Trying to find that "perfect blend" of technology integration/online resources and classes at your school? Want to know what others are doing? This workshop is not about vision or philosophy…it's about strategies, implementation, and experience sharing. We've assembled leaders in the field featuring Mike Ehrhardt, Head of School, along with faculty leaders and students at Cary Academy, major speakers affiliated with our online partner, Virtual High School, and the key members of the VISnet Advisory Board to share their experiences, lessons learned, and those "Ah Ha" moments along their journey to find "The Perfect Blend" at their school. Please note the very affordable group price for VISnet member schools.
The Perfect Blend is a collaborative project with
Thanks to for sponsoring lunch for the event!
$95 per person
VISnet Member Pricing $69/person for 3+ participants
8:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:45 am Welcome & Opening SpeakerTeaching and Learning in the Digital AgeDr. Glenn Kleiman, Executive DirectorFriday Institute for Educational Innovation, NC State University
10:00 am Session I (Participants will select the session of their choice)
Implementing a School-Wide Learning Management System, Dana Smith, Greensboro Day School
Learning Management Systems (LMS) provide teachers and students a way to streamline information flow and communication. As schools increase their use of blended and online classes, LMSs become an integral part of the learning process and organization of learning resources. In this presentation, we will explore not only how Greensboro Day School is implementing a campus-wide LMS, but also the lessons learned along the way. Some of the topics that will be covered include selecting an LMS, teacher professional development and integration of your LMS with other software.
The Mechanics of Starting an Online/Blended Learning Program, Michael Ehrhardt, Cary Academy
You think your school is ready to embrace some form of online learning options for students? Instead of building something from scratch, consider a collaborative. Hear tips from a head of school on how to approach evaluating and implementing an online program at your school. Areas covered will include: what to look for in a program, assessing why an online program is a good fit for your mission, making the case with the board, getting faculty involved, setting expectations with parents, and how the program looks and feels for students once it is up and running.
Teaching in the Digital Age - Training and Evaluating Blended and Online Instructors, Kim Spangenberg, Virtual High School
This presentation will examine qualities of effective online instructors. It will examine key elements of training from a pedagogical perspective as well as from the technological viewpoint. It will discuss the importance of establishing online presence, the need for communication skills, and talk about strategies for meeting the needs of all learners by providing quality feedback in an online environment We will discuss key elements of an effective training program and look at a time tested effective training program, the importance of a strong faculty support protocol and teacher selection, training and advising.
11:00 am Session II (Participants will select the session of their choice)
Blended Instruction, Tools, and Products in the Lower School: How do we make it all work to improve student outcomes? Kathleen Christopher and Rhonda Zayas-Palmer, Ravenscroft School
Finding and implementing a variety of instructional technology resources in K-5 classes can be an overwhelming task. So many technology tools exist, it is difficult to know where to begin unless your student outcomes and students outputs are clearly defined. What library databases are available for young students? Where do you find resources and information to begin blending instruction for our youngest students? Once you have made your decision about what resources to use, you face a host of other questions: free or purchase, individual or group accounts, what grade levels can use the resources? Finally, full implementation is not successful until your faculty and students are using tools to accomplish objectives. We will share answers to these and other questions in our session.
Evaluating a Blended Learning Program Against Your Mission, Martina Greene and Joselyn Todd, Cary Academy
Learn all about it! How has Cary Academy approached the development of high quality blended learning courses within their newly launched US Blended Learning Initiative? In this session, the goals, course development parameters, and cycle of development will be presented. A team approach will be described as integral to the Initiative. We look forward to sharing our journey thus far and hearing of your thoughts.
Redesigning Your Curriculum with “Online” in Mind, John Englander, Virtual High School
This presentation will discuss online course and instructional standard; best practice course development process and tools; and strategies and lessons to engage students. We will outline ways to take advantage of readily available resources including OERs and “recalibrating” your role as teacher by creating an online classroom.
12:00 pm Lunch and Student Panel
1:00 pm Session III (Participants will select the session of their choice)
Will Your School Blend? - Assessing Your School’s Level of Readiness to Start an Online/Blended Learning Initiative, Karl Schaefer, Durham Academy
There are many opportunities available to add value to your school’s brick and mortar learning environment. This session will focus on helping to decide if your school is ready to “blend” these resources into your current learning community. We will look at a variety of topics from; types of blending, staff readiness, infrastructure needs, how to find curated resources, and suggestions for getting started adding blended learning opportunites to your school.
Empowering Online Learning, Jim Dachos, VHS, and Barbra Thoeming, D2L
Learn how The Virtual High School and Desire2Learn are partnering through D2L’s robust learning management system and VHS’s rigorous and absorbing curriculum to engage students and produce measureable results. This session will explore ways that VHS is utilizing D2L and OER collaboration tools, integrated multi-media, engaging projects, discussions and activities, and proven pedagogy to deliver a wide array of online courses to students in 47 states/territories and 34 countries.
Increase Opportunities with Blended and Online Learning, Panel Presentation
2:00 pm Session IV (Participants will select the session of their choice)
UnConference (Facilitated by VISnet Staff and Advisory Board)
At an UnConference, participants determine the topics and facilitators. Anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. These will be open discussions facilitated by a volunteer session member who has knowledge or expertise or just wants to have a generative discussion on a particular topic. The group will decide on 3-5 topics in the first few minutes of the session and then break into groups.
3:00 pm Panel: “Lessons Learned: Teachers and Students Perspectives”
Get the inside scoop! In this session, teachers and students within a Blended Learning Initiative will share their thoughts about the unique experience of being pioneers in this new teaching and learning format. After sharing their thoughts, session attendees will have an opportunity to explore questions and ideas with the panelists.
3:45 pm Wrap-up and Debrief