After completing Notre Dame’s first iPad-based e-reader pilot class in October, Corey Angst and his Project Management students found that the device lived up to its widespread media hype. “My students felt that the iPad would be useful before they even began using it, and there was hardly any change in that belief over the course of the class,” said Angst, assistant professor of management at the Mendoza College of Business. Angst administered four surveys to his students throughout the course: one before the students received their loaned iPads, one three weeks into the course, one at the end of the course and one a few weeks after returning the devices to the University. He said these surveys provided him with valuable feedback as to whether or not iPads play a significant role in an individual student’s learning experience in relation to a specific course. “One of the goals of this pilot was to monitor the usefulness of the iPad in a classroom setting, and the survey results showed that the students’ opinions on this remained relatively constant,” Angst said. “This seven-week class showed that there is tremendous value in the device, but not necessarily in the way we anticipated.” Both Angst and Jon Crutchfield, academic technologies consultant, emphasized the fact that high expectations usually go hand in hand with brand-new technologies, but these expectations usually give way to marked decreases in user satisfaction. However, that trend was not observed in this initial test run at Notre Dame. “As people begin to use new technologies, their satisfaction usually goes way down once they start to find the limitations of a device,” Crutchfield said. “In this case, the satisfaction level of students on the final survey was almost identical to the expectations expressed in the first survey.” In response to the survey question, “Which statement best sums up your general feelings about using the iPad in the Project Management course?” only two of Angst’s 36 students chose the answer “I didn’t like it,” as opposed to 12 students who answered that they loved using the device during the class. According to Angst and Crutchfield, the most widely observed drawback to the iPad was its e-reader capabilities, which contrasted with their initial prediction of the device’s viability as an alternative to traditional textbooks. Crutchfield noted that most students had difficulty annotating and highlighting text in the electronic version of their textbook and that making the transition from a traditional textbook proved challenging. “We thought the e-book aspect would be the strongest determinant of value for students,” Angst said. “Instead, students felt there were limitations to reading books on the device, but they were willing to give up optimal book reading for the iPad’s other advantages.” Angst and his students cited the device’s portability, consolidation of information in one place, easy access to content, functional versatility and connectedness as the iPad’s advantages. Angst also said many of the applications available on the iPad have significantly improved since the beginning of the class, and he predicts the iPad and other e-readers will function better as textbook alternatives in the future. Two focus groups met to discuss the role of the iPad in the Notre Dame classroom after the Project Management class ended. Student members of these groups were able to provide feedback about how they adapted to using the devices daily. “Some older students told us that they had learned how to study successfully over the course of their time at Notre Dame, so asking them to switch to a different style of learning was a challenge,” Crutchfield said. “Some of the students were more successful than others at taking what they know and using it differently.” The focus groups also compiled a list of the pros and cons of using iPads in the classroom. However, the surveys Angst administered to his students provided more specific student responses to their individual use of the iPads. “One thing that struck me was my students’ responses to whether they thought they could learn more in any class, not just Project Management, using the iPad,” Angst said. “Fifteen of them felt that they would learn more just by having the device available.” Although students were encouraged to use the iPads as they wished without being extensively trained, Angst said that professors who teach iPad-based classes in the future should have an understanding of apps that are available, as well as provide students with some guidelines as to the device’s capabilities in relation to their specific class. “Professors can set themselves up for failure if they allow student use of the device to be entirely organic,” Angst said. “Some students will embrace the freedom, but others won’t bother to figure out how to use it if they are focused on more important things in terms of academics.” In terms of the ways students used the iPad to fit their needs, Crutchfield said he was surprised that a few students typed all their class notes on the iPad’s keyboard. “It’s not the greatest keyboard in the world, so we expected that to be a challenge,” Crutchfield said. Despite the device’s drawbacks, Crutchfield said only two students had technical problems with their iPads, both of which he said were easily resolved. Additionally, the device’s monitored security settings prevented one student from losing all his data when his iPad was stolen from his car. Both Angst and Crutchfield said that the pilot was valuable in highlighting the fact that introducing the devices at an earlier point in students’ college careers would help facilitate further integration of the device into regular learning. “When students were asked how the devices would have affected their learning if they had been given to them as freshmen, most agreed that they would have learned to study using the tools provided,” Crutchfield said. Angst said the ultimate goals of these pilot classes are centered around the student and his or her individual needs. “It all comes back to the student choosing a device that allows them to do the things they personally need to do, whether it’s the iPad or another device,” Angst said. Overall, Angst and Crutchfield said the pilot achieved the goal of providing more information about the use of e-readers in the classroom, and it will continue as the more data is gathered from the current round of classes using the iPad, including First Year of Studies Dean Hugh Page’s Contemplation and the First Year Experience class, librarian Cheri Smith’s Library Research course and Professor Erin Ponisciak’s Law School 101 class. The devices will be used in a Law School course and at least one foreign language course next semester, Crutchfield said. “We weren’t looking to see if the iPad was the perfect e-reader or classroom support technology,” Crutchfield said. “But it gives us a baseline to compare similar devices in the future, which we still intend to do.”
