Virtual School Meanderings

June 26, 2011

K-12 Online Learning And ISTE 2011

The ISTE 2011 online program search isn’t exactly difficult to use, but the results aren’t that user friendly either.  First, here are all of the sessions tagged as being a part of one of the Virtual Schooling/e-Learning Strands.

A Meeting of Moodlers
[Concurrent Session: Birds-of-a-Feather]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 5:00pm–6:15pm , PACC 122B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Michelle Moore, Remote-Learner.net with Mark McCall
Meet other Moodle users to share your experiences and solutions! Bring your questions about Moodle 2 and plans for transitioning your 1.9 sites.
Related Exhibitors
(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Remote-Learner US Inc.

TA301W A Side of Moodle for Your Classroom
[Workshop: Hands-on] Sold Out!
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 8:30am–11:30am , PACC 121B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Burt Lo, Alisal Union School District
Let’s use Moodle to create your online classroom where students can extend learning beyond the school day with discussions, quizzes, and collaborative projects.

Create, Collaborate, and Integrate: A Roadmap to Digital Content Success Add to Planner Add to Planner
[Concurrent Session: Corporate Spotlight]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 1:30pm–2:30pm , PACC Grand Ballroom A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Developing/Locating Digital Content/Learning Objects
Bob Kirby, CDW Government LLC
Digital content programs should empower learners and educators to create, not just consume, and tie every experience back to digtial age skills. Is your school ready for the challenge? Sponsored by CDWG. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

Critical Elements of Online Courses for K-12 Teachers
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 1:15pm–2:15pm , PACC 123
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Effective Teaching Practices
June Garwin, West Chester Area School District
Outstanding classroom teachers sometimes find it difficult to make the transition to teaching online. Participants will learn the critical components for a successful online course.

Defining the Leader: Integrating Blended Learning in Higher Education Classrooms
[Research Paper: Roundtable]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 12:45pm–1:45pm , PACC 105B , Table: 5
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Effective Teaching Practices
Kari Wold, University of Virginia
Integrating blended learning into higher education is often a goal without a leader. But from where should that leadership stem?

BM116 Digital Collaboration Tools: Digging Deeper through Literacy and Inquiry Strategies
[Concurrent Session: BYOL] Sold Out!
Monday, 6/27/2011, 2:30pm–3:30pm , PACC 117
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Aaron Ball, Edmonton Catholic Schools with Daniel Maas and Sonia Mangieri
Explore literacy and inquiry strategies with digital collaboration tools. The framework behind these strategies and tools supports student problem solving, analyzing, and processing of student understanding. Requires Web browser with updated Java and Adobe Flash player.
Related Exhibitors
(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Edistorm – Live Online Stickynotes

Digital Design: Building Your Own Virtual School
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 4:15pm–5:15pm , PACC 203A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual School Programs
Robin Gonzales, Education Consultant
Discover a blueprint for building a custom virtual school that meets the needs of your school or district.

E-Mentoring: Addressing Standards Through Accessible Activities Scaffolded at a Distance
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 21
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Cindy Anderson, Roosevelt University – Chicago with Kevin Anderson
Find out about an e-mentoring relationship between teacher interns and students. Discover universally designed activities and converse online with participants.

Effective Online Instruction: Best Teaching Practices to Impact Student Learning
[Research Paper: Roundtable]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 2:30pm–3:30pm , PACC 105B , Table: 4
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Effective Teaching Practices
Andrew Poggio, PLATO Learning with Dave Adams and Dana Laursen
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between student learning and different levels of implementation under various instructional models of online learning. (Contains Commercial Content) (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

Elevate Math: Taking Your Math Program to New Heights
[Learning Station Session: Student Showcase]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 5
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual School Programs
Kristin Novak, Halstead Academy Elementary School
Students use an e-learning environment and connect with math tutors across the globe to reinforce classroom learning and elevate them to a higher level. (Contains Commercial Content)

Empowering Students through Screencasting
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:30am–9:30am , PACC 123
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Eric Marcos, Mathtrain.TV with Andrea “Phinease” Matic
This session focuses on student screencasting and a kids-teaching-kids collaborative model. Participants will view a screencast demonstration by a student from Mathtrain.TV. (Contains Commercial Content) (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

Facing History’s Digital Media Innovation Network: Making Media, Making Change
[Learning Station Session: Global Collaboration Project]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 36
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Deb Chad, Facing History and Ourselves
Educators from the United States, South Africa, China, Canada, and England share their projects about a film “Reporter” and how they got students to care about the movie’s message.

