Check out this article in Forbes last year about the myths of online learning.Â Everything can be done online these days; shopping, banking, communicating, booking holidays, reading and watching TV so why not learning or even tutoring?Â What do you think about online learning?
I am personally studying my Master’s program online and I love it.Â I can work at my own pace with a plethora of resources and information available at my fingertips.Â I can still communicate with my professor and fellow classmates during my class about questions I have or problems I am experiencing.Â So, all in all, the forum works very well for me.
Summer vacation is all about long days in the sun, family getaways and taking a break from the daily grind of the regular school year. For many students, however, this is a peak time for learning loss. Unless previously learned information is reviewed or new information is introduced your child can forget a great deal of what theyâve learned the year before. In order to keep their young minds learning-ready itâs a good idea to introduce some summer in-home tutoring or activities that inspire them to continue learning.
Make it a Game
While learning is important thereâs also something to be said for enjoying their summer break. Not to mention the fact that trying to make a child actively participate in tutoring and learning during the summer can be an absolute battle to the death. The trick is to make the learning activities fun for them. In particularly for younger children youâll be hard pressed to hold their attention with classroom-style activities when the backyard beckons. A quick online search will yield a number of fun activities that you and your children can take part in that will not only keep them engaged and motivated but will also keep their minds sharp. Enrolling them in in-home or online tutoring is also a great way to get them involved without a fight. Professional tutors are experienced in dealing with youngsters who would rather be outside and many have their own techniques to keep the learning experience fun.
Get Them Involved
You might have noticed a time or two that trying to force your child into a plan that in no way requires or requests their input can be somewhat difficult. If you allow them to become involved from the very planning stages, however, you might find your child to be more agreeable to the idea of summer learning. If youâd like for them to engage in more reading allow them to choose the material (within suitable reason of course). If numeracy is what youâd prefer to review go through the various available study tools with them and allow them to decide which tools they might like to use. Allowing them choices might make them feel more involved rather than forced into learning which often yields a better result.
Engaging your children in summer online or in-home tutoring, learning activities and other learning tools will not only help them to retain what they learned the year before, it will also prepare their minds to get back into the flow of the regular school year.
The summer break is a glorious opportunity for students to wind down and relax a bit following a strenuous year of learning. Many studies have shown that the break between the spring and fall semesters can have a negative effect on studentsâ retention of subject matter and learning. This break allows for not only summer play but also a complete lack of learning and mental stimulation for many. Therefore it is imperative that students of all ages engage in summer studying and in-home or online tutoring.
Better Retention of Previous Subject Matter
According to an article published by the Sylvan Learning Center in 2009 students begin to lose their retention of learned material within 24-48 hours without the introduction of new information or studying. After one month of learning downtime they can lose as much as 80% of what theyâve learned. Imagine the amount of information lost across the various subjects after a couple of months of complete lack of learning stimuli! Whether the student is in G-12 or G-16 summer studying or online tutoring will help curb this drastic loss of information.
Preparing for the Next Year
According to the Johns Hopkins School of Education children lose 2 months of math skills over the summer and most low income students lose reading skills as well. Summer reading and learning programs not only provide a wholesome activity to keep them busy, they also help aid students in keeping their minds engaged and accustomed to learning. The continuous flow of information helps keep them sharp and makes the adjustment to school life during the normal terms somewhat less of a shock to the system.
Summer studying at any age is about more than just filling your abundant summer free time. For many the information lost over the summer is never regained if not reviewed in the following year. Through summer studying and in home tutoring students can expect to see better information retention as well as experiencing an easier transition into school life in the fall.
Scott Young started his blog 6 years ago while a student. Since graduating though, his interest in building skills and further education has only been heightened. We recently posted on our FacebookÂ
page a link video that Scott recorded detailing his latest challenge: to complete a 4 year MIT course in Computer Science in just 12 months (see the video here).
But just today we came across an audio interview Scott had with Corbett barr of Expert Enough- a site we love over here at Stepping Stone Tutors! But what I wanted to share were a couple of points Scott made in that interview that should be of value to you, as someone who’s looking to improve their knowledge, whether you’re using one of our online or in home tutors, or simply self-studying online.
Scott often refers to the way people who learn fast are able to effectively link the data and knowledge they’re processing Â together, which therefore generates a much more deep rooted understanding of the topic being taken on. This is an alternative to simple ârote memorisationâ, where students are challenged with the almost impossible of simply learning a ton of facts only to regurgitate these when asked about them. This ability to link things together- to understand in a much fuller way is what he calls ‘holistic learning’.
A method that’s often used to utilise this method of learning called the ‘Feynman technique’, which is an informal philosophy of how we can learn something deeply. As an alternative to rote memorization, which could take hundreds of hours for some subjects, the Feynman techniqueÂ can be applied effectively to almost any subject. The video below will explains exactly what this is, and how you can apply this to your own studies, whether that’s for your upcoming ASVAB test, GED classes, K-16 classes, or testÂ preparationÂ (read about how we can help with this here)Â and revision.
The reason this technique works so much is becauseÂ most people simply don’t know what it is that they’re trying to learn. They don’t understand which bits of a subject they need to expand on in order to full understand what it is they’re dealing with. The Feynman technique, however, highlights the exact aspects of each subject that you need to look into more in order to holistically grasp any topic you like.
One thing that’s been intriguing me lately is the use of blogging in education. Not just in traditional ‘classroom’ situations, but also for online and offline tutors.- the use of blogs to spark discussion, reinforce lessons and extend on topics that there wasn’t time to extend on in situ.
The past decade has brought so much of our world and our daily lives online. The world wide web and good oleâ fashioned reality collide in these days of social media and Google searches. One of the newest forms of online communication and expression is blogging. This platform can be used in several different ways, with some opting to utilize it as a publicized online journal and others using it to voice their opinions. Blogs can be informative, enticing, entertaining and occasionally… well, boring.
With much of the rest of our existence taking place online it was always a matter of time before we began to ponder online education platforms. These days students respond more to their Facebook status updates than to their teacherâs droning lecture (not that students were ever more apt to pay attention to a teacher than the not-so-private lives of their friends). As students become more stimulated by online media and platforms, some educators are reaching outside their classroom boxes and stretching their muscles online. But can blogging be an educational tool?
Blogging and other online educational tools could have what I call the âcool effectâ. Students tend to respond better to technology that they know and use when outside of the classroom. Itâs similar to the effect of rolling a television into a classroom: it may just be an educational film, but students are more likely to be engaged by it than a traditional lecture. Watching TV and blogging are âcoolâ for use in their free time, so utilizing it when theyâre at school feels less like conforming to antiquated learning methods and more like learning on their own terms. Much like other forms of online education blogging makes it possible for students to interact with other peers across the globe, a feature that could be immensely useful for cultural or foreign language studies. Most blogs can also be pretty well controlled by an administrator (or teacher), even to the standard that comments cannot be published on the blog until approved by them. Blogging could also be highly effective in spurring discussion about topics that may even continue after school hours.
So outside of the possibility for foul play on the blog (which can be very well managed with platforms such as WordPress), it seems that educational blogging could provide a stimulating and modern way for students to gain, share and expand on their knowledge. If utilized correctly I believe that blogging could open up a whole new world of resources for educators and young minds alike.