Six ways e-learning can help enhance performance of employees

It is often said that the process of learning has no end, since knowledge is infinite. Yet many of us tend to become complacent about our knowledge and skills after acquiring a job. No wonder then that there is so much investment by successful corporate houses in training and development of their manpower to constantly assist and motivate their staff to continue the life-long process of learning.

This is where comprehensive e-learning methodologies come in. They help organisations ensure that their staff is on top of the skills they need, as per market trends. Corporates are now adopting technical and custom-made e-learning facilities that act as a learning reinforcement and alsonimprove learning effectiveness.

Here’s a more concise look at six specific ways in which e-learning adds value to employee training, upskilling and management.

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Cloud reaches everywhere

Uploading the learning module on cloud servers ensures that it can be shared digitally with every member of the organisation. Regular updates, comments and feedback can be gathered, stored and disseminated on the spot as well. Employees can carry out the learning process simultaneously with the job, thereby not hampering the workflow. Cloud-based learning platforms are also useful for employees who are on a leave yet want to remain abreast of the latest developments in the industry.

Customised e-learning

With e-learning, it is very easy to customise the modules according to the need of an individual. The learning process can be paced in a way that every member can compare her/his progress with the ideal time taken to understand a concept. Post classroom training, learners can still access online courses and specific job-aid videos to add more precision to their work.

For perfect sales pitch

E-learning modules are highly effective with sales personnel. Online courses on product training can act as good refreshers, and help describe the product better in a more cohesive and detailed manner to the buyers. Updated information regarding the competitor’s strategies in a certain domain can be quickly communicated to the sellers, who can then modify their pitch accordingly.

Quizzes and questions for a quick revision

A few e-learning providers have created their modules in a manner that allows personnel to recall the main pressure points regarding a particular product or process easily. At the click of a button, crisp questions and engaging quizzes comprehensively summarise the module. Such learning alleviates the sense of confidence of an employee regarding the task at hand, and acts as a strong support system.

Virtual study room for discussions

Discussion forums on e-learning platforms are great spots for keen learners to compare their knowledge base, share opinions and views, discuss problems, and have an overall healthy sense of competition. The presence of online leaderboards and top performers bring in the jostle of a competitive, academic atmosphere. Combined with the urgency of being the best at your job, this feature brings out the best in any employee.

SCORM model for systematic learning

The Sharable Content Object Reference Model or SCORM, an e-learning format on which most of the e-learning available in the market today is prepared, ensures that the learner experiences content in a standardised way. It allows content creators to build highly engaging experiences, all the while capturing rich data about every interaction.

An e-learning platform that can create engaging content comprising videos, animation, graphics etc., which motivates the employees to keep learning about their trade can work wonders for the development of a business. It also helps to act as an evaluatory mechanism for the eventual process of promotion or appraisals and facilitates identification of potential executives, managers and directors in the organisation. Corporate e-learning has indeed emerged as a powerful tool for organisations to identify the prospective leaders.

 

Convert PPTs Into Interactive E-Learning Courses

Corporate training has evolved over the years and eLearning has catered its part by helping it immensely. Many organizations are taking a step forward to implement digital learning as their training strategy as opposed to instructor-led training. Having said that, the Learning and Development Managers have to adapt rapid eLearning for immediate training needs. And converting the existing training materials such as PowerPoint presentations into an eLearning course can be the smart move instead of developing the content from scratch.

With arrival of HTML5 authoring tools, eLearning conversion for multi-device learning has become relatively easy. Nonetheless, we have to use sound instructional design strategies to redesign the existing training material to make eLearning courses more dynamic, engaging, and interactive.

we will walk you through step-by-step procedure to convert your PowerPoint presentations to interactive eLearning courses that can be uploaded in a Learning Management System.

#Step 1: Sequence and Structure the Content

Analyse the content and define learning objectives. Amongst all the PowerPoint presentations that are available, identify the list of slides you want to convert. Arrange those slides in a logical flow and further divide the topics according to the requirements and make sure the entire flow aligns with the learning objectives. Proper content sequencing helps you come up with the course structure aligned with the learning outcomes.

