Category Archives: Education

Learning Summer Happens at Home

As the achievement gap has widened over the past quarter century, educators have increasingly focused on summer pastimes as both a key factor and a solution. Higher-income children are more likely to fill their days with outdoorsy camps, music and coding classes, and travel. Making those experiences more accessible to and commonplace for all children, the theory goes, can help ensure that low-income kids keep learning at the same rate.

But time spent at home, reading independently or talking about books and stories with parents, seems to have a greater influence on children’s academic growth than summer camps or vacations, new research suggests. It’s a reminder that despite the social-emotional benefits (and the fun) of camp, quiet days with family can offer valuable learning moments too.

THE RESEARCH

The study, conducted by education policy researcher Kathleen Lynch, parses out how various summer activities, such as attending camp, reading and talking about math at home, vacations and daytrips, and summer school, have distinct academic effects. It suggests that families of all socioeconomic backgrounds have made strides in creating an enriching summer for their children.

Lynch looked at two cohorts of kindergarten-age children, one from 1999 and the other from 2011. Both cohorts were nationally representative and included more than 4,000 students. The study examined the relationship between summer activities and socioeconomic status (SES); the relationship between summer activities and literacy and math scores; and whether SES-related gaps in summer activities changed between 1999 and 2011.

It found that the gap between the number of high- and low-income children who attend camp (here, defined as non-school-based summer programs) and visit new places has increased over time:

  • The proportion of high-SES children attending camp increased from about 40 to 53 percent, whereas the proportion of low-SES children decreased from about 9 to 6 percent.
  • High-SES children were increasingly more likely to visit to museums, zoos and aquariums, new cities, amusements parks, and beaches and lakes. Low-SES children were increasingly more likely to spend more time at home watching television or playing computer games.

But across the board, the amount of time parents spent reading, writing, and doing math-related activities with their kids also increased over time. While the SES-related gaps remained roughly the same, all parents were found to be more likely to use free time with their children in enriching ways.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Home-based activities were found to be more indicative of academic learning than any other activity.

  • In both cohorts, reading independently, as well as reading and writing with parents, were stronger predictors of summer reading learning than attending summer camp or visiting novel places.
  • While attending camp had a small impact on math learning in 1999, it had no significant effect on math learning in 2011.
  • Tutoring and attending summer school was associated with lower scores in the fall.

IMPLICATIONS FOR FAMILIES AND EDUCATORS

We know from prior studies that all children tend to learn at the same rate over the school year, but that over the summer, lower-income children learn far less than higher-income children — and that loss accumulates over time.

But increasing the number of academic learning opportunities available to lower-income students won’t necessarily bridge the achievement gap. At the very least, for academically focused opportunities to be effective, they need to be voluntary, rather than compulsory activities such as summer school or tutoring.

And while it’s no surprise that high-income kids tend to spend their summers in costlier ways — attending camp, traveling, and visiting attractions — less-expensive endeavors may have a stronger academic impact. Parents can make the most of summer simply by visiting a library on the weekend, talking about baseball statistics or gas mileage in the car, and reading together for half an hour before bed. Policymakers and schools can promote these activities in relatively inexpensive ways, too, by sending mailings, posting fliers throughout the community, or talking with parents at conferences and end-of-year celebrations.

But this isn’t a call to withdraw from summer camp. It’s a “promising trend” that parents across socioeconomic backgrounds are increasing their time doing literacy and math activities with their children, says Lynch, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. But camps can have other valuable benefits as well, and more work needs to be done to increase access to those experiences.

“This large ‘summer-camp gap’ may be important because summer camps are hypothesized to provide kids with social-emotional benefits, such as building friendships and engaging kids’ extracurricular interests, and growing self-confidence and independence,” says Lynch. “Providing more opportunities for children from low-SES backgrounds to participate in summer camps could expand access to these benefits,” and help all children arrive back at school in the fall with the comprehensive skillset needed for success.

English as Language of Global Education

When economics students returned this winter to the elite École Normale Supérieure here, copies of a simple one-page petition were posted in the corridors demanding an unlikely privilege: French as a teaching language.

“We understand that economics is a discipline, like most scientific fields, where the research is published in English,” the petition read, in apologetic tones. But it declared that it was unacceptable for a native French professor to teach standard courses to French-speaking students in the adopted tongue of English.

