Evolution of Long Distance Education

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the educational landscape was evolving. In its aftermath there may be even more distance learning as gathering is not as certain a thing as it was in the past. The following guest post is entitled, Evolution of Long Distance Education.

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Education has undergone a lot of changes from when it first started. Due to not being able to conduct student-gathered classes all the time which was caused by certain historic events like wars and plagues, there came a trend that moved towards long-distance education where teachers would remotely impart their knowledge through different forms of media.

Today, we know of how many educational institutions utilize video conferencing platforms to conduct online classes. But before this digital age, many other ways were created to fit the circumstances of different classes of people, different periods, and different existing technology. Here are some of the different forms of media that were utilized for long-distance education and how they are being used today.

Correspondence Education

Correspondence education was probably the very first attempt to deliver teaching services to students without face-to-face interaction. This involved an instructor writing down lessons and sets of instructions and sending these via mail to their students. The students would then mail back their homework as their class participation.

This method was mainly used as only an alternative when attending formal classes was either impossible or plain unaffordable. This kind of correspondence can slow down the education process since it can take a while before mails are sent and received, but students in this exchange were happy to wait for the sake of learning.

Correspondence education programs are still being practiced especially in the US where some universities offer courses that can be completed remotely. Although some still make use of postal services, many have transitioned to digitalized correspondence that shortens the waiting time in between the exchange.

Printed Materials

As it was used inside the classroom, printed texts were also sent out to students’ houses for home-based learning. Books and assignment sheets proved useful but were found to require the presence of an educator to help explain the printed information. The process of sending out printed educational materials is resurging during this pandemic, especially in many public schools with students who cannot avail the newer technology required for digital education.

Telephone Communication

Telephone communication was then used to aid students who weren’t physically able to attend classes. From their homes or inside hospital wards, students got to listen to their lessons while the teachers discussed them in school. An improved telephone device resembling a radio was placed inside the classroom which collects the audio of everything said in real-time and transmits it to the student on the other line, who can press a switch on their own device if they need to speak. The gadget inside the classroom has to be carried from room to room by a volunteer student when going to another class.

Today, the telephone has strayed far from education as there are more effective ways to deliver distance learning. But it has proven to be a necessity in business settings where making and taking calls for transactions have to be quick and efficient. The telephone system is used by businesses for outside calls as well as for contacting different departments inside the same building for convenience. Different strategies like the Xorcom reseller program for companies that provide communication solutions aim to maximize this internal communication in the corporate industry.

Broadcast-based Education

Televisions and radios were also used to deliver distance learning. Educational radio media, although used primarily for university broadcasting alongside traditional classroom settings, was extended to accommodate students far from school. Television, on the other hand, broadcasts live educational programs that employ different educators for different subjects. But both the TV and radio education had the disadvantage of being a one-sided learning process where the audience can only receive the information but not respond to it, at least immediately.

Educational radio and TV shows could only get feedback from their viewers after the broadcast has ended. This meant that active learning was limited by the capacity of the audience to view these shows.

But with technological innovations on the rise, television and radio education ultimately gave way to the prevalence of today’s virtual classrooms.

The Present: Virtual Classrooms

Almost everyone nowadays possesses or has access to computers. From personal laptops to smartphones, education is only a click away for students especially now when social distancing laws are limiting class gatherings. Combining all the good aspects of the previous kinds of media mentioned, our modern personal computers make it possible to receive a quality education from the comfort of our homes.

Of course, it has its drawbacks as well. But when face-to-face learning is not the best option, we can always count on the internet to reconnect students with their teachers.

Unexpected events can happen and disrupt our societal systems but we consistently find ways to resume our lives for the sake of progress. Education, being the main driving force behind the development of humanity, will always be a primary need that we will continue to uphold and improve as the years go by.

How Lifelong Learning Could Boost Your Earning Potential

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and Career Discussions. A common misconception is that our learning stops immediately after being handed our diploma. The most effective and successful people however continue their learning and get often get rewarded for it. The following contributed post is entitled, How Lifelong Learning Could Boost Your Earning Potential.

