A Web Site to Help Students with Their Homework
By Denys Gigučre|
In the last issue of Professionally Speaking, some parents and educators talked about their concern that young students may be getting too much homework.
There is at least some help on the horizon with Eureka! — www.tvo.org/ eureka — a new web site launched by TVOntario in the spring that is focused on the standardized literacy and math test.
Teachers and Grade 7 to 9 students can connect online Sunday through Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30. The innovative Ask a Teacher chat _room — the jewel of the web site — uses state-of-the-art technology to allow teachers and students to use graphic illustrations and diagrams as they would in the classroom.
For students who don’t have a computer at home, TVOntario has reached an agreement with public libraries across Ontario so that workstations will be available to students after school hours.
The chat line started in the spring and proved a valuable tool for students who can login, ask specific questions about their homework and stay online to observe the questions and answers of other participants or logoff. Those who log off can login again as many times as they need to.
Eureka! also offers exercises and links to help students improve their skills in literacy and math. The Get A Grip on Grammar section explains in details how a sentence is constructed. It also addresses the top 10 grammatical errors like sentence fragment, faulty pronoun reference, misplaced modifiers and faulty parallelism, for example.
The math section was helpful but somewhat bare at the time I visited it, although there are plans to expand it during the school year. The section only had two options — one explaining the functions of a calculator and another about solving problems using fractions. One of the shortfalls of the site is that if you key in the wrong answer, it does not provide you with any explanation. I guess that’s when you need to go to Ask a Teacher!
TVOntario intends to develop Eureka! so that all students from Grades 4 to 12 can log on for help in the future.
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