May 31st, 2007
Yesterday I praised the launch of iTunes U, a hub for multimedia education content. Today I want to share some of the top iTunes U finds. OpenCulture.com recently published a list of ten free online classes anyone can download from iTunes U.
Among the free online courses are lecture collections from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon. Try out a class or two. You won't get credit, but you can learn from an ivy league without spending a dime.
See: 10 Free University Courses on iTunes.
May 30th, 2007
This week, Apple announced the launch of iTunes U, an online hub of free educational content. Apple Insider explains it as:
"…a dedicated area within the iTunes Store featuring free content such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top US colleges and universities including stanford university, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT."
The launch of iTunes U is definitely a step forward in the opencourseware movement. While many colleges have made educational content available on their own websites, iTunes U will greatly improve the accessibility of opencourseware. Now interested learners can find free lectures and educational podcasts in one place. Way to go iTunes U.
You can access iTunes U through your iTunes program or via the iTunes U website.
May 30th, 2007
Starting this fall, Austin Peay State University is offering a new online masters degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Students may earn the online psychology degree completely online. Here's what the university has to say about it:
"The online master's in I/O psychology will provide students knowledge of the theories and research methods used in the field and applications of those in work settings. Particular expertise can be developed in a variety of areas, including personnel selection, training and development, performance appraisal, motivation, team performance and leadership."
For more information see: Online Psychology Degree.
May 29th, 2007
If you're looking for a way to make your resume stand out or want to earn extra income on the side, learning how to write grants can be a lucrative decision. Many government and non-profit and other organizations will pay top dollar to grant writers who help them fund projects.
I recently came across an online grant writing certificate program that virtual students can complete from home. Here's what the offering school, Fort Hays State University, has to say about it:
"HSU's Department of Sociology and Social Work is pleased to offer one of the few undergraduate grant proposal writing and program evaluation programs in the nation. The skills you develop through this certificate program can increase your employment potential greatly as employers recognize the considerable value and financial benefit of well-trained grant proposal writers."
The online grant writing program consists of three required courses – a total of nine credits. One of the courses is a grant writing internship.
To learn more see: Grant Proposal and Program Evaluation.
May 26th, 2007
Good news for online students attending Northcentral University – beginning this July, the cost of undergraduate tuition is decreasing. According to a north press release:
"Effective July 1, 2007 tuition for all 100% online undergraduate courses will be $250 per credit ($750 per three credit course). This new tuition rate is a highly affordable solution for students seeking a quality academic program and a bachelor's degree from a premier online university."
For a full semester load of 12 credits, that's $3,000. Not a bad deal when you consider that, as of last year, 4-year public colleges charged an average of $2,918 a semester ($5,836 a year) and 4-year private colleges charged an average of $11,109 a semester ($22,218 a year). Source: College Board.
For more details about Northcentral's new tuition program see: Northcentral University Lowers Cost of Online Undergraduate Higher Education.
May 26th, 2007
If you're interested in finding Free education resources, check out one of my favorite edu-blogs: The Stingy Scholar.
A team of helpful bloggers offer educational website recommendations for adult learners. Find free online books, virtual learning tools, printables, podcasts, video lectures…and lots more educational goodies.
Check it out here: The Stingy Scholar Blog.
Know of another helpful education or distance learning blog? Please let me know by sending me a quick note.
May 24th, 2007
In an attempt to help thwart the growing trend of student plagiarism, Google recently announced its decision to ban ads from essay writing services. The BBC explains:
"Google is to ban adverts for essay writing services – following claims that plagiarism is threatening the integrity of university degrees.
There have been complaints from universities about students being sold customized essays on the internet.
The advert ban from the Google search engine has been 'warmly welcomed' by university authorities."
Although essay businesses are kicking and screaming about its unfairness, the decision is a move in the right direction. Google is, in effect, saying to students: "it is not ok to plagiarize." With the growing number of plagiarism cases (particularly with distance learning students), this is a message many need to hear.
For the full story see: Google Bans Essay Writing Adverts.
May 23rd, 2007
According to a Kristv.com article, there are five types of people best suited for online learning. Among them: the traveler, the business person, and the homebound. Here's a blurb from the article:
"If you frequently travel abroad, are constantly on the go because of business, are enlisted in the Armed Forces, you or a loved one has a physical or health disability, or you live far from a college campus (or just can't get to one near you), eLearning may be the best bet for achieving your higher education goals."
While a person's current activities may make online learning a more convenient choice, I believe that personality traits are the better determiners. A person who is organized and self-motivated is far more likely to succeed in an online course than one who needs constant encouragement and supervision.
May 22nd, 2007
According to the Wired Campus blog, a new test taking device is being advertised as a way to prevent online student cheating. Here's how they explain it:
"A company called Software Secure announced a new product today that combines several security features to help ensure that students in online courses don't cheat on tests. It's a device that plugs into the test taker's computer and requires the student to provide fingerprint verification before the test can begin. During the exam, the device also uses 360-degree video and audio recording to make sure nobody is helping the student. A professor can monitor the exam process from afar to make sure the test taker isn't taking too many bathroom breaks as well."
Since the athlete / BYU online scandal earlier this year, the need to ensure student honesty has become all too obvious. But, maybe we're looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps the new medium of online learning deserves a new medium of proving content mastery. As one blog commenter put it: "How about finding an alternative to traditional tests? There are real ways to measure someone's skills without using traditional testing that merely gauges a person's ability to memorize."
Read the Wired Campus post: Your Cheatin' Heart
May 22nd, 2007
TechSmith has heard the call of Vista lovers and announces its SnagIt software is now available for users of Microsoft Visual Studio Team System:
TechSmith Corp., the world's leading provider of screen capture and recording solutions, today announced the release of its SnagIt accessory for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, giving developers a fast and easy way to communicate bug reports and tasks with screenshots. The new Certified for Vista version of SnagIt with the Team System output accessory will be available in TechSmith's booth (425, 427) at Microsoft Tech-Ed 2007, taking place June 4-8, in Orlando Florida.
With SnagIt's output to Team System, developers can forego lengthy text descriptions or image attachments. SnagIt can automatically attach the screenshot to the chosen work item in the image format selected. 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.
"SnagIt has been a favorite among developers, product managers, designers and quality assurance professionals for a long time," said Tony Dunckel, SnagIt product manager at TechSmith. "These customers will immediately recognize the productivity benefits SnagIt brings to reporting and tracking tasks. The new Team System accessory will help streamline the application development process significantly."
SnagIt is the world's most popular screen capture software with more than seven 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, websites and blogs.
System Requirements and Availability
SnagIt 8.2.3 supports Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, XP x64 and Windows Vista. SnagIt 8.2.3 can be downloaded immediately at www.techsmith.com. SnagIt's Visual Studio Team System accessory can be downloaded at http://www.techsmith.com/snagit/accessories/teamsystem.asp. The suggested retail price of SnagIt is $39.95 for a single-user license. SnagIt accessories are free. For additional information, visit: http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp.
Sponsord by TechSmith