Elite Colleges Now Offer Free Online Courses

From Harvard to Stanford, a growing number of elite universities are throwing open their digital doors to the masses. They’re offering their most popular courses online for no charge, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to learn from world-renowned scholars and scientists.

The proliferation of so-called massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has the potential to transform higher education at a time when colleges and universities are grappling with shrinking budgets, rising costs and protests over soaring tuition and student debt.

Supporters say these online courses can lower teaching costs, improve learning online and on campus, and significantly expand access to higher education, which could fuel technological innovation and economic growth.

Last month, a dozen major research universities announced they would begin offering courses on the online learning platform Coursera, joining Stanford and Princeton universities and the universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The University of California, Berkeley said it would start making online courses available this fall through edX, a competing Web portal launched in May by Harvard University and MIT with $60 million in funding from the two schools.

So far, the new online courses are attracting mostly older workers who want to upgrade their skills and knowledge, but may not have the time or money to attend classes on campus. The new generation of online courses features interactive technology, open admissions, high-caliber curriculum and the ability to teach tens of thousands of students at once. The universities say the online courses are as rigorous as their campus counterparts.

Are you in favor of these elite universities offering free online courses? Do you think cyber courses can really undermine systems of colleges and universities?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Boston

How to Extend Your WiFi Range

If you use a wifi network at home, there are undoubtedly limits to where you can access the signal. We have a handful of simple tricks and more advanced techniques to get you on connected to your home wifi from anywhere in your house.

Move your router:

Obviously a central location is best. The higher your router is on a shelf or cabinet, the less physical interference it’s likely to encounter. Scoot your router away from anything that might interfere: cordless phones, microwaves, wireless game controllers, other wifi-enabled devices (TVs, etc.), Bluetooth devices, and even fluorescent lights and elevators.

Technical tweaks:

If you live in close proximity to someone else with a wifi network you may both be trying to use the same channel and degrading your signals. Upgrade an older b or g router to an n router to extend your range for relatively reasonable cost. If you already have a Wireless-n router and need it to extend farther, make sure it’s set to use 2.4 GHz instead of 5 GHz.

Even if your laptop has built-in wifi, it could be well worth picking up an external USB adapter. This could also help an older laptop without Wireless-N support take advantage of faster speeds and improved range from a new 802.11n router.

Invest in network extension options:3

Put a repeater within range of your existing wifi router and it will relay that signal out to hard-to-reach locations around your home or office.

Powerline networking uses the electrical wiring in your house to extend your Internet coverage. This is especially good if you want to get Internet access in a back room or you want to connect a gaming console that’s on an old TV in the garage.


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