Virtual School Meanderings

August 29, 2014

NCVPS E-lert for August 28, 2014

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

Districts and Charter Schools,
Please forward this E-lert to your school-level stakeholders. If you are having difficulty viewing this email, you may view the E-lert online here:
August 28, 2014 – In This Issue:

Calendar Check
August 26 – Traditional calendar classes begin.
August 29 – Traditional Calendar Day 3 Status Report posted in the registration system. See which students have not logged in!
September 5 – Traditional Calendar Day 7 Status Report posted in the registration system. See which students have not logged in!
September 9 – Last day to add or drop students from traditional calendar classes.

We heard . . . .
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~Carl Sagan.

“To admit that you begin the day planning to change the world certainly sounds grandiose, maybe even delusional.  Yet, I believe that you do change the world every day, whether you intend to or not.  Often it only takes a small act to make a difference.” ~Mark Sanborn

“A teacher can either cement mediocrity or inspire excellence in a student, regardless of what subject is being taught.”  ~ Stephen R. Covey

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” ~Leonard Bernstein
“No rule you make during the 1st weeks of school will cause good behavior in May. Strong relationships will though.” ~Dr. Joe Clark
“The trouble is learning requires rethinking and rethinking hurts.”


“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” ~ B. B. King

‘”The best teachers are the ones that show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”

NCVPS Celebrations
Districts and Schools, tell us about your success stories. Let us hear about individual student successes, increased virtual enrollment, outstanding lab facilitators, or virtual support processes that your school or district has in place. We would love to promote these stories.

Click here to tell us about your successes.

E-lert Subscription
If you are not on the E-lert subscription list, but would like to be, please add your name to our list here.

Current E-lert News

Registration Updates
A Busy Week
It’s been a busy week at NCVPS. Schools have enrolled over 5,000 students in the last week. This has caused some of our systems to be sluggish. We apologize for that!
Here are the numbers for the past week:
Thank you for your patience during this time! We look forward to serving you all.
Direct Links
Due to the large amount of traffic going through the NCVPS website, we are asking advisors to use direct links to our registration system and students to use direct links to their courses. This will ensure a better quality NCVPS experience for everyone. We greatly appreciate it! Here are the direct links to bookmark:


Student Status No-Show Reports (Action Required)
NCVPS will post a Day 3 and Day 7 Status Report for traditional calendar courses in the registration system on the following dates:
Day 3: August 29
Day 7: September 5
The status reports will indicate if students have or have not logged in to their courses.

This link shows how to run the no-show report if you’re an e-learning coordinator or e-learning advisor.


The reports are labeled as “No Show Reports.”


District coordinators, you may run this report for your entire district and see where there might be problem areas.

If students have not logged in, please make contact with those students. Make sure they are aware that they are registered for the course, that the course has started, and that they have their usernames and passwords.
Please make sure that you have made your final drops by NCVPS’s tenth day of class. Our Day 10 is September 9.
Any students on the roster after Day 10 will be counted in the district’s allotment totals, and those students will receive a grade.
Student Rosters
If you are missing any students on your rosters who you need to register, please open a ticket with our Virtual Support Center here:
Include the following minimum information in your ticket:
  • Student’s name
  • Student’s PowerSchool number
  • School name
If available, we also request the following information to expedite the enrollment process:
  • Student’s Email
  • Does the student have an IEP?
  • Does the student have a 504 Plan?
Waitlisted Students
We will continue to open new sections based on what we see on the waitlists. Please go ahead and add students to the waitlist for a course if you would like to enroll them.
We do have a number of courses that are at capacity. Courses that are at capacity will not have any new sections opened. The only way that students will move off the waitlist is if a student who is already enrolled in the course drops. We will continue to move students off the waitlist in courses that are at capacity through Day 10 of the course as enrolled students drop.
Student Contact Information
It is essential that schools use a student’s correct email address and phone number when they enroll.
PLEASE DO NOT use a staff member’s email address and school phone when you enroll students. If you do, it will create two major issues:
1. NCVPS teachers will not have the correct email address to contact students. It is imperative that our teachers have this. It helps ensure the success of your students.
2. It enrolls the staff member’s email address into the class forums. Students will not get their forum updates, and the staff member’s inbox will be flooded with updates.

Tech Updates

We have some important tips from our tech team. These tips help ensure smooth operations.

