Hybrid College Courses: The Wave of the Future!

The more connected we become, the more disconnected we are.  The fully integrated, accomplish anything online world, puts everything  at our fingertips.  I mean, that’s how we got here; isn’t it?  A few clicks and voilà!  Anything you ever wanted to learn can be yours.  Whether you are on your sofa, at the park, or on an airplane, every corner of the world can be reached via the internet.  Which brings us to the topic of conversation; participating in a collegiate course that is being held solely online.  Is this form of education more or less beneficial than attending a course in person?  Can students truly absorb all they are being ‘taught’?  What are the pros and cons of taking a course completely online opposed to in person, or in a hybrid setting (one where a student can attend half the course in person and the other half is done online)?

The world is changing.  That is a fact.  To think one can live in today’s world while refusing to conform or evolve is ludicrous.  The future is online, and that is evident in many walks of life.  However, to follow every new fad online blindly is not the most productive way to live one’s life.  Participating in online college courses is the new fad.  Everywhere you look, there is a new commercial promoting online college that shows how anyone can graduate from college; no matter how busy they are or where they live.  In my opinion, while these courses are good when taken sporadically, they shouldn’t comprise an entire college career.

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Online courses aren’t all bad though.  The positives of an online course are evident: they are convenient, less time consuming, and generally save money.  However, the essentials of a college education are missing when taking a course completely online.  Nothing can replace sitting in a classroom and taking notes during a professors’ lecture.  Nothing can simulate a conversation with a classmate in person.  And there is no professor looking over your shoulder to ensure you are completing your assignments.  However, as I said earlier, if you don’t evolve with the times, it is difficult to get ahead in the world.  With that in mind, I believe ALL college courses around the world should be offered in the hybrid format.

This practice would allow students to experience the ‘best of both worlds’ as it pertains to their education.  In the hybrid format, students attend half of the course in person while submitting half of the course work online.  This allows students to meet their professor in person and have face-to-face interactions with their professor on a weekly basis.  Students are required to take notes in class and take exams in class.  At the same time, regular, weekly online assignments along side interactive, online readings and discussions must be turned in.  In my college career, I have taken courses in all three formats.  I find the hybrid format to be the most rewarding and beneficial.  As of today, I have taken three hybrid courses, one online, and countless in person.  I received the best grades in the hybrid courses and always walked away feeling I had gained as much as possible through this style of teaching.  I was also able to make new friends, network, and make positive connections with the people I had met in person.  There is no way to shake a hand online.  And that is the biggest downside of online courses; the lack of social interaction.

One of the biggest problems in the world today is our children living sedentary lifestyles.  They are becoming increasingly lazy (and potentially obese), isolated, and disconnected.

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Online courses exacerbate these problems.  The child who plays Madden on their X-Box rather than play football at school is part of the problem.  The child who rides a hoverboard rather than go for a walk is part of the problem.  And the child who doesn’t know how to hold a pencil or write in cursive because everything is done on a smart board is part of the problem.  In the ever changing, online world, these basic functions are being cast aside and are being replaced.  The result of these trends is society is producing more and more children who are unprepared for the world.  And those who are unprepared for the world have a harder time succeeding, not only in online courses, but in life.  Studies have been done comparing the grades of students taking courses completely online versus traditional courses in person.  According to a 2013 study by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, nearly twice as many students fail or withdraw from online courses compared to traditional courses.  It seems the majority of students lack the maturity and responsibilty needed to succeed in an online format.  The biggest factor in maintaining good grades is the accountability a professor places on the student in person opposed to online.  Students are also easily distracted when attempting to complete assignments or study online.

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With instant access to Social Media and numerous other distractions online, taking courses online has also become increasingly difficult.  The hybrid format allows students to submit work online while also being held accountable in person that same week.  Also, this affords students the opportunity to ‘speak their case’.  I find the biggest disadvantage to taking courses online is students don’t get to explain their answers.  Every answer is cut and dry, and there is no room for explanation.  In person, a professor tends to be more understanding and can resolve any mistakes made on their part.

If all college courses were offered in a hybrid format, I believe college grades would improve siginificantly.  Students who are unfamiliar with online education would remain knowledgeable in the age of the internet.  And students who otherwise would lose the basic skills required in succeeding in a traditional course, would remain knowledgeable in all facets of society.

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Brasil Demolished in World Cup Semifinal

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Embarrassed?  Demoralized?  Ashamed?  I’m sure Brasil is feeling a little bit of all of the above.  If you don’t know by now, and I’m sure you do seeing as yesterdays World Cup Semifinal thrashing was the most discussed sporting event in social media history, Brasil got beaten up and down by Germany by the score of 7-1.  Germany has advanced to the World Cup finale and will now await the winner of the Argentina vs. Netherlands match which airs today @ 4:00 p.m. on ESPN.  As for yesterdays match, it is difficult to put into words what transpired in Belo Horizonte, Brasil.  Brasil, the World Cup’s host country, went down 1-0 in the first 10 minutes of the match, and then it was ALL downhill from there.  If you are like the rest of us, you probably thought it was safe to get up and go to the bathroom.  Nope.  By the 29th minute of the match, it was already 5-0, and it resembled one of those tune-up matches that NCAA Men’s Basketball powerhouses use to get ready for the upcoming season.  You know the game I’m talking about, where Louisville invites a team like Southern Miss to town and then trounces them by 35.  Yeah it was like that, only this was the Semifinal of THE WORLD CUP!!  