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Are you someone that has a thirst for knowledge that you just cannot quench? If you have a passion for learning and enjoy building your knowledge, this can have many positive effects on your life. Staying interested in the world around you, reading a wide range of books, and taking courses is an excellent way to keep learning and developing throughout life. As well as enriching your life, all this knowledge and willingness to learn could prove invaluable to your work life. You may even find that a passion for lifelong learning can help you to boost your earning potential, so it is excellent news all around! Here are just a few of the ways that lifelong learning can help to boost your earning potential:

Increases Knowledge

The more knowledge you have built up over the years, the more this can benefit your career. When you have extensive knowledge of a range of subjects, this can open up numerous opportunities for you to put your knowledge to good use.

Builds Resilience

Continually seeking out learning opportunities throughout life takes resilience and determination. Having the patience and dedication to keep trying to develop and grow is not easy and helps you to build valuable character traits. Resilience and determination are essential attributes and are critical to the success of many entrepreneurs, so you may find your desire to keep learning makes you the ideal candidate to run your own business.

Teaches New Skills

Learning new skills and taking courses to build your knowledge and expertise on a given subject could make it possible for you to transfer these skills into an earning opportunity. If you are interested in stocks, shares, and investments, you may decide to take a course to learn to trade stocks. Taking part in the course will enable you to develop the skills needed to trade, and you will be able to put your new skills and knowledge into practice to begin trading.

Helps Discover Your Passions and Interests

Sometimes you may discover a book or take a course that inspires you to find out everything you can about the subject. Discovering a new passion or interest is a great way to stumble upon things that you love doing and learning all about them. In some cases, your interest in the subject may lead you to take it a step further and turn it into a side project or even a full-time career.

Opportunities to Meet New People

Learning new skills and building your knowledge provides the perfect opportunity to meet new people that share similar interests to yours. This is great from a social perspective, but also in terms of your career. If you are keen to pursue your interest beyond a hobby, you may find that people you meet along the way can help. Through your quest for knowledge, you are likely to meet prospective employers, suppliers, and a myriad of other people that could help you earn money from doing the things that interest you.

Some Reasons To Stay Interested In Learning Throughout Your Life

Two focuses of my blog are General Education and Health/Wellness. Education is not just something to get a degree or a diploma. The benefits to continuing to learn are multi-fold. The following contributed post is entitled, Some Reasons To Stay Interested In Learning Throughout Your Life.

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For many people, the idea of “education” is tightly interwoven with the school system, and often comes attached to negative memories and associations as a result.

Unfortunately, this can contribute to a belief that is not necessary – or important – to actively pursue learning throughout life, and many of us end up so caught up in the highs, lows and concerns of everyday life, that trying to specifically educate ourselves about different topics, in-depth, can seem outright impractical.

Here are just a few reasons to stay interested in learning throughout your life, and to keep looking for ways to expand your horizons and deepen your level of insight into different subjects.

Because the world is rich and deep, and learning more about it can expand your sense of wonder

First things first: there’s a big, fascinating, and rich world out there, that’s full of history and stories that it will often be impossible to imagine given a cursory glance.

Learning more about different topics, even about things like the history of capes, can really help to deepen your sense of wonder and appreciation for the dynamic and intricate nature of the world, and of life more generally.

If you only encounter the world at large in a passing manner, and see it on a surface level, there’s a lot of great and fascinating stuff that you are missing out on.

In some sense, maintaining an active sense of interest and wonder is the opposite of being jaded or disillusioned.

Because constantly learning helps to keep you sharp as you age

In the fascinating book “The Brain That Changes Itself,” the psychologist Norman Doidge shares many remarkable examples of people rebuilding their lives after brain injuries, by engaging in activities that help to promote neuronal growth and healing that was previously thought impossible.

One of the things that he investigates is the way in which maintaining active hobbies, and regularly exploring and becoming invested in new topics as we age, appears to help to protect the brain and keep us sharp.

Maintaining a lifelong interest in learning not only makes life more interesting, but can also make you more mentally agile, effective, healthy, and adept as time goes on.