SUA203S From Traditional to Virtual Schooling: A Step-by-Step Approach!
[Workshop: Seminar/Demo] Seats still available.
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 8:30am–11:30am , PACC 123
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Distance Learning
Elmer Rivera, Puerto Rico Department of Education with Manuel Otero, Rosa Ramos, Sandra Ruiz, William Ruiz, Carlos Vega Medina and Loyda Velazquez
Explore professional development, Web 2.0 tools, accountability measures, e-platforms, freeware, language-learning tools, deadlines and federal guidelines that will ensure initiatives for virtual schooling. (Contains Commercial Content) (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

Global Connections: Brasil and USA
[Learning Station Session: Global Collaboration Project]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 20
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Catherine McDonald, Lovejoy Technology Academy/Brooklyn 188 with Raelynn Parks, Tyrone Santiago and Jaye Woolfork
Lovejoy Academy in Illinois and Escola Parque in Brasil enter their third year of collaboration. As the bond deepens, the partnership flourishes. Recommended by ISTE’s SIGIntS

Global Journey: A Practical Way to Learn Geography
[Learning Station Session: Global Collaboration Project]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 35
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Jorge Ivan Quintero Laura, Instituto Chapultepec with Rubén De la Garza, Pedro Gaxiola, Ernesto López, Mario Rivera, Hector Rodriguez and Eduardo Valenzuela
The main purpose of this project is to offer a practical and interactive way to learn cultural aspects about our world.

HBCULINKUP: Using Social Networking For College Prep
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 3:45pm–4:45pm , PACC 103A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Alvin Hartley, HBCULinkup with William Moss and Deborah Scott Thomas
This session is for secondary educators to learn about Historical Black Colleges and Universities and how they use technology, including social networking, to recruit, support, and enroll students.

I Can See You Talking: Video Communication in International Partnerships
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 8
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Margaret Thombs, Roger Williams University with Lena Ivarsson and Deanne Reilly
Creating and sharing videos is easier than ever. Learn about innovative ways to use student-made videos to share language and culture.

Increasing Online and Blended Student Success through Online Human Touch
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 10:30am–11:30am , PACC 105B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Kristen Betts, Drexel University with Frederick Loomis
Learn best practices for engaging online and blended students inside and outside the classroom using the Online Human Touch Framework to increase student success.

Internet Safety 101: Online Learning for Middle School Students
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 10:00am–12:00pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 17
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Valerie Fasy, Keith Valley Middle School with Diane Heitzenrater, Andrew Osborne and Stacy Rotchford
Discover an online learning course created using Moodle to educate middle school students about responsible use and safe practices with computers and mobile devices. SIGOL Online Learning Award: First Place. Recommended by ISTE’s SIGOL

MP343M Moodle 2.0 Administration Workshop
[Workshop: Hands-on] Only 1 seat(s) available!
Monday, 6/27/2011, 12:30pm–3:30pm , PACC 120B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Mark McCall, Remote-Learner.net with Michelle Moore
Work in your own Moodle 2.0 sandbox site as we navigate through the features and options of Moodle 2.0 administration. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)
Related Exhibitors

(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Remote-Learner US Inc.

Much Ado about Digital Content: What Do the Students Say?
[Concurrent Session: Panel]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 4:15pm–5:15pm , PACC 113A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Developing/Locating Digital Content/Learning Objects
Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
Learn what students, teachers, preservice teachers, administrators, and parents think about leveraging digital content in the classroom from the latest Speak Up data.

National Network of Digital Schools
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 8:30am–9:30am , PACC 115B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Distance Learning
James Barker, Pennsylvania Digital Learning Network with Stephen Catanzarite, Brett Geibel and Nick Trombetta
Hear an update on the National Network of Digital Schools in Pennsylvania and Beyond.

