The very first worldwide virtual Homeschool Conference was a success! With 8 great keynote addresses, 48 presentations, and 1600 registrants, you wouldn’t believe the amount of information and inspiration that was traded this past weekend! The co-chairs for this conference, Steve Hargadon and Pat Farenga, hope to make this an annual event, with the next one penciled in for January 2014.
The great thing is it’s ALL FREE, including the recordings of every presentation. You’ll find the recording of my presentation on “Self-Directed Learning and the Roots of Success” here. This is also a great way to see an overview of the material covered in my book.
I will be listening to various presentations I missed in the weeks ahead, but there are a few resources I learned about that I want to bring to your attention:
The first is a site for K-12 educators called EdK12.com. It’s still in the beta stages, and not specifically for homeschoolers, but it’s a great place to ask questions, participate in discussions, and share resources. They have also compiled an amazing, growing database of learning websites that you can search by grade, subject and category. So, if you are looking for ideas or help with something specific, say Middle School Math, you can search their library and find all kinds of websites pre-screened for relevance (not just a Google search which may lean heavily towards commercial sites).
A similar resource, provided by a nonprofit organization that includes such heavyweight backers as Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is Goorulearning. This site provides search engine capability for standards-aligned learning resources, along with a nifty way to organize your favorite sites into “Playlists” and create a virtual classroom for your students. This site is also in the beta stage, and only has search features for grades 5-12, but K-4 is in the works.
Another site you might find useful is virtualhomeschool.com. Have you ever wanted to participate in homeschool co-op classes but didn’t have enough homeschooling families living nearby? Or maybe you couldn’t find enough families interested in learning the same topic/s? Now there is a VIRTUAL co-op, run entirely by homeschool volunteers, using online classrooms and tools to work together. You can even create your own course to share with others.
If you attended the conference, or have a similar site to share, please let me know in the comments!