5 Unexpected Benefits of Using the Internet for Education

With respect to online education, the question of whether it is efficient or useful to use the Internet as a way to convey education is often debated. Some worry about the effectiveness of online learning methods, the legitimacy of online instructors, or the reliability of technology. Others argue that the Internet is the great equalizer and can make education widespread and affordable. This article points out five subtle benefits of using the Internet for education that might not have been previously considered.

1. It is easier to participate online

Many students are deterred from class participation because of shyness, embarrassment, or fear that their answer will be incorrect. The Internet provides a certain level of anonymity because students are typically not surrounded by peers they see every day and with whom they engage in social relationships. Therefore, it is easier and less intimidating to engage in the discussion in online classes, which helps students to better retain and understand the material being presented.

2. Environmentally friendly

Despite many reforms undergone by different schools across the country, education as an institution still has a serious effect on the environment through its inefficiency with school materials, its reliance on cars to transport students, and most importantly, its overuse of papers. Many colleges compel students to print out hundreds of pages of readings every day, only to quickly address the articles in class and then never discuss them again. The Internet eliminates all of these problems by providing information on computer screens instead of on books.

3. Broader access to supplementary material

Instead of relying on a single school library, using the Internet as an educational platform allows for the world of information provided by the Internet to be readily available at any moment. There are more articles, books, documents, and other resources available on the Internet than there are in any school library across the country, because most of these library’s books have already been digitized!

4. Better attention span because you pick the time that works best for you

Many students find that being forced to attend class in a certain predetermined schedule is the single reason they don’t perform as well academically. Some classes are too early, some are too late, and some are too uncomfortably long. Online learning can be taken during the time that best works for the student, so he or she can schedule them during the time when they have the most energy and are most willing to learn.

5. Savings

Not only are online classes generally more affordable than the in-person classes offered at colleges and universities, but there are other costs that are eliminated when one chooses the Internet as a base for education. For example, transportation fees are eliminated, school materials no longer need to be purchased, and you can even argue that taking classes at home reduces the need to buy lunch out every day. In today’s economy, it is important to get more bang for your buck, and online education offers the same quality education for a much more reasonable price.

Toufee Launches New Academic Licensing For Educational Users

Toufee, the online flash movie maker application has come up with a new licensing program that will allow educational institutions to have access to the Toufee flash movie maker application. Under the new licensing program, academic institutions can signup for bulk licenses at a highly subsided pricing. Called the Toufee Academic Account, this new account licensing will allow use of all basic features of Toufee flash movie maker application that will allow educators and students to use Toufee to create flash movies quickly and easily.

“The Toufee Academic Account provides academic institutions with bulk licenses at discounted rates so that every educator/student in the institution can have individual Toufee user accounts. We already have a number of independent tutors and educators using Toufee for activity-based learning and this is great news for institutions as this will allow educators to use Toufee’s technology for interactive classroom learning in a much bigger way” said Sanchit Bhatnagar, co-founder and Director of Toufee at the launch of the new academic licensing program.

The new account comes with all the features of a Standard Account, however, there will be no support for YouTube nor does it allow flash movies to be exported to SWF files. Though product support will also not be available, a separate forum will be made available for educators and students to post questions and access answered queries. In addition, educators and students will have full access to Toufee tutorials and Toufee’s Knowledge Base.

“The new educational licensing program is in line with Toufee’s continued commitment towards empowering education through our interactive and cutting-edge flash-based products” says Navneet Rai, co-founder and Director of Toufee. All academic institutions in the United States and other countries are eligible to apply.

Norway Is Not the Most Comfortable Country for Residence Any More

The United Nations Organization /UNO/ has published the periodical rating of world’s countries developed by its experts. It distributes countries according to the quality of life and optimal conditions for citizens, rather than to their wealth or size of the territory. In their “Report on Human Development in 2007-2008” the UNO experts have published the results of their own studies as well as analysis of data of other international and intergovernmental funds and organizations.

The experts have chosen rather common criteria of assessing the level of life and well-being of the country’s population – the level of GDP per capita, duration of life and availability of education /judging by the number of citizens who have got any qualification or can merely read and write/. They have also taken into account general democratic values – the situation with human rights, the right to take part in public activity and the freedom of expression. The level of social protection of citizens in different countries, health indicators, the degree of cultural development of the population, as well as criminality rate and environment preservation are also of importance for researchers.

