Friday, May 15, 2009

Finding E-Learning Jobs

man with a megaphone
Online teaching was the perfect part-time job for me.
E-learning and online teaching replaced coaching and after school clubs as a way to supplement my income. I loved it! I was working with great teachers from around the world and learning new things everyday. I also realized I was opening a door to a new career. Eventually, after 25 years in a traditional classroom, I decided to take early retirement, and pursue my passion for online teaching and learning full time.

Now I make my living online and enjoy a freedom and flexibility that once seemed like an impossible dream. Working online is everything I'd hoped for, and more. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen. I made the change one step at a time. It took me awhile to figure out how to find work.

I've found that the key to an online career is a power triangle of essential elements:
  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • 21st Century Networking
  • E-learning and Teaching Experience

Power Triangle for E-Learning Success

power triangle















Subject Matter Expertise

Your expertise is rooted with your life, academic, and work experiences. If you are a teacher, your expertise is established by the courses you've taught and the degrees you hold. If you are a military, corporate or medical trainer your expertise is established by your subject specialization and the variety of training positions you've held.

An Graduate Certificate in E-Learning and Online Teacher documents a new area of subject matter expertise!


Building Your Network

Roughly 80% of your e-learning work will come from networking face to face and online.

Decision makers want to hire people they know. When they can't find someone they know personally they reach out to an extended network of trusted advisors. Many jobs go unadvertised or are created when a person with the right skills is discovered.

Building your networks will open the door to a new future.

5 Ways to Build Your Professional Network

1. Start where you work right now.
  • Let your professional circle know you are pursuing an e-learning certificate or a degree online.
  • Many participants in UW-Stout's E-Learning and Online Teaching program are offered new e-learning jobs where they are currently working..
2. Find Professional organizations and conferences.
  • Go to conferences and get to know others who share your professional interests.
  • Attend both face to face and online conferences (Webinars).
  • Have business cards printed and hand them out!
3. Become an online student.
  • Successful online students become successful online teachers.
  • Get to know your classmates.
  • Some of your strongest professional bonds will be with colleagues you meet in your online classes.
4. Be active in professional networks.
  • Join an online network dedicated to your specific professional interests.
  • Join job search oriented social networks.
5. Build your professional credibility with a website or e-portfolio*.
  • A professional presence on the Internet is important.
  • Build a classroom website.
  • Write a blog about an area of interest.
  • Create a wiki for collaborative projects
  • Show what you know with an e-portfolio.
*Those enrolled in the E-Learning and Online Teaching Certificate Program will build these components and moreduring their training.

E-Learning and Online Teaching Experience

The University of Wisconsin-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program provides experience as both an online student and an online teacher.

You have a developed a skill set as a classroom teacher or trainer. However, teaching or training experience does not fully prepare you for the unique challenges of e-learning and online teaching.
  • Jumping into online teaching job without training can be a painful and frustrating experience.
  • You need experience as an onlne teacher and specialized training in facilitation techniques to develop the craft of effective online instruction.
As an online student:
  • You will experience the best practices of online learning.
  • You will learn how to develop a community of learners through intense collaboration and discussion.
  • You will build strong professional bonds with your colleagues.
  • You will work with highly trained master teachers who are dedicated to helping you grow and learn.
As an online teacher in training:
  • You create curriculum and assessments using Web 2.0 tools.
  • You facilitate small group discussions.
  • You practice the teaching skills in a supportive environment rich in timely feedback.
  • Each of the five classes is a model of the best practices of teaching and learning online.
The Certificate Practicum: Real World Experience
  • If you've never taught an online class, you'll teach with a mentor teacher in one of our online professional development classes.
  • If you are currently teaching or training online, we craft a program that offers you the course design or teaching skill feedback you most need.
  • Customized internships with K-12 Virtual Schools are also possible.
Build a future as a teacher and learner in the 21st Century! Join us and open the door to a new career!

UW-Stout's five-course E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate focuses on the strategies and techniques of teaching online. The courses model best practices in e-learning with interactive discussions and hands-on experiences creating and using blogs, wikis, podcasts, and Moodle in K-12 education. The courses will benefit educators and trainers interested in designing online and blended courses or using Web-based components to enhance face-to-face instruction.

