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Archive for the ‘Blended Learning’ Category

SIX E-LEARNING MYTHS AND THE REALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH IT


E-learning courses have seen a downward trend in recent times. In this article; we look at several misconceptions and realities associated with e-learning courses.

E-learning industry has been going through a tough stage. There are mixed reactions which have been received from students about the quality of e-learning courses. There are some misconceptions associated with e-learning which needs to be clarified. Let us look at these misconceptions and the realities associated with it:

  • Myth: Quantity is as significant as quality. Generally e-learning is priced according to the volume produced. Even customers are concerned with the volume of content rather than the quality of the content. But this is not correct.

Reality: If the e-learning course is designed taking into consideration quality of the content, then the same course can get reduced by a considerable margin. This will ultimately result in saving of time. The employees can then concentrate on their work and learn through practical case studies provided in the e-learning courses.

  • Myth: All the content is important.  Lots of times customers feel that all the content is important for the e-learning course. However, that is not the case.

Reality: There is no guarantee that everything displayed in the course will be understood and recalled by the student. Hence; it is important for the customers to understand that all the content is not required for the course and only the important parts that comprises of major learning needs to be integrated in the course. Content should be designed keeping in aspect different things like: usability approach, frequency, importance and type of use etc. Once these aspects have been decided then the content is prepared keeping in focus the training, reference material and things to exclude from the content.

  • Myth: E-learning is just a course. Most of the customers believe that e-learning is merely an electronic textbook that replaces classroom training. That is not true.

Reality: It is more involved in practical approaches which help people in improving their performance. It should comprise of various different subjects like:

      • Knowledge management
      • Performance support systems
      • Intranets
      • Practice environments
      • Standard electronic courses
  • Myth: Things will become easier once the technology improves.  There is a common belief that e-learning is falling behind because of the current state of technology. There is always a hope for a miracle cure round the corner but the major problem is the level of training at the level of delivery. Reality: Lot of time is devoted to understand the content management and training approach which will never go away. This does not mean that improvements in technology, standards, and theories will not help but it will not cure the current problems faced in designing e-learning courses easily.
  • Myth: E-learning is easy.  Clients believe that they are paying for simplicity. But is it so simple to make the complicated subject simpler?

Reality:  Clients often expect simpler solutions to complicated ones. But e-learning has always been more about making complex things clearer and simple.

  • Myth: E-learning provides one-time quick fix solution.  It is often believed that e-learning provides quick fix solution to practical problems in real time. However; that is not true.

Reality: It really takes time and energy to develop content for the courses in accordance to the target audience.
E-learning courses give practical exposure to the students. With the help of these courses; corporate executives can learn to solve practical problems faced in the organization. An efficient e-learning course provider should take these points seriously and create a proficient course that meets the needs of the target audience.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://www.empowerlms.com

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21st Century learning and Teaching Modus operandi and Advantages


With growing technologies, the methods of acquiring education are also growing. It is always better to opt for something that is advanced because if a teacher is departing knowledge then there is a possibility of human error but that is not the case with technology.

With changing time, the method of acquiring and providing knowledge is changing. During olden days, students use to go to the classroom and knowledge sharing use to take place in place in classrooms only but these days advanced learning has become popular. During olden days, the only way available for gaining knowledge was books but now, new methods like that of Elearning LMS and usage of other advanced technologies has started.

Methods using for learning and teaching in 21st century

There are many methods that have being introduced at regular intervals so that the students can learn many things and at a faster rate and at the same time, the teacher’s work is also reduced to a larger extent. Few of the popular methods that are being used are as follows: –

  1. Elearning LMS – Elearning LMS has become a popular thing because of the ease and comfort with which it can be used. With the help of Elearning LMS, the students get involved in what is being taught.
  2. Online learning – There are many online learning classrooms where the lectures are conducted virtually. The user can get access to wide range of knowledge by way of this mode of learning and the quality of education that student from all over the world receives remains same.
  3. Digital learning – Digital learning means carry the study notes in a digital equipment like that of laptop, mobile or e-book reader so that the person can study anywhere as per their convenience.

Advantages of learning and teaching methods used in 21st century

There are many advantages of using advanced technologies to depart knowledge rather the classroom teaching.