Because often, knowledge is power

We all know the old saying that “knowledge is power,” and the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of truth to that statement.

The more broadly we educate ourselves, and the greater number of different subjects we actively engage with, the more effective we are likely to be across a range of different dimensions.

In his book “Range,” the writer David Epstein makes a compelling case that success in life is more often associated with having a breadth of experience and insight, than it is with being hyper-specialised in one particular domain.

Maintaining an interest in learning can help to promote insight, and can make you more effective in various professional and personal contexts, while also helping you to be and remain well-rounded in general.

Three Ways to Introduce Lifelong Learning in the Workplace

Two focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Workplace Discussions. The reality of the working world is that your education is ongoing even after you have secured a position. As the persons running the organization, you may have to creatively introduce that concept to your staff. The following guest post is entitled, Three Ways to Introduce Lifelong Learning in the Workplace.

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Albert Einstein once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Although this old saying may seem extreme, it does have some truth to it because anyone who is made to one thing repeatedly over the course of their life can drive them insane.

When it comes to choosing a career, most people tend to flock to a field that interests them. If the working conditions are acceptable and the compensation is sufficient, these people can be encouraged to work for their company until the time they reach the retirement age.

However, not everyone is fortunate to be able to climb the corporate ladder after putting in the work. Some are forced to remain in a dead-end job for countless years; stuck to the same desks and doing the same tasks. Their days may feel insignificant because nothing new happens and every day is the same.

Employee growth in the workplace is necessary to keep their minds sharp and ready to face challenges, but the lack of opportunities to grow can make work monotonous. In addition to that, remaining in long-term stagnancy can make work feel unsatisfying, which can lead to unhappy employees.

To make your business a place where your employees can thrive and grow as individuals, introduce them to the path of lifelong learning. This is a form of self-initiated education that aims to not only focus on personal development but also acknowledge that there is something new to be learned every day.

Formal Training and Seminars

Many employees are always eager to learn how they can perform their jobs better. But between working full-time and only having two days to recuperate for the coming week, they may no longer have the time to chase after learning opportunities.

However, as an employer who is interested in having better employees, you can take it upon yourself to make learning opportunities within the workplace. For instance, you can schedule a seminar with a topic that is directly related to your line of work.

If you want to have more credible and adept managers, you can also start leadership coaching to allow them to work on their personal skills. Leaders aren’t born, they are made. Turning your best employees into good leaders through formal training can bring success to your business.

Online Courses

There are multitudes of basic learning materials on the internet that are accessible to everyone who wants to work on their skills. But unfortunately, not all the materials are free of charge. The courses with in-depth and valuable information usually come at a price that is outside most people’s budget.

Money shouldn’t be a hindrance to anyone that wants to pursue lifelong learning, especially not if you can do something about it. As the employer, it may be advantageous for you to invest in your employees’ growth by shouldering the costs of the online courses.

Your employees might be more inclined to devote time to learning when you offer the course for free, or at least, with subsidized fees. The courses don’t have to be the most expensive ones offered online, but they have to provide relevant information that your employees can benefit from.

Brown Bag Lunches

Not all lifelong learning opportunities are done formally. One of the most effective ways to introduce new information or brainstorm ideas for business is to hold brown bag lunches. These are casual learning environments that can cover anything from new trends in the industry to personal finance.

Brown bag lunches are perfect if you want to build a stronger work environment as well. You and your employees can exchange ideas, collaborate on potential projects, or learn new skills over food. It can be held in a restaurant where you buy your employees lunch or a simple get-together in your office pantry.

A great leader is someone who communicates with their team. You can’t be a good employer if you don’t create bonds with your employees because the relationship remains superficial. If you truly want to build a conducive working and learning environment, then you should bridge the gap between you and your employees.

Work shouldn’t just be about money; it should also serve a purpose that gives your employees’ lives meaning. If an employee’s sole motivation to work is to get their salary at the end of the month, then they would have no drive to perform well. But if they see work as an avenue to grow and excel as a people, it might do your business wonders or potentially lead you to success.

