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Monday, April 30, 2007

May Innovate-Live Webcasts

The second and the last one fit into the often mentioned theme of the next generation of students...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Innovate-Live webcasts offer an opportunity to synchronously interact with authors of selected articles in the April/May 2007 issue of Innovate, an open access e-journal published by the Fischler School of Education and Social Services at Nova Southeastern University. These webcasts are produced as a public service by our partner, ULiveandLearn , If you wish toparticipate in the webcasts, please register at http://www.uliveandlearn.com/PortalInnovate/

All times are Eastern time (sync with New York). You may use the world clock to coordinate the time with your time zone.

The schedule for the May Innovate-Live webcasts is provided below. ChrisDavis, the guest editor of this issue, will moderate all sessions.

May 8, 2007
12:00 p.m.
Author: Mark van Hooft
Schools, Children, and Digital Technology: Building Better Relationships for a Better Tomorrow
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=376

2:00 p.m.
Author Holly Peterson
Alumni e-Networks: Using Technology to Engage Net Generation Alumni
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=383

3:00 p.m.
Author: Dana J. Wilber
My Literacies: Understanding the Net Generation through Live Journals and Literacy Practices
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=384

4:00 p.m.
Author: John Thompson
Is Education 1.0 Ready for Web 2.0 Students?
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=393

If you cannot attend a webcast, note that it will be archived within the features section of the article itself shortly after the event and in the Innovate-Live portal.

Many thanks.
Jim
----
James L. Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, Innovate
http://www.innovateonline.info
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership
UNC-Chapel Hill
http://horizon.unc.edu

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Beginning with the usual - Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Online school provides public education at home
The Olympian Mon, 23 Apr 2007 7:36 AM PDT

The classroom where Nathaniel and Josiah Gunderson spend school every day appears pretty typical, outfitted with desks, computers and bookshelves that line two walls near the doorway.

S.C. considers Web school
The Myrtle Beach Sun News Tue, 24 Apr 2007 5:36 AM PDT

Forget chalkboards, paper and pencils: The S.C. Department of Education is working to establish a virtual school, which aims to give students a wider variety of course offerings than traditional schools provide and more flexibility, which education officials hope will improve graduation rates.

N. Thurston considers next step for online school
The Olympian Mon, 23 Apr 2007 11:52 PM PDT

LACEY ? An online high school that would serve all the students in the state could open as a program of the North Thurston Public Schools as soon as September, the school board learned Monday night.

Report: Virtual schools lack solid oversight
Lawrence Journal-World Tue, 24 Apr 2007 10:09 PM PDT

State auditors Tuesday posted warnings on the explosive increase of virtual schools in Kansas.

Oversight lacking in Kansas for virtual schools
Kansas City Star Wed, 25 Apr 2007 3:00 AM PDT

Legislative audit finds reports missing and required on-site visits aren?t made by state.

Oversight of online schools pushed
Hutchinson News Wed, 25 Apr 2007 3:21 AM PDT

TOPEKA - A report released to legislators Tuesday suggested increasing oversight of the state's virtual schools, citing a situation in southwest Kansas.

Lenoir tech director to head online school
Kinston Free Press Wed, 25 Apr 2007 9:16 PM PDT

After two years with the Lenoir County Public School central office as technology director, David Edwards will be the first chief marketing director for the North Carolina Virtual Public School.

Virtual Schools Help South Carolina Students
Florence Morning News Wed, 25 Apr 2007 2:13 PM PDT

With hopes of going into international relations in the future, Anne-Louise Brittain is taking as many foreign languages as she can. But one language Myrtle Beach High school doesn't provide is Latin. Through virtual school though, she's able to take the class.

Virtual classes a challenge for schools
Los Angeles Daily News Thu, 26 Apr 2007 1:12 AM PDT

Fed up with middle school, Ian Hemingway of Moraga, Calif., escaped the drama two years ago with the click of his computer mouse.

6News video: Interest very high in virtual education
Lawrence Journal-World Sat, 28 Apr 2007 1:25 AM PDT

The popularity of virtual education reveals itself today as nearly 200 parents gather in central Lawrence to learn more about the city's online school.

Summer school's back, sort of
The Florida Times-Union Sat, 28 Apr 2007 1:22 AM PDT

Students will make up classes via computers, not classrooms.

Next the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

Virtual classes a challenge for schools
Los Angeles Daily News Thu, 26 Apr 2007 1:12 AM PDT

Fed up with middle school, Ian Hemingway of Moraga, Calif., escaped the drama two years ago with the click of his computer mouse.

Moving to the Google News alert for virtual school.

