General Article

Adult Education and E-Learning – Why 2009 Should Result in Fewer Prefixes and More Knowledge

Adult Education and E-Learning – Why 2009 Should Result in Fewer Prefixes and More Knowledge

At a time when UK university places are seeing record demand and applications submitted by older students are increasing, it seems likely that over the next few years a typical campus will be made up of an even more diverse mix of ages than it has seen in the past. Recent UCAS data highlights just how many older people are applying, with an 18 percent rise of applicants aged 25 and over – this has bumped the overall number of extra students competing to get into UK institutions by another 50,000 compared to last year.

Although this sudden influx of students is no doubt set to strain our recession-hit universities even further, as well as making the application process even tougher for those who a few years ago would haves secured a place with ease, I see this as a very good thing for education as a whole – and a good opportunity for the UK’s HE institutions to adapt to the needs of a wider variety of students and developing technologies.

When we discuss e-Learning, adult education or distance courses – if we are not describing its successes we are usually talking about issues that people come across when embarking on such an endeavour. Steve Wheeler (from his blog: ) is aware of this and decided to ask his Twitter followers what they thought the primary issues with, specifically, e-Learning were. What inspired this particular article is the response from one follower in Liverpool who argued ‘that integrating e-learning into the mainstream (and perhaps losing the ‘e’ that distinguishes it)’ was important. A notion that got me thinking.

Surely then, 2009 and 2010 may well be the year that we really begin to see this happen. E-Learning is ear-marked for further funding in light of the 40th anniversary of the Open University, and additionally, the greater reach of online lessons where physical class space and accommodation doesn’t have to be considered will no doubt become more important for institutions and students alike.

At the same time, I can’t help but imagine that the notion of ‘adult education’ as opposed to just ‘education’ is on its way out also – and it is e-Learning technology which is having a hand in that too. Online education is changing the way in which the individual student interacts with the college in two ways, the first: by offering a flexible, individually fitted, means to accessing information and the second: by providing open content (i.e. texts created by institutions but that are available to all). Consequently, once e-Learning does become “mainstream” I envisage a learning environment that has absolutely nothing to do with the age of the student, and everything to do with that innocuous vowel – though I’m sure we will have forgotten all about it.

General Article

Why Attend Continuing Education Seminars?

Why Attend Continuing Education Seminars?

One of the best ways for people who are interested in improving their skills in any area of interest is attending continuing education events. If you are a dentist,doctor or a chiropractor you are used to regularly attending c.e. events to update your skills which update you and your professional educational education. Some of them visit to keep their professional licensing intact, and some because they are in exotic warm places in the dead of winter.

As business people it is this same idea of going to continuing education that can do wonders for us. In internet marketing this education is a valuable constructive activity. You have two great benefits. You will learn new methods of marketing, how,when and what technology to use and strategies that will grow your business. Above all you will be in the company of other successful people that have travelled the same route as you, have similar goals and can share their successes and failures with you. You will begin to not feel so isolated and perhaps develop mastermind partners and friends.

Coming out from behind the keyboard is valuable as you can grow your list of friends who share a similar philosophy, and meet others who you can then share ideas with after you leave the conference or seminar. You will also be able to make contacts to do business or perhaps a Joint Venture. But what if you are tight for time, cannot get the travel time due to work or have family obligations. You can still be there in spirit by purchasing the videos or recordings and seminar materials from the organisers of the event who often provide recordings accompanied by video and PDF workbooks.

As I write this I am attending the Online Revenue Workshop in Las Vegas. This event featured 4 well known marketers and EzineArticle expert authors. Dr Jeanette Cates, Lisa Suttora, Suzann Schmitt and Connie Ragen Green who were discussing technology, marketing, product development and entrepreneurial mindset. I have picked up many new ideas and made several new friends and contacts. If you have interest in Article Marketing Connie taught a segment on it, as I write this I know she knows about the subject because she has 1285 articles written with more than 425,439 views.

So I know that the academic part of seminars is very useful and I think you will find that the social can be just as valuable, even in Vegas.

