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FAQ for New and Prospective Users

FAQ for New and Prospective Learners
  1. Yes, it's all free!
  2. What about the curriculum?
  3. Would you please send me ...
  4. What about the GED Exams and Study Credits?
  5. Schedules and Assignments
FAQ for Registered and Active Learners

FAQ for Active Students

Yes, it's all free!

Q:

Is this program really free?

A:

Yes, it is free--all of it.  There are no charges for tuition or books. Of course you have to buy some of the usual kinds of school supplies, but you decide how much you want to spend and where you buy them.  Our business is education, and we have no interest in grousing around in your wallet.

Q:

What's the catch with this "free education?"  Nothing in life is really free.
A: There is no "catch." The program is supported by gifts and advertising.

Q:

If this course is so **** "free," why am I looking here at a request for a $100 and a credit-card number?
A: You're not getting that request from GED & College Prep at Free-Ed.Net. You have evidently clicked one of the sidebar ads that leads to a school that wants your money. But that isn't how we work. That isn't us.

Q:

Do we need any school supplies for this course?
A: Of course you will need ordinary pencils, notebook paper, and the other usual assortment of school supplies. We strongly recommend that you create a learning journal from a spiral or loose-leaf binder. But in any case, you decide what you need, where to get it, and how much to pay.

We will be helping you master the use of a Casio fx-260 Solar calculator. This is the same one that is issued to you during the math portion of the actual GED exams (you cannot take your own calculator into the exam room). It is available from all major electronics stores, and you can order it online from Amazon.Com.  The suggested retail price is $15.95, and the discount price is about $10.

Q:

What books are required?
A: GED & College Prep does not require textbooks. All of the necessary learning materials are provided online and free of charge. However, there is a big difference between textbooks and books that are required for the reading assignments. Some of the books for your reading assignments are also free and available online, but others are protected by copyrights and cannot be provided that way. In those few instances (4 books, to be exact) you will have to use your own copies, borrow them from a local library, or purchase them at a bookstore.

Q:

Can we order school supplies, the Casio fx-260 calculator, and literature books from Free-Ed.Net?
A: No, we don't sell anything here ... including education.

Q:

What kind of equipment and Internet connection do I need?
A: Any personal computer system and service that gets you hooked up to the World Wide Web is sufficient. The past couple of versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator seem to work well. You can use a dial-up connection for all the lessons, but of course a wideband DSL or cable modem is better.  Some of the lessons include video presentations that work best with wideband connections. These are not mandatory items, however; and even then, you can usually get the audio portion with a dial-up connection.

Q:

What plug-ins do I need?
A: We try to keep the plug-in installations to a minimum. You will need to make sure your computer is enabled for JavaScript and Java. You will need these media plug-ins: QuickTime, Windows Media Player, or RealPlayer. They are all available free of charge, but don't worry about downloading and installing them now. They will become available when they are needed.

Presently, we are trying to avoid the need for PowerPoint Viewer and Adobe Acrobat Viewer.  But industry pressure to include them is growing, so you might need them sometime before you complete your work with GED & College Prep. We will keep you informed.

 

What about the curriculum?

Q:

How long does it take to get my GED?

A:

There are 74 one-week lessons, and you are given an average of three lessons per month. So that comes out to a little over two years to complete your work at GED & College Prep. However, you can take the GED exams anytime you feel you are ready. Many of our students pass the GED exams long before finishing the course.

Q:

Why does it take two years to complete this course? I've seen ads for schools that get you ready for the GED in a lot less time.

A:

Please take note of the fact that the formal name of this course is GED & College Prep. We have found that more than 60% of the people seeking a GED expect to enter college right away.  We get you ready for that. Quick courses that only prepare you to pass the GED exams cannot prepare you for the kind of hard work, knowledge, and discipline that is required for success in college.

Q:

What subjects do we study?
A: You will study high-school level literature, English grammar and composition, national and world history, civics and government, biology, physics, astronomy, earth science, algebra, fractions, trigonometry, geometry, and life skills.

Q:

I am homeschooling my children. Can I sign them up for this course?
A: Yes. However, you are still responsible for making certain their studies conform to the standards of your local education authority.

