Neglected Factors When Choosing Math Tutoring Services

A lot of individuals are struggling at school most especially on subjects like math. Surely, some individuals are gifted with mathematical talents, but there are some who are having difficulties on this subject. This is why, more and more individuals are searching for math tutoring services.

When searching for such services, individuals need to consider numerous factors. For one, you need to check the credibility of the institution. Next, you need to make sure that their instructors are skillful and knowledgeable. And, you need to ensure that their teaching methods can accommodate your needs. Unfortunately, some individuals still cannot find the right service for their needs since they neglect other essential factors in choosing tutorial services. Below are some of the following.

Type of math lessons

One of the most factors that individuals neglect when opting for math tutoring services is the type of lessons they offer. Some individuals think that math subjects are all the same. However, mathematics is divided in different branches. Thus, there are cases when individuals choose the wrong tutorial service which can affect their goals and their finances as well. Because of this, it is important for individuals to know their need before opting for tutors.

Location

Another factor that is commonly neglect by individuals is the location of the service provider. Of course, there are numerous institutions that offer tutorial services. But, as mentioned above, some institutions can provide better services since they have the best instructors and teaching methods. Sadly, choosing tutorial services from distant places can be hard most especially if you have a hectic schedule at school. To avoid this, it is best to look for nearby service providers. Or perhaps, ask providers if they offer online tutorials.

Schedule

For some individuals, they also neglect the schedule of tutorials. Surely, most individuals who opt for such services go to schools. And, there are instances when they are required to do extra-curricular activities which can affect their schedule. So, it is important for individuals to make sure that they look for tutorial services that can match their schedule. Another option is to ask if tutors can provide you with flexible schedule to allow you to have sufficient time to accomplish personal obligations and chores.

Package deals

Finally, some individuals also neglect to ask about package deals. Most math tutorial providers offer different types of lessons. And, they can provide you with wonderful deals when opting for other services they provide. With this, individuals can cut down their expenses and learn more from reliable tutors.

These are only some of the neglected factors individuals need to be aware of in order to help them become better at mathematics.

How to Show Support for Autism

Dr. Fuentes, a leading Autism researcher, published a checklist to help empower individuals living on the spectrum as well as educate those who worked or lived with individuals with Autism. The checklist is evidence based and is entitled “How to Support me.”

Dr. Fuentes says, “We see in our nations a radical evolution in the development of services to people with ASD.” He continued, “We consider them full citizens, who must receive personalized support in within their communities. We must pay attention to their hopes and dreams when planning for their futures, to empower them and their legal representatives to make decisions, and to favor their pursuit of self-determination, satisfying relationships and full inclusion in their search for quality of life.”

In addition to working closely with the Board of Spain’s Gipuzkoa Autism Society, where Fuentes acts as a research consultant, he enlisted the help of young adults living with autism to give feedback on early editions of the document.

These standards help empower patients with Autism and their families:

1. Remember that the individual is not “autistic.” They are, first, primarily and always an individual, a student, a child; and they have autism. Do not confuse the person and the condition. Friends and family should never the term in a negative or hurtful way. All children deserve to be respected.

2. Children with autism are not the “same” as others with autism. Make an effort to get to know each person as an individual. Seek to understand their strengths, weaknesses and personality. Ask them – and their friends and family, if they cannot reply – about their hopes and dreams.

3. Autism patients need services. Services should begin early. The diagnosis is -or should be- a public health concern throughout all of the countries of the world. There are instruments to monitor for it. These tools can apply in the context of screening for other disabilities. An early start will change lives! Roughly that about one quarter of siblings of those with autism will have developmental problems.

4. Children with Autism should be included in the health care system. The health care system can create access for patients living with the spectrum disorder by reducing waiting times and helping patients understand what will happen. Offices can help by using easy-to-read materials, pictures, and advanced technology to explain procedures. This could help other patients too.

