Tuesday
Dec232014

10 Online Learning Trends To Watch in 2015

10 Online Learning Trends To Watch in 2015 from EdTech includes :

Big Data - allows for more statistics on the actual learning process, tracking and group patterns, feedback analysis, and ROI reports for learning.

Gamification - learners remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% when there are visuals, 50% if they observe and hear an explanation and 90% if they do the learning job themselves. 

Personalization - includes self pacing, adjusting the learning approach, selecting their own learning path, adjusting the form of the content and combining their own interests. 

M-Learning - Mobile learning allows for easy access, contextual learning with QR codes and GPS, and smaller chunks of learning. 

Focus On Return On Investment (ROI) - The key with ROI is balancing costs with benefits. 

APIs - Application Programming Interface (API) allow services between different programs to integrate an eductioal program.

Automation - Someday soon we may be able to automatically turn content into lessons, quizzes and tests that would be customized for locations and for learners.

Augmented Learning - is where the environment adapts to the learner.

Corporate MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are beginning to be used in companies and for building social responsibility.

Rise of Cloud LMS - Learning Management Systems are continuing to grow with the development of cloud based authoring tools and learning platforms. 

 

 

Tuesday
Oct072014

Homeschoolers: Are you planning to watch the lunar eclipse Wednesday, October 8th?

Homeschoolers: Are you planning to watch the lunar eclipse Wednesday, October 8th?


The total lunar eclipse will rise during a full moon Wednesday October 8 just before sunrise. This is the second of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015. On the East Coast the eclipse starts at 6:25 EDT and on the West Coast at 3:25 a.m. PDT. During total lunar eclipses the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow, but instead of going dark, the moon shines with a rosy hue during the total eclipse because it reflects light from the sun coming through the Earth’s atmosphere. The red is not the only color skywatchers may see during a lunar eclipse.  Most of the light illuminating the moon passes through the stratosphere where it is reddened by scattering, but the light passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer which absorbs red light and actually makes the passing light ray bluer. See Total Lunar Eclipse Next Week Will turn the Moon Blood Red.


Include in your homeschool lesson The Moon: 10 Surprising Lunar Facts.


Tuesday
Sep232014

Four Problems and Four Solutions for Home Schooling Parents

Four Problems and Four Solutions for Home Schooling Parents

Home Schooling: A Guide for Parents suggests quality of instruction, family demands, citizenship education and special services for students with special needs present problems for homeschooling parents.


  1. Quality of instruction consisting of elements of content, process, learning environments, readiness, interests, materials, programs, and learning styles challenge homeschool teachers.  

  2. Family demands of time and money as well as the number of children at home may present challenges for the homeschooling parent.  

  3. Citizenship education in a homeschool environment without the presence of other students may limit the student’s exposure to other’s beliefs that may conflict with their own, may not present opportunities to share common experiences with other students, and may not expose the student to the diversity within a democratic society. Homeschooled students may not have as many opportunities to socialize and to learn to cope with the wider world.

  4. Homeschooled children with special needs may lose eligibility for special services from the local school district.


Solutions to problems represent compromises decision makers weigh and factor and measure against possible scenarios and projections.  “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” Henry J. Kaiser


  1. Quality of instruction problems may be resolved by choosing the online program Ignitia which offers 173 courses for grades 3 through 12. Adding a certified, experienced teacher to your homeschool team as a consultant resolves other issues related to teaching and learning.

  2. Family demands become bigger problems when families have not established organizational structures. Daily schedules with clear expectations and goals jointly set alleviate disputes and aggravations. Ignitia presents a daily schedule of lessons (lessons with quizzes, quizzes every 3 or 4 lessons, projects and unit tests).  

  3. Citizenship education starts with the human family.  Each member of the family has a role to play, has jobs to perform and has responsibilities.  Homeschool teachers need involve their student in the surrounding community starting with family then spiral out to  neighbors, churches, social groups, after school activities (homeschooled students are eligible to participate in after school activities), volunteer and service projects and jobs in their community.  Continue out to county and regional issues, state issues, national issues and world issues. As members of the crew of spaceship earth we must assume responsibility for our life support system. (See  Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth is a short book by R. Buckminster Fuller, first published in 1968 American neo-futuristic architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor.)

