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Profile: Work Ready Grad is Closing the Gap In Education

According to Katie Pfledderer, in an article entitled 3 Way Social Media Can Help You Land Your Dream Job, “Social media can also boost your job search through networking, researching and marketing yourself.”

Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com
Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com

Brian Srikanchana, Founder of Work Ready Grad, says their purpose is to “provide a platform where companies can engage students as they try to figure out what they want to do in a career.” Schools are focusing more on career development in recent years. As early as middle school, they are trying to get students to begin thinking about what they want to do for a future career. Srikanchana continued by saying, they don’t necessarily want students to know their exact career choice, but more so to “connect the dots regarding what you are doing in school to your long-term career goal–whatever that might be.” WorkReadyGrad is a social networking platform that allows students and professionals the opportunity to interact and plan their path to a successful future. Srikanchana stated that, “a lot of students are graduating from school, but they are not getting jobs because the schools have not been preparing them to actually be ready for the work force.”

Photo Courtesy: google.com
Photo Courtesy: google.com

Srikanchana continues with, “the top two reasons students drop out of school, is because of the difficulty in connecting the relevance to long-term careers, and second, because of the lack of a strong support system.” When schools systems and professionals begin to include the Work Ready Grad Program into their daily lesson plans it will eliminate a students’ need to blame their circumstance or environment for what they do not have. This program allows them to take their future into their own hands, thus, paving the way to a successful career.

Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com
Photo Courtesy: workreadygrad.com

According to Georgia’s Path to Personalized learning, Schools have already begun adding technology into the curriculum to increase test scores; but a student should be more than just a number on a data sheet. Work Ready Grad allows them to showcase skills, awards, and other job related experience to showcase themselves as a person rather than just another number. The Work Ready Grad Challenges section is another program that are in place to help close this gap in the educational system. The “challenges” can be related to “virtual internships” that allow students to complete problem solving skills and various presentations for different companies worldwide. These virtual internships not only provide students with “real life” work experience for their resume, but also allow for more frequent higher-level conversations between students and employers.

The main point of the platform is creating the professional level interactions and providing students with the motivation and strong support system to foster a brighter-more prepared youth for the future. Work Ready Grad is the answer to what happens in the space between Facebook and LinkedIn. A social platform that promotes friendly competition while motivating students to plan for the future they desire. All roads lead to great jobs for work ready graduates.

photo courtesy: work ready grad.com
photo courtesy: workreadygrad.com

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Srikanchana, B. (2014, June 6). Founder of Work Ready Grad. (A. Golden, Interviewer)

Pfledderer, K. (2014). 3 Ways Social Media Can Help You Land Your Dream Job. Diversity Employers, 45(1), 38-39.

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New Media Journalism

Life Forever’s The Graphic “Contains Content”

Check back on the Life Forever site for its Official Release!

Atlanta, Georgia (amandamgolden.com) 1 May 2014– Local business owner is on the verge of releasing a “prime new visual series” this May on YouTube. Life Forever’s The Graphic will combine humorous commentary with the original art rendering process of the graphic design artist himself. So, even if you’re not into art, this show is still for you!  If you need more convincing, the tagline of the show is “Contains Content.”

DeForrest, an Independent Graphic Design Artist and Author, is releasing the Pilot episodes behind the scenes of an artists’ mind on a YouTube Channel near you this May. Life Forever’s The Graphic is an episodic series featuring DeForrest’s art process and is set to comedic commentary. The artist will be drawing some of his signature characters and other works but with the twist of having someone entertain the audience as opposed to just having background music or someone giving a lecture.

DeForrest stated that in December 2013 he thought about wanting to develop an episodic presence on YouTube. In his thought process he said, “hey, I’m sure my process would be interesting to look at,” but he didn’t want just that alone; he wanted to make a real production, and The Graphic is the result of that.

Photo Credit: Life Forever/DeForrest
Photo Credit: Life Forever/DeForrest

The artist went on to say, “The technology to do it is here and now, very accessible, and I can’t let my chance pass me by: I know I have a great product, a unique and quality product, that we can deliver, and there are several outlets for it these days.”

From there he researched about the YouTube Partnership Program and began the planning on the YouTube Series coming out later this month.

DeForrest has been drawing and writing for 15 years. So far, he has published 4 books with a 5th coming this summer. His signature series is called Street Pedal Black.

