The 1980s: A College Experience

Lauren Arakaki
Student, Kapi’olani Community College
University of Hawai’i

We are often asked, “What are you planning to do after high school?” For many of us, the answer is usually “I plan to attend college.” My mom, Ardis, shares her story on how college was for her in the 1980s and early 1990s. College was quite different in the past, compared to college today. Some of these differences included price, enrollment numbers, and the number of years it took a student to graduate. Considering that I am attending college right now, what better way to show the evolution of college life than reflecting on her personal accounts and experiences when she was my age? Because of these differences, I am reflecting on my own experiences and how they are considerably different from my mom’s.

It was a Saturday afternoon. The sun was glistening through the white beams of our porch. My mom was going through her late aunty’s belongings, looking to see what should be kept and what should be donated. I came out and sat next to her when she found a black and white photograph of her aunty and father as young teenagers. My mom, five feet two inches tall with fair skin and long black hair, has always been someone I looked up to. Despite the fact that she was my mom, from the time I was old enough to understand the many hardships of life, I was quick to learn that she is one of the most independent and hard-working people I know.

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Technology in the 1970s: Teens in South Korea

Sarah Pae
Student, Kapi’olani Community College
University of Hawai’i

Living in South Korea in the 1970s could be described as very poverty-racked and unsophisticated, or, in other words, a lot of Korean people lived a simple yet rough life. Back then, your economic background would have a huge impact on your lifestyle. To clarify, in Korea at the time, there was a countryside and a city side. Due to the poor economy, the people in the city lived a more comfortable life.  

My mother lived in the countryside, so she’s had many hard challenges to overcome from being able to take warm, hot showers, receiving fresh bread from the market on special occasions and only being able to write letters, or using beepers to receive messages. It is fascinating how you can see technology being developed so quickly throughout the years, from writing and receiving letters to using smartphones and being able to look up anything on the Internet. Living in South Korea in the 1970s is best described as very different and not as complex as today.  

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TCC 2021 (April 13-15) Call for Participation

Join us!

TCC 2021 Worldwide Online Conference

Building our Future – Movin’ On!

April 13-15, 2021

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TCC 2021 Call for Proposals – Extended Deadline 12/28/20

26th Annual
TCC Worldwide Online Conference

April 13-15, 2021
Tuesday – Thursday, HST

Building Our Future
Movin’ On!

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F2F Teaching: Is One Mask Enough?

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

Like many people in the gig economy, I do most of my work online. I sit at home in front of my computer screen where I can interact with students and others without having to wear a mask. I just wear one when I make my quick runs to a store.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to do a two-hour workshop face-to-face, which meant that, for the first time, I had to wear a mask for an extended period of time. Altogether I had it on for about 2.5 hours. Although I didn’t talk for that entire time, I did talk more than I normally do with a mask on.

It had not dawned on me that my cloth mask would get wet from my respiration. I realized, then, that if I were working face-to-face for several hours as most people do, I’d need to have several masks on hand to change as needed.

One of my jobs is teaching an online class to people who want to teach abroad. In a discussion board, they were asked to talk about some challenging learning environments. Several students were  concerned about having to work in a climate that was hot, and one student brought up the added challenge of wearing a mask in such conditions. I was able to weigh in with my recent experience. The students agreed that having more than one mask with them when they arrive at their teaching assignment was a worthwhile idea.

What has your experience been? What advice would you offer to anyone who has a wear a mask for a period of time?

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 6

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

Ed, my son, and I carried one half-wall up that steep hill and decided that one was enough.

May 11, 12:32 PM. I convinced my athletic son to come along on the next trip. The time was changed from 8:30 am to 10:00 am due to factory issues. My wife, my son, and I arrived on time, and the two installers from Tuff Shed were there. I had talked to them about helping with the dome installation on their last visit. Once the walls were up, we had to install the trusses and braces before adding on covers, the dome support ring with rotation wheels, and the dome itself.

This time, the walls were in halves. Ed, my son, and I carried one half-wall up that steep hill and decided that one was enough. One of the installers carried a similar wall piece up alone — at 6,200 feet altitude! He was a bit winded after this exertion. Within an hour, the walls were up. To me, they were beautiful. They spent some time with the trim and touching up the paint. On to the dome!

The observatory walls.

We had many holes to drill as well as various bolts, nuts, and screws to install. It took hours, and we decided to call it quits around 5pm. We paid the two guys cash, including a nice bonus. They really were worth it. Everything was up except for the dome itself. Our future included lifting 180 pounds of dome and attached equipment eight feet onto the top of that shed. I definitely had some trepidation regarding this effort. How many people would be necessary for the lift? Would we incur any damage? Continue reading

Learning Technologies Free Summer Forum 2020 July 13-17

Learning Technologies Summer Forum 2020
A week of online learning collaboration, 13 – 17 July 2020

This year the 2020 Learning Technologies Summer Forum (#LTSF20) will take place online, looking at some of the key topics we examined at February’s conference. Once again, the Summer event is an opportunity to interact, experiment and try some new things together.

The Summer Forum has always focused on the practical and on sharing experience, and we’ve never been afraid to try out new things. This year, as well as going entirely online, we’re experimenting with the online conference format, providing a main structure around which other things will happen, including discussions on Twitter, the chance to catch up with speakers after their talks, and more.

We have great speakers and facilitators and over 20 sessions during the week covering all aspects of workplace learning. But the great content is only half the story. The L&D community is all about sharing, and we know that we’ll have great input from – and interaction with – everyone who attends.  Continue reading

AASA Guidelines for Reopening Schools 6/19/20

June 19, 2020 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing and supporting superintendents and other public school district leaders, is pleased to release today a consensus-driven set of guidelines for reopening schools effectively in the COVID-19 environment.

The AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Guidelines for Reopening Schools: An Opportunity to Transform Public Education is comprised of recommendations by superintendents throughout the U.S. who shared their leadership experiences and insights throughout the pandemic.

“Perhaps the most striking outcome of the task force discussions is a universal commitment to transform the crisis we are facing into the opportunity to transform public education as we know it,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We will continue to update this report as changes occur at federal, state and local levels. As part of this process, we invite superintendents and staff to share their success stories and updates on emerging issues confronting them in this process of reopening and transforming public education.”  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 5

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

Let me tell you about over-excavation in case you have never heard of it before.

May 10, 8:36 AM.  With a building permit approved and issued, we could move ahead with ancillary structures, which meant our 10’x10′ observatory. Here’s how we arranged everything. We paid Tuff Shed for a 10’x10′ standard shed without a roof attached. Because of the extra charge for the awkward location, it cost about the same as it would have with the roof.

The observatory foundation.

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Latest Cloud Technology for Public Sector: Free Sessions 6/30/20

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Public Sector Online Summit
Deepen your cloud knowledge online
Cloud Tech AWS 2

June 30, a day of complimentary, virtual learning from the comfort of your home. Learn about the latest cloud technology and build your skills in over 25 sessions. Dive into tech demos and chat live with local AWS experts. Whether you’re a beginner or a superuser – sign up to learn something new.

Cloud Tech AWS 3

94% of Schools Nationwide Not Sure When They Will Reopen

AASA Survey: No Timetable Yet Regarding When Schools Will Reopen: More Than Half of Districts Lack Adequate Internet Access

June 16, 2020 – An overwhelming majority (94%) of superintendents nationwide indicate they are not ready to announce when their schools will reopen or resume in-person instruction, according to a survey released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AASA issued a nationwide coronavirus school response survey to provide federal, state and local policy makers with data about how districts are adapting and responding to the virus, about prolonged closings, and about the resources and information superintendents are relying on. The results being released today are from the second iteration of this survey, which collected more than 500 responses from 48 states.  Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 29

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I do feel some trepidation about these visits to my doctor and dentist.

