Showing posts with label online education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online education. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Trend-spotting: 3 Learning & Development Movements You Need to Watch

The world is experiencing massive changes in eLearning, so the related craze for it is increasing accordingly. Many social learning platforms are making the eLearning environment better accessible and better manageable. The mobile phones are no more the simple phones; they are the smart phones with multi utilities and many attractive features. With the advent of smart phones, learning and development are seeing new types of its patronage. Learning and development is a renaissance, if we talk about optimizing the internet facilities.

Three sub-themes, pertaining to learning and development are being spelt out below:-

1. Our world is the mixture of many things

Every industry experiences ups and downs. It can otherwise be understood as swing of a pendulum. The trend being volatile, the word trend and pendulum are merged together to give the versatile meaning, “trendulum”. Obviously the modern swing of trendulum is more towards eLearning. The system of eLearning is considered as the one of the pivotal training delivery systems. Many researches have already seen and also foresee the obviousness of eLearning. The system is gaining momentum as a vital means of learning, of course with the wings of the internet power.

The beauty of eLearning lies in the confluences of mentorship programs, performance support tools, webinars, classroom training, targeted eLearning and above all, the learner generated contents function as the topping of the pudding. Since social learning platforms are becoming the very popular tool, the trendulum swings more towards the learning and development.

The best part of it: - all those who are sailing on this eLearning business now, must reap the best, because, due to the learner-centric tools and strategies, the tide is high.

2. Data, the all-powerful source

Although, business decisions in these days are fully dependent on data analysis, many do not fully support the theory. The supporters of data do never bother for any negativity of the data analysis; they rather throw their hats on to the positive sides of the eLearning prospects. It is the execution of strategic performance, in association with the strategies of improving and finding the solution, which is fully supported by qualitative evidence.

The best part of it: As far as the business pertaining to learning and development is concerned, you can extract the best from your data analysis. Sometimes there may be matters of concern such as: some companies may face reduced sales. More sales training are needed here. In some other cases you may face that deals are being closed, it is most likely due to some customers’ objection or dissatisfaction. Here again training to the sales team is only the solutions.

3. You need to admit

Any one, implementing eLearning, is fathoming a technology solution. The power of learning and development can usher in developing dynamic learning solution by harnessing latest technology platforms. The strength of learning and development through eLearning platform is fully reliant on the designing, developing, deploying and maintaining it professionally.

The new generation love to remain attached with the peer groups. The new trend also engages each and every one from diverse group or diverse background to share the learning while utilizing the lesson. The amazing part of eLearning is that it converges from different users’ learning experiences that are retrieved from various content driven courses.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Points that distinguish thriving e-learners from successful classroom students

There has always been a huge debate over classroom education and e-learning courses. In this blog; I have tried to integrate some points that distinguish between thriving e-learners from successful classroom students.

Initially online education was regarded as a burden; because you had to research a lot on decent courses on internet and then enroll them. But with times, technology has evolved; and now we are seeing e-learning courses everywhere. In fact there is no restriction of age group to enroll for online education. Now this is great news for people who wish to be learners throughout their lives irrespective of their age. Now even K-12 students are using e-learning courses to make their creativity sound. This is a welcome change and there is many more to come in near future. But what are the distinguishing points that make e-learners different from successful classroom students? This blog will answer this question by providing some valid points of difference between both these teaching mechanisms. In the end you will be able to be answer the question whether online education is better than classroom education or vice versa? So let me start off with the points:

  • Personal responsibility: As far as classroom teaching is concerned the personal responsibility of the students’ lies with the ability of doing the things that are explained in the class by the teacher; nothing more or less. Whereas; in case of e-learning students have to take charge over their learning. They cannot depend on anyone to explain them what to do next. They need to complete their task on time without any supervision, facilitate the work by submitting it to the teachers hence; there is more personal responsibility in e-learning courses than in classroom learning.  

  • Guidance and direction: In a typical e-learning course the student will wait for the teacher’s guidance to complete the task but will not entirely depend on it. But in classroom education, students have been taught to follow what has been taught in a rigid manner. There is no scope for improvisation.  Good self direction is a very important component in education and learning. I have also emphasized this point several times in my blogs that self learning is the best learning. Hence; e-learning courses are a step ahead as they make students independent and think creatively while resolving the problem which is quite impossible in classroom education.

