Virtual School Meanderings

April 18, 2018

Plugged In | 4.18.18

A newsletter from the neo-liberals to finish the day.

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International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
iNACOL PLUGGED IN 4.18.18Dear Colleagues:

Attendee registration is open to attend the iNACOL Symposium 2018 on October 21-24, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. Early-bird registration discounts are available until July 11, 2018. This year’s theme is “Driving the Transformation of Learning.” Register to attend the iNACOL Symposium and share this announcement with your peers:

  • Attend the leading conference in advancing #nextgen #K12 education. #iNACOL18 registration is open! @nacol
  • #Teachers & #EdLeaders: Register to attend #inacol18, premier conference for #personalizedlearning & #CompetencyEd

CompetencyWorks published a new report, Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency-Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeedoffers a framework of strategies for personalized, competency-based education to ensure a more equitable K-12 education system. Districts and schools can use the principles within this report to develop an equity agenda within their personalized, competency-based systems.

Here are a few new resources from across the field:

Below are the latest events, news and trends shaping the future of K-12 education.

New from iNACOL’s Blog: Education Domain

CompetencyWorks Releases Equity Report for Ensuring All Students Succeed in Personalized, Competency-Based Education
The role of public education has never been more important – it is the bedrock of democracy. Competency-based education holds promise as a uniquely powerful model for fostering equity, but only if equity is an intentional design feature…

Action Steps for State Policymakers to Support Competency-Based Systems
State leaders can support policy for K-12 competency-based education to help all students succeed. Fully-developed, student-centered systems require significant shifts in policy and practice. They require the right balance of policies that…

The Work of Transforming K-12 Education
Our education leaders need: political courage and a will to change, knowledge and skills to lead, and educational innovation. There are implications for systemic changes that must be addressed if we are to transform the education system in…

Plugged In Headlines: Other News in Personalized, Competency-Based Education

Understanding and Meeting Learners Where They Are Using the UDL Lens
Kathleen McClaskey, CompetencyWorks

Building a High-Quality System of Assessments: New Paper Outlines 10 Organizing Principles
Lillian Pace, KnowledgeWorks

ESSA Pilot Spurs States’ Interest in Performance Assessment
Linda Jacobson, Education Dive

Nine Lessons from Brain Science from Dr. Melina Uncapher
Tom Vander Ark, Forbes

Innovative Assessments: Widening the Horizon
Adriana Martinez, Education Week

Upcoming iNACOL Events

April Teacher Talk Webinar | An Introduction to Student Exhibition Nights
April 19, 2018  |  6:00-7:00 p.m. ET
Learn more and register.

May Leadership Webinar | The Science of Learning and Development and Its Implications for Transforming K-12 Education
May 16, 2018  |  2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Learn more and register.

May Teacher Talk Webinar | Strategies for Teachers to Drive Student Agency through Inquiry-Based, Authentic Learning
May 17, 2018  |  6:00-7:00 p.m. ET
Learn more and register.

iNACOL Symposium 2018
October 21-24, 2018, Nashville, TN
Attendee registration is open

iNACOL in the News

Choosing Personalized Learning as a Strategy for Educational Equity
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report
“Personalized learning” is among the most discussed initiatives in education today. Most schools nationwide say they’ve implemented personalized learning, to some degree. Some use online programs or software to give students…

5 Ways to Move to Personalized, Competency-Based Education
Laura Ascione, eSchool News
A new report from iNACOL examines five key issues that could help improve the future of U.S. K-12 education and increase competency-based education, according to the authors. In the report, the authors describe how the traditional…

Educator Development Key to Statewide Personalized Learning, iNACOL Says
Sarah Schwartz, Education Week
States integrating personalized, competency-based learning need to take the lead in preparing their teachers to implement these instructional models, argues a new issue brief from iNACOL. The brief encourages states to identify…

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Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom draws upon nationally representative data sources, existing research, and relevant state and local intervention efforts to examine the five research areas designated in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to provide a comprehensive picture […]

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Engagement Matters: Student Perceptions on the Importance of Engagement Strategies in the Online LearningStudent engagement increases student satisfaction, enhances student motivation to learn, reduces the sense of isolation, and improves student performance in online courses. This survey-based research study examines student perception on various engagement strategies used in online courses based on Moore’s interaction framework. One hundred and fifty five students completed a 38-item survey on learner-to-learner, learner-to-instructor, […]

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An Online Engagement Framework for Higher EducationStudent engagement is understood to be an important benchmark and indicator of the quality of the student experience for higher education; yet the term engagement continues to be elusive to define and it is interpreted in different ways in the literature. This paper firstly presents a short review of the literature regarding online engagement in […]

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Creating Successful Professional Development Activities for Online Faculty: A Reorganized FrameworkIn the online environment, faculty engagement in the form of professional development takes on a new significance. Online programs hold strategic importance and growth opportunities for institutions, and therefore universities need faculty members who are engaged and effectively teaching in the online environment (Allen & Seaman, 2013, 2016; Dennis, 2013). Faculty professional development provides a […]

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Exploring four decades of research in Computers & EducationA content analysis of abstracts and titles of 3674 full papers in Computers & Educationpublished between 1976 and 2016 was conducted in order to a) identify and analyze their thematic and conceptual flow, b) how these reflected the evolving technologies and theories and c) how the research topics and concepts semantically related to each other. […]

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Presidents Insecure on Digital LearningMany campus leaders feel underprepared for the innovation era — but there’s room for them to grow into it. Inside Higher Ed

