Friday, August 31, 2012

Online Education and the Challenge of Motivation

Getting an online education is both a very thrilling proposition and a challenging one as well. It is quite exciting to learn through a very new and non-traditional form of education and it offers a set of new challenges that would compel individuals to really immerse themselves in what they are doing.
Unfortunately, even with an educational format as new as online education, the same old problems that plague students would usually crop up. The most common difficulty a student encounters is losing the motivation to continue studying. This feeling is further exacerbated by the unique environment that a student must contend with in an online education course. Being alone with no real classmates to act as real-time sounding boards and given the free rein to handle your time it becomes a challenge to really get into the groove of studying. Since online education classes are a new education format, it also does not possess many of the known support systems that we can find inside a traditional school structure. These support systems are what helps keep students motivated. The lack of social interaction can also be a significant contributing factor for online education students easily losing the motivation to study.
Losing motivation is quite difficult because it could become difficult to stay focused on what needs to be done. Losing the impetus to study will make it very difficult to prepare for exams or tests, complete assignments and finish projects. Motivation is what drives a person to study through the boredom, the tedium and the difficulties. Without motivation, the whole purpose of taking online education classes loses meaning. It would be just so easy to quit and stop taking the classes at the risk of losing the tuition paid for the online classes.
For those who may be worried that they may lose their motivation, the good news is that it can be restored or reinforced. Below are some tips given by many education experts as a way of keeping motivated.
* One way to stay motivated is to identify a goal and work towards its attainment. Try to focus on small goals that can be easily fulfilled. You can mark off a calendar with daily and weekly goals that you are required to accomplish. As you fulfill each goal cross it out with a pen. This process helps you build up your pride in your accomplishments.
* Try to talk to other people about what you are learning in your online classes. This process is usually done with your classmates in a traditional school system but because of the nature of online education, you really do not have classmates in the traditional sense. What you can do is talk to family members and friends about what you have learned in your online classes. One other thing you can do is to try to arrange a chat with your instructor so that you can have some time to discuss the subjects and/or curriculum with him.
* Try to be active in forums related to your course or classes. Even though there are no real physical ways of meeting fellow students in an online course most educational institutions that offer online education provide chatrooms or forums where you can chat with other people taking the same courses. These chatrooms or forums provide ample opportunity for different kinds of interactions with fellow students. You can use it to get to know other students personally and if you find one that lives near you, then you can probably arrange to meet with them regularly to discuss your subjects. You can set up online study groups that other students who taking the same course can use.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Using Press Releases to Keep Your Company in the News

When is your best advertisement not an advertisement? When it's a press release.
In the competition for consumer attention, a well-written press release is one of your most valuable marketing tools.
Why is it vital to put yourself in the news?
Because most of us attend differently to the news than we do to advertisements. We make certain assumptions about the news, for example, that it is important, simply because it is news. We count on news editors and publishers to carefully sift through potential story leads and choose only the most relevant to report.
Many of us attribute a higher level of credibility to a news report than we do to a commercial claim. We accept (even expect) a degree of "spin" in advertising that we won't tolerate in a news report.
And the majority of us simply pay more attention to the news than we do to advertisements. Other than maybe during the Super Bowl, when is the last time you heard someone say, "Oh, good-- the commercials are on now"?
A press release puts you on the front page of the public mind. It is an opportunity to build name recognition and generate interest in your company without delivering a sales message. If you're not sure that you have anything newsworthy to report, think of a press release as a chance for the general public to go beyond your front door and to get to know your company and its employees.
Use a press release to announce:
o Formation of a new partnership or division
o Corporate citizenship or community involvement
o Launch of a new product, service or capability
o Company anniversary or milestone
o Recent awards, certifications, publications or patents
o Sponsorships, grants or educational opportunities
Successful marketers cultivate symbiotic relationships with the press. News editors and publishers need content; your business needs exposure. Relevant, well-written press releases are a way to establish yourself as a resource in your industry and to confirm your company as one to watch.
Quality interactions with the media generally lead to more quality interactions with the media, which leads to quality interactions with potential customers. Learn to harness the power of the press release and you too can enjoy the benefits of permanent press.
Copyright ©2005 by Dennis and Sally Bacchetta. All rights reserved.
Dennis Bacchetta is a Marketing Professional who writes on a variety of topics, including emerging technologies.
Sally Bacchetta is an award-winning sales trainer and freelance writer. She has published articles on a variety of topics, including selling skills, motivation, and pharmaceutical sales.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

America Needs an Education Reinvention Bill NOW!

