Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Scholly – the App Bringing Millions of Dollars to College Students in Need, and Encouraging Educational ‘Opportunity for All’

Christopher Gray found that each year $100 million in scholarships go unclaimed while students drown in debt.  He confirmed that there is a lot of scholarship money out there and through hard work and diligent searching, he landed himself a whopping $1.3 million in scholarships.

Gray came up with the idea for a mobile app to make things easier for other students seeking scholarships. He later teamed up with Nick Pirollo and Bryson Alef to become co-founders of what is now known as Scholly and what will forever be known as encouraging ‘Opportunity for All’.

Gray made an apperance on the ABC’s “Shark Tank” to convince a panel of financiers to back his business and was able to secure $40,000 in capital. Within hours of the episode airing, the Scholly site was bombarded with 80,000 requests. Since then, 850,000 users have downloaded the app—and it has connected students with $50 million in scholarships. 

Gray has met with Bill Gates, been honored by Oprah Winfrey, invited  to the White House twice. As well as Steve Case, the AOL co-founder, awarding a $100,000 competitive grant to Scholly.

Aware of the app’s potential, some users have bought the app for other students. Such as Karen Starks, a teacher who recently used her own money to purchase the Scholly app for all 600 seniors in her school.  Then there are people like Edmund Ford who organized a successful citywide fund-raising drive that enabled Memphis, Tennessee to become the first city in the U.S. to have Scholly for its school system.

To determine the various scholarships that a student is eligible for, Gray’s app asks for simple background information on the student's : 1) gender, 2) race, 3) current location, 4) citizenship, 5) GPA, 6) grade level, 7) degree sought, 8) preferred colleges, 9) major/ field of study, 10) whether application is based on need, and/or merit, and 11) miscellaneous – a list of multiple questions to find out background, health, and other factors (e.g., whether a veteran dependent) that could make a student eligible for some of the many scholarships out there.

To access the “full story” on Gray’s app, please click here and also here; and to check out the app and confirm that the needed investment (the one-time fee now stands at $2.99) is worth it, please click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Big List: 153 Places To Educate Yourself Online at No Cost

Marc and Angel Chernoff are truly amazing people who share a great passion for inspiring others to live to their fullest potential. They have shared over 800 self-improvement articles on the internet, with regard to education, Marc has compiled a list of places on the internet where anyone can educate himself or herself for free – 153 websites altogether, divided into 13 sections as follows:

·         Science and Health (21 websites)
·         Business and Money (12 websites)
·         History and World Culture (14 websites)
·         Law (10 websites)
·         Computer Science and Engineering (13 websites)
·         Mathematics (9 websites)
·         English and Communications (8 websites)
·         Foreign and Sign Languages (6 websites)
·         Multiple Subjects and Miscellaneous (19 websites)
·         Free Books and Reading Recommendations (20 websites)
·         Educational Mainstream Broadcast Media (9 websites)
·         Online Archives (8 websites)
·         Directories of Open Education (4 websites)

Those who have viewed Marc’s list referred to it as “great, super, very useful and helpful, fantastic,brilliant, priceless, invaluable,absolutely amazing,” etc.  A viewer wrote that Marc now has no need to do another good deed for humanity as his “list” has got him covered.  Another viewer commented that the currently available options for free education leaves us with no excuse to remain ignorant. To view and explore Marc’s list, please click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

“No Excuse List” – A website that composes lists offering free education

“No Excuse List” suggests that anybody with internet access has no excuse for remaining unskilled or for not having any academic training.

The “No Excuse List” website is a doorway that leads online explorers to other doors offering free education.

The various sections of the “No Excuse List” include:

·         Academics – List of twenty (20) websites covering a great number of courses offered by various universities, colleges, and other institutions
·         Art – ten (10) websites
·         Computer Programming / WebDev – ten (10) websites
·         Cooking – eight (8) websites
·         eBooks – eight (8) websites
·         How To + DIY – eight (8) websites
·         Languages – eight websites
·         Music – seven (7) websites
·         Other – seven (7) websites

To explore the “No Excuse List” and confirm that you really do not have any excuse, please click here.

