Virtual School Meanderings

January 18, 2013

EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO) Update–January 2013

From Wednesday’s inbox…

Phone: 800-225-4276




ETLO is taking ongoing registrations for Online Facilitator, Online Course Developer, Blended Course Developer and Advanced Online Facilitator Training courses. Contact Joyce Balich at for registration details.
At the heart of the power of our online PD approach is the reflective discussion and online learning community that develops in our discussion forums. This is noted by our facilitators and participants such as a recent Online Facilitator course graduate, Susan Renard, who noted, “Probably the single biggest thing I am taking away from this course was the community-building piece… I believe that a strong community within an online class is in part responsible for a successful conclusion to the course. With that in mind, I will need to make sure I have applied the appropriate strategies for creating as strong a community as I can within the online courses I facilitate.”

Greetings from the ETLO Forum!

Hi everyone,

Happy 2013! We hope the new year is off to a wonderful start for all of you.  There’s lots of news and information to share with you from the ETLO community and beyond!

First, we’d like to extend our welcome and congratulations to the online specialists who recently completed ETLO Online Facilitator, Blended InstructorUniversal Design for LearningOnline Course Design or Blended Course Design online courses from the following organizations: Arizona Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Education, eNet Colorado, Intel Teach Affiliates, Louisiana Virtual School, Maine Department of Education, Newton (MA) Public Schools, North Carolina Department of Education, Primary Source, Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Collaborative Counselor Training Initiative (CCTI), Stafford County (VA) Public Schools, Texas Department of Education, Tri-Creek (IN) School Corporation, Vermont Department of Education and York County (VA) Public Schools. Welcome to the ETLO community! We look forward to learning with you!

As a reminder, all participants who complete ETLO training are enrolled in the ETLO Forum for ongoing support, discussion and sharing of resources while implementing their local programs.

We are now planning for winter and spring cohorts of Online Facilitator, Blended Instructor, Online Course Design and Blended Course Design courses. Please contact Joyce Balich at if you are interested in enrolling a team or if there are additional online professional development courses you want to license for local delivery.

Happy New Year and see you online,

Barbara Treacy

Director, EdTech Leaders Online

New Series of Courses based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
ETLO will release two new series of online professional development courses based on the CCSS in early February. The aim of these facilitated, learning-community model courses is to help teachers understand the CCSS and use best teaching practices to guide students to reach deeper learning through the Common Core.In the area of mathematics, the courses in the series are Exploring the Common Core Mathematics Practices and Understanding and Implementing the Mathematics Content Standards. In English language arts (ELA)/literacy, the courses are Understanding and Implementing the ELA-Literacy Content Standards: Focus on Reading Standards and Understanding and Implementing ELA-Literacy Standards: Focus on Writing, Research and Presentation Standards.

We’ll be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 5th at 1:00PM ET to showcase these new courses and explore how these and other online professional development options can provide teachers and administrators with the flexible, engaging opportunities they need to learn to implement the CCSS in their classrooms and schools. See below for more details on this webinar.

Recently Updated ETLO Courses
Our Web 2.0 Tools course for teachers now has a new name: Learning and Teaching with Web 2.0 Tools and Social Media. In this updated course, participants review and use a multitude of Web-based tools—blogs, wikis, microblogs, social bookmarking, and networking tools to enhance their lessons. Participants learn how to develop and grow their own personal learning networks to learn more about social media and how to harness the interactive and collaborative nature of Web 2.0 tools to better engage and educate their students, both safely and responsibly.Newly aligned to the Common Core is our Using Technology in the Elementary Math Classroom course.  Participants explore new technologies that can be used in elementary math instruction in kindergarten through sixth grade. Participants review Common Core State Standards and examine the ways in which tools like virtual manipulatives, calculators, spreadsheet programs, online data sources, and applets can support them. In particular, the course addresses ways in which technology can support elementary algebra, geometry, number and operation, and data analysis standards. Participants leave the course with a lesson plan that integrates new technologies into instruction in their own classrooms.

In addition to the courses we have on vocabulary instruction, we now have added: Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction for English Language Learners. Having sufficient vocabulary knowledge is requisite for successful academic communication. Whether students are English language learners (ELL) or struggling with reading comprehension and communication, direct vocabulary instruction is important in all content areas. This course is designed to help teachers and other educators learn new ways to extend the vocabularies of middle school students in order to help them become proficient and independent readers and communicators. Throughout this course, participants are introduced to best practices for direct vocabulary instruction, and practice vocabulary activities using Web 2.0 tools to engage students in reading, writing, listening and speaking activities. In addition, participants learn how to use these tools to differentiate instruction for a variety of student populations. By the end of the course, participants develop a unit plan focusing on using technology to support vocabulary instruction and practice.

We’re also excited to introduce a new course: Using Google Apps in the Classroom. This course is designed to acquaint teachers and school leaders with several web-based applications, designed by Google, which can be used to enhance and streamline communication and collaboration between staff, teachers and students. Throughout the course, participants explore numerous examples of Google applications being used creatively and successfully by educators and school leaders around the country. Participants also explore how Google tools can be used on mobile devices so that learning, collaboration and sharing can continue beyond the school day and outside of the school walls. By the end of the course, participants gain hands-on experience with several Google applications and develop a personal vision and action plan for integrating Google applications into their classrooms and schools.

Finally, we’ve updated our Blended Learning and Virtual School Instructor training courses to include information on implementing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) online and making your online courses accessible for students with special needs. We will be hosting a webinar on January 22nd at 3:00 PM ET with Leslie Fetzer, SREB/iNACOL National Online Teacher of the Year who assisted us with these updates, which focus on building inclusive online classrooms.  See below for more details on this webinar.

Intel® Teach Partners with ETLO to Build Online Professional Development Programs across the United States
Since 2011, ETLO has collaborated with Intel to adapt the Intel Teach Elements courses for effective implementation online in a facilitated, learning community model and align the courses to the Common Core State Standards. ETLO has also provided online facilitator training courses for educators in 22 “Intel Teach Affiliate” states to prepare them as online facilitators and enable participating states to have their own online professional development program.The newly released Intel® Teach Elements Case Study highlights the success of this partnership and includes stories from state implementation of Intel Teach Elements courses across the country.

Intel Teach Elements courses are available free of charge to state or regional agencies, districts, schools, colleges and universities. The courses address key topics important to educators including: Project-Based Approaches, Assessment of 21st Century Skills, Educational Leadership, Thinking Critically with Data, Collaboration, Science Inquiry, and Designing Blended Learning. To learn more about participating in the Intel Teach Elements program, visit


ETLO Expands Partnership with New York City Educators to Focus on Blended Learning and Virtual Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
ETLO is expanding an ongoing partnership with the New York City Department of Education to engage New York City teachers in training on blended learning. Training will be provided using the ETLO Blended Learning course, which will be enhanced with a custom applet that the team will develop to help teachers design their transformed blended classroom.

ETLO is also partnering with New York City Department of Education on their newly awarded Virtual AP grant, to provide training to a cohort of New York City teachers on teaching in online and blended classrooms and on designing online or blended courses.


Join ETLO in Celebrating Digital Learning Day
In celebration of Digital Learning Day, on Wednesday, February 6th at 4:00 PM ET ETLO is hosting an online discussion with K–12 teachers and students about how teaching and learning with digital resources can create authentic motivation and engagement. ETLO’s Kirsten Peterson will moderate this discussion and panelists will share concrete examples from their own online, blended and face-to-face experiences to illustrate what types of environments, tools and strategies create excitement and motivation to learn and to teach. Participants are encouraged to join the conversation. To be a part of this online discussion, visit at 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, February 6th.


ETLO’s Partnership with Primary Source Expands
ETLO has been partnering with Primary Source for several years as they grow their professional development offerings with increased online opportunities. Teachers across the country can now take courses on Ancient China and Modern China. This fall, a course on Japan was also added to their offerings. Learn more about these courses on the Primary Source website and see the other great work our friends at Primary Source are doing.


Upcoming Webinars
Join us for an exciting lineup of webinars this winter!

Building Inclusive Online Classrooms
Tuesday, January 22nd at 3:00 PM ET
Presenters: Leslie Fetzer, iNACOL’s Online Teacher of the Year and Laura Sampson, ETLO
Webinar Room:

Contextualizing Developmental Math for Career Pathways
Thursday, January 24th at 2:00 PM ET
Presenter: Barbara Treacy, Director, ETLO
Webinar Room:

Digital Learning Day Panel Discussion with Teachers and Students on How Digital Learning Promotes Motivation and Engagement
Wednesday, February 6th at 4:00 PM ET
Presenters: Kirsten Peterson moderates a panel of K-12 teachers, students and ETLO staff
Webinar Room:

Online Professional Development for Common Core Success
Tuesday, March 5th at 1:00 PM ET
Presenters: Leinda Peterman, Laura Sampson, Stacie Green and Nevin Katz, ETLO
Webinar Room:

Pre-registration is not required for any of the webinars and webinars will be recorded and posted on the ETLO Webinar Series website. To review the recording of any of our previous webinars, visit the ETLO Webinar Series website.

If you have suggestions for topics or speakers you would like to see in future webinars, please contact Erin Earnst at

More ETLO Webinars with edWeb
In addition to the ETLO winter webinar series, we are also sponsoring two upcoming interactive webinars through our partnership with edWeb.

Keys to Keeping Your Online Community Alive
Tuesday, January 29th at 3:00 PM ET
Presenter: Kirsten Peterson, ETLO
Webinar Room:

Strategies for Giving Effective Feedback in Online Professional Development
Tuesday, February 12th at 3:00 PM ET
Presenters: Laura Sampson and Valerie Weagle, ETLO
Webinar Room:

To participate in these live webinars, go to ETLO’s edWeb Webinar Room at the scheduled time. Pre-registration is not required.

Save the Date for the 9th Annual Online Learning Institute (OLI)
Join ETLO and our partners SREB and ISTE on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, for the 9th Annual OLI in San Antonio, TX during the ISTE Conference! This exciting event includes engaging keynote speakers and in‐depth roundtable discussions on the power and future of online learning and networking with practitioners from around the country.

To learn more about the OLI and to view the archives of the 2012 OLI, visit the OLI Website. Be sure to check the website frequently for updates and the 2013 agenda. Additionally, the proposal form for roundtable presentations will be available on the OLI website by the end of January.

Upcoming Conferences
We hope to see you in person at one of our upcoming conference presentations:

League for Innovation in the Community College: Innovations 2013 Conference
March 10–13, Dallas, TX

  • Transform Development Education with Contextualized, Modular, Digital Curriculum with Barbara Treacy, ETLO; Leinda Peterman, ETLO; Dale Alllen, Quinsigamond Community College; and Phil Sisson, Middlesex Community College: Monday, March 11th, 3:45–4:45 PM

CoSN Annual Conference 
March 11–13, San Diego, CA

  • Implement Common Core with Online Tools and Media with Barbara Treacy, ETLO: Tuesday, March 12th, 9:45–10:15 AM


ETLO Offers Ongoing Support
ETLO is here to support you as you roll out your online courses. The Facilitation and Implementation Topics Forum that is a part of the ETLO Forum, is a great place to post your questions and tips related to online facilitation. In this forum, we recently posted a recording of a webinar that we held for graduates of our Online Facilitator course who were getting ready to facilitate their first online professional development course. Visit the ETLO Forum and share your tips for first time facilitators. If you would like further information about our ongoing support, please contact Erin Earnst at


New Resources Added to the ETLO Forum

The following resources were added to the Online Learning Resource Library in the ETLO Forum:

K6 Math & Science Apps
Looking for great math and science apps to use with students in grades K–6? Check out this excellent resource created for ETLO’s online PD courses by Heather French, a Harvard Graduate School of Education masters candidate.

Free Mobile Friendly Tools for Online Students
What are some mobile friendly tools to increase engagement in online learning? ETLO’s Lesley Reilly provides some answers in this eSchool News article.

Implementing the Mathematical Practices
Need help in learning about the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice? A new EDC website uses illustrations, centered on student dialogues, to help mathematics teachers and teacher leaders see the Mathematical Practices in action.

10 Predictions for Blended Learning in 2013
Succinct overview of blended learning trends for the year ahead.

Using Google Tools to Create and Manage Online Courses
Great ideas for using Google tools for online courses.

Mobile Learning and Common Core
Innovative ideas for how mobile technology supports the Common Core State Standards.

Keeping Pace 2012
The Keeping Pace 2012 report looks at K–12 online and blended learning across the United States.

Library Of Congress Unveils Massive Common Core Resource Center
The Library of Congress provides lesson plans and resources that meet Common Core standards, state content standards, and the standards of national organizations.

Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States | The Sloan Consortium
Tenth annual report on online learning in higher education in the United States.

Edudemic’s 20+ Tips From The Most Effective Online Teachers
Great, practical tips for online teachers.

The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment
An issues brief from iNACOL’s Competency Works.


This message was sent to from:

Barbara Treacy | EdTech Leaders Online @ EDC, 43 Foundry Avenue | Waltham, MA 02453

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