RELAY FOR LIFE’S DONEGAL CANCER CONFERENCE A HUGE SUCCESS

first_imgSome of the crowd at the Relay for Life cancer conference.The Relay for Life Donegal 2014 committee, in association with The Irish Cancer Society, held an inaugural cancer conference on Saturday the 5th April 2014 at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.MC Charlie Collins got proceedings under way by emphasising the great success of Relay for Life in Donegal and stating that cancer doesn’t discriminate.Robert O Connor, Chairperson of Relay for Life Donegal 2014, addressed all who had attended and highlighted that, “the conference is for you”. Robert outlined how delighted he was to welcome everyone and he took the opportunity to thank Relay for Life Donegal’s patron (i.e.) Mr Daniel O Donnell.A video message from Daniel was viewed and Robert took the opportunity to “thank Daniel for his commitment and support”.The patient experience was delivered by Bernie Gallagher, Conal Gallen and the survivors’ choir. Bernie Gallagher shared her personal experiences; why do I relay? According to Bernie, “you must stand up and fight, believe you can do it!”According to Conal Gallen, “we should talk about cancer more. I didn’t know how to deal with cancer. I deal with problems through humour”. Conal also stated how he “felt lucky to survive cancer”. The survivors’ choir gave a beautiful rendition of alleluia.One of the many experts who delivered presentations at the conference included Ursula Bates, Head of Psychology, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross. Ursula delivered a presentation on the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis. According to Ursula, “it is a cause for celebration that more people than ever are surviving after a diagnosis but we know the impact of cancer doesn’t suddenly stop when treatment is over”. Ursula reiterated that stress cannot be blamed as the cause for cancer; environmental, lifestyle and generic factors must also be considered.According to Siobhan Diver, Marketing Manager of Relay for Life Donegal 2014, “the event exceeded all expectations. The committee were delighted with how smoothly the event ran and of how much benefit and enjoyment attendees had stated they had obtained from attending”.The Relay for Life Donegal 2014 committee would like to take this opportunity to thank those who attended the conference, the guest speakers, the exhibitors and to everyone who facilitated in any way to making the conference the tremendous success that it was.The committee would also like to take this opportunity to highlight that if anyone is interested in entering a team for the Relay for Life Donegal event on the 31/5/14 – 1/6/14, they should contact Nicola on 086 8880399 or alternatively email relayforlifedonegalapplications@yahoo.com RELAY FOR LIFE’S DONEGAL CANCER CONFERENCE A HUGE SUCCESS was last modified: April 7th, 2014 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:conferencedonegalRelay for Lifelast_img read more

