The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference in just a couple weeks! Drew McAllister has reviewed a trio of books for us, here’s his take on the second book in the series:
Over the past few months, I have been reading a trilogy written for those looking to design or aid in the design of online courses or blended learning experiences. Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning, edited by Atsusi “2c” Hirumi and published by ISTE, consists of the following titles: Design Fundamentals, Designs in Action and Trends and Technologies.
Designs in Action:
Hirumi refers to this volume as “the heart” of the Grounded Designs series. I heartily concur. Of the three volumes, Designs in Action comes closest to a practicable guidebook for designing learning activities for an online course. The chapters may be grouped into three categories: general instructional models, subject-specific strategies and general strategies.
… read more of Drew’s review, including the sections on general instructional models, subject-specific and general strategies here. You’ll also find links to his review of the other two books in the Grounded Designs series.
Please join colleagues and network with other area educators on September 14 to hear keynote speaker Jane Swift, Former Governor of Massachusetts, talk about the future of online learning. Jane Swift has taken a lead in advancing accountability and high standards for schools, teachers, and students. As Governor she also continued to advocate educational reform and called for the state to provide a college education for foster children in its care. Jane is in much demand as an advocate for educational reform to ensure our students are prepared with 21st Century Learning Skills for their college & career pursuits.
This symposium is hosted by one of Cooperating School Districts’ online learning partners, K¹². In addition to Jane Swift’s keynote, you’ll become informed about the features and benefits that online learning brings to student engagement and achievement. All products and services discussed on September 14th are from one of District’s-Choice: online learning premiere companies:
• A+: Product Training and New Version Preview
• Aventa Learning: Blackboard 9.1 Training and Preview Built in Remediation
• Middlebury College Foreign Language Offerings
• K-5 Curriculum
Register today! This event is free and takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; lunch is included. For additional information regarding the content of this event contact: Ruth Block.
Is your district focused on career and college readiness?
You’ll be interested to know that EdisonLearning has signed onto Cooperating School Districts’ online learning program, District’s-Choice. EdisonLearning will provide high quality STEM eCourses and assessment using eValuate™. eValuate™ enables educators to:
- Assess student progress and adjusts instruction accordingly
- Analyze data to adjust achievement gaps and address them by focusing resources in the right places
- Improve student achievement and engagement in learning
CSD will host a meeting on August 21 at 4 p.m. for districts and high schools that have an interest in further exploring this program. eValuate™ (or its predecessor, Tungsten), has been used successfully in Missouri schools for the past 10 years. The informational session will include descriptions from clients of how involved Missouri schools use the program to achieve high levels of school performance. A demonstration also will be offered so that participants can receive first hand information on how the program works. Edison reps will answer questions and will schedule follow-up sessions with any educators wanting further discussion. Enroll in this free session by e-mailing Janice.Walkonis@edisonlearning.com.
On August 23, CSD will host a free meeting at 4 p.m. for districts and high schools that have an interest in EdisonLearning eCourses. eCourses (for grades 7-12) are dynamic online courses designed to engage 21st century students in rigorous coursework. From dropout recovery solutions to full-time virtual programs, EdisonLearning delivers a dynamic, media-rich learning experience. eCourses incorporate the best of “brick & click” practices for your virtual learning program. eCourses provide a robust, easily deployed and standards aligned curriculum solution with the flexibility to support a variety of online programs and student needs.
Differentiating features of the eCourses include:
- State standards and Common Core alignment
- Unique focus on STEM
- Multiple learning modalities
- Individual student customization
- Real-time progress tracking
- Consistent structure and design
- Accessible cloud-based delivery platform
- Assessments to measure mastery
A discussion and demonstration will be offered on August 23 so that participants can receive first hand information eCourses and virtual learning. Representatives from Edison will be on hand to answer questions and will schedule follow-up sessions with any districts wanting further discussion. Register by e-mailing Tanya.Egbert@edisonlearning.com. Both meetings will be held at CSD’s 1460 Craig Road location in St. Louis, Missouri.
For questions on District’s-Choice Online Learning,
also known as DCOL, contact Ruth Litman-Block.
Be sure to attend one of the informal Birds of a Feather meet-ups between 1:50 and 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Midwest Education Technology Conference. At the “BOF” sessions on the 15th and 16th, the attendees will group together based on a shared interest. These discussions will occur without any pre-planned agenda. You can take this time to participate in a casual discussion about technology and its effect on learning and education. Learn from educators who share a similar interest such as social networking, media specialists, mobile learning, IWBs, online learning, professional development, or other instructional technology topics. In addition, keep in mind the Twitter hashtag for these sessions will be #bofMETC.