Global Learn Day October 6th and th 2018

Meet Our Sponsor: Online Training Institute

We have been taking time to meet our wonderful presenters for Global Learn Day 2018. However, today we will take a look at who makes this whole odyssey of education possible!

In 1997, the Internet was a brave new world that many still new little about. It showed potential for great promise but few could have predicted how it would change our every day life. The idea of online worlds and social media were still in their infancy. Online shopping a still developing platform.

There was one man, though, who saw the future and grabbed the opportunity to shape it. Dr. Terrance Redding envisioned the prospect of learning any time, any where in an effort to support lifelong learning and professional development. While others were trepidatious of the fast moving digital age, Dr. Redding saw it’s potential to change lives.

As Redding was setting up the first servers for his new venture, Online Training Institute, another captivating idea was setting sail. Global Learn Day launched its maiden voyage as Online Training Institute (OLT) was welcoming it’s first virtual student.

learn online with OLT

 

As Internet serendipity would have it, Redding came onboard the GLD clipper and followed along as it circumnavigated the world through virtual ports of call. By the end of the voyage, Redding was hosting his own port of call broadcast to the world.

In the beginning there was Global Learn Day 1997
Launch Team

Over the past 21 years, OLT has continued to grow and expand.

we have been a leader in online education for Insurance Pre-Licensing courses, Pre- Licensing Exam Prep courses, and Continuing Education courses.   We are dedicated to finding new ways to help students learn over the internet and pioneering virtual classroom teaching strategies that actually work for our students.   Our focus on excellence in these areas has led to us having some of the highest passrates in the Industry for our Insurance Pre-licensing courses.

Aside from growth, another constant has been their involvement and support of the Global Learn Day project. Twenty one years later, OLT is the underwriting sponsor of the worldwide event.

Dr. Redding has gone from enjoying the view on his virtual deckchair to manning the helm of the ship. We are very thankful for the support that OLT lends to Global Learn Day. Without their vision and desire to further the project, we would not be able to bring this event to you each year.

We look forward to casting off once again on our trusty clipper ship with all our friends aboard this October 6th-7th. Thank you OLT for continuing help education unite the world. Hope to have each of you along for the ride!

 

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Stretch your budget

Stretching Your Student Budget To The Max

Student debt in the US has skyrocketed to over $1.3 trillion in the past few years, with average student fees amounting to around $25,620 per year and top-tiered universities often setting individuals back around $60,000 a year. Education is a secure investment; as noted by U.S. News’ Deirdre Connelly, “…you don’t drop your most promising product simply to cut costs; which is essentially what we as a nation would be doing if we fail to provide the educational opportunities needed to secure a prosperous economic future.” Although it is a big challenge to make it through your college years without succumbing to financial stress, there are many seemingly small steps to take that can make a big difference in terms of providing relief.

stretch your student budget

Picking the right financial institution

A recent publication from Quartz, relying on information provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, found that one of the most common complaints on behalf of student borrowers is a lack of flexibility when it comes to repayment options. From the time you decide to take out a loan, it is vital to conduct research into different payment options and possible refinancing or consolidation options for students should the need arise. You can also look into other options to pay off debts in a more convenient way. If the topic of finance is not one you are comfortable navigating, consider enlisting the help of family members who specialize in areas such as loans and similar transactions or think about hiring a financial advisor for this specific purpose.

Stretch your student budget to the max

Technological help

There’s an app for that… including your student loan. In fact, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to budgeting for everything from entertainment to groceries, and college supplies. Some commonly downloaded apps for this purpose include Mint (which collects to your bank account and allows you to set many different budgets), Check (which ensures you remember to pay all your bills) and TextbookMe (which compares prices of textbooks so you can pay less for the same thing).

Keeping credit low and income high

Repaying your student loan is challenging but doable; it is still possible to have all you dreamed of: a home, a car, stability… whenever your loan isn’t inflated by unnecessary expenses. Try to rely on a debit card alone and if you do have credit cards, take a good look at the interest charged by each, ensuring those with higher interest rates are paid off first.

Research indicates that roughly a quarter of college students work full-time and study full-time, while around 40% of undergraduate students and 76% of graduate students work at least 30 hours a week. This can be tough, particularly if you are a parent and are struggling to get ahead. Still, the pay gap between college graduates and others are at a record high, which is inspiration enough to keep forging ahead.

