<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d6074633\x26blogName\x3dVirtual+High+School+Meanderings\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://mkbnl.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://mkbnl.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d8679109483413366866', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Statistics for August

As of this moment there are 6950 hits to this blog based upon the straight counter. It read 6329 at the end of July. These hits came from 550 unique visitors: 460 first timers and 90 repeat offenders for an average of 18 visitors a day.

These visitors came from the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand, India, Sweden, and the Republic Of Korea.

Until next month...

Tags: blog, blogging, blogs, , , ,

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Why We Need To Communicate

Just a short entry for a Sunday evening...

I've left this in my Bloglines account for a while now and have given it a great deal of thought. It is an entry entitled Types of communication and why we do it, which comes to us from Scott Adams. As I look at the four quadrients that Scott has created, with the type of communication listed and then his arguement as to why we need the synchronous face-to-face communication.

In reading though his ideas, I am left wondering what does this mean for the delivery of distance education, such as virtual schooling, to rural schools where bandwidth issues are still problematic?

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Virtual and Cyber Schooling in the News

Beginning with Yahoo! news alert for virtual school.

Cyber School
WPH CBS 21 Fri, 18 Aug 2006 6:20 AM PDT

Not all kids will be going to school this fall like you might think.

School Board OKs first reading of its policy on do not resuscitate
Salisbury Post Fri, 18 Aug 2006 7:14 AM PDT

Rowan-Salisbury Schools personnel will make every effort to assist a student in the throes of a life-threatening situation — even if the student has a do not resuscitate order from parents and doctor.

High-tech virtual academy is a virtual go-ahead
Gazette Extra Sports Fri, 18 Aug 2006 10:24 PM PDT

Janesville may finally get its third high school. In fact, the new school will probably be up and running 10 months from now.

Home-Schooled Students Using Virtual Classrooms
WCCO Minneapolis/St. Paul Sat, 19 Aug 2006 1:22 PM PDT

The Larsons started home schooling their daughter Elisabeth two years ago. It's a move they don't regret. More Education News

Online charter schools criticized
The Indianapolis Star Sat, 19 Aug 2006 11:49 PM PDT

Ball State University's effort to start online charter schools is drawing fire from the state's largest teachers union, which argues the cyberschools would break the law and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Virtual school registration ends
Hattiesburg American Mon, 21 Aug 2006 4:37 AM PDT

Registration is wraps up today for the Mississippi Virtual School. The state Department of Education, through the Office of Leadership and Professional Development, will continue to offer tuition-free online courses during the 2006-07 academic year. Coursework begins Sept. 5.

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G; Laptops Offer a Practical Solution for Non-Traditional
FinanzNachrichten Mon, 21 Aug 2006 5:11 AM PDT

CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation ( Nachrichten / Aktienkurs ) (NASDAQ:CDWC) and leading source of information technology (IT) solutions to governments and educators, today announced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cyber charter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), on its first laptop learning initiative.

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 21 Aug 2006 5:00 AM PDT

VERNON HILLS, Ill.----Aug. 21, 2006--CDW Government, Inc. , a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation and leading source of information technology solutions to governments and educators, today announced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cyber charter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School , on its first laptop learning initiative.

Virtual school boosts district enrollment
Lawrence Journal-World Mon, 21 Aug 2006 10:06 PM PDT

Virtual education is the key component to growth in the Lawrence school district.

NIIT, IIM-C to launch virtual classroom together
New Kerala Tue, 22 Aug 2006 8:27 AM PDT

Kolkata, Aug 22: Leading business school Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta (IIM-C) Tuesday entered into a strategic alliance with NIIT, Asia's largest IT trainer, to offer executive development programmes through virtual classrooms.

Home-schooled students defecting to online learning programs
USA Today Mon, 21 Aug 2006 2:10 PM PDT

Greg and Maria Larson, had been home schooling their daughter for two years but enrolled her in an on-line school Minnesota Connections Academy, a cyber school. Online learning and virtual public schools are an alternative to attending public school.

Video Guidance Provides Technology and Services for Virtual Summer School Field Trips
Broadcast Newsroom Wed, 23 Aug 2006 5:30 AM PDT

MINNEAPOLIS, BUSINESS WIRE -- Video Guidance, the leading video, voice, streaming , and web conferencing services company provided videoconferencing equipment and technological services for Virtual Field Trips for the Independent School District #197 School Age Care Program.

