The 2020 Academic Year Can Still Be Salvaged for Matriculant's

A lot of students might be asking themselves, where is my life headed at this point?
matric exams and university applications
Worried about final matric exams? You still have time.

We can all agree that the academic year of 2020 is not like the one's we have experienced in the past. Most grade 12 learners had set short and medium term goals, to name a few: getting outstanding grades and getting enrolled in tertiary institutions. To be fair the year 2020 started off normally,Some students were excited to be leaving for University and others were excited and eager to be doing their Grade 12 year so that they can finally complete 12 years of basic education.

No one could have predicted that South Africa (and other countries) would be forced to go under a Nation wide lockdown because a virus (Covid-19/Corona Virus). By now I'm sure you're well educated on Covid-19 and you have been brought up to date on what this virus is all about. 

The impact of this virus led the government (department of education) into deciding to shut down the Education sector for the protection of students and workers. Grade 12 learners closed schools on the 18th of March 2020 ( which was the end of term 1) and only opened on the 8th of June 2020 (which was the beginning of term 2). 

During this period ,they were expected to do Online learning (bare in mind that they went from attending lessons on weekdays on school premises to being told to communicate with teachers through social media platforms, which are of course costly) and to listen in on radio broadcasts on/about the different subjects that are offered ,for example, Life sciences,Mathematics,Accounting,Physical science,Tourism etc. 

Although these radio broadcasts (lessons) proved to be helpful to some, many students faced challenges such as : faulty network connections,the lack of accessibility and misunderstandings. For some, online learning was a success. They were able to navigate their way around it,whilst for others, online learning was a difficult challenge and others didn't even try this new way of learning. Matriculants of 2020 also known as "M'20" had began the 2020 academic year with high hopes and drive. 

I think it's fair to say that the challenges they faced being: Pressure, stress, lack of resources, lack of knowledge etc might have demotivated the formerly eager students. Their goals could have possibly shifted from "Outstanding grades" to "Adequate grades". But here is the...good news(depends on how you take it), the 2020 June exams have been annulled which could possibly give the students time and direction, they can now put their undivided attention to working towards getting those "Outstanding Grades" on their September Trails and on their final examination (NSC) which were earlier set to begin on the 19th of October 2020 till the 26th of November 2020. (Dates might have changed).

New school terms

Term 1: 15 January -18 March 
Term 2: 08 June - 07 August 
Term 3: 12 August - 23 September 
Term 4: 05 October -15 December 

On the other side, Majority of the South African tertiary institutions have long opened their Application portals (opened from April onwards). Despite everything, going to University is a good opportunity to develop one's self. University is considered to be where individuals 'Find themselves' and begin their lives in the 'big world'. 

A High school teacher said, "should everything go as planned, University Registrations will take place at the month of March 2021." This means that there is still hope of successfully finishing High school and being successfully admitted into University. 

If you haven't applied yet, you still have the chance to as most university applications close around  September to October excluding Bsc degree applications (these close earlier). Do remember, the early bird catches the worm. 

Here are some universities that are open for applications  and online applications are free of charge:

•North west university 
•University of Western Cape
•University of Johannesburg 
•Central University of Technology 
•University of Free state
•University of Limpopo
•Nelson Mandela University 

Other Universities that are open for applications:

•Rhodes University (R100 application fee)
•University of Cape Town (R100 application fee)
•University of stellenbosch (R100 application fee)
•University of Pretoria (R300 application fee)
•University of Witswatersrand (R100 application fee)
•Sol plaatje University (R100 application fee)
•The Central Applications office is also open. (R100 application fee)

Here Below are links to the websites of Universities (tertiary institutions) in South Africa: 

1. Wits  www.wits.ac.za
2. Fort Hare www.ufh.ac.za
3. Tshwane University www.tut.ac.za
4. UJ www.uj.ac.za
5. UWC www.uwc.ac.za
6. CPUT www.cput.ac.za
7. UCT www.uct.ac.za
8. UKZN www.ukzn.ac.za
9. DUT www.dut.ac.za
10. Rhodes University www.ru.ac.za
11. WSU www.wsu.ac.za
12. Nelson Mandela Metropolitian University  www.nmmu.ac.za
13. Central University of Technology  www.cut.ac.za
14. University of the Free State  www.ufs.ac.za
15. University of Pretoria  www.up.ac.za
16. University of South Africa  www.unisa.ac.za
17. Vaal University of Technology  www.vut.ac.za
18. University of Limpopo www.ul.ac.za
19. Mangosuthu University of Technology  www.mut.ac.za
20. University of Zululand  www.unizulu.ac.za
21. University of Venda  www.univen.ac.za
22. NWU www.nwu.ac.za
23. University of Stellenbosch  www.sun.ac.za
24. Sol Plaaatje University  www.spu.ac.za
25. University of Mpumalanga  www.ump.ac.za

To apply for NSFAS(Student funding) go to www.nsfas.org.za

Also here is a link for 2021 bursary applications:

https://allbursaries.co.za/

Even though there were a lot of setbacks, Grade 12 students can choose to focus on the positive. Instead of being pessimistic about limited time and fear of failure, choose to be optimistic. View the 12 weeks you spent on lockdown as a much needed reboot. There's not much time till the NSC examinations begin, a positive attitude and hard work will get you your "Outstanding Grades". It's not impossible and it's not too late to start working towards it. 

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." -Elbert Hubbard.

Making Money from Cryptocurrency in 2020

bitcoin trading in 2020
In cryptocurrency a lot of early adopters managed to make a killing because they got involved early on. This meant they managed to get their hands on Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies when they were still cheap. When the 2017 bull run happened they became overnight millionaires. The same could be said of bitcoin miners, those who got involved early made a killing as it was easier to get involved, by this I mean the difficulty levels were lower and the rewards were bigger (that's because the bitcoin block reward halves every few years). The more people that got involved the harder it became to mine.

