Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

How can educators create free courses in iTunes?

July 16th, 2013 No comments

Educational instructors can make use of iTunes U to a large extent. This application has helped such professionals create study materials on the basis of the course modules, such that students can gain access to the classroom lectures on their iPads, iPhones and Mac PCs as well. iTunes U has brilliantly redefined the student-teacher interface, by virtue of software applications which has made studying a tad bit more interesting. And each educator can make use of the various features of iTunes U to create course materials as well.



To Begin with iTunes U

If you are a lecturer, or a teacher, and you intend to exploit iTunes U optimally, first you would need to get started with an instructor’s profile. If you do not have an Apple account of your own, you need to make one for yourself in order to log into iTunes and have access to the iTunes U app. Once you have logged into iTunes, you can find the iTunes U icon on the far right corner of the iTunes screen.

Your instructor profile would be used as the reference root, for all the courses that you would be creating by the use of this application. After the profile has been made, you would be seeing a dashboard on the screen. This would have a certain icon namely, ‘Create New Course’. You would be clicking on that to begin writing your modules. Moreover, you can add as much as 20 GB of materials in this application. For quick know-hows, a column of frequently asked questions would be appearing on the right hand side. You can check on those if you have any queries.



Creating Courses with iTunes U

To begin with adding courses, you need to go the New Course Settings to enter all the corresponding information. These would include;

  • The name of the course e.g. Physics 12 (as in module 12 of Physics course)
  • Name of the institution where you belong.
  • Your respective department.
  • Selecting a category, a sub-category and also the level and language of instruction.
  • Description or summary of the course you are adding to enlighten students about the basic idea of the module you are writing.
  • Selecting the course type is important. If you want students to complete the course at their own convenience, select the ‘Self-Paced’ option. Otherwise, go for the ‘In-Session’ option, in order to set the time limit for the same.
  • Select the kind of licensing of your associated content.
  • Uploading an image to represent your content, to make it compelling and attractive. The minimum image size should be of 600X600 pixels.

After you have completed these procedures, you would be seeing the aforementioned dashboard again. Here, you would find all the latest information regarding your course. All you need to do is to click on the course module in order to edit it, add assignments, videos, updated contents etc. You can also check for the number of students who has signed up for you course.



Edit, Organize, Share

Organizing and editing contents in iTunes U can be done by the use of the following things;

  • Outline page: Here, the instructor will be adding the course curriculum. If the course has been set at ‘self-paced’ term, he or she can summarize the entire syllabi. If the course is ‘In Session’, then the instructor can go on updating the curriculum as and when he or she adds new courses.
  • Instructor Page: Consists of the profile facts of the instructor. This also contains all other courses that the said instructor is managing.
  • Overview page: This page would show all the contents that you have added previously. This would also display your institution’s name, the course level, description etc. You can edit each of these any time you want.
  • Use posts, assignments and materials icons to add your contents.



You can also go about adding new pages as per your discretion. This may involve highlighting different learning outcomes, or any other thing that may be helpful for the students like prerequisites that a student should know about before taking up the course.

Go to the below link to excavated more on the courses:-

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How edX is changing the way of online education?

July 16th, 2013 No comments

Online courses have become the latest trends to grab our attention. Most of us are aware of iTunes U taking the student community by rage gradually. Nevertheless, there is another alternative to iTunes U that most of you can access more easily without having to undertake much hassles. This portal is named as edX. edX came as a conjugated initiative of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Each of these esteemed institutions have invested $30 million worth of resources to bring about this free medium of university courses that people around the world can have access to without spending anything. So, let’s have a look at what this open-source software can offer and how should we use it.

Getting started with edX


This is how the edX page looks like. If you haven’t signed up as of yet, take a look at the ‘SIGN UP’ option perched at the upper right corner of the image. Once you click on that option, you would be taken to somewhere like this image below.


That is all that edX requires you to do; sign up and get started. Once you have registered yourself with edX, you would be taken to your own ‘dashboard’ where you can click on the ‘Find Courses’ button in order to select for the kind of course you want to enrol into. A notification would be sent to the e-mail ID that you have provided; do click on the link given in that mail in order to activate your account and start shopping for courses.

What edX can Offer You?

The homepage of edX itself shows how many universities has become a part of this software. There are a wide range of courses available and one can take up any course as per their respective discretion. The dashboard of your personal page would display all the courses that you have registered for.


This image is an example of how your dashboard would look like if you have selected a course. Clicking on the course would take you to the various portions of the same, like the syllabus and the list of faculties etc. It will give you a detailed description of the time period of the course, the prerequisites etc.

