Category Archives: News

April 2015

April 2015 Virtual and Online School News

Presented by Mark Sivy, Ed.D.

Study of Online Passing Rates in Michigan Suggests That Online Learning Is Not For Everyone (Keeping Pace)

In this post I review more deeply one key aspect of the study: the rates at which students are passing online courses, and implications for how online courses and schools are made…

Supporting Teachers in Using Online Inquiry-Based Games (Next Gen Learning Blog)

As part of a pilot project, we’ve been working with teachers to implement The Radix Endeavor in their classrooms. The Radix Endeavor is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) developed at the MIT Education Arcade; it is designed to improve…

Inquiry-based Learning

Online regulation bill quickly killed (Chalkbeat Colorado)

This year’s proposal to change the regulation of online schools that operate across multiple districts was killed Monday by…

The Instructor Role in the Virtual Classroom (Virtual School Leadership Alliance)

For many, the virtual classroom is difficult to understand without first-hand experience. It is true that a virtual classroom does not have walls, rows of desks or an end-of-class bell, but…

It Really Is Different: Observing Online Teachers in an Asynchronous Environment (Virtual School Leadership Alliance)

As states adopt teacher observation protocols and frameworks to observe and evaluate teachers, such as the Danielson Group’s “Framework for Teaching,” educational leaders are determining how the process for observing online teachers is…

Michigan Study Provides Detailed Online Learning Data; Shows Student Attributes and Growth in Online Enrollments (Keeping Pace)

The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, which is a center at the Michigan Virtual University®, has recently released its latest Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report. The study reviews virtual learning in Michigan during school year 2013-14. The report provides summary information showing…

Michigan Virtual University

Anyone Can Be a Teacher at Skillshare, an Online School (The New York Times)

Susan Orlean was considering giving up teaching. She had taught courses at New York University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College but was finding it difficult to maintain a…

January 2015 News

January 2015 News

Presented by Mark Sivy

Personalized LearningDuluth’s Online High School Gives Students Flexibility (Duluth News Tribune)

When Deb Halver began teaching 30 years ago, the technology discussion was about whether students should be allowed to use calculators in their math classes and the best way to clean an overhead projector sheet. Her students now learn their math lessons entirely from online curriculum…

This Will Revolutionize Education (Keeping Pace)

The YouTube video This Will Revolutionize Education explores education technology, explaining how numerous earlier predictions of technology revolutionizing education have not panned out, and suggests that most current predictions will be wrong…

2015 Predictions: Competency-Based Ed to Grow, Debt Could Topple Some Schools (Campus Technology)

Online learning will grow this year, but only modestly; more colleges and universities will test out competency-based assessment; and education technology will continue expanding as an industry, driven by investment capital. Those are three of the predictions…

NC Must Take Care in Adapting to the Digital Classroom (&newsobserver.com)

…educators in North Carolina are inexorably marching toward abandoning traditional books as the standard medium of instruction. In March 2013, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill initiating a transition…

How Asia is Emerging as the World’s Edtech Laboratory (edSurge)

If the US is the world’s education technology leader, Asia is fast becoming its most critical testing ground. The reasons are unambiguous: Asia has the…

Postsecondary Trending Now: Personalized Learning in K-12 (Next Generation)

In K-12, there’s a growing network of schools that are looking to personalized learning strategies to improve student success. They are breaking the mold of traditional schools and reimagining what learning could look like when each student has a personalized experience. A report…

MOOCs in 2014: Breaking Down the Numbers (edSurge)

At TechCrunch Disrupt this year, Coursera Co-Founder Daphne Koller claimed that 2014 is the year MOOCs will come of age. An ecosystem has now developed around MOOCs: hundreds of people employed full-time…

Education: ‘More turning’ to online learning (The Yorkshire Post)

Business, health and language are among the most popular subject areas for “massive open online courses” – known as MOOCs – offered through a UK-based “hub” and women are more likely to join than men. The statistics come from…

 

Reflection Point – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela

Online Learning News – Sept 2014

September 2014

by Mark Sivy

MOOCDon’t Dismiss MOOCs – We Are Just Starting To Understand Their True Value (Science 2.0)

Over the past couple of years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have taken the academic world by storm. Despite much debate about whether the idea of running free online courses for everyone is both a good and cost-effective idea…

Log on and learn: The tech geeks working to transform Africa’s education (CNN)

