Open Education – How to Think About Your Online Community’s Purpose

Useful metaphors for creating a vision of your online education portal:

1. An InstructorNet Mall of available resources for instructors to meet their needs.

2. A Google “Knowledge Map” of available content that’s searchable, zoomable, and subscribeable through RSS so the network alerts you for items meeting your interests instead of waiting for you to craft a search every time you feel a conscious need.

3. The Amazon/eBay “smart network” that automates the search and recommend function based on stated interests AND by remembering searches and paths

4. Customer Service center for instructors seeking help

5. Tour guides/Marketing Aide to demonstrate “How to use these resources”

6. Magazine model of info mgt/distribution: a targeted demographic, whose readers shape the course of the magazine/tools (Dear Readers! We listened to you!) Lean 6 Sigma (LSS) techniques have a way of accomplishing this, and a partnership with an LSS project seems like a natural one

Other work to be done:

1. Considering how we encourage/reward professional writing like lesson notes, course content, blog/wiki work that contributes to the practice of knowledge, in the same way we have tied promotion and retention to academic writing.

2. A faculty Development Program that incorporates more ideas related to “Master Classes in graduate teaching” on a regular basis. Some ideas include: a. Group learning vs Team-Based learning. b. RSS in the classroom (and blogs and wikis and podcasts…oh my) c. Live dialogue mapping skills to frame group discussions better (Google “Compendium” for demonstrations) d. How about giving Voice to faculty to let them nominate classes they want to receive, or challenges they face, and target the top vote getters?

3. An instructorNet Mall should have a “store” that has searchable index of available, recorded Faculty Development Programs with quick summaries of what’s available for the individual instructor looking to sharpen his practice.

I hope these ideas generate some quality ideas in your situation.

Free Educational Resources for The Small Business Owner

I love free stuff. Who doesn’t I also love learning and gaining wisdom on a wide variety of topics. So I have compiled a list of awesomely amazing free learning resources and educational programs available to business professionals and entrepreneurs. I am not paid or affiliated with any of these companies, but I do use their services regularly. offers an amazing array of free college textbooks, business books, and travel guides. All books are written exclusively for Business topics range from accounting and finance to time management planning, IT, and marketing. You will also be able to find textbooks for varied areas of study including calculus, engineering, earth science, and statistics. My favorite part of is their wide selection of books on MS Office programs. Guides for the 2003, 2007 and 2010 versions of MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Visio, Outlook, and Publisher are all available for download on the website. An added bonus, allows users to download multiple books at the same time using a zip file.

National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)

The NACPB is an organization composed of accounting and bookkeeping professionals. This organization is an excellent tool for accounting professionals or business owners and entrepreneurs who are responsible for maintaining their own financial financial records. Although a majority of free training and educational materials are available to members only, there are other valuable training opportunities available to nonmembers as well. The following is a listing of current lessons that are free to both members and nonmembers of the organization:

  • How to Build a Highly Profitable Bookkeeping Business
  • Accounting: The Language of Business
  • Tax: Introduction to Federal Taxation and Understanding Federal Tax law
  • The Need for Payroll and Personnel Records
  • Excel: Getting Started

NACPB also provides free accounting and QuickBooks competency tests, which can be reached through the NACPB website at allows people to enjoy free limitless reading of electronic books through their website. Free book downloads are limited to 5 ebooks per month for members with free accounts. Users can pay for more or unlimited downloads. The site offers fiction and nonfiction reading choices, plus academic articles and textbooks. Books can be downloaded in several different formats, including Mobi, PDF, ePub, and HTML. Writers can also submit their ebooks to be featured on the site. For a limited time only, will promote a writer’s ebook for free.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is the largest single collection of free eBooks, with over 40,000 ebooks available to read online or download for free. Project Gutenberg carries only high quality books that have been digitized and proofread by their own volunteers and staff. Most of the books available on the site are older literary works. A majority of the classics are available on the site for free. website and blog is run by CPA and QuickBooks expert, Scott Gregory. This site offers free tutorials on QuickBooks that are available for download. The site currently offers 14 free tutorial guides on topics ranging from remote access options to new features in QuickBooks 2012 edition. allows users to take free college level courses online. Videos of select free courses are available for viewing online. After watching the videos, students can take a free quiz to access their knowledge and understanding. The great benefit of using is that their classes prepare students for the CLEP exam. CLEP, which stands for College-Level Examination Program, was designed for independent learners and anyone can take the exam. Each exam is $77 and will earn 3-6 college credit hours.

The following are a few of the courses available through

  • Biology 101: Intro to Biology
  • Business 101: Principles of Management
  • Business 102: Principles of Marketing
  • Chemistry 101: General Chemistry
  • Economics 102: Macroeconomics

The list above is only a small sampling of the free educational resources available on the Internet. With a good Google search one will find an array of training tutorials and eBooks, many of which are free of charge. Many businesses and organizations offer these free benefits as a marketing tool or membership incentive. Whether you are a college student or business professional, I urge all to take advantage of the free knowledge that is available in this age of information.

Further Education Jobs

Education jobs are numerous. Of course, there are those which are solely focused on teaching. There are many educational institutions offering from preschool to post graduate education which constantly hire professional teachers. They alone provide thousands of education jobs for those with degrees in education.

However, there are further education jobs out there which are not limited to teaching. For starters, there are administrative education jobs you can apply to. If you don’t like teaching kids and grown ups, you can always apply for administrative positions like being a dean, principal or department head. Your main focus will be the supervision of the overall function of the institution. You’ll be in charge of educational programs and supervising the faculty and see to it that they’re doing their responsibilities according to standards.

Another interesting job in line with education is that of a registrar and cashier. You don’t need to have an education degree to apply for such positions. A degree in accounting or commerce is enough. As a registrar, you’ll be in charge of the records of all students. On the other hand, being a cashier entails responsibilities such as organizing all accounts including payments of students and salaries of teachers.

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll find the job as librarian very enjoyable. Most educational institutions prefer licensed librarians to work for them but for small schools, a degree in education is enough. In addition, you have to be extremely organized and strict when it comes to the policies of the library in case of borrowing and using of books and other resource materials.

Being a guidance counselor is one of the most challenging education jobs out there. You need to have a degree in psychology to get into this job since it’s very sensitive. You’ll be dealing with students of all ages and from different backgrounds. Oftentimes, you have to help students deal with their problems, decision-making, and preparing them in choosing their desired careers in life.

Just so you know there are also education jobs you can now find online. Many online education portals are looking for tutors to teach English as a Second Language to non-native speakers. You can earn extra money by simply teaching English to foreigners for a few hours everyday or by helping kids with their homework. Not only that, but you can also help others publish eBooks, write articles, and maintain blogs.

Education jobs are varied that even if you don’t have a degree in education, you have a big chance of getting in. You can earn a reasonable salary as a full time employee and earn extra cash at the same time working online or after school hours.