Tag Archives: Online Learning

Can Online Learning Support Critically At-Risk Students?

Last year, Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared Speak Up data in the 2014 Alternative Accountability Policy Forum in Coronado, California. The annual forum, held by the School for Integrated Academics & Technologies (SIATech), Reaching At Promise Students Association (RAPSA), and WestEd, is dedicated to improving and strengthening accountability for schools serving at-risk students. Check out a summary of Julie’s presentation with Maria Worthen from iNACOL below:

Can Online Learning Support Critically At-Risk Students?
 
Online and blended learning can help close the opportunity gap in education by expanding learning opportunities otherwise unavailable to low-income students, students in small or rural communities, out of school youth, and others. The majority of high schools report using online learning for credit recovery and for keeping students on pace to graduate. When well designed and implemented, components of digital competency-based learning are well-matched for educating at-risk students for the following reasons:
  • Students advance upon mastery.
  • It provides explicit, measurable, transfer-able learning objectives that can empower students.
  • Assessment is meaningful and can create a positive learning experience for students.
  • Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
  • Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions.
Julie and Maria used Speak Up data and other research studies to show that student outcomes in blended learning exceed both traditional learning outcomes and online instruction-only outcomes, and that students enjoy digital learning because it personalizes instruction and is collaborative. At the end of the presentation they advised attendees that students are a “digital advance team” and can help educators plan technology programs for their schools; they also acknowledged a need for more information, as this type of online learning has the potential to change students’ futures.
To learn more about Julie and Maria’s session, as well as the 20 other sessions from the forum, check out WestEd’s summary of the Third Annual Alternative Accountability Policy Forum.

Free webinar: Moving Beyond Textbook Replacement to Personalize the Student Learning Experience

Free webinar with FuelEducation
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 
2PM Eastern Daylight Time
 

Many schools and districts have implemented a 1:1 initiative or various other types of digital tools to enrich learning. But how do educators move beyond textbook replacement to enhance the learning experience and truly customize learning for each student?

In this webinar, Julie Evans will share national findings from Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up Research Project. Conducted annually, the Speak Up Projects collects and reports on the authentic views of K-12 students, parents and educators nationwide on the benefits as well as challenges of digital learning. Belvoir Christian Academy will share how they have overcome the obstacles of diminishing resources and low enrollment to create a successful personalized learning experience for their middle school students. Cathy Butterworth, a former administrator, will share the story of how she has evolved to being a mentor teacher of the Belvoir online program and how she has adapted to her new role.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to create engaging digital content that moves beyond textbook replacement
  • Best practices for evolving the teaching style to complement a digital learning model
  • How students perceive personalized learning and why they find it more beneficial

 

Speakers
  • Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
  • Cathy Butterworth, Mentor Teacher, Belvoir Christian Academy
  • Frank Streufert, Principal, Belvoir Christian Academy

Case study: Poudre School District Global Academy

Project Tomorrow has teamed up with Fuel Education to bring you a case study on Poudre School District (PSD) Global Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This innovative online/hybrid school for students in K–12 grade is ranked among the highest in the state of Colorado for student growth across all grades for the 2013–2014 school year. This achievement marks the first time an innovative school using blended and online learning has ranked in the top 95 percent of all Colorado schools – including traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools, and other online schools.

In this document, we outline:

  • Proof of Program Results – The school’s desired student outcomes, Northwest Evaluaion Association’s Measures of Academic Porogress (MAP®) assessment results, Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessements, and Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) results.
  • The PSD Global Academy Approach – The five unique approaches that the school believes is intetral to their positive results.
  • Lessons Learned – The three takeaways for education leaders who want to implment successful blended learing programs.

Download a PDF of the case study: Online, Virtual, and Blended Learning in Action


To read a summary of a recent District Administration webinar featuring PSD Global Academy, click here.
Fuel Education’s mission is to partner with schools and districts to personalize and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom by leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning. Unlike legacy publishers and other online providers, Fuel Education offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to online learning based on their experience partnering with more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states and D.C. To learn more about Fuel Education, visit http://www.getfueled.com/

Why do students pursue online education?

As we all know, the Internet is increasingly becoming more integrated in our daily lives. No longer is it just a source of entertainment and resource – it is also a huge part of academia. Learning House and Aslanian Market Research recently teamed up to form the report “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” which takes a look at students who use the Internet and education technology to earn their degrees.

According to the study, students who enroll in online classes understand how the Internet and technology can help their future. While business is the most popular major for undergraduates taking online classes, a significant number also study health professions, computers and IT, social sciences, arts, humanities, and education. Most of these students are focused on long-term goals, citing job-related opportunities as their main motivation for pursuing an online degree. While most of online students are currently unemployed, about 40% report improvement in their employment status within one year of graduation.

