Virtual Learning

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Virtual Learning : 

Virtual Learning Kristen Kajoien Kartav Patel Jason Zewatsky Carla Olivares

Overview : 

Overview What is it and who’s involved K-12 Kahn Academy Benefits and Limitations Budget Considerations Technology Considerations Student Characteristics Staff Considerations Educational Applications Future of Virtual Learning

Definition : 

Definition A virtual school or cyberschool describes an institution that teaches courses entirely or primarily through online methods. Though there are tens of thousands of commercial and non-accredited courses available online, the term "virtual school" is generally reserved for accredited schools that teach a full-time (or nearly full-time) course of instruction designed to lead to a degree. Virtual public and private schools serving every grade level including graduate programs may elect to pursue accreditation through various regional and national organizations. Accredited schools must meet rigorous standards as defined by the issuing organization and are designed to insure that students are receiving the highest quality instruction and education. Examples of organizations that issue school accreditation include: [1] Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, [2] Northwest Association of Accredited Schools

Virtual Schools in MI : 

Virtual Schools in MI Virtual schools are coded the same as traditional schools in the State's data system; therefore it is difficult to know how many virtual schools are in operation unless they have "cyber," "online," or "virtual" in the schools' titles. Currently, there are about 13 virtual schools in operation across the state and they must have seat-time waivers for their students. Of these 13 virtual schools, 10 of them "provide alternative education programs to suspended and/or expelled students from the home district and other school districts." Most operate within a traditional public school district.

2 groups of Virtual Schools : 

2 groups of Virtual Schools There are virtual schools that provide: - general education and special education or - alternative education for expelled students All schools are newly opened, relatively speaking, with the earliest school opening in Fall 2009.

General Education Virtual Schools : 

General Education Virtual Schools Virtual Learning Academy of St. Clair county Opened on 9/8/2009 Berrien Springs Virtual Academy Opened on 9/7/2010 Michigan Virtual Charter Academy Opened 9/7/2010

Slide 7: 

Alternative Education Virtual Schools

Not enough data...yet : 

Not enough data...yet Because virtual schools are so new to Michigan, there is little non-biased research about the effects of virtual schools and learning in Michigan.  Additionally, it will be difficult to tell the "true effect" of virtual schools because the majority of virtual schools serve an alternative population; it is relatively normal for graduation rates to be low and test scores to be low at alternative schools.  Despite the lack of research, the Governor and State Superintendent believe strongly in "anywhere, any time, any place" education, so it is likely that the number of Virtual schools and the number of students they serve will increase.

Accredited Program Examples : 

Accredited Program Examples Michigan Virtual School Certified and Highly Qualified Michigan Teachers  Funded by the Michigan Legislature in July of 2000 Middle and High School No tuition if enrolled in the "school" Michigan schools can purchase enrollments for between $89 and $350 per course (out of state slightly higher) Marketed as a way to "Expand Curriculum" Can only take 2 courses per semester and must attend at least one course at the school to receive FTE Membership Must have an on-site mentor Students must be able to read at the 6th grade level as a prerequisite

Accredited Program Examples : 

Accredited Program Examples Michigan Virtual Charter Academy  Authorized by GVSU K-12 Certified and Highly Qualified Michigan Teachers  No Tuition  Use "K12" curriculum 4 levels of courses (Core, Comprehensive, Honors, and AP) All materials are mailed to the students home including microscopes etc. Computers and internet stipend is available for low income learners

Non-Accredited Program Examples : 

Non-Accredited Program Examples Khan Academy Run by a non-profit organization 100% free to everyone (must have Facebook or Google login) Features "With a library of over 2,400 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 125 practice exercises" Videos average 10 minutes. Great as a supplement to traditional instruction Includes practice exercises and assessments that are tracked online and easily reviewed by "coach" Students earn "badges" as reinforcement

Example Class Data : 

Example Class Data

Example Student Data : 

Example Student Data

Continued... : 

Continued... Detroit Learning Labs (2 locations within Detroit Public Schools Adult Education) 10 Learning Labs were positioned all over the city of Detroit (a state initiated project by Andy Levin).  These labs were to provide computer access to needy community members.     Purpose: 1. To develop knowledge of hardware and computing skills (typing, spelling, functions, etc.) 2. To provide employment research (job searches, resume building, etc.) 3. Academic support in order to receive a GED (Software applications such as Contemporary GED, SkillsTutor, etc.)

Continued... : 

Continued... Detroit Public Schools Adult Education uses SkillsTutor for individuals seeking a GED   1. Out of 110 registered students, 22 received their GEDs in 2011 with help of the learning labs.  35 graduates from the regular classroom used SkillsTutor for English and Mathematics 2. This lab helped increased low level readers literacy skills. For example, 12 out of 95 students went from a 4th grade level to a 6th grade level within a school year according to their TABE score (Test for Adult Basic Education)

Budget ConsiderationsModeled from Not School in the United Kingdom : 

Budget ConsiderationsModeled from Not School in the United Kingdom Computers must be purchased annually for all incoming students Internet connectivity Staffing(for approximately 720 students) Non-Unionized 1 Director (Full Time Employee) 10 Project Managers (Full Time Employees)  4 Technicians (Full Time Employees) Mentors (Hourly Employees) Professional Development Home Visits Athletics Michigan Alternative Athletic Association No Transportation Low Overhead

Staff Experience : 

Staff Experience Teachers are able to increase interaction with students which improves academic achievement Subject materials are made easier to learn for students due to interactive activities.   Online instructional applications allow for differentiated instruction.  This keeps teachers motivated in personalizing their lesson plans Learning can continue outside of the classroom with the use of pod casts, websites, blogs, etc.  This will help reinforce subject material.

Student Experience : 

Student Experience Student must complete 6 projects per week These are created by content experts Students choose which project they would like to complete from each core content and electives All projects are aligned with Michigan Benchmarks and fulfill requirements A mentor is available 24 hours a day for live chats Special Education students must Skype with his or her mentor  because face to face time is required Students are required to collaborate with peers on 3 projects A positive increase in team cooperation and peer tutoring with collaboration projects Self-motivation/esteem have been known to increase with the use of technology projects Students can handle and accomplish more complex tasks which requires high order thinking

Why students choose Virtual : 

Why students choose Virtual Students in virtual schools choose this method of learning for a variety of reasons.   Teenage pregnancies Homebound illness Transient / Military Families Mental phobias Bullying at traditional high schools Work schedules to support family Lack of success in traditional high school Flexibility Accelerated Learning

Staff Considerations : 

Staff Considerations - Training required for all staff members preparing to use instructional applications (possible professional development dates must be set up before use of technology)   - Veteran teachers may lack technological skills when using computers, laptops, instructional software, typing, iPads, smart phones, etc.  Additional or certain training must be administered with sufficient time.

Student Considerations : 

Student Considerations -Technology facilitators must establish rules and policy for using all hardware or software.  -Consequences must be explained for any misuse or abuse. Possible student contracts may be needed in order to regulate behavior -Consistent monitoring by teachers or other staff is critical when students are using any technological applications.   -All lessons using technology must be reinforced by classroom content instruction.   -Assessments must be conducted to show student learning.

Future of Virtual Learning : 

Future of Virtual Learning Many Virtual Learners are At-Risk learners and need more motivation.  Two hours of required Lab time a week will be required to promote success.   More and more high school graduates/professionals are attending online accreditation programs for post-secondary education.  This requires extensive use of technology within K-12. More Skype  A Wimba type classroom More interactive         Kaplan University Phoenix University Saint Leo University  Everest University

References : 


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