Education technology empowers entire academic industry

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We are currently living in a society that has been irrevocably changed by the rise of technological advancement. Businesses invest in collaborations with digital agency companies to strengthen their presence in an increasingly digital world. Whole industries have taken their methods and models online. We are seeing the beginnings of semi-autonomous vehicles. The impact that technological advancement has had on the world has been profound in so many ways, and there has been so much change, especially to industries around us.

The education sector is one that has been historically traditionally inclined, and while that inclination is not necessarily going out the door, it is definitely shifting over to make room for the modern technological disruption known as EdTech (education technology). EdTech is an industry-wide revolutionary advancement that, contrary to popular belief, is making (and will continue to make) education more empowered, stronger, more capable.

This is one of the industries that really pushed back against digital disruption in the beginning. Educators have expressed concerns that EdTech is a development designed to take over their position in the industry, which is not true (yet understandable). Realistically, the entire education industry is set to benefit tremendously from EdTech. Educators, students, and the sector as a whole are already benefiting. This will continue. But how did we get here?

When EdTech first entered the academic stratosphere, educators who were accustomed to the traditional methods and models that the sector had operated around for so long were confused, frightened, even angry. They felt, initially, that EdTech was a design created to take over their position in the industry. As EdTech has begun to shift more securely into the sector, however, educators have (for the most part) realised that EdTech is designed to strengthen the industry, working with educators, not against them.

The generation of students going through the education system right now are the first generations that grew up surrounded by technology and digitalisation. Prior to their arrival, EdTech was only trickling into existence, but the solution was met with little to no response from students, because they were unfamiliar with the tech. The present generation in school now, however expects their learning to mimic their life at home (as students always have, in a way). The only difference between then and now is that life at home today is surrounded by technological innovation. There is more room for EdTech because of this.

In short, educators and students stand to be positively impacted by EdTech because of technology’s primal presence in modern society. Today, tech is so commonplace in our daily lives that to go through education entirely without it being integrated into the system in some way would be borderline insane. The education sector is benefiting from the revolutionary innovation that is EdTech because, thanks to the technological input, more students are more engaged, teaching is easier and more enjoyable, and the entire system runs a lot more smoothly. EdTech is the present and the future of education. There is no going back now.

Achieving financial security for students in University

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When you get extra income, do you save it or pay off student loan debt? If you already have a cushy savings account, you’re better off using the majority of your extra income to pay off debt. If you have less than three months of expenses saved up, it’s wise to save as much as you can until you’ve got some padding to fall back on, and then pay down debt.

Students all over the world are in debt, but the student loan crisis in the U.S. is larger than Australia’s entire GDP. For many, it’s become impossible to pay back what they owe. It’s not that students don’t know how to manage their finances. Many are well versed in financial planning, yet got in over their heads because they were promised salaries that don’t exist. The promise of a high salary justified the debt initially, but that promise has been broken, creating a crisis for many.

Many loans are in forbearance or deferment because borrowers can’t pay them back on their regular salary. One in five adults between 25-39 with a bachelor’s degree and outstanding student loans have more than one job. Many need the extra income to survive, and use whatever’s left to pay off their debt. Some prefer using every cent to pay their debt rather than saving a portion of that income. It makes sense on the surface. The interest on a student loan can skyrocket quickly. However, if an emergency happened tomorrow, those without a savings account will find themselves in serious trouble.

Building up savings now is worth paying a little more interest later

If you lose your source of extra income tomorrow, a well-padded savings account will help you survive until you find another part-time job.

There’s no way around it. When you choose to save money over paying down your student loan debt, you’re going to accrue more interest. Unless you’re going to pay off your loan in full as of next month, accruing more interest isn’t a good reason not to save money now.

Experts recommend building an emergency fund with 3-6 months’ pay.

The time to prioritize paying off your debt is when you’re making regular payments and your debt is growing.When you’re falling that far behind, you’re already in trouble. At that point, it would make more sense to immediately start building your savings account for a month or two, and then prioritize your debt. If your car breaks down, you’ll regret using all your extra income to pay off your debt that isn’t decreasing.

Your decision should be based on what’s in your emergency fund

What you choose to do with your extra income should depend on how much money you have in your emergency fund. If you don’t have at least three months of expenses, calculate how much time it will take you to save that much. Then, set a date you’ll begin putting most of your extra income toward paying your debt.

Remember to always save something, even if it’s twenty dollars. Saving twenty dollars each month amounts to $240 per year. That won’t seem like much until you need an extra $400 for car repairs and you have the cash on hand.

When you have the opportunity to build an emergency fund, do it now because you may not have the chance later.

The Role Of Simulations In Today’s Medical Education Process

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Educating the healthcare professionals of tomorrow is a serious responsibility, but whether they’re in medical school or training to be a nurse or paramedic, students can’t practice on real patients. So what is the best way to prepare these trainees? In recent years, the healthcare industry has turned toward simulations to provide students with the most realistic training possible, no matter their specialty.

EMT Mastery

EMTs are among the youngest, least experienced healthcare providers, but they’re also first responders, which means they need to act quickly in stressful situation. To prepare them for anything they may face in the field, then, EMT training programs use several different approaches. For basic life saving techniques such as learning CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, for example, students typically learn using a mannequin designed for the process. When learning to navigate the ambulance, however, there’s no replacement for the real thing – or there wasn’t until the Simbulance.

The Simbulance or simulated ambulance was developed at Vassar College as part of their on-campus EMT training program. Students go on to serve as campus EMTs, but don’t receive on-ambulance training until their formal clinical rotation, meaning they lacked sufficient opportunities to practice treating patients in small spaces or using onboard equipment. The Simbulance makes it easier for students to master the necessary skills to handle emergencies out in the field and allows them to begin building those skills earlier in their training.

A Focus On Pharmacy

Medication errors are a common cause of injury and even death among hospital patients, which makes training pharmacists of the utmost importance, but in many cases, pharmacy education focuses on lectures and tutorial programs rather than hands-on education. This approach persists despite the fact that research shows students learn more through hands-on, experiential programs than they do through lectures. In order to bridge the gap between rote learning and the workplace, then, a growing number of pharmacy programs are turning to simulation-based education.

Not only do simulation programs help pharmacy students gain the necessary experience to do their jobs safely in the real world, new tools like simulation recording software allows users to film the simulation for later review. Since students usually only have limited access to simulation equipment, video of the tasks is often the best alternative.

Simulations For Safety

Finally, no matter the specialization, all healthcare professionals need to be taught essential patient safety skills, and unlike basic tasks like drawing blood or performing a sonogram, these skills can’t always be taught on model patients or in the classroom. As with the simulated ambulance, students need a realistic setting – and realistic patient scenarios – in which to master these skills, and training programs are stepping up to provide them.

At the University of Miami, students in the medical research program have access to a full Simulation Hospital so that every activity can take place in a realistic setting. This format is growing in popularity – similar clinical simulations are also in use in the UK. Such programs are educationally advantageous because they provide students with the right tools to replicate different medical situations.

Meanwhile, in a smaller program at Vermont Technical College, nursing students practice patient safety on a variety of patient simulators, from realistic infants to elderly patients. Students need, at minimum, what are termed medium-fidelity models in order to master skills, and programs are finally making this necessary advancement, introducing better mannequins, including high-fidelity models that “breathe,” sweat, and cry.

Healthcare encounters can be risky for patients, but proper training for providers can make even emergency situations much safer. In simulated circumstances, students are exposed to real-world scenarios. That way when it really matters, even the most challenging skills are simple muscle memory.

Online education sparks hundreds of thousands of new enrolments

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The education system has been subject to many an evolution in its time. There are literally thousands of colleges and universities around the world that take in hundreds of new students each, every single year. As new students arrive, seasoned learners graduate. And on goes the cycle. The traditional education system has been successful for generations, and it still is today. Students love to go to college or university because it gives them a sense of belonging while assisting them in sharpening their intellectual skills and talents. But traditional education does not work for everyone.

While traditional education is valuable and will always be irreplaceable, there is much to be said about the introduction of online education. Individuals can now enrol to learn English online or take their entire degree course load through their computer screen. The value in this is that they do not have to adhere to the strict guidelines and rules that traditional education demands. Students who enrol in traditional courses must work the rest of their lives around their studies. Students who enrol in online studies can work in their education around the rest of their lives.

The value of that simple shift in academic dynamics cannot be overstated. Students who study online are given an innate sense of control and direction, and those traits directly correlate to the ease and efficiency of being able to dictate when they listen to lectures, where they take exams, and how they work on their assignments. Today, the modern student is busier than ever, and for thousands of individuals having the choice to study online means the difference between being able to enrol in higher education or having to put it off.

In short, the other aspects of life that demand and deserve more commitment than the fundamentals of traditional studying would allow win out. And they should. Traditional education is excellent…when it works. But for the thousands of individuals who are unsure of if they can make set times and long days on campus work for their busy commitments and lifestyle, online education is their saving grace. The value in higher education is drilled into people all the time, but previously the channels to make it inclusive have not been readily available. Online education is the answer to that gap in the system.

The power of online education lies in its inclusive nature. Historically, traditional education has been somewhat exclusive in that it relied solely on two fundamental pillars for enrolment and successful admission: geographical proximity and financial stability. Geographical proximity, because students had to be close to campus to be able to go to class and pass their courses. And financial stability for two reasons. First, because in some countries students need to be able to afford their studies upfront – there is no HECS fee option. And second, because many modern students need to work for a living while maintaining their studies. Sometimes, both factors coincide with one another.

The introduction of online education is inspiring hundreds of thousands of individuals to become students that, were it not for the innovation of distance learning, could not have made the decision to enrol in higher education.