Virtual School Meanderings

July 19, 2018

New State-level Information Available On Charter Schools, Arts Education, Computer-Based Assessments, And Graduation Rates

I haven’t checked, but I wonder if the charter school data has any information or variables on whether the charter school is online or not.  Would be interesting…

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New State-level Information Available on charter schools, arts education, computer-based assessments, and graduation rates

State Reforms logoNew state-level data on charter schools, arts education, computer-based assessments, and graduation rates are now available on the State Education Reforms website. The State Education Reforms website draws primarily on data collected by organizations other than the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which compiles and disseminates the information in five sections:

  • Accountability;
  • Assessment and Standards;
  • Staff Qualifications and Development;
  • State Support for School Choice and Other Options; and
  • Student Readiness and Progress through School.

One table was updated in the “Accountability” section. The “Staff Qualifications and Development” and “State Support for School Choice and Other Options” sections each had two updated tables.  One table was added in the “Assessment and Standards” section and in the “Student Readiness and Progress through School” section.  These tables may be easily located by the “Updated!” and “New!” tags next to the table title in the corresponding section.

To view the site, please visit: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/

The State Education Reforms website is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

July 18, 2018

IES Awards $160 Million in Grants for Education and Special Education Research

Note that there appears to be at least one K-12 distance, online, and blended learning item that was funded on this list (see below for more details).

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

IES Awards $160 Million in Grants for Education and Special Education Research

The Institute of Education Sciences has awarded 83 grants for research that will increase the evidence base across a wide array of topics in education and special education. The 2018 grants, representing an investment of more than $160 million over five years, are offered through the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).

Education Research Grants Program

NCER has awarded 54 grants for its 2018 competition, representing an investment of more than $112 million. Forty-one colleges, universities, and research agencies received 2018 NCER Education Research Grants.

Click here to see the full list of 2018 NCER Education Research Grants with links to project abstracts.

Special Education Research Grants Program

NCSER has awarded 29 grants for its 2018 competition, representing an investment of more than $49 million. The Special Education Research Grants have been awarded to 24 colleges, universities, or research agencies.

Click here to see the full list of 2018 NCSER Special Education Research Grants with links to project abstracts.

Learn more about funding opportunities and research programs on the IES website. To search current and past grants awards, use the IES grant search tool.

The Institute of Education Sciences is the independent research, evaluation, and statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Visit the IES website, sign up for the IES news flash or follow IES on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

I could be wrong, but based on a quick review of the titles of projects listed, this seems to be the only one relevant for readers of this space:

IES Grant

TITLE: Developing an Online Learning Environment for Learning Algebra by Teaching a Synthetic Peer
CENTER: NCER YEAR: 2018
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Matsuda, Noboru AWARDEE: Texas A & M University
PROGRAM: Education Technology      [Program Details]
AWARD PERIOD: 4 years (09/01/2018-08/31/2021) AWARD AMOUNT: $1,399,947
GOAL: Development and Innovation AWARD NUMBER: R305A180319
DESCRIPTION: Co-Principal Investigator: Huang, Ruihong

Purpose: In this project, researchers will develop and evaluate an online game-like environment for middle school students to solve and learn algebra linear equations by teaching a simulated peer student. Learning by teaching is a promising style of instruction, with evidence supporting that when students engage in peer tutoring there is a benefit for both the tutee and tutor.

Project Activities: In Year 1 and 2, research and development will occur in a research laboratory at Texas A&M University. Following a laboratory usability evaluation study, in Year 3 a series of pilot studies will evaluate the feasibility, fidelity, and promise of proposed environment to improve student learning of algebraic equations.

Products: Researchers will develop a module of Artificial Peer Learning Environment Using SimStudent (APLUS), agame-like environment for middle school students to practice and learn mathematics by collaboratively solving algebraic equations with a simulated peer student.

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT

Setting: The research will take place in a research laboratory at Texas A&M University and in classrooms in suburban schools in medium to-large sized cities in Texas and Pennsylvania.

Sample: For the lab evaluation studies, researchers will recruit participants through Texas A&M University’s subject pool. The classroom research in schools will include 120 grade 7 and 8 students and eight algebra teachers.

Intervention: In prior IES and NSF projects, the researchers developed and tested the Artificial Peer Learning Environment Using SimStudent (APLUS), an online environment for students to tutor a simulated peer. In the interaction, students and the simulated peer student solve questions step by step and are provided feedback on the accuracy of the steps performed. In this project, the researchers will develop a module of APLUS within a specific domain, algebraic linear equations for grades 7 to 9. The team will develop a machine learning engine to enhance the student and simulated peers interaction in working through algebraic manipulations.

Research Design and Methods: To develop the environment, the researchers will employ a data-driven system-engineering procedure where iterations of research and development occur in lab evaluation studies and classroom pilot studies until feasibility, usability, and learning aims are met. After development is complete, the researchers will conduct a series of between subjects randomized control trials to examine whether the environment shows promise for improving student learning of algebraic equations. In the studies that will occur over the course of a school year, classrooms will be randomly assigned to implement the tutoring environment or not. Learning outcome measures will be collected from pre-, post-, and delayed-tests to assess the competency in solving equations and conceptual understanding.

