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Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Case for Online Education

Over the past few decades, online education has emerged as a form of secondary education that for many people has replaced actual attendance in physical classrooms. However, this change didn’t occur over night. Below is a brief overview of the rise of online education.

The Beginning

The seeds that would later grow into online universities were actually planted well before the internet was even available to the public. This goes all the way back to the 60’s. During the 1960’s, the very first experiments using computers to teach were performed at Stanford University. Psychology professors, Richard Atkisnon and Patrick Suppes, used the very modest computer technology available at the time to teach reading and math to elementary school students.

These experiments were very successful, and the result was that a focus on combining computers with teaching would continue as the technology itself slowly evolved and became more available to more instructors.

The Digital Revolution of the 1990’s

However, the use of computers and the internet as teaching tools really didn’t take off until the 1990’s. In 1993, a man named William Graziadei developed the first curriculum using an online model. He used e-mail, which still had rather limited use outside of the government, to send students lectures and assignments. Over the next four years, he finely tuned his online teaching strategies. In 1997, he published an influential article outlining his strategy for developing and managing a course using the capabilities of the internet.

However, it was one year prior to this article that the first online university was officially launched. The first university to exist completely online was Jones International University. This university had in fact been implementing distance learning techniques via cable television networks since the late 80’s. This business plan helped them transition easily to using the internet as a replacement distance learning platform. The online version of this school received its accreditation in 1996.

Online Education Today

Today, online education has become part of the foundation of both pedagogy and the secondary education marketplace. Nearly every highschool student now uses online teaching tools inside and outside of the classroom.

Secondary education will also never be the same. Almost every major college has adapted to include the internet as part of courses in nearly every field. Most large colleges also now offer online courses in addition to courses completed on campus.

However, the biggest change has been the explosion of schools and learning programs that only exist online. A plethora of accredited online universities are now available to students in every single state. By 2006, it was estimated that 3.2 million students were taking a course online. That number has surely risen since and will probably continue to rise well off into the future.

Britney Baker is a freelance writer who normally writes feature articles for carinsurancecompanies.org.

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If Something Doesn’t Work, Do More of It.

This one is for Mike Macartney @shooteyeout (internet publishing)

 

Personally, I have never gotten a lead from any of my Twitter followers. There might be a good reason for that, as most people who follow me are in the same business: internet marketing.  I have all sorts of social media experts, SEO experts, people who are keynote speakers, people who work at large ad agencies, small agencies, mom and pop developers, you name it.  

The key to success is in having more followers?  I had coffee with a friend yesterday who was telling me about this marketing "guru" that was extolling the virtue of followers for their own sake.  Her advice is to "follow" at least 300 people a day in the hope that a great majority of the will in turn follow back. Notwithstanding that, this is flawed logic. If you don't have anything worth following, nobody is going to actually follow you (I don't count the masses of virtual follows who say they are on paper but never really read any of your tweets).  Content is king, pay it forward, become a thought leader, all that great stuff. There is also the fact that any marketer reasonably dry behind the ears is going to look first at the number of people you are following, and dismiss you on the spot if that number exceeds your followers. Who says size doesn’t matter?  

For some reason the notion that if something isn't working for you, you should do more of it reminds me of an old joke from my Varian days.  We had a product called the Conflat Flange®.  It cost us roughly x to produce.  We could only sell it for x-1 because of our competition.  The joke was that we lost money on each flange, but made it up in volume. Having more people (who are not any use to you) following you is not an answer.  I don’t care if you have 100,000 people following you on twitter, 100,000 times 0 is still 0.

Let’s think about the quality score.  If you are a realtor, do you want a bunch of realtors following you?  What kind of return do you think that will generate.  No realtor is going to give you a lead for a listing that he or she could take themselves.  Think about even more predatory professions like attorneys.  Do you really think that any of the 5 trillion lawyers in the state of California would actually refer a case to each other if it wasn’t either pro-bono or a sure looser?  Let’s get our heads out of the sky with the “well they might if they are swamped…” mentality.  If they are swamped, they will hire a couple more interns to write the briefs, dress them up like pages, and tell them how many hours they have to bill, or refer the fallout to little cousin Allen because his motha is a friend of yours and he hasn’t been doing too well since law school.  Get real!

If you want to use your twit network to expand your group of prospects, you have to generate content that your prospects want to read, you have to invite prospects into your group, and you have to follow your prospects.  Know what THEY do.  Invite them to events THEY are interested in. Give them tips on how to grow THEIR businesses.  I’d rather have a stable of a few hundred small business owners that a million internet marketers because, hey folks:  I don’t WANT my competition knowing every step I take and what I’m thinking.

