Although there are many negatives of distance learning, there are some positive effects to note as well. Although the rapid shift to distance learning was frustrating for many teachers at first, 87% of teachers reported in an EdWeek Research study that their ability to use educational technology has improved and they plan to use their newfound skills even when school reopens. Teachers have been pushed to innovate and create online resources such as youtube videos, cloze notes, online assignments, and other materials to teach students with and without disabilities outside of school. Although teacher’s opinions about technology are improving they are not quite as positive as administrators’ outlook. On another positive note though many students were given more access to technology and computers than before the pandemic. Greater access to 1 to 1 computing will make high quality teaching easier. Additionally, teachers have had to deal with a wide range of tech issues and as a result have become a lot more competent at troubleshooting tech problems. This skill will help them when they return to in person teaching as well. No one would argue though that teachers do need professional development and training on how to incorporate computers into instruction, but the pandemic may speed up the incorporation of technology into instruction for students across the board rather just in wealthier districts. We would love to hear your views on the impact of technology on your child or teen’s education within the last few months.
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I know you are wondering what exactly is digital literacy? Is it just what the term sounds like? “Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” Digital literacy has three main components:
1) Finding and consuming digital content
2) Creating digital content
3) Communicating or sharing it.
The first component is pretty much the same as reading a print book. Besides the difference in turning a page on an e-reader, reading digital content is not much different than reading print. However, this type of reading is not interactive unless students are taught additional skills on how to annotate. Highlighting, taking notes, sharing content with added comments all are part of annotating which allow the student to be more engaged in reading. This is not only helpful for comprehension, but it is necessary to become an active learner who retains information and can apply it for later use. Another important aspect of digital literacy is learning to search for content in an online space. Students have to determine the most effective keywords to yield the best results as well as assess the reliability of content and websites.
The second component of digital literacy involves content creation.This includes writing in digital formats such as email, blogs, and Tweets, as well as creating other forms of media, such as videos and podcasts. Creating digital content requires creativity, collaboration and risk taking. Because the purpose of digital writing is to communicate with others, it is more often shared than printer writing. This enables students to actively share their views and participate in civil discourse.
Sharing content is the third component of digital literacy and related to creating content. Although It is amazing that children/teens can contribute to society more easily than in the past, with that privilege also comes an added responsibility. Sharing content can have consequences such as risks to students’ safety, privacy and reputation. Students need to be taught appropriate internet behavior. We, as teachers and parents, cannot assume they know these rules.
Whether we like digital literacy or not, it is here to stay and more likely possibly replace literacy of the past. With this realization, digital design, coding, and problem solving will be important skills for students to learn in the future if they will succeed in the future, global society and job market.
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New research shows that standing desks have reduced classroom management issues and produced a calmer environment. In addition, students have more stamina for learning. Studies at Texas A & M suggest that standing desks help students’ ability to stay on task and pay attention by an extra 12 percent which equals 7 minutes extra of instruction time per hour. In addition, there are health benefits in relation to reducing childhood obesity and relieving stress on spinal structure. Even at low levels, physical activity may benefit cognition. If this helps some students, it can help the whole class because it can save the teacher and students’ time in regards to behavior issues. It also shows students that everyone learns in different ways and make accommodations for those who need to wiggle a bit more. Thumbs up for standing desks:)! It is something you can try at home as well.
If you are interested in reading more please see the links below!
In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus schools must adapt to changing conditions. Social distancing will involve limiting class size in order to keep students 6 feet apart, closing communal spaces, and restricting non-essential visitors. This is the antithesis of how schools usually operate as well as the antithesis to their core values of socialization and collaboration. Although schools cannot 100% eliminate the possible spread of the coronavirus, they can work to reduce the risk as much as possible. These are the challenges and decisions that school leaders must make to make ensure students have a safe return to in-person schooling.
School officials must factor in not only the logistics but the cost. Schools will need to have deep cleaning on a regular basis which may require increasing janitors’ hours. Staff needs to have accessible hand sanitizer for all students in the classrooms, bathrooms, lunch rooms. Also, smaller class sizes may require teachers to work more hours increasing their pay. This could cost districts millions of extra dollars.
In addition to cost, school and district leaders need to consider the new school rules. Should students and staff be required to wear masks all day? Is this safe? Should schools screen for fevers before allowing students and staff to enter? How will high risk staff and students be protected? These are just some of the questions that districts need to consider in their reopening plans.
