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Camp OBLN: A Compass for Online Learning

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Explore and create : Playground

Michele Eaton  
Diana Gill  

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: Professional developers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS, Windows, Android
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Not applicable
ISTE Standards: 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.
For Educators:
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Educational or infrastructure challenge/situation.
Technology intervention. Include specific names/titles and descriptions if tools are not widely known and available.
Models employed. Include a brief description.
Lesson plans or instructional activities/strategies employed. Include a brief description of your instructional electronic resources or tools used.
Evidence of success.

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

List any articles, books, websites, recognized experts or other documentation that supports the importance of the session topic and/or the practices/information you will present.
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 [+]


Michele Eaton, MSD of Warren Township

Michele Eaton is the director of virtual and blended learning for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, and the author of The Perfect Blend: A Practical Guide to Student-Centered Learning Experiences. At MSD of Wayne Township, she provides support for Achieve Virtual Education Academy teachers and students, overseeing online course design throughout the district, working on digital resource interoperability and training, and helping lead the district’s many online and blended learning options. It’s specifically through this course design work that Eaton developed expertise in eLearning design strategies that can be used within a traditional classroom or when teaching remotely. Eaton started her career in Wayne Township as a second grade teacher, and also taught online for Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in its Learning By Design Master’s program and the undergraduate education program. Eaton is a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) and was recently named a NextGeneration Leader by EdScoop and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and a Leader to Learn From by Education Week. She currently serves as past-president for ISTE’s Online and Blended Learning Network, and as conference chair for ISTE’s Indiana affiliate organization, Indiana Connected Educators. She earned ISTE’s Making IT Happen award in 2020 and ISTE’s President’s Volunteer Service award several years in a row. In addition to focusing on personalizing instruction through online learning, much of her work centers on transforming adult learning to showcase how technology and online learning can have a positive impact for all.

Diana Gill, East Porter County School Corporation

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