MLearning Will Enhance Your Productivity.

Mobile learning, or MLearning, is defined as the delivery of learning, education or training on mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops or PDAs. MLearning allows training and support to be taken anywhere, making it flexible and convenient for companies to use. Many businesses are taking advantage of this new technology to educate employees and clients more efficiently.

MLearning Uses
MLearning is most commonly used for training and education purposes. The majority of training or learning in the workplace occurs on the job. However, it can be costly and time consuming to require employees to attend meetings, conferences or other training sessions away from work. Recently, many businesses have begun to implement MLearning, which allows employees to stay in the workplace to acquire additional training or knowledge. With MLearning, employees can gain new knowledge faster and be more up-to-date on any changes or company additions.
MLearning has also become a helpful tool in training new employees, since it allows for the company to reduce group or individual training sessions and allow the employee to learn on their own terms. Not only does this allow the company to save on training hours, but allows the training manage to evaluate which employees are ready to begin work and which ones may need more help before starting on their own.

MLearning Environments
The MLearning environment refers to the manner in which information is available for a particular session, such as how it is organized, what information is available and how it can be accessed. The environments in MLearning are different with every use and can be customized to a particular learner’s needs. The environment should be flexible and adjustable among different devices – meaning what can be seen/accessed on a mobile phone should also be accessible on a tablet or laptop computer. If the MLearning environment is not user-friendly or if the information is hard to read or download, the learner won’t be able to gain anything from their session, which cancels the point of training at all.
Tips for MLearning environment:
• Keep information organized
• Ensure all information is easily accessible on all mobile devices
• Always have a contact for technical support

MLearning Advantages
The prospect of MLearning has created a long list of the advantages it can bring to a company. One of the most obvious advantages is the flexibility and convenience of using MLearning and accessing information at any time – anywhere. But MLearning also allows the content to be customized to the learner, and can benefit different types of learners (i.e. visual learners, auditory learners, spatial learners, etc.). Since people take their mobile devices wherever they go, MLearning allows users to make use of their spare time, or ‘dead time’, such as while standing in line at the bank, waiting for the bus or even in between meetings/projects.
Advantages include:
• Convenience and flexibility
• Customized learning
• Makes good use of spare time
• Tailored to different learning styles
• Larger access to information

MLearning Tools
Technology has changed the way we receive information. Computers have replaced reference books when it comes to learning new material, and now mobile devices are changing how we access information that has already been digitized. One of the key aspects of MLearning is using these mobile tools to access new information for education and training purposes. These MLearning tools allow learners to access the information needed from anywhere and at any time. Many of the devices used have become a common household need, such as mobile phones, notebook computers and even MP3 players. With technology on the rise, employees are more than likely to own at least one mobile learning tool they can use for future MLearning.

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones, also known as cellular phones or cell phones, were first commercially available in 1983 and weighed over 4 pounds. Since then, the market for cellular phones has grown to over 7 billion users in 2014, making the mobile phone a common household device and almost a necessity. Mobile phones have advanced into what we know as ‘smart phones’, which is a phone that allows for photography, gaming, downloading applications (or apps), and browser capabilities along with the standard making/receiving phone calls and text messaging. These smart phones allow for users to participate in MLearning because they allow for websites to be loaded through the browser or allow the user to download an ‘app’ that has the information already stored within it. Since mobile phones go wherever the learner goes, they’re a great tool to access MLearning at any time.

Tablets
A tablet computer, simply known as a tablet, is a mobile computer in a single, portable unit and always features a touch screen display. Tablets often include sensory equipment, such as photo cameras, microphones and battery life. They do not often include a physical keyboard or mouse, but can be added on as separate pieces of hardware if desired. Starting at 8” long, tablets are larger than mobile phones and PDAs, but still smaller and more portable than a laptop or notebook computer. Tablets have many of the same capabilities as laptop computers as well as mobile phones, including web browsing, mobile apps, and even various document software, such as Microsoft Word or Keynote. Tablets work best for some people because they have larger screens that allow better viewing and allow access to both application and direct websites – in a convenient, portable format.

Notebook Computers
Notebook computers, also known as laptops or portable computers are computers that have the well-known clam-shell structure featuring a screen and full keyboard. Notebooks were made to be a portable computer that the user can take with them and still have the same capabilities as a full desktop computer. Even though notebooks started out as small units and were only considered for specialized fields, they have developed into the more powerful and modernized machine they are today. Notebooks are becoming as common as mobile phones and are a great tool for MLearning because of its abilities to perform any function a desktop computer can. Notebooks allow the user to sign on to websites, download/upload content and even view supplemental DVDs or CD-ROMS.
Smaller, more compact notebooks, known as netbooks, can offer another way for the user to access MLearning. Netbooks can form almost all of the same functions as a full notebook, such as web browsing, video content, downloads and using search engines, due to its size the netbook does not offer many input devices, such as CD/DVD player or even many USB ports. Netbooks are great for simple information access, but do not work well if additional information will need to be added from the exterior.

