Online Learning: Is It Worth It?

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Online learning has seen a surge of activity over the past year. It is tempting to attribute all of this to the pandemic, and indeed this is no small factor. But the truth is that before 2020, the sector was seeing widespread interest both from an economic and academic standpoint. Economically, online learning has the potential to revolutionize the cost and accessibility of education at all levels. Academically, there are benefits to students that research is beginning to uncover. Altogether, there is a lot of potential that is yet to be realized. The pandemic may be just the opportunity the world needed to force the issue.

Hype, or reality?

Of course, “Edtech” as a buzzword is surrounded by a lot of hype. Some have argued that the purported benefits will never materialize. For example, the cost effectiveness of online learning is often questioned. The truth is that the cost-benefit ratio is not the same for every student, and therefore the cost and benefit of online learning vary depending on the individual. But the fact that we are still in the beginning of the online learning revolution means that there is a lot of room for improvement and development.

The pandemic has increased online learning’s visibility in an unprecedented way. The fact that it is now a part of the global conversation has been a boon for the industry. This is especially true of MOOCs, which have been the most visible aspect of the online learning revolution. In just the past month, MOOCs have been covered by everyone from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal.

Are MOOCs really the future of online learning?

MOOCs are a hot topic now, but they are far from the only form of online learning. Massive open online courses cover a range of topics and are open to anyone. They are designed to be taken by students successively, and then students have the opportunity to share their thoughts with the instructor and other students.

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding MOOCs, and no one is sure how they will fare in the long run. The truth is that they are still too new to have a track record. But one thing is clear: the popularity of MOOCs has contributed to the public’s awareness of online learning. The online learning revolution is here, and it is time to prepare for the future.

An economic win

The most obvious benefit of online learning is its cost effectiveness. An education can be extremely expensive, no matter how you slice it. If you attend a traditional, brick-and-mortar university, the tuition is usually a significant proportion of your income. If you attend a community college, the price is often significantly lower, but you will still have to pay for books, transportation, and living expenses. Either way, paying for college is a significant burden for most students.

Online learning is changing this dynamic. A degree from a major online university can cost thousands of dollars less than one from a traditional university, and it can be a fraction of the cost of a community college. If you are just starting out in life, this can be a huge benefit. Not only will you not have to take out loans, but you can use that money to get yourself situated in the world.

Besides the cost, online learning has another advantage over traditional education: flexibility. If you are a student with a family or a full-time job, you might not have the time to attend a traditional university. Online learning can be a great solution for such students, as it opens up the experience to people who might otherwise be excluded.

Online learning can also provide a solution for people who have been forced to attend a university far from home. For example, one of our students, who had to leave his home in Africa to attend university in the US, was able to enroll in an online course that would not have been available to him if he had been in his home country.

The flexibility of online learning has other advantages. For example, when you take courses online, you can choose your own pace. If you are busy with work or school, you can slow down and take the time you need to complete the course. If you are not feeling motivated or productive, you can take a break and come back when you are ready. You might also choose to take courses in the evening or on weekends, which means you do not have to give up your social life or job.

The flexibility of online learning also works in reverse. If you are a serious student, you can take advantage of the freedom to study 24/7. Theoretically, you could study all day, every day and never have to leave your room. Of course, no one will realistically spend every waking moment studying, but the option is there if you want it.

There’s academic benefits, too

It is important to remember that online learning is not just about the cost and convenience. There are also academic benefits to online learning. These benefits are particularly relevant if you are thinking about taking an online course at a major university.

Online learning allows you to take classes from the best instructors in the world. You no longer have to settle for the instructor in your town; you can have the best instructor possible. If you are a serious student who wants to stand out in the job market, this can be a huge advantage.

Online learning also allows you to take classes from a variety of perspectives. It is not uncommon for a course to include students from around the world. For example, one of our students took an online course about how to write a business plan. The instructor was a professor at Harvard Business School, and the students were from Nigeria, Singapore, and Brazil. This student learned a lot from these students, and it broadened his perspective in a way that would not have been possible at a local university.

