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EPGY Status Report Mike, Ruhi, Monisha, Masa Stanford University ED 391 EPGY Background EPGY: Educational Program for Gifted Youth Started in late 1980s by Stanford Philosophy Professor Patrick Suppes Enrolls about 3000 students/year, growing

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EPGY Status Report

Mike, Ruhi, Monisha, Masa

Stanford University

ED 391


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EPGY Background

  • EPGY: Educational Program for Gifted Youth

  • Started in late 1980s by Stanford Philosophy Professor Patrick Suppes

  • Enrolls about 3000 students/year, growing

  • Provides courses to “gifted” children, mostly in high school math and sciences

  • Most students take the courses at home


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Project Background

  • EPGY would like to address the school market

  • Interested in Title 1 funds for low-income schools => less gifted, motivated kids

  • Current schools it is serving

    • local

      • Belle Haven Elementary, Menlo Park

      • Las Lomitas Elementary, Atherton

      • Brandeis Private School, SF

      • upcoming: Enola Maxwell Middle School (SF); Garfield Elementary (Redwood City)

    • remote

      • schools in Beaverton, OR; London, England


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Ed 391X Project

  • Study the possibility of strengthening EPGY’s offering to the school market

    • market opportunity

    • software’s appropriateness for less gifted, less motivated kids

    • possibilities for grouped instruction (rather than individualized instruction)

      • in person

      • synchronous online

    • possibilities for per student cost savings

    • other stuff?


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Market Landscape

  • Over 6 million K-12 public school students, 1048 school districts in U.S.

  • Since 1996, there has been an increase of about 100,000 students per year.

  • Problems:

    • Shortage of teachers

    • many schools failing

    • drop-out rates rising

    • inconsistent teaching of difficult subjects

    • unequal access to courses

  • A large K-12 online education movement is accelerating across the country


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The Promise of Online Learning

  • Addresses some of the challenges in previous slide

  • Offers potential for better results and cost savings

  • Offers a way to study developmental and individual learning styles, performance accountability

  • Several states already have fully developed programs

  • Studies suggest that virtual education is no longer experimental


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Potential Beneficiaries of Online Programs

  • Students who experience scheduling conflicts or inability to attend school on a regular schedule

    • Court School Students, who attend prison schools

    • Adult Education Students

    • Career and technical education programs

  • Students who have special needs not met by the local district

    • AP or Honors classes

    • remedial classes

    • special education

    • English Learner Programs

  • Home School Students

  • Teacher Professional Development


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Online Pedagogy

  • Because of the newness of online learning we are still learning what makes for effective pedagogy.

  • Online learning is subjected to more intense scrutiny that normal classroom delivery, but it can be more easily tracked.

  • Online environment should be designed with specific outcomes in mind and should be monitored for efficacy.


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Recommendations for Effective Online Program

  • Student recommendations

    • Course content needs to be interactive, using multiple media

    • Timely feedback from teachers is necessary

    • Face to face meetings are important

  • Adult recommendations

    • Create quality online courses

      • project-based assignments

      • interface that encourages interactions.

    • Face-to-face meetings are important.

    • A variety of student support mechanisms is needed.



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Course Pacing

  • Self-pacing offers advantages as well as challenges

  • Self-paced courses make teaching/support harder

  • Ability to facilitate student-to-student interaction is also affected by pacing

  • Course pacing options:

    • one timetable

    • completely self-paced.

    • students select from choices of pre-defined timetables


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Challenges to Online Learning and Teaching

  • Weak content and curricula

  • Weak online pedagogy

  • Limited forms of online assessment

  • Lack of technology standards

  • Instructor is not prepared to be a virtual instructor

  • Not all learners are prepared for online learning


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Existing Online Education Programs for K12

  • State-based: 14 statewide online programs

  • University-based: introductory and correspondence courses available to high school students

  • School district-based

  • Virtual charter schools and private schools

  • For-Profit Corporations: supply virtual education either on a course-by-course basis or as a school



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Government Educational Technology Initiatives

  • Federal technology literacy grants

  • Digital California Project

  • The Education Technology Grant Program for High Schools

  • Statewide Commission on Technology and Learning

  • California Learning Resource Network

  • Digital High School Program

  • Many others


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Market Landscape Final Thoughts

  • Virtual education is here to stay.

  • More and more services core to the operation of the school and to learning will become web-based.

  • Online learning offers the potential for consistent and high-quality curriculum for a large number of students.

  • Virtual education can also address equity issues.


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Software Evaluation…

  • Positives

  • Lesson on entering formulas

  • Problem set up

  • White board for fraction section

  • Need Improvements

  • Interface

  • Lack of help, no visible exit signs, no undo or back

  • No marker on time left

  • Could be more collaborative

  • Messages given from the system are not clear, nor encouraging


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Software Evaluation…

  • Questions to Ask

  • The problems are tedious and difficult

    • No scaffolding for the level of difficulty

  • The software is unprofessional

    • The handwriting on the black board

    • The grammar of the lecture

    • The background noise during the lecture

  • How can we encourage the students to take notes

    • Print screen

    • Photoshop tool be able to use the screen as scratch paper


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Observations From School Visit

  • where: Las Lomitas Elementary in Menlo Park, grades 1-3 Math

  • Kids were *really* engaged with the software, seemed to learn lots

  • The math gets *quite* advanced very quickly

  • They should provide the kids with checkpoints to take stock

    • appreciate what they’ve learned

    • think about what they’ve accomplished

    • apply what they’ve learned


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What’s Left To Do

  • more visits to schools

  • re-interview lead elementary math tutor

  • interview teacher who taught kids who used EPGY math courses

  • interview EPGY marketing person

  • create Flash demo to show our proposed software changes


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