Tips For Keeping Kids Safe Online

The proliferation of social media, online gaming, online forums and cell phone usage have given today’s children technological access never dreamed of just a generation ago. Children now have access to a staggering amount of online content, people and information. With these advances, parents now have even more challenges when it comes to keeping their children safe and happy. They want them safe from predators and happy in the sense that they are free from online bullying. Both of these concerns are foremost in the minds of parents as their kids create Facebook pages, play online games, and text incessantly.

Here is a rundown of some of the top threats to your children’s well-being. In a constantly connected world, knowing where the danger lies is the first step in prevention and safety.

Predatory Adults

According to enough.org, there are currently over 600,000 Registered Sex Offenders in the US and more than four percent of all children, while online, will be exposed to some form of suggestive solicitation from an adult. Naïve or rebellious children could fall prey to these online predators.

Peer Bullying

The media has covered some high-profile cases of teen suicide and online bullying in the last couple of years. According to some statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 52% of students report being cyber bullied at some time, while 25% report repeated bullying via their cell phones or social media profiles (statisticbrain.com).

Inappropriate Content

Pornography and inappropriate content is everywhere on the internet. According to Alexa.com, four of the top twenty sites with the highest web traffic are pornographic in nature. When you consider what often comes up in a search engine when entering a seemingly innocuous search, or the amount of inappropriate spam emails you receive, it’s not hard to see why this is such an issue with keeping kids insulated from inappropriate content.

Narcissism and Compulsion

Children, and especially teens, are hyper-aware of social status and image. This mindset can lead to unhealthy amounts of time on such social media sites as Twitter or Facebook. Kids get caught up in trying to be constantly aware, connected and interacting online in the hopes that they will gain acceptance or be more popular.

Secrecy

Further data from the US Department of Health states that only 52% of teens exposed to bullying or inappropriate solicitation, report the incidents to their parents. There are no numbers on exposure to inappropriate content but it is probably a safe bet that a lot of those incidents go unreported as well.

All of these threats are very real and, considering the amount of time children spend online, could present themselves on a daily basis. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe, while bridging the gap between parental monitoring and proper education for your children.

• Kids must “friend” their parents on Facebook and allow them to be “followed” on Twitter. As teens get older, parents are certain to receive pushback but this is a surefire way to see what your kids are posting and what is being said about them. It is a fine line between monitoring and interference, so caution is advised.

• Do not let kids create their own personal email addresses until they reach a more mature, responsible age. Any account being created online, should be linked to the parents email. This will not only let you monitor what sites your children are registering for but will usually require that you authorize usage and provide you with time to either discuss any concerns with your children or deny the request.

• Make sure that your kids are educated on what’s appropriate to post online and that they never provide contact information or post inappropriate or suggestive pictures of themselves. In today’s world of social media, kids can be their own worst enemy. They shouldn’t post anything online that they wouldn’t want on a billboard, as this is essentially what online posts are. And removing or controlling content on the internet once it’s out there, is not a simple matter.

• Young adults tend to want to add as many other peers as possible to their social media circles. But the reality is that many of these “friends” are not vested in your child’s best interest and oftentimes become a source for ridicule or cyber bullying. Make sure your kids only accept requests from friends they know and trust.

• Strict rules and guidelines need to be set forth and agreed upon prior to allowing kids to go online. These rules and guidelines should also be revisited often as your children’s online experience grows. You should set limits on what’s acceptable, limit the amount of time spent online and make them understand what you will and will not accept in terms of behavior.

• Children are by nature naïve, curious and trusting. This is dangerous. So monitor your children’s activities. Review their browsing history through the browser tools. You can also purchase programs that will enhance your monitoring capabilities.

• Set your parental controls on your computer. Every operating system and browser has a set of parental controls. You should be certain to set the appropriate limits or settings for each. You can also adjust the settings on Google and the other search engines to be strict, ensuring that only appropriate content is returned regardless of the search.

Educating yourselves and your children is ultimately the most important step you can take. Sit down with your kids and set ground rules. Revisit those ground rules every time your kids get a new device, create a social media account, or register for an online gaming. Parents have the unenviable task of walking the fine line between building trust and keeping kids safe. Applying a combination of education, guidance and monitoring should help.

Online Learning – Training Webinar Success Tips

If you think that face-to-face training is the best way to do training, think again. New research shows that a blended approach produces 35-69 percent better outcomes than face-to-face alone.

