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Know Your Rights - Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, India

Monday, July 28, 2014

Have you left your children to basic schooling in India? Have you assessed the "law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education", which came into force on 1 April 2010 in India? The law on the right to schooling is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of basic education for children aged between 6 and 14 on the government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school for basic education in the U.S.

If not, how you will follow the legal course to solve problems arising from the "law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education"? Very few countries are serious about promoting right to basic education for their children and help their jurisdiction, if it did not protect the rights of children to education. Do you know why many poor children do not use the free education available since independence in India? Do you know why the number of poor children could not get a quality education? You know, all these issues have been corrected by accepting reimbursement for private school quality education for children?

Being a student of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights, have attempted to summarize what is "The Law of children to free and compulsory education and the right to schooling in India"?

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in India and since he has accepted. Under Article 26 rights, children have the right to education. Education shall be free, at least at the base. Constitution of India also offers free education to children.

The quality of schooling provided to children by public schools in India is still in question. Many Muslim children resist distant schools for education. The education of children in public schools remained riddled with absenteeism and poor management and appointments based on political expediency. Despite the lure of free food served in public schools, children prefer private schools for education. Poor children do not go to private schools for schooling and the high cost structure and education in local languages has been denied. Many poor children have been examining a fraud on their right to education. There is no free education or quality education.

The kids know the highlights of the Act the right to education?

Child's Right to Education Act made education a fundamental right for all children aged 6 and 14 and specifies the minimum quality of education in public schools. It requires all private schools for basic education to reserve seats by 25% for children of poor parents (to be reimbursed by the State under the terms of public-private partnership). Child's Right to Education Act also provides that no child shall be detained, expelled, or required to pass a State Council until the completion of basic education. There is also a provision of children's right to education for the right to special training for school leavers to make them equal with students of similar age.

Child's Right to Education Act requires that investigations that will monitor all districts to identify children who need education, and establish facilities to provide it. Specialist education of children should be involved.

"The law on children's right to free and compulsory education and the right to education" is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school in the most developed countries.

The right of disabled children up to age 18 has also been made a fundamental right. A number of other provisions concerning the improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and teachers are made to the law.

State Children's right to education Act provides a special organization, the National Council for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, an independent body to monitor the implementation of the law, and commissions to be established.

Have you tried to find the right of children to the law of schooling? Have you ever tried to know that the right to basic schooling for children is covered your rights universal? Have you ever tried to know why poor children are denied teaching? I demand to know and support the right of children to free and compulsory teaching in the world?

A Brief Explanation of What e-Education is

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A global revolution is taking place in education and training. It is driven by the changing nature of society, the realities of the information age, new global partnerships and an awareness of the need for equal distribution of educational opportunities.

Information and communication technology is central to this global revolution. Digital media has revolutionized the information society. These advances in information and communication technology have dramatically changed the learning and teaching process, and have expanded new learning opportunities and access to educational resources beyond those traditionally available.

Internationally education systems have an obligation to deliver on public expectations of quality education for economic growth and social development and it seems the solution or answers lie in e-education.

But what is this e-education? e-Education is more than developing computer literacy and the skills necessary to operate various types of information and communication technology. It is the ability to:

o apply information and communication technology skills to access, analyze, evaluate, integrate, present and communicate information;

o create knowledge and new information by adapting, applying, designing, inventing and authorizing information;

o enhance teaching and learning through communication and collaboration by using information and communication technology; and

o function in a knowledge driven society by using appropriate technology and mastering communication and collaboration skills.

What is the significance of e-education? Information and communication technology create access to learning opportunities, redress inequalities, and improve the quality of learning and teaching and deliver lifelong learning. Information and communication technology can accommodate differences in learning styles and remove barriers to learning by providing expanded opportunities and individualized learning experiences.

Experience worldwide suggests that information and communication technology does play a role in the transformation of education and training. Information and communication technology can enhance educational reform by enabling teachers and students to move away from traditional approaches to teaching and learning. In a transformed teaching and learning environment, there is a shift from teacher-centered, task-oriented, memory-based education (with technology at the periphery), to an inclusive and integrated practice where students work collaboratively, develop shared practices, engage in meaningful contexts and develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

What are the benefits of e-education? There is sufficient empirical evidence that investments in information and communication technology yield positive results for students and teachers. Studies have demonstrated improved student achievement in:

o Application and production of knowledge for the real world;

o Ability of students to manage learning;

o Ability to promote achievement for students who experience barriers to learning; and

o Access to information that increases knowledge, inquiry and depth of investigation.

Furthermore, the use of information and communication technology has demonstrated improved inventive thinking skills, such as creativity, problem solving, higher-order thinking skills and sound reasoning, along with improved effective communication. Improvements in interpersonal skills, such as writing, public speaking, teamwork and collaboration, and improved productivity skills, including creating high-quality products, have also been reported.

Information and communication technology encourages a teaching and learning milieu that recognizes that people operate differently, have different learning styles and have culturally diverse perspectives. Information and communication technology embraces inclusive education by providing opportunities, alternative methods of instruction and flexible assessments for students who experience barriers to learning.

Benefits to the broader society include increased opportunities for lifelong learning, communication and exchange essential to democratic living and the creation of a pool of globally competitive human resources.

Our world is changing, and information and communication technology is central to this change. Digital media has revolutionized the information society. e-Education - the future is here and now!

Why LinkedIn Is the Best Social Media Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs

Friday, July 25, 2014

Social media marketing has been around for several years now, ever since the advent of MySpace. But it really came into its own when Facebook and Twitter appeared on the scene. Now there are many social media outlets where entrepreneurs can make a name for themselves, but perhaps the best one is LinkedIn. Here's why LinkedIn is a preferred marketing tool for any small business owner.

How LinkedIn Became a Force to be Reckoned With

This year, LinkedIn celebrates 10 years of providing a social media site aimed specifically at business professionals. Today the site is global and enjoys over 225 million members, but their beginning was much more humble.

A decade ago, a team of colleagues (Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant) from Social Net and PayPal got together to launch a site where business people could interact online and find job opportunities. It was a good idea - taking the concept of a mixer and moving it to the World Wide Web in order to use the power of online networking to build relationships. At the time, only MySpace, a fledgling Facebook, and its lesser known cousin, Friendster, were the big players in the arena of social media marketing.

The idea of utilizing a personal network for business purposes made LinkedIn different. In two years, the site gained well over a million users and distinguished itself by combining employment listings, personalized recommendations for job seekers and a candidate assessment feature for those listing jobs. It has since evolved into more of a relationship management site where professionals can communicate for any purpose.

LinkedIn has recently acquired SlideShare, adding it to a portfolio of other software platforms, including the most recent, Pulse. A new app called Contacts will be available soon, which will sync to LinkedIn and allow users to manage their contacts via the internet. This managed growth has helped LinkedIn develop a network of sites devoted to forming and maintaining professional relationships, making it a unique site in terms of small business marketing.

Using LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn will continue to be a social media site where people can find and post jobs but it does much more than that by allowing personal relationships to be found and fostered. And those relationships can be based on many variables, such as shared interests, educational background and career history.

The savvy entrepreneur can use the site as a way to be introduced to the people they want to meet. This can be accomplished by searches via keyword to find business prospects, affiliates, partners and employees based on skills and expertise. For instance, if you have a company that offers a new language teaching tool, finding people with a skill of "reading education" could produce a list of potential clients.

