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A Degree from Disney University?

Are you ready for your Disney diploma? Maybe your mouse Master? Disney is dipping its toes in to the education business according to a report from CNN Money.

Starting today, Disney (Charts, Fortune 500) will open enrollment for seven online courses on Family.com, its how-to site for moms that covers everything from quick cooking to home schooling.

The subjects may seem lightweight. But they're hardly infomercials. There's useful information like how to choose a digital camera, the basics of shooting in the light versus dark, composing a shot, and how to actually get the photos from the camera to the computer. There are even assignments at the end of each online chapter, and quizzes to take before you move on to the next.

"We've been looking at online learning for a long time," says Emily Smith, the vice president of DisneyFamily.com. "And it's real content. I've taken the digital scrapbooking course myself, with my mom hat on."

It's hard to know which question to ask first. Why does the House of Mouse feel it should be the one to educate mommies? Why are the courses free? And why are they all about technology, when Disney doesn't sell any itself?

The short answer is that the courses reflect Disney's growing digital presence, and its desire to make keep women loyal to the brand in every medium. But the more interesting one is that these courses help Sony sell stuff.

Well, now you can really find an online course in just about any topic. Maybe Fisher-Price will offer courses in how to put together toys....


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