In March of 2011, my family and I were blessed with the birth of my niece. When I took the trip to New Jersey to meet her for the very first time at two weeks old, I could not help but think about how the world will be different from the one my sister and I grew up in. Thinking about her education and what tools would be available to her I could not help but imagine how integrated technology would be in her life. This begged the question, “how would technology redefine the context of education for her?”
Children born today will grow up with very little experience using textbooks, as I knew them in school. They will not miss the feel of a book or the smell of the pages as many people do today when they are faced with e-books. Children born today will appreciate the multi-dimensionality of the next generation of e-books. Simply look at what companies like Inkling and Apple (iBooks2) are doing with e-books. My niece will look at my old books and wonder how I learned with such primitive technology (Oh boy, she’s going to make me feel old!). For her, paperback books will lack in the features she considers standard. Continue reading
Something needs to change in the way we prepare students. This wasn’t always a problem so I do not believe teachers are to blame. Perhaps “how” we prepare students needs to change. The collegiate landscape is very different today and the real-world is radically different. Problem solvers are what we need. We can address this with elementary and high school students starting right now to make sure they are prepared to succeed in college and beyond.
A couple of days ago, I asked a former student to provide me with feedback that I could share with potential clients. I was really only expecting a paragraph or so, but what came back was so much better. Ryan took the time to write me a very thorough assessment of his time working with me. Reading through his comments and how our work together culminated into a successful first semester in college is the reason why I love helping students. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Ryan! Have a great Spring 2012 semester!
The following is the full copy of the note he sent to me:
To Potential Studee-Lounge Clients,
My name is Ryan and I am a former client of Roger Osorio at Studee-Lounge. I am currently a freshman at the University of Missouri. I started using Roger as an academic coach when I needed help in subjects such as Algebra, Trigonometry, Chemistry and really anything I had questions with.
I had never used a tutor before this and it seemed a bit unorthodox for me to need help, but all in all I DID. We met at locations such as Barnes & Noble or Starbucks, something public and relaxing. At first I felt like it would be awkward and I was somewhat unsure of working with an academic coach, but after meeting Roger I found myself in a very relaxed and helpful environment. He came off strikingly intelligent by opening up any section in my books and scanning it; he would either explain the topic first if I had no clue how to do it or let me start if I felt comfortable with the problem. If I was stuck he would intervene and help me out, letting me then finish the problem by myself. Roger isn’t a guy that will just let you get stuck, get angry, quit and then give you the answer. He would remain very calm, positive, helpful and extremely reinforcing. Continue reading
Mistakes are often penalized in our current educational system. For instance, you raise your hand with a wrong answer and it’s often followed by “wrong, anyone else?” Or you receive a grade on a test without ever exploring your mistakes in depth to learn what was done incorrectly and how it could have been approached differently or why it was very close but simply off by one or two minor details. Another demonstration of this punishment system is the rewards and positive labels that are assigned to students that make few or no mistakes and conversely the negative labels assigned to those that do make mistakes. Just imagine how poorly Thomas Edison would have scored in a class dubbed “Making a Light Bulb.” He would have been “wrong” over 1,000 times! Continue reading
Last week I was called by a parent to help her daughter prepare for her fifth attempt at the ACT. The reason for this was that her college of choice required a two point increase on the ACT a week later. With only 6 days to help her I had to approach this very differently.
The first thing I do is figure out if the student has performed to his or her potential. This is where you can find the real opportunity for quick improvement. Often I find that confidence and time are the two biggest factors holding a student back from performing to his or her potential. I run several drills where I eliminate the time factor and the bad habits formed from lack of confidence. After several drills I can start to get an idea of what kind of score this student is really capable of achieving if he or she eliminates those negative factors. Continue reading