Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Will UK Universities Respond to Ebdon’s Requests for Supporting the Needy?

image courtesy: /bit.ly/y89wKr

Education should stop welcoming discrepancies as official data showed that the number of affluent students studying in universities and colleges in the United Kingdom have exceeded the number belonging to deprived areas by 3 to 1. Apart from presenting this fact, the ombudsman for England’s higher education, Les Ebdon has also urged the colleges and universities to gear up their efforts to allure more disadvantaged students so that they can also fulfil their dreams of leading bright and secured futures.

Routes to Higher Education are shortening, says Ebdon

According to Ebdon, the drastic downfall in the part-time enrolments that has been recently reported is no less a tragedy. The participation rates for both part-timers and matured students have been declining which in turn resulted in an unexpected fall in the enrolment figures. In fact, this has brought fears in the lives of numerous career aspirants that the alternative routes to pursue higher education are gradually shrinking with the passage of time.

Ebdon’s comments were published last week in Office for Fair Access where the report was made on student’s annual assessments for participating in higher education. The reports further showed big gaps in recruitment ranging from the inferior end of the income scale irrespective of the universities’ bumper year. Ebdon in respect to the monitoring said that things are no doubt progressing. However, it does not show any sign that a long way is still to go.

He continued that although the participation rate from the inferior participation groups has increased by 80%, there are chances that one might end up enrolling in a selective university if he/she comes from the 20% of the most advantaged group than from the 20% of the most disadvantaged. So, it’s quite evident that much work needs to be done to improve situations.

Outreaching is the key factor to Success

Ebdon said that it’s quite unfair to issue only one application for disadvantaged students who are 18, and three applications to issue for the same in the advantaged areas. He therefore emphasised on the idea of outreaching which can be rather a key factor to success, and this should be done by spreading the message that a university is an ideal platform for everyone to succeed. Hence, the disadvantaged should understand that there are no barriers in their way to success.

However, Ebdon also feels that the outreach efforts in order to get realised through matured students and part-timers will surely encounter strong challenges. He said that what universities must recognise now is that the increasing demand for individuals possessing high-level skills will result in the requirement of more and more places in higher education. Probably, this may be a crucial reason why the enrolment figures for part-timers are falling since this is no doubt a profitable way to produce individuals with high level skills.

Ebdon’s OFFA reports

OFFA (Office for Fair Access) has stood responsible for approving all access agreements by universities that sets objectives for widening participation. According to OFFA, although universities spend more on outreach activities, their higher fee income proportion has suffered a downfall. In response, Ebdon’s watchdog want to not only make smarter investments but the universities should also set challenging targets for recruiting individuals. 

Government must Necessitate Funding for Admitting more University Students

Ebdon has moreover commented on the long-held initiative of admitting 50% of the school-quitters into universities. He said that the government can increase the enrolment figures of the students going to universities, provided if it raises fund for the expansion. His comments were made just because he felt that the appetite for higher education was increasing which would also be sustained in the long-run. The report was produced in association with England’s Higher Education Funding Council.

There were about 34,000 students (1 out of 10 of the 2012-13 entry) who qualified for the means-based scholarship. It was aimed at people belonging to poorer families. However, the scheme’s popularity alongside the total number of eligible candidates has restricted several institutions from accessing funds any further. Although some managed to meet the demand by topping up funds, there were around fifty eight institutions that limited their criteria below the national criteria of £25,000 household income. In a few cases, some restricted below £16,000, which meant that disadvantaged students failed to qualify for the scholarship fund. 

UK Universities – the Ultimate Saviour for the Disadvantaged

In this respect, the UK universities have now brought an extensive range of online courses for students and working professionals who can enrol from any corner of the world, irrespective of their educational and family backgrounds. Moreover, distance learning has proved to be an outstanding alternative for pursuing higher education as it gives students the opportunity to flexibly earn their degrees by making affordable interest-free payments. Furthermore, distance learners enjoy the same privileges and academic support just like what full-timers enjoy. 

So, Ebdon’s wishes will probably come true since the UK universities now attract over 10,000 international students, both advantaged and disadvantaged from far and wide every month to enrol in the distance learning courses. In other words, learning distantly in UK can act as the only saviour for the disadvantaged students. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Apple store (iOS) or Google Play, who’s got better education apps?

There is a very interesting fact which recently came up regarding the Apple Store and Google Play. The fight between the two was on since beginning and however, it is true that the Apple Store have experienced larger sales than that of Google Play, still the latter is seen to be growing much more rapidly than the former one. The growth is so swift that we can now expect to see Google Play overhaul the Apple Store in the near future.

