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Sunday, May 30, 2010

e-Learning the route for busy professionals

Distance learning, also known as e-learning, correspondence, TeleCourse, Independent study and many others, is education that is conducted and completed outside of the traditional classroom setting of any institution. It could be a correspondence course to learn a new skill or a course of study that is completed totally via the internet. This form of study is making foreign accredited courses much easier to attain than ever before.

Today, online education and assessment makes it possible to earn an Associate, Bachelor, Master, or even a Doctorate degree. In addition to the above one can undertake business training and development programs, career training diplomas, foreign language courses all available via the Internet and distance learning institutional facilities.
Interactive technology has moved the classroom to the student in the distance learning situation. Top tier universities and colleges now offer the same degree programs that they offer on campus through online distance learning programs, with the same curriculum, taught by top faculty members. This has been a boon for continuing education for busy professionals.

Source: The Standard

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The e-learning Newsletter brings you news about current issues, open calls, forthcoming events and e-learning resources.Take a look at this interesting line-up below.

New call launched! Innovation in Lifelong LearningThe 21st issue of eLearning Papers proposes a broad approach to the theme of Innovation in Lifelong Learning. We are not only interested in research on innovation within formal education; this issue aims to reveal the potential of those innovations that are shaping informal learning in our everyday environments or in the workplace. Deadline 28 June 2010.

The E-VITA project promotes and investigates pedagogy-driven innovation by defining new approaches to problem-based and contextualised learning. Integrating Game Based Learning with intergenerational learning concepts and storytelling techniques, E-VITA is producing 4 different serious game prototypes: experiential, problem-based, narrative and exploratory. In June 2010 an extended, international test phase will begin: everyone (schools, teachers, students, experts, anyone interested) is invited to participate: information will be available on the project website and in the LinkedIn group “e-VITA”.

The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) is currently conducting a study on the future of learning in 2025, looking in particular at ways to learn new skills for future jobs ( The project foresees multiple consultations with experts and stakeholders to obtain their views on the future of learning in order to develop visions and scenarios and to elaborate on the needs and challenges of future learners. It will then consider how learning, skills and training policies should address these challenges. At this point, they would like to ask you to reflect on some of the participant feedback they have obtained through 2 short surveys on 2 topics: The Role of Teachers and Lifelong Learning - Labour Market Re-intergration, Re-skilling, Up-skilling.

EFQUEL Innovation Forum. September 8-10, 2010. Lisbon (Portugal).
The annual assembly of eLearning and education professionals will debate how opening education can contribute to social inclusion agendas and promote economic welfare by better equipping citizens with necessary skills. The Conference Programme and registration are available online.

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2010 December 1-3, 2010 Berlin (Germany).
Under the banner of Learning for All, the conference will deeply interrogate 4 themes that form the pillars of innovation: Learning Content, Learning About Learning, Learning Ecosystems and Learning Environments, in order to contribute to successful learning outcomes in three learning domains: Institutional Learning, Workplace Learning and Lifelong Learning. Online Registration is available.

EDEN 2010, 9-12 June 2010, Valencia, Spain.
The main theme at the European Distance and eLearning Network annual conference this summer in Spain will be “Media Inspirations for Learning. What makes the impact?” The detailed conference programme with the schedule of plenary and parallel sessions is now available at the conference homepage.

Selected articles

The 2009/2010 edition outlines five key areas: 1. The education context 2. ICT policies 3. ICT in the curriculum 4. Digital learning resources 5. Teacher education for ICT...

Learning and talent development 2010
This is the twelfth annual Learning and Talent Development survey. The survey examines current practices within learning and talent development and explores the issues affecting the profession now...

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Can Video Games Promote Learning?

My guest blogger today is Anna Miller. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

Computers were just gaining in popularity around the time I was in high school, and it was with much excitement that we welcomed the first computers into school the year I was all set to graduate. They were equipped with the now-ancient DOS environment, black and white monitors, and large CPUs; even so, they were technological wonders that promised so much more. While we enjoyed the basic lessons in computer languages (I think BASIC and COBOL were the major ones around then), what we really looked forward to was the time we got to play games on the system. Of course, back then you had to boot the system and load your games from a floppy disk, so we would fight over who got to play the Carmen game.

“Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” was a very popular gaming series back then because it followed the basic cops and robbers theme – you had to chase a crook who escaped to places all over the world using a set of educational clues, and every successful arrest would help you climb up the professional ladder. To cut a long story short, we enjoyed these games, but they were educational too. They focused on teaching geography, history, mathematics and even English.

