Gaming

Shadow of the Colossus Review (PS4)

It was in 2005 that Shadow of the Colossus appeared on the PS2 and became one of the best PS2 games, if not the best. Thirteen years later, this timeless classic has been reintroduced with a fresh coat of paint for today’s generation of gamers.

So how does it hold up?

In this review, we will go over all aspects of this game in detail, such as graphics, gameplay, story, and overall experience. However, to understand the pedigree of what we are looking at here, we need to look at one more aspect of this game which is its Legacy.

When it comes to timeless classics in video games, very few games have the impact of Shadow of the Colossus. I remember the first time I booted up the original SOTC on my PS2, back in 2005. I entered completely blind, not knowing anything about this game. There are no reviews or spoilers back in the day. After the initial hurdle of trying to figure out the mechanics of climbing, it was a moment of awe that only a few games could provide at the time.

Fast forward 12 years, the second colossus was released. I knew this was a rare masterpiece that needed to be savored. And I was not the only one who shared this feeling. Almost everyone who has played this game has had it regardless of whether they have a soft spot for it, whether they have finished it once, or, as in my case, at least a dozen times.

But games have come a long way since 2005. And the wide variety of genres and advancements in mechanics that we’ve experienced in these 2 generations of consoles since PS2 is astounding, which is why I’m speechless when I see how good the game is. PS4 version. of this game remains today.

Story

The main history of SOTC can be written in a few sentences. The man tries to save the beloved Monkey. Man is offered the opportunity to do so by killing 16 colossi. The man does. And then the end. But there is much more complexity to this simple story. You can’t help but fall in love with all the characters. From Agro, your faithful steed, to the tramp, the protagonist and each of the 16 magnificent colossi. All of this only leads to an emotional punch every time you kill these colossi. And not to mention an ending that is both outright heartbreak and beautiful.

Graphics

Part of the charm of SOTC lies in how simple everything is, and the underlying complexity is born in the mind of the player. It may have been due to the limitations of the PS2 that things were kept so simple, but Bluepoint games have used that simplicity along with the graphical fidelity of the PS4, delivered in spades. This game is one of the best PS4 games right now. Everything in this game, from the landscapes to the towering colossi, has been redone from scratch. And the result is phenomenal. There is astonishing attention to detail in every nook and cranny of this game. And these images play a vital role in the overall experience of this remake.

How to play

The main gameplay of SOTC is to travel the landscapes of the cursed land on the back of your horse, in search of the next Colossus. It remains for you to discover where to go with the help of your sword, which reflects rays of light in the direction of the target. Once you find the Colossi, you need to figure out how to take them down, as each of them needs a different strategy and planning. This keeps the game fresh until the end. Reminiscent of the simple theme of the game is your arsenal, consisting only of a sword, a bow and an arrow.

Despite all the praise this game gives, there’s no denying that the controls were a bit quirky. Even in the days of PS2, we’ve had games with much better controls than SOTC. While we can’t say this has been fully resolved in the remake, here are some notable changes. The button layout is mapped to appeal to today’s gamers, who can be reconfigured to the original settings if desired. In addition to this, there are now also in-game collectibles and some clever Easter eggs that reference other Ueda games.

While the main game can be finished in about 10 hours, longevity is provided through other difficulty settings and outlandish rewards. And a mirrored mode that, well, mirrors the game screen and feels surprisingly cool. Add to this a Photo mode that allows you to take screenshots of the game, with various filters and tools. Honestly, I spent hours here and the end results are incredible.

general

The original SOTC on the PS2 took gamers breathless and added to the notion that video games are indeed an art. It was timeless in its own right and didn’t need a remaster. But this remastering was still done and the result is a masterpiece. If the PS4 had come out in 2005, this could have been Fumito Ueda’s original vision. We may never know, but as gamers, we can only thank the creators for making this happen. SOTC on the PS4 is not just an essential classic, but a timeless classic that sets new standards for remakes.

Score

10/10

Gaming

Garlic as a second language

“With three nickels you’ll be on the subway, but garlic will give you a seat.” ~ Old New York saying.

Have you ever been curious as to why garlic smells like this? Well, wonder no more. Read on about this friendly and versatile member of the lily family and find out how he came to be on everyone’s breath everywhere you think to look.

If the body movements denote its own language and a picture is worth a thousand words, how many smells make up a sentence? It depends on the sentence, you could say. Well that’s true. “Jack and Jill went up the hill” is not the same with our nostrils like: “The garlic in Grandma’s carbonara floated into the dining room, making our mouths water.” “Smells by any other name are still smells,” as one of my neighbors who was never without her gas mask used to say. Certainly, within the animal kingdom, smells understood their own form of communication. My argument is that garlic does too; Because no matter what country you call home and no matter what language your mother tongue is, the cuisine of almost every culture recognizes and uses garlic in one form or another. In that sense, it is a second language for all who cross its wonderful, smelly path.

A man named Arthur Baer once said that there is no such thing as a little garlic. Whether this is due to its magical culinary power or because there can never be enough protection against the vampires hanging around the house is a matter of opinion. The superstition of garlic as a deterrent against evil and vampires is deeply ingrained in Balkan folklore. The legend of the vampires is based in part on a true homicidal maniac; Vlad Tepes Dracula, whose name means devil in Romanian. In the 15th century, he ruled Walaachia, which is now part of Romania, as Vlad II and was affectionately known as Vlad the Impaler by his closest friends and foes. (He didn’t have many of them when his reign ended due to his bloodthirsty predilections.) Bram Stoker and later Hollywood idealized the vampire, transforming him into a tragic, erotic, and lonely figure, seeking out beautiful damsels to free him from his curse and join him in an eternal game of chess within the chambers of his dark and drafty. Transylvanian castle air.

The word vampire comes from the Slavic word obyri or obiri, which evolved into the Bulgarian word vampir. Some say that the Greek word, nosphorosos, which means plague bearer, which evolved into the old Slavic word nosferatu is synonymous with vampire. In our culture, words are often exchanged. Many of the early myths grouped vampires, witches, and werewolves. It was thought that a vampire could transform into a wolf. This happened when the bat form was not available and Bela Lugosi was working on another movie. The vampire would enter the house of the unwary and drink the blood of his children. To protect themselves, common people sprinkled salt or seeds around their doors and hung garlic cloves on their windows. The vampire was thought to be a compulsive accountant and would have to know exactly how many grains of salt or seeds there were before he could enter the house. (This can also be seen as the beginning of OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, which will be the subject of another article, hitting local theaters soon.)