On the whole, the rating includes 175 UNO member-states, as well as Hong Kong (having the status of a special administrative district of China) and the Palestinian Autonomy. Other 17 countries have not been taken in the account within the investigation, since there is no necessary information on them. Thus, the authors managed to summarize data from almost all over the globe. The UNO experts have been carrying out such activities for already 17 years – starting with 1990. Although the rating has changed during these years, this is the first time for Norway, the rating leader, to yield the palm to the island state of Iceland. This year the Icelanders have surpassed the Norwegians in all indicators, such as longevity of population, access to knowledge and the level of life. The duration of life is one of the biggest in the world here – 81 years for women and 76 years for men, and the level of GDP per capita makes up 36.5 thousand dollars annually. There are almost no poor people. Class differences are very faint, if any. On the whole, the population of Iceland makes up only 250 thousand people. However, authorities have managed to ensure them a decent living.

At what expense? This small country does not belong to the European Union. The Icelanders consider the unification in accordance with requirements and norms of the “common European home” unfavorable for them. The EU quotes for fishing, the main branch of the country’s economy, are the main problem. Tourism makes up another source of income. The unbelievable and unreal beauty of the Icelandic scenery, its genuine virgin nature attracts foreign tourists like a magnet. According to numerous tourists, Iceland, the most western country with the most northern capital, charms once and for all. Local environment is strictly protected by the legislation. The first roads were built only in the beginning of the XX century here. Nowadays, mostly air transport is used. In the old days, houses of farmers and certain urban citizens were built of peat. At present they can hardly be found even in museums. Modern Icelanders live in solid spacious houses with a well-arranged heating system, considered the best in the world.

On the whole, Iceland is a rather expensive country. Almost everything is imported here and shall cost you a pretty penny like on any other island. The prices for foodstuff, apartments and public utilities are extremely high here. As a matter of fact, Iceland is considered the second most expensive country for tourists after Japan. The average amount of money recommended by the tourist agencies makes up 500 dollars per day. Otherwise, you shall have to save on something. However, the islanders are accustomed to such prices. Besides, they have corresponding incomes.

But let us come back to our rating. As we have already mentioned, Norway has lowered to the second place. However, Scandinavian countries all the same occupy the first positions of the rating along with other economically developed countries. The third place is occupied by Australia with the biggest share of people receiving education in the world. Then come Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands and France. The United States have occupied only the 12th position in the rating, Great Britain – the 16th position, Germany – the 22nd position, Israel – the 23rd position. Luxembourg remains the record-holder as regards the level of GDP per capita – more than 60 thousand dollars per inhabitant annually.

Russia turned out to be on the 67th position, almost enclosing the list of highly developed countries in opinion of the UNO. Last year Russia occupied the 65th poison after losing 3 points as compared to the year of 2005. All the same, Belarus is the only CIS country that has left Russia behind. It occupies the 64th position in the rating. By the way, it managed to rise – last year it occupied the 67th position. The list of developed countries also includes the Baltic countries – Latvia occupies the 43rd position, Estonia – the 44th position and Lithuania – the 45th position.

In most rapidly developing countries, the level of well-being has been appreciated as medium. Thus, China occupies the 81st position, the oil Iran – the 94th position. According to the UNO, most CIS countries are medium. Kazakhstan occupies the 73rd position, Ukraine – the 76th position, Armenia – the 83rd position, Georgia – the 96th position, Azerbaijan – the 98th position. Others have not even entered the first hundred. Thus, Turkmenistan has occupied only 109th position, Moldova – the 111th position, Uzbekistan – the 113th position, Kyrgyzstan – the 116th position and Tajikistan – the 122nd position. This Central Asian country constantly remains the outsider of the post soviet area. It has the lowest education level and the level of GDP per capita – 71 per cent and 1.4 thousand dollars respectively.

As one might expect, African countries – Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau – have been declared the most unsuitable countries for residence. They have extremely short duration of life – from 40 to 50 years. Not more than 30% of the population can read and write, and the level of GDP per capita makes up less than 1 thousand dollars per person.

On the whole, international organizations often make up ratings of countries, assessing them according to various criteria. In 2006 the international agency “State of World Liberty” published the rating reflecting the level of freedom in various countries. Although, the most free country in the world at that time experts declared… Estonia.

