All posts by kwalker

teacher presenting in classroom

8 New Ways to Integrate Technology Education Into the Classroom

teacher presenting in classroomToday’s high school students graduate with a whole new level of computer literacy and technological know-how. This is because teachers are using technology in the classroom more than ever. In order to continue this trend, and help adult students catch up, college and adult educators should implement “technology education” in their classrooms as well. Here’s how:

  1. Lectures. Convert your lessons into PowerPoint. In addition to visual appeal, lectures can be uploaded to your blog/website for students who missed class.
  2. Presentations. There is a host of free technology designed specifically for presentations. From PowerPoint to online options, students can collaborate on presentations without ever meeting in person.
  3. Video/Voice Chat. Take advantage of Skype or other video/chat options to communicate with students and encourage students to use it with one another outside of class.
  4. Games. Even in the world of adult education there are days when students need a break from the norm. Use Jeopardy or another fun app that’s group friendly to shift the energy.
  5. Website. It’s easier than ever to make your own website, which is a helpful way to localize class info, syllabi, informational resources, etc.
  6. Inverted Classroom. You can use a webcam to record your lessons and upload them to your website. Have students watch the videos before they come to class, maximizing classroom time for practice.
  7. eBooks. Scrap traditional textbooks and look for eBook and web-based learning platforms which imbed technology education into their process.
  8. Online Assessments. Research assessment tool options to enhance your hands-on learning approach and simplify assessments, grading, and gradebook management.
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.



Helping Adult Learners Overcome Stress to Achieve Goals

As educators of adult learners, it is important to understand the effect stress has on their ability to achieve academic goals. The more you can help to reduce student stress and provide textbooks and learning tools that are aligned with your students’ needs, the better your students will perform. Here are ways you can help adult learners overcome academic stress.Mid adult woman studying with other adult students

  • Learn About Them. It is a good idea to spend a portion of the first day or two of classes learning about your students. Provide note cards so students can write down their academic strengths, weaknesses, fears, goals, etc. You can have them take a pre-course test – not graded – to understand their level of skills. This can help you tweak your curriculum to meet their needs and/or to communicate with them about the many resources that will be available throughout the course.
  • Practice Stress Reduction Techniques. Marjory Jacobs, a career adult education instructor, emphasizes the importance of teaching stress management techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness. Taking a little time out to introduce these coping mechanisms can provide lifelong learning tools for your students.
  • Choose the Right Curriculum. Choosing the right learning resources can make the difference between keeping your students motivated or watching them spiral down a well of frustration. Choose solutions that are designed to meet students with various learning styles. Labyrinth Learning offers products geared specifically for adult and/or second language learners. Seek out teacher testimonials or references that provide detailed feedback on the learning tools you’re considering.

Visit Labyrinth Learning for more information on easy-to-use educational resources to reduce adult learners’ stress and enhance their learning process.

Image: CollegeScholarships

Microsoft Office 2013

Teach the New Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 2013Teaching Microsoft Office 2013 is easier than ever with the right materials, instant assessment tools, and ample teaching resources. Labyrinth Learning has designed the most innovative, user-friendly, textbooks and software for Building a Foundation with Microsoft Office 2013. Here are some of the benefits of using our innovative teaching approach.

Stand-alone Features. This curriculum is set up using 25 individual lessons. Rather than being abstract or conceptual, our eLab courses are direct and to the point, providing step-by-step instructions for specific, relevant skill building exercises. We have eliminated unnecessary reading so that students can spend the majority of their time working directly with the simulated Microsoft Office environment and improving their computer literacy. Available in print and tablet formats, Building a Foundation with Microsoft Office 2013 is fully supported with free instructor and student resources.

Helpful Add-Ons. In addition to the standard package, many customers take advantage of our add-ons, which are designed to make the course even easier for both students and instructors. Teaching Microsoft Office 2013 is more effective using our eLab Course Management System. It includes additional hands-on simulations, which record students’ keystrokes so you can monitor their progress, video tutorials, pre-built assessments and tests, gradebook management options, automatically graded projects, and more.

Other add-ons include a 180-day trial of Microsoft Office. Contact Labyrinth Learning for more information about our Microsoft Office learning solutions.

Online Tools for Teachers

Are you beginning to feel like your attention to course management, such as creating assessments, analyzing student performance, and updating grade books, is taking away from the guy
thing you love best – teaching? Here at Labyrinth Learning we love teaching too, which is why we have spent the last two decades creating one-of-a-kind online tools for teachers. Shop our eLab products and experience the most innovative and engaging course management system (CMS) on the market.

Our textbooks are geared towards students at every level of computer and software literacy, and dozens of them are enabled to work with our eLab skills evaluation tool.

  • Hands-on assessments: Whether you choose to use our pre-built assessments or prefer to customize your own, you and your students will receive immediate feedback on their computer literacy, which materials need reinforcing, and how much students have improved their skills through the duration of the course. Individual and group progress can be analyzed in seconds.
  • Grade Books. Keeping track of grades has never been easier because our CMS does it for you. eLab CMS is a tool that complements our textbooks and provides automated grading and online training tools as a supplemental component for courses. (It is not an online course.) Students use their individual license keys and work online. All completed work and test scores will be deposited right into your grade book.
  • Communication. Students who need specialized help and training have a direct communication line with you, which keeps your teaching time relevant and on point.

For more information on how online tools for teachers will enhance your classroom experience, visit Labyrinth Learning and register to view our online catalog.

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.