New Program Offers High School Education Online
CBS 13 Sacramento Tue, 22 Aug 2006 6:15 PM PDT

You see ads about how you can go to college via the internet, and never have to set foot in a classroom. But now the same goes for high school.

K-12 Online Private School Allows Children to Have a Career & an Education
PR Web via Yahoo! News Wed, 23 Aug 2006 5:00 AM PDT

ORLANDO, FL (PRWEB) August 23, 2006 -- The MorningStar Academy, a Nationally Accredited Online Private School, announced today its effort to offer quality, affordable education to K-12 students in the entertainment industry and other professional children.

Opportunities: Elverado HS on Target With Its ‘Virtual School'
Du Quoin Evening Call Fri, 25 Aug 2006 12:01 PM PDT

With EHS senior Lee Stewart's decision to 'transfer' to an Olympic training facility in California to hone in on his archery skills, his parents asked the district how their son could make that move but still remain an active student at Elverado High.

Ball State approves controversial virtual charter schools initiative
The Star Press Fri, 25 Aug 2006 0:18 AM PDT

MUNCIE -- A controversial initiative that would allow Ball State University to authorize the state's first virtual charter schools has been given the go-ahead by the university's president.

Moving on to Yahoo! news alert for cyber school.

Cyber School
WPH CBS 21 Fri, 18 Aug 2006 6:20 AM PDT

Not all kids will be going to school this fall like you might think.

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G; Laptops Offer a Practical Solution for Non-Traditional
FinanzNachrichten Mon, 21 Aug 2006 5:11 AM PDT

CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation ( Nachrichten / Aktienkurs ) (NASDAQ:CDWC) and leading source of information technology (IT) solutions to governments and educators, today announced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cyber charter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), on its first laptop learning initiative.

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 21 Aug 2006 5:00 AM PDT

VERNON HILLS, Ill.----Aug. 21, 2006--CDW Government, Inc. , a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation and leading source of information technology solutions to governments and educators, today announced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cyber charter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School , on its first laptop learning initiative.

Hearing Expected On Funding For Pa. Cyber Schools
CBS 3 Philadelphia Mon, 21 Aug 2006 7:26 AM PDT

A public hearing is scheduled Tuesday on legislation that would radically change the way cyber charter schools are regulated and funded in Pennsylvania.

Home-schooled students defecting to online learning programs
USA Today Mon, 21 Aug 2006 2:10 PM PDT

Greg and Maria Larson, had been home schooling their daughter for two years but enrolled her in an on-line school Minnesota Connections Academy, a cyber school. Online learning and virtual public schools are an alternative to attending public school.

Moving on to the Google news alert for virtual school.

Lawrence enrollment is up
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

... The biggest enrollment increase was in the district’s Virtual School, which had 427 students, or 160 more students than last year. ...

Intent, reality at odds in education
Ocala.com - Ocala,FL,USA

... my daughter, who desperately needs an alternative to her zoned school, is not eligible for any other option - not even the Florida Virtual School program, or ...

Virtual School's a reality
Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY,USA

... pencil in sight, 21 sixth-graders pecked away yesterday at computers with flat-screen monitors that lined the walls of Jefferson County's new Virtual School. ...

Virtual School in Jefferson County emphasizes computer learning
Kentucky.com - Lexington,KY,USA

The students attend a new $3.5 million Virtual School that opened in Valley and Fairdale high schools. The students study the same ...

Virtual school to begin
WHAS 11.com (subscription) - Louisville,KY,USA

In what is no doubt the quickest launching of a new school in Jefferson County history, the controversial “Virtual School” is slated to begin classes ...

Finally, the Google news alert for cyber school.

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G ...
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA

... and educators, today announced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cyber charter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), on ... [See all stories on this topic]

PA Cyber School Students Learn Anytime, Anywhere with CDW-G ...
Finanzen.net - Germany

... and educators, todayannounced its partnership with one of Pennsylvania's leading cybercharter schools, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber), onits ...

Hearing Expected On Funding For Pa. Cyber Schools
CBS 3 - Philadelphia,PA,USA

... Tuesday on legislation that would radically change the way cyber charter schools ... Karen Beyer would remove cyberschools from the charter school designation and ... [See all stories on this topic]

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: 1 of 3 Teens and 1 of 6 ...
PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA

... Her pediatrician pulled her out of school, and Jessi now has decided to attend a cyber school this year out of fear for her own safety. ...