Doug Ford’s Classroom, Part 1: Digital jolt looms large in big changes

first_imgIn a two-part series, reporters Heather Rivers and Louis Pin examine the Progressive Conservative government’s new education policies, and how they’ll affect students – from kindergarten to university – when classes resume:The smiles and the jitters, in equal measure, are there in every back-to-school cycle.But this year in Ontario, the jitters have the edge.Sweeping changes to education, from elementary school to university, are starting to kick in as Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government takes its reforms – and budget battles – to the classroom.Nowhere will the changes be felt more than in high school, where students will face a larger average class size, fewer optional courses and, many fear, fewer teachers and other grown-ups to help them.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.In low-enrolment rural schools, many of them in Southwestern Ontario, some fear the fallout could kill those languishing on their deathbeds – schools until now protected by a provincial freeze on closings.But the biggest change coming in high school is one unique in North America – a new e-learning requirement that teenagers, over four years, take four of their 30 courses needed to graduate online.Even for a generation that has always known the internet, being forced into digital learning doesn’t sit well with many. And experts say such a move can easily backfire if it’s not backed by proper staffing and technology, which may well mean spending more money – not less.“If students are sitting by themselves in a room with little to no support at the school level – unless that student is a naturally strong, independent learning (type) – they are not going to have success,” warns Michael Barbour, an expert in online learning at Touro University California, a private graduate school.Critics say the Ford government’s shakeup of the $31-billion education system is all about saving money, trying to wring out $1 billion over four years to help the Tories whip a $12-billion budget shortfall.The government insists its changes are about modernizing the school system, and that no teaching jobs will be lost except through attrition. Teachers’ unions and others sharply disagree.None of it makes Lily Ryan and her friends, heading to high school for the first time, feel any better. “It’s definitely scary,” said 14-year-old Ryan, who’s going into Grade 9 at Sir Frederick Banting secondary school in London. “But I have hope.”Ryan figures she can do the math on what’s ahead: A larger average class size means teachers with less time for students, she notes. They’ll also have to work harder, since their numbers are being rolled back.And the stuff that makes school worthwhile for many kids, the options and special programs that bring out passions in many – Ryan fears they’re in jeopardy, as school boards scale back elective options.“The fun classes, or classes that make kids go to school, like the art and tech classes, might just get cut completely,” she said. “If those classes get taken away, then they don’t have that.”The changes don’t stop there.In elementary schools, the average class size is also going up, but less dramatically than in high school.On campus, college and university students will get a 10 per cent tuition cut. But the same government giving them that break is taking away free tuition grants that helped about 200,000 students afford school before. It’s also giving post-secondary schools less money to work with and hooking more of that to performance – measurements like graduation rates and how quickly students go on to find jobs.Welcome to Doug Ford’s classroom.“He’s cutting the budget on the backs of children,” said London New Democrat MPP Terence Kernaghan. A former teacher, he worries about the fallout of larger classes on kids needing more time with teachers.Poorer learning outcomes, kids acting out, more violence – it all comes with larger classes, he said. If that’s not enough, there’s a backlog of $16 billion in needed repairs in the school system, he added.“It is something that is completely scary,” Kernaghan said.The rhetoric sounds apocalyptic. But even in the run-up to the new school year, in back-to-back announcements last week, when school messaging is crucial, the Tories threw everyone two curve balls.First, after vowing to scrap the former Liberal government’s modern sexual education curriculum, one critics saw as a throwback to appease social conservatives not happy about kids being taught blunt sexual concepts as early as they are, the Tories announced a revised curriculum that, with minor differences, largely leaves the existing one intact.Months of hand-wringing and preparing for a new course of studies went out the window.Then, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, moving to counter what he called “misinformation,” dropped another bombshell, saying he’s open to trading cost-saving ideas in the education system for lower average class sizes and that this school year the average will only rise to 22.5 students.Months earlier, the government had said the average class size in high school would rise to 28 students from 22 and in elementary school by one student, to 24, increases the province has said will ultimately mean 3,475 fewer teachers in the system, as attrition reduces their numbers.For school districts that have planned for the larger averages, including cancelling thousands of classes, it was a shot out of the blue. One teachers’ union leader called it a “feeble attempt at sleight of hand,” saying the government still plans to hike the high school class average to 28 over time.Lecce, despite repeated Postmedia requests, was not made available for comment for this story.