Editorial

Face-to-face learning is still relevant to the future

“Teachers have the ability to inspire students, but it’s difficult to inspire in an online setting when there is little or no interpersonal interaction. The influence a teacher can have on a student can change the student’s entire perspective on a subject. ”

In discussing the future of education, there is a lot that we can learn from the past.

As we proceed into the future of education, it is presumed that it involves transferring more courses to online. However, in the future we need to see more face-to-face teaching methods.

In a classroom environment, a student has the opportunity to establish a relationship with their teachers over time. Being able to see and talk to a physical being not only establishes a connection to that class, but also makes for a better learning environment.

Staying with this idea that face-to-face teaching is better, we tend to only look at the convenience of online classes. However, online classes don’t give students the interpersonal relationship they need to learn. When a student is able to interact with the teacher once or twice a week, they usually feel more comfortable about asking questions and participating in group discussions.

According to “If Emotion Aids Learning, does it work online?” in the Chronicle of Higher Education, there are “four major knowledge emotions,” including interest, confusion, surprise and awe. The article also states that “new thinking and research in our field, psychology, have convinced us that all courses — online versions included — have the potential to elicit powerful emotions.” An online course may be able to elicit interest, confusion, surprise and awe, but a face-to-face course can not only do the same, a live teacher can help put the material and the emotions into context right there, as opposed to waiting for an online interaction, like a chat or email, to take place.

Because an online class is geared for independent learning, there is often little or no interpersonal interaction between the content and the student. A teacher can provide a connection to the content in a way the online class cannot.

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Can’t Trump the First Amendment

Flag Raising

Protesters protesting

An Anonymous protester attends the Women’s March in downtown Cheyenne on Jan. 21.

Cody Fox

President Trump has already taken actions that begin to threaten the very fabric of the republic we live in, but there are things citizens can do to counteract Trump’s actions.

Freedom of speech is that fabric and the Trump administration has taken actions that directly oppose it. Emails examined by the Associated Press were essentially gag orders sent to Environmental Protection Agency staff since Trump’s inauguration. They instituted a media blackout at the EPA and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. The media blackout is a clear violation of freedom of speech and the First Amendment. The people have the right to know what is going on in sensitive areas, especially when it concerns the environment. If the media cannot communicate with a government agency, transparency cannot and will not be maintained. There can be no shadow government.

The Trump Administration also ordered a temporary suspension of all new business activities at the EPA, which is expected to immediately affect EPA activities nationwide. This seems contradictory considering Trump has claimed to be pro-environment since his inauguration.

The United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service has also ceased communications. In a memo to ARS employees, chief of staff Sharon Drumm said the agency would no longer release any public-facing documents. These include but are not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content, according to the memo obtained by the AP.

This is another clear impediment to the media being allowed to do its job of showing the public what government is actually doing and another violation of the First Amendment. On top of that, the ARS is a scientific research department that is funded by tax dollars and all Americans have a right to the information obtained therein.

The Department of Interiors communications team also temporarily halted media correspondence after a series of shared tweets. The first tweet noted the difference between the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration compared to Barack Obama’s inauguration. The second was about several omissions of policy areas on the new White House website.

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College not so transparent

President’s promise of transparency not reflected by actions

Organized Stuff

President Dr. Joe Schaffer laid out the guiding principles of the CORE Initiative in a memo sent to the Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees on Aug. 17. One of the principles states, “encouraging commitment through transparency, inclusiveness, providing the opportunity to be heard while respecting diverse perspectives.”

That promise of transparency has not been kept.

Wingspan editors requested an interview with Schaffer in the late afternoon of Nov. 7 to ask questions about the draft budget reduction recommendation memo that had just been released. (Information on this memo can be found in Wingspan’s November issue.) The interview was scheduled for 10 a.m. on Nov. 8. Administrative Assistant in the President’s Office, Jennifer Thompson, contacted the Wingspan newsroom at 9:06 a.m. Nov. 8 to ask if Wingspan staff still wanted an interview with Schaffer. The Wingspan staff confirmed that they would still like to interview the president. Thompson said Schaffer would like to reschedule the interview for Nov. 14 or 15. Wingspan editors explained that the publication was on a press deadline and needed the interview before the deadline. At 9:35 a.m., Thompson again called the newsroom and explained that Schaffer was cancelling the interview.

Thompson said Schaffer was not granting interviews to any media and wanted to be fair to other media.

Thompson said the only information Schaffer could give was already included in the memo released to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 7.

Throughout this semester, talks of budget cuts, layoffs and reorganization of the college have been heavy, but Schaffer has tried to lighten these conversations by promising to keep the process transparent. After cancelling an interview with student journalists, this appears to be contradictory to his key messaging.

Schaffer’s memo was posted to EagleEye, providing no additional information and leaving a lot of unanswered questions. Some of the questions we could have asked Schaffer in the cancelled interview include:

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The high cost of gluten

As someone who has several people in my immediate family suffering from Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance, it took some time for us to adjust to the new way we were all doing a lot of things.

My 3-year-old nephew, Corbin, was first. Let me tell you that little boy is a trooper. Not only is he living with a condition that could have killed him had it went gone longer untreated, he is also on his second year of living with Type 1 Diabetes. This type of diabetes is called “childhood diabetes.” It was easy to see that there was something wrong with him. He had a giant, hard belly that would never get smaller and arms that were at least half the size that they should have been for a kid his age. Soon after, we learned that my niece, Corbin’s big sister, Ella, also has Celiac.

Ella grew up in the dance studio and played every sport that was available to her. It was harder to see that something was wrong with her than it was with Corbin. While she was rail thin, she didn’t look unhealthy, just like another tiny athlete.

My grandmother, Joan, also has it. Joan has always been a thin woman, and with her older age, she has stayed that way – determined to never weigh more than 100 pounds. She was diagnosed around the same time as the other two.

Joan and Ella have both come to stay at my apartment here in Cheyenne at different times and there are precautions which must be taken. The fear of cross-contamination between your regular meat and veggies while cooking is nothing compared to gluten cross-contamination. They are both so sensitive to it that things have to be washed before cooking, just in case there is any residue from other cooking. There are specific types of everything that can and cannot be cooked with, and the slightest little bit can cause their bodies to become violently ill.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. The small intestine contains tissue called villi that are what absorbs nutrients. In people who have Celiac, the intake of gluten damages the villi and this prevents nutrients from being absorbed. This causes frequent stomachaches, and that is what directed my sister to take the kids in to get checked.

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Apps provide students a cheap alternative
to calculators

College students do not generally have a lot of money. Books, food and rent are more than enough to deal with, so when added expenses come, it can be tough. The HiPER Scientific Calculator app by HiPER Development Studio and Classic Calculator by Develop Studios S.L are calculator options for students on a budget. The apps are only available on Android.

The app functions include but are not limited to: expression view, number notation, sexagesimal numbers, fractions, a clipboard, calculation results, constants, unit conversion, memory operations, base-n calculation and result and expression history.

One of the most innovative functions of this calculator is the paste function. When a function key is double tapped, the app automatically pastes the last answer created through the function of the particular key.

This app is by far the superior choice. It functions nearly perfectly, is updated regularly and has received over 20 five-star reviews on GooglePlay. It could be used in a number of advanced mathematical applications. I recommend this app.

The Classic Calculator app is a basic calculator app with a system that allows for multiple key layout options depending on the user’s preference. While this is an interesting feature, it did freeze the program multiple times during selection.

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OMG wut r u tlkin abt?

Reading online becomes harder as text-speak evolves

During the age of the Internet, we’re gifted with unlimited information at a rapid, convenient rate. If only we could read it.

Many Internet users are all about speed, all about finding a faster way to communicate. Thus came what I call text-speak. I can understand using chat acronyms in texts when you’re in a hurry, but they’ve gotten to a point where I find myself looking up abbreviations figuring out what it means. I spend more time trying to decipher what the person is saying than I do reading the message itself.

Some of the abbreviations have gotten to an unnecessary level. For example, using 2morrow rather than tomorrow; L8R rather than later; SRY rather than sorry. How much time are you saving yourself by avoiding typing or texting those extra one or two letters? What do you do with all that extra time you’ve provided for yourself? Thankfully, these kind of acronyms aren’t seen as often in a college environment. However, I have seen newer and even stranger acronyms being used on the Internet than I did when I was a kid.

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Women’s rights don’t compare to child’s life

My stance on abortion is simple: The only way it is justified is if the child isn’t going to survive.

Although I’m Catholic, my stance on abortion has nothing to do with my religion. The Church believes that everything possible to save the child should be done until the child comes to term, but false hope can be more damaging in the end. The reason I think abortion is wrong is because it’s literally taking another person’s life. Because abortion is such a “touchy subject,” you have to look at every aspect of it. While I believe that as Americans we have the freedom of choice, I also believe in the freedom of beliefs as well.

I have never found any argument that has changed my stance on abortion; however, my stance does not mean I think abortions should be illegal. While I think abortion is morally wrong, it will still happen whether it’s legal or not.

A popular belief among pro-choice advocates is that if abortions were suddenly made illegal, they would still happen, but they would be more likely to harm the woman. In 2015, Peter Singer published an article in the Greenhaven press that highlighted this idea. Singer said, in the article, legalizing abortions saved millions of women in South America. When a woman aborts a child illegally, it not only hurts the child but also potentially harms the woman. Abortion is wrong, but the fact that it happens is inevitable so the safer it’s performed the better.

On the other hand, I believe a child has the same rights as a woman. As long as the fetus is alive, it has the same rights as everyone else. Within the first three weeks, the fetus has a heartbeat, and within the first 23 days the fetus has brain functions. It is connected to the woman’s body, but it’s growing so that within those 40 weeks it can be brought into the world as a person.

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Apps to stay on top of studies

Brightspace Pulse is an app where information on schedules and academics can be found on the fly

Taking control and staying on top of your learning is extremely important for most students. So why not take control of your learning experience with Brightspace Pulse and D2L Binder?

Brightspace Pulse is the perfect mobile app that is free to download, and it helps students stay on track with their college work. With easy access to the course calendars, weekly assignments, grades and news, as well as adding personal events to their calendars, users can keep up to date with all their college work and organize their work schedules.

Unfortunately, I have not learned how to access and edit any of my coursework yet, but I found it helpful to be able to discover the requirements and due dates for my assignments. I also found it helpful to get notifications to my mobile, just like I would if I was to receive a text, announcement that my teachers have for their classes. I also learned that I was not able to complete any quizzes on the app, which I did not like. I like that I can reply to discussions on the app and even set up discussions with my classmates about certain elements within that specific class.

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