Saturday, 18 January 2014

MOOCs: A Cheaper Alternative To Higher Education

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MOOCs are certainly taking the world of education by storm. They are providing keen students a platform to continue their education. MOOCs are becoming so popular that some of the biggest universities have agreed to provide backing for many of their courses. Students these days are looking for cheaper alternative to colleges and universities as college fees are going up by the day and some students can’t travel to universities to earn their education. Through MOOCs, they can sit at home and complete their higher education.

 Here are a few interesting facts about MOOCs.

  • Just four months after the launch, Coursera had a million users signed up
  • In a MOOC, 61.5 percent of the students who enrol are from countries outside USA
  • Coursera presently has 62 universities partnering them and a total of 3.3 million students who have enrolled from over 196 countries
  • Out of the students who have enrolled, 70 percent already have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications
  • Countries like China, Brazil, India, UK and Canada boast of a high percentage of student enrolments
  • Out of all the students enrolled, at least 50 percent are of the age 26 or more
  • 80 percent of the students take these online courses for credit
  • A downside of MOOCs is that, they do not offer credits. However, that may change very soon
  • MOOCs don’t require tuition fees, meaning, they are free and around 86 percent of MOOCs do not require text books
Professors who teach at MOOCs

  • 2/3 of the professors are tenured
  • 73 percent of the professors who teach at MOOCs own the content of their courses
  • A majority of the professors teaching at MOOCs have teaching experience of 10 years or more
  • The professors who teach at MOOCs spend 100 hours in prepping for each class
  • To make higher education more attainable, 71.8 percent of professors taught a MOOC
  • The professors who teach at a MOOC spend about eight hours, each week, ‘in class’
  • 50 percent of the professors think that online classes have the same difficulty level as traditional classes but 70 percent do not agree with the fact that the students ought to get credit from their home institute
  • Every class has around 33,000 students enrolled in it

The year 2012 came to be known as the year of the MOOC as the foundation rose rapidly in that one year. Critics may say that MOOCs are unreliable but supporters believe that MOOCs will change the face of the education system. Some also believe that MOOC is the future of education. A student, who attends a traditional college, spends hundreds on textbooks but 86 percent of the professors don’t even require text books, making the MOOC a cheaper option for students.

Majority of the professors who teach at MOOCs say that they had to change the way they taught in class after teaching at MOOCs and the change was for the better. So basically, MOOCs are on a high and very soon will become a ‘complete’ institution, changing the face of education.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What’s In Store For E-learning In The Near Future?

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Have you ever seen that how your Facebook profile page and your Yahoo and Gmail accounts show you advertisements of what you have been searching for on the web most of the time? This is how they have tailor made their services in order to attract most of their customers. The same way, even technology is now trying to promote the field of education by making everything easier for the learners. Learners, the major chunk of customers for the universities worldwide, are the ones who should be at ease while getting the degree. Hence, online learning will become all the more mainstream and advanced in the coming days.

Personal digitised profiles

It is being predicted that all the learners in future will have their own online profiles which will mark their every single skills, credentials and will help to update their knowledge. This digitised profile will be with them all through and they will be able to carry it along with them through school, college, university as well as at their workplaces. This will help them to keep an eye on their own development and this will also led them make necessary changes on their personal profiles.

Learning with sophistication

Online study will become the most sophisticated way of getting educated. The digitised learning profiles will make for much more accurate assessments of the learners. The profiles will have a much more accurate digitalised representation of the learners and this will make assessments easier for the various employers in recruiting them. This way, the learners will not have to keep a huge file for all the certificates, results, etc and they will not even have to worry about the documents getting missing or spoil in the long run.

MOOCs will be in schools

I am just guessing this but who knows, this might be true as well. These days, a lot of schools have already incorporated the concept of BYODS (Bring Your Own Device), where the learners need to bring their own electronic gadgets in the classroom for studying. Remember the days when our teachers wouldn’t even allow us to bring a calculator? But times have now changed and it will change even further. In the coming days, the Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs might take over the schools as well. Our grandchildren might not even have to visit schools at all. Everything might happen on the web. Who knows, the brick and mortar learning institutions might not even be constructed only.

University developments

There will be several developments at the university level. Smart Science Initiative, which is a kind of collaboration between the Smart Sparrow, high school teachers and the Australian universities in order to develop interactive and rich study contents, will bring online education in the school classrooms in the coming days. Also, the University of Melbourne will launch an all new personalised learning initiative for the medical education. Likewise, there will be many other developments which will take over the learning institutions.

All these above predictions are all guesses by me. However, with the ongoing changes in the education industry, it is but obvious that the learning industry will develop more with time. But we need to wait and watch. Online mode of study has a long way to go and there is no denying of the fact that it will become much more conventional in the coming days.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Life Can Be Easy And Flexible With Mobile Learning

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With the rapid growth in technology, new and innovative learning devices are getting introduced to the academia, and as a result, students as well as teachers are now able to adopt unconventional learning techniques. It’s been quite some time that tablets and smartphones have made their presence felt among digital learners, instructors and even employers. Now, it’s the trend of mobile learning that is making people of all ages study with absolute convenience and that too without getting compelled to attend classrooms.