Online school provides public education at home
The Olympian - Olympia,WA,USA

The Steilacoom Historical School District started the virtual academy in 2004. About 15 students enrolled in the first year and about 55 in the second. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Health Alert: Virtual school for children with cancer
WIS - Columbia,SC,USA

Chris Laub is one confident fifth grader, even though he missed an entire year of school. "I was diagnosed with leukemia, which is a blood cancer." ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school offers demonstration
EastOregonian.info (subscription) - OR,USA

Oregon's fastest-growing school isn't even a brick-and-mortar school. It's the Connections Academy - a virtual public school, operated in partnership with ... [See all stories on this topic]

Be True to Your Cyberschool
BusinessWeek - USA

Florida Virtual School, which is operated by the state of Florida, was founded in 1997 and now has more than 31000 students in academic year 2005-06, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Nevada Virtual Academy to Host Parent Information Sessions Across ...
PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA

LAS VEGAS, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Nevada Virtual Academy -- the state's new public virtual school -- will host a series of parent ... [See all stories on this topic]

/CORRECTION -- Nevada Virtual Academy/
SYS-CON Media - Montvale,NJ,USA

The Nevada Virtual Academy is a statewide public virtual school open to all students who reside in Nevada. The Academy will serve grades 4-8 beginning this ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News Alert for cyber school.

Proposal would overhaul Pa.'s cyber schools
York Dispatch - York,PA,USA

Traditional school officials are applauding House Bill 446, but cyber school parents and administrators said the legislation will force their schools to ... [See all stories on this topic]

Superintendent talks
Hagerstown Morning Herald - Hagerstown,MD,USA

Padasak: The board just approved, for a year (an increase in the number of cyber school offerings that we will fund). We spend in the neighborhood of ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blogging about Generational Differences

Another Bloglines cleaning post... This one is looking at entries dealing with this next generation of students (i.e., digital natives, millennials, net generation, etc.).

That's all for now...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blogging about Virtual Schools

Okay, time to clean out my Bloglines account again. Here is what I urrently have for virtual schooling, cyber schooling and online learning and the K-12 level.

Thats all for another month or so...

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Innovate-Live Spring Seminar Series

A message from James L Morrison (morrison@unc.edu) to the Instructional Technology Forum listserve (ITFORUM@listserv.uga.edu).

The Innovate-Live Seminar Series is a series of webcasts produced by our partner, ULiveandLearn, that cover timely issues that arise when educators attempt to use information technology tools to enhance the educational process writ broad. These seminars will be archived within the Innovate-Live portal. Particularly relevant discussions may give rise toa rticles that could be considered for publication in Innovate. If you would like to lead a seminar on an issue you regard as timely and important to the community, please send me a paragraph or two framing the issue and suggest who would join you in the audio discussion. The deadline for the fall 2007 seminar series is August 15, 2007.

The 2007 spring seminar series is described below. If you would like to participate in any of these seminars, please go to http://www.uliveandlearn.com/PortalInnovate/ and either login if you have participated in a previous Innovate-Live webcast or take a minute toregister if you haven't. (Registration is free.)

[Note that Ididn't include all of the seminars, only the one(s) that may be of interest to readers of this blog]

June 8, 2007, 2:00 PM EST
Implications of the Sloan 2006 Report
Seminar Leader: Alan McCord, Lawrence Technological University

The recently published Sloan Consortium found that online learning continues to grow dramatically with no signs of an enrollment plateau. Lower-level undergraduate students comprise the largest segment of online learners, but graduate students appear to be taking advantage of online programs as a way to help balance academic and workplace demands.

While perceptions of online program quality are improving, significant barriers to the growth of online programs remain, including increased faculty skepticism over the past three years about the value and legitimacy of online learning. More faculty agree than disagree with claims regarding the value and legitimacy of online education, but a notable increase in the percentage of faculty who are concerned about the value of online education deserves discussion. This online dialogue will identify faculty concerns about online programs, identify institutional and pedagogical practices that may contribute to increased skepticism, and consider how faculty skepticism may be addressed.

Please forward this announcement to colleagues who may want to participate in them.

Thanks!
Jim
----
James L Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, Innovate
http://www.innovateonline.info
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership
UNC-Chapel Hill
http://horizon.unc.edu
------------------------------------------------------------
For information about this list, including archives and how tounsubscribe, please go to the ITFORUM web site: http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/
------------------------------------------------------------

As a side note: The Sloan report is the latest statistics we have as to exactly how many virtual school students there are t the K-12 level. This report, released in March, indicated that during the 2005-06 school year there were approximately 700,000 students taking one or more courses online. NACOL currently estimates, based on extrapolations of the Sloan figure and previous data that this year there are more than a million students. This guess-timate should be taken with a grain of salt, as a report five years ago by Fulton indicated that a majority of K-12 students would be taking online courses by this point in time - a figure that has yet to be realized.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

My intention this past week was to do some reporting about some of the virtual school sessions that I attended at AERA. That didn't happen, but I promise it will next week.

In the meantime, the report of virtual and cyber schooling in the news, beginning with the usual Yahoo! News Alert for virtual school.

Traveling students able to stay educated with Lawrence Virtual School
Lawrence Journal-World Sat, 14 Apr 2007 0:23 AM PDT

A handful of Lawrence Public School students aren't actually educated in Lawrence. In fact, they're not even in the U.S. The Lawrence Virtual School lets these students keep pace with their peers while they're away.

Virtual School has students worldwide
Lawrence Journal-World Sat, 14 Apr 2007 2:09 AM PDT

A handful of Lawrence public school students aren?t actually educated in Lawrence. In fact, the students don?t even live in the United States. They?re in far-off places such as Sri Lanka, Germany, New Zealand and Chile.

