Monday, December 24, 2012

Denver Real Estate Investment

The #1 Source for Denver Investment Properties, Denver Real Estate Investors and those interested in Denver Investment Property. Post your deals and let members know what you need. This is a page for all Denver, Colorado Real Estate Investors and those interested in Denver Investment Property. Post your deals and let members know what you need.

Do You Need a Building Permit?

One of the most common questions people ask is if they need a land-use permit from Greenwood Township for their project. No two Cities, Townships or Counties are exactly the same in their requirements for when a land-use permit is required and when one is not required. In Greenwood Township, a land-use permit is required when a structure is constructed, reconstructed, moved or structurally altered, including the addition of basements. A structure is defined as anything more than 30 inches in height and includes portable buildings and swimming pools. Land-use permits may also be required for certain land alterations such as filling or excavating, temporary residences and parking of recreational vehicles on lots in certain circumstances. A land-use permit is also required if you are adding an additional bathroom or bedroom even though you are not changing the footprint of your structure.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Advice from an EEJ ambassador

photo of Becca Mortensen
Becca Mortensen
The EEJ college of Education and Human Services is lucky to have a group of dedicated ambassadors. When we hold recruiting events, they're out encouraging students from all backgrounds to receive their education from us. Today Becca Mortensen reveals her answers to some of the most-asked questions. She is the ambassador from the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department.

Take it away, Becca!
The Utah State open houses for high school students are a riot of fun!  The students attending them are more ready than ever before to grow into adults through an exciting academic experience at Utah State University.  These young adults are full of fears, uncertainty, and excitement about the future.  Our job is to put to rest those fears and help them find a major that will satisfy their interests and help them reach their potential.

young adults, crouching
Our ambassadors, ready to jump into the new year. Photos courtesy of Amy Wilberg.
One of the most exciting questions for us to answer is “What do you like about Utah State?"....or, "Why did you choose Utah State?”  We come to Utah State to have fun and make friends with diverse groups of people and find out who we are.  We come for the cozy and comfortable campus; the fantastic faculty that give us hands-on research experiences; for the well rounded and liberal education found here.

ambassadors captured in mid-jump

Another common question is, “What are the requirements to get into my program?”  It’s fantastic that as ambassadors we’ve all been in our programs for several years.  It’s fresh in our minds what we had to do as undergrads, freshman, and sophomores to get ahead.  Some of the things we did to prepare included taking writing tests, keeping our grades up and getting some experience in our fields.  
A lot of the questions we receive as ambassadors are about of three of the most popular majors: psychology, elementary education, and physical therapy/pre-med.  Psychology can be fascinating to students who are just coming out of the teenage years and have experienced many changes.  Elementary education at Utah State is definitely one of the best in the country, and highly sought after.  Lastly, pre-med and physical therapy is available for so many out there who wish to save lives.  
Lastly, we are asked, “What should I do to prepare for my major?”
”Meet with a counselor,” we say, “hands down!”

We have some highly knowledgeable counselors here at Utah State who are up on the requirements at the University and in the field. And if they aren’t sure about something, they will figure it out.  Meeting with your advisor will keep you on track to graduate in 4 years or less with all the requirements you need.  They will also let you know how to get extra help if needed, for any one of your classes or major requirements.  
Our favorite thing to tell students is that they can be whoever they want to be in college.  They can be a better student, a better friend, more involved or whatever they dream of being.  You don’t have to be how you were in high school.  College is a new start.  And you get to learn all about how to do that at the Utah State open houses.

Here are the remaining open houses for this semester:

Nov. 27, 2012: St. George, Dixie Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, 6 to 8 p.m.
Nov. 28, 2012: Las Vegas, Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd North, 6 to 8 p.m.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kids and social media: USU researcher's work featured nationwide

photo of Dr. Fields
Dr. Deborah Fields
What do we know about children's use of social media?

Not enough, according to Dr. Deborah Fields of USU's Instructional Technology and Learning Services Department. She teamed up with fellow researcher Sara Grimes of the Information School at the University of Toronto to report on children and how they use social media.

