Tips to Choosing an Electrical Installation Course

Electrical installation courses provide you with the knowledge and information that you need to carry out your duties in an effective manner on a daily basis. Whether you are already an electrician looking to refresh your knowledge and update your skills or you have never worked in the electrical industry before, choosing the right training centre is what will determine whether you walk away with the knowledge you need along with certification, or whether you learn what you already know.

There are a number of benefits to completing an electrical installation course from on the job training to enjoying working in a respected professional. In addition to this, working within the electrical industry, you will enjoy career growth moving forward.

With the right training centre, you will be able to take the course, pass the test and then go to work and immediately start using the skills you learned, you will be able to fast track your own career and improve your own career prospects now and in the future.

The first step to taking any electrical installation course is to ensure that you are choosing a reputable and reliable training centre which is going to offer you the best training, knowledge and insider advice that you can use immediately in your chosen career. Remember that not all training centres are the same in terms of what they teach, the quality of their courses and their pricing structures.

You want to choose a centre with experienced instructors who only take smaller classes, so that they are able to focus on each learner to ensure you understand the course materials and that you pass your examination to receive your certification at the end. That certification can boost your career in the electrical industry and is your ticket to enjoying a successful career moving forward.

Ensure when it comes to something as important as electrical installation courses that you choose a learning centre which can provide you with the authentic City and Guilds course combined with accredited certification. These are industry recognised training courses and certifications, which ensures your course is respected by the industry.

Take a look at the courses offered by the training centre to identify that once you complete this course, what others do they have that you can take advantage of. Knowledge is key and if you keep improving your knowledge and skill set, you can boost your career, take advantage of promotional opportunities and enjoy a very successful career in the future.

The cost is often a big deciding factor, especially if you are paying for yourself to attend. If the company is paying, they will probably send a number of employees for a discounted rate. Investing in training is a worthwhile cause, you are investing in your future, but at the same time you do not have to break the bank.

Speak to the training centre you want to use to complete your electrical installation course to identify if they can provide you with the chance to pay off the training or if they offer discounted rates that you can afford. You may want to compare a few of the training centres you feel comfortable with, though always remember you want to get the best learning experience, even if you do have to pay slightly more in the long run.

The final step of taking any electrical installation course is to identify how long the course is and book time off to attend. These are not distance courses, you will have to complete the course in a learning centre, but when completed, you will have a new set of skills you can start using without delay.

Online Learning – Training Webinar Success Tips

If you think that face-to-face training is the best way to do training, think again. New research shows that a blended approach produces 35-69 percent better outcomes than face-to-face alone.

What’s a blended approach? It’s a mixture of delivery modes, put together in a pattern to create the best result. For example, a blended course might involve one full day face-to-face, followed by several one-hour webinars delivered sequentially across a number of weeks. Another example might include a self-paced DVD program, followed by three two-hour webinars, followed by a live one-to-one coaching session.

The blended approach delivers even higher value than its impact on results in the workplace. It’s also an important part of reducing the need to travel for the training. Time in training sessions is time away from the job, so many employers are happier with training at the desktop that lasts only an hour or two. In addition, corporations worldwide are eager to eliminate travel, weather across town or halfway around the world. So, when your business offers part or all of its training online, you have a competitive advantage that companies that hire you will value.

So if your business delivers training services, it’s important to take a fresh look at how to restructure your training offerings to provide a significantly higher impact. If you plan on doing some live online training via Web conference technology, here are some success factors to help.

  • Keep your online learning session short.

    For training webinars, limit each session to one to two hours. One hour is best, but two hours works well when the training is interactive enough.

  • Tell students not to take notes, but instead to enjoy the experience of learning together.

    Promise your student participants a handout at the end of the session that captures all of the notes on the slides. If your slides are proprietary, you don’t have to give them a copy. Instead, give them a high-value handout that details the critical points, lists, and actions that are required for your participants to be successful. In an online learning environment, a short and focused PDF handout is better than long and comprehensive book.

  • Design your training webinar for vigorous, relevant, and continuous interaction.

    The toughest audience in the world is one that links from the desktop. At any moment in time, people are seconds a way from multitasking.

    The only way to keep people from multitasking is to create

    (1) extremely high value content,

    (2) delivered at a brisk pace,

    (3) intermixed with constant interaction that adds value to the experience of learning at that moment.

