Virtual School Meanderings

February 14, 2015

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with Education Week’s EdWeek Update.

COMMENTARY

K-12 MOOCs Must Address EquityK-12 MOOCs Must Address Equity

Until all students have easy access to the Internet, online courses could impede rather than improve achievement among lower-income youths, Norman Eng says.

(Education Week)

Also their Industry & Innovation

Blending of Technology, Longer School Days Evaluated

The pairing of blended learning and an expanded school day hits the sweet spot for improving K-12 education, concludes a new guide for educators and policymakers.

(Education Week)

Next, the semi-regular the ASCD SmartBrief.

Should blended learning begin in early grades?
Early-grades students are using a combination of technology and traditional classroom instruction in some California schools as blended-learning practices expand beyond high school and middle school. Supporters say blended learning helps teach technology skills and engages students. Others question its use at an early age. EdSource (2/11)

Similarly, SmartBrief for EdTech.

Report: Blended learning, longer days are “sweet spot” for education
The combination of blended learning and a longer school day is considered the “educational sweet spot,” according to a recently released guide for teachers. The National Center on Time & Learning guide offers tips to help teachers use digital tools effectively and use extra learning time more efficiently. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (2/4)

Are students taking too many online courses in Mich.?
Detroit Free Press (2/4)

Survey: Online courses make up majority of growth in higher education
Online enrollment among college and university students is growing at a slower rate than it has in the past, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium, Pearson and Tyton Partners. However, the survey finds that 75% of all higher education growth is attributed to online courses.CampusTechnology.com (2/5)

Hybrid learning successfully blends high-tech, small group instruction
Officials at a Pennsylvania elementary school say that test scores at the once-struggling school have soared following a decision three years ago to adopt a hybrid learning model, in which teachers blend high-tech learning and small group instruction. Officials now are planning to pilot the approach at another low-performing school. The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/8)

Students try online elective classes through virtual school
Belleville News-Democrat (Ill.) (2/9)

Teacher describes benefits of blended learning, gaming
Students at a blended-learning magnet high school in Florida are using games to develop digital design skills. More than just a fun diversion, the games enable students to hone their problem-solving skills and take ownership of their learning, teacher Rob Schwartz said in this Q&A. T.H.E. Journal (1/27)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

How Controversial Online Charter Schools Push Aside Their Opponents

K12 and NC Learns first submitted an application to open a virtual school in North Carolina more than three years years ago, in 2011, when a change …

North Carolina Connections Academy Approved to Open in the 2015-2016 School Year

North Carolina Connections Academy will begin serving students in the month of August 2015. The public virtual school’s charter agreement is held by …

Florida Virtual School graduate chosen to work in Washington

Camilla Cook, a 2010 graduate of Florida Virtual School and an agricultural communications and journalism major at Texas A&M University, recently …

He’s happy teaching in a virtual reality

That’s when he looked into teaching at the virtual school. And since then, he hasn’t suffered any more attacks. “I think it’s relieved a lot of the stress he …

Grant students experiment with painting styles

Pupils in the Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools’ virtual school program —who come to Grant Elementary one day each week for social and enrichment …

Second Maine virtual school opening in fall, commission confident it can oversee beleaguered …

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s second virtual charter school will open this fall, after the Maine Charter School Commission gave its final approval during …

Why are Gibault students adding online classes to their already busy schedules?

This semester marks the first time Gibault partnered with the Illinois Virtual School, an accredited school that employs certified teachers, to offer …

Aldine ISD Taps Schoology For Core District Initiatives

Aldine ISD has been a leader on numerous technology fronts for years and its Virtual School has been established to provide distance learning and …

Maine’s second virtual school gets OK to open this fall

Virtual charter school students learn largely from home and get lessons online, with limited face-to-face interaction with teachers and administrators.

Second Maine virtual school opening in fall, commission confident it can oversee beleaguered …

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s second virtual charter school will open this fall, after the Maine Charter School Commission gave its final approval during …

Aldine ISD (Texas) Picks Schoology for Virtual School and Other Core District Initiatives

Its Virtual School has been in place since 1996 providing students with distance learning and credit recovery in a TEKS-aligned, project-based online …

Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality

At the end of Angie Kohtala’s Leadership Skills Development Course, her high schoolstudents have to plan and carry out a community service project.

Florida Virtual School graduate chosen to work in Washington

Camilla Cook, a 2010 graduate of Florida Virtual School and an agricultural communications and journalism major at Texas A&M University, recently …

School Report Cards Unfairly Judge Virtual Schools When It Comes to Dropouts

The state legislature is considering legislation to make schools more accountable for their ability to teach.Schools will be judged, and possibly face …

Keep virtual public schools an option for Iowa students

Virtual public school [“For-profit online schools raise questions,” Feb. 4] has been a great option for my son, Blake. He has Asperger’s syndrome and …

Illinois Virtual School Shares Innovations and Expertise via New Leadership Alliance Website

Illinois Virtual School is a member of the Virtual School Leadership Alliance which serves over a quarter of a million online course enrollments …

He’s happy teaching in a virtual reality

For just over a year now, he has taught middle school language arts at the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy, a Manistee-based program in …

How Controversial Online Charter Schools Push Aside Their Opponents

The Board of Education approved today the opening of North Carolina VirtualAcademy, an online charter school that will be managed and operated …

‘School Choice’ Bills Pending In Oklahoma Legislature

Money in the account could be used for a virtual school or a private school accredited by the Oklahoma Private School Accrediting Council. It could be …

Sen. Tim Scott hosts school choice forum

In South Carolina, Weaver said the state offers a variety of choice options including charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, virtual school …

Mel-Min begins offering virtual school classes

Melrose-Mindoro High School now has a small conference room equipped with virtual school capabilities. Seven students currently enrolled in the …

Virtual, charter education options expanded in school transfer law approved by committee

Instead of that option, the measure would create both charter and virtual schoolchoices for children in unaccredited districts. Lawmakers have said …

In The News: Gainesville NAACP Rated D, Kissimmee $309M Ski Resort, FloridaVirtual School On …

Florida Virtual School to start on-campus option – Florida Virtual School was the first state-run online education program. Now, it’s offering a new …

eSchool allowed Pasco Outstanding Senior of the Year to set, reach lofty goals

That’s quite a feat, according to selection committee member Sandy May, noting that this is the first time a virtual school student has been granted the …

Skyline Schools will put tax increase to voters

The district is closing the Sawyer Virtual Academy. With changes in the virtual school funding, Skyline can no longer afford to keep Sawyer Academy …

Florida Virtual School to start on-campus option

Florida Virtual School, which put the state on the online learning map, is offering a new option this fall that includes something very traditional: …

Several bills from Del. Dickie Bell pass House of Delegates

Delegate Bell’s House Bill 1364 establishes a new Virtual Virginia School and creates a Board of the Virginia Virtual School as a policy agency under …

Tennessee Virtual Academy pleads with lawmakers to stay open

Hundreds of parents, students and educators visited the state Capitol on Tuesday to advocate for Tennessee Virtual Academy, an online public school …

Letter: All three school districts are superior

We maintain a virtual school, parents as teachers, and etc. Also, we have a very diverse student body. Another plus! Add to that a sagacious …

Ready or not, virtual charter schools on verge of powering up in North Carolina

Get ready to add “attend third-grade” to the growing list of things you can do over the Internet in North Carolina, after ordering pizzas and watching cat …

Seton Hall and Paterson Public Schools Receive $1.5 Million Federal Grant to Help Turnaround …

“The district is creating a web-enabled virtual school that requires aspiring principals to confront problems, make choices and then – critically – see the …

RANDA Solutions’ Wendy Oliver to Be Key Panelist on Blended Learning at the 2015 Society for …

… Anne Roycroft of Florida Virtual School, who will focus on the experience of full-time high school social studies teachers in the online environment, …

Chesco cyber school celebrates new location

DOWNINGTOWN 21st Century Cyber Charter School celebrated its new Downingtown location Thursdaywith a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Otters’ high school-age players turn to cyber school

What to watch: The Otters open a challenging five-game homestand that begins with a matchup against the Western Conference-leading Greyhounds …

Chester Springs student to compete in ‘Poetry Out Loud’ recitation competition

According to event organizers, this is the first time in the contest’s 10-year history that a cyber school has competed on the state level in Pennsylvania.

