Adult Education: Upskilling in the COVID Era

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented upheaval across the world. Life as we know it has been brought to its knees as we scramble to find ways of restoring normality. While lockdown restrictions are easing up globally, there is no telling the full extent that the virus has had on the economy. 

Many people have been working from home for the last few months. However, a large amount of the world’s workforce is now unemployed. A tremendous financial strain has been placed on families. Parents are trying to balance work and homeschooling. I have just got back into the classroom after 4 months away from my students!

Stress is natural in such circumstances, but it’s not helpful to panic. Take positive actions and look at working towards getting out of the rut.

One such action is upskilling. Improving your professional skillset is hugely beneficial, and you may never encounter a better time to do so. 

Here are six effective ways to upskill from the comfort of your home. 

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels.

  1. Take an online course

There is a myriad of information available online to help you enhance your skillset. Websites like https://www.udemy.com/ and https://www.skillshare.com/ offer thousands of courses across a wide range of subjects. Specialized websites exist that offer courses in more niche markets. 

Whether you want to learn computer coding, digital marketing, graphic design, or another language, there are courses out there for you. Maybe you want to change profession, or learn new skills now could well be the time.

  1. Attend webinars and online events

Many businesses and services are being forced to adapt to a remote audience. There are free webinars and online events where companies are giving workshops or demonstrating their services for customers. 

Webinars can be interactive and may be a great way to learn or gather information. These appear in Facebook groups and university pages all the time so keep your eyes open!

  1. Read books and study

Take the time to read and study books that will benefit your career or skillset. If you are part of the 81% of Americans who said they wish they read more; now is a perfect time. 

  1. Improve your business admin skills

Having the knowledge to write a business plan, a marketing strategy or other business documents is advantageous in most industries. There are websites available, such as https://www.templafy.com/business-document-templates/, that provide business document templates to help familiarise yourself with such activities. 

Spend some time learning how to craft a business plan.

  1. Learn to operate new software

Improve your I.T. proficiency by learning to operate new technology or software. This will not only make you more desirable as an employee, but it is an engaging activity that will have many other benefits. Some of the links above will help with this, but if one thing is clear its that, at least in teaching we were not as prepared for this as we should have been!

  1. Apply for a remote job

For many people, remote working is a new craze. However, the remote working industry has been thriving for many years. There are thousands of online-based jobs that you can do from anywhere. 

Although people are starting to go back to work, remote offices have been a revelation for many companies. Some are speculating that we could see a further rise in remote based jobs. 

Remote work is empowering and allows for a large amount of flexibility and freedom in your routine. 

There is a fast learning curve in the online workspace, and there’s no ceiling to your progress potential.

The BEst Educational Powerpoint website!


Well in my opinion!

It was released on April the 20th 1987, almost 30 years ago and although it has a few design changes in that time its basic premise is still the same.

It was before smart phones and tablets, even before proper widespread use of the internet and not commonly known it was actually bought by Microsoft rather than designed by them. Since then, and its inclusion in Microsoft Office in 1993 it made its way into schools.

Why do teachers still love PowerPoint.

There is no doubt its turning into a rapidly forgotten art form, and although i have no information to suggest otherwise I would bet that teaching games wasn’t what Microsoft had in mind when they bought PowerPoint for 14 Million all those years ago.

Now we have smart phones, interactive whiteboards, coding workshops, tablets, laptops, but still teachers go back to PowerPoint for me the reason is simple. I am fortunate enough that i have some knowledge of both teaching and making games and coding. The issue i always faced when making games was trying to be relevant to what every teacher would need. I am lucky enough that being one i can make a better guess than most, but still every country, school, class year group, teach and of course pupil is different. I can’t and most games cant either, make a game or an app that can be totally adapted by a teacher. That’s where PowerPoint still shines its light. Once made it can be changed, adapted and reused for different abilities and there fore is not a one trick pony that so many learning apps can be ( sorry to say even mine!)

That’s not so say learning games don”t have their place, they do, but there is still a vital need for teachers to be able to edit and change the resources they present so they are both relevant and suitable for their class and they will always be the people who know their class the best That’s why PowerPoint and the games teachers have made are always going to have a place in classrooms until all those apps stop presuming to know what you want to teach and instead allow teachers to change them to suit their needs.

This clearly isn’t happening yet.

So what is this Website?

There is a website called PowerPointgames.uk and they have over 100 games that are or can be adpated for classroom use. These include Monopoly, Survivor, Spin the Wheel, Hangman, Rock Paper Scissors, Maze and Map games. there are even a couple of dinosaur themed games thrown in which are great. Rather than me talk about them its better if you go on over and check them out. They are totally free to download and adapt to your class and they will really add something to your lessons.

https://powerpointgames.uk/.

I cant recommend them enough and the work that has gone in is just incredible. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!

It might be a fading art, but that light hasn’t gone out just yet!

Happy Teaching!

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Did ezoic Increase my AD revenue?

I have to start this with a disclaimer, I am horrible at business, or marketing or anything commercial. I am a teacher, have been for years and will continue to be one for a good few years in the future. So making a website and the apps i make was at first a hobby, then something that helped me professionally and was useful to students and then finally as something that i wanted to do as it seemed to help other teachers all over the world. Making a living out of it didn’t and still hasn’t been a driving factor.

But, and its not a huge but (ha!) i did put ads onto the site and a store, mainly to see if i could work it out and make it work, which to varying levels of success i have managed to do. ( those levels of success depend how much they are annoying you right now by the way) I am now working, in my free time, to build things up and add resources as i remember, find or make them to both help and bring traffic in here, so i am trying to focus on quality. With that i tried a few different Ad Networks. Google, Media.Net, and Ezoic, which is likely what brings you here.

If, like me, you have spent a few hours googling what advertisement network is best for small blogs, or small sites I am sure the name has come up. I started with google, basically as thats what my apps use and it is what i was familiar with and it did ok, probably worked out about a dollar or two a day as a rule, i also added Media.Net which after a good start was really pretty poor and continues to be low now though for other reasons i will highlight below. and about a month ago I re-read an email i had got from Ezoic. It has the marketing language in it, they can increase the revenue, they can add 60 to 200% or similar and i went on to google. It turns out for the majority this seems to be true.

So i signed up with them and luckily, unlike Google but similar to Media.Net you get an actual person to help you, deal with emails, and i am sure roll their eyes at some of the questions i asked and hand held me through the process of making the site suitable for them.

Did it work

I put this bigger because i certainly wont be the first site you found when looking for the answer, and i will leave the set up details from them, i found the account managers better at explaining how to integrate better than a website actually, but as i said I am not expert at this, I am a teacher so i can go on and on though! So the short answer is yes, and i have the expected graphs to prove it. ( i think its ok to show them)

It has been a month, by best day is 12 USD with them, and my worst not counting the first couple of days has been about 4 dollars and change. I have no idea if this is good or bad for my size of website. I get about 30,000 views a month, or about 15,000 visitors ( thats how they rate visits on Ezoic) but before i signed up with them i was getting about 2 dollars from Google and less than 50 cents from Media.Net. So as an absolute minimum i am getting a 100% increase and on good days, it has been 400%. though of course google would have been more on those days as well just due to visitor volume!

I wont go into the details of how they do it, ( its A.I.) as there are other websites probably open in your browser tabs that do it better than i ever could, but i can say that the support is great and they are really helpful when you need them.

I said at the beginning I dont do this for money, at least not yet, but in anything we do it is nice to be successful. I don’t think i am quite at the stage where I can say that I am, but when my little site can bring in two to three hundred dollars a month, well, I think it shows i am on the road!

So yes i recommend them, yes they have vastly improved the income the site makes, now if i could get them to take over the layout and design i might really do well 😛

Just as heads up there are Ezoic links on this page, they are links to sign up should i have inspired you to do so. They have an affiliate program so you can also get people to sign up as well, you don’t lose anything and neither do they, Ezoic just matches some of the income to give the referrer.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions you have and i can try to help.

The List of Animals You can type into Google That will show you AR and 3D versions on your Phone!

A friend of mine just showed me this and its really cool and might help keep the children entertained at home during this time! I use AR in my lessons sometimes ( and VR) so i know how excited my students get when they see it.

So if you want to come face to face with a Great White Shark, or take a photo with a lion, and stand with a tiger then just grab your phone and type the name of the animal in.

You just google the animal name and press go, I have a list of the animals i have found below but I am sure there are many more.

Underneath there is a view in 3d button and then a ”view in your space” button. It will need to have the camera accessed for this to work.

What animals are there available? Well so far i have found these ones, but if you find more let me know in the comments

  • Lion
  • Tiger
  • Cheetah
  • Shark
  • Hedgehog
  • Duck
  • Emperor penguin
  • Wolf
  • Angler fish
  • Goat
  • Rottweiler
  • Snakes
  • Eagle
  • Brown bear
  • Alligator
  • Horse
  • Shetland pony
  • Macaw
  • Pug
  • Turtle
  • Cat
  • Octopus
  • Dog
  • Labrador
  • Golden Retriever
  • leopard
  • golden eagle

The tech side you need Android 7 or higher and iOS 11 and up. It was discovered last year but if you are like me you are just finding out about it now!!

Get googling and have fun!!

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