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IHEN Wednesday Brunch CHAT LOG 030730 11:00am

[This is a raw copy chat log from the IHEN Wednesday Brunch Chat with
Gary Mason, from Ball State University. Copyright (c)2003,
Indiana Home Educators' Network, All Rights Reserved. This is an
unedited document.]

[Gary] Yes! The GED tests many more subjects than the SAT. However,
that is also true of the ACT, which is one reason we encourage all
applicants to take both the SAT and ACT.

[Gary] Hi Ben! Welcome.

[Ang] that's good to know

[Debbie] But if a person can do well on the SAT, won't they generally
have little problem learning in college?

[Tammy] we lost him again

[Wed Jul 30 16:20:37 GMT 2003] Gary: Ball State Home School Liaison

[Tammy] Gary has bad chat karma

[Gary] I got knocked off again. But I'm back.

[Ang] poor Gary...he's going to get dizzy!

[Gary] Apparently!

[Ben] I have some thoughts on the ISTEP+ when the subject is ready to

[Gary] Sounds good to me.

[Gary] This is fun, BTW. I would rather visit with each of you in
person, but this is pretty interesting.

[Ben] Indiana is going to jump spending on the test to 19mil this
year, because they say the "feds" are making them do it...

[Ben] NCLB...

[Ben] the question is... how much is BSU taking the ISTEPS into
consideration for new applicants?

[Gary] The state is also implementing end of course testing now,
which seems like it will be redundant.

[Tammy] why does it cost so much to test?

[Ben] They are now testing ALL student grades, not just 3rd, 6th and

[Ben] They are blaming the Kennedy Education bill for making them be
more "accountable"

[Tammy] I still don't understand the expense. It's just paper, right?

[Gary] Public school students must have passed the ISTEP exams to be
elligible for admission. Beyond that, we don't worry about scores at

[Debbie] Ben, you mean the one Bush agreed wholeheartedly with ;)

[Gary] I believe some schools are having students test
electronically. Scores are then submitted electronically.

[Tammy] are the keyboards gold plated or something? geez! $19 mil!

[Gary] I guess costs add up given the number of ps students across
the state.

[Debbie] Tammy, someone has to administer it, someone has to grade
it, someone has to analyze the results....

[Ben] Paper said they went up 7mil to 19.

[Tammy] if public school enrollment is down almost 24% in the last 10
years, I don't understand the expense...

[Debbie] and then write up a press release making it all sound so
useful and important....

[Debbie] but maybe I'm just cynical :)

[Ben] And Deb, yes, Bush signed it... but rarely does ANYONE say that
Kennedy was a principle writer.

[Debbie] Well, Bush certainly wouldn't want to say that would he?

[Tammy] also these people are already employed by the schools, right?
They don't hire additional people to administer tests I hope.

[Ben] I don't know about Bush, but the news media doesn't seem to
EVER want to mention Kennedy's part in it.

[Debbie] That's because it makes sense that Kennedy would want it but
Bush is supposed to be a conservative, so that's news :)

[Ben] RE: Testing: McGraw Hill is the company that is making the $$
making and administering the ISTEP

[Ang] speaking of rising costs...has anyone been keeping up on the
recent spike in college tuitions?

[Tammy] remind me to check their stock prices...:)

[Ben] Indiana I assume buys it from them ... along with the text
books and curricula -- to teach to the test.

[Ben] Politics is about "credit" Deb... doesn't it seem strange that
Kennedy doesn't want the credit for the ...

[Tammy] I get teachers in the library complaining about having to
teach to the test all the time! They hate it!

[Ben] largest spending spree on education ever???

[Gary] Even most of the major state universities have significant
increases the last year or so; largely due to state cutbacks in
funding for higher education.

[Ang] I wonder how we're going to afford college in 13 years

[Ben] I'm wondering, Ang, if college and "higher learning" paradymes
won't be totally different in 13 years!

[Tammy] maybe in 13 years there will alternatives to institutional
learning that are more mainstream...

[Gary] I wonder the same thing for my kids - ages 10 and 8. That is
one reason I work in higher ed. Perhaps I can get some tuition
discounts for dependents.

[Ben] With distance learning on the rise, our kids just might take a
law class from Harvard, and the basic (cheaper)...

[Ben] clases from other colleges...

[Ben] pick and choose.

[Ang] pick and choose...that's the route I'd go...

