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Showing posts from September, 2012

Where is Technology Leading Higher Education?

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"The rush to create large, free online classes has generated anxiety at universities around the country. With finances already tight and with a surge of movement toward online learning, universities are being forced to move quickly to change centuries-old models of learning. Terms like historic, seismic and revolutionary now pop up in descriptions of the challenges that higher education faces in the coming years." "Internet connections, computers and cellphones have become faster and cheaper, providing easier access to online material and creating the potential to speak with, work with, and learn from nearly anyone in the world. Information, once something people had to seek out, now flows relentlessly to them. In education, lecture capture and lesson creation have become easier and cheaper, and online storage has made retrieval cheap and easy. Free tools like Moodle, Jing, YouTube, and Twitter have provided new means of information sharing and collaboration. Smartphone…

Student Debt is Crippling our Economy

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Recent figures show that one out of five (19%) american households owed student debt in 2010. Average debt was $45,000 and a total student debt over $1 trillion dollars – more than what Americans owe on either credit cards or auto loans.

This student debt keeps people in bondage for years and keeps many from owning a home, buying a vehicle, getting married, having children, starting a business, and other activities vital to the economy and the future.
As I have stated many times before, it is nearly impossible to get out of this. If things go really bad even bankruptcy (the tool made available to Americans since the founding of the nation) is unavailable to relieve student debt. Credit rating companies like Standard and Poor and Mood feel that student debt will be the next economic bubble to burst bringing economic and political unstability.

Along with this the value of a college degree is greatly devaluated as many graduates are unable to find work in their degree fields and end up …

$15 a month home phone service from Straight Talk

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Just when you thought the home phone was dead. As it should have been with all its expensive and hidden costs and added fees for every little service. Verizon and Straight Talk have just teamed up to bring you Home Phone Connect.

For an initial cost of a $100 (update 10/30/13 now $80) for a wireless base station and $15 a month you can have:
unlimited local and long distance callingcaller IDthree-way callingcall forwardingvoice mailcalls to 411 and  911 supportedNo-Contract Replacement for your Landline Also:

No High-Speed Internet or Landline requiredCompatible with your existing corded or cordless phoneKeep your current number or get a new oneYou can take your Straight Talk Wireless Home Phone with you to a different addressRechargeable battery allows you to make and receive calls in case of power outage24/7 customer care support Many people have dropped their home phones and just rely on their mobile phones. 

Since this is a cellular based product, you could unplug the wireless base …

The Benefits of Building a Business While in College

Intuit the makers of QuickBooks the most used small business software has an interesting article on their blog about The Benefits of Building a Business While in College. I whole heartedly  agree with this and its many benefits. That is exactly what I did. Here are the advantages that I discovered starting up a wedding cake business while in college.

As the article says, having access to "the brain trust" is a biggy.I used all my teachers as private consultants (asking questions during and after class) as I developed each part of my business. Even in those days, consulting fees would have been around a hundred dollars an hour.As I took each class I used the research papers and assignments for setting up my business and had the teacher critique it. I wasn't working for a grade I was working for money. (As a side benefit I got straight A's because I put so much time into every assignment and was highly motivated to learn. For example, for my advertising class I set up m…

Feds Dock Social Security for Unpaid College Loans

Warning! Signing for your child's school loan could cause you big troubles in retirement.
Warning! Taking out a school loan could cause you big troubles in retirement. (Not joking. I am seeing more and more students who have not paid back their school loans by retirement.)

My experience and observations show that especially with this economy and the high cost of education that for the majority of people college is a bad investment. If you decide to invest in college make sure you are part of the minority that it pays off for or at least do it without debt.

For Unpaid College Loans,  Feds Dock Social Security - SmartMoney.com

Saw Dust Toilet

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Here is recycling at it best. Instead of taking thousands of gallons of fresh drinking water that has been pumped miles to your house, then polluting it by adding in a cup or less of pee or poop, then sending it miles back to the sewage plant to be mixed with other toxic waste, then using lots of energy and resources to clean it up, then dumping that in the lake..... you can cut way down on water consumption and recycle what comes out of your body?
See the cute video on the Loveable Loo.





Also see my post on "How to save the world with a sawdust toilet."

50 Indispensable EdTech Tools for 2012

Here are some very useful tools for students, teachers, and homeschoolers to increase their learning. And most of them are free. I use a number of these in my personal life and for teaching and learning.

Get more out of your iPad and computer. One study has found that students who study on their mobile devices, study 40 minutes more each week than those who don't.


50 Indispensable EdTech Tools for 2012 - OnlineDegrees.org

College Textbooks hit $300 for one book.

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It isn't enough that colleges are over priced. They now make students pay $300 for a Spanish book. Hum, I see a good business opportunity. How about renting out your text book or making a digital copy and selling it for only $100.
As I have said many times before, education is essential and college is only one of many ways to get that education. Every day it looks like college is getting to be a bad choice.


During my 7 years of higher education my goal was to use every trick in the book to spend little to nothing on text books. (Like finding an upper class person and borrow, buy, or rent from them. Find copies in the library, use older editions, borrow from classmates who never read their text until the last night and read it at the beginning of the semester, don't even read the text- as some teachers never use what they require, etc.)
Read the article at Textbook Turmoil | UnCollege