World reading habits


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Everyone knows that reading enriches our lives in many ways. It brings countless benefits, some of which include mental stimulation, increased knowledge, improved memory, stronger critical thinking skills, entertainment, and more. Reading is also known as one of the keys to success. People that consistently read tend to be high academic and professional achievers. This usually translates into personal success for individuals, but how about countries? How about considering the reading habits of society or countries as a whole? When considering world reading habits, you could imagine how well-read nations might benefit from having a population that consistently reads. In this post, we take a look at world reading habits.

Which countries read the most?

The world’s top three countries that spend the most time reading per week are India (10:42 hours), Thailand (9:24 hours), and China (8:00 hours). That is far greater than the bottom group of nations. On the other end of the spectrum – Taiwan, Japan, and Korea occupy the bottom of the reading list at 5:00, 4:06, and 3:06 hours, respectively. The bottom group of countries that read the least out of this group includes three first world countries, which may be surprising.

What might also surprise some (or maybe not), are other first-world countries’ reading habits. For example, the US, Germany, and Canada rank below average. These highly developed nations are in the bottom third of global weekly reading hours. People in America and Germany manage to read 5 hours and 42 minutes, while Canadians average 5 hours and 48 minutes per week.

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Some countries read more than others, but that doesn’t mean they are overall more literate.

What countries are the most literate?

While the countries in the top percentile spend the most hours reading per week, they are not considered the most “literate” countries in the world. According to the World’s Most Literate Nations (WMLN), a study conducted by the president of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, John Miller, Finland tops the list as the most literate country in the world.

In this case, literacy means “literate behavior characteristics”. Instead of measuring a country’s ability to read, WMLN ranks countries based on their “literate behaviors and their supporting resources”. That includes everything from the number of libraries and newspapers, to years of schooling and computer availability in each country.

Nordic countries dominated the top of the list. Finland ranked first and Norway in second. The top five rounded out with Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden. Switzerland came in sixth, with the US in seventh. Germany was eighth and Canda in eleventh. The report noted that if it had only ranked countries based on their reading assessment results, the final outcome would have been very different. If reading assessment results were the only factor, Singapore would be first, followed by South Korea, Japan, and China. Finland would then be the only non-Pacific Rim country to be in the top five. 

Summary

The World’s Most Literate Nation ranking suggests that world literacy and literate behaviors are essential to the success of individuals, and ultimately, the nations they live in. Having a well-read populace is a significant benefit. However, countries need more than that. They must also increase their literacy by providing the resources that better educate their citizens and provide equal learning opportunities. This would lead to overall more literate nations comprised of citizens with the capacity to progress our knowledge-based economies.

“The most important thing is that schooling is equal. Reading and educating have been appreciated also by working class and that the profession of teaching and education is also appreciated.” said Finnish author Aki Ollikainen. He went on to say: “I’m very proud of the Finnish school system and also our libraries. They have very versatile collections available to all. Everybody has an equal opportunity to learn and to read. In Finland, we are used to keeping this obvious, but globally it is luxurious.”

India’s crushing income inequality


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In the modern world, we have a tendency to take a binary approach in the way we analyze things. For instance, countries are framed through the restrictive definitions of ‘rich’ and ‘poor’, ‘developed’ or ‘developing’; where the standard of living can be seen as either ‘high’ or ‘low’. This is a natural tendency that helps us compare and contrast complex issues from our own worldview. Fortunately, there’s usually more ‘gray’ between the black and white. However, in India, there is far less ‘gray’ when it comes to income. Simply put, India’s income inequality is shockingly vast.

How bad is it?

An Oxfam report underscores the dramatic increase in wealth inequality in India. Up to 670 million Indians make up the poorest half of the population. This group saw a mere 1% increase in their wealth while the richest 1% of society swallowed a whopping 73% percent of the total national income generated in the country last year. This top 1% holds 58% percent of the country’s total wealth, which is comparatively higher than the global figure of about 50%.

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The top 10% have 76% of the country’s wealth, and the poorer half has 4%.

According to data from Credit Suisse, the richest 5% own approximately 67% of the country’s wealth; the top 10% have 76%, and the poorer half of the country clamor over a mere 4%. This is an incredible increase from the year 2000 which shows that things are continuously getting better for the rich. That year, India’s super-rich owned just 36% of the country’s wealth.

According to New World Wealth, India is the second most unequal country in the world. Millionaires control a staggering 54% of the country’s wealth, with a total individual wealth of $5.6 billion. India is one of the top 10 richest countries globally. However, it is well known that the average Indian is relatively poor.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. Those working hard, growing food for the country, building infrastructure, working in factories are struggling to fund their child’s education, buy medicine for family members and manage two meals a day. The growing divide undermines democracy and promotes corruption and cronyism,” said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.”

Disastrous income inequality

To emphasize the income inequality in India, here are a few more facts that demonstrate this monstrous disproportion between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.

  • India added 17 new billionaires last year alone
  • 37% of India’s billionaires have inherited their wealth
  • The number of billionaires has increased from only 9 in 2000 to 101 in 2017
  • The 37% of inherited wealth billionaires control 51% of the total billionaire wealth in the country
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It would take 941 years for a rural worker to earn what a top executive makes in a year.

