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Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes â€œHappy Anniversary!â€ four thousand fourth graders shouted in unison in the Walt Disney Concert Hall to celebrate the 60th annual youth concert, 50th annual Pasadena Showcase house and 10th anniversary of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.Wednesday morning Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Conductor Daniel Cohen, presented Wing on Wing excerpts, composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen, to 4,000 4th grade students from 52 San Gabriel Valley elementary schools, 30 being Pasadena schools.â€œThe first thing that tends to be cut at public or private schools is music programs or art programs and this is something that we believe in. Part of our mission at Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts is to support youth music education. This is one of three annual events we hold for children,â€ President of Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Donna Gotch said.With 21 schools taking part for the first time, the murmured excitement grew until the orchestra commenced and all 4,000 students watched absolutely engrossed by the music and actors. A gift by the Green Foundation made the youth concert possible.Called a theatrical orchestra performance, a story weaved with music encouraged everyone to use their imaginations, fit with windstorms and sirens who captivated the students. Miss Marineh of Norma Coombs Alternative School said the performance was absolutely exciting and the kids were able be imaginative in the educational experience.The youth concert has come a long way in its sixty years. __, who has volunteered with Pasadena Showcase House for the last 20 years, remembered when the concert was held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the volunteers would dress up with Halloween sweaters and witch hats.â€œMany of the kids have never been to Walt Disney Concert Hall and this is the first and last time theyâ€™ll ever be here. Itâ€™s a pretty exciting day for these kids. The chances they will be exposed to this caliber of music are slim to none. We try to focus target title 1 schools,â€ Becky Marksbury said, who has chaired the youth concert in the past.Brett Schrader, a father of a student at Don Benito Elementary, chaperoned students to the concert, â€œI didnâ€™t expect dancing and singing, I just expected music so it was great. The opportunity Pasadena Showcase House gives our kids is wonderful.â€Many of the students said they loved the opera singing and the funny program.â€œI liked the opera, I liked how they sang All the lights, so pretty. That was my first time coming to the concert hall,â€ Sophia a 4th grader from Don Benito said.The teachers receive materials ahead of time to engage the students so when they get to the concert hall the fourth graders really understand what they are hearing. The Pasadena Showcase House also brings the Pasadena Conservatory of Music to 3rd graders to teach them what the symphony is all about and give the students the opportunity to touch the instruments. Then the next year in 4th grade the students go see the orchestra performance.â€œI think thereâ€™s a connection between learning and music and I think these kids benefit tremendously by being exposed to classical music. We hope when these kids will be interested in playing an instrument,â€ Marksbury said.An all-volunteer organization, PSHA is a non-profit California Corporation whose members donate their time and talents to produce the annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Founded in 1948, and formerly known as The Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, PSHA adopted the Pasadena Showcase House of Design as its annual benefit in 1965. Proceeds from this benefit have resulted in the awarding of over $19 million in gifts and grants in support of the LA Phil, Walt Disney Concert Hall, non-profit organizations and cultural, educational, and musically-oriented programs. Make a comment EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Business News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Pasadena Showcase House Hosts 4,000 Fourth Graders for Concert Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 | 1:49 pm 20 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News First Heatwave Expected Next Week HerbeautyThese Lipsticks Are Designed To Make Your Teeth Appear Whiter!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBaby Boom: The Stars Are Getting Busy In QuarantineHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Gorgeous Looks That Have Been Classic Go-tos For DecadesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Ways To Get Into Shape You’ve Never Tried BeforeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeauty Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Subscribe Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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Is Rise in Forbearance Volume Cause for Concern? 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago 2014-09-08 Jordan Funderburk Related Articles Previous: Fed: Wealth Share of Richest Families Increasing Next: Shea Joins Birchwood Credit as SVP of Sales, Marketing Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Improvements in the labor market in 2014 have not translated to rapid housing market recovery this year, according to the Fannie Mae August 2014 National Housing Survey. Instead, data in the survey indicated that recovery for the housing market will be slow heading into 2015. The number of people surveyed who said they believe now is a good time to sell a home fell six percentage points from July to 64 percent, an all-time low since the monthly survey began in June 2010. The number of people who said now is a good time to buy a home also declined to 38 percent.The number of respondents surveyed who believe home prices will increase in the next 12 months stayed at 42 percent from July to August, while the percentage of respondents who say they think home prices will go down in the next year increased to 9 percent while the share of those who thought and mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months fell to 50 percent. The average 12-month home price expectation also took a slight dip from July to August, to 2.1 percent.New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and the state’s lawmakers have made a big push in recent months to pass legislation to prevent so-called “zombie foreclosures,” which have become a significant problem in the state. The Attorney General’s Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act introduced into the Senate earlier this year would require lenders to maintain and pay for upkeep on foreclosed properties that have been abandoned by their owners, and it would also require lenders to notify homeowners that they do not have to move out until the foreclosure process is complete – which could take months or even years. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Print This Post in Featured, Media, Webcasts Subscribe DS News Webcast: Tuesday 9/9/2014 Home / Featured / DS News Webcast: Tuesday 9/9/2014 About Author: Jordan Funderburk The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago September 8, 2014 599 Views Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago
A crowded marketplace and the speed at which new technologies are revolutionizing banking makes crafting the right digital presence overwhelming for many financial institutions. Consumers now expect their banking provider to provide a secure, frictionless digital experience — one that’s easy to use, convenient and fits seamlessly into their everyday lives. With competition increasing across the industry, the stakes are high. If your experience falls short and consumers get frustrated, it will drive both money and relationships elsewhere.Fortunately there are multiple emerging digital strategies and technologies that are improving the customer experience for mobile banking users. Voice-enabled platforms, chatbots and AI assistants are emerging as one of the hottest technologies — for both banking providers and consumers alike. This trend is definitely something banks and credit unions must pay attention to.It is no longer a question of if consumers are willing to interact with digital assistants; they are already doing it. Many financial service have successfully launched proof-of-concept tests for chatbots, thanks to recent advancements in conversational interfaces and voice recognition. Regardless of whether the platform is Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Amazon Echo or Google Home, these solutions offer a new avenue of access that reduces friction in the consumer journey. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The IPO values Lemonade at $1.6 billion. That is less than the $2.1 billion it was valued at last year, after it raised $300 million in a funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank and which included insurer Allianz SE and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital arm GV. Lemonade has pursued breakneck revenue growth at the expense of widening losses.SoftBank owns a 27.3 percent stake in Lemonade.Lemonade, started in late 2016, says it has digitized the entire insurance process, replacing brokers and paperwork with algorithms. It says it provides insurance policies to homeowners and renters in as little as 90 seconds and claim payments in three minutes.The company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LMND” on Thursday.Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co and Barclays are the managing bookrunners for the offering.Topics : Insurance startup Lemonade Inc, which is backed by SoftBank Group Corp said it raised US$319 million in its US initial public offering.Lemonade is the latest company to capitalize on the sharp recovery in US investor appetite for new stocks following the coronavirus outbreak. On Tuesday, US business analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc raised $1.7 billion in its IPO after it sold more stock than expected and at a price above its indicated range.Lemonade priced 11 million shares at $29 per share, the company said in a statement. The indicated price range earlier on Wednesday was raised to between $26 and $28 per share. Lemonade had previously guided for the offering to be priced between $23 and $26 per share.
Both the Guyanese and Barbadian national football teams have expressed eagerness and readiness to get the CONCACAF Nations League started, as both see it as their next step on the long road to World Cup qualification.With neither team being intimidated by the opposition, and with each team predicting they will emerge victorious, football fans are in for an exciting,Golden Jaguars Captain Samuel Cox shakes it out with Bajan Tridents’ player Hayden Holliganexhilarating, and no-holds-barred clash at the Leonora Track and Field facility when the Golden Jaguars and the Bajan Tridents collide today in an encounter that can have only one winner.Speaking at a press briefing yesterday afternoon ahead of today’s encounter, newly appointed Golden Jaguars Coach Michael Johnson said he is positive, not only about the match, but about Guyana’s future in football.“What you’ll see tomorrow is a team that’s confident. This team is a very, very good team; it’s a team that has a lot of attacking flare, a lot of players that I believe if you release the shackles off, they could be a real threat. So I’m excited about tomorrow; but not only tomorrow, I’m excited about the long-term future,” Johnson has said.On a similar train of thought, Captain of the local team, Samuel Cox, spoke on how well the team has come to know each other owing to several training opportunities.“Our preparations have gone well thus far. We’ve had two solid weeks in Brazil, and the last four days have gone well. Of course we’ve got a nice blend of players now; we’ve got a good crop of young players. Everybody is excited and optimistic for tomorrow’s fixture against Barbados.”The Bajans, however, are certainly fancying their chances of being able to whip the Guyana side on their own turf and in front of their own Guyanese fans. They probably even think this feat can be achieved on any day in any Guyanese calendar.Technical Director of the Bajan Tridents, Ahmed Mohamed, revealed that the team has been banded together most of the time, and only three players (inclusive of the goalkeeper) are overseas players.Noting that the Tridents have played countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and St. Kitts in preparation for the League, Team Manager Martin Newton hinted at the possibility that the Bajans may also be familiar with the way the Guyanese team plays, because of their last encounter two years ago.“Despite we have not beaten Guyana, we still have 8 or 10 players that played in that match we drew against you back in Barbados. So despite the fact that we have a young team, it’s full of experience,” Newton said.When challenged about the 19 period that Barbados has not been able to defeat Guyana, Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed boldly stated that he is here to change that.“That was yesterday! We’re talking from today, and today is a different day. The reason why I’m here is to change that, so we will see that tomorrow night. We are ready for you guys. Something will happen, and something will change,” he declared.The Technical Director went on to disclose that the Tridents have been training together for the past two years, and have played enough matches to be adequately prepared and ready for the league.“That team that I have brings enough experience to deliver (a win) tomorrow night (today),” Mohamed predicted.The highly anticipated clash will go down at the Leonora Track and Field Facility from 19hrs this evening.Guyana has been grouped with Barbados, Turks and Caicos Islands, French Guiana and Belize, and will play host to Barbados and Belize in September 2018 and March 2019 respectively; while Turks and Caicos Islands and French Guiana will host Guyana in October and November 2018.
Here are news briefs that are out of this world:Death Star Sighted: On August 2, the Cassini Spacecraft took the best-ever pictures of Mimas, the little moon of Saturn with a huge crater Herschel that makes it look like the Death Star from Star Wars. Why this little moon should be one of the most heavily cratered objects in the solar system, when nearby Enceladus is not, is a mystery.Aurora at Saturn: Saturn put on a light show for Cassini, reported press releases from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and University of Colorado. The planet’s own version of aurora australis was viewed from a better angle at more wavelengths recently, and was portrayed in lovely aqua blue against the butterscotch planet’s south pole.Mars Too Deadly for Human Travel: Damping ancient dreams of humans walking on Mars some day, National Geographic News reported that “space weather” (solar radiation) could be too dangerous to make a manned mission feasible. A solar flare storm like those seen in recent years (see 11/06/2003 entry) could be like placing astronauts in the path of nuclear explosions millions of times more powerful than those made by man. Unless some new method of shielding is devised, politicians and managers may consider it too risky to send humans into the cosmic shooting gallery for years at a time. A powerful storm missed Apollo astronauts by just months in 1972. Even if humans survived the 9-month flight to the red planet (10/01/2002), the Martian surface environment does not offer the same protection as Earth (see 08/07/2003 entry). See also the press release from University of Warwick.Titan Is Dry as a Bone: Contrary to earlier predictions (10/16/2003), R. A. West et al. wrote in Nature1 that the lack of specular (mirror-like) reflections from Earth-based radar echoes indicates that Titan (Saturn’s largest moon) lacks global oceans. The BBC News took this to mean that Titan is as dry as a bone. Even the sighting reported near the south pole makes the lake interpretation seem unlikely.Enceladus Is Hot Topic: Science2 took note of the announcement of cryovolcanism on Enceladus (07/14/2005). Richard Kerr wrote, “the close-up encounter has only deepened the mystery of how a body as small as Enceladus can come up with enough energy for such an active geologic life.” Treating it as a special case is “uncomfortable” to planetary scientists. Leaving the solution as a mystery, Kerr concluded, “Theoreticians will have to redouble their efforts to hammer out a moon they can live with.”Mars Soil Mystifies: Science3 published a story by Amos Banin, “The Enigma of the Martian Soil,” that suggested we still know very little about the Martian surface, even since Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers have studied it up close. Though we have more data, we have new questions.Mars Traffic Jam: Add a fourth spacecraft to the orbital speedway around Mars. The