How Technology Is Improving Education

These changes have been more profound with the development of technology. Just like other sectors of the society, technology has impacted the education sector. The impact has majorly bordered on the positive. An example of technological impact in the education sector has reared itself in the case of Maths online. This is an Internet application that allows people to undertake mathematical exercises.

The case of Maths online is just but one of the numerous ways that technology is transforming the educational landscape. This digital phenomenon has widened its tentacles to all the other fields of the education sector in varied ways.

How technology is improving education

Many educational institutions have opened themselves to the idea of technology. Such schools have realised that technology is key in improving the delivery of education services. As such, technology has positively affected various strategies in the classroom. These include:

Demonstration and simulation

In the past, sandpits and cardboard boxes were the first thing that came to mind when talking about simulation. These teaching aids have been replaced with technological products, which have readily earned the approval of teachers. This has been evident in the case of Maths online where learners interact with graphical teaching aids like graphs, bar charts and videos among others.

Learners have developed an affinity for SMART boards and computers because these materials help them to understand various concepts. Imathsn the normal classroom setting, such concepts would sound gibberish to these consumers of education. Technology has simplified the process of demonstrating certain concepts to students. Without technology, students have a hard time grasping these concepts physically. Concepts that were hitherto invisible to the real eye have become clearly conceivable to students thanks to the digital components.

Assessment

Teachers have benefited from the existence of technology since they can assess the progress of their students easier. A case in point is Maths online, which enables teachers to analyse the progress of learners and correct them when they are going wrong. The application has step-by-step instructions that enhance real-time assessment. This has accorded teachers with the chance to correct learners instantly. Moreover, they can intervene in the welfare of struggling learners and help them to improve on their grasp of concepts. The fact that teachers can assess students owes credence to technology. Efficient assessment of students has enabled teachers to tailor their teaching strategies in line with their students’ educational needs.

Epistemic games and e-books

Technology has also assisted the education sector with efficient learning materials in the shape of epistemic games and learning materials. This has had the desired effect of unlocking the immense potential in various learners. Such learning materials allow people to share and store information. The learners are only too happy to interact with these digital learning materials. This is because they are spared from their usual heavy luggage consisting of numerous text books. This is reflective of Maths online, where students only need an Internet connection and a computer. Other than that, there is no need to carry loads of mathematical learning materials. There is no doubt that e-books have provided the education sector with a spark of innovativeness. Learners no longer have to miss out on great opportunities such as, visualizations, models or simulations.

Global learning

The benefits of technology in the educational sector have also manifested themselves through global learning. Here, learners have been able to exchange ideas with their fellow learners from other countries. Also, technology has enhanced language lessons by enabling people from different cultural backgrounds to learn about each other’s language. This has been possible thanks to the existence of videoconferencing. This technology has enhanced social interaction while allowing learners to gain exposure to other people’s cultures. Thanks to language exchange, global learning has become simplified. Learners need not make trips to other countries to learn a particular language.

A Brief History of E-learning and Distance Education

E-learning is a very broad term. It is used to describe any type of learning environment that is computer enhanced. There are multiple technologies that can be employed in E-learning. It has become one of those types of words that are so general as to have lost some of its meaning. Distance learning is something that has evolved from Elearning. It is used to describe a learning environment that takes place away from the actual traditional classroom and campus.

E-learning began at just about the same time that a computer was developed that was practical for personal use. In fact, the concept and practice of distance learning predates the computer area by almost 100 years. In England, in 1840, shorthand classes were being offered by correspondence courses through the mail. The improvements to the postal service made this method of distance learning popular in the early part of the last century. This led to a large number of “through the mail” type of educational programs. The computer only made distance learning easy and better. Television, video recorders, and even radio have all made a contribution to distance learning.

