eSynergy – Minnesota eLearning Summit Day Two: Full Notes & Teacher Resources

Yesterday I attended the second day of the Minnesota eLearning Summit Day. Today the sessions I attended really focused on tools and resources that teacher might use in the classroom. I hope they will be of interest to folks. I got a very custom presentation on interactive video conferencing – it was great to see the opportunities for classroom projects from content specialists in Minnesota.

The final session I attended focused on the digital divide. It was nice to see that the educators and librarians recognize three-prong approach to digital literacy:

  • Access – broadband, computer/device, affordability
  • Adoption – having the skills to use technology
  • Application – do you see reason to go online

A final note reflecting the three keynote speakers – educators are looking at the business of education. Today’s speaker (Cable Green from Creative Commons) really hit on the need to hold education administrators and policy makers (legislators) to the goal of making learning affordable by changing the way we produce and distribute information and curriculum. In other words – often scholars get federal funds for research; the public should have direct access to that research. Textbook publishers should not be the gatekeepers.

Travel Minnesota Virtually to Meet STEM and Arts Standards – Tami Moehring & Jack Matheson, History Center


This session was an introduction to content specialists that are currently working with classrooms. I got a nice demonstration of a class in action – but there were two items I an especially happy to share with Minnesota teachers:

  • History Live – Minnesota Historical Society – includes two new high school sessions that combine interactive video with BYOC (Bring Your Own Device); so students interact with their devices. A great way use those devices and an easy way to get local teachers a model for using devices.
  • Perpich Center for the Arts
  • International Wolf Center – I have worked with the Wolf Center in the past; they have some cool opportunities to view wolves in real time and interact with explorers
  • The Minnesota Zoo
  • Check the Prezi for more examples

Bonus Items

Minnesota Reflections: A Growing Resource for Students – Marian Rengle, St Cloud State


The digitize records in Minnesota – They are part of a larger national effort:

The collection grows. They have also developed a series of tools to help get the collection into the hands of students, such as teacher guides.

Why don’t people participate? They are afraid people will no longer come to visit them on site.

Keynote: Open Education: The Business & Policy Case for OER – Cable Green from Creative Commons

  • 10-12 years ago things became digital – a big shift in education. In the digital age there’s no cost to store
  • The world’s knowledge is a public good – technology makes it available: Cape Town Open Education Declaration
  • BUT the law was getting in the way. That gave birth to the Creative Commons License
  • Many tools (Google, Flickr…) will filter resources by Creative Commons License so that you know that you can use them in your classroom.
  • Higher Ed is starting to share their courseware online. Why? Because content is not why people come to a university  – they come to meet people, talk to experts, be part of the environment
  • Textbooks are no longer required. Foundations are making curriculum available online through resources such as – means students no longer have to buy books.


  • Must be free
  • Must include legal rights to change content
  • Reuse – Revise – Remix – Redistribute

What is the Business/Policy Case for OER?

  • Rivalrous vs Non-rivalrous resource
  • The content is paid for – via grants et al
  • Schools can no longer afford paper
  • School can no longer afford traditional distribution
  • We need to educate school leaders and legislators

A glimpse at costs

  • $18.49/month CourseSmart Textbook (online access to one higher ed textbook)
  • $9.99/month Spotify (access to 15 million songs)
  • $7.99/month Netflix account

Who is funding OER resources now?

  • California, British Columbia & Washington – are all putting money into developing/curating open source textbooks.
  • White House issues directive supporting public access to publicly funded research – after 12 month embargo.

Equitable Access:  Bridging the Digital Divide to Foster Online Learning – MaryAnn Van Cura, Catherine Durivage, Karen Johnson

SOCRATES Online – Catherine Durivage

Equitable access means:

  • Robust Technology
  • Quality Instruction
  • Comprehensive Quality Digital Curriculum


  • 100Mbps for every 1000 students by 2014-1015
  • Need 24/7 access offsite
  • Aiming for state broadband  goals for home access


  • People aren’t getting online because they see no value
  • Minnesota created laws that included requirements for tech skills in licensure and staff development (MS 120A.22 & MS 122A.66).
  • LEAD has published a 5 pt plan

Quality Content

(See presentation)

Library View on Digital Divide – MaryAnn Van Cura

  • Internet Access & Adoption Reports
  • Libraries are on the frontlines – so we see who needs help and it can be surprising.
  • Libraries are partnering with
    • Workforce Centers
    • LegalAid

ABCs of Digital Include

  • Access – can you get access, did you get access, do you have a computer/device
  • Basic skills
  • Content relevant to the user

(See presentation)

Karen Johnson – Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library

(See presentation)

This entry was posted in Conferences, Digital Divide, education, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

2 thoughts on “eSynergy – Minnesota eLearning Summit Day Two: Full Notes & Teacher Resources

  1. Hi Ann: Thanks for posting all of this! I’m glad you were able to get to the Summit and see everything that is going on.


  2. Pingback: U of M pushing flipped classes | Blandin on Broadband

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