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Dismissing the Myths about Online Education

The subject of the credibility of the internet as a viable platform for education and the attainment of qualifications is an ongoing debate. Here are just some of the reasons why distance learning is a popular choice for an increasing number of people;

1. The E-Learning Advantage

Many people find the learning conditions of an online course more favourable than the traditional classroom environment for many reasons;

• You can work from virtually anywhere • You can study at your own pace • You have more control over your environment • There are limited distractions • You can tend to your commitments as they arise • You don’t waste time commuting or getting from one class to another • Mature students do not always want to study with younger students

2. The Professional Advantage online education

Obtaining an online degree can be professionally advantageous for several reasons;

• Online courses are flexible which enables working people to study • Most employers now recognise and acknowledge the validity of online qualifications • The successful completion of online courses is indicative of other qualities that are favourable to employers such as self-discipline, commitment and motivation

3. Teaching Methods

People believe that online courses are not a good option due to the physical absence of a tutor to guide and motivate the students however this is not the case;

• Experienced tutors and professors well manage online classes • Some online providers offer live chats for students who require assistance • There are peer networking sites where students can get advice and support almost 24/7

4. Financial Benefits There are a range of savings to be made through the pursuit of online rather than on-campus studies; • Institutions earn a significant saving through the provision of online courses and pass these savings on to their distance learning students • In the absence of on-campus costs savings can be made on accommodation, transport and parking costs • Childcare costs are significantly reduced if not avoided altogether • Online resources can reduce the number of core texts required

5. EcoLogic E-Learning is favourable to the Environment also – • No transport means there are no fuel requirements • No classroom means no heating or maintenance • Online resources mean fewer books are required • Emails result in less printing and paper use

6. Facts and Figures • 40% of students take more than six years to graduate • The average debt was around £53,000 in 2012 • Graduate under/underemployment rates was higher than 50% in 2011 • In 2011 more than 75% of American Corporations were using online learning • E-learning can improve information retention by bringing the level from 25% to 60%

As people are becoming more aware of the significant advantages of online learning as opposed to the more traditional approach its popularity is increasing at a steady rate. It is presumable that in the future e-learning will replace a lot of the courses that take place within universities and other learning institutions.

Enjoy Higher Pay Package Benefits from Part Time Courses

Are you aware of the fact that part-time students are now enjoying higher pay packages, adopting new skills and meeting greater responsibilities at their respective workplaces?

part-time-courses according to researches, the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) and the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation found that about 69% of the part-time undergraduates have acquired supreme confidence at work and have even come up with impressive job performances. Out of them, 29% of the students have received pleasant hikes in their pay packages while 28% have got a promotion.

From another survey made by a group of university professors, it was found that there were surprisingly 81% of the part-time students who underwent exceptional changes in their personal development while 70% were recorded to have benefited from self-confidence.

HECSU’s director, Jane Artess said that the above survey reports revealed the growing importance of part-time courses. He further opined that if there were an efficient way to update the skills of an ordinary individual, it would be none other than a part-time course. So, it’s essential for almost every school, college and university to keep investing behind part-time classes so that potential individuals can be produced out of them. Today, part-time students can access student loans which they are not required to repay until they earn £21,000 on an annual basis.

Impact of online education on part-timers

With the omnipresence of the internet, people all over the world have received countless advantages, and online education is indeed one of them. In fact, this has been the responsible factor that has led to a considerable number of part-time students to successful career paths. This learning medium has indeed prevented part-timers from paying exorbitantly by introducing virtual classes and establishing e-libraries. Reports say that e-textbooks have resulted in substantial savings for many part-time undergraduates as well as postgraduates who would have otherwise ended up paying over £85 per year.

How are working professionals benefitting online?

According to a reputed college, online education is the biggest and probably the most powerful resource that helps working professionals receive skills desired by many employers today. So, here are a few benefits that a working professional will always prefer to enjoy while learning online:

Freedom to learn – Unlike classroom learning, you get the freedom to learn at your own pace online. Of course, if you work for almost 8 hours a day, how could it be possible for you to attend daily classes, isn’t it? Here lies the super advantage of studying online for a working employee.

New skills to learn – Will you get the opportunity to utilise audio-visual aids; learn through electronic whiteboards and use interactive forums to get into discussions with your teachers in a brick-and-mortar classroom? You know the answer, right? Taking online classes will let you enjoy all these facilities and will instead help you sharpen your communication skills.

Opportunity to study under UK universities – Believe it or not, UK universities are now giving students and working professionals the opportunity to explore a wide range of courses online from any corner of the world. Reports say that 78% of the international students enrol every year in the UK universities out of which the majority are part-time workers.

