Nov 30th, 2006
3.1 million students can't be wrong. This is the number of students in America alone who enrolled in online courses and degree programs last year, up a whopping 35% from the previous year. Enrollment in 'traditional' classes has not experienced growth anywhere near these numbers.
It's not pure bliss in online academia, though:
At the same time, fewer of the administrators at both public and private colleges said their faculty "accept the value and legitimacy of online education," raising a critical obstacle for a method of making college more affordable and more accessible to nontraditional students, the report said.
College administrators "see significant barriers to widespread adoption, and those barriers tend to be things like, 'My faculty doesn't believe in it,' " said Jeff Seaman, a co-author of the report. "That's going to be the tension in the coming years."
Have you encountered resistance to your Academic degree? While these opinions may be valid, it seems logical that as online degree programs continue to grow in popularity, and in a diverse array of arenas (even the Ivy League is getting in on the online action), acceptance will grow.
Nov 26th, 2006
The computer based game Sims has been popular for a long time. Why not? It's fun to create people and manipulate them into amusing–and sometimes helpful–situations. Now you can have that fun while earning a college degree.
At least that's what students and professors are hoping, and it may come to pass with the development of "Second Life," software that allows creation of simulated characters that can then be put into educational situations.
Also known as avatars, the residents start up businesses, stage their own concerts, sell real estate and design fashion lines. Reuters news agency even has a correspondent based in the cyber community.
A growing number of educators are getting caught up in the wave. More than 60 schools and educational organizations have set up shop in the virtual world and are exploring ways it can be used to promote learning.
The three-dimensional virtual world makes it possible for students taking a distance course to develop a real sense of community, said Rebecca Nesson, who leads a class jointly offered by Harvard Law School and Harvard Extension School in the world of "Second Life."
"Students interact with each other and there's a regular sense of classroom interaction. It feels like a college campus," she said.
Not only is it fun and educational, it may serve to bridge the gap between a 'traditional' and an online education.
Has there ever been a better time to go back to school?
(Image Source: CNN)