Category Archives: online learning

Does Online Education Necessarily Mean Affordable Learning Solutions?

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Online learning has gained immense popularity amongst students, educators and employers in the past few years. With further technological progress and the spread of internet, more and more aspiring learning are now pursuing online higher education programmes to earn accredited qualifications and advance their careers. One of the biggest advantages of studying an online programme is that they are more affordable than college degree programmes and hence you can avoid taking out heavy students loans for getting a degree. But is online education actually affordable? Or does it cost you more than you think? Let’s find out….

Finding The Cost Of Studying Online

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As a student you would want to consider the total cost of an online programme when to start to decode and analyse its actual cost. Hence you need to count the total amount of money you will have to pay if you pursued all the necessary courses at the institute. However, the amount is not easy to determine as several online programmes choose to publicise the per-credit cost only, according to the Online College Students 2014 study, conducted by Aslanian Market Research and The Learning House. This approach might appear meaningful as most online learners begin with some credits that have been already implemented to their degree or diploma.

Online Education Is Not Cheap

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If you are able to discover the sum total cost of online bachelor’s degree programme, then you just might get amazed by the results. Although. Most learners and professionals tend to believe that online learning is an affordable and economical option; it is not the case all the time.

For instance, in 2014-2015 the total cost of programme is over $91,000 at the 10 public schools which had the most expensive bachelor’s degree programmes for out-of-state learners. Although the amount is much less than pursuing a 4 year programme at the priciest brick-and-mortar colleges and universities in the country, but you can find cheaper alternatives in community colleges. Apart from Ohio State, the other priciest public online bachelor’s programmes for out-of-state students include Central Washington University ($677 per credit and total programme cost $121,860); West Virginia University ($927per credit and total programme cost $111,240); University of Georgia ($893 per credit and total programme cost $107,160); and New Mexico State University ($796 per credit and total programme cost $101,888).

According to recent data in an annual U.S. News survey, which ranked 126 public online bachelor’s degree programmes, Ohio State University has the costliest public bachelor’s programme for students for outside the state. Out-of-state students studying online at Ohio State pay $1,070 each credit and almost $128,400 for the complete bachelor’s programme, when they pursue all courses at the institute. However, if you have previous credits then you will not be required to pay the full amount.

Availability Of Affordable Options

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According to the survey, the average total cost is around $52,830 for the 126 ranked programmes. Valley City State University in North Dakota offers the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees for out-of-state learners. The cost per credit is $168 and the total programme cost is around $20,160. The report did not consider many schools and they were not ranked as those institutes failed to meet specific criteria needed by U.S. News

What do you think about online education? Want to add to this discussion? Then feel free to share your experiences, thoughts and views with us by commenting below.

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Strong Internet Support Boosts the Education System throughout Africa

open distance learning

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Are you aware of the fact that Africa, the world’s 2nd largest continent, is no more devoid of technological support in making people obtain quality education? Reports from World Bank say that Nigeria, which is one of the most developed nations of the continent, has recorded 32.9% people to become dependent on technology. Gone are those days of dependence on high-speed internet and Broadband when Nigeria considered them to be the only sources of technological support. Now, this nation takes pride in acquiring the 8th position out of 212 member nations of UN in terms of the number of internet users.

The Internet World stats said:

  • There were around 55.9 million internet users
  • Accordingly, it represented 32.9% of the population in Nigeria in 2012
  • 6.6 million Facebook users were recorded from Nigeria, which showed that this was one of the most popular activities by the Nigerians

The World Economic Forum said:

Out of every 100 urban Nigerians

o   50 use the internet on a monthly basis

o   58 use mobile phones supported by internet

o   21 use smartphones

As far as the contribution of internet to GDP is concerned:

  • Nigeria has a 0.8% GDP which is quite close to that of South Africa that has 1.4%
  • Kenya and Senegal are ahead in terms of GDP

This clearly shows that the opportunities of strengthening digital education with time in Nigeria are rising. Moreover, internet has brought a massive impact on several sectors here in the past few years. Some of them are:

  • Health – Owing to internet support, a platform has been set up in Nigeria through which patients and also clinicians can send messages along with the information related to drug identification. In response, they would receive a verified message in regard to the authenticity of the medicine.
  • Education – Although a lot had been said earlier in the opening paragraphs, it’s once again worth mentioning that digitisation is a big thing that has made immense progress in open distance learning. After the National Open University of Nigeria contributed well towards improving digital education, the country’s education system acquired a different scenario. Moreover, the introduction of mobile technology has eased over thousands of lives in these years.
  • Retail – E-commerce is another thriving sector in Nigeria that has given rise to a number of big companies in the last few years. As per the Euromonitor International research team, Nigeria generated N3 billion which was their online sales figure.
open education

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So, where Nigeria has done a tremendous job in bringing massive growth in several sectors especially education, career seekers there wouldn’t have to wait to relocate abroad for better opportunities. Talking about the education sector, the demand of distance education programmes is already on the rise and students there have now started using smartphones and kindles to complete higher studies instead of taking pains to attend classrooms. Other sectors would also bring good turnovers as long as internet would be supporting these nations.

