Saturday, September 10, 2016

Session 1----Time for Introductions!!!

Welcome (again) to EDC525 - Website Technology in Education and Training

This is our class blog. It will serve as our discussion forum, connection to each other, and the main webpage you will be accessing. If this is your first visit, then please first read the entry below (titled, 'Welcome to EDC525---"Website Technology in Education and Training"') and follow the instructions there--- then return to this spot and continue reading.  You will find that there is some reiteration and repetition of information in this posting to serve as your 'training wheels' and to make sure that you have a solid understanding of this venue.  Once we get to Session 2 I won't be repeating myself as much.

 The content here should keep you pretty busy for the next few days until Session 2 is posted (Thursday evening)--for now you only need to know a few things.

This blog can be viewed by anyone, but will only allow the participants of EDC525 to interact with it. When you would like to respond to someone or comment upon a session, just click on the 'comment' link below each of my postings (you should sign up for a Blogger account ASAP and choose a 'User Name' that is easily identifiable. Blogger is owned by Google, so if you already have a user account with Google for something like: gmail, gdocs,picassa..., then use that user name)

I'm sure some of you have already begun to practice a little.  If you run into any trouble and need to contact me, then please email me at DaveFontaine1@gmail.com.  A few of you have been in direct contact with me for specific problems or stumbles, so please feel  comfortable reaching out to me if you need to.  The last thing I want is to have frustration levels rising during the first week.

In the left-hand margin you will see links to individual lessons (accessible every Thursday evening).



Rather than teaching (or preaching) from Sakai about online collaboration and 21st century digital resources that can facilitate teaching and learning, I have decided to teach you about Web 2.0 and collaborative tools by 'using' a collaborative tool. This is our class edublog, or blog for short.

This blog, in addition to its use as an interactive communication tool, will also be where you can access and download your weekly sessions. An additional benefit (that I mentioned during our first class) will also be that you will retain access to all of our course content, lessons, comments, and reflections in perpetuity.

The presentation links to the left will be accessible on a week-to-week basis (Thurs. evenings). I've said it before, but it bears repeating---When attempting to download always choose 'save' rather than 'open.'  There isn't a link to Session 1.

The syllabus is also linked to the left. Google has a free service (gDocs, gDrive) that allows you to just upload any Word document and with one additional click it gets published online with its own URL. The course syllabus is an example of how easy it is to use, and we'll practice with this tool this semester. I'm still tweaking the course content, so don't jump ahead and start Session 2's readings until Thursday night (9/15).

One more aspect that will be unique about this course is that I support a completely collaborative teaching philosophy. Following that mindset, I will keep your assignments, comments, and reflections viewable and accessible to future participants of this course. The 'goal' of that is so future participants may:
  1. Gain from the collective knowledge of your experiences;
  2. Benefit from what you have created; and
  3. Incorporate new ideas into their classroom based upon your inspiration.
The bonus for you, of course, is that this information will also always be accessible to you. This way, in the future (many semesters from now) you may revisit this site and benefit from the ideas of all the participants that took it 'after' you. In this way---YOU will gain from all the 'learning speed bumps' of those that have come after you--even though they are not currently enrolled in this course. To reduce confusion however, I am only showing you a stripped down version of this blog's visual interface.  As the semester progresses I will be slowly introducing other aspects of it, one of those is the archive from past participants.
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Some of the content for our sessions is also covered in my "Blogs and Wikis" course. When that is the case I'll also give you a link to the 'comments' of past participants from that class as well.

Before we go any further I would like each of you to practice using this forum and introduce yourself (1.4 from the Overview checklist). We will be spending the semester together, so it is important to learn as much about each other as possible.

So first make sure that you have an account with Blogger (any Google user name and password will do), then click on the 'comment' link below this posting,  and write a few paragraphs about yourself.

Please include:
-your name (This will count for credit for 1.3 and 1.4.)
-email address (so that you may contact each other directly if needed),
-your educational background,
-teaching history,
-current teaching position with location, and lastly
-what you hope to come away with when this semester is over, along with any additional information about you that you wish to share, like your motivation for choosing this course... (This will count for credit for 1.5, so please read the checklist in the Overview for expectations.)


Sometimes it takes a little while to get the hang of using this forum. I have taken this into consideration by reducing the workload/readings of the first session. (Of course, if you get distracted easily, then you could spend hours exploring.)

Week 1's primary goal is to make sure everyone is on the same page and skill level before we sink our teeth into the meat of this course,  however, if you run into any 'techno-speed bumps' then please feel free to contact me with any questions.

There are a few readings listed and linked from the syllabus.  Most are online, but this one should be read from here:



Everything here is licensed by Creative Commons. This means that you have complete authority to download, save, share, and use all of the lessons in your classroom, but are prohibited from any commercial uses.

You will notice that most of the PowerPoint presentations will have the narration transcribed in the 'notes section' of each slide. We've all heard about the con's of using PPT and the desperate need for alternatives, but I've found using this sometimes makes it easiest for the largest number of people to then take and manipulate.

The transcription of my narration is because sometimes I have teachers from around the world taking my courses. I've had teachers from Canada, China, Alaska, California, Phillipines, Sudan, Singapore...taking my courses (And they may need help understanding my "Ro-diland" accent) but more importantly, the transcribed narration allows you to take these slides and use them in your own classroom. (or, if you find my voice putting you to sleep, you can just read the slides instead)

Good luck this semester! I look forward to working and collaborating with you.

Dave Fontaine
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PS-Click on the 'comments' link below to make your comments for this week.

94 comments:

  1. Yes--this is where you should be posting your responses to the assignments and when you comment on each other's ideas. I suggest you type your thoughts in a word processing document first before posting in case the Internet Monster eats it and it doesn't save.

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    1. Thanks Dave. I was wondering, should we be posting our comments here and also on the blogs that we created for ourselves? Or are we going to use our personal ones for other things to come?

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    2. For now we will just be posting here until we reach a comfort level and then evolve beyond here when participants are ready.

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  2. Hi, all! My name is Tai Cordeiro. I come from Warwick, Rhode Island and am in the Adult Education Program at URI. Please feel free to email me at Tai.Cordeiro@yahoo.com or text/call me at 401.391.1355.
    I graduated from RIC with a bachelors in Psychology and Theatre. Just recently I left Macy’s where I was a senior executive to begin my own nonprofit called “Babies for Us.” “Babies for Us” is a family growth program that financially and emotionally aides lesbian couples so that they may begin their own biological family. You can check us out at Babiesforus.org.
    My hopes for this course are to help me further develop ways to reach out to and communicate with people about “Babies for Us.” Also I would love to start a blog for “Babies for Us” and believe this is an exciting way to learn tips and tricks.

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    1. Hi Tai, I am so excited to read about you starting your non profit for the program you created in the first class I took with you! I remember you were very passionate about this and I wish you all the luck in the world with your new endeavor!!

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    2. Tai, This move must have been incredibly scary for you but I am so happy for you. I think that this will be an awesome way for you to get your information out to so many people. Good for you!

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    3. Tai - this is a very exciting and worthwhile program. Good luck, and keep us informed!

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    4. Excellent news Tai. Although this course's content caters more closely to supporting education I think that you'll find a tremendous amount of crossover that will support you in this new endeavor.

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    5. Tai,
      This is awesome news! Good for you. It is exciting to follow your progress in this endeavor.

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    6. This is wonderful news Tai! I can't wait to see how far you go with your program.

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    7. Good for you, Tai! Good luck with your program!

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    8. Hi Tai, Great idea. This is something that is needed within the community.

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  3. Hi everyone!
    I am Leslie Baker from Webster, MA and can be found at baker.leslie.c@gmail.com or 508-733-9544. I am currently a candidate in the Masters in Adult Education program at URI. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology. It has been useful throughout my professional life. As far as my experience as an educator, I worked as a family childcare provider/trainer/mentor, a parent liaison for our public school district's Title One program, a Sunday School teacher and am currently an administrator in an adult basic skills program. Half of our students are building English skills and the rest are working towards their high school equivalency also known as HiSET in MA.

    In the past, I have taught young children, childcare licensing orientations, curriculum workshops, resume writing, and job exploration/readiness workshops. Currently, I am facilitating a regional Adult Ed Advisors' Sharing Group. The bulk of my time is spent working one-on-one with our students either testing them or working with them to locate resources and resolve barriers.

    One issue that arises for me is that we cannot always respond immediately to students who want to enroll in our program. I feel if we had a method to engage them when they are highly motivated to learn, we could capitalize on their enthusiasm. One avenue may be through some online engagement. I am hoping to come away from this class with a deeper understanding of tools available, the strengths/limitations of options and perhaps to morph this knowledge into a hybrid program potential students can access.

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    1. Leslie, I think this will be a great resource for your organization. The only downside I see to this is that it may not have your voice on it and I feel that when I read your posts, I can hear your calm, gentle voice and for me, as an adult learner, it is very comforting to me to talk with someone who has a very calm, cool and collected demeanor, which I feel you possess. You have a great way of projecting good information in a clear and concise manner. With that said, I am sure you will set up your program in that fashion as well, clear and concise.

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    2. Christine,
      You are so kind and thoughtful! Thank you for such positive feedback. I have really enjoyed being in classes together. You bring wonderful organization skills and enthusiasm to the table. I would love to observe you working as I am sure you are highly effective in your department. And that you are not just acting ;)

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    3. Hi Leslie,
      Looking forward to classes with you this semester!

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    4. Hi Leslie!! It sounds like adding an online component might be just what you need. Good luck!!

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    5. Hi, Leslie! I'm happy to see you are in this class :)

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  4. Hi Everyone!! I’m Sharyn Vicente and I am a grad student in the Adult Ed program here at URI. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from RIC. I love learning and love imparting what I have learned. I currently work for the Psychology Department at CCRI and hope to eventually teach at the college level. I am a volunteer for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. I have a newfound passion for creating art out of different types of ink and using mainly repurposed items to create different mediums. I am hoping that after successfully completing this course, I will gain the tools necessary to assist learners with the various technologies necessary to move forward in an ever changing educational setting. I also hope that I will be able to use the different platforms in this course to better help me expand my fundraising endeavors as well as to reach more people to promote my artwork.

    The following are my thoughts about the first session’s questions:

    • After reviewing the characteristics of successful online learners, do you maintain all, none, or some of the traits?

