Education

Learning Online to Rival Shopping Online

learning onlineEverything is moving online these days. It’s impossible to think of something without first going to the online world to see what is thought of it. Even more impressive is the person who doesn’t discover new things from online first. People are connecting online, there are meetings online, social networks and interest groups congregate online, people are online shopping and so much more! The latest is online distance learning and it is now getting to a point where it is being talked about to rival the amount of people who shop online. OK online learning is not there yet however will all the benefits and advantages over schooled learning it is fast approaching. It’s a brave new world out there.

Researched: One common misnomer about online learning is that it’s run without any structure to the course and it is misconceived as a “poor man’s” alternative to what people class as “proper classroom learning” and “real qualifications”. Rest assured the learning and many courses available online in this day and age are tried and tested and offer the same as any school or college can, with online tutorial support fully available as it is in a classroom environment.

Tested: Online learning reinforces the learning that people are doing through rigorous testing.  This testing not only tells online learning resources what is working but it also tells them where they need to be better, more clear, or more thorough teachers.

Accredited: It may surprise a cynic but online learning is not just well-vetted from the students and teachers but they are also gaining credentials for themselves with their programs. Online learning programs are getting more and more accreditation and are able to better prepare students for real life with preparation which can throw them right into the working world in whatever capacity they were looking for.

Reviewed: If you are still not sure about how learning online to rival shopping online, that’s okay. You are doing your due diligence. But if you really want to hear about some of the more amazing things happening in these programs you should definitely check out the reviews of these online learning resources. Online learning has been written up in countless publications and most of the recent pieces all come to the same conclusion; online learning is real and it’s here to stay.

Simple: While no type of learning is “simple” online learning takes out  a lot of the stresses which typical classes afford. There is no need to have to worry about how you present yourself, there is no commuting, and you can learn as at fast or slow a pace as the class allows. It doesn’t get much more simple than that.

Affordable: Online learning is also very affordable. You will save over traditional learning simply because of the lack of paperwork and added expenses which won’t be incurred. But then it’s just more affordable because of lower overhead. Classes can be far fuller for far less than what’s traditionally expected. There are the options to spread payments when learning online that is not always available through traditional learning and teaching courses.

Preferred: Finally people just like online leaning. Learning itself is made so much more accessible and pleasant by the prospect of learning online. People like to go at their own pace, in their own space, and in their own time and it is usually more of an enjoyable experience using persoanl computers than going outside to colleges and schools where the ambiance and environment may not be in keeping with how you really want to learn.

If you have questions or would like to understand more about learning online, extended learning or the options available to adults looking for additional knowledge and understanding on a range of subjects then companies like NCC Home Learning are set up and fully equipped to provide information and all the material you need to take the next step in gaining qualifications you may previously have thought you did not have neither he time, budget or motivation you need to succeed.

Feminism

Do I Support ‘Ban Page Three’? Well, I’m Just Not Sure…

Before I begin, let me just say that I hate The Sun newspaper for far greater reasons than a few pairs of boobs. The Sun’s involvement in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, it’s lies and disgustingly misreported version of events, has caused pain to many people for almost 30 years and members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign have waited far too long for the truth to be exposed.

Obviously, The Sun caused more waves last week by pulling a pathetic switcheroo whereby they claimed to have ditched topless images on their page three, only to make a joke of it the next day and put the tits right back where they’ve always been. My antipathy toward the whole affair is almost enough to stop me from writing this post, because let’s face it, it’s all just a boring PR stunt, but I have some really conflicting feelings about it all. See, on the one hand, I back the Ban Page Three campaign wholeheartedly. But on the other, I have huge reservations about it.

I completely agree that putting female breasts in the first few pages of a newspaper seems incongruous and unnecessary, but  think we can all agree that what The Sun reports barely passes for news on any given day. This isn’t a broadsheet, or serious paper containing hard-hitting journalism. The paper is full of overblown, sensationalist bullshit and really shouldn’t be given shelf space alongside other papers. However, I saw a Facebook post this week, in which the poster said something along the lines of “Oh, what’s next, banning FHM?”. Well, no, because FHM is a men’s magazine largely aimed at young, heterosexual males who want to look at boobs, and whether you like it or not, it seems a wholly more appropriate place to put pictures of scantily-clad women, so I feel this misses the point spectacularly.