NEW LOCAL: Cyber students to have more options
New Castle News - New Castle,PA,USA

... McNamee said between nine and 15 students from the district participated in the cyber school, which had been offered through the Midwestern Intermediate Unit ...

Cyber 'friends' could spell trouble for kids
Newindpress (subscription) - Chennai,India

... A sub-community on Hi5-currently the most popular hangout for Indian kids-has 904 members. It was started by students of a leading public school in Delhi. ...

Bullying Rampant in Cyberspace
Epoch Times - New York,NY,USA
... Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff also spoke to help publicize cyber bullying and called on every school to adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying program. ...

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Entries on Course Design

Okay, it has been a while but in the past (see Designing Virtual Schooling for the last time it came up) I have discussed principles of design when it comes to virtual schooling courses. I have noticed a number of other entries these days that I have tagged in my Bloglines about the topic that I wanted to come back to and discuss later.

However, given the fact that some have been sitting there since the last time I posted a set of links of this topic, I think the time has come to at least post these links again and maybe I'll get back to discuss them later.

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Teaching Online

Okay, still cleaning up my Bloglines account with this topic. I should also note that one of the participants in our AECT BlogTrack has her focus upon teaching online in the post-secondary environment (see Ernise Singleton - Higher Education).

Tags: , , ,

Friday, August 18, 2006

Virtual Schooling in the News

First, from the Yahoo! news alerts for cyber school.

Cyber Catholic school offers new grant.
Edson Leader Fri, 11 Aug 2006 4:32 PM PDT

Holy Family Cyber High is now offering technology grants to students who successfully complete the school year.

Midland cyber school gives back to community
The Beaver County Times Sun, 13 Aug 2006 0:04 AM PDT

MIDLAND -The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is paying it forward. ^pThat is, school officials have thought of an idea to beautify and enhance their surrounding community.

Vacant buildings make way for cyber school offices
The Beaver County Times Mon, 14 Aug 2006 0:17 AM PDT

MIDLAND - Pat Rowse saw this town boom, saw when it was as bustling bright as the coal fires powering its steel industry. Then she saw it fall.

And from Yahoo for virtual school.

EDUCATION / Stanford opens high school for gifted students / Nation's first online program for the ultra-smart to
San Francisco Chronicle Mon, 14 Aug 2006 3:37 AM PDT

Stanford University, home to some of the world's brightest college students, will open the nation's first online high school for the gifted this fall. University administrators say the high school grew out of a summer school for super-smart kids as...

APPLYING
The State Mon, 14 Aug 2006 0:22 AM PDT

All S.C. high school students can enroll in online courses offered by the S.C. Virtual School. Home-schooled and private school students also are eligible when space is available.

Virtual schools catch on
Mankato Free Press Sun, 13 Aug 2006 10:57 PM PDT

The Larsons started home schooling their daughter Elisabeth two years ago. It’s a move they don’t regret.

Classes without walls catch on
The State Mon, 14 Aug 2006 0:24 AM PDT

Irmo High School student Kacie Smith, 16, is more than halfway done with her summer Algebra II course work, but she’s never seen nor even spoken to her teacher.

Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) Receives EFFECTIVE SCHOOL Ranking From Ohio Department of Education
SYS-CON Media Tue, 15 Aug 2006 1:33 PM PDT

Strong test scores posted by students at the Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) helped move the eSchool from Continuous Improvement to an Effective School ranking on their annual report card - the second highest level that can be awarded to public schools in Ohio.

Online public school
Daily Tribune Tue, 15 Aug 2006 8:06 AM PDT

HIBBING — Students across the state can attend public school without entering a classroom. MTS Minnesota Connections Academy is a tuition-free virtual public school program that students across the state in grades kindergarten through 10 can attend from home.

Virtual School's a reality
Louisville Courier-Journal Wed, 16 Aug 2006 2:43 AM PDT

As nearly 86,000 Jefferson County public school students returned to class yesterday, more than 300 of them attended the district's $3.5 million Virtual School, which opened in Valley and Fairdale high schools. It's "virtual" because it emphasizes computer and online learning, mixed with traditional classroom instruction. But children study the same curriculum as other students.

Virtual School In Jefferson County Emphasizes Computer Learning
The Louisville Channel Wed, 16 Aug 2006 7:10 AM PDT

About 300 Jefferson County students are learning in virtual school this year.

Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) Receives EFFECTIVE SCHOOL Ranking From Ohio Department of Education
SYS-CON Media Tue, 15 Aug 2006 2:02 PM PDT

Strong test scores posted by students at the Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) helped move the eSchool from Continuous Improvement to an Effective School ranking on their annual report card - the second highest level that can be awarded to public schools in Ohio.

Some Jefferson Co. Students Attend New Virtual School
The Louisville Channel Tue, 15 Aug 2006 3:10 PM PDT

Jefferson County Schools unveil a new Virtual School to some returning students on Tuesday.

Next from Google news alert for cyber school.

Statewide coalition working for Act 1 repeal
Pottstown Mercury - Pottstown,PA,USA

... Baldinger said the Taxpayers Cyber Coalition is trying to drum up support to ... Pennsylvania as business-friendly when you’re not paying school business taxes ...

Santorum, Casey go west
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA

... time with them. He pays taxes in Penn Hills, which he contends should allow his children to use the cyber school. And he spends ...

Vacant buildings make way for cyber school offices
Beaver County Times - Beaver County,PA,USA...

Trombetta said he wanted to find space in Midland because the cyber school has been there from its' inception, and because it will do a lot of work with the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Digital diplomas
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA

... Then there's the granddaddy of cyber schools, the University of Phoenix, which started ... "I was somewhat skeptical of going with an online school," Hawley said. ...

Tags: , , ,

Monday, August 14, 2006

Should We Be Concerned?

Annette posted a link in a comment to one of the entries that I made a while ago and I wanted to come back to it. The link (see http://tinyurl.com/m5fud) was to an article entitled "Who's donating, and what do they want?", which discussed how "national charter-school advocates are digging deep to help underwrite Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign" in Ohio.

We all know that in American politics there are many special interests that donate funds (soft and hard money) to political campaign in very transparent ways to try and further their cause. While I wouldn't disagree that these special interests have been very successful in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, but my question to you, is how much of a concern is this in other jurisdictions? As a follow-up, in the well over three dozen states have public-funded, state-wide virtual schools, is there less of a concern for this type of influence?

Tags: , , ,

Friday, August 11, 2006

Virtual Schooling in the News

Starting, as always, with the Yahoo! news alerts for virtual school.

Virtual school plan approved by board
Louisville Courier-Journal Sat, 05 Aug 2006 2:42 AM PDT

The Jefferson County school board approved a new virtual school yesterday to accommodate students who wish to transfer from underperforming schools under the No Child Left Behind law.

School Board Members Reluctantly Agree To Form Virtual School
WAVE 3 Louisville Fri, 04 Aug 2006 2:45 PM PDT

With school starting August 15th, the Jefferson County School board finally got its first look at a virtual high school the district was forced to set up after a federal audit last May. In a special session Friday afternoon, the board reluctantly approved plans for a so-called virtual school. As WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski reports, board members said they felt they had no choice.

Back to Non-Traditional School
The Epoch Times Mon, 07 Aug 2006 0:18 AM PDT

Thousands of students are preparing for their return to school this fall. Many of these students will be non-traditional. A non-traditional student according to the Nation Center for Education Sta...

'Virtual' Solutions for Back-to-School; Eliminating Homework Headaches
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 07 Aug 2006 11:00 PM PDT

Back-to-school means the return of homework hassles and headaches for thousands of families.

‘Virtual’ Solutions for Back-to-School; Eliminating Homework Headaches
PR Web Mon, 07 Aug 2006 9:42 PM PDT

Just in time for back-to-school ... Free on-line resources to provide homework help for students and families who struggle to manage the demands of school. (PRWEB Aug 7, 2006) Trackback URL: http://prweb.com/pingpr.php/Q291cC1TaW5nLUVtcHQtTWFnbi1JbnNlLVplcm8=

Featured School of the Week: CEI (Career Education Institute) Online
PR Web Wed, 09 Aug 2006 8:28 AM PDT

SchoolsGalore.com features its school of the week beginning August 7, 2006. (PRWEB Aug 9, 2006) Trackback URL: http://www.prweb.com/chachingpr.php/U3VtbS1Mb3ZlLUNyYXMtSW5zZS1JbnNlLVplcm8=

Next the Google news alert for virtual school.

Virtual school plan approved by board
Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY,USA

The Jefferson County school board approved a new virtual school yesterday to accommodate students who wish to transfer from underperforming schools under the ...

JCPS To Open Virtual Schools
WAVE - Louisville,KY,USA

... Buildings at Valley and Fairdale High Schools will be the location for the new Jefferson County virtual school. Each student will ...