Why E Learning Can Drive Your Motivation Forwards

Two of the focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. Even before the current circumstances, elearning was a wave of the future. It’s different than the traditional classroom setting which own set of caveats. The following contributed post is entitled, Why E Learning Can Drive Your Motivation Forwards.

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Photo: Pixabay

eLearning is a type of learning that is done through a different medium to that of a classroom set up where a teacher conducts a lesson and the students take notes. It has many benefits and is actually cost effective as compared to traditional forms of learning. The reason for this price reduction is because learning through this mode happens quicker and can be done at a faster pace depending on the life of the student. If you are learning in a classroom, lessons days and times are set, which can allow the student in between these days off, to slip and for their motivation to weaken. If the eLearning courses are available whenever, then their creative and motivated journey can continue at any time, with access whenever they wish. It also assists companies who are paying for their employees to educate themselves on a new area of learning, because it reduces time. A lot of training time is reduced with respect to trainers, and course materials. The learner does not have to travel and spend additional money to get to classes and all the necessary learning skills are learned in a setting to suit them.

Any modern business is going to come into contact with other businesses that have advanced technology that will drive the business forward. So it’s essential that all workers have a vast knowledge of any new technology to ensure that the business can be driven in the right direction. This may include having to train up your staff and even give them a whole new skill set in order to continue. If you are a company and are stumped on which path to take when it comes to eLearning then you can always look at Mindflash. It’s good to look at Mindflash LMS reviews and see just how they could benefit you. Most of the time, good eLearning sites are run via the Cloud which just makes things easy when any students wish to reassess files or research further.

● E-learning saves time and money – your workers can still be available to work and can take on any additional learning in their own time, such as lunches and afterwork as well as weekends, without having to compromise to go to classes at set times. It works for them too.
● E-learning leads to better retention.
● E-learning is consistent.
● E-learning is scalable.
● E-learning offers personalization.

It is convenient and flexible and is going to offer you extra time. Your employees need to learn new skills to grow and once they have learned, then it frees up time for them to try a new course. It’s a never ending chain and it’s easy to access which makes it good for everyone. Motivating your staff to learn new skills and offering these facilities is a boon to you as a company and proves your dedication to your staff which will serve you well. Offering eLearning to your team members, will give them the skills to take onto their next position with you or even a new job in the future.

Top Ways to Support Your Child with Remote Learning

Two of the focuses of my blog are Current Events and General Education. The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Crisis/Pandemic has adversely affected the educations of children across the world. Due to the pandemic, children have been forced in remote learning. Many parents/guardians have been unprepared for this change and have had to also adapt on the fly. The following contributed post is entitled, Top Ways to Support Your Child with Remote Learning.

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to get more serious, prompting closures of businesses and schools. Schools across the country have either ended the academic year or switched to online learning.

For many children, online learning is a new experience. Parents also have an extra burden, making sure their kids learn in the best environment.

Here are tips to help your child focus during distance learning:

#1: Create a designated learning space

Your child will work best in a comfortable, dedicated space that’s devoted to their studies. It can be their room, the living room, or the kitchen counter.

Talk to your child about where they’re the most comfortable studying. It may take some time for them to figure that out, so let them stay in different spaces until they find their designated study space.

Remove all distractions from your child’s learning area. Turn off the TV, limit their use of devices, and stow away their toys. Make sure they sit in a comfortable chair and give them easy access to school supplies. If they’re taking music lessons like piano, make sure the computer is accessible to the musical instrument.

#2: Set a schedule

Children work best when they maintain a routine. Figure out what’s the best time for them to learn. While some kids work best in the morning, others focus better in the afternoon or evening.

Once you’ve determined the best learning time, set a study schedule. Fit in breaks between study sessions so your kids can maintain focus. Encourage them to get up, go on walks, and move around, so they’re not sedentary.

#3: Encourage interaction

Your child will feel the effects of being away from friends. Aside from letting them talk on social media or text messaging, schedule a video playdate. You can speak to other parents to set up a video call so your kids can hang out with each other.

Stay in touch with fellow parents as well. Talk to them and share best practices on how your children learn. Ask if they need help as well.

