How Colleges can Use Digital Technology

For smaller colleges without the reach of bigger educational establishments like Universities, the digital age offers both a challenge and an opportunity.  There are a variety of methods that it can be used to improve both teaching and the marketing of the college across a wider market.

digitalprivacy

It might seem one of the less obvious advantages for colleges, but the simple fact is that there is increasing pressure to attract students and using the internet is essential.  A well designed website and a strong brand is crucial, for the majority of students – a website is that vital first impression.  Before any marketing takes place – it must ensure that the website represents it’s brand and message effectively.  Only then can the college consider using marketing techniques like SEO and advertising on social sites like YouTube and Facebook for example.  The costs can be very low compared to traditional forms of advertising and it can effectively spread word of your brand internationally.

For students then it’s the learning experience that is of course, paramount.  There are many ways in which digital technology can allow students and staff to collaborate  Technology like Google apps can extend the learning experience far beyond the classroom and let information, research and findings be shared with all concerned.  Using video, portals and document management systems can greatly increase the efficiency and the value of the learning process. Of course using such technology is an education in itself and will add additional experience for the students which they will probably find useful in their later careers.  Using video sharing equipment, online resources for research and even tools like Smart DNS will be of value whatever career path  they pursue.

It’s not all about learning either, many digital applications are perfect for simply communicating and creating an engaging environment for both students and teachers.  The most effective colleges often have the most tight knit communities including social interaction and links to businesses particularly in the local areas.  There are a host of these applications like Popplet and Piktocart which are available for tasks like these. Most are free or inexpensive, they can even be used remotely or over the internet without requiring a fast vpn to be able to use properly.

To really see the benefits that technology can add to a college’s success perhaps the best area is to look at is customer relations.  You can use some wonderful applications like Microsoft Dynamics to manage relationships from their initial enquiry to the time they receive their certification.   It also means that colleges can keep in touch with their previous students, maintaining this link after graduation is very useful to both the student and the college in many ways.

 

 

Is America Saving for College?

If you have children and any sort of aspiration for them, then you’ve probably thought you should be saving towards paying for college for them. But the facts are showing that people are doing little about it or perhaps just trying to avoid the issue.

It’s not really surprising, in the current economic climate, many feel fairly lucky simply by just paying their bills and keeping a roof over their family’s head. Investing money for the possibility that your children would like to go to college ten years from now is something that’s easily put off.

Unfortunately in order to make building a college fund affordable then it’s important you start as early as possible. It’s not as if the value of a college education is diminishing, most reports and surveys show that it’s still one of the best investments you can make for your child.

So are Americans saving for their children’s education? Well at the moment the average saving fund for a US citizen for the dreaded college fund is about $15,000 which is certainly up from a few years back when the recession cut levels to around $11,000. Unfortunately this is not enough to finance most college courses.

The problem is that many parents don’t really do the sums, they just try and save. However when you start adding up the costs of tuition, room and board, vpns, books and supplies the total cost can be extremely surprising. Which is why that the reality for most students is leaving their college and graduating with some level of student debt. But the reality is the more you save the lower that debt is likely to be, which can make a huge impact on your children’s future.

Graduating with a few thousand dollars in debt is much more manageable than the thirty thousand dollars plus that many students find themselves having to borrow to complete college. Many students are additionally considering completing their education abroad, with technology available today you can invest and the best vpn software products can help kids to keep in touch and often the cost of education can be significantly lower in some countries.

The Importance of Education and Skills in Workforce Capability

The world of work is changing. The dynamism of the new economy means that education and skills are essential to the UK’s continuing competitiveness in the global marketplace. Individuals and organisations need to make informed decisions about what the changes mean learning and development opportunities in order that UK business can manage the capability through its people.

There is no single answer, no one right way to build a workforce that is motivated, well led, recognises and develops hidden talent resulting in the changes required to deliver organisational effectiveness.

The uncertainty that organisation face means that planning of personal development if vital and valuable to develop effective workforce engagement and foster a strategy which is flexible and adaptable to the changing demands of the marketplace.

Developing an understanding of current workforce capability and how they are aligned to current business drivers and the strategic purpose of the organisation will ensure that the organisation is able to identify gaps in workforce knowledge, skills and capacity needed to be responsive, and begin building an education, learning and development programme to ensure that the workforce capability is fit for purpose.

The analysis of the workforce capability must result in an agreed outcome that builds a strategic plan for meeting the development needs of the workforce in both the short and the long term. In addition a strategy to continuously improve and develop employee knowledge, skills and capability must be developed to ensure that capability does not become stagnant and be found wanting by sudden changes in direction in the marketplace.

Monitoring, review and evaluation of the strategic workforce capability plan are essential to progress, and provide the opportunity to quickly address limitations of workforce capability. For many organisations this is easily done but others will need additional help. Take for instance and organisation that is made up primarily of home or ‘on the road’ workers, it’s difficult for them to keep in touch with central policies and they often lack HR support. Technically a lot can be done to help them keep in touch by using technology, e’g investing in individual VPN clients like this set up – http://iplayerusa.org/ let’s them safely access the home network and watch the news on the BBC from the USA or wherever they happen to be.