Online Learning and Collaborations
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 11:00am–12:00pm , PACC 203A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual School Programs
Jill Brown, Albuquerque Academy/SIGIS
Explore online learning and collaborations. ISTE’s Special Interest Group for Independent Schools has more than 1,500 members. Join us to connect and collaborate!(SIGIS sponsored) Recommended by ISTE’s SIGIS

Sharing the Environment: Using Technology to Connect Classrooms Across Borders
[Learning Station Session: Global Collaboration Project]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 25
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Distance Learning
Kathleen Bowes, Widener University with Nadine McHenry
Explore how U.S. and Trinidadian children and teachers used inquiry-based practices and technology to explore and share ecological concepts in their unique local environments.

SIGIntS (International School) Gathering
[Concurrent Session: Birds-of-a-Feather]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 5:00pm–6:15pm , PACC 103BC
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Distance Learning
Chad Fairey, Washington International School
Participate in a discussion about international schools and help plan the next steps for SIGIntS.

TSIGOL SIGOL/SIGVE Forum: Teaching in the Cloud!
[Other Program Events: Forum/Summit/Symposium] Seats still available.
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 2:00pm–4:00pm , PACC 105B
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Kecia Ray, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools with Kevin Honeycutt, Scott Merrick and John Ross
John Ross and Kevin Honeycut highlight cloud based teaching and learning for students and adults accompanied by table talks led by online and virtual experts! Recommended by ISTE’s SIGVE

BT220 Teaching with Moodle: Tips for Enhanced Course Design
[Concurrent Session: BYOL] Only 1 seat(s) available!
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 3:45pm–4:45pm , PACC 115A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Instructional Design
Michelle Moore, Remote-Learner.net
Join us as we transform a typical Moodle course into a showpiece of collaborative instruction and professional layout and design. Requires basic working knowledge of Moodle course development. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)
Related Exhibitors

(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Remote-Learner US Inc. 

Technology and Project-Based Learning in the Classroom: A Two-Year Retrospective
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 3:30pm–4:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 15
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Melanie Ball, School District 2
See how a team of science teachers attempted to improve student learning and engagement through the use of technology, PBL development, and student scheduling. (Contains Commercial Content) (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

SUP249B Unlock Students’ Minds Using Moodle in Your Face-to-Face Classroom
[Workshop: Hands-on] Seats still available.
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 12:30pm–3:30pm , PACC 118A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Debbie Hale, ESD 113 with Richard Barnhart and Antha Holt
Ignite the minds of students in your classroom using an OpenClassroom server running simplified Moodle. Build your own class and access other classes as a student. (Contains Commercial Content)
Related Exhibitors
(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
EasyBib.com
eInstruction
Promethean Inc.
ProQuest
NASA
C-SPAN
BrainPOP
Boxlight
Renaissance Learning
SimpleK12
Aspen Learning, Inc.

BOM10 Use Your Noodle–Learn Moodle: An Open Source Learning Management System
[Concurrent Session: BYOL] Sold Out!
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:30am–9:30am , PACC 118C
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Michelle Moore, Remote-Learner.net
Discover the features of Moodle and experience how this learning management system can be used to create anytime, anywhere learning possibilities for your school community. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)
Related Exhibitors

(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Remote-Learner US Inc. 

SAF131B Use Your Noodle: Advanced Moodle!
[Workshop: Hands-on] Seats still available.
Saturday, 6/25/2011, 8:30am–3:30pm , PACC 110
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Michelle Moore, Remote-Learner.net
Extend your Moodle course development skills. Create interactive content with lessons, automate peer review with the workshop, use advanced quiz features, and much more. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)
Related Exhibitors

(Exhibitors with products or services related to this presentation.)
Remote-Learner US Inc.

Using Instant Messaging to Improve Student Engagement in Online Courses
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 23
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Effective Teaching Practices
Jean Kiekel, University of Houston
Instant messaging may provide opportunities to increase engagement and decrease feelings of isolation in online courses. Explore the use of IM in online courses.

