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Online Learning: Is it to stay?

The conventional learning style was rarely brought into question until the influx of the internet. Traditionally, you have a teacher and a class full of students. Despite its flaws, this method has widely been considered the most effective. Due to recent advancements in technology, it has become a possibility to learn from the comfort of your own home using the internet. Virtual Universities have started to pop up all over the net, and existing universities have even branched out to provide online learning opportunities. One of the biggest reasons why this has become realistic in recent times is due to significant improvements to the internet and the resources available. Where it was once a vast network of information, the online world is now an interactive platform with endless possibilities.

There are, of course, disadvantages of studying online, that are important to consider, particularly if they apply to your current situation. When you study strictly online it significantly reduces, if not eliminates, the face to face interaction you experience. In order to reach a successful status in life, communication is critical, and one of the best ways of learning how to do so effectively is through experiencing real life situations and talking to people. Unfortunately, studying online doesn’t give you the opportunity to personally develop in this area.

Another disadvantage is the lack of structure to your learning environment. Online education is perfect for self-motivated individuals who can schedule their workload accordingly, but many students need a level of structure and authoritative guidance in order to succeed. Though gaining your own independence is very important in order to achieve well in life, some students won’t be equipped well enough to do so when they’re younger, and these individuals will be unsuited to online learning.

Some of the benefits of studying online arguably outweigh the cons listed above, one of which is increased flexibility. In the working world it can be very difficult to achieve without experience in your field. Gaining the ability to access your course materials whenever you want (as long as you have access to the internet) allows you to work during your time between studying. This can be hugely advantageous, given that once you finish your degree you’ll have an edge over other graduates who have a degree, but no practical experience.

Studying online also increases the comfort of your studying, where you can move at your own pace in your own environment, and are not restricted by the confines of conventional study, which is a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Advancements in resources, including video recorded lectures and discussion boards, have made studying for a VU’s online MBA program attainable, providing you can commit and achieve well in a business related subject. Business is mentioned here strictly as an example, where there are numerous courses and levels of education available through online routes.

Online learning is here to stay, and as technology improves, the chances are that the quality of online education will continue to rise.

 

 

Awesome Cities in the US To Take a Staycation

StaycationRest and recreation doesn’t always have to entail traveling all the way to the other side of the world. While the idea sounds very tempting, there are times that you just need to take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It doesn’t have to be some place remote either-a brief and temporary change of environment will do the trick.

Have you ever had a staycation? The United States is filled with hundreds of staycation-friendly cities. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites to help you pick the destination where you can spend 3-5 days to reboot, relax, and rejuvenate.

Las Vegas, Nevada. Need we say more? A few nights in the sin city is definitely one of the best ways to have a staycation. They have some of the world’s luxury hotels. If you’re idea of a staycation mostly involves getting a massage, dialing room service for food, or just staying in, then you’re in the right place. If you have something else in mind, though, like trying your luck in the casino, Las Vegas surely won’t disappoint!

Tampa, Florida. For most people, staycations in Tampa mean soaking up the sun and hitting the beach. That’s a good way to spend a few days in the city because the beaches in Tampa are some of the finest the United States has to offer. Not in the mood for swimming or sunbathing? That’s perfectly fine because it just means you have more time to sample Tampa’s amazing restaurants. Most of them are located in Tampa Bay, so if you’re up for some great eats, we recommend that you may the bay your first stop.

Portland, Oregon. If you want the whole package-food, fun, rest and recreation, Portland, Oregon is definitely a good choice. Find culinary gems in the food carts around the city, give your legs a workout and cycle through its bike-friendly road (while you’re at it, breeze through some of the city’s funky neighborhoods), or reconnect with the nature and hike through some of Oregon’s iconic trails. A fair warning if you have future staycation plans in Oregon, though-be ready to fall in love with the city that you might actually want to move in!

Birmingham, Alabama. One of the best reasons why Birmingham is one of the best places to have a staycation in is because it’s so low-key that it’s easy to blend in. For example, you can attend one of the free fitness classes at Railroad Park like a true local. There are also a lot of nooks around the city that could be a perfect spot for you to catch up on your reading list while sipping on a cup of Birmingham coffee.

