Notes from the Michigan Virtual University Symposium

Yesterday, I attended the Michigan Virtual University Symposium – Online Solutions to Everyday Challenges.  Free Internet access was not available to attendees (not cool considering the nature of the symposium) so I was unable to blog from the conference and unable to google things on the spot to enhance my notes (under the cut.) I do not interject my thoughts into the notes – simply trying to
provide a synopsis of the speech by keynote speaker Gordon Freedman

I need to clean up my notes from the session entitled Student Panel: Perspectives on Online Learning moderated by Susan Patrick – President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Council for Online  Learning.  (A GREAT role model.) It was a fantastic session. 

The presenters from the other two sessions I attended created web pages for their presentations:

Free Online Collaboration Tools

Gaming in Education

Jamey Fitzpatrick – President & CEO of MIVU

What is happening @ MVU
They are using the knowledge map ( as a guide – Jamey “online courses will become commodity driven – schools, parents will have an increasing amount of choice – from community colleges, school districts, mivu, etc.”  MIVU is trying to differentiate their products
1.    engaging multi media content – truly interactive
2.    relevant/relevance “rigor”
a.    Michigan Opera Theater – Introduction to Opera class
b.    Baseball Hall of Fame – stats course using baseball statistics
c.    eBay – marketing your own business
3.    the world has become smaller – they are trying to internationalize the curriculum

3.5 million college students took an online course last year – 20% of college students – a “staggering” number

Rossi Ray-Taylor (worked in Lansing public schools) introducing the Keynote.
Taking the “e” out of eLearning

Dropout prevention – could be addressed by online learning
Homebound students – could be addressed by online learning

“Online solutions for everyday challenges”

Classrooms do not look different from when she was in school – still learning through textbook, worksheets, etc.  One of the biggest differences is the difference that course management systems have given to classrooms.  Instant feedback – collaboration – gathering resources – putting it all together in a virtual folder.  A “system” can help invigorate students. 

Opening Keynote
Gordon Freedman
MSU Grad – helped establish MSU Global.  From Charlevoix, MI.  currently part of Blackboard’s global white paper initiative. 

Joined Bb from a consulting company. Also worked for Prometheus (purchased by Bb)

Went through a timeline – Star Trek > Shatner on Priceline.  All Star Trek technology came true. 

Has education changed in forty years?

He felt trapped in school.  His kids don’t have an opportunity to explore things (like klezmer) music inside of school. 

“We don’t teach students, we teach classes”

Contemplate – what does it take to move from “one place to another”

He is trying to generalize (his own words)

Three frameworks: collisions of cultures

•    Structure – rigid rules, same for all
•    Functions – standards based outcomes
•    Network – mix of in-class/online and projects

MI is the only state with online requirement – state is loosening up seat time. 

The “education system” is not a system, it is a structure. 

Bb 3,400 + clients in 70+countries (higher ed, k12, professional ed)

Research – north American higher education, US K-12, Global K-20.  Asked higher ed “what are their big worries”

They put out 3 different reports

Higher Ed Issues
Student Engagement (students don’t necessarily stay in school)
Institutitional accountability (how to higher ed prove they’re doing a better job)
Revenue generation

Students are not prepared by k-12

K-12 Issues
(mentioned Patrick Dickson’s research on click patterns – he is doing more research w/MIVU) “Evidence-based research”

“Algebra creates the most drop-outs”

K-20 Dual Enrollment
Middle college, community college, the “grey area” between high school and college. The Gates foundation has done a lot of work in this. 

Findings: B, C students are capable students – if they take a college course they become an A student. 

What can we learn from:
Michigan: release from seat time, online graduation experience requirement, Michigan virtual, online algebra study.  “Flexible teaching & Learning?”

Florida Virtual – a “powerhouse” in online learning – but just the same as the classroom – not “better than the classroom”

Taking the e out of eLearning – is “doing what works best”

He doesn’t see MSU creating an online algebra help center to help every student and teacher – “I don’t see why they can’t”

Cross organizational relationships, standardized state wide tech, full student life cycle, benchmark overseas.

They went into old databases and are trying to get people who are only a few credits away from completing a college degree to complete online. 

Bb was chosen to be KY’s CMS. 

KY is tracking students statewide electronically (giving them a student ID number) for their full student life cycle.  Bb is working on supporting “Portfolios for life”

250K online courses (on Bb), education payroll tax, online classes going where no school would, necessary for economic and political survival, presidential support

“Columbia was more like Europe” The “US needs to think about Latin America”

Panama’s second language is Mandarin.
They do not have enough qualified teachers – they are taking urban teachers and making them master teachers online.  They are looking to the US for partnerships.

MSP has a large Mexican population from a specific place – there is an online “bridge” between MSP and Mexico.

Tied w/Finland for best prepared students, eLearning week, English+Native language, teaching & learning for future.

Education there is “drill and kill”

They have a ministry of technology – they can’t get innovation out of their students. 

They have a week where everyone stays home and goes online in preparation for a pandemic. 

Their teacher’s college has a school for the future – (Microsoft, cisco) –

What is occurring globally?
•    Knowledge economy
•    Human capital (he said originated at Univ of Chicago?)
•    Education innovation

Australia & Canada are on the forefront. 

Human Capital – peza study? Brian Kelley – Human Capital: How What you Know shapes your life.

Human capital as the policy driver

Bb putting $$ towards K-20. (all virtual schools in the country)

#1 – Why aren’t colleges setting up an online counseling course?

#2 – Establish a state online algebra center run by higher ed – online courses, teacher professional development, data evaluation

#3 – New teacher mentor and support network
teachers belong to communities online, teachers work w/mentors, operate case bank or knowledge repository (mentioned myspace facebook)

Taking the “e” out of “eLearning”
replacing the “e” with an “i” for integration
integrated or i-learning
    doing what works for learning
    giving up one and only one system

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