Did You Know? 2.0 by Karl Fisch

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Some Quotes
We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
– Albert Einstein

There is one thing worse than not being able to see. Being able to see, but having no vision.
– Helen Keller

Facts about ‘distance learning’

More people are taking college courses online while retaining their full-time jobs. Research shows:

  • There is no significant difference between classroom instruction and distance learning.
  • Most online instruction has a high level of interaction with teams, and professors.
  • Most employers see online learning as equal to or better than classrooms.
  • Distance learners read more, write more, and do more research than students attending class in person.
  • The costs of distance learning are comparable to classroom instruction.

4 hot tips for a cool summer internship

Some new college grads, lucky and talented enough to find an internship, often wonder why they aren’t given more important work to do.

Here’s some advice for interns who want to excel:

Be a keen observer. Learn how departments interact and study organizational dynamics.

Don’t feel slighted or disrespected if at first you aren’t given work that you feel is justified by your training. This is just the start of your career. Adopt an attitude of learning.

If you’re used to being praised and being a star, don’t expect it here. Remember you are there to be a work horse, not a show horse.

Though your job is temporary, look for ways to contribute to the organization. Bring enthusiasm and your full attention to even simple tasks.

Meanwhile, managers could cut interns a little slack and realize their anxieties. Try giving them some actual challenges instead of busy work.

Not talent, not even education

 Calvin CoolidgeNothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, determination and hard work make the difference. Calvin Coolidge

Get big benefits from continuing education

The vision statement of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education says that it is “dedicated to the belief that lifelong learning contributes to human fulfillment and positive social change.”

Personal enrichment is important, but education can do more. It can lead to greater job satisfaction as old skills are honed and new skills are learned.

Jobs are changing in today’s world and skills need to be updated in order to keep pace. More education can propel an individual into a higher-paying job or even into a new career opportunity.

Our own company offers a variety of educational programs including tuition for college courses. If you are uncertain where to start, check with the Human Resources Department for a listing or an appraisal of your needs. A local vocational school, community college, or university is also a good place to go for information.

The Lumina Foundation for Education helps expand access to post-secondary education targeting adult learners, particularly those with low income or academic under preparation. The National Association of Realtors also lists online courses that can advance one’s career.

Many courses are now offered online. If you want to check whether an online course is accredited, visit the Council for Higher Education Web site, www.chea.org.

Age is no age limit for education. People over 55 can try Elderhostel. It offers the opportunity to partake of lifelong learning while offering a chance to have fun with peers.

What standard will you set for your kids’ interest in school?

To keep U.S. living conditions continuing to rise, our workers have to be worth what they cost in a global economy. They have to have a world-class and constantly improving education.
But when Fortune’s Geoff Colvin spoke with school superintendents, he found that their mood was one of frustration. Some parents objected to their kids having to learn algebra, others just aren’t interested in the schools.

Their attitude is showing up in obvious ways. One parent’s bumper sticker says, “My kid can beat up your honor student.” T-shirts bought by parents advertise such messages as, “For Sale: Text books and school supplies, never used,” and “Save energy. Sleep in class.”

It’s even seen on television. In the popular “Two-and-a-Half Men,” Jake does anything he can to avoid doing his homework. But he still gets everything he wants from his parents. You can bet school kids are watching and deciding that playing dumb is OK or funny.

A few parents have always had a contempt for education, but they never thought they could complain to educators that their kids were getting too much of it. Now they do.

The signs of disrespect for education are a cause for worry. It may be that the most important factor shaping our country’s economic future will be what we do individually to show our kids how valuable education really is.

On-the-job learning most effective

August has become the new back-to-school month, usurping the title from September for kids in grade school and high school. Most universities and colleges still open their fall semesters in September.

That probably means that many of us are wondering whether we should be signing up for a college course, or some other type of class.

Textbooks and classroom learning have their place. They give people an overview of their work and why it’s important. Some technical courses actually teach skills that can be used on the job, or at least on some job if not your own.

Without detracting from the importance of education, training consultant Ram Charan says action is the real key to learning. He recommends building learning into the work. People learn more, says Charan, from active on-the-job training than from classroom instruction.

The Center for Workforce Development estimates that U.S. companies spend up to $50 billion a year on formal training, but that 70 percent of all workplace learning is actually informal, costs less, and is more effective.

In the real world of work, you often don’t know what you need to know until you need to know it. That’s where informal training comes into its own. It’s just-in-time learning, and that’s valuable. The return on investment is immediate for the company and the individual. It boosts morale, because people like to grow.

Charan also says a workplace full of people seeking and giving help to each other becomes a wellspring of ideas for continuous improvement.

Not taking any courses this year? That doesn’t mean you won’t be learning. In our organization, learning and building skills are a continuing process.

Enrollment in online universities growing

online universities growingEnrollment in online universities is growing every year
State universities are taking advantage of their traditional benefit: quality education at affordable prices. They are attracting a nontraditional student body: online learners who often live out of state.
While enrollment at higher-education colleges and universities is not growing, enrollment in online programs is skyrocketing. One student at the University of Massachusetts says he takes courses from its regular faculty, gets lots of feedback, and develops friendships with classmates. He contributes to online class discussions after his children go to bed at night.
At UMass, enrollment has quadrupled to 9,200 students since 2001. Most are working adults between the ages of 25 and 50, and 30 percent are from out of state.
Tuition is slightly higher than on-campus programs because Web-based courses aren’t subsidized. On-line students pay $670 a credit toward a master’s degree in business administration. Many schools charge less, but UMass says it emphasizes quality.
According to the Alfred Sloan Foundation, 51 percent of public colleges offer online degree programs in business. Students are generally held to the same admissions standards as on-campus students who enter with some college background. They are judged mostly on their college grades and their work experience. Applicants for graduate degrees, such as MBAs, may need to take the standardized tests for such programs.
At the University of Illinois in Springfield, 92 percent of students complete their courses, close to the 94 percent retention rate for on-campus students.