"Education is the most
powerful weapon which
you can use to change
the world".

-- Nelson Mandela



"Genius without education
is like silver in the mine."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Archive for the ‘e-learning’ Category

Swine Flu Cases Multiply Rapidly As Colleges Prepare for Fall Students

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

As excited college students prepare to move into campus dorms, they look forward to meeting new roommates, fitting all their belongings into half of a dorm room and registering for classes.

They are not concerned about catching the flu.

That job belongs to health officials at the Centers for Disease Control who are, indeed, concerned.

Even as students and parents prepare to lug heavy boxes into dorm rooms all over the nation, the Centers for Disease Control epidemiologists are working feverishly to head off the potentially serious consequences of a fast-moving, unpredictable — yet still mild — flu virus.

The H1N1 virus, known as the swine flu, has already struck 43,771 Americans in confirmed cases (as of 7-24-09) and continues to move rapidly throughout the population during this unusual summer season. Normally, the summer is not a part of flu season.

Some CDC officials estimate the numbers of flu cases to be closer to a million; since most people who contract the current strain of H1N1 are not tested for it and are able to recover without serious complications.

But the scenario may change in the fall, when school children and college students cluster again together in close quarters.

Although there are only 302 confirmed deaths in the U.S. from the H1N1 virus (as of 7-24-09), the strain is poised to mutate into a more dangerous flu virus that could cause tens of thousands of deaths if not averted.

However, there are preventative steps that may limit serious repercussions of the swine flu:

  • Distributing antiviral drugs as needed,
  • Students opting for online classes, online schools and online degree programs instead of on-campus classes that force them to be exposed to sick people,
  • Educating the public about what to do if they become sick with the swine flu,
  • Avoiding crowds when sick or if in a high risk category, like having asthma or a compromised immune system,
  • Washing hands frequently to help prevent becoming sick with the flu,
  • Covering the nose and mouth with a clean tissue when sneezing or coughing,
  • Contacting a doctor if experiencing high fevers or breathing difficulties.

Flu season came early this year, with a head start on the students who will soon begin their college or university studies.

But those who opt for online education may find solace in the opportunity to study in the comfort and safety of their flu-free homes.

antiviral drugs, antiviral drugs, cdc, college, epidemiologist, flu season, h1n1 virus, online degree programs, online schools, students, summer season, swine flu

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Higher Learning Signs, They Are A-Changin’

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

As major newspapers fall out of business, signs of change are also evident in higher learning.

The signs reveal a neon pathway that is clearly visible to innovators and trendsetters, but surprisingly invisible to business-as-usual types.

These education trend indicators inspire tough sermons delivered by education forecasters — warning that traditional colleges and universities are slowly losing ground. And unless higher education administrators embrace rapidly changing technology that daily informs, connects and influences today’s children, these future college students will shun on-campus schools and stampede toward high-tech online schools.

Newspapers were warned in much the same way, soon after the public began receiving its breaking news on the Internet, rather than in paper form — and often hours before it hit the printing presses. But only now are the major newspapers tumbling out of circulation — after years of warnings. So perhaps traditional schools have sufficient time to act.

Administrative visionaries must integrate online classes and online degree programs into their education foundations, or risk going the way of the dinosaurs — into extinction.

In past blog articles, we stressed this message in:

And now, the Chronicle of Higher Education also warns traditional colleges and universities that they may be in trouble.

An article by Kevin Carey, “What Colleges Should Learn From Newspapers’ Decline” (April, 3, 2009), chronicles the chain of events that could determine the fate of many public, and some private, honorable institutions of higher learning.

Hopefully, colleges and universities will heed the warnings, rather than ignore them like the newspapers did.

Our local newspaper lost weight over the past couple of years, shedding reporters, departments and pages. Now it hits the driveway — or the ditch — as a mere shadow of its former self. Soon, it will reach its unplanned resting place of intangibility on the web, a fleeting flicker of information traveling unceremoniously along telecommunication pathways.