According to a study by the App Annie, an app analytics firm, it is quite evident that the Apple Store in no doubt experiencing four times greater revenues than that of Google Play but still the apps in Apple Store isn’t growing at an interesting rate. In fact, the Google Play store has an annual growth of 311% as compared to iOS, whose growth was just 12.9% in the year of 2012.

Educational Apps in Google Play and Apple Store

English: An iPod touch display unit at my loca...
An iPod touch display unit at my local Apple Store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The apps in Apple Store and Google Play are many and among them, the educational ones have attracted a lot of users around the globe. For example, the Kid Science Frog Dissection in the Apple Store now allows seeing how the body of a frog works with the help of videos and audio messages. It is an absolutely no smell and no mess procedure and also if you want to do the dissection yourself live, you can follow the step-by-step instructions given in the app and then carry on with the same.

Math Bingo is another app on the Apple Store which aids the little ones to learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and much more about mathematics in an easy and fun way. Here, the users can choose from three different levels, i.e. hard, medium and easy and likewise can carry on with the same.

If you hated Physics in schools and if you believed that it is the toughest subject in your curriculum, then you should try out the Monster Physics on your iPhone. Help your kids to learn physics in a fun way with this app. It is now easy to make cranes, design cars and rocket ships and operate them with the help of this app.

google play topup voucher
Google play topup voucher (Photo credit: osde8info)
Google Play recently launched its Google Play for Education where they have made it easier for the educators to teach their students and the learners to get used to their subjects in a better way. It has apps for kids as well as for adults. For e.g. the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is loved by the kids all around the globe. It consists of 5 different educational games for the preschoolers and it teaches them about colour, counting, letters, matching and differences.

The VCE Mobile is an equally important educational app for the grownups. It prepares the users for IT Certification while on the go. Here, one can take the tests from the .vce files. With the multiple choice questions, it helps the users to revise their lessons to a great extent.

If it becomes tough for your son or daughter to solve the algebra at his/her school, buy them the Math Algebra Solving Calculator from the Google Play. Now, it will solve all the algebra problems and the results are so accurate that the teachers will not make a fuss in accepting them. It can solve each and every kind of algebra problems.

Mobile Learning: The 21st Century Learning

The revolutionary invention is here. The much awaited Mobile learning is being introduced in various schools and colleges across the globe. It has actually simplified the whole process of learning and teaching. Now, with the help of various mobile apps, students have started grasping their lessons much more swiftly.

The iPod touch is assumingly the most exclusive mobile learning device which comes with an in-built Wi-Fi and thus the user can go through the various eBooks and applications to support his/her subjects.

Mobile Learning has actually made things easier in education. Not only one can use it in the classrooms, but now, with the help of various online courses, one can make use of mobile learning from home as well. Even the topmost universities are offering their courses in distance mode these days and now the learners can simply get their degree at the comfort of their home.

Hence, with the help of mobile learning, even the online courses are taking a big leap towards globalisation. One now needs to have just a mobile device and earning a college or university degree will not be a problem for him anymore.
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Monday, 10 June 2013

America to Achieve Equity in Education to Produce Potential Students

Owing to the limited constraints of the project ‘No Child Left Behind’, the debate concerning the achievement of students has become limited for over a decade. This has actually resulted in the closure of practical discussions about extreme economic inequalities that have restrained almost millions of students from progressing. As far as the achievement gap is concerned, quality time hasn’t been given on behalf of the lawmakers in pointing out the opportunity gap.

English: Mural drawing by teachers and students
Mural drawing by teachers and students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Predictions say that all these are taking place owing to the drastic changes in the climate. A group of economists and experts of the Equity and Excellence Commission published a report in the name of “Each and Every Child” where they chalked out a policy framework with the intention to bring down all socio-economic discrepancies and give students the opportunity to prosper academically.

As per the reports, the federal government must take some more serious steps that will not only encourage and help states and districts in improving inequities but also avoid welcoming such days when millions of economically deprived children won’t be consigned to low standard schools lacking quality teachers and principals. According to the report writers, a sense of urgency must be kindled with absolute passion that can help them achieve their mission.

Recommendations came from the commission for more school financing equitable systems that can bring in effective teachers and curriculum along with high-standard education applicable during the early childhood. The commission summoned the federal government for relieving inequalities in association with state as well as local districts.