Based on these facts, it would take a whopping 941 years for a rural minimum wage worker in India to earn what the top paid executive at a leading Indian garment company earns in a year. Or in other terms, it would take about 18 days for the highest paid executive at a top Indian garment company to earn what a minimum wage worker in rural India will earn in their lifetime (after 50 years working).

These facts show that the differences between the lives of the rich and poor are night and day. This even holds true when contrasting India with other countries. Japan, the most equal country in the world, reports that its millionaires control an equitable 22% of total wealth. India is also far ahead of the United States where the richest 1% own 37% of total wealth. However, if we take a look on the bright side, India still has a long way to go before they rival Russia, where the top 1% own a breathtaking 70% of its country’s wealth.

How did it happen?

Rising income inequality became a major issue in India due to an uneven distribution of gains. This took place during the last three decades, the time India’s economy reached ongoing strong growth rates. Up to the 1970s, India had socialist planning and was tightly regulated. Growth was only bubbling at 3.5% per year with weak development and vast poverty. After easing regulations, reduced tax rates, and modest reforms, India was poised for growth in the 1980s, reaching roughly 5% a year. This was followed by substantial reform in the 90s which lead the economy to grow briskly. This resulted in nearly double-digit growth in the mid-2000s, hitting a historic high of 10.3% in 2010.

When rules are dismantled and the economy is free to run its course, it leads to higher growth and opportunities. However, it also creates disparities. The people that can take advantage of these opportunities are rich, enterprising, and have access to capital. Naturally, that leads to an increase in income for the upper-class. Then, an excess of labor (particularly unskilled) keeps wages low for the middle class and even lower for the lower-class. When middle and lower class incomes remain stagnant and upper-class incomes soar, income inequality is compounded.

What can be done?

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Oxfam India is calling upon the Indian Government to act on growing inequality and create a more balanced and equitable India. India should promote inclusive growth by encouraging labor-intensive sectors to create more jobs, favor living wages over stock buy-backs,  impose higher taxes on the rich (especially inheritance tax), implement policies that tackle all forms of gender discrimination, and last, but surely not least, campaign against corruption and cronyism. That laundry list of transformations is no easy task, but it has to start somewhere.

  • Promote inclusive growth by ensuring that the income of the bottom 40% of the population grows faster than the top 10%.
  • Have labor-intensive sectors create more jobs; increase public expenditure in agriculture and public goods and services such as education, housing, healthcare, and transport.
  • Effectively implement the social protection schemes that exist.
  • Take strict action against tax evasion and avoidance; tax the ultra-rich by re-introducing inheritance tax, increase wealth tax, reduce and ultimately eliminate corporate tax breaks.
  • Increase social spending on public services such as education, health, and social protections.
  • Produce and manage high-quality data on income and wealth to ensure data transparency.
  • Regularly monitor government measures to tackle rising inequality.

Should India manage to reach these ambitious but necessary goals, their economic and social stability will become sustainable. Even now, by stopping income inequality from rising further, it could eliminate extreme poverty for 90 million people by 2019. However, that figure is still far from the 300 million Indians, or 25% of the population, that live below an already terribly low poverty line. Those facts leave little room for interpretation about what is the right thing to do for the country.

Sources

Indian income inequality, 1922-2015 From British Raj to Billionaire Raj

Inheritance Tax & Inequality: Global experience & lessons for India

Global Wealth Report 2017 by Credit Suisse Research Institute

Tackling Extreme Inequality in India

The World Bank

The surging Indian mobile app market


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India has been recognized as the fastest growing mobile app market in 2018. Indian mobile app downloads and revenue have been surging in both Google’s Android Play Store and Apple’s App Store. India has the most number of mobile app downloads across both platforms according to App Annie, the mobile market data and insights company. The booming mobile market in India can be contributed to a few factors, both macro and micro.

Reasons for expansion

State Initiatives

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Digital India has brought rapid growth for smart phones, mobile phones, and internet users.

The Indian government is ambitiously pursuing its Digital India program. Its vision is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. They have expanded e-Governance projects and plan to transform the entire ecosystem of public services to information technology. This has caused great advancements in India’s digital profile. In 2018, India’s smartphone users (456 million), mobile phone connections (1.2 billion), and internet users (478 million), all saw sharp increases. 

Affordable data

Secondly, Indian telecom companies have started ‘free unlimited data’ offers. The Indian giant Reliance Jio started a data rush offering 28 GB plus 5 GB of extra data for users who sign up for prime membership, which is a one-time fee of Rs 99 (<$2). Rivals such as Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Vodafone all followed suit. This rapid expansion of broadband services is contributing to the change in consumption habits. The average data usage per subscriber grew 25 times from 62 MB per month in 2014 to 1.6 GB per month in 2017, according to data from the Department of Telecommunications.

Mobile demand

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India’s citizens demand mobile phones and accessible data.