Centre to launch 4 digital initiatives to promote e-learning

President Pranab Mukherjee will launch the initiatives this week. The initiative include the launch of Swayam — an indigenously designed massive open online course (MOOC), Swayam Prabha — a project for transmitting high-quality educational content through 32 Direct-to-Home channels, National Digital Library – online collection of over 6.5 million books, National Academic Depository – to authenticate all certificates issued by institutions across India.

The Central Government is going to launch four major initiatives to push e- learning in higher education.

President Pranab Mukherjee will launch the initiatives this week. The initiative include the launch of Swayam — an indigenously designed massive open online course (MOOC), Swayam Prabha — a project for transmitting high-quality educational content through 32 Direct-to-Home channels, National Digital Library – online collection of over 6.5 million books, National Academic Depository – to authenticate all certificates issued by institutions across India.

“These initiatives will increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in the higher education from 24.5 (2015-16) to 30 by 2020,” said a ministry of human resource development (MHRD) official.

“The modalities on granting degrees to students undertaking online courses are still under deliberation,” the official added.

According to the MHRD, the students registered with recognised institutes would have the option of earning online credit through programme running on the platform. Through Swayam Prabha, the government would air new content of four hours every day. It would be repeated six times a day.

“The content would be mainly for students from Class IX to XII and those who are preparing for admission into IITs,” the official added.

Nearly 1,000 vice-chancellors of central, state, deemed and private universities along with directors of premier institutes such as Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were present at the launch.

Permanently Disrupting Education. With Smartphones

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The concept of disruption is an apt one in our fluid, digital, and almost destructively social world.

In response to the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s, it’s not surprising to see that trend continue now that technology has caught up with our inherently rebellious ways. The Information Age is as full of change as it is spectacle, with access an integral component.

Access for everyone to everything, a principal the Khan Academy is built on.

While on a macro and truly global level we’re from far from reaching this utopian view of universal accessibility to platforms, information, and thus opportunity, the groundswell is indeed pushing for that.

Of course, with this kind of access comes disruption. Formal education is built on principles of standardization, uniformity, and compliance. The lack of diversity in proficiency assessment is rivaled only by the relative apathy of many learners, perhaps aware of how little control they actually have over what they learn, when they learn it, and what they do with that information.

Modern smartphones have the chance to change all of this.

Disruption isn’t always a comfortable process.  The root rupt means to break¸ after all. Essentially by disrupting, one is breaking a pattern or system. In lieu of incremental change in public education, and in spite of a tsunami of technology outside of classrooms, learning environments aren’t far removed from where they were when Cassius Clay was disrupting how America thought of sports figures, or Billy Jean King notions of gender performance.

In classrooms across the globes, learners are being educated in information-scarce environments. A common counter-argument is that the students simply “can’ta process” that much information.

Can’t analyze.

Can’t evaluate.

Can’t synthesize.

If this is true, is the proper response to stop trying—to limit the amount of information, and to shackle the relative access to information?

In the pocket of learner’s everywhere are devices that offer them access to recorded human history, but to adhere to patterns, systems, and protocol, we insist that these “channels” be muted. Put away. Out of sight.

Of course, learners are human, so they rebel. They text. They facebook. They tweet. They mock the systems that are restraining them., not because they fully understand that restraint, but they sense it.

Through smartphone implantation, power, pace, and patterns are decentralized, from institutions and educators to individual learners. While raising-your-hand-via-text is one way to look at it, here’s another: stop hording pathways to information. Stand aside and help them sift—help them analyze, evaluate, and synthesize.

There are many factors at work here that offer potential.

Factors

1. Access

While iPads are much ballyhooed for their planet-in-your-lap potential, smartphones have the majority of the same potential, but with far increased mobility. Learners can access other learners, information, experts, and mentors at any time—their own pace, through their own chosen social media platforms, in a way that is comfortable and useful to them. This not only reduces the constant need to teach procedural knowledge, but provides a base of prior knowledge that offers at initial access to every task a learner can be expected to complete. Every time, they’d at least have an idea where to start.

