instantly give you credibility and allow you to hone your skills through the experience. Depending on your persistence, skill, and ambitions, it can become a solid revenue source. The advantage of working for an agency is that they take care of much of the marketing for you. You will be able to focus on building up your reputation and network within an established system. You will also feel like you are part of a community, while at the same still maintaining your status as a freelance or independent tutor.

Obviously, all of these strategies involve constant work and development. Yet money is out there to be made simply when students need extra science homework help. Reaching them, letting them know that you are qualified and available involves a bit more effort. But whether you tutor full time or as a side venture while you write your next great novel, or finish that Master’s Degree, opportunities are there for the taking in the digital tutoring world.