Category Archives: Education

WordPress based LMS

  • LearnDash
    As one of the first-ever WordPress-based learning systems, LearnDash stands to be the most powerful and feature-packed LMS of all. It’s extremely easy to set up, offers a whole bunch of in-built features and seamlessly integrates with all the major extensions and add-ons in the market. What makes LearnDash suitable for corporate training is its thoughtfully-crafted feature sets that account for all your nitty-gritty requirements. For instance, the “Flexible Prerequisites” option allows you to have your trainees take more courses only when they’re through with compliance training.

It also has a comprehensive group management system in place which can be customized to suit your L&D teams’ specific training needs. With features like advanced quizzing, detailed reporting, dynamic forums, and compatibility with TinCan API and SCORM, LearnDash undisputedly bags the number one spot on this list!

Highlighted Features
LearnDash focus mode
Assignment management
Expire access
Multisite enabled
Mobile compatible
LearnDash ProPanel

Pricing
A single site license of LearnDash is available for $159.
The Plus and Pro packages are priced at $189 and $329 respectively.

  • Lifter LMS
    With an equally diverse set of features, Lifter LMS provides a great platform to create an effective corporate training environment. It’s got all the necessary elements of a traditional LMS, like drip-feeding content, drag-and-drop course builder, multi-instructor functionality, customizable course enrollments, discussion forums, and the like. If you’re authoring some courses in-house, you can add multimedia lessons including video, audio, text, images, and more to make your courses more appealing.

You can make the most of its achievement badges, certificates, and personalized emails to engage your trainees and foster a healthy learning culture in your organization. Just like any other WordPress-based software, you can customize Lifter LMS as per your specific training needs.

Highlighted Features
Course tracks
Instructional Design
Recurring payments option
Course bundles
Private coaching
Business, marketing, and technical support


Pricing
A basic single site license of LifterLMS is available for $99, with an additional charge for the add-ons you choose to purchase.
The higher-level packages are priced at $299 (for 5 site licenses) and $999 (for unlimited licenses) and provide a wide range of added features and extensions.

  • LearnPress
    What stands out most about this LMS plugin is its sleek and learner-focused User Interface. LearnPress is a free plugin that has been developed with a special focus on keeping the tool lightweight and optimized for speed to accommodate all the additional extensions and add-ons that you might integrate with. While it provides all the basic LMS related features for course authoring and delivery, investing in third-party add-ons to add functionality, like social learning or advanced reporting, helps you streamline your expenditure to some extent. This way your base plugin stands to be free, and you’re only spending money on the features that you really need.

Wishlists, course reviews, and prerequisite courses are available as free add-ons with LearnPress. The paid versions come with a bunch of additional features and a “Theme” of your choice.

Highlighted Features
Unlimited instructors and co-instructors
Drag-and-drop course builder
Manage learner progress
Support for multisite
Automatic email system


Pricing

The basic version of LearnPress is free and allows you to create a basic online course website. Based on the add-ons and customizations you choose to work with, additional charges will apply.
The Theme and Pro bundles of LearnPress range between $49 and $249 respectively.


My Thoughts;

I have tried and tested all of the above and for my money, LearnDash comes out tops.

It has its quirks, sure! But for the ROI, it carries all the features and functions and more.

The updates and addon are great, it increases the costs, but it would give you a very powerful system for a fraction of the costs of the big players. In many ways, it outperforms them.

Workplace learning

Here are 10 misconceptions about Modern Workplace Learning (MWL).

1 – MWL simply means modernising training.
No. It is much more than modern training. It means a modern approach to learning at work – recognising and valuing all the ways that people learn at, through and for work – not just in training, but as they do their daily jobs as well as on the Web. MWL means a new organisational learning mindset.

2 -MWL is all about using new trends and technologies to design and deliver modern learning experiences, e.g.

