Wednesday, 25 June 2014

FREE – Personalized Summer Math & English Program for Every Student

Summer Math & English Program FREE
  • is an online Math and English learning and practice solution
  • designed to help students in Grades 1 to 8
  • master every concept of Common Core Curriculum
  • Customizes content for each student based on the student’s unique skills
  • Provides infinite practice in Math
  • Unique practice each time
  • detailed Reading comprehension and Grammar practice
  • PracTutor connects students, teachers, parents and administrators on the same platform
  • PracTutor helps teachers and parents identify student’s weak and strong areas and focus on those to reach their full potential

Thursday, 5 June 2014

PracTutor to Attend ISTE EXPO, 2014 in Atlanta

Louisville, KY – June 03, 2014 - PracTutor is an on-line personalized and fun way to master Math and English for Grades 1 to 8. Our team is participating in ISTE EXPO 2014, scheduled in Atlanta.

ISTE EXPO 2014 is the premier forum to learn, exchange ideas and survey the field of education technology. This year it will convene about 500 exhibits and 4,500 industry representatives. About 13000 educators will attend the event; so mark our presence in booth # 648 from Saturday, June 28 till Tuesday, July 1.

"PracTutor is an online tool to master Math and English. It utilizes a game based environment to boost students' interest in learning. We provide exciting features like PracCash, Badges and a Virtual City to ensure that students enjoy the process of learning."  said Hardik Parikh, PracTutor's co-founder.

Its adaptive systems customize content as per students' unique learning needs. The curriculum of PracTutor is in sync with the Common Core Standards. The assessments are aligned with PARCC and SBAC.

PracTutor confirms with the unique needs of schools and districts. We connect students, teachers, parents and administrators on the same platform. We highlight the strengths and areas of concern for each student, outlining steps to guide them attain their full potential. Our partnership with teachers, schools and school districts enables them to enhance performance of the individual classrooms and entire school by detailed reporting.

In a period of one year, we have added 20,000 new registration, Students have solved more than 2.2 million problems in all 50 states.

At PracTutor booth, teachers and experts will be close –at-hand to discuss our learning solutions and respond to your queries.  To learn about PracTutor, visit our booth at ISTE 2014 or at

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Diabetes: A Children's Guide

Diabetes UK approached us to help them create a short film that would serve as a visual guide for children affected by diabetes. We took the initiative to talk directly with newly diagnosed children in order to gain insight into what could help young minds understand Type 1 diabetes. From concept to storyboarding, co-directing on the live-action filming, post production and audio design we were hands-on in each stage of the process. Working with a team of talented individuals we have achieved a visual guide that effectively engages, connects and helps children and their parents.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Top 10 Education Policies To Make American Schools Unbeatable

