Virtual School Meanderings

September 16, 2019

Commentary: Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Evidence Of Impact Is Not

So this item was featured in almost all of the Education Week newsletters that came out this past week (and was also included in Saturday’s Virtual Schooling In The News).

Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Gauging Effectiveness Remains Elusive, Survey Shows

Educators are using digital tools to boost student learning more than ever. But few believe there’s good information available about which resources work best. Read more.

First and foremost, it is important to heed the warning of Richard Clark in these situations…

“media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition” (Clark, 1983, p. 445)

[put another way]

“there is strong evidence that many very different media attributes accomplish the same learning goal… [as such] …there is no single media attribute that serves a unique cognitive effect for some learning task, then the attributes must be proxies for some other variables that are instrumental in learning gains” (Clark, 1994, p. 22)

What Dr. Clark is saying here is that it isn’t the technology that is impacting learning, but the changes in how the instruction is designed, delivered, and supported that causes any changes in student performance.  The presence or absence of an educational technology tool has no direct impact on student learning.

The problem that we have with this reality is revealed in the article in several locations.  For example…

In the absence of clear evidence, though, educators say they are testing out digital tools largely through trial-and-error.

“We end up just kind of trying them out to see if they are going to be a great tool,” said…

So let’s just experiment with the kids and sometimes we’ll do things that we are able to use in pedagogically sound manner with positive instructional design and students will benefit, but other times we’ll just a piece of educational technology at them and at best its a waste of their valuable instructional time and at worse it hinders their learning.

Imagine if we did this in health care…  I’m going to give you a treatment.  Dr. Bob next store says it worked great with his patients, but I really don’t know if this will cure you or kill you.  But let’s give it a go and see what happens.  Okay?

Later in the article, it was written:

There are still substantial barriers to using technology in the classroom, the survey found. More than half of teachers—56 percent—cited lack of training as a “significant” or “extremely significant” problem. Nearly half say that some teachers believe non-digital tools are more effective. And 46 percent said the problem was that they weren’t sure which tools to use.

There are a couple of things to unpack here.  First, to use the health care analogy again, I’m going to perform this surgery on you.  I’ve seen others do it in the past, but I haven’t done it myself yet.  Now, I’d like you to count backwards from ten and when you wake up everything will be fine.

Second, if you note the last two sentences in this quoted section.  The sentence “Nearly half say that some teachers believe non-digital tools are more effective.” – both in terms of how it is written and where it is included in the article – implies that this is an inaccurate belief that, with appropriate training, could be corrected.  The sentence “And 46 percent said the problem was that they weren’t sure which tools to use.” – both in terms of how it is written and where it is included in the article – implies that educational technology tools are the most effective, teachers just aren’t sure which ones are the most effective.  In both of these instances, the article author has implicitly taken the position – or bought into the marketing of NewSchools Venture Fund – that educational technology tools are the answer…  That educational technology tools will improve student learning.

While not a direct connection, this issue also ties back to a theme that I have written about in this space before – the issue of whether practitioners actually care about research in the first place?  I’ve argued that most don’t.  They will say that they do, but at the end of the day we make time for things that we value.  And unfortunately the vast majority of practitioners would rather take the word of some corporation trying to peddle their wares or some ideologue pushing an agenda than they would any academic research that is out there.  All you have to do is walk into any school in the US and you’l see ample evidence of this…

Corporations And K-12 Distance, Online, And/Or Blended Learning

There were a couple of Education Week items that came through my inbox this last week that connected in my own mind.  The first was from the Industry and Innovation newsletter:

Fastest-Growing Ed. Companies Named on Inc. 5000 List Fastest-Growing Ed. Companies Named on Inc. 5000 List

K-12 ed-tech businesses and low-tech companies are among those selected to the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in education. Read more.

What I found interesting about this item was the fact that I took the time and looked through the full list that is available at https://www.inc.com/inc5000/2019/top-private-companies-2019-inc5000.html?industry=education and neither Pearson Education or K12, Inc. was on the list.  Within the field of K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning, we often spend a lot of time focusing on these two companies.  However, I think within the field we often forget about the reality that K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning is really only a small part of the delivery of K-12 education in general.