  • moving training from the classroom to e-learning – so everything is online
  • using social learning – making people discuss things with one another in courses
  • using mobile learning – turning e-courses into mobile courses
  • using micro learning – chunking courses up into small pieces
  • using virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality

No. Whilst all these trends and technologies have their place, it is not just about using the latest technology in training, but rather helping to find the right solution for a problem. This might be some sort of training, but there might well be another more appropriate non-training solution.

3 – MWL is all about the “learner”.
No. People don’t go to work to (e-)learn; they go to work. So, they are primarily employees or workers (rather than learners), but ultimately individuals with different needs and interests. The term “learner” conjures up images of sitting in a classroom or at the desktop ploughing through an e-learning course! In the workplace, it is better to think in terms of the “modern professional” or “modern employee” rather than the “modern learner”.

4 – MWL means providing personalised learning for every individual.
No. It’s about helping individuals to develop their own personal learning strategies that suit them and their needs.

5 – MWL is all about “learning”.
No. MWL is a much wider concept. It’s about (new and improved) performance, individual and team growth, and professional career development.

6 – MWL is all about ensuring individuals can do TODAY’S’ jobs.
No. It is also about preparing for the future. It is not just about providing modern courses or resources for individuals to do their current work, but building and supporting a new skillset for the modern workplace.

7 – MWL means using gamification to improve engagement (and learning) at work.
No. Gamification doesn’t necessarily result in engagement nor learning. People only learn when they are motivated and have a purpose to do so – and the greatest motivation and purpose is to keep themselves marketable and employable.

8 = L&D is responsible for MWL.
No. Everyone is responsible for what they learn. L&D might take responsibility for designing and delivering modern learning experiences (where required), but managers are responsible for the growth of their team members, and individuals are responsible for their own self-improvement and self-development.

9 – MWL means tracking everything everyone learns in a central learning platform.
No. Whilst it will be important to have central records for compliance and regulatory purposes, it doesn’t mean trying to achieve the impossible task of tracking everyone’s learning. Rather, it means helping individuals to manage their own learning and development – using their own personally-selected tools – and maintain a record of their own achievements that they can take with them throughout their career.

10 – MWL means there is no role for L&D in the future workplace.
No. But the profession now needs to adapt to the new world of workplace learning – one where it is no longer solely about L&D directing and managing training. Instead L&D needs to provide a broader service that includes encouraging, enabling, guiding, facilitating and supporting all the ways people learn at, for and through – as and when it is needed.

Jane Hart First published in September 2017. http://modernworkplacelearning.com/

What You Need To Know About Starting A Blog in 2020

Blogging is a great way of sharing your personal opinions, reviews, tips, and tricks with other people, but a lot of talented writers with a lot to say don’t know how to get started.

Your blog could shape opinions and inspire. It could be a source of entertainment for someone interested in a certain topic. It could help someone make a decision that changes their life for the better, it could be to support your small business, or it could just be for a good laugh.  

None of these things can happen if you never figure out how to make your blog. But don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Almost every famous blogger was just as clueless as you were when they started their blog.

You might not know how to start a blog or what you need to do in order to become a blogger. You might not even know what HTML means or how to use it, but you are in luck.
Starting up your own blog is actually quite easy.
Especially in the world of modern digital marketing and search engine optimization, there are a couple of things you need to know beforehand. Knowing about these things can help you overcome some of the challenges that might stand in your way.
Here are a few tips that you should follow. These tips will not only help you in creating a blog but will also help in saving your time and energy as you continue to build your audience and grow it down the line

Tips to follow for an easy setup

The first task is to write down a list of some long- and short-term goals that you’re aiming for. You’ll then select a domain name and will choose a CMS as well. There are plenty of content management systems that you can opt for. Most people or businesses use WordPress, as it’s the easiest to navigate, especially for people who aren’t super tech savvy.
The second step will be to design your blog, so choose a simple a theme that you like and then start modifying it to achieve your desired look. You’ll be selecting branding logos and colors that will define your blog and will be the highlight of your blog.
It’s important to note that just because you’re using a CMS doesn’t mean you can’t customize the look of your site. Usually, it’s best to create a homepage design, then create an individual post design. This design for a post explaining electronic invoicing, for example, has a navigation. If you’re doing more in-depth posts, this works. If you’re focusing on simple, more informational posts, like this one on how to file for bankruptcy, can probably be scaled back and more text-based.
The next task you need to do is opt for the best plug-in you can get your hands on for your blog. You need to come up with forms in order to start collecting some subscribers. And lastly, start writing high-quality content for your readers to read and enjoy.