2. Native Tech

Rather than insisting on school-provided hardware and software, students themselves will use the technology that is native to them—the phones, the apps, and the mobile operating systems that they use day in, and day out.

And when there is an app they need but don’t have, it’s imminently affordable to address at home. Further, by bringing these mobile platforms home, parents and families are immediately brought into the conversation on a more consistent basis. The learner’s primary learning tool in the classroom is available in the palm of the hands of the parents.

3. Transparency

Perhaps the most potent factor in this disruption would be in increased transparency. While administrators everywhere undoubtedly read these ideas and shudder at the concept of a students “facebooking” during “Class,” reconsider the notion of class. In a digital environment, everything can be made transparent—not only for learners, but for teachers, families, and community. It would no longer be entirely up to an overworked assistant principal to police “social media drama.” By giving every student a can of spray paint (smartphone), the graffiti should be visible to all.

Barriers

Of course, there are barriers. This is disruption after all, not slow, top-down, organized change.

1.       Policy

The above ideas would violate 99% of school policies ever written. The response, of course, is not new policies, but new thinking and learning models. New notions of family involvement. Disruption doesn’t wait for ideal conditions, it forces change.

2. Disparity in Technology

Not every student has a cell phone, much less a smartphone. And those that do often have very different hardware—some powerful and elegant, others rickety and crude. This is not a disparity that needs muting—this is reality, and itself not a powerful counter-argument to the use of smartphones in the classroom. How much do used Android smartphones cost compared to iPads or laptops?

3. Privacy

With issues of bullying, identify theft, and other digital dangers, open smartphone access for minors during “school” sounds like a nightmare.

And given modern formal learning settings that don’t easily accommodate students having unmitigated access to all that can be made digital, but therein lies the rub: giving students “keys” to modern communication and information sources would shred old paradigms of what was happening in “classroom” beyond recognition, not to mention clarifying the sheer impossibility of policing it all to begin with at an institutional level. The hubris!

Conclusion
Undoubtedly, placing an Android or iOS device into the hands of minors doesn’t sound particularly useful, much less pedagogical or transformative. There would be countless barriers for implementation. And that’s the point of disruption—to reset power distribution and patterns to create new circumstances.

For personalized learning, community involvement, and digital integration to full occur, it will have to be in the hands of learners, with re-considered roles for teachers, community mentors, and academic institutions.

The tool for starting a revolution is sitting quietly in the pocket of millions of learners everywhere.

7 Ways To Prevent Cyberbullying

 

 

 

If a child is expressing anger or anxiety after going online, it might be one of the signs he/she is being cyber-bullied.

Cyber-bullying is becoming a burning issue both for parents and teachers. Kids spend around 3 hours online and use cell phones 80% of the time, making it the most common medium for online bullying.

Cyber-bullying is the same as traditional bullying but if traditional bullying stops, when the school ends, for online bullying there is almost no escape. Unfortunately, many kids torment and harass each other using the internet via computers and smartphones. So you have a full picture, we listed top cyber-bullying facts and ways to prevent it below. Some of the preventive measures, like using an iPhone or Android parental control app, may not go down well with your kids, but when it comes to child safety, you really can’t let a little protest and a few tears weaken your resolve.

7 Surprising Cyber-bullying Statistics

  • 45% of children admit they have experienced bullying online
  • More than 40% say they have become the bullies’ target
  • 70% admit they have witnessed cyber-bullying
  • 50% of children admit to be scared of their online bullies
  • 92% of cyber-bullying attacks are held through chatting and commenting on social media websites
  • Cyber-bullying victims are 3 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide
  • Only 2 in 10 victims will inform their parents or teachers of online attacks

McAfee chief privacy officer firstly reported about the problem in 2012. In her interview she claimed that 1 in 10 kids are experiencing cyber-bullying without parents knowing. If you are suspecting your child is being bullied online, below is a list of things you can do to stop or prevent it.