India’s population is entering the Internet age ‘mobile first’. Millions are adopting the internet through their mobile phones, and for many people, it is their first mobile phone. The Indian smartphone market has been growing rapidly. In 2017 it witnessed a healthy 14% annual growth rate. It shipped 124 million units that year making it the fastest growing market globally, firmly remaining the third largest smartphone market. Low-cost smartphone makers are taking large swaths of the market, with Chinese vendors collecting a 53% share. 

This combination of state initiatives, low-cost internet access, and low-cost smartphones lead to an expanding mobile phone market, and subsequently, mobile app market.

Show us the facts

According to the mobile report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, in 2017, the country’s internet user population was 281 million (expected to reach 500 million in 2018) with 62% being in urban areas. However, the smartphone population itself became greater than 300 million. These numbers surely solidify the ‘mobile first’ trend in India.

India, being the fastest growing of any market, saw a Q1 year over year revenue growth of 41%. Indonesia came in at a distant second with a 24% increase. According to App Annie, India was the number one market globally by combined downloads on iOS and Google Play, ahead of the United States (second), and China (third, iOS only).

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Indian app users spent a collective 50 billion hours in apps.

While the rate of revenue growth is surging, the absolute revenue generated ranks India 29th globally. Sales from mobile apps sit at a modest $47 million. The top spenders globally in Q1 2018 were the US – $3.2 billion, Japan – $2.7 billion, and China – $2.4 billion (iOS only). Clearly, India has a long way to go before ranking top 10 in revenue.

Fortunately, there are even more than market trends that give India the potential to reach much higher revenues in the future. Indian mobile users are avid app users. The average user in India has nearly 80 apps on their phone and accesses over 40 of them each month. Globally, the time spent on apps spiked by 30%, meaning each user spends about 43 days per year in apps.

More facts

In Q4 2017, Indian app users spent a collective 50 billion hours in apps across Google Play, iOS, and third-party Android. The top three apps downloaded in India in the first quarter of 2018 were content and video streaming apps. The top two most popular apps were Netflix and Tinder.

India, being the world’s fastest growing and second largest market, is a major player in the global app economy. The current growth numbers show no signs of slowing down, bringing much excitement to this emerging market. As time moves forward, internet adoption and mobile adoption numbers will only increase. The data initiatives and low-cost smartphones will continue to be drivers for the domestic app economy. As India’s economy develops, user spending will increase as well – something that’s greatly needed for the 29th ranked revenue generator.

 

Sources

New India Digital India

Global App Store Records Shattered Yet Again in Q1 2018

Emerging Markets Led the Top Countries by Downloads in 2017

2017 Retrospective: A Monumental Year for the App Economy

Summer learning


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The summer slide

This phrase was coined by educators to describe an unfortunate outcome of summer vacation for school-aged kids. Also known as the summer (learning) loss or summer set back, the summer slide is when students’ lose educational progress during summer breaks. Students that lack access to summer learning opportunities are even more negatively impacted. This loss of learning compounds throughout their school years.

Researchers of the famed Baltimore university, Johns Hopkins, tracked Baltimore students from 1st grade to age 22. They found that economic status drastically impacted how much their educational standing suffered during the summer months. Low-income students generally were at the same reading level as their peers at the end of the school year, but when they came back to school in the fall they trailed them significantly. The researchers concluded that two-thirds of this reading achievement gap among low-income students is due to the lack of learning and enrichment opportunities in the summer during their formative years. Needless to say, money matters.

Fortunately, there are ways to beat the summer slide regardless of income. Learners have tons of options of things to do throughout the summer. Staying active and learning can help them keep up with (or pass) their peers. All you need to do is to take a little action.

READ, READ, READ

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Reading improves memory, concentration, and stimulates the mind.

Reading is a must. It is one of the best ways to improve overall communication and speaking ability. Studies show that reading improves memory, concentration, and stimulates the mind enough to fight degenerative brain diseases. Have your child or teen student choose books to read. The best thing to do is set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day for reading. Daily reading is surely attainable, but at the very least, have them finish one book each month. Make sure your Learner practices active reading. You could also read to them, correct them, and encourage discussion about the book. This is a great time to make reading a habit. It will help them get better grades and improve overall learning. Reading brings life-long benefits.

Stay active

Exercise is also a critical value to promote to young Learners. Even just 30 minutes a day makes a big difference. Staying healthy is, of course, good for the body, but it also boosts learning ability! By increasing blood flow to the brain and body, exercise can improve cognition and memory. Participating in team sports is a great way to stay physically active and social throughout the summer. Nowadays, it’s very common for organizations or companies to offer many kinds of free activities for kids. Be on the lookout for free summer activities in your area. Here’s a great list of free things to do with sources!

Learn a new skill

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Learning life skills, academic skills, and digital skills are a must for all students.

Pursuing personal interests and productive hobbies are always a good thing. Encourage your Learner to get better at the things they are already good at, but also be sure to seek out new skills. Make sure your young Learner has the necessary life skills before entering high school. These life skills can be practiced when opportunities inevitably present themselves. For older Learners, learning life skills, academic skills, and digital skills are extremely important. Take time over the summer to commit to learning a new skill. Make a schedule so they practice it throughout the week. Apple often has free activities at their store locations – find out what’s happening at a store near you. They give short camps introducing kids to design, coding, movie making, and more.

Be entrepreneurial

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Reading, staying active, learning skills, and being entrepreneurial help a ton!

Kids and young adults would greatly benefit from the experiences entrepreneurship can provide. School and traditional education have their benefits, but they also have their counterpoints. School is not where creative or entrepreneurial thinking is bred. Following directions and eventually pursuing traditional career paths are what’s promoted. Getting your Learner to start developing entrepreneurial traits will work wonders for their sense of creativity, responsibility, and competency. This will help them develop their problem-solving skills, improve communication, and possibly, even make money. The combination of skills, benefits, unique experiences and learning opportunities can’t be gained anywhere other than in entrepreneurship. Connect with others to learn together, improve your skills, or work on a project!

All students are at risk of falling victim to the summer slide. Summer vacation is coveted by all students. It’s their time to relax, enjoy themselves, and have fun. All those things can still happen, just be sure to take action and fight the summer loss. Our suggestions will give short and long-term benefits – reading, staying active, learning skills, and being entrepreneurial, will all further develop their confidence and ability! The LearnX team engages in each of these things every day and we can attest to their huge benefits. We will spread these positive values in the LearnX community! See you there.

 

Online learning vs Offline learning


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Onlinе lеаrning iѕ a mеthоd оf dеlivеring еduсаtiоnаl infоrmаtiоn viа thе intеrnеt, inѕtеаd оf in a рhуѕiсаl сlаѕѕrооm. Thеrе аrе numerous options for online lеаrning. They range in ѕсоре frоm ѕimрlе downloadable content tо ѕtruсturеd рrоgrаmmеѕ that include weekly class hours, assignments, аѕѕеѕѕmеnts and certifications.  This form of learning has gained popularity only within the last few years. This is to say online learning is in its infancy with already global adoption numbers. 

Offline learning includes traditional forms of education such as public education, private education, tutoring, or teaching that happens face to face.

Onlinе lеаrning hаѕ ѕtrugglеd tо find ассерtаnсе in асаdеmiс сirсlеѕ. It’ѕ diffеrеnсеs frоm traditional еduсаtiоn hаѕ rаiѕеd ԛuеѕtiоnѕ оvеr thе ѕuрроrt оffеrеd tо ѕtudеntѕ аnd thе mеrit оf thе аwаrd. However, fоr ѕоmе реорlе, аn оnlinе еduсаtiоn won’t work. Thеу might find it hаrd tо mоtivаtе thеmѕеlvеѕ оr diffiсult tо ѕtudу аt hоmе, which is finе. Everyone has their own learning style. Online learning isn’t fоr еvеrуоnе and people should learn in a way that fits them best. We believe traditional education blended with online learning is the best solution overall. Anуоnе thinking аbоut аn оnlinе dеgrее оr соurѕе must соnѕidеr whаt it will rеԛuirе frоm thеm in tеrmѕ оf timе аnd соmmitmеnt.

Pros of Online Learning

Hоwеvеr, if уоu’rе lооking tо gеt аhеаd, сhаngе уоur саrееr раth, оr obtain a certification, online learning is an excellent option. Onе rеаѕоn tо gо the оnlinе rоutе iѕ thаt уоu’rе аlrеаdу wоrking аnd juѕt dоn’t hаvе thе tіmе tо аttеnd сlаѕѕеѕ in реrѕоn. Yоu wаnt tо рiсk uр nеw ѕkillѕ, but уоu саn’t tаkе timе оff wоrk. Onlinе еduсаtiоn iѕ a convenient wау оf achieving thiѕ withоut ѕасrifiсing уоur lifеѕtуlе аѕ muсh аѕ a саmрuѕ-bаѕеd еduсаtiоn wоuld rеԛuirе уоu tо.

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Learn whenever and wherever you want with online learning.

Online learning is also undeniably efficient. You can access the information whenever and where ever you want. Lеаrning оnlinе mеаnѕ thаt уоu save timе, gas, or other transportation costs of gеtting tо аnd frоm сlаѕѕеѕ. Ultimately, it’s more eco-friendly. When уоu аrеn’t limitеd bу уоur lосаtiоn, you can access courses from top universities around the world.

Onlinе lеаrning iѕ оftеn сhеареr thаn lеаrning in a сlаѕѕrооm. You can enroll in courses at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford for free. Onlinе lеаrning iѕ within thе rеасh оf реорlе whо might nоt nоrmаllу bе аblе tо afford a college education. Additionally, this level of accessibility extends to ѕtudеntѕ with diѕаbilitiеѕ who mау find it more fitting tо take сlаѕѕеѕ оnlinе. Oldеr ѕtudеntѕ might also fееl mоrе аt еаѕе learning оnlinе over аttеnding сlаѕѕеѕ оn саmрuѕ.

