Tag Archives: mLearning

Millions of grandparents expect to have to help fund their grandchildren through university

Grandparents up skill your grandchildren with a soft skills course

Grandparents up skill your grandchildren with a soft skills course

Millions of grandparents to fund grand children’s university education as students continue to struggle with high tuition fees

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed  AVPT

Due to the rising cost of tuition, it has been reported that grandparents are helping to bail out their family by contributing to the rising cost of education for their grandchildren.

Around one in eight over 55s think they will need to contribute to fees of around £9,000 a year, with many dipping into their savings to help out their grandchildren when they go onto higher education.

Researchers found as people got older more expected to make a contribution, 10 per cent of those aged between 55 and 64 planning to help with funding, which increased to 15 per cent for the over 65s.

Around 637,456 students applied to university in 2013, compared with 618,247 in 2012, which suggests people could be using their families to help them pay fees.

Accessing quality courses online and on the move

Accessing quality courses online and on the move

Ucas reveals 4% increase in the number of applicants to UK universities despite slight decline in number of 18-year-olds according to the Guardian’s report in  January 2014

The study of over 55s by Key Retirement Solutions found as many as one in eight grandparents – equivalent to 1.7 million over-55s – expect to have to pay towards their grand children’s university fees.

“The numbers of grandparents providing financial assistance for university tuition is set to rocket from current levels as the implications of the maximum £9,000 a year tuition fees become clear.

Young people from the worst-off areas in England are now almost twice as likely to apply to university as they were 10 years ago, according to the Ucas data.

But academics and policy experts said the buoyant figures masked some unhealthy trends, with wide gaps in participation and a worrying fall in the number of young men applying to university compared with women.

“With finances for the over-55s under strain from falling annuity rates and historically low savings rates taking on extra commitments requires careful thought and planning.”

Why online education will woo the person with the purse strings?

The higher-education model of lecturing, cramming and examination has barely changed for centuries. Now, three disruptive waves are threatening to upend established ways of teaching and learning.

Around the world demand for retraining and continuing education is soaring among workers of all ages. Globalization and automation have shrunk the number of jobs requiring a middling level of education. Those workers with the means to do so have sought more education, in an attempt to stay ahead of the labour-demand curve. In America, higher-education enrollment by students aged 35 or older rose by 314,000 in the 1990s, but by 899,000 in the 2000s.

So demand for education will grow. Who will meet it? Universities face a new competitor in the form of massive open online courses.
These digitally-delivered courses, which teach students via the web or tablet apps, have big advantages over their established rivals.

With low startup costs and powerful economies of scale, online courses dramatically lower the price of learning and widen access to it, by removing the need for students to be taught at set times or places.

This could eventually be the saving grace for lots of grandparents.

As one of the disruptive effects of the job market is the requirement for more people to develop and have doing skills, entrepreneur skills and all round communication skills, looking at short expert courses could be the best gift a grand parent or parent could give to their child.
AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

The not so golden rule of recruiment for small Entrepreneurs

Recruiting is not what it use to be in the 60's

Recruiting is not what it use to be in the 60’s

When it comes to recruitment, I have made every mistake in the book…and then some!

A fascinating blog was sent to me and I just had to reblog it because it is so important for expanding businesses.

Over the years I have signed psychopaths, nymphomaniacs, super depressives, dishonest reprobates, cheats, scoundrels and lazy-good-for-nothings.

I have also hired some of the most talented people in the universe – people with the intelligence, energy, determination and moral character to make a difference and achieve great things.

The golden rule of recruitment is that there is no golden rule! There is no secret formula for pinpointing the perfect person or for identifying the world’s worst worker.

Nonetheless, I have picked up a few nuggets of recruitment wisdom in my journey through life. I’m afraid, however, my methods are not for the faint of heart or the puritans of the planet so, if you are easily offended, STOP READING NOW.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to cease hiring ordinary people and begin hiring extraordinary people – read on!

In the recruitment game, the starting point is realising that every employee will either increase or decrease the profitability of your business.

It’s a fact of life that every employee will either make you money or cost you money.