Fresh faced and full of energy, five recent graduates sit around the conference room table. They all hail from a different African country, and they all have big dreams about revamping education in their continent for a digital era. These are the headquarters…

State education board eyeing Hancock ‘Cyber Academy’ online curriculum (Charleston Daily Mail)

The West Virginia Board of Education is closely monitoring online courses being offered to students in Hancock County with hopes it can replicate the program statewide if it becomes successful. In response to several students withdrawing from the school system and enrolling in online schools located in neighboring states…

blended learningBLENDED: A Conversation With Michael Horn & Heather Staker (Getting Smart)

Team Christensen is out with an updated implementation guide to blended learning. “BLENDED: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools” (out November 3) suggests that “Innovating is a process, not an event.” Their new resource lays out that process in a useful level of detail making it a must read for educators…

Mentor Schools plan for new blended, online learning initiatives (The News-Herald)

Mentor Schools has begun to strategize improvements to the district, thanks to a recent grant from Ohio’s Straight A Fund. At the regular meeting of the Mentor School Board Sept. 9, Michael Lynch, director of Straight A initiatives, provided an update to board members and the public on how the district plans to use the funds…

Enrollment Grows at Online School Based in Manistee (WWTV 9 & 10 News)

An online school based in Manistee is seeing substantial growth this school year. The Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy serves students across the state and has nearly tripled in size in just two years. The academy is part of the Manistee ISD, and it’s giving them an impressive enrollment boost…

Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School (Harvard Kennedy School research article)

Virtual schooling is rapidly gaining a foothold in K-12 education in the United States. In 2012-13, 30 states had multi-district, fully online schools with enrollment of about 310,000 students, and 26 states had state virtual schools with over 740,000 course enrollments…

Reflection Point – “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~Albert Einstein

Virtual Learning News – August 2014

Virtual Learning News – August 2014

by Mark Sivy

Here are this month’s news highlights related to virtual learning.

Online school programs growing, despite challenges (The Greenville News)

virtual learning newsAs thousands of Upstate children hopped in big yellow school buses and headed off to big brick schoolhouses last week, the state’s virtual schools hit the “on” button and booted up another year of cyber education. South Carolina was ahead of the curve six years ago when its first three online schools…

Rural Yukon schools going online in bid to improve learning (CBC News)

Three more Yukon schools are changing the way they deliver courses, following a pilot project in Watson Lake. Yukon Education is investing in a program called blended learning. It allows students to pursue online courses offered through Moodle: an open source website…

First day at Dugger / Union as part of online charter school (Tribune-Star)

Kyle Foli hugged his daughter, Kyndall, as she prepared to enter Dugger/Union school as a high school freshman. It was just after 7:30 a.m., and they had joined about 80 other people to pray around a flagpole and launch a new year – and a new era. Dugger/Union school is now a campus of Indiana Cyber Charter School…

Access, activity, and outcomes in digital learning (Keeping Pace with K-12 and Blended Learning)

Virtual school newsAs we are nearing completion of writing Keeping Pace 2014, we’ve been thinking quite a bit about the different lenses through which to consider the digital learning landscape. Among the words that best describes the landscape is uneven. Three of the key elements of digital learning that may be described as uneven are access, activity, and outcomes…

Berkeley County schools to offer online learning (Post and Courier)

Brick-and-mortar classrooms will no longer be the only learning space available to Berkeley County students. The Berkeley County School Board voted 6-0 to approve a new district policy allowing online learning. The online learning program is through the state’s VirtualSC, which serves kindergarten through 12th grade….

Virtual school’s enrollment on rise (The McPherson Sentinel)

A growing number of Kansas students no longer have to attend school to be enrolled in school. The Smoky Valley School district created its virtual school to provide students with educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom. Since the school opened in 2005, it has continued to develop an online curriculum that appeals…
Virtual Schools: A Flexible Option for Students (KTVT –TV)

NewspaperMost students spend the first day of school finding their locker or their home room. But Tristin Thomas spent his first day of 8th grade at home, logging into his virtual classroom. “We’re just going to look around the live lesson room,” Thomas told his teacher online as he scrolled around a home page…

Online Courses Offer PHS Students another ‘Choice’ (The Prescott News)

The motto for the Prescott Unified School District is “The Smart Choice,” and at Prescott High School the word ‘choice’ has been truly embraced. With high academic standards, college dual enrollment opportunities, athletics and numerous extracurricular activities, PHS offers their students…