Virtual School Meanderings

April 22, 2017

OLC Today Newsletter: April 20, 2017

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

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April 20, 2017 | Volume 16 | Issue 5


Post-Conference Wrap Up

OLC Innovate | April 5-7 | New Orleans, LA

Thank you to everyone who joined us earlier this month onsite and virtually for the OLC Innovate 2017 Conference. Visit the wrap up page for photo galleries, award and contest winners, and more.

“I would scream it from the rooftops if I thought people could find the resources to attend! The first year I attended was life changing for me in my career and attitude towards teaching. This year was a more philosophical journey into the future of higher education.”
– Nicole Korzetz, Faculty, Lee College

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Missed the conference? No problem!Access the 95+ recorded sessions! Watch sessions at your convenience for one full year. Unlimited viewing for your entire staff!

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email_icon_leadership_100x100.png OLC RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS

The OSCQR Rubric: Course Quality Review
May 2, 2017 | 2:00pm ET

Join us to learn about the OSCQR Course Design Review scorecard, brought to us through a partnership with the State University of New York. Based on online best practices, the rubric can be used by faculty, staff and instructional designers to evaluate the effectiveness of an online course and identify areas of opportunity.

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Webinar sponsored by:

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Scaling Digital & Open Educational Resources (OER)
May 17, 2017 | 12:00pm ET

Sponsored by Ed Map and Vital Source, this webinar includes a panel of experts that will discuss best practices for managing the complexities of digital materials and OER so that the digital and OER footprint within an institution can effectively grow.

email_icon_leadership_100x100.png OLC ANNOUNCEMENTS


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2017 Digital Learning Innovation Award
Call for Submissions now open!

The Digital Learning Innovation Award 2017 call for submissions is open to accredited U.S.-based applicants in two categories:

-Institutional Award – $100,000 (up to three awarded)
-Faculty-led Team Award – $10,000 (up to 10 awarded)

The submission portal is open until June 30, 2017. Learn more in aninformational webinar.

Unique Upcoming OLC Collaborate Events!
May 31-June 2, 2017 | Montclair State University, NJ
June 6, 2017 | University of Nebraska Medical Center

OLC is traveling from coast to coast to bring you some unique professional development opportunities! Can’t join us in New Jersey or Nebraska? We’ll be coming to Alaska and Arizona later this year! See all OLC Collaborate events.


November 15-17, 2017 | Orlando, FL

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Present at OLC Accelerate 2017
CFP Open Until May 22, 2017

Do you have a research or evidence-based proposal to share with your peers? The OLC Accelerate 2017 Program Committee seeks proposals that reflect and showcase our vibrant community of practice. Learn moreand get started today!

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Social Media Mastery Series
Starts May 3

Are you looking to integrate social media into your teaching practice? Learn more in our latest blog post,8 Things You Should Know before Using Social Media in Your Course. Join us for the Social Media Mastery Series beginning May 3rd if you are interested in strengthening your social media expertise for the online classroom.


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Learn | Attend | Read | Join | Connect | About | Contact | Consult | Support

© 2016 The Online Learning Consortium

AERA17 Insider – April 2017

Note this newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

AERA17 Insider
April 2017Each year, the AERA Annual Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of education researchers and a showcase for groundbreaking, innovative studies in an array of areas. It is where to encounter ideas and data that will shape education practices and policies, and where to connect with leading thinkers from the United States and around the world. Leading up to the 2017 Annual Meeting, AERA17 Insider will provide a periodic glance at meeting highlights and features. Join us April 27–May 1 for five rewarding days of ideas, engagement, networking, and professional advancement.
In this Issue:

Opening Plenary on Higher Education Challenges

Join Us for AERA Fiesta!

Annual Meeting at Your Fingertips

Attend the Annual Meeting Virtually

Honoring Lives and Legacies

Awards Ceremony Luncheon

Advance Your Skills On-Site and Online

The Off-Site Experience

Connect With Exhibitors

Thursday, April 27 – Monday, May 1, 2017

About the Theme
The theme of the Annual Meeting is framed around historical and contemporary discussions about unequal educational opportunity, as they relate to four critical dimensions. Read more

2017 Annual Meeting Sponsors

AERA would like to extend a special thank you to our 2017 sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors
– Routledge

Gold Sponsor
– SAGE Publishing

Bronze Sponsors
– AccessLex
– National Institute of Education, Singapore
– NORC at the University of Chicago

Opening Plenary on Higher Education Challenges
Annual Meeting Kicks Off with Highly Engaging Session

The 2017 Annual Meeting will formally begin with an opening plenary of three university leaders discussing the premises and purposes of higher education during these challenging times. On campuses across the United States and worldwide, there are growing concerns about equity, justice, and civility that reflect broader societal tensions.Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M University San Antonio; Michael A. Olivas, interim president of the University of Houston; and Jonathan D. Jansen, the former vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State in South Africa will address the many challenges and complexities facing higher education in a world that is increasingly facing racial, social, and political divisions.

