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Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog



Latest news, thoughts, trends, reports, and links focused on learning, instruction and e-learning in today's corporate world.



Last Build Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2016 07:37:05 PST

 



Creating E-Learning Content: How to Personalize Your Course's Content

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:37:29 PDT

When most people think of e-Learning, they think of clicking through a boring PowerPoint slide, watching a dated video, and then taking a short 10 question quiz with a pass/fail outcome. People see “mandatory training” and groan inwardly, knowing they get to sit through one more course hoping to pass so that they can forget about it and get on with their day. Which, as it happens, is the exact opposite of what you want in a training course. If you take the time to personalize your e-Learning content, you will find your employees more engaged, more interested, and more likely to retain the information presented during the training. Why Personalize?The short answer is because people are unique and all have different learning styles. The issues surrounding learning styles are complex and as different as individuals are. While one person may do fine with reading information, another may absorb the information better while participating in a hands on activity, and still another needs information repeated in order to make it stick. When you throw the same lesson plan at 25 different people, you’re going to have 25 different outcomes. When you find ways to personalize the course content for each person, you can greatly increase the effectiveness of the course.So Where Do We Start?When you’re looking to begin personalizing your training, you need to take a look at your audience (your employees) and determine the variables. You may have a few employees that are experts in the subject matter, while some need a refresher course, and still others really do need an introduction to the basics. One of the ways that you can begin each training module is to begin with a pre-test. This can help you determine which employees need the most training, so that you can tailor the content to them. Mid-performing people could use a “light version” to reinforce key points, and those that did well may be able to test out of the training. This can boost morale by not making proficient workers go through the drudgery of taking a course that they don’t need. It can also help you as an employer figure out where to best invest your time and resources in your team.Software ConsiderationsIf you’re a large company with a strong budget, investing in quality e-Learning software can really help your business meet training goals. Each employee is given a record, and you can keep up with what they have done, what they need to do, and how they have progressed throughout their time at your company. Having an easy to use, interactive program that welcomes people by name is a great way to eliminate some of the dullness from training. It allows them to see their past training history, as well as see what other training might be available to them, to sign up, and to see where their weaknesses are. This type of program can also identify those weaknesses, and tailor training paths to suit individuals.Ways to PersonalizeThere are any number of ways that you can personalize e-Learning programs. Aside from the content issues addressed above, you can also allow users to personalize their learning style by giving them options. This allows them to choose everything from fonts and color-schemes, to the voice used to deliver audio content, and even how they choose to interact with the program. Are they using a tablet with a touchscreen? A computer with a standard mouse? All of these things can be altered by individuals to give them a more comfortable learning environment without altering the course content. Many programs even turn the learning process into a game, where you earn rewards for reaching certain milestones or getting a certain number of points.Using Personalized e-Learning Content will help to improve retention, and empower employees to take an active interest in their training and education. It can streamline your training processes, and help you as an employer identify those employees that are in need of some more focused training, ensuring that your full staff is well-qualified for the job.Guest Blog Contributor By-line:Mary Frenson is a Marketin[...]



7 Steps to an Effective E-Learning Training Strategy

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 11:23:34 PDT

E-learning creates endless possibilities for new ways to help our team to upskill. In a world where business practice constantly evolves all of us need to be on our toes and up to date with the latest trends and technology relevant to our industry. It’s no use management being on trend if our staff are left behind. Below we will set out 7 steps which will help guide you towards creating an effective e-learning training strategy to ensure that your staff are getting the most out of their training and development program at work.1.  Decide On Your Objectives & Plan AccordinglyPlanning is essential in ensuring that the resources you put into e-learning are well spent. Identify what type of training is most needed within your organization at this time. Is the training required uniform across the board, or do you have a need for various types of training?Take into consideration what skills the course will develop, how it will do this and what theoretical frameworks it will be based upon. Next, you need to consider the learners themselves, what are their requirements? We all learn in different ways and to ensure that your staff get the most value out of the e-learning training, you should aim to personalize the training insofar as possible. By setting out your objectives in advance, it will be easy to measure the success of the program at the end.        2.  Make It User-FriendlyAbove all else an e-learning environment must be user-friendly. If the learner has difficulty in navigating around the website or accessing the webinar then everything else becomes secondary. Pay close attention to making the material accessible to all staff and giving an introductory tutorial to make sure that everyone knows how to access their course. The language used should be clear and concise, learners want and need to be able to extract the relevant information without having to wade through extra academic style details which do not pertain to how they will use the skills they are developing.3.  Give Students a PlanMany learners feel more secure when they are given a clear overview of the course syllabus. Knowing what material they will cover in the coming weeks allows them to do preparatory work if they wish and relieves stress that may arise out of the unknown. This course overview should also outline what is expected of the students, and how they can expect to be assessed. 4.  Get Them TalkingGroup interaction and collaborative learning is sometimes seen as not particularly relevant to an e-learning syllabus. However, overlooking this aspect of training may leave students feeling isolated leading to a lack of interest in the training. Not everyone enjoys group work, but it is a feature of most workplaces and even those who don’t enjoy it will probably expect some degree of collaboration during their training. Collaborative activities where students work together to solve a problem create a wonderful learning opportunity for everybody involved. Each learner can contribute the skills that they have been developing, contributing to the good of the whole, and students can identify different ways of approaching tasks. Social media is useful for collaborating, as are forums where ideas can be exchanged.5.  Set Up an Assessment StrategyAny training program requires an element of assessment to ensure that the learners are processing and retaining the relevant information. It also allows the students to put what they have learned in the e-classroom to practical use. Some people will prefer to assess the students at the end of each module with a simple multiple choice quiz, while others opt for a collaborative group project at the end of a unit. How the learners will be assessed should be agreed upon before they begin their course, and outlined to them so that they can prepare for it as they progress. Assessment not only gives you as the e-learning coordinator the chance to see how staff are progressing with their training, but it al[...]



Benefits of Mobile Learning Programs for Your Employees

Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:47:01 PST

Employee training is a non-negotiable factor in reaching your business goals. An organization cannot grow if its workers aren't growing themselves – and there's no better stimulus for professional development than workplace education. Today's difficult economy motivates many enterprises to cut down on employee training expenses, but they're clearly unaware of the value of employee education to the health of an organization.The National Center of the Educational Quality of the Workforce reveled in a recent study that a 10% increase in workforce education level results in an 8.6% percent gain in total productivity. (http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/higherprod.htm) This statistic proves that employee productivity is directly connected to the amount of training they receive. Employers who want to grow and efficiently operate their businesses simply must invest in employee training. Fortunately, today's ever-present mobile devices offer many interesting opportunities for flexible and cost-effective worker education. Here are some key benefits of mobile learning for your employees and organization.Employees find it easy to learn on mobileTo put it simply, employees like to use their mobile devices and once they see that learning can be as easy as glancing at a smartphone or tablet in a free minute, they'll be motivated to do it on a regular basis. Mobile learning allows learners to access content from any device and any corner of the world. Some mobile learning apps work in offline, so access to the internet is not even an issue. Mobile learning provides a great user experience and it's definitely user-friendly.Mobile learning delivers key data whenever neededIt's clear that mobile devices are constantly on, connected to the web and within easy reach of employees, helping them to access relevant information at any time. Mobile learning is great for just-in-time (JIT) training – it can be refresher modules on product specifications, pricing details, and other kinds of time-sensitive information. By having all this information at their fingertips, employees can easily boost their performance, improving their decision making processes and ensuring better customer satisfaction. Additionally, mobile learning empowers people – just as stated in the 2012 report Mobile Learning: Driving Business Results by Empowering Employees in the Moment: "Putting learning in the palm of people’s hands — exactly what they need, when they need it — can have an immediate positive effect on the bottom line". (http://www.slashdocs.com/mukrvy/mobile-learning-driving-business-results-by-empowering-employees-in-the-moment.html) Mobile devices can quickly distribute learning The mobile age brings greater mobility of your staff and this impacts the ways in which enterprises train their employees. Investing in training opportunities onsite is rapidly diminishing. Many employees frequently travel or work on the move – this means that they spend lots of time without access to laptops or desktop computers. mLearning is a great solution here because it allows companies to easily spread learning materials to employees, full of practical knowledge about many areas of business. The power of mobile learning lies in the fact that it connects employees to all the knowledge and expertise they need, exactly when and where they need it. It addresses any potential learning need at any time.Mobile learning is flexibleThis is a key benefit brought by mobile learning. Flexibility offered by mobile learning solutions can be interpreted in different ways. First, there's the flexibility of time and space, where workers can choose the location and time of learning themselves. Moreover, they're also free to choose the device for their learning, as long as it can correctly display learning materials. The learning itself is also more flexible because it can integrate a wide variety of formats, including podcasts or videos.Mobile learning helps to save timeThis kind of learning will fit into the busiest schedu[...]