 

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The Grateful Dead and the Top 40

by Seth Godin

I wonder if Jerry ever got jealous of acts that were able to put songs on the radio. (The Dead had exactly one hit record…)

I hope not. Jerry was in a different business. Sure, he played music. Elton John also plays music. But they were in different businesses, performing for different audiences, generating revenue in different ways, creating different sorts of art.

In a world filled with metrics and bestseller lists, it’s easy to decide that everyone is your competitor and easier still to worry about your rank. Worry all you want, but if it gets in the way of your art or starts changing your mission, it’s probably a mistake.

It used to be that the non-customers, passers-by and quiet critics of your venture were totally invisible to you. They drove by, or muttered under their breath or simply went to someone else. Now, all is visible. Just because you’re vividly aware of your shortcomings in market share doesn’t mean it’s important.

The next time you have a choice between chasing the charts (whichever charts you keep track of) and doing the work your customers crave, do the work instead.

 

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Can Odd-Looking ‘Diwheel’ Be Electric Vehicle of the Future?

As the electric automobile industry tries to get manufacturers and consumers alike to think out of the box while global warming necessitates a drastic move toward cleaner transportation technology, could it be that all the revolutionary electric vehicles appearing on today’s automobile market are not really out of the box at all but just inside a slightly larger box?

When it really comes down to it, every transportation device on today’s streets, even the strangest prototype from the most cutting-edge electric start-up, is fashioned in the likeness of either a typical car frame or a typical motorbike frame. That is as true for the Smart ForTwo as it is for a van, a semi, or even an electric scooter. Each of these models is just a glorified version of either a motorbike or a car.

Whether this is a good thing or not, those two basic frames have so dominated the transportation market that they have become the automatic ground zero for practically all attempts to create cleaner, greener vehicles. Even the most revolutionary personal transportation prototypes and the most fuel-efficient, battery-powered EVs all seem to begin from one of these two given starting points, the car or the motorbike.

With this mind, undergraduates from the University of Adelaide have attempted to develop something so completely out of the box that it relies almost not at all on either of these two typical basic automobile building blocks. They have come up with a transportation machine they call the Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping – EDWARD, for short. EDWARD is unlike anything you may have ever seen and is definitely no car or motorbike.

Two huge, parallel wheels make up the majority of EDWARD’s girth. Inside the hollow cylinder framed by these wheels sits the tiny passenger cabin, dwarfed by the mammoth circles that circumference it. This device is controlled by a joystick and has a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. It also boasts regenerative braking technology and a lead acid battery, identical to those found in regular cars, with a lifespan of about an hour of intensive driving. EDWARD makes use of lightweight materials for its construction and, as a result, weighs practically nothing.

Although EDWARD is certainly not the first diwheel, it is definitely the first to be powered by something other than human effort or an IC engine. EDWARD also features an active damping system that solves one of the diwheel’s major problems ever since its inception: stopping. Because of the disparity in the size of the wheels compared to the size of the passenger cabin, diwheels have been known for their jarring stops. The cabin would tend to swing forward heavily every time the brakes were applied. EDWARD solves this dilemma with a slosh control system that stabilizes the cabin and its occupants during harsh acceleration and braking.

While you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for mass production of these vehicles, what this invention really illustrates is that there is more than one way to skin a cat – in this case the cat of fossil fuels. Electric engines and lithium-ion batteries no longer have a monopoly on reducing our carbon footprint and reliance on filthy energy. There are other options.

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The Last Cadillac DTS Goes to the Bulgari Car Collection

The last Cadillac DTS in existence is going be getting a new home. The car will join the Bulgari car collection, which is owned by Nicola Bulgari. The Cadillac DTS will be joining many other Cadillacs in its new home. This specific model of Cadillac, is the last model in existence and Bulgari wanted to hold on to this piece of treasure.

Nicola Bulgari currently owns several models of Cadillacs. Each model ranges in year and style. Some of the current Cadillacs that are apart of the Bulgari collection include the 1932 Cadillac 355B V-12, 1954 Cadillac Series 54-62, and the 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVill. Bulgari continues to add to the impressive collection of Cadillacs in order to have a truly diverse collection.

The DTS was introduced during the year of 2006. It features a V-8 engine that is impressive. Many people consider the Northstar engine to be one of the best engines ever made. This is because it runs well and performs well. This current model was the last DTS to be made at the General Motors‘ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. It’s now on it’s way to the Bulgari collection of Cadillacs.

Nicola Bulgari was thoroughly impressed with this specific Cadillac. Bulgari feels that it’s a great sedan and especially appreciated the engine that it had. Bulgari thought it would be wonderful to be able to hold on to the last DTS that was ever made. It will be interesting to see if this model holds a favorite spot in the heart of Bulgari, or if it will sit on the sidelines.