*** Like many kids heading to high school for the first time, Kaya Intini has questions.Perhaps surprisingly, for someone from a tech-savvy generation, she’s concerned about one of the biggest changes in high school – a requirement that students take four online courses to graduate.“I know students taking online courses who have had to hire tutors for help with their studies,” said Intini, who’s also headed to Banting secondary. “A lot of things are not as well explained (as in the classroom). I am not sure how this will work – they will need so much technology. Where will they be getting the money?”ONLINE EXTRA Students, union officials and education experts weigh in on the Ontario Tories’ education changes. CLICK HERE TO READ ITMaya Lopez-Town, also going into Grade 9 in London, has similar concerns. “It worries me, not for my sake but other students,” said the H.B. Beal secondary student.“Not all students have access to a computer or access to the internet so they can do their courses. It’s not fair. . . . There is going to be a change all of a sudden to be switching from (the) classroom, which is how I learn better, to learning to do online courses,” she said.They’re good points, but so far there aren’t a lot of answers.What is known is that Ontario won’t start compulsory e-learning until next school year, but provincial officials can’t yet answer details about how the classes will work, how many students they’ll have, whether students complete the work from school or home, or both, and how they’ll be supervised.The question isn’t whether online learning works, but what’s needed to make it work, said Barbour, the Canadian-born online learning expert teaching in California.“Anybody can learn in any medium,” said Barbour, who has studied and written about e-learning across Canada.  “What impacts learning is how it is designed, and how learning is supported. If they (Ontario) could do a good job on those, it could be very successful.”Only about five per cent of Ontario students now take online courses, so the compulsory move is dramatic. But while it’s easy to see how a government trying to save money might like that, with possibly fewer teachers needed, experts caution online learning done on the cheap is bound to be bad.“I am really adamant about ringing some alarm bells here because I teach it,” said Beyhan Farhadi, a high school and e-learning teacher in Toronto who’s completing a PhD thesis on e-learning in the Toronto District school board.Farhadi is concerned about the sudden, 95-per-cent increase in e-learning students Ontario will have.“Nobody is talking about it,” she said. “It’s unfortunate, because it’s supposed to be coming out in 2020 and we could be spending this year building the competency of students.”Tony Bates, author of Teaching in a Digital Age, has said he’s suspicious of the Ford government’s motives for making online learning mandatory, but that – properly done – it can pay dividends.“If he’s using it to cut government spending, it is a really bad policy,” he said.The upside?E-learning can help students to learn independently, sharpen their self-discipline and encourage them to get more involved in their own education, said Bates.“That’s good, because everyone in the end needs to take responsibility for their own learning. It’s a skill,” he said.People for Education, an advocacy group for public education, estimates e-learning will save Ontario nearly $41 million. While most high schools already offer access to online learning, only about five per cent of students take up that option, the group says.It’s not for everyone, said Farhadi, noting research shows students not going on to university don’t do as well in online learning as academic students. “There is a huge disparity in outcomes for these two.”Chronic under-funding of e-learning programs makes it tough to meet all students’ needs, said Farhadi.“Even folks who are very positive and and proponents of e-learning in general recognize you require face-to-face supports for e-learning to be successful,” she said.KEY CHANGES: Average class sizes:Rising to 28 students from 22 in high school; up one to 24 in elementary. Education minister says average this year will be 22.5. Money:School boards will average $12,246 per pupil this year, down $54 per pupil from last year Teachers:Province has said 3,475 jobs, about three per cent of the total, will be lost over four years. Unions fear higher fallout. Courses:Four required online courses in high school, North America’s highest requirement, starting next year. Thousands of other optional classes at risk as boards plan for fewer teachers. READ IT HERE: Doug Ford’s Classroom, Part 2: On campus, a tough new landscape looms Clockwise from the top: Dylan Lobb, Lily Ryan, Kaya Cygalski and Kaya Intini are entering Grade 9 at Banting in September. Derek Ruttan/The London Free Presslast_img read more