The other thing that caught my attention from Education Week came from their EDWeek Update.

Parent Who Criticized His Son’s Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company
In a surprising move, MVP Math is suing a Wake County, N.C., parent who has pushed the district to stop using the curriculum. Read more.

So while the K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning companies that are in our space represent a small portion of the overall K-12 system, they do make up a larger portion of the K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning field – and a significant portion of the full-time K-12 distance and online learning, and the K-12 blended learning, communities.

What does it say about K-12 education when corporations that have been handed a great deal of authority within the system by elected and hired representatives that they are now attempting to silence one of the main stakeholders involved in the K-12 education system?

September 15, 2019

EBSCO Alerts

ebscoFirst, I did not receive the alert for virtual schools.

Next, I received the alert for cyber schools, but there were no relevant items.

Finally, once again I did not receive the alert for K-12 online learning.

So nothing to report this week at all.

September 14, 2019

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the Education Week’s EdWeek Update.

Digital Learning Tools Are Everywhere, But Gauging Effectiveness Remains Elusive, Survey Shows
Educators are using digital tools to boost student learning more than ever. But few believe there’s good information available about which resources work best. Read more.

Back to the semi-regular SmartBrief for EdTech.

Miss. pilots online kindergarten-readiness program

Miss. pilots online kindergarten-readiness program
(Pixabay)
Mississippi has launched an online kindergarten-readiness program, UPSTART, to help improve children’s academic readiness as they enter school. The program aims to engage parents, as well, in the program.
The Hechinger Report (9/9)

 

 

Survey asks teachers about digital learning tools

Survey asks teachers about digital learning tools
(Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images)
Most teachers say they believe in the value of digital learning tools, and about four in 10 are using their own money to purchase them, according to a survey from Gallup and the nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund. The survey also notes that it remains difficult to determine the effectiveness of the classroom tools.

EdSurge (9/11),  Education Week (tiered subscription model) (9/11)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Jack Czajkowski: Setting the record straight about Greenfield virtual school

In her column, Ms. Grossman shared some incorrect information about the school where I teach, the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School.

Global Virtual Schools Market High Growth Possible during 2019 – 2025 : K12 Inc, Connections …

According to the study, the market’s key players are K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School …

Virtual Schools Market Statistics Facts And Figures (2019-2029) Connections Academy, Mosaica …

2.1 Major players covered in this report are Abbotsford Virtual School, K12 Inc, Florida Virtual School(FLVS), Charter Schools USA, Lincoln Learning …

Virtual Schools Market Is Booming Worldwide | K12, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education

Prominent players profiled in the study: K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), …

Wellington Shire schools to benefit from state government maintenance blitz

$3.7 million to abolish enrolment fees for Virtual School Victoria for all students, saving around 4400 parents $160 for the cost of their children …

Altus Public Schools now offering virtual classroom option

The Altus Public Virtual School is a new program which gives students the option of taking classes in a traditional setting, online or combining the two …

New Opportunities in Virtual Schools Market 2019 Growth Overview, SWOT Analysis & Forecast to …

Virtual school shows understudies altogether or essentially on the web or through the web, this kind of learning empowers people to acquire …

Education committee looks for ways to streamline teacher training

DeLaney was referring to the troubled Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, both of which have been closed following …

Digital Divide: Broadband Access in Alabama

< larry smith 12-16-20 > “and we want to make it better and expand it in the future is our virtual school which is very dependent on the student being able …

WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Alabama leaders working to increase broadband availability, bridge Digital Divide

“And we want to make it better and expand it in the future is our virtual school, which is very dependent on the student being able to get online.”.

