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A rare update to this page:
Information from Amy Ashline and the homeschool kids that she works with

"...the kids thought of the brilliant idea to email you in the first place, because they wanted to share a resource they found: . They thought it'd be a great fit for your page and that maybe other visitors would find it fantastic as well."

PC's Guide To Keyboarding

With the increasing usage of computers, keyboarding skills have become essential. Children must learn keyboarding skills early on as part of using computers and in order to type lessons and reports. Parents need to encourage kids to practice typing outside of school as it takes a lot of time to become efficient. It is also important to teach the proper hand and body positioning as well as correct typing techniques in order to prevent things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Learning to type need not be a boring chore; today, there are many fun games, lessons, and tests online to help kids learn keyboarding skills. With entertaining games like this, kids will love to type!



A rare update to this page: -- from Andrea Richardson is a free resource that provides prospective students with an enormous amount of information about the available PhD programs across the United States. The site offers an array of resources such as the different states that offer these degrees and information regarding accreditation. This type of information can be valuable to today's students who "are not only dealing with the competitive nature of higher education, but also the rising costs associated with them."

Online PhD Programs



As of 1/22/10 -- please see my work over at my new "Learning Ecosystems" blog:

Learning Ecosystems -- My new home

This will be my new virtual home. Why?

  1. For those familiar with technology and blogging, you have been shaking your head at me for far too long -- and I don't blame you.
    You know that (in addition to numerous other reasons), using something like WordPress to set up and run a blog is much more time efficient than running a website such as this one. With more things continually trying to make their way onto my job/time plate, I need -- no scratch that -- I have to do this.

  2. RSS feeds are not supported on Calvin's personal websites. I have appreciated your patience in continually having to return/check-in here on this site, but it's time to move on to a better way of doing things.

I will keep this site up for reference sake -- as I've worked hard to obtain the information on the various topics located herein. Thankfully, some of this site has been helpful to other people.


Archives of my postings related to online-learning are listed below.
For up-to-date postings, see you over at my new "Learning Ecosystems" blog!



Some resources re: online learning/education -- with thanks to Mr. Brian Chang who writes:

I found these sites very informative when searching for college and career information:

Online Degree Programs -


Monterey Institute

Guided Homework Help Goes Online
-- from by Jennifer Hillner
The New York Public Library's homework program pioneers new ways to connect students with teachers after class is dismissed.
Homework help is just a few clicks away, thanks to the New York Public Library's (NYPL) groundbreaking new interactive Dial-A-Teacher Whiteboard. Four nights a week, the online program connects students and teachers in real time through a secure digital whiteboard, where they can chat about assignments and draw their responses on the shared board. It's the first program of its kind in the United States, and here's how it works.

1. A student logs on to the free, online Dial-A-Teacher service by providing some basic background information and is connected with a certified teacher logged on to the Web site.

2. The student types her question and uses a mouse or a stylus to draw her math problem on the screen, or she imports documents, such as a scanned page of homework, to the whiteboard.

3. The teacher instantly sees the problem and provides feedback by typing a suggestion, adding to the drawing, or pointing the student to other Web sites where she can go for more practice. Students can also call Dial-A-Teacher's hotline and talk directly with the teacher.

How online learning is revolutionizing K-12 education and benefiting students
-- from by Dan Lips; original resource from Ray Schroeder
Abstract: Virtual or online learning is revolutionizing American education. It has the potential to dramatically expand the educational opportunities of American students, largely overcoming the geographic and demographic restrictions. Virtual learning also has the potential to improve the quality of instruction, while increasing productivity and lowering costs, ultimately reducing the burden on taxpayers. Local, state, and federal policymakers should reform education policies and funding to facilitate online learning, particularly by allowing funding to follow the students to their learning institutions of choice.

Florida Virtual School takes courses across state lines -- from The Journal by Dian Schaffhauser
An education organization in Florida has teamed up with a company that develops learning tools to launch a new service that provides online learning for K-12 schools. Florida Virtual School (FLVS), which delivers online instruction to K-12 students in Florida, is working with Agilix Labs in the launch of BrainHoney, announced at FETC 2010 in Orlando. This solution is intended to provide schools, districts, and states a means to deliver accredited online courses to their students.

FLVS to add Texthelp Read Aloud technology to online courses -- from The Journal by Dian Schaffhauser
Florida Virtual School, which provides online classes for K-12 students in Florida, will shortly expand deployment of a text-to-speech function it has been testing for its courses, according to an announcement at FETC 2010 in Orlando, FL. The new feature, powered by Texthelp Systems' SpeechStream, will be available on the course platform toolbar.

Texthelp Systems the worldwide leader of literacy software solutions. We develop innovative, assistive software to support individuals with their reading, writing and research skills in Education, the Workplace and at Home. Our software supports struggling readers, those with literacy difficulties, learning disabilities such as dyslexia, mild visual impairments and where English is a second language. Texthelp has three core business divisions: Education & the Workplace solutions, Publishing and Speech Services.


How Online Learning Is Revolutionizing K-12 Education and Benefiting Students -- from by Dan Lips; original resource from Ray Schroeder
Abstract: Virtual or online learning is revolutionizing American education. It has the potential to dramatically expand the educational opportunities of American students, largely overcoming the geographic and demographic restrictions. Virtual learning also has the potential to improve the quality of instruction, while increasing productivity and lowering costs, ultimately reducing the burden on taxpayers. Local, state, and federal policymakers should reform education policies and funding to facilitate online learning, particularly by allowing funding to follow the students to their learning institutions of choice.

Will online education be a future revenue stream for news organisations? -- from Mercedes Bunz

As news organisations struggle to find new revenue models, education offerings seem to be a very good way to extend the brand and earn extra revenue. This spring, the New York Times will start awarding certificates in conjunction with several universities to students who pay to take its online courses.

Two years ago, the New York Times Knowledge Network was started to enter the market of online education providing courses with its editors and journalists as collaborators and participants in shaping the curriculum. However, as online education mainly aimed at adults has become a profit center the aim now is not only to transfer its expertise of the newsroom but to earn money at the same time.

"Online education is a really robust area," said Felice Nudelman, director of education for the Times, recently to the online magazine for higher education Inside High Ed. "It is, for many institutions, a profit center. And it's an exciting way to bring together all the content from The New York Times and expertise from our newsroom, and expertise of college and university faculty."

New York Times Knowledge Network

From DSC:
Very iiinnnttteeerrreesssttttiiiinngggg. Hmm...


What do employers say about online education? -- from and MSN Careers
“Going back to school is an appealing option for many people, but they can’t afford to quit their jobs to be a full-time student. If this sounds familiar, there might be a solution that allows you to go to school and continue working: an online or distance-learning program.

From DSC:
Believe me, you WANT to hire someone who has proven that they can be successful with online learning. Why? Because they are self-motivated. They don’t need someone looking over their shoulder or strongly encouraging them to do the next thing. They are disciplined. They budget their time wisely. You can give them the assignments and then let them go to it. Coupled with the ability to work well with others…if I were running a business, I’d want some folks like that around.

How well does your institution's web site serve potential online learners? -- from Tony Bates


2010 Horizon Report -- from the New Media Consortium

Using the Online Learning Environment to Develop Real-Life Collaboration and Knowledge-Sharing Skills - Lisl Zach & Denise E. Agosto, JOLT
-- from Ray Schroeder
Previous research has suggested that effective collaboration and knowledge-sharing skills are crucial for successful employment in the modern economy where much professional work is now done in teams. Many of these teams involve participants who are not co-located geographically and who communicate with each other through online media. If current faculty are to prepare students to enter this modern workplace, they must prepare them to succeed at online collaboration and knowledge sharing. This article examines the theoretical basis for using collaborative online learning techniques to teach library and information (LIS) students. It provides examples from a newly-designed three-course online Competitive Intelligence and Knowledge Management (CI/KM) concentration to demonstrate that the online environment is well suited for developing collaboration and knowledge-sharing skills and to illustrate how a number of collaborative techniques can be used in a real online class to develop a sense of community among students.

Online Teaching Experience: A Qualitative Metasynthesis (QMS) - Jennie C. De Gagne and Kelley Walters, JOLT -- from Ray Schroeder
Qualitative studies of educators who teach online are crucial to provide direction for practice and research as they offer an emic perspective. Using a qualitative metasynthesis (QMS) design, this study investigated the experience of online learning educators at institutions of higher education in the U. S. Discerning what activities online educators could instigate to bridge the gaps between the best practices and the present instructional realities in online teaching, this study provides an interpretive synthesis of the meaning of teaching online as represented by a body of qualitative literature on online education.


Reminders re: helpful training/education-related resources -- from Capella University

The Sloan Consortium
The Sloan Consortium is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education. Membership in the Sloan Consortium provides knowledge, practice, community, and direction for educators. Originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C is now a non-profit, member sustained organization. Join with Sloan-C to lead higher education in meeting social needs for affordable access, quality innovations, and teaching and learning excellence. The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) helps learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines.  Sloan-C supports the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)
ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD’s members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in more than 130 U.S. chapters and with more than 30 international partners. Members work in thousands of organizations of all sizes, in government, as independent consultants, and suppliers. ASTD started in 1943. In recent years, ASTD has widened the profession’s focus to link learning and performance to individual and organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues.

International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)
Founded in 1962, the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) is the leading international association dedicated to improving productivity and performance in the workplace. ISPI represents performance improvement professionals throughout the United States, Canada, and 40 other countries. ISPI's mission is to develop and recognize the proficiency of our members and advocate the use of Human Performance Technology. Assembling THE Performance Improvement Conference and other educational events like Principles & Practices and the ProSeries workshops, publishing books and periodicals, and supporting research are some of the ways ISPI works toward achieving this mission.


New Directions and a New Decade for E-Learning: 12 Predictions -- from E-Learning Queen


-- from Karl Kapp


The advantages of eLearning -- by Karen L. Jones. Technology has revolutionized business; now it must revolutionize learning.
In the 21st century, people have to learn more than ever before. Especially for global organizations, live classroom-based training is becoming too costly and cumbersome. Even if employees had the time to attend all the courses and seminars and to read all the books and reports they should to remain up-to-date in their area of work, the cost of such learning would be prohibitive. The need to transform how organizations learn points to a more modern, efficient, and flexible alternative: eLearning. The mission of corporate eLearning is to supply the workforce with an up-to-date and cost-effective program that yields motivated, skilled, and loyal knowledge workers.


Be a better online educator by thinking like an online student -- from eLearning Blog // Don't Waste Your Time ... by David Hopkins

100 Incredible & Educational Virtual Tours You Don’t Want to Miss -- from

HOW TO GUIDE: 60+ Great How To Sites and Resources -- from


Seven Tips for Creating a Positive Online Learning Experience -- from Faculty Focus by Errol Craig Sull

Older students return to college and wrestle with technology - Mary Owen, Chicago Tribune -- resource and quote below from Ray Schroeder
Classrooms have been transformed –– grades are electronic, homework is submitted online, presentations must be given in PowerPoint and the best way to reach an instructor is e-mail. One professor said he hasn't exchanged a piece of paper with a student in more than five years. But instructors say they try to be understanding about older students. Many allow a struggling student to do things such as take a test on paper instead of online, write a paper on hard copy rather than type it into a computer or give a traditional presentation rather than a multimedia one.

Instructional Mash-Up: Promoting Reflective Skill Development in a Virtual Environment -- from by Karen Dunlap, Tracey Mac Gowan and Keith Restine
Abstract: Classroom management (CM) research suggests prospective teachers customarily view CM skill acquisition as a fundamental component of pedagogical knowledge development (Emmer & Stough, 2001; Merrett & Wheldall, 1993). Dissemination of critical concepts has traditionally occurred in face-to-face classrooms supported by school-based field experiences. However, circumstances have fueled student demand for flexible scheduling and convenient online courses (Ellis, 2009; Fink, 2003). Professors are challenged to deliver CM instruction virtually; utilizing multiple tools for online delivery to emulate traditional and educational training experiences. This qualitative study explored emergence of reflective skills in blogs, wikis, and scaffolded assignments in an online CM course.


Collaboration Tools for Online Groups

CU Online Handbook 2009
-- from University of Colorado Denver; original resource from Helge Scherlund
"This handbook consists of four different sections. The first section is about trends and issues with online learning. The second section is about technology in action. The third section includes a brief summary of 25 different new emerging tools and applications. The last section includes different resources that you might use in your online classroom."

In online education, Hartland teacher in a class all her own -- from by Frank Konkel; original resource from Helge Scherlund

Melanie Labor -- in a class all her own

Melanie Laber is one of the busiest teachers you’ll ever read about. During the 2009-2010 school year, Laber, a Hartland Middle School at Ore Creek math teacher, teaches six seventh-grade classes. Because of her full load, Laber doesn’t even have a prep hour, but teaching middle school math is only part of her work day. The rest of her time she spends teaching trigonometry and geometry to students across the state online through Michigan Virtual School. For her efforts, Laber was recognized this month as Michigan Virtual School’s 2009 Online Teacher of the Year. She accepted the award two weeks ago at a ceremony in Lansing.


Free Online High Schools -- from Virtual School News by Thomas Nixon
The single-most common question concerning online high schools is about whether there are any free ones available. Just a few short years ago, the answer was mostly in the negative. That fact is changing almost faster than it is possible to keep up. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, but the main one is that schools, states, and companies have figured out a way to use public money to create online high schools and online courses. All perfectly legal and a reasonable use of our tax dollars. However, before you decide to sign up for that free online high school, there are some things that you need to know.

ICEEEL 2010: International Conference on e-Education and e-Learning
Paris, France | June 28-30, 2010
The International Conference on e-Education and e-Learning aims to bring together academic scientists, leading engineers, industry researchers and scholar students to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of e-Education and e-Learning, and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted.


Overcrowded and underfunded -- from Tony Bates

From DSC:
Tony brings up a good question at the end of his posting:

This will of course result in more demand for online courses, but will the resources be there to ensure good quality programs?

From DSC: We need to get this right. We need to invest in creating high-quality, multimedia-based, interactive materials that are professionally-done, engaging, and ones that turn the control/pacing over to the students.


Books I Want to Read in 2010: Designing Learning and Learning about Design -- from Sahana Chattopadhyay, India

Vancouver Community College’s online moves -- from Tony Bates, on December 18th, 2009
Robin Popow wrote this report for the BC Educational Technology Users Group:
Vancouver Community College has entered what appears to be its next phase of life with regards to educational technology. Over the past four years, we have gone from less than a dozen programs utilizing online environments to a robust Moodle environment in use by over 300 faculty members. Phase two comes as many using Moodle over the past few years become more comfortable with the environment and the constructivist paradigm shift it quietly encourages. In a general way, we have reached the E in the ADDIE model and the Centre for Instructional Development (CID) has been actively evaluating offerings on a voluntary basis based on established best practices and evaluation criteria. A focus now is on the redevelopment of courses at a program level with many areas collaborating to create a layout to offer their common students consistency across courses. These templates have been well received by faculty and students.


An Instructional Media Selection Guide for Distance Learning -- from Jolly T. Holden, Ed.D. | Philip J.-L. Westfall, Ph.D. | Chairmen Emeriti | United States Distance Learning Association | 2009

On the Wire – Video resources -- from Eductional Origami

  1. Teacher Tube –
  2. TED –
  3. Media Storm –
  4. Academic Earth
  5. Cosmeo –
  6. Brightstorm –
  7. YouTube Edu
  8. Research Channel -
  9. –
  10. MathTV -



Lessons Learned From Lessons Learned: The Fit Between Online Education “Best Practices” and Small School Reality -- by Al S. Lovvorn, Ph.D., Michael M. Barth, Ph.D.,R. Franklin Morris, Jr., Ph.D., John E. Timmerman, D.B.A, ; resource from Stephen Downes.

Schools of all types and sizes are exploring the merits and facets of online learning approaches; but, the online delivery literature has focused on “best practices” generated primarily through the experiences of larger schools that are on the leading edge of this innovation. Small public schools, on the other hand, are faced with unique challenges in profiting from the advice of these first movers. Small schools are hampered as a result of severely constrained resources, among which are personnel, money, infrastructure, and time. These factors limit the ability of small public institutions to fully adopt widely approved online best practices. This article reviews contemporary research on the implementation of online learning, examines one small public school’s experience as a case study, discusses the disparities between the capabilities of large versus small public institutions of higher education, and outlines implications for other small schools that wish to pursue online education.


Detroit PS Expands Use of Online Writing Tool -- from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz
Detroit Public Schools (DPS) will increase its use of the online writing program My Access! from Vantage Learning. Citing positive feedback from students already using the software and from teachers who say they have seen noticeable improvements in their students' writing skills, DPS will increase from 300 to 500 the number students using the program at the district's Cass Technical High School.

Elluminate: your grandkid's classroom - Matt Bowman, VatorNews -- quote below and resource from Ray Schroeder
Wondering what school will be like for the next generation? Check out Elluminate. It gives an instructor the ability to hold a web conference with up to 300 participants, host interactive displays, video streaming, private-but-moderated chats between participants and just about every function a teacher could want in an online classroom. Last week, the company announced it’s social network, LearnCentral, which launched in June of this year, has reached 25,000 members worldwide.

Webinars: Past, Present and Future -- from Karl Kapp

Webinar: The Future of eLearning Content -- by Janet Clarey

The MindWire...a community of mobile learning evangelists


Special report on virtual schools -- by Tony Bates
Van Dusen, C. (2009) eSN Special Report: Beyond the Virtual School eSchool News, Nov 1.
Because of the volume of stuff that comes through my portal, I don’t usually cover k-12 reports, but I’m including this one because it provides some excellent examples of what I like to call hybrid learning (reduced but not eliminated face-to-face time plus online learning) that could easily be adapted for post-secondary education use. It also looks at some ‘desperate’ schools that are using online learning materials in the classroom because they are short of qualified teachers.

Video Streaming – Can This Be A Useful Tool For Online Education? -- from
The advantages are many; some include:

  • Distributing live events
  • Multicasting to multiple viewers
  • Instant play
  • Self-pace learning
  • Creating visually appealing materials
  • Create synchronized presentation
  • Delivering long-form of media and much more

Drawbacks Of Streaming Video:

  • Like anything else, there are drawbacks and some difficult to sustain streaming video. If the internet traffic is too high or your reception is too low you may have difficulty in terms of retrieving and playing streamed video or playback delays. Also lack of technical support can prevent effective video streaming.

    But overall video streaming is an effective and useful tool for online education.

Michigan's Online Teacher of the Year Selected
LANSING, Mich., Dec 07, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire
Online instructor Melanie Laber excels in the virtual classroom. Melanie Laber teaches trigonometry, geometry and pre-algebra to students in Detroit, Paw Paw, Traverse City and Houghton. She was recently named Michigan's Online Teacher of the Year. Laber is an online instructor for Michigan Virtual School(TM); she teaches in a virtual classroom for schools all across Michigan. The course content and instruction all happens over the Internet, with students logging in to follow lessons and complete assignments, and Laber interacting with students through e-mail and discussion rooms.

Video by NJIT Online Discusses Wimba's Interactive Attributes -- from
Watch how Wimba facilitates interactive online math programs and guest lectures in this video moderated by Katia Passerini, Hurlburt Professor of Management of Information Systems at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) School of Management. When talking about NJIT’s distance learning program which utilizes the Wimba Collaboration Suite, Passerini says, “It’s a very interactive experience, it creates a community that goes beyond the classroom, and it’s really easy and user friendly.”

NJIT Online disucsses Wimba's interactive attributes

Wowza Boosts Student Learning at Hundreds of Universities Around the World with Video Streaming for Flash, iPhone and Beyond

Educators Expand Classrooms Beyond Ivy-covered Walls While Gaining Resource and Cost Efficiencies
As digital video and audio grow into a preferred communications media on campuses across the world, Wowza Media Systems®, the media server software company, today announced that more than 500 universities and colleges on four continents are using Wowza Media Server® technology to deliver live, on demand and interactive content to students and faculty on multiple players and devices, including Flash® and iPhone®.

The collegiate market is among the most aggressive adopters of streaming media technology solutions as the modern campus expands beyond the traditional four walls of classrooms, labs and lecture halls and the Internet is an increasingly inseparable component of learning curriculum [emphasis DSC]. According to Reuters, the online education sector grew 13 percent last year and had been growing at about 20 percent in previous years.

"Universities are discovering that lecture capture is a competitive advantage and of great benefit to 'millennial' learners, who are accustomed to convenience and to on-demand access to myriad content sources," said Alan Greenberg, Senior Analyst & Partner at Wainhouse Research in his recent report The Distance Education and e-Learning Landscape Volume 2: Videoconferencing, Streaming and Capture Systems for Learning . "The beauty of streaming and lecture capture today is that they are more affordable than ever before."

Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning Tools: 15 Strategies for Engaging Online Students Using Real-time Chat, Threaded Discussions and Blogs -- from Faculty Focus
In a traditional classroom, students have many opportunities to interact with their instructor and fellow students. Creating similar opportunities for meaningful interaction in the online environment requires careful design, the right tools, and a willingness to experiment a bit. This 25-page special report will provide you with specific strategies on how to use synchronous and asynchronous learning tools to engage your online students. Here are just some of the articles you will find in the report:

  • A Plan for Effective Discussion Boards
  • Using Video Clips to Stimulate Discussion
  • Nine Strategies for Using IM in Your Online Course
  • Using Individual and Group Instant Messaging to Engage Students
  • Four Ways to Improve Discussion Forums


Trend of online education continues with new state web site [North Carolina] -- from


Student demand for online learning creates gap -- from back from 8/13/09
LANSING –While online learning and virtual schools continue to grow annually, a recent study shows that educators aren’t prepared for the number of students who want to learn online. A national study tracked the growing student demand for online learning and how schools are meeting that demand. The study found that “almost half of 6-12th graders have researched or are interested in taking an online class” and “more than 40% believe that online classes should be part of an ideal school,  yet only one in ten 6-12th graders have taken an online class through their school.”

In fact, the study revealed that “students openly acknowledge that they have to ‘power down’ when they enter the schoolhouse and then ‘power back up’ to resume their techno-infused lives outside of school. Access to technology has empowered students to become ‘free agent learners,’ and as such, they are less dependent upon traditional education institutions for knowledge acquisition.”

