Blue Marble University Review

I am delighted that I made the choice to attend Blue Marble University and am sure that this degree will help me to find a new job once I retire from teaching. The education that I engaged in will aid me in performing my current and future responsibilities.

I  just finished a personal review of my time as a doctorate student by going back through my private student portal and saving the information that was posted to all of my classes. Sure, as with any technology subject, some of my new skills will probably be obsolete in ten years (instructional technology is constantly changing), but I feel more confident in my ability to learn to use additional techniques, software, and hardware in my ever-expanding bag of tricks to help my current school and all future endeavors.

Is Blue Marble University for everyone? No, but anyone who is interested in expanding their skills or who has a general interest in innovative alternative education could benefit from investigating their offerings.

Click on this sentence for a more detailed discussion of my Doctor of Science in Instructional Technology at Blue Marble Discussion.

Review: D.Sc. Instructional Design and Technology

I am very pleased with my education at Blue Marble University. The lessons I learned will be helpful to my current career and may help me to begin a second career when I retire from teaching. I am delighted that my D.Sc. in Instructional Design and Technology has been evaluated as equivalent to a United States Ed.D. degree by one foreign transcript evaluation company and a D.Sc. by another company! I know people with Ph.D. degrees from prestigious brick-and-mortar United States universities who could not find work in their fields, so nothing is certain in life regardless of our choices, but I am happy that I took a chance on Blue Marble University.

This was a successful program and I am glad that I chose Blue Marble University! I previously earned master’s degrees from two different accredited United States universities and am working under two teaching certifications (special education and instructional technology). I chose a different path for my doctorate, knowing full well that it might not open as many doors as an accredited degree. I wanted a better balance between practical skills, theory, and personal research than I felt that I could get at typical American universities.

Thank you, Blue Marble University! I already use much of what I learned with the students and staff in my current job, and anything that helps me to be a better teacher and technology coordinator is a good thing.

I chose Blue Marble University’s Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Instructional Design and Technology program after having been accepted into three well-respected (including one quite prestigious) post-graduate (master’s degree required) programs in fully accredited United States universities; I had to drop out of each of these programs because of now-resolved issues that needed my time and full attention. Instead of returning to one of my previous universities, I weighed all of my options and chose Blue Marble University. It wasn’t that I disliked the other programs; I just felt that Blue Marble University could also help me to achieve my personal and professional goals. I particularly enjoyed the larger number of project-based courses. The less expensive tuition was a very nice bonus! As I told one of my bosses, I liked Blue Marble University’s balance between theory, advanced practical skills, and research.

If knowledge and practical skills are what you are after, you can learn them at Blue Marble University. Blue Marble University will not be for everyone. Some jobs and further study opportunities require degrees from accredited universities. My original idea was to go to a U.S. university then become a college professor, but I know too many out-of-work professors. I decided to take a different path. The fact is that I love teaching, and once I decided not to become a professor, I could explore options that better suited my interests. Sure, I sincerely hope that my degree will help me to find work after I retire from teaching, but I am aware that there are no guarantees in life. For the present, I am very pleased with Blue Marble University and the education that I received.

I am extremely happy with my doctorate program at Blue Marble University. One transcript evaluation clearly states: “JEANNE ELIZABETH STORK holds the U.S. equivalent of a DOCTOR OF EDUCATION IN INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEM DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY awarded by Regionally Accredited Universities in the United States.” Another transcript evaluation states: “Jeanne Elizabeth Stork has satisfied the requirements to attain the equivalent of a Doctor of Science in Instructional Design and Technology from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States.” There are foreign degree and transcript evaluators that will give you positive results when evaluating degrees and transcripts from Blue Marble University, but you might have to try more than one (or you might have success the first time). Some companies will evaluate the degree as equivalent to a doctorate from an unaccredited U.S. university and one company actually told me that they will return my money because they only evaluate degrees and transcripts from universities that are accredited by the education departments of the countries in which they are located. Some employers and schools only accept evaluations from their own list of pre-approved foreign transcript evaluation companies. Maybe soon more evaluators will see the benefits of alternative educational paths; that would be nice.

I am pleased with my decision and encourage anyone who is considering innovative alternative education to look into Blue Marble University’s Doctor of Science in Instructional Design and Technology. I am also aware that this doctorate may not meet the needs of everyone who is looking for a doctorate program depending on the requirements of current and future employers. Many employers will accept the foreign transcript evaluators who provided me with positive evaluations. Where I work, I will not get a raise for having a doctorate degree, so it was not important for me to attend a United States accredited university. As I began this discussion, there are no guarantees in life even for graduates of accredited United States brick-and-mortar universities, but I feel prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Dissertation Videos

Here are three videos that accompany my dissertation. These videos are not required elements of the dissertation or of the doctorate degree, but they may assist people who have never worked with students with severe developmental delays to better understand my paper. The videos might also interest other teachers who want to learn more about how I teach my most severely disabled students to use computers and tablets.

