Category Archives: ColoDLA Info

The Importance of Organizational Communication

Since I was elected as vice president (president elect) of the ColoDLA, I’ve learned a lot about the organization and its members. I’ve met members who are committed to effective teaching methods and assessment; I’ve met industry members who are committed to providing affordable, accessible, and usable technology; I’ve met board members who are dedicated to the organization and the advancement of distance learning in Colorado and beyond.

Like many volunteer run non-profit organizations, we have our share of challenges. Most, if not all of us have full time jobs which pay the bills, making it that much more important for us to effectively communicate our vision, mission and values, both internally to our members and externally to the public at-large, students, teachers and policymakers.

In the past several months, we’ve made several important strides towards becoming the organization I know we can become. For example, we elected a new Treasurer, Marrianne Bauer, who is quickly getting our finances in order so we can grow our membership base and demonstrate value to potential sponsors. ColoDLA board members are increasing collaboration efforts and finding new ways to move the organization forward. For example, we are working toward a more efficient membership and event registration process, and we have established a communication team whose responsibility will be to maintain, update and evolve the ColoDLA website and social media presence.

My proudest achievement thus far came during our December meeting, where we helped focus attention on an often-overlooked topic in distance education, i.e., accessibility and ADA 508 compliance. We were able to include a population we hadn’t seen before, accessibility coordinators, several of whom expressed their gratitude for our efforts in communicating about this important issue. Here is a link to the recording: http://new.livestream.com/dpstv22/events/3601548 (the actual event doesn’t begin until about 25 minutes into the recording).

My point is this: I recognize the importance of organizational communication via “in-reach” to our membership base, as well as outreach to various stakeholders in the education community. In the coming weeks and months, you will see an increasing website and social media presence, as well as better planned and communicated events. In the mean time, I ask for your patience as we continue to build the components of an effective and efficient all volunteer non-profit association.

Sincerely,

Duncan McBogg
Vice President (President Elect) – Colorado Distance Learning Association

Save the date! ColoDLA Annual Conference is April 22, 2015

The 2015 ColoDLA annual conference will take place on April 22 at the University of Colorado Boulder from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM MT.

The conference theme is Connecting the Underserved: Using Distance Learning Avenues to Connect Underserved and Underrepresented Populations to Educational Opportunities

Abstract:
Distance learning has the capability to overcome a number of barriers which challenge underserved populations in accessing effective learning materials. What opportunities exist today which enable us to reach out to underserved or digitally divided populations using technology that is more accessible, affordable and successful?

Detailed information coming soon!

“Distance Learning,” Cowboy Poetry from the 2014 Annual Conference

What may be the first poem ever written about distance learning (not counting Homer’s “Odyssey”) was presented at the Colorado Distance Education Association’s Annual Conference by Cowboy Poet Floyd Beard, himself a retired career educator.
Floyd Beard Cowboy Poet
Cowboy Poet Floyd Beard composed an original poem , “Distance Learning,’ for the Colorado Distance Learning Association Annual Conference at the Lone Tree Arts Center in Lone Tree, Colorado, April 24, 2014. This poem by Mr. Beard was part of his cowboy poetry presentation that preceded the annual distance learning teacher of the year and distance learning program of the year awards, which Mr. Beard also presented. Floyd Beard is a retired career educator quite familiar with distance learning from his last position as Executive Director of the East Central BOCES in Limon, Colorado. Floyd, with his excellent hat and generous mustache, is now a gentleman rancher and cowboy poet.

A video of the poem is available at: http://youtu.be/dgbSaoxN7N4.

Distance Learning

Bud and Roy were out riding pastures,
the day was hot and slow.
Ole’ Bud started philosophizing,
to help the hours to go.

Sez’ Bud to Roy, Do you tie hard to
thinkin’ there’s some folk more dear,
than some other folks, know ‘em or not,
just some’s needs seem more clear?

Well, says Roy, What’s itching you now?
Cause I cain’t answer ya-true.
‘til I get a loop round your idear,
and figure out what’s eat’n you.

I been pondering young Sally Sue,
lives down in canyon land.
Will I think she’s just as important,
as a missy in big city grand.

I’m thinkin’ as long as their schoolin’,
is paid by all’a the folks.
Then it seems that their educating
ort’ta be equal by all strokes.

Bud, I got no beef with that figurin’.
They’ll want our calves for pay.
But here’s a thought, maybe a vision,
that might get a warm play.

If more options some schools seem to have,
classes and teachers o’course.
I say let all the children go there.
Issue every kid a horse!

I like it Roy, but the Gov’ll want,
A cut on grain and hay.
And what about little Sally Sue?
She cain’t ride there in a day.

Well, let’s bring the opportunities to her.
Bring teachers out her way.
Tis-a-great idea, but only one thing.
They cain’t get there in a day.

The common fault is distance I fear.
It seems were bogged in a mire.
That’s it! I got it! Beam-em on in.
Beam-em in on a wire!

Bud, I like it, an it ort-ta work
Man done went to the moon.
If folks wanted they’ed figure out how,
to help these kids real soon.

Schoolin’ ore’ TV’s, and wires and such,
that will solv’er by gad.
Learnin’ ore’ distance, yes sir Sally Sue’s
gotta chance, of that I’m glad.

Hey Roy, ‘member that draw over east?
I know it’s a long ride.
Don’t ‘spect there’ll be very many ore’ there,
But they’re our’n, matter of pride.

That lone cow is just as important,
her calf is equal to all.
As long as we, ride for the brand,
build to it, head fer the draw.

They rode along in silence for miles.
Then Roy says, with a glance.
Yes sir, we’ll care for every last calf.
Hope Sally gets the same chance.

Floyd E. Beard 4-18-14

New Research Report: Digital Learning Playbook (K12)

Speak Up, a national initiative of Project Tomorrow has announced the release of a report on K12 student digital learning usage and attitudes called “The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Student’s Activities and Aspirations.”

For the past eleven years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up National Research Project has provided schools and districts nationwide and throughout the globe with new insights into how today’s students want to leverage digital tools for learning based upon the authentic, unfiltered ideas of students themselves. With this year’s national report on the views of 325,279 K-12 students representing over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts nationwide, we focus on getting beyond the anecdotally- driven stereotypes of student technology use to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the myriad of different ways that students are currently personalizing learning using technology.

Given the increasing interest amongst education, business, policy, and parent leadership on the value of digital tools to personalize learning and improve student outcomes, this year’s report provides new findings around these three central questions to further both national and local discussions:

  • How are K-12 students currently using digital tools and resources to support schoolwork activities?
  • How are K-12 students currently using digital tools and resources to enable out of school time learning activities?
  • What are K-12 students’ aspirations for using digital tools and resources within new innovative learning environments?

  • river loop
    How will climate change affect the availability of water in the Western United States—where water is already the most precious natural resource? What water management challenges does the Western U.S. face? How do we manage natural disasters like drought, wildfire, and flooding? This course engages participants with cutting-edge science in exploring these and other questions about the intersection of climate change and water management in the West.

    This course: Provides an introduction to the topic of water in the West:

  • Highlights challenges of water management using the Colorado River Basin as the premier example
  • Reviews and evaluates flooding, drought, wildfires, and interactions between these natural disasters using the Boulder Creek Watershed as an example
  • Provides an educational context for these broad topics and introduces educators to resources and teaching approaches for their classrooms
  • New Digital Learning Playbook 2014