Category Archives: Study Tips

Pros and Cons of Distance Education

Education for anyone, anytime, anywhere – this is the obvious advantage of distance education programs. Education on demand, convenient options for examinations – people who have not had the opportunity for regular education can reap the benefits and using these qualifications, catapult themselves into the next level of economic existence.

The often unnoticed learning that happens from interaction with classmates and classroom instruction is the casualty. This is the ‘unseen’ disadvantage of distance learning. The more visible disadvantages are the poor quality of material and the complete lack of instruction; the contact programs that distance learning programs have are generally review assignments and prepare the candidates for the forthcoming exams. There’s not a great deal of free discussions that would happen in these sessions. Continue reading

This post was submitted by Ramya Raju.

Ace that Test! Successful Tips for Online Learners in Higher Education

Ace that Test! Successful Tips for Online Learners in Higher Education
By Kyle Albert

For students who are enrolled in an online course, participation in activities and collaboration with peers are vital to gain success from this learning environment. But without the physical presence of classmates and professors, how are we going to accomplish that? In this entry, we will teach you the most effective and tech-savvy methods on how to lucratively immerse yourself in an online classroom experience and gain success out of it. Continue reading

This post was submitted by Kyle Albert.

Languages – The Many Ways We Learn

Learning to learn

Many people, especially in the UK, perceive languages as being incredibly difficult to learn. This reluctance results in uncomfortable situations abroad as people mumble their way through phrase books. This unwillingness to expand our linguistic vocabulary isn’t helped by the fact English is so well spoken around the world. Overall, it’s estimated that between 500 million and 1.8 billion people speak the language(1), at the upmost estimate this equates to 25% of the entire planet!

Recently a friend of mine moved to Brussels and was excited about learning French, however 6 months later he wasn’t as fluent as he had first hoped. He found as soon as local people identified him as English, they simply switched to speaking English. This article hopes to provide some tips and insight into the difficulties and pleasures of learning a new language. I also hope to dispel any learning myths! There is a certain beauty to being able to understand odd words from foreign menus or catching a few words of passers bys’ conversations. I hope this article inspires you to learn a new language and to experience a new culture.

With so many resources out there it can be difficult in choosing which is the best one for you.  Everyone learns differently so finding out the way in which you learn can just be as important. Flemings VAK model categorises people into three different learning styles, auditory, visual and Kinaesthetic (2). Understanding which of these learning styles suits you best can help you personalise your learning. Auditory learners may benefit most from audio tapes, CD’s and podcasts, whereas visual learners may find books and written material more effective. Kinaesthetic learning enjoy learning through doing, these people may find learning languages easiest when role playing scenarios and practising conversations.  An effective programme of learning will incorporate a variety of methods covering all of the above.Recently thelanguagelearningblog.com/ (3) composed a list of 25 tips for learning a language, I’ve categorised some of these below into the three learning styles to help identify which you may find most effective.

Visual:

1.       Use your imagination. Visual images can help you remember words.

2.       Invent stories using as much of your new vocabulary as possible. Any words you can’t think off in your target language use your native language and then look up those words later.

3.       Watch videos.

4.       Utilize the BBC for news broadcast and lessons in your target language.

5.       Utilize flashcards or small notebooks to review vocabulary words and phrases.

6.       Use a bilingual dictionary often, not just to look up specific words, but browse through it.

7.       Draw columns on paper, words in your native language on the right and target language on the left. This allows your eye to easily scan to one column to the next and it helps your brain absorbs that word.

8.       Write a simple children’s book in your target language. Make it silly and utilize simple concepts as though a child was actually going to read the book.

9.       When reading, read more slowly and deliberately than you do in your target language. Later, as you progress, your speed will increase to normal levels.

10.   Read bilingual books or books in the target language that you are already familiar in your native language.

11.   Read comics and cartons in your target language

12.   Read your grammar books.

13.   Put stickers in everyday life items until you’ve learned their names.

Auditory:

1.       When first starting out, try to just listen to your target language as much as possible without attempting to speak it. This helps you acquiring an ear for the language.

2.       Listen to internet radio broadcasts and podcasts as much as possible.

3.       Watch videos.

4.       Invent funny or silly mnemonic phrases to help you remember new words or concepts.

As you can see all of the above deal mainly with visual and auditory learning so I’ve come up with some tips that’ll suit Kinaesthetic learners.

