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Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship / Global Apprenticeship
« on: March 23, 2019, 05:55:32 PM »
Global Apprenticeship customizes your abroad experience from the exact dates of your program to the skill-set you want to develop to the specific sector you want to thrive in.

We proud ourselves in affordability, tailored client care and flexibility.

We are also the only company that offers you post-internship support for our China programs, which means we will continue assisting you if you were to return to China within 5 years.

Apprenticeships are part of Germany's successful dual education system, and as such form an integral part of many people's working life. Young people can learn one of over three hundred and fifty apprenticeship occupations (Ausbildungsberufe), such as doctor's assistant, banker, dispensing optician, or oven builder. The dual system means that apprentices spend most of their time in companies and the rest in formal education. Usually, they work for three to four days a week in the company and then spend one or two days at a vocational school (Berufsschule). These Berufsschulen have been part of the education system since the nineteenth century. In 1969, a law (the Berufsausbildungsgesetz) was passed which regulated and unified the vocational training system and codified the shared responsibility of the state, the unions, associations and chambers of trade and industry.

The dual system was successful in both parts of divided Germany: in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), three quarters of the working population had completed apprenticeships. Although the rigid training system of the GDR, linked to the huge collective combines, did not survive reunification, the system remains popular in modern Germany: in 2001, two thirds of young people aged under twenty two began an apprenticeship, and 78 percent of them completed it, meaning that approximately 51 percent of all young people under twenty two completed an apprenticeship. One in three companies offered apprenticeships in 2003; in 2004 the government signed a pledge with industrial unions that all companies except very small ones must take on apprentices.

The precise skills and theory taught during apprenticeships are strictly regulated, meaning that everyone who has, for example, had an apprenticeship as an Industriekaufmann (someone who works in an industrial company as a personnel assistant or accountant) has learned the same skills and had the same courses in procurement and stocking up, cost and activity accounting, staffing, accounting procedures, production, profit and loss accounting, and various other subjects. The employer is responsible for the entire program; apprentices are not allowed to be employed and have only an apprenticeship contract. The time taken is also regulated; each occupation takes a different time, but the average is 35 months. People who have not taken this apprenticeship are not allowed to call themselves an Industriekaufmann; the same is true for all of the occupations.

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations. GEW 2019 will be held November 18-24, 2019.

The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.

By fostering deeper cross border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth.

GEN’s extensive footprint of national operations and global verticals in policy, research and programs ensures members have uncommon access to the most relevant knowledge, networks, communities and programs relative to size of economy, maturity of ecosystem, language, culture, geography and more.

GEN helps celebrate, understand, support and connect entrepreneurs and those who champion them.

Celebrate: The world needs entrepreneurs – the doers and makers of things -  but not all ecosystems enjoy the entrepreneurial culture that is prevalent in startup hubs like Silicon Valley, Singapore and Sao Paolo. Through Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), GEN celebrates the successes and impact of entrepreneurs in an effort to help break down cultural barriers and reach new audiences, expanding the number of people who at some point in their life consider trying their hand at birthing the new and becoming an entrepreneur.
Understand: There is increasing demand for evidence-based public policies and programs that accelerate growth.  While government, corporate and education institution leaders have become eager champions with resources, they require better data, research and analysis about entrepreneurship barriers, needs and opportunities and which program interventions and policies to address them are proven to have maximize impact. Through the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) and GEN’s Startup Nations policymaker network, GEN helps identify and crowdsource best-in-class policies and public programs that help entrepreneurs thrive.
Support: Through efforts such as the Global Business Angels Network, Global Enterprise Registration, Startup Huddle, GEN Starters Club, Startup Open and other programs, GEN offers programs and resources intended to help smooth the path to market for founder teams and provide entrepreneurs at all stages with the support necessary to reach the next level.
Connect: GEN helps break down siloes and enhance collaboration among entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and startup community leaders through its virtual platforms and numerous live events, including its Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) and GEC+ series, the annual Startup Nations Summit, global annual meetings of its vertical communities and by co-hosting other events across the globe.

Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship / Jonathan Ortmans
« on: February 04, 2019, 05:18:24 PM »
Jonathan Ortmans is the Founder, President of Global Entrepreneurship Network.

Daffodil International University has become the GERN member in 2018. It is a great achievement for DIU.

And without realising it, we’ve hit the tail end of 2018. It’s been an interesting year with plenty of developments—many of which we saw coming, and even more that we never expected would take place.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen cryptocurrency become the poster child for blockchain technology, Grab become an absolute powerhouse in Southeast Asia, and smartphone cameras become so insanely powerful.