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6 Tips for Designing Effective M-Learning Apps for Your Corporate Training

Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:48:41 PST

Mobile learning makes everything a little easier. Schedules are more navigable, and you don’t have to plan for an instructor to deliver real-life training. This new standard changes the playing field. With the advent of mobile training, employees are able to learn from anywhere, and have easy access to information if they need to look something up. As long as the app is designed properly, you’ll get more from mobile learning than you ever could from traditional training.1. Know what you want to coverIt’s useless to have a corporate training app just for the sake of having one. If the information is too general, no one is gaining anything. If it’s too specific, employees may lose sight of the big picture. Break down the elements of your training into blocks. Each block should have a main point that shows its relationship with smaller points. Breaking things into thorough but bite sized pieces is the best way to go.2. Figure out how you’re making it availableWhat platforms do you need to reach with your app? If everyone has a company phone, you’ll want to design your training app specifically for that platform. If your employees use their personal phones, you’ll have to adapt your app for a variety of platforms. The content should read the same on every app. While there may be some aesthetic differences, the key is to make everything cohesive across the board. Everyone should have access to the same info. 3. Add some social elementsThe only downside to m-learning is that users typically work within the apps independently. You’re losing the element of discussion you could get at a face-to-face training table. Discussions promote knowledge and are necessary for exchanging ideas. People may have questions and no one to answer them. Work social elements into your app to build a sense of community among employees and instructors. 4. Create video contentThere’s more to mobile learning apps than fun graphics and comical sound effects. Working video content into your training app can help people understand complex processes, such as how to work certain pieces of equipment or software that may be pertinent to their jobs. Whether you want to utilize videos of real people or cartoon animation, having a moving representation of what you’re trying to explain will help visual learners perfect their knowledge. 5. Let the learner become the instructorRole playing exercises are common in corporate training, especially when it comes to customer service situations. We use these techniques because they work by giving everyone a chance to showcase and strengthen what they’re best at. Utilizing features such as user submitted quizzes and polls in your app is great for engagement, and it allows everyone to showcase just how much they know. 6. Encourage feedbackIf your app isn’t working for someone, they may not speak up – and that’s especially true if they believe everyone else understands it just fine. Always seek feedback from your employees about how your mobile learning programs are working for them. If you find people are having difficulty, it may be time to redesign the interface or simplify the information. People are willing to tell you how they want to learn, as long as you’re willing to listen.It can seem overwhelming and confusing at first to throw away a traditional method in favor of an innovation, but the results are worth it. Once you implement mobile learning in your workplace, you’ll never want to go back to training the old way. Guest Blog Contributor By-line:Monique Craig is interested in digital marketing and branding. She’s part of the team at Oneflare [https://www.oneflare.com.au/], Australia’s online marketplace for local service providers.[...]



Why Cloud Based Learning is the Next Big Hit in Corporate Training

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 15:07:40 PDT

Smartphones can do an amazing amount of things, and educating employees is only one thing on that long list. Since nearly everyone has a smartphone, more employers are choosing to offer education to their employees through this medium. M-learning, the trend of education via mobile devices, has really taken off in recent years, and it’s no wonder why.  M-learning utilizes the cloud to distribute information to employees, and an increasing number of businesses are eager to jump on this innovation.Excellent SavingsCloud based learning is far more cost effective than traditional training. Instead of having to hire a trainer, print up tons of training materials, and work out schedules to get everyone together at the exact same time, cloud based learning eliminates many aspects of this process. All you have to do is establish one set of training material, upload it to the cloud, and have your employees access it. You’re not going to incur any additional costs along the way.Enable Remote LearningTraining doesn’t have to be scheduled around business trips. With cloud based learning, your employees have equal access to the material, no matter where they are. They’ll be able to reference the material if they need clarification in a business situation, and that will streamline processes. Everyone is able to get on the same page at the same time with remote access.InstantaneousAs soon as you compile your training material, you can place it on the cloud. Cloud Learning Management systems are simpler than traditional systems. The cloud host manages everything you upload to it, and you won’t have to deal with any technical aspects. In the blink of an eye, everyone will have immediate access to their learning materials. Should any maintenance be required or any technical hang ups occur, the cloud staff will handle them immediately. No one’s learning experience will be interrupted due to any down time.Full IntegrationThe materials can be accessed on any device. HR, upper management, and all other employees can access the same material across any device. Whether it’s their personal smartphone or tablet or their work computer, the lessons will exist on all platforms. No one will have to bounce back and forth between systems to get the most of their lesson.Size FlexibilityNot every employee will need the same training, and cloud learning takes that into account. Whether you’re attempting a small and generalized training lesson, a series of moderate lessons, or specific lessons for certain types of employees, the cloud can accommodate it. Even if a single employee needs extra help in a certain area, cloud learning makes the process easier. Small or large, simple or complex, the cloud can handle anything you throw at it.Simplicity of LearningWhen corporate learning systems are on the cloud, the process is made infinitely easier. Having that wealth of information at your employees’ disposal will ensure that they’re adequately informed. Training is one of the most important things you can offer to your employees, and no employer can pass up the opportunity to educate their employees. If everyone is adequately trained, they’ll be able to do their jobs with maximum efficiency, which will lead to a boost in productivity. With cloud learning, innovation is on your side. Taking advantage of technological advances to better your workplace is a no-brainer. Educated employees are more likely to succeed, and your business will go where your employees take it.Guest Blog Contributor By-line:Jasmine Cooper is a tech-savvy marketing specialist working at Get Qualified Australia, a company providing skill recognition & RPL services. In her free time, Jasmine enjoys self-improvement literature. [...]