Help Desk Ticketing Tips
When opening a Help Desk ticket please always include the following:
  • Student’s first and last name
  • Students ID number
  • Course enrolled

Chromebooks do not allow any 3rd party apps to be download. Chromebook users do not have access to basic essentials like Firefox and Java.

We do not recommend Chromebooks for NCVPS courses.
For additional information please see out Tech Requirements:


Password Resets

If you have had your password reset, the new password will not expire unless you have reset it. If you have forgotten what your password was reset to, you can look up the help desk ticket to access the new password.


Student Email Confirmations in Moodle and Blackboard

Please have students confirm or update their e-mail address in our learning management systems. Here’s how to do that. (This is also on our Getting Started Checklist for NCVPS Students.)
In Moodle:
* Navigate to Administration
* My Profile settings
* Edit Profile
* Verify or update e-mail
* Scroll to bottom and “Update Profile”
In Blackboard:
* Click on students name in the upper right side of your BB course
* Click on setting
* Click on Personal Information
* Click on Edit Personal Information to update e-mail
* Scroll to bottom and Submit

Peer Tutoring Center
Did you know NCVPS has a Peer Tutoring Center? We do. And it’s fantastic.
If you have students who need some extra help in our classes or maybe just need some help in navigating our learning management system or managing their workload, have them seek help from our Peer Tutoring Center.
The Peer Tutoring Center offers the following services to NCVPS students:
Peer Tutoring – Peer Tutors provides tutoring in specific content areas

Virtual Buddy – Virtual Buddies are select student volunteers who have agreed to work with NCVPS students who need more than content help in their online classes.


Quick Questions – Services are available to all students via Blackboard IM at the start of the semester. For the first four weeks, this is the primary work we provide to ALL NCVPS students.


Please refer students needing services to thier NCVPS instructors or to the Peer Tutoring Center button within their NCVPS course.
The Peer Tutoring Center also publishes the Peer Tutoring Blog. This blog is run by the NCVPS Peer Tutor staff. Articles are posted bi-weekly and are about a variety of topics, from the best way to manage school work to embracing the opportunities which life throws at you. You can see some of the previous articles in the Tutor Talk Blog. .

District and School Semester Prep
Traditional Calendar Classes begin on August 26.
Please follow this link to see how to prepare for the upcoming semester.

Science Olympiad
Did you know that NCVPS has a Science Olympiad team? That’s right! We sent four students to the state competition last year, are we are already recruiting for the team this year.
Students saw this promo video in their courses this week:
(click image to view video)
If you have any NCVPS students who are interested in being part of our Science Olympiad team, please have them contact Dr. Jones at .

Middle School Success 101

NCVPS is offering Middle School Success 101 this fall. Originally we had planned to enroll students by hand, but with the volume of interest we received, we decided to allow each middle school to enroll on its own.  Look for the course title “Middle School Success 101″ in our registration system.


We will be reviewing the waitlists daily and open new sections.  However, we are limited to 10 sections for Fall 2014 as we roll out this new course, so please do not delay in enrolling your students.


Please keep in mind that this course is not for high school credit. This is a middle school course.

ACT Prep Course

NCVPS C&I is happy to share an ACT Prep course is in development and will be ready to pilot in Fall 2014. We will only offer 8 sections of 25 students for the fall. We will make the course available to everyone in the Spring 2015.


If you are interested in enrolling students in our ACT Prep course for Fall 2014, please sign up now. There are limited seats available.


If you have questions, please contact Karen Creech at

Catalogs for Virtual Learning 
in North Carolina
NCVPS Courses
NCVPS offers over 150 different courses, including advanced placement, electives, traditional, honors, core, STEM, occupational course of study, and credit recovery courses.

Vendor Approved Courses

In addition to NCVPS courses, North Carolina public schools also have a list of approved third-party vendor courses that they may choose from for virtual classes. Please follow this link to see the list of approved vendor courses. More on the vendor approval process can be found here.

Here are the newest approved vendor courses: (Course Title – Vendor)

  • AP German – Oklahoma State University
  • Physics – Edmentum

Speaking Virtually
Have you noticed that the digital world and online learning have their own jargon?  We would like to help everyone speak virtually. Here are two terms for this week:

Gamification: Gamification is the current practice of adding games and game thinking to non-game contexts like in the classroom or in online courses. This makes learning more engaging and exciting!
Mobile Learning: Mobile learning is specifically designed to be used on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Mobile-learning is convenient because it allows anywhere, anytime learning.

Twitter School
Follow us on Twitter! Throughout the week, our team posts valuable links that help followers better understand today’s learners and find the right tools to teach with, ideas that are important to all educators. Dive a little deeper into virtual education with the following links curated by the NCVPS Professional Learning team.
“How our ancestors emailed each other.” ~Student (Unsplash photo credit -
the internet’s free image source)
 Learn with us on Twitter here:
North Carolina Virtual Public School
1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg.,
SUITE 3900, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone:  919-513-8550   |  Fax:  919-513-2557  |


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

North Carolina Virtual Public School | 1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg., SUITE 3900 | Raleigh | NC | 27606


Adam Renfro
Outreach and Support Coordinator
North Carolina Virtual Public School
NCVPS Virtual Support Center:

Note: All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to public review under the NC Public Records Law. As a result, messages may be monitored by and disclosed to third parties.

AERA Highlights: August 2014

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

Can’t see this email? Click here to view in your browser.

August 2014

Research Advocacy Issues
AERA Centennial Calls
AERA Other Calls
Beyond AERA
New From the AERA Video Gallery
AERA in the News


AERA Open Names Associate Editors, Will Accept Manuscripts Starting September 15
AERA Open, AERA’s new open access, online peer-reviewed journal, will accept manuscripts starting September 15, with an editorial team poised to provide rapid review and dissemination.
AERA Journals Top International Education and Education Research Rankings
Two AERA journals ranked in the top ten in the 2013 Journal Citation Reports, released by Thomson Reuters on July 29.
Going Global: AERA Staff Speak at South Africa Research Conference
AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine and Visiting Scientist Lori Diane Hill this month were featured at several sessions related to the second annual meeting of the South African Education Research Association, held in Durban, South Africa.

Research Advocacy Issues

AERA Comments on OMB Federal Statistical Policy Directive
In response to a request from the Office of Management and Budget for comments on its proposed Statistical Policy Directive, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine provided comments supporting the goals of OMB’s draft directive while providing three key recommendations for strengthening it.
AERA and Partners Urge Senate to Restore NCES Stature
In a letter to the chair and ranking member of the Senate education committee, AERA and 10 other research organizations urged senators to protect the autonomy, authority, and stature of the National Center for Education Statistics, as it takes up the Strengthening Education Through Research Act.
Senate Bill Would Provide Boost to NSF
Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014, which will reauthorize funding and programs at the National Science Foundation and other science agencies. It is noticeably different in tone and language from the FIRST Act.
NASFAA Endorses Repealing Ban on Federal Student Unit Record
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators released 15 policy recommendations for improving consumer information requirements for higher education institutions earlier this month.

AERA Centennial Calls

AERA Other Calls

Beyond AERA

New NRC Report: Furthering America’s Research Enterprise
A new report by the National Research Council, Furthering America’s Research Enterprise, found that, “current measures are inadequate to guide national-level decisions about what research investments will expand the benefits of science.”

NIH Seeks Candidates for OBSSR Director
The National Institutes of Health is seeking exceptional candidates for the challenging position of Director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

Spencer Foundation Accepting Submissions for Mid-Career Grant Program
The Spencer Foundation announced a new grant program to enrich the work of academic mid-career scholars who are 7 to 20 years post doctorate.

William T. Grant Foundation Posts Deadlines for 2015 Research and Fellows Grants
The William T. Grant Foundation invests in high-quality research to ensure that young people from diverse backgrounds reach their fullest potential.

New From the AERA Video Gallery

Yasuko Kanno and Sara E.N. Kangas:
“English Language Learners’ Limited Access to Advanced College-Preparatory Courses in High School”

Ilana Umansky:
“Reclassification Patterns Among Latino English Learner Students in Bilingual, Dual Immersion, and English Immersion Classrooms”

Matthew C. Makel:
“Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences”

Andrew Plunk and William Tate:
“State-Mandated High School Science and Mathematics Course Graduation Requirements”

More AERA Videos

AERA in the News

More AERA in the News

AERA Highlights is published by the American Educational Research Association monthly to inform members and others interested in education research about the latest news and developments in AERA and in the field.
Editor: Felice J. Levine
Managing Editors: Tony Pals and John Neikirk
Contributors: Lauren Green, Bridget Jameson, Christy Talbot, Martha Yager

Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

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August 28, 2014

The Pulse Newsletter: August Edition

From Monday’s inbox…

Florida Virtual School
The Pulse. A newsletter for FLVS Parents and Students
The Pulse Newsletter: August Edition
Dear Michael,


