Virtual School Meanderings

July 4, 2015

The 1 Online Learning Conference Not To Miss

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Educators & trainers:
“The one conference I never miss. Madison in August is unbelievable.”
—John Orlando, Northcentral University
Conference finale: Got challenges?
Engage with the experts to address some of the biggest challenges in distance education and online learning today.
Marc Prensky Cathy Sandeen Nick Floro Tanya Joosten Michael Moore
Thursday, August 13, 2:45pm
Come early, stay late
At the conference you’ll get new strategies and new energy for teaching online. It’s a lot to cram in to just a few days. Why not come early for preconference workshops — and stick around to explore the sights and sounds of Madison.Preconference workshops — $95 each
Topics include:
  • Designing learning for results
  • Enhancing online learner engagement
  • Evaluating online teaching
  • Creating interactive lectures
  • Promoting presence and interaction online
  • Data visualization
  • Building community
  • Creating an online course
  • Developing excellent online instructors

Best training for your budget

The sun is shining, and the lakes are shimmering. Madison is ready for you! Early bird registration is just $495—hundreds of dollars less than comparable events. Choose from 140 sessions to build exactly the skills you’re looking for.

Early-bird deadline July 21! Save $50!
Fundamentals of Online Teaching Conference Certificate
Designed for those new to online learning, this blended certificate entails pre- and post-conference work plus onsite conference activities. Receive both the conference registration AND certificate for only $850 ($1,200 value).
Must register by July 9 to participate. Learn more >
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kjpeterson@dcs.wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
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This message was sent to from:UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

Virtual Schooling in the News

InTheNewsBeginning with the ASCD SmartBrief.

Report: Blended learning, STEAM drive ed-tech adoption
Blended learning and STEAM — or science, technology, engineering, arts and math — are expected to accelerate the use of education technology in classrooms worldwide, according to a New Media Consortium Horizon Report released Monday. The report features education trends identified by 56 experts from 22 countries. The Hechinger Report (6/29)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Another attempt to fix school transfers is vetoed

It would have allowed students in St. Louis County and certain other areas of Missouri to attend private virtual schools at the expense of their districts, …

Winter Park woman awaits first pro MMA fight

Felicia Spencer teaches algebra at Florida Virtual School and has signed to fight professionally in MMA. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel).

Williamson may hold summit on student growth

Looney said he has tasked staff members to research how a virtual school would work for Williamson County. However, he said he was not optimistic …

Suwannee Schools: breakfast in classroom expanded, virtual school employee at local office

Breakfast in school classrooms and a blended-style virtual school program were two items discussed at a workshop and later passed at the Suwannee …

Maine’s First Virtual High School Graduates Only Met At Ceremony

Maine’s first virtual school recently held a small ceremony for their first graduates. The five students who have completed their high school education …

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes Missouri student transfer bill, blocking charter and virtual school expansion

Nixon rejected House Bill 42, which went far beyond the transfer law and proposed expanding opportunities for public charter schools and virtual …

Califone Launches Virtual School Starter Kit at ISTE 2015 – PRWeb

The Mobile Peripheral Pack offers tools that support virtual school students and those who work in flexible learning environments. San Fernando, Calif …

Califone Launches Virtual School Starter Kit at ISTE 2015

To flourish in virtual or classroom learning environments, students need technology that is as mobile as they are. Califone International, LLC, a leading …

Williamson may hold summit on student growth

Virtual schools enable students to attain their entire education online or take select courses online. There are nine public virtual schools in the state, …

Charter school to serve high-schoolers

Earlier in her career, Bogen was the principal of Sheridan AllPrep Academy, a virtuallearning program in the Sheridan School District. Even at that …

More steps toward online school

And Virtual Virginia, the commonwealth’s online high school program, is poised to recruit as many as 100 students to pilot the state’s first full-time …

County boards propose fall schools summit on growth

Williamson County county commissioners and school board members at a Saturdaymorning retreat delved into virtual schools and building bigger …

Winter Park woman awaits first pro MMA fight

Felicia Spencer teaches algebra at Florida Virtual School and has signed to fight professionally in MMA. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel).

