Virtual School Meanderings

March 28, 2015

Virtual Schooling in The News

InTheNewsBeginning with ASCD SmartBrief.

Survey identifies top-performing digital schools in U.S.
School districts in Virginia, Alabama and Maine ranked at the top of a survey by the National School Boards Association and the Center for Digital Education. The 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey rated districts — in categories based on enrollment — for making extraordinary use of technology, including one-to-one laptop initiatives, flipped instruction and science, technology, engineering and math curricula. T.H.E. Journal (3/24)

Similarly, the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Is online learning effective?
College students achieve the same outcomes through online education, partial online instruction and traditional face-to-face instruction, according to a research paper that reviewed recent studies on online instruction. However, the paper asserts that much more research is needed to determine the most effective format for online learning. The Hechinger Report/Education by the Numbers (3/23)

How the role of the K-12 teacher is evolving
Technology — from crowdsourcing sites for lessons plans to online videos — are shifting the role of today’s educators, English teacher Michael Godsey writes in this commentary. Technology has replaced the need for teachers to be “the local expert,” he writes. “These days, teachers are expected to concentrate on the ‘facilitation’ of factual knowledge that is suddenly widely accessible.” The Atlantic online (3/25)

Mich. school uses online math, reading intervention program aligned with Common Core (Michigan) (free registration) (3/25)

Pa. middle-, high-school students test blended learning in math class
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) (3/22)

Accessibility issues complicate recorded lessons online
eSchool News (free registration) (3/27)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Local schools getting creative to make up snow days

The virtual school days aren’t a cure all. In addition to the two Saturdays for the high school, all Pentucket Regional students will have to go to school …

£2m extension for Carnegie Primary School

Carnegie Primary started life as a virtual school before moving to its new home in August 2011. When it opened, then First Minister Alex Salmond …

Charter bill passes; virtual school concerns linger

The bill, as originally written, allowed for virtual schools. That language was removed, but the bill doesn’t expressly prohibit them. Senate bill sponsor …

Virtual schools bill passes committee

MONTGOMERY — A bill to require that all public high schools to have a virtualeducation component, either their own or contracted through another …

Charter school bill sponsor says virtual schools still allowed; could be up to courts

MONTGOMERY — The bill that would create charter schools in Alabama is set for a vote in the House today. Though it makes no reference to virtual …

Altus sisters excel in virtual school

One of the fastest growing trends that also brings about a lot of concern are K-12 virtual schools. Many parents and educators question the quality of …

APS to offer full-time virtual school

The virtual school will be a full-time school for students in grades 6 through 12, and everything will be done online. Experts weighed in on a recent … Stands with Tennessee’s Virtual Schools In Calling on Legislators to …

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — (PSO) stands with all of Tennessee’s public virtual …

Virtual school for Lillia – on line with Aurora

Narrabri High School student Lillia Whitehouse-Schlack was selected this year to be part of a revolutionary online education program for gifted and …

The new age of virtual schools

With easy access to Internet, there is a possibility that technology can potentially disrupt the very fabric of the traditional school. From this disruption …

Future of TN Virtual Academy set for discussion at Nashville meeting

Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA) is an online public school based in Union County. It serves some 1,300 kindergarten-through-8th grade students … Calls on Senate Education Committee to Defeat Anti-School Choice …

The legislation creates an unfair playing field against all virtual public schools, including TNVA, by applying separate and unequal accountability …

Block grant school funding bill awaiting governor’s signature

The KSDE numbers show Humboldt receiving a large increase in total aid due to the addition of virtual school aid, but Superintendent K.B. Criss said …

Texas Whiz Kid Earns 7 Associate Degrees from College

… Richland College, Chari took online courses through the Texas Virtual School Network, a Texas Education Agency program that offers classes that …

Naselle board votes 3-2 to continue Mandarin program

… was that excess revenue generated from the virtual school program (Columbia Virtual Academy) would predominately fund the Immersion Program.

Rural education’s financial rollercoaster hits home in Elkhart

It also serves adults seeking high school diplomas at an alternative school, and K-12 students from around the state through its virtual school.

