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Students’ Health Under Attack With Budget Cuts

Obama

The Republican agenda during this election cycle has been simple:  in order to blame Obama personally for everything that’s wrong in the country, Republican surrogates have been busy blaming the problems of the country on spending, then blaming spending on Obama.  Healthcare reform is the big ticket item, of course, but the hit list goes on.  Everything from investments in transportation infrastructure to building a green economy have come under fire.  As has public education, to the tragic detriment of students.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Marshall Fund, over 60% of Americans support spending cuts, while only 17% support increases in spending.  And because of the rhetoric that has surrounded the Presidential election, Americans are more aware of the financial problems facing the country than ever before.

But the budget cuts that would happen if the Republican agenda succeeds and that party takes control of Congress and the White House in November would be disastrous.  So, too, would the kind of cuts that would happen if American elected officials cannot come to an agreement before mid-January and the country goes off the fiscal cliff.

For example, the American education system is already working on a tight budget, and without wholesale reform of how the system of education is managed and operated, funding cuts would only take away necessary services.  Students need books in their libraries; they need computers in their classroom; they need access to integrative nutrition during their lunch periods, so that those who eat school lunches are adequately nourished.

The Republican agenda ignores this.  And by hammering the idea that Democrats are pro-spending while Republicans are pro-saving, they are successfully convincing the American population that the Romney-Ryan ticket will magically fix the fiscal problem.  (This, despite the fact that most Americans oppose cuts to education, with Romney supports, and support cuts to defense, which Romney opposes.)

The idea of cutting education as part of the road to long-term financial stability is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.  Most egregiously, the American economy historically depends upon innovation, and innovation depends upon education.  Unless there is a steady stream of well-prepared young minds coming up to change the world with bold new ideas, Americans can forget about long-term financial stability, regardless of who is in the White House.

In addition, it makes no sense to cut spending on education until the system has been changed from the ground up to improve its efficiency.  Certainly, the intelligent inclusion of technology in the classroom can save money and promote learning; and the teachers’ union has historically opposed wider adoption of technology.

But cuts to other programs, most notably defense, can be made without infrastructural change.  There is no need for the United States to continue to manufacture nuclear warheads, for example, when it already possesses enough to wipe out the human race.  Cutting those programs will save more money than cutting education, without putting the nation’s future stability at risk.

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Colleges

Students from Yale Raise $15 Million with Site That Aims To Translate Rap Lyrics

yale

Despite three Yale students creating their website that translates rap lyrics for fun one weekend, it now brings in thousands of visits from web searchers each day. Along with this surge in traffic, the Daily Mail notes that the website has also brought in millions in new investment money.

Sometime last week, tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz decided to invest $15 million into Rap Genius, which was created by former Yale students Tom Lehman, Mahbod Moghadam, and Ilan Zechory back in 2009. According to the Daily Mail, the site now receives over 500,000 pages views on a daily basis.

How Does It Work?

Believe it or not, music lyrics is one of the most searched terms on the internet. Rap Genius puts up a song’s real lyrics and allows its users to take each line of a song and explain what it really means. Think of it in the same way that an author might update an old philosophy book so that readers of today could understand it.

While rap lyrics consist of around 90 percent of the site’s current material, users have decided to translate rap lyrics and other works including scientific papers, poems, and even a speech by current President Barack Obama.

Despite the premise of this site sounding quite humorous, many celebrities, rappers, and songwriters frequent the site on a daily basis. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims that he enjoys using the site.

Future Plans

According to Ben Horowitz, owner of Andreessen Horowitz, the company is unsure how Rap Genius will generate revenue. As it stands right now, the revenue status is “To Be Determined.” However, each day new visitors flock to the site and the amount of page views is also climbing.

Plenty of individuals could utilize this site to help them understand their favorite songs. Questlove from The Roots recently tweeted that he did not understand when Lil Wayne says “real G’s move in silence like lasagna” off of the song 6 Foot 7 Foot.

According to Rap Genius, Wayne simply means that G’s references gangsters and the silent g which is not heard when saying lasagna. This is quite a clever line by anyone’s standards.

With a larger community that is growing by the day, users may soon be using Rap Genius to help themselves understand more than just a misunderstood lyric. After receiving $15 million in funding and being publicly discussed by a number of different celebrities, Rap Genius may turn into one of the biggest crowd-sourced sites on the internet.

