I see from my odometer that this is my 100th post in this blog, which in the grand scheme of things, is just a drop in the bucket (many edubloggers have several thousand posts).
Rather than look back on the posts, I thought I'd share with you the things I'm working on currently, and how they'll benefit Iowa schools:
- I help facilitate the statewide online council, representing each AEA and the DE. The council is working on ways to provide more and better online training for teachers. Right now, we are working on a central clearinghouse registration system, so that we share resources across the state. Our hope is that if I'm a teacher in Keokuk, I could take an online course from a teacher in Sioux City, who might be the expert on that topic. Geography won't matter anymore.
- To further help with that, the online council is developing online teaching and course standards to ensure quality. We have a working draft completed with standards based on the Iowa Teaching Standards, NACOL standards, SREB standards, among others.
- Those standards are leading towards better training for would-be online instructors. We are developing courses off those standards to help all educators--instructors, facilitators, administrators--become more confident in their knowledge of online education. Since we are going statewide together, you will see quality courses.
- We're also expanding the definition of what online training means, beyond the Moodle course. In addition to the mandatory trainings Heartland offers, we are adding training for Web IEPs and Positive Behavior Supports.
- The council is also looking at developing statewide online communities to help teachers connect with other teachers, and to build their own personal learning networks. Our goal for these communities is to have them available in the fall of 2009.
- Just as important, I am working with the Iowa Association of Alternative Education, which is starting to look at the ways online education can benefit the student at-risk. Just as we hope to provide training for online professional development instructors, we also hope to provide training for online K-12 teachers and facilitators. For those interested, I will be presenting at the 2009 Spring Conference on March 26 & 27.
- I'm also working locally with a couple districts on their 1:1 initiatives and implementation of the digital curriculum, including providing training and support for instructors as they digitalize their curriculum. Other districts interested, feel free to contact me.
- I also serve as a member of the Iowa Core network, specifically their new technology/21st century skill team. Our goal is to help crystallize what the nebulous "21st century skills" look like in the classroom and help schools discover the tools to get there. We've just started work in this area... we have a long ways to go.
- On a local level, I provide training for AEA staff, area Superintendents, and the area Curriculum Network, as all three groups are looking at social media and web 2.0 tools.
- And as you know, I will continue to blog. My goal for the blog is to both highlight and facilitate change in Iowa's schools and to provide a discussion of the resources to do so. I'm on the look-out to continuously improve the blog to do that.
And with that, I'll start on my next 100...