In the shifting universe of global academia, English is becoming as commonplace as creeping ivy and mortarboards. In the last five years, the world’s top business schools and universities have been pushing to make English the teaching tongue in a calculated strategy to raise revenues by attracting more international students and as a way to respond to globalization.

Business universities are driving the trend, partly because changes in international accreditation standards in the late 1990s required them to include English-language components. But English is also spreading to the undergraduate level, with some South Korean universities offering up to 30 percent of their courses in the language. The former president of Korea University in Seoul sought to raise that share to 60 percent, but ultimately was not re-elected to his post in December.

In Madrid, business students can take their admissions test in English for the elite Instituto de Empresa and enroll in core courses for a master’s degree in business administration in the same language. The Lille School of Management in France stopped considering English a foreign language in 1999, and now half the postgraduate programs are taught in English to accommodate a rising number of international students.

Over the last three years, the number of master’s programs offered in English at universities with another host language has more than doubled, to 3,300 programs at 1,700 universities, according to David A. Wilson, chief executive of the Graduate Management Admission Council, an international organization of leading business schools that is based in McLean, Va.

“We are shifting to English. Why?” said Laurent Bibard, the dean of M.B.A. programs at Essec, a top French business school in a suburb of Paris that is a fertile breeding ground for chief executives.

“It’s the language for international teaching,” he said. “English allows students to be able to come from anyplace in the world and for our students — the French ones — to go everywhere.”

This year the university is celebrating its 100th anniversary in its adopted tongue. Its new publicity film debuted in English and French. Along one of the main roads leading into Paris loomed a giant blue billboard boasting of the anniversary in French and, in smaller letters, in English.

Essec has also taken advantage of the increased revenue that foreign students — English-speaking ones — can bring in. Its population of foreign students has leapt by 38 percent in four years, to 909 today out of a student body of 3,700.

The tuition for a two-year master’s degree in business administration is 19,800 euros for European Union citizens, and 34,000 euros for non-EU citizens.

“The French market for local students is not unlimited,” said Christophe N. Bredillet, the associate dean for the Lille School of Management’s M.B.A. and postgraduate programs. “Revenue is very important, and in order to provide good services, we need to cover our expenses for the library and research journals. We need to cover all these things with a bigger number of students so it’s quite important to attract international students.”

With the jump in foreign students, Essec now offers 25 percent of its 200 courses in English. Its ambition is to accelerate the English offerings to 50 percent in the next three years.

Santiago Iñiguez de Ozoño, dean of the Instituto de Empresa, argues that the trend is a natural consequence of globalization, with English functioning as Latin did in the 13th century as the lingua franca most used by universities.

“English is being adapted as a working language, but it’s not Oxford English,” he said. “It’s a language that most stakeholders speak.” He carries out conversation on a blog, deanstalk.net, in English.

But getting students to feel comfortable speaking English in the classroom is easier said than done. When younger French students at Essec start a required course in organizational analysis, the atmosphere is marked by long, uncomfortable silences, said Alan Jenkins, a management professor and academic director of the executive M.B.A. program.

“They are very good on written tasks, but there’s a lot of reticence on oral communication and talking with the teacher,” Dr. Jenkins said, adding that he used role-playing to encourage students to speak. He also refuses to speak in French. “I have to force myself to say, ‘Can you give me that in English?’ ”

Officials at Ewha Womans University in Seoul are also aware that they face a difficult task at the first stage of their Global 2010 project, which will require new students to take four classes in English, two under the tutelage of native English-speaking professors. The 120-year-old university has embarked on a hiring spree to attract 50 foreign professors.

At the beginning, “teaching courses in English may have less efficiency or effectiveness in terms of knowledge transfer than those courses taught in Korean,” said Anna Suh, program manager for the university’s office of global affairs, who said that students eventually see the benefits. “Our aim for this kind of program is to prepare and equip our students to be global leaders in this new era of internationalization.”

The Lille management school is planning to open a satellite business school program next fall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where the working language will also be in English.

“Internationally, the competition is everywhere,” Dr. Bredillet said. “For a master’s in management, I’m competing with George Washington University. I’m competing with some programs in Germany, Norway and the U.K. That’s why we’re delivering the curriculum in English.”

Some Important Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools

Most people have heard the phrase ‘random acts of kindness’, which refers to a selfless act of giving resulting in the happiness of another person. Terms like this are increasing in popularity around the world, as more people identify a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism.

It seems we just can’t get enough of those addictive feel good emotions and with good reason.

Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals.

Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.”

