Virtual School Meanderings

April 15, 2015

Beat the Rush, Register for Summer Now!

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

Florida Virtual School
No Bells. No Bus Stops. No Limitations. Beat the rush and sign up for summer courses!
Dear Michael,
Sun, Fun, and FLVS! Summer is right around the corner, have your students signed up for their classes yet? 

It’s that time of year again when thousands of students rush to sign up for summer courses, so don’t miss the bus. Get ahead, make up a credit, and even satisfy their online graduation requirement* this summer. The earlier they register, the better positioned they are to get the start dates they want.


Start by browsing three of our newest and most popular courses now and beat the rush!


Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance: High School Edition

Did you know that less than half of high school seniors qualify as financially literate? With student and household debt soaring, it’s time to help change that statistic. High school students can change the way they look at money forever with Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance course now available through Florida Virtual School. Through this course, more than one 1.5 million students have been empowered, equipped and entertained while building confidence in their own financial decision-making.


Career Research and Decision Making

This course will show you how to prepare for, get accepted to and pay for college. You will explore different career and education pathways, study interview techniques and networking tips, create smart resumes, and learn how to plan for a successful future. Throughout the course you will be coached by Mawi Asgedom, a Harvard graduate and a student leadership expert who has trained more than 1 million students. Opportunity is knocking, are you ready?


M/J Business Keyboarding

Using a special online library of software, you will gain typing speed while learning the proper technique to become a keyboarding master. You will also learn business skills to prepare for your future career.


Choose from other exciting courses featured for summer:

  • M/J Careers in Fashion and Interior Design
  • M/J Career Research and Decision Making
  • M/J Comprehensive PE – Grades 6/7
  • M/J Comprehensive PE – Grades 7/8
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Driver’s Education/Traffic Safety
  • Economics with Financial Literacy
  • Law Studies
  • Life Management Skills
  • Outdoor Education
  • Parenting Skills
  • Peer Counseling 1
  • Personal Fitness
  • Psychology 1
  • Reading for College Success
  • Social Media 1
  • United States Government


Classes fill up fast. Beat the rush and sign up for your summer courses today!

Click Here to browse our full catalog of courses and sign up now!


* Middle School/Junior High (M/J) level courses do not satisfy the virtual learning requirement for high school graduation.


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April 14, 2015

Speak Up News – April 2015

Also from Monday’s inbox…

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Speak Up News – April 2015

Happy April! We are excited to release our Speak Up 2014 student data at our first Congressional Briefing later this month! Keep reading for more information on how you can RSVP for the event in Washington, D.C., request a copy of the report, and watch our video live stream of the event, as well as additional webinar and education technology opportunities that are taking place this month.

Quick links:

National Release of Speak Up 2014 National Findings: Learn more about our first Congressional Briefing and how you can RSVP to this event.

Can’t make it to our first Congressional Briefing? RSVP for our live stream of the event and request a copy of the report.

Speak Up Data Luncheon at ISTE 2015: Learn how to use your Speak Up data at this special workshop for school and district leaders.

Speak Up PowerPoint Templates: Need to present your school or district data? Check out our easy to use PowerPoint templates..

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning: Get a sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students.

Moving Beyond Textbook Replacement to Personalize the Student Learning Experience: Attend our free webinar with FuelEducation on April 15th!

NSBA Education Technology Site Visits: Join NSBA to see innovative strategies in action as school districts highlight effective technology solutions.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team


National Release of Speak Up 2014 National Findings

2015 Congressional Briefing

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Hart Senate Office Building Room 902
Washington, D.C.

Please join us for the release of the Speak Up 2014 National Findings. This is the first of two Congressional Briefings on the data results from the 521,000 online Speak Up surveys submitted from education stakeholders nationwide in fall 2014.

The April 30th briefing will include a presentation of the national findings and a moderated panel discussion with students and educators. This year’s national report on the findings will be distributed to all attendees.

Will you be in Washington, D.C. on the day of the briefing? Click here to RSVP to attend the in-person event.

Can’t make it to the Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C.?

No problem! We’ll be live streaming the event as it happens. Click here to RSVP for the live stream.