    When online trainers can’t see the students’ nonverbal cues, s/he has to be even more deliberate in building high quality interaction throughout the session.

  • Have students meet from individual desktops, not a conference room.

    To get the highest level of interaction, it’s best if each student links separately to the Web conference online learning session. That lets every student be able to participate easily and quickly in polls, chat discussions, imitation feedback, and voice interaction. When students meet from a conference room, sharing a computer inhibits rapid interaction that is needed to keep everyone else engaged. No one must be disadvantaged by location from being a full and equal participant in the learning.

  • Design your slides for brain appeal.

    Your students cannot see your face. But they can be very engaged by the PowerPoint slides that you use in your training webinar. Avoid standard Microsoft PowerPoint templates. Instead, find commercial templates that better express the theme of your training. Avoid clipart. Instead, use commercially available photo art and photo images. Avoid standard formatting. Instead, skillfully learn how to create and design slides that engaged the attention of your desktop students.

  • Team teach online learning sessions when you can.

    With experience and training, a single person can manage all aspects of an online learning session. But it’s better to team teach in your initial training webinars. For example, while one person instructs, the other annotates, manages polls, sets up chat discussions, observes the participation of the students, and asks questions to keep interaction going.

  • End with an online version of a standing ovation.

    You know that when you have delivered an excellent learning session. Students are eager to say how much they enjoyed the experience of learning with you. In an online learning environment, many trainers don’t get that feedback. Before you end the online learning session, ask students to use chat to tell you what they learned that they will apply. Encourage them make several entries. Then a moment later ask them what they enjoyed most about the class. They will be able to share their comments with the group or with you privately, as you specify. If you ask your student participants to share their comments publicly in chat, everyone will see dozens of positive comments that reinforce the high-value of your content as well as a very enjoyable interactive session, too.

  • End the online learning session with a three-minute online survey.

    Most Web conference platforms will allow you to drop the student off at a website where you can poll them on the metrics that show the value of your online learning program or session. If a company hired you (vs. individuals), summarize the information from the feedback form, and send it to the client. If students registered independently, neutralize the feedback and post the data on your website, along with quotes (of course, by permission).

Tips for Pronunciation of the Swedish Vowels

The most famous parody of the Swedish accent is probably the Swedish chef in The Muppet Show, but also more recently a sketch in The Catherine Tate show called Interpreter. What both these parodies have picked up, is the sing-song element of Swedish, and also the fact that the Swedish language is relatively vowel-rich. The pronunciation of these vowels can prove a challenge when you are learning Swedish. This article goes through all Swedish vowels and gives some tips on how to pronounce them, according to the Swedish alphabet.

A

The thing to remember with A is that it is very long. For English speakers, it usually helps to make the same sound as when saying the English letter ‘r’, but to remove the ‘r-sound’ in the end and only keep the long ‘ah’. Another way can be to visualize the sound you have to make if a doctor examines your mouth and throat. The doctor usually places a spatula on your tongue, and asks you to say ‘ah’. Finally, it is important to remember to drop your jaw properly, which makes the A deep and long.

E

This vowel can be tricky because for an English speaker, the natural instinct is to treat it like the English ‘ee’ (like in for example ‘bumble-bee’). But the Swedish E is lower, and finishes off with a slight A-sound in the very end (at least the accents found around Stockholm and Uppsala on the East coast). The best way to find the right sound, is to say the English word ‘ear’, but to remove the ‘r-sound’ in the end: ‘ea’.

I

This vowel unfortunately adds another layer to the confusion around the Swedish vowel E. This is because the Swedish pronunciation of the letter I is just like the English ‘ee’. In other words, a very wide and smiley ‘ee-sound’. The only consolation is that Swedish speakers have exactly the same problem when learning English, just the other way around!

O

The letter O can be hard to pronounce, because it is a bit more extreme than the English ‘oh-sound’. The ‘oh-sound’ in English requires fairly relaxed lips, and also a relaxed tongue. The Swedish O requires a very tense mouth and hard lips pressed together, like when you are whistling a tune, or sucking a straw. The tongue is pulled right back in the throat, like you do if you eat something that is too hot and you try to protect your tongue.