5 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Spring for the Online Training You Need

Sat, 23 Mar 2013 17:52:46 PDT

Times are tight. Though you may have found an online training program that will teach you the skills you need to get to the next level in your career or at your company, your boss may not want to pay for the training. With so many companies cutting their budgets and freezing spending, not many managers are open to what they see as "unnecessary" spending for employee training. No matter how reluctant your boss is to spend the money, you can convince him (or her) to pay for your online training if you are persuasive enough. Here are a few tips: Show How It Will Improve Your Performance Online training is an investment -- for you and for your boss. In order to convince your boss to make that investment, you need to show what the reward will be. Make a case for how the training will have a direct impact on your job. Perhaps it's an SEO training course that will help you to improve your company's site ranking and increase traffic. Or maybe it's a training course on effective communication that will help you improve department relationships and provide better customer service. The more specific you can be in showing how the training will improve your performance, the better the likelihood that you will get the approval you seek. Offer to Train Others on What You Have Learned You can provide more bang for your company's buck by offering to train your co-workers on the education that you get. You can present the concepts you've learned in a summary of your training, or you can create your own training module based on the knowledge you've gained. Be careful that you do not violate any copyright rules. Do not use proprietary information or materials in your training. Focus instead on creating your own training. Ask to Do the Training at Home In addition to the financial investment, time may be an issue. There may be projects that require too much of your time to allow you the free time to complete the training. You can get around this obstacle by offering to complete the training on your own time at home. While you may not be getting paid for the time, you will be doing something that will pay off later. Show Why the Program Is a Savings There are usually many options for your online training. You can show that the program you have chosen offers savings over the other options available. In comparison to what else is available, you can make it seem like the program is a bargain-basement savings. You can make it seem like you'd be losing money if you didn't sign up for the program. Secure Discounts Some online training programs may offer scholarships, grants or discounts to some students. Find out what's available, and apply for whatever you can get. Whatever reduction you can get will help you to make your case more easily. Training for workers may be tight in many companies, but you can use these tips to improve your chances of convincing your boss to let you get the online training you need. Start looking for opportunities today and get your pitch ready!  Guest Blog Contributor By-line: Alexis Bonari contributed today's post.  Her website is collegescholarships.org.  She also writes guest posts for other websites and blogs. [...]



Skills the Online Classroom Builds for Corporate Success

Wed, 06 Mar 2013 17:58:51 PST

The online versus traditional classroom debate has been going on for some time now. You can't get through one blog on eLearning or modern education without finding a discussion of the pros and cons of the digital classroom and online degree programs. The debate has been going for some time now and has seen many different facets and opinions. While online schools were shunned from the start, today they have grown and flourished into highly regarded institutions for higher learning. Today, rather than simply disregarding online learning as a lesser option to brick-and-mortar schools, people are beginning to see the two entities as options for different learning styles and lifestyles. There are many people who can benefit and really grow from their experience in the online classroom. Online learning facilitates many of the same skills traditional learning does, but has a few added elements. As our society becomes more and more married to the online and digital world, a comfort and ease in these areas becomes very important in the professional world.  The following three skills, essential in the corporate world today, are established and perfected in the online classroom. Text-Based Communication As text messaging, online instant messaging, and emailing become expected methods of communication, the ability to communicate clearly through text is vital in business. Proper etiquette in professional emailing and professional communication is very important. Though it might sound silly, text-based communication can actually be a very challenging thing for many individuals. There are those who struggle with communicating their thoughts in writing and who struggle with natural communication through text. Face-to-face communication is a very different game than text-based discussion. Online classes and online learning can actually provide a really strong foundation for text-based communication. Students have to use email, text, and instant messaging to convey any of their thoughts, ideas, or questions to professors and classmates. Online students gain an important familiarity with text communication and non-traditional discussion. Flexible Learning Style Above almost all else, online learning promotes a flexible learning style. Students are thrown into a very foreign way of learning and taking in information. The online classroom can take a lot of adjusting to conform to. This ability to quickly adapt to new atmospheres and methods can be extremely valuable in the corporate world. In business, there is a lot of fluidity and change. Individuals who are able to flow with change and new approaches easily tend to succeed in the professional business world. As an online student, you'll have to learn new technologies quickly and easily. New platforms are introduced and new classroom techniques are used depending on the professor's preferences. This ability to quickly adjust and learn is extremely useful in the corporate world. Self-Motivation and Drive Pursuing an online degree is often done completely solo. In many cases, students who embark on the path of an online degree do so on their own accord. Online students do not have the traditional built-in support system of a campus full of other students pursuing the same goals. This means that online students typically have to demonstrate significant self-determination and motivation to succeed in an online program. While you have the support of your school, professors, and classmates, the support is not as immediately available and apparent at times. This self-motivated drive is an invaluable trait to possess in the business world. Corporate leaders are individuals who can motivate themselves to really go the extra distance and succeed. Self-motivation and drive are essential in the corporate world and often found within online students. Guest Blog Contributor By-line: Patricia Garza is an education blogger and freelan[...]



15 Free Learning Sites You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 05:20:39 PDT

It can be hard to keep up with the ever-growing list of free educational sites out there, much less distinguish which ones will best meet your needs and help you learn skills you really need without shelling out big bucks. New sites are always being launched and even those that have been on the scene for a while sometimes don’t garner enough attention to make it onto your radar, often getting overshadowed by more high-profile sites. As a result, even those who are in the ed tech loop can miss out on some seriously helpful free learning sites. Here we highlight just a few of these under-the-radar free learning sites, that run the gamut from providing full degree programs to simple job-skill training tools, offering a little something for every kind of learner. Scitable: Scitable, created by NatureEducation, is an online collaborative space for science learning. Visitors to the site can browse or search through science articles and ebooks, ask experts science-related questions, build an online classroom, or even share their own content. Materials on the site are focused on the life sciences, but there are also numerous resources that can help learners start or accelerate a career in science. TVO: Similar to PBS, the Ontario-based television station offers many of the same educational resources and opportunities for learning. Even if you can’t tune in live, you can take advantage of dozens of videos on topics like science, nature, business, tech, education, and culture. Connected to TVO is Big Ideas, a site that offers videos that touch on important and engaging topics like mathematics, economics, and even urban design. Other resources include educational tools for parents and kids, civics education on Canadian government, and access to loads of compelling documentaries. Saylor: While sites like Coursera and Udacity have been drawing the most attention on the free education front these days, Saylor has largely flown under the radar. Created in 2008, the site offers nearly 250 free courses online, with topics centered on the 10 highest enrollment majors in the U.S. In addition to taking classes, learners can participate in discussion forums (organized by topic), track courses and print transcripts, and may soon even be able to access free textbooks.GCF LearnFree.org: This North Carolina-based site is produced by Goodwill Industries and focuses on helping people from all walks of life build skills in technology, literacy, and math that will help them find work. All classes offered by the site are entirely free, and even come complete with mobile apps that make it possible to learn on-the-go. Currently, there are over 750 free lessons that teach everything from how to use Microsoft Office to basic addition and subtraction. University of the People: The brainchild of educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, University of the People is a tuition-fee, nonprofit, online academic institution that offers access to undergraduate degree programs in business administration and computer science. It maintains relationships with Yale, NYU, Hewlett-Packard, and the Catalyst Initiative to supply students with opportunities for research, future study, and internships. While the site focuses on helping learners in developing nations, students from nearly 130 different nations have been accepted (tuition is free, but you still have to apply). Engineering for Change: Engineering for Change isn’t a traditional learning site with videos, courses, and lessons. Instead, it’s a live, interactive webcast that allows participants to learn and interact with others in engineering. It’s also a chance to play an active role in helping to solve humanitarian engineering issues. A new topic is addressed every month, and anyone interested in becoming more involved or learning more about engineering is encouraged to sign up. The Faculty Project: Through The Fa[...]



