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E-Learning – How has it affected Teaching and Learning in a Global Age

E-Learning

Providing students with a completely different learning environment, E-learning demands a new set of skill sets from them. With a huge increase in the volume of information that is available to students it is now becoming imperative that they have the superior skills like critical thinking, evaluations skills and researching abilities. Moreover in subjects and courses offered completely online students become much more flexible, self-determining and autonomous. This also leads to the need to be greatly focused, driven, motivated and with a great commitment to learning as the social interaction and peer pressure is reduced and sometimes non-existent. Although most students who have committed themselves to online classes do as well as their friends who are in a classroom setup, there is a greater chance of there being dropouts and withdrawal leading to incomplete grades.

E-learning and its contribution in the global age

E-Learning can be defined as learning process created in collaboration with content delivered digitally, network-based and has also been seen as technologically arbitrated education with the use of computers incorporating distance learning or a face-to-face classroom setting. This is seen as learning with assistance from a computer where there is a clear shift from the traditional to ICT based and personalized, self-disciplined, self-organized, learning within a community of teachers, and learners, enablers, implementers and experts etc. There is an enhancement of knowledge and performance with the use of internet based technology at the global level.  With the advent of E-learning and its spreading around the globe we see what it has to offer: It offers the learners control over content, control over the pace of learning, control over learning sequence, control over time taken to learn and the possibility of tailoring their learning to meet their personal goals. Apart from this there is the ease with which the global learner can now manage their access to the e-learning materials, peer review of the resources available online, as well as arriving at a consensus regarding technical standardizations etc.

The various innovations that are seen in e-learning technologies show us a revolution in the education system which has hitherto allowed learning to become customized and individualized (adaptive learning) as well as leading to concerted, collective and collaborated learning while leading to phenomenal transformation in teacher roles. Educators are no longer seen as distributors of content but as facilitators for the learning process as well as assessors of proficiency, capabilities and interests.

E-learning in the global age allows for internet based learning which is made possible to deliver a wide array of solutions leading to knowledge enhancement and performance. In the field of medicine E-learning is used to improve efficiency and effectiveness while providing interventional education in the aspect of social, pedagogical and scientific challenges.

What do we see as the areas that need greater focus in the coming years and for the global age of E-Learning?

  • Greater availability of learning material and experiences for those learners who do not wish to attend traditional face-to-face methods and offerings.
  • Cost-effective dissemination of instructional content across the many media and across the globe.
  • Teachers being able to impart learning to more students while maintaining the quality of the learning outcome especially to rural students and students who have opted for specialized courses.
  • The content once created must be managed standardized and delivered in the most efficient and appropriate manner, whether it is instructional material of small portions or larger modules.

Tips from expert E-tutors on how to prepare for the SSAT

 Do not wait until later or until the last minute to take a practice test

How to Prepare for the SSAT

The best way to prepare for the actual test is to take practice tests and take them much ahead of the exams. This will ensure that you know your weak areas, and become familiar with the pattern and format of the exam. You will also become comfortable with the tests and this confidence will come in useful when it really counts. Practice will help you develop a perfect attitude towards taking the test and improve your confidence levels tremendously because with the practice the questions and the answers would have become familiar; thereby ensuring you relax and perform better.

Ensure you take timed practice tests

Take timed tests so that you can improve on the timing before the actual examination. If you find that you are taking more time to finish one section of the paper this would be an indication of where you need to work faster and maybe harder. The more questions you are able to answer in a given time the better it is for you and this improves your chances of succeeding in the test. Your concentration will improve and you will answer the question efficiently and quickly. Ensure you use a stopwatch or a timer.

Ensure that you duplicate the test environment

Try to ensure that you take your practice tests in a quiet room exactly the way you envisage the actual examination hall to be. No distractions, no cell phone buzzing, no iPod, no stereo, and no TV. Sit at a table or desk and ape the actual test environment as much as possible.

Repeat the Tests at least twice

Make sure you take the tests at least twice and providing a gap of a few weeks between each test.

Commit to memory the test format and structure

Ensure that you are acquainted with the test format and structure since having knowledge of what’s expected of you is as important as the timing. This would help you know what material is covered as well under each section and enable you to understand the way the questions are worded.

Think like an examiner

Become acquainted with the variations in the questions and the manner in which they are expressed, phrased, worded or presented. Also, learn to think like the examiner. Try and find out what he / she is asking and also understand the question from the examiner’s point of view.

