Jul 012015

Congratulations to the VCCS colleges selected to participate in the Zx23 Project. Each college will receive grant funds to support faculty and staff in building a Z-Degree at their respective institutions. You can click on the college abbreviation in the first column to see additional application details.

See the Zx23 Project page for news and updates on grantees and other aspects of this groundbreaking project.

There is still a chance for a few additional colleges to participate in the Zx23 Project. Contact Richard Sebastian at rsebastian@vccs.edu for details.

College First Last Type of credential Type of program Grant
NVCC Dr. Braddlee Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) Liberal Arts 15000
VWCC Elizabeth Wilmer Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies 15000.00
PVCC John Donnelly Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies 14760.00
TNCC Patrick Tompkins Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) Social Science 15000.00
TCC Daniel DeMarte Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) Administration of Justice 15000.00
GCC Ann Woolford, Ph.D. Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies 14855.00
CVCC William Sandidge Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies and Business Administration 15000.00
NRCC Pat Huber Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies 15000.00
WCC Lorri Huffard Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) A & S in Science, Specialization in Mathematics 15000.00
PDCCC Tara Atkins-Brady Credential* Certificate in General Education 14100.00
JTCC Leonda Keniston Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) General Studies 15000.00
JSRCC Jane Rosecrans Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) Social Sciences 14912.00
MECC Vickie Ratliff Associate degree (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) Management 15000.00
Jun 082015

nmc_logo_url_RGB_jpg__675×600_I am heading up to Alexandria tomorrow for the New Media Consortium (NMC) Summer Conference. The NMC is best known for producing the Horizon Report, several annual publications that for the past decade or so have charted trends in educational technology and–although the organization has always distanced itself from this word–predicted the level of adoption these technologies may see in various educational domains–higher ed, K12, museums, and libraries– along several adoption “horizons”–one year or less, two-to-three years, and four-to-five years. I’ve always found these prognostications problematic, untrustworthy, and ultimately not really useful. More useful are the sections of the reports that document current trends and provide links to case studies.

The focus of this conference is very different from the ones I usually attend, emphasizing creative educational practices using emerging technologies, and I’ve wanted to attend for a number of years. Either the location (Portland, OR last year) or schedule conflicts have prevented this. However, having the conference in DC this year (OK, technically Alexandria) has made it too convenient an opportunity to pass up this year. So, I have decided to jump in with both feet as well, as I have also volunteered to be a NMC Conference Correspondent. During the conference I will be crossposting from my social media accounts to the NMC conference blog and Twitter feed (@NMCorg #nmc15) mainly, as well as to the NMC Flickr group and Instagram account. We’ll see how it goes and if I can successfully keep all of these digital balls in the air.

May 252015

Cheryl Huff

Last week on this blog I announced the official release of the Zx23 Project Request for Applications. Today, I’d like to announce the selection of Cheryl Huff as the new, full-time Program Manager for the Zx23 Project.  Cheryl (BA, MA-LA, M.Litt) has been teaching, chairing, training faculty, and coordinating projects at Germanna Community College for the past nine years. Her background is in ancient Greek philosophy and the works of Shakespeare. Through Germanna’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Cheryl implemented institutional change in distance learning at the college as well as across the VCCS. She specializes in designing quality online courses and course materials, including open educational resources. In 2012, Cheryl received a Chancellor’s OER Adoption Grant to develop OER for her English course and has since become an OER leader at Germanna and the VCCS. Cheryl brings this wealth of experience to the Lumen Learning team. In her new role she will focus exclusively on the Zx23 Project.

Cheryl says, “There is no evidence that Gandhi actually said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ but that doesn’t make it any less of a good idea. I believe we can change the world of education through OER development for the VCCS, working with Lumen.”

As the Principal Investigator for the Zx23 Project, I am extremely pleased to hear about Lumen’s selection of Cheryl as Program Manager and I look forward to supporting her and the other Zx23 Project colleges over the next year. Congratulations, Cheryl!

May 212015

zzzVCCS colleges interested in being part of the…drumroll please…ground-breaking…innovative…envelope-pushing Zx23 Project can now download the official Zx23 Project Request for Applications.

The Z x 23 Project is a one-year grant to support the VCCS’s long-term goal of scaling Z-Degrees to all 23 VCCS colleges. The $200,000 grant from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, combined with matching funds from Chancellor DuBois and the System Office, will be used to fund, support, and train faculty and staff at up to fifteen Virginia community colleges interested in building Z-Degrees. Each Zx23 Project college is eligible for a grant of up to $15,000 to develop the first twelve courses of a Z-Degree. Lumen Learning, Inc. will work closely with faculty and staff at participating colleges to help build these pathways, host the courses in Blackboard Learn, and evaluate the outcomes of the pilots. The grant period ends June 24, 2016.

Please read the Request for Applications for application deadlines, grant details, project deliverables, and timelines. The Request for Applications and the Zx23 Project online application form can be found on the project website at http://edtech.vccs.edu/educational-technology-resources/oervccs/z-x-23-project/.​


May 132015

Home___U_S__Department_of_EducationOn Monday, the US Department of Education announced another round of First in the World grants, offering $60 million to eligible colleges and universities for the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies to improve postsecondary education attainment.  A significant chunk of the grant funds–$16 million–is reserved for institutions designated as minority-serving institutions, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

From the USDOE’s FITW website:

The First in the World (FITW) Program will provide grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. Institutions of higher education or consortia of such institutions are eligible applicants for FITW grants. We encourage applicants to partner with public and private institutions and agencies that can assist the applicant to achieve the goals of the project.

The deadline for applications is June 26, 2015.  The grants will be awarded no later than September 30, 2015. For more information on the grant program, go to http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fitw/applicant.html