Haysville gets grant for online charter school
The Wichita Eagle Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:43 PM PDT

The Haysville school district has received a $215,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Education to start a new virtual charter school.

Virtual High School open 24/7
The Express-Times Sat, 14 Apr 2007 9:21 PM PDT

HACKETTSTOWN A town high school student looking to take Advanced Placement computer science is out of luck. But next year, school district officials plan to make the course available, as well as Mandarin Chinese, Caribbean art history and pre-veterinary medicine.

Virtual Classrooms Helps Children With Cancer Attend School
WNDU 16 South Bend Tue, 17 Apr 2007 1:18 PM PDT

When children get cancer, they face more than months in the hospital and painful treatments.

2 virtual charter schools face opposition
Louisville Courier-Journal Tue, 17 Apr 2007 3:09 AM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two virtual charter schools are prepared to start teaching hundreds of Indiana students this fall. But some lawmakers, citing budgetary issues, want to stop them from opening.

State budget could restrict virtual charter schools
The Times of Northwest Indiana Mon, 16 Apr 2007 10:34 PM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS - Two virtual charter schools were prepared to start teaching hundreds of Indiana students this fall _ but some lawmakers want to stop them from opening their online doors.

Excluded pupils given 'home'work
Harrow Times Mon, 16 Apr 2007 7:40 PM PDT

EXCLUDED schoolchildren in Brent will be educated by a new virtual school. The local authority has bought 25 seats from Accipio - a company that specialises in providing education for children with behavioural problems. And the new scheme means for two days a week they will be home-schooled.

Inflated cyber charter school costs discussed
The Daily Review Wed, 18 Apr 2007 1:26 AM PDT

CANTON ? Facing spiraling expenditures for cyber charter schools, the Canton Area School Board has passed a resolution supporting a Pennsylvania House bill for transferring the funding responsibility for cyber charter schools to the Commonwealth.

Virtual classroom could be cost-saver for school district
East Providence Post Thu, 19 Apr 2007 12:39 PM PDT

Imagine being able to learn everything you need to know to get through your junior year of high school and never have to leave the comforts of your own bedroom.

State Introduces Virtual Public High School
NBC 17 Raleigh Thu, 19 Apr 2007 3:29 PM PDT

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state's newest high school offers classes that any high school student anywhere in the state can take.

Nevada Virtual Academy to Host Parent Information Sessions Across the State
U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News Thu, 19 Apr 2007 2:51 PM PDT

The Nevada Virtual Academy - the state's new public virtual school - will host a series of parent information sessions in April and May designed for families who are interested in learning how to enroll in this exciting and innovative new public school option.

/C O R R E C T I O N -- Nevada Virtual Academy/
U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News Fri, 20 Apr 2007 5:53 AM PDT

In the news release, Nevada Virtual Academy to Host Parent Information Sessions Across the State, issued yesterday, April 19, by the Nevada Virtual Academy over PR Newswire, we are advised by a representative of the company that the third paragraph, second sentence, should read "The Academy will serve grades 4-8 beginning this Fall" rather than "grades K-8" as originally issued inadvertently.

Be True to Your Cyberschool
BusinessWeek Online via Yahoo! News Fri, 20 Apr 2007 5:08 AM PDT

Ask a typical teenager what he or she likes about high school and the teen will rattle off a list that includes such quintessential traditions as homecoming, prom, and spirit days. Despite the enduring appeal of these group activities, two major players in online education--Kaplan and the Apollo Group-- are betting the students will rally around cyber-high schools.

Proposal would overhaul Pa.'s cyber schools
The York Dispatch Fri, 20 Apr 2007 8:09 AM PDT

School officials from across York County have complained for years that cyber charter schools cost too much and lack accountability. Local legislators are among the supporters of a proposal that overhauls funding and regulations for the schools.

Next the Google News alert for virtual school.

Kaplan acquires Weston-based Sagemont Virtual School
Sun-Sentinel.com - Fort Lauderdale,FL,USA

Sagemont Virtual School, LLC, based in Weston, has reached an agreement to be acquired by Kaplan, Inc., a large private educational operator owned by the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual School’s Charter OK’d
Fort Smith Times Record - Fort Smith,AR,USA

The board approved a charter for the Arkansas Virtual Academy in October 2003. Even though Act 2131 prohibited the school from receiving state money, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual High School open 24/7
The Express Times - Easton,PA,USA

The school district plans to sign up for Virtual High School, a nonprofit that offers more than 250 online courses for high school students. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual School has students worldwide
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

A handful of Lawrence Public School students aren't actually educated in Lawrence. In fact, they're not even in the US The Lawrence Virtual School lets ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school program allows students to access classes online ...
Wilson Daily Times (subscription) - Wilson,NC,USA

Initially, the virtual school will serve high school students. However, the state plans to eventually allow middle school students to access it. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Montana gets low grade for school tech use
The Missoulian - Missoula,MT,USA

The “use” category faulted Montana for failing to establish a “virtual school,” which 23 other states have done to date. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Haysville gets grant for online charter school
The Wichita Eagle - Wichita,KS,USA

Wichita maintained its eSchool enrollment after the Lawrence district launched its own virtual school and advertised for students statewide, including in ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Ohio cyber school wins over critics
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland,OH,USA

The founder of the state's first and largest electronic cyber school once drew the ire of traditional public school administrators, who complained that he ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber schools are essential, so look for a silver lining
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA

The cyber system clicked, and Luke made great progress, Scott said, ''based on both his performance and his attitude.…The cyber school was a godsend. ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Real schools, virtual classes Students in Wisconsin and nationwide are enrolling in cyber programs to bolster or ...
Chicago Tribune Sun, 08 Apr 2007 3:55 AM PDT

When Brandon Everts goes on the computer, he's often suited up -- virtually anyway -- as a sci-fi sharpshooter, ready to destroy aliens in the Halo video game.