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States Take a Look at Online Learning PricesDebate over the actual cost and value of online education continues to polarize participants. Meanwhile, state legislatures are looking for ways to cut costs for students. Inside Higher Ed

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U.S. Education Market Will Reach USD 2,040 billion by 2026: Zion Market ResearchNew York, NY, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zion Market Research has published a new report titled “U.S. Education Market by Type (Cloud and On-Premise); by Content (Audio-Based Content, Video-Based Content, and Text Content); by Smart Learning Mode (Collaborative Learning, Virtual Instructor Led Training, Simulation Based Learning, Adaptive Learning, Social Learning, Blended Learning, and […]

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Tech Giants Announce New Funding for 1-to-1 Devices, Computer Science EducationVerizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the telecommunications company’s foundation, pledged more than $200 million Monday to furnish technology, teacher training, and internet connectivity in K-12 schools, which would double its investment over the next five years. Education Week

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[AECT] April 16, 2018 – News & Notes

Next, this newsletter from Monday’s inbox.


The purpose of each weekly issue is to provide information and to engage members in the diverse opportunities and activities of your association.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION NOW OPEN. Registration is now available for the 2018 AECT International Convention to be held in Kansas City, MO, October 23 – October 27, 2018Register now to get the early discount – deadline is May 31, 2018.


JSET-AECT 2018 IRS. You are invited to be part of the 2018 JSET-AECT Summer International Research Symposium – Designing Learning Environments for Creativity: Space, Activity, and Community. Symposium dates are September 7-9, 2018 to be held at Future University Hakodate and Takuboku-Tei at Yunokawa Hot Spring, Hokkido, Japan. Complete details and registration information is available here.


CALL FOR VIDEOS. Publish a video with the Division of Organizational Training and Performance (OTP). We invite ALL AECT members to submit your original video content to the OTP Best Practices and Microlearning YouTube Channel! Videos are peer-reviewed, must be related to organizational training and performance, and no longer than seven (7) minutes. Topics can include but are not limited to: organization professional development, best practices in organizational training and performance settings, models, products, research (applied and theoretical), diversity considerations, accessibility, process examples, reflections and tips and techniques. Click here for additional guidelinesand our promotional video.


SPRINGER SPECIAL ISSUES. AECT members now have temporary e-access to Springer’s Education Special Issues, which include more than 40 special issues and more than 500 articles. Browse now for free until May 1, 2018. Spread the word!


AECT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM. The AECT Leadership Development Committee is excited to invite applications for the AECT Leadership Development Internship Program to coincide with the 2018 AECT Convention in Kansas City, MO. We need your help to identify and recognize outstanding individuals with leadership potential in educational technology and in the broader field through the AECT Leadership Development Internship Program. Eligible applicants and interested sponsors may review program details and application requirements on the AECT website. The deadline for submission is 11:59 PM ET on June 4, 2018. Contact Megan C. Murtaugh for additional information at 239-560-8301 or


LDC WEBINAR. Join us for a panel discussion as AECT leaders describe their “Journeys of Leadership.” The AECT Leadership Development Committee has prepared a special event to engage AECT and division leaders in thoughtful conversation. Panelists, Tonia Dousay, Cindy York, and Megan Murtaugh will describe their experiences in leadership including their time as AECT Leadership Interns. Event Details: April 19 at 7:00 pm ESTRegister for the webinar here. Please send any questions to Aaron Bond.


R&T WEBINAR. The Research & Theory Division invites you to a professional development webinar with Dr. Dirk Ifenthaler on Tuesday April 24 at 12pm CT (10am PT11am MT1pm ET). Dr. Ifenthaler will be discussing “Are Education Institutions Ready for Learning Analytics?” We look forward to having you join us. Please join us by registering here.


GRANT OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCED. The Library of Congress released a notice of funding availability for the development of civics-related apps and online interactives. Products created under this grant will focus on Congress and representative government, using items from Library of Congress collections. Click here to read the full grant notice.Deadline is April 30, 2018.


USF’S INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIZATION IS FULLY ONLINE. USF’s MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in instructional technology is available as a fully online program to fit your busy life. Study where and when you want without visiting campus. In as few as 18 months, you can complete this program and start your career transforming instruction in many settings, from K-12 classrooms to corporate training departments. Plus, the GRE isn’t requiredLearn more about our program here.

Bookmark the AECT website and make it your go-to place for information about your professional association. Check in often. There’s always something new!




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April 15, 2018

Meet Student Needs With Online Summer Courses

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

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Do you have a student who needs to earn or recover a credit this summer? 

The key to reenrolling your students and building a positive reputation for your school is to meet all the academic needs of your families.

An online program enables your school to say “No problem! We can help.” to a wide variety of summer needs:

  • Recover or improve a grade with credit recovery
  • Admit or retain students who need out-of-sequence credits
  • Alleviate fall scheduling challenges over the summer
  • Provide opportunities to satisfy academic interests
  • Meet requests to earn college credit
  • Provide ACT/SAT Prep

We also have experience helping schools overcome last-minute teacher losses at the start of the fall semester.

Please request a free consultation call to discuss how apartnership with Sevenstar can help you meet academic needs and create a contingency plan for unanticipated teaching gaps.

In Him,

Ty Orton

Director of New Business Development

(770) 367-3086


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April 14, 2018

4 Lessons Universities Can Learn From The Booming Business Of Learning

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
Christensen Institute · 585 Broadway St. · Redwood City, CA 94063 · USA
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