The DTS has been a main competitor over the last few years. Along with the DeVille, these vehicles have been the main market in the large model Cadillac vehicle collection. Last year, the DTS continued to thrive. It outsold all other luxury models of its size. This included the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lincoln Town Car. BMW 7 Series, and the Lexus LS430.

Cadillac already has a replacement model in line. It was previewed to car enthusiasts as the XTS, a few years back. It will be interesting to see how popular newer Cadillac car models become. It will also be interesting to see how many features are kept the same from the DTS model, or whether it will be a completely unique model on its own. It’s safe to say that Bulgari will probably someday own the newer Cadillac, as well.

Not all auto insurance companies provide the same rate of insurance for your particular vehicle, so it would be wise to do a quote comparison if you are trying to save money on auto insurance. Doing a price comparison at Kanetix can save you hundreds of dollars every year after you have filled out a quote online.

 

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Three Ways to Build an Email List

Marketing your dental practice in the internet is the same way as a business owner would promote his products online. And by that, it is just as important for dentists to start building an email list of prospective clients as it is for internet marketers. When you’re still starting out, of course your email list will be short. However, with time and with the help of an effective strategy, dentists will see that list grow longer and the email campaign will have more impact on one’s practice. To help you capture more emails, turn to these trusted methods.

Website
First and foremost, every dental practice should have a decent website. Because your website is usually the first thing that future patients would visit in search of answers, you need to make sure that your website can entice its visitors to sign up for your email list. To do this, make sure to post a sign-up form on your homepage and design it in a way that your visitors will not be able to miss it. Try to lure visitors with freebies as to make them give up their email addresses. For instance, offering a free dental checkup or minor treatment will not only make visitors sign-up to your email list but also move them to visit your clinic.

Printed Materials
Never underestimate the power of paper. Although people turn to the internet for almost everything, the convenience of handing a piece of paper with the name of your dental clinic and its website to a random person passing by is still unparalleled. For that reason, make use of printed materials and brochure and make sure that you direct the readers to your website. You can also include your website in your business card. This way, patients can show your business card to friends when they are recommending and their friends can easily check you out online.

Patients
You do not have to look far and wide to get more emails. Your current patients may be seeing you now but you’ll never know if they’ll switch dentists in a month or so. So ask for your patients’ emails and send them an e-newsletter every now and then. If you keep on sending them helpful articles and tips, they’ll feel that (1) their dentist really does care about their oral health and (2) welcomed. By doing something as simple as that, you’ll get your patients’ loyalty.

Elliot Pearson Writes as a specialist for Dentist Identity who provides Dental Marketing and Dental Practice SEO

 

The Most Common Reasons to Use a Data Center

If you are the CEO or IT manager of a large corporation, chances are that you have a lot of computer-based data, telecommunications, storage systems and other technologically based necessities. As such, you may want to look into a state-of-the-art Dallas datacenter to house your sensitive business data and keep it safe for future access. The following are four reasons why using a Dallas data center is a smart move for big businesses:

1) You can focus on other things besides data storage.

When you are the leader of a big corporation, there are a lot of things to worry about. One of those many, many things is the storage and maintenance of sensitive data. Perhaps you have lots of financial records on a variety of servers, or maybe you have data including information that requires a great deal of security. Either way, wondering if your data is safe and backed up is just one of the many important things that businesses have to consider on a regular basis. Luckily, Dallas data centers make it so that you don’t have to worry about any of this yourself—all of your servers, documents, programs and telecommunications are in one place, secure and in a temperature-controlled environment to maintain viability. Now you can worry about advertising, client relations and other important ways to improve your business.

2) Using a data center is a green solution to information storage.

In days past, many businesses have used rows upon rows of filing cabinets and other in-house methods to store documents that were physically printed out. This isn’t just difficult to catalogue and locate the exact information you need, but it’s also unnecessarily cluttered and a waste of paper. Save trees by keeping all of you information within online servers, which helps the environment. Also, it’s easier to locate files by searching computer systems rather than having to leaf through (literally) millions of papers and files. Pull up the items you need immediately online, eliminate the need for paper records and keep your data nice and neat. You can also save precious office space by limiting the need for filing cabinets and other storage items that take up floor space.

3) Computer systems are faster with remote storage.

When your office computer network isn’t bogged down with countless bytes of storage used, computers work more efficiently. This means that employees can work quickly and accurately, and they will have to worry less about system crashes and other time-wasting inconveniences.

4) You have a variety in your data center options.

Not all data centers are built the same, because not all companies are identical. You have a lot of options for your data center needs, from POD Architecture Services, to Turn-Key Datacenters, to Build-to-Suit Datacenters and more.

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about data. You can learn more about Dallas Datacenter at http://www.digitalrealtytrust.com

 
 
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