Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Distance Learning Programs: Causes of Popularity and Great Universities

Over the years teaching system has undergone great changes especially in the mode of teaching. Now, to get a good degree and quality education students don't require attending classes. They can acquire their degrees and education from anywhere in the world. It is now easy for a foreign student earning a North American degree without visiting the country. How it possible? Distance learning programs do the tricks.
Technology, like all other fields, brings a revolution in education. Internet brings out education from the "case of bricks", means joining traditional classes is not required for getting quality knowledge. Now quality degrees can be eared from home or coffee shop. In fact, distance education has emerged as a great way to advance one's qualifications.
Why Do Distance Learning Programs Become Popular?
Study shows, over the previous years students of distance learning programs has increased at a rate of almost 20%. It clearly shows that distance learning is on the upswing. What is making it more and more popular? Undoubtedly, its advantages and benefits are. Here are they,
  • Going out for education requires a lot of expenses. Most of the students can not backup the money for their education. But with distance learning one can easily get degrees while stay at home which save him or her lots of money.
  • Flexibility in study, with an internet connection it is easy learning from anywhere.
  • Learning becomes easy for those who has to maintain busy work routine and can not make time to attend traditional classes.
  • No waste of time and money for transport and communication.
  • Self-paced learning, study at a personal speed and intensity.
  • Great opportunity for those with physical disability and unable to cope with the classroom based traditional learning.
  • Online resources come into use for study which enhance the world of students and enrich their knowledge.
  • Helps to be comfortable and stress free with learning.
What Are The Top Universities For Distance Learning Programs?
There are number of universities offering distance learning programs. Logically, quality of education of all of them is not same. A lot of fake universities and institutions are there so while choosing one you have to filter them. Checking the authority of the university is the first step of choosing one. Choose one that uses all of modern facilities to make learning easier for their students. Nonetheless, here are some of the great online distance learning universities,
  • University of Phoenix, one of the best online universities, offers degree programs at bachelor, master, and doctoral level, with a balanced combination of academic theory and practical application. It is fully accredited and ensures quality for its online education.
  • Argosy University, a private university, is well known for providing flexible but quality online degrees in business, education and psychology. Its online lectures are designed with great concern to the students' practical knowledge. Students can get their online classes either during day or night. Above all, experienced instructors provide students individualized attention through online class session.
  • Capella University offers online degrees in information technology, business, psychology, public health and human services. Its online environment is organized into course-rooms that are built on the Blackboard Learning System software. It faculty is consists of professionals possessing years of teaching experience.
There are great institutions. While choosing one, take great care. Degree from a great online university can enlighten your career while a fake university degree can make your life a hell.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Rise of a Symbolic Culture and Online Education in the Information Age

In "Leisure Theory in the Information Age" by Wes Cooper and "Reflections on Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies" by Daniel L. Dustin and Thomas L. Goodale, the authors raise two very important issues about the growth and impact of an increasingly symbolically constructed culture. This new culture has developed due to information technology and these changes in our culture have created a more narrowly specialized type of education for professional careers which is increasingly taught electronically. In turn, these changes in education have undermined the traditional community of scholars concerned with values and contributing to the public good.
As Cooper describes it, our work and leisure has increasingly taken the form of "symbolic manipulation" rather than manipulating the physical environment, so that more and more "we and our environments are increasingly becoming symbolic constructs." This increasingly symbolization of our society has affected both work and leisure, so that whether one is at work or involved in recreational activities, one is more and more not interacting with the physical world as with a symbolically-created virtual world.
For example, instead of going bowling at a bowling facility with a group of friends, one may participate in an online bowling game with a network of other online bowlers one communicates with electronically. Instead of meeting friends to talk about an event in person or even on the phone, one may experience an event through TV or an online presentation and then text back and forth with others about it. Instead of going to a movie theater with friends and family members, one may download a movie from Netflix or see a video or series of short video Webisodes on Hulu or YouTube, and then share emails about it with other viewers. The rise of video gaming through social gaming sides like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, where one gets virtual supplies and equipment to help one get ahead in the game, are another example of this growing manipulation of symbolic constructs in everyday life.