3 Types of e-Learning Courses That Benefit Most New Hires

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 11:02:33 PDT

You may already provide your new hires with some sort of technical training to help them perform their specific jobs according to your standards. You may not, however, provide them with any sort of training that will enhance their general performance as staff members. There are numerous e-learning courses and online training options available to employers that help employees gain the essential professional skills they sometimes lack. If you're deciding or re-evaluating which e-learning courses you invest in for your new hires, you may want to consider these useful types of courses: 1. Business Writing Numerous recent studies indicate that employees often lack crucial business writing skills. In fact, one study indicates that around a third of employees don't meet their employers' expectations when it comes to written communication. Knowing how to write memos, emails, and technical documents is a critical part of what most people do at work. If they can't successfully execute these basic writing tasks, they simply can't perform their jobs as well as they should. As an employer, you can help equip your new hires with the written communication skills they need by providing them with access to business writing e-learning courses and training.2. Interpersonal Communication Employers frequently lament the fact that their employees lack certain important soft skills, including interpersonal communication skills. While most workers start a new job with basic interpersonal skills, not all are prepared for the amount of teamwork and collaboration that will be expected of them at a truly innovative business. The more professional communication skills your employees have, the better they'll be able to work together to meet your business's needs. Interpersonal communication training and courses can definitely inspire your new hires to think meaningfully about the ways they communicate with each other on the job. Investing in interpersonal communication education for your new hires often just makes sense. 3. LeadershipYou probably aspire for all of your employees to become business leaders. A staff that's comprised of talented leaders with vision is inarguably the best kind of staff to have. Even if your new hires aren't taking on leadership roles, online leadership courses and training will prepare them to act as leaders on their teams and allow them to inspire other staff members to produce their very best work. Plus, leadership training often boosts morale and is an indication to new employees that you're dedicated to their career development. E-learning courses that help your employees become better writers, communicators, and leaders may seem like superfluous expenses, but they can have a huge impact on how effectively your business runs. So, consider the types of e-learning courses listed above, and remember that investing in your employees' professional development almost always pays off! Guest Blog Contributor By-line:Kate Willson is a professional writer and blogger. Well-versed in all topics pertaining to e-learning, Kate frequently contributes to top online education sites, including collegecrunch.org. Please leave your comments and questions for Kate below![...]



3 Important Teaching Strategies for Corporate Training Newbies

Thu, 30 May 2013 16:52:09 PDT

When someone studies to become a teacher, they learn a number of different teaching strategies that help them effectively impart knowledge to students. Corporate trainers with advanced degrees in adult education are also often exposed to similar strategies as a part of their academic preparation. In contrast, many internal employees who take on training duties at their companies aren't familiar with effective teaching strategies. Many of them are selected to train new and current employees because they are good at their jobs and not necessarily because they're skilled educators. Unfortunately, this can mean that their training efforts don't quite achieve the desired results.If you've recently been assigned the task of training staff members at your company, and you don't have much prior training experience, here are three important teaching strategies you may want to consider:1. DifferentiationThis strategy essentially involves tailoring your instruction to the specific needs of your trainees. When differentiating, a teacher might present information to a class orally, then show them a video of the same presentation, and end the lesson with a hands-on activity. This would, in theory, give auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners a chance to grasp the information, since the information was presented in ways that are compatible with the different learning styles of individual students. As a trainer, you should try to differentiate in the same way by orally explaining concepts, providing visuals to support your oral instruction, and facilitating hands-on exercises.Another part of differentiation is changing up your instruction when some part of it isn't working. If you notice that a particular PowerPoint slide or video doesn't quite get the point across well enough to your trainees, it may benefit you to ditch it and find a different way to communicate the concept you're trying to teach.2. Assessment of UnderstandingOne of the most critical things educators are taught to do is to check for understanding. Inexperienced teachers and trainers will often present information to students and trainees without asking them questions about that information. Think about all those quizzes and tests you took in school. You took those for a reason: so your teacher could assess whether or not he or she taught the material well enough. As a trainer, it's a good idea for you to assess how well your trainees understand what you're teaching too. So, ask them questions after you present new concepts and teach them new skills. This will help you figure out if you need to adjust how you're presenting the information.3. Relationship BuildingLearners are more likely to stay mentally engaged with what they're learning if they like and respect their teacher. This is something that's true of K-12 students, college students, and adult students in corporate environments. And it's something first-year teachers who are too distant and stern often learn the hard way. When you're training staff members at your company, it's helpful for you to establish a rapport with them. You can do this in simple ways, such as telling jokes, praising them when they participate, and peppering your lessons with personal anecdotes. Once you win them over, they'll be a lot more receptive to what you're trying to teach them.Inexperienced trainers sometimes feel uncomfortable during the first few training sessions they lead. Don't be too hard on yourself if everything doesn't go as you plan in the beginning. If you're an expert at what you're teaching as a trainer and you use effective teaching strategies like the ones listed above, you'll become a skilled corporate educator in no time.Guest Blog Contributor By-line: Nancy Wood is a former educator, freelance writer, and blogging enthusiast who writes for onlinecollegeclasses.comand [...]



Effective E-Learning Techniques for Business Training

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 10:38:19 PDT

Business training programs constantly need to be updated in order to keep employees up-to-date on the latest techniques and research in their field. The right training program can quickly teach current employees and new hires the skills they need to know in a short period of time. Additionally, they should be easily accessible and offer detailed explanations that can allow employees to retain the information they learn. Currently, e-learning programs are becoming one of the most frequently used training programs in businesses as they offer a convenient way to teach a wide variety of information to employees in a way that is innovative and fun. Therefore, the following techniques should be used by any company that wants to offer the most effective e-learning programs to their employees. 1.  Easy Access – Employee training programs should always be easy for them to access in order to participate in the program. Most programs require a log-in ID as well as a password. Because these are usually generated by the company, they should be simple enough for an employee to remember while also protecting their security.  2.  Ability to Track Progress – E-learning programs are most effective when employees are able to document their progress through the program. Therefore, each component of the training should include some form of quiz or test in order to make sure that the information has been mastered.  3.  Sensory Experiences – Many e-learning programs offer the opportunity for lessons to be viewed in a variety of formats. This can help to enable people with different learning styles to be able to use the same courses in different ways. Additionally, most people learn best when a variety of senses are used. Therefore, e-learning courses that offer videos, voice chats and other interactive methods are best for teaching new concepts.  4.  Computer Training – When first introducing e-learning programs into a company, it is important to make sure that everyone knows how to use a computer and the related software. Therefore, a brief training on how to access course materials, store work and send information online is important for making sure that every employee will be capable of using the training program.  5.  Plan Meetings – E-learning programs work best when they are completed in conjunction with public meetings that review the information that the employees have learned. These can be informal meetings held throughout the training program at certain progress markers. This way, the information can be reviewed to make sure that everyone is benefiting from their training.  E-learning offers many powerful benefits for companies who would like to find an innovative technique for training. However, it is important that online learning is backed by the support of company meetings and hands-on training. In order to make the most of e-learning within a company, it is important to make sure that employees are able to access their materials while keeping track of the new skills that they have learned.  Guest Blog Contributor By-line: Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to www.nanny.net/ service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be reached at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com. [...]



3 Digital Training Techniques to Adapt from Online Schools

Sun, 09 Sep 2012 18:11:49 PDT

As more and more people desire flexibility while getting their education so they can keep their full-time jobs or raise their family, many are pursuing online programs. Though some people are skeptical about their effectiveness, online programs have mastered the use of technology to ensure that students have easy access to learning. That said, there are a few techniques employers can use from online programs that can help during new hire training, especially for remote workers.  Let’s take a look at these techniques. Webinars/Key Note Slide Shows Since online students don’t physically attend brick-and-mortar institutions, professors pre-record digital videos and webinars for these students.  Your digital training video can replicate one of these "lectures"—something simple, broken apart in several different headings so that your new employees can better absorb the information. Learners should also have control of the video, so that if they miss a part, they can simply rewind and play it again. Discussion Boards  Since there is no physical interaction, online students must depend on discussion boards and forums to ask questions and raise thought-provoking questions about their assignments. You can apply the same idea and create a forum for your new hires: they can post questions about the company in general or about rules and regulations mentioned in the company handbook. Open forums allow any team members to respond, plus all questions and answers are shared across the team.Virtual Tours  Many brick-and-mortar schools now also offer online programs. To help their online students learn about the school, "online virtual tours" provide a glimpse of the campus. When you hire a remote worker, host a virtual tour of the corporate office to help your new employee feel like he or she "belongs." It can even help those who work in a regional office who may never get the chance to travel to the corporate office. Guest Blog Contributor By-line:  Nadia Jones is a regular contributor to onlinecollege.org, a website that specializes in e-learning and onlinecollege.org. She also thoroughly enjoys writing articles about careers, recruitment, and job training. She welcomes your comments and can be reached at nadia.jones5@gmail.com. [...]



