Virtual School Meanderings

April 22, 2015

EDTECH Moodle: Dr. Hung and Dr. Yang article accepted by Journal ofEducational Technology Development and Exchange.

From the Boise State listserve…

Picture of Dixie Conner
Dr. Hung and Dr. Yang article accepted by Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange.
by Dixie Conner – Monday, April 20, 2015, 10:29 AM
Title:
The Validation of an Instrument for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Professional Development Program on Teaching Online
Authors:
Jui-Long Hung
Dazhi Yang
Boise State University
Abstract:
Attending professional development (PD) on teaching online is becoming popular for teachers in today’s K-12 online education. Due to the unique characteristics of the online instructional environments, survey becomes the most feasible approach to evaluate the effectiveness of PD programs. However, there is no validated, open-access instrument available to satisfy the needs. The purpose of this study is to conduct construct validity, content validity, concurrent validity, and reliability tests on an open-access instrument for K–12 PD on online teaching. With the exception of a few items that have minor issues on content and construct validity, results show that the survey is, in general, a valid and reliable instrument. Suggestions and potential applications of the instrument are also discussed.

 

April 20, 2015

AERA 2015 – Connectedness, Learning, and the Social Presence Model: A Decade of Research on Online and Blended Learning in Higher and K–12 Education

This is the fourteenth and final session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association.  Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference yesterday, but I did want to post an entry for this – and the other entries from today – so that others might contribute their notes from the session.  So, this presentation is a part of the following session:

75.061-8 – Online Teaching and Learning SIG Roundtable Session 2
In Event: 75.061 – Roundtable Session 34

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Hyatt, West Tower – Green Level, Crystal BC
Session Type: Roundtable Session

Abstract
This roundtable session will focus on k-12 research.

Sub Unit
SIG-Online Teaching and Learning

Chair
Patrick Mose, Ohio University – Athens

Papers
Click Here If 13 or Older: Achievement Outcomes and Grade-Level Differences in Texas Online Schools – Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University

Comparing High-Quality Online Professional Development Features to a Statewide Online Professional Development Program – Linda Collins, The University of Akron; Xin Liang, The University of Akron

Connectedness, Learning, and the Social Presence Model: A Decade of Research on Online and Blended Learning in Higher and K–12 Education – Aimee Whiteside, University of Tampa; Amy E. Garrett Dikkers, University of North Carolina – Wilmington; Somer Lewis, University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Implementation of Constructivist Online Game-Based Learning at School: Teacher Facilitation in the Academically Achieving Classroom – Morris S.Y. Jong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Chin-Chung Tsai, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; Tianchong Wang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Social Studies Research in the Age of Wikipedia: How Do Secondary School Teachers Guide Students? – Demetrius C Roberts, Chester County Intermediate Unit; Margaret D. Roblyer, Nova Southeastern University

The specific session is:

Connectedness, Learning, and the Social Presence Model: A Decade of Research on Online and Blended Learning in Higher and K–12 Education

Abstract
We condense over a decade of case study research on social presence, or the level of connectedness among students and instructors, in online and blended learning environments. In this presentation, we define the concept of social presence, describe the Social Presence Model, offer evidence from students and instructors in four case studies in K-12 and Higher Education, and summarize the key findings. Our findings suggest the SPM serves as a useful model for teachers to create connections and to inform instructional practices. For youth in online or blended programs, we discovered the importance of a cadre of leaders who invoke innovative strategies and individualize student learning. Finally, social presence represents an essential literacy for successful online and blended learning experiences

Note that this was another one that I did not have in my original list of K-12 online learning sessions, but one that I did discover through interacting with folks here in Chicago before I left.

Anyway, if anyone has any notes from this presentation, please feel free to post them here.

AERA 2015 – Click Here If 13 or Older: Achievement Outcomes and Grade-Level Differences in Texas Online Schools

This is the thirteenth session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association.  Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference yesterday, but I did want to post an entry for this – and the other entries from today – so that others might contribute their notes from the session.  So, this presentation is a part of the following session:

75.061-8 – Online Teaching and Learning SIG Roundtable Session 2
In Event: 75.061 – Roundtable Session 34

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Hyatt, West Tower – Green Level, Crystal BC
Session Type: Roundtable Session

Abstract
This roundtable session will focus on k-12 research.

Sub Unit
SIG-Online Teaching and Learning

Chair
Patrick Mose, Ohio University – Athens

Papers
Click Here If 13 or Older: Achievement Outcomes and Grade-Level Differences in Texas Online Schools – Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University

Comparing High-Quality Online Professional Development Features to a Statewide Online Professional Development Program – Linda Collins, The University of Akron; Xin Liang, The University of Akron

Connectedness, Learning, and the Social Presence Model: A Decade of Research on Online and Blended Learning in Higher and K–12 Education – Aimee Whiteside, University of Tampa; Amy E. Garrett Dikkers, University of North Carolina – Wilmington; Somer Lewis, University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Implementation of Constructivist Online Game-Based Learning at School: Teacher Facilitation in the Academically Achieving Classroom – Morris S.Y. Jong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Chin-Chung Tsai, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; Tianchong Wang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Social Studies Research in the Age of Wikipedia: How Do Secondary School Teachers Guide Students? – Demetrius C Roberts, Chester County Intermediate Unit; Margaret D. Roblyer, Nova Southeastern University

The specific session is:

Click Here If 13 or Older: Achievement Outcomes and Grade-Level Differences in Texas Online Schools

Abstract
Enrollment in K-12 fulltime online schools has increased in the United States, but there is limited empirical research to consider the effectiveness of these schools. This paper uses the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test data to examine online student performance relative to traditional students. The sample includes more than 2,400,000 students in grades 4th through 10th who tested in 2010 and 2011. The study examines the standardized score difference for every student between the two years. The findings show that students in online schools tended to have lower learning gains relative to traditional students, but 9th and 10th grade online students fared better than students in earlier grades.

Note that this was one that I did not have in my original list of K-12 online learning sessions, but one that I did discover through interacting with folks here in Chicago before I left.

Anyway, if anyone has any notes from this presentation, please feel free to post them here.

AERA 2015 – A New Narrative on Rural Education: How One High School Takes on 21st-Century Challenges

This is the twelfth session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association.  Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference yesterday, but I did want to post an entry for this – and the other entries from today – so that others might contribute their notes from the session.  So, this presentation is a part of the following session:

75.054 – Understanding Educational Opportunity in Rural School Districts: An Examination of Community, Demography, and Policy
Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Swissotel, Lucerne Level, Alpine I
Session Type: Symposium

Abstract
The purpose of this session is to examine how community, demography, and policy impact educational opportunity in rural contexts. Given that Brown v. Board of Education was a compilation of cases, including some rural, it is important to analyze progress concerning educational opportunity for students currently attending school in rural districts. Papers included in this session range in scope from broad topics such as school funding and school choice to case studies of rural districts seeking to provide equal educational opportunity to students in their respective districts. Additionally, papers presented in this symposium vary in methodology. They range from theoretical to complimentary mixed methods.

Sub Unit
SIG-Rural Education

Chair
Sheneka M. Williams, University of Georgia

Papers
School Funding and Rural Districts – Jerry Johnson, University of West Florida; Brian P. Zoellner, University of North Florida

Location, Location, Location: School Choice in the Rural Context – Ain A. Grooms, University of Georgia – Athens

A New Narrative on Rural Education: How One High School Takes on 21st-Century Challenges – Erica Lopatofsky Kryst, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park; Stephen Kotok, The Pennsylvania State University; Annelise Hagedorn

It Takes a Community: Preparing Teachers for Rural African American Early Childhood Students – Janeula M. Burt, Bowie State University; Daniel Boyd, Lowndes County Public Schools

The specific session is:

A New Narrative on Rural Education: How One High School Takes on 21st-Century Challenges

Abstract
Brockway, Pennsylvania is a small, rural community located approximately 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Just 30 years ago, Brockway was home to a Fortune 500 company, Brockway Glass that provided the community with a steady flow of decent paying manufacturing jobs. Today, like much of rural America, Brockway is a community in transition with a declining population and a changing economy (Schafft, Alter, & Bridger, 2006)). Given the decline in Brockway’s economy, this study examined how high schools in rural communities such as Brockway prepare students for post-secondary options in terms of course offerings and guidance. This study draws on Carr and Kefala’s (2009) framework of “stayers”, “achievers”, “seekers” and “leavers” to analyze how the Brockway district and school officials negotiate the dual challenge of readying students for post-secondary options while also considering how they can make Brockway a desirable place for young professionals to settle. Although similar case studies have been conducted, Brockway provides a unique policy landscape given the presence of the Marcellus Shale gas industry and rural school choice via cyber charter schools – Pennsylvania leads the nation with 16 on-line charters (DeJarnatt, 2014). The research team conducted semi-structured interviews with the guidance counselor, principal, and the district superintendent. Additionally, the team analyzed various documents, economic data from the United States Census, and educational data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Findings suggest that Brockway has been successful in accessing resources, motivating students with a diverse set of interests, and retaining strong faculty. However, some issues of equity exist – mainly through a rigid tracking system in which 40% of students take non-college preparatory courses. Additionally, while Brockway might serve as a model for developing and integrating school and community resources, it should be noted that the district benefits from key local benefactors including the current President pro tempore of the State Senate and a wealthy family with business interests throughout the Northeast.

So if anyone has any notes from this presentation, please feel free to post them here.

AERA 2015 – Location, Location, Location: School Choice in the Rural Context

This is the eleventh session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association.  Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference yesterday, but I did want to post an entry for this – and the other entries from today – so that others might contribute their notes from the session.  So, this presentation is a part of the following session:

75.054 – Understanding Educational Opportunity in Rural School Districts: An Examination of Community, Demography, and Policy
Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Swissotel, Lucerne Level, Alpine I
Session Type: Symposium

Abstract
The purpose of this session is to examine how community, demography, and policy impact educational opportunity in rural contexts. Given that Brown v. Board of Education was a compilation of cases, including some rural, it is important to analyze progress concerning educational opportunity for students currently attending school in rural districts. Papers included in this session range in scope from broad topics such as school funding and school choice to case studies of rural districts seeking to provide equal educational opportunity to students in their respective districts. Additionally, papers presented in this symposium vary in methodology. They range from theoretical to complimentary mixed methods.

Sub Unit
SIG-Rural Education

Chair
Sheneka M. Williams, University of Georgia

Papers
School Funding and Rural Districts – Jerry Johnson, University of West Florida; Brian P. Zoellner, University of North Florida

Location, Location, Location: School Choice in the Rural Context – Ain A. Grooms, University of Georgia – Athens

A New Narrative on Rural Education: How One High School Takes on 21st-Century Challenges – Erica Lopatofsky Kryst, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park; Stephen Kotok, The Pennsylvania State University; Annelise Hagedorn

It Takes a Community: Preparing Teachers for Rural African American Early Childhood Students – Janeula M. Burt, Bowie State University; Daniel Boyd, Lowndes County Public Schools

The specific session is:

Location, Location, Location: School Choice in the Rural Context
In Event: 75.054 – Understanding Educational Opportunity in Rural School Districts: An Examination of Community, Demography, and Policy

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Swissotel, Lucerne Level, Alpine I
Abstract
In order to understand choice in the rural context, it is crucial to first understand how rural is defined. The U.S. Census Bureau (2014) defines rural as being neither an urbanized area (50,000 people or more) nor an urbanized cluster (between 2,500 and 50,000 people). Every state has at least 50% of its geographical area classified as rural (the District of Columbia is the only area that is 100% urban) (US Census Bureau, 2014), yet there is no monolithic version of what rural looks like—rural communities in West Virginia differ from those in Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, or Utah. Further classification by the NCES (2014f) explains the variations among rural areas: rural fringe (less than or equal to 5 miles away from an urban area, or less than or equal to 2.5 miles away from an urban cluster), rural distant (between 5 and 25 miles away from an urban area, or between 2.5 and 10 miles away from an urban cluster), and rural remote (more than 25 miles away from an urban area or more than 10 miles away from an urban cluster). These distinctions assist in providing a deeper contextual understanding of rural areas and the school choice options being utilized by rural students.

School Choice in the Rural Context
The five school choice options outlined in this paper (not including traditional, assigned, public schools) are charter, private, magnet, and virtual/online schools as well as homeschooling. Continuing the trend found in urban centers across the country, there is less information and data available about non-charter choice options. Thus, the purpose of this paper is neither to discuss student achievement, education funding, curriculum, student assignment, or teacher and administrator preparation, recruitment, and training, nor is it to serve as advocacy or critique of the various school choice options available to rural families. Rather, the intent here is to outline the choice options in which rural families participate in order to, first, bring continued visibility to educational opportunities available to rural families and, second, to expand the school choice conversation with a conscious effort to avoid “placism”, or bias based on where a person lives (Jimerson, 2005). Thus, this paper provides descriptive data that details educational opportunity, in the form of choice, that is available to rural families and students.

So if anyone has any notes from this presentation, please feel free to post them here.

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