    I think that once I add some oil to the rusted technology sections of my grey matter, I will be able to adhere to the characteristics depicted in the week one articles. As an older student, these things certainly do not come effortlessly or easily, but I am flexible, honest, willing and am definitely finding humor in the duration and frustration I am encountering trying to complete the simplest technological tasks!!


    • Are some characteristics of successful online learners more important than others?

    I believe it all depends on who is being taught and what they are learning. As mentioned in the readings, online education is a very broad term in the 21st Century. Online learning is being utilized as soon as kindergarten and well into and beyond graduate school. For each task at hand, it will be necessary to define what the expected learner must poses to yield a successful educational experience. I think the ability to be flexible is very important because as we learned, what is in today can be out tomorrow – i.e. the trend of blogging, once very popular with teens, is becoming less so and is now appealing to an older audience. Also, the culture of online is showing us how flexible we need to become even in the most basic fashion regarding writing. The historical breakdown of the experiences of composition was so enlightening, and it is intriguing to think of where technology will take it next.

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    1. When you set your mind to something, there is no stopping you! Any college would be fortunate to count you as a member of their faculty.

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    2. Your one of the most talented people I know!

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    3. Sharyn,
      Your comment about adding some 'oil' to that rusty grey matter made me smile. We are all truly life-long learners in the 21st century. I think you'll find that this course will continue to keep you lubricated. Have fun this semester!

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  5. Hi Everyone…my name is Heidi Warner (hwarner@ccri.edu). I am currently four classes away from obtaining my Masters in Adult Education at the University of Rhode Island. I also have a B.A. in Psychology from Rhode Island College. Currently, I work for the Community College of Rhode Island as the Nursing Lab and CPR Coordinator for all four campuses. I also teach CPR. My motivation for taking this course is to gain a strong skill set in understanding the variety of learning technology that is out there and incorporate them into a fun interactive learning environment for those who want to learn about the Bible in a fun and exciting way.

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    1. Hello Heidi, I too would like to use this technology to possibly develop a wiki for new hires at the university. A place where they can go and get training info, job aids and collaborative feedback when questions or issues arise. I feel that that would have helped me enormously when I started out new.

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    2. You teach people everyday. I can't wait to see what you put together after this class! I will be the first to enroll.

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    3. Heidi and Christine,

      I think you'll both be happy to find that there will be plenty of time to play with, and experiment on, wikis and other alternative collaboration tools.
      Good Luck!

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    4. Sign me up!! Everything you touch turns to gold.

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    5. Hey, Heidi! It's so nice to hear from you. I don't think I realized that you, Sharyn and I all received our BAs in Psych from RIC. Very coo!

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  6. Hi Everyone,

    My name is Paula Murray and work in Human Resources at the University of Rhode Island as a senior information technologist. My email is pmurray@uri.edu and my cell phone number is 401-447-2683. I have worked at URI for 18 years (OMG - it feels like I just started!!) and I thoroughly enjoy what I do. Part of my job is to train and serve as the help desk for the department personnel that are responsible for hiring employees into the e-Campus system that is used at URI. It is very challenging at times but also very rewarding.
    I received my bachelors degree at URI in English Literature. I’ve always wanted to get my Masters degree and last year I finally enrolled - with a little push from another classmate who shall remain nameless….It’s been a great experience so far. I have enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends! It’s opened up another world for me!

    In answer to the questions, yes I do believe I possess almost all of the characteristics of an online learner.. I am very open and flexible. Actually humor is how I get through many of life’s challenges. One of the frustrating aspects of on line classes is that - as mentioned in the article - it is not enough to just participate in the class discussion. There has to be more collaboration with each other to help each other learn and understand the material being taught.

    I’ve found in previous on line classes that one of the challenges is to get people to speak - I may be guilty of this as well. If everyone doesn’t contribute and just sits there and listens, the class is boring and not very educational. We all have to learn from one another.

    For my role as a trainer, I am hoping to come away from this class with an online interactive tool that I can use for the e-Campus users that they can access from their desks when they need to. Many times attending an in person class is not feasible due to their responsibilities in the office.

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    1. Paula, I totally agree with you that it is very important to have people regularly participate in order to collaborate effectively. There is nothing worse then feeling that you carry the load alone. I know that we (The EDC group) have really grabbed onto the concept of working collaboratively by using Google Hangouts and also by meeting face to face for discussions. I am looking forward to being able to collaborate with this venue.

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    2. Welcome (again) Paula! I'm so glad that you've taken the plunge and jumped back into the learning 'ring'. I, too, received my BA from URI in Eng. Lit. If memory serves (it was so long ago). I hope to continue pushing and advocating for you and your peers to perpetually keep contributing to these discussions with the hope that everyone ends the semester feeling like their time was spent pragmatically and that they are now empowered with a virtual toolbox filled with resources and experiences to use any time.

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    3. Hi Paula,
      I remember from our group sessions that we all contributed and learned from each other. When we all interacted and participated in the sessions, we were not only able to get the work done, but had some fun as well. I've been to some of the training sessions at URI, and you are so right that some people just sit there (and maybe listen). I think your idea to incorporate the training into e-Campus is an excellent idea! Good luck this semester.

