Page 64 - FSJ June 2012

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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U N E 2 0 1 2
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University has reported extensively
on her experience using telerehabili-
tation with a pediatric population in
Kentucky. Through the use of video-
conferencing, she was able to pro-
vide effective help on a regular basis
to children who had only been
receiving occupational therapy on a
monthly basis due to the remoteness
of their location.
As stated earlier, speech therapy is
the most widely available online ser-
vice today. In 2007, the Ohio Master’s
Network Initiatives in Education,
Speech-Language Pathology & Edu-
cational Audiology project launch-
ed a program to determine the effica-
cy of delivering speech therapy via
telepractice.
The program, designed in response
to the shortage of speech pathologists
in the state, began with 30 students
and grew to 190 in five years. The
results have been overwhelmingly
positive, with children, speech thera-
pists and parents reporting that they
are happy and satisfied.
My Experience
My own venture into telepractice
began two years ago, when my hus-
band’s posting in Brazil came to an
end, and I faced leaving behind yet
another private practice in speech
therapy. I’d heard of online therapy
companies, but never gave them any
The Employee
Consultative Services
also accepts telepractice
as a means to fulfill
the special education
needs of dependents
going abroad.
J
ust as today’s Foreign Service families cannot imagine how their predecessors lived
without the Internet, we may soon be wondering how we ever got along without online
education. Distance learning, as it is sometimes called, offers an unparalleled oppor-
tunity for FS family members to target and tailor their educational needs to their cir-
cumstances.
Last year nearly five million students took at least one online course from a degree-
granting institution of higher education in the United States. The technology for deliv-
ering online courses and degree programs is rapidly growing more sophisticated.
Professors are becoming more adept at teaching online. And most propitious of all,
postsecondary institutions are passionate about the opportunity to present educational
opportunities to a global “campus.”
Universities offer online undergraduate degrees in nearly every possible topic — from
interior design to accounting. Online master’s degrees cover the fields of business, health
care, management, government, human services, legal studies, education and information
technology. Online doctorate programs include education, public policy, business admin-
istration, religion — and more.
In fact, the plethora of opportunities for online students means that the buyer must
beware. The online student must identify his or her educational goals clearly — a
degree? a postgraduate degree? a certificate? continuing education credits? — and
then carefully choose the appropriate institution and program.
This is excerpted from the article of the same title by Kristi Streiffert, a Foreign
Service spouse and freelance writer, that was published in the June 2010 issue of the
Foreign Service Journal. The complete article can be accessed online at
www.afsa.org/fsj.
F
ROM THE
J
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2010 FSJ S
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Online Education: Unprecedented Opportunities