Today’s kids however would scoff at Carmen Sandiego, inured as they are to multi-player and multi-tasking games like World of Warcraft and Age of Empires. While parents are dead against them, there are a few educational experts who argue that video games, even the ones that are around today, can actually enhance the learning process. Microsoft is leading the way by setting aside $1.5 million to fund The Games for Learning Institute, a joint venture with a few colleges that include the New York University and other reputable institutions. The initiative hopes to see if video games can be designed to help students gain skills that will help them excel in the subjects of mathematics, science and technology.

The problem with today’s games is not that they’re violent and so detrimental to the minds of young children; the more pressing issue is that they’re addictive and end up becoming an overpowering influence in the lives of children who need a more balanced range of activities. Gaming has ruined many a brilliant college student’s life by bringing down their grades (because they’ve been too busy playing and not studying) and by negating their social lives with real people.

Gamers claim that games can encourage scientific thinking because players have to come up with various scientific and mathematical models of the worlds they have to build and defend, and also boost spatial skills and the ability to think and react quickly. We’ve always known that video games improve hand-eye coordination, but now they seem to boost mental acuity as well.

But at the end of the day, the plain truth is that such games are addictive, and the educative value comes out and is of use only if the gamer is able to draw the line between fantasy and real life and never cross it.

Related links
Education or Experience – Which is More Valuable? by Anna Miller
20 iPhone Apps That Will Make You Smarter by Anna Miller

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degrees.
She welcomes your comments at her email id:

Many thanks to Anna Miller.
Enjoy your reading!

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BigGyan Cloud eLearning Latest Blog Posts

I hope that you found these post interesting and helpful from BigGyan Cloud eLearning.

10 Bollywood movies on education and training

1. Title – 3 Idiots
3 Idiots is a 2009 Bollywood comedy film directed by Rajkumar Hirani, with a screenplay by Abhijat Joshi, and produced...

2. Title – Pathshala
Paathshaala is a 2010 Bollywood film that stars Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Ali Haji and Nana Patekar and is directed by...

3. Title – Rang De Basanti
Rang De Basanti is a 2006 Indian drama film written and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. It features an ensemble cast...

4. Title – Taare Zameen Par
Taare Zameen Par is a 2007 Bollywood film directed by Aamir Khan, produced by Aamir Khan Productions, and initially...

5. Title – Black
Black is a 2005 Indian film in Hindi and Indian English directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Black revolves around a blind and...

6. Title – Chak de india
Chak De! India is a 2007 Bollywood sports film about field hockey in India. It is directed by Shimit Amin, produced by Yash Raj Films...

7. Title – Munnabhai MBBS
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. is a 2003 Indian comedy directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The story...

8. Title – Lagaan
Lagaan is a 2001 Bollywood feature film made in India. The film, based on an original story by Ashutosh Gowariker, was also...

9. Title – Iqbal
Iqbal is a 2005 Hindi Bollywood film written by Vipul K Rawal and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and was released under Subhash Ghai's...

10. Title – Hip Hip Hurray
Released in the year 1984, the year of release of “Saaransh” and “Jane Bhi Do yaron” two all time classics of Hindi Cinema, Hip Hip...

Clouds in Cloud Computing

An Interesting Analogy

Cloud computing has been defined in various ways. The definition that mostly aptly describes it is – Cloud computing is a computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits. given by Prof. Ramnath K. Chellappa (currently at Goizueta Business School, Emory University).

Cloud computing is about dissociating business applications from the underlying infrastructure. Cloud computing customers do not generally own the physical infrastructure serving as host to the software platform in question. Instead, they avoid capital expenditure by renting usage from a third-party provider.
This introduces a "gap" between the physical infrastructure "The Earth" and business applciations "The Cloud". It is exactly like consuming electricity from the grid rather than generating your own. Consumers consume resources as a service and pay only for resources that they use.

Thanks to Nihar Ranjan.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Ed: Keep Kids Learning in the Off-Season

Today I have Alexis Montgomery guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

Keeping kids on track with their studies is hard enough throughout the school year, but when summer hits, forget it! Pulling out a math book or their assigned summer reading is bound to result in complaints at the least and outright tantrums at the worst. Do you really want to deal with this all summer long? Isn’t there a better way to engage your kids in educational activities that they might actually enjoy? As a matter of fact, there is.

Today’s child is plugged into a world of technology that was unavailable even a couple of decades ago, and they pick it up with astonishing speed. So if you can find a way to work around their interests, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t make learning fun. In fact, a lot of other people have already had the same idea, as there are a huge number of websites geared towards making education fun for kids.