7 Ways To Prevent Cyber-bullying

  1. Talk

Every psychologist will tell you that the best way to help your child or student is to have a conversation first. Be patient and ask a child about the problem in general: what is cyber-bullying, does he/she know someone who is being bullied, what children should do if notice acts of bullying. This way you will see how much your child is involved in the situation and which side he/she is on.

  1. Use celebrity card

Modern children are the same as we used to be. They choose role models and follow them in every way. Now they choose singers, sportsmen and actors. Nowadays, a lot of celebrities are supporting cyber-bullying victims. Many of them post numerous comments against online bulling on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Demi Lovato Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are the most popular teen singers who talk about this problem out loud.

  1. Block risky websites

As parents, it is much easier for you to protect your kids from cyber-bullying than real-world bullying. You personally can’t do much to eliminate the risk of bullies picking on your youngsters in class, cafeteria, and other such places where you aren’t or can’t be present. But when it comes to cyber-bullying, you can effectively eliminate the threat on your own by blocking access to websites that are notorious for their failure to provide a safe environment to your kids, like ask.fm for instance. Simply use an iPhone or Android parental control to filter risky websites on your children’s phones so that they’re unable to access them. Don’t expect your children to understand your concern or appreciate the measure. Only remember that you’re doing it for their safety and that one day, they’ll thank you for it.

  1. Engage parents and youth

Create a community for adults and pupils to send a unified message against cyber-bullying. Establish a school safety committee that will control and discuss the problems of online bullying. You can create policies and rules, including cyber-bullying reporting system. It is important to make the main objectives known to parents, school and children.

  1. Build a positive climate

School staff can do a big deal to prevent cyber-bullying.  As a teacher you can use staff and parents meetings and even send newsletters. Use your school website to create a page and forum, where parents can discuss the problem. You can also engage bullies and victims by giving them mutual tasks, so they can try to see each other from a different perspective.

  1. Volunteer in the community

As a parent, you can prevent bullying by working in the community. With your experience on the ground, appropriate strategies can help identify the victims and redirect bullies’ behavior.

  1. Restore self-respect

Remember that the ultimate goal is to protect and restore the victim’s self respect. Act thoroughly; fast decisions can only make things worse. Talk to someone about the problem before responding. Collect the evidence and join with parents or teachers to figure out the possible best choice to stop cyber-bullying among children.

 

For Helicopter Parents That Help Too Much

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We’ve worked a long grueling day only to come home and find out our child has a project due the next day. We’ve argued and threatened punishment over said project. We’ve been too tired to argue over said project. We’ve sent them to bed while we “helped” our child on said project. What parent hasn’t, right?

But as “the grader” we also recognize their work from your work. We work with your child every day. We see their work. We know their handwriting. We know how they think, much like you do. But different.In a way, we are an extension of you when it comes to recognizing your child for what makes them them. So before you start that next project, here are some things to think about–6 tips from teachers to parents to help them pass of their work as that of their child.

6 Tongue-In-Cheek Tips For Helicopter Parents That Help Too Much

1. Use their handwriting–or rather, let them use theirs

We know their handwriting as well as you do. So at least have them recopy the information in their own handwriting if you’re not going to type it out. Think of this as their punishment for waiting to the last minute, for making you “help” with the project, for depriving you of your R&R.

2. Mistakes, done well, can imply authenticity

Ease up on the grammar. When was the last time you read your child’s work? Let me reassure you, grammar (subject/verb agreement, homophones/homographs, and run-on sentences) keep us busy all year long. Even with their progress, there’s always more to do. So think imperfect sentences that show promise, but shortcomings–nothing awful, but the syntax should parallel that of their peers’, not Shakespeare’s.

Or better yet, have them paraphrase what you wrote. Your planning and their polish. Teamwork!

Pro Tip: To avoid the above, Google “student writing samples” to get some ideas of the kinds of errors to include.

Pro Tip #2: Pro Tip: Do not overdo this part–it can backfire.

3. Use their vocabulary level, not yours

This isn’t a college level assignment. You won’t impress us with your vocabulary–well you might, but that’s bad. Stunning vocabulary and spelling and editing overall only makes us more suspicious. Or proud–depends who did it. So, refer to that text language image you saved on Pinterest a few months ago and add in some creative letter combinations along the way.