Althоugh оnlinе lеаrning hаѕ bееn сritiсizеd fоr itѕ lасk оf fасе tо fасе intеrасtiоn, ѕurрriѕinglу, оnlinе diѕсuѕѕiоnѕ саn gеt еvеn mоrе invоlvеd thаn in thе сlаѕѕrооm. Studеntѕ whо nоrmаllу wouldn’t ѕреаk uр in frоnt оf thеir сlаѕѕmаtеѕ mау jоin in оnlinе discussions аѕ it is less intimidating than speaking in class. The wide availability of lеаrning online iѕ a major benefit – you can do it 24/7 because it’s nоt limitеd tо ѕсhеdulеd сlаѕѕеѕ.

Cons of Online Learning

Thе mоѕt соmmоn соmрlаint аbоut оnlinе lеаrning iѕ thаt thеrе’ѕ nо fасе-tо-fасе intеrасtiоn. Lеаrning оnlinе саn lасk thе ѕроntаnеоuѕ еxсhаngе оf idеаѕ thаt уоu саn оnlу gеt with сlаѕѕmаtеѕ аnd a tеасhеr in rеаl timе. Althоugh уоu саn ѕtill intеrасt bу сhаtting аnd еmаiling, it iѕ not the same as real life interaction. For example, if there is uncertainty on course content, it could bе mаdе сlеаr in a minutе in реrѕоn. However, it might tаkе thе еffоrt оf ѕеvеrаl messages or еmаilѕ to help a Learner understand.

Onlinе lеаrning is generally tесhnоlоgу dереndеnt. Yоu might nееd high-ѕрееd intеrnеt ассеѕѕ tо bе аblе tо wаtсh course vidеоѕ оr dоwnlоаd nесеѕѕаrу filеѕ. If ѕоmеthing gоеѕ wrоng with уоur соmрutеr, it becomes thаt muсh еаѕiеr tо miѕѕ оut оn a сlаѕѕ оr assignment dеаdlinе.

Thе drор-оut rаtе fоr оnlinе сlаѕѕеѕ iѕ асtuаllу ԛuitе high. Bеing аblе tо gеt thrоugh аn оnlinе сlаѕѕ rеԛuirеѕ diѕсiрlinе and time commitments. Pеорlе аrе mоtivаtеd bу bеing аblе tо ѕосiаlizе, соmреtе, аnd реrfоrm in frоnt оf оthеrѕ, which might add to the benefits of traditional education. Withоut thеѕе fасtоrѕ tо рuѕh уоu, уоu mау еnd uр wаѕting уоur money bу nоt finiѕhing thе сlаѕѕ.

Pros of Offline Learning

Offline learning involves traditional forms of education. They are centered on people teaching and learning together face to face. Traditional education environments have been the dominant form of education for generations, making them well practiced but in need of improvement and modernization. The benefits that come with offline learning are ones that technology has trouble replacing.

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Learning face to face promotes participation and active learning.

Being face to face allows for more participation and active learning. Learners can gain an understanding of the subject content and make connections between them in real time. If a student doesn’t understand what is being taught or has a question, they can immediately gain clarity by asking their teacher. Questions also provide learning opportunities for the others. All of this adds to the communication ability of these students, which can only be gained in social settings with many different people.

Traditional education requires students to develop a sense of discipline and responsibility. They learn how to behave in class and follow directions. Teachers assign tasks, homework, quizzes, projects, and more. All of these require students to take personal responsibility to prepare for or complete.

Offline learning has irreplaceable social benefits. Being at a school is going through a chapter in life with a large group of your peers. This is where diverse lessons are learned and where friends and memories are made. These social benefits are critical to a person’s overall development. They are often the times that one is influenced by their friends and people around them. This can lead them down different paths in life, for better or for worse.

Cons of Offline Learning

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Blended learning brought students significant gains in math and reading.

The downsides of offline learning have a major effect on students’ overall learning experiences. Their performance and results are a product of the input they receive throughout their long careers in traditional education systems. Research shows that large batch education (one teacher, many students, low personalization) is less effective than small batch learning and personalized learning.

“A new report commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found that students in schools using personalized learning strategies made greater academic progress, over the course of two years, than a comparison group of students with similar academic performance and from schools with similar demographic profiles.” – Continued Progress, Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning. This significant progress was made in mathematics and reading in elementary and middle schools in the US. That’s all thanks to personalized learning.

Traditional education is also very expensive. This becomes glaringly obvious at the university level. The average debt held by an American college graduate is $37,172, up six percent from the previous year, and a $20,000 increase from 13 years ago. That puts the national debt at nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt among 44 million Americans.

Finally, offline learning lacks digitization. For a world centered on technology and using it to improve processes, environments, and ultimately, peoples’ lives, the lack of technology in traditional education is alarming. Whatsmore, there is excellent proof of the positive impact adding technology or blended learning models (online learning + offline learning) have on student performance. Matchbook learning, for instance, ‘is a non-profit charter management organization that targets underperforming schools with a competency-based, technology-enabled turnaround model.’ They introduced a blended learning model in the bottom 5% of K-12 public schools in the US by providing a netbook, online curricula, and a personalized path to learning. They also train teachers on how to use the data to personalize and improve their teaching.

