Virtual School Meanderings

August 9, 2020

Alliance For Virtual Learning Brings Support To K-12 Administrators And Teachers

This was brought to my attention a few days ago.

March 23, 2012

New Approaches to K-12 Innovation: Sign up for a Calendar Reminder Today

This showed up in my inbox yesterday…

Please add us to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox.

Live Online Chat:

Learning to Identify and Understand K-12 Innovation
When: Friday, March 23, 2012, 3 p.m. ET
Click here to receive an e-mail reminder for this live event.

Sponsored by: Blackboard

Click Here

Everywhere you turn in K-12 education these days, it seems that businesses and nonprofits are trying to do something “innovative,” whether it’s by changing classroom technology approaches, staffing practices, and professional development structures, or adjusting funding models or education policies. But how much of that work really lives up to the word’s meaning? And how do you tell the difference? Our chat guests will help you understand how to differentiate between practices in K-12 education that truly use new approaches to solve old problems and others that merely give a new look to an older, more traditional approach.

Sign up for an e-mail reminder about this chat.

Anthony Kim, president, Education Elements, Inc.
Laurie Racine, co-founder and managing director, Startl.This chat will be moderated by Ian Quillen, staff writer, Education Week Digital Directions

Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the publisher of Education Week, Digital Directions, Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook,,, and

Copyright © 2012 Editorial Projects in Education.

March 21, 2012

Districts Engage Students with Mobile Learning

This showed up in my inbox overnight…

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Q: What do Arlington Public Schools, Briarcliff Manor UFSD, and Amarillo Online School have in common?

A: Each of these pioneering districts has recognized and accepted that the parent, teacher, and student populations that they work with are quickly shifting the way they consume all kinds of information. In order to keep communication accurate and engagement high, they are figuring out ways to incorporate mobile devices into the learning environment.

62% of students report they would rather use a smartphone than a laptop as a learning tool1

Learn how these schools are deploying mobile devices to impact student success and teacher efficiency. Get the case study now >

Kids on Mobile Devices1 Chiong, C., & Shuler, C. (2010). Learning: Is there an App for that? Investigations of young children’s usage and learning with mobile devices and apps. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Get a copy of the
free case study

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quote Offering teaching and learning on a mobile device is not a reaction; it’s about offering accessibility. It’s one additional avenue for kids and teachers to be able to access their learning environment.

Erica Beasley
CIO and Systems Manager
Briarcliff Manor UFSD

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September 29, 2011

Live Interview Thursday Sept. 29th on “iPads in the Classroom–a Success Story”

They didn’t send out a complete schedule for this week, but I did receive notice last night for this m-learning session later today that may be of interest to readers.

A message to all members of Classroom 2.0

Working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Education and Emmy Award Winning Director, Allyson Rockwell, the Mason-Lake and Oceana ISDs are working on a documentary film chronicling the success in the pilot kindergarten and second grade iPad classrooms in Ludington, Michigan. The classroom pilots, funded by 21st Century Learning Environments, have had “tremendous success” and are gaining much attention at the state and national levels. The documentary project has already received funding, and those involved have submitted a grant application to expand the ipads to all pre-K-2 students in the three counties. We’ll talk with members of the team involved in this project, and give time for Q and A.

See you online!


Steve Hargadon

Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT (interna  tional times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event at the event page.
Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording and a portable .mp3 audio recording will be published here after the show.

As State Director of Educational Technology and Data Coordination at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Bruce Umpstead is responsible for implementing Michigan’s online learning graduation requirement and the State Educational Technology Plan. His major professional points of emphasis are using technology to support research based school improvement and innovation programs, creating incentives for technology adoption, and taking technology-based innovations to scale in education.

Ashley McDonald has been given an amazing opportunity to implement iPads in her kindergarten classroom for the past two school years. Her students have accomplished far more than she ever imagined, as she feels iPads are a great resource to level instruction so that all students needs are being met. She attended Grand Valley State University from 2002 to 2006 with undergrad in Elementary Education, emphasis in Integrated Science. Her first teaching job was a kindergarten position in Phoenix, Arizona. While in Arizona she obtained my Masters degree in Early Childhood Instruction, specializing in reading. This is her 6th year teaching.

Director/Producer Allyson Rockwell, has worked produced/directed numerous corporate, political, industrial and educational videos. She has produced documentary films from the Sub-Arctic of northern Quebec to Leon, Nicaragua on topics ranging from a controversial hydro-power plant and it’s effect on the environment to a holocaust survivor who’s inspiration helps to change our world. Recently she won an Emmy award for “Detroit Remember When: The Jewish Community” which documented the history of the Jewish community in the Detroit area and just completed and educational outreach program called “FlipClips” where she worked with teens to create short films about what makes them proud of their community. As a producer for smART TV, Rockwell produced an educational series bringing arts and culture programming to middle school students. She was also a producer for “The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice” which is a 13-part video- and Web-based course for teacher education and professional development. It was created through a partnership between the Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the course content and this print guide developed by Stanford University’s School of Education. The project uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools.

Tom Johnson serves as the Director of Technology for the Mason-Lake and Oceana ISDs, two regional intermediate school districts in Western Michigan. His career in education, both as student and educator, has been non-traditional. Leaving college after three years and entering the private sector, Mr. Johnson was drawn to a ‘make a difference’ and a career in education. He worked twelve years in K-12 education before completing his bachelors degree in Community Development and Administration. However, this didn’t limit his impact as he strove to make education relevant for students and to leverage technology to do so. Earning his Masters in Education, completely online, in under two years his focus narrowed on impacting teaching and learning directly. Having successfully written and managed nearly 100 grants, most in educational technology, over the past eighteen years, his vision for the future of education is one of students engaged and collaborating with learning driven by curiosity and social interaction. As someone who personally longed for relevance and the freedom to learn in his own way and at his own pace, Mr. Johnson is an advocate for and believes in the potential of all students.

Amber Kowatch is a Second Grade Teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Ludington, MI. She is a graduate of Lake Superior State University where she is currently working to complete her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her first teaching job landed her in Sault Ste. Marie, MI at a well funded charter school that used technology to its’ fullest potential. This has led Amber to do everything possible to use technology in her classroom. As most public schools are faced with difficult budgets, Ludington Area School District is as well. Not having the funding to purchase technology, Amber was approached to lead a pilot program using iPads one to one in her second grade classroom. This project has gained national attention and is currently being used as the basis for a documentary. The iPad pilot has been extremely successful in engaging Amber’s students on their own educational journey and has changed the way her students learn and the way she teaches!


  • October 4th, Tuesday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT):  Peter W. Cookson, Jr. on A Children’s Education Bill of Rights
  • October 11th, Tuesday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): Timothy Wilson on Redirect
  • October 13th, Thursday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): Gina Bianchini on Mightybell
  • October 14th, Friday (1:15pm Pacific, 4:15pm Eastern, 8:15pm GMT):  David Loertscher on Librarians, Web 2.0, and Personal and Professional Development
  • October 18th, Tuesday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): Lee Crockett on Literacy Is Not Enough
  • October 20th, Thursday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): Mark Surman on Open Badges
  • October 25th, Tuesday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): Mike Marriner from Roadtrip Nation
  • November 29th, Tuesday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT):  Alan Blankstein on Improving Individual Schools
  • December 8th, Thursday (5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, 12am GMT): A Conversation with Lisa Nielsen

Visit Classroom 2.0 at:

September 12, 2011

Week of September 12, 2011 – Live and Interactive Webinars in Blackboard Collaborate

This arrived a few minutes ago. As per usual, no K-12 online learning focused sessions. But some that may be of general interest.

A message to all members of Classroom 2.0

Below are this week’s public, free, and interactive Webinars through, the social learning network for education that I work on for Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate).

The time of the events below will show up automatically in your own time zone when you are registered in LearnCentral and when you have chosen your time zone in your profile, or you can check the new event time converter on the event page. Event recordings are posted and available after the events if you aren’t able to attend them live. If you are looking for an easy calendar import / RSS feed for these events, you’ll now find a link on your calendar page or the calendar page of specific groups!

We hope you will consider hosting your own public webinars using the free LearnCentral public room–instructions are available by joining the ‘Host Your Own Webinar’ group on the main announcement tab (

Thanks for your attention, and see you online!


Steve Hargadon

Mon 12 Sep 08:00PM New York / Tue 13 Sep 12:00AM GMT / Tue 13 Sep 10:00AM Sydney
Gwyneth Jones. Back to School Special: Best Year Ever!

EPCOP MOOC WEBINAR (Australia Series)
Mon 12 Sep 09:00PM New York / Tue 13 Sep 01:00AM GMT / Tue 13 Sep 11:00AM Sydney
Coach Carole.

Mon 12 Sep 09:00PM New York / Tue 13 Sep 01:00AM GMT / Tue 13 Sep 11:00AM Sydney
Peggy George. Fun, open, sharing session of web 2.0 tools and teaching resources. Join us and come prepared to share your favorites. Do you get excited and energized by talking with other educators about technology tools and resources? Do you often feel overwhelmed with all of the new tools and feel you don’t have time to keep up with everything? If you do, then the Mini-Geek Fest is here for you! No homework, no assignments, no cost—just an hour online, once a month to listen, share and discuss technology tools for your classroom, websites and more. Join co-hosts Kim Thomas and Peggy George in AzTEA Elluminate from the comfort of your own home. Professional Development credit (1 hour) will be available. The show will be on the second Monday of each month, 6-7PM (MST-AZ). It’s not a presentation or a tutorial, but a conversation–think of it like a “show and tell” where ALL participants can contribute. Shows will be recorded and archived so you can listen to the recordings later if you can’t participate in the live sessions. We look forward to an exciting and interesting conversation!

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP 2.0? (Australia Series)
Tue 12 Sep 02:00AM New York / Tue 13 Sep 06:00AM GMT / Tue 13 Sep 04:00PM Sydney
Anne Mirtschin. This is an unconference Tech Talk Tuesdays session,where participants can share what they have been up to in learning and teaching. Bring your favourite technological tools, newest experiments, ideas, resources, problems, issues and open them up for discussion.

TALLER MEMORIAS EN RED – #DDHHYC (Host Your Own Webinar Series)
Tue 13 Sep 11:30AM New York / Tue 13 Sep 03:30PM GMT / Wed 14 Sep 01:30AM Sydney
Luz Pearson. 4to encuentro de la comunidad de aprendizaje del curso Memorias en red

Tue 13 Sep 08:00PM New York / Wed 14 Sep 12:00AM GMT / Wed 14 Sep 10:00AM Sydney
Steve Hargadon. Join Steve Hargadon on Tuesday, September 13th, for a live and interactive webinar with Harvard professor and well-known author Howard Gardner. In particular, we are going to talk about the new edition of his 1991 book, The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach, looking at school reform from the perspective of cognitive science.

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