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Lecture begins Digital Week

first_imgCEO of edX and MIT professor Anant Agarwal kicked off the first annual ND Digital Week on Friday with the keynote lecture entitled “Reinventing Education.”Agarwal said online education not only provides access to superb teaching where educational infrastructure is weak, but it also has the potential to improve the quality of education at existing universities.EdX, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider, reaches a global audience and offers 300 courses to nearly 3 million learners, Agarwal said.Featuring courses in a variety of disciplines taught by professors from Harvard, MIT and other renowned institutions, edX also caters to a broad range of students, many of whom do not have access to a formal education. Agarwal said in developing countries, university expenses and hyper-competitive admissions bar the vast majority of people from pursuing higher education.“One of edX’s main goals is to offer instruction to those who either can’t qualify academically or financially,” he said.The numbers are encouraging, Agarwal said. For edX’s first course, “On Circuits and Electronics” offered by MIT, over 155,000 students from 152 countries signed up. Agarwal said over 7,000 students passed the same course that electrical engineering majors at MIT take.“These are very big numbers … I would have to teach for 40 years to reach these many students,” he said.Behind the large numbers are the “amazing” individual stories of the learners, Agarwal said citing a student from an African village who took a course on solar energy.“In the village, the power kept coming and going,“ he said. ”Based on what this student learned in the course, he actually set up a solar system … because of that, the power is more continuous in the village.”Agarwal said edX implemented a free and publicly accessible open-source version of its platform, named Open edX, to further increase access.“Open source is good for all of us because people can contribute to the platform,” he said. “Today…there are 50 Open edX sites and 500 courses running on these sites.”EdX also aims to integrate decades-worth of educational research into the American university system, Agarwal said.“In many fields research has been rapidly moving into practice,” he said. “But in education, things don’t look all that different today … we really have not adapted all these ideas.“On the edX platform, there are no lectures as such, but learning sequences: an interleaved sequence of videos and activities. This form of learning, where [the student] is not just listening to the lecture, but engaging with the material, is called active learning.”In addition to implementing educational research, Agarwal said edX uses A/B testing and big data analysis to determine the most effective methods of teaching. EdX groups its users into separate tracks and exposes them to different methods of instruction.“The A group will continually see A material, and the B group will continually see the B material,” he said. “Then you can give them a common assessment and see who does better. This way, we as educators, can continually examine the engineering and improve what we do.”Despite questions as to whether MOOCs like edX seek to replace traditional education, Agarwal said the aim is to blend online learning with classroom interaction. In multiple experiments with San Jose State University, Agarwal said students who supplemented their in-class instruction with corresponding edX videos fared better than students who only took the course.“In the traditional sections the failure rate for the course was historically 41 percent,” he said. “But in the blended version, the failure rate was 9 percent.”Agarwal said there is a synergy between online learning and traditional instruction and hopes more schools will adopt this method of instruction.“Whether you are a community college or private university, I believe that blended learning can be used by everybody,” he said.Tags: Anant Agarwal, Digital Week, edX, MIT, MOOC, Reinventing Educationlast_img read more

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Tony Nominee Anne Jackson Dies at 90

first_img Anne Jackson, a Tony nominee who celebrated an illustrious career with the late Eli Wallach—her partner on stage and off—died on April 12. She was 90 years old. Her death was confirmed to the New York Times by her daughter, Katherine Wallach.Jackson, the youngest of three daughters, was born on September 3, 1926, in Millvale, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to New York when she was seven, and after graduating high school, she went on to study drama at the New School for Social Research.After making her Broadway debut in 1944’s The New Moon, Jackson went on to appear on the Main Stem in The Cherry Orchard and Signature before meeting Wallach when the two were working on a production of This Property Is Condemned ; they married in 1948.The pair starred opposite each other on and off-Broadway and on the big and small screens in numerous works. Their joint projects included The Typists, for which Jackson won an Obie Award, Promenade, All!, Twice Around the Park, The Tiger (and the subsequent film adaptation The Tiger Makes Out, Rhinoceros, The Diary of Anne Frank (alongside their daughters Katherine and Roberta) and, in 2000, Down the Garden Path off-Broadway.In 1956, Jackson earned a Tony nomination for Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Middle of the Night (which Wallach did not appear in). She last appeared on Broadway in The Flowering Peach, in which she and Wallach played a biblical husband and wife (Noah and Esther).In addition to Katherine and Roberta, Jackson is survived by her son, Peter, as well as her sister, Beatrice Marz, three grandchildren and a great-grandson. Anne Jackson(Photo: Phil McCarten/Getty Images) View Commentslast_img read more