FLorida Virtual School Launches New Performance Driven e-Learning ...
FinanceVisor.com (press release) - CA,USA

... Diego, CA (FV Newswire) - At the 2006 National Educating Computing Conference held in San Diego, California, July 5 - 7, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) launched ...

State officials begin work to make virtual school a reality
Belleville News-Democrat - Belleville,IL,USA

... Matt Blunt last month signed into law legislation creating the virtual school, giving the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education until July 1 ...

School Board Members Reluctantly Agree To Form Virtual School
WAVE - Louisville,KY,USA

... federal audit last May. In a special session Friday afternoon, the board reluctantly approved plans for a so-called virtual school. ...

School board OKs ‘virtual’ school
Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY,USA

The Jefferson County school board on Friday approved creation of a new “virtual” school to accommodate students that the No Child Left Behind law allows to ...

And finally from the Google news alert for cyber school.

Sarasota's tech-savvy teachers hope to connect with students
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Sarasota,FL,USA

... Sarasota County students arrive today for the start of the school year, Gilliland hopes he will be able to better engage them with his grasp of the cyber world ...

Preparing for a 'Cyber Career'
Connecticut Business News Journal - CT,USA

... Design (IDD). The course of study, according to the school's Web site, is "the first of its kind in Connecticut. [It] emphasizes ...

OC school district will implement cyber program this fall
Oil City Derrick - Oil City,PA,USA

... done. Carrico presented a letter to cyber school parents about the new program at the school board's special meeting Monday. It ...

Simdesk platform to be used in Brazilian educational system
San Antonio Business Journal - San Antonio,TX,USA

... Simdesk is partnering with Brasil Telecom and CPM to develop a Cyber School Technology system that takes advantage of Simdesk's on-demand computing services ...

Kids as young as 10 cyber whizzes
Kankakee Daily Journal - Kankakee,IL,USA

... alliance with all things electronic, and kids who were born into the cyber age. ... And it's not just high school and college students socializing on the Internet. ...

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Updates from the AECT BlogTrack

Sorry I didn't do this at the beginning of the month like I normally do, it simply slipped my mind.

A reminder that the feed site for all of our blogs is available at:

AECT BlogTrack Feed - http://ugaonlinelearning.suprglu.com/

My own contribution to the BlogTrack can be found at:


Virtual Schooling - http://mkbvs.edublogs.org/


This month, the following entries on virtual schooling were posted:

Feel free to go over there and read and comment on any of these entries, regardless of when they were posted. Join in on any of the conversations.

Until next month...

Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Updates from the Blogsphere

Well, since I have over 100 entries tagged in my Bloglines account to talk about at some point, I'm guessing I'm not going to get to all of them. So, here are some of the ones that I wanted to let everyone know about but that I won't get a chance to chat about. I'll try to comment on each as I post it...

Interest in K-12 cyberschool inspires educators from Distance Learning
DESE Announces New Virtual School Director from Distance Learning
MRDP Media Release from Distance Learning

  • I think we've talked enough about Missouri on here over the past couple of weeks... :)

Cyber school begets an education empire from Distance-Educator.com's Daily News

  • More on cyber charters, this time in Pennsylvania.

Drexel University Launches Educational Partnership with Albany Preparatory Charter School from Online Learning Update

  • This is an interesting partnership.

Local student graduates from online high school - TCS News Net from Online Learning Update

  • More cyber charter stuff I think.

Online Learners Trade Graduation Gowns for Bathrobes - Dakota Voice from Online Learning Update

  • Another about graduating from an online school.

Utah Leads Nation in Virtual School Enrollments from Distance Learning

  • Who would have thunk it?

Alabama Distance Learning numbers - Huntsville Times from Online Learning Update

  • Speaking of growth...

School of distance education celebrates 40 years from Distance-Educator.com's Daily News

  • Not necessarily virtual schooling, but still something to brag about.

FITNESS: Local high schoolers get on board with online PE - MARIA HOWARD, TIMES-DISPATCH from Online Learning Update
Yoga, hip-hop ... this is P.E.? from Teaching and Developing Online

  • I still don't get this online PE, isn't it just what we would once call exercise or fun?

District considers online academy - Amie Steffen, Fergus Falls Daily Journal from Online Learning Update

  • Again, is this really necessary? Isn't this what we would once do for fun, now you can log your activities and get a high school diploma!

