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Education Loans Can Fund A Higher Degree To Boost Your Career

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The importance of a higher degree cannot be understated. In this information age, the best and the highest paying jobs are offered only to a privileged few, who are experts in their chosen fields. A superlative educational degree is an essential prerequisite to gain confidence of the employers and ascend the ladders of success in the fiercely competitive corporate world. The skyrocketing costs of higher degree and the associated maintenance expenditures look prohibitive at first glance, but an education loan comes as a panacea for the commoner who dares to dream big.

Education loans are available in the UK to persons, just starting their university education or to those already enrolled in a course. The lending agencies encourage people to improve their skills by pursuing higher education. While undergoing his chosen course, a person might be bothered by the living costs during that period, to relieve the applicant from this burden; education loans in UK not only provide for the tuition fees and the cost of the university education but also fund the student's maintenance expenditures.

A full-time course is sometimes beyond the reach of many students. They could be preoccupied by their family obligations or a part-time employment, which provides some extra income. Such students can also receive the much-needed financial assistance from the loan agencies in UK. If, for any reason, a student has to extend the duration of his course, the lending agencies step in to fulfill the student's requirement.

Before reaching on any decision, the lending agencies give a thorough consideration to the applicant's monthly income, his monthly household expenses and the place of his residence during the course. An applicant who wants to pursue a course from a university situated in London will be entitled to a greater amount of education loan than the one who attends a university in a relatively smaller city. In the case of an independent adult learner, his income is the main consideration while deciding on the amount of education loan. The amount of education loan given to an applicant, who is living on his family's support, is based on the incomes of his parents or guardians. The lending agencies also check how much value, the professional or university degree will add to the professional competence of the applicant.

To get an education loan in UK, a person has to apply to his Local Education Authority. This process is also available via Internet. Many lenders facilitate online application for the education loans and that too with minimum documentation. The entire process might take a few weeks to complete. It will be appropriate if the person applies to the concerned lender well in advance. The applicant should also take into account the deadlines of applying for the courses and try to synchronize the loan application process with it.

Education loans are the most cost-effective and convenient way of funding any higher education. The interest rate on education loan is equal to the prevailing rate of inflation. The repayment of an education loan does not start immediately. A student can repay the education loan after he has completed his education. The installments have to be sent directly to the lender. The repayment terms for an education loan are quite lenient, and if a person is not able to find employment or his salary is below £10,000, his repayment is suspended until he gets a job and starts earning a higher salary. With an education loan under his belt a person has every chance in this world to achieve the pinnacle of success.

Stress Education And Reservation

Friday, August 29, 2014

Stress at individual and social levels; distorts our cognition, affect and conation (perception, feelings and actions); and leads to amongst many other evils; deterioration of international, national and local education policy and its implementation. The present day non-holistic (sectarian, prejudiced, vindictive, malicious, mercenary, exploitative and malevolent) education (formal, curricular, co curricular, extracurricular and informal) is a major stressor that though aids in petty pursuits; opposes our blossoming and further perpetuates stress and ill effects in the individual and social life. Let us review; the present perspective, policy and practice of education; as seen around.

Even though education is defined in various ways; and often inadequately or incompletely; there has been a general agreement on the fact that education is basically a process of blossoming of an individual and the society. Hence it included three domains, which are as follows.

The first domain is called AFFECTIVE DOMAIN. This means the state of mind. In simple words affective domain relates to how we feel. Thus when our mind is full of alertness, attention, enthusiasm, buoyancy, affection, concern, joy, tolerance, self esteem, mutual respect, mutual trust, commitment, dedication, love, romance, confidence, positive and victorious spirit, we would call it healthy affective domain. In addition; the zeal and concentration needed; in the pursuit of excellence in intellectual field, tenacity and endurance required; in skillful activities and patience and commitment essential; for internally satisfying and socially beneficial (conscientious) actions constitute affective domain. The purpose of education is to nurture this domain by designing suitable curricula and syllabi.

The second domain of education is called PSYCHOMOTOR DOMAIN. This implies ability to appreciate skills and ability to perform physical and mental skills, with speed, accuracy, elegance, ease of performance etc. This may involve appreciation and performance of skills such as surgery, playing a musical instrument, playing basket ball or doing carpentry! The purpose of education is to nurture this domain through not only designing suitable curricula, syllabi but also by providing sufficient practical and demonstration classes; with all the necessary equipments.

The third domain is called COGNITIVE DOMAIN. Cognitive domain incorporates accurate perspective, contemplation, correct perception understanding, conceptualization, analysis and recall of fact and problems, ability to evaluate, synthesize, correlate and make decisions, appropriate policies, plans and expertise in the management, administration, etc.

It is clear that all these domains have three components each viz. Cognition [Perception], affect [Feelings] and conation [Response].

Thus cognitive domain would have intellectual perception, clarity and intellectual expression, affective domain would include feeling, motivation and response in emotional sphere such as poetry; and psychomotor domain would include grasp and internalization of a particular skill, confidence to perform it and actually performing it.

Let us now see, how in spite of these goals; how it has come to be conceived as a process of achieving political, economic, scientific and technological supremacy and thus deteriorated to the present stage; where all the three domains are defective; apart from lacking in the spiritual and productive domains. In short; let us see how it has become a major stressor.

For this; a brief consideration of the traditional education system in India would prove useful.

Traditional Education System in India in general; ensured that:
a] Careers were not selected on the basis of monetary gains,
b] Careers were not selected arbitrarily on the basis of idiosyncrasies and whims,
c] Some lucrative careers could not be sought after; in preference to the others,
d] All careers ensured income and production from early age,
e] All careers ensured that the society was benefited,
f] All careers ensured security to all the social groups,
g] All the careers ensured intimacy and closeness between young and old in the families.
h] All careers ensured ethical education and passage of experience and wisdom; from generation to generation.

These were merits. But it is also true that, the traditional system was apparently marked by deprivation of scholastic education on mass scale, apparently unjustifiable availability of education of jobs based on caste, deficient infrastructure for collective scientific and technological efforts, and an element of arbitrary imposition of hierarchy.

The traditional education system has attained the present status of being a major stressor as a result of several stressful factors including the onslaught of the tempting and impressive individualistic doctrines. Thus the transition from traditional system to the present one (whether due to British, American or any other influence, but basically due to individualistic pursuits); has become a major stressor tearing apart the cohesive social fabric of India by failing to preserve and nurture the merits and discard and dispose off the demerits.

As the education shifted from homes, home industries and farms to; nurseries, K.G. schools, schools, colleges, universities, corporate industries, research institutions etc. the transition became viciously poisonous.

Cognition suffered because of:
a] Huge number of students, in a single class making following three things almost impossible. These things are i] individual attention ii] dialogue iii] discussions,
b] Lack of adequate salary, accountability, incentive and economic security to the teachers taking away the initiative of nurturing cognitive domain
c] Increase in alienation with respect to student's background and aptitude
d] Lack of adequate incentive to the students in the form of creativity, production and earning, service to the family and service to the nation, takes away the motivation required for building up cognitive domain
e] Lack of conviction essential in the growth of cognitive domain in the teachers and students because of outdated practical and demonstration classes, lack of interdisciplinary dialogue and in general the irrelevance of education to the realities of day to day life in as much as almost predictable consecutive unemployment at the end! The lack of conviction could be partly due to lack of participation by teachers in decision-making, policy making, development of curricula, syllabi etc.
f] Emphasis on recall and hence rote learning thereby denying free inquiry, reading, questioning etc. thereby directly thwarting the cognitive domain
g]] Too many examinations; with irrelevant parameters or criteria of evaluation [besides being unfair in many instances] leading to misguided and in most cases counterproductive efforts thus adversely affecting the cognitive domain
h] Competitions where the manipulative skills, callousness, selfishness are given more respect, destroy the enthusiasm of growing in cognitive domain
i] Information explosion affecting cognitive domain by either causing enormous and unnecessary burden on memory or inferiority complex
j] Pressure of interviews causing constant tension and sense of inadequacy, right from the tender age,
k] Protracted hours of homework in schools denying the students their legitimate right to enjoy their childhood and make them physically, mentally and intellectually unfit to grow in cognitive domain
l] Irrelevant and unnecessary information loading in lectures in the form of monologue, leading to suppression of the spontaneity, originality, interest and enthusiasm so much required in cognitive development amongst the students,

Affective domain suffered due to,
A] Isolation of the children from their parents and their domestic environment at an early age [Making the parents also equally sad]
B] Lack of warm bonds due to huge number,
C] Cut throat individualistic and petty competition,
D] Inadequate facilities of sports, trekking, educational tours, recreation and physical development etc
E] Alienation from one's social environment and culture

Psychomotor domain suffered due to
A] Almost total lack of opportunities to actually participate in skillful activities such as drawing, painting, sewing, sculpturing, carpentry, knitting, weaving, music, agriculture, horticulture, other handicrafts, various sports, performing arts etc.

