TRC Online Learning Community



The TRC Online Learning Community (TOLC) supports ongoing communications and collaboration to enhance our statewide professional development programs. All STEM educators in Texas and Louisiana are welcome and invited to participate. Access to the collaborative Ning Network is by invitation only. If you are a Texas STEM educator and would like to participate, send an email request to John Solis with your name and institution. If you have already joined, and need the URL, it is: TOLC Ning Network

ATT El Paso ToyotaShell

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Special Interest Groups

groupsThe TOLC Special Interest Groups can be created by any member of the TOLC Ning Network. Special interest groups can support our ongoing professional development programs by providing pre and post workshop opportunities for communication with content experts. Additionally, TOLC groups will help participants to share their implementation strategies, needs, and successes as they implement the knowledge and skills gained in TRC workshops. Group participants can easily share online and other resources which will further the goals of the group.

Featured TOLC Special Interest Groups

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JournalingEvery member of the TOLC Ning Network can publish their own education journal (BLOG). This is your opportunity to share your experience with other educators. Examples of what you might want to include in your journal include: effective practice, tips and teaching methods, reviews of web or other resources you find valuable, your successes in the classroom, and professional development opportunities. Other TOLC members can subscribe to your journal and invite others, helping you establish and provide mentoring to an ever growing group.

TOLC Featured Journals Include:

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Virtual World Community


The TOLC Mountain Campus is our gathering place in the Second Life virtual world. The campus provides virtual meeting venues where STEM educators in avatar form can gather for informal networking or to attend an online presentation. The TOLC Mountain Campus is located centrally within The University of Texas state-wide Second Life initiative. Instructions for participating in this virtual environment can be found here.

The TOLC Mountain Campus provides several provides several venues for getting together in Second Life, Including:
  • an orientation building for new Second Life educators
  • an entry plaza for greeting new arrivals
  • three auditoriums nestled in the top of the TOLC mountain range
  • a tree house for informal chats
  • the east classroom
  • an exhibit hall
  • a sandbox for learning about building in Second Life
  • and the TOLC tower for a view of the campus
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TOLC Webinar Series

webinarOpportunities for online webinars will be listed in our TRC calendar and on this page. We will be using Adobe Connect. Most meetings will be leader lead and will require no software or additional hardware beyond a recent browser and CPU. There will, however, be more interactive webinars which will allow multiple presenters and vocal communications by all participants who have the required tools. Primarily this means an audio input device and an optional webcam. You can learn more about these tools and our webinar use on the TRC Webinar WIKI page.


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Online Professional Development Courses

The TRC has funded one-year subscriptions to the NSTA Learning Center for 836 science teachers across the state. Teachers can earn up to 20 hours of TRC credit through NSTA SciPacks. SciPacks are 5 - 10 hour online content-based professional development modules. Teachers are required to complete an online assessment of their content knowledge covering the module topics before and after completing a SciPack to document knowledge gained.

If you are currently a funded Collaborative educator, contact your Science Project Director Mathematics Project Director to find out about this opportunity. Any STEM educator can subscribe to this resource at a cost and there are many free resources as well.

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Forum Discussions

forumThe TRC Online Learning Community uses the TOLC Ning Network to make it easy for any member to interact with other educators in an online threaded discussion. Post questions, share effective practice, mentor others. This discussion environment allows you to post a formatted text entry and include wrapped images and links to uploaded attachments and other web resources. Any member can start a discussion topic and optionally follow the replies by forwarded email. Currently our discussions fall into the following categories:

If you would like to help moderate one of these categories, please contact John Solis

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podcastingPodcast Initiative

The Texas Regional Collaboratives has been funded by the Toyota USA Foundation, the El Paso Corporation, and the AT&T Foundation establish a statewide TRC Podcasting Network (TRCPN). This network includes not only the hardware to author and host podcasts, but most importantly our Podcast Specialist Group which provides regional training and support. Additionally, with the help of the Toyota USA Foundation we are currently supporting several authoring initiatives at the regional level. These authoring collaboratives include:

  • North Central Texas College Regional Science Collaborative
  • Region 14 Regional Science Collaborative
  • Rice University Science Collaborative
  • UT Tyler Regional Science Collaborative
  • TAMU-Texarkana Regional Science Collaborative

Additionally, our featured Collaborative teacher, Stef Paramoure is being supported for both authoring and podcast training.


El Paso Corpratin       Toyota USA Foundation    ATTShell


The primary TRC web pages associated with this initiative are located at:

You can join other STEM educators exploring podcast in education at the TOLC Ning Network within the Forum as threaded discussion and the Podcast Special Interest Group.

Featured TRC Podcast Series

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