Courses are offered each semester (three times each year). All courses earn three graduate credits.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Get Organized with the best Online Tools

Time Management Tips in this post:

Getting to the Bottom of Your End of Semester To-Do List
Turn Gmail into a Task Manager
Get Organized with Remember the Milk
Try Toodledoo


Photo Credit

I'm the program advisor for the E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate program at UW-Stout. I want to share this statement of values from the entire Online PD team. ~ Dennis

Note from The UW-Stout Online Professional Development Team:

How often do you get to spend quality time with other teachers discussing strategies, sharing ideas, and getting expert advice?

The Online Professional Development Team at UW-Stout knows that effective online learning is about building community and participating in highly interactive learning experiences. You won't wait weeks for a response to a posting or feedback on an assignment. Our instructors take pride in providing prompt, personal interaction with all participants.

Especially now when money is tight, we appreciate how important it is to make the right professional development choice. That's why everything we do at UW-Stout online has one purpose: to make sure your online class is an interesting, meaningful, and practical experience that energizes your teaching long after the class is over.

If you only invest in one course this year, make sure you get the best class for your time and money! Creating memorable learning experiences is our mission. Join us!

~ The Online Professional Development Team at UW-Stout


Time Management Tools


Get to the Bottom of Your To-Do List by Making it Tiny
Leo Babauta describes five reasons why a tiny to-do list helps you focus and get more accomplished.

Tech Tips

Getting Things Done with Gmail Tasks
Simon Mackie describes the handy new "share a task between lists" feature of

Gmail Tasks
. *Note that Gmail Tasks does not yet include the ability to prioritize tasks or to set up recurring tasks.

How To Turn Gmail into a Task Manager
Writing for Google Tutor, Christine Buske has some clever tips to share on how to create an ultra-organized t
ask-tracking system with Gmail's color-coded "superstars".

How to Get the Most Out of GMail Labs
Ben Parr describes new Gmail features worth trying, including: tasks, inserting images, and enabling offline access.

Get Organized with Remember the Milk
Gina Trapani describes the attractive features (including the ability to send text message reminders to y
our cellphone) that make this task management tool a top choice of many educators. See also: Remember the Milk in Gmail to learn how to use the Firebox extension to integrate Remember the Milk.

Toodledoo
With Toodledo you can prioritize each item in your task list, set up recurring tasks, and create due dates. You can even export your list to XML or plain text and subscribe to its RSS feed.

Toodledoo Comparison Chart
See how Toodledoo's features compare to six other online task management tools, including Remember the Milk.

UW-Stout Online Course Spotlight
EDUC 744 949 Assessment for Learning
3 graduate credits June 15 - August 7, 2009
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/assessment/
Looking for ways to balance the range of accountability expectations required of today's schools? Individual teachers, study teams, and administrators will gain insight into both misconce
ptions and appropriate uses of standardized tests, evaluate grading philosophy options, and investigate classroom assessments that support student growth.

What Our Students Are Saying
"I would like to say BRAVO! This course was nothing I thought it was going to be, but everything I needed it to be! Thank you for the many ideas and perspectives you have contributed to my 'toolbox'. This course has made an incredible impact on my grading philosophy. I am definitely taking those needed steps to focus on assessment FOR learning rather than assessment OF learning." ~ Michele, Math Teacher. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Register Now
Summer 2009 Online Courses
Participate from your home computer; no travel to campus is required.
Register Online

Note from Our Team

How often do you get to spend quality time with other teachers discussing strategies, sharing ideas, and getting expert advice?

The Online Professional Development Team at UW-Stout knows that effective online learning is about building community and participating in highly interactive learning experiences. You won't wait weeks for a response to a posting or feedback on an assignment. Our instructors take pride in providing prompt, personal interaction with all participants.

Especially now when money is tight, we appreciate how important it is to make the right professional development choice. That's why everything we do at UW-Stout online has one purpose: to make sure your online class is an interesting, meaningful, and practical experience that energizes your teaching long after the class is over.

If you only invest in one course this year, make sure you get the best class for your time and money! Creating memorable learning experiences is our mission. Join us!

