Virtual School Meanderings

April 27, 2017

AERA17 Insider – Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today – and for that matter the next four or five – will likely be busier than normal blogging days due to AERA.  It will also likely mean that regular features may not be seen at normal times and the usual 2-4 hour window between postings will likely cease on most days.

AERA17 Insider
April 27, 2017

Welcome to the opening day of the AERA Annual Meeting. Each morning, AERA17 Insider will provide tips on key sessions and events, as well as other Annual Meeting resources and highlights you won’t want to miss.

Join the conversation: Use the conference hashtag #AERA17, and follow AERA on Twitter at@AERA_EdResearch.

Questions? Contact the AERA Meetings team at

In this Issue:

Opening Plenary: The Challenges of Higher Education in a Diverse and Divergent World

Join Us for AERA Fiesta!

Increasing the Opportunity for Academic and Life Success: Trauma-Informed Schooling and Consequences

Solving Teacher Inequities by Putting Knowledge into Action

Stop Killing Us! The Praxis of Morally Engaged Research Advancing Equal Educational Opportunity and Human Freedom

How Social Media Is Changing the Politics of Education

Today’s Live-Streaming Sessions

Click here to view facts about the AERA Annual Meeting



2017 Annual Meeting Sponsors

AERA would like to extend a special thank you to our 2017 sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors
– American Institutes for Research
– Routledge

Gold Sponsor
– SAGE Publishing

Bronze Sponsors
– AccessLex
– National Institute of Education, Singapore
– NORC at the University of Chicago

Reception Sponsor

Today’s Highlights

Opening Plenary: The Challenges of Higher Education in a Diverse and Divergent World

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom Level, Stars at Night Ballroom 1
Session Hashtag:#AERAOpening

Link to Session

On campuses across the United States and worldwide, there are growing concerns about equity, justice, and civility that reflect broader societal tensions. A panel of three higher education leaders—Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president, Texas A&M University San Antonio; Michael A. Olivas, interim president, University of Houston; and Jonathan D. Jansen, former vice-chancellor, University of the Free State in South Africa—will address the many challenges and complexities facing higher education in a world that increasingly faces racial, social, and political dvisisions. The session will be moderated by Katherine Mangan, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Join Us for AERA Fiesta!
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
River Level, The Grotto

Immediately following the Opening Plenary, stay for AERA Fiesta!, a celebratory and festive party for all AERA registrants and special invited guests. Meet your colleagues and enjoy live music and good food, as we kick off the 2017 Annual Meeting in grand style.

Increasing the Opportunity for Academic and Life Success: Trauma-Informed Schooling and Consequences

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom Level, 301 A&B

Link to Session

This session will examine critical issues around the meaning and indicators of trauma as well as its contexts and consequences.Trauma is increasingly becoming a catch-all term associated with problems with schooling, achievement and adaptation. While the pernicious effects of events involving abuse and the obstacles imposed by racism, homophobia, social discrimination and poverty are not questionable the conceptualization of trauma needs to be considered. This session will explore the conceptualization of trauma and its relationship to educational opportunity and equity. It will also consider gaps in trauma research in order to inform future research by asking: What do we know about and how do we integrate trauma research knowledge in our work? Session participants include Tony Brown (Rice University), Lalitha M. Vasudevan (Teachers College, Columbia University), Margaret Beale Spencer (University of Chicago), and Leon D. Caldwell (The Annie E. Casey Foundation).

Solving Teacher Inequities by Putting Knowledge into Action
4:05 p.m. – 5:35 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom Level, 302 A&B

Link to Session

This session will examine recent research on teacher shortages and the inequitable distribution of teachers in relation to policy and practice initiatives designed to address these issues more effectively than has often been the case in the past. The symposium will highlight knowledge leading to action by presenting research providing national and state level data and projections on growing teacher shortages that disproportionately affect our most disadvantaged students, and research that suggests how solutions can be achieved. Participants include Linda Darling-Hammond (Stanford University), Desiree Carver-Thomas (Learning Policy Institute), Leib Sutcher (Learning Policy Institute), Sharon P. Robinson (American Association of Colleges for Teachers of Education), Aaliya Arrocha-Samuel (National Governors Association), Michelle Exstrom (National Conference of State Legislatures), David G. Hinojosa (Intercultural Development Research Association), Richard Ingersoll (University of Pennsylvania), and Marc S. Tucker (National Center on Education and the Economy).

