Virtual School Meanderings

June 26, 2014

SRI Education Notes – June 24, 2014

From Tuesday’s inbox…

View this message in a browser. SRI Education Notes - June 12, 2014

Denise Glyn Borders<br />
Vice President, SRI Education ” width=”165″ align=”left” /></a></p>
<h1 style=A Busy Spring at SRI Education

From the publication of a groundbreaking new book about online learning to new research about learning afterschool, our dedicated team of researchers has been busy digging into some of the nation’s most pressing education issues. New research and ideas from SRI are fostering innovation and informing educational practice and policies to strengthen learning. In this issue of SRI Education Notes we highlight some of those efforts.

Denise Glyn Borders
Vice President, SRI Education

:: Blog Posts

New Research Describes Challenges to Afterschool Learning

SRI Education has published the first part of the 5-year National Science Foundation-funded Afterschool Science Networks study. The report presents case studies of science activities in California afterschool programs and identifies roadblocks to science learning. The research makes clear that a lack of time, staff capacity, instructional materials and meaningful external supports are limiting science learning in afterschool settings. Learn more in this Q&A with SRI’s Ann House, project director for the study. Read the journal article, Learning from Science.

Next Generation Science Assessments

Seeking to accelerate and deepen science learning, California and other states have adopted the new Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 students. With the support of a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at SRI will join with other leading research organizations to develop a new system of assessments that align with the new standards that teachers can use to inform instructional decisions. The work will begin with a focus on middle school physical science and develop a model for what three-dimensional assessments can look like. Learn more about the NGSS project. Read about the new assessments on the SRI blog by Angela DeBarger.

:: Stay Connected

Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page.

SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to address risk factors that impede learning, assess learning gains, and use technology for educational innovation.


SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

© 2014 SRI International. SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SRI Writes the Book on Online Learning

SRI Writes the Book on Online Learning

A new book — Learning Online: What Research Tells Us about Whether, When and How explores whether online learning is helping students learn and examines the latest research about online learning. The book also describes the ways online learning is being used in a wide variety of contexts and settings, and explores key issues and practices for its effective implementation. “Learning Online makes clear that technology alone is not enough,” says Barbara Means, co-director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI Education and the lead author of the book. “If there is one message, it’s that learning takes place among people with differing learning characteristics, from different backgrounds and circumstances, and from a broad range of activities. We need thoughtful, rigorous research in each of these contexts, not broad statements about online learning being ‘good’ or ‘bad.’” At a time of explosive growth in online learning, this new book provides educators, policymakers and researchers with a much needed guide that can be used to inform decisions about design and implementation of digital learning opportunities. Learn more or order your own copy.

Strengthening Early Learning

What’s happening with Early Leaning?

A Q&A with Shari Golan, Ph.D., co-director, SRI Education Center for Education and Human Services

This is a really exciting time to be involved in early learning. The Obama administration has made the education of young children a priority. Many states have been investing in pre-K and related strategies. The philanthropic community is also investing in early learning as a means of improving student achievement and promoting lifelong success. The emphasis across all of these efforts is on increasing access to high-quality early learning environments and programs. The infrastructure needed to support these opportunities is immense. It includes research, evaluation, technical assistance, professional development, and family engagement.

Mixed Findings on Blended Learning

Mixed Findings on Blended Learning

New research by SRI Education examining blended learning models finds some evidence of benefits. But SRI researchers caution against drawing early conclusions about impact on student achievement. The report highlights significant foundational challenges to successful implementation of the strategy. “The implementation of blending learning models in many schools is still in its infancy and there has been limited comprehensive research up to this point,” says Robert Murphy, Director of Evaluation Research in SRI Education’s Center for Technology in Learning. The blended learning report, which was funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, was conducted by researchers at SRI in 2011-2012 at five selected school sites in California and Louisiana. The research details findings about infrastructure and technology, elements of software design, perceived benefits to teaching and learning and student productivity. The report highlights implications for practice, describes best practices and provides recommendations for future research.

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April 28, 2014

SRI Khan Academy Study

A few weeks back SRI International published a study of student/teacher use of Khan Academy (see below for the link to the report).

John Watson from Evergreen has done a good summary of the report:

I disagree with John as often as I agree with him, but these posts are worth the read.