E-learning and distance learning are not quite the same thing. The basic thing that distinguishes distance education is the physical separation of the student from the instructor and the class room. E-learning, however, became part of the classroom environment from the beginning. The early use of computers was geared to help the classroom instructor. Gradually, as more and more personal computers became available, the idea of online classes was explored by some pioneering Colleges and Universities. The early attempts at distance education were hampered by resistance from traditionalist within the education field.

Some invoked what they called the philosophy of education to demonstrate that the teacher was essential to the educational process. This resistance led to the early online degrees being considered inferior to traditionally obtained degrees. This prejudice extended to the personal departments of major employers. When choosing between two otherwise equally qualified applicants, preference was shown to the person holding the traditional degree. In recent years this has changed drastically. The improvements in E-learning technology and the ability to create virtual classrooms and a virtual learning environment (VLE) has gradually broken down the resistance. This process has been helped by the emergence of a new generation that was weaned on the computer. It would not be surprising if within another generation, the pendulum shifts completely and the online degree is the one that is respected and coveted.

Identity Fraud Protection and Education – The Shocking Facts and Figures

CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service have published some rather worrying statistics when it comes to identity fraud and general theft of personal data for illicit purposes. Their data shows that there are two types of ID theft:

Identity Fraud – where personal/confidential information which has been stolen is used to obtain goods or services. Or alternatively, the stolen information is often used to forged identity documents including passports, driving licences and more. These false documents can then be used to apply for credit cards, loans or other financial services.

Account Takeover – is another sort of identity theft where an individual’s bank accounts are taken over and drained dry.

Neither of these types of identity fraud is pleasant for the victim and in this time of recession within the UK (and worldwide) ID fraud is on the rise. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, there were over 65,000 incidents of identity fraud annually and a sharp rise in the number of account takeovers from 6,272 in 2007 to well over 16,000 in 2009. The steep rise in 2009 onwards, shows that not only that identity theft is becoming more prevalent but also that the knowledge about how to prevent it is not sufficiently widespread. It’s not only the individual that suffers from ID theft, but society as a whole. Banking institutions, loan companies, insurance firms and the providers of goods and services all suffer as a result of identity fraud and generally the cost is passed on to the consumer. The result is – everyone suffers. It is estimated that identity fraud costs the UK economy over £1 billion per annum.

Identity Fraud Facts and Figures

The facts and figures of identity fraud are pretty shocking:

The average amount stolen from a victim through identity fraud is over £1,000, yet only 7% of people have been a victim. Despite this, 95% of Britons believe ID fraud is a direct threat to them.

25% of people in the UK do not shred confidential documents at home.

96% of people believe that organisations do not handle their data correctly and as a result they might be at risk of ID fraud through the actions of others.

In the UK, there are around 4.3 million victims of identity fraud to date and the number of victims continues to grow.

Statistics show that around 18 million households in the UK are failing to properly protect themselves from the risk of ID theft.

Yet identity theft protection is simply a matter of education in prevention methods. In many instances, this simply involves encouraging home owners and individuals to shred important and confidential documents before disposing of them in their weekly rubbish – because this is where the biggest threat lies – criminals rifling through your rubbish. Obviously shredding all your paperwork is a hassle and takes time, but there is an alternative. The Japanese have invented an ID protection stamp, which is a simple stamp that when used quickly and easily covers and obscures personal data and cuts out the need for shredding. Confidential waste can then be put to better use and recycled rather than thrown in the landfill – while you can remain confident that your data is safe and secure.

What Makes a Good Training and Education Franchise?

A franchise is a business relationship through which the parent company or the franchisor authorizes a franchisee to sell their goods and services in a particular area. The franchisee has the right to use the technique, trademark but is bound by the business standards of the franchisor.

The concept of franchising has caught up in the career training and education field. A number of parent institutions have handed over training centers to franchisees today. This is an opportunity for students who are not able to relocate to the parent institution itself due to various constraints.