Additionally, you can request a copy of the report once it is released. Click here to request a copy of our Speak Up 2014 Findings Report.

If you need additional information about Speak Up or the Congressional Briefing, please feel free to contact Jenny Hostert at or (949) 609-4660 ext 17.


Using Speak Up Data to Inform Your Digital Learning Plans – a special workshop for school and district leaders

Save the date!

Sunday, June 28
2:30PM to 5PM
Philadelphia, PA (in conjunction with ISTE 2015)

Plan to attend this special, first-ever workshop for school and district leaders on how to leverage Speak Up data from your education stakeholders to inform and guide your digital learning plans. You have collected the views and aspirations of your students, parents, teachers, community members and staff — now how do you use that data to kickstart a new initiative, change the perceptions of your teachers, gain the support of your school board, parents and community, or develop new funding sources to support your plans? We will cover all of that and more in this special workshop that will feature strategies for using the Speak Up data — and testimonials from school district leaders on their successes. Refreshments and appetizers will be provided also.

Interested in learning more – or want to save your seat for this limited enrollment opportunity? Contact Jenny Hostert at



Speak Up PowerPoint templates

Are you interested in presenting your school or district data? Download our two new PowerPoint templates – all you need to do is follow the instructions in the notes and drop in your data.

Click here to download the PowerPoint templates


Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning

Sneak peek at the 2014 National Findings for K-12 Students

We are excited to release a sneak peek of the 2014 National Findings for K-12 students in honor of Digital Learning Day! Last fall, 431,231 K-12 students nationwide spoke up about digital learning and more – here’s a preview of what we learned:

▪ 42% of 6th-8th graders say taking an online or virtual class should be a requirement for graduation.

▪ Amongst girls, 64% of 3rd-5th and 50% 6th-8th graders want to code.

▪ 46% of 9th-12th graders are Twitter users now – 4 times more than in 2011 when only 11% were tweeting

To read the full list of things everyone should know about K-12 students’ views on digital learning, click here.


Moving Beyond Textbook Replacement to Personalize the Student Learning Experience

Free webinar with FuelEducation

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
2PM Eastern Daylight Time

Many schools and districts have implemented a 1:1 initiative or various other types of digital tools to enrich learning. But how do educators move beyond textbook replacement to enhance the learning experience and truly customize learning for each student?

In this webinar, Julie Evans will share national findings from Project Tomorrow’sSpeak Up Research Project. Conducted annually, the Speak Up Projects collects and reports on the authentic views of K-12 students, parents and educators nationwide on the benefits as well as challenges of digital learning. Belvoir Christian Academy will share how they have overcome the obstacles of diminishing resources and low enrollment to create a successful personalized learning experience for their middle school students. Cathy Butterworth, a former administrator, will share the story of how she has evolved to being a mentor teacher of the Belvoir online program and how she has adapted to her new role.

Attendees will learn:

▪ How to create engaging digital content that moves beyond textbook replacement

▪ Best practices for evolving the teaching style to complement a digital learning model

▪ How students perceive personalized learning and why they find it more beneficial

Click here to register for the event


Register for the NSBA Site Visits

Education Technology Site Visits

National School Boards Association

Join our friends at the National School Boards Association to see innovative strategies in action as school districts highlight effective technology solutions. You’ll have a chance to tour schools, ask questions, and see first-hand the energy and enthusiasm these new practices bring to the classroom. Return with new ideas and fresh perspectives on how technology can help transform your district.

There are three site visit opportunities later this month in Virginia, Ohio, and Washington:

April 22 – 24, 2015
Prince William County Public Schools, Manassas, VA
Click here for more information

April 26 – 28, 2015
Mentor Public Schools, Mentor, OH
Click here for more information

April 29 – May 1, 2015
Kent School District, Kent, WA
Click here to learn more

Interested in visiting one of these districts? Click here to register for a site visit.

If you need additional information about the NSBA Education Technology Site Visits, please contact Ann Flynn, Director of Education Technology, at


Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Speak Up Operations Manager, Jenny Hostert, at or via phone at (949) 609-4660 ext. 17.

