first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer North Dining Hall now features NDH Marketplace in place of Grab ‘n Go, where students can buy smaller snacks using flex points instead of a full meal swipe. The changes were mainly student-driven.Director of student dining, Scott Kachmarik, said meal counts have been up this semester, as students are coming into both dining halls to explore the changes to the facilities.“ … If you’ve seen the dish line or some of the server-y things, students have been coming in,” he said. “So that’s a good thing. But like I said, we’re trying to figure it out — timings and things — and we’ve got to get everyone settled into a routine.”The meals served at both dining halls will now feature more “plant-forward” and “plant-centered” foods, senior director of campus dining, Chris Abayasinghe said.“Our program is a signatory of a program called Menus of Change University Research Collaboration,” he said. “This is a cross-university collaborative to look at the future of what food is and also being able to kind of be a central voice, if you will, for foods from a dietary perspective … and essentially say, ‘Can we take all of these dining trends as well as concerns with the social, ethical and environmental impacts and have a consolidated response to this?’”Students now enter into South Dining Hall through the dining room, rather than going directly into the buffet area, Kachmarik said.“We were able to take where those severies — where [students] used to enter before — and we’ve now expanded the breakfast area on one side and consolidated our allergen friendly on the other,” he said of the change.In the renovated North Dining Hall, students enter through an automated turnstile system which reads their new ID cards, Abayasinghe said.“Sometimes when [students] go through the turnstile system and they tap the card, they’ll tap again before the gate opens so it’ll deduct a couple of meals,” he said. “So I know that our folks over in card services are working to address this specific issue, including the option of ‘Should we do a built-in buffer?’ so that way if the system reads your card, it won’t read it again for another 10 seconds or something along those lines.”North Dining Hall’s monitors, who previously swiped students’ ID cards upon entry, will begin to work as cashiers or ambassadors in the dining rooms, Kachmarik said.“The ambassadors are really going to play a different role,” he said. “Rather than taking your card and swiping you in, they’ll be roaming throughout the dining room and they’ll be bussing tables and helping clean up — [when] we get spills and things like that — but really to engage the students, more so than what they were doing just at the greeting.”Abayasinghe said throughout the planning process of renovations, campus dining consulted student feedback. The decision to replace the Grab and Go in North Dining Hall with the NDH Marketplace  — where students pay with flex points and Domer Dollars instead of a meal swipe — was “student-initiated” he said.“Through the process, student government identified an advisory council called the student advisory council for us,” Abayasinghe said. “And what we heard was that exchanging [a meal swipe] — and I’m trying to use the exact terminology that the student raised to me — ‘It feels to me like swiping for Grab and Go for a dining hall meal, I just feel like I’ve lost something.’”The suggestion by student government to adjust Grab and Go was not intended as a call to replace the service in North Dining Hall, student body president Becca Blais said.“According to our co-director of student life, Caitlin [Murphy], while the suggestion of improving Grab and Go did come from our office, the suggestion of replacing Grab and Go did not originate from our office or any of our discussions,” Blais said in an email. “We’ve heard quite a bit of student feedback on improvements, and we’re continuing to gather feedback on the changes in order to share with Campus Dining.”Campus Dining remains positive about the change, however, as using flex points or Domer Dollars instead of meal swipes at the marketplace will allow students more flexibility, Abayasinghe said.“If you’re running between classes, or if, for example, you don’t have the time to be able to enjoy a meal in the dining hall, you can go into this place and instead of you losing a whole meal swipe, you can choose to utilize two or three dollars,” he said. “You can choose to utilize whatever amount you want based on what you want so that way you get to make that determination.”Students can now swipe into the dining halls multiple times within a meal period, allowing additional freedom to students, Abayasinghe said. The number of flex points allotted to each student this semester has also increased when compared to the fall of 2016 semester, he said.“What we wanted to do is to say “Well, tell you what. You have x amount of swipes a week. If you choose to utilize all of those swipes within the first two days, that’s your prerogative, because it has to match how you dine,”” Abayasinghe said.Reggie Kalili, assistant director of marketing, said he enjoyed the new environment in the dining hall.“I used to work in North Dining Hall so for me it’s quite the transformation in terms of just the overall atmosphere,” he said. “It’s brighter. It’s more welcoming and from the employee end, if you’re working in a nice new place, it just lends to a better attitude so people are just happy in general.”Tags: dining, Food Services, NDH With the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year came a number of changes to campus dining. Reckers shortened its hours to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights, while three additional South Bend businesses — a Pizza Hut off-campus, the Philly Pretzel Factory and Danny Boy Draft Works — have started accepting Domer Dollars. The full North Dining Hall (NDH) facility reopened and both dining halls began operating technology consistent with the new ID cards.last_img read more

first_imgThe 80 seventh- and eighth-grade students on the Navigator team at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington solve problems on one of four touchscreen SMART Boards in math class, measure and record temperature fluctuations with high tech probeware in science, participate in international Skype sessions in social studies via a large computer screen, and use their laptops to do Web-based writing assignment in language arts.What’s just as impressive as the team’s wall-to-wall technology, though, is the way teachers have incorporated it seamlessly into their lesson plans to powerfully engage students in their learning.Thanks to a $5 million gift to the University of Vermont from the Richard E. & Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation in 2009, many more Vermont middle school students will enjoy Navigator-style learning in the future. The gift, the largest in the foundation’s history, will be used to establish the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education at UVM. The institute’s mission is to put programs like the one at Edmunds, called I-LEAP — the Learning and Engaging Adolescents Project — in place at middle schools around the state over the next 10 years.”Today’s young people are immersed in technology everywhere but in school,” said technology entrepreneur Richard Tarrant. “Instead of asking students to power down the moment the school day starts, we need to bring technology into the classroom where, combined with good teaching, it can be a powerful tool for engaging young minds.” Deborah Tarrant of the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation shows the difference between the technologies students use inside and outside of school at a December 21, 2009, press conference. (Photo: Raj Chawla)”Our goal for the I-LEAP program,” said Deborah Tarrant, “is to help schools bridge to the 21st century with a strategy designed specifically to attract, engage, and inspire tech savvy youth in their classrooms.””This important gift from the Tarrant Foundation will greatly improve educational outcomes in Vermont,” said UVM president Daniel Mark Fogel. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the foundation’s generosity.”Roots in MiltonI-LEAP was developed at UVM five years ago with funding from the Tarrant Foundation in partnership with teachers and administrators at Milton Middle School, where the program was piloted and is now in its fourth academic year. The second I-LEAP site was launched at Edmunds in September.Focused on the middle school years, a crucial developmental period when success or failure can have lasting consequences, I-LEAP has two major components.Schools receive both a substantial suite of hardware and software and extensive professional development for teachers and administrators on how to teach effectively, employing best middle-school practices, in a tech-rich setting.The professional development component of I-LEAP consists of an intensive graduate course at UVM for teachers and administrators, and, of critical importance, frequent, in-school follow-up visits over a period of years by institute staff to support teachers in embedding student-centered, technology-rich strategies into curricula. A website with further resources is also under development.The I-LEAP program targets one team of students and teachers in a school, laying the groundwork for other teams to experience and embrace the model later. At Milton nearly all teachers have taken the professional development course, and the school has invested in 30 netbook computers for each of the other three teams at the middle school.More than a “technology drop”The emphasis I-LEAP places on professional development distinguishes it from what had been the norm in the past: “technology drops” that brought equipment to schools but gave teachers little support on how to use it.”I-LEAP is the polar opposite of that approach,” said Tarrant Institute director Penny Bishop, an associate professor in UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, who directs the university’s Middle Level Teacher Education Program. “The institute’s goal is to not only foster widespread use of technology in Vermont schools, but also to create a cadre of teachers who confidently employ it in service of what we know to be exemplary middle school teaching practices.”I-LEAP’s focus on professional development is timely: falling prices and growing federal, state and community support mean that more new technology is entering schools every year. Vermont will receive $5.6 million in federal funds for K-12 technology investment in the next three years.Podcasts and SMART Board competitionsStudent projects at both Milton and Edmunds demonstrate how technology can be used to foster what research shows are the best ways to engage middle school students, from personalizing learning to bringing real world problems into the classroom to promoting peer-to-peer exchanges.Students in a social studies class at Milton visited a senior center, for instance, then created podcasts featuring narration, interviews, and music that were posted on the Web. The Edmunds math class uses its four SMART Boards to get teams of students out of their seats competing with one another to solve math puzzles and problems.Evidence of successWhile it is too early to have statistically valid quantitative measures of the program’s effectiveness, qualitative evidence that the program is engaging students, including disaffiliated students who are most at risk, is abundant.According to surveys Bishop and her colleagues have conducted, students in I-LEAP say learning is more interesting, meaningful, and relevant to their lives compared with their earlier school experiences, an evaluation shared by many parents.”There’s a point to what we’re learning,” one Milton student said.”My daughter’s grades have improved since being involved in this program,” said an Edmunds parent. “She has always had a problem with focusing, but now with the laptop, I have seen her sit, focused, completing her work. I really see the advantages of bringing our teaching methods current with technology.”Students are also better able to express their own voice, they say.Teachers report having engaged, alert students in their classes who take more pride in their work and personal responsibility for it.Edmunds language arts teacher Kathy Gallagher said all students are now turning in their homework, compared with an average of about three-quarters in the past. Edmunds social studies teacher Brent Truchon reported a marked change in classroom participation. “For the first time in the history of my teaching career, every student’s hand was raised,” in a recent class, he said.Growing reachAs technology prices drop, and school districts share in technology costs, the institute should be able to focus more on professional development and spread its resources to more schools in the future.It will also look to partner with others to extend its reach. The Tarrant Foundation and UVM recently formed a consortium with the Vermont Principals Association and VITA-Learn, a statewide organization supporting technology in education, to deliver the I-LEAP professional development program to six schools throughout Vermont with $200,000 in funding from the Department of Education. Those schools will in turn train other teachers in their regions.”We want to reach as many Vermont middle school students as possible with this innovative program,” said Richard Tarrant. “We think it’s a game-changer.”Read more about why middle school is a crucial stage for intervention.Source: University of Vermont.last_img read more

first_imgRolling hills, wooded shoreline, lapping water, sunlight glinting off the distant chapel – Gartan lake is an idyllic spot tucked away behind Churchill – it’s also a great place to swim.Five local swimmers who swim together regularly at Gartan have arranged a new swim challenge on Saturday 15 August – and it’s for everyone!There are 3 distances to choose from: 750m, 1500m or 3800m. The Gartan Swim Challenge adds to the open water swimming events that take place throughout the County – and hopes to attract those who want to try open water swimming for the first time, as well as the more seasoned swimmers.The swim is open to anyone from 14 years of age.Gartan lake is very sheltered and the event will be run in conjunction with Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre.Safety of course is paramount and there will be boats, kayaks and paddlers on the water during the swims. There will be specially commissioned medals for everyone who takes part, prizes for each distance, hats and t-shirts and refreshments for all swimmers.You can get more information and find out how to enter by visiting ‘The Gartan Swim Challenge’ on Facebook. Or call Karen Crawford on 087 2214988 for more information.This could be you on Gartan!ARE YOU READY FOR DONEGAL’S LATEST SPORTING CHALLENGE? was last modified: August 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalgartanswimlast_img read more