Grant Proposals for Education Starts a Dream

There’s a lot of work to do before the school year begins. One of these is to write grant proposals for education, which aims to make dreams come true. Through a high-paying career as a result of higher education, people can be able to achieve a better life sooner or later.

Basically, there are grants designed to give hope to individuals and organizations that intend to pursue the desire of people to continue their education, especially in a reputable college or university. Apart from private organizations, many federal and state agencies are also in the business of giving aid on the basis of need, using public funds converted into grants for educational purposes.

Rather than spending time worrying about how and where they can get money to pay for school expenses, student applicants should look for grants that are meant to be utilized for either full or partial school payments.

Whether the beneficiary is enrolled in a university, college, community college, technical school, or a career-specific school, various funding programs in the state and country can be applied for if they only know where to look.

Obtaining funding for a worthwhile project or cause is a difficult task. Thus, it is understandable that written project proposal may not work on the first attempt, although it may go through a revision process. Then you, the grant seeker, ask: how are you going to do this?

Where and how to begin
Preparing grant proposals for education needs careful planning and study to make it serve its purpose to grant applicants.

First of all, proposals should be prepared early so you can have enough time to make the necessary changes. For individual grant seekers, allow more time to prepare documents, such as official transcripts and other school records, if required.

The writing approach should be clear and to the point, without being too wordy or tedious. This can be achieved by applying an active voice, using descriptive phrases, and deepening your understanding of the project.

Aside from focusing on your achievements and aspirations, you should also review and determine your overall project mission and priorities. In addition, you should also ensure that your proposal reflects the needs of the funding source, not just the needs of the non-profit organization. In this way, both parties can work collaboratively on the same level.

After finishing your draft, it should be edited, proofread, and revised if necessary. Check your grammar. Ask a friend or colleague to review your work and let him or her give you feedback. Also, you can put your proposal away for a while and go back to it after a few days.

Low-income families can avail of grants, such as the California Student Aid Commission’s Cal Grant Program, Texas’ Toward Excellence, Access, and Success or TEXAS, and several other programs that focus on ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities.

Grant proposals for education are supposed to match what the funding sources are looking for, so you need develop strong and excellent results if you truly desire to get funded

The Imperative For Educational Reform

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued a report titled A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, which stressed the need for improving the quality of education in the United States. This report launched a reform movement that continues today and is aimed at the preparation of a high-quality teaching force that is held accountable for the learning that occurs in schools and establishes high standards of learning for all students regardless of ability, ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status. In 2001, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was reenacted and renamed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

This federal act focused on progressively decreasing-and, by 2014, closing-the achievement gap between White, African American, and Latino students. However, the shortage of certified teachers willing to serve in low-income urban and rural areas, the lack of qualified teachers in other areas, as well as the fact that most teachers lacked the preparation needed to adequately educate the increasing number of ELLs in the country, gave a boost to the hiring of paraprofessionals in general and bilingual paraprofessionals in particular.

Under NCLB, paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002, and working in a program supported with Title I, Part Afunds, must have completed a minimum of 2 years of study at an institution of higher education or must hold an associate’s degree or higher. They also must pass a formal test administered by the state or local education agency that assesses the candidates’ knowledge of reading, writing, and math as well as the paraprofessionals’ ability to assist in the instruction of those subjects.

Bilingual paraprofessionals who serve only as translators or implementers of activities with parents must be proficient in English and another language and need a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. For other paraprofessional positions, the minimum qualification is a high school diploma or recognized equivalent; some require college credits or an associate’s degree. Few states have policies regulating the paraprofessionals’ hiring qualifications and professional development.

In fact, when the regulations are in place, they are nonbinding to the local educational agencies that hired the paraprofessionals. To improve this situation, the NRCP report advocates for collaboration between states, local education agencies, schools, unions, and institutions of higher education. It also suggests three different levels of responsibility for paraprofessionals, the knowledge and skills that should be required for each level, as well as the need for preparing teachers to work with and supervise paraprofessionals.

5 Tips To Help You Keep Your Conveyor Chains Operational

Conveyor chains are used to drive different types of conveyor units and use different types of power transmission. If you want to get the most out of your equipment, make sure you maintain them. This is even more important if they are installed in the mining and construction industry. Given below are a few tips that can help you ensure your conveyor chains will continue to work properly.

