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Online Learning--Virtual Schools/CoursesSelected Research & Readings
 
  ONLINE LEARNING--VIRTUAL SCHOOLS/COURSES
 
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Online Learning--Digital/Blended Learning
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Expanding the Education Universe: A Fifty-State Strategy for Course Choice - Choice has become more than changing schools. When that isn’t an option or when a child’s present school is fine except for a few drawbacks, choice may now mean a choice of classes taught by the best teachers either online or from unconventional providers. Louisiana as well as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin have moved in that direction, says this course-choice guide. See this report for ideas related to funding levels, what courses should be offered, which students are eligible and accountability for providers and students.(Michael Brickman, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, May 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) ...

Fast Facts About Online Learning - Packed with online learning facts, this state-oriented report says the top two reasons school districts offer online learning: some courses aren't otherwise available, and credit recovery. As of 2012, Florida is the first state to offer full and part-time online options to all K-12 students. Rising costs of books and cash-strapped budgets have districts rethinking textbook use and considering open resource options. Online student funding formulas vary; a state list of options is provided. (International Association for K-12 Online Learning, October 2013)...

Blended Learning Implementation Guide Version 2.0 - Blended learning is defined as "a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through the online delivery of content and instruction, with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace." In this second version of a blended learning implementation guide, the authors point out that a confluence of factors could make this era a turning point in the history of education: the Common Core, the shift to online assessments, the availability of affordable devices, and the growing number of high-quality digital instructional tools. These make possible personalized learning around the individual needs of every student. (John Bailey et al., Digital Learning Now, September 2013)...

K-12 Virtual Schools - Over the last several years, opportunities for students to receive some portion of their education online have become much more widespread in K–12 public schools. Researchers estimate that more than one million K–12 students in the U.S. were engaged in some form of virtual education in the 2007–08 school year, representing nearly a 50 percent increase over the previous two school years. This legislative brief presents a rough timeline of the rise of online learning options in Tennessee and across the country. (Offices of Research and Education Accountability, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, May 2012)...

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)...

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 Online Learning Imperative: A Solution to Three Looming Crises in Education - Currently, K-12 education in the United States is dealing with three major crises: 1) Global skill demands and educational attainment; 2) flat funding; and 3) a looming teacher shortage. This report suggests that technology can no longer be thought of simply as an added tool in education but rather an integral part of the total educational environment. (Alliance for Excellent Education, February 2010)...

Online Learning Policy Survey -- A Survey of the States - Report reflects the vision, policies and strategies that states have deployed around online learning in an effort to transform their academic environment and meet the needs of students. The report ranks policies enacted by states to create favorable online learning environments and successful initiatives. (Center for Digital Education, November 2009)...

National Standards for Quality Online Programs - National Standards for Quality Online Programs is designed to provide states, districts, online programs and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online program leadership, instruction, content, support services and evaluation. The initiative began with a thorough literature review of existing online program standards, including accreditation standards, a cross-reference of standards, followed by a survey to iNACOL members and experts to ensure the efficacy of the standards adopted. (Liz Pape and Matthew Wicks, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, October 2009)...

Funding and Policy Frameworks for Online Learning - Online learning creates the challenge to update policy to address a new and exciting form of learning. At the same time, it presents the opportunity to upgrade policy to shift the focus to student achievement instead of inefficient proxies, such as seat time, or measures based solely on inputs such as state content standards. (John Watson and Butch Gemin, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, July 2009)...

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies - Findings presented in this report are derived from a systematic search for empirical studies of the effectiveness of online learning and a meta-analysis of those studies from which effect sizes that contrasted online and face-to-face instruction could be extracted or estimated. Four questions drove the research: (1) How does the effectiveness of online learning versus face-to-face instruction compare? (2) Does supplementing face-to-face instruction with online learning enhance learning? (3) What practices produced more effective online learning? (4) What conditions influence the effectivness of online learning? (Center for Technology in Learning, U.S. Department of Education, May 2009)...

Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education - This paper discusses the definitions of blended learning and explores ways in which blended learning is being developed by numerous schools in an effort to answer these and other questions: (1) How does blended learning fit into current conceptions of online learning? (2) How does it help engage students and support their academic success? (3) How are online learning and face-to-face instruction being combined effectively? (4) Is blended learning meeting unique student needs that neither fully online nor face-to-face models can achieve? (John Watson, North American Council for Online Learning, May 2008)...

Management and Operations of Online Programs: Ensure Quality and Accountability - The authors review promising practices in the management and operations of online learning programs in the following areas: (1) Curriculum development and course quality; (2) teacher management; (3) student support; (4) technology and (5) program evaluation. For each area, key issues and variables are identified, and examples of successful management are explored. (John Watson and Butch Gemin, North American Council for Online Learning, April 2008) ...


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