With almost the entire nation getting ready to implement the Common Core State Standards, is a thorough revolution that the educators are going through. The school administrations have not remained static either. With the latest outcome of PISA results and unfolding of The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013 it is very clear that American school administrations have an excellent opportunity to implement the best international educational policies. Here is a list of the top 10 best educational policies across the globe. American schools can comply with these policies to showcase their unbeatable valor on international platforms.
The constant average performance of the American students in the Program for International Student Assessment over the past ten years clearly indicates the stagnancy that has set in our education system. While China dominates the results in all three categories of Math, science and reading, the results of the American teens continue to remain gloomy. If we want the American students to be globally competitive, it is high time that we look at the best educational practices being observed by other top-performing nations.
We bring to you the top 10 education practices that the best-ranked nations employ to deliver the most effective results. Let us gear up and be the unbeatable educators that the entire world would look up to.
  1. Educating Core Value And Application: Are we making Dumbies who know the price of everything and the value of nothing? Of all ACT tested high school graduates, 56 percent of the students failed to touch the mathematics standard. College Readiness Benchmark data is based on the ACT Profile Report—National: Graduating Class 2013. As per Andreas Schleicher, the special OECD advisor for education policy at CNN, simply 2 percent of the American students can infer the use of math creatively. The same ratio for Shanghai, China is over 30 percent. We need to make our students learn to conceptualize and to apply advance math and science to practical use. They need to learn to be creative with math and science to be globally competitive citizens.
  2. Research, Prepare, And Give Kids A Break: In the US, the number of hours a student is educated is 1080 hours per year while in Finland (the nation that tops the education quality assessment by Pearson) the students are taught for just 600 hours in a year. Do the schools not function for the remaining days? – The remaining hours are given to the teachers to prepare the lesson plans, do further research work and enhance and get better. While the US students are entitled to just two breaks per year, the students of New Zealand get two-week break in four terms per year. They also take 40 days break during summer. By classifying the breaks as per student’s needs they give a balanced opportunity to the students to retain the information that is taught, to relax, and even to organize their knowledge that they acquire.
  3. Valuing Education: While the US devotes just 2 percent of its national earnings towards betterment of education - China, (the second best scorer of PISA results) devotes 20 percent of its national revenue for betterment of education. This surplus amount even enables them to pay the educators better than what the engineers and lawyers are paid. We need to understand that we must cultivate a culture of valuing education as well as the educators.
  4. The Classroom Atmosphere: Every year the child gets new teachers and a few new classmates too. In Finland, one of the unwavering top-performing nation on the list of PISA test results, the students get promoted along with the teacher. Thus, the same set of students educate with the same teacher year on year. Child psychologists believe that the same atmosphere gives students a more secured atmosphere. This helps them feel at home and concentrate better. On the other hand, the teacher too is familiar with all the strong and weak points of each student and can draft strategies to make them understand in a far more efficient manner.
  5. The Pay scales: The efficiently skilled professionals choose professions that would pay them their worth. When the educators are paid an average starting annual salary of $ 39,000 the message is clear for all the efficient people to look for some other profession and not be a teacher in the US. South Korea, Finland, and Singapore all have much better salary structure and graders for teachers than the US does. With the right amount of income, the teachers remain dedicated to their profession for a long duration and take their profession seriously.
  6. Team up and progress: The stronger and better performers should help the schools that are not doing so well. Though the school district formula does its job yet, there are schools that perform better than the school districts. Shouldn’t performance be the selection criterion than the size? Shanghai has an initiative know as “empowered administration”. Under this theme, the better performing schools pair up with the less-performing schools to help them do better. The experienced administrators share their experiences and line up the best strategies that deliver the required results.
  7. Nurturing the Core Senses:  In a survey where 84 percent of the Japanese students declared that they had faith that they have what it takes to succeed and were willing to do whatever it takes to be achievers, just fifty percent of the US students felt the same. The core sense of determination and dedication for achieving whatever is desired needs to be nurtured in American students. The common US belief that intelligence is in your DNA needs alteration. 
  8. Capping The Class: There are no restrictions on the number of students in the US classroom, and even 40 students can be placed in a class with a particular teacher, it most certainly is not a healthy practice. The more the number of the students, the lesser would be the amount of individual attention each student gets from the teacher. The Nova Scotia recently declared a cap of 25 students per class w.e.f. 2014.
  9. Parents & Quality Education: The parents too need to be involved in the education of the child in true sense. The parents need to be educated about how they must construct the learning abilities of their children. The emphasis has to be on the effort that the child makes and not on his capability. The parents must nurture the dedication and determination of the child as well. All the Asian nations including China ensure that that the focus is on child’s efforts and not on his ability.
  10. Developing A Healthy Relationship: The parents and teachers both hold an equal amount of importance in a child’s overall development. There should be an effortless positivism between the teacher and student. The overall school attendance of an average American student is 92 percent while that of a Japanese student is 99.98 percent. As the parents need to be more actively involved in the education of the child, the teacher too needs to be a part of the overall development of the child and must be more involved in their personal lives. This would bring them closer and would help develop an absolute positive relationship between the teacher, the student, and the parents.
Finally, the most important thing that the overall education system of America including the education administrators and government needs to understand is that “We need to value education and educators from the core and not just common core.”