Which ever of this city you will stay, you’re bound to find a luxury hotel that suits your needs and feels like home. Channel your inner tourist and don’t waste a moment to refreshed and recharged!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9310178

Southern California Family Vacation Without the Crowds

Southern California Family Vacation Without the CrowdsIf you live in Southern California, you know that summer brings out the crowds-visitors from around the country and around the world.. That means it’s hard to go anywhere without running into lots of people and traffic-two main ingredients that makes kids (and parents) cranky.

One place that seems to have held on to its laid-back California charm and has lots of kid-friendly fun is Ventura, particularly the three cities known as VenturaCountyWest (Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura). Located up the 101 Freeway north from Los Angeles, VenturaCountyWest features uncrowded beaches (with free parking), ocean adventures and tons of easy-to-get-to kids’ summer activities. Here are some to check out.

Channel Islands National Park

Take a tour boat to the Channel Islands National Park out of either Ventura or Channel Islands (Oxnard) harbors. The islands are only 11 miles off the Ventura County coast. On the way, you can see dolphins, seals, pelicans and other wildlife. Hikes, overnight stays, kayaking are all available once arriving on shore. Tours are booked through Island Packers, http://www.islandpackers.com/.

Ventura Harbor Village

Ventura Harbor Village contains an arcade featuring an old-fashioned indoor carousel, arcade and a candy shop with more than 20 varieties of fudge (made fresh daily). Families can rent paddle and electric boats to tour the quiet harbor channels. Back on shore, plan on eating at one of the casual harbor side restaurants featuring freshly caught seafood. http://www.venturaharborvillage.com.

Ventura County Fairgrounds’ Raceway

“Midget” cars, motorcycles and all sorts of other racing vehicles take to the track almost every weekend at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura. It’s all good fun as you cheer on your favorite driver.

Gull Wings Children’s Museum

This children’s museum in Oxnard is very unassuming from the outside, but once inside, the eight and under set will have so much to do and see that they won’t know where to begin. They can dress up as firefighters, doctors or pretend they are astronauts landing on the moon in an Apollo spacecraft. There are snakes to hold, treasure to find in a geological dig and plenty of Legos to build whatever they wish. Kids can try their hand at rock wall climbing or let their imaginations go while in the driver’s seat of an actual car.

Sky High Sports

You won’t find a big sign announcing Sky High Sports Camarillo from the freeway. It’s in an industrial park-it has to be-the place is huge. It’s filled with trampolines with super padded floors and walls. Kids can play trampoline dodge ball and other organized games or… just jump. All under supervision. Sky High also has laser tag. Kids are sure to come out sweaty and tired-a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8573123

Ten Reasons You Should Take a Daycation

Take a DaycationA daycation is simply a day vacation. It’s a close cousin of the “staycation,” with the advantage that at just one day it requires very little planning. Is it sounding appealing yet?

But before you get too carried away, it’s worth pointing out the ironic twist in taking a daycation: in our fast-paced, whirlwind lives the thought of taking a day off can sometimes make us feel anxious.

But wait! That’s not what vacation is supposed to do!

Maybe we feel like there are too many people counting on us or that we may compromise our responsibilities. Maybe we feel guilty about taking a day off when everyone else has to show up for work.

If we can get past that, the appeal of a daycation is self-evident:

  • Small commitment
  • Minimal planning
  • Affordable or free

So let’s be honest: The only thing stopping us from taking a daycation is… you got it: US.

When you think about what might be stopping you from taking a day off, really think about what you feel you would jeopardize. Start by taking a little time to think about any feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety. You can even write them down to look at them objectively. Then ask yourself: “Realistically, will things really fall apart if I take a day off?”