General Article

Easy Steps For Social Work Continuing Education

Easy Steps For Social Work Continuing Education

You may be most interested in saving a little bit of money when you seek you certificate this time around. There are so many companies out there that want to help you save time and money. It is necessary for you to save time when looking to enroll in social work continuing education courses. You are busy and need to keep your attention focused on your practice. Yet, cutting corners isn’t an option either so it’s necessary that saving time does not get in the way of enrolling in a quality continuing education course.

When you begin looking for online course work, you need to find a company that has a trustworthy reputation and is staffed by people that you believe to be qualified. The person teaching the course should also have notable credentials and be a well known name in your field. You also want to recognize the people that sit on the board of the institution. These should definitely be recognizable names that are associated with the most cutting edge research.

You will also want to check the credentials of the particular site or institution that is offering the class you are interested in enrolling in. Look for specific national and state board approvals. Also, you will want to check for national membership organization approvals. For a company or institution to be approved to offer social work continuing education certificates, they have to meet strict criteria set out by these organizations.

Once you have researched the institution and its staff, you can learn about your options with the course work you select. You have a few different options for course work found within a website. There are a few different types to choose one and having a good feel for how much time you have to offer is wise. You will also need to be fairly aware of the style of learning you do best and where you plan to tackle the class.

There is audio, reading and video course work. If you interested in doing an audiotaped class, you will just need to fill out your application with the company so they can send you a tape. Some firms have begun to send mp3s as well. This audio recording will be a taped lecture or discussion. You will merely need to listen to the recording, take any notes or outlines and then pass a brief quiz. The telephone based course is similar. You’ll patched into a telephone conversation to listen live.

If you would like to read the material, then enrolling in a strictly online class will be a good fit. For this class, you will be sent the reading and course work through your email account. Any materials necessary to pass the quiz will be online for you to read at your leisure. Once you have completed the reading, all you’ll need to do is pass the quiz to receive your social work continuing education certificate.

General Article

Online Continuing Education Courses – Advantages Over Classroom Courses

Online Continuing Education Courses – Advantages Over Classroom Courses

There has been an upward trend in online education for the last six to eight years. The stigma of online education started to disappear when large, accredited schools starting offering online degrees. Many adults returning to school take online classes. A typical online student works full time and has a family. They cannot attend classes on a weekly basis but, still need additional education to advance their career. Online classes have a lot to offer students. First and foremost, they are more flexible than classroom courses. Many programs are asynchronous, meaning you do not have to be online at a specific time for an online chat or lecture. Most classes consist of case studies, discussion board postings, and quizzes. Second, you can complete the online courses from anywhere in the world with internet access. You can do your assignments from your home, office or even automobile! This feature is very beneficial because you are able to save money on gas, not worry about parking and complete your homework no matter where you are located. Finally, for most Universities you are learning the same information online as you would if you were sitting in a classroom. Meaning, you are not getting any type of discounted degree. This feature is probably the most important. Many professors actually teach both online and classroom courses making sure the content of the courses are the same. This is also important because you will be receiving the same degree and diploma as a student who did all of their coursework on campus.

Expense is another factor to consider when looking into online courses. Many times colleges and Universities will drop their tuition rate for online classes. Since there is no real overhead they are able to offer the same degree programs at a lower cost. Students really appreciate this and take advantage of it all the time. They receive the same education and degree at a discounted price. As long as the school is accredited any employer should accept the degree. It should not matter if the program was done online or on campus. Regional accreditation will allow a student to transfer classes from one school to another or pursue higher education; such as a master’s degree or PhD. This is very important since you never know where life could take you in the future. Don’t waste your time and money completing a degree from a school that is not regionally accredited!

General Article

The New Phrase in Further and Adult Education – Debt Free Degree

The New Phrase in Further and Adult Education – “Debt Free Degree”

After August’s A-Level results led to the – not unexpected – reports of a higher percentage of students receiving A and A* grades, headlines such as the following from The Daily Telegraph: ‘Bright A-Level Students shun university,’ were not entirely unexpected. However, although many are put off by the competition and the cost of traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ institutions, this does not mean that they are eager to shun further education altogether. Welcome, then, to the era of the “Debt Free Degree”.