Suwannee Schools: breakfast in classroom expanded, virtual school employee at local office

Breakfast in school classrooms and a blended-style virtual school program were two items discussed at a workshop and later passed at the Suwannee …

Pelham City Schools adopts Virtual School Program

PELHAM— Pelham High School students will have the option to take virtual classes in the upcoming school year after Pelham City Schools voted to …

Local Students Look to Online Classes to Support their Learning

They heard about Apex Learning Virtual School, an online school that provides the opportunity for students to take an additional course online to …

Virtual public school to hold information session in Provo

With increased education options, the purpose of this information session is to answer parents’ questions as to how a virtual school operates and …

TN Virtual Academy to enroll returning students only

State test scores will determine the future of the school — a statute authorizes the state’s education commissioner to close a virtual school that earns a …

School is becoming virtually awesome in Richmond

Richmond Virtual School students Hannah Goertz, Edmond Wu, Kaelan Baker and Tal Mader sit outside Palmer secondary while attempting to …

New state laws passed for missing child alerts, online high school classes

The law goes into effect Wednesday, but high schools have until the 2016-2017 school year to establish a policy to offer some level of virtual school for …

City council allies with school board

Proposed legislation would allow home-schooled students and virtual school students to participate in any extracurricular or athletic team the district …

GA Teacher Honored at 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator Summit in Philadelphia

… from Oconee Middle School and Georgia Virtual School, were named Local Digital Innovators and will represent Georgia over the next year.

Rep. Jason Chipman: Education Reform in Missouri Schools

The bill also would have given students new educational opportunities by allowing for more charter schools and providing a virtual school option.

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Letter: Taxpayers pay, school districts forward funds

Maybe they believe, think or know that their child is getting a better education at the charter/cyber school. When will people learn that increasing taxes …

PA Cyber Charter School graduates 1200

PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter Schoolgraduated 1,200 members of the Class of 2015, …

Jeannette school taxes will rise by 1.53 mills

A $600,000 increase in expenditures in the 2015-16 budget is largely the result of higher pension contributions and cyberschool costs, officials said.

Marion Center board pares down spending plan

And an open house introduction day may be held in August to help make students and their parents more comfortable with the cyber school’s …

Quaker Valley board renews church’s lease of Osborne school

Board members said it was unfair to ask local taxpayers to pay for cyber school tuition under the current structure because the tuition the district must …

Farewell, Keith

The district also reconfigured the middle school to allow for all-day kindergarten, and developed Cyber School and the Early Middle College program.


July 3, 2015

Statistics in Education for Mere Mortals – MOOC offered again by Lloyd Rieber – July 6, 2015 to August 10, 2015

Posting this on behalf of one of my former faculty…  A great experience if you have some time this summer!!!

Hi everyone,
I am again offering my MOOC on introductory uses of statistics in education. This section will run from July 6, 2015 to August 10, 2015 on < >
Here’s a link to the course site:
The course is free.
I made a short 3-minute ‘mash-up’ of a selection of the course’s videos to give people a taste of the course:
Also, all of the course videos are available on YouTube – here is a link to the playlist:
I designed the course for “mere mortals,” meaning that I designed it for people who want to know about and use statistics as but one important tool in their work, but who are not — and don’t want to be — mathematicians or statisticians. A special note that I also designed it with doctoral students in mind, especially those who are about to take their first statistics course. It could also be good for those students who just finished a statistics course, but are still fuzzy on the details.
However, this course would be useful to anyone who wants a good, short, hands-on, friendly introduction to the most fundamental ideas of statistics in education.
Here’s my approach … I provide a short presentation or two on each statistics topic, followed by a video tutorial where you build an Excel spreadsheet from scratch to compute the statistic. Then, I ask you to take a short quiz — consisting of sometimes just one question — where I ask you to plug in some new data into your spreadsheet and then copy and paste one of your new calculations as your answer. (And yes, there is also a short final exam at the end on the conceptual stuff.)
Examples of specific skills to be learned include the scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, measures of variability, and the computation of the following: mean, mode, and median, standard deviation, z (standard) scores, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (r), correlated-samples t test (i.e. dependent t test), independent-samples t test, and a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Also, the next time the course is planned to be offered is February, 2016. Depending on future interest in this MOOC topic, my general plan is to offer this MOOC twice a year, with starting dates in February and July.
* Lloyd P. Rieber
* Director, Innovation in Teaching & Technology for
*   the College of Education
* Professor, Department of Career & Information
*   Studies
* 203 River’s Crossing
* The University of Georgia
* Athens, Georgia  30602-7144  USA
* Phone: 706-542-3986
* Email:
Lloyd’s LiveCode Blog:

AERA Statement On The Charleston Shootings And Racism In America

Yet another notice from AERA…

For Immediate Release:

June 30, 2015

Tony Pals

AERA Statement on the Charleston Shootings and Racism in America 

Adopted in a Unanimous Resolution by the Council of the
American Educational Research Association on June 26, 2015 

The horrific deaths in Charleston, South Carolina, last week bear further witness to the troubling state of race relations and racism in the United States. These murders come as the country continues to grapple with deeply conflicted issues of race in American society that have become particularly visible in the last few years, with tragic deaths in Sanford, Florida; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland; Staten Island; and Baltimore. The Charleston massacre makes far too vivid that there is no safe place for those vulnerable to racism.

At the core of the collective national reaction to these events is the recognition that very real racial hate, prejudice, denigration, and disparities, whether or not intended, remain deeply embedded in American society and permeate everyday interactions among individuals and between individuals and societal institutions. This pervasiveness, with victims including boys and men, girls and women, young and old, has been examined and documented exhaustively by researchers. 

Yet we know far too little about how to intervene in or transcend this deeply rooted systemic problem. Education has both a responsibility and an opportunity. As the first social institution children experience outside of the family, education is a significant context of social and substantive learning related to hate, bigotry, and racism in society.  

At this time of great grief and bravery among the victimized families and communities, the American Educational Research Association expresses its deep sympathy. We call on the education research community to further commit itself to examining how school environments may exacerbate race bias and racism, how schools educate their students about such issues, and how mutual understanding and respect for all people can best be learned and taught. Researchers have a responsibility to address these issues, and government and private funders of education research are encouraged to support high-quality research initiatives.

It is also essential that educators and school leaders receive the tools, training, and support they need to build curricula with substantive exploration of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, and to provide students with meaningful opportunities to build their capacities for compassion, empathy, and acceptance.

Recent tragedies raise a broad range of societal and policy issues that are at the core of education and education research. Practitioners, policy makers, and scholars have a central role to play in addressing many of the underlying issues that have continued to tear at our countrys social fabric. It will take a concerted national effort to ensure that future generations are not beset by tragedies such as these.

AERA takes its own responsibility seriously. As a research organization, AERA will convene, communicate, and call upon the research community to use and produce the knowledge that is an essential part of eradicating racism in society.

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.

This statement is available online.


This email was sent to You are receiving this email because of your association with AERA.

American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005


AERA and ASHE Joint Resolution on Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin

Another notice from AERA…

For Immediate Release:

June 30, 2015

Tony Pals, AERA

cell: (202) 288-9333Kim Nehls, ASHE
office: (702) 895-2737

AERA and ASHE Joint Resolution on Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin
Adopted and Issued by Both Organizations, June 30, 2015 

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), as the two national scholarly associations devoted to the study of all education and higher education, respectively, affirm the principle that academic freedom, grounded in the tenure process, is essential for high-quality research and teaching. As recently as 2014, both AERA and ASHE emphasized their longstanding commitment by endorsing the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure issued by the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Accordingly, AERA and ASHE urge policymakers in the state of Wisconsin, and at all levels of government, to protect against policies that would erode tenure and diminish academic freedom. The governing councils of AERA and ASHE endorse the American Historical Association’s (AHA) statement in support of tenure and academic freedom in Wisconsin, issued on June 11, 2015, in conjunction with 21 other scholarly societies.

The AHA statement reads as follows:

American Historical Association

June 11, 2015

Scholarly Associations Defend Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin

The American system of higher education is the envy of the world. It’s not perfect; few things are. But at a time when many Americans fear their nation may be falling behind competitively, U.S. colleges and universities continue to be universally regarded as the best in the world. The University of Wisconsin system, in particular, is noted for its standards of research and teaching excellence, with the Madison campus recognized among the top fifteen of American public universities by U.S. News and World Report. The University of Wisconsin is a critical contributor to the state’s economy that provides exceptional value with its thirteen campuses serving over 180,000 students. With $1.2 billion of state investment, the system generates over $15 billion of economic activity.

The undersigned associations of scholars across a wide variety of disciplines are gravely concerned with proposals pending in the Wisconsin legislature that threaten to undermine several longstanding features of the state’s current higher education system: shared governance, tenure, and academic freedom.

By situating the locus of control inside the institution, in a partnership between faculty and administrators, the U.S. system of higher education has generated an unmatched diversity that enables students to find the educational environment that works best for them. And by granting faculty tenure after an appropriate period during which their work is rigorously evaluated, we have ensured the continued intellectual vitality and classroom independence so essential to innovation, dynamism, and rigorous scholarship.

Academic freedom is the foundation of intellectual discovery, including in the classroom. It nourishes the environment within which students develop critical habits of mind through encounters with diverse perspectives, experiences, and sources of evidence across disciplines. Our democracy depends on the educated citizens that this system is intended to produce: wide-ranging in their knowledge, rigorous in their ability to understand complicated questions, and dedicated to the public good.

Wisconsin in fact helped pioneer the concept of academic freedom for the entire United States when its Board of Regents declared in 1894 that they would not terminate the employment of economist Richard Ely even though his research and teaching on the benefits of labor unions had offended one of its own members. The Regents’ report in the wake of that controversy remains one of the most ringing endorsements for academic freedom in the history of American higher education: “Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere,” they wrote, “we believe the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”

The policies recommended by the Joint Finance Committee and included in the 2016 budget pose a direct threat to academic freedom by expanding the circumstances under which tenure can be revoked (beyond dire financial emergencies and just cause) while simultaneously removing its protection under state statute. Tenure is a linchpin of vigorous shared governance and independent rigorous scholarship. This assault on the structure of Wisconsin’s model arrangements poses a threat to the university’s stellar reputation and international leadership in research and education—and it betrays a celebrated Wisconsin tradition that began with the Ely case in 1894.

Since 1904, the “Wisconsin Idea” has stood as an inspiring educational model for the entire nation, demonstrating the immeasurable benefits of a robust partnership between the state university and state government predicated on intellectual independence and active engagement by students and faculty members with the wider world. An earlier draft of the current budget bill sought to remove language about the Wisconsin Idea from the mission statement of the university. This most recent draft now poses no less a threat by undermining several of the most important practical pillars of shared governance and academic freedom that have made Wisconsin a beacon among its peer institutions around the world.

Rather than making the University of Wisconsin system more fiscally nimble, the Joint Finance Committee recommendations threaten to damage, possibly irreparably, the distinguished educational system that has justifiably been the pride of Wisconsin residents for more than a century and a half.


American Academy of Religion
American Anthropological Association
American Comparative Literature Association
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Society of Comparative Law
American Society for Environmental History
American Sociological Association
American Studies Association
Association of College & Research Libraries
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
College Art Association
German Studies Association
Modern Language Association
National Communication Association
National Council on Public History
Oral History Association
Rhetoric Society of America
The Shakespeare Association of America
The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
Society of Architectural Historians
World History Association

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.

About ASHE
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is a scholarly society with about 2,000 members dedicated to higher education as a field of study. ASHE promotes collaboration among its members and others engaged in the study of higher education through research, conferences, and publications, including its highly regarded journal, The Review of Higher Education.

This statement is available online.


This email was sent to You are receiving this email because of your association with AERA.

American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005


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