PA Cyber School enrollment down 2000 since 2013 peak

Since then, however, the Midland-based cyber school saw enrollment fall by almost 17 percent to a three-year low of 9,585 in October 2014. PA Cyber …

PA Cyber School enrollment down 2000 since 2013 peak

Another cyber school, Commonwealth Connections Academy Charter School in Dauphin County saw its enrollment increase from 6,667 in 2012 to …

Business leadership program goes statewide with PA Cyber students

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An innovative program that puts middle and high school students in personal contact with …

PA Cyber School enrollment down 2000 since 2013 peak

MIDLAND — Enrollment at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has declined by nearly 2,000 students in less than two years, and the school is …

PA Cyber School enrollment down 2000 since 2013 peak

MIDLAND — Enrollment at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has declined by nearly 2,000 students in less than two years, and the school is …

Otters’ high school-age players turn to cyber school

What to watch: The Otters open a challenging five-game homestand that begins with a matchup against the Western Conference-leading Greyhounds …

Cyber schools costly, ineffective (letter)

Cyber schools are an alternative to traditional public schools. Some students take all of their classes online, while other students attend classes at their …

Cyber charter schools do a good job despite teacher union attacks: PennLive letters

I am writing in response to your series of articles on charter and cyber charter schools. As parents, we’re wondering when the media will start covering …

usiness leadership program goes statewide with PA Cyber students

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An innovative program that puts middle and highschool students in personal contact with …

State’s ‘U Can B’ program expands through Cyber Charter School

The “U Can B” program is available for the first time to middle and high school students statewide through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Cyber …

Chesco cyber school celebrates new location

DOWNINGTOWN 21st Century Cyber Charter School celebrated its new Downingtown location Thursdaywith a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open …

Pittsburgh native Evancho’s musical maturation keeps pace with life

“I’m in public school again after two or three years of cyber school, because I missed the interaction with kids,” says the high-school freshman.

 

February 8, 2015

ProQuest/EBSCO Alerts

proquestBeginning with the ProQuest Alert for virtual school.

1.
2.
3.
4.
Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality All Things Considered Washington, D.C.: National Public Radio. (Feb 2, 2015)

Formats:
Citation
Full text
5.
State rejects the third cyber charter applicationWoodall, Martha. McClatchy – Tribune Business News [Washington] 30 Jan 2015.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text
6.
Audit: Andover virtual school used loophole in state aid lawLlopis-Jepsen, Celia. Topeka Capital Journal [Topeka, Kan] 29 Jan 2015: A.1.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text
7.
Make digital learning a priorityHonolulu Star – Advertiser [Honolulu, Hawaii] 28 Jan 2015.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text

Next, as usual I have not received the ProQuest alert for cyber school for some time.

ebsco

Moving on…  There were no relevant items in the EBSCO alert for virtual school or cyber school.

Finally, I did not receive the the EBSCO alert for K-12 online learning

February 7, 2015

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with Education Week’s EdWeek Update.

Virtual Preschool: Yes, That’s Now a Real Option

Early childhood experts are questioning the value of a new virtual preschool that offers digital learning materials and online access to teachers.

(Digital Education)

Also, Education Week’s Digital Directions.

Schools Test Impact of Blending Technology, Longer Days

The pairing of blended learning and an expanded school day hits the sweet spot for improving K-12 education, concludes a new guide for educators and policymakers.

Next, the semi-regular ASCD SmartBrief.

Tech helps turn snow days into e-learning days
Educators in an Indiana school district are using technology to help bridge the learning gap during snow days. Devices are available for students to take home if they do not have a computer. During a recent string of snow days, Superintendent Ralph Walker said they had 100% student participation on the first day, but the number had dropped to 55% by the fourth day. National Public Radio/All Tech Considered (2/2)

Similarly, the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Quality of online-education providers varies
The online public school is the fastest-growing sector of K-12 education, but its popularity has raised concerns over the quality of the education students are receiving. At issue is that the quality of e-learning providers varies widely, critics say. National Public Radio/nprEd blog (2/2)

Survey: Online education important to administrators, but not faculty
A new survey from Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson found that nearly 71% of higher-education leaders believe online programs are critical for the long-term success of institutions, up from nearly 49% in 2002. However, the survey also found that only 28% of administrators say faculty believe online classes are important to higher education. ZDNet/Between the Lines blog (2/5)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

Paving different paths to success

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what virtual school is,” she said. “They don’t understand that it’s a public school, and we’re a real school, with …

School Choice Supporters Rally at Capitol

… Griffith, a child actress enrolled in Connections Academy, a full-time virtual school operated through the Houston Independent School District.

