Virtual School Meanderings

August 22, 2014

Setting Sail for the 6th Annual Conference/Attend the MyCR Webinar/Keeping Pace with K-12 Teaching Online

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Quality Matters. Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!

  QM K12 Program logo
In This Issue
6th Annual Conference Spotlight
Attend the MyCR Webinar
Keeping Pace with Teaching Online
K-12 Publisher Reviewer Update
Instructional Design with the QM-IDA
QM Spins Off from MarylandOnline, Appoints New Board
Quality Matters, a leader in quality assurance for online education, announced that it began operating as a standalone organization, Quality Matters, Inc., starting July 1, 2014.
Quality Matters also announced the election of its new seven-member board. The
Quality Matters Board of Directors is:
Darrow Neves, Chair of the Board and President of Quality Matters, Inc., is Chief Information
Officer at the Community College of Baltimore County
Deborah Bushway, Vice Chair of the Board and Treasurer, is Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Academic Innovation at Capella University
Tim Jones, Secretary of the Board, is Vice President of Administrative Services at Chesapeake College

Michael Abbiatti is Director of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)

Julie Porosky Hamlin is Executive Director of MarylandOnline
Sheryl Hansen is Loaned Executive to the eTech Ohio organization of the Ohio Board of Regents
Michael Mills is Director of Distance Education and Learning Technologies at Montgomery College
Meeting Standards
Congratulations to the following organizations who recently had courses meet QM standards:
Algebra 2 A/B
Pre-Calculus A/B
Journalism I v11
AP Human Geography v10
Upcoming 2014 Workshop Dates


Welcome to the IT Corner!
Introducing the IT Corner, where we publish information related to QM’s Information Technology department including updates and QM-related tech news we think you’ll find interesting.
QM IT is on Twitter (@QMTechnology)! Post quick questions to our Twitter feed and we’ll try to resolve your issue promptly.
Learn More
K12 Rubric Workbook Cover
Connect with QM

Prepare to Set Sail for QM’s 6th Annual Conference

6th Annual Conference buttonYour ship’s crew is making preparations to set sail for the 6th Annual Conference September 29-October 1 at the Renaissance Harborplace in Baltimore, Maryland!
Room block pirates may look to steal your treasured staterooms! Be vigilant! We’ve partnered with the Renaissance Harborplace to provide rooms for conference attendees. Use the link provided on our Registration page to ensure you have a room at the Renaissance Harborplace.

This year’s K-12 programming features great sessions we think you’ll find valuable while aboard.
Quality Matters at the Core: A Roadmap for Collaborative Online Course Development is a conversation offering a snapshot of how the QM K-12 Secondary Rubric provided a foundation for a district-wide initiative aimed at developing high-quality online courses at Albuquerque Public Schools.
Dual Credit: Do You Dare? will teach participants which design elements K-12 and higher education courses share and will explore what elements courses should include to facilitate student success at both the K-12 and higher education levels.
Invigorate Your Class with Instructional Materials! will show participants how to find engaging, authoritative, appropriate and up-to-date K-12 instructional materials. Best of all, these resources are FREE! You’ll explore General Standard 4 and identify ways to find instructional materials to help your course meet Standard 4’s Specific Review Standards.


Join us in port ready to set sail September 29!

Attend the MyCR Webinar!

QM can help you expand your quality assurance efforts in more areas than just course design. Organizing collaborative reviews of almost anything is a breeze when you use My Custom Reviews (MyCR)! You can use MyCR to import any set of standards. Imagine learning from other online teachers via peer observations or working with other 4th grade teachers across your district to review learning objects and lessons – MyCR can make it happen. Create a “custom review,” add your own annotations and assign anyone you want. You will gather valuable feedback and generate reports leading to results that are data-driven.

MyCR is an online tool exclusive to QM subscribers that will allow you to manage your own quality reviews using rubrics you design. Pick and choose from QM’s Standards, use your own, or both! Where quality matters, you decide how to measure it! MyCR features the same great peer review features as QM’s Course Review Management System, but with you at the controls.