Factors that will make your blog different from others

Firstly, if you’re starting up a blog simply to earn money through your blog posts, then you’re doing it wrong and will probably be disappointed. Sure, you can have a sponsorship now and then, but having an entire blog filled with sponsored products and advertisements is something you wouldn’t want to do because you just won’t be successful in keeping anybody on your page.
Most readers find sponsored advertisements quite annoying, leading them to unsubscribe or bounce from you page. So, remember that if you’re starting a blog in order to earn money, you’re going to have to be creative about it.
You might end up earning a solid income through it, but that should not be your first priority if you want to make it last. There are probably going to be numerous websites similar to yours. The thing that will set you apart is the quality of content. Otherwise, why would anybody read your site over another?
Secondly, you should not be writing these blog posts in order to earn fame.
Instead, the main purpose of you blogging is to make people aware of either your interests or professional work. Blogging about yourself is ok as long as you’re giving people actionable steps to follow. If people don’t get anything productive out of reading your work, why would they care what a complete stranger has to say? You have to make them care, again, with quality content.
Finding a niche makes this a lot easier. Blogging about things that you’re passionate about is a great way to interact with people who have the same interest as you. See who your readers are, and write accordingly. You want to write things that will attract people who will become repeat visitors.
The more relatable the blog will be, the more audience you’re likely to have. Your content should mean something to them. Make sure to write original content, and don’t just duplicate the work of others. Your focus should be on writing. As far as managing a website goes, especially if this is your business, you can enlist one of the many reputable WordPress hosting services to deal with everything.
You need to be yourself so that people can get to know you better through your blog posts. Be interesting, relevant, charismatic, and simply be honest. People don’t want to read lies about things. They want your honest and 100 percent original opinion on things.
Just keep everything simple, research things before you post them, and make a schedule for when you’ll be posting so that your readers know when they’ll be able to read more content.

Being different is important in Modern Blogging

The internet is absolutely chocked full of competition and if you want to make it, you need to think about what makes your website different from the rest. Reproducing the same content as other sites, unless you have a better distribution network than them, won’t really get you anywhere.
The real attention is in people who seek to do things differently, those who can capture a new audience just because they’re interesting. This is the style of blogger you should be modeling your writing after.
Building an audience is extremely difficult, but totally doable if you spend the time and effort on building out your blog for long-term success.

How the internet has boosted education in emerging economies

One of the revolutionary aspects of the development of the internet has been in education. You may think of social media, the ability to search for jobs and houses, the easy access to worldwide news or the options for gaming as the main ways that the internet affects your life, but there are many other uses for the web.
The generally accepted ways of education for many decades has been through school, followed by college and/or university for those who wish to pursue further education. These are still the standard routes for many, especially in the developed world, but the growth of e-learning has opened up new vistas for millions who do not have access to the more traditional ways of following the educational path.
When you look more deeply into what the internet can offer in terms of online learning, you can start to understand why many of the great institutions now realise they can engage motivated and talented students through their online learning opportunities.
 
Democratisation of education
The internet is a great leveller. Despite its many problems, it has opened up education to people who might otherwise not have had the option to learn and pursue their dreams. Without a good education, it’s very hard to get a foot on a good career ladder. For many people, even in the developed world, the cost of going to college or university can be prohibitive. You either need rich parents or be prepared to take on massive loans that will dog you for many years after you graduate.
When you live in an emerging economy where access to education through school can be patchy or at times non-existent, you want opportunities outside of those traditional routes.
If, for example, you want to get a foot into the world of medicine, architecture or engineering, then a basic online course could set you on your way. Education is often thought of as for an elite, and universities such as Yale and Harvard may appear out of reach for most potential students. Yet these universities, along with hundreds of others globally, realise that there is an enormous amount of untapped potential and have put courses online to try to encourage students to engage. Free courses from these elite institutions are there to really boost educational standards in emerging economies.
 
