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Cybernaut

Back to school

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I haven’t been enrolled in school since 1997, and although I never thought it was possible, part of me misses it. That’s not to say I’ve stopped learning – I read, I research, I get hands on training doing something almost every day of my life – but I haven’t focused on a single stream of education in a long, long time.

Obviously it would be impossible to go back to college or university at this juncture in my life, but thanks to the Internet it’s not impossible to bring the college or university to me. On your own time you can work on certificates, diplomas and even full degrees without ever stepping foot in a classroom.

I can even go back in time and give Grade 11 math another shot – I only passed on the second attempt with a suspicious grade of 51 per cent, and haven’t taken another math course since.

The place to start looking for new online educational opportunities is, of course, online.

If you’re looking for high school level courses – you may need a few pre-requisites before you apply to a post-secondary school – try www.openschoolbc.ca. Once there you’ll be able to browse an online catalogue with more than 3,000 learning resources. Grade 11 math courses are available for about $20 a module, and there are 13 modules available.

Other courses are offered through various school districts around the province. Go the provincial government’s Web site at www.gov.bc.ca, click on the tab for Ministries and Organizations, and go to Education – you’ll find everything you need right there.

For post-secondary courses, check out www.educationcanada.cmec/EN/Prov/BC.php and scroll down to the heading "Distance Education in British Columbia" to see all the different e-learning hubs out there, like BCcourses.com (http://bccourses.com), B.C. Open University (www.bcou.ca), and the Open Learning Agency (www.ola.bc.ca).

A list of institutions offering online courses, including BCIT, UBC and SFU, is available at www.bccat.bc.ca and www.openingdoorsbc.com.

The Canadian Virtual University (www.cvu-uvc.ca) is a partnership of post-secondary universities across Canada offering e-learning opportunities – take your pick of thousands of programs.

For practical continuing education in Whistler, visit the Whistler Chamber of Commerce (www.whistlerchamber.com) and check out your options under the Learning Network tab.

California gets tough on video game ratings

California has always prided itself in being years ahead of the rest of the world, from its stringent environmental laws that lead North America to the technological advancements of Silicon Valley.

With about 35 million people sharing an area about half the size of British Columbia, California is also a unique social experiment. While it’s liberal enough to accommodate the diversity of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Hugh Heffner, it’s also conservative enough to elect Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan as Governors.

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