Virtual reality: Online courses bring local schools into new era of instruction By Katy Moore, Staff Writer
The Carrollton Leader Sun, 08 Apr 2007 1:16 PM PDT

Tell-tale white cords trail from the ears of teenagers bent over their homework as they listen to iPods. Students settle behind laptop computers in the middle of math class.

Growing number of high school students take college courses online
The Sun Chronicle Sun, 08 Apr 2007 10:09 PM PDT

ATTLEBORO - When Yiwei Gu was a sixth-grader at Wamsutta Middle School, he wanted to take some advanced math courses the school did not offer.

Virtual reality: Online courses bring local schools into new era of instruction By Katy Moore, Staff Writer
The Carrollton Leader Mon, 09 Apr 2007 7:46 AM PDT

Tell-tale white cords trail from the ears of teenagers bent over their homework as they listen to iPods. Students settle behind laptop computers in the middle of math class.

Virtual School?s Charter OK?d
Southwest Times Record Tue, 10 Apr 2007 8:27 AM PDT

LITTLE ROCK ? Just days after Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation allowing virtual charter schools to receive state funding, the state Board of Education voted Monday to approve renewing the charter of the Arkansas Virtual Academy in Little Rock for five years.

SSC school in Dadar to go digital in three years
Indian Express via Yahoo! India News Mon, 09 Apr 2007 2:28 PM PDT

V N Sule Guruji School plans to start first phase in June Virtual classes, online examinations and computerised modules of education-VN Sule Guruji English Medium School, a state board school in Dadar, will soon go digital by incorporating these factors. The idea which germinated in March-April 2007 is in full swing now. Accordingly, we have introduced 100 computers to initiate the process of ...

Charter school a no-go for now in Texarkana
NWAnews.com Tue, 10 Apr 2007 5:47 AM PDT

The Arkansas Board of Education on Monday withdrew conditional approval of a Texarkana School District plan to operate a charter school in a local church after a frustrated district leader said he could not meet some unexpected state requirements in time to get final state board approval. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition)

Texarkana district withdraws request for charter school
Pine Bluff Commercial Mon, 09 Apr 2007 3:49 PM PDT

LITTLE ROCK - The Texarkana School District withdrew its proposal to sponsor a charter school in partnership with a church, but said it will try again next year for the arrangement.

Kaplan buys virtual high
schoolbizjournals.com via Yahoo! Finance Wed, 11 Apr 2007 11:41 AM PDT

Kaplan, the education unit of the Washington Post Co., has bought Sagemont Virtual, a Florida-based online high school company.

Kaplan Acquires Online High School and Sister Company, Virtual Sage
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance Wed, 11 Apr 2007 5:00 AM PDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.----Kaplan Inc., a global education leader, today announced the acquisition of Sagemont Virtual, which has been doing business as the University of Miami Online High School , and Virtual Sage, a developer of online high school courses.

Rah rah rah for old Virtual High! Kaplan buys online high school
Ars Technica Wed, 11 Apr 2007 1:15 PM PDT

Kaplan has just announced the purchase of a Florida-based online high school that caters mostly to tennis players and other athletes, giving the company an online school that can serve anyone from 8th graders to graduate students. Read More...

Education Board Approves Renewing Virtual School's Charter
The Morning News Wed, 11 Apr 2007 2:07 AM PDT

LITTLE ROCK -- Just days after Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation allowing virtual charter schools to receive state funding, the state Board of Education voted Monday to renew the charter of the Arkansas Virtual Academy in Little Rock for five years.

Kaplan acquires UM's online high school
Miami Herald Wed, 11 Apr 2007 5:34 AM PDT

Fort Lauderdale-based Kaplan said Wednesday it has acquired Sagemont Virtual, which has been doing business as the University of Miami Online High School (UMOHS), and Virtual Sage, a developer of online high school courses. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Education Board Approves Renewing Virtual School's Charter
The Morning News Thu, 12 Apr 2007 2:11 AM PDT

LITTLE ROCK -- Just days after Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation allowing virtual charter schools to receive state funding, the state Board of Education voted Monday to renew the charter of the Arkansas Virtual Academy in Little Rock for five years.

Online, Is Our Children Learning?
Daily Northwestern Thu, 12 Apr 2007 1:34 AM PDT

In the latest outpouring from our technology-enslaved culture, growing numbers of middle and high school students are trading traditional classrooms for Internet-based "cyber schools." Instead of engaging in healthy scholastic social interaction like adolescents have for generations, they learn English and Algebra II by staring at computer screens.

Education Board Approves Renewing Virtual School's Charter
The Morning News Fri, 13 Apr 2007 2:08 AM PDT

LITTLE ROCK -- Just days after Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation allowing virtual charter schools to receive state funding, the state Board of Education voted Monday to renew the charter of the Arkansas Virtual Academy in Little Rock for five years.

Charter school wins board approval
The Pratt Tribune Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:59 AM PDT

The Kansas State Board of Education gave approval on April 10 to a charter school for Pratt USD 382 and awarded a grant in the amount of $60,000 for planning and first year funding of $150,000.

Moving to the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

Real schools, virtual classes Students in Wisconsin and nationwide are enrolling in cyber programs to bolster or ...
Chicago Tribune Sun, 08 Apr 2007 3:55 AM PDT

When Brandon Everts goes on the computer, he's often suited up -- virtually anyway -- as a sci-fi sharpshooter, ready to destroy aliens in the Halo video game.

Ohio cyber school wins over critics
The Plain Dealer Tue, 10 Apr 2007 1:45 AM PDT

UPDATED: 04 :45 a.m. EDT, April 10, 2007 Taking advantage of a soft ride, Ramon Diaz (left) and Richie Capelas hold Cleveland Indians luggage in place during its trip from locker room to moving truck Monday, April 09, 2007 at Jacob's Field in Cleveland.

Online, Is Our Children Learning?
Daily Northwestern Thu, 12 Apr 2007 1:34 AM PDT

In the latest outpouring from our technology-enslaved culture, growing numbers of middle and high school students are trading traditional classrooms for Internet-based "cyber schools." Instead of engaging in healthy scholastic social interaction like adolescents have for generations, they learn English and Algebra II by staring at computer screens.

Next, the Google News alert for virtual school.

Texarkana district withdraws request for charter school
Pine Bluff Commercial - Pine Bluff,AR,USA

The Board rejected a move to limit the school's charter to two years, in case the Legislature deletes language allowing funding for the virtual school. ... [See all stories on this topic]

State schools get 'C' for technology
Knoxville News Sentinel (subscription) - Knoxville,TN,USA

Woods pointed out that Tennessee earned points for its virtual school, and a pilot program is being developed by Hamilton County educators. ... [See all stories on this topic]

MOVIP seeks to be wave of educational future
Fulton Sun - Fulton,MO,USA

“People often say to me, ‘wow ... how new this is,' but 24 other states already have a virtual school program,” said Fuchs. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Real schools, virtual classes
Chicago Tribune - Chicago,IL,USA

A television commercial for the Monroe Virtual High School based in Monroe, Wis., prompted his mother to call for information, and they signed up for the ... [See all stories on this topic]

SSC school in Dadar to go digital in three years
Mumbai Newsline - Mumbai,India

Mumbai, April 9: Virtual classes, online examinations and computerised modules of education—VN Sule Guruji English Medium School, a state board school in ... [See all stories on this topic]

South Carolina lawmakers to debate plans for virtual school
Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson,SC,USA

Instructors of virtual school classes must hold a valid teaching certificate in each content area being taught or must receive special approval from the ... [See all stories on this topic]

U of I opening doors to virtual classroom
Bloomington Pantagraph - Bloomington,IL,USA

Like its bricks and mortar counterparts in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign, officials hope the online school will serve as an educational hub, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally the Google News alert for cyber school.

IU plans Cyber Infrastructure Facility
WHAS 11.com (subscription) - Louisville,KY,USA

School trustees approved design plans for the 172000-square-foot Cyber Infrastructure Facility on Friday, putting construction on fast track for the next ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber charter bill offers radical changes
Oil City Derrick - Oil City,PA,USA

Those writing the original legislation “didn’t realize there would be an explosion” in cyber school enrollment, she said, an increase that has had large and ... [See all stories on this topic]

Technology Helps Sick Students Stay In Classroom
NBC4.TV - Los Angeles,CA,USA

Laub is now in remission and has returned to school. Recently, he presented his project at the school's Cyber Fair. Not surprisingly, he showed off the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Notebook: WPIAL gets Hall of Fame; Blair eligible to play at Pitt
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh,PA,USA

Nicholas Trombetta is the chief executive officer of Lincoln Park and also runs the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. However, only those who physically ... [See all stories on this topic]

Decline in pupils in home schools in the Valley contradicts
Youngstown Vindicator - Youngstown,OH,USA

Families find the cyber school offerings attractive because their children usually get a free computer, can earn a regular high school diploma, ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Webcasts on Net Generation

Further to my posting of the contents of the latest Innovate e-journal, below is message I received today concerning webcasts that Innovate have with each of the article's authors. They are well worth attending if you are available.

Innovate-Live webcasts offer an opportunity to synchronously interact with authors of selected articles in the April/May 2007 issue of Innovate, an open access e-journal published by the Fischler School of Education and Social Services at Nova Southeastern University. These webcasts are produced as a public service by our partner, ULiveandLearn . If you wish to participate in the webcasts, please register at
http://www.uliveandlearn.com/PortalInnovate/

All times are Eastern time (sync with New York). You may use the world clock to coordinate the time with your time zone.

