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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school expansion, school schedule changes pass
Daily Journal Sat, 19 May 2007 7:12 AM PDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) ? Students in struggling districts would have the chance to join the new statewide virtual school under legislation sent to Gov. Matt Blunt on Thursday.

Virtual school expansion, school schedule changes

Jefferson City News Tribune Sat, 19 May 2007 7:36 AM PDT

Students in struggling districts would have the chance to join the new statewide virtual school under legislation sent to Gov. Matt Blunt.

Hoopeston installs virtual classroom program
The Champaign News-Gazette Tue, 22 May 2007 5:45 AM PDT

HOOPESTON ? The Hoopeston school district has a new virtual classroom program to help high school students recover lost credits. The program is funded with grants through the Regional Office of Education and Project Success, according to high school Principal Hank Hornbeck.

85 percent of students in online school pass
The Canton Repository Fri, 25 May 2007 0:00 AM PDT

PERRY TWP. Michael Graham was a struggling student until he took an online computer course at Perry High School. Now he is a star pupil. "He's awesome," said Jennifer Fischer, Perry's e-learning coordinator. "He's committed."

Next the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

W-B Area wants state to fund cyber schools
Times Leader Fri, 25 May 2007 0:53 AM PDT

WILKES-BARRE ? At its meeting Thursday, the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board passed a resolution backing a state bill that would transfer funding responsibility for cyber charter schools to the state Department of Education.

Moving to the Google News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school headteacher coming to Dudley

eGov monitor - London,UK

A virtual school headteacher will help raise educational standards for Dudley children in care after the council was chosen to run a ground-breaking scheme. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual schools program expands
Augusta Chronicle (subscription) - Augusta,GA,USA

Under the South Carolina Virtual School program, up to 3000 students will be able to take courses online or through distance learning each semester, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Connections Academy Named Elementary Level Provider for Missouri's ...
SYS-CON Media - Montvale,NJ,USA

"We know the state of Missouri considered a number of different providers to deliver its elementary level program for its first-ever virtual school, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Missouri To Launch Virtual Schools
T.H.E. Journal - Tustin,CA,USA

The secondary education (grades 6-12) virtual school will be provided by Northwest Missouri State University. Both virtual campuses are intended to provide ... [See all stories on this topic]

A Real Education Is Being Offered Through A Virtual School Setting
Missourinet.com - Jefferson City,MO,USA

Missouri has created a virtual school to give certain students are actual education. This classroom will come to the student, via a personal computer. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school offers tutoring
Vancouver Sun (subscription) - Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada

... Grade 12 students cramming for provincial exams will get some extra help with free tutoring in seven new subjects at the province's virtual school. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Middle school students have mixed feelings about moving on to high ...
Ocala.com - Ocala,FL,USA

He plans to take English through the Florida Virtual School. Others like Stauss are getting a jump-start on the required community service hours with plans ... [See all stories on this topic]

Sanford Signs Off On Virtual Schools
Campaigns & Elections (press release) - USA

The Florida Virtual School already enrolls 65000 students. The Georgia Virtual School was created in 2005 as part of an initiative to offer high school ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Beyer's Bill Unfairly Targets Cyber Charter Schools
Evening Bulletin - Philadelphia,PA,USA

Each cyber school is required to provide a computer, high-speed internet line, curriculum and teachers to serve the students who are attending school from ...[See all stories on this topic]

Make cyber schools accountable
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA

Last year, 11 cyber charters enrolled more than 13000 students from 493 school districts, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber School Halls of Fame
KRIS-TV - Corpus Christi,TX,USA

And, the school's Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners program even has TV stars roaming its cyber halls ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Something From NACOL

I got this from my eSchool News Today.

NACOL issues online learning primer

Educators and education stakeholders interested in online learning have a brand-new resource at their disposal. The North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) has released a free, comprehensive guide to online learning intended to help school leaders implement virtual education programs of their own and help parents understand how online instruction works. "A National Primer on K-12 Online... Full Story

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Okay, I'll be back in Georgia for a couple of days starting Monday morning, so I'll try to get a real update out at that time.

Beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Blunt promotes virtual school
Jefferson City News Tribune Sat, 12 May 2007 6:52 AM PDT

With the three-week open registration period only two days old, Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday promoted the state's new virtual school program at a Capitol news conference.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' union

Centre Daily Times Sat, 12 May 2007 9:40 AM PDT

The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy.

State drops virtual school funding
Mooresville/Decatur Times Mon, 14 May 2007 10:52 AM PDT

Barring a drastic change over the next few months, 1,500 Indiana students and their families will have to search for a new school. ?Last week they told us this,? said Laura Smith of Morgantown, who was planning to enroll her son, fourth-grader Keegan, in the Indiana Virtual Charter School.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' unionphillyburbs.com
Sun, 13 May 2007 11:03 PM PDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy.

Homeschoolers urged to utilize virtual learning at Southern
Lisbon Morning Journal Tue, 15 May 2007 8:34 PM PDT

SALINEVILLE ? At Tuesday night?s board of education meeting Southern Local Superintendent James Herring expressed his desire to encourage Southern Local District children who participate in homeschooling to consider the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) sponsored by Jefferson Community College.

Governor signs virtual schools bill into law
FOX Carolina Thu, 17 May 2007 11:51 AM PDT

Associated Press - May 17, 2007 2:35 PM ET South Carolina students can take classes not offered at their school and earn graduation credits online under an expansion of the state's Virtual...

Governor signs S.C. Virtual Schools Program bill
Florence Morning News Thu, 17 May 2007 10:13 AM PDT

HARTSVILLE ? Students from S.C. Governor?s School for Science and Mathematics joined Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday via Internet simulcast as he signed the South Carolina Virtual Schools Program bill.

Students excited about virtual school possibilities
Florence Morning News Thu, 17 May 2007 1:28 PM PDT

Some Pee Dee students are excited about the possibilities the future may hold with online courses.

6News video: Learning Outside the Lines: A look at virtual schools in the home-school world
Lawrence Journal-World Thu, 17 May 2007 4:19 AM PDT

For most people, home-schools and public schools are two very different things, but for at least one group of students, they're sort of meshed together.

Virtual school expansion, school schedule changes pass
Daily Journal Fri, 18 May 2007 11:12 AM PDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) ? Students in struggling districts would have the chance to join the new statewide virtual school under legislation sent to Gov. Matt Blunt on Thursday.

Sanford signs bill for virtual education
Florence Morning News Thu, 17 May 2007 8:13 PM PDT

HARTSVILLE ? Students from S.C. Governor?s School for Science and Mathematics joined Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday via Internet simulcast as he signed the South Carolina Virtual Schools Program bill.

Vote postponed on online charter high school
Los Angeles Daily News Fri, 18 May 2007 0:12 AM PDT

LANCASTER - Met with opposition, mostly from teachers, the Antelope Valley Union High School District board postponed a vote on a proposed online charter school.

Next the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' union
WFMJ Youngstown Sat, 12 May 2007 9:54 AM PDT

The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy. But they agree on the need for the state to more strictly regulate cyber charter schools and take on the full burden of paying for them.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' union

Centre Daily Times Sat, 12 May 2007 9:40 AM PDT

The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' unionphillyburbs.com
Sun, 13 May 2007 7:16 AM PDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' unionphillyburbs.com
Sun, 13 May 2007 11:03 PM PDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The lobbying groups for Pennsylvania school boards and public school teachers don't often see eye-to-eye on education policy.

Cyber school debate unites school boards and teachers unions

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sun, 13 May 2007 9:28 PM PDT

Read this article ]

Cyber education a solution to schooling woes
The Philadelphia Inquirer Tue, 15 May 2007 1:36 AM PDT

When my daughter developed bad allergies and asthma, my husband and I realized she needed to be educated at home. We just didn't feel comfortable sending her to a traditional school, where we would have to depend upon a nurse to administer her medication.

