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Working adults plug into online education

(BPT) - Many working adults begin using technology from the moment their alarm clocks go off. From checking emails on a tablet over morning coffee, to sending out social media...

(BPT) - Many working adults begin using technology from the moment their alarm clocks go off. From checking emails on a tablet over morning coffee, to sending out social media posts from a smartphone before they get into the office, technology allows people to be efficient and stay connected anytime, anyplace. This same technology is now playing an important role for individuals seeking alternative learning environments to continue their educations or grow their careers.

According to a national survey from University of Phoenix, 87 percent of working adults say there are benefits to online learning. Another survey reveals that 54 percent indicate they'll go back to school in the future and 48 percent are interested in taking an online class. So it is no surprise that universities are adjusting their online classroom offerings to cater to the technology working adults are currently using.

Today's technology makes education more personalized, more social and more accessible than ever before. This creates a more balanced and better learning experience for busy working learners.

'At University of Phoenix, technology is integrated into curriculum with resources such as a mobile app, interactive tutoring and PhoenixConnect, a social network that encourages idea-sharing among students, faculty and alumni,' says University of Phoenix School of Business Dean Dr. Bill Berry. 'Students can connect to the classroom and discussions from all over the world.'

The University's online classroom has also been upgraded to provide students a more customized learning environment, including visual, auditory and written learning opportunities that cater to varying learning styles. This new classroom also incorporates elements of social media, spurs more student collaboration and reflects the contemporary online experience that working adults are used to elsewhere on the Web.

Even with technology upgrades, students still need to manage their education to make certain they get the most out of it. Dr. Berry offers these tips:

* Be knowledgeable about the available resources - Ask about the technology learning options available before signing up for a degree program, and research whether mentors are available in the community. Learn how best to use these resources to help dedicate the time needed for classwork once enrolled in the program.

* Build a support network - Earning a college degree doesn't just involve the student. The student's family, employer and friends are also involved, both directly and in supportive roles. Gain their buy-in and look for ways to involve them in your education. Setting up study times with your children or leading a case study discussion at work are just two of the ways you can involve other stakeholders in your education.

* Enhance time management skills - Strong time management skills help students avoid being overwhelmed when they add school work and classes to an already busy schedule. Before starting a program, set aside specific hours during the week that are dedicated to school work. As the program starts, review deadlines and establish mini deadlines to accomplish smaller parts of each assignment to help break up the project.

* Leverage the network - Once a degree is earned, networking can help you get the most out of what you have learned. Universities are setting up their own academic social networks leveraging LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to provide ongoing career support and connect alumni, students and faculty members.

For the nearly half of working adults who are interested in taking an online course, plugging into online education is easier than ever before. Now you can receive real-time alerts when grades are posted or participate in a discussion forum with classmates around the world - all before that morning cup of coffee has finished brewing.

To learn more about University of Phoenix education programs, as well as find additional resources, visit www.phoenix.edu.

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