The schedule for the April/May Innovate-Live webcasts is provided below. Chris Davis, the guest editor of this issue, will moderate all sessions.

April 12, 2007

11:00 a.m.
Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation
Authors: Kassandra Barnes, Raymond Marateo, and S. Pixy Ferris
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=382

May 8, 2007

12:00 p.m.
Author: Mark van ‘t Hooft
Schools, Children, and Digital Technology: Building Better Relationships
for a Better Tomorrow
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=376

2:00 p.m.
Author Holly Peterson
Alumni e-Networks: Using Technology to Engage Net Generation Alumni
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=383

3:00 p.m.
Author: Dana J. Wilber
MyLiteracies: Understanding the Net Generation through LiveJournals and
Literacy Practices
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=384

4:00 p.m.
Author: John Thompson
Is Education 1.0 Ready for Web 2.0 Students?
http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=393

If you cannot attend a webcast, note that it will be archived within the features section of the article itself shortly after the event and in the Innovate-Live portal.

Many thanks.

Jim
----
James L. Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, Innovate
http://www.innovateonline.info
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership
UNC-Chapel Hill
http://horizon.unc.edu

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

Japan's first cyber-based school opens
EARTHtimes.org Sun, 01 Apr 2007 5:27 PM PDT

A cyber university, the first in Japan to offer courses through the Internet, opened Sunday in the southwestern city of Fukuoka in Kyushu province.

Cyber University Opens Doors in Japan
Novinite.com - Mon, 02 Apr 2007 5:19 AM PDT

The first cyber university, where the whole course of education is leaded on-line, has been opened in Japan. There are two faculties in the unusual higher school, each accepting about 600 students.

Cyber charter bill offers radical changes
The Derrick Wed, 04 Apr 2007 8:24 PM PDT

The state House is considering the measure, which would lift funding off school districts. A bill under consideration by the state House Education Committee would radically transform the procedures and requirements for the state?s cyber charter schools.

Moving to the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school holding free information session Tuesday
Star Beacon Sun, 01 Apr 2007 9:26 AM PDT

AUSTINBURG - - Ohio Connections Academy (OCA), now completing it's fourth year of operation in the Buckeye State, is kicking off it's 2007-08 student recruitment efforts by offering local parents the opportunity to learn more about the virtual public school.

Online Classes
WSOC-TV 9 Charlotte Mon, 02 Apr 2007 9:09 AM PDT

"Virtual learning is about options. To compete in a global economy, kids need to learn in the classroom, on a computer, and through other technologies. A virtual public school means students have access to high quality teaching and learning regardless of their zip code.."

B.G. home-schoolers can learn online
The Columbian Tue, 03 Apr 2007 9:11 AM PDT

Battle Ground Public Schools' home- school program -- the biggest in the state -- is about to get bigger. The Home Link/CAM program supports 900 students and has just signed on with Columbia Virtual Academy.

Virtual reality: Online courses bring local schools into new era of instruction By Katy Moore, Staff Writer
The Carrollton Leader Wed, 04 Apr 2007 11:31 PM PDT

Tell-tale white cords trail from the ears of teenagers bent over their homework as they listen to iPods. Students settle behind laptop computers in the middle of math class.

St. Dom's to offer online classes
The Lewiston Sun Journal Thu, 05 Apr 2007 2:07 AM PDT

AUBURN - This fall, some juniors and seniors at St. Dominic Regional High School will be taking classes taught by teachers in Massachusetts, China, Malaysia and other parts of the world.

Next the Google News alert for cyber school.

Japan's First Cyber-based School Opens
Playfuls.com - Targu Mures,Romania

Kyodo news agency reported the four-year school called Japan Cyber Educational Institute will have two departments -- information technology and world ... [See all stories on this topic]

Families change face of homeschooling
Meadville Tribune - Meadville,PA,USA

Also, cyber school numbers are climbing across Pennsylvania, and those enrollments are not included as homeschool enrollments, which likely reduced the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber University Opens Doors in Japan
Sofia News Agency - Bulgaria

There are two faculties in the unusual higher school, each accepting about 600 students. Information technologies and preserving world's historical heritage ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school funding retained
Billings Gazette - Billings,MT,USA

The virtual school enables elementary students to take their classes at home using a largely online curriculum. The program started last fall. ...[See all stories on this topic]

Nelson Plan Turns Homeschools into Public Schools
Home School Legal Defense Association - USA

Even the state Department of Education is seeking to enroll homeschoolers via their “Virtual Advanced Placement School.” Advanced Placement (AP) courses can ... [See all stories on this topic]

Repair proposal could hurt virtual learning at Fort Hays
Hutchinson News - Hutchinson,KS,USA

"One of the reasons why we have the lowest in-state tuition of any of the regents' schools has been the tremendous growth of our virtual school, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Students Opting for AP Courses Online
Education Week News - Bethesda,MD,USA

...based Florida Virtual School has increased its AP course offerings from one in 1997 to 11 today, and in-state AP course enrollments this year are expected ... [See all stories on this topic]

"Virtual Campus" will promote teaching of international ...
Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK

... bringing the law of war into the secondary school classroom," said Nicole Martins-Maag, who is in charge of the EHL Virtual Campus project at the ICRC. ... [See all stories on this topic]

SC Schools Improve Technology Report Card Grade
WLTX.com - Columbia,SC,USA

(Columbia) - Boosted by its work to develop a statewide virtual school program, South Carolina improved its position on an annual technology report card ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school will continue but might not expand in scope
Gillette News Record - Gillette WY,USA

The unused $440000 that had been set aside for the virtual school this year will carry over to next year to pay for the program, they decided Tuesday night. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school gives Lorna reason in life
Reading Evening Post - Reading,England,UK

But the determined teenager refused to give up on her studies and looked around for an alternative – eventually finding the Nisai Virtual Academy, ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Repost from the AECT BlogTrack - Where To Next?

Keeping this as my regular Wednesday feature and concluding the series. This entry from the AECT BlogTrack is the first and only entry for the month of October and the twenty-second and final overall in the re-posts from this series.



At present I am currently finishing my dissertation study, which was a case study that looked at how a virtual high school was being implemented in one rural school. As a follow-up to that, I have copied below a section of a proposal that I wrote for a one year post-doctoral fellowship to continue research with this virtual school. I believe the proposal below is a good example of the type of research that is needed with virtual schooling. What do you think?

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Many of the early examples of distance education programs across North America were primarily designed for a select group of high school students, specifically those with higher aptitudes, higher achievement, and greater aspirations for postsecondary education. For example, in their second year evaluation of the Virtual High School (VHS), Espinoza, Dove, Zucker and Kozma (1999) stated that “VHS was serving a fairly narrow range of students, those who were academically advanced and college bound” (p. 48). Roblyer and Elbaum (2000) concluded, “only students with a high need to control and structure their own learning may choose distance formats freely” (p. 61). In distance education programs where student selectivity is not maintained, retention rates have decreased significantly (Ballas & Belyk, 2000; Barker & Wendel, 2001; Roblyer, 1999). These findings have led some to question whether web-based distance education is suitable for all secondary-level students (Mulcahy, 2002).

Cavanaugh (2001) found that there was “a small positive effect in favor of distance education” (p. 73). Given that distance education for high school students in North America had primarily served a more selective group of students, it should not surprise anyone that these early comparative studies in K-12 distance education yielded better results than most other comparative studies in other technology-based fields (Clark , 1983; Reeves, 2005). Interestingly, Cavanaugh, Gillan, Kromrey, Hess and Blomeyer (2004) reported a small negative effect size in their meta-analysis of an additional 14 studies representing over 7500 students from 1999 to 2004. It seems reasonable to conclude that this more recent sample of distance education comparative studies was conducted with a more diverse population of students.

The Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) in Newfoundland and Labrador came into existence in 2000 and offered its first courses during the 2001-02 school year. During that first year a limited number of enrollments were made available in an effort to field test the method of delivery and the content material that had been developed. Beginning with the 2002-03 school year, any student from across the province was given permission to enroll in any course offered by the CDLI. No longer was secondary distance education just for the elite students. Indeed, with their decision to develop a number of non-highly-academic courses, such as Art Technologies 1201, Communications Technology 2104/3104, and World Geography 3202, their student population has come to include students of all ability levels. Given these developments, the CDLI is an ideal context for conducting this research study.

An analysis indicated that over the four year period that the CDLI has been in operation there has been some fluctuation in both public exam scores and final course averages when delivery model and location are considered. However, little difference was observed in the overall performance of students on both performance measures based upon delivery model alone (Barbour & Mulcahy, 2006). Given the fact that some performance results of distance education students in Newfoundland and Labrador run counter to what is traditionally found in the literature, i.e., “no-significant differences,” discovering what factors account for these results is an important undertaking.

The purpose of my dissertation study, entitled What are they doing and how are they doing it? Student experiences in virtual schooling, was to examine the nature of web-based learning in Newfoundland and Labrador secondary education. Specifically, this qualitative case study examined how students at one rural all grade school interacted with their web-based courses and the process they undertook when they needed help. Two of the findings from this study were that the students’ use of their scheduled asynchronous learning time was often inefficient and that teachers’ nature of asynchronous instruction typically assigned practice problems from the textbook as asynchronous instruction. While there were some deviations from these patterns, overall there was regularly little more than independent seat work such as that assigned by the typical classroom teacher. This is troubling because the original model proposed for the CDLI was to be based upon the web-based model that was not “totally dependent on high bandwidth technologies [and have a] minimal reliance on synchronous communications, fixed schedules or other constraining elements” (Sparkes & Williams, 2000, p. 65). Students’ minimal reliance on synchronous communications is a concern and worthy of further research.