Link to University of Reddit (not your usual university), under Academics section of the “No Excuse List”, may not be working. Please enter University of Reddit by clicking here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Best Websites for Free Online Courses, Certificates, Degrees, and Educational Resources

How To Geek has presented the 14 websites below as “the best websites for free online courses, certificates, degrees, and educational resources.” Please check them out:
(1)   MIT OpenCourseWare offers free lecture notes, exams, and videos from classes at MIT. OpenCourseWare (OCW) was proposed by the MIT faculty in 2000.  They have been publishing educational materials from their courses freely and openly on the Internet since the first proof-of-concept site in 2002, containing 50 courses. By November 2007, MIT had published almost the entire curriculum, over 1,800 courses in 33 academic disciplines. No registration is required to take advantage of these educational materials.
(2)   The OpenCourseWare (OCW) Consortium is a no cost and openly licensed digital publication for high quality college and universitylevel educational materials that is organized in course form. These courses often include  planning materials and evaluation tools and are accessible to anyone, anytime online
(3)   EdX is a joint, not-for-profit partnership between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. This program offers MIT and Harvard classes online for free to millions of people around the world. Founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, EdX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to students everywhere.
(4)   The Open Yale Courses website provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The lectures are recorded in the classrooms and are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats. You are not required to register for online classes. However, you will NOT receive course credit, a degree, or a certificate.
(5)   The Open University (OU) provides high-quality university education online to anyone. Nearly all of the undergraduate courses they offer do not require prior qualifications or experience.  The OU has developed their own style of distance learning called “supported open learning.” That means  the student can work wherever you chose and plan your studies around your other commitments. You will receive support from a tutor or online forum and have contact with other students in your own region or online. You also have access to student advisors and study facilities in your own region.
(6)   FreeEdNet is a collection of various courses, tutorials, and learning materials available on the web, including some that people at FreeEdNet are developing themselves. The courses are free and, normally, there is no sign-up. Simply find a course you are interested in studying and begin.  FreeEdNet is not intended to replace your formal education at a reputable, degree-granting school. Use FreeEdNet to review material you previously learned in school, prepare for a job, school placement exams, extend your vocational skills, or even learn more theoretical information about your work, hobby, or special interest.
(7)   ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online) provides high-quality, engaging, interactive multimedia courseware for certification and standards-based learning. This education is  free to the individual learner. You can learn anywhere using their interactive, self-paced multimedia.  Nominal fees are charged for the use of the ALISON Manager.This service allows teachers, trainers, tutors, and HR managers to easily and effectively oversee, manage, and report  the online learning of groups of students. However, if you are an individual learner, you do not need to create a group or become a member of a group. Simply begin your study by clicking on a course of your choice.
(8)   The Online Education Database (OEDB) has compiled 200 online courses from big universities, such as MIT, Yale, and Tufts. You can take classes from these universities without having to submit an application or pay any tuition.
(9)   Annenberg Learner provides free multimedia resources to help teachers increase their expertise in their fields and assist them in improving their teaching methods. Sharpening and advancing excellent teaching skills  in American schools. The professional development of K-12 teachers is supported through the distribution of educational video programs with coordinated web and print materials
(10)  University of the People is a tuition-free, non-profit institution that provides online education to individuals all over the world. The University does not charge you to take classes, any reading and other study materials, or for annual enrollment.  In order to remain sustainable, the University of the People does charge small processing fees for application and examination.
(11)           The webcast.berkeley is a central campus service offered by UC Berkeley for recording and publishing course and campus events for students at UC Berkeley and learners around the globe. Since 2001, webcast.berkeley has now made over 16,000 hours of content available on the site for UC Berkeley students and for students around the globe.
(12)           Open Culture is a website that focuses on educational media collected from other sites. The user may download free courses from universities in MP3 format, as well as language lessons in podcast format. There are a  variety of other podcasts that cover subjects such as technology, travel, music, science, and more. You can also find audiobooks, movies, and eBooks on the site.
(13)           GCFLearnFree provides free, quality, innovative online learning, in over 750 different lessons, for anyone who wants to improve their technology, literacy, and math skills. You can learn what you want, when you want. View one tutorial or complete a whole class.
(14)           Google Code University has gathered a large collection of educational materials to help you learn how to program computers.  Whether you want to learn how to program in C++, Java, or Python, or program your website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are also course contents contributed by other industries and academic institutions to help teach subjects such as Android programming and Web programming worldwide. You can find tutorials and introductions, courses on advanced or specialized topics, recorded video lectures, and courses with problem sets and exercises at GCU

Additional Support For Your Study from How-To-Geek

How-To-Geek has some awesome apps and resources to help you get textbooks, software you might need, online tools, and even how to start a blog to help fill your portfolio. If you’re attending college in person, they have some tips on how to email your professor and get a quick response . Whether you’re taking free classes online or attending college, you can keep track of your homework assignments using their online service, called Soshiku.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What could students do when confronted with school closures and other issues?

A recent article reported that nearly 250 colleges were at risk of shutting down, after a top official at the U.S. Department of Education endorsed a plan to terminate the colleges’ accreditor’s authority to act as a gatekeeper for federal student aid.

The above-mentioned article pointed out that the Washington-based Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS) was planning to appeal the decision, but has gone ahead and offered three options for the affected schools – “find a new accreditor,” “merge with other colleges,” or “close their doors.”

What would students do if their college closes its door for one reason or another,? What if the students were confronted by other issues affecting availability and cost of schooling?  This article suggests that one solution to this problem is for affected students to pursue online education.

A webpage of the Straube Foundation  provides a description of various accredited online programs, colleges and universities while numerous online learning portals are presented at an associated webpage.

 Apart from reduced costs, other advantages of online learning include: students  get to participate in  programs they are most interested in,  when the programs may not be available locally; a flexible schedule that could allow one to work/earn an income and study at the same time; and the possibility of a 100% self-paced education.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quantum University: Innovative/ affordable ways for Integrative Medicine studies by anyone, anywhere

According to their website, Quantum University is “the world’s largest institution of higher learning providing degrees [bachelor, master, doctorate, and PhD] and certification programs in holistic, alternative, natural, and integrative medicine based on the new emerging science of quantum physics.”

“Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, International Quantum University for Integrative Medicine [IQUIM or Quantum University for short] is a degree-granting institution established in 2002 that now serves over 8,000 students in 41 countries all over the world.”

“Students are offered health classes, certification courses, and degree program in an affordable iPad and/or online learning environment in order to receive the know-how and credentials necessary to become leaders in the natural health industries.”

In his book, Creative Integrative Medicine, Quantum University founder, Dr. Drouin, mentioned that his mission is “to educate anyone who is sincere about obtaining an exceptional education in the healing arts, regardless of race, political preference, gender, religion, or financial status.” He adds that “in order to increase accessibility to [their] programs and ensure the success of … students …, Quantum University “developed an advanced education platform with tools to assist [students] in the learning process.”

The iPad technology allows students anywhere in the world to take Quantum University courses. However students have to go online to do take their exams.  The iPad,  which is loaded with innovative learning and support materials, is one of the tools used by the university to enhance access to quality education while reducing student costs at the same time.

Quantum University has also introduced innovative ways to help their students financially. In particular, they have teamed up with the World Organization of Natural Medicine (WONM) to offer so-called “Pay it Forward” Tuition Awards to their students. Whereby award recipients repay the financial assistance by volunteering their time in the service of humanity upon graduation. Students receiving tuition awards also qualify for a cash award for the most distinguished service contribution of the year. 

Quantum University’s online programs allow students to continue working full time while pursuing their education.  They also “associate the degree programs with different levels of certification in specific disciplines, so that even if students had not completed the full program, they could already practice a few alternative modalities” allowing students to start earning  extra income while still continuing their studies. And the university’s “wide selection of courses and virtual classrooms can fit any budget.” As a result of the variety of options offered, “most of [the] students have already paid off all their tuition by the time they complete their degree…”

For more information on Quantum University, click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi

Thursday, September 29, 2016

$150,000/ $160,000 offer towards your Stanford MBA Studies

Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Program

Through their “Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Program”,  Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) offers to pay the tuition and associated fees (approximately US $150,000) for citizens of African countries with financial hardships, who wish to obtain an MBA at Stanford. Under this program, Stanford is committed to award up to eight Stanford Africa MBA fellowships annually.

The catch is, within two years of graduation from Stanford, fellows of this program are required to return to Africa to work for at least two years in a professional role. This role must contribute to the continent’s development. For more details on the Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Program, click here.

Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program

Following the successful Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship model, Stanford GSB has initiated its Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program. This program will cover tuition and associated fees for up to three  new students in next year’s  MBA class. The fellowship,  which is worth up to $160,000  for the two year MBA program, is for U.S. citizens and permanent residents who qualify for need-based financial aid. This program is  committed to economic development in underserved regions of the United States.  However, in its first round, the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship targets the Midwest. Canidadtes must show strong connections with at least one state in the area which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Within two years of graduating from Stanford, fellows of this program agree to work in the Midwest for two years. For more details on the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program, click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi