Technology Aids Language Learning

When I went to school, language learning could be a pretty dull affair.  Much of it was repetition, the phrase ‘ecoutez et repeatez’ is still etched in my mind some three decades later. The technique may be effective but it’s unlikely to inspire children to learn a foreign language. It’s unfortunate as numerous studies show that learning a foreign language is also beneficial to all other areas of learning helping to develop the brain. There are some much more interesting ways to learn languages now using multimedia and the internet for example.

There are some wonderful interactive DVDs around which can help you learn pretty much any language under the sun. They are easy to use and useful because you can even include pronunciation guides to help with mastering the language. Many commercial courses are available which encompass hundreds of different languages not just the usual French and German which are normally covered. If the internet is available there are even more options.

Many of the Worlds best Universities have started to put their college courses online, including many language departments. You can even register and get feedback although if using the free options this is likely to be fairly limited. The chance to study different languages which may be not supported in your local colleges though is an exciting prospect. However even if you use traditional books and audio course there are ways you can supplement your learning using the internet.

For example, most large media stations across the world broadcast over the internet and it’s a perfect way to hear your language spoken by native speakers. For example for anyone learning Italian, should check out some of the Italian TV stations like RAI. You can access them from anywhere in the world – although this video shows the method required for watching RAI Player abroad –

So instead of watching dry vocabulary films and clips, you can actually hear Italian being dubbed onto the latest soap or an episode of the Simpsons. There are many English Language shows which are dubbed and you can even watch English spoken with Italian subtitles to help you read through as well. The method works with all different media sites and whatever language you’re learning you can usually find a large media site or TV show broadcasting in that language. You have to just ensure that any VPN service you use has a server in the country you require.

Educational Dilemma – Is Censorship OK?

It’s a difficult problem facing most educational centers who allow access to the internet – how much should be restricted?   In an ideal world of course it would be great to basically allow unfettered access but unfortunately some students (and teachers) would be bound to abuse this situation.  Fortunately most methods now allow a fairly granular set of policies to be applied to a college or school internet connection.

The basis of most filtering technologies are white lists and black lists.  These contain sites which should always be allowed through and those on the black lists which will always be blocked.   Groups of sites can be applied to these filters – for example you can put all pornography sites in the black list so that they can never be accessed.  You should also include the sites which can be used to bypass the filters in the black list – such as ninja proxy and VPN sites used commonly for access media sites like BBC iPlayer in France.  It is essential you block these sites or installing the filter is pointless.

Alongside the technology should also be a set of procedures and policies.  Arguably the most  important is the ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ which tells all users of the network what they can and can’t do.  There is no need to be too specific in this document otherwise it could get rather large.   The document should however clearly state what is not acceptable when using the educational network.   It is also important to state that all activities are logged by the owners – which in itself should deter inappropriate use.

With these basic restrictions in place, there is no real need to implement any heavy handed censorship policies.  In fact these can sometimes be counter productive with users either not using the network or discovering ways to bypass any filters you implement.  If a network is heavily filtered it will create extra support requests when legitimate sites are blocked by accident

Further Reading: – http://www.uktv-online.com/bbc-iplayer-on-the-ipad-abroad/

Useful Tips on Starting Your First Research Project

It ought to be the rewarding and most satisfying piece of work – a student’s first research project. More times than not, yet; preparation, carrying out and writing up research, be it job, dissertation or a thesis becomes a wellspring of great anxiety and worry for a lot of pupils.

Within my ability as a research manager, especially bearing this particular at heart I put the following guidance notes for my pupils, which I trust you may find of some use.
Getting Started

Often the primary thing you will be requested to do would be to submit, or in minimum think about putting together a job/research proposition. Any general thoughts at this point, you have will likely be too obscure or overly comprehensive.

The great thing about putting together a project or research proposal so shortly to the method is that it’s going to make you refine your thoughts earlier as opposed to after. What follows, was made to get you considering the crucial phases that were first in the research procedure.

Phase 1: Developing a focus in just a broad area of interest.

This phase of the research procedure presumes you have an overall research notion at heart. I can not emphasise because it actually will discover finally you do and how easily your research goes.