Using Technology in Math and Scienc
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 2:00pm–3:00pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 34
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Barry Carolan, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District SB
We are using HP technology to transform teaching and learning in a suburb of Toronto. We want to improve student engagement and achievement in math and science. (Contains Commercial Content)

Virtually There? Ten Tips To Building a Virtual Learning Program
[Concurrent Session: Panel]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 2:30pm–3:30pm , PACC 126A
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Virtual Learning Technologies
Kecia Ray, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools with Cathy Cavanaugh, Kathy Hayden, Scott Merrick and Barbra Thoeming
Learn 10 critical lessons to help build effective and efficient virtual learning programs for student instruction and teacher professional development. (Contains Commercial Content)

What Do Students Prefer: Learning Science Face-to-Face or through a Hybrid Course?
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 20
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Evaluating Online Courses
Nesrin Bakir, University of Illinois with Barbara Hug
Using a mixed-methodology approach, we’ll share a study that investigated students’ satisfaction with a hybrid science course by examining surveys as well as faculty and student interviews.

BT210 Working with Wikis: Learning and Collaborating in a Virtual Space
[Concurrent Session: BYOL] Sold Out!
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 12:15pm–1:15pm , PACC 116
Virtual Schooling/E-learning : Student Engagement/Collaboration/Support
Nathan Whitley-Grassi, Empire State College
This session will examine how to set up wikis that can be used as powerfully interactive tools for online collaboration, communication, and classroom management.

Additionally, if you search the program by virtual school, cyber school, or online learning you also generate these sessions:

Build It or They Will Go: Community vs. Enrollment Erosion
[Concurrent Session: Spotlight]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 8:30am–9:30am , PACC 114
School Improvement : Digital-Age School Design
Hall Davidson, Discovery Education
By proving online learning’s effectiveness, educators unwittingly broadened the market for for-profit schools, threatening districts with funding competition. Innovative community/technology strategies can rebalance brick-and-mortar schools.

Digital Design: Building Your Own Virtual School
[Other Program Events: Tiered Sponsor Activities]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 9:45am–10:30am , PACC 105A
Robin Gonzales, Education Consultant
Learn how Robin Gonzales leveraged online learning to increase graduation rates and expand learning options through the use of digital curriculum, media and web conferencing tools.

Embedding Visual Literacy: Using Creative Online Visual Thinking Assessment Strategies
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 12:45pm–1:45pm , PACC 126A
Digital-Age Teaching & Learning : Literacies for the Information/Creativity Age
Veronica Ent, Saint Vincent College
Investigate how visual thinking strategies such as online student-created thinking maps, visual depictions, and creative messages can become valuable online-learning-embedded checking and assessment. Recommended by ISTE’s SIGILT

Johns Hopkins University and ISTE Are Seeking Ed Tech Leaders!
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 10:30am–11:30am , PACC 203B
Professional Learning : Online Professional Development
Lauren Neimeyer, Johns Hopkins University with Linda Carling, Francesca Carpenter and Kristen Thompson
Learn about a cutting-edge, national and international, online program to earn certification in school administration and supervision, offered by Johns Hopkins University and ISTE.

Maximize Your Time while Helping Your Online Learners Reach Their Potential: Feedback Strategies
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 32
Professional Learning : Online Professional Development
Francesca Carpenter, Johns Hopkins University with Linda Carling, Lauren Neimeyer and Kristen Thompson
Learn methods, types, and timing of feedback for learners in an online course to save time. Stop by for a hands-on experience.

Primed for Success: Orienting Instructors and Students to Teaching and Learning Online
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 11:45am–12:45pm , PACC 118C
Professional Learning : Online Professional Development
Linda Carling, Johns Hopkins University – Center for Technology in Education with Francesca Carpenter, Lauren Neimeyer and Kristen Thompson
Prepare students and instructors for a successful online learning experience. Learn what to include in orientations and trainings and strategies for implementation. Gain examples of activities and Web 2.0 integration approaches.

SIGOL (Online Learning) Annual Meeting
[Other Program Events: Meeting/Gathering]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 11:00am–12:00pm , PACC 109B
Kecia Ray, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools with Anita Harris
This is the annual meeting for SIGOL (online learning). All SIGOL members are encouraged to attend to assist in planning for future activities or to volunteer for SIGOL.

Tech That! Extending Student’s Digital Environment into the Classroom
[Concurrent Session: Lecture]
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 10:15am–11:15am , PACC 201BC
Digital-Age Teaching & Learning : Innovative Learning Technologies
Robert Craven, Saddleback Valley Unified School District with Chris Bell and Ted Lai
We all live in digital worlds, yet often classrooms are anything but digital environments. Discover how educators are transforming schools and districts into digital environments.