The August edition of The Pulse newsletter is now available! Get ready for the school year and see what’s new in this month’s edition of our student and parent newsletter:




The FLVS Team

Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Google Plus FLVS Blog

Florida Virtual School | 2145 MetroCenter Blvd, Ste 200 | Orlando | FL | 32835

August 27, 2014

Plugged In | 08.27.14 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final word today from the neo-liberals…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
A small but growing number of New York City schools are making assessments more meaningful for teachers and students through mastery-based approaches to learning. There are early and encouraging signs that mastery can motivate and engage students…
Getting Smart
Summer is good for many things: spending time with family, traveling, and for kids, taking a break from classes. But while students may take time off, their teachers are preparing for the upcoming school year – because learning never stops. And it never should. That…
Baltimore Sun
Tomorrow is not just the first day of the 2014-2015 school year for 110,000 students in Baltimore County Public Schools. It’s also the launch of initiatives to create opportunity-rich environments in every school, in every classroom and for every student. It has never…
Impatient Optimists
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, one of the Gates Foundation’s most pressing priorities is to remove the obstacles that impede quality teaching and learning. The College Ready team and I spend lots of time visiting schools, listening to teachers, and…
School administrators are looking to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as a way to bring technology resources in the community to bear in the classroom when there is little funding for school-owned devices. We are examining how three different teachers in…
Next Generation Learning Challenges
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan calls the academic model employed at their schools “student-centered learning.” Perhaps their professional development for teachers – the subject of the latest Next Gen Tools brief – could be categorized as…
Kyle Foli hugged his daughter, Kyndall, as she prepared to enter Dugger/Union school as a high school freshman. It was just after 7:30 a.m., and they had joined about 80 other people to pray around a flagpole and launch a new year – and a new era. Dugger/Union…
Fast Company
Some people are born with natural intelligence or ability. Other people learn through their mistakes and become skilled through effort. Most people combine both. But which is more important: effort or talent? The online learning portal Khan Academy is launching a…
Just two years ago, some were heralding “the year of the MOOC” – the age when Massive Open Online Courses would permanently disrupt the higher education landscape and open instruction free to the masses. We’re now in what some call the “trough of…
Wall Street Journal
The nation’s second-largest school district is slowing down its $1 billion initiative to outfit every student with an iPad or laptop computer, in a setback for Apple Inc. and Pearson. Following the leak of its own internal report critical of the program and questions about…
Judging by headlines, public support for the Common Core standards appears to be waning. But that doesn’t necessarily suggest that people are against adopting a unified academic standard for American school children. Instead it seems that there’s some…
Post and Courier
Brick-and-mortar classrooms will no longer be the only learning space available to Berkeley County students. The Berkeley County School Board voted 6-0 to approve a new district policy allowing online learning. The online learning program is through the…
Huffington Post
As many students and teachers are returning to school this week, we should take a moment to reflect on something positive that happened in the dog days of summer – in our nation’s capital of all places – that will have a profound effect on the nation’s public…
Business Day
It might not be happening as fast as we’d like in South Africa, but education is evolving. And although schools worldwide have been criticised for being the final holdout against the digital revolution, digital learning technologies are widely accepted as being integral to…
2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium


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Michael Malone is a regular editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal and has covered Silicon Valley for over 30 years. His books include “The Guardian of All Things” and “Learning Curve.” For more, visit: In this program Mr. Malone talks about the rise and importance of Intel and the men who created it. […]

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The changing landscape of ePortfolios: A case study in one Australian universityThe potential of ePortfolios for both students and staff has generated considerable interest and investment by universities over the past ten years or so within Australia. Despite funded projects, ePortfolio specific conferences and a range of commercial and open software, there is not wide spread uptake of ePortfolios, although many universities continue to try and […]

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States Focus On Preparing Future Workforce To Strengthen EconomyWASHINGTON—To further governors’ efforts to align education and training systems to the needs of state economies, the National Governors Association (NGA) today announced support for 14 states Colorado,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma,Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. By increasing the number of citizens with a postsecondary degree or relevant workforce certificate, more people will have access to the middle class and beyond, […]

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AI, Robotics, and the Future of JobsThe vast majority of respondents to the 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing anticipate that robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as health care, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance. But even as they are largely consistent […]

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‘It Takes Time’The University of California System, after five years and millions of dollars spent, is asking for more time and money to get its systemwide online education initiative off the ground. Inside Higher Ed Full Article

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