Virtual School Meanderings

October 29, 2014

New Webinar | Engaging Students with Online Images

From the inbox on Monday…

New from edWeb and Britannica Digital Learning. View as a web page. - Ignite Digital Learning Britannica Digital Learning

Sara Torpey manages the Curriculum Specialist team at Britannica Digital Learning. She travels throughout the country to introduce the company’s resources to schools and libraries, with a special focus on the products’ curriculum applications to the Common Core and state standards. She is well-versed on the topics of digital literacy and digital citizenship, and has a strong interest in strengthening the collaboration between classroom teachers and school librarians. Before joining Britannica, Sara spent ten years as a middle school math and science teacher, elementary and middle school math coach, and part-time lecturer in mathematics at the collegiate level.

Free Webinar
Picture This:
Engaging Students with Online Images
Presented by Sara Torpey, Manager, Curriculum Specialists, at Britannica Digital Learning

Monday, Nov. 3 at 4pm ET

How can images you find online be used with students to spark curiosity and learning? In our community’s first webinar, Britannica Digital Learning’s Sara Torpey will explore ways that you can engage your students with online images. Classroom teachers and school librarians – experienced and novice alike – will benefit as we discuss ways to put photographs, illustrations, maps, diagrams, and other educational images to work, increasing the rigor and demand of Common Core-aligned lessons and activities at all grade levels.

Topics we will cover include:

  • Where and why images fit in curriculum standards
  • How to use images, such as photographs, illustrations, and maps, as discussion prompts, visual cues, and do now/thinking starters
  • How and why the same image can serve purposes in different subjects and grade levels
  • How to craft queries for abstract versus concrete images, and how these images can be used

Sara also will field your questions during this interactive session. Join us on November 3rd to learn new ways to engage your students with online images!

A Free Professional Learning Community

Ignite Digital Learning

Ignite Digital Learning is a free professional learning community (PLC) where educators, librarians, and administrators can explore strategies and tactics for getting every child to be a better thinker, better reader, and better writer through the use of digital resources. Together, we can transform learning to reach every student’s true potential.

Our community offers educators a place to post questions, start discussions, share practical tips, and get feedback from experts and peers on ways to jump-start curiosity and critical thinking, celebrate independent discovery, and help every student collaborate, communicate, and achieve.

We’ll present free webinars as an opportunity for all of us to come together to work on topics such as:

  • How to prepare students with the skills they’ll need for the world they’ll shape
  • Real-world applications that make learning relevant and enjoyable
  • Differentiating digital content and strategies to reach all students wherever learning takes them
  • The value of digital resources for supporting curriculum standards, increasing student engagement, and strengthening existing classroom and library materials
  • Involving parents and family members in digital discoveries

As a member of the community, you’ll receive…

  • Invitations to free webinars and live chats.
  • A CE certificate for attending/viewing our webinars.
  • Access to all of the recorded webinars, presentations, resources, and online discussions.

Join the Community

Many thanks to our sponsor

Britannica Digital Learning is a free professional learning and social network that makes it easy for teachers and all educators to connect and collaborate with peers, share information and best practices, and spread innovative ideas to improve teaching and learning.

Contact us to learn more: 800-575-6015 | |

edWeb Mobile Twitter Facebook Pinterest

714 Executive Drive | Princeton, NJ 08540

© 2014 edWeb, LLC

Forward email
This email was sent to by |
Rapid removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy. | 714 Executive Drive | Princeton | NJ | 08540

Call for Chapters: Handbook of Research on Optimizing K-12 Education through Online and Blended Learning

Posting this on behalf of a colleague.  Note that the deadline is tomorrow!!!


Nathaniel Ostashewski (Athabasca University, Canada)
Jennifer Howell (Curtin University, Australia)
Martha Cleveland-Innes (Athabasca University, Canada)

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: October 30, 2014
Full Chapters Due: November 30, 2014


For release in the Advances in Early Childhood and K-12 Education (AECKE) Book Series.

Series Editor: Jared Keengwe (University of North Dakota, USA)
ISSN: 2329-5929

The Advances in Early Childhood and K-12 Education (AECKE) series aims to present the latest research on trends, pedagogies, tools, and methodologies regarding all facets of early childhood and K-12 education.

* * *

Thousands of educational institutions and K-12 schools deliver blended and online education. Despite this there is a lack of research on the successful implementations that enhance K-12 education delivery using blended and online learning activities and resources. Blended learning can be described as the thoughtful integration of online and face-to-face instruction, and online education – a distinct form of distance education – can be defined as education and instruction delivered primarily via the Internet.

Higher education has been researching and publishing in the areas of blended and online teaching and learning. However, there is a critical lack of research dissemination addressing challenges, successes, and teaching/learning strategies in K-12 education. This Handbook addresses the need for blended and online K-12 educational practice dissemination.


With the continuing rapid adoption and expansion of blended and online learning as a way to personalize education, the theme of this book is both timely and sorely needed. In 2013, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) put out a call for the development of blended and online models supporting college and career-readiness for all K-12 students. Similarly, there has been a call by some researchers stating that blended learning sorely needs theoretical frameworks which help practitioners make effective decisions about blending online learning and resources with their classroom delivery. This proposed handbook intends to address these areas of K-12 educational practice dissemination. This handbook is a reference work which provides comprehensive coverage of the perspectives, applications, and models that define the converging worlds of blended and online learning at the K-12 level. Blended and online learning share a common key element, delivery via the Internet.

Target Audience

This Handbook of research is valuable for educators at all levels of implementation as it provides a diverse range of examples that highlight characteristics and the support strategies for success. These include: descriptions of evidence-based best practices for teaching strategies, the identification of learning activity characteristics necessary for K-12 learner success, descriptions of designs using K-12 online learning communities to engage online and school based learners, and the identification of lower performing online learner supports.

This authoritative handbook details the needs of teachers, researchers, policy makers, and scholars through state-of-the-art perspectives, exposing them to new applications and models of implementation. Special emphasis is given to evidence-based research relevant to educational practice and guided by the educational realities in K-12 schools. The volume encompasses the current trends and issues which determine and inform the integration of blended and online learning as educational practice, including teaching and learning, instructional design, open educational resources, social media and networking, and competency-based assessment.

Recommended Topics

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Issues and Perspectives in K-12 Blended & Online Education
  • Concepts in K-12 Blended & Online Education
  • Learning technologies in K-12 Blended & Online Education
  • Applications of Blended & Online Education
  • call for chapters, cyber school, education

  • Teaching strategies and Tactics in Blended & Online Education
  • Models of K-12 Blended and Online Education
  • Blended and Online learning design in K-12 Education
  • Social media/networking and applications in K-12 Education
  • Benefits of K-12 Blended and Online Education
  • The role of mobile devices K-12 Blended and Online Education
  • Open Educational Resources In K-12 Blended and Online Education.

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before October 30, 2014, a chapter proposal of 500 to 1,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by October 31, 2014 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by November 30, 2014. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

All proposals should be submitted through the “Propose a Chapter” link at the bottom of this page.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2015.

Important Dates

Proposal Submission Deadline: October 30, 2014
Notification of Acceptance: October 31, 2014
Full Chapter Submission: November 30, 2014
Review Results Returned: January 15, 2015
Final Acceptance Notification: March 1, 2015
Final Chapter Submission: March 31, 2015


Inquiries can be forwarded to:
Dr. Nathaniel Ostashewski
Center for Distance Education
Athabasca University

News From The NEPC: Online Education Report Offers Little New or Useful

From yesterday’s inbox…

Research and analysis to inform education policy
and promote democratic deliberation
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Online Education Report Offers
Little New or Useful

Report claiming better results from Florida Virtual School confirms the findings and repeats the methodological flaws and limitations of previous research


William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,

Michael K. Barbour, (203) 997-6330,

URL for this press release:

BOULDER, CO (Oct. 28, 2014) – A recent report incorrectly claims to be the first empirical study of K-12 student achievement in virtual schools, and its flaws and limitations repeat those of earlier studies, according to a new review.

Michael K. Barbour of Sacred Heart University – who has been involved in K-12 online learning in several countries as a researcher, teacher, course designer and administrator – reviewed the report Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School. His research focuses on the effective design, delivery and support of K-12 online learning, particularly for students in rural areas. The review was conducted for the Think Twice think tank review project and is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.

The report Barbour reviewed, Virtual Schooling and Student Learning, was written by Matthew M. Chingos and Guido Schwerdt and published by the Program on Education Policy and Governance, an organization at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government that promotes school choice.

Virtual Schooling and Student Learning compares the performance of Florida Virtual School (FLVS) students with that of students in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. The authors conclude that FLVS students perform at least as well as the comparison students on state tests, while costing less to educate.

“The report claims to be the first study to provide ‘estimates of the effect of taking virtual courses,’” Barbour notes. “This is not correct, and the report in fact confirms the findings and repeats the methodological flaws and limitations of previous research.”

The Florida report largely ignores a key question influencing whether the two compared groups are in fact comparable: Are the reasons why students enrolled in the virtual school rooted in differences that would create bias in the findings? If so, there could be systemic bias reflecting, e.g., the extent to which parents are engaged with their children. Any improved outcomes for the virtual students may also be due to “a lessening of the circumstances that caused the student to leave the traditional setting in the first place,” Barbour says. For example, if a student being bullied in a brick-and-mortar school and transferred to a cyber school, any improved performance may be completely divorced from the technology or delivery method — but simply because the student is no longer being bullied. While that is a benefit of virtual education, it wasn’t what the authors argued or were even researching.

Barbour further explains that the report fails to account for the differing rates at which traditional and virtual students leave their respective programs, and it “fails to consider whether the virtual environment changed how the instruction was designed, delivered, or supported.”

Barbour concludes by pointing out that, given the flaws in simplistically seeking to compare virtual schooling with traditional schooling, the more useful research in the field instead focuses on how K-12 online learning, whether alone or blended with traditional modes of teaching, “can be effectively designed, delivered, and supported.”

Find Michael K. Barbour’s review on the NEPC website at:

Virtual Schooling and Student Learning, by Matthew M. Chingos and Guido Schwerdt and published by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, on the web at:
The Think Twice think tank review project ( of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visit

This review is also found on the GLC website at

If you are not already subscribed to this newsletter and would like to receive it regularly, click 

and then click the button in the upper right-hand corner that looks like this: 

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Its mission is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information about the NEPC, please visit

Copyright © 2014 National Education Policy Center, All rights reserved.
You’re receiving this email because you have opted in at our website or sent a personal request to be included. Thank you.
Our mailing address is:

National Education Policy Center

School of Education, 249 UCB
University of Colorado

Boulder, CO 80309-0249

Add us to your address book

 unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences

For all other communication with NEPC, write to

October 28, 2014

iNACOL Webinar | 10/29 – Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students

And from the neo-liberals in yesterday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Course Access – Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students

iNACOL Special Edition Webinar

Wednesday, October 29th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET (register)
According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, far too many students do not have access to all the courses that will prepare them for college and careers. Only 50% of U.S. high schools offer calculus; only 63% offer physics. Course access can be a critical tool for increasing equity and opportunity in K-12 education. It provides public school students with expanded course offerings across learning environments from diverse, accountable providers and is a mechanism by which students can gain equitable access to a variety of courses in a programmatic effort to increase access, quality and equity in public education.
In this webinar, we will discuss the importance of Course Access as a tool for student college and career readiness, and present policy recommendations from the new iNACOL policy brief Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students to help state policymakers assure quality, equity, and sustainability. Experts from the field will discuss lessons learned implementing course access policies in Louisiana and Texas.

This webinar is free to attend, but please register HERE for final details and login information.


  • Maria Worthen, Vice President, Federal & State Policy, iNACOL
  • Dave Lefkowith, Louisiana Department of Education
  • Barbara Smith, Project Director, Texas Virtual School Network, Region 10 Education Service Center
About iNACOL
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit
Forward this email to a friend

Stay connected:
Follow iNACOL on Twitter Friend iNACOL on Facebook  iNACOL videos on YouTube Join iNACOL colleagues on LinkedIn

Find out more about iNACOL and our mission on:

iNACOL on the Giving Library


From yesterday’s inbox…

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here



Like us on FacebookView our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter

National Distance Learning Week–November 10-14, 2014


What will you do for NDLW 2014?



The purpose of National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) is to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning, including K-12, Higher Education, Corporate and Military, while recognizing leaders and best practices in the field.



For schools, colleges, and corporations to conduct local events during NDLW to celebrate and promote the field of online learning.



November 1014, 2014



Professionals engaged in the day-to-day practice of distance learning (schools, colleges, corporations, military) and individuals and organizations providing products and services being distributed via online, video conferencing and satellite technologies.







For more information on NDLW contact USDLA at 1.800.275.5162.




About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.
Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Facebook
Send to a Colleague
Forward email
United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) | 76 Canal Street | Suite 400 | Boston | MA | 02114
« Previous PageNext Page »

The Rubric Theme. Blog at


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,571 other followers