Session Details
Opening Plenary: “The Challenges of Higher Education in a Diverse and Divergent World”
Thursday, April 27, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center,
Ballroom Level, Stars at Night Ballroom 1
Session Hashtag: #AERAOpening
Link to Session

Join Us for AERA Fiesta!
Opening Night Celebration Is a Must Attend

Immediately following the Opening Plenary, stay for AERA Fiesta!, a celebratory and festive party for all AERA registrants and special invited guests. Meet your colleagues and enjoy live music and good food, as we kick off the 2017 Annual Meeting in grand style.

Session Details
AERA Fiesta!
Thursday, April 27, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center,
River Level, The Grotto

Annual Meeting at Your Fingertips
Download the AERA Annual Meeting Mobile App

The AERA Annual Meeting mobile app is ready for downloading. The 2017 app will keep your day much more structured all from the palm of your hand. With the app, you will be able to add sessions to your schedule and sync between your multiple devices; search speakers; stay up-to-date with real time alerts; and engage through social media. Download the app by searching your app store for “AERA Meetings.” Once you have installed the app, select the 2017 Annual Meeting program and click “download.”

Click here for more details.

Attend the Annual Meeting Virtually
Find Out Which Annual Meeting Sessions Will Be Live-Streamed

If you are unable to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting in San Antonio or are simply trying to be in two places at once, take advantage of free live-streamed sessions. The number has doubled this year to 31. Registerhere.

Honoring Lives and Legacies
Memorial Sessions Held for Leading Scholars

As a tribute to their lives and contributions to the field of education research, memorial sessions for David Krathwohl, Donald H. Layton, Sam Stringfield, David Tyack, and Claire Ellen Weinstein will be held at the 2017 Annual Meeting. View more details about these sessions here.

Awards Ceremony Luncheon
Honoring Excellence in Education Research

The fifth annual AERA Awards Luncheon will be heldSaturday, April 29. The luncheon is an opportunity to celebrate the field of education research and the accomplishments of AERA-wide awardees and those who receive special citations. Tickets are still available for the luncheon and can be purchased online at “My AERA” by all Annual Meeting attendees while seats remain. Free tickets are available to attendees who bring their own lunches. Go to “My AERA” to reserve.

Session Details
Saturday, April 29, 12:25 to 2:25 pm
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Stars at Night Ballroom 1
Session Hashtag: #AERAAwards
Link to Session

Advance Your Skills On-Site and Online
Professional Development Courses Open for Registration

Annual Meeting attendees can take advantage of a rich program of extended and mini professional development courses. This year’s 27-course lineup provides ample opportunities for attendees to train in research methods and skills, discover specialized research disciplines, address professional development issues, and much more.

Three courses will be live-streamed through the AERA Virtual Research Learning Center.

To view more information about the professional development courses at the Annual Meeting, clickhere.

The Off-Site Experience
Registration Open for Off-Site Tours

Make the most of your trip to San Antonio and sign up now for one or more of four off-site visits exploring the best of the city’s culture and history. Space is limited for these tours, and interested attendees are encouraged to register in advance. If you are a registered participant wishing to add courses, off-site visits, or tours, you can log in to add events to your registration.

Connect With Exhibitors
Come Visit Our Exhibitors

Visit the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Exhibition Hall Friday through Sunday (April 28–30) to meet exhibitors. Visit top publishers, research companies on the rise, technology companies, and many more.

Enter to Win

If you visit at least 10 different exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall during the meeting, you will be entered for a daily chance to win an iPad or a trip to the 2018 Annual Meeting in New York (registration, hotel, and air fare included).

2017 Annual Meeting PageTheme | Registration | Visiting San Antonio |
Meeting Services | Housing & Travel | Exhibits, Sponsors, Advertising | Contact AERA
2017 Annual Meeting
“Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity”
Thursday, April 27 – Monday, May 1, 2017

San Antonio, Texas

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These New Articles For Open Learning: The Journal Of Open, Distance And e-Learning Are Available Online

From Thursday’s inbox…

Taylor & Francis Online - The new journals and reference work platform for Taylor & Francis
The online platform for Taylor & Francis Online content
Original ArticlesThe silence about oral presentation skills in distance and online education: new perspectives from an Australian university preparatory programme
Jenny McDougall & Helen Holden
Pages: 1-14 | DOI: 10.1080/02680513.2017.1316187

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Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the eSchool News Today.