The reason for this widespread pessimism towards the UK’s higher education system is not surprising either. Today, average debt prices stand at around the £23,000 mark (according to the latest figures from ). Additionally, the latest data from The Office of National Statistics shows that the number of graduate jobs available have shrunk by a quarter, whilst the average number of people wanting those jobs is 45.

Yet, of course, with any good social revolution comes action – and the result is a number of online and offline campaigns promoting the idea that there is more to post-school/college life than three years of traditional university education and a hideous amount of debt. At the forefront of the campaign is the website: – an informative blog that proclaims itself as the ‘non-graduate UCAS’ – in no way anti-university, but there to ensure that young people are aware that there are other routes to success.

“Debt Free Degrees” are certainly discussed with fondness on the site, and as certain a means to getting a decent qualification and ahead in life as studying at a traditional university. Of course, what the phrase: “Debt Free Degree” is referring to is nothing inherently new – merely the notion of using one of the UK’s many online distance learning courses in the vein of that offered by the Open University since the sixties, but now offered as an aside by major institutions and other providers all over the country.

Exactly where a distance learning course is based is beside the point really. The beauty of today’s online degree courses are that they can be done from anywhere with an internet connection – whether you live in London or on the Isle of Skye. There are major plus points for those interested in adult education also – as distance learning courses offer more time flexibility, meaning you can study when you want (i.e. around family and work commitments) as opposed to traditional university courses where you must stick to a strict schedule. It seems that over the next few years this may be the biggest draw for distance learning, that students can work while they study, a great way to keep away from debt and to add an even greater number of skills to your CV.

General Article

Job Creation: A Summary of 2012’s Proposed Solutions So Far

Job Creation: A Summary of 2012’s Proposed Solutions So Far

The rate at which jobs are increasing in South Africa is really slow. According to Business Day, the average rate of increase since 2001 is 0.5% per year. Taking into consideration the increase in the employable, job-seeking population, measuring jobs increases by average percentage of people employed seems more accurate than giving a fixed amount, like “624 000 in the past 10 years”. Six hundred and twenty four thousand jobs in ten years is not a lot no matter which way you look at it, but let’s say it is better than nothing.

Real efforts have to be made by the South African government regarding labour regulation and policies affecting investor sentiment for the country to reach its job creation target for 2020. But with 25% of South Africans are unemployed (according to Statistics SA), the future seems bleak.

The Business Day article cites Frans Cronje, who proposes three policy reforms that would be necessary for government to meet its 2020 targets:

1) Policies regarding any requirements of racial referencing should be dismantled, as they prevents SA from using the skills it already has and can deter investors and damage entrepreneurship.

2) Labour regulations should be reduced.

3) The minister of education should be made the authority of policies for schools. At the moment, the head of the major teachers union is able to veto policy decisions, but the focus should be on giving every child an education and the opportunity to contribute to the economy.

According to Bekezela Phakathi and Karl Gernetzky, the state should invest more in education, but, more importantly, should look for better results in the education sector. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said that most funds are directed towards education, health and social assistance. Spending on education will grow with 6.7%, on average, in three years, but this is less than the growth of the previous three years. Furthermore, the R207 billion that SA will invest in education in 2012-2013 will probably also show similar poor returns of previous years. The focus should be shifted to how the money is spent and not how much they plan to invest.

Jackie Carroll says that adult education is another key to SA’s job dilemma. She says that there are so many problems with education that many solutions just muddy the waters without fixing anything. One major problem should be isolated and fixed before moving onto the next. She says that the Department of Higher Education and Training’s green paper on adult education shows that the opportunities for adults are too limited to meet the needs of the economy and the workers. People in rural areas have the highest rate of unemployment and they require the most attention.

The community-based organizations (CBO) in these areas have the ability to train millions of people who need and want to better themselves and find jobs. The focus should be on sustainability and jobs can also be created for teachers in these CBOs. The programs offered should focus on qualifications that the people will be able to use. There should be quality education that is not necessarily part of the National Qualifications Framework.

Clear and strong direction of funds in education seems to be the over-ruling necessity to better the chances of people becoming successful contributors to the economy. There should be less emphasis on who can work where and how, and more on bettering everyone’s chances at finding a job.