Virtual School Meanderings

December 18, 2014

Plugged In | 12.18.14 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final word today from the neo-liberals….

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International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

powered by iNACOL…


I work for the Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire, a district that was an early adopter of a K-12 competency education model, one that is now in its fifth year of implementation. My fellow administrative team members and I regularly receive…
Getting Smart
One of the most important trends in US education at the end of 2014 is the resistance to large scale end of year assessment. Combined with concerns about higher standards, incoherent federal policy, and privacy, the anti-testing vitriol reached new…
Christensen Institute
One of the core findings from our research on innovation is that technologies improve over time. We can see this happening with online and blended learning. For example, content is becoming more engaging, learning software is becoming more adaptive…
Niki is a senior at Clark Fork High School in rural Idaho, an 80-student high school in a town of 530 people, eight hours away from Boise. “I want to be my own person, get a job and take care of myself,” says Niki matter-of-factly. “I’m interested in aerospace…
Blend My Learning
In this rapidly growing space of personalized learning, there is a digital solution for each and every component that is needed to shift traditional schools to student-centric. We can wax poetic on which platform is best suited to meet students’ needs, and we can…
Digital Education
Can the lessons of individual schools and school networks that have shown success with “personalized” models of education be applied to whole systems?That’s the hope of a new partnership between Next Generation Learning Challenges and Education…
Next Generation Learning Challenges
Time and again, as local institutions transform into dynamic, international markets there is an explosion in variety and a relentless pursuit of more aptly and fully meeting the scales and diversity of demand. As products and services are uprooted from…
The Sentinel
Cumberland Valley School District expects to implement “blended learning” for students in the district by the start of next school year, Superintendent Frederick S. Withum III said Monday during the school board’s meeting. Blended learning is a hybrid of…
Charlottesville Tomorrow
A secondary learning academy operating under a new name and location opened its doors in early November serving Charlottesville’s public high school-age students. The Lugo-McGinness Academy, the alternative education center for Charlottesville City…
THE Journal
Today’s students are firmly entrenched in the digital world, both in class and out. Although they are digital citizens, they don’t always know what digital citizenship is. According to Mike Ribble, an author of books on the topic for both educators and…
Featured Resource…
iNACOL State Policy Frameworks: 5 Critical Issues to Transform K-12 EducationiNACOL State Policy Frameworks: 5 Critical Issues to Transform K-12 Education
Maria Worthen, VP for Federal and State Policy, iNACOL
Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL
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Happy Holidays!/Winter Institute/Holiday Closing/Improved Quality with Professional Development

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Quality Matters. Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!
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December 2014

Happy Holidays!
We want to thank our community of educators, innovators and leaders for ensuring quality matters everywhere. We hope this message brings a little extra warmth and light to you and yours this holiday season.View our holiday card. We’ll see you in 2015!

2014 Holiday Card Image

Get Comfortable with QM During the Winter Institute

The Winter Institute will provide tools and strategies you’ll use to improve your courses right away! January’sWinter Institute theme is Accessibility and Usability: Meet the Needs of All Learners and takes place January 5-8, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.
The Winter Institute:
  • takes just two hours per day
  • can help improve existing courses
  • features four highly-interactive web conferencing workshops
The January Winter Institute session will help you:
  • address accessibility policies and statements
  • improve readability and usability
The Winter Institute is just $250 for subscribers and $450 for non-subscribers, a $50 savings!
register now button

QM Holiday Closing Reminder
In observance of the holidays and to allow our employees to enjoy time with their families, Quality Matters will be closed Monday, December 22 throughFriday, December 26, 2014. We will also be closedThursday, January 1, 2015. QM will be open Mondaythrough Wednesday, December 29-31, 2014 andFriday, January 2 2015.

Focus On Online Course Improvement and Delivery with Professional Development 
Explore effective course delivery and improvement in QM’s professional development workshops. We offer two-week, online, facilitated workshops at convenient times for you. Register now for the following workshops:
IYOC logoImproving Your Online Course (start date 1/8) explores the Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 and provides a framework to improve the quality of online courses. Participants use the QM Rubric to review their online courses and develop a course improvement plan. The workshop is $150 for subscribers and $200 for non-subscribers.