At present the model of delivery utilized by the CDLI includes anywhere from 30% to 80% of the students’ scheduled time (which is 10 one-hour periods over a fourteen day cycle) in synchronous instruction using Elluminate Live®, a real-time virtual classroom. One of the main differences between the CDLI and the majority of other virtual schools in North America is the CDLI’s high percentage of synchronous instruction. As the original proposal of minimal reliance on synchronous communications is still one of the overall goals of the CDLI, and one on which they hope to act in the near future, there is a concern that without more effective asynchronous teaching strategies, students in the CDLI will report the same achievement as students in other virtual schools – where only a select group of students are able to perform at levels comparable to their classroom counterparts, but these online learning opportunities will no longer be available to the majority of students because of this change in delivery model that relies on higher levels of internet access.
The purpose of this study is to identify effective asynchronous teaching practices and develop strategies that can be implemented by e-teachers within a context of secondary distance education. This general purpose lends itself to two primary research questions:
  1. What effective asynchronous teaching practices are currently in use?
  2. What asynchronous learning strategies do students find useful?

The theoretical framework is focused on social constructivist learning theories (e.g., Vygotsky, 1962, 19 through a lens of increasing the instructors’ social presence (e.g., Tu, 2002) in an effort to minimize the transactional distance (Moore, 1973; Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Given the goals of this study, naturalistic qualitative approaches are appropriate. The specific case for this study will by the CDLI. I will conduct interviews with teachers to explore their current strategies for asynchronous instruction and students to determine what they do and their impressions of their scheduled asynchronous learning time. I will also use participant observations of both teachers using asynchronous learning environments, which include the course materials and assignments available to the students in their learning management system, and students engaged in asynchronous online learning, along with surveys of students as a means of triangulation.
The CDLI is an optimal choice as the site for this research study for a number of reasons. First, prior research (see Barbour & Mulcahy, 2006) indicates that CDLI students have had success despite their diverse range of abilities. Second, the researcher is familiar with this setting and has built a professional relationship with the organization in many facets over the past five years. Finally, the purpose of this study is well aligned with the second theme of the recent [description of an existing research grant secured at a post-secondary institution].

To date, much of the published literature on K-12 web-based distance education is based upon the personal experiences of those involved in the actual practice, while much of the research is only available in unpublished Masters’ theses and Doctoral dissertations. The results of this study will have useful implications for web-based distance education programs in other jurisdictions. Meta-analysis, such as the ones reported in Cavanaugh, 2001; Cavanaugh, et al., 2004; Ungerleider and Burns, 2003, do not go far enough in specifying design guidelines for practitioners. Research studies such as the one proposed here are clearly needed to examine in a systematic way best practices for these practitioners.

Bibliography and Citations

Ballas, F. A., & Belyk, D. (2000). Student achievement and performance levels in online education research study. Red Deer, AB: Schollie Research & Consulting. Retrieved on July 31, 2005 from http://www.ataoc.ca/files/pdf/AOCresearch_full_report.pdf

Barbour, M. & Mulcahy, D. (2006). An inquiry into achievement differences in traditional and virtual high school courses. Roundtable presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Barker, K., & Wendel, T. (2001). E-learning: Studying Canada’s virtual secondary schools. Kelowna, BC: Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education. Retrieved July 31, 2005 from http://www.saee.ca/pdfs/006.pdf

Cavanaugh, C. S. (2001). The effectiveness of interactive distance education technologies in K-12 learning: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 7(1), 73-88.

Cavanaugh, C., Gillan, K. J., Kromrey, J., Hess, M., & Blomeyer, R. (2004). The effects of distance education on K–12 student outcomes: A meta-analysis. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.

Clark, R. (1983). Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459.

Espinoza, C., Dove, T., Zucker, A., & Kozma, R. (1999). An evaluation of the Virtual High School after two years in operation. Arlington, VA: SRI International. Retrieved on July 31, 2005 from http://ctl.sri.com/publications/downloads/evalvhs2yrs.pdf

Moore, M. G. (1973). Toward a theory of independent learning and teaching. Journal of Higher Education, 19(12), 661-679.

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance education: A systems view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Mulcahy, D. M. (2002). Re-conceptualizing distance education: Implications for the rural schools of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Morning Watch, 30(1-2). Retrieved on July 31, 2005 from http://www.mun.ca/educ/faculty/mwatch/fall02/Mulcahy.htm

Reeves, T. C. (2005). No significant differences revisited: A historical perspective on the research informing contemporary online learning. In G. Kearsley (Ed.), Online learning: Personal reflections on the transformation of education (pp. 299-308). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

Roblyer, M. D. (1999). Is choice important in distance learning? A study of student motives for taking internet-based courses at the high school and community college levels. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32(1).

Roblyer, M. D., & Elbaum, B. (2000). Virtual learning? Research on virtual high schools. Learning & Leading with Technology, 27(4), 58-61.

Sparkes, R., & Williams, L. (2000). Supporting learning: Ministerial panel on educational delivery in the classroom. St. John’s, NL: Queen’s Printer for Newfoundland.

Tu, C. H. (2002). The measurement of social presence in an online learning environment. International Journal on E-Learning, 1(2), 34-45.

Ungerleider, C. S., & Burns, T. C. (2003). A systematic review of the effectiveness and efficiency networked ICT in education: A state of the field report to the CMEC and Industry Canada. Retrieved on October 26, 2005 from http://www.cmec.ca/stats/SystematicReview2003.en.pdf

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language (E. Hanfmann & G. Vakar, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychologist processes (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, E. Souberman, Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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