Online Medical Tools – Good or Bad

The internet has helped mankind immensely since it’s inception. That is not even in doubt. Information has never been more readily available. If we want to find out anything about anything, we just hit up Google and search away.

Now… it’s not all good. Many people say that this information can be misleading. Never is this more evident than when we are talking about medical information online. If you have any symptoms, you can jump online and try and work out what’s going on.

I will go through the pros and cons of having medical tools that are free to use for everyone.

 

stethoscope

 

Pros

1) Firstly you can be anywhere in the world and get information – If you are miles from anyone, you can still jump online and get the information you want.

2) You can save yourself a lot of money when buying medicines online – You also have a lot of options when you have the whole world to buy from. You can buy anything from heart medicine to something to help with curing your hemorrhoids.

3) Anytime – With real life doctors you need to book yourself in and visit during the doctors working hours. However online is available 24/7

4) It’s cheaper – It’s not hard to get a bill of over 100 dollars just to go and see a doctor, and that’s before you actually get anything done.

5) Confidentiality – Online means you get to stay at home and don’t have to be embarrassed with a visit to the doctor. Particularly if it is for something that you don’t want your family and friends to know about.

 

pills

 

Cons

1) Confidentiality – Yes, I also had this on the Pros. When you send information online, it is floating out there in cyberspace. If you happened to use a ‘dodgy’ website this information could be used for things you didn’t want.

2) It’s not a face to face with a real doctor – Diagnosis is always going to be better with a face to face meeting with a doctor. When they can examine you and look you over they are going to be a lot better at working out exactly what is wrong with you and how to handle it.

3) Drug pushing – The fact is that some of these sites out there are just trying to push their drugs. You may think it is a legitimate site, but their only goal is to sell you what they are selling.

 

There you go. That’s a couple of the pros and cons of the online medical world. On a personal level, I wouldn’t use a online medical tool unless it is only a minor thing. Even then I do love a face to face meeting. It just makes you feel more confident in the diagnosis. But… well… it’s up to you whether you want to use them or not.

 

Here’s some additional information:

Site 1

Site 2

 

Links –

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/08/02/accuracy-of-medical-information-on-the-internet/

http://doesvenaprowork.net/

http://www.ehow.com/info_8745587_advantages-disadvantages-having-online-doctor.html

http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/articles/2011/december/dr-or-dr-google-the-pros-and-cons-of-online-health-advice

 

Language Software – Changing the Way we Learn

Computer programs have changed the way we learn (we talked about it extensively in our first post). This is ever so evident in the way we can learn languages. Previously there were two ways to learn a different language.

 

Teacher

 

In a classroom

Sit in front of a teacher and let an individual teach you the language. This was a pretty effective way of getting the language across. The person that was teaching you was trained and their was a fairly structured course to follow. There were drawbacks, with the main one being price. Because it need classrooms and a teacher it is expensive. You are also limited to what times you can learn. You had to fit in with the times they wanted.

 

book

 

With a language book

This was the cheaper option, but does lack the efficiency of the learning in a classroom. For one it will help you with a lot better with reading, but not very well with pronunciation. Without hearing the language you will never get a full understanding of how it is spoken. Also without a teacher it is hard to specifically tell you where you are going wrong, or have someone to go to if you are having a problem.

 

computer

 

But this was the old way and while they will still have their usefulness (particularly the classroom method), there are now far more efficient and cheaper ways to learn a language. Now with the growth of computers and the internet you are given nearly endless ways to learn that language you always wanted. The majority of the reasons that learning a language is more effective on a computer are covered in the first post mentioned before, but there are a couple more.

 

There may be a community to help

Some language programs actually form a community so that you can help each other. It’s basically like a massive classroom and they are your classmates.  You can find people who are at the same levels as you and help each other study. A great example of this is Rosetta Stone Japanese, who have an online community to help you learn Japanese. Rosetta Stone also have several other language they can help you learn.

 

You can go back

When learning a new language you may want to go back to an earlier lesson if you are struggling with something. You can’t do this if you are in a classroom. But with a computer, you can just go back and reload lesson 2.

 

With data space now being so cheap it’s possible for these online courses / computer courses to cover the entire language. It’s basically like a 10,000 page book. There is nothing that isn’t covered and honestly I believe that trying to do it any other way is both ineffective and more expensive.

Go out there and buy yourself some language software. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Links –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/big-idea-technology-grows-exponentially

http://rosettastonejapanesereview.com/

 

How computer programs are changing the way we learn

The most efficient way to learn has always been to sit in front of a teacher and listen. This would have been a statement made 20 years ago and nobody would have blinked.

Times are a changing.

Today there are so many different ways you can learn. None more popular than learning through the power of your PC (or your Mac!). This method of learning has continually increased since the turn of the century. Can you believe that 32% of people enrolled in higher ed are now doing it online (2013 source). That’s 6.7 million people! And it’s only growing.

With the power of computers only increasing and the connectivity of the internet only getting better this will only get higher. It’s a win win for both parties. The educator and the learner.

It’s not just higher ed that has come along leaps and bounds since the introduction of computer programs. It starts all the way from the bottom. There are countless children’s programs. They are starting young and at no time in history has information been at our finger tips.

Here are some of the advantages of learning using a computer program.

 

It’s generally cheaper – Without the need for a full time teacher and classrooms, costs drop considerably. These cost savings are passed on directly to the consumer with a cheaper product

You can do it anywhere – As long as you have an internet connection you can learn from anywhere. Sit on a beach in Thailand and learn a language!

Time saving – No longer do you need to drive into school. Just jump across to your laptop and get going. It’s a lot more comfortable and you can learn trigonometry while wearing your pjs.

Variety – There are just so many options now. Before you were limited to what the local college offered. Now you have unlimited options from all over the world.

Less distractions – No college pub to distract you from studying.

Part Time – It’s far easier to complete a course online or with a computer program than in a structured environment live a college.

 

Stay tuned for our next post about Learning Languages online.