So, resolve from now on to recruit only employees who will positively impact your business and, at the same time, start weeding out existing employees who are not contributing.

The ten million dollar question is – how do you identify the winners from the losers, the right people from the wrong people?

It’s not easy but it becomes a lot simpler when you realise there are only three categories of employee:

  • People who work against your business.
  • People who work for your business.
  • People who work with your business.

You obviously don’t want people who work against your business and, fortunately, they are as easy to spot as male peacocks during mating season.

Here are a few of their characteristics:

  • They are always happy to lend a listening ear to moaners and groaners.
  • They often have a hidden agenda.
  • They are lazy but they are good at making themselves look busy.
  • They sabotage success.
  • They undermine successful colleagues by gossiping behind their backs.
  • They tend to run in packs with others just like them.

These people are the devil in disguise. They are a cost, not an asset. Don’t hire them and, if you’ve already got them, get rid of them because a leopard can’t change its spots!

Let’s now move onto the second category – employees who work for your business.

Surely these people are OK?

They might be if you are prepared to settle for ordinary people rather than extraordinary people but if you want to build a great business they are not good enough!

The hallmark of people who work for your business is that they are not truly committed. They do what’s necessary to get by and they usually have some excuse for not going the extra mile such as doctor appointments and childcare demands.

They want to get paid for doing the job but their hearts are not in it. In sports parlance, they are people who are happy to settle for a draw. They are not losers but they are not winners either.

This may sound harsh but in my book – you don’t want them in your company unless you are prepared to settle for second best.

Employees who work with the business are the only people you should be hiring.

Here are the characteristics of the men and women you should be recruiting:

  • They are committed.
  • They always go the extra mile.
  • They feel responsible.
  • They are loyal.
  • They love to get involved.
  • They want to win.

In short, they know that the more they put into life, the more they will get out of life. That’s what makes them extraordinary.

Next time you are recruiting, resolve not to settle for ordinary people, instead be determined to hire only extraordinary people.

To ensure you identify these superstars, here are some questions to ask yourself about each candidate you interview:

  1. Will you enjoy working with this individual?
  2. Did they demonstrate an enthusiasm for your company and a passion for the job?
  3. Will they be dedicated to working shoulder-to-shoulder with you to help you achieve your goals?
  4. Will they inspire their colleagues?
  5. Will they be compatible with your team?
  6. Do they have the character to do what it takes?
  7. Will they be loyal through thick & thin?
  8. Will your customers and clients like them?
  9. Will they be industrious and hard working?
  10. Will they be ambitious for success?

If you can put a tick in the ten boxes, you may have found yourself the perfect employee.

There is, however, one more question you might want to ask yourself: “Could they be better than me?”

If the answer is yes – hire them immediately!

Glossophobia: The number one fear in the UK!

fear of public speaking course

Speaking presentation survival school course

Got to make a presentation? Make a wedding speech? Say something at an event? Nervous? How AVPT Global can help you right now with the fear of public speaking.

Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA

Chief Development Officer, Academy of Vocational and Professional Training

Having trained hundreds of people in brilliant public speaking (and many more to be Standup comics) I am often asked about the causes of Glossophobia. This is a type of speech anxiety and is most commonly the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general. An estimated 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety and nervousness when public speaking. I am lucky and don’t suffer- whatever size the audience. The good news is it can be cured and overcome.

The more specific symptoms of speech anxiety can be grouped into three categories: verbal, physical and non-verbal. The verbal symptoms include, but are not limited to a tense voice, a quivering voice, and vocalised pauses, which tend to comfort anxious speakers.

The symptoms I see the most in training are the physical ones. These result from the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system responding to the situation with a fight-or-flight adrenalin reaction. Since the sympathetic system is all-or-nothing, adrenaline secretion produces a wide array of symptoms at once – all of which are supposed to enhance a student’s ability to fight or escape a dangerous scenario. These symptoms include acute hearing, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, increased perspiration, increased oxygen intake, stiffening of upper back muscles and the classic dry mouth. None of which are much good when you are about to give a wedding speech. The good news is they can be relieved with training and some skilled guidance.

learning to speak under pressure

Looking good when speaking under pressure

Public speaking experts agree that one of the most important steps in preparing for a speech is practice. Yet after giving the same speech so many times, it can be difficult to maintain an authentic voice, especially once nerves kick in. More than anything, a successful speech hinges on your ability to know your audience and establish a connection. Shape your speech around a subject that you genuinely care about and try to focus on what you have to offer your audience.

