At Penn State New Kensington and Fayette, faculty have been working to streamline the digital education process by designing online courses that have been converted from resident courses. This new program is all thanks to a SoftChalk pilot funded through the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Five faculty members from Fayette and New Kensington are heading the pilot after submitting a proposal to Schreyer detailing the courses they wanted to convert to their online curriculum.
On October 1-2, 2014, SoftChalk hosted its first ever user’s conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the 6th Annual Quality Matter’s conference. Centrally located near Baltimore Harbor, the conference drew in a diverse crowd of Chalkies, both local and from across the country. The event attracted SoftChalk user’s old and new, representing nearly 140 educators from all across the country. Attendees represented a total of 32 states and about 80 institutions, all of whom shared a passion for education and technology. The conference sought to engage and excite users through presentations and networking events that showcased new and emerging trends in educational technology.
Last fall, IMS Global Learning Consortium hosted its inaugural Connected Learning App Challenge. This challenge was established to recognize applications that support digital innovation using open technology standards that enable connected learning. Challenge entries were evaluated on creativity, ease of Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integration and on their potential for enabling connected learning both online and in the classroom.
Imagine having more class time with your students. Having students watch lectures outside of class would provide more opportunities to incorporate student-centered activities in class. Many educators are flipping their classes by having students watch their lectures at home (traditionally done in class) and having students do their “homework” (traditionally done at home) in class. This inverting of instructional methods is called flipped learning. Virtually unknown a few years ago, flipped learning is now gaining attention at the secondary and university levels. Several medical/health professional schools are examining the flipped learning concept and many high schools are already using this method. Recently, the National Science Foundation awarded a half-million dollar grant exploring Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom for developing flipped methods in undergraduate biology curriculum.
Prince William County Schools’ Virtual High School program offers students the flexibility needed to achieve their individual goals.
The annual yearbook released by the Center for Digital Education aims to support and acknowledge educational leaders as they continue to grow their knowledge of digital education. The 2013 CDE Yearbook features 40 K-12 and higher education innovators that have proven their dedication to teaching and learning through technology. This year SoftChalk had three nominees selected for recognition in the 2014 CDE yearbook for their incredible accomplishments in online education. Walter Barlow, Dr. James Brown, and Dr. James May represent true innovation in the field of digital education. Their creative use of educational technology to improve the quality of their online learning programs has set a unique standard in the future of online learning. Check out the following profiles to learn more about these Innovators in Education!