Virtual School Meanderings

July 12, 2014

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the Education Week’s Teacher Update.

FIRST PERSON

How I Blended My Math Class

Silvestre Arcos, an award-winning math teacher at KIPP: Washington Heights Middle School, says that bringing technology into his classroom has boosted engagement and given him more flexibility to address students’ learning needs. (Teacher)

Back to the semi-regular SmartBrief for Ed Tech.

How to develop a successful online learning program
eSchool News (free registration) (7/4)

Blended-learning approach is credited with school transformation
Revere High School in Massachusetts used blended learning to transform from a low-performing school to an award-winning institution, write principal Lourenco Garcia and Nicholas Donahue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Flipped-learning classrooms and a one-to-one iPad program introduced learners to student-centered instruction, while the school’s Learning Commons — formerly the library — became a flexible space for students, teachers and parents to meet, collaborate and learn, they write in this blog post. Edutopia.org/Blended Learning blog (7/7)

Mass. prepares to open second virtual school for K-12
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (7/10)

E-learning opens doors to summer PD
Summer provides a good time for teachers to participate in engaging, authentic professional development, Denise Douglas-Faraci, an adjunct professor and a course lead at Kaplan Higher Education, writes in this commentary. She suggests several ways teachers can use e-learning tools to improve their instructional practices. eSchool News (free registration) (7/10)

Ark. adopts Web-based model for distance education
Arkansas is moving to an entirely Web-based model as it overhauls its K-12 distance education program. Officials say the new model, which replaces a videoconferencing system, is more cost-effective and uses less bandwidth. EdTech magazine online (7/9)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school teacher enjoys a different experience

Price teaches senior English to about 200 students in a virtual school with a total enrollment of 3,800 in grades K-12. One might think she wouldn’t …

Virtual school teacher enjoys a different experience

Editor’s note: This is the second part in a three-part series on the S.C. Connections Academy. The virtual S.C. Connections Academy has 110 faculty …

Public virtual school fits for teen, mom says.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Colin Dunatov, 15, of Aiken has enjoyed his first two years at the S.C. Connections Academy, a virtual public achool for South …

Virtual school offers students flexibility, course options

So in eighth grade, she enrolled in South Carolina Connections Academy, a virtual charter school, where she could take all her classes online.

Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering workshop offered

3:59 p.m., July 7, 2014–From Aug. 25-26, UD will host its third summer workshop organized by the Virtual School of Computational Science and …

Aiken student graduates from state virtual school at 16

Matthew Guy graduated last month from the S.C. Connections Academy – a statewide virtual school with 3,800 students. Simultaneously, Guy has …

MCPSS to offer online learning for grades 6-12 this fall

The Envision Virtual School is similar to a program in Baldwin County, but will … Virtual academies have really boomed in popularity and are currently …

Maine virtual charter school ‘within striking distance’ of enrollment benchmark

The status of the virtual school has been the subject of much political interest. During the past legislative session, the Democratic-controlled …

Richmond cancels summer school

Richmond School District has cancelled summer school courses and … academic remedial, enrichment, Richmond Virtual School and Distributed …

A new education process is beginning

Online virtual schools are spreading and charter schools now account for some 2 million students. Parents are able to find hundreds of educational …

Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering workshop offered

3:59 p.m., July 7, 2014–From Aug. 25-26, UD will host its third summer workshop organized by the Virtual School of Computational Science and …

Registration opens for Mobile County’s online school

Missy Nolen, the former principal of Turner Elementary School, was assigned as principal of Envision Virtual School on July 2. The number of teachers …

11 area districts join new virtual school

The academy, referred to as TECCA, is the first new virtual school to be created under a law adopted early last year to pave the way for more of them …

HC school board debates live vs. virtual Spanish teacher

Spanish courses from Florida Virtual School cost $650 per student — coming out to $83,200, according to Dixon’s projections. A new teacher and use …

LSMSA to offer Online Academy to gifted students

… by the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts Virtual School. … Academy,” said Leslie Elliottsmith, director of the LSMSA Virtual School.