Stop Killing Us! The Praxis of Morally Engaged Research Advancing Equal Educational Opportunity and Human Freedom
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom Level, 302 A&B

Link to Session

This presidential symposium represents how epistemology and methodology grounded in the Black Intellectual Tradition advance education research and praxis through resisting Afrophobia, that is, anti-Black violence in schools and society. This symposium will demonstrate the under-theorized brilliance and intelligence of Black life with the goal of lifting the minds not only of people of African ancestry but also others who make policies and conduct inquiries in our communities using dehumanizing research methods. Discussants include Linda C. Tillman (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) and Petronilha Beatriz Goncalves e Silva (Federal University of Sao Carlos).

How Social Media Is Changing the Politics of Education
4:05 p.m. – 5:35 p.m.
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Ballroom Level, Room 304 C

Link to Session

This session will highlight the role of social media as a new means by which education politics and policy are conceptualized, understood, and engaged with by public actors. Presenters will also discuss how education scholars can use their work to engage with the broader public. Participants include Alan J. Daly (University of California – San Diego), Jonathan A. Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania), James P. Spillane (Northwestern University), Jeffrey R. Henig (Teachers College, Columbia University), Ryan Boyd (University of Texas at Austin), and Christian Kolouch (University of Pennsylvania).

Today’s Live-Streaming Sessions

Browse more key speakers, featured presidential sessions, and session hashtags.

2017 Annual Meeting PageTheme | Registration | Visiting San Antonio |
Meeting Services | Housing & Travel | Exhibits, Sponsors, Advertising | Contact AERA
2017 Annual Meeting
“Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity”
Thursday, April 27 – Monday, May 1, 2017
San Antonio, Texas

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Washington, DC 20005


AERA 2017 And K-12 Online Learning

Since the 2017 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) begins today, I figured that I should post all of the K-12 online learning focused sessions I could find from the online program.  I searched for the usual suspect, as well as searching for terms like “virtual school.” “cyber school,” “online school,” “cyber charter school,” virtual charter school,” and “K-12 online learning.”  if I have missed any, add them in the comments below.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Conjuring Students: The Politics of Presence in Online K–12 Teaching

  • In Event: Roundtable Session 2
    In Roundtable Session: 14.045-14 – The Power in Their Actions: The Role of Teachers’ Theorizing and Action in Mediating Successful Practices

Thu, April 27, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3


The seemingly simple question of whether or not a child is present in a classroom has become a critical issue for schools and teachers. School funding calculations and definitions of teachers’ work have long been premised on the physical co-presence of teachers and students. But in online schools, students across a state attend the same “virtual” school, participate from their homes, and complete coursework at their own pace.
Drawing on interviews with 22 teachers from 10 online schools in Ohio, this article traces how the physical separation and technology-mediated interaction of teachers and students change the social and political contexts of teaching. How do online schools and teachers make students appear as subjects of instruction, and as legally accountable attendees?


  • Jan K. Nespor, The Ohio State University
  • Rick J. Voithofer, The Ohio State University

Cross-Classified Multilevel Modeling for Program Evaluation of State Virtual School

  • In Event: Poster Session 3
    In Poster Session: 18.073-10 – Applied Research in School: Education Policy and School Context

Thu, April 27, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 2


The author examined institutional performance of a state virtual school using data from the learning management and customer management systems. To address the unique structure of virtual school data, the cross-classified multilevel modeling was used. Key findings include: (a) students who took courses for the credit recovery or learning preference are more likely to underperform in comparison to those with such reasons as schedule conflicts or unavailable courses at their schools; (b) female students are more likely to succeed; and (c) novice teachers with supports via the institute’s induction program performed as well as other experienced teachers can. The author is calling for more research on K-12 online learner’s attributes and the factors that account for the student success.