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Colleges

Eyeglasses versus Contacts for College Students

eyeglasses

As a college student, you’ve got plenty of things on your mind besides purchasing and maintaining proper eye wear.  Between exams, research projects, a part-time job and your blossoming social calendar, choosing between eyeglasses and contacts might seem like the lowest priority on your already-full “To Do” list.

But don’t allow these other concerns to prevent you from making important choices about your eye wear.  Protecting your vision is vitally important at a young age – not to mention how important it is that you be able to see the material being presented in your classes!

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the relative pros and cons between eyeglasses and contact lenses:

First up, eyeglasses.  Although many wearers express frustration with ill-fitting eyeglasses or the limited range of vision this type of eye wear allows for, glasses actually have a number of different advantages for college students.  Not only are they frequently cheaper than a year’s supply of contact lenses and cleaning supplies (assuming you aren’t purchasing top-of-the-line designer frames), they’re less likely to dry your eyes out and become uncomfortable following hours of intense studying and computer usage.
As an added bonus, eyeglasses can give you that deep, studious look that plenty of college students find attractive in the opposite sex!

Of course, contact lenses have their own pros and cons.  Though they require more maintenance in the form of cleaning, storing and replacing, they provide wearers extra flexibility in terms of the number of activities that can be completed while wearing them.  For college students on the go, the ability to transition effortlessly between classes and physical activities – not to mention between darkly-lit classrooms and inclement weather outdoors – makes contact lenses a much more wearable option.

So, with all these different advantages and disadvantages in mind, how can you decide between eyeglasses and contact lenses?  Ask yourself the following questions:

Question #1 – What does my insurance cover?

If you’re on your parents’ insurance (or if you hold a student policy of your own), you may find that the types of eye wear you’re eligible to purchase – as well as the specific benefits you’ll receive for eye wear purchases – may make the decision between eyeglasses and contact lenses for you.  Some plans may only cover one option, while other plans may limit your reimbursement benefits to the point where one eye wear option will result in significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.

Whether or not you have an insurance plan that covers eye wear, be sure to get a complete estimate for any potential eye wear costs, including any special contact lens fitting appointments or storage supplies you’ll need to maintain your lenses.

Question #2 – What type of activities do I engage in?

If you’re an extremely active person, contact lenses may simply be a better option for you.  Whether you participate in intramural sports, dance classes or frequent gym workouts, keeping a pair of sweaty glasses on your face may make the tradeoffs found in a good pair of contact lenses worth the disadvantages this type of eye wear presents.
On the other hand, if your activities are more studious in nature, eyeglasses may be a better option for you.  Spending hours reading the small print in textbooks or staring at the pages of a computer-based Word document can dry out your eyes, making contact lenses a more uncomfortable option overall.

Question #3 – How much time am I willing to put into eye wear care?

Finally, keep in mind that contact lenses require ongoing care and maintenance in order to remain a healthy, viable option for vision care.  Contact lenses must be removed regularly, cleaned thoroughly and replaced frequently in order to prevent nasty infections from occurring.  Ignoring these recommended procedures can put your vision in serious danger, making eyeglasses a better option for those who aren’t able to commit to routine eye wear management.

Obviously, there’s no clear cut answer as to whether eyeglasses or contact lenses will be a better option for your vision care needs.  However, by taking the time to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option – as well as how your personal needs and behaviors factor into this decision – you’ll be more likely to wind up with the eye care solution that’s right for your situation.

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Colleges

Why Your Kid Might Get Hit by a Car While Walking to School

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By Aaron Crowe

Oct. 3 is Walk to School Day, when children who are walking or biking to school are supposed to be safe.

Unfortunately, that’s unlikely as drivers sometimes don’t see school-bound children in time. While it’s difficult to determine how many kids are hit in crosswalks while walking to or from school, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that about a quarter of pedestrians injured by cars are children.

The NHTSA reports that in 2009 of the estimted 59,000 pedestrians who were injured, 13,000 were age 14 and younger. Of those children, boys accounted for 55%, or 7,000 injured boys.

There are several precautions that children, parents, drivers and even city traffic engineers can take to prevent children from being hit on the way to school.

