The word blog is shortened version of the term web log. It is a kind of site that is made up mainly of entries called posts. These posts are usually displayed in an order where the most recent ones are shown first. Initially, blogs were mainly the output of single individuals writing about the topics that interest them, but in the past few years multi-author blogs have been coming out. These blogs are mostly the products of institutions and publications and are edited professionally.
The Trend of Microblogging
Another development in the field of blogging is the rise of Twitter and other similar sites. These online services are at the forefront of what is known as “microblogging” where users are allowed to post short writings which can then be shared and used by different users.
The Rise of the Blogs
The use of blogs started to become popular in the late 90s when more sophisticated internet publishing applications were introduced. This allowed persons with no real technical experience or knowledge to create blogs on the internet and have it published online for everyone to see and read. For the very first time writers and creators have the opportunity to reach a global audience.
The Interactive Features of Blogs
A major distinction of blogs when compared to other websites is the fact that it can have some interactive features. Visitors on these are sometimes allowed to leave comments on the pages which can be viewed by other visitors. The administrators of the site can edit and delete these comments or can review them first before being posted, but it is an interactive feature nonetheless.
The Popularity of Blogs
Today, there are millions of blogs in existence and they range from the simple diary type of journals to sophisticated sites published by institutions. More and more people are being drawn to this form of publishing and it has allowed creativity and freedom of expression to flower.
Learn How to Blog
Starting out with blogging could not be simpler. All that it takes is for you to create an account on one of the free blogging services such Blgger, Tumblr or Word Press. In order for you to start you will need an email address that will be connected to the account. Once you have created your account, you can then proceed to creating the posts that you want for your blog. There are different ways that you can style your blog and it would be best if you can spend time in doing experiments to find the best one suited for you.
The internet is an amazing tool. It has allowed us to connect with people like never before with social networking sites. It has made the ideas and creation of ordinary people available to the whole world with blogs. It has revolutionized the entertainment industry with the way that it has altered the way music and videos can be bought and enjoyed. But one of the most important, if often neglected aspect of the internet is its impact on how we learn things.
Learning Trades Online
It is now perfectly possible for a person to learn trade and skills online. There are various ways that it can be done. One can enrol on online courses for example and go through modules on how to learn certain skills.
There are also less formalized ways of leaning things, like reading “how to” articles and watching video instructions. The latter is very effective for learning skills that are in connection with the internet because the student can actually see what supposed to be showing on his screen, as a way of confirming that he’s doing the right thing.
Skills and Trades You Master Online
Here are some of the skills that you might be able to learn and master using the internet:
- Repairing Things- What do you do whenever something in your house needs a simple repair? Do you call in a handyman or do you just throw it out and buy a new one? Whichever option you choose, it’s costly. Instead of doing those, you can just go online and do some research on how to fix something. Do it all the time and pretty soon people will be paying you to do the same for them.
- Photography- While it would take an exceptional eye and skills in order to become an excellent photographer, technical proficiency would be enough to turn you into a good one. You can achieve that with enough practice and learning about techniques and the basics of photography online.
- Photo Editing- In connection with photography, you can also learn to edit your pictures along the way. This is very much in demand in the internet right now.
- Video Editing- While you’re learning photo editing, you might as well pick up some lessons on video editing along the way.
- Gardening- The internet is flooded with websites offering information on how to do proper gardening. You would never lack material that you can use on your garden.
As you can see there is a wide variety of skills and trades that you learn using the internet.
With computers and the internet becoming increasingly important, it is inevitable that they would be used for different things. Since the internet is a very powerful tool for carrying and conveying information, it is therefore very useful when it comes to education.
The Emergence of Social Software Applications
Social software applications are the most influential force in driving the popularity of the internet today. These are the interactive and communication tools that allow people to connect online. There are different types of social software applications that are in use today. Just to give you an idea, here are some of these types:
- IM or Instant messaging
- Text chat
- Collaborative software
- Collaborative real-time editors
- Prediction markets
- Social network services
- Social network search engines
- Social guides
- Social bookmarking
- Social libraries
- Virtual worlds
The list could go on and on. Basically any software that allows its users and people to connect, communicate and share information with one another through the internet can be considered to be social software. These can be treated as extensions of the real society where the people who are using these types of software are living. The purposes for which they have been created are varied. Some are meant for entertainment, others are for sharing information, but the one constant thing is that they bring people together.
How Social Software is Used for Learning
Because of the qualities of the computer, especially when it is connected to the internet, it is considered to be an ideal tool for education and for aiding in learning. Social software applications like Social viewing and Wikis can be instrumental in helping teachers to provide instructions. The internet is also a venue for non-traditional forms of education. With its aid, distance education has taken a whole new meaning. It is now possible for open universities to provide instructions to students that are close to those that they can get in a traditional classroom setting.
Social online storage, and other applications that are similar to it, allows the users to store information, files and data and share it with each other. Even the video games and role playing games that are based on the internet are opportunities for learning in a social environment.
The Future of Education
It is inevitable that the future of education would feature the use of social software application extensively. That’s why it is better if you would embrace it and the changes that it brings as early as now.
There are many reasons why the internet is an excellent instrument for educating children and adults alike. It has certain qualities that make it ideal. Here are some of the reasons why the internet can be a great tool for teaching:
- It can be used anywhere at any time. Just as long as there is a connection people can access the teaching tools.
- It can store information and lessons with almost no limits.
- Lessons can be accessed by anyone.
- People can share information and files.
- People can connect and communicate through the internet instantly.
With all of those qualities, educators would be well advised to learn how to utilize the internet in order to teach people in a more effective way.
Online Courses and Lessons
A lot of people have already seen and recognized the potential of the internet as an instrument for teaching. There are institutions of organizations that are offering online courses which people can take in order to study almost anything.
There are videos on websites like YouTube that you can view in order to learn how to do something. That kind of setup is ideal for teaching how to use computer applications and software. The videos can show what should appear on the screen and the instructor can narrate on what the student has to do.
There are also some institutions of higher learning that are offering online courses. Though students would not be able to earn credits for these courses, the important thing is that they would get lessons on how to practice things. The courses can be for anything from languages to cinematography.
Teaching Facts with Fun, Online Games
Another reason why the internet is an excellent venue for teaching is because games can be used as a teaching tool in it. Online games can be played from the browser. It does not have to be downloaded on to a computer. A player can just choose the game and play while the computer is connected to the internet.
The online game can be configured so they can be educational in nature. There is virtually no limit on how this can be done. There are so many ways that one can come up with ideas on how to play that would focus on the alphabet, or maybe on learning how to count.
These are just some of the reasons why the internet is such a vital and important tool for education.
ROI or return of investment refers to the measuring of the performance of an investment. In a way it is a means of measuring the profits derived from the capital used in order to produce it. The term and the idea have long been used in the business and corporate world for measuring variables and how profitable a plan might be. The recent changes in the world economy and how business is done in general is making most people think twice about the validity of the old definitions of ROI.
The Purpose of the Measurement
This method of measurement is used in order to determine whether an undertaking for a company is going to be profitable. Each project would cost something, which is the investment. That undertaking is done in the hopes of somehow boosting the sales or the profit of the company. Here are some examples of investment and how they can be profitable for a company
- A new ad campaign for example would draw in more customers.
- New and better machines could speed up the production process and make it more efficient.
- The training of managers and employees could make them more efficient and increase their productivity.
If a company would be able to measure the ROI of a certain undertaking, then they can decide if it is going to be worth it. If the number of new customers that a new and costly ad campaign can draw in would be minimal, then it wouldn’t be worth it to mount the campaign.
Calculating the ROI
Here is the formula for coming up with the ROI:
ROI (%) = Net Profit / Investment × 100
There can be complications in calculating the ROI. This is especially true in cases where the investment is in the form of properties and real estate. It’s a little harder to compute for ROI when there is mortgage involved.
A Fresh Look at ROI
There are also certain changes now that has made the concept of ROI obsolete and sometimes invalid. This is especially true when the investment comes in the form of training personnel and managers. The problem now is that training with the aid of the internet or e-learning is not something that is done in one session. It is done over time continuously. Its cost is therefore not a one-shot dea,l but a continuous thing as well. It makes computing for the ROI of such training harder.
There is nothing like the internet when it comes to distributing information. It has a global reach and it has instantaneous speed. When it comes to sharing what you know and finding what you need to know, there is nothing like it.
Though the internet is an excellent place to learn, especially for movers, there are those who still do not want to use it as a learning aid. They are hesitant for various reasons, but whatever those reasons are, it sure is holding them back a lot.
Ten Tips for Getting Learners to Take E-Courses
Here are some ideas that can be used for driving people to start using the internet as a learning tool:
- It can be used in helping the learner to pick the right course and field to study. Compared with creating a whole learning course, coming up with a tool that would allow the learner to identify the best course to study would be simple.
- Another great addition to a course is for a way for those who have taken it to recommend or maybe rate it. Others coming after them could then base their decisions on the ratings of those who have tried the courses before them.
- Learning something is very valuable and it is something that cannot be taken away from an individual. That doesn’t erase the fact that getting a certificate for some course would be a good motivation to take it up.
- It helps to offer some rewards to those who are into taking the courses. These rewards could drive them to learn even more.
- Managers who encourage the practice of e-learning among their people should also be rewarded with something.
- Create a tour for the course. That would be a good way of introducing it to the people who would be using the course.
- There is nothing like a live demo in sparking the interest in the learners.
- If your company has its own internal publication, then you should use it to promote the courses.
- Make sure that there would be someone there to support the learners who have any questions. Don’t be too reliant on the website to provide everything.
- Use diversity when it comes to creating the courses. Resorting to humour all the time might make it sound like a stand-up act, one that bombed.
These are just some of the ideas that you can try to encourage e-learning among your employees.