It is important to realize that promotion of psychomotor domain is evident but in its caricature form. It has no concrete economic realistic basis. The activities have no economic incentive and no productive element.

Apart from the defects in the three domains; the other two domains viz. spiritual and productive; have not TOTALLY ABSENT in the education.

The spiritual domain that imparts universal perspective and globally beneficial outlook; incorporates inner blossoming of an individual through introspection, heart to heart communication (not merely discussion and arguments), mutual understanding and blossoming of the teachers and students together; through one of the most universal practices; viz. NAMASMARAN. Thus the spiritual domain is a key to conquer lust, whims, fancies, pride, arrogance, callousness, contempt, ungratefulness, prejudices, jealousy, hatred, meanness, meekness, beggary, cheating, stealing, treachery and so on; is never made available to the teachers, students and the others; associated with education.

The present education system in India lacks the other important domain viz. the productive domain that empowers the people concerned with education. This prevents a huge section of society such as teachers, students, clerks, servants, sweepers and many others such as education inspectors, from being creative and productive. In addition it causes colossal loss of space, electricity, construction cost and so on. In addition because of the typical emphasis on rote learning it leads to phenomenal waste of "educational material" such as paper, bags, pencils, ball pens etc.

It has to be appreciated that billions of rupees are spent on unproductive or rather counterproductive exercise of construction, decoration and maintenance of schools and colleges, electricity, and so called educational material, payment of millions of teachers and other staff members engaged, and exams conducted to test the "capacity and merit of rote learning". This way we weaken the national economy, jeopardize the developmental activities.

It also causes economic loss to everyone involved in education; while suppressing and starving their all three domains nurtured in productive activity. This is a single most important cause of
1] Reduction in the dignity of labor amongst those who continue to learn, as well as reduction in the income of the concerned families and the nation
2] Lack of education, lack of employment and starvation or criminalization amongst those who are forced to drop out because the poor villagers' children normally contribute to the earning of the family.
3] Inhuman suffering of those millions of students dropouts, who somehow manage to get into the hell of cheap child labor for subsistence; due to economic reasons.

In short, present day education system harnesses arrogance and diffidence; amongst those who continue to learn. But their spiritual, cognitive, psychomotor, affective and productive domains are defective. Their spiritual blossoming, self empowerment, creative wisdom, intellectual competence, productive skills, self sufficiency and even physical health are deficient. Thus we have increasing number of unproductive criminals and mental wrecks or highly competitive efficient maniacs pursuing petty goals at the cost of others!

For those who are unable to continue the education; the abyss of being child labor, stealing, delinquency, criminals, perverts, beggars is wide open!

The piecemeal approach or facilitation of petty pursuits (under the guise of development and progress) is not only useless but are in fact counterproductive! It leads to cancerous spread of industries with uncontrolled production of unnecessary utilities and their maddening marketing. These industries consume energy, fuel and add to undisposable waste and pollution. This sickening and stressful atmosphere nurtured by the present education; promotes the growth of terrorism on the one hand; and pretends to act against it (in a counterproductive way) on the other!

Mainstream Education System and the courses and careers in it; revolve around and serve the grossly petty and superficial considerations, motivations and interests and this state of affairs; is strongly protected and strengthened by the elements with similar interests! Hence the present laws, rules and regulations also promote present education and its ill effects.

Some institutions and individuals, for whom we have great respect, are involved in the holistic approach to education (mainstream, formal, informal, curricular, co curricular, extracurricular as well as education of physically and mentally challenged children). But these efforts are too feeble to make a difference to our life.

While piecemeal approaches are failing; there is no adequate awareness and promotion of holistic education, which leaves the vicious cycle of stress distorting education and distorted education creating, aggravating and spreading the stress; to continue unabashedly and unabated.

Hence; the ill effects of stress on present education and vice versa; can be eradicated if we understand and propagate the defects in present education and promote holistic education as an international solution. It has to be appreciated that no statesman, no political leader, no policy maker and no administrator can bring about change in an existing system (in democratic set up); unless, we evolve a consensus about the changes in the majority of people; whose cooperation is very vital.

In short; the policy of holistic education; demands that every school, college, university etc must become the center of production and service, self sufficient and must aid in self sufficiency and blossoming of everyone involved in education and also of the nation.

The students, teachers and others associated with education; must blossom as independent and empowered individuals; spiritually, intellectually, mentally, instinctually, physically and economically.

In practice; everyday; approximately
20 % of the time must be spent in production, service etc.
20 % of the time must be spent in physical activities
20 % of the time must be spent in personality (conceptual and spiritual) development and
20 % of the time must be spent in entertainment
20 % of the time must be spent on cognitive domain

20 % of the time must be spent in production, service etc.

1. The productive domain should be an essential ingredient of education System, but no particular job should be enforced. The teachers and others should participate in the productive domain. Production and service can involve community projects such plantation of medicinal herbs, rearing of cows, home flower gardening, production of chalk sticks, carpentry, pottery, cleanliness, crafts, skills, arts and their sale according to the situations.. Working physically in different ways and earning is not a burden. It is an opportunity to grow from within. It is an opportunity to develop our self esteem. It is an opportunity to become self sufficient.

2. This leads to self sufficiency in schools. They do not have to depend on heavy fees or federal grants or donations and this way they become accessible to all; rendering the reservations redundant!

3. Through productive domain the hypokinetic stress, emotional stress of being dependent and intellectual stress of excessive memorizing is averted.

4. Due to productive domain, the dropping out due to lack of earning (as is common in case of millions of students in many parts of world) and then turning into helpless, vulnerable and cheap child labor would come down.
5. Being empowered, the students would not go through the stress of unemployment and turn into helpless, frustrated mental wrecks or criminals.

6. The emphasis on productive domain (and hence psychomotor and practical aspects) would bring down the necessity and also the capability and possibility to "copy" and associated crimes and corruption in procedures of examinations, certification, providing grants and so on!

The caste based or any other kind of reservation for education, jobs and promotions; responsible for social divide and strife; in many parts of the world; (especially India) can be rendered redundant and thus; peacefully and advantageously done away with, by consensus!

Most importantly; we have to introduce and incorporate examinations, which examine the actual skill, capacity or performance of the student, rather than his/her ability of repeating or reproducing things and/or copying.

20 % of the time must be spent in physical activities

Physical activities can include pranayama, sports, exercise, trekking, hiking, a variety of physical fitness training programs and methods to avoid monotony and improve efficacy. A variety of sports prevalent in every other parts of the world can make the programs more interesting, entertaining thereby promoting global unity.

20 % of the time must be spent in personality (conceptual and spiritual) development and

Personality development includes affective domain, spiritual domain and embodies broadening of perspective through various means such as; NAMASMARAN, by hearting and chanting prayers, poems and songs from different languages and countries thereby promoting global unity, invited guest lectures, seminars, discussions on holistic health, educational tours and visits to places where the student gets exposed to rapid developments in the society such as laboratories, airports, government offices, share market, farms etc.

20 % of the time must be spent in entertainment

Entertainment that enriches the soul; not only should include playing musical instruments, dance, painting, mimicry, singing, story telling, drama, movie etc. but everything that nurtures the affective domain and spiritual domain as well.

20 % of the time must be spent on cognitive domain

Development of cognitive domain can include teaching of languages, history, geography, mathematics etc with utmost emphasis on interpretation and relevance in day to day life. Thus typical irrelevant questions in the examination of history, languages, mathematics; should be totally done away with. The subject such as economics, psychology, civics, philosophy, logic, sociology etc must include field work and made relevant to the present society.

We must encourage maximum and daily person to person interaction and dialogue amongst the teachers and students; so that analytical, synthetic, contemplative, decision making, trouble shooting and problem solving capacities are developed optimally.

Let us realize the fact that the vicious cycle of stress distorting education and distorted education causing and multiplying stress e.g. in the form of RESERVATION POLICY and its ILL EFFECTS; in individual and social life; can NOT be managed effectively unless and until; a situation where millions are "imprisoned" in unproductive work and millions are forced into unemployment and inhuman cheap child labor; is eradicated through holistic education policy and its implementation; at international, national and local levels; through the laws, government rules and public awareness, consensus and participation.

