Virtual School Meanderings

November 25, 2014

K-12 Blended & Online Learning | Announcement

From yesterday’s inbox…

Michael K. Barbour,
The latest information from  K-12 Blended & Online Learning by University System of Georgia on Coursera.

Dear Michael K. Barbour,

Thank you for your engagement in our first MOOC. K12 Blended and Online Learning was a smashing success with over 10,000 enrollees from 160 different countries! While we are now closing your access to this Cousera session, we are delighted to offer you access to all course materials including the videos at our new OER located at Some of you may notice that we have linked to the module you developed in Week 7. Please keep those links hot! You can also continue to engage via our twitter hashtag #KSUitecMOOC and share with us new modules you create.

Starting on January 13th we will launch session 2 of this course. To enroll in this new session visit Please share this message with any teacher or parent interested in K12 blended and online learning. Once again, some states in the USA will offer teachers free professional learning credits for completing the course, including Georgia and Texas. Please check the course page for a current listing.  For teachers in other states, last week at the ConnectEd conference, USA President Obama announced free CEUs for teachers through MOOC platforms including Coursera. Exactly how we will execute this process is still unknown at this moment; however, visit White House website for the announcement and visit Coursera’s blog  for updates and sign yourself up using the links on how to get CEUs. On the application, note that you heard about this opportunity from Kennesaw State.

Also, many participants earned KSU graduate credit for their participation in session 1 and have continued their learning at KSU. We have enjoyed getting to know these individuals and look forward to being able to offer the same opportunity to session 2 participants. If you earned a Statement of Accomplishment and still want KSU university credit credit towards one of our four eligible online certificate, endorsement, or degree programs, you have until December 31, 2014 to complete the process at  After this deadline, only the 2015 session 2 course completion materials and certificates will be considered for credit.

Also, keep your eyes open for KSU’s new MOOC by Dr. Humayan Zafar called CyberSecurity. Once again, the instructional videos are exceptional! You won’t want to miss it. Join the mailing list to get updated on this new MOOC:
Here are some useful links if you would like more information regarding Kennesaw State University:
Thank you for learning with us!
Bye, ciao, adios, auf weidersehen, sayonara, zai jian, and joi gin!
Dr. Vega and Jordan Cameron
Visit the course to start learning
Visit support • Discuss the course in class forums
Copyright (c) 2014 Coursera, Inc | 381 E. Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041 USA

November 21, 2014


So I have been working with this group that will be designing a series of MOOCs for the Expo2015 that is being held in Milano, Italty this coming year. I wanted to pass on this information for any teachers out there that may be interested in participating.

Dear Michael,

We are happy to announce you that we are now  launching PoliCulturaEXPOMilano2015, the world competition on DST:

All the activities for the schools will start in the second semester (school year 2014-15) for the Northern Hemisphereand in the first semester (school year 2015-16) for the Southern Hemisphere.

Now we have a BIG CHALLENGE : recruiting schools and teachers. There are three big motivations that can attract teachers:

  • issues are really of planetary relevance (and very good for pedagogy)
  • this is a world education experience: world communities of teachers, world-shared resources, world-shared content…
  • there is high visibility of the output (in the initiative website, at the universal exposition’s premises…)

We try to help with 300 pages of reading material (created on purpose), 3 MOOCs (on Digital storytelling, on the Expo2015’s topics and on how to create a narrative on the EXPO theme) and more than 1,000 educational “tips” on activities revolving around the exposition’s themes.

You can help us in 3 ways:

  1. forwarding the attached kit to teachers, associations, principals, district, school authorities, parents, friends and whomever you think may be of help
  2. putting us in contact with these people
  3. pointing at websites or blogs that may cooperate with us (i.e. that are read by teachers in your country or worldwide)

We have an ambitious target of 1,000 narratives, and we are fighting for it.

You can find additional information in the attached kit and/or in the website. You did not do it yet, please send us your selfie for support (look at our homepage).

Certain that we may count on your support, I remain sincerely yours

Nicoletta Di Blas
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering
Politecnico di Milano
Via Ponzio 34/5 – 20133 Milano
Tel. +39 02 23993520 Fax. +39 02 23993411


October 21, 2014

Welcome to Networked Scholars! : Networked Scholars

From yesterday’s inbox…

Hello everyone!

You are receiving this message because you registered for my “Networked Scholars” open online course, offered through the Canvas Network. You can find the course here:

First of all, thank you! Thank you for joining me in this course and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here. I’m very excited that you decided to join me in this exploration of social media and online social networks in scholarship. I am passionate about this topic, and spend a fair amount of time researching, writing, and speaking about it. I’m excited to be able to share my passion with you!

In my research I discovered that we prepare individuals to do scholarship, but we do not prepare them for an emergent scholarly environment saturated with networked technologies and open practices. Regardless of whether we advocate for particular practices, we need to prepare individuals to make sense of the relationships between technology and scholarship. This course is my response to the lack of curricula to prepare future and current scholars for the changing nature of scholarship.

The course is happening at an opportune time, providing ample material for us to examine. Academics are often encouraged to be online to increase their reach and impact. However, when scholars are online they face tensions, dilemmas, and conundrums. During the past few months, a number of high-profile stories appeared in the news that brought greater attention to the issue. What do academics do on social media? What tensions do they face? Why do they continue being on these contentious spaces when a number of their senior colleagues advice them to “get off Twitter and write those papers?” These are questions that I am hoping we will explore together in the next 4 weeks.

I am also happy to report that we have a wonderful group of colleagues from three countries joining us live to discuss issues pertaining to networked scholarship. The live events are scheduled for the times/days listed below, so if you would like to join us, please add them to your calendar. If you can’t join us live, we will be recording and archiving the events so that you can watch them later at your convenience. The events will be broadcasted via Google Hangouts on Air, and the link to see each broadcast is provided in each module:

October 23 at 9am Pacific: Dr. Laura Czerniewicz from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Click here to convert this time to your time zone.

October 29 at 4pm Pacific: Dr. Royce Kimmons from the University of Idaho (USA). Click here to convert this time to your time zone.

November 6, at 10:30am Pacific: Bonnie Stewart from the University of Price Edward Island (Canada). Click here to convert this time to your time zone.

I have designed a number of other exciting activities for you. For example, we have readings, videos, slideshows, and news stories to investigate! For example, on October 22nd you can Ask Dr. Michael Barbour Almost Anything pertaining to the topic of scholars presence and visibility online. More on that is available in the course materials and activities for week 1. I have also created a dedicated hashtag for the course (#scholar14) and if you are on Twitter, feel free to contribute resources, thoughts, and comments using the hashtag.

Again, thank you, and welcome to the course! I look forward to our interactions over the next 4 weeks!



George Veletsianos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology
School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University

Recent publications:

October 16, 2014

Expand Your Knowledge In The World Of Virtual Instruction

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Michael K. Barbour,
The latest information from Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom by University of California, Irvine on Coursera.

If you haven’t already taken, Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom, this is your chance!

The course explores the myths and challenges of assessing performance virtually, administering standardized testing with geographical challenges, and complying with state and local requirements to make sure students are meeting them.

Course topics include:
* Student performance in a virtual classroom
* Formats of virtual assessments
* Assessing special populations, including at-risk, gifted and special needs students
* Data analysis of virtual course gradebooks
* Communication and organization in managing virtual caseloads
* Monitoring student learning remotely through learning system management features

You’ll also create virtual instructional feedback tools for students’ assessment and learn the important competencies needed to be an excellent virtual teacher!

Course begins Monday, November 10. Click here to learn more and enroll:

Enrolling in Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom also puts you well on your way to distinguishing yourself with a Virtual Teacher Specialization! Learn more about the final steps to earning the specialization here:

To compliment your Virtual Teacher education on Coursera, University of California, Irvine Extension will offer a fully online Virtual Teacher Practicum in January 2015. During the practicum, you’ll spend several weeks employing the knowledge you acquired from the Coursera Virtual Teacher series. By the end of the Practicum, you will have a development prototype to add to your portfolio which could serve as the basis for realistic online/hybrid solutions to real life problems!

Registration starts Friday, October 31, and the Practicum begins Monday, January 5. Learn more about the Practicum and enrollment requirements by clicking here:



Visit support • Discuss the course in class forums • Please do not reply directly to this email
Copyright (c) 2014 Coursera, Inc | 381 E. Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041 USA

September 26, 2014

A MOOC By The MOOC Originators

Also from yesterday’s inbox…


A MOOC by the MOOC originators!

Rory McGreal
Athabasca University

—— New 5 week mooc starting on using OERs The Wire:

***Messages are posted in the language received.***
***Les messages sont affichés dans la langue dans laquelle nous les avons reçus.***
Twitter = @cnie_rcie
Facebook = CNIE-RCIÉ

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