FocusEduVation's Blog

May 8, 2010

Universities Turning To E-Learning

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 11:48 am

Kenyan Universities are increasingly turning to e-learning as a tool to facilitate improved education.

They also want to rope in more students through better access to facilities, hoping to reach a wider base in a cost-effective way.

The efficiency accruing from e-learning is among the advantages gained by local universities that have adopted the use of technology.

Using different platforms, students are able follow lectures online, interact with lecturers, submit assignments and check on their grades.

Lecturers are also able to upload course materials, post assignments and generate discussions online using blogs.

However, these institutions have to train both students and lecturers on how to use the platforms.

At Strathmore University, United States International University (USIU) and University of Nairobi (UoN), all students are enrolled in e-learning courses when they first join.

Strathmore University has adopted the use of e-learning in many of its courses via the Moodle platform.

The university uses this as a way of facilitating lectures. Mr Patrick Shabana, the Director of Strategy and Performance Improvement said that the university applies a blend of direct lectures and e-learning techniques in many courses as technology gains acceptability among lecturers and students.

Middle-East’s New Learning Trend – E-learning

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 11:22 am

Global IT giants such as Microsoft are in talks with Middle East governments and educational institutions to bring the latest digital electronic learning systems, known as e-learning, to the region.

“With e-learning, students can learn at their own pace, get immediate feedback and repeat tasks they don’t understand,” says Azza el Shinnaway, who leads Microsoft’s education initiatives in the Gulf. “They’re also free to study in class, the library and at home via the internet or mobile phone.”

The UAE’s Advanced Network for Research and Education is talking to Microsoft to promote innovation and collaboration in the field of education.

The global IT industry is now also starting to turn its attention to education through innovative learning techniques such as using gaming technology to teach complex subjects including mathematics.

The UAE’s Advanced Network for Research and Education (Ankabut) is in talks with Microsoft to promote collaboration and innovation in education. And the whole region is becoming increasingly active in realising the benefits of e-learning.

The Middle East E-Learning Association (MEEA) was launched last February and has so far attracted members from Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Malaysia. MEEA is a non-political, non-profit body that aims to promoting e-learning throughout the region.

Despite the challenges of the global economic situation, Gulf countries are increasing their investment in education. Saudi Arabia, for example, which has a young and growing population, has announced that education budgets this year will rise 13 per cent to US$36.7 billion (Dh134.80bn), accounting for more than a quarter of the country’s entire budget expenditure.

These initiatives are not the result of the Arab world playing catch-up with practices in the US and elsewhere, but rather of using new learning technologies in innovative ways. Key to the success of these initiatives is exploiting the potential of the internet as a communications tool to link students with teachers and teachers with parents.

The ministry began by providing the service to teachers and administrators before extending it to more than 500,000 students. Each e-mail address can store 10 gigabytes of data, several times the usual allocation for e-mail boxes.

Students are also adopting the Social Media way for e-learning. In Social Media they expect an academic environments that allow the same level of interactivity and collaboration as that available on Facebook, YouTube or MySpace.

The next trend expected to hit the Gulf education sector comes from the leisure industry. As well as their interest in sites such as Facebook, many students also spend long hours playing computer games.

February 16, 2010

For E-learning – Amazon Kindle 2 is the way!

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 1:27 pm

For sure, the Amazon Kindle 2 electronic book reader is lifestyle these days. It’s actually considered cool to be seen reading say on the subway or in a restaurant. With it, you’ll never run out of things to read. And if you like to read multiple books in parallel, this is your lucky day. They’re making their way into schools soon where dead-tree books have been eternally intrinsic. From any angle, the Kindle reader appears set to stay. With the launch of Kindle 2 Amazon has integrated the entire business of e-reading. The eBook reader is not only filled with smart features, it’s also connected and mobile just like the cellular phone. It is essentially a cellular eBook reader in that it has wireless coverage anywhere in the US for Amazon bookstores plus browsing text-centric websites like Wikipedia, Google and others. Besides the good looks, the new generation Kindle is also flush with supreme functional features. The ergonomics is superb too, having been ironed out of whatever shortcomings the original version endured. This technological marvel has now been packaged into a thing of beauty and functionality with accident-proof buttons, smooth rocker controls, standard keyboard and stylish overall layout. Although the Kindle is likely to attract quite a bit of attention, that’s not the intention of the design upon the reader. The objective was in fact to get the reader ‘lost in your reading, not the technology’. It has so gallantly replicated the feature of a good physical book to disappear while you’re reading it but can’t put it down except it’s now can’t put the Kindle down. The trademark feature of the Kindle reader has to be its Whispernet wireless service. So far, it’s the only eBook reader equipped with this facility. Readers are in constant touch with the bookstore and subscriptions plus synchronized with other devices associated with their Kindles through its Whispersync network and all this for free by Amazon when you Buy Kindle 2. The service is powered by 3G technology so it doesn’t have to be within any hotspot zone to be functional. Yes, the Amazon Kindle Electronic Book Reader is but a book. And what a book! It’s any book you wish, out of 275,000 and you can carry more than a thousand of them everywhere you go and access the rest in less than 60 seconds. Amazon has publicly stated its goal of availing any book that’s ever printed in electronic form for the Kindle within the US. That’s a tall order but based on their track record, you don’t want to bet against it.

