Summer School

Are you taking classes over this summer? A lot of students wonder if and how that would benefit them. I say if you have the option to take some of your required classes over the summer, do it! I took two courses last summer, both of which were online. I recommend it! There are a lot of advantages to taking some classes over the summer.

  • It’s a great way to get ahead so you can lighten your course load during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Taking classes over the summer can allow you to pick up a minor or possibly even double major and still graduate on time.
  • Students typically only take one or two classes over the summer, so that gives them the ability to focus on those courses more intensely.
  • A good variety of classes are offered online, so you don’t have to go to school once or twice a week. It’s all online.

As you can see, there are quite a few advantages by taking just one or two classes over the summer. Even if you don’t plan on taking classes this summer, you can always look into next summer. I suggest you do some research on summer classes and maybe you can find a fit for you!

Making It Work

I was watching Project Runway last night and Tim Gunn told a contestant to “Stop thinking and start feeling.” Wow, that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. What would I do if I spent my days feeling more than I had to think? Would I be a better Christian, spouse, mom, friend or student?

I know that if I would “stop thinking and start feeling” when it came to my personal relationships it would probably be true as much as it would as it came to my role of being a student.

I recently took a midterm in a class that I have this semester. Before hand I took and re-wrote my notes, wrote out how to mathematically find out different assessments. On top of that I re-read the powerpoints the professor had given and then read through any papers I had submitted. All this took more time than was allotted for the online test but I wanted to make sure that I was properly prepared. When it came to taking the test all that mattered were the things that I already knew and could answer (thankfully a good portion of the test). But there were two questions that I held back on and kept thinking about because what I initially thought or felt just couldn’t be right. So, by the end of the test I had second guessed those initial feelings about what answer was correct and selected a different one. Well, one of the neat things about online quizzes and tests is that you can click OK and see what you scored with most of the test. By now you probably have guessed that if I had just went with my feeling about the questions, I would have answered correctly, but because I thought about them they were incorrect.

I think so many times we overthink and analyze things in school or our lives and become stressed. I know that I always seem to “make it work,” another Tim Gunn saying. I need to learn to “feel” the gratitude for the gift that God gave me for my continued education in the Pathways program, the brain that I have that retains knowledge from the classes, and the ability to organize my notes and thoughts .

Blessings on Your Week- Sherry

A Promising Path

Hi! I’m a city girl that lives in a small town near Kansas City. I am blessed to be married to my hubby for 17 years and have two awesome kiddos. I went to Northwest Missouri State until my early twenties and have always regretted not finishing my degree in education. I have prayed that God would give me the capability and courage to go back to finish my degree and the Pathways program was my key. The Pathways program allows me to work, have my family and complete my classes online. Some of my best support has come from my eleven year old son who will sit and read powerpoints with me and ask me questions. He also enjoys the videos that have been posted. I love that he is learning the things that I am at the same time. My daughter is my tech support here and helped me when my powerpoint pictures wouldn’t load. She currently went through explain mean, mode, and median to me and told me, “Mom, I know you learned this at one time so you can do it now.” The support of the professors and the individuals within the Pathways staff have given me strength to guide my path and are a wonderful blessing to myself and my family.

There are two things that I’m doing differently this semester as opposed to previous ones. The first is that I wake up in the morning and pray for my teenage daughter who is now driving herself to school daily. I pray that she makes it there safely, to her internship at our church after school, and back home. If any of you think of it keep Em in your prayers in the morning too.

The second thing pertains to time management with school. I had a challenging class over the summer and this fall is no exception. The key for me is to take time and differentiate what I need to do for my classes during the week. I’ve found by keeping a spiral and writing down all the assignments for the week helps me. I know that I read for my classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. I also take notes from the textbooks and any powerpoints that might be up on those days. For the rest of the week I keep my check list of what is due when and complete it when I have a chance. I am blessed to have about an hour or two block of time before and after my kids get home that they are working on homework and so I can too. I know that I’ve told them if they have no homework they are to read so it is quiet and this had led to their benefit. They both have a certain amount of reading points they need per quarter at school and they were able to complete them way ahead of time.