FunBrain may be one of the best education-based websites for kids in that it is organized by subject, age, and grade level. You can browse any one of these options to find the areas your child needs help in. The best part is that the site makes learning more attractive to kids by offering everything in the format of a game, so that they can have fun even as they’re challenged. There are age-appropriate skill games, adventure or sports games that incorporate math and reading skills, and practical applications like quizzes. In addition, they offer web comics and blogs for boys and girls of different age groups.

Primary Games also offers a lot of original games broken up by subject, with options like Princess Math, where players can practice basic math skills with a twist, such as adding the cost of dresses and tiaras to fit a target number, typing speed tests, and Carto’s Magic Maps, an adventure game that allows players to travel through time collecting maps.

PBS Kids is another good site that has educational games that incorporate characters from your kids’ favorite PBS shows. And these are just a few of the many websites that cater to your child’s thirst for knowledge.

You will need to browse a bit to find the sites that best suit your child, in terms of their needs and interest level, but with all of the options available, your sure to find several that are acceptable. The main thing to remember is that whatever you choose should be kid approved, or they’re going to end up dragging their feet. If you can get them going to the website on their own, without prompting, you know you’ve found a winner.

Alexis Montgomery is a content writer for Online Degree, where you can browse through various online degree programs to find a college that suits your needs.

Many thanks to Alexis Montgomery.
Enjoy your reading!

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Strategies for K-12 Technology Leaders

Be sure to check out SCHOOL CIO: Strategies for K-12 Technology Leaders

The Top 5 Most Read Stories on

1. Grant supports educators' instructional tech development »
Study notes math gains with interactive digital curriculum »
Study: Hybrid learning model raises graduation rate »
10 Most Dangerous Things Users Do Online »
Online technology maximizes 1:1 computing »

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Tech & Learning Top Stories: The Hottest Stories That Everyone's Reading

Please, take a look and find out what is hot right now?

Check out the Top 10 Most Read Stories on

1. The Ten No No’s of Teaching with a Projector or Interactive Whiteboard »
Reframing Google’s Search Options: The Poster »
Are We Really Teaching Them How to Fish? »
4. Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally »
5. Virtual Frog Dissection »
Combine Multiple PDF Files into One »
21st Century Skills: Will Our Students be Prepared? »
8. Interactive Simulations for Physical Sciences and Math »
Wonder of Wordles »
10. Summer reading contest »

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Experts Tout Virtual Education

Leaders of online education gathered Thursday to discuss the role that virtual learning must play in our nation's future, saying brick-and-mortar classrooms won't become obsolete but will be complemented by blended and virtual learning models.

"We [the United States] were great at creating human capital but the rest of the world is catching up," said Paul Peterson, executive editor at Education Next during a forum at the Heritage Foundation. According to Peterson, virtual learning will allow for the personalization of education and save costs.

Source: Tech Daily Dose

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What E-Learning Can Learn from the Brick-and-Mortar System

Today I have Jessica Cortez guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

E-Learning, is, without doubt, one of the most exciting technological developments of our age. While there are millions of "trends" occurring right now, all fueled by the Internet, e-Learning is one such phenomenon that has transcended Web fashions that seem to always come and go. E-learning is here, and it's here to stay.
Perhaps the only way to combat perennial global problems like poverty, the spread of disease, and violent conflict, is through education. E-learning makes education affordable and available to all. The power of this simply cannot be understated.

Both on the Net and within academic circles we hear ad infinitum about the new methods in teaching that e-learning as a whole has developed. However, something that I'm particularly interested in is examining valuable lessons distance educators can import from traditional academia. To be sure, many aspects of the Ivory Tower are slowly but surely crumbling and I have no reservations about rejoicing in this. Old, entrenched ideas must necessarily be constantly questioned, re-envisioned when necessary, and disposed of entirely if new problems and challenges arise.

My personal academic background, I must shamefully admit, was solidly brick-and-mortar. And I graduated from my alma mater--an insular, private, unconscionably pretentious school--quite bitter about the state of higher education. Yet there were, of course, some things I learned that have changed me and my worldview for the better. I firmly believe that some of these personal and intellectual improvements were accomplished in specific ways. We in the business of fashioning the future of e-earning should retain some aspects from the past. Development, as the saying goes, is built up by standing on the shoulders of giants.