The details of practical steps can be developed by interactions amongst the people active in the field of education all over the world. But we all need;

1, Perspective and conviction of Global Unity and global welfare
2. Readiness to accept and introduce physiological insights and principles in the holistic education
3. Readiness and openness to have dialogue with experts in other fields
4. Participation from the society and governments and the media including internet websites, so that holistic education activists all over the world can have a meaningful dialogue and share views, work and experiences and may be, inspire others!
5. Administrative proficiency and due care and concern for the physical capacities of the children (normal as well as the physically and mentally challenged) and should not be painful and troublesome.
7. The opportunities for psychomotor activities and productive activities; without impositions.
8. Every kind of open mindedness and tolerance amongst teachers and students; so that better international relations can be realized.

The physical, instinctual, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and economic empowerment and blossoming; of all those involved in holistic education is integral to Total Stress Management (the core of which is NAMASMARAN); i.e. individual and global blossoming; culminating into global unity, harmony and justice.

Can NAMASMARAN be useful in this? To find out that; we must find out what is NAMASMARAN!

Namasmaran usually embodies; remembering the name of God, Guru, great souls; such as prophets and whatever is considered as holy e.g. planets and stars. It is remembered silently, loudly, along with music, dance, along with breathing, in group or alone. Further, NAMASMARAN is either counted by some means such as fingers, rosary (called SMARANI or JAPAMALA), or electronic counter; or practiced without counting. The traditions vary from region to region and from religion to religion.

However the universal principle underlying
NAMASMARAN is to reorient our physiological and social being; with our true self and establish and strengthen the bond between; our physiological and social being; with our true self; and finally reunification or merger with our true self!

Since individual consciousness is the culmination of every activity in life; and NAMASMARAN the pinnacle of or culmination of individual consciousness; NAMASMARAN is actually opening the final common pathway to objective or cosmic consciousness; so that individual consciousness in every possible activity gets funneled into or unified with Him!

Thus NAMASMARAN is in fact the YOGA of YOGA in the sense that it is the culmination of consciousness associated with every possible procedure and technique in the yoga that we are familiar with. It is the
YOGA of YOGA because it is the culmination of consciousness associated with all the activities in the universe, which it encompasses as well! It is YOGA of YOGA because everybody in the world irrespective of his/her tradition and the beliefs; would eventually, ultimately and naturally reach it; in the process of liberation. Even so called non believers also would not "miss" the "benefit of NAMASMARAN as they may remember true self through one symbol or another"!

Just as NAMASMARAN is YOGA of YOGA it is meditation of meditation also! This is because the natural and ultimate climax of every form of meditation; is remembering true self or merging with cosmic consciousness effortlessly!

These facts however have to be realized with persistent practice of NAMSMARAN and not blindly believed or blindly disbelieved with casual approach!

In short NAMSMARAN is super-bounty of cosmic consciousness for every individual to realize it (cosmic consciousness)! This is truly a super-bounty because a person, who experiences it, rises above mercenary, commercial and even professional and charity planes and manifest super- transactions in his or her life!

These are just few observations to give rough idea about what is NAMASMARAN. NAMASMARAN is an ocean of bliss. Its true meaning is beyond description in words and has to b experienced, not by one or few person sporadically; but most preferably, by billions!

The last point is; NAMASMARAN would certainly enlighten, empower and enable some people; out of those billions practicing NAMASMARAN; to evolve, guide and consolidate the global conscience and thereby manifest global unity and harmony and justice, through globally benevolent proper policies!

Online Degrees in Education

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Education is very extensive field and provides you several diverse opportunities. Degree holders or teachers can concentrate on early, middle or secondary students. They can also work in administrative positions. Professionals can also specialize in designing teaching material, adult education or they can also get training as an administrative specialist such as principal or vice principal.

Goals of Earning Online Degrees in Education

Teaching is considered as very easy going profession. But if you really want to become a good teacher you must have multiple skill and expertise like ability of handling students, strong communication skills and talent to convince, motivate and train. After earning any online degree in education from top accredited online university or college you will be able to train students to resolve the problems. If you start your career as elementary teacher you will teach all subjects of basic level. But on secondary level you will teach subjects of your area of specialization. Higher level online degrees in education enable you for higher education positions such as community colleges, vocational schools and universities.

Online Degrees in Education

Several online degrees from associates to doctorate levels are available. Many top accredited online universities and top accredited online colleges offer online degrees in education. Following are the online degrees available.

o Associates Degree in Education
o Bachelors Degree in Education
o Masters Degree in Education
o Ph.D. Education Degree
o Degree in Early Childhood Education
o Master Degree in Education Administration

Online Associates in Education

Online Associates Degree in Education is ideal for working individual to make a career move. It is very beneficial because it is very focused and practical without vast time obligation of bachelor's degree. You will focus on a general education courses that include sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. After earning associates level degree your potential career paths incorporate teaching in a Head Start program, Elementary school Para professional and teacher assistant. Associates degree is considered as initial level online degree in education.

Online Bachelors Degree in Education

Online Bachelors Degree in Education provides you option to become certified K-6 Teacher. You will get thorough knowledge of K-6 elementary teacher certification, advanced educational studies, human recourse development, corporate training and higher education. You can select any specific subject of your interest. You will be able to help young students to develop skills and acquiring knowledge. After earning online bachelors you can work as elementary/high school teacher, counselor, course developer, researcher and college professor.

Online Masters Degree in Education

Online Masters in education enables you to join better paying administrative jobs. Masters degree gives you the chance to become certified professional after bachelor. MAT or MIT and M.Ed. are the common master degrees available in education. You can continue to work as teacher or choose to work as principal or assistant principal. This degree provides opportunity to professionals to earn degree with job. You can earn this online degree in education to advance your career. Following are some master's concentrations available

o Administration and supervision
o Adult education
o Distance learning
o Special education
o Curriculum and technology

Online Ph.D. Education Degree

Online Ph.D. degree is the highest level online degree in education. It is suitable for passionate professional wishes to gain higher grade job. It is basically for individuals already had teaching experience. After earning online masters degree you can teach as professor at university. You will also able to conduct research and apply what you learnt. You can specialize in elementary and secondary education, special education, adult education and higher education.

Online Degree in Early Childhood Education

Online degree in early childhood education is also an important online degree in education. After earning this degree you will be able to work with children below the typical school age between 3 and 5. Course work includes child psychology, parenting and early learning strategies.

Professional finds job in elementary or pre-schools. Early Childhood Education professionals effectively train young children during critical time in which formative learning, skill building and social growth takes place. Children who gain proper training at this stage of life can effectively find their way through the academic and social rigors that every student will have to face later in life. That's why schools, families and government spend considerable money on early childhood education.

Online Master in Education Administration

Online Master in Education Administration is a unique online degree in education. It is designed for education professionals who have keen interest in administration issues. Course work includes education finance, school law, duties of principal, community relation and supervision of personnel. Degree needs internship experiences in school administration at administrative and principal level. Plenty of jobs are available in educational administration. Educational administrators can work on variety of jobs ranging from day care administrator to college president or school principal. Administrators have good communication skills and able to prepare budgets, supervise student's progress, manage everyday operations, fund raise, designing policies and standards and command institute to maintain the state and national standards.

When Interactive Media Induces Future Shock

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It is not easy to stay abreast of all that is possible using interactive marketing. Indeed there is a delicate balance between using a 'state-of-the-art' or 'cutting-edge' technology and actually having the customer embrace it. Even if they do adopt the idea, there are no guarantees that a futuristic initiative will be profitable.

Consider some of the pioneers of mobile phone marketing. They were creating wonderful solutions as much as five years ago, but the timing was not right. They were ahead of their time, ahead of the trend wave. Whilst they may have had the industry rags talking and quoting, the customers themselves were not ready to adopt the concept and the ideas became (at that time) economically unviable.

However in 2006 the same mobile phone applications and capabilities are all the rage. Some analysts are actually predicting that customers are now waning in their interest in using multimedia mobile applications and the game is over [This is probably not true, as when Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943 said "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."]

Surfing a wave is a tricky business. It is all about timing. If you are ahead of the wave it may end up crashing down on top of you or wiping you out. If you are behind the wave you will have to paddle twice as hard as everyone else to get to the same place, and even then there is a chance you will lose momentum and not be able to capitalise on the opportunity. Of course, if you can look at all the signs and make an educated decision about when to join in on the foray, you can enjoy the ride all the way to the shore with relatively little effort.

This rather simplistic anecdote illustrates the principal of the market's threshold for adoption, or willingness to uptake on a concept that was previously unfamiliar to them.

In the last century the 'technological advancement waves' have become bigger, faster, and with fewer intervals in between each. Especially when we consider that around 100 years ago people used horses and carts to travel.

Future-shock' is a concept devised by Alvin Toffler and propagated by the great Richard Feynman. They described prophetically in the 1970's that a time would come when people would no longer have their broken products repaired, they would simply replace them (think toaster, hairdryer etc). Feynman also predicted that one day the rise in technological advancement would so far surpass the ability of the ordinary consumer to adopt and accept these technologies that they would become paralysed with anxiety. They would not want to buy anything, because they knew that it was already out-of-date the moment they took it out of the shop (think computers).

