What is E-Learning

What is e-Learning? ​

By Edward Lubega

Understanding e-Learning is simple. e-Learning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.

There are many terms used to describe learning that is delivered online, via the internet, ranging from Distance Education, to computerized electronic learning, online learning, internet learning and many others. We define e-Learning as courses that are specifically delivered via the internet to somewhere other than the classroom where the professor is teaching. It is not a course delivered via a DVD or CD-ROM, video tape or over a television channel.

It is interactive in that you can also communicate with your teachers, professors or other students in your class. Sometimes it is delivered live, where you can electronically raise your hand and interact in real time and sometimes it is a lecture that has been prerecorded. There is always a teacher or professor interacting /communicating with you and grading your participation, your assignments and your tests.

e-Learning has been proven to be a successful method of training and education is becoming a way of life for many people around the world.

What are the benefits of e-Learning?

Simply put, e-learning is everywhere, and it certainly comes with some pretty awesome advantages such as:

  1. Scalability: Elearning enables us to quickly create and communicate new policies, training, ideas, and concepts. Be it for entertainment or formal education, elearning is nimble!
  2. Capacity and Consistency: Using e-learning allows educators to achieve a great degree of coverage for their target audience, and it ensures that the message is communicated in a consistent fashion. This results in all learners receiving the same training.
  3. High Learning Retention: Blended learning approaches result in a higher knowledge retention rate. It also helps that coursework can be refreshed and updated whenever needed.
  4. Time and Money Savings: This one is pretty well known, and a staple of any well-done e-learning program. E-learning reduces time away from the workplace, eliminates the need for travel, and removes the need for classroom-based training.
  5. Activity and ROI Measurements: If you are using a learning management system to deliver your e-learning, then tracking learner progress is a piece-of-cake, and reporting on this activity is just as simple.
  6. Reduction of the Carbon Footprint: By leveraging e-learning for online testing and quizzing, the need for printing out paper-based assessments is reduced, in fact it’s practically eliminated altogether!
  7. Flexibility: Using e-learning, you can give employees and students the freedom to learn at their own convenience, and at a pace that is right for them. Staff can be trained in remote locations and in a consistent fashion as anyone receiving on-site training.

Source: eLearningNC, LearnDash


Top 10 Common Misconceptions about Computers

Top 10 Common Misconceptions
about Computers ​

Computer on a Table

By Edward Lubega

Computers to most of us are a relatively simple machines to purchase, operate, and (for the most part) understand. To the average non-tech-oriented consumer, however, they are a scary device that’s made even more frightening by jargon, misconceptions and outright falsehoods.

Today we’re going to set the record straight on 10 of the most prevalent computer myths still in existence.

1. You Need to Defragment Your Drive Frequently

Here’s everything you need to know about defragmenting a modern computer:

Windows computers have a built-in defragmentation utility that automatically runs in the background, on a pre-defined schedule. On OS X, Macs have a file system (OS X HFS+) that automatically defragments files in a process known as HFC or Hot File Adaptive Clustering.

Additionally, many modern computers are now shipping with SSD or flash storage that should never be defragmented, it will actually ruin your SSD.

2. Viruses and Spyware are Slowing Down Your Computer

Any time a PC user runs into any sort of slowdown, the most common (and incorrect) thing to blame it on is malware (learn about the differences between malware, viruses, spyware, etc.). While it’s always a possibility that the computer is infected, modern malware is so profit-driven that it’s in the creator’s best interest to keep it running stealthily in the background. As such, you won’t typically notice any performance decreases due to an infection

Instead, it’s more likely that your computer is slower due to running too may programs simultaneously, unnecessary plugins and add-ons hogging CPU usage, lack of free RAM or disk space, or a hardware problem. Or it could just be that your computer is ageing; these 7 signs will tell you if it’s time to replace it.

3. Paid Cleaner Software Improves Performance

We’ve all seen the ads that look something like, Download X-Junk Removing Crapware Program for 300x Faster Speeds. These programs promise to clean registry errors, download driver updates, uninstall programs that you can’t manually uninstall, or clean your PC of issues of dubious origin and purpose.
The truth is that this is junk software and it’s never needed, no matter what operating system you’re on.

These programs are commonly used to deliver malware, such as spyware or adware, and rarely do anything beneficial at all if ever. Registry entries are tiny, and removing them frees up a minuscule amount of space that will have no performance benefit whatsoever.