Saturday, 8 March 2014

PART: 2 How Body Language Affects Your Persona

We saw Importance Of Body Language While Communicating in our earlier article. Let us find how you can benefit from it as well.
According to the psychologists in order to complete a sales task from the beginning to the close is a mental game.The index and the reference of the game arecommunicated through many subtle representations for e.g. your facial expressions, standing/sitting posture, choice of your tone and the way you emphasize the important words. How do you feel from within reflects easily outside however, even while you plan to work with great positive outlook your faulty or weak body language can work against your purpose. If the sales person is smiling at you but is standing with a stoop shoulders it strongly sends the message of no confidence (in this man or in his product). Such minor mistakes send wrong signals to the customers which in turn can create a communication barrier and might result into failure of a good prospective lead. This wall is formed because the customers make certain interpretations and assumptions according to your body language and it robustly influences their behavioral pattern.
As in case of commercial sales, body language plays a major role all other spheres of life as well. As we are social beings and since we keep on interacting with our family, friends, colleagues, each time we socialize we tryto convince the other person with either our ideas, concepts, beliefs or our personality so that we can create our own identity around. And hence, the subtle communications through body language play a pivotal role for achieving success in all the sectors of interaction, big or small.
The good news is that there are positive vibes that you can send through subtle signals or body language postures. These signals shall exude positive vibes around and create a sense of goodwill about you.
Some easily adaptable body language skills are listed hereunder for you to adapt and benefit from:
  1. High level of physical and mental energy is denoted in your every stride and walk. A person walking with confidence, with eyes fixed to his target and shoulders matching the direction of the steps denotes positive attitude.
  2. Stand with your head erect and your posture tall. It says you are trustworthy and that you know your game.
  3. Smile not just with your lips but smile with your eyes; it sends in a warm welcome signal. A good sense of humor along with gentle smile always goes on for miles. Too much of wide smile is also ungracious so practice to tone it down a little.
  4. If you are making awkward (unfamiliar or opposite) gestures, it makes the person across you more uncomfortable or frustrated. Hence, your gestures should be very easy and comfortable so that the person with whom you are communicating feels at ease while discussing things with you.
  5. Welcoming gestures always represent that you are open minded towards people whereas rigid body language such as crossed legs or folded arms creates a kind of barrier between you and the other person due to which the communication becomes restricted.
  6. Make sure that you are well-dressed for the formal or celebration occasion and you are behaving according to the behavior expected for your position and you attire must complement your position.
  7. When you feel low lean back in your chair and place your hands behind your head. Assume an “eminent authority” state in your mind. Be in this position for two minutes and your confidence will get a good boost.
  8. Appear attentive. Do not check your emails, messages or watch when you really want the other person to talk to you. Lean forward, make direct eye contact and keep your face and body directly facing the person you are interested in communicating to. Do nod when you agree to their perspective and tilt your head when you are further more interested in other persons version of talk.
  9. Ensure that there are no physical barriers such as pen stands, cup and table lamps, etc when you communicate across your desk. Physical barriers are in particular unfavorable towards shared mutual endeavors.
  10. If you are talking to someone at the coffee table, keep you cup and saucers as low as you waist and not at your chest. You hold your files and cups high when you are nervous.
  11. Do a gentle, warm yet firm handshake. Do not press other persons hand too hard. A warm firm handshake for as little as 1/40 second connects people with human bond. Keep your hand straight and not below. The position of your hand communicates the message you want to pass on; Hand below – I am less ready to communicate to you; Hand above- I am smarter than you think and far above you; Straight firm hand – I am confident and open to communicate.
  12. To communicate your authority, use the authoritative arc in your tone. It means that your voices should starts on normal note, raise the pitch by a note in the middle and through rest of the sentence and drop it back down at the end. Keep your voice down – Louder means weaker, confused, and not confident, etc.
  13. If the person you are interacting with is sending negative body vides (he/she is not interested in your proposal) through crossed arms, crossed legs or looking away, etc – Take a break. If you cannot practically take a break, do so at least in your topic. Drop that topic for that moment and pick up another one that you know the other person will open up with. You can come back to your topic once you pick positive tone and nonverbal signs from the other person.
  14. Feet are equally important. To understand other person’s state of mind you need to take their entire body language in account. If they are sitting back in the chair but they have crossed their feet, they are not in total agreement with you. When we feel stressed, nervousness or anxiety, we often move our foot. We fidget or shuffle our feet when we are nervous. When we are stressed we usually wind our feet around each other or we round them around the nearest furniture. When in total agreement to each other, feet of both communicators are softly placed on ground facing the other person directly.
  15. When you wish to show your agreement or disagreement to the other person all you need to do is take the open or closed to communicate body stance of the other person.
Keenly observebody language of highly successful people and also your regular acquaintances. You can study various behavioral patterns and judge the mindset of different people or opt to learn the topic in depth by going through extensive trainings, videos and books.
Rome Was Not Built In a Day: Keep on Practicing!
Nothing can replace the rewards of hard work and practice. Hence, to practice positive body language and also to understand the attitude of others through observation you need to keep on practicing it consciously, everyday. Remember, a good body language goes a long way in eliminating the complications that are caused by faulty or weak body language. At the onset of liberalization it has become quintessential that all of us learn and practice body language skills for success. Mere verbal communication is not enough to break the barrier of awkwardness or rigidity.
A good positive body language here functions as the conduit between two people from different communities. Noteworthy is the fact that many people in the world connect with each other even when they do not understand each other’s language at all. It is so because their body language communicates for them. Hope you understand communication is about connecting to the other person and not just about passing information. If you follow these ten simple and powerful body language tips, I guarantee you’ll increase your nonverbal impact in 2012.

