The Freshman Transition Network

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How to Motivate Students: Strategies that Work

Increasingly parents who send their children to school and those who home school are asking the same question. How can I motivate my child to learn when 21st century technology is influencing their every thought? It seems that children are learning how to multi-task but it is affecting their ability to focus. The very electronics that were purchased to entertain in the home have become the center of their attention. There are cell phones, flat screen televisions in every room, hundreds of cable stations, wireless laptops and IPods. Students say that they cannot live with out there technology devices.

What’s a parent to do? Did you know that each of these items can become another method to increase learning and communication? There are things that you can do to use these items as learning tools. Why not send your son/daughter a text message of the day. Getting the question right helps them to accumulate points toward some reward. Students can download MP# recordings from informative internet radio programs, record notes on a digital recorder and purchase math software for their computer. Some schools are using scientific calculators to teach math.

Innovation in the home learning environment involves making the student a part of the learning process. We do this when children are in elementary school. Parents and teachers constantly think of creative was get children charged up about learning. Somehow we’re convinced that creative learning is for children and not middle and high school students. It’s time to ask the children how they can use the technology to learn. They probably have ideas that they have not considered because they are so focused on communicating with other teens.

Parents and teachers can be a catalyst that demonstrates how learning occurs through daily experiences. Why not visit a local business to find out how they use technology to make their company function. Go to an entertainment company and discover how the use sound affects and technology to change the visible images that people see during a performance.

Did you know that an IPod can be used as a learning tool? Students can down load information from math and science websites. If they are studying volcanoes they can go the websites and get a recording that they can listen to any where at home and while they travel. Learning should occur inside and outside of the classroom. Ask your student what they are listening to every week. There is always an opportunity to reinforce the information that they are learning. Students need to know that you are interested in how they are learning. A few words of encouragement can go a long way.

It’s a whole new world that students are exploring. Parents and teachers must take time to raise their awareness of the technology trends that dominate their student’s lives. For example online tutoring is a growing resource for many families. Schools are loading teacher information on secure school websites. Students can review their teacher’s notes online. It is another innovative way to help your student to learn from a different perspective.

Today learning at all levels must be an adventure that captures the student’s attention and perceptions. Seizing the opportunity to explore how to integrate technology into learning is essential. There’s a wealth of experiences that can make any school assignment a source of academic growth. Dr. Stephen Jones is author of a new book the Ultimate scholarship, Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide” and the “Ultimate Scholarship Guide.” Dr. Jones can be contacted at http;// or 610-842-3843.

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Comment by Dr. Stephen Jones on August 15, 2009 at 8:32pm
Mon sons four years of high school went by very fast. He is entering Villanova University next week. Do you know the URL for the Homework Assignment Forum? Do you have any ideas about my books? Thanks for keeping active on teh Freshman Transition ninig. Maybe others will join as we approach the start of school.
Comment by Scott Habeeb on August 15, 2009 at 5:34pm
Some good ideas - thanks for sharing. You might want post some of them on the Summer Homework Assignment forum with a link to your materials and/or to this blog post.
Comment by Ray Moore on August 14, 2009 at 8:08pm
My five-year-old is already asking for a cell phone. The answer will be no for a long time as we have already seen him become a slave to video games. The video games are gone as well. However, when the time comes for him and his brother to begin engaging in all the technology of the day, your ideas will be quite helpful. In order to keep the devices, they will need to demonstrate educational uses they develop. Great Idea!

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