How to Balance School With Your Social Life

Many students, especially those in high school, could benefit from taking a step back and considering the idea of “balance.” For some, it is all work and no play; getting perfect grades and building up one’s resume is considered the most important aspect of one’s time in school. For others, it is all play and no work; homework seems boring, classes are tedious, and the idea of hanging out with friends seems tremendously more appealing than going to school. Both ends of the spectrum can be problematic for various reasons.For the students who believe that the only purpose of going to school is getting the perfect grades that will earn them acceptance into the next school, here is a message: those very schools are placing more and more weight on what kind of person you are aside from your transcript. There is a reason that going to school entails being surrounded by your peers: it allows you to learn about friendship, social skills, and relationships, and it exposes you to new interests, hobbies, and activities. No matter what your career goals may be, having strong social skills will always set you apart and will make you a more effective communicator, participator, and leader.However, many students take the opposite approach and develop a stubborn attitude that anything related to academics is inherently useless and a waste of time. What these students should realize is that most people who shared this mentality during school come to a point later in life where they regret it. Brushing aside one’s academic obligations is not only precarious for one’s future success, but it is also wasting the time that one could spend developing a love of learning. Many people who work full-time agree that they would love to be back in school because they miss being compelled to learn about a variety of subjects. The students who claim that classwork is “boring” or that it “will never be useful later in life” could not be more wrong. No matter what you are learning in school, there will always be a time later in life when you can call upon what you learned to make educated decisions.Therefore, the most effective strategy when it comes to balancing school and a social life is to make sure to focus on balance at all times. When you receive good grades, reward yourself by spending extra time with your friends doing something you love. Limit the amount of time each day that you do something social, but do the exact same thing for the amount of time you spend doing homework. Don’t let either academics or socializing take over your life; be sure to include a little bit of both in everything you do.
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Online Learning Management Systems, Key Points for Effective Due Diligence and Return on Investment

OVERVIEW:

Online Learning Management alternatives will continue to evolve rapidly with greater options for new software, hosting and administrative services. Direct costs – typically software and hosting – have decreased with continued upgrades to navigation and user-interface, and now with added efficiencies of ‘cloud’ hosting. Indirect costs require careful review on multiple fronts, such as: a) An objective assessment of available/operational internal resource capacity to perform support, maintenance and administrative services or to engage with out-sourced vendor staff to support these services, and b) An accurate projection of LMS deployment scope. A company’s demand for online learning will rapidly increase and gain complexity over the next 2-3 years. Software and hosting options have almost unlimited capacity to meet demand. Services capacity is the bottleneck.

IN-SOURCED VS OUT-SOURCED LEARNING MANAGEMENT

The critical decision-point is whether to purchase LMS software and in-source the function or to contract with a LMS Services provider to out-source the function. Both options have multiple alternatives available in the market. A sample of key cost and risk elements are discussed in the following paragraphs.

In-Sourcing Learning Management Services:

The upsides to purchasing an LMS are increased control and customization of the online learning function. As online learning demand increases (internally and externally), the business case for LMS in-sourcing gains strength. However, a common misjudgment is underestimating the multi-faceted nature of support required to operate and administer an LMS – most of these elements are “soft costs” not budget line items:

  • Purchasing the software requires analysis but is the easiest part of the process. Good LMS software options can start at $12,000, plus upgrades every 12-18 months for half the purchase cost.
  • The Cost/Time to install the software and achieve operational effectiveness within the client IT environment requires combined IT and Training resources. LMS software installation can be complex, depending on Server Operating Systems and the degree of specialized capacity available within IT and the Training team. Installation raises a range of client server security issues depending on the target user audience – internal staff (working from network computers vs remote) or external constituents.
  • Time for the Training staff to learn how to administer the LMS: publish and upload courses, create curriculums and assign courses to curriculums, enroll/manage users, manage user gradebooks and activity reporting, etc.
  • Cost to acquire/build course content (SCORM complaint)
  • Time to establish course and LMS organization naming conventions and user groups, upload courses, design curriculums, transfer student records, etc. The setup of the user registration process and curriculum listing requires pre-planning prior to loading any content into the LMS.
  • Establish operational back-up – that is, people – within IT and Training who can respond when primary resources are unavailable, leave the company, etc. Every system needs 24/7 IT support and user help support to respond.