And just in case you’re still not convinced, here are ten good reasons why you should consider taking a daycation before too long:

  1. Disruption fosters creativity. Shake up the routine!
  2. Taking a daycation means you are taking a stand for yourself.
  3. Creating space can invite clarity into a life situation.
  4. Determining how you will spend a full day puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life.
  5. If you are feeling over-extended, reclaiming a day for yourself is a generous act of self-kindness.
  6. Especially with hectic schedules, having a full day to spend as you see fit is like taking a big deep breath for 24 hours.
  7. You are almost sure to see/hear/experience you wouldn’t have in a “normal” day.
  8. Inviting someone you love to share a daycation with you can create a very special memory.
  9. You can absolutely “play hookie” from your life for a day and remain a responsible adult.
  10. There will never, ever be a day exactly like this again.

Do some reasons resonate more than others? In today’s culture of always wanting to do more, you shouldn’t be surprised if more than one of these reasons rings true for you.

So… what are you doing tomorrow?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8923988

Take A Day Trip To A Blueberry Farm

Blueberry Farmwhen blueberries come into season, both wild and cultivated high bush. Depending on how the weather has been and which part of the country you live in, it can be anytime from the beginning of the month through the first few weeks. Here are some tips for visiting a blueberry farm.

Call Before You Leave/Check the Website

If you aren’t sure what the hours of the farm are, or what the weather might be like, or if they can accommodate your Uncle Charlie’s wheelchair, call first. There is nothing more disappointing then driving there, especially if you have to drive a long way, only to find out you made your trip in vain. The farm is more than happy to answer whatever questions you have before hand on the phone. Weather is a fickle thing and it might not be raining at your house, but an hour away it could be pouring buckets. On a similar note check to see if the farm has a website, or a Facebook page. Often times the information you need is going to be listed right on the page. They will tell you what their policies are, what the weather conditions are, what they are currently picking and what their hours are.

Leave Your Strollers/Large Bags/Pets/Buckets at Home

Strollers are awkward to maneuver through the rows of a blueberry farm, and often the terrain is rough. It also makes it hard for the farm staff to keep an eye on potential “shoplifters”. The same is true for large bags. If you must bring a large bag, plan on leaving it secured in the trunk of your car while you are picking.

Most farms have a no-pets policy. This is for the safety of the visitors, and any animals they may have on their farm. Please leave your dogs at home.

You bought the cute berry picking baskets from the local basket making company. You have pails that your great-aunt Sheila picked in when she was a girl. Your family has been using the same buckets for decades. Keep them at home and put them on display, or take them hiking and use them to pick wild berries. Most pick your own farms provide you with pails to use and have policies that prevent you from using your own.

Visit Early In the Day

Blueberries thrive in hot, sunny conditions, and the fields they grow in offer very little shade. The temperature might only read 82*f on the thermostat, but out in the sun of the field it is going to feel a lot hotter. On top of that, the bushes hold the heat and it is easy on a really hot day to get overheated. The best time for picking is in the morning, before the berries get too hot. After noontime on a day when the temperatures soar into the high 80’s and 90’s, the berries will be hot and soft and once you get home they won’t keep as well.

Wear a Hat and Bring Water

A large floppy hat that keeps the sun off of your face and neck is the best choice. If all you have is a baseball cap that will certainly work as well. The goal is to keep the sun off of your head and provide you with a little bit of shade and coolness. Picking blueberries is not hard work, but on a hot day you can quickly become dehydrated in the heat of the field. Drinking lots of water will keep you safe and allow you to enjoy your time at the farm.

Leave the Bag in the Bucket

If your farm hands you a pail with a plastic bag in it, please keep it there. You may have read Blueberries for Sal with your children before you left, and they want to hear the “plink, plink, plink” like in the book, but after a handful or two of berries, they aren’t going to plink anyhow. The bag is there to help the staff weigh your berries when you are finished picking, and for you to get your berries home safely and easily. Those pails may have been on the farm for a long time and could be a little dirty and rusty. You don’t want your hard picked berries right in them now, do you?

It’s Pick Your Own, Not Self-Serve

Of course, you need to taste a FEW of the berries to make sure that you like the variety that you are picking, especially if you have multiple varieties to pick from. Selling berries is the farmer’s livelihood, and if you eat as many berries as you pick, you are essentially stealing from them. Pick to your hearts delight, then take your berries home and enjoy them.