Here are some of the problems kids face when walking to school, and what to do about them, according to Robert Ping, technical assistance director at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership:

  1. Speed kills. A pedestrian hit by a car traveling 20 mph has an 80% chance of survival, but at 40 mph their chance of survival drops to 20%. Drivers need to slow down, especially in high foot traffic areas near schools, crosswalks, parks, shopping centers and similar areas. Pedestrians should watch carefully before stepping into the street or across driveways.
  2. Size matters. Larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs have reduced visibility when compared to medium and small cars, especially since the drivers eyes are 5-10 feet off the ground, and a small child is only 2-5 feet tall, making children nearly invisible above the hood at close range. In addition, larger vehicles take longer to stop when reacting to a pedestrian crossing the street. Drivers should slow down, and pedestrians should take vehicle size and speed into account when crossing streets and driveways.

In Modesto, Calif., a child was struck by a car in a crosswalk in an accident where the driver might not have seen the child because a pickup truck was legally parked in front of the crosswalk. Driving into the early morning sun might also have been a factor.

  1. Kids are learning. Young children are developing their sense of distance, speed and sound until around 10 years old. They may not be able to accurately judge when it is safe to cross a street or driveway. Drivers should be cautious, and adults or older children should accompany children when walking or bicycling until around 10 years of age.
  2. Knowledge is power. Drivers and pedestrians need to know the Rules of the Road. Children should receive traffic safety education from their parents, and in school if possible. Drivers (and all adults) should understand pedestrian and bicycle laws. Kids should be taught to wait until drivers have slowed to a stop before crossing in front of the vehicle – Right of Way doesn’t matter if the driver doesn’t see you or isn’t planning to stop for you. A 14-year-old boy in Iowa was recently hit by a driver who didn’t stop behind a car that was stopped in front of a crosswalk, and instead passed the car on the right and hit the boy.
  3. Streets should be walkable. Local transportation authorities need to implement pedestrian and bicycle safety infrastructure and education campaigns, in order to increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. From installing sidewalks, to painting bike lanes and highly visible crosswalks, to building pedestrian “refuge islands” in the middle of multi-lane roads, to “Share the Road” campaigns, there are engineering treatments and safety messaging in communities around the country that are reducing collisions and saving lives.
  4. Be predictable. Drivers and pedestrians need to follow the rules. Jaywalking, texting while driving and running red lights are all dangerous and unpredictable. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should all be predictable. The vast majority of collisions are not accidents, but are due to someone not paying attention or respecting other travelers, and not acting predictably. Kids are especially vulnerable.
  5. Simple fixes. Clearing shrubs near street corners and painting crosswalk stripes make it easier for kids and drivers to see each other.


As anyone who has driven near a school during drop off or pickup times — but especially in the morning — can see, people drive too fast around kids walking to school.  The easiest solution may be one that people rushing to work don’t want to hear: Slow down.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in personal finance topics for CheapCarInsurance.net.

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Colleges

Will Charter Schools be the Answer After November?

charter-schools

A number of US states, including Washington and Georgia, will have charter schools on their ballots this November. And while the public education debate is taking a back seat to the ideological struggle dominating the Presidential election, the quality of our schools is at least as important as the occupant of the White House. Are charter schools the way of the future, or is a student better off with in a public classroom with a private tutor? Will supporting charter schools send the system of public education into a nosedive?

Maureen Downey, a Georgia writer who focuses on issues relating to education, posted an insightful piece by an educator on her blog today. In that piece the educator, Jim Arnold, argues pointedly that supporting charter schools will only serve to take more of the children of higher-income families out of public school, leaving the public school environment to be defined by the poverty of the remaining students.

He also argues that the sentiment that our public school system is failing the students isn’t new. He cites important publications in 1996, 1983, 1976, 1969, 1963, 1959, 1955, 1942, 1940, and 1889. The piece in 1889 revealed that 84% of American colleges had to offer remedial courses in core subjects – and that was a time when only the top 3% of American high school students went on to college.

The problem, he argues, isn’t that public education is failing. It’s that elected officials have something to gain by maintaining the supposed disaster of public education as a persistent and pesky problem that needs to be fixed. This creates a perennial focus on the negative aspects of public education, without a corollary appreciation of the massive social good that is done by our nation’s educators.

That constant maligning has created a climate in which the morale of educators is at an all-time low. What was considered a noble and challenging profession only twenty years ago has somehow become a villain and a social pariah. Parents are becoming increasingly vocal – and cruel – in their criticism of teachers, and lawsuits are becoming more common.