As Instagram Grows More Complex, Can It Maintain the Love?

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#mobile#Multimedia#news#web 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… marshall kirkpatrickcenter_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Popular iPhone photo sharing app Instagram captured the hearts of nearly five million users this year despite, or perhaps because of, a surprising lack of features. The super-simple photo app let you apply filters and post out to other networks. It didn’t let you do much more than that.The company has slowly added features over recent months and today unveiled a new version of its app with three big new features that could make a big difference in the ways we use Instagram. Those changes are upgraded user biographies, hashtag autocomplete and a new page to view all the photos you’ve clicked “Like” on in the past. Can Instagram keep its clean simplicity while adding more and more features? Time will tell, but these changes look to me like good ones so far. First, user bios now include a URL field and a text field that you can populate with info and a link to another page on the web where Instagram users can learn more about you. That makes sense, as it’s useful to be able to find out who a person is that started following you or Liked one of your photos – but it also removes some of the mystery of the experience. There was something a little intriguing about seeing someone Like your photo, clicking through to their page and still knowing nothing more about them than you could learn from their timeline of dreamy, filtered photos from somewhere in the world. Right: The new Instagram profile pages are beginning to look more and more like some of the company’s competitors’ profile designs.Hashtag autocomplete is something that the Twitter iPhone app has offered for some time and the feature is an attempt to get users to contribute photos and comments to a stream of topical conversation. It is, no doubt, added at least in part so that the commercial partners Instagram hopes to monetize will have some more solid ground in order to monitor their interests. If it catches on, though, it will also likely lead to some very interesting photo-discussions about topics of interest around the world. Especially once Instagram finally launches an app on more affordable Android devices (right now it’s iPhone only) then it could become a service used to capture (and perhaps unfortunately over-filter) a photographic record of history unfolding.The app now stands at an odd place between simplicity and a growing list of features.Finally, the addition of a bookmarked-photos page in the form of a “photos I’ve Liked” view is a good move towards making Instagram feel more permanent and less fleeting. It’s a cool feature for sure. How many of us use this app for quick capture but then make sure to send our best photos to Flickr as well, as that feels more permanent? This new feature adds an increased feeling of permanence to the photo-viewing experience.The whole ethos of Instagram has been about speed, simplicity, lightness, a dreamy haze and a light layer of brief social interactions. There’s still almost no web presence to refer to your photos there, you can’t search for your photos or other peoples’ photos. The app now stands at an odd place between simplicity and a growing list of features. Will that mix serve it and its users well? Will the startup that did so well building a simple social mobile user experience do as well at growing its app up? Time will tell. Related Posts last_img read more

PSA: BetaBait Helps Apps Lure In Beta Testers

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Does it work? It’s only been out two days – and BetaBait itself is still in beta – but apps are already seeing results. I emailed all the founders on today’s list to ask, and I got a bunch of responses right away.Quoc Nguyen, founder of local hotspot finder RedSpark, says, “We were extremely surprised in the influx of interest in our product the day after we published on BetaBait.”“I was able to track that 3 people signed up from it,” says Sean Barkulis, co-founder and CEO of personalized “smart-calendar” UPlanMe, which has only been on the list one day. “Not bad, considering we were 3/4 of the way down on the e-mail.”Check the Mail makes a full-featured email client for iOS devices that, once its out of beta, will be able to work with all the major free email services. Its team says it’s seen traffic and sign-ups both days. “What we really like about BetaBait is that the sign-up process was simple and quick and emphasizes getting the point of our project across in a very succinct manner,” the team says.I got one really thorough response from Erik Lagerway, founder of stealth social iPad app Hookflash. He says “they really need to improve upon” the BetaBait dashboard, offering analytics and stats to testers. Right now, it’s just a panel to manage the email listing, as seen here: From the blogging-as-a-service department, here’s a tool I think any app development team could use. BetaBait offers a simple proposition: sign up to try new apps on one side, sign up to find beta testers on the other.It’s a free, email-driven service. When you join, you’re on the daily email list, which breaks down the apps by category. BetaBait charges $50 for a sponsor slot at the top of the email, so readers see sponsor apps first. That’s it. If you’ve got an app, there’s no reason not to use it.Co-founder Cody Barbierri wants to connect early startups with early adopters. Bugging people to try an app doesn’t work, he’s found. To solve the problem, BetaBeat targets “the people who love to be the first to try new apps,” so startups can get straight to them via email.BetaBait just wants to be helpful and make a little dough from sponsors. The website has places to sign up, info for sponsors and a short but helpful primer on marketing an app to early users. That does sound nice, but maybe it’s a lot to ask for a totally free service. Lagerway is also frustrated by the inability to track signups specific to BetaBait using its own tools, but UPlanMe handled this by putting a special tag in the link it submitted.It’s a simple, free service, and I’m sure the team will appreciate Lagerway’s feedback. If you want to put your app in front of people who want to test apps, BetaBait is a no-brainer. jon mitchell Related Posts center_img Tags:#Product Reviews#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Illinois ~ Multiple Taxes: Governor Open to Expanding Sales Tax, Wants Income Tax Hike Tied to Permanent Property Tax Freeze

