How to Write Better

by on February 27, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Spongebob-ProcrastinationThis short, light-hearted article, “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do,” offers some real and humorous tips for how to produce your best writing. Topics covered include: dealing with writers block and procrastination, using punctuation confidently, and being patient with yourself. The article is a great reminder that writing can be hard, but that the first step to good writing (especially in the early stages of free-writing and drafting) is to laugh and not take ourselves too seriously.

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Pre-Writing Techniques: Planning And Idea Development

by on January 23, 2014 in Student Lingo with No Comments »


bubbles

These bubbles are real . . . so fill them with thoughts!

Here at The Specialist, we have quick links to every Student Lingo webinar offered through the LEC. Webinars (website + seminar) are innovative and interactive tools to enhance, or help you brush up on, your skills in various areas and subjects. They last 20-30 minutes and are taught by living, breathing professionals who patiently guide you through the topic. The best part? You can take them on any device, at any time.

In this webinar, Pre-Writing Techniques: Planning And Idea Development, you will learn:

  • Strategies for generating ideas that employ a variety of learning styles
  • Ways to choose the best ideas
  • Ways to focus those ideas

To take Pre-Writing Techniques: Planning And Idea Development, click here. You will be asked to fill out a short form, and the webinar will pop up in another window.

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What Is Your Favorite Book and Why?

by on January 22, 2014 in Discussions with 8 Comments »


books2

Wonder what those books are about? Us, too!

What’s your favorite book, and why? We want to know! Kindly leave your answer in the comments section.

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Luminaria: Rise of the MOOC

by on November 19, 2013 in Luminaria with No Comments »


IN THIS ISSUE

  • Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson
  • I Took A MOOC
  • Interview: MCNY President Vinton Thompson
  • Learning To Learn
  • MOOCs At MCNY?
  • Low MOOC Completion Rates
  • A Brief Tour of MOOC Providers
  • MOOCs And Math
  • LEC Students on MOOCs
MOOC cover
Welcome Letter from Dwight Hodgson

As the new Coordinator of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) and Mentor & Leadership Development Program (MLDP), I am excited to welcome you to another edition of Luminaria. This edition seeks to unfold the MOOC phenomenon. Recently, I have found myself thinking about my past professional experiences in non-conventional environments, which have given me an array of perspectives on education and learning. As the Education Center Coordinator for an adult basic education center, I analyzed issues ranging from the residual effects of a flawed K-12 system to the impositions of family life on the adult learner. As the Coordinator of a CUNY access program charged with getting young minorities involved in biomedical research and the world of STEM, I worked with students at the top of their undergraduate classes—students who didn’t need remedial intervention but who needed to be introduced to, and guided through, research opportunities, internships, and summer programs. And as Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at a premier city high school, I promoted diversity within an intelligent and articulate but, from the perch of interpersonal engagement, socially and culturally uninformed student body.

In each of these situations—and in many more like them—MOOCs have the potential to fill an education gap by giving students the time and space to step in and out of the classroom experience without interrupting their work flow. Having seen early college students selflessly offer up their naivety in exchange for an introduction to different cultures, I imagine students will bring that same innocence and yearning to the global, virtual MOOC classroom. I like to think that, in the same ways my former students strung their life experiences outside the classroom into an applicable learning device when they worked with their tutors, students enrolled in MOOCs will use their experience to enhance the experience for all. And I also believe that the communal MOOC environment will foster an opportunity for students to chime in on topics they never imagined they could have anything of substance to offer.

I am not concerned, and do not think, that MOOCs will replace the traditional classroom. More likely, they will supplement the brick-and-mortar education system richly and robustly . . . with many hiccups along the way. And that brings me full circle, to my role with the LEC and MLDP here at MCNY. As online classes and MOOCs continue to expand throughout higher education, support services—where confused and introspective students converse with real, live human tutors and mentors—will become all the more vital. As you survey the perspectives of this issue, I hope you take a moment to consider how the digital MOOC model might add to the analog nature of your education and your life. Happy reading.

CONTINUE READING →

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Recognizing Generation 1.5

by on November 7, 2012 in Fresh From the Field with No Comments »



When I was growing up, there was no Dora the Explorer and no Ni-Hao Kai-Lan.
The cartoons of my childhood communicated solely in English. Ren and Stimpy, Doug, and the Rugrats were not bilingual. I, on the other hand, had to jump between two languages and two cultures.

CONTINUE READING →

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Can Writing Be Taught?

by on August 7, 2012 in Must Sees with No Comments »


The title of this post poses what seems to be an impossible question. Yet it results in some very objective answers.

CONTINUE READING →

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Grammar Humor

by on March 15, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Artist, web designer, and part-time grammarian, Matthew Inman, writes and draws all the content on his hilarious web page, The Oatmeal. His site features witty, satirical, comic-like illustrations ranging in topic from “Netflix splitting in two” to “What it’s like to own an Apple product”. Inman even has an entire category of comics dedicated to grammar. In the link below, he has put together a hilarious and informative comic on what he considers the “most feared punctuation on earth”, the semicolon. His illustration, which is available for purchase, reminds us that learning grammar can be fun!

Click here for Inman’s fun with the semicolon.

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