Making the most of your student job involves cutting on luxuries, keeping a firm eye on your budget with the help of student apps, and trying your best to work while you study, as hard as it may be. If the need arises, consider part-time study; paying the bills and refraining from sliding further in debt should always be a top priority.

Guest posted by Jane West

This post contains affiliate links. Shopping through these links provides vital support for the Global Learn Day project. Thank you!
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Education will unite the world

How Education Will Unite The World–Part II

As a`method of preservation, humans have a natural trepidation or down right fear of the unknown. We seek to stick with what is easy, familiar, and safe. Stepping beyond the confines of our tiny sphere of familiarity takes initiative, determination, and gumption.

 

 

Jumping out of a plane only takes one step, but it is an insurmountable step for most. The leap, the fear, the rush of adrenaline, then the freedom of flying. Soaring peacefully above the earth, experiencing a one of a kind feeling of release.

 

The same can be said of taking a leap into another culture, language, or society. There is uneasiness and the fight against a will that would rather stand back, retreat and hide in the comfort of home. Then in a sudden leap of determination, all holds are thrown off and the explorer plunges into the unforeseen depths of a new life.

 

Exhale and drift, there is new freedom in the gentle decent.

 

Education Opens Doors

 

Education cannot take the leap for you, however through learning doors are open. Learning a new language leaves the fledgling polyglot changed forever. He not only can now speak to an entire segment of the world’s population that where closed off from him before; the nuances of culture, history, and lifestyle are revealed as he lives the language.

How Education Will Unite The World

 

However, language is not the only learning that opens doors.Coding opens the door of technology. Literary analysis opens the doors of literature and language. Science opens the door to the natural world. Handwriting opens the door to records for the future and communication in the present.

 

Commitment to lifelong learning, swings wide door after door, making the learner not just a more capable person, but a citizen of ever increasing spheres of influence and change.

 

Education Breaks Down Walls

Winding between two neighborhoods in Belfast and other Northern Ireland cities are peace lines. Up to 25 feet tall in spots, these “lines” are actually looming walls. Separating communities of people that over generations have maintained separate lives, despite their similarities.

 

The Peace Lines prevent “trouble.” They signify at clear indicator of where to stay to avoid the menacing other side. Within the walls there is safety to go about everyday life. But what is it about the stone houses on the other side of the wall that makes their inhabitants so terrifying?

Over 400 years of occupation and resistance has left it scars on the beautiful island. The inhabitants, generations upon generations away from the original conflict, have a deep seated fear and anger toward each other, yet they have more in common with every passing year!

Education is the inroad that can bring these groups together. Whether the political standings ever change, the next generation can be raised knowing more about the other side and fostered in a spirit of cooperation and peace.

Building Bridges

It is not just physical walls that education can topple. There are numerous divisions of class, race, ability, geography, religion, and ideology that with enlightenment can be leveled. The world is shrinking before our eyes, intercontinental connections have never been so readily available, and the reach of communication technology is growing every day.

 

Learning about history, culture, language, and leadership have never been more vital. Our technological age points us to a future that is more than we could have imagined even 10 years ago. However, we must also look back. We must learn our past to effectively live our future as one planet, one people.

Projects like Global Learn Day open the door, knock down the wall, and build the bridge so that we may all learn from each other. As we learn, our differences decrease and our interconnectedness solidifies.

Would you like to teach the world and be a part of uniting the world through education? Please join our voyage today! We are seeking partners, presenters, and participants for our next grand voyage across the globe on an expedition of education and unity!

Will you join us on our mission?

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language learning

5 Ways to Learn A Language in Your Spare Time

Knowing a second language is a great asset. It can lead to better career opportunities and improve your brain function. However, learning to speak a new language can seem overwhelming. Most people do not have days or even hours to spend learning their target language.

 

The good news is that you can learn a new language without quitting your day job. By integrating some easy strategies into your spare time, you will become bilingual in no time. Do you have 20 minutes a day, or even just five? If the answer is yes, you have exactly what you need to reach you language learning goals.

 

1

Duolingo

There’s an app for everything today. Language learning is no different. While many promise results, few are as comprehensive and accessible as Duolingo.

