Virtual School Meanderings

February 25, 2017

Statistics In Education For Mere Mortals – MOOC Offered Again By Lloyd Rieber – February 27-April 3, 2017

Note this MOOC – which has been run (and advertized here) several times in the past – is beginning again on Monday.  For those interested in understanding, collecting, and manipulating statistics (including K-12 distance, online and/or blended learning practitioners), I would highly recommend this MOOC.

Hi everyone,
I am again offering my MOOC on introductory uses of statistics in education. This section will run from February 27-April 3, 2017 on Here is the link to the course sign-up page:
The course is free.
I made a short 3-minute ‘mash-up’ of a selection of the course’s videos to give people a taste of the course:
Also, all of the course videos are available on YouTube – here is a link to the playlist:
I designed the course for “mere mortals,” meaning that I designed it for people who want to know about and use statistics as but one important tool in their work, but who are not — and don’t want to be — mathematicians or statisticians. A special note that I also designed it with doctoral students in mind, especially those who are about to take their first statistics course. It could also be good for those students who just finished a statistics course, but are still fuzzy on the details.
However, this course would be useful to anyone who wants a good, short, hands-on, friendly introduction to the most fundamental ideas of statistics in education.
Here’s my approach … I provide a short presentation or two on each statistics topic, followed by a video tutorial where you build an Excel spreadsheet from scratch to compute the statistic. Then, I ask you to take a short quiz — consisting of sometimes just one question — where I ask you to plug in some new data into your spreadsheet and then copy and paste one of your new calculations as your answer. (And yes, there is also a short final exam at the end on the conceptual stuff.)
Examples of specific skills to be learned include the scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, measures of variability, and the computation of the following: mean, mode, and median, standard deviation, z (standard) scores, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (r), correlated-samples t test (i.e. dependent t test), independent-samples t test, and a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
This will be the ninth time I will have taught this free online course. Almost 6000 people worldwide have enrolled in it to date.
The course is scheduled to be offered next in July, 2017. The plan is to offer it twice a year.
* Lloyd P. Rieber
* Professor of Learning, Design, & Technology
* 203 River’s Crossing
* The University of Georgia
* Athens, Georgia  30602-4809  USA
* Phone: 706-542-3986
Lloyd’s LiveCode Blog:
Check out Lloyd’s Video Analysis Tool in the Mac App Store:

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the ASCD SmartBrief.

4 ways to keep learning during snow days

4 ways to keep learning during snow days
Educators at a school that has had 10 snow days this school year have developed a protocol for digital learning days. In this blog post, educators Alyssa Tormala and Ellie Gilbert share the hallmarks of the program, including a digital learning platform, access to devices and learning objectives. (2/17)

R.I. sets personalized learning goals

R.I. takes steps to personalize learning
Officials in Rhode Island are developing a statewide vision for personalized learning in K-12 schools. A recently released document, called the Creating a Shared Understanding of Personalized Learning for Rhode Island, identifies how personalized learning can help each student.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (2/22)

Survey reveals online-learning trends

A survey of more than 2.5 million students and teachers in 160 countries reveals online-learning trends among high-school and college students. The GoConqr survey found, among other things, that online learning tends to be done alone.
eCampus News (free registration) (2/23)

Similarly, the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Schools investing in digital curricula, survey finds

Eighty-six percent of K-12 schools and districts responding to a recent survey say they’ll be spending more on digital curricula this year. Schools can maximize the effectiveness of curricula by offering more professional development and training, experts suggest.
EdTech magazine online (2/22)Other News

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Students logging into more virtual options

Through a new partnership with Michigan Virtual School, St. Clair County RESA is hoping to up the number of virtual courses taken in the county while …

@FGCU_MTen Outlasts Charlotte 4-3

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) and Ezequiel Cerrini (Sunny Isles Beach, Fla./Homeschool) had to fight off a Charlotte rally.

New Principal Named at West Forsyth High School

He’s been a math teacher and curriculum developer at Georgia Virtual School and, before that, worked as a math teacher for Fulton County schools.

Virtual school choice must come with accountability

Online education may not be new, but for the Blue Water Area, competition among virtual schools is a novelty. Competition is good, but it is reasonable …

@FGCU_MTen Suffers Emotional Defeat to Tennessee Tech

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) held serve through six games but fell behind 5-3 to Eduardo Mena and Alberto Esteban shortly after.