A great number of benefits have been reported to support the theory of teaching kindness in schools:

1. Happy Children

Science explains that the good feelings we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, and it’s proven that these feelings of joyfulness are contagious, encouraging more kind behaviour by the giver and recipient.

2. Increased Peer Acceptance

Research on the subject has determined that kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Studies show that kind, happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well-liked and that better than average mental health is reported in classrooms that practice more inclusive behaviour due to an even distribution of popularity.

3. Improved Health and Less Stress

It’s widely documented that being kind can trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin which has a number of physical and mental health benefits as it can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress. More recently though, it’s been found it plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, helping protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing free radicals and inflammation, which incidentally speed up the aging process.

4. Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem

Studies show that people experience a ‘helpers high’ when they do a good deed, a rush of endorphins that creates a lasting sense of pride, wellbeing and an enriched sense of belonging. Even small acts of kindness are reported to heighten our sense of wellbeing, increase energy and give a wonderful feeling of optimism and self worth.

5. Increased Feelings of Gratitude

When children are part of projects that help others less fortunate than themselves, it provides them with a real sense of perspective and helps them appreciate the good things in their own lives.

6. Better Concentration and Improved Results

As it increases serotonin, which plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion, kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel good. Having a positive outlook allows them greater attentions spans and enables more creative thinking to produce better results at school.

7. Less Bullying

Two Penn State Harrisburg faculty researchers, Shanetia Clark and Barbara Marinak say, “unlike previous generations, today’s adolescents are victimizing each other at alarming rates.” They argue adolescent bullying and youth violence can be confronted through in-school programs that integrate “kindness — the antithesis of victimization.”

Many traditional anti-bullying programs focus on the negative actions that cause children anxiety and often with little impact. Teaching kindness and compassion in schools, not only fosters the positive behaviour that creates warm and inclusive school environments, but helps children feel that they belong. It’s documented that the effects of bullying can be significantly reduced by integrating kindness based programs in schools.

8. Reduced Depression

Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker, says research has discovered that an act of kindness increases levels of serotonin (a natural chemical responsible for improving mood) in the brain. It’s also found that serotonin levels are increased in both the giver and receiver of an act of kindness, as well as anyone who witnesses that kindness, making it a wonderful natural antidepressant.

Maurice Elias, a professor at Rutgers University Psychology Department says that “as a citizen, grandparent, father, and professional, it is clear to me that the mission of schools must include teaching kindness. Without it, communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility where lasting learning is unlikely to take place.

We need to be prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life. Yet despite these and other travails, the receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing.

Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.”

It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, that in order for children to develop into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals, matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority.

Use Online Learning media to Improve Your Education

Online education has made it easier to get a music degree or nursing degree. Learning online has enabled many people to get a better education. If you know how to surf the Internet, then you have knowledge at your fingertips.

It is no longer necessary to travel long distances and sacrifice work and family in order to expand your skill set and your knowledge. You can get a degree online or in a hybrid arrangement that allows you to do most of your studies on the Internet while you visit a campus for hands-on training. Consider these examples.

Online Paralegal Degree
A bachelor degree in paralegal studies can get you into the legal world without having to acquire training in law. Paralegals do most of the research and prepare cases for lawyers. The only thing that a paralegal cannot do is represent clients in court.

Thanks to the Internet, you can now do much of the class work and reading online. You do not have to lose time traveling to a campus and sitting in a classroom. The Internet can bring all the resources you need to study into your home or any where with access to the online world.

Online Music Degree
A music degree is a good example of a course of study that can benefit from a hybrid approach to distance learning. You will need to study theory. There is no need to take that class on a campus. Instead, you could easily listen to music samples and evaluate them online.

Other classes may require you to play instruments or participate with your instructor in musical performance. By allowing the flexibility which distance learning offers, instructors can adapt courses to meet the needs of students of all kinds. This is especially true for those beginning a second career or simply trying to get a degree that they always wished they had.

Nursing Degree
Some degrees, such as a nursing degree, require a lot of hands-on training. However, even a nursing degree has prerequisites which include a lot of reading and writing. These courses are ideal candidates for distance learning and online education.

Eventually, in a course of study that required hands on experience such as a nursing degree, you will need work on campus or at another specified location. That does not mean, though, that the online world has lost all use for you. No matter how much time is spent on campus, the Internet is always a valuable resource to have.

