Virtual School Meanderings

June 22, 2015

Gain Insight from EdWeek Research Advisor

Note the blended learning item below…

Education<br />
Week Research Advisor
Access your free copies of Education Week‘s sponsored whitepapers today. Download insights and thought leadership from our sponsors.

The content of the whitepapers is from our sponsors and is not written by
Education Week nor any of its affiliates
Nurturing the Middle School Mathematical Mind
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7 Ways to Engage Students in Complex Texts
Provided by Amplify | Read Whitepaper Now
Student-Centered Learning with a Learning Platform
Provided by itslearning | Read Whitepaper Now
What You Need to Know to Support Blended Learning
Provided by Education Elements | Read Whitepaper Now
Beyond a Single Estimate of Effectiveness
Provided by SAS | Read Whitepaper Now
Message Received: A Guide for Building a Successful K-12 Communication Strategy
Provided by Blackboard | Read Whitepaper Now
2015 K-12 Wi-Fi Buyer’s Guide
Provided by Aerohive | Read Whitepaper Now


March 23, 2015

Project-Based Learning, Common Core, and Digital Content: New Spotlights From Education Week

From Saturday’s inbox…  Note the digital content and blended learning items…

Project-Based Learning, Common Core, and Digital Content: New Spotlights From Education Week
Download Education Week Spotlights.
Education Week Spotlights contain essential news and commentary on the big issues. These Spotlights provide the information you need to understand the most talked-about topics. For a limited time, download these Spotlights for free.

Download the Spotlight on Common-Core InstructionCommon-Core Instruction

Explore how teachers are leading common-core implementation and review news and commentary on the new math and literacy standards.
Read more.

Download the<br />
Spotlight on Project-Based LearningProject-Based Learning

Delve into how teachers and leaders are making project-based learning a cornerstone of classroom instruction.
Read more.

Download the Spotlight<br />
on Using Digital ContentUsing Digital Content

Learn how teachers, districts, and publishers are navigating the expanding digital-content marketplace.
Read more.
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Review the historic E-rate funding increase and consider the winners and losers of these changes.

Career Readiness

Read how teachers and schools are fostering career-ready skills.

Blended Learning

Explore the costs, benefits, and drawbacks of blended learning.

English/Language Arts for K-8

Learn how personalized learning, automated writing evaluations, and the common core are changing English and language arts instruction.

Elements of a Successful District

Read how district leaders are fostering innovation, research, and student and teacher engagement.

Math Instruction

Delve into the implications of the common core, blended learning, and more on math instruction.
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March 21, 2014

2013 Digital Learning Report Card

Last week I saw this blog entry come through my RSS reader – Digital Learning Now Shows State Progress.  If you aren’t familiar with this, it is the annual ranking of how states are progressing in implementing the neo-liberals agenda of education and digital education.  Believe it or not, that is the nice or politically correct description of the rankings.

The honest description is that it is a ranking of how easy companies can come in, set-up shop, get approval for sub-standard online programs, and then rape and pillage public education.

Either way, it isn’t an actual ranking of how well states are doing with digital learning!

Now the actual report for 2013 is available at and the press release is available at

The new state-by-state map isn’t available yet, but you can access the 2012 one at  It is interesting to actually look at individual state profiles.

I see that my current state, Connecticut, was dead last in 2012.  I’m kind of proud of my new state for that fact.  It is interesting to note some of the individual statements that each state is graded on.

2. All students must complete at least one online course to earn a high school diploma.

Limited research that is available indicates that learning at a distance in the K-12 environment has little, and even a negative, effect on their ability to learn at a distance later in life.

4. No school district may restrict student enrollment in full-time online school or in an individual online course through enrollment caps or geographic boundaries.

Research has shown that full-time online programs that have a managed growth and/or limited geographic reach have much greater success than those without either.

13. No additional burdens are placed on the approval and procurement processes for digital content beyond those for print content.

23. Online providers, including virtual charter schools, full-time online providers, and individual online course providers, are allowed to appeal decisions or revise and resubmit their applications after a denial.

24. multiple opportunities during the year are available for virtual charter schools, full-time online providers, and individual online course providers to apply for approval.

25. Approval of digital providers lasts for three or more years

History has shown that cyber charter providers have fought any additional regulations placed on them through initial and on-going approval. Yet, these criteria all run counter to a state’s ability to manage this criteria:

29. As determined by outcomes-based student-performance data, these poor performing schools and courses must be closed: a. virtual charter schools. b. full-time online schools. c. individual online course providers.

If there is little to no oversight and if it is almost impossible to block programs that have been shown to be of poor quality, it makes it difficult to closed or prevent poor performing schools.

