Monday, August 13, 2012

Online Education K-12

I was born in the 80's. I remember doing research papers, researching information in the encyclopedias, and had to read books on the assigned topics. I remember the joy when I discovered the blue and white books called cliff notes. It cut down my reading time in the boring books I had to read for class.

Then when I was in high school in the mid 90's, I was introduced to the internet. Life was just made easier. I even had a computer in my home. Most middle class families had a least one. It cut down time writing reports and using my electronic typewriter that I had since I was little. I typed reports on my computer and printed them out at home. That was the beginning of easy A's because of the grammar and spelling check.

Then we I was in college, I was barely in my college library. I was on my computer getting information. Everything was at the tip on my fingers. Almost everything had a website. I even had "interesting" conversations online with other people and emailed my professors questions concerning an assignment or two.
But no one saw it coming. No one saw how fast our world was about to change just with a single tap of a finger. After graduating from college in 2002, in 2005 I took my first online class for Grad School. It began to spread like wild fire.
College on the internet!
There's now no excuse of not getting a degree or taking extra classes to enhance your learning. You're able to form classes around your personal schedule. Libraries, encyclopedias, typewriters and cliff notes are the thing of the past. We don't have to leave our home to go to school. Everything is online. Now everyone has a computer or two and a laptop in their home regardless of  their social class. Now since everyone have access to the great creation and is able to get a college degree and proceed on with a higher degree, the cyber world is now going the next step forward.

Online Education for K-12
There is now online education for kindergarten to seniors in high school. YUP! You read correctly. In my state of New Jersey, there are already two online schools ready for service. New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School is a full time online public school. It is free tuition because it is a public school system. It's available statewide. All teachers are certified and students who live in Newark are able to have face-to-face instruction.
There's another school called Newark Prep Charter School for grades 9-12 which is also a full time online public school with free tuition. This school is only for students who resides in Newark. Just like New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School all teachers are certified and are able to have face-to-face instruction.
Brooklawn School District in New Jersey also offers full time online public school education. This online school is only for Kindergarten to fifth grade.
And George Washington University Online High School is a private online education for high school students of course.
Okay, so how exactly does this work? Do our kids sit in front of a computer all day? How can they have a healthy social life? How do the teachers know if it's the student doing the work and not the parent? Is this one way to keep the kids safe from bullies in school? Will this teach them responsibility and time management skills?
There are so many questions that come to mind.
Here's what I found out so far:

  • Students actually participate in academic and social outings. There are planned school trips and clubs. they encourage students and parents to take part of it. These academic and social outings are at the school that is signed up for the Online education.
  • 30% of  K-8 lessons are taught online. The percentage is actually higher for high school students. High school students have more research. There are printed handouts and textbooks that is also included with all the classes.
  • They would spend four to six hours on school work each day depending on the grade level. If the teacher have to contact the parent they'll do so by email or phone. Parents are also able to meet the teachers.
  • Students are still required to take standardized tests mandated by the state.
Some schools will begin their K-12 online education in the fall of 2012. Most of the others will begin in the fall of 2013. They're still being developed and enhanced so it can perform to its highest potential. Online education has worked tremendously with college education. K-12 shouldn't have a problem but I don't think it's for every student. Sure, it would give parents peace of mind knowing that their child is safer at home but then their social life will suffer traumatically. Kids don't have to worry about being bullied but how will they learn how to stand up for themselves and address certain situations. Kids will probably feel less pressure and learn more computer skills. But what if they get side tracked and become distracted with television, video games, social media and prohibited websites. There's pros and cons to everything but as online K-12 enhances and develop even more, I'm sure they'll work out all the kinks.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Good Enough?

Will black people ever be good enough?

There's Tyler Perry who was once homeless but was on the Forbes list as the highest paid entertainment man in 2010-2011 with $130 million, he has his own movie studio, Tyler Perry Studios, and lives in one of the biggest mansions in Georgia. Yet he's criticized with the stereotyping he portrays with black women and men in his movies and plays.
There's also Gabby Douglas who recently won 6 GOLD, 1 SILVER and 2 BRONZE medals for her gymnastic performance at the 2012 Olympics in London causing her to be the first American and black female to win individual all around final with a GOLD medal. Yet people are criticizing her hair and her picture on a box of Corn Flakes instead of a box of Wheaties.
Serena Williams has won numerous medals and trophies on the tennis courts and is a successful business woman but people criticize her for her outbursts on the tennis courts and most recently her crip walk after winning her first Olympic GOLD medal.
There's also President Barack Obama who enhanced Chicago's lacking community during his early years and progress to becoming one of the best U.S. Senators, leading him to become the first black President of the U.S.. Yet he's being criticized for the economic failures and joblessness of the country.
And what about Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Sr. who are the voices of African Americans. They are active in the black community and help fight for justice but yet they are criticized for their controversial remarks.

It seems as though, no matter how hard or how much black people succeed there is always some kind of criticism. I'm not saying other races don't get criticized but minorities get it the worst. Black people have to work twice as hard than the other race (white people). Sad but true.

Will black people ever be good enough? With all the criticisms and issues that has to be dealt with, it helped them develop a thicker skin. The criticisms and issues of past and present pushes them even harder. It's hard to please people and honestly you can't please people but pushing and succeeding personal goals is what matters. Tyler Perry gave us great movies with people of color. He keeps us entertained and is great at what he does. He shows us the other layers of the black community. Gabby Douglas still performed her best despite people talking about her hair and didn't care what kind of cereal box she was on. She made history! Serena Williams couldn't contain her happiness on the inside after winning her first GOLD medal at the Olympics. Who wouldn't dance? And as far as her outbursts on the tennis courts, oh please like you never got mad during a game. You probably did worst. President Barack Obama gives us his best everyday and even got the Health bill passed and is reviving a failing country that past Presidents did in the past. Why don't you try cleaning up someone else crap after it's left undone and harden? You'll have a hard time too cleaning it up. Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the first ones there to give a voice to the voiceless in the black community. They fought for a lot of justice for people. They're the last of the fighting voices in the black community.

