Virtual School Meanderings

October 27, 2014

Plugged In | 10.27.14 | (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…

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10.29 Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students


Looking back, my whole school experience feels like a big group adventure. I know I did things alone – strong memories of this at home for sure – but learning was mostly one big, interactive social scene. And I was on the shy end of the human personality…
Getting Smart
All established organizations struggle with innovations that fundamentally challenge their status quo. That struggle is the focus on nonprofit think tank Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Cofounder Michael Horn said, “These struggles…
While more teachers are using digital games in the classroom, how they decide which games to use and why is less standardized, according to a teacher survey of 694 K-8 teachers by the Games and Learning Publishing Council called Level Up Learning: A
While technology has transformed almost every aspect of modern life, our higher education system has barely changed. Universities teach young adults today in much the same way they did in medieval Europe: “Sage on Stage,” the model where a…
Christensen Institute
The term competency-based education (CBE) is a lot like the term disruption. It gets misused more frequently than it is deployed correctly. So when I write about both topics at the same time, well, there can be quite the reaction. Some people take CBE as…
The Dartmouth
This term, a group of introductory math students have seen their classroom “flipped,” with theories and formulas taught through online Khan Academy videos and class time reserved for discussion. The class – professor Scott Pauls’s Math 3 section – is part…
I had a moment of serendipity last week that changed a long standing social media policy of mine: Avoid connecting with students through social media channels that I deem strictly personal. For the most part, this meant not accepting friend requests…
The Hechinger Report
The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education has developed a new, online course on blended learning. Expected to launch this spring, the course is intended for teachers spanning preschool, K-12 and higher education. It comes at a…
THE Journal
Now that the FCC has adopted the E-rate Modernization Order, you may be wondering what it means for your district and what you should do to prepare. While there is no substitute for reading the 176-page order, you can read the FCC’s official summary…
The Next Web
Over the past decade, brand communication shifted to digital spaces in much larger shares, with many companies existing exclusively online. This has pushed design trends towards a simpler, more organized form of design – flat design – that is easily…
2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium


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iNACOL on the Giving Library e-Newsletter – 10/27/14

From the inbox earlier today… Newsletter
OCTOBER 27, 2014
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A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education

Mobile devices have become attractive learning devices for education. While the majority of the existing research has focused primarily on the value of mobile learning for students, researchers have recently started exploring its potentials within teacher development. The present qualitative synthesis of quantitative and qualitative research aimed to address trends and gaps observed in the […]

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Educational triage in open distance learning: Walking a moral tightrope

This article provides a conceptual framework to realise the potential of educational triage to responsibly and ethically respond to legitimate concerns about the “revolving door” in distance and online learning and the sustainability of higher education, without compromising ‘openness.’ The conceptual framework does not attempt to provide a detailed map, but rather a compass consisting […]

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The Role of Enrollment Choice in Online Education: Course Selection

There is well-documented evidence that online retention rates are lower than face-to-face retention rates. However, most past research on online retention focuses on student characteristics, with little knowledge existing on the impact of course type. This study uses a matched sample of 2,330 students at a large urban community college to analyze two key course-level […]

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Why do Institutions Offer MOOCs?

By reviewing the literature and interviewing 83 individuals knowledgeable about massive open online courses (MOOCs), we investigate the goals of institutions of higher education that are currently developing and delivering such courses. We identify six major goals for MOOC initiatives: extending reach and access, building and maintaining brand, improving economics by reducing costs or increasing […]

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Remediation of print: On the current restructuration of higher education

The educational establishment was built and structured on a communication pattern at the core of the Gutenberg Galaxy that combines the spoken word with printed and handwritten resources. The current digitization of text is a pacesetter for retooling the workplace in the “industries of signs”, for replacing skills on a broad scale and for developing […]

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TigerHub is new course planning, academic information site

Princeton University will launch a new online student portal, TigerHub, where undergraduate and graduate students plan and enroll in courses, access academic records and maintain personal information. TigerHub will launch the first week of November at and will replace the homepage of SCORE (the Student Course Online Registration Engine). Princeton University Press Release

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Another Brick in the Wall? Increased Challenges Face the Physical Campus

Presidents, trustees and senior administrators at New England colleges and universities all feel the pressures: keep tuition down, be competitive academically and make sure the physical campus draws talent from a shrinking pool of traditional high school graduates and new nontraditional students. Given resource limitations, something’s got to give and, for many campuses, investment in […]

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How Will Campus Networks Handle the Internet of Things’ 26 Billion Devices?

The exponential growth of the Internet of Things will challenge college and university wireless networks with large quantities of data, security concerns, bandwidth demands and more. Campus Technology Full Article

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Ga. State’s Loss in ‘E-Reserves’ Case Might Actually Be a Win for Librarians

In May 2012 fair-use advocates celebrated a federal judge’s decision in a high-profile copyright case. The ruling was seen as a decisive victory for Georgia State University, whose librarians wanted to be able to make freely available as much copyrighted material as possible to students via its electronic reserve system. Wired Campus Full Article

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October 25, 2014


From yesterday’s inbox…

Newsletter from the International Council for Open and Distance Education

MOOC for teachers to improve skills, offered in 7 languages – just days left to register!