Proposed legislation could threaten Florida High School Athletic Association’s existence

In 2014, a bill allowing home-schooled and virtual school students to participate in activities at any public school or private school that agreed to let …

North Carolina Connections Academy opens initial enrollment period for 2015–16 school year

“A virtual school serves a wide variety of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, those who need a flexible …

Students taking virtual courses face early deadline

High school students interested in taking online classes offered through the West Virginia Department of Education’s Virtual School program this year …

For online students, Wyoming testing can be more of a haul

Tayla came to the virtual school from Ft. Caspar Academy. Her mother, Stacey Thomas, said she decided to enroll Tayla in the school because she …

Budget wrangling leaves schools on roller coaster

About half of her district’s loss came from the state aid cuts and half from a steep drop in virtual school enrollment that appears to have been linked to …

Academy looks to combine soccer training, school for youth players

The private, full-time school combines intensive soccer training and academics through Florida Virtual School for standout players in third through …

Education-related bills plentiful in Statehouse

MONTGOMERY — A charter school bill already has been signed into law, but there still are dozens of bills going through the lawmaking process that …

MCA enrollment open for 2015-16 year

Interested families are encouraged to learn more about how virtual school works and if it’s the right fit for their students by attending an in-person …

Online high school lets students earn US-accredited diploma

… the launch of the Virtual Diploma Program, sponsored by Vamco Education, partnered with the FloridaVirtual School and The Cottage School.

Jordanhill School in Glasgow tops The Herald’s school league tables

… has improved itself year on year and they they want to be able to measure that with actual statistics rather than some virtual school that doesn’t exist.

Journey with IVS for Online Learning This Summer

Illinois Virtual School (IVS) is currently accepting student registrations for Summer 2015. The IVS summer term is the perfect time for students to take …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Auditors praise Greenwood School District’s special needs program

The district also would see roughly $51,031 in reduced costs based a revamped formula for cyber school reimbursement. Property owners who qualify …

Wolf, legislators push for charter school reform

… rate is flawed in that it is based on the cost of providing Intermediate Unit cyber programs instead of the cost of running a full cyber school, he said.

Pa. should make cyber charter school funding reform a priority

Students and families have the choice of the type of education they want: traditional public school, tuition-based school, charter school, cyber charter …

Senate Bill Would Provide Quality Control for Cyber-CharterSchools

Sean Wiley (D-Erie) has introduced Senate Bill 128, which would address the cost and performance of cyber-charter schools that aren’t related to …

A lesson on charter school funding

Also, the proposed standard tuition rate for cyber charters is based on the costs to offer a cyber program as opposed to a cyber school and ignores the …

Cyber Academy of South Carolina Opens K-11 Enrollment for 2015-2016 Academic Year

GREENVILLE, S.C., March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC), a tuition-free, online public school, …

Seventh-grader avoids explusion; drug test negative

He said at the hearing if Coal’s parents could not find an educational placement with a neighboring school district or with a cyber school within 30 days …

Using online tools to keep students engaged

In addition, the District opened Philadelphia Virtual Academy, a cyber school, in 2013, but that model falls within the definition of blended learning only …

‘If Harrisburg won’t step up then we will': Bethlehem school director on budget

… some charter school tuition reimbursements – expected to generate Bethlehem $1.6 million – and to set a $5,950 universal cyber school tuition rate.

PIAA to see new classifications proposal

The proposal would see schools with high numbers of homeschooled students and/or charter and cyber school students not be grouped with larger …

PIAA taking closer look at 6 classes

Progress is being made as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association explores the possibility of expanding classifications in football.

Education Budget Makes Charter Schools Nervous

Instead of paying between $8,000 and $11,000 for every student who leaves a traditional school and goes to a cyber-school, districts would pay …

OP-ED: We agree: Make cyber charter reform a priority

Recently, state Sen. Sean Wiley wrote a column regarding public cyber school funding reform as it relates to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal and his …

Grace Baptist school to launch Pre-K program this fall

Drummond said students then attend public school or study through cyber school or home school programs until graduation. Drummond, who is …


March 27, 2015

Plugged In | 03.27.15 | (powered by iNACOL)

This entry is being posted back dated.