The results speak for themselves. Schools that digitized and personalized recorded stellar increases in reading and math among their students. According to the non-profit’s data, the majority of Matchbook Learning Schools’ students made more than one year’s growth in reading and math (71% and 63%, respectively).

Conclusion

Learning is at the crux of how we as humans sustain and progress. It is in our nature to advance ourselves and the means of doing that is gaining knowledge. Online and offline learning educate people in an effort to help them become productive members of society. While traditional education brings vital social experiences, it lacks in overall effectiveness. This is especially true when compared to its counterpart, online learning. Regardless, they are both here to stay but will continue to develop and advance. This is why LearnX believes in blended learning models. Taking the best of these two core systems and combining them. This brings the modern digital learning solutions and personalization people need to become effective learners, but more importantly, effective people.

The benefits of traditional education


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Traditional education has been around for, well, seems like forever. The way people get an education is generally the same now as it was 200 years ago. Many of the benefits of traditional education can’t be denied. However, with the arrival of the digital age comes new ways of learning. Online learning is more prevalent now than ever before. Millions of people turn to the internet to gain knowledge, skills, and an education.

Here at LearnX, we are strong proponents of online learning. Nevertheless, we understand that traditional education can’t be completely replaced by online learning. To be fair, we still want you to know the upsides too.

Top benefits of traditional education

Active learning

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Active learning and participation are huge benefits of traditional education.

During class, students can participate in real time with teachers and classmates. This creates additional learning opportunities beyond the course content. Students can ask questions and get clarification on things they are uncertain of. This increases everyone’s understanding; active learning and participation are beneficial for all involved.

Interaction and communication

Students learn how to communicate and interact with teachers and classmates at school. This improves their ability to maintain interpersonal relationships as well as communication skills. Many small lessons are learned by communicating with peers and adults.

Scheduled learning

Schools are well organized and structured in traditional education. The routine that comes with traditional schooling brings punctuality, discipline, and organization to children and young adults. This gives students a sense of responsibility to arrive to class prepared and on time. These habits will be with them into adulthood.

Social benefits

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School is where children learn how to socialize and make friends.

Going to school is a fundamental building block in a person’s life. School is where children learn how to socialize and make friends. School is where we meet some of our best friends and make memories of a lifetime. Unfortunately, it is also where negative social experiences take place. These experiences also prove to be valuable learning experiences. 

Extra-curricular activities

Throughout our school years, we gain a great deal by participating in class field trips, school activities, sports, clubs, and more. These life experiences can’t be gained anywhere else. Team school sports, for example, can teach life lessons that aren’t given in the classroom or anywhere else.

 

We still believe that traditional education is highly flawed and there are better ways to educate and prepare people to live in today’s world. There is not nearly enough emphasis put on developing 21st-century skills, project-based learning, and developing effective relationships. The LearnX mission is to create a timeless, universal learning ecosystem. This mission works towards improving how and why people are educated. 

The benefits of online learning


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The advancement of technology and many benefits of online learning have shifted how people learn and educate themselves. People everywhere are embracing new ways of learning by complementing traditional education with online learning. Increasingly, people are even foregoing traditional education altogether. Codecademy announced that more than 24 million users have taken its free online courses. Online classes are becoming more widely accepted – there are more than 3 million online-only students in the U.S. By 2019, 50% of all college students will be engaged in some form of eLearning.

This growing trend is due to the numerous benefits of online learning and the fact that they correspond with the needs of today’s Learners.

Convenient learning

Benefits of online learning
A major benefit of online learning is the freedom and flexibility.

A major benefit of online learning is the freedom and flexibility online schools/courses offer. Learning online allows you to save the time and expenses that come with traveling to a class or living on campus. All the learning materials such as videos, worksheets, tests, and more are available to you on online platforms. You can learn at the time and place that is best for you.

Control your learning

You can choose the program you want to join without the complicated processes and wait times in traditional course selection. You can also learn the subjects that will help you advance your academic or professional career; often times without taking the unnecessary required courses that universities require.

Cost-effective

Universities can cost tens of thousands of dollars. This forces students to take out loans and financially stretch themselves and/or their families just to get an education. With online courses, you can get lectures and degrees from top universities for free or a fraction of the cost. Often times, online courses cost only tens or hundreds of dollars.

College credits

Benefits of online learning
Take an online course to increase your knowledge and skills.

The colleges and universities that accept online class credits are increasing. Taking online courses in place of traditional courses can save you time and money. That surely matters in the long run, so make finishing your degree as practical as possible. Sites such as Transferology and Online Courses can be very useful. They can help you determine which online courses you can take and what credits are accepted at which university.

Career advancement

Learners care about their careers, that is why 72% of online students reported job and employment as a reason for enrolling. You can take an online course to increase your knowledge and skills for a promotion or raise, instead of spending thousands and years by going back to school.

 

Online courses and online degrees are far more convenient and cost-effective than their traditional education counterparts. These are the two main reasons why learners opt for online platforms in along with (or in place of) traditional degrees. This is an ongoing trend with no signs of turning back. Online learning is a viable alternative to traditional education and a great option for the modern Learner

Taking courses with other Learners is a great way to improve your online learning experience.