Schedules must be changed in order to ensure that 6 feet distance can be accommodated in busses, hallways, cafeterias and classrooms. What will this look like? Some schools are planning a hybrid approach that combines distance learning with in person learning. Some other options include, a multi-track system, a staggered school day, a “bubble” method that keeps students in the same groups, a cyclical lockdown strategy, and converting to a year-round schedule. Some of these options may be used simultaneously.
While this is not a simple challenge and may have numerous solutions, the US needs to compete as schools around the world are reopening and employing strategies from opening one day a week to requiring all students to wear masks. Rules and regulations may look very different from district to district which could also widen the education gap depending on where you live. To say the least, It will be an interesting return to school.
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Just because you are an adult and not taking college classes does not mean you can’t learn new skills! Beach Cities Tutoring is offering discounted summer rates on tutoring for adults in the following areas: computer coding, screenwriting, essay writing, creative writing, piano lessons, Spanish tutoring, French tutoring, all levels of math tutoring, business finance, and Chemistry tutoring. We will customize the sessions to your interests and current skill level as well as work with your schedule to match you with the best tutor fit.
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We know that parents have limited safe options with COVID, and we have many summer programs including math previews, Book clubs, screenwriting, computer coding, writing workshops, test prep, Launchpad reading camp, Spanish tutoring and more. Our tutors and teachers are super qualified, and there is no registration fee or minimum amount of hours/months that you need to sign up for. We also have programs for students with special needs.
If you do need any support at all this summer or fall, Beach Cities Tutoring can provide credentialed teachers as well as very experienced tutors who are not credentialed teachers to do private in home tutoring or ONLINE. We also do group tutoring if you would want to hire one for a group of families.
If want any more information, please feel free to reach out to Ivie at (310) 210-4415 or visit our website at http://www.beachcitiestutoring.com. We are locally owned and operated. We have been serving Manhattan Beach families for the last 7 years and are on Yelp and Google Reviews. Hope you have a smooth week ahead! I have taught special ed for the last 17 years and am personally looking forward to getting back to regular school as well!
Ivie and the Beach Cities Tutoring Team
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Would you like to review the fundamental concepts of chemistry before the Fall semester? Let’s work through the following concepts to build a strong basic understanding of important chemistry concepts to aid you this upcoming year! Class taught by extremely popular tutor and Chemistry teacher, Vanessa. Vanessa was the most requested tutor last year and we were so sad to loose her when she moved to Washington state. Now through zoom, she has rejoined our staff and we are so happy to have her back!
Recommended worksheet booklet:
- Chemistry Workbook Grade 9-12 By, Carson Dellosa Education
- A composition book for student notes
|Chemistry Concepts covered: States of Matter Nomenclature* Stoichiometry* Chemical Reactions* Bonding Solutions* Gases Acids & Bases Thermochemistry*||Commonly challenging topics: Nomenclature Stoichiometry Chemical Reactions Thermochemistry Solutions|
Topics above are a general guideline, how much is covered is dependent on the student’s progress and understanding. The goal will be to cover all of the following topics.
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Private tutors not only help students academically, they also serve as a consistent mentor who can support students to stay focused and on task. Does your child have trouble sitting down, being attentive, and getting work done? There is only so much zoom a child/teen can handle. It is not a replacement for human interaction. Tutoring can also help provide some structure to a student’s school day. Private tutors can teach important study skills such as keeping a homework planner or online calendar. They can help with binder or google drive organization and turning in assignments. They can also help with goal setting and time management. These are important skills not only for school but for life.
Additionally, tutors can also help to motivate and energize students. If they build the right connection they can make learning fun and even make the child look forward to their tutoring sessions. Finally, tutors can reach out to children’s teachers and work as a team. Many parents are trying to work full time jobs while also being the homeschool teacher, nurse, and counselor. Private tutoring can ease the burden and allow for the family to have more fun learning time together that can include taking virtual field trips, reading, or going on a nature walk.
Many parents often think of tutoring only for students who are struggling. Private tutoring can help students who need extra support in remediation and academic core content, but it can also help students who need more challenging work. Do you find your child is done with all their homework by 1pm and playing video games the rest of the day? Depending on the school and your child’s pace of learning, many students can benefit from supplemental instruction that goes beyond the grade level curriculum. This enrichment could be in the form of creative passion projects, science labs, computer science coding classes, higher level math problem solving, essay or screenwriting classes, or even financial literacy content. For students who are struggling, tutors can revisit and reteach content, provide additional practice review problems, help students study for tests, and guide them through school packets.