34. The same per-pupil funding with the same payment process is provided to all virtual charter schools, full-time online schools, and individual online course providers, regardless of whether the school is public, charter, not-for-profit, or for-profit.

Research and ideologically-based policy documents, including those published by neo-liberal think tanks, have said that full-time online learning costs less. This is an effort to maximize profits, plain and simple.

Just more examples of how the neo-liberal agenda for K-12 online learning runs counter to available research.

November 10, 2013

The Latest White Papers On Education Technology

From Thursday’s inbox – a few K-12 online and blended learning…

This exclusive White Paper Library brings you the latest white papers in education technology, covering topics like flipped learning and teacher development, and so much more. New white papers are added to the library often so check back for the most recent white papers available.

I guess for ease we can name these groupings, we can use the ones I have included above. Also, can you please make sure that the webinar’s are listed in order that I have them listed above. Below each grouping is what we should write as the “intro’ at the top of each email.

How Online and Hybrid Learning Are Transforming Teacher Development

How Online and Hybrid Learning Are Transforming Teacher Development

Provided by eduplanet21
In traditional professional development, teachers receive training along with their colleagues, and they are expected to integrate this training into the classroom on their own, or in small professional learning communities. There is little personalized learning or pre-assessment of their individual needs. The “flipped” version of this process sees teachers accessing key resources in an organic and self-directed way—allowing for just-in-time, just-for-me learning of ideas based on their own curiosity.

Download Whitepaper

James Madison University Flu & Weather Proofs their courses with TechSmith

How One District Successfully Met the Needs of 163 Homebound Students–While Saving Money in the Process

Provided by K12
Read this free whitepaper to discover how K12 made it so none of the students who weren’t able to attend school were held back.

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James Madison University Flu & Weather Proofs their courses with TechSmith

How Flipped Learning Is Helping Stillwater Schools Differentiate Instruction

Provided by TechSmith
Teachers in Minnesota’s Stillwater Area Public Schools are using Camtasia software from TechSmith to create videos for students to watch outside of class. This has enabled teachers to increase one-on-one time with their students during school hours—turning the classroom into “more of a workshop where [teachers can] work with each student.”

Download Whitepaper

Get Easy Access to Industry-Leading Creativity Tools

Get Easy Access to Industry-Leading Creativity Tools

Provided by GovConnection
Adobe has created an easy-to-manage, term-based licensing program that gives schools access to new versions of Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications. With this new program, schools and academic departments can have the creative tools they need to be more productive, foster creativity in teaching and learning, and help students develop the digital communication skills essential for success in college and beyond.

Download Whitepaper

Would you like your white paper to be included? Request information.

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October 31, 2013

iNACOL | A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation

From Tuesday’s inbox…  I should disclose that I am a contributor to this book.

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

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation
New iNACOL publication highlights partnerships for next generation educators

iNACOL - Partnering for Success - October 2013

As advanced technologies enter the mainstream of everyday life, more than half of K-12 school districts are already offering – or interested in starting – blended and online learning programs. Though new school programs are evolving to personalize learning for every student using new tools and new methodologies, a national survey shows that a paltry 1.3 percent of teacher education programs are preparing teachers for these next generation learning models. A bright spot, however, has been the growing number of innovative programs that have formed partnerships with blended and online schools around the country. Partnering for Success: A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation , published today by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), investigates these collaborations so the field can build upon the work of pioneering leaders.

“Teacher education programs are beginning to realize that they share a responsibility in preparing teachers for online settings,” said co-editor Leanna Archambault. “However, additional work is essential as the field of education experiences continued disruption in a positive and transformative direction. The role of the teacher is ever-evolving. To meet this challenge, higher education must also transform their programs, providing necessary preparation for effective instruction in online and blended classrooms.”

Co-edited by Leanna Archambault, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and Kathryn Kennedy, Ph.D., Director of Research for iNACOL, Partnering for Success uncovers and explores those developing best practices in innovative teacher preparation for next generation learning environments.

Kathryn Kennedy said, “This report studies the best practices necessary to rethink the skills, methods and pedagogical evolution that teacher education must address going forward and informs teacher educators and policy makers about the importance of offering diverse pre-service learning opportunities for future teachers.”

Through contributions from a number of noted teacher educators focused on the field of blended and online learning, Partnering for Success presents seven case studies, each of which has unique elements and frameworks that offer insight to where teacher education must aspire in the preparation of teachers for blended and online instruction.

“Too few educator and leadership preparation programs are up to the task of modernized teacher training for the 21st century,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. “If we are to ensure great teachers are trained, mentored and retained for our students, the programs themselves must emulate 21st century skills for personalized student learning – no matter where or how a student learns best.”

Partnering for Success: A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation is available at

To learn more about iNACOL, please visit

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. 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 online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit

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