Here's an excerpt from their post on the Joan Gantz Cooney Center blog:

... [C]hildren tend to be ignored in the big survey research that documents who is going online, how often, and what they are doing. This is partly because children present a challenging audience to reach—what kind of survey can researchers use to talk to children about what they do online (they usually go to parents and it's just easier to talk to teens and young adults). Another factor is that although there's lots of anecdotal and qualitative evidence that kids are using popular social media such as Facebook, legal Terms of Use and regulatory policies like the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act often mean that children are not supposed to be there at all. Another important finding was that large-scale surveys and other research on social networking often overlook the kinds of social networking forums that children tend most to populate. Virtual worlds, console videogames (did you know kids can share creations and chat through videogame consoles?), and project-sharing sites where children share everything from written stories to art to computer-programmed animations are rarely discussed in comparison to social networking sites like Facebook.
The study is featured in the Huffington Post, The Digital ShiftedSurge news, Kidzania Journal. It also appears in the Barking Robot, KQED's Mind Shift and Education Week's Digital Education blogs.

The report was produced for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, an independent, non-profit research center, with the support of Cisco Systems and the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California. You can read the full text on the Cooney Center website.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Teaching: a tool for world peace

a row of teachers sit at computers
Earlier this month, 22 teachers from around the world returned to their countries after a six-week collaboration with Utah State University. Their time together was made possible by the US Department of State.

The Teaching Excellence and Achievement program brought them together and enabled them to share ideas. “These are some of the best teachers from their countries,” said Dr. Steven Camicia,  an associate professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership here at the college. Dr. Camicia headed up this year’s program, along with Dr. Karin Dejonge-Kannan, co-director of the Master of Second Language Teaching Program.

“Really, the experience was amazing as the environment in my country is completely different,” wrote Naglaa Radwan in an email reflecting on her time in the program at USU. She came here from Egypt.

“We’re all coming to this place to learn,” said Dr. Camicia. “I’m learning from them and they’re learning from me.” The program is structured so that one person cannot dominate the conversation. “Bringing all of these different perspectives together, we have more to choose from as a group when we go into our classrooms.”

The schedule was exhausting, packed with a number of general and specialized workshops. Part of the group’s experience included some classroom time in Cache Valley schools.

Radwan went to In Tech High School for her internship. “I was impressed to teach students something about my country and some of our celebrations, and I managed to make a connection between one of these celebrations and Halloween.”

“It’s kind of an effort toward world peace,” Dr. Camicia said. “The impressions that they get here and take back to their countries is very important.”

There is no doubt that the international teachers left a lasting impression on the people who worked with them here at CEHS. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s been a very life-changing experience for me, too,” said Nathan Smith, director of the collge’s Adele and Dale Young Education and Technology Center.

Nathan Smith teaches a workshop
Adele and Dale Young Education and Technology Center Director Nathan Smith  teaches a workshop to the group.

Smith has been involved with the program for two years and worked with two groups of teachers, doing workshops with the group and accompanying them on activities. “I’ve been able to make lifelong, close personal friends with 43 people.”

Dr. Camicia agreed. “There are these deep connections that people make. It’s really very beautiful.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting the most from distance education

Photo of Chad Bingham
Chad Bingham
Chad Bingham, a lecturer in the Communication Disorders and Deaf Education department, was recently named a Teaching Fellow by Distance Education at Utah State University. He will share some of his expertise in a free webinar on November 13 (details at the bottom of this post).

Here's his advice to students and faculty who want to get and give the most in an online environment:

Q: What can students do to gain the most from their online education?

I think the best way for students to get the most from their online education is to connect in some meaningful way with their professors. This is extremely difficult to do in the online medium, but as an instructor, I appreciate knowing who my students are, what challenges they are facing, and how I can best support their learning in my courses. It also makes it much easier to write a more personalized letter of recommendation for these students if I have come to know them as more than just a number or name.

Q: Is there a guiding principle for faculty members who want to give their online students a quality experience?

Make sure your course is set up in a way that leaves the student with clear expectations and as little confusion as possible. This includes making sure that your course is updated often. The difficulty in teaching an online course is the individual nature on the students' end. One mistake made by a professor in a traditional course may be identified by one student, and a solution can be provided to the group at one time. In the online environment, you may get 20+ emails from students with the same question. Make sure your course is organized so that questions regarding assignments and expectations can be minimized.

Another thing that instructors of online courses can do is utilize the technology for collaboration that is built into Canvas. Taking the time to provide real-time chats with the students makes you more of a real person instead of a talking head. Students appreciate "meeting" their instructors and engaging in a dialogue rather than trying to have all of their questions answered through email correspondence.

Want more information? Bingham offers a free webinar entitled "More than a Number: Effectively Teaching Large Online Courses" on Tuesday, November 13, at 3 p.m. To attend, sign in at the teaching fellows connect page at the webinar's starting time. You can enter as a guest if you don't have a login.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The new WAVE tool improves website accessibility. For free.

graphic for WAVE 5.0 beta
Image courtesy of the Center for Persons with Disabilities
If you would like to make your website accessible and don't know how, we have good news for you.

If you already use WebAIM's free WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation) tool, we still have good news for you.

WAVE allows developers to see at a glance where their pages might need some tweaking in order to be readable to everyone. It even helps bloggers who may be a little less code-savvy to fix errors. (My most common mistake is failing to add alternative text to photos. The tool shows me right where the errors are, so fixing them is much easier.)

Currently the team at WebAIM--an initiative of the College's Center for Persons with Disabiltiies--is working on a beta version of WAVE 5. And while I liked version 4, I like 5 better. It's more helpful to bloggers like me--people with good intentions but limited coding skills.

Here's more about it from the CPD's website:

For people with disabilities, surfing the Web can result in the online equivalent of a riptide or wipeout. Even assistive technology such as screen readers won’t help if the building blocks of a website—its HTML code—are not accessible.

To help web developers and designers create content that’s available to everyone, Web Accessibility In Mind, (WebAIM) at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities has developed a free web site evaluation tool called WAVE.

Users simply type in a URL, upload a file or paste in a piece of HTML code, and WAVE processes the code and looks for access or compliance issues. Users can also download a free toolbar within the Firefox web browser.

...The WAVE5 beta is much easier to use, because a new sidebar offers a color-coded, icon-laden summary of errors and alerts. With just a few mouse clicks, users can see the details of each error and alert, as well as a documentation box that lists the error, what it means, why it matters and how to fix it. Users can learn more about web accessibility as they are using the WAVE tool...

For a quick list of WAVE 5 features, visit the WebAIM blog.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An interview with James Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers Association and college alumnus

photo of James Thornton
Jim Thornton, an alumnus of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department, became president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association over the summer. He carries out those responsibilities while also working as Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s director of sports medicine and athletic training services.

”I watched the Utah State Athletic Trainers working at a football game and I just knew I wanted to be an athletic trainer,” he said. “That was thirty years ago, and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.”

He’s a busy man, but he took some time to talk to us about his experience at USU, the field of athletic training, and his advice for young athletic trainers preparing to enter the workforce.

Q: Tell me how athletic training has changed over the years.

A: A lot of people have a misperception of what athletic trainers do. The modern athletic trainer is a health care provider, licensed and certified in 49 of the 50 states. We provide health care to people in a vast number of settings. I believe we can access the health care system for those patients and athletes faster than anyone else. As I said athletic trainers provide care in a lot of different places, not just in athletics. There are athletic trainers at NASA taking care of the astronauts, and in the military, and in industries where workers do a lot of heavy lifting and other activities that cause injuries of all kinds.  The job is to prevent injuries, but if they do happen we work at getting our patients and athletes back in the game as soon as it is safe.

My goal as an athletic trainer is that our athletes will never look back and say, “They didn’t take care of me at Clarion and that’s why I have to deal with this now.”

The issue of the public recognizing the problems with traumatic brain injury is one of the things that has put us in the forefront. … People don’t realize that athletic trainers have been managing concussions for more than 60 years. This isn’t new for us. It’s new for the public because we’ve had athletes coming forward saying, “I’ve been having problems.”

It’s a bigger, hotter issue today because we know more about traumatic brain injury. Neurology studies have contributed to that. When somebody does get hurt, we try our very best to make sure it’s managed correctly.

Q: Aside from traumatic brain injury, what’s new in athletic training?

A: At NATA we just released a position statement at our national convention, on sudden death and the causes of sudden death in collegiate athletes. This isn’t new, but the position statement is new on how to manage it. It’s all research based. You can find that position statement and others concerning the health and safety of our patients at

Q: How do you keep up with the changes in your field?

A: I’ve enlarged my toolbox, not only to keep up with the profession but also to make sure the care that I’m giving the athletes is the best care that I can provide. I did my master’s degree in sports medicine at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. I am also certified in Performance Enhancement and Corrective Exercise by the National Academy of Sports medicine. 

I read a lot. We have a very well respected, refereed journal; The Journal of Athletic Training.  I study what comes up in it and read the NATA news. I also keep up with the 38,000 athletic trainers who are members.  Every one of them has an opinion, and they’re not afraid to share it.