  • Jungah Bae

Friday, 28 April 2017

Online Learning and Requesting Accommodations for College Students With Disabilities

  • In Event: Promoting Student Success

Fri, April 28, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Fourth Floor, Republic C


Online learning has increased access to non-traditional student populations in higher education but it appears that students with disabilities may have been overlooked in the rapid expansion. Access to higher education via online learning does not necessarily equate to this access being accessible to students with disabilities. The current study examines how perceptions and attitudes toward requesting accommodations in the online learning environment predict whether students with disabilities report requesting accommodations in these environments. We statistically control for student attitudes toward requesting accommodations in the face to face learning environment. Results indicate that perceptions and attitudes toward requesting accommodations in the online learning environment do predict whether students with disabilities report requesting accommodations.


  • Lucy M. Barnard-Brak, Texas Tech University
  • Rosario Moreno, Texas Tech University

Teaching in Niches: New Divisions of Teachers’ Work in Online K–12 Schools

  • In Event: Roundtable Session 10
    In Roundtable Session: 30.080-16 – Various Approaches to Reflecting on, Measuring, and Sharing Teacher Identities

Fri, April 28, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 1


Online education is often described as serving neglected categories of students, and thus filling formerly unoccupied niches in the education system – a way of ‘achieving equal educational opportunity.’ Using data from a study of 22 teachers across 10 virtual schools in Ohio, as wella as document analysis, and evaluation of media representations, this paper examines how the orientations of online K-12 schools towards such niches structure the work of teaching and shape teachers’ “occupational rhetorics.” Our overarching concern is with how such niche populations are discursively and institutionally produced, and how teachers come to shape and interpret their work in terms of these niche populations.


  • Jan K. Nespor, The Ohio State University
  • Rick J. Voithofer, The Ohio State University

Saturday, 30 April 2017

Extending Scopes: Teachers’ Experience of Teaching Mathematics and Physics in the Israeli Virtual High School

  • In Event: Technology Integration in Mathematics and Computer Science Education

Sat, April 29, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Fourth Floor, Crockett D


The phenomenon of the growing number of virtual schools engenders new conditions for teaching and learning. It is thus imperative to better understand these conditions and their impact on effective teaching and learning. This paper explores teachers’ experiences of a virtual high school through analyses of qualitative and quantitative data, which include ongoing communications with teachers from the virtual high school, an end-of-year summary meeting, and a 55-item questionnaire. Data analyses yielded several insights that pertain to pedagogical principles in the context of a virtual high school and that include personalized teacher-student relationships, new teaching skills, and emerging pedagogical, administrative, and technological challenges. Implications for providing potentially better conditions for learning in virtual contexts are discussed.


  • Osnat Fellus, University of Ottawa
  • Yaniv Biton
  • Dafna Raviv, Center for Educational Technology

Sunday, 01 May 2017

Parents’ Use of Litigation to Enhance the Experience of Students With Disabilities in Online Schools

  • In Event: Litigation Trends in K–12 Education Relating to Students With Special Needs and School Privatization

Sun, April 30, 8:15 to 9:45am, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 217 B


Virtual schooling is gaining in popularity in the United States. Parents increasingly view online schooling as a viable option for their children with disabilities as schools promise to deliver individualized, self-paced instruction and provide additional supports either within the home or at regional centers. Parents play an important role in online schooling because most of this form of education is provided in the child’s home over the Internet. This research analyzes the opportunities and trials of virtual schooling for students with disabilities by examining the legal challenges parents have brought surrounding their participation. It identifies common problems and concludes with suggestions for both parents and schools on structuring a successful experience for students with disabilities in virtual learning environments.


  • Regina R. Umpstead, Central Michigan University
  • Nicole Snyder, Latsha Davis & McKenna
  • Linda Weiss, Central Michigan University

Investigating the Relationship Between Students’ Online Engagement and Their Online Course Outcomes

  • In Event: Roundtable Session 20
    In Roundtable Session: 52.084-11 – Students’ Perceptions, Outcomes, Online Engagement, and Satisfaction

Sun, April 30, 8:15 to 9:45am, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3


This study used data from the fall 2014 semester at Wisconsin Virtual School to examine whether patterns of student engagement in online courses were associated with course out-comes. Using group-based trajectory modeling, the study found that student enrollments in online courses followed one of six engagement patterns, with average engagement ranging from 1.5 hours to 6 or more hours per week. Most students (77 percent) steadily engaged in their online courses for 1.5 or 2.5 hours per week. Students who engaged in their online course for two or more hours per week had better course outcomes than students who engaged for few-er than two hours per week.


  • Peggy Clements, American Institutes for Research
  • Heather Lavigne, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Angela Pazzaglia, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Erin Stafford, Education Development Center, Inc.

Online Learning, Achievement, and Innovation in Charter Schools

  • In Event: Roundtable Session 21

Sun, April 30, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 1Session Type: Roundtable Session

Sub Unit

  • SIG-Charters & School Choice


  • Julie M Kallio, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Chris Torres, Michigan State University


  • Charter Schools’ Innovation Reporting Levels and Student AchievementEinav Danan Cabrera, Florida Virtual School
  • Do Testing Conditions Explain Cyber Charter Schools’ Failing Grades?Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Robert A. Maranto, University of Arkansas; Angela Watson, University of Arkansas
  • K–12 Online Learning and School Choice: Growth and Expansion in the Absence of EvidenceMichael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University – California

Who Loses Students to Low-Quality Schools? Relationships Between Cyber Charters and Educational Disadvantage Over Time

  • In Event: School Choice: Politics of Opportunity and Identity

Sun, April 30, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 216 A


This research examines how shifts in knowledge about the quality of a specific school type relate to changes in demographics of school districts that lose students to this school type. To do so, this study analyzes cyber charter school enrollment in Pennsylvania, showing that as the perceived quality of the cyber charter school sector turns negative, the composition of school districts losing students to this sector changes so that educationally disadvantaged districts are more likely to lose a higher proportion of students. These findings have implications for school choice theory in that certain choice decisions may not promote educational improvement if educationally disadvantaged students are offered and make choices that perpetuate their educational disadvantage.


  • Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University
  • David P. Baker, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Renata Horvatek, The Pennsylvania State University

Monday, 01 May 2017

Mon, May 1, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Fourth Floor, Republic B

Virtual Schooling, Instructors’ Practices and Perceptions

View complete session


  • Barbara Ellen Rowan, Pearson North America


  • Examining Perspectives of Faculty Regarding Online Program CommunityDoris U. Bolliger, University of Wyoming; Craig Erschel Shepherd, University of Wyoming; H. Victoria Bryant, University of Wyoming
  • Motivational Profiles, Learning Satisfaction, and Learning Outcomes for K–12 Virtual School StudentsYining Zhang, Michigan State University; Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University
  • Elementary Teachers’ Use of the Internet for Literacy Instruction and Professional LearningPamela Beach, Queen’s University
  • Online Teaching and Learning: Instructor Practices That Support the Formation of Virtual CommunitySharla Berry, University of Southern California
  • Virtual Terrains: Learning Mathematics and Physics in the Israeli Virtual High SchoolOsnat Fellus, University of Ottawa; Yaniv Biton; Dafna Raviv, Center for Educational Technology

State of the Nation: K–12 e-Learning in Canada

  • In Event: Roundtable Session 31
    In Roundtable Session: 69.056-17 – International Studies

Mon, May 1, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 1


Current research in K-12 online learning in Canada has focused on defining distance learning and its current strengths and weaknesses. Yet, the proliferation of e-learning has led to the emergence of new instructional strategies and practices for teachers in online and onsite classrooms. For these emerging practices little is known empirically, only anecdotally, as research into these practices has been limited or nonexistent, particularly in Canada. In this session, you will discover that all provinces and territories in Canada have some level of K-12 online learning, while many have some form of regulation related to K-12 online learning. However, few provinces and territories have any regulations related to blended learning; and the level of blended learning activity varies between jurisdictions.