February 11, 2010

The pros and cons of Distance Learning

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 12:06 pm

There are many pros and cons of online learning. In this article you will find some very interesting points that will help determine whether this type of learning is not for you o. Before you decide, you need to ask some questions and answers to determine if online learning is right for you. These are important questions that thought and then answered. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages will give you the answers need.

One of the advantages of distance learning is the flexibility to study when free from work and family. This is the biggest, most for this type of learning. You can schedule a program of study and work around your current schedule. The class is available to you whenever you are available to participate. You can choose the time that you opened for the school.

Another advantage is the ability to work at their own pace. This helps people who need a little ‘timeUnderstanding of the subject being tested. Even thought you get online, some people learn faster than others, so that this type of learning that same place, like the others, or you can activate in advance. You have the option back, and then repeat the segment are difficult to understand.

Another advantage would be the discussion forum. Some people are not satisfied with public speaking, making the discussion forum to facilitate communicationQuestions and get answers to your questions. Discussion forums can be accessed at any time. Many of his students this is a great advantage. You can go back and find the answers, if you forget the subject of the request and response.

The disadvantage is that learning on-line, not all people who have self-discipline. You can also use the school for the week and avoid falling far behind. This makes learning more difficult when you try to reach with the class. You must make a plan and stick to it. This issometimes very difficult for those who want to store things.

Another disadvantage in some cases is that one can not always be able to talk to a teacher, if you need help. This can be very frustrating if you are not able to understand the material studied. When taking the online course you are the only one in the class. Some people can interact with other students, so this is an inconvenience as a result of online learning.

So now we know that some of the advantages andDisadvantages, are in a position to decide if the training is on-line for you or not do. This is a very big step and should be thought of in great detail. Learning online can be both gratifying and rewarding for the right people.

February 5, 2010

iPad for Publishers

Filed under: New Trends — Focus EduVation @ 2:03 pm

Last week Apple released its newest device, the iPad. The device is available with 3G connectivity. The device has iBooks application features. This gives Apple an extra edge over the e-book world market

The iBook Store allows iPad users to browse and purchase e-books on their device. With 3G connectivity, an iPad user can buy a book virtually anywhere, which puts the device on par with Amazon’s Kindle. The iBook Store is set up much like the iTunes store, except it’s for books. When using the iBook app you are presented with your virtual bookshelf; all the iPad user has to do is tap on the book they wish to read. Most titles will be sold for between $12.99 and $14.99.

Apple has the support of five major publishing houses; Penguin, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster. Negotiations with Random House, the worlds largest consumer book publisher, were going on up until the day of the iPad’s release and they were left out of the keynote presentation last Wednesday.

One of the most exciting things about the iBook Store for publishers is that it will utilize the ePub format. This format is the e-book standard and non-proprietary. This means that publishers don’t have to learn a new format when they convert their print books into e-books.

Will the iPad change the world of e-books, and in so doing, publishing? Or is this new technology just another over-hyped product by Apple? Time can only tell but it seems like the iPad is already changing things, only a week after its announcement.

February 2, 2010

Improving Assessment Design

Filed under: High Stakes Assessment — Focus EduVation @ 1:26 pm

There are two major issues in assessment that will dominate discussion of e-learning, those of provision of meaningful interaction and feedback, and issues of verification of identity.

Conventional essay-based assessment techniques are applicable to e-learning with tutors providing written comment and feedback on student performance and these may well form the backbone of summative assessment schemes.

However the interactive capabilities of ICT systems can be exploited to improve the provision of formative assessment exercises.  The majority of e-learning delivery systems will provide authors with a range of options for the presentation of multiple choice questions. The value to students of these systems can be significantly improved by careful design of the remedial teaching provided in the feedback responses to MCQs.

Assessment design should be aligned to the style of course hence within a programme a diversity of assessment techniques will be encountered.  Assessors should satisfy themselves that curriculum designers address the aggregation of the cumulative evidence on student performance gained through all modes of assessment.