Because you can derive so much information from your LinkedIn connections, the site allows you to make personal connections with those people. Find common causes, skills and interests that pave the way to a professional relationship. It's easy to stay up-to-date on what your connections are doing, too. Why not send a personal note of congratulations (when a contact gets a promotion), offer help (such as referring someone to a job posting), or find new connections based on their new connections?

And with a total revamp of company pages on LinkedIn, you can gain followers of your content, much like Facebook. Entice members to follow your page by adding video and updating it frequently with great content. Announce your new company page when it is live and ask your connections to follow it.

For the entrepreneur who wants to target other business professionals, LinkedIn is the best choice for social media marketing.

Learn How to Attain a Top Quality Health Care Education With an Online Health Care Degree

Thursday, July 24, 2014

There are a wide array of online health care degree programs available to the student these days. Health care facility or nursing home administration, various nursing degrees, as well as physician assistance, Nurse practitioner, even nurses aid, pharmacy technician, or health educator degrees are available.

For those who wish to pursue an education in health care of any variety you can typically find an online health care degree program that will suit your requirements for distance learning. Colleges with very prestigious names these days are offering online learning experiences in a wide variety of health disciplines to the student.

Advantages of Studying from Home

In many cases, and particularly when you are already in the workforce, traditional classrooms are harder to attend. When there are additional obligations such as home and family, very often the adult student has no alternative for career advancement or added education since finding time for the classes isn't always easy to accomplish.

Getting an online health care degree of any kind can advance your career.

The RN to BSN online health care degree for example offers advanced education and training to the technical RN in order to better prepare her for a position in public health nursing, in corporate nursing, or even as an assistant or director of Nursing in a health care facility. The addition of education and a more advanced degree opens new doors that would not have been possible for the RN just a few years ago due to time constraints.

Conformity of Standards

The level of education is typically no different than that which would be given in a classroom situation. Your materials and the areas in which you are tested are similar and the laws of your state determine the content and skills that you must master. The disciplines that each student must learn are determined by your universities accrediting body as well as the prerequisites of the state in which you will practice.

While some students have concerns about the kinds of materials they will study and the methods which are used to present the lectures and other materials, there are some wide choices out there in the online university world. Choose the kind of lecture and other materials that you are most comfortable with and from which you take away the greatest amount of knowledge.

Online studies differ widely, depending on where you attend your online health care degree programs Some will offer lectures in downloadable media format, while others will give text only lectures. Select your degree program from those which offer you the best program for your purposes. Make sure that your online health care degree comes from an accredited university and that you are eligible to take your appropriate state board exams.

Getting Education Jobs: How to Become an Educator When You Work in Another Field

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The education industry is desperate for intelligent individuals with a desire to provide our youth with the education that they need. If you are one of these people, but you have spent your career in another field, you can still become an educator in the very near future. Here is how:

Prepare to Take Tests

Education jobs require that you prove your competency both as an educator and in your subject matter; this is why school districts have pre-certification requirements, mostly in the form of tests. Find out what is included in the tests and study that information.

Also, while you may have heard that some schools pay for the tests and most take care of certification, you shouldn't bank on it; policies change every year, and not all schools will help you at all.

Show Schools Your Commitment for Education

To be an educator, you must have dedication. Showing this dedication will go a long way towards getting education jobs. Here are a few ways that you can both show your commitment and network with the education community:

  • Volunteer at local education events (exposes you to the education community at large)
  • Become a substitute teacher (helps to build your reputation in the classroom)
  • Tutor (gives you something to add to your education resume and potential references from parents)

If You Are a Male, Let Schools Know

In western society, male grade school teachers are a rarity. In many cases, this leaves male students without a positive male role model to influence them throughout the school day. Knowing this, schools work diligently to find male educators to fill that gap, but men simply don't apply to education jobs in enough volume. That is why any male applicants should make an effort to ensure that the school is aware of your gender--especially if you have a unisex name.

However, you should not be so brazen as to list your gender on any application materials that do not request them. Instead, use a paragraph in your cover letter to explain how you are moving into an education career to become a male influence for students.

Rework Your Resume

Your education resume should be much different from your current resume. To rework it into a resume befitting a future educator, you will need to analyze each point of experience and write it in a manner that shows how it will help you in the classroom.

For instance, if you trained incoming employees in group settings, you could say, "Taught other employees in a classroom environment."

As with any other profession, a great resume will go far in helping you to land education jobs.

Sign up for Job Sites

Schools want the best talent that they can find; as such, many education jobs can be found online. Many job sites keep a narrow focus on what type of jobs that they post.

Consider an Intensive Teacher Preparation Program

These programs give you intensive weeks long classroom preparation, and then they help you obtain certification and education jobs. Don't worry about being qualified; these programs are specifically for professionals moving into education.

However, while they do help, these programs are not a necessity for finding education jobs. Also, be aware that they often require you to sign a multi-year contract in exchange for their help and you don't always have a choice with regards to where you teach.

Now It's Time to Prepare to Teach

Those future education jobs are right around the corner; all you have to do is take these steps and go get them.

Is Our Electorate Educated Enough to Vote for the Right Politicians - Are There Any?

Monday, July 21, 2014

We seem to have far too many politicians who are moving our nation in the wrong direction, and far too many that have done questionable acts, which we learn about after a tip or a lengthy investigation. Why? Is it our fault for voting them into office, are we smart enough to see through the political rhetoric and do proper research prior to voting? Not long ago, an acquaintance reminded me of a famous quote, "The best republic is an educated one," and he noted; "How many people that vote did their research?"

Indeed, great question and great comments, but today most people's idea of research is watching the news, staged debates, a few speeches and suddenly they think they've done their research and they are ready to run out and vote for someone who just made up things and told people what they wanted to hear - pure political trickery.

You see, folks read the newspaper, watch TV, listen to sound bites, and text their friends and think they are somehow educated to vote, but in reality they've been conditioned to accept that as reality, when it is nothing more than "last liar wins" and "he with the most advertising and TV commercials wins" and that is a problem. In that case we may as well allow all the Media Moguls to sit around a table and decide who they want to lead the nation, because he who controls the media controls the minds of the people.

The Internet and social media is having everyone believe that they can vote away any adversity, including hard work, personal responsibility, etc. and they demand things using mob mentality. Any politician who wants to be elected has to become a podium pushing promiser to get elected, but in trying to deliver on those promises pushes our nation into a worsened situation; financially and leading to less responsibility from the citizenry - again, unacceptable.

Yes, the old adage is correct; "The Republic really is stronger when the electorate is educated," question is what do people consider education, and what sort of research are they really doing before they caste their votes? Inquiring minds want to know.

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Great Social Media Manager

Friday, July 18, 2014

A great social media manager is, as Ron Burgundy would say: "The balls".

It's an undisputed fact that every business needs to be active in social media. The ever-changing demands of the modern day consumer requires brands to think fast and adapt quickly in order to stay one step ahead.

The role of a social media manager has appealed to the mass generation of socially-active internet users. It's hard not to. Especially when some might think that you can earn big bucks from posting Facebook updates. Hardly.

Being a social media manager is kind of like being a stand-up comedian. You have to quickly understand your audience and your engagement with them is vital. In order to accomplish this, you need to know if the audience is laughing at your jokes and you need to know this in real-time. If you can do this, then you have already won the crowd.#

So, how do you become a social manager? More to the point, how do you become a great social manager?

The answer will be surprising to some. Firstly, you have to want it. Second, you have to love it. Third, you have to learn it. And even if you tick all these boxes, you should ask yourself: "Am I a social person?" If the answer is no, then becoming a social media manager is probably not for you...