Teachers have an opportunity to participate in a short course to improve their skills for designing ICT-based learning activities. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is free and available in seven languages including English, Spanish, French, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Greek and Catalan.

More than 2,200 people from 120 countries have now registered for the MOOC which starts on 27 October. With just a few days left until it starts, make sure you register now!

Read more

Former ICDE President Sir John Daniel appointed Officer of the Order of Canada

Sir John Daniel, ICDE President 1982-85 and Hon. Life Member, was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada, the Hon. David Johnston, at Government House in Ottawa on 12 September 2014.

He was appointed to this prestigious position for his ‘advancement of open learning and distance education in Canada and around the world’.

Read more

Less than a month to go until the Presidents’ Summit, make sure to register now!

Educational leaders from around the world will attend this year’s Presidents’ Summit, which will focus on developing sustainable business models and finding strategic pedagogical approaches. Topics will include: the opportunities that new technologies bring, strategies for striving for quality, expanding business models, and much more.

With a select audience of top level institutional leaders, this offers prime networking opportunities.

Read more

The 26th ICDE World Conference – call for papers now open

Experts, academics and practitioners from across the globe are invited to attend the 26th ICDE World Conference, hosted by the University of South Africa, in South Africa from 14-16 October 2015. The call for papers is now open!

The conference will address open and distance learning in 21st century global higher education within the context of increasing demands for access, decreasing state resources and growing concern about the quality of provision.

Read more

Multiple MOOCs means many opportunities for learning

Sign up and take part in free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are being offered in a range of different subjects, from Blended Learning to Learning Design. The courses are offered in multiple languages and provide online and easy-to-access learning opportunities that are open to all learners.

These MOOCs, lasting between 6 and 8 weeks, are all offered by the new European Multiple MOOC Aggregator (EMMA) which brings together leading university partners.

Read more

Interested in e-learning, innovation and collaboration? Register for Innovation Arabia 8

Innovation Arabia 8 is a highly scientific refereed event with thought leaders, academics, and the professional community searching to exchange ideas, discuss trends, solutions and challenges in the development of sustainable economies and societies in the Arab World through innovation.

The call for papers has been extended for a short time. Full papers accepted for presentation at the conference will have the opportunity to be considered for seven different publications.

Register your attendance now! ICDE members receive a significant discount of 50 per cent on the registration fee.

Read more

Learn theoretical and practical skills for using emerging technologies in higher education

ICDE member CLICKS (Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions) is running two workshops titled ‘Using Educational Technologies to Improve Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’.

The three-day workshop will be held in Jordan (14-16 December 2014) and then again in Dubai (9-11 January 2015), and the workshop leader will be expert Prof. Grainne Conole.

ICDE members receive a 15 per cent discount on the registration fee.

Read more

Going Global 2015 – call for proposals deadline fast approaching

Going Global, an annual conference hosted by the British Council, provides a forum for world leaders in education to network, debate international tertiary education issues and challenges, and to discuss creative, collaborative solutions.

The theme for Going Global 2015 is ‘connecting cultures, forging futures’ and you are encouraged to contribute with your unique perspective by submitting a proposal before the deadline on 31 October 2014.

Read more

New fully online postgraduate programme for e-Learning Design and Teaching

An opportunity exists for teaching staff and education professionals to develop their careers with a new online programme offered by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), a member of ICDE.

Participants will develop competencies for the design, management and implementation of educational solutions in which the intensive use of ICT, and the effective practice of online teaching, are key to the provision of quality education.

Read more

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 recognizes childrens’ rights to education

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Malala Yousafzay and Kailash Satyarthi for their struggle for the right of all children to education, as well as against the suppression of children and young people.

During his keynote speech at the recent ABED conference in Brazil, ICDE’s Secretary General Gard Titlestad highlighted the African proverb that ‘if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation’.

Read more

This is a newsletter from the International Council for Open and Distance Education.

***Messages are posted in the language received.***
***Les messages sont affichés dans la langue dans laquelle nous les avons reçus.***
Twitter = @cnie_rcie
Facebook = CNIE-RCIÉ

NCVPS E-lert for Oct. 24, 2014

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: 
October 24, 2014 – In This Issue:

Calendar Check
October 16 – Early Calendar Grade reports posted in the registration system. These are weighted grades (37.5%)

October 16 – Traditional calendar progress reports are posted in the registration system.

October 30 – Traditional calendar grade reports posted in the registration system. These are weighted grades (37.5%)

October 30 – Early calendar progress reports are posted in the registration system.

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

1st Grade Reports

We have posted our first weighted grade reports in the registration system for early calender courses.  Be aware of these dates:


Oct. 16: Early Calendar 1st Grade Report posted.

Oct. 30: Traditional Calender 1st Grade Report posted.


