Virtual School Meanderings

February 20, 2013

Plugged In | 02.20.13 | (powered by iNACOL)

Finally, news from the neo-liberals to finish the day…

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PLUGGED IN  (February 20, 2013)
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Upcoming Events…

02.21   ELLs: A Community-Driven, Blended Learning Approach (register)
02.26   Spanning the Grades: A Look At Competency-Based Models (register)
02.28   Re-Engineering for Competency Education: IT Design Considerations (register )
   Moving to Mastery: A Nat’l Policy Forum on Competency Education (register)
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New Releases…

Re-Engineering Information Technology (cover)Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education analyzes and examines components and elements of effective competency-based information systems. Based on interviews and research, the ideas in Re-Engineering Information Technology build upon the lessons learned in analyzing information systems developed by competency education innovators, best practices of systemic approaches to information management, and emerging opportunities.

K-12 News…

21st Century Classroom: Students learn together with tech tools
Billings Gazette | Billings, MT
Fourth-graders in Alissa Gray’s class get excited about geometry. Math lessons in her Orchard Elementary classroom resemble a game show more than a routine class. It’s all serious fun. Students take turns going to the interactive white board, matching geometric shapes and describing them. The whole class (read)
School technology struggles with digital learning push
Middletown Journal | Middletown, OH
As the state prepares to move to computer-based standardized testing by 2015, officials at some Butler County school districts say they that don’t have the computers, bandwidth or high-speed Internet needed to keep up with the digital learning push. The Lakota Local School District, Ohio’s seventh largest public (read)
‘Flipping’ class gaining momentum among educators
Sacramento Bee | Sacramento, CA
Tyler Johnstone handed his Algebra I students sheets of paper one day last week emblazoned with a letter and separated them into groups. He asked one student to find the greatest common factor. The girl quickly moved students with similar letters out of each of the three groups until she had the answer. The (read)
Reporter’s notebook: Khan Academy is a flipped classroom pioneer
Sacramento Bee (blog) | Sacramento, CA
This morning the phone has been ringing. I failed to mention the Khan Academy in my front-page story on flipping the classroom, said the callers. If you didn’t read the story, when classrooms are flipped students do homework and work with teachers during the day after watching the lesson the night before on (read)
New digital classroom highlighted at school board meeting
Marshall Independent | Marshall, MN
Marshall School Board members had the opportunity to experience a hands-on lesson in a digital classroom during a presentation at the regular board meeting Tuesday. Board members listened to the pilot program presentation given by Sandy Carpenter, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Marshall (read)
Online learning way of future
Albuquerque Journal | Albuquerque, NM
Until something better comes along, a Calculus II pill or some electromagnetic impulse “teaching,” learners will be learning online. From the moment they leave school, they will be learning online. Forget for the purposes of this discussion the self-evident brick and mortar considerations of learning. Obviously (read)
Bill to tighten online school enrollment advances
Associated Press (Tennessee)
A proposal to tighten enrollment requirements at online-only schools passed a House committee on Tuesday after an amendment failed that would have allowed school districts to close failing virtual schools. The administration bill by Gov. Bill Haslam was approved in the House Education Committee on a (read)
Cape Cod educators get rundown on virtual schools
The Register | Yarmouth Port, MA
About a dozen Cape and Islands educators learned more about what the new Commonwealth Virtual Schools Act would mean for their school systems during a presentation by the VHS Collaborative at the Cape Cod Collaborative in Osterville last Friday. The act signed into law on Jan. 2 allows the (read)
Proposals for more virtual schools, fewer class size penalties
Miami Herald (blog) | Miami, FL
School officials from Miami-Dade, Hillsborough and Duval counties lined up to encourage a House subcommittee to approve a proposal to  relaxes Class Size Amendment penalties. But they needn’t have worried; the House’s Choice and Innovation Subcommittee passed HB 189 with near unanimous (read)
Canton considers cyber charter school reform
Daily Review | Towanda, PA
Some cyber charter school funding reform bills were discussed at the recent Canton Area School Board meeting. A copy of a legislative report from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) that board members reviewed at the meeting lists two reform bills. “These are very important issues,” district (read)
Higher Ed…
Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going?
Everyone’s going MOOC-crazy these days. From frequent media coverage of online courses and platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy to discussions about the complexities and business models of online education, the excitement around MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has finally “bubbled (read)
Law regulating free online classes should go, legislator says
Minnesota Public Radio
A state senator has proposed allowing colleges to offer large not-for-credit online classes in Minnesota if they remain free of charge. The Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCs, enable one professor to teach tens of thousands of students online at the same time. But Minnesota requires private and (read)
Office of Educational Innovation and Technology joins the Office of Digital Learning
MIT News | Cambridge, MA
On March 1, the Office of Educational Technology and Innovation (OEIT) will join OpenCourseWare and a new MITx office in forming the core of the Office of Digital Learning (ODL). In November, President L. Rafael Reif announced the creation of ODL to explore the opportunities presented by emerging learning (read)


BrightBytes Grabs $750K To Help Schools Measure The Real Impact Of Technology On Student Learning
BrightBytes has been on a mission to “improve the way the world learns through data” – and, in turn, to help schools solve their technological woes. To do that, the San Francisco-based learning analytics startup provides schools with the tools and services they need to be able to more effectively measure the (read)
LearnLaunchX Accelerator Opens Applications for First Ed Tech Program
Press Release
LearnLaunchX today opened applications to its first ed tech accelerator cohort, which will host up to eight early stage companies for an intensive three-month immersive program in Boston starting on June 10, 2013. The application deadline is March 25, 2013 Companies will be (read)
Edgenuity Expands Summer School Offering, Supports Diverse Academic Needs of Resource-Strained Schools
Press Release
Edgenuity (formerly E2020, Inc.), one of the leading providers of online and blended learning solutions, today announced the availability of expanded and highly flexible summer school options to help resource-constrained schools support the increasingly diverse academic needs and goals of their student (read)
Test Prep Giant Kaplan Launches A New EdTech Accelerator In NYC, With TechStars Providing The Bankroll
With early-stage capital front-loading the EdTech investment spectrum, it’s a good time to start an education business. (Even if investors are still wary about doling out larger rounds, but ssshhh on that bit.) Of course, when it comes to education, many entrepreneurs are still green. It’s not as easy as it may (read)
Food for Thought…
Dragging learning into the digital age
BD Live | South Africa
Learning will never be the same again. South Africa’s schools can expect to be dragged into the digital age as major technology players, including Apple and Samsung, are pushing projects aimed at digitising classrooms. Two weeks ago, the Johannesburg-based applications developer Core Group launched (read)
School wi-fi ‘not fit for 21st Century learning’
BBC News
Pupils in England are at risk of missing out because their schools do not have good enough wi-fi, figures suggest. Schools need fully accessible wi-fi if they are to embrace digital learning in all subjects, argues Valerie Thompson of the E-Learning Foundation. But only a quarter of schools achieve this, suggests (read)
Classroom technology shouldn’t drive reform, education innovator says at University of Oklahoma
The Oklahoman | Oklahoma City, OK
Classroom technology can be a powerful tool for education – but only when it’s used properly, a Canadian education innovator said Tuesday. The trouble is that technology has developed so quickly that most education systems haven’t been able to keep up, Michael Fullan told a crowd at the University of (read)

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