Minggu, 15 Juli 2012

Drivers Education Online

Traditionally, students could take driver education courses in high schools or at a private school. This required the students to put in extra hours after school or attend the classes during weekend in order to finish the driver education course. One major disadvantage of this is the amount of time the student has to compulsorily spend to attend the course class everyday.
Keeping this in mind, several websites presently offer online driver's education courses. Most states have a DMV website that provides the course as per the regulations and rules followed in that state. Online driver education has become increasingly popular and is one way to save time and money. Driver's education courses have adapted over the years to become considerably easier for people of all ages. A wide variety of accredited drivers education courses, training aides, and study guides are available online. It is suggested to check out the various choices while looking for a driver education course or service. Different drivers education offerings have different prices and might not be acceptable in all states.
A recent study shows that home-study students performed just as well or better than classroom students on the learner's permit test. Online courses provide the benefit of the students having parental involvement and guidance while studying.
Driver education courses usually indicate that the student must attend a minimum of 25 classes before appearing for the exam. One advantage with online courses is that the student can take as long as required without the pressure of having to finish the course before a deadline. The exam can be taken online whenever the student feels comfortable. Also, the exam can be taken at the local DMV office. Most of the websites that deal with online courses also provide a number of sample and practice exams online so as to make the student feel confident before appearing for the main exam.
After the exam is completed successfully, the DMV approved certificate of completion is sent by the next day.

Minggu, 08 Juli 2012

How to Get Free Money to Save for Your Child's College Education

Did you know that a college educated person will earn 2.5 times more over a lifetime than someone without a post secondary education? College educated people are more likely to keep their jobs when times are tough and are more likely to be working than those without a post secondary education. Now getting an education can be expensive. One year in a Canadian degree program such as an arts and science program can easily cost $5000/year. If you are an out of province student, the extraneous expenditures can easily increase your education costs by $3000/school year.
To help pay for future education cost, the Government of Canada has taken great initiative to ensure that every Canadian child will have the funds necessary to get an education by providing families with free government grants. The free grant was introduced in 1998 to encourage parents to start saving for their children's education costs.
How does the program work?
The most popular form of the education savings is the registered education savings plan known as an Resp. Although an Resp can be started at any time, parents are advised to start an Resp when the child is born. Qualifying families who start the plan early will receive a $500 government bond in the first year to invest towards the program. Once the plan is started, the Government of Canada will continue to contribute by matching every dollar invested anywhere from 20 up to 40%.
A good strategy for investing into an resp is to invest your monthly government child tax benefit. So for example, if your family receives $50/month per child in child tax benefit and if you invest the benefit into an Resp, not only will your Resp earn interest from the investment firm but it will also be topped up with the 20-40% contribution from the government. Therefore, a $50/month investment earning 5% annually will easily gross $45,000 at maturity (18 year plan). And the best part is you will be using free money from the government (Child Tax Benefit) to earn free government grants on the investment. So take advantage of the free government grants by opening an Resp and secure your child's future.

Minggu, 01 Juli 2012

Engaging and Educating iPhone Games for Toddlers

They are tender like wet cement. And you as a parent can make any impression at this stage. The toddlers, by nature, like to play games and indulge in activities that keep them fascinated. Why not use this character to make them educated, alert and well-mannered? iPhone games can really help you in this way. They have high graphics and stunning sound ideal to engage toddlers and cleverly fulfill your wish.
The iPhone game developers are smart as they make games that not only entertain kids but also help grooming them. Let's look at some of the best genres you can download on your smartphone and can make your child smarter!
Educating Games
iPhone games for education is quite a popular genre. The toddlers can learn basic math such as identifying the number of objects, single digit addition and subtraction and so on. Education game application on iPhone is not just restricted to mathematics as game apps for learning English language, Science and Environment studies are also available and popular.
Manner Teaching Games
I had come across few apps on iPhone that teach toddlers about day-to-day manners. Right from getting up from the bed, and brushing the teeth, the toddler is asked to arrange the routine tasks in the game. Such apps typically help kids learning how to behave well and learn good things.
Mind Sharpening Games
This is one of the favorite genres among parents. The parents certainly want their kids to be sharp and skilled. Mind sharpening games include puzzles and practical problem solving. They enjoy this type of game as solving the problems successfully help them developing self-confidence.
Alerting Games
iPhone game developers also build games that require toddlers to be alert all time. As in picking up a popping egg from many holes or saving the car from suddenly coming objects, the kids develop a real eye-to-hand coordination. Experts do believe that such cognition helps them becoming alert in real world as well. The gesture based iPhone game applications truly help kids developing good coordination between the senses.
Musical Games
This genre of game for iPhone is probably for those who are wonder kids and born artists! Such games have piano, violin, guitar or any such musical instrument that the kids can play and learn musical notes. As they tap the keys, musical sound is produced that amaze them. In fact, parents can assist their babies and make them play musical games on iPhone. Babies like it more because such sound attracts them.
Gesture Based Games
This new genre of iPhone games has created a boom among the toddlers. The simple reason is 'motion'. Kids and toddlers love to move and with these games, they even get entertained. Many sports and alerting games for iPhone are based on gestures. For instance, driving a train that moves on a railway track that has ups and downs, straights and rounds. The challenge for toddler is to keep the train on the track and not let it derail. They have to move or rotate the iPhone according to the tracks and the tracks that does not remain straight.
With these and many other genres, iPhone app games for the little ones are really good. All you have to do is choose the right ones and download them on your smartphone.