The study, “Learning in the 21st Century: 2009 Trends Update,” collected data in 2008 from more than 335,000 K-12 students, educators, administrators and parents across the nation and was part of the Speak Up project. The project was conducted by Project Tomorrow®, a national educational nonprofit organization, and Blackboard® Inc, a leading provider of online learning solutions. You can read the entire 2009 Trends Update in the “Articles/Reports” section.


Learning from Online -- from
Most professors agree that more work goes into designing an online course than a face-to-face one. But if those professors are interested in improving their teaching skills, it might be worth the extra effort. So say researchers at Purdue University at Calumet, who believe that learning how to do distance education properly can make professors better at designing and administering their classroom-based courses. “Most of the professors who teach at the university level have had no experience with pedagogy or instruction in general,” says Janet Buckenmeyer, chair of the instructional technology master’s program at Calumet. “They’re content experts, not teaching experts.”

Recordings/talks from the 2009 Virtual School Symposium

Recordings/talks from the 2009 Virtual School Symposium


Related item:
Innovative eLearning campus for Biblical Theological Seminary -- from

MindActive Inc, a Web marketing and eLearning development firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, recently created and launched a new online eLearning platform for Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA.

Biblical Theological Seminary, an accredited interdenominational seminary, had asked MindActive, and its partner,, to help create an innovative online campus, called “The Digital Campus Project”, so it could offer credit-based courses for its Master's Degree in Missional Church Planting.

“We have integrataed our live interactive technologies with an open-source application called Moodle, to build the Learning Management portion of the eCampus. They wanted the ability to enroll students for online courses using their existing registration process. The integrated eCampus platform was built to allow users seamless use of their course applications with a single login, said Paul Shirer, partner with MindActive”.

MindActive also integrated their own innovative video webcasting, live event video, and video email applications into the seminary’s Learning Management System (LMS) to allow administrators, students, educators, and faculty members to share, communicate, and collaborate all within the same school based platform.


Online Solutions to the Enrollment Boom -- from by Geoffrey Fletcher
Community colleges don't have to resort to midnight classes if they have a viable online learning program.



I Love (Wimba) CATs: Using Wimba Classroom to Bridge Online and Face-to-Face Learning and Assessment
Thomas Angelo's classroom assessment techniques (CATs) have long been recognized as the best approach to evaluate learning. But, these techniques were very difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in the online learning environment - until now! Wimba Classroom gives faculty several tools to engage online learners synchronously and to evaluate learning in real-time.

This is a tremendous advancement to the online learning environment because faculty and students can engage one another in a give-and-take manner that replicates the spontaneity and familiarity of the face-to-face classroom. Experienced online faculty and students enjoy the enhanced learning environment, while novice faculty and students are relieved to have immediate interaction with one another.

During this presentation, participants will be introduced to specific examples of Angelo's classroom assessment techniques (CATs) that can be replicated in Wimba Classroom and will receive a brief review of the pedagogical function of these CATs. Then, participants will learn how to integrate Angelo's CATs into their PowerPoint presentations using the eBoard, Survey tool, and Breakout Rooms in Wimba Classroom. With these tools, faculty can assess student perspectives and address their misconceptions in a way that fosters higher-learning outcomes. This approach to learning becomes even more powerful when coupled with Wimba Classroom's Archive feature, which allows students to review the session as often as they want, gaining insight into academic topics and reflecting on their learning process.

I Love Cats: using Wimba Classroom to bridge online and face-to-face learning and assessment

Wimba Study Break: Transitioning from Face-to-Face to Online Instruction
Even though most schools have transitioned some aspects of their in-classroom instruction to the online environment, there are still so many ways to do so effectively. Learn from two customers who have successfully helped their faculty make the leap. Join Gary Shouppe of Columbus State University (GA) as he replicated a face-to-face (f2f) masters degree program into an online degree program, and then hear from Cliff Eberhardt of Central Michigan University as he explains how using Wimba and Blackboard have helped ease faculty into online instruction because they feel it's easy for them to create effective online courses. Presented by: Gary Shouppe, Columbus State University & Cliff Eberhardt, Central Michigan University | Hosted by: Matt Wasowski, Wimba.

Transitioning from face-to-face to online learning   Results -- 100% increase in enrollment

Live Online Learning: A facilitator's guide -- Second edition from Onlignment


Online Learning Policy Survey: A survey of the states

50 Fascinating Lectures for Music Lovers -- from

Hot Topics in eLearning for 2009 -- from Tony Karrer

Items from Michigan Virtual University Virtual Symposium

Disrupting Class: Inspiring Change in Online Learning -- by Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO, Michigan Virtual University
Disrupting Class uses the theories of disruptive innovation to identify the root causes of schools’ struggles and suggests a path forward to customize an education for every child in the way he or she learns. In his keynote address, Horn will share the main ideas of his book to inspire change in today’s online learning field.

Michigan Virtual University Virtual Symposium

Michael Horn -- perfect opportunity to implement computer-based learning disruptively

One of John Watson's slides at MVU's Virtuam Symposium on 12-2-09 -- concerning the blended learning continuum

The Future of Online Learning -- from MVU Online Learning Symposium - 12-2-09

Universities must do more to keep up with online developments
-- from Education Executive; original resource from Ray Schroeder
Universities must do more to keep up with developments online, particularly given the rise in popularity of social networking, according to a new report from Sapient. The report suggests today's students are ‘digital natives', used to a world of online social networking but argues many universities are yet to adapt to these changes and embrace new technologies to enhance the student experience.

According to the report, if universities are to continue to provide an excellent learning environment to researchers and attract the best students it's essential they deliver a sophisticated online environment for learning. This is particularly important given most university populations are fragmented with students living in multiple locations - sometimes abroad. Although some have sought to foster a sense of community online through the introduction of various online tools these are often little more than e-learning services that fail to promote high value collaboration and engagement.

JISC Strategy 2010-2012 -- from JISC


Online Learning as a Strategic Asset: APLU-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning Benchmarking Study
Bob Samors
Sally McCarthy
Jeff Seaman
Bob Samors
Associate Vice President for Innovation and Technology Policy
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Sally McCarthy
Research Consultant
SLOAN National Online Learning Benchmarking Study
Jeff Seaman
Babson Survey Research Group and Survey Director
The Sloan Consortium

Emerging technologies for online learning -- Symposium from the Sloan Consortium -- July 20-23, 2010

Program Tracks include:
The Cutting Edge | Pedagogy | Faculty Development | Inventive Uses of Media and Tools | Immersive Learning and Virtual Environments | The New Learning Communities | Emerging Technologies for Administration, Infrastructure, and Support Services | Architecture and Applications | Pre‐conference workshops

Examples of topics for pre‐conference workshops might include: Moodle training, support, software development, or hosting, developing and vetting learning objects, management perspectives, low‐cost tools, designing hybrid course for the net generation learner, Web 2.0 technologies and student‐centered learning, Google apps to organize your work, cloud computing for student services, moving laboratories online, copyright issues, content creation, and social networking tools.

Should You Add Background Audio to Your E-Learning Courses?
-- from The Rapid E-Learning blog


100 Tips & Tools to Teach Your Child a Second Language -- from

Learn to Podcast -- mini guide from Jeff Cobb


Number of students taking online courses rises -- from USA Today by Justin Pope (back on 11/9/09), The Associated Press; my thanks to Ginger Howell for this resource
Roughly one in six students enrolled in higher education — about 3.2 million people — took at least one online course last fall, a sharp increase defying predictions that online learning growth is leveling off.

A new report scheduled for released Thursday by The Sloan Consortium, a group of colleges pursuing online programs, estimates that 850,000 more students took online courses in the fall of 2005 than the year before, an increase of nearly 40% [emphasis DSC..and below as well]. Last year, the group had reported slowing growth, prompting speculation the trend had hit a ceiling.

"The growth was phenomenal," said Jeff Seaman, Sloan's CIO and survey director, who also serves as co-director of the Babson College survey research group. "It's higher in absolute numbers and higher in percentages than anything we've measured before. And it's across the board," at schools ranging from doctoral institutions to those offering associate's degrees to for-profit colleges.

Here is your lecture -- read or listen, it's your choice
-- from 21st century teaching & learning

Hearing my instructor's voice increased the sense that she was actively present in my learning experience: results showed most in the strongly agree category

iNACOL Announces Online Learning Innovator Award Winners at Virtual School Symposium

The winner of the award for Best and Most Innovative Online Learning Practice was the “Fire and Ice” program, managed by Elluminate, Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Fire and Ice” was created as a non-profit initiative to connect K-12 schools in the Northern Hemisphere (the “Ice”) with those in the Southern Hemisphere (mainly rural areas of developing countries – the “Fire”), to engage students in highly collaborative projects, using live and non-live communications technologies [emphasis DSC], on universal themes such as climate change and poverty reduction. Since 2006, “Fire and Ice” has resulted in the creation of creative international content and generated unforgettable learning experiences for thousands of students in more than 25 countries.

F-MU.S.EU.M -- from Free Technology for Teachers
The European Virtual Museum is the product of collaboration between twenty-seven European museums. The European Virtual Museum makes artifacts of European history available in interactive 3D form. Through the use of QuickTime technology the artifacts in the European Virtual Museum can be rotated for optimum viewing. Visitors to the European Virtual Museum can browse through the collections by chronology, geographic area, object type, contributing museum, routes, and tour itineraries.

Low use of web 2.0 in e-learning -- by Tony Bates
From the Chronicle’s news report:

Online education has grown in popularity, yet it remains dependent on learning-management systems, with content-delivery built around text, says Richard Garrett, an Eduventures managing director.

“The underlying delivery model or pedagogical model hasn’t really changed much in the last five, 10 years,” Mr. Garrett says.

The study found that nearly all programs were either profitable or breaking even. Overall, 65 percent reported that their online programs were profitable. For for-profits, 100 percent were profitable; for nonprofits, 62 percent were. (With nonprofit colleges, “profit” is used in the sense of a surplus, with revenues being larger than expenses. Universities have various systems for handling the surplus.)

The Eduventures survey found that the widely used tools are e-mail, text discussions that don’t happen in real time, physical textbooks, and word and PDF documents.

That contrasts with what you find on the programs of distance-learning conferences, where the talk is often about Web 2.0 technology that allows students to interact with the content or the provider in tangible ways [emphasis DSC].


From formal courses to social learning -- from Mark Berthelemy [UK]


Exploring e-learning in all its forms -- from Clive Sheperd

11/20/09 now compatible w/ the iPhone and iPod


Helping Faculty Manage Online Workload :: Webcast December 15, 2009 -- from Academic Impressions
Overview: While teaching an online course can be exciting, the online teaching environment can require faculty to commit significantly more time than they would for a face-to-face class. Unless faculty are provided specific strategies that match their teaching and learning styles, they are in jeopardy of over-committing to the online teaching workload. This can lead to frustration and disillusionment with the potential of online education. Join us online as we discuss strategies and best practices to help faculty manage their online teaching workload.

Recommended graduate programs in e-learning -- by Tony Bates

Virtual Classrooms Could Create a Marketplace for Knowledge -- from the New York Times
Teacherless or virtual-teacher learning is described by enthusiasts as a revolution in the making. Until now, they say, education has been a seller’s market. You beg to get in to college. Deans decide what you must know. They prevent you from taking better courses elsewhere. They set prices high to subsidize unprofitable activities. Above all, they exclude most humans from their knowledge — the poor, the old, people born in the wrong place, people with time-consuming children and jobs.

Champions of digital learning want to turn teaching into yet another form of content. Allow anyone anywhere to take whatever course they want, whenever, over any medium, they say. Make universities compete on quality, price and convenience. Let students combine credits from various courses into a degree by taking an exit exam. Let them live in Paris, take classes from M.I.T. and transfer them to a German university for a diploma.

“This is putting the consumer in charge as opposed to putting the supplier in charge,” said Scott McNealy, the chairman of Sun Microsystems, the technology giant, and an influential proponent of this approach. He founded Curriki, an online tool for sharing lesson plans and other materials, and was an early investor in the Western Governors University, which delivers degrees online.

From DSC:
Students will demand better in the future. If we don't give it to them, they will go elsewhere. Our offerings must be relevant, accessible, affordable, and engaging.

NOTE: Using technology to electronically deliver education does NOT prohibit a live human from being involved! The role of what a "teacher" is may change along the lines of a guide...a mentor...a person who steers others in the right direction. For example, provide live tutors -- so using technology and involving human beings are NOT mutually exclusive!

Future Of Learning: A Video Interview With Curtis Bonk
-- from Robin Good's Latest News
What does the future of learning look like? What is going to change in the future of our education systems? What role will new media technologies play in the way you and I will share knowledge and skills in the near future? If you want to see a glimpse of how you can impact the way in which you and your kids are going to learn in the future, check out this video interview.


Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning -- from Virtual School Symposium 2009 Overlay

Key emerging trends for online learning?

  • We haven’t addressed the mobile device and we know it is what students want – might not be 2010 but in 18 months we will see mobile devices
  • We will continue to see the conversation changing from what is it to how we manage it
  • We will see integration into special education in much greater numbers
  • We will see more states require online learning experience - MI, AL already have this
  • Several different waves are coming – growth in elementary, blended learning – adults needing a high school diploma are a huge audience coming to virtual schools
  • Within corporate training, we will see more cohort based collaborative learning in the corporate world
  • More multiple pathways to learning – more ability to just in time resources to support the learning that needs to happen for students
  • All states will finally have online learning and the discussion will dramatically change

    This is the wave, the wave is coming – you either ride the wave or wipe out! [emphasis in bold red by DSC]

Keeping pace with K-12 online learning

Enormous growth rates in K-12 online education!

Defining dimensions of online learning


From Converge: Online Learning Policy and Practice Survey -- A Survey of the States

Cases on Online and Blended Learning Technologies in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices
Cases on Online and Blended Learning Technologies in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices
From Information Science Reference

Although online education is becoming an important long-term strategy for higher learning instructors, blended learning through a balanced mix of traditional face-to-face instructional activities with appropriately designed online learning experiences is expected to become an even more significant growth area in the future. "Cases on Online and Blended Learning Technologies in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices" provides real-life examples and experiences of those involved in developing and implementing the merge of traditional education curriculum and online instruction. A significant resource for academicians, this advanced publication provides a wide range of the most current designs, methodologies, tools, and applications in blended course teaching.

[Various resources re:] Asynchronous Learning and Trends -- from Faculty Focus
Asynchronous learning, or teaching and learning that occurs when the interaction between the instructor and students is not constrained by time and place, can cause feelings of isolation, resulting in disappointment and low retention rates in online classes. Faculty Focus examines new, proven collaborative learning techniques you can use in the online classroom to promote social interaction and have a positive influence on learning, motivation, and problem-solving.


Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online
...OnGuard Online gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world. Kids and parents have many ways of socializing and communicating online, but they come with certain risks. This guide encourages parents to reduce the risks by talking to kids about how they communicate – online and off – and helping kids engage in conduct they can be proud of.  Net Cetera covers what parents need to know, where to go for more information, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.


Some resources re: accessibility -- from User Interface Design and Evaluation by Stone, Jarrett, Woodroffe, and Minocha (2005):

Center for Universal Design at NC State University

W3C: General Principles of Accessible Design

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

  1. Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content.
  2. Don't rely on color alone.
  3. Use markup and style sheets and do so properly.
  4. Clarify natural language usage
  5. Create tables that transform gracefully.
  6. Ensure that pages featuring new technologies transform gracefully.
  7. Ensure user control of time-sensitive content changes.
  8. Ensure direct accessibility of embedded user interfaces.
  9. Design for device-independence.
  10. Use interim solutions.
  11. Use W3C technologies and guidelines.
  12. Provide context and orientation information.
  13. Provide clear navigation mechanisms.
  14. Ensure that documents are clear and simple.

From Jim
Here is the comparison of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Section 508 standards:
Side-by-side comparison - Section 508 vs. WCAG's web accesibility training


exeLearningeXe Learning
The eXe project developed a freely available Open Source authoring application to assist teachers and academics in the publishing of web content without the need to become proficient in HTML or XML markup. Resources authored in eXe can be exported in IMS Content Package, SCORM 1.2, or IMS Common Cartridge formats or as simple self-contained web pages.

eXe is currently supported by CORE Education, a New Zealand-based not-for-profit educational research and development organisation. eXe grew out of the New Zealand Government Tertiary Education Commission's eCollaboration Fund and was led by the University of Auckland, The Auckland University of Technology, and Tairawhiti Polytechnic. It has also been greatly assisted by a global group of participants and contributors.


Video Arts: The biggest choice of learning and video content for training in the world.


MVU Symposium

'Managing Online Education' Study Sheds New Light on the Operations Side of Online Programs
-- from Faculty Focus by Mary Bart

Related item:
The K-12 Online Conference
...invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2009 conference theme is “Bridging the Divide.” This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote by classroom teacher and international educator Kim Cofino the week of November 30, 2009. The following two weeks, December 7-11 and December 14-17, over fifty presentations will be posted online to our conference blog and our conference Ning for participants to view, download, and discuss.


Online Education, Growing Fast, Eyes the Truly 'Big Time' -- from The Chronicle by Marc Parry

Orlando, Fla. -- Online education is a runaway best seller. Its growth rate -- 12.9 percent -- dwarfs the overall pace of academe’s student expansion. More than 25 percent of all students may have taken at least one online class this year, according to a speculative estimate suggested at a distance-education conference that wraps up here today. But the success isn’t smashing enough. Not even close.

That’s the case made by A. Frank Mayadas, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program director who called on online educators gathered here to meet what he sees as a major need -- fast. And Mr. Mayadas, considered the Father of Online Learning, suggested in an interview following his speech that the government should step in with some $500-million to support traditional online courses -- not just the experimental “free” courses that have emerged as a darling of the Obama administration.

Moving the Lab Online: Situating the Online Laboratory Learning Experience for Future Success -- by Sloan-C

The 2009 WCET-Campus Computing Project Survey of Online Education (22 Oct 2009)

Campus Computing Project: Presentation       asd


When You're not the Smartest Person in the Room -- by Dean Shareski

Connectors First -- SME's Second


Tools of Engagement: Technologies and Strategies for All Learning Styles -- from Faculty Focus by Mary Bart
How do you motivate online learners?
It’s an age-old question that continues to stump online instructors as well as the managers of distance education programs trying to solve the attrition problem that continues to drag down this otherwise thriving segment of higher education.

Perhaps one reason for poor online retention rates, says Dr. Curt Bonk, professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University, is that instructors are not engaging students with the technologies they love nor are they taking full advantage of the online tools and applications that have become so readily available.

During the recent online seminar Creatively Engaging Online Students: Models and Activities, Bonk explained how instructors can use “low-risk, low-cost, low-time activities” that are relatively easy to incorporate into a lesson, but make a big impact on student engagement and learning.

Using his TEC-VARIETY Model, which is an acronym that stands for Tone, Encouragement, Curiosity, Variety, Autonomy, Relevance, Interactive, Engagement, Tension, and Yields products, Bonk outlined a wide range of web technologies and resources that address each of the TEC-VARIETY components to make a difference in the online learning experience. Some of the tools he discussed include: Jing, Screenr, Slideshare, Animoto, Google Docs, and YackPack.


How Does Online Education Work? -- from

Augmented Reality and The Coming Tsunami of Location Learning Apps -- from electronic papyrus



How a new online learning approach aims to revolutionise language learning - the Independent -- from Online Learning Update by Ray Schroeder
The Open School for Languages (provisionally called MYLO), a £5.4m online learning project, is one of the main initiatives being unveiled next year to support teenagers learning a key language. Aimed at harnessing the best of new technology and the interest that most young people have in online as well as face-to-face learning, the open school is designed to provide 11 to 16-year-olds with a new range of online materials relevant to their world, as well as new resources for teachers. The scheme will begin with French, German, Spanish and Mandarin, but more languages will be added if initial results are positive. The first modules will focus on the basics and preliminary skills for Key Stage 3, while the later modules will be for GCSE students.



The Virtualization of K-12 and Higher Education (PDF of slides) -- by Sam Adkins and Ambient Insight

Slide from Ambient Insight's 10-21-09 Presentation: 2009-2014 Growth of US Online Higher Education Students

Slide from Ambient Insight's 10-21-09 Presentation: PreK-12: By 2014 over 13 Million Students will be participating in online classes

Excellent tips here!
[Excerpt from] E-Learning Top Tips -- from

Tip 3: Narrative and e-learning
For the last few weeks we've talked about stories in e-learning and why they're a great way to make your e-learning memorable, authentic and engaging. What else can you do to bring a narrative into e-learning? What are the practical points when it comes to writing dialogue? The bookshelves heave with screenwriting manuals. Save yourself a few quid and start with a few basic tips for good dialogue writing in e-learning.

Tip 2: Getting stories into e-learning
Last time we wrote about the benefits of stories in learning. They're easy to remember, they're compelling, they're great shorthand for real experience, and of course they're authentic, which is maybe the most compelling aspect of all. So how can you bring stories into your e-learning? Here are some practical tips.

Tip 1: Learning starts with a story
Someone once said all learning starts with a story. They probably went on to tell a story about how they realized that. Right idea. If you can hook and engage your audience up front, all the more likely they'll stay the journey. Stories are one of the best ways of doing this. So why are stories effective? What's in a good story for learning?

From DSC:
See this page for more information re: digital storytelling.


Resource from "Autistic Carly" -- from Around the


The future of college may be virtual

In many ways, education hasn’t changed much since students sat at the feet of Socrates more than two millenniums ago. Learners still gather each autumn at colleges to listen to and be questioned by professors.

But the Internet has caused sudden shifts in other industries, from the way people read news to the way they buy music or plan travel. Might higher education be nearing such a jolt?

“Students starting school this year may be part of the last generation for which ‘going to college’ means packing up, getting a dorm room, and listening to tenured professors,” she wrote in The Washington Post. “Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering. Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet.”

Focus: Liberty University Online Academy -- from Online High by Tom Nixon

Today’s focus school is Liberty University Online Academy. Related to Liberty University, the largest Christian evangelical university with the largest Christian online programs in the world. If you are looking for a Christian online high school, this is a particularly good choice because fees paid to LUOA count toward Liberty University (should you elect to attend that college). Liberty University Online Academy is a nationally recognized, online education program for 3rd - 12th graders with an emphasis on individualized learning.

