Virtual School Meanderings

March 21, 2014

2013 Digital Learning Report Card

Last week I saw this blog entry come through my RSS reader – Digital Learning Now Shows State Progress.  If you aren’t familiar with this, it is the annual ranking of how states are progressing in implementing the neo-liberals agenda of education and digital education.  Believe it or not, that is the nice or politically correct description of the rankings.

The honest description is that it is a ranking of how easy companies can come in, set-up shop, get approval for sub-standard online programs, and then rape and pillage public education.

Either way, it isn’t an actual ranking of how well states are doing with digital learning!

Now the actual report for 2013 is available at http://reportcard.digitallearningnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/DLN_ReportCard_FINAL.pdf and the press release is available at http://www.digitallearningnow.com/press-release/2013-digital-learning-report-card-signals-progress-in-high-quality-digital-learning-options/.

The new state-by-state map isn’t available yet, but you can access the 2012 one at http://www.digitallearningnow.com/reportcard/#grade0.  It is interesting to actually look at individual state profiles.

I see that my current state, Connecticut, was dead last in 2012.  I’m kind of proud of my new state for that fact.  It is interesting to note some of the individual statements that each state is graded on.

2. All students must complete at least one online course to earn a high school diploma.

Limited research that is available indicates that learning at a distance in the K-12 environment has little, and even a negative, effect on their ability to learn at a distance later in life.

4. No school district may restrict student enrollment in full-time online school or in an individual online course through enrollment caps or geographic boundaries.

Research has shown that full-time online programs that have a managed growth and/or limited geographic reach have much greater success than those without either.

13. No additional burdens are placed on the approval and procurement processes for digital content beyond those for print content.

23. Online providers, including virtual charter schools, full-time online providers, and individual online course providers, are allowed to appeal decisions or revise and resubmit their applications after a denial.

24. multiple opportunities during the year are available for virtual charter schools, full-time online providers, and individual online course providers to apply for approval.

25. Approval of digital providers lasts for three or more years

History has shown that cyber charter providers have fought any additional regulations placed on them through initial and on-going approval. Yet, these criteria all run counter to a state’s ability to manage this criteria:

29. As determined by outcomes-based student-performance data, these poor performing schools and courses must be closed: a. virtual charter schools. b. full-time online schools. c. individual online course providers.

If there is little to no oversight and if it is almost impossible to block programs that have been shown to be of poor quality, it makes it difficult to closed or prevent poor performing schools.

34. The same per-pupil funding with the same payment process is provided to all virtual charter schools, full-time online schools, and individual online course providers, regardless of whether the school is public, charter, not-for-profit, or for-profit.

Research and ideologically-based policy documents, including those published by neo-liberal think tanks, have said that full-time online learning costs less. This is an effort to maximize profits, plain and simple.

Just more examples of how the neo-liberal agenda for K-12 online learning runs counter to available research.

November 10, 2013

The Latest White Papers On Education Technology

From Thursday’s inbox – a few K-12 online and blended learning…

This exclusive White Paper Library brings you the latest white papers in education technology, covering topics like flipped learning and teacher development, and so much more. New white papers are added to the library often so check back for the most recent white papers available.

I guess for ease we can name these groupings, we can use the ones I have included above. Also, can you please make sure that the webinar’s are listed in order that I have them listed above. Below each grouping is what we should write as the “intro’ at the top of each email.


How Online and Hybrid Learning Are Transforming Teacher Development

How Online and Hybrid Learning Are Transforming Teacher Development

Provided by eduplanet21
In traditional professional development, teachers receive training along with their colleagues, and they are expected to integrate this training into the classroom on their own, or in small professional learning communities. There is little personalized learning or pre-assessment of their individual needs. The “flipped” version of this process sees teachers accessing key resources in an organic and self-directed way—allowing for just-in-time, just-for-me learning of ideas based on their own curiosity.

Download Whitepaper


James Madison University Flu & Weather Proofs their courses with TechSmith

How One District Successfully Met the Needs of 163 Homebound Students–While Saving Money in the Process

Provided by K12
Read this free whitepaper to discover how K12 made it so none of the students who weren’t able to attend school were held back.

Download Whitepaper


James Madison University Flu & Weather Proofs their courses with TechSmith

How Flipped Learning Is Helping Stillwater Schools Differentiate Instruction

Provided by TechSmith
Teachers in Minnesota’s Stillwater Area Public Schools are using Camtasia software from TechSmith to create videos for students to watch outside of class. This has enabled teachers to increase one-on-one time with their students during school hours—turning the classroom into “more of a workshop where [teachers can] work with each student.”

Download Whitepaper


Get Easy Access to Industry-Leading Creativity Tools

Get Easy Access to Industry-Leading Creativity Tools

Provided by GovConnection
Adobe has created an easy-to-manage, term-based licensing program that gives schools access to new versions of Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications. With this new program, schools and academic departments can have the creative tools they need to be more productive, foster creativity in teaching and learning, and help students develop the digital communication skills essential for success in college and beyond.

Download Whitepaper

Would you like your white paper to be included? Request information.

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Contents Copyright 2013 eCampus News. All rights reserved. 

October 31, 2013

iNACOL | A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation

From Tuesday’s inbox…  I should disclose that I am a contributor to this book.

To view this email as a web page, go here.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation
New iNACOL publication highlights partnerships for next generation educators

iNACOL - Partnering for Success - October 2013

As advanced technologies enter the mainstream of everyday life, more than half of K-12 school districts are already offering – or interested in starting – blended and online learning programs. Though new school programs are evolving to personalize learning for every student using new tools and new methodologies, a national survey shows that a paltry 1.3 percent of teacher education programs are preparing teachers for these next generation learning models. A bright spot, however, has been the growing number of innovative programs that have formed partnerships with blended and online schools around the country. Partnering for Success: A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation , published today by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), investigates these collaborations so the field can build upon the work of pioneering leaders.