Sun Prairie School Board looks at open enrollment

Virtual school transitions included: Appleton, Grantsburg, McFarland, Merrill and Waukesha. Seeing more students leave the district was a concern for …

Parents march to Capitol to support school choice

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what virtual school is,” she said. “They don’t understand that it’s a public school and we’re a real school with …

Celebrate diverse school options

… was able to eventually return to his previous school once his injury healed, he avoided falling behind due to enrolling temporarily in virtual school.

Australia’s first virtual specialist school

The horizon for gifted students living in the bush is widening dramatically, with the opening of the Australia’s first virtual specialist school.

Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality

She is at Florida Virtual School, one of the biggest in the business. The organization, which is technically a Florida school district, enrolls over 200,000 …

Bill would let home-schooled students play on public school sports teams

Nevertheless, home-school families sometimes opt to enroll their children in public or private high schools or virtual school programs at least in part …

Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality

Kohtala teaches in the fastest-growing sector of K-12 education: the online public school. She is at Florida Virtual School, one of the biggest in the …

Virtual School Day?

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY — A traditional snow day may be a thing of the past. Bishop Guilfoyle students are issued iPads and today was the first day …

Virtual School to Replace Snow Days?

In Minnesota, winter’s arrival brings threats of snow days and some districts plan to overcome cancelled school with “virtual school days.” …

Audit: Andover schools found loophole in state aid

Mark Templin, principal of Andover eCademy, speaks Wednesday afternoon during the Legislative Post Audit on K12: education reviewing virtual …

Australia’s first virtual specialist school

The horizon for gifted students living in the bush is widening dramatically, with the opening of the Australia’s first virtual specialist school.

Parents march to Capitol to support school choice

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what virtual school is,” she said. “They don’t understand that it’s a public school and we’re a real school with …

S.C. students rally for more school choice

“We’ve done great things with charter schools. We’ve done great things with virtual schools. But we want to give more control to our parents, more …

And now, online preschool classes. Really.

Online school classes for toddlers and preschoolers are here. VINCI Education is offering what it calls a “groundbreaking virtual school” for youngsters …

And now, online preschool classes. Really.

Online school classes for toddlers and preschoolers are here. VINCI Education is offering what it calls a “groundbreaking virtual school” for youngsters …

Memphis mother creates resource to help parents navigate school choices

… to give parents access to information about private, charter, homeschool and virtual school options, but excluding traditional public schools.

Aldine ISD (Texas) Picks Schoology for Virtual School and Other Core District Initiatives

Its Virtual School has been in place since 1996 providing students with distance learning and credit recovery in a TEKS-aligned, project-based online …

Panel Gives Final OK To 2nd Virtual Charter School

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine panel has given final approval to a group to open the state’s second virtual charter school. The Portland Press …

PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana established a business school

He said the virtual school will provide courses in taxation, accounting, corporate governance, human resource, finance, capital infrastructure and …

Illinois Virtual School Shares Innovations and Expertise via New Leadership Alliance Website

Illinois Virtual School is a member of the Virtual School Leadership Alliance which serves over a quarter of a million online course enrollments …

More learning online; performance lagging

Figures were analyzed from several sources: students enrolled in courses through Michigan Virtual School, which is part of Michigan Virtual University …

More kids taking online classes, but performance lagging

Data was analyzed from several sources: students enrolled in courses through Michigan Virtual School, which is part of Michigan Virtual University; …

NC Education Officials To Vote On Virtual Charter Schools

State education officials are expected to vote Thursday on whether to approve two virtual charter schools to open next fall. The schools would serve up …

The Register’s Editorial: For-profit online schools raise questions

How do you know February has arrived in Iowa? Lakes are frozen and residents are bombarded with advertisements offering a free “virtual” education …

Texas District Adopts New LMS To Support a Range of Tech Initiatives

Aldine ISD has a history of embracing technology, with a virtual school featuring a project-based learning environment launched in 1996.

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

State rejects the third cyber charter application

Pennsylvania’s acting education secretary turned down the third and final application for a new statewide cyber charter school Thursday. The decision …

New curriculum choices coming to Dallas High School

The district contracts with Seneca Valley cyber school to teach special courses. There will also be other new cyber options, one-semester courses for a …

 

February 2, 2015

Tribune Opinion: Struggling Online School Model Raises Serious Questions

A colleague sent me this last week.  While it was written about Colorado, I think it could (and maybe should) be written by every editorial board in the United States!

Tribune Opinion: Struggling online school model raises serious questions

The creative power of the Internet has changed a lot of things.

However, it’s not clear how much that power has altered the fundamentals of providing children with a first-class education. Beginning in the late 1990s, some educators began to see the Internet as a new way to teach kids. It could allow students to learn at their own pace and offer a second chance for students who struggled in traditional classroom settings.

A number of charter schools sprung up around the state. Students left their traditional schools and signed up for online learning. So many students sought out this new approach that traditional school districts began offering their own online schools. Greeley-Evans School District 6, for example, launched Engage Online Academy in 2011. Charter schools Hope Online Academy and GOAL Academy also serve students in Weld County.

Online schools — in districts across the state — have attracted more than 16,000 students. That all sounds great. But there is a problem.

The schools don’t appear to be working.

» Fewer than 50 percent of high school students at Hope and Goal graduate within seven years.

» Nearly 40 percent of Colorado’s online schools either closed last year, or received one of the state’s two lowest accreditation ratings.

» Only 34 percent of the online schools are classified as “performance” schools, the state’s highest accreditation rating. About 70 percent of non-online schools received that accreditation rating this year.

» Many online schools have incredibly poor teacher student-teacher ratios. For example, of the state’s Top 25 highest student-to-teacher ratios, 20 belong to online schools.

Worse still, the online schools actually make it more difficult for traditional schools to deliver on their mandate to prepare kids for the 21st century. Online schools pull more than $100 million per year away from their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

We understand that many online schools face challenging demographics that make teaching more difficult. But so do traditional schools. While these challenges help explain some failings, they don’t excuse them. And it’s worth noting that many brick-and-mortar schools in District 6 perform well, despite the demographic challenges they face.

Newspapers know better than most the challenges that come with adapting a legacy business model to the opportunities of the Internet age. And, it’s fair to say that online education has a role to play in the future.

But the current model for Internet-based schools in K-12 education doesn’t seem to work. What that tells us is that the fundamentals remain crucial. Teachers matter. Time in a classroom matters. And resources matter. So far, the evidence suggests many online schools in Colorado have failed to develop a model that delivers on these fundamentals.

We’re not ready to give up on online education. But we think it bears watching. If these struggling schools can’t show real improvement quickly, it may be time to think again about what we expect from technology.

— The Tribune Editorial Board

February 1, 2015

ProQuest/EBSCO Alerts

proquestBeginning with the ProQuest Alert for virtual school.

1.
2.
3.
Jeb Bush vs. Public EducationDoerr, Edd. Voice of Reason 4 (Winter 2014): 10.

Formats:
Citation/Abstract
Full text Full text – PDF (115 KB)

Next, as usual I have not received the ProQuest alert for cyber school for some time.

ebsco

Moving on…  The EBSCO alerts for virtual school.

1. TI- 7 Best Practices for Building a Multimodal, Online Elementary Curriculum.
AU- Hart, Jennifer
JN- T H E Journal
PD- Jan2015, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p9-10
PG- 2p
DT- 20150101
PT- Article
FT- 1355
IS- 0192592X
AN- 100567178
UR- http://proxy.lib.wayne.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=100567178&site=eds-live

Next, I also received the EBSCO alert cyber school, but there were no relevant items..

Finally, I did not receive the the EBSCO alert for K-12 online learning

 

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