Massive open online course

According to recent research, in US, the cost of higher education has been increasing by a total of 559 percent since 1985, because of this fact, education has become (is becoming) unaffordable for many people. Nowadays, many groups from top universities herd people online from all around the world to educate them try to give them the best courses from the best universities and provide this opportunity to everyone all around the world for free. There are enormous benefits on a global scale: people from all around the world can take whatever course they like and pay no tuition, increase their ability to learn with online peer assessment, have instant feedback via computer grading. Besides the benefits, there are some drawbacks of massive online education to overcome such as getting a certificate instead of a degree, lack of social aspects of university life and less interaction.

There is a tremendous global need for high quality education, and it is becoming unaffordable due to high tuition fees. According to recent research in the UK, university applications have been decreasing (are decreasing) year by year. Unlike regular universities, people’s interest in massive online education has been increasing (is increasing) day by day. For instance, Coursera and Edx, online education academies, are forming partnerships with universities to offer existing courses and they are all free of charge to everyone from all around the World.

During the course, online academies use discussion forums in order to discuss what they teach and interact with each other. Students learn from each other through teaching under the supervision of course educators. (Students learn from each other and the teachers through supervised discussions, lectures and practice) Computer graded exercises are performed to get instant feedback to allow students to return to teaching moments to learn outcomes. In addition, during the course videos, students can hit the pause button, rewind or mute the professor to help learning.

However, there are still so many problems regarding online education: students do not get a degree, only a certificate in pdf form. Unlike regular universities, the online education system does not supply students with life-long friends, opportunities to join a social group and opportunities to learn how to operate and share public machines. In addition, due to less interaction, students can not apply what they learn theoretically from videos. To overcome the above obstacles, Antioch College offered a mixture of real-life and online teaching. The College management supplies students with dormitories to live together in order to socialize, organize courses online for free.

Consequently, in view of the given information, it is essential that online education reach people from all around the world and give courses that they want for free. Considering benefits and requirements on a global scale, it seems that massive online education will become more common.

RACISM

Racism which can be defined as the illogical or baseless hatred of another group of people is still prevalent in the modern world. Whereas in the past the term used to mean white people versus people of color, nowadays it has come to include Jews (anti Semitism), middle Eastern and East Asian people as well. Racism is a major obstacle to peace and social order making dealing with it a priority. Understanding the causes of this attitude requires knowledge of history and basic economics.

Racism has its roots in the past. Firstly, the infamous slave trade during which hundreds of thousands of innocent black people were transported to the Americas and sold like cattle. This practice has long since been abandoned but the mentality remains: black people are inferior. Secondly, past grievances will cause lingering prejudice against certain people. For instance, Armenians hate the Turks due to a horrific incident during World War I when the Ottoman Empire was collapsing. Anti Semitism is probably the most wide spread of prejudices dating back thousands of years. Thirdly, people from former colonies are also looked down upon. For instance, Indians and Pakistanis are considered inferior in the UK. However, the only reason for the latter is not the fact that India and Pakistan were former British Colonies; there is another reason.

Racism is also connected to economic concerns. Firstly, members of the former colonies, who have passports belonging to the colonial power, can travel to this country easily to work. In doing so, they undercut prices causing unemployment among local workers. This in turn leads to a reaction against the migrants. Secondly, migrants are blamed for flooding into developed countries and taking advantage of the benefits system whereby they are paid if they are unemployed. The public outcry this has caused has led to the establishment of extreme right wing parties like UKIP. Thirdly, people escaping from war and disaster flood western countries. These people are usually from central and north Africa and the Middle East. The negative reaction they cause is very similar to those cited above. In short, financial loss or the danger of financial loss causes a backlash.

In conclusion, it is difficult to eradicate racism completely but there is a lot that can be done. For instance, history could be taught so as not to perpetrate existing prejudices. Limits can be put to foreign migration. Inter racial interaction can be promoted through social programs. All these will help alleviate the problem somewhat.

SPORTS

People need to work to earn a living and maintain a certain quality of life; this is an undeniable truth in the modern world. A considerable number of people end up in some dead end office job which they dislike while some find their true vocations. These fortunate individuals do a job they love and consider worthwhile and what’s more, get paid for it: doctors for instance. Sportsmen also fall into the latter category but unlike doctors they contribute nothing to society yet receive exorbitant sums of money throughout their short careers. Should people who kick a ball around a field or hit a ball with a racket for hours get paid millions while researchers can’t find grants to complete valuable studies? Most certainly not.

Complete the development: the main ideas for the development are provided

Professional sports has become a huge industry and encourages overspending+ examples

What is the purpose of sports? To bring people together, provide healthy competition, promote world peace; not to generate millions

Can foster violence and crime. You pay to watch one man beat up another and call it sport! Examples

A counter argument+ refutation

In conclusion, professional sports has killed the original aim of sports by wiping amateur sports off the charts. The true spirit of sports is reflected in the Olympics and similar events. It was the ancient Greeks who had it right: they gave winners a wreath and that was all. There were no medals, no cups and no money. Sports died centuries ago.

THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ZOOS

The world is populated with many wonderful species besides human beings ranging from elephants and great apes to Galapagos turtles. However, the only species most of us are lucky enough to become acquainted with are farm animals and household pets. Seeing and getting to know these animals is a universal desire: they are intriguing, wondrous and awe inspiring. This desire has led to the establishment of zoos, places where numerous species are housed in cages. Zoos have always been a popular attraction for children and adults yet they have both advantages and disadvantages.

There are undeniable benefits of zoos. Firstly, by enabling the public to become more familiar with various species, zoos are able to raise awareness of the plight of the said animals in the wild. Habitats are shrinking, poaching is rife, the illegal pet trade is booming. Sympathy generated by growing familiarity helps tackle these problems. People used to fear and hate sharks and whales until they discovered that they are not, in fact, aggressive animals and have vital roles in the food chain. Secondly, shrinking habitats and changing environments mean the certain loss of various valuable species which can only be preserved in zoos. Some animals, like the Giant Panda, have very restricted diets and are in danger of dying out if they are not kept in zoos. Pandas are currently the biggest visitor attraction in most zoos. Therefore it is obvious that zoos are not only for entertainment; they serve a useful purpose as well. Yet is this the whole picture or is there another side to it?

Zoos do have some undeniable drawbacks especially from the point of view of animals. First of all, most large mammals require large habitats where they can roam freely. Zoos, however, restrict this habitat by imprisoning the animal in a cage or small enclosure. Elephants roam over miles and miles of territory; no enclosure is going to be big enough for them. Places like Water world are also a case in point as they imprison highly intelligent species like dolphins and condemn them to a life of servitude. Many modern zoos now enforce certain standards to improve the quality of life of the animals they have on show. Second of all, forced culling is widespread in zoos as there is a lot of inbreeding. Officials will kill off animals and get others to vary the gene pool thus playing God; something they have no right to do. It is obvious that zoos are not the havens they are cracked up to be.

In conclusion, in the current age, with all the damage we have done to the environment, zoos do seem inevitable unfortunately. The best that we can hope for is ensuring that certain standards are adhered to and the animals are well cared for. Natural parks and reserves like the ones in Kenya and Namibia should, however, be prioritized.

THE EFFECTS OF LONG TERM UNEMPLOYMENT

In the modern world, it is not guaranteed that everyone will get the job they desire even if they have the right qualifications. The job market is becoming increasingly competitive making the process of hunting for a job tough for the best candidates. Luck, connections qualifications and a host of other factors determine whether one will find employment and many slip through the cracks. Failing to secure a job for a long period of time can have devastating practical and psychological consequences.

Money doesn’t bring happiness but it certainly helps and this is a fact. Long term unemployment means people dip into their savings and max out their credit cards and end up getting deep into dept. Life must continue: the rent needs to be paid; tuition and other bills need to be seen to; food needs to be put on the table. Supermarkets are not charities and the money must come from somewhere. The mounting pressure from unpaid bills and the lack of prospects leads to serious psychological problems which could in turn impact physical health.

Long term unemployment is a serious blow to one’s confidence. Rejection after rejection causes gloom and the conviction that one is doomed to starve on the streets. The lack of self esteem this generates feeds feelings of worthlessness, which in turn leads to depression. Such a state of mind destroys the chance of doing well on job interviews making the depression worse.

The solution to the problem is too pronged: job centers that provide careers advice and counseling should be free and available to all and a minimum wage should be provided for the duration. Lifting the stress caused by unemployment and advice will help the individual pull himself together and get on with his life as soon as possible. In short, unemployment is both a personal and a social problem and should be dealt with accordingly.

THE REASONS WHY PEOPLE LIVING IN BIG CITIES ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE

Under normal circumstances, people co-exist peacefully in large communities. They cooperate, support each other, collaborate on various projects and relax together. However, a general negative mood is becoming more prevalent in cities where people live at close quarters and rub shoulders frequently. This bad feeling, or aggression, poisons day to day living and needs to be well understood in order to be tackled. There are two general categories of reasons for the rising aggression in big cities: overpopulation and lack of interaction.

The soaring population in big megacities means that over 10 million people live crowded together in an ever shrinking geographical space. In nature, most complex mammals require large habitats to survive. Humans, the most complex mammals, are bundled together in tiny habitats – flats- in modern cities, and this naturally causes stress and irritation, which in turn can turn to aggression. For instance, a simple oversight can explode into a confrontation where people come to blows. Not having the time and the space to relax, spend time alone and retreat into one’s self results in frayed nerves. Thus, people are always living on the edge, ready to explode any moment.

One would think that with people living so close together, interaction would not be a problem but it is leading to more or increased aggression. Living on top of each other in daily life means that people shun each other and retreat in to their own little worlds. They prefer to listen to music; surf the web or check out their social networking accounts rather than talk trying to fulfill the need to have some private time. Technology has also changed the quality of interaction making it more indirect and addictive. This means lack of interaction even in the same home. A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a man emailing his wife who is in the kitchen to ask if dinner is ready. This is the life that modern man leads and it is so unnatural that it causes aggression.

In conclusion, increasing aggression in modern cities is a growing problem which needs to be well understood and dealt with. One possible solution is large parks in cities for people to stroll in so that they can have private time. Another solution is to organize community projects to bring people together. One last solution is counseling sessions for people with serious issues with aggression.

WATCHING A FILM AT HOME OR AT A CINEMA

In the modern world people need to work very hard to maintain a certain standard of living and enjoy a specific quality of life. The daily hassles are nerve wracking and people need some down time. One of the most enjoyable ways to relax is watching a movie. In the past people had to go to the cinema in order to watch a film but now this is no longer necessary. Thanks to the internet, people can download films or watch them directly online. Many people are deserting the cinemas in favor of this option but are they right to do so? The answer is yes; watching a movie at home is definitely to be preferred in the current century.

In the past cinemas used to have far better technology; sound effects, visual quality were all far superior to primitive televisions and DVD’s. There was no question as to which was the better experience. Nowadays things have changed. Flat screen televisions and home cinema systems provide the same quality as a cinema; sometimes they are even better. Some films are now shot in three dimensions but modern televisions provide the same experience: you can watch in 3D in the comfort of your home.

The choice of film is another issue. At the cinema you are limited by whatever the cinema is showing that week; at home your choices are endless because everything is available on line. All films past and present can be viewed or downloaded often for free. That is to say, while you have infinite choice at home, your choice is limited at the cinema. At home you can select the genre you prefer; you can determine the country, the director and your favorite actors. All this means that watching a film at home is a far more enriching experience.

There are also practical differences between the two options. One has to get dressed up to go out to a cinema. It is now possible to book tickets by telephone or online, but the movie theatre requires you to leave the house to be able to enjoy the film. Going to the cinema is a far more social experience as one has to leave the confines of one’s house but staying home is certainly more comfortable. Nobody wants to go out again after a long day’s work when he can subscribe to a cinema channel and stay home. Track suits and slippers or even just socks are far more comfortable than any outdoor clothes. Plus of course every one prefers their own choice of snacks and break times. In short, a cinema is more regimented than your home.

To sum up, in the modern world thanks to the pace of life and technology, cinema going habits are changing. The home experience often matches that at the cinema and even improves on it. In the future, there will probably be fewer cinemas as the trend continues.

WHO IS THE BETTER PARENT?

Raising the next generation is probably the most important responsibility of families worldwide. All initial social learning and personal development take place in the family. The family is where children’s characters are formed. By family, what is meant is the father the mother and siblings as well as the extended family including grandparents. In the past, it was the men folk who had the responsibility of putting food on the table and it was the women who were the home makers, which meant that the women were the primary care givers. This is not the case anymore so claiming that women make better parents is nonsensical.

It is often claimed that men are incapable of sharing emotions, expressing love, concern, empathy and the like, which makes men boorish and unfeeling robots. This is far from being the case evidenced by the many warm friendships, relationships and marriages involving men. If men are capable of complex emotions in other walks of life it is safe to assume that they will be equally capable of such feelings in relation to their kids. The real problem is the mind set in society not men per se. In the modern world, there are plenty of stay at home dads, male primary school teachers, pediatricians and the like and they seem to manage just fine.

It has also been claimed that the mother is the better role model but this doesn’t make sense either. The only reason why the mother is claimed to be the better role model is because she is available; or more correctly she used to be available. In the modern world both parents work to provide for their family; a single pay check is no longer an option. This being the case, it is whichever adult is available who is the role model. There is also the issue of gender: sons are hardly going to emulate their mothers for instance. Girls need female role models and boys need male role models. As for valued emotions like sympathy and empathy, these feelings are not in the review of women; men are capable of them too and can, therefore teach them. Lastly, the mother may have personal problems like alcohol abuse, drug addiction or illness; she may have to work longer hours than her husband. What is to be done in this case? Surely it is better to have the father look after the kids and not any female baby sitter just because she is a woman.

Last of all, children grow close to whoever looks after them, grows close to them, spends time with them and shares their daily trials and tribulations. Therefore denying fathers the opportunity to do this by saying a man’s job is not to take care of children is wrong and unfair to the father. In these difficult times, children should be allowed to enjoy all the love and care they can get to be able to grow into healthy members of society.

In conclusion, delegating childcare to women under the misguided impression that women are better parents is an idea that is linked to 19th century social structure and has nothing to do with the way modern society functions. People should keep up with the times and allow children to enjoy the love and attention of their fathers as well as their mothers.

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