In other words, the demand for studying part-time study courses from online universities is on the rise. Many academicians today have been led to believe that a lot of traditional institutions might be compelled to shut down, in the long run, owing to the rapid developments in online education. In this respect, the part-timers are the one who will be progressing and reigning with confidence in this digital world.

LEARNING DIGITAL: WHICH ISSUES FROM EDUCATION 2.0?

Several changes have affected the school system, leading to the more frequent use of ICT in teaching, learning and social relations at all levels of education.

The growing diffusion of digital technologies in schools, universities and training centres provides the basis for experimentation and innovation projects using top-down and bottom-up approaches. As a result, the rules and roles that historically characterised socialisation contexts have been reconfigured according to new learning tools and related changes in habits and school practices. What has been observed leaves several research questions open?

What new paths will be undertaken by the school systems? What changes regarding learning do we expect as a result of these processes? How do digital technologies affect the way people work together in schools? How do they affect the teaching profession and the school organisation? How does the interaction between students or teachers change with the use of digital technologies? Can the digital environment influence students’ socialisation choices and their social life? And how? Finally, do gender, social class and ethnicity interact with the increasing use of technology? These are the questions that, from a multidisciplinary point of view, will stimulate the debate at the Learning Digital conference: which issues from education 2.0? To be held July 2 and three at the University of Cagliari. On the different themes of culture, 2.0 will be presented the results of research conducted within different disciplinary approaches (sociology, pedagogy, statistics) and the results of the survey on the Sardinian Digital School project led by the CIRD inter-university research centre will be discussed. The conference will see the participation of the actors of the academic world, of the regional administration and the various educational research agencies.

22 Digital Tools Which You Must Have in Your Classroom

If you don’t have youngsters, you might not have seen the massive changes going ahead in the neighborhood school building. Those quirky tech apparatuses that we grown-ups get a kick out of the chance to stay away from are assuming control over the classroom. Consistently, understudies confront new iPads, applications, web-based reviewing frameworks, web tools, advanced gadgets, LMSs, cloud-based homework, electronic portfolios, and the sky is the limit from there. As an instructor for a quarter century (the last fifteen in innovation), it has my head turning.

But– this may astound you– understudies wouldn’t fret a mind. They’re prepared for tech, pondering what’s taking us so long to embrace the instruments they can’t get enough of at home. Innovation is in their DNA where we adults– it resembles drawing out the fine china for an uncommon visitor.

This year, make tech your regular china. Utilize it regularly, progressively, boldly, and with a grin. Here are the best 22 computerized apparatuses your partners are utilizing as a part of their classrooms:

comment apparatus

symbols

backchannel gadgets

online journals

class schedule

class Internet begin page

class Twitter account

class site

computerized gadgets

computerized note-taking

computerized portfolios

dropbox

email

flipped classroom

Google Apps

journaling

maps

online tests

screen captures and screencasts

video channel

virtual gatherings

vocabulary translating devices

Each concise depiction incorporates the proper review level, regardless of whether the apparatus is primary/imperative/discretionary, a positioning from the 1-5 scale for how instinctive it is, and great illustrations.

Virtual Classroom

Sound can also be recorded and uploaded, but downloading sound files will take time, and play them back, your learners will need a multimedia computer and the appropriate software in a virtual classroom. Such software is usually smooth and cheap (or free) to obtain. Remember that in many public libraries sound is disabled so as not to disturb other users, though headphones may be made available. Can you be sure that all your students will be able to hear the sound? For specific courses sound files may be invaluable, even essential – courses on music or modern foreign languages spring to mind but as with graphics let educational necessity be the criterion for including them.

Video and animations can also be included, and the same caution that applies when deciding whether or not to use sound must also ask, only more so. The video takes even longer than sound to download.

I apologize if I appear to be over-cautious about the incorporation of multimedia elements. Internet delivery opens up tremendous possibilities for exciting and interactive course materials that could not easily be incorporated into either distance or face-to-face education. Of course, you should use them if they enhance the curriculum. But educational validity should be the only test for inclusion.

The opportunity to build in links to other sources of information on the Web is one of the most valuable gains that an online course has over both traditional distance and face-to-face courses. At the fingertips (literally) of your learners is an ever open and gigantic library that you can help them explore. As in a face-to-face class, much of the learning consists of students reading either required or optional texts or undertaking independent research. The next chapter will point you in some useful directions and help you make the judgments about the sites to which your course can usually link and the independent research tasks that you might propose for your learners.

Research. Expect your learners to do some exploration themselves. A vital study skill that online learners must possess is the ability to locate relevant Web sites and make judgments about how valuable those sites will be to their learning. As a starting point, you could ask learners to find useful sites and e-mail the Web addresses to you. As their skills develop, ask them to summarize the contents of a website or expect them to review and compare sites.

