After 26 years in public education, Dennis O'Connor returned to graduate school to earn an advanced degree in online teaching and learning. He now designs and teaches online professional development courses based on his extensive classroom experience in technology and language arts. He is currently Program Advisor for the E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate Program at the University of Wisconsin Stout. He is also a founding partner of 21st Century Information Fluency Partners (21cif.com). Additionally, he is the social media manager for InstructOnline.com and The Mountain Fund (Nepal Relief) Mr. O'Connor is also active as an ISTE NETS Standards Consultant and program reviewer. Areas of particular interest include e-learning and online teaching, 21st century information skills, Six Traits writing assessment, online technology tools, multicultural education and National Educational Technology Standards. Previously he taught reading and writing to combined classes of seventh- and eighth- graders at Kingsbury Middle School in Zephyr Cove. An early believer in computer technologies as superior tools for teaching "writing as process," Mr. O'Connor was one of the first educators in his district to promote and develop computer training programs for other educators. Since the early 1980's, Mr. O'Connor led numerous teacher training programs, established an electronic mail service, created an on-line literary magazine and advised high school classes in their transition from typing to word processing. As part of an interdisciplinary unit on Japan developed by Mr. O'Connor and several colleagues, students explored Japanese culture, history and language, and developed an Internet pen pal program with English-speaking Japanese high school students.
Becoming a Milken National Educator in 1995 inspired me to return to school. Living in the rural area of Lake Tahoe at the time, I turned to distance education and discovered a new passion for E-Learning and Online Education. I graduated with an M.Ed. from the Online Teaching and Learning Program at California State University, East Bay in 2001. At that time I was awarded a Milken Family Foundation Scholarship to Western Governors University. I earned a second masters degree in Technology Integration and Instructional Design in 2005. I continue to teach online and am deeply engaged in training tomorrow's teachers using the evolving technology of eLearning. Every step of the way, my association with the MFF has open doors and broadened my horizons. Thank you all for helping me become the life-long learner I was meant to be! Now I have a chance to bring the best practices of my traditional experience to an international classroom of teachers. I remain a student and teacher (again thanks to the MFF).
1972 University of California - Berkeley, B.A. (1972)
Graduate Certificate: Online Teaching and Learning, California-State University East Bay (2000)
MS Education, Specialization in Online Teaching and Learning, California State University, East Bay (2001)
M.Ed Technology Integration and Instructional Design, Western Governors University (2005)