One day, he predicted, there will be a kind of 'future-shock' where the possibilities of the future overwhelm the people in the present.

Many executives have a great number of years experience, business acumen and a wealth of knowledge and yet are now also feeling this 'future shock'. Perhaps we have all felt the 'future-shock' to some extent. It could be that the only notable exceptions are the youngest generation that are seemingly born with a 'gaming console' in their hands, or the innovation-hungry futurists who make a living by spouting about future possibilities.

The implication of this 'Future Shock' in the real business world is that the executive boardroom is increasingly unable to make appropriate strategic decisions that may steer the organisation through such uncharted waters as IPTV, viral marketing, social networking, PPC, RSS, Blogs, Vlogs and Podcasts to name but a few.

On the one hand these leaders are desperate to maintain calm and gain a competitive edge, whilst on the other they are petrified as to how they can possibly assimilate all the new jargon and user skills that 'tech-savvy' consumers are now all too familiar with. The most astute executives are finding specialist advisors to head up their 'emerging media' or 'integrated marketing' campaigns. Even Rupert Murdoch, the grand newspaperman of NewsCorp, can thank his son who has led him and educated him in the possibilities of businesses such as MySpace.

Indeed, it is often ironically retired individuals or stay-at-home parents, no longer busy captaining a company or punching in their timecards, who are finding the time to actually use the newest breed of "web 2.0" applications.

Consider "Geriatric1927", a retired gentleman who shot to fame by creating a YouTube video channel of his own rambling monologues. His notoriety was splashed all over the press, and many web users simply 'had to get their fix' of the latest episode.

It is this sort of unpredictable grass-roots activity that has caught so many strategic or traditional thinkers off guard. There is no immediate training available, no aged experts, no guaranteed results...just many a 'quick-fix' book or online article full of all too pompous 'post-success' hindsight.

In spite of all this, some of the more adventurous company directors are calling in everyone and anyone that can help them to raise the awareness of the company's executive team, to workshop through and develop a carefully considered brand interactive strategy that might exploit these new forms of customer interaction. Rather than looking to imitate someone else's success, they are planning how they themselves might be the pioneers of the next movement or trend.

This takes risk, planning, and sometimes compromise of the long-standing corporate directives and values that would in the past offer some semblance of security and stability.

Now it is truly anyone's game. It is no longer about who has the biggest media spend in television or film. Indeed many customers are now less influenced by advertising than ever before. No, it is the really innovative companies that are gaining market share...and quickly. They are developing their own brand interactive strategy, and seeing their organisational culture change through its implementation.

Unquestionably, those who do take the chance are reaping the rewards. Rewards in the form of publicity, brand awareness, additional sales, brand loyalty, respect...but most importantly of all return on investment and increased profitability.

Therefore any initiative that a company undertakes needs to be sensitive to both the customer's and the organisation's threshold for technology adoption.

In this way 'future shock' can be avoided, but let that not stop a brand from catching the 'waves' of innovation.

Methodologies of Online Education

Sunday, August 24, 2014

There were many myths and misconceived notions about online education until recent past. Some people believed that online learning is a good option only for students who have a good track record. It was also believed that only those students having access to computers and modern means of communication would benefit from online education. However, with time such notions are giving way to an open acceptance where people have started accepting online education as a viable alterative for conventional education.

Not all online education options have a similar methodology and approach. There are various modes of online education available and it would be better if you have an understanding of different methodologies in use by online education providers so that you can select the course with the methodology that suits you the best. Here we are discussing the learning methodologies for online education:

Online Education Methodologies- Different Options

Live: This methodology is also known as synchronous mode of learning. In this mode of online education, there is instant communication between the students and teachers and at times even among different students. Herein all the participants get access to information simultaneously. Virtual classroom using the facility of video or audio conferencing and real-time chat are some examples of this mode of online education.

This learning methodology has its advantages and disadvantages. This mode is more akin to the conventional education except for the fact that the students don't have to travel to the classrooms. The biggest advantage of synchronous method of online education is that it allows instant feedback for the student's performance and allows active interaction among the students and teachers. Thus the students can get the training and education that is tailored suit their needs. Moreover, live education also facilitates the setting up of learning communities and groups for a better interaction among the learners.

This method has the disadvantage that the students cannot plan their schedule and they are bound by the pre-set schedule.

Asynchronous: Asynchronous mode of online education is popularly termed as store and forward education. In this method, the communication between the student and teacher is not instant. Self-paced courses are the examples of asynchronous online education where the students communicate with the teachers and amongst themselves by exchanging emails and posting messages on online bulletin boards and discussing groups. This is the more popular mode of online education because it offers more convenience and flexibility to the students and they can decide the pace and schedule for their education and training.

Despite of the advantages, this mode of online education has its disadvantages too. The students in this mode of learning, lack discipline and motivation and generally tend to develop a lackluster attitude towards education.

The mixed mode of learning in online education combines the advantages of both the modes and it is a combination of personal lectures or face-to-face interaction learning through online activities.

Now that you have a better understanding of different methodologies of online education, you can pick up the right one for you and enhance your skills.

Career in a Special Education Program

Friday, August 22, 2014

In the last few years the requirement for qualified educators has boomed rapidly. In fact, with the rise in education standards and the number of educational institutes and schools, the education industry expects to look for more qualified educators in the coming years. Today, we cannot deny the fact that education is an extremely rewarding career field but currently it demands more qualified teachers to educate children at the elementary school or college level.

Looking at the present scenario, educators or teachers require special skills that can be nurtured through intensive training. Addressing to meet this demand, special education degrees have increased its popularity in recent years. So, if you are already involved in this teaching profession and wish to advance your career in the education leadership, a special teaching degree is a necessity.

Today where teaching is considered as a highly noble profession, attaining a degree in special education can enhance your teaching career. A special education program can even help you learn special skills including understanding diversity, teaching reading literacy, counseling and special education. During this course, you will receive training and educational information that educates you how to translate the knowledge to the students. Once you complete this special teaching program, you will be able to make decisions and take a stand on political issues that affect education and learning.

Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. This special education course provides you with one of the most convenient ways to gain higher income and greater career opportunities in the field of education. Today, in fact many of the employed teaching professionals looking to advance their career to leadership roles like principal or dean are considering attaining a degree in special education.

There are lots of institutions and schools that offer degree programs in special teaching. They can vary from student behavior management, institutionalized learning methods, student-teacher supervision, specific areas and solutions for effective child education and more.

The acquisition on an online degree in special education can aid you in acquiring better career opportunities and going for well-paying jobs. But before enrolling in a college or university, make sure that it is accredited. If you can, try to get feedback from individuals who have completed the program.

Free Educational Software

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Free educational software is everywhere - you just have to look harder to find those that are good quality.

Free educational software on the Internet. If you have kids who are becoming more and more computer literate, its time you helped them download free educational software that they can use without your supervision. Devote an afternoon to downloading, because choosing from among the many freeware can get quite time-consuming. Also, involve your kids in choosing as much as possible. They will only use the educational software if they find it interesting.

Free educational software on the Internet comes in many forms, and the most common ones are games. Be careful to download only those that are nonviolent and constructive. You can also download free educational activities like counting and spelling freeware. Your kids will surely love them and have fun while learning.

Remember that some free educational software is not really free -just free trial versions that are designed to work for a limited time only. This is still a good deal, as you can try out the software and decide if you really like it before spending money.

Free educational software from hardware. The manufacturer of educational computer-based toys you buy will usually throw in free educational software that upgrades ones built-in to the toy. This is a great deal! The toy grows as your child's mental development grows. Free educational software of this kind is usually age-based - there are special editions for younger kids and more comprehensive versions for older ones.

Remember that as with any purchase, you need to use good judgment before installing free educational software. Be sure to read all the instructions, agreements and other important information before using the software.

Educational DVDs - Still Good For Science Lessons

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I recently read an article about "Eureka" moments during science lessons. We strive as teachers to create lessons that lead to "Eureka", (I always call them "a-ha"), moments for our students. Technology has kind of overwhelmed the discussion on the Internet, in IT departments and at district budget meetings. But we can still use our tried and true educational resources in the form of VHS and DVD programs. VHS and DVD were cutting edge technology, once upon a time, and it was their implementation into the classroom that led to the development of teaching techniques that maximized the efficacy of video imagery in lessons. Until all classrooms are equipped with modern systems, let's not forget that we still have instructional materials to help teachers create more effective elementary lesson plans.

Technology has made "Eureka!" moments much more possible and I appreciated the overall intent of the article, I just couldn't stop thinking to myself that if most schools' technology committees decided to provide classes with twenty laptops, then we would have many more of these "Eureka" moments. But the stark reality is that in smaller, poorly funded school districts, the implementation of computer technology in every classroom is still a ways off.

