Monday, March 23, 2009

Upcoming Professional Development Courses for Online Education

Heartland will be offering a sequence of courses to help would-be online instructors become proficient and comfortable teaching online. Here is a quick overview of the courses:

1. Technology for Online Instruction: Moodle and Adobe Connect Pro (2 cr. - May 11th-June 14th)
Course Description: With the demand for online instruction rising, both in K-12 and for professional development, instructors need support in understanding the available tools and their appropriate pedagogical use.

This course will help teachers feel comfortable using Moodle and Adobe Connect Pro, equipping them with tools and skills to create and deliver online instruction. Participants will develop content in the Moodle platform, including activities, forums, lessons, and assessments. Participants will also create and facilitate webinars in Adobe Connect Pro, using desktop sharing and interactive features. Skills and concepts will be analyzed in context of the Iowa Online Teaching Standards and Online Course Standards. The course is delivered online, in both synchronous and asynchronous delivery.

Developing Professional Learning Networks (1 cr. - June 8th-17th)
Course Description:
Professional development in the 21st century is changing towards Professional Learning Communities and Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). In this online course, we will look at George Siemens' connectivism learning theory and the implications for the way educators learn. We will examine how to structure systemic change to move your individual (or district) practice towards a PLN, utilizing social media tools such as Delicious, RSS, Twitter, and Nings to improve practice.

3. Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning (2 cr. - July 6th-Aug. 9th)
Course Description: Online education not only represents the future of K-12 education and professional development, it represents the present. This introduction to teaching and learning online gives would-be instructors, local facilitators, administrators, technology support staff, and general education teachers an overview experience of that learning forum.

This course focuses on the principles and best practices of successful online facilitation on any learning platform. Participants will practice specific online communication skills with multiple tools, manage assessments and feedback appropriately, analyze and solve problems, and create a plan of action for teaching their next online course. Through class activities, practice course simulations, collaboration with colleagues, and dedicated coaching from the course facilitator, participants will gain the necessary tools to nurture a reflective online learning community.

4. Web 2.0 Tools for the 21st Century Classroom (2 cr. - June 15th-July 24th)
Course Description: Web 2.0 provides critical no-cost tools to meet the demand for easier and more efficient ways of teaching and learning. Investigate core concepts of how Web 2.0 is impacting learning environments. Explore how to improve instruction using new technologies such as wikis, blogs, photo and video tools, podcasts, bookmarking, and other emerging technologies. Develop effective teaching tools that capitalize on students’ interest in technology improve their academic performance. Activities are designed using educational technology to meet learning goals in 21st century skills such as critical thinking; collaborative problem solving; information, media, and technology skills; as well as higher levels of achievement in core academic subjects.


All the courses will take place online. Graduate credit will be made available through Drake University. Interested participants can register at the Heartland Professional Development Catalog.

Also, we will have available in the fall a new course entitled Assessment and Instructional Design in an Online Course (2 cr.).

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