5. Teachers and schools should not separate children with Autism. They belong with other children. Separation to for special treatment may not be helpful. Children with Autism can, and should, be placed in traditional schools and regular community settings with special support provided in those places. Each child has something to teach other children.

6. Children with Autism, when possible, should plan for their future and their transitions. Children with Autism belong with their family. When necessary, family and friends can speak on behalf of those with Autism. Government agencies should not attempt to replace the family. Families make sacrifices to raise children with Autism and deserve recognition for their hard work.

7. Evidence-based services need to be provided to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These services are often more difficult and time consuming, but they are helpful for cognitive and social skills. Medication is not a replacement for education and social services. New medical treatments may be helpful, but you should view them with some level of caution. Continue doing research, get children with Autism involved and ensure their rights are protected so they can help others..

8. Keep individuals with Autism active in society. Involve those on the Autism spectrum in vocational training so they can have a say. Services provided during adulthood should be led by determination, personal relationships, and activity in community events. The community should make an effort to adapt environments to help accommodate needs. This will help make our society better.

9. Those on the Autism spectrum face discrimination and disrespect for many reasons including fear and ignorance. Many individuals with Autism live in poverty and are at higher risk for violence and abuse. More community systems need to be in place to help those who are at risk, including immigrants on the spectrum.

10. Every child and person has a role to play in the world. Families dealing with Autism want to be involved in helping to create and shape policy development and evaluation. They motto: “Nothing about me, without me,” should guide leaders when making decisions about treatment and accommodations.

What Makes a Good Training and Education Franchise?

A franchise is a business relationship through which the parent company or the franchisor authorizes a franchisee to sell their goods and services in a particular area. The franchisee has the right to use the technique, trademark but is bound by the business standards of the franchisor.

The concept of franchising has caught up in the career training and education field. A number of parent institutions have handed over training centers to franchisees today. This is an opportunity for students who are not able to relocate to the parent institution itself due to various constraints.

The Franchising Advantage

Reasons why a franchise relationship is established are many. From the franchisor point of view it is easier to extend their services to a wider base of individuals with less operational hassles. The franchising model is also cost effective for the franchisor as it does not have to waste its resources on manpower management and other administrative costs.  

It is possible to expand the geographic presence while making use of the franchisee resources and local expertise. The challenge for the parent company is to make the authorized entity maintain the same quality of business standards and ethics and ensure that the customer satisfaction levels are not compromised.

From the franchisee point of view all that is required is capital and business acumen to flourish in that particular field. The need for building goodwill and credibility of the brand is almost nil as it is taken care of by the parent company. This makes it easier to concentrate on the business and deliver quality service to the customers or clients.

Gauging The Right Training And Education Franchise

Training and education is a part of the service industry. Gauging the quality of the services provided by the franchisee is not always easy. The challenge a prospective candidate will face is to weigh difference between the parent institute and the authorized institute. It could be that the parent institute is a century old and has established its repute for decades. But that cannot be a scale to measure the success of a franchisee as the service provided is intangible.

The success of a training and education franchise largely depends on its manpower resources. Although the course curriculum is from the parent institute, the faculty resource is a major criterion that needs serious evaluation. Before enrolling into any program you should take a few steps to find out about the resources on the program. You can talk to the counselor at the institute, past or present students enrolled in the program or take opinion from others in the same field. Look for the qualification, experience in teaching, hands-on industry experience and their ability to deliver as a teacher.

It is always good to ensure that the franchisee follows the course curriculum provided by the mother institute. Also make sure that you get all the benefits assigned to students by franchisor, if any. For example, the price of the courseware might have been included in the fee structure. You can also avail the infrastructure facilities such the library, computer center or any other additional facilities that has been authorized to the students as per the franchise agreement.