Ending language barrier: Chinese taught in classrooms, online - ALEX L. GOLDFAYN, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service from Online Learning Update

  • While I don't get online PE, I honestly believe that online languages are too challenging without a synchronous component.

Tennessee developing eLearning model from Distance Learning
County school system develops e-learning model from Distance-Educator.com's Daily News
New Directions to continue offering online courses - John Bailey, The Dickson Herald from Online Learning Update
UC plans to launch an online academy from Distance-Educator.com's Daily News
Board to decide distance learning initiative from Distance-Educator.com's Daily News

  • I guess San Diego and Warren are the next counties and Tennessee is the next state in line to create virtual schools.

Online classes go statewide: Schools say they're following students to where they learn - Heather Woodward, The Olympian from Online Learning Update
Colorado: Unlimited Learning - Timothy D. Snyder, THE Journal from Online Learning Update

  • And Washington and Colorado are or have followed suit.

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Virtual Schooling in the News

From the Yahoo! news alert for virtual school.

Interest in K-12 cyberschool inspires educators
Columbia Daily Tribune Sat, 29 Jul 2006 6:13 AM PDT

Missouri lawmakers are already calling to see how they can enroll their kids in the state’s new virtual school. "The interest is just profound," Deputy Commissioner of Education Bert Schulte told the state Board of Education on Thursday.

R'ville creates ‘Learning Academy'; Performance based system the key
News Democrat & Leader Sat, 29 Jul 2006 9:37 PM PDT

Russellville Independent Schools are looking to break new educational ground by becoming one of the first school systems in Kentucky to officially be a performance-based system.

State officials begin work to make virtual school a reality
Jefferson City News Tribune Mon, 31 Jul 2006 1:02 PM PDT

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's new online K-12 school won't open its virtual doors for almost a year, but state education officials say they already have parents lined up.

'Virtual school' will take transfers
Louisville Courier-Journal Mon, 31 Jul 2006 2:43 AM PDT

In Jefferson County, less than half of the students who applied for a No Child Left Behind transfer in 2005-06 from an underperforming school were granted one. That's because there wasn't enough space for them in the schools that meet federal goals.

Virtual school to provide access to online courses
Columbian Missourian Mon, 31 Jul 2006 1:03 AM PDT

$2.6 million in funding for the program must be approved by the state. Curt Fuchs, Missouri’s new director of virtual education, said taking classes online isn’t for every student.

JCPS To Open Virtual Schools
WAVE 3 Louisville Fri, 04 Aug 2006 9:40 AM PDT

By James Zambroski (LOUISVILLE) -- Virtual schools are about to become a reality in Louisville. This fall, the Jefferson County Public School System will open a high school that will use computers and

Next from the Yahoo! news alert for cyber school.

EL school enrollment study shows students coming and going
East Liverpool Review Sun, 30 Jul 2006 10:32 PM PDT

EAST LIVERPOOL - Mention "open enrollment" or "loss of enrollment" in the East Liverpool School District, and discussion usually focuses on the drain of students to BOSS cyber school and Beaver Local School District.

Pa. Cyber donating 6,800 computers to be renewed
East Liverpool Review Sun, 30 Jul 2006 10:32 PM PDT

EAST LIVERPOOL - The first 40 of 6,800 computers are headed to East Liverpool to be reconditioned and given to local schools.

OC school district will implement cyber program this fall
The Derrick Mon, 31 Jul 2006 8:31 PM PDT

The school hopes win back students enrolled with other cyber providers. In an effort to regain some of its students and expand its educational opportunities beyond brick and mortar classrooms, Oil City school officials have decided to implement a cyber program this fall.

On to the Google news alert for virtual school.

Virtual school faces hurdles
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune - Casper,WY,USA

GILLETTE (AP) -- Plans for a virtual school run by the school district here have been halted after state education officials said such a program wouldn't ...

Virtual school to provide access to online courses
Columbia Missourian - Columbia,MO,USA

... Starting next July, the new Missouri virtual school will allow students in all 524 school districts to access classes via the Internet. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual School ready to ‘admit’ students
Fergus Falls Daily Journal - Fergus Falls,MN,USA

The Virtual School of Minnesota, formerly the Virtual Outdoors Academy, is ready to enroll students for fall sessions, said program creator and Fergus Falls ...

'Virtual school' will take transfers
Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY,USA

... In response, the district plans to open a "virtual school" program this fall in unused space at Valley and Fairdale high schools. ...

