Teacher Reading to Students

Benefits of Small Group Stations in Class

Small group stations set in place in larger classes can give students more opportunities to participate, work as a team, and receive more personalized instruction.  Here are several benefits of starting small group stations or workshops.

  • Hands-on learning opportunities
    Small group stations afford students the chance to work with their hands with labs, small experiments, puzzles, and even physical activities.  A smaller group means that each student will have more of a chance to take an active role in the activity, and the station becomes a hands-on challenge for the students, rather than a demonstration by the instructor.  Students will generally remember what they learn through these stations better than if they had learned the same concepts from a demonstration because they are actively involved.

  • Group focus
    Small group stations are heavily focused on group work, which is very different than the traditional lecture-based format of the classroom.  Because of this setup, students will feel more motivated to involve themselves in their education, ask questions, and participate.

  • Peer learning
    Often, students who have enjoyed certain workshops in the past will revisit the class in later years and assist in leading a small group station, giving the new students a chance to learn from their peers.  This type of learning can sometimes be more effective, as many students feel more comfortable asking older peers for help or more detailed explanations.  The older students also have the opportunity to learn better teaching skills as a result.

These aspects of small group stations will ultimately provide students with a new and different approach to learning that could be highly beneficial.

elementary class

Maximizing the Benefits of Group Projects

Students can learn much more than just class material from a group project, including team management skills, leadership, and creativity.  Here are several ways for maximizing the benefits of group projects for students.

  • Creative format
    Group projects that involve creative media, such as film, art, or cooking, can often get students more excited about the project.  Even simple presentations can elicit more participation and involvement rather than a simple worksheet, paper, or poster board.  Having a more creative format can also shift students’ perceptions of what the project should be like; if the project resembles many individual assignments in the class, then students will default to individual work, rather than group work.

  • Time to work in class
    Often times, students are incredibly busy with extracurricular activities, sports, and instrument practice.  Allowing a few minutes of class time for the group to meet and organize the project will greatly benefit students, as it will allow them to develop and implement a schedule for themselves.  At the very least, it will give them a chance to set up another meeting time outside of class.

  • Student evaluations
    Having the students evaluate each other can be a very useful way to maximize the benefits of a group project.  It will give the instructor a better idea of how the group worked together, and it will give him or her a better understanding of the work distribution for the project.  Ideally, students should also be evaluating the project itself, giving feedback for what could be improved for the next year.

With these techniques in place, students are ready to get the most out of their next group project.


Experience Collaborative Learning with Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive Whiteboard.

In a traditional classroom setting the one basic piece of equipment you expect to see is a chalkboard or dry erase board. With the amazing technology of today, a new board has been created unlike anything from the past. It’s called an interactive whiteboard. This board is highly effective in collaborative learning for students.

Similar in both size and appearance to the dry erase board, it has the ability to combine not only a dry erase board but also computer technology. Teachers as well as students may use the pens that come with these boards to “write” on the surface of the board, but anything soft can be used as a writing tool.

Using the software provided with the board children are able to interact with other students as well as the teacher by seeing their lessons on interactive whiteboards. Students can manipulate images on the board and move them wherever they want them to go. Multiple students can manipulate the interactive whiteboard at any given time. This ability enhances collaborative learning for children and the kids will tend to be more engaged in the lesson because it is similar to a gaming experience. Each child is also able to see the different ways other students get the same answer.

These interactive whiteboards can be used with all subjects throughout every grade. Teachers can save work done by the class for future reference, repetition, or for students who were not in class that day. This allows all children in class to participate in the collaborative learning experience, even if they were not in school that day.

Online College

The Rise of Online Colleges

Online education exploded once the Internet became ubiquitous around 1993. As Internet connectivity rose in numbers and connection speeds became faster, online education became a viable platform for students around the world, especially in America where technology leadership took online education to new heights.

Online colleges rose to positions of viability, influence, and legitimacy because many universities poured considerable resources into putting the best educational materials out there for students. Well-known universities such as MIT and Harvard have entire courses and related classwork online for students to pursue learning at their own pace.

Prospective students who want to pursue an online education can go here and get much of the information they need in an easy to comprehend manner which will allow them to make informed decisions.