And just as a newspaper era will soon be gone, so might ‘Taps’ be chosen among the repertoire for a slew of hallowed halls of education — unless the powers that be finally set their antennae on the neon path to a brighter, higher education future.

online school, online degree programs, online classes, obsessed, higher learning, college, sign, innovator, trends, pathway, business as usual, high tech, news, change, future, students

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

E-learning and Romance: How Online Education Enhances Love

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Okay, so leaning over and gently whispering the words “online education” into your sweetheart’s ear may not stoke the fires of love; but there are other ways that distance learning can help heat up the romance.

Obviously, regular communication that is clear and honest helps to determine the quality of a relationship. And love, respect and appreciation for the other party breeds contentment and longevity.

This is an arena where e-learning may be able to contribute in the following ways:

  1. E-learning is designed to allow more time for relationships, not take it away. On-campus classes demand travel time, time in class, time at the lab (if required), on-campus teacher office hours and possible study and research time at the on-campus library. With e-learning, there is no travel time or in-class time on the campus; and virtual libraries, virtual labs and online office hours are available instead.
  2. E-learning offers flexible hours; and you can choose study times that work around relationship and family time. So if you have a regular date night (or nights), study time may fit either before or after the time out on the town.
  3. E-learning can travel with you and your sweetheart. You can still take that trip to the Caribbean, or maybe that close-to-home trip down the coast, up to the mountains or into the city. As long as your computer is portable and Internet access is available, you can even take exams and do homework from an idyllic travel spot. And since most local libraries have computers and Internet access, having your own computer is not always a requirement.
  4. E-learning may be another way of saying, “I love you enough to sacrifice time and money now to make a better life for us down the road.” Those late nights, early mornings and weekends that involve studying should signify to a significant other that you care enough about the relationship to plan and work now for a better future life together.
  5. E-learning offers the non-student in the relationship a chance to say “I love you” in special ways. A show of support for the student is a significant way to show love and build strong bonds. This support may include: taking care of extra household duties to allow extra study time as it is needed; being especially understanding when the student is studying, preparing for final tests or working on projects; keeping the children occupied when necessary and showing appreciation for the student’s efforts to earn an online degree.

Also, by remaining continually supportive and never complaining about your loved one’s efforts to take online classes, you allow the student to see your unselfish, generous-of-heart attitude, which creates a firmer foundation of longevity for the relationship.

Online schools and online degree programs are designed to enhance the lives of adult learners. And like candy and flowers, they also encourage love and romance to bloom.

For more on love, romance and school, read “Show Your Love On Valentine’s Day Without Spending a Dime

online schools, elearning, online education, valentines day, family, online degrees, adult learners, love, distance learning, computer, Internet, online classes, school, student, travel,plan

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Concord Law School Grad Allowed to Sit for Massachusetts Bar Exam

Monday, December 1st, 2008

An online law school graduate recently made the news when he sued the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and won the right to take the state bar exam.

Like a sonic boom, it has rocked the legal education community.

Ross Mitchell, an online school graduate of Concord Law School, passed the California bar exam in 2004. But since Concord is not approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), Mitchell was not eligible to practice law outside of California and could not sit for the bar exam in other states.

However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Mitchell’s favor and made an exception after reviewing his excellent academic record.

The decision comes at a time that the American Bar Association is preparing to perform a comprehensive review, which will include an thorough assessment of online law schools. Mitchell’s success in this case may open up the opportunity for other exemplary e-learning law school grads to challenge the ABA requirements for taking state bar exams.

Concord Law School, Mitchell’s alma mater, is a fully online law school. It is recognized by the California Bar Association; so graduates may sit for the California bar exam and, if they pass, practice law in California. However, the ABA does not recognize any law degree that is completely earned by distance learning.

And although Concord Law School is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, it is not approved by the ABA because it is an online law degree.

Some states outside of California allow Concord Law School graduates to sit for the bar exam if the candidate has passed the California bar exam and has worked as a lawyer for five years. But other states, like Minnesota, do not allow graduates to sit for the bar exam.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court made a step in the right direction to insure fairness for graduates of reputable online schools like Concord Law School.