So, how does a teacher faced with limitations in new classroom technology provide equally satisfying "Eureka" moments for students, especially in science?-By continuing to use educational videos and educational DVDs that provide visual and auditory support for science concepts and modeling for scientific processes being taught in science lessons. Most teachers are familiar with VHS and DVD because they have been in the classroom a lot longer. Not only are there still large video libraries at schools, school districts and regional media centers, VHS and DVD still remains an affordable resource. Computers and the networks required to support them are much more costly and more relegated to the world of the IT department.

Educational science programs can do two primary things:

1. They can present images to give students a "picture" of the term or concept being discussed in the lesson.

2. They can show a scientific process to help students understand the nature of scientific inquiry and the modeling of sequential processes for experiments and data collection.

Educational programs help teachers provide context in a classroom for the complex needs in meeting the objectives of a science lesson. Visual images and auditory examples of terms and explanations help students build their understanding of a science concept. There are many facets of a science lesson. Video should be used as a component to meet the lesson objective in addition to text, direct instruction and science experiment processes.

The most valuable and affordable resource for enhancing your classroom lessons is still educational DVDs and videos. So make sure you're using video the right way and see immediate benefits in your students' engagement, retention and test performance by checking out the Free Video and Expert Guide of "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make Using Video in the Classroom."

How Interactive Whiteboards Can Be Useful in the Educational Environment

Saturday, August 16, 2014

There has been an increased usage of whiteboards in schools, universities and institutions around the world. And it has been proven to be useful for both teaching and learning in variable ways, such as stimulating the enthusiasm of teachers and students for lessons, more efficient interaction in classes, increasing teachers' overall productivity and students' attainment.

What can teachers do with the whiteboard.

Preparing interesting materials with more flexibility.

The interactive whiteboard supports most multi-media materials, such as images, texts, audio and video documents from various input devices, including desktops, laptops, DVD players, USB drives etc. With this flexibility of the interactive whiteboard, teachers are not restricted to paper documents, cards and chalk in traditional education settings, but can create more interesting teaching materials to suit different needs from the students.

Showcasing lessons with high efficiency and more convenience.

The interactive whiteboard in the classroom is basically like a traditional whiteboard digitally with touch function for showcasing lessons, but its exceptionally large size, which makes it much more different from previous boards that are impossible to reach every student in a classroom. The display surface is large enough for everyone. It improves teachers' efficiency and teaching convenience. Besides, teachers can also use the interactive whiteboard freely at the front of the classroom, with no need to be tied to the computer.

Annotating on teaching materials in different ways.

In addition to helping presentation in the teaching process, the whiteboard also makes interaction between teachers and students easier with more diverse and effective teaching documents. The teachers can stress the particular parts by underlining, circling and annotating with digital ink of different colors to improve students understanding of the lessons. Erasing or saving the remarks and annotations is also possible, so that the teachers can preserve their documents in the way they need.

What can students do with the whiteboard.

More possibilities of interaction.

With the interactive whiteboard in front of the classroom, students can also have chances to manipulate the texts and images on the screen like the teachers. Students are really engaged in the interaction with multi-media resources when they touch and move the multi-media resources with pens and their own hands. Through this interaction, students focus on the lessons better according to more participations and gain a deeper understanding of them.

More chances of presentation.

Teachers are able to shorten the time they need for presenting knowledge and analyzing concepts, which in turn saves more time for students to ask questions and do presentations. The interactive whiteboard supports nearly all kinds of input signals, which encourages students to make use of it more often, as they can show videos and PPTs on to the whole class and make annotations during the presentation and discussion.

More retention for review.

Any annotation or remark made on the interactive whiteboard can be saved and retained for later review. In this way, students do not have to worry about note-taking in short time in class as retained materials that can be e-mailed to them or printed out. Reviewing the materials can help with the retention of course information and gives students a better understanding of knowledge that needs to be acquired.

How the interactive whiteboard is useful to teachers.

Motivating teachers.

On one hand, in order to catch up with the latest technology and teaching method, teachers have to learn computer skills and other skills needed for their teaching career. As a result, they are motivated to acquire the knowledge to use devices integrated with new technologies, the interactive whiteboard included. On the other hand, when teachers see students take an active part in interaction with the learning materials displayed on the screen, they are also stimulated to interact with students more and make their teaching more lively and fruitful.

Non-restricted preparation.
The whiteboard serves is a platform for presentation and interaction, which saves teachers the trouble of preparing teaching cards, setting the projector, writing with marking pens or chalk, etc. From these traditionally tiresome preparing jobs, teachers can select and process resources from a wider range of textual, graphical, audio and video materials. What's more, as long as the teachers use the function of retaining the materials and annotations, they can just make adjustments over the materials or get inspiration next lesson plans.

Better lesson organization.

While employing digital materials, it gives the students a better understanding on knowledge as well as teachers' overall productivity. For example, mathematics concepts, such as geometry, are better demonstrated through visually and the hands-on work with graphs on the screen.

How the whiteboard is useful to students.

Stimulating enthusiasm.

Due to the fact that learning activity is a type of social behavior, interaction with learning materials and other learners always trigger students' enthusiasm for studying. The diversity of learning resources, the possibility of manipulating them with hands, the chance of watching peer's presentation with the latest technology and other factors all contribute to the increasing engagement in the class. Furthermore, this enthusiasm and motivation also helps students focus more during class time, potentially resulting in better school achievements. It has also been discovered that students with short span of attention can concentrate better and for a longer time when materials are shown on a big interactive screen.

Catering to students with impediments.

Interactive whiteboards support different teaching and learning styles, including those catering to visual and hearing impediments. Visually impaired students will benefit from the extremely large size of the interactive whiteboard for a clear and precise image can be delivered to anyone in a classroom. They can view the materials and interact with a large interactive whiteboard in ways that would never be possible on small computer screens. Deaf, or hearing-impaired students who mainly rely on visual learning will also find learning with the interactive whiteboard is easier, more convenient, and more efficient, since visual material together with the use of sign language do help students to read, to learn, to interactive and to understand.

Conclusion

The interactive whiteboard can be used by both teachers and students in educational environments in different ways. Teachers can prepare course materials and organize lessons in more logically and flexibly, and at the same time, students are able to get more access to interaction with multi-media learning materials on large-sized interactive whiteboards. These all helps improve the teachers' over productivity and the students' learning effects, which suggests an irresistible trend of using interactive whiteboards in educational settings.

Top Careers With an Education Degree

Friday, August 15, 2014

If we carefully observe the present scenario, the job market in the education industry has opened up tremendously. Many new professions have emerged in this industry in the last few years. In fact, with the expansion of industry many new positions have also emerged and gained more attention. The persona of education industry is totally different from what it used to be few years back. Today earning an education degree can mean a lot and may even let you some of the prestigious positions in any school or educational organization. It provides you with ample of options to apply to a range of careers that not just involve or limited to teaching, but to school or college administration level as well. So if you are actually giving a very serious thought or looking forward to earning an education degree and be the part of the one of the largest industries in the United States, here are some of the top career options that are in great demand and you must choose-

Early Childhood Education Teacher-
Earning an early childhood education degree can help you enjoy great and stress-free career. As an individual with early childhood degree, you can search for great careers as faculty for different children schools. Adding to this, the biggest benefit that this career offers is an enjoyable working setting, which in turn can make your working place a next home. Today if we look at the job prospects for an early childhood education degree holder then it is not just restricted to kid's schools. Being a degree holder of early childhood education, you can even enjoy your job profile at various day care centers or child oriented Head Start programs as well.

Elementary School Education Teacher-
Today an elementary education tutor is one of the most rewarding careers in the education industry. It is one of the most exciting careers where you can spend your days with children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The greatest reward that you can enjoy in this profession is that you can work at any elementary school and may play a major role in molding or developing the minds of those young students who make up the world's future. Dedicated towards providing education to the new generation of students, and working as a teacher you actually enjoy a career with a real impact.

Adult Education Tutor-
A career in adult education tutor primarily consists of coursework that majorly involves adult development and adult psychology. Earning a degree in adult education enables you work as an adult education tutor and your role may extremely revolve around teaching or training of adults. As a tutor, you may require to educate or work with adults in corporate settings, classrooms or on an individual basis. However, it is important to note that in order to enjoy a career in adult education, you must have a love for teaching and strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Corporate Trainer -
Corporate training is one of the few careers that primarily deal with the delivery of learning that basically aims to develop performance within the organization. Earning a corporate education degree can help you make your presence as a corporate trainer and work as a consultant, in order to provide expertise in critical areas. The career outlook in this field seems to be very promising as many Americans and specially working professionals are choosing to further their education in corporate training.