Moving forward into the new year, we’re expecting even more interesting things to happen and amaze us, and thus, we thought we’d take a stab at predicting the future and list down some of the things we expect to happen within the next year, specifically in the field of startups and entrepreneurship in Malaysia and this region.

Some of these predictions are already en route to being fulfilled, while some of them are more speculation than anything else, but all of them no doubt fill us with suspense and anticipation for what’s to come as we prepare to welcome 2019.

1. Malaysia To Go Bigger On E-Wallets
This one isn’t so much of a prediction so much as it is a foregone conclusion. In 2018, the e-wallet scene in Malaysia saw the influx of a multitude of players—some by giant household names, some completely new faces—and by Q3, around 36 different options available to Malaysians.

In 2019, we predict demand for the mighty e-wallet to go even stronger, but for the number of options in the market to experience a large drop.

As the market makes its way past a saturation point, we fully expect that the best e-wallets (read: most adopted) will remain relevant, while the rest will just dwindle into obscurity.

To be more specific, we anticipate that there will be space in the ecosystem for three or four major names to lead the market, and we expect the ones to end up on top to already by now have a commanding market share going into the new year. No points for guessing who these currently are.

2. A.I. To Enter The Mainstream
As the world becomes more automated, our reliance on machine learning will continue to skyrocket. All this is already being demonstrated by the widespread availability of things like smart homes, smart cars, and drone delivery services.

Going into 2019, we expect development and AI adoption to go even harder than what we’ve already seen. For example, we predict banks to make mainstream the use of robot advisors, not just to tell you what loan or investment options you have available, but to tell you how to best maximise your finances and even investments for the long term.

We feel that by the end of 2019, artificially intelligent machines will also have made headway as a standard for jobs and hiring, in healthcare with disease prediction, and perhaps even in ride-hailing. Should humans be worried or not?

3. Smaller Influencers Lead The Way
This prediction follows the ongoing trend of businesses leveraging on the smaller fry to get their marketing messages out. In Southeast Asia at least, this trend has entered the mainstream and has seen individuals with just over 1,000 followers get contracted for marketing campaigns on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

The idea behind using these so-called “micro-influencers” is to get the advantage of speed and cost compared to influencers with larger follower counts and thus less agile activation tendencies.

In 2019, we expect that businesses will double down on individuals with smaller follower counts and use even those with just over 200 loyal followers to disseminate their marketing messages. Forget micro-influencers, we’re now entering the age of the nano-influencer.

4. One Size Fits All
In this day and age, information and the quality of being interconnected are as valuable as gold and silver, and large businesses recognise this. While it might not be immediately obvious (it will, eventually), large corporations today want to know about and have a hand in everything we do.

In Malaysia, we already have Grab with their fingers stuck into so many verticals—transport, food, payments—and soon, we fully expect them to eventually expand into things like micro-financing and healthcare.

A screenshot of some of the services offered by GoJek and AliPay, in Indonesia and China, respectively.
In 2019, we expect other companies to attempt to follow suit, especially companies such as telcos, other e-wallet providers, and other well-funded tech companies with deep information pockets. Why? Because it seems only logical for companies that deal in the exchange of information to want to tighten their grasps even more.

That said, we don’t expect there to be too many success stories, as trying to create a single-app ecosystem requires a large amount of financial resources, labour, and the navigation of regulatory issues.

5. Blockchain To Go Strong

The conversation surrounding blockchain should continue to go strong in 2019.
Sure, the noise surrounding crypto may have died down considerably since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plunged in value this year, but don’t be so quick to write-off the technology behind the hype.

If you delve deeper into the various blockchain communities across the web, you’ll be pleasantly greeted with healthy chatter and discussions regarding the development of various blockchain-related tech. Although still relatively complex for newcomers to get into, we expect there to be many more developments in this sector throughout 2019, simply due to its huge potential to disrupt industries from gaming, to healthcare, to insurance, to anti-counterfeit measures.

Very likely, we expect to see an increased number of conferences, talks, and events that cater to interested parties, be they consumers, developers, or investors, and even more boldly, we predict there to be more regulatory freedom afforded to this sector from the side of the government.

6. The Rise Of E-Scooter Sharing?
While we’re not going to make calls on whether or not it’ll end up being a success, we predict that 2019 will see another sharing service try and breakthrough to mainstream consciousness.

Looking back over the past year, we’ve seen car-sharing and bike-sharing services hit varying levels of success in different markets across the globe, and in 2019, we heavily expect e-scooters to become a much talked-about-topic.

In more mature markets such as the USA and New Zealand, e-scooters have experienced warm receptions, with many praising its ability to help people save on transportation costs and reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Although we definitely expect there to be movement in the Malaysian market, we do have concerns regarding the viability of the usage of e-scooters on Malaysian sidewalks and how the general public will use and treat such expensive equipment when no one is looking.

