Virtual School Meanderings

October 20, 2014

[CSSE-SCÉÉ]CSSE – Conference – SUBMISSION REMINDER – 3 weeks | SCÉÉ – Congrés – RAPPEL À SOUMETTRE – Trois semaines

From this past Wednesday’s inbox…

Dear Colleagues:  The deadline for submissions of proposals for the 2015 CSSE conference is Wednesday, 5 November 2014.  You can find further information at Thanks, Tim

Chers collègues, la date limite pour soumettre des projets d’exposés pour le congrès annuel de la SCÉÉ de 2015 est le mercredi 5 novembre 2014.  Vous trouverez plus amples renseignements au Merci, Tim

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Article Notice: Can Virtual Schools Thrive In The Real World?

This actually came through via the ProQuest/EBSCO Alerts over the weekend…  I’ve re-produced all of the information that you can obtain on the website for free below.

November 2014, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 57-62

Date: 07 Oct 2014

Can virtual schools thrive in the real world?


Despite the relatively large number of students enrolled in Ohio’s virtual schools, it is unclear how virtual schools compare to their traditional school counterparts on measures of student achievement. To provide some insight, we compared the school performance from 2007-2011 at Ohio’s virtual and traditional schools. The results suggest that Ohio’s virtual schools have grown rapidly, but also have experienced much lower levels of school performance than traditional schools. In light of these findings, we discuss factors that may be contributing to the large number of low-performing virtual schools in Ohio. Considering the lack of sufficient evidence that Ohio’s virtual schools are effective, we conclude that the relentless pursuit to expand virtual schools is problematic.


  1. Aud, S., Wilkinson-Flicker, S., Kristapovich, P., Rathbun, A., Wang, X., and Zhang, J. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved from
  2. Barbour, M. K. (2013). The landscape of K-12 online learning: Examining what is known. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (3rd ed.) (pp. 574-593). New York, NY: Routledge.
  3. Barbour, M., K. & Reeves, T. (2009). The reality of virtual schools: A review of the literature. Computers & Education, 52(2), 402-416. CrossRef
  4. Bathon, J. (2011). Model legislation related to online learning opportunities for students in public elementary and secondary education schools. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from
  5. Carnahan, C., & Fulton, L. (2013). Virtual forgotten: Special education students in cyber schools. TechTrends, 57(4), 46-52. CrossRef
  6. Carr-Chellman, A. A., & Marsh, M. (2009). Pennsylvania cyber school funding: Follow the money. TechTrends, 53(4), 49-55. CrossRef
  7. Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. (n.d). Who we are. Retrieved from
  8. Findlay Digital Academy. (n.d.) What is FDA. Retrieved from
  9. Glass, G. V., & Welner, K. G. (2011). Online K-12 schooling in the U.S.: Uncertain private ventures in need of public regulation. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from
  10. Hubbard, B., & Mitchell, N. (2011). Online K-12 schools failing students but keeping tax dollars. I-News Network. Retrieved from
  11. Miron, G., Huerta, L., Cuban, L., Horvitz, B., Gulosino, C., Rice, J. K., & Shafer, S. R. (2013). Virtual schools in the U.S. 2013: Politics, performance, policy, and research evidence. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from
  12. National Forum on Education Statistics. (2006). Forum guide to elementary/secondary virtual education (NFES2006-803). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
  13. O’Donnell, P., & Bloom, M. (2012, September 30). How online education is changing school in Ohio. State Impact NPR. Retrieved from
  14. Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009). E-schools show superior Results: Analysis of state value-added data confirms e-schools students’ progress. Retrieved from
  15. Ohio Department of Education. (2012). Opening 5 new e-schools. Retrieved from
  16. Ohio Report Cards. (2013). 2010-2012 Guide to understanding Ohio’s accountability system. Retrieved from
  17. Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) § 3314.
  18. Performance Index. (2013). Ohio Department of Education: Report Card. Retrieved from
  19. Rhim, L., & Kowal, J. (2008). Demystifying special education in virtual charter schools. Alexandra, VA: Special Education Technical Assistance for Charter Schools Project.
  20. Ryman, A., & Kossan, P. (2011). The race to online: Arizona experiments with virtual K-12 schools. Will they work for your child? Arizona Republic. Retrieved from
  21. Wang, Y., & Decker, J. R. (in press). Examining digital inequities in Ohio’s K-12 virtual schools: Implications for educational leaders and policymakers. International Journal of Education Reform.
  22. Watson, J., Murin, A., Vashaw, L., Gemin, B., Rapp, C. (2012). Keeping pace with K-12 online & blended learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Evergreen Education Group. Retrieved from

Canadian Educators Recognized for iNACOL Innovation Awards

From the Canadian E-Learning Network (or CANeLearn).