Here are some examples of research activities that a learner might undertake:

* A nursing course. Compile an annotated list of Web sites about basic chemistry that would be useful to a trainee nurse.

* A business course. Locate two Web sites on organizational behavior and compare the usefulness of each to your particular business.

* A journalism course. Choose a topical issue about a country other than your own, locate three online newspapers and produce a summary of their approach to this news story.

Learning From Virtual Education

Sound can also be recorded and uploaded, but downloading sound files will take time, and play them back, your learners will need a multimedia computer and the appropriate software in a virtual classroom. Such software is usually smooth and cheap (or free) to obtain. Remember that in many public libraries sound is disabled so as not to disturb other users, though headphones may be made available. Can you be sure that all your students will be able to hear the sound? For specific courses sound files may be invaluable, even essential – courses on music or modern foreign languages spring to mind but as with graphics let educational necessity be the criterion for including them.

Video and animations can also be included, and the same caution that applies when deciding whether or not to use sound must also ask, only more so. The video takes even longer than sound to download.

I apologize if I appear to be over-cautious about the incorporation of multimedia elements. Internet delivery opens up tremendous possibilities for exciting and interactive course materials that could not easily be incorporated into either distance or face-to-face education. Of course, you should use them if they enhance the curriculum. But educational validity should be the only test for inclusion.

The opportunity to build in links to other sources of information on the Web is one of the most valuable gains that an online course has over both traditional distance and face-to-face courses. At the fingertips (literally) of your learners is an ever open and gigantic library that you can help them explore. As in a face-to-face class, much of the learning consists of students reading either required or optional texts or undertaking independent research. The next chapter will point you in some useful directions and help you make the judgments about the sites to which your course can usually link and the independent research tasks that you might propose for your learners.

Research. Expect your learners to do some exploration themselves. A vital study skill that online learners must possess is the ability to locate relevant Web sites and make judgments about how valuable those sites will be to their learning. As a starting point, you could ask learners to find useful sites and e-mail the Web addresses to you. As their skills develop, ask them to summarize the contents of a website or expect them to review and compare sites.

Here are some examples of research activities that a learner might undertake:

* A nursing course. Compile an annotated list of Web sites about basic chemistry that would be useful to a trainee nurse.

* A business course. Locate two Web sites on organizational behavior and compare the usefulness of each to your particular business.

* A journalism course. Choose a topical issue about a country other than your own, locate three online newspapers and produce a summary of their approach to this news story.

Online Courseware Encouraged Far And Wide

Most discussions of online classroom educational offerings generally analyze course content and software Systems such as Blackboard. What about the computer hardware that enables educational content and software to perform their functions? What equipment do these systems require? How does device facilitate or discourage the use of online courseware by students and faculty?

The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), a leader- in distance learning since 1972, employs a model hardware system to deliver online courses to students enrolled in its seven accredited colleges and two ancillary educational centers. Also, DCCCD has built a second hardware network that leases online courses and materials to other educational institutions around the world. Hal Spiegel, project manager of the DCCCD Blackboard 5.5 system, refers to these hardware systems as the e-campus system and the title-college system. Both of these systems employ separate but similar hardware configurations that run Blackboard and support Web-based software systems.

“We have to keep these systems running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Spiegel says. “So, for each of these systems, we have a production server system and a test server system. Anything we want to add to the production server must first undergo testing on the test server to ensure that what we’re adding won’t crash the system.”

What is it? A Web server is a computer whose function is to supply data to client computers through the Internet. When you use the laptop on your desk to access the Internet, your computer becomes a client and communicates with a server that serves up the Web page you’ve requested by typing in a URL.

The DCCCD server system includes two linked servers, one that runs the software application that communicates with your desktop client computer and another that contains the database.

The e-campus system alone runs a two-Dell 6350 configuration with four Pentium III Xeon processors per server capable of running at speeds of 550 mega-Hertz per processor. The servers feature impressive random access memories (RAM) and hard drive storage. RAM for each server totals four gigabytes, while the hard drive storage employed by each weigh in at one terabyte.

A gigabyte is one billion bytes, and a terabyte is one trillion. By comparison, your desktop computer might-use 256 megabytes (million bytes) of RAM and 20 gigabytes of hard drive capacity.

DCCCD employs several other server systems. One, for example, operates a firewall for security. Still, another runs the DCCCD Global Learning Network, which leases online courses to other colleges across the country and around the world. Two more servers enable programmers at DCCCD to develop programming for online classes. Video streaming servers deliver video to desktops across campus and provide coverage of various events. Marketing servers provide information to faculty members from other colleges’ and universities’ online courses offered for lease by DCCCD.

A massive equipment room houses these servers and pumps data in and out through multiple high-capacity T1 fiber optic data lines.