My takeaway from this game is simple.  Brasil should be utterly embarrassed.  That was quite possibly the worst display of defense and more importantly EFFORT I have ever seen with my own 2 eyes.  Where was the fight?!?!  By the numbers, this was the worst loss in World Cup Semifinals history as well as Brasil’s worst loss in team history.  But, just from watching the game, it looked like Germany was going for a stroll in the park, passing the ball back and forth inside Brasil’s box, just waiting for the right time to shoot and score at will.  Prior to the match, I personally thought that Germany would win, with Brasil missing arguably their 2 best players in Neymar and their Captain Thiago Silva, but no one and I mean NO ONE could have expected this result.  It was a sad day for Brasilians everywhere, but I say forget being sad; get angry! 

 

And hey, there’s always next year…………. 

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!     

Adam Silver Drops The Hammer!! (Thor Style)

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Today, April 29th, 2014, marks a historic day in NBA history.  Adam Silver, the NBA’s new commissioner, held a press conference banning Los Angeles Clippers Owner, Donald Sterling, for LIFE from the NBA.  Silver has also enforced a fine of $2.5 Million; the biggest possible fine allowable by the NBA.  Despite Adam Silver’s obvious nerves and shaky voice in his press conference, I say AMEN to you Adam Silver.  He simply did what HAD to be done.  I honestly did not expect Silver to bring a lifetime ban upon Donald Sterling, but I couldn’t be happier that he did.  There is NO place in the NBA, make that the world, for animals like Donald Sterling.  Now, the other important tidbit of information we received today from this press conference is that the other majority owners in the NBA have the authority to force Sterling to sell The Clippers.  In order to do this there must be a 75% vote amongst the other 29 owners in the NBA (this would translate to 22 out of these 29 owners).  I say that Adam Silver has basically forced the hand of the owners to do just that; force him OUT!!  

              While the result of this press conference is a tremendous step in the right direction, there is more to this situation than meets the eye.  This situation is about equality.  It is about self-respect and human decency.  And now that the NBA has done its part in banning Donald Sterling for life, the players and fans of the great NBA must stand up and do what’s right.  The tough question that you must be asking yourself at this very moment is: What is the right thing to do as a fan or player?  To that I have my opinion that I will express here.  Sports, and basketball more specifically, while just a game, represents much more than that.  Basketball gives people hope and creates unity among many different groups of people.  Every player in the NBA, whether black, white, or any other color, can band together to create change.  The players in the NBA can make a difference if they stick together.  I don’t know individual players opinions in the NBA, but I’d like to think that most human beings feel that Sterling’s point of view is completely irrational and unacceptable in any walk of life.  I believe that the players of the NBA need to stand up together and make an even stronger statement than Adam Silver and the NBA already did.  Every player in the playoffs should take time before every game to lock arms and stand together as one.  They should show bigots like Sterling that they are above the scum of the earth like him.  They should show everyone in the world that blacks, whites, and any other race of people can and should live together in harmony.  Anyone and everyone in the public eye should stand up to people like Sterling and voice their opinions.

             Now, we wait for Sterling’s response (if he has one).  What he should do is sell his team tomorrow, move to the middle of nowhere, and die, out of the public eye.  What he will probably do is sue the ex-girlfriend (no I will not mention her name because she is simply a prostitute with no values) who leaked the tapes, and fight this to the bitter end.  Either way, he will die in the near future as a hated racist.  Today, as I said earlier, is a historic day in NBA history.  I applaud Adam Silver and his team of people for doing the right thing today.  He has forced the hand of the owners to rid the league of Donald Sterling.  Don’t think so?  Trust me.  If any of the 29 other owners in the NBA vote NOT to force Sterling out, they will be in a world of hurt and viewed in a very negative light.  Bye-Bye Donald Sterling.  Enjoy your extra warm seat next to John Rocker and Marge Schott for eternity.           

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Please leave feedback in the comment section below. Thank you.

Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

As everyone has heard by now, there were two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon. The authorities are saying that these explosions were definitely bombs, and this is being treated as a terrorist attack. No one has come forward to accept responsibility for the attacks at this point in time. The news of these blasts has touched every corner of the world, and we as a nation need to unite and support the great city of Boston. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, just 3 hours after the blasts made it known publicly that Boston will have any help, support, and/or resources deemed necessary. It is very difficult to find the right words to say, and I don’t think there are the “right” words for a situation like this. As of now there are 3 confirmed deaths and at least 145 injured. The number of injured continues to climb due to the aftermath of the explosions. My heart aches for the victims of this senseless act, and I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to anyone affected by yesterday’s events. Yesterday was meant to be a beautiful day in Boston. The weather was picture perfect, the Red Sox played, the Marathon was being held, and the Bruins were set to play as well. Most notably, it was Patriots Day which is a day to commemorate the opening battle of the American Revolution. This is a day to be proud to be a Bostonian. Unfortunately, excitement and elation quickly turned to confusion and chaos. While it is horrible that this heinous act took place at the finish line of the marathon, the affected were lucky that there were already hundreds of firemen, police officers, and medical staff on hand for the race. No one knows how many more people would have suffered fatal injuries if there weren’t medical personnel on site already.