In the School Zone: Loosening up Baldwin’s dress codes

Virtual school registration: Mobile County has opened registration for the Envision Virtual School, the Mobile County school system’s online school for …

Oregon Connections Academy info session coming to Coos Bay

COOS BAY — Families will have the chance to explore a virtual school experience at an upcoming informational session with Oregon Connections …

School grades in Brevard drop; four get an F

Five new schools – charter schools and a virtual school – received letter grades for the first time in 2014. Charter schools are publicly funded but …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Indicted former cyber school chief seeks more time to sift through government’s evidence

The former head of a Beaver County cyber charter school is still waiting for the government to provide an additional 288,000 documents as well as …

Former PA Cyber chief seeks more time for trial

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta is still waiting for the government to provide an additional 288,000 …

Enrollment Round-Up planned for charter school in Dugger

Dugger — The Indiana Cyber Charter School in partnership with Dugger Union Community Schools announced that curriculum planned for the new …

Greene: Consolidation Cyber-style

For more than 15 years, Vermont high schools have offered Virtual High School to students who want to take classes their schools can’t provide.

Dugger Union Community Schools holds enrollment round-up

Nicol said the school is going to be set up as a cyber school hybrid. She said the model integrates technology with traditional classrooms and teachers …

July 8, 2014

EDTECH537: Commentary Entry – Examining Full-Time Online Student Performance in Michigan

As I mentioned in the EDTECH537 – Week 5 entry for my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course, I wanted to post a sample of a commentary entry.

For not from Michigan, you may not have been aware that the Detroit Free Press over the past week or two have released a series of in depth stories about charter schools in the state – the result of a year long investigation.  As you might expect, the results have not been favourable – in fact the series is titled State of Charter Schools: How Michigan Spends $1 Billion But Fails To Hold Schools Accountable.

What I wanted to post about today was some of the data from the Database: Look up rankings and data for all Michigan traditional and charter public schools.  I went through and found all of the schools – traditional public and charter – that had cyber, online or virtual in the title.  Here are the results…

Corporate Cyber Schools

Figure 1. Cyber Charter Schools

What is interesting for me to note is that when you look at the cyber charter schools, the Michigan Connections Academy has two categories where they are above the state average, one where they are basically the same, and two categories where they are below.  The Michigan Virtual Academy is below the state average in all five categories, as is the Great Lakes Virtual Academy (both K12, Inc. schools).  The  three other cyber charter schools – all Connections Academy schools – were only tested in one category.  Two of them were above the state average and the other was below.

Public Virtual Schools

Figure 2. Public Virtual Schools

When you look at the public virtual schools, you get much the same picture.  The only program that was tested in all five categories had similar results as the Michigan Connections Academy: above the same average in two categories, below in two categories, and about the same in one category.  The other four programs were only tested in one category, and all of them were below the state average.

Now some of this doesn’t surprise me much…  Regular readers of this blog might remember that two years ago I examined the initial results of the Michigan Connections Academy (MICA) and the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA) – as well as other full-time programs – and their performance on the 2012 MEAPs (see Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools and More MEAP Numbers).  Back then the trends were clear: MICA were outperforming MVCA in significant ways and MICA was performing on par with the state average, while MVCA was trailing significantly.  You’ll note that things haven’t changed much in two years.  Spending with little accountability indeed!

Beyond the cyber charter schooling findings, it should be noted that the full-time public virtual schools didn’t really fair much better.  So I think that should give us a moment to pause and ask is this form of K-12 online learning (i.e., full-time K-12 online learning) really providing opportunities for students?  Thus far the data seen to suggest no, at least no better than what those students would be receiving in any average school in the state.

July 6, 2014

ProQuest/EBSCO Alerts

proquestBeginning with the ProQuest Alert for virtual school.

1. Senator Shortey Cites Conflict of Interest, Calls for Resignation of Chairman of Statewide Virtual Charter School Board Targeted News Service [Washington, D.C] 27 June 2014.

Formats:
Citation
Full text

2. Middlebury College Faculty Decries Partnership with Online Language Learning CompanyFlagg, Kathryn. Seven Days [Burlington, Vt] 28 May 2014: 21-22.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text

Next, I did not receive a ProQuest Alert for cyber school. ebsco

Moving on, the EBSCO alert for the virtual school.