Protecting vampires throughout the misty forests of Transylvania probably isn’t one of your biggest garlic concerns today. (But again, who knows?) Garlic has its own history and its own language. Although it is not known with certainty when it was discovered, it is likely that nomads first dispersed it in the steppes of Central Asia several thousand years ago. Already in the VIII century a. C., garlic grew in the garden of Babylon. Chinese scholars spoke of him from 3000 BC. C. and there is also a reference in the Shih Ching (the book of songs), a collection of ballads said to have been written by Confucius himself. Garlic was so prized in ceremonies and rituals that lambs offered for sacrifice in China were seasoned with it to make them more palatable to the gods.

Garlic was part of the Sumerian diet in the Middle East more than 5,000 years ago. By 1000 AD, it was cultivated throughout the known world and universally recognized as a valuable plant. It was introduced to France by Godefroy de Bouillon, not the inventor of the bouillon cube, but the leader of the First Crusade, who when he returned to France in 1099, was declared King of Jerusalem. Many cultures elevated garlic beyond a staple food and suggested that it had medicinal and spiritual purposes. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used it to treat infections, wounds, and intestinal disorders. Roman legionnaires attributed their courage and endurance to garlic and took it away while conquering the world, thus spreading its use and cultivation like bad rumors everywhere.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped garlic as a god, and his name was often invoked in oaths. (It is not known whether those who swore first rinsed themselves with mouthwash out of respect for the nostrils of the gods.) During the era of the great pharaohs of Egypt, according to ancient papyri, garlic served as food, medicine, and offering. It was found in the tomb of Tutankamen and within the Saqqarah funerary complex, as well as in inscriptions on the Giza pyramid. Garlic was so valuable that 15 pounds would buy a healthy slave. It is also written that the workers building the pyramids were given garlic (as well as onions and radishes) every day to help increase their vitality. It was so important to their diets that it caused work stoppages when workers were deprived of their allotted ration. According to Charmidas, unfaithful Egyptian husbands relied on garlic’s unique “perfumed” properties to hide evidence of infidelity. They would chew a tooth or two on the way home after visiting their lovers so that their entire body was infused with the scent, ensuring that a jealous wife could not detect another woman’s perfume.

Garlic, known by its Latin name, Allium sativum, may very well be one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to man (and woman, of course). It is a powerful natural antibiotic. It lowers blood pressure in hypertension and is helpful in reducing “bad cholesterol.” An advantage of using garlic for its antibiotic properties is that it does not destroy the body’s natural gut bacteria. It is excellent for use on colds and infections. Garlic oil is often used to treat earaches and ear infections, especially in babies and children. During World War I, garlic was used as a wound dressing in the field and as an antiseptic. It has also been shown to be an effective treatment for fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is destroyed when heated and is only released from the tooth when it is crushed or bruised. Therefore, for most treatments, the garlic must be crushed or raw. (Stay away. This means you!)

Garlic has other uses as well. Peeled nails that are placed in a room are said to prevent disease. The entire bulb is hung in new homes to dispel negativity and evil spirits. A nail placed under the pillow of sleeping children is said to protect them. Dreaming of eating garlic means that you will discover secrets. (Perhaps now you will find out who your baby’s mother really is!) It is mentioned in the Bible that the Hebrews used garlic to increase and maintain virility. Early travelers through the Rocky Mountains inserted garlic into the nostrils of their horses and mules to prevent them from collapsing due to lack of oxygen. Mountain explorers in South America chewed wild garlic to alleviate altitude sickness. Native American tribes treated many ailments with wild garlic, although they were defenseless against the forces of Manifest Destiny and the eventual disappearance of their garlic birthright.

For culinary purposes, a rule of thumb to remember regarding the potency of garlic is: the smaller you cut it, the stronger the flavor. A finely chopped or pressed raw clove releases more flavor than a dozen whole cooked cloves. Finely chopping and / or pressing a tooth exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction that produces that strong aroma. When cloves are cooked or baked whole, the flavor softens to a sweet, almost nutty flavor, which is a surprisingly pleasant addition to desserts, such as ice cream or brownies. Whole, unperforated cloves have hardly any aroma, while raw garlic is the strongest in flavor. When sautéing, be very careful not to burn it. If you do, the taste will turn intensely bitter and you will have to start over.

And now the problem that we have all been waiting with bated breath (or at least something wrong). Why does garlic smell like this? When cells are broken by cutting or pressing, they release an enzyme called alinacea that chemically changes the allin inherent in allicin, a sulfur-containing molecule, resulting in that spicy mainstay found in kitchens around the world. If you are a garlic lover, you may want to surround yourself with other people who enjoy it too, or try chewing parsley to get rid of garlic breath. (As far as I know, there is no cure for parsley breath!) It is said that to get rid of hand odor after peeling or mincing garlic, simply wash your hands and then scrub them with a chrome tap. (I don’t know. That’s what they say).

There are many different types of garlic (Allium). Although only the cultivated variety is used for medicinal purposes, all other species have similar properties to a greater or lesser degree. Raven garlic is widely distributed and quite common, but the bulbs are very small and the work of digging them up is excellent. It is frequently found in pastures and affects the taste of milk when cows eat it. Ranson garlic grows in the forest and has a very pungent taste and smell. It also has small bulbs, which makes it impractical. However, it is quite a beautiful plant with broad leaves that resemble lily of the valley and star-shaped flowers that are dazzling white. Field garlic is quite a rare plant. Both this and the Crow Garlic are often used as herbs or for flavoring. There are some species of Allium grown in the garden, whose flowers are even sweet smelling, but they are exceptions and even these have the smell of garlic in their leaves and roots.

All in all, I would say that garlic is good business. I even like the smell and am considering marketing it as a perfume. (I had the same idea of ​​manure for horse lovers. That didn’t work but …) In her own way, Bela Lugosi lives in the soul of every garlic dish; not like a vampire, but more like a dinner guest who avoids daylight and mirrors and tastes good food when he sees it. If you come across him amongst the hazy ghosts of Hollywood celluloid, say hi to him, because I’m a fan. But just in case, try some Vampire Away Garlic Dip provided by The Snack food Association and included at the end of this article. It’s creepy and frighteningly good with fluted or regular fries for all who dare eat it. Add some extra cloves just in case. After all, you never know who you might run into in the Hollywood of your mind.

Garlic dip for vampires

1/2 cup of skim milk

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1/8 teaspoon of paprika

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon onion salt

Addresses:

Go to the nearest cemetery after midnight on a cold October night. Blend all the ingredients in the blender until smooth. Then wait and see what happens. If nothing works, go home and enjoy your dip because it worked!