Benefits of e-learning
You don’t necessarily need a degree to be successful in business, but you do need to know what you are doing. As an example, you can find information about Azmi Mikati on Bloomberg, an entrepreneur from the Middle East who has been a prime mover in developing trade links in the region and with Africa, as well as overseeing his M1 investment group, which has a global reach. The Middle East has impressive feats of engineering and architecture – think of Dubai and its towering buildings – and the opportunity to learn about these skills online can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The internet is now a key tool for opportunities to learn, and for those in emerging economies, it can make a major impact on life chances for the future.

How social media and video sharing have changed the way we learn new skills

Social networking communities are here to stay, and there is no question that today’s students are actively engaged in these online networks. This begs the question: what is the effect of social media and video sharing on the way we learn?
In the past, social media was an innovative way to stay in touch with friends and families and to make new connections. Today, the phenomenon of social media may very well be its evolution – from a simple network for purely social purposes to a tool that plays a huge role in our daily lives. Nowadays, we not only communicate but also shop, research, work, and learn through social media.
Social media is a tool that allows students and educators to share information and build a sense of community. Many major universities, including Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale, offer online courses, some even on YouTube. These classes often never meet in a physical lecture hall, but there is direct involvement by both the professors and students. Classes “meet” in Google Hangouts, chat rooms, and even use Twitter to engage in discussions.
 
Social media’s role in education
There is no question that social media has a place in education. Studies have shown that social networking has increased the quality and rate of collaboration for students and has helped improve the ability to work in groups. It also helps students learn skills they’ll need in the business world – building and maintaining connections is essential. But that’s not all – online learning has changed in recent years.
The internet is a vast arena of information, and one can learn a lot just by surfing in the comfort of their own home. It used to be that learning something online was a lot like going to your local library: a lot of simple online how-to articles and research documents were available for reading. However, learning online is now a truly multi-media experience, with online videos, tutorials, and step-by-step articles for just about every topic imaginable.
 
Keeping up with the trends
The world of social media is always changing, as is the world of education. Educators are always looking for new and improved methods of teaching students. Students are always looking for a better way to learn and find information.
Even outside of professional academia, social media enables people to connect with others who are interested in learning similar skills – and they can share their experiences, knowledge, and ideas to solve problems. For those interested in keeping up with the latest developments in online learning, it is helpful to look at a technology blog. Simply searching for digital media news allows you to stay on top of the latest trends in social media and how it affects education – and just about everything else.
Thanks to the ease and speed with which you can upload videos and pictures, as well as the expansiveness of social media, it has become an educational phenomenon, and one that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
 
 

How the internet has opened up the world of education in finance

The development of the internet has created more options for people looking to enhance their career prospects through education and learning, and if you are pursuing or interested in a finance career, you will find no shortage of online learning resources to assist you.
Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium KSC is a good example of an international investment specialist offering career options for those interested in the world of finance. In considering online resources as a learning option, it is important that you identify upfront the type of skills employers will be looking for. At Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium, the Chairman/MD Fahad Al-Rajaan has a background in business administration, with a Bachelor of Arts in the subject from American University in Washington, DC. As such, he was able to bring to his career a strong grounding in business and management, allied with commercial awareness and analytical and logical skills. These are the type of skills employers in the financial world will be looking for, along with strong communication skills and – given the emergence of IT as a key workplace tool – good all-round IT capabilities.
When it comes to choosing an actual course online to help boost your finance career, two areas worth looking at are IT programming and maths.
IT is a core aspect of many finance functions, from retail banking to complex investment management. The marketing, communications and administrative sides of finance run on IT as well, and employers in the sector will require professionally trained IT staff to operate the hardware and software that they utilize for these functions. Leaving specific IT skills to one side, an IT course in a general sense will equip you with the type of logical skills to analyse problems under pressure, essential in the often fast-paced world of finance, where decisions have to be made in seconds.
Maths forms the basis for much of quantitative finance, equipping students with the skills necessary to develop and sustain a career in such areas as investment management, credit risk assessment and investment portfolio structuring. Finance has become increasingly complex with the advent of technology and detailed mathematical models, so having staff that can dig into the figures and spot what is really going on is essential for employers.
In accessing online learning resources, you are not simply going to be a solitary student sitting in a room staring at a computer screen. As online learning has evolved, the supports around it have evolved as well, and courses will typically offer strong networking opportunities for students, by way of forums and other interactive options. Online learning offers students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn alongside students from all over the world and with different types of background. You never know what opportunities might arise as a result.
To conclude, employers in the financial sector value staff that can act on their own initiative and possess both motivation and ambition. Undertaking an online learning course in your own time demonstrates all three qualities and is sure to impress on your CV.

Career paths from computer science: the world is at your feet

There are few industries that have remained unaffected by the development of computer science and technology. Wherever you turn, there are fields utilising the very latest software and hardware, and each new addition to the office requires a person of immense experience and passion to operate it. Could that be you? Computer science is such an integral part of the technology industry now and, being such a wide, adaptable field, needs new blood in every avenue – you are in the right field, students!
While the technology sector is perhaps the first industry that students and graduates may think of when it comes to choosing a computer science career, it is also well worth considering the opportunities that continue to arise in the engineering world; computer science is helping to revolutionise the engineering world and how it is viewed by other sectors, as well as creating opportunities and ideas that may not have existed before. Meggitt PLC, which is a global engineering group based in the UK, is one such company that recognises the importance of computer science in its world; Chairman of Meggitt, Sir Nigel Rudd, has numerous experiences under his belt, and understands the importance of expanding the world of engineering to keep it current and efficient. In fact, Meggitt is able to offer graduates a range of opportunities that will allow them to utilise their skills in computer science; have you got what it takes?
Careers that you may wish to consider could include, but are certainly not limited to, software and web developer, database and network administrator, systems support analyst, consultant or computer specialist, computer programmer, computer science teacher, network architect, research assistant, and IT security analyst. The world of computer science is constantly changing, with roles being added all the time. Can you afford to miss out on a career in such a varied and evolving industry?
 
We’ll leave you with a few handy hints for snagging that dream role…
Follow your passion; there are so many avenues of computer science to explore, and it is essential to choose with your heart as well as your head. While there are numerous opportunities available to those who already work in computer science, life is too short to invest all of your time and energy in an aspect of a job you’re not happy with.
Keep up to date; whether you’re still learning or ready to graduate and search for your first computer science role, it is essential to stay on top of the latest news, programs, and ventures. Being as competitive as they are, the worlds of technology, engineering, and communication require those who are dedicated enough to follow every trend. Besides, isn’t it better to know exactly what you’re talking about?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions; the best way to get ahead in any career is to conduct research and know exactly what you want from your future. Asking questions is a great way of finding out more and garnering some brilliant advice, while familiarising yourself with your chosen aspect of computer science will ensure that you enter the world of work with a clear, confident head.
Whether you’re just starting a college or university course, are ready to graduate and earn your first job role, or re-thinking the choices you may have made in the past, using your computer science qualifications to further your career may be easier than you think. After all, computer science is so prevalent in numerous industries these days, you may be spoiled for choice. Remember, the world is at your feet. Go out and grab it.

What are the top three e-learning trends to look out for in 2015?

