Virtual School Meanderings

July 18, 2014

Distance Education Professionals: Fast-Forward Your Future

Also from yesterday’s inbox…


Distance education professionals: Fast‑forward your future

UW-Madison Professional Certificate in Online Education gives you the edge you need to get ahead.

Learn with the best, from the best.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Professional Certificate in Online Education engages you with hands-on practice of the fundamental skills essential for any instructor or course designer working with online courses and programs.

Here’s what one participant who earned the certificate said:

The reputation of UW was very important in my decision to enter the program. There are many schools offering this sort of program but with all the uncertainty surrounding online education as a whole, the reputation of the school that awards the degree or certificate is very important.

The totally online certificate models a principles-to-practice approach. Course content reflects up-to-date, reliable, research-based knowledge translated into practical strategies for instructors and designers. You’ll be able to apply your new knowledge and skills immediately, enhancing your professional credibility in teaching online.

Learn more»

Courses in this certificate program:

  • The Changing Landscape of Online Education
  • Basics of Online Learning and Teaching
  • Basics of Instructional Design for Online Learning
  • Writing Objectives for Online Learning
  • Basics of Online Assessment
  • Basics of Online Discussions
Who: Professionals in higher education, K12, industry, public administration, nonprofits
When: Program begins Sept 16, 2014
Enrollment deadline: Sept 8
100% online (convenient with your busy schedule)
Cost: $1,295
Continuing education units (CEUs): 7.0 (70 professional development hours)

Click for complete info and to register»

Contact Bonnie Schmidt
UW-Madison Continuing StudiesDistance Education Professional Development

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UW-Madison Continuing Studies | | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN Newsletter – 17/07/2014

From yesterday’s inbox…

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN Newsletter Summer Edition

Summer is in the air in Berlin and the excitement is already building for the 20th anniversary of ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN.

In this issue, we have collated a number of our recent articles from some of this year’s ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN speakers who gave us a sneak peek into the innovative solutions and new thinking they’ll be sharing in December.

“What’s exciting at 20 years of ONLINE EDUCA – really what I’d love to see people dig into at the event – is that we either can continue to build opportunity out of what the digital world has brought us, or actually entrench power and make things worse,” says Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman, who will be addressing the audience at OEB this year.

Alongside our array of expert speakers and interactive sessions, which explore a vast range of topics across the e-learning spectrum, this year ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN will include some special anniversary additions.

Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for more OEB announcements!

Learning to drive lifelong success

Organisations around the world are experiencing sweeping, rapid changes in what they do, how they do it and even why they do it.

Mastering current and future realities requires deep learning capabilities – the people who thrive and flourish in the 21st century are those who embrace new learning and who are motivated to acquire new skills and competencies.

But, as much as it’s the responsibility of the individual, organisations have a crucial role to play in up-skilling their people and nurturing new leaders.

It may not be a simple task but, according to McKinsey and Company’s Global Chief Learning Officer Dr Nick van Dam and Founder of the e-Learning for Kids Foundation, learning is a critical key for organisations to be at the cutting edge of their profession and their industry.

What do we want? Web literacy, now!

Is the web of the future a weird and wild place, chaotic and slightly frightening; or is it a happier place where strangers collaborate to teach and learn from one another? A bit of both, says the Mozilla Foundation’s Mark Surman, when he spoke to ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN writer Georgia Gilson about his glass-half-full predictions for the Internet of next year and the next decade.

Education leaders will come together for ‘ELIG Annual Conference’

This year the ‘ELIG Annual Conference’ will take place from 18th  – 19th September in London. The overall theme, ‘Scalable Learning in Fast Changing Environments – New Partnerships & Business Models,’ will be discussed by top-level speakers such as Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor and Schumpeter Columnist at The Economist; Carl Lygo, CEO of BPP Holdings Ltd Vice-Chancellor, BPP University; Chris Dede, Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard University; Chris Husbands, Director of the Institute of Education at London University; Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive Officer at Nesta and many more.

