Virtual School Meanderings

September 12, 2021

Safe Reopening | Mental Health | Literacy | Online Safety

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 6:09 pm
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Some interesting items from the folks at Education Week.

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September 8, 2021

Top Stories on Technology In Education

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 3:01 pm
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Note these items from the folks at Education Week.

Here’s what is important to know about in ed-tech right now. View as a webpage.
Tech in
View these top stories and a popular primer on technology in education.
The use of technology in education, and changes required for distance teaching, are on the forefront of every educator’s mind. Education Week covers this day in and day out, so we prepared a primer and some of the top stories on this topic right now. Subscribe to read the entire library of coverage on this and many other topics.
How Effective Is Online Learning? What the Research Does and Doesn’t Tell Us
The times have dictated school closings and the rapid expansion of online education. Can online lessons replace in-school time?
How Pandemic Tech Use Is Shaping K-12 Education
Educators have pushed their technology skills to the next level over the past year. How will that change teaching and learning?
Technology in Education: An Overview
From personalized learning to online testing, and from OER to 1-to-1 computing, we explain the terms, outline the controversy, and give you the context you need.
Teachers Are Watching Students’ Screens During Remote Learning. Is That Invasion of Privacy?
The tools help teachers keep remote students on track and pinpoint who needs help. Some parents and students worry about over-surveillance.
Low-Income Children Less Likely to Experience ‘Live’ Contact With Teachers, Analysis Finds
Cybersecurity Training for Educators Lagging Behind Rising Risk of Cyberattacks
The Big Pandemic Tech Challenge: Reliable, High-Quality Internet Experiences for All
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September 6, 2021

Funding, IT Manamagement, Student Achievement

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:10 pm
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Note these reports from the folks at Education Week.

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August 31, 2021

Virtual Schools Got Equal Pandemic Aid, Despite Little Disruption

A colleague of mine sent me this news item.

Virtual Schools Got Equal Pandemic Aid, Despite Little Disruption

By The Associated Press — August 27, 2021  6 min read

While many schools scrambled to shift to online classes last year, the nation’s virtual charter schools faced little disruption. For them, online learning was already the norm. Most have few physical classrooms, or none at all.

Yet when Congress sent $190 billion in pandemic aid to schools, virtual charters received just as much as any other school because the same formula applied to all schools, with more money going to those in high-poverty areas, an Associated Press investigation found.

“It’s scandalous that they’re getting that much money,” said Gordon Lafer, an economist at the University of Oregon and school board member in Eugene, Oregon. “There were all kinds of costs that were extraordinary because of COVID, but online schools didn’t have any of them.”

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At the time he sent it, I commented to our group that this was an issue that continues to bug me.

If the whole idea behind public schooling is that we collect taxes for the public good and distribute those public dollars across the system so that everyone has a base value for their education, why is it that my child gets funded at a lower rate because I’ve made the decision to send them to an online school?  I mean we don’t look at two brick-and-mortar schools and say – School A can subsidize use of public transit, whereas School B must run its own bus system, so we should fund them differently!

At the same time, why should my public tax dollars be used to line the pockets of greedy executives and shareholders who see students as widgets and their corporate goal is to maximum profit per widget?
This is the problem you have when you allow corporations to directly or indirectly run schools.  As an academic, the second question is the bigger one for me because it is one that legislators could do something about – if they weren’t so spineless, ideologically entrenched, or beholden to their corporate masters.  But I do have some sympathy for the parent who finds themselves in the first position.

August 24, 2021

Data Literacy | How much do you know?

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 4:05 pm
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An item from the folks at Education Week.

Test Your Knowledge.
Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Data Literacy?
Take this quiz now and find out how informed you are. Review your results and then challenge your colleagues!
True or False: According to the 2021 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 21st century skills require computer literacy, data literacy, and critical thinking.
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