As a mother of girls, I don’t like the idea that seeing topless models might give them the idea that it’s okay to objectify women, but they also see women in almost as scanty a state of undress in music videos and even fashion magazines, so where do we stop the censorship? Also, I err on the side of caution when it comes to the potential for passing the message on to them that the female body is something to be ashamed of, or hidden from view. We think nothing of seeing men on billboards, dressed only in a pair of Calvins and no-one campaigns against that, or complains about objectification. The women on these pages are there because they want to be – is it not hugely patronising to assume that they’re hapless rubes who’ve been railroaded into taking their bras off for the camera?

Just recently, a whole bunch of new legislation was put in place regarding what’s allowed to be shown in porn, and much to my dismay it seems that anything which shows females enjoying themselves too much has been cut from the agenda. (SEE HERE FOR A LIST OF WHAT’S BEEN BANNED). Now, while I’m not saying that hardcore pornography showing people weeing on each other or leather-clad dominatrixes sitting on faces is everyone’s cup of tea, surely if this is what people want to see and it’s done in a safe environment with consenting participants, why should anyone have the right to say they cannot? It seems to be an attack on female sexuality and it scares me to think that females who exert power and preference through their sexuality (or choice of job) will start to be marginalised in ever more serious ways, especially if we ban things like Page 3, which you could argue goes some way to normalising nudity.

I hear the “what about naked men?” argument quite frequently, women who feel that there should be an equal and opposite for Page Three to re-dress the balance, but I’m really not sure it would work. Anthropologically speaking, men are far more visually driven, sexually, than women so although plenty of women like the odd perve at a nice looking bloke, sales of newspapers would not be driven up by a ‘Page 7 Fella’, otherwise someone would be making money off of it already. Same goes for magazines – publications like FHM sell because they contain stuff that men want to look at. If women wanted to regularly look at images of naked men, Cosmo would be doing it already and MORE! wouldn’t have gone out of business.

I’m not against nudity or toplessness in principle, I hate The Sun, I’m not a fan of censorship and I really don’t think having scantily clad men in papers would add any sort of balance (or value) to the debate…and yet, I still don’t feel 100% comfortable with the idea of Page 3. See what I mean when I said I felt conflicted?! I’m aware that this post is ALL over the place, but this is basically just a snapshot of the inside of my brain at the moment, when thinking about this topic.

Where do you stand on this? Am I spectacularly missing some sort of point? Please leave me a comment below.

Work

Top 5 Ways to Increase Your e-Commerce Sales

ecommerceInternet sales have change the ways people compare and purchase every type of consumer product. Easily increase sales with a few small, inexpensive improvements to your e-commerce site.

  1. E-mail Marketing

Direct marketing by e-mail is the most effective method to reach buyers and get them to interact with your website. As you increase the number of visitors to your site, conversions to sales also increase. Find a free and easy to use newsletter subscription program and install a pop-up on your website that asks people to sign up for your mailing list. Make it worth their while to do so by offering something valuable like online coupons for their participation. Connect your value offer to something important to your customers, like saving money online with exclusive coupons and discount offers.

  1. Establish Trust

Optimize your website and check out processes to build customer trust. People need to feel comfortable giving your site their credit card information to complete a sale. Simple things like using https: rather than http: on the check-out page and having a credibility logo from a company like Norton Security or the Better Business Bureau make a world of difference. Design your web site to incorporate easy to find search bars and logos. Use pictures of real people on the site, including professional photos of yourself on the “About Us” page. Keep the site simple, easy to navigate and free of extra ads and blocks of text.

  1. Use Social Media

Using social media sites like Google +, Facebook and Pinterest is a requirement for modern e-commerce. Tailor your social media marketing strategy to your company and your target demographic. Ensure you have the right pictures, videos and offers on your site to share with the social media world. Keep track of interactions on your social media sites, and make sure to interact with consumers every day. Answer questions and comments posted to your social sites promptly.

  1. Use Coupons and Discounts

Offer regular deals and special coupons and submit these offers to the major coupon sites like couponcodeday.com. Consumers are accustomed to searching the internet for discounts and deals before making purchases, so make sure your offers are easily accessible. You may want to target sales and deals to increase revenues at critical times like end-of-quarter, or you might focus on holiday offers. Some sites create special discount code offers for first time shoppers and frequent buyers. The most common discounts and coupons are for percentages off total shopping cart cost or for free shipping.