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
Personal digital assistants, or personal data assistant, are a brand of mobile devices that function as an information manager, both personal and professional. The main use for PDAs is for a person to keep track of their needed information, such as contacts, calendars, schedules, videos and music. They typically have a touch screen that can be maneuvered with a stylus pen or pointer. In more recent years, PDAs have been equipped to access the internet, allowing the user to visit web pages, watch videos, or download content. In regards to MLearning, PDAs work in a similar manner to the mobile phone, in which the user can take the educational material with them wherever they go. Many companies use PDAs to allow employees to access MLearning and training while controlling their access to unauthorized information or sites. Unfortunately, PDA use has steadily declined over the past few years due to the increase use of smartphones and their increased capabilities.

Source: mLearning Essentials Workshop

River Street Consultant

How to Eat that Frog

Procrastination is one of the leading causes of disorganization. As we’ve seen before, we can often make excuses to do it later for find various reasons why something can be put off until later. But once we’ve compiled our giant to do list and have decided what tasks should be done first, our next step, or steps, is to fight against procrastination and just do them. With the right tools and good habits, you’ll be able to say good bye to procrastination sooner, rather than later.

Eat That Frog!
As Mark Twain says, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
We all have that task we dread doing, whether it’s at home doing the dishes or at work sending our email reports. Our normal plan of action is to put it off while completing various other tasks. Then when it’s time to complete this unpleasant task, we either find a way to put it off or don’t tackle it with full force. But Eat That Frog is a concept that says we should “eat the frog” first, or rather do our least favorite tasks first, and fully complete them before moving onto another project. When this job is out of the way, we spend the rest of our time completing more favorable tasks, and revel in knowing that you don’t have to return to the first one.
Eat That Frog Guideline:
1. The Frog – Identify your most important task first.
2. Complete this task first before you move on to anything else.
3. Eat the Frog – Continue with this task until it is completed.

Remove Distractions
Even after you have set your mind to completing a task and checking it off of your to do list, the smallest distraction can make you lose focus and stop working. They can occur at home or at work, and often times we do not even register them as a distraction. When you are preparing to start a project or task, look around and evaluate what is in the area that could distract you. Turn off personal cell phones or devices or put a sign on your door asking for silence and to not disturb. Ensure everything you will need is organized with your workflow to reduce the need to get up and leave your area. When we eliminate these distractions that can make us lose our focus, we will see an increase and production and spend less time trying to complete the same project.

Give Yourself a Reward
Rewards are a great way to keep ourselves motivated. After all, who doesn’t want to earn a little treat after a job well done? The key is to only reward the good behavior, such as finishing a small task or completing a whole project. If we jump to the reward too soon, we are only rewarding our negative behavior and are not helping to reduce procrastination. Start with small rewards when working on something, such as taking a break or getting something to snack on. We can reward ourselves with a bigger prize when the entire job is finished, such as going out with friends or doing something fun that we enjoy more.
Tips:
• Only give rewards for work done, not work promised.
• Start with small rewards before working up to bigger ones.
• Keep a visual reminder of what you’ve accomplished.

Source: Organizational Skills Workshop

Managing a Contract

How to Create a Contract
When beginning the contract process, it is important to ensure that the contract created is legal, beneficial for all parties, worded correctly, and that the terms for compliance are clear. Fortunately, there are numerous tools available to help improve the contract creation. It is always a good idea, however, to have legal counsel involved in contract development and management.

Templates and Software
In the modern world, various websites are offering different contract templates, either free or for a price. Given the variety of contracts that businesses use, these sites can be useful, but there is no guarantee that the templates will cover all issues that need to be addressed. Still, they can be a good starting point to get an idea.
Templates are also found in contract management software and systems. Systems and software offer more than blank templates. They can also provide information on clauses and other legal information to guide the process. Additionally, the process will create standardized formats that will make issuing contract in the future easier.

