Virtual School Meanderings

July 7, 2015

SITE Webinars: Call For Proposals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Barbour @ 2:09 pm

From yesterday’s inbox…

Dear Michael Barbour,

You are receiving this message as a member of the SITE Virtual Schooling SIG. Attached is a call for proposals for the inaugural SITE webinars that are scheduled to be held in Fall 2015. You will note the deadline is July 31 for the call. For those who are interested, please send your proposals to the IT Council Chair, Rhonda Christensen

Thank you!

Leanna Archambault

Kathryn Kennedy

Virtual Schooling SIG Co-Chairs

Attachment: WebinarCallForProposals-final_2015Jul06.pdf

June 19, 2015

iNACOL Statement of Support for the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015

From the inbox earlier today…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning

iNACOL Statement of Support for Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015
iNACOL applauds goals to improve broadband access and close the education opportunity gap for all students

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) applauds Senators King and Capito for introducing the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015This bill would provide broadband connectivity for all students, closing the educational opportunity gap and giving students increased access to high-quality, personalized learning experiences. 

The bill would reduce inequities, especially for low-income students, by authorizing innovative broadband pilots to address the lack of high-speed Internet access outside of the classroom. This will help eliminate the “digital divide” and empower students with expanded educational opportunities using blended and online learning.The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act offers an important window of opportunity to support student-centered learning and increase access to innovative digital learning opportunities. The Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 recognizes that Internet access is vital for all students to engage in high-quality, personalized learning options.

“Across the country, innovative educators are driving transformative changes in education, enabling personalized learning experiences for students, powered by blended and online learning models,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. “Broadband access is critical for educators and students to have powerful, personalized learning at their fingertips. It also enables increased student access to teaching and learning through online courses and blended learning. Providing improved connectivity will increase the educational opportunities available and prepare all students with the skills they need to be successful in college and careers.”

For more information, please contact Susan Patrick, iNACOL’s President and CEO, at or (703) 752-6216.

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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November 8, 2014

New Online Learning Report Coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Barbour @ 4:09 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

Dear Educator,

Because you downloaded the 2013 Babson Survey Research Group report Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States we wanted to let you know that data collection is about to begin for our next annual online learning report, with publication scheduled for January.

If you would like to be automatically notified when the new report is released, or if you want to update your email address, you can do so by clicking this link.

If you wish to remove your email address from our mailing list, you can do so by clicking here.

We have just released a new study on the awareness and use of Open Educational Resources among higher education teaching faculty.

If you would like additional copies of our recent online learning reports, the direct links are:

We always welcome comments. Please let us know how we can improve the survey process or the content of the reports at

Best Regards,
I. Elaine Allen, PhD
Jeff Seaman, PhD
Co-Directors, The Babson Survey Research Group
Babson College
Babson Park, MA 02457-9985

August 21, 2014

[Download White Paper] The Importance of Evaluating Digital Curricula

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Barbour @ 11:19 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

District Administration You are receiving this email as part of a free information service from District Administration Magazine.
What criteria should be used to select digital curricula for blended learning?
At a time when there are hundreds of thousands of learning programs and apps to choose from, it can be challenging to make the right selection. Dr. Tim Hudson, Senior Director of Curriculum Design for DreamBox Learning, Inc., has written a new white paper entitled The Importance of Evaluating Digital Curricula. This paper provides a thorough discussion of how to evaluate the digital curricula that will strengthen your blended learning programs.

In this white paper you’ll find:

  • Some of the unique considerations involved in selecting digital resources
  • Evidence-based learning principles to support student-centered environments
  • An evaluation criteria checklist

Download white paper The Importance of Evaluating Digital Curricula

The Importance of Evaluating Digital Curricula


This e-mail was sent to: MKBARBOUR@GMAIL.COM.
Copyright District Administration, 4‌88‌ Main Ave., Norwalk, CT, 06851

July 23, 2014

Center for Technology In Learning Research Update – July 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Barbour @ 11:21 am

From Monday’s inbox…

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Center for Technology in Learning Research Update – July 2014, Issue 18

Teachers interacting with students

Bridging Professional Development Helps Teachers Support Students’ Mathematical Argumentation

CTL’s Bridging Professional Development program has shown that middle school math teachers can become “disciplined improvisers” in their classrooms, by using specialized skills that put the practice of mathematical argumentation within reach of their students.

In a new project that builds on the Bridging findings, CTL researchers will design and study professional development that incorporates mobile technology tools to enhance teachers’ learning and their ability to support argumentation throughout their curriculum. “The practices of planning and improvisation are essential to teaching for argumentation, and our new tools will help teachers as they learn them in face-to-face workshops and in their daily work,” says principal investigator Jennifer Knudsen. Leaders and teachers from District of Columbia Public Schools are co-designers on the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Routledge Publishes Online Learning Book by Three CTL Authors

New CTL Book Synthesizes Research in Online and Blended Learning

Learning Online, by CTL researchers Barbara Means, Marianne Bakia, and Robert Murphy, was released in hard and soft cover as well as e-book form by Routledge last spring. Means explains the motivation behind writing the book: “There is so much activity and a lot of uncertainty and confusion in the online and blended learning space right now, and CTL has done many different important projects looking at implementation as well as impacts. This was an opportunity to put the pieces together and reflect on everything we’ve learned.”

Learning Online is unusual in that it synthesizes research on online and blended learning in informal out-of-school settings as well as in professional training and K-12 and higher education. The authors predict that fully online learning approaches are likely to experience their greatest growth outside mainstream education institutions while blended learning will grow rapidly within those institutions. They argue that although online learning can be justified on the basis of expanded access or reduced costs, its greatest potential lies in providing new kinds of learning experiences, designed using insights from learning science research and data analytics. Learn more or order your own copy.

Virtual learning classroom

Two New Reports on the Use of Blended Learning Models in K-12 Schools

The use of digital instructional resources and tools in the classrooms is here to stay. As more and more digital resources become available and as access to devices and broadband Internet improves, teachers are mixing teacher-directed instructional activities and digital resources to enhance and differentiate their instruction. CTL is involved in projects to help foundations, developers, schools, and teachers understand the benefits of and opportunities for refinement in the blended instructional models they are supporting, building, and adopting.

CTL researchers recently released two reports, one on the use of Khan Academy in 20 schools in California and another on the use of a variety of blended instruction models by five leading charter management organizations in schools in California and Louisiana. These reports detail how blended learning is being adopted to support the instructional visions of the participating schools and teachers, the benefits and challenges they faced, and the research that is needed to better support and understand effective adoption of blended learning in K-12 learning environments.

Blog Post: National Cyberlearning Summit Features Major Advances in Learning with Technology

Report: Curriculum Materials Make a Difference for Next Generation Science Learning: Results from Year 1 of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Article: Learnings from a Study of Science Offerings in Afterschool Programs

Upcoming Features,
Coming this September

Innovative Research on Preschool Science and Mathematics Learning and Teaching

CTL researchers, with partners at EDC’s Center for Children and Technology and WGBH, are conducting innovative research on preschool science and mathematics learning and teaching. In the next issue, we’ll have findings from our Next Generation Preschool Mathematics study and describe ongoing work on Next Generation Preschool Science.

Developing Assessments of Student Learning in Computer Science and Computational Thinking

CTL researchers Eric Snow and Marie Bienkowski are conducting an important outreach activity in July at the Computer Science Teacher’s Association (CSTA) 2014 Conference. At the CSTA conference, Eric and Marie will be working with computer science educators to help them better understand evidence-based practices for designing and developing assessments that can be used to measure student learning in computer science. SRI Education work in computer science assessment is expected to continue under NSF funding to design and develop web-based versions of assessments developed in the PACT project and to leverage these assessments in a large-scale implementation study of the Exploring Computer Science curriculum. Learn more in our next newsletter.

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Contact CTL

SRI Education is an independent, nonprofit research institute.The mission of SRI’s Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) is to improve learning and teaching through innovation and inquiry. Much of our work is conducted in educational settings such as classrooms, afterschool programs, and teacher education programs. Visit

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SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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