Want to learn more about how you can leverage MyCR and the power of collaborative reviews? We’ve scheduled a webinar for Wednesday, September 24 at 2 PM EDT. We look forward to you joining us for the webinar and learning more about MyCR – quality your way!

We’re Keeping Pace with Trends in Teaching Online


We’re helping the Evergreen Education Group (EEG) track trends in online and blended education as a sponsor for this year’s Keeping Pace Report. EEG’s latest Policy Brief explores teacher licensing issues for online teachers across state lines, and makes suggestions for the creation of an “online teaching specialization,” which would include online teaching professional development.

If you’re interested in professional development with a focus on teaching online, check out our K-12 Introduction to Teaching Online workshop! Facilitated by online teaching experts, this two-week workshop is a great way to learn the basics of teaching online. You’ll learn about teacher and learner roles in the online classroom and why it’s important to properly orient learners in an online course. In addition, you’ll be able to identify best practices in online teaching and the key differences between face-to-face and online learning.

The next K-12 Introduction to Teaching Online workshop, which begins September 16, is $175 for subscribers and $225 for non-subscribers.

Learn more about online teaching in the K-12 Introduction to Teaching Online workshop.

Don’t forget the K-12 Publisher Reviewer Update!

You may have been notified that we’ve revised the former QM Grades 6-12 Publisher Rubric 2013 Edition. The new QM K-12 Publisher Rubric, Third Edition was released June 1, 2014. We’ve implemented 7 essential Standards and added clarification to many Standards and Annotations.

If you hold the K-12 Publisher Reviewer role or if you completed the K-12 Publisher Reviewer course before June 1, 2014, you should complete the online K-12 Publisher Reviewer Update. The free, online, self-paced K-12 Publisher Rubric Update, which should take 1 to 2 hours to complete, is mandatory for all K-12 Publisher reviewers.

To enroll in this free update:

  • Login to MyQM
  • Select the “K-12 Publisher Program” tab
  • Select “Workshop-Register” from the left navigation menu
  • Choose “Register for Rubric Update

When prompted for payment information, choose “Institution” and “Invoice.” There is no fee for this training.


IMPORTANT: This course is now a training requirement for submitting a K-12 Publisher Reviewer Application if you completed the K-12 Publisher Reviewer Course prior to June 1, 2014. For individuals currently holding the K-12 Publisher Reviewer role, your K-12 Publisher Reviewer role will be removed if you have not completed this course by December 31, 2014. Additionally, you may not serve on a K-12 Publisher course review until you have completed this course.

Online Course Design: Prime Time for an Instructional Designer


If you’re in a district making the transition to online learning and are looking for help designing online courses, or you’re an instructional designer looking to network with other instructional designers, the online course design experts in QM’s Instructional Designers Association (QM-IDA) can help!

What’s the QM-IDA, you ask? A group of instructional designers affiliated with QM interested in creating and maintaining an interactive community space where instructional design professionals can network, learn, research, collaborate and share best practices.

Learn more about the QM-IDA.

Questions? E-mail us.
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Quality Matters | 1997 Annapolis Exchange Pkwy | Suite 300 | Annapolis | MD | 21401

August 19, 2014

Register today – First Ever SoftChalk User Conference

Another item from Monday’s inbox…

Early Bird Registration Now Open for SoftChalk User Conference - now - July 31, 2014

Make Waves—Register for the SoftChalk User Conference!This conference is for YOU!

Join us in Baltimore on October 1-2 where you’ll hear from SoftChalk thought-leaders about new features and what’s on the horizon at SoftChalk to help empower you to become an eLearning Superstar! You’ll also be able to participate in sessions presented by experienced “Chalkies” and learn about best practices in online course design at our co-hosted sessions with Quality Matters.

Most importantly, you’ll have plenty of chances to network with other “Chalkies” to share the opportunities and challenges all educators face as online learning becomes more and more prevalent throughout your institutions.

The SoftChalk Team looks forward to learning and sharing with you all!