Iowa families foregoing classroom for virtual school

The two schools that operate here, Iowa Virtual School and Iowa Connections Academy, are considered public schools. They meet the same …

Missouri lawmakers weigh changes to state-run virtual education program

A 2016 virtual schools report from the National Education Policy Center raised some red flags, finding that virtual school outcomes lag significantly …

Iowa families foregoing classroom for virtual school

In 2013, Iowa students first enrolled in virtual schools run by for-profit companies … The two schools that operate here, Iowa Virtual School and Iowa …

Researchers: Don’t expand virtual schools as is

New research released Thursday suggests that efforts to quickly ramp up online “virtual” public schools nationwide could have a downside: lower …

Florida Virtual School Boosts CTE

The Florida Virtual School (FLVS), a statewide online public school, has developed two new courses to round out its career and technical education …

Trump’s New Education Secretary Wants More ‘Virtual Schools’ and Her Agency To Be Destroyed

How so? By gutting the agency she leads, introducing more “virtual schools,” and overseeing the rise of schools that “haven’t even been invented yet.”.

Florida Virtual School model shows online learning can be engaging

The eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program has identified the Florida Virtual School as a community winner for its strategy …

Missouri lawmakers weigh changes to state-run virtual education program

“Over half of Missouri school districts do not offer a single Advanced … A 2016 virtual schools report from the National Education Policy Center raised …

students logging into more virtual options

Unable to go to a traditional high school for health reasons while also … While there are a number of online cyber schools that are completely virtual, …

London talks virtual learning at Smethport school board meeting

SMETHPORT — Smethport Area School District Superintendent David London presented a report Mondayto the school board about two virtual …

Online classes to launch at St. Clair County high schools

St. Clair County’s seven school districts are collaborating with St. Clair … “LearnON is partnering with Michigan Virtual School to give our students a …

Syracuse home to international virtual language school

PEC has built a tremendous foundation in Syracuse so their virtual school runs flawlessly. The primary data center, with battery and generator backup, …

Town Crier: Tuesday’s Highlights

Students living in Natrona County who are receiving their full-time education online through a virtual school or Natrona County homeschool students …

Virtual Schools Market 2020: Key Players, Industry Overview, Driving Factors, Industry Analysis …

A Virtual School operates on an online learning platform and offers courses pertaining to various fields. These schools have a core curriculum and …

DeVos praises virtual schools, but new research points to problems

High-performing students fare better, but they still do worse than they would have done if they had not enrolled in a virtual school, according to the …

Brent Cooper: Using local taxes for charter schools is a bad idea, especially for Northern Kentucky

Furthermore, the bill makes it possible for the dollars to be spent toward a “virtual school” that could be located a completely different region of the …

Meet Jaidyn Conner, CSUB freshman at 13

So they recommended I go to virtual school so that I could go at my own pace and go faster than the others.” Conner agreed with her teachers and was …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

An open letter on behalf of the cyber school community in Pennsylvania: PennLive letters

As we work toward increasing general education funding, it is important that this does not come at the expense of cyber charter schools. With the …

PA Cyber Charter School founder Trombetta seeks to hold prosecutors in contempt

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School founder Nick Trombetta and his legal team, who have been sparring with the government for weeks following his …

School budget: more for at-risk, less for cyber/private kids

FILE – In a Feb. 8, 2017 file photo, Michgian Gov. Rick Snyder, center, flanked by Budget Director Al Pscholka, left, and Lt. Gov Brian Calley, presents …

School budget: more for at-risk, less for cyber/private kids

It is largely being embraced by traditional school interests. But Republicans who control the Legislature andschool-choice advocates oppose some …

State school board president resigns over chimpanzee tweet

After the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools accused Miller of suggesting that cyber students were monkeys, he apologized for the tweet …

Norwin School Board may raise property taxes to cover $2.2M projected deficit

An increase in pension, health care and cyber school costs coupled with only a slight increase in state aid may push the Norwin School Board to raise …

CenturyLink, City of Monroe and local school partner to invest in STEM education initiative

CenturyLink, City of Monroe and local school partner to invest in STEM … City School System, the Ouachita Parish School System and the Cyber …

Snyder unveils funding proposal

n Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing that the state allocate more funds per student and rethink how it funds at-risk student, cyber-school programs.