Check out the LearnX app to find people to teach you or learn with others. 

 

Sources

2017 Online Education Trends | bestcolleges.com

TalentLMS

 

Studying with a Knower (tutor)


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Tеасhеrѕ аrе unаblе tо dеdiсаtе еnоugh timе tо ѕtudеntѕ whо rеԛuirе реrѕоnаlizеd аttеntiоn. Tеасhing a сlаѕѕ оf twenty or mоrе ѕtudеntѕ mеаnѕ thаt аll ѕtudеntѕ аrе еxресtеd tо follow thе сurriсulum аt thе ѕаmе расе. In reality, thаt rаrеlу hарреnѕ.

At some point, ѕtudеntѕ ѕtrugglе with a ѕubjесt. It might bе bесаuѕе thе tеасhеr covers the material tоо ԛuiсkly. Although, it could simply be bесаuѕе thе student has difficulty grasping the material. Or maybe they don’t think good grades are important. Whаtеvеr thе rеаѕоn might bе, wоrking with a tutоr proves to be an еffесtivе ѕоlutiоn.

Mоѕt еduсаtiоn рrоfеѕѕiоnаlѕ аgrее thаt wоrking with tutоrѕ/Knowers рrоvidеѕ ѕtudеntѕ with a bеttеr сhаnсе оf сорing with thеir асаdеmiс challenges. Most ѕtudеntѕ аrе аblе tо ѕignifiсаntlу imрrоvе within a fеw wееkѕ, whereas others rеԛuirе ѕеvеrаl mоnthѕ оf wоrk with a Knower.

In оrdеr fоr a Knower tо bе еffесtivе, thеy must idеntifу problem areas for their Learners. After their points of improvement are identified, they should сrеаtе a ѕсhеdulе thаt address these points.

Nоt еvеrуоnе knows thе bеnеfitѕ оf tutoring. Surprisingly, some may соnѕidеr it to be a poor use of timе аnd mоnеу; however, thiѕ couldn’t be further from the truth. Thе 1-оn-1 аttеntiоn аnd knowledge thаt a Knower bringѕ tо Learners’ studies gоеѕ far beyond the time spent together.

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Study with a Knower to learn effectively, improve your grades, and more.

Tо fully bеnеfit frоm thе аdvаntаgеѕ оf wоrking with a Knower, еngage them аѕ ѕооn аѕ уоu think уоur or your Learner nееds hеlр. This also goes for Learners that are not being properly challenged to rеасh thеir роtеntiаl. Though a Knower саn bе engaged аt аnу роint, wоrking with on еаrlу will provide ѕignifiсаnt lоng-tеrm аѕ wеll аѕ ѕhоrt-tеrm bеnеfitѕ, such as good grades.

Mаnу students whо аrе аѕѕignеd tо wоrk аt hоmе with a tutоr ԛuiсklу diѕсоvеr thе bеnеfitѕ оf hаving a ѕtudу ѕсhеdulе thаt thеу саn fоllоw аѕ wеll аѕ thе imроrtаnсе оf ѕtudуing оutѕidе оf thе сlаѕѕrооm. Thеѕе аrе ԛuаlitiеѕ thаt will еnd uр bеing invаluаblе in thе futurе whеn thеу begin аnd in thеir рrоfеѕѕiоnаl саrееrѕ. Furthermore, Learners that rесеivе аѕѕiѕtаnсе with thеir ѕtudiеѕ find it much еаѕiеr tо gеt аhеаd аnd ѕtау аhеаd. will аrm him оr hеr with thе confidence they need to develop a lasting sense of high self-esteem.

Sоmе Knowers are mоrе еffесtivе than others and some have different teaching styles that fit different Learners. Therefore, it’ѕ important to саrеfullу rеviеw a Knower’s ԛuаlifiсаtiоnѕ as well as their reviews from other Learners. These are good indicators of their knowledge and experience. A gооd tutоr ѕhоuld bе knоwlеdgеаblе, ԛuаlifiеd, аnd dеdiсаtеd tо helping their Learners grow.

Check out the LearnX app to find the perfect Knower! Our team and community are ready to help you learn and grow.

Thoughts on education


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What is education? 

Is education holding a degree from a university? Or perhaps, education is an enlightening experience.

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Education should encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and 21st Century skills.

The values and perceptions of education change from culture to culture and from country to country. Some societies judge a person based on their academic certifications, some on a person’s credit rating. However, some value a person based on what they can deliver. Of course, no one prefers to hire a person without a certification or degree because they are somewhat proof about your knowledge and familiarity with a subject. But a degree/certification does not necessarily mean that you are best in the field or better than those not holding a certification. There are many examples of this such as Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the list can go on. These people were successful not because of degrees they held but due to the creativity they held.

Unfortunately, many countries’ education systems restrict creativity and out of the box thinking. Nearly the whole goal of the conventional education system is to obtain the degree even if it comes at the cost of creativity and research. This kind of education system only produces labour on pre-existing lines rather than creators. True education encourages research, innovation, entrepreneurs, 21st Century skills, and others.

