Posts tagged with "Learn"

How cheap Internet prices has helped online education in evolving?

Imagine this is 2004, and you’re an engineering student aspiring to clear the GATE exam. What would your first instinct be? It would undoubtedly involve looking for a nearby institute or consulting your college seniors about how hefty a fee you should be expected to pay for the course.

The year 2017 alone projected the growth of EduTech market at about $255 billion. This number is likely to grow at an exponential rate because more and more students are deciding to enrol for online courses. But what are the circumstances that contributed to this enormous growth? What are the factors that dominate this market niche?

Online Education:

An underlying sense of how online education works is dependent on the goal of the learner. The primary category of learners come to earn certifications which when added to their resumes, boost their career portfolios. The second category of learners come with a sole goal to improve their professional skill set and thus to establish expertise in that area.

Gaining an online degree was earlier not respected or considered credible. But all that is rapidly changing with the drastic increase in the number of students opting to study online and also the number of quality education providers online. While the availability of high-speed internet is one major factor, ease in accessing this technology, economical pricing, superior quality of education and the flexibility it provides form the other significant factors which contribute to the growth of students opting to learn online.

How does affordable internet contribute to this growth?

India and Internet:

The origin of the seed for digital education in India is a bit hazy, but the presence of E-Learning has been prevalent thanks to the educational programmes done by Doordarshan and Aakashwani in the previous decades. Though the internet was a common phenomenon in the early 2000’s, learning wasn’t the main takeaway from any of it. It was primarily used to communicate and not an everyday household luxury because of its expensive setup costs.

With the advent of affordable and high-speed bandwidths, the penetration of internet increased, and with it, the user base surged. The highest surge in the number of users in India was probably towards the end of 2016 when Reliance Jio made affordable and cheap 4G internet a reality while the Indian Currency Demonetisation forced digital literacy in the country.

Rural Penetration and Indic Languages:

The internet has opened up a wide range of possibilities in rural India. Students who previously travelled hundreds of kilometres and paid thousands of rupees at coaching institutes for GATE, UPSC, CAT etc. examination preparation, can now prepare from the comfort of their homes. All they need is a laptop or a smartphone with a small internet pack or access to a community WiFi network.

Sreenath K, a railway coolie from Kerala has cleared the UPSC examination by using the free WiFi available at the railway station. Every day, while he moved the luggage around the station, he used to listen to classes via his earphones on his smartphone. While this is an epitome of ‘how affordable internet has empowered the common man and thus helped in evolving the education in India’, the question of content and trust issues still exist.

A Yourstory article indicates that a majority of the Indian population prefer and trust content in their native languages. This opens up an excellent opportunity for regional content creators.

Thus teachers from anywhere in the country can upload their content in their native languages, and peer-reviewed content ratings help students choose the best of the lot and learn from them.

Accessing Content and types of Content:

While there is an abundance of text-based content available for students to consume, the most preferred content type is video. Video-based content has made it easy for students to understand complex topics from a primary school level to even GATE, CAT or UPSC.
While this stands, audio and image-based content rank next to video content. This is so because before the advent of 4G, accessing a video file was a difficult task but affordable 4G and free WiFi has made video streaming easier and faster.

While there are numerable video tutorials and audio tutorials available for free on youtube and other podcasting mediums, there are many other paid course portals available which provide various certification courses. The increase in the demand for skilled certification has increased the number of contenders in this category. This healthy competition, in turn, has contributed to improving the quality of the course content available.

Educational content is not just confined to the limits of the formats mentioned above. There has been a significant surge in content being generated for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality too. Gamifying the material has helped it, but at the same time, the pricing and the costs involved in including these technologies in a daily learner’s life are huge as of now.

It is not just this new technology, India is ranked 67th by Ookla’s internet speed test, the average internet speed in India is 18Mbps. Though this is an acceptable speed, it is not enough to cater to the ever-growing digital population.

With an estimated growth in the edtech industry to about $1.6 Billion by 2021, the best way to achieve this is by complete rural penetration of the internet, promotion of Indic and regional languages based content, affordable higher bandwidth and integration of new technologies into e-learning modules.