One such giant is our established canon of philosophy and literature. These simply cannot be forgotten, because they give us a structured sense of our development as human beings. Another, closely related aspect of academia which is not as emphasized in our supposedly "traditional" curriculum as much as it should be is primary sources. The wonders of Wikipedia notwithstanding, we should be sure to still place value on the "straight from the horse's mouth" method. And of course, one aspect that I particularly enjoyed at my university was seeking and maintaining a rapport with professors. This hardly happens in larger traditional university settings, although I experienced it to a measured extent at my school. E-learning, fueled by the Internet's connectivity, is the perfect platform to foster a healthy, intellectually stimulating student-educator relationship.

These are only a few ideas that retain the valuable lessons we've learned from a traditional educational system that is experiencing many, not so forward-thinking upheavals. Whatever the future of the brick-and-mortar university, e-learning must take the reins and think carefully about its future trajectory now that it is still in its early stages. For the future of online education, now is an absolutely critical time.

This guest post is contributed by Jessica Cortez, who writes on the topics of online degree programs.
She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

Many thanks to Jessica Cortez.
Enjoy your reading!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Teaching in a socially networked classroom

"Let’s face it: Social networking is here to stay. Whether it is Facebook or Twitter, or the next web application waiting to become a phenomenon, social networking is a part of our students’ lives. The only place where it isn’t usually present is in our classrooms. And yet, how many of us haven’t sensed our students itching to reconnect as soon as class is over? The moment they leave the classroom, the cell phones come out and the air is abuzz with various versions of, “Where are you?” or “What are you doing?”", reports eSchooll News

Imagine if we could harness this drive to connect for the purpose of learning. Is it possible to use social networking to further learning?

While doing research for my book, The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age, I spoke with dozens of pioneering teachers across the country and even around the world about how they are figuring out ways create a new media classroom while keeping their students safe and focused on learning. Their responses covered a range of examples, from social networking in a low-tech environment to teaching at the most advanced levels of technological innovation.

Related links
William Kist's blog

About the Author

William Kist is an associate professor at Kent State University, where he teaches literacy education courses. A former high school English teacher, Kist has presented nationally and internationally, with over 40 articles and book chapters to his credit; his profiles of pioneering teachers were the essence of his book New Literacies in Action (2005).
In November, 2007, Kist began a three-year term as director of the Commission on Media for the National Council of Teachers of English. Kist continues to work in video and film and has earned a regional Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition.
His book, The Socially Networked Classroom, presents a snapshot of how teachers are currently using Web 2.0 to educate today’s students. Complete with real-world examples, lesson plans, sample assignments, and assessments.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recommended Book: Fluency In Distance Learning

Below are an excellent book, I thought you may find be very helpful.
Fluency in Distance Learning offers a practical, hands-on, workshop style approach to creating an effective distance learning course. Full of specific ideas and strategies, Celeste Fenton and Brenda Ward Watkins guide you through the process from beginning to end.

Specific instructions are provided for setting up a course home page, developing interactive content, and utilizing a variety of multimedia resources.
Fluency in Distance Learning distinguishes itself from other publications on distance learning with its straightforward, practical workshop format. Specific strategies and examples of effective distance learning course materials help instructors to build a quality distance learning course quickly and effectively regardless of the learning management system being used. A companion website contains multimedia files and interactive exercises to enhance the reader's learning and understanding of distance learning pedagogy and content development for online courses.

In addition, all the necessary media files for trainers to deliver a series of professional development workshops on distance learning, are also available. Potential audiences include: Instructors in need of a textbook for a course focused on distance learning pedagogy; Instructors in need of a textbook for distance learning certification courses; Instructors desiring to transform traditional instructional materials to an effective distance learning delivery format; Administrators with a need to provide professional development training to distance learning faculty; Professional development staff who provide training in distance learning pedagogy, content development, and facilitation strategies. Instructional designers with responsibility of working with faculty to develop online course(s)
Publish Date: 2010-4-30
Buy this book

Enjoy your reading!

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Technology brings education to you wherever you may be

"Many schools present an assortment of delivery modes, such as full-time, part-time, modular and distance learning programmes. No so long ago, the very notion of a distance learning MBA would be regarded with disdain, the chief argument being that it lacks face-to-face contact.
But as technology has progressed, so too are those perceptions shifting rapidly.", Erica Webster
, Times Live reports.

Someone with first-hand experience in this is Ray Irving, head of learning and resources development at Warwick Business School in the UK.
"When I started working with the Warwick distance learning MBA 12 years ago, we would have to inquire whether students had access to things like an e-mail address, a CD-ROM drive and whether they were able to install a browser on their computers.
"Now we can stream lectures live over the Internet to students across the world. They can simply log in via their web browser and watch the lecture. Not only that, but they can participate in the lecture, either via voice or text chat."

