"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 ‘online education’ Category

Will Traditional Colleges Go the Way of the Dinosaur?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Less than a hundred years ago, a relaxing evening at home, for many, consisted of a good book and a cup of tea — no radio (though it was patented in 1901), no television and no video games.

In the mid-1930’s, the use of television for entertainment began to spread throughout the U.S. until there were over a million television sets in homes by the late 1940’s. Life changed drastically for most people as new advances in technology introduced a new reality. There was no turning back.

A similar climate exists today in higher learning circles, as distance learning technology opens new paths of pedagogical efficiency and student opportunity.

But are traditional institutions up to the challenge or will they go the way of the dinosaur?

Actually, it is quite possible that traditional colleges and universities will soon find themselves struggling to survive if they do not heed the growing trend toward online education.

Some facts to consider are:

  • Enrollment in online education is rising rapidly. According to the Sloan Consortium, online education grew 12.9% in the fall of 2007, while overall higher education rose only 1.2%. This wide disparity between online and traditional schools illustrates the significant impact and popularity of e-learning.
  • Enrollment of adult learners, or older students, has begun to grow at a faster rate than that of younger students. The U.S. Department of Education statistics forecast that this shift will continue at least through the year 2016. Adult learners are more likely to seek flexible learning formats, like online degree programs, that fit into their busy lifestyles.
  • Employers are warming rapidly to graduates with online degrees. Although biased employers once portrayed online school graduates as inferior job candidates, that view has waned as employers armed themselves with facts about accredited online schools, rather than opinions and media hype.
  • Expensive college tuition, economic downturns and high transportation costs all point potential college students toward online education. Online schools, online degree programs and online classes allow students to maintain full-time employment, save on transportation costs and set a study schedule that does not generally interfere with family responsibilities.

Tech-savvy college students of the future will covet a high-tech online learning experience during their college years. They will want to compete successfully with e-learners who are able to take advantage of internships, travel opportunities and job experience while earning an online college degree.

Therefore, unless they want to go the way of the dinosaur, the ‘old school’ institutions must evolve, adapt and transform — that is, if they want to survive.

elearning, dinosaurs, enrollment, higher learning, job, online classes, online college, online degree programs, online degrees, online education, online school, radio, video games

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

The Joie de Vivre of Online Education

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

One of the most notable inconveniences for many of us occurred in college.

We were told what time to be where; and we obliged — just as we had done in the previous twelve years of elementary and secondary education.

Having it all escaped us; because we were limited to specific class time slots in order to advance our education. And we routinely missed out on once-in-a-lifetime internships or travel opportunities, simply because we could not afford to miss class.

The saying, “The world is your classroom”, applied only during the summer and only if we opted out of summer school programs.

But that was all before the cavalry of the Internet, WiFi, personal computers and multimedia players rode to our rescue — before technology information taught us the joie de vivre, or joy of living, associated with completing college through distance learning.

Students today glide effortlessly through increased options for learning, much like they once snaked through mile-long lines to register for classes. They can learn online, choosing from thousands of online schools, online degree programs and online classes to become one of the 3.9 million students who, according to the Sloan Consortium, took advantage of this flexible and high-tech e-learning experience in 2008.

According to the Sloan Consortium’s report, “Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States”, e-learning grew 12.9 percent from 2007 to 2008, compared to a mere 1.2 percent growth rate for overall higher education.

College students no longer choose to be limited in their college life experience. They have spoken through the rise in e-learning enrollment.

And they are saying, ‘No more inconvenience and missed opportunities’. They are embracing the joie de vivre of online education.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Education: A Second Chance for a College Degree

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

In a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity to enroll in college right after high school, then graduate from college and walk right into a perfect, high-paying job with health benefits and vacation pay.

But life is not perfect; and things do not always go according to plan. High school graduates often go to work after high school, and may marry and begin raising children.

Like a conveyor belt, one life event is tacked onto to another and so on, until the individual is headed in a direction that may not even resemble the original life plan. For some, there may appear to be little or no recourse for changing direction now. But for others, changing direction is not only possible, but probable.

One key way to change directions is through online education. With all of life’s responsibilities, distance learning is the way to keep moving forward with work and family, yet divert to a higher education path. While accessing the latest educational technology in an e-learning format, a new job may soon appear on the career horizon.

By choosing an online degree program, those who traveled a different road after high school can now return to school and earn a college diploma without sacrificing time at work or time with family. The ability to study and complete coursework from the home computer makes this option a win-win situation.

The journey from high school graduate to college graduate may not be easy; but today’s distance learning delivery systems offer:

  • flexibility,
  • efficiency and
  • numerous career choices.

Everyone deserves a second chance to prepare for and advance in a career that is desirable and satisfying. By completing an online degree, the dream of a college diploma can become a reality with much less fuss than at any other time in history.