new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched successfully Thursday morning, August 11, carrying the biggest camera ever launched to the red planet. It should be able to see objects the size of a card table on the surface when it begins its primary science mission in November 2006, and can transmit 10 times as much information per minute as previous orbiters. A flood of high-res photography is coming. MRO will provide several times as much data about Mars as all previous missions combined, said project manager James Graf. 1R. A. West et al., “No oceans on Titan from the absence of a near-infrared specular reflection,” Nature 436, 670-672 (4 August 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature03824.2Richard A. Kerr, “Cassini Catches Mysterious Hot Spot on Icy-Cold Enceladus,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5736, 859-860, 5 August 2005,[DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5736.859a].3Amos Banin, “The Enigma of the Martian Soil,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5736, 888-890, 5 August 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1112794].The Enceladus-Mimas dichotomy may force scientists to re-examine assumptions about cratering rates. If impactors flying around the solar system do not pummel nearby objects equally, then either some moons are able to cover the craters, or the impactors are not randomly distributed. Cratering rates are commonly assumed in determining ages of surfaces. If you cannot constrain the density and frequency of impactors, and if the weathering processes are not well known, then crater-count dating is an exercise in guesswork. Planetary scientists will have to redouble their efforts to hammer out not only a moon they can live with, but a solar system they can live with. This has two connotations. First, the solar system is a deadly place; this underscores the beauty and habitability of our privileged planet. Second, evolutionary scientists accustomed to thinking in billions of years can’t live comfortably with young phenomena like Enceladus, and a Titan that should have accumulated deep oceans of methane or ethane by now. If you are unconstrained by long-age assumptions, can you live with these findings?(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Manymoon Standard, our free product, will continue to be available for existing and new customers. In fact, we’ll continue to add features to our free product. And, if you want to upgrade, you are welcome to do that through the Manymoon website whenever you like.Existing premium features, subscriptions and price points will remain unchanged.Manymoon will continue to work with Google Apps, LinkedIn and the Chrome Web Store. And, we will continue to develop new features to enhance support of these platforms.We’ll continue to support our customers in the Manymoon Support Universe.What does Manymoon bring to Salesforce.com that Chatter doesn’t already have? Project management. Dimdim will add conferencing to Chatter, and project management is the next logical step towards making Chatter a fully featured collaboration suite. But that’s assuming that Salesforce.com will actually integrate Manymoon into Chatter – the initial announcement from Manymoon makes that uncertain.Sameer Patel of the Sovo Group told us in response to the announcement:With its strong project facilitation focus, Manymoon brings solid complementary ‘get-it-done’ functionality to a general purpose engagement platform such as Salesforce.com Chatter. As important, the Google Apps Marketplace is quickly becoming a valid choice for more and more enterprises.Manymoon’s strong integration with the Google Apps Marketplace may well offer a needed bridge between Force.com and Google App Marketplace. Thanks to Manymoon’s integration with Google’s productivity applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and contact management, Salesforce.com now gets to tout a more complete collaboration picture that includes engagement, task management and content creation.The top review for Salesforce for Google Apps reads “Best CRM out there but poor integration with Google Apps.” The application has only two stars. Perhaps this acquisition will help Salesforce.com improve its integration with Google Apps.Manymoon competes with Huddle and PBWorks in the project-centric collaboration SaaS market. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair klint finley Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Manymoon, makers of a popular online collaboration software-as-a-service, announced today that it has been acquired by Salesforce.com. Manymoon ranks as one of the most popular applications in both the Google Apps Marketplace and the LinkedIn Application Directory. According to the announcement, Manymoon will continue to exist as a separate business within Salesforce.com and will continue to offer both its free and premium services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Salesforce.com has been on an acquisition spree. In the past few months, it has purchased: Jigsaw, Sitemasher, Activa Live Chat, Heroku, Etacts and Dimdim. Salesforce.com also invested $4 million in Seesmic today.According to the announcement: Tags:#enterprise#saas 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now
