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Jim’s WebLetter for 12/17/16

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Hi-ya 21st Century people!

Do you realize we’re almost 17 years into the new millennium?  

Since January 1st, 2000, so many things have changed. The way we live and think has changed, too. Gas prices in 1999 were $1.20 at the pump. Today, Facebook, which wasn’t even around then has 1.65 billion users. Many jobs are no longer considered permanent and workers can be terminated at any time. I can relate to that. Leading up to the last day of the 20th century, I was a DJ on a popular radio station with a fascination in the internet, building my first website and launching a blog for my listeners. I began the new millennium, leaving that occupation and becoming a Webmaster for a leading radio corporation, then moving 6 years later to my current position handling media for my church, while developing and managing websites for businesses.  

My story is like many others who thought they would always be doing what they were doing, only to find the need for a change.  

Before 2000, if anyone had said there would be a time when college courses were available via the internet, they would have been laughed at, to say the least. Now, most colleges offer courses online.  

But there is a problem. It is a major expense to get a college diploma. College graduates usually have debt they must pay for all the education. And with that degree, there is no guarantee of a job.  

Udacity was created from a Stanford University experiment in which Professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled. While they saw the advantage of reaching the masses with education, they realized there was a need to convert that knowledge to a job. Now Udacity has a growing team of educators and engineers whose mission is to change the future of education. How? Bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education, and employment.

What we are seeing in this case is that the key to formal education is personalization. Rather than taking a host of courses unrelated to the major, and added costs not only for the course, but for books, education instead becomes more laser focused on what you need and includes a kicker – employment placement.

After watching videos in YouTube about Udacity and hearing from those who claim to have taken courses, it seems that this should be the model education will want to adopt. Want more information about courses offered? Visit http://www.Audacity.com

Also this week, Google released Santa Tracker, an interactive site full of games and experiences for everyone to enjoy this season. As next weekend is Christmas, I will be taking time off for family and fun of my own. See you next year! Meanwhile, enjoy Santa Tracker … http://santatracker.google.com

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WebLetter Magazine. http://web.jimonline.com

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Have a great weekend … Merry Christmas and may God bless you and keep you safe.

c-ya!
Jim

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