Living in a somewhat remote location, one of the things I appreciate most from the web is the access to knowledge and information.
That holds true for simple work related research or looking up a step-by-step tutorial to figure out how to fix my kitchen sink. But increasingly it also holds true for real, hard knowledge: educational knowledge.
For example, recently the Berkeley University of California put 300 hours of video from their courses online. And a number of universities do similar via iTunes.
The drawback of such an education is of course that it doesn’t cumilate into anything tangible such as a degree. Without that you have the knowledge but not the big bucks that comes with that knowledge.
This is where online educaton comes in, often referred to as distance learning.
Distance learning can involve anything from synchroneous to asynchroneous access to your instructor. But in all cases it means doing real studying to get a real certificate.
The upshot of distance learning is of course that you do it from the convenience of your own home, using your computer and Internet connection, and that you do it at your own pace.
The downshot of it is that there are many “ceritifcate for sale” web sites out there. Basically you pay for “tuition”, you do some fake work using bogus information, and you receive a (worthless) certificate.
What you need are accredite online colleges and universities. The ones whose certficates are recognized as true and valueable.
Recently I had to advise a friend on this and … well… it’s harder than I thought. Search. Find online college. Search again using the name of this college. Read a lot of spam (fake comments) put out by that college. Try to find the real reviews. Strike it off the list. Move on to the next…
I was a solid amount of hours into this education search when I hit upon Guide to Online Schools. This site is amazing!
They’ve done this type of research for me and have listed 119 accredited online colleges and universities offering a total of 2500+ online degrees and courses.
For every online school, college or university the accreditation, which you can easily verify yourself, is listed. For example, take a look at their listing of the George Washington University:
George Washington University is accredited by the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Here comes the catch: this is a resource site. They list the schools and online degree programs, cross reference them … and that’s it.
Interested in a course? *Click* and you are presented with a contact form to fill out which basically will have the school contact you. No gimmick here, no rip-off. Just a straightforward resource.
The range of online courses they’ve got listed is amazing (well, has to be with over 100 schools…). It ranges from “softy” social work to a criminal justice degree online course, all the way back to a online psychology degree.
If you’re not actively looking for an online degree you should still bookmark the site. Their Online Degrees & Online Learning Resources page is amazing.
Web users can earn money for children’s charity NSPCC by performing searches through a new site.
Called Click’s Count, the site uses MSN search technology, and will see MSN donate money each time someone uses it to search.
The campaign is being supported by singer Simon Webbe, TV stars Sheree Murphy (Emmerdale and I’m a Celebrity), Shobna Gulati (Coronation St) and Claire Nasir (GMTV).
It is hoped the campaign, launches today, will raise thousands of pounds for the charity.
Elaine Dodds, NSPCC head of corporate fundraising said: “All the best fundraising ideas are simple and this one really couldn’t be simpler. Every day, millions of searches are carried out across the UK. Now, thanks to MSN, each search can also raise money for children who are in desperate need of help.”
To spread the word the URL can be emailed to others directly from the site, or people can sign up to use the ‘Clicks Count’ email autosignatures on the bottom of their emails.
MSN Search is hoping its charity search site will capture public imagination and is looking to roll it out as a permanent fundraising support service in the future.
Earlier this week I talked about Kidwarmers, an excellent free weekly newsletters to which I have been subscribed for years.
Kidwarmers deserves a mention in Good News Blog’s Great Stuff because it fits in so nicely: the stories are true and uplifting.
Randy Cassingham’s This is True is similar in nature. It is guranteed to put a smile on your face when you receive your weekly issue.
In This is True Randy paraphrases weird yet true news stories. How come? “Truth is stranger than fiction as fiction has to make sense”.
Before signing up (free!) you can have a look at some samples or browse the online online archive. Of course, in the end it is Randy himself who, in his unique style, best answers your question; why should I subscribe?.
Loads of stories, including ones that never made it into any newsletter, have been bundled by Randy in excellent, keep re-reading and laughing books such as This is True: Deputy Kills Man With Hammer : And 500 Other Bizarre-But-True Stories and Headlines from the World’s Press and This Is True: Cost of Being Poor Rising and 500 Other Bizarre-but-True Stories.
To finish this recommendation, here’s an example of just one out of the many stories each email contains:
The True Stella Awards : Honoring real cases of greedy opportunists, frivolous lawsuits, and the law run amok
Quick! How many newsletters have you subscribed to over the years? … OK, you don’t know. So – how many do you actually read? Read and enjoy?
In other words: how many newsletters would you resubcribe to if needed?
If you’re anything like me you’ve subscribed, willingly or not, to tens if not finally hundreds of newsletters. Some of them would never arrive, others died out – and then there is a whole bunch you lose as you change email address and… well, you never miss them.
But every Monday I receive one of those newsletters you do read. Gladly. Willingly. Happily.
It’s “Kidwarmers”, published nowadays by Heartwarmers (formerly aristatech). I’ve been subscribed literally for years. Took good care of that baby. Kept it out of the spam filters, updated my email address. Anything to stay subscribed.
“Kidwarmers”, and you can read each and every issue here in its online archive, is a plain text email newsletter featuring those cute things kids say. It’s a lot like Kids Say the Darndest Things.
Yup, it’s free. And yup, that means that it’s paid for through advertising. 2-4 ads in the form of a few short lines of text. Nothing intusive, nothing abusive.
Through good times and bad times, Kidwarmers has managed to put a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart ever since I subscribed to it 5 years ago.
Let me leave you with a few quotes – and the recommendation to go get it!
Xavier, 3, was sitting on the living room floor when his grandpa caught him picking his nose. “Let’s go into the bathroom and wipe it off,” his grandpa said. “Don’t worry about it, Pawpaw,” Xaviar said. “I’ll just put it back!”
Glenn, 4, went to a community Christmas display. The grounds were decorated with many lights, elves, reindeer, etc. When they approached the manger scene, it was guarded by an 8-foot golden-haired angel. Glen exclaimed, “Oh, Mom, that must be Hark!”
Mariah, 8, was spinning a tall-tale about her homework. Her mother said, “Now, Mariah, you know where you will go for lying…” Paul, 5, Mariah’s little brother chimed in, “Yeah, Congress!”
Macie, 4, came to visit her newborn cousin, Hanna, for the first time. During the visit it became Hanna’s feeding time. Because Hanna is breastfed, Macie had a lot of questions, such as “Where is her bottle? Where does she get the milk?” Trying to find an easy answer, Macie’s grandmother pointed to the dog and her nursing puppies. “See how the puppies eat from their mommy?” she said. “That is how Hanna gets her milk, too!” Macie was greatly concerned. “From the dog?!!” Macie asked.