Wednesday, January 5, 2005

First Assignments

Imported from my old Online Education blog

I am jumping a little ahead of what I said I was going to do but I ran out of time looking for good APA style resources and actually had to break down and do an assignment. The first assignments I have due are multi-paragraph "papers" to be posted in the class discussion forums. The strange part of this is one of my two classes is a math class. Yes, I have been assigned to write papers on Algebra. Does anyone know how hard it is to talk about math? That was probably the toughest assignment to get started for me ever! I did get started though and got it done but I am afraid to see if it has been graded yet. It is possible that it won't be graded until after the final due-date anyway but we'll see.



The second paper is for my Networking class. It won't be so difficult seeing as how I work in the industry and have a lot of familiar resources to call upon. I interviewed a co-worker today to get an idea of how a certain chemical company's network is set up and got a lot of really good information. I had already downloaded some whitepapers and saved some links to case studies on the web so I should have plenty of material to wrap up this report tonight. After that, I should be able to take a break until Saturday and catch up on the APA Style stuff.



I did use APA Style references in my Algebra report and I will post what I learned from that soon. Probably not tonight, but soon :) I have to be careful with this since many of my resources are copyrighted material so I will have to come up with my own examples and possibly do a proper "research" paper on the subject.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Getting Started

Imported from my old Online Education blog

Greetings!

I am getting started back to school after spending nine years in the IT industry doing everything from web site design (mostly programming and less graphics) to database server administration. I have a family and want to maximize my marketability in an industry that I am very fond of so I figured that finishing my degree would be a good idea. That part about the family plus the fact that my commute is 45-60 minutes each way limits my abilities to physically attend classes so I started looking into online universities over a year ago. At the time there were no software engineering degrees available (or widely publicized) and all the offerings even close were "Business-Oriented" programs that did not offer much more than web page design. Seeing as how I would also like to actually learn something new I abandoned my search in just a few weeks.



In early November I got a call from CTU Online which was pretty strange because I am rarely in my office at the time and just so happened to be there when they called. I took that as an omen and started looking into their IT programs. Sure enough, in October they had added a Software Engineering degree program. I finished signing up, had my interview, got accepted, and here I am starting classes tomorrow.



I am actually trying to get an early start but, due to the holidays, it looks like it is more of a late start. I was trained in the MLA (Modern Language Association) Style back at Dunedin High School and did some more with it at St. Petersburg College (was a Junior College but has upgraded since I went there). Apparently, MLA is favored in Florida institutions but Colorado Technical University favors the APA (American Psychological Association) Style so I am quickly trying to review resources before I screw up my first paper.



This Blog is intended to cover my experience as an online university student and will likely be a very embarrassing story as I blunder through some things. Hopefully though, this will help others keep from repeating my mistakes and maybe someone out there may offer some pointers to keep me out of trouble once in a while. The first part of this is going to cover the results of my research into the APA Style and I don't expect anyone to come upon this Blog for a while so I will largely be stumbling through this one on my own.



Here goes... Happy New Year and New Beginnings!