Do not resort to cramming

There are years of subject material that needs to be covered and cramming is not going to work. All the subject matter having to be studied in a few weeks will be next to impossible. Reviewing the subjects on the other hand would be a distinct possibility. This is where e-tutoring for specific subjects can come in useful and help you deal with the specific subject in the manner and approach given by the tutor. While studying instead of cramming, note those topics / questions that you don’t understand. Creating and keeping such a list saves you valuable time as you go closer to the test date. Do get help in the areas where you are facing trouble.

Remember that practice makes perfect

By writing out what you are unsure of you will increase the capacity of your brain to store that information and this will help at the time of the exam. Tackle the most difficult first and get help from an E-tutor wherever it’s needed.

 You can ace the SSAT with expert guidance from an e-tutor. Hope these tips have given you an advantage while preparing for the exam.

E-Tutoring – The modern way to prepare for SSAT

Many private schools require students for admission to take standard tests which help the schools assess the level of preparedness of the student for educational / academic work. The most pertinent and common tests being used to determine this are the SSAT and the ISSE. While your child may have done well in her previous school, there is a standard test which is necessary for gauging the child for admission to a private school. One may wonder what the reason is for the requirement of the admission test, when after all the child has had good grades and her teachers have given her a certificate of good conduct. The problem is that the admissions team in the private schools have no way of knowing exactly how much and what your child has learnt in the current school or what the child has not learnt. These standardized tests level the playing field for all students! They are a measure of your child’s performance against standard bench marks.

The modern way to prepare for SSAT

E-tutoring gives you and your child a new and modern approach to acing the SSAT. E-tutors with the years of experience and knowledge combined with the wisdom that comes with experience are able to take away the drudgery of preparing for these tests by bringing in a systematic approach devoid of ambiguity and provide you with a basic set of rules for the study process.

What the students must be aware of before beginning the preparation:

Testing is only part of the process of admission and it gives an indication of your child’s aptitude for the academic work which he or she would be taking up.

These tests test the child’s aptitude for math and language with a list of multiple choice questions. The language section comprises of exercise in comprehension and vocabulary. The math sections would deal with basic algebra, arithmetic and geometry. The important thing that the student should remember is that there will be negative marking for wrong answers – quarter of a point will be deducted for a wrong answer. These and many more such important and noteworthy points are what an E-tutor is able to bring your focus to. With this understanding the E-tutor prepares you in such a manner that the rigor and the tedium is removed.

Other areas where the E-tutor prepares you:

There will be experimental questions and the student may not even be aware of which ones these are. The clue and the advice here is – answer as many questions as possible and answer those for which you are reasonably sure of the answer.

Please ensure that you take full advantage of the E-tutoring class and take as many practice papers as possible to assess your skills levels and your competency levels. Taking the aid of the E-tutor you should ensure you have corrected your errors much before taking the test.

Become familiar with the test format. This is another area where the E-tutor will be able to guide you. The student may be aware of the answers in and out, but if he is not aware of the format he / she may not perform to the fullest potential.

The E-tutoring will give you a smart way of preparing for the test and keep you disciplined in your approach. Starting your preparation early and not cramming the content and / or the subject is another point to bear in mind and this again will become a part of your “learning smart”. Knowing what is expected of you, taking practice tests and as many as you possibly can, reviewing the subject matter with your tutor as many times as possible – all these become routine and fun with the right help from the right tutor. Remember that if your child is applying to a competitive school, her getting excellent test scores will be a deciding factor in his / her favor.

Do consider an experienced E-tutoring service for your child’s educational needs.

Ace the SSAT and get into the Best Private Schools with Expert Tutoring

 

If you happen to be a parent wishing to enroll your child in a private secondary school then you are certainly aware of the SSAT (The Secondary School Admission Test) which if performed well can ensure your child’s admission into selective private schools. The SSAT is being used by a few schools throughout the country, as an entrance exam that screens out the less qualified applicants. The SSAT is being used widely to assess the academic competency level of the students who apply to these select schools. Therefore it follows that there is a lot of weightage given to this test and doing well in it ensures your child’s admission to these private schools.

Best Private Schools with Expert Tutoring

How will students ace the test with help from tutors?

Tutoring has been widespread and has been found to be invaluable in enabling the students to excel in the SSAT. Given the current academic climate, the students aspiring to get into private schools have a need to receive outside help not just with standardized tests but also with their academic work. While in the past only those students who had been performing poorly sought outside help, today that the relentless competition and need for higher skill sets has led to even middle and top of class students taking outside help. They take help not just with the standardized tests but with their academic work as well. The right tutoring support can help these students in bolstering their knowledge and skills.