Even courses which require daily meetings in a classroom can profit from using the technology that makes distance learning possible. Students can save money by purchasing electronic textbooks and bringing them to their classes on laptop computers. Instructors now have access to any video or audio presentation that they think will be helpful to their classes.

Whether you want a paralegal degree, a music degree or a nursing degree, you will find the Internet to be helpful. It can offer mountains of valuable information. It can also make it possible for you to enhance your knowledge without having to give up your job.

How to Learn and Develop Study Skills

Study skills refer to the ability to read, memorize and retain class portions, text book content and other study materials. Developing study skills depend on individual’s capability, grasping power, interests, environment and self discipline. Here are some methods to develop study skills and hone them better with few useful techniques.

1. Visualization

This method refers to seeing imagery through the mind on what has been taught, including block diagrams, pictures, matching real world objects with the concepts read. It also develops your creativity, imagination and cognitive skills.

2. Group Study

Joining a study group on few topics lets members to share and collaborate among others. The study materials can be divided for individual preparations, which then can be delivered as a short session or flash cards to other members in the study group. This is one of the most common study methods.

3. Writing what you read

Writing whatever you have just read immediately helps to retain the fresh knowledge and also boost your confidence in the exam. Apart from that, you can train yourself to be patient to really absorb the knowledge through hard work and also improve written communication skills.

4. Learning by doing

This is one best form of developing a study skill – doing things practically based on what one read in the text book although it may not be possible to experiment or implement everything practically. One has to develop the habit of experiencing them practically if there any opportunity exists. For example, college lab exercises, applying them on real world situations.

5. Flash cards

This is the most common method of keeping tab of topics read. It is done through a small post card where key words are noted down for quick reference. Majority of the students keep them handy instead of keeping complete notes or text books. This helps in developing hints to the topics and improvising the whole content from the keywords.

6. Mind maps

It is the best technique to relate topics and associate links among them. Mind map is a powerful tool which follows a tree or hierarchical structure to a particular topic. It is also a great brainstorming method to generate more ideas for essay writing, comprehension, and critical thinking. It sharpens the thought process by looking at various perspectives to the subject.

7. Group discussion and quizzes

Revise the topics through a group discussion with friends to further improve your memory. It is better to allot 30 minutes of time for discussion and clarifications. To make it more interesting, conduct small quizzes through rapid fire rounds, puzzles and other form of investigative learning. This also builds communication and social skills.

8. Relaxation methods

It is vital to keep a healthy mind and body. Taking breaks and rests for 10-15 minutes between studies keeps the mind relaxed. It is recommended to have a minimum of seven hours sound sleep. It rejuvenates both body and mind. The mental pressure can be released by playing sports, doing work outs and spending quality time with family and friends. Practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga are great methods to improving concentration and focus.

In summary, study skills are both innate and acquired by nature. They may vary across individuals but several common and working practices can be derived and applied by all students to hone and improvise their existing skills.

Improve the Quality of Higher Education Program in Vietnam

The United States Agency for International Development, otherwise known as USAID, is a US federal government agency that’s fundamentally accountable for administering civilian foreign aid to several countries around the globe.

The grants and programs of the USAID are all tailored to aid in the accomplishment of its general agency mission which is to”extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or battling to live in a free and democratic country.”

In line with this mission, the United States Agency for International Development Headquarters in Bangkok has recently established the Improving Higher Education Quality Program in Vietnam.

The program intends to fortify the human and institutional capacity of local Vietnamese higher education institutions, in an effort to create and administer quality education programs, training, and various research programs that support important economic expansion.

USAID has explained this programme resulted from the movement of Vietnam, turning into a middle-income country standing, instead of originally being a low-income country. Due to this speedily changing industrial landscape, the education system of the country is suffering from incredible pressure.

The Improving Higher Education Quality Program attempts to remedy that concern, by way of constituting programs and activities that can potentially leave behind academic legacies which are highly capable of providing effective human capital development.

Among all of the areas of concern are the educations system’s institutional differentiation and autonomy, training, pay, and promotion of professors, reconstruction of instructional strategies, development of 21st century education managers and leaders, and eventually, the development and usage of relevant curriculum.

In its Higher Education Reform Agenda (HERA), the Vietnamese government has said that the education system will be critically improved through improving the standard of teaching and research, extending the autonomy of higher education institutions specifically in academic and administrative matters, with an end goal of improving responsiveness to the requirements of beneficiaries; and finally, increasing private sector investments.