 

Duolingo covers all the bases of language learning–reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This gamified platform keeps you motivated and engaged. Set a daily goal and track your progress.

 

This is microlearning at its finest and it really works!

 

2

Watch videos in target language

Watching your favorite television show may be the way you unwind at the end of a long day. Television and movies is an excellent way to learn a language because you will learn by immersion, the same way babies learn language.

 

Video streaming services such as Amazon offer a variety of movies and television series in many languages. (Listening to radio or a podcast is also a great way to learn, however having the visuals of a show really helps in the learning process) Find one you enjoy and start to learn without trying.

 

3

Join a Facebook group

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a resource for connecting people around the world. Aside from learning the latest news and marketing your business, Facebook can be a way to learn new skills, like a new language. Many groups exist for language learners to interact with each other and practice.

 

This method takes only minutes a day, but give you real world experience for free, without leaving your home. Simply search for a conversation group in your target language, for instance “French learners conversation group.”

 

4

Play a game

Learning should be fun! Playing a game, whether virtual or a good old fashioned board game is a perfect way to practice language skills and pick up new vocabulary. Try playing a classic, like Uno, but use your new color and number vocabulary. Or, find a game produced in the target language and play your way to your learning goal.

 

5

Read in the target language

It may seem that reading is something that comes late in language learning, however reading in the target language is the best way to learn vocabulary in context and also develop an understanding of grammar.

 

Start small, as in kids books, and work your way up from there. Reading for just a short time each day will really boost your learning efforts and give you greater confidence in conducting conversation. It will also teach you everyday language and cultural norms.

 

Do you have a goal of learning a new language in 2018? Have any tips to share?

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase through these links, a small compensation will go toward supporting Global Learn Day!

 

 


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Technology and the global connection

How Technology Can Unite and Divide Us

We are living in a time of rapid change. The technology that is revolutionary today is being replaced tomorrow. Technology is changing how we live our lives, plan our futures, and build relationships. In this digital age, we may wonder where it is heading.

As Amazon unveils its cashless store where shoppers just grab and go, former executives to some of the largest technology and social media companies continue to speak out about the problems these new innovations can cause.

What is the answer? Is technology ripping apart the world, or are the advances the way to finally unite us all?

Technology can unit or divid eus by Global Learn Day

How Is Technology Uniting Us?

Over 7.4 billion people live on Earth speaking 7,106 languages. For centuries, connecting with others in distant parts of the globe was arduous and even dangerous. Letters could be written but would take months to reach their destination. Even finding a contact in a far off land was a monumental task.

As the technology of travel improved, interconnectedness was established. Crossing the ocean or flying to the other side of the world took hours, not month or years. Postal routes became well organized and mail could seamlessly be transported from a home mailbox to virtually anywhere on the planet.

The advent of computers and the Internet changed anything. Messages could circumnavigate the globe in minutes, even seconds. A new era of global relationships began. Now finding someone in the far reaches of the world became as easy as a click of a button.

Events, such as Global Learn Day, became possible. We are very thankful for the technology that can unite us in ways that were just science fiction a generation ago. (Still no flying cars, but we can virtually meet face to face!)

How Has Technology Divided Us?

With all these advances the possibilities have grown and our ability to experience people, places, and events has reached further and further distances. However, at the same time the connects at home has broken down.

The fabric of socialization and community has moved from block parties to virtual communities and Facebook groups. The art of conversation is being lost, and despite our growing interdependence and resources, more people feel isolated than before.

Is Social Media Tearing Us Apart?

The dangers and disadvantages of social media have been in the spotlight recently. Cyber-bullying has created a suicide crisis among children, some as young as 8. Social media and smart phone addiction are on the rise. Face to face interaction, even with video conferencing technology, is becoming rare.

As technology advances and infiltrates every aspect of or lives, the connectivity that provides for a healthy and stable lifestyle has waned. As we stare into our screens and build up our networks, more and more people feel isolated and alone. A 2016 Harris Poll showed that 72% of American regularly feel lonely, one third of those suffer from loneliness at least once a week.

Is social media to blame? The answer isn’t an easy yes or no. The phenomenon of social media certainly has its downfalls. Coupled with smartphone addiction, the future may look grim.