Cooper's essay is devoted to considering what to do about this transformation into a more symbolic society. His Alpha model suggests that in the future, these symbolic worlds will become more and more important, and we have to be better able to adjust to this increasing ratio of the symbolic to the non-symbolic in our world, based on whether we see this shift as something to be valued or a warning about a future which is more and more a symbolic construct. Or as Cooper puts it: "Alpha...gestures towards future possibilities, such as the increasing importance of virtual spaces in our lives." (p. 469). In this Alpha view, this growth of sociable virtual spaces will become more and more a natural part of our lives, which we take for granted, much like we have taken for granted the development of a subjective consciousness as an essential part of our personal identity. As such, this growing influence of virtual spaces will contribute to creating new forms of educational institutions, work, and leisure, such as reflected in the growing number of online courses and graduate programs, telecommuting at work, and online leisure activities.
As an alternative to this growing virtual takeover, Cooper suggests that there might be a Beta Trial-and-Error Hypothesis, which represents a middle-ground approach between giving in to an inevitable takeover of this social virtual world replacing a grounded reality and a Luddite-like effort to a return to "a golden age of freedom from high technology." Instead, in this trial and error approach, an individual can choose to seek out the best of both worlds by combining an involvement in a symbolically constructed environment with participation in real life activities. Likewise, organizations and institutions can choose which approaches work the best for them, such as by deciding to combine virtual courses and real ones.
Finally, Cooper proposes the Gamma Symbolic Utility Hypothesis in which he suggests that the symbolic meanings one has for something have a symbolic utility (or SU) which should be taken into account along with the expected utility (EU) of something, and both can influence the decision someone makes by contributing to the decision value (or DV), which is composed of both types of utility. In other words, we don't just make decisions based on rational factors, as proposed by Rational Choice Theory (RCT), which is the kind of approach economists use in assessing the choices people make in spending their money, but by other considerations. As Cooper puts it: "decision value (DV)...aims at finding a balance between maximizing outcomes or payoffs and maximizing what has positive meaning for an agent." The implications of this hypothesis for examining the influence of the increasingly important symbolic constructs is to recognize the ways different people may assign different meanings to the choices they make to participate in physical activities or in virtual worlds.
I think this discussion of the growing influence of symbolic structures and virtual worlds in our life today is an important one, because this discussion raises issues for those assessing the health of our modern culture and for the providers of leisure and recreation, which has become increasingly the domain of private enterprise as the funding for public leisure organizations has shrunk. While many people, including Cooper, seem to have a negative perspective in viewing the high-tech take-over of society and blaming it for the separation between people who are engaged in virtual activities, such as social gaming, I think this a wrong-headed approach. In fact, I have seen studies in the news that suggest that those who are most active in online virtual worlds also have more social connections, since they socialize in the everyday real world based on their experience in the virtual world and they use that to supplement their other real world physical activities.
Certainly, there are some social misfits who find the anonymity of virtual worlds a way to have a social life which they cannot have in everyday life because they lack social skills. But for most people, participating in online activities is not an escape from everyday life, but a supplement or complement to it. An example of this is the popularity of social gaming for the popular crowd in high school and college. Also, many employees and independent contractors, including myself, have found becoming technologically savvy and participating in or presenting everything from Webinars to online conferences crucial for being employed in today's economy. At the same time, these employees and independent contractors, myself included, participate in a wide variety of real time meetings, such as referral clubs, Chamber of Commerce mixers, and industry conferences. It is not an either-or situation but the use of both worlds that is necessary today to be competitive.
Although Dustin and Goodale don't use the terminology of symbolic constructs or refer to the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma hypotheses in their article, they discuss how this increasing symbolization of life affects education, and in particular how it has impacted the education of leisure and recreation professionals. They suggest that this change has undermined the traditional use of education to prepare students not only to enter a profession but to have humanistic values leading them to want to contribute to making a better world. Dustin and Cooper also express concern that the new technology enabling these virtual worlds has undermined the traditional educational institutions that have provided a geographical place where students can gather and have a personal social interaction with one another. Instead, there has been a growth of online courses and programs, enabling students to gain the professional credentials for a field without having to interact with other students or their professors.
As Dustin and Goodale observe, the field of leisure studies first emerged at the University of Minnesota in 1937, where it was guided by a public service ethic to provide leisure services that "contributed to a better quality of life for individuals in the community." Then, in the 1960s, which was marked by the rise of the National Recreation and Park Association as the primarily organization for the professional and lay community in the leisure field, leisure studies were devoted to preparing students to work as professionals in the field. However, since the 1970s, as public leisure services have lost funding, the private sector has become more important, and more and more students have been educated to serve these private enterprises.