Eleventh-grader Shaquille Sanders has a cure for boredom: Go play bingo at Heardmont Nursing Home.“We go to the nursing home every other month and play bingo,” said Christa Campbell, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent in Elbert County. “The students are starting to establish bonds with the seniors, which the seniors especially enjoy because some don’t have family and visitors.”Sanders says he and his classmates have grown to love the nursing home residents. It’s all because of their ultimate cure for boredom: the Teens as Planners, or TAP, program, which started in 2009. Future graduates and AmericansShaquille and 19 other students in Elbert County – and 16 students in Madison County – are part of TAP. The programs’ primary goals are to develop engaged citizens and improve the likelihood these teens will graduate from high school and become the kinds of employees any business would want to hire, said Sharon Gibson, UGA Children Youth and Families at Risk director. Through TAP, the students develop strong workplace skills and improve skills such as budgeting money, cooking at home and caring for themselves. They learn how to participate in government and work to improve academically through tutoring in math and language arts. “It didn’t matter what their school issues are,” Campbell said. “These are youth with the potential to graduate who just needed something or someone to keep them on track.”Coming together as a groupLeigh Anne Aaron, UGA Extension agent in Madison County, has watched her students grow from being disconnected to participating in track, football, clubs and 4-H. “I think one of the biggest impacts has been their attitude toward school,” she said. “TAP really has given them more of a connection to the school and kept them connected so they don’t drop out early.”TAP is funded by a five-year grant from the USDA-NIFA Children Youth and Families at Risk Sustainable Communities Program.“Every decision that’s made for the TAP program is based on what the youth in the program identify as important,” Gibson said.Travelling to WashingtonStepping into a nursing home is a big move for high school students. A trip to Washington, D.C., July 17-23 and a briefing at the White House was a giant leap outside of northeast Georgia for them.At the briefing, the students talked to White House staff and discussed projects they’re doing in their communities. In Elbert County, they’re cleaning and repairing Bowman Park in Bowman, Ga. In Madison County, they’ve cleaned up along the Broad River and are searching for more projects where they can leave a permanent mark.“One of my favorite parts of the briefing was at the end when Kalpen Modi (a former actor on the TV show “House” who is now the associate director of White House Office of Public Engagement) asked the youth what they wanted to do with their lives at end of high school,” Campbell said. “We had youth saying they wanted to be anything from a paleontologist to a diesel mechanic. It showed the diversity in the group and showed that they all have a path.”Planning for a career and dressing for successJohntavis Williams, an Elbert County junior, says TAP is helping him carve his path. At the briefing, he told White House blogger Isaiah Nelson: “I want to look back and be able to say that I made a difference, and I left my footprints on this earth in some way.”During their time in D.C., the students visited the Smithsonian and learned about solving crimes from Kari Sandess Bruwelheide, a forensic anthropologist. They learned about art and different parts of government and made quite an impression on the locals.“They wore khaki pants and oxfords with either a red tie or a red scarf,” Aaron said. “They don’t usually conform as a group, but they really loved that. People were saying ‘don’t they look good with their red and white,’ and you could see the teens stand a little taller.“For them to be a part of something bigger than Madison or Elbert counties, bigger than Comer or Bowman, was pretty neat. In D.C., they learned about themselves, that they matter, and they are going to make a difference.”