The fact is that social media has the power to rip us apart but it also is an amazing vehicle for collaboration. In building up global connects, we must also invest our time and energy locally, being a force for good in our homes, communities, and countries.

The upcoming generation is the first to have grown up on social media. Their birth was announced via Facebook, their birthdays and school projects planned via Pinterest, and they “meet” their friends not on the sidewalk but in Snapchat. Setting up healthy boundaries and teaching good digital citizenship to these young people is vital. It isn’t enough for them to know how to use the technology, they must learn how to use it well and for good.

How Do We Go Forward with Technology?

Technology is here to stay and is so very ingrained in daily life, it would be catastrophic for it to be swept away.  As the shortcomings and dangers of this brave new world continue to be learned and fill the headlines, we must work to take what is good from our new found freedoms and continue to build a world of connections.

Education can unite the world, education not just taught by technology but education of how to effectively use it. As we build a global community, we must also encourage the development and preservation of our local communities. Teaching children how to reach out across the world wide web, but still interact and build friendships in real life. This is an arduous task and one that we are still very much learning how to do.

With great power comes great responsibility. We are at a crossroads for the increasing power of modern technology and social media. How will we use this power? It is the responsibility of each of us to wield it for good!

The human connection will always be the true tie that binds us close at home and across continents and oceans. Want to join our discussion on the future of education and global connections? Become a member of our Friends of Global Learn Day Facebook group.

 

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E-learning in India leading to a better future

How Is E-learning in India Creating a Better Economic Future?

India is an emerging economy that is rapidly growing. Unfortunately, unemployment rates are outpacing the soaring expansion of its GDP. In a nation with a large rural population and many calling for educational reform, India stands poised at a crossroad.

The number of well educated graduates is steadily increasing, however many are unable to find suitable jobs. If India wants to get ahead and solve its job crisis, a change must be made.

E-learning may be the way out. A new platform of education with ever expanding capabilities mean limitless opportunities. The digital age of exploration is launching India onto the world stage.

Elearning in India

How Is E-learning Growing in India

India is currently one of the leading countries in the e-learning movement, second only to the United States. The e-learning market is projected to reach $1.26 million in 2018. As the “Digital India” initiatives drives sweeping change across India, increasing the GDP and ushering India onto the global technology market, there is an ever growing gap in jobs that will be needed to maintain this momentum and skills that are lacking in recent graduates.

Even though 65% of India’s population is under 35 years old, and mobile technology is now being used by 26% of the population to access the Internet, education in technology skills is far behind.

E-learning is hoped to bridge this gap, establish new educational opportunities for the younger generation, and provide micro-learning for recent graduates and business professionals.

How Is E-learning Changing Education In India?

The traditional, one size fits all model of education is not capable of readying students for the ever changing world of a digital, global economy. E-learning and edtech platforms are providing individualized educations, creating easily managed assessments, and increasing engagement in the classroom.

With a large rural population, India has also benefited from satellite delivered Internet for even the remotest regions. E-learning is bringing top notch, high-tech educational opportunities to students who would otherwise not have access to a modern education.

In recent years, satellite service has dropped drastically in cost. This has made Internet access affordable for an ever growing working class population. The Internet has proven to be a pathway to greater education access and intercultural relationships. For remote, rural populations, e-learning has many advantages.

One of the biggest advantages is the one on one instruction and opportunity for personalized study schedules. MOOC classes based on traditional university schedules were the first wave of e-learning opportunities worldwide, however these had a high drop out rate (80-90%). By providing microlearning that is individualized, India is on the cusp of an educational revolution for all sectors of society.

E-learning is also helping to solve the qualified teacher shortage that plagues the Indian educational system. By having broader reach, the country’s best and brightest teachers can instruct vast numbers of students, not just their local school.

How Will E-learning Create Jobs in India?

As e-learning grows in India and initiatives such as Digital India and SWAYAM platform progress, there will be a growing demand for teachers. Those who have the necessary skills for 21st century technology and business will be in high demand to disseminate instruction and close the present skills gap.

Also, as Multinational Companies (MNCs) continue to invest in India, a well skilled generation of workers will be needed to keep the economy going. By training the up and coming leaders of tomorrow, India will have a solid workforce prepared to support a digital economy.