Charter schools raising doubts
The Express-Times Thu, 17 May 2007 9:17 PM PDT

FORKS TWP. Easton Area School Board is getting ready to back a proposed state law which would provide some local oversight to cyber and charter schools.

Moving to the Google News alert for virtual school.

Basehor family finds flexibility in home schooling
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

The Basehor-Linwood Virtual School sent the Farrises a card in the mail inviting them to join the program, which caters to all students who cannot or choose ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school, Internet offer resources to parents
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

Fortunately, Case says, she found out about Lawrence Virtual School through a friend at her orthodox Christian church. Students there use a curriculum ... [See all stories on this topic]

Online classes make school work for some students
Yakima Herald-Republic - Yakima,WA,USA

Called Achieve Online, it has 102 students and is the newest offering from Christa McAuliffe Academy, a virtual school that has operated since 1985, ... [See all stories on this topic]

New Associate Director Named for Michigan Virtual School
Web Services Journal - Montvale,NJ,USA

... Scott Vashaw as Associate Director for the Michigan Virtual School (MVS), one of the largest virtual schools in the US Since its inception in 2000, ... [See all stories on this topic]

A 3D virtual online map of Glasgow has been launched modelling ...
BBC News - UK

The two-year project was commissioned by Glasgow City Council and led by the Digital Design Studio at the Glasgow School of Art. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Lawrence family helps change state activities policy
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

At the time, Zachary Bachert was a junior at Lawrence Virtual School. The baritone saxophone player qualified first for District Band and later for the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Group's candidates' night goes to virtual format
The Journal News / Lohud.com - Westchester,NY,USA

She said people still needed information about school board candidates to make informed choices. "So we decided on a virtual public meeting on the school ... [See all stories on this topic]

More parents opt for home schooling
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

Donna Thomasson enters a grade into the Lawrence Virtual School computer system as her son Luke looks on and holds his brother, 5-month-old Chip. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Tonganoxie family takes home schooling into second generation
Lawrence Journal World - Lawrence,KS,USA

The Kouns family, which now lives in Tonganoxie, uses curriculum through Lawrence Virtual School, although Sarah Kouns said some home-schooling families ... [See all stories on this topic]

State drops virtual school funding
Reporter-Times - Martinsville,IN,USA

The Indiana Virtual Charter School is a tuition-free, public, virtual school that gives parents the curriculum, tools, and support they need to deliver a ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Pa. cyber school debate unites school boards, teachers' union
Penn Live - Harrisburg,PA,USA

School boards have long have questioned whether the current charter school funding formula reflects the true cost of educating cyber school students, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber education a solution to schooling woes
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA

Our daughter's school is Agora Cyber Charter School in Philadelphia. It uses a curriculum company, K12 Inc., based in Herndon, Va., that meets Pennsylvania ... [See all stories on this topic]

John Sabia
Pocono Record - Stroudsburg,PA,USA

They go to cyber school and all the proof we get is the bill. With home schooling, we get control. Sometimes, when these kids (in cyber school) come back, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber school debate unites school boards and teachers unions
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh,PA,USA

A bill that would require the state to fund cyber schools and limit the amount of tuition the schools can charge has the support of the Pennsylvania School ... [See all stories on this topic]

Linda Micklos
Pocono Record - Stroudsburg,PA,USA

Cyber school has no traditional boundaries (bricks and mortar). Changes in the family structure make this style of school more flexible. ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

I'm back in Newfoundland for the next ten days, so I'm not sure how active I'll be for the next week or so after today's entry.

Beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Virtual school for banned pupils
BBC News Mon, 07 May 2007 7:27 AM PDT

A virtual classroom goes live on the internet to help pupils excluded from school carry on with their studies.

Registration begins for online school
Columbian Missourian Sun, 06 May 2007 9:33 PM PDT

The state-run digital school is free for the first 4,000 students. Students can register today for a state-funded seat in Missouri?s new virtual school, which opens in August.

