Apr 25th, 2005
Earned with city funds …
The city of Cheyenne has paid for the city's police chief to earn a masters degree from a suspected diploma mill.
Police Chief Bob Fecht got the degree from Lacrosse University in Mississippi.
The chief does not defend the school or the degrees it offers. He says he was interested in the coursework and the research.More commentary on this story from Mark W. Shead.
Apr 25th, 2005
From the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, this paper on training public health professionals through distance learning.
Distance education provides several advantages to students. " The Internet is enabling us to address these educational challenges, bringing learning to students instead of bringing students to learning. It is allowing for the creation of learning communities that defy the constraints of time and distance as it provides access to knowledge that was once difficult to obtain&lrquo; (Web-based Education Commission, 2000, p. i). The Distance Education Training Council (2003) reported decreasing lost work days, travel and living expenses associated with a traditional program, and the flexibility of distance study as important benefits of distance learning. In addition, the students are able to set their own pace and schedule for learning, and experience learning in a one-on-one setting. Additionally, distance education can help address the growing need of training the public health workforce. In the Institute of Medicine report Who will keep the Public Healthy? , it advocated for distance education as a method " …Enabling workers to continue in their work responsibilities by completing self-paced coursework, this approach reduces the burden overworked and understaffed agencies feel as their staff members participate in educational programs&lrquo;
Apr 24th, 2005
From Gelf Magazine … George Weah, Liberian hero …
Now that Weah has changed his mind and decided to enter the 42-man race for the presidency in October, that landslide no longer seems inevitable. If Weah is to win, he will have to overcome the scandal that is unfolding about his educational background-no small irony, considering how negligible the issue is compared to the deep woes enveloping Liberia as it emerges from 14 years of civil war.
His campaign website states that he received his bachelor's degree in Sports Management from Parkwood University in London. This is not a legitimate degree. Parkwood University was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission in 2003 because its owners, among other things, were marketing and selling " phony diplomas issued by fictitious universities via unsolicited commercial email and the Internet.&lrquo;
Apr 24th, 2005
Interesting new site (maybe too much like this one though!), highlighted in this story at Yahoo News via Distance Educator …
EducationforAdults.com, an online directory of nontraditional education programs for busy adults, has created a blog in the hopes of making adults' transitions back into the classroom easier.
The aim of the blog is to form a community where adults contemplating going back to school can interact with people in similar situations and hear stories about other adults who are returning or have returned to school.
"One of the major reasons adults never go back to school is because they don't want to be the only ones," says Tara Longo, manager of EducationforAdults.com. "They don't realize there are thousands of people in the identical situation they are. When they meet these people and hear their stories, it makes them feel better about themselves. It makes them realize they can do this. It gives them hope. That is the aim of our blog."
The blog, run by Mike Doolin, seems pretty good so far (it looks like it's only a few days old) and you can find the direct link here. Here's a post from a few days ago about distance learning vs. traditional learning.
Distance education allows you to learn from home, the library, etc. rather than going and sitting in a classroom. As a busy adult, this may be a great alternative if you don't have a school around you that offers the program you want or if you don't have the flexibility in your schedule to go and sit in a classroom. However, distance education requires a great deal of self-discipline and just as much work and time commitment as a traditional classroom. If you are not good at scheduling study time and keeping yourself on track, you may want to avoid distance education options.
Apr 21st, 2005
This story, from the BBC, about how researchers are starting a project to help the blind use technology at its fullest. Likely important to distance education in the future.
Researchers at Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland, are beginning work on a three-year project to extend the benefits of technology to users who are blind or visually impaired. Funded by a 3.8 million euro grant from the European Union, the project will include 13 other universities and organizations from around Europe. Alan Marshall, professor at Queen's University, noted that people with disabilities are unable to benefit from many of the advantages of technology because of the design of the technology itself. The disparity between those who can use technology to its fullest and those who cannot will widen if
steps are not taken to address it, according to Marshall. The project will address such topics as tactile displays and audio aids, and researchers will also look into using technology to help people with visual impairments participate in a variety of activities. For example, Marshall described a system of devices in shopping centers that would automatically identify themselves to wireless devices. Those with such devices could walk through a shopping center and know what stores they were near and could locate others.Bits and Bytes also has some thoughts on the subject as well as Jeff Nolan at Venture Chronicles.
Apr 21st, 2005
From Education Week, this story about the offshoring of tutors with federal funds …
Concern is rising in some quarters that the No Child Left Behind act permits foreign companies to provide federally financed online tutoring to students at underperforming schools.
Such arrangements appear to constitute only a minute fraction of the tutoring business that is mushrooming under the federal law.More at This Week in Education. Follow all the latest outsourcing news at the Outsourcing-Weblog.com.
Apr 19th, 2005
News from The Business Journal out of Minnesota.
Capella Education Co. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange commission to go public, the company said Monday.
For more than a year rumors have surfaced that the fast-growing Minneapolis-based online education company has been planning for an initial public offering (IPO). This is the second highly anticipated IPO this year — ev3 filed plans for an IPO last month.
Apr 18th, 2005
And even more news in this area. Seems like something new every day. This time from the University of Wyoming, via CNN.
The University of Wyoming has insisted that a student remove copies of old tests from his Web site. Aaron Narva, a senior at the university, had posted the tests online and initially sold them to other students. Later, Narva gave the tests away for free. Narva said that old tests are a useful study aid, noting that the athletics department as well as sororities and fraternities make copies of tests available to their members. Dane Ciolino, professor of copyright law at Loyola University, said that Narva's comparison fails because by posting the tests online, he is making many more copies available. Ciolino also noted that fair use cannot apply if Narva was charging money for the tests. Narva is charged with violating university policies and will have a hearing at the university later this month.More on the story at The Carnival of Education.
Apr 18th, 2005
From the BBC, the rise of plagerism in the UK.
Dorit Chomer runs one of several companies that trade in "off-the-peg" and custom-written academic work.
She told a BBC Radio 4 documentary she sells between 500 and 1,000 essays a week, mainly to overseas students studying in the UK.
Prices start at GBP50.
"I've got three systems working 24 hours a day," she said in an interview for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.More on this at PR Studies.
Apr 17th, 2005
An online university in a P.O. Box? Find out at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Heed exhibits several signs of being a degree mill, but the state has little over it, said David Dies, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board.
One flag: Heed allows students to count life experience toward program credits. Another: Its Thomas Jefferson College of Law promises law degrees, including the standard juris doctor, that can be completed in less than a year, though it also says its programs are "non-bar." A typical law program takes about three years.
Experts pointed to another sign: Some of Heed's programs are priced based on the degree and not per credit or semester. The cost of its psychoanalytic doctoral program, for instance, is listed as $10,500.
After a reporter inquired several times about the school, Heed University took its home page, www.heed.edu, off the Internet.