8 Tricks to Stay Focused During Training

Sun, 09 Sep 2012 18:12:23 PDT

It’s not every employee’s favorite task but it’s time for your online training course and you would rather sift through your emails than make the time to log on. But you know you have to get it done. Don’t let other work distractions get in the way of your course; here are 5 tricks to stay focused:Schedule it: Depending on how long your online course is, schedule it into your calendar and set a reminder. Making time for it, instead of just finding the time, will help you actually complete the work. Adjust your day accordingly to fit around your training course.Time it: Choose to take the course during your lightest time of the day and when you are most ready to work. Typically the first two hours after lunch or when you first arrive at work are good times. Close your door: Don’t be afraid to close your door and post a ‘do not disturb’ sign. Keeping your door closed will deter people from walking into your office and distracting you. Log off: Log off your email and any other websites that are distracting, including your company's internal instant message application. Log off and stay off until your course is complete. Turn off notifications: Turn your phone ringer off on both your cell phone and work phone until you complete your course. You can even turn off your email notifications to help you remain on task. Just say no:If you are in the position to do so, just say no. There are times when it is okay just to say ‘no, thank you’ at work. If someone comes to you for help or a question, it is okay to ask them to come back at a later time or to seek help elsewhere.Sit up straight:Not only is sitting up with both feet on the floor and your shoulders back good for your posture but it's also great for your ability to focus. Getting your body ready can help you stay focused on your course. Allow for a break: Some courses take a long time to complete and you may want to schedule a break in the middle. Allow yourself to get up for a cup of coffee or take a restroom break. Five minutes should help, then it’s back to the course!  Guest Blog Contributor By-line:This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of nanny babysitter.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @ gmail.com.[...]



The 10 Biggest Breakthroughs in the Science in Learning

Sun, 05 Aug 2012 10:07:32 PDT

When it comes to human organs, none is quite so mysterious as the brain. For centuries, humans have had numerous misconceptions and misunderstandings about how the organ works, grows, and shapes our ability to learn and develop. While we still have a long way to go before we truly unravel all the mysteries the brain has to offer, scientists have been making some major breakthroughs that have gone a long way in explaining both how the brain functions and how we use it to organize, recall, and acquire new information. Here, we list just a few of the biggest and most impactful of these breakthroughs that have contributed to our understanding of the science of learning.More information doesn’t mean more learning. The brain is equipped to tackle a pretty hefty load of information and sensory input, but there is a point at which the brain becomes overwhelmed, an effect scientists call cognitive overload. While our brains do appreciate new and novel information, as we’ll discuss later, when there is too much of it we become overwhelmed as our minds simply can’t divide our attention between all the different elements vying for it. This term has become a major talking point in criticisms of multi-tasking and in the modern information-saturated online sphere, but the discovery of this cognitive phenomenon also has major implications for education. In order to reduce mental noise, teachers have had to take new approaches to presenting material, using techniques like chunking, focusing on past experiences, and eliminating non-essential elements to help students remember a large body of information.The brain is a highly dynamic organ. Until the past few decades, people believed that the connections between the neurons in your brain were fixed by the time you were a teenager, and perhaps even earlier. One of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding the science of learning happened when scientists began to realize that this just wasn’t the case. In fact, the brain’s wiring can change at any age and it can grow new neurons and adapt to new situations, though the rate at which this happens does slow with age. This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity, and it has had major ramifications in our understanding of how the brain works and how we can use that understanding to improve learning outcomes.Emotion influences the ability to learn. The ability to learn, retain, and use information isn’t just based on our raw IQs. Over the past few decades it has become increasingly clear that how we feel and our overall emotional state can have a major impact on how well we can learn new things. Educational situations where students feel stressed, shamed, or just uncomfortable can actually make it more difficult for them to learn, increasing negative emotions and sparking a vicious cycle that may leave some children reluctant to attend class. Research is revealing why, as the emotional part of the brain, the limbic system has the ability to open up or shut off access to learning and memory. When under stress or anxiety, the brain blocks access to higher processing and stops forming new connections, making it difficult or impossible to learn. It may seem like common sense that classrooms should be welcoming, non-stressful environments, but different students have different triggers for negative emotional states, making it key for educators to watch for signs that indicate this in students.Mistakes are an essential part of learning. Failure is a dirty word in most aspects of modern American society, but when it comes to the science of learning, research shows that they’re essential. A recent study found that students performed better in school and felt more confident when they were told th[...]



Videogame Based Training: Effective or Just a Joke?

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 07:23:35 PDT

For several years, employers have tried to develop "relevant" and creative ways to successfully train new employees. After all, employees are more likely to pay attention to training videos and seminars if they can actually relate to the content. While there have been some pretty outrageous attempts over the years—just take a look at the 1989 Wendy's training (music) video designed to instruct new hires how to properly pour coffee—some of the methods do work. More recently, the use of videogames has been growing in popularity in the hopes of captivating "millennial" employees—those who fall between 18 and 29 years of age. For example, Hilton's Garden Inn, which is one of the first companies to implement videogame-based training, uses a PlayStation game called the "Ultimate Team Play" in order to teach new hires about customer service and loyalty. Players are immersed in a virtual 3-D Garden Inn where they must pass a series of customer-related scenarios in order to "win" the game. Johnson & Johnson and Volvo use videogame-based training as well. While videogame-based training is certainly innovative, it does come with some challenges. For starters, it's hard to determine whether employees will actually internalize the lessons, or if they will just have "fun" while playing. Thus, the game has to be carefully tailored to help employees actually learn valuable lessons at the end. It's also undetermined whether videogame-based training downplays the seriousness of the company culture, which may worry some larger (and more serious) corporations. Beyond that, however, videogame-based training can be a cost effective way to train people and encourage their continuing education. Companies can save money by not sending employees to expensive conferences or off-site courses. Information can be learned at the office or at home with the help of a PlayStation, Xbox, or Wii. Videogame-based training is also extremely eco-friendly as it omits the need for hardcopy materials (paper and ink) and reduces the release of gas emissions as a result of car and plane travel.  So what do you think? Are videogame-based training programs ingenious or ridiculous? Would you use them? Guest Blog Contributor By-line:Pepper Givens is a freelance writer whose foremost passion is writing for her blog about education.  While her primary writing focus is trends in higher ed, Pepper also enjoys writing about personal finance, parenting, sustainable living, small business strategies, and more. She can be reached for questions or comments at pepper.givens@gmail.com.[...]



Practical Magic: The Best Business Apps for iPad

Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:47:45 PST

With the introduction of tablets like the iPad, working outside of the office has become streamlined. No longer are employees and entrepreneurs chained to their desks and laptops. Here are some tablet applications that allow workers to share, create and record information easily and quickly, putting productivity and ingenuity at their fingertips. CloudOn If you need access to documents, CloudOn is a must for your iPad. The app gives you access to Microsoft Office and also syncs with your Dropbox account to make sharing easy. (Dropbox is a free file synchronization application for mobile professionals who use myriad devices on which files live.)  CloudOn boasts a file viewer that can open any image, and you can also send your documents directly via e-mail as an alternative to sharing through Dropbox. Evernote This application is a huge hit with college students, and for good reason. Described as “an extension of your brain,” Evernote allows users to take notes using text, photos, video and audio – great for taking notes during meetings or conferences. One of the coolest things about Evernote is that it uses optical character recognition (OCR)to make the text in your photos searchable. This means you can take a photo of a slideshow or presentation and automatically search it later based on the subject matter. There is also the capability to sync Evernote with your desktop, which is a great safeguard in the face of damage or loss of a mobile device. OmniGraffle Users can use this to process a diagram, flow chart, Website wireframe or graphic design. OmniGraffle has a library of stencils, but you can also draw your own shapes. Once completed, you can share the graphic as a PDF and can save it to your photo library. The app comes with a hefty price tag of $50, and is probably more appropriate for project managers or other employees who work in project development or training. Fuze ProfessionalMulti-party HD video meetings are possible with this iPad app. You can include documents, images and presentations in the meeting by adding the files to the Fuze library. There are also some great features that allow you to zoom and pan to highlight visual data while you are running a presentation. In addition to the multi-party video option, participants have the option to IM (instant message) during the presentation or communicate via voice chat. Participants may also edit presentation documents on the fly to highlight certain points. Guest Blog Contributor By-line: A freelance writer and blogger hailing from the great state of Texas, Melissa Miller specializes in writing about the education field. If you're considering pursuing an associate degree online, Melissa's many posts on the subject can help light the way. Email her at melissamiller831@gmail.comwith any feedback.[...]



