Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How technology is impacting the way we learn

The Future of Higher Education

How technology is impacting the way we learn—for the better!

There is no doubt that online technology is changing the way we learn. As the transfer of knowledge moves from traditional lectures in the classroom to the digital realms of that deliver courses to the comfort of you home, many educators are apprehensive about some of the ways that technology is impacting the way we learn.
Important questions are being raised, like:
  • Are online tools, such as mobile devices, making us lazy learners?
  • Is technology corrupting education by making it too easy to earn a college degree?
  • How can we expect learning be consistent if it’s being taught in social networks?
Technology making us lazy! We say rubbish! And with this article, we plan to show you that as we adapt the way we learn to meet 21st Century needs; e- learning is actually increasing education opportunities for everyone around the world.

Mobile learning

Web-based portable learning is a trend that’s based on society and their heavy use of mobile tools, such as wireless smart phones, iPods, laptops, tablets, iPads and personal media players. Not only is mobile learning in demand by graduating high school students and competitive companies around the world, it also has several advantages, like:
  • It reduces the time spent on learning, for example, the need to go out and purchase a textbook
  • It increases retention because it can be referred to multiple times, for free
  • Mobile learning delivers on-demand college course material, meaning it’s available when you need it, not the other way around
  • It allows for self-paced learning
  • Mobile learning increases one-on-one  opportunities for students and professors
  • It increases confidence, hard work and discipline (because no one is looking over your shoulder)
  • It accommodates varied learning styles—auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners

Social networks

As we become more tech savvy, we’re turning more often to free social media tools to support our learning and seeking knowledge from people who might be normally out of reach. Learning via social networks has the following benefits:
  • The ability to learn from the experts
  • Gives us the opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge with colleagues located in other parts of the world
  • The ability to stay current with the latest trends in a certain industry or career field
  • Offers us the ability to create a presence in a career field outside of our own geographical location

Do-it-yourself learning

The final role technology offers with technology is do-it-yourself (or DIY) learning opportunities. DIY learning opportunities allow us to improve our careers, skills and personal lives using an informal network of colleagues, professionals and experts. DIY learning uses technology to immediately find new information. It’s especially beneficial for people without the time or financial resources to access formal learning. Learning via a DIY style offers the following advantages:
  • DIY learning is available in any format, anytime, anywhere on the web
  • DIY learning is customizable to meet the needs of everyone
  • User created content lets us access the latest facts created by experts
  • It’s available through open content resources (meaning it’s completely free)

Bio: Kathy F. Porter left her extremely uninspiring job as a Marketing Director at a large Georgia-based company and she decided it was ample time to do something she loved. The thought of going back-to-school was very intimidating until she discovered you could earn a degree online from a reputable university—without quitting her job or moving to another city. Kathy now works as a freelance writer and is very passionate about learning. You can contact Kathy at KathyFPorte@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sensory Edge Adds Foamnasium Soft Play Furniture

Earlier this year we went to an industry trade show and meet the team from Foamnasium. They were super nice and had some fun products that can be used at home, school or in waiting areas.

Foamnasium toys and furniture provide easy to clean, high-quality soft play toys that expand young imaginations. They're tough and durable enough for energetic play and offer a myriad of educational activities. The products stimulate the kids senses, aids in the development of gross motor skills and allow children to use their imaginations for exciting play. The soft play toys and furniture are strong enough to withstand rough play, yet soft to ensure children play in safety.

Foamnasium soft shred pillows for children of all ages are for lounging at home or for use in preschools. The accordion mat can be used as a mat, fence or seat to lean against a wall. Fold it and easily move it into another room or area. All Foamnasium products are flame retardant and contain anti-microbial and anti-bacterial protection.

There's a  wide variety of vinyl covered foam chairs, video loungers, child-size sofas, bleacher benches, wedges and triangles so kids can sit quietly or read. The soft, child-sized furniture is ideal for child waiting rooms, playrooms and any location where children may have to wait for any length of time. The kids waiting room furniture allows children to play without fear of injury.

There's also an assortment of foam blocks in different sizes that children can sit on, use as a table or stack for hours of fun. The play mailbox features a curved surface for improved balancing skills and can be coordinated with other pieces to form a soft, safe playground. The circle in a circle toy can be used as part of an obstacle course or seat.

Toddlers love to climb, and with the Toddler Soft Step, small children can reach low placed toys for themselves or climb on the couch with parents without assistance. It provides children with a way to gain confidence, learn balancing skills and independence.