Your concentration will naturally shift away from what is at stake for you personally, calming your nerves and allowing you to connect to your audience in a real way. Then, tell a story. Take the audience on a journey. While there are many aspects that will contribute to the success of your speech, it is the authentic, heartfelt moments that will be remembered most.

The importance of learning to speak in front of an audience is undeniable; invariably intertwined with leadership, motivation, and change. While Glossophobia is common, in fact the most common phobia in the UK, it is certainly a fear that can be overcome. But the power of spoken word is reason in itself to push past that fear.

So remember that nerves are natural: use your nerves to propel you through the speech, and know that your physical response to stress will only make the speech all that much more rewarding once you finally step down from that stage. Remember to be authentic: pick a topic that you truly care about, and the audience will be stirred to care as well. And finally, don’t be afraid to aim big. You were chosen to speak for a reason, and you have a meaningful story to tell. So take slow, rhythmic breaths and change the world- and take this course in conquering your fear of public speaking!

Why Study With Us Unemployed Poster

Mobile Learning is the HOT’s

Helping a Higher Order of Thinking Skills

Get qualified in days not years

article by Tim Dingle CDO Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd.

The world of online learning is changing very rapidly. Instead of the old mantra of ‘e’ Leaning, we can now truly think about ‘mobile’ learning or mLearning. There is no doubt, mLearning is hot. And for good reason. If done right, it can produce great results by decreasing costs and improving performance.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone new to mLearning and it struck me that she didn’t fully understand the value of mLearning.  I think this is common as more people are joining the world of mLearning.  Understanding mLearning’s value helps you make the best decisions about when and why to use it.

So here at the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training, we recopognise the power of mLearning and suggest the following reasons why it will dominate the online education market.

1.      Decreased training costs.  Producing learning content is time consuming whether it’s online or not.  With mLearning, each time the course is accessed your return on investment improves because you are dividing the fixed production costs by number of uses.  You also have savings through decreased travel, reduced material, and hopefully improved (and more efficient) performance.

2.      Less material costs.  Let’s say you have to train how to arrange equipment in a sterile environment like an operating room.  If you had to use the real environment, it would be costly.  Even setting up a fake environment has material costs and labour.  By creating the environment online and letting the learner practice, you never have to worry about the costs associated with set up, use, and clean up.

3. Increased productivity.
 Because mLearning is not bound by geography or time, you can control training’s impact on production by training people during down times.  In addition, with the current economy, you’re asking people to do more with less.  So mLearning is a great way to give them the tools and skills needed to enhance their performance.

4. Getting the message across.  You may have a great facilitator, but that’s no guarantee that the courses are presented the same across sessions.  mLearning allows you to create a standardized process and consistency in the delivery of content.  It also compresses delivery time.

5. Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning  Live learning events require that those who participate align their schedules to the training calendar.  mLearning eliminates this because the course can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
6. Giving the freedom to fail.  Real learning requires some failure.  But no one likes to fail in a classroom full of other people.  mLearning lets you fail without fear.  This encourages exploration and testing of ideas.  With the right feedback you create a great learning environment.  Worst case, you can always start over.  Something you can’t always do in class.

A New Career Opportunity

7. Learning and Retaining.
  The combination of multimedia and instructional design can produce a very rich learning experience that is repeatable.  Throw in some good practice activities with feedback and you have a learning environment that’s going to help your learners retain the course content which will produce results.