Look at it as a way to save you time while you’re writing.

4. Don’t get too ambitious with materials

Now we know you are dying to bust out the crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, and glue but let us assure you all you will need is a pencil and paper- lined paper that is. While color is often a requirement for projects–they make bulletin boards look better–students will commonly forego the points just to “be done” with the project.

And copy paper? Who wants to get up and walk to where that is located? Lined paper will be just fine. If you can’t stop yourself from adding color, go with markers. No student would be caught dead with a crayon or colored pencil. Markers are where it’s at these days.

Also, definitely be careful with the 3D printers, wearable technology, and the like. Expensive, and the ambition can be a dead giveaway if it doesn’t match that of the student’s.

5. Be careful with names and titles

Whose paper is this? Don’t write their full name. A first name only will suffice. They are the only “Johnny” in the world, right? And the class period and date? Now you’re just sending red flags all over the project. A creative title! While it’s also often a required element for the project- it never happens.

As for titles, think simple. If the project is on the topic of myths, just title it “My Myth”; an essay on Abraham Lincoln? “My Essay on Abraham Lincoln” works. The same Lincoln essays titled “The Great Emancipator’s Enduring Relevance In A Digital World” makes us wonder.

6. Don’t deliver it to class yourself

At least them drag it on the bus; adds a grit-factor, and can “wear” the project/paper/assignment some to make it look more authentic.

You should have plenty of time to practice these tips as we head into the crunch time of the year for project completion. Keep in mind we’ve been there. Many of us probably do it out of learned behavior; our parents did it for us, so we do it for our children, and the cycle carries on. But even with the best of intentions, the note home asking if you “helped” will be just as awkward for us as it will be for you.

With love and admiration to all parents from all teachers, keep fighting the good fight.

Social Media Gains Momentum in Online Education

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Results from one survey suggest online instructors are more likely than on-campus instructors to use social media for both personal and professional reasons.

In his University of Hawaii online course, Introduction to e-Learning, associate professor Michael Menchaca requires his students to introduce themselves to each other by creating 15-second videos on Instagram.

Later in the semester, students “meet” to discuss their group projects using Google Hangouts. Twitter is popular in his classes, too, enabling students to share resources and engage in discussions, Menchaca says.

These are just two examples of the social media tools Menchaca uses to foster communication among his students.

“We’ve had online learning for quite a long time  – since the 1990s, when it started to become popular – but the inclusion of social media is something that’s relatively new,” Menchaca says. “A lot of us are starting to use it more. I guess we’re still tinkering around and trying things.”

There isn’t much precise data available on social media’s presence in the realm of online education, experts say. But what does exist indicates that professors of both online and in-person classes are more open to incorporating social media into class material.

“About five years ago, it was very much experimental, very much an ‘I’m going to go out there and be a pioneer’ mentality,” says Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group, which conducts research on technology’s impact on higher education. “It wasn’t necessarily thought out. Now, the more established faculty, those using it more, have begun to think of it as one more tool in the arsenal.”

Faculty who teach online courses are more likely than those who don’t to use social media for both personal and professional reasons, according to a 2013 Babson and Pearson Learning Solutions survey. About 41 percent of professors in online and face-to-face classes have used social media in their teaching, the survey says.

The use ​of social media in online learning varies very widely among professors, Seaman says. But, the tools remain a natural way for students to communicate given their prevalence today – even for adult students, says Abbie Brown, professor in the department of mathematics, science and instructional technology education ​at East Carolina University.

“People entering into online education are probably a bit more open to and experienced in using electronic social media,” he says.

Beyond traditional social media platforms, learning management systems that have a social media component, including Blackboard and Moodle, are also common in online learning, says Bethany Smith, director of the media and education technology resource center at North Carolina State University’s College of Education.

“We mimic kind of what Facebook is doing, but in a learning environment,” Smith says.

Seaman, with Babson Survey Research Group, points to two main benefits of using social media in an online classroom: the sense of community it fosters among students, and the ability for students and professors to share information with each other.