Monday, 3 March 2014

PracTutor The Only Adaptive Learning Platform That Is Aligned With RTI And Offers Test Based On Principals Of PARCC And SBAC

Schools use PracTutor for all three tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.
PracTutor identifies students at-risk in the initial phase itself and accelerates their learning with instruction and practice that is intensive, balanced, and personalized.
Tier 1 - Core Instructional Interventions
All students in the Tier 1 phase receive high quality and scientifically segregated set of instruction. They are differentiated to meet their needs and are screened on a periodic basis to identify struggling learners who need additional support.
PracTutor takes a pre-test for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set. The students then choose and learn from the educational and entertaining videos. Each video corresponds to one of the learning styles as per VARK (Video, Audio, Reading, and Kinesthetic). Students learn, practice, and take tests for each standard to ensure continuous progress. A student can take up the same lesson again and again with various resources until he receives desired grades. The score and progress records help identify the struggling students.
When teachers monitor students’ progress and get immediate alerts related to the struggling students, they provide instant remediation and help them on the individual basis.
Tier 2 - Targeted Group Interventions
In Tier 2 phase, the students identified as not “making adequate progress in the core curriculum” are provided with progressive intensive instruction that match their needs. As stated earlier these needs are identified based on the individual levels of performance and progress.
PracTutor ensures that the students who are identified as the struggling students in the core curriculum receive sufficient instructions. These instructions are in the form of videos, a step-by-step guide, along with explanations for each concept to ensure they grasp and relate to the basics thoroughly before they proceed ahead.
Teachers can group the students as per their skills and can assign the core standards to individual groups or to the whole class as per the needs of attention and intervention. The detailed reports help the school administrators and teachers to stay on the top of their assignments and progress.
Tier 3 – Intensive And Individual Interventions
In phase 3, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students' skill deficits for the remediation of the existing problems. This level assists in prevention of more severe and deep-rooted issues.
PracTutor links each common core standards to the previous pre-requisite standard; this helps introduce intensive intervention by inserting the missing skills in the student’s personalized learning path. The student can learn the missing skills through the set of videos and practice (with hints and step-by-step explanations) to ensure the existing problems are resolved before proceeding to the next standard.
NCTM recommends a set of in the process of creating intervention program and PracTutor is the only program that satisfies all the criteria.
PracTutor For Enrichment
PracTutor is equally well suited for talented, proficient, dedicated, or gifted students as it is for the students that lag behind.
PracTutor takes a pre-test for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set. The advanced students start with challenging core standards and are not required to complete the standards that they are already familiar with. This engages them more and helps them stay motivated.
Each core standard in PracTutor has a critical thinking practice and tests to challenge the advanced level students. These tests are application-based and concept building questions that are aligned with the PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
PracTutor For Career And College Readiness
With the growing complexity of the world and the increasing demands of the 21st-century workforce, there is little doubt that all students must graduate from high school fully prepared for college AND careers.
PracTutor’s differentiated instructions through videos practice and tests relevant to real world problems help ensure the students are prepared for healthy career options and competitive college.
About PracTutor
PracTutor is a customized learning and practice environment to help students in Grades 1 to 8 master Math and English. We provide 1-to-1 mentoring for each student. We make the learning fun by introducing gamification and help parents and teachers track progress and get alerts whenever they need help.
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