Tags:#AI#algorithms#industrial robots#inVia#retail#robotics#robots#Work Environment E-commerce is challenging the retail environment in many ways from fitting rooms to customer relations. Then there’s the challenges before products even hit the store, as warehouses full of goods struggle are faced with the challenge of finding staff to find, pack and deliver orders.The top three challenges facing supply chain executives, as identified by a Deloitte and MHI survey, are hiring and retaining a skilled workforce (58 percent), meeting customer demand for fast response times (56 percent) and lowering delivery costs (56 percent).Robots’ potential to improve productivity offers a solution for all of those challenges by working alongside human workers to pick and ship more products faster for less cost per pick.One company that’s changing this is inVia Robotics. They’ve developed the world’s first “goods-to-box” robotics system, which was created to transform the fulfillment and material handling operations of e-commerce providers and warehouses. I spoke to CEO of inVia Robotics CEO Lior Elazary to learn more. He explained:“E-commerce is booming, but retailers are struggling to keep up with consumer demand, due to rising price pressures, increasing expectations for faster delivery and a shortage of warehouse labor. For decades, the man-to-goods model reigned supreme, but now with robots in the warehouse, goods can autonomously navigate across warehouses to be sent to their final destinations quickly and cheaply. Robotics is the next evolution of automation and unlocking its benefits will enable more businesses to stay competitive, which will positively impact the industry and economy.”inVia have produced two robots. The GrabIt robot can lift items up to 30 pounds and up to 24 inches wide, ranging in size from a deck of cards to a 24-pack of soda. It can also reach up to eight feet and work for 10 hours on a single battery charge. Once a product is picked, a GrabIt robot can offload an item to its companion — inVia’s second robot, the TransIt — which can accumulate orders and zip them to an awaiting box to be shipped.Included with the robots is a robotics management system that enables their customers to dynamically change their workflow in real time as well as minimize wait times, empowering businesses to change their processes on-the-fly.What is significant is that inVia have been able to respond to some of the challenges experienced by other workplace robotics operations. Elazary said:“What’s really allowed us to do this is we’re not just a robotic arm on top of a device. The grip design really enables the device to really grab an array of things. That said, there’s still about 20% of the items in a typical warehouse that robots can’t pick like little screws and tiny cables so in those instances a worker can be notified to bring those items to the packing station. We’ve also created a system that is able to take single items- most customers really only had 1-3 products per item per order e.g. a shirt and a hammer rather than multiples. The other challenge was developing a cost effective platform so that it was financially viable for warehouses to acquire robots. Advancements in AI and vision sensors have enabled us to utilise a very cost effective platform and has enabled us to scale and grow very quickly.”This also benefits the warehouse. “We’ve created a flexible system that puts you in more control of your warehouse. Start with one robot. Start with 10. Add robots, or pull back, based on seasonal demand,” Elazary said.The company’s solution is available through a Robotics as a Service business model (RaaS) that requires a minimal upfront investment, enabling more businesses to take advantage of robotics’ productivity gains. Customers pay monthly for each robot, which allows them to quickly scale up or down to meet seasonal or fluctuating demand. Perhaps one of inVia’s biggest points of difference is that their system can basically be employed in any factory without the need to redesign the physical environment by including different shelving or more assembly lines. As Elazary shared:“We wanted operations to be up and running very quickly so people don’t have to change their warehouses and redo everything. Historically most robotics companies will only work on completely empty warehouses. We can take the existing shelving and the flow that you have and just modify the directions of where things are flowing instead of building a system that you have to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure to accommodate the robots. An additional benefit is that the rest of the operations are not disadvantaged if one robot is out of action as is the case if a assembly line was installed for the robots to use.”But are robotics taking human jobs?I queried whether in this instance, robots were taking jobs from under or unemployed people. Elazary explained that in his discussions with a diverse number of warehouses, they actually experience significant labor shortages both in peak and long term periods. For example, their customer LD Products, one of the largest printer and office supplies companies, has automated what used to be manual processes and helped it overcome labor shortages and seasonality while scaling as its business grows.The warehouse environment is a challenging one for many, particularly as warehouses are often in remote locations where no one wants to live much less travel to. The converse is that robotics can actually make the lives of warehouse employees better. I’m sure I’m not the only person who read “The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp” a few years ago with a sense of horror and sadness.Elazary explained that where their robotics had been deployed “workers give really good feedback because now they don’t have to do that job. Often people think of a warehouse as having a lot of people there but they usually don’t, it’s a very, very tight margin, usually very short staffed. Also being a picker is a grueling, physically demanding job. Some companies actually have raffles at the beginning of the day to make sure employees come in that day.”There’s a lot of application for inVia’s system in other industries including agriculture, customer manufacturing and the general retail warehouse at supermarkets and department stores where the use of robots could “put the employees where they are supposed to be which is customer facing and really driving sales instead just doing the grunt labour or picking out the shoes, that can be done by the robot.”inVia has created an impressive product, which may indeed bring about warehouse labor as we know it. Cate Lawrence The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… Related Posts How IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruption Electronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu…