The Franchising Advantage

Reasons why a franchise relationship is established are many. From the franchisor point of view it is easier to extend their services to a wider base of individuals with less operational hassles. The franchising model is also cost effective for the franchisor as it does not have to waste its resources on manpower management and other administrative costs.  

It is possible to expand the geographic presence while making use of the franchisee resources and local expertise. The challenge for the parent company is to make the authorized entity maintain the same quality of business standards and ethics and ensure that the customer satisfaction levels are not compromised.

From the franchisee point of view all that is required is capital and business acumen to flourish in that particular field. The need for building goodwill and credibility of the brand is almost nil as it is taken care of by the parent company. This makes it easier to concentrate on the business and deliver quality service to the customers or clients.

Gauging The Right Training And Education Franchise

Training and education is a part of the service industry. Gauging the quality of the services provided by the franchisee is not always easy. The challenge a prospective candidate will face is to weigh difference between the parent institute and the authorized institute. It could be that the parent institute is a century old and has established its repute for decades. But that cannot be a scale to measure the success of a franchisee as the service provided is intangible.

The success of a training and education franchise largely depends on its manpower resources. Although the course curriculum is from the parent institute, the faculty resource is a major criterion that needs serious evaluation. Before enrolling into any program you should take a few steps to find out about the resources on the program. You can talk to the counselor at the institute, past or present students enrolled in the program or take opinion from others in the same field. Look for the qualification, experience in teaching, hands-on industry experience and their ability to deliver as a teacher.

It is always good to ensure that the franchisee follows the course curriculum provided by the mother institute. Also make sure that you get all the benefits assigned to students by franchisor, if any. For example, the price of the courseware might have been included in the fee structure. You can also avail the infrastructure facilities such the library, computer center or any other additional facilities that has been authorized to the students as per the franchise agreement.

Total Quality Management (TQM) As a Corporate Strategy in Higher Education

The need for continued improvement to the experience of students and staff in higher education institutions (HEis) is now a common clarion call. One way to respond to this strong request for something to happen is for HEis to employ total quality management (TQM) as a Corporate Strategy.

TQM

A critical component of the TQM is its focus on improving the customers’ (students) experience and ensuring that employees (staff) are up to speed with their professional development and training. This is achieved through their involvement and by consulting with them. The other component is to improve the product. In the case of HEis, this includes teaching and other related services. Again this can be done by involving staff and students in the process. These I may address in another article.

Reasons for implementing TQM in HEi

The implementation of TQM as a corporate strategy in HEis is necessary for a number of reasons. Firstly, as outlined above, it has the potential to enable a response to the call for improving the students’ experience by involving students and staff in determining the direction and vision of the institution. It is now an established fact that people are inclined to engage fully in activities created or facilitated by them. Secondly, involving and consulting with students and staff enables activities and developments such as infrastructural changes, re-assignment of personnel and the introduction of new models, to be viewed in a positive light and improved upon incrementally.

How to implement TQM

Firstly, there is the need to define the term ‘quality’ and clearly point out actions and thoughts which indicates quality in the institutions as this relates to staff and students. This has to be done according to departments and functions, students and staff.

Secondly, there is the need to get staff and students’ ‘buy-in’ by creatively stating and reinforcing the fact that TQM is not only relevant to the mission and mandate of the institution but will enable efficiency to be the ‘hallmark’ of the institution and the service offered to staff and students.

Thirdly, to implement TQM in HEis requires the cooperation of senior and other management staff in the process of creating and implementing policies in this regard. This is a challenging task for the leadership and several factors such as financial resources, institutional culture and gaining the commitment of those in management at all level must be considered when making and implementing policies.

Finally, for TQM to be implemented in any HEi require a strong institutional support in the form of leadership, guidance and resource allocation. Also critical to the success of TQM implementing is the ‘political will’ and fortitude of a few key people in leadership who are willing to wrestle, argue for, implement and evaluate the strategy. Any lack of effort or resources will undermine the success of a TQM strategy and may cause overall failure.