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[ISTE 2016] Expanding Student Options with Core, Elective, and Career Courses

Monday, June 20, 2016 -- Shannan LaMalfa

As I’ve transitioned from being a school district administrator to the leader of Edmentum’s Courseware product line, I’ve learned a ton. As part of my job, I frequently work with our software developers on our courseware features and visit schools to see program implementations. You wouldn’t believe how often I find myself saying, “I wish I had known that when I was an administrator”, or “That would’ve been so cool to implement when I was a school principal!” I’ve been empowered with a lot of knowledge since joining Edmentum and working with technology, blended learning, and personalized learning from a new perspective. I wish I had known years ago what I know now, so I hope you will join me at the ISTE Conference & Expo to learn how you can expand your students’ options with online core, elective, and career courseware.   

At ISTE, I’ll be talking about some of my successes with edtech during my years as an educator, as well as how I could’ve done things differently and better. One story I’m particularly excited to share is a project I took on several years ago in a role as a director of curriculum and instruction. This idea, which included implementing online learning, was to bring about a school-to-work transition. Implementing this program and others required stakeholder buy-in, collaboration, funding, and community involvement. I learned a lot through this journey to expand student options, most importantly regarding the key role that school counselors play in building college and career readiness.

Another online learning program I’ll be discussing is an initiative I worked on to meet the needs of gifted students with expanded course options. This experience opened my eyes to how critical the relationship is between facilitators and students. I learned a ton about how advanced students think and operate and how to set them up for success. I also gained valuable insights about evaluating and identifying high-quality online learning providers.

Since coming to Edmentum, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to apply what I learned as a district administrator to managing and working to continuously improve our Courseware solutions. I’m excited to connect with passionate educators at ISTE 2016 and share the insights I’ve gained about utilizing online courses from multiple perspectives. I hope to see you in Denver at Edmentum’s booth #2316!