The story of Street Pedal Black is set in a dystopian world, and is about a teenage crew led by an urban samurai known as Street Pedal Black, also called “The Fire of Metal Stereo.” Many of the first few episodes of The Graphic will show illustrations from the digital novels.

This episodic series called, The Graphic, features the cast of characters known as “Heavyhands,” “Proper,” “The Fifth,” and “The Director,” in probably some of the most eccentric conversations you’ve ever heard over the rendering process. The Graphic will also function as an audio podcast on the main Life-Forever.com for those who just want to listen.

The team has been doing a lot of audio and video recording the last few months. They have also been testing the waters for the Internet, and feel that they have some great material so far. “We’re all excited, and we plan on releasing the first episode later on this month” stated The Director.

DeForrest specializes in character designs and traditional sketching while constantly improving upon his digital rendering skills.

“Life Forever is the one-man independent brand name used by writer and illustrator DeForrest, primarily operating online through the website, www.life-forever.com. Commissions, short novels, and other merchandise are all created by the artist in the USA.”

For More Information Please Contact:

Paul DeForrest Scisney, Independent Graphic Design Artist and Author of Life Forever.

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New Media Journalism Technology

One Laptop Per Child- Will You Help?

Only laptops can help the world’s poorest children who have no school to attend.

According to an article from the American Accounting Association, in January 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, launched a research initiative to develop a $100 laptop for “the world’s poorest children.” This research initiative was called “One Laptop Per Child” or OPLC.

OLPC has a mission “to empower the world’s poorest children through education.” They believe when you give the gift of a laptop to a child, you are giving one more child a chance to succeed in life.

Negroponte stated that kids learn a great deal by themselves, and this is what made his team want to know just how much they learn on their own. So they turned their attention to the millions of children who have a scarce chance of attending primary school.

 

100 million kids worldwide who do not go to first grade. Most of them do not go because there is no school, there are no literate adults in their village, and there is little promise of that changing soon.

-Nicholas Negroponte –“Another Way to Think About Learning”

 

Today, you have the opportunity to help children who are much less fortunate to gain an education that will allow them to become essential citizens in their communities. Help provide a child with an education that will lead them to a brighter future.

Click here to donate towards a better education for children all over the world.

Help children like Zimi have a chance for a brighter future!

Listen to her story below.

Click here to donate today! 

References:

Roberts, A., & Zamora, V. L. (2012). One Laptop per Child: The $100 Challenge. Issues In Accounting Education27(3), 799-817. doi:10.2038/iace-50163

Negroponte, N. (2012). Another Way to Think about Learning. Technology Review115(6), 37.

 

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Your Thoughts on Digital Learning in Early Education

Children utilizing a digital device in the classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Children utilizing a digital device in a 2nd Grade classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

In response to the video and audio sample done in a previously written article, Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future I did not receive too many responses. In fact, the one response I received was from one of the educators that I interviewed.  Going forward, to improve upon the amount of response I receive on video clips I produce, I will ask harder questions. The questions that I ask in the future will evoke a response from readers; whether it be a “hot topic” that parents may have very different views on or by using a broader topic with more in depth answers.

Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden
Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden

As a result of the surveys and polls conducted last week, I received 8 responses total.  As shown in the survey summary, there were several parents whose child attended a school with a Bring Your Own Device Program in place. Of these parents, many of them purchased their child a digital device between the ages of 3 to 5. It also was concluded almost unanimously that many parents see the use of digital technology continuing to grow over the next few years especially in regards to the school system.

During the previous week of the Social Media and Online Community Engagement Class I also published a discussion post to Reddit. This discussion titled “Digital Learning in GA Early Learning Schools: Good or Bad” yielded 25 Reddit “up-votes” and 5 very thought provoking responses.

I will share the response from one Reddit user: /r/jesusapproves below because this users’ comment accurately sums up what a lot of parents (that responded to the post) feel about the good and bad of digital learning.

Screen Capture of a comment from a reddit user in response to my discussion post in the subreddit of Praenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Screen Capture of a comment from a Reddit user in response to my discussion post in the sub-reddit of Parenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

This response, in my opinion, pulls together the other points that parents gave on this discussion after his response.

Some of the major points that I took away from his response are:

* There are many advantages as well as disadvantages as to why one would want digital learning to be (or not be) involved in the educational system.

*   We are still living in a time where not everyone can afford to purchase these devices for their child; so in the event that schools do not provide a class set it would allow more chance for issues to arise.

