What is Carmen’s Home?
Carmen’s Home is an online networking portal (http://carmenshome.org) developed by faculty at Buffalo State College to build resources and further the development of higher education, secondary education, and organizational cultures and communities that are dedicated to excellence in teaching and learning. Carmen’s Home is designed to advance the use of fresher interactive and social networking technologies by fusing discussion boards, blogs and online courses with the authoring capabilities of Word Press (Word Press is a free software package that allows an individual, a community of users, or an enterprise to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website, e.g., community web portals, discussion sites, corporate web sites, intranet applications, personal web sites or blogs, e-commerce applications, resource directories, and social networking sites).
It has been our belief that instructional and learning communities and resources can be markedly enhanced and expanded in both structure and function by combining these and other tools.
Carmen’s Home should be viewed as an easily accessible, practical and technologically sound on line resource designed for higher education faculty, staff, administrators, and organizational trainers. It is most fundamentally intended to improve and broaden the exchange and application of instruction and learning knowledge and skills.
In effect, Carmen’s Home is committed to building instruction and learning knowledge through an interdisciplinary collegial process. By developing and/or collecting relevant and up-to-date information within collaborative authorships and an interactive online environment, feedback and discourse are virtually assured. Carmen’s Home is expected to evolve while fostering a dynamic interactive higher education and organization culture and community dedicated to the enhancing instructional excellence, learning, performance and personal development.
A portal, Carmen’s Home is comprised of four web sites: “Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Secondary Education and Organizational Settings: A Guidebook” which is comprised of a range of topics and content related to concepts and principles that are central to the processes and products associated with teaching and learning; “Carmen’s Courses” which utilizes customized learning software such as ANGEL and Moodle to offer online instruction, training and learning opportunities; “Carmen’s Roundtable” which encourages open discussions and consensus building related to great ideas and innovation in higher education, secondary education, and organization teaching, training and learning; and “MAPP Leaders Corner” which is intended to provide an online community within which a host of communication and networking opportunities are available to foster care leaders and social workers.
The following excerpt was taken from a letter that was submitted in support of a grant application by Carmen’s Home Team offers a perspective that perhaps captures the promise of Carmen’s Home:
“I see the real power of Carmen’s Home as a place to receive coaching and ideas about teaching and instruction through interaction with seasoned practitioners and well-informed scholars with real opportunities for mentoring in teaching. Further, professional development via enhanced media will be an added attraction for our faculty at Buffalo State College, particularly newly hired faculty who can often become overwhelmed with a full teaching schedule. This project will certainly capitalize on the strengths of our institution and our excellent faculty from various teacher education disciplines.”
Melissa J. Miszkiewicz
Director, Academic Computing & Technical Services
Buffalo State College