Virtual School Meanderings

March 12, 2010

Five Years Of Virtual School Meanderings

Well, today marks the first day of Year Six for this blog.  It all began with a simple entry:

Trying to find the appropriate topic for a first entry that will garb people’s attention and get them to com back on a regular basis to comment on and contribute to it.

In searching for that appropriate topic, I came across an article that was published three years ago.

Winograd, K. (2002). ABCs of the virtual high school. The Technology Source, March/April. Retrieved on 12 March 2004 from

Essentially the article is an interview with a series of people who were involved in the virtual high school movement at the time. The third question that was asked of these individuals was:

How do you see the virtual high school evolving over the next five years and what questions need to be answered before that evolution can occur?

Their responses, if you don’t want to take the time to read them, dealt with everything from how to prepare teachers and administrators to work within this environment to how to close the digital divide to how to expand virtual offerings to include middle school and elementary school students to how to prepare for the eventual conclusion that every student before completing high school will end up taking a virtual course.

My question to you is simple, after three years since this article was published, how far have we come in addressing the issues raise by the participants in their responses to this question?

The original entry is available here and the WordPress version is available here.

And I should note the question is still a relevant one today.

During that time there have been many changes in this blog. For example, the addition of VSM Podcasts, VSM Newsletter, Meandering Out Loud and, probably most notable, the move from Blogger to WordPress.

A couple of other new changes I would like to announce today.  A couple of months ago I was asked by Scott McLeod to join a team of individuals blogging on behalf of or under the stable of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE) at Iowa State University. which I accepted (and that has resulted in some of the improvements that you see to this space).  You can see an entry that Scott posted on this topic at his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant – see CASTLE adds 3 new blog partners!

The second major change that I would like to announce is a name change.  Five years ago when I began this blog, Virtual High School Meanderings was an appropriate title.  The vast majority of K-12 online learning – both in Canada and in the United States was being done at the high school level.  For example, the US states described in the 2004 edition of Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning (which would have been released about six months before I began this blog) were primarily those that included supplemental programs targeted at high school students.  However, in the 2009 edition the indicated that there were approximately 175,000 full-time online students in these K-12 programs, and a total of approximately 320,000 course enrollments in supplemental programs (most of which now include middle school grades, some even include elementary grades).  Given this shift in the nature of K-12 online learning enrollment, it seems appropriate that I update the name of this blog to reflect that reality.  Starting today, this blog will be known simply as Virtual School Meanderings.

There have been some other minor changes: improvements to the right-hand column, fixing my Feedburner, the addition of a subscribe by e-mail option, some nifty new icons (thanks for one of Scott’s doc students, Laura Bestler!!!).  I am also hoping to unveil a new banner.  The plan was to use this:

Unfortunately, either the template I have chosen for this blog or the free server doesn’t allow me to use the entire top of this blog.  I only get the small image on the top right-hand side to play with (a fact I only discovered this morning).  If I can find a way around it, I’ll use this wonderful creation.  In the meantime, an undergraduate student working with Scott (oh, and I forgot to mention that a young man named Michael Buh designed this header for me, with very little direction from me and a lot of creativity on his part!!!) is trying to create a replacement that will fit into these limitations.  Until then, I’ve changed what I can of the header and will continue to make improvements as I work with Scott and others from the CASTLE team.


  1. […] for Virtual School Meanderings.  Last year (well, one year, three and a half weeks ago) I used Five Years Of Virtual School Meanderings as a way to reflect upon what started this blog – an entry about a three year old article […]

    Pingback by Sixth Blogiversary Or Blogging As A Form Of Knowledge Dissemination « Virtual School Meanderings — April 6, 2011 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  2. […] always post an entry like this one – on the anniversary of the blog.  In fact, I began with Five Years Of Virtual School Meanderings where I reflected about what I had wanted to do with this blog over the first five years, what I […]

    Pingback by Seventh Blogiversary OR Taking Stock « Virtual School Meanderings — March 12, 2012 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

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