8. Student Centred learning.  Look out the window at a car park. My guess is that you’ll see a dozen or more different cars.  They all do the same thing, yet we have personal opinions about what we want to drive. The same for learning.  Learners want control.  mLearning allows you to offer control to the learners in a way that classroom learning doesn’t.
mLearning Nurtures a Learning Organisation and Community

9. Learning Management.  Many people see mLearning as only the authored courses.  But mLearning includes all sort of online technologies.  If you incorporate some of the tools that allow collaboration and conversation, you can capture organizational knowledge that is available for future learners.

10. The Sharing Economy.  The foundation of a learning community is built on sharing what you know with others.  This is where incorporating a forum or wiki really adds value to your mLearning.  Depending on how the course is structured, you can encourage sharing of resources and insight gained from the course.

In addition to all these advantages, mLearning is really good for the environment. An Open University’s study found that producing and providing distance learning courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face to face courses.

One of the challenges with making mLearning effective is how you manage the courses and access to resources.  I’m an advocate of freeing up the course navigation and giving the learner more control .If you’re using a learning management system you might consider how that impacts the learning.
MLearning is cost effective and can produce great results.  It’s all a matter of how you use it. Have at look at our online learning system, mLearning and the eLearning future. Go to: www.expresstraingcourse.com or call us on 0203 551 2621

Tim Dingle BSc (Hons), PGCE, MIBiol, MBA has been involved in education, management and training for the last 30 years. Tim is a former Headmaster of a top school and gained an MBA with a distinction. His dissertation was on Body Language and Interview skills. He has a unique insight into teaching, leadership and management and has now written 24 books on a variety of topics in education. His background in management also includes being Chairman on England Schools Rugby and running a successful Comedy venue. He is rained in NLP and other advanced brain strategies and lectures on these topics around the world.  His academic pedigree (in Biology, Teaching and Body Language) combined with his Mediation skills, gained him a place on the Board of the Global Negotiation Insight Institute (which used to be the Harvard Negotiation project). He has an inspirational style and his enthusiasm for learning is infectious. Tim was an officer in the Royal Navy Reserves for 20 years and is a Yachtmaster and successful sailor.

Tim Dingle is the Chief Development Officer at The Academy of Vocational and Professional training.

The ‘Multi-Generational’ workforce and m-learning

article by Diane Shawe BBA., M.Ed IEEE  CEO Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd

Social Media, New media and e-Networking, whatever we want to call it,  has certainly changed more than the way we work, the way we share and consume knowledge and even complain. The context in which we work is faster and faster, and result can almost happen in real time around the world.

Well they have come up with yet another gadgetry word, wait for it…  The workforce of the 21st century is now being referred to as the  ‘Multi-Generational Workforce’ because it consist of a mixture of baby boomer’s and generation Y.

Generation Y differs from the baby boomer’s because they were brought up in the digital era. They are familiar with the internet and social media and easily post a question into their on-line network and receive all types of answers in seconds!

With this in mind, we see a lot of the old ‘Tanker’ type organisations refusing to initiate, release, set free the use of this new powerful media throughout there organisation because of speculative fear mongering proposed by their IT departments!  I guess these guys need to safeguard their jobs!  I know the truth hurts.  They say a tanker takes a much longer time to turn than a speed boat.  Look at the graveyard of large tanker companies who just did not heed the writing on the wall.

This unstoppable social media era has taken a few large employees by surprise because smaller leaner business have taken the reins by freeing and empowering all their staff to become ambassador’s for their company  enabling not one but many to respond to change and  guarantee online responsive service and  quality to the every fast moving consumer who can complain in nano seconds around the world!

The investment of continuous education (lifelong learning) of any work force is imperative. With more and more titanic type organisations downsizing, multi skilling the remaining staff efficiently is a no brainer!

Research of Harvard shows that in 1986 when the first baby boomer’s started to work they had to rely for 75% on their own knowledge. The other 25% came from sources such as manuals. In 2009 people were relying on only 10% on their own knowledge and on 90% on information from third party sources such as social networks. New media did not merely change the way we work but primarily the way we share knowledge and learn. Therefore, companies need to make sure their workforce knows how to navigate the vast online environment.

In this sense, m-Learning is more than just a cost saving method but a strategic tool to avoid damaging the company’s reputation and to project a positive brand image.