But these problems aren’t likely to be solved by shifting public funding away from public schools and over to charter schools. As Downey notes: part of the problem is that “people want schools to solve varied problems.” Some want schools to do a better job of moral instruction; others want them to do a better job of sex ed. Some decry students’ scientific knowledge; others want them to abandon science in favor of Biblical teaching. That creates constant strain, and it makes the school everybody’s antagonist at one time or another.

But public schools remain a viable source of quality education. They are also diverse social environments in which students learn how to deal with the human variety they will encounter in a larger society. Numerous studies indicate that combining a public education with a private tutor in challenging subjects provides a better and more rounded education than attending a private school. Perhaps the answer is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but to do the work necessary to improve the quality of the water.

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Colleges

University of Michigan Dentists Help Fix A Man’s Smile Following Attack

michigan

It was a cold night in Ann Arbor, Michigan back in October 2010 as 24-year-old Jean-Claude Soloman was walking alone down the street. That night, the University of Michigan football team has just been upset by Michigan State University in a fierce rival game that occurs each year. As Soloman was walking, he soon passed by another man and his girlfriend. The man said “Go State” to which Soloman replied “Go Blue.” After a few different sets of profanities were said between both parties, everyone went their separate ways. At least, that’s what Soloman thought.

Soon enough, Soloman said he heard someone behind him. He turned around and was quickly punched in the face and kicked several times while down on the ground. The man left Soloman with broken and chipped teeth, a broken septum, and a concussion along with the need to get over 100 stitches to the chin, lips and mouth. The case regarding this mysterious attacker is still unsolved.

Recovery

After the attack, Soloman was able to get his health insurance company to cover his broken nose and his sedation dentistry but as far as his three front missing teeth were concerned, Soloman either had to pay a hefty price or he was out of luck. Eventually he was given a “flipper.” This piece of plastic, which looks like a retainer, is worn in the mouth and comes along with a set of front teeth.

As a bank teller, Soloman dealt with people on a daily basis. With his new flipper, he felt embarrassed to smile or open his mouth much and he simply could not afford to pay $10,000 for a permanent solution.

Luckily, Dr. Chady Elhage, a student at the University of Michigan Dental School, was a frequent patron at the bank that Soloman worked at. After seeing Soloman’s flipper, Elhage got Soloman’s number right away and soon brought the case up to his supervisor to see if there was a way they could help Soloman.

Helping Soloman Get His New Teeth

After pulling some strings, the U of M Graduate Prosthetics Clinic was able to contact Nobel BioCare, a company who makes top quality implants, and the clinic was able to get implants for Soloman at a fraction of the normal cost.

Soloman was soon contacted and since June has had a temporary bridge in his mouth while he waited for custom made implants to be created. Once September came along, the implants were ready and all Soloman needed to do was make an appointment.

The Procedure

During his final appointment, Soloman had a bar screwed into his mouth to replace where his jawbone used to be. He lost it during the attack. Soon enough, porcelain teeth caps were cemented down onto the bar. Once the two hour procedure was over with, all Soloman could do was smile.

After two years of being embarrassed to ever open his mouth, the University of Michigan Dental School gave Soloman a bright and new outlook on life.

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Colleges

Ohio Online School Enrollment Soars Past 30,000 Students

ohio

New reports by SFGate state that online school enrollment within the state of Ohio has now jumped to over 30,000 current students. This is a huge increase from the year 2000, when the state’s first online school became available and only had roughly 2500 students.

According to Evergreen Education Group, the only state with more full time students taking online classes was Arizona during the 2010-11 school year.

Around 90 percent of those attending online schools in Ohio are enrolled with one of seven different statewide online business schools. Experts say that if all of these students were combined, they would make up the third biggest district within the state of Ohio. This number is as large as all students combined with schools in Cincinnati. Each online school is run on its own but receives sets of public funding.

Despite this boom, the numbers show no signs of slowing down. Since 2005, Ohio has had a limit on implementing new online schools and therefore, none have been started up since then. However, in 2012, this limit will be lifted and up to five more online schools can be started. At this time, the Department of Education states that there are no plans from any new schools as of yet.

What Is The Success Rate Like For These Places?

According to Gary Miron, a researcher for the National Education Policy Center, Ohio has a lower list of requirements compared to other states out there in terms of online schooling. For instance, he says that factors such as state test scores, finance reporting, and the required amount of time a student must stay enrolled are different for Ohio when it is determined whether or not they will receive money from the state.