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    4. Hi Paula,
      The courses you teach in PeopleSoft are very informative and helpful for someone who is new to that software technology. It is not a user friendly software and is very hard to teach. I am sure this class will help you in determining which elements you can incorporate to help expedite the learning process for the PeopleSoft system. Your job is very time intensive and contains a revolving door of repetitive questions because the system is so hard to grasp. You have helped me so much in the learning process with my job as a Fiscal Clerk that I hope I can someday return the favor.

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    5. Hi Paula, I hope you can add a technology component to aid the students, sounds like a great goal.

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  7. Hello, My name is Christine Boettger, I am from North Kingstown, RI my email is cboettger@uri.edu.

    I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Human Services and am currently working on my Masters in Adult Education at URI. I don’t have a teaching background per se’ but I feel I have been a teacher all my life. My dad always said “whatever anyone wants to teach you, listen and learn and pass it on.” He was so right. I am always sharing what I know with others either by mentoring or by just sharing. I am really looking forward to this class as I would like to be up on all the new info so I can wow the crowd with my kids and to maybe apply some of what I have learned to my current position of Business Analyst in Business Services at The University of RI. I am super excited and scared at the same time. This class is so far outside of my comfort zone but feel that I do and can have some of the characteristics of a successful online learner. Openness for me was a tough one as I consider myself a very private person. But, for the sake of the class and all involved, I am willing to let go and be flexible and honest in every way I can. One of the characteristics I have no problem with is my willingness to work collaboratively with others. As stated previously, I love to share, mentor and learn so that is not a problem. In my free time, I volunteer at the "Community Dinner" which is a program through several local churches to feed the less fortunate. I take great pride in my Family, my Faith and my quest for Lifelong Learning!

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    1. Chris, this class is outside my comfort zone as well; but look at us - we are already blogging!

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    2. Very true. The more I do it, the easier it gets.

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    3. Chris, I love your Dads advice. As with Gail, this class is out of my comfort zone too. I am excited to learn what many of the younger generation already knows.

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    4. Sounds like three of you so far have 'categorized' yourselves as 'out of your comfort zone.' I attempted to anticipate questions this first week and ease you into things, so I hope the pace is okay. The work load this first week may seem like a lot, but things will even out soon.

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    5. Hi Chris!
      I love the quote from your Dad. What a great way to approach life.

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    6. Hello again, Chris! It's great that there are so many URI employees in this class and program. I think we will all pick up tools we can use to pass knowledge on to our cohorts.

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    7. Hi Christine. You are such a motivator and mentor to me. I am looking forward to collaborating with you again this semester. I too am glad to see so many of the same faces this semester. It has been fun to get to know everyone and work together with such inquiring minds and to become a lifelong learner in the 21st century.

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    8. Hi Chris – it’s good to have so many familiar classmates this semester. You always have such a great outlook and attitude; you’ve taken your father’s words to heart for sure.

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  8. My name is Gail Kelley (kelleyg@my.uri.edu.) I am a 1980 graduate of URI, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication.
    I have taught several reading remediation classes at the Community College of RI. Due to the fact that CCRI has created an adjunct faculty union, I was not able to teach this semester. I am hopeful this will change in the spring.
    Being the older gal that I am, I was not computer savvy when I began this program. I was very intimidated when told to upload my work to my dropbox on Sakai!
    If I am planning to teach, I do need to become more comfortable with technology. My students require a variety of teaching techniques to facilitate their learning. They absorb information when they are actively engaged in the process itself, as opposed to just listening to a lecture. I hope to construct a course for reading remediation that includes some of the up to date resources we will be reviewing in this course.
    To be honest, I almost did not enroll in this course, because it creates stress for me; however, that is the very reason I DO need to successfully complete EDC 525!

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    1. Your students love you! Sorry you are not teaching this semester, what a loss for the students. You are a mentor to so many including me! So glad you enrolled in this class. We can help each other (mentor each other)

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    2. Hi Gail,
      I see that you got over the techno-speedbump we spoke about earlier. I'm glad that you are pushing the envelope of your learning and please take peace in the notion that I cater a lot of the content of this class to the demographics at the time, so if you find that you would like to stray from the syllabus a bit in order to provide evidence of your learning growth, then I'll keep an open mind.

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  9. Hello! My name is Jen Brayton and I am from Scituate, Rhode Island. I received a Bachelor's degree from URI in 2013 and I am now working my way through the Adult Education Master's Program. Feel free to email me brayton.jennifer@gmail.com or call/text me 401-787-6214.

    I am a math teacher at North Kingstown High School. I just began my third year and can still say that I love my job!! I currently teach geometry and algebra 2, two of my favorites. This year North Kingstown school district went one-to-one with Chromebooks (each student now has their own device). Chromebook's will certainly be a helpful tool for most students, but unfortunately, they are limited to internet use only. Because these devices do not have access to many programs I frequently use, I would like to learn and experience different ways to use blogs, wiki's, social media, etc. in the classroom.

    I am very excited to take this class! This course focuses on using technology in education, perfect for my job. I feel moderately comfortable with technology but I know I have room for improvement.