This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever written about as I have many emotions swirling around at the moment. I feel sad, helpless, confused, and angry all at the same time. I wish there was something I could do to help the innocent victims of this crime. I wish I could find the scum that committed these crimes and show them and the world that our country is not to be messed with. I wish I could comprehend the actions of these sick people. It’s simplistic to say, well there are bad people who do bad things. It is impossible to understand how a human being can get enjoyment out of harming and killing innocent people. It is impossible to understand! Our country needs to find the sons of bitches that committed these crimes and they need to be made an example of in front of the whole world. If terrorists and psychotic groups of people think it’s okay to attack us, we will show them what will be in store for them. And we need to heighten security everywhere. I know it is next to impossible to stop an event like yesterday’s from happening, but we need to be more aware of these dangers. We tightened security after 9/11, but it has softened over time. Even if it means being slightly inconvenienced, we need to take the extra time to ensure everyone’s safety in public venues.

While this is how I feel about terrorists, we don’t officially know who exactly is responsible for Monday’s bombings. What we do know is that the FBI is heading up the investigation, and I think they will get to the bottom of this. While we are all most likely feeling sad and angry, we must take a minute to recognize the positive in every situation. There are heroes to acknowledge in the wake of the bombings. While most people were running away from the danger, you had policemen, firemen, volunteers, and concerned citizens running toward the explosions in an attempt to help people. These are the people that deserve a round of applause. To put yourself in harms way to help strangers is courageous and should be celebrated, even if only for a minute. Once again, it is a tragedy that took place on Monday. No one should ever have to go through such a terrible event in their lives, but unfortunately there are people out there trying to harm the world. My heart goes out to all the people and their families and loved ones that have been affected by these events. We will stand up together as a nation and will overcome these events. You are not alone!

Sports Highlights in One Liners

Who said the Yankees couldn’t score runs, or were too old, or Vernon Wells was a bum?

I think Tiger Woods looks good in green, don’t you?

Listen, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, and Ray Allen are all really really hurt, so just leave them alone; okay?

Sorry everyone my Knicks bandwagon is already full so please tuck and roll as I kick you all off one by one.

Man I’m really glad that Women’s College Basketball Championship game was close.

Kobe Bryant is good at basketball.

Bryce Harper is good at baseball.

The Miami Marlins should officially be moved to the Minor Leagues.

Anyone who says they’re not rooting for Tiger Woods (the golfer) is lying.

14 year old golf phenom Tianling Guan gets to play in the Masters, but hitting puberty would be a greater accomplishment.

Can someone text me Mike Rice’s telephone number, I want to have him over for dinner?

“So much for having a case of the Monday’s”
– Rick Pitino

Good for you if you know what movie that last line is from.

Cody Zeller is not ready for the NBA.

Neither is his buddy Victor Oladipo, but when the money’s there you gotta take it right?

NEWSFLASH: The NCAA is corrupt.

Why in the world does the Masters TV coverage start at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon?

I went to a fight and a baseball game broke out.

HEY KNICKS, when you get a lead you need to put the pedal to the metal, the game doesn’t end in the 3rd quarter!!

A +1 (73) by Tianling Guan in the opening round of the Masters is more impressive than you could possibly imagine.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Passes Away, at 80

I wanted to take time out of my day to pay respects to the late Jerry Buss.  Jerry passed away yesterday, February 18th.  He was 80 years old.  Buss hadn’t been able to attend any Lakers games this season due to health complications.  It turns out that he had been battling an undisclosed type of cancer since early 2012.  My condolences goes out to the entire Buss family, as I know how difficult losing a loved one can be.  Jerry Buss had been the Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers since 1979.  During his tenure with The Lakers, they made 16 trips to the NBA Finals winning 10 Championships.  His winning ways spanned across five decades, and his teams included some of basketball’s all-time greats.  Most notably: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’ Neal.  Jerry Buss was a great owner and was an innovator in the sports world.  Rest In Peace Jerry Buss.  The Lakers will play in your honor for years to come.  

Check Out My Work

I am now a contributing author @ intheneutralzone.com.  I have posted two articles on there so far.  My first article was posted at the beginning of this week and it is entitled NBA Mid-Season Awards.  There is a copy of that article on this site as well, but feel free to check out their website.  I posted my 2nd article with them today, and that is entitled BREAKING NEWS: Adrian Peterson is a Robot.  Go check out their site, and follow my work there just as you hopefully do here.  Thank you very much everyone.

Welcome Post

Welcome Everybody!  This is my first post here at my new blog.  Here, I will be talking about all things sports on a daily basis.  I will always stay honest and speak the truth about what’s going on in the sports world.  Objectivity will always be my goal when analyzing or critiquing something or someone.  I am here to tell it like it is!  Enjoy!