So grab that second chance today and change your destiny.

online degree program, online degree, e-learning, distance learning, online education, high school graduate, college diploma, new career, second chance

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Creative Blended Programs Offer Solution for Nursing Shortage

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Imagine being taken to the hospital and finding that there are no nurses on staff. Instead, you are left alone in your room all day until a doctor is available to check on you. Your family and friends attempt to meet your needs as best they can; but they lack the skills to monitor your vitals, manage medical equipment, change bandages, or prepare you for surgery. And the sight of blood is, for most of them — well, unpleasant.

Though this scenario may sound like an old Twilight Zone episode, fiction is moving closer to reality than you think. 

According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 587,000 jobs will open up for new nurses by the year 2016. But filling those slots will not be enough.

Because after adding in the number of nurses that are retiring from the workforce, an anticipated shortage of a million nurses is projected by the year 2020, according to a report by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The HRSA report states that the nursing shortage will become increasingly severe without effective intervention, hitting some states harder than others.  

But thanks to distance learning, help may be on the way.

New innovative programs may offer a creative solution for the nursing shortage if colleges and universities work in partnership with local hospitals to provide training and practical experience to new nursing candidates. Idaho State University (ISU) now offers such a program.

Those with no previous training may enroll in this unique ISU associate’s degree in nursing program. Once prerequite courses are completed, the nursing portion generally takes 3 semesters (if attending full-time). The coursework is provided primarily via online classes; and students work with one of 30 hospitals in the Eastern Idaho region to acquire the necessary hands-on experience. Once a month, students meet for an intensive on-campus class.

Highlights of the ISU program include:

  • Graduates consistently score higher on the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Ninety-eight percent of graduates are employed as professional nurses.
  • The program is approved by the Idaho State Board of Nursing.
  • Professors in the program have advanced clinical specializations along with master’s and/or doctoral degrees.

The ISU program offers a wonderful career opportunity, especially to those who need the flexibility of such a program due to job or family commitments. It is also ideal for those who live far from the college campus. The mission of the ISU program is to enable rural communities to “grow their own nurses” and to lessen the impact of the nursing shortage on the state of Idaho.

Once students graduate, they are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. Also, several accredited online RN to BSN programs are available after passing the exam, enabling RN’s to earn a bachelor’s degree fully online.

Currently, nursing is the number one profession in projected job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hopefully, additional nursing programs – similar to the one in Idaho — will sprout up and help alleviate what could otherwise become a bleak, ”Twilight Zone” situation in the future of health care.

online associate’s degree, distance learning, nursing shortage, Idaho State University, registered nurse, RN, online nursing program, online degree, nursing, health care, colleges and universities 

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Using Small Pieces to Construct a College Degree

Monday, March 31st, 2008

You have to wonder why someone didn’t think of it before.

After all, we often recount the wisdom of breaking lengthy projects down into small, user-friendly tasks. In fact, this strategy is the cornerstone of crucial advice given to help procrastinators, pack rats and others.

But now it is being used to increase the pool of college graduates for skilled labor in Ohio. A unique plan offers new hope to those struggling to get out of low-paying, dead-end jobs by offering them a creative way to earn a college diploma.

The hope is that the success of an education pilot program will allow working adults to earn a series of academic and technical certificates that potentially add up to a college diploma. These ”stackable certificates” would allow students to begin by learning basic skills — like reading and math – then to move into progressively more challenging, college-level work.

Earning the certificates would help employees earn more money as they increase their skill levels. And the educational delivery system of the courses would encourage flexibility and success. Online education, or distance learning, is the most flexible delivery method for classes, enabling students to choose the time and place for study. This e-learning model places students in the drivers seat, allowing them to learn at their own pace.

In this particular pilot program, there would be no failures — only successes. If a student does not advance beyond a specific course, the course is simply repeated until the information is successfully absorbed.

Less than half of Ohio state residents —  aged 25-54 — are high school graduates; and only a third hold a college degree. As a result, the pool of highly skilled workers has reached critically low levels. Therefore, Ohio legislators mandated that the Board of Education develop a plan to increase college enrollment; and that is exactly what they did.

The new program is expected to debut in Ohio this summer on 12 campuses; and its outcome will undoubtedly be monitored by other state education departments. Hopefully, its success will lead to implementation of similar programs across the nation, leveling the playing field for all.

online education, distance learning, e-learning, college_degree, Ohio, education, jobs, college grad, working adults, academic certificates

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Academic Leaders Predict Increase in Online Learning

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

At least 69% of academic leaders believe that demand for online education is still growing — at least according to the recent Sloan Consortium report, Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning.

The report relied upon responses from 2,500 colleges and universities across the U.S. and asked specific questions about e-learning.

Distance learning continues to grow in popularity at traditional and online schools. Often, courses offered online fill up first when students have a choice between attending the class on campus, or learning from the comfort of a dorm room or home. The Sloan report found that 3.5 million students in the U.S. are enrolled in at least one online class.

