Improve Your Time Management as an Online Student

patrick capriola

Completing courses online can be challenging. It takes great discipline and commitment to stay on track with assignments. With a digital classroom, certain elements of a real classroom are missing. The teacher is not there in the flesh providing motivation. Take heed to these few tips to streamline time management and have it be a great online semester.

  1. Tell your family that you need time and space to be successful with your assignments. It could be more detrimental to keep them unknowing of your time management needs.
  2. Stick to a consistent schedule. Dedicate nights, mornings, or weekends to complete the required work.
  3. Don’t start a project close to the deadline. This is one of the worst decisions to make when it comes to efficient time management. Also, reach out to instructors ahead of time as well. Late night emails won’t cut it.
  4. Avoid online distractions. Only leave the necessary tabs open on the computer. Anything other than your work is taking time away from where you should be focusing your attention.
  5. Sign into class frequently. The constant visual reminder will help students stay up to date with work and any last minute course changes.
  6. Open your mouth if you are falling behind. Approach instructors early if you need assistance with scheduling. Most often, they are willing to work with you.
  7. Grasp all odd study opportunities. Although busy, use wait time or quiet moments to work through study materials.
  8. Choose an ideal study space. Surroundings can either be conducive to productivity or hinder it. More quiet and isolated areas may be better.
  9. Keep a calendar with deadlines. In order to accomplish the tasks of the month, place obligations by due date in an easy to find location.
  10. View your free time as work time. Entertaining friends and heading to the gym may seem enticing during those down minutes. However, place your work at the top of your list to be tackled at the first sight of free time.

Each tip is based on the common pitfalls of online students. Everyone struggles with something, whether distractions or lack of communication. By recognizing the patterns and implementing more positive strategies, success can still be imminent in the online classroom.


Millennials and Education Today

Patrick Capriola

The students of today’s millennial generation approach education in a new way. Their preferences are creating an impact in the classroom. Now is the time for educators to take note of these changes and abolish some of the ineffective and outdated learning strategies.

Collaboration and flexibility of scheduling are two things that modern students value. Participating in online classes is a key area that is becoming popular due to the freedom it allows in one’s schedule. Traditional schools are now starting to follow the millennial leaders when it comes to advancing their academic frameworks.

First, Master’s degrees have become more important. Many students are registering and intending to pursue their Master’s when they first enroll in college. In order to admit and retain the proper students, universities need to offer high quality upper level degrees. The Bachelor’s alone is often not enough anymore. A key motivational factor for students obtaining their Master’ degree is the increase in salary. More lucrative opportunities are available with the higher education level. Next, online learning tools have gained popularity among this age bracket. A particular tool called MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses, is well known. However, institutions are still hesitant to invest in this platform. Next, millennials want to work together. A study by New York University show’s retention rates for classroom taught materials went higher the more students collaborated. Those rates further escalated when students learned and taught back that same material.

It is important that the education system progresses as it’s students evolve. Students will perform more efficiently if there are options tailored to their needs. Universities that take note of the changes initiated by the millennial generation will not only make learning better, but they will be thoroughly prepared for the next generation to come.

For more information, please visit the article by Huffington Post:


K-12 Teachers Advise the President on Education Policy – Patrick Capriola’s Blog

Education - Patrick Capriola's Blog

President Obama was interested in learning more about the K-12 teacher experience and ways the federal government can improve the education system. In pursuit of a solution to this problem, Mr. President invited four school teachers to have lunch with him and the U.S. Secretary of Education at the White House. Each of the four teachers had a least ten years of experience. They also spent that duration of their careers in areas considered to have high-need students. One teacher from Springdale, Arkansas and one from Washington, D.C. took some time to speak with Ed Week to share some details of their experience.

A few specific questions were raised by the President:

  1. Is there too much standardized testing for students?
  2. How can the education profession be improved?
  3. Why did these teachers specifically continue to work with “needy” populations over such long time span?
  4. What can the federal government do to assist teachers who work in those environments?
  5. How can the government encourage teachers to continue their work in this setting for many years?

The teachers provided a lot of valuable insight to President Obama’s questions. Fifth grade teacher Dwight Davis from Washington, D.C. stated that standardized testing can be helpful to gage a student’s abilities and progress. However, certain tests only provide results that don’t specify any of that information. A few ways the profession can be improved overall is to incorporate more opportunities for teachers to work together and share ideas. Justin Minkel, a second grade teacher from Arkansas also pointed out that although some teachers may need to improve their teaching skills, there are no bad teachers. The majority of teachers genuinely care about their student’s progress. Lastly, while it seems the teachers did not go into depth about why working in high need areas was a long term choice for them, they did point out some valuable disadvantages. The lack of authority the teachers have in the classroom is a primary issue. They feel they aren’t able to be as independent as professionals in other fields. That is a central deflection point for many in these types of roles.