~ The Online Professional Development Team at UW-Stout

Archives - back issues in case you missed the most recent newsletter.
Request Information Online


Contact: School of Education Online Professional Development
Phone: (715) 642-0209 or 715-232-2253
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751

NOTE: Web version

This is a repost of the Tech Tips Newsletter; Special thanks to Karen Franker, Editor!

Tech Tips Newsletter
May 7, 2009
Editor: Karen Franker

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Last Call: E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate

University of Wisconsin-Stout
School of Education
Online Professional Development
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/

E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate

http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/elearningcertificate.html
The five-course graduate certificate focuses on the strategies and techniques of teaching online. The courses model best practices in e-learning with interactive discussions and hands-on experiences creating and using blogs, wikis, podcasts, and Moodle in K-12 education. The courses will benefit educators and trainers interested in designing online and blended courses or using Web-based components to enhance face-to-face instruction.

Courses are offered three times each year. All courses are three graduate credits. The rec­ommended course sequence is:

Course 1: EDUC 760 E-Learning for Educators
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/elearning.shtml

Course 2: EDUC 762 Assessment in E-Learning
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/assessonlineclass.shtml

Course 3: EDUC 763 Instructional Design for E-Learning
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/instructonline.shtml

Course 4: EDUC 761 Creating Collaborative Communities E-Learning
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/onlineclass.shtml

Course 5: EDUC 764 E-Learning Practicum
http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/elearnpracticum/

Any individual course may be completed as a single course for professional development.

All four courses and the practicum must be completed to receive the Certificate in E-Learning and Online Teaching.

The graduate certificate in e-learning may be used to fulfill the concentration requirement in UW-Stout's online Master of Science in Education degree program. This certificate program includes career mentoring and access to a databank of online teaching opportunities.

For More Information

Visit http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/elearningcertificate.html
If you have any questions, contact Dennis O'Connor, the program adviser, at (530) 318-1145 or email
oconnord@uwstout.edu

Search/Browse List of 40 Additional Spring Online Graduate Courses for K-16 Educators
Check out the list of additional online classes. http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/courses.shtml
No travel to campus required.

Register Online Today
Register today to reserve a spot. Course enrollment is limited to 20 participants per section. http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/register.shtml

Select university billing and no payment is due until the week before the class begins.

E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate

Where will you be a year from now?











The decision to return to graduate school for the UW-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Certificate isn’t made lightly. During hard economic times you can choose to stand pat or grow your teaching arts by seeking new ideas and opportunities. It’s not enough to simply be curious about teaching online.

You have to act now to learn the skills to swim in this 21st Century sea of change. The bottom line is to develop real experience and skills that open the door to new jobs and opportunities.

  • If you want to qualify for the best part time job a teacher can get; join our program.
  • If you want to deeply understand how to integrate the latest web technologies into your classroom, join our program.
  • If you want an edge in an uncertain job market, join our program.
  • If you want flexibility, opportunity, and intellectual challenge join our program.

Despite the economic downturn, there are many jobs available for those with online teaching experience and solid curricular subject matter expertise. Our program will provide you with the skills and real online teaching experience needed to break into this booming field.


The market for experienced online teachers at the K-12 level is red hot. Also more community college and university opportunities are developing everyday. As part of the UW-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program you will receive hands on instruction along with current educational theory about distance learning. Job search advice and a steady stream of fresh job opportunities are being regularly updated on my blog at: http://doconnor.edublogs.org/category/e-learning-jobs/


If you want to work from home, love a challenge, enjoy technology, crave a change of pace and are seeking new horizons now is the time to become an online teacher. Join our program!


Questions? Concerns?


Call or email, I’m always happy to share information.


Summer courses begin in June. Registration is open now.

Join us!


Dennis O'Connor

Program Advisor

E-Learning & Online Teaching

School of Education

Online Professional Development

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Wisconsin's Polytechnic University

530-318-1145 (Cell)

Skype: wiredinstructor2

Oconnord@uwstout.edu

Friday, May 01, 2009

E-Learning Advice: Learn to write online content

After teaching hundreds of teachers to teach online, I've come to the conclusion that many won't learn how to chunk information on a page or write web friendly instructional materials based on simple modeling alone. I've assumed that seeing materials laid out in a web friendly manner, would cause e-learning teachers in training to to create materials using the principles outlined below.