  1. If a person prepares an elearning LMS then that can be used by various people and it can be used for longer period of time. Same is the case with Online learning as well, once the course material is prepared, it can used at any point of time as per the users requirement.
  2. If a person is too busy and hence, he doesn’t have the time to attend classes but he is eager to learn then he can take up some online learning courses where he can listen to the course content at any point of time as per his convenience.
  3. Another advantage that is offered by digital learning is access to knowledge anywhere and everywhere because it is merely impossible to carry fat books with oneself at all point of time. Digital learning has reduced the physical efforts of carrying books.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://www.empowerlms.com

New Report Urges Online Learning Expansion in Texas


Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Public Policy Foundation would like to see Texas follow Florida’s lead in increasing access to virtual schools.

A report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation suggests that virtual education and blended elearning both present the opportunity for cost savings and academic gain in Texas.

“At the K-12 level, the potential of virtual education is enormous,” said the report’s author, James Golsan. “Through the use of technology, students in rural districts would have access to the same educational resources as students in more populated areas. Familiarization with technology could prepare students for the work force more quickly.”

While there is some concern about the ability of existing traditional institutions to convert to blended learning facilities, it’s a popular model for new start ups. Virtual education is already a success story in Florida and the TPPF wants Texas to follow Florida’s lead.

“Florida has one of the longest standing and most successful virtual education programs in the country,” Golsan said. “As Texas seeks to improve its own digital learning environment, an examination of the Florida model provides the state with an example by which to fashion, at the very least, its public virtual education after.

Several benefits to a virtual education model are highlighted in the report, such as increased course availability and access to quality instructors. Although virtual education institutions have come under fire in the past for high dropout rates, the report believes that dropout recovery could be best served in the virtual arena.

Another highlighted benefit to Texas expanding its digital education offerings is the potential for huge cost savings. Not only does the report claim that educating students online is cheaper than traditional in-person methods, but that cost efficiencies of scale accrue more under a digital learning platform.

“Currently, Texas funds its students at a rate of around $11,000 per pupil,” Golsan said. “Research suggests that full-time virtual students can be educated for between $1,500 and $3,000 less per student than those in traditional brick-and-mortar settings.”

The perceived benefits of online education have recently come under scrutiny from Great Lakes Centre for Education Research and Practice, but the TPPF remains enthusiastic.

The report also recommends the easing of the course approval process for digital coursework, the promotion of private provider participation in digital learning, the creation of a scholarship program for digital learners, and the opening of the Texas Virtual School Network to private and home-schooled students.

This article was originally posted at http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=59580

West Prairie Board approves three-year technology plan


Sciota, Ill. —

West Prairie School District’s three-year technology plan, approved by the district’s board of education Thursday night, includes steps to move the district towards implementing a one-to-one digital learning program that would provide students with their own device, such as a laptop computer or iPad.

The plan, which is submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education for approval, will allow the school district to access federal E-Rate funds for lower telecommunications and Internet costs. The E-Rate program discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, depending on the cost of eligible services, the low-income level of the district and urban/rural status.

Scott Sullivan, the district’s technology coordinator, prepared the technology plan and presented some details to the board. The plan not only includes a purchasing plan for network upgrades and new hardware, but instructional goals for integrating technology in the classroom to enhance learning.

Sullivan said the district spent about $114,000 last year on network upgrades, including a new computer server, and will spend around $150,000 the next fiscal year. Network upgrades that will next be completed include new switch boxes — devices that connect computers to a network and enhance connectivity between buildings.

Sullivan said those upgrades are necessary as the district moves towards a one-on-one digital learning environment.

While the district has not yet decided what kind of device, such as an iPad or laptop computer, will be used, Sullivan said the cost will be about $2.50 per student, per day, and added that cost is comparable to what other school districts have spent to implement one-to-one digital learning programs.

He also said he doesn’t expect the district to begin looking at purchasing any devices until this summer for possible implementation in the fall, starting with the high school.

Sullivan has visited a number of other school districts, including Mendon and United, to see how they have implemented one-to-one digital devices.

“I think this is going to help us move forward,” Sullivan said about the technology plan.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said students in high school agriculture teacher Corinne Galvan’s classes are already getting to experience one-to-one digital learning with their own iPads to enhance instruction.

“It’s kind of a first baby step,” Heerboth commented.

In other business Thursday night, the board:
• Accepted the resignation of Eunice Lutz, middle school principal.

• Set a special board meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the West Prairie Middle School in Colchester to discuss personnel matters, maintenance matters and long-range planning. The next regular board of education meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the West Prairie High School.

Sen. Rogers: Digital Learning Can Make Georgia a Leader in Education


Digital learning, teachers are the main subjects of Sen. Chip Rogers weekly legislative address.

Rogers said SB 289, the Digital Learning bill, will give Georgia the opportunity to be a leader in education instead of continuing to trail the nation.

