A Troy company is helping cash-strapped school districts across Michigan generate new revenue sources, but critics say it isn’t worth the price.
Alternative Revenue Development, a 3-year-old business, has created a program called UNITE that recruits local and national businesses to buy banner ads on school districts’ websites. It has signed 53 school districts in the state to participate in UNITE, including the most recent addition of Ann Arbor Public Schools, said Sam Curcuru, CEO and founder of ARD and a former Parent Teacher Association president.
Another 47 districts will join the fold in late fall, he said. The 21-employee company is growing so fast that Curcuru said he needs to hire 15 people immediately and another 40 by the end of the year.
Full Text: Firm links schools, Web advertisers | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com.
An online degree-granting institution called World Education University, set to open this fall, plans to try an advertiser-driven model to support its free content.
“Any Silicon Valley start-up will tell you that if you can drive enough eyeballs to your Web site, you can find ways to leverage that and monetize it,” said Scott Hines, the university’s chief executive. “We’re very transparent to students. They understand that their education is being underwritten generally through advertisers.”
Advertisers will pay for students to answer survey questions related to their products. For example, students may be asked a question like “Are you a runner?” when they log into the learning-management system. If a student checks “yes,” he or she will thereafter see ads for a certain brand of running shoes on the home page.
So do you think this will work? Will they generate enough income? Do you allow advertising on your LMS? Tell us in the comments
Full Text: At New Online University, Advertisers Will Underwrite Free Degrees – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Via The Guardian:
It may not have the nightlife but as a way of accessing a flexible, quality education, I’ve found the Open University can’t be beaten He was a flying goth with rocker looks. I was a new Open University tutor researching a play. I ventured into the OU room in Second Life , and after a few introductions (He: F04 R08 . AL? Me: Yep. A363 . R11), we had a long chat about non-Euclidean geometry. Call me strange, but I found this amazingly thrilling. Living in a rural area, you don’t come across many Gauss experts. Vast academic libraries, with international journals on tap, books and courses to get your brain cranking, people who enjoy a good barney about Shakespeare’s sonnets: the OU has brought all that to my doorstep, and it’s been an absolute joy. A quick straw poll reveals quite a few of my friends are closet OU students – they just haven’t mentioned it. All over the country, distance learning is helping students overcome not just geography, but also disability, culture, financial and family circumstances. Susanne Lockie, a full-time mother to three children, told me the mental stimulation has made it a lifesaver: “I need to keep my skills ticking over, but I couldn’t study to a high level without that flexibility. I’ve been able to get credit for my previous full-time study in nursing, which was interrupted when I had a family. I’ve finished my Open degree now, but I need to spend more time with my parents at the moment, so I’m taking a year out before starting on honours.” Employers tend to be supportive of OU study, knowing that OU students are likely to be unusually determined and committed. That’s why it’s all the more disappointing when you hear lazy “not a real degree, then” comments and ancient stereotypes of tweedy tutors and chalk-and-talk TV. I’ve found the quality of OU learning materials outstanding. The modular structure means you cover the ground systematically, with a clear understanding of context. Elsewhere (I studied at Oxford), I’ve found the learning experience equally stimulating, but much more haphazard.
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Open University learning is a joy | Jules Horne
Because schools of education have been slow to offer programs to develop virtual instructors, many leading online schools are trying to fill the void.
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Education Week: Virtual Schools Offer PD Programs for E-Teaching