Virtual School Meanderings

February 21, 2017

Book Notice – Online, Blended, and Distance Education: Building Successful School Programs (Online Learning and Distance Education)

So this showed up in my mail last week.



If you are interested in this volume, I have posted some information about it below.


Clark, Tom, & Barbour, Michael. K. (Eds.). (2015). Online, Blended and Distance Education: Building Successful School Programs. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishers. 256 pp.

Book Summary

This new title in Stylus Publisher’s Online, Blended and Distance Education series begins with a Series Editor Foreword by Michael G. Moore, the top U. S. academic in the field, and a Foreword by Cathy Cavanaugh, internationally renowned online and blended researcher and Director of Teaching and Learning in Worldwide Education at Microsoft.

Internationally, an explosion of K–12 online and blended learning activity has occurred in the last few years. In conceiving this book, Co-Editors Tom Clark and Michael K. Barbour asked, what can North American educators learn from international K–12 educators, and vice versa, about building successful online and blended learning programs?  They then went about finding the people and programs who could help them answer these questions.

The book features chapters by well-known experts in the field on key program components such as teaching, curriculum, and technology, and key issues such as educational equity, the controversy over full-time online schools, and the emergence of blended learning. It also features case studies by experienced practitioners who profile a wide variety of programs in the U.S. and five other nations, looking at challenges, lessons learned and effective practices for achieving program success.

In their overview chapter, the co-editors describe the current status of K-12 online and blended learning in North America and around the world. In the final chapter of the book, they summarize what chapter authors had to say about challenges and lessons learned and key policy and practice issues. Clark and Barbour conclude by presenting eight key trends (Global, Blended, Teacher-Facilitated, Personalized, Adaptive, Mobile, Open, and Evidence-Based) that can guide effective practice in K-12 online, blended, and distance education.

About the Editors 

Tom Clark is president of TA Consulting. In this role, he has undertaken many successful evaluations for state and federal agencies, universities, school districts, museums, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He led the evaluation of a five-year, $9.1 million project for online professional development and K–12 online learning funded through the U.S. Department of Education. TA Consulting served as contractor for team-based evaluations in the 2000s of state virtual school programs in Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, and Missouri, and the Chicago Public Schools Virtual High School. Dr. Clark has many related publications. He co-edited Virtual Schools: Planning for Success (2005) with Dr. Zane Berge; coauthored one of the first American books in the field, Distance Education: The Foundations of Effective Practice (1991), with Dr. Richard Verduin; and authored an early overview of K–12 online learning in the United States, Virtual Schools: Status and Trends (2001). Recognized as an author in distance and online learning in Who’s Who in America, he was an advisor for U.S. Department of Education’s Evaluating Online Learning (2008).

Michael Barbour is Director of Doctoral Studies for the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Sacred Heart University in Fairlfield, Connecticut. He completed his PhD in instructional technology from the University of Georgia. Originally from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Barbour’s interest in K–12 distance education began after accepting his first high school teaching position in a regional high school in a rural community of approximately 3,500 people. Having been educated in an urban area, Michael was troubled by the inequity of opportunity provided to his rural students and began a program to offer Advanced Placement (i.e., university-level) social studies courses over the Internet to students at his own school and other schools in the district. For more than a decade now, Michael has worked with numerous K–12 online learning programs in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and around the world as an online teacher, course developer, administrator, evaluator, and researcher. His current research interests focus on the effective design and delivery of online learning to K–12 students in virtual school environments, particularly those in rural areas.

Please note that as one of the editors of this book, I do receive royalties on the sale of this volume.

February 20, 2017

Inquiring into Presence as Support for Student Learning in a Blended Learning… –

From one of my open scholarship networks.  Several K-12 distance, online and blended learning items included below.
Mary F Rice Mary F Rice
University of KansasCurriculum & Teaching, Department Member

Inquiring into Presence as Support for Student Learning in a Blended Learning Classroom

In blended learning models, students do part of their course-work online and part in small groups with teachers in classrooms. The presence (teaching, cognitive, social) that teachers need to assert in blended environments has been the subject of much scholarly interest. The purpose of this paper is to share findings from a narrative inquiry that explored various aspects of presence in a middle level classroom. Findings are reported using a series of narrative episodes that have undergone narrative inquiry processes of burrowing, broadening , and retelling. What is described is a process…

Rodrigue Savoie

Systems, Methods, and Apparatus for Facilitating Client-Side Digital Rights Compliance

According to one aspect there is provided a method and an apparatus for facilitating intellectual property rights compliance that is compliant with a same-origin security policy that prohibits the application from executing application-specific instructions from the first domain that access application-specific instructions from the second domain. The method includes receiving a structured document from a first domain, the structured document having at least one content object, a reference to at least one digital rights compliance ( …

Stephen Downes
National Research Council CanadaInstitute for Information Technology, Department Member

Half an Hour

I’ve just posted the full text from my presentation’Education as Platform’, the talk I gave in India last week. In this presentation I outline the motivation and design of the massive open online course (MOOC) and then outline a number of criticisms of the form as it has evolved thus far. My argument is that to the extent that a MOOC focuses on content, like a traditional course, i begins to fail. A MOOC should focus on the connections, not the content. I outline some ways of focusing on connections, using connectors. By way of an example, I discuss …

Stephen Downes
National Research Council CanadaInstitute for Information Technology, Department Member

THE PISA PROCESS The Woessmann and Fuchs report, along with many others by these and other authors, was derived from a set of data obtained by the by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), conducted in 2000. PISA wa…

First, in addition to the study of achievements in mathematics and science, PISA adds a major focus on literacy. Two thirds of the test was based on literacy, and more students were tested on literacy-174,227 in literacy, 96,855 in math and 96,758 in science.(Woessmann and Fuchs, 2004) The sample consisted of 15-year-olds in 32 countries (28 OECD countries), countries-the focus on age rather than grade” it captures students of the very same age in each country independent of the structure of national school systems.”( …

Neil Selwyn Neil Selwyn
Bookmarked by George Veletsianos

The digital labor of digital learning

Digital technologies are altering the nature of education work … not always for the best.

