Archive | Education Options

Emoji and Communication: The English Language 100 Years from Now

emoji-future-communicationBy Dr. Rosalie S. Owens
Faculty, English at American Public University

From cave paintings to pictograms and on to the alphabet, humans have been communicating with one another for ages. Or have they?

Was there clear communication of what the cave paintings and pictograms and ideograms meant, or did one person find a meaning in them and the next person something different? Without clear understanding, are we communicating? What impact does all of this have on our literature?

The tools used to communicate have changed over time. For example, I ran into my seventh grade English teacher the other night and, as we spoke, I was able to tell her how much she influenced my becoming an English instructor. She taught me all about the use of commas and how to construct a proper sentence. We discussed how conventions of proper writing are becoming more and more absent from student writing. I mentioned that they are also missing from some published books and internet communications. She shook her head as we continued our discussion about where writing is headed and how it will influence the literature of the future.

Towards the end of the conversation she asked for my contact information. I handed her one of my cards that has my email and web address. She looked at it and then asked for my mailing address. Though most people are using Facebook, Instagram, texting, email, etc. to communicate, there are those who are left out of the conversations because they do not use these technologies.

Technologies aside, there are some who would have a difficult time reading a text from my friend Michael. It is common practice when texting and tweeting to not capitalize the first word of a sentence. For that matter sentences are often not used and neither are vowels or periods. He is a pro at sending messages with words (I use that term lightly) such as gn, tsk, or pblc. It takes me some time to figure out what he is saying.

Is this clear communication? Is this what we are going to see in pieces of literature in the future or should there be different conventions used for our instant messages as opposed to formal literary writing?

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Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

Encountering the Need for Science Education

natural-sciences-online-degreeBy Dr. Daniel Welsch
Science Program Director at American Public University

Are we alone in the universe?
Why are we having trouble controlling Ebola?
What is the biological advantage to consciousness?
Why does a bike stay upright when you ride it?
How many people can the Earth support?
How does the Earth’s interior work?

All of these questions and many more remain unanswered by science. The process of science is changing, but it is still driven by curiosity. Scientific experimentation is moving toward automation and digital data collection, with the human role focusing on experimental design, collaboration, analysis, and interpretation. Science education has been slow to adapt to the new way of doing science.

Science is a classic educational field at universities across the world. Due to its great value in multiple disciplines, it’s important to have accessible programs, both online and on ground.

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Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

Myths of the English Major

myth-english-majorBy Carol Froisy
Program Director, English and Communication at American Public University

Myth 1: English majors cannot “do” math.

Every good English major knows the difference between “two,” “too,” and “to.” It’s true that we might try to round-up our calculations to soothe our penchant for neatness. Zero is a wonderfully round and even number, but we use it only when necessary; so, many times, it is merely a place holder. (See, we even speak “math” all the time.)

We can too add deductions! But seriously, it just seems so silly not to use the calculator that is right on the computer screen. After all, using a calculator ensures that we remain as perfect as we think we are.

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Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Scholar's Desk

Math Building Blocks for the Engineering Major

electrical-engineering-math-neededBy Dr. Taan ElAli
Faculty Member, Electrical Engineering at American Public University

You may think that if you are not good at math, there is no way you can succeed in the field of engineering. It is true that an electrical engineering (EE) degree requires many math courses, but how much math do you really need to succeed as an engineer?

College algebra is really the foundation for engineering math courses. For the bachelor’s in EE, the highest level math course can be the differential equation course that comes on top of the calculus sequence. Courses generally reinforce and build on math skills learned in earlier courses.

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Posted in Education Options, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk

Five Writing Tips for Students and Professionals

writing-college-guidanceBy Dr. Elizabeth D’Andrea
Faculty Member at American Public University

Professional writing is key to getting a job, keeping it and advancing your career. The classroom assignments and forums that are typically part of college courses are a great way to hone your skill.

There are five key elements to great college writing that will lead you to success in the classroom and beyond.

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Posted in Education Options, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk, Tip of the Day

Clearing Up Misperceptions on Electromagnetic Pulse Implications

Interview with Dr. Clay Wilson
Program Director, Cybersecurity at American Public University

Films have a tendency to stretch the imagination beyond what is scientifically and physically possible. They are reliant on the suspension of disbelief to build upon the storyline and engross the viewer. One such exaggerated instance is electromagnetic pulse. For the average viewer the misperceptions around electromagnetic pulse implications do not directly impact them, but to those studying cybersecurity it’s extremely important to get educated on its real implications. Here to talk more about his research in the area, and on electromagnetic pulse implications, is Dr. Clay Wilson. In this podcast he goes into great detail about the expectations from the use of EMP.

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Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk

How to Handle the Most Difficult Engineering Classes

difficult-engineering-class-tipsBy James Carmichael
Faculty Member, Electrical Engineering at American Public University

Imagine signing up for what you anticipate to be a difficult engineering course. You get your textbook before class starts and find that even though you recognize some of the symbols being used, you feel like you will soon be lost with this subject. There a few steps you should take to ensure you get the most out of your studies that I sum up with the phrase, “break down and build back up.”

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Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Scholar's Desk

Anthropological Lessons from Traditional Classroom Education to Online Learning

anthropology-online-learning-studyBy Dr. Jennifer Cramer
Faculty Member, School of Arts and Humanities at American Public University

A view of online learning from an anthropologists perspective; what does it open up?

As an undergraduate student, I was mesmerized by the colorful lectures of my anthropology professors. These professors brought Indiana Jones style stories to class. They shared fieldwork memories of being tied to trees by bandits, wading through rivers full of leeches, and having multiple bouts of malaria. These stories made me more excited and, frankly, led me to pursue a career as a professional anthropologist!

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