Each week we meet via Twitter for #IOLchat to discuss current issues related to online learning. Participants include students, instructors, eLearning companies, schools, publishers, and instructional designers.
Summer can be a great time to get a special project completed. Whether it was reading a good book or planning a Fall term initiative, this week we asked participants to share their latest accomplishments with the group. Here’s a look at some of the activities our participants have been involved in recently:
Engaging in Professional Development
Informal learning opportunities are everywhere, especially online. If you haven’t checked out the TED resources, now is a great time to do so. Their TEDTalks series is on a break, but will be back next week with new offerings. Here are a few tips for getting started with TED and other online resource collections:
- Try adding just one new item to your schedule each day. This approach was recommended by eLearning enthusiast Raheel Ramzanali. It can be overwhelming to face a long list of options, and it’s easy to get lost and waste time. Develop an approach that is manageable with your schedule.
- Find out what others are recommending. Look for user/viewer ratings, comments, and curated lists. (Here’s our recent meta-list of TEDTalks for Online Instructors.)
- Search for free options with different formats available to meet both your budget and preferences.
- And don’t forget about the learning opportunities available through Massive Open Online Courses. Chat participants ask: “Has it been the summer of the MOOC?”
Developing Online Learning Opportunities
Formal learning options are also increasingly available online. The chat participants, as online instructors and course designers, are often involved in the development of new programs and it was noted that “summer is a great time for development!” Here are a few of the new programs announced by Old Dominion University Distance Learning:
- Undergraduate Minor in Public Service
- PhD in Community College Leadership
The doctoral program features online coursework with an on-ground practicum, which takes place in each student’s local area. This “works very well for graduate students especially, who are probably already working.”
Participating in Online Communities
Advice to become active in online learning communities is not only a regular part of the Inside Online Learning blog, but also a central message of Connected Educator Month. Two members of the OnlineCollege.org team have been recently involved in a writing project, and are preparing for fall conferences. Here’s more information about the groups they are participating in and their latest activities:
- Classroom 2.0 is “the social network for those interested in Web 2.0, social media, and participative technologies in the classroom.” Blogger Melissa Venable and Social Media Manager Laura Milligan collaborated to add a chapter on Twitter chats to the Classroom 2.0 Book Project.
- The 18th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning takes place in October and you’ll find Melissa there presenting topics related to Twitter and social media in online learning.
- The Sloan Consortium also has an active online community. The next event in their research series, scheduled for September 6th, focuses on scaling online learning. “The availability of the Internet is completely transforming higher education. Large scale usage is already here and the possibilities opened up by online learning are wide-ranging and immediate.” Registering for this free event also allows you to access related resources and discussion forms.
If you missed the chat, it’s not too late to promote your work! Use the comments area on this page to tell us about your accomplishments and we’ll add them to the list.
This week’s chat feed:
Image credit: burstingwithcolors, Flickr, CC-BY