Hodges University, Florida - Faculty Development Day
Eric, Alex and I just finished a wonderful week in Florida together. The reason for the trip was that Hodges University in Fort Meyer's had invited me to facilitate their annual Faculty Development Day. Hodges is a non-profit university with a mature student population involved in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The average class size is approximately 15 students with a "seasoned" group of faculty instructors (all on continuing contracts - no tenure - similar to the Royal Roads University system).
In the morning, I ran my Designing for a Blended Community of Inquiry workshop and in the afternoon, the Roles of a Successful Blended/Online Instructor session. I was VERY impressed with how well both sessions were received. All the faculty participants were active and collaborative participants in the small and large group discussions. One of the librarians, Susan Smith, even blogged both of my sessions.
Beyond, the Faculty Development Day - Eric, Alex and I had a BLAST in Florida (complete pictures). We began our trip in Orlando by picking up our Ford Mustang rental mobile. Our first stop was the Regal Sun Resort in Disney World. We used the resort as a launching pad to explore nearby SeaWorld. We arrived at the park bright and early so that Eric could have a ride on the Kraken Roller Coaster. Unfortunately, our next ride was the Journey to Atlantis (a water log ride) and we spent the rest of the day "soaked". After trying out all the rides we watched the Shamu Believe Show, the Pet's Ahoy Show, the Neptune Circus Show, the Dolphin Show and the Sea Lion and Walrus Show. The boys even had their pictures taken with one of the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horse.
Wednesday March 25th was a special day - Alex's 13th birthday. For your birthday, Disney provides you with free admission to their theme parks and Alex had mapped out a VERY full day. We began the day at EPCOT centre with rides on the GM Test Track, Mission Space, Space World and Soaring. Even met up with Randy Garrison and his daughter Sabrine for lunch at the French Pavilion. Then it was onto Animal Kingdom to see the animals and try out the Dinosaur ride (unfortunately, they had run out of FastPasses for the new Everest Express Roller Coaster Ride). Next it was off to Hollywood Studios to watch the Extreme Vehicle and Indiana Jones Stunt Shows. We finished the day at the Magic Kingdom where we tried out the Indy Race Cars, the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Big Thunder Roller Coaster and Space Mountain (our first and last big line of the day). The evening was completed with a wonderful fireworks display over the Magic Kingdom and a special Birthday dinner at the T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney - what a day!!
We spent the rest of our trip relaxing on beaches in the Fort Meyers area (I'm still learning that even a little sun can burn pasty white skin)