Online learning also provides a way for students to learn from each other. Learning from your peers can be much more effective than learning from a traditional professor. For example, one of our online students said learned more from his classmates than he did from the instructor. He explained that when the students were working on a project together, they had a more organic and fluid understanding of the subject matter than he did from the instructor.

Finally, online learning provides a way for students to learn from experts who are not in the field. A student of ours took a course in global health. He chose this course because he is passionate about the topic, but he did not want to go into medicine. He explained that the instructor in this course was an expert in the field from a research perspective. He knew more about the topic than any other person in the world. As a result, he learned a lot from the class and is now considering a career in the field.

The future of online learning

The future of online learning is very bright. The benefits to the student are enormous, and they are especially helpful for students who are just starting out in life. Online learning has the potential to revolutionize the cost, flexibility, and quality of education at all levels. It is unclear how far this revolution will go, but the online learning pandemic has started the process and will undoubtedly accelerate its progress.

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The EdTech Revolution

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The education sector is changing rapidly. On one hand, the rise of online learning platforms is changing the way education is delivered. On the other, the subject matter itself is transforming due to the increasing demand for digital literacy, and the brand new array of skills that includes. Together with the global pandemic, these changes have resulted in the modernization of the sector that’s showing no signs of slowing down.

What is EdTech?

EdTech is a relatively new term used to describe advances in education technology. It is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of digital solutions that are being deployed in the educational sector. These solutions have been designed with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching and learning. Educational technology is not new. Teachers and students have been using technology for learning for centuries. However, the recent advances in technology have enabled the use of innovative solutions in the educational sector.

The EdTech revolution, as it is popularly called, has been driven by a number of factors. One of the most important factors is the demand for new skills. Advancing technologies have resulted in the need for employees trained in digital literacy. The world is turning towards the digital economy, and with it, the demand for employees with digital skills has increased.

A key driving force behind the EdTech revolution, of course, is the improvement in technology. The constant improvements in technology have led to more affordable and effective solutions. These solutions allow teachers to provide an environment that’s conducive for learning and students to learn more effectively.

The EdTech revolution has also been driven by the need for better learning management systems. The ever-increasing number of students taking online courses has led to a need for better learning management systems. These systems reduce the cost of administering online courses and improve the quality of learning. And during 2020, we have seen first hand the importance of these systems.

Why EdTech is Important

In today’s world, an individual’s success is largely determined by his or her ability to leverage technology. This is because technology is the backbone of the digital economy. The digital economy has resulted in more competition than ever before. This has led to the need for employees who are digitally literate. The EdTech revolution has been instrumental in creating a new generation of digitally literate individuals. This generation is better equipped to meet the challenges of the digital economy.

EdTech is also an important cog in the wheel of economic development. The creation of new jobs is one of the ways in which a country’s economy grows. The EdTech revolution has resulted in many new jobs in the digital economy. These jobs have been created due to the growing demand for people trained in digital literacy. The EdTech revolution has also led to the creation of jobs in the educational sector.

The EdTech revolution has had an enormously positive impact on the economy. The constant improvements in technology have led to more affordable and effective solutions. These solutions have led to reduced costs and increased quality of education. Another major benefit of the EdTech revolution is that it has reduced the cost of administering online courses.

The EdTech revolution has also had a positive impact on organizations. Online learning has improved the ability of organizations to meet their training needs. Employees are now able to take training online, which saves time and money. The growing number of online courses has also resulted in the establishment of new online education platforms. Finally, the EdTech revolution has improved the way organizations recruit their employees. It has enabled them to source for candidates with the right skills and experience at much lower cost.

The Future of EdTech

The EdTech revolution is still in its early stages. The numerous benefits of EdTech that have been discussed in this article are reasons why the revolution will continue. The university sector, for example, is one notable holdout. Education is still, for the most part, delivered in person (at least before the pandemic). Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen the potentials that online learning offers but also many of the pitfalls. Whether it will force the entire sector to modernize and deliver classes online-first is a subject of considerable debate. But one thing we can say for sure is that changes are imminent.

