Saturday, January 21, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF THE PEOPLE: The Tuition-Free University

With headquarters in Pasadena, California, the University of the People (UoPeople) was launched in 2009 by Israeli entrepreneur and UoPeople President Shai Reshef. He was nominated in 2012 as one of Wired Magazine’s “50 People Changing the World.”

UoPeople is the first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university. It gained accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council in the US in 2014.The University has been able to offer tuition-free education because of its use of volunteers (including more than 4,000 professionals). Also Open Educational Resources, Open Source Technology, peer-to-peer learning, and support by/ partnership with foundations and corporations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and others are apart of this University. 

UoPeople is dedicated to allowing students access to higher education globally. This program  is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, social, and personal constraints keeping them from entering college.  By 2016 the UoPeople had accepted 5,000 students from 180 countries, and the University even had students studying from home in Aleppo, Syria during recent heavy shelling.

Tuition at UoPeople is FREE, but there is an application fee of $60, and a processing fees for each examination taken ($100/exam: undergraduate programs, and $200/exam: MBA program).  Thus, an Associate degree, with 20 courses to be studied over two years, costs a total of $2,060; a Bachelor’s degree with 40 courses over four years costs $4,060, and the MBA with 12 courses costs $2,460.  Students who cannot afford these fees may apply for assistance.  UoPeople works with top corporations and organizations to provide grants and scholarships to students needing financial support.  Students still have to study hard for their degree and UoPeople help out by providing academic advising, and outreach to students with low grade-point average.

The general requirements for the undergraduate degree programs are: (a) Be 18 years of age or older; (b) Be able to demonstrate high school completion; (c) Have English proficiency; and Must complete the UoPeople’s two Foundation Courses designed to equip students to thrive in their academic degree studies.

UNIVERSITY OF THE PEOPLE ACADEMIC Programs
Business Administration
Computer Science
Health Sciences
·         Master’s Degree (MBA)
·         Bachelor’s Degree
·         Associate’s Degree
·         Bachelor’s Degree
·         Associate’s Degree
·         Bachelor’s Degree
·         Associate’s Degree


For more details on UoPeople, please click here.



Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LYNDA.COM: An affordable, low-cost strategy for accessing high quality online courses

Lynda Susan Weinman (born January 24, 1955)  a U.S. business owner, computer instructor, and author, and husband Bruce Heavin founded the online software training website, Lynda.com. Lynda.com was acquired by the online business network LinkedIn in April 2015 for $1.5 billion.

Lynda.com provides a low-cost strategy for accessing online, high-quality courses that are normally too expensive for average individuals interested in learning new skills. Skills such as: Business, Technology, or Creative Skills. This is an  excellent option for an individual already in the workforce who is interested in learning new skills to qualify for a more alluring or better-paying position.

Lynda.com offers 5,451 courses in the following areas:

Subject category
Number of courses available
·         Software Development
more than 400 courses
·         Design
more than 600 courses
·         Business
more than 900 courses
·         Web Development
more than 100 courses
·         Photography
more than 1,700 courses

The user will be asked for  Credit/Debit Card details as the user registers.  You may then explore Lynda.com for free over a 10-day period. After which, you have to pay a monthly fee (from around AUD $34.99 – equivalent to about USD $25.75) which entitles you to:
·         Unlimited learning from all 5,451 courses
·         Watch on your computer, phone, tablet, or TV
·         Cancel at anytime
·         Project files and code practice
·         Assess your progress with quizzes, and
·         View offline.

I interviewed someone who joined Lynda.com for a few months.  He mentioned that the skills he aquired were well worth the money spent, and that cancelling his membership was a very simple and straightforward process.

To explore Lynda.com and see whether they have something that might interest you, please click here.


Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

COURSERA: A platform for transforming lives through free/ low-cost, online education

Coursera was founded in 2012. This program provides a world where anyone, anywhere can transform their life by accessing the best learning experience. The program is  provided by the world’s top universities and education providers.  With 148 university partners across 29 countries, Coursera has built a platform where they offer 1,957 courses. The courses have been viewed/studied by 22 million learners. Resulting in 600,000 course certificates being earned.  You may explore course materials for free using the audit option but if you want to earn a course certificate, you have to switch to the paid option. 

The courses, each priced at $29-$99 (approx), allow you to learn a new skill and earn a course certificate in 4-6 weeks .  Courses include: recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.  To master a specific career skill, you may join a specialization where you complete a number of courses, tackle hands-on projects, and earn a specialization certificate.  This involves 4-6 months of online study and costs $250-$500. For those interested, online degree programs are offered  for 1-3 years of study. They are available in business, computer science, and data science.