Liberty University Online Academy was created to provide students the support of a traditional, residential, Academy while enrolled in a technology-based home-school academic program. This dynamic educational experience combines the resources of Liberty University with the proven elementary and secondary multimedia curriculum structure provided by the Online Academy.


Online Programs: Profits are There, Technological Innovation Is Not -- from The Chronicle by Marc Parry

From DSC:
We need more "outside the box" thinking here. Also, my recommendation for online courses would be to provide the same content in 3-5 different ways and let the students select what works best for them.

Understanding the Instructor’s Role in Facilitating Online Discussions -- from Faculty Focus

The Future of Online and Blended Learning Conference


MyUdutu: One of the best kept secrets in e-learning authoring tools -- from Brandon Hall Analyst Blog by Janet Clarey


FETC Virtual Conference & Expo Presentations: October 22, 2009

  • Three Types of Immersive Interfaces:  Implications for Learning and Teaching
    Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Beyond Drill and Practice:  Developing Automatic Recall of Math Facts for All Children
    Ted Hasselbring, Professor, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
  • Building 21st Century Classrooms in the Clouds!
    John Kuglin, Senior Educational Consultant, Retired, University of Montana
  • Unleashing Teacher Creativity and Effective Instruction in the Digital World
    A Panel Discussion with "Beyond Textbooks" Advocates


All TED videos in a Google-based spreadsheet -- sortable by various columns


'Self-learners' creating university of online -- from the by Richard Woods

Digital Content -- from The Journal


Press Release - Virtual School Symposium 2009 -- resource from Miguel Guhlin

Virtual School Symposium 2009


Upcoming Online Symposium -- from George Siemens
The Personal Learning Environments and Networks Conference (more info here) starts next week (Oct 13-16). The event is free to attend. We’ll be posting summaries on The Daily, so you might want to sign up for the week to keep track of the conference. Recommended pre-conference readings: Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge(Stephen Downes), Learning or Management Systems? (George Siemens), and PLE Diagrams (Scott Leslie).

Assessing Online Learning: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities -- from Faculty Focus
As online education moves into the mainstream of the higher education ecosystem, one question still persists: “How do I know what my online students have learned?” There are no easy answers, just as there aren’t in face-to-face courses, but with a little creativity and flexibility, you soon discover that the online learning environment opens up a host of new educational assessment possibilities. Of course, just as with traditional courses, the trick to online assessment is finding the right combination that works best for your particular course. This special report Assessing Online Learning: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities will show you how. [It] features 12 articles from Online Classroom that will cause you to examine your current methods of online assessment, and perhaps add something new to your assessment toolbox. It even talks about some of the common assessment mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Florida Virtual School -- Case Study by Katherine Mackey and Michael Horn

In the fall of 1997, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) awarded two Florida school districts, Orange and Alachua, a $200,000 “Break the Mold” grant to co-develop an online high school to serve students throughout Florida. The districts assembled a team, which adopted a new mindset and asked, “If we didn’t have to follow the rules that already exist [forschools], what would they be?”1 Through trial and error and a focus on building an education option for students whose needs were not being met, the team established what became the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the nation’s first statewide, Internet-based public school. In the first year, there were only 77 students enrolled in online courses. FLVS enrolled more than 70,000 middle and high school students during the 2008–09 school year.


50 Best Social Networks for Online Students -- from

Professors Adopt New Online Learning Technology As Educational Challenges Escalate - Cristina Serrato, LA Valley Star -- from Ray Schroeder
As classroom options dwindle, more Valley College students are turning to online education as an alternative to complete vocational certificates, associate degrees and for general or professional enrichment. "Currently we tell students that they must rearrange their schedule to fit the times the college offers courses. But many students have tremendous outside responsibilities that makes it impossible to commit to a specific day and time for 16 weeks ... Now they can take that extra class and make good progress towards their AA degree. For people such as these, I work to create online courses", said Jim Marteney, Distance Education Trainer at Valley College.


CMU project could change how students use web-based courses (pg 13 of 30) -- from
“I’m particularly impressed with OLI,because it retains what we know is most important in online learning, and that’s engagement,” said Ray Schroeder, directorof the University of Illinois’s Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning. “The courses are built so an institution can provide the kind of interaction that we’ve found has really enhanced learning.”

While community colleges watch their enrollment numbers boom during the economic recession, Schroeder said comprehensive online learning programs like OLI could help campus decision makers cater to students once lecture hall seats run out. “This may be a part of their solution,” he said. “Other [online programs] are not nearly as complete.”



Have You Gone Organic? -- from by Judith Boettcher
Emerging design paradigms for online courses mean open, authentic, and customized learning experiences. Are you ready?

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION technologies have helped bring on an evolution (dare we say revolution?) in the instructional design process by providing tools to create open, authentic, and learner-customized experiences. This means that new challenges are facing technology leaders in how they ensure their IT infrastructure supports this emerging "organic" paradigm for eLearning courses.

The assumptions that have guided traditional course design in the past-- analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate, known as the ADDIE process-- need to be updated [emphasis DSC]. Learners today are more hands-on and engaged; content for personalized learning is now much more accessible; a wealth of resources and communication tools are now literally at everyone's fingertips (check out the Top 100 Tools for eLearning). Linear learning experiences won't satisfy these learners, nor will they leverage the powers of new technologies available to higher education.

An organic design process acknowledges the sea change that has occurred in learners and their tools, and allows us to create and support learning experiences that make the most of the serendipitous intersection of immersive learners, faculty open to experimentation, the challenges of learning outcomes, and the characteristics of the technologies available.

Classic and Organic Course Designs with eLearning Strategies and Tools


-- resource from Clive Sheperd's "E-Learning Debate 2009" blog posting

Marc Rosenberg -- the value of personalized learning

New view of blended learning -- Marc Rosenberg


Micro-Lectures -- from ID Crossroads
Looking to connect with your online class quickly and effectively? Micro-lectures might be the answer. A micro-lectures is a short (several minutes or less) video that relates to the week's online activities. Couple an assignment with one, and you've got a great way to reach your students.

To create a micro-lecture:
  1. List the key concepts you are trying to convey in your regular lecture. That series of phrases will form the core of your micro-lecture.
  2. Write a 15 to 30-second introduction and conclusion. They will provide context for your key concepts.
  3. Record these three elements using a microphone and Web camera. If you want to produce an audio-only lecture, no Webcam is necessary. The finished product should be 60 seconds to three minutes long.
  4. Design an assignment to follow the lecture that will direct students to readings or activities that allow them to explore the key concepts.
  5. Upload the video and assignment to your LMS


The Changing Landscape of Teacher Learning -- from Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook
An education-technology scholar discusses the current state and promise of online teacher PD.
Chris Dede, a professor of learning technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is a leading authority on online teacher professional development. For 16 years, beginning in the early 1990s, Dede taught a course at HGSE called “Learning Media That Bridge Distance and Time.” The rapid changes in interactive technology during that period brought the potential of online teacher learning into sharp focus for Dede. “I saw it as an important way of scaling up quality instructional practice, and an important lever for education reform, but also I saw that it wasn’t going far very fast,” he explains.


Jossey-Bass Online Teaching and Learning Conference


Tips and Tools for Fostering a Creative e-Learning Class -- from eLearn Magazine by Susan Doctoroff Landay, President of Trainers Warehouse


Communication in Online Teaching


Excerpt from:
How to Get a Job Teaching Online: Is Teaching Online Right for You? Here's How to Find That Lucrative Job -- from by Jamie Littlefield

Some colleges fill online teaching positions by selecting from the current faculty pool. Others post job descriptions specifically for instructors interested in teaching online. Below are some of the best places to find jobs teaching online. When looking for positions on websites without a distance learning focus, simply type “online instructor,” “online teacher,” “online adjunct,” or “distance learning,” into the search box.

Jobs Teaching Online – General Focus

Jobs Teaching Online – Distance Learning Specific

Related Articles


Professors Embrace Online Courses Despite Qualms About Quality -- from The Chronicle by Marc Parry
They worry about the quality of online courses, say teaching them takes more effort, and grouse about insufficient support. Yet large numbers of professors still put in the time to teach online. And despite the broad suspicion about quality, a majority of faculty members have recommended online courses to students. That is the complicated picture that emerges in "The Paradox of Faculty Voices: Views and Experiences With Online Learning," part of a two-volume national study released today by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities—Sloan National Commission on Online Learning.

Also see the following previously-reported items:
Strong Faculty Engagement in Online Learning A*P*L*U Reports
Online enrollment has more than doubled from an estimated 1.6 million students in fall 2002 to 3.94 million students in fall 2007 and grew by 12.9 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2007, according to the annual Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) survey of online learning. The Commission believes the leadership of presidents and provosts is one of the key elements to successfully integrating online learning into every campus.

Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008 - by SloanC


Alpine Online School: A Utah school district’s move into K-8 online education
[Click here to download the full case study] -- by Leland Anderson and Michael Horn, August 2009

Executive Summary
In the winter of the 2005–06 school year, Alpine School District (“Alpine”) decided to form an online K–8 school to support home-schooled students in the district. It adopted the idea from a neighboring Utah school district. Available funding from the state of $2,500 per student per year made the online school financially viable as that amount covered the cost of full-time teachers as well as certain online and shipped curriculum. The lead administrator on the project combined his drive with the expertise of K12™ Inc. (“K12™”) to set the school up within six months.


Related item:
Revolution in the Classroom -- from The Atlantic by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn
States looking to win education stimulus funds and offer truly student-centric, customizable learning experiences, need to get their classrooms online.


Related item:
TechSmith Brings Camtasia to the Mac -- from by David Nagel
TechSmith has released Camtasia for Mac OS X, a screen capture and audio and video editing tool (not to be confused with the Camtasia Relay lecture capture system, which already works on Mac).

Online school is a cheaper way to educate -- from the Christian Science Monitor
Florida Virtual School has less overhead and higher test scores than average public schools.


Top elearning blogs -- according to one source, the Daily Reviewer


How Long Does It Take to Develop One Hour of E-Learning-Updated for 2009 -- from Karl Kapp

Online degree programs gaining popularity -- from by Candace Carlisle

Related item:
AlgebraPrep App Now Available on App Store -- from Pearson
New Series from Modality and Pearson Brings Algebra Learning to iPhone™ and iPod touch®
Boston, MA, August 12, 2009 — Pearson Education and Modality, Inc. today announced the AlgebraPrep: Factoring application is available on the App Store. This iPhone™ and iPod touch® app, comprised of practice tests and video tutorials by the award-winning instructor and bestselling author Elayn Martin-Gay, is designed to provide supplemental help for students in or out of class.


5 places to learn how to touch type - for free -- from Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day by Jane Hart Want to learn how to touch type?  Here are 5 free sites that I've collected over time.

  1. - Online typing course
  2. Peter's Online Typing Course - A set of free online typing lessons and typing exercises for beginning typists
  3. Power Typing -this online free typing tutor is an educational web site for kids, students and adults alike!
  4. - structured touch typing course for motivated individuals looking to develop their keyboard skills
  5. Typing Web - free online typing tutor & keyboarding tutorial for typists of all ages. All skill levels will benefit from TypingWeb's free keyboarding lessons.

    UPDATE: I've just found another one on my list! Keybr - Online keyboarding lesson


Podcasting for E-Learning: Introduction to Audio Production -- from E-Learning Curve by Michael Hanley

Podcasting for E-Learning – Storytelling and Teaching -- from E-Learning Curve by Michael Hanley

Podcasting for E-Learning: Putting it all together -- from E-Learning Curve by Michael Hanley


From Daniel Christian:
Thanks to all of those folks who came to my presentation today:

Daniel Christian's presentation for the Title II Grant Professional Development Conference

>>>Here are your thoughts, comments, feedback, questions --
and my take on potential "answers" to them. <<<

Feel free to email me with any follow-up comments and be sure to
check out the K-12 page for more information.


If we were to "seed" the top 3 methods...

Our goal is to blend the face-to-face world w/ the online world

The power of a network

Engaging e-Learning Essentials Webinar


Online Induction: Icebreaker Activities -- from eLearning Blog // Don't Waste Your Time ... by David Hopkins


Teaching Once, Engaging Many with Distance Learning at BVIU -- from The Journal by Denise Harrison
Few counties can afford to hire full-time teachers at every school for every subject, and it is especially challenging in a region dependent on the declining steel industry. That is what Beaver County in Pennsylvania faced when trying to deliver consistent education across the 15 school districts serving 24,000 students. The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit (BVIU) is the regional service agency charged with that challenge. Thus was born the Regional Choice Initiative.



Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation


Free online education?

The remaining $500 million would go towards creating an “online, open-source clearinghouse of courses” that would be available free to anyone with Internet access. The theory is that schools could add more classes without having to add more classrooms. Although this portion of the plan has the smallest allocation of funds, it would be a major boost to online education as a whole and in particular to advocates of open-source learning and e-textbooks.

...and along these's a couple of blasts from the fairly-recent past (Oct 2007 and November 2008):

Online Nation    Staying the Course

The e-learning skills gap -- by Clive Sheperd

Slides without presenters: three options -- by Clive Sheperd
PowerPoint > SlideShare.
PowerPoint > Camtasia > Video > YouTube/mobile device.
PowerPoint > Articulate/Adobe Presenter > Flash > LMS/web site.

From DSC:
I would add a 4th -- create a series of web pages using Dreamweaver with the CourseBuilder Extension that provides appropriate navigation; the user can self-pace through it, but such a module can contain graphics, animations, video, audio, etc.


From Jane Hart's E-Learning Pick of the Day

Depaul's Online Teaching Series Program

Gates: U.S. ed has no choice but to improve
-- from
Microsoft co-founder said education is the field that has changed the least with technology

The U.S. must improve its educational standing in the world by rewarding effective teaching and by developing better, universal measures of performance for students and teachers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said on July 21.

Speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual legislative summit, Gates told hundreds of lawmakers how federal stimulus money should be used to spark educational innovation, spread best practices, and improve accountability.

Gates, 51, talked of the importance of improving the quality, quantity, and searchability of online lectures, which he noted his own children have used.


Layoffs prompt teachers to move online -- from by Laura Devaney
Virtual schools are seeing a dramatic rise in job applications as state officials cut education budgets to battle declining tax revenues

In what could be a result of widespread teacher layoffs, some virtual schools and online learning providers are reporting huge increases in teaching applications for the coming school year. "We have seen at least a 50-percent increase in the number of applications we've received versus this time last year," said Annie Middlestadt, senior director of human resources for Connections Academy, an operator of virtual K-12 public charter schools. "In the states where we operate schools, the number of phone calls and eMails we're receiving from applicants coming from brick-and-mortar schools has increased," she added.

From DSC:
Make no mistake about it...we are in a game-changing environment.

Best Practices for Integrating Game-Based Learning into Online Teaching
-- from MERLOT

Free Webinars -- from Tony Karrer and company

Upcoming eLearning Events (FREE)

Some examples:


Online enrollment bounds -- from Campus Technology's July 2009 issue -- see page 50

-- from Campus Technology's July 2009 issue p. 50

Related items >> A blast from the (fairly-recent) past and a newer book:

Disrupting Class - May 2008   Liberating Learning -- April 2009

From Jay Greene's Liberating Learning blog posting:

There are clear echoes of Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive technologies in this new book.  But unlike Christensen, Moe and Chubb focus on the politics of public organizations rather than technology per se.  In fact, if you are looking for detailed descriptions of how technology should be used in education or hard proof of its effectiveness, you won’t find it in Moe and Chubb’s new book.  They are not trying to prove that these technologies are educationally effective or describe best practices, although it is clear that they have some ideas on these topics.  They are trying to describe the political logic of the current stagnation in education and how it might be altered.

Provost Academy


Some relevant quotes from:
Are the Basics of Instructional Design Changing? -- from Stephen Downes back from July 2005

Two major sets of affordances offered in online learning are not found in traditional learning. First, online, communication occurs not through a channel, but through a network. And second, communication flows not merely through a passive medium but through a computational environment. Online learning embodies these affordances, and that they constitute a part of what is meant by online learning; this is what I demonstrated with reference to my 1998 paper.

What online learning does is not merely to communicate information but to create such a network. Prior to the advent of online learning, all such networks were local - they were, even in instances of distance learning, physically constrained. But with online learning comes not only a much wider, more diverse network, but also the idea that (a) the network may be based on non-physical (or emergent) properties, (b) that the individual may choose to belong to or not belong to a network, and (c) that an individual may assume multiple identities or memberships in multiple networks.

The theory of distributed representation has a profound implication for pedagogy, as it suggests that learning (and teaching, such as it is) is not a process of communication, but rather, a process of immersion. Put loosely, it suggests the idea of teaching not by telling or even demonstrating but rather through the creation (or identification) of an environment into which a learner may be immersed.

Indeed, pushed further (as the concept should be) it suggests that the traditional distinction between teaching and practice ought to be collapsed, that there is no distinction in kind between, say, being a 'practicing physicist' and 'practising being a physicist'. Learning to be a physicist is to place oneself inside the community of practice (as Etienne Wenger would say), to learn as if through osmosis how to solve 'the problems at the end of the chapter' (as Thomas Kuhn would say). In contemporary learning theory, it involves the design of such environments as games or simulations (Prensky, Papert, Gee, Aldrich) or the explicit immersion of the workplace into the communty (Cross).

Investigative Search 20/10: Online Self-Paced Training In Website Evaluation -- from NECC Ning by Dennis O'Connnor

Online High Schools for Gifted Teens -- from Distance Learning

Upcoming Webinars in Online Learning -- from Online Educator by Lisa Dawley, Ph.D.
For those of you interested in K-12 online education, I'll be participating in two back-to-back webinars next week, Thursday, July 23:

11:00 PT/2:00 ET | District Administration Magazine
"Expanding the classroom with online learning"

12:00 PT/3:00 ET | International Association for K12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
"Starting an Online School or Online Program 103 - Teacher Recruitment, Preparation, and Support"


Using Google's apps for online learning -- Janet Clarey

From Janet Clarey's presentation today:
25 Tools: A Toolbox for Learning Professionals 2009

25 Tools: A Toolbox for Learning Professionals 2009


Blackboard K12 2009 Trends Update -- from Blackboard

Learning in the 21st Century -- 2009 Trends Update

"Annual online Speak Up surveys collected for the past six years as well as student and educator focus groups conducted across the nation have consistently shown that students, for the most part, more readily embrace the use of technology than their parents, teachers or principals. Students openly acknowledge that they have to “power down” when they enter the schoolhouse, and then “power back up” to resume their technoinfused lives outside of school. The near ubiquitous access to technology has empowered students to become “free agent learners,” and as such, they are less dependent upon traditional education institutions for knowledge acquisition and are much more self-reliant, exercising their Internet-based skills to aggregate data and information. It has become increasingly clear that students are functioning as a “Digital Advance Team” for our nation illuminating the path for how to leverage emerging technologies such as online learning effectively for teaching and learning."

"Teachers who have taught online classes overwhelmingly agree on the advantages: 76% believe that online learning benefits students by putting them in control of their own learning, compared to 10% of all teachers who participated in the surveys."

"Awareness among 6-8th graders has caught up with their older peers with 42% choosing online learning as a component of the ultimate school, a 40% increase from 2006."

From DSC:
For those of us in higher ed, this quote should make us stand up and take serious notice. We are coming upon the last few years of the type of students that we are used to having in our classrooms. Change is on the way. The status quo must go.

State Technology Grades and Ranking Tables
-- from Education Week -- March 26, 2009
PDF | Excel

Technology Leaders


Are You Ready for an Online Class - Back by Request! -- from Michelle Pacansky-Brock


Using e-Learning to Facilitate 21st Century Learning


The Evidence on Online Education: It’s the Design, Not the Medium -- from The Other 85% by Michael J. Offerman, EdD, Vice Chairman, Capella University

As stated by Inside Higher Ed, reporting on a newly released meta-analysis of research by the U. S. Department of Education, “online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning.”  Wow—this is what those of us involved in online learning have been arguing for some time in the face of strong biases that face-to-face was clearly superior.  So, this is very good news.

But, we need to delve into the details to get a better understanding of what lies under this conclusion.  And, to acknowledge that the Department researchers express concern about the lack of research comparing face-to-face, blended, and purely online education, especially at the K-12 level.

What the analysts determined is that, while online has advantages over face-to-face instruction, blended learning (a mix of face-to-face and online) has even more statistical advantage over face-to-face than purely online instruction has.  But, let’s not diminish the conclusion that purely online learning results in better learning outcomes than purely face-to-face learning. 


Western Governors University

Online school enrollment soars in summer
-- from Virtual School

Brain rules for the virtual classroom -- from Onlignment

They Thought Globally, but Now Colleges Push Online Programs Locally -- from The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog by Marc Parry

Models of innovation in learning online -- from Becta [UK]

The  aims of this research were to study provision of online learning at KS3, to assess effectiveness of online learning outside the institution and to ascertain whether remote formal online learning promotes engagement among learners across a range of educational sectors and contexts. The output from the project is the Models of innovation in learning online (Milo) framework which aims to provide a holistic overview of the use of online learning, describing the approach to teaching and the way in which this is implemented technologically and logistically.


Study: Students want more online learning -- from
Funding shortages, lack of teacher preparation mean schools offer less online learning than students desire, this research suggests.


U.S. Dept. of Education -- Online learning report

These activities were undertaken to address four research questions:

  1. How does the effectiveness of online learning compare with that of face-to-face instruction?
  2. Does supplementing face-to-face instruction with online instruction enhance learning?
  3. What practices are associated with more effective online learning?
  4. What conditions influence the effectiveness of online learning?

Key Findings:

  • Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K–12 students have been published.
  • The meta-analysis of 51 study effects, 44 of which were drawn from research with older learners, found that:

    • Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.
    • Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.
    • Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than students in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.
    • Most of the variations in the way in which different studies implemented online learning did not affect student learning outcomes significantly.
    • The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types. Online learning appeared to be an effective option for both undergraduates (mean effect of +0.35, p < .001) and for graduate students and professionals (+0.17, p < .05) in a wide range of academic and professional studies

Susan Patrick: The e-Learning Challange

Tackling Online Classroom Challenges
-- from Digital Education
Lujean Baab, the director of M.Ed. programs at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., discussed some of the challenges that arise in the online classroom and some strategies to help overcome those difficulties in a session called "Managing Mayhem" recently at NECC.

