Virtual School Meanderings

May 18, 2020

Resource – The Online Teaching Mixtape: Providing Online Students With Flexibility So They Can Find Their Groove

This is a VERY creative resource that came across my electronic desk this past week.

The Online Teaching Mixtape:

Providing Online Students With Flexibility So They Can Find Their Groove

Live music can be amazing, fun, and energizing. It’s a great way to really connect and feel the music. However, it’s not always practical to attend a live music venue. Thankfully there’s recorded music. When we find a song that we love or want to learn we can listen to it on repeat. Because the music is always available, we listen to music when we want to. We may actually form an even stronger connection to the music, maybe leading us to go out of our way to see the band live.

Similarly, when done well, live video class sessions can be a great way to connect with students and energize students’ learning. However, it’s not always practical to attend a live class and even when students can attend it’s not always sweet music to their ears. Students can be prone to distractions when the entire internet is only a browser tab away and they know that their teacher probably isn’t going to notice if they are distracted.

In some ways, on-demand videos can actually be more engaging and powerful than live video class sessions. It also gives students the flexibility to learn at the time when it’s best for them. Furthermore, students can easily go back and review material when they need to.

The following six tracks (lessons) will help you to get started with using video so online students can find their groove:

and so on…

To access the resource, click here or visit

December 28, 2019

Teaching Online Is Different: Critical Perspectives From The Literature

This item came to my attention from a daily newsletter that is curated by a Canadian-based educational technology scholar.

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by Stephen Downes
December 25, 2019


Teaching online is different: Critical perspectives from the literature

Caitriona Ní Shé City University, Dec 25, 2019


This is a good paper (43 page PDF) but because of its methodology – a systematic literature review – it reflects a fairly narrow perspective and feels ten years out of date. According to its publicity it “emphasises the importance of interpersonal skills and having a compassionate approach for effective teaching online” but I found this a bit incongruent with its discussion of the roles of an online teacher (and, again, this is a discussion long since past – see my own work in this area from a decade ago). The best bit of the report is the table of key factors that impact on professional development (pp.56-57, pdf p.29) which, it seems to me, could be interpreted also as key factors that impact on learning online. Via Robert Gibson.

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The little house by the railway

Casselman, On K0A 1M0


While the analysis itself isn’t focused on the K-12 environment, there is considerable overlap in the message.

March 17, 2017

Undergraduate Pre-Service Teacher Training Preparing Them To Teach K-12 Online

Based on a presentation that I gave at SITE this past week, I received the following question in my inbox:

I’m wondering if you have knowledge of specific courses that teach undergraduate preservice teachers how to teach blended or online?

The response that I sent was:

 Also, here are a couple of articles/chapters that may be of use for you.

Do other folks have other suggestions?

January 16, 2016

Register Now for February Online Classes

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

Become an online teacher University of Wisconsin-Stout E-Learning Graduate Certificate
Put your expertise to work!
Hello Michael,

In the past you inquired about or participated in our E-Learning and Online Teaching Certificate program at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

I’m reaching out to see if you would like to register for a course that begins in February.

If you have already registered for the Spring 2016 semester…

Please share this email with any colleagues who might be interested in taking one of our E-Learning and Online Teaching Courses.

If you would like to enroll in a spring E-Learning Certificate course…

Our new 10 Month Fast Track Option means spring courses are filling earlier than ever and may be full by the end of January. It’s important to act soon. That’s why this email is urgent.  We want you to have a chance at the remaining spots in each course.

How to Apply
Just reply to this email, and let me know that you wish to register. I’ll do my best to get you the course you want.

Or Take Direct Action and Register Online (No registration fee)


There is no tuition increase for 2016. Tuition remains at $415 per graduate credit hour ($1245 per course).

Register Now

EDUC 760 E-learning for the Online or Blended Classroom
February 29 – April 22, 2016

EDUC 762 Assessment in E-Learning
February 29 – April 22, 2016

EDUC 761 Creating Collaborative Communities in E-Learning
February 29 – April 22, 2016

How to Apply

E-Mail me ( or
E-Mail Darci Ward (
or Register Online

Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t hesitate to email ( ) or call my cell: 530-318-1145

I’m looking forward to hearing from you tonight or tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week!


Dennis O’Connor
Program Advisor

Dennis OConnor
E-Learning & Online Teaching
School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University
530-318-1145 (West Coast Cell)

If you are no longer interested in our courses…

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December 15, 2015

Now Accepting Applications For WyoITEC Graduate Programs

From the inbox on Sunday…  Note the certificate in online teaching option…

Graduate programs in instructional technology are just a click away!
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Graduate Degrees on Your Terms

Did you know that the online graduate programs in education at the University of Wyoming are among the top in the nation according to We know that teachers and administrators are busy and we offer flexible, online degree programs to suit every level of continuing professional development. Courses are offered year-round, and provide the knowledge and skills you need to be a change agent, design effective visuals for teaching and learning, and use emerging technologies to communicate and teach! Take a look at our programs and submit your application by January 15, 2016 for Summer/Fall 2015.

Doctoral DegreesOur Ph.D. & Ed.D. degrees help professionals in PK12 settings apply advanced skills to identify school and classroom needs, design and develop training solutions, evaluate attainment, and climb the ladder of success.
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Master’s DegreeStudents appreciate teachers who integrate apps & technology into lessons. Your online master’s degree in instructional technology will prepare you to be a leader and design courses to address challenges found in classrooms.
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CertificateHow can you extend learning environments beyond class time? Get the skills to flip your classroom, develop & assess instruction, teach online courses, & integrate technology with a graduate-level certificate!
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