Have you been to Monadnock Berries?

How To Have A Budget Friendly And Enjoyable Spain Vacation

Spain VacationPrepare Your Checklist

Are you planning for a Spain vacation? Spain is a fabulous country to explore for a holiday. You can never have enough splendid vacation destinations in Spain. How do you plan for your Spain vacation?

First thing you can do is search online for destination websites. Check out websites about “vacation in Spain”. Take note of what fantastic places to visit there are in Spain. What vacation packages in Spain are available? You can contact the site about it or your local travel agency.

There are many vacation packages for Spain to choose from. You can choose according to what will suit your budget and preferences. In your checklist, note how many days you’re going for a vacation in Spain. Most tourists go on a 1 or 2 weeks holiday there. That time frame would typically suffice for a fantastic vacation that’ll have you exploring all that Spain has to offer. Next item to check is what hotel you’re going to stay in. You have many options for comfortable hotels to stay in, along with bed and breakfast and other lodging options. Then check what airline you’re going to choose for your flight.

Call your preferred travel agent to make arrangements for you for your Spain vacation. The travel agent should be able to arrange the most suitable Spain vacation package for you.

Beautiful Places To Visit In Spain

What beautiful places can you visit in Spain? If it’s the bustling cities of Spain that you want to enjoy, try visiting Barcelona, Madrid, Seville or Bilbao. You’ll surely have a good time exploring these fun and energetic places. Otherwise, if you want to have fun under the sun, try going on a Mediterranean cruise that berths in the different ports of Spain. Another favorite vacation destination is La Manga. It is located in the middle of Costa Blanca and Costa Almeria. La Manga has 3 extravagant golf courses where you can play golf according to your pleasure. Here, you’ll also find a stunning 5-star hotel. The architecturally fabulous hotel overlooks the magnificent golf course, and it is indeed a spectacular view. The Montecastillo Hotel is an absolutely amazing treat. It offers an extraordinary mix of 5-star luxury and world-class golf. You’ll enjoy a feel of the mixed cultural heritage in Southern Spain when you take a trip to La Manga where the architecture is stunning, integrated with a perfect landscape.

Plan For Your Vacation Well

You’re off to have a wonderful time having a vacation in Spain if you plan for it well. It also matters what season you’re going on a holiday there. Take time to read and be well-informed about Spain and the places you’ll visit for your vacation. Carefully ask the travel agent about your concerns. You can choose from different types of Spain vacation packages.

Have a good time and avoid glitches and inconveniences when travelling in Spain. Have everything in check and make sure everything is in place. Contact a qualified travel agent to assist you so you can relish a budget friendly and the most enjoyable Spain vacation.

 

Making the Most of Your Staycation

Making the Most of Your StaycationTrying to rein in spending this summer? This year, forgo the pricey vacation and opt for the cheap and cheerful staycation. Staycations can be a surprisingly fun alternative, if you put a little planning and effort into it. Dial down the day-to-day drudgery and schedule in loads of exciting activities – and your holiday will be a resounding success!

Drop the Routine:

    • Treat work the same as you would, when out of the country. Can’t avoid being ‘on call’? Keep it to emergencies. Otherwise it isn’t a proper vacation.
    • Take care of household chores beforehand, or afterwards. A relaxing holiday doesn’t include laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping.
    • Clear the family calendar. Take a break from regularly scheduled obligations, classes and sports. Replace with fun-filled, group activities.
  • Set appropriate expectations within your social circle i.e. you’ll be unreachable for the duration, or responding to urgent issues only.

Switch Off Electronics:

    • Utilize ‘out-of-office’ settings on computers and phones. Others will be less likely to panic when you don’t respond instantly.
    • Turn off the idiot box. PVR your favourite programs and catch up afterwards; Or better yet, prove that you can live without TV for a week or two.
    • Ditch the video games. Leave the virtual world behind and enjoy some real fun for a change.
    • Put the smart phone down! Make a pact to minimize calls (work and personal) and set up a fine system for family members that circumvent the rules. Spend the extra cash on holiday adventures.
  • Avoid surfing the net. If you need to look something up, pop online quickly, then shut down. Email and the internet can be all consuming. Don’t get sucked into the vortex.