The Republican senator said most of the time digital learning would take place in the classroom, at each student’s own pace.

Places in the state without the abiltiy to pay teachers for small numbers of students in subjects such as physics and languages such as Japanese will be able to offer them through digital learning, Rogers said.

Of Profits and Power: Education Establishment Attacks Digital Learning


The education establishment is pulling out all the stops to stifle the movement to expand the use of technology to modernize the way students learn.

Digital education is a growing form of school choice. Virtual charter schools are a natural way to provide access to top-notch instruction for students, regardless of their geographical location. But the protectors of the status quo are doing everything they can do stop it.

Finally, their true colors are showing.

Debbie Squires, a representative of a school principal’s association, recently told the Michigan House Education Committee that while parents do indeed care for their children, they’re not knowledgeable enough about what is best for their children.

This is a standard line of thinking – those with the background and “expertise” know what’s best for children, not their parents.  See recent articles on the “school food police” for further evidence.

The other line of attack is that “profits” are evil and that no one should be making money in education, even if for-profit  companies provide quality instruction for children.

Michigan Parents for Schools (but apparently not virtual charter schools) recently urged its members to contact lawmakers and demand that they reject the virtual charter bill, which would remove the cap on the number of schools allowed in the state.  The subject line of the email read, “Let’s make sure online schools help kids, not pad profits.”

This is an interesting criticism because ultimately, lots of people make money off education.  Textbook companies make money.  Contractors make money.  Teachers make money.  Administrators make money.

But who’s accountable when taxpayers are ripped off by government schools that aren’t delivering results?

Say, for example, Muskegon Heights school district in my own quaint community in western Michigan.

Recent data shows that 6.8% of 11th graders are proficient in reading and writing while only 2.2% of students are proficient in math. Meanwhile,  the school district is nearly broke and may not be able to meet its payroll for the rest of the academic year.

Someone is grossly mismanaging district funds (perhaps making a profit?) while the children go without a decent education.  Where is the outrage from the establishment about that?

Perhaps the Michigan Parents for Schools group should call a few Muskegon Heights parents, to see what they think.

My bet is that most, if not all, of those parents would welcome a digital education option, a charter school option, a school voucher option – anything to get their kids out of that miserable “not-for-profit” government school district.

And they probably wouldn’t care if some company was making money while teaching their children, as long as their children learned.

Digital textbooks hinge on connectivity


I wrote earlier this month about Lamar County School District Superintendent Ben Burnett’s goal this semester of finalizing a policy on student use of iPads and other handheld electronic devices.

Burnett wants to move towards eventually using digital textbooks in the district. His first step is to allow students to bring their own personal electronic devices to school to use as learning tools.

“If we wait two to three years to begin thinking about this, our students will be behind,” Burnett told me.

Also, earlier this month, at a news conference in Washington, D.C., Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski, along with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, said the time was now for American students to transition to digital textbooks.

Genachowski issued a challenge at the press conference – to companies, government officials, schools and teachers – to do their part to make sure every student in America has a digital textbook within the next five years.

The U.S. trails countries like South Korea in transitioning to digital textbooks. That country has announced it will begin moving all students to digital textbooks next year.

Genachowski imagined how a digital textbook could help a student who was having trouble doing his geometry homework by automatically inserting a supplemental lesson.

Or, he suggested, a teacher could get instant access to the results of a pop quiz and immediately see which students didn’t understand the concepts so she could offer an extra lesson.

Genachowski said digital textbooks are being used in pockets around the country, but adoption is not widespread and is too skewed to wealthier areas.

“We spend $7 billion a year on textbooks in this country, but digital textbooks – this massive innovation – remain the exception, not the rule,” he said.

Genachowski said one major obstacle remains to implementing digital textbooks nationwide – connectivity.

“About a third of Americans – 100 million people – still haven’t adopted broadband at home,” he said. “Digital textbooks can’t work without this home connectivity.”

The FCC is working to address this problem, Genachowski said.

It’s launched a public-private initiative called Connect-to-Compete.

“We’ve seen major companies like Microsoft, Best Buy and the cable companies step forward with significant commitments to promote adoption,” Genachowski said.

Education and communications officials say digital learning is crucial.

Technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30 percent to 80 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

And a Federal Reserve study found that students with a PC and broadband at home have six percentage to eight percentage point higher graduation rates than students who don’t have home access to the Internet.

Keep up with information like that found in this column by accessing me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/educellen.

Ellen Ciurczak is the American’s K-12 education reporter. She can be reached at eciurczak@hattiesburgamerican.com or 584-3116.

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