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Reflecting on 2011 and Looking Ahead to 2012


52 weeks of blogging in 2012 for Online Colleges

With 28 posts in 2011, this blog is quickly becoming a content-rich source of information for online learners. My first post began with a "toolkit" for online learners and I am excited about continuing to share, create, teach, and engage with everyone. Here is my recap of some of my favorite posts for the year:

Community is Vital

One of the most important aspects of higher education is the creation of community. Finding, building, nurturing, and sustaining community has always been a major aspect of higher education. For online learners, community can be formed through the web and conversations occur on a global scale. Additionally, social media can be used as platform for community building.

10 Questions To Ask Before You Enroll

A central theme for a lot of my posts has been about asking questions as part of the online learning process. This post provides a list of questions that can assist any online learner in their higher education journey.

The Inquisitive Journey

Continuing on the "questions are okay AND necessary" theme, I share some potential queries for online students as they enter into an online degree program.

Work harder AND smarter

A digital homage to my late grandfather, this post was inspired by his wisdom. Completing a higher education degree program requires a lot of work to be successful. Conveniently, experience compounds each year as you make your way through a program. Your ability to work harder AND smarter will increase with each assignment, group project, and term paper.

Spinning Tunes While Studying

Some students love to study in silence. For some, music paves the way for learning and reflection. In this post, I list several different sites and services for spinning some of your favorite tunes. I loved Elaine's comment on this post. She reminds us the perspective is important. Silence is golden for some, while some folks love to rock out!

Are You Using LinkedIn?

This was perhaps one of the most popular posts that I wrote this year, most-likely due to the amazing benefits that LinkedIn can provide. Online learners should start using LinkedIn for networking and career development opportunities as soon as possible. If you are not using LinkedIn yet, I highly encourage you to start using it in 2012.

Conflicting Commentary About Procrastination

I approached procrastination from two separate angles this year. In my first procrastination post, I wrote about how students could overcome procrastination. For some, procrastination can have a negative impact. However, some students have found procrastination to be a core part of their academic success. So, to put it bluntly, procrastination exists in sort of a gray area. It is good or bad — depending on your situation.

Higher Education is not the next Bubble

It seems like everyone is talking about higher education as being the next "bubble." I wholeheartedly disagree, provide a counter argument and take Peter Thiel and company to task for their polarizing commentary.

Hoping to Hear From You in 2012

Encouraging commentary from online learners / online school representatives is an important component of 2012. This blog will be better served by having as much commentary as possible from actual online learners. Think of these posts as paying it forward for the community. I will edit and ask questions, you will provide insight and wisdom. Thanks for a great year of blogging. As always, please feel free to comment on any of my posts. I will do my best to answer any/all questions and engage with your thoughts/commentary. Have a happy New Year, see you in 2012! [image credit]

December 27th, 2011 written by Eric Stoller

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