As for EdTech itself, we will continue to see more digital solutions being deployed in the educational sector. The growing demand for digital skills will continue to drive this revolution. We will also see more online learning platforms being established. These platforms will help meet the growing need for learning management systems.

In the coming years, the EdTech revolution will continue. There are many exciting developments in store. Some of them include the growing use of augmented reality in education, the use of artificial intelligence for personalized and adaptive learning, the growth of peer-to-peer learning, the use of educational robots and virtual reality in teaching. Change is coming, and it’s going to change the world as we know it.

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Choosing Between Cable TV and Streaming Services

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Growing up as a millennial or older Gen Z, cable was seen as the ultimate form of TV entertainment. Returning from school or work just in time for your favorite show or game had you excited. Families built family time around sitcoms, game shows and games – and it seemed like TV was the ultimate form of entertainment – until streaming TV was introduced with on demand and live TV streaming. Now, several people are more excited at the prospect of being able to watch their favorite movies and shows whenever they want to. A recent report revealed that 56% of Americans use cable or satellite while 69% now subscribe to a streaming service.

Understanding the Terms
Cable TV broadcasts video and audio content through networks that carry signals from distribution antennas to the devices of subscribers. Streaming TV, on the other hand, uses the internet to transmit data in the form of audio and video content to televisions, computers and other mobile devices. The content available on streaming platforms are usually in the form of on demand and live TV streams. On Demand streams are content that have been pre-recorded and are available to watch at your convenience or schedule. Live TV streams, on the other hand, are transmitted to viewers in real time as the events occur.

From these descriptions, it is clear that what is required to access the content on both platforms are different. After cable TV is set up, usually through a decoder or other device to receive signals, all that is required is a TV. For streaming services, on the other hand, no special set up process is required. All that is required is good internet and a streaming device.

Cable TV v. Streaming
One of the most hilarious commercials in recent times that illustrates the competition between cable and streaming services is Hulu + Live TV’s. The commercial features Chloe Bailey, who cries and hugs a male auditioner after he reveals that he had been using Cable all his life. She then whispers to him to use Hulu + Live TV instead.

The reaction to the commercial was expected – with many laughing at the obvious jab at Cable TV.

The message of the commercial is clear, “Cable TV looks at the less cool option”. But before we can reach a reasoned stance on this, a comparison on the offerings of both services would be helpful.

Offerings: When it comes to offerings, Cable TV has more diverse topics in its bouquet, with a broader range of channels, shows and listings. Subscribers are allowed to curate their experiences and enjoy content on their interest areas – including politics, religion, sports, lifestyle and science – and content types. Content on streaming platforms are significantly more limited to movies, documentaries and shows. This is, however, not to imply that its offerings are inadequate – because they are often more than enough.

Pricing: Cable TV costs significantly more than streaming. Even though some might argue that there are cable tiers that cost less than streaming, the value that is provided by cheaper packages are typically meagre. Getting the best out of cable TV would then usually require you to pay for medium or premium packages that cost more than the average streaming plan.

In a 2018 report from the Federal Communications Commission, the average amount for basic cable service is $25.40 per month while an expanded basic service costs $71.37 per month. The average streaming service is much less. A combination of Netflix Premium and Disney+, for example, cost $22.98.

In addition to the subscription cost, setting up cable TV and getting a good DVR box, will shoot up the cost.

The analysis that streaming services are cheap might not always be true. Streaming services are made available to the end user over the internet. This means that users are required to purchase data to stream video and audio content of their choice. Depending on how much data you consume, you might increase your streaming costs significantly.

Access: One major perk of using streaming service is that you can access all of its content easily and on the go, without spending money setting up a TV in rooms (or wherever video content is to be consumed). Cable providers are also making their content more accessible by offering dedicated apps for watching videos on mobile devices.

On another note, streaming services are generally uniform within the country they are to be consumed. The only usual draw back in terms of access is the number of devices that can be used for screaming concurrently.

Cable TV would usually have its offerings customized across regions, with some having access to channels and content that others do not.

