Virtual School Meanderings

May 24, 2018

USDLA Newsletter 2018 (05-22-2018)

A newsletter from earlier in the week.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. Farhad Saba
Founder, Editor
USDLA Hall of Fame Inductee
Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. John G. Flores, USDLA
CEO / Executive Director
Associate Editor
OFFICIAL USDLA SPECIAL EDITION
FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download White Paper

Evaluating theImpact of Engaged Philosophy in the Online Classroom: Lessons Learned As an Oregon State Ecampus Research Fellow, I designed and initiated a research study thDowat aimed to: 1) investigate tools and techniques for engaged, experiential online learning with undergraduate philosophy students and 2) propose discipline- specific criteria for evaluating the impact of these pedagogical […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Creating and Collaborating: Students’ and Tutors’ Perceptions of an Online Group ProjectAlthough collaboration skills are highly valued by employers, convincing students that collaborative learning activities are worthwhile, and ensuring that the experience is both useful and enjoyable, are significant challenges for educators. This paper addresses these challenges by exploring students’ and tutors’ experiences of a group project where part-time distance learners collaborate online to create a […]

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OER Awareness and Use: The Affinity Between Higher Education and K-12Educators within Higher Education (HE) and K-12 share in the need for high quality educational resources to assist in the pursuit of teaching and learning. Although there are numerous differences between the two levels of education, there are commonalties in the perceptions of the purpose, practical uses, and challenges that abide in the use of […]

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Designing Continuing Professional Development MOOCs to promote the adoption of OER and OEPThere is growing interest in the adoption of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) in a variety of contexts. Continuing professional development (CPD) among practitioners in the effective adoption of OER and OEP is critical in this scenario. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), which also grew as part of the open education […]

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The potential role of Open Educational Practice policy in transforming Australian higher educationOpen Educational Practices (OEP) have played an important role in assisting educational institutions and governments worldwide to meet their current and future educational targets in widening participation, lowering costs, improving the quality of learning and teaching and promoting social inclusion and participatory democracy. There have been some important OEP developments in Australia, but unfortunately the […]

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IN THE NEWS
Alaska ramps up efforts to close broadband gap in K-12 schoolsThe state remains a laggard nationally when it comes to school connectivity, but a partnership with EducationSuperHighway aims to fix that. edscoop

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Michigan Has Required Online Classes for K-12 Students for Over a Decade. Is it Working?In 2006, the state of Michigan passed a controversial piece of education legislation known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The revamp required students to complete upper level STEM subjects and, among other things, take at least one online class. Known as the online learning requirement, it was intended to onboard students for a future of […]

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Network Neutrality: The End of the Beginning (Again)With federal policy debates currently dominated by tax-and-spending issues along with immigration, one might easily lose sight of the relatively recent, dramatic shift in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy on network neutrality. In part, this is because the 2017 FCC order changing the rules on network neutrality has yet to take full effect. On February […]

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How congressional politics drive the net neutrality debateThe ongoing national debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules started a new chapter this week. Senate Democrats, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), filed a petition that will force a vote on overturning the Commission’s 2017 decision to undo rules from the Obama administration. In doing so, Markey and his colleagues will […]

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United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), 840 First Street, NE,3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002