The NSTA Learning Center: Research-Based E-Professional Development
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 1:00pm–3:00pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 30
Professional Learning : Professional Learning Networks/Social Media for PD
Flavio Mendez, National Science Teachers Association with Albert Byers
NSTA’s e-PD portal contains nearly 2,000 free resources and tools to help teachers. Usage data available from more than 72,000 teachers. Sponsored by NSTA. (Exhibitor-Sponsored)

BM108 Tools for Teaching Students at the Top of Bloom’s Taxonomy
[Concurrent Session: BYOL] Only 1 seat(s) available!
Monday, 6/27/2011, 11:00am–12:00pm , PACC 118A
Professional Learning : Instructional & Administrative Productivity Tools/Resources
Cory Plough, Ideal-NM, ID.PD, Odyssey Charter of Nevada with Shannon Miller
This energetic session will present some fun, free, and easy tools that will help kids create projects and demonstrate the highest levels of learning.

Virtual Learning Spaces: Developing an Online Collaborative Environment for STEM
[Learning Station Session: Poster]
Monday, 6/27/2011, 8:00am–10:00am , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 31
Digital-Age Teaching & Learning : STEM
Bradford Davey, TLC Inc with Hilarie Davis
NASA’s INSPIRE online learning environment engages students, promotes STEM, and brings together learners and professionals. We will explore the design, implementation, and success of INSPIRE.

We’ve Got SOLE (Student Online Learning Environments)
[Learning Station Session: Global Collaboration Project]
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm , PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 3
Digital-Age Teaching & Learning : Innovative Learning Technologies
Lisette Casey, Manitou Springs Middle School with Toni Oliveri-Barton
Student-designed independent studies give students the opportunity to plan their own study. Discover how this type of strategy can be useful to learning. SIGOL Online Learning Award. Recommended by ISTE’s SIGOL

Note the colour coding, which was done on my part based on my read of the session. The red ones are delivered by corporate entities, the blue ones by people working in the K-12 environment, and the green ones by folks in the university environment.

Finally, there is the  seventh annual Online Learning Institute, which always has a good focus on K-12 online learning.

While not exclusive to K-12 online learning, there are opportunities to take part in some of the sessions through ISTE Unplugged, including at least one session with a K-12 online learning focus:

Monday, 27 June: 9:00 – 9:30 am
[Concurrent Session 1]
Title: No Barriers: Equipping Educators to Teach in Online & Blended Learning Environments
Description: A common barrier faced by educators is the lack of access to online teaching tools and the requisite training to be successful. CourseSites by Blackboard™, a FREE, hosted online course creation and facilitation service, has removed those barriers and is being used by middle and high school teachers, world-wide to help engage digital-age learners. CourseSites is powered by the latest asynchronous and synchronous technology from Blackboard Inc., provides self-paced and live training options, enables access to a community of practice of online and blended educators, and includes dedicated support for teachers and students. Come learn how simple it is to get started with creating an online learning environment and how this resource is helping to shape the future of education.
Presenter: Jarl Jonas, Sr. Program Manager, CourseSites by Blackboard
Email & Other Links: jarl.jonas@blackboard.com; https://www.coursesites.com

Anyone who is there that wants to report in on any of these sessions, please feel free to e-mail your notes to me and I’ll post them here.

June 25, 2011

Getting Caught Up With ISTE

I saw a notice for this blog entry scroll through my Twitter stream sometime yesterday – For Those NOT Attending ISTE: 10 Points to Ponder – and it got me thinking…  I have never been a fan of ISTE (or NECC when that was still the conference name).  I don’t have anything against the organization or the conference, it was just an organization that I have never really had any interest in joining or attending the conference.  I suppose once upon a time it was because of its practitioner-focus, and being the academia with limited travel funds it was simply a bridge too far.  It may have also had something to do with a lack of K-12 online learning focus, at least when I first started attending conferences – although that has changed significantly (as you’ll see in tomorrow’s entry).  So why don’t I get excited or jazzed about going to ISTE?  Why don’t I bother to attend?