Those who study online may now sit in on live lectures via specialized computer video-conferencing software. Programs like Elluminate Live and others even allow online students to click on buttons to raise their hand, ask a question, and even laugh at a joke. Those who are unable to participate in the live lectures may view the archived lectures at a later date.

Students may ask questions through a message board, by e-mail or by phone. Savvy online professors utilize an array of education technology to create a learning atmosphere that encourages interaction between class members and the instructor.

Computers, software and wireless connections continue to grow in sophistication; so newly-developed interactive programs run faster and smoother. Wireless hotspots are plentiful; so that traveling for business or pleasure does not hamper efforts to meet homework deadlines.

The convenience and flexibility of taking online classes is unbeatable. And as more students discover how efficiently e-learning can work, enrollment in such classes will continue to climb – just like the academic leaders have predicted. 

online learning, online education, distance learning, e-learning, online classes, online schools, colleges and universities, online students, education


Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

New Philadelphia Mayor Praises Online Education

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Philadelphia’s Mayor-elect, Michael Nutter, praised online education during a speech yesterday at Drexel University.

He spoke at an awards ceremony honoring Drexel faculty and highlighting National Distance Learning Week.

Nutter was emphatic about the need for businesses to encourage adult employee to complete their bachelor’s degrees; since 80,000 people in Philadelphia lack college diplomas. By increasing the percentage of those who earn a 4-year degree, he believes that the crime rate in the city will drop and the standard of living will improve overall.

The newly-elected mayor considers e-learning an important part of providing the opportunity for adult learners to reach their lifelong goal of obtaining a higher degree.

An accredited online degree offers a flexible alternative to traditional education and allows working adults to maintain full-time employment and pursue career opportunities while attending school.

online education, distance learning, e-learning, accredited online degree, online degree, bachelor’s degree, college diploma, adult learners, employment, careers, school, employees

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Praises New Online Nursing Degree

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Adding to the previous post, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) praised the Tennessee Board of Nursing for approving the new online associate of applied science in nursing degree to help stave off the nursing shortage.

The RWJF has has spent over 30 years seeking to improve health care for all Americans. They have awarded grants and contracts totaling at least $430 million to support health programs in the U.S.

Founder Robert Wood Johnson, of Johnson & Johnson, was committed to public service and to running his hugely successful family business. He was considered to be recklessly generous and paid a minimum wage to his employees that was beyond what was expected by the unions. His heart went out to those less fortunate than himself; and he was known for many humble acts of philanthropy.

Johnson’s special interest was in hospitals and improving patient care; and he pressed for reforms that led to specialized training for hospital administrators. As an advocate for medical patients, he was interested in education as a means of reaching a higher degree of competence in health professionals and hospital care.

Today, the RWJF continues to support healthcare solutions, like the new online nursing degree offered in Tennessee.  And so, the legacy of Robert Wood Johnson continues.

nursing, RWJF, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tennessee Board of Nursing, online nursing degree, nursing shortage, health care, Johnson and Johnson, philanthropy, hospital care, patient care, Robert Wood Johnson, hospital reform, online degree

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Learning Still Earning High Marks . . . And High Enrollments

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

The e-learning phenomena is not going anywhere. It is here to stay.

According to the just-released Sloan Consortium report entitled Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning, computer-based learning continues to grow at a rate faster than that of traditional colleges and universities.

This fifth in a series of annual reports about the growth of distance learning signifies a slowing momentum, 9.7% growth this year compared with over 35% growth between 2004 and 2005.

Still, with traditional schools hovering around only a 1.3% enrollment increase, online learning is obviously a success story.

In the fall of 2006, 3.5 million people enrolled in at least one online class. This number is up from 3.2 million figure in the previous year’s study. Most of the increase in enrollment came from 2-year colleges.

The Sloan Consortium surveyed more than 2,500 colleges and universities to compile relevant statistics about ”the nature and extent of online education”.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Southern States Take the Lead in Online Learning

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

The Southern United States have a love affair with online learning.

According to the Sloan Consortium in its 2006 report, Making the Grade, the sixteen states of the South represent more than one-third of total online student enrollment.  And over 99% of the largest southern colleges (with enrollments of 15,000+) offer online classes or programs.

The majority of these students are adult learners who would not have the opportunity to attend college without the distance learning alternative.  Many are busy with full-time employment and family obligations. Yet they value the flexibility of e-learning.

Online schools and classes continue to grow in popularity, especially for those who cannot devote several set hours to commute to a college campus and sit in a classroom.

In the South, online learning is growing at a rate that is double that of the rest of the country.  They have embraced this new education system and are forging ahead of the rest of the pack.

Perhaps we all need to take note.

online learning, distance learning, e-learning, online schools, education, college, classroom, Sloan Consortium, adult learners, students

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida