Category Archives: News Updates

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference Begins March 9

9th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education
March 9-12, 2016
2016 Theme : Horizons
http://vwbpe.org/

VSTE’s own Virtual Environments PLN has been selected to hold a featured panel for the 9th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference. The VWBPE Conference, March 9-12, is 100% virtual with venues, in both Second Life and Avacon Grid.

VSTE’s VE PLN has been very active in virtual world communities, particularly in Second Life, since 2008, and more recently, Minecraft. On Saturday, March 12, 2016, 3:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. Pacific time (SLT) Karen Richardson, Keith Reeves, Kim Harrison, Vasili Giannoutsos, Dr. William F. Schmachtenberg, Lisa Alconcel, and Beth O’Connell will share VSTE’s Virtual Environments Horizons with the world.

The VWBPE Conference is a completely virtual conference that is conducted using simulated environments. Participants experience the conference through a virtual reality type setting including conference rooms, theatres, exposition halls, meeting spaces, and other types of venues similar to a brick and mortar type conference.
The conference is free to attend. The cost of the conference is covered by sponsorship and donations. For more information on this conference see http://vwbpe.org/.

Keynote speakers include Bronwyn Stuckey, postdoctoral research fellow of the Arizona State University Center for Games & Impact; Karl Kapp, full-professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA; and MOOC Inventor Stephen Downes.

VWBPE has a full schedule of sessions and social events running nearly around the clock from Wednesday midday through Saturday night. Times listed are SLT, Second Life Time, which is the same as Pacific Time. There will be participants from around the globe.

 

Advocating for Public Schools: VSTE Statement Opposing HB 8

The Board of Directors for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) has reviewed House Bill 8, which calls for the creation of the Virginia Virtual School (VVS). We have serious questions and concerns about provisions in the bill and their potential impact on public education and public school divisions in the Commonwealth.

You can read the full statement here and then we urge you to take action by contacting your legislator about the potentially negative aspects of this bill.

Not sure who represents you at the state level? Find out at the Who's My Legislator website.

Board Nominations Open February 1, 2016

Nominations for the Board of Directors of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education will be open from Monday, February 1, 2016, through Friday, March 4, 2016.

You are invited to nominate yourself or a colleague to be considered for election to the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) Board of Directors, for the 2015-2018 Board term (three years).  This is an opportunity to become involved in the key decision-making group for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education.

Learn more about becoming part of the VSTE leadership here.

Digital Learning Day 2016

Archived Recordings

VSTE will be partnering with the Virginia Department of Education to provide a full day of virtual events for Digital Learning Day 2016, February 17, 2016. Scroll down for the complete schedule along with links where you can view the Google Hangouts.

The VDOE will host two live webinars to provide updates on current and proposed technology-related initiatives. Join Mark Saunders, Director, Office of Technology & Virtual Learning and Bobby Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer at 10 AM and 1 PM.

VSTE will host an evening webinar beginning at 8 PM that will highlight the VSTE 2015 award winners talking about educational technology past, present and future: Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Doug Saunders, Henrico County; Outstanding Leader of the Year, Dr. Helen Crompton, Old Dominion University; Innovative Educator of the Year, Kim Harrison, Virginia Beach Public Schools; and Making It Happen Award Winners, Janet Copenhaver, Henry County Public Schools and Mano Talaiver, recently retired from Longwood University.

#stuvoice

Throughout the day, VSTE will be featuring students across the Commonwealth talking about how they learn, how they use technology to learn and showing some of the innovative projects they are working on in their classrooms.

Digital Learning Day Schedule:

8:45 - 9: 45 AM
Students from Virginia Beach City, Frederick County, and Henrico County
Link for Viewing

10 AM Virginia Department of Education Update
Mark Saunders, Director, Office of Technology & Virtual Learning
Link for Viewing

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Students from Hanover County, Frederick County, Henrico County, Falls Church City, and Bath County
Link for Viewing

1:00 Virginia Department of Education Update
Join Bobby Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer
Link for Viewing

8:00 PM Ed Tech Past, Present, Future
Join our 2015 award winners--Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Doug Saunders, Henrico County; Outstanding Leader of the Year, Dr. Helen Crompton, Old Dominion University; Innovative Educator of the Year, Kim Harrison, Virginia Beach Public Schools; and Making It Happen Award Winners, Janet Copenhaver, Henry County Public Schools and Mano Talaiver, recently retired from Longwood University--to talk all things ed tech!
Supported by GEG Northern VA
Link for Viewing 

 

Save on CoSN Membership

Virginia is the state chapter of CoSN. We are happy to work with them to offer this amazing discount on CoSN membership!

 

CoSN believes in and delivers professional advancement tools, resources and courses to technology leaders nationwide. Once your district is a member, your entire technology leadership team gets the benefits. These benefits include reports and research the benefits ed tech leaders.

 

 

What you get:
  • Unlimited access to entire district staff that will all receive member benefits
  • Free 6-part live webinar series, and free access to past webinar archives
  • Free and discounted CoSN events (including CTO Clinics, Forums, and the CoSN Annual Conference)
  • Discounted Certification prep and exam materials, and opportunity to act as a proctor
  • Discounted and free CoSN resources- toolkits, ed tech next reports

Virginia General Assembly Opens Today

Wednesday, January 13, 2016, is the first day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly with both houses convening at 12 PM. The Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia offer live streaming video of the 2016 Legislative Sessions, when each body convenes for session. The adjourn and convene times are tweeted, #vahouse and #vasenate.

VSTE will be offering periodic updates of interest to its members. For now, we suggest you do two things:

  1. Determine your state delegate and senator using the Who's My Legislator link.
  2. Get familiar with the members of the House and Senate Education committees. Compare your legislators with the list to see if you live in the district of one of the members. Being a constituent of a member of the committee gives you a little bit of an "in" to talk to them about education related issues. Why not give them a call or send them an email to let them know what is important to you?

Advance Your Career

CoSN

VSTE is the Virginia chapter of CoSN because we wish to reach out to educational technology leaders and school division leadership. CoSN offers the kind of in depth resources that support the work of leaders making tough decisions around technology.

CoSN believes in and delivers professional advancement tools, resources and courses to technology leaders nationwide. Once your district is a member, your entire technology leadership team gets the benefits. To see more of CoSN's work, email [email protected] to receive your free copy of CoSN’s exclusive members-only EdTechNextReport.

Then...consider joining CoSN to see more!

If you join by the end of January, CoSN will give you 6 months free. Email [email protected] with promo code 6monthsfree. This is a $200 savings and will expire January 31, 2016.

Thanks to hard work by CoSN members and the CoSN Advocacy Network, the new ESSA law includes a strong program designed to invest in school districts’ education technology infrastructure and professional development. Ed tech represents one of three priority areas supported by the new $1.6 billion Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program. In addition, the ESSA enables districts to invest the law's other professional development resources into educators, principals, and other school leaders’ capacities to more effectively use and protect student data. The law also directs the U.S. Department of Education's research arm to study students’ home broadband needs and obstacles and produce a report to Congress by mid-2017.

Click here and discover how CoSN is solving key challenges for technology leaders today.

CoSN is also working with key education technology leaders to form a North Carolina CoSN State Chapter. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, email me at[email protected].

What you get:

  • Unlimited access to entire district staff that will all receive member benefits
  • Free 6-part live webinar series, and free access to past webinar archives
  • Free and discounted CoSN events (including CTO Clinics, Forums, and the CoSN Annual Conference)
  • Discounted Certification prep and exam materials, and opportunity to act as a proctor
  • Discounted and free CoSN resources- toolkits, ed tech next reports

If you join by the end of January, CoSN will give you 6 months free. Email [email protected] with promo code 6monthsfree. This is a $200 savings and will expire January 31, 2016.

 

The Conference is Over…

but the learning continues. Check out the resources being shared in VSTE's Google Plus community.

Don't miss all the video at the VSTE YouTube site.

And #vste15 was busy on Twitter:


2015 VSTE Award Winners

Each year, VSTE recognizes exemplary educators through several different awards.  We are proud to announce this year’s recipients who will be recognized at the Annual Educational Technology Conference.

Doug Saunders Doug Saunders is the 2015 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Doug is an experienced teacher and instructional coach who inspires others to become confident in implementing 21st century instruction within their daily curriculum. He currently works as an ITRT at Holman Middle School in Henrico County. Doug’s educational philosophy that by using technology, educators can provide an interactive, meaningful, experience and create an environment where students can learn at their own pace, actively seeking out new information and empowering themselves to master content and embrace lifelong learning, is evident in his approach and coaching of teachers. The Huskie Exchange, now in its third year, was created to provide opportunities for teachers learn from one another and to share high-quality engaging lessons that incorporate 21st century skills. Doug’s approach to professional development for himself and his teachers, is a model for other ITRTs in Henrico County. He is constantly looking for new and creative ideas but more importantly his ability to affect change within a school and a division through coaching and professional development is what makes him an amazing teacher and an invaluable member of our HCPS ITRT team.

Dr. Helen CromptonDr. Helen Crompton is the 2015 Outstanding Leader of the Year. Dr. Crompton is an assistant professor of Instructional Technology in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Old Dominion University. She has dedicated her life to improving educational technology at all levels: local, state, regional, national, and global. Locally, Dr. Crompton has brought K-12 and university educators together. In collaboration, both practitioners and scholars have worked to ensure that our future teachers go out into the Commonwealth, and beyond, prepared with the technological knowledge, skills, and tools they need to educate 21st century children. Globally, Dr. Crompton is working with two divisions of the United Nations to educate the public regarding the benefits of educational technology. Dr. Helen Crompton works tirelessly to enhance the lives of learners at all levels. She is an outstanding advocate for educational technologies and is an outstanding candidate for this award.

Kim HarrisonKim Harrison is the 2015 Innovative Educator of the Year. Kim is an Instructional Technology Specialist based at Indian Lakes Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Kim is truly an innovator. She has a passion for sharing virtual environments and was the innovator behind Virginia Beach City Public Schools bringing Minecraft into the elementary classroom. Kim has shared her passion for bringing Minecraft into the elementary classroom in her school, throughout the division (through division-wide professional development courses), and across the state of Virginia (as she serves as Chair for VSTE's new Virtual Environments Professional Learning Network and leads sessions at the VSTE conference each year). Another pet project is VSTE Island in Second Life. She can always be found "in world" leading a book study, modeling to a newbie how to walk around (as opposed to appearing as a floating head), or just hanging out. Kim is always ready to jump in and answer any questions from those of us who "just don't get it!" Kim’s passion for this technology and dedication to bringing this awesome new technology to her young students impresses all who know her.

 

 

 

 

 

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