That practicality and values should be considered in developing your focus of inquest recall.

Another good thing about narrowing your focus is when running your literature review you will possess a structured search strategy in place. It may seem obvious but having a definite idea about what to search for will save you energy plus precious time.

Most subject areas may have an established system of research, unless you happen to be studying something exceptional. In such instances you must familiarise yourself with the conventional/classic studies in the area, in addition to the research that is most up to date.   Obviously libraries are going to be essential but the internet is also a valuable source of information.  Using web sites is ok, but they should always be properly cited and you should ensure they are accurate. Often it’s useful to invest in a VPN system which can give you access to sites that are only available in specific countries.  A useful example is that you can only access BBC iPlayer from Ireland in this way, hiding your real location from the BBC web servers.

The primary strategy to show and keep your focus of inquiry will be to develop suitable research questions or hypotheses. There are not any hard and fast rules about what makes up a great research question/hypothesis. However, there is a practical guideline that you will be able to offer an obvious justification for the question/prediction being modeled.

Basically you have warrant each research question/hypothesis in turn’s inclusion and to take it. By The Way, you need to be able to offer the same reasoning for the research).

Developing research questions that are clear-cut and easy doesn’t mean you can’t undertake research that is advanced. You’ll learn should you be to the correct path if you answer these queries, and can ask yourself.

  • What am I expecting to investigate in the length of my research?
  • What’s the thinking behind the research questions/hypotheses of my study?
  • Am I able to get an extensive range of background stuff?
  • Can it be comparatively uncomplicated to gain access to my target public?
  • Am I on ethically safe ground?

The very best guidance I can provide you in the initial phases is to remember to get it right before you begin. keep it straightforward and be realistic. Recall research is a procedure, and you may be evaluated how good that procedure is undertaken by you.

Further Reading@

Smart DNS Proxy, Using the Internet for Research, Professor Williams.

 

Students Switch from Traditional College Courses

Education has certainly changed drastically over the last couple of decades and so has the way students approach this pivotal part of their careers.    Unfortunately money has always been an issue in choosing your education and now it has become an even bigger part of the decision making process.

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In earlier times, the four year college degree was pretty much the only option for young people seeking to continue their education but now there are lots more options.  Although this traditional route is still the most popular many students are becoming mindful of both the cost and the burden of debt that it brings for years to come.  Of course it’s true that statistics suggest that an investment in most educational course sees a corresponding increase in lifetime earnings the benefits are not quite as clear cut as they once were.

Students are starting to actively compare the expected earnings increases with the amount of debt that they will encounter in pursuing college degrees.  There is no doubt the gap in closing and in some subject areas there is little to be gained financially by pursuing a college degree in specific subjects as far as future earnings is concerned.

Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student debt between some 43 million students, it is a huge amount of money and only expected to rise.  Do economies and individuals benefit from taking on these levels of debt?  It is becoming an important election issue as well as a difficult life choice for individual students.  They do increasingly realise that college degrees are expensive and extremely pressurized, the days of endless frat parties and sitting around using a proxy for Netflix to watch all day are long gone.

Many are switching from the traditional routes and looking at community college educations instead.  They are generally much more affordable and flexible allowing students to continue to work alongside their studies.  In essence you can normally achieve a college degree within the community college framework for much less money although it may take a little longer.

The prospect of obtaining a degree without accumulating huge levels of debt is obviously increasingly attractive to students.    It’s also a useful safety net for students who are so adverse to accruing debts that they consider ignoring further education completely – community colleges give them other options.

The focus is perhaps more now on life-long learning rather than the four year cram that is a normal University education.  There are other benefits as well as cost, students can adapt and structure their learning over their lifetimes something that is not always possible when you have to make such an important decision at such a young age by choosing a University degree.

With thanks:

James Williams, BBC World News Streaming, Faber Press, 2015.

Is Community College an Austerity Option?

Over the last couple of years the admissions to US community colleges has fallen over 2% according to a report from a respected higher education research group. Many experts seem to attribute this to the growth of jobs and the gradual economic recovery. These two factors are considered to be very important to the numbers of people that enroll in community colleges.