3 Free Apps for Employees Pursuing MBAs

Sun, 05 Aug 2012 09:33:41 PDT

MBA courses are full of all sorts of people at varying stages of their lives. There are those who start head strong right after completing their undergrad, while others wait a couple of years before re-immersing themselves in their studies. Then there are those who wait even longer—10-15 years sometimes—before heading back to school and hitting the books. Whatever stage you find yourself, there is no denying that adjusting to the course load while juggling other real life, "grown up" responsibilities will take some time. In our ever-evolving world, it seems we are more often than not on the go and therefore reliant on our mobile devices. From tablets to smartphones, the gadgets we use keep us connected and allow us instant access to the information we need. To that end, while navigating your way from corporate meetings to class lectures, you might consider checking out the apps below. They are all free and aim to make learning and pursuing higher education much less painful. Which MBA…?First on this list is the Which MBA  app created by The Economist. Containing stats and information on approximately 100 of the world's top MBA programs and organizations, downloading and utilizing this app should be your first step when deciding to pursue your MBA. By entering a few simple facts and criteria, the app will inform you which program or organization is best for you and your situation. This will help give you some good direction at a time when you might otherwise feel completely at a loss and overwhelmed with options. It is free, although available only for iPad and iPhone users. DropboxNext up is the Dropboxapp, which is free and available to both Apple and Android users. Updated regularly, Dropbox is a pretty reliable app that allows you to store pictures, documents and projects in a virtual "cloud" account for access anytime, anywhere you have a computer, tablet or smartphone handy. This proves especially helpful as keeping up with work and assignments can prove taxing and overwhelming. Knowing that you can always get to it can be a real lifesaver. Say you're in a meeting and forgot to send your work team the updates to the new client presentation, a quick login to the Dropbox system solves that problem in a snap. Card MunchThe final, noteworthy app all MBA hopefuls should check out is Card Munch. Although it is available only for iPhone and iPad, the developer is currently working to expand to the Android system. It is a free app that allows you to quickly store and save contact info you gather via business cards, ensuring you don't lose that vital contact you networked so hard to get. Plus, it ensures you will always have that number at your fingertips and not trapped in some archaic rolodex at home or at the office. This app will help keep both your professional and educational lives organized and connected, making you a more all-around, productive individual. So, if you're currently pursuing your MBA or considering doing so, I recommend checking out these apps to make your life much easier. Guest Blog Contributor By-line: This post was contributed by Amanda Watson, an experienced freelancer blogger who covers web-based businesses and higher education. She writes about the latest online mba news and current trends among online entrepreneurs. You can reach Amanda at watsonamanda.48@gmail.com.[...]



Professional Development in the Palm of Your Hand

Sun, 18 Aug 2013 17:27:35 PDT

From PDAs to cell phones to tablets, there's no denying the ever-increasing presence of technology in our world. It’s so pervasive that it's pretty much standard practice for employees to receive company-issued computers and phones on their first day.  But what about the growing tablet market?Compared to smart phones, tablets have infiltrated the population at a much quicker rate. A recent study found that in just under two years, more than 40 million Americans became owners of some form of tablet—be it an iPad, Kindle, etc. With more and more people acquiring the new gadgets, it's only natural that companies jump on board as well—and many have. From law firms to elementary schools, more employers are recognizing the device's pull and are therefore changing policies and procedures to incorporate increased use of the technology. So what does this mean for the workplace?Remote Training: A New FrontierWith more than 34% of respondents from a recent survey saying that their companies plan to make 2012 the "Year of the Tablet" it’s only natural to wonder how they'll put them to use. Some business leaders recognizing their benefit have even begun to encourage and promote the use of these tablets for professional development and training.Naturally, this is taking some time to catch on across the board, but a growing number of companies are giving it a shot. When it comes to things such as orientations, certification courses and more, opting to use the device rather than traditional methods such as in-person meetings or seminars offers a world of benefits. For one, it is cheaper. Companies no longer have to worry about the expense of reserving a room, buying the group lunch or renting projection/other interactive equipment. I mean, sure, you're out the initial investment in the tablets themselves, but in the long run it will be money saved.Additionally, this new method is more efficient. Employees can use it around their schedules and figure out how best to work it in by the deadline, rather than hijacking a chunk of time to gather everyone together. Plus, this puts the responsibility in the employee's hands—literally—making them more accountable. This will, in turn, make it easier to spot incompetent team members, who might not have the inner drive to get it done themselves. One proponent of the technology also brings up the added perk of version control. Opting for virtual training and development will ensure that all parties have access to the same, most recent information.A Workplace DividedDespite all the positive buzz around this digital revolution, there are some people who don't think it's such a great idea. Since graduating from college and officially immersing myself in the professional working force just a year ago, I have noticed an obvious divide between the members of my generation and those many years our senior. Both sides seem to have their defenses up, unsure of the other's motives and there is a misunderstanding about the other’s worth. Regardless, there exists an obvious disconnect, that all too often leads to an argument about each group’s views on the increased use of various forms of technology, such as the tablet.Much of the older generation seems content continuing with the status quo only to keep from learning new processes, because they are new, unchartered territory. However, members of my generation are not without fault either. They need to be more patient and understanding about the fact that getting full organizations that have been around for decades to transition to these more tech savvy ways will undoubtedly take time[...]



3 Reasons You Should Send Employees to Conferences

Sun, 05 Aug 2012 09:35:33 PDT

According to the latest statistics from ASTD (American Society for Training & Development), U.S. companies spent almost $126B on employee education in 2010. A good portion of that was spent on e-learning. While remote education is now a popular and cost-effective method for providing access to the continuing education employees need, businesses shouldn't depend solely on this method. Rather, companies should blend e-learning with face-to-face learning by sending them to live industry conferences. Continue reading to learn three reasons you should send some of your employees to conferences.Increase Networking OpportunitiesOne benefit of in-person conferences is that your employees can meet interesting and knowledgeable people who may inspire them to go “above and beyond” once they return to work. In-person conferences also provide opportunities for your employees to ask questions and exchange ideas with industry experts, conference speakers, and other attendees. These types of interactions are most effective when conducted in-person.Capitalize on Internal TalentAt live conferences, attendees are often exposed to some of the most up-to-date and modern business techniques and products used in your industry. Your employees may return to their jobs with new ideas that can be applied within your company which may transform and improve some aspect of your organization. In addition, your employees’ new-found knowledge could save you money since you would have less need to recruit “new blood.” This makes good business sense since your current employees have already proven their value and loyalty, unlike new talent that you may recruit.Make Employees HappierFinally, an employee who attends a conference in another city or state may greatly appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a short break from the office, attend interesting sessions at the conference, and enhance their knowledge. It can be rejuvenating, refreshing, and stimulating. They should return to work more inspired and motivated as a result of their experience.Guest Blog Contributor By-line:This guest post was contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topic of online courses. She welcomes your comments at her email id: angelita.williams7@gmail.com. [...]