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    1. Nice to hear you love teaching! I like balancing my checking but that is the extent of my math skills. Looking forward to learning from you

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    2. Welcome again, Jen. I had several of your peers at NKHS last year and one of my closest co-workers just took the Chem. job, so you have an incredible pool of talent there. The fact that you also are working on integrating the Chromebooks means that the resources we cover will be valuable file of interactive tools for you to use to supplement your teaching and learning.
      Pass on my well wishes to Rich S.

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    3. Dave and Jen, My son recently graduated from NKHS and I felt very blessed that he had many wonderful teachers, technologies and opportunities that he would not have had elsewhere. WE are NK Strong!

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    4. Hi Jen. Good luck. My children had the opportunity to have free laptops this year in Narragansett. I can say that I have learned so much from them with all the different technology that teachers are using these days. I wish I had that kind of information at my fingertips when I was their age!! I think the technology tools that my children use now has helped my daughter in particular since she struggles with math somewhat. I believe that her math skills have improved tremendously because of the tools she has been given to help her through the tough spots. Math is not for everyone and every little tool helps. Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.

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    5. Hi Jen, as long as you always keep an open mind, it will always work out for the best. Your students are lucky to have a teacher that is so eager to learn.

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  10. Hi Jen,
    We are starting a one-to-one initiative with Chromebooks in our district this year. The staff are excited but some have great anxiety about their own skills. What kind of professional development did your district offer to prepare staff to use technology as an instructional tool?

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    1. Hi Leslie,
      You guys are not alone, most of our district still has great anxiety about the roll out and having to integrate technology more often.

      So, last year we had two PD days that were designated to learning on Chromebooks. The staff that felt comfortable with technology ran different workshops throughout the day. The rest of the staff went from workshop to workshop depending on the skills they wanted to learn about. This was a nice model because we were learning from each other and no one was nervous to ask questions. I liked it a lot.

      This year, the district paid different professionals to come in during our PD day. I was at different meetings during this time, therefore I did not get to participate. BUT, I got the impression that it was not as effective as last year.

      So far this is all we have done. Now that both the students and the staff have Chromebooks, I think many of our faculty meetings and other PD days throughout the year will be designated to technology. I will keep you posted on what happens.

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  11. Hello everyone! My name is Luz Nunez (lanunez0903@gmail.com; cell – 401-743-2540). I graduated from Providence College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and am currently enrolled in the adult education program at URI.

    I currently work as the coordinator for the CCRI-REACH program at the Lincoln Campus. We help low-income parents receiving cash assistance with the post secondary enrollment process and provide the necessary support services and mentoring to keep them enrolled. We also provide career exploration for which I have facilitated work readiness workshops (job exploration, resume writing, interviewing skills) for my students in the past.

    Since all of my students are parents with obligations and responsibilities other than school, they usually face difficulty with childcare or transportation at some point during the semester, which can affect their participation and progress. It’s because of this that I was interested in taking this course. I would like to become more knowledgeable about all the different types of digital resources available to be able to teach an online course in the future and make higher education more accessible to the non-traditional student.

    I am really looking forward to working with all of you this semester!

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    1. Hi Luz. I can understand your ordeal. I too have many obligations this semester and am taking 3 courses so that I can graduate in the spring. It is so hard to keep up with work, school and two teenage schedules not to mention my husbands work schedule as he is away a lot and cannot help most of the time. I think this would be a great opportunity for your students to be able to participate in your course offerings such as we have been doing in our recent courses in the Education Program. Good luck and let me know how that goes.

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    2. Hi Luz,
      We are all fortunate that we are in the "digital age". I'm not sure I would be able to complete the program if all the classes were traditional face to face sessions. I think it is awesome that you understand the challenges your students face and are actively seeking ways to make higher ed more accessible to them.

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    3. Luz, you are always so good with your clients, I’m sure you will be able to help them because you are so determined.

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    4. Hi Luz,
      I love your flexibility and willingness to meet your clients' needs :)

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    5. Hi Luz,
      Nice to be in class again with you! I too am looking for ways to integrate teaching and technology with the users I interact with daily. The issues I have are similar but my audience usually has trouble getting away from the office to attend a training. Same issue different circumstances!

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  12. Luz, I think that this is a fantastic idea and it would make it so much easier for people like me who work and juggle family life. One of the reasons I have been able to take classes is because they are on Webex. I think I am really going to like this technology thing. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine! Did you have a chance to watch Daphne Koller on Ted? It's amazing what educators can do and how many people they can reach with technology. People from all over the world can now take a class at Stanford, for free! I think it's great that more and more people are able to access a good education no matter where they live. I mean, look at us, we're half way through and all because of the convenience of online courses.

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  13. My name is Jason Stockford. This is the third course I have taken in URI's Education department. I have a BA and MS in Math and currently I am an Assistant Professor at CCRI. I have been at CCRI since 2010 on a part-time and then full-time basis. I am currently trying to figure out how I am going to get everything done this term as I am teaching the equivalent of 8 courses.

    One of the courses I teach is actually online. While I am making use of Blackboard and the web software available through the publishing company of the textbook, I thought this course would be beneficial in that it would explore alternate ways of presenting an online/distance learning course.

    I have met a few of you in EDC 505, last year. I look forward to meeting the rest of you this semester.

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    1. Hi Jason, it is always a good idea to incorporate mixed media styles when teaching. I’m sure you will take away something new and that both you and your students will benefit from a fresh approach.

