Virtual School Meanderings

February 28, 2015

Register Today For DLT & TSDI MOOC-Eds!

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

Free professional learning on your schedule – even if you’re snowed in! MOOC-Eds are a great way to connect with education professionals like you, and to learn from those who have successfully done what you hope to accomplish in your school or district. Registration is still open for:
Leading the Digital Learning Transition: Creating Future Ready Schools
March 2 – April 26
Organized around the Future Ready Schools Digital Learning Framework, this eight-week course is designed for school and district leaders, as well as university faculty, consultants, parents and any others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives. Everyone involved in digital learning (also known as blended learning, e-learning and instructional technology) in a K-12 school or district is welcome to join the course.
This course will help you:
  • Understand the potential of digital learning in K-12 schools;
  • Assess progress and set future goals for your school or district; and
  • Begin to develop a plan to achieve your digital learning goals.
Learn more and register at
Teaching Statistics Through Data Investigations
March 9 – May 3
Our world is rich with data sources, and technology makes data more accessible than ever before! To help ensure students are future ready to use data for making informed decisions, many countries around the world have increased the emphasis on statistics and data analysis in school curriculum–from elementary/primary grades through college. This course allows you to learn, along with colleagues from other schools, to use an investigation cycle to teach statistics and to help students explore data to make evidence-based claims.
Learn more and register at
If you have already signed up for one of these MOOC-Eds, please share this information with your colleagues!

The MOOC-Ed Team


CEM: Crowdfunding Winners, Google, MacArthur, Alliance For Excellent Education, More…

From Thursday’s inbox…

Crowdfunding Contest Winners, Google for Education, MacArthur, Alliance For Excellent Education, More
View this email in your browser
Connected Educators: Helping Educators Thrive in a Connected World
Welcome back if you’re just re-engaging with us.  Planning for this year’s celebration is already underway, and we’ll be reaching out to an ever-growing proportion of the 800+ organizations that made CEM 2014 such a big success, giving us the longest runway and most momentum ever for the event.  We want to extend a special welcome to our first 2015 sponsor, Google for Education. We’re looking forward to working with Google and other leading organizations this year and beyond to turn our month into a movement to effect change–click here if you’re interested in knowing more
Featured Connected Educator Month Supporter

Google for Education

A solution built for learning and designed for the classroom that includes easy-to-manage affordable devices like Chromebooks and tablets, productivity tools like Google Apps for Education with Classroom, and limitless educational content in Google Play for Education. Get started today.

Support connected education–support our sponsors! Or become a sponsor yourself–click here to talk with us about it…

Features Events & Activities
Crowdfunding Grand Prize Winners Announced

CEM 2014 was the first CEM that’s been fully collectively owned by the education community, including its funding, with many individual educators stepping up to make the event possible.  In recognition and gratitude, we and other participating organizations put up some terrific prizes to honor your contributions (thanks much to ISTE, CEM Norway, Intel, Amazon, and Howard Rheingold!).

Congratulations to Maria Paula Marra, an educator at the United Nations International School in New York, who has won a free trip to Norway, where she’ll stay with (and shadow) educator Ann Michaelsen, the leader of CEM Norway! And to Princeton, NJ kindergarten teacher Heidi Echternacht, who’s won a free trip to ISTE 2015, including free registration for the event and a free membership from one of CEM’s original fundamental partners!

Digital Learning Day Just Around The Corner
March 13 will mark the fourth annual Digital Learning Day, launched and developed by leading CEM partner the Alliance for Excellent Education.  This year’s DLD includes a plethora of interactive product demonstrations, US Department of Education Future Ready workshops, a live wired classroom detective story/exploration, and more…

MacArthur: By Any Media Necessary
TODAY (Feb 26), 1 PM ET Achieving Political Success by Any Media Necessary.   Join this highly interactive Twitter chat following up on core CEM partner MacArthur’s February 17 webinar of the same name as we collectively endeavor to expand our connected month into a movement.  Hashtag: #ByAnyMedia…

edWeb, Frog Street: Preparing Children For Life Success
TODAY (Feb 26), 3-4 PM ET Preparing Children For Success And Life  Longstanding CEM partner edWeb and Frog Street Press join forces to present a webinar moderated by Marcia Tate, CEO of Developing Minds, on how to help students achieve health in every dimension for a very long road ahead…  (event registration) (event room–open at 3 PM ET Feb 26)

edConnectr Connections
edConnectr, CEM’s community-based matchmaking service continues to grow.  Looking for help with…

  • Action research?
  • Blended learning?
  • Classroom management?

There are hundreds of educators with expertise and passion for each of these topics, ready to share and collaborate!

