Congratulations to my colleagues in Utah at the OHSU!!!
June 21, 2012
December 16, 2011
One of my good friends, David Wiley, who was also included on the e-mail that Ali sent around about her TEDxPSU – A Closer Look at Cyber Charter Schools responded talking about what I believe is one important exception to the for profit cyber charter school model that I have tried to promote in this space. And with David‘s permission, I post his comments below:
As dead on as it is impassioned. Thank you for sharing. I do want to point out one exception to the gold rush mentality you described so accurately in your presentation (and it does sicken me, and I’m really glad to hear someone talking about it). The exception proves the rule, right? =)
The Open High School of Utah is the antithesis of the gold rush you describe in your presentation. The school invests its own money in aggregating openly licensed materials (curriculum which have copyright licenses that make them freely available with permission to revise and redistribute them) and in creating their own material, which they also openly license. I wrote the OHSU charter in such a way that (1) they are precluded from wasting money on curriculum from providers like K-12 and (2) they are required to share all the material they aggregate and create with the whole world for free under an open license.
Right now you can go to http://ocw.openhighschool.org and download their 9th and 10th grade courses to use to start your own cyber charter, or in your blended classroom, or any other way you want. Next summer the 11th and 12 the grade course will be posted for anyone to download and reuse.
And even though OHSU spends less than $10k on average of to develop each course (which they only pay for once – it’s not an obscene annual license fee – this is a completely open course which we “own” and can use forever), OHSU students’ standardized test scores exceed state averages by .25 – .75 standard deviations in Language Arts, Math, and Science. This in only the school’s second year of operation, and it’s getting better. (Our unique teaching model is a big part of our success, too.)
Of course the first goal of OHSU is supporting the learning of each student. But an important second goal is to cut the legs out from under the gold rushers. Why would anyone pay $1M to K12.com every year when our completely free curriculum has been shown to be as or more effective? A few more years, a few more data in the rear view mirror, and we’ll take the fight directly to the open board meetings of these gold rush schools. How can they claim to be good stewards of public funds when they throw away a million or more each year? They can’t defend that decision forever.
I hope that the model we’ve established at OHSU will be all the ammunition you need for the showdown at dusk that you’re obviously gearing up for. Let me know if you’re looking for a posse. =)
Thank you again for calling attention to this absolutely ludicrous state of affairs.
PS. For folks who have students in traditional schools but have figured out that the textbook publishing cartel is a gold rush as well, check out our $5 textbook work at http://utahopentextbooks.org/. It’s going statewide in high school science in Utah next year, and expanding into Arizona as well!
Well done to the folks at Open High School of Utah for these accomplishments and showing that full-time online learning doesn’t have to be a mechanism for the neo-conservative/neo-liberal agenda to make money.
September 16, 2011
Cutting-Edge Online Charter School Publicly Releases Award-Winning Curriculum Freely Available To Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime
From yesterday’s inbox…
September 15, 2011
Cutting-Edge Online Charter School Publicly Releases Award-Winning Curriculum Freely Available to Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime
In keeping with its mission the Open High School of Utah, a public charter, is the first secondary school to share the curriculum they develop as an open educational resource. Today they announce the release of 20 semesters of creative commons licensed content, bringing the total number of semesters in their repository at www.ocw.openhighschool.org
to 30 semesters. Twenty full courses ranging from math, science, language arts, social studies, and electives are now freely available to anyone, anywhere, anytime! Only one short year after their first curriculum release the Open High School of Utah has garnered multiple accolades and recognition for their exceptional curriculum, teaching model and inovation, including the 2011 Best of State Award in Curriculum Development. Shattering traditional methods, the Open High School of Utah curriculum is built from open educational resources. These resources are the foundation for their content and are aligned with Utah state standards to ensure the highest quality educational experience. The teachers enhance with screencasts, interactive components, and engaging activities to create the finest curricula for their students. The objective behind developing open content is to create free and simple access to knowledge and information through collaboration and innovation. The use of open resources also makes it possible to very easily modify the curriculum to meet individual student needs. This is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Open High School of Utah! Every student’s educational experience can be customized to best fit their learning style, turning the one-size-fits-all, teach-to-the-middle education system on its head. Combine award-winning, freely available curriculum with the ability to modify, enhance and customize and the Open High School of Utah is changing the world one course at a time. Imagine natural disasters or limited resources disrupting or preventing you from providing high quality instructional materials to your students. In the wake of an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand clear across the world to resource deficient Africa, the power of technology and a mission to share their curriculum with anyone, anywhere anytime has allowed Open High to meet the difficult academic challenges of students worldwide without having to step one foot outside of Utah! In California, Pennsylvania and various other places Open High’s curriculum has been tailored by educators to meet the individual needs of their students.When the Open High School of Utah was founded in 2008, they never imagined their mission would spread across the globe as quickly as it has. Through the power of free open curriculum, they have joined the ranks of those who are transforming the way we access high quality instructional materials – now that’s powerful innovation changing the world!
The Open High School of Utah is putting the focus where it should be – on the student. Our mission is to facilitate lifelong success by meeting the needs of the 21st century learner through individualized, student-centered instruction, innovative technology, service learning, and personal responsibility.
June 6, 2010
This showed up in my inbox last week and I wanted to share it for two reasons. The first is because of the”New service helps users search for open online courses” news item that is contained below. The second was because of the webinar “Putting the “e” in Learning for the “i”-Generation“.
Now before I get to the eSchool News item, I did want to speak to the webinar a bit. If you look at the description it begins:
Today’s high-tech, high-touch teens are a whole new breed of students who’ve been wired, Wi-Fied, mobile, virtually augmented and i-computed like no other generation before them. As their world of customization, instant gratification and immediate feedback collides with overflowing classrooms and traditional stand-and-deliver learning, how can we re-wire our educational approach to re-engage the iGeneration?
I would caution you that everything above is basically the myth of this generation of students that is promoted by the popular media and the “used car salemen” of generational differences. The only thing that we know about this generation of students that is based upon reliable and valid research is that they are more narcissistic than any other previous generation. Any notion that students learn differently today or their brains are somehow hard wired differently is not based on anything more than flawed research or one individual’s personal views and unsystematic observations. This is important because it does make a difference. If I asked my wife and my cat if they think I’m brilliant, the survey would show that I’m brilliant. In the same way if you ask tens of thousands of teens that you find on mySpace and Facebook and other social networking sites about their perceived learning habits, you’ll get the same kind of skewed data that you get from my wife and cat. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t attend the webinar – just that if you do attend, make sure that you are skeptical about the used car that is being offered.
If you’re having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online. http://www.eschoolnews.com/e/esntools/esntools060210.htm
Tools for Schools “News and Information for Today’s K-20″ See Issue Online Edit Your Account RSS June 2, 2010
NBC News has created 10,000 historic and current event resources for 21st century teaching and learning. The videos are updated daily, aligned to state standards, and downloadable. To learn more, sign-up for a FREE trial at www.nbclearn.com.
Peoples Education describes how Practice Path can help students in both reading and Mathematics. http://www.peopleseducation.com/ View the winning videos from the “What’s Your Story?” 2010 video contest. Get tips on Internet safety such as keeping a good reputation online, staying away from unwanted contact, and accessing legal and age-appropriate content. Bring Cloud Computing to Your School With Microsoft®
Microsoft cloud computing gives better choice and flexibility to schools. The platform and applications you use can be on premises, off premises, or a combination of both, depending on your academic organization’s needs.
Putting the “e” in Learning for the “i”-Generation
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Time: 2:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am PST
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Cisco gives viewers a tour of NYC’s iSchool: a school using Cisco infrastructure and implements 21st century learning.
GRANTS & FUNDING
Death of a grant proposal: Six lessons learned in post-mortem
As I write this column, I’m mourning the death of a grant proposal that, after many weeks of discussion and hard work, did not get submitted. I’m conducting a post-mortem examination to determine what went wrong, in hopes of identifying these potential red flags in the future before it’s too late. [ Read More ]
*Note: Read more advice from Deb Ward here
STUDENT VIDEO NETWORK
eSN.TV gives students real-world experience
Thanks to our Student Video Network (SVN) initiative at eSN.TV (www.eSchoolNews.TV), your students can earn valuable video-production experience–and a shot at national recognition for their efforts. Key Concepts: student video network, video productions, user generated content, student news | Read More
Students at Minnesota’s Eagan High School talk about their experience working with the Student Video Network (SVN) of www.eSchoolNews.TV, a project-based educational program provided to selected schools free of charge by the national news organization eSchool Media. Educators may obtain more information about SVN from Associate Editor Meris Stansbury at email@example.com.
Beyond virtual schools
CURRENT SITE OF THE WEEK
New service helps users search for open online courses
Sifting through archives of open online course material soon could become easier: A new public beta version of a web-based college course library aims to help students and faculty find open curriculum content with a search function designed to narrow their hunt for video and audio lectures. [ Read More ]
EDUCATOR’S RESOURCE CENTER
Schools are centers of learning. Learn how to secure them from the inside out here.
One-to-one computer programs represent an extension of the 24/7 technology environment. Learn more about 1-to-1 computing here.
When students enter the typical K-12 classroom, they’re forced to “power down” in order to learn. Consider building 21st-century classrooms in your own schools to boost students’ 21st century skills.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TOOLS TO SECURE YOUR SCHOOL
The threats to your schools’ security–both physical and electronic–are getting more and more sophisticated. The best tool for protecting your schools against these threats, according to experts, might surprise you: a robust, IP-based network. A well-designed and well-secured network can help you keep data thieves from targeting your schools.
Learn how to choose the right security solutions for your students and schools by visiting our new resource center.
Go to http://www.eschoolnews.com/2010/01/18/secure-campus/
BEST PRACTICES UPDATE
Glassboro Public Schools stay a step ahead of district needs
As the technology requirements of teachers, staff, and students at Glassboro Public Schools evolve, we often find the answers to our needs in our existing Schoolwires Centricity web site and community management platform. Almost any application you can think of-from easy web site creation to podcasting and calendars-is built into the platform. [ Read More ]
- Contact Lee Calloway at 800-394-0115 ext 131 for listing information
FEATURED WHITE PAPERS
The study of reading fluency using computers is in its infancy. Computers are proving to be useful in the areas of improving reading fluency and reading skills in general. Several white papers by AceReader Pro are available including one titled “Using Technology to Improve Silent Reading Performance” by a small central Wisconsin elementary school.
>> For more information click on
M86 – Strengthening Your Defenses: Web 2.0 Security and Inbound Malware Protection:
A new generation of malware has emerged in a Web 2.0 learning environment exposing school networks to new attacks that evade traditional prevention technologies. Learn how to proactively protect your network and the importance of implementing a network and information security plan. Written by Jeff Bajgot, CTO at Center of Education Leadership and Technology (CELT).
>> For more information click on
- Contact Lee Calloway at 800-394-0115 ext 131 for listing information
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May 7, 2010
Okay, I may be the last person in the world to know about this, but I was looking around at some open education resources for a friend of mine (see below) and came across this:
Click on the image or go to http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/hs/home/home/index.htm.
Now I was aware of the MIT Opencourseware Project, but I did not know that they had a specific section set up for high school students and teachers. And since I wasn’t aware of it, I figured that maybe one of my readers didn’t know either – although I suspect that most of you were more on the ball on this one than I was.
Anyway, the reason I was looking was because one of my college fraternity brothers – who is now a trustee with the Toronto District School Board – introduced a motion at their last school board meeting to implement a system of education where instead of textbooks the brick-and-mortar school system in Toronto uses freely available, online content. While the motion itself, and the associated news coverage (see below), has focused on the digital textbooks aspects – with almost all of them picking up on the California example – what Mike had more in mind was the kind of open education environment you see with the opencourseware projects.
Anyway, just wanted to share this…