Expectations for Professional Development and Graduate Credit (2008)

Professional development (PD) or in-service credit policies vary widely across the globe and within countries, so it is very important each participant in the K-12 Online Conference discuss in-service credit availability with local school officials prior to working for this credit.

While we hope all school districts will recognize and accept K-12 Online Conference professional development certificates and hours, the conveners and other volunteers of the conference cannot guarantee that participant school districts will do so. GIVEN THIS SITUATION, IT IS ESSENTIAL EACH PARTICIPANT DISCUSS THIS MATTER WITH LOCAL SCHOOL OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR GRANTING AND SUPERVISING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS PRIOR TO THE EVENTS YOU ATTEND.

Download a PDF version of the following letter to print and share with your local administrators:

To: School Administrators
From: K-12 Online Conference Conveners
Date: October 2008
Re: Continuing Professional Development or In-Service Credit for Conference Participants

The organizers of the 2008 K-12 Online Conference have prepared this document to assist school administrators in making award determinations for professional credit acknowledging educator work and professional advancement relating to, during and following this ongoing, online conference.

The 2008 K-12 Online Conference is a free, international, online event for educators around the globe. The purpose of the conference is to advance the use of leading-edge educational technologies (specifically web 2.0 tools) in the cause of high-quality K-12 teaching and learning, worldwide. The conference, and related information, is located at: http://k12onlineconference.org. A panel of distinguished technology educators from the U.S. and several other nations select presenters via a blind review process. All conference staff and presenters volunteer their time free of charge.

This year (as in 2006 and 2007) 41 presentations will be published online asynchronously from October 13-31, 2008. Most are multi-media lectures or screencasts available in both iPod-compatible video podcast and audio mp3 versions. The 2007 K-12 Online Conference drew more than 100,000 attendees. Primary presentation files are archived indefinitely by the College of William and Mary. Published presentations include links to supplementary materials.

Presentation guidelines have changed slightly for the 2008 conference, as have professional development credit procedures. Keynote presentations (a total of 5) are 60 minutes or less in length, while all other presentations are 20 minutes or less in length. This year, each presenter (or presenter team) is creating a series of three “essential questions” to which participating educators can respond for professional development credit.

We encourage participants to confer with local school administrators regarding the acceptability of our certificates for any purpose, BEFORE committing time and energy completing and submitting reflections. As an administrator of your local educational organization, the decision is yours regarding acceptance of these certificates. You may modify or substitute your organization’s own requirements for credit. We maintain a list of schools and educational organizations accepting our certificates on http://k12onlinecredit.wikispaces.com.

Participants seeking credit are required to:
1. Respond to the specific series of questions provided on the 2008 conference blog entry/post related to the presentation they attend/view.
2. Share their reflections as a comment on the main conference website/blog post for the corresponding presentation. Text responses CAN include links to a personal blog, an audio or video response posted elsewhere, etc.
3. Share other learning points from the session and how they will utilize or apply what they have learned in their individual work setting.

A rubric is provided to assist with these reflections. After a submitted conference blog comment is approved, participants can view their comment and click a “Credit Certificate” link to view and print their certificate.

Participants who view and reflect on 1 non-keynote conference session and fulfill the specified response requirements perform, in our opinion, an average of 1 clock hour of work. Because keynote presentations are longer than “normal” 20 minute conference presentations, we recommend awarding 1.5 hours (90 minutes) of credit for reviewed conference keynote presentations.

This communication relates only to continuing professional or inservice credit. Please visit http://k12onlinecredit.wikispaces.com for additional information.

2008 K-12 Online Conference Conveners
Darren Kuropatwa
Dean Shareski
Sheryl-Nussbaum Beach
Wesley Fryer