Growth of Social Media Courses

Only a few short years ago the idea of taking a degree in social media would have seen ridiculous.   Imagine a BSC in Facebook or a Twitter Diploma, but the reality is that these sites now form a vital role of any marketing campaign.  Ten years ago, a campaign could be initiated with a couple of phone calls and a simple press release.  This is not the case in todays world of social media.

The colleges across the world have identified this has a huge opportunity to bring in a whole new range of courses to encompass these new skills.  There are a whole host of new courses available particularly in media and journalism strong colleges.  They come in a variety of flavours but most focus on updating students with the very latest in digital communications.

Web site design and development are all included but aswell traditional skills such as writing content need to be adapted for the online world.  We’ve all seen how companies and famous individuals have made terrible blunders by underestimating the reach of a late night Tweet or a careless online remark.  The potential for damage exists as well as the huge gains that can be made from a very accessible resourse such as Twitter, Facebook or any one of the many social  networking sites.

Some of the more comprehensive courses will cover the legal and technical sides of marketing using the internet.  Skills in areas such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the legality of digital publishing are extremely important particularly when marketing for a global brand.  Students can learn in these courses about other technology like Geotargeting which allows a different message be distributed to different locations – like this.  For example you can restrict access to promotional videos on sites like Youtube very easily.  Make a video open to one country and others get a message informing them it’s not available in another – like this site demonstrates – http://www.theninjaproxy.org/just-interesting/video-not-available-in-your-country/.

These new college courses also represent a chance for older people to retrain and change careers.  Using these new skills to change the direction of their vocation, often utilising existing skills in a new environment.  Many people find these courses a chance to break into an area that would not have been accessible previously.

Community College and Budgets

Typically on this site, when we’ve talked about budgets, we have done so in regard to how a college student should handle their finances.  Frankly speaking, we probably should spend more time talking about how a college should be doing a better job at handling their own budgets.  Over the past few years we have seen ever increasing enrollment as well as strained budgets because of not only that enrollment, but also because community college faculty and administration have spent money that they frankly didn’t have.  Community College of San Francisco needed in essence a bailout to even stay open this year, which is tragic given that it has been around more than 100 years and has never had any fianncial issues before.  Of course, they never bought real estate in the financial district of San Francisco either-so the question is of course, how does a college make financial mistakes of that size?

Stay Local or Travel

I had an interesting discussion with a few students this weekend, primarily on the subject of where is best to study?  The group where split between looking to study at a college nearby your home and those who wanted to study as far away as possible!  There’s probably no right or wrong answer but I must admit I did side with those who were a little bit more adventurous.  For me studying at college is about more than just the subject you study, it’s about taking those first tenuous steps into real life.  One of my endearing memories on my first term away from home is trying to figure out how I got my clothes clean.   It sounds stupid but the thought had never, ever, occured to me, but eventually I found myself in a laundrette.  I made loads of mistakes there, but slowly realised what I needed to take, how  the machines worked and by the end of my degree I actually rather enjoyed it.

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Of course, if I’d lived near home I’d never have bothered with this problem, simply delivering my laundry back home to my mom every weekend.  It sounds trivial but I think it’s a great example of learning to become self sufficient.  There needs to be a time when you learn to take those first few steps of actually running  your own life, I think college is a great time to do this.  In reality you don’t need to be too far away to achieve this, anywhere will do as long as the move doesn’t involve a weekly trip back home.  I can certainly see the benefits of living at home and going to a local college – financially it’s a whole lot cheaper.

But if funds allow, I’d advise getting as far away from home as practical. If you’re wealthy, try another country, especially if you’ve got a language element to your course.  Where would it be best to learn Italian, downtown Chicago or a college in Napoli?  You’ll be sad, nervous and indeed somewhat homesick but the experience will be so much more rewarding.  IN fact in the internet age, it’s so easy to stay in touch with home using Skype, email and messaging systems.  If you’re a bit lonely you can normally use a VPN or proxy server to connect back to home related TV stations too.  When my friend went to study in America he used a security program which allowed him to watch BBC TV anywhere, it was he said a vital link to back home – here’s how http://www.uktv-online.com/.  Not sure I’d miss my American TV stations as much, but then again perhaps I might.