Q: What advice would you give a fresh graduate in athletic training?

A: I would say the same thing that my mentor, Utah State University Head Athletic Trainer Dale Mildenberger said to me: “Be involved.”  The NATA and the profession need young people that are fresh, sharp, open minded professionals to take us forward.  We need them to need to make a difference in the future.  I know this sounds like a cliché, but I cannot stress enough the importance of the involvement of our students and young professionals.  Continue to expand your knowledge, and don’t just expand it, employ those things that you learn in the every day management of the health care of your patients.  Let the knowledge that you gather never cease, and when you have it, don’t just do what you used to do. Change!  Be better at what you do today than you were yesterday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Advancing Careers With Online Education and Distance Learning Programs

Do you feel stifled in your current career? Are you stuck in a rut and find yourself unable to move up the corporate ladder? Are you looking for better job prospects and a higher salary? Do you believe that having only an undergraduate degree is preventing you from accomplishing your career goals? Then, maybe its time to look at the best possible solution to your professional problems! The answer lies in online learning and what it can offer you in terms of career advancement.

Now, you might think that you are just too busy to resume your education. Juggling your job along with responsibilities at home may be preventing you from enrolling for that college course you have been toying with. Or taking time off from work to complete your education may just not be an option in today's competitive market. It is in situations like these that an online degree program becomes an ideal solution. No doubt, earning a living is important, but nowadays this does not necessarily imply giving up your dream of a higher education. You can attend college after work with an online education school.

Online education is growing fast with many schools offering online degrees. Many colleges now offer courses and methods of studying that are easier and more enjoyable. You will receive the same quality education and degree as attending a campus. The difference is that your online degree is earned from home in your own time.

There are so many options when it comes to an online degree. You can choose from an Associate, Bachelor's and even a Master's degree. But the biggest plus point in favor of online education is the convenience. There are no set times and class schedules and you can work faster or slower depending on the pace you require. You can complete your degree in lesser timeframe, which allows you to re-enter the work arena in a shorter time frame than with a traditional college program. You can attend class whenever you have the time and without having to commute or spend on gas or public transport. All that you require is a computer with an Internet connection to access all your course information online. A good program will promote communication between lecturers and other fellow students through email, forums, message boards and chat rooms. For those on a budget, most online programs offer flexible payments and are, as a rule, less expensive than a normal school program. Financial aid is also available for online education, so check out your options before registering.

Therefore, the highlights of online education are: - A school that is open round the clock - No traveling or commuting fees - Less expensive course fees - Study at your own convenience - Access to the curriculum and course material is always available

In terms of today's shaky economy, you might be struggling to hold onto your job and stay afloat. It's in such situations that you need to boost your job skills and optimize your resume by adding new up-to-date skills through the variety of online degree programs available. Regardless of what you are interested in, the odds are that you will be able to find an online degree that meets your needs. Another benefit of choosing long distance education is that you are not limited by the programs offered by the schools around you. You can choose a program, no matter how obscure the field, rather than settling for programs available only through your local college or university.

In many careers, promotions are limited for individuals who do not have degrees. Working professionals should choose an online degree program to get out of a dead-end job. Choose a program that offers training that will benefit you with your career goals as well.

At the end of the day though, online programs are not an easy option. All said and done, completing any online degree program requires commitment and determination. You need discipline to stay on track but when you finally graduate, you will reap the benefits of online education that make all the difference to your career ... and your life.

Opportunities in education today would have been impossible even a few decades back. With the popularity of the Internet, easy accessibility to computers and the World Wide Web, higher education has been transformed into a new dynamic entity. With technology progressing at a rapid pace and demands changing almost daily, our lives are only becoming busier. The world around us is left with no option but to change and move along with the times to accommodate to our new schedules and requirements. This is more than apparent in the field of education. As times change, fewer and fewer students rely on the traditional method of attending classes at a college campus. The 'brick and mortar' type of education still exists but now side by side with the option of graduating from an online degree program as well.

As the number of people who look for ways to complete their education or improve their skills becomes too large, it is inevitable that a large number of colleges and universities take the necessary steps towards filling that need. But jobs, childcare and other family obligations limit the amount of time people can devote to their education, and thus, alternative arrangements are created. Online education has started gaining popularity and has now completely changed the way we approach education today.

Online degrees are now widely accepted and recognized as authentic educational qualifications. As long as the institution offering the degree is accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, there should be no problem in the degree being accepted and acknowledged anywhere. Fully accredited online degree programs are now available in nearly every field. From management to medicine, law to accounting, there is a wide variety of choices on offer. Even obscure subjects and fields of study have found their place on the Internet. With degrees such as healthcare, students are even given the option of combining the practical aspect of their training at local hospitals or clinics along with virtual classes and studying online.

The flexibility of online education has opened up the doors of education to people from all walks of life. Stay at home moms and dads can now study from their own houses and employees can complete their assignments around their work schedules. There is 24 hour accessibility to the study material allowing for all night study sessions as well as the possibility of returning to subject matter again and again if necessary. And as universities continue to expand their options, the flexibility of online education will only increase. Students will be offered more options with the possibility of a custom created curriculum that suits their individual requirements and interests.

Distance learning also allows people hundreds of miles away to graduate with degrees from the college of their choice. Without spending a penny on gas or transport, students can make the most of a world class education with resources and faculty from all over the world. Through pre-recorded lectures, worksheets, assignments, e-classes, online forums, and tests, students can view, interact, and study from the comfort of their own space.

With a more flexible attendance policy, students can choose to tackle their workload as quickly or as slowly as they need to (all within a larger pre-determined schedule, of program). While this freedom may prove to be a little daunting to a new student, after completing a few programs, it becomes easier to get used to this new way of studying. To be successful in an online program, a large amount of self discipline and motivation is imperative. Without which it is all too easy to take advantage of the flexibility of the program and not achieve much. And while online education is definitely less expensive than a traditional degree program, to spend time, money and effort on something that is not taken seriously will not accomplish anything in the long run.

Online education in short offers every individual the right information in the right format at the right time for the best chances of success. Once upon a time online schools were considered the next wave of education and that future is finally here - ready to change the way we look at education way beyond the boundaries of any classroom.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Need relationship advice? There's a class for that.

These spots advertising a free healthy relationships course will appear in Utah theaters this week, thanks to USU Cooperative Extension, faculty from the Family, Consumer and Human Development Department and the Federal Office of Family Assistance.

And also through the creativity of a therapist who used to do stand-up comedy.

The spots are funny, but the subject is serious. "In just a few sessions, this research based course can help you with healthy dating relationships and partner selection," the class website says.

Does this sound like information you could use? Check out the Healthy Relationships Utah website and find a free class near you! They're available in Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, Washington and Weber counties.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dr. Karl White to speak at USU's TEDx event

Karl White holds a baby
Dr. Karl White will be one of the presenters at Utah State University's independently-organized TEDx event on November 7. If you want to register, go to the TEDx page right away--the window closes on Friday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m.

Attendees to the conference and the overflow rooms will be randomly selected from those who register. Only register once, please--duplicates will be discarded.

Here's some information about Dr. White from USU's Office of Research and Graduate Studies:

Dr. White is a psychology professor at USU and the founding director of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. His team was instrumental in establishing universal newborn hearing screening in the United States and has subsequently worked with more than 30 countries to establish early hearing detection and intervention programs. He will discuss how such programs provide a sound foundation for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to excel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Football Day at Sound Beginnings

A girl catches a football
It's become a tradition at Sound Beginnings: come with your family, wear your Aggie gear, bring a football for student athletes to sign. It looks adorable--and it is--but there's some meaty stuff going on here.

For one thing, children who are deaf or hard of hearing are interacting with people they don't know, taking verbal cues from players as they toss the football around. "The kids are understanding these instructions from the football players," said Kristina Blaiser, director of Sound Beginnings. "That just shows what they have accomplished."

On Friday, Utah State University's football players came to spend part of a day with the families of the Sound Beginnings program. It was their third annual Football Day together.

A student athlete reaches to catch a football
Sound Beginnings provides early education to children with hearing loss whose families want them to learn to listen and talk. It is located within the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department here in the college. The program offers the training needed to use a hearing aid or cochlear implant to its fullest potential. The technology provides early access to sound; the training helps the child learn how to use it.

The service providers make sure the work seems more like play. "With preschoolers, you have to make it fun or they won't do it," Blaiser said.

It was an anticipated event--the children counted down the days until the football players arrived. When the time came, the parents of younger children were able to watch the older ones interact. It shows them what they can look forward to, Blaiser said.

The football event allowed everyone in the program to stop, celebrate and enjoy their community.

You can read more about the event in Cache Valley Daily news.

Thanks, student athletes, for spending a cool fall day with us!