About Ray Irwing

Ray holds a first degree in Information Studies and an MBA from the Open University. Working in the field of online teaching and learning at one of Europe's leading business schools, Warwick Business School (WBS), Ray has developed e-learning resources used by MBA students across the globe. On a consultancy basis, Ray has applied this process of e-learning to in-house programmes for business improvement and personal development.
Initially employed at the Chartered Management Institute (the UK's largest professional organisation for managers) as an Information Researcher, Ray helped develop the Institute's initial Internet presence and first electronic publications. Ray's written work appears in a number of published management books, covering the areas of knowledge management, strategy, Intranets, relationship marketing and flexible working.

Related link
Warwick Business School

Source: Times LIVE

Note: A39F37VUEXQF

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mobile phones revolutionizing education in Africa

In parts of Africa where traditional classroom education is inaccessible, people have taken education into their own hands by utilizing mobile phones and laptops. This innovative way of garnering information, known as eLearning, provides great potential to expand education.

Photo: Ken Banks, Attribution License

“Interest in technology-supported learning is constantly increasing in Africa,” Rebecca Stromeyer, managing director of International Conferences, Workshops and Exhibitions (ICWE), told MediaGlobal. “eLearning supports lifelong learning, providing access to a global knowledge base and facilitating cooperation and information-sharing.”

ICWE is involved with eLearning Africa (ELA), which will hold its fifth annual conference in the Zambian city of Lusaka. The conference discusses technology-enhanced learning across the continent with a range of informative and innovative sessions held between 26 to 28 May.
Utilizing mobile phones for informal learning will be the focus of a seminar at ELA titled African Digital Diaries lead by Adam Salkeld and Stephen Haggard.
Salkeld and Haggard’s session spotlights success stories through informal and incidental eLearning.

Related link
On the Road to eLearning Africa 2010

Source: MediaGlobal

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Cellphones Now Used More for Data Than for Calls

"Liza Colburn uses her cellphone constantly. She taps out her grocery lists, records voice memos, listens to music at the gym, tracks her caloric intake and posts frequent updates to her Twitter and Facebook accounts", Jenna Wortham, the New York Times reports.

The one thing she doesn’t use her cellphone for? Making calls. “I probably only talk to someone verbally on it once a week,” said Mrs. Colburn, a 40-year-old marketing consultant in Canton, Mass., who has an iPhone.
For many Americans, cellphones have become irreplaceable tools to manage their lives and stay connected to the outside world, their families and networks of friends online. But increasingly, by several measures, that does not mean talking on them very much.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Linking Mobile Learning to the Student-Centered Approach

Dr Mpine Makoe is Senior Lecturer in Open & Distance Learning at the University of South Africa (UNISA). At eLearning Africa 2010, she will deliver a talk entitled "Identifying Competencies Needed for Using Cell Phones for Facilitating Teaching and Learning in Distance Education". She has kindly shared her profound experience in an interview with CHECK.point eLearning.

What do you include among the competencies needed for using cell phones?

Dr Mpine Makoe: The biggest challenge of Open Distance Learning (ODL) institutions is to come up with ways in which teachers can be empowered with the necessary skills in order to fully utilize the affordances of mobile technology to engage students in the learning processes. The use of cell phones for teaching and learning cannot be sustained if teachers are not qualified and competent to use the tool in their work. Teaching using new technologies requires specific competencies that are different from those most ODL academics possess. Competencies are descriptive tools that identify skills, knowledge, and behavior needed to effectively perform a role. So far, there is very little information on the competencies that may be needed to effectively facilitate teaching and learning using cell phones.

The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to identify the knowledge and skills required to perform the role of a facilitator with the aim of developing a professional-development programme that is responsive to the competencies required. The training should give distance-education practitioners opportunities to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, information literate, technologically literate, and skilled in using mobile technologies.

Could you please describe the experiences collected so far and how they have been used? Read more...

Related links
MXit: How to Encourage and Facilitate Communication Among Students
Mpine Makoe
Institute for Open and Distance Learning, University of South Africa

5th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training.

Source: CHECKpoint eLearning

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'Open Course Ware': A Paradigm shift in educational landscape

Unpredictable as they may have been, a few of the greatest innovations in the education landscape of sharing educational content world-wide was extensively discussed at the Seminar Hall of Europe Asia Business School.

