Online Education – Do You Want To Return To School?

In our rapidly changing global world, millions of students are currently taking college-level online (distance education) classes. Private and public universities in the United States and abroad are offering Certificate, Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctoral degree programs over the Internet to adult learners. From Ivy League to Community Colleges, an increasing number of students can log on to their classes from home, work or while commuting by bus and train. Adult learners frequently juggle a myriad of responsibilities including raising children, career, and care giving for senior parents. Formerly, a university of interest may have been out of reach geographically. Presently, an employee located in the United States can register for classes taught half way around the world. Non-traditional venues outside of the more traditional classroom offer viable opportunities for continuing one’s education.

Adult learners make up the largest demographic of post-secondary institutions in the United States. For this student group, the benefits of online academic programs are:

o To update current skill sets

o To learn new skill sets

o To earn an undergraduate or graduate level degree

o The fulfillment of academic requirements necessary for a current job or promotion

o To change careers

o The satisfaction of certification or licensure requirements

o Personal and spiritual growth and development

Not for the faint of heart, success in distance education academic programs requires high levels of stamina, discipline, and motivation. A good candidate must be computer literate, possess the ability to read massive amounts of material in short-time frames, have good writing and communication skills, hold high expectations for good grades, enjoy applying critical thinking and commit a minimum of 15 hours per week per course (be prepared to allocate more, if necessary).

The Internet and the World Wide Web provide the critical technology platform for distance education. University technological and operational infrastructures (including hardware, software and transmission) provide the additional cornerstones to the technology platform needed to execute distance education programs. The delivery of academic content may be accomplished in several formats. The more traditional venues are correspondence courses, videos, audio-cassettes, CD-ROMS, and broadcasts via television and radio. Modern formats include synchronous and/or asynchronous education content distribution channels. Synchronous delivery refers to real-time interaction between instructor and student i.e., two-way video-conferences, whiteboards, chat rooms, telephone software (ex. Skype), and mobile technology devices. Asynchronous interaction does not involve real time communication. Instead, interaction between instructor and student is accomplished through the use of e-mail, DVDs, and the traditional education delivery formats.

As a student, you will need a desktop or laptop computer, an Internet Service provider, a cell phone, software (i.e., word processor, financial spreadsheet, calendar and Power Point), a backup storage disk drive (nothing can make your heart drop faster than losing a body of work that you’ve diligently developed), a headset with microphone for virtual team discussions and the traditional school supplies. Optional technology may include memory upgrades, scanners, digital scanners, and fax machines.

Ten Tips For The Successful Online Student:

o Have a credit card or debit card ready for downloading e-books and other required course reading materials.

o Maintain a list of more than one bookstore in the event that a required textbook is sold out. It’s always a good idea to obtain a list of the required textbooks midway through the term and order in advance for the following term.

o Do not be shy about asking for help if needed. I cannot stress enough the importance of communicating openly with your professor or instructor about course material that you may not understand. Online academic programs tend to move rapidly and course content that you do not understand will most likely cause problems down the road resulting in frustration and possibly, lower grades.

o Seek out a tutor. If there are areas that you know need strengthening, even before the class begins, have a tutor on stand-by. Also, the telephone number of a computer specialist should be in your rolodex.

o Time management will be critical. Keep a planner. Read your syllabus as soon as it becomes available and plan accordingly.

o Uphold your responsibilities as a virtual team member. Your contributions will directly impact the team grade.

o Exercise. Long hours at the computer can cause strain on the neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles, not to mention the hands. Remember to periodically stretch and tone.

o Eat a healthy diet. Keep good healthy recipes handy. Hydrate. Avoid heavy snacking on calorie-laden food and instead eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid white flour and choose high fiber grains.

o See your doctor. A healthy body feeds a healthy mind.

o Stay in contact with your Academic Advisor to be sure that you are satisfying the requirements needed to complete your degree.

In the Fall term of 2006, 3.5 million students representing 20% of all U.S. higher education students, took at least one online course (2007. The Sloan Consortium). It is projected that distance education will continue to grow in popularity domestically and internationally. The most commonly offered online academic programs are Business, Computer Science and Engineering, Education, Engineering, Library Science, Nursing, and Public Health. Whether you select a community college, public institution, private institution or Ivy League university, enjoy the learning experience.

