Saturday, 30 March 2013

Cloud Computing shows Students an Effective Way to Study Online

Can ‘Education’ and ‘Cloud Computing’ go hand in hand? Does it not sound a bit ambiguous? To be honest, it isn't  Cloud computing refers to the practice of utilising a network of remote servers that is hosted on the Internet which helps you to preserve, supervise and even process data. In reality, cloud computing in reality is associated with the industrial sector where the use of computers is considered mandatory.

However, it’s true that computers have stepped in almost every field, and education indubitably is one among them. Whether you talk about handling minor jobs or pursuing higher education, it’s indeed difficult to proceed without depending on this electronic digital device.
English: Diagram showing overview of cloud com...
English: Diagram showing overview of cloud computing including Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Axios Systems, Microsoft, Yahoo & Zoho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cloud Computing – a successful strategy for online learners

With the grand arrival of computers, the concept of cloud computing has witnessed worldwide popularity. Talking about education, millions of students have grabbed the opportunity to collaborate with one another establishing teamwork and completing assignments with pleasure and perfection. Surveys moreover say that cloud based education has resulted in saving quality time and promoting healthy understanding among students. This is one of the reasons why the percentage of successful online learners is rising year after year.

Online learning creates huge impact in US

In the United States, online learning has become increasingly accessible. In fact, the affordability factor in regard to education has been highly recognised on all levels owing to cloud computing.
The impact has rather been so strong according to the National Center for Education Statistics that two out of three colleges today offer credit courses online where more than twelve million students attend as distance learners. These courses undergo constant scrutiny for not only the in-person experience factor but the ways they allow interpersonal communication among students and teachers.
English: Cloud Computing Image
English: Cloud Computing Image
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cloud-based Education for new age learners and educators

Cloud computing has brought fruitful results to the field of education. In fact, it has attained global popularity for its practical usage. Today, several educational institutions on the basis of this advanced technology make use of the internet resources to preserve and analyse data. In fact, it’s not students who are extracting all the fruits but the teachers too are making extensive use of the cloud-based technologies to access teaching tools for free.

How Cloud-Computing benefit online learners and academic institutions?
  • Online learners are not only able to access but make use of several learning tools free of cost.
  • Students get the opportunity to get exposed to a wide sphere owing to the interconnection facility.
  • The students will adopt such a learning technique where there will be a mentor available in every process. Hence, they will have the scope to learn with more efficiency.
  • Schools, colleges and universities can access real information from anywhere across the world in seconds. This will help a lot of students and teachers to get updated with time.
So, if you are running a school or planning to do higher studies online, you must take help of this outstanding technology since it’s not only going to be effective for all involved in the world of education but also act as a safer initiative for its environmental friendly nature.

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Friday, 29 March 2013

Blended Learning to Set a Refined Trend in Education for Career Enthusiasts

What about adopting a technique that involves the combination of both learning and teaching through face-to-face sessions as well as through online? Yes, it’s none other than blended learning that has emerged to be an exceptional learning trend for all 21st century learners.

We must not have forgotten the earlier days when students used to read chapters, practice lessons, listen to cassettes and make group discussions in the presence of a teacher in a classroom. Initiating the concept of blended learning now will simply enhance these learning experiences of the new age learners thereby making them proceed to successful career paths with ease and confidence.

Image: Proalpha.com
A survey conducted by a global training provider named Cegos, known for providing professional trainings in the European countries, polled a total of 600 HR directors and about 2800 employees in 6 European countries. The subject of the survey dealt with their development practices and professional trainings. Here a question was raised in regard to the different types of learning methods that can set a trend in the long-run.

A notable increase in making use of blended learning classes was found to go high from 35% to 47% in the United Kingdom. This further showed that a good percentage of employees were extremely glad in receiving such trainings since they were able to utilise the same to their existing workplaces. Today, the success rates for blended learners are no doubt soaring year after year since the training professionals are constantly implementing new blended learning techniques in several schools and colleges with the intention to receive exceptional academic results.

According to studies conducted by blended learning experts, the following provisions if introduced can give rise to a perfect learning ambiance for blended learners:
  • All the documents included in a blended learning course module must be provided in electronic format
  • Decisive assessments along with constant feedback should be given to students on a daily basis
  • The personal development plan-work must be executed in an electronic format
  • Every learner must have 24/7 access to all his/her learning contents. In other words, equality must be maintained among students in terms of accessing study materials.
  • Students must take advantage of asynchronous collaborative learning which will enhance their face-to-face learning experiences and therefore result in the creation of supporting learning networks.
picture of an e-learning classroom
picture of an e-learning classroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Does Blended Learning have a future for career builders?