7. More Investors To Call Malaysia Home
One encouraging development for Malaysian entrepreneurs over this past year was a healthy influx of investors and VCs into the ecosystem. Just to throw out a few names, Malaysia saw names like 3B Ventures, SunSEA Capital, and Golden Gate Ventures arrive under a banner of hope for Malaysia’s potential as a hotbed for fresh tech entrepreneurial ideas.

SunSEA Capital arrived on Malaysian shores in July this year / Image Credit: SunSEA Capital
This marked increase in investors is most probably a result of movement by international industrial players to the SEA region, all caused by the recently high trade tensions between China and the USA. With more trade activity going on here and around us, it’s easy to see why investors like Malaysia as their next port of call.

All this coupled with our governments dedicated efforts to spur on Industry 4.0, 2019 should see even more investor money entering our gates, and while we can’t give concrete numbers, we like Malaysia’s prospects as far as venture capital money is concerned.

8. E-Commerce Will Start Becoming Instantaneous
Reports have shown that the period people are willing to wait for e-commerce deliveries are continuously dropping, with increasingly faster delivery speeds a playing a huge factor (thanks, Amazon Prime).

In Malaysia, we already have a good number of smaller up-and-coming delivery services touting incredibly fast delivery times, and because of this, we expect same day deliveries to become more widespread in 2019.

With so many businesses starting to have online presences (thus making the market extremely competitive), it wouldn’t be absurd to start seeing products delivered to your doorstep just hours after clicking on the checkout button.


The term “disruptive innovation” sounds recent, but it’s actually been around since 1995.

That’s when Joseph L. Bower and Clayton Christensen coined the term in the pages of the Harvard Business Review.

The term refers to an innovation that makes a huge change in the industry. It connects ideas that haven’t been connected before to tap into a completely new market.

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Even more specifically, the Harvard Business Review defines disruption as “a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.”

It’s the David versus Goliath story applied to entrepreneurs. When a small startup beats out industry giants, that’s disruption.

Disruptive innovation is like coloring outside the lines. It doesn’t follow any set of rules, but it still creates something amazing.

Airbnb is a perfect example.

It was a tiny startup that took on the entire hotel industry and it worked.

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Airbnb is probably the best example of true disruption.

Think about it: A startup founded in 2008 is making more than global hotel chains that have been around for decades.

That’s the power of disruptive innovation.

More startups are getting comfortable with the idea of being disruptive. It’s riskier, but the rewards are also bigger.

At its core, a major aspect of disruption is connecting customers to more resources. Think of it like taking out the middleman. Often, this cuts costs and makes users happier.

Think of this as disruptive technology.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen lots of businesses use disruptive technology to create something new.

Businesses like Netflix, 23andMe, and Spotify have used disruptive technology to rise to the top. In fact, most of the companies you support today are likely disruptive in one way or another.

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And that trend of disruptive technology is only going to get bigger.

Airbnb connects you directly to lodging and you don’t have to go through a hotel. Amazon gives you access to almost any product you want and you don’t have to leave your home.

Many of the biggest startups of 2017 are doing just that. While they’re not necessarily disrupting entire industries, they are using disruptive technology to create new and exciting businesses.

Take a look at Virta Health, which connects diabetes patients directly with doctors via video chat.

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That’s disruptive technology in action.

Another example: Roadrunner Recycling helps people recycle more with scheduled pickups and various waste management solutions.

Screen Shot 2017 08 30 at 6.18.01 PM
There are all kinds of disruptive technologies out there.

Even the classic freemium business model can be turned into disruptive technology that allows you to become more popular than your competitors.


Entrepreneurship is clearly on the rise. More entrepreneurs start new ventures and consider entrepreneurship as a career option. Yet, what are the differences between how businesses are conducted between different parts of the world and how to prepare for that? Read on.

Entrepreneurship is defined as an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It is comprised of creativity, innovation, risk-taking, the ability to plan and manage projects to achieve objectives. Unless we talk about social entrepreneurship, this process is supposed to be done in a profitable way.

Entrepreneurship is growing in popularity as more countries worldwide realize the importance entrepreneurs play in improving their local economies. As the regions prosper, the global economy grows, too.


Currently, the economic growth rate remains modest. According to the International Monetary Fund, last year it was 3.1% and it is expected to reach 3.4% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018, respectively.

Therefore, blossoming of entrepreneurship is in the best interest of all countries as this would eventually lead to the creation of new jobs and new opportunities to improve the infrastructure and quality of services.

Thus, over the past 3-5 years, the topic of entrepreneurship has received a serious attention from policy-makers worldwide as more entrepreneurship supporting initiatives are rolled out.

