I have returned from yet another iNACOL Virtual School Symposium and find that I can’t begin to say enough about the quality of the conference – including the outstanding presentations, sessions, food, and definitely the extensive level of networking with colleagues from around the globe. I don’t know if it’s just a result of our common experience and passion for K-12 online learning or the exceptional conference management, but the level of energy I experienced is not something I see often at conferences.
Dr. Lisa Dawley and I presented on the progress we have made on phase III of our Going Virtual! research series examining professional development of K-12 online teachers – to a very lively and packed audience. Thanks to everybody who participated in our discussion on the complexities of evaluating the effectiveness of professional development – particularly when attempting to make linkages between training and improved learner outcomes. Through a series of pilot program evaluations we are attempting to define common data sets that might be useful when looking at effectiveness from a national perspective (given the limitless number of program and school models in existence). Thanks also to those program representatives who volunteered to participate when we decide to go national with this phase. You can view our presentation and phase I & II reports on the conference wiki site: http://vss2009.wikispaces.com/rice. To the best of my knowledge all session were recorded, but it doesn’t look like they have been made available yet.