U

This is perhaps the hardest one to explain, out of all Swedish vowels. When you say the vowel U, your lips should be relaxed, your tongue touching the bottom-row of your front teeth, and your jaw should be slightly pushed forward. It sounds a little bit like the disgusted expression “Eew”, but more like the end-part than the first.

Y

The vowel Y tends to be hard to get right, but I have found a way to describe it that seems to be helpful. Firstly, say the Swedish I (or the English ‘ee’) and analyse what your tongue is doing. Secondly, keep that tongue position absolutely still, but move your lips from a wide smile to a trumpet-like shape (i.e. push your lips forward, quite aggressively). So when going from I to Y, your tongue position should be exactly the same, and the only thing changing is your lips – going from a wide smile, to a trumpet-shape.

Å

Here is the first one of the three extra vowels in Swedish (they come in the end of the alphabet by the way, in this order: å, ä, ö). The challenge is to really distinguish them as separate vowels, and not just muddled versions of A and O. The Å can be thought of as the ‘au’ sound in ‘Paul’. Indeed, some Swedish Pauls actually spell their names Pål. The sound is long, as in a long ‘Påål’.

Ä

This letter can be thought of as the English ‘ai’ in ‘pair’, or ‘hair’. The only thing to remember is that the mouth is actually quite wide, a bit more of a smile than when saying ‘pair’.

Ö

Finally, the Ö is similar to the English sound ‘i’ in the word ‘bird’. Or ‘u’ in the word ‘fur’. Or ‘ea’ in the word ‘heard’. The lips are fairly rounded, but also slightly trumpet-shaped.

And finally, the graduation test is to fully master the following Swedish tongue twister: Flyg fula fluga flyg, och den fula flugan flög (Fly away you ugly fly, and the ugly fly flew away).

That’s it – good luck!

8 Best Tips to Success in Online Exams

Test taking should not have to be stressful. If you plan and prepare well in advance, it should be a piece of cake. The exam might be tough, but you can do it! Use these 8 simple tips listed below to help you succeed in your online examination.

  • Time management skills – Developing good time management skills and being aware of how you use your time is extremely important for your success. First you will need to develop a study plan and set aside a set amount of time of study hours per week. Are you more productive in the morning or at night? Figure out the time of day when you are most productive and use that time to study for your exams.
  • Study space – What is the best study space you can think of? Dedicate a quiet study space that is free from distractions where you can concentrate and focus solely on your studies. Let your friends and family know that this is your time to study and not to disturb you during these times.
  • Prioritize work – What subject do you need help with? The best way to study for an online exams is to begin with the most difficult subject first, then work your way to the easiest.
  • Weekly review – What is the best time during the week you can review? Set aside one day per week for a review session and use that time to review class notes and other materials.
  • Get help – The internet is full of information – Make use of your computer and the internet. Anything and everything you need to know is just a click away. Another way to get additional help is to talk to an online tutor or classmate or ask your online instructor for help or clarification if you are not sure about something. There are also several online discussion groups that you can join and get help that way.
  • Cramming – Cramming just does not work! Staying up all night cramming for your online exam for the next day is useless. The night before the online exam should be used for a quick review and then, off to bed early. Your brain and body needs a lot of rest to function at its best.
  • Have a positive attitude! – Relax! Have a positive attitude and approach the online exam as you would approach any other exam. Keep in mind that online exams are a part of your online learning process that you simply cannot avoid. So the best thing that you can do is be prepared.
  • Online exam day – Whatever you do, do not skip breakfast. Did you know that you function better with a healthy breakfast to start your day? Before the exam begins, make sure you have everything you will need for the exam. Read the instructions very carefully and proceed. You will do just fine – you will see.

6 Practical Tips For Long-Distance God Parents

Help! I’m a long-distance Godparent. I felt the same panic when I was asked recently to sponsor the first child of two of my dearest friends. Since they entrusted the spiritual nurture of their precious bundle to me. I had to see how I measured up. My most major flaw was that I lived too far away.

The family resides in the Caribbean and I am in Central America. True, not too far away. Nevertheless, I am not in the same country and it is still going to be long-distance affair. As in any relationship, distance can make a negative impact.

Since being asked, I have been thinking about my role a lot. Moreover, I am accustomed to wearing the other shoe – giving parents advice on this issue. Therefore, I decided to revisit and listen to my own counsel. I believe it wise to take my own advice before all my older, and my newest, Godchildren decide to get rid of me.