 The categories of courses offered are as follows:
·         Arts and humanities
o   history
o   Music & Art
o   Philosophy
·         Business
o   Leadership & Management
o   Finance
o   Marketing
o   Entrepreneurship
o   Business Essentials
o   Business Strategy
·         Computer science
o   Software Development
o   Mobile & Web Development
o   Algorithms
o   Computer Security & Networks
o   Design & Product
·         Data science
o   Data Analysis
o   Machine Learning
o   Probability & Statistics
·         Language & learning
o   Learning English
o   Other Languages

·         Life sciences
o   Animals & Veterinary Sciences
o   Bio informatics
o   Biology
o   Medicine & Healthcare
o   Nutrition
o   Clinical Science
·         Math & logic
o   65 sub-categories
·         Personal development
o   100 sub-categories
·         Physical science & engineering
o   Electrical Engineering
o   Mechanical Engineering
o   Chemistry
o   Environmental Science & Sustainability
o   Physics & Astronomy
o   Research Methods
·         Social sciences
o   Economics
o   Education
o   Governance & Society
o   Law
o   Psychology

To explore the Coursera website and identify a course to start the ball rolling for you, please click here.


Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Free-Ed.Net: A free-education and learning website

Free-Ed.Net, is a launching pad for your future, according to Dave Heiserman (the website founder and administrator). This site is dedicated to  free-education  and free-learning.  The website’s homepage provides a very long list of educational/learning topics that are currently available.  The subject areas covered by  various topics are, (arranged alphabetically) as follows:

·         Accounting & Bookkeeping (5 sections)
·         Administration (see Office Skills & Administration)
·         Advertising (see Marketing, Advertising & Sales)
·         Agriculture (see Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Science)
·         Ancient Studies (see Classical & Ancient Studies)
·         Bookkeeping (see Accounting & Bookkeeping)
·         Building & Construction (2 sections & 12 subsections)
·         Business (4 sections)
·         Classical & Ancient Studies (4 sections) 
·         Computer Science & Information Technology (8 sections)
·         Construction (see Building & Construction)
·         Design (see Visual Arts & Design)
·         Economics (4 sections)
·         Editing (see Writing, Editing, & Publishing)
·         Engineering & Technology (9 sections) 
·         Environmental Science (see Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Science)
·         Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Science (7 sections)
·         Health (see Nursing & Allied Health)
·         Hospitality & Human Services (7 sections & 16 subsections)
·         Industry (see Manufacturing & Industry)
·         Information Technology (see Computer Science & Information Technology)
·         Literature (8 sections)
·         Manufacturing & Industry (4 sections) 
·         Marketing, Advertising & Sales (3 sections & 2 subsections)
·         Mathematics (12 sections)
·         Media Studies (4 sections & 5 subsections) 
·         Nursing & Allied Health (8 sections & 25 subsections)
·         Office Skills & Administration (3 sections & 3 subsections)
·         Performing Arts (3 sections & 10 subsections)
·         Philosophy (4 sections)
·         Publishing (see Writing, Editing, & Publishing)
·         Sales (see Marketing, Advertising & Sales)
·         Science (6 sections & 28 subsections)
·         Services (see Hospitality & Human Services)
·         Social Studies (11 sections & 59 subsections)
·         Technology (see Engineering & Technology)
·         Transportation Technologies (5 sections & 15 subsections)
·         Visual Arts & Design (4 sections & 16 subsections)
·         Writing, Editing, & Publishing (5 sections)


To explore the various sections, subsections, and topics and to see whether there is something there that interests you, please click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Openculture.com – a goldmine for those seeking free online education


For those seeking free online education, Openculture.com has a lot to offer including:
·         1,200 Free online courses
·         1,000 MOOCs
·         1,150 Free movies
·         700 Free audio books
·         800 Free ebooks
·         200 Free textbooks
·         300 Free language lessons
·         150 Free business courses
·         Free K-12 education

Their 1,200+ free online courses include the following courses. These courses are offered by top universities in the Humanities and Social Sciences (629 courses) and the Sciences (593 courses):

HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
·         Archaeology (3 courses)
·         Architecture (5 courses)
·         Art and Art History (13 courses)
·         Classics (15 courses)
·         Demography (2 courses)
·         Design (2 courses)
·         Economics (67 courses)
·         Film (7 courses)
·         Food (11 courses)
·         Geography (10 courses)
·         History (88 courses)
·         Journalism /Writing (7 courses)
·         Language (38 courses)
·         Law (22 courses)
·         Literature (80 courses)
·         Linguistic (3 courses)
·         Media Studies /Communication (16 courses)
·         Music and Performing Arts (12 courses)
·         Philosophy (147 courses)
·         Political Science, International Relations, and Law (30 courses)
·         Religion (34 courses)
·         Sociology (16 courses)
·         Urban Studies (1 course)

SCIENCES
·         Aeronautics (2 courses)
·         Anthropology (5 courses)
·         Astronomy (17 courses)
·         Biology (82 courses)
·         Business (42 courses)
·         Chemistry (29 courses)
·         Computer Science (125 courses)
·         Engineering (Mechanical, Civil, & Electrical) (65 courses)
·         Environment & Natural Resources (29 courses)
·         Math (62 courses)
·         Physics (79 courses)
·         Psychology & Neuroscience (52 courses)
·         Public Health (4 courses)


To check out all that Openculture.com has to offer, please click here.



Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi 

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