Four useful aspects were pointed out in respect to blended learning from a recent study. In fact, the following points positively predict that blended learning smells of a bright future for today’s learners:
  • Timesaving format: Results show that students who opt for blended learning take 25% less time to receive similar learning outcomes just like traditional learners. Therefore, blended learning is indubitably a time saving format.

  • Moneysaving format – Blended learning lets individuals save a good amount of money in comparison to what is usually spend for traditional learning. In fact, this consequently leads to heightened productivity for all blended learners.

  • No rigidity – It’s really tough for one studying for the entire day in a classroom. In this respect, the blended learners will be able to take their classes online from anywhere they wish.

  • Best for remote employees – Those who have their workplaces spread out at several locations will be able to access contents online with ease. No matter in which remote area one resides, blended learning will make it easier for him/her to learn with absolute flexibility.
So, you see how blended learning has undergone remarkable progress in the field of education and have therefore shown individuals the way to build successful careers from any corner of the world. Well, innovations and implementations are in progress, and a day will come when blended learning will be considered a sole necessity for every individual desiring to achieve thriving careers.
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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Asynchronous Learning Translates Old-age Impracticalities into Possibilities

Flipping through the past will let you know that all social activities whether face to face or in group were synchronous. Until recently, there was no technology to mediate the entire process smoothly until the age of computer and internet took over. First telephone came into the picture and then online tools, such as instant messaging, text chat, web conferencing and internet telephony overwhelmed the market.

Gradually new technologies enhanced the process of communication and machines and devices like tapes, discs, films, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones took over. However, these were synchronous. It’s been only in the past 20 years that computer and internet took a reigning control over the market through which students and teachers now engage in learning activity by making posts. It is now regarded as the advanced form of learning where a date and time is not set beforehand. To that note, here is a brief on what is asynchronous learning.

What is Asynchronous Learning?

Image: Teamblearningmodalities Blog
When learners participate in the same learning process at different times, it is known as asynchronous writing. Synonymously, it is also known as computer based training (CBT) or e-learning. It is a mode of learning that allows learners to get through online study courses or important information at their own pace and schedule. CBT specifically refers to courses that are conducted on computers, either through internet or CDs. The basic difference between CBT and traditional learning is that the former does not involve physical presence of a facilitator or an instructor but the latter does. The more similar terms to CBT are eLearning, web based training, online learning and much more.

Though, asynchronous in nature, this mode of learning has the following advantages:
  • It is not dominated by those who try to speak before thinking
  • The mode of learning allows time for reflection on what you have just read
  • Besides, it allows both learners and preachers to participate in the same mode of education
  • Besides, it also allows for in-depth research and profound sharing of perspectives
  • Since it is asynchronous you have record of the string of interactions that are viewed by participants.
Hence, asynchronous learning has a unique approach to learning. It opens up a sea of possibilities that were once impractical. Hence, the latest trend is to fulfil objective of accomplishing studies at your own pace and accepting the new mode of learning process. 
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Friday, 22 March 2013

Why Women Are Treated Unequally Than Men Despite of Having A Good Academic Background?

There was a time when Women were dominated by men in all respect of the society. They were devoid of any rights to take decision, to vote, to take education and even to employment. They were restricted to play the role of a keeper of hearth and home, giving birth and take care of their off springs. Men were considered as the proprietor of their spouses and dictate their livelihood. There was discrepancy in the rights for men and women for ages. But as time passed, women started realizing that they need to fight for their rights and their existence. And after a long struggle for Right to Equality, the beginning of the 20th century brings a revolutionary change in the society allowing women the right to vote, education and better job opportunities.
Userpage icon for supporting gender equality.
Userpage icon for supporting gender equality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Earlier women were considered inferior to men in every aspect especially in intelligence levels. After getting the right to education women proved that they are equal or even better than men in academics. A research shows that proportions of women attaining higher education are increasing year by year. Women of this century surpassed men by a high percentage in Master’s degree and PhD.

Now the question is does the women’s achievement in academics led them to a greater success in the professional world?

Though women won the right to education and job opportunities as equal to men and proved themselves in education but the discrimination still remains in the professional field. Many parts of the world are still stubborn with sexism in the workplace. Studies have shown that women are offered less salary compared to men with identical backgrounds. Women face more criticism and less praise in their workplace than that of men.  In today’s professional world people are not judged by meritocracy. They hire and promote based on personality than that of formal qualifications. As Whitney Johnson and Tara Mohr wrote in an article posted on the Harvard Business Review’s Web site, “The very skills that propel women to the top of the class in school are earning us middle-of the-pack marks in the workplace.”

