The OESIS Factor

After spending 2 full days with other independent school educators from all over the US with varying expertise in online education, I couldn’t help but observe the following:

Online learning presents itself in many different forms:

  • Individual vs. cohort programs
  • Synchronous vs. asynchronous
  • Competency-based learning vs. fixed time, variable learning
  • Discussion forums vs chats
  • 1:1 vs small groups vs lectures

With all of these options, many are asking:

  • Is blended better than fully online?
  • What’s the best LMS?
  • What’s the best collaboration tool?

And the answer… “IT DEPENDS!”

It depends on:

  • Size of schools
  • Students’ needs
  • Teachers’ needs
  • Teachers’ goals and objectives
  • … and money.

I did learn a ton of new ideas from the sessions I attended. The take home message couldn’t have been stated more simply by Michael Horn during his keynote:

Personalized learning and DIY education will disrupt the future of tradition school

And as educators, how will be leverage the technology available to use to foster learning in our students?

An Oasis in OESIS

I’m attending the Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools for a couple of days. What a day it has been with many inspirational speakers about the future of independent schools and e-learning in general. Just from today, I learned about, EdSurge.

I’ve had great discussions about computer/online assessments and the Bill of Right for the Digital Age. Other sessions touched on whether MOOCs could replace AP courses, what are the challenges and benefits for blended learning, and how some schools have embraced online learning through collaborations with various online consortiums and Center for Talented Youth. Really fascinating topics.

In all, Mark Milliron puts it best, “Education is the pathway to possibilities.” – that’s why we as educators continue to refine our trade and sharpen our tools.