Virtual School Meanderings

April 20, 2018

BC DL Conference – Closing Panel Session

The tenth and final session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

 Closing Panel Session

Join a number of our presenters and keynotes for a summary and closing session addressing symposium themes, discussions, and issues identified throughout the event (more names to be added!).

Ask your own questions of the panel.  Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j9apjE2JNmRzC3rp4a4Qlae2Myorwk78OfZELmCEqOk/edit?usp=sharing

As the discussion throughout the symposium unfolds we anticipate a number of questions to surface including:

  1. What directions are beginning to emerge for new learning approaches in BC in support of the implementation of new curriculum?
  2. What supports, including policy and funding, are required at the school, district, and provincial levels to implement these changes?
  3. What resources, training, and technologies are needed to support teachers to make the required changes for new curriculum and learning models?
  4. As changes progress, how can we be certain that we are meeting the needs of all students (special needs, aboriginal, adult learners, etc.)?
  5. Finally, what is the “Call to Action” required of teachers, administrators, and government?

Speakers

avatar for Rod Allen

Rod Allen

Superintendent of Learning, Cowchan School District 79
Rod is the Superintendent of Learning for the Cowichan Valley School District 79.  Prior to this, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister / Chief Superintendent with the BC Ministry of Education and architect of British Columbia’s transformation to personalized learning. Under Ro… Read More →

avatar for Denise Augustine

Denise Augustine

Director of Aboriginal Education and Learner Engagement, Cowichan School District 79
Denise Augustine (Swee’alt) is a Coast Salish educator with over 20 years experience.  Denise works with children and youth from pre-school through grade 12 in the Cowichan School District. As the director of Aboriginal education and learner engagement, Denise works closely wi… Read More →

avatar for Danika Cottingham

Danika Cottingham

Teacher/Co-Founder, BlendEdBC

Joe Jamison

Pro-D Chair (COTA), BCTF
Joe Jamison is a Distributed Learning teacher in School District No. 23. He has taught for thirty seven years with twenty three of those in the distributed learning environment. He developed the Distance Learning program in SD#23, the online program in SD#23, the ESTEEM program i… Read More →

avatar for David Truss

David Truss

Principal, Coquitlam Open Learning
David Truss works at Inquiry Hub Secondary, Suwa’lkh Learning Centre, and Coquitlam Open Learning (COL). He is also the President of the BCDLAA – The British Columbia Distributed Learning Administrator’s Association. This is his 8th year with COL, he helped found Inquiry Hub 6 y… Read More →

I had to go to the airport to catch my flight (and it was a good thing I did go a little early, as it took over an hour from the Delta computer system to communicate with the WestJet computer system to confirm my flight and let me check in – even though both are code share airlines).

Anyway, I am disappointed to miss this one, as I did enjoy the first panel.  What I can recommend is that folks take a look at the hashtags for the conference that have some of the gems that these folks did provide.

BC DL Conference – New Directions for Teacher PD: BlendEd BC – Supporting New Curriculum

The ninth session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

New Directions for Teacher PD: BlendEd BC – Supporting New Curriculum

Experience and learn how an integrated “asking” or “Solution-Focused Coach Approach” can help you to adapt and transform your face2face and online course design and delivery!  Join the BlendEd BC team and Barry Switnicki to learn about and experience cutting-edge strategies to support teachers implementing new and current curriculum through innovative teacher PD support strategies. Learn how blending learning in online spaces is much more than ‘flipped’ or ‘distributed’ learning.  Join this interactive experience and conversation to help shape new provincial initiatives to support teachers who are teaching in both classrooms and online learning spaces.
Be prepared to be active, stretching your mind, and having FUN!Please “Click” on this link to GET MORE OUT OF THIS SESSION (Pre-session component)https://classroomcoachingcultures.weebly.com/welcome-to-the-session.htmlUnderstand more about how I will help you!
Watch the 4 minute video

https://youtu.be/FNgNkGdZipA

Bring your own device! Do you have questions for the presenter? Here is a Google+ link to share your questions and comments.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/oj8gmB

Link to the Resources for the Session
https://classroomcoachingcultures.weebly.com/resources—new-directions-for-teachers.html


Speakers

avatar for Danika Cottingham

Danika Cottingham

Teacher/Co-Founder, BlendEdBC
Danika is (and has been) a teacher in a face-to-face, blended learning, and distributed learning capacity since beginning her teaching career almost ten years ago in both SD#71 and 72. She is a co-founder of BlendEdBC, and a member of the EDLPSA, and is passionate about the exci… Read More →

avatar for Thomas Diesch

Thomas Diesch

BlendEd BC

avatar for Barry Switnicki

Barry Switnicki

Engaged Communities, Pacific Change Mentors
Supporting, Challenging and Provoking people to become more engaged and passionate! | This essentially is what my personal and professional life is all about. For example, think of an educational environment bursting with highly engaged, excited learners, teachers and stakeholde… Read More →

So I went to this session because I wanted to learn more about BlendED BC.  Unfortunately, the session was Barry providing all of these feel good platitudes that he kept saying were based on research that he discovered during his Master’s degree (most of which I thought ran contrary to the research that I knew about).  It had little to do with blended learning and nothing to do with BlendED BC as an organization.  Tony Robbins meets largely uninformed teacher, rolled into one.

