Program Advisor, E-Learning and Online Teaching
Year Honored: 1995University of Wisconsin-Stout
At the time of the Award, Dennis O'Connor was:Teacher
Kingsbury Middle School
Zephyr Cove, NV
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). 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.