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James Graham’s This House Will Transfer to West End

first_img View Comments Charles Edwards in ‘This House'(Photo: Johan Persson) James Graham’s political drama This House will transfer to the Garrick Theatre, following its upcoming run at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre. The show previously played to much acclaim at the U.K.’s National Theatre, and will once again be directed by Jeremy Herrin. This House is scheduled to begin previews on November 19 and officially open on November 30.1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions. Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.The production will feature design by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Ian Dickinson and choreography by Scott Ambler.Graham wrote the book to Finding Neverland, which is currently running at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.last_img read more

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U.S. power demand fell to 17-year low for the week ended April 18, trade group says

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:U.S. electricity demand last week plunged to a near 17-year low as government travel and work restrictions to slow down the spread of the coronavirus led to business closures, according to analysts and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) trade group.EEI said power output fell to 64,061 gigawatt hours during the week ended April 18. That was down 4.2 per cent from the same week in 2019 and was the lowest in a week since May 2003.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders would reduce electricity and natural gas consumption in coming months.EIA said it expected power sales to the commercial sector to drop by 4.7 per cent in 2020 as many businesses close, while industrial demand will fall by 4.2 per cent as factories shut or reduce output.Electricity sales to the residential sector, meanwhile, will only decline about 0.8 per cent in 2020, EIA projected, as reduced heating and air conditioning use because of milder winter and summer weather is offset by increased household consumption with many people staying home.Overall, EIA said it expects total U.S. power consumption to decline by 3 per cent in 2020 before rising almost 1 per cent in 2021.[Scott DiSavino]More: U.S. power demand falls to 2003 low as coronavirus cuts use by companies U.S. power demand fell to 17-year low for the week ended April 18, trade group sayslast_img read more

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Ultra fear

first_imgAn ultra race distance is basically defined as any distance longer than a marathon. However as most of you probably already know, ultra distances generally start at 50k or 31.2 miles. Then from there you can migrate upward to 40 mile, 50 mile, 100k, 100 mile, 24 hour and 48 hour race distances as the general norm.I’ve been asked so many times how does one run that far. This usually comes from other runners who have already run a marathon and just can’t seem to comprehend the ultra distance. In reality a 50k is only five miles further than a marathon and a lot of runners progress up from half marathons to the marathon which is exponentially a much greater jump in distance. (50% vs 16%) Even using this logic, the mental component to running an ultra distance is as much a road block as the physical it seems.The word “ultra” has that impression that one will be undertaking something truly epic, scary and painful. This is usually not the case, in fact if you prepare properly and have already run at least one marathon within the last year then I see no reason why someone can not make the 16% jump in distance to a 50k ultra.The greatest difference between a marathon and an ultra is that most marathons are run on paved surfaces (more painful but faster pace) and most ultras are run on soft surfaces like trails (less painful but slower pace). Time on your feet is the main difference between the two but ultra running time is usually spent on a more forgiving surface. I have raced the 50k distance in times ranging from three hours to five hours. These times are primarily dictated by the terrain and sometimes weather. When choosing your first 50k look for a race that does not have an extremely technical surface and mountainous terrain and you’ll see the jump in distance is not one to be feared.  You will need to add some time to your long runs and try to mimic the course terrain as best as possible. Learning how to run slower so you can go longer does take patience and practice. Look at past times for the 50k you have chosen and this should give you a gage of how far to take your long runs. Just like for the marathon you do not need to complete the full distance in your training but try to get close to 85% covered with at least two long runs around three to five weeks out from your race. 1 2last_img read more

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Smithtown Water Main Break Affects 26 Homes