DiPietro-Wells, R. (2015). Field Talk: A Q&AField Talk is a monthly blog post sharing the voices of early childhood providers who serve or have served military families of young children with disabilities (birth to 5 years old). We hope you find it to be educational, personable, and encouraging.This month we talked with Audra Classen, PhD. Audra is an Assistant Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. Her expertise lies in supporting the academic and behavioral development of young children from birth to age eight. In addition, Dr. Classen is actively engaged in research to develop culturally responsive and family-centered services for military families and their young children.This interview has been edited for length and clarity.Describe your current role.I currently teach undergraduate and graduate students wishing to become teachers (i.e., special education and dual elementary/special education). In addition, my local community has a high percentage of active and part-time National Guard families, which provides me with opportunities for research and service to families.What’s your favorite part of your current job?Previously as an early childhood special education teacher, I enjoyed collaborating with families to support their young children’s growth and development. Some of my most cherished memories as a teacher were the times I was able to make home visits, go to ball games, and engage with families outside of the education setting. Therefore, as a professor, one favorite aspect of my current job is sharing that passion with teacher candidates and helping them to realize the value of family-centered practices. Secondly, I have enjoyed opportunities to work with military families on a few research studies where I have gained valuable information and insights. The joy is being able to integrate and embed the families’ voices, insights, and wisdom in undergraduate/graduate course work.Tell us about experiences you have had working with military families.Previously as an early childhood special education teacher I worked with several military families and their young children with disabilities. Several of those families experienced deployment during the time I worked with their children.In addition, I have several family members that serve in various branches of the military. Therefore, I can easily relate and understand the unique needs military families and their children face.How did you come to work with military families?The primary reason I have this interest in working with military families is due to my brother and his family. My youngest brother was deployed to Iraq when my nephew was just a month old (the same age as my son at the time). As I experienced and watched my son and my nephew develop and grow during those crucial first three years of life, I was also observing the unique challenges my brother and his family were experiencing and overcoming. Strength and resilience was gained through my brother’s early years of military life but I continued to wonder if there were other supports that would have made their lives more comfortable or manageable at the time. Therefore, I began to investigate resources that would bolster military families’ success.Describe a rewarding experience working with military families.For my dissertation I conducted a qualitative study where I interviewed military family members and early educators working with military families. It was very rewarding to hear their voices and experiences. A few important points families and educators conveyed will continue to drive my research.First, the importance of a detailed IEP was something that I knew was important as a practitioner. However, when visiting with families my understanding of the importance was deepened. One parent used the word “transportable” to describe this concept. In addition, this parent talked about the need for practitioners to include “quantitative measures” and explicitly explain the measures used to monitor an IEP goal. He stated, that experienced practitioners and really good teachers did not convey the “science of their practice” on paper very well. Therefore, the IEP may end up vague or have less detail about the measures they use. Other parents in my study talked about their dissatisfaction with “cookie cutter IEP goals.” Several family members felt like practitioners did not really listen to their needs or goals as a family, or more importantly failed to listen to the parents report about the previous school’s services. Thus indicating that there was a lack of information included in the IEP that the previous school had developed. This meant some families had gaps and inconsistencies in the services their children received. Ensuring an IEP is “transportable” is vital to a family that may move every 18 months. In addition, families shared a different perspective about the identification and evaluation timeline. Families were well versed in IDEA law so they were aware of the timelines and provisions. However, they shared from the military families’ perspective that these timelines sometimes cause a delay or gap in services, as well. Furthermore, an active duty military member perceives time differently due to multiple deployments. One family shared that during their child’s first three years of life they had only been home for approximately 15 months and they were preparing for another deployment. For this family the father was deployed during their child’s initial evaluation process that led to IFSP services and due to an upcoming deployment they were concerned that the father would not be a part of the reevaluation process, development, and transition to IEP services. This father gave a detailed account of his feelings of hopelessness during his previous deployment when his wife would call about the IFSP process. For military families this distraction during deployment is something they would rather not have, as it impacts a soldier’s safety and ability to focus on the mission.That being said, when interviewing teachers they indicated a strong commitment and desire to communicate and support families, even if this meant volunteering to host a parents’ night out at Christmas so that the spouse left at home would have time to shop. Many educators discussed ways they support, involve and engage families. It was apparent that educators and families needed more information regarding the other’s perspective but did not have a forum for sharing such information. Families suggested the need for an expedited evaluation process that considers the unique military issues of deployment and relocation. In addition, educators mentioned wishing they could attend military family trainings offered on many bases that address the unique aspects of the military culture. Some of the issues expressed by families and educators were not unique to military families, however the military culture and nature of the active military member’s job complicates common special education processes that civilian families encounter.It is my desire to continue this research leading to the development of other resources and/or policy changes for military families and their young children with disabilities.Describe a challenging experience working with military families.One of the most challenging or difficult aspects of coordinating research with the military families, beyond gaining access to families was hearing about the discourse between family members and educators. As a researcher, I was hearing a desire to work together and share resources but saw the need for a collaborative and transparent partnership between the military command and school district. It takes time for a family to begin to relax and let their guard down, but once they see we are not here to judge but to help, our relationship becomes deeper.From your experience, how are military families similar and different from other types of families? How do you change your practice between families?Military families experience many of the everyday challenges that civilian families experience. Challenges such as balancing hectic careers and schedules, family time, community involvement, and navigating the special education referral to placement process. However, for military families the stress of deployment and frequent moves compound those everyday challenges. Military connected children can face learning challenges that come from inconsistencies in education standards across states and the complications of dual military family careers. Families can also encounter the strains of recovery from physical injuries, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder due to combat.We try to make life more comfortable and collaboratively work with military families so they feel a sense of control in the special education process. While all families benefit from active listening, open lines of communication, empathy and professional competence, military families greatly need and have a desire for a detailed and transportable IFSP/IEP. This empowers them during times of relocation and deployment. Most importantly, a detailed IFSP/IEP can sometimes enable the receiving team to develop and implement appropriate services more quickly. For young children with disabilities, this means continuity and consistency of services between school districts.As providers, how can we support military parents who are deployed or away frequently due to trainings/school? Be aware of the family’s strengths and needs outside the educational context. Presume that the parents want the best for their children and do have their priorities in line. Understand that military families likely have extenuating circumstances or previous experiences that cause them to react to change negatively, respond to an educator in a demanding way, and/or cause them to occasionally show up late to events. Seek to understand the family and engage them in their children’s education. These behaviors will positively impact children’s outcomes. We have to remember to empower parents with these additional tools and confidence they need to continue helping their children grow and develop at home.Describe a specific stressor that military families with whom you have worked have shared or experienced.Many families have expressed the difficulty they have managing the special education process for their children. Many educators may not understand that when a military family experiences a relocation they essentially become their child’s case manager. They are often tasked with the job of coordinating with multiple insurance agencies, military programs, and school districts at the same time. As one family described, this can be almost a full-time