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Technology: Making Learning Fun & Interesting

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Sticking to traditional methods of learning and not experimenting with different ways of attaining knowledge seems like a dull and stagnant idea. As an educator, I believe, that one can learn well only if they keep up with the times and keep their ears and eyes open at all times. Also, one must be open to new ideas and use every single resource available to them, to make their learning experience complete.

The times are changing

Sticking to ‘text book learning’ will not help us evolve. With the developments of technology, there are so many aids that are provided to us that help us learn so many new things at the click of a button. Technology does not only mean computers, there are so many applications, gadgets and devices, that we can use these days to stay updated. It is not necessary that we only abide by the books in our curriculum. For example, when you have assignments and projects to complete, I would advise you to surf the net and collect information because even library books may not have the information the internet can provide you. I believe that there is no end to learning and therefore, one must always be open to different ways of doing things.

Learning the thorough yet quick way

Say you don’t have the time to visit the library and skim through fat books because you have other classes to attend and hobbies to pursue, what will you do then? Give up your life because of an assignment? Of course not, extracurricular activities are as important as the curriculum in shaping your future. Therefore, it is time you turn to technology for help. Download e-books and study while on the go. Jot down points on your tab or smartphone when you have the time and later compile it. This way, you can collect proper and thorough information without compromising on anything.

Technology makes things interesting

Technology has made learning so much fun. You can now join study groups online and contact people from all around the world so that learning becomes interesting. Through these study groups you can discuss various topics and get new insights which might help you develop ideas in the long run. Information attained with the help of technology is interesting and engaging. Now you don’t have to go through fat and boring books to study a chapter. You can log on to the internet and watch videos related to the subject you are learning. You can also discover colourful, audio-visual treats that will help you learn faster without boring you. New technological aids help you find innovative ways of learning new things.

Missed a lecture in class? Are you afraid of lagging behind? These days you don’t need to worry about that. All you need to know is the chapter or subject discussed in the lecture. There are thousands of videos available online that will help you catch up in no time. Modern technology has been able to eliminate the fear attached to learning by making it engaging and fun. As an educator, I would suggest you to use technology more to learn not just your syllabus but things beyond it.

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Technology is Soon Going to Bring a Sea Change in Nigerian Education Sphere

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Nigeria is taking progressive measures to make quality of education better. Seeing the initiatives to implement technological measures into education it seems that soon the country will get over its weaknesses in its education sector. The countries poor line up in propagating brick and mortar education is now considered to be overcome with technologically supported measures. Online education introduced to Nigerian soil is hoped to fetch incredible outcome in educating mass people.

Initiatives Taken by Nigeria

Numerous new initiatives are being taken to promote online education to win over the country’s prolonged issue of illiteracy. Exolve Technologies have recently launched an online platform for teaching and learning to address a large online audience. With the mobility and flexibility of online education got through this sort of initiatives a greater number of people will be able to take benefits of education quite easily. Tutor.NG has come up as another online tutoring platform recently, providing resources and tools for learners to enjoy an engaging learning as well as teaching process, made to access anytime and anywhere. More specifically, Nigeria is now up to exploit every possibility to address people to get educated with its cheap and best online learning strategies. It tries to turn every environment into a prospective learning zone.

Outstanding Measures these Initiatives can Deliver

This sort of online tutoring platform is equipped with the most updated online learning tools. Among these tools virtual classrooms are appearing as the most productive outcome in attract learners’ mind. They enjoy learning distantly from international teachers and are able to interact with other physically distant learners, as well.

Employment Generation

Online learning is viewed as the trusted model for employment generation as well. Talking on the effective job-creation capacity of online learning, Co-Founder Tutor.NG, Peter Ogedengbe says, “We are extremely excited to launch this platform, online tutoring solves the problem of learning beyond the classrooms and also create employment where smart and versatile graduates can become self employed by teaching online and make a living for themselves, also with the increase in internet availability and affordable computer/mobile devices, student and teachers can now do more meaningful things with their data package.” He is quite justified in his view. With online learning mass education would be followed by huge creation of employment sectors both in teaching profession as well as technological area.

With growing measures of online education organisations will be able to save cost on technical infrastructure, and deliver lectures and training content in much cost-effective ways. This kind of online platforms will act as collaborative junctions to unite expert faculty across the globe, thus providing Nigerian students the scope to connect with world-class education with their meagre resources.

Online platforms like Tutor.NG’s employment of the latest online tools like White Board, Live Video Webinars, Real Time Virtual Classroom, Personalised Content Creation, User Management etc. With this sort of developments in Nigerian education sector the country can definitely expect a bright tomorrow not so far.

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Top Tips To Help You Publicise Your Book Launch on Social Media

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In the modern times, online marketing of books has caught up in the trend. From traditionally published author to independently self-publishing and hybrid author, online marketing of books has proved to be the best platform for every kind of author. Once authors used to sell their books by trekking from one city to another, but social media, these days, is being considered as the latest version of such old book tours. Publishers, of late, have become selective and take into consideration mostly the works from biggest authors. However, you need not worry, as you can also recreate the book tours with less money and dedication.

Prior to launching your book, you need to plan for the modern day book tour. You should build your author platform and enhance your online presence to keep people interested in your book launch.

Here are a few tools that you can use to build your book tour

  • YouTube videos
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Contents for your guest posts and blogs
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Google+ hangouts and posts
  • Tumblr
  • Mailing list
  • Podcasts

Make use of different communication channels to publicise your book launch. You can create a media blitz in different ways so that people can share them with their social networks.

Followings are some ways to make a big splash on the launch day

Work hard on social media – You can plan out many post-launch social media marketing events online. Invite some guests on Google+ Hangouts and interview them about the self-publishing process, experience while writing and self-publishing the book. Go live on some other social media as well and organise events.

Ways to do this

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  • Get in touch with people who host Twitter chats and let them know your willingness to be a guest.
  • Find out about the related Google+ Hangout shows and contact the host.
  • Make yourself available for interviews, chats, Hangouts and other online media.
  • Give a relevant and easy-to-use hashtag for your book so that you can connect your content together across Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Spend a lot of time to publicise your book.

Create your own event – Take a leaf out of Jennifer Miller’s book and create unique marketing events for your own book. Jennifer, author of The Year of the Gadfly, who is a traditionally published author, creates her own buzz for her book with social media channels.

Ways to do this

  • Come up with some unique ideas for your book and do it wholeheartedly.
  • Organise your own events by using online tools like Togather, which connects authors and readers in person as well as online.

Create a media blitz – Jay Baer, author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, built a pre-book launch marketing team for publicising his book. This way, you will have a whole crew of supporters cheering on your project and wanting it to be successful. You can create a book trailer, a SlideShare presentation, and about twenty five excerpts of the book that were published on some prestigious blogs. You can build a network of like-minded individuals and also create your own blog to build trust and readership of your book.

Ways to do this

  • Invest some time to build a strong, trustworthy and informative online presence.
  • Build your base audience by blogging regularly on the relevant and niche topic.
  • Socialise with authors in same genre.
  • Work hard to build your social media marketing assets before the launch of your book so you can start working immediately post-launch.

Share your adventure – There are some authors who started as an indie writer but they are counted among the hybrid authors. They have built an enviable fan base online that keep a keen eye on the progress meters of current projects with bated breath.

Ways to do this

  • Take photos and share them on different social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Build your presence on Pinterest and register your writer’s life.
  • You can share reviews and let people know about your journey as an author, post questions-answers session.
  • Enjoy being a writer, live your dream and have fun.

Create a media kit – You should build your digital assets before your book launch so that you can give interview whenever people want it. Sarah Robinson, author of Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities, did a commendable job on the website of her book and media kit of her self-published book.

  • A photo in high resolution
  • A long and short author bio
  • Links to various social media profiles
  • Book covers in high resolutions

Ways to do this

  • Create a media kit a month prior to book launch.
  • Spread the word about your book by making it easier for people to spread the information.

A book launch is a long process and you need to watch for all the developments even after your book is released. So, invest some time in social media marketing and create a fascinating presence of yours on different media channels.

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Technology Helping To Solve Education Problems In Nigeria

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The education scenario in Nigeria has suffered many blows in the past and due socio-economic and political upheaval, the educational infrastructure in Nigeria never really got the opportunity to blossom. As an educator, I have been following the education trends in various countries around the world, but the Nigerian education scenario comes across as appalling at times. However, there are technology firms, who are taking great initiatives to better the education scenario in the country.