Out-Sourcing Learning Management Services:

The key upsides to Out-Sourcing LMS Services are lower internal capacity requirements [the converse of the costs/risks cited in the In-Sourcing discussion above] and the vendor’s responsibility to manage all software, hosting and administrative matters. For example, client server maintenance and downtime, software patches, upgrades and access security plus all functions relating to user course/curriculum access are managed. A hybrid out-sourcing alternative exists in which the course and curriculum functions are supported by client staff trained on the vendor system.

  • Understanding of the LMS vendor’s services cost structure. Many vendors will charge per-user-course-access fees. For example, in addition to upfront vendor licensing fees, the activity of 100 users per year accessing 20 courses and tests at $5 per access would equal $10,000 in “user fees.” Best to read the fine print.
  • Determine the degree of customization available – such as company logo on access pages, costs for reporting, timing of reporting, security protocols for UserID assignment (internal vs external staff), etc.
  • Time for Training staff to learn how to upload courses, assign courses, create curriculums, enroll/manage users, manage gradebook and reporting in the vendor system. Make sure the vendor has sufficient training and/or help desk resources.
  • Cost to acquire/build course content (SCORM complaint)
  • Time to establish course and LMS organization naming conventions and user groups, upload courses, design curriculums, transfer student records, etc.
  • Establish operational back-up – that is, people – within IT and Training who can respond when primary resources are unavailable, leave the company, etc.

Online Learning Management can be a significant asset to your business. Effective due diligence will enable you to accurately manage all cost and capacity elements while receiving and/or delivering expert Learning Management services.


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Implement Highly Competent Telecommunication Systems for Optimum Productivity

Today’s business interactions have evolved from the ages of conventional communication methods to high-tech and interactive mobility solutions. Large scale business sectors to the recent SOHO cluster, all of them now rely on automated messaging and reply system for real-time productivity and customer support. If you want a fully customized and responsive business communication for your company, then you must select the best Telecommunication Companies. There are certain factors to consider when it comes to opting for the best telecommunication solution packed with industry oriented features and customization for future needs.The evaluation factorsYou need to identify the exact requirements of communication in your organization. If you do not have a clear idea of how you will utilize this service for achieving a responsive and interactive Business Telecoms system, then you may face trouble in selecting the right vendor. For a simple overview of a particular telecommunication solution, you can use the limited period and featured free plans. This is like a software demo that you are familiar with. While going for a new web-based communication solution, you must check its compatibility with all the network carriers operating in your area. You may even look for the features like audience response system integrated with the zero disruption communication solution.Attractive tariff plans When it comes to sending and receiving multiple text messages for an efficient customer feedback system and in-house Business Telecoms, you must be concerned about the rates that your business communication service provider is charging. Without an economic plan, you will not be able to meet up with you annual budget allotted for this service. Always go for the economic tariff plans. You may need to invest more for such plans initially but it is the most cost effective service in the long run. The affordability factor acts as a decision making factor when you are evaluating multiple vendors for similar services.Easy customization and maintenanceTelecommunication for business requirements varies according to the features you need out of the system. The Telecommunication Companies should be able to offer you extensive customization options for future upgrades and easy maintenance. Almost all the similar communication features and services are cloud based today. So, you do not need to worry about on-site maintenance and upgrades. It is very easy to implement new features just by subscribing. However, it is you sole responsibility of checking the array of features that your communication service provider is ready to provide upon your requirement.Business interaction has evolved to new heights with the latest cloud based mobility solutions. You should perform a careful check on the features that your telecommunication service is offering you. Get a highly efficient communication solution with an economic tariff plan. There are many factors to consider summing up you actual communication requirements. Inadequate analysis of requirements can lead to improper communication solution that affects your company’s core competency. You should not welcome such situation at will. You can get professional assistance from a fully customized communication service provider. You can search online and collect detailed information on present day business communication system. Try to go for the trending communication technologies and features to make your company communication future ready. There are many expensive and inexpensive methods of communication. You must select the best economic plans and future proof communication solutions.