For example, Europe has introduced the Horizon 2020 program, the USA rolled out Federal Investment Programs to assist young US-based companies, and China is currently implementing state-backed programs to remove roadblocks to make entrepreneurship go mainstream.

Aside from the government authorities, there are hundreds of accelerator programs and startup initiatives that make capital and mentoring available to starting entrepreneurs than ever. Currently, Europe is leading the pack in terms of the number of accelerator and incubator programs available to entrepreneurs.

For example, emlyon business school, one of the top European business school, even runs its own startup incubator to groom the next generation entrepreneurs who have an international mindset.

On top of this, business schools make entrepreneurship an obligatory part of the study curriculum and offer accelerator and incubator programs to current students and graduates.

Even though the speed at which startup ecosystems develop internationally is different, most of the startup programs are looking for startups that offer technological and high-impact solutions. Most of the time it means that operations of such venture can be conducted digitally and remotely.

This means that eventually the most attractive ecosystem in terms of accessibility of mentors, prospective clients and investors gets the attention of the promising startups.

The perception of entrepreneurship also changes and it especially is cherished among the Millennials. There is a term – Millennial entrepreneurs, or millenipreneurs – that refers to 18-35-year-old professionals working on their own ventures.

alphagamma entrepreneurship trends in 2017 overview of the top 3 largest startup ecosystems entrepreneurship
The Millennial entrepreneurs are 18-35 years old tech addicts and experience seekers looking for a purpose, relevancy, and authenticity in their work. For example, the Global Entrepreneurship Program, taking place in Lyon (France), Hangzhou (China) and New York City (USA), prepares the Millennial entrepreneurs in 16 months to address challenges in building international ventures.
The state of globalization
Before zooming on the regions of the world, let’s have a look at the global context, since it makes an impact on the local entrepreneurship trends. To learn the global entrepreneurship trends, we can look at the current state of globalization.

This process implies that businesses or any other organizations are able to conduct their operations on an international scale and create an international presence and influence. While globalization is not a new concept as it has been mainstream for over the past 30 years already, it is going to continue evolving further.

While there are critics of globalization and there are undeniable repercussions of globalization, the cross-border exchange of goods and ideas has resulted in abundant and constantly emerging opportunities for new companies to grow.

Therefore, entrepreneurship and globalization go hand in hand. Here are just 3 of the most vital ways how.

1. Globalization eases technology entrepreneurship
The international cooperation reinforces the rise of innovation ecosystems. This might include engagement between new ventures, small and medium companies and large corporates.

2. Globalization facilitates transnational entrepreneurship
Diaspora networks of émigrés to various countries take what they have learned in corporations and use it to create their own businesses in the same or similar sectors.

3. Globalization promotes social entrepreneurship
This involves creating wealth while simultaneously addressing pressing societal problems such as environmental degradation, poverty, and poor health.

Thanks to the technological progress, the barriers to starting a tech company have become low and it is even easier to conduct business on an international scale than ever. This fact alone contributes significantly to making running businesses over the border easier.

Entrepreneurship trends in 2017: Overview of the top 3 largest startup ecosystems
To look at how the startup ecosystems react to these global entrepreneurship trends, let’s have a look at the Top 3 largest economies in terms of the GDP size: the USA, the European Union, and China.

Entrepreneurship trends in Europe
With the sluggish economic growth, the European Commission puts lots of time and resources into supporting the economy on the continent. Currently, small and medium enterprises account for 99% of all businesses in the EU, while creating a whopping share of 85% of new jobs.

Even though Europe has well-established innovation hubs like Berlin or Paris, other cities of Europe compete for the attention of the promising entrepreneurs. For example, according to Startupheatmap, Lisbon is the #1 city in terms of creating a “tech buzz” after the government announced investing over 200M euros into startups and Portugal hosted Web Summit, the largest tech conference in the world.

alphagamma this was web summit 2016 impressions from the largest tech event in europe 002

The academic world plays its part, too, as more and more European universities offer entrepreneurship programs to raise more savvy entrepreneurs.

According to Alain Fayolle, professor in entrepreneurship at emlyon business school and author of “Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship”, we are currently living through another wave of entrepreneurship.


Which means that universities are going to play a more prominent role in shaping the startup ecosystems in Europe and beyond.

And these efforts have already yielded tangible results.

The research teams of Atomico, an international venture capital firm, and Slush, a non-profit student-run startup events management organization, put together a comprehensive report about the current state of the European tech companies.

The main conclusion is that today is the best time to become an entrepreneur in Europe thanks to the rising number of startup-supporting initiatives, improving access to capital and abundance of talent on the European continent.