Compliance
When creating contracts, you must remain in compliance with federal, state, and local laws, and the instructions for remaining in compliance with the contract requirement need to be clear for the chosen bidder. The different sections and clauses should spell our everything and ensure compliance on all fronts.
The opening clause will provide the information necessary to identify involved parties and their relationship. The governing law clause will determine which laws apply. For example, a contract in New York will probably be governed by the laws of New York. New York state laws will govern all aspects of the contract, even if the bidder is out of state. Any illegal action will void the contract, so you and your bidder need be aware. If, for instance, a city does not permit the sale of alcohol, a contract with a bartender is not in compliance. One way to prevent confusion is to outline compliant requirements in the consideration.
A similar clause is the Jurisdiction clause. This clause determines which court will have jurisdiction should a lawsuit develop. An alternative to is an arbitration clause, directing the terms for arbitration in disputes.

Wording
Wording is extraordinarily important in contracts. Contracts need to be written in good faith, which is a sincere intent to act justly in the relationship. Additionally, contracts should use the language that is specific, brief, and understandable. While failing to understand a contract does not negate its legality, it can create problems and misunderstandings. Templates, software, and lawyers can assist in creating properly worded contracts.
The business and scope of the project will determine which clauses are necessary, but the information needs to be clear and accurate. The obligations of each party should be included. For example, the contract could say “the first party covenants and agrees that it will provide the following:”
The governing law clause might read, “This agreement will be governed according to the laws of New York.”
Other clauses include:
• Arbitration: binds the parties to abide by the ruling of a third-party arbiter in dispute (Example: All claims, disputes, and controversies will be submitted to binding arbitration according to the rules of___.
• Integration and Merger: prevents partied from arguing that oral agreements invalidate the contract, (Example: “This agreement can only be amended in writing.”

Noncompliance
Noncompliance has its risks for all parties involved. Failure to create contracts that are compliant with the laws governing them can void contracts and create other legal pitfalls. Additionally, any vendors who violate laws because of unclear contract terms will have their actions reflect back on the company. It is possible for the company to be cited for violations of vendors, which is why the contract management is so important. If a company suffers legal or operational consequences due to the noncompliance, the reputation of the organization is also at risk. As the company’s reputation suffers, so will the bottom-line.

What is Contract Management?
Contract management is not just contract administration. Rather than simply drawing up the contracts, the manager works to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly. The contract manager is involved in not just the planning and development but also the execution of the contract, and beyond to the point of renewal. Typical contract management activities include:
• Contract creation
• Negotiation
• Assessment
• Relationship management
• Contract amendment
• Audits
• Renewal
Over the course of this essay, you will develop a better understanding of these roles.

Contract Types
All contracts are legal documents that establish the right and responsibilities of the parties involved. Contracts can be created for almost any situation, and will ideally involve legal. There are four basic contract types, and they are chosen based on the factors and data available. While the list is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point. These common contracts are:
• Fixed Price Contracts: The price of the item or service is usually fixed and will not change, which benefits the buyer. Variations of this contract include firm fixed price, fixed price with adjustment, fixed price with incentive, fixed price with downward price protection, and fixed price with redetermination.
• Cost Reimbursement Contracts: These contracts benefit the seller. The buyer agrees to pay a price, free, or partial fee. Common types of these contracts include cost-sharing and cost without fee.
• Letter Contracts: These contracts allow the suppliers or vendors to take action before the details of the agreement are finalized. The buyer is at risk if liability limits are not clear.
• Partially Defined Contracts: Created when one or more aspects, such as goods, services, and deliveries, are not known ahead of time. These include value contracts, quantity contracts, and time and material contracts.

Contract Elements
Every contract is unique, but there are three basic elements most contracts need to be considered legal and binding. These elements are the offer, acceptance, and consideration.

• Offer: The offer is the promise of goods or services in exchange for agreed upon rates or exchanges. An offer is different than a negotiation because an offer is binding once accepted.
• Acceptance: The offer is accepted based words or actions required by the individual making the offer. A counter offer occurs when the offer is not accepted, but new conditions are proposed.
• Consideration: This happens when the exchange is made based on the accepted offer. Payment is an example of consideration.
These definitions are not all-encompassing, and there are exceptions to every rule. The legal department should always be consulted when creating a new contract. Still, these elements are useful starting points for all contracts.

Risks of Poor Contract Management
Poor contract management is not just weak negotiation; it can occur at any step of the contract cycle. It also costs business relationships, delays projects, causes litigation, and damages the bottom line. Common problems identified by the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management include:
• Over commitment
• Contracts lack full scope
• Agreement disputes
• Pricing arguments
• Subcontractor issues
Effective contract management will address the contract process from its creation through the renewal or end. Preparation and ongoing management of contract relationships are essential to the success of any business.
If you want more information on contracts then visit the following website.

Source: Contract Management Workshop