There are many tests that these students take for admission into the private schools such as ISEE, SSAT or COOP while there are other public schools which prescribe state-mandated tests which are pre-requisites for admission.

With the right tutoring, students will get to know the content of the tests as well as the strategies for understanding and answering the questions correctly. These standardized tests may be a challenge for students who have attended progressive schools and may find difficulty even in understanding the questions from these standardized tests. Even the bright students will need help while taking the practice tests and in learning to answer questions under timed situations and conditions. With an experienced tutor your child receives the required coaching in acquiring the skills which for better or worse are today a feature of modern education right from the lowest to the highest grade.

What is the right way to use tutors for excelling in the SSAT?

Tutors not only work with the content but also help the students with better test preparation strategies, study skills, and discipline required to ace these tests. Tutors thereby end up preparing the student for developing skills for life-long development and learning.

With the tutors who are also specialists in their subject the scope of understanding the particular subject within the SSAT increases and this is something the student should leverage on. Direct instruction from the tutors on how to study effectively and efficiently is of great benefit to the student. The tutors who also would have a good understanding and knowledge of their schools, with the requisite subject matter expertise, will help by ensuring they start preparation way ahead of the tests and preventing them from doing last minute preparations. Taking a couple of practice tests with the guidance of the tutor will prepare the student well ahead and also be a pointer to the errors and enable correction. Practice tests also provide a better understanding of the test format, the manner of questions asked and the time prescribed for answering them.

Finding a remedy for learning difficulties is another area where the tutor will be invaluable. The tutor will be able to guide you in the areas that other students in earlier batches have failed and thereby prepare you to avoid pitfalls.

So considering all these advantages, do consider enrolling with a tutoring center / organizations if you wish to ace the SSAT and get admission into that private school of your dreams!

Education in the Digital Era

Education in the Digital Era

“Capacity never lacks opportunity. It cannot remain undiscovered because it is sought by too many anxious to use it.” JACQUELINE COCHRAN

Digital is where the New Age is at. Digital is how everyone is thinking and acting today. Can the education space be far behind?

The online education and tutoring space today is witnessing exponential growth globally and specifically in the US, doubling from a 4% to 8% share of the total tutoring and test prep services. The last five years the industry has expanded rapidly due to the preference for online services and the existing economic crisis.

There are many significant developments that are spurring on this rapidly growing industry.

Economic background

As job security decreases in the US, people are seeking to rely less on expensive brick and mortar tutoring for their children and more on flexible, cheaper online options. Online tutoring by definition delivers training virtually, thus saving overheads on classrooms, furniture and such. These cost benefits are passed onto the happy customers.

The Pervasive Internet Technology

Like it or not, the Net is the space where young minds are being developed and is the accepted medium for most information today. Every household has an internet connection and virtually all services have their virtual presence – from groceries to transport booking to convenient at-home tutoring. Children grow up on the iPad and are receptive to personalized tutoring sessions that are delivered through this medium.

Increasing Competitiveness

The need to perform better than peers in a competitive world has put pressure on students to score high in school tests and admissions tests.

Working parents need a reliable, cost-effective and result-driven service to provide additional tutoring and mentoring for students across grades. This ensures that they perform competitively in their competitive admission exams and secure access to the best colleges, and thus, jobs.

The Response: Online Tutoring

The developments in this space is exciting, with the market research firm Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) releasing a study stating that the global private tutoring market is projected to surpass $102.8 billion by 2018.

While the US, Europe and Asia Pacific fuel the maximum demand, the solutions are predominantly delivered by Indian organizations as they are perceived as sincere and qualified educators.

For accredited online tutoring organizations in this space, with an established tutoring panel and reliable technology backup, accelerated growth and global virtual expansion is a guarantee. The demand far exceeds quality supply in this pioneering vertical.

Online tutoring seems to be the choice of the decisive Generation Now.

How Expert Tutoring can help you with your SCAT Scores

The SCAT has been in existence since 1985, when the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth started identifying talented youth in the elementary grades using this test – The School and College Aptitude Test otherwise called the Scholastic and College Ability Test.

The test is now being conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is used to benchmark students of a particular grade with students of the same grade as well as grades above them.This test is an above grade level test and requires great preparation.

