Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Effective Study Techniques - My 5 Tips

Here are my 5 top tips for effective study techniques that have helped me a great deal over the past months.
Firstly, some background, I have been studying the processes and skills required to successfully operate my own internet marketing operation, this has involved learning many new computer skills from creating and publishing websites to carrying out key word research for search engine optimization to writing articles. All of this involved many hours at the computer screen viewing videos online, reading books and using the absorbed information for practical exercises. I think the following guidelines can be relevant to any study subject.
Here are my 5 top tips...
  1. Study with a clear head... by this I mean only study when you have taken care of any work, family or household commitments. Trying to absorb information with other things at the back of your mind can be a massive distraction.

  2. Do not study past your attention span... Every one has different attention spans, I am fortunate as I have found that mine is quite long, I can study for several hours without a break and still concentrate and absorb information. Try to judge your own attention span and work to that, as soon as you find your mind wandering or you begin to feel fatigued, take a break or stop for the day to refresh your mind. As you study more you may find that your attention span increases, it also helps of course, if you have a real interest in and enjoy whatever subject you are studying.

  3. Set yourself realistic targets/deadlines... If you have a project to complete as part of your studies ensure you allow yourself ample time to understand and complete the project thoroughly. Do not be tempted to rush through sections of your studies in your eagerness to progress to the next stage, doing this will inevitably result in you having to go over the section or project that you rushed through at a later stage because you did not fully digest or understand the information being conveyed.

  4. Find at least one active online forum... Related to the subject being studied, this is especially vital if you are, like me, studying alone. Forums provide a means to interact with others who have an interest and knowledge in the your chosen field, forums allow you to ask questions, debate theories, gather opinions and bounce ideas around. They are a great source of information and motivation.

  5. Award your achievements... When you complete an assignment, module or project, celebrate your success in some way. I very rarely drink alcohol but I enjoy a glass of wine so my reward is a celebratory glass of white wine whenever I complete a task, it can be anything that you decide, but reward yourself for every progression you make. WHATEVER YOU ARE LEARNING, ENJOY YOUR STUDIES AND USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN A POSITIVE WAY.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Use Interactive Whiteboards in Online Tutoring Sessions

Now that a large number of people are turning to online tutors, there is a great demand to provide a good tutoring experience and deliver results. Although time flexibility and resource availability are huge advantages of online tutoring, it needs to be something different in order to make a difference from classroom learning and therefore provide solutions to students who need help to fully understand concepts.
In order to provide such a solution, it is important to use technology to our advantage. One such educational technology that has been developed is an interactive whiteboard. Interactive whiteboards are a progression from traditional blackboard and chalk, and even whiteboard and markers. They do not require you to write or draw anything by yourself, and provide some really good features that can be used for a good interactive teaching session.
Interactive whiteboards come loaded with features. You can display presentations, animations, videos, graphs, tables, images, and whatever other material you wish to show your student. You don't have to do any of it by hand; you can use handy tools to make most of these resources, and can often find many useful resources for free online. You can download these resources and easily display them on whiteboards.
Interactive whiteboards are also special because they are interactive. You don't just stand by while some material is projected on a screen; you can write on it, make notes, comments, annotations, show certain maneuvers to your students - all through a touch screen or a stylus. All these can be saved for future reference.
To make your class more interesting, and do away with long hand-written assignments, quizzes and papers that you have to spend time grading, interactive whiteboards can be used again. They often come with devices which can record student responses to multiple choice questions and such like, and also automatically evaluate marks, making the teaching job much easier for you. It takes care of all the menial work so that you can concentrate on putting together some of the best material for the student.
In online tutoring sessions, tutors use a board to write down points on. However, as much is provided in schools. In order to catch the student's attention and provide them the extra input that will help them understand concepts, interactive whiteboards can be used. Videos and animations can go a long way in helping students conceptualize fundamentals of a subject. Since online tutoring as it is does not allow you to receive hard copies of written assignments, interactive whiteboards can help you there as well.
In case you do not conduct live tutoring sessions, interactive whiteboards can again be very helpful. Since you will not be present to clarify doubts to re-explain concepts that have not been understood the first time, it becomes more important to use material that can elucidate subject matter clearly. You can also record videos on interactive boards; you can use this recorded matter for passive tutoring.
Interactive whiteboards can be a very useful resource for online tutors to provide that extra understanding and clarity in concepts that may not be provided in schools. Use of technology in education can help students learn and understand in ways suited to them.