Virtual Schools Market Growth Growing at a Steady CAGR to 2025

K12 Inc• Connections Academy• Mosaica Education• Pansophic Learning• Florida Virtual School (FLVS)• Charter Schools USA• Lincoln Learning …

Global Virtual Schools Market 2019 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to …

Prominent players, such as K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), Charter Schools …

Lawmakers examine charter school funding and oversight policies

Speakers were asked not to specifically cite any one virtual school, though some repeatedly mentioned Epic by name and most lawmakers who asked …

Identify Hidden Opportunities of Virtual Schools market with Key Players | Elementary?Schools …

[Some of the players covered in the study are K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), …

Education Adviser (0.4FTE)

Pupil Support Services – Virtual School Team … To hold strategic responsibility for a key area within the Virtual School; To deputise for the VSHT in …

Donor addresses provide essential information

… which gave $36,000 to Republican legislative candidates last year, was an Indianapolis office park neighbor to the offices of Indiana Virtual School …

Virtual Schools Market In-Depth Analysis Report 2019| Connections Academy , Mosaica Education …

K12 Inc ,Connections Academy ,Mosaica Education ,Pansophic Learning ,Florida Virtual School (FLVS) ,Charter Schools USA ,Lincoln Learning …

Young Director (Looked After Children & Care Leavers)

You can contact Rosemarie Zaubzer, Virtual School Head to discuss your interest further on 0203 045 4141 or rosemarie.zaubzer@bexley.gov.uk.

Flipped Classroom Market Growth during 2019-2024 | Rise in Demand, Opportunities, Types …

Inc, K12, Florida Virtual School, Wyzant, Pearson, The Keystone School, California Virtual Academies, Tech Edvocate, Edgenuity, Rocketship, Laurel …

Lansing’s Great Lakes Cyber Academy lets students explore virtual schooling

LANSING, MI. (WILX) – In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is focusing on virtual schooling, what it means to be a virtual school and if your …

Investigations Into Epic Charter Schools Explained

Her son recently graduated from Epic, and she has a daughter enrolled at the virtual school. She also moderates the largest Epic Charter Schools …

School Board approves 2 new assistant principal positions

By MARC VALERO. Staff Writer. SEBRING — The School Board of Highlands County approved changing the lead teacher positions at the Academy at …

Global Virtual Schools Market with Leading Players: K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica …

K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), Charter Schools USA. A number of prime …

K-12 Educational Technology Market Latest Advancements, Trends and Future Scope 2019 to 2025

There are several states that are utilizing virtual school platforms for e-learning across the country that continue to increase. Virtual school enables …

Virtual Schools Market forecast to 2024 investigated in the latest research

Top Players – K12 Inc, Connections Academy, Mosaica Education, Pansophic Learning, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), Charter Schools USA.

Five Things to Know About Virtual School Funding

Oklahoma lawmakers have 133 million reasons to examine virtual charter school funding. That is the number of state taxpayer dollars expected to flow …

KEVIN LEININGER: Demise of Indiana Virtual School helped create ‘hybrid’ educational option in …

“We had been working with Indiana Virtual School, but when it closed we made contact with Options,” said Beth Hodges, who worked for a publishing …

Teen tennis player reaches finals in Delray Beach competition

Gulbransen, 17, a home-schooled junior taking online classes with Florida Virtual School, has been playing tennis for 10 years and said the sport has …

FAGE President challenges GEPA to introduce practical solutions for farmers to boost exports

He said the export school, a flagship program of the Authority which is currently being transformed from a virtual school to a structured school would …

Virtual Schools Report on, Status and Forecast, by Players, Types and Applications Market by …

… White Hat Management, * Abbotsford Virtual School, * Alaska Virtual School, For complete companies list and please ask for sample pages.

AfCFTA presents prospects to the agriculture sector

He said the export school, a flagship program of the Authority was being transformed from a virtual school to a structured school to educate exporters …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Conneaut School District leader favors tuition for out-of-district cyber students

LINESVILLE — A plan for charging tuition to students residing outside of Conneaut School District who take classes through the district’s cyber school …

RV Board hears reports on first week of school

In addition, Rupp said that the high school is continuing efforts to contact district students currently enrolled in cyber school programs outside of …

 

September 8, 2019

EBSCO Alerts

ebscoFirst, I did not receive the alert for virtual schools.

Next, I also didn’t receive the alert for cyber schools.

Finally, once again I did not receive the alert for K-12 online learning.

So nothing to report this week at all.

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