Jumat, 29 Juni 2012

Internet Changing the Way We Educate Ourselves

Internet has revolutionized the way we think, learn and work today. It is a platform that encompasses information related to each and every subject- be it science, history or general knowledge. Notable impact of internet in education industry is being witnessed in the form of online degrees.
As a result of the advent of technology and ease of access to internet facility, online education is taking the world by the storm and is providing an ideal means to make quality education available to working professionals, students, senior citizens and others. Imparting or gaining education has become easier as well as interesting with the use of Internet. A number of colleges and universities offer a variety of online executive programs that are specifically designed to meet the requirements of professionals. Online education portals give details about the courses offered by some of the top and most reputed institutes of the country. For instance, people all over prefer earning an Online MBA in order to learn the nuances in their field, and thus improve their skills. It helps them increase their level of productivity and add more value to their respective companies. As working professionals find it difficult to attend regular education programs owing to their demanding job schedules, they prefer earning a degree online for getting better career opportunities and improving their qualifications.
Instant communication is the foremost advantage that internet education offers. E-learning allows students and teachers, sitting at distant places, to communicate and exchange information without much effort. Facilities like emails, instant messages, messengers, online chat options etc. have made possible a hassle-free and instant communication between two or more persons at the same time.
Though quality of education is almost same in both the online and in-campus learning programs, cost incurred in online executive programs is much less as compared to that of traditional ways of education. Books and other material can be easily downloaded from the internet free of cost or at negligible rates. Internet also facilitates the broadcasting of educational events, lectures and educational channels on the web. Since information is shared through internet only, students are not required to sit in the classrooms. Information shared via internet is available 24*7. Online libraries are becoming more and more popular as these are easier and convenient to access than visiting a brick-and-mortar library.
Internet, today, has become an indispensable element of learning environment. We find that the importance of Internet in today's education industry cannot be denied. Internet has eased out the process with which one can choose an apt course for oneself because of presence of numerous online education consultants. Though Internet cannot replace books or traditional education method, but it is the best alternative for those who cannot attend regular courses.