Getting More Involved
Getting educators connected and effecting change through connection is clearly a lot more than a month’s calling for all of us.  A great first step: getting all of your connected events and activities on the CEM calendar (not just what’s happening in October) so we can better get the word out to the education world about whatyou’re doing…

Connected Educator of the Week

Connected Educator
of the Week

Award-winning educational gamer, avid blogger, and PBL trainer Andrew Miller talks about community quality, community needs, new definitions of what it means to be connected, and more…

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Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the eSchool News Today.

Top News of the Day
$5 million in grants to support blended learning program

To recognize outstanding blended learning models, Triumph Learning, producer of K-12 curriculum and interactive digital tools, has introduced a grant program to award up to $5 million to school districts across the country. Announced at the [ Read More ]

Where blended meets personalized learning—and gets results

A coordinated, intentional program of blended learning is changing teaching and learning in the Nation’s capital. For the past two years, the Washington, D.C. Public School District (DCPS) has earned a sort of celebrity status [ Read More ]

Next, the semi-regular ASCD SmartBrief.

Is virtual education falling out of favor?
There are more than 300 virtual schools in operation nationwide, according to the National Education Policy Center. Some reports question the quality of these programs, educator Jen Karetnick writes in this commentary. She reflects on how inconsistencies in such programs from state to state can affect students. The Atlantic online (2/20)

Ill. district adds online option for students with special needs

Word Cloud "Blended Learning"

An Illinois high school is using an online program to help reduce learning barriers for students with disabilities and health impairments. The Learning, Emotional and Academic Fundamentals, or LEAF, program seeks to offer students a more personalized learning experience. Daily Chronicle (DeKalb, Ill.) (2/23)

Similarly, the SmartBrief for EdTech.

D.C. schools transform instruction with blended learning
Several schools in Washington, D.C., have improved reading and math scores in recent years, and officials are attributing the improvement to a blended-learning approach that has changed teaching and learning. This article details how the approach is being used and how the personalized instruction has paid off for students. eSchool News (free registration) (2/24)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Bell virtual school bill passes State Senate

Delegate Bell’s House Bill 324 establishes a new Virtual Virginia School and creates a Board of the Virginia Virtual School as a policy agency under …

EDITORIAL: Virtual schools not a quality option for Missouri

Regarding this year’s discussion of a virtual school provision, he said: “We’re not ruling out options. I’d want to see the language of it, because you …

Georgia Connections Academy taking applications for 2015-16 school year

The Academy will host free parent information sessions to answer parent and student requests for information about the virtual school program at the …

Endorse school choice, charters alongside public schools

School choice, independent charter and virtual school movements would never have originated within the walls of the DPI. Whether right or wrong, …

The $34M question: How does MCSD plan to spend SPLOST money designated for technology …

$2.1 million for distance learning, including the development of a virtual school. • $1 million for emerging technologies, used to address gaps in …

One of Kansas’ first virtual schools likely to close

A virtual school that is affiliated with Newton USD 373 but that mostly serves students in Ottawa and Olathe is likely to close. The Newton Kansan …

Missouri lawmakers talk virtual school option for students

Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis offered the amendment to the broader school transfer bill. He says virtual schools can help students with autism, health …

Bell virtual school bill passes State Senate

Delegate Bell’s House Bill 324 establishes a new Virtual Virginia School and creates a Board of the Virginia Virtual School as a policy agency under …

First Flagler virtual school grad accepted to UF premed

The 17-year-old became the first-ever graduate of iFlagler — the Flagler County School District’s K-12 virtual school that started six years ago — when …

EDITORIAL: Virtual schools not a quality option for Missouri

Virtual schools are a topic of legislative discussion as lawmakers craft a student transfer law, designed to provide education alternatives to students …

One of Kansas’ first virtual schools likely to close

It was one of the first virtual schools in the state, but program leaders say dozens of school districts have started similar programs since, which has …

Virtual school to close

Declining enrollment will likely lead to the closure of Heartland Virtual Academy, a virtual school program sponsored by Newton USD 373 and …

Virtual School headteacher

The Virtual School Headteacher in East Riding of Yorkshire will lead the establishedVirtual School and contribute to the Virtual School Governance …

Amount of Florida students attending ‘online school’ doubles

Those students are enrolled in Florida Virtual School, the state’s online … Students have been able to enroll full-time Florida Virtual School since the …

Virtual School for CSIs and Special Agents, CASE Academy, Launches on Kickstarter

February 17, 2015 – London, England, CASE Academy — an interactive online schooldesigned to bring forensic, crime and security science to a …

Virtual learning coming to Belding

Belding High School Principal Brett Zuver, left, and Dallas Bell, executive director of partner schools for West Michigan Virtual, speak about the …

Senate votes for limited virtual school expansion

If that happened, students in that district and in every county touching that district could attend virtual school, with their home districts footing the bill.

