Posts Tagged 'inacol13'

Reflections from #iNACOL13

The iNACOL Symposium ended two weeks ago, but the excitement, energy, the learning, the sharing and collaboration continues. The total attendees were 2424 and represented educators, thought leaders, administrators, teachers, companies, organizations, and individuals who are passionate about blended and online learning. For me, it is always meeting people that I have not had a chance to meet before, hearing about how people are making an impact on education, and realizing how important it is for all of us to be unified in our voices. The symposium reaffirmed the common beliefs that I think we all share: that we want to impact education in new and more efficient ways so more students graduate from high school career and/or college ready. To do this, it will take all educators – traditional, blended, online – to accomplish this.

Reading the various reflections that others have written affirms the importance of the annual iNACOL Symposium as a catalyst for change.

On YouTube, an interview of Michael Horn with Rose Fernandez.

Through the symposium online community,  individuals continue to interact, collaborate and share their thoughts. I found some specific blog reflections that I have highlighted below.

  • David from Just Popped in My Head shared the importance of modularizing professional development – especially when using blended and online learning approaches.
  • The Getting Smart team produced several blogposts that highlighted the conference. Their reflection post pretty much summarized the key aspects of the symposium including blended schools and tools, digital development, teachers and tech, higher, deepear, further, faster learning.
  • George Rislov discussed seeing the future at the iNACOL Symposium.
  • Melanie Malski wrote, “passion is contagious, brilliance is inspiring, and commiserating with co-workers is refreshing.”
  • Stacy Hawthorne shared that iNACOL13 was a GPS for Learning.
  • The Hot Lunch Tray blog shared a wonderful “brain dump” of all of the things she learned at the symposium including how to foster online rapport with students, how to roll out a blended learning program, and online communities of collaboration.
  • Margo Flowers shared the importance of photos and shared this slide from the game based learning session where she posted the definition of “FAIL” = First Attempt In Learning.

Various articles appeared in different publications such as this one from EdWeek entitled, “District Officials Eye Blended Learning, With Cautionary Lessons in Mind”.

More images of the Symposium can be found on the iNACOL Facebook page or the Twitter Stream (#inacol13). And use Tagboard to see more tweets and pictures from Instagram with the hashtag #inacol13.

I look forward to seeing everyone at iNACOL14, which will be November 4-7, 2014 in Palm Springs, California.

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iNACOL Symposium from a distance #inacol13

sign3.titleThere are over 2200 people that are registered to attend the iNACOL Symposium in person so far and they are now beginning to arrive at the Dolphin Hotel and conference center in Orlando.

There are many ways others can attend from a distance. First, our Twitter stream is #inacol13. During the main keynote addresses, anyone can ask questions of the panelists / speakers via Twitter. Please put the word “Question” at the beginning of the tweet so we know you have a question to be answered.

The keynotes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that will be live streamed or recorded can be found here. Ongoing conference information can be found via our online community. In addition, on Sunday, perhaps you would like to be part of our Global Networking PreConference which will include people from around the world? If so, register here and we’ll send out the link to join us on Sunday morning at 8:00 Eastern.

In addition, follow our Facebook page to see pictures uploaded by participants or tag your Instagram pictures with #inacol13.

We look forward to everyone participating in the symposium in a variety of ways to improve education across the world!

What to do at the iNACOL Symposium: Demo Days! #iNACOL13

One of the new features at the symposium is Demo Days. Demo Days will take place on Monday and Tuesday in America’s Seminar Lounge in the Convention Center. The purpose of Demo Days is for Edtech start-ups that are developing next generation tools and programs to have an opportunity to showcase these products. At the same time, conference attendees will have an opportunity to talk with these entrepreneurs about their product and identify how these products may fit in with their school program. The interaction between the entrepreneurs and conference attendees will provide multiple opportunities. First, attendees will be able to understand what these next generation tools are and how they may fit into their respective online or blended program. Second, the presenters will be able to hear from attendees about how the product may or may not fit with their respective school systems and what may need to be modified to make a product more useable. Third, attendees will also be able to suggest tools that are needed for the field. Together, the interaction between the entrepreneurs and educators will hopefully produce products that are truly useable in schools and ultimately, will provide the needed next generation tools for the education field.

We know that online and blended learning has the ability to personalize learning for all students. The challenge is how to best use the technologies to inform the teacher so instruction can be personalized. The technologies used in blended and online programs include communication tools, content, course management, and assessment. The recent publication, “Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning may help to provide some context about the types of next generation tools needed for blended learning environments. The Demo Days lounge will demonstrate some of these next generation tools to help teachers to better personalize learning will be evident.

Competency education or the ability to measure student progress based on proficiency is a concept being implemented in school districts throughout the U.S. In order for competency education to move forward, the technology tools to track and measure proficiency need to be in place. The publication “Re-Engineering Information Technology, Design Considerations for Competency Education” identifies four elements that need to be in place for student-centered education to occur. These four elements include:

  • IT systems are designed with student profiles and standards-based, personalized learning plans.
  • Rich data on student learning enables robust continuous improvement.
  • Student-centered systems require student-centered accountability systems focused on progress in learning.
  • IT enterprise architecture requires interoperability, accessibility, and interfaces.

How do the Demo Days products meet these requirements?

Check out Demo Days to learn about next generation tools and products, but more importantly, ask questions about how the tools can be used by yourself, your students, and your schools.

Use the symposium online community area or the program book addendum to identify when different products will be shared at Demo Days in the America’s Seminars Lounge or just drop in most any time on Monday or Tuesday! 


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