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Online Learning--Digital/Blended LearningSelected Research & Readings
 
  ONLINE LEARNING--DIGITAL/BLENDED LEARNING
 
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12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Credit Recovery and Proficiency-Based Credit PDF -

This issue of The Progress of Education Reform will address the following questions:

  • What is credit recovery? What is proficiency-based credit?
  • How is credit recovery different from traditional remediation?
  • Why does providing for these options matter for high school completion?
  • How widespread are these options across the states? And what do state policies look like?
  • What are the challenges in implementing credit recovery and proficiency-based credit
    programs?
  • What does the research say on the effectiveness of credit recovery and proficiency-based
    credit?
  • What are the essential policy components?

(Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, June 2011)

...

Knocking Down Barriers: How California Superintendents Are Implementing Blended Learning - Even in highly-regulated states like California, barriers to blended learning such as staffing requirements can be avoided. For example, one superintendent dealt with the requirement that elementary school teachers must teach multiple subjects by having all teachers teach one English Language Development block daily--even though one is a math specialist, another an English Language Development specialist, etc. This brief abounds in clever solutions to seemingly intractable problems. (Michael B. Horn, Anna Gu and Meg Evans, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, September 2014)...

Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students' Learning - At-risk students can benefit from technology, but the technology has to go beyond drill-and-memorize. Technological learning must be interactive, allow students to explore and create, and must be blended with real-time teachers, according to the authors of this report. They point out at-risk students in low-income schools have less access to technology. (Linda Darling-Hammond, Shelley Goldman and Molly B. Zielezzinski, SCOPE and Alliance for Excellent Education, September 2014)...

Blended Learning: Bringing Personalized Education to Scale - This guide explains blended learning and its four models with the pros and cons of each. It emphasizes what blended learning is not - a program in which every student is simply given a laptop or tablet. However blended learning does leverage technology to differentiate students' experience of learning, pulling them through what is giving them a hard time, or allowing them to pursue personal interests. Finally, it tells policymakers how to get the ball rolling in their states and gives examples of how some states did it. (James F. Bogden, NASBE, July 2014)...

Learner at the Center of a Networked World - Operating on the premise that the learner needs to be at the center of novel approaches and innovative learning networks, this study offers five essential principles and 26 action steps within those principles to be used as a guide for action: learners need to be at the center of new learning networks, every student should have access to those networks, networks need to be interoperable (not silos), learners should have the literacies to use media and to safeguard themselves, and students should have safe, trusted learning environments. (Richard Adler, Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet, June 2014) ...

Digital Learning Report Card 2013 - In the annual rating of digital learning quality, Utah and Florida got As. Nevada, Washington, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia and Virginia got Bs. States are graded by 10 elements: student eligibility, student access, personalized learning, advancement, quality content, quality instruction, quality choices, assessment and accountability and infrastructure. (Digital Learning Now, March 2014) ...

"Conceptualizing Astronomical Scale: Virtual Simulations on Handheld Tablet Computers Reverse Misconceptions" - WWC looks at a study comparing ways to look at the solar system on a handheld tablet computer. Results - using 152 Massachusetts high school students - showed the true-to-scale model was superior in student knowledge gains to the more commonly used orrery model which exaggerates the size of plant bodies. WWC is reserving judgement pending more information from the authors on whether its evidence standards were met without reservation. (What Works Clearinghouse, February 2014) (What Works Clearinghouse, February 2014)...

Education Technology - See the Institute for Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) for recommendations on technology in education. The WWC reviews the research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. Then, by focusing on the results from high-quality research, they try to answer the question “What works in education?” The goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. (WWC, September 2013)...

Are Personalized Learning Environments the Next Wave of K-12 Education Reform? - In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Race to the Top-District grant program emphasizing personalized learning environments. This paper looks at the first round of 16 winners and their approaches. Four themes emerged from the applications: blended learning environments, individualized college and career readiness learning plans, competency-based models, and engaging and empowering key stakeholder groups including community partnerships and networks. (American Institutes for Research)...

Online Learning: Myths, Reality & Promise - Myths about online learning are confronted, then authors assert the advantages to students: customization, motivation and equalization. Among recommendations: all students should have access to online learning with no caps or barriers, states should support efforts to improve access in terms of devices and broadband, courses should be available on a rolling year-round bases and end-of-course tests should be available on demand. (John Bailey, Susan Patrick, Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark, Digital Learning Now!, July 2013)...

A Better Blend: A Vision of Boosting Student Outcomes with Digital Learning - Here’s how to use blended learning to drive improvements in digital instruction, transform teaching into a highly paid career, and improve student learning on a large scale, say the authors. Now, the top 25% of teachers who can produce a year and a half of learning annually, can, with blended learning, reach more students. That in turn can close achievement gaps and help average students “leap ahead.” It’s a promise, not a guarantee. Excellent teachers must be better deployed, “playing instructional and team leadership roles that maximize technology’s impact with their own.” A school can pick up “better blend” immediately, but to achieve excellence on a grander scale, state policies must be changed in the areas of funding, people, accountability for learning, technology and student data, and timing and scalability. (Public Impact)...

Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive? An Introduction to the Theory of Hybrids - Blended learning can be a sustaining innovation hybrid attempting to combine the best of both worlds–online learning in a traditional classroom–like a Flipped Classroom. Or it can appear to be a more disruptive innovation, which does not incorporate the traditional classroom in its full form. The authors of this report predict the disruptive models eventually will transform traditional classrooms, especially at the middle and high school levels. Flex, A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, and Individual Rotation and examples of more disruptive models. (Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, Clayton Christensen Institute, August 2013)...

Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles - This article suggests two ways to better handle and personalize student records. The Data Backpack would be the official transcript with traditional information common to all students but enhanced with more data to better pinpoint where a student's learning is at any point in time. More personalized, the Learner Profile would contain information particular to the student: Sources of motivation, a college/career readiness tracker, an early warning system. The authors conclude with an appeal for collaboration to create a common, comprehensive system. (Digital Learning Now!, October 2012)...

Funding the Shift to Digital Learning: Three Strategies for Funding Sustainable High-Access Environments - This is the first in the Digital Learning Now! (DLN) Smart Series of interactive papers that provide specific guidance regarding adoption of Common Core Standards and the shift to personal digital learning. The paper asks leaders and policymakers to consider three strategies for investing in student access: state and district-provided funding, subsidized parent pay, and a mixed model, which includes bring your device (BYOD) policies. The paper highlights real examples of how states and school leaders are providing their students with the tools they’ll need to access next generation learning opportunities. (DLN, August 2012)...

Classifying K-12 Blended Learning - This White Paper from Innosight Institute outlines four K-12 blended learning models and describes the various implementation methods for each. This updated paper refines previous categories and definitions to create a shared language for the K-12 blended-learning sector. (Innosight Institute, May 2012)...

Digital Textbook Playbook - The Digital Textbook Playbook is a guide to help K-12 educators and administrators advance the conversation toward building a rich digital learning experience. This Playbook offers information about determining broadband infrastructure for schools and classrooms, leveraging home and community broadband to extend the digital learning environment, and understanding necessary device considerations. It also provides lessons learned from school districts that engaged in successful transitions to digital learning. (Digital Textbook Collaborative, 2012)...

The Digital Learning Imperative: How Technology and Teaching Meet Today’s Education Challenges - The report discusses how digital learning and technology are vital in helping to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and a career. (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2012)...

The NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition - This report examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative expression within the environment of pre-college education. This is the third edition in a K-12 series, and each edition introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use in the educational community within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Each report also presents critical trends and challenges that will affect teaching and learning over the same time frame. (New Media Consortium, 2011)...

Using Technology to Personalize Learning and Assess Students in Real-Time - In this Brookings study by Darrell West, the author explores new ways to teach, made possible by technology. (Darrell West, Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, October 2011)...

Digital Learning Now! Roadmap for Reform - Digital Learning Council is a diverse group of more than 100 leaders in education, government, business, technology and members of policy think tanks. The group developed the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. The report is essentially a roadmap for states to follow for reforming digital learning. (Digital Learning Council, 2011)...

Quality Control in K-12 Digital Learning: Three (Imperfect) Approaches - This paper explores the pros and cons of input regulation, outcome-based accountability, and market signals as solutions to the quality challenge. In the end, Hess recommends using all three approaches in careful combination so as to leverage their strengths and offer their weaknesses. In practice, that means demanding transparent financial information from providers, holding them to account for student achievement goals whenever possible. (Frederick Hess, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, July 2011)...

Digital Learning and Technology: Federal Policy Recommendations to Seize the Opportunity--and Promising Practices That Inspire Them - This brief highlights the work of digital programs in Alabama, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming. Included in the recommendations for federal policy are: (1) Infuse technology throughout education programs; (2) Provide a dedicated technology program to ensure leadership and innovation; (3) Encourage states to implement the "10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning"; and (4) Build on the national education technology plan and national broadband plan models. (Alliance for Excellent Education, July 2011)...

It's Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit - This paper highlights the key issues raised to support the advancement of competency-based learning during the March 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit. Innovators gathered to in order to share expertise, build a common working definition of competency-based learning, and enhance the strategies and skills for advancing the establishment of competency-based options (International Association for K-12 Online Learning, July 2011)....