Having a work ready population will attract greater investments and continue to raise the economy of India on the world stage. The ability to compete globally is the greatest aim of these revolutionary educational techniques. It is not enough to have the technology at a growing number of citizens fingertips, but to graduate skilled worker that know how to implement new technology to grow businesses, and adapt to a rapidly advancing technological age.

In addition to teachers, and tech savvy workers, a booming e-learning industry run by domestic platforms provides opportunities for management positions and education developers. Those skilled in developing learning platforms, leading organizations, and managing digital companies will be a great assets.

The Next Step

As our world continues to rapidly change in this digital age, the divides of the world continue to close. Building a future of economic stability, educational opportunity, and greater cooperation will help to raise the quality of life for all people.

In 2018, Global Learn Day strives to Unite the World through Education. Education is the great equalizer. It not only provides greater opportunities and higher pay, but provides interconnectedness that unites the world so we can overcome what has historically divided us.

What can you do to support this mission? How has e-learning changed your life?

For further information check out:

Changing Face of Indian Education

E-learning India’s Education Needs to Get Online

E-Learning Market in India–Challenges and Opportunities

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Global Learn Day Edtech

7 Edtechs to Try in 2018

It’s a couple weeks into 2018. Have you made any resolutions yet? Picked your word for the year?

New Year, New Opportunity

January offers a fresh start, even if it is in the middle of the school year for the northern hemisphere.  Technology is advancing and changing at record breaking speed.

While it is hard to keep up with every change, it’s important to be open to learning something new.  Trying out a new platform not only will enhance your learning experience but expand your brain.

Whatever your goals for 2018, add these 7 edtechs to the list.  Learn something new this year!

7 Edtech Applications to try in 2018

WeVideo–Do you like watching a movie? Have you ever wanted to make your own? WeVideo is a simple to use film editing platform that even young children can use. Don’t let it’s ease of use fool you though. WeVideo creates such amazing results that it is used by businesses to create marketing films.

Flipgrid–Flipped education is turning school on its head. Flipgrid is taking it a step further by using collaborative technology and film editing software to reach every student. In the Flipgrid classroom, student discussion runs the course not teacher lectures. The creative tools give every student a voice.

NewseumEd–This is an extension of the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  It’s virtual collection delivers primary sources right to your tablet, laptop, or phone. More than just a database, NewseumEd is packed with tools and classes for educators.  This is a must use for teaching students, and yourself, about history and discerning factual news.  There is even an EDIDEAS section for learning more about current events.

 myOn-myON is not just a program, it’s a “literacy ecosystem.”  The virtual library of interactive books teaches children to read while engaging them to keep learning by reading. myOn’s adventure isn’t only for students, the site offers professional development for teachers as well.

Quizalize–Quizzes are a part of education that will never go away. Move out of the way notebook paper and pen, though, Quizaline offers a new platform for quizzes that helps both teacher and students. Quizaline tracks students’ progress, provides a means for differential instruction, and gives students instant feedback. Make your quizzes engaging, fun, effective, and authentic.

Sway–Is a program with so many applications.  An ultra modern and slick answer to Powerpoint, Sway also generates high quality newsletters. Get students writing, or teach yourself a new skill for business. Sway is enjoyable and useful for all ages.  like other popular edtech, Sway works through collaboration and access anywhere technology.  Imagine the possibilities!

FluentU– FluentU offers an immersion experience that comes to your classroom. Image being able to take your students into the heart of everyday life in your target language. This platform offers high quality videos to enhance the learning experience and keep students engaged. Even better, FluentU can be used anywhere (including at home) and it tracks students progress.

What are your goals for 2018? Here at Global Learn Day, ours is always to never stop learning and find better ways to connect the world.  These edtech applications can do both.

What edtech would you recommend?

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Electric Education

As the world heads into the “season of lights” with many faith and cultures celebrating special holidays and festivals, we are awash in the prospect of light amid the darkening days of winter.   Light has always signified hope. Yet, 1.3 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity.

Spread Hope, Peace–and Light!

The greatest provider of hope is education. While education does not require a building, nor a collection of high tech gadgets, access to basic electricity increases access to education and provides greater tools for teachers.