1. TI- Connections Academy Expands to More States. (Cover story)
JN- Electronic Education Report
PD- 1/10/2011, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p1-7
PG- 3p
DT- 20110110
PT- Article
AB- The article reports on the expansion of virtual school provider Connections Academy LLC to provide more tuition-free public schools in 2011 after receiving state approvals in the U.S. Connections Academy is operating tuition-free public schools under management contract from charter schools in 18 states and serves 30,000 students in K-12 for the school year 2010-2011. The academy which grew from a 2011 Sylvan Ventures initiative to create a turnkey virtual school program, began operating its first schools in the fall of 2002.
DE- VIRTUAL schools
DE- PUBLIC schools
DE- FINANCE
DE- TUITION
DE- MANAGEMENT contracts
DE- CHARTER schools — Administration
DE- EDUCATION — Computer network resources
DE- STUDENTS
DE- COMPUTER network resources
GE- UNITED States
CO- CONNECTIONS Academy LLC
IC- 611710 Educational Support Services
IC- 611699 All Other Miscellaneous Schools and Instruction
IC- 923110 Administration of Education Programs
IS- 10779949
AN- 60618476
UR- http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asx&AN=60618476&site=eds-live

2. TI- Education2020 Sees Growing Virtual Market.
JN- Electronic Education Report
PD- 4/18/2011, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p3-3
PG- 3/4p
DT- 20110418
PT- Article
AB- The article reports that online education provider Education2020 (e2020) has projected an upward trend in virtual education in the U.S. It notes that e2020 has been working with school districts to provide core and elective instruction to grade levels 6-12 students in a virtual school setting. It adds that chief executive officer (CEO) Gene Storz has said that the transition in past years has moved to acceptance as online courses are already recognized as equivalent to classroom instructions.
DE- COMPUTER assisted instruction
DE- WEB-based instruction
DE- INTERNET in education
DE- SCHOOL districts
DE- INSTRUCTIONAL innovations
GE- UNITED States
IC- 611110 Elementary and Secondary Schools
PE- STORZ, Gene
IS- 10779949
AN- 60618541
UR- http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asx&AN=60618541&site=eds-live

Next, there were no relevant items in the EBSCO alert for cyber school.

Finally, I also did not receive the EBSCO alert for K-12 online learning.

July 5, 2014

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsIt seems we may have a slow blogging weekend, with Canada Day and Independence Day, the content has slowed down this past week.

Anyway, beginning with the Google News alert for virtual school.

Parents seeking innovative education alternative can learn about virtual public school

Texas Connections Academy at Houston is a full-time statewide virtual school for students in grades 3–12 under the terms of the Texas Electronic …

Students Say They Are More Motivated in Digital Learning Environments than Traditional Ones

A similar disconnect exists in terms of motivation to do well with more than one-third of virtual school students saying they are motivated because they …

Bangor charter school moratorium controversy

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The state’s first virtual charter school, Maine Connections Academy, is expected to welcome its first class this …

Looking to expand, Janesville Virtual Academy changes name

According to figures from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Janesville Virtual Academy had these numbers of students during the …

Virtual SC public school attracts 175 Aiken area students

SUBMITTED PHOTO More than 200 seniors graduating from S.C. Connections Academy, a virtual public school, attended a brick and mortar …

Katy teen member of virtual school’s first graduating class

Ericha Fassbender couldn’t be more proud of herself as she clutched her University of Florida acceptance letter, never wanting to let it go. Her heart …

Students Say They Are More Motivated in Digital Learning Environments than Traditional Ones

The report found that nearly 50 percent of virtual high school students say they were interested in what they were learning in school, while only 32 …

Students learn at own pace with online school

Their mother, Kristine McWilliam, home-schooled her kids until she heard about the Saskatoon-based Progressive Discover-E virtual school last year.