Maximizing Teaching and Learning Environments With Social Media and Science

Teaching methodologies continue to morph into ways by which we design instructional modules for teaching and learning, colleges and universities who offer Teacher Education Programs, so too, must continue to model, design, and effectively refine teacher instructional programs and strategies that will foster the development of highly qualified teachers and learners. In the early 2000, several Colleges and Universities struggled to stay afloat. This was largely because of a weak economy due to the housing crisis according to most analysts. The economy, however; got better over time and yet still, there continues to be a large call to recruit and retain the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM Education. Simply put, there aren’t enough talented pre-service teachers to teach students in critical areas of science and math.

Designing a quality Teacher Education Programs, which delivered a cohesive sense of community, served all of its stakeholders and constituents well. The study examined emerging research and the significance of using social media as a collaboration tool to rethink, reshape, and recreate, teaching and learning environments between pre-service and post-service math and science teachers. Pre-service teachers came from one of the Historically Black College and Universities located in the Southeast. Post-service or veteran teachers taught middle grades students from a rural agricultural community. An interactive social media platform was used to help both groups collaborate, teach, and learn instructional strategies from each other. As a backdrop, each focused their instructional content using common core standards from math and science. Posts contained articles for discussion, interactive projects, pictures, images, and videos. Learners began to create, think, and share alike. Both groups surpassed a learning curve that produced positive outcomes for themselves and most importantly their students.

The Conceptual Framework for this Teacher Education Program take into account the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for student candidates to possess before entering the real world of Teacher Education. Teacher candidates aspired to be among those proficient educators that already exists in schools all over the world. Colleges of Education affirms the importance of aligning its programs of study with each particular state’s professional standards. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which is the profession’s mechanism to help establish high quality teacher preparation acerts the following goals for proficient status:

Five goals for the “Proficient Educator”

1. Demonstrates competence in content knowledge;

2. Uses effective pedagogical skills;

3. Uses technology appropriately to enhance learning;

4. Evidences a caring disposition; and

5. Has an understanding of and appreciation for diversity.

Although, many skills and technological divides were evident for many, the pedagogical skills of post-service teachers bridged the gaps of age and experience. Whereas skill in this digital divide narrowed, knowledge of the latest technology with post-service teachers was abundant due to time and protocol of recent program needs. By closing gaps and entrusting skillsets both groups were able to reach all students. With the use of social media knowledge gained by both groups made a lasting impression on students, parents, and administration.

Researchers suggest that it is important to look at social networks from more than simple communication or information-flow perspective. The interventions have more to do with helping groups know what the others know and ensuring safety and access among people. Cross, Parker, and Borghetti, 2002, suggested that we should began to focus less on communication and more on the knowledge-based dimensions of relationships that make them useful in sharing and creating knowledge.

The Digital Era

The Digital Era has allowed us to cross space and time, engage with people in a far-off time zone as though they were just next door, do business with people around the world, and develop information systems that potentially network us all closer and closer every day. Yet, people don’t live in a global world – they are more concerned with the cultures in which they participate Boyd, 2006. As to date, social media has evolved to become a powerful tool for education. Social Network sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Ning and tools such as Skype and Eliminate are connecting students to learning opportunities in ways that are engaging and exciting. Whether you teach in an elementary, middle, or high school class, or a traditional face-to-face or online college or university, social media can have a direct impact on student learning.

Smith 2011 posted that in 2011, 63.7 percent of US internet users used social networks on a regular basis, amounting to nearly 148 million people. Although the pace of growth will be less dramatic in the next few years than it was in 2009 and 2010, usage will remain strong and shows no sign of declining. People learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences Bandura, 1977.

Necessary conditions for Effective Modeling

Attention – various factors increase or decrease the amount of attention paid. Includes distinctiveness, affective valence, prevalence, complexity, functional value. One’s characteristics such as sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement, affect, and attention.

Retention – remembering what you paid attention to. Includes symbolic coding, mental images, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal.

Reproduction – reproducing the image. Including physical capabilities, and self-observation of reproduction.