In the professional world women has to face ‘glass ceiling’ in the executive suite. It cannot be denied that women are constrained from the opportunity to move to the upper level of management. A recent study shows that 51.4% of women account for middle-managers and only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEO’s.
Image Source: Catalyst.org
Despite this fact there are many organizations that are changing and developing their work culture in a positive way.

" While I have always considered myself sensitive to and effective on gender issues in the workplace," writes Cisco CEO John Chambers in a leaked email, "my eyes were opened in new ways and I feel a renewed sense of urgency to make the progress we haven't made in the last decade."

Education is no panacea in workplace if a woman does not possess the leadership skills. So, to acquire the top most position in the workplace women still need to upgrade their skills and establish their credentials. 
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Thursday, 21 March 2013

2013 to Witness some Amazing Learning Trends

Good news for new age learners is that digital learning is highly predicted to go mobile by 2013. In fact, experts have said that the global expenditure on E-learning is expected to go up to US$107 billion by the year 2015. Almost 2.4 million people in South Africa have been found today to access the internet through their cell phones. Out of them, the percentage of students and career professionals is no doubt huge. Therefore, it’s crystal clear that changes are going to be too strong in the educational patterns worldwide.
Learning by Doing
Learning by Doing (Photo credit: BrianCSmith)
So, if you are keen to adopt a new learning process in this new year, here are 5 refined and innovative learning trends to watch out in 2013. Have a look:
  • Video – Experts say that video can be the most effective learning tool to watch out this year. Plenty of schools, colleges and universities at various corners of the globe will make use of videos to impart lessons to students and even working professionals. With the help of video optimization sites, one will be able to share information with one another, and this will surely emerge to be an effective learning trend.

  • Mobile – A lot of working professionals have come up with positive opinions about using mobile tools like laptops and tablets for accessing resources. Although some might take time to get accustomed to such advanced mobile tools for learning, it will not be long when these tools will be solely considered in the majority of academic institutions all over the world.

  • Social learning – Making extensive use of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook has already shown amazing records of fetching success to the global educational arena. 2013 will bring stronger effects that will stimulate both learning and team work in both schools and universities. In fact, this has been predicted to be the most exciting and successful learning trend this year.
    IBooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • E-Text – The initiative to introduce E-Text has already been executed at various corners. However, there are many academic institutions that are still in the adoption phase. Well, the introduction of iBooks, and Google Books will surely have greater impact in the classrooms.

  • Gamification – In reality, games are regarded to be the most powerful tools that let students learn faster. Although many academicians have earlier considered games as time wasters, opinions have taken a drastic turn today. In fact, it’s gamification that might bring positive changes in the thinking abilities of students and even career professionals.
So, with the initiation of these learning trends, the online or distance learners are largely going to benefit. That’s a promise!!
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Getting Your Issues Regarding Online Learning Addressed

Online education is fast becoming a popular choice of student all over the world. Not only the students but also the professionals who are unable to leave their jobs to carry on their educational career are getting attracted to them. So, it is becoming more of a necessity to regulate the entire online distance learning providers to offer the student with the kind of security they get from on-campus courses.

E-learning short courses
E-learning short courses (Photo credit: London College of Fashion short courses)
Complaint lodging cell:

The recent changes and additions to the Higher Education Act of 1965 require the providers of online education to provide their students with the contact details of the relevant authority in the areas where the candidates reside with whim they can lodge their grievances. Even though most of the online education providers make sure that all the student complaints are listened to and necessary actions taken internally, there have been situations that could not be handled internally. It is for situations like this that the new regulations have been incorporated.

How to go about the process of filing a complaint?

The process requires you to take up the issue with the education providers by clearly stating the nature of the complaint. If it cannot be solved internally, then you will have to take it up with the concerned authority in your state or area of residence.

Earlier people thought that it was not safe to enroll in a course where everything would be conduct over the Internet. Any issues that arose would have to be only addressed to the internal authorities. But now, there is a way out. You can go to the local authorities listed in their prospectus to lodge a complaint in need be.

Seal of the United States Department of Education
Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The US Department of Education has made sure that all the institutes who are offering online education abide by the rule and provide their prospective candidates with the necessary information for lodging complaint in their respective areas of residence. It is being hoped that this step is going to help remove the fear that people had about the online degrees. 

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Thursday, 14 March 2013

IT Careers looking Bright for 2013 and Beyond

Do you think that higher studies without receiving technical education can lend you a valuable future? Truly speaking, it’s pretty difficult to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in this context. However, experts have predicted that 2013 will be the year for IT professionals since the employment market has high chances to offer 10% more jobs in comparison to what usually remains throughout the year.
Image Courtesy : MSN
Information to Intelligent Technology

As per sources, Microsoft has come up with a smarter viewpoint in regard to the future of information technology. In general, information technology includes development, maintenance and utilisation of computer systems, networks and software to process and distribute data. Microsoft simply intends to bring changes in this traditional concept. In one of their blogs, they have laid emphasis on the transition from informative to intelligent technology. In other words:
  • Computers will no longer be taken as an input tool playing a passive role in our everyday lives.