Ohio legislators have currently delayed implemented new rules regarding how online schools should be ran and taught. Despite this, the state has set a deadline. If no rules are discussed or implemented by January of 2013, then the rules created by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning will be implemented.

Online schools within Ohio are typically run by educational service centers and school districts. Because of the huge enrollment rates, the online schooling business is booming there. Reports say that each school was paid around $6,337 for each enrolled student or $209 million in total during 2010-11.

Despite the amount of funding these online schools are receiving, the results continue to vary. Students who strictly attend online schools typically have a lower chance of graduating but at the same time, studies have shown that students have the ability to learn as well as, if not better, with online schools.

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Colleges

Zombies on Your University Campus? Follow These Tips and Live to See Another Day

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All joking aside, the zombie apocalypse may be closer than you think. Disturbing reports of cannibal-like behavior from Montreal to Florida have shocked and sickened anyone who’s paying attention. Recently in Miami, a doped-up naked man spent 18 minutes snacking on a homeless guy’s face, an incident that was followed days later by a similar one in Maryland in which a student at Morgan State University admitted to eating his housemate’s heart and — what else? — brain.  Unless you attend one of the nation’s online universities, students living on college campuses may be particularly vulnerable to attack by those pesky flesh-eaters. We all know that they prefer human brains, and what better place to indulge this craving than an institution of higher learning?

So has the time finally arrived to start cleaning the old shotgun and polishing the cricket bat? How can college students prepare themselves for the upcoming zombie apocalypse? Follow these tips, and you just might make it out alive.

Avoid parties or gatherings where “bath salts” are being used. Usage of the designer drug known as bath salts seems to be related to at least one assailant’s startling zombification. According to WebMD, bath salts — also called “purple wave,” “vanilla sky,” and “bliss” — cause “agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain and suicidality.” Add to that: an insatiable desire in some users to consume human flesh. Imagine what chaos might ensue if large quantities of bath salts find their way into a city’s water supply.

Give them the slip. Keep a jar of Vasoline or other greasy lubricant on hand for when you find yourself in a tight jam. Slather yourself up from head to toe, then no aficionado of human flesh can clinch its undead fingers around you.

Know thy enemy. Zombies have gradually crept deeper and deeper into our nation’s mythos, almost to the point where they have surpassed vampires as the most popular monster. A plethora of “study materials” exists for you and and your friends to brush up on before the zombies attack. Start by reading Max Brooks’s how-to book The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, proceed by watching George A. Romero’s six Dead films and the AMC series The Walking Dead, then conclude by playing the hit video game Plants vs. Zombies. Even if the undead don’t end up hitting your college, you’ll have at least passed the time briskly.

Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Heels, flip-flops, Birkenstocks, Crocs — such shoeware might be comfortable or attractive (okay, not the Crocs), but if a swarm of zombies unexpectedly infiltrated your campus, you’d be better off trying to evade them barefooted. Remember, if you want to survive, you don’t necessarily have to outrun the zombies — just everyone else. Carry a pair in your backpack just in case.

Take a college course in zombie combat. No, really, it exists. This summer at Michigan State University, a course taught by Glenn Stutzky will cover such extinction level events as floods, plagues and — no kidding — zombie attacks. Called “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes & Human Behavior,” the class is available not only to MSU students but also through the Lifelong Education program. No word yet on whether a whole zombie studies degree can be obtained.

In the face of recent events, the only responsible thing to do is to remain calm, get informed — and mount up. After all, you’ve paid too much in tuition to allow those foot-draggers to overrun your school.

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Colleges

Health Science Degrees Should Include Classes in Social Media

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Anyone considering a health science degree after high school needs to reflect on how social media can fit into a medical practice. The exponential growth of technology has lead to some amazing changes in both the way healthcare professionals are trained and their job duties once they have a career. Many patients are beginning to look toward virtual care options, something that students need to be prepped for and professionals need to prepare for.

For example, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report, Dr. Thomas Lee, an orthopedist in Ohio, stamps his Facebook page address onto his business cards. He uses Facebook for big initiatives, like promoting an annual fitness challenge for his patients, as well as for day-to-day conversation with the people who come into his practice. Social media has also become useful to the La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Center in California. The center posts success stories and patient notes in addition to explaining treatment options and procedures.