For parents that do have reservations about in person tutoring, online tutoring through zoom offers a great alternative where the student and tutor can see each other through a screen while simultaneously using screen sharing and annotating tools to make the sessions very interactive. Some students even enjoy this more and it is definitely the safest method for now.
For more info please visit our tutor bios under “About Us” tab and feel free to call or email us through our contact form.
Beach Cities Tutoring has Added Screenwriting and College Application Essay Tutoring to our Manhattan Beach summer classes! Don’t miss out, first come/first serve.
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Since it looks like many of us are staying home for summer, why not participate in some fun/education classes for kids and teens?
Summer Screen Writing Class (individual or small group)
Love movies? Want to learn how to actually write a screenplay? Beach Cities Tutoring is offering an introductory course on screenwriting this summer. Students will learn the fundamentals of screenwriting structure and formatting, how to create compelling characters, how to craft believable dialogue, and how to generate great ideas in the first place. By the end of the course, students will complete a short script and learn the business of how to pitch and sell that script. This course is available one-on-one or in small groups and is led by a professional screenwriter.
This class will cover:
* Screenplay Structure & Formatting
* Character Development
* Crafting Strong Dialogue
* How to Pitch and Sell a Project
Summer College Application Essay Writing 101
Stressed about college essays? Need help with brainstorming, structuring, organizing, and editing your essay? Beach Cities Tutoring is offering College Application Essay Writing 101 this summer. Get individualized guidance and help from an experts. This is a one on one class.
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As a pretty traditional teacher for the last 17 years, I never thought that I would be teaching online from home. In fact, when I first heard we were switching to online learning I was scared to death. Yes, I work in a technology charter school, but that didn’t mean that I was ready to give up the personal face to face interaction with my students that I had always thrived upon.
So my next question was what should the school day look like? Taking pride in my time management skills and always making the most of every moment of my day, I considered should students
- Follow a typical school day schedule in which all instruction happens for all students at the same time, also known as synchronous education
- Follow a modified or reduced hour schedule (also synchronous)
- ,Have flexible learning time in which they can access videos and work on assignments at their own pace, also known as asynchronous.
Although there are positives and negatives of all these options, depending on the type of student one of the options may be way more advantageous than the others.
However, Many experts believe that a combination of option b and c benefit students the most because let’s be honest, so much time is wasted during a typical school day and in addition all students learn at different rates, in different ways, and have different attention spans. Therefore, it only makes sense to have a reduced hour school day in which teachers deliver condensed to the point instruction without a lot of fluff and then allow students who need or want extra reinforcement to access video lessons and complete assignments on their own time given a specific deadline to submit their work. The scheduled learning time could also be used for collaboration with small groups (zoom breakout groups). Another benefit of this type of instruction is that it puts more responsibility on the student and will ultimately help prepare students for college in which they need to be self motivated and proactive in their own learning. It’s a win win or is it?
Students will have to take ownership of their education, but are all students ready for this? This is where private tutoring can be extremely beneficial because let’s face it not all students are self motivated nor can they grasp difficult concepts super quickly. Additionally, some students need more one on one support and reteaching. For those students who struggle to pay attention teachers, should try to involve and require student participation as much as possible during the scheduled learning time, whether it is having students answer questions through zoom’s chat feature or reteach.
One of the biggest benefits of a shorter school day and more flexible student paced assignments is that students will have more time to exercise, employ their creative talents such as painting, drawing, writing, as well as explore their own interests. I think with this extra time teachers should require students to learn a new skill and write about it to share with their classmates. Making sure students use their free time wisely versus watching mindless tv, playing video games or spending hours on social media will ensure students value their alone time and not take it for granted.
So is distance learning here to stay and if it is what should educators consider?
An important fact to consider in planning distance learning is student age. I have mostly been examining this issue through a high school teacher’s lense, but middle and elementary students can also benefit from shorter periods of instruction and assignments that can be completed at their own pace as well. Unfortunately, they will likely require a lot more support from parents or private tutors. Subject matter is another issue to examine when looking at distance learning. English is often easier to use flexible (asynchronous learning) as it involves students reading, thinking and writing on their own; whereas, Math should be taught in a synchronous period so students can ask questions and see teachers model problems. Right now we have the ability to experiment with distance learning to see what works best for teachers and students, but given the choice I think distance learning could be the positive change in the Brave New World of education that is here to stay.