3 Google Tools Full of Educational Potential

Sun, 05 Aug 2012 09:36:18 PDT

Online learning has become an ever more popular endeavor for students, professionals, and lifetime learners. Even outside of a conventional online learning environment, learning on the web is an easy and useful way to gain insight into all areas of academia and industry. More and more often, corporate professionals are seeking elearning opportunities to educate their employees on new technologies and subjects. While actual online courses may be the best option in certain circumstances, there are an endless amount of free tools and resources online that can support further learning experiences. These three Google tools are wonderful examples of online educational resources that teachers, administrators, managers, and corporate leaders can use to help educate their teams.Google NewsCurrent events are an essential aspect of any education at any stage of your life. Knowing what is going on currently locally and globally is very important. Google news provides a way to take a thorough look at the current global, national, and local news topics as you desire. This is a great tool for business and business leaders because you can stay up to date and educated on the current happenings in your area of industry. Encourage your employees to explore Google News and stay informed about the important areas of news that pertain to their job and your company. While this may seem somewhat odd and unproductive, understanding all aspects of the industry or area you are working within is one of the most important things that people can do.Google BooksWith so much of our information retrieved online through websites and forums, it can be easy to overlook the wealth of knowledge that still remains available in actual print books. Of course, books are an obvious place to look for important and reliable material. In our tech-centric world today, we desire all of our work and studying to take place in one location. Google Books is a wonderful tool for exactly this reason. Providing a fairly extensive library of numerous texts on almost any subject, Google Books is a wonderful web resource for students and professionals. The search mechanism for Google Books helps you locate the texts and material that meet your specific needs. This resource library is always growing and so is likely to have or eventually have the text you are looking for. Google Books is a great resource tool for people in management and other leadership roles. You can find books on any topic and share them with your team members while also doing your own personal reading and learning.Google VideosGoogle video is a wonderful learning resource that many people don't actually know about. Allowing a user to search for various educational and informational videos online, Google Videos can be a great tool for corporation leaders and business owners. Videos are a wonderful way to conduct training sessions by modeling behavior and behavior critiques. Video has long been a go-to resource for professional training sessions. Google Video is a great resource because it makes useful video instantly available online. Use this tool to show an Excel training session or show numerous other educational videos. As a manager, you could use Google Video to have your learners watch a video on leadership or coaching and then use the information they learn from the video to create a coaching tactics guide.Guest Blog Contributor By-line:This post was contributed by Maria Rainier, a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she w[...]



6 Free Productivity Tools

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 18:19:38 PDT

Although eLearning offers many advantages for full-time employees and companies alike, with the promise of technology also comes the lure of distraction. Taking online courses or completing training modules via computer requires us to remain focused and productive. The wide range of destinations on the internet, however, plays games with our ability to concentrate on one task at a time. For those who have trouble managing their productivity, I want to point out the following free tools to help you remain on task as you study: Chrome Nanny / Stay Focusd / LeechBlockBoth of these extensions for the Google-created Chrome browser allow users to either schedule or restrict their internet browsing time. You can create a list of sites to allow, block off time slots during which other sites are inaccessible, or disable your internet access altogether. For those who don't use Chrome, Leech Block is an effective extension for Firefox. These programs would effectively allow your browser to block all sites except those related to your online learning sessions. JDarkRoomJDarkRoom is a program that temporarily turns your computer into a simple word processor. It blocks your access to all other applications and simplifies your screen so that all you see are the words you type. You can customize the program to display various colors, word-count goals, and a timer. You can also write in a 'No Delete' mode, which is useful for free-writing and brainstorming exercises. Once you've reached your goals, you can close the program and return to your standard desktop. Klok / RescueTimeTime management applications like Klok and RescueTime allow you to track how long you work on various tasks throughout the day, and they can provide you with a report of your activity so that you can adjust your focus the next time you sit down to your coursework. While Klok requires that you input your tasks manually, RescueTime will automatically track the applications you open, what websites you've visited, and compare those to your goals. These are simply a few of the many free programs available to help you regain control of your concentration and enhance your productivity. If you are happy with these tools, then I recommend searching for many more and experimenting with each one. Once you get used to how they work individually, you'll soon be able to combine them to create the ultimate productivity tool.Guest Blog Contributor By-line:This guest post was contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7@gmail.com. [...]



75 Coolest iPhone Apps for Lifelong Learners

Wed, 15 May 2013 17:53:36 PDT

In today’s technology age, man’s best friend has a QWERTY key pad instead of four legs. For the academic, an iPhone can be a foe just as easily, with its various interesting but distracting capabilities. In order to use the iPhone to its fullest potential, learners should use it for work as well as play, and thanks to these application creators, that task is not only possible, it is fun as well. From reading worldwide news to creating budgets, from learning foreign languages to appreciating the arts, these applications contain everything you need to feed your superior intellect.NewsKnow the market like the back of your hand…or the face of your phone! Keep up with today’s business news here:Reuters: Get the official Reuters mobile site on your iPhone or iPodTouch. Get news, sports, entertainment, business information and tons more.WashingtonPost Mobile: Read breaking news as soon as it’s released with WashingtonPost Mobile.Marketing Forecast: Marketing Forecast provides a continuous stream of forward-looking marketing and consumer insights from Ad-ology Research and other top research firms.iActu: iActu allows user to access the world information in only one touch. Discover more than 500 newspapers and pass from New York Times to Japan Times.One News Page: One News Page is a leading global news portal offering live news with more than 20,000 news headlines being added each day.NPR: This application gives you the option to hear audio podcasts like the NPR Hourly News and your local NPR Radio station news. Additionally you can browse all news stories by category including local news, most SMSed stories, story of the day, song of the day, politics, business, and science.CBS News Mobile: Read breaking news, and developing stories from CBS News.AP Mobile News: The Mobile News Network, powered by the Associated Press, helps you keep up-to-date with what’s happening anywhere, from your hometown to your favorite locale.ESPN iPhone: Get the most comprehensive sports coverage on your iPhone from ESPN Mobile Web for free, including breaking news and analysis, up to the minute scores, and more.NYTimes Mobile: The NYTimes application allows you to enjoy the professional journalism of The New York Times on your iPhone, wherever you are.TravelDon’t let anything go unnoticed when you leave town. To stay in-the-know, all you need is your phone and these applications.Speeek!: Contains over 1,500 useful phrases while traveling overseas. By simply talking into your iPhone in English, Speeek! will find the phrase and speak it in Chinese.Events Finder: Provides events from multiple event sources, such as Upcoming, Eventbrite, and TicketStumbler, all in one application.iSayHello: Speak German, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish or Polish. Choose your language course and off you go with the language travel guide. This easy-to-use talking travel dictionary with superb audio output is more of a vocabulary trainer and dictionary than a translation program.New York on Tap: New York on Tap was designed to help people find great bars in New York City. It’ll also help you locate the nearest subway and help you figure out where to go next.Payless Car Rental: Rent a Car using your iPhone. Travelers can view, modify, or cancel their reservation using the iPhone. "Call to Book" button connects the customer directly to Payless Car Rental’s call center.Bell Hop: Find photos, information, rates and more on this fast, easy-to-use lodging mobile search.London Travel Gui[...]



