Virtual School Meanderings

March 5, 2015

SITE 2015 – Panel on Research on Supporting K-12 Online and Blended Students

The nineteenth session at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

Panel on Research on Supporting K-12 Online and Blended Students

  1. Lori Werth, Northwest Nazarene University, United States
  2. Kim Huett, University of West Georgia, United States
  3. Jered Borup, George Mason University, United States
  4. Jamie Worrell, Connections Education and Florida Virtual School, United States
  5. Lindsey Wahlbrink, Connections Education and Florida Virtual School, United States

Thursday, March 5 11:30 AM-12:30 PM in Amazon I View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44161>
Amazon I Thursday, Mar 05 2015 11:30AM-12:30PM

This panel will bring together leading experts to explore the research related to supporting K-12 online and blended students. Lori Werth will present her work on a study of using Khan Academy in blended learning in order to address students’ learning of math in Idaho. Kim Huett will explore the promises and challenges of student-centered learning in BYOT-enhanced environments. Jered Borup will focus on understanding learner interactions at an online charter school. Jamie Worrell and Lindsey Wahlbrink will present their work on using Response to Intervention at a virtual school.

Lori began by talking about Sal Khan and the Khan Academy.  The study itself was quite broad – 33 school districts, 52 schools, approximately 12,000 students, and 196 teachers.  Lori actually spent the majority of her time describing the demographics of the schools, teachers, and students that were participating in the study.  The study itself had five research questions, and resulted in a 200+ page report.  Lori had to race through her findings (which accounted for less than a quarter of her time), so I’ll just point you to the project website – (and see

Kim was the next panelist.  This session was focused on Kim’s dissertation study that she completed this past Summer, which focused on the affordances and limitations of BYOT in science learning.  Basically, Kim went into a seventh grade science classroom for a month conducting observations and conducting interviews with the teacher and the teacher’s co-planner partner.  She purposively selected a very affluent school that was known statewide for their BYOT.  Kim found that BYOT could be used to do a lot of interesting, creative, and exciting things; however, direct instruction and other elements of school culture was still a barrier to allowing these things to happen.  Teacher time – both to learn the tools and the resources, as well as to assist students that just didn’t have the skills – was also a barrier or limitation.

Jered was the next one up.  Instead of presenting on a specific study, Jered wanted to discuss a broader research agenda – which was focused on his ACE framework.  I could provide notes of what Jered said, but I figure his own words are probably better –  And you can read about the framework in this article:

Borup, J., West, R. E., Graham, C. R., & Davies, R. (2014). The adolescent community of engagement framework: A lens for research on K-12 online learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. 22, 107-129.

The final session was from Jamie and Lindsey.  Jamie began their portion by providing some background on the Florida Virtual School, stressing how FLVS is a leader in the field and that other K-12 online learning programs look to FLVS for guidance and leadership.  And then Lindsey provided some background into RTI and what it was and how it should operate.  This portion was also much like those practice sessions SITE used to do a year or two or three ago, where the presenters simply described what they did and the process that they used.

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