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    2. Hi Jason, it is always a good idea to incorporate mixed media styles when teaching. I’m sure you will take away something new and that both you and your students will benefit from a fresh approach.

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    3. Hi Jason,
      I have taken professional development on Blackboard. I'm not sure if it was the tool itself or the course design but it was not as engaging as other products. How do your students respond?

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    4. Interesting question. This is the first time I am teaching an online course so I can't yet offer a lot of insight. I think Blackboard success depends on how one organizes their course. I will be interested to see how it works out.

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    5. I forgot to include my e-mail address: jastockford@ccri.edu

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  14. Hello,
    My name is Jeanette Vaganek (last name sounds like “mechanic”), my email address is jvaganek@uri.edu and my phone number is 401-874-2734. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech where I studied Communications and Theater Arts. I am currently working toward my Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from URI and am slated to finish in May of 2017. I am employed at URI in the College of Pharmacy as a Fiscal Clerk. I do not have a teaching certificate and have not had the opportunity to teach in a classroom setting. Most of my teaching skills have come in the form of parenting/mentoring my two children who are now teenagers on how to be effective learners and humble and good citizens.
    My goal for this class is to learn how to correctly use the many forms of internet collaboration tools and social media to gain a better understanding of how people are connecting and sharing valuable information. This will help me to see how I can gain a better understanding of the many different uses of internet technology for teaching purposes as well as just for reaching the masses to share ideas and information.
    To answer the questions about the “necessary learner characteristics”, I will first say that because I am a semi-private person, I have never been one to engage very much on social media in the past but am trying to overcome my apprehension of using such technology. My openness for collaboration is extended when I am in a group setting and in-person. I am certainly excited about this new adventure and look forward to meeting others in and out of class and making connections. I can be flexible to a point and try to never take myself too seriously. I am very honest and will accept responsibility for my own mistakes. I am for the most part a willing participant but sometimes find it hard to initiate the conversation. I believe this comes from being the youngest of nine siblings where I have always been told what to do!! Collaboration is not my strongest point. Not because I do not want to get to know or work with others, but because it has always been hard for me to let go of doing things myself and taking the responsibility for something totally on my own. I oftentimes want to help others by doing things for them instead of leading them to do it themselves and learning from the experience. I feel this class, and previous classes taken have helped me tremendously to overcome this obstacle in collaborative learning. I definitely want to be empowered to take charge in adult learning situations and will certainly be motivated to log on as much as possible to contribute to the conversations taking place and to “maximize participation” on my part.
    I am excited to start the new semester and look forward to everyone’s comments and input.

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    1. Hi Jeanette,
      It has been a pleasure working with you in the past group sessions. I also want to become more adept in the use of internet collaboration tools and social media. This should be an interesting semester!

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    2. Hi Jeanette,
      I totally agree with the social media aspect. I do not have a facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc. I am familiar with them but choose not to have my own because high school students always want to be "your friend". Anyways, it would be great to see and experience effective ways to use these resources as an educator.

      Also, it is great to hear that your daughter has had academic success with her laptop. I hope that I can find useful ways to use them in the classroom.

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    3. Hi Jen,
      You bring up a very valid point about using Facebook or twitter and having students or colleagues wanting to be your 'friend'. I find that the lines can get blurred very quickly if your students or colleagues are 'friends'. Where does work end and your social life begin? Can you really keep a professional persona with students and colleagues if they can see your personal life. Of course it all depends on how much information you share on the social media accounts but I prefer to keep those separate.

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  15. Hi everyone!

    My name is Paul Ricci, and I currently work at the University of Rhode Island as the Senior Information Technologist for the Department of Public Safety. If you ever need to reach out to me, you can email me at paulric51@uri.edu or can call me at 401-640-1133.

    Just over three years ago, I retired as a Captain for the North Providence Police Department after 21 years of service. I am fortunate to still be involved with the police department here at URI, and we have been making several positive changes and technological improvements within our department. Many of you who have taken class with me are aware of the e-Citation equipment that we are installing in the police cars. Soon there will be no more handwritten tickets and the e-Citation equipment will allow the officers to print the citation in-car while the digital ticket files are transmitted to the courts.

    I earned a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams University, and am finishing up the final few classes in the URI masters program in adult education. While I was a police officer, I was the Administrative Commander, and one of my duties was to manage the training division. That assignment afforded me the opportunity to train the other officers, and I gained valuable experience in teaching adults. I will continue to be involved in training officers here at URI, in fact, I am currently working on a program for training the officers in the use of the e-Citation system.

    I hope to continue to learn new techniques and technologies to help me become a better instructor.

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    1. Hi Paul. I look forward to collaborating with you again this semester. I'm sure glad I have you as a connection now that there are e-Citations??!! Just kidding! On a more serious note, you are making the campus a safer place to live and learn for the young adults who have chosen to come to URI. One of my final projects I completed in EDC587 touched on the subject matter of students learning how to deal with stress. I think this topic appeals to me since working as an Academic Adviser at Hofstra University in Long Island. I saw first-hand how stress causes students to react in unusual and sometimes destructive ways as I'm sure you deal with many stressful situations in helping students on campus. I hope to be able to deliver a strong message to students through social media and/or internet technology about positive ways to turn stress into a productive emotion and not an enemy that inhibits students from making pertinent decisions. I think this is something that we could possibly work on together since it goes hand-in-hand with many of the situations you may encounter on campus as well.

