Supporting School Leaders in Blended Learning with Blended Learning
Posted on Dec 22, 2016 by Lauren Acree; Theresa Gibson; Nancy Mangum; Mary Ann Wolf; Shaun Kellogg; Suzanne Branon

As part of our work in building the capacity of school leaders, the Friday Institute - with initial funding from The Learning Accelerator - developed a blended professional learning program, Leadership in Blended Learning (LBL). The LBL program is designed to support school leaders who are working to transition teaching and learning in their schools to incorporate blended and digital learning. This paper describes the results of the program evaluation, including the reported effectiveness of the program in building the capacity of the leaders to plan for and implement blended and digital learning in their schools as well as the impact that was reported at the school level.

Acree, L., Gibson, T., Mangum, N., Wolf, M. A., Kellogg, S., & Branon, S. (in press). "Supporting School Leaders in Blended Learning with Blended Learning." Journal of Online Learning.

This article is slated for publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Online Learning Research.

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Participant Perspectives: Constance Seibert
Posted on Sep 23, 2016 by Blythe Tyrone

Constance Seibert, a media specialist and National Board Certified Teacher, was kind enough to give us ten minutes of her valuable time to talk about her experiences - yes, plural - with the Learning Differences course. Not only did Constance take the course, but she enjoyed it so much that she returned to it as a facilitator to guide a professional learning network.

Watch the video to see why the guiding principle of self-direction was especially important to Constance, and how a little “green cone of awesome” from the dollar store made a big difference in Constance’s classroom!

About the course: In order to help you change the way your students learn, the Learning Differences course will expand your knowledge related to learning differences, provide actionable strategies to impact the learning experience of your students, and cultivate a growth mindset related to learning differences. All MOOC-Eds are guided by the principles that effective professional development is peer-supported, self-directed, job-embedded, and exposes you to multiple perspectives.

We are able to provide the Learning Differences course at no charge thanks to support from the Oak Foundation.

Click here to learn more about the course.

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What's the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed?
Posted on Aug 11, 2016 by Sherry Booth Freeman; Suzanne Branon

Written by researchers on the Friday Institute’s evaluation team, What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed? analyzes how participants found value in the course using a "value creation framework" developed by Etienne Wenger, Beverly Trayner, and Maarten De Laat (2011). They suggest that, in order to appreciate the richness of the value created by learning communities or networks such as MOOC-Eds, it is helpful to think about value creation in terms of cycles. The authors, Dr. Sherry Booth and Suzanne Branon, found that much of the feedback they received from Learning Differences participants aligned with the framework’s five cycles: 1) Immediate value; 2) Potential value; 3) Applied value; 4) Realized value; 5) Reframing value.

     Citation: Freeman, S. B. & Branon, S. (2016). What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed? Raleigh,NC. Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University College of Education.

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Register Now for Fall 2016 MOOC-Eds!
Posted on Aug 29, 1982 by Alex Dreier

On Monday, September 26th, the Friday Institute was proud to launch another round of our MOOCs for Educators (MOOC-Eds) to participants from across the United States and around the globe. This semester we are offering our Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations and Learning Differences courses for a fifth time, as well as debuting our exciting new Teaching Mathematics with Technology course. With an audience from across the educational spectrum, these three free courses  allow you to define your own course goals, work collaboratively with your peers to achieve these goals, and take what you learn from the courses and apply these insights directly into your practice.

Our Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations course helps you learn to teach statistics through the use of an investigation cycle and help your students explore data to make evidence-based claims. The course is designed for anyone interested in strengthening his or her approach to teaching statistics through data investigations. And while the statistical content and strategies are designed to be used with middle school through early college learners, we’ve found that our audience has extended to elementary teachers, teacher educators, and teachers of other disciplines that use data-based explorations extensively to make claims and inferences (e.g., teachers of science and social sciences).

Here’s what a previous participant had to say about the impact of the statistical investigation cycle and habits of mind:

“Introduction to the statistical cycle and the reinforcement that statistics isn't about drilling procedure but about knowing how to go through that cycle effectively and gain good habits of mind is really something I'm going to take away from this MOOC.” - Participant, Spring 2016

Join us for Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations today.

Since its debut in October of 2014, our Learning Differences course has met the needs of thousands of educators from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries from around the world. The course aims to help you deepen your understanding of student learning differences, use this understanding to impact the learning experiences of your students, and cultivate a growth mindset in the process. The term “learning differences” is not a euphemism for “learning disabilities,” but rather a distinct concept that refers the variability in the learning needs and preferences of all students. The course is designed for all educators and school leaders from all types of K-12 schools, including public, charter and private.

Here’s what a previous participant had to say about how the course reinvigorated a passion for teaching:

“This course was very much like a reminder of why I became a teacher.  You lose track of these things along the way as your focus narrows on the job.  Now I feel like I have been given more tools and reinvigorated the do what I set out to do in the first place. Teach for the students!” - Participant, Fall 2015

Join us for Learning Differences today.

Building on the success of our Fraction Foundations and Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations courses, the Math-Ed team at the Friday Institute is proud to release its Teaching Mathematics with Technology course. While technology has become an essential component of our workplaces and society, it can also serve as a valuable tool to support student engagement in and learning of mathematics. This new course allows you to learn, along with peers from around the world, key instructional practices that leverage technology in the math classroom. You will learn to describe the affordances of technology in mathematics, critically evaluate the effectiveness of different materials in conveying mathematical concepts, analyze student learning and thinking when using technology, assess and develop student thinking with mathematical tasks, and foster the development of productive student discourse when using technology-enhanced tasks. We hope that you’ll join us for this exciting new addition to our catalog.

Join us for Teaching Mathematics with Technology today.

You should also note that all participants who complete MOOC-Eds are eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion of professional development from NC State University. Our North Carolina participants are also eligible to receive a Certificate of Renewal Credit for meeting the course requirements. Additionally, educators from around the world have applied their MOOC-Ed experience towards professional renewal credits in a variety of content areas, subject to the approval of their local credit granting agency.

Finally, two of our Fall 2016 MOOC-Eds (Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations and Learning Differences) allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the course content and earn credit through micro-credentials (or badges). Please visit our micro-credential page to learn more about these competency-based professional learning opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you in our courses!

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