Seattle Fashionista – A Profile in Online Education

Kristin Connell keeps pretty busy these days. As the manager for Shoefly, an upscale Seattle shoe boutique, she spends between forty and fifty hours a week in the shop–that is, when she’s not planning special events or jetting off to Los Angeles for a week of meetings with wholesalers.

While she values her professional experience, Kristin also knows the importance of a solid education. In order to advance her career in the world of fashion, she’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. As many working students know, making a school schedule dovetail with professional responsibilities can be tough. For Kristin, the solution includes participation in online coursework. I sat down with her in her Capitol Hill apartment to get the 411 on her online fashion design class.

Mr. Smith: Your fashion design program includes both online coursework and classroom work, so you have the best of both worlds. What are you currently studying?

KC: I’m taking a few courses, but the online course is fashion sketching.

Mr. Smith: Which involves what?

KC: It’s the start of creating a piece or line of attire. You develop a basic visual concept–a sketch–for a piece of clothing. From there you can draft patterns and actually create the piece.

Mr. Smith: Could you describe your online interface?

KC: It’s basically an all-in-one website. There’s a place for you to get assignments, a place for class discussions, a link to lectures and research materials, and the grade book, which is where you can check your grades after you turn in a new assignment. That part’s helpful, because you can monitor your progress daily.

Mr. Smith: How often does the material update?

KC: Well, the syllabus pre-established at the beginning of the quarter. But the teacher can post assignments as often as he likes. The discussion boards are constantly updating, throughout the duration of the class.

Mr. Smith: Could you describe a week of coursework?

KC: The lesson plan follows the textbook, so we do a chapter each week. The teacher posts a reading assignment, discussion questions, and homework. We use Adobe Illustrator to design fashion sketches, and turn it in as an email attachment when we’re done.

Mr. Smith: How would you compare your online class to a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom?

KC: It’s actually more strenuous. It’s not like a normal class, where just showing up gets you a participation grade. The onus is on you to participate heavily. For example, with the class discussion board, you have to post often and your posts have to be insightful. I got nabbed on that a couple of times.

Mr. Smith: And compared to traditional classroom, how much classmate interaction is there?

KC: Well, of course you don’t get face time, but you have about as much interaction. It was a requirement for us. With the discussion boards, each student has to respond to the teacher’s question, and then to at least two classmates per posting to receive credit.

Mr. Smith: What’s your favorite thing about your online coursework?

KC: Well, while you do have deadlines, you can still work at your own pace. Even though we had weekly deadlines, I was able to turn in my work on the first day of the week.

Mr. Smith: How about your least favorite thing?

KC: To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of my professor, but that really didn’t have anything to do with the online format of the class.

In addition to her online coursework, Kristin also attends a four-hour pattern-drafting course each week (the brick and mortar being necessary for hands-on participation). While her schedule is tight, she remains determined: “I work as hard as I do because I know it’s worth it,” she says. “I think it’s important to have goals and to make a point of pursuing them.”

Well spoken, I think. After all, if–as Thomas Paine once observed, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly,” then busy professionals can look to Kristin and others like her, for a model. After all, Kristin and her fellow students may be determined, but they aren’t all that unusual. As far busy professionals who moonlight as students go, Kristin’s really a textbook example.

A Profitable Future and Web Design Education – Why They Go Hand in Hand

There is no denying the fact that web designers are in high demand nowadays. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that web design experts, graphic designers and animation professionals would be the ones to dominate the online world in the next few years. Most of the people that are hired or even just considered for the job are the ones who hold a degree in web designing. This also proves that to be a professional, one must attain a web design education.

Online design is far from simple; this is a job that requires artistry to begin with; a keen eye for detail; and mastery of information technology. The most sought-after web designers did not reach their current status just by learning Internet design on their own. Most of them have finished certifications or degree courses in this field. Their desire to finish their education paved the way for many employment opportunities now. So it is with you, if you are planning on making it big in the world of online design.

Each year, more and more software programs are being developed and launched into the online market. While this is true, the vital skills that are needed to set up and maintain websites remain the same. The function and aesthetics of a website can only be created by skillful hands which were trained with design concepts. These basic concepts include HTML, WYSYWYG, PHP, and many more design programs and languages.

There are online colleges and universities which offer Internet design education packages that cater to each individual’s varying needs. Graduates of these courses could be infused into any employment sector such as-major web design corporations; web design boutiques; web hosting corporations; fashion corporations; financial businesses; entertainment; manufacturing firms; marketing; health care; advertising; technical consultation; and some could even become self-employed individuals.

There are now many online education opportunities for those who have erratic schedules. Choosing a course or degree is now quite easy and if you are even lucky, the university that you enroll in could also place you at the very heart of your chosen field. They have job placements for any deserving graduate. So if you are ready to conquer the world of web design, your career path leads to many forks. Just achieve the right web design education and you will be on your way to a rewarding career in the near future.

Adult Students With an Education Gap – No Written Language

Vanuatu’s tropical islands are renowned for their diversity, with nearly 115 distinct cultures and languages. The International Year of Languages has been declared for 2008. Now a group, from the 83 islands of Vanuatu, have met to convert their oral language to the written word.

Port Vila hosted 23 adult students from 12 different language groups, all keen to discover the power of writing in their own language. Slowly, language barriers were broken down, as these shy people began to communicate with each other.

Many Ni-Vanuatu people are multi-lingual, speaking French, Bislama, English and their home language. For 30 years or more the adults have used an oral language, with primary schooling providing no writing experiences in their own language.

Cultural ceremonies and stories discussed under the banyan tree and over the cooking pots, have seen customs and tales of ancestors passed from generation to generation.

From as far as the remote, northern islands of Motolava and the southern Tanna, these adult students have arrived in the capital. Jesse, a mother of three children, explained in broken English, “For most of us it is the first time we have left our island homes, flown in a plane, or crossed the ocean”.

An extract of literature was translated into their language. Faces glowed with pride at seeing their language written for the first time. “Communication was at the heart of the workshop,” explained a spokesperson for the project.

“The translation of important information to the Mother tongue has highlighted this. When the students return to their island homes, they will share their knowledge and show their community the power of the written word. The community will move forward in leaps and bounds in this exciting new adventure.”

Free education is not available in Vanuatu. Everyone must pay school fees as the government provides limited resources. For most families the fee is beyond the small incomes of villagers, living in a ‘no-cash-economy’.

The horrific consequence is:

o Only 55.8% of Vanuatu kids will get to grade 6;
o Of those only 18.2% will go to high school;
o 26% will never go to school.

Many parents are not able to read or write in any language.

Vanuatu desperately needs help to educate the next generation. Although rich in knowledge about their land, culture and traditions, the Happiest Country on Earth (voted in 2006) needs help to educate the young generation, if the country is to move forward. As a Lesser Developed country, donor funding is seen pouring into the country, but education is low on the priority list.

YouMe Support Foundation, a Child Trust Fund, is dedicated to giving these children a high school education grants for the children of the outer islands of Vanuatu. You can help, donate and make a difference in the lives of these people and you might win the boutique resort. Visit our Website for your Blue Moon Opportunity.