Basically, it was 75 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back!

BC DL Conference – Direction of Distributed Learning in BC: A BCTF Perspective

The eighth session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

Direction of Distributed Learning in BC: A BCTF Perspective

The BCTF has appointed a Task Force on Distributed Learning headed by Larry Kuehn (who, unfortunately, is not able to be with us for the symposium). The Task Force is looking at issues around working conditions for DL teachers and other policies around DL education.  Joe will present the findings and then have discussions around where you believe the direction of Distributed Learning should be heading in B.C.  The views expressed will be reported back to the Task Force.
https://bctf.ca/IssuesInEducation.aspx?id=16456Michael Barbour, who has done research for the BCTF on labour issues related to K-12 online teaching (http://bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/Issues/Technology/VoraciousAppetite.pdf) and recently published a paper on working conditions for K-12 online teachers (click here to view the paper), will join Joe.

Ask your own questions for the presenters. Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-qy1YaLXlK6zREXCnHapbcs3BnOOpCHf3ew7Rk6E8Pc/edit?usp=sharing


Moderators

avatar for Michael Barbour

Michael Barbour

Touro University California
Michael K. Barbour is Associate Professor of Instructional Design for the College of Education and Health Sciences at Touro University, California. He has been involved with K-12 online learning in a variety of countries for two decades as a researcher, teacher, course designer a… Read More →


Speakers

Joe Jamison

Pro-D Chair (COTA), BCTF
Joe Jamison is a Distributed Learning teacher in School District No. 23. He has taught for thirty seven years with twenty three of those in the distributed learning environment. He developed the Distance Learning program in SD#23, the online program in SD#23, the ESTEEM program i… Read More →

As I was one of the moderator in this session, let me just add a reminder that there are open notes for this session (and all sessions for that matter).  The open notes from this session are available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-qy1YaLXlK6zREXCnHapbcs3BnOOpCHf3ew7Rk6E8Pc/edit?usp=sharing

April 19, 2018

BC DL Conference – Issues in Distributed Learning

The seventh session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

Issues in Distributed Learning

Join in an open discussion about issues facing distributed learning schools in BC.  Topics suggested for discussion include:

  • Student “grade shopping”
  • in loco parentis at a distance
  • Blending programs
  • Learning management systems – pros/cons, provincial alignment?

Ask your own questions for discussion. Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dXjbwVhZbLsIhLyphhxhpp7DBymFAuOjbC3Dj3VeV7o/edit?usp=sharing


Moderators

avatar for Colleen Mullin

Colleen Mullin

Vice-Principal, Cowichan Valley Open Learning
I am a lifelong high school Chemistry/Science teacher who has been gifted the role of administration of alternative education and distributed learning programs in recent years. I started my career in Kashechewan Ontario, then worked 12 amazing years in Fort Saint James BC and the… Read More → 

Unlike other sessions I have attended, this was less of a presentation and more of a group therapy session around issues in DL and blended learning.

Also unlike the other session, there was a note taker in the Google Doc for this session (which would essentially replace my notes on the session), so take a look at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dXjbwVhZbLsIhLyphhxhpp7DBymFAuOjbC3Dj3VeV7o/edit?usp=sharing

BC DL Conference – Designing Online Learning Opportunities in Elementary Grades

The sixth session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

Designing Online Learning Opportunities in Elementary Grades

Engaging upper elementary students through inquiry-based online learning opportunities creates unique challenges and opportunities. HCOS took the chance to build new online Science and Math courses for grades 5-7 this past year. Challenges came in how to scaffold instruction and provide adequate support to these younger distance learners. Come hear about what we learned through the experience of designing and implementing online courses for elementary learners.

Ask your own questions for the presenter. Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x3DSxUGXyIDbTSeeDuMlqFFOa0yoQIo_DSpECqg0Jmc/edit?usp=sharing


Speakers

avatar for Sara Kraushar

Sara Kraushar

Academic Head of School, Heritage Christian Online School
Sara Kraushar is the Academic Head of School for Heritage Christian Online School, based in Kelowna, BC. Previously Sara has worked with HCOS as a teacher, curriculum writer, Regional Administrator, and Curriculum & Instruction Leader. Her educational experience also includes tim… Read More →

Sara began the session by providing some background into the Heritage Christian Online School and, in particular, the elementary portion of their program.  She transitioned to the nature and make up of the design team that are responsible for creating their online courses.

When teachers are in front of kids, they engage at a child’s level.  However, often times in an online environment we forget the audience that the courses are intended for.

Sara provided a lot of our tidbits, using samples from their own classes (which are designed for learners are low as grade five).  For example, exemplars – particular those created by students themselves – are really useful for students.  Or providing weekly guides for parents and ensuring that they understand how to log into the system and check on their children’s progress – basically ways to create a partnership between the online school and parents.

Following these tidbits and tips, Sara took questions from the group.

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