Many thanks to our sponsors and partners for the support of Speak Up 2014: Blackboard Inc., BrainPOP, Fuel Education, DreamBox Learning, Schoolwires, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Rosetta Stone, American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, Digital Learning Day, Digital Promise, edWeb, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, International Society for Technology in Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National School Boards Association, Secondary Education Teachers’ Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board.

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APRIL 13, 2015
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Editorial: Novakian concept mapping in university and professional educationNovakian concept mapping has the potential to make a major impact in the development of higher education as universities strive to support students’ generation of powerful knowledge. This can be achieved by increasing the accessibility of multiple perspectives on knowledge that reveal and exploit the epistemic chaos that lies beneath a veneer of curriculum coherence. […]

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Online Graduate Students’ Preferences of Discussion Modality: Does Gender Matter?Audio/video discussion has been used increasingly in online courses due to its affordances in enhancing online communication. However, whether learners of different characteristics can benefit from this discussion modality has not been investigated extensively. This study examined whether gender plays a role in learners’ preferences and perceptions of audio/video discussion as compared to text discussion. […]

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Online Graduate Instruction: What Faculty Consider Reasonable In Relation to What Students ExpectIn this investigation, the author utilized a modified Delphi technique to validate whether graduate level online faculty and learners could achieve a consensus of opinion relative to a range of instructional practices commonly associated with online education. A list of administrative guidelines pertaining to online instruction collected from an assortment of post-secondary institutions in the […]

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Instructor Time Requirements to Develop and Teach Online CoursesHow much time does it take to teach an online course? Does teaching online take more or less time than teaching face-to-face? Instructors, department chairs, deans, and program administrators have long believed that teaching online is more time-consuming than teaching face-to-face. Many research studies and practitioner articles indicate instructor time commitment as a major inhibitor […]

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Contemporary Literacies and Technologies in English Language Arts Teacher Education: Shift Happens!Three leaders of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on English Education (CEE) reflect on the changes that have occurred in English language arts teacher education in the past 15 years since the first edition of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE Journal) was published. The authors take a historical look at […]

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Beacon Developer NetObjex Enters Library Market with SmartLibraryNewport Beach, CA-based NetObjex, developer of turnkey “Internet of Things” (IoT) device management solutions for commercial enterprises, recently announced the launch of SmartLibrary, a system that enables libraries to transmit targeted, location-relevant messages to their patrons’ smartphones and mobile devices. IoT is a new area of computing and includes smart devices such as beacons and […]

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April 12, 2015

AOA Today | AOA Teacher Named Turnitin All-Starts Finalist

From Thursday’s inbox…

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April 2015
Alpha Omega Academy history teacher, Jackie Harbach, has been named a finalist in the 2015 Turnitin All-Stars program. The winners of 2015 Turnitin All-Stars are scheduled to be announced later this month.

Romando Cassells
Student of the Month
Meet our student of the month, Romando Cassells. He’s a senior from Jamaica who hopes to attend a live AOA graduation ceremony in Orlando this June.

Did You Know?

The state of Alaska is so big that you could fit New Jersey inside it more than 75 times.

All K-6 students are encouraged to attend the second annual AOA Science Fair on April 22 to see what young scientists at the academy have discovered this spring!

AOA’s newest math teacher, Julia Anglin, enjoys both teaching and research. She has spent significant time traveling the world to research best practices in mathematics education and is currently in the midst of two different studies.
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April 10, 2015

Communiqué: April 2015

Another item from Wednesday’s inbox…

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You are receiving this newsletter because your organization is a member of the Federation, or you have previously attended Congress, or you are a subscriber. To update your subscription or to unsubscribe, click “Update profile/email address” at the bottom of this email.
In This Issue
Child minding at Congress
Make room in your Congress schedule for Expo!
New Federation President, Past-President and Board members meet to discuss Strategic Plan 2016-2020
Winners of 25th annual Canada Prizes to be announced April 22
Antonia Maioni and Stephen Toope contribute to debate on institutions in The Globe and Mail
Antonia Maioni shares Canadian census debate with Australian readers inThe Conversation
Big Thinking on the Hill with economist Marjorie Griffin Cohen, April 28
Big Thinking on the road highlights three game-changing Ontario discoveries
Bacon & Big Thinking panel on Parliament Hill addresses extreme weather phenomena
SSHRC announces Top 25 Storytellers

Child minding at Congress

Two child minding services will be available at Congress 2015 to serve children of different ages. Both services are bilingual and will operate from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on each day of Congress (May 30 to June 5). Children must be pre-registered before May 14, find more information and register here.