Kinaesthetic:

1.       Find a friend that speaks your chosen language and organise times in which to only speak your target language.

2.       Attend a club/meeting/group of your chosen language.

3.       Role-play with a language teacher.

4.       Find example conversations in a language textbook and ask a friends to role play these with you.

It can be difficult to know what kind of learning style you prefer as everyone has an individual mix of the above. There are a variety of online tests that are easy are quick to do, although these are not perfect, they can be a good indicator.

http://www.brainboxx.co.uk/a3_aspects/pages/vak_quest.htm

Brain Boxx’s VAK quest is a quick and easy tool that can help you discover your preferred learning style. By ensuring you have a good understanding of how you learn best you can plan a more effective learning schedule and by mixing different styles of activities your learning can not only be more effective but can be more enjoyable. This can result in your motivation to learn being bolstered as you find yourself having fun as you learn a new language.

 

This post was submitted by jennifer.

My Best Language Study Techniques

Learning a language can be daunting. Whether you are starting out with some beginner’s French or brushing up your business English for an important interview you may find some of these techniques useful.

Every learner has an individual learning style that suits them best. While lessons and textbooks have to be designed to be beneficial to as many different learner types as possible, home studying providers learners with a chance to experiment, and find ways of learning that really work for them. All learners have ideas about ways to learn and remember vocabulary and grammar, based on how we were (or are still being) taught at school; repetition (written and oral), flash cards, exercises in text books and so on. These ways are not always the most effective for an individual. And the only way to find out what works best is to try out some other techniques.

One of the most successful ways to ensure something is remembered is to teach it. While just reading is likely to result in 30% retention, teaching will result in a 70% retention rate in just about everyone. If you are struggling to remember a particular or complex idea in grammar, teach it to a sibling, parent, goldfish even. The very act of explaining it, out loud, will mean you get a fuller understanding of the rule. If you can’t explain it, it probably means you need to go back and study a little more until you can explain it.

One of the best ways, which again works for most learning styles is called “Total Immersion”, the extreme of this method entails moving to a country that speaks that language. In less extreme cases nothing but the target language is spoken or written in lessons. It’s a little difficult to enforce during private study time, but, with the power of the internet to hand you can often find online content of favourite films and TV shows dubbed into the target language. Watching these provides a form of immersion, that doesn’t entail moving to a new country.

Some learners are visual. This can be a hindrance when what’s being learnt is a language, as it’s all about words, grammar rules and other aspects that don’t naturally click for visual learners. But language activities can be made visual by drawing. This doesn’t have to be as simple as drawing the object for the word being learnt; by using mnemonic tricks in the drawing it can become much more effective. The French word for rug or carpet is “tapis”, so a student might draw a carpet with a tap in its design, or a rug flowing from a tap. Using visual metaphors is a great mnemonic device, but works best when created by the student as an individual.

Another mnemonic idea is that associating objects with a room or town that is well known to the learner. Using a town is more useful than just a room when remembering vocabulary as each object can be put into a logical space. The word for book would be remembered sitting on library shelf. Active verbs can be kept in a sports centre, adjectives in a park or gallery.

The best learning techniques will always vary learner to learner, so try various techniques, so long as it’s fun and it works, it doesn’t matter how things get learnt.

This post was submitted by mb011085.

Strategies for Learning English Outside of the Classroom

English teachers have lots of effective methods for learning in the classroom, but if you don’t take the initiative to learn on your own, you won’t be maximizing your potential. To get the most out of your English learning experience, try to keep making progress outside of the classroom by using some of the following strategies.

Listen to Music

Find English music videos online that have the lyrics as subtitles. Chances are that with images, music, and audio-visual lyrics, you’ll be able to remember new vocabulary and grammatical forms more successfully. Repetition is also helpful, and songs often include refrains that reiterate key phrases, which could assist you in learning English.

Watch TV or Movies

If you’re still just getting started on learning English, keep the subtitles on when you watch TV shows or movies. This will reinforce new vocabulary words and clarify anything that you think you might have misheard. As you make more progress, turn off the subtitles and try to understand what’s being said simply by listening. It’s a great way to test your listening skills, especially if you’re watching online and can easily replay segments with the subtitles on to make sure that you understood correctly.