  • Working independently vs. in group: Now this is a big point. Because as you know in e-learning courses the scope of doing group activities is minimal. You can interact with each other by organizing an online discussion forum but that personal touch of one-on-one interaction is missing from e-learning courses. Moreover, the time factor is also an important component and the students have to achieve their goals in specified period set up by the tutor. Whereas; in classroom education teachers can use this as an opportunity to make students work in group. This also makes them cover up each other’s weaknesses and built on their strengths. Hence; in terms of group activities class room education is far better than e-learning.

From the points mentioned above; we can say that e-learning has a key role in the future of education section. Hence; there is no way to confirm that classroom education is better than e-learning courses. But this is a huge debate which will never end. I would like to conclude this blog by inferring a quote from Arthur C. Clarke,

“Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine….should be!”

If you wish to share more points with us that distinguish between thriving e-learners and successful classroom students; then follow us at:, We will be glad to receive your feedback.

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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Envisioning creative end of the chapter activities for children through online tutoring

In my blogs; I have always enumerated different ways through which online learning can be made better through creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. This write-up is no different; except that it includes certain points which will help online tutors to create out-of-the-box end of the chapter activities for children.

How many times I have been discussed about the need for creativity in online courses during my blogs. But have I ever spoken about the need for originality in developing end of the chapter activities for children? Teaching a child is the most difficult task, more so; if yours is an online course. But the toughest job is to make a child to homework; which we call as end of the chapter activities in online education. If you have made the child interested in the course; then half of your job is completed as you have already created the curiosity in the child. That also means that a major burden of your shoulder has lighten; but it is not the end of the hurdle. The bigger test is to make the child like the activities after the chapter ends.

It is possible that the child may develop lack of interest in doing the activities which you think will help him gain additional knowledge from the activity. But the difficult part is that you can never be there with the child to make him/her understand the importance of doing these activities earnestly. So what is the possible option left to you? I have already researched a lot and found that majority of e-learning course providers have a quiz at the end of the chapter which gives an assessment to the child about their grasping power. But don’t you think that if you were in their shoes; you would have studied only to get through the quiz in flying colors without worrying about gaining knowledge from the course. If that is the case then what is the big difference between class room education and online education. Since there are many students in a class, teacher cannot concentrate on each and every child hence; children need extra help of joining a tutoring class. Now if an online tutor cannot help the child and provide the requisite knowledge to them; then I cannot possibly understand the need for enrolling in the online course at the first instance.

Now what we need is an innovative solution to this problem which is not easy; but it is possible. The only reason for me to continue writing this blog is to find creative ideas for online tutoring; so that children can enjoy studying online in a fun-filled manner. But the current teaching mechanisms are very far from the benchmark that I have set while envisioning a great online course with creative end of the chapter activities for children. You can always try to include something different something unique; and mix them with the orthodox teaching techniques to make a winning recipe for children. It is all about thinking like a child as discussed in my every blog. That is the secret to making a connection with them. Without that it is impossible to get the desired results from your course. So let me now provide various activities that can make you stand out from your online competitors; and make you instant fans amongst parents and children:

For English: I have already discussed in my previous blog titled “Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors”; that there should be an innovative way of teaching children. In fact I have already discussed some breakthrough ideas in that blog. Now the major challenge is to go a step further and create end of the chapter activities for children so that they are still interested in the chapters after getting through the chapters. One way of doing that is; by showing couples of minutes of footages of animated story created out of the lessons; and then ask them to write the dialogues for each of the characters without changing the story line. The other alternative is to give them match the following kind of stuff; wherein you show animated images of characters in the lesson and ask them to match the characterization of each individual without browsing through the animated series of the chapter. This way child will love to engage in the activities; and will not feel it as just another way of evaluation. Try to fix a minimum criterion that the child needs to meet before proceeding further. This will give them an opportunity to know whether they have gained expertise in that chapter. Even if they are not able to achieve the minimum criterion there is nothing to worry. They can see the animated series of the lessons once again; and then try to give their best in the activities; so that maximum knowledge can be gained from the activities.

The sole objective of conducting the activities at the end of the lessons is to make sure that the child retains the story-line and gain knowledge from the chapters thereby; getting insights from them. The other way of looking at it is giving something different to the children; so that they can enhance their creativity and showcase their talent. This can be done by asking them to write the synopsis of the animated series in their own words, mentioning the role of central characters in the story and the moral behind the story. This way children would be able to retain the lessons for a longer period of time without much effort. 

For Math: Now this is a very sticky situation because it is very difficult to design engaging activities for children especially if we talk about Math as a subject in online tutoring. But since I have already discussed about innovative activities that can be done for English it is only natural to showcase different innovative ways through which Math education can also be made fun-based for children. Now as far as activities are concerned they would go in the line as discussed in my previous blog titled “Challenging task of making math a fun-loving activity for students”. Since I have already discussed innovative methods of making Math an interesting subject to teach in online tutoring. Let me go a step further to evaluate different activities that can add a new feather to Math education; as far as end of the chapter activities for children are concerned. So let me start off with the activities.

Remember when you were 10-15 years old you were fond of various super-heroes. So we will use the same concept in our activities. For example; if we are talking about division problems. Then the activities would be something like this: 

Batman is fighting a supreme battle in the Gotham City against Bane, a ruthless monster who wants to take down the Gotham City with a nuclear bomb. Now if Bane has planted 4 different nuclear bombs in different locations of Gotham City and Batman has only 2 occasions to find out the exact location before the bombs diffuse; how many tries does he have in total to save Gotham City from the nemesis from happening?

This can be a very interesting division problem; and but it cannot be that simple for a 10 year old to solve but it will keep them engaged in the problem and get the solution. I will give you another example of fraction to showcase that these kinds of activities can not only be creative; but also enriching for the critical thinking of the child as discussed in my previous blog on Math titled ““Challenging task of making math a fun-loving activity for students”. 

Captain Jack Sparrow is joined by Angelica to search for fountain of youth. But the only glitch is that once they are there they will have to encounter a fatal encounter with a “one-legged man”. Now there are also mermaids in the story which are quite vicious. The trick to get to the fountain of youth; and get eternal youth is to get tears of sorrow from one of the mermaids and put it in a cup and drink it. Now this is not an easy thing because they are vicious and attack individuals like predators. So if there are six people including Jack, Angelica, Mermaid, One-legged man, Phillip Swift (who falls in love with the mermaid) and BlackBeard, who practices voodoo magic and yields a magical sword to control the ship. Who amongst these six will be able to get eternal youth? The only problem is there can only be one person that can gain eternal youth. Find out who amongst these six individuals would be that lucky person?

The answer is quite simple; 1/6. But for a 10 year old the most fascinating part would be to imagine being in the adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow; and trying to figure out the eventual winner who gets eternal youth out of the six participants.

Although the examples that I have given are based on movies you can create your own fictional characters. But bear in mind that children should be fond of the characters. These characters should have some sort of connection with children like Batman and Captain Jack Sparrow. This can lead to further enhancement of knowledge in children in a very creative and interesting way. Similarly different examples can be given for solving problems and puzzles by giving interesting characterization to children.

In the end I would conclude this blog by saying a very famous quote by Vincent van Gogh,

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? 

So always think big and try to go out of the way and follow your dreams; because they are not just visions or hallucinations but they are your pathway to future success.

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors

You might have observed that in all my blogs I have always given priority to innovation in education methods. The simple reason for that is we are moving into a revolutionary phase where things will become outdated quite quickly. Hence, there is always a need for something new and exciting to make students interested in the subjects. More so; in case of theory subjects like English where students do not find it interesting to read the whole bunch of chapters to get the story. The tedious job of an online tutor is not only to depict the information in the English chapters through interesting means but also deliver knowledge to the students in such a manner that they want to study the chapters again and again. Now this is a challenge especially for young children in Std. I to VIII. As the age of a child increases the curiosity factor decreases. Hence, this is the period when children want to learn something different. So the tried and tested methods of teaching will never work for these children.

I know if you are a tutor yourself, you are wondering and saying to yourself I have been a teacher all my life and now you come up with your own thesis claiming the online teaching mechanism has flaws? You are right my friend. Although you have been teaching since a long time things change and people change. The same teaching mechanism cannot be used for the current generation as they are quite smart and know everything about the new technology. They like to experiment a bit since early childhood and learn through their own experiences. From what I have learned so far I can say very bluntly that we have never learned the art of understanding the minds of a child. The only thing we are interested is in making our future generation a bunch of crammers who go to college get their degrees but at the end of the day when you ask them basic questions that are relevant in the practical world they are clueless. We do not want our future generation to be book-wormers we want them to learn through practical experiences. More so by making them experience the same things that they learn in theory.

