Dec 17th, 2008
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A new iPhone application allows professors to receive instant feedback from all of their students. A teacher can pose a question and, instead of getting a single response, can view answers from all of the students in the class.
The Wired Campus reports:
"The application lets professors set up instant polls in various formats. They can ask true-or-false questions or multiple-choice questions, and they can allow for free-form responses. The software can quickly sort and display the answers so that a professor can view responses privately or share them with the class by projecting them on a screen."
This iPhone technology may prove to be very useful for online settings, particularly classes that are conducted via video conference.
Dec 16th, 2008
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I’ve recently finished compiling a massive list of top-rated free online classes over at About.com. Here’s a blurb:
"Taking a free online class is a smart way to learn a new skill, increase your knowledge, or give virtual learning a risk-free try. The no-cost courses in this directory offer top-notch study materials such as lecture transcripts, streaming videos, mp3 lessons, and interactive exercises."
Take a look to find free classes in subjects such as HTML, dancing,
criminal justice online degrees
, and more.
Dec 12th, 2008
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Over the past few decades, college tuition has been raised exponentially. When compared to current incomes, it's less affordable than ever.
The New York Times reports:
"The rising cost of college – even before the recession – threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the biennial report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families."
Online education may be the solution for some students. Although not all virtual programs are less expensive, some do charge significantly less. Without the need to build a campus or maintain the grounds, a lot of completely online colleges are able to pass the savings on to students.
Dec 10th, 2008
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Moving from college to the workforce can be a huge adjustment. But, there's a lot of good advice out there for online graduates.
The Open Education Database recently published a list of 100 helpful lists for those with new degrees. They explain:
"Recent college graduates tend to be anxious and excited about the new adventures that face them, but even the most capable grads can have a hard time adjusting to moving across the country alone, dealing with rejection on the job front, and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle after school. To help them out, we've put together 100 lifehack lists that feature countless tips on staying fit, eating right, keeping track of a sensible budget and more."
The lists include advice on topics such as networking, considering graduate school, finding employment, and eliminating debt.
Dec 9th, 2008
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Enrollments for George Washington University's online graduate courses are growing every year.
The student newspaper GW Hatchet explains:
"Over the past four years, the number of new students who entered a graduate-level distance education program run by GW over the Internet has nearly doubled and the number of online courses has almost tripled. Last year, 550 new graduate students entered 18 programs, and this semester alone, 365 graduate students enrolled in an online program, according to the Office of Institutional Research…
"The distance education format actually fits the learning model for most students in a much better way," said Joe Bocchino, chair of the department of clinical management and leadership in the School of Medicine, who teaches both online and face-to-face classroom sessions. "We know that adults have to be ready to learn, that the learning process has to be on their terms, and that it has to be relevant to their world for it to be accessible."
Online learning is particularly convenient for older students who must juggle coursework with professional responsibilities. Programs such as those offered by George Washington University give learners the chance to have it all, without giving up employment.
Dec 4th, 2008
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We're officially in a recession. But, that doesn't mean traditional schools are pulling back their online programs. On the contrary, many schools are beginning to create online degrees to help students prepare for a tumultuous job market.
Nicolet College in Wisconsin, for example, has adapted this strategy. News of the North reports:
"Building a solid set of job skills is a wise strategy to help create security in unsettled economic times, according to Nicolet College's director of enrollment services…
To accommodate busy schedules, Nicolet has been offering an increasing number of online classes to help students juggle family, work, and college. "The flexibility of online classes has really opened the door to college for many students," Kordula said. "There are still tests and deadlines, but students decide when they do the coursework. They can do it in the middle of the morning or the middle of the night. It's totally up to them."
Months ago, some were speculating that online education would become solid investment during this troubled economic period. Perhaps they were right.
Dec 3rd, 2008
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Chris Schmidt
Many states are embracing online high school programs, allowing for government-funded charter schools or creating their own online systems.
The IdahoStatesman reports on such virtual high schools in Idaho:
"Superintendent of education Tom Luna said the current education model follows Henry Ford's mass production methods. But online learning offers great opportunities for students with different learning styles and abilities by providing cost-effective, targeted programs for tutoring, make-up classes, and concurrent and advanced credit.
"We have to move away from the business model we've adopted," Luna said. "One thing to remember is it will only be hard on the adults."
With this mind set, online programs can be tailored to fit many student needs instead of being seen as a one-size-fits-all solution.