Jonah Preising, a student in Menchaca’s class, agrees.

“Social media definitely has a place in education, and for me that place was getting information, even in aspects of research, and in finding emerging trends,” says Preising, who is pursuing a master’s in educational technology.

Linda Weiser Friedman, a statistics and computer information systems professor at the Zicklin School of Business at CUNY—Baruch College, uses blog sites like WordPress and Blogger to facilitate discussion among students.

​For instance, in the first or second week of her Principles of New Media class, students create their own blogs and then post a paragraph or two each week on an assigned topic. Students also comment on their classmates’ work and give each other feedback, creating a kind of “conversation in cyberspace,” Friedman says.

Friedman adds that sites like Twitter also facilitate conversation, though she added that she believes professors “aren’t quite sure what to do with Twitter.” She did note, however, that professors have started using Twitter in hybrid courses by beginning a discussion in class, showing the post to the students and then continuing the conversation outside the classroom, designating a creative hashtag so that it’s easy to find the relevant tweets.

[source : teachthought.com]

3 Ways Personal Learning Networks Are Evolving

3 Ways Personal Learning Networks Are Evolving

The concept of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a familiar concept these days. Yet, the nature of Personal Learning Networks is evolving as the range of tools available to support them increases, and our rapport with those tools becomes more sophisticated.

The aim of this post is to outline the changes that appear to be taking shape, and to offer some practical strategies for teachers to supercharge their Personal Learning Networks.

Evolution 1: Sharing is becoming more agile

Agile is a concept that has had a significant impact on the software development community. At it’s core, it is about getting products and ideas out quickly, so that their potential value can tested and feedback gathered to improve them. The products and ideas are then iterated and the cycle continues.

A similar phenomenon is beginning to happen in Personal Learning Networks spheres. Educators are shipping their ideas before they are perfect, and encouraging others feedback and build upon those ideas. PLNs are exhibiting a hive mentality with a common purpose at their heart. Making your Personal Learning Networks more agile is a must.

3 Ways to make your PLN more authentic & agile

1. Write shorter posts or otherwise create more shareable content more often
2. Don’t hold back from sharing half-formed ideas; contextualized properly, this is where Personal Learning Networks can hit their sweet spot. It’s also a part of a growth mindset!
3. Build on other peoples ideas and take them in your own direction while communicating who influenced you and how.

 

Evolution 2: Learning is about challenging yourself

In the past people were content to have a Personal Learning Network that agreed with their views and understood their perspectives. Nowadays, we seeing people follow and interact with those who offer different perspectives and can challenge their viewpoints.

This requires courage, but extending you Personal Learning Network to incorporate people you disagree with will force you to develop a more open mind, and a more robust personal position. In short, it’s a stronger learning experience.

3 Ways to challenge yourself within your PLN

1. Follow people on Twitter who’s ideas you disagree with and don’t always understand
2. Engage in debate, but make sure to go for the ball, not the player
3. Challenge your own assumptions in public

Evolution 3: Personal is becoming professional

In the next few years we’re going to be talking much more about Professional Learning Networks. The differences are subtle yet powerful. One is that professional learning networks are more focussed on the purposes rather than the compositions of their communities. Collaboration is about making change happen at the societal rather than individual rather.

Personal leaning still happens, but as a by-product. Another difference is the role that identity plays in Professional Learning Networks. Educators are finding more sophisticated ways of representing themselves and their reputations online.

3 ways to professionalize your PLN

While a more familiar route may be to personalize your professional learning network, the reverse also applies. Here’s how you can begin to professionalize your Personal Learning Network.

1. Figure out your unique value offering, and build your Personal Learning Network around that
2. Collaborate with others to make change happen as well as share ideas
3. Use multiple platforms to build a richer and more distributed identity.

Pulling It All Together

Personal Learning Networks are here to stay, and they will continue to evolve. The most important thing is to muster to courage to jump it and experiment. Personal Learning Networking is as much about your mindset as it is about the action you take.

What changes have you noticed in Personal Learning Networks? Please share your ideas in the comments – I’d love to know what you think.

[source : teachthought.com]