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 Pay Off Your Student Loans Quicker

By Jennifer Thayer*

Whether you've graduated from university or you're heading off to college soon, there's a good chance that you will feel the impact of student loans. The cost of a four-year degree continues to rise, leaving many college students saddled in debt. For some, this debt can be a burden for years, if not decades, making it hard to start a family, buy a home, or simply enjoy a hard-earned income after years of arduous study. For these individuals, these tips are for you. Here are seven ways to pay off your student loans quicker.

Reduce Your Need for Student Loans

Obviously, this recommendation doesn't apply to individuals who have already graduated from college. But if you are on your way to college, consider options to reduce your upfront costs. This may mean applying for scholarships or financial hardship grants or lowering your costs by satisfying your general education requirements at a two-year community college before transferring to a university to study your major. Tom Hanks is a fan of community colleges; you should be too! And why not? They can be exponentially cheaper than a university.

Find an Employer that Will Help

The marketplace is incredibly competitive, yet starting salaries aren't as high as you might expect. In fact, even graduates in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields will find that their starting salary is likely well short of six figures. In other words, don't expect monumental paychecks starting out. Instead, look for employers who offer other incentives, such as in-office perks, ample vacation packages, or robust health care and benefits packages. Some employers now offer student loan assistance – thanks to platforms like Gradifi – which at your age, might be preferable to a 401(k) plan.

Refinance Your Loans

If you're a college graduate who has paid down your student loan for several years, yet your monthly payment goes unchanged, consider refinancing or consolidating your loans to lower your costs. Platforms like LendingClub connect private investors and lenders with borrowers such as yourself, allowing you to avoid the hassle of going through a traditional corporate bank. You enjoy low interest rates, and the investors enjoy a solid return on their investment. If you're unable to convince a bank to take on your debt and refinance your loan, alternative options like these might be right for you.

Leverage Your Tax Refund!

If you receive a tax refund, use it to pay down your student loans. You might be tempted to spend it on superfluous things that you likely don't need. Perhaps a large screen TV or a vacation to Hawaii. Avoid this temptation and do what's practical instead! Depending on your monthly fees, a single payment of $5,000 could help you pay off your student loans a year early or more.

Pick up Extra Work or Freelance

As a recent college graduate, the last recommendation you might want to hear is "Get a second job," but you might be surprised at the financial freedom it can provide. Perhaps this is why working second jobs is so popular with Millennials. Many people your age find that they'd rather keep working and make extra income than sitting at home watching Netflix all evening. If you don't know where to start, consider companies like Amway, which make it easy to start your own business. Other avenues include Etsy, or websites like Freelancer and Fiverr.

Put Your Dream Living Situation on Hold

At least for now. Believe it or not, you have plenty of time to earn money. In this day and age of Instagram millionaires and world-travel-via-social-media, you may be tempted to "keep up with the Joneses," but doing so can have long-lasting repercussions. On the other hand, living frugally now can help set you up for financial independence and success in the future. Live within your means, invest your money (something too few Millennials do), reduce your expenses wherever possible, and focus on paying down your debts – including your student loans.

Know Which Loans to Pay Off First

Do you have multiple student loans? If so, do you know which debt you should pay off first? It's generally accepted that you should attack the loans with the highest interest rates first, and then proceed onto the next loan when that one is paid off. Of course, you'll likely have to make minimum payments on all of your loans; if you can afford to pay extra month-to-month, dedicate this extra money to the loan with the highest interest. A snowball calculator can help you determine the most efficient order to pay off your loans.

(*) Jennifer Thayer is a long time contributor for Education & Tech. Follow her on Twitter to see what other tips she comes up with.

Education & Tech

Top 5 Tools for Remote Education and Conferencing

The technological advancements have changed the way every individual in all industries lives. It has transformed the way people work, act and carry out day-to-day activities through the introduction of gadgets, tools, and features. Technological innovations are making lives of human beings easier because it is making every activity efficient that saves a lot of time. In the business world, any firm that fails to keep up with technological advancement is unlikely to survive the competition because other firms are able to cut costs and be more productive.

However, technology in the educational sector is very impressive. One of the most useful progress was the introduction of distant or remote education due to which a lot of students who were either not able or simply just not willing to attend school were able to get an education. Remote education is described as the mode of education in which the student does not need to be physically present in a class but can be taught via technological methods from another part of the world. This kind of learning has proved to be effective and following are 5 best tools you should try for remote education via conference:

Google Plus Hangouts: The first in the list is Google Plus Hangouts which is basically and online video-chat platform used for various purposes. One popular use of Google Hangouts is that teachers, students, and experts can connect via a video conference for remote education and learn a particular course online. The tool is very smooth and it is often used to broadcast presenters in auditoriums.

Skype: A tool that you must be aware of, Skype is a multipurpose place where people can connect with others all over the world. Some do it to have a chat with relatives living far away while others use Skype to make business deals. It is popularly used for remote learning now as experts teach various courses through video conferencing to students. Skype is by far the most reliable tool for remote learning and conferencing.

Speek: Next in the list with regard to remote education and conferencing is Speek whose main purpose was to introduce a platform for educationists to communicate via conference calls in order to discuss projects and take lectures from various professors. Although the tool is not very popular, you will still find it amazing and have a smooth conference call experience.

FaceTime: The only limitation being the requirement of an Apple gadget, FaceTime is another popular tool used for remote learning and conferencing. FaceTime is a video conferencing tool that is very simple to use and connects thousands of people from all the world.

5) Zoom: Finally, last but not the least, Zoom is another tool for video and web conferencing which is not only used for educational purpose. Users tend to do video conferencing with some very valuable clients via this tool because the quality is excellent and is reliable enough.

These are the best five tools for remote learning and conferencing that you should prioritize. Other tools, however, can also be used.

This article was contributed by Ruby Madeley. She is the management consultant at a shipping company in Georgetown. Ruby studied management sciences in graduate school. She also works in Quick Assignment Help UK and provides help to students who ask her for guidance and is interested in innovative educational methods.

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