Being a Godmother, or Godfather is far more serious than many people realize. I might be stating the obvious for some of you. However, the fact is too many persons (including some parents) tend to see this responsibility as a position of status and prestige, without realizing that an awesome responsibility has been placed in their hands. So I made up a list for myself and I’m sharing it with you.

6 Helpful Long- Distance God Parenting Tips

Attend First Ceremony – It doesn’t matter how far away you live. You should be present at this first ceremony of Baptism or Dedication. Some churches make this mandatory. My sister & colleague is Moravian and my presence is mandatory. I guess I won’t be missing this ceremony!

Make a Chart of your one or several God children- I have 6! I heard of this excellent idea and thought it was just so practical. Keep your chart in a prominent place. It can be a mini-one in your diary or a large one hanging from a wall in your bedroom or office. Use this chart to also boost your prayers for your Godchild.

List their names, birthday, date of Baptism or Dedication, other rites of passage like first day at school and so on. In this regard, you will need the help of the parents to send you informative updates and pictures.

Pray Regularly – Keep your Godchild(ren) on your prayer list and pray for them. Your role as Godparent is to offer spiritual nurture. It is not for buying expensive presents unlike what popular culture would have you think.

Maintain Contact and Communication – Even before the child is able to speak, ask the parents to put him or her on the phone so they get accustomed to hearing your voice. Trust me, your Godchild will recognize you by your voice the first time they physically meet you. Write and send cards on the anniversary of Baptism/Dedication, birthdays, graduations and just to say, I’m thinking about you.

Today’s children seem to be born knowing how to use a computer. They are more advanced that we the are. If you are reading this online, then perhaps you are not too ancient then. Keep in touch via the Internet by using email and Instant Messengers. This can turn out to be a helpful means of contact and your Godchild knows he or she has someone they can talk to besides their parents.

Spend Time together – When possible spend time with the family of your Godchild or invite the child to visit with you. This might include Summer vacations or other school breaks and use of your vacation time.

Give Spiritually Nurturing Care and Gifts – Too often parents look for Godparents not for the spiritual care they can give, but for their capacity to buy their children expensive gifts. Those parents have missed the point of this religious role. When properly understood, God parents should appreciate their role primarily as support in spiritual education and nurture of children.

Even though you are far away, you can still give meaningful gifts that will help to affirm the spiritual care and education of your Godchild. It makes sense then that your gifts be mostly of a religious nature. This is not an easy choice when competing with violent video games, dolls that scream out commercialized versions of beauty, and other useless and psychologically damaging toys.

So, I hear the question every godparent must now be asking. Where on earth do I get these ‘spiritual nurturing gifts’ that are not boring? Listen, that is a whole new story. I’m still searching so look out for my suggestions.

Happy Godparenting with renewed commitment!

3 Quick Tips on Plotting Your Book

Plotting a book can seem an overwhelming task when you’re just starting out, but it does get easier when you understand various plotting strategies.

Here are 3 quick tips that could be all you need to get you started:

  • One: You’ll find it useful to analyse published books.
  • Two: Decide on the main events
  • Three: Use a synopsis as a plotting tool

Tip 1: Work Out How Other Writers Do It

Here’s something you can do if you get stuck: borrow some books from the library – the most popular books would be good! – and go through them while wearing your writer’s hat. Jot down short notes about what happens in each chapter – and also look at how the author ends each chapter. If the author is skilled, they’ll have some kind of chapter hook (something the reader wants to know) to keep the reader turning pages. This kind of analysis is quite fun – it’s always interesting seeing how other authors structure their books and get their effects!

Tip 2: Decide What You REALLY Need to Include

Not everything that happens in your character’s life is a plot. What a boring story if you recounted everything even in one day. Readers couldn’t care less about the myriad details that make up most of our lives. Do you really want to know what the character eats, how he eats, what toothpaste he uses, where he keeps his car keys, etc etc.. .all of these things are part of his life, but they’re (mostly) not part of your book’s plot.

Choose the details you include carefully. A plot is a specific collection of events that affect that outcome of your narrative. If a story event is not relevant to the narrative – pluck it out.