Monmouth pupils create virtual Minecraft school

PUPILS at Monmouth School have created a true scale virtual versions of the school’s historic buildings using Minecraft. The boys from 10 to 18 have …

Divine Savior Academy Senior Christian Rodriguez Announced as National Merit Scholar Finalist

… me the flexibility to take classes through the Florida Virtual School and Florida International University, all of which prepared me well for college.”.

Wausau School District plans to offer virtual school

But beyond that goal, the idea for the virtual school is about increasing … WAVE courses initially will be taught through the Wisconsin Virtual School, …

Royal Borough adopted children to be enrolled in ‘Virtual School’ in bid to combat academic …

A VIRTUAL school project is being extended in a pioneering bid to avoid adopted children falling behind their peers when it comes to academic …

Missouri General Assembly seeks to offer virtual schooling

“Virtual school courses today often contain more elements than the online courses first developed a few years ago,” said Brent Ghan, Missouri School …

Virtual charter schools get state’s approval

The state board vetted each virtual school during presentations last month. But plenty of questions still swirled heading into February’s state board …

Cramming for the big exam

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School is not the same school the state saw last summer and placed on probation, school …

Randolph County Board of Education working to return all remaining Harman students

There’ll be classes where virtual school will be offered where we’ll have one teacher serving as a facilitator and students taking one or up to three or …

Bill would give parents money on debit cards, give option of private schools

… school resources at the parent’s direction which would be for education their student at home, private school, virtual school, tutoring,” State Rep.

Missouri’s Senate votes to expand virtual school alternatives for public school students

After two days of intense debate, the Missouri Senate approved Thursday, Feb. 19, a proposal that would allow some children in under-performing …

Heavy Snow Arrives In Chattanooga Late Wednesday Afternoon; Hamilton County Schools, UTC …

Students and teachers should proceed with virtual school day plans. Baylor School is also closed Thursday. Other schools closed on Thursday include …

Ottawa schools terminate agreement with Greenbush

Ottawa school board voted 6-0 Monday night to terminate its agreement with Greenbush Learning Center, effective at the end of the current school …

Online class options coming to Wausau schools next year

“Most districts can’t do this all by themselves,” said Dawn Nordine, the executive director of the Virtual School. “They can’t develop digital content.

Staff cuts likely at Skyline School

So far, the district has closed their virtual school, cut counseling services, reduced services to the Title program, English as a Secondary Language, …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

PA Cyber changing way it handles contracts

Some might assume that the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has had a chief technology officer for years as it grew into the state’s largest virtual …

Cyber school takes the fun out of snow days

Hannah Lukacs explains, “We’ve been having Cyber School for the past two days, which is just as much school as we’re doing if we were in school.”.

CyberSchool’s first grads

CyberSchool program coordinator Kevin Berko said it’s exciting to see the students realizing their success and pursuing interests that are important to …

PA Cyber changing way it handles contracts

Some might assume that the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has had a chief technology officer for years as it grew into the state’s largest virtual …

Penn Hills school board settles grievances with teachers

Acting superintendent Nancy Hines answered their objections by saying that next year the school is considering running its own cyber school and will …

During inclement weather events, Greater Atlanta Christian employs cyber school

#For the second straight year, GAC has implemented plans to trigger a “cyber school” if needed, which it did on Wednesday. GAC spokesperson …

School officials sound alarm on financial challenges

“The cyber school doesn’t have the same accountability as the brick-and-mortar school districts,” Bradley said. “All we are asking at Purchase Line is …


February 27, 2015

Plugged In | 02.27.15 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final word today from the neo-liberals…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

