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CCC Online Education InitiativeAugust was a significant month for the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Iniatiative (OEI) staff. We hired the permanent replacements for the launch team officers. The new peeps start this week. We received the Request for Information (RFI) with initial vendor information for the Common Course Management System (CCMS) work and had the first meeting of the work group that is reviewing those and developing a Request for Proposal (RFP). We are working on the RFI for the tutoring vendor, which should be out within a couple of weeks. On the professional development course approval front, we have received more than 80 applications from folks across the state willing to serve as course reviewers, and that process is advancing rapidly.

CCC Online Education InitiativeDear Colleagues,

The OEI project is moving along! We have completed selection of the permanent executive team and announced our pilot colleges.

Hello colleagues!

The summer is usually a little less fast-paced for educators than it is during the regular school year. For those of us working on the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI), that has NOT been the case! The many parts to this complex project have kept us hopping all through July.

California Community Colleges Online Education InitiativeWelcome to the first of what I hope will be many blog posts addressed to those of you interested in the status of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI), and about Distance Education in general.

California Community CollegesThe recent conversation and disruption caused by the proliferation of massively open online courses (MOOCs) combined with a huge loss of course availability for students in the economic wasteland of the past few years shifted attention to the promise of access for our students via virtual means. The attention by and the subsequent conversations with the governor’s office brought us money from our state budget to provide increased access to online courses for students.

Martin Luther King. Jr. once noted that “we may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” For the California Community Colleges, this boat is the Online Education Initiative (OEI). Funded by the California Legislature in 2013, it represents an initial investment of $57 million to help our students achieve their educational goals through unified access to high-quality online learning.

Watch this video at YouTube.

Many agree that for distance education to be truly successful, “human presence,” the ability to interact authentically with other human beings, must be central to the pedagogical design. YouSeeU.com capitalizes on this principle by providing customized LMS-agnostic applications for asynchronous online human interaction. Join Dr. Douglas Hersh, Dean, Learning and Technology Resources at Grossmont College as he videoconferences with YourSeeU's Josh Kamrath to learn about their exciting new enabling technologies for human presence.

Watch this video at YouTube.

While some learning theories view student note-taking as an essential means of knowledge reconstruction, many students find the multitasking requirements daunting. Pedagogy 2.0 speaks with Cogi.com to learn about a mobile note-talking app that promises to help students listen and think critically when information exceeds the speed of write. Watch the video and let us know what you think!

A Big Thank You: This, being my last “Tech Grants” blog, I would like to acknowledge several individuals who have made a difference. First, thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Vice Chancellor Patrick Perry, who has been supportive of the efforts at all 112 California community college’s to successfully integrate technology and telecommunications throughout the system. Second, thanks to both Mr. Gordon ‘Doug’ Cremer and Mr. Tim Calhoon, former and current directors of the TTIP North CCC Technology Center. Lastly, my fellow Tech Center colleague, Mr. Sandoval Chagoya, editor of TechEDge, whose magical web graphics always brightened my blogs. Thanks to all four of you for the vision of sharing best practices with our sister community colleges.