Thursday, November 18, 2004

 

Impressions of 'Startup.com'

Impressions of 'Startup.com'
This documentary on conception, organization, management, and decline of a upstart dot-com company brought great insight into how companies should and should not be run. ‘Startup.com’ revealed some of the professional and personal sacrifices that are sometimes made in the corporate world – especially in the dot-com industry – in order to attain some level of success.
Although there were no clear antagonists in the films other than a visiting rival from their competition and unknown saboteurs, the true enemies were the central characters’ respective egos. Driven by their motivation to make money in the short term instead of investing their time and energy in coordinating long term strategies for their company’s success obviously caused the company’s demise. However, their lack of faith in each other added to their troubles.
I once considered embarking on a business venture with some friends despite stories I have heard about previous ventures resulting in dissolved friendships. Our consideration of this venture was similar to how the 3 friends featured in the film based the potential for their idea to succeed: having a unique innovative idea that would be profitable; having some background and knowledge in the field we were pursuing; and friendship. However, there were intangibles that we could not predict, which could have resulted in either great triumph or utter disaster.
The picture did a great job of illustrating just how crucial networking, organization, and some intangibles are to bringing unique ideas into the mainstream. By the documentary’s end, however, I was left wondering if some sacrifices made in pursuit of professional success were truly worthwhile. Is it worth burning bridges to get ahead in the world? Is it worth it to retain personal relationships that might impair the potential for building new professional relationships? These questions are among many others that we must ask ourselves along the path of achieving professional success.

 

Online education

Hello everyone-

Based on our group meeting last week, here is a preliminary outline of our presentation on
Online Education:

Definition:
-What is it?
-How does it compare or contrast to traditional education?

Rise of Online Education:
-When and how did this trend emerge?
-Provide examples of how online education is used as tools and as systems
(possibly domestically and globally)

Advantages:
-Benefits Online Education provides

Disadvantages:
-What are the limitations of Online Education

Conclusion:
-Suggestions or Recommendations for the future of Online education
-Class discussion of experiences with online education

Friday, November 12, 2004

 

Choosing Online Education

Pape, L. (2004, April). Choosing Online Education. School Administrator. Retrieved November 1, 2004, from http://www.aasa.org/publications/sa/2004_/Pape.htm
In her article, “Choosing online education: good policies will lead to better decisions about virtual learning options” Liz Pape (2004) discusses how online education has been receiving a great deal of attention among elementary, middle and secondary schools. Some administrators and professionals in education see it as an alternative to remedy for under funded schools while others view it as another means for broadening the scope and reach educating students and training teachers.
According to Pape, “Good planning … will ensure successful use of online education for students.” In making decisions to provide education online from K through 12, administrators must make changes to improve education policy accordingly. Such decisions would have to include determining whether their districts would create their own online education programs or purchasing those that previously exist, as well as re-evaluating the instructional design, functions, and, training of faculty in this infrastructure.
Policy Formulation:
Policies to address potential areas of conflict need to be developed and set the framework within which all online courses will operate. School administrators would have to establish the following:
expectations for student attendance and performance in online courses;
expectations for teacher knowledge and performance in online courses;
how and when to grant credit for online courses;
how and when students are allowed to take an online course;
where responsibility lies for student discipline in online courses;
the extent of responsibility of the school for monitoring the online teacher and expectations for teacher presence in online courses;
School Resources:
Key questions in the following areas will help administrators better understand what makes an effective online course: (1) Does the school have the resources to acquire the necessary equipment and provide the necessary training? (2) Will the acquisition of online equipment benefit the students in the short or long term purpose?
-Course design. Determine whether the courses were designed for students to self-pace through the curriculum or if the course is designed and delivered within a specified period of time.
-Course interaction levels. Determine the number of students that are expected to be part of an online course at any given time. Is the course designed to encourage student-student and student-teacher interaction?
-Course completion and success rates. Course design and delivery standards can affect student engagement and completion in online courses. What percentage of students successfully complete an online course? How does the vendor measure successful completion and instruction?
-Course delivery. Determine how online courses are delivered. Assess whether students are expected to take the course at a certain time of the day (synchronous delivery) or can students connect to the online course at any time during the day or evening (asynchronous delivery).
-Course support. Determine quality of technical support.
-Communications, feedback, and assessment: Formulate a process for students, parents and school administrators to communicate questions or concerns about the online instruction system.
Additional Considerations:
To develop and provide online instruction within the district, administrators will need to address the following issues:
-Development resources: Adequate time must be set aside for course development and review of the curriculum and design standards prior to course delivery, as well as assessing the costs for such endeavors.
-Technical support and resources: Determine the quality of technical support and how the system will be physically the laid out and carried out.
-Security measures: These must be put in place to ensure that students are not able to visit inappropriate websites, and the system is protected from outsiders of the administration entering into the online courses.
-Delivery resources: Administrators must determine what technical skills teachers would require in order to teach online and for further development.

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