Many folks taking medical billing classes online with the Allen School do so for one very significant reason: to improve their financial lot in life. It is logical to assume that people who identify the need for more income may be doing the best they can with limited resources. If you’re among this group of people, and you’re studying medical billing and coding online using an older computer – particularly one running the Windows XP operating system – then you need to know the following, critical information. Recent estimates show that nearly half a billion people still use computers running Microsoft Windows XP. The XP operating system, now more than a decade old, was at one time, the most popular operating system in the world. However, as security threats (and other computing needs) grew more sophisticated, Microsoft released new operating systems. Since XPs release, Microsoft has subsequently offered Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Several years ago, Microsoft attempted to cease providing support for Windows XP, but was met with jeers from the millions of consumers still using the popular product. So Microsoft agreed to continue supporting the XP system with the security patches designed to keep the OS from being overtaken by viruses, spammers, hackers and other online threats. Yet, it hasn’t been profitable for Microsoft for many years to continue supporting what is essentially and obsolete product. The Allen School Blog first warned of this move by Microsoft in this post from last December, but the cutoff date had not yet been announced. Well, it is now official. Support for Windows XP will cease on April 8, 2014. Repeat, support for Windows XP will cease on April 8, 2014. So if you’re scraping by using an old computer with this outdated operating system, you need to update to a newer OS or after April 8, your machine will be subject to what experts suggest may be a 66% increase in viruses and hacking attacks.
Yes, online students of medical billing and coding spend many hours in front of their computer terminals studying, reading, writing and interacting. Even more so than their ground school counterparts studying such things as medical office assistants’ programs, certified nursing assistant training etc, the online students at Allen School rely on their computers greatly and spend alot of time looking at the monitor. I suspect most of these medical billing and coding students have, at one time or another, found their eyes irritated, tired or otherwise bothered. As a blogger and digital marketer, I too have run into this problem. So I want to share with our readers some tips I got from the How-To Wiki at Wired.com on methods for keeping your eyes fresh and healthy. The top 4 steps you can take to prevent eye strain (according to the article here) are: 1) Take breaks 2) Blink more often 3) Cut down on contrast 4) Avoid glare and tiny text Read the article for the details, but then take a few minutes away from your computer to give your peepers a rest!
Time magazine has an interesting article this month explaining that students learn better when left to figure out solutions to problems on their own (as opposed to being told the answers by instructors). This is interesting news for any students, not just students of medical billing and coding at the Allen School Online. If you’re struggling with the complexities of the subject matter, take heart. According to National Institute of Education research, it is this express frustration, struggling to solve the challenges posed by any lesson, that helps the human mind to better understand the solution to said challenge. In fact, in studies they performed, the students who were showed the solutions during the lesson were outperformed by the students who were simply left to ponder the answer before being guided by instruction. So the lesson here is simple: embrace productive failure. It is okay to try and solve a problem and fail in the process. It is that failure which promotes the ability to achieve and maintain success. Read the whole article from Time magazine for all the interesting details.
If you’re just starting out in your studies of medical billing and coding or medical office assistant with the Allen School Online, you may be feeling like it is a challenge you cannot overcome. Perhaps you decided to make a career change in mid-life and this new career path seems daunting. Well, the following story ought to serve to inspire you and make you feel that with enough determination, anything is possible. Take it from a 6-year-old who raised more than $10,000 to help his cancer-stricken father. You can do this!
So you spend alot of time online and tethered to your online responsibilities like studying medical billing and coding at the Allen School Online. This means you most definitely understand the time-sucking, productivity-draining effects of spam. From scores of unwanted emails and text messages every day to unsolicited advertisements on Facebook to the always annoying telemarketing phone calls, many of us spend a not insignificant portion of every day (while we should be working/studying) opening and then deleting unwanted messages or “Spam” as this exquisite little inconvenience has come to be referred to. Heck, I even get too much junk mail in the old snail mail box. So how does one effectively do away with all this unwanted canned meat-product? The nerds over at Lifehacker.com have compiled the definitive list of strategies for eliminating the spam from all inboxes, virtual or dirt-world. Click here for the secrets of a Spam-free existence!
Dartmouth University has an exceptional webpage chock full of documents and videos all on the subject of how to optimize your studies. Everything from the best places to study to how to boost concentration and informational retention is covered. This page here contains links to numerous articles and vids. Take tips from one of the country’s top institutions of higher learning and apply them to your own study habits for a boost in your educational success at the Allen School Online.
Well online students of medical billing and coding, did you notice that yesterday, Wikipedia and many other favorite websites were intentionally darkened to protest something called SOPA and PIPA? Made it rather tough to do any research for your Allen School Online course work I imagine. It did succeed in raising the awareness about these two pieces of legislation being considered in the US House of Representatives and Senate respectively. Both bills are nominally intended to combat the very real problem of online piracy of intellectual property. Through illegal downloads of music, movies, artwork and other copyrighted materials, producers of these items lose billions annually. The opponents of these bills are not pro-piracy, but they point out that the legislation as written, would provide an unchecked power to industry and government to shut down any website that is even accused of hosting pirated materials. Your mashup of Justin Bieber and Spongebob Squarepants on Youtube? That’d be plenty enough for a complainant to get Youtube shut down. Supporters of these bills, the Recording Industry of America and bigtime TV and movie studios suggest that this is not the case. Here is a quick primer on the bills and the controversy courtesy of CBS News. Have a look at it and then share with us in the comments your opinion on the matter. As online denizens, this legislation has an absolute impact on your life. Learn, form an opinion and be heard!
Being an Online Student at Allen School Online (or really being a student of medical billing and coding anywhere) requires great levels of concentration and memory. There are many specifics to learn, commit to memory and recall, as needed once you enter the fast paced work world. For this reason, I think nearly all our readers could benefit from some tips on how to keep your brain fresh and operating at optimal levels. | Some of these things are intuitive like, “Don’t deprive yourself of sleep if it can be helped” and “Eat more foods with Omega 3 fatty acids which help boost brain activity”. But there are alot of other techniques too like “Making sure to find laughter and laugh often” and “Enjoy a glass of wine several times each week” which don’t seem like the standard, run of the mill suggestions. Here and here are some links to several sites offering more orthodox and unorthodox ideas for keeping your mind sharp.
Being an online student at Allen School means you’re already someone inclined to multi-task and to find innovative ways of getting work done more quickly and efficiently. So you’ll probably be stoked with this list of nearly 30 websites designed to help students optimize their activities in such student-centric areas as online research, homework composition, buying/selling of textbooks, handy tools and academic social networking. Find easy PDF converters, textbook exchanges, professor reviews and many other tools, services and products to help optimize your productivity as a student. Visit this Student Productivity Guide for the details. You can thank me later!
Online students have an excuse for going out and spending money on electronic gadgetry. After all, a new all-in-one printer is useful for printing out coursework. A new laptop will increase productivity during study times and also, allows online classes to load and play more quickly with less browser crashes. And of course, a new flatscreen TV or media player is just the thing with which to reward your favorite Allen School Online student for studying hard and joining the workforce as a medical billing and coding specialist. Lifehacker has this pretty solid list of the best Black Friday deals available beginning Thanksgiving in the evening. Share any sale info you may have come across with your classmates in the comments section.