Archive for March, 2004

Educate yourself for smarter consumption

Mar 30th, 2004

And don't end up living in a van down by the river (or in this case, a street in St. Petersburg, Russia – Photo Veronica Khokhlova)

At … stategies for developing cost-effective e-learning solutions for solid business results.

Most large companies have embraced e-learning as a cost-effective method of delivering learning to an enterprise audience. However, business divisions with specialized needs and mid-size and small companies continue to face challenges in finding e-learning solutions to fit their scale and budget.Full story at Learning Circuits.

Bringing reality to E-Learning

Mar 29th, 2004

From Australian IT … via Distance Educator.

E-LEARNING that blends online exercises with mentoring could increase worker performance by 50 per cent over online training alone, a study finds.

The Thomson Job Impact Study finds a blended learning model using scenario-based exercises (SBEs), or real-world situations, improves workforce productivity.

The international study by Thomson/NETg covered 200 employees at all organisational levels across a range of industries, including aerospace, computing and manufacturing.

I like this a lot. I'm sometimes skeptical about the online learning when it removes much of the direct human contact students or traninees get in traditional classroom education. Mentoring is a great way to bridge some of those gaps.

Distance education moves closer to mainstream

Mar 24th, 2004

The College of Education at Temple University has released a document about the present and future of distance education. Online learning is more mainstream than most traditional faculty thought it ever would be. I found this at Distance Educator

Read it here.

And an excerpt…

Distance education (DE) is now closer to being main stream than many faculty and administrators in universities thought it would be. No longer is DE considered to be novel, or only for the technologically savvy. BlackBoard and WebCT, the two most widely used online course management systems, have made it easier for faculty to reach out to students at any time, in any place. And yet, Bradburn (2002) reported data from the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty in the fall of 1998 that showed only six percent of instructional faculty and staff who reported teaching for-credit classes indicated they taught at least one distance education class. While the data was from 1998, the sample included 980 postsecondary institutions and a total of 18,000 returned and usable faculty questionnaires. Granted in 1998 easy access and use of the World Wide Web through web browsers was still relatively fresh. The Web was in the process of changing the nature of communication and educational opportunities, and asynchronous learning networks were being established in many institutions. So, while it may not be remarkable that only 6% of faculty reported teaching through distance education in 1998, it is an important benchmark for current thinking and planning.

Weblogs in Education

Mar 22nd, 2004 is a great site to visit for information on weblogging and education. There may be a number of online courses where you have to submit to a weblog, or start your own weblog as part of the course. This site is a brilliant place to get an overview about how weblogs are used in education.

For example, I'd like to point you to an article by William Richardson about weblogging in the writing classroom.

Here are some highlights from Richard's attendance at the New Jersey Writing Alliance Conference.

Blogging facilitates what Donald Murray refers to as the writer's conversation with the reader as he writes. The immediate audience that Weblogs provide necessitates that conversation, and I have to say that if I've seen one area where student writing has been effected it's in this area.

Blogging allows students to write about real topics that they have a real interest in.

The blogging process teaches an important writing skill that asks students to find and read material relevant to their lives, capture, credit, and synthesize it in writing, publish it to allow others to comment, and then read some more.

The Five Pillars of Quality Online Education

Mar 17th, 2004

The Sloan Consortium has issued a report coming out of their 2002 conference … The Five Pilars of quality Online Education. Read it here in pdf.

Cyber schools showing poor results

Mar 15th, 2004

From the Educause listserv…

The number of online schools in the United States is growing, but test scores indicate that students at those schools are not performing as well as students in traditional classrooms. According to the Center for Education Reform, the number of cyber schools grew from 30 to 82 in two years, and the state of Ohio alone has granted charters to 63 cyber schools. According to test results in Pennsylvania of students in fifth, eighth, and eleventh grades, however, students at cyber schools scored below state averages in 17 of 24 areas. Results in Ohio cyber schools were similarly low. Students at one of Ohio's cyber schools, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, did not meet proficiency standards set by the state, and of 22 "indicators of success," the school only passed one, which was student attendance. defenders of cyber schools said the programs tend to draw students who are not likely to succeed in traditional classroom settings, which skews test results, and many parents of cyber-school students continue to support the programs.
Wired News, 15 March 2004,1284,62662,00.htmlIt's hard to tell if these scores are a result of the programs, or the lack of oversight by parents. One thing parents must remember when they start to educate their kids at home is that they now take on the role as teacher, and not just parent and provider. Just setting your kid in a room with a computer is not enough, and sadly that's probably what a lot of parents do when they school their kids at home. I'm not sure if I see the benefits of home schooling or cyber grade school or high school education as that age is when kids should be learning more social skills and interacting with kids. What we need is better teachers and more funding in our public schools, as well as some sort of discipline.

MBA Weblogs Online

Mar 15th, 2004

There is a fabulous collection of links to MBA weblogs online at The League of MBA Bloggers. It's worth a look when trying to decide what MBA programs may work for you. Not much about online MBA programs there yet.

Here is a nice list of weblogs over at Harvard Universtiy. I've not been able to look through all of them yet, but the top trafficked is the Technology at Harvard Law blog, which has a lot of news of interest to bloggers.

Adam Medros also has a nice weblog with links to business school weblogs, but it doesn't seem like it's been updated much lately.

Over at Seblogging, there is a good piece on the limits of organized education, with this quote from Thomas, L. & Harri-Augstein, S.

There are, in contemporary society, more organised opportunities for learning than at any other time in history. But, it is this very universality of institutionally authorised learning which can mislead people into believing that everybody's ideas about learning are much the same. Paradoxically, this assumption, that we know exactly how it is for others, co-exists with the deep-seated conviction that our own significant learning experience are unique.. Indeed, many people feel that most of their 'real learning' has taken place outside the realms of organised education, training and counselling.

Hotel and Hospitality Management Courses

Mar 13th, 2004

I wanted to highlight a couple resources for online courses in hotel managent and hospitality management, both from Thomson Education direct. Follow the links for more information.

Hotel/Restaurant Management and Travel Agent programs.

Hospitality Management

Funding your online education

Mar 12th, 2004

I found this at about finding scholarships, grants, internships and other opportunities through a federal government website called e-Scholar. It looks like a valuable resource for looking into funding for your education.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) e-Scholar website increased to over $1 billion, the total value of educational programs available. The website,, linked from OPM's USAJOBS website,, contains hundreds of Federal educational scholarships, fellowships, grants, internships, and Cooperative programs.

"This is one-stop shopping for those who are interested in accessing Federal educational opportunities," stated OPM Director Kay Coles James. "E-Scholar is an effective venue for students interested in serving their nation, and another means to attract the best and brightest to government service. Parents, professors, career counselors and students have been provided a unique resource through this initiative."

New programs are posted daily, enabling browsers to find a program that best meets their needs. Currently, just over 400 educational programs are available on the one-stop website.

Bad news for blogs …

Mar 11th, 2004

From Joi Ito, it seems that the Chinese government is shutting down blogs. Joi links to Issac Mao on the subject., one of the biggest blogging service in China, has been ordered to shut down it's service from noon today. Based in Henan province, now serves over 15,000 bloggers in China.