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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
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Working Together with Purpose in On-line Learning Environments

Toni Rader (Washoe County School District, USA)
Additional Authors
Shawn Pennell (University of Nevada, Reno, USA)
David Crowther (University of Nevada, Reno, USA)
Jacque Ewing-Taylor (University of Nevada, Reno, USA)
Rod Case (UNR, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 1:00pm
Blended Models & Course Design
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Governor's Square 16
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 1

Online learning offers opportunities to construct knowledge better with an intentional framework for collaboration among participants. We will model use of online collaboration tools.

Extended Abstract

Washoe County School District and the University of Nevada, Reno have partnered to offer unique on-line learning experiences for paraeducators and pre-service / in-service teachers. Using technology, the course creators have designed professional learning activities that incorporate 21st century learning competencies. On-line learning offers an opportunity for instructors to promote a variety of 21st century skills including knowledge construction, collaboration, problem solving and innovation, and skilled communication. Yet, if instructors do not purposefully design learning activities with an eye to promoting 21st century skills, the on-line learning experience can look very much like the traditional classroom where learners complete much of the work independently without opportunities for higher levels of cognition. When on-line learners work independently, an important learning opportunity is missed. A more collaborative approach to on-line learning builds shared responsibility for products; allows participants to make substantial decisions together; and encourages interdependent work in pairs or groups.

In this hands-on session, the instructor will guide participants through a variety of activities designed to help them develop a deeper understanding of collaboration (working together with purpose). Participants will explore on-line tools such as Padlet, TodaysMeet, and Google. They will increase their knowledge of strategies that can be used to frame discussions, facilitate collaborative work on projects and presentations, and increase opportunities for peer feedback.

***Please bring a mobile device such as a laptop or tablet to this session***

Lead Presenter

Toni Rader earned a degree in elementary education from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon in 1990. She taught elementary school for sixteen years. In 2005, she completed a master’s degree in Educational Administration. She served as assessment data interpretation specialist and professional developer for the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada until November 2010 when she accepted a position as the Professional Learning Coordinator for the Education Support Professionals Division of Washoe County School District. Her division employs a group of trainers who offer a variety of on-line and hybrid courses for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, secretaries and clerical aides, custodial and maintenance personnel, transportation personnel, health services staff, technology services staff, and nutrition services staff.