-Driver updates

You can download those yourself if and when you’re prompted or run into errors with peripherals.

-Paid uninstallers

Not needed. If you can’t uninstall an application completely, the files they leave are usually in the registry, and too tiny to really worry about.


The issues that they actually clear up typically aren’t issues at all, but problems that make it appear as if they’re worth the money or download.

4. You Don’t Need Antivirus Software

The two most common reasons for not needing antivirus software are usually: I’m on a Mac and Macs don’t get viruses or I don’t do anything online (torrent, view porn, visit spammy sites) that would get me infected.

5. Both are completely incorrect. You always need an antivirus program

Let’s address the Mac user first. Macs were once rather immune to viruses but it wasn’t due to anything other than the fact it was more time-efficient for virus writers to create infections for Windows-based PCs due to their complete domination of the market. As we start to reach some sort of parity, and OS X continues to gain market share on Windows, hackers have taken notice and suddenly Macs aren’t so immune anymore.

On to the safety of the  computer user. You’re never safe using a computer. Each time you turn your machine on, you’re taking a calculated risk that you won’t do anything that results in an infection to your machine. Not viewing porn, torrenting, or visiting fishy websites isn’t enough to keep you safe from all threats. In fact, neither can an antivirus program, but it certainly helps.

6. Turning Your Computer on and off Regularly Is Bad / Not Turning Your Computer off at Night Is Bad

There’ s no absolute truth here. The fact is, leaving your computer on and allowing it to sleep while not in use is a safe and effective way to keep from having to turn it on and off regularly. System resources used as well as battery drain/power draw is minimal while in sleep mode.


On the other hand, you should turn your computer off from time to time if there’s no need for it to be running. Every computer component has a limited lifespan, turning your computer off when it’s not needed will allow the components to last a bit longer.

7. Deleting Contents From Your Hard Drive Actually Erases Them / To Securely Erase Data, Use a Magnet

It would be comforting to all of us knowing that anything we deleted from our PC was gone forever. It’s not.

When you delete data, the visible traces of its existence might vanish, but the way data storage works the actual data remains until it is overwritten.

To keep things simple, think of your data as a footprint on a dusty floor. When you leave the room, your footprints remain, but as more and more people enter, they begin to cover your footprints with theirs. This is pretty similar to how data storage works. Deleted files are marked as available space on your drive, allowing the data to be overwritten. That will eventually happen, but until it does, the data remains recoverable.

To actually erase your data, some suggest using a magnet. This idea would work great if we were still using floppy disks, but with modern HDDs or flash storage devices, a magnet is a rather ineffective way of destroying data. Instead, experts suggest one of two methods:

Use a program that makes multiple passes on your hard drive, and overwrites it with a series of 1’s and 0’s until it’s unrecoverable.
Grab your drill and drill 10 to 12 holes through the drive and be sure to scatter them out rather than drilling in a straight line.
Macs are Better than PCs / Macs are Overpriced Junk

8. Macs are PCs, just PCs running OS X rather than Windows, or Linux

The above being true, it’s impossible to say that they’re better than a Windows PC, so I’m not going to touch that one. As a Mac user myself, I think it’s probably best left to get the answer from our Windows Editor, Tina, as she tries out a Mac after being a longtime PC user.

What I can address, however, is whether they are overpriced junk, or even if they’re overpriced at all. While they certainly aren’t budget PCs, the so-called Apple tax has been effectively eliminated and the price for most Apple devices is actually quite comparable to their Windows counterparts. For example, if you compare the MacBook Air to higher-end, light-weight, ultra-slim Windows laptop like the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, you’ll see that the price is actually quite comparable. The Mac Mini is another great example, as prices between it and comparable units from Dell and others are pretty similar.

We even tried to see if it was worth building a homemade Mac Pro, or just buying one online, the results might surprise you.

9. To Protect Yourself From Vulnerabilities, Use Firefox/Safari/Chrome/IE

X Browser being safer than Y browser is a comparison that really doesn’t have much to do with the consumers who use it. Browsers are simply an execution environment for JavaScript, and as such they’re all equally at risk to exploits and attacks. It’s also important to note that most browser-based attacks are through browser add-ons and plug-ins, not the browser itself.