So let's take a look at the stats.

  • LinkedIn shows 57,910 results for "social media manager"
  • Social media has now overtaken porn as the number 1 activity on the web
  • 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online
  • 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%)
  • 77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix
  • On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion
  • 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social sites
  • When asked to rank their company's social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below

But the statistic that is most relevant to this article is:

  • Just 12% of those using social marketing feel they actually use it effectively.

Being a social media manager brings with it some key benefits within a freelance setting. The most recognisable being the fact that you are your own boss. You make the decisions and answer to no one. You send the invoices and you set the policies. Heck, you could sit in your underpants all day on the computer if you wanted to.

The other is money. It is an in-demand role, but one that companies are still struggling to come to terms with. Some companies realise and understand the value social media could bring to their enterprise and are willing to invest heavily in robust social media campaigns. Being your own boss, you can decide how to set your costs and price accordingly. 

Another attractive reason is the low barriers to entry. With low start-up costs and plenty of online resources (like this one!) to rapidly decrease the learning cure, anyone can launch a freelance social management business within a short space of time.

I'll tell you my story shortly but first, lets explore the essential skills you'll need to become a great social media manager..

Fundamental Skills:

Marketing Knowledge

You should have a good grasp of the basic marketing principles. Some education in marketing would be beneficial, but otherwise you can find many quality resources online.

Experience

Your experience doesn't necessarily have to be limited to life experiences. Have you managed your own social media profiles for a while? Do you know how to effectively maintain your own social accounts and understand what clients expect?

Sociable

I touched on this at the beginning of the article. If you are not a sociable person - someone who doesn't like communicating much and isn't very outgoing, then becoming a social media manager just isn't for you. Sure, you can hide behind a keyword and monitor for a while, but clients will usually want to meet, speak on the phone, or have Skype sessions at some point.

Project Management

You don't have to have a Prince2 certificate, but you do need to be able to manage projects and your time well. It's typical for social media manager's to work with multiple clients at any one time. Keeping tabs on everything is important so that it doesn't get overwhelming.

Technological

Social media exists online. Therefore, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy. Having good knowledge of social technology will enhance your services and ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest social trends and developments.

Interpersonal Skills:

Communication

It kind of goes without saying that if you're going to be representing a company and engaging with their customers, then you will need to have strong communication skills.

Personality

Companies tend not to want to hire people with no personality to act on behalf of their brand. It doesn't resonate well with them, or their audiences.

Responsiveness

I've touched on this a few times - social media is very fast-paced. Imagine if one of your social assignments was largely focused on customer service and you didn't respond to customer complaints or queries for weeks. People online want rapid responses. Being able to fulfil these needs can stand your client (and you!) in good stead.

Entrepreneurial

To become a social media manager in a freelance capacity, you have to be a self-starter. You should be willing to go the extra mile and take a few financial risks along the way. If you don't land a job that pays enough in one month, how will this affect you?

Multitasking

A great social media manager must be able to effectively carry out a wide range of tasks.

Organisation

You should always be very well organised when delivering social media management services. I use all kinds of traditional tools like calendars, white boards and task lists to keep myself organised. I also use many online organisational tools, such as: Thunderbird for accessing all my email accounts in one place, Dropbox to easily share documents with clients and bookmarks to keep track of all the websites I frequently visit.

Strategic Thinking

Being able to think campaigns through before they happen and sometimes thinking outside the box when needed, are great asset to have as a social media manager. Clients tend to want to know how you will do something before letting you do it, so being able to present a clear and concise strategy is essential.

Flexible (with travel)

Contrary to popular belief, a freelance social media manager has to leave his office sometimes! If this is a problem for you, then you should think about starting another profession. Nearly every sizeable project I undertake involves multiple meetings with the client. You should have reasonable pitching skills, as you may be required to sell your services face to face too, before being hired. You may even opt to take on in-house work.

Wider Skills:

Copywriting

Every good social media manager is a great writer. Writing forms the foundations of many aspects of online marketing, be it creating ads, writing blogs, engaging with customers, scripting sales copy or writing press releases.

Graphic Design

Pretty much all social media platforms provide the functionality to customise the interface and incorporate your own branding. If you are sharp with Photoshop (or similar design software), then you are in a good position to offer these services as part of your social media package. Similarly, creating content such as infographics, banners or images is standard practise for a social media manager.

Advertising

Every social media manager should have sound knowledge of advertising. Be it Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or banner advertising, you should know the ins and outs of each discipline and understand how to optimise each format.

PR

Public relations is closely tied to social media marketing, in the sense that both involve managing the spread of information between a business and the public. You may start out not needing to have a deep knowledge of PR, as it is typically managed by larger brands who have an interest in persuading stakeholders, investors or the public to maintain a certain point of view.

Statistical

Everything in marketing should be measured. You should periodically measure and analyse your social marketing performance and produce reports to your clients to demonstrate your value.

SEO

Understanding how social media affects search engine optimisation will ultimately improve campaign performance. In 2012, there was an average of 5,134,000,000 searches on Google every day. If you think SEO doesn't matter to your social activities, think again.

Traditional Marketing

Even though you generally won't be involved in traditional marketing practises while undertaking a social media management role, you should understand how both forms of marketing affect each other and how each can be best leveraged to complement the other.

Video Editing

This will probably be the least used of your wider skills, but nevertheless it can assist you in your social marketing positions. I've had a few clients that required presentations or demonstration videos to be edited before being used within their social media campaigns. I'm for sure no expert, but having a reasonable level of knowledge in using Windows Movie Maker (or similar video editing software) can turn that video file straight from the camera into a beautiful, YouTube-ready video.

Even if you possess all the necessary skills to become a social media manager, there is still scope to improve your services by using different social tools and software. I'll quickly recap on two different pieces of software I use that may help you in becoming a great social media manager:

  • Hootsuite: I wrote an in-depth review of Hootsuite on my blog that also includes a video tutorial which should provide all the information you will need to know about Hootsuite. 
  • BuzzBundle: This is my favourite and most valued piece of software I've ever used. I use it mainly to find keywords around my content subject from across a huge range of blogs, forums and social sites and stream all this information back to me in one interface. I can then see who is discussing my topic and jump straight into the conversations to add my two cents. 

What You'll Be Expected To Do...

So, what does a social media manager actually do? As you can probably tell by now, the role of a social media manager is diverse. It's not a case of "Well, I post updates to Facebook." Here are a few general activities that social media managers will be expected to execute:

Strategy

You will be required to formulate campaign and platform specific strategies that meet the business objectives. You will create actions plans, content calendars, set metrics and KPIs, undertake various research activities and perform different types of analysis.

Content Creation

Content creates the foundations of any marketing campaign. How you decide to execute your campaigns will depend on the different forms of content you produce. As you would have no doubt already heard from someone, content is king. Believe them.

Community Management

Managing accounts also means managing communities. You should be the go-to person when representing brands in social domains and continually reach out and engage with your audiences. You will need to constantly strengthen social relationships in order to develop long-lasting followers.

Audience Building

Marketing to the same people over and over will not widen your scope and social reach. You should be increasing readership and your level of influence within your target audiences. 

Customer Service

Many companies use social media as an instant channel for customer service. You will have to be responsive and helpful in your social activities, regularly being the first point of contact. You will be representing the brand and managing their customer perceptions.

Measurement

Every effort that consumes investment will need to be measured and analysed. I'vve previously written tutorials that demonstrate how you can set up your Google Analytics account on my blog.