As a result, the focus in leisure education, as well as in other fields, has shifted more to preparing students to get well-paying jobs in their career specialty, and this education has increasingly been provided through distance learning, making it more convenient for students to take courses at their home or office at whatever time is most convenient for them. As Dustin and Goodale observe: "The ultimate expression of this is distance learning, correspondence courses and degree programs in electronic form...Not since the printing press has technology had such an impact on learning and the dissemination of information." This shift has also meant that there has been a decline in face-to-face interaction, and degrees and certificates have become like commodities, which are purchased to make one more marketable for a career.
These are important transformations, made possibly by the rise of new technologies and new systems for delivery of information, and they have been transforming educational systems, just as they have been transforming interaction in everyday life. For example, computers, along with cell-phones, e-mail, and online accounts have become necessities in everyday life, as well as in education, whereas they were more like personal luxuries a decade ago.
However, while Dustin and Goodale argue that these high-tech developments are detrimental to the educational experience, I think these developments open up tremendous opportunities for individuals who once could not get an education because they can now access it at their convenience. Certainly, this system can be abused, such as when someone hires someone else to take their courses, write their papers, and post them on line for them, without any way for the professor to verify exactly who is taking the class, because of the anonymity of the computer (unless some system is devised to record who is in front of the computer typing a paper or online reply). But in general I think the system offers great opportunities. For example, there are now extensive digitized libraries of material online, and it is no longer necessary to spend hours going to a physical place, which involves fighting traffic, waiting in line, or searching on stacks to get that information. Also, the privatization of leisure has opened up many new career opportunities in the private sector for those who are able to respond to these opportunities or create new careers for themselves, such as a leisure researcher or consultant, who advises people on the new leisure and recreational possibilities. Indeed, this has become a brave new world with all sorts of new possibilities for those who can respond and adapt.
GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar/workshop leader, specializing in recreation and leisure, business and work relationships and in professional and personal development. She has published over 50 books on diverse subjects. Her latest books include: THE VERY NEXT NEW THING, PLAYING THE LYING GAME, WANT IT, SEE IT, GET IT!; ENJOY! 101 LITTLE WAYS TO ADD MORE FUN TO YOUR WORK EVERYDAY; and A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR WORKING WITH HUMANS...MANAGING EMPLOYEES FROM HELL...and WORKING WITH BAD BOSSES. She is founder and director of Changemakers Publishing and Writing and Changemakers Productions, and has been a featured expert guest on hundreds of TV and radio programs, including Oprah and Good Morning America. She is the host of a weekly syndicated talk radio talk, CHANGEMAKERS, featuring interviews and commentary on various topics. Her Websites are at . She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California in Berkeley, a J.D. from the University of San Francisco Law School, and M.A.s in Anthropology; Mass Communications and Organizational/Consumer/Audience Behavior, and Popular Culture and Lifestyles from California State University, East Bay. She is getting an MS in Recreation and Tourism.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Online Education Gains Popularity In The World Of Education

We all consider education as one of the important part of our lives. Nobody wants to be called as an illiterate or uneducated person in this modern world. Proper education can help uplift your status in the society because of the earned knowledge and skills. It can also boost your self esteem that leads to a better career you are dreaming to have.
With the great inventions that provides easy techniques of teaching, a degree can be achieved easily. With the advancements of technology, development in education also takes its place. People now are fun of multitasking. They work to earn and wants to continue studying to learn more. That is why distance learning or online education was introduced to cater the needs of professionals and working students with hectic schedules.
We are living in a fast paced world where technology rules. Distance education is a great option in helping students enhance their skills and gain more knowledge. Online education is widely accepted and gains popularity especially to progressive countries such as Europe and United States. It is a good alternative to learning in traditional classrooms. Online degree courses will continue to rise its popularity as the Internet becomes the world of people.
Online education is legalized since 1993 and is considered as the new way of teaching and learning by students of all age group. With the help of Internet, this mode of education has been the easiest way of learning where students can have an easy access to the unlimited resources on the World Wide Web.
There are many advantages that you can get from participating in an online education programs. Individuals with a busy schedule can attain an online degree course that is equal to the amount of education a student get from attending in a traditional campus. A student only needs a computer and an Internet connection to open the gates of a whole new world of learning and excitement. With the help of this technologies, students can have all the liberty of choosing the time and place to study for his convenience.
