Education and Technology Upgrades

Technology in academia does not need to be as expensive as many think. Many school districts rely on a consulting firm to design a custom solution for their needs. Unfortunately, they often get a cookie-cutter solution that has been copied and pasted from the last 10 designs, does not meet their specific needs, and often wastes 10 – 20% of the total cost.

I highly recommend a school district hire a talented IT manager that is very diverse. This manager should be able to get their feet wet in database, networking, security systems, CATV, VoIP, and more. However, it’s not necessary for them to master everything. This is where its a good idea to have a specialist in software and networking. Once this foundation is in place, your team can work together to decide what they need, want, and don’t want.

When the IT team has a pretty good idea about what upgrades are required, it’s time to contact a company that not only designs the systems, but also has actual experience installing the systems. Many school districts make the mistake of hiring an “engineer” that specializes in voice, data, and fiber cabling to design the audio/video, networking, and security systems. This is NOT their field of expertise. This is like going to a chiropractor to perform surgery on your foot. Don’t get me wrong; they are very good at cable design. However, the school district deserves more experience. Let’s be honest; technology grants are not awarded every year. It’s very important to spend them wisely.

When you are contacting companies to provide a solution, it’s a good idea to limit the contractors to about three. One contractor should be able to install the audio/video, CATV, paging, and security systems. Another can handle the phones and networking. Lastly, you need a good cabling company. Although the networking and phone contractors can offer cabling, it’s possible their price will be a little higher than a company that only specializes in cabling. The benefit to giving the network contractor the cabling work is it’s probably going to get done with less problems. If you manage to find a company in your area that is talented enough and cost effective to provide a turn key solution for the entire project, then you have it made. There will be much less management and coordination problems on your part. It’s OK if that contractor needs to sub-contract out a few simple things such as commissioning of the security system. This is completely understandable so long as they are not sub-contracting the majority of the project.

My final recommendation is to make sure you can support what you are installing. If you decide to spend extra money on specialized options like a fully integrated security system with active mapping and automatic camera pop-ups, are you going to pay for someone to watch a monitor all day long? If you pay for a digital signage system, do you have someone that will program and update it on a regular basis? Many schools that have spent money on wonderful features simply forget about them because they do not have the budget to continue to utilize those features. Technology is great, and can make your school district much brighter and more efficient. Just try to make it a point to coordinate as much as possible with your IT department. They are the ones behind the curtain keeping everything working.

The Ultimate Combination of Education and Technology – The Distance MBA Degree

Due to the incessant and ever-increasing demand of many companies and corporations for the most talented and skilled people to hold their tops posts, the need for a comprehensive and detailed system of training these select individuals has risen over the years. And the best way to get a scientific based approach to management is through the perfect balance of theory and practice that is offered by an MBA degree. Very few other programs, if any, offer better training in all the aspects and nuances of management and running every aspect of a business like the MBA program. So it’s not surprising that more and more people are turning to it to enrich their knowledge and to significantly bolster their resumes.

It’s a very common fact that those who have received the benefit of an MBA degree are usually entrusted with higher posts, greater responsibilities, and higher pay than those who attempt to climb the corporate ladder without them. But it’s also true that there are several people who are not able due to time, schedule or distance to enroll themselves in traditional MBA classes. Many of these classes would require students to attend classes like regular university students or to attend night classes. And for those who live far away from institutions of learning or are engaged with their jobs or families far too much too much to have time or energy to spare, this poses serious problems. Many just have to accept the fact that a regular MBA degree is not for them. But should this stop gifted individuals from learning advanced management skills? Of course not!

The perfect solution for this problem would be the distance MBA degree. Distance education, as its name implies, is perfect for educating students that are not physically ‘on-site’. And because of significant advances in technology, such as the Internet and all the powers of communication that come with it (such as web chat, e-mails, online modules etc.) students are assured that they get their lectures in real time and that their reading materials are received complete and with as little delay as possible.

There are many forms to this kind of education. These include: correspondence courses through snail or e-mail, non-interactive broadcast video, pre-recorded video, live teleconference or videoconference, and online/offline computer courses. With the variety of options, students can pick the one that is most convenient for their needs.

Armenia: A Tradition of Education and Technology

Armenia is a country with 1,600 years of literary tradition. Since the creation of its alphabet in the year 406, Armenians have held their education and literature as imperative to their very existence. Within the Soviet Union, Armenians were one of the most educated people in the country. A large number of Armenians represented the intelligentsia of the USSR. Armenian universities continue to be held in high esteem. In fact, thousands of foreign students from India, Iran and other countries have graduated in Armenia and apply their knowledge in the U.S.A., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia

Another area where Armenia has been very progress is technology. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was at one time known as the “Soviet Silicon Valley” since 40% of the mainframes of the entire USSR were produced there and there was so many people employed in the computer industry. As Armenia emerged from independence from the Soviet Union, Armenia was once again on the path to recovering its tradition of education, technology and progressive thought. The IT sector was one of the first industries to regain a foothold in the early 1990s. Numerous software companies started to be formed in Armenia. By the early 2000s, many companies found Armenia to be an attractive country for IT outsourcing.

With a traditionally highly-educated populous, Armenian firms were able to provide reliable and innovative solutions for all types of software projects. Where IT is newly developing in other outsourcing destinations such as India and China, Armenia is found to be more attractive with a tradition of technology as well as a historically, highly-urbanized population. By 2005, companies like Microsoft started to take notice. Since 2006, Microsoft has operated a number of offices in Armenia and continues to be involved in many projects across the country. Not only does Microsoft work with Armenian IT specialists for software development, but it is also involved in the education sector with projects such as the MSDN Academic Alliance Program.

The Armenian government of the last few years has declared IT, particularly the Internet, to be one of the sectors that it plans to develop to an even higher degree in Armenia. Internet connectivity has increased greatly in the country over the past few years. A number of firms have been instrumental in this effort. Besides various free WIFI hotspots throughout the cities of Armenia, the capital of Yerevan is fully connected wirelessly through the WIMAX services of companies such as iCON Communications. Other companies like VivaCell MTS and Beeline provide 3G (and soon 4G) Internet connectivity to 90% of the territory of Armenia.

Armenians are constantly growing their presence on the Internet. Adding to the potential of Armenia are millions of diaspora Armenians who use the Internet to communicate and contribute to their homeland. The ever increasing presence of Armenians on the Internet is evidenced by web-ranking sites such as HyeTopia.com and Circle.am. Diaspora Armenians not only use the Internet for keeping in touch with the homeland, but they partake in projects and ventures with their compatriots in Armenia. An example is the education website holdthatword.com; a collaboration between diaspora Armenians and Armenians in Armenia. For a technology driven and diaspora people that the Armenians are, the presence of Armenians on-line can do nothing but grow even further for years to come. For anyone involved in IT and web-based development, Armenia is quite an attractive location for investment.