Monday, August 6, 2012

Teacher Bloggers: Don't be suckered by flattery: The Fascination Awards Scam

Hi teachers,  the "Fascination Awards" nominations are going around...don't get sucked in!
 It's a scam, and one of the worst sort for any educator:  it is scamming students out of their money and in many cases, even scamming Federal Student Aid dollars (read: our taxes--yes, teachers pay taxes just like everyone else) in exchange for dubious, sometimes non-accredited "degree" programs that many of them are ill-prepared for to begin with.  If the students fail, the school has already been paid.

Read these other articles on the same thing:
Article on The Mexile
These are the badges they give you to post on your blog--very pretty.  Pretty nasty.
The one they were offering me said "Science Teacher". 

I received this email:

Subject:  Your Blog has Earned a Nomination for the 2012 Fascination Awards 

Hi there,

An article you wrote in 2012 titled 'Science Project Timeline' has earned your blog a nomination for a Fascination Award: 2012's Most Fascinating Science Teacher blog.

The comments posted in response to your post prove that your content not only inspires your audience, but it also creates discussion around your posts, both of which are requirements for the nomination of a Fascination award.

As a nominee of this award, you have full permission to display the "Nominated" emblem on your website. To learn more about the contest, the rules, or the prizes, click here:
2012 Fascination Awards Rules & Prizes.

To get started:
1. Accept your nomination by replying to this email by August 10 (11:59 PM EST).
2. Claim your "Nominated" badge to display on your blog: Nominated Badge 

Voting begins August 13th at 1:01 AM (EST). The blog with the most votes by August 20th at 11:59 PM (EST) will win the grand prize, a $100 restaurant gift card.

Good luck and thank you for your participation!

Matthew Pelletier
Director of Public Relations     
Accelerated Degree Programs

I was leery (although optimistically hopeful that my hunch was incorrect) of the award program because of two reasons: #1--the post I was "nominated for" was not even close to being the most popular with my readers and the comments on it were minimal and definitely not "fascinating", at least by my own criteria; and #2--what accredited university is offering a PhD online?  I mean, really.  Really??

The moral of the story: Don't share traffic with another website unless you believe in their goals.

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