Make room in your Congress schedule for Expo!

Don’t miss your chance to connect with leading community partners, discover remarkable literary works, and network with the best and brightest scholarly minds from across the country and beyond. Expo is open to the public free of charge. Find out more about Congress Expo.

New Federation President, Past-President and Board members meet to discuss Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Stephen Toope assumed the office of President of the Federation at the end of March 2015.  Antonia Maioni will serve as Past-President until March 2016. The new Board of Directors met in March to continue renewal of the Strategic Plan following consultation with members in 2014. A draft document of the revised plan will be shared later this year.

Winners of 25th annual Canada Prizes to be announced April 22

Following the announcement of the finalists for the 2015 Canada Prizes, this year’s winning books in English and French in each of the humanities and social sciences categories will be announced on April 22. The Awards Ceremony will be held on April 29 at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library, in partnership with York University and the Toronto Public Library. The event will be emceed by former CBC correspondent Brian Stewart and will feature a keynote address by internationally celebrated storyteller M.G. Vassanji. Register for this event here.

Antonia Maioni and Stephen Toope contribute to debate on institutions in The Globe and Mail

In her March 18 contribution to a Globe Debate discussion series on institutions, Federation Past-President Antonia Maioni urges universities to continue to prepare graduates for the complexities of the 21st century by investing in “high quality university teaching” alongside world-class research. Federation President Stephen Toope’s op-ed about theunfeasibility of a postinstitutional society kicked off theGlobe Debate discussion a week earlier.

Antonia Maioni shares Canadian census debate with Australian readers in The Conversation

An article by Federation Past-President Antonia Maioni toThe Conversation magazine will help shape the debate about the fate of Australia’s long-form census. Maioni explains the impact of the census’ elimination on Canadian research, policy and society. Read the article in The Conversation here.

Big Thinking on the Hill with economist Marjorie Griffin Cohen, April 28

The Federation invites you to join us on Parliament Hill on April 28 for a Big Thinking discussion with economist Marjorie Griffin Cohen, titled “Austerity for prosperity? How women and men are faring in the Canadian economy.”Find more information and register here.

Big Thinking on the road highlights three game-changing Ontario discoveries

Researchers Michael Geist, Ron Deibert and Gerald McMaster discussed three game-changing Ontario discoveries that have impacted Canada and the world at an April 1 Big Thinking panel that was held at the Ontario and Canada Research Chairs Symposium, an event organized by the Council of Ontario Universities and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Watch the Big Thinking video here.

Bacon & Big Thinking panel on Parliament Hill addresses extreme weather phenomena

The March 26 panel brought together Dr. Daniel Scott, a social scientist, and Dr. Ronald Stewart, a scientist, to jointly address how the effects of extreme weather can be mitigated for communities and the economy. The discussion was co-sponsored with the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE). Watch the full panel and listen to the professors’ interview on CBC Ottawa Morning here.

SSHRC announces Top 25 Storytellers

The Top 25 Storytellers in SSHRC’s annual contest wereannounced on April 1. The Top 25 will be invited to Congress 2015, where they will participate in an exclusive research communications master class and deliver their presentations before a live audience at the Storytellers Showcase. A team of judges including Federation President Stephen Toope will select the Final 5 Storytellers.

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April 2015
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About the Federation

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is a national, member-based organization that promotes the value of research and learning towards a free and democratic society.

Off the Shelf

This section features past activities and initiatives that warrant another mention. 


With just two weeks to go to the announcement of the winners of the 2015 Canada Prizes, it is an excellent opportunity to look back at last year’s Prizes. Click hereto see a list of the 2014 winning books and authors, interviews, blogs, and photos from the awards ceremony.

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