Dear EarthTalk: I’ve noticed that bamboo is very trendy right now, apparently—in part—for environmental reasons. Can you enlighten? — Eric M., via e-mail Bamboo has a long history of economic and cultural significance, primarily in East Asia and South East Asia where it has been used for centuries for everything from building material to food to medicine. There are some 1,000 different species of bamboo growing in very diverse climates throughout the world, including the southeastern United States. Bamboo’s environmental benefits arise largely out of its ability to grow quickly—in some cases three to four feet per day—without the need for fertilizers, pesticides or much water. Bamboo also spreads easily with little or no care. In addition, a bamboo grove releases some 35 percent more oxygen into the air than a similar-sized stand of trees, and it matures (and can be replanted) within seven years (compared to 30-50 years for a stand of trees), helping to improve soil conditions and prevent erosion along the way. Bamboo is so fast-growing that it can yield 20 times more timber than trees on the same area. Today, heightened consumer environmental awareness has given sales of bamboo flooring, clothing, building materials and other items a huge boost. As an attractive and sturdy alternative to hardwood flooring, bamboo is tough to beat. According to Pacific Northwest green building supplier Ecohaus, bamboo—one of the firm’s top selling flooring options—is harder, more moisture resistant and more stable than even oak hardwoods. Ecohaus carries both the EcoTimber and Teragren brands of bamboo, and ships worldwide. Bamboo is also making waves in the clothing industry as an eco-chic and functional new fabric. Softer than cotton and with a texture more akin to silk or cashmere, bamboo clothes naturally draw moisture away from the skin, so it’s great for hot weather or for sweaty workouts. It also dries in about half the time as cotton clothing. Some critics point out that the process of converting bamboo to fabric can take a heavy environmental toll, with the most cost-effective and widespread method involving a harsh chemical-based hydrolysis-alkalization process followed by multi-phase bleaching. The Green Guide counters, though, that bamboo still has a much lower environmental impact than pesticide-laden conventional cotton and petroleum-derived nylon and polyester fabrics. Consumers interested in trying out bamboo clothing should look for the Bamboosa and EcoDesignz labels, two of the leaders in the fast-growing sector of green fashion. Bamboo is also making inroads into the paper industry, though there are fears that too fast a transition there would threaten ecologically diverse bamboo forests across Southeast Asia and elsewhere. The Earth Island Institute, among other groups concerned about forest loss due to paper consumption, would instead like to see more research into using agricultural waste to make paper instead of wood pulp or bamboo. Regardless, bamboo in all its forms might one day soon be one of the most important plants in the world. CONTACTS: Ecohaus, www.ecohaus.com; The Green Guide, www.thegreenguide.com; Bamboosa, www.bamboosa.com; EcoDesignz, www.ecodesignz.com; Earth Island Institute, www.earthisland.org. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: [email protected] Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.
SUP CoolidgeCoolidge Park—right on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga—is turning into a big spot for stand-up paddleboards and touring kayaks. It’s a great riverfront scene with two boat ramps right downtown, where a lot of people can go play around after work. You can also take a long scenic mellow paddle on South Chickamauga Creek.How to get out there and start SUP’ing! Chill Out on the JacksJacks River Falls is hardly a secret, but the narrow gorge that houses the 60-foot waterfall is so remote and picturesque, you won’t mind waiting in line to jump. The falls is so popular, the Forest Service has recently banned overnight camping along the river to help cut down on use. Regardless, it’s a jump that can’t be ignored. Jacks comes down in two dramatic tiers within a narrow rock canyon, and an imposing 20-foot tall rock chimney protrudes over the deep pool at the bottom of the last waterfall.Find out how to make a splash on the Jacks! Hike the Tanawha Trail13.5 miles may not sound like a long trail, but the technical terrain and panoramic side trips make the Tanawha a mini-epic adventure. The Tanawha (Cherokee for eagle) parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway along the edge of Grandfather Mountain, running from Beacon Heights to Julian Price Park.A guide on how to complete this hike! View Game Plan South 6.21.2012 in a larger map Wanna go outside and play this weekend? Each week, the Game Plan brings you the best ways to enjoy the water, trails, and mountains in your Blue Ridge backyard. The Game Plan features three of the top upcoming weekend adventures in your neck of the woods, along with maps, stories, and insider insights. More weekend fun can be found here.