One reason why online colleges gained a huge following was because many eager students saw that online education gave them flexibility to set their own schedule and not depend on set hours and class schedules offered by traditional university programs.

Now, people from all walks of life—pregnant women, stay at home moms, people with day jobs, and others with disabilities such as sports-related injuries or other serious medical conditions—can pursue their education online.

Online colleges prospered because they offered flexibility and access to all, regardless of their personal or social situation. Online education will likely rise further in terms of student volume as well as number of courses offered as broadband connectivity improves Internet speeds. Additionally, rich multimedia content with audio visual capabilities makes online education a more attractive platform than ever before.

College Subjects

Online College Courses – One More Option

Image via Wikipedia.

Online learning, from high school to graduate achool courses, has become an important and growing part of education around the world. There are a large number of websites on the Internet devoted to helping students find schools and courses that meet their needs. Surprisingly, there are a number of online high schools offering high school and college level courses, including state sponsored programs, individual high schools and universities.

Other sites focus strictly on colleges and universities while other sites list career or para-professional online learning schools as well. The number of schools listed at websites varies varies from 210 to over 300.  However, it should be noted that many of these schools may not be accredited and in the world of higher education, proper accreditation is extremely important for the validity and prestige of the degree or certificate conferred.  With that fact in mind, it is important to ensure that any online college or university considered is fully accredited.

There are also advantages to taking college or career related courses online. The biggest advantage is convenience, especially for those who are working part or full-time. Online learning gives students the freedom to fit course work into time periods that do not conflict with work and exposure to students from other areas. Students can also pace themselves, depending on the course material. Online learning may be less expensive, especially in terms of travel and books.  Cost is an important aspect that needs to be checked out thoroughly before committing to a program. Most importantly, it is important to recognize that online learning requires good time management skills, discipline and commitment to be successful.

How to improve comprehension skills

Daily Life.

Comprehension is an excellent ability. If you can comprehend information fast, you can learn more things in quick time. A lack of comprehension can be due to the following factors:

  • Incorrectly designed study materials
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor comprehension techniques
  • Low intelligence quotient levels

To improve comprehension skills, the best way is to read and read and read. The more you read, the more you develop ways to understand stuff. Bad readers do not understand things by reading. But they would be able to understand when things are told to them or shown to them.

But most of us derive information from documents, journals and printed materials in general. If you don’t read, then you might not be able to work in the corporate world, and do challenging desk jobs.

There are some techniques that can up your comprehension skills. Here are some.

Visualize as you read
This is the best way to retain information. Draw a diagram in your head. Or you can use a paper to do it. Structurize things. It can make you put things into a better perspective. People often forget to structure things in diagrams and remember them. They often remember the text.

Understand the concept
Understand the concept or rationale behind it. Find out the theory behind a particular piece of information. The more you seek to get the big picture, the better your understand will be. Ask why, what, when, how, who, where and more. The more your question what you are trying to understand, the more you would have understood.

Get a Degree in Your Own Home

Obtaining secondary education is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future. College graduates are more likely to get hired and promoted faster and more often than others who don’t have a college education. Holding a college degree can also boost your salary over those without degrees. One of the most flexible methods of obtaining a degree is by online education. Choosing an online college doesn’t have to be complicated if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Any online college that’s worthwhile will be accredited. Accreditation by reputable agencies, like the U.S. Department of Education or your state’s government, indicates a university worthy of receiving your money. Consider your long term plans before choosing a school’s degree program. Whether you’re looking into a bachelor degree at EarnMyDegree.com or any other institution, ensure that your credits will transfer and have value at other institutions if you wish to go further than your initial degree.

Once you’ve found some promising schools, take the time to do some investigating. Research how easy it is to get in touch with professors and other offices. Make sure classes aren’t huge; they should run the same size as any other college. One of the great things about getting your degree at home is you can start when you want. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Research whether your degree choice requires onsite meetings or lectures or if it can be completed totally online.

Choosing an online college can be simple, but make sure you put in the effort to find the right school for you.

Advantages of Using a Virtual Team

Online collaboration tools such as IMs, email and video conferencing enables workers to team up with anyone globally. In order to gain success, all the virtual team members including the manager need to work in a meticulous way.