Reporting

Once your efforts have been measured and analysed, your clients will want to understand how their investment has performed. This can take the form of visual aids for meetings or digital reports. Reporting is a key ingredient of any social media manager in order to prove your worth and demonstrate the value you have added to the business.

How I Became A Social Media Manager

I've been active in social media since July 2007. This was before the time of all the latest social marketing tools and software that nowadays are ingrained into all social marketers everyday life. Resources or tutorials weren't as widely available that could help speed up the learning curve.

I did find an online course that looked pretty good in teaching me how to turn my social skills that I had been practising on my own accounts into a fully fledged business. I invested £600 on this online course to learn the basics and now that some years have passed, I can look back and say the value wasn't all that great, but the ideas were there. It pushed me to think outside the box and motivated me to start my trajectory towards becoming a social media manager.

So before I had decided to turn my love for social media and networking into a freelance opportunity, I attended Brunel University where I completed my BSc and MSc in Business Management. It was at this time when I jumped on board with the poker boom and started playing online cash games and tournaments. Poker really helped me to develop my own time management, money management and analysis skills. I always knew I wanted to start my own business so this was a good platform to get my feet wet. Throughout my time playing poker, I was always engaged in online social discussions and even wrote a few guest posts for poker sites. 

Before I knew it, I was a fully-fledged freelance social media manager...

So to kick-start my freelance social media work, I joined a bunch of freelance sites like Elance, oDesk and Freelancer. I still use some of them today.

After a few years of freelancing on small one-off projects and developing my social marketing acumen, I was hired by an online business services company to run their social media campaigns, as well as handle all their own clients social marketing campaigns. I still work with them today, which just shows the power of forging good working relationships.

I managed to attract clients in most months for the next few years and each project ended up being pretty diverse from the next. This allowed me to develop wider skills that I have since found almost a necessity in order to provide a well-rounded social media marketing service. I mentioned some of these wider skills required to become a great social media manager towards the middle of this article.

I also kept maintaining and building my own social media profiles. It's important to practise what you preach and showcase your expertise on your own domains. My social profiles have regularly attracted clients, which keeps work coming in and builds up my networking potential.

I have been writing on my blog for a few years, but only recently updated my site. My own social activities also serve to build traffic to my sites, where I generate passive income. I like to "listen" to the social environment and engage with people who are already looking for my content. This serves well in building and strengthening connections, as well as attracting targeted traffic.

I have also been a keen guest blogger. I believe that writing articles for other relevant blogs only serves to increase your scope and exposure. Once or twice, I have had my articles featured by online magazines and publications, which was always nice.

Keeping my ears to the ground and getting myself 'out there' was one of the things I promised myself I would do, even though I knew the vast majority of my time would be spent in my home office. I tried to regularly meet up with business connections and clients to make sure they could match an online persona to a real life face. The vast majority of the time, I even managed to remember my business cards!

A strategy I've always tried to employ while freelancing is to try and turn one client into three. What I mean by that is word of mouth is the most powerful advertising there is. People do act on solid recommendations that their friends make. I found that taking as basic an approach as asking clients at the end of projects if they knew anyone who could benefit from social media marketing, worked out surprisingly well.

As social media is such a dynamic environment with start-ups booming and busting every few months, I knew that it was essential to keep up to date with social developments. Every so often, a client would ask me to set up profiles or campaigns on sites that some social media managers would have never heard of. Keeping tuned in enabled me to have at least some knowledge and experience in using these platforms, which dramatically lowered my learning curve and ultimately lead to better performing campaigns.

Around a year and a half ago, I decided to broaden by service offerings and set up a web design company with my business partner. "Thinking Forwards" was born in the summer of 2012. Websites and social media go hand-in-hand, so this enabled me to up-sell my services both ways.

So that brings me loosely to where I am now. Just to be clear; I have never used paid advertising or SEO for my own benefit while being a social media manager. My progression came solely through content marketing and guerrilla marketing tactics.

To Summarise On How I Became A Social Media Manager:

  • Joined freelance sites
  • Practised what I preached and actively maintained my own social media profiles and blogs
  • Kept consistently networking and building my contact lists
  • Continually created my own content on my own sites
  • Took my content straight to prospects
  • Proactively kept asking if people needed my assistance
  • Guest blogging and featured articles
  • Attended networking events and met up with clients and business contacts
  • Tried to turn one client into three
  • Kept up to date with new social networks and developments
  • Started other initiatives where social media services were complementary
  • Never turned down any work or networking opportunities
  • Worked long hours, sometimes for small rewards, to build reputation, authority and presence

I thought I would leave you with some final advice from things I have learnt from my own experiences being a social media manager.

Remember that...

  • Sometimes you won't be right for a project, even if you think you are
  • It's OK to work for less than your desired amount, if the benefits warrant it
  • You won't win every contract, so don't beat yourself up if you get turned down
  • Things change really quickly in social media, so you will have to continually adapt
  • You never know as much as you think you do!

Starting a career in anything takes time and effort. If you think it's easy to become a great social media manager, then think again...

I wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

Education in South Africa: How It Works, and How It's Struggling

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's January, and that means the start of a new school year in South Africa. In less than a week, students (or learners, as they're called in South Africa) and teachers will fill classrooms, hoping to embark on a new year of learning, enlightenment, and growth. It's a good time for students to ride the momentum gained with last year's record-breaking high school pass rate. For those of us in the United States, Canada, and other Western countries, it's a good time to learn about the educational experiences that our young South African friends will have this year.

Primary education is mandatory in South Africa. According to the country's Constitution, South Africa has an obligation to make education available and accessible. All South Africans have the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and further education.

School in South Africa begins in grade 0, or grade R. It's the equivalent of our kindergarten, a time of school preparation and early childhood socialization. Grades 0 to 9 make up General Education and Training, followed by Further Education and Training (FET) from grades 10 to 12. Students either stay in high school during this time, or enter more specialized FET institutions with an emphasis on career-oriented education and training. After passing the nationally-administered Senior Certificate Examination, or "matric," some students will continue their education at the tertiary level, working towards degrees up to the doctoral level. Over a million students are enrolled in South Africa's 24 state-funded colleges and universities.

With a solid educational structure in place, South Africa continues the long and arduous process of overcoming the discriminatory legacy left behind by 40 years of apartheid education. Under that system, white South African children received a quality schooling virtually for free. Black students, on the other hand, had access only to "Bantu education", a system based on the unjust philosophy that there was no place in South African society for black Africans "above certain forms of labor" (a quote attributed to HF Verwoerd, the architect of the Bantu Education Act of 1953). In the 1970s, government spending on black education was one-tenth of spending on whites. By the 1980s, teacher to pupil ratios in primary schools averaged 1:18 in white schools and 1:39 in black schools. Even the standards for education were different between black and while schools: while 96 percent of all teachers in white schools had teaching certificates, only 15 percent of teachers in black schools were certified. Not surprisingly during apartheid, high school graduation rates for black students were less than half the rate for whites.

Bantu education was abolished with the end of apartheid in 1994. Nevertheless, South Africa continues to struggle with inequality and educational disparities. Seventeen years after the end of apartheid, the vast majority of poor black children are denied a quality education at severely deprived public schools. Over three-quarters of these schools do not have libraries, and even more do not have a computer. Around 90 percent of public schools have no science laboratory, and more than half of all pupils either have no text books or have to share them. Over a quarter of public schools do not even having running water.

More affluent South Africans (read: White South Africans, along with a small but growing contingent from the black middle class) can afford to send their children to so-called former "Model C" schools, publicly funded schools that were previously allowed only for white students. These schools charge extra school fees to supplement teachers' salaries and buy extra resources. Not surprisingly, these former white-only schools have far superior facilities and quality of education.

