Friday, July 27, 2012

Toolkit for Veteran-Friendly Institutions

Welcome to the Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions. Created by the American Council on Education (ACE), this online resource is designed to help institutions of higher education build effective programs for veteran students and share information. It highlights a variety of best practices and includes video clips, profiles of student veterans programs across the U.S., and a searchable database of tools and resources.

Faculty Learning Communities, 2012-2013 Grants

Good news!

We will have grant funding available for Washington State Community and Technical Colleges
Faculty Learning Communities for 2012-13

FLC grant applications will be accepted from September 17 through October 5th, 2012.

Start thinking about what topics/questions/issues you and your colleagues
would like to explore together
and we’ll get the updated grant information on the 
SBCTC Faculty Learning Communities web page, soon.

Rescue Sled Built by Columbia Basin Students

CBC [Columbia Basin College] students help build rescue sled for Water Follies Columbia Cup

Students at Columbia Basin College unveil a new rescue sled today to be used at this weekend's Columbia Cup. A group of about 30 students from the college's welding department spent the last year building the sled.
KNDU TV, July 26, 2012
Watch this short interview and see the rescue sled/boat

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alternative Credentialing

Assembly Line
Manufacturing industry taps colleges for help with alternative credential

July 18, 2012 - 3:00am

Potential “disruptions” to higher education typically portend a diminished role for the academy in workforce training, as students ditch college for, well, something else. But one of the most promising alternative credentialing movements – the manufacturing industry’s system of stackable certificates – has actually led to a deeper, more symbiotic relationship between employers and colleges.

Read more:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Boot Camp II: Register Now

A full week of training, 3 college credits, great experience – all for $200!

 Boot Camp II is a great opportunity for prof-tech faculty with prior “basic” Boot Camp training OR at least 2 years of instructional experience

to further their skill development. Longer-term faculty are welcome to attend, as well.

Enjoy a cohort-based training – led by faculty, for faculty.

 See the attached flyer and register ASAP. The training runs from August 20-24, at the GRCC Kent Station Campus.

A full week of training, 3 college credits, great experience – all for $200!

 See the attached flyer for details.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reading Apprenticeship Training: RAT Tracks

If you've been using tips and links from Renton Technical College's Faculty Focus, you will be interested in another great resource they're sharing: RAT Tracks. RAT Tracks is found in the RTC LibGuide, "...a wonderful resource for folks interested in learning more about WestEd’s Reading Apprenticeship framework."

From Debbie Crumb, RTC Instructional Librarian...

You can access all of the issues via the LibGuide that we created at and click on the tab for RA & RATs at RTC. On that page under the video of Liz Falconer talking about Michele Lesmeister and RA, you will find a box called RTC Publications about RA and RATs. In that box are links to the RAT Tracks newsletter, the READ posters we created that feature our students and staff and our older newsletter the RAT Review.
Or at that same LibGuide, you can click on tab for RA Routines & Topics and then select a specific routine such as Think-Aloud and it will have a link to the RAT Tracks issue about using Think-Alouds in the classroom. Many of the routines have some great videos and ready-to-use templates created by Michele Lesmeister.
The RATs LibGuide is a wonderful resource for folks interested in learning more about WestEd’s Reading Apprenticeship framework – again I think Michele’s videos and templates, coupled with her RAT Tracks issues, are especially helpful because it makes Reading Apprenticeship very real and do-able in the classroom. We have had 2,507 hits on the RATs LibGuide since January 1, 2012 – it’s the most used of all the Library’s LibGuides.
You can also access all the copies via our RATs website at and then click on link for RA at RTC, and then on the link for RAT Tracks: Routines and Tips Sheets

Thursday Webinars, Free and Open to All

The Washington State eLearning Community will meet today, as most Thursdays at 1 Pacific Time, via Bb Collaborate. The topic today will be strategies for managing communication in Canvas.  Scott Dennis, SBCTC eLearning Professional Development Manager, will give a short presentation and demo and then facilitate an open discussion about anything else people are interested in, although he's guessing the topic will mainly be Canvas focused as that has been the recent trend. Topics will include setting communication channels and preferences, managing the course activity stream, chat, and conferencing.

There is no cost and all are welcome to attend.

Status of Mobile Technology in WA State CTCs

Thirty-one of the thirty-four Washington State Community and Technical Colleges responded to a recent survey, describing the current status of use of mobile technology with their students and staff.
See what they had to say...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Faculty Learning Communities Research

Status of Professional Learning

Download the reports
Phase IV report
Phase III reports
Phase II reports
Phase I reports
Launched in 2008 by NSDC and a team of researchers from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), the three-part Status of Professional Learning research study aims to measure the effectiveness of professional learning in the United States. Funding for the multiyear research effort comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Just released: Building a Learning Community: A Tale of Two Schools

In an effort to understand and document the elements that make professional learning communities effective, a new report presents case studies of two schools drawn from survey data of 33 New Jersey public schools involved in a state-sponsored professional learning community training program. The report, Building a Learning Community: A Tale of Two Schools, is authored by Dan Mindich and Ann Lieberman and produced through Learning Forward and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). Among the key findings: sustaining focus is vital, collegiality is not enough, and leadership is key. This is the final report from the multiphase research initiative, Status of Professional Learning.

Read the report.

Faculty as Institutional Agents for Latina/Latino Students in STEM

Although this report focuses on Latina/Latino students, the concept of faculty as Institutional Agents is applicable to support for all students. And, of course, the concept of faculty as empowerment agents is not new. (See Sumun Pendakur, 2011; and Stanton-Salazar 2010)

From the Center for Urban Education:

The Center for Urban Education (CUE) has released a new report titled "Developing the Capacity of Faculty to Become Institutional Agents for Latinos in STEM" authored by Professors Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd, who co-direct the Center for Urban Education (CUE).  The report, fifth in a series of CUE reports from a research study funded by the National Science Foundation, demonstrates the role faculty and administrators at four-year institutions can play in increasing Latina and Latino participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Read the full report...

Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education: 5 Phenomena to Notice

Interesting article; I will be following this discussion and posting related articles.
Read the entire article...

From Contact North / Contact Nord Online Learning News:

Commentary: Strengthening Ontario's Centres of Creativity, Innovation, and Knowledge

On June 27, 2012, the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities released a discussion paper titled Strengthening Ontario's Centres of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge (Strengthening) on ideas for post-secondary education in Ontario. Strengthening calls for no less than transformation of post-secondary education in Ontario and is bound to trigger sector-wide thinking, dialogue, and action.
The Post-secondary Sector Essentially Powers Ontario’s Knowledge Economy.
By equating our college and university sectors as Ontario’s centres of creativity, innovation, and knowledge, Strengthening pays our 24 public colleges and 20 public universities the high compliment they are indeed due...
The big question is whether the changes that will unfold will be changes of our choosing, or accidents that are the unintended consequences of technology disruption in a strategic vacuum.
Let’s set the stage for a forward discussion by putting forth the proposition that following five concurrent phenomena are now disrupting post-secondary education and will, in our opinion, lead to transformational change.
If this is true, the big question is whether the changes that will unfold will be of our choosing, or accidents that are the unintended consequences of technology disruption in a strategic vacuum....

 Contact North identifies the following five phenomena affecting post-secondary education:
1. Online Education
2. MOOCs
3. ePortfolio
4. Outcomes Assessment
5. Course Credit Aggregation

Read the full article...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Martin Bean on Technology and Education

When I met Martin Bean several years ago, I fell under his spell. Seriously. This guy is incredibly charismatic and committed to excellence and opportunities in education. He is now the Vice Chancellor of Open University in the UK. Watch him on video...

Social networking…        
…tuned in for learning
People like me
People who challenge me
Learning peers/Mentors
Informal chat
Learning conversations
Quick facts/Info exchange
Learning journeys/Depth
Simplistic numeric ratings
Endorsements and Critiques
Tag clouds
Connected ideas
Shopping recommendations
Learning (and teaching) recommendations

The Beauty of OER

View this amazingly beautiful representation of open education.

Liz and John Falconer of Renton Technical College created the video  - even writing and performing the accompanying music - and have entered the video in a contest, "Why Open Matters." If you'd like to vote for their video, please do so today - the contest ends tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

OER: Key to Global Economic Growth?

Are open educational resources the key to global economic growth?

Sir John Daniel and David Killion
Guardian Professional,

By being adaptable and accessible, OERs have the potential to solve the global education crisis and contribute to sustainable economic growth - if governments are prepared to act.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Canvas is Coming...Soon!

Yes, as of July 1, the Washington State Community and Technical College system does have a signed contract with our new learning management system provider - Canvas!

No, you can't just jump right in and begin teaching in it...a bit (actually a lot!) of behind the scenes work is being done to get everything ready for us.  And, of course, our SBCTC eLearning team is developing training for us.

In the mean time...Canvas does have a free open course that covers the ‘how’ of using Canvas. So, you eager beavers can dive right in and begin exploring on your own! 

Stay tuned for more details...

Under Secretary Kanter at U.W. July 11, 2012

This is being broadly distributed at the request of the University of Washington. 

Please join us for a town hall discussion with U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter.
This event is free and open to the public. The discussion will focus on:
  • The fundamental role of a college education in advancing our nation's economic and social prosperity
  • The return on investing in post-secondary education
  • The shared responsibility of students, post-secondary institutions, state governments and the federal government in expanding post-secondary opportunity.
Under Secretary Kanter will be joined onstage by UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce, Washington State Senator Ed Murray, Seattle Times Publisher and CEO Frank Blethen, and Nancy Truitt Pierce, CEO of Woods Creek Consulting Company and a former Everett Community College trustee.

Paid parking is available in the Central Parking Garage.
To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at: 206.543.6450 (voice), 206.543.6452 (TTY), 206.685.7264 (fax) or
Together we make history. Discover what's next.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Faculty Learning Communities 2012-2013

Washington State Faculty:

Yes! We will have grants available for Faculty Learning Communities for the 2012-2013 academic year.

The amount of funding per FLC and the number of FLCs we can fund is yet to be determined. As we tally up what funds we have left after all of this year's grant recipients have been reimbursed for expenses, we will soon know what funds we can use for next year.

Stay tuned...

Bill Gates on the Future of Higher Education

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was the keynote speaker at a recent Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) event, marking the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act.
President Lincoln signed the legislation into law back on July 2, 1862, established funding for public colleges and universities through federal land grants.

Gates, through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has become a leading voice in education reform. His foundation supports educational programs at all levels. Gates encouraged university presidents to innovate to meet the needs of today's college students.

Link to the video...

Monday, July 2, 2012

WAESOL: WA State Affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

WASOL logo
WAESOL, the Washington state affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), is a professional, non-profit organization whose purposes are to:
  • Promote scholarship
  • Disseminate information related to ESL
  • Strengthen at all levels instruction and research in TESOL and dialects
  • Cooperate in appropriate ways with other groups sharing similar concerns
  • Serve members of the ESL community in the state of Washington
Recent updates and news items: