The Evolution of Education via Online Tutorials in these Tough Times

The Covid-19 global pandemic has changed the way teachers deliver their lectures to students. Educators can now access tutorials on YouTube through proper channel. This is all the better to give their pupils an advantage in the job market when they complete their higher studies. 

The Change and the Challenge

These are not regular times we are living through. My friend Nelson from Sydney plasterer is living at the centre of this new COVID cluster in Northern Beaches in Sydney. Social distancing, intensive handwashing, the necessity of wearing surgical masks and ten thousand other precautions have become the order of the day. Besides radically altering the physical and psychological landscape of our Global Village, this terrible pandemic has no vaccine. This is so despite ongoing efforts by the medical establishment to find a cure ASAP.

Teaching with a Twist

For the first time, extroverts find themselves facing the situational lifestyle of introverts. The tables have been turned and teachers, tutors and lecturers have been forced to head in droves towards cyberspace. The start was rickety. By now though many instructional experts have managed to use various Net tools and applications to do some experience-making for the sake of their students. Lesson plans, assignments, quizzes and examinations have become the preserve of online reality. While this may not be the ideal way of face-to-face interaction, it is the only choice we have at present. 

Tutorials in Perspective

Tutorials online have their advantages and their drawbacks:  

The Pros

  • The class strength for a tutor is 12-25 students which means each one of them gets individualized attention. 
  • Many socially awkward students feel more comfortable with a tutor. The experience is one of warmth and understanding. It is a far cry from the aloof treatment meted out to classes of 100-200 students by an overwhelmed lecturer. 
  • Pupils may revert to the recorded lessons online and shuttle back and forth to acquaint themselves with what they missed earlier on in time. 
  • Tutoring pays off in the long run since students gain in confidence and intelligence. Later on, they achieve tremendous success in whatever vocation they happen to be. 
  • Online tutorials are rich in multimedia and offer a wide range of resources. Thus alumni are open to an educational experience that teaches the basics in their minds in a thorough manner. 

The Cons

  • The cost price for tutorials is often steep. Only the upper and middle class can afford them for their children.  
  • Sometimes the kid is not comfortable with the tutor. They may feel the tutor is being forced upon them by their parents. 
  • We live in a complex society where all sorts of weird stuff going on behind the scenes. A tutor who says inappropriate things in class is always a danger for young minds.  

Education Management 

There is no single method of teaching. What suits one student may be anathema to another. It is up to the teacher or tutor to see what he or she can do to adapt to the classroom. This takes practice. It is not a matter of everything dovetailing in a single day’s duration. Time is the magician that allows both students and instructors to get to know one another on a one-on-one basis. 

Furthermore, apps like Google Classroom, Zoom, Visme and TED Talks are part and parcel of the currently available online toolkit. They are platforms for teaching students in cyberspace. Choose the ones that suit you. Also, beware of copyright infringement laws. Fair use is key to the employment of online content on YouTube. No doubt, there are limits. However, thanks to computer technology, they can be safely ignored since the alternatives are limitless. 

Art and Craft

A Guide for the Perplexed on How to Publish Printable Coloring E-Books On Your Own

Many artists cannot get their works published through traditional printing houses. Yet self-publishing remains a viable alternative. Among the printed material being churned out may be included printable colouring e-books. 

A Brand New World Waiting for You

Print-on-demand (POD) will amount to a multibillion-dollar enterprise two years into the future. Such marvels of technology make printing a low-stress job. Also, the rates for the whole process are dirt cheap. 

Take the Book by the Horns

There is no requirement of stocks lasting for the printed stuff since the printing is on-demand. These startups that fulfil orders by demand are a boon for struggling artists and writers. Two choices lie before you: loose-leaf paper books or hardbound editions. The price is dependent upon the exact number of pages. Besides this, the font size matters since if it is bigger, the costs go up. 

After you have printed the e-book, the next step you need to take is its proper promotion. Several platforms exist from which you can advertise your artwork to the rest of the online world. The entire rigmarole from signing up for the service to tapping the publishing option on the menu is easy to follow. 

Further Information For You

Remember that you need an audience. Marketing ploys are of the essence here. Aside from POD, there are also tertiary printers. The choice is yours alone. POD though has many advantages. Firstly, it is time-efficient. The affordability factor has been mentioned before. You can correct and revise your e-book at leisure. Also, ultimately when the royalties start pouring in, you will have some extra cash to enjoy at your discretion. 