#4: Stay in touch with the teachers

Maintain open, frequent communication with your child’s teachers. Doing so helps your kid stay on track with their learning. Reach out to the teachers if you or your child have questions and concerns about the mode of learning or a part in the lesson.

Don’t forget to share your kid’s successes. Talk to the teachers when your child reaches goals or makes positive changes. Your kid will appreciate the positive feedback not just from you but also from their teachers.

#5: Support your child’s behavioral and emotional needs

Set a reward system to motivate children to complete their work. Tell them they did a great job after completing a school day. Adding a checkmark or star sticker on their assignment also goes a long way into motivating your child.

It’s normal for your child to struggle with schoolwork. They are adjusting to the new normal, and they might experience anxiety and stress. Give them time to calm down and help them cope with their feelings.

The rapid closure of schools because of the coronavirus has forced children to change their study environment. Work with your child, fellow parents, and teachers to create the best environment for focusing and learning.

You’re Never Too Old To Learn

A key focus of my blog is General Education. There is no age on learning. For every stage of our lives there are opportunities to learn more skills or even to go back to school. If you’ve haven’t been in school for a while, there are ways to get back into the educational arena. The following contributed post is entitled, You’re Never Too Old To Learn.

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Past papers are an ideal resource for children approaching their exams. However, those reaching the end of their compulsory education are not the only ones that can benefit from such a resource. Adult learners, of all ages and abilities, can also benefit from acquiring past papers to support their learning and exam revision.

Whether you are looking to update your skills to better support your children, getting qualifications to improve your career, or simply learning for fun, past papers can help. Using them aids in both building your confidence in your existing abilities and improving your exam techniques.

If you’re involved in education and you don’t provide past papers as part of your service or marketing efforts, you’re really missing out. The guys over at KW2 can shed further light on this and how to reach the right people.

Build Your Confidence With Past Papers

There are many reasons why individuals reach adulthood without school-based qualifications. For some, the school was just not the right environment for learning, for others their teenage years were too difficult to even consider the importance of their schoolwork. Whatever the reason, many individuals decide in adulthood that the time has come to gain control over their learning and get those qualifications at last.

One of the benefits of learning as an adult is that there are many different routes that can be taken. However, whichever route you choose, you still need to develop confidence in your own abilities; this can often be the biggest stumbling block faced by adult learners. Any confidence you do have in your ability to achieve the results you want is constantly fighting for space with doubt, lack of time, work and other commitments, and everything else that comes with being an adult. However, all is not lost, and by supplementing the route you have chosen with revision past papers, you can build your confidence in the peace and quiet of whatever time you have available.

Having access to past papers and other online resources means that you can study whenever is convenient for you. You don’t need to be surrounded by other people – you don’t even need to leave the house. You can use your past exam papers first thing in the morning, before work; or stay up that extra half an hour and study when the house is quiet at night. You can even take you past paper to the library, the coffee shop, or the local pub; wherever you feel confident and settled.

Improve Exam Technique

It is not just children that struggle when it comes to exam techniques. The struggle is even more real for adults who still have the memories of past exams. While teaching strategies, subject coverage, and technology may have changed, the basic exam rules have not. So, how do you lay the ghosts of the past to rest, and approach your new exams with the right techniques? The answer lies in access to past papers. You can perfect your technique and increase your confidence by doing so.

How the Internet Has Changed The Way We Learn

Two of the focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. The internet has been a game changer on several fronts. Having information and the ability to conduct business with the click of a mouse has created a whole new world. One of the most significant ways it’s changed the world is in the realm of education. The following contributed post is entitled, How the Internet Has Changed The Way We Learn.

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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

For better, or for worse (mostly better), the internet has changed the way the world learns. Today, if we don’t know the answer to something, the majority of us will reach for our smartphones and ask Google. We are used to having information at our fingertips. Technology has changed the way we view and consume knowledge, allowing those outside the formal education structure the opportunity to learn.

Not only has the internet given the power of knowledge to everyone, but it has also changed our traditional schooling systems too. With an array of tools and technologies, students can enjoy a richer, more engaging experience.