LETTER: ‘Extremely happy’ with education at Pennsylvania Cyber

You are left to believe that a cyber school student’s education is behind that of traditional schools. After reading these articles I would like to ask …

Educators debate Snyder’s proposed cyber school cuts

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget pledged more state money to education, but that doesn’t apply to all schools. Under Snyder’s …

February 24, 2017

Request for Presentation Proposals is Open | iNACOL Symposium 2017

An item from the neo-liberals in Wednesday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
Dear Colleagues:

iNACOL is now accepting Requests for Presentation Proposals to present at the iNACOL Symposium, held at the Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida on October 23-25, 2017.

Submit your presentation proposal here.

iNACOL’s annual conference is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators gather and work to transform education.

To access the RFP and submit your proposal to present, please click here. The deadline for submitting presentation proposals is Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. You can download the RFP questions in advance by clicking this link. The iNACOL Program Committee will notify applicants of proposal status no later than Monday, May 1, 2017.

The iNACOL Program Committee will give priority to proposals that provide engaging and interactive learning opportunities, modeling personalized, competency-based and blended learning environments, drawing on participant experiences and promoting dialogue and exchange.

For tips on submitting your presentation proposal, we are hosting a special edition webinar onThursday, March 2, 2017 from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET. The webinar will explain the RFP process and timeline for proposal selection, and highlight ways to design interactive sessions that generate meaningful collaboration and foster engagement. Register for the webinar here.  If you can’t attend the webinar due to timing issues, you can still register and we’ll send you the archived webinar to view.

If you have questions regarding the RFP, please contact Ally Swensen, Chair of the iNACOL Program Committee, at For other frequently asked questions, explore the Symposium FAQs web page.

Registration for the Symposium will open in early spring. Find more information on theiNACOL Symposium website, and follow our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds for updates.

Share this RFP Announcement on Twitter: 

  • iNACOL is now accepting presentation proposals for #inacol17. Submit your proposal by 3/15: @nacol
  • Interested in presenting at the @nacol Symposium, Oct. 23-25 in Orlando? Submit proposal here:

Helpful Links: 

About the iNACOL Symposium

The iNACOL Symposium is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. On October 23-25, 2017, iNACOL’s annual conference will bring together more than 3,000 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of powerful, personalized learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world, including leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field. Attendees will find invaluable networking opportunities; access to expertise, analysis, the latest trends and research; and thought-provoking interactive sessions for leaders shaping the future of education. The Symposium includes hundreds of engaging interactive sessions, with tags to guide attendees toward highly relevant professional learning opportunities. Learn more on the iNACOL Symposium website.

About iNACOL 

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our websitelike us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

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This email was sent by: North American Council for Online Learning dba International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
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Webinars Next Week | Assessment, Learning Spaces, Preschool Safety

No webinars specific to K-12 distance, online or blended learning – but not the description of the item at the edWeb blog.

Check out the free webinars coming up on edWeb. Our webinars are a great way to connect with experts and colleagues for professional learning. Now you can browse and search a complete archive of more than 1,250 recorded webinars. Earn a one-hour CE certificate for every webinar. edWeb is the #1 resource for free professional learning.

Upcoming Free Webinars

Cathie Gillner
You Gave a Formative Assessment, Now What?
Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Cathie Gillner, Teacher at Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Jennifer Williams
Learning Spaces: Designing for a Computer Science-Infused Classroom
Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Dr. Jennifer Williams and Fran Siracusa, Co-Founders, Calliope Global
Hosted by Bryan L. Miller, Educator Community Manager, Wonder Workshop

Jody Martin
Preschool Health and Safety Matters: Best Practices for Protecting and Supporting Young Learners
Thursday, Mar. 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Jody Martin, Vice President of Education, Crème de la Crème

From the edWeb Blog

Personalized Student Learning How School Libraries Can Help Personalize Learning
With personalization becoming a growing initiative in schools, the library is a valuable asset for personalizing instruction around student needs. In our recent webinar “Personalizing Instruction Through the Library,” Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, New Canaan High School, CT, with guest Jackie Whiting, Librarian at New Canaan High School, CT, discussed how the library can personalize instruction through assessing, reading, learning, and making.