Austin Adventures Explores Heart of the Wyoming-Montana Rockies On a New Three National Park Adventure

An expert in national park multisport adventure has just launched a new way to experience three iconic Rocky Mountain destinations in one immersive journey. Over eight active days this summer guests will go hiking, rafting and horseback riding through Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks while recharging each night at distinctive lodges.

Austin Adventures’ new-for-2018 Wyoming Rockies Adventure collects guests in Jackson, WY, where the week-long expedition begins. There’s time to explore this Wild West town before settling into the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa located on seven lush acres adjacent to the National Elk Refuge and just a few blocks from Jackson’s lively town square. Welcome to the heart of the Rockies.

These mountains, constituting the spine of North America, rise thousands of feet out of the prairie, dividing the continent and providing some of the most dramatic and geologically diverse landscapes in the world. Those who have chosen to make their lives here are, among others, the guides, wait staff and innkeepers who interact with guests, sharing their understanding of this landscape while passing on love and lore.

“Our mantra is to engage as many senses as possible on an Austin Adventure,” says Dan Austin, founder and visionary director

(https://www.austinadventures.com/). To this end guests will…

Hike up to seven miles on easy to moderately strenuous terrain, ever alert for grizzly bears, bison, wolves, coyotes, elk, pronghorns – and wildflowers;

Horseback ride into the Bridger Teton National Forest, climbing 2,000 vertical feet to overlook Snake River Canyon;

Whitewater raft on class II-III rapids through Wyoming’s Snake River Canyon;

• Glide down zip lines under towering limestone cliffs, and come face-to-face with mountain goats grazing on mountainsides of wildflowers;

Swim and soak in an oversized Olympic pool fed by a virtually unlimited supply of 155-degree natural hot spring water;

Gaze 1,000 feet down into the V-shaped gorge of the color-splashed walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Learn the geological differences between three magnificently dissimilar national parks all within a geographically small area;

Investigate Yellowstone’s four geothermal features: spouting geysers, steaming hot springs, hissing fumaroles and bubbling mud pots.

Excursions from Jackson Hole will first introduce guests to the wonders of the Grand Tetons. Then moving into Yellowstone territory, guests are guided to views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on a backcountry hike that favors moose and elk sightings over the distant din of summer crowds. Arriving at Canyon Lodge there’s the opportunity to step back from technology and embrace lodging in the country’s oldest national park while chatting fireside with new-round friends. Departing the park at the West Gate, a 110-year-old Montana homestead, 320 Guest Ranch, offers cowboy comfort along the Gallatin River that winds through sage and towering pines. The movie A River Runs Through It was filmed nearby.

The scenic drive north to Glacier National Park is interspersed by a stop at the famous pools of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Guests spend a night here before heading to Whitefish, Montana, and two nights at the Grouse Mountain Lodge, one of the region’s finest. A day is spent exploring Glacier Park with a hike along the Highline Trail (also known as the Garden Wall) to Haystack Butte and back. A drive along the famed Going to the Sun Road reveals an alpine environment that wows with its wildflowers, precipitous peaks and an occasional mountain goat or bighorn sheep. A final gondola ride up Whitefish Mountain to soak in the breathtaking views precedes a transfer back to the Kalispell airport for the inevitable return home.

The per person double rate is $3,998 ($80 single supplement). Departures in 2018 are July 15 and July 25. The rate includes accommodations; all meals (except one on-own dinner); fully trained, first-aid-certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners; all necessary equipment for scheduled activities; vehicle support and land transportation during the trip; Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service; pre-departure and packing information; and incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.

For details see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-wyoming-rockies-adventure/.  A recent blog about the sights seen on this adventure can be found at https://www.austinadventures.com/travel-resources/best-of-the-west/

To help plan the next great journey, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is available upon request. Please order ONLINE or call 1.800.575.1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated beyond the print catalog please visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

About Austin Adventures

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. Acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution. All backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Influential Women at Wellesley

This January, Wellesley College will host several of the world’s most influential women, including Sally Yates, Wendy Sherman, Andrea Mitchell, Katharine H.S. Moon, and Madeleine Albright herself, as part of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs ninth annual Wintersession, a three-week intensive program at Wellesley that educates the next generation of women leaders.