Six letters of intent received for new Maine charter schools

Six schools, including a virtual school that has applied the last three years, are among the groups that sent letters of intent to the Maine Charter School …

Parents seeking innovative education alternative can learn about virtual public school

Texas Connections Academy is offering parents throughout Texas the opportunity to learn more about this highly accountable, high-quality virtual …

Schools finances still fall

“We have competition from charter schools, schools that receive our revenues from McKay Scholarships, Florida Virtual School, private schools and …

Public virtual school fits for teen, mom says

Dunatov found the virtual school offers about 12 foreign languages, and Colin selected Latin. “Colin is bright, and like any other kid, will do anything …

Virtual SC public school attracts 175 Aiken area students

Nine Aiken County students graduated last month from the academy – a tuition-free, public virtual school in South Carolina. A total of 175 students in …

Virtual school teacher enjoys a different experience

Price teaches senior English to about 200 students in a virtual school with a total enrollment of 3,800 in grades K-12. One might think she wouldn’t …

MCPSS to offer online learning for grades 6-12 this fall

The Envision Virtual School is similar to a program in Baldwin County, but will expand on its offering to include students in grades 6-12.

Virtual charter school ‘within striking distance’ of enrollment benchmark

The status of the virtual school has been the subject of much political interest. During the past legislative session, the Democratic-controlled …

Aiken student graduates from state virtual school at 16

Matthew Guy graduated last month from the S.C. Connections Academy – a statewide virtual school with 3,800 students. Simultaneously, Guy has …

Online School: Is It Homeschooling?

Online public schools, like Indiana Connections Academy and the Florida Virtual School, are extensions of the public school system because they are …

Summer school officially cancelled in Abbotsford

The remedial programs deemed essential by the LRB will be offered online through the Abbotsford Virtual School. Last year 1,674 students enrolled …

Virtual school offers students flexibility, course options

The state department of education separately runs the South Carolina Virtual School Program, which allows students to take classes online while …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Greater Nanticoke Area raises taxes 3.1 percent

Denise Manganello, coordinator for the Seneca Valley Cyber School gave a presentation on the benefits of the program. Benefits include cost …

Statement From K12 Inc. on Agora Cyber Charter School

As required by the existing charter agreement, this Fall, the Agora Cyber Charter School in PA (“Agora”) must submit an application for the renewal of …

PA Cyber trustees approve $5.7 million building project

MIDLAND — The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School will use just over $1 million of its $40.7 million cash reserves to balance a 2014-15 budget the …

PA Cyber complies with judge’s order on records

MIDLAND — The Pennsyl-vania Cyber Charter School has complied with a county judge’s order and provided The Times with categorized records of …

K12 -5% as renewal to operate Agora school looks iffy (LRN)

Shares of charter school operator K12 (LRN -4.9%) sink after last night’s news that the board in charge of the Agora Cyber Charter School in Wayne, …

Greater Nanticoke Area raises taxes 3.1 percent

Denise Manganello, coordinator for the Seneca Valley Cyber School gave a … The next school board meeting will be held next at 7 p.m. Aug. 14.

Indicted former cyber school chief seeks more time to sift through government’s evidence

The former head of a Beaver County cyber charter school is still waiting for the government to provide an additional 288,000 documents as well as …

 

June 29, 2014

ProQuest/EBSCO Alerts

proquestBeginning with the ProQuest Alert for virtual school.

1.Virtual Education Sees Rapidly Rising RevenuesEducation Week33.35 (Jun 11, 2014): 23.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text

Next, I did not receive a ProQuest Alert for cyber school. ebsco

Moving on, the EBSCO alert for the virtual school.

1. TI- Special Educators’ Roles as Virtual Teachers.
JN- Teaching Exceptional Children
PD- May/Jun2014, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p110-116
PG- 7p
IL- 4 Color Photographs, 2 Charts
DT- 20140501
PT- Article
AB- The article discusses the role of special education teachers in virtual schools. Topics discussed include the challenges associated with teacher-student communication in a virtual school environment, the development and implementation of individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities, and collaborations between teachers and learning coaches (LCs) that help students.
DE- SPECIAL education teachers
DE- VIRTUAL schools
DE- STUDENTS with disabilities — Education
DE- TEACHER-student communication
DE- INDIVIDUALIZED education programs
DE- LEARNING
IS- 00400599
DI- 10.1177/0040059914530100
AN- 96727718
UR- http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asx&AN=96727718&site=eds-live

Next, there were no relevant items in the EBSCO alert for cyber school.

Finally, I also did not receive the EBSCO alert for K-12 online learning.

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