K-State College of Education Offers Free Remote Learning P-12 Community

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MANHATTAN — Kansas State University is expanding its resources to help people across the world transition to remote learning with a new free digital community for P-12 education.

The K-State College of Education’s Remote Learning P-12 community is another cyber land-grant university initiative and a place where educators and parents can share innovative ideas and resources that support student success. The online forum is open to parents, teachers, principals, superintendents and school counselors in Kansas and around the nation and world and can be accessed through K-State Global Campus. The community can be found online at remote-learning-p-12.mn.co.

“Our K-State faculty and staff have been one of the silver linings of this pandemic,” said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. “They are donating their time and expertise to help teachers, schools and parents continue on through this adversity.”

Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction and coordinator of the Remote Learning P-12 community, said the idea came to him after learning of a community built for higher education.

“College of Education faculty at K-State have been discussing a variety of ideas to address how schools, teachers, parents and students could keep teaching and learning in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis,” Vontz said. “Our colleagues in Global Campus developed an online forum for higher education teaching that really took off. So, we borrowed a good idea from them and modified it.”

Karen Pedersen, dean of K-State Global Campus, said she sees both a need and enthusiasm for educators pulling together to help one another.

“Establishing a Keep Teaching community for higher education professionals to crowdsource resources and provide support was our first step,” Pedersen said. “With more than 1,550 individuals in that community, I’m very excited the College of Education is setting up the Remote Learning P-12 community.”

Todd Goodson, professor and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction, believes this pandemic will touch and change many aspects of society.

“I suspect educators will learn some things from this crisis and take away a few innovations that will have lasting impact,” Goodson said. “Moments like this are game-changers for almost every aspect of society, including education institutions.”

J. Spencer Clark, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, agrees with Goodson and believes this is a time for growth and, in the end, teachers and students will benefit.

“For the long term, we hope teachers return to the classroom with more online resources and tools to enhance their face-to-face teaching and pedagogy,” he said.

Read more about K-State’s remote learning resources, k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2020-03/university_demonstrates_cyber_land_grant_leadership.html. More information also is available at k-state.edu/keepteaching.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.