Teaching Online workshop icon

Teaching Online: An Introduction to Online Delivery (start date 1/8) explores basic components of online course delivery. Participants will be introduced to differences between traditional face-to-face learning and online learning, the instructor’s role in the online classroom and the importance of getting (and keeping) students engaged. The workshop is $150 for subscribers and $200 for non-subscribers.

Stroll the Aisles in QM’s eLearning Marketplace 

  • is a free, searchable database
  • is designed to serve the QM community
  • features an easy-to-use eLearning product/service directory
  • is organized within the 8 general Rubric Standards, user and product categories
You’re invited to submit those products and services you’ve used from organizations you might recommend to others in the QM community.
Help your colleagues build cultures of quality focused on continuous improvement with your submissions to the eLearning Marketplace.
In This Issue
Happy Holidays from QM!
Get Cozy in the Winter Institute
Holiday Closing Reminder
Explore Course Delivery and Improvement with Professional Development
Visit the eLearning Marketplace
Success Stories icon
It Takes a Village: Building Successful Statewide QM Implementation Through Collaboration
QM Success Stories webinars are designed exclusively for subscribers and presented by your colleagues. These free webinars offer participants unique opportunities to hear subscribers discuss QM implementation and course design that meets QM Standards.
Jill Phipps
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Join Jill Phipps, Curriculum Designer, University of Akron onThursday, January 22, 2015at 2:00 p.m. ET as she discusses how a collaborative approach and a distributed leadership model enabled QM’s largest statewide system subscription to not only grow, but thrive. Building on the spirit of collaboration, institutions are now able to conduct course reviews at very low cost and participate in an annual membership meeting.
Register now to learn how QM helped your colleagues at their institutions during the next QM Success Stories webinar.
Share Your Ideas and Opinions in our MindWires Survey
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You should have received an e-mail fromMWSURVEYS@MINDWIRES.COMabout a survey we’re conducting in which we’ve begun investigating the possibility of providing certification services for online programs. We’ve contracted with MindWires Consulting to provide independent feedback and analysis to help us provide such services in a manner that yields the best value to the community. Complete the survey if you’d like to participate.
Complete the Rubric Update

The online Rubric Update is available for free to the QM community. It explains the differences between the 2011-13 Rubric and the Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014. Registration is required. You can register for the Rubric Update using your MyQM login.

  1. Log in to MyQM
  2. Select the Higher Education tab
  3. Select the “Workshop – Register” menu
  4. Select “Register for Rubric Update
  5. Choose “Invoice” for payment (fee is $0).

If you hold a role with Quality Matters, including Peer Reviewer, Master Reviewer, or Certified Facilitator, you will have to complete the Rubric Update by December 31, 2014to maintain your role. To reinstate the role afterJanuary, 2015, there will be a $50.00 fee to register for theRubric Update Role Reinstatement.

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QM K-12 Year In Review/We’re Hiring!/QM PD: A Shelter in the Storm/Season’s Greetings

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Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Quality Matters. Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!
  QM K12 Program logo
In This Issue
Thanks for a Great Year!
We’re Hiring!
QM PD: A Shelter in the Storm
Happy Holidays
Welcome New Subscribers
Meeting Standards
Congratulations to the following organization that recently had courses meet QM standards:
English 11
Upcoming 2015 Workshop Dates


Learn More
K12 Rubric Workbook Cover
QM Closing Reminder
In observance of the holidays and to allow our employees to enjoy time with their families, Quality Matters will be closedMonday, December 22through Friday, December 26, 2014. We will also be closedThursday, January 1, 2015. QM will be openMonday throughWednesday, December 29 – 31, 2014 andFriday, January 2, 2015.
QM IT Corner
QM’s Information Technology team is always looking for ways to improve your QM experience. If you’re having issues with MyQM, have a great idea or constructive feedback on how we might improve our service, skip the ticket line and talk to us via Twitter at@QMTechnology!
Get Social with QM
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We’re excited to have you join us in any or all of our social networks. These meeting places offer opportunities to interact with your colleagues at QM and other organizations and institutions, provide and receive feedback and bring your expertise to the community in a variety of formats.


Tag us on Twitter@QMProgram


Like us on Facebook
Contribute to the community on LinkedIn
See your QM colleagues in action on YouTube
Welcome to the QM community!

Thanks for a Great Year!

We’re wrapping a stellar QM K-12 year! We’ve welcomed many new subscribers who, along with our existing subscribers, have been instrumental in growing a robust and active K-12 community! We’ve seen an increased awareness of the value of QM-Certified Courses, as schools, districts and K-12 Publishers invest in continuous improvement. You’ll see many third-party courses proudly bearing our Certification Mark in the coming year. Courses sporting our Certification Mark have emerged from a rigorous review process, aided and enabled by the expertise and support of our K-12 Course Reviewers – thank you! When shopping for courses, you can help in the quality assurance effort by asking the simple question, “Are your courses QM Certified?”

As we move into 2015, please continue to spread the word about how you’re using QM in your districts and in collaboration with others. We’re also eager to see you presenting at the QM Conference in San Antonio next fall! We enjoy sharing in your successes, so continue to keep us informed about the good work you’re doing. You could be featured in a case study or QM Success Story!

2015 will present many more opportunities for collaboration amongst the QM community. We have exciting professional development offerings in the works, and hope you consider serving on our K-12 Course Review teams. We’ll also be gearing up to revise the K-12 Secondary and Publisher Rubrics, where you’ll have a unique opportunity to help mold the next editions of these Rubrics as a member of the K-12 Rubric Revision Committee.

Feedback from our subscribers helps build a stronger QM K-12 program. We’ll continue to provide the support and services you need most, so let us know how QM can help you ensure quality matters in 2015! Most importantly, we want to empower you to provide your learners with the highest quality courses. Together, we can make 2015 the year in which we focus on quality and continuous improvement in K-12 education!

Best Regards,

Christine Voelker signature

Christine Voelker, K-12 Program Director

We’re Hiring!

Make a difference in the quality of online and blended education on a national scale. We’re hiring a K-12 Program Coordinator. Interested?

QM PD: A Shelter in the Storm
If you feel as though blended and online learning has come upon you like a blizzard, QM is here to provide you with the safety to weather any storm.

K12 APP logoYour first step to safety is The K-12 Applying the QM Secondary Rubric (K-12 APP) workshop – it’s our flagship course on the QM K-12 Secondary Rubric, Second Edition and its use in reviewing and improving the design of online and blended courses. The next K-12 APP workshop beginsJanuary 6.

 K12 RC logo

The path you take next is up to you.  If you’re interested in having a deeper understanding of the QM Course Review process, or even becoming a QM-Certified K-12 Course Reviewer, the K-12 Reviewer Course (K-12 RC) is the way to go. The three-week online course is $175 for subscribers and $225 for non-subscribers. The next K-12 RC beginsJanuary 7.

K12 DYOC logoIf you decide you’d like to learn to design more effective online courses, the K-12 Online Course Design (K-12 DYOC) workshop is your best bet. The K-12 DYOC will help you use the QM K-12 Secondary Rubric, Second Edition to identify appropriate assessments, course materials and technology that align to measurable course and module/unit-level objectives. This two-week workshop is $175 for subscribers and $225 for non-subscribers. The next K-12 DYOC begins January 5.

Happy Holidays!
We want to thank our community of educators, innovators and leaders for ensuring quality matters everywhere. We hope this message brings a little extra warmth and light to you and yours this holiday season.


View our holiday card. We’ll see you in 2015!

2014 Holiday Card Image

Welcome New Subscribers


We’re pleased to welcome the following subscribers to the community:

Questions? E-mail us.
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December 17, 2014

Your December CORE Newsletter — The Tenth And Final Trend For 2014, Tips For Your Te Reo, And What To Look Forward To Next Year.

From today’s inbox 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,

What you’ll find in this issue:

  • The importance of pronunciation — why it matters how your reo sounds.
  • New approaches to assessment — the last of our Ten Trends in education for 2014.
  • The new Learning Technology Advisory (LTA) service — what it means for your school.
  • The CORE incubator — for projects that push the boundaries of educational possibility.

Feature Article

How important is pronunciation anyway?

How hard is it, really?

imageNicole Gully explores the importance of trying to pronounce other languages correctly, and shares some quick tips for improving the sound of your reo.

Pronunciation is a hard one to talk about. Focus on it too much and people can feel offended, affronted, and be put off even trying. Don’t focus on it and the status quo reigns. Watching my son live with a Māori name on a daily basis leads me to shine some light on the topic, to share a story or two and some tips for the kete….read more and comment on this article on the CORE blog.

Ten Trends in Education 2014

Trend No. 10

New approaches to assessment

imageDerek Wenmoth elaborates on the key drivers behind the growing trend of new approaches to assessment in education.

Assessment is meant to be a way to make learning visible, of applying some measure to the success of the learner, who has a vested interest in this knowledge. Often though, instead of assessment being the means of measuring student success, it becomes what shapes the curriculum and the way it is taught…A more formative approach is gaining support internationally, with a number of initiatives looking at embedding assessment through the learning process — rather than practices that require students to complete assessment activities in certain places at certain times…read more about this trend and all of 2014’s Ten Trends in Education on the CORE website.

Thank You!

Last month, we asked you for your thoughts on how we could improve on how we package, present, and deliver the Ten Trends to you. A huge mihi to everyone who responded to our survey.

The winners of the $50 Prezzy Cards are:

  • Jacqui Pascoe, Marshland School, Christchurch
  • Brian Baynham, Blomfield School, Whangarei
  • Abbie Gibson, Tapanui School, Otago

From the CORE blog

To Sir, with love

How to support your child’s teacher — a parent’s perspective.


imageRochelle Savage shares four important ways parents can aid in the support of their child’s teacher and overall learning journey. 

I am a fan of the ‘stool’ approach to a child’s education — the child, the parent/s and the teacher all contribute and feed into the child’s education. Here is my perspective on how we, as parents, can work with our child’s teacher and with our child to support our child’s learning…I would love to hear from teachers with any further suggestions of how parents can support them to support their child at school…read this post in full and leave your comments on the CORE blog.

Latest News and Information

2015 Travel Scholarship

Applications Open!


Are you an educator with an exciting research query, wondering, or inquiry? Our travel scholarship enables educators to journey so they can inquire, learn, collaborate, and share to produce innovative practice.

The scholarship will open on 12 January 2015 and close on 9 February 2015. Check out the travel scholarship page on the CORE website for more details and to apply after 12 January.

Twitter iconLet’s talk about the
#coretscholar @coreeducation

Learning Technologies Advisory (LTA) service

What does this mean for your school?

The advisory’s aim is to support schools and kura to develop and sustain their e-learning capabilities in a structured andorganised way — from strategy design, to purchasing, to building the professional capabilities of teachers.

Over the next three years, CORE Facilitators will work directly with schools and kura on behalf of the MOE to provide expert advice and guidance on how to:

  • maximise the potential of ultra-fast broadband
  • take advantage of digital technology to enhance learning
  • collaborate to share ideas and practices.

CORE’s work will also include:

  • proactively alerting schools to technology-related opportunities
  • provision of a responsive help desk
  • professional learning activities designed to address identified needs.

Read more in the Ministry’s Media Release. This project is scheduled for roll out in 2015.

Other CORE initiatives

For the latest information on:

CORE BreakfastsLEARNZEDtalks
Key dates for your diary

19 DecemberNZ-wide
Term 4 ends (primary)

24 Dec4 JanNZ-wide
CORE close-down period

12 JanuaryNZ-wide
Travel Scholarship applications open

26 JanuaryNZ-wide
Term One begins (earliest)

28 JanuaryChristchurch
CPPA Conference: The Future is Now

5 FebruaryNZ-wide
Term One begins (latest)

9 FebruaryNZ-wide
Travel Scholarship applications close

Tīhau atu tīhau mai!

Look for the Twitter icon to participate in (#hashtags) & follow (@handles) CORE events & initiatives online.

Next Trend graphic

Ten Trends 2015

We’ll see you early in the new year with our experts’ picks on the ten most significant trends that will impact on education in 2015.

Did you know, we’ve been ‘trending’ since 2007? Viewprevious Ten Trends now.

Twitter iconLet’s talk about the



Our Trust

CORE’s charitable arm will continue to support educators to push boundaries in 2015 through its range of scholarships and grants.


Mentorship and support on your learning journey, tailored especially to you…learn more

CORE Events are now available to facilitate one-day PLD events in your community around future-focused themes of your choice...learn more.

Half-day workshops with future-focused topics will return to Christchurch early in 2015 as well as in-depth, online programmes, accessible from anywhere…watch theprofessional learning space.
Copyright © 2014 CORE Education, All rights reserved.
You have received this newsletter because you have attended one of our events ( and were happy for us to update you on future CORE events, or have subscribed to our newsletters at, or you are registered with LEARNZ virtual field trips at .
Our mailing address is:

CORE Education

167 Madras Street, Christchurch Central
PO Box 13 678


New Zealand

Add us to your address book e-Newsletter – 12/15/14

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DECEMBER 15, 2014
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Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining in Practice: A Systematic Literature Review of Empirical Evidence This paper aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive background for understanding current knowledge on Learning Analytics (LA) and Educational Data Mining (EDM) and its impact on adaptive learning. It constitutes an overview of empirical evidence behind key objectives […]

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Teaching the disembodied: Othering and activity systems in a blended synchronous learning situation

This study examines what happens when online and campus students participate in real time in the same campus classroom. Before this study, postgraduate students studying online in a course intended primarily as professional development for language educators were taking the course through reading the course literature including assigned articles, writing reflective texts in the asynchronous […]

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Identity and the itinerant online learner

This paper outlines a preliminary study of the kinds of strategies that master students draw upon for interpreting and enacting their identities in online learning environments. Based primarily on the seminal works of Goffman (1959) and Foucault (1988), the Web of Identity Model (Koole, 2009; Koole and Parchoma, 2012) is used as an underlying theoretical […]

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Impact of Learner’s Characteristics and Learning Behaviour on Learning Performance during a Fully Online Course

A fully online learning environment requires effective learning management in order to promote pro-active education. Since student’s notes are a reflection of the progress of their education, analysis of notes taken can be used to track the learning process of students who participate in fully online courses. This paper presents the causal relationships between student’s […]

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Using e-Portfolios to Assess Program Goals, Integrative Learning and Civic Engagement: A Case Example

Providing opportunities to foster students’ civic engagement during their undergraduate education is a goal of many universities. There are a variety of ways in which students participate in community service and in community change efforts and social change initiatives; capturing how students integrate these experiences into their broader learning goals can help both students and […]

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Beyond the MOOC Model: Changing Educational Paradigms

Four trends – MOOC-based degrees, competency-based education, the formalization of learning, and regulatory reform – are shifting educational practice away from core tenets of traditional education, indicating not a transient phenomenon but rather a fundamental change to the status quo. EDUCAUSE

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Americans Feel Better Informed Thanks to the Internet

Rather than crushing them with too much information and making it hard to find useful material, most Americans say the internet and cell phones have brought benefits in learning, sharing and diversifying the flow of information into their lives. Pew Research Internet Project

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Tracking what students grasp

Socrative mobile quiz app saves teachers time and offers real-time data on student comprehension of material. MIT

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10 Online Learning Trends to Watch in 2015 [#Infographic]

Amid the shifting sands of online education, which trends can we expect to set the tone for e-learning in the year ahead? EdTech Focus on Higher Education

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