*   There is still a need for the actual teacher to lecture in a traditional method as well as allow time for the use of devices in learning new concepts.

Overall, I would say that my audience responses were very informative. The responses allowed to me hear viewpoints that I had not considered. Some of the comments from the Reddit post even provided me with articles to use as a resource for further research. I would also like to thank the people who have responded to my articles, surveys and discussion posts for helping me gather data for further research on my Capstone Topic.

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Survey: Digital Technology in GA Schools

The topic of Textbooks vs. Tablets in Georgia Schools is steadily on the rise; and we would like to know how you feel on the subject. Many schools in Georgia, as well as around the United States, have recently adopted the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives. These programs are an effort to help raise test scores in the school system. The results of this survey are intended to analyze responses of how people really feel about this program being implemented into the schools.

This survey will be used to collect data on the thoughts of readers interested in how Digital Technology will affect Schools in Georgia. All responses to questions on the survey will remain anonymous. The survey will close on March 31, 2014.

The survey was initially sent out via email on March 17, 2014 and since then have had approximately 7 responses. Of these preliminary responses:

  • 71 percent have said “yes” their child attends a school with a BYOT/BYOD Program
  • 86 percent said that they use digital devices to help with their child’s education “daily”
  • 43 percent said their child got their first digital device between “ages 3-5”

When asked the open-ended question of where parents see the role of digital textbooks in relation to traditional textbooks in the next 3 years; the responses were very similar in nature. Responses were summarized to say the following: “the shift to full digital will happen sooner than we think. The fact that the curriculum can update more frequently beats out traditional books.”

In conclusion, the results of this survey will be used in the making of a final presentation on the data found on the topic of tablets vs. textbooks in Georgia Schools.

I would personally like to thank each and every one of my readers who took the time out to answer the survey questions.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the topic or questions on the survey please feel free to email me at amandamgolden@fullsail.edu.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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New Media Journalism Technology

Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future

Connie D. Perkins is currently a first grade teacher in Fayette County Schools and has been teaching for over 26 years. Perkins has a Reading Specialist Degree that has allowed her to teach one-on-one reading with students who needed the help. She also taught Early Intervention Program (EIP) curriculum for reading two years, and Perkins mentioned that she “has worked a lot with children who struggle in reading.”

With the many years of teaching experience in early education, Perkins stated that she has seen a major difference in the way that children grasp reading and math skills over the years. She remembers when they would use flash cards to learn new concepts and how it would take weeks for them to master the concepts, and now those same skills when applied from the iPad or the computer are learned “just like that,” she continued. Perkins stated that the children “love iPads in their classroom!” She utilizes the iPad to introduce and reinforce the lessons they will be doing throughout the week. “The children now have access to the reading book and all the skills we do in class. They can go home and do it online,” says Perkins. “They think it’s a big deal to be able to go ahead of us or read extra books related to the class lessons while at home.”

Perkins finished by saying that she could see the schools “doing away with textbooks and going digital someday,” believing that students will think “outside the box when manipulating tools on digital technology.”

1st Grade Teacher Discusses Digital Technology from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

 

Heather Cox has been a fourth grade teacher and leader of technology in Fulton County Schools for the past 10 years. Upon gaining employment with Fulton Schools, Cox said that she became a “leadership member and any other kind of committee member that had anything to do with technology.” This included the Inaugural Technology Leadership Forum for Fulton County Schools where she helped to launch the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Pilot Program in her school. Though she initially met resistance, she eventually helped everyone to understand what the program was really about.

Cox stated that last year while on her professional Twitter page, she saw an article that was linked to the nomination form for the White House Champions of Change Program for ConnectEd Leaders. After she read over the description, she sent an email to her students’ parents to see if they would nominate her. To her surprise, Cox heard back from the White House a few months later saying that she had “like 20 nominations,” so they wanted to get a little more information about her. From there, Cox was chosen to be 1 of the 10 people who would be honored as a ConnectEd Leader in the White House Champions of Change Program. Cox said that it was incredible to go and get to meet other ConnectEd Educators and it happened “all through the power of Twitter.”

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools

This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.

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New Media Journalism

Black Family Recalls Learning in Segregated Schools

A black history narrative.

James and Mary Kendrick are a local black family who went to school in the days of segregation in the deep south of Georgia. African-American children and white children were not allowed to go to school together for quite a while before equal rights were won with the decision of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

The Kendricks said that black children went to their own school but could only use the materials that the white children had already used: typewriters, books, band uniforms and even music instruments. Often times this meant that when the black children received them, they were “tattered and torn,” recalled Mrs Kendrick.