Maybe the ABA will follow suit.

online school, online schools, online law school, distance learning, Concord Law School, bar exam, ABA, Massachusetts, American Bar Association, e-learning, lawyer, Minnesota, sonic boom

Popularity: 13% [?]

Posted by vida

As Battleground Poll Rages, E-learning Continues to Grow

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Just two weeks before Election Day, as battleground polls (like Gallup) keep us abreast of each candidate’s standing, e-learning continues its meteoric rise in colleges and universities across the nation.

And as Barack Obama and John McCain duke it out in the trenches, the education world continues to rotate on its technology-driven axis, raining down a outpouring of interest and involvement in online schools and online degree programs.

Yet the primary bumper crop in this higher education harvest is the proliferation of young e-learners who have remained true to their high-tech upbringing and have chosen to study online, rather than in the traditional classrooms of their parents and grandparents.

At last count, over 3.5 million students have taken at least one online class, according to statistics gathered by the Sloan Consortium in fall 2006. This was a 10% increase over the previous year. Forecasters anticipate that number to be much higher today.

Since the Sloan distance-learning report, which chronicled information from 2,500 colleges and universities, education publications have been abuzz with information listing the addition of numerous online degrees and online classes in schools across the nation.

The astounding and increasing success of e-learning has encouraged and enabled adult learners to return to school, even while they continue to work full-time jobs and spend quality time with loved ones.

A few reasons for the historic rise in e-learning popularity include:

  • E-learning is extremely flexible, allowing students to choose their own study hours and location.
  • Computers, the most important tool for e-learning, have dropped significantly in price. And Internet access is available for free in public libraries and other locations.
  • The passing of a recent higher education bill raised Pell Grant limits and promises to insure a smoother application process for financial aid.
  • Huge, reputable online databases of e-learning programs and schools, like Directory of Schools, make it easier for potential students to find the information they need to begin their education journey.

Although battleground election polls will soon end with a victor gaining the lions share of electoral votes, e-learning is destined to continue its record growth year after year.

And its champions are the men and women, young and old, who have chosen to diligently pursue a course of study that enhances their own lives and encourages others to follow their example.

battleground poll, Election Day, distance learning, e-learning, McCain, Obama, online degree programs, online schools, online degrees, Directory of Schools, Gallup, colleges and universities, election polls, electoral votes

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Free Online Courses Stimulate E-learning Appetites

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

How do you return to school if there is no money in the budget and no time to meet homework deadlines?

Thankfully, there is a solution for wannabe students who are not prepared to pay tuition bills, or who are hesitant about committing their time to an online degree program.

They can try out one of the free online classes from top colleges and universities across the country.

In fact, following the lead of several Ivy League schools, Stanford University now offers 10 free online classes through its School of Engineering.

The free program, known as Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), is available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. It is the first time that Stanford has made these classes available tuition-free; and it is a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty all over the world.

Among the 10 classes included are: a 3-course Introduction to Computer Science, 3 courses in Artificial Intelligence and 4 courses in Linear Systems and Optimization.  Each class includes lectures, handouts, homework assignments and a syllabus. However there is no interaction with the instructor or with classmates.

In accredited online schools and online degree programs, instructors are readily available to assist students by e-mail, by phone and even during interactive online lectures. Classmates often assist each other by responding to message boards and e-mails. This is one of the most important differences between free courses and those for which tuition is paid. Also, there is no course credit received for these free classes; although the content is identical to the courses taken by Stanford students.

Still, the free courses are a great way to access valuable information taught by highly-qualified faculty. They also introduce novice e-learners and others to distance-learning technology and the future of education.

Stanford is only one of the schools offering free courses to the public. And in schools like MIT, Harvard and Yale, free courses are spread out across several disciplines — including English, history, science, management, psychology, astronomy, computer science, philosophy, physics, political science, religion, health, architecture and more.

