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World Education Education Technology Center launches new (continued) -- IDEAL Consortium

Technology and Learning Colleagues,

Many of you will have heard of, or were part of, Project IDEAL (Improving Distance Education for Adult Learners) sponsored by the University of Michigan and led by Dr. Jere Johnston. Last year Jere Johnston retired, but the IDEAL consortium, as it is now known, and that includes both adult distance education and blended learning, lives on at World Education's Ed Tech Center and in its currently ten member states. This week it convened a two-day national members and partners (I am a partner) Summer Institute in Boston at World Education headquarters. At this meeting the updated, now online Handbook of Distance Education and Blended Learning was released. If you are interested in or are implementing distance education or blended learning programs for adults, I think you may find this free resource useful.

From the 8.25.2016 World Education/US Newsletter
Annual IDEAL Summer Institute
Earlier this week, the IDEAL Consortium, a project of the EdTech Center at World Education, welcomed thirty participants from ten member states to the annual IDEAL Summer Institute. The Institute serves as the kick-off of the Community of Practice which will sustain the conversations and connections started by the member states at the Institute over the coming year.

Highlights at the Institute included:

  • the unveiling of our newly updated Handbook of Distance Education and Blended Learning,
  • preview of the new and revised online courses - all on a mobile-accessible learning management system, and
  • updates and sharing from our member states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia.

In addition, special presentations included:

  • IDEAL Director Jen Vanek on a problem-solving framework for distance education,
  • Tom Cytron-Hysom with updates on the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment project,
  • Destiny Simpson on proxy hour use for teacher-created materials,
  • OER use and evaluation by Penny Pearson of OTAN,
  • Robert Murphy of SRI on the latest research on blended learning, and
  • Heidi Silver-Pacuilla and Alan Tucker with updates from OCTAE.

Steve Quann, the director of the EdTech Center at World Education that houses the IDEAL Consortium commented that:

“Attendees from across the country gathered to share promising practices for improving distance education and blended learning. I think it was an incredibly valuable experience for everyone involved.”

A special thank you to our sponsors for supporting this event: McGraw Hill Education, Aztec Software, Essential Education, and the Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment project.

Is your state interested in joining the Consortium? Memberships are available at different levels, starting at Community of Practice level. Don't be left out - join the conversation today! Contact to learn more about our member services and to find out how the IDEAL Consortium can support distance education and blended learning in your state.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Technology and Learning CoP