School outcomes tell the story of South Africa's educational inequalities. In 2009 just over half of black students passed the high school final exam, compared with 99 percent of whites. Of the South African population over 20 years old, 65 percent of those who are white and only 14 percent of those who are black have a high school degree or higher. The disparities remain at the university level. Although black Africans account for 80 percent of the whole South African population, they make up less than half of all university students. Less than one in 20 black South Africans ends up with a degree, compared with almost half of all whites.

Poor and orphaned children, such as those at St. Vincent Children's Home, are particularly vulnerable to the discrepancies evident in South African education. It is impossible for these children to access the quality of education available to more advantaged students. Despite high aspirations and exceptional potential, they simply cannot afford to attend schools outside of those in the crowded black townships or poor rural areas where they reside. Without a quality education, they are unable to escape their lives of poverty, allowing these inequalities to continue generation after generation. The need for outside assistance, such as that offered by the Khanyisela Scholarship, is critical. So what will the next South African school year bring besides learning, enlightenment, and growth? Equality and justice, thanks to you and your support of the Khanyisela Scholarship.

The Psychology of Education

Monday, July 14, 2014

On the need for an individualistic educational psychology emphasizing on the central role of the learner

Education and psychology are related in more than just one way and the psychology of education could be related to educational principles in psychology or how education as a discipline is taught within psychology as a subject and how these two disciplines merge. This is primarily the focus of educational psychology which studies how human learning occurs, what ways of teaching are most effective, what different methods should be used to teach gifted or disabled children and how principles of psychology could help in the study of schools as social systems.

Psychological education would be completely focused on learning methods as structured or imparted according to psychological and individual needs of the students. Education would differ according to culture, values, attitudes, social systems, mindset and all these factors are important in the study of education in psychology.

Educational psychology is the application of psychological objectives within educational systems and psychological education as I distinguish here is application of educational objectives in psychological processes. The first focus of using psychology in education is more general and the second approach of using education in psychology is more individualistic. However as far as present study of educational approach to psychology is concerned, there is no difference between individualistic educational psychology and general educational psychology and all interrelationships between psychology and education are considered within the broad discipline of educational psychology.

However a distinction between the more general educational psychology and more specific psychological or individualistic education could help in understanding the nuances of individualistic study and give a subjective dimension to the study of psychology in education. This could also help in making learning systems more student based and according to the needs of culture, society, individual or personal factors. This sort of study with a focus on personal/psychological aspects of learning is not just about social objectives and objectives within educational systems but also about personal goals and objectives and the psychological processes involved in learning. There has to be a clearer demarcation between education in psychology as a general study and individualistic education in psychology as a more specific and subjective discipline.

As of now educational psychology encompasses a wide range of issues and topics including the use of technology and its relation to psychology, learning techniques and instructional design. It also considers the social, cognitive, behavioural dimensions of learning but it would be necessary to make education more personal and individualistic through a special branch with a psychological focus on education so that individual needs are considered. There could be two ways in which this branch of knowledge could evolve - either by strengthening psychological education or individualistic approach to the psychology of education or by having two distinct branches of general educational psychology and individualistic educational psychology.

As in client centered approach to psychology, a psychology of education should also include further research that would highlight the need for individualistic dimensions in learning. Learning psychology is the use of psychological theories for example that of Jean Piaget and Kohler in the study of learning techniques, especially among children. I have already discussed Piaget but briefly Piaget's theory higlights different stages of learning in children and Kohler suggested that learning occurs by sudden comprehension or understanding, however I will not go further into learning theories here. Whereas the focus of educational psychology is on learning techniques per se and the role of the learner is considered only secondary, a branch of individualistic psychology in education could help in emphasizing the role of the learner considering not just their disabilities or giftedness but also their personality patterns. This focus on personality patterns brings out the central role of understanding psychology in educational systems.

Educational psychology studies both the personal approaches to education as in giftedness, disability, learning theories applied to children and adults, and the more general objective approaches to learning as the role of schools as social or cultural systems.

The psychology of education could include the following branches:

General Educational Psychology

1. Learning Systems - As studied from individualistic learning perspectives and generalized learning perspectives, a discussion of the different theories, practices and systems or techniques of learning is an integral part of educational psychology and especially central to general educational psychology.

2. Social Systems - The use of education in social, cultural and economic systems could be considered within the psychological context and this relates to the role of education in society.

Individualistic Educational Psychology

1. Learning Systems - Learning techniques and systems or methods will have to be in accordance with the needs of the children or adult participants and according to skills of the teachers. Needs vary according to personal traits and abilities and individual needs will have to be considered during the learning process.

2. Social Systems - Individual learning psychology will have to be studied according to specific social and cultural backgrounds of the learners and thus a more subjective study of learning approaches and centralized role of the individual in the learning process considering their social, cultural or intellectual background will have to be considered.

Continuing Education Online

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Continuing Education Online is the process of offering continuing education via the Internet. Continuing education is similar to adult education and is supplementary to university or college education. It is achieved through non-degree credit activities such as conferences, workshops, training, seminars, short programs and various other means. Similar to the mission of regular continuing education, online continuing education programs also offer quality, innovative, lifelong learning opportunities to a diverse student population from all parts of the world. It can be utilized by those who have exceeded the age of traditional undergraduate college or university age. Today, online courses are available in almost all fields of education, thus making education more reliable and convenient.

Continuing education online includes in-service training for people in various professions such as teaching and health care. Personal enrichment programs, and courses on information technology are also offered online. Thus the courses offered can be categorized broadly into two - those designed for a particular degree or certification, and those targeting a particular profession to maintain and improve the career goals.

Similar to all other online programs, continuing education online programs have some prerequisites. The student is expected to possess the basic knowledge of computer and the internet. In continuing education online, you can register online for various programs that suit your needs. There is much similarity with online distance education as this also involves independent study. In short, continuing education online can be viewed as the combination of online distance education and continuing education concepts. Today, thousands of continuing education programs are available online.

Whither Education - An Apathy

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Even after half-a-century of Indian Independence, the fate of education, educators and students has hardly improved. The apathy of the power that be, including a large section of society, has not changed when it comes to human resource development and education. Even now there are more than four crore educated unemployed youths in India.

India boasts of being world's third knowledge power but effectively this is the lowest when judged against per thousand-population base. Societal degradation, inflicted by political might, is reflected in educational institutions across India. Aberrations have become the rule on campuses that are infested with self-seekers and politicians.

Democratization of higher educational institutions, though a noble concept, has in the past 20 years turned campuses into a cauldron of stinking filth. These are managed by affiliations charged with little regard for excellence, honesty and intellectual probity. Unethical and politically-motivated decisions serve a few and are reflections of societal catharsis.

Geographic India consolidated into a polity by the British has muted into conglomerations of politically charged, disjointed entities and facsimiles of democratic degradation. The classic conservative yearning for an ordered polity and commensurate pursuit of knowledge on the campuses are missing. Whichever brand rules the country, this section of society commands no respect now. May it be students or teachers they don't have a voice, they don't constitute an essential service and education is not a national necessity. Being a state subject, educational policies suffer from innumerable deformities.

Though it is a constitutional obligation, the non-availability of funds and vested administrative setup have led to the mushrooming of universities, fake campuses, private enterprises and numerous makeshift centers of education as also fly-by-air foreign campuses. It has proved to be a great financial endeavor with hardly any risk involved because it does not come under VAT or any other financial constraints. India has by now more institutions of such type than colleges, an excellent opportunity to rope in knowledge seeking youth and those who desire to fly off to greener pastures.

When it comes to the formulation of policies about higher education, structuring the system, financial assistance, grants and salary, the statutory body-University Grants Commission-is mentioned like a sacred cow worshipped as well as butchered in the streets. How far the UGC is autonomous is a common knowledge. It has become a post office, a government organization, disbursing petty grants, sanctioned by the Central Government, among universities or institutions with a number of tags attached to them depending upon the status of the recipient institutions, state, Central, autonomous or deemed universities. There is a perpetual complaint about the non-availability of funds. The administration should appreciate that the jumbo cabinet and expenditure on legislatures could be cut down to feed and educate a few villages. The teacher wants to be a ladder upon which students could climb and scale new heights.

The Central and state governments invoke ESMA to curb the voice of agitating people, but it takes no time to give benefits to politicians and bureaucrats. It is essential to please them so that a symbiotic balance is maintained as also to oblige a few of them. The government has failed to take effective steps to curb industrialization of education. Within hours the doles given in Parliament and honorarium were doubled but the 6 per cent expenditure of the GDP on education has proved to be dogma persisting right from the Kothari Commission recommendations for over four decades now.

Students of various educational institutes go on strike, almost yearly, demanding withdrawal of excessive fee hike. The tuition fees make up only about 13 per cent of annual expenditure in the present university education. It is now a formidable industry and the aim is to make money. Poor students, however, intelligent they may be, cannot afford to join colleges, professional institutions or courses. They may join such courses by putting their families under heavy debt of banks or financial institutions. Even in the USA, tuition fees contribute to about 15 per cent of the total annual expenditure on higher education. Nehru said: "If all is well with universities, it will be well with the nation." Whereas Rabindranath Tagore once compared educated classes in India to "A second storey in an old building that was added in, but unfortunately the architect forgot to build a staircase between them."

Teaching profession is devalued in the country because the teachers can't compete in our society, have no muscle power, are educated and hence behave differently. Neither do they have guts of creamy bureaucrats nor institutional support of any kind. A teacher can entertain you with a pale smile on hearing that this is the profession of nation builders, the cream of society and a noble profession. The next moment teacher will be branded as cancers in societal marrow, getting salary for no work, craving for power, equality in salary and status with the Class A government servants. The teacher was the consultant and conscience keeper of society till mid-century. One could identify him by his tattered clothes, emaciated pale face, soft voice and meek behavior. He was the guru. That guru, comparatively having a better outfit now, has metamorphosed to a present teacher.

Newspaper reports are replete with his shortcomings; his misconduct in preaching indiscipline, enough is paid to him for no work, as he has to teach only for 181 days in a year. How could he dream of the parity with his bosses in the secretariat, his class dropouts in Parliament and the government. In order to save our hard-earned "democracy" which is being strengthened by a few hooligans, politicians and administrators, the government has to suppress the genuine demands so that education does not progress to the detriment of "illiterate democrats". A handful of teachers adopts unethical means to become rich just like any other segments that are designated scamsters today. Exceptions, however, do not make the rule.

Most of our Presidents, many of our bureaucrats, including ministers, parliamentarians and others, had been in this profession. Did they not do any good work for the betterment of society before their elevation to these posts of governance and reverence? Can't the authorities assess the strength of the demand vis-à-vis the qualification, age at the time of being recruited as a teacher, lack of promotional avenues, stagnation and competency in terms of hiatus in the inflated societal values, urge and necessity to improve qualification and experience to remain in the fray. Education for teachers is a continuous process unlike "one-time-degree-obtaining-education" for others. Evaluation is paramount in this profession for every promotion. Classroom education has become drudgery afflicted by societal unrest, absolute lack of infrastructure, fear psychosis gripping the powerless parents and absences of administration.

My perception is that politicians take less interest in improving the standard of education and living because they know that once the poor comes to know about their corrupt practice they would neither listen nor elect them. Political parties make promises in their election manifestos to reduce employment, poverty and corruption. But this can't be achieved without education. To me, education comes as a discipline, which is all-pervasive. Enshrined in our directive principles and ensuring our countrymen, "right-to-education" makes me feel that we possess the right to educate".

Even when we have ushered in the new millennium, education remains a password to of those who make an arrogant assertion that they know best and are serving the public interest-an interest, which of course, is determined by them. By the perception entrenched with the British subjugation of our people elitist education occupied the center stage to produce Macaulay's clones who were Indians muted to be "English in taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect". "Educated slaves became strong props to sustain the British rule." Lord Curzon favored bureaucratization of education since he opined that educational institutions have become factors for the production of political revolutionaries. By the Act of 1919 education was transferred to the province.

When we educate we are involved in politics. Educators often think of education being disjointed from politics. In fact, education is perhaps the most political activity in the community. The state has always influenced what is taught in educational institutions. The socio-political (and in some cases religious) ideology colors the content of learning and the emphasis on various aspects. In fact, based on where the child was educated within India-whether it was a large city or a village, whether the school used English or a regional language as a medium of education, among other factors- the child will have a different world view. However, education, based on the syllabus, in India has largely strived towards imparting a temperament of religious, political and social tolerance. The social mores and hierarchies often seep into the arena of learning and color education.

Given the political potential of education, there have been numerous attempts to use education as a way of indoctrination. Sometimes it is covert, at other times it is overt. Sometimes it is subliminal, other times it is deliberate. However, political forces have always used education to further certain world views. Today, numerous educationists and political thinkers in India are afraid that a deliberate attempt to use education as a way of social-religious indoctrination might be the agenda of the new education policy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "Not gold, but only teachers can make people great and strong-the persons who for truth and honor; sake stand fast and suffers long. It is they who build a nation's pillar deep and lift them to the sky". Teaching profession is a bed of roses. A good teacher is always his/her student's guide, friend and philosopher. A boy looked at the sticker on a car, which said, "Trees are friends". He challenged this statement, started cutting trees, saying that, "Trees are not our friends, but our enemies". When asked why he thought so. He said in his science textbooks it was stated "trees bring rain". Since his village gets flooded in every rainy season, so he thought that "all trees must be cut down". Confucius wrote, "If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for 10 years, plant a tree. If 100 years, teach the people." Literacy is not enough. It is good to have a population, which is able to read, but infinitely better to have people able to distinguish what is worth reading. With overcrowded classrooms and ill-paid teachers,coaching classes are the commercial fallout of a system bursting out of the seams. How can idealism be expected from someone as concerned about the quality of life as you and me?

We have grown up with cherished memories of special teachers who made us love a subject we could actually have been frightened of and who we respected unconditionally. I have come across many persons whose mediocrity is reflected when they project themselves as the best whereas the fact speaks otherwise and those who criticize their alma mater forgetting that they passed out from the same from which they graduated. Education can have a great role to play in decreasing social disparities between groups and in promoting social mobility. For instance, the tremendous expansion of the middle class in India can confidently be attributed to the investment in education, especially in higher education.

Universities are struggling to survive on shrinking governmental grants. In the wake of this it takes shortsighted decisions to cut expenses and increase revenue by increasing fees, which may not be in the long-term interest of the universities. Thus universities end up being run as business enterprises. Education cess is now on considered to partially meet funds for primary education and Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Open our universities to foreign students. Foreign campuses may prove to be of hardly any use in generating funds for Indian education. Trading in education may be another jeopardy.

