Monthly Archives: February 2013

Cloud computing design

Cloud Computing for Educators

Cloud computing designUsing technology in the classroom has a myriad of benefits. Not only do teachers have the option of using thousands of cloud computing applications, they can also use efficient course management systems, which makes manual creation of assessments, grading, and grade book maintenance a thing of the past. If you struggle to meet the individual learning needs of your students, consider the ways cloud-based tools can help.

3 Cloud Computing Tools for Educators

  1. WordPress. Creating your own website or blog provides a one-stop-shop for students to get answers to direct questions, find additional learning support and tools for their classes, and to communicate with you when necessary. WordPress is free and simple to use.
  2. Scribd. Use Scribd to share published works with your students via a link on your website or blog. In addition to providing learning support for your classes, students will be able to use Scribd for other classes as well.
  3. BigHugeLabs. Try your hand at  BigHugeLabs and create puzzles, trading cards, posters and more using your students’ images. It’s easy and fun to use, but most important is that it’s free!

For more information, register with Labyrinth Learning and check out our eLab CMS. We’ve created effective, engaging, educational texts (and now the option of accompanying course management systems) for two decades.


computer lab

How to Gauge Computer Skills

computer labAsking a student to assess his/her own computer literacy is virtually impossible. Yet teachers need a method to assess which online computer class is appropriate for students’ skill levels, how well they are assimilating new concepts, and how far they have advanced by the end of the course. Labyrinth Learning’s new computer literacy evaluation tool provides educators and institutions with that vital information.

Use Computer Literacy Testing for Accurate Assessments

The new eLab Skills Evaluation Tool (SET) is a fast, affordable, and accurate method for assessing students’ computer skills. Plus, the system prepares students for testing methods which may be used when they are ready to enter the career force.

  • Comprehensive questions. The literacy testing program provides students with a wide range of questions related to general and specific computer concepts. Teachers can use pre-fabricated tests or create their own.
  • Flexible testing methods. Do you prefer to test students before they enter your class? Would you rather use the test as a way to assess learning growth at the end of a course? Teachers can make the test available to students from virtually any online computer at a time that works for them. Reports are generated immediately so students and teachers receive instant accurate feedback.
  • Proven Platform. Labyrinth Learning has created innovative, engaging, and effective online learning tools for over two decades.

eLab’s SET will help you evaluate your students in order to connect them with the course that best fits their skill level. Contact Labyrinth Learning and ask how SET can benefit your classroom.

Lesson Plan spiral notebook

Education Week Reports on Online Tools for Lesson Planning

Lesson Plan spiral notebookCreating lesson plans is a practice in diligence for any teacher. The best lesson plans in the world still need to be modified from year to year and class to class in order to meet students’ needs. Then there are the backup plans, which should be at the ready in case a substitute teacher is needed. This Education Week article mentions several online tools for lesson planning and we chose a few to highlight here.

Three Online Lesson Planning Tools for Teachers

  1. Google. While Google Drive is helpful in multiple ways, i.e. allowing you to upload/store/share virtually any document or folder, it’s especially beneficial when it comes to substitute teaching plans. You can create lesson plans anywhere and share them with the substitute teacher instantly.
  • Evernote. Whenever you come across anything worthy of remembering, Evernote allows you to mark it, note it, save it, organize, it, and access it from anywhere. You can create endless notebooks to organize your ideas. Then sync Evernote across your computers and mobile devices. Even when you aren’t online, you can still peruse your notebooks.
  • Quizlet. Need some inspiration? Want to share your own? Quizlet allows you to do both. Search  thousands of study sets prepared by teachers around the world. Or, you can post your own to help other teachers just like you.

Online lesson planning tools allow you the freedom to work from virtually anywhere to share, tweak, or add to your lesson plans with a few simple clicks. Lesson planning has never been easier. To find more educator resources, visit us online. Just head to Labyrinth Learning and register to view our catalog, instructor support, and more.


College students in a computer lab

Today’s Technology for Students

College students in a computer labToday’s technology for students in the classroom is about more than getting them ahead in the workplace. In order to make it that far, students need to feel empowered, confident, and successful in their academic career. Without those components in place, many students feel inadequate and quit their academic pursuits altogether.

Teachers and administrators can use technology for students to foster a supportive learning environment for students.

Know Your Student Population
. According to Community College Week, almost seven million students are enrolled in a community college, yet only 12% of younger students will earn their Associates degree by age 26. Only 14% of low-income students will complete their degrees at all. Second Language Learner populations increase annually. These at-risk students need more help than traditional students in order to successfully complete their education.

Use Assessments Wisely
. One of the first methods for making students feel successful is to ensure they are placed appropriately depending on their knowledge/skill levels. Once they are in class, regular and strategic assessments ensure teachers and faculty have instant access to student performance. Those students who are not making the mark can be buoyed up with additional learning support and materials.

Providing Online Classes
. Today’s students are balancing school, work, and families, which means they need classes that are accessible from anywhere and during non-traditional school hours. The more online courses colleges and universities offer, the more efficiently students can learn the technological skills they need.

For more information on improving technology for students in your classrooms, contact Labyrinth Learning.



Instructing ESL Students on Computer Skills

Instructing ESL students requires extra special attention and the right curriculum. Immersed students pick up new vocabulary and language concepts easily when these concepts are presented using a variety of visual and interactive learning mediums. That’s why Labyrinth Learning’s Welcome to Computers for ESL Students, 3rd Edition, is such a wonderful teaching tool.

Instructing ESL Students with Welcome to Computers for ESL Students

Experts in the field of second language acquisition know exactly what works for ESL students: visuals, interactive materials which reinforce new concepts, multi-media presentations, and 1-59136-197-4_140x179interactive learning opportunities. By using multiple senses, ESL students are able to absorb new words and phrases with less effort. Labyrinth Learning utilizes the most forward thinking ESL instruction theory to develop multi-media based learning tools which will keep ESL students moving successfully through their coursework.

Effective ESL instruction elements include:

  • Step-by-step guided instruction at an intermediate CASAS reading level
  • Practical fill-in-the-blank exercises, opportunities for reflection, group learning activities, and more
  • Picture dictionaries and verb definitions
  • Real-life hands-on practice skill and conversation builders
  • Student workbook to reinforce new materials and supplement internet work
  • A work readiness skills website link, WebSims, online assessments and other internet-based learning resources
  • Instructor Support Materials both online and via DVD (registered instructors only)

Your ESL students will enjoy our courses designed especially for students to develop practical and employable computer skills. Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about how Welcome to Computers for ESL Students will take your ESL computer classes to the next level.