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eLearn Magazine: A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning


New Issue of JALN released, featuring 2011 Best in Track Award Winners.


Creating an Institutional Culture that Embraces Accessibility and Supports Online Student Success  - By Kristen Betts, Director of Online and Blended Learning, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kristen Betts will be presenting “From Compliance to Culture: Building an Effective Infrastructure to Support Accessibility and Online Student Success” on October 11, 2012.


Online and On the Move - By Emily Boles, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Illinois, Springfield. Ray Schroeder will be presenting "Online and On the Move: Mobile Online Learning" on October 10, 2012.

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Today's Campus Highlights Sloan-C Annual Conference in Nov-Dec Issue

Missed the event? Purchase the full set of recordings now – 65+ sessions for just $119!

Download the Proceedings

View the pictures of the conference

Watch the keynote and plenary recordings:

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education
Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

Plenary Panel: Evolution or Revolution? What's Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Jeff Young (The Chronicle of Higher Education, US) - Panel Moderator
Jose Cruz (The Education Trust, US)
Alan Drimmer (University of Phoenix, US)
Jack Wilson (University of Massachusetts, US)

Plenary Address: Citizen Science - Authentic Participation in Research
Arfon Smith (Citizen Science-Adler Planetarium, US)

Press Release: October 9, 2012
Sonic Foundry Partners with the Sloan Consortium to Webcast International Conference on Online Learning

Best in Track Awards Winners Announced. Read the Press Release.

Call for Presentations for the 2013 conference will open in February 2013.

Check out last year's conference.


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Save the Dates

12th Annual Blended Learning Conference and Workshop
July 7-8, 2015 |
Denver, CO | Sheraton Denver Downtown

21st Annual OLC International Conference
October 14-16, 2015 |
Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

The Math Place Online: A Model for Synchronous Teaching Spaces to Foster Math Learning for K-8 Teachers and Parents

Barbara Dubitsky (Bank Street College of Education, US)
Steven Goss (Bank Street College of Education, US)
Session Information
October 12, 2012 - 10:40am
K-12 Online Education
Areas of Special Interest: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Extended Information Session
Asia 5
Session Duration: 
80 Minutes
Virtual Session
Best in Track

A model for an expert-managed online community in mathematics for K-8 teachers and parents: The Math Place at Bank Street.

Extended Abstract

Through decades of work as educators, we have observed teachers and parents struggling to teach children math because they don't have a robust understanding of mathematics themselves. They perceive math as a series of procedures, as disconnected bits of information, as steps to be relayed directly from textbooks, and as memorized techniques for getting answers. To improve student achievement in math, it is imperative that teachers and parents are provided with opportunities to deepen their own understanding of mathematics.

We are convinced that professional and personal growth in mathematical understanding can be supported by interactive and engaging online spaces for math education. In implementing best practices for teaching math, digital resources, and synchronous technologies, we hope to discover innovative methods for deepening math knowledge that is effective, ongoing and at a distance. This presentation will,

* demonstrate what kinds of digital materials best support online math learning for a wide range of learners
* provide methods for effectively managing an environment where participants can learn from one another and develop at their own pace
* Recommend what technologies and connectivity is needed for online learning to be at its highest capacity

Since 1916, Bank Street College has been dedicated to the education of children and the preparation of teachers and teacher-leaders. Since our inception, we have had a prevailing commitment to creating open and innovative communities where educators are inspired to learn about child-centered pedagogical approaches and apply this knowledge to their teaching. This presentation is a collaborative effort between the Mathematics Leadership Programs and Bank Street Online. The Mathematics Leadership Programs have been devoted to the education of teachers, math specialists, math coaches and school building leaders for almost 25 years. Bank Street Online supports the Bank Street community in the design, development and implementation of innovative teaching strategies for educating students at a distance.

The Math Place Project
The Math Place is an online community for the support of mathematical learning for teachers and parents who regularly help children learn mathematics. Consistent with Common Core Curriculum State Standards practices, we use collaborative tools (real and virtual) in a synchronous setting to support learning. These synchronous tools and digital interactive resources provide online opportunities for understanding mathematics and teaching practices. Through the implementation of this expert-managed environment for math learning, we have developed a framework for ongoing, online professional and personal growth in mathematics.

In 2001, Bank Street College founded The Math Place as a face-to-face center to provide learners opportunities to explore and understand mathematics, often for the first time. Participants included educators concerned with their capacity to teach math and parents asking how they could support their own child's math development. The Math Place educators taught the mathematics that underlies school math topics such as fractions, decimals, percents, multiplication and division, algebra and the basics of geometry. Community members learned mathematics and methodologies for teaching math to children.

Building on the success of the on-site program, The Math Place Online is an open and free online learning community for K-8 teachers and parents of elementary and middle school children. Participants work with Bank Street math faculty and fellow Math Place members to explore and reflect on math concepts through the use of digital resources and interactive activities. As the community develops, members are encouraged to discuss the challenges and successes they've had teaching math to young learners. All community engagement is through synchronous technologies to extend opportunities to participants beyond the walls of Bank Street.

Goals and Questions
Profound understanding of math is not just a challenge for young learners, but also for those leading and supporting young learners as they gain that knowledge. There is no doubt that online professional development opportunities exist for the learning of mathematics already, but this project aspires to go beyond standard professional development technologies and experiences. The goal of The Math Place is to bring teachers and parents together as an online community through conferencing and online technologies, providing peer and expert engagement for deeper math learning. The Math Place Online does not give participants access to canned materials or math testing systems, but a living community connected digitally and committed to understanding mathematics.

In presenting The Math Place as an educational space for extended collaboration and communication around math, we will provide a framework to answer the following questions:

* How does one successfully manage synchronous online communities in which teachers and parents can come to understand the mathematics of the elementary and middle school?
* What digital communication technologies are best suited for sustaining a successful learning community online?

We will also put forward best practices for employing communication technologies to teach deep mathematical understanding to diverse and disconnected groups who support young math learners.