"We have been experimenting with open learning in more than one ways and has numerous connotation also but to put in simple words it is a movement encompassing a variety of educational content like blended learning, compatibility content, accessibility and adaptability, deeper learning, to name but a few. But the actual meaning of it lies in few simple words; it is an excellent open method which can be accessed by anyone from any part of the world through the internet", says enthusiast Prof. Vijaykumar.

Dr. Nikhil Agarwal, Director Europe Asia Business School says, "We have to understand the difference between literacy & education. Literacy means ability to read & write; whereas, Education means activities that impart knowledge or skills. Europe Asia Business School supports the MIT initiative of open learning and we offer to be partner of MIT in India to reach out millions of people who needs proper & continuous education". He further adds "Technology will play a vital role in continuous learning in the next decade. The common mistake people make to relate technology with computers, which is not always the case. I think in near future, the most important medium for imparting continuous education will be mobile phones & televisions. For instance, In India, we have over 600 million mobile users compared to 70 million computer users."


About EABS
Europe Asia Business School (EABS) is a premier business school setup by alums of Harvard & Cambridge Universities. The school is funded by Intel Capital & Helion Ventures and promoted by top industry executives like Dr. Ganesh Natarajan (former Nasscom Chair) and Mr. Sanjiv Agarwal (founder IBM Daksh). EABS offers a) 1 year Full-time PGPM program and b) 2 year weekend Executive MBA program at Pune & Gurgaon campuses.

Related link
Europe Asia Business School (EABS) (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Source: India PRwire

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Now Everyone Can Go To University

"Gone are the days when people had a good reason to lament on the lack of opportunities to continue with tertiary education.
The common reasons for not being able to get into an institution of higher learning are lack of fund, time and qualification.
But today, the Open University of Malaysia (OUM) has addressed all these stumbling blocks by introducing the "The Four Flexes", making university education accessible for all." writes Sakina Mohamed.

OUM has made it possible for anyone to obtain a degree at their own pace, using their own preferred method of learning and even paying the fees in instalments. And it doesn't matter if the only paper qualification you have is a SRP certificate.
Repin Ibrahim, the university's Vice President of Business Development and Human Resources Management talks to Bernama on the efforts to live up to their tagline, "The University For All"
Read more..

Related link
Open University Malaysia
Open University Malaysia (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Open University Malaysia - University for All (video)


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Tech & Learning eNews - May 13, 2010

Take a closer look at this Top Stories - 05.13.10

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Webniar: Convertible Tablets: The Best Choice for Teaching and Learning?

Convertible Tablets: The Best Choice for Teaching and Learning?

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Time: 1 p.m. West Coast / 4 p.m. East Coast
Duration: 60 minutes
Sponsor: K-12 Computing Blueprint

The number of mobile computing options available to schools these days is mind-boggling so how do you decide on the ideal learning platform for your students and the ultimate teaching platform for your teachers? Hear from two pioneering districts that have built their one-to-one programs around Convertible Tablet PCs. Learn why they chose this technology, how it has impacted learning and teaching in their districts, and what advice they have for other education leaders who are considering convertible tablet computing for their classrooms and schools.
Register for this FREE event!

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Report highlights ed-tech lessons from abroad by Laura Devaney, Managing Editor

"Scotland and the Netherlands both invest significantly more federal money per student in information and communications technologies (ICT) than the United States, and they both view ICT as essential to classroom teaching and learning and in developing 21st-century skills, a delegation of education technology advocates discovered during a recent visit to the two countries", continues eSchool News

The results of that visit, led by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), appear in a report issued May 12, called “Real Investment, Real Innovation.”
“Scotland and the Netherlands approach ICT in the classroom as an absolute necessity—not as a luxury—for improving learning and teaching, as well as developing workforce skills,” the report noted. “We found this attitude inspirational, particularly in view of the continuing debate in the U.S. about the unproven and uncertain value of technology.”

Related links

Source: eSchool News

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5/25 webinar: Evaluating Lecture Capture Solutions - Understanding Your Total Cost of Ownership

With every investment you make in educational technology, you are buying two things: #1 the concept of change and #2 changing with a particular vendor.
Having options is empowering but can also be overwhelming, particularly in this budget climate and as technologies evolve at a rapid pace.