State will not fund virtual schools
Louisville Courier-Journal Mon, 07 May 2007 3:09 AM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pamela Bless thought she had found an exciting education alternative when she enrolled her three children in an online charter school slated to open this fall.

Virtual schools lose funding
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Mon, 07 May 2007 5:25 AM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS ? Pamela Bless thought she had found an exciting education answer when she enrolled her three children in a new online charter school slated to open this fall.

Registration opens for virtual school
Jefferson City News Tribune Tue, 08 May 2007 5:51 AM PDT

Registration opened Monday for students who want to enroll in a state-funded online school this fall. The state's virtual school program is expected to cover a few thousand students, with some taking a full load of classes and others only one or two courses.

Registration opens for Mo. virtual school
Southeast Missourian Mon, 07 May 2007 2:02 PM PDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Registration opened Monday for students who want to enroll in a state-funded online school this fall. The state's virtual school program is expected to cover a few...

Missouri virtual schools begin enrollment
Heartland News Tue, 08 May 2007 3:36 AM PDT

Is a virtual classroom a good fit for your child? In Missouri students can no apply to take part in state funded online schools opening this fall.

New Associate Director Named for Michigan Virtual School
SYS-CON Media Thu, 10 May 2007 12:47 PM PDT

Michigan Virtual University (MVU) appointed Scott Vashaw as Associate Director for the Michigan Virtual School (MVS), one of the largest virtual schools in the U.S. Since its inception in 2000, the MVS has recorded over 27,000 course enrollments and served more than 150,000 students with an online ACT, SAT, PSAT or State Assessment review tools.

District expands virtual learning
Douglas County News Press Thu, 10 May 2007 9:19 AM PDT

Although distance learning has been an educational option for students since before the emergence of the Internet, the growth, popularity and ease of accessibility to the World Wide Web has accelerated virtual learning around the world.

Blunt promotes virtual school
Jefferson City News Tribune Fri, 11 May 2007 5:38 AM PDT

With the three-week open registration period only two days old, Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday promoted the state's new virtual school program at a Capitol news conference.

Hundreds sign up for new Missour Virtual school
KY3 Springfield Fri, 11 May 2007 9:41 AM PDT

High school senior Matt Eason is among those who hope to get a diploma without attending classes.

Moving to the Yahoo! News alert for cyber school.

New cyberschool bill
Lancaster Online Mon, 07 May 2007 5:02 AM PDT

A battle is brewing over legislation that would drastically change the way cybercharter schools operate and slash their tuition rates by nearly half.School districts that for years have complained about the cost of tuition and inflated budgets of cyberschools applaud the legislation, while...

PA Families Supporting Public Cyber Schools Descend on Harrisburg for First- Ever Capitol Day
SYS-CON Media Tue, 08 May 2007 4:33 PM PDT

The Pennsylvania Families for Public Cyber Schools (PA Families) today held its first-ever Capital Day on the Hill to thank state lawmakers for their support of public schools that educate 17,000 students across the state.

Next the Google News alert for virtual school.

Missouri's virtual school expected to be a dig draw
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - St. Louis,MO,USA

The director of Missouri's first virtual school on the Internet is expecting a rush of applications when online registration for the program starts Monday. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Angry virtual charter school advocates scramble for funding ...
Gary Post Tribune - Gary,IN,USA

Virtual school advocates had held talks with legislators to persuade them that Indiana needed the home-based, computer-anchored learning model. ... [See all stories on this topic]

School Trial a Success
Emporia Gazette (subscription) - Emporia,KS,USA

Jennifer Miller, virtual school contact and fine arts teacher, and Ginger Lewman, on-site coordinator, have planned open houses for potential students and ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school about to start online classes
Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia,MO,USA

"One of the drawbacks" of the virtual school, Woodruff said, "is that parents are not going to have that same ownership. They’re going to let someone else ...[See all stories on this topic]

Virtual schools lose funding
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette - Fort Wayne,IN,USA

Ball State University had proposed opening the Indiana Virtual Charter School and Indiana Connections Academy this fall with a total of about 2200 students. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Auditors call for better oversight of virtual schools
Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City,KS,USA

The Mullinville school district's practice of sharing students in its virtual school with other districts has prompted state auditors to recommend stronger ... [See all stories on this topic]

Electronic courses ready to go online
Rocky Mount Telegram - Rocky Mount,NC,USA

The state's Virtual Public School goes online this summer with its first offering of courses, and local administrators are eagerly signing up students.

Northwest joins state’s virtual school class program
Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville,MO,USA

Northwest is playing a key role in efforts to offer virtual classes this fall to thousands of high school students through the Missouri Virtual Education ... [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual school registration begins Monday
Southeast Missourian - Cape Girardeau,MO,USA

State education officials will start accepting applications Monday at 8 am for Missouri's new virtual school, offering online elementary and high school ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

New cyberschool bill
Lancaster Newspapers - Lancaster,PA,USA

They've sent 2000 letters to legislators opposing HB 446, and hundreds of parents and students plan to participate in a "Cyber Day" protest Tuesday in the ... [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber-charter schools scrutinized
News of Delaware County - Havertown,PA,USA

The school board was especially frustrated that the cyber-school operators, who may be paying far less to provide the services then they take in, ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Virtual Teaching Internships

Well, the last item looked at preparing students to learn in a virtual school environment, this one looks at preparing teachers to teach in a virtual school environment. This news item showed up in my DEC Weekly News which is put out by Distance-Educator.com, Inc..

Supporting Student Teaching Through Virtual Classrooms
Published on Monday, May 07,
2007 - 01:44 AM PST Source: Educause Quarterly

In the face of increasing difficulty placing teacher candidates in
schools for their practicum, using a cyber practicum offers several advantages

Read the Full Article

While the article is not discussing this project, the Teacher Education Goes Into Virtual Schooling (TEGIVS) project, is also worth looking into on this topic.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Getting Ready To Take A Virtual School Course

I've come across a couple of things lately that speak to the issue of student readiness for taking virtual school courses. The first was the Student Survival Guide from the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. particularly liked the "Student Accounts" section, which provides advice from actual CDLI students to future CDLI students.

The second thing I had come across through Google, but then Darren over at Teaching and Developing Online also posted it to his blog - Student Online Readiness Tool (you can see Darren's entry about it by clicking here
here). This one was created by one of my former professors, Dr. Lynne Schrum, at the University of Georgia - which means that this tool is really designed for post-secondary students.

Anyway, I mention these because one of the projects that I hope to be working on next year is to extend the Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) of Dr. Margaret Roblyer to include remediation modules to assist secondary students in identifying their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the skills needed for being successful in a virtual school environment, and to provide some form of support in the areas that those students are weak. I'll let you know if this line of inquiry comes to fruition, and if so, how it progresses.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Virtual Schooling in the News

Let me start by saying that while I brought Lisa's iPod to Aderhold with me on Thursday with every intention of recording my presentation and the actual conversation from my defence to try and make one or more podcasts, the iPod never left my computer bag once I got into the building. So I guess the podcasting will have to wait. I may do one just to try where I just speak randomly about some aspect of virtual schooling.

In any regard, back to the virtual school items in the news, beginning with the Yahoo! News alert for virtual school.

Brunswick County schools going virtual
WWAY 3 Wilmington Mon, 30 Apr 2007 7:28 AM PDT

Brunswick county schools are going virtual. The county is offering students online courses in an effort to take education beyond the bounds of the conventional classroom.

Spokane virtual learning open house
KHQ Spokane Tue, 01 May 2007 12:12 PM PDT

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane virtual learning is holding an information session to learn more about the program and classes offered to high school and middle school students. Sessions are open to open anyone interested in learning more about SVL directly from the staff and families involved.

Angry virtual charter school advocates scramble for funding, alternative plan
Post-Tribune Wed, 02 May 2007 2:02 AM PDT

Indiana's first-ever virtual charter schools may not power on this fall. And if they do, they won't be recognized as public schools.

