Virtual School Meanderings

August 6, 2013

EDTech597 – End Of Course

Eight weeks ago I posted an entry entitled EDTECH597 – Blogging In The Classroom that described a course I have been teaching for the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University this summer semester. During that time I have posted weekly messages to describe what I was asking the students to do and the readings I had assigned.

I have also posted entries for all of the activities I have asked of the students:

I have also posted sample blog entries for each of the different types of entries that I have asked of the students.

Finally, during one of the early weeks I posted a sample entry about the readings, and then later I asked the students to participate in blogging in three different formats:

I post this summary message for those folks who haven’t been following along for the past eight weeks, as I suspect this will be the closest I ever get to one of those # days to a better blog series.

July 31, 2013

EDTECH597 – Blogging Plan

As I mentioned in the EDTECH597 – Week 8 entry, I wanted to post a sample of the Blogging Plan.  As most of you know, I post everything that comes across my electronic desk so I can’t plan on those.  The plan is basically outlining the original entries or the weekly features.  As I have mentioned in previous year’s, while this is a general plan there is no guarantee – depending on time and resources – that the entries will actually be posted.

I used Google Calendar to create the plans.

august

september

July 30, 2013

EDTECH597 – Commentary Entry: Book – Complete Guide to Online High Schools: Distance Learning Options For Teens & Adults

nixonThis is the second entry in Week 8 of my EDTECH597 – Blogging In The Classroom.

Some time ago, Tom Nixon sent me a complimentary copy of his book, Complete Guide to Online High Schools: Distance Learning Options For Teens & Adults, to review on my blog.  Amazon describes the book as:

You no longer have to sit in a traditional and, perhaps, boring classroom in order to earn a high school diploma. You no longer have to sit with students who are half your age. You no longer have to be tied to one geographical location. Online high schools are now an option for students of all ages and you can work at home or you can work on the road. These schools work well both for traditionally-aged high school students and for those who have more life experience.

In this second edition of Complete Guide to Online High Schools: Distance learning options for teens and adults, Thomas Nixon has expanded the offerings by showcasing almost triple the number of online high schools. Just as his BestOnlineHighSchools.com website has grown over the years, so, too, has the size of this book.

This description is fairly accurate.  The book itself is divided into two main sections.  The first section, which in my mind comprises the first five chapters, provides approximately 40 pages of advice for the prospective K-12 online learner.  With chapter titles such as “Choosing an Online High School,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” “The Successful Online Learner,” Prestigious Online High Schools?” and “Accreditation and Diploma Mills;” you can see that author Tom Nixon draws on his knowledge of the K-12 online learning literature and his background with this kind of K-12 learning to provide reasonable guidance for the prospective K-12 online learner.  I say reasonable, because the guidance have obviously been written more towards a child or adolescent reader (and possibly their parents).  Given what Nixon’s likely audience will be, this is probably a strength of the book.  As an academic, I saw this a little differently.

After these ~40 pages of guidance and advice, Nixon provides 160 pages of contact information, scope, pricing, accreditation, and other notes about hundreds of k-12 online learning programs.  This 160 page list is also followed by a shorter 2-page story about the potential of adults learning in a K-12 online learning program.  This is obviously the meat of the book.  It is also, in my opinion, the more thorough listing of K-12 online learning programs available (and is continually updated on Nixon’s website – http://bestonlinehighschools.com/).

Overall, if you are interested in exploring potential K-12 online learning opportunities – for yourself or your child(ren) – then this is a great resource to start that exploration!

If you are interested in previewing this resource, I note that Amazon provides the “Look Inside” feature for this book.

July 29, 2013

EDTECH597 – Guest Blog Re-Post: Online Credit Recovery Trends

This is the first entry in Week 8 of my EDTECH597 – Blogging In The Classroom.

This guest blog entry was originally posted on the Sevenstar Blog and re-posted here.  I have agreed to periodically post these entries over the course of the summer. Comments have been closed on this entry, but if you want to interact with the author please visit the original entry.  As is the tradition at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry today (minus of course the EDTECH597 entry posted first thing this morning).

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” – Proverbs 22:6

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A Christian education aims to give students the academic and spiritual tools to walk with confidence onto their post-graduation path. Failing a class sets a student back educationally, shakes his or her foundation, and can start a cycle that leads to dropping out. Christian educators are driven to provide all students the opportunities to succeed. Online credit recovery is the latest tool for guiding struggling students back on track.

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EDTECH597 – Week 8

Today begins week eight or the final weeks of my EDTECH597 – Blogging in the Classroom (see EDTECH597 – Blogging In The Classroom). The students this week have a couple of blogging activities and a couple of assignments that they have to complete by the end of the week (i.e., midnight on Sunday).

The readings for this week are:

  • Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: Academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1), 75-84.
  • Ewins, R. (2005). Who are you? Weblogs and academic identity. E-Learning, 2(4), 368-377.

On the blogging front, they simply have to post two entries, of any kind, on any topic that interests them.  The first entry should be posted by the end of the day on Wednesday, 31 July and the second entry by the end of the day on Friday, 02 August.

There are also two assignments that are due this week. The first is a Blogging Plan for the next month. Essentially, I borrowed the activities from these three challenges:

For the second activity, they have will design an activity that uses blogs in your own classroom. I have left this assignment open-ended to allow for the variety of students and subject areas that may be taught by my BSU graduate students.

Finally, I have asked that they continue to use Twitter throughout the week, and to use the hashtag #EDTECH597 for all class related tweets.

Later this morning I will post one sample entry (a Guest Blog Entry).  Tomorrow morning I will post a second sample entry (probably a Commentary or Discussion Entry).  Finally, on Wednesday morning I will post a sample entry of the Blogging Plan.

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