Reliability: Cable is generally more reliable in their services, unlike streaming providers that rely heavily on the availability of decent and sufficient internet networks – and this is not always guaranteed.

In contrast, cable TV is more reliable because signal transmission is not done over the internet.

It’s Up to You
Deciding on which of the services to subscribe to is ultimately up to you. You can decide based on the kind of content you prefer, subjects you are interested in, your budget, the devices you have at your disposal and which you would serve you best.

 

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What Is Balding and Why Is It Happening to Me?

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Balding is generally considered to be one of the inevitabilities of life, however there’s no doubt that the moment we spot it, most of us would start scrambling for Hims minoxidil or even hair transplant surgery (if you can afford it). Balding, although harmless, can definitely affect a person’s self esteem and tends to be seen as one of the more visible (and very unaesthetic) signs of aging.

What Is Balding?
While losing hair is a completely normal part of life, balding is defined as the excessive loss of hair from the scalp. This means that the hair is being lost at a rate faster than our hair cells are able to replace them. In the worst case, it can involve the hair follicles being damaged which further complicates the regrowth process.

Balding is not a phenomenon that only men go through, and women can also experience it. However, male-pattern balding and female-pattern balding can look slightly different. Male-pattern balding typically begins along the hairline and moves backwards, thus giving the impression of a receding hairline. Female-pattern balding sometimes starts from the top-central part of the head and results in the appearance of thinning hair. However, the type of balding that people tend to want to avoid the most is probably spot balding which involves the hair being lost in patches since it’s not as easy to cover up or pull off and tends to give the scalp an uneven and unaesthetic appearance.

Why Am I Balding?
Balding can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common reason tends to be age related since the sensitive skin on our scalp accumulates damage from stress and as we age our cells have the tendency to be unable to replace themselves as fast as they once could. Other reasons could be related to one’s lifestyle since health conditions such as high blood pressure are known to accelerate the balding process. Some medical conditions such as alopecia and medical treatments such as chemotherapy are also known for causing baldness.

What Can I Do About It?
If you’ve decided that your balding is negatively impacting you by impacting your self esteem or being a big source of anxiety, then your next step would be to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist should be able to diagnose the root cause of your balding and help you start a treatment plan in order to aid the regrowth process. This could also be important for your overall health since balding can sometimes be linked to larger health issues such as autoimmune conditions or irregularities in your hormone production.

Of course, prevention is better than cure, and you should ideally be taking the steps while you’re young and still have a full head of hair to keep your scalp and follicles healthy. Many people tend to underestimate the importance of scalp health in their day to day life which later results in skin issues such as dandruff and balding.

Thankfully, since we live in the age of information, this means that more hair and scalp specialists use platforms such as social media and websites to dole out their advice. This has consequently led to the rise of more people becoming aware of unhealthy hair practices and making better choices in their hair and scalp care routine.

So What’s The Best Hair And Scalp Care Routine For Me?
Well, there’s no one size fits all answer. Everyone’s hair and scalp is a little different and your favorite brand of shampoo might not work for someone else. In order to come up with a good hair and scalp care routine, you have to take into account a variety of factors such as your natural hair and scalp type and what your goals for your hair and scalp are.

For example, if you naturally have dry skin, this may be reflected in your scalp type as well in the form of flaky skin and part of your goals for your scalp care plan should include treatments to hydrate and retain the natural oils in the scalp. On the other hand, if your skin is naturally oily, you may find that your hair gets rather greasy and lank after a while so a part of your scalp and hair care routine may involve treatments to control the oil production of the skin.

Generally, dermatologists and hair care specialists believe that a good hair and scalp care routine should leave the hair and scalp hydrated and without too much product buildup. The hair should also be protected from direct heat from appliances and products like hair masks and hair serums should be used at least somewhat regularly. Most importantly, consistency is key and once you find a hair care routine that works well for you, try to stick to it.

In most cultures, beautiful, lush healthy hair is seen as a sign of vitality and youth, so it’s no wonder that hair loss can make us feel self conscious as it draws attention to the fact that we no longer meet society’s standards of traditional beauty and health. So remember to show your scalp and hair some TLC so that they will continue to be your crowning glory for many more years to come.