“How do you perfectly articulate the greatest experience of your life? Three words come to mind with the Trailblaze Challenge: strength, compassion, and gratitude.During the Challenge I was able to find an inner strength that I never knew I had. A 28.3 mile hike in one day on the Foothills Trail? Not only did I think it was insane, I thought it was impossible! In addition, I also had the challenge of raising funds for Make-A-Wish® South Carolina? I was apprehensive of the task. How am I going to raise that? But there I was, after many grueling hours of intense physical and mental obstacles shared with my fellow hikers, crossing the finish line. With the generosity of my community, friends, and even strangers, I had not only obtained my fundraising goal, but exceeded it. It strengthened my spirit to know that I could triumph over the impossible – just like wish kids.Although I have always known the definition of compassion, it wasn’t until I became a participant in the Trailblaze Challenge endurance program that I could fully understand and appreciate the term. Hearing the stories of the wish kids who have life-threatening medical conditions and discovering the impact I was helping the foundation make in their lives ignited my heart to want to become an ongoing supporter of the Trailblaze Challenge and Make-A-Wish.Throughout the program, I learned more about how the organization exists to help seriously ill kids and families overcome challenges with hope and strength. It made each step I took on the trail leave an eternal footprint on my heart. Those footprints remind me that we are all in this together. Honestly, hiking and raising funds is the easy part. Compassion is what blazes a path for wishes.If you are able to call yourself a “Trailblazer”, the word gratitude has a new meaning for you. This word takes a much larger form than just the obvious. When my 28.3 mile hike was over, my journey was not. I have become part of a family (whether we like it or not, Trailblazers joke.) After the hike, I really started to think about how thankful I was for the whole experience. I’m grateful not just to the donors or the staff who organizes the program, but to the wish kids who taught me more about perseverance and love than anything else so far in my thirty years of life. I’m also thankful for the lifelong friends I have now made and the hike leaders who helped and pushed me when I needed it the most. Everyone played a part to create this beautiful life-changing experience- an event that was so much bigger than each of us as individuals. I will forever be grateful for every minute I had during this transformative adventure. How could I have known in the beginning that the biggest change would be within myself?So, I challenge you, reader. I challenge you to sign up for the Trailblaze Challenge because you will have fun, you will make a difference and you will find out so much about yourself. Make an impact. I promise you, you will never be the same. ”Mallary, Fall 2015 hikerRSVP for the Trailblaze Challenge Fall 2016 hike:Attend an information meeting to register. Meetings are held June 20 –July 2. RSVP to begin your journey. http://SCtrailblazechallenge.org
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A lawyer said New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Skelos’ son, Adam, badgered him to get Adam work while the senator negotiated legislation that the lawyer’s boss wanted passed.The lawyer, Charles Durego, general counsel and vice president at New Hyde Park-based developers Glenwood Management Corp., described how the senator reiterated his request every time they met to discuss bills pending in the state Senate that the company considered critical to their survival—and threatened to “F” real estate industry officials unless they donated money to the Republican state senator’s re-election campaign.“I thought that it was inappropriate,” Durego said of Skelos’ requests to find Adam work as the company was lobbying the senator and was donating money to his campaign. “I was feeling an awful lot of pressure to make something happen for [Adam] at the same time we are conducting all of this government business and it made me uncomfortable.”Glenwood is one of three companies that the senator allegedly coerced $300,000 in bribes from in the form of “no-show” jobs that Adam was unqualified for in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations.Durego said that after his hope that the requests would stop didn’t come true, he set Adam up with a job at AbTech Technologies, a company that Glenwood’s owners invested in, as a way to put some distance between the developer and the senator’s son. But the AbTech job didn’t materialize quickly enough for the senator, who continued to pressure Durego for something more immediate, preferably involving Adam’s title insurance business, Durego testified.Skelos first asked Durego and his boss, billionaire Leonard Litwin, owner of Glenwood—which donates the most to political campaigns statewide—after Glenwood donated heavily to help restore the GOP majority in the state Senate in 2010 following two years of Democratic control. That’s because in 2011, key pieces of legislation regulating the real estate industry were up for renewal, as they are every four years: one involving rent control, the other involving the so-called 421a program that Durego described as providing crucial tax breaks, without which constructing new buildings doesn’t make “economic sense.”Republicans were more likely than Democrats to renew the legislation without any major changes that would be unfavorable to landlords and developers, Durego said. Democrats have an insurmountable majority in the state Assembly, the other state legislative chamber. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also a Democrat.“It was very important to Mr. Litwin to have a Republican state Senate,” Durego testified. “[Litwin] felt that these pieces of legislation were critical to his business.”Later during his testimony, Durego said that Skelos lost his temper with officials affiliated with the Real Estate Board of New York, a business group that the senator felt wasn’t appreciative enough of Skelos’ legislative efforts. Durego said Skelos told the men that he would “F” them if they didn’t “pony up” and donate to keep the Republicans in control of the state Senate.U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied prosecutors’ request to have Durego explain if Skelos meant he would “F” the men “physically or some other way.”Direct examination of Durego, which began Wednesday afternoon and continued all day Thursday, resumes Friday.
