keeping current in online teaching

A lot of teachers ask me how I stay current and up-to-date in online teaching: best practices, standards, new technologies, the list goes on. Well, in addition to attending conferences, reading books and journals, I use these free internet resources:

  • First, I subscribe to the daily news at This quick email gives me highlights of the latest news in distance learning.
  • Second, I subscribe to the Pew Internet Reports. These research reports are fascinating and give trends on usage of internet technologies. If you want to know what’s hip, what’s happening and current, subscribe!
  • Third, I’m a blogger. I like to read a variety of blogs in educational technology, and use Google Reader as my RSS aggregator. Don’t know about RSS aggregators? Basically, Google Reader allows me to subscribe to multiple blogs and all the daily entries show up in my browser–saves me time having to click around from blog to blog. Also, check out Google’s Blog search tool to find blogs of interest to you.
  • Fourth, I created the Center for Online Educators as a home for all the information I collect! I’m so happy to be able to share those resources in a centralized location for other online teachers.

2 thoughts on “keeping current in online teaching

  1. Paul Castelin February 19, 2006 / 4:53 PM

    Lisa,Thanks for the additional links to resources. I’ve been somewhat disappointed in that I’ve not received much in the way of e-mails from Distance Educator. The RSS feeds are something that I want to pursue, since it does all the aggregation for you. I assume that you have to define your RSS search terms very well to avoid receiving a lot of superfluous items. I will also subscribe to the Pew Internet Reports; they appeart to be related exactly to my interests.Thanks again!Paul

  2. Lisa Dawley, Ph.D. February 20, 2006 / 12:58 AM

    You will find the Pew Internet Reports amazing, as they are detailed, but they also break out the key and relevant points for you in a summary. eSchool News, is also a good source that you can subscribe to using your aggregator.An RSS aggregator (GoogleReader is what I use), is just a tool that allows you to search for blogs of interest that have included an xml feed (I should teach everyone how do this!). You can then choose the ones you are interested in from that list and hit “subscribe.” Then, you just get the new blog entries sent to your reader, and you can read them at your leisure. It’s a simple concept that is made harder to understand by terms such as “aggregator” and “xml feed” imho.

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