Savvy teachers go online to teach students

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As children head back to school, savvy teachers are looking for the best ways to help students maximize their learning potential. pictured in this handout, dated August 31, 2007., a company based in New York City, served 750,000 online students last year.

Laptops are replacing traditional notebooks and educators are using technology to provide individualized instruction and online tutoring, which can add variety and help students to learn better.

“It’s an exciting time to be in education because we are no longer looking for one method,” Kris Enright, executive director of the Professional Association of Colorado Educators, said in an interview.

“Now, with the opportunity to meet individual needs, schools are becoming more diverse.”

Enright added that the ability to address student needs with a variety of tools is key to good instruction and effective learning., a company based in New York City, served 750,000 online students last year. This year it expects to help more than a million, George Cigale, founder of the site said in an interview. has a network of 1,800 certified teachers, college professors, undergraduates and graduate students in the United States and Canada from accredited universities.

“The vision from the early days eight years ago was to make it possible for a student to connect ... whenever they are stuck, whenever they need help overcoming an educational challenge,” Cigale said.

The use of online tutors who meet government-approved academic standards is supported by the U.S. Department of Education for supplemental educational services under its No Child Left Behind Act.

“The department believes that online tutoring is an important option for students eligible for supplemental educational services who live in rural areas or have other challenges accessing a traditional tutoring program,” Morgan Brown, assistant deputy secretary in the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, said in an email.

President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 in an effort to improve educational standards throughout the United States.

Parents are always looking for additional ways to supplement their child’s learning, according to Enright.

“If the student is actually learning and it’s authentic, then it’s effective,” he added.