  1. Maintain a Consistent Brand Image

Brand your site by using consistent colors, themes and logos in the same places on every page of your site. Do your keyword research, and repeat the keywords throughout the site. Every page or category should also have unique keywords so search engines can send web traffic to pages that match their search strings. Use images that evoke your brand image, the lifestyle and demographics of your customers. Coupons, discounts and special offers can also be tailored to reflect your brand image and increase customer engagement with your website.

Friendship

How to Organise an Amusing Hen Party

hen partyOrganising a UK hen party offers the bride-to-be all the choices needed to celebrate any forthcoming wedding and loss of single status in style and with panache. Future brides don’t have to opt for their typical downtown clubbing hen night or night out ogling male strippers as there are so many interesting venues and activities across the UK that are far more appealing to any independent woman and her group of female friends.

Booking a weekend break away with the girls is one way to celebrate in style and it’s often difficult to choose between some of the most scenic countryside cottages or country house hotels or busy boutique hotels in some of the lively city centres of the United Kingdom. Building in some serious pampering sessions to any hen party is one way to create the sort of intimate bonding sessions many women enjoy, and it’s not essential to book spa breaks to do this. There’s nothing more enjoyable after a long day out with the girls than coming back to a cozy cottage with crackling log fire and spending time having massage, facial, nail or pedicure services at home. Chilled wine and great music or films will make this pamper session a special event for any woman. 

Some women may wish to opt for group arts or crafting activities to celebrate their UK hen parties. It’s easy to find painting or drawing masterclasses in various parts of the UK, crafting activities like chocolate making, cake decorating, candle making, pottery classes or card making can all be booked for small groups and joint activities are a great way for diverse parties of women to interact with each other and build new rapport and friendships.

More active brides-to-be can consider the benefits of sporting weekends away or days out participating in some of the more challenging sports activities like surfing, rock climbing or sailing. A day out at a venue such as Go Ape, can be one way for a group of friends and acquaintances to enjoy a thrilling time out while challenging their bodies to the extreme. Alternatively, thrill seekers may well have a great day out at one of the UK’s brilliant theme parks.

Of course, in our modern era a woman’s hen party is not her final opportunity to spend quality time with the girls, but it is somehow different once the marriage has taken place. Girls that want to make their UK hen parties really special events will put as much time and thought into the hen party as they do for the wedding day itself. It’s impossible to cater to the likes and interests of every friend that’s likely to attend the hen party, so opting for a celebration that’s of real interest or concern to the future bride or creating a party centred around some weird, wonderful or zany event or activity is one way to ensure a great time out is enjoyed by all.

Off Limits Hen Weekends are UK events professionals and have decades of experience in designing the best hen weekends, hen nights and hen days out, with the most inspiring activities and exciting entertainments at venues around the UK. Anybody wanting to hostess the most memorable hen events in the UK will find the suggestions and programmes designed by Off Limits Hen take all the stress out of planning this major event, leaving the bride free to enjoy her day or weekend of pleasure with the girls. 

Baby · Birth · C-Section · cesarian · Family · Health · Maternity · Maternity Matters

#MaternityMatters – Week Two

It’s a fortnight since Susanne and I launched the Maternity Matters linky and we had some absolutely amazing posts linked up in that time. Reading about everyone’s experiences reminds us exactly why we started Maternity Matters in the first place and we hope that the linky will continue to be as popular in the coming weeks.

This week, I’ve linked the post that I wrote about my second c-section and how it was a healing experience, compared to the chaos and heartache of Sausage’s emergency c-section birth. I was terribly nervous all through my pregnancy at the thought of being awake through what amounts to some pretty major abdominal surgery and I even watched videos on YouTube of other people’s elective cesareans so I’d have an idea of what I could expect (control freak? Me?!). If you’ve got a fairly strong stomach, I’d actually recommend watching a few videos if you’re unsure of what to expect from a c-section as seeing it in action completely demystified the whole process for me and gave me a much better understanding of what would happen on the day.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s where you can link your posts this week, and don’t forget to grab our lovely badge to stick at the bottom of your posts so that your readers know where to find lots more great maternity-related writing.



MaternityMatters~ Mum's the Word