Here is how we weight our grades:


Standard Grading Scale for Block Classes

37.5%     (First Grade Report)

37.5%  (Second Grade Report)

*Final Exam/Project: 25%

Standard Grading Scale for Yearlong Classes

18.75%  (First Grade Report)

18.75%  (Second Grade Report)

18.75%  (Third Grade Report)

18.75%  (Fourth Grade Report)

25%       (Final Exam/Project)*

*EOC and CTE Courses


The Final Exam for EOC and CTE courses will be the EOC and VoCATS score. Schools are responsible for the administration of all EOC and CTE tests. For those courses, the grades NCVPS reports to the school will be 75% of the final grade. Schools will score the EOCs and CTEs and average in the remaining 25% to determine the final grade.


*SAT Prep will not have a final exam because of the two-part nature of the course.


All other courses have their final exams or final projects online in the course.

The following fields are on our first weighted grade reports:


Grading Period 1 = All courses (except credit recovery and OCS) will have a numeric grade reported here.


Comment = All instructors will leave a comment.


Sample Grade Report

Grade Report Details:


1. All standard classes will report a progress grade, and teachers will leave a comment for each student.


2. We do not report grades for OCS classes. Classroom teachers determine OCS grades.


3. We do not report grades for credit recovery classes. See the comments section to determine if the student is on pace or not.


4. Even if a student is supposed to be dropped or withdrawn, we will report a grade until the school withdraws the student.


5. We do not report a grade below 60 on our first grading period report.


Be sure to download these reports to see how your students are performing! If you have district-level access, you can see progress of NCVPS students from all of your district schools.


Follow this link to see how to run a grade report.


Follow this link to see our Quick Reference Guide on Grades.

Supporting Students – Intervention Time

Be sure to check the latest progress report to see how your students are progressing. If you have students who are low-performing, under-performing, or at-risk for any reason, NCVPS has a number of intervention strategies for districts and schools to help.


Follow this link to see our intervention strategies.

Current Enrollment Options

Here are our current enrollment options:


1. OCS – We cannot create new OCS sections, but schools may add students to their already established NCVPS OCS sections throughout the semester.


2. Credit Recovery – Schools may enroll students in credit recovery until December 1 if we have seats available in the course.


3. Transfer Students – NCVPS is now accepting transfer students. Transfer students must already be enrolled in the face-2-face version of the course, have seat time in front of an instructor, and have a grade to transfer in with. Students new to the course cannot transfer in.


4. Spring 2015 – Registration for Spring 2015 is still open.

Tech Updates

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


Recent updates for Java and Flash

Please update to version Java 7, Update 71.
You can find the update at this link:

We are testing out Version 8 update 25. For now, please hold off on this update if possible.
Please go to the following link to update Adobe Flash Player to the latest Version 



NCVPS does not support Chrome’s web-based operating system, and we do not recommend the use of Chromebooks for NCVPS courses. Chrome’s lack of Java capabilities means students will encounter problems with rich media objects while using Chromebooks.
If a student or school chooses to use Chromebooks, please understand that certain areas of NCVPS content WILL NOT FUNCTION CORRECTLY in the Blackboard and Moodle environments.

Help Desk Ticketing Tips

To answer your tickets faster and more efficiently we ask for the following when opening a ticket with the Virtual Support Center:

  • Students first & last name
  • PowerSchool ID number
  • Course enrolled (example CourseSec01Fall14)

Please specify if course is:

  • AP
  • Honors
  • Early Calendar
  • CR
  • OCS

This will help to ensure we have the correct student.

Tech Requirements 

For additional information please see our Tech Requirements:

Approved eLearning Courses for NC
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)

  • Spanish 1 – Edmentum
  • Probability and Statistics – Edmentum
  • Pre-Calculus – Edmentum
  • French 1 – Edmentum
  • French 2 – Edmentum
  • AP Calculus AB – Florida Virtual
  • AP Statistics – Florida Virtual
  • Physical Science – Florida Virtual

Course Spotlight – ACT Prep

ACT Prep sections are open for Spring 2015 enrollments! This course offers a great way to prepare for your future!

If you have questions, please contact Karen Creech at

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

Adam Renfro
Outreach and Support Coordinator
North Carolina Virtual Public School

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

October 24, 2014

Join Your Colleagues for QM Success Stories!

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Quality Matters logo
Susan Long at 5th Annual Conference

Your colleagues have experience meeting QM’s rigorous course design standards and implementing QM on their campuses. They can offer valuable insights and experiences.

QM Success Stories webinars are FREE, designed exclusively for subscribers and presented by your colleagues. These webinars offer opportunities for sharing experiences with implementing QM and designing courses that have met QM Standards.

QMSS Facilitators New Mexico State University Alamogordo (clockwise from top left) Sherrell Wheeler, Rob Klinger, Kathy Roark-Diehl and Gary Bond, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo will present “Making Quality Happen Through A QM Internal Review Process” Thursday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Register for the “Making Quality Happen” webinar. If you’re in K-12 education and would like to attend, register here.

Act now as space is limited to the first 100 registrants. You can register once and share the webinar with colleagues.
Can’t make it? All QM Success Stories will be recorded and available to subscribers after the session.
We look forward to you joining us for QM Success Stories and learning how colleagues are meeting QM Standards and implementing QM!
Questions? Contact Nancy Ragias, QM’s Registrar for Higher Education.
1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Copyright © 2014 MarylandOnline. All Rights Reserved.
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