Entrepreneurship trends in the USA
The US benefits from being the largest economy in the world and it has a considerably better macroeconomic landscape compared to Europe.

Historically, the US has been considered the trendsetter when it comes down to entrepreneurship trends because of the appeal of “the American dream”; the presence of Silicon Valley, home of the many well-admired and international companies; and popular TV Series like Shark Tank or Silicon Valley.

As a result, the entrepreneurship trends in the USA affected the development of the startup ecosystems abroad.

The Kauffman foundation designed the Growth Entrepreneurship Index to measure the health of the startup environment in the USA, and, currently, it shows that it is rebounding after a slump in 2013 and it is expected to continue rising.

The Index consists of the following 3 indicators:

Rate of startup growth captures how much, on average, the cohort of startup businesses grow in employment in their first five years of operation.
Share of scaleups looks at the number of companies that grow to employ at least fifty people in the first ten years after creation (defined as scaleups), as a percentage of all employer firms ten years and younger.
High-growth company density looks at the number of high-growth private companies in an area. To fit into at least 20 percent annualized growth over a three-year period with at least $2 million dollars in annual revenue.
Steve Case Chairman and CEO, Revolution LLC and Co-Founder of America Online also mentions that we are amidst the third wave of entrepreneurship. The business executive even wrote a book titled the “Third Wave”.


The co-founder of America Online thinks that this wave will be dramatically different and more consequential.

Techstars, the second largest accelerator in the US, also shared insights on the most popular trends in the US startup ecosystem. Currently, these are: 1) BitCoin/BlockChain; 2) CyberSecurity; 3) AI/Big Data, and 4) IoT.

First Round Capital, one of the prominent US-based venture capital firms, surveyed the US startup founders to take the snapshot of the recent developments among young companies.

The report of the firm reveals many fascinating findings.

For example, it is a common assumption that startup founders in their 20ies set up companies – especially after the success stories of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and Evan Spiegel, founder of Snapchat. Yet, the survey result shows that the median age is in the mid-30ies.

Virgin conducted its own research on the world’s best startup hubs, and New York appeared as the most favorable city in the US to start a startup.

The report cited that even though starting a business in New York is expensive, time-consuming and bureaucratic (Europe is far more advanced in this regard), joining a startup hub like New York is an absolute must for a US business to achieve rapid and international scaling.

Supply chain management is the unsung hero of the manufacturing sector. It’s not glamorous – there’s nothing tangible to validate your efforts – but it’s the foundation that supports every manufacturing business.  A seamless supply chain improves inventory management, keeps waste to a minimum and frees up capital that would otherwise be tied up in stock – so it’s worth getting right! However,  supply chain management doesn’t happen in isolation, it is built on the foundation of key business processes. Looking at some of these key processes, we can see how a best-of-breed ERP system such as SYSPRO offers a platform for Supply Chain Integration:


Customer Relationship Management
Creates a structure for developing and maintaining relationships with customers. Individual customers or groups are identified, based on their value over time, and their loyalty can be enhanced by providing tailored products and services. Cross-functional customer teams develop Product and Service Agreements (PSA) to meet the needs of key accounts and for segments of other customers. They also work with key customers to improve processes and eliminate demand variability and non-value added activities. Performance reports are designed to measure the profitability of individual customers as well as the financial impact on the customer.

The SYSPRO software solution enables companies to collect, maintain and manipulate a rich, customer-related database to promote increasing revenue and profitability. Our Sales and Distribution solutions and SYSPRO Reporting also support the CRM process.

Supplier Relationship Management
Defines how a company interacts with its suppliers. As in the case of customer relationship management, a company will form close relationships with some of its suppliers, while others are less closely cultivated. Good supplier relationship management involves devising the right PSAs and managing them well, so that the company and its suppliers continue to benefit from the most favourable trading arrangements.

Customer Service Management
Operates at the customer interface. It provides the key point of contact for administering the PSA and can give the customer information on orders, shipping dates and product availability. SYSPRO ERP manufacturing and logistics modules supply the data required by customer service management.

Demand Management
Allows a company to be proactive in matching supply to demand. The process includes forecasting and synchronization of supply and demand, in order to increase flexibility and reduce demand variability. The process should employ customer intelligence, historical sales information and planned marketing efforts to forecast and influence demand.

The Order Fulfilment
Process involves more than just filling orders. It includes all activities necessary to define customer requirement and to design a process that allows a company to meet customer requests, while minimising the total delivered cost. This is not just the logistics function, but instead needs to be implemented cross-functionally and with the coordination of key suppliers and customers. The objective is to develop a seamless process from the supplier to the organisation and to its various customer segments.

