Tag Archives: teaching in a computer lab

typing

Easy Strategies to Increase Your Typing Speed

typing
Increase your typing speed with a few of these simple tips.

Have you been looking to improve your words-per-minute on the keyboard? Here are some quick and easy shortcuts on how to increase your typing speed:

  • Research has shown typing ability is broken down into 80 percent technique, 10 percent speed, and 10 percent accuracy.  Proper hand placement technique is vital for increasing typing speed.
  • Practice makes perfect when it comes to improving your typing skills. While practicing might not seem like a very quick strategy, as little as 30 minutes a day works wonders on increasing your speed.
  • Fast and accurate typing skills are based on muscle memory and just as when learning anything new, repetition is the best way to train those muscles.
  • Keep your eyes off the keyboard. This might be difficult at first, so try covering the keyboard or consider starting out with a blank keyboard until you build up your confidence.
  • Correct posture while sitting at the keyboard ensures your hands are resting in the proper position and reduces strain on your back and neck. This also keeps your energy levels up and allows you to type faster and without injury.
  • Realize your errors are great learning tools. While it is frustrating to make the same mistake over and over, keeping a positive mindset while working to correct the problem goes a long way in improving both speed and accuracy.

If you’re looking to update and improve your teaching style and curriculum, please feel free to contact us today at Labyrinth Learning for more information on everything we offer!

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Equipping Online Learners for Success

Equipping Online Learners for Success

Online classes are creating more diverse “classrooms” than ever before. In addition to your traditional college students, class rosters may be peppered with high school students getting a head start, blue collar workers taking advantage of the flexibility of online education, or working professionals building on their current skill sets.

Equipping Online Learners for Success

The following tools will help you equip all of these online learners for success:

The right educational software. Look for software specifically designed for online classes. It provides a single destination for both students and teachers, like a veritable virtual classroom. In addition to slide lectures, blog-style announcements, and immediate updates, teachers can also create grade books, assessments and polls.

Webcams and headsets. The largest hurdle for online courses is meeting the need for person-to-person contact. Webcams can be used to make group projects, live lectures, or virtual office hours more personable. Headsets improve sound quality and allow students to attend classes or special study sessions in public places, such as libraries or coffee shops, without disturbing those around them.

Social Media. Social media platforms provide another way for you and your students to stay connected. Did you know you can set up private Facebook pages for your classes, giving students a place to discuss information and share relevant sites and links? Use a blog to keep students on track, share additional resources, or to address current course challenges experienced by their peers.

Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about eLab and other tools to equip your online classes for success.

Image Source: freedigitalphotos

2014 Trends in Higher Education

2014 Trends in Higher Education

2014 Trends in Higher Education
Higher learning trends are affecting college campuses across the nation. Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s important for colleges and universities to stay abreast of current trends in higher education to ensure graduates emerge prepared to fill positions in the modern workplace. In the global marketplace, that means being in touch with trends both in America and abroad.

Here, detailed in length below, are some trends in higher education you can expect to see throughout 2014:

Focus on the community. Corporations are beginning to place more attention on how business models impact the earth as well as the community at large. As such, many corporations, non-profits and other organizations have coined the term corporate social responsibility (CSR). We expect to see institutions of higher education paying attention to their CSR as well.

A de-emphasis of ranking. Many academics have grown weary and distrustful of the myriad of “ranking” that takes place across the university spectrum. Rushed research and hyper-pressure to publish is detrimental to the academic process, resulting in shoddy and potentially corrupt work.

Fine tuning technology in the classroom. With MOOCs at one end of the spectrum and PowerPoint presentations at the other, higher education will continue to fine-tune the implementation of technology to enhance learning. 2012 saw a major emphasis placed on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), but high-dropout rates indicate that higher learning is most successful when learning incorporates a blend of technology, online/distance learning opportunities and engaged classroom learning, depending on the subject matter.

Keep up with technological trends in higher education. Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about eTextbooks, course management systems, and more.

Group of young people in computing class

It’s Not the Money, It’s the Teacher With the Right Tools

Group of young people in computing class
Source: Shutterstock.com

A recent study done by three economists, two from Harvard and one from Columbia, demonstrated that, “second only to parents, teachers are the most important part of a child’s education.” The study tracked 2.5 million students, over the course of 20-years, from a single urban district. The data paints a clear line connecting good teachers with the effects they have on their students throughout the course of the students’ lifetime, including higher test scores, increased earnings, and lower incidences of teenage pregnancies.

This study proves that the right teacher, with the right tools, has the ability to create a powerful effect in a child’s life. Teaching resources are a key element in helping an inspired teacher do his/her job in a way that enhances the students’ learning experience. These teaching resources can include things like:

  • Video Libraries. A video library can be used to reinforce key concepts and lessons. In the online world, a video resource library can be accessed by students from anywhere, anytime, providing more flexibility in their school/work schedule.
  • Course Management Systems (CMS). A CMS is an all-in-one course experience for both teachers and students, creating a self-paced curriculum with embedded learning resources and assessments that record student results in real time, so teachers can know what lessons need review.
  • Custom Learning Management System (LMS). Instructors have the ability to create their own curriculum from the text book, complete with web simulations and custom assessments to gauge learning.

Contact Labyrinth Learning to obtain the resources you need to positively affect your students.

professor with students working in computer lab

Challenges (and Benefits) of Teaching in a Computer Lab

professor with students working in computer labThe computer lab, like any classroom, has its own set of unique challenges. However, at the end of the school day, teaching in a computer lab is incredibly rewarding. Here are some suggestions for working with the challenges of computer labs.

Increase Collaborative Learning
. As Mary Beth Hertz points out in her article, The Pros and Cons of Computer Labs, group projects can be difficult in a computer lab. Until more schools acquire laptop, tablet and wireless technology, computer labs are virtually impossible to rearrange. Group projects can become mayhem as throngs of students gather around a single computer. To combat this, talk to administrators about larger indoor spaces that may be reserved on campus. You can have students meet an alternate classroom for a class or two as they work out the details for their project. Then they can return to the lab to work on individual portions of the project.

Academic Resource Station
. Many primary/secondary schools have had to shut their library doors due to budget cuts. Your college students may arrive with a shocking gap in research skills, having never been properly trained. Teaching in a computer lab is about more than teaching computer literacy. It provides the chance to teach adult students how to use the internet for academic research, determine if a website is a reliable source of information, and/or how to access academic journals and publications. These are critical skills for the returning student.

The benefits of teaching in a computer lab far outweigh its challenges.

 

Image: shutterstock.com