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A new organization for K-12 Online Teaching and Learning Karen Middleton WCET (Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications) Our vision To create an organization to facilitate collaboration, advocacy, and research to enhance quality K-12 online teaching and learning.

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A new organization for k 12 online teaching and learning l.jpg

A new organization for K-12 Online Teaching and Learning

Karen Middleton

WCET

(Western Cooperative for

Educational Telecommunications)


Our vision l.jpg

Our vision

To create an organization to facilitate collaboration, advocacy, and researchto enhance quality K-12 online teaching and learning.

(Updated 10/22/02 by planning committee)


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History of this new effort

  • CiTE Virtual High School Symposium, Louisville, KY, October 2000

  • Hewlett-sponsored dinner prior to CiTE Virtual High School Symposium, Chicago, IL, October 2001

  • Virtual High School Summer Institute, Santa Cruz, CA, August, 2002, sponsored by Hewlett, co-hosted by UC College Prep and WCET


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Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications

  • Unit of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education)

  • Membership-based

    • 240+ members

    • 44 states and six countries


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WCET Activities

  • Information Sharing

    • Electronic resources

    • www.wcet.info

    • Listserv

    • Webcasts

  • Publications

  • Professional Development


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Projects

  • Student services

  • Technology costing

  • Best practices – accrediting guidelines

  • EduTools



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WCET’s Role

  • The fiscal agent and ‘mentor’ for the first two years of this organization.

  • Our role will END at the end of the grant when the new group becomes a freestanding organization.

  • This project is not a part of WICHE or WCET’s core mission.

  • It has been approved as a project by WICHE and WCET leadership with the understanding that it is a finite project.


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Our Funders

  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


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The Hewlett Foundation’s Role

  • Information sharing – currently you make 50 calls to know what states are doing

  • Improving quality and standards

  • Sharing high-quality content

  • Supporting quality research


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Summer Institute Objectives

The proposed outcomes of this meeting were action-oriented to include:

  • agreement to submit a planning grant for the creation of an association,

  • agreement upon an initial organizational model,

  • agreement upon a framework for next steps in the association's development


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Summer Institute Issues

  • Funding Our Efforts

  • Training and Support (including teacher/tutor/mentor training & selection)

  • Curriculum and Course Development

  • Research and Evaluation

  • Improving Student Performance

  • Appropriate Technologies


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Key Questions

  • What are the trends and issues?

  • What are the major challenges we face?

  • What can we do collaboratively to address these issues and challenges?

  • What might be the role of a national organization in addressing these issues and challenges?


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Curriculum and Course Development

  • the difficulty and expense of developing quality course content,

  • the difficulty of finding quality courseware that is aligned with state standards,

  • the high cost of purchasing courseware already developed, and

  • the time and effort that teachers need to invest to develop their own lesson plans that are effective in online instruction.


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Research and Evaluation

Research and evaluation will play two crucial

roles in the development of virtual schools:

  • formative evaluation enabling schools to identify weaknesses and seek remedies to make their programs more effective and efficient; and

  • summative evaluations forming a body of literature of best practices in distance education enabling all programs to learn from the experiences of others.


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Funding Our Growth

  • The majority of virtual school programs cite funding issues (e.g., general operational and administrative expenses; course development, acquisition, or upgrades; and marketing expenses) as their primary obstacle to growth.


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state K-12 funding based on course credits completed

state one-time funding for the development of curricula and infrastructure

foundation grants and gifts

Tuition

pro rata transfers from local school revenues to the virtual high school, and

sales of proprietary course materials to other states and agencies.

VHS’s will likely draw on funding from among several sources:


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Training and Support

  • (includes teacher/tutor/mentor training & selection)

  • Part of overall teacher shortage

  • Lack of teachers trained in online delivery and instruction in traditional pools (retired, etc.)

  • Lack of effective teacher professional development for online delivery.


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Training and Support

  • Issues include·        

  • Trade-offs between employing teachers part-time vs. full-time?

  • What is the role of colleges and universities in the professional development of on-line instructors?

  • What is the role of the virtual school in providing technological support for on-line instructors, mentors, and tutors?


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Improving Student Performance

  • What steps can be taken to incorporate students at distant locations into learning communities?

  • What is the role of student or course effectiveness assessment in improving student performance?

  • Is it possible to prepare students for success in on-line learning by improving their computing skills and bolstering self-motivation?


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Improving Student Performance

  • What set of supports are most effective at the school site and in students’ homes to promote learning?

  • What technical support services are essential to student success?


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Appropriate Technologies

  • The actual course content ;

  • The technology platform, or course/learning management system,

  • The “portal” website surrounding the on-line courses; and

  • Student information and administrative systems that track student progress and report back to administrators of virtual schools and local schools.


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Summer Institute Outcomes

  • Planning Committee convened from among the attendees

  • Planning Committee met twice and developed a short-term plan

  • Vision developed

  • List of organizational objectives created by the group and ranked


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What we want from a nat’l org

  • Facilitate the sharing, collection, evaluation, and/or dissemination of information resources and materials

  • Facilitate and disseminate research, and identify research needs.

  • Advocacy and public policy that supports activities and legislation that removes barriers and supports effective online teaching and learning without respect to space and time

    (this list is in rank order, from planning committee)


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What we want from a nat’l org

  • Develop and facilitate national K12 online learning standards.

  • Create the voice of K12 within the larger education community with effective marketing, communications, and public relations activities.

  • Assist and facilitate funding efforts for online K12 learning.

  • Facilitate professional development for teachers.

    (this list is in rank order, from planning committee)


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What we want from a nat’l org

  • Identify and drive future directions in K-12 online education.

  • Network and identify collaborative opportunities with other professional K-12 organizations.

  • Drive educational initiatives that incorporate online learning and ways that transform positive learning outcomes for students.

    (this list is in rank order, from planning committee)


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The role of the planning committee

  • to identify a structure and bylaws for the board of directors, and a process for selecting a board that is representative of interested parties.   

  • Once agreement is reached on a model and bylaws, the next step will be a nomination process for a board of directors, and we will use our listserve to communicate about this process to interested parties.


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Resource Listserve

To sign up, go to:

www.wcet.info/projects/vhs


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Background Resources

  • Santa Cruz Summer Institute Conference Website

  • The California Virtual School Report, Authored by Knowledge Base, LLC, and the Clovis Unified School District.

  • Santa Cruz Summer Institute Proceedings

  • www.wcet.info/projects/vhs


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Thank you!

Karen Middleton

[email protected]

303-541-0285


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