What’s a blended approach? It’s a mixture of delivery modes, put together in a pattern to create the best result. For example, a blended course might involve one full day face-to-face, followed by several one-hour webinars delivered sequentially across a number of weeks. Another example might include a self-paced DVD program, followed by three two-hour webinars, followed by a live one-to-one coaching session.

The blended approach delivers even higher value than its impact on results in the workplace. It’s also an important part of reducing the need to travel for the training. Time in training sessions is time away from the job, so many employers are happier with training at the desktop that lasts only an hour or two. In addition, corporations worldwide are eager to eliminate travel, weather across town or halfway around the world. So, when your business offers part or all of its training online, you have a competitive advantage that companies that hire you will value.

So if your business delivers training services, it’s important to take a fresh look at how to restructure your training offerings to provide a significantly higher impact. If you plan on doing some live online training via Web conference technology, here are some success factors to help.

  • Keep your online learning session short.

    For training webinars, limit each session to one to two hours. One hour is best, but two hours works well when the training is interactive enough.

  • Tell students not to take notes, but instead to enjoy the experience of learning together.

    Promise your student participants a handout at the end of the session that captures all of the notes on the slides. If your slides are proprietary, you don’t have to give them a copy. Instead, give them a high-value handout that details the critical points, lists, and actions that are required for your participants to be successful. In an online learning environment, a short and focused PDF handout is better than long and comprehensive book.

  • Design your training webinar for vigorous, relevant, and continuous interaction.

    The toughest audience in the world is one that links from the desktop. At any moment in time, people are seconds a way from multitasking.

    The only way to keep people from multitasking is to create

    (1) extremely high value content,

    (2) delivered at a brisk pace,

    (3) intermixed with constant interaction that adds value to the experience of learning at that moment.

    When online trainers can’t see the students’ nonverbal cues, s/he has to be even more deliberate in building high quality interaction throughout the session.

  • Have students meet from individual desktops, not a conference room.

    To get the highest level of interaction, it’s best if each student links separately to the Web conference online learning session. That lets every student be able to participate easily and quickly in polls, chat discussions, imitation feedback, and voice interaction. When students meet from a conference room, sharing a computer inhibits rapid interaction that is needed to keep everyone else engaged. No one must be disadvantaged by location from being a full and equal participant in the learning.

  • Design your slides for brain appeal.

    Your students cannot see your face. But they can be very engaged by the PowerPoint slides that you use in your training webinar. Avoid standard Microsoft PowerPoint templates. Instead, find commercial templates that better express the theme of your training. Avoid clipart. Instead, use commercially available photo art and photo images. Avoid standard formatting. Instead, skillfully learn how to create and design slides that engaged the attention of your desktop students.

  • Team teach online learning sessions when you can.

    With experience and training, a single person can manage all aspects of an online learning session. But it’s better to team teach in your initial training webinars. For example, while one person instructs, the other annotates, manages polls, sets up chat discussions, observes the participation of the students, and asks questions to keep interaction going.

  • End with an online version of a standing ovation.

    You know that when you have delivered an excellent learning session. Students are eager to say how much they enjoyed the experience of learning with you. In an online learning environment, many trainers don’t get that feedback. Before you end the online learning session, ask students to use chat to tell you what they learned that they will apply. Encourage them make several entries. Then a moment later ask them what they enjoyed most about the class. They will be able to share their comments with the group or with you privately, as you specify. If you ask your student participants to share their comments publicly in chat, everyone will see dozens of positive comments that reinforce the high-value of your content as well as a very enjoyable interactive session, too.

  • End the online learning session with a three-minute online survey.

    Most Web conference platforms will allow you to drop the student off at a website where you can poll them on the metrics that show the value of your online learning program or session. If a company hired you (vs. individuals), summarize the information from the feedback form, and send it to the client. If students registered independently, neutralize the feedback and post the data on your website, along with quotes (of course, by permission).

Online Degree Tips – Your Guide To Online Degree Programs

Is an Online Business Degree Right for You?

Deciding if an online business degree is right for you is an easy task. With the wide selection of programs, flexibility and personalized formatting, an online business degree is a great choice for any one new to the business world or those that are very experienced but looking to learn more.

These degrees can be obtained in many fields of business, for examples, accounting, general business, leadership and marketing. Many colleges offer these business degree, but three well know, accredited online colleges are Ashworth College, Kaplan University and Walden University.