Tip 3: Write a Synopsis First

It helps to write a synopsis of the story before you start. (Yes, I know that lots of you like to ‘just let it all flow’ and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Hmmm. Fast way to write yourself into a corner.)

Use the synopsis to plot your book. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Your “planning my story” synopsis can be as rough as guts, actually. It’s just for you; it’s not for an editor. (You can polish it at your leisure somewhere down the track if you want to send it to a publisher.) But in the initial stages, just jot down the high points of your story. A lack of detail at this point is likely to be your friend – you’ll see quite clearly if something is irrelevant.

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

3 Tips For Finding Free Teleseminar Or Webinar Training Classes

The onset of the Internet has brought the continuing education enthusiast even more opportunities for training than ever before. A few methods of e-learning /online training that are growing is the use of webinars and teleseminars. In order to get the most benefit out of what is available today, the potential student needs a plan of action to get the best chance of finding out about the teleseminars and webinars you have an interest in before it’s too late.

1. Determine your favorite method of learning

What is your favorite method of learning? Are you a visual learner? An auditory learner? Do you learn by doing? By understanding how you learn, you will be able to pick the method that is best for you. If you are more of a visual learner, then webinars may be the way for you to participate in your online training. If you are more of an auditory learner, then teleseminars may be the way for you to go when participating in distance learning. If you are able to learn with either modality, then you have more options available to you. Once you have determined this, you can search for free training classes based on your preferred learning modality.

2. Look for teleseminar or webinar training aggregation sites

Now you are beginning the process to search for these various training classes. You can search the web for individual online seminars, and hope you find them in time before they have already occurred. An easier way to do this would be to find an aggregation source that has a calendar list of teleseminar/webinars events. You will also be able to see many offerings at one time without having to spend a lot of time on the Internet searching for these events. You just have to remember to go back to the site from time to time to keep up to date on the new classes that are available.

3. Join free training notification services

When you join a notification service, you will be emailed a list of teleseminars/webinars that are occurring that day. You can join a weekly notification list, or a daily notification list. The benefit with the daily notification list is that most people don’t know until the day of or the day before that they can attend an online training class. If you get on a weekly notification list, you may forget about the class you want to take by the time it occurs. The benefit of the daily notification is that you will get that last minute reminder.

Using online training to educate yourself in areas that you are interested in is more effective when you can easily find out when a large number of teleseminars are occurring. The best way to do this is to find an aggregator site, or join a notification service which sends you a list of teleseminars/webinars that are occurring that day. There are also some tips that you should be aware of when attending these events to be sure you get the most out of them.

Time Management Tips for Online Instructors

Online instructors understand the need to manage their time effectively. There is much more involved than reviewing papers and participating in class discussions. Classroom management involves continuous interactions that support students’ success, and creating conditions in the classroom that are conducive to learning. At times you may feel prepared and ready to meet the demands of a busy class and there may also be times when it feels as if you are running behind. The key to development of an effective time management plan is finding tools and techniques that maximize productivity and minimize any potential stress or missed deadlines.

Examine Your Current Schedule

For the next class week, keep a record of your time, duties, and classroom activities. What requirements were met ahead of schedule, on the required due date, or were late? How did you feel during the class week and at the end of the week? Did you experience stress at any time? Did you have any additional projects scheduled that were set aside for the next week? What were your strengths and areas of development? Summarize your week by carefully examining what worked well and what did not. This is the most productive method of developing a revised time management plan.

What are Your Teaching Goals?

You can develop a time management plan that works for you if you anchor it to the goals you have established for yourself as an instructor. For example, do you want to meet the minimum requirements necessary to facilitate your class or do you want to allocate additional time to find and share additional course materials and resources? How will you provide feedback? Many instructors find that they are more effective if the feedback is divided up over several days during the week as a means of avoiding the last minute rush to complete it. If that is applicable for you, your teaching goal might include allocating time each day for specific duties. The overarching goal is to meet or exceed the faculty expectations.

Time Management

As you create your time management plan watch out for any daily or weekly activities that can be eliminated. If you are doing anything that might be busy work, consider how much of your time it takes and how you might minimize it. The most common time waster is procrastination, which can be avoided if you have an organized plan for your classroom facilitation. A method of planning your time effectively is to begin your facilitation tasks early in the week.