A final word today from the neo-liberals…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

powered by iNACOL…

Recommended Reading…

Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning: Insights from Experts (download)


The Hechinger Report
Five middle school students in this western Pennsylvania town stand in a darkened room over a pie chart projected on the floor. Using motion-sensor wands, they manipulate sections of the circle, making pieces representing 1/8 and 1/24. At a high…
Next Generation Learning Challenges
As part of a pilot project, we’ve been working with teachers to implement The Radix Endeavor in their classrooms. The Radix Endeavor is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) developed at the MIT Education Arcade; it is designed to improve…
Getting Smart
Helping school districts make dramatic changes to boost achievement is hard. I have a lot of experience trying and more failure than success to show for it. That’s why when I heard that the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant program was moving from a…
Keeping Pace
A previous post looked at general findings of the recently released virtual learning study in Michigan. In this post I review more deeply one key aspect of the study: the rates at which students are passing online courses, and implications for how online courses…
With more and more technology in the classroom, the quest to find tools that effectively help educators and their students becomes increasingly important — and increasingly difficult. How can educators best identify the products that meet their classroom…
Christensen Institute
Who you know matters. It matters when you go out to get a job; it matters when you are looking for reliable information; it matters when you are trying to learn from others’ successes and mistakes. Indeed, your network even appears to matter when it…
When it comes to taking the statewide exam, most Wyoming students don’t have to think about traveling. The thick test packets get plopped on their desks, along with bubble sheets and No. 2 pencils sharpened to perfection, and they are ready to go…
Jerusalem Post
One of the debates in the Jewish world today is whether technology can help solve the problems facing Jewish education. The emerging Jewish educational technology industry says a very confident “Yes,” and its pioneers are putting their time, energy…
The Colorado State Board of Education has approved Montrose County School District as a district of innovation for Centennial Middle School. This means the school will move from a traditional classroom setting to more innovative practices and programs…
Tech Cocktail
EDGE Edtech, the New York, NY-based “startup generator” founded by edtech veterans Don Burton (whose resume includes time at Disney Education and Kaplan) and Jonathan D. Harber (former CEO of Pearson K12 Technology), has launched its…
Whiteboard Advisors
Student privacy and security law is hot these days. The White House and Congress have both been vocal on the issue, with Representatives Polis and Messer spearheading policy development on the Hill. Over 40 states are now considering…


Did you receive this edition of Plugged In from a colleague or friend?Subscribe to have it sent directly to your inbox… Thank you!

Upcoming Webinar…

An Introduction to Competency-Based Education | register
Susan Patrick (iNACOL) and Sandra Dop (Iowa DOE)
Friday, April 3, 2015 | 10:00am11:00am

Featured Resource…
Performance-Based Funding & Online Learning: Maximizing Resources for Student SuccessPerformance-Based Funding & Online Learning: Maximizing Resources for Student Success

Susan Patrick, iNACOL
John Myers, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates
Justin Silverstein, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates
Amanda Brown, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates
John Watson, Evergreen Education Group


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[CNIE-L] Invitation to CIDER session ­- 1 April 2015 | Invitation à un atelier de « CIDER » – le 1er avril 2015

From Thursday’s inbox…

Dear CNIE Member,

We invite you to the April CIDER session of our special ten-part Community of Inquiry Webinar Series. This free, online session will feature D. Randy Garrison and Zehra Akyol.

Title: The Development of a Shared Metacognition Construct and Survey Instrument for Communities of Inquiry

This session presents the second stage of a research project to develop a metacognition construct and instrument for the purpose of understanding and assessing the structure and dynamics of metacognition in a collaborative learning environment. The genesis of the shared metacognitive construct using the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework will also be described. The results of this study confirmed the shared metacognition dimensions of self and co-regulation. The researchers will lead a discussion on the practical implications of this work.

When: Wednesday, April 1, 201511am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

The CIDER Community of Inquiry Webinar Series includes monthly sessions running from September 2014 to June 2015. These sessions feature presentations by leading researchers on the CoI framework and its application to blended, distance, and online learning. The Community of Inquiry website at is acting as a companion site for the series and includes a wealth of background materials and further readings.

Registration is not required; all are welcome. For more information on CIDER and our monthly Sessions, please visit our website:


Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education.


***Messages are posted in the language received.***
***Les messages sont affichés dans la langue dans laquelle nous les avons reçus.***
Twitter = @cnie_rcie
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AERA15 Insider – March 2015

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Open AERA15 Insider in your browser.