The first video shows some of the software that I use with the students who are just learning to control the computer.

The second video is based on the PowerPoint presentation that I created to accompany my dissertation.

The third video shows a few of the many iPad apps that I use to teach students with severe developmental delays to use the iPad’s touch surface.

Both the PowerPoint and the related PDF are hosted on Figshare. The PowerPoint presentation cannot be viewed online, but the PDF is viewable online. (PowerPoint DOI: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8108174.v5, PDF DOI: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8109443.v4) The PowerPoint needs to be downloaded to your computer or tablet and run from the PowerPoint application or PowerPoint online in a Microsoft Office 365 subscription. The PDF version lacks the internal links and fancy transitions that are in the full PowerPoint version, but it can be viewed online by anyone.

Trackpad Versus Mouse for Elementary School Students with Developmental Delays

Click on the image below to view my dissertation: Learning Speeds for Mouse and Trackpad in Elementary School Students with Developmental Delays.cover page for Jeanne Stork's paper Learning Speeds for Mouse and Trackpad in Elementary School Students with Developmental Delays

Download my paper directly by clicking on this sentence.

This study compares student improvement in trackpad skills versus mouse skills. While the research focused on elementary school students with developmental delays, the information may be helpful to any school that is deciding whether to invest in mice, trackpads, or both. Improvement data was analyzed from thirty-six students ages five through ten, with moderate to severe autism or intellectual disabilities, who did not know how to use a computer mouse, to determine if they learned to use the trackpad or mouse quicker. Although no statistically significant results were noted in the overall improvement between the trackpad and mouse groups, the trackpad group’s fine motor skills and the five-year-old students’ trackpad use improved significantly more than corresponding mouse learners. Neither device is more appropriate than the other for all students.

Jeanne Stork is holding a trackpad.

I posted my dissertation to FigShare after debating about where to publish my dissertation for several months. I finally decided to use FigShare because it allows me to retain the copyright and to republish. My next project is to create a video presentation of this project which will be posted to my website as soon as it is finished. All of the journals that I looked at either would not let me create a video of the study, or they stated contradictory rules in different sections of their websites about authors reposting their own work. Rather than risk a future Take Down order for my video, I chose to publish to FigShare where I knew that I would retain the right to publish to video.

I will include a video link on this page as soon as the video is complete.

 

Trackpads in the Computer Lab

My right index finger is touching a gray Apple Magic Trackpad 2

I am currently exploring the use of trackpads in my computer lab. I chose the Apple Magic Trackpad 2 in gray for its large size (compared to laptop trackpads that I have seen) and for its color contrast against my tables. This is an interesting option for students who are having difficulties learning to use the computer’s mouse.

M.S. Educational Technology Specialist

My first master’s degree was M.S. Edu. in Special Education: Severe and Multiple Disabilities from Hunter College in New York City. My second master’s degree was M.S. Educational Technology Specialist from New York Institute of Technology. That second degree is what eventually convinced me to begin my journey toward obtaining a doctorate. I have decided to make public the presentation that I created for my second master’s thesis. I am very proud of my research presentation and have posted it to ResearchGate. A pdf of that presentation is also included toward the bottom of this page.

I compared two different types of software that could be used to teach students with severe autism to click a mouse button. At the time, teachers were required to adapt general education materials to the needs of students in special education. Many people in government had the philosophy that students in special education would show educational improvement if they had access to the same experiences and materials as their general education peers. My research showed that students learned better using software that was specifically designed for their developmental levels and educational abilities and needs. After this study, I was given more freedom to use software that was specifically designed for the needs of students with significant disabilities if their educational needs could not be reasonably met using general academic software.

The presentation contains a large number of statistics; my advisor at the time loved statistics. But there are also some real-language slides that summarize what all of that math means for any readers who are not math-people. I was happy that I could create something that both helped me to earn another master’s degree (and become “highly qualified” by being certified in my subject area as recommended by No Child Left Behind) and also helped the students in my school and beyond. The research is over ten years old now, but the struggle continues to find appropriate ways to teach our students with the most intensive learning and language delay difficulties.

Research Methodology Part A

This is Jeanne Stork’s paper for the Research Methodology Part A course. I discussed referencing formats and the scientific process. The reference section of this paper contains links many helpful resources about the Americal Psychological Association (APA) formatting style.

The final section, just before the references, refers to an article published on the web. Click on the article’s title to read the article. Education and Dementia in the Context of the Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analyses and Qualitative Analyses