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Crews are in Smithtown working on a water main break that caused more than two dozen homes to be without water Tuesday morning, the Suffolk County Water Authority said. Approximately 26 homes were affected by the water main break, which occurred on Mt. Pleasant Road, officials said. Water is expected to be restored to customers by the early afternoon, said Tim Motz, a spokesman for the company. The water authority anticipates a temporary patch on the street to be completed by late afternoon, he noted. Suffolk County police said they received a phone call reporting a hole in the street around 3:40 a.m., a spokeswoman said. The road is closed between Cambridge Drive and Daisy Lane, police said.last_img read more

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Spotlight: How this CFO made the transition to CEO

first_img 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It’s been 19 months since Jason Peach moved from chief financial officer (CFO) to CEO of $200 million asset West Community Credit Union in O’Fallon, Mo.The longtime CUNA Councils member shares his road to leadership and how he has adapted his outlook and responsibilities as a result of that change.CU Mag: What’s the main message you give CFOs who are transitioning to CEO? Peach: Don’t be a CFO in a CEO body. I really enjoyed being the CFO. I also love the responsibility and the opportunity to lead as CEO, and that meant the job needed to be different. I needed to be different.You move to a different chair and you get a lot of freedom to be in a different place, and you have to be comfortable with that.I focus on delivering the message about our mission to our workforce and to our board, and put the focus on what we do every day instead of trying to make the financials work or figuring out the accounting rules.I don’t come in carrying that responsibility anymore. continue reading »last_img read more

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Your credit union is people-first, so why isn’t your marketing?

first_imgHaving worked with credit unions for a number of years, there’s one thing we can say with certainty: credit unions are excellent at putting people first, but not always! Too often credit unions – along with many organizations in other industries – promote their products and services in a way that meets their own needs, rather than those of the consumer. In other words, they take an organization-first approach to marketing instead of a people-first approach. And this does not bode well, neither for the organization nor the consumer. By neglecting a people-first approach in marketing, you are giving consumers a reason to at best, ignore your brand, and at worst, form a negative opinion about it. And with today’s consumer firmly in power, the only way to succeed is to prioritize the needs of the consumer.The good news is implementing a people-first marketing approach doesn’t have to be difficult. And credit unions are at an advantage, considering how well-versed they are in people-first practices. Here’s how your organization can start doing it today. Advertise For Them, Not At ThemWhy do you advertise? Is it for the benefit of your organization? Or for the benefit of potential members? Let’s look at an example: when executing a home loan campaign, is your goal to drive an increase of home loans at your credit union? Or is it to empower as many people as possible to achieve their dream of owning a home?Already you can see how this shift in thinking changes the way the promotion would play out. By prioritizing the consumer you are able to deliver a message that is far more compelling and relevant to them. Similarly, you are more likely to produce a campaign that is more entertaining and engaging, as you are no longer feeding audiences a dry sales pitch. By giving the consumer more opportunity to relate to your message, they will be more receptive to what you are saying and more motivated to explore what you have to offer.With this approach, you’re no longer another annoying advertiser that’s interrupting the consumer. You’re a helpful, informative resource offering something of value.Understand Your AudienceDo you know the preferences and habits of your target audience? Really know them? Be honest here. You might have made some assumptions in the past, but if you don’t have hard and current evidence then you are setting your brand up to fail. Today, consumer habits and preferences change faster than ever and that means your organization needs to keep up. You need to make a determined effort to analyze your audience – consistently and frequently. It’s no longer viable to choose mediums or channels based on what your organization is comfortable with. You need to be where your target market wants you to be, and the only way to do this is to know how they act, think, and feel.If you aren’t regularly gathering insights, or if it’s been a while since you’ve done so, there are simple yet effective ways to get started. We highly recommend incentivized surveys, both online and in-branch. A gift card is a good option for generating interest from both existing and potential members, while cost-effective tools like SurveyMonkey allow for seamless insight gathering online. Surveys at least once a year – if not every quarter – ensures you are doing the right thing for your audience and ultimately your organization. Cut The Self TalkYou might be used to talking HELOC’s, REFI’s, and the benefits of being a member-owned organization all day long, but that doesn’t mean your target market knows what you’re talking about. One of the biggest traps credit unions fall into is ‘talking to themselves’. That is, communicating with common credit union lingo and messaging that many outside the industry would struggle to understand. And with many people still unaware of what a credit union is and how it differs from a bank, this ‘self-talk’ ends up isolating potential members. To combat this, we suggest talking to someone outside of the industry to get their take. This could be trusted non-members or a professional communications consultancy. Doing this will help you craft a message that appeals to your target consumer, even if they have never heard of a credit union before. Remember: it’s how consumers actually interpret the message that’s important, not how you want them to perceive it.People-First All The WayPeople-first marketing does require a shift in thinking and an adjustment in action. It’s likely you will start doing things differently to what you’re used to, but that can only be a good thing. Delivering value and providing consumers with what they want will only make your credit union stronger, helping to secure your organization’s success for the future. You’re already doing this with the services you provide, isn’t time you started doing it with your marketing, too? 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ben Prager Prior to forming Prager Creative, Ben worked with design studios, branding firms and advertising agencies to push great strategy and design for all his projects. His experience with all aspects … Web: www.pragercreative.com/creditunions Detailslast_img read more

