Sunday, February 18, 2018
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SIG Online and Blended Learning

The mission of the Special Interest Group for Online and Blended Learning (SIG OBL) is to support educators and students in their work with blended and online learning. SIG OBL provides a forum for online learning, blended learning, mobile learning devices, instructional tools and strategies for teaching and learning online. The SIG OBL community includes members with a broad range of expertise on these topics.

SIG OBL chose these two areas of focus for the 2017-2018 school year:

– Intentional Lesson Design
– Legal Rights and Responsibilities in Online Learning

We are planning an exciting year that will include variety of opportunities to explore these topics. It will include regular bimonthly newsletters, MACUL Community articles, webinars, slow chats and who knows what else! Join our SIG (it’s free) to receive newsletters. Visit this page regularly, follow us on Twitter or Facebook and be part of our community.


2018 MACUL Conference
March 7 – 9, 2018

2018 MACUL ConferenceThis is the 42nd annual conference at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, MI.

Engaging and Supporting the Online Learner
March 7 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Speaker(s): Cary Stamas, Director of MySchool at Kent ISD; Cathi Stojkov, VP of Talent Management at Brightmont Academy

While online learning isn’t new for schools, finding success in online learning for all students can be tricky. Developing frameworks to support students in their online learning endeavors is crucial for student success. In this session you will learn from schools that have been effective in online learning by implementing strategies such as mentoring, goal-setting, creating physical environments, and updating policies to help create successful online experiences for all students.

There will also be an overview of current research and an opportunity to share your current practices, collaborate with other participants, and build an action plan for improvement.

Reaching All Learners: Engaging Your Students With Tech
March 7 from 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Speaker(s): Erin Mastin, 3rd Grade Teacher, Boyne City Public Schools; Jeff Blakeslee, Secondary Classroom Teacher, Plymouth Canton High School

Meeting the needs of all students can be tricky in a 50-minute class period or when teaching 4 different subjects. In this session, discover how intentional technology use can help you create authentic learning experiences, provide increased access to resources and engage interests, all while having a deeper understanding of your students’ learning.

Join professional learning coaches and classroom teachers as we explore some fundamental elements of blended learning. You will experience how elementary and secondary teachers design learning with thoughtful technology integration and have time to identify opportunities and create resources for your own classroom.

Space is limited for the pre-cons, so be sure to register early! They are not included in the conference package and must be registered for separately.

Register Now


January/February 2018 issue includes:

October/November/December “Fall Fest”  » issue includes:

• ADA Compliance in Online Education

• Webinar: “Triple E Framework: Designing Lessons using Research-Informed Technology Integration Practices – recorded on Nov. 28, 2017 with author Dr. Liz Kolb. (This recording uses Blackboard Collaborate and requires a download to view the webinar.)

• Opportunities to participate and share!
– Share Fest contest winner and next topic: Keeping Students Safe Online
– Twitter or Facebook for topics and details

• MACUL Pre-conference Session descriptions

August/September 2017 ‘Happy New Year‘ issue includes:
• Models of Technology Integration, a review by Dr. Andrew Topper
• Self-paced course for Web Accessibility (Section 508 Compliance)
• Opportunities to participate and share!
– Slow Chat discussion on Twitter
– Share Fest monthly topic with prizes
– Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for topics and details

June/July 2017 ‘End of the School Year‘ issue includes:
• Links to 20 OBL focused sessions from the 2017 MACUL Conference
• Introduction to the 2017-2018 SIG OBL Leadership team
• Recommended reading: Learning First, Technology Second: How we know if technology is doing its job in our classrooms article by Dr. Liz Kolb.

March 2017
• Use it Better: Personalizing learning in online/blended settings

January/February 2017
• Find it Faster: Locating, selecting, and using digital media & materials

November/December 2016
• Engaging the Online Learner

Join SIG-OBL to receive this newsletter automatically for updates, opportunities, and input into the running of the SIG. Visit this archive of our recent SIG OBL Newsletters.

Meet your SIG OBL Leadership team for 2017-2018.

Officers were selected from the six member steering committee that was elected at our Annual Meeting in March.

  • Director – Craig Steenstra, Kent ISD
  • Operations – Erin Luckhardt, Michigan Virtual
  • Communications – Carol Isakson, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
  • Jeremy Hyler – Fulton Public Schools
  • Jackie Dunlap – Southfield Public Schools
  • Andrew Topper, Grand Valley State University, College of Education

MACUL Board Advocate

  • Liz Kolb, University of Michigan, College of Education

Goals 2017-2018

  1. Provide value to existing members and grow membership through face-to-face and virtual experiences.
  2. Develop continuous and intentional professional learning experiences for all educators throughout the state.
  3. Focusing efforts and outreach on best practices.