For a sneak peek at the ELIG AC14 lineup of speakers from across the learning and education sector, click here to download the preliminary programme. To register for the conference, click here.

Think you know the e-learning tools of the trade?
Are smartphones the future of e-learning? Do MOOCs live up their promise? Should teachers upload YouTube videos longer than six minutes? If you answered ‘no’ to all of these questions, perhaps you’re already acquainted with the writing of e-learning industry expert Craig Weiss.

At ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2013, Weiss warned against creating ‘boring content,’ calling it the biggest threat to online learning’s success. He also told a packed room that personalised content – including Avatars, YouTube channels and customised widgets – would soon be coming to more learning management systems.

Find out what e-learning trends Weiss has set his sights on for his return to OEB this year.

Big data and the Internet of (School) Things
The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) with its data collection potential and promising business forecast – McKinsey Global Institute reports that the IoT business will deliver $6.2 trillion of revenue by 2025 – is generating a next big things hype.

Not just exciting for businesses, the growing inter-connectivity of people, processes and devices is helping to create a ‘smarter’ way of living with endless opportunities on the horizon. So, where are we at with its impact on education?

Social school – yes or no to social networking in the classroom

This year’s SCHOOL FORUM – themed Prospects for the Future – will raise many questions about how teachers teach, how learners learn and what tools get the best results in the classroom.

One key debate will involve weighing up the pros and cons of the use of Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook in everyday school life: Should teachers and students communicate in social networks? And if so, what about?

Teachers and prospective teachers, principals and pedagogues are invited on 3rd December, 2014, for the 6th annual SCHOOL FORUM, a German pre-conference workshop for ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, the largest international e-learning conference for the corporate, public and educational sector.

The SCHOOL FORUM promises lively discussions about current learning trends and issues, as well as practical reports on the use of a range of technical aids and conditioned content for teaching.

Future jobs: Humans need not apply

By 2020, connected and intelligent products are predicted to become the largest “user group” of the Internet, estimated at 24 billion devices.

These products won’t just enrich the lives of consumers; they’ll also fundamentally change the way industries are run.

Smart connected devices will increase productivity, reduce the need for outsourcing, change the way consumers interact with companies and allow for seamless supply-chain improvement.

Where to rest your head in Berlin – at a special price
InterConti zimmer

You’re deciding where to stay in Berlin during ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN in December? Where better to engage in the conference as well as exploring the buzzing, exciting atmosphere of the German capital, than the Hotel InterContinental.

Between the modern architectural wonder of Potsdamer Platz, historical Kurfurstendamm and the famous Berlin Tiergarten, the Hotel Intercontinental is the prime accommodation choice for exploring the city and networking with other participants at OEB. For more information on the special Early Bird preferential rate for OEB participants, head to our website – hurry, because there is a limited number of rooms!

Platinum Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor 2013 - Pearson

Conference Sponsors




Cengage Learning



If you have any questions about ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, please do not hesitate to contact us at

ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstrasse 32
10625 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0
Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 33


July 17, 2014

Early Bird Registration Ends July 31 – SoftChalk User Conference 2014

More from SoftChalk…

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

Make Waves—Register for the SoftChalk User Conference!

Ahoy Chalkies!

Time is running out! Register for the First Ever SoftChalk User Conference, October 1-2, 2014 in Baltimore, MD by July 31, 2014 to take advantage of Early Bird registration savings of $100.00! After July 31 the price increases to $350.00.

We’ll weigh anchor at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel where we’ll host our user conference in conjunction with the 6th Annual Quality Matters Conference.

This conference is for YOU!

Expect to be amazed as SoftChalk thought-leaders share new features and what’s on the horizon to help empower you to become an eLearning Superstar! 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 important of all, 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 and register today!

Register for the SoftChalk User Conference Today!

Important Dates:

  • Now – July 31 – Early Bird Registration
  • August 1 – October 2 – Regular Registration
  • September 5 – Hotel Booking Deadline
  • October 1-2 – SoftChalk User Conference

Please email with any questions.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SCUserC! We look forward to seeing you in October!