job by itself. Educators may not understand that when families experience relocation the military programs and services on each base and avenues for accessing those programs and services are different. Therefore, the knowledge a family gains during one relocation may or may not help the family during the next relocation.What “insider” tips or advice do you have for service providers working with military families who have young children with disabilities?Build relationships with the families that you understand their current needs for support. Be familiar with a few resources in the local community or on the local military base that may help a new family moving into the community. Ask about their previous special education experiences and get them involved.If you could change or improve one thing for military families with young children with disabilities, what would it be?I would love to see families become less fearful of the Exceptional Family Member Program and being judged. I wish educators and administrators could work together to expedite the implementation of appropriate special education services so that military connected young children with disabilities have improved consistency in services.What types of resources have you sought out to feel more confident and competent at meeting the specific needs of military families? (e.g., trainings, blog posts, organizations, etc.)I read articles, blogs, and some policy pieces currently available. I also seek out relationships with other professionals who work with military families (e.g., military family advocates, social workers, early interventionists, other professors or graduate students conducting research with military families).This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
4. Recording Awesome Location SoundThese tips from LAvideoFilmmaker.com will help you record better location sound for your project. Specifics covered include how to choose the best mic, optimal microphone placement, recording ambient sound and basic tips for working with audio in post. While you’re on the site be sure to subscribe to their FREE email newsletter on filmmaking tips. 6. Audio Tips for Video Editors 2. Tips for Making Your Film Sound GreatThese tips from the pros at Skywalker Sound were taken from a recent Sundance Film Festival panel on successful sound design. Discover some of the most common sound design mistakes filmmakers make, and how to avoid them. As a bonus they share their top picks for sound design from film history. 3. Videomaker “Audio How To”Although Videomaker is perhaps best known for their coverage of production and post, they offer a ton of info on sound design for filmmakers as well. Covering everything from quick tips to reviews of the latest audio gear, be sure to check out their frequently updated audio “How To” section. All too often, audio work is cast aside in post production in favor of spending more time on achieving impressive visuals. This is a crucial mistake. In this post, you’ll pick up a few tips for optimizing your audio workflow during your video edit. Picking the right audio monitors (speakers), basic sound mixing and essential audio effects are all covered. 10. Mike Russell Adobe Audition TutorialsMike Russell’s free Adobe Audition tutorials teach you practical skills (noise reduction, sweetening audio). Anyone using a Adobe based post production workflow can seriously benefit from his often-updated YouTube channel. Also, be sure to check out his 5 free presets (email) to use in Audition. As an example, check out his video below on recording high quality voiceovers in Adobe Audition: These online resources will help filmmakers get the best results when working with audio!Sound production is a big part of filmmaking/video production that is often overlooked. Whether you are making films, documentaries, corporate communications or wedding videos, the following resources will help you better understand audio and get better results! 1. FilmSound.orgFilmSound has a helpful FAQ on Audio Post Production, as well as articles from 3 time Oscar winning video and sound editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, English Patient, Cold Mountain). The site is geared toward sound editing and design in feature film production and features excellent resources for those looking to get started in the business. 7. Sound Design & Pre-ProductionLights Online Film School is a great filmmaking resource that we’ve previously covered in our post 10 Filmmaking Sites You Should Be Reading. 5. Audio for FilmIf you’re new to filmmaking or sound design, these basics from MicroFilmmaker are a great primer. In this post, you’ll learn the 3 components of a solid soundtrack (dialog, sound effects and music), as well as some useful info on creating a successful sound mix. 8. Location Sound/Audio Post ForumDVX User is best known as an active camera and filmmaking community, but they also have a forum for Location Sound/Post Audio. Start with the “Audio 101” thread which covers common audio filmmaking questions. If you have a specific audio question be sure to post it in the forum! 9. Sound Series by Clinton HarnFilmmaker and audio pro Clinton Harn teamed up with Zacuto for a info-filled blog series on audio for video. Topics covered include picking the right mic (and the differences between mics), capturing sound in cars and creating a working budget for sound recording and design. 11. NoFilmSchool – Audio with a Crew of 1NoFilmSchool is a wealth of information for filmmakers and video pros. In a recent post, they tackled the task of recording audio as a one-person crew. Lots of good info here about recording audio with DSLRs to external recorders and mic placement.