20 Free eLearning and Corporate Training Resources

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 11:02:53 PDT

Article by Guest Blog Contributor Karen Schweitzer.Are you an instructor or trainer looking for new ways to entertain and engage your students online? The Internet is loaded with free tools, blogs, and informational sites that are designed to aid and improve your courses. Here is a list of 20 free eLearning and training resources worth checking out: ToolsCourseLab - CourseLab offers a free eLearning authoring tool that can be used to effectively create web-based training. Some of the features users will find with this system include layout, editing, rich-media support, rapid development, testing, and interactivity.MyiCourse - Instructors can use this site to create free online courses or universities for educational material. MyiCourse gives users the ability to create public or private courses on just about anything. Utilium - Utilium is a free beta site that provides instructors with the tools they need for organizing and sharing learning materials. This site makes it easy to inspire and engage students through videos, articles, podcasts, and other rich sources. Prezi - Prezi is a unique presentation tool that uses zooming technology instead of slides. With Prezi your ideas flow freely on a stage that can be zoomed in on and out of for further explanation. Yugma - This free online conferencing tool makes it easy to host web conferences and online meetings. With Yugma Free, users can share their desktop with up to 20 attendees. Open Huddle - Open Huddle is a beta site for presenting or instructing people online. This site provides you with files, video, audio, chat, and drawing boards for interacting and collaborating with your students. Campfire - Campfire can be used for online group chat and education. This site allows users to instantly create password-protected chat rooms for collaborating and working out important questions. Campfire comes at a cost, but users can try it free for 30 days.Slideshare - Slideshare provides a way to upload and share presentations. Once the presentations are uploaded, they can be shared privately or publicly and work well for webinars. SourceForge - This site provides a free authoring application that can be used to assist instructors in creating free eLearning seminars. SourceForge employs the eXeLearning tool which provides the ability to publish web content without knowing HTML or XML markup.ClassMarker - ClassMarker features a free way for instructors or presenters to test students online. Simply sign up for a free account for access to an array a quiz creating materials. The quizzes can even be linked directly to websites or emails. BlogseLearningLearning - eLearningLearning is an online community blog dedicated to organizing and collecting material about eLearning. Within this blog, users can find information about eLearning technology and media, events, and ideas. eLearning Technology - eLearning Technology is a blog that provides information and resources on the latest in the business of learning. Just a few of the concepts discussed in this blog include trends, software, rapid eLearning tools, and open source eLearning. eLearningSpace - The eLearningSpace blog offers information, knowledge, and networks that are specifically designed for eLearning instructors. Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development - This blog provides information that explores technology for eLearning. Within this blog, instructors can find resources, ideas, technology, and more. Thoughts from Training Time - T[...]



25 Essential iPhone Apps for Lifelong Learners

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 06:38:23 PDT

For those of us who are iPhone users, I asked Jimmy Atkinson at Edu-Tastic to share a list similar to the one I posted for you yesterday but for the iPhone. Here it is! (The link to the webpage is: http://toponlineuniversityreviews.com/2009/25-essential-free-iphone-apps-for-lifelong-learners/ by Miranda on July 14, 2009iPhone applications are becoming increasingly useful, from providing ways for you to track your efforts to pay off debt, to allowing you to write emails and surf the Web. iPhone apps have gone way beyond making light saber noises and playing Sudoku. Do you have a passion for learning? If so, your iPhone can help you be better informed — by keeping vital information at your fingertips. Here are 25 iPhone apps that can help the lifelong learner explore the world:Literature, Language and ArtIf you are interested in learning more about literature, foreign languages and art, the iPhone can help you out.Stanza: Get access to thousands of books and periodicals. You can download books, both paid versions and free versions, to your iPhone and then peruse them at your leisure. Margins: If you are looking for a way to keep your notes organized, you can do so. This iPhone app is specifically designed for those who take notes in the margins of their books. It makes your thoughts much easier to organize — and find later. Aristotle’s Complete Works: One of the developers of Western thought is Aristotle. You can get his complete works, fully searchable, for your iPhone. Art Envi: If you want to learn more about art and artists, this iPhone app can help you out. You have access to thousands of art masterpieces, and you can sort them by genre. Art Envi Deluxe takes things up a notch. Love Art: This iPhone app is centered around helping you learn about art. You can learn about the lives of great artists, and the stories behind their works. Quizzes are offered to help you gauge how much you have learned. iTranslate Ultimate: You can translate between English, French, Spanish, German and Italian using this iPhone app. WordPower Lite: This iPhone app is more of a series. You can use it to practice a number of languages, including Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and a host of other languages. You receive new words to practice, flashcards, audio and can even record yourself saying the words so that you can get a better idea of how you sound. 20/20: 20 of the most useful phrase that you can use while traveling — in 20 different languages. Math and ScienceYou have the opportunity to learn more about the world around you when you take advantage of iPhone applications centered around math and science. You can even learn about the related subject of medicine.Science Quiz: Receive different quizzes about a variety of science subjects. Astronomy, anatomy, biology, chemistry, technology and zoology are all included in these quizzes. Science Fact of the Day: If you are interested in learning something new every day, you can get a daily science fact delivered straight to your iPhone. EleMints: Learn the Periodic Table of Elements in an interactive manner, with interesting facts about the elements and a fun way to learn. Math Quizzes for All Ages: Brush up on your math skills, taking quizzes that include basic math concepts on up to more advanced problems and solutions. Exambusters Chemistry Cards: Flashcards that help with chemistry concepts from Exambusters. Exambusters also offers helpful cards for Trig, Algeb[...]



Top 25 Free Palm Pre Apps for e-Learners -

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 06:38:59 PDT

Edu-tastic's Jimmy Atkinson has shared their favorite free Palm Pre apps for e-learners. He thought my readers would be interested in these apps. The text is below and here is the link as well: http://bestonlineuniversities.com/2009/top-25-free-palm-pre-apps-for-e-learners/. Enjoy!by Miranda on July 20, 2009Sure, the iPhone is pretty great. However, not everyone is into the iPhone. There are other smart phones. One of those is the Palm Pre. Applications have been developed for the Palm Pre, and there are fast becoming plenty of interesting ways to carry your personality around with you. You can even use the Palm Pre to help you learn better. Here are 25 free Palm Pre apps that can help you be a better e-learner.Language ArtsImprove your command of the language — and even learn other languages — with the Palm Pre. You can also learn about other countries and customs, increasing your knowledge of the world. Language arts have been shown to be helpful in developing creativity and increasing one’s mental capacity. Plus, you’ll sound smarter.eReader allows access to free ebooks that can help you enhance your learning and become better acquainted with literature — no matter where you are. Charming increases your literary prowess by helping you learn all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Talking English-Japanese Dictionary Phrasebook helps you learn basic and useful Japanese phrases. This application speaks to you, so that you can learn proper pronunciation. There are also Palm Pre language applications for other tongues. TranslatorPlus Online Translation Tool helps you translate between different languages. English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are all supported. You can also get Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional. World Pro Edition Encyclopedia offers you insight into other countries and cultures. Look at maps, including physical and political, and learn facts about 220 countries. Madrid DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide and Map can help you learn more about Madrid, Spain. You can even find your way around. Palm Pre apps for other cities (such as Vienna and Paris) are also available. Math and ScienceAccess to math and science right at your fingertips. Improve your skills, or just have handy information readily available. Science and math are often overlooked, but these are important components of a well-rounded education. Palm Pre makes it easy to study anytime, anywhere.Periodic Table of Chemical Elements offers you an easy way to learn about all of the chemical elements. This Palm Pre app includes details about each of the elements, and shares atomic numbers and chemical symbols. iFD Convert for Palm is a handy tool that provides you with the means to convert measurements between different units of mass, length and volume. Math456 allows you to brush up on your multiplication and division skills. These are valuable math skills that provide the basis for many other types of applications — and something that you can use almost everyday. TouchMaths is more advanced than Math456. TouchMaths allows you to use graphs, conversions and more as you work out problems and learn concepts. Human Biology Quiz can help you learn more about what makes humans “tick”. Science Manual offers you access to a number of helpful science facts, equations and constants. Also includes a unit converter and information on the elements. Reference Mate[...]


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