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Category: Education

19 Mar 2019

Dick DeVos Saved A Potential Economic Disaster From Striking Grand Rapids, Michigan – But How?  0

You may have seen the DeVos name a lot in the news. While it started with Richard DeVos in the 1970s thanks to Amway Arenas, his son Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy DeVos have been leading the family’s name through a political period. Betsy DeVos is now the 11th US Education Secretary, while her husband Dick DeVos recently signed up to work with the FAA. He will now be advising the FAA as part of their management advisory council.

 

The council is made up of 13 members from transportation, business, and airline executive backgrounds. DeVos is the only one who comes from a pure business background, but his experience with renovating airports and growing airline sales has become legendary. His work was first noted with the Grand Rapids airport.

 

Throughout the 1990s, Michigan was in decline. Western Michigan was the only area that seemed to be growing. Grand Rapids was the hometown for the DeVos family, so Dick DeVos had a special interest in the area. He started working with local business leaders to build up the downtown areas of Grand Rapids, hoping to bolster economic activity. It wasn’t before long that he had formed a committee called Grand Action. Together, they were responsible for the growth and change around Grand Rapids.

 

Now the city is a wide metropolis, booming with growth and new business developments. However, it all started with a few construction projects downtown. These included the Andel Arena, DeVos Place Convention Center, and DeVos Performance Hall. While these buildings had become essential to the skyline, before there had been nothing in place of them. It seemed that they were necessary to keep the growth going in Grand Rapids.

 

The airport was the next to receive Dick DeVos’ attention. He had a strategy to combine with the convention center, and it all started with the nearby airport. While Grand Rapids had always had a small international airport, DeVos saw that it could be so much more if he talked to the right people. He started with the CEO of AirTran Airways and convinced him to open up four new flights at the Grand Rapids location.

 

The four new flights included Orlando, Denver, St. Louis, and Las Vegas. These destinations were not only popular for entertainment reasons, but they were big business destinations. DeVos saw that if he could get on the same circuit as other conferences and conventions, then he could join the destination list. It happened to work out well for the area, and it allowed business to boom even further at the airport.

 

Now the Grand Rapids location is seeing 3.26 million passengers per year. The new growth has allowed for the airport to change its security, making it faster to get through the airport with new technology.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

26 Dec 2018

ClassDojo as a Community Building App for Teachers  0

One of the great themes of technological developments is the unintended outcomes that a new form of technology will have on its user. Often it has unexpected consequences, leading us to wonder whether it is truly worth it. Many other times, a positive outcome will occur in addition to the device or software’s original intent, almost like an added bonus. Technology in the classroom is certainly not an exception, and may even be one of the greatest examples of unexpected outcomes on both sides of the spectrum.

ClassDojo and other classroom apps have been introduced to the learning environments have had such a wide variety of effects on teachers, students, and parents, that it may be impossible to ever document them all. One important thing to be said of technology in the classroom, such as the app ClassDojo, is the great benefit in both communication and community. Teachers speak to the positivity that is sparked in the environment when students are able to work together within an app, and the ability to share messages, photos, and videos with parents and families throughout the day is a benefit to the entire learning community.

Teachers that embrace technology have found, in many ways, that they can rise up to greater levels than ever before. The community of parents and students is not the only one positively impacted; teachers can create larger networks with each other than ever before. Conferences and seminars have grown to online discourse, while chat rooms have evolved to social media, networking apps such as ClassDojo, and other forums to create extensive resources not just in education, but in nearly every profession.

One example of the teaching community, brought to us by ClassDojo, is a teacher who was unsure of how to make a visually impaired, non-English speaking student feel welcome. This professional utilized ClassDojo to tap into a community of colleagues who had been there before, and who gave her the tools to better teach this student, while improving herself along the way.