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Blasts from the past – Resources on serving business accounts

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Some credit unions historically have not served businesses, but may revisit that decision from time to time. For credit unions that may be considering how to help businesses in their communities, here is a round up of past blogs and other NAFCU resources on this topic as well as a few other things to consider.Field of Membership Field of membership requirements can be one initial issue.  For FCUs, a business or other organization can become a member three key ways depending on the credit union’s charter: (1) it is located in a community charter FCU’s area; (2) it is specifically named in the FCU’s charter as a member; or (3) it is an “organization of” persons who are within the FCU’s field of membership. This Compliance Blog post provides a refresher on how these components work. State-chartered credit unions will need to refer to their particular state provisions.  Overall though, credit unions that currently do not serve businesses may need to make changes to their fields of membership in order to begin doing so, especially multiple common bond charters.Applicability of Various Regulations Many of the rules governing accounts or loans specifically apply to consumers and not businesses. That is not always the case though, this past blog post identifies some of the key regulations that may still apply to business accounts, and this other post details lending provisions that can apply for businesses. This post explains when Regulation Z may apply to a business purpose credit card, in the context of liability for unauthorized use. NCUA also has a commercial loan rule, distinguishing between member business loans and commercial loans. In some cases, a credit union would need to develop robust policies and procedures to offer “commercial loans” to members. This past blog post has some details on which loans are commercial loans, although legislation in 2018 removed one kind of loan from the prior statutory definition of MBL.last_img read more

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Jadranka Group increased salaries by 8 percent

first_imgAfter a successful season, the Lošinj-based Jadranka Group is further raising investments in salaries and employee education.Thus, eight percent more funds were allocated for salaries and other investments in permanent and seasonal employees than in 2018. Jadranka Group also invests multimillion amounts in additional education of its employees at all levels.The training program in the Jadranka Group includes in-house workshops, theoretical lectures and practical trainings. Among them, the Gastro Academy stands out, which directs employees to improve the skills needed for high service at the 5 * level. In addition to internal training, employees have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills and thus attend specialized programs in external institutions for highly specialized occupations, such as concierge, sommelier, bartender or butler.”We believe that the salary increase is a logical step in the development of the Group’s business and employee relations, which are a key factor for successful business. In the hotel and camping industry, we are continuously increasing our base from year to year, and thus, in addition to improving living and working conditions, we also give our employees a kind of recognition and gratitude for their collective success. Also, this year we increased the basic salaries for occupations in retail, wholesale and food production in trade.. “, Said Sanjin Šolić, President of the Management Board of Jadranka Group.Photo: Jadranka groupSpeaking about the increase in salaries and the improvement of employee conditions, Mr. Šolić pointed out that one of the Group’s priorities is to ensure the best possible conditions for the accommodation of seasonal employees. It is with this goal that the arrangement of capacities at the level of 4 * was approached, which will provide employees with adequate accommodation and provide more comfortable living conditions during their stay on Lošinj.Also, for all seasonal employees, the Jaddranka group offers the status of a permanent seasonal worker at the end of the season, which guarantees them a job for next year as well as the rights of permanent employees, an Easter card and a gift for children. By the way, Jadranka employs about 700 permanent employees, while during the tourist season the total number of employees is about 1.600 employees distributed in all subsidiaries.last_img read more

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