Social Media and employees
One single negative post or tweet of an employee can have a devastating effect on the image of an organisation. For this reason, many organisations have implemented policies which offer support and guidance on the usage of social media. This empowers employees to use social media when necessary while still avoiding the pitfalls that can generate negative PR fallouts. But merely setting up these policies will cut short of these goals. That is why, increasingly, organizations use m-learning to communicate these guidelines and rules in an interesting and interactive manner. There is another major advantage to use m-Learning versus traditional training methods: the costs. Academy of vocational and Professional Training can assist any company deliver to their entire workforce  courses that are significant in  a scalable way. m-learning provides a solution which can be accessed from the desktop, iPad, Tablet, notebook or smartphone at any time and be kept up to date in real time with changes.

m-Learning is increasingly used for specific training purposes, such as communicating the social media guidelines, but it can also play a major role in the broader development and training of personnel. One of the key characteristics of well-designed m-learning solutions, is that they create a space where workers can be active and inquisitive in their learning.

What’s next?
On the modern work floor we encounter a mix of various generation groups. In the year 2012 knowledge is not the ultimate goal, because knowledge is just a few mouse clicks away. It is about how one is able to apply this knowledge and provide an added value. There are several ways to make learning more interesting for both young and mature workers. Simulations, e-coaching and online peer-to-peer learning can help bring together the generation gap. Below we provide some ideas on how we can help to accelerate learning within the organisation:

1. Keep it simple.
By adding a variety of  layers, a blended learning approach meets the various learning styles with tool that are relevant and challenging for each employee. Keeping it light by a combining video, images and text without eating too much data.  Encourage employees to share experiences and let them contribute to the improvement of m-learning, so that they experience blending learning as one coherent experience.

2. Work with real-life cases
Real-life cases are recognisable and will therefore be motivating. Employees should be encouraged to collaborate and share knowledge and ideas. This can be reached by integrating a familiar environment. Many employees love to learn if this will assist them to execute their daily work.

3. Mirror reality
Learning is most effective when simulations are as closely related to reality as possible. We know that Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are the new game shifters in online communications and could be used most effectively in a controlled environement. Competitions or games could help challenge and stimulated the employee to make certain choices or come up with ideas. Be recognised and awarded. These are the most concrete experiences one can gain.

4. Make progress visible
People must be motivated to continue to learn. It is important that one can measure their progress in adopting new ideas, knowledge and behavioural changes. By acknowledging progress, the incentive to continue grows. By creating a competition element, one adds value. The employee can measure the success of the decisions made when they lead to a comparable and competitive result.

In many organisations, there is much to improve in terms of development and training. Sometimes employers forget that the whole organisation could suffer from economic and emotional depression, especially whey no energy is put into real motivation or stimulation.

While everyone knows that knowledge, development and involvement can make all the difference for a company to increase performance. Introducing an m-learning tool to reflect and inspire a higher order of thinking skills which incorporate communications, could reinforce each and every member of staff throughout an organisation.  After all it is not the size of the dog, but the fight in the dog that will set the new trendsetters apart. So  Let’s get to work! Let’s help your organisation stimulate on a scalable and cost effect way with our no nonsense approach to m-learning, courses and certificates that count globally.

For more information about our services visit www.academy-of-vocational-and-professional-training.com or call us on 0203 551 2621 to discuss our bespoke or white labelling services.

Education and the mLearning generation by Diane Shawe

Education from the Cutting Edge

Article by Diane Shawe

Things are happening very quickly out there. It is changing. Harvard, MIT, Cambridge and Oxford are doing it. Companies, both big and small, are doing it. Solopreneurs are doing it. And some teachers have been doing it … they just haven’t been making any money at it. It’s a trend that many in education saw coming 10 years ago. The “It” is on-line education — and it’s gone from being an interesting sideline to a major social and economic trend.

This trend’s going to be around a little longer than some online trends. Because there are some very solid factors underlying the shift to online education … and they’re only getting stronger. Online education is at a tipping point. And that’s brilliant news if you’re into education and have a mobile device and go to www.shortcourses.expert . Let’s talk about why.

