Virtual School Meanderings

August 11, 2018

August Updates

From yesterday’s inbox…

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Camp PBL RI Recap

In September of 2017, Highlander launched Project Based Learning Rhode Island, a monthly meet up opportunity for educators dedicated to bridging the equity gap in educations through meaningful hands-on projects in their classrooms. PBL RI was designed through My Fuse RI by Highlander staff member and cohort 3 Fuse Fellow Mike Miele. PBL RI  was built around the idea of bringing together innovative educators who share a passion for project-based learning by celebrating local educators and agencies who doing the work throughout Rhode Island, as well as providing educators a space to create connections, ask questions, and share ideas around PBL. Since September PBL RI has reached 150 educators from around the state of Rhode Island and showcased the work of 20 educators from 8 districts and 2 community groups.

This past week, the first ever Camp PBL RI was held at the Highlander Institute office, where 17 educators met for three days of Project Based Learning collaborations, experiments, and professional development. From Restorative Circles to planning and building the most creative s’more, Camp PBL RI was a fun way for passionate educators to prep for the upcoming school year with fresh ideas for the classroom.

Join us for the first PBL RI Meetup of the school year on Wednesday, September 19th from 5-7pm at the Highlander Institute Event Space!

Camp PBL RI, Cohort 1


Pathways to Personalization

This session will help leaders who are struggling to design, launch and scale blended and personalized learning initiatives across a school or district. This session will breakdown Highlander Institute’s Pathway to Personalization Framework, which is a linear process for determining readiness, creating a vision for pilots, launching pilots, evaluating pilots through continuous improvement, and then scaling best practices.

Vote Here

What Happens When K-12 & Ed Prep Work Together?

Too often, education preparation and K-12 education efforts are siloed–with the great learnings from one sector not transferring well to the other. During the spring of 2018, the RI Office of Innovation and RI Department of Education launched a Ed Prep Design Challenge to create teams and true partnerships between K-12 and ed prep. This session will share our process, the ideas and efforts that emerged, and how you could bring this work back to your own states, schools, and districts.

Vote Here

Fuse MA Enters Year 2

Fuse MA Fellows were joined by more than 25 Early Adopter teachers from all seven participating TEC districts.
Fuse MA kicked off Year 2 of our first cohort with a summer Boot Camp on July 25 & 26th. The 17 fellows gathered to prepare for a new school year of blended and personalized learning strategies, resource sharing, coaching, and cross-district collaboration.

Fellows are all full time educators from seven of The Education Cooperative’s member districts, including Dedham, Medfield, Millis, Needham, Norwood, Walpole, and Wayland, as well as TEC High School and TEC Phoenix Academy. In a conscious effort to promote cross-collaboration and break down the silos that often exist in education, fellows provide coaching and consulting services to a partner district outside of where they work on a daily basis.

The program launched in December 2017 and built momentum through a spring semester of thoughtful visioning work around what blended and personalized learning looks like in each district’s context. The upcoming 2018-2019 school year will shift into coaching, with fellows providing embedded supports, feedback, and thought partnership to their assigned “early adopter teachers” over five targeted days.

Fellows were joined by more than 25 of these early adopters who opted to attend Day 2 of Boot Camp. Attendees began getting to know one another, discussing goals for the year ahead, and brainstorming actionable strategies to bring to their classrooms in the fall.

Interested in learning more?
Follow our work on Twitter using #FuseMA or contact

The Fuse MA Fellows work together on Day 1 of Bootcamp.

Early Adopters and Fuse MA Fellows share strategies and resources in a gallery walk activity.

RI Foundation: Free Board Bootcamp Leadership

Seeking active, passionate Rhode Islanders who are looking for ways to serve their community and make a lasting difference by helping to shape the state’s critical nonprofit sector through board service.

On September 7 and 8 there will be a free Board Bootcamp, designed to equip participants with the awareness, skills, and capabilities to serve on a nonprofit board. In particular, participants should be under 35, or who identify as persons of color, or as persons with low- to moderate-income, and who have never served on a board before.

If you are interested in attending ONLY Board Bootcamp Leadership I please register by clicking here.

If you are interested in attending both Board Bootcamp Leadership I and II, please complete the attached application by noon on August 15, and return it to Jill Pfitzenmayer at Upon review of your application a member of our team will be in contact with you regarding registration for Board Bootcamp Leadership I and II.

School Year 2018-2019 Job Postings:

Calling All Science Teachers:

West Broadway MS is looking for educators to join their team! West Broadway is a trailblazer for blended and personalized learning!
WBMS are looking for two teachers to join #lafamilia!
If you know someone who is looking to become an instructional leader, please share the postings below and have them contact

Jamestown School Department

The Jamestown School Deptartment is looking for a Tech Support and Integration Coach.

SchoolSpring link.
Quick details:
Non-union position (teacher contract does not apply)
30 hours per week (6 hrs/day)
$47,000 per year
Benefits (probably .8 because it’s less than 40 hrs/wk)
193 days per year (180 school days, 3 PD days, 10 flex days…mostly summer)

  • Job ID: 2979251
  • Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
  • Posted : July 24, 2018
  • Starting Date: August 31, 2018
Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
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August 6, 2018

The Six Models of Blended Learning

And from the inbox earlier today…


This series is a follow-up to the series on blended learning from last fall. Those posts, based on a course that Robert Godwin-Jones teaches regularly, discussed the basic what, why, and how of blended learning.

In this new series, we will be widening the focus, starting with a discussion of different available models of blended learning for both higher-ed and K-12 schools. That will lead into a discussion of the particular benefits and drawbacks of each model. We will also be looking at the related issue of how to tailor a blended learning approach to achieve maximum benefits for all students, through personalized learning and sticky content. Finally, we will look at the opportunities to expand the reach of the blended/online course through the use of mobile technology and micro learning.

In these final posts, we will be looking at particular contexts for instituting blended learning and discussing which models fit those particular uses:

  1.    Blended learning model in elementary schools: Station rotation model
  2.    Blended learning model in middle schools: Lab rotation model
  3.    Blended learning model in high schools: Individual rotation model
  4.    Blended learning model for higher education: Flipped classroom model
  5.    Blended learning model for the workplace environment: Enriched virtual model
  6.    Blended learning for mobile delivery: Ubiquitous learning model

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This article is one of a series published in SoftChalk Talka blog covering timely issues related to all aspects of instructional design and published by SoftChalk LLC.

Have a comment on this topic? Suggestions for future topics or interest in being a guest writer? Send me an email at

I look forward to hearing from you!

Natalie Saltzberg

SoftChalk LLC 22 S. Auburn Ave. Richmond VA 23221  877-638-2425

August 2, 2018

EDTECH537 – Poll Entry: What Is Blended Learning?

As I mentioned in the Week 6 entry for my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course yesterday, today I wanted to post a sample of a video entry.

Over the last day or so, I was contacted by a former K-12 teacher I used to do some research with, and he said “With Staker/Horn/Christensen (and articles like this; read the first paragraph only), they’re really blurring blended learning, making it more like ‘web-enhanced,’ ‘technology-rich,’ etc., than what was the more traditional definition (mix of face-to-face and physically distant online).”

While he was looking for my opinions about this from a research and academic perspective, I also thought that it might make for an interesting poll question…

If you’d like to explain your response, please use the comments below.

August 1, 2018

RSVP Today! Let’s Talk Blended Learning with Kelly Walsh on this Week’s Future Trends Forum

Note this blended learning webinar tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, at 2:00 PM ET
Special Guest:
Kelly Walsh
Chief Information Officer
College of Westchester
An interactive discussion on blended learning
Tune in to this week’s Future Trends Forum with Bryan Alexander as he brings on Kelly Walsh, CIO at the College of Westchester and Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network, who will share his expertise on blended learning with the community.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, blended learning is an education program which brings together online digital media and traditional classroom teaching methods to provide a more enriched and engaging learning experience.
Bryan, Kelly, and the Future Trends Community will discuss:
  • Which institutional practices best support blended learning
  • Blended learning’s practical benefits
  • The direction that blended learning may be headed in
About the Guest:
In addition to Kelly Walsh‘s role as CIO at the College of Westchester, he writes the Technology Perspectives column for University Business magazine. In 2009, Walsh, where he writes and shares guest articles about student-centered learning and emerging instructional technologies.
RSVP to be part of Thursday’s discussion!
About Future Trends Forum
Future Trends Forum hosted by Bryan Alexander addresses the most powerful forces of change in academia. The goal of the forum is to advance the discussion around the pressing issues at the crossroads of education and technology.
Shindig represents the state of the art of video chat teaching & learning technology. The platform’s enhanced interactivity remedies principal deficiencies of online education by enabling robust teacher-student interactivity and student-to-student interactivity. Our unique technology offers the dynamics of an in-person workshop, class, or event at internet scale.

July 14, 2018

Some Summer Fun

From yesterday’s inbox…

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Check Out New Weekly Episodes This Summer!

The Be Education Podcast is your one-stop-shop for all things related to K-12 classroom teaching, including practical guidance for: implementing blended learning techniques, driving classroom culture, differentiation, how to approach rigor and mastery, and much more. Whether you are a new teacher or a veteran educator, the Be Education Podcast has actionable tips to help you enhance student learning. Each podcast episode ranges from only 10-20 minutes, which makes for easy listening, anytime and anywhere. With 27 episodes currently available and weekly releases, you’ll always be able to learn something new.
Listen Here

Behind the Be Education Podcast

Christina Corser

As an Educational Strategies Specialist at Highlander Institute, Christina has the privilege to work with administrators, teachers, and students to realize their visions of personalization. Christina believes blended learning is the lever for radical change in education and supporting student agency and equity. She previously supported students and teachers as a behavioral and academic interventionist, taught 4th grade in an intentionally diverse charter school, and taught K-12 in a residential behavioral health facility in Honolulu, HI. Christina holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master’s in Teaching from Rhode Island College. She lives in Portsmouth, RI with her husband, Matt, and her twin boys.

Nick Dinardo

Nick has worked in higher education technology for the past seven years for two Fortune 500 education companies, founded (and closed) a startup, and been a part of the executive team of a seed stage edtech startup based in Cambridge, MA. He is a founding board of trustees member for Argosy Collegiate Charter School, a proposed grade 6-12 college preparatory school focused on serving low-income families in Fall River, MA. Nick is also a City Year Boston mentor and an adjunct professor at the Johnson & Wales University College of Business in Providence, RI. Nick is a graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), and also holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Now Accepting Presenter Proposals for BPLC19

On April 4 – April 6, 2019 Highlander Institute and The Learning Accelerator are showcasing the best classroom, school, and district implementers from across the nation at our 2019 Blended & Personalized Learning Conference in Providence, RI.

We are now recruiting the nation’s best practitioners to present at BPLC19. All lead presenters must be current teachers, building leaders, or district leaders. Non-practitioners are encouraged to apply if they can partner with a current practitioner to be the lead.

All presenters are invited to attend the Advanced Practitioner Summit on Friday, April 5. Lead presenters are offered free tickets to all BPLC19 events; co-presenters are offered tickets at a 50% discount. Additional presenter benefits will be based on our ability to secure travel grants and will be disclosed when invitations are issued to presenters.

Apply Here by September 15

Save the Date

RIAEA Summer Teacher Institute at Salve Regina University

Enhance your artistic practice with one of three Salve Regina University professors in a studio setting:

  • Drawing, Painting, Mixed-Media with Ernest Jolicoeur
  • Digital Photography Boot Camp with Jodi Goodnough
  • Hands-on Raku Ceramics with Justin Gerace

Monday, July 30, 2018 – Friday, August 3, 2018;10am – 6pm each day

$100 RIAEA Members ; $250 Non-members (consider becoming an NAEA/RIAEA member and save $50!)

Fee includes admission to both Newport Art Museum and the National Museum of American Illustration, plus basic art supplies for week-long class.

Click here to register.

Seeking Director of High School Initiatives

The Providence After School Alliance’s (PASA) mission is to expand and improve quality after-school, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities for the youth of Providence by organizing a sustainable, public/private system that contributes to student success and serves as a national model. PASA is seeking a full-time Director of High School Initiatives. The Director will lead PASA’s new Career Pathway design and planning process involving faculty from 2 schools, consultant experts, community partners, as well as PASA and District staff. The Director will be responsible for managing PASA’s core high school initiatives: the Hub which runs after school programs as part of 21st Century Community Learning Center at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex and 360 High School and the credit-bearing Advance Course Network after school classes which are grounded in hands-on, work-based experiences and are funded by the RI Department of Education. The Director of High School Initiatives will report directly to PASA’s Deputy Director.

For more information click here.

Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
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