Distance Learning - Offering Freedoms People Never Thought PossibleWritten by Paul Beasley
Jennifer Priory has wanted to be a champion swimmer all her life. For last two years of training she has got out of her bed at four o'clock in morning, trained for three hours, and continued on to school for her daily lessons. This way of life has caused a considerable amount of stress on her parents and family, and taken her away from her social life which most consider important in development of their children. As Jennifer had homework to complete when she arrived home from school, her studying continued after school, and as she was getting up so early in morning, she was ready for bed and asleep by eight o'clock in evening. She didn't see her siblings or father throughout week, and felt more lonely as time went on. Her parents knew something had to change.
Jennifer's mother did some investigating, and came up with a schedule for Jennifer that offered her time for training, schooling, and a social life. She would be able to spend time with her father in evenings, and even participate in some after school activities which would give her added bonus of keeping up friendships with people her own age. Her solution was 'distance learning'. Some may know this as ‘open learning’.
'Distance and Open learning' are forms of education which have proven to be as effective as education a student receives at an 'attendance' school', and because student is able to take their studies at their own time, they are usually able to get ahead easily without having to wait for others to catch up with them. The student is also able to fit other activities into their life with time they save. Jennifer started this new schedule a few months ago, and has found this time effective schedule to fit in with her life instead of her trying to fit in with someone else's schedule.
Jennifer's daily schedule goes like this. She wakes up at seven o'clock along with her siblings. They all have breakfast and they leave for school whilst Jennifer goes to pool for training. She trains and is home by lunch time. She studies for four to five hours and this leaves evenings to her to decide what to do with. Jennifer is much more comfortable with this way of studying and says:
"Before my mother found out about 'distance learning' programs that were open to me, my life was a nightmare! Getting up at four o'clock in morning broke into every aspect of my life, and put a strain on my parents. Now my schedule is very much like my brothers and we act more as a family unit. I have time in morning for training, and if I feel I need to train more at certain times, time is there. It is same with studying. If I feel I need more time to study, time is there, and I have personal tutors for all of my courses who I can contact for any reason if I find any aspect confusing, or don't understand everything I need to. But most importantly, I am able to see friends, and I don't miss out on studying time or have to catch up after I have been away at a competition. I am even completing my AS and A2 levels in one year instead of two!"
Distance learning is quickly becoming favourite way to study by students wanting to get ahead and parents wanting to see their children excel in their studies and other activities. Melissa Roe had same problem with 'time'. Her 'attendance' school didn't afford her time to pursue theatre classes and go to auditions as was her dream, but her parents didn't want her to give up her studies well aware of fierce competition in area she wanted to pursue. Distance and open learning offered her freedom to immerse herself in something she loved without skimping on study hours. She says:
"By rearranging my schedule, I was no longer having arguments with my parents about taking me out of school for auditions and extra daily classes. Everything fits in and I'm not loosing out anywhere, in fact I am able to fill my requirement for education at a faster pace than my friends which will enable my entry into further education sooner which I am also planning on doing by distance learning.”
Kids and ComputingWritten by Dr. Adnan Ahmed Qureshi
Computers can do much more than help children with their schoolwork - they allow them to acquire valuable knowledge and skills for their future careers.
Buying a great multimedia home PC can kick-start your kids into a great career, and not just in accountancy. The new PC industry is looking for artists, writers, storytellers, publishers, games players and designers - but they need to start early.
According to Plato, most effective kind of education is that a child should play among lovely things. While he probably wasn't thinking digitally at time, with emergence of powerful and affordable multimedia PCs, children can now play among lovely things and at same time acquire valuable knowledge and skills that will serve them well in whatever career or profession they may decide to pursue.
Today, most children take computers like ducks to water. Even youngest seem to be alarming clever at setting up and operating all sort of gadgets. Whatever they're using a popular game console or any of other ubiquitous home or arcade systems, technology seems to be more naturally comprehensible to average child than it is to average parent or teacher.
With an increasingly large percentage of children living in households with a computer of some sort, in many ways they're now becoming just another home appliance. But for parents who want to help their children at home/school, apparent labyrinth of technological options can appear depressingly daunting.
It's now possible to get great job in computers that isn't about science, maths programming or accountancy. Increasingly, `humanity-based' skills are often perceived as more valuable and computers can get you into a whole new range of professions evolving around games production, multimedia, digital video or publishing on Internet. Within these, and even more traditional professions - such as journalism, film, television, publishing, advertising, design and music - computers and digital technology have become widespread. And there are probably very few jobs or professions in future that won't require some degree of computer literacy.
Ironically, digital revolution is creating a market not for narrow specialists, but for `renaissance men and women' who have a broad-based education and a wider skill set that will allow them to change careers and move from field to field with an ease and efficiency that was unimaginable in previous generations. Today, perhaps more than any other time in recent history, education needs to be focused on learning how to learn and on development of study skills that will allow children to acquire information they need as and when they need it.