A+ Test Prep & Tutoring Blog

Posts about Educational Trends

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

What Are Pennsylvania’s New “Common Core” Standards?

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Posted in Educational Trends, Educational Reference, News

Getting Your College Application into the "YES" Pile

College application "YES" pile

This article was contributed by Amy Sauber, a college admissions consultant in Blue Bell, PA.

Every year college admissions officers across the country must decide which students will make up their next freshman class. Besides test scores and GPAs they consider a variety of factors in order to determine which college applications will make it into the "YES" pile.

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Posted in Educational Trends, College Admissions

Teens Who Text And Drive Often Take Other Risks

A story posted on National Public Radio's website, npr.org, cites a study in the journal Pediatrics which finds that teens who text while driving are more likely to behave in other dangerous ways, such as driving without wearing a seatbelt, drinking and driving, or riding in a car driven by another teenager who has been drinking.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Educational Research

Testing Timers for the SAT Exam Now Available at A+ Test Prep and Tutoring

Testing Timers watches for the SAT Exam, which were featured in a recent New York Times article, are now available at A+ Test Prep and Tutoring! This watch and timer is really a "must have" for students who want to get their best possible scores on the SAT exam.

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Posted in Educational Trends, Test Preparation, SAT

What Harvard Looks for in a Student

Harvard President, Drew Faust, talks to the Wall Street Journal's Deborah Kan about what Harvard is looking for in undergraduate applicants, especially as it applies to students in China and other Asian countries who are interested in coming to Harvard to study.

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Posted in Educational Trends, College, College Admissions

Number of Test Optional Colleges Continues to Increase

A recent post in the New York Times' The Choice blog entitled Getting In Without the SAT, reports that the number of colleges accepting applications without standardized test scores, such as SAT and ACT scores, is increasing.

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Posted in Educational Trends, News, College Admissions

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