Entries Tagged as 'Education'

Mr President, now is the time to be a president.

There is a good article on CNN.com by Donna Brazile on what President Obama could (and should) do to get the economy back on track.

I think she’s got the right idea, but I think she really stops short of just outright saying that the problem isn’t necessarily Obama’s failed programs, it’s his failed leadership.

Now is not the time to sit on the fence Mr President; you’ve tried to build a consensus with congress (you failed to do that when your party had control of both houses, and you’ve continued to fail to do that now that your party doesn’t)… it’s time for you to lead — or to step aside and let someone else do so.

The problems this country has are solvable; but every day we wait to start moving down a path that is likely to put us on the road to get American’s working and to pay down the enormous debt that Republicans and Democrats alike have saddle the current (and future) generation(s) with we simply make the problem harder — and at some point there will not be a solution, the US will simply drift into the fray of third world countries never likely to regain it’s position as a real world leader again.

So, Mr President — be the president; make the hard choices; and move this country forward… it’s not the time to be a politician or a two term hopeful, it’s time to be a president.

 


4 ways Obama can take control to get America back on track by Donna Brazile on CNN.com

Originally posted 2011-08-17 02:00:42.

My Alma Mater(s)

The post secondary schools I’ve attended are:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Florida
  • Stanford University (online)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (online)
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Pensacola State College
  • University of West Florida

I consider GaTech to be my Alma Mater… but I’m not an active alumni of any of the schools.

edu email

It really annoys me that I spent over four years at GaTech and don’t have an email address from them.  In fact I used to take classes at City College of San Francisco in order to take advantage of educational discounts for software and such (eLearning at Stanford doesn’t provide email addresses to students unless they register for credit)… but when I went to get transcripts from the University of Florida I discovered that I’d had an email address from them because I’d taken four classes (I actually withdrew from two of them when I decided not to spend the entire Summer in Florida).

Originally posted 2013-08-02 13:00:24.

Banks spend big to sell credit cards to students

By Amy Haimerl, personal finance editor CNN
October 26, 2010: 4:27 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The U.S. Marines recruit college students to become one of the few, one of the proud.

Bank of America just wants their financial future.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank spends exponentially more money than any other bank to recruit students for credit cards.

In 2009, Bank of America unit FIA Card Services paid colleges and alumni associations $62 million for the rights to market cards to students and members, according to a report from the Federal Reserve.

The second biggest spender, Chase, dropped $13.8 million to recruit new borrowers, while U.S. Bank forked over $2.5 million.

When the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act — better known as the CARD Act — went into effect in February, it required credit card companies to disclose how much they pay colleges for the right to set up on campuses — plus how many new borrowers it racked up. On Monday, the Federal Reserve made its first report.
College degrees that don’t pay

In total, the report showed that credit card companies spent $82.4 million to net 53,164 new student accounts.

The University of Notre Dame got the biggest payment of any school: Chase paid the school $1.8 million and in the end got 77 new borrowers. The school used the funds exclusively for financial aid, according to university spokesman Dennis Brown.

Meanwhile, Bank of America spent $1.5 million on the University of Southern California campus to sell 659 new accounts.

“If you look at how much is being paid per account, the numbers vary wildly,” says Josh Frank, senior researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending.

In pre-CARD Act year, Frank estimates that 200,000 to 600,000 new accounts were opened on college campuses and through alumni and other organizations.

“But even in a normal year,” he said, “this seems like a lot of money to pay per account. But it’s possible that they just value those accounts more highly and that they’re more profitable for them.”

One major change from the CARD Act is that students under 21 can no longer obtain a credit card without a co-signer — something that could severely limit new accounts. Credit card companies also can’t entice new borrowers through T-shirts and other giveaways — unless they are 1,000 feet (about three football fields) away from the campus.

“Anecdotally, it does seem to be a different environment on college campuses,” Frank said. “Banks are still on campus, but their presence is lower.

Chase paid the University of Notre Dame $1.8 million for the right to market credit cards on the Indiana campus.

Original article on CNN.com

Originally posted 2010-11-08 02:00:40.

$35 Tablet PC

The government of India has unveiled a $35 tablet PC that they intend to use to replace text books in India.

The Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) developed a $200 durable notebook prototype in 2005 that’s designed use in schools in developing country and has plans for a $100 tablet.

India, though, has created a computing device that costs less than most text books, and the government will further subsidize the cost.

In a country where electricity is a scarce commodity in many regions (the tablets will have a solar power option for use in rural areas) they seem to have a much better grasp on the concept of leaving no child behind and creating a technologically empowered generation ready to perform the jobs of tomorrow.

The US leaves no child behind by simply holding everyone back to the level of the underachiever — easy to understand why we’re becoming a third world nation.

Originally posted 2010-08-01 02:00:31.

Vocabulary Lesson: Utopia

Utopia or Eutopia; homophones and a double entendre for sure…

  • Utopia is a term for an ideal society.
  • Dystopia is a negative utopia: a totalitarian and repressive world.
  • Eutopia is a positive utopia, different in that it means “perfect” but not “fictional”.
  • Outopia derived from the Greek ‘ou’ for “no” and ‘-topos’ for “place,” a fictional, this means unrealistic or directly translated “Nothing, Nowhere” This is the other half from Eutopia, and the two together combine to Utopia.
  • Heterotopia, the “other place”, with its real and imagined possibilities (a mix of “utopian” escapism and turning virtual possibilities into reality).

__________

  • Utopia: from Greek: οὐ, “not”, and τόπος, “place”.
  • Eutopis: derived from the Greek εὖ, “good” or “well”, and τόπος, “place”.