1. Follow the Maintenance Schedule

First of all, you may want to inspect and service them to ensure proper alignment, lubrication and tension. If inspected on a regular basis, they can last up to 15,000 hours. It’s better if you schedule filter and oil changes every 3 months. On the other hand, the cleaning of bigger parts, such as shafts, machine lubrication and replacement of damaged or worn sprockets and sideplats should be done on an annual basis.

Following the maintenance schedule is paramount, especially if you have installed the conveyor chains in the construction and mining industry.

2. Lubricate Wisely

For smooth operation, conveyor drives and chains should be free of moisture and dust. Most of these systems require petroleum-based oil. It’s not a good idea to opt for heavy greases and heavy oils. The reason is that they are overly stiff and can’t lubricate the system properly. Given below are some common ways of lubricating the conveyor chains. Some of them are listed below:

Stream lubrication
Disk lubrication
Drip lubrication
Manual lubrication

Based on the power and chain speed, the right method can be used. For reducing wear and tear and enjoying all the benefits, it’s important that you lubricate the system properly.

3. Get Heat-Treated Parts

Heat treatment can be used to improve the mechanical components. Therefore, manufacturers control the treatment methods for best results. In other words, to reduce wear and tear, it’s important to perform proper heat treatment.

Case hardness and depth are the two primary parts of component heat transfer. This plays a great role as far as resistance and durability is concerned. If the depth is too much, the parts may break while working due to brittleness.

4. Make sure there is Proper Alignment and Tension

Make sure you check the slack span and chain tension, and perform the required maintenance. If you need to reduce the tension, you can eliminate two pitches and then connect the chain again. However, you may need to replace the entire chain if the wear and tear goes beyond the functional limits.

Also, you may not want to connect new chains to the worn one as it can damage the drive. Misaligned sprockets can also cause the link plates of the roller chain to get a lot of wear and tear.

5. Check the Primary Parts

Typically, conveyor chains have two main parts that go through wear and tear: sprockets and chain. Chain stretching happens due to this very reason and results in the complete replacement of the sprockets and chain.

Therefore, you should inspect conveyor chains for any broken parts, deformation and cracks.

In short, these are the tips you can follow to maintain your roller chains.

5 Benefits Listing Your Business in Internet Directories

You can enjoy a lot of benefits if you have your business listed in an internet directory, such as Top5Biz.com. In fact, the more directories you use the greater number of benefits you can enjoy. Given below are some of the prominent benefits of using these directories. Read on to find out more.

Exposure

We know that proper exposure is required for all types of businesses. The more exposure your business gets, the higher number of visitors will know about your products or services. On the other hand, if your prospective customers can’t find your site, they won’t be able to buy your products or services.

By listing your business website in these directories, you can get the exposure you need. As a matter of fact, a large number of people search these directories in order to find what they are looking for. Their goal is to look for a specific product or service.

Better Ranking

We know that better ranking is important for any website. If your website is indexed in many web directories, it will send a signal to search engine crawlers that your website is authentic. And this will help you get your website ranked on major search engines. As a result, you will be able to enjoy better rankings in major search engines.

These directors get your website ranked better and get the word out about your business. And this is a huge benefit.

Inexpensive Advertising

If you run a business, you know the importance of advertisement. The primary purpose of advertisement is to help clients find your business and know more about it. You may not have a big budget for your advertisement campaigns. This is where you can spend a little money and achieve the purpose by getting your website indexed in internet directories.

Unlike the conventional advertising, business directories are much affordable. Therefore, they can help you save tons of money on advertisement.

Professional Opinion

If you want your business to look professional in the eyes of your visitors, we suggest that you try internet directories. This will help you improve your business status. In other words, this technique will help you make buyers have a professional opinion about your business.

Once your site is listed in these directories, it will look as professional as the top business enterprises out there. Aside from this, your website will be considered an authority in the niche. As a result, you will be able to get more and more customers and clients.

Search Engine Optimization

Internet directories offer another great benefit, which is called search engine optimization. Basically, these directories allow you to get a lot of inbound links. When a visitor finds your site in the directory, they will click he link and get directed to your website. So, this is an effective way of getting a lot of traffic.