Essence of Trust
Three factors such as integrity, communication, and performance are the essence of trust. Using collaboration tools such as emails and Instant Messengers (IMs) the team members are not aware of each other’s intention due to the absence of visual and aural signs. At times, cultural differences may lead to conflicts at some point in time.

Online Collaborative Tools
Without the availability of proper tools, the project gets affected as there is a loss of communication. Not having a visual image of a person can lead to communication gaps. Video conferencing tools help in eliminating misunderstandings, as team members can see others.

Building Trust via Teamwork Training
It’s easy to build trust through effective teamwork training on using online collaboration techniques. Understanding the cultural differences provides a more amicable atmosphere in the virtual team. Those who do not have experience working in a virtual team before will not be familiar with using the most commonly used collaboration software such as instant messengers, video conferencing software etc. Certain people hesitate to learn anything new if they are resistant to change. Letting them know that the management will offer support for enabling them to adapt to anew and virtual work environment. This will help in eliminating any fear that the employees may have.

Advantages of Using a Virtual Team
Using online collaborative tools to build a virtual team is useful. Unlike traditional teams, virtual teams have a huge range of ideas and skills that can be utilized. Building an efficient and successful team consumes time and requires planning, efforts, and money. This ultimately brings good results.

The Ability to Collaborate with Other Students via Online Education

Online collaborative learning efforts were promised to provide everyone with access to the best teachers available. When the concept rolled around, digital learning was still a reasonably new idea, but the implications were far reaching. No longer were students limited to the teachers that populated their school of choice, making selection of a school the ultimate limiting device.

With digital collaboration, the best teachers from each discipline were available to the best and brightest students, who would presumably seek them out. And the system has delivered on the promise. Qualified students are now able to learn from a professor of Harvard rank, while they live in Lincoln, Nebraska, far from the hallowed ivy covered school’s buildings.

It is now possible for the best and brightest to remain in a comfortable and familiar home setting, retaining their own cultural flavor, while collaborating with folks of a similar caliber from across the nation. No longer does coming from an area as remote as Lincoln mean that one’s opportunities are limited to whatever is available in the Midwest. Now, the best minds in physics, for example, can come together and learn about one another’s regional differences as they problem solve. For example, the physicist from South Central Los Angeles and the physicist from Bloomfield, Indiana can now appreciate one another’s cultural nuances while still getting a project completed.

Successful projects and collaborations lead to further unions, and online learning resources such as elearners.com allow talent to reach across the nation. Video chats put your project partner right there in the room with you, so collaborative efforts are more convenient. After this fashion, the best minds quickly learn that remaining at the top of a field of study necessitates remaining amongst the best and brightest in that field. Whether it is in person or via technology, that is no longer relevant. Specific personal traits can also be sought, so the group remains cohesive and highly productive.

Benefits of Peer Facilitation

Peer facilitation is an active learning technique that is often found on college campuses.  During this setup, a group of students works together on a problem set, lab, discussion, or other challenging problem.  This group, which is usually a small group of less than ten students, is not led or taught by an instructor, but rather facilitated by a peer.  The peer facilitator does not lecture, present, or even deliberately teach; instead, he or she guides the group through the workshop.  This method can benefit students in several different ways.

  • Increased participation
    Having a student lead a workshop will increase participation all around, as the other students will be more motivated to contribute.  The setup of the peer facilitation class is geared towards teamwork and problem solving, rather than note taking and listening to a lecture.
  • Leadership
    Rotating which student is the peer facilitator provides each student the chance to improve his or her leadership capabilities.
  • Active learning
    Students are actively involved in their learning, as they must be the ones to find the answer by working through the questions.  In traditional methods of instruction, the teacher provides the answers or works examples in class, while in peer facilitation, the peer facilitator does not provide the answers but guides the group.
  • Problem solving skills
    Learning in this manner provides students with additional problem solving skills that they might not otherwise develop from a more traditional, lecture-based class format.  Additionally, the peer facilitator will develop a new set of leadership and problem solving skills, as he or she must direct questions back to the group, avoid giving answers directly, and avoid too much explaining.  Instead, the peer facilitator should be helping the other students figure things out on their own.

The value of peer facilitation is gradually becoming recognized as more and more institutions begin implementing this technique.

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