The recipients of the grant award will be tasked to develop programs and initiatives that will address these concerns, and as a result, the USAID Headquarters in Bangkok is ready to administer a funding amount of $2,500,000 to help this initiative.

USAID has stipulated that the organizations and institutions who will be eligible to submit an application under this program are the following:

a) US or non-US non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

b) Non-profit or for-profit setups

c) Academic institutions

d) Private sector entities.

Educational Games for Students

Educational games have always been important additions to the classroom. From games that aid in spelling and vocabulary, such as Hangman and Scrabble to games that help students learn how to think critically, like Brain Teasers to some games that help improve memory like those in which you flip cards over and try to remember where the matching card was placed, games have been an integral part of every child’s educational experience. As a teacher, it is important to play games with your students to spark their interest for learning and allow your students to have a little fun in the midst of classroom work. Some might say this is not a beneficial practice to engage in with your students, but if the games you play are educational and fun, everyone benefits. These games can also be used as rewards and positive reinforcement for good behavior and good work in class.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is an awesome card game produced by Mattel. This game is deceptively simple and really fun to play with groups of people, whether in class or at a party. With this game, there are two sets of cards: red apple cards and green apple cards. The red apple cards have nouns (person, place, thing, or idea) on them. These nouns are often famous people (like “Mel Gibson”), concepts (like “Feminism”), or extraordinary events (like “My High School Prom”). The green apple cards have adjectives (words that describe a noun) on them. The goal of the game is to match your red apple cards with the green apple card that is drawn. In each round, each player gets five red apple cards and a judge is appointed. That judge draws a green apple card and announces the word. Each player (the judge does not play) puts a red apple card down-face down so the judge cannot see – that pairs well with the word on the green apple card. The judge then decides who put the best word in, and that person gets the green apple card. Whoever has the most green apple cards at the end, wins. This game can get students thinking about word choice in literature and in their own writing, as well as what makes certain pairings sad or funny. Students will also learn new words by being exposed to things they are not necessarily familiar with.

Hink Pink

Hink Pink is a great brainteaser game made by Discovery Bay Games. In this game, there are cards that have riddles on them, and students need to think about the answer to the riddles in order to receive points. The answers to the riddles are always two words, and they always rhyme. They also always fall into one of three categories: Hink Pinks are two one-syllable words that rhyme, Hinky Pinkys are two two-syllable words that rhyme, and Hinkity Pinkitys are two three-syllable words that rhyme. If the teacher is calling out the riddles, he or she will tell the students if it is a Hink Pink, Hinky Pinky, or Hinkity Pinkity, then read the riddle. For example, the teacher might say: “Hink Pink: A chocolate connoisseur.” Then, the students would answer “Fudge Judge.” There are many worksheets and educational activities online that a quick internet search will give you. However, if you buy the game, there is also a timer that can be used with smaller groups. Using the cards alone, though, is a great way to get students involved when you have a few extra minutes at the end of class. By Buzzle Staff and Agencies.

Online Education for Older Women

The system of linking students, teachers and learning resources when they are not in the same location is called “distance learning”. Earlier, distance learning made effective use of communication technologies like the postal service, and then television programs. However, a huge shift occurred after the advent of the Internet and “online education” was born. This transformed not only the methods of education but also the development and propagation of knowledge and communications between students and teachers. But how did all this effect older women? Technology granted new opportunities for many older women to achieve educational goals and they successfully managed to balance home and education.

Universities now form partnerships with businesses and even each other to compete better, in a greatly expanded worldwide market for students. The growth of online education can be attributed primarily to these reasons –

• You get to choose the class hours according to your discretion.

• Instead of a typical classroom environment, you get to learn in the comfort of your home.

• Since the actual sessions are never crowded, more attention is focused on you.

• Zero conveyance cost. Also you get to choose a class which fits your personal style and budget.

• Since there is to-and-fro involved, you save a lot of time.

According to a survey, more than 2 million students enrolled in online education courses in 2002 alone. If a recent U.S. government document is to be believed, the average age of online students is 34 years old and they are mostly female.

So why do older women pursue continuing education? According to a survey, the main impetuses of women for returning to education are –

• Expansion of their current career

• Enhancement of current salary

• Changing or beginning careers

• Returning to staff position

• Pursuing personal advantages

Among the women surveyed, 20% belonged to the age group of 41 – 50.