Make the most of your revision time

Make the most of your revision time

By Edward Lubega

While I was a student, that time of year when exams were near, it always seemed sensible to study for longer hours, not really worrying about how I studied, I just had to study, longer and harder. Many times these long boring hours of study didn’t help. It was only recently that I noticed what I was doing wrong. I was just reading my class notes, over and over again, without spicing them up with a little activity or memory boosters. I wish I knew then what I know now, more especially at the time when I had 20-something exams to study for.


“Always make the most of your revision time in order to excel”

Here are a few ideas that are of benefit to students who want to make the most of their revision time:

Create a revision plan

With so many exams to prepare for, even though study leave might seem like a long time, it’s essential that students organise their time. It’s very easy for the first few exams to have too much time spent on them relative to later exams which might end up being crammed in at the end. With a revision plan this is avoidable. Most students are used to having a timetable and keeping to this discipline at home is a great idea. Here’s a video showing how to create a simple revision plan: An easy alternative to this is to suggest that pupils stick to their usual school timetable when at home.

Make sure you have a comfortable working environment
It’s important that you have everything to hand that you’re going to need for a whole revision session so you won’t be distracted going to find books or a calculator etc. part way through. Make sure you have plenty of space and that you’re comfortable and have adequate lighting. Always keep a drink to hand and maybe a healthy snack to keep you going too.

Don’t get distracted!
Revision isn’t the most fun task in the world and it can be easy to get distracted. To try and eliminate this, study far away from easy distractions such as television. Turn MSN, Facebook, email etc. off during your study sessions it’s amazing how time can be gobbled up.

Build in breaks and rewards
That doesn’t mean to say you have to go on a social media famine for a month whilst you’re revising why not build in ten minutes of down time in each hour when you and your friends can catch up online, maybe share what you’ve learnt but relax and talk about something completely different too.

Don’t revise all the time
Revision can seem a bit like some sort of twisted competition seeing who can study until the latest at night or complete the most hours in the day. Not only is that unhealthy, but you’ll probably curb your learning. You need to keep your mind fresh so don’t work for more hours than you can genuinely focus for and make sure you build in some big breaks as well as the little ones we discussed earlier. It’s okay to take an evening out to head to the cinema or chill out on a sunny afternoon with your mates as a well-earned break. Just build it into your plan. Enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty just return to your studies the next day with renewed vigour!

Eat well, Sleep well
Your brain uses up a huge amount of energy and it’s important to keep it fuelled. Eat regularly and well. Give yourself proper breaks to eat and ensure you stay hydrated too. However long and hard you study, if the tank is empty your brains going nowhere. Likewise, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. You’re far better revising for an hour less and getting a decent night’s sleep than burning the candle at both ends. If you’re so tired you can’t think straight, even if you think you’re revising, nothing will be going in.

Use a variety of methods
You’re more likely to stay engaged and retain information if you vary your study methods periodically. You can try making lists, reading, memorising, being tested, creating diagrams, developing memory aids such as mnemonics, writing songs about topics, listening to pre-recorded notes etc. The important thing is not to stick to just one method as the information will stop going in after not too long.

Teaching is a great way of learning
Teaching is a fantastic way of learning. Why do you think your teachers are all so clever?! One great way to enliven your revision is to take split some less interesting topics between you and a few friends and each learn about one topic and then take it in turns to teach each other about the topic you’ve gemmed up on. You’ll learn a lot both from doing the teaching and by hearing your friends new take on the topic.

Understanding is the key
There are some things you may need to memorise for your exams but on the whole, understanding is the key. If you take the time to really understand a topic, you’ll be amazed how much of it you retain compared to if you try and learn it word for word. If you’re struggling to understand a particular topic your teacher will be happy to help you or you can ask a friend.

Apply your knowledge
Spend a good proportion of your time applying what you’ve learnt. Doing past papers is one of the most valuable revision techniques as it’s great exam preparation and quickly highlights areas you’re struggling with. It also forces you to take all that you’ve learnt and actually apply it. Going back through your exam papers to understand where you have got or lost marks is also important. Understanding the marking scheme so you can maximise your marks is also a key skill. Most teachers will be happy to mark exam questions you complete during revision time and give you feedback.

Chart your progress
You can get a great sense of achievement keeping a list of everything you’ve covered so far. Every time you’re convinced you’ve completely understood a topic then put it on your list and give yourself a pat on the back. It might seem slow progress at first but soon you’ll have a huge long list and a great sense of accomplishment.