Special Education Teacher-
Today where teaching is considered to be a very highly noble profession, attaining a degree in special education can help you enjoy an all together a different career. Earning a degree in special education helps you establish your career as a special education tutor where your job responsibilities may revolve around providing specifically designed instruction to children with disabilities. You may require developing study materials that can match the special needs of each disabled student. Today it is one of the few career options that also provide you one of the most convenient ways to gain higher income and greater growth opportunities in the field of education.

Secondary Education Teacher-
It is yet another most renowned career that can let you enjoy a very rewarding experience. Working as a secondary school teacher, your key role may include teaching one or more subjects to teenagers and young adults in middle school or high school. At times, you may even require serving as a counselor or role model and help students to be successful in a career and life-long learning.

These are some of the most important career options that you can choose with an education degree. Today the job outlook for individuals with education degrees is definitely bright and in the next few years it is going to gain more recognition. Throughout the nation, every private and public school at the secondary and elementary level are in need of great teachers. Adding to this, many adults are also turning towards continuing education as a next better and feasible way to enhance their lives and advance their careers.

Chromebox and Chromebase - definite contenders for desktop replacements

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Chrome

I'm currently testing out the LG Chromebase and Asus Chromebox for potential use in our district (and for me at home). So far, I'm very impressed. They setup and work like a Chromebook, have very fast performance but offer the experience of a desktop with large screens and full keyboards and mice. The specs are in the links below.

I'm thinking about the Asus Chromebox as a desktop replacement for student desktops. They already have newer flat screen monitors and keyboards and mice, but older desktops. It's just a matter of swapping out the "box". Since we have over 11,000 Chromebooks being used, this makes sense. It would take a lot of load off of my techs, and provide a great experience for users. 

The libraries, a few computer labs, and desktops in the lower grade classes are the target. 

The Chromebase is a all-in-one monitor/cpu that comes with a keyboard laid out like the Chromebook with the special keys, and a mouse. The Chromebox is just the box, with a mounting bracket. It also has a notebook lock slot to help prevent "walking".

I'm using both as my main computer and it's great - performance and experience of a desktop, with the speed and ease of a Chromebook.







 LG Chromebase: http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html#lg-chromebase
~$349


Asus Chromebox: http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html#asus-chromebox
$179


Google for Education Resources










Geddit - web based student response system


Application 

Geddit is a free, web based student response system, available on any device, that allows teachers to quickly gauge student understanding. Students use the app and indicate their level of understanding on a 1-5 scale. This formative assessment lets teachers know if they can move on or not. Feedback is private and real time. You can also use multiple choice and short answer assessments.

There is a Chrome app also for Chromebooks, as well as it being web-based.

Do students understand

Check understanding


It was designed, and used, by a teacher and it is easy to sign up and use. You create an account with Geddit and your students create an account with Geddit. They can use their Google account, which makes it easy for GAFE schools. Then the teacher shares the class code with them and off you go.

The site has great getting started and help resources too, including classroom posters to help your students. 



Online Education and K-12 Students

How do we gain finest knowledge? Any educator will let you know that straight practice is the best teacher. Repeatedly, classroom educators will perform research and demonstration or have the learners observe or take part in a number of experimental actions. A good educator is a catalyst who permits the learners in the classroom setting to combine thoughts and explore. These days, the classroom educators have something else that has been located in the classroom that will permit students to perform same tasks as in the earlier period. This tool is called hypermedia.

A major illustration of influential hypermedia is the worldwide web, which gives more stuff than at the moment exists at most schools' or media centers. As teachers, we know that learners study best when they are greatly motivated. Keen inspiration creates a touching constituent that raises retention and increases the quantity of time the student is involved with the learning material.

In 1956 Benjamin Bloom developed the taxonomy for the cognitive domain of learning or a linear progression through knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis to evaluation. This is what we have come to know as Bloom's Taxonomy. The classroom educators concentrate on lecturing to the cognitive levels of awareness and command as building a base for critical thinking, and there are some teachers who work at the application level. The higher levels of the domain (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) are now coming to the forefront are we teach how to think and not what to think. This move towards critical and conceptual thinking is to be applauded. However, distance learning is no further along than the classroom in supporting high level cognitive skills development. Much of distance learning appears to be geared to focus on knowledge and comprehension, which works well with procedural and technical training (Notar, Wilson, & Montgomery). The classroom teacher is taught very early in their career and in the schooling experience the process needed for learning to take place in the traditional classroom. The distance learning educator, too, must know the system and process of distance learning learning. In order for the teachers to be comfortable with distance learning, they must first be comfortable with computers. Teachers often feel uncomfortable using computers and are unaware of the teaching and learning that computers and the internet are able to support.

While deficiency of specialized growth opportunities is often report in terms of quantity, quality also appears to be a significant issue. Traditional classroom type setting training sessions without follow up support have not been effective in preparing teachers to integrate classroom technologies. Fairly, solicitous and ongoing specialized expansion programs are required. The distance learner formula for cognitive learning is: objectives + learning process + relationship to instructional media=cognitive learning. This similar method has been utilized in learning from the start of organized coaching. All types of instructions require dialogue. Learning is sharing.

Most education takes place in contact between learners and educators and amid students themselves. Distance learning and many tools that come with it are going to be substantial and life changing. The way in which teachers teach has not changed. Instructors must still understand and quantify what they are going to teach, ensure that students' needs are being met, and choose methods which will enable learning to take place, regardless of location. The learning atmosphere and delivery styles will carry on to transform. The benefits of online education include but are not limited to the flexibility to meet specific needs, providing equity of educational opportunity to students in various locations, low cost alternatives, new learning experiences, and expanded resources. Some of the disadvantages of distance learning include sound and video that may be less than broadcast quality, reliance on learner initiative to work in a situation with less supervision than a classroom, the need for technical skills to work with the delivery technology, and the possibility of social isolation. Distance acquisition of knowledge is often an expensive and time consuming process to start and especially to maintain. It is significant to identify whether it in fact improves student presentation. It is also critically important to know which distance learning education delivery methods and techniques are more effective, so students get the maximum benefit from the society's investment in distance learning technology.

Online education can be likely to outcome in attainment at least comparable to traditional teaching in most academic circumstances. More importantly, when implemented with the same care as effective face to face instruction, online education programs can be used to complement, enhance, and expand education options for students, at least at intermediate, middle, and upper grade levels.

Career in a Special Education Program

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In the last few years the requirement for qualified educators has boomed rapidly. In fact, with the rise in education standards and the number of educational institutes and schools, the education industry expects to look for more qualified educators in the coming years. Today, we cannot deny the fact that education is an extremely rewarding career field but currently it demands more qualified teachers to educate children at the elementary school or college level.

Looking at the present scenario, educators or teachers require special skills that can be nurtured through intensive training. Addressing to meet this demand, special education degrees have increased its popularity in recent years. So, if you are already involved in this teaching profession and wish to advance your career in the education leadership, a special teaching degree is a necessity.

Today where teaching is considered as a highly noble profession, attaining a degree in special education can enhance your teaching career. A special education program can even help you learn special skills including understanding diversity, teaching reading literacy, counseling and special education. During this course, you will receive training and educational information that educates you how to translate the knowledge to the students. Once you complete this special teaching program, you will be able to make decisions and take a stand on political issues that affect education and learning.

Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. This special education course provides you with one of the most convenient ways to gain higher income and greater career opportunities in the field of education. Today, in fact many of the employed teaching professionals looking to advance their career to leadership roles like principal or dean are considering attaining a degree in special education.

There are lots of institutions and schools that offer degree programs in special teaching. They can vary from student behavior management, institutionalized learning methods, student-teacher supervision, specific areas and solutions for effective child education and more.

The acquisition on an online degree in special education can aid you in acquiring better career opportunities and going for well-paying jobs. But before enrolling in a college or university, make sure that it is accredited. If you can, try to get feedback from individuals who have completed the program.

Benefits of Online Education - Leverage the Potential

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Considering the pace at which everybody's life is running, constructing one's daily schedule in the most time-effective way is the key to success. 'Time factor' is the most important nowadays. This explains the increasing significance of online education. Given below are some of the most important advantages that online education offers, which you may consider in case you are looking out for options to pursue higher education.

Accessibility: Many of us have spent considerable amount of time in our life traveling to our schools and colleges. While commuting for such long distances, we have hoped if there were home-based alternatives for education. Ours hopes have become a reality now. The younger generation has access to online education, which ensures that they put in all their energy in the studies instead of traveling long distances for attendance.