Speak English Whenever Possible

Even if you’re apprehensive about making mistakes while speaking English, go ahead and use English for as many conversations as you can. If you’re nervous, you can always ask the people you’re talking to if they can help you correct any mistakes – they’re usually happy to help. You’ll learn a lot about listening and responding without taking five minutes to formulate an answer, as you might be used to doing in the classroom. Practising English in the moment is an important part of studying that shouldn’t be left out, and you’ll also learn a lot about yourself. Often, you know more than you think you do and can benefit from testing yourself in new ways.

Record Yourself

Many people dislike the sound of their own voices, but it can be extremely helpful to record yourself as you learn English. Not only will you be able to identify weak points in your understanding of the language, but you’ll also be creating benchmarks for monitoring your progress. It’s a great feeling to play back an old recording and realize how much better you are than you used to be.

Monitor Your Progress

You take tests in the classroom, but why not try some on your own? There are many English quizzes you can take online, categorized by parts of speech, tense, vocabulary, level, and more. You can easily find a test that addresses a problem that you tend to encounter often in your English studies. Taking the same quiz periodically can show you that you’re making significant progress as your scores and confidence level go up. In addition to comparing test scores from different periods in your English learning process, you can compare recordings of your voice answering the same prompts and identify multiple points of development. If you’re going to do the hard work to learn English efficiently and successfully, make sure that you record the journey and can appreciate how far you’ve come.

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching areas of online colleges. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

This post was submitted by Maria Rainier.

Vonage Gives Free Calling to Facebook Friends

Vonage Gives Free Calling to Facebook Friends

New Mobile Application Provides Free, One-Touch Calling
For Facebook Users Worldwide

HOLMDEL, N.J., [Date TBA] /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ — Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG), a leading provider of high-quality voice and messaging services over broadband networks, has recently introduced the Vonage Mobile application for Facebook.   This new service allows users to make free mobile calls to all of their Facebook friends who have the app.

Keeping in touch with your studies is difficult and keeping in touch with friends and family can make all the difference when it comes to achieving. Vonage have developed a mobile app that allows Facebook friends to keep in touch for free, regardless of time or location.

The downloadable application is free to get and free to use. The new service enhances the ability to connect with friends on Facebook through the addition of voice calling.  It is available for iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices. And the service works over Wi-Fi and 3G /4G networks in most countries.

The new service is easy to use. The app works with a user’s existing community of Facebook friends, so there’s no need to remember screen names or to input numbers. The application eliminates dialing – users can just click on a friend and start talking. When placing a call, the friend’s profile picture and status update display on the screen.

“The Vonage Mobile app for Facebook is a tangible example of our commitment to deliver extraordinary value and a better communications experience for individuals and their social networks, across broadband-enabled devices, around the world” said Marc Lefar, Chief Executive Officer of Vonage Holdings Corp. “This is just the start.  In the future we will expand on this service to include a wide range of integrated voice and messaging services that change the way people communicate.”

How does the Vonage Mobile Application for Facebook work?

The Vonage Mobile application is simple.  It’s simple to download, and so simple to use that we have eliminated the need for dialing altogether.  To get started, the user:

  • Downloads the app from the iTunes Store, Android Market, the Vonage fan page on Facebook or vonage.com/talkfree.
  • Enters Facebook ID and password (one time only).
  • Views Facebook contacts after they are automatically loaded. They’ll be grouped by friends who can be called for free and friends available for instant messaging on Facebook. A Vonage logo will appear next to the names of friends who have downloaded the app.
  • Invites additional Facebook friends to get the app at the Vonage Fan Page on Facebook or vonage.com/talkfree.
  • Touches a friend’s name from the Call Free list to make a free call anywhere in the world; no need to be online.

Rings the phone for incoming calls, even if the application is closed.

Vonage Mobile for Facebook App Proving a Success

With tens of thousands of downloads during the first week of launch, keeping in touch for free whilst on the move clearly matters. Since it’s introduction, the application has stormed the download charts globally, appearing frequently in the top 10 app download charts in several international markets and is currently number one in several countries.

This new service continues Vonage’s commitment to be the leader in low-cost communication services that connect individuals and social networks through any broadband device, worldwide.  The application can be downloaded from the Android Market in 48 countries and from the iTunes Store in 87 countries.  Users who don’t have an unlimited data plan should check with their carrier to see if any charges apply.

To download the app, visit www.vonage.com/talkfree. To follow Vonage on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/vonage and to become a fan on Facebook go to www.Facebook.com/Vonage.

About Vonage

Vonage (NYSE: VG) is a leading provider of high-quality voice and messaging services over broadband networks. Our award winning technology serves approximately 2.4 million subscribers. We provide feature-rich, affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use.

Our Vonage World plan offers unlimited calling to landline phones in all cities and locations in more than 60 countries with popular features like call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail — for one low, flat monthly rate.

Vonage’s service is sold on the web and through regional and national retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and is available to customers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information about Vonage’s products and services, please visit http://www.vonage.com.

Vonage Holdings Corp. is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey. Vonage(R) is a registered trademark of Vonage Marketing LLC, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp.

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.



How to Start a Study Group as an Online Student

One of the benefits of being an online student is that you have extraordinary flexibility and the opportunity to dictate your own study times and even class participation, in some cases. But with all of that self-directed learning comes loneliness, too. Whether or not you were expecting to feel isolated is irrelevant: feeling frustrated because you can’t understand a problem on your own or finding it hard to stay motivated when you’re always learning by yourself can really hurt your morale and even your grades. Study groups are rampant on traditional college campuses, but they can also serve as valuable mood and grade boosters for online students.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow students. You should have an e-mail roster on your class page or that was sent to you at the beginning of the semester. If you have a general question about an assignment, throw it out to your classmates on a message board or feed, but if you’re interested in starting a study group, you can either contact everyone in your class or narrow it down to a few individuals. Once you’re a few weeks into your class, you might be able to figure out which students are on your level and which would be solid additions to your group. Look for students who regularly participate in chats and offer productive commentary, and who seem to be on-time with assignments or when logging on to class discussions. You can e-mail these students and just ask if they’d like to start a study group with you online. Keep your tone friendly, welcoming and flexible. You don’t want to come across as bossy or like you’re going to be keeping track of everyone’s work and participation in the group the same way a teacher would. Online learning is based on a cooperative, open philosophy, and your study group should also reflect that attitude.

Since you’re taking a class online, you know that you don’t need a single location to connect with teachers and students in order to learn. Study groups can also function from remote-access points, and you can also keep the same flexible schedule. Divide up work and supplemental readings, and then each of you can e-mail your outlines and notes to others in the group. Skype and video conferencing tools work well when you want to chat in real-time, and Google Groups is a good place to keep files, links and other materials. Hoot Suite has applications for Facebook and Twitter, letting you share information and keep track of assigned tasks on those social sites, too. Just as you’ve found success taking exams and answering your professors’ questions in an online format, you can get to know your classmates and benefit from each other’s differing perspectives through an online study group.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

How to Make the Best Use of Facebook When You’re a Student

It’s unofficially the world’s third largest country if we were to go by population alone – following China and India, Facebook has the world’s largest population base – 500 million users have signed up for this service in a new record of sorts. It’s a virtual world no doubt, but you have to admit that it’s one that’s the best connected. So no matter who you are and privacy concerns aside, it pays to hitch a ride on this bandwagon, because it sure is going places in the days to come. If you’re a student, you can make the most of Facebook not just to write offbeat status messages and leave cryptic and sarcastic comments on those of your friends, but also for more valuable purposes as well.

  • Establish a network: By network, I don’t mean one that comprises of your friends (or people who you barely know but who Facebook claims are your friends) but one that you can use for professional reasons. When you’re pursuing a career in a particular field, it’s important that you establish a network of contacts who can help you secure a job, offer recommendations, and help you move up the career ladder. Don’t make friends expecting them to help you out; rather, talk to people and get to know them before you ask for favors. Facebook is the perfect platform to do this because it’s neither too casual nor too formal.
  • Choose your friends carefully: Facebook is not a competition where you collect the maximum number of friends; it’s a social networking tool to interact with people you know well and acquaintances you’re familiar with. So don’t add people you don’t know to your list of friends, unless they’re common friends with someone you know. The problem with inviting strangers to be your “friend” on Facebook or accepting their invitations is that you’re boosting your risk of identity theft and leaving yourself open to unscrupulous people who use information on your profile against you in various ways.
  • Protect your privacy: Facebook is a safe network if you know how to protect your privacy. By default, most of your profile information is visible for all to see, so it’s best you check out the privacy options and apply them to your profile. Categorize your friends by groups – friends, family, close friends, acquaintances, work people and so on, and provide access accordingly. Remember, if you put up pictures or status messages or leave comments that are not kosher, they could come to bite you in the back when you’re looking for a job or trying to impress a potential employer.

