For the Love of Learning – Self-Directed Education Online Programs – Epi#91


Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode #91

Self-Directed Education Online Programs

Monday January 30, 2017  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday January 31, 2017 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT


Darrell Letourneau
Cassie Espich
Nick Grandy



In tonight’s show, we are going to explore the one of the options available to support self directed learners, learning through online programs.

Tonight we’ll try to understand how online programs work, specifically for unschoolers and other self-directed learners. We’ll look into issues surrounding program flexibility, freedom, cost, diplomas and accreditation, accessibility and community.

Darrell Letourneau

Darrell is an eLearning Consultant and Instructional Designer from Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada working at the busy crossroads of education and innovation. He is also interested in ethical technology, design, and entrepreneurship.
Darrell has over 30 years experience as an educator from Kindergarten to Graduate School and an instructional designer and trainer in education and business.
He is a founding member of the SelfDesign Learning Community and SelfDesign Graduate Institute, the Nanaimo Chapter of Computing Using Educators of BC, Technology Intensives (web-based workshops for professionals) and Digikids Summer Computer Camps.
He is also the founder of a Distributed Learning online elementary school and True North eLearning consulting practice.

Cassie Espich

Cassie started her path in education as a tutor for a young child with Autism Spectrum Disorder while working on her B.A. in Psychology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. After realizing her love for the work, Cassie spent two years as an aide at a pre-school specifically for children with ASD.

She then decided to pursue a teaching license, so she could do more for her students. She earned her M.Ed in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While working on her degree, Cassie also worked as a paraprofessional for a first grade student, and did her student teaching with first graders as well. She knew that, after finishing her degree, she would never want to work again in a classroom with 30+ students, all forced to sit at a desk all day and learn from the same curriculum.
That’s when she found Clonlara, which was a perfect fit for her and her educational philosophy. Cassie’s first year with Clonlara was as a teacher in the k-5 room of the Campus program. During her second year, she was asked to help with her Special Education background in Clonlara’s Off-Campus program. She’s now in her fourth year with Clonlara, and is the Online Program Coordinator, working with Off-Campus and Online students.
Cassie gets to help her students pursue their curiosities, strengths, interests, and talents while working toward an accredited diploma. It’s been a wonderful experience so far, and she’s looking forward to many more years with Clonlara!

Nick Grandy

Nick is one of the co-founders, and leads product and support at Outschool.  Early in his career, he was a high school physics teacher in Brooklyn, where his favorite lesson plan involved teaching electric circuits with hot dogs.  More recently he was the first employee at Airbnb and a product manager at the ed-tech company Clever.  Nick grew up in London, and studied Astronomy at Harvard and Computer Science at Oxford.

This episode is produced by Nina Downer

Episode hosted by Lainie Liberti




Lainie Liberti

As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teen son at: You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.

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