Greg Williams Greg Williams
Bookmarked by Mary F Rice

Empathy and the Instructional Designer

The purpose of this study was to understand how instructional designers define empathy in the context of instructional design technology and how empathy was manifest in their daily work. Through a series of in-depth interviews with six designers, three definitions of empathy emerged including caring for the learner, referencing personal experience in service of the learner, and taking on somebody else’s viewpoint. Additionally, analysis of empathy in participants’ daily work resulted in six themes: personal experience, metacognition or self awareness, project management constraints,…

Jo Tondeur Jo Tondeur
Bookmarked by Lisa Durff

Curricula and the use of ICT in education. Two worlds apart?

“In many countries, information and communication technology (ICT) has a clear impact on the development of educational curricula. In Flanders, the education government has identified and defined a framework of ICT competencies for expected outcomes, related to knowledge, skills and attitudes that pupils are expected to achieve at the end of primary school. However, it has never been examined whether teachers are using ICT in accordance with the competencies proposed by the Flemish government. In order to answer this question, a survey was conducted among 570 respondents in a stratified…

Bookmarked by Bernie Dodge

Analyzing navigation logs in MOOC: A case study

Continued use of various technological devices has massively increased the generation of digital data, which are recorded as an opportunity for research. In the educational case, it is common to analyze data generated in Learning Management Systems which allows better understand the learning process of the participants and make informed decisions for better e-learning processes and situations in which develop. This paper analyzes participants’ navigation logs in a MOOC hosted on the Coursera platform, for which a visual e-learning analytics process was performed. The results confirm that…

Danah Henriksen Danah Henriksen
Bookmarked by Lisa Durff

The seven transdisciplinary habits of mind of creative teachers: An exploratory study of award winning teachers

Although discussions of thinking skills often revolve around students and learners, it is equally important to consider habits of mind and thinking skills for successful and creative teachers. Teachers are primary mediators of thinking and learning for their students, and understanding how excellent teachers function and use thinking skills is an important, albeit often underserved, area of research. Amid the expansion of research and discussion around thinking skills in general, one approach that has garnered interest in recent years is the idea of ” transdisciplinary ” thinking—which…

Roger Dawkins Roger Dawkins
Bookmarked by Bernie Dodge

Content Strategy: A Lesson from the Industry for University Learning Analytics

This paper proposes an industry paradigm, called content strategy, for identifying data that has yet to be explored in learning analytics: student engagement data with individual online learning resources in a particular week of a course. Industry examples (including and Buzzfeed) suggest that adopting a content strategy approach to course design could increase student engagement with learning resources, making them more likely to achieve learning outcomes. Furthermore, this paper argues that there is no time left for blindness to content strategy data. Given the online context…

Academia, 251 Kearny St., Suite 520, San Francisco, CA, 94108 

February 5, 2017

[REGISTER] Network with TX Blended Learning Leaders

This showed up in my inbox this past Thursday…

A one day, invite-only forum with educators in Texas, hosted by Fuel Education
Fuel Education
Blended Learning Leaders Forum Texas
Houston ● February 23, 2017
Blended Learning in Action
Register Now

Featured Speaker

Kwame Simmons
The Simmons Advantage


February 23, 2017


9:00 AM to 2:00 PM


Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria
2626 Sage Rd
Houston, TX 77056

Questions? Contact:

Bobby Offterdinger at or Kerry Shea

Who Typically Attends
Curriculum Directors, Online and Blended Learning Directors, Technology Directors, Assistant Principals and Principals, Assistant Superintendents and Superintendents, Lead Teachers

Get the Inside Track on Blended Learning in Texas

What does it take to implement a high-quality, student-focused, blended learning program?

We invite you to join us February 23 for our Texas Blended Learning Leaders Forum for a hands-on, interactive, and collaborative workshop to explore the crucial steps of designing and building an effective blended learning program.

The Forum will feature:
  • Engaging sessions with blended learning classroom and program leaders, including Kwame Simmons, CEO, The Simmons Advantage, and students, administrators and teachers from the Houston Area
  • A complimentary step-by-step guide that details how to plan, implement, and measure a blended learning program
  • An opportunity to network and collaborate with peers from districts and schools who share interests in blended learning
  • Interactive sessions led by education consultants with expertise in creating blended learning programs
  • A certificate of attendance to put toward CEU

We encourage groups/teams from the same school or district to attend!

January 31, 2017

Michael, 1 Of Your Connections Published New Research

This also came through my open scholarship network over the weekend and I thought that it might be relevant or of interest to readers.

Charles R. Graham published this article:
Article · November 2016
Blended learning citation patterns and publication networks across seven worldwide regions
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
Kristian J Spring, Charles R Graham
View Article
Request full-text

Charles R. Graham Uploaded A Paper

Note this notice that came from one of my open scholarship networks…
Charles R. Graham just uploaded a paper:
Charles R. Graham Charles R. Graham

An analysis of the curriculum requirements for all online k-12 teaching endorsements in the U.S

P.S. A study recently published in PLOS ONE found that papers uploaded to receive a 69% boost in citations over 5 years. See the study and data here.

Academia, 251 Kearny St., Suite 520, San Francisco, CA, 94108
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