The rationale is that in times of high unemployment – education is a safer option. Anyone unable to find a job is taking less of a risk by investing in their education and there are obviously less options when the number of job vacancies falls.

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There are many different figures reported about how community colleges are doing but almost all of them point at a downward trend. The figures form an almost negative correlation with the economic success of the country.  To access the reports you may have to access from your home account as often commercial IP addresses are blocked, this service is a residential VPN if you have issues.

In some senses this is to be expected, education has always been something of a fallback position to many individuals however it does represent a more worrying trend that may affect the whole education sector. This is the fact that many people are starting to question the values and impacts of a college degree. As more and more people have degrees for example the value of these qualification will inevitably fall. Although most studies suggest earning a degree will normally be rewarded by a rise in salary the boundaries are starting to blur.

Even with community colleges, a degree is a significant investment in time and money. Without the expected rewards being available then the attraction also falls considerably – why risk everything for a negligible salary rise that may not even happen. In Europe where the number of people obtaining a college degree has risen sharply in recent years, many students are finding themselves frozen out of their chosen field simply because of the competition.

It is very frustrating for a student who has invested years of their life and many thousands of dollars in their education ending up working in a menial or low skilled job. This means that they are generally left with little prospect of ever paying off their education debts which in many European countries are linked to salary.

Benefits of a Community College Education

Because unlike four-year colleges, community colleges usually do not employ graduate novices to teach. Textbooks are an essential portion of having your college degree. Obviously, it’s all up to a student to get the most out of their college experience. It may be difficult for any person who works to get a college degree or maybe to increase upon their present degree of education.

In case you are graduating from higher school or even a parent of the graduate, you may well be taking a look at colleges and wondering in case the superior expense of college tuition is really worth it. The internet schools will commonly have access to sources for tuition like college loans and grants. Students may enjoy the particular credit and non-credit courses offered. College textbooks can be extremely pricey, but students need to have them.

I’ve had so many problems with this specific school it’s unbelievable. I’d prevent any site that claims to provide such a diploma, even in the event the other offerings seem legitimate. Non-transferrable classes usually do not permit the student afford the credit to a different school.

Quality used and new textbooks in great condition may be purchased on-line, often for less money compared to the price of those exact books available in the college bookstore. You can get textbooks at your own college’s bookstore. Go to the college’s fiscal aid office if at all possible. If you can, tour the campus to attain a feel for how you are going to fit in.

Obtaining a degree on the internet is an excellent tool for busy folks, and those who find they’re not able enough to relocate as a way to attend college in person. With the arrival of online nursing classes, more people can receive their degree and offer essential medical care to the folks of your own community. Top-level managers and significant school students are among the many folks who are enrolled as students nation-wide. Once classes start the student will log in their internet classroom.

Of course, the internet has caused something of a revolution in the education sector. Most of the large universities are offering online courses and some of the community colleges are seeing this as a further opportunity to diversify and gain access to experienced tutors and professors. There are some restrictions but just as a student can bypass region locking despite a Netflix VPN block so most resources on the internet are accessible with some effort

Selecting the best college is frequently a complicated approach. As a way to get the most out of your college experience, participation is imperative. Work together with the college’s fiscal aid counselors. Most of it’s going to the interest you didn’t pay during college.

Balancing employment as well as home life in addition to college, along with the work that appears with it, can be very an overwhelming job. `There are plenty of students who are really interested in your efforts, but can’t act as they are also current students.’ The readers want to understand who you are, how you’d fit, and what you’d bring to the university. The inquiry you’ve to ask yourself, and I’d like you to truly watch the video below in full, that should you choose to visit college know it will be tough financially in addition to mentally and physically demanding.

The standard university program is probably the absolute most time consuming approach to secure a degree, but can likewise be one of the absolute most enriching. On-line schools are a really good way to acquire a degree in a briefer quantity of time too. Check with your own community college or university to realize if they provide waivers or reduced tuition. Most college sites will obtain a listing of courses that you’re registered in.

Tuition reimbursement programs provided by employers are a fantastic means to save money on education. The government doesn’t discriminate owing to your age. Frequently, family troubles or tragedies occur, health difficulties make it very hard to continue, or in several cases, students within the military have been shipped overseas. It’ll be the United States that will suffer later on for a whole.