The SoftChalk Team
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July 12, 2014

Increase Your Confidence And Know-How In Online Education

From Thursday’s inbox…

Increase your confidence and know-how in online education

Get the greatest return for your professional development investment

For 30 years the UW‑Madison Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning has convened the most respected experts in the fields of distance and online education. Interact with and learn from those who know—for significantly less cost than similar conferences.

Featured keynote:

Dr Jane Bozarth—Using Social Media for Learning
Internationally known trainer, speaker, and author of several eLearning books, including Social Media for Trainers, Jane Bozarth has been an education and training researcher and practitioner for over 20 years. Dr Bozarth will show how to use blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, and online groups to help facilitate communication, increase participation, support engagement, and enhance transfer of new learning. Plan to walk away with some great ideas for applying collaboration strategies to your course designs.


  • Curt Bonk (Indiana Univ.) Open education
  • Darcy Hardy (Blackboard) Present and future trends in online education
  • Tom Kuhlmann (Articulate Global) eLearning tips and tricks with PowerPoint
  • Jack Phillips (ROI Institute) Measuring return on investment with instructional technology
  • Rena Palloff (Fielding Graduate Univ.) Designing blended and flipped classrooms
  • John Orlando (Northcentral Univ.) Designing interactive online learning modules
  • Michael Simonson (Nova Southeastern Univ.) Applying research to practice in distance learning

Register by July 22, save $50! And don’t forget to take advantage of over a dozen stellar preconference workshops!

Click for full conference details & to register»

Who: Professionals in distance education/training with any level of experience
When: T-Th, Aug 12-14
Where: Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, WI
Cost: $490 ($540 after July 22). Group and student rates, virtual option available. Optional Tuesday workshops are an additional fee (space is limited).
Contact Kimary Peterson (conference manager)
This event organized and sponsored by
UW-Madison Continuing Studies Distance Education Professional Development

This message was sent to from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

July 8, 2014

CANeLearn 2014: Ontario Summit – Themed/Moderated Discussion

Canadian E-Learning Network LogoContinuing blogging from the CANeLearn 2014: Ontario Summer Summit here in Toronto, which is thematically entitled “Blended and Online Learning in Canada: State of the Nation.”  The third session was described as:

Themed/Moderated Discussion

  • Group roundtable discussion on emergent topics from morning session
  • What can a national network (CANeLearn) do for you to support K-12 blended and online learning in your school/district/province?

Essentially, the room was divided into six different tables where were discussed at the table some of the issues that came out of the panel discussion this morning – and what the potential national network (i.e., CANeLearn) can do to address the needs of the folks in the room.  Based on Randy’s distillation of what has come up in the online registration information, previous CANeLearn meetings, and today’s sessions thus far, we generated some initial topics:

  • Content
  • Open
  • Research (shared stories)
  • Social media
  • Professional learning
  • Time – to collaborate, network, etc. (Relationships)
  • Accessibility
  • Assessment
  • Structures/Policies
  • Professional development
  • Language
  • BYOD/Privacy/Digital Divide

We prioritized the top six – as we had six tables in the room – research, content, open, assessment, BYOD, and professional development.

Personally, I sat at the research table and we had a lively discussion.  We actually settled on expanding the topic to research and evaluation – and discussed everything from the differences between research and evaluation to the availability of program evaluations from K-12 online learning programs themselves to the availability of research (or knowledge of it) to formalizing and publicizing teacher action research.

In terms of CANeLearn, we thought that the network could help facilitate evaluation and research projects – and have those contracts run through the network; identifying, documenting, and communicating research; advocating for better data collection and responsiveness from programs and departments; and providing opportunities for those interested in doing research.

I’ll ask that folks who may have been at the other tables to post what they talked about in the comments area.  I should note that the “Open” table posted their notes as a Google Doc at




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