Category: General

Online education methods and digital learning are the methods used by top universities in the USA to impart distance learning. Here’s a list of the top 5 universities that offer some of the best undergraduate and postgraduate courses through distance education.

  • John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University offers a wide range of online courses in Social Sciences, Business, Engineering , Computer Science and Medicine. The university also encourages the collaboration of the students and faculty and also facilitates important research.

  • Boston University

As the one of the largest, non-profit universities in the US, Boston University encourages students to take up online graduate programs, non-credit professional certificates and diplomas.

  • University of Texas, Austin

The University of Texas offers some of the best Engineering courses through distance education. Additionally, the institution also connects students with good job openings through industry partnerships.

  • University of California, Los Angeles

Popularly known as the UCLA, the academy offers a wide range of online engineering degrees. Students have access to free information, free debate and can also choose from a wide selection of less-commonly taught languages.

  • New York University

Pioneering in education since 1831, New York University offers excellent online courses in Business and Management, engineering and computer science, to name just a few.

Pursued by millions of students around the world, distance education is the best choice for anyone who wants to continue their education. The benefits of distance education extends beyond the limitations of age, time and work. The top three benefits highlight why distance education continues to draw people from around the world:

Flexible: The best thing about distance learning is that it allows one to create a learning environment within the confines of work and home. The choice of when, where and how to study is left entirely to the student’s choice. Online courses and classes give you the freedom of prioritizing your professional and family life.

Cost-effective: Distance learning bridges the gap between the institution and those who cannot afford to study as regular students. Being the best economically viable option, distance learning is a boon for many students.

Recognition: There has been an increasing trend amongst employers in recognizing and accepting distance education, especially if it is from an accredited university. Besides, there are many employees who simultaneously pursue higher education to improve their skills and expertise in their field of work.

The above mentioned aspects are key factors that make distance learning highly beneficial in this digital era.

When it comes to distance learning for special education, a lot of dynamics change and become very challenging. The term “ Special Education” comprises tailored education for different disabilities, age groups, interests and abilities.

Specialized distance learning can be a huge challenge when most students require one-on-one guidance because of dependency and attention deficits. Here are some pointers that can help to ease these challenges:

  • Parental involvement is imperative here. Assessment of the home environment, availability of electronic devices and uninterrupted wi-fi, availability of space for motor and sensory activities must be taken into account.
  • Evaluating the goals that are achievable in the given environment and breaking up the learning process into manageable benchmarks.
  • Teachers must impart continuous guidance to parents through video conferencing to keep things moving at a smooth pace.
  • Creating classroom groups on social media can bring all the parents and teachers under one platform where there is mutual benefit for all.
  • Special distance learning also calls for extensive flexibility on the part of the parents and teachers to foster an environment that resembles a normal school day.
  • A list of daily activities can be broken down, giving the students plenty of breaks. They should also be given enough time to work on projects.

Dyslexia is a highly misunderstood word. It is often confused and misinterpreted as autism and other learning disabilities. Dyslexic students are at a major disadvantage in a normal class environment. The international Dyslexia Organization characterizes Dyslexia as having difficulties with accurate recognition, decoding and poor spelling ability.

How can Dyslexic students be helped in a regular classroom?

  • Reading deficits must be identified and analyzed as early as kindergarten. Linguistics can aid children to improve their reading levels. Teachers must be extremely patient and implement structured and multisensory ways to help dyslexic students.
  • Teachers can motivate students by identifying their other talents. Students must be encouraged to pursue what makes them feel confident and self-dependent. The range of interest may vary from mathematics to sports or art.
  • Peer-acceptance is a vital aspect to thrive in a school environment. Teachers must be wary of bullying and rejection that can snuff out the interest of going to school.
  • Dyslexic students must be handled with more sensitivity. Removing time limits for exams and taking away marks for spelling mistakes can be overlooked.
  • The success or failure of a Dyslexic student depends entirely on the school and the environment. Creating awareness for teachers and others who handle dyslexic students is absolutely imperative.

As much as they are fun, outdoor education must be well-thought out and well-planned to derive optimum benefits.

  • Proper Planning

It is entirely the responsibility of the teachers and the institution to ensure the safety of the students in an open environment. Proper planning is imperative while deciding on the place, the time and duration of the event , etc. A checklist must be prepared to include the right clothing and footwear, emergency medication, potential hazards and rules and regulations. Emergency contact numbers, first-aid kits, etc must be included in the list of must-haves.

  • Parental Involvement

Extra adult supervision is always welcome when there is a group of students involved. What better way to rope in parents who can also make use of the opportunity to know their children better! Apart from supervising the group, parents can also be allowed to share their useful knowledge and insights they’ve gained from experience.

  • Active student participation

There are no hard and fast rules for learning when it comes to outdoor education. A restriction-free guidance along with adult supervision will help to bring out the best in them. Students must be encouraged to make the most of the outdoor opportunity to expand their learning process beyond book knowledge.

  • Increases Environmental Awareness

Outdoor schooling is a fun way of bringing students closer to nature and the environment around them. It provides a good exposure to the various weather conditions and teaches them to adapt to the challenges of an open environment. Above all, students learn first hand about the implications of land and water pollution. It is a great way to instill the traits of respecting the environment and implementing the old adage “live and let live”.

  • Inculcates good traits and fosters great bonds

Outdoor education involves a lot of teamwork. Teamwork invariably brings out the need to adjust, co-exist, help and adapt to many impromptu situations. This is a great learning curve for children where they learn to make the most of one’s talents. Learning to respect others’ ideas and opinions and dealing with small conflicts are inculcated through outdoor education. Children end up forging great bonds of friendship and mutual respect.

  • Helps build everlasting memories of school life

Trekking, hiking, and camping outdoors with fellow students and teachers is something that happens only in school and college. The takeaway here are those fun-filled memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. So are the values, habits and positive thoughts that come along with the experience. Outdoor education also teaches important life skills and survival skills that are far more valuable than theoretical learning.