Your college lifestyle provides you with powerful stories to share during your lifestyle and supply you with feelings of pride, happiness, regret, and sometimes even sadness that one can share with people who will come into your own life in the foreseeable future. Your everyday living and work experience allows you to assist and inspire others at college too. Heck, you most likely deserved the degree anyway, as you have led this kind of exemplary existence. State cleary, your accreditation is pending.

Oftentimes, people have perfectly sensible explanations for why they can’t finish a class. Unfortunately, there is frequently a mandatory preparation class which you must attend to qualify to choose the test. The single stipulation is you must be enrolled at least half-time. There is quite a few loan programs out there.

Further Reading
VPNs and Information

New York College Closes it’s Doors

Many feel it is a fate awaiting thousands of private colleges across the US, as the 48 year old Dowling College has finally had to close down.  It is not unexpected with many students and staff were already aware of the fact that the college was struggling with rising levels of debt combined with a fall in enrollment numbers.

Albert Inserra released a statement this week –

“As painful as this announcement is, we want the student body, faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open.”

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The college had supplied for almost 50 years undergraduate and graduate courses in criminal justice and some aviation programs for up to 2400 students. Although it was well known that the college had been struggling for years with numbers falling consistently over the last few years particularly.

There were other rumours that the college was not particularly well run, there have been seven different presidents over the last 12 years. Other issues included allegations of money paid by the college to businesses linked to the Board of Trustees, apparently more than $4 million.

The school was founded in 1955 as part of an expansion of Adelphi University, it became a separate institution in 1968 taking the name of it’s principal benefactor Robert Dowling who was a well known aviator and New York City Planner. It’s campus is set in beautiful grounds and as such it is not known what will happen to them.

It is surprising that Dowling couldn’t attract more students because it’s very well situated and the college courses would seem to be in popular areas. Certainly criminal justice is often cited as a growth area even in times of austerity. However the supply of these courses has also grown, in a phenomenon some have referred to as the CSI factor. The field is likely to improve too as there are growing opportunities in related fields such as forensics for example. Crime is becoming increasingly technical, for example online crime takes specialist skills to encompass computer crime. People frequently use techniques and VPNs not just to stream Wimbledon live like I do but to encrypt and hide their connections.

John Collins
IP Specialist

New York Urges Students to go to College

As portion of a drive to encourage more pupils to apply to faculty, New York City will start offering the SAT free to any or all public school juniors, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina declared on Monday.

Instruction officials said that by removing barriers to entry — like the very action of signing up and the mandatory fee — the hope is the fact that pupils who mightn’t have taken the test is going to do thus.

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“The chance to really go to school should not be determined by pupils’ qualifications or ZIP codes,” Ms. Farina said in a statement. “I just became the very first man in my family to really go to school because a teacher I would like to understand it was an alternative and supported me through the application and registration procedure so that I really could follow my dreams of being a teacher.”

States including Kentucky, South Carolina and Wisconsin have students take their high school testing conditions to be fulfilled by the ACT, and in August, Connecticut declared all 11th graders would need to take the SAT.  There are also plans to complete the course and do the test online, although students who were outside the USA would need to use a US VPN like this to access.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina declared the new SAT attempt on Monday.
In Connecticut, at least part of the impetus was to decrease the amount of evaluations students take. An existing test was replaced by the SAT.

In Nyc, just 56 percent of the class of 2015 took the SAT at least once, in line with the Education Department.

Ms. Farina made the statement as part of College Application Week, a national system that supports pupils to apply to school. Almost 300 city schools are participating in occasions that give pupils the opportunity to talk with admissions officers from State University of New York faculties, for instance, and offer free online help with school essays.

“I believe the ‘for free’ part is truly a fairly big deal, additionally,” Mr. Blank continued. The standard expense of taking the SAT is $54.50, and if the test is “something that is on a Saturday, that is considered elective, and you’ve to pay $54.50, if you are a teen, you might decide to spend that $54.50 someplace else,” he said.

Teachers expect the brand new plan is likely to help it become a routine portion of their educational landscape, although pupils Won’t have to take the test.