Managing Mayhem


School 2.0

Resource from Steven Chevalia in the T&L Digital Studio

Ten Week Online Course For High School Students -- from Virtual High School Meanderings
In terms of course design there are a variety of resources that I could point to…


iNACOL: National Standards of Quality for Online Courses –

SREB: Do Online Courses Work for Middle Grades and High School Students? Online Students Have Their Say –

SREB: Checklist for Evaluating Online Courses –

SREB: Standards for Quality Online Courses –

SREB: Essential Principles of Quality: Guidelines for Web-based Courses for Middle and High Schools –

SREB: Essential Elements for Web-based Courses for High School Students –


Cooze, M., & Barbour, M. K. (2007). Learning styles: A focus upon e-learning practices and pedagogy and their implications for successful i nstructional design . Journal of Applied Educational Technology, 4 (1). Retrieved July 2, 2007 from

Barbour, M. K. (2007). Teacher and developer perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary school students. Journal of Distance Education, 21(3), 93-114. Retrieved on June 8, 2007 from

Barbour, M. K. (2005). Perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary school students: A narrative analysis of previously collected data. The Morning Watch, 32(3-4). Retrieved November 04, 2005 from

Barbour, M. K. (2005). The design of web-based courses for secondary students. Journal of Distance Learning, 9(1). 27-36.

Cooze, M., & Barbour, M. K. (2005). Learning styles: A focus upon e-learning practices and pedagogy and their implications for success in secondary high school students in Newfoundland and Labrador. Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology, 2(1).

Barbour, M. K., & Cooze, M. (2004). All for one and one for all: Designing web-based courses for students based upon individual learning styles. Staff and Educational Development International, 8(2/3), 95-108.


National Distance Education Week


Resources re: distance education -- from Shelton & Saltsman's (2005) An Administrator's Guide to Online Education

Intellectual Property Resources (p. 77)

TEACH Act Resources (p. 79)

Recommended reading for course developers (p. 76)

  • Building Learning Community in Cyberspace, Palloff and Pratt
  • Designing and Teaching an On-line Course, Schwiezer
  • e-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, Salmon
  • Facilitating Online Learning, Collison, Elbaum, Haavind, and linker
  • Faculty Guide for Moving Teaching and Learning to the Web, Boettcher and Conrad
  • Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom, Palloff and Pratt
  • Moving to Online: Making the Transition from Traditional Instruction and Communication Strategies, Brewer and Stout
  • The Online Teaching Guide, White and Weight
  • Teaching at a Distance: A Handbook for Instructors, Boaz et al.
  • Teaching Online, Ko and Rossen
  • You Can 'Mach Online, Moore, Winograd, and Lange
  • The Virtual Student, Pillion' and Pratt

Learning Object Authoring (p. 130)

  • Anystream: Apreso (
  • Design Science: WebEQ (
  • Elluminate: Elluminate Live (
  • Giunti Interactive Labs: learn exact (
  • HorizonWimba: Live Classroom, EduVoice, and WebLab (
  • Impactica: Impactica for PowerPoint, Impatica OnCue (http://
  • The Learning Edge: LCMS (
  • Link-Systems International: NetTutor (
  • RealObjects: edit-on Pro (
  • Tech Smith: Camtasia Studio (
  • Tegrity: WebLearner (
  • Trivantis: Lectora (

Testing and Assessment (p. 130)

  • Brownstone Research Group, Inc.: Diploma Campus EDU Campus (
  • Questionmark: Questionmark Perception (http://www.
  • Respondus: Respondus (
  • Software Secure: Securexam (

Learning Object Repositories (p. 131):

  • Adult Learning Activities (
  • Apple Learning Interchange (
  • Campus Alberta Repository of Educational Objects (http://
  • The Connexions Project at Rice University (
  • EOE Foundation Java Applet Library ( eoe.html)
  • Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) Project (http://www.
  • Learning About Learning Objects: (
  • The Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX) (
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Open Course Ware Initia¬tive (
  • Mid-South Community College (
  • Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teach¬ing (MERLOT) (
  • SMETE (
  • Wisconsin Online Resource Center ( index.htm)

Online-Only School for Girls to Open -- | Digital Education
The Bethesda, Md.-based Holton-Arms School, a private college preparatory school for girls in grades 3-12, announced today that it is opening an all-girls online-only secondary school, starting pilot classes in the 2009-10 school year. Holton-Arms officials claim this is the first online-only school for girls in the United States, but Digital Education could not independently verify that claim.


Best Online High Schools offers new service
Best Online High Schools is pleased to offer this news service for those interested in online schools at the K-12 level. Virtual School News aims to be the one-stop source for everything happening in the virtual education world. Stay tuned as the news begins rolling in.


Duke Collections on your iPhone: A First! -- from HASTAC by Cathy Davidson; reblogged from Duke Today 
Durham, NC -- Scholars and students who once had to travel to museums or libraries to view collections of historic images can now do so by clicking on their mobile device instead.

A Solution to School District Budget Cuts -- from Harvard Business Review by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn
"Offering online courses to students in physical locations--from school buildings to even shopping malls--can allow districts to reduce adult-to-student ratios in the buildings and spread costs over multiple districts, which will save money. It is classic disruption as the online learning will be way better than the alternative for everyone--nothing at all. Not only that, but since online learning results in as good if not better learning outcomes, offering online courses will also allow the state to do more with less."

Continuous Course Improvement, Enhancements, & Modifications: Control & Tracking -- from OJDLA
The WebBSIT, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, is a fully online degree offered through a consortium of five University System of Georgia institutions. This paper begins by describing the evolution of the WebBSIT and the results of an insightful vision that placed an emphasis on developing a curriculum rather than just a set of discrete courses. To maintain, grow, and improve the program, analysis of data must lead to planned curriculum revision. The balance of this paper develops an innovative process that employs roles and business rules to define a change management system for continuous improvement, enhancement, and modification of an online curriculum.

Factors Influencing Faculty Use of Technology in Online Instruction: A Case Study-- from OJDLA
Online education has become a staple of higher education institutions.  In the latest survey conducted by the Sloan Foundation, it was found that over two-thirds of higher education institutions were offering a variety of online courses and programs.  According to Allen and Seaman (2008), over 20% of all students took at least one online course in 2006 and this is projected to continue to increase over time.  However, observations at a specific urban university in the mid-west, shows vast variation in terms of faculty who choose to utilize online instructional technologies and a significant lag in desired online development.  With the importance of online instruction, the question was asked was “how can an institution encourage their faculty members to move forward with online instruction?”  This article outlines the answer to that question by determining what factors were found to influence a faculty member’s decision whether or not to integrate online technologies into his or her course.  The factors considered centered on areas such as: 1) perceptions of online instruction, 2) past experience with online technologies, and 3) specific experiences at the university.  These findings, as well as the initial strategies developed to increase faculty participation in online instruction are discussed in the article. 

Valuing the Institution: An Expanded List of Factors Influencing Faculty Adoption of Online Education -- from ODJLA


Emerging E-Learning Technologies -- from
Dr. Gary Woodill’s second report in the popular Emerging E-Learning Series, "Emerging E-Learning Technologies: Tools for Developing Innovative Online Training," covers 52 categories of new and innovative e-learning tools and Web resources that can be used to expand the possibilities for producing highly engaging online learning content.


Check this out!Blogging About K-12 Online Learning

Is e-learning failing in higher education? -- from Tony Bates

Examples of distance education faculty handbooks

Schwarzenegger seeks online revolution in schools

Note: The decision to offer online courses may not be up to any particular college or university... it may be dictated by your state's legislature (from my viewpoint, that's a positive).

Online classes becoming commonplace for Michigan students -- by Jessica Sipperley | Jackson Citizen Patriot
Andre Mallett didn't have to wait for a teacher to hand out homework and schedule tests for his study-skills class. Mallett, a senior at T.A. Wilson Academy, logged into the online class on the first day and had instant access to assignments for the marking period. "It's easier to handle," Mallett said. "You're not rushed. You can do the work at your own pace."


Michigan Online Learning Report -- 2008

Already, 20% of higher education students are taking at least one online course;
therefore, taking an online course in high school is becoming a necessary part
of a student’s preparation for higher education.

Related item:
Michigan LearnPort is a new and improved online professional development portal that offers school employees access to high-quality online courses, workshops and seminars. [As of January 2008] more than 25,000 Michigan K-12 educators [had] begun using this free online professional development service.

Flash-related links:
From DSC: See these tools to help you develop Flash-based applications...without the long development times and headaches:

Innovators within Education


Intelecom Online Resources


K12's Florida Virtual Academy Posts High Scores on 2009 State Tests -- from B2E
K12 Inc. —Monday, June 01, 2009 FLVA Exceeds State Averages; Continues To Be Top Performing Public Virtual School in the State
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 1, 2009/via PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Students at the K12 Florida Virtual Academy (FLVA) - one of the state's two full-time K-8 online public school programs - posted strong scores on the 2009 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCAT), according to results released last week by the Florida Department of Education.

For the sixth year in a row, the percent of K12 Florida Virtual Academy students scoring proficient or higher exceeded the state averages in most grades and subjects tested. The K12 FLVA program has consistently scored higher than the state averages since the school began in the 2003-2004 academic year. FLVA was given an "A" grade in 2007 and 2008.

FLVS and 360Ed Launch Conspiracy Code – First-Ever Complete Online Game-Based High School Course -- from B2E
[Florida Virtual School —Monday, June 01, 2009] The first Conspiracy Code course to be released is for American History. These revolutionary new courses, presented in 3D, combine proven instructional practices and academic content with the latest in online gaming tools to produce an engaging and active learning environment for high school students...


Rocky Start for Colorado State U.'s Online-Education Start-Up -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Colorado State University’s new Global Campus online-education venture laid off more than 25 percent of its operation in recent months as the start-up failed to bring in money at the pace officials had expected, according to the program’s leader.

Are Online Programs Growing or Dying? -- from Educational Technology & Change

The answer?
The vast preponderance of data indicates that online programs continue to grow at a hefty clip, that there is no plateau in sight, and that most observers expect this growth to increase in the near term as the result of the recession. Inevitably, there will be casualties along the way, perhaps even an uptick in them as institutions try to expand their online learning reach in ways that exceed their grasp. Someday, there will be a plateau. But right now, online programs are a-growin’…

8 Tips for Successful Online Course Facilitation -- by Miguel Guhlin

  • Address the logistics of the course in your course materials
  • Personalize your online learning environment with multimedia
  • Develop and share materials (e.g. brochures) with potential participants
  • Set up forums that address the “social dimension” of introducing people and getting to know each other, as well as forums for dealing with technical aspects
  • Remember to scaffold and support learning conversations rather than dominate them
  • Don’t be afraid to summarize–also known as landscape–the ongoing conversations periodically
  • Avoid long discussion posts, as well as posts that feature a lot of questions
  • Encourage people to discover each other’s strengths and what they each have to bring to the table

K–12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-Up of the Survey of U.S. School District Administrators-- from the Sloan Consortium; highlights

  1. Three quarters of the responding public school districts are offering online or blended courses:
    • 75% had one or more students enrolled in a fully online or blended course.
    • 70% had one or more students enrolled in a fully online course.
    • 41% had one or more students enrolled in a blended course
    • These percentages represent an increase of approximately 10% since 2005-2006.
  2. 66% of school districts with students enrolled in online or blended courses anticipate their online enrollments will grow.
  3. The overall number of K-12 students engaged in online courses in 2007-2008, is estimated at 1,030,000. This represents a 47% increase since 2005-2006.
  4. Respondents report that online learning is meeting the specific needs of a range of students, from those who need extra help and credit recovery to those who want to take Advanced Placement and college-level courses.
  5. School districts typically depend on multiple online learning providers, including postsecondary institutions, state virtual schools and independent providers as well as developing and providing their own online courses.
  6. Perhaps the voices heard most clearly in this survey were those of respondents representing small rural school districts. For them, the availability of online learning is a lifeline and enables them to provide students with course choices and in some cases, the basic courses that should be part of every curriculum.



Join PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 Tuesday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET for "Summertime and Your Personal Learning Network,"with technology integration specialists Bob Sprankle, Alice Barr and Cheryl Oakes.

In this webinar, our guests will discuss the value of online collaboration and provide guidance for those interested in joining or creating a professional development community during the summer months. They will share their own experiences of expanding their knowledge and improving their practice through online conferences, social networks, and other collaborative technologies. In addition, they will demonstrate tools and best practices to promote technology integration in K-12 classrooms.
To Join This Webinar, Click the Link: Online at Elluminate Live!
Please note: If you are having problems with the above link, please cut and paste the link below into your browser bar.


K12 Empowering Public Education Through Online Learning

PDF file | Recorded presentation

Peter Stewart, Senior Vice President at K12, and Curtis Johnson, co-author of Disrupting Class, discussed how technology and online learning are extending the power of public education.

Disruptions in Business Models -- by Clayton Christensen


Related item:
The iCampus Technology-Enabled Active Learning Project at MIT: An Interview with Phillip Long -- from innovate
In this interview with Innovate Editor-in-Chief James L. Morrison, Phillip Long describes some of the outcomes of iCampus, a recently concluded seven-year, $25 million research collaboration between MIT and Microsoft Research that focused on building technologies that enabled more effective learning. Long describes two of the many projects arising from this effort: Technology Enhanced Active Learning in Physics (TEAL), which has completely reconfigured the way MIT teaches introductory physics in order to encourage student engagement, and iLabs, which has created a way for MIT instructors to put real laboratory experiences—not virtual simulations but actual experiments running in real time—online so that students can experience them remotely.


The Excellent Inevitability of Online Courses -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Margaret Brooks (Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department at Bridgewater State College and President of the Massachusetts Council on Economic Education)
Here are eight reasons that colleges should proudly — and without apology — offer online courses:

  1. We want our students to be actively engaged in learning.
  2. We want to reach students with diverse learning styles.
  3. We want our students to have a variety of experiences outside the classroom.
  4. We want to teach our students how to do independent research.
  5. We want to make college more accessible to students.
  6. We want to make attending college more affordable.
  7. We want to teach our students values and ethics.
  8. We want our students' degrees to be valued by employers.

Study: Virtual schools can help cut costs
Rapidly-increasing online education eliminates need for transportation and facilities costs, researchers note; from, by Laura Devaney, Senior Editor
New research suggests that more K-12 public school students will take classes online and will have longer school days in the next decade--and academic improvement and cost savings are two big benefits.


U. of Illinois Gives Global Campus the (Re)boot -- from The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog by Marc Parry
The old Global Campus is dead. The new version of University of Illinois’s distance-learning program began in Chicago today, where the Board of Trustees unanimously backed a fundamental shift for the troubled venture. The expensive project suffered from unspectacular enrollments and faculty opposition. The system will now scrap its drive to build a centralized stand-alone virtual university and will instead leave authority for online learning to its three campuses. The so-called Global Campus 2.0, described here, will be based on this report from a task force of faculty and administrators.

“I’m very optimistic,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “I think that the trustees retained their commitment to access and online learning. I think the campuses do as well. I think we’re going to see growth and that the restart, the 2.0 version, is going to work.”

Distance Education programs -- from Tony Bates

Caveat emptor (buyer beware).
There are thousands of programs available at a distance from many different institutions. In general, ‘buyer beware’ operates in this area. There are many poor quality and unscrupulous distance education programs which do not have accreditation or secure financial resources (and so may disappear overnight).

I provide below some guidelines for choosing distance education programs, and some sites that list programs which in general may be more reliable. However, you as a consumer must take responsibility for doing due diligence on the quality and reliability of the program.

News Analysis: Online Education Grows, but Painfully -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Marc Parry
Evolve or dissolve. That advice, from a recent report on virtual universities, played out in two news stories this past week. The University of Texas’ online division is staring down a deep budget hole as it loses a longtime subsidy. And in Utah, budget cuts have killed a 10-campus online consortium.

2 Virtual Schools Launching in California -- from The, by Dave Nagel

Two new virtual academies are launching in California, both providing tuition-free online education for middle school and high school students. The new academies--Kaplan Academy of California, San Diego and Kaplan Academy of California, Central--will provide one to one instruction with state-certified teachers, according to California Virtual Education Partners, a non-profit organization that is partnering with Kaplan Virtual Education to launch the academies. The programs will, according to the companies, provide a full range of courses, including AP and honors courses. Computers can be supplied to students who need them for as long as they are enrolled, and the academies can will help cover the costs of Internet access for students who need it.


WCET Guidelines for Creating Student Services Online

...which includes the following graphic:

The student services web has five suites: academic, communications, administrative core, student communities and personal services.

...also see:

link to Academic Advising link to Career Planning link to Financial Aid link to Library Services
link to Orientation link to Personal Counseling link to Tutoring link to Related Topics


Principles for promoting the financial sustainability of online programs -- from Tony Bates; which links to:

Meyer, K., Bruwelheide, J., and Poulin, R. (2009) Principles for promoting the financial sustainability of online programs Planning for Higher Education. Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 36–55.

Online School Pilots Cloud Services -- from The Journal, by Dave Nagel
The state-funded Minnesota Online High School is piloting a cloud computing initiative to provide its students and teachers with virtual desktops. For the pilot, MNOHS signed on to the SIMtone Education Thunder Program, which provides cloud-based access to personal computers from any place that has broadband access, without requiring the school to pay for the equipment up front or handle support. The PCs include a range of software tools, as well as resources like coursework, homework, personal files, and access to school services.


Important -- please note.Even! But No Longer Odd -- from The, by Rama Ramaswami
Once regarded as an unconventional alternative for atypical students, virtual schools have achieved mainstream acceptance, and are now seen as providing an education equal to-- if not better than-- what their traditional counterpart offers.

CAEL the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a non-profit, international organization.

Disappointing Results for Illinois Online Campus -- from Inside Higher Ed
The University of Illinois board will this week consider a plan to scale back the system's new online campus, which has been controversial from the start, amid disappointing enrollment results, the Chicago Tribune reported. The campus was designed to be largely free-standing, prompting complaints from professors about insufficient ties to academic departments. Faculty groups also charged that administrators had unrealistic expectations about enrollment. The Tribune reported that the campus was supposed to have thousands of students at this point, but enrolls only 426.

From DSC:
I hesitated to post this here at Calvin, where many many say, "See! I told you we shouldn't pursue this online learning thing!" But I post it that we may learn from it and ask what we can do differently if we decide to build our own online learning program here at Calvin College.


Resource Bridge

More on online learning in the workplace -- from Learning Journal by Catherine Lombardozzi


iNACOL an international association for K-12 online learning. Formerly the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), iNACOL works to increase access to high-quality education and represents the interests of educational stakeholders, providers and students worldwide. iNACOL’s mission is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success.

iNACOL is the host of the Virtual School Symposium (VSS), (, which brings together representatives from national, state, district, private and other virtual school programs to attend the industry’s leading event in K-12 online learning. The VSS conference provides important analysis, interactive sessions and thought-provoking workshops for leaders looking to help shape the future of education.


[Podcast] Episode 47: How to Handle the Online-Learning Boom -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Resources For Online Teachers -- from Virtual High School Meanderings
A couple of items that I found on the iNACOL forums that I thought may be of interest to some of my online teachers out there.

New online community for virtual educators, community of practice resource

A new online community is now available to teachers and leaders in iNACOL’s community who may meet the defined criteria for educational use by students and teachers in high needs learning environments who presently lack access to supervised and educationally “safe” Web 2.0 resources. Offered by Online Teaching Associates.

New wiki about online teaching from OTA, teacher resources

A new wiki has been launched for online educators. OTAWiki is designed as a resource where 21st Century Teachers can visit to find ideas and information to support their work.


Reviews of ‘Evaluation in Distance Education and e-Learning’ -- from Tony Bates
Ruhe, V. and Zumbo, B. (2009) Evaluation in Distance Education and e-Learning London/New York: Guildford Press. Also see Mary Kennedy’s review on this.


From DSC:
Some relevant software applications & systems for implementing an online learning/distance ed program

Student Information System

Student Portal System

From the Course Management System (CMS) Standpoint:

  • Blackboard Learn -- for our courses
  • Blackboard Community System – for our organizations on campus
  • Blackboard Content System – to allow for more efficient storage as well as finding items

Student Alert/Notification System

Web-based collaboration/meetings

From a development standpoint – given that you want to create our own learning objects:

From the enduser’s standpoint – at least here at Calvin College where we have two ways that students connect to Calvin’s computing network:

  • Wirelessly via what we call “CalvinStudents
  • Wired via what we call “ResNet

Mac Compatible

Windows Compatible


Any Intel branded processor

Vista Premium ready processor

Operating system

Mac OS X 10.4 or later

Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1


512 MB RAM (minimum)
1 GB RAM or higher (preferred)

512 MB RAM (minimum)
1 GB RAM or higher (preferred)

**Network Interface Card (NIC)

ResNet: Apple Built-in Ethernet
CalvinStudents: Apple Built-in Airport

ResNet: Built-in Ethernet
CalvinStudents: WPA2 Enterprise compatible with a, b, g or n capability

*Antivirus Software

Symantec Endpoint 11 or higher (Calvin provided)

Symantec Endpoint 11 or higher (Calvin provided)

Plagiarism detection programs

  • SafeAssign (Blackboard)

Online tutoring services


Online library databases/services

Social networking service

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or vendor

Lead Management software or vendor

Voicemail and email systems


508 [Accessibility] Compliance, Even If You Do Not Need To -- from MinuteBio blog
Even if your organization does not require courses to be 508 compliant, e-learning designers/developers should still take accessibility into consideration. In my current position I am not required to make my courses compliant. This does alleviate me from the arduous task of meeting strict 508 compliance guidelines. However, I find that there are many simple steps that can improve the level of accessibility, which take little effort on our part but makes a course more accessible to audience members with disabilities. It may be as simple as including alt tags so screen readers recognize graphics, keyboard alternatives for mouse clicks or providing close captioning, etc.

These are just some of the simpler examples of addressing 508 compliance concerns. To get a better understanding of 508 compliance, here a few resources.