Identifying and understanding the different approaches to solving your online instruction requirements, including the various elements of each solution that comprise the total cost of ownership, is paramount so your organization can make a confident and educated decision on best fit for both your short and long term goals.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. CDT (convert to your time zone)

Deirdre Jones of the University of Toledo will share her university's exhaustive approach to evaluating different lecture capture solutions including:
The objective process and tools her department created for evaluating different approaches to lecture capture, including comparing software only and appliance-based course capture alternatives
  • How she engaged team members from leadership, IT and line of business in the review process
  • What criteria she used to compare different vendors
  • Why opportunities beyond lecture capture are relevant and important
  • Why evaluating the total cost of ownership for lecture capture became a key component in guiding their selection
  • Her lessons learned having made their selection and completed their first phase of implementation

About the presenter

Deirdre Jones is the Interim Assistant Director and an Instructor in the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales in the College of Business Administration at the University of Toledo, the #1 professional sales program in the country (DePaul University Best Practices Research Program, Center for Sales Leadership 2009). Deirdre holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toledo in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Business Administration also from the University of Toledo in Marketing with a Professional Sales emphasis. She has trained almost 900 students and working professionals on sales education. Deirdre planned, designed, and launched the technology in the quarter million dollar ESSPS Sales Suites that is also in use in other areas of the college. She develops professional sales curricula, manages outreach initiatives, and publishes sales research.

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Source: Sonic Foundry, Inc

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Attracting and Retaining the Online Student: How the University of Copenhagen Achieves 93% Online Course Completion

In this free webinar Anita Monty will discuss a successful e-learning strategy that benefits both students and faculty. She will also share what made the e-learning program at The Faculty of Life Sciences, Denmark such a success, and how they keep both faculty and students engaged and motivated to ensure course completion.

Date: May 25, 2010Time: 11:00 am EDT / 8:00 am PST
Duration: One hour (15 mins for Q&A)

From attending this webinar you'll learn:

1) What are the key success factors for online education are
2) What it means to have "strategic support" for your online programs
3) An outline of an effective Pedagogical Method for online instruction
4) How to define an effective e-learning strategy
5) How to engage faculty in the process to build the program

Do not miss this exciting new webcast, as well as the chance to ask questions directly to the panelists.

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In the foreword to this publication, John G. Flores, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, United States Distance Learning Association writes:
"Its not often within the Distance Learning industry that one manages to find a quality overview about Distance Learning technologies, distribution systems, virtual worlds, and content related support requirements all within one manuscript."

Dr. Jolly Holdens, Dr. Philip Westfalls, and Dr. Keysha Gamors revised monograph entitled "Instructional Media Selection Guide for Distance Learning: Implications for Blended Learning & Virtual Worlds" is that rare find.

In a pragmatic and well-written description of appropriate challenges and choices for Distance Learning sources, the authors have created a quality paper based on sound Distance Learning pedagogical theories proven over time and ever ready for the future. This USDLA publication is a must read for anyone interested in the field of Distance Learning as well as for any veteran of the industry.

Source: United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

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Challenges that Face Mobile Learning

Today I have Shannon Wills guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

There’s no doubt that technology has changed the way we live; today, it’s impossible to cut yourself off from technology and live the life of an ascetic. Technology has pervaded every minute aspect of our lives, and while there are downsides to this invasion like the lack of privacy and the fact that we seem to lead virtual rather than real lives, technology has proved to be invaluable in certain fields like education. Among its benefits are:

  • It has made education accessible to more people.
  • It has eliminated the hurdles of geographical distance through online learning options.
  • It has reduced the cost of education.
  • It has taken education to the masses rather than asking the masses to go in search of education.
  • It has introduced alternative methods of learning and teaching – today, students are able to learn by themselves without traditional teachers, thanks to the information found on the web.
  • It has redefined the way we view education – what used to be a chore because it was compulsive is now an interesting option because of the number of choices available.

In particular, mobile learning has made education more fun and interesting than it used to be. It has eliminated boring textbooks and sonorous lectures from the equation and balanced it with innovative apps, mini lessons, podcasts, and links to vital information. Even with all the success that mobile learning has tasted, there are areas where it could improve. The challenges that face mobile education today are:

  • It is of no use to and inaccessible by people who do not understand technology or have no access to it.
  • There are too many distractions that prevent learners from being effective and efficient.
  • The startup cost of implementing the technology may be prohibitive in developing nations.
  • There is no single uniform platform to integrate all the various technologies that facilitate mobile learning. This lack of standardization poses a hindrance to the widespread adaption of mobile learning. Learners have to adapt to new platforms as and when they move from one module of learning to the next.
  • There is no way to monitor and qualify the standard of education offered. Unless offered by accredited institutions, mobile learning may not be worth the effort.
  • When offered in bits and pieces as mobile learning is, it is hard to concentrate and keep track of what you’ve learned earlier.
  • It is an unconventional way of learning that may not be accepted in mainstream society.
As you can see, the list of challenges is long. But there is no doubt that mobile learning is here to stay; as with online education, it will take a while for people to get used to it as something routine and for educators to tap its potential as the next big thing in the world of education.

