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Showing posts from February, 2011

Crawling the Crafters’ Web

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
February 28, 2011 Deadline
April 2011 Issue

Crawling the Crafters’ Web

Beading, quilting, knitting and various other crafting hobbies occupy, literally, a fair amount of space in our household. My wife enjoys assembling bracelets and necklaces, creating jewelry that easily matches items we’ve seen in stores and at craft fairs. Handmade items are given and received as gifts in both of our families; my mother and sister-in-law both quilt and sew.

One thing I’ve learned about crafters is that they respect the handmade projects of other crafters. It is a community with a passion for supporting each other, too. These artisans are small business owners, too, selling their crafts. There is no better way to show your support for arts and crafts than buying items made by the men and women at local craft fairs. My wife and I visit craft fairs several times a year.

During the winter months, there are fewer such markets. But fog, rain and even snow do not stop craft…

Online Courses are For Whom?

When I have attended meetings or conferences and the topic was online courses, a great deal of attention is paid to the "target audience" for online education. The assumption is that online courses are ideal for certain groups:

Workers seeking to complete a degree.Rural residents unable to relocate or travel to a campus.Disabled students requiring accommodations. Non-traditional students (meaning everything from older to unusually young).
These might be ideal "targets" if a university operates as nothing but a business, but even private institutions have a responsibility to deliver the best, most meaningful educational experience to all qualified students. I would argue the pressure on for-profit institutions is actually greater because there is a skepticism in academia towards the profit motive.

And what we ignore when we think of "target audiences" is that the descriptions do not reflect the personalities of the students.

Online courses, from hybrids that m…