Many people think of social media as a way to hook up with friends or to keep in touch with family. Health science professionals are discovering that social media is a way to build a community. Whether sharing new medical research developments, posting reminders about The Great American Smokeout or tweeting from a medical convention, medical professionals can not only make a positive impact on their patients’ lives but also make themselves more accessible to patients. Many new apps even allow for remote monitoring of chronic illnesses. Patients who feel more comfortable with their doctors are more likely to share honest details about their conditions, which makes them more likely to receive better treatment.

Of course, health science professionals who post to Facebook or Twitter should know their limits. For instance, some patients may tweet a question about a personal medical condition to their doctor. Instead of tweeting back, which could violate the patient’s privacy, doctors should follow up with a phone call or with a scheduled appointment. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that some medical professionals also inappropriately prescribed drugs to some patients over social media, even though they had never met the patient. Additionally, some doctors misrepresented their credentials, falsely claiming to be board certified in certain specialty areas.

Like anything online, social media can be used for useful purposes or for the wrong purposes. Anything found on the web, even information supposedly coming from a doctor, should be checked out thoroughly. For medical professionals who use social media appropriately, however, the biggest winners are the patients. In Dr. Lee’s practice, for example, over 100 patients posted pictures of themselves participating in the fitness challenge. In addition to becoming more fit, patients were able to meet others who were doing the challenge and to support them in their efforts. In social media communities like the La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Center’s, patients can find accurate information about sensitive topics like plastic surgery that they may be afraid to ask their doctors.

If your health science curriculum doesn’t offer social media classes, then you can benefit from resources like the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media, which offers webinars and conferences that teach healthcare professionals to get involved in social media. As you look into the future, look into Facebook as more than a place to post your latest pictures or that funny YouTube video that you just saw. In the right health professional’s hands, Facebook could save somebody’s life.

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Colleges

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint At An Online School

Recycle

These days, “going green” is something of a buzzword, and for good reason.  Many people across the nation are attempting to limit their so-called carbon footprint, or the environmental impact of their own actions, in a variety of ways.  One of the most popular methods is carpooling or using fuel efficient vehicles.  A less popular, and more extreme, way is to forgo the traditional, brick and mortar university and get a master degree online in order to spare the world the vehicle emissions.

When it comes to conserving the environment, on the other hand, online classes probably isn’t one of the more popular avenues.  But taking classes from the comfort of your home — as opposed to attending college in person — is indeed very healthy for the environment.

For starters, online classes take place entirely in cyberspace, meaning that driving to school each day is unnecessary. This frees up the roadways for people and makes driving less of a hassle for everyone else, particularly in “college towns.”  According to an article at WorldWideLearn,

“Students can ‘attend’ a course at anytime, from anywhere. This means that parents can attend to their children, then sit down to class; working students can attend classes no matter what their work schedule might be, folks that travel for business or pleasure can attend class from anywhere in the world that has internet access.”

There are other environmental advantages to attending an online class.  One of the most important is all of the paper that is saved by attending an online college.  At a standard university, paper is often handed out for every assignment and lesson, and students must write reports dozens of pages in length.  With a lecture hall of hundreds of students, this can add up to quite a few reams of paper.  Not only is this costly for everyone involved, but it is also detrimental to the environment. Much of this paper needlessly ends up in landfills.  In fact, according to a study by ecocycle.org

“The U.S. buried or burned more than 166 million tons of resources—paper, plastic, metals, glass and organic materials—in landfills and incinerators in 2008.”

Thankfully, online colleges are doing their part to help reduce the strain on Mother Earth.  An article by Horizon.unc.edu articulates the growing demand for online courses.

“Many high schools and community colleges, following universities’ leads, are expanding into distance learning. Major research universities are creating online graduate programs and are offering more and more of their existing courses online. Universities recognize that even traditional campus-resident students sometimes prefer online courses in order to resolve schedule conflicts or take popular courses when physical space limits enrollment.”

With the growth of online courses comes the decline of the use of paper and gas, at least a little bit.  Thus, those who attend online classes are more than doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

The eco-friendliness doesn’t have to end there, though.  There can always be more done to protect the environment.  For example, all colleges could offer online classes as a substitute for students who live far away, further reducing needless wasting of gas.  As long as educators are consistently coming up with new ideas to make college healthier for the environment, the environment, in turn, will prosper more and more.

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