May 19, 2018

Press Release: Flores Retires As USDLA CEO/Executive Director

An item from today’s inbox…

For Immediate Release
USDLA
Media Contact:
Eric Christopher Webb
1-443-740-6899
FLORES RETIRES AS USDLA CEO/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
USDLA’s First African American President and Board Chairman Smith Assumes Helm
BOSTON, MA (May 17, 2018) – Dr. John Flores announced his retirement as CEO / Executive Director from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) effective July 1, 2018 at its recent annual national conference in Indianapolis, IN.
Flores, who had served in the post for more than 20 years, had been the heart and soul of USDLA and had positioned the organization to become globally recognized as a voice and force supporting all aspects of the distance learning industry.  His tenure was marked with outstanding success through steady membership enrollment, sponsorship growth, and revenue generation.
“It is with mixed feelings I announce my retirement, but I look forward to the next chapter in my life,” Flores said.  “It has been a wonderful journey with USDLA and I have met hundreds of terrific colleagues. I want to especially thank all USDLA Boards of Directors I have worked with over the years. It has truly been my honor to have served the Association.”
The Board of Directors voted to appoint Dr. Reggie Smith III as Flores’ replacement effective July 1, 2018.  In addition, a transition support team has been established since the USDLA headquarters will move from Boston to Washington, D.C. as part of the leadership transition.
“I’ve known both Dr. Flores and Dr. Smith for over a decade and I’m certain the transition will be seamless,”said Pat Cassella, USDLA President. “I am working with Reggie daily to move USDLA along and the board is confident in his abilities as we continue to grow it as a premier organization for the entire distance / online learning profession globally.”
 “I am excited that Dr. Smith will be succeeding me,” Flores said.  “He has been a longtime friend and colleague and I am sure he will continue to maintain and lead the Association in a most positive and productive way. “
Prior to his appointment, Smith served as Chair Emeritus of the USDLA Board of Directors providing board leadership to the association, members, and partners. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, Smith was elected as the association’s first African-American president and then chairman.
“It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Flores.  He is a legend in the field and I plan to leverage the tremendous work he has done to continuously expand USDLA globally,” said Smith, who is the incoming CEO / Executive Director. “Distance learning is about using available technologies and technology infrastructures to make more effective learning opportunities accessible to all learners, whatever their age, location, or reason for learning from anywhere, at any time, and at any pace, in accordance with the individual needs of each student. It is critical to competitiveness in today’s fast-paced global, economic environment, which requires constant innovation, upskilling, and reskilling for lifelong learning, and distance learning is the only efficient, scalable, sustainable way to build and protect the value of our current and future workforce.”
Over the years, Smith, who is a recognized authority on media and telecommunications issues has served as presenter, keynote or judge at various events and conferences worldwide and has been recognized for his distinguished service in supporting distance learning, including the USDLA Hall of Fame Award, Black Engineer of the Year Award for Community Service, Federal Government Distance Learning Association’s (FGDLA) Hall of Fame Award, FGDLA Pillar Award, Virtual World Association’s Excellence Award among others.
***
About the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The USDLA, a 501(c) 3 non-profit association formed in 1987, reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion. U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking, and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-K-12 education, home schooling, higher education, and continuing education, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets.Visit: USDLA.org
United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
202-248-5023 | info@usdla.org | www.usdla.org
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May 18, 2018

USDLA Newsletter 2018 (05-14-2018)

A newsletter from earlier in the week.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. Farhad Saba
Founder, Editor
USDLA Hall of Fame Inductee
Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. John G. Flores, USDLA
CEO / Executive Director
Associate Editor
OFFICIAL USDLA SPECIAL EDITION
FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

NMC Horizon Report Preview 2018 The NMC Horizon Report Preview provides summaries of each of the upcoming edition’s trends, challenges, and important developments in educational technology. This work would not have been possible without the efforts of the 71 community members of the 2018 Horizon Expert Panel. These volunteers share a consensus view that each […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
The Webinar Integration Tool: A Framework for Promoting Active Learning in Blended EnvironmentsThis paper describes a three-stage process of developing a webinar integration tool to enhance the interaction of teaching and learning in blended environments. In the context of medical education, we emphasize three factors of effective webinar integration in blended learning: fostering better solutions for faculty and students to interact virtually; enhancing blended learning using webinars […]

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Twitter: A Professional Development and Community of Practice Tool for TeachersThis article shows how a group of language teachers use Twitter as a tool for continuous professional development through the #MFLtwitterati hashtag. Based on data collected through a survey (n = 116) and interviews (n = 11), it describes how this collective of teachers use the hashtag and evaluates the impact of their Twitter network […]

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Exploring Students Use of the Social Networking Site WhatsApp to foster connectedness in the online learning experienceIn recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the use of social networking tools in higher education teaching and learning. Drawing on data from a larger study focusing on student engagement in the online virtual classroom, this paper is based on research conducted with three separate cohorts of students from the Masters in Special […]

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Using learning analytics to improve online formative quiz engagementThis paper describes the findings of a small research study, conducted in a third-level online college, using learning analytics to examine the implementation of formative quizzes in a blended-learning post-primary teaching programme. Using historic data captured in a virtual learning environment (VLE) for a single cohort (n=126), patterns of use of formative Knowledge Check quizzes […]

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IN THE NEWS
Leading the World Toward a 5G FutureThe United States is moving swiftly to lead the world in the next generation of wireless connectivity or 5G. These new networks and technologies will enable faster speeds and low-latency wireless broadband services, cultivating the Internet of Things and innovations not yet imagined. Under Chairman Pai, the FCC is pursuing a comprehensive wireless strategy to ensure […]

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On the Road Again: “my ongoing digital divide tour”Earlier this month, I completed the latest leg of my ongoing digital divide tour, logging over 500 miles in a rental car across Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Yet again, I heard stories about how broadband connectivity can bring new opportunities and services just about anywhere. In Scottsville, Kentucky, a town of 4,000 that’s nearly 30 […]

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20 innovative edtech projects from around the worldFor the past two decades, I’ve worked on issues at the intersection of the education and technology sectors in middle- and low-income countries and emerging markets around the world. It’s been a fascinating job: Over the past 20 years, I’ve been an advisor to, evaluator of, and/or working-level participant in, educational technology (‘edtech’) initiatives in […]

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How Harvard Is Trying to Update the Extension School for the MOOC AgeYou could call extension schools the original MOOCs. Universities first opened these offshoots more than 100 years ago, and at the time they were innovative throwing open the campus gates by offering night classes without any admission requirements. EdSurge

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United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), 76 Canal Street,Suite 301, Boston, MA 02114

May 10, 2018

USDLA Newsletter 2018 (05-07-2018)

A newsletter from earlier in the week.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. Farhad Saba
Founder, Editor
USDLA Hall of Fame Inductee
Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
Dr. John G. Flores, USDLA
CEO / Executive Director
Associate Editor
OFFICIAL USDLA SPECIAL EDITION
FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

A Game of Snakes and Ladders: Launch of Critical Report on Learning Portfolio in Higher Education On Wednesday 14th February, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, Minister of State for Higher Education officially launched The Learning Portfolio in Higher Education: A Game of Snakes and Ladders. The launch took place in the historic Belvedere House on Dublin City […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
4FAD: A framework for mapping the evolution of artefacts in the learning design process

A number of researchers have explored the role and nature of design in education, proposing a diverse array of life cycle models. Design plays subtly different roles in each of these models. The learning design research community is shifting its attention from the representation of pedagogical plans to considering design as an ongoing process. As […]

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A framework for self-determination in massive open online courses: Design for autonomy, competence, and relatedness

In this paper, we propose a framework for the design of massive open online courses (MOOCs) based upon the principles of self-determination theory, which posits a relationship between intrinsic motivation and the basic psychological need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. We also report the results of design-based research that evaluates the application of the framework […]

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Reflecting on Reflecting: Summer Undergraduate Research Students’ Experiences in Developing Electronic Portfolios, a Meta-High Impact Practice

This pilot study assessed how using electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) as a meta-high impact practice (meta-HIP) might influence student learning through reflective practice. Eleven undergraduates participating in a summer research program reflected weekly on their research experiences through building and using ePortfolios, and attended three focus groups. The researchers assessed the students level of engagement as […]

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Reflecting on Reflections: Curating ePortfolios for Integrative Learning and Identity Development in a General Education Senior Capstone

By embedding an ePortfolio process in a general education core that culminates with a senior capstone course, Thomas Jefferson University has created an opportunity for students to use their completed ePortfolios as archives of primary sources that they can curate to produce narratives about their intellectual development. The result was a capstone course with a […]

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IN THE NEWS
Learning online made it possible for these grads to make their dreams come true

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. When Roberto Rodriguez decided to start working toward his college degree while he was in the military, he never dreamed he’d attend a university like Penn State. On the other hand, Stephanie Reynolds started college after high school but didn’t finish. And she never imagined she’d be able to finish her […]

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USDLA Awards Blackboard Ally with Innovation Award for Excellence in Distance Learning in 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presented its 2018 International Distance Learning Awards to Blackboard in conjunction with the 2018 National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. PR Newswire

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Online learning isn’t as inclusive as you may think

A pair of online instructors revisit the assumption that web-based classes are fundamentally better at accommodating a range of students and teachers. University Affairs

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WGU Earns 8th 21st Century Distance Learning Award from USDLA

INDIANAPOLIS, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For the eighth time, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) has honored Western Governors University (WGU) with a 21st Century Distance Learning Award for its leadership in distance education. The award was presented April 30 at USDLA’s 2018 Conference in Indianapolis. PR Newswire

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United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), 76 Canal Street,Suite 301, Boston, MA 02114

May 3, 2018

Press Release: USDLA 2018 International Awards Presented For Excellence In Distance Learning For Individuals, Organizations And Companies Honoring Their Outstanding Achievements

Note this item from Tuesday’s inbox…

USDLA
Press Release
USDLA 2018 International Awards Presented for Excellence
in Distance Learning for Individuals,Organizations and Companies Honoring their Outstanding Achievements.
World’s most prestigious distance learning awards were presented yesterday in Indianapolis, Indiana for excellence in distance learning to individuals, organizations and companies.
 
Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) May 1, 2018 — The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presented its 2018 International Distance Learning Awards in conjunction with the 2018 National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.USDLA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association, founded in 1987, as the nation’s leading distance learning organization. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market.
These prestigious International Awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs. Included in the recognition ceremony were awards for 21st Century Distance Learning, Innovation, Excellence in Teaching/Training, Quality Research Paper, Student Achievement, and Eagle.

The USDLA International Awards are closely followed by the distance learning community. “As the premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, USDLA enjoys honoring leaders within the industry,” said Dr. John G. Flores, Executive Director of USDLA. “Each year these recognized leaders raise the bar and exceed best practice expectations for the industry as a whole and we are truly honored by their contributions within all distance learning constituencies.”
The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite and blended learning delivery technologies.
“This year’s USDLA Award recipients represent the finest examples of online courses, best practices, and leadership in our field.  The depth and breadth of the USDLA membership allows us to engage with leaders from higher education, K-12, industry, military, and government who daily demonstrate the power of distance learning.  We are so proud and excited to be able to recognize this level of excellence,” said Mr. Pat Cassella, President of USDLA.
For the 2018 International Awards program, USDLA focused upon several major areas that exemplify the dynamic nature of distance learning. Please join us in honoring the following 2018 USDLA Award Winners, which include the following:
==============================================
USDLA Quality Research Paper Award
Dr. Patricia Cannistraci and Dr. Bonny Kehm
Excelsior College
==============================================
USDLA Student Achievement Award
Natalie Marlowe
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
==============================================
USDLA Excellence in Teaching/Training Award
Dr. Stacy Southerland
University of Central Oklahoma
Missy Daley
Mountain Heights Academy
==============================================
USDLA Innovation Award
Adventures in Health Science and Medicine
Cleveland Clinic Civic Education Department
Blackboard Ally Accessibility Solution
Blackboard
Post Attack Reconnaissance
Air Force Emergency Management
==============================================
USDLA 21st Century Distance Learning Award
Western Governors University
==============================================
USDLA 2018 Eagle 
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
State of Hawaii
Mr. Ken Conn, Chair of USDLA Board of Directors noted that, “This year’s award winners represent many of the most innovative leaders in the field of distance learning.” He continued, “I also look forward to seeing these leaders again during National Distance Learning Week, November 5-9, 2018.”
About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market.  USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry. http://www.usdla.org
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Contact: USDLA HQ
United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
1-617-399-1770
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USDLA, 76 Canal Street, Suite 301, Boston, MA 02114
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