Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Extraordinary Team : Isabel Brice

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, Stanford University, 2005.

Isabel is an enthusiastic, friendly tutor who is also a substitute teacher in the community.  With her educational background and multi-faceted teaching experience, she excels at tutoring in all subjects.  Her goal for her students is to explore their creativity and achieve their highest potential.

What is one surprising fact about you?
One surprising fact about me is that I LOVE sharks.  My favorite time of the year is “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?
If I were stuck on a deserted island, I would bring my iPod, Kindle and a photo album of home.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Academy of 21st Century Learning Would Like to Wish You and Your Family a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Help Us Win The Daily Republic's "Readers Choice 2015 - Best Tutoring Center"

The Academy of 21st Century Learning was nominated for The Daily Republic's "Readers Choice 2015 - Best Tutoring Center".

Help us win!

Grab a copy of The Daily Republic ... vote and vote often for "Readers Choice 2015."

We look forward to celebrating with you all as winners!

1) Starting Sunday - go pick-up a copy of The Daily Republic (sold in grocery stores in Solano County)

2) Vote in the "Readers Choice 2015" for "Best Tutoring Company"

3) Mail in ballot or drop off at The Daily Republic office

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why Elephants Never Forget - Alex Gendler

It’s a common saying that elephants never forget. But the more we learn about elephants, the more it appears that their impressive memory is only one aspect of an incredible intelligence that makes them some of the most social, creative, and benevolent creatures on Earth. Alex Gendler takes us into the incredible, unforgettable mind of an elephant.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Avi Ofer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Extraordinary Team : Dakota DeFiore


Bachelor of Arts in English, Writing Studies, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, 2012. Master of Fine Arts in English and Creative Writing (Prose), Mills College, 2014.

Growing up not far from the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, Dakota pursued her passions for teaching and writing as an undergraduate at Millersville University. She believes their program, and the people who worked tirelessly by her side, are the reasons she's been set up for success. After making a life changing move 3000 miles across the country, Dakota furthered her education by obtaining a Master's Degree in English and Creative Writing, a move she believes has taught her to open her eyes and expand her mind, to see the world outside of her small town perspective.

It shouldn't surprise you to know that Dakota is also a writer in her spare time. Currently, she has written two novels, both of which she says will always need revisiting, and she is also working on a collection of short stories. Aside from writing Prose, she also enjoys reading Utopian/Dystopian fiction and anything by Joan Didion. Although her specialization for teaching may fall within English/Language Arts, some of her other favorite subjects throughout her education have included math, psychology, science, and language, allowing her to be a versatile tutor here
at The Academy.

Dakota wants to obtain her PhD in English/Higher Education (she hasn't decided yet!), and that will hopefully happen some time down the road. For now, however, she is enjoying her recent marriage and the spare time away from school to focus on other hobbies and writing projects.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring? 
As much as I would love to bring something technological, my three things would probably end up being my hammock, a guitar, and a hatchet.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Chicken, any type of chicken--fried chicken, grilled chicken, chicken wings, chicken tenders... I'm getting hungry just writing this. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How a Wound Heals Itself - Sarthak Sinha

Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, with a surface area of about 20 square feet in adults. When we are cut or wounded, our skin begins to repair itself through a complex, well-coordinated process. Sarthak Sinha takes us past the epidermis and into the dermis to investigate this regenerative response.

Lesson by Sarthak Sinha, animation by Karrot Animation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why Use a Personal Tutor?

Pupils and students in school today are subject to teachers who are teaching in a regime of relentless change. The teachers are under great pressure to achieve targets and fill in all the tickboxes and paperwork that lies behind it.

Teachers have lives too, and when they become overburdened then something has to give. All too often it is the quality of the education and individual pupil attention that suffers.

Personal tutors give the student extra time and individual attention, with face to face interaction in a way that online tutors cannot achieve. But, there are specific things you should do to ensure that you get the best out of a tutoring arrangement.

What does a Personal Tutor Offer?

An effective personal tutor offers additional:

  • 'space' for the student to learn, away from the group peer pressure in the classroom
  • additional learning time for the student
  • time for additional perspectives on a subject
  • time for additional knowledge and development of a pupil's own reasoning ability in the context of the subject

Exceptionally, a tutor will be able to illustrate relevance of the subject to its use in the real world, drawing on the tutor's personal experience. This is especially important in generating interest and enthusiasm in a student for a subject. Enthusiasm makes learning so much easier.