May 29, 2020 at 7:59 AM. It may not seem like much to most people, but big changes are underway here in the South Bay of Southern California. The beaches are open. You can walk or run on the sand without worrying about being hit with a $1,000 fine. You are not allowed to picnic or sunbathe but can even go in the water to swim or surf.

I am being a coward about this new opening and staying at home. My wife and I are in the age group that experiences 50% mortality if infected. While I think that this mortality is mostly due to underlying conditions accumulated during life, I would rather not take chances. I am not interested in becoming sick even if I survive and am even more concerned about my wife. Perhaps, I am just succumbing to the concept that others are more likely to die than am I, but I would be devastated were she to sicken and die because I did not take adequate precautions.

I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable.

We have some new cloth masks now. Finally, someone started making them affordable. Our disposable masks may now be disposed of. What is affordable? That will vary. For me, $25 per mask was way too much. I recoiled from paying $100 for four masks. I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable. We have two to wear while two can be in the wash. I just wish that I could have had a color other than black.  Continue reading

EDTECH WEEK 2020: June 1-4 Online & Free

EDTECH WEEK 2020 convenes thousands of innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs to address challenges of COVID-19 for PreK-12 and higher education

Speakers include Angela Duckworth, Wendy Kopp, Reshma Saujani, and many more

WhatEDTECH WEEK 2020 is a series of remote learning and networking events for the education and workforce learning community.
Why: To address urgent questions facing our community due to the striking impact of COVID-19, including:
  • How can schools reopen safely?
  • What role do parents play as we transition to a new normal?
  • How can we support the emotional needs of students and teachers?
  • Will this moment allow us to create a more equitable education system?
  • What is the future of higher education?
  • What new jobs will arise and how will we retool our workforce?
  • How will new innovations find funding and resources?
  • And much more!
Who: Produced by Catalyst @ Penn GSE + StartEd, EDTECH WEEK 2020 brings together educators, innovators, researchers, thought leaders, students, and entrepreneurs.
When/Where: Monday, June 1 through Thursday, June 4, 2020. Programming will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. Visit to register for free.

AASA Resolution to Reopen Nation’s Schools (5/29/20)

 AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing and supporting superintendents and other public school district leaders, is pleased to release a resolution to support a safe, healthy and district-specific reopening process that was informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Today’s announcement comes following the creation of the AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, comprised of superintendents from across the country charged with recommending solutions for our nation’s more than 13,000 school districts on how schools will reopen and what they will look like in the aftermath of the pandemic.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 4

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

We are stopped cold by someone who reviews septic systems.

May 8, 2020, 9:33 AM. I first had to have a topological survey done. This is not an official survey but is much more precise. Amazing! The issues arise from legal considerations. I cannot even begin to explain what a monumental mental task it is to fit a house into a hillside and meet all of the county’s requirements. So, I won’t bore you with slopes and runoff and the rest.

I have a structural engineer, a rarity in the high desert, who designed the first foundation. We changed things so much that we had to have another one. Our foundation was now projected to be ten feet high due to the slope of the hill in which we planned to site our house. Our structural engineer looked at the as-yet-unapproved grading plan and told us that a seventeen-foot foundation was necessary. That’s huge! The cost of the foundation just went ballistic. The retaining wall portion had to be twelve inches thick. The footings are immense. We now have to walk up seventeen feet of stairs instead of eight feet, and we have to pay for those extra steps.  Continue reading

House Passes HEROES Act: Includes Billions for Schools and Colleges

WASHINGTON, 15 May 2020 — The House of Representatives today passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or “HEROES Act.” The National Education Association — which represents more than 3 million educators working in U.S. public schools colleges and universities — has been tirelessly pushing Congress to pass relief legislation. While this bill isn’t perfect, it includes $100 billion specifically for K-12 and higher education along with $915 billion in state and local aid to address budget gaps that could be used to help public schools and college campuses.

The House passage of the HEROES Act comes just days after a coalition of five governors said that state and local governments needed $1 trillion in federal relief or they will be forced to decide between funding public health care programs or laying off teachers, police and other workersContinue reading

Science & Technology vs. Pandemics: A Virtual Panel 5/14/20

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is hosting “Small Foundation, Big Achievements: How science and technology are meeting the challenges of pandemics…present and future”, a 90-minute virtual panel discussion.

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020
Time: 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET

The panel will be moderated by Aaron Kesselheim (RSI ’91), M.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and include distinguished alumni of CEE’s Research Science Institute:

  • Lauren Ancel Meyers (RSI ’90), Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ben Silbermann (RSI ’98), Co- Founder and CEO of Pinterest
  • Patrick Tan (RSI ’86), M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, NUS and Professor, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore
  • Feng Zhang (RSI ’99), Ph.D., Investigator, MIT McGovern Institute and pioneer of the revolutionary CRISPR gene-editing technology

“I’m so proud of CEE’s Research Science Institute alumni, who personify CEE’s role in nurturing excellence in STEM research,” said CEE’s President Joann P. DiGennaro. “This event will provide viewers with informative and consequential facts, and expose the results of the Center’s STEM programs to nurture the next generation of global scholars.”

To register for this dialogue, go to

Video: Reimagining Your College Campus in the New Normal

By Jim Shimabukuro

I participated in this League for Innovation in the Community College webinar, “Reimagining Your Campus for the Future of Work and the ‘New Normal,'” featuring Matt Alex of Beyond Academics, this morning (12 May 2020) at 9:00 AM (Hawaii time). As promised, the League’s Cynthia Wilson and Rufus Glasper have posted the video recording in YouTube for all to enjoy. Please make the time to watch this. It runs approximately 60 minutes.

Reimagining Your Campus 051220

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 12

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

We will endure. We will prevail. We shall overcome.

May 12, 2020 at 6:48 AM. I am in the twilight zone of feelings. I have to get on with my life, but I see the heartbreak of over 80,000 deaths everywhere. I am sad. I must be upbeat about the future, but I know full well that we will exceed 100,000 deaths in two or three weeks. How can we live productive lives under this cloud? At one moment, I detest myself for choosing to work as I normally do. The next moment, I feel deep sadness. I must cheer up somehow.

We are still having our groceries delivered by people who are poorer than I and who are risking their health and even lives so that my wife and I can eat. They are probably reluctant heroes who must work to feed their families. Yet, they could find food banks and other means to survive. I am glad that they are doing this and hope that they are taking every precaution along with the store that employs them.  Continue reading

Stories Read Aloud for Children on Facebook

NORFOLK – WHRO Public Media has expanded online learning with a weekly online reading segment ‘Martha Reads’.  This new weekly Facebook segment features stories written by local children.

When Virginia leaders announced in March that schools across the Commonwealth would close for the remaining academic year due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the education staff at WHRO Public Media quickly changed up their normal routines to seek new ways to support teachers and parents as they ventured into at-home learning.

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. on our Facebook page for Martha Reads.

Since WHRO’s team couldn’t read to children in person, Martha Razor, manager of early childhood learning, decided to bring the stories to students virtually. Each week on Facebook, Martha will read a new story aloud. Rather than reading the books that children may already know, or could possibly find on their shelves at home, Martha will read stories that were submitted to WHRO’s annual Young Storytellers Contest. These short tales are stories written by children, for children, with accompanying illustrations. Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 3

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

The unexpected costs just kept mounting.

May 6, 4:53 AM. The unexpected costs just kept mounting. We had to do a percolation test before our septic field could be approved, and the building permit could not be submitted until we had an approved percolation test. Of course, the testing people had a delay, and by the time they were ready, bad weather postponed it another month. We had the permit application all ready to go and just awaiting the “perc” test, which we received in January. The rate of more than one inch per minute was fantastic! It was literally off the charts. We were so happy.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 2

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

This was to be the first of many skirmishes with the county officials.