The simple truth is that where you study is often restricted by other factors but if you have the chance I’d urge you to get as far away from home as possible !!!

Further Reading

With Thanks – Joe Simpson, BBC iPlayer Australia

Napa Valley Community College and It’s Wine Program

It’s always been interesting to me that so many Universities have a specific thing that they are known for, while city college’s for the most part are known for what University they make it easy to transfer into.

Makes sense I guess, but shouldn’t they aim for something more as well?

Napa Valley Community College, not surprisingly offers a ton of wine classes.  If you had any doubt about the college being in the middle of California’s most famous wine region, that should end when you enter their main parking lot and see that grape vines are dividing parking spots instead of trees 🙂

For those of us working in wine and even those of us already running premium wine clubs, it is easy to forget that plenty of people still need to have some level of training before moving on to more education, or to work directly in the wine industry.

Help get your GSCE with an iPhone App

 

Some people have no idea that they can use iphone app to make their GSCE as easy as ABC. It is high time you started using this mobile app because it has helped many students and teachers to teach and revise for different subjects that you can also find here: http://winfreeiphone.co.uk/. However, it is not automatic that once you have an iphone, you will obviously gain access to this facility. You will be expected to subscribe to examtutor, a website that comprises exam revision apps. It does not matter whether it is a school, teacher or individual student; all are welcome to subscribe so that they can download the exam revision apps into their ipod touch, ipad, iphone or android phone.

 The good news is that these exam revision apps can be downloaded free of charge and there is normally a free demo version of every app so that you can test and see whether it will work for you. The following is a list of the various GSCE subjects that you can select from:

1.    English Literature
2.    Math
3.    Biology
4.    Science
5.    Chemistry
6.    Physics
7.    Business
8.    Psychology
9.    History
10.    Driving test

In fact some people say that an iphone has actually become a gate way to success in GSCE because of the exam apps that can be downloaded there. Did you know that subscription gives you access to about 4000 different multiple choice test questions and instant feedback for each question in the abovementioned subjects? This means that the teacher can use this facility to add flavor to learning. On the other hand, the student can also revise at his/her own pace. In case he/she needs help, it is recommended that he/she seeks help from the teacher or other students who understand certain concepts better.

Enrollment Soars but not all Good News for Community Colleges

There has been a sharp increase in enrollment at America’s 1,200 community colleges. Numbers have shot up of people signing up for courses at community colleges up and down the country. In 2000 5.5 million people were doing 2 year courses. In the 2010 to 2011 school year that figure jumped to 8 million.

Analysts put the sharp increase in enrollment numbers down to the recession in the US economy since the 2008 financial crisis. Rather than look for work young people have sought to give themselves a competitive edge in the jobs market by gaining qualifications. This is sound reasoning.

Sadly, the graduation rates for students going to community colleges has fallen sharply. According to Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future, less than half of students who enter a community college graduate or transfer to a four-year college within six years.

The reason behind this low graduation statistic is not due to institutional incompetence or bad teaching. Rather, it is the reverse. Modern community colleges have become strongly orientated to preparing students for entering various fields of work. What colleges are finding is that students are successfully finding work during their 2 years at community college or shortly after.

The average cost of tuition at a community college is $3,000 a year. This is cheap compared to the average of $8,000 a year at in-state 4 year colleges. While students can find the money for a community college education they are no doubt deterred from enrolling on bachelor degree courses by the high tuition costs involved.

Perhaps the next step is for community colleges to maintain their tuition fee levels but also offer to let students extend their studies for another 2 years so that they can attain bachelor degrees. This might a long term beneficial effect for the American economy which is going to have be more knowledge based if it is going to keep up with China.