Anyone who desires to further their education without spending any money may do so by taking advantage of these free classes. And once they have tasted the stimulation of newly-acquired knowledge, perhaps the next short step will be to enroll in an accredited online degree or professional certificate program.

Those with a dream in their heart to return to college should not hesitate to reach out and grab this free gift!

online degree program, online degree, colleges and universities, Stanford, online schools, distance learning, MIT, e-learning, professional certificate, free courses, tuition-free, no money

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

E-learning Success: 8 Ways to Make it Happen

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

As millions of college students prepare for the fall semester by enrolling in one or more online classes, it also happens that a significant number of newbies will be testing the e-learning waters.

Prompted by high gas prices, or impressed by the flexibility and convenience of online schools, many e-learning students are charting unfamiliar, yet stimulating, territory.  And in order to succeed in distance learning classes, a few hints may be helpful.

  1. Register early to secure a spot in the desired online classes. With high gas prices, more students are opting for e-learning instead of traditional university classes.
  2. Set aside a sufficient block of study time. E-learning classes do not require less study time than their traditional counterparts. In fact, they often require more time.
  3. Read homework assignments carefully and follow directions explicitly. If something is unclear, ask questions.
  4. Let your family members know which hours are designated for study and ask them to avoid distracting or interrupting you during that time.
  5. Plan ahead for the cost of books and materials. Books can be expensive. Make sure necessary supplies, including a computer with Internet connection, are available to complete the assignments.
  6. Place assignment due dates in a planner or calendar. Allow sufficient time to complete final projects and begin early to insure that due dates are met.
  7. Communicate often and clearly with teachers and classmates as needed. E-mails, chat rooms and message boards provide an excellent means of connecting with each other via computer.
  8. Remain on top of things during the class; and do not allow any problem to linger too long. Let someone know if you need help.

Online classes require diligence and planning similar to what is required in most traditional college classes.

These helpful hints are just a few of the ways to maximize the online school experience and enjoy all the benefits of the online education experience.

online schools, e-learning, distance learning, gas prices, university, computer, Internet, traditional college, online education

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Adult Learners Enjoy E-learning Success

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Only those who have been stranded on a desert island are unaware of the huge rise in e-learning and online schools popularity.

According to the Sloan Consortium’s most recent report, online education is growing at 9.7% annually, while overall higher education is growing at only 1.5%.

And as e-learning, or distance learning, becomes a permanent part of the educational landscape, adult learners are equipping themselves with computers, modems and Internet connections to take advantage of this comfortable, convenient form of education.

Research has shown that those who continue to challenge their brains throughout life may avoid or delay Alzheimers and other types of dementia. However, the main reason adults return to school is to upgrade skills in order to earn more money and enjoy greater professional satisfaction.

But upon re-entering the halls of education after a long break, adult learners often second-guess themselves while pondering a few questions:

  • What classes should I take?
  • What college or university should I choose?
  • Will I be able to keep up with homework assignments?
  • Am I too old to learn?

However, these questions generally result in positive answers for adult learners.

Once potential students choose an accredited online degree program or online class, the fun begins. Adult learners often discover that they  feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in learning new information and successfully completing their program of study.

But there are a few tidbits to remember when taking e-learning classes:

  1. Adult learners should not feel intimidated about returning to school.
  2. Adult learners often find that proper planning and time management is vital in completing course assignments.
  3. Adult learners are usually highly motivated and focused, which helps them to be successful students.
  4. Adult learners generally have a foundation of discipline, life experience and work experience that aids in completing the tasks required in their classes.
  5. Adult learners often discover that taking classes and gaining new skills provide a sense of well-being, pride and confidence that spills over into other areas of life.

E-learning has been a boon to adult learners and other students, especially with the training for some careers taking 2 years or less.

Remember, now is the time to jump into online education and swim to a goldmine of promise, potential and career success.

online schools, online education, online degree program, higher education, earn more money, e-learning, distance learning, computer learning, college_and_university, adult learners

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

The Five Worst Mistakes to Make While E-learning

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Like ivy quietly overtaking a house until its removal becomes a major problem, the mistakes made by e-learners are not apparent until they become overwhelming and difficult to correct.