Motivation – having a good reason to imitate. Includes motives such as a past such as traditional behaviorism, promised imagined incentives, and vicarious seeing and recalling the reinforced model.

Middle grade learners tend to learn, yet communicate differently than any other level in the educational arena. Based on the social media method that was implemented for the project, criterion reference comprehensive test scores increased in both math and science content areas. In math there was a 2.4 percent increase and 9.6 percent increase in science. Researchers continuously try to find ways that are challenging, engaging, and relevant to middle level learners while ensuring that both students and teachers are constantly engaged in active learning.

In today’s culture a student’s learning environment is infused with lots of old and new technologies. Even the technological aspects and mechanics of a pencil has changed since it’s inception with the discovery of graphite in the 1500’s. Whether that technology involves the latest gaming systems, the coolest gadgets, or invitations to social media, students live in a culture that want to be engaged with those “things” that will motivate them and bring gratification to them instantaneously.

The learning environments for students both in school and at home should be seamless enough that when technology is a method of integrated learning, it should operate on a level in which both continue to grow. It should become a tool that students become more accustom to. It is advantageous and well worth the educational journey throughout teacher preparation. The students are already there; why not meet them on their playing field.

References

Bandura, A. Social Learning Theory, 1977;( http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/sociallearning.htm; retrieved on 7/1/12.

Boyd, D., (March, 2006). G/localization: When global information and local interaction collide.”. O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference; San Diego, CA.

Cross, R., Parker, A., & Borghetti, S. (2002). A bird’s-eye view: Using social network analysis to improve knowledge creation and sharing. IBM Institute for Business Value, 1-19.

Smith, Anise. “Social Network Usage Growing Strong.” My Amplify. 18 March 2011.

Total Quality Management (TQM) As a Corporate Strategy in Higher Education

The need for continued improvement to the experience of students and staff in higher education institutions (HEis) is now a common clarion call. One way to respond to this strong request for something to happen is for HEis to employ total quality management (TQM) as a Corporate Strategy.

TQM

A critical component of the TQM is its focus on improving the customers’ (students) experience and ensuring that employees (staff) are up to speed with their professional development and training. This is achieved through their involvement and by consulting with them. The other component is to improve the product. In the case of HEis, this includes teaching and other related services. Again this can be done by involving staff and students in the process. These I may address in another article.

Reasons for implementing TQM in HEi

The implementation of TQM as a corporate strategy in HEis is necessary for a number of reasons. Firstly, as outlined above, it has the potential to enable a response to the call for improving the students’ experience by involving students and staff in determining the direction and vision of the institution. It is now an established fact that people are inclined to engage fully in activities created or facilitated by them. Secondly, involving and consulting with students and staff enables activities and developments such as infrastructural changes, re-assignment of personnel and the introduction of new models, to be viewed in a positive light and improved upon incrementally.

How to implement TQM

Firstly, there is the need to define the term ‘quality’ and clearly point out actions and thoughts which indicates quality in the institutions as this relates to staff and students. This has to be done according to departments and functions, students and staff.

Secondly, there is the need to get staff and students’ ‘buy-in’ by creatively stating and reinforcing the fact that TQM is not only relevant to the mission and mandate of the institution but will enable efficiency to be the ‘hallmark’ of the institution and the service offered to staff and students.

Thirdly, to implement TQM in HEis requires the cooperation of senior and other management staff in the process of creating and implementing policies in this regard. This is a challenging task for the leadership and several factors such as financial resources, institutional culture and gaining the commitment of those in management at all level must be considered when making and implementing policies.

Finally, for TQM to be implemented in any HEi require a strong institutional support in the form of leadership, guidance and resource allocation. Also critical to the success of TQM implementing is the ‘political will’ and fortitude of a few key people in leadership who are willing to wrestle, argue for, implement and evaluate the strategy. Any lack of effort or resources will undermine the success of a TQM strategy and may cause overall failure.