As you schedule time for your facilitation duties each week, determine what is most important or rank your teaching goals according to the level of priority that you have assigned each one. Projects that have required deadlines, such as feedback or instructor participation, should be given top priority each week. You can make it manageable if you plan ahead and divide up larger tasks into smaller duties.

Time management tools that can help you organize your week include a calendar, to-do list, or schedule. Some instructors prefer to use a traditional paper planner and others utilize technological tools to stay organized. Whatever your preference may be, find something that will help you be mindful of the tasks that need to be completed so you can stay focused and meet all required deadlines. And if you discover any pockets of unexpected time, use it to review your schedule and work ahead.

Downtime for Renewal

As you develop and manage your schedule you will likely feel better prepared to meet the required facilitation duties and this in turn will reduce the potential for anxiety and stress. One method of proactively addressing stress is to consider your overall well-being, which includes your attitude, the way you eat, the method you use to manage your time, and the amount of sleep you get. The better you feel, the more likely you can cope effectively with stressful conditions.

Another method of addressing and eliminating stress is to analyze your energy level throughout the day and consider when you are the most productive. If possible, match the time of day that you have the most energy to the most difficult tasks because they will require the most concentration and focus.

It is unlikely that you can completely eliminate stress. There are going to be times as an instructor when classroom management, deadlines, and student interactions feel manageable and other times when all of these demands become too much. But you don’t need to let it get the best of you. Learn to become proactive by recognizing signs and symptoms. Schedule downtime to allow yourself a chance to feel renewed and increase your productivity.

Be In Control of Your Time

There are many expectations and requirements in place for an online instructor. Meeting the facilitation duties and deadlines each week can be challenging at times, especially for adjunct instructors. Develop a list that includes everything needed to be completed each week, along with any additional projects or time you want to devote to creating a meaningful learning environment. Develop a plan that schedules or allocates a specific amount of time for each duty and stay focused on your teaching goals. You will likely feel better prepared and in control so that teaching is enjoyable and not always stressful.

5 Tips For Adult Students to Succeed in Distance Learning

Many working adults who plan to complete a degree they have started, but not completed have chosen to continue their education through a distance learning program. But, being the working adults who need to focus in their study at the same time will need skills and techniques to help them achieve the success. If you are earning a certification or degree through a distance learning program, the 5 tips below can be your success references:

Tip #1: Develop a time management strategy

Most adult students are working individuals who have family obligations and other responsibilities to be full-filled. Allocating time for each task can be a challenge for them. Fortunately, distance learning programs give the most flexibilities for adult students to fit their study into a schedule that does not crash with other tasks. You need to create a schedule upfront that dedicates specific times to make progress for your distance learning program without affecting other responsibilities, and you have to stick to this schedule.

Tip #2: Make the most from online discussions

Since online discussions are the main form of communication for distance learning. You have to maximize the use of these threaded discussions for your own benefit. Try to enjoy the interaction with other students through online discussion because it helps to develop the relationships with online classmates. You will learn more from sharing and interaction with other online students by participating actively in the online discussion. In fact, the survey results found from successfully distance learners showed students will be able to retain knowledge or what they have learned in classes by applying the knowledge to their work or in threaded discussions. Therefore, if you want to be a success distance learner, be sure to make the most out from online discussions.

Tip #3: Make asking questions useful in learning

Learn through asking questions have been proven statistical work in learning. Students who ask the right questions and get the answers tend to retain the knowledge they have learned in the online classroom. Successful adult learners will make their efforts to research and craft questions to engage among the peers and instructors. Therefore, you should try to make asking question useful in learning.

Tip #4: Stay motivated

One of the key factors that drive an adult student to complete his/her distance learning program is to stay motivated. You need to stay motivated, through the desire to complete the distance learning program successfully and to earn the degree or certificate for a better career future. One way to keep your motivated is to team up with a few of your online classmates and motivate each other to finish assignments and complete projects on time.

Tip #5: Make connection with fellow students

Although your purpose of enrolling into a distance learning program is to get graduated and earn a degree or certificate, the value of interacting with other students should also be stressed. Making connection with fellow students and stay connected through threaded discussions will help you to progress through your learning smoothly.

Summary

Working adults who go back to study through distance learning need to equip themselves with the necessary skills and techniques if they want to complete their study program successfully. Use the above 5 tips as your references to become a success adult student to earn a degree or certification through a distance learning program.