Virtual School Meanderings

March 21, 2022

TechTrends – ToC Alert

Note the special collection that I have been featuring last week that is in this issue.

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New Issue Alert 15 March 2022
Dear Reader,
We are pleased to deliver your requested table of contents alert for TechTrends. Volume 66, Issue 2 is now available online.
TechTrends cover image
In this issue
Column: Editor’s Notes
Column: AECT President’s Message
Column: Convention Planning
Column: Graduate Member Musings
Column: Rethinking Creativity and Technology in Education
Column: History Corner
Jessica Gatewood, Andrew Tawfik, Jaclyn J. Gish-Lieberman
Column: Guest Editorial
Original Paper
Original Paper
Frank C. Gomez, Jesús Trespalacios, Yu-Chang Hsu, Dazhi Yang
Original Paper
Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo, Spencer Greenhalgh, Sarah Barriage
Original Paper
Original Paper
Saeedeh Kavoshian, Saeed Ketabi, Mansoor Tavakoli, Thomas Koehler
Original Paper
Original Paper
Original Paper
Original Paper
Original Paper
Patrick R. Lowenthal, Holly S. Fiock, Dana L. Shreaves, Eric S. Belt
Original Paper
Original Paper
Column: Guest Editor’s Notes
Original Paper
Original Paper
Original Paper
Original Paper
Christie S. Martin, Kristin Harbour, Drew Polly
Original Paper
Original Paper
Column: Book Reviews
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March 17, 2022

TechTrends – Special Collection / The Role of the Advocate in Cyber Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Original Paper
  • Published: 

The Role of the Advocate in Cyber Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

Existing research on facilitators in K-12 schools has focused on supplemental online programs where on-site personnel work with online students in a local brick-and-mortar school. While some insightful research exists focused on online facilitators at full-time cyber schools, additional research is needed to examine facilitators using synchronous support. The purpose of this study was to determine whether and how the role of a facilitator in a full-time cyber school could help to address students’ cognitive, behavioral, and affective engagement needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted qualitative interviews with two administrators and four advocates during Spring 2020, using the Academic Communities of Engagement Framework as a lens to understand the advocates’ role. Findings confirmed the need for a facilitator role to support online student engagement. This type of research will provide insights to full-time cyber schools and will be insightful to those seeking to engage students during emergency remote learning.

TechTrends – Special Collection / Where Do They Go? An Investigation of K-12 Online Learners Process for Obtaining Support

  • Original Paper
  • Published: 

Where Do They Go? An Investigation of K-12 Online Learners Process for Obtaining Support

Abstract

Full-time K-12 online learners faced little impact when schools had to rapidly transition to remote learning in March 2020. Essentially, everyone found themselves in the same position that full-time K-12 online learners had been prior to the pandemic. It is the experiences of supplemental K-12 online learners, those students who normally have school-based supports as a part of their course and personal communities, who have the potential to provide lessons for future short-term and long-term school closures. This article reports on a case study of K-12 students in one rural school engaged in online learning in a supplemental program, and the process that they undertook when they needed academic support.

March 16, 2022

TechTrends – Special Collection / Examining How Emergency Remote Teaching Influenced Mathematics Teaching

  • Original Paper
  • Published: 

Examining How Emergency Remote Teaching Influenced Mathematics Teaching

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers worldwide to shift to emergency remote teaching (i.e., virtual teaching). As teachers return to their classrooms for in-person teaching, there is a need to examine how remote teaching influences teachers’ instruction. This study examined teachers’ use of digital technologies and specific mathematics activities both during remote teaching and during in-person teaching after returning to their classrooms. The study also examined how teacher participants reported how the pandemic influenced their mathematics teaching. Data analysis indicated statistically significant differences in the frequency of use of all digital technologies except for mathematics games, meaning that mathematics games are used now as much during in-person teaching as remote teaching. Teacher participants also reported that the largest influences of the pandemic and remote teaching have had on their in-person mathematics teaching was the use of general, non-mathematics specific technologies to support organization, the use of hands-on or virtual manipulatives, and the benefit of formative assessment. Implications for future research include the need to examine teachers’ use of digital technologies and mathematics activities more closely during in-person teaching and leverage interviews as a possible way to more closely study teachers’ experiences.

TechTrends – Special Collection / Leading Remotely: Competencies Required for Virtual Leadership

  • Original Paper
  • Published: 

Leading Remotely: Competencies Required for Virtual Leadership

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the largest education system disruption in history, resulting in many districts abruptly, and often ineptly, implementing remote learning to maintain the continuity of instruction. The majority of educational leaders were unprepared for working and delivering instruction in virtual environments. Research indicates that few educational leadership programs provide preparation for leading in virtual learning environments but the COVID crisis made clear that it is imperative for all school leaders have an understanding of virtual leadership. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the competencies required for virtual school leadership as they relate to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders(P-SEL). Interviews were conducted with 28 virtual leaders using a semi-structured interview protocol. Results indicated that while the P-SEL Standards were categorically aligned to their work, there were distinctive differences in the ways in which virtual school leaders engaged their work across various leadership domains that required unique competencies. These findings are important to our understanding of how to better prepare educational leaders to maintain the effective continuity of instruction in future emergencies as well as to continue to implement and improve upon promising practices that developed during remote instruction.

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