MIT OpenCourseWare

The present era has seen an upsurge of scientific explorations and with the progress of the passage of time technological innovations have improved considering. One of the most significant technological innovations of the present century is computers and with the coming of the Internet, the whole mode of communication has revolutionized tremendously and today any information or data is just a click away. The internet has thus made transfer and retrieval of information quiet easy and this has facilitated the way for the introduction of online education.

The term online learning or e-learning refers to the process by which knowledge is imparted by a group of experienced tutors to interested students over the internet by means of interaction via emails, chats and blogs and various other software devices. In case of online education, several reputed universities and educational institutions of the world have introduced many of their flagship courses online and in those who undertake to study the course are offered a degree upon the completion of the course. In this way it is possible for various individuals who have access to a computer to gain the opportunity to study under reputed educational institutions.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the premier institutions in the world and its fame is widespread all over the world and meritorious students from different parts of the world dream of being a part of its prestigious alumni. The OpenCourseWare is an initiative introduced by MIT in their bid to make available the various course materials of its undergraduate and post-graduate courses online for free to interested candidates. It is doubtless that such course materials will be highly in demand among the student community and this institute is considered to be one of the finest in the world. Till November 2007, about 1800 courses have already been made accessible online and it is estimated that towards the end of this year all the course materials will be available. Apart from MIT, this ambition was financially aided by Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

It was in the year 1999 that this idea had dawned in the minds of the schools associated with MIT that it should make some sort of contribution to online learning and hence it was determined that its course materials should be made accessible online. The MIT OpenCourseWare enterprises of various interactive and collaborative demonstrations in Java apart from providing video lectures by professors of the institute. Most of the course materials provide analytical problems and examinations often provided with solutions. …

Student Discipline and the New Teacher

One of the most challenging parts of the job for a new teacher is dealing with student behavior problems. New teachers should arm themselves with the knowledge of classroom management and behavior strategies to help them deal with student discipline.

Everybody has certain biases and ways of looking at the world. Our world view is colored by our family, our childhood and our life experiences. Teachers are no exception. A teacher who comes from a background where education was emphasized may not be comfortable in a classroom in an alternative school where the students were never taught the importance of education. A teacher who was taught to respect their parents and all adults would be thrown for a loop if an unruly student becomes unabashedly disrespectful. A student may give a new teacher an especially hard time in order to “test” or “break” the teacher.

Student discipline does not have to be a headache for you if you can keep a few strategies in mind. Though it is a good to want to connect with your students, you have to be the teacher and adult first. Many new teachers make the mistake of trying to befriend and connect with the students at the beginning of the year because they believe this will make for a trouble free classroom. In reality, the complete opposite is true. If a new teacher tries to be “friends” with the students at the beginning of the school year, you have actually discredited yourself as an adult and leader in the classroom. If you begin the school year as the “cool” or laid back teacher, the students will not take you seriously and when a student becomes unruly and you try to discipline that student, that student will not listen to you because you have presented yourself as a buddy rather than a serious authority figure that commands their respect.

One of the main objectives someone is looking for when becoming an educator is to teach for knowledge and to build relationships with their students. No one, especially a new teacher wants to be seen as the “bad guy”. You must realize that classroom management and discipline come first and relationship and connection comes later. Even if it is against your nature, as a new teacher it is important to be strict, assertive and authoritative. The truth is students expect adults and teachers to have rules, guidelines, expectations, and limits. Of course it is just in the nature of young people to try and test those limits but that doesn’t mean that they don’t expect them to be there.

The primary key to dealing with student behavior is not just what the school or even the district wants. It is knowing how you want your classroom to run and having certain realistic expectations of how you want your students to behave. Again, if you would like a relaxed atmosphere in your classroom, DO NOT try to establish this in the beginning of the school year. It …