“Teacher education programs are beginning to realize that they share a responsibility in preparing teachers for online settings,” said co-editor Leanna Archambault. “However, additional work is essential as the field of education experiences continued disruption in a positive and transformative direction. The role of the teacher is ever-evolving. To meet this challenge, higher education must also transform their programs, providing necessary preparation for effective instruction in online and blended classrooms.”

Co-edited by Leanna Archambault, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and Kathryn Kennedy, Ph.D., Director of Research for iNACOL, Partnering for Success uncovers and explores those developing best practices in innovative teacher preparation for next generation learning environments.

Kathryn Kennedy said, “This report studies the best practices necessary to rethink the skills, methods and pedagogical evolution that teacher education must address going forward and informs teacher educators and policy makers about the importance of offering diverse pre-service learning opportunities for future teachers.”

Through contributions from a number of noted teacher educators focused on the field of blended and online learning, Partnering for Success presents seven case studies, each of which has unique elements and frameworks that offer insight to where teacher education must aspire in the preparation of teachers for blended and online instruction.

“Too few educator and leadership preparation programs are up to the task of modernized teacher training for the 21st century,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. “If we are to ensure great teachers are trained, mentored and retained for our students, the programs themselves must emulate 21st century skills for personalized student learning – no matter where or how a student learns best.”

Partnering for Success: A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation is available at http://bit.ly/1gXMPut.

To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.


About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.

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Find out more about iNACOL and our mission on:

iNACOL on the Giving Library

This email was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This email was sent by: North American Council for Online Learning dba International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040, United States

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October 30, 2013

iNACOL | Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education

Back to an item from Monday’s inbox from the neo-liberals…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education
iNACOL report provides clarity of terms for understanding new learning models
iNACOL - Mean What You Say - October 2013 At the core of the transformation of education toward student-centered learning is the ability to personalize learning for each student, to open student pathways and encourage student voice and choice in next generation education models. To aid classroom, school and state leaders in their pursuit of this goal, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has published a new report, Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education.
 
“The majority of our current education landscape utilizes a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. “Personalized learning tailors learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests, and in doing this, new school models can unleash the potential of each and every student in ways never before possible.”
 
The goal of Mean What You Say is to explain the nuances of key terms used across the field of K-12 education related to personalized, blended and competency education, and how these ideas integrate in order to create new learning models.
 
“The field of leaders developing next-generation school designs is growing rapidly and it is easy to fall into the trap of using interrelated concepts as if they are one and the same,” said Susan Patrick. “Often, people will use terms such as blended learning or competency-based learning as stand-ins for personalized learning. This paper aims to make sense of these terms individually and then show how they fit together.”
 
In addition to describing nuances at the classroom-level for the ability to personalize learning across implementations, Mean What You Say presents a resource for deeper exploration of instructional models and modalities to re-imagine what is possible for new learning models in K-12 education.
 
Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education is available at http://bit.ly/meanwhatyousay.

To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.


About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.
 

Forward this email to a friend

Stay connected:
 
Follow iNACOL on Twitter Friend iNACOL on Facebook  iNACOL videos on YouTube Join iNACOL colleagues on LinkedIn


 

Find out more about iNACOL and our mission on:

iNACOL on the Giving Library

This email was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com
This email was sent by: North American Council for Online Learning dba International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040, United States

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

May 11, 2013

ALEC’s Report Card Receives Failing Marks

From Thursday’s inbox…

GLC Logo
 
Contact:
Christopher Lubienski, (217) 333-4382, club@illinois.edu
Dan Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

ALEC’s Report Card Receives Failing Marks

Policymakers should insist on referencing evidence-based research

EAST LANSING, Mich. (May 9, 2013) – Ranking states is a popular tool for education advocacy groups, with the goal of advancing a policy agenda based on ideologically driven pre-packaged reforms. These report cards receive considerable media attention, although few reflect research-based evidence on the efficacy of particular polices.  The 18th edition of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform is no different according to an academic review.

Christopher Lubienski, associate professor of education policy and Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education at the University of Illinois, and T. Jameson Brewer, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, reviewed ALEC’s Report Card for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review was produced by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Lubienski and Brewer find that ALEC draws its grades exclusively not from research organizations, but from like-minded market-orientated advocacy organizations.

“Furthermore, when studies are highlighted in this report, they do not represent the peer-reviewed research on a given issue, are often of extremely poor quality, and generally unsuited for supporting their claim.”

In their review, Lubienski and Brewer provide two key areas – alternative teacher certification and school choice – to highlight gaps between ALEC’s agenda and empirical evidence. Despite multiple claims that a “growing body of research indicates…” – the report offers absolutely no supporting evidence. Math results, which have a lower pass rate, were used to compare traditionally-certified teachers to alternatively-certified teachers. Meanwhile alternatively-certified teachers were portrayed using their reading results.

“Many of the grades given to states reflect the level to which pro-market policies have been implemented while the grades systematically ignore meaningful measurements of equality and outcomes” according to the review.

Readers of ALEC’s Report Card should consider it a statement of policy preferences and not an overview of research on education reforms.

The reviewers conclude, “At best, the report serves as an amalgamation of other like-minded think tanks’ assessments of states’ adoption of pro-market policies, and thus offers nothing new … it provides little or no usefulness to policymakers.”

Find the report by Lubienski and Brewer on the Great Lakes Center website:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find ALEC’s Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform (18th edition) on the web:
http://www.alec.org/publications/report-card-on-american-education/

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), provides the public, policymakers and the press timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

This review is also available on the NEPC website:
http://nepc.colorado.edu

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: http://www.greatlakescenter.org.

Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent.

Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

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