Virtual School Meanderings

July 23, 2010

Day 5 – 7 Days To A Better EduBlog

Stephanie posted the fifth task in her 7 Days to a Better EduBlog mini-course at:

7 Days – Day 5: Current Events Posts

Essentially, the task is to “create a current events post on a topic relevant to your blog audience.”  As seems to be the pattern with this 7 Days to a Better EduBlog mini-course, I’ll reflect a little on the task and the normal state of affairs here at Virtual School Meanderings and then tomorrow morning I will post the actual entry we’ve been asked to craft.

This will actually be an easy task for me because it is one I do quite frequently.  In fact, I would argue that I have already done it once in the process of completing this mini-course – as my entry yesterday entitled Worst Online Learning Law in America? Really?? (which was in response to the Day 3 – 7 Days To A Better EduBlog task) was focused on a issue that has been in the news this week, and I provided a selection of news item links at the bottom of the entry.  In fact, I’d argue that many, if not most, of the entries that are consistent with the “a place for me to play with ideas related to K-12 online learning prior to them being ready to be published in formal academic outlets” purpose of this blog fall under the realm of current events.  Looking back at the past couple of weeks, I would suggest the following entries as examples:

And those are just the items from July.  In her entry, Stephanie asks us to reflect on two questions…

What types of current events are relevant to your blog?

The easy answer is anything related to K-12 distance education – and I use the term distance education instead of online learning as there are parts of the world that have to rely upon distance education mediums other than the Internet, and I like to be able to include those things in this blog.  And I try to pass these current events on to my readers in the weekly Virtual Schooling In The News and the monthly Blogging About Virtual Schools features, along with specific entries to discuss some of those issues (as listed above).

Where can you locate news items or media on these current events?

I’m not sure there is an easy answer to this one (or maybe the answer is easy and the doing it was more difficult).  I have Google and Yahoo alerts created for both virtual school and cyber school (and these form the basis of the weekly Virtual Schooling In The News feature).  As evidenced by this feature, I’m also subscribed to other news services and newsletters (e.g., eSchool News, ASCD SmartBrief, T.H.E. Journal’s Collaboration 2.0, Converge K-12 Round-Up, etc.).

I’m also subscribed to newsletters from many of the K-12 online learning programs (as evidenced by the newsletter tag).  Beyond being able to post these newsletters in a complete fashion, it also alerts me to things like the FLVS Elementary PE Demo Video.

I have subscribed to relevant blogs. For example, there are some 59 in my “virtual school” folder, another 54 in my “instructional technology” folder, and 12 in a “distance education” folder.  And I follow relevant people on Twitter and Plurk (e.g., many of the K-12 online learning programs now have their own Twitter accounts, as do many of the leaders in the field).

And I’ll be honest, this network of information wasn’t set-up overnight.  It has been something I have been working on for much of the last seven years.  But that’s basically how I locate news items and media on K-12 online learning current events.

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