Most of the institutions offering online courses are accredited, well established and widely accepted. You can have the chance of earning a degree from the well known Universities around the world without spending much of your money. Students will know how to be responsible in life that gives them reason to work hard during their class.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Online Education: The New and Popular Mode Of Education

People around the world accepts the new way of teaching and learning which is online education. The benefits and advantages of online education have made it the popular mode of learning among adult professionals and employed students all over the world. Large number of educational institutions, government organizations and corporations already offer various electronic teaching. This mode of education is highly popular in progressive countries such as Europe and United States of America.
Educational Institutions now are well established with a good reputation in giving quality education and proper trainings. And most of them commenced online programs that ensures qualitative learning. You can easily seek programs online that result in certification, bachelors degrees, advance technical skill and even doctorate degrees.
Internet is the primary method of presenting learning materials. You need to go online and visit the specific website designated fro the course. Students and Instructors communicate through the emails and chat rooms. The contents are presented and distributed in the form of texts, images, videos, animations or audios. Students take tests and complete assignments by visiting the course web site.
In online education, you have the opportunity to meet other students from different places of the world. You are in charge of utilizing your time for you to maintain your flexible schedule. You can have all the comfort you want in completing your assignments or assigned tasks. It is also the choice of many professionals because of the wide range of courses available 24/7. You have the liberty in choosing your own mode of learning.
Students who participates in online education are computer literate, well organized, independent learner, have excellent communication skills and good in managing their time. There are students who prefer this mode of education because of their disability, work or if they live in remote areas where colleges do not exists.
We have to accept the fact that we are now living in a fast pace world. We do not just need one skill to be productive. We need many skills and broad knowledge to succeed in a career field that we want. Pursuing a degree is one way to achieve your goals in life. Being busy because of your hectic schedule is not a hindrance for you to become successful. Enroll to accredited school and have your online education at your convenience. Do not let yourself be left behind. Learn new to become updated and skilled professional now!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Want to Learn The Most Popular Universities to Join Online Courses in Dubai?

Online Courses in Dubai
Over the years, online courses in Dubai have dramatically paced up. There exist several institutions like the World Al Lootah University, Stafford Associates and Hult University which offer a range of popular online courses. More and more establishments are moving towards the field of online education owing to the demand and need of technology based education which bridges the gap between education and career. Dubai online universities intend to assist the aspirants in Middle East to achieve good quality and world recognized educations.
Recently, the pioneer in international online learning, University of Phoenix, established their Service Centre in the Dubai, thereby, giving equal opportunities to the Middle Eastern to avail accredited and recognized American degrees without leaving the country.
Well, if you too are one among the several aspirants who wish to be a part of online Universities in Dubai but are unaware as to which course to choose, here's a holistic list for your assistance. It will help you find all the online programs and courses in all levels of education. From Business Management to Applied Arts Dubai Universities has everything. See it for yourself!
Online Programs in Dubai can be broadly categories in three parts - online degree programs, online diploma programs and online certificate programs. Take a look below for more specific segmentation.
  1. Foundation Degree
  2. Associate
  3. Foundation
  4. Bachelors
  5. Undergraduate
  6. Masters
  7. Graduate
  8. Doctorate
  9. M Phil
  10. High school Diploma
  11. GED
  12. Undergraduate Diploma
  13. Postgraduate Diploma
  14. Undergraduate Certificate
  15. Postgraduate Certificate
Now take a look at various fields and the associated online courses:
Business and Management
Human Resource Management
Project Management
Product & Brand Management
Quality Management
Aviation Management
Real Estate Management
Retail Management
Logistics management
Construction Management
Hospitality Management
International business
Early Education
Middle Level Education
Adult Education
Special Education
Assessment and Evaluation
Teaching and learning
Administration and Supervision
Teaching Assistant
Curriculum and Instruction
Aerospace Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice
Crime Scene Investigation
Cyber Crime
Juvenile Justice
Private Security
Computer Science
Computer Science
Information Technology
Network Management
Software Engineering
Web Development
Multimedia and Animation
Occupational Safety
Occupational safety and health
Fire sciences
General psychology
Clinical psychology
Counseling psychology
Educational psychology
Organizational psychology
Social Sciences
Mass communication
Social Services
Human Services
Political Science
Political Science
Public Administration
Applied Arts
Visual Communication
Interior Design
Health Sciences
Health Science
Law and Legal Studies
Legal Studies
Performing Arts
Natural Sciences