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NEWS | April 19, 2010 is a 24-7 solution to homework questions

By Sean Bowlin 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B

Educators, students, family members, Airmen and their leaders on Randolph Air Force Base learned last week that for those Airmen or family members confused by homework, there's now help 24 hours a day.

As 60 people listened in the base library, representatives from demonstrated how students of any age needing academic aid can connect on the Internet with 1,800 professional tutors for safe, one-to-one learning sessions.

"This is exceptional," said Col. Alan Lake, 902nd Mission Support Group commander, "because parents aren't necessarily experts when it comes to homework."

Kara Froman, a account executive, said the free service provided by the Department of Defense-endorsed company authorized to work with the Air Force since January, provides a secure online classroom environment. It includes real-time chat features and an interactive whiteboard with screened advisers ready to assist students perplexed with math, science, English, social studies, standardized tests, resume-writing, grammar and literature questions.

She also said the service works by giving "targeted tutoring," which leverages the student's current question to support key concepts taught in class, incorporating teaching strategies for learning how to learn, while helping each student with an immediate class assignment. Students can also sign up to work with favorite tutors and can save their online sessions to study them later for greater reinforcement of learned concepts.

"This is a great thing for military families, because they move around a lot and sometimes, from that, school subjects are taught differently in different states and often, there are gaps in learning and prerequisite skills are sometimes missed. Also, parents who normally check homework, get deployed," Ms. Froman noted.

Ms. Froman's colleague, account executive Susan Del Rosario, said the service, which is authorized for active-duty servicemembers, reservists, deployed National Guardsmen , deployed DoD civilians and military family members is also great for students who don't feel like asking questions in class for fear of embarrassment, or who don't want to or can't wait around after school to get homework questions answered. 

The service answered one military family member's homework questions that arose after checking her son's pre-algebra homework.

That's why Francine Gonzales, 902nd Force Support Squadron library technician, endorsed Tutor. com.

"I checked my son's homework after writing it on the computerized whiteboard. I found it was a good tool to have, like having an extra set of eyes on the homework. I loved it," Ms. Gonzales commented.

For more information on how to use from the convenience of your own computer, visit the Web site or call 800-411-1970.