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 Highlighted Events

●      On January 8, from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Albright Institute welcomes Sally Yates, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General (2015-2017). Yates will present a keynote talk, “Principles Not Policy: Essential Norms in Preserving the Rule of Law,” exploring the vital role of trust in creating stable and just societies. This event will be available via livestream.

●      On January 16, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., a group of North Korea experts will present “Beyond the Headlines: Understanding Korea,” led by Katharine Moon, Edith Stix Wasserman Professor of Asian Studies at Wellesley and nonresident senior fellow with Brookings. This event will be available via livestream.

●      On January 24, beginning at approximately 6:40 p.m., Secretary Albright will present a dinner dialogue entitled “In the Balance: Setting a Course to Restore Democratic Principles” with Wendy R. Sherman, senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (2011 to 2015). This event will be available via livestream.

●      On the final day of Wintersession, January 25, Secretary Albright will join Andrea Mitchell of NBC News speaking at the closing ceremony for Albright Fellows. This event will not be livestreamed. 

About the Albright Institute Wintersession

This year’s Albright Institute Wintersession will educate a cohort of 48 Wellesley student fellows representing 18 countries, 18 U.S. states, and 26 majors. Following two weeks of classes and panels led by prominent speakers, the fellows spend the final week of the program working together in interdisciplinary groups to develop solutions that address a critical world issue. This year’s theme is “Harnessing the Power of Technology: Navigating Truth and Trust in a World Transformed.”

“The Albright Institute is educating the next generation of global leaders—with its interdisciplinary, experiential approach to learning and its expert faculty, talented students, and the powerful and influential women leaders it brings to Wellesley’s campus, including former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Wellesley Class of 1959,” said Wellesley College President Paula A. Johnson. “The global problems we face—including threats to democracy, climate change, and poverty and income inequality—are increasingly complex and fraught, with the potential for worldwide repercussions. The Albright Institute is preparing its students to meet tomorrow’s challenges head on, and the world has never needed them more.”

More on Albright Institute Featured Speakers

Sally Yates, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice, spent more than two decades as a federal prosecutor in Georgia and was appointed U.S. Deputy Attorney General in 2015 by President Barack Obama. She was named acting U.S. Attorney General in January 2017 and served in that position for just 10 days before being fired for defying the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban—an executive order temporarily halting entrance to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Yates’s talk, “Principles Not Policy: Essential Norms in Preserving the Rule of Law,” will be moderated Lawrence A. Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of American Literature, professor of English, and co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies program at Wellesley. The talk will be followed by a lunch with the fellows, who will have an opportunity to converse with Yates directly.

Albright Institute Director Joanne Murray said, “No one represents the mission of the Albright Institute better than Sally Yates—cultivating in fellows the habits of principled clarity, bold service, and courageous action to shape a better world.”

During her time as undersecretary of state, Wendy Sherman was the lead U.S. negotiator in the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran. For this and other diplomatic accomplishments, Sherman was awarded the National Security Medal by President Obama. According to Murray, Sherman “demonstrated the ability to bring opposing countries to consensus and to forge trust. She will share what deliberative negotiating means as Albright Fellows sort through potential policy solutions to the problems posed to them.”

The January 16 panel led by Professor Katharine H.S. Moon, “Beyond the Headlines: Understanding Korea,” will feature three panelists: Jieun Baek, a Ph.D. candidate in public policy at the University of Oxford, former research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed SocietyMelissa Hanham, senior research associate in the East Asia Nonproliferation Program; and a third panelist, who works on a variety of causes related to human rights issues, including rights for North Korean defectors in South Korea.

In addition to Yates, Sherman, and these experts, this year’s program will feature an array of other distinguished individuals, including Anne Richard, U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration from 2012 to 2017, and Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and faculty director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

About the Albright Institute

The Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College supports the College’s mission of educating students for leadership in an increasingly complex and interconnected global environment. The program combines the intellectual resources of faculty from Wellesley, researchers from the Wellesley Centers for Women, and leading alumnae and other practitioners and policy makers in the fields of international relations and public policy.

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.

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