Archive for May, 2012

eLearning News: Worldreader’s Million Books Movement

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Most people in the education and technology fields are aware that there are many ways in which educators can incorporate technology into the classroom to improve and enhance learning.   When thinking of current technology used in the classroom, there are many technological gadgets that come to mind: tablet computers, laptops, mobile phones, and e-readers just to name a few.  In the past few months, we have shared several articles about a wonderful organization called Worldreader who uses one of these pieces of technology, the e-reader, to enhance learning and improve people’s lives.

Worldreader is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to make books available to every person on the planet using e-reader and e-book technology. Worldreader works with publishers, book and e-book retailers, and government agencies to achieve this mission.  According to the Worldreader website, “Worldreader.org’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives.  Emerging e-book technology is sharply reducing the cost and complexity of delivering reading material everywhere. We are developing the systems and the partnerships to get e-readers — and the life-changing, power-creating ideas contained in e-books — into the hands and minds of people in the developing world, where profit-seeking entities are not focused.”

Just last week, Worldreader announced its “Million Books Movement”.  This is a movement initiated by Worldreader in which the goal is to send 1 million e-books to Africa.   But this is no ordinary movement; this movement has an interesting twist.  Worldreader has partnered up with Futbol Club Barcelona to motivate young students to read more.  The idea is that students will be even more excited about reading when a sports figure they admire offers support and encouragement.  Personalized messages are delivered to students’ Kindle e-readers so the children feel as if their sports heroes are speaking directly to them.  Students in Ghana received messages on their Kindles from FCB stars such as Lionel Messi popping up to say, “Champions read.” Other messages include Xavier “Xavi” Hernández challenging students to “Dare to read more” and Seydou Keita asked the question, “I read. Do you?” Perfect in its simplicity is Éric Abidal message to the children, “Every book is a goal!”  You can see the students’ reactions to these pro-reading messages in this heartwarming Worldreader video clip.

If reading this article inspires you to help Worldreader in its Million Books Movement, there are several things you may do to get involved.  Below is a list of ideas taken from the Worldreader website:

  • Donate $5 so we can get more kids more e-books. $5 is an e-book for Charles.
  • Post one of Worldreader’s awesome banners on your website (Click here for banners in Catalan or Spanish).
  • Tell your friends about the Million Books Movement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
  • Spread the word about Worldreader and the Million Books Movement using the hashtag #MillionBooks.

If you would like to read more about the Worldreader organization or the Million Books Movement, you may visit the Worldreader website at http://www.worldreader.org/ .

eLearning Resource: Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Website

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Periodically, we come across useful eLearning resources and we like to share these resources with our readers.  Today we would like to tell you about a wonderful website called Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.  This website is run by a teacher and master student in the Mount Saint Vincent University Department of Education which is in Halifax, Canada.

The tagline for the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website describes its purpose well:  A resource of free educational web tools and mobile apps for teachers. More specifically, this website aims to “help educators, teachers, curriculum designers, and students better integrate technology into education. We provide ideas, tips, tutorials and reviews of the best free web 2.0 tools, and since the world is going mobile, we have also devoted an entire section of this blog to articles covering reviews of free educational mobile apps that work on smart devices.”

The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website home page greets you with a handful of snippets from current articles about relevant educational technology tools.  Each snippet is hard to resist clicking on but if you prefer to explore the site on your own, the menu bar at the top of the home page has seven resource category links: Google Tools, Video Tools, Teachers Slides, Infographics, Search Tools, iOS Apps, and Great Books.

Each category houses a multitude of links to useful tools and articles such as A Comprehensive Guide to Google Free Tools for Teachers and Students, links to several different video manipulation tools and tips for using these resources, a list of twenty slideshows and presentations for anyone involved in the education and technology fields, and an extensive array of links to infographics that cover a wide variety of education and technology topics.  You will also find a large selection of search related tools including gems like John Locker, which is a website that provides free online documentaries for educators.  The iOS apps section of the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website acts as a clearinghouse for many education and technology apps and app related tools.

The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website is thoughtfully designed and easy for users to navigate and find tons of useful information and tools.  This website is an excellent resource for anyone involved in the education field who wishes to improve or enhance his or her grasp on technology.  As you can see, the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website provides a seemingly endless supply of education and technology resources and visitors could spend quite some time exploring the site and everything it has to offer.

As we already stated, Gatlin International likes to share useful eLearning resources with our readers periodically.  So if you enjoyed this article, we would like to remind you that Gatlin International has a Facebook page and Twitter feed.  You can like our Facebook page by visiting https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gatlin-International-A-World-of-eLearning/136661654588?ref=ts and follow our Tweets at @Gatlin_Intl.  Make sure you don’t miss any of our future articles or relevant information about the world of distance learning by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter today!

eLearning News: Does Higher Tuition Equate to a Better Education?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

With the cost of traditional college and university programs all over the world steadily increasing year after year, it is no wonder that students are expecting more from the educational programs they are choosing to spend their hard earned money on.  The question is, does the increase in tuition and fees many brick and mortar colleges and universities are implementing mean that students are getting a better education?  A recent article published by BBC News suggests that the answer, as far as the UK is concerned, is a resounding no.

In 2006, England’s universities raised their tuition from £1,000 to £3,000.  A study conducted by The Higher Education Policy Institute found that scheduled teaching hours did not increase with the increase in tuition.  In fact, the study found that teaching hours in 2012 were about the same as they were in 2007, which was about 14 hours per week.  However for some disciplines the weekly average was a mere 7 hours.  This study also found that student dissatisfaction was directly related to the number of contact hours they had with their teachers each week: the fewer hours of contact students had with their teachers, the more dissatisfied they were with the education they were receiving.

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom’s University system said universities are using the increase in tuition to provide students with better libraries and improved IT facilities, more teaching staff, better student support services, and updated communal spaces on campuses.  UK universities plan to raise tuition again in the near future to £9,000.  Hopefully, the UK university system has grand plans for this increase in income because students will obviously expect more when they pay more.  National Union of Students president Liam Burns was quoted as saying: “Whether we like it or not, students going on to campuses this year will feel like they’re paying more and will have increased expectations to match, but there is no evidence that shifting the financial burden to students gives them more power.  Successive governments have forced students to act as consumers of teaching rather than partners in learning and there is no evidence that this has improved universities.”

Discerning prospective university students will most likely shop around for the best value for their education budget.  For many, a distance-learning program is the perfect solution.  Online college and career training courses can often be much more cost effective than traditional university programs.  And if you factor in the convenience of being able to study when and where it works for you, distance-learning programs seem like the smartest choice.

If you are considering a distance-learning program for yourself, check into the many excellent eLearning courses Gatlin International has to offer today.  Gatlin International is a trusted leader in online education and has a wide array of courses and programs for students to choose from.  Course categories include Business and Professional, Healthcare and Fitness, Hospitality and Gaming, IT and Software Development, Management and Corporate, Media and Design, New Age, Skilled Trades and Industrial, Soft Skills, Sustainability, and Teaching English as a Second Language.  As you can see, Gatlin International has something for everyone no matter what type of education or career training you are interested in.  Visit the Gatlin International website at http://gatlininternational.co.uk/ for more information and course descriptions today.