Manufacturing Flow Management
Includes all the activities necessary to move goods through production and to obtain, implement and manage manufacturing flexibility in the supply chain. Manufacturing flexibility reflects the ability to make a wide variety of products at an appropriate rate and at lowest possible cost. To achieve the desired level of manufacturing flexibility, planning and execution must extend beyond the production site to encompass the entire supply chain.

Clearly, managing manufacturing flow requires an element of manpower planning. In the case of SYSPRO, our Equator HR module integrates with the ERP system to facilitate this planning.

Product Development and Commercialisation
Provides the structure for developing and bringing products to market in unison with customers and suppliers. The product development and commercialisation process team must coordinate with customer relationship management to identify customer articulated and unarticulated needs; select materials and suppliers in conjunction with the supplier relationship management process; and develop production technology in manufacturing flow to manufacture and integrate into the best supply chain flow for a given product/market combination.

Returns Management
Is the SCM process by which activities associated with product returns, reverse logistics, gatekeeping, and avoidance are managed within the firm and across key members of the supply chain. The correct implementation of this process enables management not only to manage the reverse product flow efficiently, but to identify opportunities to reduce unwanted returns and to control reusable assets such as containers. Effective returns management is an important link between marketing and logistics, offering an opportunity for competitive advantage.

Be a Leader / Understanding Leadership
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:33:18 PM »
Many people consider leadership to be an essentially work-based characteristic. However, leadership roles are all around us and not just in work environments.

Ideally, leaders become leaders because they have credibility, and because people want to follow them. Using this definition, it becomes clear that leadership skills can be applied to any situation where you are required to take the lead, professionally, socially, and at home in family settings. Examples of situations where leadership might be called for, but which you might not immediately associate with that, include:

Planning and organising a big family get-together, for example, to celebrate a wedding anniversary or important birthday;
Responding to an illness or death in the family, and taking steps to organise care or make other arrangements; and
Making decisions about moving house, or children’s schooling.
In other words, leaders are not always appointed, and leadership skills may be needed in many circumstances.

With apologies to Shakespeare, we might say that “some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them”.

Read more at:

What Is Technology Integration?
The answer to this may seem obvious, but in all actuality, the question is a valid one.

Although schools and districts are increasing their technology budgets and reportedly spending big bucks on teacher professional development, equipment and personnel, studies show that the educational arena lags behind other sectors in the quality and frequency in which technology is merged into day-to-day operations.

Despite the fact that we are living in the “age of technology,” many teachers still remain uncomfortable with the idea of integrating it into classrooms. This is due to several factors, including lack of preparation and tools, negative perceptions about technology in general and a lack of buy-in regarding the effectiveness of classroom technologies.

Furthermore, even those teachers who are 100% committed to integration often aren’t comfortable with doing it effectively.

In order to combat these issues with technology in education, we must clarify what technology integration is and is not. Simply put, technology integration is just that, the practice of integrating or interweaving technology into teaching and learning.

It is critical to add, however, that there is a significant difference between implementing technologies on a surface level and actually intertwining it in a way that produces maximum results for teachers and students. What this means is that simply directing students to complete a separate internet activity or sending them to the “technology station” alone may not be the best use of educational technology.


Instead, there are ways that technology can be intentionally used throughout the process of teaching and learning, so that it plays an active role rather than being an afterthought. After all, today’s educators have the tools to incorporate technology into each stage of instruction: planning, lesson delivery, practice and review, and assessment and feedback.

When done thoughtfully, technology does not only drive the curriculum, but the advantages are numerous and undeniable.

Benefits of Technology Integration in English Education
Now that we understand what technology integration is, we can take a look at why we’d want to incorporate it into the ESL classroom. We’ll look at the specific benefits for English language learners (ELLs) and also highlight some useful tools that maximize those benefits for our students.

1. Increases student engagement and motivation
The first, and perhaps most obvious perk, is that technology can dramatically – and oftentimes instantly – increase student engagement. Today’s learners are functioning in an age where technology drives almost every aspect of their lives. Technology is exciting, fascinating and ever-evolving, and when used thoughtfully, it can transform even the most mundane lesson into one that is powerful and thought-provoking.

For English language learners, increasing motivation is especially significant. Teachers of ELLs understand the major role that motivation plays in the success of language acquisition and are continuously seeking ways to increase student engagement and excitement.

Technology is one great way to motivate learners while simultaneously offering a host of other benefits.

One great way to get your students motivated is with FluentU, a new way to learn real English with real-world videos like music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks. FluentU takes fun videos and transforms them into English learning lessons.

English / The benefits of new technology in language learning
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:12:21 PM »
Technology is very much part of language learning throughout the world at all different levels. We are as likely to find it in the primary sector as much as in adult education.