Mr. Kendrick continued by saying that he would end up taking home the used instruments and “welding the joints back together” to make the instrument “sound the way it should again” for their school band.

Let’s listen as James and Mary Kendrick recall a time where they went to school during segregation:

Education has come a long way from the 1940s to the year 2014. Blacks and whites not only go to school together but they also work, eat, and play together. As the school systems were integrated over the years, textbooks and other materials became the same for all races.

The first computers were introduced in the early 2000s, as mentioned in a previous article “Integrating Technology Into the Classroom Past to Present.” For schools to advance from the typewriter to digital technology education finally began to have level playing fields for all races.

Now, in the year 2014, technology has advanced so far that more schools have begun to incorporate digital learning through iPads and other tablet devices into the classroom curriculum.

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New Media Journalism

2014 Roswell Roots Festival

A series of Black History Month Celebrations

The Annual Roswell Roots Festival has many events planned this year; and one most recent was the “West African Rhythms and Flavors.” This event was held in Roswell, GA at the Historic Barrington Hall on February 8, 2014 from 11:00am-3:00pm.

The event featured Chef and Author Sallie Ann Robinson the “Gullah Cooking Diva” who shared Gullah Cooking and Culture with community members inside the kitchen of Barrington Hall.

The event also featured the founder of DrumRise with Amy Jackson demonstrating the drumming techniques learned from a Guinean master drummer on the front lawn of Barrington Hall.

The 2014 West African Rhythms and Flavors was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
The 2014 West African Rhythms and Flavors was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Woman playing the Djembe drum leading the DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Woman playing the Djembe drum leading the DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Amy Jackson, teacher of West African drum techniques for DrumRise at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Amy Jackson, teacher of West African drum techniques for DrumRise at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Man playing base tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Man playing base tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Even little ones were able to play tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Even little ones were able to play tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Teacher, Amy Jackson showing student how to lead the DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Teacher, Amy Jackson showing student how to lead the DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout enjoying food prepared by Chef Sallie Ann Robinson’s Gullah Cooking & Culture Session. Held inside Barrington Hall at the West African Rhythms and Flavors in Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout enjoying food prepared by Chef Sallie Ann Robinson’s Gullah Cooking & Culture Session. Held inside Barrington Hall at the West African Rhythms and Flavors in Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout Troop with Chef Sallie Ann Robinson at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout Troop with Chef Sallie Ann Robinson at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Chef Sallie Ann Robinson in the Kitchen at the West African Rhythms and Flavors  that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Chef Sallie Ann Robinson in the Kitchen at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

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New Media Journalism

Community Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fayetteville, GA- Monday, January 20, 2014 Fayette County Board of Education along with the Fayette County Branch of NAACP continued “Advancing the Call For Civility and Civil Rights” with the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration and Program.

Over 150 citizens of Fayette County gathered in the streets to participate in the annual Dr. King day events. Beginning with the parade where school bands, color guards, churches and other local businesses marched in remembrance of Dr. King.

 

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The annual celebration of Dr. King was not always “a welcome idea” according to City Council Member Reverend Edward Johnson. In 2000, as the Fayette County NAACP President he was made aware that “many of the cities in Fayette County did not even allow the staff to take the day off unless they took a “vacation day” to celebrate a day of recognizing Dr. King’s legacy.” In 2001 Mayor Steve Brown, of Peachtree City, “welcomed the idea of hosting a program at Peachtree City Hall. Johnson continued by saying that it took five years of persistency from the NAACP for “other Fayette Cities to recognize the holiday.”road to mlk jr events infographic


The 2014 Annual Parade and Celebration Program were held at Sam’s Auditorium where community members of all races gathered to remember the legacy of Dr. King. The event opened with selections from the Olivet Children and Youth Choir and led into a program to celebrate “unity for all.” Keynote speaker, Reverend Carolyn Maull McKinstry recalled her experience of surviving the 16th Street Church Bombing in Birmingham, AL. Fayette County NAACP President John E. Jones followed with a recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Awards for the MLK Essay Winners, MLK Academic Achievement, Athletic Excellence and 2014 Parade Float Winners were given in the end to celebrate student achievements through the year.

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 Johnson closed with a reminder that “although, many have embraced this day as one to celebrate, we are still working to get more diversity involved in the annual celebration.”

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