Mobile learning has reached millions already

Well, it is news that mobile learning has now reached millions all over the world, and experts have predicted that it will continue to grow in the coming years. Smart devices like kindles and e-readers have already brought major changes in our communication processes. Now, they are moving ahead to bring new e-learning experiences for students who would be able to upgrade themselves unconventionally unlike the classroom learners.

E-learners should now kick off with their lessons not with desktop or a laptop but with a mobile device. In fact, this would help them pursue their mobile learning sessions with ease and convenience. However, it’s a new concept in the world of education and a lot of people are still unaware of it. So, if you are new to mobile learning, here are a few steps you should keep in mind that would let you to pursue a mobile learning course with ease:

Look for good smartphones – Today, such smartphones have hit the market that can help students learning easy and fun.
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pursue any course from any corner of the world. These phones come with special apps that are designed to ease the learning experiences of students as well as those who work. So, look for smartphones that come with a wide array of features that can make

Use a device inclining towards mobile ‘delivery’ – Make sure that you are using such a learning device that involves both learning and leisure. Whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone, it must be effective enough to let you study anywhere and anytime you wish. You might prefer going through your lessons during your lunch yours at work. So, your phone should have those supportive features that can let you learn with unlimited flexibility.

Keep your content compressed – What the majority of today’s online learning providers are doing is that they are making study materials available for students who are able to collect them easily through various resources whenever they want. What’s in fact best about this process is that one can make use of his/her smartphone and access a certain amount of the study material and not the entire thing he/she wants.

Try using ‘touch’ devices – To be honest, there is no time for people to wait till the laptop is switched on so that they can connect to the web and access their course lessons. Rather, digital touch devices are proving to be more useful and faster for new age learners and working professionals. In this respect, using a smartphone can indeed be a superb strategy for all those who want to pursue a mobile learning course without hassles.

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So, you see how e-learning today can be conducted through smartphones. Rather, using such smart devices can let you work and study at the same time and that too with more interest and pleasure. Even accredited universities today have started considering smartphones for their online learners and this shows how digital education is gradually achieving importance on a global scale.

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Top Degrees For Future Education

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Education is taking a leap day by day and it seems that with time, there will be much more options for the learners to delve into. The age old Bachelor’s and Master’s in English or other subjects, or even engineering or Medical Sciences will be back dated for some and hence, there will be the rise of much more classy and technologically matched subjects which will keep the learners attracted towards them as well as offer them job as soon as they get their degrees.

So, what do you think will be these courses or degrees? We know that our children know knows much more than what we knew at their age. They are all the more technologically advanced. Hence, in the coming years, things will again change drastically. Our grandchildren will be much more superior and would learn what will be the most up to date to their age and time. So, naturally their degree courses will also be different from what we see now. Let us know find out 5 most promising future degrees which might rule in the future universities.

1. Homeland Security

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The department of the US Homeland Security was developed in the year 2002 after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 happened. After this attack, more than 300 courses in Homeland Security started appearing in the various universities in the US. Almost 75 of these institutions offer undergraduate degrees in this subject to the learners. In this course, the learners get the knowledge about the criminal justice, infrastructure, emergency and disaster planning and other similar issues in the homeland.

2. Digital Forensics and Cyber Security

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This study can save one from sexual assaults, cyber crimes, terrorists and murderers. It helps one in investigating and analyse the evidences presented at the court. When terrorist organisations make use of the internet to get in touch with their counterparts and the sexual predators might make use of the same to find out their victims, the Cyber Security specialists can help the law catch them. The average annual pay of a Computer Security Specialist is around $50,400 to $88,100.

3. Environmental Studies and Sustainability
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Almost 35 different colleges in the US are offering degrees in sustainability and environmental studies. It includes studies in health, climate, history, agriculture, biodiversity, etc. The learners in this course are taught to concentrate on keeping the environment productive and diverse. The demand for such graduates will increase with time as there will be the need of more people to make the environment free from the affect of technological advancements.

4. Game Design

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By the year 2015, the Game Designing industry is going to get higher and reach up to $82.4 billion as an industry. By gaining a degree in the same, the graduates will get jobs in game production, design, art, computer graphics, programming, etc. This will be a very interesting for all those who love gaming.

5. Nanotechnology
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By the year 2015, this industry will reach up to $2.4 trillion at an international level. By 2020, 2 million candidates will be employed in the US. A degree in Nanotechnology can help the learner get a job in physical science, biochemistry, chemistry, biological science, etc.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Distance Learning: Bringing Illumination Closer To Caribbean Learners

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Acquaintance with the mobile devices is increasing in different parts around the world. More and more people have found it viable to rely on his or her smart phone, tablet, or laptop to make friends, to buy a present or to earn a degree. The technological development over the last few years and the advent of internet connection in every nook and corner of the globe helping millions to enjoy quality services, cutting-edge products, amenities of the modern society, and world class education everywhere.