Michigan Virtual University(R) Chooses Meridian Knowledge Solutions to Provide New Learning Management System for Its ...
SYS-CON Media Wed, 02 May 2007 12:49 PM PDT

Michigan Virtual University (MVU(R)) announces a major leap forward in its technology foundation: Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, has been selected to provide a new learning management system (LMS) for the Michigan LearnPort statewide communication and professional development portal. The new LMS for Michigan's K-12 education community is easier to use, easier to upgrade and offers Web 2.0 ...

Virtual charter schools unplugged
The Indianapolis Star Thu, 03 May 2007 5:50 AM PDT

MUNCIE -- Ball State University is reviewing its sponsorship of the state's first virtual charter schools after the Indiana General Assembly denied it $21 million in funding for the initiative.

Virtual school registration begins Monday
Southeast Missourian Fri, 04 May 2007 10:42 AM PDT

State education officials will start accepting applications Monday at 8 a.m. for Missouri's new virtual school, offering online elementary and high school classes starting in August. The online...

Virtual school about to start online classes
Columbia Daily Tribune Fri, 04 May 2007 12:36 PM PDT

Parents can start enrolling their children into Missouri?s Virtual Instruction Program on Monday.

Virtual charter schools, parents scrambling without funding
The Times of Northwest Indiana Fri, 04 May 2007 12:49 PM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS - Pamela Bless thought she had found an exciting education answer when she enrolled her three children in a new online charter school slated to open this fall.

Missouri 'virtual class' applications open next week
The Springfield News-Leader Thu, 03 May 2007 2:51 PM PDT

State education officials will begin accepting applications next week for Missouri's first "virtual classes," which are set to begin in August, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Educaton announced Thursday in a news release. A wide array of courses will be offered for Missouri students in grades K-5 and 9-12. The online registration process begins May 7 and will close May 29. ...

Missouri's virtual school expected to be a dig draw
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Fri, 04 May 2007 11:00 PM PDT

The director of Missouri's first virtual school on the Internet is expecting a rush of applications when online registration for the program starts Monday.

Virtual charter schools, parents scrambling without funding
The Times of Northwest Indiana Fri, 04 May 2007 10:34 PM PDT

INDIANAPOLIS - Pamela Bless thought she had found an exciting education answer when she enrolled her three children in a new online charter school slated to open this fall.

Registration Begins Monday for Virtual Classes
KOLR/KSFX Ozarks Fri, 04 May 2007 1:39 PM PDT

Missouri students will soon be able to take virtual classes. Registration begins on Monday for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade and ninth through 12th grade.

Next the Yahoo News alert for cyber school.

W-S district joins cyber charter funding fight
Delaware County Times Tue, 01 May 2007 0:03 AM PDT

NETHER PROVIDENCE - Members of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board are voicing support for state legislation that would have the commonwealth pick up the tab for students taking classes via cyber charter schools.

Cyber Security School
KOCO 5 Oklahoma City Wed, 02 May 2007 7:00 AM PDT

As reported on Eyewitness News 5 in the morning, Adam Slinger reports on how more than one hundred students go to cyber security school

Durban school logs on to cyberspace
Independent Online Wed, 02 May 2007 5:35 AM PDT

A school in Chatsworth has joined the e-School Cyber Labs programme.

Moving on to the Google News alert for virtual school.

Brunswick County schools going virtual
WWAY NewsChannel 3 - Wilmington,NC,USA

Brunswick and several other counties in North Carolina are offering kids the opportunity to complete coursework through virtual high school. ... [See all stories on this topic]

House passes bill changing school start dates, makeup days
The Rolla Daily News - Rolla,MO,USA

Lawmakers also approved an amendment that would allow students to enroll in an Internet-based “virtual school” program if their school districts are ... [See all stories on this topic]

Queen's celebrates school report
Sommerset County Gazette - Taunton,England,UK

... the innovative teaching initiatives such as Virtual Learning Environments, use of the school intranet and video-conferencing across all departments." [See all stories on this topic]