Mobile learning will explode in popularity
According to projections by Gartner, a total of 320 million tablet sales will be made in 2015, compared to 316 million PC sales. Thats going to put a lot of mobile technology in the hands of people who’ve never had the opportunity to access e-learning in this way before. Just as the concept of Video on Demand is changing the way we watch television, the idea of Learning on Demand (or Courses on Demand) is likely to lead to a seismic shift in the way learners access training and development materials online. A number of short course providers have sprung up in recent years and content tailored specifically to mobile learning (short, bite-size and interactive) is going to become increasingly available for every subject area or interest.
BYOD will become accepted in the workplace
The explosion in tablet and smartphone usage is rapidly changing working practices. The days when handheld devices, such as mobile phones, had to be kept out of sight in the workplace are surely behind us. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a concept that has been around for a couple of years but many businesses have been reluctant to embrace the concept, mainly for data security and IT support reasons. However, as more workers are getting their hands on the technology, organisations are beginning to see the potential for mobile devices to increase collaboration and productivity. As BYOD policies become formalised, expect to see staff encouraged to make use of their own technology whether working in the office or remotely.
e-learning for onboarding will become the norm
Inducting and training new employees is a challenge for businesses both small and large. With an increase in flexible working practices, such as part-time and remote workers, online training can play a key role in getting new staff up to speed quickly. Training can be delivered at a time to suit both the business and the new employee. It can be scalable and cost effective and, combined with principles such as BYOD mentioned above (e.g. allowing staff to access unfamiliar training on a device familiar to them) will shorten the learning curve for new employees and let them focus on their job from day one.
References:
Gartner projections on tablet sales: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/185937-in-2015-tablet-sales-will-finally-surpass-pcs-fulfilling-steve-jobs-post-pc-prophecy
http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/news/What-are-the-top-three-elearning-trends-to-look-out-for-in-2015-newsitems-172.aspx

Edmodo and Cambridge University Press Form Strategic Content and Technology Partnership

News from the http://www.elearningnews.net regarding Edmodo.
To encourage effective instruction and deeper student learning, Edmodo, the world’s most extensive e-learning platform for primary and secondary teachers and pupils, and Cambridge University Press, the publishing business of the University of Cambridge and the World’s oldest publisher, has announced a strategic partnership to bring premier educational content and technology to schools in the United Kingdom.
With changes to curriculum standards percolating across the globe, educators are being challenged to adapt while, at the same time, growing accustomed to a 21st century classroom environment. Through the partnership, teachers and pupils alike will benefit from a best-in-class solution that combines high-quality content and collaborative technology. A communication and resource-sharing platform designed for the classroom environment, Edmodo is used by more than 45 million educators, pupils and parents in over 190 countries. As the World’s oldest publisher, Cambridge University Press has a global reputation for creating high-quality, accessible, and inspirational learning resources. As partners, the Press will create and distribute standards-aligned content to educators via the Edmodo platform. The companies will work in partnership with teachers, departments and schools on implementation and product customisation.
The first stage of the partnership will focus on delivering a tailored solution to schools in England as part of a progressive rollout. Cambridge’s brand new content for the reformed linear GCSEs will be exclusively integrated with Edmodo’s formative assessment tool, Snapshot. Built directly into the Edmodo platform, Snapshot allows teachers to easily gauge, on a regular basis, student performance on educational standards. The GCSE content will cover the core subjects of Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Combined Science & Computing.
“Our mission is to connect learners with the people and resources they need to reach their full potential, and through this partnership, we’re making the highest caliber content accessible to our users to further their learning experience,” said Vibhu Mittal, Chief Executive Officer of Edmodo. “We are very excited to work with Cambridge on establishing a new quality standard for educational offerings in the British schools market.”
“The new UK schools curriculum will see a significant increase in the use of digital learning in UK classrooms so the appetite for high-quality resources and accessible digital tools will continue to grow,” said Peter Phillips, Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press. “Edmodo’s platform is already used in hundreds of thousands of schools around the world and, by working together in partnership, we look forward to providing compelling digital learning experiences to millions of students here in the UK.”
http://www.elearningnews.net/view_news.php?news_id=2111