A Hope for Rural and Remote Communities

The new age learning system that flourished with technology and internet made education available for all. People deprived of education for poor financial condition, lack of academic resources, physical impediments or social turbulence, now have scope to learn from the prestigious universities wherever they want at an affordable price. Developing countries are making most of distance learning to bring about significant changes in socio-economic sphere!

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The arrival of this phenomenal learning system is a blissful event for the learners from developing countries. The stringency of conventional learning system that kept education restricted only to a lucky few disappeared as distance education through online arrived. World’s most prestigious learning institutes have come forward to bring enlightenment closer to the most deprived. The entire globe is joining the revolution of distance learning to form a liberal education system for all.

A remarkable initiative…

A recent announcement by the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), confirmed of late that Canada will be assisting the young learners in the Caribbean to achieve greater access to higher education. Minister Ablonczy made the announcement in Antigua on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, as part of her seven-day, seven-country tour of the Eastern Caribbean. Canada is one of those countries, who help the Caribbean countries generate a more sustainable economic growth and enhance opportunities for the Caribbean learners by helping them acquire better knowledge and skills. "Helping the region's young people develop the high-level skills needed to contribute to the work force is a key step toward reaching those goals", said Minister Ablonczy.

The University of West Indies Open Campus, serving 16 Caribbean countries and territories at present is the main implementing partner of the project. The aim of the project is to help increase access to post-secondary qualification for learners residing in remote areas and under-served communities at up to 42 distance education sites across the Caribbean region. Distance learning courses in the Caribbean is hoping to enhance employment opportunities and generate economic prosperity through opening fresh avenues for the new age learners. According to Minister Fantino, the recent attempt is made to support economic growth and boost employment by developing human capital. He said, "By integrating higher education into the Caribbean, Canada is enhancing the ability of Caribbean countries to address the economic and labour market challenges they face, ultimately helping to lift millions of people out of poverty."

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“The Caribbean, because of its geography and isolation of island states, is in need of technology that would allow young people in distant and remote areas to get a post-secondary education without necessarily having to move to Barbados, Trinidad or Jamaica where the three main campuses of the UWI system are,” said former University of Alberta professor, Dr. Andy Knight, who is the director of the UWI Institute of International Relations at the St. Augustine campus. Progress in communication and information technologies have helped to extend a learner’s access to post-secondary or higher education, reducing costs in academic resources, and reach learners from distant and deprived communities. That’s the reason why the changing learning system is the most important evolution of the recent age.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Don’t Make Holidays A Big IssueTto Restart Your Lessons

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After a month of celebration, don’t you feel pathetic after getting back to your same and old routine of studying? Don’t you feel too lethargic in getting on with your lessons after a festive break? Well, it’s not something unusual that you should be worried about. Rather, you can opt for some exclusive strategies that can let you regain interest in your lessons from which you have remained alienated for so long. One of the best ways therefore would be take help of your teacher who might help you meet your purpose with ease.

Well, if the holidays are over and your exams are about to knock doors, you need to adopt a few wiser strategies being under the supervision of your instructor. So, here are a few of those strategies that are sure to revitalise you to prepare for your exams after a long vacation. Have a look:

Set goals for a short term

Well, it’s not that you should but you must be determined get back to your lessons. So, what you can do is
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take part in activities set by your teachers who would also ensure to reward you after completion. You can request your teacher for a short trip that will primarily involve education and a bit of entertainment. After taking the trip, you can submit reports by stating what knowledge and experiences you gained from the trip.

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Look for materials that are exciting

Books are sure to leave you drowsy with their typical contents and drab images. So, try looking for materials on the web that can help you study with more interest. There are numerous websites on education that can bring you new information about the course you are pursuing. If the content you come across is interesting, you won’t have to take pains to memorise them. Just a glance would help you retain information with ease.

Commence with smaller assignments

One of the biggest reasons why a good number of students today opt for online courses is that they prefer
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taking smaller assignments. The smaller are the assignments, the lesser is the stress and this helps an individual complete his/her course with absolute convenience. So, when you join your classes after a long-term holiday, it becomes easier for you to deal with smaller assignments. 

Work as a team to remain active

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Teamwork is something that always keeps you alive and updated. When you work and interact with your team members, you gather new ideas and suggestions that let you work with more activeness. So, you can create groups in social media sites and initiate discussions with international learners and academic experts.

So, getting involved into constant interaction will certainly keep you energised. So, you see holidays will never seem the reason for obstruction in regaining the spirit to learn. What you just need to do is talk to your teacher who can help you relax and concentrate on your lessons. Once you get proper assistance, getting back from a long-term holiday and rejoining the lessons will not be a daunting task.