Collaborations could be in specialized fields with foreign campuses like in the past. Even in the USA, private and government ratio in higher educational system does not exceed 80/20. China is experiencing two-way international student traffic with a large number of them from the USA in preference to India. This could be reversed if we build proper infrastructure and achieve proficiency in imparting education of world standard. A realistic education cannot be separated from the realities of the students' environment, which surrounds him, his aspirations, society, the local cultural factors, conditions varying in his own country and global effects. Education, therefore, should be in consonance with the day-to-day living. Till date education does not define our resurgent polity and democracy.

Google+ Cheat Sheet - shortcuts and tips

Thursday, July 10, 2014



Google+ is Google's social network. I use it to connect to other educators, IT directors, EdTech personnel, tech companies and edtech groups. It's easy to use and has more features than other social networks.

Here is a great cheat sheet with shortcuts and tips for using Google+. Take a look and try some out.






Related:

Google Plus - tips for using in education, facts and data infographic

Google+ - More Reasons its great for Education

Google+ and Google+ Pages - great for educators and schools

10 Ways to Use Google Plus in the Classroom

Teaching with Google Plus - tips and resources

Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook - a nice comparison

Google Plus now open to Teens, with safety features

Online Computer Education Degree Options

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Computer technology has spread through practically every part of today's society from individual use to corporate use. This creates a need for skilled computer professionals who are educated in the numerous fields of computer technology. Many online schools offer education in a wide range of degrees connected to computers.

The degree options range from computer science to computer engineering. Because technology continues to advance at a fast rate education in the field is continuing to grow. With computers in almost every home, company, and organization educated skilled professionals are needed to manage computer software, engineer a computer, set up system security, and more. This fact is making the occupational growth within the industry well over the national average compared to all other careers.

Accredited online schools offer diverse programs with the advantage of earning an education while staying at home. Students will be able to take courses that fit into their commitments and job responsibilities. This allows students to earn an education at their own pace. However, many online programs and courses have a time limit and extensions on a course may result in a fee.

Computer science is the study of computers and their languages, applications, and designs. Students gaining a degree in this area will also study the mathematical structures that make up a computers computation. Students wanting to work in the computer industry have many different educational paths to choose from. Some colleges online offer degree distinctions as high as a doctorate in computer science.

An example of a computer science program is a computer systems security master's degree. This concentration will train students to become computer security specialists that implement security measures and protect organizations from attack. Courses will educate students on computer systems security, security policies, formulation, design, and more. A program at this level may require 44 credit hours or more to complete depending on the program a student is enrolled in. Cost per course may be around $630. Some schools include the price for textbooks and required material in that price, but many online schools list these materials as a separate expense.

Computer engineering is a discipline that involves design in many different avenues related to computers and the Internet. Students interested in this field of the industry can find themselves working with online media and web 2.0 websites. Some schools offer degree concentrations in this area called emerging or new media. A degree program in this concentration may offer courses that teach a student how to integrate content and communication into strategies for businesses, entertainment, education, and more.

Degree options will continue to grow as computer technology is incorporated into more houses, businesses, and organizations. Students seeking an online computer education will find numerous courses and degree programs that will properly prepare them for success in the computer industry. Make sure to properly research all available programs. Verify the program is accredited and will provide you with not only the necessary skills but a quality education that meets or exceeds industry standards. Search out online computer education schools today and you'll be on the right path to a rewarding career.

Role of Computers in the Promotion of Environmental Education

Monday, July 7, 2014

Computers have caused a revolution in education, but the tremendous changes seen in the last decade may be surpassed in the next as those computers are connected in a global education network.

Teachers and high school students sample the water in Lake Baikal in Siberia while at other lakes around the world, other teachers and students take similar samples from local lakes and subject them to the same simple water-quality tests. Via their school computers, they exchange their results and their observations about how water pollution problems are the same around the world. They are part of a "global laboratory" project that includes scientists specializing in water pollution.

A similar computer network pins citizen activists, joined with students, teachers and scientists, in "sister watershed" groups throughout the world.

Amateur birdwatchers and biologists pool their rare bird sightings in a North American computer network that is linked with bird researchers in Central America and South America.

The differences between classroom and community education are blurred on the global computer networks. Voluntary organizations, government agencies, students and teachers are all involved in a real that has become, for many, a virtual classroom, without walls, and increasingly without borders.

Already, pilot projects have high school students sharing the methods and results from field studies of environmental quality, using computer telecommunication to leap national boundaries. Elementary school children share their life experiences end visions of the future the same way. Their messages to one another, passed with tremendous speed and shared simultaneously among many classrooms, provide strong, personal lessons in science, geography and human relations.

Environmental education curriculum development, pursued independently and often in isolation by teachers, school districts and universities over the past two decades, is now linked in a global forum that can respond immediately to the ever more complex and urgent environmental problems the world faces. Teachers the world over are connecting with their counterparts to discuss how they can do their jobs better. Co-ordination of international education projects is less burdened by the constraints of time and travel budgets as computer networks provide forums for collaboration.

The technology for this exchange takes advantage of the personal computer's ability to communicate over standard phone lines using a modem. The simplest networks connect personal computers in a "store-and-forward" system that echoes messages from one to the next, until all have copies. These least-cost networks are linked to larger, faster computers that act as central information storage banks and relay stations. They in turn exchange information with one another and tap the power and data in computer systems at major research and educational institutions.

In many ways this vast new sea of information presents its own challenges, often akin to "drinking water from a fire hose." The enormous glut of fact and opinion is impossible to take in, and has forced those who would taste its power to devise new ways for organizing and sampling the information flow.

Electronic mail services and computer "conferencing" let students and teachers communicate with each other privately, or publicly as members of large discussion groups. Computer conferences are organized much like those where people meet face-to-face, except that the meeting rooms are inside each participant's computer. Computer conferences transcend time zones, since participants review and comment on each others' written postings as their time and interest allows. Everyone gets to read and think about questions or statements posed in a conference, and everyone has a co-equal opportunity to reply.

Computer networking is making classroom walls disappear. Real environmental problems are entering the classroom with immediacy via computer nets, and students are jointly seeking understanding and solutions with scientists, citizen activists, journalists, government officials and community leaders of all kinds. While access to computer networks is still remote for most people on the planet, it is becoming more and more available to the gatekeepers and opinion-leaders who help shape common understanding of the global situation. The increasing abundance of the multiple information sources available via computer networks, if viewed as a well-stocked marketplace, may also stimulate demand for more and better goods by the world's information consumers.

Citizen participation in the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), for example, has been ccoordinated via computer networks on seven continents, giving NGOs access to complete text of the preparatory committee documents, and providing public forums for news and issue discussion. This availability of information has a dramatic effect on how an event such as UNCED permeates the mass media everywhere.

Underlying the often chaotic view presented by the mass media, structures are developing to channel the new rivers of information to empower this and coming generations to deal with the issues it describes. A variety of efforts at computer networking for environmental education provide some great models. At the root, these efforts are all based on the same notion: that environmental problems must be viewed with a global perspective, but responded to by individuals acting locally, in their own communities or homes.

All of this new technology is not without cost, and the developed countries are clearly ahead in providing computer access for education. But even in the United States, where computer telecommunication is becoming commonplace, profit rather than educational reform is a dominant force in determining who gets access.

The harsh reality has motivated citizen computer networks to band together in the international Association for Progressive Communications (APC) to make computer network access broadly available. The APC hosts several promising educational efforts on its partner computer networks that now extend to more than 90 countries around the globe. These services may be tapped by anyone with a personal computer and modem, often via a local call, at costs roughly equivalent to a newspaper subscription or monthly telephone bill.

