Choice Time in My Computer Lab

Choice time in technology class is not free reign on the internet. My class is an English Language Arts/Technology class, so all activities have to be related to ELA skills. I provide students with a variety of software and website options from which they can choose their activities. Students can only choose from my preselected options. This is enough motivation to keep many of my literacy group students in their work for the entire thirty minutes. I even have a few students who choose to return to their reading program after their required time is complete, but the majority of the students need an immediate reward for completing their work.

I have six leveled choice time accounts and assign each student to one account. The first level works on basic matching and sorting through beginning letter recognition. The sixth level works on fourth and fifth-grade literacy skills. Each account has a minimum of six activities so that students can choose what they want to do. I rarely use the top-level because the stories are too long and choice time is only the final five to fifteen minutes of class (depending on how long it takes each student to work a full half-hour on the computer). The work timer pauses whenever the student takes a break, so different students in the same class may earn different amounts of choice time. This has proven to be an effective reward system for most of my academic students.

My group learning how to use the computer does not have choice time, because it is meaningless until students are independent and have academic work to complete. In fact, this group’s most advanced level is also my academic group’s first choice time level. What is work for one student is play for another. I also use that level as a bridge to my more academic software. Once students have mastered “Purple,” they are ready to join the academic group and begin the literacy application that my more advanced students work on the majority of computer class.

Each account is given a color instead of a number or a letter. This reduces any negative feelings or potential bullying when different levels are more clearly stated. Colors work well except for just a few students who want to work on their favorite color’s account instead of their assigned account. With my students, every plan that the teachers implement seems to have a  few students who have difficulty following the procedure.

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 carrying out 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 current skills will probably be obsolete in ten years (instructional technology is constantly changing), but I am confident in my ability to learn to use new techniques, software, and hardware for my ever-expanding bag of tricks to help my current school and all future endeavors.

Blue Marble University was a great fit for me. Is Blue Marble University for everyone? No, but people who are interested in expanding their skills or who have a general interest in innovative alternative education will 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 that I learned help me in my current career and may assist 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 a foreign transcript evaluation company!

This was a successful program for me. I previously earned masters’ 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. I know people with Ph.D. degrees from prestigious accredited brick-and-mortar United States universities who could not find work in their fields. Nothing is certain in life regardless of our choices, but I am happy that I took a chance on Blue Marble University. I wanted a better balance between practical, theory, and research classes 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 after researching various options. 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, knowing full well that it is not a legally accredited university. I did not dislike 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 educational theory, advanced practical skills, and personal research.

If knowledge and practical skills are what you are after, you can learn them at Blue Marble University. 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. I love teaching children, and once I decided not to become a professor, I was free to choose an alternative educational path. Blue Marble University will not be for everyone. Some jobs and further study opportunities require degrees from fully accredited universities. 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.” There are foreign degree and transcript evaluators that will give you positive results when evaluating degrees and transcripts from Blue Marble University so you might have to try several different companies (or you might have success the first time). Some employers and schools only accept evaluations from their own narrow lists of pre-approved foreign transcript evaluation companies, which may or may not give you a positive degree evaluation. Maybe soon more evaluators will see the benefits of alternative educational studies; 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 but not everyone. My work does not offer a pay increase for having a doctorate degree, so it was not as important for me to attend an accredited university that is accepted by my current employer. As I previously mentioned, 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.

Blue Marble University was the correct choice for me.

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

Website Administrator

I  have been the calendar editor for an environmental organization for the past year, but my responsibilities have grown! As of July 8, 2018, I am now in charge of making additional modifications as they become necessary. I am not the “owner” of the website, so there are some changes that I cannot make because my administrator credentials do not cover everything, but I have access to most of the pages and content. I am eager to help New York City Friends of Clearwater whenever the board members or officers want my help. I do not develop content, rather I take content that the other members have developed, edit it into a web-friendly format, and post it online to their website. I also edit pages when requested to do so by the officers. This is an exciting new step for me and gives me a chance to learn a different form of web development.I do not have the time to be a fully active volunteer, but I have been told that this small volunteer effort is very helpful to the organization and its members.

http://nycfriendsofclearwater.org New York City Friends of Clearwater is a small environmental organization that is affiliated with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. It is not affiliated or aligned with any political party or group. Although I have been a member, a board member, and held all of the officer positions at various times in the past;  I do not have the time to be a fully active volunteer. I have been told that this small volunteer effort is very helpful to the organization and its members.  I will be putting up more current information and making additional enhancements throughout the next year.