The top online colleges offering scholarships in America are –

(i) Liberty University

(ii) Post University

(iii) Kaplan University

(iv) DeVry University

(v) American Inter Continental University

(vi) Grand Canyon University.

The number of older women currently working to complete courses and degrees online represents a social wonder. Awareness of women’s problems and measures to help overcome the tribulations are required to raise the success of both older women and online programs.

Although women are the main users, they are grossly underrepresented in high-tech sectors and among university administrators who are currently influential to online learning. Many adult women returning to college classes have to tackle significant hurdles not usually experienced by men. Many women balance career, community and household tasks against their curricular work. They often have serious economic liabilities too. Customarily, they have grappled with these difficulties while also facing inflexible class schedules and educational policies, incompetent childcare, lack of appropriate lodging, and lack of dependable transportation. Online education seeks to solve all this and more.

Benefits Of Educational Technology

Today, everything that we come across has some technological connotation to it. Be it at home, school or workplace, technology has found a comfortable niche and has become an integral part of life. With the use of technology, several arenas are seeing changes and education is also one of them. The birth of educational technology has proved to be a boon to students the world over. Not only in the regular setting, but also in educating students with special needs have known to be benefited with the introduction of this modern invention. Let us now discuss the uses and benefits of educational technology in this modern-day setting.

What is Educational Technology?
The term ‘educational technology’ has a broad perspective and is also referred to as instructional technology or learning technology. This method plays a vital role in enhancing the learning process of students and also assists teachers in communicating with the students in an easy way. Educational technology can be a classroom affair, or can be even taken out of the classroom. This technology has successfully transformed the stereotypical image of classrooms into a modern and more interesting one. Thanks to this modern development, classrooms are no longer a boring place and learning is actually a fun experience. With the use of computers and software programs, which provide learning materials, technology has changed education to a great extent.

Educational Technology Benefits
There are a number of benefits of introducing technology in the field of education. There has been a positive impact of technology on education. Virtual classrooms have made learning easier for the student community. With the potential use of technology, the learning speed and style have undergone a sea change and communication has become easier. Here are some of the benefits of educational technology.

* One of the benefits of educational technology for students is that it helps them improve their learning capabilities. Since it is one field which is constantly changing, new updates can be easily introduced to the students and class plans can be prepared with the help of the software.

* In the earlier days, education was considered to be mostly for the elite class and people under other strata were quite ignorant of it. With the introduction of educational technology, there is no discrimination and everyone is equally accessible to get educated.
* The information can be portrayed in various ways with the help of study materials. Knowledge has become easily accessible to students in every part of the world with the implementation of technology in the field of education. Online classrooms help students to interact with other students belonging to the same stream, but located somewhere else in the world.
* Since the Internet is the main medium and other things like handheld tablet PCs and smart boards have entered the arena, students do not have to carry heavy backpacks loaded with books. They can walk in comfortably to the classroom where these equipment are already placed.
* With the birth of virtual classrooms, the instructor from any part of the world can teach the learner (or learners) who may be living at the other end. The reach of this technology is quite far and students living in the remote parts can also avail it with ease.
* In special education, the educational technology has brought about a sea change where the needs of students are catered to in a different manner. With the introduction of the software which teaches students with special needs, the appropriate study materials are designed so that learning is comfortable.

With the inclusion of technology, the concept of education is undergoing a modification, for the betterment of the students as well as the teachers. Hence, the introduction of technology is important in education. Thanks to educational technology, now learning and teaching have become an enjoyable experience.

The Importance of Education in Society

Education, if looked at beyond its conventional boundaries, forms the very essence of all our actions. What we do is what we know and have learned, either through instructions or through observation and assimilation. When we are not making an effort to learn, our mind is always processing new information or trying to analyze the similarities as well as the tiny nuances within the context which makes the topic stand out or seem different. If that is the case then the mind definitely holds the potential to learn more, however, it is us who stop ourselves from expanding the horizons of our knowledge with self-doubt or other social, emotional, or economic constraints.

While most feel that education is a necessity, they tend to use it as a tool for reaching a specific target or personal mark, after which there is no further need to seek greater education. Nonetheless, the importance of education in society is indispensable and cohering, which is why society and knowledge cannot be ever separated into two distinct entities. Let us find out more about the role of education in society and how it affects our lives.

Purpose of Education in Society

Education is Self Empowerment
Receiving a good education helps empower you, thus making you strong enough to look after yourself in any given situation. It keeps you aware of your given surrounding as well as the rules and regulations of the society you’re living in. It’s only through knowledge that you can be able to question authority for its negligence or discrepancies. It is only then that you can avail your rights as a citizen and seek improvement in the structural functioning of governance and economy. It’s only when a citizen is aware about the policies of its government can he be able to support or protest the change. As a whole, people can bring about development only when they know where improvement is necessary for the greater good of mankind. Education helps you understand yourself better, it helps you realize your potential and qualities as a human being. It helps you to tap into latent talent, so that you may be able to sharpen your skills.

Financial Stability and Dignity of Life
Another importance of education is that it helps you gain sufficient academic qualification so that you are able to get suitable employment at a later stage. A decent employment would be combined with hard-earned remuneration or salary through which you can look after your personal expenses. While you earn for yourself, you gradually begin to realize the true worth of money and how hard it is to earn it. You realize the significance of saving for a rainy day and for unforeseeable contingencies. You feel empowered because there is a new sense of worth that develops within you, and you feel the need to be independent and free from any further financial support. You take pride in the fact that you are earning for yourself, and are not obligated to anyone.

Growth in Personal Aspiration
There also comes a phase when the amount you are earning presently will seem inadequate because your aspirations and expectations from yourself would have grown considerably. After this, you will want to change jobs so as to have a higher profile. However, here is when you need to be prepared. A promotion of this figure can occur in two given situations, which are, that either you have the necessary higher academic qualification or a college degree which allows you a safe passage, or that you have amassed enough practical experience which allows you to be a suitable candidate for the employment you seek.

On the Job Efficiency
This is why college education is very important after high school and must not be taken for granted. When faced with the option of choosing between a highly qualified candidate and a not so educated candidate, the employers will most probably go in for the qualified person. The reason being that, a qualified candidate will not require much investment of the employer’s time and money. The organization need not teach him or her the tricks of the trade, or the various ways of functioning and performing the tasks of the workplace. On the contrary, a novice / amateur applicant would need to be taught everything from scratch, which many employer’s are usually not willing to do. The same applies for people who seek higher education and get advanced diplomas while working. These people are continuously improving their profile and their knowledge base so as to go higher up on the competitive ladder.

Helps Plan Ahead
Those who have amassed enough education, steer the path of development and progress for their country. It is these individuals who go ahead and become teachers, scientists, inventors, welfare activists, soldiers, and politicians who work together to form the very backbone of the society. Without this pool of intellect, the economic and social framework would crumple and fall, paving its way for anarchy, degradation, and violence. While this intricate balance of growth is maintained, there will be a continuous rise in progress in all quarters of life, whether that be personal growth, or development of the nation as an entity. This progress has a very important role to play for the coming generations, which will reap the benefits of our hard work, as they develop it further. At the same time, the negative impact of our actions shall have its collateral damage on the coming generation as well. Which is why we must be exceptionally prudent about the decisions we make and the actions we take in the present.

Job Seeker vs. Job Provider
There will come a time, when you will no longer feel the need to be working as someone’s mere employee. You would want to take charge and control over your own life and income. This is when you will decide to become a self-employed individual, who would like to watch his / her own ideas take realistic form. You would prefer being the one offering job opportunities to others and aid in providing income to them. At this stage of entrepreneurship, you may use your own expertise as well as that of other trained and skilled associates. As a team, you will find your business or venture expanding and yielding good results. You may even gain the confidence and insight, which will help you diversify and spread your expertise into other business arenas, which were previously unknown to you, or you were unsure about. This ability, comes with experience and knowledge amassed over the years.

An Idle Mind is The Devil’s Workshop
Education and studying regularly, gives people of all age groups something substantial and challenging to do. It helps them think and use their idle hours, doing something productive and worthwhile. Education need not be purely academic and may include reading for leisure or as a passion for literature, philosophy, art, politics, economics, or even scientific research. There is no limit, to all that you can teach yourself, only if you take the interest to learn and grow as an individual. However, those who treat knowledge as trash, eventually find themselves getting absorbed with thoughts of violence, and jealously against those who are better off than themselves. It is people such as these who turn towards drug addiction, unnecessary rebellion, crime, and plain inactivity. Such people lack the self-esteem, that a good education often provides to its followers.

Education plays its continuous role in all spheres of life. The reason being, that if we are aware of the drawbacks of a decision and we know about the possible contingencies and the collateral damage, our consequent actions would be wiser, which would help us to keep danger at bay at all times.