Adrian Rubin Analyzes Recent Trends in Access to Education

The advances in technology have transformed every facet of education, from access to financing and everything else in between. According to World Bank, Edutech Blog, the modern trends disrupting education and ICT include: mobile learning, teacher-generated open learning, personalized learning and one-to-one computing. Personalized learning is the use of technology based structured teaching to bridge the learning gaps and learning styles.

Under the program, classrooms are transformed into a system with contents and training pedagogy focused on student’s needs. Education stakeholders can aptly use the teacher-generated open content to empower teachers and encourage them to create effective learning resources. Several online platforms have been availed that allow teachers to edit and customize teaching materials to match the student’s style and pace of learning.

It is believed that this highly disruptive resource may supplant the traditional textbook as a key learning resource. When that happens, teacher-generated open content will question certain aspects of intellectual property and copyright laws. Recent advances in hardware and software deployments have given rise to indispensable, mobile smart phones. Using these devices, learners can bypass fixed line technology and directly access inbuilt computing capabilities and the internet.

One of the most popular global ICT trends today is providing personal information appliances to learners. The one-to-one policy recommends the use of one laptop, tablet or computer per child. Its aim is to create a learning environment hinged on universal access to technology and personal learning devices. All these ICT programs are instrumental in advancing learning since computers and internet have become widely available in schools and classrooms across the world.

According to Education Encyclopedia, in 1999, a staggering 99% of all teachers in the US had access to school computers. Internet connections were also widespread with statistics indicating 63% of classrooms and 95% of schools having the connections. The whole essence of ICT in education is designed to create an environment that promotes flexible exploration. Learners can use the platform to investigate problems and create interactive presentations. The other benefits include:

• Boundless education resource
• Platform to summarize and present findings
• Platform to encourage collaboration and distance learning

Financing Education

Education is critical to the success of any society. Besides promoting learning, education is the key to a successful career. There are, however, challenges that make the dream elusive to a sizable segment of the population. According to Cornerstone University, the challenges include: rising cost of tuition; increased privatization of colleges and universities and declining completion rates. High college tuition is increasingly weighing down the essence of obtaining a college degree. 

The cost factor is worsened by a reduction in the number of well-paying jobs, rising unemployment and the ever-growing burden of student loans. In spite of the situation, there is every reason to earn a college degree. Americans with college degrees are better compensated in the workplace. Statistics indicate that people with a bachelor’s degree earn up to $500,000 more in their lifetime compared to those with a high school diploma. 

Students must therefore seek easy and affordable ways to finance their education. According to Business Dictionary, here are 6 ways students can fund their higher education:

1. Apply for need based educational grants
Students who can demonstrate financial need can apply for non-repayable educational grant. The grant request is forwarded to the recipient’s university or college financial aid office.

2. Internship and apprenticeship 
Students can take advantage of job opportunities that come with attractive incentives like paid internships and apprenticeships. The on-work programs allow students to take part time or summer classes while gaining crucial work experience.

3. Private loans
Private loans can be sought from family, friends, acquaintances and other private entities. The terms of the loan will vary from one party to the other, most come with either variable or fixed interest rate. You may need a co-signer with good credit to obtain approval.

4. Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans
This education loan program is guaranteed by the Department of Education under the auspices of the US Federal Government. The loan covers tuition and education related expenses.

5. Direct PLUS loans
Direct Plus loan program is also supported by the US Federal Government and features flexible credit requirements. The education loan program carries a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.

6. Scholarship
Scholarships are grants awarded on the basis of academic achievement or other such accomplishments. For example, the newly unveiled Adrian Rubin Scholarship is awarded to eligible youths to help offset college tuition. The $1200 education scholarship comes at a time when college tuition is increasingly getting out of reach. The Scholarship is administered by the Adrian Rubin Foundation.

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