Making money in cryptocurrency in 2020 and beyond

Crypto Trading


As far as bitcoin trading is involved, it's a matter of skill, self discipline and a bit of luck as you gather all the information possible through technical analysis and market sentiment analysis to see which direction the markets are likely to move in and when. At the end it’s like gambling, timing is everything. After the 2017  bull run and subsequent crypto winter in 2018, there was a mini bull run in the first half of 2019 which provided an opportunity for those who bought low in 2018 to make massive profits. Trading requires discipline and rules that you set for when you sell and when you buy so that you don’t make emotional trades. Emotional trades lose you money. There will be other opportunities to make money trading crypto but not necessarily as big as December 2017.

The Alts market has diminished since 2017 and early 2018, with Bitcoin being the most dominant. The original crypto and the more established altcoins are still in play though, the smaller and newer alts have lost traction because they had no actual value or real-world application.

Crypto Mining

Bitcoin mining is not easy nor is it cheap, the cost of electricity alone would depend on where you live in the world. Being a solo miner has never been harder, but there are ways to be profitable even in bitcoin mining such as joining established mining pools (Miners pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward equally according to the amount of shares they contributed) . Another example is investing in companies who set up mining rigs for the most profitable cryptocurrencies in location around the world where electricity is cheaper. One such company is Australia’s leading blockchain mining company NGS Crypto which has recently set up shop in South Africa. They offer bitcoin mining as an investment.

Making money from BTC is not as easy as it used to be but there are still ways to make a profit for those who want to get involved. You just need to find create ways to make a profit, and adapt to the current market.

How technology can revolutionise your learning experience at University

technologies influence on learning
With the advent of virtual reality, automation, machine learning, big data analytics, and blockchain, the fabric of technology has witnessed a rapid evolution in recent years. The impact of advancement in technology is tremendous and can revolutionise your learning experience at University.

Although, when the hands of technology touched the education system, society merely focused on the utilisation of technical tools for learning namely smart classrooms, smart boards, and highly equipped IT labs, among others.

It is vital to understand that advancements in technology at university doesn’t only correspond to being equipped with the latest technologies and gadgets. Technology is also important for your personal learning experience at university and the teaching you receive.

The Impact of Technology on Engagement



Using technology while teaching in classrooms relates to a stronger facilitation of interaction between teachers and students. In the current dynamic world, the engagement level of classroom learning is plummeting. This can also be blamed on technology as it provides distraction and can affect the attention spans of students.

However, rightful use of technology and tools can propel the degree of outcome of the efforts of the teachers and professors, and overall productivity of the students. It eases the collaborative work, reduces class time, improves peer working, and is especially important when students and instructors are not in the same location.

This is shown in the numerous online courses now available online. Students and lecturers are able to communicate, collaborate and teach effectively online through various programs, resources and video facilities. This also goes for students not taking an online course as they are able to access resources and lectures online to conduct their own learning outside of the classroom.

The Impact of Technology on Teaching



The teaching experience is also improved as professors are leveraging the advancements in technology to move on from spoon feeding the course information to engaging their time with students on complex problems. This has an indirect and positive effect on the learning curve of the students as well.

The rapid proliferation of online courses across different universities, from Ivy League to Government colleges, and the concept of blended mode of learning coupled with technological developments has created immense opportunities for educational institutions and students.

Even, the students across different countries understand the value of technology in learning trajectory. In fact, in 2011, in an attempt to introduce a free online course in Artificial Intelligence by a Stanford Professor, an overwhelming 160,000 students enrolled from around 190 countries. This is the strength of one aspect of technology for better learning experience.

Additionally, technology helps provide a more personal approach to teaching and helps professors manage their time and focus on their students more effectively. This is facilitated through emails, virtual labs, online resources and apps, therefore revolutionising the learning experience for students at university.

The Impact of Technology on Research


During university, you will find a significant amount of research needs to be conducted independently as well as in the classroom. This is also where technology can change your learning experience.

Research can be conducted in the library effectively, however it also provides limitations on up to date information and locations. Therefore, technology can be extremely useful during the research process to find various new articles, to view magazines and journals, video and film sources as well as copies of sources that may be unavailable at the library.

Textbooks can also be expensive, especially when you are hesitant to purchase them at the beginning of the academic year with doubts of ever using them. Instead they can be accessed or purchased online, usually at a cheaper price too.

Technology can also be used to help organise, format and note take during research. Often, students view and read such an array and huge amount of resources that it can be confusing to formulate ideas afterwards. Programs, note taking apps, reference formatting apps and scheduling online and on mobile devices can be very useful to manage and store the most important information.

How Technology has Revolutionised Global Learning


With the development of 5G technologies and accelerated cloud computing in the developing countries in the next few years. Universities all across the world have the opportunity to improve on their teaching experience with technology as a catalyst in the classroom.

A perfect combination of advance technology, complex teaching practices, and a human touch can transform the overall education sector across the world. It will allow easy access to potential students across the world for advance courses and the latest curriculum and improve education as a whole.
Going forward, the true essence of technology in the world of education lies in distributing the high quality of education at a very low cost. This engagement will improve the economies of scale for education which would otherwise be very difficult in a face to face labour intensive form of teaching and learning mechanism.

Therefore, to revolutionise the learning experience at Universities, development of technological infrastructure is very valuable. However, the learning experience at university is also dependent on the student themselves. They can use various technologies to improve their personal learning inside and outside the classroom and with online courses so readily available this ever more important.

Author Bio

Steve is the owner behind the website Best Essay Writing Company. He is a retired Financial adviser who now helps students find the right support and tutoring services for them. He is passionate about education and learning.