SCAT Test Prep

There are three versions of the SCAT and they are:

  • Grade 2-3 Elementary SCAT meant for 3-6 graders and this is the elementary stage.
  • Grade 4-5 Intermediate SCAT meant for 6-9 graders and this is the Intermediate stage
  • Grade 6 and above which is the advanced stage meant for 9-12 graders.

Why do you need expert tutoring to ace the SCAT?

A comment on level of the test is essential before we go further into this discussion.

To be able to perform well in the SCAT your child / ward will have to be prepared to answer the most difficult questions on the test which will be at a much higher level than they would be currently. There may be chances that your child would have to make a guess of some of the answers. While incorrect answers will not get negative scoring on SCAT it is imperative that your child has an increased probability of selecting the right answer by the process of eliminating the incorrect one. The skill needed for this is deductive logic and this is a skill that will benefit in many areas of life.

An expert tutor who has been handling and empowering students to take the SCAT will be able to provide the necessary and sufficient guidance to your child in these areas.

Verbal and Quantitative Ability Tests in SCAT

The SCAT is also a measure of the verbal and quantitative ability of students in the age group of 8 and 17 years. This is normally a comparison of performance of students in different classes and also an excellent way of detecting diversity within classes. It is an estimate of a students’ ability and his / her potential in areas related to academic strengths, achievement in the areas of verbal and numeric capability etc. The SCAT has the uniqueness of testing the student’s ability to learn rather than their knowledge at a specific grade level. This being the case the student surely needs the additional tutoring expertise that will enable him to be on par with students at higher academic levels as well as exhibit prowess at greater standards if needed.

What would an expert prepare the student for?

The SCAT has two separate parts – the verbal, which consists of analogy questions measuring the students’ vocabulary and the second being the quantitative measuring his knowledge of basic numeric operations through comparison of quantities. In the latter case the student needs to make a comparison of two mathematical quantities and choose the right answer and make the right decision in comparing the quantities. In all areas of the SCAT we see that there is a greater emphasis on insight and ingenuity rather than on traditional questions. The results come in three sections – verbal, numeric and a combined score. This tests the student to the greatest extent and the expert tutor with the ability to guide the student in exactly the manner in which he / she is going to be questioned is a great boon to the parent as well as the student.

An expert tutor can analyse and identify your ability based on your strengths and areas needing improvement and provide you with a customized course that will include lessons, practice tests, worksheets, and full length tests too. Highly qualified expert tutors can help you score better in SCAT with their systematic approach and proven methods.

Role of E-Tutor in Education

The role of the teacher when engaging in e-learning undergoes constant change. The role played by online tutoring and its importance has been considered as a vital factor in the provision of E-learning solutions. This being the case, identifying the role of the tutor and ensuring that the necessary skill sets are available is paramount to the success of the e-learning platform. The E-tutor plays a crucial role as the chief representative for delivering the course content and as the main and crucial support to the learners.

E-Tutor in Education

The E-tutor should therefore not only be equipped with the skill sets and the appropriate subject matter expertise, they should also fit into four main roles that can be defined under social, managerial, pedagogical and technical. The E-tutor also needs a combination of skills that would encompass IT expertise along with expertise in using online learning resources, communication technology, and in providing the right environment to the learner. There have been different names assigned to the tutor in online interactioncoach, tutor, leader, facilitator, moderator, mentor, mediator, motivator, so on and so forth. Nevertheless, the names that are in vogue and seemingly appropriate are tutors, experts and learners. We can look into the academic tutors as those who provide support to the students throughout their learning process. When educationists and tutors evaluate their roles as academic tutors, when familiar face-to-face teaching does not seem to work in an online teaching environment we see that professional practices are changing.

The role of the E-tutor is generally not very different from the traditional teacher but all the same there are subtle differences. The responsibility of the E-tutor is at both the technical and educational level. There are three categories – the organisational, intellectual and the social.

There are generally four main e-tutor roles which can be enumerated as follows:

The Pedagogical or the intellectual roles are by far the most important whereby the E-tutor has to probe and question the student regarding critical conceptions, ideas, principles and skill sets. This role particularly involves tasks such as bringing focus into relevant content and opening up discussions, promoting interest and productive conversation, ensuring that the students are guided well while maintaining the student’s involvement in deliberations, debates, discussions and summarising apart from the vital task of interpreting on-line discussions.

Social roles would encompass ensuring a friendly and comfortable social circumstance and environment whereby the student feels comfortable learning. This role is generally considered as the critical factor for success in on-line learning. This role, in, particular should ensure opportunities for participants to get introduced and identification of and dealing with students who are reluctant to participate. This role is also one where the E-tutor has the additional task of ensuring that the right communication takes place whereby the social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the students are taken into consideration. The task of minimising offensive, humoristic, troublesome, disruptive and unruly behavior falls on the E-tutor, in this case. Establishing code of conduct and the right etiquette for interaction online in a learning environment also falls on the E-tutor.

Managerial / Organizational roles would incorporate the setting of learning goals and objectives and establishing the agenda to ensure these set objectives are met. This particular role as an E-tutor would also involve clarification of guidelines, directions and decision- making norms. As part of this role, the E-tutor has to remain patient, respond appropriately to student’s comments / contributions, encourage participation of the student community with comments, etc.

The most difficult part of the role would be the Technical aspect where the E-tutor is expected to familiarise himself and become comfortable with ICT systems and software that make up the e-learning environment. This would also mean ensuring that the students become comfortable with the ICT by providing technical guidance by offering study material, guidance, directions and feedback on al technical problems while enabling learning among members of the online groups etc.

From the above-mentioned four areas we see that the role of the E-tutor differs from that of the traditional face-to-face delivery in many ways such as:

  • Greater need for written skills
  • Requirement for monitoring multiple conversations happening simultaneously
  • Being equipped to teaching at specific times online
  • More of focus on student learning and student – student interaction and learning
  • Teachers have to be equipped to provide more encouragement to participants
  • Teachers required for accessing the worth of online contributions

Is Online Tutoring Right for Your Child?

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

–Plutarch

American schools are losing their credibility with higher fees, lack of expert educators and larger classrooms. Globally the recognition of American schools and universities is slipping. As a consequence, private tutoring is finding more acceptability, and specifically, online tutoring.

Why is Online Tutoring Popular

Why is Online Tutoring Popular

Online tutoring has found increasing acceptance because it is a perfect match for the young competitive, technology-savvy, future global citizen.

The young generation leverage technology for almost all aspects of their life at school and home. Therefore, education delivered on the internet, with the flexibility and ease of virtual lessons anytime, anywhere, is an obvious medium of choice for the children.

The parents are also secure in the knowledge that while they are busy, the additional tutoring is delivered through the internet and not in a possibly risky situation at home. Their children are being groomed by experts to ace school tests and prepare for competitive admission exams to colleges through a medium they are familiar with.

This secure learning environment has found increasing acceptance as parents witness the result in the scores of their children.  The tremendous cost-savings over commuting to a physical tutoring class or effort saved on arranging a study area for a home tutor is an additional silver lining.

One of the biggest advantages of online tutoring for busy kids is its sheer flexibility. One can schedule classes for the evenings or weekends, around their school hours, music or baseball classes and family time.

The Elements of a Good Online Tutor for Your Child

While there are many outfits that have mushroomed in response to the need for online tutoring, many struggle to deliver on the right tutoring content or approach. To be effective, the online tutoring providers should be:

Live! No recorded or animated topic can replace the benefit of having a live qualified tutor explain the concepts in depth to the student. Virtual one-on-one sessions where the students are free to clarify any concept at their own pace, is critical to student success at school.

Quick and personalized feedback is another advantage of having a live tutor at hand.

Right instructional approach:

The online medium necessitates certain tweaks to the delivery of content, with adjustments for ‘class’ practice and worksheets. The content must be designed in such a way that the student can complete online interactive exercises that capture the concept in-depth. Worksheets further reinforce learning and help with assessment of their progress.

Customized pace:

The greatest benefit the right tutoring service can offer you is a pace of study and work plan customized to the student’s capabilities and progress. In contrast to the classroom where the general study schedule is defined, in the tutoring sessions one can spend more time on weaker concepts to reinforce them.

Technology leverage:

An effective online system is based on real-time audio and/or video sessions and thus the back-end must be robust. High-end technology helps deliver smooth audio and video experience for disturbance-free sessions.

Experienced tutors:

And not the least – a qualified team of educators who are trained to deliver online learning specifically is critical to any online system. They are accessible between sessions on email or personal messaging systems too.
If one takes the effort of ensuring these basic specifications for a good online tutoring service, then the benefits that the student receives is many times greater than the investment.

Go ahead, schedule yourself or your child a free trial online session that most e tutoring sites offer, and make the most of learning in the new age!