Posted on November 15, 2012 by Hands-On Labs
By Linda Jeschofnig, Founder and CEO of Hands-On Labs
This week, America honors the hundreds of thousands of Veterans who have so-well served our country and kept it safe from harm’s way. More than ever, since WWII, Veterans are seeking to improve their futures by going to college. The 2009 post- 9/11 GI Bill and numerous institutional initiatives are helping them do so.
The new GI Bill provides Veterans with excellent educational opportunities by covering the cost for in-state tuition and providing stipends to help with books and living expenses. These payments can be applied toward specialized training certificates, apprentice programs, college degrees, and even graduate programs. See: http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
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Posted on October 22, 2012 by Hands-On Labs
How can instructors help struggling students who need tutoring and more assistance than the course time allows? For students willing to put in the extra time and energy to genuinely grasp difficult concepts, there are many new websites that can effectively serve in a self-guided tutoring role. These sites provide students with visual and interactive aids that may drive their understanding better than traditional textual explanations. They also provide instructors with easy access to a history of the students’ activities and progress.
Most people think of the Khan Academy as just a collection of videos on various educational topics. However, it and similar tutorial sites like instaGrok have expanded into much larger interactive platforms that provide students with active learning and assessment tools and instructors with evaluation and tracking tools. These sites span areas of interest from elementary to college levels and cover the majority of academic topics, including the sciences. Plus, they are free!
Filed under: education, Headline | Tagged: alternative education, Coursera, distance learning, edX, engaging online students, Hands-On Labs, innovative solutions, InstaGrok, Khan Academy, MOOC, online course development, online education, Online Lab Kits, online science, online science education, Science, Stem, Udacity | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 22, 2012 by Hands-On Labs
By Linda Jeschofnig
Peter and I give numerous “best practices” presentation to online and soon-to-be online educators. One thing that recently became obvious is how few educators are aware of the “Track Changes” feature within their MS Word program and how this tool can make grading lab reports and other essay assignments a breeze to review and edit. One simply types in corrections, lines out errors, and inserts comments where needed. Like the traditional red pen, these corrections show up in a different color, making them easy for students to spot and follow. Student can use the same feature to expand upon the paper and return comments to the instructor; these too will show up in a different color. Here’s a two-minute tutorial to help get started: Click Here>>.
Another tool that makes grading easy is to have students submit their reports and essays via Google Docs. The process is very similar in that the instructor’s corrections, changes, and comments can display in a different color, plus every correction is time-stamped and easy to see by clicking “Revision History” via the File drop-down menu. Google Docs is also an excellent tool for group projects since each student’s contributions can be separately identified and it’s easy to see if any students are carrying the majority of the project burden.
Some of the more recent advanced editions of LMS systems have similar capabilities. However, many institutions don’t yet have these upgrades, and often in those that do, the instructors aren’t aware they exist.
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Posted on July 27, 2012 by Hands-On Labs
By Laura Yaun, Hands-on Labs, Inc.
Wishing HOL’s Scientist, Dr. Eric Punkay, a very rewarding future in teaching. You will be missed, but students need great teachers like you and we applaud your change of career decision.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln created the National Academy of Sciences by signing into law the Act of Incorporation. The Civil War proved a great need for innovations, bringing citizens and government together. Weapon-testing departments were established as the president saw the importance of science and technology, making it law to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art.”
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