One way of doing that is through animation-based e-learning. Now I know this idea looks ridiculous but believe me if you are a child aged 8 years of age you will love to see the Tom and Jerry series on cartoon network or Duck tales series which used to telecast earlier. Now the only reason I am giving these examples is because every story in English language in primary education has a moral behind it. If we try to depict it in an interesting manner in similar lines to these cartoon series it will make students see the animations again and again. This way; online tutors do not have to spend much time on making students understand the topics. Moreover, students can revise the chapters by going through the animated series of chapters again and again thereby reducing the burden on parents. Students will study without any force and will literary ask for more and more chapters in the digitalized/animated format. The quizzes can then be taken after a specific interval to gauge the success of this concept. I feel that this can work and will prove to be a major hit in future. Children as it is are not happy with books.

Practically speaking, I see so many toddlers carrying loads of books in their schoolbags. It is so ridiculous but their own weight is far less than the weights of the books. Isn’t it our duty to see that the children are not overburdened with studies? This is the age which we as mature adults remember now and share our experiences with our peers and friends saying those were the happy days without any pressure. Now, if your own child is burdened with the kind of education which is being provided will you be happy with it? Moreover, I have also seen parents sending their children to private tutors which increase the burden on children tremendously. Because now they have do over-time by completing the class work, homework and the tuition work. Is n’t it a sin to burden a child with so much of pressure? Can’t we creatively think about an education system which is free from books and provides practical exposure to children so that they can become future managers, leaders and so on?

Story-boards are also interesting concepts wherein you make children learn about the subjects through stories in the form of sequential animated images. But if we make it even better by providing them with animated cartoon characters to depict the chapters it will be a great hit amongst children. Even the parents would love it. Online tutoring will improve because now you will have to increase the creativity quotient and think out-of-the-box to resolve the concerns of the children differently than the traditional ways of communication. But that is something which I will be discussing in my next blog. For now I will sign off with a statement which has made me think about this concept quite seriously:


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Friday, 3 August 2012

5 Commandable Reasons Signifying Digital Learning Success for Present and Next Generation

Digital learning has become one of the trending topics in the education sector. In this article; we look at some of the reasons signifying digital learning success for present and future generation.

Digital learning is an upcoming technology. It provides revolutionary changes to the learning pattern. There are various digital devices which provide a great learning platform for students to study the selected subjects at their own convenience. Recently we have already seen teachers giving projects to students through computers. The students can then work on these projects on computers and send the projects in electronic format to the teachers. This is known as Digital Learning. As technology up gradations continue to flourish, we will see a significant increase in digital learning in near future. Let us look at some of the reasons signifying digital learning success for present and future generation:
  • Focused on providing quality content to the students: Traditional education system puts lot of stress on the need to get good marks in exams rather than making students understand the subject thoroughly. E-learning differs in this regards. It not only provides quality content but also gives freedom to the students to learn their selected subjects at their own pace and time. With the practice quizzes and evaluation process students can regularly check their progress and continue to work hard thereby achieving excellence by devoting quality time. Teachers can provide instant support to the students by being there with them through chat system. It also makes it easier for the student to get their queries and concerns resolved instantly without wasting much time. Hence; Digital Learning has given a tremendous impetus to online education.
  • Focused on providing future learning mechanism: Digital learning is the future of education. It will provide a great impetus to online education. By starting the learning process through digital media at a very young age students can prepare themselves to join the 21st century workforce and academic world.
  • Focused on providing competitive education to students: As the number of families continue to grow in USA the number of online courses will increase. The families can select the relevant courses that are best fit for the child. E-learning programs also continue to improve gradually so that competitive education can be provided to the students.
  • Focused on providing higher level of accountability for students: E-learning courses in USA provide higher level of accountability in comparison to traditional courses. For example; by law every student enrolled in an online public school has a written student learning plan that outlines the success steps for him or her. If the online learning course does not fit a particular student they are shifted to another school. Schools are accountable for the students and parents.
  • Focused on providing ubiquitous access to the students: Online education is not restricted to location, socio-economic status, learning level etc. The only thing required is an internet connection. Online learning helps students to access a world-class education. Rural students can also take full advantage of e-learning courses and can also offer multiple foreign languages.
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