April 17, 2014

SRI Education Notes – April 14, 2014

Another item from Tuesday’s inbox…

View this message in a browser. SRI Education Notes - April 9, 2014

Denise Glyn Borders Vice President, SRI Education

Welcome to SRI Education Notes

From early learning to the newest uses of technology, the education team at SRI International is engaged in rigorous research and the development of innovations that further understanding of education and improve opportunities for learning. We believe this work provides insight into some of the nation’s most difficult educational challenges and has important implications for changes in educational policy, practice, and programs that can strengthen our educational systems and improve student learning. In our new SRI Education Notes, we will occasionally be sharing some highlights of our work.

Denise Glyn Borders
Vice President, SRI Education

:: Blog Posts

First National Look: Special Education Services Used by Students with Autism

Incorporating Digital Learning Resources in the Classroom: A First Look at Using Khan Academy

How Can We Ensure K-12 Student Success in Online Algebra Courses?

:: Podcasts

Social Development Key to Early Learning Success

Can New AP Courses Impact Student Interest in Science Careers?

Early Childhood Development Key to Academic Success and Well-Being

Traumatic Experiences and Academic Performance: Examining the Needs of Children Exposed to Trauma

:: Stay Connected

Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page.

SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. Visit

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

© 2014 SRI International

SRI Education shines light on new digital approach to mathematics learning

SRI Education shines light on new digital approach to mathematics learning

SRI Education and its research partners have been awarded a $12 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant by the U.S. Department of Education to expand and validate SunBay, an innovative new digital program to improve mathematics learning in Florida middle schools.

SunBay was developed by researchers at SRI to help educators teach challenging middle school math concepts and promote deep conceptual understanding of key principles of mathematics. Using dynamic visual representations that demonstrate mathematical ideas to foster reasoning and collaboration, SunBay integrates technology with standards-aligned curriculum and professional development to boost student learning. The program has shown gains in learning in studies in Florida, Texas, and England.

The new grant will support SRI’s efforts to measure SunBay’s effectiveness in Broward and Palm Beach Counties using new college and career readiness assessments, examine strategies to decrease costs, and determine the effectiveness of professional development practices. Upon favorable results, SRI will provide training and toolkits schools can use to implement SunBay programs in Florida and across the nation. Learn more about SunBay Digital Mathematics.

Strengthening Early Learning

New Research Shows Promise of Linked Learning

New Research conducted by the education team at SRI for the James Irvine Foundation reveals significant gains in student outcomes in California. Compared with their peers, students participating in certified Linked Learning pathways are earning more credits in the first two years of high school, are more likely to be on track with the a–g credits they need for college eligibility, and report greater confidence in their life and career skills. Check out the results and lessons learned.

Strengthening Early Learning

Strengthening Early Learning

As educators and policymakers turn their focus to early childhood learning as a strategy for enhancing student success, the SRI Education Early Childhood Program is helping to further understanding and increase the effectiveness of early learning policies and programs. From efforts that help states develop early childhood data systems and assessments and evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs to those that further professional development for pre-K–grade 3 teachers or guide the use of technology in pre-K settings, SRI is conducting critical research, developing innovations, and providing technical assistance that is helping to strengthen early childhood learning. In one recent example, new research examining the impact of exposure of preschool children from low-income backgrounds to PBS educational content showed significant gains in math skills after their teachers used PBS videos and interactive digital games in their lessons.

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April 1, 2014

SRI Education Research Presented at AERA 2014

Note the digital learning presentations…

Meet SRI Education at AERA 2014

SRI Education researchers will present their latest findings at the American Education Research Association (AERA) 2014 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA from April 3-7. We hope you can join us.

Topics addressed in some of our 27 presentations include:

  • Assessment
  • Early Learning
  • Digital Learning
  • STEM Education
  • Postsecondary Preparation and Access
  • Teacher Quality
  • Research Methods

View the complete list of SRI Education presentations. (here’s a printable version)

About SRI Education

SRI Education programs help identify trends, understand outcomes, and guide policy and practice. We work with state and federal agencies, private foundations, nonprofit organizations, and commercial clients to provide research-based solutions to challenges posed by rapid social, technological, and economic change.

