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Posts about Educational Trends

Helping Teens Face Their Inner Critic

Contributed by Gail Slogoff

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life. It’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power.”

-Robert Kiyosaki

If you’ve ever caught yourself saying mean things to yourself, calling yourself lazy, stupid, or a failure, then you know what it’s like to have an inner critic. We can be incredibly judgmental of ourselves, and we often say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend.

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Posted in Educational Trends, College, Learning Styles, College Admissions

8 Ways to Use Your Gap Year Wisely

Submitted by ContinueLearning_AC

Maximizing your gap year to the fullest requires careful planning and scheduling. You can still use it as a period to recharge, though there’s always a concern that students can easily get sidetracked. Get the most out of your gap year by formulating a plan that establishes clear and detailed goals.

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Posted in Educational Trends, News

6 Tips for Submitting Letters of Recommendation

Patricia Duda (college-101.com) has been helping students develop a plan for college admissions for over 30 years. As a former AP gifted program coordinator and independent educational consultant, Pat knows what colleges want and has helped thousands of students navigate this daunting process. Here is some of her great advice on the recommendation process.

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Posted in Educational Trends, College Admissions

3 Simple Tips to Prepare Your Student for an Organized School Year

The beginning of the school year can be a stressful time for both parents and students. Between back-to-school shopping and adapting to new schedules, it’s easy to feel like you are trying to catch up more than prepare for the new school year. Organization is key to starting the school year on the right foot.

Jessica Lahey of the New York Times posted an article earlier this month, “Simple Solutions for Back-to-School Organization (Sorry, No Trapper Keeper),” that details some quick and easy ways to help your student prepare for the start of the school year.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Educational Reference

Best Practices for Online Tutoring

Video: Online Tutoring Overview
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Posted in Educational Trends, Tutoring

Pennsylvania Students Slowly Adopt Popular College Entrance Exam Option

Despite National Popularity of the ACT, Most Pennsylvania Students Choose SAT over ACT

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Posted in Educational Trends, SAT, Test Prep, News, College Admissions, ACT

A+ Develops Virtual Classroom

A+ Test Prep and Tutoring is about to launch the latest version of our Virtual Classroom, which allows students and tutors to meet and work together online. The Virtual Classroom is part of our sister company, iCollaborate.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Test Prep, Tutoring

The Top Five Benefits of a Flipped Classroom

Photo courtesy of mahlness on Flickr.

A recent innovation in teaching is known as the “flipped classroom,” in which students watch recorded lessons at home, and work on homework and projects at school. With increased access to technology for the creation of educational videos, and a wide variety of instructional platforms and videos available online, this approach to teaching is gaining popularity.

Tina Rosenberg’s recent New York Times opinion article “Turning Education Upside Down,” focuses on flipped classrooms and how they work. Rosenberg advocates for this method of learning, citing proof from a couple of schools that have successfully adopted the approach.

There are many benefits to using the “flipped classroom” approach, but the following are our top five reasons why we love this teaching style:

1. A flipped classroom encourages hands-on or project-based learning.

The flipped classroom approach is centered on the student, and her progress in understanding material through practical application. The flip “frees up class time for hands-on work,” Rosenberg writes. “Students learn by doing and asking questions — school shouldn’t be a spectator sport.”

In addition, this approach stresses collaborative projects and group work, allowing students to partner together to find a solution. Collaborative learning can be one of the most effective ways to boost critical thinking and knowledge retention, according to a Journal of Technology Education article “Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking” by Anuradha A. Gokhale.

2. Teachers have more time to work one-to-one with students in a flipped classroom.

A flipped classroom provides students with the support they need, at the time they need it. Not all students have an environment at home that can provide help with homework. Sometimes these students get frustrated and give up on homework, Rosenberg notes.

With a flipped classroom, students can get immediate one-to-one answers to their questions. “In a traditional classroom, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who tend to need the most attention,” according to Rosenberg. With a flip, the teacher can help coach students through the material, and has more time to monitor progress.

3. Students have time to digest the material and develop follow-up questions after viewing the material the night before.

If a student is confused about anything he’s watched in the online lesson, he can easily pause, rewind, and watch again. Teachers have transitioned from 20-minute videos to six-minute videos, Rosenberg says, to keep students’ attention and encourage repeated viewing.

4. Flipped classrooms bring creativity back to teaching.

The web provides access to thousands of lessons and videos that teachers can use to supplement their teaching. Technology has enabled teachers to have fun while filming a lesson, coming up with creative ways to teach a concept. One teacher interviewed in Rosenberg’s article said that “he feels like an ‘educational artist’ who doesn’t just talk and hand out sheets.” He continued, “‘I can create interactive lessons and exciting content. There’s so much more time to educate!’”

5. While further research on the efficacy of flipped classrooms is needed, initial results are encouraging.

Clintondale High School in Detroit is a fully “flipped school” with the results to back its change in teaching methods, according to the article. Graduation rates are up and the number of college graduates has increased dramatically since implementation.

To see more details on Clintondale’s success, click here for an infographic on Flipped Classrooms created by education software provider Knewton.

To read more about “flipped classrooms” and other approaches to learning, visit our blog, at aplustutoring.com/news.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Learning Styles, Educational Research

The Flipped Classroom Infographic

Knewton, an education software provider, created an infographic on "The Flipped Classroom;Turning Traditional Education on its Head"-- enjoy!

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Posted in Educational Trends, Learning Styles, Education

5 Steps To Improve Education in the U.S. From Harvard's Dr. Roland Fryer

Only 32 percent of fourth graders in the United States are proficient in reading. Just 39 percent are proficient in math, according to statistics from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Educational Research

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