An example of a typical checklist schedule for me looks like this :

Mon-Tues : Read, powerpoints and notes
Wednesday: Discussion Boards, start assignments, pull articles for article reviews, do observations
Thursday: Do article reviews, write papers, take quizzes
Friday: finish any last minute work and submit

It is my goal with myself and my family that if I’m able to get things done during the week we get rewarded. The reward amounts to maybe watching a movie together or going to get pizza over the weekend . It makes the time that I dedicate to classwork and my hogging the computer worth it.

Blessings- Sherry

What Do I Do Now?

This semester flew by me so quickly that I find I’m asking What Do I Do Now? My semester was jam-packed with two very intense courses. This semester I took Virtual Worlds in education and Online Course Design and Teaching. So basically I had a huge project every single week. These courses were very challenging but also very rewarding. I am a Master’s student taking solely online courses. I never have to look good for classes, our semester ended on Dec. 6, and I didn’t have any midterms (per se). This may all seem great and fantastic, and it is, but it is also a very challenging, disciplined life.  I have to make sure that I get my work completed by the due dates, without any face-to-face discussions. I have to make sure I read the assigned chapters. I am on the computer all of the time.  With all of this constant upkeep, I find myself wondering what’s next. Well I know that my next two (and final two) courses start in January. So that means I have about a month to play with my kids, actually read a book for pleasure, clean my house, and visit with my friends. There we have it! I found what I am going to do…. anything but schoolwork 🙂

Graduation

I’m preparing to graduate this fall. I can’t believe the end has come so quickly. I’m wondering where the road will lead me. I’m obtaining Masters of Science in Computer Education. This degree opens up a new opportunity for me. I have knowledge and abilities to facilitate a course online. What it has really done is provided me with the tools to incorporate technology with teaching. I should be able to build a curriculum that encompasses technology. I really think that I am ready to put this to use.

Online Classes – Can You Handle It?

Welcome to my first post all of you bloggers in the blogosphere. It has taken me a while to make this first post because, as you can read in the title, I’ve been a little busy. I teach Technology to students in grades K-8 full time and take care of all of the Technology needs of my school. So basically, I have two full time jobs in one. Genius me, thought it would be smart to take two classes this Fall in order to graduate in the Spring. Well, needless to say I’ve been very busy.

So you think online classes are easy? You think you can handle them? I’m here to set you straight! Online classes are challenging, even more so than face-to-face classes. But wait, they aren’t always bad! They have good things about them, too. You can go to class in your pajamas. you can go to class, for the most part, when you want. You can use a bunch of Web 2.0 tools while taking these classes.

If you’re worried about taking these types of classes, don’t be. Here are some tips that will help you be successful in your online courses:

1) Read carefully  – sometimes if you skim over you miss a big part of the assignment.

2) Communication – your only way to ask questions or clarify anything is via email, chart, blog, etc. So be diligent if you don’t understand something.

3) Prepare – make sure you prepare yourself  by going through the course tools and materials ahead of time.

4) The 3 P’s – Be persistent and don’t give up, be patient because not everything works all of the time, and participate because this is the only way you will truly learn and be successful.

So what do you think? Think you’re ready for it? Dr. Abkemeier, Program Director for Math and Computer Science,  is one of the best people to get you started. She knows all the ins and outs and can help you decide if online courses are for you.

Blackboard Down

As an online student at Fontbonne, my life kind of depends on Blackboard being fully operational at all times. After-all, I may decide to do my assignment at 3 a.m. or even 6 p.m. Whenever I decide to do it, I must be able to access it via Bb.  Unfortunately for me Bb was down all weekend. I’m a procrastinator, so of course I had plenty of coursework to complete but was unable to access the assignments. Who do I blame for this mishap? Is it the fault of myself for being a late starter or the school for allowing such a tragedy to take place. Bb is a life line of the institution and should always be operational. This is like the White House going offline.  What Would America Do?