Whatever people do make of nanodegrees, I'm pleased to note that very few are using 'online distance learning' itself as a criticism of the concept. I believe this is a reflection of increasing mainstream acceptance of this study mechanism but also an acknowledgement of the changing face of online students.
Parents involve themselves in every aspect of school life, from running in every time their child has a problem, to falling over themselves to be parent helpers on school trips. And it doesn't stop at the school gate; so afraid are we of our kids making mistakes or doing things wrong that we hover over everything they do, like some kind of over-zealous quality control system.
The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped and plans have been made. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner. And before we know it, we'll be toasting in the New Year. People say things tend to quieten down for businesses around this time of year, but this certainly hasn't been the case in the skills and employment arena. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Though I cannot speak for all us, many of us have been rendered, albeit unwillingly, apathetic to the attacks on humanity suffered in Pakistan because of their frequency. This was the weak argument we were using up until now as we slumbered on in a chaotic world. But there's a time for all of us when we awaken and that wakefulness of our conscience is a blessing in itself that must be grasped, nurtured and fed - and I believe Pakistan has suddenly awakened. Finally. Thankfully...
Here's the resounding message: 'Don't get raped!'. Why is there no talk telling people not to rape, and teaching them what constitutes rape? Considering that most victims of sexual assault are assaulted by somebody they know, the 'don't walk home alone' message is proving to be falling short in protecting students. We need something more.
If different decisions had been made in Pakistan's history, this may have been possible but for now the future of good education in Pakistan remains bleak, if the leaders of this country invested more in the their education sector then perhaps the Taliban wouldn't have been able to recruit so many young men into their initiative.
By blindly insisting the creation myth of the Semitic tribes who became the Jewish people is fact - and telling children it is a valid alternative to the Big Bang - evangelical Christians are attributing to God the lack of imagination that cripples their own view of both humanity and the wider universe.
We are angry, and our voices are carrying far more weight than some choose to recognise. We refuse to be neglected any longer. Our rights and freedoms are not only being infringed upon by an overbearing police presence on campus, but in addition our entire higher educational system has been turned into a financial transaction.
Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that what I have done is state the glaringly obvious for people who have been teaching for a long time, and I apologise if that is the case. I'm new to teaching, however, and I'm pretty horrified. It's a job I want to do, I see it as more of a vocation, and I've been told I'm very good at it, 'outstanding', in fact.
BUDGET CUTS. The headline has been blasted on the front pages of every newspaper (apart from the tabloids obviously, who opted for more cultured titles such as 'BUDGET CUTS MORE DIFFICULT TO EXPERIENCE THAN THIS VIDEO OF A PREGNANT HAMSTER' and 'PAGE 3 GIRLS USE QUOTES BY PLATO AND ARISTOTLE TO DESRIBE GEORGE OSBOURNE').