By creating opportunities and pathways to electrify schools in the most desperate areas of the globe, we as One Planet, One People can affect the change we long to see in the world. Greater numbers of educated world citizens means less conflict, greater chances for peace, reduced poverty, increased health, and a more stable economic outlook.  In a word, hope!

What Can Electricity Do?

On the most basic level, electricity can ensure open school doors more days of the year. By providing artificial light, students can continue to study even when it is stormy and dark outside.  Ventilation also helps to keep school running despite the weather or extremes of a climate.

Electricity opens doors for teachers and makes their job easier.  Simple tasks such as photocopying test pages or homework sheets can be completed inexpensively right on site, saving teachers the time and expense of traveling to commercial copying services in areas with sparse electric access.

Step Into the Future

A basic education for all is a fundamental right and should be a top goal for the global community, but what about going beyond the basics?  The digital age is a ever changing landscape of innovation and opportunity. The longer we leave schools of the developing world in the dark, the greater the gap in prospects for first world vs developing nation students becomes.

The lack of access to information, collaboration, and technology that is fueling the global economy is a handicap that plagues over a million people in the world?

How will we build bridges and knock down barriers if we cannot effectively collaborate?  The greatest minds of our time may be living in areas unable to join in global community of innovation. What opportunities will be missed by students cut off from information and technological advancements?

Open the World

Providing electricity to education centers throughout the world not only opens a new world to underserved students and teachers, but opens the door for those already “wired” into the information web to reach out and make new friends. The interrelations are the stepping stones to greater diplomacy and understanding for future generations.  An open world breaks down the walls that separate us and helps to close the gaps wrought but poverty, prejudice, and ignorance.

Later this week, we will continue this “electrifying” discussion and explore incredible and innovative ways that some organizations are bridging the great divide and building hope one light bulb at a time!

Please stop back to learn more and how you can help!

What opportunities has electricity afforded you in your education?

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The Skills Gap and Real Education

There is a debate going on that is not easily settled. Does the skills gap exist? If it does, why? How do we close it?

Opponents blame the recession for high unemployment rates and say there is no skills gap, just no jobs. On the other hand, analysts, journalists, business executives, and employment specialists say the gap is real and it is growing.  Which side is correct?

 

The Gap or Not The Gap, That’s Not The Question

Regardless of the actual gap, the answer to all of the questions is education.  Real education, not just the years spent in a school.  Education is a bridge to a brighter future for everyone.  It should not be limited to check lists and basic requirements.  Wherever you are on the learning continuum, there is always more to learn.

This is why at Global Learn Day, we emphasize and promote lifelong learning and endless, self education.  How can these principles solve the skills gap? Let’s explore three reasons.

Adult Education and Essential Skills

Basic skills like reading, writing, and computation are foundational to the educational process.  Yet, millions of prospective employees lack these cornerstone, building blocks.  In the United States alone, 36 million adults of working age are not proficient in language usage, fluent reading, and everyday math.

Without these skills, not only will the search for employment be difficult, but acquiring new skills is nearly impossible. A base of knowledge must be laid in order to build a lifetime of learning.  This is a skills gap that plagues every corner of the world.  In countries with mandatory, universal education, it should be a wake up call that our methods must change in order to reach and teach every student.

Adult education does not address the cause of this gap, but effectively treats the symptoms of it.  Investing in adult education creates a ripple effect that allows for better opportunities for the adult learner, as well as greater hope for future generations. Low income children who have at least one parent who has earned a G.E.D, are more likely to finish high school themselves.

Education begets education. Learning inspires more learning. By building up one segment of the population that is underserved and underskilled, the entire society is boosted and inspired to work harder.  So, providing adult education to close the basic skills gap will help ensure that gap continues to lessen in the future generations.

Continuing Education in Corporate Culture

Gone are the days of learning a finite skills set, earning a degree or diploma, and finding a lifelong career in one organization. The information age has ushered in a wave of advancing technology that continues to evolve and develop. What was top last year or even last month has now been replaced by a new software or operating system.

Basic education and higher education are still so vitally important, but in order for workers and employers to compete in this brave new world, continuing education must be a central tenet of how they do business.

