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Distance Learning Forum Series

Posted on 09/04/2009

Distance Learning
   Randy Bayne/OTAN photo

Like all of adult education in California, Distance Learning is facing challenges and opportunities in the current budget climate. OTAN has teamed with CALPRO to offer a series of webinars on Distance Learning topics. The first is an open forum for practitioners to get together online and share what’s happening with Distance Learning programs, to share your own creative thinking, and to hear how others are meeting the challenges.

The first three sessions are listed here, and more will be announced as the year goes on.

Distance Learning Forum 1: Open Forum – Where Are We Now?

September 15, 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Like all of adult education in California, Distance Learning is facing budget cuts and challenges along with new opportunities. This forum is a chance to connect with your colleagues around the state and hear what’s happening and how others are meeting the challenges and taking advantage of some of the changes. Los Angeles USD, Oakland Adult School, Elk Grove Adult and Community Education and others will share their experiences and ideas. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide information, and explore possibilities.

Distance Learning Forum 2: What Tech Skills Do Learners Need to be Successful Studying Online?

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Senior Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research

October 9, 1:30 – 2:30

Thinking about teaching online? Wondering what skills your students would need to be successful? There is a growing body of research and professional wisdom regarding the skills that adult learners need to be successful independent online learners, and the answers might surprise you. NIFL recently published a study on this topic authored by Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, and she will present a webinar on her findings for California adult educators. If you would like some background information you can read the NIFL report, or a shorter article about lessons learned by schools implementing technology.

Distance Learning Forum 3: Building the Skills Adults Need to Succeed as Online Learners

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Senior Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research
John Fleischman, Assistance Superintendent, Sacramento County Office of Education
Matthias Sturm, Distance Learning Coordinator, AlphaPlus Centre, Ontario, Canada
Heather Robinet and Courtney McGee, The Learning Hub, Ontario, Canada

October 23, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

This session follows up on the previous Distance Learning Webinar, on the skills adults need to be successful online learners. The next question is, How do we help learners build those skills?  Heidi Silver-Pacuilla will be back to discuss materials available online and how to guide adults to use them for learning. John Fleischman will provide information about the ESL Web site USA Learns, including numbers of learners using the site and instructional design factors that contribute to site "loyalty." Matthias Sturm from AlphaPlus Centre in Canada, which has offered online instruction to adult learners on AlphaRoute for a number of years, will talk about their experiences. Heather Robinet and Courtney McGee from The Learning Hub in Canada will relate their experiences as well in orienting and supporting online learners.