Q:

Can I study at my own pace?
A: GED & College Prep is a synchronous program of study. This means that you and all of your classmates study according to the same weekly schedule. However, you are free to drop in on the assignments for classes ahead and behind yours. So, in effect, you can study at your own pace.

Q:

May I sign up more than one person under the same e-mail address?
A: Any number of people can enroll with the same e-mail address. This might cause some confusion in the class e-mail group, but there are no other serious consequences.

Q:

May I enroll in more than one class at a time?
A: Yes, but I'm not sure why you would want to do that.

 

Would you please send me ...

Q:

Would you please send me more information about your school?
A: No. Everything you need to know provided on the GED & College Prep page. That is also where you begin your enrollment process.

Q:

Here is my telephone number. Will you call me at your earliest convenience?
A: No.(See the answer to the previous question). If you have some special circumstances that require our attention, please use the  ">Contact Us  form to e-mail us.
   

Q:

Will you please send me application papers for your GED study program?

A:

No. Everything is done online. You should apply for admission the GED & College Prep home page. Simply type in a valid e-mail address and click the Submit button.

Q:

Can you send this course to me on CD-ROM? I am willing to pay for it.

A:

No. The copyrights and distribution rights for our materials are too complicated.

Q:

When will I receive my books and lessons?

A:

Never. Your textbooks and lessons are all provided online. The only exceptions are your regular school supplies and a couple of novels and nonfiction books for literature assignments. You can locate those items for yourself, spending as little or as much as you want.

Q:

Will you please send me a letter stating that I am participating in these GED classes? I need it for my employer (or social worker).

A:

Regrettably, we do not have the resources to provide such letters. Your alternative is to direct your employer or social worker to the GED & College Prep home page, and invite them to preview the material for themselves.

 

What about the GED Exams and Study Credits?

Q:

Do we also take the GED exams online?

A:

No, Free-Ed.Net does not have the authority to administer legitimate GED or high-school equivalency exams. Only your local school jurisdiction has that authority. You must locate the authorized GED testing centers for your area for further information about testing places and dates.

Q:

Do you provide a diploma or certificate of completion?

A:

No. Passing the GED exams at your local school authority and getting into college is sufficient evidence of your accomplishment.

Q:

Do the credits for this program transfer to my high school or college?

A:

No. However, the things you learn here can be demonstrated when you take diagnostic and placement exams at your accredited school. This may enable you to skip certain required courses, thereby reducing the time and cost of your formal education.

Q:

What good is this program of study if we don't receive any credentials or transfer credits?

A:

Learning is not about credentials and credits. Learning is about growing and coping with the increasing complexity and instability of our time. You can spend ten-of-thousands of dollars and countless days of your life acquiring a wall full of credentials, and still be as dumb as a bag of doorknobs. GED & College Prep cuts straight to the things that really matter: opportunity, character, determination, and vision.

Q:

How can I locate the GED exam center in my area?

A:

Go to the list of exam centers provided by ACENET, the people who create the GED exams.

Q:

Can you guarantee that I will receive a GED and get into college when I complete this program of study?

A:

No. That would be a silly thing to promise you. Your success (or failure) in life depends on how you respond to the opportunities that are set before you. GED & College Prep is a unique opportunity that has fallen into your lap. Whether you succeed or fail depends only upon how well you respond it.

Q:

Do you have Spanish and French versions of this program?

A:

No, not at the present time. The GED exams are indeed available in English, Spanish, and French, but we do not have the resources to provide the material in the alternative languages. You might investigate one of the website translation features that are available free of charge from the major portals such as Google and Yahoo!

Q:

Do you provide material for the Canadian version of the GED exams?

A:

The Canadian and US versions differ mainly on the social studies and math exams. Questions about government, national history, and civics are different. And in the math portion, the Canadian version uses metric measurements rather than the US measurements. GED & College Prep now provides a few special items for Canadian users, and the list will grow as resources permit.

Q:

I am not an American or Canadian citizen. May I enroll in your GED & College Prep program anyway?

A:

Yes. You will not be able to obtain a GED, but the work will help you prepare for college or other form of higher education..

 

Schedules and Assignments

Q:

When do classes begin?
A: A new class always begins on the first Sunday of the month. This means the first Sunday of the first full week of the month.