This guest post is contributed by Shannon Wills, she writes on the topic of Online Engineering Degrees.
She welcomes your comments at her email id:

Many thanks to Shannon Wills.
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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Designing Successful Online Courses

Do you want to designing successfull online courses?
Here are two short articles by Dr. Kathleen P. King on designing successful online courses.

The most frequent question teachers ask Kathleen about online courses is "Where do I begin to design online learning?"
This is an excellent question because it demonstrates the need to contemplate planning and designing online learning rather than haphazard construction. The "seat of the pants" approach has lead to many confusing and unsuccessful distance learning course designs.

Designing Successful Online Courses, Part 1
Five steps to planning and designing your online courses.

Step 1: Determine A Livable Phase Approach.
The Phase Approach begins with encouraging faculty to recognize that designing their online course is only Phase One of their efforts. By organizing work progress into Phase Two, Phase Three, etc, it frees instructors from feeling that everything has to be accomplished in their first development effort. Especially if teachers do not have a full-time instructional design team, progressive development is liberating and reassuring. Any part of a course can be addressed first, especially in a redesign: content sections, sequence, or specific assignments. Therefore in Step 1, determine which aspect of the course to redesign first (perhaps the final project, assignments, discussion, or assessment). Then decide which to do second, third, etc. This approach becomes the preliminary plan and can be changed as needs arise.

Designing Successful Online Courses - Part 2
Five steps to planning and designing your online courses.

Step 1 Tap the Power of Peer Learning.
Online learning environments provide an unparalleled opportunity to access the benefits of peer learning. As described, students can increase their understanding by communicating and exploring content with one another. It is important to use this opportunity to encourage peer learning to inform the dialogue and course discussions (Conrad & Donaldson, 2004; Luppicini, 2007). Rather than a black and white world with only faculty providing answers, instructors who encourage peer learning can develop a critical inquiry and learning community which respects and values diverse views.

About Dr. King

Dr. King is a dynamic, interactive keynoter, public speaker and accomplished author who invigorates and empowers audiences on a variety of topics. Widely recognized with professional awards for her innovative publications, research and service to the field, she thrives on working with professionals, educators, and other adult learners in all contexts. She specializes in guiding faculty in their professional development journeys. From designing and facilitating distance learning, navigating the tenure process, meeting the needs of 21st century learners, and "bringing transformative learning to life."

Source: Dr. Kathleen P. King - Expert Author

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Ecco International provides first insight into social media in 24 countries

Ecco International, the global network of independent PR agencies, has released their social media country report and has compiled an extensive overview of the social media market and trends in 24 countries, including the major European economies, the USA, as well as India and the UAE.

Ecco's country social media reports are the first global insight to be made available for free and represent a 'must read' for international communications professionals or multinational companies with an interest in addressing social media.
"The reports will be helpful to anyone who wants or needs to understand the impact of social media on personal and professional lives at an international level, or discover how social media influence communications professionals across the globe," said Tony Lewis, Managing Director of Total Communications.
The research was conducted in: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, UAE, UK, Ukraine and USA.

Related links
ECCO Social Media

Read all the country reports, in English, they are free (PDF)

AME Info and ECCO International

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Check out these fantastic learning resource sites

Visit these learning resource sites below.

Digital Studio Sites is a blog with a large collection links from the Digital Studio Staff that covers a wide range of academic topics and more. The staff scours the Web for the best, most interesting, and useful Web sites for the classroom (and maybe beyond) on the Internet and continually updates the list of links.
Professors can quickly find sites related to their field of study by keyword, search, or by subscribing via RSS feed.

Source: Calvin College

Kids today -- no previous generation has experienced anything like the current pace of transformational societal change. Yet, in light of extraordinary advancements in how we interact with each other and the world, our system of education has been frustratingly slow to adapt.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation was created to address this issue. Our vision is of a new world of learning. A place where kids and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve, all are empowered to change education for the better. A place where schools have access to the same invaluable technology as businesses and universities -- where innovation is the rule, not the exception. A place where children become lifelong learners and develop the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills to succeed in the twenty-first century. A place of inspiration, aspiration, and an urgent belief that improving education improves the world we live in.
We call this place Edutopia.

Video About the George Lucas Educational Foundation: An Overview

Source: Edutopia

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