SRI Education is part of SRI International, a nonprofit research and development institute based in Silicon Valley. Innovations from SRI International have created new industries, billions of dollars of marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society—touching our lives every day.

SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025

February 5, 2014

Center for Technology in Learning Research Update – February 2014

Another item from Monday’s inbox…

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Center for Technology in Learning - Insightful design, research, and evaluation of innovative learning environments and assessments. SRI Education - Addressing<br />
critical questions about education through innovation and rigorous research.” src=”” width=”290″ /> </a></div>
<h1>Center for Technology in Learning Research Update – February 2014, Issue 17</h1>
<h1>Webinar: <a href=Jeremy Roschelle: “Convergent Conceptual Change” — Reflections on a JLS Article that lasted 20 years

Vialogue: Barbara Means: The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature

Article: Learning From Science: Case Studies of Science Offerings in Afterschool Programs

Award: Dan Zalles’s Curriculum “The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change” Selected for On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

Don’t miss our June Research Update, featuring:

Barbara Means’ new book, Learning Online: What Research Tells Us About Whether, When and How

Learning Online draws implications for institutional and state policies that would promote judicious uses of online learning and effective implementation models. Available for Preorder.

Results from our Khan Academy Evaluation

Learn about the results of our study of the adoption of Khan Academy in primary and secondary schools and classrooms in northern California.

Stay Connected  Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page.  Follow SRI International on Twitter

Email CTL

Curiouis George Apple Picking

Low-income Preschoolers Learn Mathematics Through Media-Rich Curriculum Supplement

Children from low-income communities were better prepared for success in kindergarten when their preschool teachers used a 10-week PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement in their classrooms. A new experimental study commissioned by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and conducted jointly by Education Development Center and CTL researchers found that preschool children’s early mathematics skills—counting, number recognition, and subitizing—increased when their teachers incorporated lessons that used educational video and games from public media, along with hands-on manipulatives and books. Teachers using the PBS KIDS supplement also reported increased confidence with understanding mathematics concepts and using technology and media to support early learning.

This research was conducted as part of the evaluation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Ready to Learn initiative. Learn more about the study and check out the project website, which includes the full report as well as media coverage of the study. Also check out our blog post Positive Results When Preschoolers Use Media-Rich Math Curriculum Supplement.

Associate professor Michelle Williams (left) and Angela DeBarger watch as U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow learns about the STEMGenetics curriculum.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Attends STEMGenetics Demo at Glencairn Elementary School

On January 21, 2014, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visited Glencairn School in East Lansing, Michigan, to attend a STEMGenetics demonstration. Developed by Dr. Angela DeBarger of SRI Education and Dr. Michelle Williams of Michigan State University, the NSF-funded STEMGenetics program gives students an early advantage in learning foundational principles of the life sciences. “By growing plants right in the classroom and having students predict how traits will be expressed, science teachers at Glencairn and across the school district are educating students about life sciences in a fun, innovative way,” said Senator Stabenow. “It was great to see firsthand how STEMGenetics will help prepare our children for future success.” The STEMGenetics curriculum model is scalable, utilizing open-source, interactive learning technologies. Learn more about the Senator’s visit.


Photo courtesy of Jeff Seguin, Michigan State University College of Education.

Associate professor Michelle Williams (left) and Angela DeBarger watch as U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow learns about the STEMGenetics curriculum.

2014 Cyberlearning Summit

The 2014 Cyberlearning Summit, hosted by the NSF-funded Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL), will take place June 9-10 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Call for Participation and Speaker Nominations is now available. The summit will feature important advances in cyberlearning research that are ready to share with a broader audience. The premier summit held in January 2012 featuring talks on “big ideas” was highly recognized, and the archived videos of presentations continue to be widely used. Apply to attend and nominate speakers you think would represent the field of cyberlearning well.

SRI Education is an independent, nonprofit research institute.The mission of SRI’s Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) is to improve learning and teaching through innovation and inquiry. Much of our work is conducted in educational settings such as classrooms, afterschool programs, and teacher education programs. Visit
SRI Education 333 Ravenswood Ave. Menlo Park, CA 94025

© 2014 SRI International

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