The importance of a high skilled, knowledge, flexible and adaptable workforce cannot be under estimated in the coming years. Technology can assist but the reality is that there needs to be more support emotionally too, but a high speed vpn certainly won’t do any harm for those travelling or working remotely!

Studying in Russia – Admission Rules Change

There’s sweeping changes planned to academic requirements for foreigners wanting to study in a Russian college. The Education and Science Ministry are dew to publish these new requirements by the end of 2014. All international students (i.e from outside Russia) will need to spend an additional year learning Russian, Mathematics and a selection of key subjects in their chosen fields. This will only then give the students the right to take the entrance exam of their chosen university.

The applicants will have to choose between four sets or subject areas for their studies initially – humanities, computer science, maths, sciences or economics. These sets will have three individual subjects and one specialist subject for study. This foundation phase will also cover some general knowledge and Russian language basics.

The Russian course will also include Russian authors and literature like Pushkin, Turgenev and others. The foundation course will covers two or three pieces of work from about 8 famous Russian authors.

There are actually a lot of Foreign students studying in Russia, latest estimates suggest about 250,000. Many are heavily subsidized by the Russian Government – some 40,000 pay no fees at all.

The reasons these changes are being implemented are simply because of the very diverse source of these students. Many have varying levels of education which makes it difficult to teach in a group or class format. It is expected that the measures will not only improve the standard of Russian education but increase the profiles of Russian education abroad.

It is no doubt though that the changes make studying in Russia a much bigger commitment especially those who have to pay their own fees. An extra 12 months living and studying costs can be significant especially in expensive Cities like Moscow. You should consider carefully any application and make sure it is the right thing to do. Many prospective students spend a lot of time in preparation, learning Russian before they go and trying to get involved in the culture. One hady tip is to invest in a short term service of a Russian proxy so you can access Russian only sites like this –

Obviously it’s not quite the same as being there, but it does help soften the culture shock that students may have from different backgrounds. Although there are many foreign students studying in Russia, many are from the old Soviet Union or Poland and so cultural differences will not be as pronounced as if you are coming from London or Chicago!

Are French Schools Really Failing

One of the really difficult aspects of assessing education is there is so much conflicting information. For instance in the UK, you’ll find league tables which rate each school but also several forms of these tables – some assessing overall performance, others based on value added and yet more trying to assess the improvement in schools and exams results. The result is that a school may look wonderful and high ranking on one table and a complete disaster in another. A high ranking school for example will struggle on the tables that rate year by year improvement simply because there isn’t as much room for improvement!

It is the same when you start to look at different countries and their education systems. One moment you’re reading a report on how wonderful and cost effective the French education system is and the next minute a scathing article in the Figaro proclaims that French schools are failing miserably. This latest attack on the much maligned but often praised French education system is by Natacha Polony a respected journalist.

She claims that French schools are not concentrating enough on teaching pupils the simple basics i.e. to read, write and count. She states that modern parents are partly to blame with a ‘consumerist vision of schools’. They are focussing too much on ‘skills’ teaching kids about stuff like hygiene, relationships and road safety instead of concentrating on simply knowledge and academic subjects.

Schools she suggests should be concentrating on teaching children to read and write and parents should not be expecting them to bring up their kids completely. Her views have found favour in the French press and media certainly – you can access their views from outside France by using the method in this video entitled France Proxy

There is genuine concern by many involved in the education fields in France that illiteracy is on the rise and the problem is in our schools. There is great criticism when children are introduced to such subjects as ‘gender theory’ in the curriculum before they’ve mastered the basic skills of reading and writing.

Mmme Polony has previously criticised the French education system when she published a book in 2007 entitled – “15 ways to Save Schools”, he arguments centered on making the system closer to that proposed by Nicolas de Condorcet an 18th century mathematician and philosopher.

Additional Reading

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/security/the-best-uk-vpn/

Advantages of Keeping Up with Your Education

Do you always wish that  you could change directions in your working life? Perhaps work just feels like a rut, merely a way to pay the bills with little prospect of change.  Maybe job satisfaction isn’t a goal, that your sole aim is to climb the ladder and increase your responsibility and income.
The scenarios described over may be distinct, but the treatment for each of them is the same  – continuing-education. The phrase continuing training, including degree credit classes amongst quite a few other sorts of learning tasks, is normally used to reference teaching which is imparted to pupils who are older compared to the conventional age of college-heading pupils.

As reported by a nationwide survey of pupils in continuing-education, the grownup learners in both 2-year and four-yr school degree programs were substantially older than conventional students.

Increasing Numbers

One of many significant reasons for continuing-education might function as state of economic system. It presses working professionals to intensify their abilities not merely to keep their present occupations, but likewise to boost their employability too as boost their opportunities of improving.

When people start to look outwards they can see the possibilities that exist outside their current employment.  We have the internet which can open a gateway into the lives of people across the world.  Even by using something like a simple proxy you can start to watch how people in other countries live their lives – take this for example How to Watch UK TV abroad.  This method gives you access to all the British TV stations online, which is a wonderful way of learning about another country.

A number of the advantages of continuing-education are:

  • Grown-ups enhance their likelihood of climbing up the organization ladder and a rise in wages, By registering in advanced level or graduate levels within their subject. There are definite specialized purposes, like nursing management, which often need professionals to acquire advanced degrees.
  • Several individuals pursue an instruction to improve their abilities and place themselves positively in the labour market.
  • Continuing-education becomes vital if you’d like to change professions, Occasionally and that you do not possess the makings, instruction, or expertise to enter the newest profession of your selection.
  • As they will have a hunger for understanding education is pursued by some adults. For them, teaching is a life-long quest. Some pursue diploma programs connected to their occupations, but others select subjects they are thinking about, which might or might really not be associated with their professions.
  • For some, the grounds for continuing-education have nothing regarding learning or earning. They seem at it as some thing that will boost their picture among family and friends.
  • Successfully finishing continuing education classes is recognized to truly have a favorable effect on people’s self esteem and standard of living.

Teaching could be a prerequisite for some and a love for others. However, the truth is that for several, it might not be possible to quit a full time occupation for continuing-education. That’s where on-line degrees and distance-learning programs are useful – as they enable working adults to earn and understand at once.

Jeremy Jones

http://www.uktv-online.com/

French Businesses want Academic Change

It’s a position that is held by many businesses throughout the world – are students leaving higher education ready for work?  There is criticism that many education organisations are teaching a much too narrow academic syllabus that has limited value in the real world.

For example to take one example, there is often an inclination within the IT sector to take on non-technology graduates for graduate programming positions.  The reason is that some Universities teach coding languages that are not used and that learning these languages makes it actually more difficult to learn the languages that businesses do use.   It’s a crazy situation where in some instances you’re actually putting yourself at a disadvantage by studying for a degree in a subject.

Youth unemployment in France is a huge problem currently at around 26% with little sign of it falling.  The Government is taking a proactive stance by rolling out a variety of state subsidized jobs in order to get young people the skills and experience that they lack.

The other tactic is to look towards the French Universities and colleges to help better equip young people for the transition from education to employment.  One of the difficulties French students face is that they often lack ‘group skills’ like presentation, teamwork and project management skills.  Traditionally French students are taught in a very traditional way, rarely getting involved in group projects or course work especially those studying humanities subjects.  Businesses really value these skills and they would make students much more employable when they leave education.

The other areas that businesses want is technology skills and also knowledge of other languages particularly English.  English is still the language of the multinational to a large degree and it’s a vital skill in a large international company.

Many students are forced to try and develop these skills themselves outside their academic work.  Many students in Paris business schools try to spend some time watching the news and finance reports from London in order to improve their English.  Fortunately you can access the BBC now from France on a computer by using a technique to hide your IP address – this video BBC Iplayer France shows how.

The other area which has been identified in French education is the lack of digital skills and awareness across most courses.  For example there isn’t a single Tourism course in France which covers e-commerce – which is where the rest of the planet is starting to book it’s flights and holidays online.

Its an area where many community colleges actually offer more value, teaching courses which are often much more vocational with real business skills.  Of course, not all education can be focused in this way, often certain academic subjects are best taught in a traditional format.

Educational Resources for Students Online

There are so many more education resources available to students today than a few years ago. Most of these are based on the internet and in many ways the playing fields have been levelled for students everywhere. It used to be the case that the better the University or College, the better the educational resources available. If you’ve ever visited the Bodleian Library in Oxford, or perhaps the impressive Widener library in Harvard it would be very apparent of the advantages.

But really the internet has changed all these advantages, of course there are still huge positives in prestige, teaching and opportunities afforded to pupils at the best universities. But access to knowledge and research materials is pretty much available to anyone in academia.

It gives students a great chance to conduct research on their own, most academic institutions post most of their material online. If you need to get access and it’s not available publically don’t be afraid to contact a college via email and just ask for access. The dispersation of knowledge is a core aim of any University or college they’ll normally help you out.

Don’t just use other colleges though, if you search online you’ll find most organisations put a huge amount of resources online. Most are easily accessible and again if they’re not just ask. I remember my friend who was studying a very basic introduction to astronomy in technical college showing me how he could submit requests online to a real observatory in England!  The jobs would be queued for the telescope and the results emailed when processed.

Foreign language students for example could invest in VPN connections which allow them to watch the TV online in the language they are studying. You can use them to watch BBC Iplayer Abroad or a French student could watch their favorite American comedies on M6 Replay in French to practice.  To find out how it’s done – check this out.

So ensure you explore the options that the internet can give you in your chosen subject. You research doesn’t have to be limited to Google and Wikipedia – find where the experts in your field are publishing material. Of course you should still validate sources, many students make the mistake of copying false information from the internet. Check and research, use the internet fully but don’t neglect other sources.

James Carwin

http://www.theninjaproxy.org/ninja/change-ip-address-region-free-smart-dns/