Real talk: This is what successful blended learning actually looks like

blended learning

In theory, blended learning sounds straightforward: You replace a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction with web-based online instruction. In practice, though, launching and sustaining a blended learning initiative takes planning, training, tech tools, and the flexibility to change course midstream. Colorado District 49, where I am superintendent of the…

3 ways new-to-online students can thrive with virtual learning

virtual learning

Digital learning opportunities are widely available and abundant today. From MOOCs to digital study aids to virtual tutoring, there are many ways for students to hone their academic skills while still maintaining flexibility in their schedules. An added bonus? They can often do this from the comfort and convenience of…

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

@FGCU_MTen Displays Strong Performance in 4-2 Loss to #34 Memphis

Florida Virtual School/Florida) and Andres Alfonzo (Hollywood, Fla./Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) dropped difficult decisions at No.

Virtual school eyeing Wichita Falls students

Texas Connections Academy, which partners with the Houston ISD, is offering an informational session for interested parents and their children 6 p.m. …

Report: Virtual Schools Expand in US Despite Poor Performance

Virtual schools have expanded and proliferated in the United States, despite poor performance, lack of research support and inadequate policies, …

Are virtual schools the future of education?

Virtual school Aurora College is using state-of-the-art technology to address the growing gap in achievement between country and city students in …

State Board Approves, Then Balks at, Buying Ads for Virtual Schools

Two days after voting to pursue hiring a public relations firm to market the online schools sponsored by the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, the …

Virtual Schools Expand Despite Poor Performance, Lack of Research Support, and Inadequate …

Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2017, a three-part report released today by the National Education Policy Center, provides a detailed inventory of full-time …

Online learning offers flexibility to high school students

The virtual schools offer frequent social activities, online and in-person, such as National Honor Society, Future Educators of America and Creative …

During Resistance Recess, Join The Fight For Public Schools

“Perhaps even more concerning than the spread of voucher programs and charter schools is the expansion of the virtual school industry that relegates …

Here’s how to enroll in Wichita summer school

Summer school will be offered May 30 through June 15 at West High School and Chester I. Lewis Virtual School. The morning session is 7:30 to 11:30 …

Exclusive: Looked-after children three times more likely to move schools mid year

Virtual school heads, which were made statutory in 2014, are responsible for the looked-after children in a local authority. They negotiate with schools …

Virtual school eyeing Wichita Falls students

Texas Connections Academy, which partners with the Houston ISD, is offering an informational session for interested parents and their children 6 p.m. …

Plymouth student applauds teacher during appreciation week

Being in a virtual school, people tend to think that students can’t form connections with their teachers since they don’t meet in-person every day.

Blue Ridge Community Unit School District 18 Board of Education met April 19.

H. Discuss for Approval Proposal to Pay for Illinois Virtual School. IX. Closed Session. A. The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Rep. Dush provides glimmer of hope to Brookville School Board

It keeps your absenteeism down and it keeps kids from going to cyber school or moving into alternative ed. By eliminating or reducing that position, …

Smethport school district looking at half-million budget shortfall

SMETHPORT — In his report to the school board Monday, District … Wertz mentioned the cost of $46,000 the district pays for cyber school students.

Both sides size up charter school bill

… complain that students they hadn’t identified as needing special education are classified as special-ed students when they enroll in cyber school.


April 21, 2017

REMINDER: iNACOL Webinar | 4/27: An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers

And from the neo-liberals…

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An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers

Thursday, April 27, 2017
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET (register)

On Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) will host a webinar on an introduction to K-12 competency-based education and its potential benefits.

Educators across the country are beginning to realize the promise of competency-based education, designed to help students successfully master skills at each step, year after year, by ensuring they advance after they demonstrate proficiency. The concept behind competency education is simple: learning is best measured by students demonstrating mastery of learning targets with the supports they need, rather than the number of hours spent in a classroom with variable amounts of actual learning.

Join this webinar to hear from competency education experts andCompetencyWorks co-founders, Susan Patrick and Chris Sturgis for an introduction to competency education in K-12 education systems. Explore the definition of competency education, understand the field’s trends and why districts and schools are making this transition, and learn how competency-based approaches more effectively prepare students for post-secondary success.

iNACOL CEO Susan Patrick said, “Competency-based education systems are an important foundation for ensuring innovation for equity. The trends point to more and more states offering flexibility for personalized, competency-based instructional designs that ensure students master lessons before advancing, forming a solid foundation for their next steps in learning. To address equity, education systems must provide the resources, supports and commitment to progress on goals for all students realizing successful outcomes indicated by readiness for college and preparedness for future employment.”

MetisNet Principal Chris Sturgis said, “Across the country, districts are turning to competency education because the transparency and intentionality engages and motivates students while enabling a much richer collaboration among teachers.”

This webinar is free to attend — participants are invited to register here for final details and login information.

Webinar Title: An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers


  • Chris Sturgis, Principal, MetisNet; Co-Founder, CompetencyWorks
  • Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL; Co-Founder,CompetencyWorks

Share this Webinar on Twitter:

  • April #Webinar: An Overview of #K12 #CompetencyBased #Education for #EdLeaders & #Teachers @nacol@CompetencyWorks 

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. 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 competency-based, blended, and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our website, like us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedInand follow us on twitter.

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