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportIllinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said in his 2017 budget address that he is open to legislative proposals to expand the sales tax base. He also supports raising the earned income tax credit for low-income taxpayers and making the research and development tax credit permanent. He called a Senate proposal for a permanent increase in the individual income tax rate tied to a temporary property tax freeze unfair to Illinois taxpayers. The governor proposed a permanent property tax freeze and suggested any increase in the income tax could be stepped down as the Illinois economy grows and revenues expand.Subscribers can view the governor’s entire budget address.2017 Budget AddressPress Release, Office of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, February 15, 2017last_img read more

We had enough of BCCI, we took correct decision: Sahara Group chief Subroto Roy

first_imgSahara Group on Saturday defended its decision to snap sponsorship ties with the BCCI and withdraw from the IPL, saying the relationship between the two has become so strained that it could not be possible to continue any longer.”The decision we took to end ties was not a bad one at all. We had enough of it. Any relationship does not break on one single issue only. We had a long relationship. It has to do with many issues and has happened continuously,” Sahara Group chief Subroto Roy told a press conference in Mumbai.”There were so many genuine things we had but they (BCCI) did not give heed to such a small thing like opening the bid. They did not open the bid (when Sahara had submitted its bid for the first time). Rules were broken for other teams but we were not given natural justice,” he said.Roy said Sahara had approached the BCCI to settle the issues through arbitration and it had even proposed an arbitrator but the Cricket Board was not interested.”We even approached the BCCI for arbitration and even proposed the name of the arbitrator,” said Roy.He said considering the number of matches reduced from the originally-proposed 94, Pune Warriors paid 25 per cent more money to the Cricket Board for owning the franchisee.”It was 94 matches calculation, the gate money to collection of advertisement money would have been 25 per cent more. We have paid 25 per cent more. Differential amount is 25 per cent of the total amount,” he said.Roy said he would not want to blame anybody but he was snapping ties with the BCCI and pulling out Pune Warriors from the IPL as it involved emotional issues.”Again without blaming anybody, I thought it would give us lot of happiness. It involved emotional issues. Let us put all this money in sports development in villages.”advertisementlast_img read more

In The Spotlight – Jamie Stowe

first_imgIn the forty-third edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Men’s Open player, Jamie Stowe, speaks about what it means to represent Australia at the 2011 World Cup, and his knowledge of Scotland. Name: Jamie StoweNickname: StowieAge: 36Affiliate: Parramatta/ScorpionsOccupation: Electrical SupervisorPosition: WingDebut for Australia: 2001Career highlights so far: Meeting so many good friends and great people through various teams.How you got involved in Touch Football: Playing in Manilla with family and friends.Favourite player: Mark (Bus) BolandWhat does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup: Epitome of four years of work and training. It’s the proudest honour representing this country on a world stage, with not only a well balanced team but some great friends.Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: Mark Boland Favourite sporting moment: Kiwis four nation win a couple of years ago closely followed by learning to snowboard.What do you know about Scotland: My family’s actually from Scotland so I was brought up with some Scottish traditions and encouraged to play the bagpipes from a young age. So it will be nice to see some of the places my parents were raised.Any superstitions: First foot on New Year’s (Tallest person to walk through your door first on New Year’s Day (Scottish tradition)), and no new shoes on tables (it brings bad luck (another Scottish superstition))Funniest Australian teammate: Practically its Z (Anthony Ziade), but Stevie has his moments and Sfeirsy doesn’t try to be, but comes out with some screamers sometimes.Favourite quote: Not up in here!Any travel plans for after World Cup: Yes four weeks around Europe. With less than two weeks left until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more