Corporate learning retreat, incentives for continuing education classes, and encouragement for passive learning among employees are the hallmarks of what will not only close the skills gap in growing fields but also keep companies afloat in these volatile economic waters.

Continuing education is not just a buzz word, nor a race to a higher salary, for every employee it must be a way of life.

The Ben Franklin Way–Self Education

In locations where education is mandatory and universal, there is a tendency to equate education with school. However, these are two very different concepts.  Schools may be where you get educated, however an education is not exclusive to school.

Like the rest of the world, schools are struggling to keep up with the pace of the digital age.  Even the best schools are not adequate in providing all of the skills a person would need by the time he enters the workforce or looks to advance his career. This is because the skills that will be needed at that time are for platforms that do not exist today.

The push to include subjects like coding in school is part of a movement to prepare students for a future that we cannot even imagine right now. However, even these efforts will not insulate the next generation from a skills gap of their own.

Self education is the answer to the skills crisis. It has always been the answer. No matter what education you are lacking, individual study and pursuit of knowledge is what propels the motivated forward.

Like our patron, Benjamin Franklin, Global Learn Day recognizes and celebrates the on going efforts of self education.  In an age where skills are demanded but not being formally taught, adopting a habit of independent study apart for certificates, degrees, or pay incentives to be earned will provide much greater opportunity than any corporate education structure or formal education.

The skill to self educate is the the greatest skill to acquire. Those able to stay ahead of the curve, learn new technologies, and be flexible in how common procedures are done will be the ones to achieve and succeed.

How will you close your own skills gap today?

For more information on where to continue your own education, check out these posts:
Education: The Gift You Give Yourself
The Fun of Self Education
When Should Education End?
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Education Has Flipped Out!

Has your classroom flipped?  Like desks on the ceiling you might ask.  No, flipped in terms of structure and instruction.  Flipped education is the latest trend but how is it really done?

The History of the Flip

Though the general idea dates back to a thesis paper from University of Miami professors in 2000. Although the true flipped learning movement took really took root in 2007 when Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann, Colorado High School teachers, began using technology to record their lectures for absent students.

Shortly after, they came up with the idea of prerecording all their lectures for students to view at home, so classroom time could be spend on in depth projects and collaborative learning.  Originally called pre-broadcasting, it eventually became known as a flipped classroom.

What It’s Flipping Not!

As the trend has grown, so has the misconceptions of it’s aim and practice.  Flipped education does not simply mean watching videos and answering multiple choice questions.  Neither does the idea of “school work at home, homework at school” capture the true essence of the technique.

The recorded classes are a means to the method’s end but not the whole method.  The technology serves the purpose to make flipping possible but does not define the shift in educational practice.

Reservations and Requirements

One of the top concerns with starting a flipped classroom is the requirement for all students to have the Internet at home.  However, founders Sams and Bergmann say the Internet should never be a sticking point.

Videos can be loaded onto thumb drives, burned onto CDs, or uploaded to Ipods.  In addition, students should have the option of how they will learn the material.  Learning the material from a textbook or series of worksheets is just as valid as from a video.  The importance is how classroom time is spent.

Classroom Time in a Paradigm Shift

Flipped classrooms provide the space and time for teachers to interact on a more interpersonal level with students.  Affording students to indulge in project based learning, hands-on activities, lab experiments, and collaborative experiences.

Instead of the teacher being the center of the classroom time, learning and projects are.  The teacher becomes a facilitator as opposed to a lecturer.

Four Pillars of a FLIP

Authentic flipped education contains these four elements:

  1. Flexible Environment
  2. Learning Culture
  3. Intentional Content
  4. Professional Educator

With these four elements and a drive to provide accessible resources for student led study outside of classroom and student driven learning within the classroom walls, flipped education has the potential to revolutionize schools.

All of this innovation and initiative is aimed at one very dire epidemic–the high school drop our rate.  In the United States alone, 7,200 students drop out of high school each day.  That leads to 1.3 million young adults with incomplete educations every year.

By engaging students in meaningful learning and exciting class sessions, teachers like Sams and Bergmann hope to retain those who just are not being reached by the traditional model of lecture, homework, testing.  In addition, self directed learning leads to lifelong learning, the ultimate goal of any education.

What do you think?  Are you ready to flip?

 

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