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Month: March 2008

Online Education: Is it worth anything?

Online Education: Is it worth anything?

The online education market is increasing by “33% a year” according to Salary.com . This expansion is due to the many opportunities that the Internet affords. Earning a degree was once a pipe dream for the stay at home mom with 3 kids or the rural farm worker, but a degree is now available to anyone with an Internet connection. With this increased access also comes increased risk, with so many colleges offering online degree programs there are also just as many crooks offering you quick and easy programs that take your money and leave you with nothing of value. Choosing the right degree program can open new doors, increase your income or just allow you to fulfill a lifelong dream. How do you avoid the crooks and what will an online degree be worth when you have completed it?

If it seems to good to be true it probably is. Most of the scams can be broken in to two categories; the “Degree Mills” and “This is way to easy to be college”. The Degree Mill is very simple, you send them some exorbitant amount of money and they mail you a very nice official looking piece of paper with your name on it that say you have a degree. Degree mills are worthless. You receive no education from them. Do not go looking to just buy a degree, you need to earn it. The other scam is what I call “This is way to easy to be college”. You may have seen spam email from these so called colleges. They generally advertise earning a degree in some radically quick time frame (6 months) or only taking a small number of classes. If you were to go to one of these schools they still require some exorbitant fee for what you learn and the classes require little or no work/study. In the end your degree may still be worthless. So how do you choose a degree program that will be worth something?

When choosing an online degree program make sure it is accredited by a sanctioned agency. Accreditation helps ensure that the curriculum and the instructors are of high caliber and afford you the best learning opportunity. Accreditation also add more vale to your degree in the eyes of employers and if you wanted to use that degree as a stepping stone you next degree. You still need to be cautious all Accreditations are not equal you should make sure accreditation agency is recognized. Who are the recognizers? “Washington, D.C.-based Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a private nonprofit national organization, and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE)” From jobs.aol.com .

When researching about an online program U.S News & World Report suggest the following :
Don’t limit your research to classified ads or survey the Web in search of the right course or program.
See if the online school is accredited and by whom. Check to see if the accrediting agency is officially sanctioned. Lists are available from several accrediting organizations.
Check with licensing boards and professional associations to see if the program delivers an acceptable level of training.
Call or write the Better Business Bureau and the attorney general’s office to make sure the school is operating legally in a state and to see if anyone has filed a complaint.
Find out if the school is connected to an established, reputable parent company.
If you intend to transfer any online credits earned to another college or university, early on check with that institution to see if they accept those credits.
Ask about the faculty? Who teaches the courses? What degrees do they have? What is their area of expertise?
Refer to the published guides of online, correspondence and other distance delivered courses.

What value will your online degree have? The value of an online degree depends on a person’s particular situation. The greatest value will depends on how you will use the degree. According to Howstuffoworks.com industries like Internet/New Media, Technology, and High Tech are the highest supporters of an online degree. While an online degree holds the least value in Medicine, Law, and Health Care/Bio Tech industries. Even tho “Thomas L. Russell of North Carolina State University, did studies that revealed that there is little if any difference in the quality of education received through online distance learning versus traditional classrooms.” – Howstuffworks.com

With this mixed result; an online degree is still a great option for those that have little other choices or those who just don’t like traditional classrooms.
For example: “The cost benefit of online programs lies mainly in the opportunity costs saved, as most students are able to keep their jobs while taking online classes.” – Salary.com
“Tonya Gordon ended up with her dream job, doubled her salary, and feels challenged and fulfilled every day. This all happened within a few months of receiving her MBA online through Texas Woman’s University (Denton, Texas)” – jobs.aol.com.

Without a doubt the popularity of online degrees is exploding. The mass adoption of this form of learning will cause the less accepting industries to value the online degree equal to a traditional degree. The online degree requires the student to be more aware of the school and degree they choose to ensure that it will have value to them. Online accredited degrees have value and will improve your marketability in the job market and can increase your salary range.

Works Cited

Kneram, Caitlin. “The Value of Online Learning.”
Salary.com
May 5th, 2007

Tellefsen, Robyn. “Will Your Degree Have Value?”
jobs.aol.com
May 5th, 2007

Obringer, Lee Ann. “How online degrees work.”
Howstuffworks.com
May 5th, 2007

Mannix, Margaret. “Buyers, Be wary. Choosing Reputable Distance Learning Programs.” U.S News & World Report, October 15, 2001, p68.

Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

In my previous post I told you my story of water in my basement. After fixing the gutter on the back of my house my water problems were mostly fixed, but My corner basement wall does still get damp/wet to the touch.

My plan was to use Sani-Tred in the corners and at the floor to wall area, and use Dry Lock on the rest of the wall.

First up : Wall prep. I took a wire wheel on a grinder to all the concrete block. This was a very loud and dirty process. Then Shop vaced the whole area. Wall was DRY.