Furthermore, students enroll in online classes due to its convenience and lack of limitations. A slight majority of online undergraduate students are enrolled in a campus or center within 100 miles of where they live, meaning that students can take classes at these faraway institutions without having to travel or relocate. However, price of tuition is less of a factor when students decide to take online classes – in fact, two-thirds of online students say that balanced a program’s quality and value with the price rather than just chose the program with the lowest tuition.While there are several factors that determine whether a student takes online classes or not (i.e. some just have a clear preference for online study while others prefer programs that will easily allow them to transfer credit earned elsewhere), the majority choose to do so based on their future plans and out of convenience.

Click here to read Learning House and Aslanian Market Research’s full report, “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences.” What do you think about online classes? Let us know!

The Learning House, Inc. helps colleges and universities create, manage and grow high-quality online degree programs and courses. Partnering with more than 100 schools, Learning House enables institutions to efficiently and affordably achieve their online education goals. Services include product development and market research, marketing and lead generation, admissions and enrollment management, student retention, curriculum development and management, faculty training and professional development, learning management systems and 24/7 technical support.  As a thought leader in the industry, Learning House publishes an annual report on online college student preferences and demographics and presents an annual online higher education conference.

Having completed nearly 300 market studies for every type and level of post-secondary institution, Aslanian Market Research staff have an unparalleled depth of experience in higher education. For over 25 years, Carol Aslanian and her team have exclusively focused on understanding the emerging and ongoing demands, preferences, and attitudes of adult and other post-traditional students — who collectively comprise more than half of all enrolled students.

Report Release! RSVP to attend the release of our latest report on Online and Blended Learning at ISTE, hosted by Blackboard–breakfast provided!

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Online Learning Trends Breakfast at ISTE

Hosted by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow
When: Monday, June 30th
Time: 7:30am to 8:30am
Where: Omni CNN Center International Ballroom AB
190 Marietta St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Join us for breakfast and the launch of the latest Project Tomorrow and Blackboard report on Online and Blended Learning. During this special executive breakfast, Julie will discuss the online learning trends from the Speak Up 2013 national data and moderate a panel discussion with K-12 students. Be the first to learn about this new data on online and blended learning and receive a free copy of the report!
Please visit Blackboard’s website athttp://bbbb.blackboard.com/PTBreakfast2014 to RSVP or reply to this email to confirm your attendance. We also encourage you to share this invite with any additional colleagues that may be interested in attending.
If you are not attending ISTE this year and would like to sign up to receive a copy of the 2014 Online and Blended Learning Trends Report, please click here.

Speak Up News June 2014

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Happy June! We hope that you are all enjoying the start of summer!

With the school year winding down, we do hope you will keep in touch with us during the summer months. Catch up on all things Speak Up by visiting our website and if you’re attending ISTE in Atlanta later this month please be sure to stop and say hi to Julie at one of her many sessions!

In this newsletter, you will find information regarding…
Report release! RSVP to attend the release of our latest report on Online and Blended Learning at ISTE, hosted by Blackboard–breakfast provided!
Enter to win $5,000 for your technology program! Our friends at Kajeet® want to contribute towards your technology program to inspire and prepare students for a successful future. Click to learn more!
Speak Up on the Go! Upcoming presentations with our CEO, Julie Evans.
Get a head start on Speak Up 2014! Registration now open, surveys will be available October 6th- December 19th, 2014
Happy Reading! Feel free to share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team

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Online Learning Trends Breakfast at ISTE

Hosted by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow
When: Monday, June 30th
Time: 7:30am to 8:30am
Where: Omni CNN Center International Ballroom AB
190 Marietta St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Join us for breakfast and the launch of the latest Project Tomorrow and Blackboard report on Online and Blended Learning. During this special executive breakfast, Julie will discuss the online learning trends from the Speak Up 2013 national data and moderate a panel discussion with K-12 students. Be the first to learn about this new data on online and blended learning and receive a free copy of the report!
Please visit Blackboard’s website athttp://bbbb.blackboard.com/PTBreakfast2014 to RSVP or reply to this email to confirm your attendance. We also encourage you to share this invite with any additional colleagues that may be interested in attending.
If you are not attending ISTE this year and would like to sign up to receive a copy of the 2014 Online and Blended Learning Trends Report, please click here.
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Enter to Win $5,000 for your Technology Program

Technology is critical in today’s world by giving students access to invaluable resources right at their fingertips. Our friends at Kajeet® want to contribute towards your technology program to inspire and prepare students for a successful future.
If you are planning to attend ISTE in Atlanta, enter before June 30, 2014, 11:59 p.m. ET to win a $5,000 donation to your school’s technology program. (#FundYourTech). You can also stop by their booth #3378 for a second chance to enter.
Note: The winning name will be chosen at random on July 1, 2014, at approximately 12 pm ET. You do not need to be present at ISTE when the selection takes place.The winner will be contacted via email and/or Twitter immediately following the drawing. Kajeet will use #FundYourTech to notify the winner on site. Please be sure to follow @Kajeet4Edu. If the name chosen does not respond within 24 hours, another name will be chosen. No purchase of any kind is necessary to enter or win the drawing. Valid only for residents in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for publicly funded K-12 schools. A check will be issued to the winner’s designated publicly funded K-12 schools within 6-8 weeks from the time of the selection.The check will be made out to the selected winner’s school of choice.
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Speak Up on the Go!

Upcoming Presentations

There’s still time to schedule in a Speak Up Session at ISTE! If you are attending the ISTE Conference in Atlanta, please be sure to stop by and see Julie at one of the following sessions:
Measuring teachers’ readiness to leverage digital content: Are you ready?
Sunday, 06/29/14, 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
GWCC Murphy Ballroom 1/2
ISTE 2014
Atlanta, GA
Online Learning Trends Breakfast with Project Tomorrow and Blackboard at ISTE
June 30th at 7:30am
Omni CNN Center International Ballroom AB
ISTE 2014
Atlanta, GA
Empowering student and educator voice through the Speak Up surveys
(Birds of a feather session)
Monday, 06/30/14, 5:15 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
GWCC B312
ISTE 2014
Atlanta, GA
The emergence of the self-directed digital learner
Tuesday, 07/01/14, 1:15 p.m.–2:15 p.m.
GWCC Murphy Ballroom ½
ISTE 2014
Atlanta, GA
The 10th Annual Online Learning Institute
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at ISTE
The Omni Hotel
100 CNN Center (Across from the Convention Center)
Atlanta, GA 30313
Registration required, visit the ISTE Conference Registration Site for more details.

Past Presentations

Webinar: New Research: Digital Tools and Personalized Learning, Today and Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow and Dreambox Learning
Hosted by District Administration Magazine
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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speakup

We are excited to announce that the Speak Up 2014 surveys for students, parents and educators will be open for input October 6th through December 19th!

With Speak Up 2014 just around the corner, it’s not too early to start making plans to take the survey. Get a head start and update your school or district profile for the 2014 surveys at: http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/.
Each year a school or district primary contact will need to re-register with a new district profile (contact info, passwords) to gain access to their Speak Up information both during and after the survey process.
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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Speak Up! Be sure to stay updated on all things Speak Up by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and our Blog.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jhostert@tomorrow.orgor via phone at 949/609-4660 ext. 17.
Jenny Hostert
Speak Up Operations Manager
Project Tomorrow
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©2014 Project Tomorrow | 15707 Rockfield Blvd. Suite 250 | Irvine CA | 92618

Teachers’ concerns over online learning

While most non-educators find the use of educational technology appealing, several teachers – new and veterans – are hesitant to welcome the new tools into their classrooms. This may come as surprising to some, as blended learning was created to enable personalized instruction and to fix several frustrating aspects of school. However, out of the many common concerns that teachers have, researcher Thomas Arnett found three worth addressing:

  1. Several teachers find technology to be a distraction from the real work and real challenges of teaching. Arnett notes this is legitimate and important concern, and also notes that schools and districts often purchase technology in hopes that something great will happen once the devices reach teachers’ hands. Instead technology complicates class time, as schools often fail to provide technology training for teachers. It is suggested that schools should rethink their instructional models by addressing specific educational goals and then finding ways to use technology to meet those goals.
  2. Teachers are also concerned that they will be replaced by technology. With apps such as iTunes U and websites such as Khan Academy that provide individualized learning and free tutoring, it’s no surprise that this is a common concern. It also does not help that technology is seen as a low-cost substitute for teachers. However, Arnett suggests teachers should note that their roles are going to change – for example, teachers in blended learning schools will focus more on mentoring students, working with small groups, and managing projects.
  3. The last common concern is that online learning will undermine teachers’ professional judgment – meaning, teachers fear that their work will only consist of grading assignments as students spend all their time with online curriculum. While this may be true for low-quality blending learning programs, this is not the case for high-quality programs. In the latter, teachers’ professional judgment will actually expand as they will need to provide more coaching and mentorship, and will need to create a classroom culture in which students realize the real-world relevance to what they are learning.
Arnett notes that as more schools accept technology within their classrooms, “the nature of teaching is going to change.” However, with proper instruction and high-quality programs, blended learning can provide teachers with new opportunities that can benefit the classroom.
To read the original article, “Addressing teachers’ concerns about online learning” by Thomas Arnett from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, click here. What do you think about the use of educational technology in classrooms? Do you agree with these concerns and how Arnett addressed them? Let us know!
About Thomas Arnett: Thomas’ research focuses on the changing roles of teachers in blended learning environments and other innovative educational models. He also examines how teacher education and professional development are shifting to support the evolving needs of teachers and school systems.
 
About the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation: The Clayton Christensen Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation. Founded on the theories of Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen, the Institute offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing problems. Their mission is ambitious but clear: work to shape and elevate the conversation surrounding these issues through rigorous research and public outreach.

Open textbooks: an alternative to hefty textbook prices

It’s no secret that the prices of college course textbooks have significantly risen in the past few years. This change has left some students to choose between buying certain textbooks or not buying any at all, the latter in which they turn to alternatives such as PDFs, or borrowing textbooks from the school library or classmates. Some professors have noted the hefty price of textbooks and have begun assigning open-source textbooks, which are course materials that are offered for free online by their authors under a nonrestrictive license.

“The degree of unaffordability is getting to the point that it’s hurting learning,” said David Wiley, co-founder of Lumen Learning, an organization which helps schools adopt open educational researchers. A 2014 study by the Student Public Interest Research Groups found that textbook costs are deterring students from purchasing course materials and are therefore impacting their studies.

Not only do open textbooks help students save money on school materials, but they also enable students to study on the go. Furthermore, despite criticisms that open-textbooks and easy online access to information may prevent students from attending class, professors have found that these open educational resources have actually improved their classes; they found that it places a premium on classroom interactions and forces students and educators to make better use of their time together in the classroom.

While not all schools have adopted open textbooks and online educational resources, several are catching on as tuition fees rise. Given that open textbooks are a fairly recent practice, educators are still evaluating it before fully adopting the resources. Ben Benderson, the executive director of University of Maryland’s Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, noted, “As we develop a better understanding of what makes nonpaid resources work well, then we can start to encourage it more and more.”

Want to learn more about open textbooks? Check out the original article “How some colleges are offering free textbooks” by CNN, or follow the report by The Student Public Interest Research Groups. Have you ever used open textbooks in class or elsewhere? Let us know about your experiences!

Are you attending the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium?

Happy Monday! We hope you had a relaxing and fun filled weekend!





This week Project Tomorrow’s CEO, Julie Evans will be presenting at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in Orlando, Florida! If you are attending the  iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium , please be sure to stop by and see Julie at one of the following sessions:
*Online Learning Experiences and Edpections of Tomorrow’s Teachers: New Research from Speak Up
*Blended, Flipping and Personalized: How Online Learning is Transforming Teacher Practice
*The Digital Classroom of Tomorrow
 

Online Learning Experiences and Expectations of Tomorrow’s Teachers: New Research from Speak Up

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, October 28 2013
Asia 5
track:   Research & Evaluation
Tomorrow’s teachers may have the keys to finally unlock the potential of online learning tools and strategies to transform teaching and learning, but much depends upon their experiences in their preparation program and how well future school leadership can support their expectations for essential technology tools and resources. In this session, we will review new Speak Up findings on this topic and discuss the research with a panel of teacher educators and school principals.
Click here to learn more and sign up for the session!

Blending, Flipping and Personalized: How Online Learning is Transforming Teacher Practice

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, October 29 2013
Southern Hemisphere II
track:   Research & Evaluation
Online learning debates primarily focus on student outcomes. However, the real impact of leveraging online learning tools should be about changing teacher practice. The 2012 Speak Up National Research Project polled 56,000 teachers nationwide on the impact of online learning on their practice as well as student outcomes. In this session, we will review new findings around blended, flipped, and personalized learning and learn from a teacher panel about their experiences and expectations.
Panelists:
·         Dr. R. Mark Beadle, CEO and Head of School, Sevenstar
·         Renee Citlau, National Online Teacher of the Year and from Anaheim Union High School District (CA)
·         William Lange, Blended Learning Coordinator with Maricopa Unified School District (AZ)
Click here to learn more and sign up for the session!

The Digital Classroom of Tomorrow

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, October 30 2013
Southern Hemisphere III
track:   Blended Learning Programs
One of the most challenging issues facing administrators, teachers and parents today is keeping up with the digital tools available for learning. This panel discussion will focus on the key findings on maximizing student learning from the 2012 survey conducted by the Speak Up National Research Project. Specifically, the panel member discussion, which will consist of teacher (s) and administrator (s), will comment on the results from the survey.
Click here to learn more and sign up for the session!
Please be sure to check our website next week at: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_presentations.htmlfor copies of the powerpoint presentations!
Have you participated in Speak up?! Please share your experiences below! And remember to share the Speak Up surveys with your network of friends and family- every voice counts!

Take the survey today at: www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013

–The Project Tomorrow Team