Focus on Fun:

    • What activities would you suggest to out-of-towners? Grab a local guidebook and re-discover your city’s top attractions.
    • Add a little drama to your life. Attend a summer blockbuster, a drive-in movie, a live theatre show, or devour a much anticipated book.
    • The sporty type? Take in a major league game, find a pool, water park or recreational area, or map out a personalized hiking or biking tour of the city.
    • Enjoy some cerebral relaxation at local museums, art galleries, historic properties, science centres and zoos. In Toronto, free tickets are available at your library.
    • If you’re near open water, consider a boating excursion. Rent kayaks, take sailing lessons, or book a ferry tour, for a great day on the waves.
    • Gather family and friends for a good old-fashioned picnic or BBQ, at a community park. Bring along refreshments, toys and games to keep everyone occupied and content.
    • Foodies will gobble up the chance to visit new/favourite restaurants and social butterflies are likely to appreciate concerts, pub crawls or clubbing.
  • Schedule a daytrip to explore beyond city limits. Find cheap thrills at the amusement park, savour a regional wine tour, bask at a nearby beach, or nibble your way through your local farmers market.

Staycations aren’t synonymous with deprivation. Break from your regular routine, channel your inner tourist and don’t waste a moment! You’ll return to work refreshed and recharged – and still have money in your pocket. It just might be the best vacation you’ve ever had.

Best Animal Experiences in the UK

Best Animal Experiences in the UKTea with Tigers

Remember the Tiger Who Came to Tea? He ate all the food in Sophie’s house, drank all the water in the taps and then left never to be seen again. Now the tigers are inviting you to join them for tea, and the good news is that there’s plenty of food to go around. At Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, visitors can take afternoon tea in the Treetops CafĂ© after enjoying a special guided tour with a member of the park’s Cat Team. The team will provide interesting information on tigers (like did you know that their skin is striped as well as their fur?), and they’ll also answer any tiger questions that you might have. Afterwards you can walk across the Big Cat Walk to get some close-up souvenir snaps of these majestic cats before exploring the rest of the park.

Walk with Wolves

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a wolf close up this is your chance. On the outskirts of Reading, volunteers at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust head into the surrounding countryside with two fully grown wolves on metal leashes in front of them. The Trust owns the surrounding countryside – it has to take precautions to make sure that the wolves don’t encounter any dogs. Larger canines often like to play-fight, a fight that could potentially be fatal to them when faced with a tooth-baring wolf. While on the walk, there are plenty of photo opportunities and visitors may even get the opportunity to stroke the wolves, not as you would a dog. Wolves must be stroked on the underside of their stomach so that you’re submitting to them.

Meet the Meerkats

Not everyone likes their wild animals, well, wild. If you’re interested in meeting some of Africa’s cutest critters, there are several experiences that allow you to get up close and personal to meerkats whether it’s in Hertfordshire, Chester or Preston. Although the experiences differ from location to location, most experiences will have you chatting to members of the meerkat team and preparing the meerkats’ lunch for them. When you walk into their pen sprinkling food, you’ll see the naturally inquisitive meerkats are more than happy to pop up and say hello. After you’ve met the meerkats, you can take a stroll around the rest of the safari park, and meet the rest of the animals.

Whatever type of animal you like, you’re bound to find an animal experience that suits your needs. So before you start planning exotic trips to experience your favourite animal first hand, why not look at the experiences available closer to home?

Boquete Panama An Amazing Place for Retirement

Boquete PanamaOne place in Central America that has become a popular place for retirement is Boquete Panama. Situated in the mountain highlands of the country, Boquete is a small town that offers so much for tourists and retirees alike. Outdoor activities, spectacular views, cool climate, fresh air and a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle can be experienced in Boquete. An amazing destination, that’s what it is. Boquete’s unique history, culture and natural beauty continues to attract tourists and retirees from various parts of the world. This simply shows that it is one place that’s definitely worth visiting and consider as one’s permanent place of residence.

