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A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON VIRTUAL EDUCATION

In October 2018, Drexel University's School of Education hosted its inaugural Virtual Conference for K-12 Online Learning. 

The goal was to bring practitioners, researchers, and students together to discuss best practices for implementing high quality K-12 online education in Pennsylvania and beyond. 


Recordings of the sessions can be accessed below.

ABOUT DREXEL UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a top-ranked, urban research university, located in the heart of Philadelphia. Known as an academic center of excellence, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Drexel was a pioneer in technology-enhanced education for working adults. Today, nearly two decades after launching its first online courses, this transformative university offers  more than 150 online degree and certificate programs —including an online EdD and Certificate in K-12 Virtual School Leadership—using the same accredited curriculum and distinguished faculty as it does on-campus. 

ABOUT DREXEL UNIVERSITY       

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a top-ranked, urban research university, located in the heart of Philadelphia. Known as an academic center of excellence, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Drexel was a pioneer in technology-enhanced education for working adults. Today, nearly two decades after launching its first online courses, this transformative university offers more than 150 online degree and certificate programs—including an online EdD and Certificate in K-12 Virtual School Leadership—using the same accredited curriculum and distinguished faculty as it does on-campus.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Digital Curriculum Development
Carolyn Faulkner-Beitzel

Esperanza Cyber Charter School

Teaching and learning today has far surpassed the brick and mortar four-walled classroom and today’s students want and expect an experience rich in technology and collaboration. Learn how designing an engaging digital curriculum rich with digital content and digital motivates students to learn.

Parent Education: Equipping Parents as Educational Partners
Jason Fitzpatrick

PA Virtual Charter School

How can we equip parents to be educated, effective partners in their child's educational journey? This presentation will emphasize the role of the parent in the educational process and focus on how to develop strategies to enhance parents’ education and partnership.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. 

Bridging the Gap: Developing an Online/Blended STEM Education Program for the Virtual Learning Community
Chris Harper, Joe Bonnette, Mark Slider

Chester County Intermediate Unit

The Chester County Intermediate Unit excels at innovative approaches, bringing brick and mortar ideas to the virtual learning community. Interest from school districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inspired the CCIU to develop an online/blended STEM program. This session will focus on the methods, approaches, and technology utilized to bring this idea to life, so students across the state have equal access to the same rigorous STEM programs offered in traditional brick and mortar settings.

Using Positive Psychology to Engage Learners in the Virtual Learning Environment
April Brown

CAVA Virtual Middle School/University of Phoenix

Engage all your virtual learners with strategies that encourage students through a positive psychology approach. Change your student’s online behavior through strategies that promote and encourage positive interaction between teacher and student. The strategies can be implemented into your virtual classroom and ongoing collaborative discussion will be encouraged for participants.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. 

The Power of Choice in New Teacher Training
Diana Perney, Casey Wernick

PA Virtual Charter School

What is your superpower? Ours is the Power of Choice! During this session learn how the power of choice enables new and rookie teachers to grow and develop their skill set to meet their needs and the needs of their students.

Bringing a Writing Center to a Cyber Charter School
Hanna Lewis, Megan Miller

PA Distance Learning Charter School

A writing center provides quality writing support and inquiry-based feedback while also promoting peer collaboration, benefits that many writing programs seek. The objective of this presentation is to describe our experience opening a writing center and explain how participants can implement a similar program within their schools or classrooms.

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

High Teacher Quality Leading to School Wide Success
Lauren Michener

21st Century Cyber Charter School

With the increased awareness of school choice, the field of cyber education is growing. Ensuring a successful environment is challenging due to the lack of cyber-specific training. Cyber schools must prepare their teachers for success and maintain that while encouraging growth in order to ensure high teacher quality.

Key Characteristics of Successful Virtual Middle School Students
Suzanne Wolfinger 

Drexel University

Recent dissertation research revealed that successful virtual middle school students share common characteristics, and virtual instructors continue to play an important role in the virtual setting. The research also indicated that specific aspects of parental involvement may promote academic achievement in virtual learners.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. 

Virtual Learning: The Way It's Been and the Way It's Going
Pat Diamond

Dechert, LLP

The approach to education has always changed over the years, and with change comes new trends. With families of the future being more tech-savvy, more eager to learn on-demand, and more data-driven than ever before, it’s time to rethink our approach to eLearning.

Cooking Up Online Content
Courtney Kofeldt

PA Leadership Charter School

An online learning module should generate a full classroom experience (even beyond it). This session will take you through the preparation and creation steps for creating meaningful online learning experiences.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

What is it Like to be a Cyber School Administrator?
Scott Van Vooreen

Silver Springs - Martin Luther School

This presentation highlights the uniqueness of an online school administrator. The general themes explored are management, operations, communication, training, and capacity. An attempt is made to codify typical experiences of a cyber school administrator in this new and ever expanding modality.

Online Learning Without a Learning Management System
Meredith Roe, Dr. Ginno Kelley

Catholic Education Western Australia

The Virtual School Network (ViSN) is Australia’s only virtual school to deliver online learning without an LMS. Instead, ViSN are using a suite of tools to create engaging lessons focused on relationships, communication and collaboration. VISN’s partnerships model is underpinned by a network of schools and a new digital ecosystem.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 

Yes You Can: Effectively Providing Cyber Education to Students with Disabilities
Janet Sloand, PhD

Drexel University 

This session will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with students with exceptionalities participating in cyber education. A discussion on why the number of students included in cyber options is growing as well as practical ideas and strategies for how to effectively include students with disabilities will be explored.

Teaching the Digital Age Learner: Adapting Pedagogy for a New Way of Learning
David Castaneda

Education Development Center

The Digital Age is changing the way we understand knowledge, ascribe authority, and make meaning. Online educators should adapt their pedagogical assumptions to teach in this new world.

CONFERENCE RECORDINGS

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