Some catch on. They break text into clear short paragraphs. They use keyword headings, they write for scanning instead of deep reading.


However most don't get this seemingly simple idea. I hope this post helps more grasp the essentials of online writing!

    • 1. Write concisely and clearly.

        Because writing is a major, and sometime the only, channel of communication in an online class, the importance of clear and concise writing of the course materials cannot be over-emphasized. If one student finds a sentence unclear, the instructor will need to spend valuable additional time responding to clarify. Five or ten minutes of additional time for polishing a message or task instructions before distributing or publishing may save hours in clarifying later.


      • Writing for digital media is different from writing for print media. As pointed out in a Web writing guidebook “Hot Text: Web Writing That Works” (Price & Price, 2002), the text on screen is usually harder to read than on paper because of lower resolution and because the text appears and disappears in a moment as there can only be one page on screen at a time. Below is some of the advice from this book that relates most directly to online course material planning and creation.

        • Shorten the text:

        Cut any paper-based text by 50%;

        Make each paragraph short;

        Move vital but tangential or supplemental material to the sidebar;

        However, beware of cutting so far that you make the text ambiguous.

        • Make text scannable:

        Create a meaningful title;

        Insert meaningful headlines and subheads;

        Highlight key works, phrases, and links;

        Turn any series into a bulleted or numbered list.


ps: note to self: figure out how to make blogger fonts consistent! 8-)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Diigo tags: time management, e-learning

No time for Tech Illiterate Teachers...

I read the following Fischbowl post several years ago and it got my blood moving. The author, Karl Fisch lays it on the line. This post was voted the most influential ed-blog post of 2007.

  • It's 2009 already and Karl's 'semi-rant' blog post remains a very relevant piece of work. This is a must read for anyone interested in online teaching and learning!

  • This post is based on an annotated bookmark that was auto forwarded from Diigo where I've been working intensely with their great social bookmarking tools. You can see more of my Diigo work, and get a sense of the potential for this great tool by clicking the Diigo links below.

  • Let me add, that if you're reading this blog... you're at the front of the line and obviously working to understand and live in the 21st Century!)

    • Here is my list:

      1. All educators must achieve a basic level of technological capability.

      2. People who do not meet the criterion of #1 should be embarrassed, not proud, to say so in public.

      3. We should finally drop the myth of digital natives and digital immigrants. Back in July 2006 I said in my blog, in the context of issuing guidance to parents about e-safety:

      "I'm sorry, but I don't go for all this digital natives and immigrants stuff when it comes to this: I don't know anything about the internal combustion engine, but I know it's pretty dangerous to wander about on the road, so I've learnt to handle myself safely when I need to get from one side of the road to the other."
    • 4. Headteachers and Principals who have staff who are technologically-illiterate should be held to account.

      5. School inspectors who are technologically illiterate should be encouraged to find alternative employment.

      6. Schools, Universities and Teacher training courses who turn out students who are technologically illiterate should have their right to a licence and/or funding questioned.

      7. We should stop being so nice. After all, we've got our qualifications and jobs, and we don't have the moral right to sit placidly on the sidelines whilst some educators are potentially jeopardising the chances of our youngsters.
    • If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write.

      Extreme? Maybe. Your thoughts?
    • Keep in mind that was written after a particularly frustrating day. I’ve gone back and forth on this issue myself. At times completely agreeing with Terry (and myself above), and at other times stepping back and saying that there’s so much on teacher’s plates that it’s unrealistic to expect them to take this on as quickly as I’d like them to. But then I think of our students, and the fact that they don't much care how much is on our plates. As I've said before, this is the only four years these students will have at our high school - they can't wait for us to figure it out.
    • In order to teach it, we have to do it. How can we teach this to kids, how can we model it, if we aren’t literate ourselves? You need to experience this, you need to explore right along with your students. You need to experience the tools they’ll be using in the 21st century, developing your own networks in parallel with your students. You need to demonstrate continual learning, lifelong learning – for your students, or you will continue to teach your students how to be successful in an age that no longer exists
    • If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write.

Diigo tags: e-learning, professional-development, technology integration, 21cif, information fluency


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.