The Benefits of Online Educational Programs

WOULD YOU CONSIDER AN ONLINE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM? With the current challenges facing traditional colleges and universities, which includes higher tuition, budget cuts, and course shortages, many students as well as those that love learning have switched to online educational programs. With nearly three million students currently enrolled in fully online degree programs and eight million taking at least one online course as part of their degree program, online education has clearly become one of the most popular higher education alternatives.The continually improving reputation of online learning has also helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism has faltered in the face of evidence that shows that online learning can be just as effective as face-to-face education. I have taken several myself and the experience is quite unique as these programs are entirely convenient and flexible. They provide educational information that will build your business immediately. You will be surprised to know that some of these online courses are FREE! The emphasis however in taking free courses online is the personal knowledge obtained. The certificates received in some cases are however not from accredited educational institutes.ONLINE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS VERSUS TRADITIONAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS All of this means that students, from working professionals to recent high school graduates, find many reasons to take all or some of their courses online. Below are some major advantages of online education:
Variety of programs and courses: From traditional four-year universities to completely online career colleges, higher education today offers a variety of options for learners. This means that no matter what students wish to study, from cooking to rocket science, they can find online education they need. They can also earn every academic degree online, all the way from a career certificate to a doctorate.
Lower total costs: Online educational programs can be a more affordable option than traditional colleges. Though not all online degrees have less expensive net tuition prices than traditional colleges, associated costs are almost always less expensive. There are no commuting costs, and there is also not any required course materials such as textbooks because every reading materials are made available for free online. In addition, many colleges and universities have begun to accept credits earned via free massive open online courses (MOOCs), the most recent advance in online education. Free online courses such as these can help students fulfill general education requirements at little to no cost.
More comfortable learning environment: These days, commercials featuring online students studying in their pajamas are becoming popular in describing one of the primary benefits of online education. There are no physical class sessions. Lectures and reading materials are electronically sent to the student, who will then read them and complete assignments. Students will not have to fight traffic, find parking spaces, leave work early to go to class, or miss important family time.
Convenience and flexibility: Online educational programs give students the opportunity to plan their study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, whether that’s early morning or late at night. Course material is always accessible online and they are asynchronous, so there’s no need to schedule special trips to a library either. All of this makes online learning attractive.
Avoid commuting: During bad weather, colleges may cancel classes. Also, a traffic situation like in Lagos where I reside may pose a serious problem for those attending traditional education. Rather than be late or miss important class sessions, students in online educational programs can always “attend” by participating on discussion boards or in chat sessions, turn in their work on time, and watch lectures or read materials. Many students also find that the amount they save on fuel costs can be substantial if they don’t have to commute to a physical campus in general, no matter what the weather conditions may be.
Improve your technical skills: Even the most basic online educational programs requires the development of new computer skills, as students learn to navigate different learning management systems (LMS) and programs. The skills students learn to participate in their online courses translate to many professions, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into your assignments, completing online training sessions, etc. All this form part of their learning too.
All these benefits highlighted above are clear reasons for the astronomical growth of e-learning. There are several e-learning institutes today offering certifications and degrees in modern topics. For those wondering whether it is a valid alternative, I say to you it is. For network marketers and those managing their businesses, online education becomes a better alternative as you will not have to leave your business to continue learning.

Overseas Travel Insurance Plans – Costs Less and Offers More

Everyone craves for vacations to enjoy some quality time with their loved ones and Indians are no exception. The outbound travel sector of India saw a robust growth this year because international travel destinations are highly sought-after among Indians in 2015. Obstacles like inflation, skyrocketing ticket price and depreciation of rupee couldn’t deter the wandering spirit of Indian travelers to travel around the world. Over 60% of Indians remain unmoved by the depreciating rupee and are raring to go to travel. However, the rate of availing travel insurance to safeguard the trip is still dismal among Indian travelers.Young generations prefer to travel to international destinations once a year at least. According to a survey, 90% of these travelers make use of their own savings for overseas trips and don’t consider travel cover. Quite surprisingly, this is the mindset of young internet savvy generation as ICICI Lombard conducted the survey in the age group of 25-35 among 1049 people across six metro cities in India who had international trips in the previous year.The survey further reveals that Singapore is the most preferred travel destination among young Indian travelers; the second and third places are held by US and UK.Let’s take a look at the travel plans available and their prices for those who favor these destinations. Let’s start with Singapore.Travel insurance plans available for Singapore tripsThe following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for one 30 years old person looking for a single trip to Singapore. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942

HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015

Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129

TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1234

Religare – Premium of Rs.1666

The lowest premium is Rs. 942 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to any Asian country such as Singapore, Thailand. This means one has to pay less than Rs. 100 per day to make his trip safe and secured. Indian travelers must know that travel plans are not only inexpensive but they also provide coverage for loss of baggage, passport, hijack and even emergency treatment.Travel Insurance plans available for UK tripsThe following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to UK. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942

Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.991

HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015

Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129

Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1139

Universal Sompo provides the lowest premium. The premium of travel insurance plan is also Rs. 942 for a 10 days trip To UK.Travel insurance policies for US tripsThe following list of top 7 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to US. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 1344

HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1438

Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.1441

IFFCO-TOKIO – Premium of Rs.1456

Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1658

TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1694

Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1783

The lowest premium is Rs. 1344 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to US. Just imagine, you are getting all types of risks covered just by paying less than Rs. 140 for each day of your trip.Best travel insurance plans in India in terms of baggage and medical coverage The survey also made clear that 79% people buy travel plan to cover medical emergencies. Safety of baggage is the second most vital reason as 60% people behind purchasing travel insurance policy. So let’s find out best travel insurance plans in terms of medical emergency and luggage safety.From the above list of travel policies for US, two plans by Reliance and Bajaj Allianz look best in terms of baggage cover.Reliance Travel care platinum provides US$1500 for the loss of checked baggage for a premium of Rs.1783. The Travel Elite Premium plan by Bajaj Allianz provides US$ 1000 for a premium of Rs. 1658 for the loss of checked baggage.To get the best coverage for medical emergencies, the Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO is the best. It primarily covers:

Emergency Medical Expenses

Permanent Disablement/accidental death

Hospital Cash

Loss of Personal Documents

Accidental Death

Loss of Baggage

Financial Emergency Assistance

Personal Liability

What is the cost of international travel policy for a couple? According to the survey, 52% of travelers prefer to have trips with spouses. So, if these people can avail a travel plan for visiting US or UK or Singapore, how much do they have to pay?Let’s start with US trip for 10 days for a sum insured of US$ 100000 covering 2 people who are 30 and 28 years old.Religare offers the best plan which comes at a premium of Rs. 2407.If you compare travel plans available for couples who wish to visit UK, keeping the same criteria for trip duration, sum insured and age of the traveler, Religare provides the best plan. The premium of the plan is Rs. 1537.For a trip in countries like Singapore, Thailand within Asia which has been the top travel destination of 2015, a couple has to spend even less for a travel insurance policy. If you compare travel insurance plans that cover Asia, you will get the lowest premium of Rs. 1218 from Explore Asia plan provided by Religare.The positive part of the survey is the increased awareness among Indian travelers. More than 90% of young generation is aware of the travel insurance which is a significant rise from last year’s 80%. One of the major provider of travel insurance plans in India; ICICI Lombard underwritten a total travel insurance premium of Rs 100 previous year, one can expect the premium to increase by 5-10% in this year. The problem is not with the awareness; it is the lack of understanding about the benefits associated with these travel covers.27% of the total respondents in the survey choose not to avail a travel insurance plan simply because they were under the wrong conception that such plans cover only accidents, loss of baggage and theft but don’t provide medical coverage. This is far from being the truth as the complete break-up of Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO shows extensive coverage for medical emergencies.25% surveyed people didn’t buy any travel plan because they thought such plans are costly but it is not so. The price of all plans for person mentioned here are about less than Rs. 100 to less than Rs. 140 for each day of a 10 days trip. Travel insurance policies for couples are even cheaper as they cost in the range of less than Rs. 65 per day per person to less than Rs. 125 per day per person for destinations like US, UK and all countries in Asia including popular destinations like Singapore, Thailand.Indians love to spend their holidays in international destinations. An international travel insurance plan doesn’t cost much and offers a lot in return. If you are also a travel freak, you should insure the total duration of the trip so that you can enjoy your holiday with complete peace of mind.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.