Jumat, 22 Juni 2012

Indian Higher Education - An Overview

Wide discussions are held on the state and concerns of Indian higher education. What really is the issue here? Let us take a look!...
Though the problems associated with this sector are multilayer-ed, I had divided it broadly in to administrative and academic problems, with few subtitles under these as I feel that all other problems like, social, psychological etc. associated with this sector comes in the backdrop of these broad problems. Let us first look in to these problems before going in to the reforms required.
i) Reservation- Reservation and Privatization are perhaps the most debated topic in our higher educational sector, and hence I have listed it first in the list. Increased concern over reservation has negatively affected our higher educational system as it has taken away lime light from many other major concerns. Reservation in any sector (&especially I educational system), causes loss to society, as the brightest do not reach better institutes; but we still continue with it thinking it would bring more good to the society than its losses. Though the need for a reservation still exists it is time to think of its re-allotment for more effectiveness. Sam Pitroda, the chairman of National Knowledge Commission, "Reservation has probably set us back several years in our ability to carry out the reforms we need to."
The popular support that reservation gets had prompted many of our politicians to o on further with reservation (with a need for Supreme Court to intervene in the matter and cap reservation limit to maximum of 50 Percent). The social tensions faced by the authorities against this policy is mainly managed by increasing the total number of seats and also because many among the upper class pursue foreign education.
The proper implementation and gradual reduction of reservation in a democratic country like ours need strong political will, free of prejudices.
ii) Political intervention in universities- This takes place both in policy formation and implementation. Bureaucratic sluggishness, misconceptions and prejudices retard the growth of our higher education sector. The denial of visa for prominent global educationalists to come to India, the slow moving files in government offices on matters concerning collaboration of industry and institutes, the delays in allocation of new courses etc. are the finest examples of this aspect.
Among the policy matters too, the absence of Political visionaries had been a problem while there were 5 IITs established during Nehru's period, only 1 IIT was established prior to the recent establishment of5 new IITs. Unhealthy political among the teaching and the student community and the inefficient funding has also retarded the growth of this field. A prominent educationalist tells, "Our deans and administrators now hang on the spoken word of our politicians, and student unions and teachers beat to their drum. It's so entrenched that asserting independence in appointments and day to day decision turns you in to a radical, a rebel in the system."
As political elite and the government receive benefits of these negative aspects, they prefer a status-quo. Thus, in our higher educational system, we have this uncomfortable condition, as Nandan Nilekani puts it "the state interferes, rather than guiding; (play) politics rather than policy".
iii) Regulation- In the regulatory aspect of higher education, we have a dual problem. On the one hand, we have a confusing array of different regulatory bodies like UGC and AICTE and on the other hand, neither the government, nor UGC or AICTE has an effective control over our Universities. The rating system of the UGC and AICTE is also one with many loop holes.
Due to absence of good legislation, UGC and AICTE had reduced to regulatory bodies that stand helplessly by, as India's university system crumbled, and thus half of India's expanding colleges, as a Vice-chancellor remarked, "are intellectual and social slums".
iv) Funding- India spends only 1.9 percent of its GDP on higher education, the lowest among any nations with GDP higher than $500 billion. Its spending on research activities at universities is also very low compared to both the developed and the emerging nations. Even the funds that are presently allotted are not efficient enough. But, it should be noted that higher funding or investment in higher education can lead to better results only with reforms in the total system.
i) Quality of the Higher education- India is the 3rd largest in the number of higher educational institutes after China and USA and is one of the largest degree producers in the world.
But, quality of these is quite unsatisfactory. No worthwhile invention has been made here. Rote learning can identified as one of the factor behind this. India's engineering and medical colleges, management schools and universities are facing a serious shortage of quality academic faculty by about 20 percent. Global competitiveness of Indian students is comparatively small and is still smaller if the top 10 institutes of India are taken out. India does not have more than 5 universities in the top 500 bracket of the academic ranking of world universities.
ii) Number of Institutions for higher education- Though India is one of the largest in terms of number of institutes for higher education; it is still short of them. This shortage is expected to be more by 2015, thanks to the efforts to improve the enrollment ratio. By 2015, we need at least 1500 universities, against 350 we have today.
iii) Research- The research standards of our country has been poor, both in terms of quality and quantity. If we consider a particular area, say Computer Science, where we are assumed to be strong, we can see that annual PhDs in this field in our country is 25, while it exceeds 800 in USA and 2500 in China. IIT is granted 3-6 patents in a year, where as it is 64 for Stanford and 102 for MIT! We haven't seen any technological adaptation after 1970s and 1980s and not a single major invention emerged from India over past 50 years!!!
iv) Employability- "75 percent of the Indian graduates are unemployable for the work they are trained for", was said by Shri. Narayana Murthy of Infosys. Many people prefer sub-standard engineering degree than good vocational skills, where as 90 percent of the employment opportunities require vocational skills. McKinsley estimates that only 10 percent of Indian students in arts and humanities and only 25 percent of Indian engineering graduates are globally competitive. 12 percent of the 41 million unemployed are either a graduate or a postgraduate!
It is an agreed fact that reforms are required in the area of higher education. Many suggestions on this matter address many of the problems mentioned earlier. Some of them are a panacea for more than one of those problems.
A 'super regulator' which forms a single independent regulatory body would eliminate the confusion prevailing over multiple arrays of regulatory bodies. This would also bring more transparency, setting up of uniform controls and better quality in higher education. We need independent regulatory body free from government or political intervention.
Private participation, if properly propelled can bring out both qualitative and quantitative improvement in our higher educational sector. It is neither possible nor sensible for the government to invest the huge amount that is required for, in our higher educational sector. Private participation, from both inside and outside the country should be encouraged to make more institutes in our country. This will take away the deficit between the demand for higher education and the availability of institutes. This will avoid the instances like that which happened in Delhi University this year, when a 100percent cut-off was announced in a college under the university. Institutes like TISS, BITS, Lady Sriram College, Sriram College of Commerce, Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), CMC Vellore, St. Stephen's College, etc. has taken away our doubts on the quality of private institutes.
The interactions between industries and institutions should be encouraged, taking necessary precautions, as this can increase the employability of the students.
Reforms have taken in our country when visionaries came in to action, like it happened during Nehru's times. When visionaries like M.S. Swaminathan, Vikram Sarabhai, Sam Pitroda, Verghese Kurien etc. acted, reforms required happened with direction. In the higher educational sector of our country, we have "a Niagra of reports and a Sahara of actions". Reforms required in higher educational sector requires controversial steps, as we are in a democracy. In fact, the market economy has been pushing us to the necessary reforms, to an extent. The question is, whether India can bring about these reforms fast enough to avail the opportunities that the country has today- domestically and globally???