Affordable Living Expenses

Thousands of American and European expats have made Panama their second home. They have come to love the fact that it is a place where one’s retirement funds can be stretched and where a good life is not so hard to achieve. Boquete offers very low living expenses; thus, it is easy to live comfortably. Eating in a restaurant will only cost $8 for a couple, drinks included. Reliable and modern healthcare is also inexpensive in this place; thus, making it easy to get all the perks in life inexpensively.

Cool Climate

Many people who have come to Boquete also love the fact that the weather is spring-like all year-round. The climate is comfortably cool which suits many Americans who have chosen to live in Boquete for good. You only need one type of clothing and that is clothing that suits spring-like climate. There’s no need to worry about snow piling up on the driveway and too much heat that can be very uncomfortable for the skin.

American Lifestyle

Since many Americans have already made the move to Boquete Panama, there are plenty of expat hangouts and restaurants where you can feel most at home. There’s even a premier community called Valle Escondido where many expats live and where retirement can be experienced in a relaxed atmosphere. There are also Americans who have opened up businesses in the area. An expat owned coffee farm, hotel or restaurant is very common in Boquete.

Outdoor Activities

Nature lovers and adventurers will be thrilled to know that lots of outdoor activities are in store for them in Boquete Panama. Hikers can climb up the Volcan Baru, which is a famous dormant volcano in the area. Boating and white water rafting can also be done as well as zip lining, nature tripping and horseback riding. Animal lovers can also visit the Wildlife Rescue Center and see how animals are taken care of in their natural habitat.

Relaxed Atmosphere

Boquete Panama is not like busy cities of New York, San Francisco or London. It has typical amenities and services that people need for daily living but minus the hustle and bustle of city life. Thus, it is truly a place for people looking to settle down in a relaxed setting. One can simply take in the beauty of Boquete and relax watching its beautiful sunrise and sunset each day. One can also sit down and just enjoy its picturesque view from all angles. Boquete may not be for the city folk but it sure is a wonderful venue for someone who wants to experience a relaxed and stress-free retirement.

5 Benefits of a Staycation

5 Benefits of a StaycationThe economic recession has surely taken a toll on the lifestyles of many individuals these days, and you’d still like to spend some time away from the headaches of your occupation. On the other hand, you really do not need to leave the country just to have some leisure and enjoyment. As a matter of fact, you can still stay home and have the time of your life.

This is something which has come to be known as a staycation. It has already been accepted as an approved word as of the 2009 edition of ther Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and has certainly led numerous people to have a small amount of fun without needing to travel outside their locale. Below are 5 notable benefits of staycations:

1. You no longer need to cope with the misfortunes of traveling. Some of the most common occurrences when traveling abroad would be the spoiling of food you have brought along with you, lost luggage and stolen goods. With staycations, you simply do not have to be concerned about anything going wrong and maintain control of your situation.

2. You will not get to cope with long waiting lines. If you’re eager to make a journey to Universal Studios Florida, you will be bound to experience long queues, undoubtedly. On the other hand, with staycations you can just have fun with your family and friends in your locale and try out all types of activities without spending a huge amount of time waiting within line.

3. You do not get to play a part to the ruin of the environment. Traveling by air or by train can definitely take a toll on our eco-system, most especially with the use of fossil fuels. you can simply have a lot of fun without harming the environment.

4. Fewer headaches are to be experienced. Factoring in the number one benefit cited above, you will not need to cope with the stress accompanying such situations. If you are truly stressed out from work and other matters, staying at home can get you the relaxation you’ll need and you are not even spending any money at all. Traveling can be quite daunting for some individuals, and staycations are definitely a welcome change.

5. Obviously, the finest benefit of all when it comes to staying home throughout your vacation is that you do not get to spend money at all. Traveling to another country and visiting malls and boutiques can lead to quite a lot of headaches, most especially after you have realized just how much money you’ve spent. Without additional expenses, you’re simply living a life of luxury and peace.