Online Education Insights


Some Reflections on Control

I am a migraineur. I didn’t know that’s what it was called, but now I do thanks to the novelist Siri Hustvedt and her book, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves. I also didn’t know that when I lived in Brooklyn for 4 years on 4th Street in Park Slope, I resided 2 blocks away from Siri and her husband the well known writer Paul Auster.  I also found out through her book, that she grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, about an hour from where I grew up in Minnesota, she is Norwegian American, also like me, and that her father was a professor at St. Olaf College where she graduated. I also graduated from a College in the Midwest that has deep Norwegian roots.


Education Needs to Evolve, and Online Education is the Evolution

I happen to believe in the elegant basics of an education. As a writer, sophistication can emerge from blending discursive topics through their boundaries. If done for a story or a poem those associations or blending can be appropriately labeled, “creativity.” My creativity has brought together such diverse and far reaching associations between topics that I am often teased.  I’ll defer to Keats’ belief that poetry itself is bringing together heaven and earth in a “cage form.”


Online Degree Navigator’s Lesson One: Is Online Education inherently a medium that can easily envision a more democratic epistemology simply because it’s online?

Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian scholar coined the expressions, “the medium is the message” and “global village” that prophetically predicted the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was invented.  Although the professor was a controversial figure, his clarity of how the medium constructs the possibilities of the message has held a significant truth about how we perceive information. Our medium, or more specifically, our advances in technology are cultivating consumer participation. Our culture is being changed by the active participation in social networks. We are breaking down the barriers of formality and participating in village or friend-like discourse with slang or punctuation that symbolizes the way we speak and how we feel.


Remaking Education: The Democracy of Online Education

In 1998 I finished my Masters Degree. My thesis examined how hypertext is posited to be what Jacques Derrida understood as, “deconstructed text.”  Essentially, since hypertext would allow you to jump from page to page around the internet, it was at the minimum a physical representation of texts that had equal authority making the “reader” the “writer” resulting in a de-centered narrative that is more democratic. Readers have always used a variety of texts to support their efforts, so the concept isn’t completely original, however, greater access to texts through the internet did make it different, and potentially more democratic. A variety of texts could “redraw educational boundaries. [1]


Online Degree Navigator Book Review:

Frye, Northrop. 1964. The Educated Imagination. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye was published in 1964, but like any great book, the writing is timeless.  Writing, like any other discipline, must be informed by what has come before. You wouldn’t start a student in algebra if they’ve never learned how to add or accomplished their times tables. For some reason, since people are fluent (although, maybe not an elegant speaker, or know the technical rules of grammar) in the English language, they think they can write, and write well.


Promote Democracy, not Dependency. Arm Yourself With an Online Education

A serotonergic, or serotonnergic agent, is any chemical which works by enhancing the effects of serotonin in the central nervous system. Migraines are said to be serotnergic, or related to the neurotransmitter serotonin. A synapse is serotonergic if it uses serotonin as a neurotransmitter.  Migraine (from the Greek word hemi, meaning half, and kranion meaning skull) is a horrible ailment characterized by severe headaches, and nausea. It is about three times more common in women than in men. Serotonin is commonly regarded as the hormone that makes you feel good.


The World According to Natalie: Educate Yourself in this Materialistic, Anti-Intellectual Society

We are living in a materialistic, anti-intellectual and pseudo-spiritual society and it’s only getting worse. Between Oprah’s promotions of, “The Secret” to Gwyneth Paltrow’s hyper-materialistic website, “GOOP” we are in danger of trying to live out our life through trite sound bites and consumerism. Of course the promoters of all things material would simply tell you not to tune in or log onto these places of commerce, but why are they exempt?


A More Abundant, More Peaceful, Less Contentious, Happier Life-What to do When There are People in your Life that Constantly Criticize

Be yourself no matter what they say.” Sting

“I saw the mirror staring back at me and it told me I was a self machine.” Coco Sumner

How many people (smart people) do you know who constantly criticize? Every form of communication is a chance to instruct or critique. This is especially detrimental if it’s from a spouse and it is criticism directed at your children. How is it useful to make every conversation you have with your children into an exercise in critique or instruction?  There are many dysfunctional responses to stress that folks can develop over a lifetime, some of them like addiction, is whole-heartedly, decidedly, not pretty. There are many reasons why these folks criticize but one of the ugliest ones is: they want you to feel insecure. Most likely, it’s because they are insecure. They are afraid you’re not going to need them anymore. They think you’re going to hear all of the criticism and think, “wow, I’m a screw-up, I’m lucky to have this person in my life making me better.”


Students as Co-Creators in Their Education

The scholar Jacques Derrida, the founder of deconstruction says that any text has more than one meaning. For example, an active reader of a text will have a slightly different interpretation than the next active reader.  With the advent of all of the social media applications and blogging and twitter, everyone can be an author. This sharing of text creation naturally means that student can be part of a larger conversation about their classroom curriculum in public places. For instance maybe the course has a blog site. As more and more schools offer online degrees, it’s only natural that these democratic methods of participating in content creation will in the end benefit both student and professor in creating a robust curriculum.