United States Distance Learning Association
2009 International Awards Presented for Excellence in Distance Learning for Individuals, Organizations and Companies
Honoring Their Outstanding Achievements

Best Practices Awards for Distance Learning Programming

Quantum Simulations, Inc.
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12

COSI Columbus Electronic Education Program
Videoconferencing ~ Pre K - 12

Booz Allen Hamilton -- Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
Online Technology ~ Corporate/Institutional

Kamehameha Schools Distance Learning Program
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12

Louis H. Schilt Memorial Scholarship, Sessions Online Schools of Art and Design
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Effective Engaging E-learning Environment for Tennessee (e4TN)
Online Technology ~ Prek-12

United States Institute of Peace
Online Technology ~ Government

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Online Technology ~ Prek-12

The CenterNET2 Project-Center for Rural Development, Somerset, Kentucky
Videoconferencing ~ Prek-12/Higher Education

UNCG Division of Continual Learning Online Development Team
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Best Practices Awards for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching

Floyd Gary Walton, "Mr. G", BECON Distance Learning Teacher
Videoconferencing ~ Pre K - 12

Dr. Janice W. Butler, University Of Texas at Brownsville
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Gina M. Thames, University Of Texas at Arlington
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Jim Ellis, Lamar State College
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Bonnie Dorman, Lamar State College
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Goutam Chakraborty, Oklahoma State University
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

MU 400 - Graduate Theory Review
Dr.  John H. Wallace, Boston University
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Frances vandenHeuvel - Ode Instructor
Videoconferencing ~ Pre K - 12

Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning

Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Professor and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Videoconferencing ~ Higher Education/Telehealth

Governor Beverly Perdue
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12/Higher Ed/Gov.

Christine Beischel, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Distributed Learning, Bellevue University
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

21st Century Awards for Best Practices in Distance Learning

Navy eLearning
Online Technology ~ Government

Desire2Learn Incorporated
Online Technology ~ Pre K-12/Higher Ed./Corp.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Master of Engineering in Engine Systems
Online Technology ~ Higher Education

Florida Virtual School (FLVS)
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12

Center for International Virtual Schooling (C4IVS)
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12

Kryterion, Inc.
Online Technology ~ Pre K-12/Higher Ed./Corp.

Arizona Telemedicine Program
Videoconferencing ~ Higher Education

Effective Engaging E-Learning Environment for Tennessee (e4TN)
Online Technology ~ Pre K - 12           


Dr. Darcy W. Hardy, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Executive Director, UT TeleCampus, University of Texas System was selected by the USDLA board of directors for elevation to the USDLA Hall of Fame.


The Eagle Award is presented to a nationally recognized public official that has demonstrated unique leadership in the public policy arena and has a long-standing record of educational technology support as well as the support of the USDLA mission, which includes serving the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity.  This year USDLA recognized North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue for her commitment to providing greater educational opportunities within her state.

Mr. Reggie Smith III, USDLA board member and chair of the awards committee, noted that, "Once again this year's award winners represent many of the most innovative leaders in the field of distance learning." He continued, "We look forward to seeing how these leaders will inspire the 2010 award entries as they are recognized in Distance Learning Today to 3.5 million readers and via their participation in National Distance Learning Week ( ), November 9-13, 2009."

USC Taking Graduate Degree in Teaching Online -- from The Journal, by by Dian Schaffhauser
The University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education is launching a master's of arts in teaching degree that will be delivered online. The new program begins in June of 2009.

4/29/09 -- per their website:
Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET)’s EduTools provides independent reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and consulting services to assist decision-making in the e-learning community.

CMSCourse Management System – Compare reviews of the CMS products most commonly used in higher education and also used by many K-12 virtual schools
OCEPOnline Course Evaluation Project – Compare reviews of online college, Advanced Placement®, & HS courses as conducted by the Monterey Institute of Technology & Education • WCALO Reviews of AP Courses
PROJECTSView the results of research projects • Learning object repository softwareStudent services productse-Learning PoliciesePortfolios

From DSC:
This site offers a nice filtering feature, whereby you can enter which features you want in a Course Management System and it gives you back a listing of those CMS's that meet those criteria. Example:


Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning -- link from Ray Schroeder
The Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning is a unique blended-learning leadership development program sponsored by Penn State and the Sloan Consortium. This institute is designed to serve the leadership development needs of professionals in the rapidly expanding field of online learning. The program begins with an immersive experience at Penn State beginning August 10, followed by an eight-week online program enabling the participants to apply the new skills and concepts in their local settings. The program culminates with a preconference workshop at the annual Sloan Consortium ALN conference in Orlando.

Video debate: the future of e-learning -- from Clive on Learning blog

bcs_debate I participated in this video debate, hosted by the British Computer Society, alongside Laura Overton, MD of Towards Maturity and Lars Hyland, Director of Learning Services at Brightwave, all with a strongly pro- e-learning perspective; representing the case for classroom training (while not opposing the idea of e-learning), were Samantha Kinstrey, MD of 2e2 Training and Jooli Atkins of Matrix FortyTwo. The debate addresses the following questions: Has e-learning come of age to replace classroom learning? Is the best approach a blended one? What technologies can help?


Make E-Learning Work -- from Miguel Guhlin

Duke University Pratt School of Engineering Launches Online Learning Program


California Virtual Academies


School 2.0 -- Kids go online to learn.

Thanks to my wife, Leslie, for this resource/link.


Case Study: Converting an Existing Course to E-Learning -- from by Bill Qualls


Don't Starve the Staff of Online Programs -- from, by Cam Cruikshank


Classifying virtual campuses -- from Tony Bates

Bristow, S. (2009) Creating a Suitable Categorisation Model for Re.ViCa Re.Vica Newsletter, April

The European Commission funded Re.Vica project is researching the development and success of virtual campuses. The April newsletter presents a classification system for virtual campuses.

Re ViCa -- defining virtual campuses in Europe; original link from Tony Bates

sdfsdafProject Background:

Through the experience of past and present projects that have been exploring and refining the concepts of Virtual Campus and Virtual Mobility a gradual shift of concepts is noticed: from the "well-defined" clear, 100% online Virtual Campus to Virtual Mobility, whereby the more traditional universities open their borders, collaborate supra/intra institutionally and often (inter)nationally, and/or involve non-traditional students through e-learning. Actually, there is no strict definition of Virtual Campus or Virtual Mobility anymore. Every campus becomes a Virtual Campus, and every mobility has some form of Virtual Mobility included. “Blended models” gain more and more interest and attention.


From DSC:
The disruption continues:

...was built to help people create a daily learning habit. The ethos is simple - once you become a member of Learn10 you’ll automatically be sent short, daily learning tasks - such as 10 new words in a foreign language. We use the range of current web technology so you’ll see your content on Facebook, Twitter, in your email, it’s RSSable, can be plugged in to any blog or web page, it’s iPhone friendly and mostly free. You can use the Learn10 widget to learn, revise, record, test & compete with your friends. Additional (premium) services include a virtual teacher, windows screensaver and content via SMS.

Languages include: Danish | Czech | German | Polish | Portuguese | French | English | Spanish | Japanese | Chinese | Hindi | Arabic | Turkish | Norwegian | Italian | Dutch | Korean | Swedish | Russian | Welsh

Learning Physics Through Open Courses -- from Open Culture by Dan Colman
There’s something compelling about physics. Almost every major open courseware collection features a well-crafted physics course, and these courses consistently rank high on iTunesU and YouTube Edu. Let’s give a quick overview of the favorites. At Stanford, we’re putting together a six course sequence called Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum. Taught by Leonard Susskind, one of America’s leading physics minds, this course traces the development of modern physics, moving from Newton to Einstein to Black Holes. So far, we’ve made five of the six courses available online (get them here), which amounts to 100 hours of free classroom footage. Hard to beat. (And, in case you’re wondering, the sixth course is being taped right now, and it will be coming online during the months to come.) Another program that has received a fair amount of attention is Walter Lewin’s series of courses at MIT. As The New York Times has noted, Lewin has long had a cult following at MIT, and now, thanks to his physics courses, he’s achieved a minor degree of fame on the internet. His lectures, delivered with panache, can be found here:

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Report on State Virtual Schools (August 2007)

Nearly all SREB states have a state-sponsored virtual school, and the remaining states are either planning or beginning initial implementation. Just 12 years ago, none of the 50 states used the Web to provide courses to middle grades or high school students [emphasis DSC]. By 2000, several SREB states, including Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia, had or were beginning to implement state-sponsored virtual schools. Today, SREB states lead the nation in the creation of state virtual schools. The total number of middle grades and high school students enrolled in state virtual schools throughout the region has increased steadily each year. Student enrollment in state virtual schools in academic year 2006- 2007 rose from the previous year in nearly every participating SREB state.

What is triggering this growth?
There is a growing understanding that providing Web-based courses to middle grades and high school students works. Online courses have shown to be important to reach students who need:
• academic courses their school cannot provide;
• to retake courses for graduation;
• alternatives to traditional education;
• options to courses offered in their school; and
• access to courses because of physical disabilities.

iPod Activity and Lesson Ideas (K-12) -- from Tony Vincent
iPodYou can read about how 20 classes at Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School in Florida are using iPods in the newspaper article iPods Hit the Books: Elementary School Embraces the Media Player as Learning Tool. Some of the activities the article mentions include:

  • fourth graders watch a video about the sun's layers
  • third graders play podcasts about solving math problems
  • first graders record video book reviews
  • the principal delivers message and training resources to teachers
  • students work at their own pace by pausing, rewinding, and rewatching math podcasts
  • students are allowed to take home the iPods to do homework
  • teachers use iPod to facilitate parent-teacher conferences

3 Things to Consider When Building Your E-Learning Courses
-- from The Rapid eLearning Blog

The e-learning course is just one part of a complex process.


"My Vision for Distance Education" by Kerrie Vytlacil | 4/9/09 | with permission to post this

My vision for distance education programs in the future includes a completely-accredited virtual home school, one that is networked with other virtual home schools throughout the state; preferably national or international in full scope, to provide 100% online delivery of all subjects [emphasis DSC]. This virtual school network would consist of constantly-updated content, accessible via mobile phones, laptop computers, podcasts and the online virtual classroom for a true anytime, anywhere experience. Within individual communities, a database could be accessed in concert with GPS technology for these mobile students to locate specific hands-on, experiential learning opportunities, such as field days in-progress, community learning labs, museum tours, etc. [emphasis DSC]. This type of program could become an alternative mode of education for military families and other situations in which there is a high degree of mobility. Because this is also an alternative home school, faith-based content could be incorporated for those families who seek the religious exemption option. This option would allow local communities of faith to also be networked into the virtual classroom experience in the form of on-demand videos, podcasts, and special events at each location also to be accessed in concert with the GPS technology. This vision is possible because distance education, by its very definition, unites students and instructional content regardless of each one’s geographical location to allow for “interactive, real-time, on-demand, learner-centered, authentic, and learner-constructed events” (Simonson, Smaldion, Albright, & Zvacek, 2008, p.27). Also, in this way, learning “overcomes geographical, temporal or psychological barriers to participation in education” (Verduin & Clark, 1991, p.104) while also allowing for learner “convenience, choice, and flexibility” (Johnson, 2003, p.149) in concert with increased learner access (Hanna, 2003).

Hanna, D. (2003). Organizational models in higher education, past and future. In M. G. Moore & W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 67-78).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum as cited in K. Shelton & G. Saltsman (2005). An administrator's guide to online education (p.7.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. ISBN: 1593114249.
Johnson, J. (2003). Distance education: The complete guide to design, delivery, and improvement (p. 149) New York: Teachers College Press, as cited in K. Shelton & G. Saltsman (2005). An administrator's guide to online education (p.7). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. ISBN: 1593114249.
Shelton, K., & Saltsman, G. (2005). An administrator's guide to online education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age. ISBN: 1593114249.
Simonson, M., Smaldion, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2008). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780135137765.
Verduin Jr., J. R., & Clark, T. A. (1991). Distance education: The foundations of effective practice (p.104). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, as cited in K. Shelton & G. Saltsman (2005). An administrator's guide to online education (p.7). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. ISBN: 1593114249.

Related item to Kerrie's posting above:

Connections Academy

Connections Academy -- free online public school
Connections Academy schools are growing throughout the United States.  Working with state education officials, leading education publishers, and curriculum experts, Connections Academy ensures that our program meets the highest accreditation standards in every state we serve as well as our own standards for excellence.  To learn more about our free, quality public education offered in your home state, simply select your local school below.

Customized Learning
Students learn best when lessons match their interests and abilities. Studies have shown that in conventional classrooms many instructional tasks are not matched to students’ skill levels.
Personalized Learning Approach

At Connections Academy, each student receives individualized instruction, including lessons tailored to that student’s academic strengths and weaknesses.

This is our Personalized Performance Learning® (PPL) approach—a dynamic process through which we evaluate each student's strengths and needs. We then develop individual approaches that work for the student along with our curriculum—all year long.

We also offer a unique instruction program designed for gifted and talented students. Students in grades 3 through 8 may be enrolled in specially designated gifted courses in language arts and mathematics. High School students benefit from rigorous college preparatory curriculum that provides an opportunity for students to participate in Honors and Advanced Placement courses.


We offer the globe's premier, best-in-class experiential learning and performance solutions. Our learning technology platforms include: Scenario Simulations, Board Simulations, Engage Maps, Tournaments and Online & Virtual Solutions.


He is risen! He is risen indeed!

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

4/10/09 Good Friday

From "Online Course Facilitation" Presentation -- from Around the Corner - by Miguel Guhlin

  1. Address the logistics of the course in your course materials and make sure they are obvious and easily accessible rather than buried in a syllabus or other document. Logistics can include how often students should login and participate in the course, assessment rubrics, etc.
  2. Personalize your online learning environment. You can accomplish this by including video testimonials from former students and course introductions by district facilitators.
  3. Develop and share materials (e.g. brochures) to potential participants.
  4. Set up forums that address the “social dimension” of introducing people and getting to know each other, as well as forums for dealing with technical aspects. If someone hasn’t logged in, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call them or send an email a day until they respond.
  5. Remember to scaffold and support learning conversations rather than dominate them. Part of your scaffolding and support is providing regular feedback and interacting with participants online. This is especially important up front since your level of activity serves as a model for the level of interaction students will exhibit when you are present but not as active. This initial high interactivity sloping down to omni-presence enables participants to learn to rely on each other for answers, rather than you.
  6. Don’t be afraid to summarize–also known as landscape–the ongoing conversations periodically, as well as remind everyone what expectations are at regular intervals (such as at the start point, mid-point, and end-points). This help everyone stay on focus.
  7. Avoid long discussion posts, as well as posts that feature a lot of questions. Focus discussions around ONE central question that resembles an ill-structured problem.
  8. Encourage people to discover each other’s strengths and what they each have to bring to the table. One of the most rewarding aspects of online learning conversations is that people discover each other online.


Kaine Announces Learning Initiative Through iTunes (Virginia) -- from
Building on a number of recent initiatives designed to take learning beyond the classroom, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Tuesday the official launch of "Virginia on iTunes U,” (direct link, requires iTunes) a dedicated area within Apple’s iTunes Store featuring free access to educational content.

Through iTunes U for K-12 education, students, teachers, and other interested users can “learn on the go" by downloading audio and video content onto an iPod, iTouch, or iPhone from any computer with Internet access. To extend this initiative, Kaine also issued the “Learning Apps Development Challenge” Tuesday to encourage developers to produce innovative mathematics applications that will engage middle school students and encourage advanced learning and achievement.

Wisconsin Virtual Learning Academies Partners Adds Calvert Education to Distance Learning Offerings -- from


Top 100 eLearning Items : eLearning Technology -- Tony Karrer
Using eLearning Learning, I thought it would be interesting to go look what it thinks are some of the top items of all time.

Here’s An Easy Way to Create Whiteboard Lectures for Your E-Learning Courses -- from The Rapid eLearning Blog

Sloan-C Blending Learning Workshop

Sloan-C 2009 Conference - October 2009

International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning

A Model for Developing High-Quality Online Courses: Integrating a Systems-Approach with Learning Theory -- by Maria Puzziferro, Colorado State University-Global Campus, and Kaye Shelton, Dallas Baptist University; note that the approach discussed in this paper is practiced at:

Colorado State University's Global Campus


Online learning set to soar -- from, by Dennis Pierce, Managing Editor; author reveals what’s about to disrupt class
If Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen is right, half of all instruction will take place online within the next 10 years—and schools had better get into the online-learning market or risk losing their students to other providers. Christensen was at the American Association of School Administrators conference in San Francisco Feb. 19 to discuss his book Disrupting Class, which looks at why schools have struggle to...

Ignatia Webs: My top ten tips for getting started with eLearning

Best practices in teaching K-12 online: Lessons learned from Michigan Virtual School teachers (K-12) -- from the Journal of Interactive Online Learning
Meredith DiPietro | Richard E. Ferdig | Erik W. Black | Megan Preston | University of Florida, Gainesville

Quality and Engagement in Online Courses -- from Thought on Online Learning


The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration -- my thanks to Dr. Kim Rynearson and Capella University for this resource
OJDLA is a peer-reviewed electronic journal offered free each quarter over the World Wide Web. The journal welcomes manuscripts based on original work of practitioners and researchers with specific focus or implications for the management of distance education programs.

The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration


Google for online learningWritten by Janet Clarey, senior researcher, analyst, and writer at Brandon Hall Research, “Using Google for Online Learning: 25 Easy-to-Use Applications,” shows that when it comes to online learning, Google provides more than just its popular search engine.

This report provides profiles of 25 Google applications. Each is a Web-based product that runs in a Web browser, without requiring users to buy or install software. Google apps include tools for communications, office (like word processing, spreadsheets, and calendars), Web sites, social networks, blogs, customizable interfaces, and many others.


The Global Campus Meets a World of Competition -- from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Dan Turner; Online-education venture at the U. of Illinois tries to distinguish itself from other distance-learning programs
The University of Illinois Global Campus, a multimillion-dollar distance-learning project, is up and running. For its March-April 2009 term, it has enrolled 366 students.

From DSC:
Don't take this to mean online doesn't work. Davenport University moved from a face-2-face institution to a predominantly online institution (covering ~7000 online students per session when I left there in 2007; which is probably more like 8000+ now. It moved from a situation where only a small % of courses were taken online in 1998 to one where 60%+ of the enrollment hours were provided online when I left there in 2007).


Technology Counts 2009Breaking Away From Tradition -- from Education Week by Michelle R. Davis; E-learning Opens New Doors to Raise Achievement
As the world of online education continues to evolve, brick-and-mortar schools are incorporating digital curricula and virtual teachers into their classrooms in ways that have surprised even the advocates of the online education movement.

Research Shows Evolving Picture of E-Education -- from Education Week by Debra Viadero
Online classes may be a relatively young instructional practice for K-12 schools, but experts already generally agree on one point: Research shows that virtual schooling can be as good as, or better than, classes taught in person in brick-and-mortar schools.


Navigating the Land of Online Learning -- by Sue Porter and Connie Solis, Consultants; original link from Virtual High School Meanderings
Schools and districts have a need for a great deal of information when they plan to offer online courses: understanding what online courses are, incorporating them into curriculum, developing policies/procedures, identifying best practices, and developing student and teacher support. Explore a new website that “Navigates the Land of Online Learning.”

The presentation itself was describing a resource created by Ingham ISD and Michigan Virtual School entitled Navigating the Land of Online Learning available at: Essentially the tool is an overview of the various things that one would need to consider when it comes to online learning from the perspective of an administrator, a technology coordinator, the counselor, the parent, and the student.

From the Administrator Role > Michigan Online Requirements:
The online learning requirement is consistent with the State Educational Technology Plan adopted in March 2006. This document states, "Students must take an online course or learning experience or have the online learning experience incorporated into each course of the required curriculum beginning with the class of 2011." The Michigan department of education defines online learning as "A structured learning activity that utilizes technology with intranet/internet-based tools and resources as the delivery method for instruction, research, assessment, and communication." To ensure accessibility for all students, any applications that are developed or resources used in an online environment should be compliant with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.


Research and Practice in K-12 Online Learning: A Review of Open Access Literature
The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 10, No 1 (2009), ISSN: 1492-3831, Athabasca University Press. Cathy S. Cavanaugh (University of Florida) | Michael K. Barbour (Wayne State University) | Tom Clark (TA Consulting, Illinois)

The literature related to online learning programs for K-12 students dates to the mid-1990s and builds upon a century of research and practice from K-12 distance education. While K-12 online learning programs have evolved and grown over the past decade, the amount of published research on virtual schooling practice and policy is limited. The current literature includes practitioner reports and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, both published and unpublished. This paper reviews open access literature in K-12 online learning and reports on a structured content analysis of the documents. Themes in the literature include steady growth and a focus on the benefits, challenges, and broad effectiveness of K-12 online learning. In addition, newly developed standards for K-12 online learning are emerging in descriptions of effective practices.


Robinson, C., Hullinger, H. (2008). New Benchmarks in Higher Education: Student Engagement in Online Learning. Journal of Education for Business, 84 (2), 101-109. Academic Search Premier database.

Quote from Kathy Boyle (2009), Capella University:

I felt there were three points that are important for instructional designers:

(1) “asynchronous networks allow the learner more time to think critically and reflectively, stimulating analysis, synthesis, judgment and application”;

(2) “multichannel communication through visuals, print, and virtual experiences promote thinking”; and

(3) "learning communities that are available in the online classrooms are really communities of inquiry to advance mental thinking”. (Robinson, 2008)


Online Classes Help Preserve the Navajo Language -- from by Chris Colin
A virtual high school lets students study a tongue that has a dwindling pool of teachers -- and speakers.


3 Proven Techniques to Add Creativity to Your E-Learning Courses -- from The Rapid eLearning blog

Iowa - A robust system of online learning -- from Dangerously Irrelevant by Scott McLeod

"In addition to creating statewide virtual schools, states are enacting a number of other policies to facilitate online learning. For example, both Michigan and Alabama now have state laws requiring that students have an online learning experience before they graduate. Florida recently passed a law requiring every school district to provide online courses (either itself or by contracting with others) for its K-8 students."

From DSC:
This move towards legislative action to insure every student has at least some exposure to online education may very well be a part of the future of education.

3/1/09 is the only website that offers students access to comprehensive free online test preparation courses for the SAT, ACT, and GRE. How do we do it? earns revenue from sponsorships and licensing.

How to Teach Online Chemistry Laboratory Courses
-- from Onlinesapiens Blog by emapey

Online Degrees have not yet caught on for most science courses that require laboratory sessions, as many educators think they can’t teach the lab sessions outside of the classroom. This is a list of articles I have found, explaining teachers and professors how they can teach chemistry laboratory courses online.

- Kitchen Chemistry Provides Distance Learners With Quality Laboratory Experiences
- MIT OpenCourseWare SP.287 Kitchen Chemistry
- Chemistry Experiments & Demonstrations You Can Do at Home
- Solving The Laboratory Dilemma in Distance Learning General Chemistry
- BBC/OU - The World Around Us - Kitchen lab
- Overview: In many ways the kitchen can be considered the chemistry laboratory of the home
- Chemistry Experiments - A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling
- Kitchen Chemistry
- Anytime Anywhere Chemistry Experience
- Chemistry Labs at a Distance: the Kitchen takes Centre Stage!


DoubleTwist May Be the Coolest Universal Media Manager Ever -- from Lifehacker: Top by Adam Pash

Future of Online Learning - Stephen Downes -- from Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy by Alec
We were very lucky to have had a conversation with Stephen Downes last night as he took us through his vision of the next 10 years in online learning. The presentation was based on Stephen’s insightful post from last November. For the presentation, we used Elluminate as the “front row”. As well, I hijacked the Elluminate video/audio out to for those that preferred a pure back channel. Even with this provision, the majority of the conversation remained in Elluminate (the front row). The Elluminate recording is available here, and the Ustream recording is here. Previous sessions from this course (with various other presenters) are available in the course archive. Thanks to Stephen for an excellent presentation, and one that will keep us thinking for some time to come.


Capella Education Company Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Results -- from the Heller Reports
Capella Education Company, a provider of exclusively online post-secondary education through its wholly owned subsidiary Capella University, today announced financial results for the three months and year ended Dec. 31, 2008. Annual revenue was up 20.4%, enrollment up 20.5% and operating income rose 33.9% Feb 12, 2009.


7th Annual International Online Conference (IOC) for Teaching and Learning --- from Tony Bates
The 7th Annual International Online Conference (IOC) for Teaching and Learning on March 30 and 31, 2009, features wonderful speakers, an exciting new format, and a truly global program. The emphasis is on sharing, networking and generating a universe of ideas that everyone can use immediately in their practice. The event will take place entirely over the Internet on March 30 & 31, 2009 - with live sessions conveniently scheduled for participants around the world. For more information visit this page.

E-learning: the fad that's lasted 30 years -- from Clive Shepperd
If e-learning is a fad then here's what we are going to be doing without when the fashion changes:

  • web conferencing
  • e-assessment
  • collaborative distance learning
  • social networking
  • wikis
  • blogging and micro-blogging
  • podcasting
  • games and simulations
  • forums
  • instant messaging
  • and the whole World Wide Web!

Why Teach at a Distance? -- from the University of Idaho
Many teachers feel the opportunities offered by distance education outweigh the obstacles. In fact, instructors often comment that the focused preparation required by distance teaching improves their overall teaching and empathy for their students. The challenges posed by distance education are countered by opportunities to:

  • Reach a wider student audience
  • Meet the needs of students who are unable to attend on-campus classes
  • Involve outside speakers who would otherwise be unavailable
  • Link students from different social, cultural, economic, and experiential backgrounds

Online Learning -- from Around the Corner by Migual Guhlin
Online learning is critical to our future, both for adults and children in K-12. I'd like to see a series of courses that go beyond how to design online learning--although that is certainly essential--to how to best manage resources to facilitate and enable online learning. As an administrator growing his own program, what planning do I need to put in place to ensure success for learners in K-12 environment?

We also need a coordinated plan for sharing developed content, policies and procedures, and resources with each other to ensure that we're not reinventing the wheel a few thousand times in our respective school districts and learning environments.

Ran across this post the ASCD blog on Why All Teachers Need to Learn to Teach Online.

Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, talks about technology innovations in the classroom and why it is important for every teacher to learn how to teach online. Hear Patrick discuss her upcoming ASCD Annual Conference presentation on "Why All Teachers Must Learn How to Teach Online." Session details are after the jump.


All the top eLearning news -- Alltop.

WGBH Forum

The WGBH Forum Network -- my thanks to William Overbeeke, T&L Digital Studio, for this link an audio and video streaming Website dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures given by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders. These events are hosted by world-class cultural and educational organizations in Boston and beyond. Through this online service hundreds of thousands of people worldwide listen to these talks wherever and whenever they choose. We are proud of the role we serve in our community, of protecting and projecting the public voice; and of informing and inspiring that public voice toward greater civic engagement around the important issues of our time.

Worldwide Classroom

WorldWide Classrom -- my thanks to Daniel Laninga, T&L Digital Studio for this link
As a ministry of Covenant Theological Seminary, our Worldwide Classroom offers God’s people everywhere free access to biblically-based, grace-centered theological training materials for the benefit of the church. Our hope and prayer is that no matter where God has stationed you in his Kingdom or how he has gifted you to serve, you will find that these resources encourage you in your Christian walk and strengthen you in your ministry.

The free courseware available on this site includes every class you need to help you in life, ministry, discipling and equipping others, and taking your biblical understanding deeper. Our lectures are presented in English in MP3 format; transcripts and study guides are available as PDFs. Anyone may download, use, and share these courses at no charge for non-commercial purposes.


The many faces of elearning -- by Clive Shepherd, Chair eLearning Network

Best practices in teaching K-12 online: Lessons learned from Michigan Virtual School teachers
Meredith DiPietro | Richard E. Ferdig | Erik W. Black | Megan Preston | University of Florida, Gainesville


Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 1 -- from Robin Good

Asynchronous and synchronous e-learning -- original link below from Tony Bates

Hrastinski, S. (2008) Asynchronous and synchronous e-learning EDUCAUSE Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4 (October–December 2008)

Online School is Becoming a Popular Option for High School Students -

ASTD Follow Up -- from Tony Karrer; keynote Links from ASTD TechKnowledge:


Want to Get a Degree Online? Get Ready to Work Just as Hard. -- from the, by Candice Choi

UWM online psych students outperform those in lecture hall class -- from Journal Sentinel (WI) Online

From DSC:
Readers of this site know that I believe that teams are coming (and will continue to come) together to create rich, engaging , interactive, multimedia-based content -- while turning the control of the learning process and the pace of the "course" to the student. This could become the norm -- especially if it turns out that the product/service is obtaining better and more lasting learning results.


A Growing List of Free Learning Tutorial Sites -- from Zaidlearn

Lessons from the art of storyboarding -- from Presentation Zen blog
Storyboarding as we know it may have been pioneered by film makers and animators, but we can use many of the same concepts in the development of other forms of storytelling including keynote presentations or short-form presentations such as those made popular at TED. The storyboard process allows you to flush out themes and look for patterns as you apply your creativity toward presenting your content.

Walt DisneyWalt Disney:
"At our studio we don't write our stories, we draw them."

Suggested reading
From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process
by Marcie Begleiter
Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas
Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know by Jennifer Van Sijll

Interactive Storyboards -- from I'm

Links for products mentioned: PowerPoint; Keynote; Flypaper; Xtranormal


1/28/09 -- my thanks to Daniel Laninga, in the T&L Digital Studio, for this link


From DSC:
My purpose in posting this is not to tick anyone off. Instead, I want to raise a red flag and say,
"This is where it is going. The question is, how do we want to respond to this?"

Learning Technologies: the road ahead -- from Jane Hart

Selecting OS learning technology platforms -- from Harold Jarche

Dave Cormier has written a great article on selecting a content management system (CMS). Dave discusses three platforms, all of which I have used - WordPress, Moodle, Drupal. All are open source and there are a variety of hosting models available for most budgets. Like Dave, I’m not crazy about Moodle because it replicates the institutional course-centric education model, which I feel is outdated. I use a similar approach in initially analysing technology needs, succinctly stated by Dave:

Business & Economics Classes Can Go Mobile with Projects -- from Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning

Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching -- from Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (Winter, 20008)

Abstract: This article explores excellence in web-based teaching. Drawing on the views of experts in the field and the perspective of their own years of experience, the authors compiled a list of 9 principles to provide direction in the search for online excellence. The principles include: the online world is a medium unto itself; sense of community and social presence are essential to online excellence; in the online world, content is a verb; great online courses are defined by teaching, not technology. The list is not intended to be an exclusive set of principles or a comprehensive guide to online teaching. Rather it is a collection of important ideas and suggestions for teaching excellence in the online world.

Technology and ideology -- from George Siemens includes books, paper, pencils, even institutions. Which is why I found this discussion on the campus interesting:

First proposition: the campus, like the computer, is a technology, an instructional technology.

Second proposition: there are many students for whom the lecture hall and notetaking is a poor instructional technology, and who do not learn much in the conventional classroom

Third proposition: the campus is a very expensive instructional technology


The GarageBand Lesson Store Could Be Apple’s Next Revolution In Music -- from

The Lesson StoreMusiciLife '09 is finally available on store shelves, and while most of the attention will probably go to iPhoto’s spiffy new face-recognition, there’s a feature tucked into GarageBand that might be making headlines very soon: premium lessons for piano and guitar, presented by the artists themselves. Dubbed ‘Lesson Store’, Apple’s online marketplace for music lessons has all the makings of a revolution in music learning that could prove to be incredibly popular and lucrative. We’ve known about it since its unveiling at Macworld, but only after trying it out can I confirm what many initially suspected: this thing is going to rock.


From DSC:
Apple beat me to the punch! :) This was one of my ideas for an interdisciplinary use video, audio, etc. to teach someone (who perhaps can't afford a piano teacher) how to play piano.

My next idea was to create a web-based interface that uses 6 tracks in Garageband:

Web-Based Choir Rehearsals
Create a web-based interface that uses/controls the playing back of up to 6 tracks in Garageband:

  1. Soprano only part
  2. Alto only part
  3. Tenor only part
  4. Bass only part
  5. All vocal parts
  6. Accompaniment

So as an example, as a tenor, I would first start practicing by listening to the tenor only part. Then I might want to add the bass part...then perhaps add the accompaniment track...then listen to all vocal tracks with the accompaniment track to put it all together. Can you imagine how helpful this would be to a choir in rehearsing?

For example Calvin College could create the tracks for some of the finest choral music in the world...then make them available via various channels.

Audiolife: Create Your Own Virtual Music & Merch Shop -- from Mashable!, by Stan Schroeder

audiolifeAudiolife is a new service that just launched in public beta, offering musicians a one stop shop for creation and distribution of music, merchandise and other music-related goods.

Blackboard Unveils Long-Awaited Upgrade -- from The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, by Jeff Young
For some time now Blackboard’s course-management software has been in need of a facelift, some college administrators say — especially because the software lacked the kind of social-networking features that are popular with students. Today the company pulled back the curtain on Blackboard 9, the first installment of its so-called “next-generation” platform, which gives the system a new look and feel.

Bb 9

K–12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-up of the Survey of U.S. School District Administrators
-- link from Virtual High School Meanderings


Example of an excellent simulation


E-Learning NO How -- from ASTD, by Mark Simon
7 disastrous decisions sure to sink any e-learning implementation

The University Challenge -- from

University Challenge - UK

The University of Europe: accessible to all
By making more content available to more students, open content learning could change the face of higher education in Europe forever. Universities in Europe are looking to embrace a new form of learning, called open content, which could blow away the division between university students and the rest of the population.

Online and on the money
The global credit crunch and rising unemployment have provided a surprise boost for web-based higher education in the US

Choose your weapon
Technological development drives how people learn, with today's trailblazer tomorrow's mainstay. What are the newest ICT tools?

Lucky students at Leicester University not only develop their learning through a virtual learning environment (VLE); they can also sample open-source collaborative websites like Twitter, del.i.cious, Flickr and Twine. These enable, respectively, users to share personal information, recommendations for weblinks, pictures and discussion threads. "Five years ago, we had 2,000 VLE users," says Professor Gilly Salmon, who runs Leicester's E-learning and Learning Technologies research lab. "Now, we have more like 28,000."

Unknown 10 years ago, VLEs with course outlines, assessment grades, assignments and online databases are now standard, while blogs, wikis (websites that allow users to modify their content), podcasts and vodcasts (podcasts with video) are not far behind. "Downloading lecture notes is much more efficient: you can concentrate on what is being said without worrying. Online tests with instant marking mean you can pinpoint what you know — and what you don't know," says first-year medical sciences student Steby Ganeshamoorthy.

Academia tackles the future --
Technology is at the heart of a profound transformation in the attitudes and expectations of students. How are institutions adapting to this new paradigm?

Learner Experiences across the Disciplines (LEaD)

Learner Experiences across the Disciplines (LEaD) project reports and outputs

Articles about LEaD

Presentations about LEaD

Selected publications from LEaD and related e-learning projects


Grant allows gifted students to explore advanced topics online -- link from Virtual High School Meanderings
An Ohio program for gifted students hopes to build on students’ strengths by allowing them to work independently in an online classroom. “Since it’s a virtual program, it really opens doors, because we can individualize the program by selecting the types of classes that kids need,” said Amy Bain, gifted coordinator for one of the participating districts. “The schools focus so much on helping kids with weakness. We have to help kids develop their strengths, as well.” The Cincinnati Enquirer (1/15)


Interview with Sue Polyson Evans, [CEO of] SoftChalk - Innovators in E-Learning Series -- from the eLearning Queen blog

From 10 Online Learning Tools for Students:



How We Can Use Video in e-Learning -- from MinuteBio


The Virtual School does not have a building or location.  It is an alliance of public distributed learning (DL) schools.  Forty-seven school districts with DL schools have agreed to be part of this alliance.  Each DL school is managed and run by the school district in which it is located.


Top 100 Open Courseware courses -- Everything is Miscellaneous
A site called Christian Colleges has posted a list of top 100 open courseware courses in theology and philosophy. Open courseware, of course, are real world courses recorded for distribution over the Net. MIT has blazed this path, and this particular Top 100 list is dominated by courses from that school, with Notre Dame showing heavily as well. The Online Education Database has its own, more generic, Top 100 list.


Section on Christianity includes:

  1. Catholic Theology: Learn all about Catholic theology by reading this collection of texts and resources. []
  2. New Testament: Discover the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as more contemporary viewpoints of the New Testament. []
  3. After Colombus: Discover how Colombus’ expedition brought Christianity to the New World and challenged ideas about identity and spirituality. [MIT]
  4. Introduction to the Old Testament: In this course, you’ll learn different methods of interpreting, critiquing and understanding the Old Testament. [Yale]
  5. Wesley: Discover John Wesley’s school of theology and learn about his own experiences here. []
  6. Arthurian Literature and Celtic Colonization: Here you will learn how the Catholic Church and early British Imperialism swayed culture, identity and history. [MIT]
  7. Christian Ethics: Read resources that uncover the intentions, history and dynamics of Christian ethics and principles. []

Some good tutorials on Adobe Captivate 3 -- from The Adobe Captivate Blog

  1. Recording and publishing software simulations
  2. Editing Adobe Captivate projects
  3. Creating interactive training scenarios
  4. Creating quizzes with Adobe Captivate
  5. Adding audio to Adobe Captivate projects
  6. Adding Flash video to your Captivate project
  7. Adding Captivate SWFs to your Adobe Presenter project



...combines information from the following sources:

UN launches e-learning initiative in over 160 countries -- from, by Amelia Kwok
A new UN e-learning initiative will offer developing countries opportunities to draw upon a rich array of training and capacity-building resources. Sixteen UN agencies, meeting at a forum organised by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) during the 14th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training in Berlin, have agreed to establish UNeLearn - a UN-wide network on technology supported learning to share information and expertise, and to collaborate on the sustained deployment of e-learning. The UNeLearn network will provide targeted training and outreach to help UN country teams implement common programmes of work in over 160 developing countries.

Rouxbe Has Seriously Impressive Cooking Videos -- from

Business and Psych Top Online Degree Choices -- from, by Dian Schaffhauser


Florida Virtual School, UCF to train future teachers how to instruct online -- Sentinel, by Luis Zaragoza; link from Ray Schroeder
The Florida Virtual School -- the country's first entirely online statewide public school -- and the University of Central Florida are teaming up to offer future teachers what they call first-of-its-kind training: virtual internships. Until now, teachers new to online instruction had to learn on the job how to juggle the technology and teaching techniques specific to virtual schooling. The pilot program will give six students the chance to team up with experienced online teachers to learn what it takes to manage a diverse assortment of students who could be studying via computer anywhere in the world, at their own pace at any time of day and requesting help with assignments by e-mail, instant messaging and telephone.

The Sloan-C Workshop on Blended Learning in Higher Education - hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago - will take place April 27 and 28, 2009

Do Online Courses Work for Middle Grades and High School Students? Online Students Have Their Say
SREB asked online students in SREB states for feedback about their experiences through a voluntary online questionnaire in spring 2008. This report summarizes more than 2,000 responses and provides insight into what students think about online learning and how courses might be improved.
(08T05);  5 pages;  2008;   $2

Online Learning Glossary -- from

Sources For Online Degree Programs -- from
This is the only distance learning college directory that offers free listings to Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) - accredited universities. It also offers distance learning degree rankings, surveys, information on financial aid, free online counseling and guidebooks, and evaluates each and every program out there. A helpful newsletter is readily available.
This directory contains information on obtaining an online degree or career school program near you- meanwhile offering online education resources including articles, learning tools, and online courses.
Dedicated site assisting individuals in finding a diploma, degree or certificate that can either be taken online or at a local campus. Includes information on grants for online education, references to the USDLA site and Gansler articles.
The “one-stop shop” of useful news, articles, links and resources to help achieve education and career objectives. Features college directories, online degree and distance learning programs, campus degree descriptions, and enrollment information. Compare professions and salaries and research information on financial aid.
Learn about online degrees and school information, read articles on money matters, EDU news, school reviews and test preps.
Get free, no-obligation information about online degree programs via distance learning schools provided by online degree advisor. You’ll quickly find online degrees and online programs- and this site offers job placement for graduates.
Search for degrees by degree subject, degree level, online school or nearby college campus. This also features an online learning center, blog and financial information.
This all in one resource for adults returning to college provides a free newsletter, news, features and resource updates including information on financial aid and new degree programs.
Gives general information on all distance learning subjects with inks, blogs, articles, etc.
Search degree programs for online and campus-based, diploma and certificate programs.
Search for online schools by zip code, degree or by career.
Look up a wide range of online degree programs, schools and careers.
Browse for online degrees by curriculum and read up on articles and more information.
By completing a questionnaire this site will search a national network to match up to four schools that provide degree programs to meet the criteria obtained in the questionnaire. Admissions counselors will call you to discuss your education needs.
Browse directory of online schools and request information directly.


The Le@rning Federation charged with procuring, or if necessary developing educationally effective digital resources, specifically for Australian and New Zealand curriculum and making these available free to all teachers, students and parents within those countries with no further copyright remuneration payable.

The Learning Federation

Also see their Phase Three reports, which include the following subset:

Sustaining supply of content for the digital education revolution (pdf, 328kB)

Executive Summary
The Digital Education Revolution has already begun, with teachers across Australia using digital curriculum content developed through the Ministers’ Le@rning Federation Initiative. This content is engaging and motivating students both inside and outside the classroom, re-engaging those at risk of dropping out, accelerating learning and supporting its personalisation.

There is a growing confidence, articulated clearly by many teachers using Le@rning Federation content that it is revolutionising teaching and learning. Students in early years are better understanding concepts previously thought to be too difficult for their age group, Learning is being accelerated, students are motivated and engaged, and teachers can personalise learning in a classroom of thirty students. As a critical mass of digital content is developed, greater flexibility of schooling provision is enabled, whereby students can access their instruction anywhere, any time. Such impacts are what Ministers have hoped for.

Maximising the volume of accessible digital content (pdf, 713kB)

Online curriculum content investment agreement (2006–2008) (pdf, 285kB)

From DSC:
Australia is one of the leading edge nations in terms of integrating technology into their classrooms.


Nova Southeastern U Tops Online College Rankings -- from, by Dian Schaffhauser
Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL took the top spot in a ranking of online colleges and degree programs by the Online Education Database. The OEDb Online College Rankings 2009 evaluates and ranks 44 undergraduate colleges and universities that offer most or all of their degree programs online. Nova Southeastern has both traditional classrooms and a distance education degree program.

Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA; Champlain College in Burlington, VT; Upper Iowa University in Fayette; and LeTourneau University in Longview, TX were ranked second through fifth, respectively. All five institutions provide on-campus and online education programs.

Regent University - Number 2 in the online rankings.

Example banner from one of Regent University's online courses.

And the world is becoming a smaller place:



Survey Reports Many Online Learners Never Seek Help Before Dropping Out -- from, by Dian Schaffhauser

Reasons why online students drop out

Why Dissecting an E-Learning Course Will Improve Your Skills -- from The Rapid E-Llearning Blog

6C learning framework : new slides -- from 6C Learning Blog, by Bert De Coutere

6C learning


Learn the basics of playing piano and guitar

Learn piano and guitar


Teaching And Learning Online -- from Virtual High School Meanderings

Predictions for 2009 --
From the global financial crisis to a historical presidential election, 2008 was a monumental year. January means it's time to polish our crystal balls and take a look at e-learning's near future. Lisa Neal Gualtieri shares predictions from around the globe. This year we've rounded up a whopping 31 experts, who run the gamut from academic instructors to designers to bloggers. As always, feel free to add your own predictions to the end of the story.

As economies worsen and country and state and provincial budgets tighten, free online courses, programs, and universities will increasingly be discussed, debated, and ultimately enrolled in. The trend toward teaching language online from peer-to-peer in 2008 will continue to mushroom and lead to greater acceptance not just of teaching languages in free and collaborative ways, but of entire courses, programs, and degrees. As free and open learning becomes the norm for millions of learners around the globe, high schools, universities, and corporate training centers will need to adjust their policies, procedures, and philosophies related to teaching and learning. If not, it may be time to say goodbye to many of them in 2009.
Curt Bonk, Professor, Indiana University, USA



A Growing List of Free Learning Tutorial Sites! -- from Zaidlearn, by Zaid Ali Alsagoff

Recession May Drive More Adult Students to Take Online Courses -- from - Today's News
An author of a Sloan Consortium survey says that the bad economy will be good for enrollment in online courses, especially at particular types of colleges.

Waivers free high school students to study online, off-campus -- from the Detroit Free Press, by Lori Higgens
State steps up role in Web-based high school education

Online education has soared in Michigan in the last decade, illustrated by growth in enrollment at Michigan Virtual University, one of the options students have to take online classes. MVU offers more than 200 high school courses and enrollment has spiraled upward from 100 students in the 1999-2000 school year to an expected 15,000 this school year.


Why some students prefer virtual schooling -- from, by Laura Devaney, Senior Editor
At a NACOL symposium, virtual-school students discuss why they left their regular schools in favor of online instruction

These traits make online teachers successful -- from, by Dennis Pierce, Managing Editor
Clarity, creativity, and compassion are key characteristics for online instructors, says UCF researcher

Some of the virtual K-12 schools/organizations out there

Test scores from some virtual high schools

Education leaders would be wise to listen to what students such as Sanchez had to say, and
consider ways they can build opportunities for self-paced learning and more freedom of
into their own school offerings--or else risk losing a growing number of
students to online schools that operate outside their domain.



eLecture -- link from Robin Good
... is a turnkey virtual classroom software product based on Unreal Media and Live servers, allowing conducting live interactive lectures over the network, with students attending the lectures virtually. The eLecture satisfies a wide range of purposes from corporate training to school and university distance education. The eLecture allows broadcasting near real time audio and video from lecturer's camera as well as screen capture of lecturer's desktop. Students can submit feedback, post questions and receive answers in text chat mode in real time. 

Thinking About E-Learning? Information for New E-Learners -- from eLearning Queen blog
You may have been considering online courses for a long time, but have not been ready to take the plunge. Everyone likes to feel very confident about a new endeavor, and you realize that believing yourself able to succeed is crucial in education. Of course, it's fairly easy to feel confident about face-to-face instruction. After all, we've all had many years of experience in that area. However, sometimes the courses you need, the location of instruction, and your travel / work schedules make it impossible to take traditional face-to-face courses. And, if you're needing professional development or a certificate, the travel expenses, the time away from work, and the location and timing of the courses can totally derail your professional and academic plans.

You're left with the most logical option: online courses. But -- even in a time of widespread adoption of e-learning, many people still have a number of very basic questions. So, we'll take a moment and address those questions, and, in the process perhaps give you a better understanding of the kind of experience you're likely to have, and the way you'll learn. Finally, you'll have a chance to gain some insight into how special the e-learning experience can be.


Georgia virtual school enrolls 4,400 in first 2 years -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia’s first Internet-based public school now has 4,400 students enrolled across the state.

Distance Education Resources from UW

Editorial: Michigan achieves e-learning success -- from The Grand Rapids Press
Virtual education in Michigan is generating some big bandwidth buzz nationally. Michigan was recognized for its creation of the Michigan Virtual School (MVS), an online resource that enables middle and high schools to provide courses and other learning tools that students wouldn't typically use. Eligible students include the gifted and talented, those with special needs and students who need to make up a credit. MVS is now one of the largest online course providers in the nation. In 2007-08, there were approximately 11,000 course registrations. That virtual program was funded by the Legislature in 2000 to be operated by the Michigan Virtual University, a private, not-for-profit corporation.

Georgia virtual school enrolls 4,400 in first 2 years -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Distance Education Resources from UW


From Interactive Multimedia Technology:

FIVE QUESTIONS...For Allison Rossett
By Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine -- link from Robin Good
... a platform for people who want to study or tutor online.

…And Now for the Top 10 (elearning0-related) posts for 2008 -- from The Rapid eLearning Blog

5 Secret Tips from an E-Learning Pioneer

Here’s Why Unlocking Your Course Navigation Will Create Better Learning

When It Makes Sense to Pay for Professional Narration

Create E-Learning Scenarios By Bringing the Virtual World into the Real World

Create Custom Characters for Your E-Learning Scenarios

What You Need to Know When Working with Grouped Clip Art

What Everybody Ought to Know About Instructional Design

How to Add Scenarios to Your Rapid E-Learning Courses…Rapidly!

Is Google Making Our E-Learning Stupid?

Change Your Presentation Template to an E-Learning Template

The Big Question: What did you learn about learning in 2008?
-- from Clive Shepherd


The state of e-learning, 2008 -- from Tony Bates

Virtual High School Meanderings

The reality of virtual schools: A review of the literature

The Mobile Professor -- from the University of Manitoba & George Siemens
The internet continues to make geography irrelevant for many daily activities. Certain activities, such as banking, shopping, and information access, no longer require a visit to a physical location. Within corporate environments, companies like IBM anticipate a future where over 50% of employees are mobile without a physical office. What about higher education? While it’s unlikely that traditional universities will do away with physical learning environments, many faculty members find attending conferences, conducting research, and related activities are now possible without a disruption to teaching schedules. To address the various blurring responsibilities (such as teaching an online course while simultaneously attending a conference, or having data stored on a laptop for travel as well as a desktop at the office), new mindsets, tools, and skills are required. This session will explore ways for mobile faculty to manage information, use tools for interacting with learners, and employ technologies for coping with information abundance.


Back from November 24, 2008 -- Minnesota wants 25% of education online:

Pawlenty wants more online ed at state schools -- from Saint Paul Legal Ledger's Capital Report, by Charley Shaw, Staff Writer
Expert says call for in-state tuition for out-of-state students for online classes is right on


TLT CoffeeRead: Need help with class? YouTube videos await -- from PSU's Education Technology Services by Jamie Oberdick
Need help with class? YouTube videos await

YouTube: Need help with class?

Governor Crist Praises Florida’s Virtual Education for Leading the Nation as Study Ranks Sunshine State as No. 1 for Online Learning -- from B2E

To view a complete copy of the Center for Digital Education report:

To learn more about the Department’s virtual education options:


Cal Nook


Couple companies who can help you develop excellent, interactive, learning materials:

Cameo Multimedia

Enspire Learning

Engaging with the New eLearning
-- from ZDNET
Read this Adobe paper for 12 strategies to engage and retain learners through compelling online experiences.

Learning in 2020 -- from ASTD
Today’s Leaders Take a Look at What’s Ahead -- A whole new world of work

Tools 2020
Prediction: Although the next 10 to 12 years might not constitute any drastic upheavals there are shifts and changes at work on every level.

Technology 2020
Prediction: Technology’s impact on how we learn is returned the favor as machines and applications become smarter, and form increasingly symbiotic relationships with other applications as well as learners themselves.

Workforce 2020
Prediction: The role of workplace learning and performance professionals will change because of the need for new skills, competencies, and communication.

Talent Management 2020
Prediction: Today’s narrow talent management scope broadens to incorporate organization-wide strategy and executive-level support.

Future Leaders 2020
Prediction: The learning leaders of 2020 may not have their names carved in stone,
but several are off to a great beginning


eLearning Tool Chest -- link from B.J. Schone
Your one-stop shop for eLearning books, software, tips, and tricks We’ve gathered tons of information on eLearning books, software, and other useful resources in order to make it easy to find and buy what you need.

10 e-learning trends -- from LunchBox blog


Diagrams in an Online Course -- from Elizabeth Pyatt's TLT Blog; esp. for engineering students/faculty


Motivating Online Learners -- by Dean Groom


With Students Flocking Online, Will Faculty Follow? -- from
"The current model of higher education was several centuries in the making. That leaves colleges adapting to online learning, a viable option for only about a decade, with a monumental game of catch-up. ... No two models are exactly alike, but as colleges experiment with ways to keep their faculty happy and their courses high in quality, evidence of some common practices is emerging".

Internet Guides for Nursing -- from AcademicInfo; original link from Karen Romeis

I’m new to eLearning - Where do I start? -- from eLearning Weekly, by B.J. Schone; also mentions other resources below:


The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On -- from Stephen Downes; some key quotes listed below

Microsoft Word version of this essay here.

As learning evolves slowly from a classroom-based and deliver-based type of instruction, and toward wide-ranging learning activities that are largely selected and managed by the students themselves, the dedication of space in schools to classroom instruction will be reduced. Instead, schools will be converted into meeting facilities, workrooms and laboratories, multimedia studios, and more. Specialized equipment, such as sound-proof recording studios and high-speed video editing equipment, will be made available. Libraries will evolve (in a transition that is happening today) into multimedia studios, where students engage with interactive media, games, and other types of content. VR rooms, such as the CAVE, will be constructed, emulating the simulation environments that police and military use today.

The Bottom Line
As I stated ten years ago, and as we see today, even though savings will not be as great as anticipated, it will be necessary for institutions to offer their courses online - and sooner, rather than later - because the costs of not doing so are too great.

Distance learning institutions, such as Athabasca University and the University of Phoenix, are beginning to cut into traditional student bodies. It is becoming necessary for traditional institutions to accommodate more students with existing resources, which means that the pressures to take advantage of the potential savings offered by technology, which were not so great before, are now mounting.

Even more to the point, all educational institutions are facing their greatest competition from their students themselves. This is especially the case in nations where college and university degrees can be obtained only by a moneyed elite. A determined population of ambitious, talented and self-sufficient students can educate themselves, creating their own community, their own professions, their own future. We are seeing this unfold before our eyes, if we would only look.

The Future
Today, and for the last century, education has been practiced in segregated buildings by carefully regimented and standardized classes of students led and instructed by teachers working essentially alone.

Over the last ten years, this model has been seen in many quarters to be obsolete. We have seen the emergence of a new model, where education is practiced in the community as a whole, by individuals studying personal curricula at their own pace, guided and assisted by community facilitators, online instructors and experts around the world.

Though today we stand at the cusp of this new vision, the future will see institutions and traditional forms of education receding gradually, reluctantly, to a tide of self-directing and self-motivated learners.
This will be the last generation in which education is the practice of authority, and the first where it becomes, as has always been intended by educators, an act of liberty.


A Complete Online Class: Course Management, Live Web Conferencing, and Teacher-Made Streaming Movies -- from Educause
Explore an online course by viewing the actual course preparation, live web office hours, and teacher-made movies. Participants will experience a live online web session with students in California using NetTutor. Attendees will leave with strategies and tools to create links in Blackboard to improve student retention. Make your class as personal as possible.

What is Brightstorm?
Brightstorm is an online learning network for teens that features Web-based video courses taught by handpicked teachers from across the country. Brightstorm courses cover core topics including math, writing, history, as well as AP/SAT prep. Courses are supplemented by interactive quizzes and bonus materials such as practice problems and study guides, allowing teens to reach their full learning potential. To access the courses, teens and their parents can visit our Web site (, preview courses and teachers and then purchase yearlong subscriptions for $49/course.


Blog for eLearn 2008 Conference

Examples of eLearning 2.0 -- from Tony Karrer

eNapkin : eLearning Technology -- from Tony Karrer
I'm at the Dan Roam - The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
- keynote at DevLearn. You can find something similar here.


Designing a Working Space for Chat -- from The Journal
In the first installment this two-part series, we looked at chat as an instructional tool in general terms. Now we take a look at some of the major concepts in using chat effectively in the process of moving the thinking process forward: building ideas, constructing media, and establishing which elements are critical to making the environment dynamic and relevant to the student.

Virtual office hours get students, profs together -- from
Online meetings are increasing student-professor interaction, college officials say

Welcome to Adora's World -- encourage your daughters and sons to write/contribute like this! :)
Inspiring Literacy with Adora Svitak | Nov 14 @ 1pm EST

"Join Tandberg’s Jan Zanetis as she chats with Adora Svitak, renowned author, teacher, literacy mentor, and prodigy.  Eleven year old Adora has been working with students in person and over video for years to share her writing while inspiring them to create their own stories and poems. Participants will learn tips on how to motivate their own students, whether they be young children or full grown teachers. Learn how she makes the most of technology tools to engage students and get her lessons to come across at a distance.  Most of all, participants will be amazed at the confidence and perception of Adora, a young lady that is quite at home on CNN, Oprah, or in your classroom. Join us and be inspired!" Her site is at:; recent news at

Welcome to Adora's World!


Educational Designer: A new online journal -- link from from Doug Holton
Education Designer is an international e-journal for design and development in education. It comes from the International Society for Design and Development in Education. ISDDE has established this journal to promote excellence in the research-based design, development, and evaluation of educational products and processes in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering and technology.


Burn-out and Online Instruction: Ten Tips to Revive Your Online Course and Yourself -- from The Online Instructor blog (Texas Woman's University Distance Education blog for Faculty and Staff who use Blackboard to teach or enhance their courses.)

Some resources:

  • International Journal of E-Learning (IJEL)
  • Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)
  • Online Classroom
  • Innovate
  • Academic Leader
  • American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE)
  • Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE)
  • The Internet and Higher Education
  • Journal of Interactive Learning Research
  • Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE)
  • E-learning-It Blog (
  • The Online Instructor (TWU’s blog)
  • JALN

Cloudworks allows you to find other people's learning and teaching ideas, designs and experiences as well as sharing your own. You can also get access to many learning design tools and resources to help you create learning designs.

Clouds - notes and information about learning and teaching ideas and activity designs you have tried

Resource Bank - methods and approaches to doing design and repositories of learning and teaching case studies or learning objects

Tool Bank - interactive learning design tools

Professors collect big bucks for online classes -- from the Des Moines Register, by Erin Jordan; original link from

Online learning

In Florida, virtual school could make classroom history -- from

Thousands of Florida students may ditch public elementary and middle schools next year in favor of online classes at home -- an option that could change the face of public education, reports

A new law that takes effect next fall requires every district in the state to set up an online school for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

They won't have to get on the bus -- or even get out of their PJs -- to head to school at the family computer. A handful of elementary- and middle-school students already are experimenting with virtual classes, withdrawing from regular schools and enrolling instead for online instruction. Students take a full range of courses, including reading, writing, math, science, history, art, music and even physical education.

"I am so excited about this that my goal is to go all the way through 12th grade," said Joni Fussell, whose 8-year-old daughter has been studying at the kitchen computer in their Altamonte Springs home since January...


Quality Matters
Inter-Institutional Quality Assurance in Online Learning


IACE-T Presentation: eLearning promises and practices -- Peter Tittenberger, Learning Technologies Center, University of Manitoba
This presentation discusses some trends and change pressures occurring -- or about to occur -- out there. Here are a handful of slides from that presentation:

This presentation discusses some trends out there right now -- and into the future

A funny snapshot from the presentation


Jobs resources/opportunities -- from eLearning Weekly blog

eLearning Jobs

More eLearning Job Resources


E-Learning for Newbies -- from Janet Clarey

Report assesses K-12 online learning -- from
Further growth hinges on policy, funding changes in states from coast to coast, it says

Learning Content Strategies Meeting -- from EdTechPost


Items regarding eLearning; posting by Jane Nicholls
Below comment found here(see way down the page):
New Zealand is making their expectations for teachers and e-learning very clear in the new curriculum(2007) currently being implemented in schools:

"E-learning (that is, learning supported by or facilitated by ICT) has considerable potential to support [effective] teaching approaches... E-learning may:

assist the making of connections by enabling students to enter and explore new learning environments, overcoming barriers of distance and time;

facilitate shared learning by enabling students to join or create communities of learners that extend well beyond the classroom;

assist in the creation of supportive learning environments by offering resources that take account of individual, cultural, or developmental differences;

enhance opportunities to learn by offering students virtual experiences and tools that save them time, allowing them to take their learning further.

Schools should explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning"? I deliver PD in ICT and effective pedagogy to teachers in 10 schools over a 3 year period. I had them read this statement of the new curriculum and we had a discussion about how many teachers will either staple these pages shut or run screaming from the expectation. Do you have a curriculum that states so bluntly that students will be communicating with others outside of their school with ICT? That ICT can open up new and different ways of learning? I think this is quite a progressive document.


North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) -- from Educational Technology blog; actual article by Kathee Austin from Phoenix News
NACOL is bringing leaders and experts in K-12 online learning from around the world to Arizona for their annual conference, the Virtual School Symposium, held this year at the Renaissance in Glendale. Michael Horn, co-author of Disrupting Class, will keynote on Tuesday and Fabrizio Cardinalli, co-chair of European Union E-Learning Industry Group, will keynote on Monday. There are more than 100 sessions all focused on e-learning in K-12 education.


New Open Yale Courses -- from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT)
Eight new courses in history, economics, literature and biomedical engineering taught by leading faculty have been added to “Open Yale Courses,” the University’s free online education initiative.


How to Redesign a Course for Hybrid Delivery -- from Educause

Participants will learn the principles of good course design and apply them to a traditional, face-to-face course to be delivered as a hybrid (part online, part F2F) course. Using a modified version of UMB's own workshop (, the seminar will include demonstrations of best practices and help instructors identify the pedagogical problems hybrid delivery can solve and the new learning opportunities it can create. Instructional designers can adapt the workshop curriculum to their home institution's needs.

Online College Classes Gain Acceptance - WCPN -- from Educational Technology
Right now, over 650,000 Ohioans are attending college somewhere in the state, but not all of them are doing it in a traditional classroom. Ohio students are among millions nationwide that will take at one course on-line. ideastream®'s Kymberli Hagelberg has a report on how Northeast Ohio students are taking advantage of this 21st century version of the correspondence course. The schoolbusses are gone form her comfortable Brecksville neighborhood, and Cheryl Laubacher has had her second cup of coffee. It’s 7:20 a.m. And she’s off to class. But she’s not going to a classroom, she’s going to her basement. ..And Laubacher’s pint-sized watchdog Barley is her study partner.


Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge -- from Educause


Classroom technology puts Fort Worth ISD on-line to becoming a digital district -- from Educational Technology blog

Fort Worth ISD is making good on its promise to become a “digital district,” installing 1,700 Promethean Interactive Whiteboards in classrooms within the next four months. By 2010, the whiteboards will be in each of the District’s 5,000 classrooms, making it the largest district-wide interactive whiteboard implementation in the nation. Fort Worth ISD plans to install the whiteboards in three phases over the next 30 months. Improving technology in classrooms is also a key component of the District’s $593.6 million bond program, approved last year by voters. -- my thanks to Niko Solihin in the T&L Digital Studio for this link


From an article by Samuel L. Dunn in the The Futurist (way back in March-April 2000), Dunn mentions various large scale distance learning organizations:

  • China Central Radio and Television University
  • British Open University
  • University of South Africa
  • Open University of Hong Kong
  • Universidade Aberta in Portgula
  • Universidad nacional de Educacion a Distancia in Spain
  • Western Governors University in the United States


Lecture Capture: No Longer Optional? -- from

Insights regarding undergraduate preference for lecture capture -- Dr. Raj Veeramani, Professor at UW-Madison and Executive Director of the UW E-Business Institute; Sandra Bradley, Practice Director at the UW E-Business Consortium


E-LEARNING 2.0 report released -- from The e-Learning Guild
Here are just some of the findings from this report:

  • E-Learning 2.0 modalities are growing at very fast rates with use of blogs up 20.7% from a year ago, communities of practice up 12.3%, and Wikis up 7.7%.
  • 40% of respondents indicate they are making some use of e-Learning 2.0 approaches.
  • Over the next 12 months, 70.1% of survey respondents plan to apply more e-Learning 2.0 approaches to their learning endeavors.
  • 66% of survey respondents believe that younger workers will demand e-Learning 2.0 approaches to performance support.
  • Only 28.1% of members report that their organizations are preparing workers on using Web 2.0 approaches for learning and work.
  • Among members working in organizations with 10,000 or more workers, 10.8% cannot access LinkedIn, 26.2% cannot access Gmail, 35.0% cannot access YouTube, and 39.2% cannot access either Facebook or MySpace.
  • Among members who have made significant use of e-Learning 2.0 approaches, 60.6% reporting improved learner / user performance


21 Online Student Tools to Help With Research, Communication, and Organization -- from EduChoices, by Melissa Kahney -- my thanks to Daniel Laninga from the Digital Studio for this link; other links from EduChoices listed below:

Is Blended Learning Effective? -- from, by David Nagel
Blended learning sounds like a nice idea--mixing a traditional classroom environment with online components--but is it actually effective? It seems almost intuitively obvious that it is. And with the explosion of blended course delivery in recent years, despite the dearth of research, clearly education institutions take that point for granted.

eCollege Partners with Cdigix for Rich Media Integration -- from, by Chris Riedel
eCollege has announced a partnership with Cdigix that will give students at institutions using the company's course management system integrated access to rich media assets, including audio and video, among other things.

9/22/08 -- my thanks to Niko Solihin, T&L Digital Studio for this link -- my thanks to Niko Solihin, T&L Digital Studio for this link
Fathom's member institutions (such as Cambridge University, London School of Economics, University of Chicago, and University of Michigan) present their immense wealth of knowledge across every area of interest--from business to global affairs, from arts to technology. Fathom brings you:

Free online seminars from Fathom's member institutions and course partners, offering the best in online education from top research institutions.

Lectures, interviews, articles, performances and exhibits by faculty , researchers and curators from our member institutions. Reference content spanning all disciplines and fields of study.


Comcast sets monthly internet usage cap -- from

The decision by Comcast--the nation's second largest broadband-service provider (after AT&T)--to set an official limit on the amount of data that residential subscribers can download and upload each month could affect students who learn from home or live off campus, ed-tech observers say. Full Story


Collection of free e-Learning ebooks -- from

Texas Virtual School Network -- from
The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) will provide additional opportunities and options for Texas students through online courses.  TxVSN was authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2007 to provide online courses to students in Texas.

The Value of Multimedia in E-Learning -- from Brandon Hall Analyst Blog by Janet Clarey

The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, second edition -- by Terry Anderson (May 2008)
Click on the eBook tab to access a FREE copy of this book.

Here’s How to Build Your Next E-Learning Scenario -- from (9/3/08)

Google Video for Business - Revolutionising E-learning! -- from Learning Reflections blog (9/3/08)

Christensen leads us to Disrupt our Classes -- from Technology for Learning blog (9/1/08)
I’ve just finished reading Disrupting Class by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson. I loved this book for several reasons:

  • It’s about technology and learning (my passions).
  • It brought a perspective from beyond the classroom.
  • It was grounded in research and data.
  • It concluded with a call to action that moved me.

What Constitutes Quality in Web-Based Training? (September 2008)

Engaging with the new eLearning (PDF, 3.8M) -- from (August 2008)
12 strategies for engaging and retaining learners through compelling online experiences.

From Zaidlearn (2008)

It’s Not about the Technology -- from Stepping Stones blog (8/14/08)

Learning is Change.
Online learning is not about computers, the internet, or learning from home. It is not about giving kids a different educational option, or even leveraging the power of digital natives. It is my belief that the goal of online learning is to make learning ubiquitous. It is about pushing our education to include everything, from the context of the everyday to the workflow of original thought. This presentation aims to explore this notion of ubiquitous learning. Please, push back at these ideas, it is the only way they will get any better.

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning & Teaching

Education in a Digital World -- from (July 2008)
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has recently released a work called Education in a Digital World.  You can read about it here.  It has five parts:

Part 1: The Impact of Instructional Technologies
Part 2: Preparing Online Courses
Part 3: Implementing Technology
Part 4: E-learning in Action
Part 5: Engagement and Communication

And what is more, if you want to download (13 MB PDF file) it you can, for free.

Take this with a grain of salt-- it's from Bb -- but it does point to some trends within K-12
Learning in the 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning


Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning -- from the the Sloan Consortium


Adobe Acrobat takes big online leap -- from
"Adobe is launching an online community with a word processor and file storage and sharing, while adding Flash and interactive maps to its Acrobat 9 software, CNET reports. The online push for Acrobat is a bold move for a brand perhaps best associated with the free and nearly ubiquitous Acrobat Reader, which opens print-ready Portable Document Format, or PDF, files. Now, PDFs also will play movies. The announcement comes in advance of..."


Prediction Regarding Learning Agents -- from DSC

Learning agents will be as common and useful tomorrow as calculators are today.

Connectivist Theory, and other learning theories

According to Siemens (2004), connectivist theory is for the digital age, where individuals learn and work in a networked environment. As a result, we do not have control over what we learn since others in the network continually change information, and that requires new learning, unlearning old information, and/or learning current information. Siemens proposes some guidelines for designing learning materials for the learner, based on connectivist theory. Below is an elaboration of these guidelines for the development of online learning materials.

Chapter on Learning Theory here (which is one part of overall new book called, The Theory and Practice of Online Learning)

20+ Ways to Learn a Language Online -- from Read/WriteWeb, by Josh Catone

Podcast: American Higher Education Is Going Global: Implications for CIOs, National Networks, and Federal Policymakers -- from Educause
"This 44 minute podcast features a keynote address by Jeffrey S. Lehman, Former President of Cornell University. His speech, "American Higher Education Is Going Global: Implications for CIOs, National Networks, and Federal Policymakers," was recorded at the EDUCAUSE 2008 Policy Conference in Arlington, Virgina."

Higher Ed Going Global

From DSC:
This continuing trend has profound implications for the future of higher education. Whomever can offer an excellent, innovative, relevant, flexible education -- and can do so at a very reasonable price -- will be a major player in higher ed
(i.e. select your professors/courses and put together your own major from these participating universities and colleges from XYZ consortium).

Online Education Cast as ‘Disruptive Innovation’ -- from Education Week, by Andrew Trotter
"Technology-based forces of 'disruptive innovation' are gathering around public education and will overhaul the way K-12 students learn—with potentially dramatic consequences for established public schools, according to an upcoming book that draws parallels to disruptions in other industries. Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns predicts that the growth in computer-based delivery of education will accelerate swiftly until, by 2019, half of all high school classes will be taught over the Internet. Clayton M. Christensen, the book’s lead author and a business professor at Harvard University, is well respected in the business world for his best-sellers The Innovator’s Dilemma, published in 1997, and The Innovator’s Solution

Association of Virtual Worlds -- Guide to 250 Virtual Worlds - wording below from Bryan Alexander from Liberal Education Today
A guide to 250 virtual worlds (an 8.3 MB PDF file) has been published by the Association of Virtual Worlds. The "Blue Book" is a free download:

Each world is listed alphabetically and includes a web address and brief description. In addition each world is classified as to whether it is live or in development, whether it is appropriate for kids, tweens, teens, or adults; and type of virtual environment it is, for example, a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game), a social network, a mobile application or a custom world.

Higher education (and other) courses -- sign up to use and contribute courses
This site is taking Web 2.0 to the idea of collaboratively developing online course content and then sharing it (once you pay the fee for a 2 year membership). There are different levels of contributors to a course...interesting approach. It's like open source education - almost. I post this not because I necessarily endorse it...but it is yet another example of how powerfully the Internet can affect numerous industries.

Creating content - then sharing it.

"The National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) is a growing library of high-quality online courses for students and faculty in higher education, high school and Advanced Placement©. This project, supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, facilitates collaboration among a community of content developers to reach students and teachers worldwide."

Our youth is learning how to speak the "new language" in K-12. Question is, won't they want to continue speaking this language when they hit college?

Our youth are using these tools in K-12-- won't they be expecting to use them when they get to college?

The effect of digital media tools on how people learn, network, communicate and play -- from MIT Press
"The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning examines the effect of digital media tools on how people learn, network, communicate, and play, and how growing up with these tools may affect a person's sense of self, how they express themselves, and their ability to learn, exercise judgment, and think systematically."

Volumes include:

  • Youth, Identity, and Digital Media
  • Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media
  • Digital Young, Innovation, and the Unexpected
  • The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning
  • Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility
  • Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth

April 16, 2008
Atomic Learning and -- training on demand provides web-based training modules on all sorts of applications. They put things "in English" -- boiling things down to what you need to know and how to get things done. We have used in the Digital Studio and we heartily recommend it to anyone is an award-winning provider of educational materials for creative designers, instructors, students, and hobbyists. The Online Training Library® and CD-ROM titles include such subjects as Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Office, digital photography, Web design, digital video, and many others. Their trainers and teachers provides comprehensive and unbiased movie-based training. It's a great solution for keeping your skills current. Library subscriptions begin as low as $25 a month, with no long-term commitment required.

Atomic Learning also provides web-based software training for more than 110 applications students and educators. They use short, intuitive tutorials that aid our professional development, program, provide a valuable curriculum supplement, and provide an anytime/anywhere training resource.

  • 35,000 software training movies for a calendar year
  • Access to all additional tutorials added throughout the year. 500 or more new tutorials are added every 45 days.
  • Just-in-time software training
  • Valuable educational resources
  • Online Newsletter and Tech Tips

April 8, 2008
iTunes Store now top US music retailer --from Apple Hot News
"Based on the latest data from the NPD Group’s Music Watch survey, the iTunes Store surpassed Wal-Mart to become the number one music retailer in the US, Apple today announced. 'We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the number one music retailer in the world,' said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. 'We are thrilled, and would like to thank all of our customers for helping us reach this incredible milestone.'

Then from this page: "New research funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement and conducted by the Michael Cohen Group LLC, under the auspices of a grant to the Ready to Learn Partnership (RTLP), revealed that while television took nearly 3 decades to become universal, nearly 40% of low income families now have some forms of computers and almost 33% have obtained some degree of Internet access at home in the last 5 to 7 years."

Note from DSC: If the Internet can turn the music industry on its head in less than 5 years, how might the Internet impact higher education within the next 5-10 years? For example, what would happen to the world of higher education if some organization comes out with a quality -- but far less expensive -- online-based education?

And from a faith-based perspective, I come back to the question I raised last year:

What does the LORD want Calvin College to do with the Internet?

April 5, 2008
'Hybrid' courses show promise -- from

Hybrid courses show promise.

"Hybrid courses," or courses that deliver part of their instruction in a traditional lecture manner and part in an online environment, are becoming increasingly popular among schools and colleges. Proponents of the concept say it capitalizes on the benefits that both face-to-face and online learning can provide--and now, there is some evidence to suggest that hybrid courses can help students learn more effectively. Read More

March 31, 2008
The Other 85 Percent -- from Michael Offerman | Vice Chairman, Capella University
"I am emailing you to encourage you to participate in a new blog that I am authoring called The Other 85 Percent. Research shows that only about 15 percent of higher education students still fit the traditional definition of a college student: age 18 to 22, living on campus, and going to school full time. That is the inspiration for The Other 85 Percent—to challenge the traditional view of how to best serve today’s college students."

"I will explore issues such as educational accessibility, outcomes, and accountability as they relate to the working adult. One topic in particular that I will address is how to ensure that colleges and universities that serve adults at a distance—such as online universities –demonstrate real learning outcomes to prospective students, such as through the Transparency by Design initiative. I encourage you to visit and comment to The Other 85 Percent often. As a fellow education professional, I believe your feedback will be vital to creating a healthy dialogue on the future of education."

"Thank you. | Sincerely, Michael Offerman | Vice Chairman, Capella University"

March 18, 2008
Integrating Technology into the Classroom- a Help or a Hindrance? -- from Daniel S. Christian
This is a paper I wrote for my Master's Program ( Instructional Design for Online Learning at Capella University) entitled, Integrating Technology into the Classroom- a Help or a Hindrance? In it, you will see various references for further research. To highlight a few, see the work of Ian Jukes and Ted McCain, Kurzweil's work, Michael Wesch's work; also see the work of 2020 Visions; Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies - A Survey; Chris Dede's work at Harvard; Educause Connect; and Kathleen Tyner's work at the U of Texas at Austin.

March 3, 2008
Online Video 2.0
In case you're interested, this PDF file shows you the outline for the first portion of a presentation entitled, "Setting the Bar for Online Video 2.0: Best Practices You Can Use Today"  -- in case you're interested in this topic. The presentation will be archived for the next 90 days at this location.

February 27, 2008 - from DSC

  • Online learning and web-based technologies will have continued to alter power structures and will have changed the game

  • Online learning technologies will enable students to take their courses from the premier faculty in the world

  • Online colleges and universities will be huge as their target population is worldwide -- and full of lifelong learners (a requirement in the global economy that will have continued to form). Hopefully, economies of scale will occur in order to keep the cost of a higher education down. Adding another server is cheaper than building another facility.

  • Synchronous and asynchronous options exist for the same class -- and by 2020, the tools will have become extremely powerful...having the capabilities to offer a face-to-face experience and interaction, but doing so online. However, technologies will exist that create learning possibilities that far exceed what was capable in the traditional face-to-face classrooms of the 1900's.

February 15, 2008
Innovate -- Feb/March 2008 issue
"Why do we need to examine a research base in K-20 online learning? Online learning is transforming teaching, providing new instructional delivery models, and expanding access to education. Effective online instructional practices are increasingly supported by a growing evidence base that shows how various programs, courses, and instructional models can improve learning, increase student engagement, and catalyze innovation in education. This special issue offers a range of studies that contribute to an evidence-based framework to sustain further innovation in online teaching and learning."

The Feb/March 2008 issue includes an article by Susan Lowes entitled,"Online Teaching and Classroom Change: The Trans-Classroom Teacher in the Age of the Internet," that explores these ideas:

"Online and face-to-face courses are often viewed and studied as two distinct worlds, but the social field of the teacher who teaches them may well include both, and both the teacher and the courses he or she teaches may be transformed by the movement from one environment to the other. Susan Lowes explores this two-way interaction between face-to-face and online teaching, addressing two important questions: Do teachers who move between face-to-face and online classrooms transfer ideas, strategies, and practices from one to the other? If so, which strategies and practices do they transfer? Particularly, Lowes focuses on the constraints and affordances of the online environment itself and how these affect face-to-face classroom practice." Article here (requires free login/account).

February 1, 2008
K12 is Wall Street's pet as online schooling grows -- from
In recent years, a small but fast-growing number of parents seeking alternatives to traditional schooling have fostered a new industry: virtual public schools. These publicly financed distance-learning alternatives are essentially charter schools in cyberspace. Yet, so far, just one company is winning strong marks for capitalizing on this movement: the Herndon, Va.-based K12." Article here.

Note from DSC:
I post this article because I think it's important to watch what happens in grades K-12. What develops there may impact what we do in the future. I don't see the K-12 virtual schools as having much of an impact on least not yet. But it's something to keep an eye on.

January 30, 2008
Professors on YouTube, Take 2 -- from the Chronicle of Higher Education
"Since writing about how professors are finding celebrity on YouTube, several people wrote in to point us to other efforts to offer lecture videos online. So here are a couple of more, with some updates on what they are up to..." Article here.

January 9, 2008
Thanks to YouTube, Professors Are Finding New Audiences -- from The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jeffrey R. Young
"Forget Lonelygirl15, YouTube's 2006 online video phenom. Professors are the latest YouTube stars. The popularity of their appearances on YouTube and other video-sharing sites may end up opening up the classroom and making teaching—which once took place behind closed doors—a more public art. What's more, Web video opens a new form of public intellectualism to scholars looking to participate in an increasingly visual culture." Rest of article here.

January 23, 2008
Vendors/solutions for delivering online video -- from Streaming Media Xtra

Think the video revolution is limited to user-generated content and online movie downloads? Think again.

And you'd better think fast, because learners of all kinds-whether college students, outside sales forces, or technicians in the field-are increasingly demanding the ability to receive both traditional academic courses and training materials on video. They also expect that video to work as seamlessly and easily as YouTube and with the portability of their iPods, but with the kind of interactivity and supplemental materials they'd receive in a traditional classroom.

All of which means that academic institutions and enterprises alike are looking for the most advanced, efficient, and cost-effective ways to teach and train online. This year's Streaming Media White Paper, Online Learning: Textbook Strategies for Video Education (6.2MB PDF file), focuses on leading solutions that excel at making the grade. This is mandatory reading that you just may be tested on.

January 8, 2008
Visual Learning: How the rise of digital video is transforming education -- from
These are special times for visual learning. Spurred by dramatic advances in digital technology, the use of video as an instructional tool is finally coming into its own as a mainstream feature of American education.... | Full Story here, which includes the following quote:

Davis stresses that educators should look beyond the tech side of things, as fascinating as that can be, because what matters most is what they are able to do because of the technology. Down the road, she says, teachers and administrators might well look back at the current period and conclude: That was when education truly changed.

The growing use of video in schools, along with the spread of online learning in general, is not simply prompting teachers to "pick up the technology," Davis explains; it's actually beginning to change how teachers teach. "Once you use technology, the pedagogy changes," she says. "It's saying to teachers, ‘Think about the technology and, while you're doing that, think again about what it is you're trying to teach--the content--and how you're trying to teach it.'"

Visual Learning: How the rise of digital video is transforming education

Related article/link:

January 7, 2008
Some links for the educators out there

Educator's Reference Desk

The Educator's Reference Desk builds on over a quarter century of experience providing high-quality resources and services to the education community. From the Information Institute of Syracuse, the people who created AskERIC, the Gateway to Educational Materials, and the Virtual Reference Desk, the Educator's Reference Desk brings you the resources you have come to depend on. 2,000+ lesson plans, 3,000+ links to online education information, and 200+ question archive responses.

Internet Public Library

The Internet Public Library is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment founded at the University of Michigan School of Information and hosted by Drexel University's College of Information Science & Technology.

World Lecture Hall

World Lecture Hall publishes links to pages created by faculty worldwide who are using the Web to deliver course materials in any language. Some courses are delivered entirely over the Internet. Others are designed for students in residence. Many fall somewhere in between. In all cases, they can be visited by anyone interested in courseware on the Internet — faculty, developers, and curious students alike.

From DSC -- The World Lecture Hall appears to be outdated...but I can't help but wondering if this resource hints at where things in higher education could be heading...

December 21, 2007
'Coursecasting' now a higher-education staple
Universities increasingly are turning lectures into podcasts -- from, by Laura Devaney, Associate Editor
Delivering lectures via podcasts no longer is the province only of those universities on the cutting edge of technology: Through the use of software and programs that make it easy to produce and distribute podcasts, colleges and universities increasingly are making course lectures available for downloading online.

Most of today's college students are "digital natives" who have been surrounded by technology nearly their entire lives, and they expect their college or university to create a collaborative experience that integrates familiar technologies such as podcasting and on-demand video into their learning environment, supporters of the phenomenon explain. Their beliefs are supported by data: Three of four young adults download and view internet videos daily, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, while Burst Media reports that college students spend more time online than they do using any other form of media, including TV and radio. Rest of article here.

December 20, 2007
At 71, Physics Professor Is a Web Star -- from the New York Times, by Sara Rimer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at M.I.T. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace. Article here.

December 17, 2007
Items from Educause 2007

Using Video Streaming and Podcasting to Design Rich-Media Online Courses
The session abstract:
This session will cover lessons learned and best practices for creating highly interactive, student-centered, rich-media online courses with customizable and mobile learning using Mediasite video streaming and video and audio podcasting. It will include a tour of a course Web site, 10 principles for good practice for innovative online education, and a course design toolkit.

Learning 2.0
The session abstract:
As online tools become more ubiquitous inside and outside the classroom, and the growth of distance learning continues, education researchers have begun to focus on how best to harness new technologies. Advocates for the classical lecture experience still exist, of course, but the general trend has been toward incorporating various technologies into the classroom, from course management software to digital photography. One approach, called “blended learning,” mixes traditional “face to face” techniques with cutting-edge developments in theory and technology."

December 14, 2007
Audio Interview: How the Internet Is Changing Education -- from the Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jeffrey R. Young
John Seely Brown was a computer enthusiast since before most people knew what personal computers were. HIs work as former director of the Xerox Corporation’s famed Palo Alto Research Center landed him in the computer Industry Hall of Fame. I sat down with Mr. Brown at a recent event celebrating the history of NSFNet, a precursor of today’s Internet, and recorded this podcast interview, in which he talks about how computer networks — and now Web 2.0 — are radically changing education. Article/interview here.

December 14, 2007
ProfCast Lecture Capture Software Adds Logging to Podcast Manager -- from, by Dave Nagel
ProfCast has released a new version of its eponymous software designed for capturing and distributing classroom lectures as enhanced podcasts. ProfCast 2.2.0pb4, a public beta of the presentation capture software, includes fixes and enhancements to previous 2.2 releases and is available now for Mac OS X. Article here.

November 30, 2007
Biology Teacher Engages Students with Classroom Capture, Multimedia -- from
"Can a high school biology teacher record his lectures, post them online, and get thousands of hits to his site in a year?"

"Apparently so, if Okemos High School's Kelly Carrier is an example. The Michigan public school science teacher uses TechSmith's Camtasia Studio to capture portions of his biology and physical science classes, then posts them online so that students can review them later. At five sections a day, with 30 students per section, he teaches 150 students a day--and then reaches them again and again via the online content, if the Web numbers are any indication." Article here.

November 28, 2007
Bloomsburg U Tailors Online Learning to the Deaf -- from, by Linda L Briggs
"We're making it possible for deaf and hard of hearing people to have equal access to information via the Internet." That's according to Samuel Slike, an instructor and curriculum coordinator of the Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program at Pennsylvania's Bloomsburg University.

Last semester, Bloomsburg began using Wimba's Live Classroom, a Web-based learning tool, to offer deaf and hard of hearing students an online course that includes a sign-language interpreter and closed-caption text to accompany the standard slide presentation and instructor's voice. Rest of article here.

November 27, 2007
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning - the good and bad of online learning at this point in time

September 12, 2007
Lehigh University Debuts Open Virtual Classroom -- from
"Lehigh University has added a virtual class to its curriculum this fall called Bioscience in the 21st century. The multidisciplinary class is designed to allow anyone interested to watch lectures and study course material or PowerPoint presentations posted on the university's website for free. Lectures are also available from iTunes U, according to Lehigh University." Read More

August 31, 2007
State-run virtual schools gather steam -- from eSchool News Online
"Don't look now, but online learning--though still in its infancy--is well on its way to becoming a major part of state-sponsored education across the country. That's the impression left by a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), whose member states have long been in the forefront of developing government initiatives in virtual schooling. The 112-page report, which is..." | Full Story

NACOL's president and CEO, Susan Patrick, says it's only a matter of time--and not much time, at that--before virtually all American students are participating in online offerings "as a normal part of their curriculum."

August 24, 2007
Spread of online language raises concerns -- from
"For years, heavy users of Internet games and chat groups have conversed in their own written language, often indecipherable to outsiders. Now, some of those online words are gaining currency in popular culture..." Article here.

August 15, 2007
96 percent of teens use social-networking tools
Survey reveals schools have a huge opportunity to harness technology for instruction

-- From eSchool News staff and wire service reports advertisement
"Ninety-six percent of U.S. students ages 9 to 17 who have internet access use social-networking technology to connect with their peers, and one of their most common topics of discussion is education, according to a new survey. Yet most schools have stringent rules against nearly all forms of online social networking during the school day. In light of the survey's findings, school leaders should consider reexamining their policies and explore ways they could use social networking for educational purposes, its authors say." Article here.

Related item:

Research and Guidelines on Online Social -- and Educational -- Networking (NASB) Here's a graphic from this report:

Percentage of online tweens and teens who say they do these activities at least weekly

August 15, 2007
'Cool' interactive community for kids, their parents, and teachers -- from
"Innovation Generation program inspires kids to explore the world of innovation and technology, creating next generation of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians." Article here.

DSC: This posting -- and the above posting -- are yet 2 more examples of how the youth of today -- with all that they are learning/using/doing -- will be here on Calvin's doorsteps tomorrow. Questions are: Are we ready for them? If not, what do we need to do in order to be prepared for them?

August 1, 2007
Online U Research: Popularity of Online Universities Rising -- from
"Half of a group of prospective college students who said they would be interested in taking an online course in the next 12 months also said they would like to enroll in a completely online degree program, according to a recent survey conducted by the American InterContinental University Online." Read more.

July 16, 2007
10 Top Myths About Online/Distance Learning -- from

May 29, 2007
Hybrid Learning: Maximizing Student Engagement - from -- by Ruth Reynard
"I became involved with hybrid teaching simply as a common-sense approach to the challenge of transitioning traditional faculty from classroom to online learning environments while I was director of a center for instructional technology at a university in the South. The challenge that faced me was working with faculty who were almost completely resistant to the idea of distance learning via the Internet, believing it to be a diminished learning experience. Many faculty also demonstrated a fear of technology in general and saw it as potentially time-consuming and overwhelming...."
Read Complete Article

March 1, 2007
The Online Learning Idea Book: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning
-- by Patti Shank


September 2006

Quick Guide to Blended Learning -- from Learning Light (UK)

Potential firms:

Kalamazoo, MI
Media 1
Grand Haven, MI
The Bishop Company
Kalamazoo, MI

The UK
Enspire Learning

Allen Interactions
Minneapolis/ St. Paul