How should you use a Tutor?


Before engaging a tutor, be clear about what the objectives are that you want the student (probably your son or daughter) to achieve. Are the objectives to:

  • build/reinforce basic knowledge to achieve an exam pass?
  • improve exam grades?
  • build confidence in the student to achieve a basic pass?
  • improve exam technique (i.e the best ways to analyse and answer questions)?

Some objectives might be even more refined, for example interview preparation for a college/university interview, with 'mock interview' sessions and discussions of suitable answers for key interview areas.

The objective(s) you set for the student will govern the approach and the style of the tutor's approach to the student.

Also, the approach will be governed by the level at which the student is studying. Lower level will require more rote learning of basic facts and so on. At higher levels the student is expected to demonstrate the ability to reason more - using the facts and knowledge to extend exam answers, analyse, propose and argue for a particular point of view, draw conclusions and so on.

All too often, in the scrum of large classes, the individual learning needs of a student are subsumed under the pressure to raise the class average grade, and the opportunity to develop these key traits is very limited for those students who may not be, at that time, achieving their potential.

You should discuss your objectives beforehand with the tutor and the student, to ensure that everyone is aiming for the same outcome.

Brief the Tutor

You do also need to brief the tutor about any particular challenges that the student may be facing, personally and educationally. Family issues, for example, can affect motivation and the ability to concentrate and absorb knowledge.

Highly qualified tutor, with extensive and varied international commercial experience providing personal tutor services in maths, physics and business studies =>
Phil Marks BSc, MSc, MBA, MBCS, Dip.M
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tutoring Is One Method To Accelerate Learning

When children reach a certain age in America, usually five or six years old, they enter school. As is the case in this country all elementary and secondary schools are part of a system of public schools in America funded by tax revenue. Our education system was set up in this manner as a way to guarantee that every child in America would have a chance at an education. This education system was supposed to teach children the basic skills needed to live and work comfortably in our society. The skills taught to students would include reading, writing, basic math advanced math, geography and history to name just a few of the core subjects. However, many people would disagree with the quality of the education being taught in "government schools" and as a consequence two alternatives have emerged, home schooling, and tutoring. One of the reasons these alternative approaches have become so popular is that they allow a more one on one approach to the learning process. These methods allow the student more personalized attention, which some times gets lost in a large classroom setting.

The concept of tutoring is an age-old practice. It is generally thought to involve just a single individual but it can also encompass a small group. The most famous example of a relationship between a private educator and student is with Aristotle and his student the son of the King of Macedonia.. Aristotle was one of the greatest minds in western civilization. He lived during the years 384 -332 B.C and was involved in the study of many disciplines including physics, metaphysics, logic, linguistics, politics and ethics. He became so famous he eventually opened a school in Athens called the lyceum and in 343 B.C. Phillip the king of Macedonia hired Aristotle to teach his son Alexander. Aristotle's teaching must have had a significant impact on young Alexander because after he took control of the Greek throne from his father Phillip he turned Greece into the largest empire the world had ever seen. We now know this boy king today as Alexander the Great.

Tutoring today is mostly thought to involve the one on one instruction of a student by an expert teacher. Content knowledge is the essential ingredient here. And unlike in ancient times today this teaching method generally involves only one subject like math or literature. Empathy plays an important role in makeup of an effective teacher. The ability to understand and connect with a student is a highly prized skill and is one of the qualities that distinguishes a highly effective teacher over others. There are, however, other qualities that are also important in tutoring. Many of the best teachers also have the ability to use empathy and humor in their approach of passing on a skill or knowledge in a specific subject. The main goal of the teacher in this area is to help the student not only accelerate a specific skill and but to eventually become an independent person. This is accomplished by teaching the student to think critically. This is one area that many people admire in this education process and one area that many agree is missing in the public school system.

Feed the learning process. Learn more about the benefits of tutoring Madison AL at:
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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Unexpected Math Behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" - Natalya St. Clair

Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work.

Lesson by Natalya St. Clair, animation by Avi Ofer.