Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom

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Emerging technologies are quickly gaining momentum in the field of virtual K-12 instruction. In this course, we will explore how the latest trends in the use of technology affect student learning and engagement. What innovative learning spaces and tools are available to instructors? How can instructors best utilize free and open resources to more deeply engage students in their learning? What impact can the use of emerging technologies have on student retention and performance? We will discuss the possibilities and challenges of using technology in fully online environments, although many of the ideas can be applied to blended and traditional environments as well. Learners will compare and contrast tools for use in K-12 virtual instruction, as well as examine best practices for implementing and managing these tools.

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Understand the role of technology in the distribution of content, the facilitation of collaborative activities, and the assessment of students, courses, and organizations.
2. Identify and evaluate existing and emerging technologies for their value in virtual course instruction and curriculum development.
3. Design and assess a learning activity that utilizes social learning tools.
4. Design and assess a learning activity or curricular program that uses game-based strategies and/or badges to deepen student engagement in virtual courses.
5. Research, critically evaluate, and employ open content in virtual education.
6. Debate the role of MOOCs in virtual K-12 education.


Week 1: The Role of Technology in Virtual Education
-Welcome to the course! Begin by reading the Course Overview and familiarizing yourself with our course. This week we will explore the role of technology in virtual education, evaluating technologies for use, and implementing technology in the virtual classroom.

Week 2: Social Technologies in Virtual Education
-In week two, we will explore collaborative and social learning technologies.

Week 3: Game-based Learning & Badges in Virtual Education
-In week three, we will discuss game-based learning, badging, augmented reality, and wearable technologies. You will also have the opportunity to submit your assignment and evaluate three of your classmates' work.

Week 4: Open Content in Virtual Education
-In week four, we will explore open educational content, web resources, and MOOCs in the context of K-12 education.

Week 5: Course Reflection
-In our last week, I'll share some final thoughts about virtual education. Be sure to review the course material before taking the Final Exam. Good luck!