Monday, October 27, 2014

Long Lines AT&T building

During our Instructional Technology class last week, one of the groups did a great presentation on The Evolution of the Telephone. One of the topics was on Long Line Transmissions and Ship to Shore communications.

I have some deep rooted history in this area as I grew up and lived on connected property to one of the only AT&T Ship to Shore transmitting stations in the United States.The site is located on Good Luck Point of the Barnegat Bay on the border of two neighboring towns Ocean Gate and Bayville.

Most locals assume the land is in Ocean Gate, but it is actually owned by Berkeley township and is in the Bayville zip code 08721.

In 1881 Ocean Gate was known as Good Luck Point until the town was founded in 1918. My great grand father and grandfather Walter H. Alonzo were the first residents of Ocean Gate which is a small 1 square mile town that was a Pennsylvania railroad stop that connected the old wooden railroad bridge to Seaside Heights which burned down many years ago.

The two other sister stations were located in Dixon, California and Pennsuco, Florida. The Good Luck Point Ship to Shore was a high frequency (shortwave) radio transmitting station providing telephone communications to ships at sea (high-sea service) and to overseas areas under the call sign WOO.

AT&T was looking for locations through out New York and New Jersey to serve as a transmission site. They liked what they saw in the Good Luck Point site and purchased 175 acres of Berkeley Township in 1929, butted up to the east side of Ocean Gate.

My Aunt Kay worked at the site for as long as I can remember and in 1999 AT&T stopped service at ship to shore location and sold the building and property to the to Berkeley township for $1.00 and is now a wildlife refuge today. The site is gorgeous and photographers dream with fallen poles and fields of antenna.

In July 2012 I moved in to a waterfront home in Good Luck Point that stared directly across at the old site and now bird sanctuary You could not ask for a more perfect view, we could get in our kayaks from the back yard and go through the endless maze of marsh lands and enjoy the fallen ship to shore site and the new home to thousands of species of wild life.

Unfortunatly on October 29th, 2012 we lost our Good Luck Point home to Hurricane Sandy. Although I only got to live in this surreal location for 4 short months it will be some of the best memories of my life. Here are a few of my favorite pictures I have taken from my home of the old AT&T Ship to Shore site.

This is the view from my back yard looking at the pole fields and marshes.

This is taken while kayaking through the now bird sanctuary and you can see some of the large egret nests and the Seaside Heights Bridge in the background.

This photo was taken on the most gorgeous summer evening I will ever remember, how about that  amazing sunset.

For more information on AT&T Ship to Shore here are few great sites and forums:

AT&T Long Lines

No Mans Land

What are those poles across the bridge?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hmmmm What to Blog about???

While thinking about what to blog about the word sounded funny to me. I thought where did that word come from and when and where did blogging come from. This led me to our good friend Google :)

The term BLOG is short for WebLog, The term was adopted in 1999 to say "We Blog" however blogging has been around since the early 90's, they were originally single owners to hold self though discussions or instructional sites.

The term 'Blog' is the evolved term coined by Peter Merholz in 1999. 
It's not an acronym,'s a colloquialism. It comes from the conjoined terms web and in weblog. Then it evolved into simply blog when Peter Merholz coined the term in 1999.

Today there are Multi-Author-Blogs or MABs and blogging is used around the world for many reasons. 

For more information and history of blogging read more.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year.... NOT!

So we have entered into that time of year again....
No not the Holiday / Fall season,
NJ SMART October 15th Special Ed Submission season.

This is by far undoubtedly the busiest time of the year for myself and my coworkers at my company. The company I work for is a software development company that creates and maintains student information systems and databases for NJ public, private, charter and non-public school districts with in New Jersey.

I specialize in the Special Education Management Module (SEMM) and it's during this time of the year that our lively hood, sanity, patience and knowledge is tested to the fullest. Every October 15th all NJ public school districts are required to take a "SnapShot" of their current special ed students' data at that moment. They then export to NJSmart where they more than likely get a bunch of errors, based on mistakes in dates and data made throughout the year.

From September 1st until October 15th we suggest and support the districts to clean up their data to prevent these errors from being reported, which ultimately can help lower the likelihood of them being audited by the state. The amount of research that goes in to my team and myself knowing the state code, mandates and special situation exclusions is overwhelming, but we do it and we do it well.

I like my clients to feel comfortable calling me first before the state and we have the correct answer for them. The rules and code change frequently year to year so we are always learning more and more.

The users have the whole year to clean up there data and run trial submissions to make sure they are error free. We now have 5 days left until the final submission deadline, and we have all hands on deck so to speak, with 3 of those fives days being an extended holiday weekend due to Columbus Day.

Being a full time Graduate Student,  Full Time Worker and Full Time Homemaker during our busiest season of the year is difficult, but so far so good... ask me again on Tuesday and I might not have the same response.

You have to remember to keep your balance in all the craziness, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.... TGIF

If you are interested in how some of the NJ Smart Submissions work take a look at the NJSmart webpage.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Formative vs Summative Evaluations

This week I was asked to do a Formative Evaluation for another student's project. I of course said yes, and then realized I truly wasn't sure what was or what went into a formative evaluation.

I assumed that I was going to evaluate a final or completed project to give them feed back and critique on how they did. This was an incorrect assumption.

Apparently what I thought I would be doing was a Summative Evaluation. The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

This is quite different from the Formative evaluation where the goal is to  monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. 

More specifically, formative assessments help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately.

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Which quite opposite the summative assessment that are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a midterm exam
  • a final project
  • a paper
  • a senior recital

I found the differences interesting and now have a much better understanding of what my goal is and why I am being asked to complete the task. My understanding of the difference will allow me to evaluate the project at greater value to give the student the most effective feedback.  .  

Here is a great page that I was able to get some of my information from.