In 2013, Intel and Airtel took initiatives to solve a few of the educational problems in Nigeria. While Intel made an effort to provide low cost and free digital learning resources, Airtel Nigeria fulfilled its pledge for the ‘Goal for Education’ campaign and donated stationary to schools in Nigeria. In my eyes these were extremely meaning steps taken tech giants to help the country upgrade the sector.

However, another serious problem that the Nigerian education system faces is the dearth of capable educators. There are too many students in schools and colleges but there are hardly any teachers to hold class. This year, Mavis Computel, a technology firm, has taken its first steps to address this very problem with digital help. The head operations and corporate strategy at Mavis Computel, Chizaram Ucheaga, says that the company will start with Nigeria before addressing other nations.

On reading this piece of information, I was extremely delighted to see how technology is slowly being able to help the Nigerian education system in various ways.

“One of the main challenges we are trying to solve is the dearth of quality teachers – first in Nigeria and other countries.” – Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel

The company has on sale a product called a Smartpen. This product has audiobooks loaded on it with the help from distributors both within the country and abroad. The demand for these books, to hit the market, has already started pouring in. Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel, says that the product will soon be available at physical retail shops through resellers, across Nigeria and will also be made available in online channels and school bookstores. He also added that the solution was also quite affordable.

 “The solution is affordable when compared with the cost and effort involved in getting a language teacher for your private tutoring. Plus, unlike the teacher, it doesn’t get tired. Additionally, people can come together in groups to buy it to reduce the cost per person. Our goal is to get the solution to as many learners as possible. One Smartpen can be loaded with many talking books and talking posters. The Smartpen is NGN29,500 (US$185) and each talking book – about 60 pages – is NGN4,800 (US$30). So the basic pack is NGN34,300 (US$215), with volume discounts available for large orders.”- Chizaram Ucheaga, Head of Corporate Strategy and Operations, Mavis Computel

This product has been tested in Nigeria and has been demonstrated in other countries, like Kenya. These talking books may just be the solution to the dearth of quality teachers in Nigeria. In my perspective, this is just a mini step taken towards addressing the problem of fewer teachers, but it is definitely a strong step.

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Why Earning Foreign Degrees Online is a Wise Strategy for Nigerian Students?

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If you ask career aspirants as what can make their CVs look good, the majority would answer ‘a foreign degree’. In fact, reports have found that the real value lies in foreign degrees rather than the nationalised ones. For instance, there are several companies in Nigeria that keep hiring and promoting people having certificates earned from overseas rather than those earned from Nigerian universities. In fact, they would be ready to take someone with a foreign bachelor’s degree instead of one with a Master degree from Nigeria. Although they admit it secretly, it’s sheer reality.

Cracking interview jobs is easy with a foreign degree

What the implication stands here is that adding a foreign degree to one’s CV is equivalent to a ticket to enter the world’s best companies. Chances for cracking job interviews will be high and employers would love offering fat pay packages. So, where the demand of earning degrees from foreign universities is on the rise, students are turning to be more concerned as how they would manage to travel abroad for earning a degree. Well, there is a convenient, affordable and legible way to do so, and it is distance learning.

No need to quit jobs, No need to travel abroad

There are many students in Nigeria who are facing problems in securing admission to Nigeria universities. Seeing this inconvenience, an initiative has been taken by the UK universities to give students the opportunity to earn their foreign degrees online. As a result, they would neither have to travel overseas nor quit their jobs. Rather, they can stay with their families and continue studying within their means.

Well, online education today has achieved global popularity. In fact, pursuing online distance learning courses under UK universities will help working professionals to:

– Meet professional and personal duties at the same time

– Remain exposed to more employment options

– Pursue higher studies and get eligible for promotion at work

Besides, distance learning courses can be helpful in a number of ways for students as well as those who are working. For instance:

  1. Earning a foreign under a UK university online will help one secure a prestigious job or admission to a Nigerian university.
  2. Students not having good scores at school can take top-up courses to get admission into a 2nd or 3rd year, and work alongside to gather experience.
  3. One can take one’s own pace to complete a course. There will be no deadlines which would therefore let students handle their course work with ease.
  4. Students or working professionals looking for business management courses would not have to pay lump sums like what brick and mortar business schools charge. In fact, UK universities would bring easy payment schemes which would keep enrolees financially stable.
  5. One would be able to access study materials for their distance learning courses anytime he/she wishes.
  6. Online course curriculums will comprise video tutorials, journals, social networking and a lot other interesting activities that would let students take pleasure in their studies.
  7. With a distance learning degree under a foreign university, you are sure to impress the biggest employers all over the globe.

So, you see that students in Nigeria are no more required to travel all the way to the United Kingdom to earn certificates. By simply availing the option of distance learning under a UK university, one can instead pursue higher studies and continue working at the same time.

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