education & tech

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Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Scholar

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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How to Create a Profitable Distance Education Program.

The emergence of online learning, or web-based education was looked upon like a miracle by some, while for others it was nothing more than an insignificant event in the long history of education and web. The proponents of distance education use various reasons such as its wide reach, and cost effectiveness to disarm the critics. In fact, there is already enough commentary on the web discussing the cost benefits of distance education. In these resource-scarce times, there is a fresh emphasis on the potential of e-learning.

What are the benefits of e-learning?

From the numerous advantages that e-learning offers, the prominent are given. An examination of each follows:

- Cost effective
- Time saving
- More effective learning
- Lower environmental impact

Lesser stress on environment

Learning on the web is an effective way for organizations to introduce a check on their carbon footprint. The lower CO2 emission per student than conventional campus-based university courses, reduction in the amount of student travel (fuel savings) and elimination of energy consumption arising out of student accommodation (in case of residential institutions) are the major savings. Although computers and networks are not environment friendly, yet the CO2 emissions arising out of a computer usage are significantly lower than traditional classroom.

Does e-learning saves time?

The obvious benefit of e-learning is its faster delivery cycle than the traditional instruction delivery methods. There is virtually no limit on how fast learning can be imparted to the student as the entire course is available online and it totally depends on the learner’s ability how quickly he or she can absorb the contents being transmitted.

Lower costs?

A large number of scholars believe that the primary benefit of online education is cost can be distributed over a large number of students, resulting in lesser expenses for educational institutions. There are a number of case studies available online that have proved the lower cost argument for e-learning. The cost dynamics have a high dependence on student enrollment numbers, another reason that e-learning is considered cost-effective because there is a reduction in training time known as learning compression. What contributes to this reduction in apprenticeship time?

- Students are free to go at their own pace, without worrying about the pace of the slowest member of the group.
- There is no time spent on questions or queries which are irrelevant to other members of the class.
- Time saved during travel to and from the learning center.
- Learners are free to learn what they need while skipping elements of a program they do not need.

Thus, owing to the concept of learning compression, e-learning can deliver the same amount of instruction or information as in a classroom by taking 25 to 50 percent less time. Time saved is reflected in the form of lesser expenditure.

Creating a profitable e-program?

Those who reject this argument have their rightful reasons to do so. Online courses are not restricted by any classroom size and per students costs decrease as student enrollments increases. However, reaching this threshold is hardly an easy thing to achieve and even more difficult is to maintain, as the number of competing programs continue to grow each year.

A major reason why it’s expensive and challenging to create a profitable online education program is due to the institution’s focus on initial fixed costs, ignoring variable costs. Whether it is an engineering program or management studies course, initial costs include designing the perfect schedule, developing and creating effective instructional materials and the technological infrastructural costs. But when factoring the total costs, you should also consider that an educational institution also counts continuing costs, better known as variable costs such as course updating and revision, research and development, and the ever-changing technological infrastructure.

In order to create a well-meaning, truly profitable distance education program, an institution has to keep in mind all these factors.

This post was brought to you by Saurabh Tyagi. He is a writer at Shiksha.com, whose expertise lies in online management studies programs. He took to writing at a tender age of ten, when he submitted his first essay for the school magazine. Although an engineer by qualification, he has kept his creative flame alive and still writes and guest blogs.

Education & Tech

10 Must Read Books That You Can Re-Read Now That You Are Older

Reading books can be such a relaxing endeavour, and sometimes re-reading books can makes us understand things we missed the first time. We all have our favorites, and sometimes the only way to revive a memory or a feeling is to re-read a book you haven’t thought of in years. You are older now, wiser, and your mentality is a lot more mature. It might surprise you but the books you read when you were 15 years old might have a great impact on your actual perceptions. The following 10 must-read books should definitely be included on your 'to-re-read' list:

1. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

If you read this book when you were in your teens, now it’s the perfect time to give it another go because you definitely didn’t like it in the first place. The story revolves around Holden Caulfield, a 16-year old child who quits school and leaves Pennsylvania for New York. Enticing, heartbreaking, and truly emotional, the book will certainly help you understand some things you couldn’t when you were younger.

Old book, old chair by Gayle Nicholson on Flickr 2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’s best and most enticing books, Great Expectations, tells the story of Pip, a child who grows up in misery but struggles to become a real gentleman someday. The book is additionally focused on Pip’s great love Estella, whom he loves but will never have. There have been so many movies made after the book that it’s almost impossible not to relate to the character and plot.

3. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Related in the simplest, most enticing language, The Old Man and the Sea is Ernest Hemingway’s most lasting works. The plot is centred on a Cuban fisherman and his utmost ordeal – an agonizing, relentless battle with a gigantic marlin nestled in the Gulf Stream. The classic novel won the Nobel Prize in 1954, so it’s definitely worth a re-read.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Another classic novel you just have to re-read is Pride and Prejudice. The plot centres on two main characters – Elizabeth Bennet and the aristocratic Fitzwilliam Darcy. Mostly preferred by women, the book tells the love of these two characters for whom the barrier between pride and prejudice must be overcome in order for them to live their love story.

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Acclaimed by generations and still one of the best novels of the 20th century literature, The Great Gatsby focuses its storyline on the wealthy Mr. Jay Gatsby and his great love for the superb Daisy Buchanan. Exquisitely crafted in the 1920s, the book will certainly bring back some old memories from your youth.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An instant bestseller, an unforgettable story of youth, and a Pulitzer Prize are only 3 reasons for you to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee’s novel is mind-blowing, dramatic, compassionate, and deeply moving. It relates to the roots of our human behaviour by interconnecting feelings of cruelty and kindness, experience and innocence, hatred and love, pathos and humor; translated in more than 40 languages and sold in 14 million copies, you could easily read it over and over again every year and still not get bored.

7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick is without a doubt one of the most respected and widely-read books in American literature. It centres on the story of Captain Ahab and his remorseless chase of the Moby Dick, a great white whale who managed to mutilate him on their last encounter. Mixing a symbolic allegory with conflicting principles of brave determination, re-read this book is a must.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell’s allegorical novel might not have been among your favorites in high-school, but you’ll certainly love it now that you are older and more mature. Although the story happens on an island and it centres its attention on a couple of kids fighting for survival, the underlying message reflects on the events leading to and throughout the Stalin period prior to the Second World War.

9. Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Brontë

A love story in the wildest, most passionate and almost demonic sense of the world, Wuthering Heights is deeply focused on the love between the beautiful Catherine and Heathcliff, her stepbrother. After wrongfully assuming that his love is not shared, Catherine makes Heathcliff leave only to come back after several years a polished, healthy man looking for revenge. Extremely provocative and vindictive, Wuthering Heights is a genuine masterpiece that will entice your senses each time you re-read it.

10. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

After being thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Edmond Dantes is confined in the If fortress (Château d'If) where he learns more about a great treasure hidden on the Monte Cristo Isle. Determined to escape and find it to build a life, Edmond starts a quest to destroy the men who unjustly sentenced him to prison. Hugely popular and internationally hailed, the book will surely bring back some really good memories.

This article is drawn by a blogger and freelance writer, Edward Francis. He writes on various topics and posts them at top quality blogs. He also writes for a site http://www.lovereading.co.uk/ for getting a large variety of books.

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