To decide which online business degree is right for you, it is best to decide what your career goals are or what your current job calls for. For instance, if you want to start your own small business, then a degree in marketing may be your best bet. But, if you are currently a manager at your place of business then a leadership degree may get you the skills you need to get a promotion and a raise in your current career.

Other individuals may pursue an online business degree in order to change careers. Many nurses, teachers and other non-business career holders seek online degrees while working at their regular job.

Applying is easy. All you need is a high school diploma or G.E.D and a wilingness to learn. Depending on your previous college experience and work history, you may be able to obtain your business degree in as little as six months.

Before deciding on a university that you are interested in, make sure that they are accredited and the staff has extensive experience in the field that you are interested in.

Once you have decided to enroll, getting started is easy. Most colleges offer year round enrollment so that individuals can get started on their studies right away. After enrolling, most online programs make the coursework available for immediate download so that you can start that very day itself.

What are the Advantages to Completing an Online Bachelors Degree?

An online bachelors degree is a four-year college degree that an individual completes and earns through the Internet. The biggest benefit of an online bachelors degree is that it usually takes less time to complete.

Most individuals can complete their online bachelors degree in as little as three years. If you have prior college credits to transfer or relevant work history to consider, then you can complete your degree in as little as six months.

Another benefit to completing an online bachelors degree is that the course work is extremely flexible. Classes can be taken any time throughout the day and you never have to leave your house. All course work is completed via the Internet either through downloadable lessons or virtual class times.

The average online bachelors degree program requires at least twenty hours of course work a week. But since the course are completed online, individuals can work faster or slower, depending on their schedule, as long as the course is completed within the allowed time frame.

The standard time frame for the course work of an online bachelors degree is one class every five weeks. This schedule allows a student to concentrate solely on one class or module at a time ensuring that they learn all of the information presented in that session. This is an advantage over traditional four year colleges because with an online program you can devote your time to each session without being distracted by other classes and information.

Tuition payment is also easier with an online program. Online degree programs qualify for the same tuition assistance that on-site programs do. Therefore, individuals can apply for student loans, payment plans and employer reimbursement programs. Plus, some online colleges allow the student to pay as they go, cutting down on upfront college costs.

Earning an online bachelors degree is a perfect way for individuals that are currently employed full time to further their careers. By studying online, individuals can keep their regular job and still earn a degree in record time.

To qualify for enrollment, you are only required to have a high school diploma or G.E.D. Since no prior college education is required, online degrees are also the perfect choice for someone that must work full time to pay for.

If you are contemplating earning your bachelors degree, then an online bachelors degree program is definitely worth researching.

Why You Should Choose an Accredited Online Degree

An accredited online degree is a college degree that is received through Internet studies offered by an accredited college. This means that the school or university that is offering the degree has been approved by a national or state board of education.

In order to offer an accredited online degree a college must offer its course work and lesson requirements to the board of education for approval. The board will then go through that course work and make sure that it adheres to the industry standards for completion.

When contemplating completing any type of degree over the Internet it is best to do so with an accredited online degree provider. Accredited degrees are more reputable and the credits transfer to other schools should you ever decide to further your education again.

Online degrees can come in many forms. You can earn an associate’s degree, bachelors or masters degree or even a course completion certification diploma.

To earn a masters accredited degree online, you must first possess a bachelors degree from a regular or online college.

To earn a bachelors accredited online degree, you need to have at least a high school diploma or G.E.D.

With both degrees, you can shorten the amount of time it takes to complete by having prior college credits or related work experience.

It usually takes about three years to complete an accredited online degree. This time frame is based on a curriculum of at least twenty hours of course work a week. Some degrees, like a specialized law degree, can take up to four years to complete.

By choosing an accredited online degree program as opposed to a regular degree program, you are choosing a degree of a higher standard. With an accredited degree, there will be more choices opened up to you and more occasions for advancement.

What are Accredited Online Degree Programs?

Accredited online degree programs are college programs that are offered over the Internet by certified schools and universities. Accredited online degree programs are tested and approved by state or national education review boards.

There are many different types being offered on the Internet. These programs include degrees in many different fields such as accounting, law, business management and healthcare.

A few well-known schools that offer accredited online degree programs are Phoenix University, Concord Law School and Pierce University. Accredited online degree programs usually offer a completely off-site program, meaning that the student can access everything they will need to earn a degree from the comfort of their own home.

Also, these online degree programs usually offer downloadable lessons that can be accessed and completed at any time during the day or night. However, some programs do require the attendance of virtual meetings or classes that are put on at certain times throughout the day via the Internet.