Parents Are Taking Education Back Home
Lakeland Ledger - Lakeland,FL,USA

... Another option for parents is the Florida Virtual School. ... The Florida Virtual School is open to public, private and home-school students. ...

Finally, the Google news alert for cyber school.

... and can help reform public schools
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA

... For example, one cyber school administrator told me her school was founded to help ''students from rural schools who wanted advanced placement courses that ...

Cyber charter schools need reforms ...
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA

... The current formula of funding cyber schools is that school districts must pay 80 percent of the per-pupil costs toward the cyber school students' tuition. ...

The rise of the cyber-children
Journal of Turkish Weekly - Ankara,Turkey

... environment. Every Saturday morning at a north London school, a class meets to hone their computer skills and prepare for upcoming exams. ... [See all stories on this topic]

More accountability for cyber charters is reasonable goal of ...
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA

... Taxpayers pay the costs. And, funds are sent to the cyber school operators from the treasuries of the local school districts. Those amounts can be significant. ...

School? Here is what the Sounding Board says
Statesman Journal - Salem,Oregon,USA

... Sounding Board, a cyber-based advisory panel, to give their views about Salem-Keizer schools and education. We asked: "The Salem-Keizer School District has a ...

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where Does One Start?

In a lengthy discussion that Annette and I had in a previous entry, she stated:

I get the rural thing, but you show interest (even your news links) to the bigger picture of virtual and cyber charters. I also find that I have to look at the bigger more encompassing picture relative to homeschooling, virtual, cyber, and charter schooling. However, there are aspects that I try to cross off my list that it isn't within my scope or interest. On this blog, I am not currently able to make a distinction as you are able to do when it comes to certain virtual programs. I'm trying to hear you and find characteristics that I can identify that help me to see what you are interested in. For example, WA does not have a charter school law. Steilacoom district has a district-run K12, Inc. program. For all purposes, I see it as cyber charter when in fact, it is actually an alternative program. Now, Insight is in WA and in one article it appeared similar to VHS. However, it is set up so that high school students never have to attend a brick and mortar high school. Is there a line between distance learning and home-based public-funded virtual or cyber programs? It begins to look awfully blurry for me and thus my level of commenting to try to understand what you are advocating for.
So, this raises a valid issue - where does one start? I've been looking at this issues for seven or eight years now. How does someone like Annette get started? Where does she look first?

My first suggestion to anyone is Tom Clark, specifically his first two state of the state items.
  1. Clark, T. (2000). Virtual high schools: State of the states - a study of virtual high school planning and preparation in the United States. Macomb, IL: Center for the Application of Information Technologies, Western Illinois University. Retrieved on July 4, 2005 from http://projects.educ.iastate.edu/research/projects/tegivs/resources/stateofstates.pdf
  2. Clark, T. (2001). Virtual schools: Trends and issues - a study of virtual schools in the United States. San Francisco, CA: Western Regional Educational Laboratories. Retrieved on July 4, 2005 from http://www.wested.org/online_pubs/virtualschools.pdf

In Clark (2000) he defines virtual schools as "a state approved and/or regionally accredited school that offers secondary credit courses through distance learning methods that include Internet-based delivery" (p. i). Clark (2001) defines a virtual school as "an educational organization that offers K-12 courses through Internet or Web-based methods" (p. 1), and further breaks the different types of virtual schools down into these categories:

State-sanctioned, state-level. In at least 14 states, entities can be identified that have been sanctioned by state government to act as the state’s “own” virtual school. The two newest ones,
in Idaho and Maryland, have not yet been launched.

  • Example: The Florida Virtual School (previously the Florida Virtual School), begun in
    1997, has been state funded as an independent entity. It offers a full online curriculum but not a diploma. The largest virtual school in terms of enrollments, it acts as a course provider for districts in Florida and other states.

College and university-based. Some university independent study high schools and video-based continuing education programs have taken their K-12 courses online. Virtual colleges and universities make hundreds of their introductory college-level virtual courses available to upper division high school students through dual or concurrent enrollment, a phenomenon not studied in depth here.

  • Example: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Independent Study High School developed CLASS online diploma program courses with a federal grant, marketed through the for-profit CLASS.com, and is now creating its own new courses.

Consortium and regionally-based. A number of virtual school consortia have been created. Virtual school consortia are national, multi-state, state-level and regional in nature. Many regional education agencies have added virtual K-12 courses to their service menus for schools. Most virtual school consortia act as brokers for external provider opportunities or share courses among members.