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    2. Hi Paul,
      Its good to see you in this class as I have enjoyed your input in our other classes. Too bad you are a Yankees fan :-p

      I'm curious to hear about the progress of e-citations. There is a debate going on here as the MA Pike will become 100% electronic and data from our transponders will potentially be farmed. People's fear is that speeding tickets will be issued as part of this modernization so please keep your successful ticketing in RI!

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    3. Now that e-Citation is being implemented here in Rhode Island, the next step will be to incorporate scanners that will import the scanned data directly into the ticket from the bar codes on the inspection sticker and the back of the license. While that makes it seem like more tickets will be written, keep in mind that officers will still be able to exercise discretion and issue a warning. For example, a Yankee fan may have a good chance of receiving a warning. There are plenty of Sox fans out there, lol!
      In response to Jeanette, you are absolutely right that some students struggle in coping with stress. Especially this time of year I have noticed that the new students can have difficulty with the transition. One thing we are doing to try and give the students an outlet is Safety Week. Our Community Police officers sponsor several events to get the students involved and give them an opportunity to interact and reach out to officers. In fact, this weekend we hosted a dodgeball tournament. Officers gave out hot dogs and t-shirts, and the kids had a great time beaning the cops with dodgeballs. Most importantly though is we broke down barriers so the students will feel comfortable discussing issues with the police. There are several other events planned, but we are always looking for new ways to help the students. Also, there is a Citizen’s Police Academy coming up that is open to anyone interested. If anyone wants more info on the program, just let me know. Thanks!

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    4. Paul, Why wasn't I invited! I love dodgeball. Great job motivating students to get involved.

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    5. Paul, Why wasn't I invited! I love dodgeball. Great job motivating students to get involved.

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    6. Paul that sounds like a wonderful way to break down the barriers between students and police and open up communication. I'd like to know more about the Citizens Police Academy!

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    7. CITIZENS POLICE ACADEMY:
      The University of Rhode Island Police Department sponsors an annual Citizen’s Police Academy The academy is held for approximately eleven weeks. The purpose of the academy is to create better understanding and communication between the police department and the community through education.

      URI students, faculty and staff are eligible to apply and the academy is open to a limited number of people who will be selected after a background screening which may include university conduct screening, criminal history check, personal reference check and interview.

      The courses are designed to move quickly and include interesting information and many classes consist of practical, hands-on training. A ride-a-long with the URI Police Officer while on duty will be available during the program. Some of the topics that will be discussed include vehicle law, DUI Law, narcotics, patrol procedures, K-9 demonstration, and crime scene forensics.

      For more information, please contact Sgt. Erica Viera or APPLY NOW http://web.uri.edu/…/dep…/citizens-police-academy/apply-now/

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  16. I wouldn't say I maintain all characteristics however, sometimes i feel I am often misunderstood especially in an audio online learning environment. Given my life experiences I am always quick to share things and also eager to hear from others. I find collaboration, honesty and openness to be very useful traits and to large provides that extraordinary knowledge not easily defined by that acquired through literature and other texts have as a learner and because it extends knowledge beyond defined learning. I am very much looking forward to the live interactions this class brings by blogging and other technology use.

    Winnie Nwangwu

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    1. Hi Winnie! I agree that key traits are openness, honesty and collaboration. I think we will all grow by using these new tools, like blogging, to interact and learn. Also, thanks for your help with the grants!

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  17. Winnie, I agree that this will be a wonderful way to collaborate with many different people with a variety of life experiences and perspectives. For some, there may be barriers to overcome such as the apprehension of the unknown and opening yourself up to strangers. If you can work your way past the barriers, you open up a huge potential for new knowledge.

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  19. Hello everyone! My name is Laura Marshall. My email is lmarshall215@yahoo.com and my phone number is 401-300-6864. I am a grad student at URI and have had much experience in the education field. I am studying to become a physical education teacher. My classmates and I were given the opportunity to go out in a school setting and teach our own lessons. I also was involved in an internship where I was able to run a sports clinic with the camp kids and was given the freedom to make it my own. My internship was in Connecticut and with school I've been all over Rhode Island.
    I hope to take away from this class a better understanding of blogging and maybe being able to use it in my future teachings to assess students.

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  20. I definitely don't maintain all of the characteristics but I know I do maintain most. But that's why I am here to learn how to obtain most of these characteristics as I believe we all are, I am always willing to share my experiences in an open and honest way . Humor is always been a big part of me so I believe (or at least I think) I am goo at portraying my humor in some way when I communicate. Throughout my experince out in the field and especially in my intership I found that collaboration is key. It allows not only one person to bring their ideas to life but also allows other to make it even better. By working together something good can become something great.