© 2007-2008 Jeanna Foy-Stanley

SUVs Meet High End Luxury (And Are Kind to Your Wallet)

Sport Utility Vehicles (or SUVs) have become increasingly popular over the last several years, with more and more manufacturers adding their versions to the market. With their ability to function well as both on and off-road vehicles, large storage space, ability to fit several passengers as well as towing abilities, SUVs serve as a very practical solution for much of the automobile buying market. Quality SUVs also handle well, feeling much more like driving a car than a massive truck with many of the same benefits.

While SUVs have always held a certain authority and status due to their size, they are often placed in a separate, “practical” category from the truly high end luxury cars. Fortunately, a few upper-echelon manufacturers have released their own versions of the SUV, blurring the lines between practicality, performance, style, and luxury interior. These include:

– BMW X5

– Lexus GX

– Mercedes G and M classes

– Audi Q7

– Porsche Cayenne.

The BMW X5 Series is a mid-size SUV in the market since 1999. Features include all wheel drive, and V8 engines with gasoline inline. E53 and E70 are the two generations of the model. The E53 model has many features of Landrover. The E70 model is more of a Sports Activity Vehicle. Other luxuries such as high pressure headlight washers, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather seats, automatic climate control, automatic light control, and sun roof add to the comfort and luxury of the vehicle.

The Lexus GX can seat up to 8 passengers. It has many great features including a welded steel body, center locking permanent 4 wheel drive, built in mudguards, illuminated running boards, electronic 5-speed automatic   transmission , and the innovative, unparalleled luxury interior and amenities customary in all Lexus models. Models from 2004 and up feature additional safety modifications like tire pressure monitoring, roll-sensing, side curtain airbags, and a Dynamic Suspension System. Like most Lexus models, the GX has won several awards: 4 wheeler of the year, highest ranked luxury SUV for quality, and best resale value from sources like 4×4 Magazine, J.D Power and Associates, and Kelley Blue Book.

The Mercedes G-Class is a four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle launched in 1979, originally created for military use with a jeep-like look. The three generations of the vehicle are W460, W461, and W463, and it is hailed for its long lifespan and durability as well as off-road performance. The interior of the car is made of wood or leather. The automatic  transmission , power steering, airbag, central locking, air conditioning, engine pre-heater, electric windows, and heated seats really add to the sense of luxury.

The M-Class by Mercedes is a mid-size SUV introduced in the market in 1997, featuring stability control which helps in bringing the vehicle to a halt in case of emergency. Excellent features such as seven speed automatic  transmission , Active Curve illuminating Bi-Xenon headlights, 4-valve engines, and air suspension which can be adjusted are major attractions of the vehicle. The cars also use BlueTec Diesel engine for controlling diesel gas emissions. New front headlights, exterior mirrors, redesigned front grille, an improved interior, and front and rear bumpers add to the beauty of the car. The M class won the “Truck of the Year” in 1998 awarded by Motor Trend magazine. Also it was named “Best New Sports Utility Vehicle” in the year 2006 during Canadian Car of the Year Awards.

The Porsche Cayenne is a five-seat mid size luxury sports utility vehicle launched in 2002 with two generations. The engines in the models introduced from 2008 have direct injection technology. The main features of the car are height adjustable off-road suspension, slanted rear window, remodeled dashboard, taillights near the tailgate, lighter weight due to the usage of aluminum, and fuel efficiency. Owners love the climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power sunroof, radio control, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Features such as a rear view camera, memory system, navigation system, sound system, climate control, and CD changer make the car an excellent marriage of luxury and SUV performance.

Price of course is always an issue, but these world class SUVs can be found online at surprisingly good deals. At the time of this writing, HighEndAutoAuctions.com has multiple BMW X5s under $15,000, several Cayennes under $20,000, and several steals on each of the other models. No matter which source you choose to purchase from, these models are sure to satisfy both your practical needs and luxury desires.

What Are Forklift Trucks?

Forklift Trucks are used in industrial settings to lift and move heavy objects. Since its development in 1920 by   transmission  company: Clark, and by hoist company: Yale and Towne Manufacturing, they have become a vital piece of machinery in warehouses across the world.

Forklift Trucks are classified into different  classes  and lift codes:

  • Class 1 include Electric Motor Riders. Their lift codes include: Number 4, which is a three-wheeled, sit-down, counterbalanced truck. Number 5, which is a cushioned, solid tire, sit-down, counterbalanced truck. And, Number 6, which is a pneumatic tire, sit-down, counterbalanced truck.
  • Class 3 include Electric Motor Walkies. Their lift codes include: Number 2, which is a low-lift pallet truck. Number 5, which is a high reach lift type. And, Number 7, which is a high lift, counterbalanced truck.
  • Class 4 include: Internal Combustion Engine Riders. Their lift codes include: Number 3, which is a cushioned, solid tire, sit-down, counterbalanced truck.
  • Class 5 include: Internal Combustion Engine Riders. Their lift codes include: Number 4, which is a pneumatic tire, sit-down, counterbalanced truck.
  • Class 6, which is Rough Terrain. Their lift codes include: Number 1 which is classified as all types.

Besides counterbalanced, there are speciality trucks which include:

  • Articulated Counterbalance Trucks. These are Forklift Trucks which have front wheel steering and a very narrow aisle truck. These are able to offload trailers, as well as place and move loads into narrow aisle racks.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Trucks. These Forklifts are rail guided. Their lift heights are 40 feet to 98 feet, non-top tied or top tied respectively. These Forklift Trucks are only able to be used on floors with a high standard of flatness.
  • Explosion Proof Trucks. These are for use in the operation of the movement of potentially explosive materials.

In the interest of saving man-power and the wages associated with it, some companies now employ the use of these. These trucks are often computer operated and are becoming more and more available by manufacturers around the world. While they save on man-power in terms of having someone to operate the machine by standing behind or sitting in it, there is still the wages of the computer operator to consider when deciding if Forklifts actually save a company man-power or wages at all.

HIV Education in the Schools Across America

AIDS has devastated the lives of many citizens in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the number of AIDS infections among young Americans between the ages of 13 to 25 rose nearly 20 percent, and approximately 50 percent of new infections are among individuals who are younger than 25 years of age. Therefore, finding better methods to communicate the risk of AIDS transmission are greatly needed to protect our young people and preserve the next generation.

Young people in the United States are at a persistent risk of HIV infection. This risk is especially notable for youth of minority races and ethnicities. Continued HIV prevention outreach and education efforts, including programs on abstinence and delaying initiation of sexual relations, are required as new generations replace the older generations that benefited from earlier prevention strategies.

I believe that there should be more HIV and AIDS education in the school systems across America. I feel that this is an area of education that we could improve to protect and preserve our next generation. There are two reasons that I feel this way. My first reason is to prevent a student from being discriminated against, and the second reason is giving education to the students on preventing the spread of this disease.

My first reason for believing there should be more education about HIV and AIDS in the school system is the way I was treated when I was diagnosed with HIV. I was diagnosed with HIV at 14 years old and due to the lack of education to the teaching staff in the earlier years; I wasn’t permitted to attend class in a regular school setting. Instead I was forced to be home schooled by the board of education, (homebound program) in which I wasn’t taught all the subjects as a regular student would be. I wasn’t taught mathematics at a high school level so when I decided to attend college I had a lot of difficulties in the area of mathematics. On the other hand, English was drilled into my head like a nail, which I am grateful for. The reason for this was that my homebound teacher was an English Professor before she started teaching in the homebound program.

Even though I wasn’t taught as well as those students attending classes in a regular school setting, I have become an excellent student in college despite my difficulties in math. I do believe, however, that the school system has gotten better. I haven’t had any problems with discrimination while attending college. That, at least, is a good thing!

Secondly, I feel that if there had been more education on the prevention and spread of this disease, I might not have contracted it. Had I known about the risks of this disease, I may not be infected today. Even though I contracted HIV through a blood transfusion, maybe if I had been more educated on the ways it is transmitted, I could have somehow prevented myself from becoming infected.

Therefore, I believe that there should be more education for students. The students are our next generation. They should be educated about the risks of HIV infection. I feel it should be a requirement for the schools to inform students about the dangers of the disease as well as the myths of being around someone who is infected.

Even now I feel I have to be careful when I disclose my diagnosis, which prevents me from making friends for fear of being rejected. I feel that if there were more education, I could feel more comfortable talking about my situation of having this disease. Ultimately, I wouldn’t be afraid of causing a panic among my peers. Finally, I believe with more education it would prevent the rise of students becoming infected with this disease. I believe that it is our obligation to protect the next generation.