Jumat, 15 Juni 2012

10 FAQ's About Online Education

The Answers May Surprise You
How important has online education become really? Since 2000 internet education has grown tremendously. Today it is the answer for many students out there. Here are ten frequently asked questions about online schools, the answers to which may surprise you.
10. How many?
Over 6 MILLION students are registered in distance education courses. This number continues to grow every year. WOW!
9. Why are students so interested in online school?
Because of the economy more and more students are enrolling in schools. Both distance ed. colleges and traditional colleges have seen increased enrollment since the economy went kaput. People are trying to find better jobs and education is what it takes to get those jobs.
8. Who offers these courses?
There are online colleges and universities that offer only online courses. You can also take online courses offered by traditional colleges and universities like Harvard and Yale. All forms of education are taking advantage of the online education popularity.
7. How are traditional colleges adapting?
Many traditional colleges have created "web facilitated" courses that allow students to study on the internet but in a face to face setting. A lot of colleges use hybrid courses that are both in class discussion with online elements.
6. What's in the future?
In 2010 63% of all traditional colleges agreed that online courses were vital to their future. Education online is the way of the future and traditional colleges are taking advantage of that.
5. How many students are learning online?
Internet based schools experience a growth in enrollment every year of about 20%. That's about 1 million NEW students a year. Everybody's doing it... really.
4. Will the hype ever end?
Not likely. Most traditional colleges have implemented online programs into their curriculum and don't plan to change. College courses on the internet can help a lot of students so it seems these programs are here to stay.
3. What does this mean for students?
With the continued growth of distance education and use of online programs in traditional Universities, this means that if you are a traditional student you may be taking some courses on your computer or using some online programs through your school. If you are already an online student you can expect to see more and more of your friends joining in.
2. What are the opinions of distance ed. degrees?
When online education was still a new concept many were skeptical as to the quality of education that students were earning online. Since then there has been a long standing debate of the credibility of online schools. Earning your degree online is the same quality as if you were to earn it from a traditional college. More and more people and employers are accepting this form of education as the norm.
1. Is this type of education here to stay?
YES! The only thing that may change the attendance rates for online schools is if there is a change in financial aid. This can go both ways. If the government decides to allow more funding for online schools then, attendance may go up even further. If the government decides to reduce the funding for online schools the numbers may decrease.
Online schools are here to stay. So many students benefit from online schools and are earning their degrees through them, that it is not likely they will ever go away. If anything you should expect to see online schools and online degree courses continue to grow.

Jumat, 08 Juni 2012

Online Education - Taking Education to Another Level

A college education means different things to different people. To some it might bring a sense of personal achievement, to others it might be a chance to move up the professional ladder and apply to higher-paying jobs. Some might just want to learn new skills or polish their existing skills. Whatever your reason, a college education is a personal, professional goal. One you should try to reach, no matter what.
How you go about earning a college degree is a decision you make taking various things into consideration. If you have family commitments or work responsibilities that you can't get out of, you may want to consider online education as an option.
Although online education has been met with scrutiny and apprehension over the past few years, there is no denying the fact that it has also gained immense popularity amongst working professionals, stay-at-home moms and otherwise committed career-oriented adults.
According to a survey on online education conducted by The Sloan Consortium in 2011, the number of students taking at least one online program has crossed 6 million. The survey further reported a 10 percent growth rate for online program enrollments which is far more than the 2 percent growth of the overall higher education student enrollments. This makes you wonder- Is online education going to transform and revolutionize the standard face-to-face method of instruction?
Advancement in technology, made it easier for people who were tied up with jobs and family responsibilities to educate themselves and achieve their professional and personal goals. As a result of the convenience online education offered, more and more students began embracing this form of education to supplement their careers and move up the corporate ladder. This led to more established institutions adopting Internet-centric programs.
Accredited online colleges such as Independence University offer career oriented online degrees. Reviews containing details about student services, financial aid assistance programs for those who qualify and accreditation of Independence University and other online colleges can be found on the Internet easily, thus promoting transparency and honesty.
But how can you be sure of the effectiveness of online classes? Truthfully, being successful at an online program requires self-discipline and motivation on the student's part. That said some students find that it helps to study alone as they can do so without distractions. It's a given that constant interaction with peers and professors is beneficial to a student, but then again online colleges make several provisions for their students to make this possible. Students can participate in online forum and chat-room discussions and communicate with their professors via e-mail.
While some students still believe that nothing can really replace the traditional college experience of meeting people from different walks of life and being on your own for the first time in your life; many will agree that for those who can't afford to do so, online education is a welcome alternative.
As technology progresses and expands, so will online education. And before you know it, almost every other college will have at least one online program.
Bruce Locke is an avid reader, blogger and a Career Consultant having rich experience of more than 15 years. His areas of expertise include Educational Planning, Career Planning & student counseling. In his spare time, he loves to participate in debates, discussions, forums and promote reading among today's youth.