The thing that you should know is the fact that unless the course begins on the stipulated date, you won’t be able to see the ‘View Course’ option in your dashboard area. After the course initiates, you would be taken to the following page for a detailed overview of what you are going to attend during the course curriculum.

Click on the respective icons in order to expand and look into the heads included in the Course Handouts section.  The Course Info section would provide you with all the necessary details. You need to click on the Courseware icon in order to go to the page that has all the lectures and videos related to your subject area of study.

Credits or Certificates?

If you were wondering if this can help you to earn extra credits, the downer comes here. This open source software only helps you in enriching your knowledge about a particular programme, and you cannot earn any credits through the same. But, it does provide the student with a course completion certificate in lieu for some minimal charge.

The best thing about edX is that; it is freely accessible, and it is feasible for all kinds of students in and around the world, who aspire to study at an esteemed institution though incumbent factors don’t allow them to do so. It has made education universally available; anyone with an internet connection can have admittance. It is slowly bringing about a paradigm shift in the way of existing system of university education.

edX Courses:-


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How to get a free certification from Stanford?

May 31st, 2013 No comments

If Stanford was a dream that never got fulfilled for real, it is time that the virtual world gives you a learning experience similar to Stanford. Moreover, how better it can get? It can be freely accessible, without you having to spend a dime on it. Nevertheless, if ‘how’ is all that you are asking yourself right now, it is something called edX that can help you go that way.

edX and Getting a Course

The first thing that you need to do is that, sign up with edX. After you have done that, you can view a list of about 32 courses from several universities including Stanford. Currently, this portal is hosting as many as fifteen courses only, and intend at increasing the number of disciplines by and by. That may prove to be a wee bit of restriction for those who may not find a suitable course for themselves. Notwithstanding this fact, some very basic courses have been included in their system. The image below shows you the page where all the courses are enlisted.

Free certification from Stanford

Free certification from Stanford

A Stanford Certification: How to go about it?

From the list of available courses, one can enter into one or more of the same. But one particular thing that the student has to keep in mind is the fact that, until and unless the course is completed, a certificate is not issued. The duration of each course is mentioned in the information page, as the image here would be showing. The Courseware section would show you the extent of the course that you have signed up for, along with the modules that would be taught in each corresponding week. Have a look at this screenshot to understand better.

Free certification from Stanford

Free certification from Stanford


The courses vary with respect to the time period through which it would be taught. A certificate will only be issues as per the decision of edX and also the University under which you had taken the course. The student has to ‘master’ the course in order to earn a certificate. Presently, certificates are issued free of cost, though a fee (a very modest one) would be charged from the near future. Yet, issuance of a certificate doesn’t mean that you would be able to transfer credits by enrolling under edX courses. There is no provision for the same whatsoever, as edX aims at only enhancing the learning periphery and experience of an individual, making it widely obtainable to people around the world.

To know more about Stanford certifications, follow the link given below:-

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How to create interactive course materials using iBooks?

May 31st, 2013 No comments

Apple has brought about an evolution of the facet of traditional teaching. Now, the medium of instruction has been ‘substituted’ by innovative mediums of instruction like the intangible books, virtual classrooms and free online courses. Now, as the course of education is changing to accommodate people from various parts of the world, and as education is becoming more and more accessible in a variety of forms, educators are also trying to make use of this transition to the fullest. iBooks Author is an impeccable app from the shelves of Apple, which has allowed educational instructors to publish study materials and share them actively with all potent readers and learners.

iBooks Author:  A novel realm of publishing

iBook Author is free application software. All Mac users can download it from the Mac Store for free and start using its features to create or publish a book. It has a very user-friendly interface and is loaded with a range of exquisite designing features that would help you to make a book with ease. There are customizing options and a whole collection of templates that would aid you in selecting page layouts, cover pages, font styles, etc. as per your respective choices. It will allow you to insert images, shaped, tables and chart with simple drag-and-drop options. Subject specific additions and alterations can also be done like using MathML and LaTex notations for inserting mathematical equations. You can also make your book more interesting by adding widgets with multi-touch interfaces.


iBooks: Sharing with iTunes U

If you are keen on hosting your course materials with the iTunes U application, you need to first submit your material to the iBookstore in order to put it up either for sale or for free viewing and downloading purposes. Next, you can preview your book in the iBooks app (can be similarly downloaded from Apple store for iPads and Mac notebooks) and transfer it in the form of the iBook format for sharing it in the iTunes U. This way, you can publicize your study materials and make them handy to people who are enrolled into the iTunes courses.

System Requirements to obtain iBooks Author

You need to specifically have a MAC OSX to use this software. Apart from that, a 2GB RAM, 1.2 GB of disk space availability, iBooks application, iTunes Producer (for the purpose of publishing the book), and a steady internet network are required. If you have all of them, you are good to go and have your course work published.

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How to get a free certification from MIT?

May 10th, 2013 No comments

The interface between students and institutions providing the education is gradually evolving into a very different scenario. While aspirers can take up courses and degrees online, the thirst to know more about a specific subject area and deepen one’s own knowledge is also being catered to by a variety of provisions available in the internet. For example, the online portal named edX. If you are thinking that Universities like MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard etc. are out of your reach, you need to have a reality check. Because, edX has made it possible for you to have access to a range of select courses from these every institutes.

edX: Education just a click away

Free certificate from MIT 


edX is what most of us have secretly wondered about. A joint initiative by the Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this online portal aims at providing free courses to students who wish to grasp at their subject field. Moreover, this is a free service that the students can get. One thing that people should be clear about is the fact that, while a student enrolls for a course in edX, he or she cannot transfer credits. Nevertheless, one can definitely get a certificate on completion of the stipulated course curriculum and assignments etc. Hence, if getting a free certification of MITs is something that you had kept under the inconspicuous wraps of your secret desires, edX is where you can unfold them.

Read more…

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Adapting online courses to ease burden on colleges

May 2nd, 2013 No comments

ipadRealizing the potential of free online college classes, and with an increasing interest to let more students access to college and help them graduate on time, educators are working on the measly task of harnessing online materials to meet the toughest challenges in American higher education.

To address issues on financial consequences along with the reducing the number of seats available in public institutions, and keep students on track to graduation, universities are beginning to experiment with adding the new “massive open online courses ”, created to deliver elite college instruction to anyone with an Internet connection.

While the courses, known as MOOCs, have enrolled millions of students around the world, most who enroll never start a single assignment, and very few complete the courses. Therefore, to reach students who are not ready for college-level work, or are struggling with introductory courses, universities are beginning to add extra supports to the online materials, in hope of improving success rates.

At San Jose State, for example, two pilot programs infuse material from online classes into the instructional mix and allow students to earn credit for them. Mohammad Qayoumi, the university’s president is enthusiastic about implementing this innovation, knowing that its failure can lead to finding out what went wrong and doing better the next time.

In one pilot program, the university is even working with Udacity, a company co-founded by a Stanford professor, to assess whether online mentors being hired and trained by the company, working round-the-clock, can help more students work  through three fully online basic math courses.

As early signs look promising, Udacity and San Jose State are planning to expand these classes to 1,000 students, and are adding new courses in psychology and computer programming, with tuition fee of only $150 a course. Such pilot courses for credit are open to both San Jose State students and local high school and community college students.

San Jose State has already achieved remarkable results, arranging circuits course with online materials from edX, a non-profit online provider, the subject being a struggle for would-be engineers. Ms. Ellen Junn, the provost believes that blending M.I.T.’s online materials with live classroom sessions will help more students to succeed. Dr. Anant Agarwal, the president of edX enthusiastically agreed to Ms. Junn’s request and arranged for San Jose State to offer the blended sessions to students, bringing out striking outcome being a success rate of 91 percent of those in the blended section, as compared with 59 percent in the traditional class. Dr. Junn says that, “We want to bring all the hyperbole around MOOCs down to reality, and really see at a granular level that’s never before been available, how well they work for undeserved students.”

San Jose State announced that next fall, it will pay a licensing fee to offer three to five more blended edX courses, probably including Harvard’s “Ancient Greek Heroes” and Berkeley’s”Artificial Intelligence.” And over the summer, it will train 11 other California State campuses to use the blended M.I.T. circuits course.

Josh Jarret, a higher education officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which in the past year has given grants to develop massive open online courses for basic and remedial courses, said “For us, 2012 was all about trying to tilt some of the MOOC attention towards the more novice learner, the low-income and first-generation students. And 2013 is about blending MOOCs into college courses where there is additional support, and students can get credit. While some low-income young adults can benefit from what I call the free-range MOOCs, the research suggests that most are going to need more scaffolding, more support.” Read more…

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Teachers can find avenues for additional Income on the internet

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Teaching can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. Every single day in a teacher’s life is like a new lesson opened, as he has to think of innovative ways to bring forth his knowledge to teach his disciple. Being an educator fills a vital need in every child’s development. However, the pay that many teachers receive does not adequately reflect their efforts and contributions they make to the society, which has forced many to look for employment opportunities in addition to teaching. A good number of teaching professionals have thus realized that working online is profitable, convenient, and can be very easy to access with just a little knowledge about the Internet. Teachers already deal with many tasks online as they utilize the Internet to research information on a theme that they may want to cover in the class.

Earning for tutors

Today’s post covers some such avenues on the internet, that the teachers can look for, to make additional income.

  • Sell educational content on Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers pay Teachers is an online open marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational resources in downloadable formats. It is a unique site that allows interested teachers to sell their thematic lesson plans, teaching guides, research papers, worksheets etc online to other teachers. Any teacher from any discipline at any grade level can take up membership here. Basic membership is free while Premium members are charged a minimal registration fee.

TPTBasic Sellers earn 60% of their gross sales less the transaction fees, while Premium Sellers earn 85% of their gross sales and do not have to pay any transaction fees. Sellers get paid on a quarterly basis via Pay Pal. currently has about 300,000 items for sale in addition to more than 80,000 free resources. More than 1 million teachers have bought or sold items on since its inception. Site founder Paul Edelman confirmed that teachers have earned $5 million in sales during August and September. After paying for the site fees, teachers have collectively earned more than $20 million on the site since it was founded.

  • Build and sell courses on Udemy

Udemy is an online platform that gives instructors a place to design courses on any topic they want to teach. Instructors can use video, PowerPoint, PDF, audio, zip files and live classes to conveniently build a course and share their expertise with anyone across the world, with an internet connection. Udemy brings to the Internet real opportunities for passionate people as it allows not only instructors affiliated with educational institutions, but anyone with a common objective, to potentially earn money for teaching audiences across all kinds of categories and subjects. Paid instructors receive 70% of the revenue from course sales, while 30% is retained by Udemy.

According to Udemy, teaching is the new way to make six figures on the Web . The 2-year-old, San Francisco based start-up claims that their top 10 instructors have individually made more than $50,000 in revenue last year, while the top instructor has earned $200,000. Udemy has 6,000 courses created since its launch in 2010 and there are more than 70,000 lecture views every month. Taking a look at the salaries of top 10 instructors on Udemy confirms success in their objective. Read more…

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How is technology impacting student learning

March 29th, 2013 No comments

Education has seen many technological advances over the last few decades. Studies have shown that technology improves performance and motivates students, making learning more meaningful. Combining education and technology creates a more stimulating learning environment and ameliorates confidence.

But has constant use of digital technology by the students, started to interfere with learning? There is certain urgency in answering this question. Today’s overly digital generation calls for re-looking at the actual and potential relationship between technology and student learning.

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This interesting presentation on PREZI, created by JiEun Yoo, takes you through the effects of digital technology on learning.

There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hindering their attention span and ability to handle pressure when put forth with challenging tasks. Different surveys of teachers have revealed that today’s students are not skilled enough to think critically or synthesize information they find with the aid of technology. Teachers who did not participate in the surveys re-emphasized their findings in interviews, adding that they had to work harder to capture and retain students’ attention these days.

The research conducted by two well known research organizations Pew Research Center and Common Sense Media, studied that media use among children and teenagers ranging from 8 to 18 years age group has grown so much that on an average they spend twice as much time with screens as they spend in school. The researchers however note that their findings are subjective opinion of teachers and should not be taken as a conclusive proof that widespread use of digital gadgets affects students’ ability to concentrate. However, the researchers who performed the studies, as well as scholars who study technology’s impact on behaviour and the brain, emphasize that these studies are significant because of the vantage points of teachers, who spend hours a day observing their students.

Hope Molina-Porter, an English teacher in California, is worried that technology is deeply altering the way students learn. Having an experience of 14 years in teaching accelerated students, she has noted a marked decline in the depth and analysis of written work in her students. She wonders if teachers are adding to the problem by adjusting their lessons and teaching methods to accommodate shorter attention spans.

Many teachers have expressed the fact that today’s relatively easy online research process has resulted in fewer original thoughts, less critical thinking, and not as much actual synthesis of information by their students.  They point out that students find information online and just copy and paste them directly into documents, without adequately analyzing it.  This not only elevates concerns about their understanding of concepts and practice of unfair plagiarism, but also worries some teachers that students are not developing adequate ability to think critically about the information they supposedly research on. A brief list of the areas of concern as seen by the teachers is given below:

  • Students’ overexposure to gadgets accompanied by the use of latest technology has resulted in multi-tasking that often contributes to lack of focus and weakened ability to retain knowledge.
  • Students do not prioritize enough time for critical tasks, and often rely on the various digital tools available at their disposal, to waste time and procrastinate, giving rise to concerns over their time management skills.
  • Some students’ addiction to online gaming and video games exhausts their time and attention.
  • Overexposure to digital technology is not really contributing to make students more technologically literate or more efficient.
  • Students have grown so accustomed to getting quick answers with a few keystrokes that they are more likely to resign when an easy answer eludes them. Read more…
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