Virtual School Meanderings

November 3, 2013

How Do You Create A Book Without Taking A Sabbatical? Join This MOOC And See.

From Thursday’s inbox…

Rapid Book Publishing for Educators. Or... How to create a book without taking a sabbatical.

The Open Doors Group is hosting a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) starting on Monday, November 18 and running through Sunday, December 29, 2013. ODG’s newest MOOC. Rapid Book Publishing for Educators,” is designed for busy educators who want to learn how to write and publish a book while teaching a full load, how to have a self-authored book on the shelves—or better yet on iPhones—in less than one month, and to learn the pros and cons of peer reviews. Participants will create a book during this course. Each of the four modules for this course will include course materials and two live, online sessions with exposure to industry experts.

Module topics include:

  • How a 21st Century book can boost your career without putting your life on hold.
  • How you can write a book in 20-60 hours.
  • How you can market your book… and yourself.
  • Should you follow or circumvent the peer review process in academic publishing?

Participants should be willing to spend three-four hours each week reviewing content and sharing ideas. There is one required book, Rapid Book Publishing, and two suggested books for this course.

Like the course and register today!

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Rapid Book Publishing
for Educators
November 18 – December 29, 2013 Register Now

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This course is sponsored by SoftChalk, AcademicPub and Open Doors Group.

We look forward to seeing you in the MOOC!

The SoftChalk Team

www.softchalk.com
www.softchalkcloud.com

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May 9, 2011

Sabbatical Update – Week Of 09 May

So, my sabbatical for the Winter 2011 at Wayne State University (WSU) is over.  It actually officially ended on 06 May. Looking at my goals for that final week, I wrote:

For my final official week of sabbatical, I would like to finish my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal and the revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences.” I will also need to finish a presentation for the Manitoba Association for Distance Learning and Teaching, which I have to deliver on Saturday. Also, the deadline for proposals to the Australian Association for Research in Education conference proposal deadline next Sunday, which I’d like to keep my options open. Finally, next week I have a presentation at Victoria University that I’d like to get done before the week is out. Finally, there are always that revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,” and those two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague that I can pick and poke at.

Over the past seven days I was able to finish my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal, along with a proposal for the Australian Association for Research in Education conference.  I also delivered my presentation for the Manitoba Association for Distance Learning and Teaching, and have prepared my presentation for Victoria University tomorrow. I was not able to complete the revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences” or do any work on those two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague.

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to provide a complete accounting of my productivity during my sabbatical semester (similar to what I did mid-sabbatical in Sabbatical Update – Week Of 07 March).  By the end of this week I will have:

  • 5 manuscripts submitted (1 sole authored/7 co-authored)
  • 3 book chapters (1 sole authored/ 2 co-authored)
  • 6 National Science Foundation grant proposals submitted
  • 1 additional external grant proposal submitted
  • 2 internal grant proposals submitted
  • 4 conference presentations
  • 11 professional development presentations
  • 11 conference proposals submitted
  • 2 development projects completed
  • 1 new course syllabus developed

While this is good – and I am very happy with what I was able to accomplish, I should note that back in Sabbatical Update – Week Of 14 March I indicated:

As I have been thinking about it over the past week – particularly after I posted my productivity as of the halfway point of my sabbatical semester – I began to think about the manuscripts that I have been selecting for completion.  I’ll be honest and say that I have a lot that are close to completion.  In fact, I have the following manuscripts that are close to completion (most of which are being written with students and colleagues):

  • It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences (re-submission/data from 2006)
  • Students’ perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary school students (original submission/data from 2006)
  • Examination of the use of tools in K-12 online course development (original submission/data from 2006)
  • Analyzing homemade PowerPoint game questions: Testing proponents assumptions (original submission/data from 2008)
  • Curriculum to prepare teachers for virtual schooling (original submission/data from 2008-09)
  • Career Forward: A course for meeting the K-12 online learning requirement (original submission/data from 2009)
  • Time and responsibility: Examining the volunteer workload of school-based personnel in one distance education program (original submission/data from 2009)
  • Putting the social into online learning: Social networking in a cyber school (re-submission/conceptual)
  • Distance learning and virtual schooling in rural education: A review of the literature (re-submission/lit review)
  • “I need a green axe”: Video game knowledge and your social studies classroom (re-submission/conceptual)
  • Building the pyramids in history class: Linking historical understanding to games (re-submission/conceptual)
  • Where are Tyria, Cantha and Elona? Exploring the case for teacher knowledge of commercially successful video games (re-submission/conceptual)

Plus there are three articles from my dissertation (data from 2005-06) that I can pull for each of my three research questions.  As I have been thinking about this list over the past week, one of the things that strikes me is that the ones closest to submission or re-submission are the ones that don’t have data.  And I have several up there with data that is going to get stale.  One advantage I have is that we don’t have a lot of things being published in K-12 online learning, so data that is four and five years old is still useful because in many instances the design and delivery of K-12 online learning hasn’t changed, and no one else has written on the topic.  However, at some point this data will be two stale and for the remaining seven or eight weeks of my sabbatical, I want to focus on getting that older data out the door.