Gaming

Lego Marvel Superheroes

Marvel has been doing quite well lately. Last year’s summer blockbuster the Avengersbroke numerous box office records and Marvel successfully merged with mega-corporation Disney; Things have been going the Marvel way for quite some time. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since we were gifted with a quality video game based on the Marvel Universe. With Lego: Marvel SuperheroesTellTale Games hopes to change that. In many ways it is the best Lego game yet, but at the same time it goes overboard in certain respects.

As the great adventure begins, he will learn that the ever-looming Lego version of Galactus is closing in on Earth and sending the Silver Surfer to explore the planet. It goes from bad to worse when Doctor Doom and other Marvel villains decide to take advantage of the situation. Not only are the Avengers sent to take over the task, but you also have characters like the Amazing Spider-Man, the X-Men, and even Howard the Duck trying to put down the planet-eating disaster.

As huge Marvel fans, Telltale offers a gripping story. Obviously these guys see and read all the Marvel stuff. You’ll get a lot of jokes between the characters about certain movies they’ve been in and even an achievement with Captain America and the Human Torch (played by Chris Evans in their respective movies). It was great as a fan of the Marvel brand to play something the creators were equally interested in. Also, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments between the Hulk and Tony Stark.

You can only get so far with a great story in one game; you also have to supplement the software with great playability. Unfortunately for some, Lego: Marvel Superheroes It is not derived from the same Lego game formula that was forged in the past. You’ll find the same recognizable puzzles, the same brick collecting with just a coat of Marvel paint. Even as a huge fan of Marvel comics, I have played this game before. Since Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and even the DC brand, it’s all the same basic scheme.

That being said, they do try to add a few other elements to the worn mechanics. For example, there is a pretty cool skydiving feature when you are in the Helicarrier mission center. I spent too much time getting all my characters out of that thing. It also adapts the free roaming gameplay of Lego Batman 2. My biggest complaint with this game is the horrible controls when you swing, fly or run in the Lego version of New York. You can’t go anywhere with precision and the game map is atrocious. If you want to unlock most of the characters, you have to do it in free New York so that you are forced to fight with terrible controls.

Speaking of characters, this game has the largest selection of all Lego sets. My nerdy senses were definitely tingling as I could unlock Superior Spider-Man, Daredevil, and even strangers like Squirrel Girl. As with many Marvel entertainment products, this game not only features Stan Lee cameos, but you can also unlock Stan the Man. He can use all of Spider-Man’s powers, as well as becoming a Hulk version of itself. It definitely breaks the game from a balance point of view, but who cares? Excelsior!

All Lego video games are made to play with your friends. That’s not to say that it’s not a blast to play alone, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you replace your terrible AI teammates. There were multiple times when my computer-controlled allies got in my way and negatively affected my experience. I encountered this problem with almost every Lego set and it’s a shame they haven’t solved it. The most unfortunate and almost unforgivable sin this game commits is the lack of online co-op. Current systems have been out for almost eight years and have yet to incorporate this feature. This game is also coming out for PS4 and Xbox One, maybe we can look forward to seeing it there. However, don’t get your hopes up, as that is not likely to be the case.

We have been given quite a few Lego sets over the years and most of them were wonderful to play with. This game is no exception; there are some bugs and stuttered frame rate issues, but it’s nothing to catch up on. As with all Lego software products, the latter is better than the former. Lego: Marvel Superhero It hardly changes any of the old Lego formulas, but with such a rich database of heroes and villains it’s easy to miss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to unlock Howard the Duck.

Gaming

Turn 2: Review Unleashed

All right:

• Wide variety of cars in the style of the Need For Speed ​​series.

• Many social functions in online mode.

• The feeling in the driver’s cab is AMAZING …

Bad:

• … but is it that important to the game?

• No return option.

• The steering of the cars has yet to be developed.

• AI aggression can really drive you crazy.

• Is it Need for Speed ​​or what is it?

Recently, the entire gaming industry is overwhelmed by the desire for realism. Publishers and developers are making an incredible effort to bring our virtual experiences closer to reality. Sometimes the result is excellent, other times it is not.

Take Kinect, for example: instead of playing your favorite console comfortably sitting on the couch, you need to constantly stir the air like a lunatic.

Or take Shift 2: Unleashed, for example

Instead of carelessly flying over 200 km / h, the player now has to think about when to stop, how exactly to take turns, and how to avoid colliding with other cars. Yet this is exactly what Electronic Arts and Slightly Mad Studios are aiming for.

The developers of Shift 2 are trying to distance themselves from the traditional features of the Need for Speed ​​series, so that the average gamer doesn’t create a false sense of nostalgia for the old days. While the previous game was titled Need for Speed: Shift, this time the famous three letters NFS were removed and the title was transformed into Shift 2: Unleashed. This reflects the EA’s intention to make Shift independent of Need For Speed ​​but growing in parallel with NFS.

However, comparisons are inevitable

It’s not so easy to say goodbye to Need for Speed. Regardless of what the guys at Slightly Mad Studios offer, there are bound to be unhappy folks who will see the new game as another step in the wrong direction. Because if the original Shift doesn’t suit you, the continuation of the series, which stubbornly becomes more like a simulation, doesn’t suit you either.

Although there were claims of realism, Need for Speed: Shift was more like an arcade game than games like Forza Motorsport 3 or the new Gran Tursimo 5. This time, at least in theory, Shift 2: Unleashed tries to be much more realistic. . and behave. As before, the game begins with a test lap that will test your driving skills and offer you the optimal car settings and overall difficulty. There is nothing wrong if you select full support and gradually, as you start to feel more confident, disable the features without which you can.

First person runner

The most important feature of the game in its quest for realism is the Driver’s View, located directly above the driver’s helmet. For most gamers who are used to driving the car itself, not the driver, this can seem quite strange. The truth is that when you get used to the new point of view it seems unique. Certainly the feeling is as if you are in the cockpit of the vehicle, not as if you are flying above it like an invisible spirit. To be adequate on the road, this time you will have to perform different maneuvers even with your eyes, such as stealing a quick glance in the rear view mirror. For maximum control, the game recommends using a HVOH360 compatible steering wheel or controller. The reason is partly in the behavior of the cars themselves: it still varies between the arcade and the simulation and sometimes it seems that the cars are not on the track, but they glide over it in an unrealistic way.

The feeling is again enhanced by the current jolt that occurs in a collision. Your vision dims, the virtual pulse begins to beat, and the view through the windshield melts into impenetrable fog. This is probably the most painless way to experience the sensation of a frontal impact and it looks really realistic. Particularly impressive are the night runs where the visibility does not exceed three or four meters and it is very difficult to see where you can snuggle up next. The catastrophe in such a situation is really terrifying.

At least the graphics are amazing!

There is no doubt that transferring the player directly into the epicenter of events is a great idea. But the question is whether this really helps the gameplay. Judge for yourself: a racing driver has years of practice, experience and an unquestionable advantage in seeing the immediate surroundings with his own eyes and his own head that can move when and where he wants. You, on the other hand, are forced to get used to the restrictions of your two-dimensional screen. In other words, you and your virtual head have different reflections that do not improve the gameplay at all.

Speaking of collisions, a big downside to this game is the lack of a button, which could roll back time to avoid premature or aggressive attack maneuvers. The realistic Forza 3 and the small arcade DiRT 2 have this similar function, but unfortunately in Shift 2 it is absent. The aggressive AI of the other contestants often leads to clashes, as a result of which both cars can run off the track. For the opponents it is nothing, for you this sometimes means the end of the race.

Wherever the road takes you

Shift 2: Unleashed still has fewer cars than Gran Turismo or the upcoming Forza 4, but with over 140 cars from over 30 producers, the garage is arguably the largest in Need for Speed ​​history. Either no, wait … this isn’t actually an NFS game or … I don’t know, I screwed it up.

If we continue our comparison with the best racing sims like Forza 3 (and this is obviously EA’s wish), we must bear in mind that Shift 2 has much more diverse races in its catalog. In the game of Turn 10 practically the concept is the familiar “Be first after Lap X”, which inevitably gets boring over time. Despite the absence of straight tracks, here you can still have fun drifting and with the so-called knockout fast lap. All of them are scattered over more than 40 tracks, some of which actually exist (like Suzuka and Donington) and some of which are fictitious (like the races in Miami).

After beating the other competitors

As in Need for Speed: Shift, and here your progress is measured by level increases through XP point gain. In this regard, the game is quite generous, as it rewards you for every correct action you take. Sailing through the perfect band, making proper turns, catching the opponent, even a simple overtake – all of this gives you points to add to your score. Also, the competitions have additional tasks, such as being the first for a complete lap, and again they give you XP.

This way, the points earned are used for upgrades and upgrades, but don’t expect anything that resembles the old Need for Speed ​​games. The advantage of Shift 2: Unleashed is still the presentation of the track. Fortunately, XP can be transferred to online mode which is well established. Thanks to the new Autolog feature that we first saw in Hot Pursuit last fall, you can coordinate your presentation online, interact with friends, and just generally have fun.

In the goal

Shift 2: Unleashed’s biggest problem lies outside the racetrack. Is it even a Need for Speed ​​game? Are the authors trying to preserve some of the old features of the series or are they determined to break away from all things Need For Speed? Did they give up the series’ unique heritage to shed all their hopes on a competition with established leaders like Forza Gran Turismo? And wouldn’t it be better if they had created their own unique approach to the racing genre, rather than copying already established parameters?

These are questions to which at present it is difficult to give a clear answer. We only know that EA has big ambitions for Shift and if the game succeeds, it may become the new leader among the racing simulation series. But what would be the price to pay …

Gaming

London’s top 10 soccer teams

There is a lot to see for those interested in football in London. Just to clarify for readers of this article from outside the UK, football means the ‘beautiful game’, which is commonly referred to as football around the world.

London has a proud tradition of famous football teams with a lot of competition between them to be the best club. There are generally four or five London teams in the Premier League and there are many commentators who believe that this is one of the biggest obstacles for any of them to win the league. A ‘local derby’ between two London football teams could produce an electric atmosphere and change the current form on your head, they are so well contested.

Tickets to the Premier League are sometimes hard to come by, but a little perseverance often pays off. There are a number of ticket agencies that can get you tickets for a price.

In the last decade, both Arsenal and Chelsea have twice won the illustrious Premier League title and reached the final of the European Cup.

Here are some details on the 10 best football clubs in London and to avoid any accusation of partisanship, they are listed in alphabetical order: –

Arsenal

The Arsenal Gunners have played in the top division of English football in consecutive seasons since the 1919-20 season. They have been champions 13 times and achieved a unique record for modern times in the 2003-04 season when they went the entire season undefeated.

Arsenal have won the coveted ‘double’ (league and cup champions in the same season) three times, in 1971, 1998 and 2002

In recent years they have moved to a new venue, the Emirates Stadium, with a capacity for 60,000 people. The Arsenal Museum is well worth a visit and is open every day.

Brentford

The Bees, Brentford Football Club currently play in Football League I. They were founded in 1889 and play their home games at Griffin Park, their home stadium since 1904. Brentford’s most successful spell occurred during the 1930s, when they managed to consecutively the first six places in the First Division.

Since the war, they have spent most of their time in the third and fourth levels of English football. Brentford has been a four-time FA Cup quarter-finalist and a two-time runner-up for the Football League Trophy.

Charlton athletic

The Addicks, Charlton Athletic have seen better days. There were happy days in the thirties and forties. In recent years they have struggled after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and then from the Championship in 2008.

They play The Valley, south of the River Thames in Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905.

Historically, Charlton’s most successful period was the 1930s, when the club’s best league results were recorded, including league runners-up in 1937, and after World War II, when the club reached the final of the FA Cup twice, winning in 1947.

Chelsea

The Pensioners or the Blues, Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 and plays in the Premier League. Chelsea have been champions three times (1955, 2005, 2006) and have won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup twice. They reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2008

Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge in West London and their field capacity is 42,000. The Chelsea Museum is open most days and is worth a visit for those interested in museums and football history.

crystal Palace

The Eagles, Crystal Palace Football Club was formed in 1905. The team plays its home games in Selhurst Park, where it has been based since 1924. The club currently competes at the second level, The Championship.

Crystal Palace’s most recent period of success began in 1988-89, when the club finished third in the Second Division and promoted to the First Division. He reached the 1990 FA Cup final only to lose the replay against Manchester United and finish third in the First Division in 1990-91.

Palace has since been relegated to and promoted to the FA Premier League on several occasions, their most recent relegation from the top flight was in the 2004-05 season. All this despite the fact that the club was almost bankrupt in July 2000.

Fulham

The Cottagers, Fulham Football Club was founded in 1879, they celebrated their 125th anniversary in 2004 and are at the highest level in English football, the Premier League. Fulham is the oldest professional football team in London.

In 2009, Fulham had its best result in the Premier League, finishing seventh in the European standings.

The club has produced many great British footballers, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery and Jim Langley. They play at the historic Craven Cottage, their home since 1896, a lot on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham.

Queens park rangers

The Hoops or simply QPR, Queens Park Rangers Football Club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. They currently play in the Football League Championship, and their honors include winning the League Cup in 1967 and being runners-up in the former First Division in 1975-76 and the FA Cup in 1982.

The Queens Park Rangers Football Club was founded in 1882 and its traditional colors are blue and white. Due to its proximity to other West London clubs, QPR has long-standing rivalries with several other clubs in the area, the most notable of which are Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham with whom they dispute what is known as West London derbies. London.

In 2007, QPR was taken over by Italian mogul Flavio Briatore and is among the 10 richest sports clubs in the world. Other major shareholders are Lakshmi Mittal and F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone. So check out this space!

Tottenham Hotspurs

The famous ‘Spurs’ team from 1961 is still considered by many football enthusiasts as one of the best football teams in the history of English football. They achieved the ‘double’ that had not been achieved at the time since it was won by Aston Villa in 1897.

This has given recent Spurs teams a lot to fulfill. But the Spurs have a long tradition of playing good football, so there are plenty of exciting matches at White Hart Lane, especially with their close north London rivals Arsenal.

In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win a major European trophy: the Recopa de Europa. In the 1970s, they won the Football League Cup twice and were the first UEFA Cup winners in 1972. In the 1980s, Spurs won various trophies: FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield and the 1983-84 UEFA Cup. In the 1990s they won the FA Cup and the Football League Cup and in 2008 they beat Chelsea in the Football League Cup final. This victory means that Tottenham has won a trophy in each of the last six decades, an achievement alone. equaled by Manchester United.

Spurs have planned a new stadium to be completed in 2012 and it is expected to be one of the best stadiums in the UK.

Watford

The Hornets, Watford Football Club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They play in the Championship. The club was founded in 1881 and played on various grounds before moving to a permanent location on Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day. Since 1997, they have shared the stadium with Saracens Rugby Club. Watford has a long-standing rivalry with Luton Town.

The club is best known for two stints under former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasted from 1977 to 1987, when the club was promoted to the old First Division from Fourth Division. Once in the top division of English football, Watford finished second in the league in 1983, reached the FA Cup final in 1984 and competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1984-85 season.

The second period lasted from 1997 to 2001, when Taylor led the club from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League in successive seasons. Taylor is currently a non-executive director of the club and honorary life president along with Sir Elton John, who owned the club during these two eras and has continued a long association with the club.

West Ham United

The Hammers, West Ham United Football Club have played at Upton Park (Boleyn Ground) in East London since 1904, having formed in 1895.

They participated in the first FA Cup final that was held at Wembley in 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. The club has won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. It has also been runner-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.

In 1965 he won the Recopa de Europa and in 1999 he won the InterToto Cup.

Its players are considered a major factor behind England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, as England’s captain at the time was West Ham’s Bobby Moore, and scorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were West Ham players.

West Ham currently competes in the Premier League, their best result in the Premier League being their fifth in 1998-99.

Gaming

A seaplane adventure to Dry Tortugas National Park

Accessible only by boat or seaplane, only about 60,000 visitors arrive at the Dry Tortugas National Park each year. Compare that to the more than 300 million people who visited America’s national parks last year. But it’s really no surprise when you consider what it takes just to get there. The starting point is Key West, Florida, and from there, you can choose between an all-day boat trip and full-day or half-day seaplane trips, assuming you don’t have your own boat.

Preflight

I opted for the seaplane flight and checked in at the Key West Seaplane Adventures office at 7:30 AM for an 8:00 AM flight. Even though it was the end of March, the sun was rising, filtered by wisps of pink and orange clouds. When the remaining nine passengers arrived, we received our report, were introduced to our pilot, Gary, and then we took to the tarmac together to board the DHC-3 DeHavilland Turbine Otter Amphibian. The plane can carry 10 passengers plus the pilot … and when Gary offered the co-pilot seat, I literally jumped at the opportunity!

Gary has been flying to and from the Dry Tortugas for years. That day he would make five trips to and from the Dry Tortugas … and his early morning flight back to Key West would be solo.

Ready to take off

Once we fastened our seat belts and, perhaps most importantly, our headphones on, Gary began to narrate our morning adventure as we rolled onto the track. I turned on my video camera … and before I knew it we were airborne heading east toward the morning sun, and just as quickly turning south, then west for a bird’s-eye view of Key West . It was only then that I realized that I would sit in a place that I had only been able to conjure up in my imagination: turquoise waters, green sea turtles, bright coral, frigates, shipwrecks and a coastal fortress almost 170 meters high. years.

The passenger seat offered the perfect view of Key West, its hotels, Duvall Street and Mallory Square, which quickly disappeared from view. Gary put some music on our headphones … although he wasn’t quite sure what to make of his first selection: “Free Fallin ‘” by Tom Petty!

Flying to Dry Tortugas

Flying at 130 knots, we swiftly passed over an area called the “Flats,” a shallow body of water just 3-5 feet deep that stretches nearly 20 miles to the west. Flying just 500 feet above the water, these shoals are teeming with loggerhead turtles and dozens of them could be clearly seen swimming as we navigated overhead.

40 kilometers away, we flew directly over the Marquesas Islands, a coral atoll … and then over an area called “quicksand”. The water here is 30 feet deep with an ever-changing seabed of sand dunes. This is where treasure hunter Mel Fisher found the Spanish galleons Antocha and Margarita, and more than $ 500 million in gold and silver scattered over an eight-mile area. They continue to work on the site, and even today, there are regular finds of huge Spanish Emeralds.

But it wasn’t long from my vantage point in the cockpit before I could begin to make out Fort Jefferson at Garden Key, Bush Key, and further west, the lighthouse at Loggerhead Key.

A little story

Once Florida was acquired from Spain (1819-1821), the United States found it important to protect the 75-mile stretch connecting the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Ocean, as anyone occupying the area could control trade along the Gulf Coast.

Construction of Fort Jefferson began on Garden Key in 1847, and although more than $ 250,000 had been spent by 1860, the fort was never finished. As the largest American masonry coastal fort of the 19th century, it also served as a remote prison during the Civil War. The most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd, who put John Wilkes Booth’s leg after the assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was convicted of conspiracy and was incarcerated in the Dry Tortugas from 1865 to 1869. The fort continued to serve as a military prison until 1874.

Almost there

Gary turned the de Havilland to the right, providing a spectacular view of the islands and Fort Jefferson, steering the seaplane into the wind for the smoothest landing ever, on land or sea, gently skimming the surface and we glided effortlessly . turquoise waters and heading to shore. One more roar of the engines, one quick turn, and we were on the beach ready to disembark.

We arrived around 8:30 a.m. M. … and aside from the 10 passengers on board, half a dozen campers at one end of Garden Key, and a few National Park Service employees, we had the island to ourselves.

As I watched the seaplane take off, heading back to Key West, I realized how isolated we were in this remote oceanic wilderness.

It was still quite cold, but the sun and the temperature were rising rapidly. Taking advantage of the morning light, I headed inside the fort, climbed the spiral staircase, and exited the old Garden Key lighthouse built in 1825. The lighthouse is no longer in use, as the “new” 167 foot lighthouse. height at Loggerhead Key, completed in 1858, continues to illuminate its beacon to sailors, warning of shallow water.

The view from the top of Fort Jefferson provided a spectacular 360-degree panorama. And besides the few strips of land that make up the park, there was nothing but sky and sea in all directions.

About the park

The Dry Tortugas National Park, located at the far end of the Florida Keys, is closer to Cuba than to the American continent. A group of seven islands, made up mostly of sand and coral reefs, only 93 of the park’s 64,000 acres are on water. The three easternmost keys are simply splinters of white coral sand, while the 49-acre Loggerhead Key, three miles away, marks the western edge of the island chain. The park’s sandy keys are in a state of constant change, shaped by tides and currents, time and climate. In fact, four islands completely disappeared between 1875 and 1935, testimony to the fragility of the ecosystem.

Final approach to Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson

The surrounding coral reefs make up the third largest barrier reef system outside of Australia and Belize.

Dry Tortugas are renowned for their near-pristine natural resources, including seagrass beds, fishing, and nesting habitat for sea turtles and birds.

Bush Key, just about 100 yards from Fort Jefferson is home to a wide variety of birds that frequent the islands and features a mix of mangroves, sea oats, bay cedar, sea grape and prickly pear, reflecting the character original of the islands. .

A great spectacle of wildlife occurs each year between the months of February and September, up to 100,000 black terns travel from the Caribbean Sea and the central-western Atlantic Ocean to nest on the islands of the Dry Tortugas. Brown nodies, pink terns, double-crested cormorants, brown pelicans, and the Magnificent frigatebird, with its 7-foot wingspan, nest here as well. Although Bush Key was closed to visitors, hundreds, if not thousands, of birds filled the skies and the sounds of their screeches and calls filled the peaceful surroundings.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fort Jefferson National Monument under the Antiquities Act on January 4, 1935. Expanded to its current size in 1983, the monument was redesignated by an act of Congress as Dry Tortugas National Park on October 26. 1992 to protect the island and the marine environment, to preserve Fort Jefferson and submerged cultural resources such as shipwrecks.

There is no water, food, bathing facilities, supplies, or public accommodation (other than camping on Garden Key) in the park. All visitors, campers, and boaters are required to pack whatever they are carrying, so the National Park Service has created a wi-fi hotspot, just at the pier, where you can scan a QR code and download a variety of files. PDF to your phone or tablet. It’s an idea that’s sure to catch on across so many mobile devices, reducing the need to print (and discard) paper brochures. Inside Fort Jefferson, a small visitor center has some exhibits and shows a short video. I walked through the entrance and found an equally small office that houses the National Park Service employees who maintain and manage the park.

Almost 500 years ago …

I figured the islands didn’t look much different to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who is credited with discovering the islands in 1531. He called them Las Tortugas, or “Las Tortugas,” since the islands and the surrounding waters They were hot with loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback and green turtles. For nearly three hundred years, pirates not only raided passing ships, but relied on turtles for meat and eggs and also stole the nests of sooty terns and rattlesnakes. Nautical charts began to show that Las Tortugas were dry, due to a lack of fresh water, and eventually the islands were renamed Las Tortugas Secas.

New world shipping, trade and riches

The explorers sailed through the Dry Tortugas and the route was frequented by Spanish ships returning to the European continent from the Gulf coast of Florida, Veracruz and the Caribbean. Dry Tortugas turned out to be a major trade route … and served as an important marker for ships used to navigate the Gulf Coast. While Florida remained under Spanish rule, merchants used this route to transport coffee, tobacco, cotton, meat, cattle, and merchandise across the Atlantic in exchange for New World silver and gold.

Some of the best snorkeling spots in North America

Although I was only on the half-day seaplane trip, I still had plenty of time to swim and snorkel on the west side of Garden Key.

In the late 19th century, the US Navy built docks and coal warehouses to refuel, but severe storms destroyed them, leaving only their foundations. These piles, and the deeper water of the dredged channel, now offer an excellent opportunity to see larger fish such as tarpon, groupers, barracudas … as well as the occasional shark.

I have had my GoPro for years, but had never used it underwater and was pleasantly surprised when I entered the water. Multicolored sea fans swayed in the gentle current. The colorful reef fish, with their vivid and boldly patterned reds, yellows, greens and blues, are camouflaged among the bright corals and seagrasses. Today, turtle populations have declined, but you may still be able to see green, loggerhead, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles.

As I was walking back to the changing rooms at the dock, the seaplane for my return flight was landing and I realized that my time at Dry Tortugas was coming to an end. If I ever get a chance to go back I would definitely go for the full day trip.

A week later, after returning home to Colorado and shoveling snow from the driveway, a small plane passed overhead and I suddenly thought of my flight to the Dry Tortugas: the bright sun, the crystal clear waters, the abundant life, up and down. the surface of the water, a surreal landscape that now seemed much more distant. So captivating, so remote, that even having seen it with my own eyes, I could still somehow barely imagine it.

Gaming

SNES Plays: The Resurrection of Retro Games

Super Nintendo Reproductions (SNES) are the new sensation among retro game collectors. These SNES reproductions are games that have been reprogrammed and recycled to own and play a new game that has never been released in the United States, is it a prototype, a fan-made game, or a cheat from an original game. The process of making a SNES replay is quite complicated; you have to be very tech savvy to pull off one of these beauties. Fortunately, there are sites online that do all of this work for you.

Collectors who are crazy about Super Nintendo games, often learn how to do SNES playback because they enjoyed playing Japanese import games on a computer emulator (PC software that plays ROMs, SNES games), but the feeling of retro games wasn’t there yet. They prefer to play Japanese import games on the real console and in English. Research is a main factor in being able to know all the technical aspects of a SNES cart and understand them. Once you learn the SNES specs, you can recycle your old and unwanted SNES cartridges, which are called donor carts, and turn them into legitimate Super Nintendo replicas; You really won’t know the difference between a reproduction and an original game! Only games that can be legally played are as mentioned above: fan-made games, never released in the US before, and prototypes that never made it to market. Some of the best streaming titles include:

• Secret of Mana 2

• Legend of Zelda BS

• Clock tower

• Megaman and Bass

• Terranigma

• Dragon Ball Z RPG

The disadvantages of the Super Nintendo reproduction carts is that all the information to learn how to make them is free online. Anyone can learn to make games and can start making illegal copies of games that were commercially released in the US This is a big problem for collectors because it will be more difficult to recognize between a reproduction cartridge and an original cartridge of a rare / expensive Online game. Most reproduction cartridge manufacturers are well-intentioned collectors and will not sell any illegal copies of a game. But there are people who buy from player manufacturers and resell these games on eBay or other sites as “VERY RARE” games at ridiculously high prices.

Prices for a reproduction cartridge can range from $ 55 to $ 100. The price depends on the type of parts needed, the quality and if the game includes a reproduction box and reproduction manual, or a universal game box, or just the cartridge.

If you plan to collect reproduction cartridges, be very careful and research where you buy them. SNES reproductions are helping to bring back memories to the collector, but can bring bitter experiences if the buyer / collector is not well informed.

Gaming

Hack ‘n Slash?

Or maybe more to the point, stress relief. Stop and ask yourself these questions:

1. Have you ever bought one of those cheesy stress reliever toys at a local Spencers or other novelty store? You know the. They are often shaped like a human and are squishy, ​​or painted with a target, or make annoying repetitive sounds designed to make you want to yell at them. You’re supposed to pile on them as much abuse as you can, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

2. Have you ever found yourself playing a violent game like Unreal Tournament, or any “street fighter” type game, and have you realized that hitting your opponent senselessly makes you feel a little less like suffocating someone? for real?

3. Have you ever looked up the omnipotent and immortal cheat codes for your favorite role-playing video game and used them to cast the most devastating “city killer” spells throughout the game, for no other reason than the pleasure of watching those? little buggers die?

Now, ask yourself: Have you ever logged into a MU * that you knew offered nothing but plain old, usually hack n ‘slash actions, and found yourself spending hours running typing “KILL (insert generic monster name here) “, and are you really enjoying it?

There is a certain taste of fun in tearing NPCs to pieces. Heck, there’s even a nice adrenaline rush from beating another player (hence the few and far between but very popular PK-only games). But best of all, there can be a wonderful stress release when conquering virtual enemies. It’s the same underlying motivation and relief that leads people to kick-box to manage stress, bang on their pillows, or buy those novelty stress toys and riddle each other with bullets at UT.

You do not believe me? Give it a try. Keep an open mind. Train your character a bit, get good weapons and go hunting. See if you don’t feel the stress melt away with each level you win!

Gaming

Roku HD Streaming Media Player Review

The Roku Player originally appeared as “Netflix Player” in 2008. Now, it is a family of players that offers much more than Netflix.

The Roku HD Player is similar in appearance to other products in its family. Its measurements are 1.75 “x 5.25” x5.25 “. On the back of the device, there are ports for HDMI, S-, component and composite video, and standard analog / optical digital stereo ports (there is support for surround sound with HDMI and digital audio connections.

The Roku HD player uses your Ethernet or 802.11g Wi-Fi to connect to your network. You can expect smooth operation at 802.11g speeds most of the time, however this is only tested with a wireless router placed close to the device. If you are looking for a faster connection, you should use the wired option or buy the Roku XR box as it has faster 802.11n Wi-Fi speeds.

The remote control is very simple and works quite well. You can also easily program its functions into any good universal remote. If you want to use an iPod Touch / iPhone as a remote control, you can do so via Wi-Fi with the free Rokumote app.

The setup is simple. After starting the box, you can navigate through the simple setup wizard with the remote control. If you are using a secure wireless network, simply enter your security key through the on-screen virtual keyboard.

One negative point about the player is that you have to link channels individually to independent provider accounts through your computer’s web browser.

After setting your favorite channels, you can start enjoying them. Most of the channels have the same general interface. By using the 5-way direction pad on the remote control, you can move between horizontally placed program lists.

Netflix: With a paid subscription, you can choose from around 12,000 movies / TV shows on demand, with some HD content. Use your computer’s web browser to create an instant viewing queue, and then you can view those titles on Roku.

Amazon and MLB TV: Amazon offers more than 40,000 movies / TV shows for sale / rent on demand. These titles can cost you between $ 2 and $ 4 for rentals and between $ 6 and $ 15 for purchases. With the MLB TV paid subscription, you can watch live and prerecorded games; however, it is only available to out-of-area teams.

MobileTribe – This is a paid service that works by aggregating information from different social media accounts that you currently have, including Facebook, Plaxo, and MySpace accounts.

Free services: Pandora, the popular free audio streaming service, is available through the device. Other free services you can access include: Mediafly, which offers professional / amateur audio / video broadcasts; Revision3, a technology-focused video provider; TWiT, similar to Revision3; Blip.tv (free): aggregator and distributor of independent web video programs; FrameChannel, a photo sharing service; Motionbox, a YouTube-like site that allows you to watch your home movies.

Gaming

Five strategies that will inspire your students to learn in a virtual classroom

The shift to e-learning that occurred in 2020 may have changed higher education in profound ways, even after the crisis that caused the transition is finally resolved. Students who have never taken an online class now find that they can learn this way. However, many educators who have never taught in this environment understand that teaching online is no easier than teaching in a traditional classroom. The lack of visual and verbal cues presents an immediate learning curve for anyone starting to teach online. Furthermore, the learning management system alone cannot be relied upon as the reason that students succeed in this type of environment. However, virtual learning has already established a proven track record of meeting student needs.

One of the challenges educators must learn to address is engaging students who cannot see in the learning process. Even the most seasoned online educators can find it difficult to do so at times, especially for students who do not respond to outreach attempts. I think about this same theme every time I start a new term and I am always re-evaluating how to evolve and inspire students in new ways. As an example, the current time period was an important factor in my thought process when I set up my new classes and recorded the videos for the first week. He knew that the choice of words and tone could have a considerable impact on students during a time of intense emotions. Over time, and with practice, I have developed strategies to inspire my students that I believe will also be helpful.

What creates a virtual classroom?

Do you consider what your students feel or experience when they first log into the classroom? What is the classroom for them? Some learning management systems are fairly easy to use and some are not. The discussion forum is generally the heart of the classroom and where most of the activity takes place. There are probably many places for you to look for course materials and information. Are students frustrated because they can’t find what they need?

I asked those questions to get you to think about your students and then consider what you can do to help them better navigate through the required technology. Maybe you can post an ad or create a short guide. I create Weekly Prep Guides to help students with the next week of the course, while also sharing additional resources and my perspective on the course topics for the week. I also post a weekly course announcement with a to-do list to help students stay organized. This can also help you and your students.

Five strategies you can implement to inspire your students

If you were to detail the strategies you use now to help engage students in a virtual learning process, which would you consider to be the most inspiring? What strategies help you feel more connected to your students as you interact with them? The following five methods may encourage you to try a new approach or reevaluate how you work with your students online now. I learned these strategies from my own online teaching practice, along with time spent working on teacher development.

Strategy n. # 1: Actively Engage With Your Students

Discussions are the heart of any virtual classroom and this is where you can add incredible value and meaning for students. Consider how they approach the question (s) assigned for the week. Your students will try to read, understand and interpret the required topics. They may post a substantive response, something that explores the concepts and encourages others to engage with them, while demonstrating what they have learned.

More often, however, the initial posts are a good attempt to address the requirements, with a bit of reflection on assigned course materials and general opinion statements infused into what is written. There may be some improvement in the writing level as students move from undergraduate to graduate courses, however, I have seen the same writing patterns continue in all degree programs.

This is why your participation becomes critical to learning and how you can inspire your students to engage in discussions at a much deeper level. While your initial response may be more reactive in nature, your posts can encourage them to think more, through the use of probing questions, while also providing information and context for the topics being studied. You likely have the experience and knowledge to share with them, to give them a real-world perspective that they may not have considered, and they may also have experiences that you can encourage them to provide. When you provide substantive and engaging posts, you are setting a standard for your students to follow and validating their effort or attempt to address the assigned question. I found that validation is necessary for many to keep trying or go ahead with a follow-up post.

Strategy n. 2: direct participation required

There are many words that are used to describe an online educator. The essence of the work you do in a classroom is that of an educator. When you interact with your students, you could consider yourself a teacher as you address specific topics, along with improving academic skills. The word facilitator is also used to denote participation in processes and procedures. I believe that the words that involve educating and teaching students are the most appropriate as both are indicators of the active participation of anyone who is involved in this role. Not only am I involved in helping educate and teach students, I am also a coach and mentor.

Regardless of the words used to define yourself, direct participation in a virtual classroom is required. In my experience, you cannot register two or three times a week, answer questions, complete the minimally required feedback, post the minimally required discussion responses, and hope that this will inspire your students to become very involved in the learning process. If they observe that you are minimally involved in the class, what do they perceive to be your attitude and how are they likely to respond in return? As an example, my goal is to post a response for each student at least once for each discussion. I want to make sure that I have helped each student to continue their original post in some way.

Strategy n. # 3: create comments that connect with your students

There are two forms of feedback. The first type of feedback meets the basic requirement of telling students how points were earned. This may include some comments and / or a rubric that is returned when the gradebook is updated. Students get minimal value from this type of feedback as it does not teach them or address their developmental needs.

The feedback I recommend is deeper. For a written assignment, the first step I take is to download a copy of the student’s work. I then use my comments as a teaching opportunity by inserting comments that include my knowledge, suggestions, and questions. Then when I return the document, I will also include a rubric to support the comments provided in the document. For discussions, I make sure to avoid canned comments and try to personalize them. As an example, I will provide video comments to connect with students directly. I want you to feel like you are having a conversation with them, even if it is a one-way conversation, since they can see and hear me. This also encourages them to contact me after reviewing it for further discussion.

Strategy n. 4: create a person in the virtual classroom

As an online educator, you want to create some kind of persona or develop an online identity in which you have a visible personality. If you can upload a photo of yourself to your profile, a professional photo will be of great help so that your students see you as a real person. Next, consider how you want to be portrayed or perceived by students in the classroom.

While you want to remain professional and academic in nature, can you afford to share something of a personal nature? For example, in my introduction I will share something about my favorite hobbies, TV shows, and movies, along with my professional accomplishments and accomplishments. I find this helps me connect with students and creates a positive image online.

Strategy n. # 5: use words to represent it carefully and carefully

Any educator who “works” or “teaches” in a virtual environment quickly learns the challenge of communicating in this type of classroom. You are using written words instead of verbal communication, and those words can be easily misinterpreted as you are not there to explain what was meant, in case students do not understand your message. Also, they are likely to be online and working at different times than you, given the accessible nature of most learning management systems.

This means that you have to think about every message posted and email or message sent. If you feel any emotional reaction to what you are writing, test what I am doing and create what you want to communicate first in a Word document. Then, if you need time to think more about the message, put it aside and allow a short period of time to focus and feel good about sending it. If you are not sure how to respond, the best solution might be to ask the student to call you. The more careful you are when sending your communication, the more you will continue to develop productive relationships with your students, and in turn, this will inspire them to stay involved in class.

Virtual learning should never feel distant

When students are first assigned to your class, and they have never been assigned to one of your classes before, they know nothing about you. The way they get to know you is through perceptual cues, which include posts and messages they read. An inherent challenge that makes meeting an instructor even more difficult is the separating factor. At the beginning of a class, students may feel separated, until there are signs that their instructor will be easily accessible and available to them. Using welcome videos at my school is a very helpful strategy to bridge the virtual gap at the beginning of a class. I also set Office Hours and provide a direct contact phone number for students to call. For classes that involve complex course projects, I share an appointment scheduling link, making it easy to find a convenient time for your schedule to make an individual appointment.

Regardless of which approach you use, every instructional strategy you implement must be done with the purpose of closing the virtual gap. I found that students who feel connected to their instructor, due to the instructor’s responsiveness, meaningful comments, engaging discussion posts, thoughtful communication, and ease of access, are the ones who will be most involved in the process of learning. When they feel challenged by the class, they will be more likely to reach out and ask questions because of the report developed. A bond is created and a feeling that the instructor cares about their continued development. If you haven’t taught in this environment before, I can tell you this: You must earn your students’ commitment in a different way. When you achieve this goal, it becomes extremely rewarding and personally satisfying to affirm: You are an online educator.