SC considers Web school
Myrtle Beach Sun News - Myrtle Beach,SC,USA

Forget chalkboards, paper and pencils: The SC Department of Education is working to establish a virtual school, which aims to give students a wider variety ... [See all stories on this topic]

Oversight lacking for virtual schools
Kansas City Star - MO,USA

Some districts could be illegally manipulating virtual school enrollment to attract more state dollars, the audit said. Auditors even found two new virtual ... [See all stories on this topic]

West Bend school district vows to ‘get going’ to stop students’ exodus
Greater Milwaukee Today - Milwaukee,WI,USA

Of 60 people surveyed who applied to leave the district, 19, or 32 percent, are headed to a virtual school, such as Northern Ozaukee, to which eight applied ... [See all stories on this topic]

Headteacher for the Virtual School Children in Care
PublicTechnology.net - UK

Our virtual school will include every child or young person in care. As the Headteacher of the school, your role will be to raise attainment, ... [See all stories on this topic]

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Gauging the cyber gap
Asia Pacific Media Network - Los Angeles,CA,USA

She points out that if a young person can't type or lacks basic computer and internet skills, they will have a hard time in school and finding a job. ... [See all stories on this topic]

Going back to school ought to be a class act
Contra Costa Times - CA,USA

One of my goals in life is to be a grumpy cyber-codger. As yet, I haven't enrolled in my class, but I've started considerable preparation to get myself into ... [See all stories on this topic]

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What Are They Doing And How Are They Doing It? Rural Student Experiences In Virtual Schooling

So that is the title of my dissertation which I defend tomorrow. Preparing for that defence has really derailed my plans to write about the virtual schooling stuff that I saw at AERA - although I still plan to do some of that. I also plan to use my wife's iPod to record my dissertation defence tomorrow and I'll see if I can chop some of the discussion down into segments that I can podcast from this blog.

Actually, podcasting is something that I'd like to do more of from here, as I could easily record myself presenting at any of the conferences that I attend and it would be a lot easier to simply record the presentation and podcast it in part or the complete thing from here than trying to find the time to type it up. So if anyone out there has experience recording the audio with an iPod, using a Mac (Audacity or Garage Band I would assume) to create the podcast, and then linking it into Blogger, I would love some suggestions/detailed instructions.

In any regard, the abstract for my dissertation that I will be defending tomorrow is:

This study examined the nature of virtual schooling in Newfoundland and Labrador secondary education. The primary goals of this research were to investigate the virtual school learning experience for students in the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) including the kinds of support and assistance most frequently used and most valued by students learning in a virtual environment.

Data were collected related to what students did during their asynchronous class and synchronous class time, along with where they sought help when they needed content-based assistance. Students were interviewed and observed during their virtual school class time. In-school teachers were interviewed and e-teachers were also observed. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method utilizing Microsoft Word® as a tool for qualitative data analysis.

Findings indicated that during their asynchronous class time students were often assigned seat work or provided time to work on assignments, however, students rarely used this time to complete CDLI work. When the students required assistance they usually relied upon their local classmates. If peer support was not successful, they turned to their e-teacher if it was during synchronous class time or if they had the time to wait for a response. If it was during asynchronous class time or if they needed more immediate feedback, they would seek out their in-school teachers. Students rarely used most of the support resources provided by the CDLI.

Further research is needed to improve asynchronous teaching strategies exhibited, to better understand the virtual school experience of lower performing students, to improve upon the identification of students who will be successful in and provide remediation for students who are weak in certain characteristics, and finally to investigate how e-teachers and in-school teachers encourage greater interaction and sense of community to allow students to learn in the social process from their more capable peers. As the goals of this future research are to impact the practice of virtual schooling, design/development research may be a suitable methodology for these future studies.

I have it indexed under the terms (and I'll use them as tags and labels here as well) virtual school, virtual high school, K-12, online learning, web-based learning, small schools, rural, rural education.

Until next week when I have some real time on my hands...

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