Visit the edWeb Calendar Earn a CE Certificate NEW! Webinar Archives
Webinar Calendar
edWeb webinars are free. Register for upcoming webinars on the edWeb Webinar Calendar.
CE Certificate
Earn a CE certificate if you attend a live webinar or view a recording. Learn more.
Webinar Screen
Now you can easily search and view over 1,250 recorded webinars, and take a CE quiz to earn your CE certificate. is a free professional learning and social network that makes it easy for teachers and all educators to connect and collaborate with peers, share information and best practices, and spread innovative ideas to improve teaching and learning.

Contact us to learn more: 800-575-6015 | |


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E-Learning Graduate Certificate Program

From Tuesday’s inbox…

E-Learning Graduate Certificate Program

Our Instructors’ Favorite Time-saving Tech Tools

Posted: 21 Feb 2017 10:39 AM PST

Spring Online Courses with Openings
Our Instructors’ Favorite Time-saving Tech Tools
Tech Tip: Finding the Right Tech Tools
Featured Resource:
       Time Management Best Practices for Teaching Online
Spring Courses with a Few Openings

Editor: Shannnon Mersand

This e-newsletter is brought to you by University of Wisconsin-Stout College of Education, Hospitality, Health, and Human Sciences. If you do not wish to receive future issues, please see instructions to manage preferences at the bottom of this message.

Web Version of this Newsletter:

Top Tech Tools

This newsletter features the favorite productivity Tech Tools our team of online instructors uses and recommends.
“I use Beyond Compare to compare files/folders on my two computers and sync them for backing up internally.  Then when I get a new computer, I can easily transfer my data from the old to the new as well.”
~ Jane MacKenzie
Beyond Compare is a fee-based utility that allows you to compare files and folders to help identify and fix differences in documents, images and folders, even when they are in ZIP archives or on FTP sites. This product is available for Windows and Linux.
“I use Carbonite for backing up to the cloud. It provides automatic and continuous backup of all my files.”
~ Jane MacKenzie
Carbonite is a fee-based Cloud backup service that automatically backs up all of your data, and allows you access to it from anywhere, at any time. The basic plan is available for Windows and Mac, the Plus and Prime plans are available only for Windows 7 and above.
“I use Google Keep to help track my long To-do lists. I’m able to check off things I have accomplished, share my lists with others, and set reminders for very important tasks. The best part is that it travels with you, from computer to phone to tablet. The same lists in all places!”
~ Shannon Mersand
Google Keep is a free web based note-taking service that allows you to take notes, set reminders, make to-do lists and share notes with others. It is available as a web-based app, and also on tablets and smartphones for seamless task mongering. Google Keep works on all platforms.
“I use G Suite to collaborate with colleagues and students from around the world. There is nothing easier than sharing and editing documents that update in rea- time to ensure that everyone has the latest files for a project.”
~ Shannon Mersand
G Suite (known as Google Drive for personal use) is a free collection of tools from Google, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Drawings, Forms and many other tools that allow for real-time collaboration online. Changes appear instantly in the documents, and save automatically. G Suite works on all platforms.
“Freemind is a must for mind mapping, brainstorming, and job task analyses. I encourage my students to use it for their Work Breakdown Structure and for their Job Task Analysis.”
~ Jane MacKenzie
Freemind is a free downloadable Java program that allows you to create mind maps, outlines and other organizational documents on your computer. Freemind works on all platforms.
“I use Quicken for tracking home finances and QuickBooks Pro for my business.”
~ Jane MacKenzie
Quicken/Quickbooks Pro are fee-based programs that allow users to track personal and business finances. Both offer the ability to track income and spending, as well as create budgets and track where your money is going. Quicken products work on Windows and Mac OS.
“I use Roboform as my password manager.  With hundreds of password-protected accounts to navigate, Roboform saves me time and frustration.  Includes lots of features. Complex to use but it more than returns the time you spend learning the system.”
~ Dennis T. O’Connor
Roboform is a free or fee-based password management system that allows users to safely and securely store and manage passwords to all of their online accounts. It also helps users create unique strong passwords. Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.
“Pocket is aptly named. The browser-based Pocket icon makes it easy to click on ‘stuff’ in websites I want to revisit. It’s quicker than making a bookmark. You can tag pages for later organization. Pocket is a social platform that sends you a daily update on pages you ‘might’ like based on your choices.”
~ Dennis T. O’Connor
Pocket is a free app that allows the user to quickly and easily save videos, images and text they wish to visit later. It allows for tagging of content and offers suggestions of other sources users may be interested in. Available for all platforms.

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