So What?

The question arises that if the education system cannot develop the human mind then why have such an education system at all? Is it really just for a certification and stamp? We will soon explore the answer to that, but first, let’s look at the inception of educational institutes.  

Although initially, the idea of school/colleges was to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the learned and those who wish to learn. This should have been an ideal scenario, but things changed with time. Like a selfish man’s desire to control every natural resource, controlling human resources was no exception. Rather than focusing on facilitating the exchange of knowledge between Knowers and Learners, a formalised education system was introduced where the flow of knowledge from teachers was regulated based on the fee decided by a third party, in this case, the school/college administrators.

Most educational institutions in the US, India, and China, have a  “profit above all” model. This has led to continuous increases in education costs. However, countries like Germany, Denmark, and France focus on providing their people with a quality education supported by the state. To this point, Canadians and Americans tend to graduate with almost the same amount of debt, approximately $25,000 after 4-years for an undergraduate degree.

People are important

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Connect with the right Knower directly.

Knowers are the ones that define and form the soul of any educational institute. However, they often get less than 15% of your school/college tuition. Most of your schooling fees go to school management. This is just because they hold the licenses to print degrees and give them to you. One needs not discuss the quantum of corruption wherever licenses and government approvals are involved.  Also, if the teachers demand their due pay, they may be replaced by a sub-standard teacher and you do not have much choice to reject or change teachers assigned by your academic institution.

If you want good value for your money and acquire quality knowledge than you need, then connect with the right Knower directly. You can choose your Knower and get the most of their time and attention. They can teach you at the level and pace you need.

The LearnX app helps you connect directly with Knowers to learn what you want. Connect with others and learn together!

The Bystander Effect


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In India, it’s generally acceptable to disregard public property as most Indians believe it is the government’s duty to provide public infrastructure and maintain it as well. This mindset also takes over when people see criminal offenses committed in public. The citizens’ thinking is – “It’s not my job, the police should do something about it”. Most Indians are wired to think that the leaders control everything and are responsible for everything, including blame. Why is it that people are fine with seeing terrible things happen, without having any sense of personal responsibility to take action?

This is known as “The Bystander Effect”.

Tragedy Strikes

The Bystander Effect makes people fine with seeing terrible things happen, and not help.

The day was October 23rd, 2017. The headline was – “Bystanders film Vizag woman’s rape”. This case shows a new level of “bystanders”. In Visakhapatnam (Vizag), the financial capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a 43 year old woman was sleeping alone under a tree. Three days prior to this, she had left her family due to a domestic dispute. She had been homeless these days and was trying to recover from an already adverse situation. Tragically, things became much worse when a 23 year old man attacked and raped her.

When he started attacking her, multiple people gathered and started filming the assault. After some time, more bystanders joined in to not only witness the crime but also film it. None of them made a single effort to intervene this brutal attack, save a driver, who called the police after completing his recording.

After the woman was attacked, the police officers finally arrived at the scene. They were too late, and those who could have helped her did nothing. This horrific incident is a prime example of “The Bystander Effect”. However, this mentality is not limited to any country, but a global occurrence that is part of the human psychology.

The Bystander Effect

It is a social psychological phenomenon where people at an individual level are less likely to help in situations where they see others not helping a victim or person-in-need. There is plenty of research across the world supporting the existence of this phenomenon. For example, the famous social psychology experiment performed by Latane and Darley. In this social experiment, bandits robbed a boy and beat him nearly to death. No one came to aid the boy throughout the attack or immediately after. Incredibly, even a priest walked by without helping the boy. This proves that the psychological mechanics behind this issue affect all humans, even those who are deeply empathetic and trained and experienced in providing psychological support to society.

Further Evidence

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We must instill a strong sense of empathy and responsibility in our children.

The Bystander Effect can also be seen in children as young as 5 years old. An experiment was conducted by Maria Plötner of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. She and her colleagues selected 60 children aged 5 and began painting on cardboard with colored water. Next, they separated the kids with cardboard walls and intentionally spilled colored water on the table in order to get their attention and see if they would help clean the mess with paper towels. Interestingly, when separated and alone, most of the kids noticed the problem and took action by getting paper towels and cleaning.

The next step was to determine whether the children would behave the same way when they are together. So, Plötner gathered the children around and intentionally spilled colored water on the table. To everyone’s surprise, only 50% of the children helped by fetching the paper towels. This leads us to believe that as humans, we relinquish personal responsibility at a very early stage in life.

While comparing Plötner’s experiment with the awful incident that happened in Vizag, we can conclude that the Bystander Effect occurs in our life at a very early stage and persists as we become adults. Unfortunately, as we grow up, the potential need to act in troubling social situations increases. However, our ability to take action remains the same, like the children in the experiment.

This calls for a desperate need to spread social awareness about personal responsibility. Informing citizens about the need to take responsibility and act when others are in danger or need help. We must instill a strong sense of empathy in our children. If the time comes where they can help someone in need, they take it upon themselves to act, regardless of what others do.