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  21. My course or training that I would like to develop is some type of tech wiki where new hires can go and obtain any and all information embedded job aids, video tutorials and also have conversations with other employees in the same field to collaborate on how to navigate the systems so that they can more efficiently perform their jobs. It is not always easy to figure out who to call for what so if it is all in one easy location, employees will have a better chance of accuracy. Also having open forums to discuss issues with others who may have already found the answers will really help.
    Christine Boettger

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  22. My idea for a training program is for academic advisers and the campus counseling offices to come together in collaboration for the sake of advising and counseling students students on the best career decisions and for advisers to be able to work with students who are experiencing other stressful situations they encounter at college. The offices are two separate offices but should work together in helping students with concerns other than just academics and/or stress or emotional turmoil. These two go hand-in-hand when attempting to manage daily college life. I feel that on-going training sessions utilized through collaboration between the two offices or an exchange of some sort of web based program that will facilitate the combined learning of these two offices on campus.

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  23. I believe the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching has created a system by which it can stand by it's mission to "ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success." I feel that by separating the categories of what the teacher knows and understands and their abilities to complete the tasks will be beneficial to this process. This will further determine not only if a teacher knows the content but whether or not they can relay that content in a stimulating and informative way that can be assessed for it's value to students overall learning protocols.

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  24. I believe the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching has created a system by which it can stand by it's mission to "ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success." I feel that by separating the categories of what the teacher knows and understands and their abilities to complete the tasks will be beneficial to this process. This will further determine not only if a teacher knows the content but whether or not they can relay that content in a stimulating and informative way that can be assessed for it's value to students overall learning protocols.

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  25. Sorry for the late entry entered the class late, but nice meet you all! Hi My name is Stephanie Howie. I recently graduated from URI with a Psychology degree this past May. I had an extensive background in HIV/AIDS Prevention Education. I started in this because family and friends were dying from this disease and I needed to know more about it. My first work experience in this field started at Marathon House, Inc,. This was an in/out patient drug treatment facility. I worked directly with IV drug users and their sexual partners by administering questionnaires regarding drug usage, sexual habits and sexual orientation. From their my experiences took me to the Talbot Treatment Centers, Inc. as the Intake Coordinator for the Women's Day Program. After several years there my career in HIV/AIDS Prevention Education moved to the opposite end of the spectrum. I was no longer working directly with that particular population, I was now working in the medical aspect of HIV/AIDS Prevention Education. I worked with the HIV Vaccine Trial and HIV Microbicides Trials as the Community Advisory Board Liaison and as the Community Educator. My last involvement with HIV/AIDS Prevention Education took place at Memorial Hospital as the Project SEARCH study coordinator until 2011 when the study ended, my boss moved to California and I returned back to school full time. Since returning back to school I worked as a Peer Mentor to our Providence Campus students and as teaching assistant in the Professional Development cohort of the Human Service Assistant Certificate Program at RIC as well as working on my masters degree here at the Providence Campus. Since returning back to school as a seasoned student my passion is to help older students returning back to school acclimate themselves into the college culture. Within the role of being a teaching assistant I developed curriculum to help those students feel more comfortable and confident with their decision to return back to school. This curriculum was introduced to the Professional Development class last semester and I will have a chance to introduce it to our Saturday Skills Workshops students this Fall and Spring semesters at the Providence Campus.
    After reading over the course overview I hope to gain some new and innovative technology skills to bring into my professional development.

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  26. Sorry for the late entry entered the class late, but nice meet you all! Hi My name is Stephanie Howie. I recently graduated from URI with a Psychology degree this past May. I had an extensive background in HIV/AIDS Prevention Education. I started in this because family and friends were dying from this disease and I needed to know more about it. My first work experience in this field started at Marathon House, Inc,. This was an in/out patient drug treatment facility. I worked directly with IV drug users and their sexual partners by administering questionnaires regarding drug usage, sexual habits and sexual orientation. From their my experiences took me to the Talbot Treatment Centers, Inc. as the Intake Coordinator for the Women's Day Program. After several years there my career in HIV/AIDS Prevention Education moved to the opposite end of the spectrum. I was no longer working directly with that particular population, I was now working in the medical aspect of HIV/AIDS Prevention Education. I worked with the HIV Vaccine Trial and HIV Microbicides Trials as the Community Advisory Board Liaison and as the Community Educator. My last involvement with HIV/AIDS Prevention Education took place at Memorial Hospital as the Project SEARCH study coordinator until 2011 when the study ended, my boss moved to California and I returned back to school full time. Since returning back to school I worked as a Peer Mentor to our Providence Campus students and as teaching assistant in the Professional Development cohort of the Human Service Assistant Certificate Program at RIC as well as working on my masters degree here at the Providence Campus. Since returning back to school as a seasoned student my passion is to help older students returning back to school acclimate themselves into the college culture. Within the role of being a teaching assistant I developed curriculum to help those students feel more comfortable and confident with their decision to return back to school. This curriculum was introduced to the Professional Development class last semester and I will have a chance to introduce it to our Saturday Skills Workshops students this Fall and Spring semesters at the Providence Campus.
    After reading over the course overview I hope to gain some new and innovative technology skills to bring into my professional development.

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  27. Welcome Stephanie. You have had quit an extensive background working with the public with such an intimate and devastating illness. I commend you as it is not an easy thing to do. I too have a background in psychology. My first career started out as an office manager for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. I was the first point of contact for many people in need of immediate help. Sometimes life or death situations. I loved working with diverse groups of people and helping them get the resources needed to get them back to productive lives. I think it is wonderful how you have returned to school and will again be working to better the lives of others. I am so happy to have you in our group and look forward to your perspectives. Best, Chris

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