Q:

Where and when does my class meet?
A: Your classes doesn't "meet." Instead, you are responsible for picking up your assignments each week at the class home page.  You work on these assignments through the week, communicating with your classmates through the group e-mail system.

Q:

How do I find my assignments and class home page?
A: Your assignments, and everything else you need to know, can be found on your class home page. You can always find your class home page this way:
  1. Point your browser to http://ged.free-ed.net
  2. Select your class number from the drop-down menu for Active Students.
  3. Click the GO button.

You should then see your class home page. (Sometimes you might have to use the Refresh button on your browser to see the latest version of the home page.)

Q:

What is my class number?
A: Shortly after you enroll in GED & College Prep, you will receive an e-mail from Google Groups that provides you with your class number. The first two numerals indicate the year your class starts (06 for 2006, for instance), and the remaining two numerals indicate the month that your class starts (11 for November, as an example).  So class 0611 begins on the first Sunday of November, 2006.

FAQ for Active Students

Q:

Where do I get my assignments?
A: Your assignments are always posted on your class home page.
  1. Point your browser to http://ged.free-ed.net
  2. Select your class number from the drop-down menu for Active Students.
  3. Click the GO button.

You should then see your class home page. (Sometimes you might have to use the Refresh button on your browser to see the latest version of the home page.)

Q:

Where do I turn in my assignments?

A:

You don't turn in any assignments to Free-Ed.Net.

Q:

If I don't turn in any assignments, how will you know whether or not I am actually doing the work?

A:

Whether or not you do the work isn't the school's concern. Naturally, we hope you do the work diligently, get your GED, enroll in a good college, and have a great life. But if you choose otherwise, you are the only loser.

Q:

When and where do we pick up our grades?

A:

There are no grades. The concept of grading and scoring belongs to a different education tradition. Quizzes and exams at GED & College Prep are used for helping you uncover your own strengths and weaknesses. It's up to you to deal with the results, namely by helping you classmates where you are strong and working harder in the areas where you are weak.

Q:

My class is in the third week of study, and the assignments all seem too simple. Is the work ever going to get harder?
A: A new class is made up of people with a very wide range of learning abilities and achievements. Yes, we do with some grade-school level studies, but the work increases in intensity and difficulty as you go along. This gives the more challenged students a chance to get up to speed. Using this method, nearly everyone in the class is on the same level by the end of the eighth or ninth unit.

Q:

What happens if I fail out of out of this school?

A:

No one fails out of GED & College Prep.  A lot of people simply quit, but no one is ever dismissed for academic reasons.

Q:

I work 60 hours a week and am a mother to three children. How am I supposed to find the time to do all of these assignments?

A:

Work with some of your classmates. Divide up the assignments, do your part of the work, then share the results before the end of the week. Use the class e-mail system to share your work and find what others have accomplished.

Q:

You suggest that we divide up the work and share the results. Isn't that cheating?

A:

In the older education tradition, yes. But the world is changing--it is becoming too complex and unstable to be handled entirely on your own.  Besides, the most important things is what you learn, how well you learn it, and what you can do with it. Where you learn it and how you learn it isn't nearly as important.

Q:

If no one grades our quizzes and exams, how do we know if we got them right?

A:

This is handled in two different ways, depending on the purpose of the quiz or exam. In some cases, you are provided with the correct answers when you complete the work. In other instances, you simply look up the correct answers in the assignments, on the Web, or in other sources of information that might be available to you. If all else fails, simply ask your classmates for their answers.

Q:

Who is the teacher? How do I get in contact with him or her?
A: GED & College Prep does not use teachers in the traditional sense. You have a class moderator who oversees class activities and reviews the work you are required to submit to the school. You are your own teacher. This is a place where you learn how to learn, and no one is going to spoon-feed with knowledge that you will not respect because you didn't have to work to earn it.

Q:

What should I do if a classmate is becoming crude or abusive in our e-mail group.
A: Our moderators are sometimes monitoring ten or more classes at the same time, and it often takes a whole workday for them to spot a troublesome student in the e-mail groups. So you should send a group e-mail that has this as the subject:

Moderator! Ongoing abuse in the classroom!

That will get the moderator's attention, and something will be done to set things right again.

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