I have also offered to take over my school’s website as part of my technology liaison (technology coordinator) duties, but I have not heard back from the school’s principal.  Our current web developer is extremely capable but very busy so I have offered to help. Quite frankly, I sincerely hope that I am able to take on this task. I have used Microsoft’s now retired FrontPage,  the obsolete Netscape Navigator, an earlier version of Adobe’s Dreamweaver, and what used to be Verizon’s web-building interface. WordPress is my only current web development tool. It is past time that I learn more about additional web design software and online site that are in use in 2018 and beyond. This will add to my abilities to serve my school in my technology liaison position and improve my knowledge for the future.

Blue Marble University Highlights My Video

I am pleased to announce that Blue Marble University included my video review of some virtual reality goggles in their Educational Technology degree webpage. Click on Educational Technology then scroll down to the bottom of the page. A special thank you goes out to my professors who think so highly of my work! The video may be replaced in the future, as the instructional technology field changes and expands very rapidly, but it is nice to know that my video is currently being featured.

The entire virtual reality project, including the video review, is on my Virtual Reality Exploration page.

Virtual Worlds One

I have recently studied several tools that can be used to include virtual worlds in instruction. Google VR, Alice, and the former Heritage Key’s King Tut’s Tomb are all included in this paper.

Crystal Fjord University: Demonstration Website

I developed a demonstration website for a demonstration university of my own creation. It shows how WordPress can be effectively used by colleges for everything from admitting students to providing instruction. I also have a Discussion menu item for anyone who wants to learn more about the process that I used in making this site. Click on the picture below to look at my Crystal Fjord University demonstration website.click on this picture to go to the Crystal Fjord University website. The picture shows a portion of the landing page, including a river cutting through mountains fjord style.
If you need it, the direct link is https://crystalfjord.university.

Blog Platforms for College Distance Learning

Blogging in college courses is one method of involving students in their education. This report includes information about educational blogging and includes information that I gathered on the WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Edublogs, and CampusPress blogging platforms. Specific details include some of the methods for incorporating quizzes and discussions into blog posts and sites within these platforms.

My Personal News: MAC, PC, … or BOTH?

I have been thinking about purchasing a Windows-based computer for over a year, ever since one of my professors could not open my mp4 videos embedded in a course creation project. I run a Macintosh lab but many of the teachers in my school have both MACs and PCs. The problem is that between teaching computer classes, data collecting, report writing, technical responsibilities, (well, you get the picture); I do not have the time to work on any additional projects at work — including making sure that content I create on my MacBook Pro runs just as well in a Windows environment.

I finally bought a laptop that runs Windows because I want to make sure that anything that I post can be opened on both Windows and Macintosh computers. I did not buy the current 2018 Intel i7 processor, nor did I purchase the maximum available RAM or fastest processor, but I did follow the sales for a few weeks and grabbed one that was $400 off. We have a holiday in a few weeks so prices may drop even more, but some of last year’s models are already selling out, and I did not want to risk missing out on a good deal. Now, I have to teach myself Windows 10 because the PCs at work are still running Windows 7 or 8. There are definitely cheaper ways to test content on Windows, including creating a Windows partition on my 4 1/2-year-old MAC, that already has an almost full hard drive, but these solutions would not work for me.

As a bonus, when teachers do upgrade to Windows 10, I’ll be ready to help them.

This weekend’s task, set up the new laptop and make sure that everything is running well before the return/exchange period ends.

A Year Later: As it turns out, my Mac had nothing to do with the site improperly posting my videos … that site finally admitted to problems and was taken down. For most people, PC or Mac is a matter of personal preference. For me, knowing both types of computers helps me with my work.

Screen Readers and Capital Letter Abbreviations

One type of abbreviation that screenreaders struggle with is initialisms such as USA or CEO. My work requires that all websites be accessible to people who speak one of ten languages common in my city and to people with disabilities who use screenreaders and other assistive technology devices. One difficulty that can occur is how to handle abbreviations. It is often inconvenient to write out everything, but web developers do not want people to hear USA as the word “usa.” This would cause the reader to have to momentarily stop and think about the words (or even to adjust the screen reader’s settings) instead of focusing solely on the content or message of the passage. Using dots or spaces may help … sometimes, but that can interfere with other assistive technologies. I have neither read of nor heard about a perfect solution; I just wanted to point out one issue that has been discussed recently in the assistive technology and website design fields.