According to the member of the commission and NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, quality education can only open up new opportunities and standardised levels for all those students who attend schools equipped with poor resources. So, the challenge here will be to inspire all the districts so that students can attend schools with highly qualified staff and solid resources.

It was the previous week when Roekel joined with Linda Darling-Hammond who is a professor at Stanford and a fellow commission member; Renee Moore, a teacher and member of Learn Campaign, and National Community member Joe Bishop for a webinar that was sponsored by CTQ (Center for Teaching Quality) and NEA to discuss how the commission’s findings can be translated into real actions. Bishop drew comparison between the probable impact of ‘For Each and Every Child’ and ‘A Nation at Risk’, which was a report published in 1983 created with an influential tone with the intention to warn the soaring tide of unevenness in the schools of America.

Bishop clearly said that the focus here was quite different and the report of the commission served as a call-to-action on a national level. The objective here is to achieve success, only if educators can play active and potential roles, said Bishop. On the other hand, Darling-Hammond said it was high time now for the practitioners to speak up against equity. She moreover showed positivity in saying that the national discussion in regard to the public education has taken a sharper turn from the typical “search for heroes and villains”.

Although the teachers are no doubt doing good work, the structure just requires retooling. The schools must be redesigned and teachers must be put to leadership roles. This will result in the creation and spreading of best practices for individual teachers, thereby making the educational standards better and stronger.

3 crucial steps America should take to achieve equity in education

  • First, America must go for a corresponding investment for the quality of preparation the teachers will be receiving.
  • Second, the national education policy of America must include all-inclusive clinical preparation along with a 1-year residency at a school site, just like what trainee doctors receive in medical teaching hospitals in association with their medical schools.
  • Finally, classroom teachers must be given salaries that must be competitive in comparison to other professions. Rather, high salaries and social respect given to lawyers, doctors and engineers will actually allure young adults to new fields of work.
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Friday, 7 June 2013

Take a Smart Entry to the Corporate World with a Degree in Marketing

Are you currently eyeing upon a course in marketing for higher studies that can lend you a prosperous future in return? Well, if it is so, you are just on the right track. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing jobs are highly predicted to rise by 13% by the year 2018. In fact, industries like healthcare, agriculture and travel will be looking forward to hire more and more marketing executives and managers in the coming years as per reports. In other words, a graduate with a degree in marketing will be exposed to high job prospects at big corporate houses on a global platform.[1]

Barack Obama Text Message Marketing Screenshot 1
Barack Obama Text Message Marketing Screenshot 1 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

Now, students keep wondering as how earning a marketing degree can be extremely beneficial for career development. In reality, whether you are having a business of your own or you have recently joined a corporate house, you need to know the crucial marketing strategies that can help you excel in the world of business.

So, let’s take a look at few advantages of earning a marketing degree that can actually help you become an efficient marketing professional from a corporate viewpoint:
  • Sharpening the psychology of consumers – Undoubtedly, the biggest advantage of earning a degree in marketing is to acquire proficiency in realising consumer psychology. The marketing majors usually comprise courses where ‘consumer behaviour’ is a key section that focuses on the thought processes of today’s consumers. With a specialisation in marketing, students acquire the power to predict buying behaviours depending upon the responses of the consumers.

  • Mastering communication skills – If becoming a corporate professional in marketing is your aim, you need to have good communication skills. You must have the power to convince all your potential customers and keep prospering in your business with time. Marketing degree courses are designed to prepare students with case studies for which they create group presentations, and these prove quite beneficial in strengthening one’s communication skills necessary to survive in the corporate sector.

  • Acquiring decision-making skills – There are several corporate houses where employers keep hiring marketing managers who can take wise decisions during critical situations in business. So, pursuing a course in marketing gives an individual the opportunity to acquire necessary skills in regard to taking big decisions in times of emergencies.

  • Learning middle management skills – The knowledge, skills and abilities students learn at entry-level positions help them to qualify for marketing management positions. Having the experience and ability to utilise industry knowledge to solve complications through strategic solutions, individuals are hired at middle management positions in companies where they are required to take correct decisions in terms of place, price, product and promotion.
Potential to increase salary strengthens

One of the reasons why graduates usually look forward to enrol in a marketing course is that it lets them grab the potential to enhance their pay packages over time. The average salary for a marketing assistant is usually more than £19,618 while marketing directors are usually eligible to get an average salary of around £80,000. [2]

So, if you are making plans to make way to a corporate house with a handsome pay package, pursuing an online marketing degree course will never leave you in regret. Rather, you will keep qualifying for prestigious job designations in thriving industries being a marketing professional.
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