The major self-publishing mavericks are CreateSpace, Lulu and BookBaby. Each one of them has plus points and chinks in its armour. So tread carefully. 

Your Specific Niche: Adult Coloring Books

With Coronavirus running rampant and quarantine at its peak, people have taken to such activities as cooking, reading and art. This is to satisfy urges for adventure despite the stay-at-home imperative. Adults are channelling their inner child by delightfully filling in colouring books with crayons or markers. It is a genre that has even given works of fiction a run for their money. The average colouring book has a concise motif and is approximately three dozen pages in its dimensions. You will have to go digital if you want to be the creator of a good colouring e-book. If your artistic skills are not up to scratch, you can hire others to do the donkey work for you. Remember to do some in-depth research on the topic before you start. 

Before parting here is a brief list of POD startups:

  • Print
  • SPOD
  • CustomCat
  • Lulu Xpress
  • T-Pop
  • Blurb
  • Lightning Source
  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Say goodbye to the days when you had to send the completed stuff and wait for eons for the publisher’s approval. With POD, the possibilities are virtually infinite. 

Art and Craft

The Fine Art of Painting for the Novice Who Knows Nothing About It

Painting brings a riot of colours, lines, forms and shapes into the lives of those who dare to venture into this exciting field. While many may think it requires natural and inborn talent to get it right, the fact of the matter is that anyone can become a budding artist and even a professional with dedicated practice. 

Where Do I Start My Journey?

A newcomer to painting is probably quite apprehensive and full of questions about what should be done to nail the craft. Yet, there is nothing to worry about since with a little elbow grease and fresh passion for the unknown, nothing is impossible. When one’s mind is applied to painting as a bona fide beginner, much can be accomplished. 

There have been examples of great men in history who took up painting as newbies and gained a lot of satisfaction from their brushwork on canvas. Winston Churchill and George W. Bush are just two such examples. Churchill hesitated a thousand times before putting the first dab of paint on the white screen placed before him. As for Dubya, he may have been a wartime president, but after his time in office was over, he took to painting like a duck to water. Inspiration and creativity are not the preserve of the special people amongst us but may be accessed by anyone.

The Basics

 So, you want to learn how to paint, first as a student and maybe later on as an expert or master artist? Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will be guiding you in your passage through painting with style and sophistication. To begin with, you will need these simple necessities:

  • Colours: Here you have three rudimentary choices, and they are acrylic paints, watercolours and oil paints. The first two are better for beginners since they are easier to work with as media. The third one may get a little tricky, so it is better to stay away from it until later on in the game. There is also a fourth alternative which is somewhat of a wild card, and it is termed gouache. It is different from watercolours since it lends a matte and opaque finish instead of a weak light-transparent ending to the painting.
  • Brushes: There are soft, round and straight-tipped instruments of painting that come in all sizes. You can follow your instincts and mix-and-match to your heart’s content. Wash the brushes thoroughly with soap and water when you are finished with the task of amateur painting. 
  • Canvas & Varnish: Two more materials that serve as a starting point are a white canvas (or journal or even a sketchbook) and varnish. The former is the blank space meant for filling in with the creative expression of your imagination as a brand new painter. As for the latter, it preserves the finished product for display purposes. 

The Rest is Your Story (Write or Even Better Paint it Well)

 You can take practical hands-on classes (online in cyberspace or offline in the real world out there). Besides that, there are so many how-to books in stores scattered throughout the urban landscape that you can avail and learn from. Dab bright fluorescent paint on paper. Splatter splotches of electric colours on canvas. Use a palette knife to layer paint in a beautiful way. Also, employ pieces of cloth or small sponges to distribute the painted lines and forms while the paint is still wet. 

Explore, Experiment and Experience… 

Paint from real life such as a landscape or a person sitting down in front of you. Besides that, you can set up some still-life objects on a table and see where that takes you. Find new avenues and be free with your creativity. Banish all doubts from your mind and go with the flow. Even if you need a teacher in the beginning, within no time at all, you will be your teacher. It is advisable to get the hang of drawing before you dive into painting. Beyond that, the world of art awaits you to make bold inroads. As the late genius, Steve Jobs put it so well: “Make a dent in the universe”.