Data is rising at an incredible pace, covering all aspects of a consumer’s life. In the past two years, more data has been created than in the entire previous history of the human race. (1)2017 has certainly been the year that data and analytics has redefined the financial services industry. For those financial institutions leading the way in data analytics initiatives, a survey reported that 48% of organizations are achieving measurable results from their data analytics investments – the first time the survey has found a near majority since it began in 2012. (2)As we look back on data analytics maturity in 2017, here are a few highlights of use cases shared by financial institutions that are experiencing real value—and a substantial return on investment from their analytics initiatives.Effective Marketing and Segmentation:Suncoast National Bank, based in Stuart, FL realized that it needed to find a better way to target customers and promote to them more effectively to reduce customer acquisition costs. Combining data analytics and marketing automation software, the end goal was to gain insights into their customers’ future financial needs and behavioral trends. Using customer data analytics, their marketing staff was able to run dozens of targeted marketing campaigns that, in some cases, generated returns on investment in excess of 100 percent. (3) continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
– Advertisement – Love is in the air! Clare Crawley and her fiancé, Dale Moss, could not be happier after watching their engagement play out on The Bachelorette.Moss, 32, gushed about the reality star, 39, on social media shortly after the couple got engaged during the Thursday, November 5, episode of the ABC dating series.- Advertisement – “Never a point I won’t show up for you @clarecrawley,” the former NFL player wrote via Instagram, posting photos of the proposal. She also shared photos of the couple, writing, “It’s official!! Love wins!!!! 💍❤️!!! I love you @dalemoss13!”Clare Crawley and Dale Moss ABC; ShutterstockThe couple’s whirlwind romance finished with Crawley professing her love for Moss after two weeks of filming season 16 of the show. The South Dakota native reciprocated the Sacramento, California, native’s feelings after earning the final rose on Thursday’s episode.“When you got here, it was like electricity for me because I knew that I had just met my husband. You embodied everything that I want in a man,” Crawley told Moss. “I’m just so in love with the man that you are.”- Advertisement – Before Crawley’s finale episode aired, she was spotted with a large diamond ring on her left hand while shopping in her hometown on Thursday afternoon.The photos surfaced one week after an episode of The Bachelorette aired in which Crawley called Moss her “fiancé” while talking to a crew member.Us Weekly previously reported that the Bachelor in Paradise alum fell hard for Moss during the first few weeks of filming and decided to leave the show early. As a result, Tayshia Adams stepped in to search for her happily ever after.The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants He echoed her sentiments, saying, “I know without the shadow of a doubt that you would go to the end of the world for me and I’ve never had that. I’m so grateful for that.”Moss told the Bachelor Winter Games alum he loved her, and she whispered, “I love you too … The best is yet to come” before he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.Clare Crawley and Dale Moss ABC/Craig Sjodin“Put that ring on my finger, I’ve waited a lot of years for this,” she said. She then called herself “Clare Moss,” showing off her new sparkler.- Advertisement –
“Another section of the bill would eliminate a requirement that contracts for maintenance and operation of cafeteria or restaurant services be put out for competitive bidding, potentially saving districts money on these expenses.”“The bill would give districts relief from other contract-rewarding requirements and allow them to seek out vendors that provide the “best value” for the money.”This, as I read it, would eliminate competitive bidding? Doesn’t that leave the doors open to favoritism and cronyism? Don’t we have enough corruption in our state government now? Do away with competitive bidding and see what happens. Talking in generalities and no specifics as to exactly what the mandates are, and exact changes desired, leaves the door wide open to much less clarity in our already very expensive New York state educational system. Doesn’t sound like “best value” to me.Bob LullRotterdamEditor’s Note: The text of the bill contains more specifics as to the mandates and the proposed relief.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighbor Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Dec. 30 editorial, “Give districts mandate relief”: The content starts with subject matter about Earth Day and then evolves into descriptions about changes to mandates from New York state.As stated, about the bill, [SS247/A6513], it contains more than 30 significant changes to mandates involving transportation, educational management services, and special education.Going past the next four paragraphs regarding teaching about Earth Day, and the burden on districts and teachers when the state micro-manages day to day activities, we get to the paragraph I don’t understand.
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