I no longer need to make the case for computers to be provided in education, because computers are there in abundance in all their modern forms.We may see traditional computers in labs, teachers and students walking around with laptops or tablet PCs, and many people will have a mobile phone in their pocket that is capable of doing rather more than the mainframe computers that started computer-assisted language learning in the 1960s. I do recognise that there are many kinds of digital divide, and that this is not true everywhere.

What can put teachers off using technology

What is still sometimes an issue is the reliability of these technologies for classroom use. This can discourage teachers from making use of technology as often as they would want to. It's compounded by the fact that, if these teachers are working in schools, they are faced with classes of learners who may, on the surface at least, appear to be more digitally competent than their teachers are. Learners can therefore challenge their teachers, in ways that put the latter off using the technologies that could potentially make such a difference to what happens in the classroom.

How technology can help learners test their skills

In my recent book for the British Council, Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching, I argue that digital technologies are ideally placed to help teachers working with learners, and learners working independently, to do the necessary ‘languaging’ (M. Swain ) that makes their language development possible. We are talking here about doing things with language rather than just learning about language. Swain argues that learners can’t simply develop based on input.  We must engage with other people using that language, and try to make meaning together. Whenever I speak or write something, if I don’t produce language with someone else in mind, I have no way of knowing whether others can understand what I say or write. Of course, I need to read and listen as well, but unless I progress to this further stage, I can’t complete the process.

If we take writing as a starting point, technology in the form of word processors (and the many other ways we now have of producing text) allows us to work at the language. We go through a process of creating and re-creating text until it is fully comprehensible to others and is accurate. We can create a draft, show it to others and, based on feedback, can make changes to improve the text. The tools can also help us by showing that our spelling or grammar needs work, too. Technology makes this much easier, and makes it more likely that learners will engage with the editing process to produce the highest-quality text that they can. This writing can then be displayed for others to look at and comment on.

Trying to find ways for people to do meaningful spoken language practice in a class can be very challenging, particularly if, as a teacher, you lack confidence in your own spoken language skills. Linking your class to other classes around the world, using tools such as video conferencing, can give a reason for a learner to ask a question and then try to understand the response. It might also provide support for the teacher, too. The technology mediates the process, getting language out there and giving feedback that shows whether someone has or hasn’t understood what you have said.

The benefits of technology in language learning that is integrated with project work

Another area that technology supports very effectively is project work. We have always tried to encourage learners to learn about things through language. Getting learners to do work about topics that are of interest to them, or topics that are taught in other parts of the curriculum (sometimes called Content and Language Integrated Learning or CLIL ) is a great way to improve their skills. Technology makes this possible wherever you are in the world. Teachers and learners can go online to read or listen to material about different areas of interest, and can then write or speak about what they have discovered, telling others in the class or other classes elsewhere in the world.

In the book, there are plenty of examples of case studies of teachers doing these kinds of activities, so you can see how technology can be effectively used to support the language development process.

English / 5 ways to use WhatsApp in the ELT classroom!
« on: March 08, 2018, 01:34:30 AM »
What’s WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is an immensely popular, simple and versatile messaging app. It’s currently used in over 180 countries, and over 50 million messages are sent on it every day. As of July 2017, more than 1.7 billion people were actively using WhatsApp, which makes it the world’s second-largest social network.

WhatsApp: familiar to teachers and students alike
Whatever their attitude towards technology, most teachers are at least somewhat familiar with WhatsApp and its capabilities. Maybe you, like many other teachers, already use it to stay in touch with your friends and family. This means that it’s only a small step towards using it as a teaching tool.

Students are also familiar with WhatsApp, with many young people actually preferring this type of communication to face-to-face interaction. This combination of student and teacher familiarity makes WhatsApp one of the most accessible apps to use in English language learning classrooms, as well as potentially one of the most collaborative.

Throughout the 2017 ELT Teacher Award, we noticed teachers around the world are using WhatsApp in a variety of different ways to solve problems and encourage their learners. The following are five ways to use WhatsApp in the ELT classroom – and there are many more!

1. Encourage collaboration
Collaborative tasks can be very productive but also very time-consuming. Encouraging students to work together in groups outside of class time is a good way of getting around this, but needs careful organizing to ensure they work together successfully.

WhatsApp groups are good in this respect because they can be used to create a closed space that is accessible by everyone at any time, allowing for easier communication and exchange of materials. Students are used to communicating with each other in this medium, and are familiar with the idea of sharing messages via screenshots or forwarding media. When using WhatsApp students benefit from having their own personal space, and as a result don’t feel as lost as they otherwise might in a very large class.