Crazy thing is, this is a few famous people but there are the non famous ones. Maybe your boss, co workers,  parents,siblings, children or yourself have been criticized. Doesn't matter what color you are. But just like these examples we have to keep pushing and not care what people say and think. Just succeed.                 So will black people ever be good enough? 
Publicly, No one will ever be good enough. No matter what color you are.
Personally, Yes, you will be great enough. No matter what color you are.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Atlantic City moving on up!

I am a constant visitor in Atlantic City. I have been in awe with the transformation of Atlantic City's boardwalk and casinos. It has been bringing in quite a revue thanks to its expanding and creating of a new casino and entertainment on the beach. As a single mom who live in the urban area it's a good getaway and believe it or not it's quite reasonable for the family depending on where you stay. All you have to do is take advantage of the discounts that the casinos offer almost weekly or bi weekly. So, in this blog I'm going to tell you about two of the casinos, the atmosphere and entertainment that you and your family can enjoy at a price that you can afford.

Revel Casino

I had to start with this casino. This is a perfect hotel to go to without the kids. It has floor to ceiling windows with an outstanding beautiful scene of the beach. At night you can see the moonlight dancing on the ocean. With this view you will forget that you're in New Jersey. The rooms is like an upscale suite (the contemporary rooms). The bathroom has a marble tile and granite counter top with two sinks. Now I love this! There is a walk in shower that has multiple speeds and a small bench on the side. I never imagine having something like this in my hotel room.
The room also has a 52" flat screen. No more box televisions. There is also a touch tablet to offer you the hotel's directory. So high class!
The hotel also have quite a few fascinating restaurants. There are about 13 restaurants in the Revel. Now, some restaurants you have to be dressed in semi formal attire to enter, which I understand because of it's five star quality. Three of their restaurants have an ocean view: Azure, Amada and American The prices are up there but I guess that's to be expected when dining at an upscale casino. You will get your money's worth though. The other restaurants are select restaurants as what they call it. It's more of a laid back feel, non
Now the best features at this hotel is the Sky Garden. I love this! You are hundreds of feet high, which is overlooking the vast ocean and beach. There are numerous in ground pools in the Sky Garden. There's a long pathway that leads you around the resort with beautiful plants and flowers on the side. It also have large fire pits. I can lay out on their lounging beach chairs, looking at the bright blue sky and hearing the sounds of waves over take

Because the Revel just opened this year, it's a big attraction bringing in a lot of revue for Atlantic City. Take advantage of the deals. In order to do that, you must be a Revel Cardholder which is easy. Of course you must be 21. Then sign up for online deals. You can get great summer deals with rooms starting at $180. Fall prices will be a lower beginning mid to late September.
Atmosphere: A


This is the hotel I always stay at whenever I come to Atlantic City. I am always pleased with the rooms at Tropicana. We stay in the Havana Towers. No matter where you stay, you have a beautiful view of the ocean and/ or the city. At night, it looks like stars twinkling below you. The rooms are spacious. It's not as elegant as the rooms in the Revel. You have one sink and a simple shower. It has more of an inviting feel and relaxing state than the Revel. It may be simple but this casino/hotel has a lot to offer.

Tropicana is known for their Quarter. The Quarter is a mini mall full of clothing stores, a spa, mini market and delicious restaurants. There are palm trees and a soft tan-ish color on the walls. The restaurants consist of The Red Square, Cuba Libre, P.F. Changs (which is my favorite, they have a meal for two for $60 which include 2 drinks, 2 appetizers, 2 soup or salad, 2 entres and 2 desserts.), Carmins and The Palm. Upstairs you have the Missile Bar, A Dam Good Sports Bar (Yes that's the name of it) and a nightclub called Providence. They also have a karaoke bar called Planet Rose Karaoke Bar which was voted the best karaoke in 2010 and 2011 in Acweekly. There's also a Rumba Lounge in the middle of the casino and a Tango's Lounge at the beginning of the Quarter and at the edge of the casino

Now the Tropicana is no stranger to entertainment. They have an IMAX which shows the latest movies. We saw Dark Knight Rises there. (Great movie to see in the IMAX by the way.) There is also a comedy club called the Comedy Stop. Quite a few comedian legends past through here to give you a good  There is also a family fun station for the kids. Its not to big. I was a little disappointed but it looks as though everyone kids were having fun.

The Tropicana has something called Boogie Nights. It's a 70's and 80's dance club. It really takes you way back in the day. They have different areas that are created for it's stuck-time frame. It's every Friday and Saturday night. The dance floor lights up and there's a HUGE disco ball overhead. They even have celebrity impersonators. This is a great place to party with your

Tropicana has a lot to offer the family and just a great getaway. They always have great discounts and Room packages which is why I stay here. If you are a Tropicana Cardholder make sure you're signed up for their room discounts. I caught some summer discounts Sunday-Thursday stay for $49.00 at night. And sometimes that include a $20 or more gift card to take advantage of their restaurants and entertainment. Their fall prices are fascinating too. This is a better casino/hotel that is family/kid friendlier than the Revel.
Atmosphere: A