May 4, 1:35 PM. You discover laws, rules, and regulations in strange ways sometimes. Property in the mountains of San Bernardino county has a number of rules. One set of rules has to do with it being in a FS-1 zone. That FS stands for fire safety, and one is the highest danger. We are tasked with removing weeds and low branches every year to comply.

We installed our rather plain and unassuming tool shed up near the top of the property so that it would not bother the neighbors.

All weeds must be less than four inches in height. All plant debris, such as leaves, must be no more than two inches thick. Trees taller than 12 feet must have all branches below six feet above the ground removed. You must gather up all of this debris and remove it. As you might imagine a wild 1/4-acre lot has plenty of this stuff. We decided that bringing our tools up 95 miles for every trip was silly and purchased a tool shed made from UV-resistant plastic.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 1

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I have had to learn some real patience in my quest for a mountain cabin as well as an observatory.

May 4, 11:18 AM. My Odyssey began long ago. I could write about it as an article, a short story, a novella, or an epic novel. You wouldn’t think that making a small personal observatory could even begin to qualify, but you would not realize the number of detours that this tale might take and actually did take. The ultra-short version is that my company had some excess cash (once only) and was interested in upgrading its astronomy lessons. Our lessons use real experiments, real pictures, and hands-on measurement by students for the most part.

As I write this, the observatory shed is complete, but the dome is not installed, and the telescope remains 95 miles away on my living room floor, a very expensive cardboard coffee table (still in its shipping box).

My wife and I had purchased some mountain land for a cabin, and that land has a site that is really good for an observatory at 6,200′ elevation. So, we purchased the shed, the dome, the telescope, and the camera. We wrote these off and saved on our corporate taxes. It was nice of Uncle Sam to help finance our observatory. That’s the short version.  Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 6

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I have seen people argue that the most at-risk people should be isolated, and the rest of the population should return to pre-virus behavior.

May 6, 2020 at 5:48 PM. Sure, we see some people fuming about shutdowns, about economic damage, and about loss of freedom. However, most people have come together by being apart. This is truly a wonderful response to a crisis. It has been weeks since my wife and I walked around on the streets here. On those few walks, though, people would go out of their way to stay far from us. We have gray hair and are more than most susceptible to mortality from this awful scourge, the novel coronavirus.

When you consider that death is the ultimate loss of freedom, this shutdown makes sense. When you understand that our economy cannot recover until we squash this virus, delaying until the science says that we can lift restrictions makes sense. So, we support the shutdowns and the self-isolation to speed the return to a close-to-normal life.  Continue reading

Reimagining Your Campus for the New Normal – Free Webinar 5/12/20

Tuesday, May 12
2:00 PM (Central Time)
Click here to register.

Recognizing the fragility of former strategic plans, leaders are scrambling to rethink how to respond in areas like virtual preparedness, digital dexterity, access to campus insight, and student services. The League for Innovation and Beyond Academics are collaborating to present this webinar that will lead participants through a thoughtful discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic will shape the future of work within campuses and the opportunities it presents us in the new normal.

M. Alex

In this session, Matthew Alex will speak to how the pandemic has accelerated the need to become more digital and accessible. The session will be centered around community college education viewed through the Future of Work lens to articulate the shift in how we serve and meet the needs of our constituents. He is Co-Founder of Beyond Academics, LLC, the company bringing the next generation of transformational frameworks to higher education. Alex is a former partner at Deloitte, where he led the Student Technology and Transformation practice. In that capacity, he oversaw some of the most complex Student Technology Transformation projects in the country. He also led Deloitte’s Smart Campus and Future of Work initiatives. At Beyond Academics, he continues to assemble the best and brightest minds in higher ed, entrepreneurship, innovation, and industry to accelerate the narrative around the Future of Work, Future of Student, and Future of Learning.