To find out which degree program is right for you, you first need to choose a field of education that interests you. After defining your field of interest, seek out a school that specializes in that field.

Accredited online degree programs are very useful for those individuals seeking to further their education while continuing full-time at their present job. Some even offer credits for work already completed in the same field as the sought after degree. These credits are usually based on work or life experience. Also, some programs accept credits from other colleges.

Applying prior credits toward accredited online degree programs will help to shorten the length of time required to receive your new bachelor’s or master’s degree. While some programs can take up to four years to complete, prior credits can reduce your education time by up to two years.

How to Get Your Bachelors Degree Online

Getting a bachelors degree online can be a fast and easy way to further your career. But before you enroll, there are a few important things you need to know.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the college that offers the online degree is accredited. School and universities are accredited on a state or national level. This accreditation means that a board of education has researched and approved the schools curriculum and course work.

Next, you will want to make sure that the school is highly recognized and that the bachelors degree is transferable. This helps because someday you may want to further your education by completing your masters degree and you will need to be able to transfer your bachelors credits.

Prerequisite to getting a bachelors degree from any university, you must first have at least a high school diploma or a G.E.D. It also helps to have some college or previous work experience under your belt. If you have previous college credits, then they can be applied toward your bachelors degree program and shorten the length of time that you will need to be enrolled in school.

Without previous college credits, most bachelors degree online programs take up to three years to complete. This time frame is based on an individual that takes at least twenty hours of course work a week. With prior college credits, or by spending more time on course work each week, some individuals can complete their bachelors degree online program in as little as one year.

To decide which college or university to enroll with, it is best to decide what type of degree program you need. Many colleges offer these programs but some specialize in different fields. For example, a person who wants a bachelors degree in business night want to go with Ashworth College, while a person that wants an education degree would want to go with Penn State University.

Once you have chosen a bachelors degree online program, you need to research its class schedule. Many online programs allow you to download the course work and complete it on your own schedule, but some programs require that you log on to the Internet for virtual class sessions a few times a week at a designated time.

10 Tips to Choose Online IAS Coaching

Many a time, varying circumstances simply don’t allow an IAS aspirant to attend classes at a traditional IAS coaching center. Thus, they opt for online IAS coaching. However, many find it a complicated task to opt for the best institution. They are highly confused as to what online IAS coaching they should opt for.

The choice should be made in a careful manner. The reasons are several and should not be ignored. The syllabus prescribed by UPSC is highly vast. Moreover, the Civil Services is the most popular career option among Indian youth. Apart from all that, IAS happens to be the most sought after of the cadres that UPSC offers.

All of these factors make the IAS exam the toughest of the tough with the fiercest of the competitions. Thus, it is obvious that the choice of online IAS coaching should not be taken lightly.

Though a lot depends on the discretion and the requirements of an IAS aspirant, the tips given below would definitely help you choose the most suitable of the online IAS coaching to crack the IAS exam with great competence:

Videos: It is always advisable to go ahead with the online IAS coaching that provides you with the latest i.e., the updated video classes. Hence, you would get to attend the same classroom sessions that are being provided to the regular students in the classrooms.

Faculty & Mentorship: It definitely makes more sense to opt for online IAS coaching where the faculty teaching online is highly experienced and eminent. The faculty that has a tight grip on the subject and also considerable experience of teaching the same as per the requirements of the UPSC Syllabus is more likely to equip you with the skills required to crack the IAS exam successfully. Besides, if the online coaching institution allows you to be benefitted by the guidance of the eminent mentors, you should consider yourself a fortunate IAS aspirant.

Misc. online resources: Apart from a lecture on a video, it is advisable to explore other resources including the lectures on YouTube.

Online Test Series: The Online Test Series is highly important. They put your skills to test. The better you score, the more confident you feel while you actually face the IAS exam. Besides, you get to know your weak points as well as the strengths and prepare accordingly. Thus, it is wiser to look for the online IAS coaching that offers the most competent of the Online Sectional Tests. Besides, most of the Online IAS Coaching institutions provide scanned copies of the evaluated tests. The queries and the doubts of the aspirants are also well taken care of.

Current Affairs: Knowledge of current affairs plays a decisive role if you have been planning to join IAS. Thus, while opting for online IAS coaching, it’s best to opt for the online institution that not only equips the students with a thorough knowledge of the current affairs but also keeps them updated.