Canadian Educators Recognized for iNACOL Innovation Awards

Four outstanding programs and educators were recognized by the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) as nominees for one of four innovation awards presented by iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning The iNACOL Innovator Awards recognize learning practices, new research and individual achievements in the field blended and online learning.

CANeLearn nominees were:

  • Blended and Online Learning Teacher of the Year
  • Innovative Blended and Online Learning Practice Award
    • The Navigate Program of the North Island Distance Education School, Courtenay BC (British Columbia – contact is Jeff Stewart, District Principal)
  • Research Award
  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to K-12 Blended and Online Learning Award
    • Maurice Barry (retired) for his work with the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation, St. John NL (Newfoundland/Labrador –

The nominees are deserving of their recognition:

  • Michael Barbour has been a tireless support for the development of CANeLearn and advocate for the advancement of Canadian-based research about the increasing online and blended learning occurring in Canada. Since 2008 the annual State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada report has been central in shining a light on innovative practice across Canada and Michael has been principal researcher and manager of the project (CANeLearn has stepped in to help sponsor this research and support its expansion).  Click here to download more information.
  • Maurice Barry has been a pioneer in online learning for decades at the Newfoundland and Labrador’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation where he authored or co-authored over forty books and guides. For years Maurice was the voice of CDLI’s innovative practices that have been replicated by other online programs. He has garnered recognition with a public service award of excellence and administrator of the year awards.  Click here to download more information.
  • Josh Gray has mentored teachers from the Thames Valley District in online learning for years and is a recognized leader and presenter, followed by many. Teachers in Ontario have incorporated his unique ideas and incorporated his practices to the benefit of their students.  Click here to download more information.
  • The Navigate Program offers diverse innovative programs that Navigate has developed these past years including its ENTER program, Fine Arts eCademy, iClass K-12, Leadership Program, VEX Robotics and our Independent Learning Centres in the three secondary schools.  Their blended programs are a result of the creative capacity and hard work of staff along with support from the entire community.  Click here to download more information.

In 2012 Peggy Drolet and Audrey McGoldrick from LEARN ( were recognized for an innovation award and in 2013 our own Verena Roberts, CANeLearn Chief Innovation Officer, was a co-recipient of the Innovative Blended and Online Learning Practice Award in recognition of her work in creating The Open Classroom while at the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (

Your October CORE Education Newsletter — Tips For Encouraging Your Students & Children To Love Reading, Your GAFE Questions Answered, & More

Beginning the week with one for my Kiwi readers…

For those interested in education. Packed with education news, information, resources and inspiration.
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CORE Education
Kia ora Michael,

Thanks for subscribing to CORE newsletters. We are dedicated to supporting New Zealand’s educators and are passionate about future-focused learning.

What you’ll find in this issue:

  • More free professional development throughout October.
  • How you could win back your ULearn15 conference fee, and other prizes for your school.
  • Your GAFE questions answered.

Feature Article

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ULearn & Connected Educator Month

What was, what is, what’s coming!

Nearly 1700 delegates joined us for ULearn14 in Rotorua this month and enjoyed three days of networking, collaborating and learning.

Vimeo IconWatch: Why this year’s delegates think you should be at ULearn15 next year.

Register your interest in attending ULearn15 by 31 March 2015 to receive exclusive advanced notice of when registrations open, and go in the draw to win your conference fee back!

Re-imagining learners and learning, teaching practice, leading and leadership
7 – 9 October 2015
SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland

Register button

CEM Term 4 Events

Workshops, book groups, podcasts, discussions, and more…

With at least 25 events on every day, there are more events on the Connected Educator Month calendar than you can probably attend — so use the calendar filters to pick the best pathway for your own professional learning and export them to your diary.

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From the CORE blog

Global Connectedness

No.8 of 10 trends in education

Global Connectedness Blog Post Image

Watch: Karen Melhuish-Spencer talks about Global Connectedness on the CORE blog.

“Global connectedness can bring us together to share joy, to unearth illegal behaviour, to spotlight political activity, to raise money for charity (ALS Ice Challenge, anyone?). It brings untold benefits while exposing (even amplifying) mob mentality, inequality and injustice. In New Zealand, this global connectedness can also turn cheeky local start-ups into global heavyweights…our challenge as educators is to prepare our learners to not only take advantage of all that this [connectivity] offers, but also to encourage them to question, investigate and act as global citizens”…read this post in full and leave your comments on the CORE blog.

Latest News and Information

11 ways to grow great readers

A parent’s perspective

blog-dateRead: Rochelle Savage writes about what has worked in her family to encourage a love of reading.

“Children who read a lot, expand their vocabulary, pick up a range of knowledge, and generally do better at school…But how do you encourage a love of reading? Like most things to do with children — sleeping, eating etc, there is no magic one size fits all solution to encourage reading…”read more and leave your comments on the CORE blog.

prize-imageCOMMENT TO WIN

We have five copies of The Three Bears….Sort Of, winner of the NZ Post Children’s Award 2014, to give away to five schools. To be in to win, just make a comment on Rochelle’s blog post telling us:

  • What works for your children and/or students?
  • What gets them excited about reading?
  • The name of the primary school you would like the book to be sent to.

Your GAFE questions answered

On Sound Education podcasts

Anaru and Allannah image

Last month, Anaru and Allannah offered to receive your questions about Google Apps. Here is the first of the questions you asked:

“What is the best way to organise your Google Drive? Or find a file in Google Drive?”

Podcast imageListen to Anaru and Allanah’s answer

Download Sound Education podcasts for free on iTunes.
Browse by channel, listen, and download from the Sound Education page.

Other CORE initiatives

For the latest information on:

CORE BreakfastsLEARNZEDtalks

Key dates for your diary

1-31 OctoberWorld-wide
Connected Educator Month

24 OctoberHawkes Bay
Anniversary Day

27 OctoberNZ-wide
Labour Day

1 November: Christchurch
TEDx Christchurch 2014: Explore, Dream, Discover

3 NovemberMarlborough
Anniversary Day

4 NovemberChristchurch
Enable Workshop Early Years: Engaging Pasifika fanau/whānau

4 NovemberChristchurch
Breakfast: Modern Pathways to raising Māori achievement

5 NovemberDunedin
Breakfast: Digitising appraisal and inquiry

6 NovemberHamilton
Breakfast: Modern Learning Environments

7 NovemberAuckland
Breakfast: Future-focused: What does that look like in your school?

7 NovemberWellington
Breakfast: Leading learning from the edges using UDL

11 NovemberChristchurch
DigiAwards Awards Ceremony

14 NovemberCanterbury
Anniversary Day

1 DecemberChatham Islands and Westland
Anniversary Day

16 DecemberNZ-wide
Term 4 ends (secondary)

19 DecemberNZ-wide
Term 4 ends (primary)

24 Dec4 JanNZ-wide
CORE close-down period

Tīhau atu tīhau mai!

Join the conversations! Click on the blue Twitter bird throughout the newsletter to participate (#hashtags) and follow (@handles) CORE events and initiatives online.

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Next Trend:

Learning from gaming: “New approaches of ‘intrinsic integration’ linking the motivational elements of with specific learning activities and outcomes, so that the game-play is both engaging and educationally effective.”
…more details on this trend in the next issue.

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Now on iTunes

Sound Education podcasts by CORE are now available free on iTunes!

Copyright © 2014 CORE Education, All rights reserved.
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October 19, 2014

MOOCs: Explore Learning in Open Courses

Also from Friday’s inbox…

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MOOCs: Exploring Learning in Open Courses


Starts November 7, 2014


Chances are you have heard about a massively open online course (MOOC). Whether positively or negatively, few trends have had such a broad impact on higher education as the arrival of the MOOC. The transformation of education from limited access to open access calls into question rigor, evaluation, assessment, accreditation, and value of theory versus skill-based learning. Explore this paradigm beyond what you’ve read about in the news with this week-long workshop

Participants will:

  • Discuss the different types of MOOCs and the learning differences in xMOOCs and cMOOCs.
  • Learn how design, strategy, organizational constraints, and purpose shape the MOOC experience.
  • Analyze teaching, learning, and assessment differences in a MOOC.

Best Regards,


P.S. There is still time to join us onsite or virtually in celebrating 20 years of online learning at the 20th Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference, October 29-31, 2014 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sandra Coswatte | Director, Institute for Learning

Online Learning Consortium

Empowering Educators Everywhere                                                                                                                    

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Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950
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