You’re In Demand!

It’s always nice to hear information that validates your efforts.  This is one of those bits of data that you’re sure to find heartening.  In an article for Yahoo! Education, Chris Kyle makes a list of career skills that are always in demand.  You can read his excellent article here, but the short version goes like this.  The Top 3 most in demand skills in all of business are:
  1. Organizational Skills
  2. People Skills
  3. Creative Skills
Then he lists two career choices perfectly suited for people with each of these in-demand skills.  For those with strong organizational ability, Kyle offers medical assistant as a perfect field where you’ll always be welcome.  So its good to know that the traits which may have driven you to online study in the field of medical billing and coding are the very same ones which will make you attractive to employers.  Well done!

Great Site for Resourceful People

You’re an Allen School Online student (or maybe you’re considering becoming one).  The idea of online study appeals to you in some measure because it is in your nature to be a problem solver; someone who is good at finding creative solutions to life’s vexing problems.   Online study is but one example of finding a creative and successful way to overcome the challenges of balancing work and study and family.  Using technology and your innate willingness to be somewhat unconventional, you avoid having to sacrifice any of these important goals.This is why I am sure you will enjoy a visit to www.instructables.com.  Learn how to open that stubborn pistachio nut or how to make a solar charger for your laptop.  Want a recipe for gluten free breads or homemade Nutella?  Interested in how to use a camera charger to power your iPod?  How about how to fashion a rustic deer antler USB thumb drive or a survival barbecue out of an Altoids tin?  There are volumes of interesting instructions on ideas running the gamut from the ridiculously sublime to the eminently useful and everything in between.  Have a visit and you’re guaranteed to find a solution to a problem you’ve always wished you’d find.

Access Your Files From Anywhere

One of the best parts about online study is that you can study whenever you carve the time out to do so.  And, you’re not tethered to any one particular location.  For many of us that means we can study wherever we can bring our laptop.  Think, coffee shop, airport, friend’s houses, etc.  But, even that level of portability can become cumbersome.  Particularly if you’re not keen on moving around with a very expensive laptop or other device.  Yet, you can work wherever there is a machine available.  Think, library, hotel business center, Kinko’s or on friend’s machines at their homes.  To do this though, you need to be able to access your own files from a remote machine.  This has grown increasingly simple in recent years as “cloud computing” and other technological innovations have permitted such accessibility.  Here’s an excellent “how to” article on using these new “sharing” technologies from the Hot To Wiki at Wired.com.

The Intersection of Web and Medicine

AS regular readers of this blog know, we have been covering stories about MRSA, the antibiotic resistant staph infection.  Just recently, we published a post about the finding of MRSA carried in bedbugs (yechhh!).  In all the stories we’ve produced about MRSA, the news is always pretty grim so that’s why I was pleased to find the story linked here.  Evidently, it seems that occurrences of MRSA are able to be accurately tracked using none other than Google!  Yes, researchers have studied and found that spikes in Google searched for MRSA are directly correlated to actual outbreaks.  This innovative usage of Google clearly illustrates the nexus between the web and epidemiological research.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will surely make good use of this new tool in their arsenal.  Allen School Online students already understand the synergies between internet technology and the study of medically related fields.

Top 8 Most Plagiarized Sites

Plagiarization is CheatingEven the most honorable student has contemplated taking a shortcut when stressing over term papers and overall work loads.  While most do not opt for this easy (if immoral) option, there are those that succumb to the pressure.  Well beware!  Educators are getting wise to the online sites used by cheaters to plagiarize content included in their school assignments.  Using new online technologies like the plagiarism detector software from www.turnitin.com, instructors are able to scan students’ term papers and learn if any or all of it has been “lifted” from other websites.  The top 8 most frequently revealed sites for cheaters to “borrow” from are:1) Wikipedia.com2) Yahoo! Answers3) Answers.com4) Slideshare.com5) OPPapers.com (Other People’s Papers)6) Scribd.com7) Coursehero.com8)  Medilibrary.comOf course, some of these, like Wikipedia are simply reference sites.  While others like OPPapers.com are designed specifically to sell content to cheaters.  Whether you clip a sentence, a paragraph or an entire term paper, it is still plagiarism and it is still wrong.  Think twice before stealing copy.  After all, you’re only cheating yourself out of learning what you have invested time and money into studying.

Multitasking Gone Too Far

Okay gang.  As online students, you understand perhaps better than most, the value in being able to juggle more than one activity at a time.  After all, you couldn’t effectively watch your young children if you had to go to some campus to study.  Multitasking and online study definitely go hand in hand.  But as with everything in life, there needs to be limits.  There needs to be moderation.  This is why I think this new device – a nose stylus for operating touch screen phones/tablets while in the tub – is a bridge too far.  I mean really, if you cannot take 15 minutes out of your busy day to take a bath without electronic distraction, you really need to step back.  A break may be in order.  But, if you’re intrigued by the possibilities this new nosey device unlocks, here’s a link to more information on the new product.

Happy Birthday Day World Wide Web…

You don’t think about it any more than you think about the numbers you dial into a telephone to make a call.  But the World Wide Web is the important protocol that enables the use of web browsers to navigate the internet.  Without the ubiquitous, “WWW” your web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.) would be about as useless as a telephone without a phone number.It was exactly 15 years ago today that the Center for European Nuclear Research or CERN and granddad of the Internet, Tim Berners Lee, released the source code for the world wide web.  The rest, as they say, is history.  So happy birthday dear World Wide Web.  Just don’t try to stuff a piece of cake into your laptop while studying on line.

A Better Web Browsing Experience

I am not in the practice of making product endorsements, but this information is just too useful to those of us who spend a lot of time on the web.  For online students, it is of particular importance.  I would like to share with the readers of this blog, my experience with a web browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Most people buy computers that come with Microsoft Windows operating systems already installed.  Part of the package included in the Windows OS is the latest version of Internet Explorer or “IE”.  Let me tell you, if that is the only program you’ve ever used to surf the ‘net, you have been missing out on a more satisfying experience.  I recently downloaded (for FREE) and installed a different browser called Firefox which is produced by a development company called Mozilla.  It took very little time and effort to install.  I can say with confidence that the Firefox browser is superior in every way to the IE.  It crashes/freezes way less, it is faster to load pages and is overall a better product.  In fact, Firefox has been downloaded more than a BILLION times so you can rest assured it isn’t a bad item.  If you are interested, click here to visit the trusted CNET site where you can safely download the Firefox browser.  It’s definitely worth the time.  And if you’re not happy with it, you’ll still have IE to fall back on.

Online Students, Take Care of Your Computer

Online students reap enormous benefits from studying in a virtual environment.  Better time management, schedule flexibility, improved mobility and avoiding a commute to campus are among some of the greatest perqs of online education.  All that convenience is unlocked through technology.  Specifically, through your personal computer.  Whether it is a desktop in your home, the laptop you use while stationed in your favorite coffee shop or the tablet you use while sitting in the park, these machines are essentially your golden tether.  Without them, you’d either have to take classes on campus or spend a big chunk of dough to replace them.  So it makes sense to take good care of your machine.  But many don’t really know what is required to properly maintain their computer and keep it running as well as it did when they first bought it.  Many even spend good money to pay for “nerd squads” or other tech support outfits whose business model relies on peoples’ aversion to doing their own system maintenance.  But why pay for this preventative maintenance when you can do it for yourself for free?  Read this article from Wired magazine’s how-to wiki on easy computer maintenance practices that can keep your machine humming along nicely and save you a bundle.

Spam King Released From Prison

Robert Soloway, King of Spam

Just when you thought it was safe to open your email box again…  You probably don’t know Robert Soloway, but it is a certainty that your email box has been the victim of his decade-long, spam spree.  This fellow made a fortune using techniques of questionable legality to flood your inbox with offers for Viagra, porn, Christian singles and counterfeit Prada bags.  In 2007, the law finally caught up to him and he served nearly 4 years for his transgressions.  As online students, you’re probably grateful that he’s been punished for wasting so much of your time cleaning out the spam.  He’s paid his debt to society now though and has sworn off his old, evil ways.  But just in case, a condition of his release from prison requires his emails to be monitored by law enforcement.  Gone are his Mercedes Benzes, Gucci shoes and all his ill-gotten gains.  He now works in a copy shop for $10/ hr.  Maybe Mr. Soloway, you’re interested in a more lucrative new career in Medical Billing and Coding?  You can study it online!