Most modern usage of the term “Utopia” incorrectly assumes the latter meaning, that of a place of perfection rather than nonexistence.  You can thank Sir Thomas Moore for this.

Originally posted 2011-10-14 02:00:45.

This is not education, and certainly does not represent true value…

The following letter was sent to:

  • Edward Meadows, President, Pensacola State College
  • Danny Steele, Department Head, Engineering Tech Programs, Pensacola State College
  • Chad Andrea, Professor, Pensacola State College

10 December 2013

 

 

Pensacola State College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL  32504

SUBJ:  CGS1061C – Introduction to Computers in Technology

Sirs:

Over the course of the last fifteen weeks I’ve read and reviewed the materials required by CGS1061C Introduction to Computers in Technology published by Cengage Learning; ISBN-13: 978-1-133-62973-3 Computer Literacy BASICS: A Comprehensive Guide to IC3, Fourth Edition by Connie Morrison and Dolores Wells; $162.95 (list).

While I will not purport to be a subject matter expert on every topic covered in this text, I do possess a technical background sufficient to observe numerous technical errors in the book, accompanying study materials, and tests.  It is clear that the book represents a very superficial view of technology and was written by individuals who lacked a deep understanding of the topics they were covering.  Further, it is clear that Cengage did not invest time and energy into having the materials reviewed by subject matter experts before publishing the first edition – and it would appear that they have invested little in correcting the book in the three additional editions since that point in time.

It may well benefit Cengage to product shoddy material like this at a low production cost with significant revenues, but it is a travesty for any institution of higher learning to use materials with technically inaccurate information, antiquated pictures and examples, and personal prejudices presented as fact (there is a huge difference between a “best practice” and an invariant fact).

Parroting information presented in a book, particularly when that information is incorrect, is not education.

I’ve included goal 6 from the strategic goals to reinforce that basing courses on materials like this is not in keeping with the published mission or goal of Pensacola State College.

  • Provide quality instruction through effective curriculum development, accessible delivery, and criterion-based assessment according to a common set of academic standards for each discipline.

And perhaps using the world “value” (as defined by the Oxford dictionary: the worth of something compared to the price paid or ask for it) to the published philosophy rather than “lowest possible cost” might further help illustrate the tenant of providing quality (not just quantity).

  • Being accountable to Florida’s citizens, the college exercises fiscal responsibility by offering the lowest possible cost consistent with its commitment to high standards.

I’ve taken classes from and attended seminars at a number of institutions of higher learning across this country, and I’ve found that quality education and academic excellence has always been a fundamental precept of each and every school.  Unfortunately I do not see that as the case at Pensacola State College – I see at Pensacola State College generally that the “would you like fries with that” mentality seems to apply to the educational standards, and excellence is just a word.  I implore you to take a stand and make a difference.

Sincerely,

L Roger Soles

L Roger Soles

Pensacola State College 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

ex·cel·lence
ˈeksələns/
noun
the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.
 
synonyms:
distinction, quality, superiority, brilliance, greatness, 
merit, caliber,eminence, preeminence, supremacy,
skill, talent, virtuosity,accomplishment, mastery
 

 

There are many teachers in the world, a fair number of them are good, but few of them go beyond just being capable and knowledgeable to setting it as a goal to make a real impact on their students.

I’ve met a handful of teachers over the years that I would say fit the bill of being excellent, and I met another a few months ago at Pensacola State College — Dr Cynthia App.

Unfortunately celebrating and recognizing her achievements may come too late.

Yesterday Dr App informed her class that Pensacola State College had eliminated her position and that in all likelihood this would be her last term teaching at Pensacola State College.

I was not alone in feeling sad that an instructor like Dr App would be let go; and more than one student was whispering about trying to do something to encourage the school to retain her.

We can only hope that Pensacola State College has done everything in its power to try and retain such a valuable asset to their students and mission.  It would be beyond criminal to lose any instructor who shows the dedication and commitment that she does.

I certainly implore the President of the college (Dr Edward Meadows), the administration of the college, the Board of Trustees of the college (Herb Woll, Marjorie T Moor, Carol Carlan, Monsignor Luck Hunt, Edward Moore, John L O’Connor, Dona Usry, and Deidre Young), the chancellor of the Florida College System (Randall W Hanna), and the Governor of the State of Florida (Rick Scott) to insure that the needs of the students and the community are being best served by this decision.

Whether or not Dr App wins the Teaching Excellence Award is largely irrelevant.  What is important is that she has touched the lives of so many students during her tenure at Pensacola State College and helped them to realize their potentials.  I suspect that’s all the reward she ever sought.

 

 

My submission for the 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

 

Dr. App shows a rare and wonderful dedication to her students and teaching.  It’s clear to any student who has been fortunate enough to have her as an instructor that she cares about the success of each and every individual in her classes and fully commits herself, her time, and her energies to insuring that a positive, enjoyable, and rewarding learning environment is provided to everyone.  Further she goes beyond what is required and expected to make herself available to help students with issues not only related to their education, but also relating to their lives, and careers.  Dr. App epitomizes excellence in education.

Back to school….

Today is the first day of Fall term at Pensacola State College, and the first time I’ve been back at shool (well other than online learning) in a very long time.

It’s been an f’ing nightmare to jump through all the hoops to make this happen — Pensacola State College seems to be one of the most disorganized entities I’ve even encountered, but hopefully before the end of this quarter all my credits from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Florida will be fully posted and I’ll know what I need to take to get a Computer Science degree.

This quarter I’m taking 15 hours of classes required as prerequisites as well as required classes I know I shouldn’t have credit for.

If things work out like I hope, I should be finished by the end of Summer 2014 (or the end of the current school year).