For all its perceived fallacies, Facebook is one of the safest social networks there is simply because it allows you to decide your preferred privacy settings; and it’s the best way to network because it has the largest number of people online in the same place.

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degree. She welcomes your comments at her email id: anna.miller009@gmail.com

Tips for Online Students

Studying online can be a fantastic way to enhance your education, and it offers a number of advantages that traditional education doesn’t. However, there are a few things you should know before beginning an online course:

1. Make sure your schedule includes plenty of flexible time for studying.
The biggest advantage of online education is the fact that you can do it anywhere at any time, leaving you free to dictate your class schedule. However, many students who aren’t use to this freedom and minimal structure find themselves swallowed by the work when they should be able to manage it better than ever. The answer? Always leave yourself extra time as wiggle room to complete assignments. For instance, if you’ve got a paper due on Friday, plan to have it ready to turn in on Thursday. If you make the early deadline, you’ve got plenty of time to give it a polish or turn it in early and enjoy a small break. If the paper turns out to be more complicated than expected, you’ve got an extra day to get it done.

2. Be sure to speak up (so to speak).
Online courses are fantastic for students who enjoy working on their own, but they can feel daunting and isolating for many students accustomed to typical classroom settings where they can ask the teacher questions at any time. Fortunately, online courses allow for just as much student-teacher interaction as traditional ones. Between e-mail, instant messages, and online chat rooms, you can discuss your assignments with your instructor and classmates in order to make sure you understand the work. Never feel that just because you’re studying online means you need to be cut off from your colleagues.

3. Budget your time for work.
Being able to hold down a full-time job while attending school online is one of the key selling points of distance education, but that kind of juggling takes a certain amount of practice and a good deal of determination. A job doesn’t (usually) allow for the same kind of flexible scheduling you can find with an online school, so it’s smart to start off with a lower number of classes until you get the hang of balancing your academic and professional lives. Once you’ve got a good rhythm established, you can take on more classes without jeopardizing your career commitments.

4. Create a helpful study environment.
Basically, just because you can study at a coffee shop doesn’t mean you should. It’s important to set up a work space that’s clean, quiet, and designed to be used for long periods of reading, writing, and studying. Some students set up desks in their bedrooms, while others use spare rooms or the kitchen as a dedicated work area. Wherever it is, make sure it’s your space, meaning you can always use it when you want.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to a great online education. Good luck!

This guest post is contributed by Kate Cunningham, who writes on the topics of online university rankings. She welcomes your questions and comments at her email Id: cn.kate1 @ gmail.com.

Why e-learning programs are better than the traditional ones?

The vast use of web along with modern technologies has allowed e- learning programs to gain lot of popularity these days. These programs have got far reaching broadband accessibility and provide strong communication to initiate an effective educational model worldwide. In simpler words, e-learning programs are premium educational tools that enhance the knowledge of students as well as individuals by using sophisticated technologies.

e learning programs are different than the traditional ones as they don’t require a physical classroom or face to face interactions with teachers or mentors. Everything is done virtually.

No doubt that still majority of the students all over the world gain education through traditional schools, still you will find a large student population opting for various e-learning programs.This is the age of information and technology and this is a major reason why more preference is being given to e-learning programs. Due to the growing demand of online medias as a source of information, people are seeking online assistance to acquire customized relevant data. There are many benefits of enrolling in an e-learning program including:

• Flexibility

You have the full liberty to develop your own time table and exercise flexibility. You can work according to your needs. Since you are not time bound when you opt for these programs, thus you can adjust your time accordingly.

• Comfort

E-learning programs offer you a lot of comfort. You can easily learn by just sitting at home. You will just need a good internet connection and PC to work and you are ready for the e-learning program.

• Accessibility of study materials

You will find plenty of study material and e-books on the web. You can easily access them and study them that too, free of cost. Not only you will be exposed to a wide range of study material but also you will be able to access the study material in various languages.

• Online tests

Since tests are available online, you need not go to an examination center to give your exams. The convenience that comes into play when you opt for e-learning programs will impress you to a great extent.

• Round the clock help

You will find availability of experts round-the-clock to help you out.

There are many benefits of online learning programs. Apart from these major benefits, there are also various added benefits of online learning programs.

About the Author:

David is from Selftest Engine which is Exam Preparation Tool for IT Certifications such as CCNA Certification.

This post was submitted by John.