Customer support: As you plan to study online rather than getting yourself enrolled in a regular classroom coaching institution, you should make sure that the entire team of the online institution comprises professionals offering a good customer care support. It would help you approach the faculty as the team would be of great help taking your calls and forwarding your mails as required helping you get the time of the faculty so that all your queries and doubts are answered well.

Query Solving Sessions: In case you feel that you need a little more time and guidance by the faculty members so that all your queries are solved, you should convey the same to the customer care team of the Online IAS Coaching institution. It is highly important to gain an absolutely clear knowledge of all the subjects and topics covered by the syllabus prescribed by UPSC. Thus, it is only logical to opt for the online IAS coaching institution that provides you with the provision for the query solving sessions as and when required.

Upgraded content: Like almost all are aware that the style and the pattern of the UPSC question paper keep changing and you are never sure how many of the questions can be asked from a specific topic in the exam, it is best to look for the online IAS coaching that encompasses the changing patterns and styles. The online coaching institution must encompass the changes in the sectional tests, Current Affairs and wherever required.

Honing the Answer Writing Skills: It should never be forgotten that you are going to face the exam in order to join the Indian Administrative Services. Thus, UPSC is going to assess your skills as a potential administrator chiefly by what you write in the exam. The answers should show an alert, aware, analytical and unprejudiced mind. These are the qualities that make up a good administrator. And also these are the qualities that UPSC requires in a potential administrator. So, opt for an online IAS coaching that sharpens your answer writing skills and conveys all of your administerial qualities to UPSC by means of the answers that you pen down in the exam.

Fee: Most of the online IAS coaching institutions are economically viable as compared with the regular classroom coaching institutions. However, it is best to make sure that the online coaching institution that you opt for does equip you with all the skills required to crack the IAS exam.

The last, but not the least, it is wiser to follow what your mind says after carefully considering all of your requirements before you finally opt for an online IAS coaching institution. There is no point in joining an institution simply because one of your friends did so. Consider all the options and choose carefully. The tips given above would definitely help you do the same.

Tips for Finding Spanish Speaking Lessons Online

There are, of course, several different ways to learn a language but these days the world is a smaller place and one of the advantages of this is that we can can learn to speak a chosen language from the comfort of our own home or even office. Maybe a suitable Spanish tutor is not available in your area. If that is the case for you, read these tips for finding Spanish speaking lessons online.

OK, so let us say you have decided to learn Spanish online. You have chosen this route as opposed to going to night school because perhaps you work during the day, or you are a little shy of speaking up in front of a class of other people, or maybe it is difficult for you to travel for any number of reasons.

Yet, within you there is that burning desire to learn the Spanish language and it’s difficult to do it on your own with just a book. Can you motivate yourself sufficiently? What about a bunch of expensive audio files, such as CDs? Would that do the trick? But, maybe, like many students you need interaction, personal encouragement and someone who cares.

One solution to these quandaries is to get a personal online tutor. This is a convenient way to learn to speak Spanish, and also gives you privacy. The aim of that tutor should only be to assist you in the best way possible to reach your objective: to speak, understand and write good Spanish.

But – and here’s the question – how do you find that tutor? The one who is going to help you along your exciting journey.

Remember at school how there was at least one teacher who drove you to snoozing away the lesson at the back of the class? There were two in my case: the history teacher and the geography teacher – and were they dull! Conversely, several years later (and 20 years ago now), I went to an evening class for six sessions on Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The tutor arrived late and we were becoming restless but as he threw down his briefcase and took off his jacket, he started quoting with passion and we were captivated.

So, this is point 1 – look for an online Spanish tutor who appears able to breathe life into the language. Spanish is a beautiful language and with it comes a fascinating history of Spain, of Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world in general.

Point 2 – Look for a tutor in Spanish who has plenty of experience. Knowing a subject and teaching it are two different things. So check credentials, such as testimonials, where you can. Ask around: recommendations and word of mouth are important.

Point 3 – Pay attention to cost. Too cheap and it may be a waste of money. Too pricey and you may be getting stung. Check out standard hourly charges for your area or country. Are discounts available for multiple lessons or lessons booked in advance? Is there any follow up between lessons, such as homework?

Point 4 – Are you looking to learn Spanish for a particular reason: business, pleasure, travel, personal? Ensure you locate a tutor who is prepared to be flexible and tailor the lessons to suit your interests and level.

Point 5 – Find the right tutor and you will learn fast! No time for snoozing at the back of the classroom. That is not what you, or your company, is paying for.

Point 6 – Work hard! Languages cannot be learned in six weeks but you will be on your way…