Interactive Online Tutoring Services

January 20, 2008

Article on Technology and Mathematics Instruction

Filed under: online tutoring articles — Rob @ 9:27 am

The February 2002 issue of Teaching Children Mathematics (TCM) will focus on the role of technology in learning and teaching mathematics. Electronic technology is becoming more and more important in our society, and its use is being woven into the very fabric of new curriculum materials. The appropriate use of electronic technology should be an important part of students’ experiences with mathematics, both in school and outside of school.

The Technology Principle in the NCTM’s new Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (Reston, Va.: NCTM, 2000) emphasizes that technology plays an essential role in learning and teaching mathematics. Technology can help teachers teach in more effective and efficient ways; it can help students learn traditional topics more effectively; and it can help teachers, students, and parents assess students’ developing understanding and skills in mathematics. Technology can also provide access to mathematical topics and ideas that previously were not within the reach of students in the elementary grades.

Electronic technology is becoming more flexible, powerful, and easy to use. More powerful calculators and portable computers are rapidly erasing the distinctions between calculators and computers. Students have easy access through the Internet to a variety of resources and can share their experiences with students in other parts of the country and throughout the world. Electronic technology can also support the integration of mathematics with other subject areas.

The Editorial Panel wishes to highlight the appropriate uses of calculators, computers, the Internet, data probes, and other forms of electronic technology at the pre-K-6 levels of mathematics teaching and learning. We are looking for descriptions of successful and innovative uses of technology in the mathematics classroom, as well as articles that will give readers a rationale for using technology in mathematics instruction. Manuscripts that address related issues, such as technology and equity, are also welcome. The following list of topics and their related questions are intended to guide authors in preparing manuscripts to address one or more aspects of learning and teaching mathematics with technology at the pre-K-6 levels.

Implementing Technology in the Pre-K-6 Classroom

* What specific mathematical activities illustrate appropriate uses of technology?

* What general guidelines are appropriate for effectively using such technology as calculators, computers, and the Internet to explore mathematical ideas?

* What guidelines can help evaluate school or classroom use of technology or identify technologically rich learning environments?

* How can technology be integrated with other learning tools, such as manipulative materials, textbooks, and so on?

Technology and the Pre-K-6 Curriculum

* How is technology currently being integrated into curriculum materials?

* What impact might current and future technology have on future mathematics curricula?

* What new mathematical topics are made accessible through technology, or what mathematical topics are rendered less important because of technology?

* How can technology be used to integrate mathematics with other curricular areas?

* How can students gain access to real applications of mathematical ideas through the Internet and other technologies?

Technology and Mathematics Assessment

* How does, or can, assessment change when technology is used to teach and learn mathematics?

* What do students learn when they use technology in mathematics classrooms?

* How can technology facilitate teachers’ assessment of students’ understanding and skill development?

* How can technology help students be more successful on assessments at the local, state, and national levels?

Technology and Professional Development Issues

* What kinds of experiences do teachers need? What activities have been designed for teachers to help them learn how to use technology in the classroom?

* How can technology be used to address equity issues?

* How can technology be used to promote multidisciplinary instruction?

January 15, 2008

Online Tutoring Article

Filed under: online tutoring articles — Rob @ 4:56 pm

The value of online tutoring can be broken down into a couple of different areas.  First and foremost is the convenience factor of online tutoring.  Online tutoring gives the student complete flexibility in when and where they receive their tutoring in whatever subject they might need help in.  For example, if I am a student and need calculus tutoring or earth science tutoring, I can contact an online tutoring company and schedule a session for the evening or the weekend hours.  It really does allow for complete flexibility.

The second reason someone would use an online tutor is for the anonymity of the process.  No one is going to sit here and tell you that tutoring is something that they want to do.  Tutoring is something that students need in order to do better in school.  Additionally, students who need tutoring do not necessarily want to have their friends and family know they need the extra help.  This is another area where online tutoring can be of value.  With online tutoring, you can get that extra help without anyone ever knowing it.  If you are an AP Calculus student, you can get the help you need and no one will ever be the wiser.  It truly is a valuable service from that aspect.

Another reason is that online tutoring is usually much more economical than traditional tutors in your hometown or city.  Typically, tutoring will run you anywhere from $45.00 to $60.00 per hour (on average).  In contrast, online tutoring will run usually just over $20.00 per hour.  For example, if I am a student who needs help in chemistry, and I know that I can get the help in chemistry for just $20.00, it might be worth it to me to schedule a session for that subject.

Certification and qualifications are also important factors when considering a tutor.  For instance, let’s imagine that you need an online chemistry tutor.  If you are a parent, or even if you are a student, it is a difficult decision to make whether or not the tutor you are considering paying for has the expertise to tutor chemistry concepts.  You have to ask yourself the question, “how do I know that this tutor is actually good at teaching me chemistry?”  It is a tough question and most people end up paying for someone who is not really that good at teaching.  In contrast, online tutoring companies and the tutors that work for them are usually certified in the subjects they teach.  Good online tutoring companies always make sure that their online tutors are trained and certified before they are ever allowed to teach.

Safety is always a big concern when dealing with service based businesses.  Online tutoring is no different, and a good online tutoring company will make sure that each tutor receives a background check before they are ever allowed to teach a subject with a given student.  Tutoring security also includes having some kind of recording capabilities to allow for each session which allows managers to make sure there are no malicious activities happening during the session with the child.

When you look at all of the factors involved, online tutoring really makes a lot of sense for students and parents alike.

January 7, 2008

Struggling with Math?

Filed under: general tutoring articles — Rob @ 6:26 pm

Are you going to struggle with Math this year?

August 25, 2006

As the new school year is approaching, one thing is certain: Many students will struggle with their courses this year. As always, one of the most prominent areas of difficulty will be Mathematics.

It is not very difficult to understand why math is considered by most Canadian high-school and college students to be such a difficult subject. Math is a discipline that requires a basic foundation and a natural transition from core knowledge to more advanced concepts. However, the reality of North American education is that the transition rarely takes place naturally.

It is often the case that throughout elementary school and early High school, math is taught in a very disorganized fashion. While arithmetic gets more than its fair share of attention, intermediate core concepts are often glossed over by everyone except the very astute students. Only the dedicated students fill in the big education gaps in their spare time. What happens to the less dedicated students?

For other students, the true math difficulties begin in grades 11 and 12. At those levels, math transforms into a serious subject and cracks in the knowledge foundation begin to emerge. Those concepts that are natural extensions of what is considered to be basic mathematical abilities become difficult to grasp for many students.

As a result, many struggling students turn to a private math tutor for additional help, but this is often not a sure-fire path to better understanding. Most tutors have the ability to help students with their immediate areas of difficulty. However, only the more experienced tutors are able to detect true deficiencies in the students’ knowledge and fill in the gaps before concentrating on more complicated topics.

For those looking for a math tutor, it is very important to consider the tutor’s knowledge, experience, and approach, and not just the hourly rate. With math tutoring, like with anything else, you will often get exactly what you pay for.

In order to get the most out of tutoring, it is vitally important to establish specific short and long-term learning objectives early on. A good tutor will be able to use this information effectively in creating a structured learning progression, rather than concentrating on the irrelevant concepts.

January 6, 2008

Email Tutoring

Filed under: online tutoring articles — Rob @ 9:03 am
When people think of additional school help for their child who is
struggling in math, they usually think of one-on-one private tutoring.
Private tutoring is a great way to get help for your struggling
child. The knowledge that a tutor brings to the table is not so important
as his ability to relate well to your child and to identify with
their source of difficulty. Even though private tutoring is the
way parents think they need to go, there are alternatives
such as email tutoring that can be a welcome help to your child.
The omnipresence of the computer and with online internet
service as ubiquitous as the telephone, email tutoring is
something that has come of age. Combine email tutoring
with the telephone, and you can now become a virtual tutor
capable of working with anyone across the country. Effective
email tutoring is the result of clearly defined questions
responded to with easy-to-understand answers. Critical to
effective email tutoring is a tutor with very strong written
communication skills. This is one area which I have worked hard
on throughout the years, and I attribute a lot of my success in
tutoring students—whether in person, on the telephone,
or via email—to my strong written and verbal communication skills.

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