Sani Tred is a 2 part rubber epoxy goo. That means you have to mix it with a hardener before you can apply it. And unless you are going to be using it all at one time then you need do this in a separate container. Mixing and applying this mess is difficult. It is like trying to paint caulking on the wall. It is thick and sticky stuff. Forget the roller, just use a stiff brush. Surprising the smell wasn’t bad at all. This takes a while to apply and is not like normal painting. Anything this stuff touches will need to be trashed, don’t even think about reusing the brush and roller. After drying there seems to be an oily residue on the wall. Coverage: there is no way your going to get 240 sq ft out of one gallon, maybe 100 sq ft for one coat.

Dry Lock is a milkshake thick paint. No mixing things together needed. It is easy to apply, but it still works better with a brush for the first coat. It smells worse than Sani Tred. This is much more like normal painting. Clean up is quick and easy

Summary
I don’t feel that Sani Tred is a Consumer DIY product. It is difficult to prepare, and apply. That said just looking at the final product, Sani Tred does seem superior in quality. If you have serious water issues then seek a professional and maybe have a pro apply the Sani-tred for you. Drylock was cheaper and much easier for the majority of my application. I would not buy Sani-tred again to do a large area. I will have to wait for the next hard rain before I have full results.

See Some follow ups on post #2

More problems with My Acer Vista and Rockstar games "GTA"

More problems with My Acer Vista and Rockstar games "GTA"

So in an effort to release my frustrations I have been dying Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. I run across a it at Target for 13 bucks so i picked it up ran home and installed it in My new Acer Vista laptop. It installed fine then it started up and my gamer juices were flowing. Then I get an error message and GTA closes. WTF! So I try again, same thing… Ugghhhh

I run off to search the message boards and some people claim to have it working on vista. I try their suggestions of running as administrator and in XP mode, but get no where. It has been 3 weeks and I still haven’t got to play my GTA. The issue lies with the pact the Rockstar has not patched their software to work on Vista. i guess i will try to put more effort into fixing it when i have the time.

Everyone wants to Know….

Everyone wants to Know….

I recently left my Job. I was there for over 3 years. Many people are wondering why I left. I was given three options. 1. Pack Up and move to the Philippines, 2. Find another position within the company, or 3. Take a separation package.

Packing up and moving to the Philippines sounds kinda fun, but it would have been at my own expense and frankly I just bought a house and I didn’t want to do that. Of the other positions available in the company all were a step backward. Along with that the company had just lost several legal battles and bumpy roads lye ahead. I took the third option. I accepted their offer. I left that Company on Friday and started Consulting for a Major Corporation on Monday. I kinda wish I had some time off in between, but things are better this way.

Another Linux will never be main stream article.

Another Linux will never be main stream article.

By Dan Pereda
www.danpereda.com

I know you have heard it before, “Linux will never be main stream because of … (Insert reason)”. And all the fan boys will respond in a nice polite manner to explain how much better Linux is or how IF you had learned to use Linux first, Windows would just seem wired stupid and wrong. Well that is just it.

Windows is not better than Linux for what it does today. It is better than Linux for what it did 20 years ago. What was that you might ask? Windows took a new technology (Computers) that scared most people and made it easy and user friendly. Why were people afraid of computers? They were afraid of change, did not really want to have to learn something new, and most of all they did not want to look stupid. With Windows, the power of a computer was now graphical and any thing was just a click away.

Fast forward to today and Windows is the defacto standard on more than 90% of the worlds computers. Now you are asking the world to change from Windows to Linux. Why would they do that? What do you get from Linux that you don’t get from Windows? For those that don’t remember or were not alive, it took along time for a lot of people to accept computers as something that everyone was going to need or want. It was only after there became a social and economic mandate that you be able to use a computer and then own a computer or your gonna get left in the dust, that computers boomed in to expansion.

I do not see that Linux has much to offer the average user. Not enough to warrant people dedicating time to learn something new, or worse admitting that they don’t know something to begin with. I know some of your arguments:

• Linux is free – Most people never pay for Windows, it’s included in their computer’s purchase price.
• Linux is more secure – Most people don’t care. People think “Security problems are going to happen to me”.
• Linux is more stable – Fine, whatever. Windows XP almost never crashes. And Id rather reboot my PC once a year than learn Linux.
• Linux has a ton of free programs – It doesn’t have the main stream programs that I bought for my PC (Adobe Premier or NASCAR 2008)

What prompted me to write this is that I have several computers in my house all with different operating systems including Debian, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Ubuntu and more. Now that I am getting a little older and I am becoming busier, I just don’t have time to manage all these systems. I need to consolidate and upgrade. I pondered going to a new MAC and scrapping everything else, No my programs that I have won’t work on a MAC and I will not repurchase them just to put them on a MAC. Fine I will go fully Linux, No I can’t even port my graphics/video software to Linux. Well what is wrong with Windows? I already own copies of XP pro and Vista and frankly with my short amount of free time Windows is the easiest way to go.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Linux. It is great and unbelievably powerful. I use it everyday to run this website and others; it also runs my phone system. I don’t feel that Linux will become main stream until it can offer something that Windows can’t and the world can’t live without.

In summery Linux is still missing the “KILLER APP”.

I know what some of you are thinking and for that, in this article I am only talking about Linux on the desktop. Servers, appliances and other geek only systems don’t count.

By Dan Pereda
www.danpereda.com