  • It’s not only humans who will learn from computers but the reverse will take place in a meaningful process.

  • Gadgets like smartphones, tablets etc will learn everything from you just like you learn from them.
3 Effective ways adopted by Microsoft to give rise to Intelligent Technology
  1. Introduction of Big Data – Owing to the huge explosion of information through sensors, machines and people, alongside the extensive accessibility of cloud services will bring in turn a wide range of new and powerful tools. These tools will help transform data into insight.

  2. Systems that learn – The computers of the 21st century will be designed to not only operate according to the user’s instructions but they will learn at the same time from their users.

  3. Natural User Interfaces made more human – A trend is about to step in where one will make use of speeches and gestures to interact with computing systems.
By exhibiting these smarter ways, Microsoft confirms that technologies are surely going to gain huge importance in the coming years. In fact, the relationship with computers is certainly going to get stronger, and this will give rise to the initiation of more and more technically polished equipments and gadgets. Therefore, it’s crystal clear that gaining technical education is extremely important for all those planning to pursue higher studies.

Source: Ivy on Pinterest

So, how can students achieve a successful IT career?

The first thing necessary is choosing an accredited institution that offers postgraduate courses in Information and Technology. In this respect, the institutions under UK universities have been doing wonders in letting students pursue lucrative career programs. So, whether you are working or not, you can always enrol in MSc in Information Technology from an accredited institution under UK university.

On successful completion of MSc in Information and Technology program, you will:
  • Learn how to plan, supervise and execute big IT-based projects

  • Apply the lessons to develop your work experience

  • Gain proficiency in critical evaluation and management of real world projects

  • Acquire eligibility to work in managerial positions in Web Development, Network Management etc.
So, you see how valuable it is to earn an IT degree in today’s world. Well, Microsoft has already portrayed the success story of such a thriving industry. Therefore, you just need to take the right step to achieve success and prosperity in this field. All the best!!
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hugo Chavez’s Demise Results in Economic Downfall for Caribbean Countries

The death of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has put all the seventeen Caribbean countries in a state of shock and panic. These countries have been strongly predicted to undergo a heightened era of economic uncertainty on such a big loss. Out of the 17 Caribbean nations, twelve of them are members of the Caribbean Community, Caricom. In fact, they have become highly dependent on PetroCaribe, the part-payment loan scheme, in regard to their oil supplies from Venezuela. Without it, they would never be able to come out of their worsening economic circumstances.

Image Source: Starmedia.com
It was found that out of a total of $14-billion worth of oil, almost $5.8 billion comprised as long-term financing provided by Venezuela to the seventeen dependent nations under PetroCaribe. Although Cuba stands as the principal beneficiary, a good number of Cariciom countries especially Jamaica are also considered to be among the beneficiaries in terms of per capita.

Venezuela almost entirely finances the ALBA Caribe Fund and ALBA Food Fund which are no doubt significant contributions towards the welfare of the beneficiary states. In the last six years till 2012, the ALBA Caribe Fund had invested around$179 million for a total of 88 projects ranging from water to education. On the other hand, the ALBA Food Fund invested a total of $24 million for twelve projects.

Chavez had a good number of personal projects. Although he carried along his government, he had his own ideas, and the strategies to execute them were also designed by him. In fact, he had always desired to supervise over the dependent Caribbean nations out of his passion to stop the US companies as well as the US government from exercising their influences in Latin America. He was rather genuinely concerned about the sufferings of the poor living in these countries and hence wanted to improve their situations at any cost.

Hugo Chavez introduced a comprehensive literacy policy with the intention to widen access to education and double the enrolment figures in the universities. Moreover, the number of old citizens drawing pension had gone up today to four times more than what it used to be earlier. Chavez was successful in accomplishing these social reforms while sustaining the overall scenario of the economy. At present, the Caribbean nations are experiencing constant fluctuations as per their current economic records. This is one of the reasons why students, businessmen and even holiday makers are not feeling confident in travelling to any of those seventeen countries.

Since the full-time college and university enrolments have got a bit affected, students are trying online to get admitted in the Caribbean universities. Although the economic conditions of the Caribbean countries are sure to take control within a few months, the universities and colleges out there will probably not stop offering online courses to domestic as well as international students. The Caribbean citizens believe that the conditions both economically and academically will surely improve with the passage of time.

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