K-12 tutor programs get digital
Monday, October 26, 2015
Over the years, academic standards have been getting significantly tougher. There is a lot of debate about this issue and about the standardized tests that evaluate student levels, and preparations based on their curriculum-based knowledge.
But debates aside, one cannot deny the fact that the progression of the standards to deeper and perhaps more complicated learning structure is inevitable. Every age has better technology than the last, and every year we learn more about ourselves and the world around us.
It is natural to incorporate more in the textbooks and come up with new techniques to help students assimilate all this information. While districts and the administration decide on better ways to test, it's time to look at other avenues to help students cope with academic work.
A new K-12 tutor program launched by NYU gives hope. Called "One with NYU," the program was launched this spring with a focus to help students in all academic areas that they are struggling with.
Any active member of the NYU community, be it a student or a faculty member, can become a tutor in this program. They will bring their academic expertise and deep knowledge base to help students cope with their academic work better.
The founders of the program believe it will be a coveted one since parents will be more than happy to pay for tutors with an NYU pedigree. It will vouch for the quality of the program and academic materials ensuring more trust and relief for parents.
What truly stands out are the new-age methods that will be utilized to make this program easier and more interactive for students. Compared to traditional tutoring methods, One with NYU will be using digital tools like virtual whiteboards, video conferences and document sharing for tutoring.
This innovative and technological approach will allow students to work remotely, interact with tutors whenever needed and access all kinds of resources for studying whenever they want. This kind of flexibility is easy for both students and tutors because they can now match their respective schedules without pressure.
While the NYU program is open to all, there are other more specific tutoring programs being set up to help kids deal with academic work better.
Using a grant from the Nike Innovation Fund, the Newberg School District in Oregon is looking at a more focused tutoring program for their middle and high school kids. They are implementing the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, which will work with students twice a week and help them not just deal with regular school work but also prepare them for college. They are inviting applications from teachers or those applying for a teaching program to volunteer and tutor kids.
Another innovative and high-tech tutoring platform is PREPWORKS, offering a prescriptive learning experience to students in middle and high schools. It works as a supplemental curricula for core subjects and actively focuses on college and career readiness. They use tools like a writable sketchpad accessible from any Internet-ready device, videos and technology-enhanced practice questions to help more than 100,000 users.
Other innovative programs include the free live online tutoring offered by Utica Public Library in New York. All K-12 students will now have free access to Tutor.com services, including one-to-one and live help from tutors online.
As testing methodology has evolved and become more competitive, learning technology needs to be more adaptive as well. The digital learning place is a more efficient one for students today because they can work at their own pace, connect with their tutors and track performance all at one place. The flexibility and expansive nature of these programs makes a more compelling model for learning.
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