To read more commentary and to find out what was served for lunch in the White House, check out the Ed Week article here:

How Writing Helps Children – Patrick Capriola’s Blog

Patrick Capriola's Blog Page

How Writing Helps Children

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, beginning to write at an early age can help improve a child’s overall academic progress in school.  Similar studies have shown that writing helps children learn and retain information by actively engaging with and thinking critically about different topics.  Writing should be encouraged at school and at home.  Constant practice will help build a child’s confidence in his or her writing skills and communication abilities.  This works to improve children’s levels of independence and self-expression.

The sooner a child is introduced to writing the sooner he or she can begin to develop his or her own identity.  This can help a child look more inquisitively at the world as he or she tries to figure out personal opinions and share them with others.  Sharing experiences and opinions can bring children closer together, making them feel more accepted by friends, classmates and teachers as they realize that others have felt emotions similar to their own.

Children love stories and will, most likely, eagerly begin to tell their own once they can express themselves through writing.  From a young age, children can begin to understand the power of stories and narration.  In many ways, children are already living a writer’s life, as writers and children alike are constantly observing the world, pondering its inner-workings, recalling memories and creating entire worlds with their imaginations.  Once they have developed writing skills, children can create their own stories, stories they feel must be told.

Beginning to hone writing skills from an early age is something that will help a child immensely academically and personally as he or she matures.  Writing not only gives children confidence in their communication abilities, allowing them to communicate more frequently and effectively with peers, it also helps them realize how much power is present in being able to articulate one’s feelings.  Increasing communication abilities helps children to better understand each other and the world around them, ultimately allowing them to feel more engaged with the world and comfortable knowing that others can relate to and understand the message they wish to convey.

For more information on why writing is an important skill for children develop visit

Android Applications with Educational Benefit

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Technology is everywhere.  With so much convenient technology floating around us at all times, it’s easy to forget that not too long ago television was the country’s number one news source and people actually read print versions of newspapers and books.  Today, things have changed drastically.  Many people have switched from print versions to digital copies.  Regular trips to the library for research are becoming less and less frequent now that the Internet can bring a wealth of knowledge into our homes—knowledge that can be accessed with just a few keystrokes—and more and more people rely on social media for news and information.

Perhaps the most (and least) striking part of this digital revolution is that a huge amount of this readily available information is being accessed on smartphones.  We’ve all done it.  You’re riding the bus, standing on line in a coffee shop, waiting for a friend outside of a movie theatre, and before you know it, you’re pulling that smartphone out of your pocket, composing a tweet, updating your Facebook status, skimming your favorite pop culture website, or reading the headline of the daily newspaper.  Why?  Because you can.  Because this information is conveniently located in the palm of your hand.  Accessible and easy—that’s why technology today is so appealing.

But have you ever thought about using your smartphone for something other than scrolling through your newsfeed or catching up on the latest trends?  Instead, prepare for a trip. Learn a new language.  Learn some new skills or fine-tune the old.  It’s all possible with today’s smartphone technology.  Here are a few Android apps to get you started:


“I’m too busy to learn a second language” will never be an acceptable excuse again.  With a new app called CueBrain you can work on your language skills anywhere, anytime.  You’re commute home just became your new French class!


You don’t need to be an astronomer to enjoy the novelty of this next app.  Open Celeste, point your smartphone towards the sky, and the entire solar system becomes visible to you.  See, in 3D, where all the planets are in relation to your point on Earth.  The fun astronomy facts are just an added bonus.

Algebra Tutor

Whether you’re helping your child, younger sibling, friend, or family member out with their homework or just looking to brush up on some of those algebra skills may have forgotten since high school, Algebra Tutor can easily be considered one of the best educational apps on the market.

Patrick Capriola’s Blog – Education Facts in 2013

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According to a Forbes article, there are five prominent education facts from 2013. Here is a glimpse at this five. Rounding out the type five is a fact about the United States dropout rate. Although the rate of decline is slow, it is occurring—regarding the U.S. high school drop out rate of course. The article notes that dropping out of high school can sometimes lead to crime, poverty, and drug abuse. The state with the best graduation rate of high school students was Vermont. Nevada had the worst ranking on the list of U.S. States.

According to the article another important education fact is about financial aid. While financial aid appears to be increasing, there is a caveat: the cost of attending college is still rising as well. A third fact is related to the SAT- the most popular standardized test for students to take in the United States. The state with the most high school students to take the SAT is Delaware. There is a 100% rate of high school graduates in Delaware who took the SAT. A fourth fact is about home school and public school options compared to private school options. Homeschooling and Public School have increased in popularity, whereas there as been a decrease in students enrolling in private schools. Over 52 million students are anticipated to attend public schools by the year, 2021. A final fact about education from the year is regarding No Child Left Behind. There are a number of states who don’t have to follow the requirements of No Child Left Behind. For more information about these education facts please visit the original article at:

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