Virtual School Meanderings

April 25, 2017

Webinar: 4/26 at 2pm EDT – Opportunities With Quality Matters And MVU

Note this webinar tomorrow – as well as some of the resources below.

Ensuring quality in K-12 online learning!
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This session will focus on the opportunities afforded by participating in professional learning workshops from Quality Matters, a nationally recognized organization ensuring quality in online courses.

Presenters: Christine Voelker & Maggie Bacon, Quality Matters

Login at at the time of the session to participate!

The fifth NEPC Annual Report on Virtual Education was recently released, providing “objective analysis of the characteristics and performance of full-time, publicly funded K-12 virtual schools; available research on virtual school practices; and an overview of recent state efforts to craft new policy.” You can read the full report online.
The recording of last week’s webinar on Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report is now available on our YouTube channel. You can watch the session, or read the full report online, to gain some insight on K-12 virtual learning enrollment and performance in Michigan.
Copyright © 2017 Michigan Virtual University, All rights reserved.
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute · 3101 Technology Blvd · Ste G · Lansing, Mi 48910 · USA

April 24, 2017

Press Release | and Abrams Learning Trends Launch Teacher Community on K-5 Literacy

From Sunday’s inbox… - A professional social network for the education community
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and Abrams Learning Trends Launch Teacher Community on K-5 Literacy

PRINCETON, NJ, April 24, 2017 – and Abrams Learning Trends are working together to launch a professional learning community, Be a Literacy Hero in the K-5 Classroom, to support K-5 teachers with practical tips, expert guidance, and instructional best practices designed to help teachers have an immediate impact with their students in the classroom.

Literacy experts and authors will present monthly edWebinars for the community on topics such as balanced literacy, oral language and vocabulary, poetry and shared reading, building comprehension, close reading, nonfiction reading, and the power of peer reading and reciprocal teaching. Teachers will receive CE certificates for attending the programs.

Time constraints in the classroom can make it challenging for K-5 teachers to ensure they are providing the best level of instruction for students on a daily basis. This online community will provide teachers with continuous advice from leading industry professionals, and help them keep in touch with fellow educators to ask questions, share thoughts, and stay in touch with the latest trends in K-5 literacy instruction.

In the community’s most recent edWebinar, celebrated authors and distinguished vocabulary experts Dr. Isabel Beck and Dr. Margaret McKeown detailed the important relationship between vocabulary and comprehension and the effect each has on literacy achievement. The edWebinar had over 500 attendees who learned valuable literacy strategies like what effective vocabulary instruction looks like and how to move students from surface understanding of a text to a deeper understanding of what they’ve read. The recording is now available for on-demand viewing.

The community kicked off its edWebinar program in March with a webinar presented by Jill Eggleton, author and International Educational Consultant from Auckland, New Zealand, who explored balanced literacy and what it truly means along with why balanced literacy is important given today’s increasing literacy expectations. It is available here for on-demand viewing.

Tina Posner, Vice President of Product Development & Publisher for Abrams Learning Trends, was recently interviewed on Education Talk Radio, and commented on the value of having this new community of teachers, “We are an information society, and the Internet has changed everything. We need ongoing feedback from teachers, so it’s important to have a conversation on these topics. We appreciate that good ideas come from everywhere.”

Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of, added, “We’re delighted Abrams Learning Trends has launched this program on K-5 literacy, and we’re honored to work with them to reach as many K-5 teachers as we can with this free program.”

Educators are invited to join the free Be a Literacy Hero in the K-5 Classroom professional learning community on for invitations to upcoming edWebinars, online discussions, and access to resources.

For more information, contact: 

Julia Ottesen | Community & PR Coordinator | 800-575-6015 ext 120

About is a free professional learning and social network that is a highly engaged community of connected educators who are on the leading edge of innovation in education. edWeb members are teachers, faculty, administrators, and librarians at PreK-12 and post-secondary institutions who are working together to provide peer leadership, training, and support. Educators are creating their own communities on edWeb, and also participating in edWeb’s professional learning communities and edWebinar programs. edWeb’s growing ecosystem is a collaboration space where educators and thought leaders in the education industry gather and share ideas that can improve learning for all students. Learn more at or follow on Twitter @edwebnet.

About Abrams Learning Trends
Abrams Learning Trends is a family-owned and operated business based in Austin, Texas. More than anything, we believe that little learners can do big things! That’s why we are dedicated to developing innovative Pre-K through Grade 5 supplemental literacy materials that engage children and empower educators.

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Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Just Uploaded A Video

Note this recording from the MVLRI on their most recent effectiveness report – always fascinating reading!

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has uploaded MVLRI Webinar: Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2017
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
© 2017 YouTube, LLC 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066
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April 21, 2017

REMINDER: iNACOL Webinar | 4/27: An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers

And from the neo-liberals…

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An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers

Thursday, April 27, 2017
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET (register)

On Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) will host a webinar on an introduction to K-12 competency-based education and its potential benefits.

Educators across the country are beginning to realize the promise of competency-based education, designed to help students successfully master skills at each step, year after year, by ensuring they advance after they demonstrate proficiency. The concept behind competency education is simple: learning is best measured by students demonstrating mastery of learning targets with the supports they need, rather than the number of hours spent in a classroom with variable amounts of actual learning.

Join this webinar to hear from competency education experts andCompetencyWorks co-founders, Susan Patrick and Chris Sturgis for an introduction to competency education in K-12 education systems. Explore the definition of competency education, understand the field’s trends and why districts and schools are making this transition, and learn how competency-based approaches more effectively prepare students for post-secondary success.

iNACOL CEO Susan Patrick said, “Competency-based education systems are an important foundation for ensuring innovation for equity. The trends point to more and more states offering flexibility for personalized, competency-based instructional designs that ensure students master lessons before advancing, forming a solid foundation for their next steps in learning. To address equity, education systems must provide the resources, supports and commitment to progress on goals for all students realizing successful outcomes indicated by readiness for college and preparedness for future employment.”

MetisNet Principal Chris Sturgis said, “Across the country, districts are turning to competency education because the transparency and intentionality engages and motivates students while enabling a much richer collaboration among teachers.”

This webinar is free to attend — participants are invited to register here for final details and login information.

Webinar Title: An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers


  • Chris Sturgis, Principal, MetisNet; Co-Founder, CompetencyWorks
  • Susan Patrick, President and CEO, iNACOL; Co-Founder,CompetencyWorks

Share this Webinar on Twitter:

  • April #Webinar: An Overview of #K12 #CompetencyBased #Education for #EdLeaders & #Teachers @nacol@CompetencyWorks 

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. 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 competency-based, blended, and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our website, like us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedInand follow us on twitter.

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April 19, 2017

Webinar: 4/20 at 3:30pm EDT – Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report

These reports are always an interesting read, so be sure to check out this webinar.

Learn all about the state of K-12 virtual learning in Michigan.
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This webinar session will present an overview of MVLRI’s annual report on the effectiveness of K-12 virtual learning in Michigan, and will include detailed information on enrollments, performance rates, and the overall impact of virtual learning on students in the 2015-16 school year.

Login at at the time of the session to participate!

You can read our recap of the 2017 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference in our latest MVLRI blog post. The conference was a great opportunity to connect, share and learn from others doing work in this space, and we look forward to next year’s event!
A recently released MVLRI report from the Changing Roles of Educators series, examining the shifts in the roles and responsibilities of K-12 educators as a result of evolving instructional models, focuses on teachers implementing elements of blended learning in their classrooms. The full report is available online.
Copyright © 2017 Michigan Virtual University, All rights reserved.
=Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute · 3101 Technology Blvd · Ste G · Lansing, Mi 48910 · USA
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