Colin earned two BAs in English and French as well as a minor in Communications from the University of North Texas in Dallas. While at UNT, Colin served on campus as a tutor, helping with history, writing, and French. After graduating, Colin became a private tutor, mainly helping elementary aged students in all subjects, including writing, math, history, and science. Colin has also served as a writing tutor for middle and high school students. Colin enjoys using games, stories, and activities to get students to learn. He is skilled at making any subject a fun experience for even the most begrudging learner. Colin also plans to become a child psychologist and is already in the midst of learning the best methods to teach young learners. In addition, Colin is a certified ESL/TEFL educator, meaning he is skilled at teaching English as a second language.
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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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While focusing at home can be challenging, there are many things that parents can do to create a positive learning environment even with the Corona Virus. First, it is important to create a quiet, dedicated workplace away from distractions. The workspace should have materials such as textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, worksheets, and laptop/ipad that students can access for online learning. It is important to consider the lighting as well as making sure the area is clean and neat so students can focus. Creating a structured time schedule and checklist can help students stay on track and feel productive. The schedule should include structured breaks to recharge and include movement. Some students may benefit from having classical music or other soft instrumental music.
Especially for younger students, the learning space should not contain toys, games and other items that could distract students.. Providing a comfortable area for students for students to read should also be created as reading will improve students writing and spelling as well as strengthen their imagination. Having plenty of books in addition to online resources is important.
It is important to maintain a regular schedule during even temporary homeschooling so that students can be most productive and get back into the regular routine of school once the virus settles down. Holding students accountable may be challenging but it will be important so that they will be prepared for the next grade.
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? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?I know you are thinking how hard can it be to find a tutor? There are advertisements all over and tutoring companies left and right, but finding a tutor is the easy part! Finding a good tutor is a bit more difficult! Hopefully these guidelines will help you! Beach Cities Tutors embody these qualities!
1)?? Patient– A good tutor must have patience in regards to explaining concepts and also allowing time for students to grasp concepts and learn from errors. A good tutor will never rush a student and will let the student know that they are happy to help while allowing the student to work independently for a portion of the time after receiving guided instruction and modeling.
2)?? Structured– A good tutor will go through step-by-step instructions. He/she will write down the steps with simple wording and examples. A good tutor paces the tutoring session so that the student will not be bored, but also not feel stressed. A good tutor will set the expectations for the session. They will spend a little time to talk to the student and make them feel comfortable, but make sure to stick to the subject matter and redirect the student if they start discussing off-topic subjects.
3)?? Inspiring– A good tutor will build the students? confidence by showing them they are competent and can succeed with effort and practice. A good tutor will also serve as a positive role model for the student.
4)?? Animated– Good tutors should not use a monotone voice. They should vary their voice and facial expressions to keep the student engaged. Humor but not sarcasm can also help the session to be more enjoyable for the student and increase his/her comfort level. A good tutor wants the student to feel comfortable asking questions.
5)?? Individualizes instruction– A good tutor will tailor their instruction to the student?s learning style (visual, auditory, AND/OR kinesthetic). The tutor can give a test to determine this, use a questionnaire, observation, or parent/teacher interview.
6)?? Checks for Understanding– A good tutor will make sure that the student can demonstrate their understanding of the subject by either orally quizzing them or having them solve problems (math). This should take place after going over the subject matter, doing examples, giving written step-by-step directions, practicing together. A good tutor will not allow a student to just say they understand without proving it.