Moving From Inputs to Outputs to Outcomes: The Future of Education Policy - This policy brief states that more focus is needed on students (the outputs) to effectively transition to a more aggressive digital learning environment. The paper offers a few policy recommendations stemming from case studies on how best to use advancing technologies to unlock a path toward the creation of a high-quality student centric education system. (Innosight Institute, June 2011)...

The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning: Profiles of Emerging Models - This paper profiles 40 organizations that are blending online learning with brick-and-mortar classrooms. A range of operators are represented including state virtual schools, charter management organizations, individual charter schools, independent schools, districts, and private entities. (Innosight Institute, May 2011)...

Quality Authorizing for Online and Blended-Learning Charter Schools - Online and blended learning have grown dramatically in K-12 education in the past dozen years, creating countless new opportunities for students and educators, and, in many cases, demonstrating improved student outcomes. (National Association of Charter School Authorizers, April 2011)...

The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning - Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised location away from home and at least in part through online delivery. It has the potential to revolutionize K-12 education in terms of quality and cost. This report covers six "models" for delivery of blended learning. (Innosight Institute, January 2011)...

Clearing the Path: Creating Innovation Space for Serving Over-Age, Under-Credited Students in Competency-Based Pathways - The paper suggests four important goals for these underserved youth: (1) motivating experiences, (2) social and emotional continuity, (3) mastery of key employment skills and (4) high school graduation. The report calls for anytime-anywhere learning, an end to seat time and progress based on master and funding that follows the student to the best option. (Chris Sturgis, Bob Rath, Ephraim Weisstein and Susan Patrick, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, December 2010)...

Digital Learning Now! - Digital Learning Now! is a national campaign to advance policies that will create a high quality digital learning environment to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers.The Digital Learning Council united a diverse group of more than 50 leaders from education, government, philanthropy, business, technology, and think tanks to develop the roadmap of reform for local, state and federal lawmakers and policymakers. The "10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning" will be used to grade every state in 2011. (Foundation for Excellence in Education, December 2010)...

The Course of Innovation: Using Technology to Transform Higher Education - This report examines innovations in technology with the potential to simultaneously improve student learning and reduce skyrocketing higher education costs. With universities under pressure to increase degree production at the same time that endowments are shrinking and cash-strapped state legislatures are cutting public funds, this would seem to be the kind of innovation that would quickly be adopted far and wide, however universities have yet to decide en masse to adopt these new teaching and learning technologies. (Ben Miller, Education Sector, May 2010)...

Teachers' Use of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: 2009--First Look - This report presents data from a spring 2009 Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey on the availability and use of educational technology by public elementary/secondary school teachers. The teacher survey includes information on the use of computers and Internet access in the classroom; availability and use of computing devices, software, and school or district networks (including remote access) by teachers; students' use of educational technology; teachers' preparation to use educational technology for instruction; and technology-related professional development activities. (National Center for Education Statistics, May 2010)...

K-12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-up of the Survey of U.S. School District Administrators - This report is an update one of the first studies to collect data on and compare fully online and blended learning in K-12 schools. The current study replicates the 2007 report and is based on a national survey of school district administrators during the 2007-08 academic year. Among the findings: Overall number of K-12 students engaged in online courses in 2007-2008 is estimated at 1,030,000. This represents a 47% increase since 2005-06 (Anthony Picciano and Jeff Seaman, Sloan Consortium, January 2009)...

Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings from the First Student Cohort - Mandated by Congress under NCLB, this report focuses on the impact of technology on student academic achievement. Key findings include: (1) test scores were not significantly higher in classrooms using the reading and mathematics software products than those in control classrooms; and (2) there was substantial variation between schools regarding the effects on student achievement. (U.S. Institute of Education Sciences, 2007)...

2006 ICT Literacy Assessment Preliminary Findings - The ICT Literacy Assessment is a comprehensive test of information and communication technology proficiency that uses scenario-based tasks to measure both cognitive and technical skills. This presentation examines preliminary findings gathered from over 6,300 test takers at 63 four-year colleges and universities, community colleges and high schools who took the ICT Literacy Assessment in 2006. (ETS, 2006) ...

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project - These standards from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are designed to prepare future teachers and technology specialists to help P-12 students effectively apply technology for learning, communications, problem solving and decisionmaking. The standards are based on the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for teachers and the NETS for P-16 students. The NETS Project will work to define standards for students, integrating curriculum technology, technology support, and standards for student assessment and evaluation of technology use. (International Society for Technology in Education, 2006)...


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