Dixie Darr

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

In Degree programs, Learning, Learning Tools on July 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Is college still a good investment?

That’s the question Warren Buffett was asked in a recent interview on ABC News. His answer (and I’m paraphrasing here) “it’s always a good idea to invest in yourself because nobody can take that away from you. But college isn’t right for everybody.”

A college education that has always been a given for those who want to climb the corporate ladder. These tough economic times present several problems in pursuing a degree in the traditional way.

  1. Colleges, without even a nod to the economic realities, continue to raise tuition and other costs out of the range of most people.
  2. People have less money and less inclination to go into debt even when loan money is available.
  3. While education costs more, the return on the investment is shrinking. Students graduating with $80-100,000 in debt are no longer guaranteed a decent job to help them pay off that debt.
  4. The world of knowledge grows and changes faster and faster every day and colleges have a difficult time keeping up. In the cutting edge fields, such as social marketing, college lag woefully behind the real world.
  5. The traditional education system occupies a shrinking portion of the total learning market. Many more options are available, including an explosion of online opportunities.

In case you were wondering, Warren Buffett holds a master’s degree in economics from Columbia University.

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In creativity, Learning, writing on July 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Be a Cartoonist Even if You Can’t Draw

Now you can create your own comic strip even if you can’t draw. At Make Beliefs Comix, you can select a character, determine his or her emotion and fill in the talk or thought balloon. And you can do it in seven languages—English, Spanish, French, Italian, German Portuguese and Latin. Latin? Yup, Latin.

Used as a teaching aid with autistic children or just to make reading and writing fun, the site was named one of the most innovative sites by Google’s Literacy Project, UNESCO, and the International Reading Association. Started by Bill Zimmerman after his retirement in 2006 at age 65, the site allows students a way to “tap into their creativity and tell their own graphic stories.” It is supported by contributions.