AERA15 Insider
March 2015

The AERA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research and a showcase for ground-breaking, innovative studies in a diverse array of areas. It is where to encounter ideas and data that will shape tomorrow’s education practices and policies, and where to connect with leading thinkers from the U.S. and around the world. Leading up to the 2015 Annual Meeting, AERA15 Insider will provide a monthly glance at meeting highlights and features. We invite you to join us Thursday, April 16 – Monday, April 20 for five rewarding days of ideas, engagement, networking, and professional advancement.

In this Issue:

Download the AERA Annual Meeting Mobile App

Reps. Bobby Scott and Mike Honda to Address National Education Issues

Policy Leaders Headline Sessions

Professional Development Courses Open for Registration

Spotlight on New AERA Books

Final Paper Upload Deadline Is March 26

Get Your Bearings at the Welcoming Orientation

April 16–20, 2015

Register Now


Key Date

  • March 26 – Paper Upload Deadline

Annual Meeting at Your Fingertips
Download the AERA Annual Meeting Mobile App 

The AERA Annual Meeting mobile app is ready for downloading. The new app will keep your day much more structured all from the palm of your hand. With the app, you’ll be able to add sessions to your schedule and sync between your multiple devices; search speakers; stay up-to-date with real time alerts; and engage through social media. Download the app by searching your app store for “AERA Meetings.” Once you have installed the app, select the 2015 Annual Meeting program and click “download.” Click here for more details.

Congressional Speakers at the Annual Meeting
Rep. Bobby Scott and Rep. Mike Honda to Address National Education Issues

Congressmen Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Mike Honda (D-CA) will provide perspectives from Capitol Hill on key education issues. Scott, ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, will address the education agenda for the 114th Congress. Honda, as a panelist on a session titled “Linking Our Struggles: Visioning a Different Future,” will discuss educational equity. More details on Rep. Scott’s session to come.

A Focus on Research and Science Policy
Policy Leaders Headline Sessions

Federal science and research officials will focus on emerging topics in—and the intersection between—education research and school, education, and science policy. An engaging line-up of research and science policy sessions covers a range of key issues, including the future of IES and NCES, replication in education research, strategies for connecting education research to policymakers and the public, and proposed changes to FERPA.
Advance Your Skills
Professional Development Courses Open for Registration

Annual Meeting attendees can take advantage of a rich program of extended and mini professional development courses. This year’s 27-course lineup provides ample opportunities for attendees to train in research methods and skills, discover specialized research disciplines, address professional development issues, and much more. Check out courses and learn how to register.

Spotlight on New Research Books
Learn More About New AERA-Published Volumes

Three new AERA books—Socializing Intelligence Through Academic Talk and Dialogue, Interest in Mathematics and Science Learning, and LBGTQ Issues in Education: Advancing a Research Agenda—will be released at the Annual Meeting. Hear from editors and noted experts at three individual sessions about how these volumes advance scholarship in critical emerging areas of education research.

Reminder to Presenters
Final Paper Upload Deadline Is March 26

Annual Meeting presenters have until March 26 to upload final versions of their papers to the online Annual Meeting submission system. The final paper should include any additional research findings and conclusions from the time of submission. It also should address the elements required for submission in greater detail and should expand upon the initial 2,000 word paper.Click here for additional information and upload instructions.

New to AERA or the Annual Meeting?
Get Your Bearings at the Welcoming Orientation

New members and first-time meeting attendees are encouraged to attend an hour-long orientation session the morning of April 17. Chaired by AERA President Joyce E. King, President-Elect Jeannie Oakes, and Executive Director Felice J. Levine, this session will offer an opportunity to navigate the Annual Meeting and learn more about AERA and its members.

Annual Meeting Page
Housing, Travel, & Tourism
Presenter and Participant Info
Exhibitors, Sponsors, Advertising
Professional Development
Grad Student Resources
Press Info and Registration
Meeting Info & Accessibility
Contact AERA
2015 Annual Meeting
“Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in
Education Research and Praxis”
Thursday, April 16Monday, April 20, 2015
Chicago, Illinois


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The Pulse Newsletter: March Edition

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Florida Virtual School
The Pulse. A newsletter for FLVS Parents and Students
The Pulse Newsletter: March Edition
Dear Michael,

Do you know what’s trending among students?


Find out in the March edition of The Pulse newsletter.


Happy reading!


The FLVS Team

Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Google Plus FLVS Blog

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