  • Example: Massachusetts. The nonprofit VHS Inc. (formerly Concord VHS) is the most successful collaborative or barter model of virtual schools in existence, seeking sustainability through its broad network of participating schools.

Local education agency-based. A large number of local public schools and school districts have created their own virtual schools, mainly to serve their own supplemental or alternative education needs and to reach out to home school populations. They usually employ their own regular certified K-12 teachers, either within the regular course of instruction, or “on the side.”

  • Example: The HISD Virtual School in Houston offers middle school curricula for enrolled and home school students, and AP courses to supplement its high school offerings, while Mindquest is a Bloomington (MN) public schools program offering interdisciplinary project-based courses for persons 17 or older, for remedial work, GED Fast Track and regular high school diplomas

Virtual charter schools. State-chartered entities including public school districts, nonprofit and for-profit organizations operate public charter schools exempt from some rules and regulations. Charter school legislation has a major impact on how these schools operate.

  • Example: Basehor-Linwood Virtual Charter School in Kansas focuses on providing state funded public education opportunities for K-12 home schoolers across the state. Founded in 1998, it delivers self-developed courses in a full diploma program, using a certified district teacher in each elementary grade level and secondary content area.

Private virtual schools. Like local public schools, many private schools have developed virtual school programs. Their programs are mainly designed to provide supplemental courses and instructional materials for home schoolers. A limited number offer state-approved or regionally accredited high school diplomas, including Keystone National High School, Laurel Springs school, and WISE Internet High School.

  • Christa McAuliffe Academy in Washington state has offered Internet-based K-12 learning since 1995. Student cohorts meet weekly with their mentor in an online virtual classroom meetings, and students also undertake online mastery-based learning curricula facilitated by CMA mentors and developed by external providers. The school has regional accreditation, state approval and is seeking cross-regional approval through the Commission on International and Transregional Accreditation (CITA).

For-profit providers of curricula, content, tool and infrastructure. Many for-profit companies have played an important role in the development of virtual schools. Companies such as Apex Learning and Class.com have provided “starter” courses for many new virtual school efforts. Blackboard and eCollege have provided delivery platforms used by many virtual schools. Many companies are expanding their original focus, offering expanded curricula or comprehensive services to meet the needs of this growing market. Web development software companies such as Macromedia have provided the tools used by virtual schools to self-develop courses. (pp. i-iii)

I should note that when I see the definitions used in writing since these documents, most still use the Clark (2000) definition (including Clark himself in his chapter for the Handbook of Distance Education).

The key point for me is "state approved and/or regionally accredited." This implies that the virtual school is public and is either tied to a school, school district, or a state. This definition has been further refined in the literature to distinguish between a state approved and/or regionally accredited virtual school and the "Virtual Charter Schools" category, which has become designated as cyber schools.

Another big distinction for me is the lumping together of "for-profit providers of curricula, content, tool and infrastructure." There are two ways that this can happen, for a virual school to supplement their own offerings (as is commonly used by many state-wide virtual schools that simply haven't gotten around to developing all of their own courses yet) or simply as for profit virtual schools - K12, Inc. is an example of the latter. For profit implies a private venture and is therefore not public - a distinction that has been critical when considering publicly (i.e., state) approved virtual schooling. Private, for profit ventures provide e-learning opportunities, they are not virtual schools. For example, there were a number of e-learning vendors allowed to operate in Georgia prior to the creation of the Georgia Virtual High School, APEX for example (which I find a fairly reputable provider).

As a final caveat, these labels are only accurate in the United States. Once you leave the US, things become a lot simplier.

In any regard, to get back to the questions to aid Annette. After these two Clark documents, I would recommend two NCREL documents - both called Keeping Pace with Online Learning if I'm not mistaken. One completed in 2004 that surveyed some of the states for activity and policy relataed to virtual schooling and one completed in 2005 that surveyed all of the states.

After those four documents, I'd suggest a book by edited by Cavanaugh and a second edited by Berge and Clark. With those six items under your belt, anyone would be well versed in virtual school operations and policy, and even the lingo.

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stats for July

Sorry these are a couple of days late. As of this moment there are 6329hits to this blog based upon the straight counter. It read 5636 at the end of June. These hits came from 556 unique visitors: 469 first timers and 87 repeat offenders for an average of 18 visitors a day.

These visitors came from the United States, New Zealand, and Germany.

Until next month...

Tags: blog, blogging, blogs, , , ,