Online education is now a massive juggernaut; more than 8.1 million current college students took a Web-based course beginning September 2011. According to recent research in the US (published in the Boston Globe), nearly a third of students have taken one during their college careers.

You see the traditional model of get a degree and land a great job just isn’t working any more, at least in most professions. I’m still a huge fan of universities, but we have to face the fact that they’re quickly becoming a pricy luxury in the UK and other developing nations. Indeed even with a good degree many students are taking ‘McJobs’ to earn money and are frustrated by the lack of real opportunities. I know many that are angry with unpaid internships.

Students are looking for other ways to learn what they need to learn — without the six-figure price tag. You see normal people live online now! Is your father on Facebook? Mine is. And the weirdest thing about it is … it’s nice. It lets me keep up with what he’s doing, and share the exploits of my charming hooligan daughter.

I first got online in 1991. I remember how long it took me to ‘get online’….those strange handshake noises….and the joy of slow connections.  But the internet doesn’t belong to early adopters like me anymore. The internet, assisted by the smart phone and tablet is woven into our lives like it never has been. My father’s iPad is the new Silver Surfer must have accessory.

That means that normal people, not just web junkies, are willing to consider online activities that never would have occurred to them before. It means they look at online education and think, “Wow, I could do that.”

The world is changing faster than traditional education can evolve. As a former Headteacher, I know that the revolution is here. The (dial m for mobile) mLearning generation are about to inherit the earth.

Almost every aspect of our lives is changing. Making money, learning, socialising, family life and education. Certainly for education, we want it quicker (try just 4 weeks at The Academy of Vocational & Professional Training), we want it better and we want it to have some global ‘value’. All that change is coming faster than most people can handle. In the global economy with huge aspirations, we all need help with some aspect of the change that’s swirling around us.

Which means if you can master some element of the changing world, and stay on top of it, you can help customers do the same. Great businesses are built by solving tough problems. And mastering change is one of the toughest problems we all face … every day, and in every aspect of our lives.

Traditional education has a tough time with this. If you want to study ancient Greek, you should be set. (And more power to you, because I think that is cool.) But if you want to study technology, nutrition and fitness, marketing, communications, or any of the other myriad ways people make a living, you need the latest information. And the only way to do this is with the new Blended mLearning methodology.

You see, Online learners are … well, learning. None of this would matter if online education didn’t work as well as face-to-face learning. But it appears to actually work better. In a 2009 report based on 50 independent studies, the Department of Education found that students who studied in online learning environments performed modestly better than peers who were receiving face-to-face instruction.

Online learning allows students to go at the pace that’s right for them. When online education is well designed (and it really needs the thought process, the design and brilliant content), it gives plenty of opportunity to not only absorb the theories in the material, but to discuss it meaningfully and put it into practice. Put that with the best of interactive learning (Virtual Tutor Facilitators) and you have a winner!

Students can replay lectures if they need to. They can interact with other students online in ways that far surpass traditional classroom discussion. Even something as simple as being able to attend class when you’re at your most refreshed can make a huge difference. (I am pretty convinced that I learned exactly nothing from the early morning University lectures I attended). You don’t have to shuffle into a physical room with an instructor physically present to learn.

That we can take the very best education and make it widely available, instead of limiting it to a few hundred people at a time. That we can learn at our own pace, on our own time, when and where it’s convenient for us.

Top Universities will continue to do a brilliant job teaching law and microbiology. But you may very well be able to do an even more brilliant job teaching small business tax planning or sports nutrition. Or advanced NLP, Business start up, Hair extensions. Or how to get a novel published. Or take my courses in Stand up Comedy! All in 4 weeks. And all globally accredited.

Diane Shawe the CEO is very passionate about how we can extend and touch the lives of anyone wanting to learn through online training!  she says that the way online games have captured the attention of the young,  is what she would like Academy of vocational and professional training to do with online mlearning  sustainable education.

For me the mLearning revolution is here. Online and now.

Catch you there