However, regardless of whether you actively seek out treatments to help with the loss of your luscious locks or you decide to rock this rite of passage of aging, the important thing is that you feel comfortable in your own skin!

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Educating the Public on the Essential Needs of Aging Seniors

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It is unfortunate that our culture today seems to show little interest or concern for the invaluable treasures of the society who are the senior population. The needs, wants, and drives of senior individuals may vary based on their unique circumstances and personalities but as the natural course of life flows, some aspects of their lives, in general, converge into specific paths that can be assessed and improved. The later and more vulnerable days of our beloved’s lives can be blissful and gratifying given the right conditions are met and the essential needs fulfilled.

The Sense of Purpose and Being Valued

The sense of one’s purpose and worth is often derived from how one fits in a larger external environment. Our relations to the social surroundings, to a great extent, help us define who we are and how much we are valued. The normality of quotidian engagements, the empowering sensation of being relied on, and the profound joy of being of use to others are feelings that are often flickered and dimmed as people move towards the later stages of their lives.

Creating a sense of dependency—intentionally or unintentionally— in the elderly exacerbates the problem by causing them to internalize the feeling of frailty whereas in most cases, they are more capable than they are assumed to be. They are still individuals with talents, plus years of experience that can provide immense value to their communities and society. Striving to extend the independence of adult seniors as long as possible is the best approach for improving or at least, maintaining their sense of self-worth as for many, the struggle of gradually losing autonomy and control can be mentally and emotionally very taxing.

Socialization and Connection

Seniors are increasingly at higher risks of isolation. They experience loss, suffer from chronic illnesses, their families grow apart and distant, and their circle of friends and acquaintances progressively shrink. While we need to support their independence in their everyday lives, it’s equally crucial for us to help them socialize and get involved with communities to engage with their peers and non-peers.

Loneliness can be considered as a crisis as it rivals obesity and smoking in damaging health and may lead to earlier death especially in seniors who don’t have anybody to have regular and meaningful face-to-face interactions with. Loneliness paves the way for all sorts of diseases in the elderly because the immune system gradually degrades as we age and grow older. Loneliness in seniors has been linked to increased risks for high blood pressure, heart disease, cognitive decline, and depression.

Small gestures like having a short conversation on the phone or checking up on our senior loved ones from time to time can have a notable positive impact on their physical and mental health. Also, encouraging them to partake in voluntary services not only keeps them engaged and soaked in social environments but grants them a purpose that helps them reach self-actualization.

Living in communities that are specifically designed to accommodate seniors is another great way to create or reinforce a sense of belonging in this age group. For example, retirement communities like the over 55 communities in Cincinnati Ohio are built with all of the needs and desires of seniors in mind to facilitate a better quality of living among peers.

Physical Activity and Health

There are a lot of age-related health problems that can be avoided or mitigated by physical activity and age does not limit the options. Water aerobics, walking groups, table tennis, yoga, and many other group-based physical activities can be effective in minimizing the psychological and physical deterioration in older adults.

Strength training is also recommended for anyone over 50 years of age because the resulting increase in muscle strength can bolster daily living conditions and is good for bone density and other health problems like diabetes and hypertension. It also boosts their confidence by giving them a sense of empowerment and enables them to engage more with younger generations and play with their grandchildren.

There needs to be more focus on increasing awareness about the benefits of physical activity among the elderly. Oftentimes, the initial push and encouragement from kith and kin is the only thing lacking that keeps the older people from giving it a try. Being physically active can fill a void in the more vacant stages of life and in addition to the health benefits it brings, breaks the emotionally draining monotonous routine of those days.

Decades of living and experience, by and large, have blessed the older individuals to seek what is the most important of all. They need connection, love, appreciation, and reverence. More than anything, our senior loved ones need familiar surroundings and established communities of family and friends, and we believe that’s not too much to ask. After all, as the Austrian psychoanalyst once said: “How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.”

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