#1 It Allows For An Immersive Experience

Knowledge is no longer simply words on the page of a textbook. Students can learn through webinars, videos, podcasts, virtual reality, and other interactive learning materials. In their blog ‘How To Enhance The Learning Experience With QR Codes’ Flowcode state that this is “a way to approximate an augmented reality experience for students”.

This interactive experience is great for encouraging learning in those that might not respond to a more traditional, book-based approach.

#2 Knowledge Is Not Just For The Privileged Few

Access to learning is now open to everyone with an internet connection. Institutions have recognized this and the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) like EdX and Coursera has been huge over the last 10 years. Now, you can take courses from the likes of Harvard, MIT and the London School of Economics with no qualifications, and no tuition fees.

Online learning of this nature is gaining traction as a valuable addition to a resume when it comes to employers.

#3 Research Is A Lot Easier

Researching and revising is now a lot easier, instead of spending hours in the library, combing through books, you can now turn to the internet. Over 90% of students questioned said that they use Google to help them with their assignments. As long as the information we’re getting is from a reputable source (and not just Wikipedia), then it is a great tool to find accurate information quickly.

#4 Improved Communication & Engagement

The flexibility of blended learning means that students can communicate with their teachers and peers much more easily. If you’re absent from the classroom, you can catch up with the resources online or talk with your classmates about assignments.

By not being so focused in a classroom environment, it gives the opportunity for those people who have a different learning style, a chance to still be involved and not fall behind others. Similarly, if someone is suffering from health problems or cannot keep to a structured timetable, then they are still able to engage with the materials and other students and not be isolated.

The internet’s role in education is not without its pitfalls. For example, when it comes to book based research skills, or learning a topic in-depth rather than in bite-sized pieces on a web page. It has, however, overwhelmingly change the opportunities to learn and the ways in which we can access knowledge forever, and that can only be a good thing.

How Do You Learn Best?

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is General Education. We know that everyone learns and processes information differently. When looking to incorporate new information into your life, it’s important to know how to effectively do this for yourself. This also important for educators to know. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, How Do You Learn Best?

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Learning is something we all do every single day, and quite possibly, we’re learning all hours of the day. But there are some of us out there who have distinct learning styles, and that’s what we want to explore today. After all, the more you know about the way you take in and retain information, the better you’re going to be at helping yourself grow. So here’s just a couple of the main learning styles we know of, and what helps foster them.

Whether you like using an online source and all of its capabilities, or you prefer a good old text book and some highlighters, you’ve got a way to learn no one else has. (Source)

Are You a Practical Person?

Being a practical person means you like to have a hands on approach to whatever it is you’re learning, whether it be how to use a chainsaw or cooking up an eggy storm in the kitchen. You’re not just someone who can sit by and watch as someone else does it; you need to be involved, because it’s just how you learn best.

And there’s plenty of ways for you to foster a learning style like this. But one of the best ways is to invest in experience days! And this covers all sorts: things like learning how to drive a race car, or flying a plane.

Do You Need More Freedom Away From a Classroom?

A classroom can be a very strict setting. It’s one few of us actually thrive in, and as a result, there’s been quite a few ways to make a lecture hall seem a lot more interesting in the modern day and age.

We now have tablets we can take into a class with us, with all kinds of apps to keep us entertained as we learn. Or we can skip the class altogether, and still get the benefits! You can now choose to learn online, and consider the benefits between campus led and online programs at sites like Online Degrees.

Do You Need Someone Else Present?

A lot of us like to have someone around us when we’re trying to learn something, seeing as that person can help keep us on track, and we can collaborate with them when we’re not feeling too hot about the subject at hand.

So, you may be a bit of inattentive learner, but that’s perfectly OK! There’s plenty of ways someone like you can get to know the contents of a course you’re following – you can use fidget toys to keep yourself still, or you can doodle the information in your notebook, just to make the presentation a bit more creative. Or you can choose to use others to help keep you on track – making yourself beholden to someone else, whether because you promised them a presentation by the end of the week or because you’re meant to be going out tomorrow, is a great way to foster your focus.

How do you learn best? Let us know!