powered by iNACOL…

Funded by a $3 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the Department of Education, Elizabeth Public Schools, which educates 23,374 students in 33 schools in New Jersey, will expand its use of the Teach to One: Math model from two to seven…
In 2009, ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled out an initiative that would offer free digital textbooks – known as open educational resources – in public high schools. By some accounts, the program was unsuccessful in part because much of…
Albuquerque Journal
Hary Constanza dropped out of Santa Fe High School when he was 15 years old. He said this week that the reason for doing so was family related, though he wasn’t specific. Now 19, he is one of what Santa Fe Public Schools estimates to be 1,600…
The San Diego Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility screams “adult prison.” Except, the place is full of kids. They exercise in a courtyard surrounded by high fences and barbed wire. Probation officers, who double as security guards, keep close…
Christensen Institute
The one-room schoolhouse calls to mind pastoral scenes from an older, more rural America, but many of its ideals are once again becoming the schooling reality for a handful of students in some of our most tech-forward cities today. These students…
Troy Messenger
ACCESS took center stage on Thursday as university, state and local educators gathered in Troy to learn more about the successful virtual high school program in place here. Officials from the Alabama State Department of Education, Pike County…
Blend My Learning
I’m a PK (Pastor’s Kid), so I know a spiritual revival when I see one. On this California trip, we have not entered any makeshift churches out of white tents, but in equally inspiring, open, and creative spaces, we have been challenged to respond to a call…
Keeping Pace
The Brookings Institution recently released its 2014 Education Choice and Competition Index, which scores each of the 100 largest school districts (plus seven others based on their choice policies) in the United States based on a variety of factors related to…
Span Learning
To fully realize the potential of the digital learning revolution, schools must come to terms with a Copernican shift where students, not schools, are the center of the digital learning universe. Effectively supporting students at the center of this universe…
San Diego Union-Tribune
An audit of classroom technology throughout San Diego County has revealed sharp inconsistencies among – and within – school districts when it comes to student access to mobile devices and campus infrastructure. ReleasedWednesday, the study has…
Getting Smart
The speed of progress in the 21st century has almost surpassed our capacity to exist in a functional way within it. Traditional models like time-based learning are not equipping us for the future we are hurtling towards that requires everyone, especially students…
In a city plagued by bureaucratic gridlock, during a week when it looks like we could be running into yet another government shutdown (just the Department of Homeland Security this time, though), it seems that the Federal Communications Commission…
Whiteboard Advisors
Last week, the Future of Privacy Forum and Rethink Education hosted a privacy “boot camp” for about 40 ed tech companies that are trying to navigate data privacy. Whiteboard Advisors took part in the two day fest, joining National Association of…
New York Times
College students could save an average of $128 a course if traditional textbooks were replaced with free or low-cost “open-source” electronic versions, a new report finds. The Student Public Interest Research Groups, state-based advocacy groups that…
The Hechinger Report
At 56, Linda McCampbell discovered she could get the college degree she always wanted. A Nashville paralegal for 30 years, McCampbell last year attended an eight-hour workshop to judge how her life experience might be cashed in for academic…
Inside Higher Ed
Young people often have a very different perspective. Consider that one of the most viewed, highest revenue producing channels on YouTube is DisneyCollectorBR. DisneyCollectorBR posts videos of her hands (with colorful nail polish and bracelets)…
Yet Analytics
In an effort to bring cutting-edge data analytics to the development of high-quality open standards for the education profession, Yet Analytics, Inc. and Cupertino, CA-based nonprofit The Learning Accelerator announce a new partnership. “This partnership…

Did you receive this edition of Plugged In from a colleague or friend?Subscribe to have it sent directly to your inbox… Thank you!


RFP for innovative 2015 iNACOL Symposium workshops/sessions
Proposals accepted through Thursday, March 26, 2015 | more info

Upcoming Webinar…

Open Education Week 2015: K-12 OER Collaborative
Karl Nelson & Jennifer Wolfe, K-12 OER Collaborative
March 11, 2015 | 2:00p – 3:00p ET | register

Featured Resource…
Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency EducationMean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education

Susan Patrick
Kathryn Kennedy
Allison Powell


Stay connected:
Follow iNACOL on Twitter Friend iNACOL on Facebook  iNACOL videos on YouTube Join iNACOL colleagues on LinkedIn
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iNACOL Webinar | 3/11 – Open Education Week 2015: The K-12 OER Collaborative

From Wednesday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Open Education Week 2015 — The K-12 OER Collaborative




Wednesday, March 11, 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET (register)
In celebration of Open Education Week 2015, iNACOL will present a Leadership Webinar featuring Karl Nelson and Jennifer Wolfe of the K-12 OER Collaborative on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 2:00p – 3:00p ET.The K-12 OER Collaborative is an initiative led by a group of 12 states working to create comprehensive, high-quality open educational resources (OER) supporting K-12 mathematics and English language arts that are aligned with state learning standards and leverage technology and provide digital content to students.
The webinar will explain the project, and explore the Collaborative’s vision for ensuring that the materials created are high quality and flexible in order to meet the needs of students and educators.

This webinar is free to attend, but please register here for final details and login information.


  • Karl Nelson, Director, Digital Learning Department, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (WA)
  • Jennifer Wolfe, Partner, The Learning Accelerator
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
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Stay connected:
Follow iNACOL on Twitter Friend iNACOL on Facebook  iNACOL videos on YouTube Join iNACOL colleagues on LinkedIn
This email was sent to:

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