Community Action for Education

Many communities, school districts especially are feeling the budget crunch of our current financial state. Education budgets typically are the first to get hit through hiring freezes, cutting of athletic or arts programs, dismissal of teachers, or not getting serviceable equipment. When I was teaching (last in 2006) my school was still running Windows 98, no good educational software available, old textbooks and novels, and a plethora of other issues. New Hanover County here in NC has already a projected 4 million dollar shortfall in budget for next fiscal year and that means no funds for some of the local schools. This is not a shock for any educator across the US, however I came across a very small blurb on ESPN’s website over the weekend. The Oakland Raiders have pledged 10% of the gross sales of season tickets purchased between now and June 30th to Oakland County Unified School District. If they sell like they have in past years, that could be anywhere between 400 and 700k. Now that is supporting your community. Big shout out to the Raiders. Imagine if this catches on. If every major sports franchise does something similar in their respective cities, this budget shortfall for education could be circumvented. I urge anyone who reads this to write to those teams in your area and tell them how much you appreciate their community efforts but wish for a little more (I did this already with Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat-Fins say they do this one home game a year where 7.5% of all ticket sales is donated and split between miami dade schools and broward county schools, no response from Heat. They are my hometown teams, I hate the Panthers). Don’t let education fall by the wayside in your community because of lack of funding-do something about it.

 

For those who wish to read the entire Raiders release, heres the link

http://www.raiders.com/news/article-1/Raiders-Ticket-Program-Assists-Oakland-Public-Schools/ab9788e9-6326-47ba-9740-50b91c207c81

 

Published!

After almost nine months of editing and back and forth with the journal people, our efforts are finally recognized within the field of instructional design and human performance technology. I am quite ecstatic about this even if I found out it was available online from the dean of watson school of education. Here’s the link if you wish to marvel at our abilities :)   http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pfi.21259/abstract

Face to face vs. Online Learning

As an educator and a student, I always believed that face to face or instructor led courses were more valuable and conducive to learning. Online lacks community building and also its very easy to tune out when not engaged by an instructor directly. This view has been recently challenged. A course project that I just finished grading that was delivered face to face in one section and synchronously online in another led to this.  The students who attended class physically averaged an 86 on the project, where the online students averaged a 94. Why the disparity? Does it have to do with motivation? These are undergrad students, but it seems the online ones paid closer attention to guidelines and put more effort into their projects. Maybe it has to do with age. The live students are in early 20′s mostly, while the online ones are a hodge podge of 20′s and 30′s. I may be reading too much into this, but when I know the instruction was the same and in some respects more thorough with live students, I am left to guess as to why the disparity. Any thoughts?