I am a firm believer in having a broad Personal Learning Network (PLN) across a variety of education sectors. The advantages include getting many perspectives on resources, pedagogy, current research, educational strategies, and innovative practices. A main source for my PLN “feed” is Twitter, which is a constant tab in Chrome during the work day. From this feed, I introduce the Teaching Online Preparation Toolkit (TOPkit).
TOPkit was created by the University of Central Florida’s Center for Distributed Learning with the help of an advisory group from Florida Virtual Campus and the State University University System of Florida. The program consists of three parts: a community of practice, an annual workshop, and TOPkit digest. The digest is a bi-monthly email newsletter with “Tips, Tricks, and Teaching Hacks You Can Use Right Now.” The latest email to hit my inbox included a very short paragraph and bullet points about how using a checklist can make an online class effective and improve quality. Each e-newsletter includes links to articles to dig deeper into the topic and references.
Although it originated in Florida, the folks involved in TOPkit welcome and encourage participation from educators everywhere. To subscribe to the bi-monthly e-newsletter, visit the Teaching Online Preparation Toolkit information website or to see an archive of the topics published since the site launched, visit the TOPkit archive. Follow on Twitter via @TOPkitlive.