For the past two years (maybe three) the conference has had a Virtual Schooling strand.  The Online Learning Institute is in its seventh year (and again for as long as I can remember it has been held in conjunction with ISTE).  This year there is even a “Thinking Strategically about K12 Online Learning” (although the only references I can find to this on Google are this single blog entry asking for participants from the organizing group and the one I posted on the topic).

Maybe it still is the lack of research or even research to practice that bothers me.  For example, when I search the names of my university-based researching colleagues, the only ones who names appear as presenters are Lisa Dawley (but none of her sessions are about K-12 online learning), Cathy Cavanaugh (as the second presenter on a Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools presentation), and that’s it.  When I looked at the 2010 program, I couldn’t find any of my university-based, research colleagues.

In looking at the agenda for the Online Learning Institute, again, I don’t see much from the folks that I consider to be methodologically sound researchers with an interest in something more than simply promoting online learning as part of a politically motivated educational reform movement.  In fact, the only name I see that I would consider someone who does reliable and valid research is Susan Lowes, who is presenting one of 36 different roundtable.  Count how many “educational reform” names you see on the list (and I use “educational reform” in quotation marks because I do see it as a euphemism for corporate takeover of education – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIMLb0nRLBk for a great, if not humourous, illustration).  Again, when I look at the 2010 program for the OLI I don’t see any of my university-based, research colleagues.

Even more interesting is this “Thinking Strategically about K12 Online Learning” being organized by the Gilfus Education Group.  Unfortunately I don’t know much about this event, other than there will be four different three hour sessions Monday and Tuesday morning and afternoon (i.e., one session per half day).  As I mentioned above, the only references I can find to this event on Google are this single blog entry asking for participants from the organizing group and the one I posted on the topic.  I will be honest and say that I filled out the form to be one of the research candidates.  They were offering $500 for participation and when the call came out you could fly from Detroit to Philadelphia on the same day for less than $500, so I figured why not.  Earlier this past week I got a call indicating that I had been accepted as one of the research candidates, however, a flight from Detroit to Philadelphia eight or nine days later was now $600 through Atlanta or $900 direct – and neither of which would allow me to participate in the Tuesday morning session they wanted me to be involved in.  I’m just wondering what kind of research-based, strategic thinking about K-12 online learning can occur when folks like Rick Ferdig, Tom Clark, John Watson, Leanna Archambault, Kerry Rice, Kathryn Kennedy, Bob Blomeyer, Kevin Oliver, Meredith DiPietro, and myself don’t even appear to be attending ISTE – and I have no idea if Lisa Dawley, Cathy Cavanaugh or Susan Lowes will be participating (at least they’re all potentially in Philadelphia and have the opportunity to participate)?!?

I know that ISTE isn’t a research-based organization.  But I – along with many other K-12 online learning researchers – often lament about the lack of research into K-12 online learning.  While I believe this is still true, particularly in comparison to the level of practice of K-12 online learning, never has there been a more important time for us researchers in the field to have an impact on what practitioners do.  When I look at the mistruths and politically motivated lies surrounding K-12 online learning, none of which are based on research and which most in the research community disagree with, being used and abused by proponents of the corporate brand of educational reform; I get discouraged.  I often say that I’m glad that I live in Canada, that if and when I have children that they will be educated in Canada, that I’m part of the political process in Canada (although with the election of Harper and the conservatives, the distinction on this front is becoming less pronounced).  I believe this because politics in the United States has been dumbed down to a discussion about black or white, right or wrong, with no shades of grey.  And unfortunately, it has become so bad that the right way is the “right” or conservative way; and anyone who holds an opposing view is simply wrong.  Simply put, I’m worried about the state of education in the US because it isn’t about finding out how we can improve learning opportunities for students through methodologically sound research.  It has become about selling a specific political vision of education and using buzzwords to confuse people into believing that it will improve student learning.  And as someone who does research into K-12 online learning, how do we communicate that research in a way that is useful to those who can use it – or because we wave a cautious flag about the dearth of what we don’t know yet, do we get pushed to the side by those cheerleader waving their pompoms on the K-12 online learning bandwagon?

I should also note that this is not a knock against ISTE or the Online Learning Institute – as I think highly of both organizations and all of my interactions with each’s leadership has always been positive.  It is to say that, unlike the majority of folks in the circles I follow on Twitter, Plurk, Facebook and in my RSS reader, I won’t be at ISTE this year (and in fact have never been to ISTE).  These are the reasons why, but also my concerns about what my lack of attendance (and the lack of attendance by so many in the research community) could lead to – at least in the K-12 online learning field.

Anyway, for those who are going you may want to check out Steve Dembo’s post on What Not To Do At ISTE.

June 10, 2011

A Call For Participation – “Thinking Strategically About K12 Online Learning” At ISTE 2011 In Philadelphia

This showed up in my inbox this morning via LinkedIn.

Linkedin Groups June 10, 2011
iNACOL
Latest: Discussions (1)

New Discussions (1)

A Call for Participation – “Thinking Strategically about K12 Online…
Started by Kendra Scott, Research Associate, Gilfus Education Group Education Research Center

For those not on LinkedIn, essentially the entire message was a link to this website:

http://www.gilfuseducationgroup.com/a-call-for-participation-thinking-strategically-about-k12-online-learning-at-iste-2011-in-philadelphia

Basically:

The Gilfus Education Group, a prominent education consulting firm based in Washington, DC,  is inviting education decision makers and thought leaders to assist in conducting research on new advances in K12 Online Learning Technology. Ideal research participants are superintendents, school and district administrators, principals, faculty members, CIOs and instructional designers from innovative institutions dedicated to student success and instructional accountability. Two strategic research sessions will be held in Philadelphia June 26th – 29th adjacent to the ISTE conference, formerly NECC. Participants will be asked to review, evaluate and provide collaborative feedback on new advances in K12 Online Learning Technology. [read more]

Maybe I’ll see you there…

May 1, 2011

Join Us! Online Learning Institute June 29 @ ISTE, ETLO/SREB/ISTE Online Learning Institute

inacolThis was posted to one of the iNACOL forums over the past week or two (while I was traveling).

Hi Everyone,We hope you will all join us at the Online Learning Institute on June 29 at ISTE, co-sponsored by EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO), SREB and ISTE!! The Institute will be held at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The Online Learning Institute brings together practitioners and leading experts in online and blended learning to share strategies and lessons about implementing successful online and blended learning programs for students, teachers and administrators. The program includes:

Keynote Presentation: Governor Bob Wise , President, Alliance for Excellence in Education, will offer the Institute’s keynote address, titled The Online Learning Imperative.

Panel Discussion: Online, Blended and Personalized Learning with:

· Allison Powell, Vice President, iNACOL
· Mary Ann Wolf, CEO, Wolf Ed and Author, Innovate to Educate: System [Re]Design for Personalized Learning: A Report From The 2010 Personalized Learning Symposium
· Caleb Harding , Student Experience Advocate, FLVS

Roundtable Discussions led by leading experts from online learning programs across the country on key topics in online and blended learning such as:

· Using Twitter for learning
· Developing dynamic online courses
· Incorporating open educational resources
· Hybrid classrooms
· Gaming and online learning
· Managing virtual school programs
· Leading an online professional development program
· Creating video based digital learning objects
· Facilitating online courses
· Online communities of practice
· Incorporating Web 2.0 technologies
· Professional development for online instructors
· Researching and evaluating online programs.

The agenda, updated regularly with roundtable leaders, is posted at http://oli.etlo.org . You can also join us on Twitter (@edtechleaders) for recent conference updates.

Take advantage of the Early Bird Registration fee of $99 before May 1 for the Online Learning Institute a. After May 1, the fee will be $125, still a bargain since it includes breakfast, lunch, a terrific program and important networking opportunities.

To register or to add the Online Learning Institute to your existing registration, go to:
http://www.isteconference.org/ISTE/2011/registration/

If you have not yet registered for ISTE, complete your form and add the Online Learning Institute as a Special Event on Wednesday, June 29. If you’ve already registered for ISTE, log in to reaccess your registration and add the Online Learning Institute, a Special Event on Wednesday, June 29.

For more information, contact Leinda Peterman at EDC lpeterman@edc.org, Myk Garn at SREB myk.garn@sreb.org, or Linda Keller at ISTE lkeller@iste.org.

See you there!!

Barbara Treacy
Director, EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO)
Education Development Center (EDC)
http://edtechleaders.org

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