  • Michael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University – California
  • Randy LaBonte, Canadian E-Learning Network

Examining the International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Standards for K–12 Online Course Design

  • In Event: Poster Session 17
    In Poster Session: 72.050-3 – Online Professional Development, Course Design, and Student Orientation

Mon, May 1, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 2


Examining the iNACOL Standards for K-12 Online Course Design


  • David Adelstein, Wayne State University
  • Michael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University – California
  •  AERA, AERA 2017,

April 26, 2017

E-Learn 2017: Call for Special Journal Issue Proposals

From Monday’s inbox…

In association with E-Learn,
a special issue of
JILR (Journal for Interactive Learning Research)
will be published on Mobile Tech. for Learning
submit button
Due: June 10, 2017
Journal for Interactive Learning Research:
This special issue calls for papers that engage in a conversation about mobile learning, offering a platform for diverse positions.
  • Mobile technologies, digital literacy and civic reasoning
  • Mobile learning in different contexts (Preschool, K-12, HigherEd)
  • Tranlanguaging with mobile technologies
  • International perspectives on mobile technologies: Public Health recommendations, guidelines and attitudes towards mobile devices in different countries
  • Mobile learning and social connections
  • Mobile learning content: apps, podcasts, e-books
 ➧ SIGs
Presented papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings and internationally distributed by:
AACE,, P.O. Box 719, Waynesville, NC 28786

April 19, 2017

$100 Discount Ends 4/30

And another item from Monday’s inbox…

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Distance Teaching & Learning Conference with Madison capitol background
Online and distance educators:
The Early‑early-bird discount ENDS APRIL 30
…for the 33rd Annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference on July 25‑27. Learn from thought leaders and connect with colleagues at this national conference.

Sign up by April 30 and pay just $510. A savings of $100 off the regular price!

Yes, I want my EARLY‑early‑bird discount
Register Now >
Visionary speakers. Practical ideas.
Keynote talks
Headshot of speaker Michelle Weise
Disruptive Design for the Future of Online LearningMichelle Weise, Executive Director of Sandbox Collaborative, Southern New Hampshire University
Headshot of speaker Nick Floro
Designing eLearning: The Future is TodayNick Floro, CEO/Learning Architect, Sealworks Interactive Studios
Headshot of speaker Richard J. Davidson
Cultivating the Skill of Well‑Being: Implications for Teaching and LearningRichard J. Davidson, founder, Center for Healthy Minds; professor of psychology and psychiatry; and director, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin‑Madison
Meet the Speakers >
The Distance Teaching & Learning Conference keeps getting better and better. This is one of the best‑organized conferences I have ever attended, and the venue is outstanding. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in online learning.
‑Tom Reeves, University of Georgia
Maximize your professional development:
Register for one of four blended conference certificate packages. Each certificate includes online coursework, a conference registration, and a face‑to‑face conference workshop. Choices include:

  • Fundamentals of Online Teaching
  • Managing Workload in the Online Environment
  • Distance Education Management and Administration
  • Evaluating eLearning Projects
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
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April 18, 2017

USDLA 2017 Virtual Conference

Another item from yesterday’s inbox…


Like us on FacebookView our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter

2017 Virtual Conference
Can’t join us in Indianapolis?  Register for our virtual conference being held May 1-2, 2017.  Registration will give you live access to our opening Keynote Speaker, Elliott Masie, 8 concurrent sessions and our prestigious Awards Banquet.  Recordings of each session will also be provided after the conclusion of the event.
Check out the full virtual conference schedule today!
Thank you to the USDLA 2017 Virtual Conference sponsor:
Registration for Virtual Conference Now Open!
Registration Rates are below.
Virtual Conference Registration
USDLA Member Rate – $200

USDLA Non-Member Rate – $250

About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.

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