Convenience and Flexibility: Online education offers the students a flexibility of accessing educational classes online conveniently, irrespective of where they are put up. The concept of online education has overcome the barrier of time thereby allowing the students to access lectures pertaining to various subjects from anywhere and at anytime. This gives the students an opportunity to prioritize their schedule and execute tasks accordingly.

Most students prefer online education because it eliminates the necessity of them going away from their parents to pursue their goal. With online education, all you need to succeed in your courses is installation of contemporary communications equipment and motivation to succeed.

Interaction: Online education provides the student an opportunity for meaningful interaction at a higher level with their instructors and the fellow students. The online courses are designed in such a way that every individual has an opportunity to contribute to the discussions related to a subject and comment on others' thoughts. This helps in the creation of an environment marked by freely flowing dialogue delivery that virtually becomes a major element of learning.

Individualized Instruction: Online education gives the students an opportunity of working independently so that they can focus on specific topics of their personal interest, which accelerates the process of assignment submission. Moreover, the course materials for online studies are available in various forms to accommodate your unique way of learning. Online education thus gives you the scope of learning at your pace without any intervention.

Readily Available vast Resources: Online education is technological in nature and hence gives access to vast valuable recourses for studies readily and in a very cost-effective way. There are various ways that can stimulate your learning process - you can visit internet links that land you in different related websites to get as much information on a particular subject; you can also visit internet databases, libraries, listservs, agencies, museums, associations, archives, and much more to garner your skills.

Top Strategies for Your Social Media Resume

Monday, August 11, 2014

A social media resume can be an extremely valuable tool because it pulls employers to you instead of forcing you to push your resume to them. That said, there are some caveats to bear in mind before you go this route.

A social media resume is best for a candidate who has a very clear and relatively narrow "brand." If your education and experiences scream out that you are a great market researcher (or business analyst or recruiter), and you are looking strictly at opportunities that represent a logical progression in your field, then a social media resume is a terrific tool.

But what if you are a candidate with a relatively broad range of skills and experiences who is perhaps pursuing two or three different job niches? Here's an example: Let's say that Susan has been a fifth-grade teacher in a private school. She reaches a stage where she wants to move on to another job. But what sort of job? She's thinking that she might want to stay in a classroom teacher role, but she's weighing the tradeoffs between an inner-city public school classroom versus simply moving to a different private school catering to relatively wealthy families. Yet a part of her would like to get out of the classroom altogether and try her hand at a job in the corporate sector-most likely in training and development-or maybe even an academic advising role at a university.

This is all entirely plausible for Susan, yet it presents problems for her if she wants to create a social media resume. For some job seekers, the concept of versioning is very important.

What Susan probably needs to do is think of numerous versions of how she presents herself. She may need as many as four different resumes to reflect her varied interests. All of her job experiences will be the same, of course, but how she slants or "spins" each job may vary depending on who she's targeting with her resume. As such, a social media resume may not work well for her.

With social media, the name of the game is authenticity. Thus, versioning is totally appropriate with individual resumes and individual searches. In contrast, a social media resume is intended for a broad audience, and thus the content must be more inclusive and present a consistent picture of the candidate.

In other words, a social media resume might actually do a disservice to Susan. If she attempted to put one together, she might end up coming across as a wishy-washy candidate with all too many irons in the fire. Even worse, she could come across as an insincere individual due to the incongruity between her broad version of herself online versus any attempts she would make to come across as focused on a narrow niche in an interview for a specific position.

For the majority of individuals, a social media resume can be a great asset. However, it can be a liability for those who need to position themselves in different ways for different jobs. Consider your strategy before you post.

Institutional Reforms In The Higher Education Sector Of Mozambique And Ethical Issues

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The need to eradicate poverty through increased literacy

One of the central goals defined by the Government of Mozambique in its long-term development strategy is "poverty reduction through labour-intensive economic growth". The highest priority is assigned to reduce poverty in rural areas, where 90 percent of poor Mozambicans live, and also in urban zones. The Government recognizes also that, for this development strategy on poverty eradication to succeed, expansion and improvement in the education system are critically important elements in both long-term and short-term perspectives.

In the long term, universal access to education of acceptable quality is essential for the development
of Mozambique´s human resources, and the economic growth will depend to a significant extend on the education and training of the labour force. It is very important to develop a critical mass of well trained and highly qualified workforce which in turn will improve the overall literacy, intellectual development, training capacity and technical skills in various areas of the country's economic and industrial development.

In the short term, increased access and improved quality in basic education are powerful mechanisms for wealth redistribution and the promotion of social equity. This policy is consistent with the provisions of the new Constitution of Mozambique adopted on 16 November 2004, in its articles 113 and 114 which deal respectively with education and higher education. Around the year 1990, the Government of Mozambique decided to change its social, economic and political orientation system from the centrally-planned system inherited from the communist era and adopted a western-style of free market system. At the same time, it was also decided to adopt fundamental changes in the education programmes. Since drastic changes and wide ranging effects were resulting from the adoption of the new economic and political orientation, it was necessary to provide new guidelines and rules governing the management of institutions of higher education.

The struggle continues: "a luta continua" !

The economic and political changes were progressively introduced with success through legislative and regulatory reforms. However, it has not been very easy to evenly change rules of social and cultural behaviour. In particular, vulnerable younger generations are the most affected by the rapid changes in society, while the reference model and values they expect from elder people in the modern Mozambican society seem to be shifting very fast. And in some instances, there seem to be no model at all. The new wave of economic liberalism in Mozambique, better defined by the popular concept of "deixa andar", literally meaning "laisser-faire", was mistakenly adopted as the guiding principle in the areas of social, cultural and education development.

The "laisser-faire" principle is better understood by economists and entrepreneurs in a system of open market and free entrepreneurship, under which the Government's intervention is reduced to exercising minimum regulatory agency. The recent considerable economic growth realized by the Government of Mozambique (10% of successive growth index over four years) is attributed mainly to this free market policy. This principle should be carefully differentiated from "laisser-aller" which, in French language, rather means lack of discipline in academic, economic, social and cultural environments.
Reforming higher education institutions represents a real challenge, both at the institutional and pedagogic levels, not only in Mozambique, but elsewhere and in particular in African countries faced with the problem of "acculturation". The youth seeking knowledge opportunities in national universities, polytechnics and higher institutes, where students are somehow left on their own, having no longer any need to be under permanent supervision of their parents or teachers, are disoriented. Since reforms in higher education institutions take longer than in any other institutional environment, it is necessary indeed to adopt adequate transitional measures to respond to urgent need of the young generations.

This essay reviews current trends and the recent historical background of higher education institutions of Mozambique. It argues against the adoption of the classical model of higher education from European and other western systems. In its final analysis, it finds that there is need to include ethical and deontology (social, cultural and moral education) components as priority sectors within the curriculum in higher education institutions, with a view to instill in the students and lecturers positive African values in general, and in particular, national Mozambican models. It is rejecting the neo-liberal thinking, which proposes that students in higher education institutions should be allowed to enjoy unlimited academic, social and intellectual uncontrolled independence, in conformity with western classical education and cultural orientation. It advocates for critical thinking and brainstorming on key issues towards the development of positive cultural and ethical models in higher education institutions which could be used to promote knowledge development and poverty eradication in the country's rural areas and urban zones affected by unemployment, pandemics and economic precariousness.

The colonial legacy and its cultural impact on higher education in Mozambique.

Many experts have described the Mozambican mother of higher education as an institution for colonialists and "assimilados" . The first institution of higher education in Mozambique was established by the Portuguese government in 1962, soon after the start of the African wars of independence. It was called the General University Studies of Mozambique (Estudos Gerais Universitários de Moçambique EGUM). In 1968, it was renamed Lourenço Marques University. The university catered for the sons and daughters of Portuguese colonialists. Although the Portuguese government preached non-racism and advocated the assimilation of its African subjects to the Portuguese way of life, the notorious deficiencies of the colonial education system established under the Portuguese rule ensured that very few Africans would ever succeed in reaching university level. However, many educated African were led to adopt the colonial lifestyle.

In spite of Portugal's attempts to expand African educational opportunities in the late 1960s and early 1970s, only about 40 black Mozambican students - less than 2 per cent of the student body -had entered the University of Lourenço Marques by the time of independence in 1975. The state and the university continued to depend heavily on the Portuguese and their descendants. Even the academic curriculum was defined according to the needs and policies defined long ago by the colonial power.
Soon after Independence in June 1975, the Government of Mozambique, from the FRELIMO party, adopted a Marxist-Leninist orientation and a centrally planned economy. The educational system was nationalized, and the university was renamed after Dr. Eduardo Mondlane, the first president of FRELIMO.