2. Extend learning time
Teachers often find themselves under pressure to cover a large number of tasks in a very short amount of lesson time. Iranian teacher Mojtaba Jahanshahi came up with a solution for this by using WhatsApp to extend his classroom. After noticing his learners needed to practice their productive skills, but without sufficient time in class to address it, he set up a WhatsApp group with regular tasks that required students to write or record their speech in English. As a result, he found that his students became more motivated and started communicating more freely. Using WhatsApp gave them the opportunity to practice writing and speaking in an environment they were familiar with, and in ways for which the school timetable had not allowed sufficient time.

3. Manage large class sizes
Yassir El Hajel Sheikh was the winner of the 2017 Pearson ELT Teacher Award People’s Choice for Africa and the Middle East. Yassir has a large class of 50 elementary students, which makes it impossible for all of them to get the same practice time and feedback in class. To try to get around this difficulty, Yassir started a WhatsApp group where his students record voice messages, send them to the group, listen to their peers’ messages, and then comment on them. Yassir reviews the students’ messages himself, giving feedback to help them deal with frequent errors. He also uses WhatsApp to record his own audio messages, questions and images. As a result, the students in Yassir’s class now have a direct channel to access feedback on their work, as well as a space to receive personal support from Yassir himself.

4. Flip the classroom
WhatsApp is also a great way to help teachers flip their classrooms. Neusa Pretzel, a teacher in Brazil, shares links to videos via WhatsApp with her students. The students watch the videos before class and then ask and answer questions about the videos in their WhatsApp group. In this way, Neusa uses WhatsApp to flip the traditional teaching model on its head and give her class more quality teaching time in the classroom. By getting her students to engage with texts as self-study, important classroom time can be used to discuss the content, work on exercises related to it, or develop concepts in greater detail. For teachers whose students have very limited time available, this can be a great way to help them make the most of the time they do have.

5. Build confidence
Mauricio Vidal Gheiler, a teacher in Peru, found out that his shyer students often turned out to be very active communicators when they used WhatsApp and other social media apps. Furthermore, the confidence they gained by using WhatsApp started to impact on their classroom activity too! As many students are comfortable with using social media, this type of communication can help build their confidence and have a positive effect on their attitude to learning in general.

How to set up a WhatsApp group
It’s very easy to set up a WhatsApp group for your students. First you open the app and go to the Chats screen and tap the New Group button at the top. Next, you add the group participants by selecting or typing the name of the contact. Then you add an icon for the group by tapping on the empty photo box. Finally, add a name for the group and tap Create.

So, don’t hesitate to do what many other teachers are doing with WhatsApp – download the app, play about with it for a while if you need to, and start using it as a force for good in the classroom. As these teachers demonstrate, most students are enthusiastic about using WhatsApp and will get involved in the activities you set them. Your students will almost certainly thank you for giving them a chance to learn through this familiar, simple and versatile tool.

You might cringe at the thought of research papers, but teachers often assign them as a way to encourage critical thinking and a deeper exploration of a topic. Try to avoid waiting until the last minute to work on your paper since this might set you up for a low score. Instead, break down the process into small chunks over a period of time. As well, follow a few important rules, and this will help you write an effective paper.

Effective research papers require a well-thought thesis, and many students have a difficult time forming a good thesis. However, you can begin by filling in a few blanks to a standard statement. For example, you might have: “This paper is about (insert your topic), and I plan to prove/argue (the focus of your paper).” Essentially, this will make up your thesis, but you need to revise and refine the statement to make it fit seamlessly into your introduction.

Make sure you use quality sources during your research process. This will give credibility and accuracy to your paper. You do not want to cloud your paper with information that may not stem from reputable references. Some teachers will give you a list of unacceptable sources, but you should evaluate all of your sources as well. You will need to consider the author of the book, journal, website or other material. What qualifications does the writer have? Does she have affiliations with a political or social group that might lead her to have a biased viewpoint? As well, you will need to evaluate if the information is outdated.

Your research paper should have a structure that makes sense for the topic. After you introduce your topic, the body of your paper should start with the most important idea or research that backs up your thesis. Then, move on to the next most important concept you need to share, and so on. You will need to stay with one idea at a time, sharing your data and discoveries with the reader before moving on to the other ideas. A well-organized, in depth discussion of the topic will give a logic and clarity to your work, and this will help your score on the paper.

When you complete a draft of your paper, you might think you can call that good enough, but turning in an effective research paper takes a little more effort. You need to go through your paper to look for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Look at each sentence individually to ensure they make sense, and then look at the surrounding sentences to ensure they go together. As well, when you move to new paragraphs and ideas within your paper, make sure you have good transition words that give your paper a seamless flow. During a revision, also make sure that you transcribed any data accurately and that you cite your sources.


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