Unfortunately, I was not able to make any headway on many of these manuscripts (in fact the one in red was the only one I was able to get completed).  Overall, a productive sabbatical semester – and I have much of this summer to continue that forward momentum.  Plus, I still have two and a half weeks to actually finish Sabbatical Research – Virtual Learning Network – which will involved a series of web-based digital stories, a final report to the Ministry, a couple of entries for the CORE Education blog, a couple recordings of EDTalks videos for CORE Education, and a white paper for CORE Education.  Plus I have to get a new course developed around the same deadline.

May 2, 2011

Sabbatical Update – Week Of 02 May

Today begins the seventeenth and final week of my sabbatical for the Winter 2011 at Wayne State University (WSU), as the official end of the Winter semester is mid-week. Looking at my goals for last week, I wrote:

For the coming week I will still be traveling throughout New Zealand with my family.  Regardless, I would like to finish my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal and the revise and re-submit manuscript “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling.”  I will also be traveling to Dunedin and the Otago region, and will be presenting at the University of Otago – so I need to complete that presentation as well.  There is the content development for a course on Blogging in the Classroom that I need to complete over the next few weeks.  Finally, it would be nice if I could get to that revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,” or either of those two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague.

My family vacation of the west coast and the southland ended two days ago, so I spent much of the past week without Internet access or time for work.  Regardless, I have been able to finish the presentation for the University of Otago that I am scheduled to deliver later today; along with the revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling.”  I’ve also been able to spend some time on my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal, but was not able to finish it.  Finally, I did not get any work done on the other revise and re-submit manuscript (i.e.,”It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,”) or the two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague.

For my final official week of sabbatical, I would like to finish my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal and the revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences.” I will also need to finish a presentation for the Manitoba Association for Distance Learning and Teaching, which I have to deliver on Saturday.  Also, the deadline for proposals to the Australian Association for Research in Education conference proposal deadline next Sunday, which I’d like to keep my options open.  Finally, next week I have a presentation at Victoria University that I’d like to get done before the week is out.  Finally, there are always that revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,” and those two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague that I can pick and poke at.

While my time and research project in New Zealand doesn’t come to an end until 26 May, next week I’ll provide a complete accounting of my productivity during my sabbatical semester (similar to what I did mid-sabbatical in Sabbatical Update – Week Of 07 March).

April 25, 2011

Sabbatical Update – Week Of 25 April

Today began the sixteen week of my sabbatical for the Winter 2011 at Wayne State University (WSU). Looking at my goals for last week, I wrote:

For the coming week I will be traveling along the west coast with my family and I suspect my Internet access will continue to be sketchy at best. I would like to get at least one of those two revise and re-submit manuscripts (i.e.,”It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,”and “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling”) completed. I would like to get the work finished on my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal. Finally, if I could pick and poke at one or two of the Virtual School Symposium conference proposals I have planned to submit. As a bonus, there is always getting some more headway on the two manuscripts with that New Zealand colleague.

Like last week, both Internet access and time to work has been limited.  I have been able to finish three Virtual School Symposium conference proposals.  Also, I am very close to finishing my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal.  However, I did not get any work done on the two revise and re-submit manuscripts (i.e., “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling” and “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,”) or the two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague.

For the coming week I will still be traveling throughout New Zealand with my family.  Regardless, I would like to finish my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal and the revise and re-submit manuscript “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling.”  I will also be traveling to Dunedin and the Otago region, and will be presenting at the University of Otago – so I need to complete that presentation as well.  There is the content development for a course on Blogging in the Classroom that I need to complete over the next few weeks.  Finally, it would be nice if I could get to that revise and re-submit manuscript entitled “It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,” or either of those two manuscripts I am working on with that New Zealand colleague.

April 19, 2011

Sabbatical Update – Week Of 18 April

I apologise that this is a day late, but the Internet in hotels and motels in New Zealand is both expensive and unreliable.  Yesterday began the fifteen week of my sabbatical for the Winter 2011 at Wayne State University (WSU). Looking at my goals for last week, I wrote:

For the coming week I am still traveling – here in the Wairarapa today, Palmerston North tomorrow, then in the Taranaki area from Wednesday through Friday. Beyond the two Massey presentations, it would be nice if I could get those two revision and re-submit manuscripts (i.e.,”It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,”and “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling”) completed. There are also two manuscripts that I’ve had the opportunity to become involved in with one of the people I’ve met here in New Zealand, so I am hoping to be able to put in some time getting those ready for the writing process with this new colleague.

Over the past seven days, finished my swing through the lower portion of the North Island.  I was conducting research in the Wairarapa on Monday, I finished both presentations in time and delivered them at Massey University in Palmerston North, then went on to the Taranaki area for the remainder of the week to do more research work.  So basically, I got the two Massey presentations from last week’s goals completed, but that was about it.  I did get some work done on one of the two manuscripts that I’ve had the opportunity to become involved in with a recent New Zealand colleague.  Beyond that, I didn’t get much more done.

For the coming week I will be traveling along the west coast with my family and I suspect my Internet access will continue to be sketchy at best.  I would like to get at least one of those two revise and re-submit manuscripts (i.e.,”It’s not that tough: Students speak about their online learning experiences,”and “What are they doing and how are they doing it? Rural student experiences in virtual schooling”) completed.  I would like to get the work finished on my National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program proposal.  Finally, if I could pick and poke at one or two of the Virtual School Symposium conference proposals I have planned to submit.  As a bonus, there is always getting some more headway on the two manuscripts with that New Zealand colleague.

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