Many cadres trained in Portugal and other European and American universities came also with their own educational and cultural background. Apart from the Eduardo Mondlane University, new public and private universities and institutes were established. These include the Pedagogic University, the ISRI, the Catholic University, ISPU, ISCTEM and ISUTC. Most of these institutions adopted a curriculum clearly modeled on the classical European model. There is still need to integrate African traditional values in the course profiles offered and research programmes developed by these institutions.

The traditional role of a university is to enlighten and serve as a reference within the society: "illuminatio et salus populi". Today, Mozambique is one of the most culturally and racially diversified society of Africa. This diversity should be considered as a cultural treasure for the nation. It has become however apparent that it's more a "Babel Tower case", as no unified Mozambican values appear to develop from this wide variety. With the creation of new public and private universities and new faculties, it would become easier to increase a critical mass of university lecturers and academic professionals, who would in their turn, influence the society, creating and instilling national positive values and ethical principles of conduct in the younger generations. According to many lecturers and students contacted at UEM, Universidade Pedagogica UP and UDM, the impact of higher education on the development of positive academic, scientific, social and cultural values in Mozambique is yet to be felt.

It is however necessary to acknowledge the importance of newly introduced community-based education programmes in some institutions. For instance the emphasis on community and service has guided curriculum development at the Catholic University; its course in agronomy (Cuamba) concentrates on peasant and family farming systems and leans heavily on research and outreach within local farming communities. The CU course in medicine (developed in collaboration with the University of Maastricht) which concentrates on teaching medicine, was particularly deemed appropriate for the rural and urban poor populations of Mozambique, as it is more based on problem-solving and focuses much more on traditional issues.

New Reforms in higher education institutions with a more participative approach

Mozambique is one of few countries in Africa where a new generation of leadership has stepped forward to articulate a vision for their institutions, inspiring confidence among those involved in higher education development and the modernization of their universities. In a series of case studies sponsored and published by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa , it was confirmed that African universities covered by the studies have widely varying contexts and traditions. They are engaged in broad reform, examining and revising their planning processes, introducing new techniques of financial management, adopting new technologies, reshaping course structures and pedagogy, and more important, reforming practices of governance based in particular on their own contexts and traditions.

Important institutional reforms concerning the strategic planning experiences of the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) were initiated and implemented so far. Two strategic planning cycles were developed, the first in 1990 and the second one in 1996 / 97. The second one was meant to adapting to the impacts of newly adopted multi-party democracy, market competition, and globalization. Whereas the first reform cycle was the result of high level officials at the University, the second one was generated using a participatory methodology deemed to be more effective in involving the university staff in the process.

It is important to listen to everyone, and to be seen as listening. We are also convinced that various components of the population in Mozambique should be involved in the next phases of the process with a view to define what kind of education orientation the population would wish to have for their children.
There is important progress but yet limited academic impact on the development of the society
Considerable progress has been so far made in post-independence Mozambique. After the initial problems caused by the long years of civil war and then the long efforts necessitated by the adjustment to a market-driven economy and a multi-party democratic political order, Mozambique is now considered to have a higher education system that offers a wide variety of course options and extensive research opportunities. However, a major weakness highlighted by many observers is that all the institutions remain basically concentrated in the capital city of Maputo and its neighboring provinces. It is argued that they serve only a limited fraction of the Mozambican population, and are destined to train the elite of prominent people in government and in the professions, industry and commerce. It is also alleged that the majority of the students who succeed in entering public and private institutions of higher education are from relatively rich families.

It is finally emphasized that nearly 80 per cent of university students in Mozambique use Portuguese as their principal means of communication, thus strengthening the perception of establishing, reproducing and consolidating a hereditary elite, with model values copied on western societies. In response to this challenge, it was suggested that the government should encourage the emergence of new and non-traditional HEIs closer to the local communities, able to respond more rapidly and flexibly to the demands and expectations of the public and private sectors for a high quality trained workforce, while addressing both regional and socioeconomic imbalances in the country.

In our final analysis, we find that the impact of higher education institutions on the development and dissemination of traditional African social and cultural values would be very limited for a long period. As long as the access and feed-back from all levels of the society and regions will be left out of the core interaction with the highly educated elite and higher education institutions mainly concentrated in Maputo, the role of universities in promoting African positive values, a culture of academic ethics and deontology in the entire national society will be very limited.

The process of "Nation building" needs to rely on a strong academic support. One of the Government's main constitutional commitments is to promote the development of the national culture and identity (article 115 of the 2004 Constitution). It is clear that many institutions, for instance the television, are actively promoting cultural diversity through various means. Institutions of higher education should be seen doing more, in particular starting with the students themselves and the academic community members, who are expected to be the light of the society. Such actions would include the integration of courses on ethics and deontology, and develop a wide-ranging variety of education models that reprove negative behavior and promote positive values. Our recommendation is that the Government should for example instruct public universities and other higher education institutions, to appoint "Ethics and Deontology Committees" at the level of their University Councils and within all autonomous faculties.

Bibliography

-Fry, Peter and Utui, Rogéro (1999), The Strategic Planning Experience at Eduardo Mondlane University, ADEA Working Paper on Higher Education, ADEA, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Paris.

-Mouzinho, Mário ; Fry, Peter ; Levey, Lisbeth and Chilundo, Arlindo (2001), Higher Education in Mozambique: A Case study, The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, New York University, New York

The Best Educational Experiences in Washington, DC

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Educational travel can give teachers and administrators a boost in exciting many students about their academic lessons. Travel brings curriculum to life while teaching lessons that students will need throughout their lives. As a former middle school principal I found that educational travel goes hand-in-hand with offering a total educational program to young adolescents. This is even more important today as teachers and principals are facing increased pressure to prepare students to pass mandated academic tests.

During my years teaching in middle school, I learned that young adolescents can gain a multitude of invaluable experiences from travel, learning both the information they will be able to apply in the classroom and skills that will help them develop personally. Unfortunately, some young people will never be able to take educational tours without involvement with their school. So, middle school educators can contribute to a young adolescent's complete education when they include education travel in their program.

Once you've decided to include travel in your student's education, there are important plans and decisions that will affect the overall success of their travel experience. This article focuses on selecting the best educational venues in Washington, DC for a class or grade level trip.

The best time to consider such a trip is during seventh or eighth grade when the middle school social studies curriculum focuses on U.S. history. An educational trip to Washington, DC coinciding with this year can provide substantial benefits to both the individual and the school as a whole.

All student groups that visit Washington, DC should tour the White House and the US Capitol. Their educational links to the classroom are countless. It's important to note that the popularity of these two sites coupled with the recent increase in national security now require that an appointment must be prescheduled by a Senator or State Representative.

Next, I recommend visiting as many of the following as possible:

 Ford's Theater and the Peterson House

 Arlington National Cemetery

 Smithsonian Museums

 Washington Monument

 Lincoln Monument

 Jefferson Memorial

 Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

 Iwo Jima Memorial

 Korean War Memorial

 Vietnam Veterans Memorial

 World War II Memorial

All of these sites have strong ties to the social studies curriculum and, best of all do not charge an admissions fee. Once you have decided to include them in a travel itinerary, the key is to make sure the students receive the strongest possible educational connections during the actual visit.

You can easily increase the educational value of the visit by using a reputable student tour provider like Travel Adventures that specializes in educational travel to plan your trip. To begin with, their experience will help prepare an itinerary that sequences the stops so that the students are not overwhelmed with information. Their experience will also present you with strategies for planning effective group visits. I strongly recommend you ask the travel provider about adding Washington, DC guides when visiting the monuments and memorials. Their historical knowledge base will only enhance the educational experience.

Another outstanding educational venue is Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to visiting the John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Challenger Astronaut Memorials, your student tour provider can schedule a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. This ceremony adds depth to the educational value of the visit and allows those students selected for the ceremony the rare opportunity of interacting with an Army Honor Guard member.

A visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum can be extremely educational especially if the students have studied this era in American history and/or read The Diary of Anne Frank in English class. The museum is self-guided. The emotional impact of the tour, coupled with their collection of newsprint, historical video and news reporting provides an outstanding educational experience for all visitors.

A student trip to Washington, DC should also include a visit to Mount Vernon - the estate of George Washington. The new Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, and a tour of the beautifully restored estate, outer buildings and the grounds have strong educational value.

Finally, I recommend that student groups traveling to Washington, D.C. schedule a cultural activity. Exposing young people to the arts and culture is invaluable to the overall development of the individual. One of the most popular activities is attending a theatrical performance at one of the area dinner theaters or a performance at the Kennedy Center. The theaters schedule age appropriate productions like "Beauty and the Beast or Fiddler on the Roof" to help make this opportunity both educational and entertaining.

In summary, educational travel to Washington, DC can add an important dimension to the total learning program at your school. I strongly recommend that you consider adding travel to the curriculum and visiting as many of the aforementioned venues as possible for the best educational value.

 

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