The internet has become a treasure trove of information over the past two decades. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the internet for students is the availability of supplemental instruction. There is no shortage of instructional videos at no cost to students to support learning in any subject. Many students are challenged with subjects in math and science, and help is available on demand. All students should be aware that instruction can extend well beyond the classroom via the internet. All teachers should be informing students about web sites that can provide instructional video outside of the classroom. Unfortunately, many teachers are not aware of the plethora of on-line resources. Toward this end, it is also incumbent upon parents to suggest to their children that learning outside of the classroom is not only available, but a necessary element for success.
Students receive instruction in the classrooms from teachers. The idea of homework is to apply a lesson. However, often students do not quite understood the entire instructional lesson from a teacher, which often becomes evident during homework. Homework is often a maddening exercise for students because they simply do not yet understand the concepts. Historically, students had to wait for the next day, or longer, to engage with a teacher. That is no longer the case, or at least should not be.
Some have heard about the website http://www.khanacademy.org/ but not nearly enough students. The Khan Academy is a free website offering instructional videos in a variety of subjects. While very focused on math and science, the offerings continue to grow across a variety of subjects. It is likely that students struggle more with math and science concepts when doing homework. Accessing the Khan Academy website should be one of the first stops for students after reviewing class notes. Parents and teachers should be aware of this web site as an important learning tool. If students are not taking advantage of the Khan Academy, they are missing out on a valuable learning opportunity. The Khan Academy is not the only web site of its kind; there are many others. Another example is Tutor USA. One should also never forget YouTube for valuable information. Many of the Khan Videos and others are also found on YouTube!
While schools continue to implement technology to improve learning, perhaps the most important aspect is an understanding of where to go when help is needed. Starting with the Khan Academy is a good idea. Once students are aware that effective help is readily available, they will likely use web resources to further academic progress.
If your child or teacher is not aware of the Khan Academy or similar web based resource, make sure to raise awareness. The world’s knowledge is literally accessible through the internet. Students are very fortunate to live in a time where information is readily available, and need to be taught how to access information to suit a given task.