  4. Special education and related services may be available.  See the Home School Legal Defense Association’s  Special Education Provisions in the 50 States and Territories web site, and click on your state. About 90% of special education funding comes from state not the federal government. The federal government will not allow Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) money to go to homeschoolers.  Some states have enacted laws that provide services for homeschool students. According to Effectiveness of Special Education: Is Placement the Critical Factor?  approximately 33% of special education students spend 80% or more of their school day in the general education classroom.  Another one-third spend 40% to 79% of their day in general education. One-quarter spend 0% to 39% in general education.  The remaining 5% to 6% spend time in separate schools or other programs. How effective is inclusion in the general education classroom?  Does you child like going to school? Are the general education teachers effective in managing special education students in a general education classroom?  Are the academic results meeting your expectations?  Special education consultants can help homeschool parents with special education students.  Umbrella schools such as Almaden Valley Christian School offer home education services for families of children with learning differences, difficulties and disabilities.  Consulting and support groups are available.


Marketplace Mission Learning Center on Marco Island, Florida, offers a one room school of no more than seven students who receive attention and recognition, move at their own pace through our Ignitia  online curriculum and interact with students at different grade levels. Another option is homeschooling.  You can be the teacher using our Ignitia online curriculum.




Monday
Sep152014

The One Room School Revisited

The One Room School Revisited

 

Bill Kauffman in the Wall Street Journal article, In One Room, Many Advantages, examines Professor Jonathan Zimmerman’s book, Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory.  In 1913 half of the nation’s school children attended one of the 212,000 single teacher schools. By 1960 progressive educationists, growing cities and centralizing pressures reduced the total to 1%.  Zimmerman quotes Delaware school consolidators telling small school supporters that “modern education...is less romantic and more businesslike, more formal, more exact, more specialized, done according to tested methods and a standard schedule.” In the name of “efficiency” small town traditions were buried in a maze of regulations and policies.  Big was better, and it was only a bus ride away.  The days of walking to school were over. From 1930 to 1970 nearly two-thirds of all school districts were eliminated through the process of consolidation.  Parents and neighbors on a small town school board were incapable of keeping up with the new methods and policies. New Deal journalists filed stories depicting run down one room schools with students receiving inferior educations. Zimmerman quotes a rural mother who said that “individuality will be lost, the pride taken away from our school and our teacher gone.  Haven’t the parents who bear the children anything to say?”

 

Well, homeschooling parents have something to say.  According to the Institute of Education Sciences over 1.5 million students which is 2.9% of the school age population are now home schooled.

From a 2007 survey:

36% (of the students) of the homeschooling parents stated a desire to provide religious or moral instruction.

21% stated a concern about school environment such as safety, drugs and negative peer pressure.

17% stated a dissatisfaction with academic instruction.  

14% named family time, finances, travel and distance.

7% decided to provide a nontraditional approach to education.

5% named health problems or special needs.

 

Researchers have now discovered the advantages of a one room school.  A child is not a statistic on a government chart.  In a one room school a child is an individual and given the attention and recognition a child deserves.  A child can move at a pace that fits their ability and motivation. A child in a one room school interacts with older and younger children in a real world environment and is not some number locked in an age group in a remotely controlled warehouse where Progress is the latest buzz phrase (Back to Basics - President Reagan 1981-1989, Nation at Risk 1983, No Child Left Behind 2001, School Choice, President Clinton’s Technology Literacy Challenge, President Clinton and Nationalized Standards and Common Core)  and Bigness is the justification for government and for big business control.  

 

Marketplace Mission Learning Center on Marco Island, Florida, offers a one room school of no more than seven students where students receive attention and recognition, move at their own pace through our Ignitia  online curriculum and interact with students at different grade levels. Another option is homeschooling.  You can be the teacher. 

 

Friday
Sep052014

Marco Island Schools

Marco Island has five schools.