[Ang] for me personally...I mean

[Ben] Tuiting: My mom taught at Anderson (College then, University
now) and I got free tuition.

[Tammy] when I look back on all my college years, both undergrad and
graduate, I can point to just a few classes where I learned what I
use in both careers...

[Gary] I believe so strongly in the process of residential
undergraduate education that I hope we never get totally away from
that. Learning on-line just isn't the same.

[Ang] My dh tried some of his classes online and HATED it! He really,
really missed the classroom setting

[Tammy] i also think it is good to get away from home and test those
values, learn to be truly independent...

[Ben] Agree, Gary. If we get to the idea that undergrad work might
also include internships and apprenticeships...

[Debbie] I went to a commuter college (IUS) and I don't feel like I
missed anything of importance

[Ben] then I think people will be better prepared for career, and
making better choices for uppergrad classes.

[Gary] Yes, Ben, we do a lot with internships here at Ball State.

[Ben] although... I have a bad internship story from BSU. ;-)

[Tammy] the value I got was not from all the classes, but from not
being shadowed. My folks were a little controlling...

[Ang] Can you tell us more about the internships, Gary, or would that
be too involved for this forum?

[Gary] Having experienced residential learning, I would never want to
learn any other way. I think it provides a much deeper, richer
learning experience.

[Ben] they controlled because they didn't want to "waste" their
money. If YOU were in control, you 'MIGHT' have made better choices.

[Debbie] Gary, I disagree, I don't think it's necessary. But I was
involved in many things at the university.

[Gary] Our students do internships in all kinds of jobs and all kinds
of places. They vary depending on the student's major.

[Ben] In my case, I got the internship on my own, and the T-com prof
said i couldn't do it, because I hadn't taken the "right" classes yet.

[Gary] However, Debbie, not having experienced it, you may not know
what you missed. Just a thought.

[Ben] My previous life experience (film making, radio, etc.) meant

[Debbie] And you may not know what I experienced either. Another
thought :)

[Ben] Meanwhile, the company i was going to intern with, didn't care
and wanted me to come.

[Gary] Very true!

[Tammy] I really hated dorm life, though, and couldn't wait to get an
apartment. I learned most from the independent lab studies I did.

[Tammy] classes were a waste of time in most cases. I finally stopped
going and concentrated on where I was actually learning useful skills
and concepts.

[Ben] Teachers and Tutors and "knowledge imparters" are the key.
Really, do you go to BSU for journalisim, ...

[Ben] or do you go because certain journalisim teachers are there?

[Ben] If Ansel Adams offered a "class" in photography, I would rather
pay him the thousands of $ to learn, rather than...

[Ben] go to Brooks Institute. (another college i went to, out of 5)

[Tammy] I had a really great mentor in college. I think it is
important to find learning opportunities, but I don't think
classrooms are the best places to do that...

[Ben] Colleges are the "shell" business that are supposed to gather
the best teachers and form classes around them.

[Tammy] college campuses offer a lot of those opportunities. Some
choose to just go to class. Others seek out those opportunities...

[Tammy] I just hate that those who don't seek out ways to really
learn get the same degree and often better grades...

[Tammy] because they didn't spend their free time learning

[Ben] they are wasting their (and their parents') money.

[Ben] This all points to why hsers are better students. They are
already prepared to be independent learners...

[Tammy] no. They are getting diplomas and clogging the job marked
with half-wit employees who fit in so well with the "average"

[Ben] and if they aren't getting what they need at the moment, they
are more likely to GO GET IT.

[Debbie] My dd gets comments often from professors who realize she is

[Debbie] the love that she is interested and loves to learn

[Ben] Homeschoolers are refreshing! LOL!

[Ben] Here's an idea: a bunch of homeschoolers getting together and
forming their own study/class group,...

[Ben] and teaching themselves OFF campus, suplimenting thier college
class with more or better learning aspects.

[Wed Jul 30 16:47:09 GMT 2003] Tammy has no profile.

[Tammy] I got kicked off that time.

[Gary] I have found that home schoolers generally do not want to be
identified as such. They want to blend in. I have heard of colleges
with home school support groups though.

[Ben] Sure... they'll form just like IHEN was formed. The niche
presented itself, and people acted.

[Ang] Really? That's interesting...hs support groups at colleges.

[Ben] We didn't have to have approval or certification for anything.

[Debbie] But really there's no real need for homeschool groups in

[Ben] Do they support themselves because they feel singled out, or
are they actually forming learning co-ops of sorts?

[Tammy] unless people are seeking friends who actually like to

[Debbie] Well they are out there, they don't HAVE to be homeschoolers

[Ben] [grin] that's a thought Tammy, I knew of some "drinking buddy"
support groups in the past. ;-)

[Debbie] some just make it despite of their traditional experience :)

[Tammy] true... I guess I'm a little bitter now due to some recent

[Debbie] there went gary again

[Tammy] we lost Gary again.

[Wed Jul 30 16:50:54 GMT 2003] Gary: Ball State Home School Liaison

[Gary] I'm back again.

[Ben] Gary's bumpy ride is in no way sponsored by IHEN (disclaimer...

[Tammy] I have to go soon. It is pajama day and I've been told I need
to go play with my daughter.

[Gary] I need to step away from my computer for a moment, but I'll be
right back.

[Ben] Every day is pajama day here... unless we need to go out.

[Tammy] we go out almost every day. The last Wed. of the month is how
I convince her to get dressed the rest of the month.

[Ben] I've been stepping around, giving Jennifer her passy the whole
time... she's yelling at me now. :-)

[Tammy] gotta run. Kate wants to dictate a poem...NOW!

[Ben] Have her do it online!

[Ang] Have a good one, Tammy :)

[Ben] Poetry Jam!

[Ang] poetry jam is great on toast!

[Ang] sorry...couldn't be helped

[Ben] better than picking it out of your nose... or toes.

[Ben] Where other jam grows.

[Gary] I'm back again.

[Ben] **thank you! Thank you very much!!*

[Ben] Gary: what did you think about my idea about studying
homeschoolers and how they might use e-books?

[Gary] I think that would be a fascinating study, particularly to see
how their use might differ from students with traditional backgrounds.

[Ben] Whom might I talk to about that at BSU?

[Ben] Wouldn't it be cool for IHEN and volunteer homeschoolers to be
a part of a big study on the use of e-book hardware in their learning

[Gary] It would need to be someone in the College of Communication,
Information, and Media. We have a new digital media center. That
would be a good place to start.

[Ben] Name or department head?

[Debbie] I hate reading book length stuff online

[Ang] I have disk after disk of e-books...I love 'em!

[Ben] This is using "e-books". Saw a segment on PBS locally about how
BSU got 20mil from lilly to study

[Ang] no torn covers...lost pages...yippee!

[Ben] how people might use them for better learning instead of

[Debbie] but Ang you miss that wonderful smell of paper!

[Gary] Jackie Buckrop is the assoc. dean of CCIM. She works with our
office on some things. You could start by contacting her and asking
whom to talk with. Her number is 285-6000.

[Ben] the example was a class studying Shakespear, watching a play,
but also using an e-book to look up

[Ang] oh, I'll never completely give up good ol' books, but I must
admit that e-books are great, too

[Ben] thousands of pages of extra info from Shakespear to how plays
are produced.

[Ben] thanks. I'll call after this chat.

[Gary] I agree with Debbie. I like the real thing. I also like to be
able to mark it up.

[Debbie] Ben, that just sounds like information overload!

[Ben] You CAN mark it up. You can also DELETE the info when you're
done. Like when you tossed your college textbooks. ;-)

[Debbie] Well, I must go, thanks so much for being our guest Gary. I
really appreciate it. Bye all.

[Gary] You might mention to Jackie that we have talked about it. She
will be very helpful, I'm sure.

[Ben] But think about it... in one space, you have all the info you
might usually have to look up in the library, for your research
papers, etc.

[Gary] Bye Debbie. I'd be glad to stop in again anytime.

[Ben] I assume you can collect your own topical library of sorts from
downloads or discs.

[Gary] Yes, that would be interesting.

[Ang] yup!

[Ben] Well, it's noon.

[Ben] and Jennifer has been VERY VERY patient.

[Gary] How do you mark them, highlighting?

[Ben] I assume they're like a palm pilot

[Ang] Yes, thank you so much, Gary...this has been very
enlightening...and super-helpful!

[Gary] Tell her thanks from us.

[Gary] So long for now.

[Ben] There might be a master text, but a way to make notes on it...
I should ask Jackie.

[Ben] anyway yes bye all! Thanks again!

Updated: 07-07-09

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