The education projects offered on the APC networks are examples of how low-budget computer communication can fit into community programs and classrooms.

Infographic with Google Search Tips




Google is a very powerful search engine, but the way you search makes a huge difference in your results. The infographic below has some great tips on becoming a Google Search Power User. Check it out and share with your students.










Educational Leadership in the 21st Century

Education plays a unique role right from the birth of humanity in its onward journey. In the background of the emerging global country of 21st century, education has incomparably challenging roles to play. The 'global family' becomes a close -knit community, minimizing and eliminating geographic, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and all other barriers and the role of education has to undergo a conspicuous change. At this era of reconstruction and redefining, the very concept of education has to be reconstructed, redefined and modified assimilating the good elements of the past and discarding the bad ones. In fact, the basic concept of education remains intact in its mission but pedagogy and methodology have to be reviewed. That is what T.S Eliot said, "It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time -- for we are bound by that -- but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time."The educational leadership in this century is endowed with the noble role of managing these changes in an effective and appropriate manner.

The most important challenge of education is to keep pace with the knowledge society. The knowledge and information evolve, develop and are acquired at an alarming speed. The educational leadership has to help the institution encompass the exploding growth of knowledge lest it would remain obsolete. This emphasizes the education being technologically up to date and scientifically exploring. This paradigm shift is due to the giant leaps in communication and information technology that can be manipulated as an asset rather than a challenge. Thus, the real concern in education today lies in the effective management of this complex phenomenon. Therefore, the academicians need to be dynamically ultra paced in the pedagogic process.

The highest edge of competition is the talisman of 21st century. This quest for excellence prioritises the need for competitiveness in all fields. The quiescent knowledge imparted through conventional methods may leave the principal and the agent in the education far behind the signs of the time. The product of an alma mater needs to be equipped with the best to face the world ahead of it. Unless the institution succeeds in this noble mission, it will merely be added up as just one among the others in the list of the so-called millions of schools. Thus, leading innovation in education ensuring uncompromising quality in the minutest of details and at the same time being effective, the educational leadership makes an institution a pace-setting one.

An effective education is life education. Advancing one's knowledge and imbibing competence become worthwhile only when it contributes to the emotional intelligence and quality of life of the individual. John Dewey defines," Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself". 21st century has the biggest chaos in its values and priorities. Along with achieving professional growth in life, the overall development of the individual needs a special stress. Education should equip an individual to re-define and re-discover the culture and values for oneself. How an individual takes decisions and allots priorities depend on how well the education has expanded his/her horizons. To dedicate oneself to the service of the nation and his/her fellowmen, one needs to be reinforced by the quality of education he/she receives. The question is whether the modern education leads a learner forward along a path where he is enriched academically, culturally, emotionally, physically and spiritually or not. "The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The education is a vision, mission and a passion. The field of education thus needs visionaries, missionaries and people with zest and zeal. When it comes to Indian educational scenario, a country with human capital as the greatest strength finds, at the same time, its enormously growing population as one of the hurdles in its path to greater heights. Benjamin Distraeli states, 'in the education of the people of this country, the fate of this country depends'. Provided the population becomes equipped with quality skills and education, the country will have a strong edge over the other nations in the emerging world. Specifically for India, its future lies in how the young generations bring forth favorable changes in all the realms of political, economic, social, spiritual so on and so forth. As the education moulds the generations, so will be the future of the society. To conclude, G.K Chestertson rightly said, "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another".

K-12 Digital Education Advantages For Your Student

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A K-12 digital education is available for your child. There many reasons for parents to select homeschooling education versus public school or private school education. A K-12 digital education offers many educational advantages for your student. The homeschooling education should include a strong textbook foundation as well as a thorough instructor and lesson plan. The home school education should not be exclusively based on education of the instructor or limited to a curriculum purchased. A K-12 Digital education must provide creativity; customized learning based on the needs of the student, and cutting edge digital educational materials for grades kindergarten through 12th.

A homeschooled student will receive the absolute best education possible without the expense and overhead of ordering multiple copies of hardcopy texts. Textbooks will not need to be discarded at the end each school year. Additional text can be printed as needed or simply read from the computer itself this provides a savings on textbooks and materials for the educator and the student. There will be a substantial savings provided along with the best materials needed.

Textbooks, instruction manuals, and lesson plans are the basic foundation for any homeschooling program. Homeschooling does not have to be limited to the parents understanding of the material that the student is learning. Home school information and education should instead be based on the student's individual learning style and the materials that must be taught based on the students grade level and educational needs. K-12 digital education materials are available through easy download. Instruction manuals, textbooks and comprehensive lesson plans are available in digital format for grades Kindergarten through twelfth.

Building your own comprehensive K-12 customized digital textbooks is feasible and affordable. Digital education is provided with core materials and supplemental education will content that provides the enforcement, review, and enrichment that is necessary for students to learn, comprehend, and retain and apply the information needed for their grade level. Why struggle to create learning materials for your homeschooled student based on their individual needs when it can be done customized online with a K-12 Digital education.

A K-12 digital education and cutting edge digital education materials will provide a comprehensive educational program for your homeschooled student in excellence and ease. Subscribing to the my bookshelf program will provide customized textbooks for the home school student as well as customized daily lesson plans provided through digital text. Each student's uniqueness and learning needs can be met through this customized education plan that is focused on providing the best education for students. The educational advantages of utilizing a K-12 digital education are outstanding.

You can find at Complete Curriculum all that a Ministry of Education approved homeschool curriculum may need: elementary textbooks, homeschool worksheets, k 12 lesson plans, and customized textbooks from experts in every subject besides of a lot of digital textbooks online.

How Social Media Marketing Is Beneficial for Your Business

Friday, July 4, 2014

Today to succeed in the corporate world, the traditional advertising and promotional tactics are not enough. Whatever the industry, or size of business, these businesses have to try out new approaches and techniques to make sure that they are able to break through the clutter and reach their target market. Social media marketing has emerged as a powerful tool when it comes to promoting businesses without spending a fortune on advertising campaigns.

One of the best ways to promote businesses through the social media marketing tools is by making use of weblogs. One does not have to be a seasoned writer to promote a product or a service. In fact, these blogs can be written in an interesting and fun format to catch the attention of the reader and educate them about a company's offerings.

Companies can select from a range of formats to introduce their offerings in a conversational manner to the selected market segment. Other than this approach, businesses can also make use of podcasting which is a record of audio tracks.

Micro blogging is also a popular tool for businesses that are active on Twitter. Today smart companies include a web page of blogs on their corporate website which allows them to communicate to their existing and prospective customers and keep them informed about events and offerings.

Social media marketing is simply building on the contacts of the businesses, their professionals, the friends and family members of these professionals and so on. It is the newest form of word of mouth. In fact, social media marketing helps those individuals who might be strangers to each other to be in one place and share their experiences about a particular product or service. Here they learn from each other and either encouraged or discouraged about using a particular product, company or service.

It is especially beneficial for small businesses as they can grow their existing social media network exponentially by attracting more customers. These businesses can syndicate the content from the corporate website to these social media platforms which are maintenance free and hardly require a related expense. However; when using social media marketing as a tool, businesses should make sure to remember a few points which include:

1. Always keep in focus the set goals and objectives that are to be generated through this approach

2. Use social media platforms to increase brand awareness, educating people about what a business can offer and how it can be useful for them

3. Use it as a platform to offer lucrative deals which have the potential of going viral

 

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