The exact same principle, he said, could be applied to school entrance exams.

“For some families, perhaps from better educated or more well-off backgrounds, the SAT or ACT actually is a default option; you understand you are going to do it,” Mr. Castleman said. “For those people who are much less prepared, the SAT may not be part of the default practice. Applying to school might not be the default option practice.”

“By making it worldwide,” he added of the tests, “you make it something that each pupil who shows up on that day” will take.

Further Reading

BBC iPlayer Blocks VPN Access

Lack of Education Can Shorten Your Life

It’s sounds rather surprising, but this isn’t the first research to suggest this – education can be related to lifespan. We’re also not talking about a few months either, in fact it was suggested that it could be the difference of about a decade of extra life.

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The researchers at the University of Colorado found that leaving school without reasonable qualifications, left people at the mercy of a lifetime of a poor diet, low paid and long manual work plus there was an effect on mental health.

They obviously suggested that widening educational disparities could cause all sorts of social issues beyond the obvious income effects. The data that was checked was from the US population and covered the period of 1925 to the present day.   The studies suggest that the effects of lack of education seem to be increasing too, with mortality rates in the lower educated rising substantially.

It mirrors several other studies including some UK and European ones, in fact there was a documentary covering the effect some years ago on BBC Ireland, might be available here.

The effect can be noticed across the education levels too, with those at A level/High school degree levels living longer than those with less education.  The more education the better so US college/University degrees living even longer – the more education the better as far as longevity is concerned.

 “Our results suggest that policies and interventions that improve educational attainment could substantially improve survival in the U.S. population, especially given widening educational disparities,” said study co-author Dr Patrick Krueger, assistant professor in the Department of Health & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver,

There seems to be some sense in it when you think about it, after all education also shortens your working life slightly whereas someone going straight into manual labour from school would work several years longer.  That may seem insignificant when younger but those years can add up when you get older.  Also many manual jobs can be very difficult cope with mentally for periods of time, as anyone who’s ever worked on a dull production line or tedious manual job will testify too.

Technical Citation

 

Education for Becoming an Educator

As the population keeps growing the need for educational instructors is increasing. By registering in one of a number of faculties and degree schools, pupils may obtain a diploma in the field of education. With an accredited degree in teaching pupils will gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a variety of professions. Available degrees in this field include a bachelor’s, masters and doctorates amount degree. Pupils must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for entrance into an education training curriculum.

 

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Educational degree training programs are provided to aid pupils prepare for the world of teaching. With an accredited school or college students will gain the skills to work with children of all ages in addition to grownups. Coursework will change according to the program of enrollment as well as the amount of degree desired by every individual pupil. Most professional in this field must study subjects like:

  • English
  • Science
  • Computers
  • History
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Artwork

…and much more. School and some schools may also offer training in philosophy of physical education, social studies, music, education, teaching methods, and other class subjects that are relevant.

It’s a fast, growing field and the demand for educators is unlikely to fall in the coming decades.  It’s also an area where the scope and variety of roles is changing too, mainly due to the growth of online teaching and resources.  Now a college can reach a global audience of thousands instead of simply one classroom or lecture theatre. The world’s big media sites are getting in on the act too with broadcasts and programmes through their own networks, check out channels like the BBC iPlayer for example, you made need a proxy like this to access from outside the UK though.

Students who are looking for the chance to enter into a vocation training curriculum to get a diploma in education may do so by entering a bachelor’s degree program. Using a bachelors degree in this field pupils may receive the skills needed to work using an assortment of ages teaching numerous subjects. Teachers using a bachelor’s degree possess a number of obligations when providing others with an instruction. Accredited schools and colleges will train students to offer educational instruction for their course in a number of ways. Students can acquire a masters or doctorates degree in instruction as well.

With doctorates degree or an accredited masters program students may prepare for a profession providing an education to others. Schooling teaching programs at this level provide a more in depth program of study for students looking to specialize in a specific area of the discipline. With a masters or doctorates degree in instruction pupils may find employment focusing on areas like early childhood education, special education, physical education, reading, electives, plus much more. Masters and doctorates degree are the maximum level of degrees obtainable in this field.

Technical Citation