Curriculum designers must consider how best to address the sensitive issue of assuring the identity of students following e-learning programmes. They should be guided by institutional policy but must themselves have confidence in their systems and be in a position to defend them to academic and professional peers (also to assessment and accreditation panels).

Examinations under controlled conditions are regarded as the benchmark for verification of candidate identity and performance.  However, curriculum designers should be able to demonstrate that every effort is made to relate examination performance with the aggregate profile of student performance gained through other forms of summative assessment.

January 23, 2010

Online Tutoring Destination – India

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 12:58 pm

“More parents of students find online tutors in India are a smart alternative to higher-priced U.S. help “

A number of companies are outsourcing customer service call centers and computer help desks.

Now, a growing number of U.S. families are hiring tutors based in the
subcontinent to help their children with math, science – and even English.
The Indian tutors, who start their shifts in the wee hours of the morning to
be available to U.S. students during prime homework hours, cost far less
than their American counterparts.

Parents looking to boost their children’s grades have plenty of choices. There are nationwide chains like Focus EduVation’s Online Tutoring and Homework Help, as well as dozens of independent companies  And
that’s not even counting all of the high school students, college students and teachers who tutor on the side.

Focus EduVation is based outside Boston, MA. We provide wide range of online, digital, and print content services. Our projects are customized to meet each client’s requirements with constructive, measurable results. We also provide prompt and reliable customer service. http://www.focuseduvation.com

January 18, 2010

K12 Education Strategy

Filed under: New Trends — Focus EduVation @ 1:23 pm

Online course content has been the educational trend for long years now. Online lessons are developed to cover every learning day of school. There is a lesson for every single day, from kindergarten to 12th grade,”.

The other recent trend is publishers are running their own private online school, as well as provides technology, content, management services and provide training to other online public schools (foe e.g: Kaplan Education).

Offering technology-based distance learning solutions is another growing trend. Advanced placement courses and other courses for failin students is another growing trend. Apex sells Ap and distance courses to public schools where teachers often deliver those courses in a classroom setting.

The objective is to develop a customized content that makes learning easier and effective. There are many web-based platforms that is being developed with rich interactives to make learning easier and effective. The general aim is to create an easy platform of learning and help struggling learners. This is the strategy being adopted across schools.

January 13, 2010

V-learning – Learning through 3D virtual reality, the new trend

Filed under: New Trends — Focus EduVation @ 12:44 pm

“V-learning” – Learning through 3D virtual reality.

V-learning, as this new trend has come to be known, offers everything a traditional educational program would offer, and lots more. Through 3D virtual reality technology, a student has the chance to go beyond learning theoretical content to applying it to the real world, or perhaps more correctly, to real-world contexts in a virtual reality. In this virtual reality the student works with products, market, customers and competitors. As Paul Richardson, director of Indiana Wesleyan University’s extensive graduate business programs has said, the obvious advantage to this kind of working apart from efficiency, convenience and the green aspect is that,” while in the business simulation; they learn by doing.”

This new method of learning could be of particular interest to freelancers and home workers who are currently relying on remote, online university courses to develop their skills and enhance their profiles. The V-learning discovery can be said to be the “icing” of online education which has changed the lives of many mothers, freelancers and many more who prefer or have no choice but to work from home. V-learning is a revolutionary technological breakthrough that will not only enable remote education and consequentially home-working, but it will also facilitate personal development and provide a higher educational experience to all.

January 6, 2010

Open Courseware is Gaining Popularity

Filed under: New Trends — Focus EduVation @ 1:18 pm

Over time our online world has become well populated with “learning opportunities, objects and events,” not only do we need to filter and sort through this but also determine if we are going to validate these and if so how. In the last several months many new social networking, collaboration, and information ‘tools” have burst on the scene..and soon to follow are those of us in education who start evaluating these tools for the application to education.. I think this is a good thing, however  I also have to question if we are expending our energies appropriately.

Educators and tech-product developersare pushing for more open educational resources in classrooms as a way not only to engage students through technology, but also to save money in a time of tighter budgets.

Courseware is really making a difference in the educational medium..  Digital repositories of textbooks, Online content is gaining its momentum. Using open textbooks is not only cheaper, but also more efficient and faster when it comes time to purchase new editions.

E-Book Readers are another emerging trend, not only in the line of publishing but also e-learning. July, 2009, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) published a paper, “A Kindle in Every Backpack: A proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools,” which proposed that the government supply each student in the country with an electronic reading device, allowing textbooks to be cheaply distributed and updated. (Source : eschoolnews).

Various formats of open courseware is emerging and is here to stay. Cost-effective and convenient methods of learning are much needed and appreciated in today’s educational need.

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