Discipline is tantamount in a distance-learning college environment; and the milestones for the online class must be met with completed homework, on-time performance of class projects and clarification of any misunderstood syllabus elements.

But the best defense is a well-executed offense; so online school students should avoid allowing these destructive mistakes into their high-tech, virtual classroom experience:

  1. Flying by the seat of one’s pants by adding e-learning classes to an already overbooked schedule. Although online classes represent the ultimate in flexibility, they also require the same amount of work (or more) as traditional college classes. If there is no time left in the schedule to study online, then don’t add an online class. It will only exacerbate the situation. Before enrolling in online school, make sure that sufficient study time is available.
  2. Not taking the time to carefully read and re-read the details included in the class syllabus. The syllabus offers vital information about deadlines and homework instructions, required materials for the class, office hours of the instructor, the grading formula, the repurcussions of late or missed homework, how to find help when needed and more. Skimming over this material could cause major fallout.
  3. Procrastinating on assignments, especially the final project. Although cramming may work in the short-term for some traditional classes, e-learners may find themselves in trouble if they begin to slip behind in required reading or do not allow enough time to complete assignments. It is especially important to allow a generous amount of time to complete final projects by starting early. That way, if trouble arises, there will be sufficient opportunity to seek assistance from the instructor. 
  4. Assuming that the professor will not know that the required watching of live or archived lectures has been omitted. If students are required to watch video lectures via computer, it is easy to assume that the teacher will not know if this requirement has been fulfilled. But beware – new technology is able to keep a record of which students logged into the live or archived lectures. In live lectures watched by computer, teachers can see the names of students present in the virtual classroom; and students can raise their hand, be called upon by the teacher, type in comments or questions, applaud and view demonstrations on the teacher’s computer screen. So watch the lecture; or you may be docked a few points.
  5. Attempting to get by with dial-up Internet, a computer that does not meet the specifications for the class, or a significantly different version of the software and textbook. Although it is not impossible to successfully complete the class using materials and equipment that are outdated, the student will experience undue stress and will waste a tremendous amount of time overcoming the limitations posed by the situation. It is not worth it; so spend the extra money on materials to ensure the best possible learning situation.

Online degree programs and online classes are a wonderful way to earn a college diploma.

But students should remember to stay on top of their online education by developing excellent time management skills and discipline. This is the best way to avoid costly mistakes and to insure a rewarding e-learning experience.

distance learning, e-learning, online schools, online students, virtual class, online education, online class, e-learning mistakes, study online, online degree program

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Top U.S. University Poised to Make E-Learning History in China

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

The University of Massachusetts has signed a history-making agreement with China’s Continuing Education Association (CCEA) and CerEdu Corporation to provide online degrees and face-to-face programs to as many as 5,000 students a year in China for five years.

If the agreement is approved by China’s Ministry of Education, UMass would be the first foreign university permitted to offer distance learning and online degree programs in China.  After five years, the success of this joint venture may permit additional top universities to be welcomed into China.

Also, the success of UMassOnline and its partners may change the face of international student exchange. Foreign students often travel outside of their countries to attend the best colleges and universities in order to obtain a world-class education. But if esteemed universities across the globe set up shop in those countries, there would be less need for foreign students to leave home.

Both CCEA and CerEdu Corporation are affiliated with prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing; and UMass had forged an academic and research partnership with Tsinghua University in 2006. This relationship between UMass and China has been further strengthened by the desire of both to expand the horizons of at least a small percentage of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.

Perhaps it is notable that the 2008 Summer Olympics are being held in Beijing, just as the Ministry of Education is comtemplating its decision regarding this matter.

And of course, hopefully the bridge of goodwill and friendship modeled by UMass and its Chinese partners will prevail and generate priceless positive fallout for years to come.

China, distance learning, e-learning, online degree program, online degrees, UMassOnline, Beijing, Tsinghua University, Summer Olympics 2008

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida