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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Online and Blended Learning Playground: A Compass for Online Learning

Explore and create

Explore and create : Playground

Sunday, November 29, 9:30–11:00 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Jenna Conan Simpson  
Charlotte Dungan  
Michele Eaton  
Cindy Etherton  
Diana Gill  
Brenny Kummer  
Sadie Lewis  
Beverly Owens  
Jessica Pack  
Chandre Sanchez Reyes  
Josh Stock  
Jason Trinh  
Dr. Junko Yamamoto  
Michelle Zgombic  
Christina Zientek  

Attention Campers! Grab your bug spray and join ISTE’s Online and Blended Learning Network. Visit each campfire in the Camp OBLN playground for a different instructional design strategy that can help when designing online and blended learning content. As Smokey says, “Only YOU can prevent bad online design.”

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Professional developers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will explore strategies for improving design of online and blended learning content.

Participants will learn about creating accessible and equitable learning experiences for online and blended classrooms.

Participants will be able to connect and network with other online and blended learning leaders from around the world to share best practices in eLearning.


Potential stations for the playground depending on the size and number of tables available:

-Accessible online content design
-Video and multimedia in digital lessons
-Graphic design principles for online design
-Supporting vulnerable populations when designing online and blended lessons
-Reading digital text versus print text
-Formative and summative assessment online
-Creating opportunities for interaction in online lessons

Supporting research

Much of this will be determined based on the playground sessions that are selected. We would love to work with ISTE to determine the best fit for content in this area, as we have several research-based ideas.

Essentials of Online Course Design by Marjorie Vai and Kristen Sosulski

Blended by Michael Horn and Heather Staker

Go Blended by Liz Arney

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)

More [+]


Jenna Conan Simpson, All Saints' Episcopal School

Jenna is the Technology Integration Specialist at All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to leading her school’s move to remote learning last year, providing professional development and managing digital learning programs and student devices, she teachers technology classes including computer science, artificial intelligence, and VR/AR. Before moving into this role, she was a classroom teacher. She has her master’s degree in Educational Technology and is working on her Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. She is passionate about technology’s potential to transform classrooms to be more engaging and student-centered and to make teachers’ jobs easier.

Charlotte Dungan, NC School of Science and Mathematics
Michele Eaton, MSD of Warren Township

Michele Eaton is the Director of Virtual and Blended Learning for the M.S.D. of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Indiana. She focuses on staff and course development for Achieve Virtual Education Academy and provides leadership for the district's blended initiatives. Michele is a 2018 EdWeek Leader to Learn From, CoSN CETL and 2016 Next Generation Leader, President of the ISTE Online and Blended Learning Network, Conference Chair for the Indiana Connected Educators organization, and moderator for the #INeLearn chat. You can follow her on Twitter at @micheeaton.

Cindy Etherton, Consultant | Oregon State University

As an instructional designer, educator, and change agent for over 20 years in K12, higher education, and the private sector, Cindy's interests range from technology integration to entrepreneurship. This learning continued as she formally taught students of all ages within face-to-face, blended, and online environments. Currently, Cindy builds and teaches online courses and deliver face-to-face training for school districts, higher education, and organizations to help them meet their strategic goals. Cindy continues to be inspired by the idea of "What if…". This question helps her push the boundaries of possibilities and student empowerment.

Diana Gill, East Porter County School Corporation

Rachelle Hoehn is a High School Math Instructional Coach for Georgia Cyber Academy. She has been with Georgia Cyber for 5 years, with 4 of those years being a Special Education Small Group Math Teacher. She is a certified Google Trainer and has presented at GAIDEA, NCTM, K12 Promising Practices, and GMC. She focuses on equity in the math classroom and accessibility for students.

Brenny Kummer, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp
Sadie Lewis, Mehlville R-IX School District
Beverly Owens, Cleveland Early College High School

I have been teaching science for 16 years, primarily focused on middle grades education, but now teaching high school chemistry. I utilize blended learning in a variety of capacities, from teacher instruction to review, collaboration, and engagement. Students can often be seen in my classroom participating in hands-on experiences, and I use unique technologies to enhance the science curriculum. I enjoy developing curriculum, and I try to find ways that my students can explore science and STEM career pathways through videoconferencing with scientists, or exploring the engineering design process through designing and manipulating 3D printable files, and constructing robots.

Jessica Pack, James Workman Middle School

As a middle school teacher for 16 years and a California Teacher of the Year (2014), I have continually worked to redefine what learning looks like in my 6th grade classroom. I am an advocate for student choice and voice, as demonstrated by the original content my students regularly publish for a global audience. Currently, I am writing a book for ISTE and host a digital storytelling podcast, "Storytelling Saves the World" with Georgia Terlaje. Previously, I spent a decade as a professional development instructor and Consulting Teacher for a digital storytelling non-profit organization called DIGICOM Learning.

Chandre Sanchez Reyes, Indiana Connections & Career Academies
Josh Stock, Santa Fe Trail Middle School
Jason Trinh, Toronto District School Board
Dr. Junko Yamamoto, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Michelle Zgombic, 12-1234567

Michelle Zgombic has been serving the Warren Township School District (Somerset County) since 1998. Her role has evolved from a 7th grade Modern World History Teacher, to district-wide Technology Coach. Michelle is currently seeking her doctorate from New Jersey City University in Ed Tech Leadership. Michelle has presented many workshops over the years for the EdTechTeam (a Google Partner for Education) and more recently at the NJECC's annual conference. Michelle likes to present with exciting ideas and a smile. Come join the fun at one of her workshops! Link to our session:

Christina Zientek, St. Jude Graduate School

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