Visit our First Ever SoftChalk User Conference website for more information about the conference and the schedule. We’ll be updating the site as information becomes available.

Register for the SoftChalk User Conference Today!

Important Dates:

  • August 1 – September 30 – Regular Registration
  • September 1 – Hotel Booking Deadline
  • October 1-2 – SoftChalk User Conference

Please email with any questions.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SCUserC! See you in October!

The SoftChalk Team
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August 18, 2014

Early Bird Gets the Savings! Register by Aug 29 for 20th Annual OLC (Sloan-C) Conference

From Monday’s inbox…

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Early Bird Ends Aug 29:

20th Annual International Conference on Online Learning

October 29 – 31, 2014

There are less than two weeks left to take advantage of Early Bird discounts. The Early Bird deadline is August 29. Don’t miss out.

Online learning is one of the most talked about and fastest growing sectors in higher education and corporate training today. Join us at the premier global gathering covering this field at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.


“Driving Innovation with Online Learning”


  • New for 2014! Technology Test Kitchen Designed as a Maker Space, each Test Kitchen station will feature an expert “Chef” who will guide you through hands-on exercises focused on practical applications of the technology featured at that station.
  • Three keynotes announced:
    • John Medina on How Brains Learn with Technology
    • William E. Kirwan on Academic Innovation Landscape
    • Dave Cormier on Rhizomatic Learning
  • Get the inside scoop on the event from key presenters, sponsors and OLC executives in these interviews.
  • Disney Event Ticket Purchase now available (Thursday, October 30) – 2 Options:
    • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Partylimited number of tickets, purchase early; or
    • Entrance to EPCOT Food and Wine Festival + IllumiNations fireworks display
    • $30 for registered conference attendees and $50 for guests. Don’t forget to sign up or amend your registration.
  • HBCU Leadership Summit for Online LearningThis one day event on October 29 provides an opportunity for the HBCU community to create a space to discover ways to empower and strengthen online education efforts. The summit features informative and stimulating presentations and discussions on strategies and resources that can assist in the creation of a sustainable online learning environment.

We hope you join us in celebrating 20 years of teaching and learning online.


Best Regards,


Christine Hinkley


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Christine Hinkley | Director | Conferences

Online Learning Consortium

Empowering Educators Everywhere

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Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

[DEANZ] Call for Expression of Interest for 2016 DEANZ Conference

Of interest to my Kiwi colleagues from the inbox the late last week…

Call for Expression of Interest for 2016 DEANZ Conference
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Hello DEANZ members,

The DEANZ 2014 conference hosted in Christchurch was a great success. We are now asking for expressions of interest for the DEANZ 2016 conference. Below is a link to the conference proposal form, designed to capture the essence of your vision for the DEANZ 2016 event.

Expression of interest responses are requested by Friday 26th September. We’re happy to support you in preparing an EoI without prejudice, and welcome early dialogue about the event and the EoI process (click here  for the link to the conference proposal form).

With best regards,

Your DEANZ Executive

You are receiving this email as you are a member of DEANZ. To unsubscribe please use the unsubscribe link below.
Our mailing address is:


c/o Kathryn Mac Callum, Eastern Institute of Technology
Private Bag 1201


New Zealand

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DEANZ ( · c/o Kathryn Mac Callum, Eastern Institute of Technology · Private Bag 1201 · Napier, HBMC 4142 · New Zealand

August 17, 2014

iNACOL Symposium | Hurry! Two Weeks Left For Early Bird Registration Discounts

From Friday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Symposium


Dear Michael,


Don’t miss out on Early Bird pricing when you register for this year’s iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium! Early Bird savings on registration ends August 29th.
The iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium is November 4-7 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA. This year’s theme is Powering Personalized Learning.
Please register online at
The 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium will bring together more than 2,500 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of next generation learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world. iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning and gathers experts, leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field.
Register online at to take advantage of early bird discounts for the Symposium when you register before August 29th.
For questions, please contact Tracy Breithaupt, iNACOL Events Manager, at
About iNACOL
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit

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