In order to build a stronger, more self-sufficient America, America must first be willing to change. To build a progressive and competitive society, America's most important challenge is to change its antiquated educational system. In every political administration, education must be first and foremost. Without a strong and revitalized educational system, America will never progress to greatness nor be able to alleviate any of our other ills.
The three R's - reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic - is how our children have been taught since the beginning of time. But we're now in the twenty-first century, and we have a responsibility to our children, to America's future, to educate tomorrow's leaders and teach future generations the skills they need so they can survive in a world that is becoming increasingly more difficult to survive in.
Today's youth are not like yesteryear's innocents. There are no more shows like Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best. Instead, we have accepted the censors lack of discretion where our children (and adults) are concerned by inundating the airwaves with swear words never before heard on television. It has become part of our children's language, and school teachers cannot do anything about it because the media has dictated that freedom of speech, of any speech, is the accepted norm, the right of all Americans, no matter their age. How could it be bad, many ask? They hear it everyday on TV. If it was bad, it wouldn't be allowed into our living room. The news programs have become more graphic, verbally and visually, educating our children more in the ways of adult themes and topics, like never before. And our morals have changed for the worse as our children are taught that their sexuality begins at an earlier age, and it is an important and exciting part of their lives.
Today, our children's rite of passage precedes their concept of right or wrong. Along with that open education, computers and the information highway, our children are more intelligent, more worldly, and older than children of similar ages were decades ago. Since we can't go back in time, although many adults wish we could, we need to treat our children as the young adults they have been forced to become. Consequently, America has to drastically reinvent its schools. Teacher tenure should be abolished in that this reward is irresponsible to the family and the consumer. If someone is doing an inadequate job then that employee should be monitored, and, if need be, replaced. No contract, like the rest of America's workplace, should be lifetime. This would ensure quality education.
America must do away with the law that its children can quit school at sixteen. All children must stay in school until graduation; if not public, then in vo-tech schools learning a trade. The excuse that a child must go to work at sixteen to help support their family does irreparable damage to the future of the child being forced to be his family's provider. Staying in school until graduation will break the chain of poverty, and, with it, crime and welfare will greatly diminish.
The school day must be longer. America is in last place in first world education. There is no reason why the school day must only be (approximately) six hours long. By increasing lunch by ten minutes (so our children don't have to wolf down their food), and by adding another five minutes for passing to one extra class, and forty-five-minutes for that class, our school day will be only one-hour longer. This would make a big difference in the quantity of education our children.
But, it's quality we must have for our children to rise to their true potential. To achieve that goal, American schools must incorporate into their present curriculum new Life Studies courses to prepare our children for the world in which they are becoming an integral part. Within partnership with the fifty state universities and state public education commissioners, along with noted educational psychologists and sociologists, a Master of Science Degree would be offered in part scholarship to already certified teachers.
American schools must add these Life Study courses and stay open an hour longer each day if America wants to be a competitive force in the twenty-first century.
This Education Reinvention Bill would help working parents, especially single mothers, in that their child will in school an hour longer everyday, costing them less in day care, thus receiving more in salary to help the family, therefore more taxes paid to the government on salaries and durable goods. This is financially greater than the tax refund that has been gratuitously given to America's middle class.
On the elementary level, classes in creative writing, confidence and self-esteem, manners and etiquette, ecology and the environment, safety, and the new 3R's (respect, responsibility, and reward) would be added to the yearly curriculum; one course for each grade level.
On the intermediate level, students would be required to take yearly courses in money management, interpersonal communications, and social awareness (which would include a cooperative commitment in volunteerism).
High school students would study one course in each of their eight semesters in career development, comparative cultures and religions, philosophy, ethics and morality, analytical and deductive reasoning, persuasive speaking, colleges, and parenthood.
The cost of educating these teachers and creating jobs for them in every public school sector would be repaid when the first graduating class enters mainstream America. With mandatory student graduation, the cost for this new educational system will be repaid with the money saved on law enforcement and a consistently reduced welfare system, along with more people in the work place paying taxes and generating money in American commerce.
The Education Reinvention Bill is not just imperative for our children's success, but for our country's survival. There is a lot America must do to change for the better and again be a respected force in today's world. Education reform is just one of many ways we can accomplish that goal.