Archive for April, 2007

Online Students – Beware of Social Networking Sites

Apr 30th, 2007
Online Students - Beware of Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook offer a fun way to connect with friends and family. But, time has shown that employers and colleges look down on the overly personal content users post to these sites.

Consider the recent case of stacy Snider, an education student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Just before her graduation, university officials found a picture of Snyder sipping from a plastic cup and wearing a pirate cap. Beneath the picture were the words: "Drunken Pirate." The results were life-changing. Wired Campus explains:

"Although Ms. Snyder was of legal drinking age when the photo was taken, Millersville administrators deemed the image 'unprofessional,' and they refused to award her an education degree and the teaching certificate that came along with it. (Instead they issued her a degree in English.)"

The young graduate is suing the school for the right to teach. But, whatever the outcome of her case, the lesson remains: be careful of posting questionable material anywhere on the web. If this relatively moderate photo cost a woman her future as a teacher, posting on social networking sites can be dangerous for anyone. Online students are especially at risk because they are judged completely by their virtual persona.

For more on this story see: A MySpace Photo Costs a Student a Teaching Certificate

Sponsored Post: TechSmith Brings Free Virtual Sticky Notes and Skype Accessories to SnagIt

Apr 30th, 2007
Sponsored Post: TechSmith Brings Free Virtual Sticky Notes and Skype Accessories to SnagIt

TechSmith Corp., the world's leading provider of screen capture and recording solutions, today announced the release of its SnagIt Notes and Skype Output accessories. SnagIt enables computer users to take screenshots of exactly what they see on their screens to communicate ideas faster, explain concepts clearly, and archive electronic information with point-and-click convenience.

With SnagIt Notes, customers can take screenshots, add graphic elements and text, and save them to their desktop as a virtual sticky note. With SnagIt's Skype Output, customers can share screen captures over chat sessions with a single click, adding visual reference or clarification to any conversation.

"In today's multi-tasking, information-intensive world, these two accessories will help any knowledge worker get more organized and save precious minutes throughout the day," said Tony Dunckel, SnagIt product manager at TechSmith. "We hope our customers find the Notes and Skype accessories to be a nice complement to the powerhouse feature set SnagIt is known for. These are the second group of free and fun accessories that we'll be rolling out this year."

Using SnagIt Notes, customers can:

Create visual reminders by saving screen captures as a virtual sticky note on their desktop and add text at any time.
Save screenshots to the clipboard or to the SnagIt editor to do more with the image later.
Avoid desktop clutter by organizing multiple notes from the tray icon, including opening, closing, hiding, and rolling up notes.
Using the SnagIt Skype Output customers can:

Quickly communicate ideas effectively with screenshots instead of wasting time typing and speaking lengthy explanations.
end unlimited screen captures to the same person over chat without having to save and attach them all to an email.
SnagIt is the world's most popular screen capture software with more than 7 million users worldwide. With SnagIt, users can capture, edit and share any image, including scrolling windows, objects, menus, video, text, and Web pages and include them in emails and instant messages, PowerPoint presentations, MS Office documents, marketing and sales materials, technical documentation, class handouts, websites and blogs.

System Requirements and Availability
SnagIt 8.2 supports Microsoft, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. SnagIt 8.2 can be downloaded immediately at www.techsmith.com. SnagIt Notes and Skype Output can be downloaded at http://www.techsmith.com/snagit/accessories.asp. The suggested retail price is $39.95 for a single-user license. Free trial licenses are also available. For additional information, visit: http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp.

Sponsored by TechSmith

Free Online Classes

Apr 28th, 2007
Free Online Classes

Enrolling in a free online class is an easy way to prepare for your "real" courses, explore your interests, or learn a new skill without the pressure of grades and deadlines. If you're interested in taking a free online class, check out these directories:

Free Online Cooking Classes

Free Online Business Classes

Free Online Writing and Journalism Classes

Free Online Language Classes

You may also be interested in the more complete Directory of Free Online Classes from SelfMadeScholar.com. Happy learning.

BYU Online Program Sends Proctor to Test Student Athlete

Apr 28th, 2007
BYU Online Program Sends Proctor to Test Student Athlete

After the controversy surrounding BYU's lax regulations for online student testing, the university is taking precautions to defend its popular online courses. Usually, online students take exams with a proctor at a local college, library, or testing center. But, in order to ensure the integrity of the program, BYU flew a proctor to Mississippi to supervise an algebra test with student athlete Jerrell Powe. According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

"The NCAA later determined…that Powe had received 'significant' help with those courses, and it declined to accept the credits to allow him to play. In August, the NCAA Student Records Review Group denied Powe's appeal of its decision not to accept his BYU credits, said Joe Barnett, Powe's spokesman and a surrogate father of sorts…

Powe hasn't given up, and BYU appears willing to help rectify the situation. He is retaking the 16 credits he needs to earn a high school diploma, four through BYU's online course and the rest through Wayne County High School and other online courses, Barnett said."

It is important to note that while BYU gives credit for coursework completed, the university's online program does not award college diplomas to virtual undergraduate students. For more information on this controversial case see: BYU Defends Online Courses.

Beware of Exaggerating on Your Resume

Apr 28th, 2007
Beware of Exaggerating on Your Resume

This week MIT Dean of Admission Marilee Jones resigned after two decades of service to the university. Why? The resume she submitted 28 years ago, when applying for an office secretarial position, listed degrees she did not actually receive.

Including false information or listing "diploma mill" degrees on a resume can have devastating consequences for an employee's reputation.

For more information about the MIT scandal see: MIT Admission Dean Falsified Her Resume

For tips on how to show off your legitimate online degree see:
Resume Format
Resume Writing Tips – Make Your Resume Sparkle

Guide to Online MBA Degrees

Apr 28th, 2007
Guide to Online MBA Degrees

The ever-so-popular online MBA degree is appealing to young college grads and business people eyeing promotions. But, how do you know if an online MBA is right for you? How do you choose a school? And what kind of jobs can you get?

eLearners Mini-Guide to Online Business Degrees can help you find answers. Their website explains:

"It's natural to be excited and nervous about the idea of earning a business degree over the Internet. Since we know you have lots of questions about studying business online, online business schools, and going back to school online, we have created this quick, easy-to-read 'Mini-Guide to online business degrees' to help give you all the facts that you need to make the right choice for you."

Microsoft Vista Causing Problems for Distance Learners?

Apr 27th, 2007
Microsoft Vista Causing Problems for Distance Learners?

Before you install Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system, take a minute to make sure it won't interfere with your online studies. According to The Barnstable Patriot, Vista users have had problems with a common online learning platform:

"Colleges offering online classes over the Internet using Blackboard, a widely distributed e-learning software package, have experienced functionality problems with systems running Vista. Although most of the problems have workarounds or temporary fixes, some academic IT departments are recommending that students and administrators delay installing Vista until the Blackboard issues have been resolved."

For more information see: Vista is Here – Wow or Whoa?

80 Free Open Education Resources for Learning Collaboration

Apr 25th, 2007
80 Free Open Education Resources for Learning Collaboration

This week the online education database published a links to 80 open education resources – websites online teachers and students can use to collaborate with others. According to their article:

"While some OERs include OpenCourseWare (OCW) or other educational materials, they may also offer the means to alter those courses through editing, adding to those courses through publication, and the ability to shape the tools that share those resources. Additionally, they may maintain forums or other platforms where individuals can collaborate on building educational tools and documentation and the reach for those materials.

To that end, the list…includes 80 online resources that you can use to learn how to build or participate in a collaborative educational effort that focuses on publication and development of those materials."

To see the resource list check out: 80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives.

Free Downloadable Textbooks Save Students Money

Apr 24th, 2007
Free Downloadable Textbooks Save Students Money

Textbooks can cost over a hundred dollars a class. Many students are desperate to find ways to save – that's why some for-profit companies are offering free texts for popular classes. Students agree to put up with advertising in their course materials in return for paying nothing. An About.com blog post explains:

"Downloadable textbooks can save students thousands over the course of their education. As more professors decide to publish their textbooks for free, students will get to choose between the electronic and the paper version of the required texts. Hopefully, traditional publishers will see the increased interest in free books and will lower their prices to be competitive."

To learn about the pros and cons of free textbooks and for links to free texts, see: Free Downloadable Textbooks for College Students
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Completely Online MLS Degree Programs for Future Librarians

Apr 21st, 2007
Completely Online MLS Degree Programs for Future Librarians

Hello book lovers. This week was National Library Week, the perfect excuse to stay in your pjs and spend a day or two catching up on reading.

If you really love books, why not consider a Master of Library Science degree? Librarians get to work all day in a room surrounded by reading.

Still think of librarians as grey-haired and grumpy? Think again. A new generation of librarians is changing the way people see libraries. Looks like fun.

For a list of accredited MLS degree programs see: The American Library Association MLS Degree Directory. Click on the radio buttons to refine your search to distance learning programs.