Control Condition: The researchers will compare several versions of APLUS to a control group that uses a different version of APLUS to isolate the effect of different approaches and to understand when and how learning by teaching becomes most effective. For each study, students will be randomly assigned into one of the study conditions at the beginning of the school year, with treatment students using the same type of intervention throughout the year.

Key Measures: To iteratively develop and refine the technology, the researchers will use a think-aloud protocol where participants provide feedback while using the prototype. For the pilot studies, the researchers will gather data using a combination of researcher-developed assessments of content and procedural knowledge, will conduct classroom observations, and will use learning processdata to measure the interactions between students and the simulated peer.

Data Analytic Strategies: The research team will employ analysis of variance with between-subjects comparisons to understand the effect of the treatment. Additionally, the researchers will use within-subjects comparisons for all students to examine learning gains by comparing performance at pre-, post-, and delayed-exposure to the intervention and performance over a longer period of time. In addition, researchers will employ correlation and causal analyses to identify key cognitive and background variables that are significantly related to learning outcome measures.

Related Project: Learning by Teaching Synthetic Student: Using SimStudent to Study the Effect of Tutor Learning (R305A090519)

IES Announces FY 2018 Education Research And Development Center Grant

This is disappointing to read.  The federal Government is funding a national research center around school choice, after school choice has been shown based on the existing research to be no better than traditional public schooling (and instances where the research has shown otherwise that research has been methodologically flawed or questionable).  Basically, this is the the federal Government directing research for ideological reasons and not for educational reasons.

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

IES Announces FY 2018 Education Research and Development Center Grant

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) announces a new Education Research and Development Center.  The National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice(REACH Center) will develop and carry out the next generation of research on how states and school districts may implement or revise their school choice programs and policies in ways that improve outcomes for disadvantaged students, including low-income, underrepresented minority, special education, and English Language Learner (ELL) students.  This  grant for approximately $2 million per year for five years was awarded to Tulane University and will be led by Dr. Douglas Harris.

Under the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, the Institute supports national Research and Development Centers (R&D Centers) to contribute significantly to the solution of education problems in the United States by engaging in research, development, evaluation, and national leadership activities aimed at improving the education system, and ultimately, student achievement. Each R&D Center conducts a focused program of research and provides national leadership in advancing evidence-based practice and policy within its topic area.

The Institute of Education Sciences is the independent research, evaluation, and statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Visit the IES website, sign up for the IES news flash or follow IES on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

July 14, 2018

IES Posts FY 2019 Research Funding Webinars

This may be of interest to my academic friends that are interested in pursuing IES grants (they have funded K-12 distance, online, and blended learning research in the past).

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

IES Posts FY 2019 Research Funding Webinars

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has posted three new on-demand webinars for those who are interested in Fiscal Year 2019 funding opportunities and learning more about IES. These pre-recorded webinars are hosted by the National Center for Education Researchand the National Center for Special Education Research and you can access them on the IES Webinar Series website.

Newly available on-demand webinars include the following:

  • NCSER Research Training Programs in Special Education: Early Career Development and Mentoring
  • Partnerships and Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice or Policy
  • Funding Opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions

Additional on-demand webinars will be available soon.

Visit the IES Funding Opportunities website for more information about these and other research programs. Follow IES on Twitter and Facebook to learn about other on-demand recordings, webinars, and training opportunities.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

July 3, 2018

Using Research To Inform Decisions—An On-line Summer Workshop For Practitioners

This workshop may be of interest to my practitioner readers.

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

Using Research to Inform Decisions—An On-line Summer Workshop for Practitioners

State and local education officials are invited to take part in a two-week online training designed to help practitioners find and use research to inform educational decisions. The training is offered by the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice (an IES-funded research and development center) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The program, Using Research to Inform Decisions, is designed for state and district education officials, school leaders, and school district decision-makers, including directors of research, curriculum and instruction, and special education.  The training will guide participants in how to find and evaluate pertinent research, with an eye toward how such research is used to inform various school- and district-level decisions.

Participants will get an overview of how practitioners can use research and will learn about several simple tools to help attendees find the relevant studies. They will also learn strategies and structures that help foster an environment where research truly informs the decision-making process. The workshop will be jointly led by Harvard Professor Heather Hill, University of Colorado Professor Bill Penuel, and will feature other leaders in the field.

The online format will consist of video lectures, readings, facilitated online discussions, and exploration exercises to help participants engage with research and gain confidence in using evidence to make sound decisions.

Dates:  July 16-29, 2018

Sponsored by: Harvard Graduate School of Education (on-line training)

Cost: $149.00

Registration Deadline: July 16, 2018

Registration information is available on-line.

For additional information, contact the admissions team at ppe@gse.harvard.edu or call 800-545-1849.

For questions about the IES grant supporting the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice, please contact Dr. Rebecca McGill-Wilkinson.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

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